- "This book is rich with detail about the history of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
- — Description[src]
The book was written by Bathilda Bagshot and published in or before 1991. A copy was seen on a windowsill in Hogwarts during that year. The book was also very popular in Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts, when every copy was checked out of the library due to the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets.
The book's original hand-written manuscript was stored in one of the Hogwarts Library's annexes, and could be only read by special appointment. However, students and staff may have admired its ornate cover from a distance.
It was Hermione Granger's favourite book, and she often referred to it on many things concerning Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Three of the things that she brought up are the Great Hall's Enchanted Ceiling that shows the weather outside, the fact that one could not apparate or disapparate on Hogwarts grounds and the fact that electronic devices did not work within the grounds.
The book's removal from the Hogwarts Library when the Chamber of Secrets was opened caused Hermione great frustration, as despite her fondness for the book, she had left it behind that year due to lack of space because of the many texts assigned by Gilderoy Lockhart. However, Hermione showed slight frustration with the book when scathingly renaming the book in her fourth year, because it did not mention the use of house-elves at Hogwarts, even going so far as to suggest a couple of alternative titles for it: A Revised History of Hogwarts and A Highly Biased and Selective History of Hogwarts Which Glosses Over the Nastier Aspects of the School.
In 1997, Hermione considered this book as she was sorting supplies for their mission to find Horcruxes. It was one of the books she decided to bring with them, stating that she "wouldn't feel right" if she didn't have it.
Chapter XIII - The Chamber of Secrets
The legend of the Chamber of Secrets is the most enigmatic of all tales concerning the establishing of Hogwarts. When the four greatest witches and wizards of their age, Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin, came together to establish a school for those with magical abilities, it was logical that they chose a location far away from the eyes of non-magical people due to the climate of persecution prevalent at that time. Records show that the Hogwarts founders worked together for several years, seeking out youngsters who showed signs of magic and bringing them to the castle to be educated. However, a rift grew between Slytherin and the others when he criticised the number of students being admitted who came from non-magical families. Slytherin believed that magical learning should be kept within all-magic families and that students not of this parentage were untrustworthy. Eventually, a serious argument arose between Slytherin and Gryffindor regarding the subject and such was the acrimony of the disagreement, Slytherin left the school for good. The legend of the Chamber of Secrets arises from Slytherin's departure and has been the subject of debate for many centuries. The legend itself concerns a chamber supposedly constructed by Slytherin deep beneath the school that he kept a secret from the other founders and sealed so that none would be able to open it until his own true heir arrived at the school. The story goes that when Slytherin's true heir returns they alone will be able to open the Chamber of Secrets and release the horror within - a horror that will purge the school of those whom Slytherin believed were unworthy of studying magic. After many extensive searches of Hogwarts over the past nine hundred and fifty years, most reputable scholars agree that the existence of the Chamber of Secrets is a fanciful tale concocted by Slytheirn's supporters. While researching this book, the author consulted the newly appointed headmaster of Hogwarts, Professor Albus Dumbledore, who stated that during his time at the school he had personally seen nothing to convince him that the legend was based on anything other and supposition.
Known information included
- The ceiling of the Great Hall is bewitched to look like the outside sky.
- Wizards and witches cannot Apparate or Disapparate to, or from within, Hogwarts.
- Hogwarts is hidden to Muggles. If a Muggle looks at it, they see an old ruin with a sign saying: "DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE".
- In 1792, when a cockatrice went loose during one of the Triwizard Tournament tasks, the heads of the three schools, including one from Hogwarts, were injured by the deadly creature.
- Muggle technology, such as mobile phones and laptops, cannot be used within the grounds of Hogwarts.
- Boys are not allowed in the girls' dormitories; if they try to enter the stairs turn into a slide.
Known information not included
- The presence of house-elves working at the school in the kitchens.
- The Sorting ceremony, or at least not explicit details of it, as Hermione Granger was unaware of what the ceremony entailed beforehand despite reading the whole of the book.
- It is unlikely that the Room of Requirement is mentioned, otherwise Hermione Granger and not Dobby would have suggested using this room for use by Dumbledore's Army.
Behind the scenes
- In the Chamber of Secrets video game, a man called Chroniculus Punnet is said to be the author of the book. However, a later film prop identifies the author as Professor Garius Tomkink. Neither of these are canon, as both the books and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter state that Bathilda Bagshot wrote it. It is possible that Punnet and Tomkink wrote particular parts of the book, though.
- The cover shows the Astronomy and Central towers of Hogwarts as they are seen in the films.
- J. K. Rowling was asked in an interview if Harry and Ron would ever read the book. She replied: "Never. It’s a gift to me, because all my exposition can be dressed up as, 'When are you going to read it?' So Hermione fills in the reader as well, so I could never let them read it."
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (First appearance) (Console versions)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter Film Wizardry
- The Art of Harry Potter Mini Book of Graphic Design
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Chapter 1 (Your Journey Begins) - Rowan Khanna had read this book by the start of his first year in 1984.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - Console versions
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
- "The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005