Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

The Dueling Club

  • The next morning, Madam Pomfrey lets Harry leave the Hospital Wing.
  • Ron and Hermione have already gotten started on the Polyjuice Potion.
  • Ron resolves, "The sooner we get a confession out of Malfoy, the better" (11.15).
  • Ron thinks Lucius Malfoy was the one to open the Chamber of Secrets the first time.
  • The news that Colin Creevey has been Petrified terrifies the whole school.
  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione all plan to stay at Hogwarts during the winter break.
  • They know that Draco is going to be at Hogwarts, too, so it'll be a perfect chance to try the Polyjuice Potion.
  • They need to steal some ingredients from Professor Snape's private stores.
  • Hermione plans to do the actual stealing, while Harry and Ron are going to create a diversion.
  • During Potions class, Harry tosses a firecracker into Goyle's cauldron full of Swelling Solution.
  • The whole class starts to panic as their limbs start to swell up.
  • While Professor Snape tries to quiet the students down and administer a Deflating Draught, Hermione creeps into Snape's office and takes what she needs.

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  • Professor Snape finds the burned firework in Goyle's cauldron and clearly thinks it's Harry's fault.
  • He can't prove it, though, so what can he do?
  • A week later, Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas tell Harry, Ron, and Hermione that the school has decided to start a Dueling Club.
  • They think it might be useful – until they see that the club is being run by Professor Lockhart.
  • Professor Lockhart's surprising assistant is Professor Snape.
  • The two face off against each other as a demonstration of wizard dueling technique.
  • Professor Snape knocks Professor Lockhart into a wall.
  • Professor Lockhart shakes it off and starts putting the students into pairs.
  • Professor Snape pairs Harry with Draco (a recipe for disaster, of course).
  • The two of them exchange vicious spells.
  • After a few brief minutes, Professors Lockhart and Snape stop the "dueling" – these haven't been formal duels so much as they have been a bunch of kids beating the tar out of each other.
  • To prevent the naked violence of the previous few minutes, Professor Lockhart decides to teach them all blocking spells.
  • Professor Snape suggests Draco and Harry as the perfect pair to demonstrate these charms.
  • Professor Lockhart demonstrates something he claims is a blocking spell to Harry, but it doesn't do anything.
  • Draco shouts, "Serpensortia!" (11.94).
  • A huge snake appears in front of Harry.
  • Professor Lockhart tries to get rid of it, but all he does is make it mad.
  • It goes for Justin Finch-Fletchley, who is standing nearby.
  • Harry tells the snake, "Leave him alone!" (11.99).
  • The snake backs off.
  • Harry looks around at his fellow students, and is surprised to see that everyone looks terrified. Of him.
  • Ron and Hermione pull Harry out of the hall.
  • Ron tells Harry he's a Parselmouth – a wizard who can talk to snakes.
  • That's not a great talent to have: generally, Parselmouths are dark wizards.
  • Hermione warns Harry: "It matters [...] because being able to talk to snakes was what Salazar Slytherin was famous for. That's why the symbol of Slytherin House is a serpent" (11.119).
  • After all, Slytherin lived so long ago that who knows? Maybe Harry is his descendant – the Heir of Slytherin.
  • Harry decides to go and see Justin Finch-Fletchley the next day to explain what really happened with the snake.
  • Herbology is canceled so that Professor Sprout can take care of the Mandrakes.
  • So, Harry goes to seek out Justin Finch-Fletchley in the library.
  • He finds a big group of Hufflepuffs gathered around.
  • One of them (Ernie Macmillan) is telling the others that Harry went after Justin because Justin is a Muggle-born.
  • Harry interrupts the conversation to say that he's looking for Justin.
  • Ernie refuses to tell Harry because he thinks Harry will hurt Justin.
  • Harry swears that he was telling that snake not to attack.
  • The Hufflepuffs don't believe him. They think he hates Muggles.
  • Harry is so angry that he walks right into Hagrid in the corridor.
  • Hagrid is carrying a dead rooster.
  • It's the second rooster killed this year, and Hagrid needs Professor Dumbledore's permission to charm the hen-coop against predators.
  • Harry doesn't want to talk about the Hufflepuffs' suspicions.
  • He walks up to Gryffindor Tower to get his supplies for Transfiguration.
  • On his way up, he finds "Justin Finch-Fletchley [...] lying on the floor, rigid and cold, a look of shock frozen on his face, his eyes staring blankly at the ceiling" (11.172).
  • Next to Petrified Justin is something even weirder: Nearly Headless Nick is floating "immobile and horizontal, six inches off the floor" (11.173).
  • Harry panics and can't figure out what to do next.
  • Peeves the Poltergeist finds him and the two Petrified figures and shouts, "ATTACK! ATTACK! ANOTHER ATTACK! NO MORTAL OR GHOST IS SAFE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! ATTAAAACK!" (11.178).
  • Ernie appears and shouts, "Caught in the act!" (11.180), pointing at Harry.
  • Professor McGonagall shushes Ernie, but she still has to bring Harry to Professor Dumbledore's office.

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