Green and Silver

Anything you recognise belongs to JK Rowling.

Year 2

6.

The Very Secret Diary

Filch was in a bad mood.

"… even more work for me! Mopping up all night like I haven't got enough to do! This is the final straw, I'm going to Dumbledore…"

"Aw, poor thing, can't live without his pussy-cat," drawled Pansy, ignoring Milly's scowl.

A door slammed and Filch's imprecations grew fainter.

Draco nudged Harry.

"Let's go and see what that was all about."

Only too happy to leave his Potion essay, Harry got up and followed Draco.

Unsurprisingly, they found themselves at the spot where Mrs Norris had been attacked. Water was whooshing out of the bathroom, flooding the corridor.

"Myrtle, moaning again," said Draco.

"Who?"

"Moaning Myrtle," repeated Draco. "The other Mudblood's not there, she's in hospital. I hope she dies."

"What? Who? Why?"

"Oh look, instead of a Mudblood, we've got a Squib."

"Don't… don't call me a Squib!" stammered Neville Longbottom.

"And what are you doing in a girls' toilet?"

Neville blushed, but found the courage to retort,

"And what are you doing in a girls' toilet?"

A piercing shriek interrupted them.

"Go away! One book is quite enough for today!"

"One book?" said Draco.

"Here I am, minding my own business, and someone thinks it's funny to throw a book at me!"

"Someone threw a book at you?" repeated Draco.

"Who did that?" said Harry.

"I don't know… I was just thinking about death and it fell right through the top of my head."

"This one?"

Neville had picked up a thin black book from under a sink.

"Let me see!" Draco snatched it from his hand.

"Hey! You… well, you could at least say please."

"It's a diary," said Draco, ignoring Neville. "From 1943. How did it get there?"

"What... what are you going to do with it?" stammered Neville, who didn't seem to be getting the hint that he wasn't needed.

"Go away," said Draco without looking at him.

Neville hesitated, then slowly retreated.

"Do you think it has something to do with the Chamber of Secrets?" asked Draco.

"Well, 1943, isn't it?"

"Wasn't that during the war?"

"The Grindelwald war, yes," said Draco. "That's when the Chamber of Secrets was opened."

"That's when it was opened? Oh, let's look inside!"

"I am looking inside," said Draco. "It belonged to some bloke called T. M. Riddle. Who's that?"

"The name rings a bell," mused Harry. "I've heard of it before, but I can't remember where."

"It's probably a nobody. Riddle isn't a wizarding name and look where he got it: Vauxhall Road. Where's that?"

Draco was carefully separating the wet pages.

"It's empty. The idiot didn't even write in it."

"Why did someone throw it at the ghost?"

Draco frowned.

"I'm sure it's not a coincidence. Pity the dead Mudblood didn't pay attention. Theo's father might know who this Riddle was… The problem is, my father told me not to meddle."

"Anyway," said Harry sensibly, "we can't do anything with this diary if there's nothing written in it."

"The question is, why would someone want to throw it at the ghost?"

"We can't find out, unless we know who that person is."

"It could be anyone. You know what, I'll walk around with it and use it. Someone's bound to notice."

"Do you think that person might be the heir of Slytherin?"

"Probably."

It was so much more exciting to think it might.

ooo

"What's that piece of rubbish?" asked Pansy, during a free period in the common-room. "Who's T. M. Riddle?"

"I don't know. I found it."

"Why are you keeping it?"

"I like it," said Draco nonchalantly.

Pansy looked incredulous, then suspicious. She opened it.

"There's nothing in it."

"It could be invisible ink," said Blaise, snatching the diary out of her hand. "Got a Revealer?"

"Give it back, I'll do it." Pansy pulled out something that looked like a red eraser.

Blaise hesitated, shrugged, and threw the diary back at her.

Draco, Harry, and Blaise abandoned what they were doing to watch Pansy importantly run the Revealer over the empty pages. Nothing happened. Still looking important, Pansy tapped the diary with her wand three times.

"Aparecium!"

Nothing happened.

"So that's that," said Blaise. "It's just a dirty ancient thing."

"Hey, Theo!" tried Draco. "Ever heard of T. M. Riddle?"

"No, I haven't," answered Theo in a tone of voice implying that anyone he didn't know wasn't worth knowing. "Who is he?"

"The owner of this thing."

"It must belong to a teacher," said Theo looking up at the diary. "It's very old."

"But we haven't got a teacher called Riddle."

"It could be Sprout's maiden name or something."

"Her first name's Pomona," Pansy informed them. "We need someone whose first name begins with a T."

"You tell us. You know all the teachers' names."

Pansy frowned.

"Aurora, Sybill, Septima, Rolanda," she rattled off. "No, there isn't anyone. But it could be a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher."

"A fat lot of good that is," said Blaise.

"Professor Riddle…" murmured Draco. "Has anyone heard of a Professor Riddle?"

"Not Professor Riddle!" blurted out Crabbe. "Tom Riddle. I've seen his name in the trophy room, when Filch made me polish the shields for detention."

"Tom Riddle," repeated Harry. "I'm sure I've heard that name somewhere…"

ooo

This led to an expedition in the trophy room.

Harry, Blaise, Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle formed a semi-circle around the trophy, while Draco read the notice aloud.

"Tom Riddle, award for special services to the school, 1943. Head Boy, 1943-1944."

"I bet he had something to do with the Chamber of Secrets. Maybe he caught the heir."

.

A few minutes later, Irma Pince rubbed her eyes, as a group of second-year Slytherins walked into the archive section, led by Draco Malfoy who was brandishing and ancient-looking Muggle diary.

"Quiet, please!" she barked, though no one had spoken.

They sat there for an hour, Draco, Pansy and Blaise carefully turning yellowish pages, while Harry, Crabbe and Goyle slowly grew drowsy.

"Here!" hissed Blaise suddenly.

"Quiet!" repeated Madam Pince.

"Tom Riddle was a Slytherin Prefect," said Blaise, lowering his voice.

"Not a nobody then," said Harry.

"Must have been a half-blood," muttered Draco.

"It says here that Tom Riddle was Head Boy in 1944."

"Let me see," interrupted Draco. But Blaise wouldn't let go.

"He got an award for special services to the school, but the special services aren't mentioned."

"I'm sure it's something to do with the Chamber of Secrets!" exclaimed Draco.

"Quiet!" barked Madam Pince.

ooo

"Well, this has nothing to do with the heir," giggled Pansy, as they walked into the Great Hall the following morning.

Harry blinked. The walls were covered with lurid pink flowers matching Lockhart's new robes.

"What's going on?'

"Look at that idiot," said Draco. "And Pansy doesn't even think it's funny. What a waste."

Dumbledore's purple suddenly looked very discreet.

"Happy Valentine Day! May I thank the forty-six people who have so far sent me cards!" shouted Lockhart. "My friendly card-carrying cupids will be roving around the school today delivering your Valentines!"

The cupids were dwarfs, and they didn't look friendly at all.

"We don't have to send Valentines, do we?" worried Harry. But one look at Snape's face reassured him. And if that wasn't enough, Draco was threatening Pansy of torture if she dared send him a card. Pansy giggled obliviously.

"Were you one of the forty-six people?" asked Blaise.

"Of course!" she hiccupped, causing Daphne, Tracey and even Milly to collapse with laughter onto the confetti-covered table. "Always suck up to teachers!"

.

Snape began his lesson with a warning.

"Needless to say, I am not going to follow 'Professor'" (he pronounced the title with enough distaste to make the brackets audible) "Lockhart's advice. Teaching you how to brew a love potion would be most irresponsible. Love potions are strictly forbidden in this school because they are dangerous. Yes, Miss Parkinson, extremely dangerous."

He spoke to Pansy, but for some reason, his eyes were on Blaise.

"And as some of you" (now he looked at Neville Longbottom) "make enough of a mess even when we are not interrupted by ridiculous dwarfs, I am keeping the classroom locked until the end of the lesson."

Most of the teachers kept their classrooms locked. Pansy, still giggling, reported that one of the dwarfs had managed to deliver one to Professor McGonagall all the same, and she pitied the person who had sent it.

In the end of the afternoon, to Harry's horror, one of the dwarfs caught up with him.

"I've got a musical message to deliver to 'Arry Potter."

"Not here, please!"

But the dwarf would not be deterred. He grabbed Harry's bag. Harry pulled back and the bag tore apart. Harry's books, wand, parchment and quill spilled onto the floor. To complete the effect, the ink bottle smashed over everything.

Harry hated ink. He tried to pick everything up without getting too dirty, as the dwarf forced him to listen to a ridiculous song comparing his eyes to fresh pickled toads. Everybody howled with laughter, whilst Percy Weasley tried to disperse the crowd.

"How d'you like the Weasley girl's Valentine?" shouted Draco.

So it was the Weasley girl. At least, she didn't seem to think he was the heir of Slytherin.

But Ron had heard. He pulled out his wand and the contents of Draco's bag joined Harry's. Draco and Ron took advantage of the fact that Percy Weasley had mysteriously disappeared to engage in a wand fight, leaving Harry to clean up the mess as well as he could.

"No fighting in the corridors. Ten points from Gryffindor," announced Heather Harper, who had taken Percy's place. Ron stormed away, after making a rude gesture in Draco's direction, for which Heather Harper deducted a few more points, to Draco and Harry's delight.

"That was really funny!" began Draco. "What's up?" he added, as Harry looked serious.

"Tell you later," muttered Harry, pushing all his belongings pell-mell into his repaired bag.

"Are you bothered about the little blood-traitor? She's just a laugh. Her brother was too embarrassed to take points from us."

"No, there's something else."

"What?"

"Later."

ooo

"I've noticed something," announced Draco dramatically, as they retired to the dormitory that night.

"Me too," said Harry.

"Look," said Draco without listening. "The diary is clean. It's not full of ink like the rest of the stuff."

"I know. Why's that?"

"Because someone put a spell on it. Honestly, you're so ignorant anyone can tell you're not the heir of Slytherin."

"Do you think it might have something to do with the heir?"

"Of course. Now why would someone want to get rid of it?"

"Because it was useless?"

"I sometimes wonder why you're in Slytherin," sighed Draco, dramatically rolling his eyes.

"Because I'm a Parselmouth?"

"Oh yes, that. Anyway, we must have another look at this diary, Mr Parselmouth."

"What are we going to discover that we haven't found out before?"

"It's impervious to ink. Perhaps to other things too: water, fire."

"You're not going to try and burn it?"

"I don't think so."

"And it's not waterproof, or whatever you said, because it was wet when we found it."

"Wet, but not spoiled."

"Perhaps the water erased everything that was written in it."

"No, that wouldn't make sense."

"Why not?"

"If water erased what was in it, the owner would have made it impervious to water as well as ink."

"Maybe that's why there's nothing in it. Ink can't touch it."

"What's the point of a diary ink can't touch?"

"Perhaps it isn't a diary. Perhaps it's something else."

"Why don't you try and write in it?" asked Blaise, who had been listening intently.

Draco didn't acknowledge Blaise, but his eyes shone as he pulled out a quill and a bottle of ink.

"Draco Malfoy," he wrote on the first page.

The ink disappeared. Blaise sniggered.

"Draco Malfoy's name has been blotted out forever. Want to try blotting yours out too, Harry?"

"Shut up, look!"

Words in a different writing had appeared on the page. The diary was answering.

"Hello, Draco Malfoy. My name is Tom Riddle. How did you come by my diary?"

"I found it at the scene of the crime," wrote Draco excitedly.

"Very good, Draco Malfoy," answered the diary. "There are those who do not want this diary read."

"Because of the Chamber of Secrets?"

Blaise and Harry followed the written exchange, hardly daring to breathe. Theo's bed creaked slighty, making everyone jump, as he got up to join them.

"You are clever, Draco Malfoy, and a Slytherin no doubt."

"Of course."

"The Chamber of Secrets was opened when I was in my fifth year. The monster attacked several students, finally killing one."

"A Mudblood."

"I see you understand me. The Headmaster, Professor Dippet, ashamed that such a thing had happened at Hogwarts, forbade me to tell the truth. The story was covered up and I was given a trophy to keep my mouth shut. But the monster lives on and the one who has the power to release it was not imprisoned."

"Is he here now?"

"Yes."

"You know who it is, don't you?"

"I do."

"I'd like to help him."

At that point, Harry shook his head.

"Tom Riddle!" he called. It sounded funny, calling that person he still had a secret feeling he had known once. But Riddle didn't reply.

"You have to write, not talk," said Draco importantly.

"Let me write then."

"No fear. It's mine. I'm doing the writing. Tom Riddle is my friend."

"Your friend has written back and you haven't even noticed," pointed out Blaise.

Tom Riddle had written, "You can."

"Oh, good!" exclaimed Draco, and he wrote, "What must I do?"

"I'll show you."

Draco was glowing. Then his eyes suddenly glazed over. He raised the diary to his face and stared at it.

"What?" said Harry and Blaise together.

"He's seeing something," said Theo.

"He'd better tell us what it is," said Blaise.

They waited for a few minutes, staring at Draco who was staring at the diary. At that moment, Crabbe and Goyle walked in, grunted, "What's going on?" and, getting no response, stared too.

Suddenly Draco fell backwards onto his bed, the diary lying open on his stomach.

"What?"

"What happened?"

"What did you see?"

"It's Hagrid," panted Draco. "Hagrid opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago."