46 No ones safe
"I always knew Salazar Slytherin was a twisted old loony," Ron said as they fought their way through the teeming corridors at the end of the lesson to drop off their bags before dinner. "But I never knew he started all this pure-blood stuff. I wouldn't be in his house if you paid me. Honestly, if the Sorting Hat had tried to put me in Slytherin, I'd've got the train straight back home..."
"That's where you are wrong, you would live on the streets all alone because your parents would disown you."
"...I can't deny it."
"D'you really think there's a Chamber of Secrets?" Ron asked Hermione.
"I don't know," she said, frowning. "Dumbledore couldn't cure Mrs. Norris, and that makes me think that whatever attacked her might not be — well — human. Plus, like Arth said, they way she was attacked was so weird."
As she spoke, they turned a corner and found themselves at the end of the very corridor where the attack had happened. They stopped and looked. The scene was just as it had been that night, except that there was no stiff cat hanging from the torch bracket, and an empty chair stood against the wall bearing the message "The Chamber of Secrets has been Opened."
"That's where Filch has been keeping guard," Ron muttered.
They looked at each other. The corridor was deserted.
"Can't hurt to have a poke around," said Harry, dropping his bag and getting to his hands and knees so that he could crawl along, searching for clues.
"Well it can, the thing that attacked the cat could attack us all at this moment. But you know what, let's do this," said Arth with a sarcastic voice.
Scorch marks!" Harry said. "Here — and here —"
Come and look at this!" said Hermione. "This is funny..."
Arth got up and crossed to the window next to the message on the wall. Hermione was pointing at the topmost pane, where around twenty spiders were scuttling, apparently fighting to get through a small crack. A long, silvery thread was dangling like a rope, as though they had all climbed it in their hurry to get outside.
"Have you ever seen spiders act like that?" said Hermione wonderingly.
"No," said Arth, "have you, Ron?"
He looked over his shoulder. Ron was standing well back and seemed to be fighting the impulse to run.
"What's the matter?" Asked Arth.
"I — don't — like — spiders," said Ron tensely.
"I never knew that," said Hermione, looking at Ron in surprise. "You've used spiders in Potions loads of times..."
"I don't mind them dead," said Ron, who was carefully looking anywhere but at the window. "I just don't like the way they move..."
"It's not funny," said Ron, fiercely. "If you must know, when I was three, Fred turned my — my
teddy bear into a great big filthy spider because I broke his toy broomstick...You wouldn't like them either if you'd been holding your bear and suddenly it had too many legs and..."
He broke off, shuddering. Hermione was obviously still trying not to laugh.
"Dude, sympathies man." Said Arth with a sympathetic face.
"Hmmm, why is the floor flooded?" Asked Harry.
"I dunno, why don't we follow it?" Said Ron while shrugging his shoulders. "It comes from here," said Ron, recovering himself to walk a few paces past Filch's chair and pointing.
"Level with this door."
He reached for the brass doorknob but suddenly withdrew his hand as though he'd been burned.
"What's the matter?" said Harry.
"Can't go in there," said Ron gruffly. "That's a girls' toilet."
"Oh, Ron, there won't be anyone in there," said Hermione standing up and coming over.
"That's Moaning Myrtle's place. Come on, let's have a look."
"Hermione, it's still the girls bathroom."
Ignoring the large OUT OF ORDER sign and Arth's complaints, she opened the door.
It was the gloomiest, most depressing bathroom Arth had ever set foot in, and trust him, he had been in a lot of bad ones.
Under a large, cracked, and spotted mirror were a row of chipped sinks. The floor was damp and reflected the dull light given off by the stubs of a few candles, burning low in their holders; the wooden doors to the stalls were flaking and scratched and one of them was dangling off its hinges.
Hermione put her fingers to her lips and set off toward the end stall. When she reached it she said, "Hello, Myrtle, how are you?"
Harry and Ron went to look. Moaning Myrtle was floating above the tank of the toilet, picking a spot on her chin.
"This is a girls' bathroom," she said, eyeing Ron and Harry suspiciously. "They're not girls. I'm fine with the other boy, he is cute." Myrtle blushed while stealing glances at Arth.
"Yes," Hermione agreed before freezing. "Wait no, I meant. I dint mean it that way- stop looking at me like that."
Harry and Ron were staring at Hermione with weird looks, causing her to blush furiously.
"The point is, I just wanted to show them how er... nice it is in here."
She waved vaguely at the dirty old mirror and the damp floor.
"Ask her if she saw anything," Harry mouthed at Hermione.
"What are you whispering?" said Myrtle, staring at him.
"Nothing," said Harry quickly. "We wanted to ask-"
"I wish people would stop talking behind my back!" said Myrtle, in a voice choked with tears. "I do have feelings, you know, even if I am dead-"
"Myrtle, no one wants to upset you," said Hermione. "Harry only —"
"No one wants to upset me! That's a good one!" howled Myrtle. "My life was nothing but
misery at this place and now people come along ruining my death!"
"We wanted to ask you if you've seen anything funny lately," said Hermione quickly.
"Because a cat was attacked right outside your front door on Halloween."
"Did you see anyone near here that night?" said Harry.
"I wasn't paying attention," said Myrtle dramatically. "After Nick's deathday party, I came hear while thinking of how... dashing that boy over there was-" Myrtle gave a shy smile at Arth, causing him to smile wryly. "-after he stopped Peeves from bullying me and then... I realized that he was alive and I was..."
"Dead," said Ron helpfully.
Myrtle gave a tragic sob, rose up in the air, turned over, and dived headfirst into the toilet, splashing water all over them and vanishing from sight, although from the direction of her muffled sobs, she had come to rest somewhere in the U-bend.
Harry and Ron stood with their mouths open, but Hermione shrugged wearily and said, "Honestly, that was almost cheerful for Myrtle...Come on, let's go."
"That's not why we're are surprised." Said Harry while sharing glances with Ron.
"It's about Arth."
"Is he that handsome?"
"Listen up everybody."
"All the men out their with mothers, sisters-"
"Female friends and lovers-"
"Hide your girls because Arth is coming-"
"He'll take them away from you with just a smile-"
"Hell c*ckhold you from a mile-"
"No girl is safe-"
"Humans, animals and ghosts are his prey."
Arthur felt as though he could cast the killing curse.