A/N: The bold sections are from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, p. 293 (U.S. Edition) So yes, another plot bunny blew in and I found myself unable to conentrate on CoP until at least this part was written. This is being written for a challenge on puffysubmariner on LJ. Major thanks to my beta jk-salmeier, for making sure that things don't sound too far off base. :)
Chapter One- Did he or didn't he?
Ginny Weasley was scared, deep in her bones scared. She had tried to tell Harry and Ron what she suspected, but had to flee when her older brother, Percy, had joined them at the table in the Great Hall. There was no way that "Perfect Percy" would ever understand what she was going through. More than likely he would tell Professor Dumbledore or McGonagall, mainly because he would feel compelled as a prefect to follow the rules. Ginny bit the inside of her lip as she thought about whether she should attempt to tell the twins or not. She shook her head as she knew that they would do no more than make fun of her. Really, Ron was her only hope here at Hogwarts. If only Bill were here in England, instead of Egypt; but regardless Bill couldn't save her now. Only Ron, her best friend and protector growing up, could help her fight Tom and try to get her out of the trouble she was in.
She paused in front of the Fat Lady's portrait, trying to remember why she had returned to Gryffindor Tower. Books, that's why she had returned. In her haste to tell Harry and Ron at breakfast this morning, she had forgotten her schoolbooks. Giving the password to the Fat Lady, Ginny scampered through the common room and up the stairs to her dorm room.
When she picked up her rucksack, Ginny noticed how heavy it was. She opened it to sort out the books that she didn't need. Taking a few out and placing them on her bed, Ginny reached in once more and clasped the black diary in her hand.
Immediately, two wills were pitted against one another- a valiant Gryffindor soul versus a cunning, ambitious Slytherin. Ginny felt Tom's consciousness scan her memories, causing her to almost wail as she knew he would discover what she had been planning. While he could scan and read her thoughts, she had yet to figure out how to return the favor. Her body started to move, but she commanded it to get on her bed. As her body was climbing on the bed, she felt Tom's presence seem to grow in her mind. Ginny did everything she could to force that presence out, or at least to the corner of her mind. However, Tom was too strong for her to fight for long so she found herself retreating to the corner herself. She wept as her body made its way out of the tower and down to the second floor.
Helplessly, she watched as Tom used her body to write a message on the wall of the second floor corridor. A chill raced through her as she read the message, "Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever." What was he planning on doing with her now? Her body, still under Tom's control, entered the second-floor girls' bathroom and crossed to one of the sinks. She gasped as she heard a hissing sound reverberate from her throat. Struggling to gain control of her body once more, Ginny could do nothing as she made her way into the Chamber. She wanted to whimper, but more importantly she wanted her mother. Ginny felt sure that her mother would be able to fight off this maniac that had taken over her body. She was shocked to hear Tom reply to that from outside her body.
"Oh, but my dear Ginevra, how wrong you are. No one could fight me off. After all, no one has ever gone down the road to immortality as far as I have," a ghostly figure of a tall, black haired boy said as he appeared in front of her.
"Who are you? How did you get here?" Ginny seemed to have gained some control of her body back, but she seemed to be incredibly weak as if her energy was being siphoned off or something.
"Oh, my dear Ginny, you don't recognize me- the friend you could carry around in your pocket? Well, you can't carry me around now, can you?" he laughed.
At the sound of his cold, harsh laugh, Ginny had a sudden realization of how inherently devious and evil Tom Riddle really was. A wave of shame and guilt swept over her as she realized how completely taken in she was by this young man's charms. She sat down on the floor in front of a huge statue, quietly weeping. Steam suddenly rushed over her back.
The ghost-like figure sneered at Ginny. "It seems like your friend Harry is coming to your rescue. Too bad that he'll be too late to save you." At this, her body slumped over as he took control once more. Forced back into her corner, she could do no more than watch as he positioned her body facedown, between the feet of the statue to wait for Harry's arrival.
Only too soon, she heard a door open. She wanted so desperately to jump up and scream for Harry to go back, but Tom had placed a Full Body-Bind Charm on her so she could not move. Ginny didn't even know where the ghost-like figure had disappeared to. She was getting tired and was having a hard time focusing.
She heard footsteps come close to her. Then the voice that she loved to hear. "Ginny Weasley, don't you dare be dead," she heard Harry say. "Please, don't be dead. I don't want to have to tell your mum, or your dad for that matter, that I was too late."
She felt him place his hands on her shoulders and gently roll her over. She wished her eyes weren't closed. She wanted to see Harry as he was talking to her, but her mind was slowly turning off.
"Look, I'll make a deal with you," Harry said in a rush. "If you aren't dead and don't die on me, then I'll take you to Hogsmeade the first weekend you can go. Promise. Please, Ginny, wake up."
Ginny couldn't believe her ears. Did Harry just promise her that he would take her to Hogsmeade? Or was that the product of her very tired brain? With that last thought, she slipped into unconsciousness.