Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book in the Harry Potter series, was published back in 1998. Its movie counterpart, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second movie in the HP series, was released in 2002. It’s safe to assume, over the years you’ve probably read and/or watched this story a half dozen times, if not more. But did you know that the events of the story could have been completely different, due to one tiny thing?
The story of Chamber of Secrets, as you know, is that the Heir of Slytherin has returned and he’s out for Mudbloods. The Heir of Slytherin turns out to be Ginny Weasley, who is being controlled via a magical diary that once belonged to Tom Riddle, AKA Voldemort. After Lucious Malfoy slips her the diary at Diagon Alley, Ginny becomes enchanted by it, (unknowingly) releases the basilisk, Hermione is petrified, Ginny almost dies, and it all adds up to a very interesting Second Year at Hogwarts (and the first Horcrux is destroyed, but no one realizes that for some time).
But! Ginny actually left the diary at home, and only after begging to go back, the Weasleys turned around for her. So yes, all the events of Chamber of Secrets could have been completely avoided, IF ONLY.
The beginning of Chapter Five, “The Whomping Willow,” has the Weasleys — plus Harry and Hermione — getting ready to head off to Hogwarts for the year. They were delayed in leaving, of course, and even after everyone had gotten into the car and started driving for King’s Cross, they had to turn back because George and Fred had forgotten things. No sooner did they start driving again that “Ginny shrieked that she’d left her diary.”
Do you see that? Ginny almost left the diary at home for her first year. If I were in Ginny’s place, and I suddenly realized I had forgotten something at home moments after pulling out of the driveway, my mom would have been like “TOO BAD you’ll see it at Christmas!” But, the Weasleys went back, and Ginny retrieved Tom Marvolo Riddle’s diary.
Now imagine a world where Mrs. Weasley had been like, “too bad, Ginny” and they drove off without it. Ginny never would have gotten attached to the diary. She never would have opened the Chamber of Secrets. The basilisk would have never been released, Hermione would have never been petrified, Ginny would have never been close to death, and it would have been a pretty boring Second Year for Harry.
Good thing they went back for it, because it just wouldn’t be a school year at Hogwarts without everyone’s life being in grave danger at least four or five times.
(Image via Warner Bros.)