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X reports from the set of HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with our Spy in the UK known only as X... filling us in on that room of secrets filled with Harry Potter stuff. Here's the latest, I know nothing about this book or story, but you probably do. Here's the report...

Hey Harry,

X, The Man Who Could See Through Time here, your daily reader and infrequent spy. It's been a while since I've had anything for you, but luckily Hollywood has been a longtime lover of Fine Old Universities. Before I knew your site, I was witnessing Matt Damon and Minnie Driver make out through a mouthful of tasty burger in a fine, though now non-existent diner in a certain small town in Massachusetts. Then it was getting woken up by Tia Carrera's swordplay outside my bedroom window every morning, in a little college north of the 49th that's been the Nice Stonework Backdrop (tm) for many a shoot ("Dead Ringers", "Urban Legends", "Superstar", "Relic Hunters", etc. etc.).

Now I'm glad to say I can finally bring you some fresh material from the other side of the pond. The second Harry Potter film, "The Chamber of Secrets" (likely American title: "The Room of Secrets") is shooting right now at Christ Church College, Oxford. Usually the Oxford papers cover such events, but it's Easter vacation for another week, and no one seems to have taken much notice of this sizeable shoot yet.

On-set voyeurism isn't always fun and games, especially for a madman with my specially treated optic nerves. Today's run through Christ Church field almost ended in a collision with a large snowy owl by the name of Hedwig. I came tearing around a corner and nearly ran smack into the owl and its handler. The handler was talking to a little girl with her parents, so I got to have an undisturbed look at the bird. It was beautiful, and seemed completely serene. I heard hooting, and turned to see an open truck with at least three other owls in it.

The crew has been here for a week, setting up a large trailer park on the green grass of Christ Church field. I pass by it every day on my run, and get to see how things are evolving. There's definitely work being done with principals, because on Sunday I ran past a line of trailers with the following character names on the doors. Avid "Potter" readers can go to work figuring out which scenes were being shot:

Fred and George Weasley

Fred and George Weasley (Stunt)

Colin Creevy

Colin Creevy (Stunt)

Dean Thomas

Millicent Bulstrade

Off the top of my head I can't recall who Millicent is; might she be the main Slytherin girl?

Today (Wednesday) the principals' trailers were nowhere in sight. Instead, four expensive-looking buses with the name of an Oxford school on the side were pulled up where the trailers had parked. This probably means a hundred or so little tykes were swarming around in sub fusc (black robes, mortarboards, etc.) during the day. They're probably shooting scenes in the college's dining hall, aka the Hogwarts Main Hall.

Finally, besides my close encounter with a young wizard's mail-owl, I saw a young woman who was probably a principal, though I didn't recognize her, and couldn't imagine who she'd be playing. She was probably in her late teens, but short for her age, and with dark skin and hair. She looked a bit like a young Marissa Tomei. Like Hedwig, she too had a handler with her at all times. I saw her twice; once talking on a cell phone while holding a pink teddy bear, and once walking with her handler, who spoke in an English accent. Of course, I shouldn't assume she was cast, since it was late in the day and things were closing down for the evening. On the other hand, she definitely seemed out of place among the crew, who were mostly men in reflective jackets. When I finished my run the sun was setting, and a number of nice cars were leaving the set after the swank school buses.

Sorry it's not much for you Harry-- but consider it that little scoop of mango sorbet you eat to cleanse your palate between courses. Sorry I missed seeing you in London, too. I liked your book (so you've got the endorsement of at least one Oxford graduate student in literature-- not that that's any measure of taste). I think it goes to show that if you love anything enough, enough to sacrifice your life to it, you can become the best at it. I hope the book makes you some money, after all the time and effort that you've put into your chosen vocation.

Off to wrestle with the Nth dimension. . . later, Head Geek.

- X

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