Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Family

Family

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, yeah. Nice families are always telling you how grateful you should be for the food and shelter they give you. Geez. Uncle Vernon really is the worst.

DOBBY: Dobby had to punish himself, sir. Dobby almost spoke ill of his family, sir.

HARRY POTTER: Your family?

DOBBY: The wizard family Dobby serves, sir. Dobby is bound to serve one family forever.

Dobby doesn't really have a family—he's just forced to serve a family forever. They're not his relatives and they don't have to treat him nicely. Harry can kind of relate.

HARRY POTTER: See why I've got to go back? I don't belong here. I belong in your world, at Hogwarts.

Harry has never felt at home with the Dursley family. They might be his relatives, but he's always identified more with his friends at Hogwarts. They're his true family even if they don't have the same blood flowing through their veins.

RON WEASLEY: It's not much, but it's home.

HARRY POTTER: I think it's brilliant.

This is the first time Harry sees Ron's house. Heck, it's the first time Harry's ever seen any magical household, so we can understand his why he loves it. Ron's house may be a little rundown, but it's clearly filled with people who love and care about each other—something Harry has always been missing at home.

MRS. WEASLEY: Ronald Weasley! How dare you steal that car! I am absolutely disgusted! Your father's now facing an inquiry at work and it's entirely your fault! If you put another toe out of line we'll bring you straight home! And, Ginny, dear, congratulations on making Gryffindor. Your father and I are so proud.

So Ron gets in trouble with his parents for flying the car to Hogwarts. Bummer. But Harry, of course, gets nothing at all from home. This is just another juxtaposition between the two boys. Ron has a family who cares about his safety and welfare. While Harry's family wouldn't get too worked up if they got a letter saying he'd fallen from the flying car somewhere over Surrey.

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.

No, Draco Malfoy doesn't know how to be subtle at all. His family is rich and he will throw it in your face. This is a sore spot for Ron though, who really isn't excited about the fact that his family has to constantly buy second-hand robes and books. They don't even offer to replace his broken wand for goodness sake.

HERMIONE GRANGER: The Heir of Slytherin has returned to Hogwarts. The question is, who is it?

RON WEASLEY: Let's think. Who do we know who thinks all Muggle-borns are scum?
HERMIONE GRANGER: If you're talking about Malfoy...

RON WEASLEY: Of course. You heard him. "You'll be next, Mudbloods."

HERMIONE GRANGER: I heard him. But Malfoy, the Heir of Slytherin?

HARRY POTTER: Maybe Ron's right, Hermione. I mean, look at his family. The whole lot of them have been in Slytherin for centuries.

So the heir of Slytherin has to have a family connection. Why couldn't it be Malfoy? Hermione's right. That's a bit too neat of a solution. Just because someone's family has been in Slytherin for generations doesn't mean they're the descendants of the Salazar Slytherin. Besides, if he were the heir of Slytherin, you just know Draco would be bragging about it non-stop.

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 going to 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.

This is a fair point. Why does the heir of Slytherin have to be a present day Slytherin? Who knows how that long and twisting family tree works? Maybe Harry is a distant relation? The whole talking-to-snakes thing isn't helping his case.

TOM RIDDLE: 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?

This reminds us of someone doesn't it? Harry can really relate to Tom being worried about closing down Hogwarts and not having anywhere to go. If school closes, Harry will have to go home early to his aunt and uncle. Looks like Tom Riddle is in the same boat.

HARRY POTTER: You. You're the Heir of Slytherin. You're Voldemort.

TOM RIDDLE: Surely you didn't think I was going to keep my filthy Muggle father's name? No. I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would fear to speak when I became the greatest sorcerer in the world.

Whoa. We did not see this one coming. (Okay, we did see it coming, but only because we read the books first.) Tom drops a hint here, too. He's not pure-blood either because his father was a Muggle. That's why he changed his name. He couldn't stand the family connection.

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