Considering the fact that the Chamber of Secrets is one of the greatest secrets of Hogwarts and Harry killed a basilisk inside the Chamber of Secrets, one wonders why Dumbledore or other teachers did not use Harry to explore the Chamber of Secrets and/or the dead basilisk?

Edit : We know they did not open it again since 5 years later Ron and Hermione opened the Chamber and the dead basilisk was still there untouched.

  • 1
    because they needed that untouched basilisk skeleton to extract fangs from for the Battle of Hogwarts....
    – Skooba
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 12:33
  • 5
    I'm guessing that carving up an enormously poisonous dead snake and carting it up the stairs by hand wasn't high on anyone's 'to do' list.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 12:33
  • 1
    They could have extracted the fangs earlier and it would be pretty useful to destroy other horcruxes such as the locket. Even if people did not want to see or touch the snake, Dumbledore should have took the fangs and used them.
    – Levent
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 12:39
  • 2
    @Valorum:  Stairs?  There were stairs up from the Chamber of Secrets? Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 23:18
  • 1
    Aside from Dumbledore, the only other Hogwarts instructor with an interest in the Chamber of Secrets, or its contents, is Snape. Some basilisk venom ought to be quite a worthy object of study for the Potions master.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 1:17

3 Answers 3


Dumbledore's attitude toward Hogwarts seems to be best categorised as one of systematic neglect. In addition to ignoring the presence of the resident poltergeist, he seems more than happy to store dangerous artifacts where children can easily get to them, hosting dangerous creatures in the nearby (swimming) lake, hosting dangerous creatures in the nearby woodland, hosting a highly dangerous tree on the school premises, etc etc.

The best explanation I can think of is that having a dead basilisk rotting in his basement is pretty low on Dumbledore's list of things that he cares about. Even if he did get into the Chamber of Secrets with Harry's help, the reality is that after having given it a cursory look, there isn't anything down there that he needs. In the event that he needs to destroy a Horcrux, he already has the Sword of Gryffindor and presumably the ability to create Fiendfyre with trivial ease.

  • 2
    To be fair to Dumbledore, Rowling herself has stated that Peeves is an integral part of Hogwarts, and that there was no way of removing him from the castle (short, perhaps, of nuking the place entirely), even for someone as skilled as Dumbledore. And there’s no indication that the Giant Squid was a threat to anyone (though of course the same cannot be said for many of the other creatures in the grounds). I also like to think even Dumbledore would stop short of intentionally making Fiendfyre, given that we know of no way to control or stop it (despite what the Wiki says). Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 13:38
  • 2
    @JanusBahsJacquet - I could have mentioned the presence of books in the library explaining how to commit acts of unspeakable evil, the mid-term murder games, etc. There are multiple examples of Dumbledore's total absence of any concept of Health and Safety.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 13:43
  • Oh, absolutely—no arguments there. If Health and Safety had a wizarding counterpart (or rather, a more efficient and less silly one than Arthur Weasley’s tiny little department), there’s no doubt Hogwarts would have been closed in a heartbeat. No doubt a flummoxed and quite unprepared Ministry would then have had to come up with a cobbled-together, band-aid solution to make a new school in its stead, resulting in an entire year of wizards completely missing a year of their education. Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 13:50
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - Or they could just use portkeys to transport them to Beauxbatons and any of the other 10 wizarding schools.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 13:54
  • Full-blooded Brits (and the odd Irishman) sending their children off to some poncy foreign school in France? Perish the thought! Much better to suffer a year or two of unbridled confusion and inertia. Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 13:55

Why would they want to?

There are not many reason for anyone to want to go back to the Chamber.

  • The fangs could destroy Horcruxes, yes, but so could Gryffindor's sword. Given Phineas's contempt for Hermione's lack of knowledge of the properties of goblin-made silver, we can suppose that Dumbledore must have grasped that the sword had imbibed basilisk venom. And indeed, Dumbledore used the sword to destroy the Ring Horcrux. There was no need for fumbling about with fangs.

    “I believe the last time I saw the sword of Gryffindor leave its case was when Professor Dumbledore used it to break open a ring.”

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • The basilisk venom was undoubtedly valuable, but that would not matter to Dumbledore. And somehow I cannot see Harry volunteering to bring Slughorn or Snape down for unnecessary Potions ingredients.

  • There was no need for an investigation of the deaths caused by the Basilisk. The Ministry had the eyewitness testimony of Harry, as well as Ginny's first-hand description. Further, they had Dumbledore's word, which was worth a great deal when he was not directly ruffling the Ministry's feathers. Besides, for the corrupt, bureaucratic Ministry, could there have been a better person to blame for an embarrassing spate of school killings than a conveniently absent Dark Wizard?

  • There was no need to further explore the Chamber of Secrets. Even assuming Harry did not see all there was to see, the only purpose of the Chamber at that point was to contain the Basilisk.

  • 1
    The fact that the Chamber contained the Basilisk does not mean it contained absolutely nothing else. Rare magical artifacts, potentially other dead bodies, whether there was more than one Basilisk etc. It would take an actual investigation to determine that the only purpose of the Chamber WAS to contain the Basilisk. At the very least, Ministry personnel inspecting the evidence that the Basilisk was actually dead is itself a pretty big deal.
    – DariM
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 2:32
  • +1 and a little comment: if I recall correctly, the Basilisk actually "only" killed Moaning Myrtle and no one else (at least in the 50 last years)
    – LilyM
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 11:20

Wait - The Chamber of Secrets could only be opened by an heir of Slytherin. Voldemort or Harry didn't exactly have kids till Harry's final year, who could have come and opened the Chambers.

When Ron opened the Chambers, I don't believe what is told to us - that he had heard Harry speak Paseltongue [edited] while Harry opened the locket and so Ron memorized it. Firstly, memorizing is not Ron's cup of tea. Secondly, doing something that doesn't bother him is against Ron's characterization and I don't see why he would be interested in learning Paseltongue. Finally, I have a separate theory of my own - we know that all the pure-blood families are inter-connected. I know for one, a Black was married to a Weasley. So maybe, some ancestor of the Black in question or of the Weasley, was a direct descendent of Salazar Slytherin. Since all the Weasleys were brought up the Gryffindor way - to value courage and bravery more, the Slytherin bit in them was supressed or even extinct. This characteristic was present in Ron and it is also evident from the time when Ron wears the locket. He is impacted by it more than anyone else and by his behaviour then, I would surely think him to be in Slytherin than any other house. What if, the Slytherin trait was always in him? What if, Paseltongue was more natural to him than he thought? He might have heard Harry speak the phrase sometime but when he was there in front of the snake at the entrance to the chamber, he knew what to speak. .... But this is just a theory. However, the first three points are pretty relevant.

Further, Dumbledore, Hagrid and Snape are the only people who would be interested. Dumbledore never trusted himself with power. The Chamber would have contained a lot more than just a Basilisk. Going there, would mean access to a lot of old relics and maybe magic. Hagrid - well all he would have cared was to give the Basilisk a tender sounding name and then a proper burial. Unfortunately, no one else would have wanted anything similar. For Severus, the word 'mudblood' was related to the Chambers and to a sore spot in his memories. He wouldn't venture that. Also, after Voldemort killed Lily, I don't see why Severus would want to see of other gruesome ways Voldemort could employ to kill people. All these people, were driven by emotion more than power. They had their emotional reasons to remain away. Someone like Voldemort, who didn't know love, would have tried. But then, he was sort of less-than-a-soul for a while and then in hiding. Any other person, didn't really care, as long as the Basilisk was dead forever.

  • what is told to us - that he had heard Harry speak Paseltongue while sleeping – Maybe you were told that by someone, but the book tells a different story.
    – chirlu
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 5:22
  • apologies.. I confused it with something else... well the point stands.. he heard Harry say something once and he remembered it? not very likely! Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 6:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.