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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 15 Summary How It All Goes Down
Aragog With Professor Dumbledore gone, the whole school falls into fear again. Harry looks around for spiders as much as he can at school, but he's having trouble because none of the students are permitted to wander without a teacher present. The only person who looks as though he's really enjoying himself is Draco Malfoy. In Potions, Draco says openly, "I'm quite surprised the Mudbloods haven't all packed their bags by now […] Bet you five Galleons the next one dies. Pity it wasn't Granger —" (15.14). Harry barely holds Ron back from attacking Draco. One bright spot: during Herbology, Ernie Macmillan apologizes to Harry for suspecting him. He knows that Harry would never hurt Hermione. From the Herbology greenhouse, Harry also spots several large spiders "moving in an unnaturally straight line as though taking the shortest route to a prearranged meeting" (15.27). They're heading to the Forbidden Forest. Harry and (a reluctant) Ron agree to sneak into the forest under Harry's Invisibility Cloak, with Hagrid's large dog Fang for protection. First, though, they have Defense Against the Dark Arts. Professor Lockhart appears thrilled: he is sure that the Minister of Magic would not have arrested Hagrid without sure proof that he is guilty. None of the kids are convinced by this logic. That night, Harry and Ron creep out of the castle to Hagrid's cottage to get Fang. They then follow the spiders through the forest for at least half an hour, until Harry hears "something moving over there […] sounds like something big" (15.174). There's a sudden blaze of light in the darkness. It's the headlights of Mr. Weasley's enchanted Ford Anglia. It's been in the Forbidden Forest all this time. Distracted by the car, Harry doesn't notice something coming up behind him until it grabs him. It takes Ron and Fang, too. The thing carries Harry, Ron, and Fang to a large hollow in the ground, which is absolutely crawling with spiders. It is a giant spider. It drops Harry, Ron, and Fang in the hollow and calls for Aragog. Aragog is "a spider the size of a small elephant [….] There was gray in the black of his body and legs, and each of the eyes on his ugly, pincered head was milky white. He was blind" (15.104). Aragog is confused: "Hagrid has never sent men into our hollow before" (15.113). Aragog tells Ron and Harry that Hagrid raised Aragog from an egg. When Aragog was found and blamed for the death of a student, Hagrid sneaked Aragog out of the castle. Aragog describes the monster in the Chamber of Secrets as "an ancient creature we spiders fear above all others" (15.127). The spiders will not even speak its name. Harry and Ron try to leave, but Aragog won't let them: he won't eat them out of respect for Hagrid, but he can't deny his family their rights. As the spiders approach, a horn sounds. It's the honking of Mr. Weasley's Ford Anglia. Ron, Harry, and Fang climb in and the car races to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. They walk safely up to Hogwarts, leaving the car in the Forbidden Forest. Now, Harry and Ron have learned for sure that Hagrid is innocent. They don't know what to do next, though. Suddenly, Harry has a revelation: that girl who died? What if she's Moaning Myrtle?
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