Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; they belong to the genius that is J K Rowling.
Written: 24/12/02
Feedback: paranoidkitten@yahoo.com

They keep telling me it was my own fault. Even though they know that Draco's father slipped the diary into my cauldron, they still tell me it was my own fault. I should have been more careful. I shouldn't have trusted it. I should have gone to them and asked them about it. I should have done this, I should have done that.

It's unfair and it wasn't my fault and I hadn't known - how could I have known? - and every time we get into an argument I start to cry, and my mum hugs me and tell me that she's just trying to protect me, that's all, and eventually I stop arguing and just start nodding every time they remind me to be careful.

Besides, it's not like they ever listen, anyway. Not really. I'm just the baby, and Mum takes me by the hand and likes to pretend that I'm still five years old, and sends me letters every single day that I'm at Hogwarts and panics if I don't reply right away. And my brothers just tease me and roll their eyes at me and for the most part ignore me, because I'm just their little sister, and they never tell me anything or share their secrets, just laugh at me.

And then I found Tom, and he listened, and he cared, and he told me that I wasn't to worry about any of that, that someday they'd all see how special I was, and everyone would love me, even Harry Potter, and he'd feel bad that he'd never paid attention to me before, and by that stage it didn't matter because I was already starting to realise that Harry was never going to notice me and I was starting to love Tom, even if I couldn't see him or touch him, because I knew he loved me, the real me, not the little girl that everyone else saw.

I started to feel like he was a part of me, that I was carrying him around wherever I went, even if I didn't have the diary with me. Then it started to get too much. He asked more and more questions, personal questions, things I didn't want to answer. And then I felt like I was going crazy, because sometimes I'd snap out of what felt like a trance and I couldn't remember what I'd done, and then awful things happened, and I wondered if it was my fault, it couldn't have been me, could it? I hadn't known what I was doing… but maybe it was me. So I got scared and I threw the diary away and I thought maybe everything could go back to normal. But it didn't, and people started thinking that it was Harry that was responsible, and I felt so guilty, even though I didn't even know whether it was me or not, but I knew it couldn't be him, it just couldn't.

I thought I was going crazy, and I didn't know what to do, and I tried to tell Harry and Ron but just as I'd worked up the courage Percy came along and that was it, it was gone, I couldn't do it. And then he took me again, only this time I knew what I was doing, and I painted the message on the wall and I opened the Chamber of Secrets and that's where I saw him. He was as handsome as I imagined and I thought at first that maybe it had all been a horrible mistake and that he was the old Tom who'd been kind and lovely to me.

And then he kissed me and touched me and I struggled and cried and he didn't listen or didn't care and he left me to die, and I would have if it hadn't been for Harry, and now - and now it's all over, only Mum and Dad are still lecturing me about trusting too easily, even though Dumbledore told them not to, and they tell me it's my fault.

And they're right.