Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)

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Overview

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy ...

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)

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Overview

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself!

When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
J. K. Rowling continues her phenomenally popular Harry Potter series with yet another tale of magic, mirth, and mayhem. Like its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (the first book in the series), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is chock-full of fascinating characters, frightful events, and fun wizardry.

Harry's on summer break after completing his first year at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, and his aunt, uncle, and cousin are as mean as ever, trying at every turn to keep him from fulfilling his destiny as a wizard. Their efforts to prevent his return to Hogwarts are aided by an unknown force: a mysterious elf who shows up and warns Harry that he must never return to the school. Before departing, the elf performs a bit of mischievous magic that is blamed on Harry. As a result, Harry not only gets a stern warning from Hogwarts for using magic in the "real" world; he is also locked away by his aunt and uncle in a tiny closet beneath the stairs.

Harry is eventually rescued by his classmates and friends, the redheaded Weasleys, but getting back to Hogwarts still proves to be a challenge. When he finally does get there, his troubles quickly multiply. Someone has opened the door to the Chamber of Secrets, releasing a deadly monster with the power to kill. Several classmates turn up petrified, and in addition to trying to puzzle out who the culprit is, Harry finds himself a prime suspect. The truth lies down the end of a trail marked by a magical diary with invisible ink, a ghost who hides inside a toilet, a flying car, a pompous new teacher with a talent for hyperbole, and some ghastly giant spiders. When one of Harry's friends is imprisoned and another is turned to stone, Harry is forced to once again confront his archenemy, the Dark Wizard Voldemort, who has a whole new bag of nasty tricks up his sleeve.

Rowling packs this tale with plenty of adventure and action, keeping the pace fast and furious. There's plenty of humor, too -- both subtle and bold -- as well as a few moral lessons. With overlapping themes that range from the simple (treating others with courtesy) to the sophisticated (racism), Rowling's Potter tales should appeal to readers of all ages -- the young as well as the young at heart.

Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In this eagerly awaited sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter returns for his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry after surviving a dreadful summer with his muggle/human relatives the Dursleys. Harry, along with his friends Ron and Hermione, confronts another mystery involving an evil force emanating from a chamber of secrets below the school. Clues include a flying car, a book written in invisible ink that takes Harry into the past, and a ghost in a bathroom. To solve the mystery and save the school from closure and Hagrid from jail, Harry must confront his long feared nemesis Voldemort. Children and adults alike will revel in this splendid continuation of Harry Potter's adventures.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Harry Potter fans will be positively thrilled with this continuation of his trials and tribulations of growing up as a young wizard caught between the supernatural and muggle (real people) worlds. Whisked away in a flying car near the end of a confining, torturous summer with the Dursleys, Harry returns to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. He does this despite numerous warnings and obstacles from about his potential doom. The legend of the Chamber of Secrets appears to be a reality. Petrified school mates, a bathroom ghost named Moaning Myrtle, the reference library, a diary and super-sleuthing lead a familiar cast of characters through this fast-paced who-dunnit. New readers unfamiliar with the previous adventure will be just as enthralled with this fantasy-adventure-mystery tale.
Library Journal
Gr 3-8-With a year at Hogwarts School under his belt, Harry expects the new term to go smoothly, but a wizard's share of surprises and adventures await the likable lad and his friends. Rowling works her magic and leaves readers begging for more. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-8-Fans of the phenomenally popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Scholastic, 1998) won't be disappointed when they rejoin Harry, now on break after finishing his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Reluctantly spending the summer with the Dursleys, his mean relatives who fear and detest magic, Harry is soon whisked away by his friends Ron, Fred, and George Weasley, who appear at his window in a flying Ford Anglia to take him away to enjoy the rest of the holidays with their very wizardly family. Things don't go as well, though, when the school term begins. Someone, or something, is (literally) petrifying Hogwarts' residents one by one and leaving threatening messages referring to a Chamber of Secrets and an heir of Slytherin. Somehow, Harry is often around when the attacks happen and he is soon suspected of being the perpetrator. The climax has Harry looking very much like Indiana Jones, battling a giant serpent in the depths of the awesome and terrible Chamber of Secrets. Along with most of the teachers and students introduced in the previous book, Draco Malfoy has returned for his second year and is more despicable than ever. The novel is marked throughout by the same sly and sophisticated humor found in the first book, along with inventive, new, matter-of-fact uses of magic that will once again have readers longing to emulate Harry and his wizard friends.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Talk Magazine
Rowling writes fantastically (one growling book has wo be stroked to get it open) and yet with 20'th century verit
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Talk Magazine's 10 Best Books of 1999

Fantasy & Science Fiction
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets finds Harry as a second-year student at Hogwarts and proves to be just as enchanting and entertaining as the first book&#8212 a rarity in itself, when it comes to books in series.
Horn Book Magazine
In this sequel to the phenomenally popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (rev. 1/99), Harry returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year after a miserable summer with his Muggle (nonmagical) relatives. Once again, Harry's school experiences are colored by encounters with genial ghosts and antagonistic teachers, by the rivalry between good-guy Gryffindor House and slimy Slytherin House, and by an ominous mystery to be solved involving Harry's archenemy, the dark sorcerer Lord Voldemort. Once again, the attraction of Rowling's traditional British school story is magnified tenfold by the fantasy elements superimposed upon it. The atmosphere Rowling creates is unique; the story whizzes along; Harry is an unassuming and completely sympathetic hero. But, truth to tell, you may feel as if you've read it all before. Rowling clearly hit on a winning formula with the first Harry Potter book; the second book-though still great fun-feels a tad, well, formulaic.
Cathy Hainer
Those needing a hit of magic, morality and mystical worlds can do no better than opening Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets...Older readers will be able to bite into these meaty themes of racism and suspicion of stangers. But younger readers and those looking for the simple pleasures of a delightful read will be thrilled to be back at the fabulously witchy world of Hogwarts.
USA Today
Kirkus Reviews
This sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998) brings back the doughty young wizard-in-training to face suspicious adults, hostile classmates, fretful ghosts, rambunctious spells, giant spiders, and even an avatar of Lord Voldemort, the evil sorcerer who killed his parents, while saving the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a deadly, mysterious menace. Ignoring a most peculiar warning, Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a dreadful summer with his hateful guardians, the Dursleys, and is instantly cast into a whirlwind of magical pranks and misadventures, culminating in a visit to the hidden cavern where his friend Ron's little sister Ginny lies, barely alive, in a trap set by his worst enemy. Surrounded by a grand mix of wise and inept faculty, sneering or loyal peers—plus an array of supernatural creatures including Nearly Headless Nick and a huge, serpentine basilisk—Harry steadily rises to every challenge, and though he plays but one match of the gloriously chaotic field game Quidditch, he does get in plenty of magic and a bit of swordplay on his way to becoming a hero again. Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Harry's world by GrandPre's comic illustrations and Rowling's expert combination of broad boarding school farce and high fantasy. (Fiction. 11-14)
From the Publisher
"Surely the vilest household in children's literature since the family Roald Dahl created for Matilda.  Harry himself is the perfect confused and unassuming hero."  —School Library Journal, starred review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439064873
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Harry Potter Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 30,918
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

J. K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, a graduate of Exeter University, a teacher, and then an unemployed single parent, Rowling wrote Harry Potter when "I was very low, and I had to achieve something. Without the challenge, I would have gone stark raving mad." But Rowling has always written; her first book was called "Rabbit." "I was about six, and I haven't stopped scribbling since."

Biography

As the often told story goes, J. K. Rowling was on the brink of poverty, receiving welfare when her first Harry Potter book catapulted her into a stratosphere of stardom rarely enjoyed by any writer. While accounts of Rowling's destitution have been greatly exaggerated, her story is still something of a rags-to-riches tale not unlike that of her most famous creation.

Yes, Rowling did briefly receive government assistance after returning to her home country of England following a stint in Portugal, but that ended when she took a fairly well-paying teaching job. Rather than financial hardships, the period between a 1990 train ride from Manchester to London -- during which Rowling first conceived of a "scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard" -- and the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was marked by setbacks of a more personal nature. Her mother passed away. She divorced her first husband, leaving her to raise her daughter alone. The writing career she'd always desired was becoming less and less viable as her personal responsibilities mounted.

Then came Harry, the bespectacled boy wizard she'd first dreamed on that fateful train ride.

The success of the first Harry Potter novel (given the slightly less lofty title of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the U.S.), in which the orphaned, seemingly ordinary boy discovers that he is not only a possessor of incredible powers but already a celebrity among fellow wizards, was far beyond anything Joanne Kathleen Rowling ever dared imagine. International praise poured in. So did the awards. Rowling won England's National Book Award and the Smarties Prize for children's literature. The series spawned an equally successful and hotly anticipated series of films starring the young megastars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and featuring such venerable British actors as Maggie Smith, John Hurt, John Cleese, and Alan Rickman.

Rowling is responsible for introducing several new words and terms into the English lexicon, such as "muggle" (a civilian lacking in wizardly powers) and "Quidditch" (a fast-paced sport played while riding broomsticks). Perhaps most satisfying of all for the mother and teacher was the way she single-handedly ignited the literary pursuits of children all over the globe. Kids everywhere couldn't wait to get their hands on Harry's latest adventure at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which is no small feat, considering that the novels tend to be exceptionally lengthy for books aimed at such a young audience (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is just a few pages shy of a whopping 900 pages!). Rowling has said that she conceives of her novels as "real literature," despite the fact that they are written for young people. Perhaps a testament to the literary merit of her books is the fact that they are nearly as popular with teenagers, college kids, and adults as they are with the grammar-school set.

With the massive popularity of her Harry Potter novels, Rowling has achieved similar fame and fortune -- for better and for worse. According to an article in a 2004 edition of Forbes magazine, Rowling's wealth was estimated at 576 million English pounds. In U.S. currency, that made her the very first billionaire author. The downside of that success is the unwanted attention she receives from Britain's notoriously relentless paparazzi. As Rowling lamented to Jeremy Paxton of the BBC, "You know, I didn't think they'd rake through my bins, I didn't expect to be photographed on the beach through long lenses." Rowling has also come under fire from Christian groups who object to her depiction of wizardry and witchcraft and certain critics who contest the "literary merit" of her work. Of course, one must always keep in mind that no one ever achieves Rowling's level of celebrity without having to listen to the griping of naysayers, none of which has impeded her continued success seriously.

Although Rowling could surely sell countless copies of Harry Potter books for as long as she is able to put pen to paper (and she does write much of her work in longhand), she initially conceived of the series in seven installments and has, of course, realized that plan with the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. "There will be no Harry Potter's midlife crisis or Harry Potter as an old wizard," she once told the Sunday Telegraph. As for what life after Harry Potter might entail for Rowling, she has suggested quite a number of possibilities, including ideas for adult novels and possible tie-ins to the Hogwarts universe involving periphery characters. Whatever Rowling chooses to do, she has forever guaranteed herself a place alongside Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, and L. Frank Baum as one of the most beloved children's authors of all time.

Good To Know

Rowling's parents met on a train, coincidentally from King's Cross station to Scotland. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when Rowling was 15, her mother died in the early 1990s. Rowling has a sister, Di, two years younger than she, who is an attorney.

Rowling's publisher requested that she use initials on Harry Potter covers, concerned that if they used an obviously female name, the target audience of young boys might be hesitant to buy them. Rowling adopted her grandmother's middle name, Kathleen, for the "K".

Rowling made a special guest appearance as herself on the hit cartoon show, The Simpsons.

With great success often comes great controversy. Rowling's Harry Potter books landed on a list of banned books because of their depiction of wizardry and witchcraft. However, Rowling regards her place on the list as a feather in her cap, as past lists have included works by such literary giants as Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, and Harper Lee.

Rowling ran into a bit of potential trouble in the wake of stepped-up airline restrictions. While traveling home from New York, she refused to part ways with the manuscript of her still in-the-works final installment of the Harry Potter series during bag inspections. Fortunately, she was allowed onboard without further incident.

In 2001, two Harry Potter tie-in books were published: Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander. For those wondering who the mysterious Misters Whisp and Scamander are, well, they are actually both J. K. Rowling. The author donated all proceeds of her pseudonymous books to the charity Comic Relief.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Joanne Kathleen Rowling (full name), "Jo"
    2. Hometown:
      Perthshire, Scotland
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 31, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, England
    1. Education:
      Exeter University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Chapter Eight
The Deathday Party
by J. K. Rowling

October arrived, spreading a damp chill over the grounds and into the castle. Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was kept busy by a sudden spate of colds among the staff and students. Her Pepperup potion worked instantly, though it left the drinker smoking at the ears for several hours afterward. Ginny Weasley, who had been looking pale, was bullied into taking some by Percy. The steam pouring from under her vivid hair gave the impression that her whole head was on fire.

Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end; the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid's pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds. Oliver Wood's enthusiasm for regular training sessions, however, was not dampened, which was why Harry was to be found, late one stormy Saturday afternoon a few days before Halloween, returning to Gryffindor Tower, drenched to the skin and splattered with mud.

Even aside from the rain and wind it hadn't been a happy practice session. Fred and George, who had been spying on the Slytherin team, had seen for themselves the speed of those new Nimbus Two Thousand and Ones. They reported that the Slytherin team was no more than seven greenish blurs, shooting through the air like missiles.

As Harry squelched along the deserted corridor he came across somebody who looked just as preoccupied as he was. Nearly Headless Nick, the ghost of Gryffindor Tower, was staring morosely out of a window, muttering under his breath, ". . . don't fulfill their requirements . . . half an inch, if that . . ."

"Hello, Nick," said Harry.

"Hello, hello," said Nearly Headless Nick, starting and looking round. He wore a dashing, plumed hat on his long curly hair, and a tunic with a ruff, which concealed the fact that his neck was almost completely severed. He was pale as smoke, and Harry could see right through him to the dark sky and torrential rain outside.

"You look troubled, young Potter," said Nick, folding a transparent letter as he spoke and tucking it inside his doublet.

"So do you," said Harry.

"Ah," Nearly Headless Nick waved an elegant hand, "a matter of no importance. . . . It's not as though I really wanted to join. . . . Thought I'd apply, but apparently I 'don't fulfill requirements' -"

In spite of his airy tone, there was a look of great bitterness on his face.

"But you would think, wouldn't you," he erupted suddenly, pulling the letter back out of his pocket, "that getting hit forty-five times in the neck with a blunt axe would qualify you to join the Headless Hunt?"

"Oh - yes," said Harry, who was obviously supposed to agree.

"I mean, nobody wishes more than I do that it had all been quick and clean, and my head had come off properly, I mean, it would have saved me a great deal of pain and ridicule. However -" Nearly Headless Nick shook his letter open and read furiously: "'We can only accept huntsmen whose heads have parted company with their bodies. You will appreciate that it would be impossible otherwise for members to participate in hunt activities such as Horseback Head-Juggling and Head Polo. It is with the greatest regret, therefore, that I must inform you that you do not fulfill our requirements. With very best wishes, Sir Patrick Delaney-Podmore.'"

Fuming, Nearly Headless Nick stuffed the letter away.

"Half an inch of skin and sinew holding my neck on, Harry! Most people would think that's good and beheaded, but oh, no, it's not enough for Sir Properly Decapitated-Podmore."

Nearly Headless Nick took several deep breaths and then said, in a far calmer tone, "So - what's bothering you? Anything I can do?"

"No," said Harry. "Not unless you know where we can get seven free Nimbus Two Thousand and Ones for our match against Sly -"

The rest of Harry's sentence was drowned out by a high-pitched mewling from somewhere near his ankles. He looked down and found himself gazing into a pair of lamp-like yellow eyes. It was Mrs. Norris, the skeletal gray cat who was used by the caretaker, Argus Filch, as a sort of deputy in his endless battle against students.

"You'd better get out of here, Harry," said Nick quickly. "Filch isn't in a good mood - he's got the flu and some third years accidentally plastered frog brains all over the ceiling in dungeon five. He's been cleaning all morning, and if he sees you dripping mud all over the place -"

"Right," said Harry, backing away from the accusing stare of Mrs. Norris, but not quickly enough. Drawn to the spot by the mysterious power that seemed to connect him with his foul cat, Argus Filch burst suddenly through a tapestry to Harry's right, wheezing and looking wildly about for the rule-breaker. There was a thick tartan scarf bound around his head, and his nose was unusually purple.

"Filth!" he shouted, his jowls aquiver, his eyes popping alarmingly as he pointed at the muddy puddle that had dripped from Harry's Quidditch robes. "Mess and muck everywhere! I've had enough of it, I tell you! Follow me, Potter!"

So Harry waved a gloomy good-bye to Nearly Headless Nick and followed Filch back downstairs, doubling the number of muddy footprints on the floor.

Harry had never been inside Filch's office before; it was a place most students avoided. The room was dingy and windowless, lit by a single oil lamp dangling from the low ceiling. A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place. Wooden filing cabinets stood around the walls; from their labels, Harry could see that they contained details of every pupil Filch had ever punished. Fred and George Weasley had an entire drawer to themselves. A highly polished collection of chains and manacles hung on the wall behind Filch's desk. It was common knowledge that he was always begging Dumbledore to let him suspend students by their ankles from the ceiling.

Filch grabbed a quill from a pot on his desk and began shuffling around looking for parchment.

"Dung," he muttered furiously, "great sizzling dragon bogies . . . frog brains . . . rat intestines . . . I've had enough of it . . . make an example . . . where's the form . . . yes . . ."

He retrieved a large roll of parchment from his desk drawer and stretched it out in front of him, dipping his long black quill into the ink pot.

"Name . . . Harry Potter. Crime . . ."

"It was only a bit of mud!" said Harry.

"It's only a bit of mud to you, boy, but to me it's an extra hour scrubbing!" shouted Filch, a drip shivering unpleasantly at the end of his bulbous nose. "Crime . . . befouling the castle . . . suggested sentence . . ."

Dabbing at his streaming nose, Filch squinted unpleasantly at Harry who waited with bated breath for his sentence to fall.

But as Filch lowered his quill, there was a great BANG! on the ceiling of the office, which made the oil lamp rattle.

"PEEVES!" Filch roared, flinging down his quill in a transport of rage. "I'll have you this time, I'll have you!"

And without a backward glance at Harry, Filch ran flat-footed from the office, Mrs. Norris streaking alongside him.

Peeves was the school poltergeist, a grinning, airborne menace who lived to cause havoc and distress. Harry didn't much like Peeves, but couldn't help feeling grateful for his timing. Hopefully, whatever Peeves had done (and it sounded as though he'd wrecked something very big this time) would distract Filch from Harry.

Thinking that he should probably wait for Filch to come back, Harry sank into a moth-eaten chair next to the desk. There was only one thing on it apart from his half-completed form: a large, glossy, purple envelope with silver lettering on the front. With a quick glance at the door to check that Filch wasn't on his way back, Harry picked up the envelope and read: kwikspell A Correspondence Course in Beginners' Magic

Intrigued, Harry flicked the envelope open and pulled out the sheaf of parchment inside. More curly silver writing on the front page said: Feel out of step in the world of modern magic? Find yourself making excuses not to perform simple spells? Ever been taunted for your woeful wandwork? There is an answer! Kwikspell is an all-new, fail-safe, quick-result, easy-learn course. Hundreds of witches and wizards have benefited from the Kwikspell method! Madam Z. Nettles of Topsham writes: "I had no memory for incantations and my potions were a family joke! Now, after a Kwikspell course, I am the center of attention at parties and friends beg for the recipe of my Scintillation Solution!" Warlock D. J. Prod of Didsbury says: "My wife used to sneer at my feeble charms, but one month into your fabulous Kwikspell course and I succeeded in turning her into a yak! Thank you, Kwikspell!"

Fascinated, Harry thumbed through the rest of the envelope's contents. Why on earth did Filch want a Kwikspell course? Did this mean he wasn't a proper wizard? Harry was just reading "Lesson One: Holding Your Wand (Some Useful Tips)" when shuffling footsteps outside told him Filch was coming back. Stuffing the parchment back into the envelope, Harry threw it back onto the desk just as the door opened.

Filch was looking triumphant.

"That vanishing cabinet was extremely valuable!" he was saying gleefully to Mrs. Norris. "We'll have Peeves out this time, my sweet -"

His eyes fell on Harry and then darted to the Kwikspell envelope, which, Harry realized too late, was lying two feet away from where it had started.

Filch's pasty face went brick red. Harry braced himself for a tidal wave of fury. Filch hobbled across to his desk, snatched up the envelope, and threw it into a drawer.

"Have you - did you read -?" he sputtered.

"No," Harry lied quickly.

Filch's knobbly hands were twisting together.

"If I thought you'd read my private - not that it's mine - for a friend - be that as it may - however -"

Harry was staring at him, alarmed; Filch had never looked madder. His eyes were popping, a tic was going in one of his pouchy cheeks, and the tartan scarf didn't help.

"Very well - go - and don't breathe a word - not that - however, if you didn't read - go now, I have to write up Peeves' report - go -"

Amazed at his luck, Harry sped out of the office, up the corridor, and back upstairs. To escape from Filch's office without punishment was probably some kind of school record.

"Harry! Harry! Did it work?"

Nearly Headless Nick came gliding out of a classroom. Behind him, Harry could see the wreckage of a large black-and-gold cabinet that appeared to have been dropped from a great height.

"I persuaded Peeves to crash it right over Filch's office," said Nick eagerly. "Thought it might distract him -"

"Was that you?" said Harry gratefully. "Yeah, it worked, I didn't even get detention. Thanks, Nick!"

They set off up the corridor together. Nearly Headless Nick, Harry noticed, was still holding Sir Patrick's rejection letter.

"I wish there was something I could do for you about the Headless Hunt," Harry said.

Nearly Headless Nick stopped in his tracks and Harry walked right through him. He wished he hadn't; it was like stepping through an icy shower.

"But there is something you could do for me," said Nick excitedly. "Harry - would I be asking too much - but no, you wouldn't want -"

"What is it?" said Harry.

"Well, this Halloween will be my five hundredth deathday," said Nearly Headless Nick, drawing himself up and looking dignified.

"Oh," said Harry, not sure whether he should look sorry or happy about this. "Right."

"I'm holding a party down in one of the roomier dungeons. Friends will be coming from all over the country. It would be such an honor if you would attend. Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger would be most welcome, too, of course - but I daresay you'd rather go to the school feast?" He watched Harry on tenterhooks.

"No," said Harry quickly, "I'll come -"

"My dear boy! Harry Potter, at my deathday party! And" - he hesitated, looking excited - "do you think you could possibly mention to Sir Patrick how very frightening and impressive you find me?"

"Of - of course," said Harry.

Nearly Headless Nick beamed at him. "A deathday party?" said Hermione keenly when Harry had changed at last and joined her and Ron in the common room. "I bet there aren't many living people who can say they've been to one of those - it'll be fascinating!"

"Why would anyone want to celebrate the day they died?" said Ron, who was halfway through his Potions homework and grumpy. "Sounds dead depressing to me. . . ."

Rain was still lashing the windows, which were now inky black, but inside all looked bright and cheerful. The firelight glowed over the countless squashy armchairs where people sat reading, talking, doing homework or, in the case of Fred and George Weasley, trying to find out what would happen if you fed a Filibuster firework to a salamander. Fred had "rescued" the brilliant orange, fire-dwelling lizard from a Care of Magical Creatures class and it was now smouldering gently on a table surrounded by a knot of curious people.

Harry was at the point of telling Ron and Hermione about Filch and the Kwikspell course when the salamander suddenly whizzed into the air, emitting loud sparks and bangs as it whirled wildly round the room. The sight of Percy bellowing himself hoarse at Fred and George, the spectacular display of tangerine stars showering from the salamander's mouth, and its escape into the fire, with accompanying explosions, drove both Filch and the Kwikspell envelope from Harry's mind. By the time Halloween arrived, Harry was regretting his rash promise to go to the deathday party. The rest of the school was happily anticipating their Halloween feast; the Great Hall had been decorated with the usual live bats, Hagrid's vast pumpkins had been carved into lanterns large enough for three men to sit in, and there were rumors that Dumbledore had booked a troupe of dancing skeletons for the entertainment.

"A promise is a promise," Hermione reminded Harry bossily. "You said you'd go to the deathday party."

So at seven o'clock, Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked straight past the doorway to the packed Great Hall, which was glittering invitingly with gold plates and candles, and directed their steps instead toward the dungeons.

The passageway leading to Nearly Headless Nick's party had been lined with candles, too, though the effect was far from cheerful: These were long, thin, jet-black tapers, all burning bright blue, casting a dim, ghostly light even over their own living faces. The temperature dropped with every step they took. As Harry shivered and drew his robes tightly around him, he heard what sounded like a thousand fingernails scraping an enormous blackboard.

"Is that supposed to be music?" Ron whispered. They turned a corner and saw Nearly Headless Nick standing at a doorway hung with black velvet drapes.

"My dear friends," he said mournfully. "Welcome, welcome . . . so pleased you could come. . . ."

He swept off his plumed hat and bowed them inside.

It was an incredible sight. The dungeon was full of hundreds of pearly-white, translucent people, mostly drifting around a crowded dance floor, waltzing to the dreadful, quavering sound of thirty musical saws, played by an orchestra on a raised, black-draped platform. A chandelier overhead blazed midnight-blue with a thousand more black candles. Their breath rose in a mist before them; it was like stepping into a freezer.

"Shall we have a look around?" Harry suggested, wanting to warm up his feet.

"Careful not to walk through anyone," said Ron nervously, and they set off around the edge of the dance floor. They passed a group of gloomy nuns, a ragged man wearing chains, and the Fat Friar, a cheerful Hufflepuff ghost, who was talking to a knight with an arrow sticking out of his forehead. Harry wasn't surprised to see that the Bloody Baron, a gaunt, staring Slytherin ghost covered in silver bloodstains, was being given a wide berth by the other ghosts.

"Oh, no," said Hermione, stopping abruptly. "Turn back, turn back, I don't want to talk to Moaning Myrtle -"

"Who?" said Harry as they backtracked quickly.

"She haunts one of the toilets in the girls' bathroom on the first floor," said Hermione.

"She haunts a toilet?"

"Yes. It's been out-of-order all year because she keeps having tantrums and flooding the place. I never went in there anyway if I could avoid it; it's awful trying to have a pee with her wailing at you -"

"Look, food!" said Ron.

On the other side of the dungeon was a long table, also covered in black velvet. They approached it eagerly but next moment had stopped in their tracks, horrified. The smell was quite disgusting. Large, rotten fish were laid on handsome silver platters; cakes, burned charcoal-black, were heaped on salvers; there was a great maggoty haggis, a slab of cheese covered in furry green mold and, in pride of place, an enormous gray cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar-like icing forming the words, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington died 31st October, 1492

Harry watched, amazed, as a portly ghost approached the table, crouched low, and walked through it, his mouth held wide so that it passed through one of the stinking salmon.

"Can you taste it if you walk though it?" Harry asked him.

"Almost," said the ghost sadly, and he drifted away.

"I expect they've let it rot to give it a stronger flavor," said Hermione knowledgeably, pinching her nose and leaning closer to look at the putrid haggis.

"Can we move? I feel sick," said Ron.

They had barely turned around, however, when a little man swooped suddenly from under the table and came to a halt in midair before them.

"Hello, Peeves," said Harry cautiously.

Unlike the ghosts around them, Peeves the Poltergeist was the very reverse of pale and transparent. He was wearing a bright orange party hat, a revolving bow tie, and a broad grin on his wide, wicked face.

"Nibbles?" he said sweetly, offering them a bowl of peanuts covered in fungus.

"No thanks," said Hermione.

"Heard you talking about poor Myrtle," said Peeves, his eyes dancing. "Rude you was about poor Myrtle." He took a deep breath and bellowed, "OY! MYRTLE!"

"Oh, no, Peeves, don't tell her what I said, she'll be really upset," Hermione whispered frantically. "I didn't mean it, I don't mind her - er, hello, Myrtle."

The squat ghost of a girl had glided over. She had the glummest face Harry had ever seen, half-hidden behind lank hair and thick, pearly spectacles.

"What?" she said sulkily.

"How are you, Myrtle?" said Hermione in a falsely bright voice. "It's nice to see you out of the toilet."

Myrtle sniffed.

"Miss Granger was just talking about you -" said Peeves slyly in Myrtle's ear.

"Just saying - saying - how nice you look tonight," said Hermione, glaring at Peeves.

Myrtle eyed Hermione suspiciously.

"You're making fun of me," she said, silver tears welling rapidly in her small, see-through eyes.

"No - honestly - didn't I just say how nice Myrtle's looking?" said Hermione, nudging Harry and Ron painfully in the ribs.

"Oh, yeah -"

"She did -"

"Don't lie to me," Myrtle gasped, tears now flooding down her face, while Peeves chuckled happily over her shoulder. "D'you think I don't know what people call me behind my back? Fat Myrtle! Ugly Myrtle! Miserable, moaning, moping Myrtle!"

"You've forgotten pimply," Peeves hissed in her ear.

Moaning Myrtle burst into anguished sobs and fled from the dungeon. Peeves shot after her, pelting her with moldy peanuts, yelling, "Pimply! Pimply!"

"Oh, dear," said Hermione sadly.

Nearly Headless Nick now drifted toward them through the crowd.

"Enjoying yourselves?"

"Oh, yes," they lied.

"Not a bad turnout," said Nearly Headless Nick proudly. "The Wailing Widow came all the way up from Kent. . . . It's nearly time for my speech, I'd better go and warn the orchestra. . . ."

The orchestra, however, stopped playing at that very moment. They, and everyone else in the dungeon, fell silent, looking around in excitement, as a hunting horn sounded.

"Oh, here we go," said Nearly Headless Nick bitterly.

Through the dungeon wall burst a dozen ghost horses, each ridden by a headless horseman. The assembly clapped wildly; Harry started to clap, too, but stopped quickly at the sight of Nick's face.

The horses galloped into the middle of the dance floor and halted, rearing and plunging. At the front of the pack was a large ghost who held his bearded head under his arm, from which position he was blowing the horn. The ghost leapt down, lifted his head high in the air so he could see over the crowd (everyone laughed), and strode over to Nearly Headless Nick, squashing his head back onto his neck.

"Nick!" he roared. "How are you? Head still hanging in there?"

He gave a hearty guffaw and clapped Nearly Headless Nick on the shoulder.

"Welcome, Patrick," said Nick stiffly.

"Live 'uns!" said Sir Patrick, spotting Harry, Ron, and Hermione and giving a huge, fake jump of astonishment, so that his head fell off again (the crowd howled with laughter).

"Very amusing," said Nearly Headless Nick darkly.

"Don't mind Nick!" shouted Sir Patrick's head from the floor. "Still upset we won't let him join the Hunt! But I mean to say - look at the fellow -"

"I think," said Harry hurriedly, at a meaningful look from Nick, "Nick's very - frightening and - er -"

"Ha!" yelled Sir Patrick's head. "Bet he asked you to say that!"

"If I could have everyone's attention, it's time for my speech!" said Nearly Headless Nick loudly, striding toward the podium and climbing into an icy blue spotlight.

"My late lamented lords, ladies, and gentlemen, it is my great sorrow . . ."

But nobody heard much more. Sir Patrick and the rest of the Headless Hunt had just started a game of Head Hockey and the crowd were turning to watch. Nearly Headless Nick tried vainly to recapture his audience, but gave up as Sir Patrick's head went sailing past him to loud cheers.

Harry was very cold by now, not to mention hungry.

"I can't stand much more of this," Ron muttered, his teeth chattering, as the orchestra ground back into action and the ghosts swept back onto the dance floor.

"Let's go," Harry agreed.

They backed toward the door, nodding and beaming at anyone who looked at them, and a minute later were hurrying back up the passageway full of black candles.

"Pudding might not be finished yet," said Ron hopefully, leading the way toward the steps to the entrance hall.

And then Harry heard it.

". . . rip . . . tear . . . kill . . ."

It was the same voice, the same cold, murderous voice he had heard in Lockhart's office.

He stumbled to a halt, clutching at the stone wall, listening with all his might, looking around, squinting up and down the dimly lit passageway.

"Harry, what're you -?"

"It's that voice again - shut up a minute -"

". . . soo hungry . . . for so long . . ."

"Listen!" said Harry urgently, and Ron and Hermione froze, watching him.

". . . kill . . . time to kill . . ."

The voice was growing fainter. Harry was sure it was moving away - moving upward. A mixture of fear and excitement gripped him as he stared at the dark ceiling; how could it be moving upward? Was it a phantom, to whom stone ceilings didn't matter?

"This way," he shouted, and he began to run, up the stairs, into the entrance hall. It was no good hoping to hear anything here, the babble of talk from the Halloween feast was echoing out of the Great Hall. Harry sprinted up the marble staircase to the first floor, Ron and Hermione clattering behind him.

"Harry, what're we -"

"SHH!"

Harry strained his ears. Distantly, from the floor above, and growing fainter still, he heard the voice: ". . . I smell blood. . . . I SMELL BLOOD!"

His stomach lurched -

"It's going to kill someone!" he shouted, and ignoring Ron's and Hermione's bewildered faces, he ran up the next flight of steps three at a time, trying to listen over his own pounding footsteps -

Harry hurtled around the whole of the second floor, Ron and Hermione panting behind him, not stopping until they turned a corner into the last, deserted passage.

"Harry, what was that all about?" said Ron, wiping sweat off his face. "I couldn't hear anything. . . ."

But Hermione gave a sudden gasp, pointing down the corridor.

"Look!"

Something was shining on the wall ahead. They approached slowly, squinting through the darkness. Foot-high words had been daubed on the wall between two windows, shimmering in the light cast by the flaming torches. the chamber of secrets has been opened. enemies of the heir, beware.

"What's that thing - hanging underneath?" said Ron, a slight quiver in his voice.

As they edged nearer, Harry almost slipped - there was a large puddle of water on the floor; Ron and Hermione grabbed him, and they inched toward the message, eyes fixed on a dark shadow beneath it. All three of them realized what it was at once, and leapt backward with a splash.

Mrs. Norris, the caretaker's cat, was hanging by her tail from the torch bracket. She was stiff as a board, her eyes wide and staring.

For a few seconds, they didn't move. Then Ron said, "Let's get out of here."

"Shouldn't we try and help -" Harry began awkwardly.

"Trust me," said Ron. "We don't want to be found here."

But it was too late. A rumble, as though of distant thunder, told them that the feast had just ended. From either end of the corridor where they stood came the sound of hundreds of feet climbing the stairs, and the loud, happy talk of well-fed people; next moment, students were crashing into the passage from both ends.

The chatter, the bustle, the noise died suddenly as the people in front spotted the hanging cat. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood alone, in the middle of the corridor, as silence fell among the mass of students pressing forward to see the grisly sight.

Then someone shouted through the quiet.

"Enemies of the Heir, beware! You'll be next, Mudbloods!"

It was Draco Malfoy. He had pushed to the front of the crowd, his cold eyes alive, his usually bloodless face flushed, as he grinned at the sight of the hanging, immobile cat.

© 1999 by J. K. Rowling. Reprinted by permission of Scholastic Inc.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


2. Dobby's Warning
3. The Burrow
4. At Flourish and Blotts
5. The Whomping Willow
6. Gilderoy Lockhart
7. Mudbloods and Murmurs
8. The Deathday Party
9. The Writing on the Wall
10. The Rogue Bludger
11. The Dueling Club
12. The Polyjuice Potion
13. The Dueling Club
14. Cornelius Fudge
15. Aragog
16. The Chamber of Secrets
17. The Heir of Slytherin
18. Dobby's Reward
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3473 )
Rating Distribution

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(2514)

4 Star

(612)

3 Star

(249)

2 Star

(43)

1 Star

(55)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 3473 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    The book is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading all the H.P. books from start to finish.

    79 out of 101 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    For ya'll who are wondern' how much it costs well click here...

    $7.99

    75 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Interesting Story

    The story was AWESOME one moment I was at page 10 next thing you know I'm on page 76 this book has a lot of mystery. I just love the artwork it's beautiful. I loved the story from beginning to end.

    64 out of 78 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    awesome from the very begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    43 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Excellent Sequel

    This book is the best sequel possible for Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone. From meeting You-Know-Who's younger self to saving Ginny, this is an excellent book. JK Rowling writes the BEST BOOKS!! Who else could come up with Hormine not being there to help Harry and Ron in the darkness of the mystical Chamber of Secrets? This book,like the rest of the series, is a definite must-read!!"

    35 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Awsome

    I LOVE THIS BOOK EVEN THOUGH I READ EVERY BOOK THIS WAS MY FAVE! IT WAS AMAZING. I LOVE HARRY!

    25 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2012

    My favorite

    My favorite in the series. Very entertaining.

    22 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Outstanding!!!

    This book was a puzzling book and it was a huge mystry. This book kept me gusseing until the very end and i was always on the edge of my seat untill the shocking ending appeared and i was breathless and had know clue it would be that person. But all can say was outstandding!!!!

    20 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun for the Whole Family!!

    Jim Dale really brings this wonderful story to life with his enthusiastic reading and characteristic voices.

    After listening to this Audiobook, I felt Jim Dale really should have done Dobby's voice in the Harry Potter Movies, he does it so perfectly.

    This Audiobook is fun for the whole family, great for long car rides or to curl up by yourself or with your child to have Jim Dale weave a magical tale around the you.

    15 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    second year begins and harry potter keeps getting better and better

    amazing series of books this author is amazing i will not reccommand the twilight saga due to personal diffences with the fans of the twilight saga this book series is amazing i have a favorite charecter in this series as well professor snape is my number 1 favorite charecter in the harry potter book series

    13 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Th Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets The book that

    Th

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    The book that I chose to review was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this book is the 2nd of 7 books in a series following a young man named Harry Potter. In this book the story starts out with Harry stuck in a miserable situation, he is spending the summer with his last remaining relatives the Dursleys. During a dinner party strange things began to happen and a strange elf named Dobby from Hogwarts shows up and tries to convince Harry to not return to school. Dobby tells Harry that is he returns bad things will happen to not only him but his friends as well; Harry does not believe Dobby and tells him to leave. The summer wraps up with his best friend Ron Weasley showing up and saving Harry from the misery of the Dursleys to take him back to Hogwarts.
    As Harry and Ron return to Hogwarts they encounter a man named Gilderoy Lockhart, who is a famous defense against the dark arts wizard. Lockhart tells Harry and Ron that he is the newest teacher at Hogwarts; Lockhart is very famous for his defense techniques against for his strong powers he uses and teaches to young wizards. The first strange occurrence that happens in Hogwarts is Harry begins to hear strange voices that warn him about a "Chamber of Secrets", after this Harry starts talking in strange tongues. Harry convinces Ron to help him find more information about the mysterious chamber. The climax of this book occurs right around this time, when Hermione and another young girl are mysteriously petrified; Harry and Ron realize the only way to cure them is to venture into the Chamber and finally reveal its mysteries. Lockhart finds Harry and Ron and tells him he will be going into the chamber with him, but right before they enter Lockhart is petrified and Ron must exit the chamber to bring Lockhart to safety. Harry realizes he is meant to venture into the chamber alone, as Harry enters he encounters Lord Voldemort which is the man that killed his parents. Voldemort vanishes and a huge battle occurs between Harry and a basilisk (large snake), Harry is severely injured and it is made to seem that he will surely be killed but is saved by a magical bird that kills the snake. As Harry gains consciousness he realizes the death of the snake lifted the curse and all of the characters affected slowly come out of the curse. The book ends with Harry and all of his friends parting ways and returning to their homes for the summer.
    From reading this book it is clear that it leaves one with more questions than it does answers, the exposition is kept vague and helps set the tone of the book by keeping you guessing. The plot and even the climax of this book keeps you guessing and makes you want to continue reading, mysteries and the tone changing help feed into the mystery. When the conclusion of the book occurs it is very open ended and helps build the plot for the next book.

    Thomas Paul

    10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    AMAZING

    This book kept me reading and reading and the same day that i bought it i was done 3 hours later!!! Lots of detail and mysteries and scary stuff i would reccomend this book to everybody ages ten through twenty

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    !!!!

    I <3 Harry Potter!!!!!!!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Potter

    This book is an amazing book! I cant put it down!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Harry potter

    Realy gooooooooooooooooooddddddddddddd boooooook READ IT

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Mikaela mueller

    I love this book they are so magical and you can learn new and amazing words

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    This book is good because when Harry goes to school for the sec


    This book is good because when Harry goes to school for the second year he finds out that the chamber of secrets is opened. There are a lot of mysterious killings. There are also a lot of people being paralyzed from the monster. Harry finds a journal from somebody named Tom Riddle. He finds out that it was slipped into someone&rsquo;s pocket. That&rsquo;s my summery for Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    I LOVE THE WHOLE HARRY POTTER SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BESTBESTBESTBEST SERIES EVER!!!!!!(well, so is The Hunger Games and Twilight!)

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    Beautiful, LOVeLY edition

    This is an amazing edition of Harry Potter. Beautifully bound in leather, it feels wonderful to the touch and mind. To any people who have'nt read Harry Potter, you're missing out a lot! I deeply recommend this. Although the price is quite shocking!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Message to my readers

    Dear fellow potterheads,
    I hope you had enjoy my harry potter series. To the people who dont like them, well its alright. BECAUSE I DONT CARE GUYS HARRY POTTER RULES!!!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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