Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by: J. K. Rowling

Quotes

[S]omeone shouted through the quiet. "Enemies of the Heir, beware! You'll be next, Mudbloods!" It was Draco Malfoy. He had pushed to the front of the crowd, his cold eyes alive, his usually bloodless face flushed, as he grinned at the sight of the hanging, immobile cat.

In this scene, which occurs as soon as the basilisk within the Chamber has taken its first victim, Draco Malfoy, a wizard blood snob and member of the history- tainted Slytherin House frames himself as the culprit. The characteristics of the Heir of Slytherin's attacks plants Malfoy as the ideal criminal, and yet when Ron and Harry slip into his common room disguised as his cronies, they find this not to be the case. Percy also has potential to be the culprit, as does Harry himself, and Hagrid. This sort of build-up of suspicion is one of J.K. Rowling's most consistent writing trademarks. In each book, the crime which has been committed seems to be obviously caused by a person who turns out to be innocent. The detective work that Harry, Ron, and Hermione do throughout the series always leads to the most unexpected conclusions. Because Voldemort is always behind the great central mystery, Rowling demonstrates the extent to which Voldemort's great cleverness works in devious ways.