Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (In closely. Original Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets , which means in German as "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets") is the second volume of the Harry Potter book series by JK Rowling and is estimated to have been sold around 60 million times.

The book was published on July 2, 1998 by Bloomsbury- Verlag with an initial circulation of 10,500 copies. The German edition was published in March 1999 by Carlsen Verlag with 352 pages. As for all other German-language Harry Potter volumes, Klaus Fritz arranged the translation and Sabine Wilharm designed the cover.


initial situation

The 12-year-old sorcerer's apprentice Harry Potter has to spend the summer holidays with his only living relatives, the mean Dursleys . Furthermore, to Harry's great sorrow, he hasn't received a single message from his best school friends Ron and Hermione throughout the summer . So he ca n't wait to start his sophomore year at Hogwarts Wizarding School soon .


Shortly before the start of the new school year, Harry receives a visit from the Dursley's house-elf Dobby , who tries to prevent him from returning to school because Harry Potter is threatened with great disaster. It was also Dobby who intercepted the letters from Hermione and Ron to dissuade Harry from returning to Hogwarts. However, the little elf remains silent about the reasons for his warnings. Since Harry sees his new home at Hogwarts, he refuses to listen to Dobby. When the Dursleys find out that it is strictly forbidden for Hogwarts students to do magic outside of school, they bar Harry again from the rest of the world with bread and water and do not want to let him go to Hogwarts either. From this dilemma, Ron and his brothers Fred and George Weasley rescue Harry in a flying Ford Anglia . With that they tear the bars off Harry's window and take him home with them.

Harry is taken into Ron's family for the rest of the vacation. Ron's father Arthur works in the Ministry of Magic, where he takes a liberal line. In his private life, he is very interested in the ways and techniques "non-magicians" use to find their way around the world. Harry and the Weasleys travel to Diagon Alley using a powder which, when burned, brings them from the chimney of their house to the chimney of their destination, which they have to name. Harry ends up in another chimney, which is a bit out of the way, because he didn't pronounce the name of the destination clearly. In a shop he overhears Lucius Malfoy, who is surprisingly entering, selling some items whose presence in his house would be criticized by the Ministry of Magic. Harry finally manages to get to Diagon Alley and find the Weasleys again. The following book purchase turns out that Ron's family, although "pure-blood" wizards, in contrast to the Malfoy family, are poor. Lucius Malfoy also disturbs Ron's father's tendency towards "inferior" non-wizards and their inventions. This also applies to Hermione's parents. Of the textbooks for sale this year, most of them have been written by Gilderoy Lockhart, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher , whom Harry has to compliment on his autograph session just around the corner.

When Harry and Ron want to catch the Hogwarts Express the next day, the special platform for platform 9¾ remains blocked. In danger of not arriving in time, they use the flying car. Before boarding school, they crash-land in the castle forest, in which Ron's wand breaks. Especially the professor of potions Snape pushes the disorderly use of the car, and he tried to obtain an expulsion of Harry and Ron. The head of house of the two, Professor McGonagall , leaves it at a detention. Harry also gets to feel the intrusive concern of Lockhart, who says that Harry is aiming with his actions to become as famous as he is. During training for the next Quidditch game, it turns out that Draco Malfoy bought himself into the Slytherin team with a broom donation from his father. In addition, he railed against non-purebred wizard families ("Mudbloods") and attacked Harry and Hermione.

On his way to Professor Lockhart's office, Harry hears voices telling of death threats. He then finds the petrified cat of the caretaker Filch. An inscription on the wall reveals that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been reopened. The subsequent research into the ominous chamber met with displeasure among the teaching staff. The story that Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of the boarding school (1000 years ago), built and sealed a dungeon at Hogwarts, which one of his heirs would later turn the horror against all non-wizards, is portrayed as a wives' tale. Such a chamber could not even exist, since no one had managed to find it since the beginning. Since the horror of the allegedly nonexistent dungeon is supposed to be for the Muggleborns (students of parents who are not wizards), Harry and his friends suspect that the Slytherin legacy may have risen again in Draco Malfoy. What they only find out, however, is that while Malfoy sympathizes with the heir to the Lord of the Chamber of Secrets , he is by no means himself.

During his team's Quidditch game, Harry falls off his broom and breaks his arm. If Lockhart tries to heal him unsuccessfully, Harry conjures the bones out of his arm instead. While they grow slowly and painfully back in the infirmary by means of a magic potion, Harry receives another visit from Dobby. It turns out that he had good intentions in cleaning up the locked platform and Harry's accident at Quidditch. The elf brings his fate and that of his own kind in connection with Harry's welfare: Harry alone can guarantee or create freedom for them. Dobby disappears when, led by Dumbledore, the petrified body of the student Colin Creevey is brought to the infirmary.

The news of the attack on Colin causes great excitement among the students. Gilderoy Lockhart offers a dueling club for all students to practice self-defense techniques. Lockhart's planned self-portrayal goes completely wrong again: His "assistant" Snape already lets him tumble off the stage during the introductory demonstration of the disarming magic. During a duel with Draco Malfoy, Harry speaks to a venomous snake conjured up by Malfoy, which rears up in front of Justin Finch-Fletchley, ready to attack. Although the snake then obediently withdraws, Justin flees from Harry in horror, and everyone else also backs away from him. It turns out that Harry, like the Lord of the Chamber of Secrets, appears to be one of those special wizards who are capable of snake language. The students now suspect Harry, the alleged heir of Slytherin and responsible for the tragic incidents. As if to prove evidence, Justin Finch-Fletchley of Muggle-born is also found petrified near Harry. When Dumbledore then asks Harry if he has anything to tell him, he denies it for fear that his story of the disembodied voice would not be believed.

A little later, Harry finds the abandoned diary of a former model student named Tom Riddle, from which it emerges that the Chamber of Secrets should have been opened in the past by Hogwarts' current game warden, Harry's trusted friend Hagrid, whereupon a student died. He decides not to tell anyone and instead to do further research. But shortly afterwards the book is stolen from him. After Hermione has a sudden inspiration about the events and immediately goes to the library, she too is found petrified.

The school management doesn't know what to do and is considering closing the boarding school. When Harry and Ron then want to confront Hagrid with the results of their investigations so far, the Minister of Magic Fudge anticipates them and orders the ranger to be transported to the wizarding prison in Azkaban. At the same time, Lucius Malfoy has pushed through the temporary impeachment of Dumbledore, as Dumbledore can no longer ensure the well-being of the students. Harry discovers the beginning of a lead that Hagrid pointed out to her before his involuntary departure. It takes him deep into the Forbidden Forest , where he and Ron meet Aragog, a giant talking spider who claims that Hagrid illegally raised her when he was a Hogwarts student. She was wanted by him at the time of the attack on a girl near the crime scene and was seen by others. As a result of the victim's condition, it was believed that Hagrid, the alleged heir of Slytherin, had let Aragog loose on the girl. At that time he had to break off his education as a punishment. Even if the matter was considered over: the girl was actually killed by something else.

Harry realizes that something misleading emerges from Tom Riddle's diary with the story of Hagrid's perpetration. The murder back then and the fossilizations that are present must be due to something else. In order to fix the fossilizations, certain medicinal herbs have to grow further. Once they work, Harry and Ron hope Hermione will be able to give them a description of what petrified them. During a visit to the hospital wing, Harry discovers a previously overlooked, crumpled up book page in Hermione's rigid hands. Then there is talk of a " basilisk " and "king of the snakes", a deadly eye-catcher. With this, Harry sees the mystery of the disembodied voice that he heard as solved: Since he understands the language of snakes, it must be a basilisk. His gaze is fatal, but the victims he has met in the walls of Hogwarts so far saw him through a braking medium (a camera, a mirror, a ghost or a puddle of water on the ground), whereupon they "only" petrified. And there has to be someone besides Harry who also understands the snake language and lets the basilisk free: the heirs of Slytherin!

Finally, Ron's younger sister Ginny, a first grader who is not found petrified, is kidnapped. The College now hires Lockhart to probe the Chamber of Secrets , the location of which he has always pretended to be familiar with. He tries to escape, but Harry and Ron, who think they know where the chamber is, intercept him and force him to go with them.

In one of the girls' bathrooms, which has been haunted by the Moaning Myrtle for years , Harry uses snake language to open a secret passage that leads deep under the castle and the lake on the Hogwarts grounds. Fearful, Lockhart tries to put a forgetting spell on his students to return and then pretend he found the monster, the student Ginny Weasley has disappeared, and the two boys have lost memories in shock. But since he is using Ron's broken wand, the spell bounces back on himself. It also causes a cave collapse that separates them, and Harry has to go on alone. He penetrates into a temple-like cave, where Tom Riddle awaits him in a ghost-like form. With him lies the passed out, near death Ginny.

From the diary leaked to her, Riddle had established a growing bond between himself and Ginny. So he had grown in power over the girl who, under his control , had unlocked the Chamber of Secrets . Tom Riddle was also the heir of Slytherin, who at the time found the entrance to the chamber and opened it to kill the Muggle-borns. But now Harry alone had become his target.

Now Tom Riddle shows that his name "Tom Vorlost Riddle" is an anagram of "Is Lord Voldemort". He is Lord Voldemort himself, born the son of a witch and a Mughal, whose race he has wanted to eradicate from the wizarding ranks since his father left his mother. He had tried to kill Harry twice: as a baby and a year ago in the Philosopher's Stone dungeon. Harry had managed to defy him as his mother cast a powerful wards on Harry when she died to save him. Significant similarities between Harry and Voldemort include, on the one hand, the fact that both were raised as orphans by non-wizards and, on the other hand, they both speak snake language (Parseltongue).

Riddle lets the basilisk loose on Harry. During the fight, Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix , appears and brings Harry the Sorting Hat . Fawkes chops out the snake's eyes so that it can no longer kill Harry with its gaze. From the Sorting Hat Harry pulls the sword of the co-founder of Hogwarts, Godric Gryffindor, with which he can kill the huge snake. A poisonous tooth of the monster bores into Harry's forearm during the fight, from which he threatens to die. But Fawkes' tears heal his wound. Tearing the tooth out, he plunges it into the hypnotizing diary, which then loses its power. After that, he flies back to the surface with Fawkes, Ginny, Ron and Lockhart, who has lost his memory.


Dumbledore, now reinstated as Headmaster, explains to Harry that his concern about being the heir of Slytherin himself stems from the fact that he was indeed able to use some of Voldemort's abilities (e.g. snake language) through the impact of the failed death curse on him Baby took in The appearance of Fawkes and the sword to his aid have shown that it still belongs to a different breed. Lord Voldemort had acted through someone else again, this time through Ginny through his old diary.

The book was initially slipped on her when she bought the school books - by the school councilor Lucius Malfoy, a former supporter of Voldemort, who opportunistically returned to the victors' camp after his fall. In order to discredit Ron's father, Malfoy had slipped such a prohibited item on his enemy's daughter, but this cannot be proven. Lucius Malfoy appears again at school, this time accompanied by Dobby, who turns out to be his unfaithful house-elf. Harry, who feels sorry for the elf, helps him to freedom with a trick: he gives Lucius Malfoy back the destroyed diary in a sock, Malfoy throws the sock away in disgust and Dobby catches it. In doing so, he inadvertently gave Dobby an item of clothing and freedom for the elf. He is no longer committed to the Malfoy family, but a free elf.


  • In 2002 the work was successfully filmed by Chris Columbus , who brought the first volume to the screen in 2001 .
  • In the English original, Voldemort's maiden name is not Tom Vorlost Riddle , but Tom Marvolo Riddle , matching the anagram "I am Lord Voldemort".


English editions

German editions

  • Joanne K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Carlsen Verlag , Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-551-55168-5 . (Hardcover) (Number 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list for one week in 2002 )
  • Joanne K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-551-55209-6 . (Hardcover for adults)
  • Joanne K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-551-35402-2 . (Paperback edition)
  • Joanne K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-551-55902-9 . (Hardcover with illustrations by Jim Kay)
  • JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-551-55742-1 . (New hardback edition for the 20th anniversary of the German edition)

Audio books

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. HowStuffWorks.com Ed Grabianowski: The 21 Best-selling Books of All Time (English), accessed on June 21, 2015