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In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets chapter 14, Hagrid suggests the trio to follow the spiders. This has led them to the lair of the Acromantula (giant spider) Aragog and its hive in the Forbidden Forest. Why did he say this?

Did he think Aragog knew what the Monster of Slytherin was? Did he think Aragog could give information that helps clear Hagrid's name?

In either case, why didn't Hagrid give a more direct hint? He was no longer doing anything illegal: as Gamekeeper of Hogwarts, it was his task to be familiar with the inhabitants of the Forbidden Forest, and talk to the speaking ones. That Hagrid had originally raised Aragog in a cupboard is irrelevant now.

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    Because he's an idiot – user46509 Jul 24 '15 at 17:58
  • Because he's a schmuck – Valorum Jul 24 '15 at 19:36
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He wanted them to meet Aragog, who had useful information.

When Harry and Ron meet Aragog, they learn that:

  • Hagrid is innocent
  • Aragog, despite all appearances, is not the monster from the Chamber of Secrets
  • Whatever the monster is, it’s something that spiders fear

Clearly Aragog knows what the monster actually is, but he refuses to tell them. Hagrid might have hoped that Aragog would tell them about the creature (but as we see, his judgement is a little suspect when it comes to Aragog). Indeed, Hagrid is aware that Aragog knows what it is, but has never been told himself:

“We do not speak of it!” said Aragog fiercely. “We do not name it! I never even told Hagrid the name of that dread creature, though he asked me, many times.”

Chamber of Secrets, chapter 15 (Aragog)

Perhaps he hoped the new attacks would make Aragog more lenient.

And why was he coy? Because Malfoy and Fudge were there, and he didn’t want to give away the fact that

  • he knew Aragog’s location, given that Aragog was suspected of being the original monster
  • Harry and Ron were hiding under the cloak

Clearly it worked, because Harry and Ron found Aragog, and everybody else was none the wiser.

  • Was Aragog really suggested as the monster of Slytherin? I thought they suggested some unknown monster Hagrid controlled in general, not Aragog specifically. Aragog was raised as a child by Hagrid, so I don't see how it could be Slytherin's monster. Suspecting the werewolf cubs he's raised would make about as much sense. – b_jonas Jul 24 '15 at 19:21
  • Hmm, I guess they could still say that Slytherin left an Acromantula egg as the secret weapon in the chamber, and Hagrid has caused it to hatch. – b_jonas Jul 24 '15 at 19:29
  • Asked as a separate question: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/96432/4918 – b_jonas Jul 24 '15 at 19:31
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    @b_jonas: It doesn't matter. If he told Malfoy/Fudge "Oh yeah, there's a big giant spider in the Forbidden Forest, but no, it doesn't have anything to do with this," do you really imagine Fudge believing him? – Kevin Jul 24 '15 at 19:36
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He couldn't really give a direct hint as Lucious and the MoM were present. Also, he didn't want to give away the fact that Ron and Harry were hiding in the hut under the cloak.

As for "following the spiders", I assume he sent them to Aragog for information about what the monster really was, and that Hagrid was NOT the one who released it.

  • As for giving away the fact that Ron and Harry were hiding, I thought he could just phrase it as a suggestion to Professor Dumbledore. Professor Dumbledore both wanted to stop the monster menace and clear Hagrid's name, and neither of those were a secret, so giving him information would have been natural even if he is no longer Headmaster. – b_jonas Jul 24 '15 at 19:20
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I think that Hagrid wanted Harry and Ron to be able to get the information about the monster and the Chamber without giving away that Harry and Ron were there since the rule that students had to return to their common rooms before dark was being enforced. If the Minister had known that a) Harry had an Invisibility Cloak, and b) 2 students were out after dark, both Hagrid and the boys would be in more trouble. Also, the cloak may have been confiscated as well. He knew that the spiders would lead the boys straight to Aragog. Hagrid thought that since the spiders didn't hurt him they would extend the same privilege to the boys.

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