This chapter is a much longer version of a small scene in the movie. I think the information in the chapter is conveyed well, and the details that are missing don’t make the story suffer in any way.
Harry spent a lot of time over the next few days dodging out of sight whenever he saw Gilderoy Lockhart coming down a corridor. Harder to avoid was Colin Creevey, who seemed to have memorized Harry’s schedule. Nothing seemed to give Colin a bigger thrill than to say, “All right, Harry?” six or seven times a day and hear, “Hello, Colin,” back, however exasperated Harry sounded when he said it.
I think that in the films we miss how exasperating the attention Harry is receiving from both Lockhart and Colin Creevey is to Harry. He’s not looking for fame and the fact that it keeps finding him is hard. Harry keeps his humility throughout the stories, and it’s how other people are reacting to him that’s the problem.
So with one thing and another, Harry was quite glad to reach the weekend. He, Ron, and Hermione were planning to visit Hagrid on Saturday morning. Harry, however, was shaken awake several hours earlier than he would have liked by Oliver Wood, Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
We don’t get much about this Quidditch practice in the film, except that at the end, the Gryffindor team is confronted on the field by the Slytherin team. There are five pages devoted to Quidditch before that happens. Some of it is a way to explain what Quidditch is again; by having Harry explain it to Colin. The rest is emphasizing how awful it is to be dragged out of bed for Quidditch practice at the crack of dawn.
They had been in the locker room so long that the sun was up completely now, although remnants of mist hung over the grass in the stadium. As Harry walked onto the field, he saw Ron and Hermione sitting in the stands.
“Aren’t you finished yet?” called Ron incredulously.
“Haven’t even started,” said Harry, looking jealously at the toast and marmalade Ron and Hermione had brought out of the Great Hall. “Wood’s been teaching us new moves.”
Wood comes off as very competitive when it comes to Quidditch. When he spots Colin in the stands taking pictures, he’s concerned.
“What’s going on?” said Wood, frowning, as he skimmed through the air toward them. “Why’s that first year taking pictures? I don’t like it. He could be a Slytherin spy, trying to find out about our new training program.”
“He’s in Gryffindor,” said Harry quickly
Harry may not be crazy about Colin following him around, snapping pictures, but he’s not about to let him hang, either.
The exchange is somewhat ironic since it’s right then that the Slytherin team makes their appearance.
“But I booked the field!” said Wood, positively spitting with rage. “I booked it!”
“Ah,” said Flint. “But I’ve got a specially signed note here from Professor Snape. ‘I, Professor S. Snape, give the Slytherin team permission to practice today on the Quidditch field owing to the need to train their new Seeker’. ”
The scene in the book is nearly identical to the film. Draco Malfoy appears as the Seeker, and the Slytherin team flashes the new brooms Lucius Malfoy bought them. They trade barbs until Ron and Hermoine join them on the field and Hermoine manages to deliver a real zinger to Draco.
“At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in,” said Hermione sharply. “They got in on pure talent.”
The smug look on Malfoy’s face flickered.
“No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood,” he spat.
Harry knew at once that Malfoy had said something really bad because there was an instant uproar at his words. Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, “How dare you!” and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, “You’ll pay for that one, Malfoy!” and pointed it furiously under Flint’s arm at Malfoys face.
Ron’s misfiring wand misfires and, as we saw in the film, he ends up spitting up slugs. The Slytherin team is falling over laughing, and Colin Creevey wants a picture. Harry and Hermoine decide the best place for Ron is at Hagrid’s.
They were within twenty feet of Hagrid’s house when the front door opened, but it wasn’t Hagrid who emerged. Gilderoy Lockhart, wearing robes of palest mauve today, came striding out.
This is missing from the film. We don’t see Lockhart interact with Hagrid, the same way we didn’t see him interacting with Professor Sprout. The young wizards hide from Lockhart (Hermoine is a bit reluctant). They hide until Lockhart
“Bin wonderin’ when you’d come ter see me — come in, come in — thought you mighta bin Professor Lockhart back again —”
The film is missing these interactions between Lockhart and the other teachers, making it clear that they don’t believe he’s the great wizard he thinks he is.
“I don’t think there’s anything to do except wait for it to stop,” said Hermione anxiously, watching Ron bend over the basin. “That’s a difficult curse to work at the best of times, but with a broken wand —”
This part of the scene is picked up well in the film, but there are a few things that come up during their time in Hagrid’s hut that is a little different.
It was most unlike Hagrid to criticize a Hogwarts’ teacher, and Harry looked at him in surprise. Hermione, however, said in a voice somewhat higher than usual, “I think you’re being a bit unfair. Professor Dumbledore obviously thought he was the best man for the job —”
“He was the on’y man for the job,” said Hagrid, offering them a plate of treacle fudge, while Ron coughed squelchily into his basin. “An’ I mean the on’y one. Gettin’ very difficult ter find anyone fer the Dark Arts job. People aren’t too keen ter take it on, see. They’re startin’ ter think it’s jinxed. No one’s lasted long fer a while now. So tell me,” said
Hagrid, jerking his head at Ron. “Who was he tryin’ ter curse?”
A-ha! There’s the answer to why Lockhart was given the position at Hogwarts. And it’s Ron who explains what the term “mudblood” means, not Hermoine.
“It’s a disgusting thing to call someone,” said Ron, wiping his sweaty brow with a shaking hand. “Dirty blood, see. Common blood. It’s ridiculous. Most wizards these days are half-blood anyway. If we hadn’t married Muggles we’d’ve died out.”
Ron came to Hermoine’s defense here. It’s really the start of their romance, although neither of them sees it.
Hagrid jokes with Harry about giving out autographed photos, but Harry initially takes it the wrong way. When he realized Hagrid is joking, he relaxes. Hagrid then takes them out to his garden to see the very large pumpkins he’s been growing.
Harry noticed Hagrid’s flowery pink umbrella leaning against the back wall of the cabin. Harry had had reason to believe before now that this umbrella was not all it looked; in fact, he had the strong impression that Hagrid’s old school wand was concealed inside it. Hagrid wasn’t supposed to use magic. He had been expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, but Harry had never found out why — any mention of the matter and Hagrid would clear his throat loudly and become mysteriously deaf until the subject was changed.
By the end of this book, we will know….
They head back to the Castle for lunch. Professor McGonagall stops them before they can get to the Great Hall. She tells Harry and Ron that they will be serving their detention that evening.
“You will be polishing the silver in the trophy room with Mr. Filch,” said Professor McGonagall. “And no magic, Weasley — elbow grease.”
Ron gulped. Argus Filch, the caretaker, was loathed by every student in the school.
“And you, Potter, will be helping Professor Lockhart answer his fan mail,” said Professor McGonagall.
Harry would prefer to polish the silver.
Shining brightly on the walls by the light of many candles were countless framed photographs of Lockhart. He had even signed a few of them. Another large pile lay on his desk.
“You can address the envelopes!” Lockhart told Harry, as though this was a huge treat.
Harry is there for a long time, his hands cramping as Lockhart makes comments about the people he’s writing to and gives Harry advice about fame.
And then he heard something — something quite apart from the spitting of the dying candles and Lockhart’s prattle about his fans.
It was a voice, a voice to chill the bone marrow, a voice of breathtaking, ice-cold venom.
“Come… come to me… Let me rip you.. .Let me tear you.. .Let me kill you…”
Harry jumps and asks Lockhart about the voice, not realizing he was the only one who heard it. Realizing it’s very late, Lockhart dismisses Harry. Most of his fellow Gryffindors are asleep, but Ron hasn’t gotten back from his detention yet. Harry waits up for him, then tells Ron about the voice.
“And Lockhart said he couldn’t hear it?” said Ron. Harry could see him frowning in the moonlight. “D’you think he was lying? But I don’t get it — even someone invisible would’ve had to open the door.”
“I know,” said Harry, lying back in his four-poster and staring at the canopy above him. “I don’t get it either.”
The details missing from this chapter in the film really don’t take much away from the overall story, but they do add richness to the books. It’s these details that make reading the books important, but I have to say that, overall, the film captures the magical world and the story pretty well.
Previous chapter (link): Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Chapter 6: Gilderoy Lockhart
Next chapter (link): Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Chapter 8: The Deathday Party