This is the first of a three-part question on the basilisk plot in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Out of all the Harry Potter books, Chamber of Secrets is the most problematic for me as far as continuity and plot goes. I have issues with the whole basilisk plot. I have a set of three questions regarding Chamber of Secrets that I'm looking for CANON COMPLIANT explanations for. By "canon compliant", I mean within the spirit of canon, answers directly from the book(s), or quotes from J.K. Rowling.¹
- In Chamber of Secrets the basilisk moves about the castle through the plumbing. However, if Hogwarts was built 1000+ years ago, that would precede indoor plumbing. How can this be explained, that the castle has original indoor plumbing? How could the Founders have anticipated this innovation?
- The basilisk is described as very large: "as thick as an oak trunk" (CoS - page 318 - US Hardcover) and "able to grow up to fifty feet long" (FBAWTFT - page 3 - Scholastic) Would a snake this large be able to feasibly fit through standard-sized pipes used for indoor plumbing, even pipes sized to accommodate Hogwarts?
- At the point indoor plumbing was installed in Hogwarts, how is it that the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets wasn't obvious and easily discovered by those installing the indoor plumbing?
- How could sinks be installed above the entrance, complete with a faucet marked with a serpent, indicating the entrance, without anyone knowing the significance of the serpent on the faucet?
How could Hogwarts have feasibly accommodated a basilisk 800-1000+ years ago, presumably without indoor plumbing?
¹ I find the Harry Potter Wiki to be inconsistent and oftentimes incorrect. I am not looking for any answer(s) sourced from the HP Wiki unless Wiki itself backs that precise fact with explicit canon quote. Just an FYI.