In [=McGonagall's=] office, Ginny reunites with her parents. Dumbledore and [=McGonagall=] are also present. Harry and Ron tell them how they solved the mystery and saved the school. Dumbledore explains that very few people know that Voldemort was once a talented, popular and (outwardly) well-behaved Hogwarts student named Tom Riddle. Dumbledore tells Ginny that she will not be punished and she goes off with her parents to the hospital wing, where the basilisk victims are being revived. He tells [=McGonagall=] to go to the kitchens to summon a feast. Dumbledore reminds Harry and Ron that he previously said they would be expelled if they broke any more rules, and therefore he has [[BaitAndSwitchComment no choice but to give them 200 points apiece to Gryffindor]]. Ron then takes Lockhart to the hospital wing, leaving Harry alone with Dumbledore.

Dumbledore thanks Harry for showing loyalty to him in the Chamber, which triggered the arrival of Fawkes. Harry remembers that Riddle pointed out
that they have a lot in common. For instance, they can both speak Parseltongue; Dumbledore suspects that Voldemort transferred some of his own powers to Harry when he tried to kill him as an infant. Harry wonders out loud if he thus belongs in Slytherin. Dumbledore notes that Harry has many qualities that are prized in Slytherin students, but that "[[AnAesop It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.]]" He then resolves Harry's doubts about belonging in Gryffindor by showing him that the sword belonged to Godric Gryffindor. Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled it out of the Hat.

Lucius Malfoy enters. He brings Dobby revealing that he is Dobby's master. He can't believe that Dumbledore came back after being suspended, but Dumbledore explains that after hearing that Ginny Weasley had been attacked, the remaining governors changed their minds and called him back. They also revealed that Mr Malfoy had blackmailed them into signing the order of suspension in the first place. Dumbledore also suspects that Ginny was given the diary as a plot to discredit Arthur Weasley, by getting his own daughter to set a monster on Muggle-borns. After getting some hints from Dobby, Harry realises that the diary belonged to Mr Malfoy, and that he slipped it into one of Ginny's textbooks during the [[Recap/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecretsC4AtFlourishAndBlotts confrontation with Arthur at Flourish and Blotts]]. This cannot be proven, as Mr Malfoy notes.

Harry follows Mr Malfoy out, with the diary wrapped in one of his socks. He tricks Mr Malfoy into giving the sock to Dobby, freeing his house elf. A furious Mr Malfoy tries to attack Harry, but Dobby fights him off and forces him to go. Dobby thanks Harry and Harry only asks in return that Dobby should "never try to save my life again."

A great feast is held that night. Hermione and the other victims return, as does Hagrid, exams are cancelled and Lockhart has had to leave due to his memory problems. Term comes to an end after a few more weeks. Malfoy is rather sulky because his father has been sacked as a school governor. Ginny is much happier now. During the return journey on the Hogwarts Express, she reveals that Percy's odd behaviour was caused because he secretly had a girlfriend (the Ravenclaw prefect who was attacked). They also practice the disarming spell, which [[SignatureMove Harry is getting good at]]. The novel ends with them exiting Platform 9¾ and Harry jokes that the Dursleys won't be pleased to know that he escaped dying so many times.