The premise: Uncorked Thoughts has a question for every Thursday from now until oblivion (or at least 2018!) relating to the Harry Potter universe. What you (or in this case I) have to do is answer the question. The meme's specific page can be found here.
Since I love Harry Potter so much and don't get enough chances to talk about it everyday life, this will be a lot of fun, starting with this week's question:
If you could change one thing in book two, what would it be?
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has never been my favorite of the Harry Potter novels. When I re-read it this summer, I did think that perhaps I should rethink my stance on it because it was not as bad as I remember. There are things that still felt off to me, whether pacing or character behavior, but I can narrow it down fairly quickly to what I would change.
I would change the character of Gilderoy Lockheart to someone else. There isn't a specific character I have in mind, but he ought to be gotten rid of. He's an annoying prat for the most part, but upon further reflection, I see an even better reason for his removal: he doesn't add anything to the series.
Think about it: every other Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher brings something to the series and, with few exceptions, lasts beyond that one novel. Lockheart gets mentioned again in Order of the Phoenix I think, but it's been awhile since I read that one as well.
Quirrel is the vessel for the beginning of Voldemort's return. He's his minion and he literally carries the guy/snake dude around on the back of his head. Lupin is a friend to Harry and the first to really teach him something about Defense Against the Dark Arts. He sticks around, too, and has a huge impact on Harry as he grows up.
Goblet of Fire gets a bit tricky as Mad Eye Moody is the supposed teacher, though technically Barty Crouch Jr. is. Despite turning out to be a rather nasty piece of work, Moody/Crouch teaches Harry a lot turning his year. Harry learned to throw off the Imperius Curse, for crying out loud. No other teacher would have taught students that!
Dolores Umbridge is, yes, the worst "teacher" to ever set foot inside Hogwarts, but even she served a purpose. As a teacher she was horrid because she was of the mind that passing a test was all you needed to learn in school. It didn't help that the Ministry was behind her appointment and didn't want the children being turned into some army. Her mistreatment of students made them band together for a common purpose and was ineffective in regards to them learning how to use defensive spells. Her job as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor was a failure, but through it Harry stepped up and began to learn what it meant to be a leader. He taught his fellow students how to protect themselves and gave them the idea that they could be more than their teachers had in mind.
Even Snape had some good points in Half Blood Prince, which is hard for me to say since I view movie Snape and book Snape as two different creatures (guess which one I love?). He began teaching the students how to use non-verbal spells, an essential skill for them especially with the Second Wizarding War coming up.
What does Lockheart do?
He sets pixies free, he sends dwarves around dressed as Cupids, and he tries to leave three students in the Chamber of Secrets to die. Not a good guy. Not a good guy at all.