Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Setting

Setting

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Harry may spend his summers on Privet Drive, but, like Harry, we can't wait to escape that place and get back to Hogwarts. That's where all the magic is happening.

Chamber of Secrets introduces us to some new locations. We get to see Ron's home—the Burrow. This house is basically everything the Dursleys home is not. Sure it's a little bit run down and crowded with people and things, but there's magic happening everywhere. From Harry's point of view, it's filled with warmth and love and enchantment. It's absolutely the perfect place to live.

In Diagon Alley we get a peek at the spooky off-shoot, Knockturn Alley, when Harry accidentally lands in Borgin and Burkes. He gets a looks at some of the creepy dark artifacts for sale before rushing out into the street and getting rescued by Hagrid. We guess the wicked have to shop somewhere, right?

In addition to all the usual magic at Hogwarts, we get to see Dumbledore's office for the first time. Located behind a huge rotating phoenix staircase, this room is home to Fawkes and the Sorting Hat. It's also filled with pictures of all the former Hogwarts headmasters. Handy when you need someone to talk to the middle of the night.

There's also the Chamber of Secrets deep beneath Hogwarts castle. No one, not even Albus Dumbledore, can find the entrance to this place. That's how well hidden it is. Salazar Slytherin built the chamber 1,000 years ago for the purposes of unleashing a basilisk to kill all the Muggle-born students at Hogwarts. Cheery. The chamber is flooded with water and filled with giant stone snakes a huge statue of Slytherin himself.

Gee. A genocidal maniac with an ego. What a combo.

While the first Harry Potter movie focused mostly on Harry getting to know the enchanting environments around him—talking pictures, moving staircases, floating candles—the setting of Chamber of Secrets brings in a whole lot more elements of danger. Sure, Harry may be in a magical boarding school, but he's not going to spend his days waving wands and ridging brooms sticks. There's serious peril afoot.

Maybe next year will just be a normal year at Hogwarts. Maybe?

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