Could Harry Have Had an Even Worse Ending in Chamber of Secrets? Apparently So
Harry was much closer to a darker fate than any of us originally realized.
The Harry Potter book's warm and uplifting energy have remained a comfort blanket for fans who enjoy reading them repeatedly, especially with the initial few. Nevertheless, even from the early stages of the series, there are still subtle hints of impending darker events throughout. Take, for instance, the second book in the series, The Chamber of Secrets, which quietly insinuates a considerably bleaker ending than the one it is known for.
Brace yourself, as the realization of the depth of danger that Harry truly faced will undoubtedly leave you astonished.
Recap of the Chamber of Secrets
During Harry's second written adventure, he stumbles upon an object known as Tom Riddle's diary. This seemingly innocent book, in fact, holds a much darker secret. The diary's nefarious origins turn out to be an artifact of Lord Voldemort. Fortunately, with the help of his friends, Harry just about manages to defeat the Dark Lord's evil plans and save Ginny in the process.
The True Significance of the Diary
Although the diary is initially presented as just an enchanted book. It later comes to light further into the series that it was something much more formidable, a Horcrux consisting of a part of Voldemort's soul. Therefore, Harry was not just wrestling with one of the Dark Lord's long-lost trinkets but a part of him that, if successful, would mean his return. Consequently, using the Basilisk fang to destroy the diary was pure luck, as any other standard item would not have been as effective. You have to admire the subtlety with which J.K. Rowling introduced this concept so early on in the franchise, providing a glimpse to the readers of what was to come without giving anything away.
Just How Close Was Harry to Failing?
Harry is always one for being incredibly lucky and frankly scraping by by the skin of his teeth. Yet he was potentially in much more danger than what was obvious at first. For instance, suppose Ginny Weasley hadn't stolen the diary back, and Harry had continued to confide in it. In that case, he might have succumbed to Voldemort's malevolent influence after all. Ginny's brave act was, therefore, the pivotal point that diverted the story from a much darker path, highlighting a series of events that would have certainly affected Harry's destiny.
Had Voldemort escaped the diary, he could have killed Harry for good. Or maybe even worse, combined with the part of his soul inside Harry, making him his sinister new puppet. The idea of Voldemort using Harry for his evil deeds is certainly spine-chilling.
While The Chamber of Secrets settled on a more hopeful resolution, the potential for a far more threatening ending seems very much implied. Rowling's genius lies not just in weaving a tale of magic and adventure, but in hinting at the scenario that could have captured Harry. This dark alternate reality leaves us to wonder just how close Harry really came to becoming the vessel of Voldemort's return after all.