|SIYE Time:2:58 on 17th August 2018|
In The House of the Quick and the Hungry
By Laura Laurent
- Text Size +
Category: Post-HBP, Buried Gems
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Angst, Comedy, Drama, Fluff, General, Humor
Story is Complete
Summary: The finer aspects of Ginny Weasley's life, all entwined, in their own way, within the story of how she wound up with Harry Potter.
THIS STORY IS NOW COMPLETE!
Hitcount: Story Total: 43774; Chapter Total: 4172
In which Laura tries to get all mystical/creative/just-generally-15 on you.
Have an artsy-fartsy Halloween...
For Sylvia, Callie,
And other potential best friends.
The mirror above her headboard watched as the little girl by the name of Ginny Weasley sat on her bed one afternoon gazing fondly at her new school supplies. She had been there for the last ten minutes, simply staring at them spread out around her in a well-organized display, and it seemed quite likely that she was daydreaming about her impending life at Hogwarts. Her eyes scanned over the books, but stopped abruptly on a heavy volume titled Beginner’s Transfiguration, whose pages were parted as something black had been placed between them. Ginny opened it, and her eyebrows darted upward slightly as a black leather book fell out onto her lap. She opened it, and fanned through the leafs of blank paper with a look of gladness spreading over her features as though it were a small sort of miracle. For just the other night she had come to the end of her previous journal, and having none to replace it, she was now in need of another, though her family’s cramped financial situation must have made it difficult to ask for a new one.
She turned it to the first page with a glint of novelty in her eye as one often has when starting something new. She grabbed a quill and some ink (both of which were very handy, coincidentally), and poised her hand at the top of the first page. What to name it? Since her first diary had started as a soul-bearing letter to a wished-for pony, all of her diaries since that one had been animals. Pony, Puppy, Birdie, and just a few nights ago she had filled in the final pages of Bunny. Ginny presently made up her mind, and began her first entry with a steady quill.
There was a pause as she looked appraisingly at those words, when they sunk into the page and disappeared. Her eyes widened, and she turned the leaf, revealing a clean, un-blotted page… the ink had simply disappeared. She turned the leaf back over, and jumped as more words appeared on the page in a handsome, dashing scrawl that most certainly did not belong to her.
“Please, if you insist on a feline pet name I much prefer… Tomcat.”
A small scream jumped through her lips, and she clapped her hands over her mouth and nose. This was not a normal diary. She had just begun to rise from her bed and bring the book downstairs and show it to her mother like a good girl should when more words appeared on the page,
“But anyway, you were saying?”
She stared at the words for a moment, cogs visibly working in her brain. She seemed to give in to the curiosity, or perhaps the need to be independent, because she lowered her quill to the page again.
“What are you?”
As they had the first time, the words sank into the page, and more appeared a moment later.
“A fully formed Imagexstus of a sixteen year old boy, preserved in this diary.”
Ginny knew what Imagexsti were- this very mirror had been witness when Percy had explained them to Ginny once; exact likenesses of a person’s soul, suspended forever from a moment in time. In his explanation, he had also expressed to her the difficulty of creating such a thing. Her body and visage emanated curious trepidation, and she bit her lip as her quill flew daringly across the page.
“You must be very clever to have made an Imagexstus of yourself when you were sixteen.”
She paused to form her next sentence, but gave an irritated sigh when the words sank promptly into the page again, and were answered just as quickly.
“How old are you, little girl?”
The color drained away from her face.
“How did you know that?”
“A lucky guess, I suppose- but your handwriting is young, and very feminine-looking.”
Whether or not ‘Tomcat’ meant to endear himself to Ginny so quickly, it can never be known, but in that moment she must have found him to be the kindest, most benevolent soul she’d ever met. To Ginny, who was raised among boys who often asserted that she wasn’t really a girl, that she looked and acted like a boy, and that she would never be pretty, to be called feminine was one of the highest compliments she could imagine.
“So tell me about yourself, who are you? What year is it?”
Within minutes, a brief, articulate sketch of the life and times of Ginny Weasley had been sold on the unassuming smoothness of the ancient pages, and by nightfall, Tom was her best friend. Had it possessed an ounce of true soul, the quaint old mirror might have watched these first hours in a state of tormented awareness and understanding. Had it possessed a stomach, it might have writhed as it watched her eyes gobble up eagerly the rancid, creepy words, not grasping the twisted implications behind each and every one. What a clever thing that Tomcat was, having so quickly invented a guise that would tug at her dearest wishes. A little girl who had spent most of her life in the company of people who assumed they knew her better than she knew herself, she’d never met a soul so eager to hear what she had to say, and she told him everything about her life and all aspects of it without hesitation.
“Bill, the lucky prat, got the cream of the genetic crop… …short and skinny was all that was left for me…
Bill was always there, he just wasn’t ever here, you know? …I guess you could say that Charlie and I give hope to one another… …And so that summer I became sort of malnourished as I ate nothing but grapes…walk away with the image of me as this amazing, resilient, duck-thing … Sometimes I like to imagine really bad things happening to me… I once vanished Ron’s tongue when I was really angry with him…”
Tom proved to be a wonderful listener, validating even her darkest of thoughts and feelings, and never dared laugh at her. Within days, Ginny began confessing more to Tom than she ever would have to a normal diary, where her words would linger on the page for nosy brothers to find.
“My family says I’m pretty, but I don’t think I really believe them… I’m so scared of being an old maid… …And if I were to marry Harry, I think Ron would probably tell me that he’d beat me to a pulp if I broke his best mate’s heart… I daydreamed about the twins dying the other day, that’s really awful isn’t it? …I always pretend to be grossed out, and I’d never ever admit it, but I really can’t wait till I’m old enough to have sex……Fred said I looked like a redheaded Professor Flitwick… …If you were to commit the perfect crime, Tom, how would you do it and not get caught? …Actually, it was me that got ink all over Mum and Dad’s wedding picture… …I’ve thought about doing it with Harry… I always feel really safe and happy in places where no one else is small enough to fit… …Sometimes I do it just to fall asleep…I love being needed…
She wondered how he could stand to listen to her rant and rave about herself and her life, and she was very curious about his story, but he could always distract her with a good, thoughtful question. Then one day, after many weeks of telling Tom all of her most appalling secrets, Ginny got her wish to know more about him.
“I’ve never had any parents. My father abandoned my mother before I was born, and my mother died shortly thereafter. I lived a miserable childhood in a Muggle orphanage…”
At first she read his entries about the orphanage with a reverent, wistful look in her eyes, and her answers seemed to be trying to offer him some of the comfort he had given her. But soon his secrets took on a much darker nature, and her quill began to tremble in response.
“I think that’s natural. I think everyone feels that way sometimes.”
She tried to validate his feelings, but when he told her that Muggles had no reason to live, her conscience must have got the better of her as she gave him a telling off that would have made her mother proud. The furiously scribbled response that had appeared had drained the color from her face for days.
“Wrong is it? You’re an eleven-year-old girl, you have no idea what you’re talking about. You may think that Lord Voldemort has been defeated by your precious Harry Potter, but I assure you that he is not dead, and unless you want to die a painful death at his hands, I would keep your little mouth shut and your little head down. Do you understand?”
For the first time since receiving him, Ginny looked as though she might set down her quill and walk away, but for some strange reason, she dipped the feather into the ink and wrote a meek reply.
“Yes. I’m sorry, Tom.”
That evening, Ginny’s dinner plate became a bit confused when she failed to make a dent into the enticing meal that was heaped onto it, and she excused herself early to go lie down, leaving a cold, dejected pile of mashed potatoes in her wake.
A plushy, calico cat who was nestled happily in Ginny’s arms noted sleepily that the girl’s stomach was growling rather loudly the next morning as she began to drift back from a long, dreamless sleep, and a spoon was dropped unceremoniously to the table with a clatter as Ginny took her first bite of porridge at breakfast that morning, which caused two redheaded boys and another with dreadlocks to look over at her in alarm.
“I think my porridge is rotten,” she said faintly. One of the redheads raised a skeptical eyebrow at her and took a bite from her bowl with his own spoon.
“It’s fine,” he said as the other twin looked at her so seriously that he didn’t look serious at all.
“Ginny, I’m a little concerned about you,” he said, “I think your freakish obsession with Harry has unhinged you a bit,” the twins and Mr. Dreadlocks laughed loudly at this, and Ginny’s cheeks burned scarlet as one twin tousled her hair,
“Eat your porridge, kid, I don’t like to see you so unhealthy.”
Ginny left the Great Hall that morning much in the way she had left the night before, leaving a crestfallen plate of food sitting sadly on the table.
A four-poster was curious as to why Ginny Weasley was stretched lazily across it when she should have been at lunch, but it became clear when she pulled out a black leather diary and a somewhat scraggly-looking quill.
“Tom,” she wrote, “I can barely write. My head hurts and my stomach is aching.”
There was a brief blankness before the answer came.
“Hmm… have you been eating lately?”
“That’s just it! I know I’m very hungry, but I haven’t been able to eat anything since yesterday at lunch- I just wasn’t hungry all of a sudden at dinner, and at breakfast, my porridge tasted awful, but only to me, because George tried it and said it was fine, Tom what’s going on?”
“I wouldn’t worry Ginny dear, it happens quite often to teenage girls. They’ll feel hungry and yet they won’t be able to eat a thing.”
“But I’m not a teenager.”
“Oh, but you’re so very mature in so many ways, this doesn’t surprise me.”
A pleased looking smile crossed Ginny’s face at this.
“Do you really think I’m mature?”
“Very. But I am a little worried about you, and I want you to promise to go see Madam Pomfrey if you still cannot eat tomorrow, all right?”
“All right. Thanks Tom, I’m sorry for yesterday, it wasn’t my place.”
“It’s quite all right, I’m sorry as well, I never meant to frighten you. I’m sure you’ll be quite safe.”
“I can’t write anymore Tomcat, I think I’ll take a nap before the feat tonight.”
“Yes, do that. You’ll feel differently afterwards, I promise.”
Ginny closed the book, and made a move as if to climb under the covers of her bed, but seemed overpowered with exhaustion and she simply laid her head back down. Her lids closed, and when they opened, the eyes beneath were quite strange, and they remained so for the three hours to come in which her body would do things without her knowledge.
When her eyes finally flickered back into life, her body was in the same place that it had been when it had fallen under the spell, and so the last three hours were to Ginny only the blink of an eye. The dormitory door burst open.
“Well that was certainly scary.”
“I don’t think it’s real though, I think someone just decided to pull a prank,”
It was Ginny’s roommate, Glenna, talking to her sister.
“But they actually killed Filch’s cat!”
Ginny’s eyes widened, and she listened more intently to their conversation.
“D’you think so? I mean, we never actually heard that she was dead, I think she was just stunned,”
“Still, that’s a really awful prank,”
“I know it seems like that to you, but trust me, when you get older you’ll understand. Someone was probably just out for a little fun… Although it wasn’t a Gryffindor, I think everyone of the older kids was at the feast,”
Poor Ginny Weasley glared at her watch, and then blinked furiously, as though she didn’t believe what she had seen. How strange it must have seemed, for three hours to vanish in the blink of an eye. Though the dormitory was warm, the mattress trembled slightly as she shivered, and she did what must have come naturally to her at this point. She quickly opened her diary and wet her quill.
“Tom, I missed the feast!”
“How did you manage that?”
Tears had begun to well in her eyes, and the four poster noted nervously that her hands were cold and damp, as though they’d been washed in ice water, and were blotchy and pink, as though whatever it was that had been washed from them had left a stain.
“I don’t know! I just closed my eyes for a second, and then Glenna and Morgan came in, talking about something that must have happened during the feast. Tom, it’s warm in here, but I’m so cold and sweaty.”
It took Tom a moment to respond.
“Ginny darling, I’m fairly worried now.”
“Should I go to Madam Pomphrey?”
Tom’s reply came quickly.
“No. There’s no reason to do that…Let’s see if a bit of food won’t fix you up.”
“You forget, I was once a student here. Take me with you, I’ll help you sneak down to the kitchens. Let’s go, it’ll be fun…”
A small, delicate silver necklace tucked beneath her blouse and jumper was apt to notice the wild beating of Ginny’s heart and the shallowness of her breath in the days to come every time someone mentioned the attack on Mrs. Norris. Heaped in a little pile atop a plain wooden jewelry box, the silver necklace had a clear view of Ginny’s bed, and bore witness every time she jerked awake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat in the weeks to come. Some mornings, when Ginny’s dreams the night before had been especially dreadful, she’d awake with only a few minutes to get to breakfast, and she’d hurry to get ready, but her hands would be shaking too badly to work the tiny clasp, and so she’d give up and leave the necklace on her night table, and the little thing would wonder all day if she was eating anything...
Ginny’s favorite purple quill found the things it wrote to be much more dire as November pushed forward and rumors about the attack died down. Apparently, Ginny was still having strange nightmares, and she told Tom all about them.
“It’s odd that I’m dreaming about it, when I didn’t even see it happen. Maybe deep down inside I’m just, what do they call it Tom? When you really want to know all the details about something that would horrify any decent person?”
“Erm, yes, I think that’s the term I was looking for.”
“Glad I could help.”
“Oh but Tom, do you really think I’m morbid?”
“Don’t worry dear, I have much darker thoughts than those all the time, there’s nothing the matter with you.”
“Oh! What a relief.”
It was times like those and many others when the quill wished it could resign in protest of being made a critical instrument in something awful. It was a chilly, overcast November afternoon when the purple feather found itself nestled in Ginny’s hand once again. She was sitting in a remote seat in the Quidditch stadium, far away from anyone else, as she was giving a play-by-play to Tom and didn’t want the curious diary to raise any odd questions. Her hand was cold as it flew across the page in hasty, sloppy script, and she missed words here and there in order to keep up with the commentary.
“He caught it! Harry caught it!!!”
Oozed the reply, but suddenly Ginny didn’t seem to notice,
“Oh he’s hurt! Bludger broke his arm!”
She set the book aside and stood up from her seat, craning her head to see something on the pitch below.
“Tom!” she said tearfully, having forgotten that Tom was just a book, “Tom, he’s passed out!”
She watched a moment longer, gripping the quill so tightly it nearly snapped in half.
“Tom, I’ll be back in a bit, I want to go see him-“
But her feet didn’t move from the bleachers. Her mouth was gaping open, but it didn’t appear as though she was able to breathe. The sounds of the crowd below suddenly seemed muted and far away, as though the volume had been turned down. Her hand trembled around the quill as a frigid gulp of November wind soaked in through her cloak until she was fully engulfed in it. Her face went slack and expressionless, her wide eyes flickered into glassy vacancy, and her body held the dark and banal appearance of a lampshade with no fire behind it. Her hand released the quill and let it flutter down unnoticed. Laying there on the cold, damp ground, the quill thought Ginny seemed very tall and ominous, towering above it with that deadened, listless demeanor.
It watched helplessly as she slowly picked up the diary and turned mechanically to her left and walked away, stepping on the quill with her wet, muddy shoe as she did so.
The frosty air was alight with the white light of the moon, as eerie, blue-black shadows stretched across the ground and pooled in the holes on the smooth, sparkling snow where feet had trodden. There wasn’t a breath or a cloud to be seen, and the stars twinkled with sharp, piercing clarity. A full moon looked down on a hidden place in Scotland, where a tall, stone castle stood, covered in glowing golden squares where windows peeked into warm, cheery, fire lit rooms.
Away from the castle, on the edge of the forest, was a small hut with darkened windows that had been shining with their own golden light, before the keeper of the little house had gone to bed. The moon reveled in the stillness for a moment, but it was disrupted by a diminutive little figure, making her way across the grounds with tiny footprints trailing behind her. The motherly moon noted disapprovingly that she was not dressed for the weather; a shock of vivid red hair was all that covered her hatless head, and her small white hands were naked to the cold. As she reached the hut on the edge of the forest, the happy castle was only an image in the distance, and it’s cheeriness failed to penetrate the chilling white and blue-black ambiance of the night.
The little girl opened a rusty gate into an enclosure by the hut with a protesting creak that was lost in the vastness, and stepped inside. She sank to her knees in front of a wooden box, and pulled wide a little door on its face, and backed away as a rooster came gobbling out to gather the feed she had spread on the snow. The rooster bobbed happily around on the glittering ground as he pecked at his unexpected feast. She stood watching him with an unnatural stillness that seemed almost death-like. She moved, so slowly that it was almost undetectable, but faster and faster with a predatory nature that didn’t suit her until she darted out and grabbed the proud bird around his neck with her tiny, unassuming hands. Her movements were mechanical and frighteningly deliberate as she gripped him more tightly, and the keen ears of the moon could hear with a sense of dread the frantic beating of the rooster’s heart, and then the curdling crackle and crunch as his neck was broken.
The bird gave one last, strangled crow as life flew out and death swooped in, and as it did so, something akin to recognition flickered in the little girl’s eyes. She turned her face to the moon as her body began to tremble, her hands still tightly gripping the rooster, whose warm blood was oozing out over her frozen fingers as his body flailed with eerie, post-mortem spasms. The feathery struggle was deafening against the quiet of the night, but the scratching, flapping and thrashing soon abated into silence, and there was no sound at all. Save for a girl, with murderer in her head and a rooster in her hand. Only a little girl sobbing in the snow.
A plain black quill, which had been purchased in a package of seven by one Hermione Granger, found itself in new hands one afternoon in the early days of February. It was moving steadily across some rather ancient looking pages,
“Well I lost my purple quill. It was my favorite, too!”
But it’s labors seemed to have been for naught, because a moment later the words had vanished. There was a strange silence, in which the quill sensed that something was occurring unseen. The hand was considerably more shaky as it stumbled across the page again.
“How did you do that?”
“Do what, dear?”
If it had had the power to do so, the quill might have jumped out of the little hand in surprise as penless words appeared where the quill’s own words had been just a moment before.
“I just heard you- in my head. Nothing showed up in the book.”
There was a much longer pause this time, hush-filled and anxious, and then words skated across the page in a rather enchanting way,
“Did I? I imagine we’ve grown so close that it just happened. There, is it appearing on the page now?”
The ignorant quill, though it had never seen such an eerie phenomenon, could not help but to feel that the hand ought to be comforted by the book’s assured and kindly reply, but it shook just as violently as it pressed the quill to the page again.
“I’m sorry Ginny, did I frighten you? I promise, I won’t go into your head again if you don’t like it.”
By now she was holding the quill so tightly that it could feel her pulse, beating just a touch faster than it should have.
“Yes. All right. Thank you.”
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
The red and gold dormitory was empty of living things, and filled only with a muting, absorbing silence that was grounded by the faint ticking of the carriage clock on Ginny Weasley’s bedside table. The lavish decorations and warm colors gave the room the energy of something cozy and soft and peaceful, and none of this was lost when the door opened and an equally peaceful and contented-looking young girl tripped in. She was humming something under her breath as she danced across the room to lay her things on her bed and begin to settle in for the night. Then without warning her little song became a hair-raising screech as she jumped and whirled around and glared wildly at the chair that stood next to the door she had just come through.
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
But there was nothing there. It was a beautiful armchair, with an elegant mahogany frame and a rich, red velvet seat and backrest. But no one was sitting in it.
“Tom,” she faltered disbelievingly, “You’re just a memory, you’re not real!”
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
Ginny screamed again and whirled around the other way, flailing her arms in a mad sort of frenzy, and all the while the cheery, incandescent light remained as bright and soft as ever.
“You can’t touch me!” she cried, and the little carriage clock knew it was one of the only sane thoughts she possessed at that moment, “YOU DON’T HAVE A BODY!”
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
She was now raging, whipping frantically around, grabbing and hitting at something that wasn’t there. Tears formed in her eyes as she struggled with her invisible foe, and all the while her lunacy was simply swallowed by the pleasant, muffling atmosphere. The whirling little rogue picked up her unclosed rucksack and flung its contents throughout the room in her madness, but nothing broke or even made a noise as it landed on the soft, plush carpeting, and the whole room seemed to be blissfully rolling its eyes at her childish antics.
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
The complacent objects in the room endured several more minutes of her outlandish behavior before she collapsed, defeated, onto her warm, inviting bed and shuddered violently into her mattress, muttering faintly as she drifted off into fitful sleep at last.
“Go away, Tom…please… go away…”
The warmth in the room was not diminished by the woes of Ginny Weasley, and the clock went ticking on merrily, regardless.
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
And all was peaceful and quiet again.
A very old and seasoned jumper who knew it was Ginny Weasley’s favorite, and her mother’s favorite before her, could not fail to notice the unusual scrawniness of Ginny’s body when the girl pulled it over her head again for the first time in a few months. She had been always been small, only slightly smaller than her mother had been, but the jumper now felt oddly loose, covering her bony spine and the disconcerting prominence of each and every one of her ribs.
The ends of the sleeves, which were still too long for Ginny’s arms, were brushed across her face to dry the tears that had accumulated on her cheeks. What that jumper might have done for a voice to ask her what was wrong… but all it could do was hang around her in a comforting way and shield her from the chilly March winds that seeped into the castle through the rattling window panes.
The smooth, blank stone eyes of Salazar Slytherin looked down onto his chamber floor, where a little girl sat alone and crying. She had been there for several hours. He didn’t think a little thing like that could hold so many tears, and if he were honest he was growing quite tired of her.
“Tom-“ she pleaded, “Tom-“ she was slipping in and out of coherence, as though she were swimming in her own insanity, gasping for air every time she surfaced, “Tom-“
Her eyes followed something around the room, something that was only visible inside her head.
“Tom- you’re not real…” she whimpered, and began scrambling around on the floor, as though running away from something. And then she stopped, and her face was jerked upwards, giving her the eerie mien of a puppet on a string. And as she sat there, with her face bent upwards, a very faint, almost invisible shadow appeared. The shadow of a young man was bent over her, kissing her. Only it didn’t look that way at all. Kissing wasn’t the right word, it looked as though he was sucking the very life out of her. As the fleeting seconds passed, the shadow quickly became clearer, and more vivid. When it straightened before her, a boy of about sixteen or seventeen was clearly visible, with his dark hair and a Slytherin crest on his robes.
The heir had come again at last. The little girl looked considerably weaker, as she stared up at him. Her entire body resembled one made of water, her lips moved feebly, but no sound came out. The boy stared down on her without a trace of pity.
“That’s right, Ginny,” he said, for he could speak now, “You’re going to die in here. We’re going to sit together here, for one last little chat, and then Harry’s going to come down here to try to save you, and he’s going to die as well. How does that sound?”
The little girl gave a silent sob and collapsed onto the floor, her tiny body heaving and shaking.
“Ginny-“ said the boy in delicate, almost singsong voice, “Ginny- don’t you want to know how all this happened?”
The girl shook her head and clamped her hands over her ears and tried to roll away from him, but he leaned down and dragged her hands away from her head and held them there- and so weak was she that she had not the power to resist even the phantom of a man.
“You see Ginny,” he explained, in a voice that sounded fatherly and kind, but cruel and twisted at the same time, “I’m Tom Riddle. Do you know who Tom Riddle is?”
“No, of course you don’t, because if you did, you never would have written to me. I’m the Imagexstos of a young Lord Voldemort-“
If the boy had expected and great reaction from the girl, she was too weak and feeble by this point to understand much of anything,
“I’m the reason Harry Potter is an orphan, and I’m the reason that all your uncles and aunts are dead. Of course, I didn’t know this until you told me. Yes, you’ve been very useful to me.”
The boy let go of her hands and stood up, but she seemed nearly paralyzed anyway.
“All those nightmares you’ve been having… they really happened, I just made sure that you wouldn’t remember them. I’ve been inside your head for months now, as I’m sure you’ve guessed. I’m in your head right now, I’m listening in on your silent goodbyes to every member of your family.”
And here he paused,
“You may want to re-word that one a little- he may take it the wrong way,”
He laughed a cold, high-pitched laugh.
“Oh Ginny, it’s been fun, but you’re dying now, and-“ he glanced around, “I’m expecting Harry to be here at any moment.”
Just then there was the sound of something rumbling far away in the distance,
“Ah yes. Here he comes now.”
And with that, he darted away into the shadows of the chamber and waited. When a small, slime covered little boy with dirty glasses appeared, squinting his eyes at the end of the chamber, Salazar Slytherin was quite surprised. Was this supposed to be a joke? When the little boy’s eyes fell on the little girl, he abandoned all pretenses and ran foolishly towards her, without a thought as to what else might be lurking there.
He watched the boy plead for her life, and he might have thought it sweet if he hadn’t known that he shouldn’t get too attached to the image- a giant, deadly serpent would be appearing shortly, and both of them would be dead...
But in the fifteen minutes to come, the stone likeness of Salazar Slytherin was shocked and appalled beyond recognition. The monster was unleashed, as had been expected, but through the aid of a bright red phoenix and Godric Gryffindor's hat, somehow the little boy slayed the monster and destroyed the heir of Slytherin.
The phoenix stared into the eyes of the statue while the boy drove a fang through diary, and the bird seemed to say, 'It'll be a happy ending after all.' But he watched as the little girl was jolted back into life, and he watched as she cried and tried to tell the boy she never meant for any of it to happen. And he remembered how just hours ago she had lain paralyzed and cold on the damp stone floor, watching and listening as all of her nightmares came true, and somehow he felt, with a touch of consolation, that it wouldn't be so easy.
Three updates in 48 hours (and one was over 5500 words), I think that merits some reviews! An extra special thanks to Sylvia, whose earlier reading of this helped me with my vision.
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