We know that Tom Riddle is not a fool, and yet the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets was in the same bathroom as the one that the golden trio used to make the Polyjuice Potion.

Is there a chance that he knew about the potion? After all, like I said, he is not a fool and it's not like they could move it much.

Can we suppose that he just ignored the potion? Or that he never found it? Or maybe he couldn't reach it because there was someone in the bathroom checking the potion?

  • 1
    Ginny didn't visit Myrtle's bathroom to throw away the diary until the chapter after they use the Polyjuice Potion. Even if Riddle hadn't have been trapped in his diary, neither Ginny nor Riddle were in the bathroom when the Potion was brewing. Sep 13, 2017 at 19:06
  • 3
    Ginny would have had to visit the bathroom in order to release the Basilisk for an attack. So the question becomes were there any attacks while the potion was brewing. If there were then there would be a chance that Tom, via Ginny, would have noticed.
    – TGnat
    Sep 13, 2017 at 19:16
  • @TGnat there was an attack between the start of them brewing the potion and them using it: Justin saw the Basilisk through Nearly-Headless Nick in late December, the very next chapter after that attack is them using the Polyjuice, about 30 pages after they began brewing it. Sep 14, 2017 at 13:05

2 Answers 2


Tom Riddle wasn't just hanging around the girls' bathroom, his memory was stuck inside the diary. Unless the diary was opened while Harry & Co. were making the potion, I can't see how he could have known. And they chose that bathroom precisely because it was infrequently used.

  • I don't think they could just move it, or put out the smoke from a potion or the sounds, or the smell, even if they close it, Tom could notice something strange.
    – Magical
    Sep 13, 2017 at 19:03
  • 1
    @Magical How? He was trapped in the diary. Sep 13, 2017 at 19:07
  • @Magical My point was that Tom isn't just wandering about the castle, he's a preserved memory that is stuck in a book. And the only time I clearly remember the book being in the bathroom was when Ginny threw it there and Harry found it (but it's been a while since I've read CoS, so I'm not sure). Sep 13, 2017 at 19:07
  • 3
    Tom wasn't just trapped in the diary; he had to have possessed Ginny. Who killed Hagrid's roosters? Who released the basilisk multiple times? Ginny had no memory of these things. Was she Imperiused? Or possessed? Through Ginny, Tom Riddle was moving through the castle. Why wouldn't he notice the Polyjuice Potion as Ginny walked right next to it?
    – scott
    Sep 13, 2017 at 23:15
  • 1
    @marcellothearcane In part. Would Ginny, as a first year, have recognized Polyjuice Potion? And even if she did, would she have known who was brewing it? But my point is that Ginny loses time: for example, she wakes up from a trance covered in feathers and blood (we are supposed to realize she was the one killing Hagrid's roosters). During these trances, is Tom Riddle possessing her, and able to see through her eyes?
    – scott
    Sep 15, 2017 at 20:00

On a lighter note we have some cases where Tom acted like a fool.

At least Dumbledore said so during the duel at the Ministry.

“It was foolish to come here tonight, Tom,” said Dumbledore calmly. “The Aurors are on their way —”

Snape had fooled him as well.

“You think he is mistaken? Or that I have somehow hoodwinked him? Fooled the Dark Lord, the greatest wizard, the most accom- plished Legilimens the world has ever seen?”

Dumbledore once again pointed out in the cave

These words did nothing to raise Harry’s morale; perhaps Dumbledore knew it, for he added, “Voldemort’s mistake, Harry, Voldemort’s mistake. Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth. Now, you first this time, and be careful not to touch the water.”

So your claim in the question that Tom is not a fool is not entirely true.

On a serious note Tom didn't construct the opening to the Chamber of Secrets during that year. It was constructed by Slytherin himself (maybe). So it wasn't his choice that the opening was the same room where the trio was brewing their potion.

And, although, there were 2 attacks during the period the trio was brewing the potion in the bathroom. First one was when Harry was in the hospital wing because of losing all the bones in his hand and hence no chance of the trio being present in the bathroom when the chamber was opened. 2nd one was luckily when Harry was visiting library while the other two were playing chess in the common room, so there was no collision.

  • 1
    Yeah, the basilisk was down there for ages, it was Slytherin's monster, and Tom simply unlocked the chamber. The chamber itself was a legend that Tom discovered. So Tom definitely didn't make the chamber. Sep 14, 2017 at 19:32

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.