Chapter 1 (Where it All Began)
Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling; I own absolutely nothing. A lot of this is verbatim from the book, so please don't sue me.
Note to the Readers: I think it starts off kind of slow, but I hope you all like it anyway. I'll try to update soon.
Till this day, there isn't much I remember about the morning of September 1, 1992. I don't remember waking up, or any of the other tedious things I did that morning. I do, however, remember arriving on the castle steps of Hogwarts. I remember the feeling. I wasn't nervous. A sense of calm had stilled my nerves. I felt confident about my fate because I knew exactly where I belonged, and I was sure that I would be placed in Gryffindor. To me, it was a fact that was completely indisputable.
But that fact was challenged the moment I sat down on the stool in the Great Hall.
"Another Weasley!" The sorting hat drawled. "I know just…hmmm, really now? Interesting, very interesting indeed. Youare not a Gryffindor."
"What? What do you mean? I am a Gryffindor; my whole family is Gryffindor." I thought urgently.
"Certainly, dear. Your blood is Gryffindor but your nature is very Slytherin-"
"No, I'm quite sure-"
"You belong in SLYTHERIN!" The hat yelled to the entire Great Hall.
And that was how one word- and one word alone-had changed my life irrevocably forever.
Here is where my story begins-the story of my life.
The hall quieted and my heart stopped. Something in the center of my chest felt like it was throbbing, but for what, I did not know. My mouth was wide open. It wasn't until Professor McGonagall's hand touched my shoulder that I realized that I had not been breathing at all. I greedily took air into my lungs and my vision somewhat cleared. I was able to focus my eyes onto her. She looked like a woman who had been shocked to the core; she was not-could not-be sure about anything in life.
I mean, who could blame her? Every Weasley was a Gryffindor. Each and every single one.
"Miss. Weasley, join your house." McGonagall said, looking at me like she had never seen me before. Her gaze was so calculating and it unnerved me too much.
"Professor?" I breathed. Her penetrating gaze somewhat slackened.
"Miss. Weasley, go." It seemed about the only words that she could put together.
Looking over at the Slytherin table, I could see that I was not welcomed there. Sneers and many scowls were directed at me. Getting off of the stool, I stood up and slowly made my way over to the Slytherins. I sat down next to a boy, who couldn't keep his eyes off of me. He slid away from me like I was a disease, and he kept scowling at me like I was the bloody Grim Reaper. I was about to make a retort, when my tongue stilled.
No, he isn't worth my words.
I looked at the impertinent boy with a hard gaze, and I did not waver in the slightest. It wasn't long before he turned away from me and continued with his dinner. I turned my penetrating gaze upon the other insolent Slytherins, who stared coldly at me. Most of their gazes wavered and, afterward, they indulged in their meals. Only a good ten of them continued to look at me like they would murder me on the spot, Malfoy being one of them. Yet I met all of their gazes and I did not falter-less they think me weak.
Which I am-weak. How am I supposed to do this? I'm never going to make it out of Hogwarts alive. Mum, Dad, Ron, Harry! They're going to be so mad at me.
Looking down at the dinner before me, I grabbed my fork and brought the roast beef to my mouth. The attempt was utterly useless; the food had no taste now. Even though I wanted to look at the Gryffindor table, I couldn't bear to see the disappointed faces of Hermione, Fred, George and Percy. They would be there. I could sense their gaze on me now-calling out to me, telling me to turn around. But I wouldn't. Turning around now would only cause me to break down. I didn't know much about Hogwarts or Slytherin; however, I did know that showing weakness now would ruin me forever. Forcing myself to get through the meal, I ate and occasionally glanced at the Gryffindor table.
Where are Ron and Harry? I thought, a bit relieved that they weren't here to see this.
Throughout dinner, I could still feel the glares radiating from many of my housemates. I can't believe that Slytherins are my housemates. The thought itself made me cringe.
Luckily, dinner flew by fast. Ron and Harry still weren't here. Where were they? Are they alright? I wondered.
The dinner on the plates disappeared. A chorus of, "FIRST YEAR SLYTHERINS, FOLLOW ME!" was heard throughout the hall.
Getting up, I followed a blonde girl with pristine black robes. She didn't look at me as coldly as the others did. Her gaze was calculating, but her countenance was very pleasing. I risked trying to make an associate in this house.
"Hello, my name is Ginny. Ginny Weasley." I said softly, my voice somewhat faltering.
Her eyes were a deep, rich blue that seemed to penetrate everything intensely. Yet my gaze upon her did not waver.
"I know who you are." the first year responded, somewhat condescendingly. I looked away from the girl, not wanting to make an acquaintance who did not favor me in the slightest.
"My name is Astoria. Astoria Greengrass!" The girl had a very thick air of self-importance about her. "The first Weasley to ever be sorted outside of Gryffindor. Quite a feat you've accomplished there." Astoria smirked. Yet her gaze was accepting.
I sighed with relief. "I-I didn't mean to be sorted here." I said, stating the truth.
The girl grinned. "Of course. But you are here. Is your name really Ginny?" The girl asked as we made our way deeper into the dungeons, outside a stretch of a bare, stone wall.
"Purity," said the prefect, and a stone door in the wall slid open. We all followed the prefect into the common room.
'The Slytherin Common room was a long, low underground room with rough stone walls and a ceiling from which round, greenish lamps were hanging on chains. A fire was crackling under an elaborately carved mantelpiece ahead of us, and several Slytherins were silhouetted around it in high-backed chairs.' The room was incredibly spacious and rich. Everything about it was cold, elegant, refined and very antique. I was intimidated by this place, but I loved it the moment I laid eyes on it.
"Girls dormitory is to your left; boys, the same on the right. Your insolence better not cost us the house cup. Goodnight." The prefect spat, looking at us all disgustingly.
Astoria didn't look phased at all. She sighed and made her way up the staircase.
"Coming, Weasley." she said smartly. I nodded and followed her.
Upon entering the room, I saw that it was very spacious. The beds seemed to be richly carved and very impeccable.
"Our things are already unpacked." Astoria commented, stating the obvious. She was slightly bossy. It seemed that only Astoria and I would be sharing this room. Astoria plopped down onto the bed and looked at me thoughtfully.
"What?" I asked, my voice hard as steel.
Astoria's right eyebrow rose as she looked at me.
"I don't know what you're doing here, Weasley, but let's get some things straight. I'm not your friend and vice versa. Unless I tell you so, stay out of my way and I'll do the same. Goodnight." She said, flouncing to a door off to the left of my bed.
Must be the loo, I thought, grabbing my shabby nightgown out of the drawer and waiting for Astoria to come out of the bathroom.
Suddenly, our room door burst open. Malfoy was standing there, looking disgusted by the sight of me. He looked me up and down before entering the room and slamming the door shut behind him. I stood up and felt for my wand inside my robes. I decided not to draw it yet.
"Say what you have to say and get out." I spat. Malfoy sneered.
"I can't believe vermin like you made it into the likes of Slytherin." Malfoy spat, coming closer to me. I, however, stood my ground.
I decided that I wouldn't react to his childishness. I would be unaffected and above such stupidity. I stifled the urge to roll my eyes; instead, I walked to my bed, plopped down, and pulled out a leather-bound diary and a battered quill. Malfoy sent a stinging hex my way, but it didn't hit me. He didn't mean for it to.
Astoria, upon hearing Malfoy yell the curse, ran out of the loo into the room. She saw how the bed-stand was fizzing with smoke; she knew he'd fired a hex of some sort at me. Her gaze found Malfoy, and she too seemed unaffected and bored. Astoria shrugged and made her way over to her bed, getting underneath the sheets and seemingly falling asleep. I sent a death glare at Malfoy. Such a stupid boy.
"Are you done?" I sighed, bored.
Inside, I honestly was scared. A first year like me didn't know any curses. I didn't know how to defend myself at all. I decided then that I'd be spending a lot of time in the library, learning defensive spells.
Malfoy leered at me. I didn't like him being this close to me.
"You won't even last the month. And I'll ensure that you won't last the year, Weasley. You're dead." Malfoy whispered into my ear.
I fought the shiver that crept up my spine, but I was very proud of myself for not reacting.
"With that said, could you stop wasting my time and leave. I assure you, I have much better things to do than listen to meaningless threats from a very stupid boy." I spat, giving Malfoy a smirk of my own.
He was about to scream another curse, when I quickly withdrew my wand and raised it at him.
"Leave now, Malfoy." I hissed threateningly.
Malfoy backed out of the room, sending me a glare that clearly said that this wasn't over by far. Sighing, I entered the washroom and showered. The hot water didn't soothe me. I turned off the tap and dried myself with an emerald towel.
Emerald, I thought. It was supposed to be scarlet and gold.
I was finally alone now, so I could be weak all I wanted.
But I didn't cry. I simply couldn't.
Mum and Dad are going to be so disappointed in me. I thought over and over. Just don't think about it.
I combing my wet, flaming red hair. All I could think about was how everything about me seemed to be a contradiction. I sighed, drying my hair and putting on the nightgown. I left the loo and plopped down on the bed. Astoria seemed to be asleep. I began to write in the leather-bound diary. It was in the school books Harry had given me. Perhaps, it was a gift from Harry, I thought excitedly with a smile.
I had written in it before; I found Tom to be very trusting, kind and sensitive to my problems in a way that no one ever had. He cared about my feelings and my life.
Tom was very proud of me; I had made it into Slytherin house, and he felt that I would do very well here. I told him I was unsure about a lot of things, but he calmed me down considerably. After wishing him a goodnight, I put the diary on the bed-stand. Setting my wand to awake me in the morning, I drew the covers over me and waited for sleep.
However, it did not easily come.
I remember that week clearly now. That morning was hell. I woke up and showered. Seeing that Astoria hadn't yet stirred, I shook her awake and she got up to use the loo. I left the dorm, hurrying through the common room out into the dungeon corridor. The dungeons under the school were truly a maze, but I knew that I would soon navigate them as well as I traipsed around the Burrow.
Even now, there was something about the darkness that felt familiarly like home.
It was very early in the morning, and there was an hour before classes would begin. I decided to get up early to deal with my brothers, Hermione, and Harry.
After a good seven minutes, I was finally able to recognize the passageway from last night. I ascended into the main corridor that leads to the Great Hall. Sitting there at the Gryffindor table was the Trio. Hesitantly, I walked over to them and sat down. There weren't many Slytherins at the table so I figured I'd be fine, as long as I didn't stay for long.
Ron looked ready to explode. "How could you get sorted into Slytherin? Slytherin!" Ron howled. Physically, I was un-phased by his words. Inside, my heart felt shattered.
"I didn't mean to, Ron-I didn't." I said, my voice incredibly low.
Harry looked at me thoughtfully with pity in his eyes. Hermione looked at me thoughtfully too; her eyes were troubled but somewhat calculating. It was as if they didn't even recognize me.
Like I wasn't the Ginny they had known all along. Was I?
"You wait until Mum and Dad find out about this!" Ron snapped. I cast my head downwards. Ron sighed.
"Look, Gin, maybe they can…fix this…with Dumbledore or something. Don't worry too much about it." Ron said coldly, although I knew that he didn't believe a word he'd said.
"Just don't hate me." I said quietly, looking at Ron. He paled.
"I don't hate you, Ginny. I just-I don't understand." He said, shaking his head confusedly.
"That makes all of us." Harry commented and even Hermione nodded her head.
"Where were you yesterday? You weren't at dinner and I don't remember seeing you both on the train." I voiced aloud the thought that had been partially worrying me all night.
Ron reddened again, and Harry turned his head downward in shame. In shame for what?
"What happened?" I asked, curious to know now.
"They-Harry and Ron-decided to fly your father's car all the way to Hogwarts. They're lucky they weren't expelled." Hermione said haughtily, her lips pursed.
"You what! I can't believe you stole Dad's car! Mum's going to kill you." I yelled, wondering how they could've been stupid enough to steal Dad's car.
"How else were we supposed to get here? The bloody gate had sealed itself. Just lay off." Ron yelled. Then, he shoved scrambled eggs into his mouth.
I sighed. Idiot! I couldn't help but think it and roll my eyes.
"Well, since Malfoy himself has threatened to kill me, I have to go. If I turn up missing, you'll know why. Bye guys." I said hurriedly, looking at the Professors table, where one professor was looking pointedly at me.
Snape clearly wanted me to join my house. Getting up, I made my way over to the Slytherin table and began piling food onto my plate. Although I wasn't in a good mood, I did have an appetite that needed to be sated. Besides, the food looked and smelled incredibly delicious. It wasn't long before Astoria sat beside me and began eating.
"Thanks for waking me up this morning. Make it a habit." She said patronizingly.
"Certainly," I responded lightly. "Snape just handed out our time tables. He also felt the need to give me a cold glare." I said frustrated. Astoria shrugged.
"Well, that's Professor Snape for you and you alone." She then looked at me squarely. "Just be quick in Potions and you'll be fine. Besides, you're a Slytherin, whether he likes it or not." Astoria finished, checking her watch.
"Let's go. We have him first, then McGonagall. Come, we can't be late." Astoria said, getting up and waiting for me to join her.
We passed Malfoy, who'd spent most of breakfast glaring at me. I waved at the Trio and the twins. Percy was not there! Where was he? But thoughts of Percy left my mind.
I entered the dungeons-this time, with Astoria. Snape dramatically entered the room and gave a seriously intimidating speech to us all. I thought his class challenging but I would prove myself to him and every single person in Hogwarts.
I was powerful and they would know it. They would see it and, one day, feel it.
Potions flew by incredibly fast.
"Only Professor Snape would have us brew a potion on the first day of class." Astoria said tiredly, walking fast to Professor McGonagall's class.
We entered, listened to her speech and took notes on the basic theory of transfiguration. Since I wouldn't be going to lunch today, I'd be in the library learning defensive spells. When lunchtime arrived, I walked to the back of the library, searching through many thick tomes.
"Perhaps you should start on the Standard Book of Spells, year one." said a voice. Turning around, I saw that it was the strict librarian.
Nodding my head, I thanked her and began reading the book she had suggested. I was always a fast reader, so I figured that it would only take me three days to finish the book itself. It would probably take a week or two to master all the spells.
Lunch was ending, so I decided to check out the huge tome named Defensive Spells. The librarian looked at me thoroughly and I nodded understandingly to her, emphasizing that I'd take excellent care of the book. She inclined her head and I left to continue the day and the rest of my classes.
Dinner came quickly and, through it all, I read. I would occasionally talk to Astoria.
"Your brother got a howler this morning. Yes, right after we left. Your father's facing an inquiry at work over that flying car." Astoria said, laughing like it was the most funniest thing ever. I glared at her coldly, and instantly she stopped.
I was getting very good at silencing people with one look.
Stupid Ron! I thought. Now he's done it.
"Her family couldn't afford for her daddy to lose his job." spat a Slytherin girl a year ahead of me.
Looking to Astoria, she clarified the girl's identity for me. "That's Pansy Parkinson. She wants to be Draco's girlfriend." Astoria finished, with a shrug.
I sneered at her. "You certainly couldn't afford for that nose of yours to become more pug-shaped than it already is, now could you?" I drawled unaffectedly.
Several at the Slytherin table snickered, including Malfoy. Pansy fumed quietly throughout dinner, but she didn't say another word after that. I continued reading my book. I practiced wand movements underneath the table.
After dinner was done, I snatched up my books and my bag. Then I made my way to the commons with Astoria. I didn't linger in the common room. I went straight up to our dorm and began reading more about defensive spells. Since I'd been reading this book in most of my classes, I'd gotten much of it read already. I still had a good seventy-five pages to go, but they would probably pass quickly. Now, all I had to do was practice the spells.
What would I practice on-or rather who?
I saw a black cat in the corner with glowing red eyes. I picked it up and looked at it. This is Millicent Bulstrode's cat, I thought. The cat made a swipe at me with its claw. Sighing, I dropped it before it could do any serious damage.
I pointed my wand at the cat and said: "Petrificus Totalus." The cat went as stiff as a board.
"Hmm, I like that spell." I said, a smirk on my face. I couldn't wait for Malfoy to try and attack me again. Still, I knew I'd have to do much better than this spell.
Picking up Millicent's cat, I practiced other harmless spells on it. Truth be told, I didn't like cats. My family always assumed that I was this great animal lover. I scoffed, thinking if only they could see me now.
I accomplished most of my spells on the first try. I was extremely proud of that. At this rate, I'd be able to go onto the second year text. Tom was right: Knowledge is incredible power and I had it. I craved it, always wanting more. I needed to learn more.
The door to our dorm room then opened.
"You stayed in the common room long," I drawled without looking up.
"I'm not Greengrass, Weasley." Malfoy spat.
Sighing, I looked up and wondered how he was able to come up the staircase. The door was thankfully open.
"Yes, Malfoy. I see that now." I said, bored. My manners were bordering tolerant.
Malfoy leaned against the wall, looking at me calculatingly. Why are people always sizing me up? I'm only an eleven year old. I thought to myself.
"You know you won't last long here." Malfoy spat, looking at me coldly with extreme disdain.
"Do I look I'm going anywhere? You don't scare me." I said challengingly.
Malfoy smirked and his wand hand twitched. Thinking he was going to curse me, I drew my wand on him. Malfoy had his out too, now that I noticed.
"Lower it, Weasley, or I'll curse you into the Hospital Wing." Malfoy threatened.
"You're going to curse me anyway." I retorted.
We both screamed spells at the same time. Malfoy froze like a board, and I barely dodged his Rictumsempra.
Thank Merlin. I breathed. Walking over to Malfoy, I bent down and grabbed his wand. I chucked it down the stairs and then I backed away from him.
"Finite Incantatum." I said, pointing my wand at him. He got up and pointed his finger at me threateningly.
"You will pay for that, Weasley." Malfoy said, his mouth scrunched up in anger.
"Get out!" I snapped. Malfoy, chest heaving and all, finally left me alone. For today.
I locked the room door with a charm, in case he decided to come back for revenge. I decided to take a shower before bed. The shower relaxed me a lot. Coming out of the shower room, I heard someone knocking on the door.
"Astoria?" I asked aloud. She answered me from behind the door.
I cancelled the locking charm and she entered the room. "How did you do that?" She asked, impressed.
"It's all in here." I said, tapping the text that I'd been reading all day.
"So, you're bookish." She commented, sitting on the bed. I shook my head.
"Not really." I responded, grabbing the leather bound diary.
Astoria looked around rather vacantly, and then she nodded her head and made her way over to the shower. I began writing to Tom.
I told him how things were faring for me in Slytherin house. I told him how I had outsmarted Malfoy; put Parkinson in her place; and how I had somewhat proved to Snape that I wasn't a complete idiot. I even told him about my reading, and how I would begin on my second year tome this weekend. He told me I was doing exceptionally well, and that knowledge was one way to ensure my survival in Slytherin. He said I was smart and he was very proud of me.
Tom told me that knowledge is power in the world and that I should always seek it. He said power was all that mattered. It surprised me because I didn't argue with him. To me, his words were the truth. Tom was everything and his words were all fact to me. I thanked him and told him how worried I was over the twins and Percy's reaction, including my parents. I told him about how much Harry meant to me and how I didn't want him to hate me over this. Tom told me that things would work out in time, and I believed him. He said, with power, things would always go my way.
He also said I'd come to see this in time. I wasn't to worry.
That night, I fell asleep with the diary clutched in my hands and a warm smile wide on my face.
Astoria and I were now in the dining hall, eating breakfast. The owls were flying around and my Mum's letter was before me.
I'm sorry we didn't write before. We were trying to correct the situation at Hogwarts. Dumbledore says that there's nothing we can do. Ron told me you're worried about your father and I. Remember, Ginny, we love you very much and we trust that we've raised you to be a respectable young lady of honor and integrity. Keep an eye on Ron, would you? Also, your father and I will be visiting Bill in Egypt, so you and Ron won't be able to come home for Christmas. But, I can't wait to see you this summer, dear.
Astoria read the letter and looked at me. "You have great parents. I think my parents would've disowned me, if I wasn't sorted into Slytherin." She said bluntly.
For the first time since my sorting, I really smiled. I smiled broadly and sighed contentedly.
"You see, Ginny, things will work out in time." Astoria's words were comforting. It was the first time she had called me by my name. I felt like she was really warming up to me and I to her.
"Call me Ginevra." I said slowly, biting my lower lip that was wide in a smile.
Astoria's right brow raised and she smirked at me. I threw one back at her, feeling that things would really be fine.
Little did I know: Things were about to get a hell of a lot worse. And this year would change me-forever.
Things have been happening at Hogwarts. Horrible things that are my fault!
The term ends in a month and things have been more and more hectic. I don't think Tom is my friend anymore; in fact, I don't think he ever wanted to be my friend. It's so hard not to love and trust him, but I don't know what to do. I can't tell anyone about Tom. He means too much to me, but I-I just don't know how to be rid of him.
It all began a month and a half after the term began. Things were going really well. Percy and the twins didn't begrudge me for being a Slytherin. The twins kind of loved it, or loved to joke and tease me about it. Percy didn't mind, especially since I caught him making out with Penelope- his girlfriend. He wouldn't dare anger me, less I tell the twins who'd tease him forever. Ron, Hermione and Harry ignored me. They didn't accept me, but at least they talked to me from time to time. I was excelling in all of my classes, surprising McGonagall and even Snape. But things just took a turn for the worse.
I was alone now more than ever. Astoria and I talked, but I felt beneath her always. She was condescending toward me. She knew that she was above me in the Slytherin hierarchy, where I wasn't even recognized at all. I was alone but I wasn't scared. Inside, I was growing colder and colder. I wrote to Tom more and more. Writing to him felt a lot better. I felt lighter, like the words weighed me down-that is, until the very moment I scrawled them down onto the diary's pages. Tom was teaching me; he thought me as a student, who could learn a lot from him.
He taught me many things: Power, above all; an insatiable thirst for knowledge; a need to be better than others; a disregard for consequences; and he taught me how to manipulate above all. He was a masterful artist, slowly but surely teaching me his craft. It was secretly weaved into my life and I was changing. I ate less; I talked less; I read more; I practiced more spells; and I began to feel less. The only feeling I now recognized was greed.
I was not myself, but I didn't recognize my change until Halloween.
Actually, it began a couple of days before Halloween. I would wander the halls of Hogwarts, go to my classes and eat dinner with Astoria; however, I was losing my bearings and I was constantly in a state of confusion. If I wasn't confused, I felt nearly empty. I would see things but it would feel like I wasn't really seeing them at all. Like it was someone else seeing it, not me. I would touch and taste things but it would feel too detached, too distant. I was there but I wasn't. Everyone thought I was sick or "cracking up," as Malfoy liked to put it.
I thought I was still adjusting to Hogwarts. Perhaps, it was the stress that was finally getting to me.
But then, Halloween happened.
I can't remember what I did on Halloween. All I know is that Mrs. Norris was petrified and the walls had writings that were in blood. I remember getting up that morning and finding rooster feathers in my robes and my robes were smeared with dried blood that had crested into clumps. I remember falling down in the tub, feeling panicked and lost.
I was alone and no one would understand. No one could help me.
I was worthless.
I remember going to class the next day, looking around to see if anyone suspected me. Percy would come around, looking at me critically. He said I was pale, and he wrote to Mum and forced me to take a Pepper-Up potion. That was the only way I could get Percy to leave me alone. Eventually, he did. The twins didn't worry much, and Ron didn't worry at all. But I knew that Ron, Hermione and Harry were trying to sort out this Chamber business. I could see it written all across their faces.
I was alone and I felt completely worthless. Only Tom made me feel like I was worth anything. I spent hours-mornings, afternoons, evenings, and nights-writing to him over and over and over. I didn't realize it but I was feeling less and less like me. Writing to him was like emptying my body, my mind and my heart. He was all I had and I needed him more than anything. He was my friend and I learned of the world from him. Writing to Tom just made things feel a lot better.
Still, the days were starting to blend more into each other. I don't know how I was handling my classes. The only thing that could explain that was Tom. He was proud of my grades and he often gave me ideas when doing my homework. As things began to become busier at Hogwarts, I began to write lesser in the diary.
And then, things seemed fine. I was beginning to feel like I had a handle on myself, until Colin Creevey was attacked. I don't remember if I went to the Quidditch match earlier that day. I remember nothing. Absolutely nothing! I didn't even feel as bad for Creevey, and I sat next to him in Charms every day. He was silent, much better company than Astoria.
I was getting scared and more scared. Astoria was even worried. She threatened to go to Snape if I didn't get any better.
And then, Harry could speak Parsletongue!
How was that even possible? The only thing I liked about that Dueling Club was that I was able to curse Malfoy, without him knowing that it was me who was cursing him.
Tension at Hogwarts was building; I felt like I was going insane. How come I couldn't remember anything? Why? What was I doing? Where was I going at night? Astoria said she would tell! What would I do if she told? Am I losing my mind?
And then, Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick were attacked in December. And again, I couldn't remember what I'd done that day. I knew then that this wasn't a coincidence. I couldn't convince myself any longer that these attacks were just happening. No, I knew that it was me. But what was making me do it? How was I attacking people?
I wrote to Tom, telling him about my fears and this secret-this huge secret that could destroy me and shame my family forever. Especially, my Dad. I told him about my love for Harry, and how he would never like me, especially if he knew about all this. But truthfully, I thanked Merlin for everyone believing that Harry was the Heir of Slytherin. If it weren't for him, everyone would see that it was me. Me, hurting people! Me, dangerous! But how long would it take for people to realize that Harry wasn't the one petrifying people? How long would it take for them to see that it was me?
Tom told me not to worry. He told me to act my part: be little Ginny. I was to be what my family expected me to be-sweet, kind, loving and caring. That is, after all, what they wanted from their little Ginny. That is, after all, what Tom most loved about me. He said that if I "kept up appearances and calmed down," no one would ever suspect me of a thing. He said I wasn't hurting anyone and that, in time, I'd come to understand this. His words relieved me; they made me sleep better at night.
I watched the Trio to see how close they were to figuring me out. Sometimes, Ron would narrow his eyes at me speculatively. I would sometimes trail them. They spent most of their time in classes or in their common rooms. I found it weird how they'd go and stay in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom for so long a time. I didn't know what they were up to; as long as they weren't tailing me, I was good.
That Christmas was very strange. I was completely alone in the dorm because Astoria had gone home. Only Malfoy, Goyle, Crabbe, Nott, Bulstrode and some upperclassmen had stayed behind. They taunted me about being poor and not getting many presents for Christmas. I was too distraught to even pay attention to them, or to even consider ways to make them pay for their cruelty.
One evening in particular stuck out in my mind: The evening where Crabbe screamed at Malfoy in the common room. I was coming down the staircase when I heard him yell. I couldn't believe my ears. Then, he and the other idiot ran out of the common room and I headed back upstairs. I didn't want to be in the commons alone with Malfoy to attack me.
Astoria came back from Christmas and she said that I was 'somewhat improved'. Time passed at Hogwarts and I was back into my studies again. I was still losing my recollection of hours. On some days, I wouldn't remember just thirty or so minutes. My confusion seemed to be lessening. Yet Astoria was watching me and she wasn't the only one. Theodore Nott watched me constantly-in the corridors, at breakfast and at dinner. Did he suspect me? Why was he always looking at me?
I wrote to Tom and, sometimes, he seemed only to be tolerating me-at least, I understood that much from his tone. Sometimes, it was like he was being tolerant, biding his time. But he was still my friend. My one and only true friend. Tom understood…everything. He encouraged me to tell Harry my feelings. And when I asked for his help, he told me to write a Valentine's Day poem to Harry.
My friendship with Tom seemed fine, until one day.
Tom slipped and said something that troubled me. He said that no one would know that it was me who was using the monster to petrify people. All this time, he'd been trying to convince me that it wasn't me who was hurting people.
Then, he suddenly changed his mind.
And when I asked him how he knew about the monster, his answer didn't feel right to me. It was like he was trying to cover up something that he didn't mean to say. And then I realized that he didn't mean to say it at all.
Feeling Tom's underlying impatience, I began to feel worried about him. And I began noticing the more I wrote to him, the more ellipses there were in my memory. Upon this realization, I rushed to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom and I threw the diary down the drain.
But I wondered for days if it was really gone. How could I have been so stupid? I should've burned it, or found a way to magically destroy it. If anyone found that diary and wrote in it, Tom might tell on me. He might betray me, and I would then be expelled for sure. Where was the diary now? Was it really gone? I tried to fool myself that it was, but I couldn't do it. Astoria was noticing my erratic behavior and she began threatening to tell Snape again. All I could think about now was the diary and Harry.
I decided to follow Tom's advice, by acting like a stupid Gryffindor and telling Harry my feelings in a poem.
I would use Lockhart's cherubs to deliver it to him. It wasn't the best poem but it was something. I desperately wanted him to like it. Besides Tom, Harry was all I had eyes for. But Harry didn't make me feel the way Tom did. Around Harry, I just felt incredibly stupid and worthless.
My heart beat seemed to slow as I watched him get the poem. He looked so embarrassed. Feeling down, I shook my head in frustration, starting to leave. Then I saw a black, leather-bound book fall out of Harry's bag. Him and Malfoy were fighting over it, and I was somewhat relieved when Harry won that battle. I did not need an enemy like Malfoy finding out all of my secrets. But how would I get the diary back from Harry?
It took me a while to plan everything out but I was, at last, able to come up with a plan. I would tail one of the Gryffindors-Dean Thomas perhaps-and I'd listen to him and that Finnegan bloke outside of their common room entrance. Finnegan was a loud idiot; he'd probably be careless with the password. If not him, then Longbottom would do. I would have to find a time to break in and get the diary; everyone else would have to be out. Perhaps, during dinner or classes. Yes, classes!
It took me a week to gather the courage to go through my plans. All week I had tailed Longbottom and Thomas. I knew the password to Gryffindor Tower. I would just have to be inconspicuous after I had entered their commons.
Heading up to the portrait of the Fat Lady-who glared me-I quickly said the password and walked straight through the commons and up the left staircase. I got lucky: clearly, this was the boys staircase. Now, I needed to find year 2.
Going up yet another flight of stairs, I entered the room and wondered how I would know that this was the right dorm. My eyes landed on the trunks-trunks that had their owner's initials. Thank Merlin, I thought, bending down near Harry's and emptying it of its contents. Not here.
I then pulled out all the drawers on his bedside table and found the book. Hurrying to get out unnoticed, I rushed out the dorm room and walked quickly down the stairs. The common room was nearly empty; only six or so students were there and no one even cared to notice me. I walked out and ran down the corridor. After I rounded a corner, I quit running and I walked all the way back to the dungeons.
I didn't relax, until I was in the safety of my dorm. Astoria was lying on the bed but she sprung up when I slammed the door closed behind me. Astoria looked at me shrewdly. I walked slowly to the bed, plopping down and putting my head against the pillow. Astoria walked over and gazed at me thoughtfully.
"Ginevra, I've had enough of this. I'm going to Snape now." Astoria said in a fed up manner.
"NO!" I yelled, panicked. "Look, I'm fine. I'm just tired. Jus don't!" I said, realizing that I should've never reacted that much to her words.
Astoria sighed and threw an impatient look at me. Then she stood up off of my bed. "Fine." she snapped and left.
I looked at the diary and grabbed my quill to write in it. It was as I feared. Tom's diary was very wrong…evil maybe. It was him! He was making me do all of this. Him! I was sure.
I put the diary in my trunk and put a powerful locking spell on it that a simple alohamora wouldn't break. Then, I laid back and went to sleep.
I felt a pressure on my shoulder, shaking me. Groggily, I stirred awake.
"Astoria," I snapped. "Go away."
"Miss. Weasley, get up. Now!"
The voice came from across the room. I recognized it instantly. I bolted up out of my bed and stared wide-eyed at Snape. Astoria stood behind our Head of House. I sent her a cold glare and I was glad to see her very unnerved by it. How I wanted to kill her, right then and there.
Turning my gaze upon Snape, I sighed and pushed my hair out of my face. I met his fully.
"Professor," I said respectfully. Snape looked at me with distaste.
"Miss. Greengrass felt the need to notify me of your recently disturbing behavior." Snape said chillily, giving me an assessing look. "Miss. Greengrass, you are excused." Snape looked at Astoria, clearly wanting her to get out.
Astoria nodded and, throwing a last glance at me, she left the room. I looked at Snape, yet again.
"Is there anything you wish to tell me, Weasley." Snape said. I could tell by his voice that he didn't care about anything I had to say.
Like I would trust him with anything. I thought.
And then, Snape's eyes narrowed. Could he read minds? Don't think about the Chamber. Do not think about the Chamber.
"No, professor." I answered, my voice even and very bored.
Snape was now looking at me calculatingly. I broke eye contact with him and looked down at my hands, then back up at him. I knew that I was a good liar, but was I good enough to fool Snape?
"What do you know about the Chamber of Secrets?" Snape drawled.
Instantly, I felt a chill spread throughout my body. I knew that I couldn't flat out deny knowing about the Chamber, but I would tell a half truth. How could he read minds like that?
"I know what everyone else knows about it, sir. I read some of Hogwarts, A History." I said in a matter of fact manner, looking at the upper part of Snape's overly large nose-between his eyes. I wouldn't look at him directly.
Although Snape didn't believe me, he dropped the subject.
"Very well. Since I see nothing disturbing about your conduct, I shall take my leave." Snape threw yet another distasteful look at me, and then he left the room.
I let out a sigh I'd been holding in and I plopped back down onto the bed. Grabbing the diary, I looked at it for a long time. How I wish Dumbledore was here so I could tell him. Should I have told Snape about the diary? Maybe he could've helped me.
And without even writing in the diary, the book opened itself forcefully and on the page was:
He would never believe you. A Weasley! He would have you expelled.
I felt a clutch in my chest. Tom was right, but how did he know what I was thinking? How did Snape know what I was thinking?
Legilimency. Tom answered on the page.
Was this the reason why Tom was able to read my mind? What about Snape? Then, at that moment, the door to my room opened and Astoria entered.
"Ginevra." Astoria said, looking at me ponderingly. I stood up and walked toward her. Her right hand twitched, touching her wand in her robes-I could tell.
"I hope you're pleased with yourself." I spat, snatching the door open and leaving the room. I headed out of the common room and down to eat an early dinner.
Harry was never by himself. I needed to tell him what was happening before I killed someone. Although I didn't feel much remorse about what I'd done-that probably had something to do with Tom-I still wouldn't be able to live with myself if I ended up killing someone.
This thing with Tom was far beyond my control, and I feared that Tom had made some connection or bond that would be very hard to break. I needed to tell Harry, but he was always around Ron and Hermione. Getting up from the Slytherin table, I felt like a pair of eyes was on me. Upon looking up, I saw Snape. His eyes were narrowed at me. I definitely needed to go to the library and learn about Leglimency.
Walking the dungeon corridors, I entered the nearly empty commons-with the exception of Theodore Nott. Nott looked up at me; his eyes followed me, until I disappeared from view. Now I was in my dorm room. I grabbed the diary and wrote in it, telling Tom that I'd tell Harry or the professors. I'd stop him from using me.
His words on the page were so cruel, so frightening that I broke down into tears. My family would hate me for this. I would never see Hogwarts again. Harry would never love me. I was worthless and pathetic. I was nothing to anyone. Who would believe me? How could anyone trust me? Why couldn't I just die?
And that's all I remember of that night. I remember nothing after this moment, including that morning. I don't even know if I slept. I do, however, remember hearing that Hermione and Percy's girlfriend-Penelope Clearwater-had been petrified.
Not again. I have to tell Harry now.
Going to the Great Hall, I looked around for him. And finally, he was alone. Sitting down next to Harry, I looked around to see if anyone around was trying to listen in on us. When I opened my mouth, Percy came over and steered me away from Harry. He wanted nothing; Percy only cared about me keeping his precious Penelope a secret. After talking to him, I rushed back into the Great Hall and saw Ron next to Harry. Turning around and walking to the dungeons, I went up to my dorm and laid down. The diary opened itself and a corporeal shape emerged from it.
Immediately, I knew him for who he was.
He sent me a look of complete cruelty and malice. Then, I felt like something was leaving me. I felt like I was being drained too fast, losing grasp on reality and the things happening to me in it.
No, please. Please, don't. Please! I begged.
But all I could hear was Tom's voice telling me that I was a silly little girl and that no one would miss me. He said no one cared about me; he said I would make myself useful: I'd write a farewell on the wall and leave everyone alone forever. I cried and cried. I tried to fight him with everything I had, which wasn't much. After I had used up all of my energy, he took me over completely. I was done.
I was fading, at last.
Tom Marvolo Riddle is Lord Voldemort! Lord Voldemort had possessed me. Me, of all people. How could I have trusted him? How could I have been so stupid for so long? How could I have been so selfish? Thank Merlin Harry had the strength and courage to kill the basilisk. Yes, a basilisk! He's so brave and handsome. How will I ever make this up to him? He saved my life and I'm only going to Hogwarts in September because of him. Dumbledore believed Harry, and so he believed me. From what Harry told me and my family, Lucius Malfoy put the diary in my things at Flourish and Blotts last summer. I want to murder him and Voldemort both.
Voldemort will always be Tom to me. I can't explain it.
I hate him, I really hate him.
I fear him and I have nightmares about him often, but there is this part of him that feels like it hasn't fully left me. Dumbledore told Mum and Dad that it would take time. I'm hoping that he was right about that. Still, I just don't feel like Tom is gone.
Tom instilled a lot in me−hate, power, and mostly greed. I would never be rid of him, or so I felt. He'd become too much a part of me. He'd embedded himself into the very depths of my soul, living there, sharing my soul with what was left of his.
Dumbledore didn't tell my parents this but I had read enough about Dark Magic to know that it could scar one's soul forever. And Tom did this to me. He took something from me; he poisoned me with his cruelty. I would never be whole again, and Dumbledore knew that. I somewhat hated him for pretending otherwise. I hated myself because I couldn't ignore that fact.
But Tom, the parasite, was gone. And life carried on without him. But I was much changed.
Everyone was surprised that nice, sweet, little Ginny Weasley could attack so many people. Like I meant to do it! Dumbledore did a very good job at keeping things hushed up but, somehow, some of it leaked out to certain people. Malfoy obviously knew something but, for some reason, he was being quiet too. Perhaps Lucius told him to shut his mouth for once. And Nott, he watched me more at the end of term than he had the whole year. What was his problem? Astoria seemed completely unaware of my involvement with the Chamber of Secrets. For that, I was grateful.
And Snape! I felt like he would've pulled me aside and given me a tongue lashing, if it were not for Dumbledore. Snape didn't seem to care that it all wasn't completely my fault. I always wondered why Snape never told Dumbledore that he saw something about the Chamber in my mind. I can't be sure, but I don't think he really saw enough. I felt like Snape would be keeping an eye on me, and I would definitely be ready for him.
I was now very determined to learn Occlumency and Legilimency. It was a summer project of mine.
I had many summer projects.
I had arrived home a week ago. My family was treating me very different. They didn't know how to act around their little Ginny, who had attacked students and who was a Slytherin.
Mum and Ron just didn't know how to talk to me. I was a part of the family but I wasn't family.
I was dying inside and it felt like my family was killing me every day of that summer. They understood that I didn't mean to open the Chamber, but they didn't try to understand the reason behind my opening it. Simply, oh she was possessed wasn't completely it. I was all alone.
And every time I heard them say− "this wouldn't've happened if she were in Gryffindor"−I just wanted to hurt someone, myself included. I loved my family, but a deep resentment toward them grew inside me. It was fierce and passionately resentful. They had betrayed me, in my mind. They had left me alone. I felt like I was nothing without them.
That summer, I decided to downplay my Slytherin tendencies. I decided that Tom was right: I should be the person they wanted me to be. It would be my great disguise−a false mask that was meant to completely deceive each and every single one of them. I would be quiet and I would watch−all the while calculating and choosing what means would best satisfy any ends I thought best. I would play my family's game for several reasons:(1) It would advantage me; and (2) part of me still desperately wanted their love. I just felt like I wasn't family anymore and, despite my House, I still felt incredible love and loyalty to each and every single member of my family.
I was Alone. That's what really gave Tom all the power and energy to take me over and to keep me for so long. I was alone with only Astoria, who really wasn't a friend at all. I knew not to try and fool myself that she was.
I was alone at Hogwarts and I was alone at home, so I stayed in my room mostly. I only came downstairs when it was breakfast, lunch or dinnertime. In my room, I read. I read the Daily Prophet, and I followed politics and the escape of the mass murderer Sirius Black. Fudge was a completely, incompetent idiot. How does a high security inmate escape from Azkaban? Really!
When I got tired of reading the Prophet, I read books the way I'd never read them before. I had lifted most of the books from Fred and George. They didn't care to read their books from previous years but I did.
I would take their Transfiguration, Charms and Potions books and just read theory all day. I would even practice magic in my room. I knew for a fact that the ministry wouldn't be able to tell that an underage witch was, in fact, doing magic outside of school. What did I care? Laws, were made to be broken, after all.
I wanted a really good book on Defense, and I desperately wanted Hermione to visit so I could pilfer a book from her. She was a know-it-all, so I knew that she would have a good collection of books. I asked Percy for some of his, but he wouldn't shut up about them.
Percy and Dad were the only ones who talked to me.Dad made a point of keeping me around him. I think he sensed I was very lonely. I was grateful that he wanted me around for conversation. He didn't look at me like a Gryffindor would a Slytherin. He looked at me and treated me like his daughter, like family.
Percy did too. I was his sister, not a foul Slytherin. At first, Percy didn't know how to treat me but something must've changed him. I think he wanted to keep me near, which is funny because Percy nearly always does exactly what Mum does. And Mum was not interested in me being around her as much. She didn't need to say it; her actions proved everything.
When I was around Percy, we mostly talked about spells and the theory behind them. I was surprised that I could keep up with my brother, who was five years older than me. Percy seemed to be proud of me. I'd finished top of my class, and he hoped that I'd be a prefect like him. Percy badly wanted to be Head Boy. He too was constantly in his room, writing to Penelope of course. I actually liked spending some time around Percy. He was family, and he made me feel at home.
This summer, we had went to Egypt and stayed for a little over two weeks. We had won a lottery, and we decided to go see Bill. I wasn't even allowed to go into some of the pyramids. They were too graphic for a twelve year old. Complete bull, of course. If I could handle Tom, then I could handle a damn pyramid.
We'd gotten back from Egypt three days ago. We were to come back to the Burrow for a week, and then head to the Leaky Cauldron and stay there for the last night of our summer holiday. It was just more convenient this way.
I sat near Percy, who'd just received his Head Boy's badge. I talked to him and the twins from time to time. They were too playful for my temperament, but I really loved being around them. They had a sharp cunning that I appreciated, and I learned a lot from them.
Ron annoyed me with his insolence. If he wasn't on about me being a Slytherin, he was on about Harry or Hermione. He wouldn't shut up about that mangy rat he called a pet, Scabbers. It was looking sicker and sicker ever since we left Egypt. How I wish it would die?
"Ron, dear, have you heard from Harry?" Mum asked, setting apple pie on the table.
George reached across me and Percy to get to the pie. Percy and I glared at him. George smiled, winking at us both.
"I got a letter from him three days ago." Ron was very impatient to see Harry and Hermione. He'd planned to meet up with Hermione at the Leaky Cauldron in a week.
Mum looked at Dad, and I narrowed my eyes at them both. What was that about? I wondered.
"Well, he's been with the muggles for a while. I'm sure Dumbledore wouldn't mind him spending the rest of the holiday with us." Mum said, with a warm smile.
"I bet Ginny wouldn't mind that." Fred said, grinning at me. I narrowed my eyes at him, sending him a glare. Then, I looked to Mum and Dad.
Something about Mum's smile was forced and very fake. What was she playing at? I looked to Percy to see if he'd noticed anything, but he was looking at a letter from Penelope. He could care less about Harry coming over. Grabbing the apple pie, I cut myself a slice and bit into it.
"This is good Mum." I said, hoping that she would look at me like she used to, for once.
Mum looked up and smiled at me. "I'll have to show you how to make it one day." Her smile seemed sincere and so did her words. I looked to Dad, and his head inclined slightly in my direction. I smiled at him. Maybe there was hope yet. I thought.
That night I went to sleep. All seemed well.
The week passed fast. On our last night at the Burrow, I heard a ruckus downstairs. I got up and walked to the kitchen.
"Dad," I said groggily. "What's wrong? Dad?" I asked. He looked up and I could tell he didn't want to tell me what was wrong.
Dad took off his glasses and sighed tiredly. "There's been a disturbance at Harry's home." He said wearily. "Harry blew up his aunt and ran away. Everyone is searching for him now."
"They have to find him! Sirius Black is out there! They have to find him now!" I yelled, worried for Harry.
Dad's eyes snapped onto me, surprised by my words. "You're all worried about Black too." I said slowly.
Dad eyes widened slightly and he began cleaning his glasses. "You and Mum. That's why Mum wanted him over so badly-to protect Harry from Black. Why?" I asked hurriedly.
"Ginny, it's not-this isn't my place to say, but we are worried about Harry. Pack your things. We're leaving in the morning." Dad said resolvedly, clapping me lightly on the shoulder and then leaving the kitchen.
I went upstairs and said a charm that folded my clothes and packed everything for me. I heard footsteps down the stairs again. I silently opened my door and tip-toed down the staircase. I stopped, pausing to hear my Mum and Dad talking.
"Fudge didn't want the Prophet to know that Black has been talking in his sleep, muttering 'He's at Hogwarts' over and over. And they say it was like Black wasn't even affected by the dementors. We think he's after Harry, and after breaking out of Azkaban, there's no telling what Black will do in order to kill him. If he broke out of Azkaban, he can definitely get into Hogwarts. Dumbledore's trying to find a way to stop him. He doesn't want the dementors at the school." Dad said wearily.
"And he's right!" Mum exclaimed. "I've never heard of dementors at a school. Outrageous! As long as Dumbledore is there, Harry will be fine. Now, I've got to go wake the others, dear." Mum said, reaching up to kiss Dad on the cheek and heading toward the staircase.
Quickly, I ducked and shrunk into the darkness of the staircase. I was glad she didn't stop by my room to awaken me first. Hurrying back into my room, I closed the door and I waited. Sure as ever, Mum opened the door and saw that I was packed. Her brow furrowed confusedly. I knew she was wondering how I got packed so quickly.
"Mum, I'm going to take a shower, okay." I said, leaving the room. Mum nodded, her gaze was stern.
Three hours passed, and then we were off to the Leaky Cauldron. We checked in with Tom, the barman. I spotted Hermione, who ran up and hugged Ron. I looked to the clock, seeing that it was nine o'clock in the morning. Together, Mum and I were to get everyone's shopping on our own. How we were going to do this, I didn't know, nor did I really care.
Ron, Hermione and Harry all came back later. I couldn't look at Harry without blushing. I mean, he did save my life last year. I talked to Mum and Hermione for a bit over Love Potions, and I listened to Percy talk non-stop about being Head Boy. He was constantly bragging about it to his Penelope. Again, for the thousandth time that summer, I wished he would just shut up. When I got tired of being around their "happy fest," I sighed and went upstairs to bed.
Note To Readers: 85% of this story may be Harry Potter compatible. Please don't get angry when it's not or when I blur the timeline into one. I'm doing a lot of compressing.