AN – Told you those reviews really helped! An early Christmas present to those who have helped me come this far by reading and reviewing!
Chapter 14 – The Chamber of Secrets
Blue eyes opened quickly and looked sharply around the room, his magic reaching out, searching for a second presence – but none was found. Very curious.
He could have sworn that he'd felt someone watching him.
He was an old man, and his bones creaked stiffly as he sat up in bed and lit the lamps with a twitch of his finger. Severus was kind enough to brew him potions for his joints – probably why he didn't hobble around doubled over like Griselda Marchbanks – although she had good reason to be in such a state considering she had at least fifty years on him.
Straightening his blue and silver starred nightcap on top of his head, Albus Dumbledore swung his legs over the side of his bed and put them gingerly on the cold stone floor. In his rooms at Hogwarts his warm fur rug was sorely missed. Summoning his wand Dumbledore stood and began to cast – detecting only one difference in the room since he had fallen asleep that night. He moved slowly towards his bookshelf, casting detection spells all the way looking out for curses and wards on the item. Having such political weight in the wizarding world was both a boon and a curse, having to check your letters for people seeking to harm you took up a good portion of his day. After finding nothing that would cause him harm, Dumbledore reached out to pluck his copy of Hogwarts A History from the shelf.
As he examined it he noticed the pages towards the end were parted…as though something had been placed inside. Holding it carefully under the spine Dumbledore allowed the book to fall open revealing the letter resting inside. Curious beyond belief he removed the letter and replaced the book on his shelf, conjuring a squishy chintz armchair and lighting a fire in his hearth to read.
The Heir of Slytherin has been dealt with. After today you will find that no more attacks shall occur as the offending object has been removed from the castle and destroyed. I am sure that if some discreet inquiries were made into how the governors of Hogwarts were persuaded to sign for you removal you may be able to regain your position as headmaster, and, retrieve your groundskeeper from Azkaban. Should your potions master be as good as he is reported to be your petrified students will return to their original state once the antidote has been completed. In future perhaps inspection of all objects students bring to Hogwarts in their trunks and on their person would be advisable so that such incidents do not happen again.
There was no signature left nor did he recognise the handwriting but a distinct feeling of relief washed over him. Placing the letter on his bedside table Albus Dumbledore climbed into bed, a smile on his aged face as he fell into a deep peaceful slumber.
The room was dark except a thin beam of moonlight that shone between a gap in the ruby coloured curtains. Only one out of four girls was awake, woken by the feeling that someone was in the room and an unfamiliar weight pressing down on the end of the bed. Her brown eyes opened heart beating fast in her chest – hoping that one of her dorm mates was simply sleep walking, but as she peeked over the covers the figure was more adult than child. Her breath caught in her throat as she slowly reached for her wand on her bedside table—
"I mean you no harm Miss Weasley."
Ginny froze before snatching up her wand and scrambling backwards in her bed, her bony back pressing against the hard wood of the headboard as she aimed her wand shakily at the woman, her features in shadow.
"Who are you and what do you want?" She tried to sound brave but inside she was terrified and her voice wavered.
"My name is Jinora. You have nothing to fear from me." The woman spoke softly, calmly, and her cold features warmed a little as the corner of her lip turned up in a gentle smile, a small light emanating from a ball her hands. "You have been under the influence of a magical object for some time – a diary – and although you may believe that the events thus far are your fault, believe me they are not."
"Y-you know about Tom?" Ginny whispered fearfully, her wand lowered a fraction. What if Tom had told her about everything Ginny had written in her diary! Would she tell Headmistress McGonagall that she'd been the one who'd been writing messages on the wall and releasing Slytherin's monster? Ginny felt a stone sink to the bottom of her gut which clenched tightly in fear. "I didn't want to do any of those things – he made me – I swear!"
"I know, but you'll be more careful in future towards magical objects especially if they talk and—"
"—you can't see where their brain is kept." Ginny finished off, a little of the tension releasing from her nervous frame when the woman smiled back, but Ginny refused to lower her wand.
Clever girl, Jinora thought.
"How did you get in here?" she said in a hushed voice, conscious of her sleeping dorm mates.
"I have my ways." It was simple enough to take the secret passage through the shrieking shack and onto the grounds through the Whomping Willow. Then it was simply scaling the walls and finding an appropriate entrance. "I am a friend of Harry Potter, Charlie's brother." Ginny seemed to sink into her pillow at the mention of Charlie. "There's no need to worry Miss Weasley, all those who have been petrified will be restored soon enough –Professor Snape will use the mandrakes growing in the greenhouses to brew a potion that will allow everyone to return to their normal selves. But there's something I need you to do for me."
"What is it? I'll do anything—"
Jinora looked at her sternly. "Be careful what you promise there—but fortunately for you my request is benign. I need you to tell me what you did with Tom Riddle's diary so it can be dealt with."
"I-I was scared – I threw it into the toilet in the girls bathroom – on the second floor! You won't tell anyone will you?"
"No, I won't. Your secret is safe with me." Jinora smiled, winked and stood. She was about to leave but turned back, "I trust you will keep this meeting between us?"
Ginny nodded and Jinora smiled wider, amused at the girl's gasp upon seeing her fangs, "Good girl," she said and disappeared through the dormitory door faster than Ginny could blink.
Ginny Weasley lay awake long into the night, eyes wide whispering "I just met a vampire…"
Harry and his tutors Beron and Fen were still in the Amazon, joined by Shiro soon after.
Once they'd sorted out the fast forming clan of vampires threatening to unbalance the occasional feeding to frequent feeding on the unsuspecting humans who lived nearby, they were going to move on to china where Banshees were running free, causing deafness and heart attacks in their victims, only for Harry to say that he needed to stay. Beron and Fenn went to sort it out instead, and Harry wished he could go but there was something about the Amazon that drew him in and told him that he wasn't finished yet.
"There's something else I need to do." Harry muttered to Shiro as they wandered along beside a stream deeper into the undergrowth after the others had set off.
"How do you know?" Shiro questioned him.
Harry rubbed a hand over his chest. "It's just a feeling I have, like if I leave now I'll miss it—"
There was a rumbling noise up ahead and the pressure in Harry's chest tightened – he rushed forward knowing the pressure in his chest was him getting closer to the problem, Shiro running full out to keep up with him as Harry used air bending to enhance his speed.
The rumbling grew louder to a roar, accompanied by creaks and groans and cracks of falling trees. Ahead was a team of workers with chainsaws and trucks, shouting to each other as they cut down tree – after tree – after tree…
"Stop…" Harry panted, out of breath from running, Shiro skidding to a halt beside him. His eyes moved past the immediate destruction of the lush forest and looked beyond, miles and miles of barren land small dots of tree stumps breaking up the dark earth. "Stop, they have to stop!" Harry looked frantically around him wondering what he could do – the longer he took the more trees were felled and the more pain was caused.
Shiro cracked his knuckles and grinned, "What do you want me to do?"
Thinking fast Harry said "Can you make terrifying noises?"
"Before or after lunch?" Shiro asked proudly.
Harry looked at his Earth bending master in disbelief before muttering "Before…"
Shiro was gone in an instant leaving Harry alone listening to the shrieking cries of the animals around him fleeing the destruction, their terror shot through him like a bolt of lightning making his skin prickle uneasily.
The first snarl only attracted the attention of a few workers, looking around worriedly that they'd angered some large and vicious jungle cat. The second was louder, and the third made everyone stop altogether. Shiro was making it sound as though there was a whole pack of dangerous animals stalking them. Now it probably wasn't their fault- they were just doing their jobs after all but this was not a job that needed to be undertaken. Some left their chainsaws running, holding them out in a defensive position.
Right, Harry thought, the growls won't keep their attention for long and certainly won't keep them from coming back and destroying the rest of the rainforest once I'm gone…I need something like a deterrent – something powerful – probably already existing…myths and legends are good but a living legend is even better…
As a young boy Harry had always loved to read – myths and legends were one of his favourites, and the most fitting legend he could remember about the Amazon was that of the Mapinguari. A tall, large footed creature with a thick fur over impenetrable skin, a single eye, and large gaping mouth in its stomach, the Mapinguari would aggressively pursue human hunters and although it didn't quite suit his purpose, it would do.
Harry drew rocks from the ground, pushing them upward and together forcefully until he had a block of stone and earth twelve feet tall. Shiro was still snarling aggressively the sounds were terrifying and reverberated around the workers, one man fleeing for his life, the rest shouting at him – though what they said Harry didn't know. He had to work fast to get the others to leave as the pressure was steadily building in his chest.
Forcing himself high into the air, visualising the Mapinguari in as much detail as he could Harry clenched his fists and brought them down onto the top of the stone, using his bending to sweep away the unneeded stone and leave him with a statue that was both terrifying and incredibly life like.
"Go, go, go…" Harry whispered as he jumped down to the ground crouching low. Then, slowly, he made it move. One heavy step after another the Mapinguari statue thumped forward leaving deep imprints of its feet in the earth – until finally, it broke through the tree line and stood behind the workers.
Shiro was at Harry's side in an instant, he grinned and let out an earth shattering snarl. The workers were frozen in fear as the mouth of the Mapinguari opened – Shiro bellowed – and the stone teeth elongated into sharp spikes that gnashed together angrily.
Another man left dropping his tools and ran screaming from the statue, but the rest were yelling and brandishing their chainsaws and another revved the engine on a truck.
"Doesn't look like they're going to go easy Harry," Shiro commented, slamming his booted feet into the ground hard, using his bending to make the earth shake and tremble – he roared again.
"Do you speak the local language?" Harry asked worriedly.
"Take control – there's something else I can try before we force them out" Harry darted away, keeping low to the ground, his movements graceful as he shifted from form to form, directing air to scoop up fallen leaves, twigs and bits of mud into a swirling mass that ripped through the undergrowth and whirled around the workers at the edge of the forest. A moment later Harry conjured fire from the air, adding it to the gusts of wind that twirled in hot spins, growing in height until it was double the size of the Mapinguari and so hot that Harry's skin shone with sweat. The men were shouting, one drove a truck towards the stone golem to which the Mapinguari slammed it's rocky fist down upon the bonnet. Bang. Crash. Smoke and flames blew from beneath the crippled hood. The driver jumped from his seat and fled the forest, several others following in his wake, their shouts and thumping footfalls faded fast.
To those who did not leave Harry swirled and twisted the fire until its twisted form took the shape of what Harry imagined a demon to look like; eyes burned black as coal and long clawed hands reached out towards the men while Shiro directed the Mapinguari forward, his voice carrying across the clearing, even and forbidding as the rest of the men finally fled the area.
It didn't take Harry long, or much effort, to use air and earth to catapult the equipment out of the area and into the barren land beyond. The broken truck and what were two other undamaged ones landed with a crash and several bangs, the axes and chainsaws clashing together as they were thrown through the air and onto the trucks, shattering the glass and digging deep into the seating.
With a deep intake of breath Harry brought his hands up to his chest level with the ground and slowly pushed down while breathing out. A calming technique Aang had taught him on one of his many trips into the Avatar state.
"So what now?" Shiro asked, the hulking figure of the Mapinguari now standing still and tall at the edge of the forest.
"Well," Harry sighed rubbing a sweaty hand through his dark hair. "I'm going to go into the Avatar State – don't worry I'll be quick – and see whether Riddle can help me with some warding, my past lives will help me contain him so he can't completely control my body until he's fulfilled his end of the bargain." Shiro looked uneasy. They'd gone over the deal many times before deciding that it was unlikely that Harry would ever learn everything Riddle had to know about magic before he was at least seventy and even then in the deal they had never specified when or how long Harry had to give Riddle a body for. Harry just hoped that when the time came to 'hand over' his body to Riddle, they'd come up with a plan beforehand to stop Riddle from using Harry's bending to destroy the world.
Shiro nodded raising a stone cocoon around Harry to give him another layer of protection while he made statues emerge from the ground to stand sentinel over his charge.
Tom Riddle rarely left the base of the large tree at the centre of the swamp, but when he did it was under the watchful eye of Kyoshi and Kuruk. This time he had managed to climb up the trunk of another tree and launch himself onto one of the lower branches of the main tree where he sat conversing with a large striped snake. Harry interrupted them with a loud cough, appearing on one of the upper branches of the tree.
"And here is your hatchling…" the snake hissed. "Find me when you are done and tell me more about this world of yours, it sounds pathetic…" The spirit uncurled itself from Riddle's branch and slithered upwards, winding around a new branch near the canopy.
"Nice to see you making new friends," Harry said with a smirk. "Perhaps you could befriend a lion turtle next time."
"I would hardly call the spirit and I friends." Riddle said rolling his eyes. "Now, what have you come here to bother me with?"
"The other week you mentioned wards – I need to put some up around a large area to protect it,"
Riddle leant back on his hands, legs dangling over the side of the branch. "Well—"
"Nothing lethal!" Harry yelped immediately.
A look of innocence passed over Riddle's face before he rolled his eyes at Harry's unease. "Assuming that you're dealing with Muggles a Muggle repelling charm seems to be what you need. The incantation is Repello Muggletum." Harry nodded his head vigorously. "Usually when casting you raise both hands, you of course don't have a wand but use a stick if you must to focus your energy." Riddle showed Harry the movements, "Bring them up above your head to meet in the middle and slowly move them outwards just past your shoulders and back again while you cast." Harry's serious expression made him smirk, "The movement is rhythmic like smooth waves – repetitive. You may have to cast it several times in order for it to be effective…due to your special abilities."
Harry's face pinched, "Thanks," he bit out, turning swiftly to scale the trunk of the tree.
"You're welcome," Riddle called, laughing as Harry returned to his body.
The protective stone layer ground a fine layer of dust onto the top of Harry's head as it sunk back into the ground, the statues melding back into the soil as Shiro felt Harry rejoin his body. Harry nodded to Shiro and stepped out into the clearing focusing on what Riddle had said and repeating the incantation in time with his movements.
Faint traces of magic began to leave his palms, soaking into the air and earth around him as he focused on protecting this small corner of the Amazon. More would have to be done to protect the forests like employing wizards to ward the outer areas, and druids to cleanse and bless the land to promote new growth, but for now, Harry did what he could.
Harry enchanted and warded several areas of the forest until his eyes drooped, limbs grew heavy and his exhausted frame sagged into Shiro's waiting arms, the stick he used to help him fell to the forest floor once again completely useless.
Deep in the bowels of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was the Chamber of Secrets, home to a thousand year old basilisk. The basilisk was cold and hungry, angry at the damp squalor it had found itself in upon awakening and being ordered to leave the charmed warmth of Slytherin's statue to roam through the pipes of the chilly castle.
Speak to me Slytherin, greatest of the founders four…
The beast opened its livid yellow eyes and hissed angrily to itself as the call of a summons drew it outwards. As soon as it's large scaled nose poked through the mouth of the statue the alluring scent of blood and flesh assaulted its nose. The great snake hissed in anticipation. So hungry… but as it surveyed the scene, the girl from before was not standing there, book clutched to her chest, hissing orders with a blank look on her face, but a woman, as cold as ice itself and older than the basilisk. She held a strange silver ball from which a voice came within, holding the power of parseltongue.
I have brought you food. Take your fill and sleep. Your work is done. Sleep now.
The basilisk did not need telling twice. It slithered across the floor to the great pile of bloody meat and bones and gorged itself until it was all gone and a heavy, but satisfied warmth began to pervade the snake, it's yellow eyes growing heavy with sleep.
Sleep now. Sleep now.
Not sparing a glance for the woman and her strange talking silver ball the basilisk was delighted to follow this order and slither up back into the mouth of the Slytherin statue to sleep. It didn't even notice the minty taste of the potion the meat had been soaked in, after all, what did Draught of the Living Death mean to a Basilisk?
With Riddle's diary gone from Hogwarts and the students revived from their petrified state, Dumbledore was reinstated as Hogwarts Headmaster and the attacks miraculously stopped, bringing peace to the castle once more.
The only person who was not glad about these events was Lucius Malfoy who had at least hoped Dumbledore would have been removed as Hogwarts Headmaster for more than a few months. He stormed into the ministry, his pale pointed face pinched in anger as he swept up to the minister's office. Ignoring the stuttering of Fudge's secretary Malfoy swept through the door without knocking, his cloak swishing about his ankles and blonde hair splayed artfully over his shoulders tempering his expression into one of slight surprise and snooty inquiry he met the minister's surprised eyes.
"Cornelius…I received some rather disturbing news this morning via the prophet."
"L-Lucius, I assure you—"
Malfoy sat in the visitors chair in front of the minister's desk and idly stroked the silver snake head fixed to the top of his cane. "Albus Dumbledore has returned to his post as Headmaster at the school." He said slowly with interest. "The culprit of the attacks has not been found nor has the entrance to the chamber of secrets—"
"Lucius the attacks have stopped – the placement of Auror's at the school has obviously scared off the culprit," Fudge said becoming flustered, his green suit swelled as he inhaled looking around his office, finding it difficult to meet the cold grey eyes of Lucius Malfoy.
Malfoy's eyes narrowed and Fudge gulped audibly.
"I find that…unlikely" Malfoy said with a sneer.
Fudge puffed out his chest, the buttons on his lime green waistcoat strained against their holes. "…And Dumbledore told me the most absurd thing just this morning – he said that the board of governors were under the impression that if they didn't sign the petition for his removal then you'd – well – that you'd curse their families! Preposterous of course…"
"Of course…" Malfoy said slowly, wearing a composed expression. "I wouldn't be surprised that the headmaster is trying to stir up trouble minister. He was never fond of me, even in my school days. I'm afraid that Hogwarts house rivalry transcends generations and is carried outside of the castle, it is such a shame that we don't all get along better."
Fudge was sweating, the man never failed to make him nervous, and if he did upset the wizard there was always a chance that the payments to his Gringotts account would stop. "Yes, yes, well is there anything else you wanted to talk about Lucius?"
Fudge sighed quietly with relief when Lucius said no.
(having to use the stars because the page break seems to be malfunctioning above...although why it works underneath I haven't a clue!)
I have an unbelievable amount of work to do for college so this may be my last update in a while, two dissertations and four artist analysis will do that to you (not to mention all the bloody book work I've got to do and get my portfolio ready!)
BTW Any good fanfiction stories to read?
I've been trawling the site for a good few years but am always looking out for any hidden gems that I've missed.
I'm currently reading "Oh God Not Again" which is a time travel fic – one of my favourite genres but am almost at the end I'm hoping YOU my wonderful readers will be able to point me towards some other amazing fanfics :D
Thank you all for taking the time to read and review, and those who just read, it really means a great deal.
Thank you to…
Reven228 – Wow I hadn't actually thought of that but it's a really good connection! Glad you like it :D
Takei Daloui – THE HORROR! Seriously that would be awful…
ThomasNealy – That is a very good point but as the deal is magical tuition in exchange for a body, one part must be fulfilled before the other can be so Tom has to do his bit before Harry does his if that makes sense? Although I always supposed that if Tom took over Harry's body he'd still have to put up with Harry and the avatars bothering him in the back of his mind which would be rather funny, sort of like Riddle's conscience haha
Guest – Considering he's only twelve I'd say it's pretty typical, especially wanting to see the good in people has been Harry's downfall quite a few times like that of Charlie although tbh he should have been a bit more savvy with the Dark Lord!
RRW – I think Riddle was genuinely thinking more about having a body back, the Avatar powers just would have been a plus, but even if he did take over Harry's body it's not actually guaranteed that the Avatar's powers would switch over to Riddle because it's a different soul – it would be more likely that Riddle's magic would come to the fore so he'd use magic rather than bending.
Jrock919 – Now THAT would be funny!
Diaboli Advotacus – I hadn't actually thought of that but it's given me a rather big idea for the plot so thank you! What is DID may I ask?
Sakura240 - Wow two reviews in one! Glad you like it and hope you enjoy this one!
Piper-Riddle13 – I don't think romance is going to be a big part of the plot, maybe a tad , and I already know who he's going to fall for ;) but you'll just have to wait and see!
TrenchcoatMan - Yeah definitely, it's quite difficult trying to write him from a neutral perspective considering all the terrible things he's done since it's no secret. That's a very good point and possible to considering Harry is part of the Avatar cycle – all of those past spirits who want to do good, and, their frequent contact with Tom Riddle has to have some sort of effect, right? This will not be a HarryxTom fic of romance or anything like that haha it'd be a bit like being in love with yourself considering both souls are inhabiting Harry's body atm haha! That would definitely work, I may employ that somewhere! Winged snakes are the best :D
- To be quite honest the last chapter really wasn't my best which I'm sad to say. Writers block is a terrible cruel thing that I wouldn't wish upon anyone but afflicts even the best of us. Okay sooooooo…
The first time I mention the spider is at the end of the first flashback here…."Deeper into the spirit world I'm afraid, to see a spider about some web."
And then mention it again here… "base of the tree to which Tom was stuck"….
although that was a veiled reference to this…. "Riddle scowled down at his cocooned body."…
As spiders capture and contain their prey in cocoons and webs, I realise now that it was a bit difficult to make these connections from the beginning but make another here to help remind the reader about Harry and Korra's visit to the spider…
"he looked no older than twenty and hardly dangerous when encased so completely in spirit spider web. That and the fact that the teasing and monotony of being unable to move or do anything that required it"
… and another mention here…
"Riddle turned his head, the only part of his spiritual form which he was able to move and sneered. Ever since he woke he'd been angry about being encased in spider's web."
And the final mention of spider web here… "
Harry's shoulders relaxed slightly and he pushed his hand through the spider web which shrank back allowing him to grasp Riddle's limp hand. The spider web had a paralysing effect which meant Riddle could not move any limb from the neck down under his own power – like a puppet with its strings cut – and magic bound their hands."
So a total of SIX mentions is better than just one right? When I read fanfiction sometimes I have to read a chapter again to make sure everything's sunk in properly – sometimes I tend to skip bits without even realising it probably because there's always something else going on around me lol!
As to the bit about Harry seemingly knowing that Tom Riddle is Voldemort without me explicitly explaining it in the chapter it's in the first part…
Harry felt a brief flicker of familiarity with the man and he wondered why. He looked closer – the man looked up – Tom Riddle – Half blood son of Merope Guant and Tom Riddle Sr – Slytherin house at Hogwarts – heir to the Slytherin line—Harry's eyes spun in his head as names, faces and places became mixed up in his mind, going by so fast that they made him feel sick. A comforting pressure on his shoulder slowly brought him around. "What? What happened?"
"This," Avatar Roku explained to the others with disdain, "is Tom Riddle."
Basically by meeting Riddle's eyes Harry is shown memories of Riddle's life but is unable to process them all because they're coming at him so quickly, Roku helps by analysing some of the others that come Harry's way due to their past life connection with each other. In the second journey to the spirit world it says…
"It hadn't been the most appealing of ideas at first, being taught magic by the soul of Lord Voldemort, but the spirit knew both light and dark magic. It was an Avatar's duty to evaluate both sides of every story, and that meant magic too."…
meaning that Harry and his past lives with the help of his vampire tutors had done some digging and figured out that Tom Riddle was Lord Voldemort behind the scenes.
Hopefully that clears it all up a bit better for you Hopefully you'll continue reading and like this chapter a little better!
:) Happy Holidays everyone!