After potions class, they made their way to lunch. There they sat at the Ravenclaw table. They ate relatively quickly and decided to go to the library. They spent the time until going to Hagrid's finishing up their homework for the week. Finally after what seemed like a lot longer than a few hours to Harry it was 10 minutes till three. They then gathered up their books and supplies and made their way to Hagrid's.
The walk was very familiar to Harry. They slowly made their way across the grounds for Hagrid still lived in his little hut not far from the edge of the forbidden Forest. As they came close, Harry slightly shivered with the memories of all the times he had been in that forest. None of them were good.
When Harry knocked they heard a frantic scrabbling from inside and several booming Barks. Then Hagrid's voice rang out, saying, “Back, Fang – back.” Then Hagrid's face appeared. “Hang on,” he said. “Back, Fang.” He let them in, struggling to keep a hold on the collar of an enormous black boarhound.
It was exactly as Harry remembered it from before it had been burned down with Hogwarts. It had one room. Hams and pheasants were hanging from the ceiling, a copper kettle was boiling on the open fire, and in the corner stood Hagrid's massive bed.
“Hi. I'm Harry.” Introduced Harry. “And this is Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom. Hope you don't mind that I brought them along with me Mr. Hagrid.”
“Not at all, Harry.” Said Hagrid. “Me name is Hagrid. Ya don't need ta put Mr. in front of it.”
“Okay nice to meet you Hagrid.” They said.
They talked a little while about this and that. Not really about anything in particular. Though he did tell Harry a few stories of his parents. He had known them, but not very well. At one point Neville and Hagrid struck up a conversation about the different plants you would find in the forbidden Forest. Plants weren't really Hagrid's strong suit but he did know a few things. They talked about how their first week when. Hagrid was happy to hear that Harry was doing well so far in his classes. It was then that Neville and Hermione noticed the paper laying on the table:
Gringotts Break-In Latest
Investigations continue into the break-in at
gringotts on 31 July,what is believed to be the
work of dark wizards or witches unknown.
Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing
have been taken. The vault that was searched had in
fact been emptied the same day.
“But we're not telling you what was in there, so
keep your noses out of it if you know what's good
for you,” said a Gringotts spokes goblin this afternoon.
Hermione, being the curious Ravenclaw that she was, asked Hagrid about the article. He said that he didn't know anything, but all three of them could tell that he did. He wouldn't look Hermione straight in the eye, and he kept fidgeting. They decided to come back and talk to him about it later. They were soon walking back to the castle with their pockets weighted down with the rock cakes that they had been too polite to refuse. Harry was thinking all the while that the year was getting off to a good start. He remembered that he would just let Hermione and Neville figure things out on their own.
That night Harry snuck out of his dorm. He disillusioned himself. He decided it is time to confront basilisk in the chamber of secrets. He stealthily as he could crept through the hallways. Luckily, it was a shorter walk to the second floor girls bathroom from the hufflepuff common room than it was from the Gryffindor common room. There were several close calls. Filch was roaming the hallways as usual. He walked by just a few feet from where Harry stood silent and, Harry saw Snape as well, but luckily Snape had just turned a corner and so Harry did not have to worry about him. It was not long before he got to moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
He quietly entered making sure that the door did not squeak. He paused for a moment, and not hearing Myrtle he quickly walked over to the sink that he knew was the entrance to the chamber of secrets. – Open – hissed Harry. Harry quickly cast a silencing charm at the sink so that no one would hear it, hopefully. It's slowly ground its way open. Harry looked down into the open tunnel. It was just as dark and slimy as Harry remembered it. He would rather not get soaking wet with slime. He decided to try something. -Stairs – hissed Harry. To his amazement and delight, stairs formed where there was once just a sloping slide. He would not have to get slime all over himself, just on his shoes.
' I should've done that the first time.' Thought Harry.' I mean Salazar Slytherin would never have wanted to actually slide down on the slide to his chamber. He would've built in a way for him to get up without using a Phoenix.' Harry was doubly glad whenever he thought of that fact. He realized that he did not have Fawkes there to help him out of the chamber that time. He had not really thought so far as to how he would get out. He sighed in relief. He could not believe his stupidity sometimes. He would have to be sure that his future ventures were better thought through. And with that thought he conjured and silenced a rooster. Just in case he needed to kill the basilisk again. There would be no Fawkes there to heal him if he got himself impaled by a basilisk fang again.
He quickly and silently as he could walked down the stairs. He soon came to the floor that was covered in bones of small animals. He silenced his feet and tried to avoid stepping on the remains of the bones of the creatures that littered the floor. He then walked down the tunnel, alert, and still holding the silenced rooster. He walked past the area that had caved in in the original timeline and quickly came to the door to the actual chamber itself. – Open – hissed Harry. The door swung open.
Harry, still very alert and on guard, walked into the chamber. He looked around. It was just as wet and filthy as he remembered it. Wrinkling his nose in disgust, he slowly padded forward to the statue of Salazar Slytherin. With the rooster at the ready he hissed – speak to me Slytherin greatest of the Hogwarts four – he heard a slithering sound coming from the statue. He readied the rooster. Suddenly the sound stopped.-Speaker. – Came the hissing noise. – Why have you brought the smell of death with you? – This hissing sounded afraid.
Harry thought of what to say. Well, he had attended to ask the basilisk a list of questions. He might as well ask them. He said – I have only brought it as a precaution. I would rather not die. – – Speaker? Why would I kill you? – – You have killed before. – – But I never meant to! The silver tongued one was here. He threatened to kill me if I did not kill muggleborns. I really did not want to master! I tried to avoid it really I did. When he ordered me out, I only petrified. I kept my eyes closed and I only opened them when I found one who would not die if I looked at them. I looked at people who only saw me in mirrors, and ones who saw me through a ghost. And those who saw my reflection in things like puddles. I never meant to kill anyone –
Harry was confused now. He thought that the basilisk was a beast bred and trained to kill muggleborns.
What do you mean you never meant to kill anyone? I thought that Salazar Slytherin made sure that you were bred and trained to kill. He then put you down here to kill muggleborns at the request of his heir like he had been unable to because he had been driven out– – No speaker. that was never master Salazar's intentions never! – – What! But history tells us that Salazar Slytherin was a muggle hating man who fought with Godric Gryffindor and the other two founders over the rights to have muggleborns come to the school. Salazar Slytherin did not want muggleborns in the school but the other three founders did. They got into a heated argument over this issue and Salazar Slytherin was driven out. Before he left here, he left you here in the chamber that was accessible only to his heir, Tom Riddle, so that he could come and release you in the future and so you could go out into the school and kill all those who he had deemed unworthy. Namely muggleborns and some all the blood traitors. Are you telling me that this is not true?! – – That is exactly what I'm saying speaker. Master Salazar was never like that. Is that how history portrays him as? He would be very sad to hear that – the basilisk sounded so sad.
Harry could hear her moving around. She was making noises that sounded wet and rather squelchi like he was stepping on a giant wet sponge. He realized she was crying. He actually felt rather ashamed of himself for making the basilisk cry. He never expected that he would feel that way. He had never even known a basilisk could actually cry. He didn't know what to do, so he just let her cry herself out.
After a short while the squelching noises stopped. – So then if Salazar Slytherin was not as history portrayed him as, what was he like?– – Oh Master Salazar was a great man. He had his faults I'm sure, but he was not at all like your history portrays him as. It is true that he did not much like muggles. He mostly hated them because they killed so many young witches and wizards. He hated that they would kill their children just because they were different, just because they were witches or wizards. He did not hate the muggleborns. He did not trust them though. If they were to take tales of Hogwarts back to their parents that could be devastating. There were many muggle uprisings against the school in the early days. It was mostly parents whose children had told them of the magic. They did not approve and wanted to kill all the students and the founders and other teachers. There were many times that the founders and the other teachers had to hide the students away and go out and confront angry parents.
It was due to this that he wanted the magical and muggle worlds to be separated. He wanted magical children born to muggle parents to be taken from their parents at a young age. Now this might sound cruel to you, but it would have saved many of the students. Many were killed before the founders even knew of them. If they were taken away then the parents would have less of a chance to kill them. Also if the worlds were separate then muggles would find less witches and wizards to kill in general. It would save a lot of people.
After a while Master Salazar decided to breed me, not to kill all the muggleborns and blood traitors but to protect the school. I was here as a last line of defense to keep the muggles from the students if the teachers and the founders were to fail at keeping them out. I was never meant to kill anyone except those trying to harm the school. – – So then why did you kill Myrtle? – Asked Harry. – It was an accident. I never meant to. She was in the bathroom the one day when I came out. I knew she was there. I heard the poor girl crying. I was just going to slither past and go on my way but then all of a sudden, she came out of the stall. She startled me. I did not mean for her to gaze into my eyes. It just happened. I was so ashamed of myself. I came down here and sulked for decades. Luckily the silver tongued one did not come back after that. I have been so lonely for so long. – She made what sounded like a sigh.
After thinking this through Harry then asked her to continue with her tale about Salazar Slytherin. He was rather curious now as to what happened in the rest of the story. She continued – He built this chamber and put me in here telling me of my purpose and all that I have told you. It was just a few years later that rumors reached us of Master Salazar's son. He hated muggles much worse than Master Salazar did and was rampaging through muggle villages and killing many people. Master Salazar did not agree. He did not like the muggles, but did not believe that killing all of them was the right answer.
He then came down to tell me goodbye. He was leaving to confront his son. I tried to convince him to stay, but I was unsuccessful. That day he had an argument with the other three founders, but not about muggles and muggleborns, they argued about whether or not Master Salazar should leave. The other founders did not want them to leave either. He would not listen to them either however and left. My master never came back. Both he and his son disappeared. No one knows what happened to him. I have been lonely for so long. I have yearned for a new master. Will you be my master? –
The question was so unexpected to Harry. He was just stunned. He had no idea that history's interpretation of Salazar's life and views were so wrong. He figured that if his son really was as much of a muggle hater as a basilisk said he was then history must have just mashed the two together and said that it was all Salazar Slytherin's doing. He then thought about the prospect of having the basilisk under his control. He did not want what happened in his original second year and 50 years ago to happen again. If this is the only way to prevent that and not kill what Harry knew now was a noble beast, then he would do it. He just hoped it would not be too painful. – Okay basilisk. What must I do? However before you tell me, I never did ask for your name. – – My name is Viride. – Said the basilisk as Harry closed his eyes because he heard her slithering out of the statue's mouth. She sounded excited and Harry hoped that this would not be a big mistake.