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Chapter 2-8 The Deathday Party

  • October arrives and there is a spate of colds among the staff and students. Madam Pomfrey has a Pepperup Potion to deal with it. Squelching along the deserted corridors one day Harry encounters Nearly Headless Nick, the ghost of Gryffindor Tower. He looks troubled. He's disappointed because he was not allowed to enter the Headless Hunt, an event a group of ghosts participate in who have been completely decapatated. In their letter they say that to be allowed to join, "one's head needs to be completely parted with their body", which Nearly Headless Nick's is not. "Otherwise it would be impossible for other members to participate in hunt activities as Horseback Head Juggling and Head Polo". The note is signed by Sir Patrick Delaney-Podmore.
  • At the end of his conversation with Nearly Headless Nick, Filch burst in the corridor and takes him to his office for dripping mud from his shoes all over the castle. While Filch is thinking about an appropriate punishment for Harry, there's a loud bang and he speeds upstairs to catch Peeves, presumed guilty of this mischief.
  • Harry sees a purple envelope on Filch's desk. On it, he reads the words "Kwikspell, A Correspondence Course in Beginners' Magic". Intrigued, he opens it and reads the parchment. It is a beginner's course in magic with comments from those who have taken the course. Some of these read: Madam Z. Nettes of Topsham who used to be really poor in doing magic; now "her friends even beg her for the recipe of her Scintillation Solution" ...Warlock D. J. Prod from Didsbury improved his spells drastically with the course. Filch gets back to his office, and seeing the envelope in a different place, angrily sends Harry away, bewildered, without punishment.
  • Afterwards he finds out that Nearly Headless Nick persuaded Peeves to make the noise Filch heard to create a diversion for Harry. He asks Harry to come to his five hundredth Deathday Party on Halloween, together with Ron and Hermione.
  • Ron and Hermione hear about the invitation in the common room where Fred and George are trying to find out what would happen if you feed a Filibuster Firework to a salamander, which they "rescued" from a Care of Magical Creatures class.
  • On Halloween they go to the party. The room is filled with ghosts; among which them Fat Friar, the Hufflepuff ghost, the Bloody Baron, the Slytherin Ghost, Moaning Myrtle and Peeves. Peeves tells Moaning Myrtle some unkind things Hermione said about her and she bursts into one of her usual sobs and flees from the dungeon. The trio lie to Nearly Headless Nick that they are having a great time. Nick is proud of himself, telling them the Wailing Widow came all the way from Kent. A group of Head Polo playing ghosts on horses gallop into the room, Sir Patrick at the front.
  • They decide to leave and suddenly Harry hears the voice again he heard in Lockhart's office saying "... rip ... tear ... kill ..." and "... so hungry ... for so long ..." and ".. kill ... time to kill ...". They follow the voice and Harry hears it say "... I smell blood ... I SMELL BLOOD!". Then suddenly they see written on the wall "THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED, ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE." Underneath the sighn, hanging on a tornch bracket by her tail, is Mrs. Norris. Before they can get away from the place the corridor is crowded with students, trying to see what has happened.
reviewed and edited by Judy Nathanson

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