Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

The Very Secret Diary

  • Hermione stays in the hospital wing for several weeks recovering from her cat transformation.
  • Ron and Harry visit her regularly.
  • One evening, Harry and Ron are walking back from the Hospital Wing when they hear Filch complaining.
  • He's furious because someone has flooded the corridor near where Mrs. Norris was attacked.
  • The water looks like it's coming from Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
  • Harry and Ron go to investigate.
  • Moaning Myrtle is crying even louder than usual.
  • She's upset because someone through a book into her toilet: "I was just sitting in the U-bend, thinking about death, and it fell right through the top of my head" (13.29).
  • Harry and Ron find the book on the floor. It's a fifty-year old diary with the name of the owner – T.M. Riddle – written on the first page.
  • Otherwise, the book is blank.
  • Ron recognizes the name of the owner: "T.M. Riddle got an award for special services to the school fifty years ago" (13.39).
  • Harry also realizes that Riddle must have been Muggle-born: the diary comes from a store on Vauxhall Road, in London.
  • When Hermione finally gets out of the Hospital Wing, she examines the book for hidden enchantments.
  • She can't find anything, though. It really does look like the diary is empty.
  • Harry keeps hanging onto the diary, nevertheless.
  • Harry also finds out that Riddle received "an old Medal for Magical Merit" (13.71), and that he had been Head Boy of Hogwarts in his time.
  • The Mandrakes are quickly approaching maturity, so Professor Sprout is confident they'll be able to cure the Petrified students, ghost, and cat soon.
  • There's been no sign of activity from the Heir of Slytherin.
  • Things seem to be calming down a bit.
  • To improve the school's morale, Professor Lockhart makes this boneheaded plan to celebrate Valentine's Day.
  • In addition to dressing in pink robes and filling the Great Hall with Valentine decorations, he also brings in "a dozen surly looking dwarfs […] wearing golden wings and carrying harps" (13.87) to deliver Valentines to people.
  • As Harry is going to Charms class, a "particularly grim-looking dwarf" corners Harry.
  • Harry tries to get away, but his bag tears and he has to stop to gather his things.
  • The dwarf forces him to accept a singing Valentine in front of a hallway full of students.
  • The Valentine is so hilarious that all the students present start laughing hysterically.
  • Draco notices Tom Riddle's diary lying on the floor with Harry's stuff and picks it up.
  • Ginny "[stares] from the diary to Harry, looking terrified" (13.108).
  • Harry spells the diary to fly out of Draco's hands.
  • Draco mocks Ginny for sending Harry such an awful Valentine.
  • She runs off, embarrassed.
  • Harry notices that Riddle's diary, which got soaked in ink, remains blank and pristine.
  • Later that night, Harry tries writing in Riddle's diary to see what will happen.
  • When he writes, "My name is Harry Potter" (13.118), the diary replies, "Hello, Harry Potter. My name is Tom Riddle. How did you come by my diary?" (13.121).
  • Harry and Riddle speak back and forth about Hogwarts and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Riddle offers to show Harry his memories of that time fifty years ago, when the Chamber was last opened and a girl died.
  • Harry experiences Riddle's memories as though he is standing in the room.
  • He sees young Tom Riddle asking Headmaster Dippet if he can stay at Hogwarts over the summer rather than returning to his "Muggle orphanage" (13.157).
  • Headmaster Dippet refuses, "Particularly in light of the recent tragedy…the death of that poor little girl" (13.166).
  • Riddle wants to know, if he can find the person who killed the girl, if Headmaster Dippet would change his mind.
  • Riddle walks through the halls of Hogwarts, thinking hard.
  • A tall wizard "with long, sweeping auburn hair and a beard" (13.176) stops Riddle in the hallway.
  • It's young-ish Professor Dumbledore.
  • He tells Riddle to hurry off to bed.
  • Riddle doesn't, though; instead, he goes down into the dungeons, sits down, and waits.
  • At last, they hear someone coming.
  • The person is whispering, "C'mon…gotta get yeh outta here…C'mon now…in the box" (13.186).
  • It's Hagrid as a schoolboy.
  • Riddle tells Hagrid that he can't cover for Hagrid anymore: "I don't think you meant to kill anyone. But monsters don't make good pets […] The least Hogwarts can do is make sure that the thing that killed their daughter is slaughtered" (13.194-7).
  • A giant spider comes rushing out of the door of the castle.
  • Riddle raises his wand, but Hagrid tackles him to protect the spider.
  • Harry wakes up from Riddle's diary.
  • He tells Ron, "It was Hagrid […] Hagrid opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago" (13. 207).

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