"My sons and daughters do not hard Hagrid, on my command. But I cannot deny them fresh meat, when it wanders so willingly into our midst. Good-bye, friend of Hagrid."
Harry and Ron follow the spiders, stopping at Hagrid’s hut to get Fang to go with them before entering the forest. Deep in the dark, thick forest, they come across Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia, which appears to have gained so degree of sentience and free will since it crashed into the Whomping Willow. Shortly after encountering the car, Harry, Ron, and Fang are captured by huge spiders which take them to a clearing full of more enormous spiders. They call to their gigantic blind patriarch, Aragog, who tells his kin to eat the humans. It is at that point that a terrified Harry finally finds words and explains that Hagrid is in trouble because the monster from the Chamber of Secrets is loose again. Aragog informs the boys that he is not Slytherin’s ancient monster but was a pet Hagrid tried to keep secretly at school. He explains that he and Hagrid were wrongly blamed the last time the Chamber was opened. But Aragog refuses to speak of the creature that is really to blame. He heads back to where he was sleeping, giving his family the freedom to eat their visitors.
The Ford Anglia comes to the rescue just in time.
How long has Fang been shut up all alone in Hagrid's hut? Is someone looking after him in Hagrid's absence? -BB
The spiders that lead Harry and Ron to Aragog do not appear to have any connection with the Acromantula, who did not expect visitors. One explanation for the steady stream of spiders showing the way to Aragog is that Hagrid is responsible for them, but it seems like whatever sort of magic would have been involved would be beyond the abilities of a wizard with a snapped wand and an incomplete education. -BB