Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 18 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Professor Lockhart arrive, covered in grime and blood, at Professor McGonagall's office.
- Mr. and Mrs. Weasley throw their arms around Ginny.
- Professor Dumbledore is also standing by, as is Professor McGonagall.
- Harry places the Sorting Hat, the ruby-covered sword, and Riddle's destroyed diary on Professor McGonagall's desk.
- Then he explains everything that has happened.
- Ginny confesses that she's been writing in Riddle's diary all year.
- Mr. Weasley asks her, "Haven't I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain" (18.21).
- Professor Dumbledore sends Ginny to the Hospital Wing to recover.
- Professor Dumbledore turns to Professor McGonagall: "You know, Minerva […] I think all this merits a good feast. Might I ask you to go and alert the kitchens?" (18.28).
- Ron explains to Professor Dumbledore about Professor Lockhart's total amnesia.
- Professor Dumbledore asks Ron to bring Professor Lockhart to the Hospital Wing, too.
- So, Harry is left alone with Professor Dumbledore.
- Harry finally admits what's bothering him: "Riddle said I'm like him. Strange likenesses, he said" (18.51).
- Professor Dumbledore tells Harry that, when Voldemort tried to kill him as a baby, he left Harry with some of his skills (Parseltongue, for example).
- Harry chose to be in Gryffindor, though, which makes him very different from Voldemort.
- The fact that Harry could draw this ruby-encrusted sword from the Sorting Hat is proof enough that Harry is a true Gryffindor.
- After all, the sword belonged to Godric Gryffindor.
- Lucius Malfoy appears at Professor McGonagall's office, seething with fury. Dobby is hiding behind him.
- Lucius demands to know why Professor Dumbledore has come back.
- Professor Dumbledore tells him, "the other eleven governors contacted me today […] They seemed to think I was the best man for the job after all. Very strange tales they told me, too…Several of them seemed to think that you had threatened to curse their families if they didn't agree to suspend me in the first place" (18.73)
- Lucius goes pale with rage.
- Professor Dumbledore shows him the diary that had contained Lord Voldemort.
- Professor Dumbledore points out that, if Harry and Ron hadn't found the diary, Ginny might have taken all the blame herself.
- Then what might have happened?
- He continues, "Imagine the effect on Arthur Weasley and his Muggle Protection Act, if his own daughter was discovered attacking and killing Muggle-borns" (18.84).
- Thanks to some signaling from Dobby, Harry suddenly realizes that it must have been Lucius who slipped Ginny the diary during that fight at Flourish and Blotts at the beginning of the year.
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- Professor Dumbledore admits that they can't prove anything, but he warns Lucius not to try anything like that again.
- Lucius turns to leave.
- Harry has a great idea, and turns to Professor Dumbledore for permission to give back the diary. Permission is granted.
- Harry runs after Lucius with the destroyed diary in his hand.
- He yanks off one of his grimy socks and sticks the diary inside.
- Harry tells Lucius he's got something of his.
- He jams the sock-covered diary into Lucius's hand.
- Lucius pulls the sock off the diary and throws it to the floor.
- Lucius warns him, "You'll meet the same sticky end as your parents one of these days, Harry Potter […] They were meddlesome fools, too" (18.107).
- Lucius tries to order Dobby to follow him, but something is different.
- Dobby has caught the sock Lucius threw down.
- Lucius has given Dobby clothes, so Dobby is free of the Malfoy family.
- Lucius pulls his wand on Harry, but Dobby commands Lucius to go.
- Dobby weeps, thanks Harry for freeing him, and disappears with a loud crack.
- The celebration feast that night is fabulous.
- All of the Petrified people have woken up, exams are canceled after all, and Professor Lockhart has left the school.
- Lucius Malfoy has been fired as school governor, and everything is right with the world.
- On the Hogwarts Express, Harry asks Ginny what she saw Percy doing that he didn't want her to talk about.
- Ginny caught Percy kissing Penelope Clearwater, the Ravenclaw prefect who got Petrified with Hermione.
- That's who Percy was writing to all the previous summer.
- Harry takes out his quill and writes his phone number down for Ron and Hermione.
- He asks them to call, because he won't be able to take two more months of the Dursleys.
- Hermione asks him, "Your aunt and uncle will be proud, though, won't they? […] When they hear what you did this year?" (18.144).
- Harry thinks that's unlikely, but he still continues on into the Muggle world.
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