Dobby’s Reward

chapter eighteen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry explains the Chamber of Secrets and his meeting Tom Riddle, and after a chat with Dumbledore, Lucius Malfoy storms in. Harry and Dumbledore both manage to outrage him, though, and Harry manages to free Dobby. Hogwarts then celebrates the closing of the Chamber and the students head home for the summer.
 

Ginny Tom, by Leela Starsky

“What interests me most,” said Dumbledore gently, “is how Lord Voldemort managed to enchant Ginny, when my sources tell me he is currently in hiding in the forests of Albania.”


 

A Very Secret Diary, by Ani Bester

“His d-diary!” Ginny sobbed. “I’ve b-been writing in it, and he’s been w-writing back all year-“


 

Dumbly, by Amanda Grazini

“There has been no lasting harm done, Ginny.”


 

Lucius Malfoy, by Laurence Peguy

“So!” he said, “You’ve come back. The governors suspended you, but you still saw fit to return to Hogwarts.”


 

Dobby, by deeterhi

The elf was doing something very odd. His great eyes fixed meaningfully on Harry, he kept pointing at the diary, then at Mr. Malfoy, and then hitting himself hard on the head with his fist.


 

by Laura Freeman

“You’ll meet the same sticky end as your parents one of these days, Harry Potter,” he said softly. “They were meddlesome fools, too.”


 

Dobby is Free, by Jess Paul

“Got a sock,” said Dobby in disbelief. “Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free”.


 

about the chapter

 

So Dobby belongs to the Malfoys. Once we know this for sure, the question then becomes – what exactly did he know? What was the plot he tried to warn Harry of?

I think it’s most likely he was able to hang around Harry all summer, stopping his mail, because the Malfoys ordered him to be there. Why would he be ordered to be at Privet Drive? To keep an eye on Harry, of course, and find out when he would be going to Diagon Alley. When Harry meets the Malfoys at Borgin & Burkes, Lucius says he has “important business to attend to elsewhere.” The next we see him, it’s at the bookstore, conveniently running into Harry and the Weasleys.

So what was the plot? Dumbledore will tell us later that Lucius thought the diary would open the Chamber of Secrets, and possibly kill Muggle-borns. It’s virtually certain that he would have wanted Harry to appear the culprit, and perhaps get himself killed the way Ginny almost did. He didn’t know what the diary truly was – Dumbledore will tell us that, too – but he knew it would be bad news for Harry if he had it. That’s the plot Dobby overheard, and tried to warn Harry about.

So why did Lucius’s plan go awry, and Ginny end up with the diary instead? Two things happened in Borgin & Burkes that could have done this: first, Lucius got so angry at the Weasleys that he decided in the heat of his anger to give Ginny the diary instead; or the other possibility (which is a lot slicker) is that he saw Harry drop his Lockhart books in Ginny’s cauldron, not realizing that he was giving them to her and planning to buy another set for himself. Either way, his gall never ceases to amaze me.
 

The Wizarding World

It’s interesting that all Lucius has to do to free Dobby is inadvertently throw him a sock. Couldn’t Dobby have positioned himself in the clothes hamper or something if he’d wanted to be freed earlier? But surely it’s also true that house-elves do their masters’ laundry. So there must be some kind of magical contract or understanding that this isn’t enough to free a house-elf. Clearly, this is something that had to be a bit murky in the book in order for Harry to be the one who frees Dobby.
 

The Boy Who Lived

Harry is pretty scared of his similarities to Tom Riddle, clearly worrying that he may end up down the same path. But in the end, those similarities – and his very fear of them – may be one of the things that keep Harry on the straight and narrow. Now that he’s met Riddle, he’s seen another boy very much like himself turn into a monster – and he’s experienced firsthand the way that that monster affected the world. It gives him an inkling of just how much power one person can have in the wizarding world, and he’s making a very deliberate choice to use that power for good, and for the protection of those he loves, long before Dumbledore or anybody else is involved.
 

The Final Word

“Key things happen in book two. No one knows how important those things are… yet. There’s a lot in there. And I know how difficult it was to get it all in there without drawing too much attention to the clues.”–J.K. Rowling, November 2002
 


38 Responses to “Dobby’s Reward”

  1. wow… I had never linked Dobby’s appearance at the Durseley’s to the fact that Malfoy needed a spy to find out when he could give the diary… If he had really succedeed, we would’ve had a posessed Harry way earlier in the series. Although, can Harry really be posessed by another Horcrux, when he’s already one himself? (not that Malfoy would have known this, but still, hypothetically)
    I always wondered about House-elves doing laundry too… maybe it has to be a piece of clothing not worn by the family themselves, but directly giving it to the elf.
    Anyway, I can’t wait for the art of the third book!

  2. Unfortunately this doesn’t have a lot to do with your comments, it was just something I was thinking while reading the summary. What I love about Harry Potter–okay, one thing that I love about Harry Potter–is that the children are never written condescendingly. The thing about it is that even though many of the people reading these books are NOT Harry’s age, he’s written so that you still identify with him. Some books have a tendency to show kids as overly naive, and to show their problems as trivial compared to the problems of adults or older kids. But Jo does a really good job of showing them as real people; like Ginny. If you think about it she’s being kind of silly, with the valentine and looking for security in a diary and acting so skittish, but she’s not portrayed that way. I think that’s why HP appeals to such a large range.
    I liked that quote, because truthfully COS is my least favorite book…but it’s still pretty important to the plot, more than I realized.
    I’m exited for POA!

  3. For some reason I always thought Malfoy gave Ginny the diary to bring shame on the Weasleys. Wouldn’t it be horrible to have the daughter of a muggle-loving person to be found killing muggle borns? Arthur would probably lose his job and their reputation would be ruined.
    I think that Dumbledore protected Ginny(and the entire Weasley family reputation) by asking how Voldy enchanted Ginny. He makes it seem she did it involuntarily, while Malfoy would want to make it seem as if she did it on purpose.
    Just a thought. I can’t wait to start PoA!!

  4. Alyssa – it’s certainly possible that Lucius gave Ginny the diary intentionally, either in the heat of the moment (because he was so angry at Arthur) or that it was planned that way all along. The main reason I think it was intended for Harry is Dobby’s warning to Harry – if the bad things weren’t intended for Harry, then why is Dobby warning Harry in particular? Or more specifically, what is he warning him from? He describes a “horrible plot” at Hogwarts, and implies Harry’s involved somehow. That’s my reasoning, but it’s certainly far from certain and open to interpretation. :)

  5. Great new picture by Jess Paul!

    I always interpreted Lucius’ reasons for giving the diary to Ginny the same way Alyssa does/did. And as to Dobby warning Harry: I thought he didn’t want anything to happen to Harry, didn’t want him to be attacked by the beast (maybe Dobby didn’t know about it only attacking muggle borns). However, Josies thoughts make sense, too. It’s a very interesting other take on things.

  6. Huge “Thank You” to Jess Paul for permission to use the Dobby picture. It absolutely captures the moment.

  7. Lucius is a death-eater and he thought, that Harry would be a great dark wizard, like most of his kind. He anyway just wanted to through the diary away to leave no trails. Probably he noticed, that Harry wasn’t the new führer so he gave it to the people, he hates so much.
    I guess Dobby is not a normal houseelf, cause houseelves don’t want to be free. He does and I guess, that’s why he was waiting for an coincident like that. Other houseelves like to serve and obviously the laundry was not given directly by the master. It was just lying around. And they also had to give it back, so laundry doesn’t count, except your name is Dobby.

  8. Rika makes a good point in that Dobby is NOT a typical house-elf. We know what a typical house elf is only through contrast with Winky and Hagrid’s characterization of them as a species. Dobby does not live to serve his master, unlike the rest, who appear to be willing slaves. This makes SPEW an epic failure as we see later.

  9. Artur was working on a muggle protection law an Lucius wanted to mess things up by giving Ginny the diary. What’s scary is the diary was meant as a weapon of sorts as well as a horcrux

  10. I think that Josie is right when he says that the diary is intended for Harry.
    But I do have a question about Privet Drive. I know elves have a special kind of magic, but this place it’s supposed to be very well guarded, did nobody detect the presence of another magical creature in the neighbourhood? And, probably this is easier to answer since Lucius has many “friends” in the Ministery, does everybody knows where Harry lives? Or is it because of that kind of magic that house elves have that Dobby was able to find Harry?

  11. Something that always bothers me when Mr & Mrs Weasley appear in this chapter is that we never see the parents of the petrified students come to visit their stricken children at Hogwarts. Perhaps visits do happen in some “off-camera” moments, but since it’s never mentioned, it makes me wonder if Dumbledore ever tells the parents of the Muggle-born victims what was truly happening with their children. Surely, the headmaster would have given them some information… for example, I’m sure Colin and Justin’s parents would have missed them not being home for Christmas. Obviously, Dumbledore could have just explained to the Muggle parents that there was no need to worry because it was just a matter of time before the mandrake plants would mature and a potion would be made to restore their petrified children. On the other hand, considering all the things the Ministry of Magic covers up, it might just have been easier to dispatch someone to perform some temporary memory charms on the parents so they might forget about their children for the time being.

    This opens up a bunch of questions though about Muggle families who have magical children. I wonder if Hogwarts would have remained open all year if the children of magical parents had been petrified. Surely Muggle parents have little influence on the board of governors. The only Muggle parents we ever hear about actually coming to Hogwarts are Moaning Myrtle’s parents, who (as Tom Riddle tells Hagrid in the diary scene) were coming to the school the day after she died.

    Of course, maybe that’s the difference here. We don’t see many parents ever come to Hogwarts. Going back to the Weasleys in this chapter, they come because they believe their daughter is probably already dead within the Chamber of Secrets. Still, the parents in this book (Wizards and Muggles) seem to be a trusting lot overall considering all that we know goes on at this school!

  12. I do not think that the diary was intended for Harry, for Lucius knows perfectly well in whose book he put the diary, remarking that the shabby state of Ginny’s book suggests that Arthur is not paid well for “disgracing the name of wizard”. Dumbledore seems to think the same thing when he says far later in the series that Lucius hoped to incriminate the Weasley family and get rid of an incriminating magical object in one fell swoop when he gave the diary to Ginny.

    Though I’d like to commend the author of this article (and of the essay “What Did Dobby Know?”) for having come up with such good explanations of Dobby’s atypical behavior, I think it unlikely that Jo Rowling would have told us nothing anything about this subplot, and more likely that Dobby is “less enslaved” than other house elves, simply because he wants to be set free. House elves like Kreacher and Winky, however much they might dislike the orders they are given (or whose giving them, in Kreacher’s case), still feel proud in serving their masters’ families.

  13. I agree with Mathew to an extent. Didn’t Lycious give Ginny the transformation book saying ” if that’s all your father can give you”. I do believe that maybe the original plan was to give it to Harry (which would explain Dobby) but inthe heat of the moment, and thinking he cold destroy the muggle protections act, he decided to change the plan and give the diary to ginny.

  14. I think his plan was always to give it to Ginny. But Dobby heard the plan and knew it would involve Voldemort. If Voldemort around Harry is in danger. So, Dobby then goes to find loopholes in his orders to try to keep Harry from coming back. Which obviously don’t work. but that just my 3 cent on the issue.

  15. What does Lucius Malfoy work as from this point onwards? Maybe he has enough gold to live off to not need to work.

  16. Dobby couldn’t have been at Privet Drive to find out when Harry was going to go to Diagon Alley because Harry didn’t get his letter with the list of supplies until he was already at The Burrow, and why would he go to Diagon Alley until he knows what he’s going to buy? If Lucius was going to have Dobby find out such information he would surely simply wait until Draco received his letter and THEN send Dobby. Lucius might have been hanging around Diagon Alley since the letters arrived (which I think was only a few days) waiting for them to appear. Or he might have heard that Mr Weasley wasn’t at work, it was a Wednesday after all. But I think it was his plan all along to give it to Ginny, for the reasons Dumbledore said.

    With the Dobby thing, I think house elves just have more ability to disobey their masters than wizards would believe, and the main thing keeping most elves from doing so is their brain-washed subserviance. It makes you wonder if elves are even bewitched to follow orders at all, or if Dobby’s punishing himself is psychological. After all, it continues even after he’s freed and I don’t think it’s ever explicitly stated that they are magically forced to obey.

    Love this book. I think it’s under rated. There are so many little things that I love, lines that jump out at me while reading, minor details that add richness. And it does after all contain the moment that Dumbledore finds out that Voldemort has horcruxes, and so would have been when he started formulating his plan. From that moment in McGonagall’s office onwards Harry is being driven inevitably towards the final conclusion.

  17. Actually, scratch that last bit about Dobby – I just remembered him having to obey Harry’s order to shut up in HBP, and Regulus’s order to return. But house elves probably still do have more power to resist than wizards think. Just like a person can fight the Imperius Curse.

  18. Sorry for a third post, I meant I just remembered KREACHER having to obey Harry’s order to shut up.

  19. i love how dumbledore implies he knows lockharts secret when he says ‘impaled by your own sword gilderoy!’ i think earlier on there was discussion as to whether or not DD knew if lockhart was a fraud. i think he did all along. i mean, how could he not? if DD could see through harry and riddle and the things they were doing, i’m sure he could have seen immediately that gilderoy didn’t possess any of the qualities of defender of Dark Magic. i think DD finds it not only ironic but totally laughable that lockharts memory charm totally backfired on himself.

  20. I always thought it was strange that the victims of the basilisk were kept at Hogwarts. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to send them to St. Mungo’s? Surely they have stores of the mandrake remedy?

  21. Something that has always bothered me with this book is the fact that four students miss at least a few weeks worth of classes. Especially for Colin and Justin who are still young students learning the basics. How were they able to move onto the next grade without having some serious catching up to do. And what about the exams for the fifth and seventh years? Don’t they HAVE to take their O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. exams? And in that case isn’t Penelope kinda screwed seeing as she’s a fifth year? This always really bothered me, probably because I’m a huge nerd and taking the exams and their studying was particularly stressful to read about in these books.

  22. The only question I have is this. This chapter shows Harry giving Lucious the diary. He throws the sock but it never once says he returns the diary, yet later on Dumbledore has the diary. What happened? Or was this just an oops?

  23. andy, I think this was just an oops on J.K.’s part. She may not have thought the diary would be used later on in the series at this point.

  24. I agree with Soraya. I think the initial plan was to have the diary be given to Harry in Diagon Alley (elizabethauthor, Lucius could have just told Dobby to keep an eye on him at the beginning of the summer to find out when he was going to the Burrow, since Draco could have overheard Ron inviting him in PS, and assumed they’d be going to Diagon Alley together), but then after the fight with Arthur, Lucius made a split-decision to give it to Ginny in the heat of the moment to get back at him.

    Kayno, I loved that too! When I read that part in this chapter, I laughed so hard, and realized Dumbledore must have known about Lockhart the whole time! I think all of the teachers did, but what could they do? He was the only one willing to take the job! That’s why they jumped on the chance to get rid of him in the chapter The Chamber Of Secrets.

    Andy, I also think this was an oops, like Ari said. JKR likes to boast that she had all of the books planned out early on, but I think she merely had more of an outline. An idea about Horcruxes if you will, and didn’t realize that she was going to write the diary in as one of those Horcruxes. Or she just didn’t know she was going to write Dumbledore as having the diary later on. Maybe she had an idea that Lucius would try to repair it and use it again? Of course, by now we know that’s impossible with a Horcrux, but she could have thought she might make it possible later on, and never used the idea. Just a thought.

  25. andy, Ari and Casey – Dumbledore doesn’t have the diary later on, does he? In chapter 23 of HBP, he and Harry discuss the diary, and Dumbledore explains to Harry that it was a Horcrux. But I don’t believe there’s anything in the chapter to suggest that the diary is there in front of them. That’s a detail the filmmakers put in.

  26. @Bille your right. Near the end of chapter 18 of the chamber of secrets it says:

    “Mr. Malfoy ripped the sock off the diary, threw it aside, then looked furiously from the ruined book to Harry.”

    Thus showing that Mr. Malfoy kept the book.

  27. Billie, you are correct. I completely forgot that Dumbledore doesn’t actually take out the diary in HBP. Too many times watching the movie on my part, I guess xP

  28. I know this site almost two years now, and I just found the time to scan all three first books and the beginning of book four. Until now I had only seen scattered chapters… I noticed something that should be mentioned on this one:
    “You can speak Parseltongue, Harry,” said Dumbledore calmly, “because Lord Voldemort – who is the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin – can speak Parseltongue.”
    I think this has been corrected on recent editions: should be “descendant”, not “ancestor”. I read somewhere that JKR said that you should keep those editions, you never know if this error might be valuable in the future :)

  29. Jose Lopes, you’re right that that was corrected in later editions. As far as the book having value, though, depends a lot on which printing you have. The UK first edition only had 10,000 printed, so one in pristine condition is fairly valuable. The US first edition, meanwhile, had 250,000 printed, so no error is ever going to make them the slightest bit valuable.

  30. Ari, that point bothers me too, but you can attribute it to the British school system. It’s almost unheard-of to hold a student back a year, no matter how little he learns. The annual exams are really just progress checks: there is no actual consequence for failing them. Only if a student fails his G.C.S.E.s (O.W.L.s) is there any talk of his repeating a year.

  31. Ari, that bothers me too, but I’ve always attributed it to the British school system. We almost never make a student repeat a year, no matter how little he has learned. We just push him forward, hope he learns something and then let him leave school at 16 if he’s obviously not suited to those last two years. There isn’t any real concept of “failing” a year. The annual exams (which not all schools have) are just progress checks: there is no actual consequence for performing badly unless you fail your GCSEs (OWLs).

  32. Harry asks Dobby to promise never to try to save his life again – what a good thing Dobby doesn’t promise that!

  33. Two things to remember.

    1. This passage between Dumbledore and Harry:

    Dumblebore: Unless I’m much mistaken, he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar. Not something he intended to do I’m sure….

    Harry: Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?

    Dumbledore: It certainly seems so.

    2. It is mentioned that Harry was getting good ay disarming.

  34. After reading this chapter again I’m starting to disagree with you Josie on your views on Dobby. I think the diary was always intended for Ginny. Malfoy and Arthur seem to know each other from work so I can see Malfoy wanting to discredit him. I think Dobby just overheard the plan and wanted to protect Harry since he had defeated Voldy the first time which made life better for many house elves. Dobby has heard of how great a wizard Harry Potter must be (even before he started school) and thought that he would be the one to warn in order to prevent Voldy from gaining power again. Although there are many times where everything isn’t explained in the books I don’t think this is one of them.

  35. Re: Dobby: Great insights (as always), Josie! I like the idea of why Dobby was being sent to Privet Drive, but I’m a little torn reading the comments… I also think maybe the Malfoys don’t think so much about their servants, much less keeping an eye on them all the time. Just like Voldemort, they underrestimate their servants. And I can just imagine there being human servants at their mansion as well, not only Dobby. I don’t know – to be fair they are only three people in the family, but would one house elf be enough if they were throwing huge dinner parties and such? I think Dobby could sneak off, and return immidiatley when he is called, just as he comes to Harry when he calls for him in HBP.

    Otherwise, I find CoS being a pleasant re-read, maybe the nicest in the series, since this book contains so much that is essential to the last books, things we didn’t notice the first time we read it. While PS is more of an introduction, CoS presents so much we will see more of later. Not only the diary or the sword, but also the whole concept of house elfs, a closer look at the prejudices and unfairness in the wizarding world concerning pure-bloods and Muggle-borns, not to mention a few spells that will come in real handy soon. I just think this is the one book in the series that opens up the most to the reader when re-reading it.

  36. Both sides are plausible enough to be considered as the true subplot of this book. Josie’s stance that the diary was originally meant for Harry, as well as the others’ view that it was meant for Ginny, both have justifiable reasons. I guess this will be simply one of those off-cam moments that will be left unanswered (unless Jo gives a thorough explanation someday). ;)

    The prejudice against house-elves still infuriates me. If only Lucius hadn’t looked down on Dobby, he might well have succeeded in his plot of ruining the Weasley reputation. Serves him right, I say.

  37. Thanks for this website! I am enjoying my reread with this site as a companion. My biggest problem with the book is feeling like Muggle born children aren’t adequately explained. What were the parents of the petrified students told? How is the Wizarding world kept a secret if Hermione’s parents even come visit Diagon alley and presumably they need a cover story for all their friends and family while she is away at school… and what of muggle parents who don’t want to beleive their kid is a wizard/witch?

    I personally think Dobby must have thought the plot was for Harry to get the diary. Otherwise why would he go to such lengths to warn a person he’s never met of the impending danger? Later on it makes sense for Dobby to be loyal to Harry, but at the opening of this book they have never met.

    Thanks for the site, it was a really pleasurable read!

  38. This book has always served to be one of my favourites, even as a child when I first read (or watched the film) and I’ll tell you why:

    It opens up the story in a way where it adds backbone to the history inside the walls of who studies and teaches (and slithers through pipes) at Hogwarts. We see these students, particularly the Trio, growing more into their characters — losing their childish way yet still maintaing youthful charm.

    I say this because, aside from Hermione, we really see Harry becoming accepted as a member of family in the Weasley’s Burrow and it sets up the dynamic of how this is the home and family he truly yearns for (which, as we know, he eventually marries into the family…). We get to meet Ginny as a first year, rather than the girl who runs along the Hogwarts Express waving her goodbyes to her brothers. We also have the first stepping stones in concerns with Ginny and Harry — how she’s enamored by him and yet chooses to deflect the crush (not in a hurtful way, but as a young boy who really isn’t *quite* into girls, especially his best friend’s little sister). This plays a big role as it kickstarts their relationship and I say this because of how the story ends and how certain instances lead up to the very end.

    Dobby, being a house-elf unlike many others, has great ambition to feel as if he’s wanted, possibly downright wanting to be loved. Living under the Malfoy manor, he will receive no such adoration, but, without notice upon the arrogance and ignorance of the Malfoys, he first handedly hears and sees the spite the family has towards Muggles, Mudbloods, Pure Bloods who find no wrong in Mudbloods or half-bloods (like the Weaselys), the present staff at Hogwarts, and most importantly, how they have bitter disgust toward Harry Potter.

    Dobby’s intentions were to cease Harry from ever going back to Hogwarts because of what he’s heard within the manor walls — it’s obviously no mistake that there are dark things hidden there, let alone have happened there (concerning the Secret Room hidden under the Drawing Room and how items have been stored in case the Ministry has decided to look, as per Draco’s confession the “Crabbe” and “Goyle”)… and it’s quite obvious that Lucius had possession of the diary and given what we know, he had some inkling that it contained powerful ways of dispatching the most gruesome of events… (it’s no surprise that he was a follower of the Dark Lord).

    I’m more than positive that Dobby has, as per suggested by other comments, found loopholes to make it where Harry would be suppressed from ever going back to the campus. Intercepting letters, blockading walls, even injuring him, was done on his own accord… why? Because he knew of the plans that were to be followed by those wanting to see the Dark Lord reign again and what better way than to jeopardize the one person who essentially disrupted that said reign? Aside from the fact that it was already in the Death Eaters’ best interest to destroy the very one who destroyed their Lord.

    I do believe, however, that it was in Lucius’ initial intention to give the diary to Harry, or at least have the diary be found by Harry (and of course, because of the Trio wanting to find the Heir — in their mind, Draco — what better way to achieve privacy for their rule-breaking potion than to do it where there is perpetually vacancy? Irony plays a large part, considering the very place they brew for months to discover their answers is right under their noses…).

    Although the series boils down to good and evil, I feel as if this book is more centrally focused on the Weasleys (with an addition of Hermione and Harry) versus the Malfoys, and I say this because after Dobby’s initial attempts to imprison Harry (with the help of the Durselys, evidently), Harry is rescued by the Weasely children and thusly spends the rest of his summer with the family. When Lucius hurriedly rushed to Flourish and Blotts, with diary secretly in tow, I am positive he intended to give it to Harry… them being there on the same day really isn’t a surprise, simply because it was very close to the beginning of the year, and aside from him getting his “news from Dobby”, what if he overheard Arthur talking to other coworkers about when he was going to bring his children to Diagon Alley? And what if he heard that Harry Potter was staying with him? What a perfect outlet, considering that Harry, becoming closer to the family, would make it easier to execute his plan and what else an easier target than Ginny, a young, impressionable girl who has no sisters to confide in, but what about a diary?

    Lucius and Tom knew that giving the diary to Ginny would be the perfect excuse, for she can confide in all her secrets (and to imagine the pure bliss for Tom when he began to read her entries, realizing many of them were secrets of her love toward none other than Harry Potter)… and this brings me back the point to the Malfoys versus the Weasleys and for a few reasons.

    To set it all up, we know that the Trio is using the unused bathroom (which is the doorway to the underground) and the resting place for the girl, Myrtle, who died within the stalls. Every girl knows not to go into that lavatory because even in chapter nine, “The Writing on the Wall”, Hermione tells the boys that no one will be in the bathroom when they try to investigate where the water is coming from after discovering Mrs. Norris. Obviously the reason they were trying to concoct this potion was the pinpoint — or receive — answers from Draco about what he knows of the Heir and if it is truly him (Weasely v. Malfoy)… once changed into Crabbe and Goyle, they quickly learn Draco knows nothing about the chamber as per his father’s concern that he will look too suspicious if he knows too much about it (chapter twelve, “The Polyjuice Potion”), although he says his father knows all about it… bingo (additionally, Malfor v. Weasely comes into play), along with the newspaper clipping of Draco excitedly handing “Crabbe” who was really Ron, it over, about how Arthur would be fined for the Muggle car, as per Lucius’ wishes for Arthur’s resignation (another point for Malfoy v. Weasley)…

    So, in summation, Lucius knew of the contents of Tom’s diary. He knew the affects it would have on a young girl, and what other than his least favourite coworkers first year daughter, who happened to have family who was very close with Potter. Knowing that it’d be most essential for the diary to be handed from Ginny to Harry, I’m sure the first place Ginny would think of trying to dispose of the diary was in the vacant restroom, where by the power of the plot, was where the Trio spent most of their time trying to solve answers against Malfoy. Because of Myrtle and her persistence and perhaps openness to Harry, he was able to become involved with the diary, learn of her death, and subsequently being able to ask how Myrtle died — something no one else truly thought of putting two-and-two together, and because of Dobby intercepting the letters and putting Harry in so much trouble (with the letter explaining no magic is to be done outside of Hogwarts for underaged wizards and the Durselys finding out about this very crucial rule), Harry was then caged. Because of this, the Weaselys were able to use that as fuel to try and have answers as to why Harry was silent all summer, thusly rescuing him and giving him a chance to become more a family member and seeing how a magical family lives, and because of that, Harry has opportunities to learn about Floo Powder, discover what Knockturn Alley is about (and to learn who Lucius is and what he feels towards Muggles and of the Weasleys and of his subtle allegiance to the Dark Lord as well as notice that he will be selling items that could embarrass the Malfoy name, considering the Ministry is doing raids on homes again…), to meeting Lockhart and have another moment of awkward fame to actually seeing where the hatred stemmed from in Draco when Arthur and Lucius met in the bookstore… this obviously being a key point, only to reinforce the fact that the two truly have nothing nice to say about each other and for Lucius to secretly give Ginny the diary in ways of disrespecting the Weaselys, and although a fight broke out that would leave him satisfied, knowing that the diary will be closer to Harry, which brings me to when Ginny had the family turn around because she left her diary at the Burrow, amongst other things, causing the family to be late and having a rushed Mrs. Weasley go through the platform to show Ginny her way, leaving Ron and Harry to be stuck because of Dobby sealing the door. Which then gave more reason to fly the car (ultimately causing Ron to break his wand upon landing in the Willow and having the car drive off into the forest… both key elements to the story. Which also leads me to the importance of Lockhart and how is character is incredibly important at the very end, seemingly because Ron and Harry learn to disarm him (because of his insistence at the Dueling Club) and because of Ron’s broken wand, the curse backfires, which is blessing in disguise.

    So, in essence, Lucius knows about the Chamber of Secrets. He knows this, because Draco states he knows “all about it, even if he wasn’t a student at Hogwarts at the time”, meaning that it was without a doubt obvious to give the diary to a young girl, who easily enough turned out to be an impressionable girl (at the time) who was entering her first year at Hogwarts, and was a Weasely (and nothing would satisfy Lucius more than to watch the Weaselys deteriorate and ignorantly considering the fact the very reason why this goes against him is because of his house-elf who sets up very important chains of events that, at the time seem very frustrating to Harry, prove to be very essential.) Lucius knew that Tom would be able to seduce Ginny into assisting with the attacks as well as using her for his advantage (and what better than a Pureblood, but a Pureblood whose family prides themselves with equality for Muggles, something Slytherian would be opposed of). And how ironic, even with their own youthful ignorance the Trio chooses to set up camp in the very place they’re trying to decode, only to have none other than Harry find the diary. This book is one big riddle (har de har har), and as I state before, it really isn’t just about Dumbledore or Snape or McGonagall or Tom Riddle or Voldemort, it’s about the Malfoys and the Weaselys (including Harry and Hermione, who do indeed marry into the Weasely family…). Although many of those within the story are key player, Lucius, Draco, Arthur, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and Harry play the biggest roles, for they set up how this subplot (Weaselys vs. Malfoys) has an important part in the story, and how it gives us a readers a more way of being emotionally connected to the Weasely family, considering we have learned about the war but now we have two Pure Blood families that give us concise examples of how truly the magical world should be.

    I apologize for the length.

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