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"So -- have you stopped the attacks yet?" he sneered. "Have you caught the culprit?"
A second later, Harry spotted something.
"If the governors want my removal, Lucius, I shall of course step aside -"
Ginny opened her mouth, but no sound came out. Harry leaned forward and spoke quietly, so that only Ginny and Ron could hear him.
"This is what Dumbledore sends his defender! A songbird and an old hat! Do you feel brave, Harry Potter? Do you feel safe now?"
"Are you going somewhere?" said Harry.
"Ginny!" Ron thrust an arm through the gap in the rock to pull
"We're friends of Hagrid's," Harry shouted. His heart seemed to have left his chest to pound in his throat.
"I just asked her if she'd seen anything odd, and she started to say
"And come back and find the house in ruins?" she snarled.
"That's a phoenix said Riddle, staring shrewdly back at it.
"Ron," he breathed. "This is it. This is the answer. The monster in the Chamber's a basilisk - a giant serpent! That why I've been hearing that voice all over the place, and nobody else has heard it. It's because I understand Parseltongue . . . ."
"You shall go now," he said fiercely, pointing down at Mr. Malfoy. "You shall not touch Harry Potter. You shall go now."
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. Well -- give him here, Hagrid -- we'd better get this over with."
Harry had inherited) ust one thing from his father: a long and sil very Invisibility Cloak. It was their only chance of sneaking out of the school to visit Hagrid without anyone knowing about it. They went to bed at the usual time, waited until Neville, Dean, and Sea mus had stopped discussing the Chamber of Secrets and finally fallen asleep, then got up, dressed again, and threw the cloak over themselves. The journey through the dark and deserted castle corridors wasn't enjoyable. Harry, who had wandered the castle at night sev eral times before, had never seen it so crowded after sunset. Teach ers, prefects, and ghosts were marching the corridors in pairs, staring around for any unusual activity. Their Invisibility Cloak didn't stop them making any noise, and there was a particularly tense moment when Ron stubbed his toe only yards from the spot where Snape stood standing guard. Thankfully, Snape sneezed at almost exactly the moment Ron swore. It was with relief that they reached the oak front doors and eased them open. It was a clear, starry night. They hurried toward the lit windows of Hagrid's house and pulled off the cloak only when they were right outside his front door.。