Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and settings belong to J.K. Rowling.
A/N: It's been a long time, I'm so sorry! Hope you enjoy!
Dumbledore looked over the diary, casting several spells before nodding slowly. "It is a Horcrux." He said quietly.
Severus ran his hand through his hair, noticing Bella's pale look. He gently grabbed her hand and held it, giving it an encouraging squeeze. "Kaiden had planned on writing in it to ask if it knew about the Chamber being opened fifty years ago." He looked at Dumbledore questioningly.
"I am very relieved he didn't. A part of Tom's soul is in this diary, ready to use whomever writes in it. My guess is he will feed on that soul, possess them and use their life force to come back."
"Kaiden got this diary from Neville Longbottom," Bella said with alarm. "And he's been looking under the weather..."
"If Neville has been writing in this diary, then we may know who is doing the attacking," Dumbledore said thoughtfully.
"Longbottom wouldn't have attacked anyone," Severus said in surprise. "How could even Voldemort's diary make him petrify people?"
Dumbledore shook his head. "He couldn't have. But the writing on the wall...maybe even Hagrid's roosters..."
"But why?" Bella asked. "And how?"
"I don't know," Dumbledore said in clear frustration. "I don't see how it all connects. If Neville has been possessed by Tom, I still don't know where the Chamber is or what creature he has been controlling. And I doubt Neville would remember anything, although I will talk to him. He needs to be looked at by Madam Pomfrey now that we know what has been happening to him."
"This castle has been searched," Severus said. "Many times."
"Yes, I know," Dumbledore tucked the diary under his arm. "I will take this to my office, it needs to be destroyed like the others. I would like to find out what creature lurks in this school but without someone to possess, Tom won't be able to send it to attack anyone else. If nothing else, the school should be safe now. However, I would rather be cautious and not have anyone wandering alone until we search the castle one more time."
"Albus, how many Horcruxes are left?" Bella asked after a moment.
Dumbledore looked at her and Severus and then looked away. "If I am right in my theory, there are two left."
"So we are close to getting rid of him for good," Severus said in relief.
Dumbledore hesitated and then nodded. "We are getting there. Goodnight Severus, Bella."
"Goodnight," Severus said. After the Headmaster flooed back to his office, he pulled his wife into his arms. "At least the students will be safe now."
"I wish we could find whatever was petrifying people," Bella said as she relaxed into his hug. "It creeps me out that there is some sort of creature hidden in the castle."
"It's too dangerous to write in the diary to find out," Severus said with a shake of his head.
Bella sighed. "I know."
Kaiden quietly closed his door and sat on his bed. He hadn't intended to eavesdrop, he had planned to get something to drink and maybe a biscuit when he heard the adults talking. He was more confused than ever. The diary could drain your soul? Was that what been happening to Neville? And Neville had written the message on the wall? And then was the attacks on Hagrid's roosters...and what in Merlin's name was a Horcrux?
"So Neville is in the infirmary?" Blaise asked as he moved a chess piece forward on the board.
Hermione nodded. "Professor McGonagall came this morning to get him and then sent word he would be there for a day or two. I can't believe he was going though that and we didn't know."
"How could we have known?" Draco asked.
They were sitting in the Great Hall as were other students, some doing their homework and others playing games. It was Saturday afternoon and Kaiden had filled his friends in on what he had overheard the previous night. Despite the diary now in the safe hands of Dumbledore, the emergency rules were still in effect until further notice.
"So does this mean Quidditch will start up again?" Ron asked hopefully.
Hermione looked up from the old library book she had been reading. "Nice Ron." She rolled her eyes. "If you aren't obsessing about your rat escaping from his cage then you are obsessing about Quidditch starting again."
"Hey, Scabbers keeps fleeing his cage and then suddenly reappearing in it. It's weird and I have no idea where he goes. And why shouldn't Quidditch start gain? It's over right?" Ron asked with a shrug. "Dumbledore is destroying the diary and Neville will get better."
"Don't you want to know what was doing the attacking?" Pansy asked. "I do. It's still here somewhere, living in the castle." She shivered slightly.
"As long as Tom can't possess anyone, he can't use it for attacking," Draco said.
"Well, I'd like to know what it is," Kaiden said. "I mean, it can petrify people including ghosts and even the Headmaster has no clue what could do that. And spiders are scared of it and then the roosters -"
"Spiders?" Hermione stared at him.
"I saw a bunch of spiders hurrying away from the area when I found Justin and Nearly Headless Nick," Kaiden explained.
Hermione's eyes widened and she furiously began flipping through the book she had been so focused on. "Oh Merlin," She said frantically.
"What is it?" Draco asked.
"I checked out this book a few days ago," Hermione said without looking up. "I've been trying to figure out what Kaiden has been hearing in the castle."
"You have?" Kaiden asked in surprise.
"It's got to be a snake," Draco said dismissively.
"I wondered if it could be a certain type of snake or if it could be something else, what with the words Kaiden heard it say," Hermione said excitedly She pointed to a page. "I skimmed over this because I didn't think it could possibly be this but now that I know about the roosters and the spiders..." She thrust the book forward. "Read this!"
Kaiden grabbed the book first. "A Basilisk?"
"A Basilisk, a most deadly snake which can reach gigantic size and live many hundreds of years," Kaiden paused and then continued reading. "Besides killing with its deadly and venomous fangs, it is the Basilisk's murderous stare that kills instantly once eye contact is made. Spiders will flee away from the Basilisk as they are mortal enemies and the only thing a Basilisk flees from is a rooster's crow, which is fatal to the creature."
"But no one has died," Blaise pointed out.
"No..." Kaiden murmured, thinking hard. His eyes lit up. "The night we found Mr. Filch, there was water all over the floor. Mr. Filch must have been starting to mop up the water and saw the Basilisk's reflection!"
"That makes sense!" Hermione nodded eagerly. "And with Justin, he must have seen the Basilisk's stare through Nearly Headless Nick!"
"And since Nick is already dead..." Pansy added.
"We figured it out!" Kaiden said excitedly.
"But how has it been getting around without anyone hearing it?" Blaise wondered out loud. "Someone would have noticed a giant snake."
There was silence as they thought about that. "When I heard the voice it sounded like it was coming from the walls," Kaiden said.
"The pipes!" Draco spoke up. "It's using the plumbing!"
Pansy suddenly stood up. "Moaning Myrtle's bathroom! What if the Chamber of Secrets is somewhere in there?" She said, talking fast. "No one goes in there since she haunts it...and one of the fifth year Slytherin's mentioned she had been around since her grandmother had attended Hogwarts, which was around fifty years ago!"
Kaiden had no idea why he did what he did next, he didn't plan it but the adrenaline was rushing through him and without thought, he took off from the Great Hall heading straight to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
"Hey, get back here! You are not to leave without an escort!" The Ravenclaw prefect who had been supervising the students in the Great Hall yelled.
Draco, Pansy, Blaise, Hermione and Ron chased after Kaiden and ignored the prefect yelling after them in alarm.
"All of you, get back here right now!"
Moaning Myrtle was floating above the toilets when Kaiden rushed in, his friends not far behind him. "Oh, you're back!" She said happily. When the others ran in she frowned. "Oh, you're back too." She said with a glare towards Ron.
"Myrtle, what, how did you...um..." Kaiden hesitated, not wanting to sound rude.
"How did you croak?" Ron asked tactlessly.
Myrtle let out a wail and floated up to the ceiling.
"Ron!" Kaiden said in exasperation. "Sorry Myrtle."
Myrtle floated back down, sniffling. "I'll tell you. It was in here. I was hiding out and crying because Olive Hornby was making fun of my glasses. Then I heard a boy's voice so I stepped out of the stall to yell at him and then...I died." She shrugged.
"Do you know who the boy was?" Hermione asked.
"No, I only heard his voice. All I remember seeing was big, yellow eyes and the boy was speaking some strange language," Myrtle said.
Kaiden froze. So it had been Voldemort, who was a known Parselmouth and he had opened the Chamber fifty years ago. He gazed sadly at Myrtle.
"Where did you see the eyes?" Draco asked.
"Over there somewhere," Myrtle said vaguely, pointing towards the sink.
Everyone began examining the sink, searching in and out of it including the pipes below. That's where Kaiden saw it, scratched on the side was a tiny snake. He stared at it for a moment. "Open." Nothing happened.
"What are you doing?" Draco asked, coming to stand beside Kaiden and following his gaze. "Oh...okay, um, pretend that it is real."
Kaiden bit his lip, remembering the snake from the forest. He looked back at the snake and moved his head a little, the candlelight making it look like it was movie. "Open!" He said again. This time the sink began to move, sinking out of sight and leaving a large pipe exposed, large and wide enough for someone to slide into.
"You found it!" Blaise breathed.
"We need to inform the professors," Pansy said nervously.
Hermione nodded in agreement. "Yes, they can take from here."
"But what if Parseltongue is needed inside?" Kaiden asked worriedly. "It could be sealed further in there."
"You can't go in there Kaiden," Hermione frowned.
"He may be right, he might be needed in there," Ron argued.
"Well, the adults can go inside and if they need you they will get you," Hermione said logically.
"I doubt my parents will let me go down there, even if I am needed," Kaiden said with a shake of his head. His parents were overprotective after all.
"You're not thinking of going down there are you?" Draco asked suspiciously.
"Look, I'm probably already in trouble for running out of the Great Hall without someone with me," Kaiden said impatiently. "I might as well go down there and wait for whichever adult is going to investigate. That way, if they need Parseltongue, I'm already there." He sighed at the looks on his friends faces. "Listen, I'm not going to wander around down there." He gestured at the pipe. "I'll slide down and wait where I land. You guys go get help."
"You're either seriously brave or seriously stupid," Ron remarked.
"I vote seriously stupid," Draco said. "You are not going down there. What if the Basilisk is right where you land?"
Good point, Kaiden thought. He sighed. "Okay, okay. I'm staying here though, someone else get the Headmaster and my parents."
"We'll go!" Pansy said, grabbing Blaise's arm and pulling him with her.
Curious, Kaiden leaned over to peer into the darkness. "I wonder what it looks like down there."
"Don't get too close!" Hermione exclaimed.
Kaiden spun around to reassure her but slipped on the water on the floor and slid down the pipe with a yell.
"Kaiden!" Draco quickly lowered himself into the pipe and followed his cousin.
Ron looked at Hermione's wide eyed guilty face. "Way to go," He said dryly as he moved to look down the pipe.
Hermione had her hand over her mouth. "I can't believe he fell in! Do you think they are okay?"
Before Ron could answer the door opened and Dumbledore, McGonagall, Bella and Severus rushed in, followed by Pansy and Blaise.
"Oh Merlin," McGonagall gasped when she saw the opening.
"You did indeed find it," Dumbledore said as he looked at it in interest.
"Where are Kaiden and Draco?" Severus asked.
"Um," Ron gulped and pointed down the opening.
"What?!" Severus thundered. "What were they thinking?"
"Kaiden accidentally fell in," Ron said hurriedly. "Draco went in after him."
Without a word, Severus jumped over and slid down the pipe with Bella right behind him.
"Minerva, if you would escort the students back to their common rooms," Dumbledore said calmly as he lifted himself into the pipe.
"Everything will be fine," Dumbledore said before sliding down.
McGonagall made a face as they could clearly hear the Headmaster's voice as he slid down. "Wheee!"
"Such an overgrown child," McGonagall muttered. She gazed sternly at the pre-teens. "Come with me. You all have a lot of explaining to do as to why you came here without a professor or prefect."
Kaiden and Draco had cast the light charm with their wands so they could see.
"Yuck, it's disgusting down here," Draco grumbled as he looked at the slimy walls.
"Do you think we should -" Kaiden started but a noise behind him stopped him. His mouth dropped open in surprise. "Dad? Mum?"
"Are you two all right?" Severus demanded, holding Kaiden by the shoulders and looking him up and down.
"Are either of you hurt?" Bella asked anxiously.
"No, we're fine," Kaiden assured them. "Um, I know I have a lot to explain -"
"Yes, you sure do," Bella said sternly.
"But I didn't mean to come down here," Kaiden said hurriedly. "I slipped and fell. Honest."
"We will discuss it later," Severus said, turning slightly as Dumbledore slid down.
"My goodness," Dumbledore murmured as he looked around. He eyes settled on the boys. "Are you two all right?"
"Yes Sir," Kaiden and Draco answered together.
"I want to get them out of here," Severus said.
"Um Dad, what if Parseltongue is needed to get to the Basilisk?" Kaiden asked hesitantly.
Bella stared at her son. "Basilisk?"
Kaiden and Draco quickly explained what they had found out to the three shocked adults.
"Quite impressive, figuring all that out," Dumbledore beamed.
Severus glared at the Headmaster. "Do not even think about giving points!"
Dumbledore sighed. "Fine. Now, let me scout ahead to see if Parseltongue is needed. I'll be right back."
Kaiden nervously looked at his parents, both who looked upset and were being silent. He didn't know what to say. He had fallen in, so they couldn't be mad about that right? Of course, instead of going to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom he should have contacted them first. He had broken the emergency rules by not having a escort and broken his parents rules to stay away from anything to do with the chamber. Why was it he couldn't stop getting himself into trouble? He certainly didn't mean to, it just seemed to keep happening. He glanced at Draco who was still looking around in disgust and hid a smile.
After a few minutes, Dumbledore came back with his robes looking grubby. "Well, I believe there is another entrance to the Basilisk. Do you mind if Kaiden comes with me?"
Severus sighed. "I'll come too."
Bella huffed but nodded. "I'll stay here with Draco." She put her hand under Kaiden's chin and lifted it up. "You do everything your father tells you."
"I will, Mum."
Dumbledore led them through the tunnel and soon they came to a wall where two entwined snakes were carved, glinting emeralds used for their eyes.
Kaiden gulped slightly at the creepy way those snakes did look real. "Open."
The snakes parted and the wall opened. Dumbledore stepped forward to peer in. "I believe I can take it from here gentlemen."
Severus hesitated. "Albus, are you sure? I can take Kaiden back to Bella and then return to help you."
"I can handle it," Dumbledore said confidently. "I won't look it in the eyes and I do know a spell that makes the sound of a rooster crow. This shouldn't take long." He disappeared into the chamber.
"I hope he is okay," Kaiden said quietly after a couple of minutes of silence.
"The Headmaster is a very capable and powerful wizard," Severus said as he gazed after the path Dumbledore had gone. He had his wand out and ready, just in case. "Knowing what he is up against and what needs to be done helps tremendously."
Kaiden bit his lip. "So...it was good that we figured it out?" Even researching the chamber had been off limits for him.
"Yes," Severus said after a moment. "But once you had, you should have come straight to us or any professor. We would have figured out we needed Parseltongue and gotten you and you wouldn't have fallen down the pipe." He finally looked down at his son. "You could have broken your neck." Frustration was clear in his voice.
"I know," Kaiden said softly.
"How did you and your friends figure out it was a Basilisk?" Severus asked as they waited for the Headmaster to return.
"Well, Hermione did, she has this old book from the library. She said she was trying to figure out what I was hearing in the school in case it wasn't just a snake and when I mentioned Hagrid's roosters being killed and the spiders I saw hurrying away from Justin and Nearly Headless Nick, she remembered reading about the Basilisk."
"You knew about Hagrid's roosters?"
"Yeah, I heard you guys last -" Kaiden stopped, realising he just admitted he had been listening to their conversation.
Severus's eyes darkened. "You eavesdropped on us?!"
"I didn't mean to," Kaiden said in a small voice.
Severus stared at his son with clear anger and disapproval. "Well, we will just add that to the list of things we need to have a discussion about." He said darkly.
A sound of loud thumps could be heard in the dark corridor and Severus and Kaiden both turned and waited apprehensively. A moment later the sound of a rooster's crow sounded out.
Severus and Kaiden waited anxiously for Dumbledore to return. Severus was just about to tell Kaiden to stay where he was and go inside the chamber when Dumbledore emerged, looking tired but happy.
"It is dead," Dumbledore said.
Severus sighed with relief. "What took you so long? Did it take long to die once hearing the rooster's crow?"
"No, my boy he died instantly." Dumbledore said brightly. "However, I thought you could use these so I procured them after the Basilisk's demise." He held out a couple of vials that contained scales from the Basilisk and another with a fang.
Severus couldn't help the gleeful look on his face as he took the incredibly rare ingredients. He carefully pocketed them. "Thank you Albus."
"You're welcome," Dumbledore said with a knowing look. One could make quite a profit selling potions made with Basilisk ingredients or even selling the ingredients outright.
"I take it you didn't get hurt?" Severus asked as they carefully made their way back to the entrance.
"No, not at all." Dumbledore said. "It just took some time to get the Basilisk to show itself, without its master telling it to come out. Once it became aware that it wasn't alone, it attacked and I was ready with the spell."
"Severus, Kaiden!" Bella said with relief when she saw them. "Did you get it?"
"It is taken care of," Dumbledore answered.
"Did you see it?" Draco asked Kaiden eagerly.
"No," Kaiden said.
Dumbledore picked up three loose rocks and transfigured them into brooms. "Is everyone ready to go?"
Kaiden had to grin at the sight of Dumbledore on a broom as he shared one with his father and Draco shared one with his mother. They flew out easily, leaving the chamber and its secrets behind.
In a secluded house, a low fire burned as the creature known as Voldemort sat near it, not fully a man but more than the vapor he had been.
"I need to be restored to my full strength, especially as Dumbledore is destroying my Horcruxes!" Voldemort hissed to one of his servants, who had been spying at Hogwarts and then reporting back to him.
"Of course Master, the potion is almost ready. We just need the blood of an enemy."
"The ideal enemy would be Kaiden Snape," Voldemort said darkly. "Kidnapping him from Hogwarts would be highly impossible, however."
"Who would you like me get Master?" The servant asked eagerly.
Voldemort gave a cruel smile. "Narcissa Malfoy."