Pottermore: Chamber of Secrets (Chapters 1 – 4)
I happen to be a big fan of Harry Potter, and today I’m going to write a sort of review/walkthrough for Pottermore, the excellent Harry Potter site made by J. K. Rowling. If you do not know what Pottermore is, this will probably make no sense to you; if you do not want to be spoiled, don’t read this. I’m a Ravenclaw, so for me, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets only opened today; it opened yesterday for the Slytherins. So I’m going to go over the chapters in the Chamber of Secrets. I have the actual book next to me right now, so I’ll be reading through that while I go through the Pottermore version of the book too. By the way, my username is “ErisedFirebolt203”, for anyone who wants to know. Thanks to ElmBlade43 for a few tips on what can be collected and for popularizing this.
Chapter 1: The Worst Birthday
Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive.
Moment 1: The Magic Word
‘You’ve forgotten the magic word,’ said Harry irritably. The effect of this simple sentence on the rest of the family was incredible.
First, it tells me that only the first four chapters are ready. That’s too bad. It then says that chapters four through eleven will be available shortly. What about twelve through eighteen? Anyway, I close that note and find myself at the Dursleys’ front door. The “4” is positioned in the middle of the door on the right hand side, across from the door handle; kind of unusual, though maybe that’s how it is in Britain. I click around and collect Flower Heads! I then double-click and zoom in through the Dursleys’ door and see an extremely oversized blond, male human who I can only assume to be Dudley. As always with Pottermore, no faces. I also collect a Jar of Honey in the Dursleys’ kitchen. I also see Petunia’s hat, a walking stick, some yellow tulips, and a photo frame. And the locked cupboard-under-the-stairs that Harry no longer lives in. No sign of Harry yet.
Moment 2: Two Enormous Green Eyes
Harry suddenly sat bolt upright on the garden bench. He had been staring absent-mindedly into the hedge – and the hedge was staring back.
Harry sits alone on the garden bench. I see the Dursleys’ shed and a bike leaning against it. I zoom in and the shed opens, so I collect some Pruning Shears. There’s also a shaking vacuum cleaner. I zoom in again and see a wheelbarrow holding Dried Nettles, which I collect. Yay I’m earning lots of House Points. I also collect Rose Thorns from the bushes. Oh, and I see Dobby’s eyes. I click on to reach the End of Chapter 1.
Harry crossed to his bedroom on tiptoe, slipped inside, closed the door and turned to collapse on his bed. The trouble was, there was already someone sitting on it.
Chapter 2: Dobby’s Warning
Harry managed not to shout out, but it was a close thing. The little creature on the bed had large, bat-like ears and bulging green eyes the size of tennis balls.
Sidenote: They actually used a tennis ball on a stick to represent Dobby when filming. How fitting.
Moment 1: Dobby the House Elf
The creature slipped off the bed and bowed so low that the end of its long thin nose touched the carpet.
I see what must be the first nose shown in Pottermore – Dobby’s. Dobby’s ears move when I move my mouse over them. Collected a Newt Scamander Chocolate Frog Card on Harry’s bed. Nothing else here. I think.
Moment 2: Aunt Petunia’s Pudding
Harry ran up the hall into the kitchen and felt his stomach disappear. Aunt Petunia’s masterpiece of a pudding, the mountain of cream and sugared violets, was floating up near the ceiling.
Cool, a game. I have to keep the pudding in the air for 14 seconds (multiple of seven!!!) Dobby looks creepy standing above a cupboard. I repeatedly click the pudding. Not too hard, got it on my second try. And I got a Bertie Bott’s Sugared Violet-Flavored Bean! Ah, sugared violet pudding, sugared violet bean. Even though I’ve never seen a sugared violet before. I reach the End of Chapter 2.
He opened his eyes. Moonlight was shining through the bars on the window. And someone was goggling through the bars at him: a freckle-faced, red-haired, long-nosed someone. Ron Weasley was outside Harry’s window.
Chapter 3: The Burrow
‘Ron!’ breathed Harry, creeping to the window and pushing it up so they could talk through the bars. ‘Ron, how did you – what the –?’ Harry’s mouth fell open as the full impact of what he was seeing hit him. Ron was leaning out of the back window of an old turquoise car, which was parked in mid-air.
Now it gets exciting. The quotes fit so well with the moments, it’s like J. K. Rowling knew she was going to make something like this all along.
Moment 1: Harry’s Escape
Harry tore back across the room as the landing light clicked on. He snatched up Hedwig’s cage, dashed to the window and passed it out to Ron. He was scrambling back onto the chest of drawers when Uncle Vernon hammered on the unlocked door – and it crashed open.
I see Harry climbing through the window to get to the car, and three mounds of red hair. Clicking on the car reveals an interesting note on Technology from J. K. Rowling. Zooming out, I find a Bertie Bott Chocolate Frog Card. I didn’t know he had a Chocolate Frog Card. I also find a Bertie Bott’s Pepper-Flavored Bean – spelled “flavoured” in the British way, I might add – and a Bertie Bott’s Chocolate Flavored Bean. Oh, and a Bertie Bott’s Toast-Flavored Bean. Oh, and a Bertie Bott’s Baked Bean-Flavored Bean (???). Harry seemed to have become a big fan of Bertie’s while waiting for letters. Hopefully that’s all.
Moment 2: The Weasleys’
Lower and lower went the flying car. The edge of a brilliant red sun was now gleaming through the trees. ‘Touchdown!’ said Fred as, with a slight bump, they hit the ground.
The license plate of the car is “COS 207”. COS = Chamber of Secrets. Ha ha. *looks up page 207, finds nothing important, then goes back*. One reader (see comments) suggested that this could stand for “2 of 7”. Maybe. I see the Burrow! I collect some Horklump Juice in the garden, which can somehow be done when your up in the sky above it. The Burrow looks just like it did in the movies, which I guess is the only good thing about the Chamber of Secrets movie (utterly terrible).
Moment 3: De-Gnoming the Garden
There was a violent scuffling noise, the peony bush shuddered and Ron straightened up. ‘This is a gnome,’ he said grimly.
I’ll admit, I did not read the de-gnoming part very carefully when I first read Chamber of Secrets five years ago (this book happens to be my least favorite, but only because the other ones are so good). Gilderoy Lockhart’s book. The thought of him makes me sick. Anyway, it’s a game. Hmm. More games than the previous book. Hopefully this keeps up. OK, my first de-gnoming attempt semi-failed. I managed to get three gnomes out, two over the tree-stump. I also hit two against the wall, one backwards, one on the ground, and one drowning in the pond. Second time, again, three over wall and two over stump. Third time was NOT the charm. Only got two over. Failed again. Failed again. Got a highest throw of 13.74 m, though. Failed again. Failed again. Got a weird one that bounced on the top of the fence and slid down. That’s it. I’m taking a break. Back. YES I FINALLY GOT IT! 4 out, 2 over stump. I received “Gilderoy Lockhart’s Guide to Household Pests.”
If you’d like to, why not fling more gnomes out of the garden?
No thank you. I reach the End of Chapter 3.
‘It’s a bit small,’ said Ron quickly. ‘Not like that room you had with the Muggles. And I’m right underneath the ghoul in the attic, he’s always banging on the pipes and groaning …’ But Harry, grinning widely, said, ‘This is the best house I’ve ever been in.’ Ron’s ears went pink.
Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts
Life at The Burrow was as different as possible from life in Privet Drive. The Dursleys liked everything neat and ordered; the Weasleys’ house burst with the strange and unexpected.
Moment 1: Letters From School
‘Letters from school,’ said Mr Weasley, passing Harry and Ron identical envelopes of yellowish parchment, addressed in green ink.
Another game. I like this one. You must click on the letters in a particular order related to the order things are mentioned in the book. *gets book out*. On page 43, it’s the day pictured in the Moment. It starts off with mentioning the “kitchen table”, so the one in the middle of the table with nothing on it came first. Then Ginny knocks her “porridge bowl” to the ground, so the one next to the bowl came next. Then Mrs. Weasley offers Harry “toast”, so the third one is the one with all the crumbs on it. On the next page, Fred “busied himself with the marmalade”, so the fourth one is the one with orange stains on it. Ginny puts “her elbow in the butter dish”, so the fifth one is the one with yellow stains. Finally, there’s only one left. Not sure why this one was last. I actually had to do a few tries to get this right (I started with the porridge bowl one, and didn’t realize that the table counted as an object). The porridge bowl moves over, revealing the school supply list. After finishing that, I am told that I got an “allowance” at Gringotts. 150 Galleons, to be exact.
Moment 2: Floo Powder
He took a pinch of glittering powder out of the flowerpot, stepped up to the fire and threw the powder into the flames. With a roar, the fire turned emerald green and rose higher than Fred, who stepped right into it, shouted, ‘Diagon Alley!’ and vanished.
Another part of the movie that’s wrong. You put the powder in first, then get into the fire. You don’t just walk into a burning fireplace. Anyway, collected a few books: “One Minute Feasts – It’s Magic”, “Enchantment in Baking”, and “Charm Your Own Cheese”. Mrs. Weasley is probably an avid reader like Hermione; she clearly consults books a lot. Oh, and I collected Fire Tongs. Ooh, and a Key. And an Ignatia Wildsmith (inventor of Floo Powder) Chocolate Frog Card. She was a Ravenclaw, too (as shown in the first book, at least for Ravenclaws)! Then I can “interact” with the flower pot of Floo Powder, dragging it into the fire and making it green. Apparently Floo Powder is a collectible, too.
When travelling by Floo Powder it is important that you speak clearly, take care to get out at the right grate, keep your elbows tucked in, shut your eyes, don’t fidget and don’t panic.
Moment 3: Borgin and Burkes
He was quite alone, but where he was, he had no idea. All he could tell was that he was standing in the stone fireplace of what looked like a large, dimly lit wizard’s shop – but nothing in here was ever likely to be on a Hogwarts school list.
I open a drawer and collect five Galleons. I also find a somewhat glitchy Exclusive Content page on Draco Malfoy, which was very interesting. Apparently his last name went through a few changes, and “Smart”, “Spinks” and “Spungen” were all considered. Draco Smart. Lucius Spinks. Narcissa Spungen. Heehee.
I collect a Mask and Dragon Liver. A lot of interesting/creepy things in here. The Vanishing Cabinet – foreshadowing. I wish it opened. The Hand of Glory – more foreshadowing.
Moment 4: Lucius Malfoy
‘Dear me, what’s the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don’t even pay you well for it?’
Mr Weasley flushed darker than either Ron or Ginny.
‘We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy,’ he said.
‘Clearly,’ said Mr Malfoy, his pale eyes straying to Mr and Mrs Granger, who were watching apprehensively. ‘The company you keep, Weasley … and I thought your family could sink no lower –’
I collect some Peppermint and a Hairpin. Kind of mean taking a hairpin directly from someone’s hair. Zooming in, I find a copy of “Magical Me”, some Exclusive Content about the Malfoy family, a Miranda Goshawk Chocolate Frog Card, and an “Encyclopedia of Toadstools”. You can actually sort of see Lucius’s face. Mr. Weasley looks young.
Apparently the hairpin unlocks the Harry’s cupboard. I remember clicking on the lock on that, but nothing happened. I go back to the first chapter, into the house, and the cupboard is already open for me. There’s a Cornelius Agrippa Chocolate Frog Card and a Bertie Bott’s Sprout-Flavored Bean. Don’t think there’s anything else. Except the light bulb that turns on and off.
And that’s all in Chapter 4.
Harry took off his glasses and put them safely in his pocket before helping himself to Floo powder. It definitely wasn’t his favourite way to travel.
You’ll see, Harry. You’ll see.
Unfortunately, Chapter 5 is not yet available. Sigh. But there’s an excerpt! But it’s just an excerpt of the book. Sigh.
Oh well. I’ll see you when it comes out.
Oh wait, I can still buy books. Yes.
I need “Break with a Banshee” (“More tales from adventurer Gilderoy Lockhart.”), “Gadding with Ghouls” (“Gilderoy Lockhart explains how he trapped a ghoul using only a tea-strainer.”), “Holidays with Hags” (“Another instalment of adventure from Gilderoy Lockhart.”), “Travels with Trolls” (“Adventurer Gilderoy Lockhart turns his attention to trolls.”), “Voyages with Vampires” (“Another instalment of adventure from Gilderoy Lockhart.”), “Wanderings with Werewolves” (“Learn about Gilderoy Lockhart’s experiences of werewolves, and his favourite birthday gift.”), “Year with the Yeti” (“Another instalment of adventure from Gilderoy Lockhart.”), and “The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2” (“A set text at Hogwarts, The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 is part of a series by Miranda Goshawk.”).
What a waste of 35 Galleons. Only one decent book. Better check if there’s any new spells.
Cool, seven new spells. Can’t use any of them yet, though.
- Dancing Feet Spell (Effects: Sends legs out of control) (Probably Tarantallegra, used by Draco Malfoy in this book)
- Disarming Charm (Effects: Disarms an opponent) (Obviously Expelliarmus, introduced in this book)
- Engorgement Charm (Effects: Causes swelling) (Obviously Engorgio; can’t remember if this was in the book or not)
- Freezing Charm (Effects: Immobilises living things) (Probably Immobulus; used by Hermione Granger in this book)
- General Counter-Spell (Effects: Terminates all spell effects) (Hmm. Finite Incantatem, probably? I think that was in this book…Oh yes, Hermione used it on the rogue Bludger, I belive)
- Memory Charm (Effects: Erases memories) (Obviously Obliviate; used by Gilderoy Lockhart in this book)
- Tickling Charm (Effects: Tickles and weakens) (Why is the description of this the exact same as the Tickling Hex?) (Obviously Rictusempra; used by Harry Potter in this book)
Well, now I just have to wait.