So Just What Is The Chamber Of Secrets?
After breakfast Hermione dragged us to the library to help her find every book in the library that might mention the chamber of secrets. She nearly blew a gasket when Madam Pince told her that a group of Ravenclaws came before breakfast and checked out every last copy of Hogwarts: A History. There was a two week waiting list. Now she’s mentally kicking herself for leaving her copy at home because she couldn’t fit it in her trunk with all the Lockhart books. If I had a choice I would have rather left Lockhart’s books; too bad they’re mandatory.
Of course Hermione would never allow herself to be clueless for long. First class Monday morning Hermione took the first chance she had to ask about the Chamber of Secrets, which happened to be Transfiguration with McGonagall. We were learning to how to transform animals into water goblets. Professor McGonagall picked Ron to try it first who turned Scabbers into a goblet with a tail. Ron may not have been the best student, but a broken wand certainly didn’t help matters.
It seemed that Hermione couldn’t wait any longer as her hand shot through the air. I’m surprised she waited ten minutes and didn’t ask first thing. “Professor, I was wondering if you could tell us about the Chamber of Secrets?” A hush fell over the room, you could probably hear a pin drop. Damn; actually that was my quill. I quickly and quietly picked up my quill without disturbing the tension that suddenly invaded the room. “My subject is Transfiguration, Miss Granger.” Professor McGonagall replied.
“Yes, Professor. But there seems to be very little written about the Chamber of Secrets. For those of us with a personal interest in the subject, that is … disturbing.” At the last bit Malfoy and his goons snorted at the table in the back. I turned and glared at them. As if they don’t want to know too, if he hasn’t gone crying to daddy already. Nev tugged at my sleeve. I rolled my eyes and turned back to Professor McGonagall. Knowing Malfoy it was probably the first thing he did once he heard about it anyway.
“Very well. You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. Three of the founders co-existed quite harmoniously. One did not.” Ron snorted this time, “Three guesses who?”
“Salazar Slytherin wished to be more selective about the students admitted to Hogwarts. He believed that the magical learning should be kept within all-magic families. In other words, purebloods. Unable to sway the others, he decided to leave the school.” McGonagall paused. “According to legend, Slytherin had built a hidden chamber in this castle, known as the Chamber of Secrets. Shortly before departing, he sealed it until that time when his own true heir returned to the school. The heir alone would be able to open the Chamber of Secrets and unleash the horror within, and by doing so, purge the school of all those who, in Slytherin’s view, were unworthy to study magic.”
“Muggle-borns.” Hermione answered. Professor McGonagall gave a slight nod. “Yes. Naturally, the school has been searched many times for such a chamber. It has never been found.” I raised my hand. “Professor, what exactly does the legend tell us lies within the Chamber?” Professor McGonagall pursed her lips. “The Chamber is said to be home to something which the heir of Slytherin alone can control. It is said to be the home … of a monster.”
“Do you think it’s true? Do you think there really is a Chamber of Secrets?” Nev asked once we left the classroom. “Yes. Couldn’t you tell, McGonagall’s worried. All the teachers are.” Hermione answered. “But if there really is a Chamber of Secrets, and it really has been opened, that means…” Harry trailed off.
“The Heir of Slytherin has returned to Hogwarts. The question is, who is it?” Hermione pointed out. Internally I sighed with relief. “Although the circumstances of that night are very strange I could finally, really, put the crazy idea that I could have written the bloody message on the wall to rest. I am definitely not the Heir of Slytherin. Especially since that would make Nev the Heir of Slytherin as well and that was just ludicrous. The thought that my brother could be the Heir of Slytherin was just as crazy as Malfoy running around the Great Hall in a dress, while confessing his love for Professor Lockhart. Ha, that’ll be the day.
“Let’s think. Who do we know who thinks Muggle-borns are scum?” Ron asked sarcastically. “If you’re talking about Malfoy,” Hermione started eyeing the idiots ahead of us. “Of course! You heard him: ‘You’ll be next, Mudbloods’!” Ron retorted. I still can’t believe he said that. Okay, wait. Actually I can, but still. What a bloody git. “I heard him. But Malfoy? The Heir of Slytherin?” Hermione asked doubtfully.
“Maybe Ron’s right, Hermione. I mean, look at his family. The whole lot of them have been in Slytherin for centuries.” Harry added. I sighed, “It’s not Malfoy. If Malfoy were the Heir of Slytherin, he would have told everyone the first train ride to Hogwarts. He would have been like ‘I’m Draco Malfoy and I’m going to be a Slytherin Pratt because I’m Heir of Slytherin and the Heir of Pratts, so that makes me the Heir of Slytherin Pratts’ And he would never let anyone forget it.” Nev snorted which made me smirk a little. “However, I do think he’s probably already wrote to his father about this, so he probably does know more than the rest of us.” I said.
“Crabbe and Goyle must know too, right? Maybe we could trick them into telling?” Nev threw in. “No. Even they aren’t that thick,” Hermione replied. “But there might be another way. Mind you, it would be difficult. Not to mention we’d be breaking about fifty school rules. And it would be dangerous. Very dangerous.” Ron grinned mischievously. “When do we start?”
Of course Ron wasn’t as excited when Hermione dragged us to the library, more specifically the Potions section and pulled out a book entitled Moste Potente Potions. “Here it is: ‘The Polyjuice Potion. Properly brewed, the Polyjuice Potion allows the drinker to transform himself temporarily into the physical form of another…’” Hermione read.
“You mean, if Harry and I drink some of this, we would turn into Crabbe and Goyle?” Ron asked, suddenly interested again. “Yes.” Hermione answered. “Wicked! Malfoy will tell us anything!” Harry agreed. “Exactly. But it’s tricky. I’ve never seen a more complicated potion. Lacewig flies, leeches, fluxweed, and knotgrass will be easy enough; they’re in the student store-cupboard. Powdered horn of a bicorn and shredded skin of boomslang, now that will be trickier. And of course, we’ll need a bit of whoever we want to change into as well.” Hermione explained.
“Wait a minute. I’m not drinking anything with Crabbe’s toenails in it.” Nev said disgusted. “How long will it take to make?” I asked. “A month.” Hermione answered. “A month? But if Malfoy is the Heir of Slytherin … he could attack half of the Muggle-borns in the school by then!” Harry exclaimed. I sighed, “I know it’s strange that I don’t want to blame him for once, but I really don’t think it’s Malfoy. It’s too obvious. Plus, if Malfoy were the Heir of Slytherin, he would mention it every chance he could. It would constantly be like ‘Just you wait until my father hears about this. Do you know who my ancestors are?’” I imitated in a high-pitched voice. “And he would never let anyone forget it. But, I bet he’s already wrote to his father about this. So, I do think he might know more about the chamber or who the heir is than he’s letting on.” I said. Hermione nodded in agreement. “Either way, it’s the only plan we’ve got.”
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