Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Tension is already thick at the Dursleys with the addition of Harry’s new “pet,” Hedwig, but then a house elf named Dobby appears in Harry’s room with a mysterious warning, and threatens to upset Uncle Vernon with his racket on the night of a very important business dinner. At Diagon Alley, Harry not only has a nasty run-in with Draco’s arrogant father, but the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor is present as well, a self-absorbed braggart named Gilderoy Lockhart who desires fame enough to go to any lengths for it. At the school, there is a terrifying rumor about a child who died fifty years ago because of a monster still living inside the Chamber of Secrets. Harry must use his abilities and overcome the scorn of his peers to try to save a dear friend from dying when the chamber is reopened by the heir of Slytherin.

Similar Recommended Readings:

The next book in the series is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of .Azkaban The previous is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In addition to this series, J. K. Rowling has also written the screenplay Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the adult fiction novel, A Casual Vacancy.

The Bell at Sealey Head and The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip are also about young adults discovering magic worlds and helping to save them or those trapped in them.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey is about a girl who discovers the magic of creatures called fire lizards, cousins to the mighty dragons.

Themed Recipe:

On the last evening of summer vacation, “Mrs. Weasley conjured up a sumptuous dinner that included all of Harry’s favorite things, ending with a mouthwatering treacle pudding.” Hagrid also made treacle tarts that could glue your mouth together. I have taken the main ingredients from a treacle pudding tart and used them in a cupcake.

Treacle Tart Cupcakes with Golden Lemon Frosting

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  • 1 1/2 cups (4 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed down
  • 2/3 cup of Lyle’s golden dessert syrup, each divided into one third
  • 1/3 cup milk, plus 1 tbsp, divided
  • Zest of one medium lemon, about 1 tbsp
  • Juice of ½ a lemon, about 2 tbsp
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Cream together one stick (½ cup) butter, brown sugar, lemon zest, molasses, and ⅓ cup of golden syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed. Switch to low and add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then 1 tsp of vanilla extract and the juice of half a medium lemon, or about 2 tbsp of juice. Add the all-purpose flour, slowly, on low speed, then add ⅓ cup milk. When all are fully combined, distribute evenly (about two-thirds full) into lined cupcake pan. Bake at 350° F for 16-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean of raw batter.

For the frosting, cream together 2 sticks (one cup) salted butter with the zest of one large lemon in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed. Drop the speed to low. Add two cups of powdered sugar, ⅓ cup of Lyle’s golden dessert syrup, and the juice of half a lemon (or about 2 tbsp). Add 1 tbsp of milk, then another 2 cups of powdered sugar. When all are fully incorporated, frost cupcakes that have been allowed to cool a minimum of ten minutes.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What was Arthur Weasley’s connection between the law about enchanting muggle objects and his flying car? How did the enchantment on the car save Harry twice?
  2. What were some of the differences between the Dursleys’ house and the Weasley’s? Why did Harry prefer the Weasley’s, even though the boys were constantly in so much trouble?
  3. Why was it such a struggle to acquire a Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts? What do you think drew Lockhart to the job? Why did he see Harry as his protege, and how different were they really?
  4. What went wrong with the Polyjuice potion for Hermione? What were some of the little details involved in being someone else for a bit, for example, Crabbe and Goyle?
  5. What would be some of the benefits to having that potion for more than just picking Draco’s brain? How could it also be dangerous?
  6. How did Harry come to be a Parselmouth, and why did that ability terrify him and others so much?
  7. How did Dumbledore’s phoenix help Harry? What are some of the benefits of having them as pets? Where do you think Dumbledore acquired his from?
  8. Why did many people think Hagrid had opened the Chamber of Secrets and that Aragog was the monster? What was the truth?
  9. To what lengths had Dobby gone to protect Harry Potter? What did Harry do for him in the end?
  10. What piece of wisdom did Dumbledore give Harry about the differences between Harry and Tom Riddle? How were they similar?
  11. How had Ginny been manipulated and how did Dumbledore’s response to her show his understanding of the power of dark magic?