Who is the Heir of Slytherin?

Slytherin House Crest

Slytherin House Crest

Harry’s life is not going well.  First, Dobby tries to kill him…sorry, *save him*….with his rogue bludger.  Then, at the Dueling Club, Harry saves Justin Finch-Fletchy from being bitten by a poisonous snake.  Only everyone else thought Harry was trying to set the snake on Justin.  Apparently, nobody else speaks Parslmouth, snake language.  That’s bad because Salazar Slytherin spoke Parselmouth, and the symbol of Slytherin House is a serpent.  Everyone thinks Harry inherited this trait from Salazar Slyterin, and that he is the Heir of Slytherin.

Of course, Harry just happens to find himself at the wrong place at the wrong time again.  This time, Justin and Nearly Headless Nick were both petrified.  Is this just a coincidence that Justin is attacked right after Harry tries to save him from the snake?

Professor McGonagal finds Harry at the scene of the crime, and takes him up to see Professor Dumbledore.  In Professor Dumbledore’s office, Harry tries on the Sorting Hat again.  He’s wondering if the Sorting Hat will change its mind and say Harry should be in Gryffindor.  No such luck.  The Sorting Hat still says Harry should be in Slytherin.  Just lovely.  Luckily, Professor Dumbledore doesn’t expel him. Instead, he asks if Harry wants to ask him something.  Harry thinks about being called the Heir of Slytherin, but says nothing.

Meanwhile, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are able to get  a signed note from Professor Lockhart for the book Moste Potente Potions in the Restricted Section.  It takes a while, but Hermione is able to brew up a Polyjuice Potion.  Over Christmas break, while most of the castle is gone, the three plan to go ask Malfoy if he is the Heir of Slytherin.  Hermione isn’t able to go, however.  She turns into a cat.  Apparently she drank the hair of a Slytherin girl’s cat, and the Polyjuice Potion isn’t meant for human transformation.  Poor Hermione…  Although Moaning Myrtle thinks it’s funny that Hermione has a tail.

Moaning Myrtle

Moaning Myrtle

Harry and Ron (transformed to Crabbe and Goyle) meet up with Draco, only to find out he’s not the Heir of Slytherin.  What!?!?  So they’re back to where they started.  Harry’s still being called the Heir of Slytherin, and meanwhile, they have no idea who the Heir of Slytherin could be.  They’re stuck.

They pick up another lead, though.  While Harry and Ron are off visiting Hermione, they find Filch patrolling the area where his cat was petrified.  But this time, there’s a small flood in the hallway coming from Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.  They go and check it out.  Moaning Myrtle flooded the bathroom because someone threw a book at her.  She’s just a little bit temperamental.

Harry and Ron find the book and see that it belonged to T. M. Riddle.  Ron remembered that T. M. Riddle won an award for special services to the school:  He had to clean off the trophy during detention, when he had a massive slime attack over it.  Hermione thinks that T. M. Riddle got an award for catching the Heir of Slytherin.  But there’s nothing written in the book.  Could it be that Riddle simply didn’t write in it?

Harry Writing in Tom Riddle's Diary

Harry Writing in Tom Riddle’s Diary

No, not really.  Harry just had to figure out what the secret to the  book was.  If you wrote in the book, some invisible hand would write back to you.  Just a little creepy.  So Harry decided to ask T. M. Riddle, or Tom Riddle, if he knew anything about the Chamber of Secrets.  Of course Riddle knew something.

Riddle took him into the pages of the book to show Harry his memory.  In the memory, the school was being ravaged by the horror of the Chamber.  Riddle was an orphan, and was going to have to go back to the orphanage in the summer if the Heir of Slytherin wasn’t caught.  So Riddle caught the Heir of Slytherin:  Hagrid.  Hagrid was apparently hiding a great big spider.  Riddle said that the spider had attacked all of the people.  That caused Hagrid to get expelled, and Riddle to win the award for Special Services to the School.

So, was Hagrid the Heir of Slytherin?  Hagrid clearly had a love of dangerous creatures.  Could Hagrid be evil enough to set one of his “pets” on numerous students?  Was Hagrid now opening the Chamber as gamekeeper?

Or was Hagrid being blamed for something that had nothing to do with him, much like Harry was being blamed for being a Parslemouth?


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