I don't own Harry Potter.
The Secrets of the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry lay awake in his bed, thinking while he tried to ignore the Texas Chainsaw Massacre that was the snoring of Neville and Ron, or Weasley, since he and the redhead were no longer friends after all the looks Harry had been getting from the redhead.
In a couple of days, the students would be heading home for the summer, although in his case he would be sent back to prison after he had done his parole period which was the time he had spent at Hogwarts for his second year. Opinion was divided on the Dursleys being his family and their home being his; Dumbledore and McGonagall believed the Dursleys and their home were his family and his own home, Harry believed the Dursleys were scum who deserved every single fucking thing they got in return and he would enjoy making them pay for the things they had done to him in the past, and their home was nothing more than a prison.
He had tried, several times, in the past to get clear of the Dursleys, but every person he had spoken to - teachers, police - had all gone down badly. They later came back and accused him of lying about a 'misunderstanding,' and after being beaten so badly afterwards by his thug of an uncle, Harry had come to realise authority figures in the muggle world, contrary to Hermione's authority worship, were worthless and he didn't care about the law.
When he had come to Hogwarts, Harry had felt a spark of hope, so he had tried to speak to Dumbledore and McGonagall; by that point, he had learnt from Big Mouth Hagrid that Dumbledore was the one who'd left him with the Dursleys in the first place, and while he didn't particularly trust the elderly wizard for leaving him there and never bothering to check on his progress, Harry still wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, so he had talked.
After ten minutes with both McGonagall and Dumbledore, Harry realised he was wasting his time, but he persisted nonetheless, and he had suffered through the experience. He had assumed, wrongly, that the wizarding world would care more for him considering his so-called fame. Surely after they had seen what the Dursleys had done, they'd listen?
They had told him over and over again the Dursleys were his family. But Harry hadn't bothered to correct the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress. There wasn't any point, he had tried so many times to get people to see what the Dursleys were like, yet they never listened. Even worse, Dumbledore was always implying he was lying or over-exaggerating about the Dursleys, there was no point even trying.
And since Dumbledore practically controlled so much of the magical world in a massive web of intrigue, Harry had come to realise there was simply no point in trying to speak. He had given up in the muggle world, now it looked like he would have to give up on the magical world, and the seeds of distrust were sown even deeper towards McGonagall and Dumbledore, and over the past year, they were starting to sprout. Ever since he had made the mistake of speaking parseltongue - honestly, if he had known speaking to fucking snakes, he would have left blood Finch-Fletchley to face it! - Harry had seen the cold glares from McGonagall, to say nothing of most of the staff. That was the reason why he had started eating with the House Elves in the kitchens after learning about them, and he had started going to the Room of Requirement after asking for a place to learn magic where nobody would bother him.
He had avoided everyone after they'd begun hexing him, and he had started planning on a way of getting out of Hogwarts. He had come to Hogwarts to find a way of getting away from the Dursleys and making a new life for himself, he hadn't come to be involved in petty schemes from the Headmaster, who had orchestrated the Philosopher's Stone into a trap for a desperate Voldemort, who wanted to get a body of his own, so he could start off his war all over again.
Harry grimaced as he thought of Voldemort or Tom Riddle. He had never liked the name the Dark Lord had adopted. It sounded so pretentious, and now he knew that he had used every letter of his full name to form an anagram.
Tom Marvolo Riddle.
With a simple flick of a wand, the letters were rearranged into:
I am Lord Voldemort.
When he had seen that, and listened to Riddle's rant about how he had refused to use his muggle father's name in his desire for conquest and power, and immortality, Harry had suddenly had an epiphany even before Riddle's spectre had told him how alike they were. In many ways, Harry himself could have been Tom Riddle; both of them had grown up with filthy muggles who abused them, although he wasn't sure if Riddle had been abused to the same degree, either way, he had lost his sanity and now he wanted to wipe the muggles out. In some ways, Harry could sympathise, but he didn't condone the act of genocide.
But Harry had quickly seen that Dumbledore had known about Riddle and that he was likely the driving force behind his predecessor keeping Riddle from staying at Hogwarts for the holidays.
Just like he did with Harry.
Harry narrowed his eyes, in the dark. What kind of game was Dumbledore playing? Contrary to what many in the school thought like Hermione and McGonagall, Harry was not an idiot; he had learnt the hard way he should always hide his intelligence, and considering that he didn't know still what Dumbledore's plans for him were, it was even more important for him to keep under the radar, and now he was even more sure of it, and he was sure Dumbledore had known from Riddle what his life was like at the orphanage, but he still wanted him sent there. And now Harry wanted to know if Dumbledore had anything to do with Riddle becoming Voldemort for real.
He shook his head in angry frustration. He was fed up with this. He was tired of these never-ending games, the conspiracies, and the lies. And now he wondered if the old man wanted to turn him into Voldemort Mark 2.
As he thought about the battle in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry reflected he was glad he had solved a large chunk of the mystery that was Tom Marvolo Riddle, but because of the basilisk it had been a close call, and he'd almost died. Some school Hogwarts was turning out to be. But as he thought about it, Harry wondered what was in the Chamber of Secrets. Surely the large pipes the basilisk used to travel throughout the school and the large room with the snakeheads wasn't all there was?
Harry made his mind up to go back to the Chamber at some point, but he wondered if Dumbledore had already warded the entrance to the Chamber by now, or if he had felt the emergency was over. With that in mind, Harry stood up, flicking his wand and opening the curtains. He flicked his wand, layering a number of dangerous hexes on the bed, so if one of his dorm mates woke up and tried to open it up, they'd get a nasty surprise.
Once he was dressed and he'd put a disillusionment charm and some other spells on himself, Harry left Gryffindor Tower, ignoring the fact the Fat Lady was gone; one of the things he had been envious of about the Slytherins was they had an entrance which didn't have anything like a portrait.
Sneaking to the corridor where Moaning Myrtle's bathroom was, Harry checked and found there were no wards whatsoever.
He shook his head at Dumbledore's lack of common sense even if it helped him. What if another parselmouth stumbled upon the entrance? He didn't know what was down there, but it was possible Slytherin had kept more than one basilisk down there and Riddle had only used one of them to attack the muggle-borns, and even if there wasn't a second, third, fourth, or even tenth basilisk, it should have occurred to Dumbledore to lock this part of the castle away from the students in case one of them found out what was down there. Why didn't Dumbledore use his brains? But at the same time, he was relieved since he could go down there and discover what was there.
Harry flicked his wand again, thankful he'd discovered those books that explained how silent casting worked, and quickly made sure nobody disturbed the sink, although he was worried Dumbledore might have decided to come here on his own and discovered the web of spells already up here. Oh well, he'd cross that bridge when he came to it.
When the entrance opened up, Harry peered down into the gloom when something occurred to him. Because he'd had the idiot Lockhart with him as bait for the basilisk to make the ponce useful for a change, he hadn't had time to suspect there might be a better way down than making it into a slide.
"Steps," he hissed, visualising a snake.
To his relief, a set of steps appeared in a spiral all the way down. Harry smiled and went slowly down the steps to the Chamber of Secrets. After letting himself in, Harry looked around the place. It hadn't changed from the last time, only he was glad he'd had the foresight to bring a cloak with him to try to get rid of the chill he felt just by being here. As he carefully explored the Chamber while ignoring the large inner pool of water, Harry tried to find any signs of there being more to the Chamber than what met the eye. Slytherin had been a master of surprise and illusion. He had hidden the entrance in a girl's bathroom, so it was possible he had done something similar down here, left something here that was almost invisible to the naked eye.
But there was nothing in the Chamber like a hidden entrance to a library or some other kind of room that didn't have water leaking in.
And yet, he still found it hard to believe this was all there was.
He was tempted to explore the mouth of Salazar Slytherin, where the basilisk had come out for lack of anything meaningful to explore, but he didn't know what was down there.
As he shone his wand around the tunnels and the rest of the chamber, Harry spotted something on one of the snakeheads. For a moment he wondered if it was just a trick of the light, but remembering his old thought, Harry moved closer to examine it.
The large snakehead he had taken to be a decoration like the rest of the heads in the chamber was golden, but as he'd stepped closer he had thought he had caught a glimmer of silver.
There was a small, silver snake inlaid on the gold. It was so small it would be easy to not see it. Harry touched the snake tentatively for a moment before he leaned forward. "Open," he hissed after visualising a nest of snakes within his mind.
With a metallic cracking sound, the snake slowly split open down the middle lengthwise while on the top the roof of the head cracked upwards to provide headroom. Once the snake had split open, Harry could see the stairway that led down. Harry hesitated for a moment. He knew if he went down there, there was a chance he might not get out, but there was no alternative. "Remain open," he added.
The journey down led him further underground - by his estimate he was a mile beneath the castle, but he wasn't sure - and when he got to the bottom he gaped. He was in a vast underground room, totally unlike the main room of the Chamber of Secrets. In many ways, this was reminiscent of the Slytherin Common Room - it was dark but somehow filled with comforting green lighting and preserved couches and chairs that gave it the impression of a grand living room and library.
Speaking of libraries, there was a large collection of books lining the walls. Harry approached them carefully, waving his wand slowly as he checked for spells, jinxes and curses. There weren't any. But this library, and the books in the Room of Requirement, were what he needed. These books were the key to him becoming a great wizard and one who would soon get rid of Lord Voldemort, and get him clean away from Dumbledore.