This is a passage from my Harry Potter Medicinal Re-Read Chamber of Secrets post, written about Chapters 14-15. Click through at the bottom to read the rest of the post (and to join in on our re-read!).
CHAPTER 15: ARAGOG
[Archivist's note: From the diary of Ronald Bilius Weasley, excerpted May 24, 1992 and May 25, 1992. The full diary can be found in the Museum of Magical History along with a number of other artifacts surrounding the opening of the Chamber of Secrets and the events leading up to the Second Wizarding War. Used with permission.]
As if last week wasn’t bad enough . . . Madam Pomfrey still isn’t letting us in to visit Hermione, and everyone is seriously scared by everything that’s been going on, and they’re talking about closing the school . . . not that I would mind missing out on classes and exams and things, but still. I think I would miss the old place if I couldn’t be here anymore.
Anyway, bad stuff. All over. And on top of all that I have to listen to people like Malfoy mouthing off and bragging about his stupid dad getting rid of Dumbledore, the evil little git. This morning in Potions, I actually wanted to kill him. He was sucking up to Snape like he always does, going on about how Oh, Professor Snape, I’m suuuure if you wanted to run for Headmaster, you’d have my father’s support and kissy kissy smoochy smooch can I have good marks on this potion? That’s bad enough, really, but then he had to go off about Muggleborns, spouting off his stupid ideas and using that word, you know. And I was so good! I was so mad, but I held it in and didn’t punch him in the ear like I wanted. But then he had to go off and say the he bet the next M—— would die, and ‘pity it wasn’t Granger’. I think I must have blacked out from rage because all I remember is that next thing Harry was holding me down. I honestly wanted to kill him, I was so angry. Never been that angry before, it was a bit scary actually . . .
Stuff like that’s been happening all over the place, people saying things they have no idea about. Ernie Macmillan finally apologized to Harry in Herbology today. He’s all right, I guess, but he was off about Malfoy being the Heir of Slytherin, as if we hadn’t figured that right from the beginning and it was the most brilliant idea ever. And Lockhart, the idiot, mouthing off about how he thinks we’re all safe now Hagrid’s locked up in Azkaban. Harry had to kick me before I blurted out that we knew exactly what was going on, and even the Minister of Magic doesn’t think Hagrid is guilty.
That’s the other thing. It was kind of an important day, I guess. Harry passed me a note right after the thing with Lockhart. It just said “Let’s do it tonight,” and I gulped a little and looked over at Hermione’s chair . . . it’s time. We’re going to do it, and she’s going to get better and things will get back to normal and the school won’t close. All we have to do is follow the spiders.
The spiders, the spiders, the spiders. THE SPIDERS.
I’ve been sort of half-heartedly helping Harry look for them after Hagrid told us to follow them, but I wasn’t in a hurry about it. Harry spotted them right after Ernie apologized (and don’t think Ernie wasn’t interested in why we were so excited about spiders . . . honestly this place is weird and I’m weird when weird stuff happens, and everyone probably thinks Harry and I are mad all the time). I am glad everyone’s laid off Harry though, poor bloke. He really took it sort of personally every time someone thought he was a murderer.
So they’re headed . . . into the Forbidden Forest. We have to go into the Forbidden Forest. Tonight. I’ve never been in there, and I can’t say I’d really like to go now, especially because of THE SPIDERS. But Hermione. And Hogwarts. And Harry’s going, so I’m going, too.
[Archivist's note, about this copy: There is a break in the page here, there are no dates in the diary. It is easily assumed Mr. Weasley wrote the above portion on the afternoon of May 24, before his and Mr. Potter's sojourn into the Forest, and the following excerpt the next morning, by his own words, in his History of Magic class. Archivist will refrain from making snide comments on the teaching style of Professor Binns, who is still at Hogwarts as of this writing.]
I can’t believe I’m actually sitting here writing this. I can’t believe I’m not dead. Why am I not dead? Forget what I said about Malfoy yesterday. First I’m going to kill Hagrid. And I’m never going into the Forbidden Forest again. Ever.
We met the spiders.
It’s weird to sit here now and think about last night because it feels really far away somehow. (I’m in History of Magic, pretending to take notes. Most of this diary has been written in History of Magic, come to think of it . . . I also get most of my best thinking and daydreaming done here as well. Also, napping. Great naps to be found in History of Magic. Highly recommended. I should probably ACTUALLY be taking notes right now because Hermione’s not here, and we usually just copy off hers afterwards. Right, Hermione . . . I really wish last night would have gotten us somewhere, but Hermione’s still in the hospital wing . . .)
So last night. It took Harry and I FOREVER to leave the common room. Fred, George, and Ginny just wouldn’t leave. F&G kept roping us in to games of Exploding Snap, and Ginny just sat there looking worried or tired or something. I dunno. All this excitement is hard on the first years, I think. I should write Mum about her . . . ) I was kind of glad for the diversion, honestly. Wasn’t looking forward to going into the forest. Even after they went to bed and Harry and I snuck out again under his dad’s old cloak, I kept hoping once we found the spiders, they’d lead us somewhere else. Anywhere else.
Harry lit his wand so we could see (mine’s still useless, of course — it would probably have blown us up if I’d tried anything). A funny thing happened once we stepped into the forest, though (at least, until the THING happened). My fear sort of evaporated? Like thinking about going in was worse than actually going in. When the spiders led us off the path, I was the one who had to push Harry in, but I think we’re even, really, after what came next. After we found my dad’s car, that is. It was running wild in the forest all this time! I thought it was just a car all this time, but last night proves that my dad’s probably a better wizard than I thought. It’s been wandering around the forest for fun, I think, and it saved us after . . . well . . .
We found the monster Hagrid was keeping in the castle fifty years ago. We definitely found it.
I don’t actually remember much from the time we found the car until it deposited us back on the grounds proper. It’s all sort a confusing blur. But I do remember the terror. The mind-numbing, paralyzing terror.
The thing — Aragog — had his family pick us up and carry us to him. Harry talked to it, and I was completely useless.
Sorry, having flashbacks now, but I want to get this down. I remember something about a dead girl in a bathroom, and Hagrid being best friends with the spider, and the spider telling its family to EAT US, but that’s really about it until I was throwing up in Hagrid’s pumpkin patch (and he deserves it). Most of all I remember its size, and those pincers clacking and clacking . . .
Anyway, Harry had to explain what we’d learned in there after he’d calmed me down (and I’d vomited in the pumpkins some more, and maybe called Hagrid some bad names). I was able to get the gist of it, that Hagrid is innocent, and that he didn’t open the Chamber of Secrets. And that — and this is the scary part — that THING in the woods is NOT the monster, but something WORSE. And it’s still on the loose. And Harry wants to go looking for it. Why I’m friends with him, I don’t know. I guess he is pretty fun, though.
Oh! And the REALLY crazy part! I think we might be about to figure out what’s going on. Just as I was falling asleep Harry yelled off something about the girl the monster murdered never leaving the bathroom, and it’s Moaning Myrtle. We’re going down there to try and talk to her just as soon as we can slip away from the teachers (and good luck with that).
[Archivist's note: entry ends here and does not pick up until two months later, well after the events surrounding the opening of the Chamber of Secrets had concluded, and thus does not suit our purpose here. For further insight into Mr. Potter's younger years (and Granger and Weasley, as well), however, they are fascinating and I highly recommend them.]
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