The Ministry-sanctioned tour of the Chamber of Secrets was pure propaganda. The Marauder's Map showed a second entrance to the Chamber of Secrets hidden in the Girls' Bathroom.
"Hss hsssss hsss," Luna copied from Harry Potter.
A sink opened up into a large tunnel.
"Lumos, Luna said.
Each tunnel segment was designed in the same pattern as the previous, as if to deliberately disorient adventurers. Luna closed her eyes in case Slytherin's basilisk was still alive.
"Nox," Luna said.
It was quiet under the school. The tunnels smelled faintly of mildew. Ministry tours turned left at every fork. Luna placed her right hand on the right wall. She felt destiny wrapping around her. Salazar Slytherin's secrets would be hers. Luna followed the right wall until she bumped into the bones of a giant monster.
"Lumos," Luna said.
Some Gryffindor had slayed the basilisk before it could pass on its secrets to the Heir of Slytherin. Ministry archaeologists had defanged the skeleton. So much for destiny.
Salazar Slytherin had circumvented the Interdict of Merlin. But why? If Slytherin had wanted secrets to be preserved then he could have just passed them on to his students. No. Ravenclaw had positioned her diadem to be discovered by someone hunting nargles. Slytherin had done something similar.
But who was his target? Only a Parselmouth could talk to Slytherin's basilisk. Only a Parselmouth could enter the Chamber of Secrets. If only a Parselmouth could talk to the basilisk then it made sense to make the entrance only allow Parselmouths in so that you didn't get a Gryffindor charging in and killing the basilisk before talking to it. Except Slytherin's security by obscurity had failed.
That left the question of why. Parselmouthes were not special. They did not have secondary characteristics. There was no reason for Salazar Slytherin to leave his greatest secrets to someone random to find. The only thing he would know about the Heir of Slytherin was that whoever opened the Chamber of Secrets:
- Could speak Parseltongue and could therefore communicate with Slytherin's basilisk.
- Would have opened the Chamber of Secrets.
Chamber of Secrets. Plural.
The mazelike passageways echoed Daedalus's Labryinth. The Heir of Slytherin was supposed to use Salazar's secrets to slay the monster Slytherin himself never could. Instead, a Gryffindor had broken into the Chamber of Secrets first, slayed Slytherin's basilisk, released the real monster, declared victory and returned home.
Luna bolted to the Ministry-sanctioned exit.
The Ravenclaw vs Hufflepuff semifinal duel was that evening. Luna faced two Hufflepuffs. It was supposed to be a doubles tournament.
"I'm not alone," Luna said to Wanda, "I have you."
Gilderoy Lockhart counted down. There was a bang from his wand.
"Protego," Luna said.
Luna's shield blocked the first Hufflepuff's sleep hex. The second Hufflepuff's stunning hex smashed through her shield. Luna collapsed.
The Hufflepuffs rushed up to check on Luna.
"Somnium," Luna whispered, "Somnium."
Luna felt around for the unconscious Wanda, who she stuffed in her pocket. Luna stood up and held her wand high.