The plot thickens. Hagrid is suspected of opening the Chamber of Secrets because of what Harry learned from Tom Riddle’s diary. Harry discovers a little later that Tom Riddle’s diary was gone, and the person who stole it had to have been someone from Gryffindor. Was someone in Gryffindor the Heir of Slytherin?
Harry hears the cold voice again, and Hermione realizes something, causing her go off to the library. She is then attacked by the monster. What did Hermione find out that caused her to be attacked?
Things are getting too weird, too fast. Harry and Ron have to go and see Hagrid to find out if he’s the Heir of Slytherin. When they get there, however, they find out that others are asking him the same thing. Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic, comes to take Hagrid away to Azkaban as a precaution. In addition, Lucius Malfoy comes to remove Dumbledore from his post, saying that the Board of Governors decided that he has lost his touch. How exactly will that solve the problem? As parting words, Dumbledore says that he is only gone when none who remain at Hogwarts are loyal to him, and Hagrid says to follow the spiders.
When Lockhart boasts that the Heir was caught because Hagrid was taken away, Harry and Ron decide to go follow those spiders to find out some stuff. This leads them into a large death trap. Yes, Aragog says that he’s not the monster, but his fellow spiders decide to eat Harry and Ron. Luckily, Mr. Weasley’s car saves them. It’s been running around in the Forbidden Forest all this time.
It appears as though Harry and Ron have hit a dead end. They don’t know of anyone else who could be the Heir of Slytherin. And Hermione’s petrified. They can’t ask her.
Harry comes up with a brilliant idea in the middle of the night. What if the girl who was killed never left the bathroom. What if Moaning Myrtle was killed by the monster? Harry and Ron distract Lockhart and venture off to the bathroom, but Professor McGonagall finds them. Harry comes up with a quick story about going to see Hermione. Uncharacteristically, McGonagall tears up and lets them go. While visiting Hermione, Harry and Ron find a piece of paper clamped in her fist. This paper contains the information she learned before she was attacked, that the monster is a Basilisk, the King of Serpents. If you look at it in the eye, it kills you. Spiders flee before it. It can also kill you with poisonous fangs. Hermione wrote pipes, indicating it moves through the walls.
This is all great, but they find out that Ginny Weasley was taken into the Chamber. Lockhart is told to go after Ginny. Harry and Ron find out later that he is planning on escaping, even though he’s the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. They haul Lockhart out to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, where Harry and Ron ask Myrtle how she did. She tells them she saw a great pair of yellow eyes by the sink. Harry checks it out, and sees a small snake symbol on the side of the faucet, indicating the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry, Ron, and Lockhart go down a slimy tunnel and end up underneath the castle. Lockhart tries to pull something to enhance his fame and say that he found Ginny dead, but he tries it with Ron’s wand. The wand backfires on him, causing him to lose his memory. He flies against the wall, and there is a cave in. Harry runs and finds himself alone on the other side.
Harry has no choice but to continue. He has to find Ginny. Harry finds a wall carved with two emerald serpents. He says “open” in parselmouth, and the wall cracks open. He goes inside and finds Ginny lying there, along with Tom Riddle. Tom Riddle is the Heir of Slytherin. He preserved the memory of himself in a diary. When Lucius Malfoy secretly gave Ginny Tom Riddle’s diary in Gringotts, she started writing it in all the troubles she was having. This gave Tom Riddle “food” in which to grow stronger. Eventually, Ginny started to do what Tom wanted her to do, like write the message in blood on the wall. Tom Riddle apparently is Lord Voldemort.
Well of course, Voldemort wants Harry killed. He asks Harry why Harry escaped him the first time, then lets the Basilisk go after him. Voldemort is particularly mad when Harry says Dumbledore is the greatest wizard that ever lived, and not Voldemort. This causes Fawkes and the Sorting Hat to arrive. Harry pulls Gryffindor’s sword out of the Sorting Hat and kills the snake with it. The snake’s fangs sink into his arm when he kills the snake though, causing him to slowly die. Luckily, Fawkes is there to cry on his wound. Phoenix tears have healing powers.
Ginny wakes up, and Ron’s cleared the debris. Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lockhart fly up on Fawkes’ tail feathers, to the delight of Lockhart, who says, “this is just like magic!”
Fawkes leads them to McGonagal’s office, where Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, McGonagal, and Dumbledore are. Harry explains the situation, and Dumbledore infers that Lord Voldemort tricked Ginny. Harry and Ron receive an award for Special Services to the School. The Weasleys leave with Ginny, and Ron takes Lockhart up to see Madame Pomfrey.
Dumbedore then asks Harry again if he has questions. Harry asks if he should have been placed in Slytherin. Apparently, Voldemort transferred some of his powers to Harry the night he died, so Harry is now a Parslemouth. However, because Harry asked to be placed in Gryffindor, that makes all the difference. Harry belongs in Gryffindor. Proof is that he pulled Gryffindor’s sword out of the Sorting Hat. In one of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter, Dumbledore says, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
On a more positive note, Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock because Harry sneaks Tom Riddle’s diary into his moldy sock and gives it to Lucius. Lucius threw the sock away, and Dobby caught it. Dobby is free. Lucius Malfoy tries to curse Harry for freeing his servant, but Dobby saves him.
The book ends in a magnificent feast where all the victims of the snake return unpetrified, and Hagrid comes back. On a side note, Percy Weasley has a girlfriend, much to the delight of Fred and George. Then, it’s time to go back to the Dursley’s for another summer.
Stay tuned for the book and movie review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.