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Second year

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The trio in their second year

"The second years were given something new to think about during their Easter holidays. The time had come to choose their subjects for third year [...] "
—Second years select elective classes for third year[src]
A second year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their second year of magical education. Second years are typically 12 to 13 years of age. The second year is the first year in which students ride up to the castle in carriages pulled by Thestrals.

During the second year


1992 Herbology

A second year Herbology lesson

Second year students must take Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy and Herbology.[1]

The second year is the first time when students are allowed to try out for their house Quidditch teams. The one exception to this was when Harry Potter was allowed to join the house Quidditch team during his first year due to his exceptional skills.

Like first years, second years aren't allowed to accompany those in the third year or above to Hogsmeade village for the weekend trips, however, they are allowed to have their own broom inside the school grounds.


Little is known of the average second-year curriculum. However, when Gilderoy Lockhart taught the Defence Against the Dark Arts class, he taught them mainly about himself, after releasing a cage full of pixies into the class and causing utter pandemonium on the first day.

In Herbology students are generally taken to the more dangerous greenhouses; they learn about Mandrakes, spending much of the class re-potting them so that they can be chopped up and stewed.

History of Magic students learn about the International Warlock Convention of 1289; in September of 1289, something happened involving some Sardinian sorcerers.

In Transfiguration, students learn the beetle to button and rabbits to slippers spells. In Potions class, they learn about the Hair-Raising Potion, as well as the Swelling Solution.


Period Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
First Transfiguration Double Herbology Defence Against the Dark Arts (?) Herbology

Transfiguration (formerly)


Third Potions

Defence Against the Dark Arts (formerly)

History of Magic

Double Potions (?) Transfiguration
Fourth Herbology
Fifth Defence Against the Dark Arts

Elective subjects

At the end of the second year, students chose elective subjects for their third year. They must select at least two from Divination, Arithmancy, Study of Ancient Runes, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies.

Required textbooks

Harry's second year (1992-1993)

Summer Holidays

Harry's second year at Hogwarts was filled with odd occurrences before he even got to school. It started when a house-elf named Dobby appeared in his room at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon's house on Harry's twelfth birthday, and stopped the mail from Harry's friends being delivered directly to him. When Harry ignored the house-elf's demand of promising not to return to Hogwarts (when it meant putting himself in great danger) in order to earn the letters back, Dobby crashed the dinner party Vernon was holding downstairs for his co-worker via a Hover Charm on Petunia's homemade masterpiece of pudding, which splattered everywhere when the spell was lifted, and disappeared. The mess left behind was thus blamed on Harry, who received an official warning from the Ministry of Magic about using magic outside school, and the Dursleys, taking this as an advantage to suppress the magical blood in their nephew, locked him in his room with bars on his window to prevent him from returning to Hogwarts as punishment.

Three nights later, Harry was rescued by Ron, Fred, and George Weasley, who arrived in their father Arthur's flying car to take him back to The Burrow. But when they arrived, a worried-sick Molly Weasley was waiting in the kitchen, and punished her three sons for taking the vehicle without permission by having them and Harry (who volunteered) de-gnome the garden. Arthur Weasley came home and was honored to meet Harry once introduced to each other, and welcomed the young wizard into the family fold for the rest of the summer, further cementing his best friendship with Ron.

Welcoming at Flourish and Blotts

When a Hogwarts acceptance letter for Ron's younger sister Ginny Weasley arrived, the Weasleys set out for Diagon Alley to buy her some school supplies using the Floo Network. Harry, however, ended up at Borgin and Burkes in the adjacent Knockturn Alley, where he was forced to hide as Draco Malfoy and his father Lucius, a Hogwarts governor, came in to sell several of the dark or illegally enchanted artifacts in his incriminating possessions. Soon as the Malfoys left, Harry was found leaving the shop himself by Rubeus Hagrid, who brought him out of Knockturn and into Diagon Ally's Flourish and Blotts, where the Weasley's were in line with Hermione Granger and her parents for a book signing set up for the arrival of flamboyant but incompetent celebrity author Gilderoy Lockhart, who was recently appointed Hogwarts' new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

When Lockhart saw Harry for the first time, he got excited and beckoned him up to the front, allowing the audience to take pictures of them together before giving Harry a set of his books. Harry was too embarrassed by this publicity stunt, and gave the books to Ginny since he could afford a set of his own. Malfoy went over to congratulate him for being unable to avoid making the front page when walking into a bookstore, but then his father moved him aside to have a one-on-one argument with Mr. Weasley over the latter's obsession with Muggles (finding an example of which in Hermione's parents, both Muggle dentists), provoking Weasley into lunging at him. Hagrid broke up the fight just in time, but not before the senior Malfoy slipped a diary into Ginny's cauldron

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Harry Potter and Ron Weasley crossing the magical barrier to Platform 9¾ in 1992 to find it blocked

When he and Ron were trying to get onto Platform 9¾, the barrier mysteriously sealed and they hit the wall. They missed the Hogwarts Express and decided to fly the car to Scotland, reasoning that they would not be seen due to the Invisibility Booster that Arthur Weasley had installed. However, the booster failed shortly after takeoff, and the car was spotted by several Muggles as they flew northward. Their day-long flight ended with them crashing into the Whomping Willow, instead of with the graceful landing they had imagined. To add insult to injury, they were found by Professor Severus Snape as they watched the Sorting ceremony from the window; were taken to Snape's office, where they were given separate detentions, despite Snape's best efforts to get them expelled. Ginny, meanwhile, was sorted into Gryffindor.

The next day at breakfast, Ron received a Howler from his mother who told him that he would be brought home if he broke another rule. The day only got worse when the Gryffindors attended their first lesson with. Lockhart's teaching was a disaster. He gave them a pop quiz on himself and claimed the answers could be found in his books. He then let a cage of Pixies loose, struggled to round them up and then he run and hid from them, leaving his young pupils to save the day.

As the DADA lessons continued, Harry found himself having to act out scenes from Lockhart's books as he read them in class. Lockhart was in love with fame and kept bothering Harry. He had to help Lockhart answer his fan-mail while Ron had to polish the school's prizes and trophies. After hours of tedious work, Harry heard a disembodied, sinister voice, which Lockhart was unable to hear. 

Lockhart was not the only one who paid Harry extra attention: Colin Creevey was star-struck by him, and Ginny had a crush on him.

Death-day Party

"Why would anyone want to celebrate the day they died? Sounds dead depressing to me...."
—Ron regarding the Death-day Party[src]
Writing on wall

The message on the wall "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir Beware"

In return for distracting Argus Filch just when he was about to give Harry severe punishment, Harry promised he would attend Nearly Headless Nick's Death-day Party on Hallowe'en. He brought Ron and Hermione along, as well, but the three of them quickly grew tired of the ghostly party and returned to the Great Hall. Before they got to the Hallowe'en feast, Harry heard the voice (which Ron and Hermione also could not hear) and followed it to the second floor, where he found the bathroom flooded and Mrs Norris, Filch's cat, petrified — coupled with a message on the wall.

Filch and Snape tried to get Harry in trouble for this, but Dumbledore said that it was powerful dark magic that no second year student could perform. They decided that Sprout's mandrakes would be used, once they were mature enough, to create a draught capable of reviving Mrs Norris.

History of Magic


Binns tells his students the story of the Chamber of Secrets

Hermione wanted to research the Chamber of Secrets, so she talked Professor Binns (the History of Magic teacher) into telling the class about it. He explained that one of the founders of Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin, got into an argument with the others about whether Muggle-borns should be admitted and, when the rift grew too large, he left the school. According to legend, he built a going-away present to the school in the form of a secret chamber that could only be opened by his true heir. This "Chamber of Secrets" allegedly contained a monster that, once released, would purge the school of all Muggle-borns. Professor Binns unsuccessfully tried to assure the class that the Chamber did not actually exist and that the school had been searched many times in vain.

Harry, Ron and Hermione decided that the heir was probably Draco Malfoy. To try to prove it, Hermione proposed to use the Polyjuice Potion, which can change one's appearance into somebody else's for an hour. Hermione warned that the potion would take a month to brew, supposing they gathered all the necessary ingredients (one of which could only be found in Professor Snape's private inventory) and managed to keep it a secret.



Harry Potter playing against Draco Malfoy in the first match of the season

During the month that it took the Polyjuice Potion to brew, a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin took place. Draco Malfoy had been made Slytherin's new Seeker, on the merit of his father's generous contribution to the team: a set of Nimbus 2001 brooms. During the match, one of the Bludgers took after Harry and focused completely on him. Since Bludgers were supposed to attack each and every player, the crowd immediately realised that this Bludger had been tampered with. Harry still managed to catch the Snitch and Gryffindor won. However, the Bludger broke his arm and Lockhart, attempting to fix it, removed all of the bones in his arm instead. Madam Pomfrey gave Harry Skele-Gro potion to counter this and Harry was forced to stay in the Hospital Wing overnight.

During that night, Dobby visited Harry and revealed that it was he who made the Bludger chase after Harry, and was also responsible for the barrier of platform 9¾ not letting him in — all in hopes of Harry leaving or never arriving at Hogwarts. He also revealed that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before and immediately punished himself, as he was not supposed to reveal anything. After Dobby disappeared, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Madam Pomfrey entered with Colin Creevey, who had apparently been petrified. He was found with a camera containing film that had been burnt to the melting point.

Duelling Club

"Now, Professor Dumbledore has granted me permission to start this little duelling club, to train you all in case you ever need to defend yourselves as I myself have done on countless occasions — for full details, see my published works."
—Gilderoy Lockhart states the purpose of the club[src]

The first and last meeting of the Duelling club

Harry signed up for a Duelling Club which was (to Harry's great displeasure) taught by his two least favourite teachers: Lockhart and Snape. During a practise battle in the first meeting, Draco Malfoy conjured a snake to attack Harry. Lockhart tried to banish it, but all he managed was to set it loose on the students. Harry saw that the snake was advancing on a Hufflepuff student named Justin Finch-Fletchley and instinctively told it to stop, which — to Harry's great surprise — it did. The others students were less than ecstatic about this, however. All they saw was Harry speaking Parseltongue, the language of snakes, and since they could not understand it, it seemed to them that he was egging the snake on. It turned out that Parseltongue was a very rare gift that was closely associated with Salazar Slytherin. Due to this, Harry became the number one suspect among students for being the heir of Slytherin. Hermione even told him that since Salazar Slytherin lived so long ago, he might actually be.

Seconds after leaving a conversation with Hagrid, Harry ran into a petrified Justin Finch-Fletchley and a black, smoking Nearly-Headless Nick. Peeves alerted the whole school, and a Hufflepuff called Ernie Macmillan claimed that Harry had been caught red-handed. For the first time, Harry was taken to Dumbledore's office, and there he witnessed Fawkes — Dumbledore's phoenix — bursting into ashes and being reborn. Dumbledore says that he did not believe Harry to be behind the attacks, a belief reinforced by Hagrid backing Harry's alibi, but a large portion of the school was sure that Harry was Slytherin's heir.

Polyjuice Potion

Harry Potter: "Look at his family. The whole lot of them have been in Slytherin, he’s always boasting about it. They could easily be Slytherin’s descendants… But how do we prove it?"
Hermione Granger: "There might be a way. Of course, it would be difficult. And dangerous, very dangerous. We’d be breaking about fifty school rules, I expect… What we’d need to do is to get inside the Slytherin common room and ask Malfoy a few questions without him realising it’s us."
Harry Potter: "But that’s impossible."
Hermione Granger: "No, it’s not. All we’d need would be some Polyjuice Potion..."
— Harry, Hermione, and Ron planning[src]
Polyjuice effects

Harry changing into Goyle after ingesting Polyjuice Potion

Harry, Ron, and Hermione all signed up to remain at the school during Christmas, since Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had done so as well, and this gave them the perfect opportunity to use their Polyjuice potion. When Christmas arrived (Harry's gifts: a toothpick, fudge in a tin, a copy of Flying with the Cannons, a new quill, a jumper and plum cake) they drugged Crabbe and Goyle via chocolate cakes, took their hairs and assumed their forms. Hermione tried to use a hair she thought belonged to Millicent Bulstrode, but it was actually her cat's and Hermione was transformed into a cat/human hybrid. Hermione was forced to spend a few weeks in the Hospital Wing. As Crabbe and Goyle, Harry and Ron interrogated an unsuspecting Malfoy and discovered that even though he wished he were, Draco was not the Heir of Slytherin. They also heard that the last time the chamber was opened, fifty years ago, a Muggle-born girl died and whoever was responsible was expelled. Malfoy also mentioned his father's secret stash of illegal artefacts.

The trio discussing the diary after finding it in a washroom

Weeks later, Ron and Harry overheard Argus Filch complaining about his workload and leaving. They arrive at Myrtle Warren's bathroom to find it flooded. Myrtle, a sulking ghost, explained that she had flooded it because somebody threw a diary at her. Harry picked it up; it turned out to have belonged to a T.M. Riddle and appeared to be completely blank. Ron remembered from his detention that Riddle had won an award for special service to the school fifty years before. Hermione deduced that since this coincided with the last time the Chamber was opened, Tom Riddle might have received his prize for catching whoever was responsible for the attacks back then. Even though all attempts to extract information from the diary failed, Harry felt a strange compulsion to keep it.

On Valentine's Day, Ron and Harry were dismayed to find out Lockhart had spread dwarves dressed as cupids throughout the school to receive and deliver Valentines. One cupid-dwarf managed to deliver one to Harry. While struggling to avoid him, the embarrassed Harry tripped and fell, spilling ink all over the contents of his bag. Ginny noticed the diary and assumed a horrified expression.

The Secret Diary

Harry witnessing a 16-year-old Riddle during the 1943 opening of the Chamber of Secrets threatening Hagrid

Later, Harry realised that even though ink was spilled all over the diary, it was not stained at all. He tried writing to the diary and, to his surprise, the diary — or rather T.M. Riddle — began to write back. Riddle explained that he was the one who caught the person who opened the Chamber of Secrets the last time, and he could show Harry what happened. Harry agreed and got sucked into a "recording" of Riddle's memory. He witnessed the school's previous headmaster, Armando Dippet, informing Riddle that the school would be closed and Riddle, apprehensive of this, catching Rubeus Hagrid fiddling with a large spider in a box. Riddle reported Hagrid to Dippet. During the memory, Harry also learned that Riddle was an orphan that did not want to go back to the orphanage, and his full name was Tom Marvolo Riddle. Having seen this, Harry wondered whether Hagrid was the one who opened the Chamber fifty years before and whether he was responsible this time.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione decided not to ask Hagrid about it, hoping that the attacks had stopped — and indeed, almost four months after the attack on Justin and Nearly-Headless Nick, the disembodied voice kept quiet and the attacks seemed to have ceased. However, odd things keep happening: Harry returned to his dormitory one day to find it a mess. Ron deduced that somebody had been looking for something, and Harry eventually noticed that Tom Riddle's diary was gone. This greatly befuddled them, seeing as only a Gryffindor could know the password to enter the dormitory.

Cornelius Fudge

""Bad business, Hagrid. Very bad business. Had to come. Four attacks on Muggle-borns. Things've gone far enough. Ministry's got to act."
—Fudge preparing to take Hagrid to Azkaban[src]

The next day, the scheduled Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff was cancelled due to yet another attack and Harry heard the voice again. This time, Minerva McGonagall called for Harry and Ron personally, and led them to the Hospital Wing, where they saw Hermione petrified. She was found near the library with a Ravenclaw prefect, inexplicably holding a small, circular mirror. This removed Harry as a suspect in the eyes of many of the students, as they knew he would never harm Hermione.

Hagrid's hut with visitors Malfoy Fudge Dumbledore

Fudge at Hogwarts to take Hagrid to Azkaban

Harry and Ron decided they now must talk to Hagrid. With the now constant supervision on students, this was not easy, but they managed to do it by using Harry's Invisibility cloak. When they reach Hagrid's cabin, Harry and Ron managed to hide just before Cornelius Fudge — the Minister for Magic — and Dumbledore arrived at the scene. Fudge announced that Hagrid, who to the best of his knowledge opened the Chamber of Secrets the last time, would be sent to Azkaban prison as a precaution. They were shortly joined by Lucius Malfoy, who declared that he and the other governors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had unanimously voted to suspend Dumbledore, despite the obvious logic that this would only worsen the situation. Both Hagrid and Dumbledore give last words. Hagrid covertly suggests to Harry and Ron that, if they want the truth, they should "follow the spiders", and Dumbledore says that he would only truly have left the school when none there remained loyal to him. He also stressed that if anybody at Hogwarts needed help, it would always be available.


"They believed that I was the monster that dwells in what they call the Chamber of Secrets."
—Aragog discussing the monster within the chamber with Harry Potter[src]

Harry and Ron visiting Aragog in his lair

Harry and Ron decided to follow the spiders as per Hagrid's advice. Walking along the trails of the spiders, which were strangely all fleeing Hogwarts, take them into the Forbidden Forest. Even though Ron was deeply arachnophobic, the fact that Hermione had been petrified and that they may be able to help through this investigation gave him the willpower to go along anyway. There, they encountered Arthur Weasley's car, which had apparently taken to driving through the forest like some sort of wild animal. They eventually meet Aragog, a giant spider which had been the monster Hagrid had been "caught" setting on other students fifty years ago. Aragog explained that Hagrid was innocent, but rather than letting Harry and Ron go, he decided to leave them as dinner for his children. Mr Weasley's Ford Anglia came blasting through the layers of spiders, however, and assisted the boys' escape.

After this, Harry and Ron felt that they had reached dead ends everywhere, until one possible last hope occurred to them. Aragog said the monster's last victim died in a bathroom, and it occurred to Harry that Myrtle Warren might have been that victim. Of course, with the school under such security, it would be almost impossible to sneak in the girls' bathroom near where the first attack occurred.

The last attack

—The final message on the wall[src]

Later that same day, Harry and Ron managed to trick Lockhart — who was leading them to their next class — into letting them go by stroking his ego. Just as they patted themselves on the back, they were caught by Professor McGonagall, and Harry had to make up an excuse — they were going to see Hermione in the Hospital Wing, where visitors were now barred. They now had to go along to make their story appear convincing, but rather than simply hanging around Hermione's petrified form, this time Harry noticed a piece of paper tightly clutched in her hand. This piece of paper revealed what Hermione had found out before she was attacked. She had discovered, based on strong circumstantial evidence, that the monster in the Chamber of Secrets was a basilisk. As a basilisk was a giant snake, this explained why only Harry could hear it. The basilisk killed people by looking it in the eye, but no one died because nobody had looked at its gaze directly. Colin Creevey saw it through his camera, Justin Finch-Fletchley saw it through Nearly-Headless Nick (who was already dead), Mrs Norris saw its reflection in the waters from the flooded bathroom, and Hermione used a mirror to look around corners after figuring things out. There was also a note about how spiders feared the basilisk (which explained them fleeing Hogwarts) and the rooster's call being potentially fatal to it (which explains Hagrid's roosters having been mysteriously killed during the year).


The message written on the wall after Ginevra Weasley is taken into the Chamber of Secrets

On the note was also scribbled a single word, "pipes", which meant that the serpent moved around through the plumbing. Having solved the mystery, Harry and Ron decided to go to the staff room and report to the teachers. When they got there, they overheard the teachers talking about another attack having occurred. Harry and Ron decided to hide to hear more details, and learning that Ginny had been kidnapped and the heir of Slytherin had left another message under the previous one: Harry and Ron also heard that Hogwarts would be closed the following day. The teachers then forced Lockhart to deal with the monster, as he had been claiming he could handle whatever was responsible for the attacks, irritating the rest of the staff to no end. Looking very crestfallen, he left for his room.

Chamber of Secrets

That night, Harry and Ron felt utterly useless and helpless, until it occurred to them that if the serpent used the plumbing to get around and the last time the chamber was opened a girl died, then the chamber entrance must be in the bathroom Myrtle Warren haunted.

Harry and Ron decided that if Lockhart was going to deal with the monster they might as well tell him what they knew. They went to his room, only to find him frantically planning to run away. When questioned on why such a talented wizard as himself was leaving, Lockhart admitted that he was a fraud and that he put Memory Charms on the people who really did the things that he claimed to have done in his books.


The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets

He then attempted to put a memory charm on Harry and Ron as well, but they managed to disarm him and, under wand threats, took him to Myrtle Warren's bathroom. Moaning Myrtle explained her death, saying the last thing she saw was a pair of enormous eyes by one of the sinks, the tap of which had never worked. Harry found a snake carved on the tap and then opened the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets by speaking Parseltongue to it.

Inside the chamber

Harry in the chamber of Secrets

Harry, Ron, and Lockhart slid down a large pipe and found themselves in maze-like tunnels far under the school. Down there, they encountered a snake skin left by the basilisk. Just then, Lockhart feigned fainting and stole Ron's wand. Victoriously proclaiming that he would erase Harry and Ron's memories and tell everybody they lost their sanity at the sight of Ginny's mangled body, Lockhart attempted a spell. Ron's broken wand caused the charm to backfire, erasing Lockhart's memory and causing a portion of the ceiling to cave in. This trapped Harry in the direction of the chamber and Ron in the direction of the castle. Ron had no choice but to stay behind and clear a path through the rocks while Harry continued in search of Ginny. Harry then encountered a wall with stone snakes on it, opened it by speaking Parseltongue, and enters the Chamber itself.

The Heir of Slytherin

"Let's match the power of Lord Voldemort, Heir of Salazar Slytherin, against the famous Harry Potter."
—Tom Riddle to Harry Potter while in the chamber[src]
ChamberOfSecrets PM B2C17M1 HarryCrouchedOverGinnyTomRiddleWatching Moment

Harry and an unconscious Ginny in the main chamber

Inside, he found Ginny lying on the ground, pale and cold. He dropped his wand and ran to her, trying to get a response from her, but to no avail. He then saw Tom Riddle smiling at him and holding Harry's wand. Riddle explained his presence in the present by revealing he was a memory, which had been preserved in his diary for fifty years.

He then explained what had happened. Riddle had opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago and planned to purge the school of Muggle-borns and half-bloods; however, when he learned that the school was going to close down due to the attacks and that Dumbledore (then the Transfiguration teacher) was keeping a closer and closer watch on him, he had no choice but to cease the attacks and frame Hagrid for doing it. Not wanting to waste all the years he spent on figuring out where the chamber was and how to get to it, he left behind a diary containing the memory of his sixteen-year-old self in hopes that it would, one day, fall into the hands of an unsuspecting victim who would help him finish his work.

Ginny had been writing in the diary all year. Riddle had written back sympathetically and Ginny grew to confess her fears, hopes and feelings to him. She essentially poured some of her soul into him, which was exactly what he wanted. He gradually grew more powerful and eventually managed to pour some of his soul back into her, possessing her and using her body to open the chamber and launch the new series of attacks. However, eventually Ginny became suspicious of the diary and decided to get rid of it by flushing it down the toilet in Myrtle Warren's bathroom. This is when Harry found it.

When Ginny saw Harry with the diary on Valentine's Day, she panicked and worried that Riddle had told all of her secrets to Harry, so she stole it back from Harry's dormitory. It began taking control of her again, but this time with the intention of killing Harry, so he had Ginny write her own farewell on the wall and come down to wait, luring Harry to the rescue and, consequently, his doom.

Riddle then asked how Harry managed to defeat the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort as a mere baby. Harry asks Riddle why he cares, as Voldemort existed after his time. Riddle replies that Voldemort was his "past, present and future." He then wrote his name in the air with Harry's wand:

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I am Lord Voldemort


Riddle then waved the wand and the letters rearrange themselves into


Needless to say, this meant Riddle grew up to become Lord Voldemort. Riddle then revealed he was, in fact, a half-blood, and his mother had named him Tom after his Muggle father and Marvolo after his wizard grandfather, a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. He scrambled his name to create a new one, which he knew people would fear when he became the most powerful wizard in the world.


"Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts four!"
—Riddle's fragmented soul summoning the serpent[src]

Harry retorted that he must be mistaken, because the greatest wizard in the world, as everybody knew, was not Voldemort but Dumbledore. Even when Voldemort was at the peak of his power, he was afraid of Dumbledore, and now he was barely alive. Riddle angrily answered that Dumbledore had been driven out the castle by the mere memory of him. Harry yelled that Dumbledore was not as gone as Riddle seemed to believe. In this display of loyalty, he summoned Fawkes the phoenix to him, who also brought with him the Sorting Hat, both assets that Riddle deems extremely useless.

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Harry slays Slytherin's basilisk

Riddle then summoned the basilisk and commanded it to kill Harry. However, Fawkes was not as defenceless as one might initially think, and pecked out the basilisk's eyes, thus preventing its gaze from killing. The basilisk could still smell Harry, however, and remained very dangerous; Harry, in desperation, put on the Sorting Hat, wishing against hope for help. Instead of an answer, Harry had a heavy sword with a hilt embedded with rubies fall on his head from inside the hat. After several missed strikes from the blinded basilisk, Harry plunged the sword into the roof of its mouth, killing it. However, one of its poisonous fangs sank into his arm, injecting a deadly poison. While Riddle gloated over his "win", Fawkes cried on the wound, and since phoenix tears had incredible healing properties, Harry was instantly cured.

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Harry stabbing the diary with a basilisk fang

Harry then plunged the basilisk fang into Tom Riddle's diary. Ink began pouring out of the book and the memory of Riddle faded out of existence; Ginny immediately stirred and woke up, quite distraught. Harry and Ginny travelled back through the Chamber to find Ron and Lockhart, who had no idea of who or where he was.

Escaping the chamber

Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart grabbed onto Fawkes and flew out of the Chamber (another phoenix specialty). They returned to the castle to find Dumbledore, McGonagall, Arthur and Molly Weasley, who were delighted to see them alive. Harry worried that Ginny would get blamed for being the person behind the attacks, but to his great relief Dumbledore rightly deduced that Voldemort was the culprit. After Ginny left to get a much-needed rest, Harry and Ron both received 200 house points each for Gryffindor and both got an Award for Special Services to the school, and then Dumbledore asked to speak with Harry alone.

After the invent in the chamber

Harry and Dumbledore talk after Harry slayed the Basilisk in the chamber

Harry expressed his concern that he belonged in Slytherin. Dumbledore revealed that Voldemort transferred some of his powers to Harry when he gave him his scar, explaining his ability to speak Parseltongue. He asked Harry why he thought the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor if he had so many Slytherin qualities, and Harry admitted that the only reason it did was because he had asked it to. Dumbledore confirmed this and told Harry that "it is our choices, rather than our abilities, that reveal who we truly are". He pointed out to the sword Harry had drawn out of the hat - Harry now noticed it had Godric Gryffindor's name on it. Dumbledore said that only a true Gryffindor would be able to draw it out.

Dobby's reward

Lucius Malfoy barged into Dumbledore's office, outraged that Dumbledore had returned to the school after being dismissed. Dumbledore calmly responded that the governors had asked him to return once they heard that Arthur Weasley's daughter was attacked. Apparently they had been blackmailed by Lucius to vote for Dumbledore's dismissal in the first place on pain of Lucius cursing their families. Dobby followed Lucius into the room, thus showing that his masters were the Malfoys.

Dobby sock

Dobby receiving Harry's sock and thus being set free

Dumbledore and Malfoy had a calm and venomous interchange (respectively), during which Dumbledore and Harry (with the help of Dobby's unspoken hints) essentially exposed Lucius sneaking Riddle's diary (one of his illegal artefacts) into Ginny's school things during the fight with Arthur at Flourish and Blotts. This was supposed to frame Ginny for the attacks, with heavy implications on the Muggle Protection Act Arthur Weasley had been suggesting. Malfoy dared Dumbledore to prove his accusation, and while the Headmaster has insufficient evidence to do that, he cautioned Malfoy against orchestrating further such plots.

Knowing that a master could release his house-elf by giving them some clothes, Harry tricked Malfoy into freeing Dobby by giving Malfoy one of his own socks, which he promptly threw away, and was caught by Dobby. Malfoy, after discovering Harry's trick, attempted to kill Harry, only to be stopped by Dobby. Dobby thanked Harry dearly for freeing him and left. At the ending feast, Dumbledore announced his school treat of cancelling all final exams (much to Hermione's dismay) and that Lockhart would not return to Hogwarts.


Notes and references

Hogwarts years
First - Second - Third - Fourth - Fifth - Sixth - Seventh

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