Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
How we cite our quotes:
Harry couldn't take anymore. Clearing his throat loudly, he stepped out from behind the bookshelves. If he hadn't been feeling so angry, he would have found the sight that greeted him funny: Every one of the Hufflepuffs looked as though they had been Petrified by the sight of him, and the color was draining out of Ernie's face.
"Hello," said harry. "I'm looking for Justin Finch-Fletchley."
The Hufflepuffs' worst fears had clearly been confirmed. They all looked fearfully at Ernie. (11.143-145)
Harry overhears the Hufflepuff second years accusing him of trying to kill Justin Finch-Fletchley with a snake. They even think that he is rising to be the next Dark Lord. Instead of continuing to hide or sneaking off, though, Harry chooses to confront the Hufflepuffs openly about their assumptions. He's a Gryffindor, and their main quality is supposed to be courage; we imagine it would take a lot of bravery to go and talk normally to a bunch of people who think you're a crazed killer on the loose.
"My friendly, card-carrying cupids!" beamed Lockhart. "They will be roving around the school today delivering your valentines! And the fun doesn't stop here! I'm sure my colleagues will want to enter into the spirit of the occasion! Why not ask Professor Snape to show you how to whip up a Love Potion! And while you're at it, Professor Flitwick knows more about Entrancing Enchantments than any wizard I've ever met, the sly old dog!"
Professor Flitwick buried his face in his hands. Snape was looking as though the first person to ask him for a Love Potion would be force-fed poison. (13.87-88)
As with the Dueling Club, we have to be impressed at Professor Lockhart's complete and utter lack of self-consciousness. He really does not seem to notice (or care) that he is making the other professors loathe him with his horrible behavior. Why does Professor Lockhart persist in these stunts? Does he think it will win him popularity at the school? Is he really just that stupid, that he doesn't realize most of Hogwarts thinks he's a laughing stock? Or could it be more sinister? Maybe Professor Lockhart is trying to use these ridiculous stunts to distract people from wondering too much about the truth of his books. What do you think Professor Lockhart's motivations are?
Harry couldn't explain, even to himself, why he didn't just throw Tom Riddle's diary away. The fact was that even though he knew the diary was blank, he kept absentmindedly picking it up and turning the pages, as though it were a story he wanted to finish. And while Harry was sure he had never heard the name T.M. Riddle before, it still seemed to mean something to him, almost as though Riddle was a friend he'd had when he was very small, and had half-forgotten. But this was absurd. He'd never had friends before Hogwarts, Dudley had made sure of that. (13.69)
While the diary still appears blank to Harry, he keeps flipping through it as though it means something to him. What do you think is prompting this curiosity? Is the diary beginning to work its possessing magic? Is Harry working on his own personal instincts (which have led him to battle Voldemort successfully before)? How lucky is Harry that he was in the right place to find this diary in the first place? In some way, Harry seems to be fated to be in the right place at the right time to find the diary and discover Tom Riddle. What if someone else had picked up Riddle's diary in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom?