Hi guys. Finally, the long awaited update. I know I've been a lot slower than I have intended. School is really getting to me this semester. I have what is essentially two English classes at once, work schedules me every day that I don't have school, and things have been a bit hectic at home. Thank you all for being patient. Thank you to everyone that has reviewed. It means so much to me.
Please, tell me what you guys think of the structure. Am I adding enough detail between the dialog? Too much (although I highly doubt this)? Also, what do you think of Ginny's dreams? These dreams didn't exist in Adventures, for those of you who didn't know that.
Thank you guys for your support. -Artemis
I whipped my head around, quickly wiping away any tears with the back of my hand as I did so. Once the tears were removed, I immediately noticed Malfoy leaning up against the wall near the entrance.
"Figures you would come here, Weasley. If you really wanted a common room, you could have went to ours." He lazily pushed himself away from the wall and took a step towards me.
"I'm not a bloody Slytherin!" I cried out, scrambling off the floor to get away as he got closer to where I was, but my effort was proven futile as he shoved me back to the ground, dropped down, and pinned me below him, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't throw him off.
"Again, with your Slytherin bigotry! What is so wrong with Slytherin?!" he questioned, his voice low, but his voice full of emotion. Cold—merciless. "You think we're the snakes. You think we're all evil. Think before you speak. You belong to Slytherin. Think about it for a minute." By the end of his lecture, his grip on my wrists was painfully tight. Then suddenly, he pushed himself away, as if repulsed by my presence. "From what we all just heard, you're more disgusting than anyone else currently in Slytherin." He began walking away, and I jumped up, reaching for my wand before realizing that I didn't have it.
Turning his head to send me a final glare, he spoke: "Before you decide whether or not you really belong in Slytherin, get to know one. Or perhaps everyone in Gryffindor is too prejudice to actually try and view things through their own eyes." Then, he left, the colors of the room returning to the way it was before.
His words stung, and there may have been some truth to what he said. I was disgusting. But I knew a Slytherin. I gave my heart to a Slytherin. I nearly gave my soul to a Slytherin. I was nearly destroyed by a Slytherin. He was the head of Slytherin—probably still was. No matter what I had done, I didn't deserve to be there. I don't intentionally hurt people. I'm not power hungry.
"How do you explain the Chamber, then?" a voice in my head asked. "How do you explain your relationship with Harry? With yourself?"
"It's all Tom's fault…" I mumbled. "He made me do those things back then… My relationship with Harry isn't because I search for power. He's sweet. He's what I need."
"Did he really? And what about the relationship you have with yourself? You've always fought to have control over yourself. To be in control of your actions. Your mind. That's one of the reasons you started cutting, wasn't it?"
"It's his fault…" I replied, covering my face with my hands. "He did this to me."
I moved my hands and looked down at them. Blood had begun to shine on my palms, dried and cracking in spots with small down feathers stuck in the drying liquid. This was just like my nightmares, but I was still awake. I hadn't had this happen since the summer between my first and second years, and I was thrown back six years ago. The chickens had just been killed. I had to write on the walls. I had to feed the basilisk.
No! Not again! There was only one way that I knew to remove myself from the nightmare. I had to be brought back to the present. I had to be brought back to a world where I felt pain. I couldn't just let Tom take over and make things better. I had to wake up.
The room knew what I needed and all I had to do was ask for the knife. It wouldn't be the knife in which I had used to purify my thoughts in the past, but it would have to do. The nightmares couldn't just replay. I needed to be in control of them; I needed to extinguish the Ginny that killed the chickens, opened the chamber, fed the basilisk, and petrified the students (even a ghost and a cat).
So I asked for the knife, and it appeared, silver with a clear stone in the hilt. It was a pretty knife, but I didn't care. I needed to forget. I brought the blade down onto my wrist, dragging it quickly over the skin, the blood pooling around the blade as it rushed to the surface. The cut was so deep and stung, but I was still stuck in the past. The blade moved up my arm, making cut after cut, none quite as deep as the first, but they all stung equally and none brought me out of my trance. The nightmare was still playing through my head.
Why wouldn't it stop? I cut myself to repent for hurting the others, but the thoughts still weren't going away… I wanted to kill the chickens. I wanted to petrify those that stood in my way, but this wasn't me. Tom pushed his thoughts on me. But did he really? I didn't want to hurt people. I still don't want to hurt people. But I want to hurt Tom. I want to hurt Malfoy. I want to hurt other Slytherins and Death Eaters. But isn't it different? No one wants them around. They're evil. But it's still the same…
I threw the knife across the room. "Will you shut up?!" I screamed at my thoughts. "You're wrong!" Tears began making their way down my face—tears of frustration and tears of sorrow. With the knife gone, I noticed that I had begun to tremor, I felt light headed, and I was falling forward.
Then, the entrance to the common room was destroyed. And there stood Harry atop the rubble. I could hear his voice, but it was like being under water… muffled. Time slowed down… then… I blacked out.
I was back in the same dark woods as before; I was dressed the same, but now dark red was soaked in the bottom of my gown, traveling up about four inches above my ankles.
The dark Ginny came out of the woods in front of me, just as she had before.
"What are you doing," she scolded. "Do you think that you are really doing anyone a favor by hurting us? Think. Look at what we could have. What we could be."
"Go away. You're not me. You're not real." I closed my eyes, willing her to go away.
"Of course I'm you. Don't be thick. I am the you that you have locked away. This is my corner of your brain and you cannot will me away or you from my corner. You will hear what I have to say." I could feel her grip my chin much like Tom had.
"You're ashamed of what we did our first year," she stated. "Don't be. Look at how we were treated. Look at how few cared. Even your parents only thought of you as an afterthought. They were worried about Ron and Harry, a boy who isn't even theirs. You're their only daughter, but they never gave you a second thought."
"You're wrong… They did care."
"Bullocks. Not once did they ever owl their daughter during their first year. But looked how often they owled Percy. He received owls weekly from our parents. The only "owls" we got was when Ron received his Howler and our Christmas sweater."
I shook my head, backing up, trying to get out of her grasp. The ice was cold on my feet, but her words were colder. And they were true.
"But Tom cared. Tom spoke to you daily. There were weeks that you would go without talking to your own family. When you cried, Tom listened. When you were joyful, Tom was happy for you. When you were bullied, he taught you spells to repel your enemies. No one else did that for you. For us." She didn't yell, but her voice cut deep. She was harsh and cold. Just like Tom.
"It… it was all a lie." I couldn't get away from her. I was backed against a tree and she was pressed up against me.
"You and I both know that is not true. Tom was never stupid. He did everything for a reason. Bragging about taking you into the Chamber was a tactic. You told him all about the trio's inability to keep their noses out of where they didn't belong. Heknew."
"Ginevra," it was Tom's voice, but it was silky and sweet, "you're bullying yourself. She will see soon enough, my dear. You will completely be mine."
Finally, I was able to cast myself from my dream.
I shot up, dizzy and nauseous in the Hospital Wing of the school. Every movement made it worse, but the light pouring over me did its best to calm me down. My heart raced and echoed in my ears. It was difficult to steady myself, but eventually, the room stopped spinning. What had happened? Harry saved me.
Just as the thought went through my head, a voice much different than the warm voice I expected spoke. "You're awake." It was T—Voldemort. He sounded extremely irritated and much colder than he had in my dream. "Now," he lectured, "what did I tell you about this… habit? Did I, or did I not," he continued, his voice rising and becoming colder and more intense, "tell you to stop."
I was silent.
"Answer me!" he hissed.
"I…I don't really think it's your decision what I do to myself." It hurt to talk; my throat felt raw, and my voice came out more like a whisper.
His wand shot up and pointed itself at my face. He was breathing heavily, apparently trying to calm himself down. "You contain a piece of me, thus you are my business. You will end your self-destruction. Even if I must force you." He paused before calling out, "Send in Longbottom." Alecto Carrow stormed into the room, pulling Neville along by his wrists. "Longbottom is your friend, isn't he?" he questioned.
"Neville isn't friends with monsters. I am a monster. So no." I knew that Tom was up to something, so I had to think fast.
"I could always tell when you lied to me, Ginevra." He turned his wand to Neville. "Crucio."
Neville's screams echoed throughout the room as he dropped to the floor. I had seen Neville tortured by the Carrows before, even Bellatrix, but he never had fallen and screamed as he did now. It tore me apart, hearing him in agony, writhing on the floor.
"Stop it!" I screamed, my voice breaking at the end. "Please!" I begged.
Voldemort lifted the curse and I couldn't help the look of hatred that I shot his way. How could he do this to Neville? Sweet, innocent Neville.
"Are you going to respect me, Ginevra?" he demanded.
"Yes, Headmaster. Just please… Not my friends."
"You won't try to lie to me again?"
"You will stop this infernal habit of harming yourself."
"Yes, Headmaster. Just please…" I pleaded. I couldn't believe that I was begging the darkest wizard of the age for mercy. Looking down at Neville, I could tell he felt betrayed by me, but I had to do what would keep us both safe.
"Address me by my name, Ginevra."
"Crucio," he hissed, hitting Neville once again with the Cruciatus curse. Neville fought back his screams better than he had before, but they still existed. I shot up out of the bed, trying to get to Neville's aid.
The room spun and I fell to the ground before even taking a step towards the agonizing boy. My vision blurred with my tears.
"Tom, please. Please stop this… Please, Tom." I closed my eyes. He wasn't Tom. Tom was my friend. He died, and this monster took his place. The Tom I knew was a brilliant student that attended Hogwarts, not the dictator that had taken the school by force.
The foul man finally lifted the curse. "Take him away," he commanded Carrow, and she did just that, too eager to please her lord. Once again I was alone with this murderer. This demon.
"Let's get you back into bed." He bent down and reached to help me up before I smacked away his hands.
"Don't touch me," I sobbed, pulling my knees up to my chest. Neville didn't deserve that. He was put into that position because of me. Although it was my fault, I wasn't the one that issued the torture. I was tainted, but I wasn't evil, and I would be damned if I let evil touch me once again.
"Ginevra," he warned.
"Just… just go away." I tried to stand again, only for my legs to give out from under me. My knees cracked as they hit the ground, but I couldn't feel the pain. I just felt numb.
"I can't do that," he muttered almost to himself. "Come on, let's get you up." This time, when he reached for me, I didn't bat his hands away. They wrapped around my midsection and slowly hoisted me up, supporting all of my weight as he laid me back into the bed. "You need to eat," he observed, his displeasure showing in his tone. "You are far too frail, but for now you must sleep."
"Why… why do you do this to me?" I inquired.
"Because no one else will," he responded automatically. Tom used to respond that way when I would ask him why he cared when no one else did. He used the excuse to convince me to take care of the basilisk. He because he took care of me, I should take care of another, especially since I couldn't compensate Tom with the same care that he gave me. He also told me this when he said he would protect me.
"I'm sure any of your servants would torture me," I mouthed off, refusing to let his words get to me.
"Ginevra," he warned. Although his voice held the obvious traces of a threat, it was also soft—concerned.
It's an act, I thought to myself. He's using you to get to Harry. It's always been about getting to Harry. Not everything is about Potter, my other voice resonated through my head.
"Please…Why won't you just leave me alone?"
"Sleep, Ginevra. You need it. You have lost a lot of blood and need to recover. Even with potions, you need time to revert back to health."
He grabbed a potion off the table and tipped it into my mouth. I would have fought him, but the energy required to do so was lacking. Immediately, I began to feel drowsy. "But—" I argued before being cut off.
"Sleep," he commanded. "We will talk later."
That was the last thing I heard before sleep totally overcame me.