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Second year

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A second year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their second year of magical education. Second years are typically 12 to 13 years of age unless a student had to repeat the second year. The second year is the first year in which students are allowed to go with the rest of the school in the school carriages pulled by Thestrals up to the castle.

During the second year


Second year students must take Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy and Herbology. Flying lessons are also compulsory.[1]

Students in the second year are allowed to try out for their house Quidditch teams. However, there is one known case where a first year, Harry Potter was allowed to join the house Quidditch team.

Like first years, second years aren't allowed to accompany those in the third year or above to Hogsmeade village for the weekend trips, however, they are allowed to have their own broom inside the school grounds.


Little is known of the average second-year curriculum. However, when Gilderoy Lockhart taught the Defence Against the Dark Arts class, he taught them mainly about himself, after releasing a cage full of pixies into the class and causing utter pandemonium. In Herbology students are generally taken to the more dangerous greenhouses; they learn about Mandrakes, spending most of the class re-potting them so that they can be chopped up and stewed. History of Magic students learn about the International Warlock Convention of 1289; in September of 1289, something happened involving some Sardinian sorcerers. In Transfiguration, students learn beetle to button and rabbits to slippers spells. In Potions class, they learn about the potion to raise the drinker's hair, as well as the potion to make things swell.


Period Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
First Potions


Transfiguration Double Herbology


Defence Against the Dark Arts


Second Herbology


Double Charms Transfiguration




History of Magic
Third Charms


Herbology Double Potions




Fourth Defence Against the Dark Arts


History of Magic Defence Against the Dark Arts




Elective subjects

At the end of the second year, students chose elective subjects for their third year. They must select at least two from Divination, Arithmancy, Study of Ancient Runes, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies.

Harry's second year (1992)

Main article: 1992-1993 school year

On the way to the Hogwarts Express, when Harry and Ron try to go through the barrier to Platform 9¾, the barrier mysteriously seals itself against them. Having lost the train, Harry and Ron thus decide to fly Arthur Weasley's flying Ford Anglia to Hogwarts. They end up getting spotted by many Muggles and crash into the Whomping Willow. Professor Severus Snape attempts to have them expelled, but fails to convince the headmaster, Professor Albus Dumbledore. Still, both boys are given a warning and separate detentions. Ginny, meanwhile, is sorted into Gryffindor.

The next day, Ron receives a Howler from his mother and both Harry and Ron have their first lesson with Gilderoy Lockhart, appointed as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts's teacher. His way of teachings is a complete disaster. Much to Harry's chagrin, he receives constant attention from Lockhart and Colin Creevey, a first year student. Both constantly interact with him on the base of his fame (Colin treats Harry as a celebrity and Lockhart hopes to actually bring him to that state). Harry also faces unwelcome attention from Ginny, albeit in a less intrusive manner.

For his detention, Harry is made to help Lockhart answer his fan mail, while Ron polishes the school's prizes and trophies. During his unpleasant punishment, Harry hears a disembodied, sinister voice which Lockhart is unable to hear.

Death-day Party

In return for distracting Argus Filch just when he's about to give Harry Potter severe punishment, Harry promises he'll come to Nearly Headless Nick's Death-day Party on Halloween. He brings Ron and Hermione along as well, but the three of them quickly get tired of the ghostly party and return to the Great Hall. Before they get to the Halloween feast, Harry hears the voice (which Ron and Hermione also cannot hear) and follows it to the second floor, where he finds the bathroom flooded and Mrs. Norris, Filch's cat, petrified—coupled with a message on the wall, reading

PDVD 1777

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir Beware.


Filch and Snape try to get Harry in trouble for this, but Dumbledore says that it is powerful dark magic that no second year student could perform. They decide that Sprout's mandrakes will be used, once they are mature enough, to create a draught capable of reviving Mrs. Norris.

History of Magic

Hermione wants to research the Chamber of Secrets, so she talks Professor Binns (the History of Magic teacher) into telling the class about it. He explains that one of the founders of Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin, got into an argument with the others about whether Muggle-borns should be admitted and, when the rift grew too large, he left the school. According to legend, he built a going-away present to the school in the form of a secret chamber that could only be opened by his true heir. This "Chamber of Secrets" contains a monster that, once released, would purge the school of all Muggle-borns. Binns unsuccessfully tries to assure the class that the Chamber does not actually exist and that the school has been searched many times in vain.

Harry, Ron and Hermione decide that the heir is probably Draco Malfoy. To try to prove it, Hermione proposes to use the Polyjuice Potion which can change one's appearance into somebody else's for an hour. Hermione warns that the potion will take a month to brew, supposing they gather all the necessary ingredients (one of which can only be found in Professor Snape's private inventory) and manage to keep it a secret.

Quidditch field

Quidditch Field at Hogwarts


During the month that it takes the Polyjuice Potion to brew, a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin takes place. Draco Malfoy has been made Slytherin's new Seeker, on the merit of his father's generous contribution to the team: a set of Nimbus 2001 brooms. During the match, one of the Bludgers takes after Harry and focuses completely on him. Since Bludgers are supposed to attack each and every player, the crowd immediately realises that this Bludger has been tampered with. Harry still manages to catch the Snitch and Gryffindor wins. However, the Bludger breaks his arm, and Lockhart, attempting to fix it, gets rid of all the bones in his arm instead. Madam Pomfrey gives Harry Skele-Gro potion to counter this and Harry is forced to stay in the Hospital wing overnight.

During that night, Dobby visits Harry and reveals that it was he who made the Bludger chase after Harry, and was also responsible for the barrier of platform 9¾ not letting him in—all in hopes of Harry leaving or never arriving at Hogwarts. He also reveals that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened before and immediately punishes himself, as he is not supposed to reveal anything. After Dobby disappears, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Madam Pomfrey enter with Colin Creevey, who has apparently been petrified. He was found with a camera containing film that has been burnt to the melting point.

Duelling Club


Dueling Club

Harry signs up for a Duelling Club which is (to Harry's great displeasure) taught by his two least favourite teachers, Lockhart and Snape. During a practice battle in the first meeting, Draco Malfoy conjures a snake to attack Harry. Lockhart tries to banish it, but all he manages is to set it loose on the students. Harry sees that the snake is advancing on a Hufflepuff student named Justin Finch-Fletchley and instinctively tells it to stop, which—to Harry's great surprise—it does. The others are less than ecstatic about this, however. All they saw was Harry speaking Parseltongue, the language of snakes, and since they cannot understand it, it seemed to them that he was egging the snake on. It turns out that Parseltongue is a very rare gift that is closely associated with Salazar Slytherin. Due to this, Harry becomes the number one suspect among students for being the heir of Slytherin. Hermione even tells him that since Salazar Slytherin lived so long ago, he might actually be.

Seconds after leaving a conversation with Hagrid, Harry runs into a petrified Justin Finch-Fletchley and a black, smoking Nearly-Headless Nick. Peeves alerts the whole school, and a Hufflepuff called Ernie Macmillan claims that Harry has been caught red-handed. For the first time, Harry is taken to Dumbledore's office, and there he witnesses Fawkes—Dumbledore's phoenix—bursting into ashes and being reborn. Dumbledore says that he doesn't believe Harry to be behind the attacks, a belief reinforced by Hagrid backing Harry's alibi, but a large portion of the school is now sure that Harry is Slytherin's heir.

Polyjuice Potion

Polyjuice potion

Hermione brewing the Polyjuice Potion

Harry, Ron and Hermione all sign up to remain in the School during Christmas, since Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle have done so as well, and this gives them the perfect opportunity to use their Polyjuice potion. When Christmas arrives (Harry's gifts: a toothpick, fudge in a tin, a copy of Flying with the Cannons, a new quill, a jumper and plum cake) they drug Crabbe and Goyle via chocolate cakes, take their hairs and assume their form. Hermione tries to use a hair she thought belongs to Millicent Bulstrode, but it's actually her cat's and Hermione is transformed into a cat/human hybrid. Hermione is forced to spend a few weeks in the Hospital wing. As Crabbe and Goyle, Harry and Ron interrogate an unsuspecting Malfoy and discover that even though he wishes he were, Draco is not the Heir of Slytherin. They also hear that the last time the chamber was opened, fifty years ago, a Muggle-born girl died and whoever was responsible was expelled. Malfoy also mentions his father's secret stash of illegal artefacts.

Weeks later, Ron and Harry overhear Argus Filch complaining about his workload and leaving. They arrive at Moaning Myrtle's bathroom to find it flooded. Myrtle, a sulking ghost, explains that she had flooded it because somebody threw a diary at her. Harry picks it up; it turns out to have belonged to a T.M. Riddle and to be completely blank. Ron remembers from his detention that Riddle had won an award for special service to the school 50 years before. Hermione deduces that since this coincides with the last time the Chamber was opened, Tom Riddle might have received his prize for catching whoever was responsible for the attacks back then. Even though all attempts to extract information from the diary fail, Harry feels a strange compulsion to keep it.

On Valentine's Day, Ron and Harry are dismayed to find out Lockhart has spread dwarves dressed as cupids throughout the school to receive and deliver Valentines. One cupid-dwarf manages to deliver one to Harry. While struggling to avoid him, the embarrassed Harry trips and falls, having ink spilled all over the contents of his bag. Ginny notices the diary and assumes a horrified expression.

The Secret Diary

Later, Harry realises that even though ink was spilled all over the diary, it is not stained at all. He tries writing to the diary and, to his surprise, the diary—or rather T.M. Riddle—writes back. Riddle explains that he was the one who caught the person who opened the Chamber of Secrets the last time, and he can show Harry what happened. Harry agrees and gets sucked into a "recording" of Riddle's memory. He witnesses the school's previous headmaster, Armando Dippet, informing Riddle that the school will be closed and Riddle, apprehensive of this, catching Hagrid fiddling with a large spider in a box. Riddle reports Hagrid to Dippet. During the memory we also learn that Riddle was an orphan that did not want to go back to the orphanage, and his full name was Tom Marvolo Riddle. Having seen this, Harry wonders whether Hagrid was the one who opened the Chamber fifty years before and whether he is responsible this time.
Normal tom-riddles-diary-cover 1500b thumb

Tom Riddle's destroyed diary

Harry, Ron and Hermione decide not to ask Hagrid about it, hoping that the attacks have stopped—and indeed, almost four months after the attack on Justin and Nearly-Headless Nick, the disembodied voice keeps quiet and the attacks seem to have ceased. However, odd things keep happening: Harry returns to his dormitory one day to find it a mess. Ron deduces that somebody has been looking for something, and Harry eventually notices that Tom Riddle's Diary is gone. This greatly befuddles them, seeing as only a Gryffindor could know the password to enter the dormitory.

Cornelius Fudge

The next day, the scheduled Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff is cancelled due to yet another attack and Harry hears the voice again. This time Minerva McGonagall calls for Harry and Ron personally, and leads them to the Hospital wing where they see Hermione petrified. She was found near the library with a Ravenclaw prefect, inexplicably holding a small, circular mirror. This removes Harry as a suspect in the eyes of many of the students, as they know he would never harm Hermione.

Harry and Ron decide they now must talk to Hagrid. With the now constant supervision on students this is not easy, but they manage to do it by using Harry's Invisibility cloak. When they reach Hagrid's cabin Harry and Ron manage to hide just before Cornelius Fudge—the Minister for Magic—and Dumbledore arrive at the scene. Fudge announces that Hagrid, who to the best of his knowledge opened the Chamber of Secrets the last time, will be sent to Azkaban prison as a precaution. They are shortly joined by Lucius Malfoy, who declares that he and the other governors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have unanimously voted to suspend Dumbledore, despite the obvious logic that this would only worsen the situation. Both Hagrid and Dumbledore give last words. Rubeus Hagrid says that if anybody wants the truth they should "follow the spiders" and Dumbledore says that he will only truly have left the school when none there remain loyal to him. He also stresses that if anybody at Hogwarts needs help, it will always be available.



The spiders attacking Harry and Ron.

Harry and Ron decide to follow the spiders as per Hagrid's advice. Walking along the trails of the spiders, which are strangely all fleeing Hogwarts, takes them into the Forbidden Forest. Even though Ron is deeply arachnophobic, the fact that Hermione has been petrified and that they may be able to help through this investigation gives him the willpower to go along anyway. There, they encounter Arthur Weasley's car, which had apparently taken to driving through the forest like some sort of wild animal. They eventually meet Aragog, a giant spider which had been the monster Hagrid had been "caught" setting on other students 50 years ago. Aragog explains that Hagrid is innocent, but rather than letting Harry and Ron go he decides to leave them as dinner for his children. Mr. Weasley's Ford Anglia comes blasting through the layers of spiders, however, and lets the boys escape.

After this, Harry and Ron feel that they have reached dead ends everywhere, until one possible last hope occurs to them. Aragog said the monster's last victim died in a bathroom and it occurs to Harry that Moaning Myrtle might have been that victim. Of course, with the school under such security, it will be almost impossible to sneak in the girls' bathroom near where the first attack occurred.

Gilderoy Lockhart 002

Lockhart bragging about how great he is.

The last attack

Later that same day, Harry and Ron manage to trick Lockhart - who is leading them to their next class - into letting them go by stroking his ego. Just as they pat themselves on the back, they get caught by Professor McGonagall, and Harry has to make up an excuse - they were going to see Hermione in the hospital wing, where visitors were now barred. They now have to go along to make their story appear convincing, but rather than simply hanging around Hermione's petrified form, this time Harry notices a piece of paper tightly clutched in her hand. This piece of paper reveals what Hermione had found out before she was attacked. She had discovered, based on strong circumstantial evidence, that the monster in the Chamber of Secrets was a basilisk. As a basilisk is a giant snake, this explains why only Harry could hear it. The basilisk kills people by looking it in the eye, but no one died, because nobody had looked at its gaze directly. Colin Creevey saw it through his camera, Justin Finch-Fletchley saw it through Nearly-Headless Nick (who was already dead), Mrs. Norris saw a reflection of it in the waters of the flooded bathroom, and Hermione used a mirror to look around corners after figuring things out. There is also a note about how spiders fear the basilisk (which explains them fleeing Hogwarts) and the rooster's call being potentially fatal to it (which explains Hagrid's roosters having been mysteriously killed during the year).

On the note is also scribbled a single word, "pipes", which means that the serpent moves around through the plumbing. Having solved the mystery, Harry and Ron decide to go to the staff room and report to the teachers. When they get there, they overhear the teachers talking about another attack having occurred. Harry and Ron decide to hide to hear more details, and learn that Ginny has been kidnapped and the heir of Slytherin has left another message under the previous one:


Harry and Ron also hear that Hogwarts will be closed tomorrow. The teachers then force Lockhart to deal with the monster, as he has been claiming he could handle whatever is responsible for the attacks, irritating the rest of the staff to no end. Looking very crestfallen, he leaves for his room.

Chamber of Secrets

That night, Harry and Ron feel utterly useless and helpless, until it occurs to them that if the serpent uses the plumbing to get around and the last time the chamber was opened a girl died, then the chamber entrance must be in the bathroom Moaning Myrtle haunts.

Harry and Ron decide that if Lockhart is going to deal with the monster they might as well tell him what they know. They go to his room, only to find him frantically planning to run away. When questioned on why such a talented wizard as himself is leaving, Lockhart admits that he is a fraud and that he put Memory Charms on the people who really did the things that he claimed to have done in his books.
Bathroom Sink

The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets

He then attempts to put a memory charm on Harry and Ron as well, but they manage to disarm him and, under wand threats, take him to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.

Moaning Myrtle explains her death, saying the last thing she saw was a pair of enormous

eyes by one of the sinks, the tap of which has never worked. Harry finds a snake carved on the tap and then opens the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets by speaking Parseltongue to it.

Harry, Ron and Lockhart slide down a large pipe and find themselves in maze-like tunnels far under the school. Down there, they encounter a snake skin left by the Basilisk. Just then, Lockhart feigns fainting and he steals Ron's wand. Victoriously proclaiming that he will erase Harry and Ron's memories and tell everybody they lost their sanity at the sight of Ginny's mangled body, Lockhart fires. Ron's broken wand causes the charm to backfire, erasing Lockhart's memory and causing a portion of the ceiling to cave in. This traps Harry in the direction of the chamber and Ron in the direction of the castle. Ron has no choice but to stay behind and clear a path through the rocks while Harry continues in search of Ginny. Harry then encounters a wall with stone snakes on it, opens it by speaking Parseltongueand enters the Chamber itself.

Harry In Chamber

Harry entering the Chamber of Secrets.

The Heir of Slytherin

Inside, he finds Ginny lying on the ground, pale and cold. He drops his wand and runs to her, trying to get a response from her, but to no avail. He then sees Tom Riddle smiling at him and holding Harry's wand. Riddle explains his presence in the present by revealing he is a memory, which had been preserved in his diary for fifty years.

He then explains what had happened. Riddle had opened the Chamber of Secrets 50 years ago and planned to purge the school of Muggle-borns and Half-bloods; however, when he learned that the school was going to close down due to the attacks and that Dumbledore (then the Transfiguration teacher) was keeping a closer and closer watch on him, he had no choice but to cease the attacks and frame Hagrid for doing it. Not wanting to waste all the years he spent on figuring out where the chamber was and how to get to it, he left behind a diary containing the memory of his sixteen-year-old self in hopes that it would, one day, fall into the hands of an unsuspecting victim who would help him finish his work.

Ginny had been writing in the diary all year. Riddle had written back sympathetically and Ginny grew to confess her fears, hopes and feelings to him. She essentially poured some of her soul into him, which was exactly what he wanted. He gradually grew more powerful and eventually managed to pour some of his soul back into her, possessing her and using her body to open the chamber and launch the new series of attacks. However, eventually Ginny became suspicious of the diary and decided to get rid of it by flushing it down the toilet in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. This is when Harry found it.

When Ginny saw Harry with the diary on Valentine's Day, she panicked and worried that Riddle had told all of her secrets to Harry, so she stole it back from Harry's dormitory. It began taking control of her again, but this time with the intention of killing Harry, so he had Ginny write her own farewell on the wall and come down to wait, luring Harry to the rescue and, consequently, his doom.

Riddle then asks how Harry managed to defeat the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort as a mere baby. Harry asks Riddle why he cares, as Voldemort existed after his time. Riddle replies that Voldemort is his "past, present and future." He then writes his name in the air with Harry's wand:


Riddle then waves the wand and the letters rearrange themselves into


I am Lord Voldemort

Needless to say, this means Riddle grew up to become Lord Voldemort. Riddle then reveals he is, in fact, a half-blood, and his mother had named him Tom after his Muggle father and Marvolo after his wizard grandfather, a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. He scrambled his name to create a new one, which he knew people would fear when he became the most powerful wizard in the world.



Fawkes healing Harry.

Harry retorts that he must be mistaken, because the greatest wizard in the world, as everybody knows, is not Voldemort but Dumbledore. Even when Voldemort was at the peak of his power he was afraid of Dumbledore, and now he's barely alive. Riddle angrily answers that Dumbledore has been driven out the castle by the mere memory of him. Harry yells that Dumbledore is not as gone as Riddle seems to believe. In this display of loyalty he summons Fawkes the phoenix to him, who also brings with it the Sorting Hat, both assets that Riddle deems extremely useless.

Riddle then summons the Basilisk and commands it to kill Harry. However, Fawkes isn't as defenceless as one might initially think, and pecks out the Basilisk's eyes, thus preventing its gaze from killing. The basilisk can still smell Harry, however, and remains very dangerous, so Harry, in desperation, puts on the Sorting Hat, wishing against hope for help. Instead of an answer, Harry has a heavy sword with a hilt embedded with rubies fall on his head from inside the hat. After several missed strikes from the blinded Basilisk, Harry plunges the sword into the roof of its mouth, killing it. However, one of its poisonous fangs sinks into his arm, injecting a deadly poison. While Riddle gloats over his "win", Fawkes cries on the wound, and since Phoenix tears have incredible healing properties, Harry is instantly cured.

Fang and diary

The Fang plunges into Tom's Diary after it was stabbed with the sword of Gryffindor

Basilisk's fang

Harry then plunges the Basilisk fang into Tom Riddle's Diary. Ink begins pouring out of the book and the memory of Riddle fades out of existence; Ginny immediately stirs and wakes up, quite distraught. Harry and Ginny travel back through the Chamber to find Ron and Lockhart, who has no idea of who or where he is.

Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart grab onto Fawkes and fly out of the Chamber (another Phoenix speciality). They return to the castle to find Dumbledore, McGonagall, Arthur and Molly Weasley, who are delighted to see them alive. Harry worries that Ginny will get blamed for being the person behind the attacks, but to his great relief Dumbledore rightly deduces that Voldemort is the culprit. After Ginny leaves to get a much-needed rest, Harry and Ron both receive 200 house points each for Gryffindor and both get an Award for special services to the school, and then Dumbledore asks to speak with Harry alone.

Harry expresses his concern that he belonged in Slytherin. Dumbledore reveals that Voldemort transferred some of his powers to Harry when he gave him his scar, explaining his ability to speak Parseltongue. He asks Harry why he thinks the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor if he has so many Slytherin qualities, and Harry admits that the only reason it did was because he had asked it to. Dumbledore confirms this and tells Harry that "it is our choices, rather than our abilities, that reveal who we truly are". He points out to the sword Harry had drawn out of the hat - Harry now notices it has Godric Gryffindor's name on it. Dumbledore says that only a true Gryffindor would be able to draw it out.

Dobby's reward

Lucius Malfoy barges into Dumbledore's office, outraged that Dumbledore had returned to the school after being dismissed. Dumbledore calmly responds that the governors had asked him to return once they heard that Arthur Weasley's daughter was attacked. Apparently they had been blackmailed by Malfoy to vote for Dumbledore's dismissal in the first place on pain of Malfoy cursing their families. Dobby follows Lucius into the room, thus showing that his masters are the Malfoys.
Dobby sock

Dobby receiving his Sock

Dumbledore and Malfoy have a calm and venomous interchange (respectively), during which Dumbledore and Harry (with the help of Dobby's unspoken hints) essentially expose Lucius sneaking Riddle's diary (one of his illegal artefacts) into Ginny's school things during the fight with Arthur at Flourish and Blotts. This was supposed to frame Ginny for the attacks, with heavy implications on the Muggle Protection Act Arthur Weasley had been suggesting. Malfoy dares Dumbledore to prove his accusation, and while the Headmaster has insufficient evidence to do that, he cautions Malfoy against orchestrating further such plots.

Knowing that a master can release his house-elf by giving them some clothes, Harry tricks Malfoy into freeing Dobby by giving Malfoy one of his own socks, which he promptly throws away to be caught by Dobby. Malfoy, after discovering Harry's trick, attempts to kill Harry only to be stopped by Dobby. Dobby thanks Harry dearly for freeing him and leaves. At the ending feast, Dumbledore announces his school treat of cancelling all final exams (much to Hermione's dismay) and that Lockhart will not return to Hogwarts (continuing Voldemort's Defence Against the Dark Arts professors' curse.)


Notes and references

Hogwarts years
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