Albus Dumbledore spent another few minutes looking at the destroyed diary. Mere presence of the item, even destroyed, was polluting his office.
Then his gaze lingered on the sword Harry brought with him. "Remarkable . . . simply remarkable. He said at least five times already.
It was one of those days when he wanted to just vanish into thin air. Just as about fifty years ago, when the Chamber of Secrets was first opened. He didn't really believe in the mythical chamber with some sort of monster at the time.
Nothing indicated that young Myrtle Warren's death was caused by some monster. There was no apparent cause of death - a trait closely associated with the killing curse. And the petrifications . . . it honestly didn't occur to him that the petrifications were caused by reflected Basilisk stare. After all, he wasn't an expert on reptiles and he didn't even think of Basilisk to start with.
Dumbledore sighed. If he only questioned poor Myrtle fifty years ago, he could have at least a clue, but at the time he was so absorbed with Gellert and the war . . .
Basilisk. Oh god. And Harry, against all odds survived and even rescued young Miss Weasley. Remarkable. Again.
After he was sacked, he spent the time in his house, trying to figure out how did Voldemort pull it out. After last year events, the castle was newly warded against wraiths and also, no one showed signs of possesion upon entering the castle.
He doubted that some of the seventh-year students could perform the petrification curse - it was really advanced dark arts curse. That left only Voldemort himself, an option he already ruled out, or one of the teachers - but nothing indicated they were involved and he was way more careful with them than last year.
When one of the portraits in his study, connected to the frame at Hogwarts informed him about the abduction of Ginevra Weasley, and then Harry, Ronald and Gilderoy Lockhart, he was nearly in tears. He begged his faithful companion - Fawkes to help him, to take him into the Chamber, or at least help them in some other way.
After Fawkes refused to take Dumbledore with him and flashed away, Dumbledore rushed to school immediatelly, but there was no signs of his phoenix, nor the missing students.
And then they came. And he finally understood everything. Well, not everything. There was this one thing.
"Why didn't you just flash them all out?" He turned to Fawkes with question.
Fawkes just looked at him and let out a mysterious trill. The sound was chiding and it caused Dumbledore to feel very specific emotion: Humility.
It reminded Dumbledore that there were more powerful forces in the universe than he was, and that some situations just has to happen in a way he was unable to understand or interfere with.