In the movie it doesn't show how much time lapses between Ginny getting taken and Lockhart actually going after her. In the novels it was actually hours before anyone tried to go save her. Ron and Harry found out where the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets was and that creature in there was the Basilisk, before Ginny was taken. Why didn't they just jump out of that closet while the teachers were having a meeting and tell them what they knew?

There was an ugly sort of wardrobe to his left, full of the teachers’ cloaks. “In here. Let’s hear what it’s all about. Then we can tell them what we’ve found out.” chamber of secrets page 292

The teachers rose and left, one by one. It was probably the worst day of Harry’s entire life. He, Ron, Fred, and George sat together in a corner of the Gryffindor common room, unable to say anything to each other. Percy wasn’t there. He had gone to send an owl to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, then shut him- self up in his dormitory. No afternoon ever lasted as long as that one, nor had Gryffindor Tower ever been so crowded, yet so quiet. Near sunset, Fred and George went up to bed, unable to sit there any longer. Page 295

Harry could see the sun sinking, blood-red, below the skyline. This was the worst he had ever felt. If only there was something they could do. Anything. “Harry,” said Ron. “D’you think there’s any chance at all she’s not — you know —” Harry didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t see how Ginny could still be alive. page 295

“D’you know what?” said Ron. “I think we should go and see Lockhart. Tell him what we know. He’s going to try and get into the Chamber. We can tell him where we think it is, and tell him it’s a basilisk in there.” Because Harry couldn’t think of anything else to do, and because he wanted to be doing something, he agreed. H.P.C.o.S. chapter 16 page 296

It just seems so dumb and unrealistic to wait hours to tell anyone with authority or who could possibly help. They probably waited anywhere from 4 to 6 hours at the least - from noon to sundown. At this point they had already found out that the entrance was in Myrtle's bathroom and about the monster that was in it. My question is, why did they wait so long to tell Lockhart or anyone anything?

  • Possibly shock? Also they may have felt guilty about how much they knew, so wanted to hide it from the teachers. Remember they are 12-year-old schoolboys... Feb 23, 2018 at 6:12
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    They're children in a children's book. No-one believes the children. Feb 23, 2018 at 7:52
  • Hey professor, there is a monstrous mythical snake in the school's plumbing that kills people with by simply looking at them . Good luck making people believe that! :p
    – Shreedhar
    Feb 23, 2018 at 8:37
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    Adding to @the-dark-lord's comment, it should also be noted that they tried telling the teachers about the threat in Philosophers Stone - and they were not believed.
    – DavidS
    Feb 23, 2018 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


They had initally planned to tell the teachers what they had found out that is why they hid in the teachers lounge in the first place.

"What'll we do?" said Ron, aghast. "Go back to the dormitory?" "No," said Harry, glancing around. There was an ugly sort of wardrobe to his left, full of the teachers' cloaks. "In here. Let's hear what it's all about. Then we can tell them what we've found out."

Then they heard from the teachers that Lockhart knew where the Chamber of Secrets was and he would be going down there. After Ron had found out that it was Ginny who had been taken he had not seen any of his family members, all of whom were elder to him, so its natural for him to want to see them in such a time, which is why he and Harry went to the common room and to be with his family.

Only after everyone had gone to their dormitories Ron voiced his thoughts out loud about Ginny maybe knowing something about the Chamber and that could be why she was taken.

"She knew something, Harry," said Ron, speaking for the first time since they had entered the wardrobe in the staff room. "That's why she was taken. It wasn't some stupid thing about Percy at all. She'd found out something about the Chamber of Secrets. That must be why she was -" Ron rubbed his eyes frantically. "I mean, she was a pureblood. There can't be any other reason."

So they went to Lockhart believing that he really would be going into the Chamber and it would be the best to let him know what they had found out, if only to confirm that Lockhart would be going to the right place. (They were 12 at that time, so they believed that authority would not lie in times like that).

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    Well ya but it seems so odd. To wait all those hours without telling a soul the information that could save her.. letting her stay down there and upping the odds of her dying... But it's a plot point. If it were any other way the diary might not have been destroyed so I guess it had to be written that way.
    – Flitoangel
    Feb 24, 2018 at 3:31
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    @Flitoangel Its not odd. They were 12 yr old. And they were in shock. They had every intention of telling the teachers what they had found out before they heard that the girl was Ginny. Ron didn't speak anything at all for few hours coz he was in shock. That's in the book. So it seems plausible.
    – dobby
    Feb 24, 2018 at 9:17

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