The Boy Who Lived (a.k.a. Harry Potter) is one of the most famous people in the wizarding world. But after his first magical year at Hogwarts, Harry is starting to find out that this whole being-a-wizard thing isn't all charms homework and Quidditch practice.
Okay, sure, last year Harry had to fight off an evil Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who was in league with Voldemort. But this year, things are getting even darker.
Harry spends the summer sitting in his bedroom wondering if he has any friends at all. No one's even written to him. Bummer. Then a house-elf appears and tells him not to go back to Hogwarts because he's in mortal danger. It just goes to show you how awful the Dursleys are that Harry chooses potential death over spending the rest of the school year in their house.
At Hogwarts, Harry's insecurity really gets the best of him. Who is he really? Does he even belong in Gryffindor? Maybe the Sorting Hat should have put him in Slytherin? And could his ability to speak Parseltongue mean he's the heir of Slytherin who's opened the Chamber of Secrets?
HERMIONE GRANGER: Harry, listen to me. There's a reason the symbol of Slytherin house is a serpent. Salazar Slytherin was a Parselmouth. He could talk to snakes, too.
RON WEASLEY: Exactly. Now the whole school's gonna think you're his great-great-great grandson.
HARRY POTTER: But I'm not. I can't be.
HERMIONE GRANGER: He lived a thousand years ago. For all we know, you could be.
In this moment, Harry has to face the facts. He's an orphan, so it's not like he can ask his parents about his family. The Dursleys won't know any of this info either. Harry's past is a total mystery. What if there's something dark and evil inside of him? What if he's becoming like Voldemort?
Turns out, Harry's anxiety about his identity is much ado about nothing. It's just like Dumbledore explains to him at the end of the movie:
HARRY POTTER: So the Sorting Hat was right. I should be in Slytherin.
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: It's true. You possess many of the qualities that Voldemort himself prizes. Determination, resourcefulness, and if I may say so, a certain disregard for the rules. Why, then, did the Sorting Hat place you in Gryffindor?
HARRY POTTER: Because I asked it to.
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: Exactly, Harry. Exactly. Which makes you different from Voldemort. It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.
Harry isn't a good or bad person because he was born that way. Or because he was destined to be that way. He's the person he because that's how he wants to be. He chose this life and he should be proud.
Okay, so let's take a look at his choices.
When Harry first meets Gilderoy Lockhart, he's embarrassed to be lumped in with such an attention hog. Harry is probably a way bigger celebrity than Lockhart, but he's constantly trying to blend in and keep people from focusing on "the famous Harry Potter." Lockhart pretty much takes the opposite route.
Then, when Lucius Malfoy speaks admiringly about Voldemort in front of Harry in Diagon Alley, Harry tells the older man, "Voldemort killed my parents. He was nothing more than a murderer." Basically, he shuts that nonsense down real quick. Voldemort is no hero and Harry is not gonna have anything to do with anyone who thinks so. Check and mate.
And, of course, when Tom Riddle tries to talk himself up in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry has got some sweet comebacks for him:
HARRY POTTER: Albus Dumbledore is the greatest sorcerer in the world.
TOM RIDDLE: Dumbledore's been driven out of this castle by the mere memory of me.
HARRY POTTER: He'll never be gone. Not as long as those who remain are loyal to him.
In each of these cases, Harry shows that he has values and principles that he will stay true to no matter what the circumstances. He is modest yet daring. Loyal yet courageous.
If that's not a true Gryffindor we don't know what is.
If Harry is the hero and Hermione is the brains, Ron is most definitely the heart of this movie. He's always there by Harry's side when he needs a friend. Talk about loyal.
And Ron gets to play a pretty big role because Harry's other pal, Hermione, is sidelined for a good chunk of the movie. Enter Ron Weasley: best friend extraordinaire. Ron is the one who saves Harry from the Dursleys with the flying car. Heck, he's the one who has the idea to fly the Ford Anglia to Hogwarts at all.
Ron is also terrified of spiders but he follows Harry and a bunch of arachnids into the Forbidden Forest.
HARRY POTTER: You heard what Hagrid said. "Follow the spiders." They're heading to the Dark Forest.
RON WEASLEY: Why spiders? Why couldn't it be "follow the butterflies"? Harry, I don't like this. Harry, I don't like this at all.
HARRY POTTER: Shush!
RON WEASLEY: Can we go back now?
HARRY POTTER: Come on.
Sure, we've got some pretty good friends, but we draw the line at talking to a giant man-eating spider for them.
We also get to meet Ron's family for the first time in this movie. Ron's got a bunch of brothers and a sister but he doesn't always seem to appreciate his big, happy family. And it really bothers him that the Weasleys get made fun of constantly for not being able to afford stuff.
Draco Malfoy is especially cruel:
RON WEASLEY: Those are Nimbus Two Thousand Ones. How did you get those?
MARCUS FLINT: A gift from Draco's father.
DRACO MALFOY: You see, Weasley, unlike some, my father can afford the best.
Seriously, can someone just sock this kid in the face?
Just look at when Ron's wand breaks. He actually tapes it together. The wand is essentially useless all year, but Ron never asks his parents to buy him a new one. Probably because he's worried he's going to get in trouble (his mom is already fuming about the flying car incident). But also because he realizes that his family can't afford another big purchase like an Ollivanders wand. It's best to just suffer with the broken wand and occasionally end up eating slugs. Gross.
In the end, Ron's broken wand ends up saving the day when it backfires on Gilderoy Lockhart. So maybe it's a good thing that Ron's family isn't rolling in the dough. Draco Malfoy would have had the best new wand money could buy…and gotten his memory obliviated.
If you need something done in this movie, you're going to want to talk to Hermione. She's obviously the brains of this operation.
Think about it: Hermione is the one who comes up with the plan to brew the Polyjuice Potion and then executes it even though the formula is super complicated. She's also the one immobilizes all the pixies in Lockhart's Defense Against the Dark Arts class. And she's the only one who thinks to blast the rogue bludger before it bashes Harry to bits. Need we go on?
Okay, one more thing. Hermione also figures out that the creature living inside the Chamber of Secrets is a basilisk:
HARRY POTTER: Wish you were here, Hermione. We need you. Now more than ever.
RON WEASLEY: What's that?
HARRY POTTER: Ron, this is why Hermione was in the library the day she was attacked. Come on. "Of the many fearsome beasts that roam our land none is more deadly than the basilisk."
Keep in mind that she hasn't even finished her second year at Hogwarts and this girl has just cracked a thousand year old mystery. And protected herself from being killed on sight with the mirror trick. Heck, Dumbledore has lived in the castle for at least fifty years and even he couldn't figure that out. Ten points to Gryffindor.
So Hermione is mega-brainy. Which is why it kind of makes sense that she gets taken out of the game in the last part of the movie. If Hermione isn't petrified then this mystery gets wrapped up way to quickly. With her out of the way, Harry and Ron are free to go on a few more adventures and generally be sad about the lack of Hermione in their life. We couldn't agree more.
We also get to see another side of Hermione in this movie—she's a victim of prejudice. It starts when Draco Malfoy calls her a "filthy little Mudblood." Later, she explains what the term means to Harry:
HERMIONE GRANGER: It means "dirty blood." Mudblood's a foul name for someone who's Muggle-born. Someone with non-magic parents. Someone like me. It's not a term one usually hears in civilized conversation.
RUBEUS HAGRID: See, the thing is, Harry, there are some wizards, like the Malfoy family who think they're better than everyone else because they're pure-blood.
HARRY POTTER: That's horrible.
One of the interesting things about this conversation is that Hermione has been discriminated against, but she also has to explain the hatred and prejudice coming her way to Harry. Sure, we know he was raised by Muggles and doesn't know any of this stuff, but so was Hermione, remember?
How does she know this word and what is means? Has someone said it to her before? Did she research about Muggle-borns before she came to school? This comment really hurt Hermione—does that mean she's insecure about her place in the wizarding world? Is that why Hermione is so determined to do well at Hogwarts? To prove the haters wrong?
Hermione's smarts and skills actually do disprove all this pure-blood supremacy nonsense. After all, if Muggle-borns were so inferior, Hermione wouldn't beat Draco Malfoy on every test. Everyone knows there's not a spell Hermione can't master. It all comes down to who's willing to work harder…and Hermione will outwork anyone.
Hey, she actually solved a mystery even Dumbledore couldn't—so we're pretty sure she's not inferior to anyone.
Okay, so Tom Riddle is—big reveal—Lord Voldemort. His full name is actually Tom Marvolo Riddle and we're guessing he went through quite a bit of parchment before he came up with that "I Am Lord Voldemort" anagram.
Totally worth it though, because that was a slick reveal in the Chamber of Secrets.
Meeting the young Voldemort in this movie is interesting because we get to see how the darkest of dark wizards operated before anyone knew how terrible he was. We've gotta admit, the kid is pretty smooth.
Sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle is a Slytherin prefect who appears poised, handsome, and persuasive. When he frames Hagrid for opening the Chamber of Secrets, everyone seems ready to believe exactly what Tom says. (Everyone except Dumbledore, that is.) Yes, Tom Riddle is up to some seriously dark magic. He's murdered another student but he's got the staff at Hogwarts thinking he's an angel.
Not only is this guy a master manipulator, he also lacks any remorse for what he's done. Just look at this conversation he has with Dumbledore after Myrtle is found dead in the bathroom:
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: It is not wise to be wandering around this late hour, Tom.
TOM RIDDLE: Yes, professor. I suppose I... I had to see for myself if the rumors were true.
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: I'm afraid they are, Tom. They are true.
TOM RIDDLE: About the school as well? I don't have a home to go to. They wouldn't really close Hogwarts, would they, professor?
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: I understand, Tom, but I'm afraid Headmaster Dippet may have no choice.
TOM RIDDLE: Sir, if it all stopped, if the person responsible was caught...
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: Is there something you wish to tell me?
TOM RIDDLE: No, sir. Nothing.
You've got to admit this is a pretty stone-cold conversation. A girl has just been murdered and Tom's main concern is whether or not he's going to have to leave Hogwarts. What did he think would happen? They'd leave the school open so he could take out the Muggle-borns one by one? Come on, Tom.
We also get another tidbit about Voldemort's background in this movie. Tom Riddle mentions that he changed his name because he didn't want to keep his "filthy Muggle father's name." Ah, so the great Lord Voldemort's not a pure-blood wizard, is he?
Sure, Voldemort hates Muggles, but it's clear that's he's also not super into the whole wizarding blood feud that people like the Malfoys are fighting. Sure, Voldemort will use those people as his followers but, in the end, "killing Mudbloods doesn't matter to [him] anymore." He's more worried about his own personal power.
Killing Harry Potter is totally his to-do list though. He came so close this time. Maybe next movie, Voldy!
If there were a Gilderoy Lockhart fan club (and we're guessing there is) Gilderoy Lockhart would definitely be the president. Seriously, this guy is his own #1 fan. Not only has he written tons of books telling the world all about his amazing adventures, he travels around shamelessly promoting himself to everyone he meets.
Narcissus, meet your match.
We first meet Lockhart in the bookstore as he's doing a signing. He spots the famous Harry Potter right away and Lockhart scoops him up for a photo op. Later, at Hogwarts, he isn't shy about telling everyone about all the awards he's won and the monsters he's slayed.
But when Lockhart gets in situations when he actually needs to use magic, his skills are a bit, um, lacking. He can't even figure out how to get a bunch of Cornish pixies back in their cage. He gets schooled by Professor Snape at dueling club. Later, he removes all the bones in Harry's arm instead of healing his broken bones. Epic fail.
By the time the other teachers suggest that Lockhart head down to the Chamber of Secrets and slay the monster once and for all, it's obvious that this guy is not what he seems.
Harry and Ron finally confront him as he's heading out:
HARRY POTTER: You're running away? After all you did in your books?
GILDEROY LOCKHART: Books can be misleading.
HARRY POTTER: You wrote them!
GILDEROY LOCKHART: My dear boy, use your common sense. My books wouldn't have sold as well if people didn't think I'd done those things.
HARRY POTTER: You're a fraud. You've been taking credit for what other wizards have done.
So, clearly Lockhart is a liar. And a craven coward. But he's also a bit more dangerous. Just look how he acts down in the Chamber of Secrets. Once Harry and Ron have forced him down there, Lockhart grabs Ron's wand and threatens the boys:
GILDEROY LOCKHART: The adventure ends here, boys. But don't fret. The world will know our story. How I was too late to save the girl. How you two tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body. So you first, Mr. Potter. Say goodbye to your memories.
Think about this—Lockhart is willing to let Ginny die and erase Harry and Ron's memories all so he can maintain his reputation and keep selling books. That's pretty messed up. There's a difference between wanting a little taste of the limelight and standing by while people are murdered, right? Lockhart is so self-involved at this point that he just doesn't care.
In the end, his spell backfires and all his memories are total wiped away. Though, in an after-credits scene at the end of the movie, we see a book with Lockhart's face on it titled Who Am I? Only Gilderoy Lockhart could find a way to sneak in one more book about himself…even if it's a self he can't remember.
Ron's kid sister, Ginny, doesn't get a whole lot to say or do in this movie…up until the end when we find out that she's the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets.
From the first moments we see Ginny, she's an adorably shy eleven-year-old girl who's totally tongue-tied around Harry Potter. When she sees him sitting in her kitchen eating breakfast she turns and runs back upstairs. Ron's kind of over it because Ginny's "been talking about [Harry] all summer." Ron doesn't seem to get it but we do: little sister has a crush.
We just catch glimpses of Ginny sort of hanging around and—cough—writing in a book for the rest of the movie. It isn't until she's taken inside the chamber that we find out her whole back-story during the year. Tom Riddle explains inside the chamber:
TOM RIDDLE: Yes, Harry, it was Ginny Weasley who opened the Chamber of Secrets.
HARRY POTTER: No. She couldn't. She wouldn't.
TOM RIDDLE: It was Ginny who set the basilisk on the Mudbloods and Filch's cat. Ginny who wrote the threatening messages on the walls.
HARRY POTTER: But why?
TOM RIDDLE: Because I told her to. You'll find I can be very persuasive. Not that she knew what she was doing. She was, shall we say, in a kind of trance. Still, the power of the diary began to scare her. She tried to dispose of it in the girls' bathroom.
Poor Ginny. Talk about a rough first year at Hogwarts.
Okay, so Ginny's a total damsel in distress for Harry to save, right? Not quite. Even though she's being possessed by one of the most powerful dark wizards of all time, Ginny does try to fight back by tossing the diary away. In the end, Voldemort is stronger than her and Ginny can't get rid of him on her own, but she's doesn't just let go without a struggle.
Ginny will come into her own in the rest of the film series (and maybe that crush will start to become a little more mutual) so this story is just the beginning of Ginny's adventures.
Dobby is one of the first magical creatures that we meet in this film series. He says he's trying to help Harry (if you can call it that), but he's also showing us a different side of wizard bigotries and prejudices.
It's really bad luck for Dobby that he happens to enslaved to one of the cruelest wizarding families out there—the Malfoys. But that also means this house-elf is privy to Lucius Malfoy's plan to bring chaos to Hogwarts this school year. So why would Dobby decide to help Harry even though he's risking his own safety?
Dobby sees Harry as a figure of liberation:
DOBBY: Dobby remembers how it was before Harry Potter triumphed over He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. We house-elves were treated like vermin, sir. Of course, Dobby is still treated like vermin.
Sure, things didn't get better for Dobby, but he remembers what life was like when bigoted pure-blood families like the Malfoys were living the high life with Voldemort. They were free to spew their vile hatred in public and discriminate against Muggles and other magical creatures because Voldemort was large and in charge. Harry changed all that.
Now, Dobby can't bear to see him hurt. Or for things to go back to the way they were.
So, yes, Dobby is an enslaved creature, but he makes choices, too. He doesn't obey his masters. He betrays their plans and tries to help Harry Potter. Yeah, the help comes in the form of cakes smashed on people's head and bludgers that break Harry's arm, but it's still help.
That's why Harry has to try to help Dobby in return by tricking Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby:
HARRY POTTER: Open it.
DOBBY: Master has given Dobby a sock.
LUCIUS MALFOY: What? I didn't give...
DOBBY: Master has presented Dobby with clothes. Dobby is free.
In the end, this is also a big fat comeuppance to the Malfoy family. It's also a thank you to Dobby for his work. At the time, Harry didn't see what Dobby was trying to do, but once he understands Lucius Malfoy's whole role in this saga, he gets that Dobby had his best interest at heart.
But yeah, Dobby might want to lay off the saving Harry's life for a while.
It's yet another year at Hogwarts with Harry's arch-nemesis Draco Malfoy. In addition to being his spoiled, bratty self, Draco shows off a bunch of his other negative personality traits this year.
For the first time, we get to see that Draco is really prejudiced. Sure, he never liked Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but this year he actually starts tossing out nasty slurs:
HERMIONE GRANGER: At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in. They got in on pure talent.
DRACO MALFOY: No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood.
He doubles down on this when he sees that Mrs. Norris has been petrified and he says, "You'll be next, Mudbloods." Yikes. Why do we get the feeling he's about to light up a torch and start marching and chanting in a wizard supremacist rally or something?
Because of Draco's pure-blood pride, Harry, Ron, and Hermione think he might be the heir of Slytherin and so they brew up a Polyjuice Potion to find out. As Crabbe and Goyle, they're able to see how Draco acts with his actual friends in unguarded moments and it… actually isn't that different.
Even to his two friends, Draco is still bitter and bossy and a bit of a jerk. He steals a present that someone left in the Slytherin common room and snaps at his pals if they dare disagree with him. It's weird but we actually sort feel sorry for Crabbe and Goyle. Being friends with Malfoy just seems exhausting.
But you might feel a little bad for Draco, too. After we meet his father, we understand the kind of family Draco grew up in. If you had a dad who constantly told you that Muggle-borns were scum and you were awesome because you were rich and pure-blood and your last name was Malfoy, you might start to believe those things, too.
So, maybe Draco doesn't want to be a jerk, but he's been raised to be one his whole life. Dumbledore says our choices are most important—what will Draco choose to be in future movies?
Don't let his lovely long, flowing hair fool you—Lucius Malfoy is a total snob who loves to show off his money and brag about his connections to certain dark wizards. Oh, and did we mention he's a racist, too?
Wow. This guy has everything going for him.
This is the first time we meet anyone in Draco Malfoy's family and we can kind of see how Draco grew to become the little jerk he is. The first time Lucius meets Harry he lays on the evil charm right out of the gate:
LUCIUS MALFOY: Mr. Potter. Lucius Malfoy. We meet at last. Forgive me. Your scar is legend. As, of course, is the wizard who gave it to you.
Can you imagine the nerve of this guy? Harry's parents were essentially killed by a terrorist and Lucius is like, "Yeah, but he was a legendary terrorist, am I right?"
Lucius also has lots of opinions on Muggles (he's not a fan), Muggle-born wizards (also not a fan), and non-wizard creatures (they are lowly and, of course, exist to serve wizard kind. Now, enjoy this kick in the back, Dobby.) We don't blame Harry for trying to free Dobby. We wouldn't send a dog we liked home with this guy.
In the end, we realize that Lucius actually played a pretty important role in the events of Chamber of Secrets. He was the one plotting against Harry Potter from the beginning. He was the one who stuck Tom Riddle's diary into Ginny's cauldron. He was the one who got Dumbledore removed from Hogwarts. In fact, without Lucius Malfoy, this might have just been another sleepy year at Hogwarts.
Yeah, we really do not like this guy.
Harry Potter thinks the headmaster of Hogwarts is the greatest thing since sliced bread and, truth be told, he's not alone. Lots of witches and wizards trust Dumbledore to keep their kids safe.
Of course that doesn't mean Dumbledore always delivers. Sure, no one died at Hogwarts this year, but the several students were attacked by a basilisk and one was kidnapped, so we're pretty sure most educators wouldn't call that their most successful year.
And what's more, Dumbledore knows after the second attack that things are getting real:
PROFESSOR MCGONAGALL: What can this mean, Albus?
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: It means that our students are in great danger.
PROFESSOR MCGONAGALL: What should I tell the staff?
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: The truth. Tell them Hogwarts is no longer safe. It is as we feared, Minerva. The Chamber of Secrets has indeed been opened again.
Okay, so if Hogwarts is no longer safe, then you'll be closing the school down, right? Nope. Dumbledore keeps this ship running even though he knows last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened a student died.
What on earth is he doing? Does he know the monster is a basilisk? Does he know Voldemort is responsible? Does he have any idea where the entrance to the chamber is? After all, a couple of twelve year olds ultimately figure it out so you'd think "the greatest sorcerer in the world" who'd had all this info for the last fifty years would have a jump start on them.
But we digress.
In the end, Harry has faith in Dumbledore and that's what helps him in the Chamber of Secrets. His loyalty to Dumbledore calls Fawkes to him, which turns out to be a literal lifesaver. And even though we get the feeling that Dumbledore isn't telling us everything in that office scene, Harry doesn't seem to mind. He still sees Dumbledore as the wise mentor figure at this stage
We aren't really supposed to question Dumbledore because Harry doesn't question Dumbledore. At least not until, like, at least the fifth movie.
Hagrid is one of Harry's favorite people at Hogwarts and we get to find out a little bit more about his backstory in this movie. Fun fact: He went to school with Voldemort. That would make for some weird yearbook photos.
Okay, let's back up. We found in the first movie that Hagrid wasn't really allowed to do magic, but we never learned why. Now, we get the whole story. Turns out that Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts because the headmaster at the time actually thought he opened the Chamber of Secrets and killed a girl.
Tom Riddle shows Harry this memory of how it all went down:
TOM RIDDLE: Evening, Hagrid. I'm going to have to turn you in. I don't think you meant it to kill anyone...
RUBEUS HAGRID: You can't. You don't understand.
TOM RIDDLE: The dead girl's parents will be here tomorrow. The least Hogwarts can do is make sure the thing that killed their daughter is slaughtered.
RUBEUS HAGRID: It wasn't him. Aragog never killed no one. Never.
TOM RIDDLE: Monsters don't make good pets, Hagrid.
Basically, this is bad timing for Hagrid. He is harboring a dangerous magical creature—an Acromantula—in the castle at exactly the same time a beast has killed a girl. And this is lucky for Tom Riddle, who has actually opened the Chamber of Secrets and released a basilisk, that he can frame Hagrid to take the fall.
Hagrid's love for dangerous animals has always been a bit of a problem. Yes, he's a sweet and loveable guy who just wants to take care of things, but we're talking a huge man-eating spider that almost killed Harry and Ron. We never thought we'd say this, but we're with Voldemort on this one—monsters do not make good pets.
Okay, so we get why Hagrid was expelled fifty years ago. He was in the wrong place and the wrong time and took the fall for a smooth-talking manipulator like Voldemort. What we don't get is why it took more than fifty years for people to realize that Hagrid was innocent.
Seriously. The Minister of Magic comes and arrests Hagrid and no one thinks to say, "Hey, that evidence might not be so rock solid given that it was presented by a young Voldemort." Isn't that the perfect bit of reasonable doubt? Tom tells Harry that, "It was my word against Hagrid's," but once it was Voldemort's word against Hagrid's then aren't people leaning a little more towards Hagrid? Just a tad.
Did we just shake your faith in the wizard justice system? Well, it won't be the last time. Buckle up for the rest of these movies because it's going to be a bumpy ride filled with many injustices.
Ron's family—The Weasleys—is made of up everything that Harry never had growing up: love, caring, and magic.
When Harry first walks in the door of their house, the Burrow, he sees household items moving on their own and spells working all around. The Weasley home may be humble but, to Harry, it's perfect.
Sure, the next thing that happens is Mrs. Weasley chews them out for flying home in the Ford Anglia, but Harry knows that at least she cares about her sons. That's more than he can say for Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia. They'd probably be glad if they got a letter saying he crashed in a flying car and got burnt to a crisp.
The Weasleys also don't worry about money or appearances. Unlike some wizarding families we know. While the Malfoys are always trying to show off their money or their power, the Weasleys are just concerned with doing what's right and being kind. Maybe that's why Harry likes them all instantly.
Mr. Weasley works for the Ministry of Magic and in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office and he's totally obsessed with Muggles and their culture. Bigots, like Lucius Malfoy, see this as a reason to attack the Weasley family:
LUCIUS MALFOY: Busy time at the Ministry, Arthur, all those extra raids? I do hope they're paying you overtime. Though judging by the state of this, I'd say not. What's the use in being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don't even pay you well for it?
MR. WEASLEY: We have a very different idea about what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy.
LUCIUS MALFOY: Clearly. Associating with Muggles. And I thought your family could sink no lower.
See, the Weasleys are pure-blood, but they don't buy into all this nonsense about certain types of wizards being superior to others. Since they're not talking up their pure-blood privilege left and right lots of people don't like that. But the Weasleys don't mind the haters. They're just concerned with doing what's right.
Now if someone could just explain to Mr. Weasley what a rubber duck is for, we'd be all set.
The only family that Harry has—the Dursleys—are pretty awful. His Uncle Vernon can't stand him, his Aunt Petunia does nothing to protect him against her husband's cruelty, and his cousin, Dudley, is free to bully him.
If we lived with these Muggles, we'd hate summer vacation, too.
While the Dursleys have made it clear that they resent Harry's presence in their house, they have upgraded him from his room in the cupboard under the stairs:
UNCLE VERNON: I should think you'd be a little more grateful. We've raised you since you were a baby, given you the food off our table, even let you have Dudley's second bedroom purely out of the goodness of our hearts.
Oh, yes. Harry's so very grateful. We get the feeling that the Dursleys have only done this because they're kind of afraid that Harry might jinx them with his magic wand if they don't at least pretend to treat him decently.
But when Dobby drops the cake on Mrs. Mason's head and costs Uncle Vernon his big business deal, this is the final straw for the Dursleys. They lock Harry in his bedroom and announce that he's "never going back to that school" and he's "never going to see those freaky friends of [his] again." All we need to hear is a maniacal laugh.
Really, when you think about it. This approach doesn't make a lot of sense. If Harry is such a thorn in their side, why not let him go to Hogwarts. Heck, drop him off early. In a way, Ron breaking Harry out of the house on Privet Drive is the best thing for everyone. Take a nice nine month long break and then get back to hating each other next summer, guys.