Extract from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

‘Did you get them?’ Hermione asked breathlessly.

Harry showed her Goyle’s hair.

‘Good. And I sneaked these spare robes out of the laundry,’

Hermione said, holding up a small sack. ‘You’ll need bigger sizes once you’re Crabbe and Goyle.’

The three of them stared into the cauldron. Close up, the Potion looked like thick, dark mud, bubbling sluggishly.

‘I’m sure I’ve done everything right,’ said Hermione, nervously re-reading the splotched page of Moste Potente Potions. ‘It looks like the book says it should ... Once we’ve drunk it, we’ll have exactly an hour before we change back into ourselves.’

‘Now what?’ Ron whispered.

‘We separate it into three glasses and add the hairs.’

Hermione ladled large dollops of the Potion into each of the glasses. Then, her hand trembling, she shook Millicent Bulstrode’s hair out of its bottle into the first glass.

The Potion hissed loudly like a boiling kettle and frothed madly. A second later, it had turned a sick sort of yellow.

‘Urgh – essence of Millicent Bulstrode,’ said Ron, eyeing it with loathing. ‘Bet it tastes disgusting.’

‘Add yours, then,’ said Hermione.

Harry dropped Goyle’s hair into the middle glass and Ron put Crabbe’s into the last one. Both glasses hissed and frothed: Goyle’s turned the khaki colour of a bogey, Crabbe’s a dark, murky brown.

‘Hang on,’ said Harry, as Ron and Hermione reached for their glasses. ‘We’d better not all drink them in here: once we turn into Crabbe and Goyle we won’t fit. And Millicent Bulstrode’s no pixie.’

‘Good thinking,’ said Ron, unlocking the door. ‘We’ll take separate cubicles.’

Careful not to spill a drop of his Polyjuice Potion, Harry slipped into the middle cubicle. ‘Ready?’ he called.

‘Ready,’ came Ron and Hermione’s voices.

‘One ... two ... three ...’

Pinching his nose, Harry drank the Potion down in two large gulps. It tasted like overcooked cabbage.

Immediately, his insides started writhing as though he’d just swallowed live snakes – doubled up, he wondered whether he was going to be sick – then a burning sensation spread rapidly from his stomach to the very ends of his fingers and toes. Next, bringing him gasping to all fours, came a horrible melting feeling, as the skin all over his body bubbled like hot wax, and before his eyes, his hands began to grow, the fingers thickened, the nails broadened and the knuckles were bulging like bolts. His shoulders stretched painfully and a prickling on his forehead told him that hair was creeping down towards his eyebrows; his robes ripped as his chest expanded like a barrel bursting its hoops; his feet were agony in shoes four sizes too small ...

As suddenly as it had started, everything stopped. Harry lay face down on the cold stone floor, listening to Myrtle gurgling morosely in the end toilet. With difficulty, he kicked off his shoes and stood up. So this was what it felt like, being Goyle. His large hands trembling, he pulled off his old robes, which were hanging a foot above his ankles, pulled on the spare ones and laced up Goyle’s boat-like shoes. He reached up to brush his hair out of his eyes and met only the short growth of wiry bristles, low on his forehead. Then he realised that his glasses were clouding his eyes, because Goyle obviously didn’t need them. He took them off and called, ‘Are you two OK?’ Goyle’s low rasp of a voice issued from his mouth.

‘Yeah,’ came the deep grunt of Crabbe from his right.

Harry unlocked his door and stepped in front of the cracked mirror. Goyle stared back at him out of dull, deep-set eyes. Harry scratched his ear. So did Goyle.

Ron’s door opened. They stared at each other. Except that he looked pale and shocked, Ron was indistinguishable from Crabbe, from the pudding-basin haircut to the long, gorilla arms.

‘This is unbelievable,’ said Ron, approaching the mirror and prodding Crabbe’s flat nose. ‘Unbelievable.’

‘We’d better get going,’ said Harry, loosening the watch that was cutting into Goyle’s thick wrist. ‘We’ve still got to find out where the Slytherin common room is, I only hope we can find someone to follow ...’

Ron, who had been gazing at Harry, said, ‘You don’t know how bizarre it is to see Goyle thinking.’ He banged on Hermione’s door. ‘C’mon, we need to go ...’

A high-pitched voice answered him. ‘I – I don’t think I’m going to come after all. You go on without me.’

‘Hermione, we know Millicent Bulstrode’s ugly, no one’s going to know it’s you.’

‘No – really – I don’t think I’ll come. You two hurry up, you’re wasting time.’

Harry looked at Ron, bewildered.

‘That looks more like Goyle,’ said Ron. ‘That’s how he looks every time a teacher asks him a question.’


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling