The Very Secret Diary of Ginny Weasley by Hettie Hoffleboffer

Summary: Ever wonder what really happened with Ginny, Tom Riddle and his diary? The often amusing and insightful truth unfolds as you go behind-the-scenes of Book Two and expeience the events of CoS through Ginny's eyes. From learning the intracasies of stalking your crush, afternoon teas with Hagrid, and finding out the true author of Harry's Valentine, you'll see that Ginny's first year at Hogwarts is one she will not soon forget--and neither will you!
Rating: PG-13 starstarstarstarhalf-star
Categories: Pre-OotP
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2003.08.05
Updated: 2004.07.06


Chapter 1: The Diary of Tom Riddle
Chapter 2: The Journey to Hogwarts
Chapter 3: Hagrid
Chapter 4: Halloween
Chapter 5: The First Attack
Chapter 6: Slytherin VS. Gryffindor
Chapter 7: Guilty Secrets
Chapter 8: Truths Revealed
Chapter 9: Cruel Fate
Chapter 10: Christmas at Hogwarts
Chapter 11: Ginny's Decision
Chapter 12: Valentines Day
Chapter 13: Foiled Plans
Chapter 14: Hello Again
Chapter 15: Confessions
Chapter 16: A Fate Too Terrible To Ignore

Chapter 1: The Diary of Tom Riddle

Chapter One: The Diary of Tom Riddle

Ginny Weasley raced up the stairs to her room despite the weight of her cauldron,heavy with books. Panting excitedly, she closed the door behind her as she always did.When you're the youngest of seven children, and the only girl, sometimes a closed door isnecessary for keeping nosy, and often pestering, brothers at bay. She dumped the heavyload onto her bed, and walked to her window to let in some fresh air before diving intoher second-hand schoolbooks.

Ginny had the most perfect view of the paddock that lay beyond the gardens ofthe Burrow. She could see that the boys had wasted no time at all, running thereimmediately upon coming back from Diagon Alley to play Quidditch again.

Her twin brothers, Fred and George, were Beaters on the Gryffindor house teamat Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the secondary school she would beattending. They were playing against her youngest brother, Ron, only a year ahead of herhimself, and his best friend, Harry.

“Ah, Harry Potter.”

Ginny watched Harry race around on his Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick,sighing dreamily at the sight of him. From the moment she saw him at King's CrossStation one year ago, when Ron began his first year at Hogwarts, she knew that he wasspecial. And then when Fred and George had found out who he was, she became evenmore enamored of him.

That whole year, Ginny begged her brothers to send owls from school, passing onany and all information about the young wizard. What luck that he had become Ron'sbest friend. She even insisted on picking out the emerald green wool for the jumper thattheir mother made him as a Christmas gift, to match his beautiful green eyes.

Two weeks ago Harry came to stay at the Burrow for the rest of the summer. Eversince, she had done nothing but make a fool of herself in front of him, knocking thingsover, tripping and falling over herself and every other thing she came in contact with. Shehad decided to stay in her room as often as she could to lessen the embarrassment.

Ginny walked back across the room, flopping down on her soft bed and began tolook through her first year school books. She first flipped through her Potions book, andthen for her Transfiguration book, still in the cauldron. As she pulled it out, a small blackbook fell from of it. Ginny picked it up, looking at it curiously. At first, she thought shehad one of her brother's books by mistake, but the strange thing was, it wasn't aschoolbook at all.

It was obviously a very old book, noting the faded gold embossed numbers andscrolling about the edges of the book. Ginny realized it must have fallen into hercauldron during the brawl between her father and Lucius Malfoy in Flourish and Blottsearlier that afternoon. When she opened the book, there was nothing written inside, onlydated pages, so it had to be an old diary that no one had ever used. Upon opening theinside cover, she made out the name T. M. Riddle in old smudged ink.

Ginny wondered why anyone would ever want to throw away an unused diary.She often composed poems, drew pictures and wrote random thoughts on bits ofparchment that her father gave her, but she had never had a whole diary to keep them allin before. The thought of having this book all to herself thrilled her and she scrambledabout for a quill and some ink.

Excitedly, she dipped the quill in the ink and wrote, “Dear Diary, My name isGinny Weasley”. To her surprise, the words faded from the page as quickly as she hadwritten them, and in their place, new words appeared before her.

Hello Ginny Weasley. My name is Tom Riddle. How did you come by my diary?”

In horror, Ginny snapped the book shut and jumped away from the bed, leavingthe book. She looked around her room in a panic. Were Fred and George playing somekind of trick on her again? Were they watching and waiting for her to scream loudly, sothat they could laugh hysterically at her silliness?

Ginny kept very quiet for a moment, listening for them to come around the cornerlaughing. All she could hear was the bustling of her mother making supper in the kitchenand grumbling about her father's irresponsibility for getting into a fight with Mr. Malfoyearlier. Ginny dashed to her window overlooking the paddock. The boys were stillplaying Quidditch. She watched a moment as Ron swooped down and caught the Quafflebefore George could score.

Ginny turned from the window and looked back at her bed, still suspicious of thetwins. If she played along, what would the diary do to her, spray her with ink? Shethought back over her day, was there any time at all that the twins had access to herbooks, to slip in the diary? None that she could think of. So was this really an enchanteddiary?

Ginny walked back to her bed and picked up the quill again. She would playalong for now. “It seems harmless enough, doesn't it?” she thought. “I mean, how couldit possibly do anything horrible to me, really?”

She opened up the diary and began writing again. “I found this diary inside oneof my schoolbooks. I'm sorry Mr. Riddle, it’s just that I’m rather surprised to see anenchanted diary talking back to me.”

I understand. I'm sure it was quite a bit of a shock for you. After all, most diariesusually don't talk back to their owners. You said you found me in a schoolbook, may I askwhich school you are attending?”

“I will be starting my first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ina few weeks. I'm very excited!”

“Ah, Hogwarts! I was a student there myself long ago, where I learned manythings. I'm sure you will love it there as well. Tell me, are you the first of your family toattend Hogwarts?”

“Oh no! I come from a rather large family of wizards and witches. I have sixolder brothers, an four of them still attend Hogwarts. And my mum and dad werestudents there too.”

“Ginny!” called a voice from the kitchen below. It was her mother.

“Yes Mum?”

“Would you please be a dear and go fetch the boys, supper will be ready soon.”

“Yes Mum,” Ginny said unenthusiastically, rolling her eyes, and huffing toherself in annoyance.

“I'm sorry, Mr. Riddle, but I must go now and fetch my brothers for supper.”

“All right then, enjoy your supper Ginny Weasley. I do hope that you write to meagain. I so enjoyed the company. And one more thing

The diary paused for a moment. Ginny waited for the ink to come squirting out,and she flinched slightly to avoid it. Instead, more words appeared.

“…please call me Tom.”

Ginny smiled to herself and closed the book. Perhaps it wasn't a trick after all.She decided to find out once and for all.

Ginny came downstairs to the wonderful smell of beef stew cooking on the stoveand fresh bread cooling on the shelf above it. Her mother was setting the table for eight,still clicking her tongue to herself, while her father was looking over some parchmentsfrom work, nursing his fat lip with some ice in a cloth.

“All right there Dad?” Ginny said, walking over to him and kissing the uninjuredside of his face.

“I'm fine Ginny, really. Now don't make a big deal in front of your mother,” hesaid quietly to her, trying not to draw attention from his wife.

Ginny giggled and kissed him again on the cheek. “Well, we all know who reallygot the brunt of that fight now don't we?” she whispered in his ear, pulling away andwinking at him.

Her dad smiled warmly at her. “Thanks. Now go fetch your brothers for supper.”

Ginny walked through the gardens to the paddock behind the house, smoothingher hair back, and straightening her clothes. She felt like a wreck, she wanted to lookhalf-way decent in front of Harry.

As she reached the field, Fred was the first to notice her. He flew over to hershouting “Oy! Ginny! What's up?” as he slowed and hovered just above the ground nearher.

“Mum sent me to fetch you all for supper,” she said glancing at Harry, as he shotacross the other side of the field.

Fred turned away and shouted “SUPPER!” as he tipped his broomstick andtouched down on the ground. One by one, they flew back to the edge of the paddockwhere they stood waiting for them.

“Great, I'm starving! How 'bout you Harry?” Ron said as he immediately startedfor the house.

Yeah, me too!” Harry said, walking past Ginny and Fred. He smiled at her.

Ginny smiled weakly back as she started for the house behind him, but quicklystubbed her toe on a boulder and would have fallen if it hadn't been for George, whocaught her just in time.

George patted her on the head. “Don't worry Ginny, I don't think he noticed.”

“I don't know what you're talking about,” she said nonchalantly. Somehow, hisremark didn't make her feel any better.

“George, can I ask you a question?”


“Did you and Fred slip a diary in one of my schoolbooks?”

“No, why?” he said absentmindedly.

“Oh,” Ginny paused for a moment, unsure of what to say. “I found one in myTransfiguration book. I thought maybe you two were playing a trick on me orsomething.”

“Why, did it squirt ink on you or something?” he chuckled to himself at thethought.

“Something like that.”

“Hey, that's not a bad idea. Maybe we could try something like that on Percelater, he has been writing an awful lot of owls lately.”

They walked on to the house. Ginny quickly ate her supper and went backupstairs to have another look at the diary.

She closed the door and stared at the diary, still laying on her bed. She wasn't surewhat to make of it. She walked back to the bed, picked up the quill once again andopened the diary.

“Dear Tom, I thought that you were just a silly trick being played by my brothers,but I realize now that you're not. Please tell me, what are you? What is your purpose?”

Ginny, this diary is not a trick to amuse your brothers. It is merely an enchanteddiary, keeping the small collection of memories from my school years, nothing more. Yet,I still feel incomplete.”

“Why is that?”

“I still have many pages unfilled. I was made to be a companion, a confidant ofsecrets if you will, and it has been far too long since I’ve been used in that manner. It isindeed a lonely existence when one no longer has a purpose. I ask of you, GinnyWeasley, will you use me as your confidant, as I was meant to be used?”

Ginny didn't have to think much on her decision. She had never really had anyfriends to talk to, never having gone to school. All she ever had was her brothers andparents, who lately were not much comfort either. There were things they just didn'tunderstand, and her brothers often teased her.

“Tom, I would love to share my secrets with you!”

“Thank you! I can't tell you how much this means to me! This is wonderful! Nowcome, tell me your secrets! I want to know everything!”

Ginny could only think of one secret, her biggest Her love for the boy namedHarry Potter.

“Well you see, there is this boy I like, his name is Harry Potter. He is just themost wonderful boy in the entire world! He's my brother's best friend. They met on thetrain to Hogwarts. He has messy black hair and bright green eyes, behind roundspectacles. He is so handsome! And not only that, but he's one of the most famouspeople in the wizarding world!”

“How intriguing. Tell me, how would a lad so young be so famous?”

“He defeated the darkest wizard of our time. His name is…”

Ginny hesitated for a moment. As with nearly everyone in the wizarding world,she feared to even speak his name. Even to write it down on paper seemed frightening.But this was her diary now. No one would ever see it. It couldn't harm her to tell Tomabout it.

“…Lord Voldemort. Have you heard of him?”

For only a fraction of a second, Ginny thought the diary paused to answer, but thethought quickly passed from her mind as new words appeared.

“My, that is interesting. I do not know of this dark wizard. So how is it that thisHarry Potter defeated him?”

“It's legend really. He was only a baby when it happened. And from what Ron hastold me, Harry doesn't even remember it. It seems that Voldemort came to his house andmurdered his parents. But when he tried to kill Harry too, his spell backfired orsomething, because he disappeared. Harry was left with nothing but a lightening-shapedscar on his forehead. He was sent to live with his Muggle aunt and uncle, who are verymean, they didn't want him to go to Hogwarts, or even be a wizard! Ron, Fred andGeorge just broke him out of his family's house just a couple of weeks ago, because theywere not going to let Harry go back.”

“How extraordinary. So what happened to this Lord Voldemort? How did hedisappear?”

“That's the strange thing. No one really knows for sure. Many say that he is dead,but many more believe that he is still alive, and are even afraid to speak his name. Wejust call him You-know-who.”

By now, it was getting dark at the Burrow. The sun had set over the trees and thewarm summer air was beginning to cool. Ginny grabbed a jumper from the end of herbed and slipped it on while she waited for the diary to reply.

“Well I can see that this Harry Potter fellow is indeed an amazing young man. Ican understand your interest in him.”

“That's the problem Tom, he never even notices me! I wish I could muster up thecourage to talk to him, but every time I do try, I end up doing something foolish! He'sjust so wonderful. I just don't know how he could ever like a girl like me. For instance, Idid say something this afternoon at Flourish and Blotts. Draco Malfoy, this mean boy inRon's year, was teasing Harry about having his picture taken with this famous writer,Gilderoy Lockhart. Harry didn't really want to have his picture taken, I could tell, hedidn't even smile, but Mr. Lockhart insisted. . He even gave Harry his entire bookcollection. That Malfoy boy was so mean to Harry, he didn't deserve it, and I told Malfoyso. But then he said something implying I was Harry’s girlfriend and embarrassed me.And Harry had given me all his books from Lockhart to me, wasn't that sweet!”

Yes, that was quite kind of him.”

Ginny smiled at the thought of Harry smiling at her today at the paddock. Shesuddenly felt a bit tired, although it was still quite early in the evening. The thought of agood sleep sounded absolutely wonderful.

“Tom, I could go on and on about Harry all night, honestly I could. But it hasbeen quite a long day and I think that I might turn in early tonight. I'm really glad I foundyou today. I can't wait to share more with you. Goodbye for now.”

“I am glad that you have found me as well. Goodnight Ginny Weasley.”

Ginny closed the diary and set it on her bedside table, next to her ink and quill.She slipped into her nightgown and pulled her favorite quilt up over her, snugglingbetween it and her soft pillow. She quickly drifted off to sleep as happy thoughts ofHarry Potter and her new friend Tom filled her mind.

Back to index

Chapter 2: The Journey to Hogwarts

Chapter Two: The Journey to Hogwarts

The last few weeks at the Burrow were fairly uneventful. Ginny wrote in the diary nearlyevery day, talking about her brothers, her parents, life at the Burrow and of course, Harry.

The morning they were to go to King's Cross station to catch the train to Hogwarts wasutter chaos. Everyone was running up and down the stairs, still half-asleep, trying to remember ifthey had brought everything.

Ginny wasn't sure if she had packed enough herself, until her father attempted to carry hervery full trunk to the car by himself. He ended up tripping over one of the chickens in the yard,and falling over the trunk, spilling her books everywhere.

They tried to leave for over half an hour, which put Ginny's mother in an extremely badmood. First, George forgot the rest of his Filibuster fireworks in the kitchen (he had used them ina delightful display after supper the night before). They left again, but then Fred had forgotten hisbroomstick. They had nearly reached the highway when suddenly a scream came from the front seat.


The turquoise Ford Anglia skidded to a halt.

“Oh, now what is it?” her mother said angrily.

“Mummy, I forgot my diary!”

“Ginny dear, we are very late as it is. I will send it with Errol the moment your father andI get back.”

“NO!” she shrieked. “We have to go back!”

Ginny didn't want to risk her mother seeing the secrets in her diary. What if Tom showedthem to her?

Ginny turned to her father, whom she sat next to in the front seat, and put on the bestweepy look she could muster up, which in fact, wasn't too difficult.

“Please Daddy, please!”

“Yes, yes, of course we'll go back,” he said hugging her shoulders, avoiding the hard lookthat his wife was now giving him. “Just be quick about it.”

When they finally reached King's Cross station, it was nearly a quarter to eleven. Thecrowd of redheads, and one shaggy black-haired boy, ran to the barrier between platforms nineand ten at top speed.

Percy went through the barrier first, followed by their father, Fred and George. Ginny andher mother came next, and Ron and Harry were to follow behind them.

Ginny's father was helping with the trunks as the last of the students hurried onto theHogwarts Express.

“Oh my little girl is so grown up! Now she's off to Hogwarts!” Ginny's mother cried asshe hugged her daughter tightly.

“Mum, I have to get on the train, it's about to leave!”

“I know, I know. I just don't know what I’m going to do now that you're all off at school!”she said wiping tears away as she straightened Ginny's hair and clothes.

“Mummy,” Ginny said, realizing that she hadn't seen Ron or Harry on the platform."Where’re Ron and Harry?"

“Oh they must already be on the train. We must've missed them.”

The train whistle blew. It was time to leave.

“Goodbye Mummy, I love you! I promise I’ll send loads of owls!” Ginny yelled as thetrain started off.

Ginny's mother waved goodbye and joined her father on the platform trying to stop thetears still rolling down her face.

Ginny walked down the train, giving a sorrowful sigh. She walked along, looking for anempty compartment when she came across a familiar face, Ron and Harry's other best friend,Hermione Granger.

Ginny rapped on the door and waived to her brother's friend. Hermione motioned for herto come inside, and she opened the compartment door.

“Hello Ginny,” Hermione said with a smile. “Have you seen Harry and Ron yet? I savedus all a compartment, but I have no idea where they are.”

Ginny sat down opposite of Hermione, who was reading Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart.

“I haven't seen them since my mum and I came through the barrier to Platform nine andthree-quarters,” she said, trying not to sound worried. “Oh maybe they are just with Fred andGeorge, playing Exploding Snap or something.”

Ginny tried to change the subject so she wouldn't have to think about it. “How is yourbook? I've only thumbed through mine.”

Hermione seemed pleased by this sudden interest in the book. “Oh, it's delightful! I can'tbelieve all the things he has accomplished. He truly is a remarkable wizard!” she said excitedly.

“So tell me Ginny,” Hermione said, putting her book down to engage in conversation."Do you expect you will be sorted into Gryffindor like your brothers?"

“I hope so Hermione,” Ginny said, giving her a weak smile. “I really don't know anyonebut my brothers, except for you and Harry of course.”

Ginny and Hermione talked a great while. Ginny was excited to have someone to talk toother than her brothers. “Ron was lucky to have such a great friend,” she thought. The girls were talking about their families when Percy suddenly poked his head through the door.

“Hello there,” he said to Hermione, before turning to his sister. “Ginny, have you seenRon and Harry?”

“No Perce, we haven't. We were wondering ourselves where they were at not too longago,” Ginny said. Hermione nodded in agreement.

“That's odd. Fred and George haven't seen them either. Did you see them board the train?”

“No—“ Ginny felt her stomach lurch. “They couldn't have missed the train. They wereright behind Mum and me,” she said, starting to bite her lip.

“Well, I’m going to around. I'll let you know if I find them,” Percy said, leaving quickly. Ginny nodded timidly as her brother left the compartment. Hermione only shook her headworriedly.

Ginny and Hermione talked on, but the skies grew dark, and before they knew it, it wastime to change into robes for their arrival at Hogsmeade station.

Ginny got off the train behind Hermione, but she was quickly hurried off with the otherfirst year students.

“See you after the sorting Ginny!” Hermione yelled after her.

As Ginny turned to see where the first year students were being led to, she noticed Percytalking to a huge man, draped in fur, with a long, shaggy brown mane of hair covering his head.Percy saw her as well and walked over.

“So did you find them?” she asked anxiously.

“I'm afraid not.”

Ginny's heart sank at the news.

“I just spoke to Hagrid over there,” Percy said, nodding to the hairy man. “And I sentword with Hermes about their being missing to Professor McGonagall a few hours ago, so she isaware as well. I just hope that they are all right.”

“Me too. I can't imagine what could happened to them,” Ginny said, her stomachtightening harder..

She noticed a camera flash. A small blond haired boy was taking pictures as he lookedaround in awe. “He must be a muggleborn,” she immediately thought.

“Firs' years, firs' years come with me!” Ginny heard Hagrid shout out.

“You go on ahead with Hagrid, Ginny. And I’ll see you after the sorting,” Percy said,patting her on the shoulder.

She boarded the boats and set off across the lake to the castle, as was the tradition for newstudents first arriving at Hogwarts.

“The lights of the castle are quite beautiful in the moonlight,” she said to herself, lookingup at the light from behind one of the towers, as she brought up the rear of the group.

Ginny and the other first years quietly followed Hagrid through a large black tunnel,which led them beneath the castle. They left the boats as Hagrid continued to lead them throughanother series of tunnels on foot until they reached the front lawn of the castle.

“Wait a minute. The moon isn't supposed to be out tonight. And what is that sputteringsound?” she thought, as the light behind the castle seemed to be getting brighter and brighter.And then she almost jumped out of her skin when she realized what it was. Ginny’s eyes widenedin excitement as her father's turquoise Ford Anglia soared toward the castle.

Ginny and the group stopped before they reached the large oak doors to the front of thecastle, which opened and a thin woman wearing emerald green robes stood there to welcomethem. Behind her a sallow faced man, dressed in black, was standing near a great marble staircase.

“Welcome to Hogwarts. Follow me please,” Ginny heard the woman say to the studentsas she led them inside the castle.

“My name is Professor McGonagall. The start of term banquet will begin shortly, and youwill be sorted into your houses. They are: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin,” thewoman said to the small group of first years huddled together in front of another pair of largedoors. “Now please wait here, until we are ready for you.”

Ginny was so relieved that Ron and Harry made it to school, she acted impulsively. Sheran over to the man standing in black, who seemed to be busing himself by grimacing over anissue of the Daily Prophet. She immediately regretted the decision after she spoke to him.

“Excuse me sir, but my brother . . . “

”What are you doing, you silly girl?” he snapped at her with a contemptuous tone. Helooked over her second hand robes with a sneer and said, “Shouldn't you be smartening yourselfup for the sorting ceremony?”

“But my brother Ron! He's here!”

“Ron? Ron Weasley?” he said with a curl of his lip that Ginny could only guess was hisversion of a smile.

“Yes,” she said with a sigh of relief, pointed outside. “He and his friend, Harry Potter arehere. They missed the train,” was thankfully all she blurted out before she remembered that Ronand Harry arriving in an illegal car was probably not the best thing to be telling him.

An even creepier look came over his face. “Very well. Thank you child. I will see to themimmediately. You may join the others now for the sorting,” the man said, nodding at the doors,which were opening. Professor McGonagall had come back.

“We are ready for you now,” Professor McGonagall said.

“Excuse me Professor McGonagall, may I have a word with you before you begin theceremony?” the man in black said, stepping forward from the staircase.

“Yes of course, Professor Snape.”

“Oh no!” Ginny said to herself, wincing from the mistake she made. She knew very wellfrom her brothers about Professor Snape the Potions teacher, and especially how Snape felt aboutHarry and Ron.

Ginny watched intently as Snape pulled McGonagall aside and began talking to her in awhisper. McGonagall shook her head several times, but finally nodded her head in agreement.Without another word, Snape was off like a shot down the opposite hallway.

Riddled with guilt, Ginny entered the great hall and hoped that Snape wouldn't find Ron and Harry.

She could hardly think of anything else during the sorting ceremony (she was sorted intoGryffindor as expected), and throughout the great feast afterwards. Everyone seemed to betalking about the disappearance of Ron and Harry. Even the blond haired boy, Colin Creevey asshe found out his name at the sorting, was asking everyone at the Gryffindor table if they knewHarry, as he wanted to get pictures of him. As soon as she could get away, Ginny raced up to herdorm and pulled out her diary. Soon she was writing frantically about her long day.

“ . . . and once I was sorted into Gryffindor, I told Fred and George what had happened.Of course, everyone was talking about immediately. We had a celebration in the common roomwhen Ron and Harry had arrived, but they both went up to their dorms right away. Really, I’m just so relieved that they didn't get expelled. For a while, they whole Snape fiascoreally frightened me.”

“Well, I am glad for all of you that things worked out the way they did. That Snapecharacter sounds like a rather dodgy sort to me.”

“True Tom. I don't think he cares for those who don’t have much money either. When Ispoke to him, he looked at me as though I were trash. Do you suppose others will think less ofme, just because my parents don't have money?”

“Ginny, you are an exceptional girl. I am sure that you will have no problems makingmany new friends at Hogwarts, regardless of the social or financial status of your family.”

“I hope you’re right, Tom. Ron should be grateful to have friends like Harry andHermione. She is really nice like I said, and for a muggle-born, she has incredible knowledge ofthe wizarding world. Ron is so lucky.”

Do not worry Ginny. I know that you find other students that will befriend you. You willcome to have many close and lasting friendships.”

“I know, I just wish that sometimes Dad made more money. I know it sounds silly, but Ihate having to wear second-hand robes, and use second-hand schoolbooks. Well, at least I stillhave you Tom. I'm so glad I’ve got this diary to confide in, it's wonderful to have such a goodfriend like you, who listens to me.”

Ginny paused a moment. She suddenly felt exhausted. As if she could barely keep hereyes open.

“Well, it's been quite a long day Tom. I think I shall go to bed. Goodnight Tom.”

“Thank you for the kind words, Ginny. I bid you good evening as well.”

Back to index

Chapter 3: Hagrid

Chapter Three: Hagrid

That next Friday afternoon after Herbology, Ginny decided to take a stroll around thelake. After with all the goings-on of the first week of school, she had barely a moment to herself.

She had also barely seen Harry since Ron had gotten his howler the morning after thesorting ceremony. He had tried in vain to stay out of the limelight, but word was all over schoolabout the flying car. Another first year Gryffindor and amateur photographer, Colin Creevey washounding him constantly, wanting to take pictures of him.

Thinking of Harry while she sat alone near the lake made her feel a bit starry- eyed andromantic. She pulled out her diary and quickly jotted down a short poem.

I look into your eyes and blush like a rose,
You never notice, yet my heart has not froze.
My love burns bright, like an untamed wildfire,
For I see who you are, my true hearts desire.

You sometimes look lost, in your eyes I can see,
Not sure that you fit in, so very much like me,
So until the day comes when you can love me entire,
I will wait for you Harry, my true hearts desire.

Ginny sat there sighing with dreamy memories of Harry when the thought occurred to her, “I wonder if he's roaming about the grounds too?”

She closed the diary and got up from the grass. She had decided to walk about thegrounds, near the dark forest. “Who knows, perhaps I’ll bump into him . . . ,” she thought toherself with a grin she could hardly contain.

Ginny knew that one of Harry's greatest friends other than Ron and Hermione, was theHogwarts gamekeeper, Hagrid, who just happened to lived in a small hut just outside the dark forest.

As she neared the hut, she could hear a booming voice coming from the back of the house.

“My, how yeh boys have grown!”

She snuck around the tiny hut and peered around the corner of the house.

Hagrid was watering several enormous pumpkins in his garden behind the house. He wastalking to them, like a father to his children.

“Yer all growin' so big, how hearty yeh'll be . . . “

Ginny crept closer behind one of the bigger pumpkins, which was nearly as big as herself,to get a closer look. But he ground was muddy and wet from the water and suddenly,


Ginny was face down in the mud.

She was mortified, too embarrassed to move. She hoped he hadn't heard her. Maybe if shejust stayed still long enough, she wouldn't notice her.

Suddenly she felt a cold nose combined with hot, slobbering breath beginning to tickleher ear.

“Well, well. What have we got here Fang?”She felt two large hands pull her up out of the mud by the shoulders and turn her around.

“Can I help yeh miss, er—“

”Weasley, Ginny Weasley,” she said with a frown, wiping the mud from her eyes.

“Ah, yer Ron's little sister! I'm Hagrid, but I reckon yeh know that already. Pleasuremeetin' yeh all the same!” the giant man said with a smile Ginny could see in his small black eyes.

Ginny was covered from head to toe in mud. She tried in vain to brush herself off, but shewas soaked with it.

“Would yeh like ter come 'nside and dry yerself off? I'll make yeh a pot o' tea.”

“Really sir, er, Hagrid, that's not necessary.”

“Come now, I insist. Yer soaked to the bone already,” he said firmly.

Ginny suddenly imagined Harry walking down the path to Hagrid's house and seeing hera mess of mud and water. So to avoid the potentially ugly situation, she figured it would be in herbest interest to go inside and clean up. She followed Hagrid quickly through the back door intohis hut.

Hagrid bade her to sit down, and she sat in a oversized chair, nearly big enough to sleepin, with a towel around her shoulders. He had already hung her robe by the fire to dry and washeating the water for tea.

Looking around, she loved Hagrid's house right away. It reminded her so much of theBurrow; so warm and cozy.

“So tell me. How are yeh liking Hogwarts so far?” Hagrid said handing her a hot cup oftea. “Do yeh like your teachers?”

“Yes, I suppose. It's very different from the Burrow, my home. Much more than Iexpected,” she said thoughtfully, sipping her tea. “I really like Professor Lockhart, and ProfessorFlitwick, but Professor Snape is not so nice. I think he's bitter.”

Hagrid chuckled. “I reckoned yeh’d say that. Yer brother says the same about him aswell,” he said with a gleam in his eye. “Yeh, Snape is quite a stickler for the rules, that one-- er, Ishouldn't have said that, he's a teacher after all.”

As he said this, Hagrid's dog, Fang walked over and laid his large head in Ginny’s lap,drooling on her knees. She smiled at him and scratched behind his ears.

Ginny smiled politely, as she decided to change the subject to avoid any awkwardness. “Those are the biggest pumpkins I've ever seen Hagrid. How did you get them to grow so large?”she said nodding towards the garden outside the back door.

Hagrid grinned broadly under his scruffy brown beard. “Well, I had a bit o' help with thatif you catch me drift,” he said, winking at her.

She understood. He must have used a spell on them. "An engorgement charm, right?" Hagrid nodded.

“Well, you've done a fantastic job with them, I must say.”

“Aw, thanks Ginny,” he said, scratching his beard thoughtfully. “Yeh know, yeh neverdid tell me what yeh were doin' round the pumpkin patch anyway?”

Ginny tried to sound as casual about it as she could. “I was just exploring the groundsaround the castle that's all. I heard Harry talking about your house before, and I thought I wouldcheck it out for myself. I didn't mean to intrude, really.”

She thought back to the story Harry told at the Burrow about how Hagrid had come tobring him his Hogwarts acceptance letter. Her face warmed instantly at the thought.

Hagrid noticed the twinkle in her eyes as she spoke of Harry. “I see yeh must think a lotof our boy Harry here then?” he said with a smug look on his face.

Without thinking Ginny blurted out, “Oh yes! I mean he's smart, brave and so loyal to hisfriends. He helped to win the house cup last year, not to mention he’s an amazing Quidditchplayer . . .”

Hagrid sat back in his chair, as she continued to list all of Harry's good points in aseemingly endless list. It didn't take long however, before Ginny realized she’d been rambling on.Immediately, she felt her face get hot.

She tried to cover as best she could. “Well, doesn't everyone think so, I mean, after all, hedid defeat You-know-who.”

“Yeh,” Hagrid chuckled again. “He’s quite a fine boy, tha' he is.”

Completely embarrassed at this point, she tried once again to change the subject. “Er,well, my clothes must be dry by now,” she managed to sputter out, as she got up and checked herrobe by the fireplace. They were still quite damp, but she didn't care. All she could think aboutwas how she just made a fool of herself in front of one of Harry's friends, yet again.

She put on her robes and said politely, “Thank you Hagrid for your help, but I really mustbe going now. I reckon supper will start soon.”

“Yer welcome, Ginny,” he said, smiling beneath his shaggy beard as he escorted her tothe door. “I really enjoyed yer company, but I mus' be gettin' off meself. Still have the chickens tofeed.”

“You have chickens too?” Ginny said, thinking of her dad tripping a few days ago, whichsuddenly made her feel incredibly homesick.

“Oh yeh! Have a coop just over yonder,” Hagrid said, nodding towards a large pen, justpast the garden.

“Well it was a pleasure meeting you, Hagrid. And thanks again!” she said, opening thefront door.

“How 'bout yeh come by for tea in a few weeks? We can talk more about the upcommingQuidditch season,” he said with a wink.

“Sure,” she said, turning pink again. “Bye now,” and she started back towards the castle,still covered in partially dried mud.

Ginny had nearly made it to the common room without anyone seeing her too, but ColinCreevey rounded the corner, camera in hand, startling her. He was about to take a picture.

She stopped dead in her tracks and put her hand out for him to stop.

“Don't even think about it,” she growled at him.

Colin put down his camera, speechless, allowing her to pass by without another word.

* * *

“Dear Tom, I've had the strangest day. First, all the drama with Ron and Hermione, andnow, I think I’m losing my memory. There are rooster feathers all over my robes, and I don'tknow how they got there. I wonder if I haven't begun sleepwalking again. I haven't done it sincePercy left home for Hogwarts. I was so upset about him leaving that I sleepwalked for weeks. ButI can't imagine why I would start up again,” Ginny scrawled quickly, anxious to tell Tom abouther day.

“Perhaps it is because of all the dramatic changes that have occurred in your liferecently. You know, coming to Hogwarts, meeting new people. I know it has not been easy foryou.”

“You are probably right, Tom. It certainly hasn't been easy for me to adjust. I've wanted tocome to Hogwarts practically my whole life, and now that I’m here, it's just not what I expectedit to be. I miss the Burrow more than ever.

A thought crossed Ginny’s mind. “I wonder if I was in Hagrid's chicken coup while I wassleepwalking? I used to play with the chickens at the burrow quite a bit.”

“That must have been what happened. It would make sense anyway. So tell me what elsehappened to you today? There is more than simply sleepwalking on you mind.”

“Oh yes! I nearly forgot poor Ron. First the howler from Mum, and now this. I wascoming upstairs to my dorm room to study, because the common room was far to busy. When Igot upstairs, I found Hermione crying in her room. She looked like she needed someone to talkto, and she has always been really kind to me. When I asked her what had happened, she told methat Draco Malfoy, that mean boy I had told you about, had called her a Mudblood before Harry'sQuidditch practice.”

“What a horrible thing to say!”

“Well, of course she didn't know what it meant at first. Then Ron came to her defense andtried to curse Malfoy with his broken wand or something to that effect, but it backfired and heended up spewing slugs everywhere! Hermione and Harry took him to Hagrid's hut (thatfigures!), but there was really nothing that they could do for him, the poor thing!”

“It was at Hagrid's when Hermione finally found out what a Mudblood meant. She playedit off in front of the boys, and pretended that it really didn't bother her. But after supper, when theboys went off to serve their detention for the car incident, she went up to her room and cried. Ifelt so awful for her when she told me. She said that she hadn't been that upset since Ron hadcalled her a 'nightmare'!”

“When did he say that? I thought you said they were best friends.”

Ginny giggled to herself, as she wrote out the explanation. “This was last year, beforethey became friends. She had shown him up in Charms class, and he was jealous of her. TypicalRon. The dumb clod would rather say something rude than admit when he's wrong.”

Well that was certainly an awful thing to say to Hermione. I know that even in my day,the term Mudblood was an appalling one. But why did she not tell Ron and Harry how she reallyfelt?”

“Believe me Tom, I know this from experience. Boys aren't always the mostcompassionate when you are pouring your heart out, other than you of course. I suppose shewants to appear strong in front of them. I know that Harry wouldn't tease her much about it, butknowing my brother, Ron would just get uncomfortable and say something stupid.”

“That is true for most young men of that age. Some just cannot express their emotionslike girls can

Ginny wasn’t so sure, Harry was never like that. “I guess so. I just feel so bad forHermione. I'm glad I was able to be there for her. She doesn't have any girlfriends to talk to. Hey,I guess we're both in the same boat aren't we?”

“It seems to me Ginny, that you have made yourself a friend, without even realizing it.

“Thanks Tom, I hope you’re right. Well, I’m off to bed. Goodnight!”

Back to index

Chapter 4: Halloween

Chapter Four: Halloween

“Now Ginny, I insist that you take some of the Pepperup Potion that Madam Pomfrey hasbeen handing out!”

“Percy, for the last time leave me alone! I'm not sick!” Ginny shouted at him for whatseemed the hundredth time.

It was only a few days before Halloween. Her brother Percy had been hounding her totake the potion all month, convinced that she had the flu like several of the other students around school.

“But Ginny, you really do look so pale,” he said. “You’re not yourself lately.”

“Fine!” she said irritably, as she plucked the vial of potion from his hand, and drank itbefore she got up from the Gryffindor table and stormed off.

Ginny tried her best to hide this, but Percy was right. She hadn't been herself lately. Shewas constantly feeling tired, and sometimes she forgot things. She was convinced that she hadbegun sleepwalking again, because she would wake up in strange places about the castle,sometimes even outside.

But most of all, Ginny had felt painfully alone. With the exception of Tom, she felt shehad no one to talk to. Often, she would just sit up in her dorm room and cry, but other times shewould write in her diary near the window, making wishes only a girl of eleven would make for herself.

Ginny was feeling more and more like an outcast every day. She was becoming isolatedand unsocial, which was most unlike her. She had always been outgoing and excited to meet newpeople. It wasn't that the other girls in her dorm weren’t kind or nice. Ginny just felt that shedidn't fit in with that happy and giggling crowd, though she couldn't understand why.

And as much as she enjoyed talking to Hermione, who was probably one of her closestschoolmates, outside of family, most of the time she was with Ron and Harry. As much as Ginnywanted to confide in Hermione, she found it difficult somehow. After all, she was one of Harry'sbest friends. What if Hermione were to let slip how Ginny truly felt about Harry. It was the samewith Hagrid, although she suspected that he already knew.

Worst of all, were her brothers. Fred and George often teased her mercilessly when theycaught her occasionally sneaking around Quidditch practice. Percy of course was hounded herfrequently, as though he we their Mum. As for Ron, well, Ron ignored her almost completely,which was most inconvenient, since that meant that Harry usually did too.

As Ginny left the Great Hall, she decided there was only one thing that would make herfeel better. Watching Harry play Quidditch.

She made her way down the west corridor, towards the pitch, and on her way, she cameacross the caretaker’s cat, Mrs. Norris.

Ginny crouched down to pet the gray cat. “Hello Mrs. Norris, and how are you today?”They never had any cats except the wild ones that lived in the fields near the Burrow, but Ginnyalways loved them.

“What do you think you're doing to my cat?” a nasal growl came from behind her. “Noone is allowed to touch her!”

Ginny turned around to see the cat’s owner, Mr. Filch, standing nearby with a brightpurple nose, and a scarf wrapped about his head. He had obviously caught the flu going aroundthe castle.

Ginny gave him a scowl. “I was only petting her, for goodness sake! What's the harm in that?”

Filch eyes widened in anger and he pulled her up by her robes. “I 'ought to give youdetention for talking back!” Ginny looked at him even more defiantly now, standing her ground.

“However, I have work to do, cleaning frog brains in dungeon five. You just watchyourself,” he let go of her, and looked down at Mrs. Norris. “Come along, my sweet. We have amess to clean.”

Ginny watched him walk away giving a great hack into his handkerchief, Mrs. Norristrotting behind him.

Even more irritated now by Filch's rudeness, Ginny stomped out to the Quidditch pitch, tohide behind the bleachers as she usually did, and watch the Gryffindor's practice.

It was a bad idea however, for it had been raining that day, heavier than it had in the lastfew weeks. She ran across the lawn as fast as she could, but she was soaked to the bone by thetime she had got to the bleachers.

She was only able to catch the tail end of practice, which by the looks of it, hadn’t gonewell for the team. It seemed like it was more than the rain that was bothering them. EspeciallyHarry, who at the end of practice, shuffled through the mud into the broomshed, his head loweredin severe disappointment.

Ginny was curious to know what had been troubling him so. He looked as though he wasin great need of comfort. As she waited for them to come out, she began thinking to herself, “You know, it probably wouldn't hurt just to ask him what was wrong. It's not like Ronand Hermione are here to turn to right away. I could just walk up to him casually and ask.But wait, I'm soaking wet too. He would know I had been outside watching him. Er, I could saythat I had just come from visiting Hagrid's house, and I got caught in the rain, that's it!”

“Now, what to say . . . ‘What's wrong Harry?’ No, that sounds completely idiotic! I needto be more subtle than that. How about, ‘Oh hello Harry. Just come from Quidditch practice, Isee. Gee, why so glum? Is every thing all right?’ Brilliant! It's perfect!

Ginny waited patiently as the girls came out first, followed by the twins, and the teamcaptain, Wood. Harry left last, said goodbye to his teammates and started for the castle, coveredin thick mud.

She crept quietly behind him, far enough to hide if he turned around, as she tried tomuster up the courage to talk to him.

But time was running out. She had followed his muddy tracks into the castle. As shefollowed them around a corner into another corridor, she saw that Harry had stopped by theGryffindor House ghost, Nearly Headless Nick, who was floating near a window.

Ginny jumped back to hide, peeking around the corner to watch them. Nearly HeadlessNick had given Harry something to read, a letter. Harry read it, and handed it back to Nick, whowas obviously upset by the letter.

Ginny stay peering around the corner, even more curious now. Suddenly, she heard a loudmeowing coming down the corridor.

“Oh no, Mrs. Norris! Filch is going to see all the mud tracked in by Harry. He'll befurious! I have to warn him!”she thought.

But it was too late. “Filth!” she heard Filch shout hoarsely. She peeked around the corneragain, biting her lip, and watched as Harry waved goodbye to Nick and followed the bittercaretaker down another corridor, no doubt about to give him another detention.

Ginny turned around again and banged her head against the brick wall behind her. “Whata fool I am. I should have taken my chance. If only I had talked to him!” Her thoughts of guilt however, were soon interrupted by a sudden sneeze. “Well, I guess I needed that Pepperup potion after all!” she said to herself as she sulked down the hallway backto the common room.

* * *

Halloween was soon upon Hogwarts, and the wonderful smells of that evenings annualfeast filled the hallways.

Ginny thought that the feast was also another excellent opportunity to try and talk toHarry.

She began primping about an hour before dinner. She decided that she was not about tolook like an average, disheveled-looking Weasley tonight. She smartened herself up as best shecould, debating which hair clip would look best in her hair, while also thinking of witty things tosay in conversation.

As Ginny entered the Great Hall for the feast, her eyes were immediately drawn to theenormous pumpkins that Hagrid had recently carved into jack-o-lanterns. It had been a fewweeks since she had been to visit him, but she had sworn that they had doubled in size since then. She giggled to herself in anticipation as she sat down at the table, waving to Hagrid, whowas sitting at the end of the hall with the rest of the professors.

Ginny looked up at the enchanted ceiling, and was surprised to see that for the first timein several days, it had stopped raining. It was still cloudy, but the clouds reflected the light of thehundreds of floating candles above them, making the Hall seem even more warm and invitingthat she had ever seen it.

She sat near George at the Gryffindor table. He and Fred were talking to their friend, LeeJordan, reminiscing about the salamander they had fed one of Fred's Fillibuster Fireworks to afew days before.

Ginny poured a glass of pumpkin juice and tapped her laughing brother on the shoulder.“Hey, where’s Ron?”

“He went with Harry to Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party. But if you ask me, he'smissing out on a fantastic feast!” George looked at her, sizing her up. He finally gave her a slysmile. “Were you looking forward to seeing a certain someone tonight?”

“None of your business!” she said shortly.

In fact, Ginny was completely disappointed, although she tried not to let it show. “A Deathday Party! Who would want to go to that?” she said to herself, as she pickedher way through her dinner.

After dinner, live bats could be seen fluttering across the Great Hall. Once again, herplans completely dashed for the evening, Ginny decided not to stay for desert. She stood up fromthe table, watching the students dive into pumpkin pasties and treacle pudding, along withvarious other cakes and pies.

“Where are you going Ginny?” Percy asked as she got up from the table. “Are you stillsick?”

Ginny rolled her eyes and kept on walking.

Back in her room, Ginny wrote furiously in the diary, not even pausing for a responsefrom Tom Riddle. She rambled on and on, purging her emotions.

“I give up Tom! Why can't things ever work out for me?! . . . All my brothers do is houndme, tease me, or ignore me entirely! . . . I'm so tired of not having any friends to really confide in,I don't understand what's wrong with me! . . . Most of all, I’m sick of loving someone who hardlyacknowledges who I am! . . .”

By the time Ginny finished writing, she felt much better, having released most of hertension. As she waited for Tom to reply, a soothing warmth came over her, numbing her body,and she almost instantly fell into a deep sleep.

She began to dream. A vague, but a curious dream. She could feel her body get up fromher bed, but she was now somehow detached from it, still remaining in the blanket of warmthand numbness.

She could see light and shapes around her, but everything seemed like a distant blur. Shefelt her bare feet against the cool, stone floor. She felt herself walking, walking down a darkcorridor, it seemed like forever until she entered another room. She could barely make out arefection of herself. Was she looking in a mirror?

She suddenly began talking to her reflection, but it sounded like gibberish. Her reflectiondisappeared, yet she continued to speak strangely, unable to understand what she was saying. Sheleft the room, and was writing in the diary again, only now her quill seemed enormous. She finished writing and put down the quill. She began running. She felt frightened now, and shewas becoming consumed in a blur of red and green . . .

And with a start, Ginny woke up.

Back to index

Chapter 5: The First Attack

Chapter Five: The First Attack

Ginny sat up from the floor and looked around. She was in a deserted corridor not too farfrom the entrance to Gryffindor tower.

By the dim light in the corridor, Ginny could tell that it was late. Either late evening, orearly in the morning. She expected Mrs. Norris to come slinking around the corner at anymoment, with Mr. Filch no doubt behind her, ready to catch her out of her dorm at such an oddhour, but the halls of the castle were eerily quiet.

When she stood up and brushed herself off, she noticed that her clothes were covered inpartially dried paint, dark red, by the looks of it. And when in shimmered in the light, it almostlooked like blood.

Sickened by the sight of it, Ginny tore off her cloak in horror and threw it on the floor.She realized that she must have been sleepwalking again, but the paint on her clothes frightenedher a great deal.

The thought of being caught here in such a state of disarray crept back in to her mind. Shepicked the cloak up off the floor and folded it up again, doing her best not to get paint on her,although it had already seeped through her cloak onto her clothes. She swiftly made her way tothe portrait hole.

“Wattlebird,” she said breathlessly to the portrait of the Fat Lady. The painting opened upand she crept quietly into the common room.

Continuing to move quietly, Ginny darted up the stairs to the girls’ dorm. She grabbed achange of clothes from her room, and tiptoed to the girls’ dorm bathrooms. At first, Ginny tried to rinse the paint from her clothes, but to no avail. The paintcontinued to shimmer on through her cloak and clothes.

She washed up and snuck back into her dorm room again. Quietly, she hid the paint-covered clothes in her trunk and slipped back into her bed. Left alone to her thoughts of curioussleepwalking adventures, she drifted back to sleep, waiting for the morning to come.

* * *

Ginny slept later than she meant to. When she came downstairs into the common room,several students coming back from breakfast were talking excitedly about an 'attack'.

Unnerved, she rushed to the Great Hall, in hopes that she would catch Fred and Georgebefore they finished breakfast. She had just missed them. Still curious about this so-called'attack', she asked the first person she saw, Colin Creevey.

“Good morning Colin. What’s going on around here? What's this I hear about an attack?”she said, sitting down at the table next to him.

“You don't know? Where have you been?”

“I went to bed early last night, okay?” she said hurriedly, grabbing for some cold toast.“Now are you going to tell me or what?”

“Oh yes, of course! Well, the caretaker's cat, Mrs. Norris, was petrified!”

Ginny gasped. “What? How?”

Colin went on, “Well it seems that Harry Potter found her hanging from a torchlight onthe second floor, near the girls' toilets. Everyone was coming back upstairs from the feast whenthey found him, your brother Ron and Hermione Granger there at the scene. Everyone thinks hedid it, the other professors even took them away for questioning about the incident.”

Ginny's stomach lurched at the thought of Harry in trouble. He'd been in enough troublethis term already. Her hands began to tremble as she reached for the pitcher of milk in front ofher.

“He didn't really do it did he?” Ginny asked nervously as she finished pouring her milk. “Imean, they don't know who did it really, do they?”

“Well I for one don't think he did it,” Colin assured her. “I mean it just doesn't make anysense. He would have never written that stuff on the wall.”

“What stuff on the wall?”

“Oh yeah,” Colin reminded himself. “Near Mrs. Norris' body, there were words paintedon the wall. A threat of some kind.”

Ginny lost control of the glass in her hand, spilling milk all over the table.

“Painted on the wall? Are you sure, Colin?”

“You can go see for yourself. I think it's still there,” he said, handing her a napkin. “Mr.Filch has been pacing there all night, he might not let you near it. I hear he's very upset.”

“Thanks Colin,” Ginny said wiping up the remainder of the milk on herself and the table.“I'd best be off. See ya!”

Ginny bolted up the stairs to the second floor, her stomach in knots. As she rounded thecorner into the corridor, she saw no trace of Filch. The only light came from the windows fardown the hall, making it difficult to see.

As she neared the wall, her stomach gave a lurch as she read the shimmering words onthe wall...


Ginny's knees buckled and she felt weak from nausea. She ran to the bathroom nearby,and, disregarding the out-of-order sign, she shoved open the door. She barely made it to thenearest stall.

Feeling some relief, after having her breakfast come back up, she went to the sinks toclean herself. She splashed some water on her face, patting it dry with a towel. As she did this,she glanced at herself in the mirror. She suddenly had the strangest feeling of deja vu, though shecouldn't figure out what it was that was so familiar. It was odd, because she couldn’t rememberever being in the bathroom before.

She poked her head out the bathroom door, making sure that no one, especially Filch, wascoming down the corridor, and sprinted back to Gryffindor tower.

Ginny searched frantically through her room for her diary, but she couldn't rememberwhere she had left it. She thought to herself, “Oh no, I can’t have lost it! Okay, wait, calm downand think- when was the last time I was writing in it? Last night, before I fell asleep, I was wrotein it.”

She checked on and around her bed. Nothing. “Odd, when I woke up and came back tothe room this morning, I didn't notice it being here on the bed.

A light clicked on abruptly inside her head. She stumbled to her trunk, rummaging to thebottom for her paint-smeared robe. Sighing with relief, Ginny pulled the diary from the inside pocket.

“Must've taken it when I was sleepwalking,” she thought.

She knew that she was in no state to be amongst people at the moment, but in her heart,she had to know if Ron, Hermione and Harry were okay.

She went back downstairs, took a chair in a secluded corner of the common room, andbegan writing in the diary.

“Dear Tom, I don't know what I’m going to do! I think my sleepwalking has seriouslybecome out of control!”

Tom’s concerned words flashed upon the page. “What has happened Ginny?” “Well, I don't know where I was Halloween night, but a cat was attacked, and I have paintall down my front. When I went to look at the scene of the attack, I saw that there was writing allover the wall in red paint!” she scrawled quickly. “Even worse, they caught Harry, Ron andHermione at the scene, and I’m afraid they may be expelled! Especially Harry, since it wasFilch's cat who was attacked, and Filch has it in for Harry as it is!”

Her words faded as quickly as Tom’s elegant handwriting appeared. “Do you believe thatyou are the one who wrote on the wall? “I don't think so. I couldn't have. Oh Tom, I just don't know! I could have just as wellrubbed up against the wall while I was sleepwalking. But what if I saw who did it while I wassleepwalking, and didn't really see them! Even worse, what if I did have something to do with it,and someone found out. I wish I knew for sure,” Ginny wrote.

“Ginny, it is most likely that you merely brushed up against the wall. But I would becautious, you do not know if anyone saw you or not. I think for now, it is best that you do notmention it to anyone. At least until you know for sure what happened. But for now, tell me moreabout the attack. Do you remember anything?

“No, I can't remember anything,” she thought back to herself as she wrote down thewords, “I had a dream, but it's a vague memory. It's horrible, really. Mrs. Norris was petrified!She was found like I said, near the girls' toilet—“

“Hey Gin, whatcha up to?”

Ginny snapped the diary shut, and looked up at her brother. Ron, was standing over herwith his usual smirk on his face.

Instantly, she looked around, put at ease at the sight of Harry and Hermione talking tosome fellow Gryffindors on the other side of the room. She looked to Ron again. “I heard aboutlast night. Are you all right? I mean I heard you got into trouble, I was worried,” she said quickly,trying to stay as calm as possible.

“We're fine Ginny. There’s no need to worry, honestly! You should hear yourself, yousound like Mum!” Ron said, laughing.

Ginny gave him an annoyed look. “What were you doing there anyways? Where were youlast night?” she asked, pretending not to know.

Ron explained to her about their adventures at the Deathday Party, and how they foundMrs. Norris as they were hoping to join the tail end of the feast. But as he explained this to her,Ginny noticed that Ron looked slightly nervous himself, as though he were not telling her theentire story or was unsure of what he should be telling her.

She wanted to tell Ron about waking up in the hallway and her strange dream. But in theend, she took Tom’s words to heart, and said nothing. Afraid of what Ron would think of her ifshe did.

Continuing to console her as best he could, Ron even tried to make a joke of the situation,but inside, Ginny still felt horrible, not knowing for sure if she was the one to blame or not.

Back to index

Chapter 6: Slytherin VS. Gryffindor

Chapter Six: Slytherin Vs. Gryffindor

The weather was still rather dreary outside for the first Quidditch match of the season,Slytherin vs. Gryffindor.

Ginny had joined Ron and Hermione in the bleachers; good seats at the edge of thestands, at Hermione’s request. “I don’t think that Pepperup potion is working too well, perhapssome fresh air will do you some good.”

Hermione was right, a week had passed since the attack, and it was the first time that shehad felt halfway decent. And she was grateful to Hermione for wanting to include her.

But for Ginny, the best part of her day was this earlier this morning. She had finallymustered up enough courage to wish Harry luck in the match at breakfast. He had simply thankedher and gave her a smile, but it had meant the world to Ginny, making her feel better than anypotion ever could.

Ginny smiled to herself at the thought as the balls were released onto the pitch. She couldhear the mad clicking of Colin’s camera not too far away from her.

She continued to watch Harry, who now appeared to be talking to Malfoy. She thoughtthat Malfoy was no doubt insulting Harry somehow. But suddenly, the pair of Quidditch playerswere interrupted by a Bludger whipping past Harry’s head.

“Whoa! That was a close one!” Ron said to Hermione, who had also seen the near miss.

George pelted the Bludger away from Harry, but it turned around back towards Harry,barely missing his head again.

Ginny watched Harry, her teeth gritted, as he tried to outrun the Bludger at the other endof the pitch. She knew instantly, that something had gone terribly wrong.

She was relieved momentarily as Fred hit the Bludger away before it had caught up toHarry again.

Colin had now made his way up to the front of the stands, continuing to take picturesshouting, “What a great shot!” as he leaned over for a better one.

Meanwhile, the Slytherins were scoring left and right. Now that Fred and George wereflying close to protect him, Angelina, Katie and Alicia were having trouble keeping the otherBludger at bay. The scoreboard now read Slytherin 60, Gryffindor 0.

Ginny’s jaw clenched even harder as it began to rain, making the visibility even worse forthe team. She could make out Harry, and could see that he was constantly wiping the rain awayfrom his glasses, in a vain attempt to keep it from impairing his vision.

“Ron, I don’t believe that Bludger is supposed to do that,” Hermione asked, with concernin her voice.

And then Ron saw it too.

“You’re right, Hermione,” he said slowly, not taking his eyes off his friend. “There’ssomething not right about that Bludger.”

While Ron and Hermione discussed the obviously troublesome Bludger, Ginny sighedagain in relief as George finally signaled to Wood, the Gryffindor team captain to call for a timeout. A most surprising act, considering the compeditiveness of the Gryffindors and the Slytherins“George will do the right thing, and ask Wood for a forfeit, I know it,” she told herself, knowingher brother wouldn’t allow any harm come to Harry if he could help it.

“Why is that Bludger after Harry in the first place?” Hermione asked Ron.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Malfoy who cursed that ruddy thing,” Ron said with asneer. “He would do anything to take Harry out of the game.”

Ginny peered once again out onto the pitch, shielding her eyes from the rain with herhand. But the Gryffindor team had not left the pitch as she expected. Instead, Wood had signaledto Madam Hooch, the referee, to begin the game again. She saw as Harry mount his broomstickand zoom back out into the pitch, looking more determined than ever, while Fred and Georgeshook their heads in helplessness.

“Are they mad?” Ginny shouted angrily, causing Ron and Hermione to turn around.“They can’t let him back out onto the pitch! That thing’ll kill him!”

“What?” Ron said.

“Look!” Ginny said to them, pointing at the team, now rising back into the air.

Like before, the Bludger was once again chasing after Harry, but Fred and George werenot protecting him as they had previously. He began zigzagging about like a madman,desperately trying to outrun it. Ginny could hear the crowd around her laughing at him.

“Ron, Ginny’s right, that Bludger will kill him if we don’t figure out a way to stop thisgame quickly,” Hermione said. “We have to do something!”

“Okay, Hermione and I will go find some help. Ginny, you stay here--Ginny?”

But she was already gone.

Ginny ran down the bleacher stairs as quickly as she could, searching for Hagrid, the onlyperson she could think of with enough sense to help her protect Harry before his head was bashedin.

She stood at the end of the stairs and looked up into the crowd. Hagrid was sitting in thenext section over, waving a red and gold flag. She tried shouting to him, but there was no point.The cheers from the crowd simply drowned her out.

She scanned the pitch again for Harry. Again he had stopped for a moment, just metersaway from Malfoy.

“Why has he stopped?” she thought. “The Bludger is heading straight for him. Harry,NO!

But Harry couldn’t hear her screams over the crowd of cheering and shouting of fans.The Bludger hit him hard in the elbow, almost knocking him from his broomstick.

Ginny wiped the rain from her face as she watched Harry dangle from his broom, armhanging uselessly at his side. Incredibly, she saw him somehow right himself on his broom, andeven more miraculously, dive towards Malfoy.

“What on earth is he doing?” she wondered as she made her way through the crowd tothe pitch, nearly running into a large jade green cloak underneath a gold umbrella.

“Pardon me, Miss Weasley,” said Professor Lockhart, a gleaming smile on his face. “Youseem to be in a bit of a hurry. Tell me, what’s the trouble?”

Ginny gave him an irritated look. Ron had told her all about the episode with the CornishPixies and she was well aware of Professor Lockhart’s so-called ‘abilities’. “Well is it notcompletely obvious that Harry has been injured and that I’m looking for someone to help him?”

“Well then, you’ve run into the right person. I can help Mr. Potter with whatever may beailing him.”

But Ginny simply ignored him. She saw Harry hit the ground hard, rolling off of hisbroomstick.

“Harry—“ she said softly, as she watched him pass out on the muddy lawn. His hand wasclutched around a small gleam of gold.

Madam Hooch blew her whistle. “Potter has the Snitch! Gryffindor wins!” she shouted.The crowd erupted in a roar of cheers and whistles.

Ginny ran as fast as her legs could carry her to the other end of the pitch, leaving abewildered Lockhart still in the stands. At that moment, she didn’t care if anyone saw her, or ifthey knew her feelings about Harry. All she wanted was to help him. And even through the chillyrain, she could feel the warm tears that were beginning to fall down her face.

She knelt down at Harry’s side. “Harry–please be all right–please,” she said trying togently shake him awake.

“Ginny! Look out!”

She glanced upwards to see Ron and Hermione racing across the field with Hagrid,bounding behind them shouting. “The Bludger Ginny! It’s comin’ at yeh!”

Ginny turned around on her knees to see the crazy Bludger only a few meters away. Sheducked down, her small frame shielding Harry from the ball. A great gust of wind blew over herand Harry, and she heard a familiar ‘clack’ of a beating club against the hard ball.

She raised her head, only slightly to see the back of her brother, Fred as he knocked theBludger to George, who had caught it, and was now trying desperately to wrangle the ball backinto the trunk.

She heard a slight moan from beneath her. Harry was beginning to stir. Sighing withrelief, Ginny brushed the wet hair from his forehead.

“Harry? Harry?”

“Ginny, are you nutters?” Ron yelled at her, falling to his knees on Harry’s other side.“You could have been killed!”

Ginny wiped the rain and tears from her face. “And you say that I sound like Mum?” shesaid with a sarcastic tone to her voice.

“Is he all right?” asked Hermione.

“Yes, I think so,” Ginny said. “His arm is broken though.”

“I can take care of that Miss Weasley,” Professor Lockhart said, forcing her aside. “I’vemended the bones of hundreds of wizards.”

Hermione’s eyes lit up. “Oh, Professor Lockhart! We’re so glad you’re here. Can youreally help him?”

“But of course I can,” he said, brandishing his most winning smile, “Now if you willplease stand aside for a moment,”

Ginny tried to push her way back to Harry, but swarms of people were now all aroundhim, pushing her further away.

Again she saw the familiar flashing of Colin Creevey’s camera behind her.

“Colin, why can’t you just leave him alone for once!” she shouted angrily, but Ginny, andher shouts, were quickly ignored and forgotten by the horde of people now surrounding Harry onthe pitch.

* * *

“... Tom, I just don’t understand how they could have so easily pushed me aside like that!It’s so unfair! Even Colin Creevey, who only wanted his photographs, was able to worm his waythrough the crowd to him. All I wanted was to be there for him, and I couldn’t even do that!”Ginny wrote in the diary, nearly breaking the tip of her quill out of anger.

“Colin Creevey! What does he know about Harry anyway? He’s a Muggleborn! He didn’teven know about Harry until he came here to Hogwarts. He just sees him as the great hero thatdefeated You-know-who, just like everyone else. Why can’t he just leave him be? Harry doesn’twant to be famous. I see how Harry cringes every time Colin comes near him. He doesn’t wantthat. He never did. Nobody sees Harry like I do, as the truly wonderful person he is. All they cansee is the savior of the wizarding world, and he can’t even recall doing it!”

Ginny, I know it’s not always easy to understand, but some people need someone to lookup to, to inspire them, or to make them feel special, like Harry. Colin may not see everything thatyou see in Harry, but he can see at least one or two honorable traits in him. Why else would heidolize him so much.” Tom responded.

Ginny huffed in frustration and wrote, “Yes Tom, I suppose you’re right. I guess I justwish that Harry would notice me for who I am too, not just Ron’s silly little sister. At least Iknow I always have you to turn to and listen to me when I really need it. No ones ever understoodme like you do, Tom. Well, it’s been a long day. I think I will turn in early this evening. Thanksagain for listening to me Tom.”

Thank you Ginny for turning to me for support. I’ve never felt more fulfilled. Goodnight,and sleep well my dear girl.

Ginny closed the diary, again overcome with the soothing warmth that came from talkingto Tom and always made her feel better. She slipped the diary underneath her pillow and fell intoanother deep sleep.

As Ginny slept, she fell yet again into another peculiar dream. Still blanketed in thewarmth that seemed to blur her dreams, she walked down another dark corridor. Though thistime she was following someone. She tried to make out the figure before her as they beckonedher to follow them. He seemed to look very much like Harry; gangly, with dark hair. Only he wastaller. Older than Harry was now.

She followed him into the room with her reflection again. He whispered into her ear,telling her something important it seemed, but she couldn’t hear him. She tried to tell him, butshe began talking in gibberish like before.

The older Harry beckoned her to follow him again. She followed him down anothercorridor. Suddenly, she saw him leading her towards a great flashing light at the end of thecorridor. She ran to see where the light was coming from. She could make out the silhouette of asmall blond boy holding a camera. She knew it had to be Colin. She found Harry there as well,but Colin wanted to take his picture. The flashes from his camera began to fade Harry’s imageuntil he completely disappeared. She screamed at Colin to stop, but her words again came out asgibberish. Another flash of light, and Colin vanished as well.

A very upset Ginny ran back down the corridor, searching for Harry and running from theflashes of light which seemed to remain, even though Colin was gone. She felt herself begin tofade away into the flashes of light, felt her very soul being taken away . . .

Ginny woke suddenly in the common room on the sofa, the diary open next to her. Shelooked at the clock on the wall. It read three thirty in the morning.

Thankful that she had not wandered too far in her sleep, she made her way upstairs to herdorm and crawled back into bed. The disturbing dream was still fresh in her mind though, and ittook some time before she was able to fall back asleep again.

Back to index

Chapter 7: Guilty Secrets

Chapter Seven: Guilty Secrets

After a restless night, Ginny finally got out of bed, eager to find out any new information about Harry’s health from Ron and Hermione, though she was still a bit mad at them. A few of the girls in her dorm were still asleep, so she quietly pulled on a skirt and a Weasley jumper, pulled her hair back in a sloppy ponytail and tiptoed towards the common room.

She found Hermione downstairs in a quiet corner of the common room reading a book. She was apparently waiting for Ron, who had obviously slept in like most of the students in Gryffindor Tower that Sunday morning.

“Good morning, Ginny,” Hermione said brightly.

“Morning,” Ginny said flatly. Allowing your friend to be pushed out of a crowd when they were only trying to help another friend, still did not sit well with her.

Hermione noted Ginny’s mood and tried a different approach. “What you did yesterday, it was very brave you know.”

“What do you mean?”

“Trying to protect Harry like that.”

“Oh—it was nothing,” Ginny said, a bit thrown off, not knowing how to take the sudden compliment.

“Honestly Ginny, you don’t give yourself credit sometimes,” Hermione said, sounding very much like Ginny’s Mum. “You could have very well been lying next to Harry in the hospital wing right now too.”

Ginny pushed the lovely, but rather distracting thought from her mind. She still wanted to be mad, but Hermione seemed to have a point . . .

“I know Hermione,” she said, suddenly fighting off tears. “But it really hurt me that you and Ron forgot about me in the crowd. I couldn’t fight them, and they pushed me away from you all.”

Hermione, realizing her error, shut her book, and stood up from her chair to comfort her friend, putting an arm around her shoulder. “Oh Ginny, I’m so sorry. We never meant for that to happen. You knew something was wrong right away, and you tried to help him the best way you could.”

Ginny couldn’t help the tears now. All her emotions that had been building up over the last week, now sought release. “He was so helpless, and no one would help him. He was nearly killed,” she said, beginning to sob into Hermione’s shoulder.

“But he’s all right now,” Hermione said, patting her on the back.

Ginny looked up at her, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Really? He’s okay?”

“Yes, of course,” Hermione said, handing her a handkerchief to help dry her eyes. “He broke his arm, but mostly, he was just worried about the fixed Bludger. He had to regrow the bones in his arm, due to a minor accident on Professor Lockhart’s part, but he will probably be out of the hospital wing after breakfast.”

“Good,” Ginny said hopefully, dabbing her eyes. “I’m sorry I got so worked up about it, Hermione. I just don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.”

“Good morning, girls!” Ron said as he approached them.

He noticed Ginny wiping her eyes with Hermione’s handkerchief. “Is everything all right?”

“Yes, we’re fine Ron,” Hermione said, pretending not to notice, and started pushing towards the portrait hole as a distraction. “Are you ready for breakfast?”

“Starved!” he said eagerly, giving Ginny a sideways look. “Are you comin’ Gin?”

Ginny sniffed away the rest of her tears and gave him a faint smile. “Yeah.”

On their way to the Great Hall, Ron was telling Ginny of his theory that Malfoy was behind the mad Bludger, when Hermione suddenly stopped behind them in front a classroom door.

“Hermione, what are you doing?” Ron said, turning around, but almost instantly, Hermione raised her finger to her lips, to silence him, and with the other hand, motioning them to come closer.

Ginny and Ron looked at each other, shrugging in confusion. They stepped quietly near the opposite side of the door where Hermione was listening. It seemed to be a private conversation between Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick.

“Oh dear, another attack?” Flitwick said in a gasp that sounded more like a squeak.

“Yes, I found him myself on the stairs near the hospital wing. Albus and I agree he was most likely on his way to visit Potter.”

“Who was it again?”

Hermione and Ron looked at each other with wide eyes, while Ginny just stood there motionless against the brick wall next to her brother, unable to breathe. Hoping against hope, but knowing deep down the answer Professor McGonagall’s was about to give . . .

“It was young Colin Creevey.”

* * *

“Poor Colin. I can’t believe it’s happened again so soon,” Hermione said, spreading marmalade on her toast.

Ron nodded to Malfoy who was sitting at the Slytherin House table. “Look at him,” he said with disgust. “Pretending like he didn’t even know what he did. I ‘ought to go and petrify him for good, right Gin?”

But Ginny didn’t answer. She felt as petrified as Colin probably was, not to mention the tremendous guilt over the fact that she had very likely something to do with it. It killed her inside that she could have done this to him, though she couldn’t explain how. Her strange dream the night before was her only clue. Either it was Harry Potter who had helped her do it, or someone who she didn’t even know who looked remarkably like him

Ron and Hermione however both seemed in quite a hurry to finish their breakfast.

“Well Ron, we should get along to the library now,” Hermione said.

“Library! Is that all can think about at a time like—OW!”

Hermione gave Ron a tense glare. “Yes, the library. But first, I have to stop at the bathroom.”

“Oh, okay, “ Ron seemed to finally understand Hermione’s hints. “We’d best be off then.”

Ginny finally spoke. “Aren’t you going to visit Harry this morning?” she asked innocently, though she knew they were obviously up to something.

“No, we really have to get to the library,” Ron said, rubbing his leg beneath the table. “Why don’t you visit him? You can tell him all about yesterday.”

“What’s to tell?” she thought bitterly. “But then again, I could possibly get some information out of him about last night.”

“All right,” she said.

* * *

Ginny had no idea what she was going to say to him. Although she had made several attempts, she had never actually had a normal conversation with him. But she had to know; she couldn’t live with the guilt. She would just have to suck it up and talk to him.

“Excuse me Madame Pomfrey, may I see Harry?” she asked, poking her head through the doorway.

Madame Pomfrey got up quickly trying to block the door. “I’m sorry Miss Weasley, but he has already left this morning. I believe he said he was on his way back to Gryffindor Tower.”

“Oh,” Ginny said, trying not to sound too disappointed.

But at that moment, all thoughts of talking to Harry were washed away as she saw the silhouette of a body lying on a bed behind the curtains. She stared wide eyed, rigid as the body before her, and before long, her knees began to give and waves of nausea flowed over her. Unable to bear it any longer, she simply passed out.

Ginny opened her eyes to Madame Pomfrey hovering above her.

“It’s all right dear,” Pomfrey said in a comforting tone. “You just fainted.”

Ginny sat up from the floor. “I’m sorry. I guess I just didn’t eat enough breakfast or something.”

Pomfrey gave her a disapproving look. “Perhaps you need some Pepperup potion. I’ll go fetch you some.” She returned and handed her the bottle. “Now I want you to take this at least twice daily, with some food.”

“I’m all right, honest,” Ginny said, trying to avoid looking at the curtain again as she brushed herself off, but took the bottle anyway. “I think I’ll go back to my room now.”

Ginny ran. She ran as hard as she could through the halls, outside through the gardens, and to the lake, where she couldn’t go any further.

Warm tears streaked her face as she chucked the Pepperup potion into the lake. She screamed loudly in anger and frustration. “What have I done?” she said over and over to herself. >“How could I have done this?”

She cried a while longer before she was able to calm down, walking along the banks of the great lake. Before long, she found herself walking towards the tiny hut that rested outside of the Forbidden Forest. She rapped lightly on the door.

Hagrid opened his door, his eyes nearly as red as her own.

“Hullo Ginny,” he said pleasantly surprised, as he wiped his eyes.

“Hagrid, is everything all right?” she said to him, genuinely concerned, and forgetting her own woes for the moment.

“Oh, I’m alright. Would yeh like to come in?”

“Are you sure I’m not interrupting anything?”

“‘Course not.” he said, a smile beginning to warm up his bearded face. “I’ll make us some tea.”

As Ginny sat at the scrubbed wood table, she noticed a large book, with the Hogwarts crest upon it.

“What’s this Hagrid?” she said curiously, picking up the book.

“Oh, that’s me old yearbook,” Hagrid said. “From me third year.”

“How wonderful!” she said, immediately flipping through the pages of students, most of them grinning madly back at her. Some of the girls were primping and preening, while the boys tried to look cool. A few boys reminded her of her own pictures of Fred and George at home, if which they tried to make rabbit ears behind the students in other pictures.

“How long has it been since you were in school anyway?” she asked, as Hagrid sat down, handing her a cup of tea.

Hagrid sat back a moment and thought back, “I’d say ‘bout fifty years or so.”

Ginny sat flipping through the book over and over, completely enthralled. She wondered what was the significance of his third year, and why it seemed to make him so sad. She thought it best not to ask him as he sighed deeply, gazing at the book with a overwhelming sadness in his dark eyes.

Hagrid had got up again for another cup of tea while she began thumbing through the fifth years. She turned the page and was struck immediately by a young man’s picture. One which seemed to demand attention. He had dark wavy hair, and penetrating blue eyes. She looked at the name beneath the picture,

Tom Marvolo Riddle
Slytherin House, Prefect

She couldn’t believe it. It was Tom himself. She often wondered what Tom looked like, but she never imagined that he was so captivating, and quite handsome to boot.

Instantly questions popped into her mind about Tom to ask Hagrid, but she couldn’t risk revealing her knowledge of him without having to explain the diary. Instead she opted for another approach.

“Hagrid, who is this? This, Tom Riddle?” she said, pointing to the picture.

Hagrid, who was taking a rather large sip of tea, nearly choked at the question. “Tom Riddle did yeh say?” he coughed.

“Yes,” Ginny said eagerly. “He looks very interesting. Did you know him?”

“Yeh, I’m afraid.” Hagrid said mournfully. “He’s the reason I was expelled in me third year.”

Ginny gasped. “Expelled?”

Hagrid winced, realizing that he had said something that he shouldn’t have. “It’s a long story. Sorry, but I don’t wish to share it righ’ now if yeh don’t mind,” he said with a nervous tone to his voice.

Looking for a diversion as Ginny reached for her cup of tea, he finally said. “Blimey, look at the time! I’m sorry Ginny, but I gotta tend to the chickens. Somethin’ has been killin’ all the roosters.”

It was now Ginny’s turn to choke.

“The roosters,” she coughed, looking horrified. “They’re being killed?”

“Yes, I can’t figure out how, but its happenin’,” he said, handing her a napkin. “Now, I mus’ insist that yeh go Ginny. We’ll talk a bit later.”

“Yes, you’re right. I should go,” Ginny said, beginning to tremble as she got up from the table.

In her frustration Ginny cried to herself in her room for the rest of the afternoon. She had seen Colin nearly every day, sitting next to him in her Charms class. How could she have allowed this to happen? And now the roosters were being killed too? Was she responsible for that as well?

The only consolation she could think to find was to write in the diary to Tom.

“Dear Tom, Something awful has happened. There’s been another attack. This time it was Colin Creevey. I know I was sleepwalking again, because I woke up in the common room early this morning. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know where I was.”

“Ginny, just because you were sleepwalking does not mean that you had anything to do with the attack on Colin. I am sure that you had nothing to do with it,” Tom consoled.

“But Tom, I had a dream last night, about Colin. I might have seen it happen! I know that I had something to do with it. I just don’t know how.”

“Do you honestly believe that you would have intentionally harmed him? That you have single-handedly opened the Chamber of Secrets and unleashed a terrible monster on the school that you love so much?”

“Tom has a point,”
Ginny thought. “How could I possibly be the Heir of Slytherin? I must be going mad.”

“You’re right Tom. I would never want to harm anyone. But someone else was there in my dream. I think it was Harry, it looked like him, though I couldn’t see his face. I can’t imagine what would happen if he were responsible. I would lose him forever.”

“You said that Harry was hospitalized. It could not have been him. But Ginny, with these dreams you keep having, I fear for your safety more than ever. It is time that I reveal to you something about my past.”

Ginny was a bit taken aback by Tom’s last entry. It’s true that he never really talked about himself as much as she did, after all, it was a diary. But all she knew of him was that he had gone to Hogwarts long ago, he mentioned being a school prefect like Percy, and he was an orphan, like Harry. The fact that he wanted to share something of himself, seemed very important, and this intrigued her.

“What is it Tom?”

“It was fifty years ago when the chamber was last opened, which led to the killing a young girl. It was another student who opened the Chamber of Secrets and released the monster. I know this because I was the one who caught him.”

Back to index

Chapter 8: Truths Revealed

Chapter Eight: Truths Revealed

“Oh Tom, you really are amazing! Who was it? How did you capture them?” Ginny wrote quickly, anxious to know more of the story.

“It was really quite by accident. It was right after the killing of the young girl.” Tom wrote back to her just as quickly, as if he were just as anxious to tell her. “She was a Muggle-born student in my own year, my own house, and it affected me greatly.

“I had just finished a conversation with the Transfiguration teacher, Professor Dumbledore. He had told me that they were going to close the school. As I went back to my dorm, I noticed another student walking about in the halls. As a school Prefect, naturally I followed him to make sure that he made it back to his dorm all right. But he did not go back to his dorm, instead he made his way to the dungeons. He was keeping the monster down there.

“When I confronted him, he swore it was only a pet, but I knew better. I turned him in to the headmaster, and he was immediately expelled. There were no more attacks after that.”

Ginny could hardly stand it anymore. She had to know. “Who was it Tom? I must know!”

“His name is Rubeus Hagrid.”

Ginny’s eyes widened in disbelief, putting two and two together in her mind. After all, it made sense, with the stories that Ron had told her about Norbert, the Norwegian Ridgeback dragon that he had raised in his home from an egg, as well as Fluffy, the enormous three-headed dog that guarded the Philosopher’s Stone. It didn’t really surprise her much that Hagrid had quite a fondness for large and dangerous creatures. But she could never have imagined that he would want to intentionally hurt anyone with them. He was such a good, sweet man. And Ron, Hermione, and Harry thought so highly of him.

“But Tom, Hagrid is still here at Hogwarts. He’s the gamekeeper! How could they let him stay here?” she asked.

“Like I said Ginny, Hagrid was expelled, his wand broken, and he was never allowed to do magic again. But he too was an orphan, and far too young to go to Azkaban Prison, but he did not have anywhere else to go. They kept him at Hogwarts to be trained as gamekeeper, I suspect so that they could keep an eye on him.”

“But now with all the new attacks, why haven’t they taken him to Azkaban yet?”

“I cannot answer that, but you should be careful, especially if you believe that you have been a witness to the attacks,” Tom warned her.

A frightening thought struck Ginny’s mind.

“Tom, I just found out from him this morning that his roosters are being killed. I must have been strangling them in my sleep. We have loads of chickens at home and I often go out to the coop and pet them. I must have been dreaming of petting them while I was sleepwalking. But I don’t’ understand how I could have killed any of them? Oh no! Tom, what if he finds out that I am the one killing his roosters? Or worse, that I know about him and the attacks?”

”That is why I fear for your safety more than ever. You must stay away from him until he has been caught Ginny. Hagrid is a very dangerous man.”

* * *

Ginny, lived in fear for the next week, as did most of the other students, waiting for another attack. The week passed, as did another, and another, and nothing happened. Before long it was December and she was counting the days until the end of term when she could go back to the Burrow, and be safe at home with her family.

She had found out from Hermione that Ron had decided to stay with her and Harry at Hogwarts for the holidays. Ginny guessed that with no real home to go to, Harry would be staying alone otherwise and Ron simply wanted to keep him company, and hopefully, out of danger.

A week before the end of term, Ginny came downstairs from her room to find a great buzz around the common room. Apparently, there was to be the start of a Dueling Club that night in the Great Hall after dinner.

She had debated whether or not to go herself, but in the end she decided that it would probably come in handy sooner or later, with everything going on at school. "Preferably later," she thought.

So just after eight o’clock, Ginny came into the Great Hall to find the bulk of the school crowding around a large golden stage. She worked her way through the crowd, trying to get as close to the stage as possible. She ended up near Fred and George, who lately had become quite an irritation.

In an effort to cheer her up, Fred and George would cover themselves with boils or sores and try to jump out and scare her from behind corners, doors and furniture. Of course, she never found it very funny and had been staying clear of them whenever possible.

“Hey Gin,” George said, making room in the crowd for her. “Good to see you come out of your cave once in a while.”

“Yeah, where ya been? We thought you already went home for Christmas,” said Fred, laughing at his own joke.

Ginny gave them a tiresome look. “I should have already, with you two bugging me the way you have been lately.”

“It’s all in good fun, Gin,” Fred said, nudging her. “Geez, you’re so wound up lately. What gives?”

Ginny simply ignored them, looking up at the golden stage, where none other than Gilderoy Lockhart was waving his hand for attention. A few steps behind him was Professor Snape, looking as though he would rather be having his teeth pulled than be there with Lockhart.

Lockhart told them that he would be demonstrating the basic combative position with Snape and they would cast some disarming spells. But by the way Snape’s lips were curling into a smile, Ginny wasn’t too sure about his own intentions for Lockhart.

And she was right; by the time Lockhart had counted to three, he was thrown against the wall by a bright flash of red light coming from Snape’s wand.

“Heh, Lockhart’s down for the count, it looks like,” Fred said, more than amused.

“No, wait!” George said. “He’s getting back up, the dumb bloke. I bet Snape can’t wait to hit him again.”

Some of the girls gasped, including Hermione, who Ginny noticed was near the other side of the platform with Ron and Harry, who themselves looked amused by Lockhart’s fall.

Lockhart swayed a bit as he climbed back on the stage, but shook it off quickly. Noting Snape’s evil-looking grin, he told everyone that he would now be pairing up people for practice dueling.

Ginny moved back behind Fred and George, fearing to be picked herself. She watched as Ron was broken away from Harry and Hermione, paired with Seamus Finnagan. Hermione was paired with some ugly Slytherin girl Ginny didn’t know, and Harry was unfortunately partnered with Draco Malfoy.

Fred and George piped up again.

“He paired Harry with Malfoy?”

“Good, maybe he’ll get some payback for the Bludger.”

“Shhhhhh! I want to see this!” Ginny said, watching the pair with interest.

Lockhart instructed them to face each other and bow like before. Each pair did, but Ginny couldn’t keep her eyes off Harry and Malfoy, who barely nodded their own heads as they stared the other down.

Lockhart began to count to three, but on two, Malfoy struck at Harry with a spell, knocking him hard in the head.

“Hey, that wasn’t fair! Get him Harry!” she cheered to herself.

Harry fell back a moment, but when he gained his feet, he struck back with what appeared to be a tickling charm, causing Malfoy to fall to the stage, laughing hysterically. As soon as Malfoy caught his breath, he aimed his wand back at Harry, this time causing Harry’s legs to dance around uncontrollably.

At this point, Snape decided to take charge, yelling “Finite Incantatem,” which stopped all the spells. As the green haze cleared from the stage, Ginny began to laugh to herself as she saw Ron pulling up a very charred-looking Seamus, and the ugly Slytherin girl holding a struggling Hermione in a headlock.

Lockhart decided it was a better idea at that point to show them how to block spells. Snape suggested Harry and Malfoy, since it looked as though they were the only ones left unharmed. Lockhart pulled Harry to the side, showing him how to hold his wand, and dropping his own as he did so. Snape also pulled Malfoy aside, whispering suggestions that made an evil grin creep onto Malfoy’s fair mug.

On the count of three, Malfoy immediately shouted out a spell that made a large, black snake shoot from the tip of his wand. Some of the girls backed away, screaming, but Harry simply stood there, eyeing the snake.

“Harry, what are you doing?” she wondered.

Lockhart tried to remove the snake, but ended up throwing the snake up into the air, making it even more agitated as it landed back on the platform. Hissing wildly, the snake began to slither toward Justin Finch-Fetchley, a second year in Hufflepuff House.

Ginny focused solely on Harry as he slowly walked toward the snake without hesitation, shouting “Leave him alone!” The snake stopped and backed away from Justin, who stood there horrified.

A wave of gasps flew through the crowd, and students began to whisper, “Did you hear that?”

Confused, Ginny tugged on George’s robes. “What did Harry say again?”

“Are you mad, Gin?” George said, looking stunned himself. “Didn’t you hear him hissing? He’s a Parcelmouth!”

“A Parcelmouth?” Ginny shuddered at the thought. “But how can that be? I understood him! I heard him clear as day in English tell that snake to “leave him alone”! If he’s a Parcelmouth, how is it that I could understand him?”

In horror, Ginny looked back at Harry, who seemed just as perplexed at the crowd’s reaction. And was now being screamed at by Justin Finch-Fetchley for setting the snake on him. Ron and Hermione quickly ran over to Harry, and dragged him off the stage, and out of the Great Hall.

As Justin stormed past her, she could hear him saying to his friends, “See, I told you all along that Harry was the Heir of Slytherin! Did you see him try and set that snake on me?”

Outraged at Justin’s obvious ignorance of the situation, Ginny snapped back at him without even thinking, “He was just trying to help you! He told the snake—“

But she stopped herself, realizing that she could also fall under suspicion if she let on that she had understood what Harry had said.

Fred and George looked at her, as did Justin who turned around at the outburst.

“What did you say?”

Luckily, Percy strode up at that moment, to interfere as usual.

“Is there a problem here?” he said in his most authoritative Prefect voice.

Justin and his Hufflepuff friends looked at Ginny, who was straining to keep her anger to herself.

“No Percy. Everything’s just dandy,” Ginny said harshly, giving Justin a sneer as she turned around and stormed out of the Great Hall.

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Chapter 9: Cruel Fate

Chapter Nine: Cruel Fate

Ginny stayed up in her room for the rest of the evening, watching the gently falling snow becoming a blizzard upon the castle. Without even realizing it, she had stayed up the entire night, thought after thought plaguing her mind.

“Could Harry really be the Heir of Slytherin?” she wondered. “But Hagrid had opened the Chamber of Secrets, how could Harry have done it? But Harry is a Parselmouth, only the darkest of wizards, including Salazar Slytherin are Parselmouths. And most bizzare of all, how is it that I could understand Harry when he talked to the snake?”

She continued to ponder this throughout the morning, skipping breakfast and her morning classes, trying in vain to understand the meaning of it all.

Ginny had purposely not told Tom about the events of the night before. Still, too afraid and embarrassed of what he might think of her if he knew the truth. But he had never held anything against her before, and never thought ill of her, no matter what she had done, and she desperately needed to talk to someone. Finally, she gave in and picked up the diary.

“Dear Tom, I don’t know what to do! Something happened last night, which is very important, but I’m so afraid to tell you. But I know I have to tell you.”

Tom responded quickly, “What is it Ginny? Tell me what happened.”

“Last night at the Dueling Club, Malfoy was paired with Harry. He tried to scare him by setting a snake on him, but it went after another student. Harry told the snake to stop, and it did! He’s a Parselmouth!”

“A Parselmouth, now that is an interesting development. What happened after that?”

“Now of course, nearly everyone thinks that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin. Everyone is so frightened right now. I mean, it’s not like I don’t understand why Justin, the boy the snake came after, was so scared. He’s just as afraid as everyone else around here, perhaps even more so. I heard from some of the other girls in my dorm that he is muggle-born, so that would explain a lot, but to blame Harry like that without any real evidence is just so unfair! No one knows about Hagrid opening the chamber fifty years ago.”

Much to Ginny’s relief, Tom was as wise as ever. “I understand Ginny. Life is very unfair at times. I know this all too well. People will always be afraid of what they do not understand. I am sure that this Justin fellow is frightened because he, like most everyone, does not understand what Harry is capable of. Perhaps Harry does not even know himself. After all, he defeated Voldemort, he may have powers no one understands yet.

“Now I am curious about something, Ginny. If Harry was speaking Parseltongue, how do you know that he told the snake to stop?”

Ginny hesitated, knowing the question was bound to come up, but she had to tell him, if only to get it off her chest. She dipped her quill again and wrote, “I heard him Tom. I understood him. Don’t ask me how, but I did. I wish I could understand it myself. All of it. But I fear that I may have been influenced somehow by all of this. With the sleepwalking, the strange dreams, now the roosters and understanding Parseltongue. I just don’t get it. Am I going mad?”

“Ginny, perhaps it really is just a coincidence that Harry is a Parselmouth. After all, it was Hagrid who opened the Chamber of Secrets to begin with.”

“I thought of that too Tom. But what if Hagrid, who is so close to Harry already, has influenced him as well in some way, forcing him to do these awful things? Perhaps I should find Harry and warn him about Hagrid.”

“I would not do that if I were you. If Harry is under Hagrid’s influence, it is possible he will not believe you, or even turn you over to Hagrid himself.”

“ I know, Tom. But I care for Harry so much, I think it’s worth the risk.”

“Ginny, this is a very dangerous idea. I would not recommend it. You have no idea what the Heir of Slytherin is capable of.”

As Ginny read Tom’s last passage, the night without sleep began to catch up with her, and without warning, she had to strain to keep her eyes open. Barely able to even pick up her quill, she began to write, “Tom, I’m so tired all of the sudden. I think I should—“

Ginny fell into the blanket of warmth before she could even finish her sentence. Immediately falling into a dream of the older Harry, who once more, led her into the damp room.

As she looked upon her reflection, Harry whispered into her ear, only this time she heard him, and it didn’t much sound like Harry at all, at least not the Harry she knew now. His voice was a few octaves lower than normal, sounding older than she was used to. He told her to call the monster.

Ginny told him that she didn’t want to do it, still unsure if it was dream or reality, but she couldn’t stop herself from saying the words. And it was no longer the gibberish that she was used to in previous dreams. It was now Parseltongue.

Suddenly, she saw the fangs of a snake, the one from the Dueling Club, now grown to an enormous size, emerging from the wall before her. She cowered in fear as it hissed and slithered out of the room and down the corridor.

As Harry beckoned Ginny to follow him, she begged Harry not to attack anyone else, but Harry ignored her. In a panic, she chased after him again, pleading for him to stop, but it was too late. She heard voices down the corridor, and she ran shouting out to warn them.

Ginny gave a blood curdling scream as she turned the corner to see Justin Finch-Fetchley, who had evidently been talking to Nearly Headless Nick, caught sight of the snake, causing him to freeze up and fall to the ground. Nick, who also noticed the snake, suddenly lost his silvery shape, froze as well, and fell, hovering beside Justin, head dangling, like a black smoke cloud.

Ginny, feeling her body give in to the terror she felt, began herself to fall to the floor, losing consciousness. The last thing her vision held was Harry’s face, now distorting into someone else, though she could not tell who. All she could see were his eyes, now red like fire, glowing in the darkness that surrounded her, and a high-pitched laughter that she knew would haunt her long after she awoke from the nightmare.

* * *

Eyes still closed, Ginny woke feeling the cool stone floor beneath her. Feeling weakened, she strained to push herself up from the floor with her hands, and then rubbing her eyes in order to focus..

As she turned around to pull herself up, she gasped in horror, seeing a pair of shoes sticking out from behind the corner of the wall in front of her.

“No, please, no!” she begged herself.

Ginny crawled to the corner and peeked around it, knowing in her heart what she was about to look upon. Justin Finch-Fetchley, laying on the floor, face frozen in terror, beside a blackened silhouette of Nearly Headless Nick.

Turning her head away, Ginny shoved a fist in her mouth to stifle the screams of agony trying to escape. Taking every last bit of energy left in her, she pulled herself up and walked away from the lifeless bodies on the floor.

Feeling her strength slowly beginning to return, her pace quickened down the corridors, as she neared the Library. The doors were opened to the Library, and she glanced inside as she walked past, noticing Harry immediately. He looked as though he were having quite a headed argument with another student Ginny didn’t know. Probably defending himself against accusations of being the Heir of Slytherin. She wanted to stay, her heart wanting to defend him, but her fears of being found anywhere near Justin and Nick surfaced again, and she left without hesitation.

She proceeded down the hall, unable to see straight through the blinding tears in her eyes. She looked down to the stone floor, allowing it to be her guide, until she was stopped in her tracks by an unusually large pair of boots blocking her path.

“Hello Ginny! How yeh doin’?”

Mortified, Ginny looked up into the snow-covered hood that was covering Hagrid’s head.

Hagrid pulled down the hood, just enough to get a good look at her. “Ginny, are yeh all right? Yeh look as white as a ghost!”

Sickened by the reminder of the smoky ghost, only a floor above them, she looked back at Hagrid wearily and thought, “You did this! You terrible monster! I hate you!”

“Excuse me Hagrid, but I’m not feeling well. I have to go to my room now,” were unfortunately were the only words she could force herself to utter, as she tried to hide the scowl on her face.

She ran past him, disgusted by his mere presence, back to Gryffindor Tower. There she cried uncontrollably until she fell asleep, unable to forget the horrendous things that had just occurred.

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Chapter 10: Christmas at Hogwarts

Chapter Ten: Christmas at Hogwarts

Ginny awoke the next morning, after an uneasy evening of sleep. Her heart was shattered. The only thing she could think to do was to talk to Tom. Even now, the tears still poured down her face, as she dipped her quill and began writing. “Dear Tom, something terrible has happened again! There’s been another attack, and I don’t know where I was, but I woke up near Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick petrified on the floor!”

“That is terrible Ginny. Did you have another dream also?”

“Yes, it was terrible! I saw Harry this time. At least I think it was him. I tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t listen to me, and he called upon the snake from the Dueling Club to attack them!

“You seem unsure that it was Harry who attacked young Justin and Nearly Headless Nick. Why?”

Ginny could still see the glowing red eyes in her mind, and the terrible high-pitched laughter that accompanied them, ringing in her ears like a nightmare from which she could never awake from.

“After Justin and Nick were attacked, Harry’s face changed, like he was no longer himself. But it had to have been him, or at least Hagrid’s influence on him. It had to!”

“You are sure of it?” Tom wrote.

“Yes! I was so scared. I left Justin and Nick there in the corridor. But as I ran away, I ran into Hagrid not too far away. I know he made Harry do it. Tom, this is getting far too out of hand. I think it’s time I tell someone about what I’ve seen.”

“I do not feel that is a very good idea right now.” Tom wrote back quickly. “They are already aware of Hagrid’s connection to the Chamber of Secrets. I am sure they have it under control. There is no need for you to interfere any more than necessary. Besides, what would everyone think if they knew that you were somehow involved? What would your parents think? I think it is best that you refrain from telling your story for now.”

* * *

The fate of Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick spread like a wildfire through the school. And after the events of the Dueling Club, nearly everyone suspected Harry anyway for Justin and Nick’s unfortunate state.

Ginny counted the days until the end of term. Her Mum and Dad sent word that they would be spending Christmas in Egypt this year, visiting her oldest brother Bill. That meant that the clan of Weasley kids, along with Harry and Hermione, would have Gryffindor Tower entirely to themselves for the Christmas holiday.

She was more than happy to spend the holidays with her brothers, although lately, Fred and George had become almost unbearable with all the joking about Harry being the Heir of Slytherin.

“So Harry, who are you attacking next?” Fred shouted across the common room on the last day of term.

“Yeah, you’d better hurry up and get one more in before they all get on the train back to London!” George chimed in.

Harry turned and gave them a small smirk as he followed Ron and Hermione out the portrait hole.

Unfortunately, instead of trying to cheer her up, they only made Ginny feel worse . . . if that was possible.

“Haven’t you two had enough of that already? It’s getting rather old,” Ginny said, looking up from her potions homework.

“Ah Ginny, loosen up will ya,” Fred said.

“It’s all in good fun,” George finished. “Besides, we all know you’re the one who does all of Slytherin’s evil work anyway.”

“That’s not funny! Not Funny at all!” she spat out at the twins, storming out of the common room herself.

* * *

Ginny heard a faint knocking on her dorm room door Christmas morning.

“Yes,” she answered groggily.

The door cracked open and Hermione poked her head in. “Happy Christmas Ginny!” she said cheerfully.

“Oh,” Ginny sat up quickly, rubbing her eyes. “Happy Christmas to you too. But I really must ask, what are you doing up here?”

“I just came from Ron and Harry’s room.”

“You did?” Must be nice.

“Yes, I couldn’t wait to give them their presents. Not to mention it was quite fun just to catch them off guard in their pajamas,” Hermione giggled to herself.

Blimey, I wish I was her, Ginny thought to herself, green with envy.

“Anyway, I brought you a present too,” Hermione said, as she sat down on the edge of Ginny’s four poster, and handing her a small gift.

Ginny couldn’t help but look at her with appreciation. “I don’t know what to say,” she said gratefully. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t really get anything for you.”

“That’s alright. I didn’t expect one. And I don’t expect you to go off and get one now either. But I thought you would like this. Open it,” she said, almost bouncing with anticipation.

Ginny opened the small gift. It was a muggle diary.

Hermione continued. “I know that you’re quite a private person. I thought you would like something to keep all your secrets in.”

Unable to contain her enthusiasm for receiving the gift, diary or not, Ginny leapt at Hermione, hugging her. “Thank you Hermione! Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much this means to me!”

Hermione left Ginny to get dressed and join her family and friends down in the common room to open their gifts. Their mother sent them the usual Weasley jumpers (Ginny’s was baby blue) as she did every year, along with a note from her mother.

Dearest Ginny,

Percy tells me that you haven’t been yourself lately and you haven’t written you father or I in several weeks. I’m very concerned about you.

Just please promise me that you will take some time out to spend with your brothers this Christmas holiday. I know that your first year hasn’t been easy for you, but I have faith that you will eventually adjust. Know that we love you dearly, and that we are always here for you if you need us. Have a Happy Christmas.

Love always,


Ginny smiled at her mothers’ caring, and agreed to herself to keep the promise to her mother as she tucked the note into her pocket.

As they continued opening gifts, she was especially pleased when she noticed that her Mum took her advice on the choosing the color for Harry’s jumper again. A huge grin rolled across her face as Harry pulled on the rich plum jumper. Even Hagrid sent her a tin of treacle fudge, but she quickly tossed it in the trash as soon as no one was looking.

* * *

The Christmas feast was unlike anything that Ginny had ever seen. Several frost covered trees lined up the Great Hall amongst the holly wreaths and dry falling snow falling from the ceiling.

The tables were filled with several rich foods, all of which every bite better than the bite before. She was rather disappointed after the wonderful time they had spent together that morning, that Hermione, strangely enough, wasn’t there for the last half of the feast. She quickly wolfed down her dinner and excused herself from the table.

“Where are you going?” Ginny asked.

“Er, I have some Potions homework I wanted to get an early start on,” Hermione answered hurriedly as she rushed out of the Great Hall.

In between supper and desert, Professor Dumbledore lead the hall in several Christmas carols. The only downside to the festivities was Hagrid, nearly drunk on numerous jugs of eggnog, singing boisterously along with the rest of the students.

It’s disgusting how he could be so smug and cheerful at a time like this, she thought as she glanced at Harry, who was now laughing at Ron for singing the wrong words to ‘Come All Ye Faithful’.

And poor Harry, he doesn’t even know what he’s done. I wish I could help him somehow, she said to herself, trying to put the painful thoughts out of her mind and do her best at keeping her promise to her mother.

By far the most amusing part of the evening was when Fred had secretly charmed Percy’s badge again, this time stating ‘Pinhead Boy’. For most of the night, Percy couldn’t figure out what everyone was laughing at until desert. But once he realized what they Fred had done, he stormed out of the Great Hall in a fit.

As they were all finishing up their deserts, Hermione suddenly rushed back into the Great Hall.

“Ron, Harry, I need you to come with me now, I want you to take a look at my homework.”

“But we’re still eating,” Ron said irritably, shoving another large spoonful of Christmas pudding into his mouth.

Ginny watched as Harry gave Ron a knowing look, and Hermione glared at Ron with her hands placed firmly on her hips.

Harry and Ron help Hermione with her homework. There is something definitely wrong with this picture, she thought.

“I thought you two were going to join us all in some dueling practice in the common room after the feast?” she asked innocently, looking for information.

“Maybe later Gin,” Ron said, taking one last bite before he got himself from the table and followed Harry and Hermione out of the Great Hall.

“So much for spending time with my family,” Ginny grumbled to herself sarcastically.

* * *

Ginny was writing in her new diary as she watched Fred and George play a game of exploding snap, now bored of giving each other boils. Percy had already come back from pouting and went to bed, but Hermione, Ron and Harry still hadn’t come back from wherever they were.

Even though she knew it wouldn’t be the same as writing to Tom, Ginny still thought it would be fun just to write down some harmless poetry about Harry of course, careful not to unleash any of her more harmful secrets.

“So what do you write in that diary anyway?” George asked her curiously.

“Do you really want to know?” Ginny said, watching her brother lay down another card.

“No,” Fred answered for his twin jokingly. “I just can’t imagine you having such an exciting life enough to write it down in a diary every day.”

Ginny gave him a hard look, very reminiscent of her mothers. “I don’t just write about my day, you know. I write poems too, and sometimes I draw,” she said defensively.

Fred chuckled. “I can’t imagine who you would be writing about,” he chided.

“It wouldn’t be a certain messy haired Gryffindor seeker would it?” George snorted.

Luckily, Ginny was saved by any further teasing as Ron and the messy haired Gryffindor seeker climbed through the portrait hole, laughing hysterically themselves.

Fred nodded at the laughing pair, “They must know about your diary too.”

She gave him a contemptuous look, before it occurred to her that the trio of inseperatable friends was down by one.

“Where’s Hermione?” she asked. “Is she still working on her homework?”

“There was an accident,” Ron sputtered out, hardly able to say the words through all the snorting.

A wave of worry swept over Ginny, instantly drawing the conclusion that Hagrid had struck again. “What happened? Was there another attack? Is she all right?”

Harry waived his hand assuredly. “Oh no, nothing like that,” he looked back at Ron and smiled. “She just er,” he paused to think, “She just put in the wrong amount of ingredients into her Potion that’s all.”

Ron, who had slightly managed to compose himself for a moment, instantly burst into laughter again, clutching his sides. “She turned herself into a cat!”

* * *

Ginny slept in late the next morning, up with worry, as well as curiosity about Hermione’s backfired potion. In fact, she had been sleeping quite well since the end of term. Her Mum was right. Spending what little time she had with her brothers seemed to be quite rejuvenating for her, and apart from the writing in her new gift the night before, she had hardly written in her enchanted diary since the term ended.

She decided to visit Hermione after breakfast that morning in the hospital wing, but to her dismay, once she reached the infirmary, Madam Pomfrey wasn’t allowing any visitors, but Harry and Ron for at least a few weeks.

Disgruntled, Ginny came back to the common room and found Fred and George snickering to each other at the study table.

“What are you two on about?” she asked, curious about the joke they had just shared, and hoping that it would cheer her up also.

“Nothing,” George said, chortling. “Nothing that would ‘keep me from feeling blue, ‘”

Ginny’s eyes widened in horror. No, they didn’t.

“If only I had round glasses, behind eyes so green,” George finished.

“And the sweetest smile I ever had seen,” Fred chimed in, stifling a laugh himself.

They did. I’m gonna kill them!

“How could you read my diary?” she bellowed.

As if on cue, Percy rounded the corner to Ginny’s rescue. “What’s going on here?”

“They . . . they read my diary!” Ginny shouted, stifling a cry.

“Fred, George, that was horrible of you! How could you invade Ginny’s privacy like that? You know how important that is to her!”

Ginny was furious. She couldn’t hold back her anger any longer, and instantly broke into tears. She ran up to her dorm room terribly hurt, but for the most part embarrassed. The last thing she heard as she ran up the stairs was Percy telling them he was going to owl Mum about it.

Ginny knew now that they were going to receive a punishment from Mum so severe that they would have wished themselves in Azkaban Prison. But it wouldn’t be enough to save her from the torment she was going to endure from the twins for the rest of the school year, if not the rest of her life.

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Chapter 11: Ginny's Decision

Chapter Eleven: Ginny’s Decision

Despite the diary incident, the Christmas holidays were some of the best times Ginny had at Hogwarts. Her mother was right, spending time with her brothers did loads for her morale, and for the first time in months, she was happy again.

When the new term started, the students of Gryffindor immediately took notice of Hermione’s absence, thinking that the Heir of Slytherin had struck again. As Ginny thought back on the situation, it was rather funny that even a know-it-all like Hermione was just as capable of making mistakes, like everyone else. Before she knew it, a few weeks had passed and Madam Pomfrey finally gave the okay to see Hermione in the infirmary.

Ginny stood there with a bunch of hand-picked flowers from the greenhouse, behind the curtain of Hermione’s hospital bed.

“Are you decent?” she asked.

“As much as I’ll ever be,” Hermione said nervously. “Just try not to laugh okay.”

Ginny pulled back the curtain. Ron certainly wasn’t kidding when he said that Hermione looked like one of the wild cats that lived in the fields behind the Burrow. Hermione’s brown and orange fur nearly covered all of her face and body, except for her own bushy mane that still remained. Her eyes were narrow and yellowed like a cat’s, even a few whiskers peeked out from beneath her triangular pink nose. By far the most amusing feature to see (as was Ron’s) was Hermione’s tail, which twitched with nervousness behind her.

“I look awful don’t I?”

The young redhead tried her best to keep a straight face. “No, not at all. But I’ll admit, you do remind me of a stray kitten I once took care of,” she giggled.

“Thanks,” Hermione smiled sarcastically. “Really, the worst part is this darn tail. I can hardly sleep a wink at night.”

Ginny stifled a laugh once again, holding up her bouquet. “Here, I brought you some flowers. Fred suggested that I bring you some catnip, but I thought better of it.”

A most serious look came across Hermione’s face for a moment, but suddenly cracked into a smile. At once, the two girls caved in and burst into hysterical laughter.

“Oh!” said Hermione, suddenly remembering something, while trying to compose herself. “Speaking of get well gifts, take a look at this!”

She turned around in her bed and pulled out a small piece of parchment from beneath her pillow, handing it to Ginny.

“What’s this?”

“Read it,” Hermione said, barely able to contain her excitement.

It was a get well note from Professor Lockhart. Ginny knew already that Hermione had a bit of a crush on him. She must have been sleeping with the note under her pillow for weeks.

“That’s a lovely sentiment,” she said kindly to her friend, who looked anxious for a look of approval.

Hermione clapped her hands together. “It’s just wonderful,” she said dreamily, before coming back to reality. “Could you not tell Harry and Ron about this? They would only tease me, especially Ron, he’s terrible about that you know.”

“Your secrets’ safe with me,” Ginny said proudly.

“So,” Hermione questioned her new confidant. “Are there any boys who have caught your eye so far this year?”

“Yes, but I can’t tell you who it is.”

“Why not?”

“You would laugh.”

“No, I won’t. You can tell me, really.”

Ginny wasn’t sure what made her do it, whether she was still basking in the glow of female bonding, or just the simple fact of wanting to exchange a secret for another.

She bit into her lip nervously. “Well you have to promise also not to say anything.”

Hermione gave her an almost exasperated look. “I swear, not a word. Now tell me who it is.”

“Harry,” muttered Ginny as quietly as she could.


“It’s Harry,” Ginny growled out of the side of her mouth.

“Oh, is that all,” Hermione said simply. “I knew that already.”

“You did?” Ginny blushed furiously.

“Of course,” she said matter-of-factly “Ron told me.”

Ginny rolled her eyes, and covered her face with her hands. “Well that’s just brillant! And I suppose then that Harry knows too, and thinks that I’m nothing but a silly little girl with a crush!”

She suddenly felt the reassuring hand of Hermione on her shoulder. “Oh, I’m sure it’s not like that at all. Harry would never think that of you.”

Blinking away tears of embarrassment, Ginny looked up from her hands. “You really think so?”

“Personally, I think you would make a delightful pair!”

“Honestly?” Ginny sniffled.

“I swear by my tail,” Hermione said, placing her furry hand over her heart.

“Thanks Hermione,” she said with a laugh of relief. “I needed that.”

* * *

Ginny laid in her four poster that night, twisting her hair between her fingers while she stared at the ceiling, deep in thought. It’s so wonderful to finally have a real girlfriend to finally confide in, she thought to herself. Even as much as she enjoyed talking to Tom, having someone of flesh and blood to interact with, and physically respond to, meant so much more than any enchanted object could ever give her.

“Perhaps I should give Hogwarts another chance after all,” she thought. “I’m sure if I put out more of an effort like I did with Hermione, I would be sure to make some friends. Not to mention I wouldn’t have to burden Tom with my problems all the time.”

“Tom,” she reflected. “I don’t even think I’ve written to Tom since the start of term, she smiled to herself. How funny, I haven’t even thought about it.”

She continued to lie there in her bed for a moment longer until she sat up in her bed as clear as day. “Is it possible that I may not need Tom anymore?”

* * *

Picking her way through breakfast, Ginny deliberated in her mind whether or not to do it. She knew it would be a difficult task, but it was time, and she felt ready.

Herbology class couldn’t have ended soon enough, and she made her way to a quiet corner of the library to write in the diary one last time.

“Dear Tom, I have something to tell you, but I’m afraid to do it. You have been such a good friend to me, I don’t want you to be upset for feel hurt by what I’m about to tell you.”

Tom replied in his usual understanding manner. “Ginny, You know that it’s all right to tell me anything. I will understand. What is it?”

She bit into her lip, still nervous to write the words. Having depended on him for so long, she wasn’t sure that she could do it; But she had to, it was for her own good. Ginny closed her eyes, holding her breath a moment and wrote down the words, “I’ve decided to give you up Tom.”

There was a pause before Tom’s words again appeared before her in the diary. “But why Ginny? Why would you do this? Have I done something wrong?”

“No, no, no, not at all! It’s been truly incredible to have you here as a friend that I can talk to anytime I need to, to seek advice from, or just someone to listen to me. It’s like having a friend that I can carry around in my pocket. I really can’t thank you enough for that.

“But now I think I need to be on my own for awhile, to figure some things out for myself. I’m so sorry to do this to you Tom. I really am. You are the best friend a girl ever had.”

Tom’s writing became faster, almost frantic as it appeared. “Ginny, I beg of you, do not do this to me. Think about what you are doing? Who will you turn to? Are you so sure that this is the right answer?

“You have put so much of yourself into me, I am not sure that you should give me up so easily.”

Ginny looked at the diary curiously. He had never acted like this before. “What do you mean Tom?”

“What I mean is that there are things I can help you with. With all that you have put into me, I have grown powerful. Powerful enough to begin to help you Ginny. Help you to get what you want, even Harry Potter.”

Ginny looked at the tiny book in front of her. Tom’s words rang true. She had put her very soul into the diary before her, and yet, somehow she felt suddenly frightened by his desperate need to keep her close. As if he was afraid himself to let her go. “I’m sorry Tom, but I just can’t do it.”

His scrawl was sloppy now, and it had become difficult to read, and Ginny wasn’t sure that she had understood the next passage he wrote. “You have no idea what you are saying Ginny. I do not believe that you understand the repercussions of what you are about to do.”

Her eyes filled with tears at his words. They were almost cruel, disrespectful even. Tom had never said anything like this to her before. She had to end, before they said things that they both regretted. “I’m sorry Tom. Goodbye.”

And with a growing lump in her throat as her final words seeped into the page, Ginny put down her quill and closed Tom Riddle’s diary.

* * *

Ginny ran down the corridor, her mournful sobs echoing off the walls. She wasn’t sure where she was going, but she soon found herself back on the second floor, near the writing on the wall. Guilt and regret began creeping back into her mind, but she knew that she had done the right thing.

Filch had left his usual post, no doubt chasing after Peeves about something or other, so once again, she ignored the ‘Out of order’ sign on the door to the girls’ bathroom, and walked inside.

Splashing cool water on her face did little to calm her down. As she looked up at her reflection in the mirror above her, she again felt the strangest sense of deja vu. At first, she thought she was only remembering the first encounter in the bathroom, the day she first saw the writing outside in the corridor, but the butterflies fluttering inside her told her otherwise.

Sighing deeply, Ginny turned around and turned toward the door again, glancing at the damp floor beneath her feet, when suddenly it hit her. She whirled around and ran back to the mirror above the sink.

“Reflection . . . damp floor . . . BLOODY HELL!”

She had been right all along. She really had been involved in the attacks. It wasn’t a dream after all. It was real.

She paced back and forth, trying to sort out her thoughts. “But how? How could I have done it? she thought, her mind reeling, as she began pacing back and forth on the wet floor. Have I been helping Harry all along? Did Hagrid somehow have a spell over me as well, like he did with Harry?”

“Harry. But was it really Harry then?”
The boy in her dreams was older, similar to Harry in many ways. But it wasn’t really him. He looked almost like . . . like Tom.

“No, it couldn’t be?” she thought, stopping in her tracks. “Tom wouldn’t do that.” It seemed ridiculous to even think it, but as she did, her gut instinct told her to believe it.

“Tom has been so kind and understanding, and I have been writing to him in the diary for so long, I just don’t know how he could have done it anyway.”

Her eyes grew wide as a epiphany struck her. “Hold on, the diary!”

It was the diary that was with her every time there was an attack, or whenever she found herself sleepwalking. And on those nights, she always seemed to fall into a deep sleep after writing to him.

Ginny pulled the diary from her robes and looked at it. “Well there’s only one way to know for sure that it will never happen again!” She hiked the book back behind her in her best Quaffle pitch, and threw it into the nearest stall. But instead of a splash, she heard the moaning of a girl.

Horrified, Ginny ran for the door.

As the silver image of Moaning Myrtle flew from the stall to see who had thrown the book at her, she saw nothing but the slamming of the door behind them.

Back to index

Chapter 12: Valentines Day

Chapter Twelve: Valentines Day


“Moaning Myrtle. She’s been flooding the second floor girls bathroom all year,” Hermione explained matter-of-factly. “Didn’t you notice the ‘Out of Order’ sign on the door?”

“No. When you have to go that bad, door signs are the last thing you want to see. Besides, I try not to go near there as it is, with the attacks starting there and all,” Ginny said, trying to hurry through her own explanation. She had ended up telling Hermione that she rushed to the bathroom, and Moaning Myrtle, had scared her in the stall. But the way Hermione was eyeing her now as she told her it, Ginny realized that her story wasn’t flying.

Hermione was still in the hospital, with most of her whiskers gone, and her yellow eyes nearly returned to normal. Ginny suspected that she would be released soon enough. She hadn’t told her about the diary or Tom Riddle; she wanted to very much, but she wasn’t completely secure in her newfound friendship to start telling all of her secrets—especially the dangerous ones. All she needed was to get expelled from Hogwarts, just as things were beginning to turn around for her. No way.

Most of all, she needed confirmation of her beliefs about Tom Riddle and his diary before she began talking about it to anyone. She had to see Hagrid again.

The next day after Transfiguration, where Ginny had done quite well on transfiguring a flute into a quill, she went straight away to Hagrid’s hut. She knocked on the door, but no one answered. She walked around back, thinking perhaps that he was tending to his monstrous garden, but he wasn’t there either. She returned to the front, sitting on the steps of the hut and waited, wondering where he might be.

Ginny contemplated how she was go about getting the answers from Hagrid. She figured it shouldn’t be too hard, as he tended to run his mouth off when he was nervous, just as she did. Suddenly she heard whistling coming from the path leading from the castle. Hagrid was walking towards his hut, a bundle of wood planks in one arm, and various tools, including his pink umbrella in the other. She stood up, put on her best smile and waved him down.

“Well hullo there Ginny,” Hagrid shouted. “What can I do fer yeh on this fine day?”

Sitting there waiting had only made her more nervous about talking to him. She took a deep breath and said, “I came to talk to you about the Chamber of Secrets.”

Ginny wasn’t sure whether Hagrid had dropped the planks or his tools on his feet first, neither of which seemed to affect him. What struck her was the extremely frightened look that swept across his face, draining it of blood. “The Chamber o’Secrets,” he said shakily. “Why would yeh want to talk to me ‘bout that?”

Knowing she had to be very careful about how she phrased her questions, Ginny took her time, speaking slowly, so as not to raise suspicion about herself, or worse, Tom Riddle and his diary. “I want to know what happened fifty years ago.”

Hagrid stood up from his fallen belongings and took a step back. “I don’t know what yeh mean,” he said evasively.

“Rubbish, Hagrid,” she said angrily, pulling her wand on him. “I know that you were involved somehow. And I’m not afraid to tell Dumbledore and the entire school all about it, so you had better tell me the truth!”

She hated herself for sinking that low to get answers from him. Threatening him like that, knowing full well that she would have never gone through with it. But she had to know the truth, or his version of it.

Hagrid looked at her with his innocent black eyes and said, “Dumbledore already knows, Ginny.”

“What?” she said dumbfoundedly, dropping her wand slightly.

“Now before yeh go off blabbin’ to the entire school about it,” Hagrid continued, putting up his hands to hush her. “It’s best yeh come ‘nside.”

Sitting down in the oversized chair that she hadn’t occupied in months, Ginny watched Hagrid put on a kettle of water for tea, her wand still in hand, just in case.

“Well, yeh haven’t come ‘round to visit in a while Ginny. I’ve missed yeh.” he said, trying to delay things with some small talk.

“Hagrid,” she growled impatiently.

“Alright, alright,” Hagrid huffed. “It’s jus very difficult to talk ‘bout. It’s complicated.”

“Don’t worry,” Ginny said, tapping her wand on the armrest of her chair as a reminder. “I have plenty of time to listen to everything you have to say.”

Hagrid sat down on the bench opposite her. He looked as though he were going to be sick himself. “First of all, regardless o’what you might’ve heard, I did NOT open the Chamber of Secrets.”

Ginny continued to tap her wand on the armrest, saying dully, “But Hagrid, there is all this evidence that suggests otherwise. Tom Riddle found you with a creature kept inside the school. You were expelled because of it, and Riddle won an award for special services to the school. I did my homework.”

“Yeh have ta believe me, it was all a big misunderstandin’” he said, looking panicky. “It’s true that I was keepin’ a creature in the castle, but t’wasn’t the monster. And I’m certainly not the Heir of Slytherin!”

She looked at him very seriously. “Perhaps . . . but you can’t prove that.”

“Honest,” he pleaded. “Aragog would never hurt anyone. Even at the size that he was, he was still incapable o’really hurtin’ anyone.”

“Aragog? Who’s that?”

“Me pet acromantula.”

“An acromantula! Hagrid, are you completely mad?” she shouted, ineffectively trying to contain herself.

“Nah. Really Ginny, he was harmless. I raised him since he was a baby. And when Riddle found us, he thought Aragog was the monster.”

“Yeah right,” she thought to herself, realizing then that Tom Riddle had framed him. “Hagrid, you can’t expect someone to see that and not be upset.”

“I know,” Hagrid said solemnly. “Riddle turned me into Headmaster Dippet, and he believed Tom over me. Professor Dumbledore was the only one who believed me. Bein’ in third year, I was too young to go ta Azkaban, and even though I had been expelled, Dumbledore suggested that they keep me on an train meh as groundskeeper, since I had nowhere else ta go.”

Ginny put down her wand and looked up at Hagrid, his small beetle eyes on the verge of tears. She felt truly sorry for him. He was wronged and she knew it. Tom had framed Hagrid as a diversion away from himself. It made her sick to think about. And now, the ministry was watching Hagrid like a hawk, waiting for the next attack to put him in Azkaban. But if Dumbledore was the only one who had supported him throughout all of this, where was his family. Surely he had some.

“What about your parents?” she asked. “What did they think about all of this? Weren’t they able to support you through this tough time?”

Hagrid’s face sank even lower. “Me Mum left us when I was very young. It was just me and me dad until me second year when he died. I had no one.”

“I’m so sorry,” Ginny empathized. Often, she thought of how Harry spent his life without knowing any family but those dreadful Muggles, the Dursleys, which was barely a family itself. But she never imagined Hagrid living most of his life without anyone either.

She wanted to say, “Hagrid, I know it seems hopeless, but I promise you, there won’t be any more attacks,” but she couldn’t possibly divulge her involvement with Tom Riddle now, it was still too risky. Instead she said, “Hagrid, I’m sorry. I believe you, honestly I do. It wasn’t fair for them to treat you like they did. I wish there were something I could do. I won’t say anything about you and Aragog, I promise,” at which she got up from her chair and hugged him tightly, his scraggly beard tickling her face.

She left his hut saddened by his story, but she felt elated now that she knew the truth, because she also knew that this mistake would never happen again. The diary was gone now, lying in the dark sewers of Hogwarts, never to be seen again.

* * *

At the beginning of February, Hermione was finally released from the hospital. The last of her tail and whiskers gone, she was more than happy to return to her classes. In fact, spirits all around Hogwarts were high as Valentines Day approached, which may have also been due to the fact that no other attacks had been reported.

Professor Lockhart announced in class that there was to be a big surprise on Valentines Day. “And knowing Lockhart,” Ginny thought, “It will probably be loud and gaudy as usual.”

Even Hermione was getting in on the festivities, having decided to get Professor Lockhart a card herself, as a ‘thank you’ for the get well card she received from him. But Ginny thought differently, and when she questioned Hermione about it, Hermione made her promise not to say a word to either Ron or Harry. She could imagine the teasing Ron would inflict upon Hermione if he knew about it, so she kept quiet.

And speaking of teasing, Fred and George had surprisingly let up on her the last week or so about her poem in her Muggle diary. It was not like them at all, as their own taunts usually lasted months on end. She suspected that they were up to something, though she had no idea what it could be. Then again, all sorts of horrors sprung to mind when she did think about it, so she tried to do so as little as possible.

Ginny did think of giving Harry a Valentine herself, but she had no idea what to say to him. She tried writing a simple note, a long letter, a endearing poem, even a witty limerick, but nothing seemed good enough to give to him. Besides, she really wasn’t up to being rejected if she told him of her feelings, so she decided to throw out the idea altogether.

Ginny was right about Lockhart. As she entered the Great Hall for breakfast Valentines Day morning, it was draped entirely in enormous flowers in front of bright swags of sweetheart pink satin, and paper hearts of blue and pink showered from the ceiling. She thought vaguely that it looked like something out of a scarlet woman’s boudoir. It was sickening.
Not only did Lockhart have the Great Hall decorated like an obnoxious pink wedding cake, but he had hired several dwarves to dress as cupids and pass out Valentines to various humiliated students. Upon seeing this, she was thankful that she had decided against giving Harry a Valentine of any kind.

Breakfast was also the time where she finally found out what Fred and George were up to, when Fred nudged her as the dwarfs began their routes about the school.

“So Gin, did you write a ‘love letter’ to a certain someone this year?” he teased.

“How ‘bout you two dolts keep your mouths shut for a day?” she snarled back, preparing herself for the worst.

“I’d love a flowery poem,” George added. “His eyes are as green as a . . .”

“Fresh pickled toad!” Fred said in a high-pitched voice, clasping his hands together and batting his eyelashes, causing them both to roar with laughter.

Ginny grabbed some toast and bacon and left the Great Hall as quickly as her feet could carry her.

That afternoon, as she was heading for her History of Magic classroom, she heard a loud shout coming from down the hallway.

“Oy, you! ‘Arry Potter!”

Ginny turned around to see a rather red-faced Harry scurrying down the hallway, with Ron not too far behind, in an attempt to outrun a greasy-haired dwarf, with a heavy five o’clock shadow on his grim looking face. Ginny wondered who on earth would be sending Harry a Valentine, but smiled inwardly at the dwarf, who was nearly knocking people down just to get to Harry. Once he had finally reached him, Harry tried to shoo him away, but the dwarf wouldn’t have it. He grabbed on to Harry’s schoolbag as he tried to make another run for it, causing it to rip open, and spilling its contents upon the floor.

Harry hurriedly picked up his belongings, which were now covered in black ink from a smashed bottle as the dwarf began to sing a song off key. Even worse, Draco Malfoy came around the corner and took notice of Harry and the Dwarf in the middle of the corridor. But before Malfoy was able to insult Harry, Percy, who had also heard the commotion in the hallway came over to see what was holding everyone up.

At that point, Harry tried in vain to run again, but the winged dwarf, sensing his actions, grabbed hold of Harry’s legs and both tumbled to the floor. Ginny simply felt awful for Harry, whose face was redder than her own hair. But her own cheeks began to burn as the dwarf began a familiar song,

His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,

His hair is as dark as a blackboard.

I wish he was mine, he’s really divine,

The hero who conquered the Dark Lord.

“I’m going to kill the twins,”
she thought bitterly, as Percy tried to shoo some of the laughing students away. But her bitterness quickly turned to horror as she watched Malfoy pluck something out of Harry’s pile of ink stained books—a diary—Tom Riddle’s diary.

Sheer panic swept over Ginny as Malfoy showed the book to his thug friends, thinking he had Harry’s own diary. Her mind raced as she tried to comprehend how Harry had obtained the diary in the first place, when Harry asked for the diary back.

“When I’ve had a look,” Malfoy teased, waiving the diary at Harry.

No sooner had Malfoy finished his sentence than Harry pulled out his wand in anger and shouted “Expelliarmus!”, the diary shooting from Malfoys hand, and into Ron’s as he caught it on the other side of the hallway.

Trying desperately to compose herself, Ginny tried to walk towards her classroom, only a few meters away. But Malfoy wouldn’t let her get away that easily. “I don’t think Potter liked your Valentine much!” the bested Malfoy spat at her as she walked past him. Mortified, Ginny ran into the classroom, covering her face with her hands to cover the sheer embarrassment she felt.

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Chapter 13: Foiled Plans

Chapter Thirteen: Foiled Plans

Ginny spent the rest of the afternoon crying in her room. She made an attempt to go downstairs for dinner, but she heard Fred and George singing their poem in the common room before she made it to the foot of the stairs. She turned around and ran back upstairs before anyone noticed, deciding that she would rather starve to death than be humiliated again.

But most perplexing and frightening of all was the fact that Harry had Tom Riddle’s diary. She could not figure out how he possibly could have obtained it.

“I mean, I threw it in the toilet of a closed girls bathroom!” she said out loud as she paced the floors thinking.

Now that Harry had the diary, she wondered if he had figured out how to use it. Even worse, what if Tom told him all her secrets? Especially about how she was involved in the attacks. What if Tom told Harry these things to frame her as he did Hagrid? And what if Harry told Professor McGonagall, or Dumbledore? She would be expelled for sure.

Ginny flopped down on her four poster bed and cried a bit more before she heard a knock on the door. A bushy brown head of hair peeked through the door.

“Ginny, can I come in?”

She wiped her eyes on the sleeve of her jumper and answered, “Yes Hermione. Come on in.”

Hermione came into the room carrying a plate of food. Ginny gave her a surprised look. “Where did that come from?”

“Ron told us about what happened this afternoon. He even made Fred and George give a bit of their dinner when you didn’t come down. So we all snuck a bit of food up to you.” Hermione said, smiling through her concern for her friend.

“Even Fred and George?” Ginny asked surprised.

“Of course,” Hermione laughed. “They felt bad about the Valentine I suppose. They had really meant it to embarrass Harry, not you.”

“They did?” Ginny questioned suspiciously, raising her eyebrows. “They didn’t look like they felt too guilty when I tried to come down for dinner. I heard them singing,” she said flatly.

“Besides, Fred said it was worth it after what Harry did to Malfoy anyway,” Hermione said.

“Yeah,” Ginny cracked a smile as she thought back on it, “It was pretty wicked.”

Ginny looked back at Hermione, who was still standing near the door. “Where is Harry anyway? You haven’t mentioned him.”

“Hiding, I think,” Hermione said, looking uncomfortable. “He didn’t like Fred and George’s singing either.”

“Brilliant! Just brilliant!” Ginny said, holding back another onset of tears by diving into her pillow again. “He must think that I sent it to him or something. I can’t believe this!” she cried. “I’ll never be able to show my face to him again!”

Hermione sat down on the bed next to Ginny, stroking her weeping friend’s hair. “Of course you will, whether he believes it or not. You must understand Ginny that boys don’t mature as quickly as girls do. They don’t think things through in the same way. Most of the time, they are completely oblivious to what goes on, or how we feel about them,” she said with a hint of sadness, as though she knew what she was talking about.

Ginny raised her head from her tearstained pillow. “You really think so?”

“ I know so. Now here, have something to eat,” said Hermione, handing her the plate of sandwiches.

Picking up a sandwich, Ginny looked at her friend and said before taking a bite, “Thanks Hermione. You’re such a good friend. I don’t know what I’d would have done without you.”

A look of concern swept over Hermione’s face. “You’ve really had a hard time this year, haven’t you?”

Ginny gulped her bite down as her eyes welled up uncontrollably again, thinking about the last six months, the last few weeks in particular. “You have no idea. None at all.”

“Well, you can’t stay closed up like this Ginny. I know there is something troubling you far more than a silly Valentine poem, I can tell.”

“I—I can’t Hermione,” Ginny said, looking away. “I don’t want you to think poorly of me.”

Hermione gave her a look that demanded seriousness. “I would never do that. You can tell me anything. You just have to trust me.”

Ginny wanted to tell Hermione so badly about everything that happened. About Tom and the diary, and how he had been manipulating her with it. About her odd dreams and the attacks. About Hagrid, and why he was treated unjustly and expelled because of it. But how could she? Hermione could never understand what she had gone through.

But she had to try.

“Well, when I saw Harry and Draco with that diary. It reminded me of—“

”Yes,” Hermione urged.

“Of how I lost mine,” Ginny said, but she thought to herself, “You chicken!”

Hermione gave her a look of surprise. “You lost your diary?” she said. “The one I gave you for Christmas?”

“It’s not really a lie, I did lose my diary. Just not that one,” Ginny thought, going along with Hermione’s question. “Yes. I didn’t mean to, honestly. I’ve been looking for it for a while now. I’m just afraid that someone will find it and read all my secrets,” she said.

It looked as though Hermione was buying into the lie of omission, so she continued. “I’m just so embarrassed. I didn’t want to tell you, because it was a gift. My favorite gift. I’m so sorry!” Ginny covered her face with her hands again.

“It’s alright. I understand how you must feel. To be so worried that someone could read your most intimate of thoughts and secrets is indeed a frightening thought.” Hermione reasoned.

“I just don’t know what to do,” Ginny cried, leaning into Hermione’s shoulder, as she hugged her.

But Ginny did know what she had to do. She had to get Tom Riddle’s diary back from Harry. At any cost.

* * *

Although her mind could think of nothing else, it was weeks before Ginny made a move to try and take the diary. She constantly thought of the horrors Harry would find if he learned how to use the diary, and her grades were slipping because of it.

Her first attempt was disastrous. She had tried to go through Harry’s bookbag during lunch while he and Ron were distracted by Fred and George’s high jinks. Luckily, it was Hermione who had caught her searching through his bag, and later on she received a lecture on stalking and being obsessive.

“I know how much you care for Harry, Ginny. But honestly, going through his bookbag for mementos? I’m beginning to think you are going a bit to far with this,” Hermione lectured her in the common room that evening.

“Let’s not forget who sleeps with a get-well card beneath her pillow,” Ginny said in defense, and Hermione suddenly felt the need to get back to her Charms homework.

Ginny’s second attempt proved an almost bigger calamity. She had decided to get up early to follow Harry to an early Quidditch practice, in preparation for the upcoming game against Hufflepuff.

Harry had taken his bookbag with him so that he could go straight to breakfast and classes right after cleaning up after practice. Ginny had followed him through the fog that morning, and it took her some time before she found her way to her hiding spot in the bleachers near the pitch.

As soon as she saw the team enter the pitch, she sprinted through the thick fog for the broomshed. She searched all the lockers, which took a while before she finally found Harry’s.

Just as she found his bookbag, she heard voices outside the shed.

“Wood, you can’t expect us to play in the fog anymore!” she recognized as Fred’s voice.

“Yeah,” George’s voice chimed in, “Harry almost ran into Angelina, and I almost took out Katie with my bat again!”

Ginny shoved the bookbag back into Harry’s locker, and ran across the room to the back door of the shed, and continued to listen.

“Fine,” she heard Wood say. “But this only means that all of you had better be here right after school tomorrow. No questions. Agreed?”

Ginny overheard the team agree to Wood’s request as they began to put away their gear. Realizing she would surely be caught if she stayed where she was, she sprinted in the fog back to the castle.

Running as if for her life as she dashed across the grass, Ginny pumped her arms to push herself harder until she reached the castle. Once inside, she took a moment to catch her breath. But the moment wasn’t long enough, and she once again heard the voices of the Gryffindor Quidditch team outside the castle doors.

Not wanting to be seen, she ran again into the nearest empty classrooms she could find on the first floor.

Ginny shut the door quietly behind her, quickly turning around to press her ear against the door. She waited patiently until she heard Harry and the team finally pass by.

Wiping the growing sweat from her brow, Ginny sighed with relief. Suddenly, she heard something else—muffled smacking sounds behind her. Frightened, she slowly pulled out her wand and turned around. It was dark, but not too dark to notice the two figures shuffling about in the dark corner of the room.

“Lumos,” she muttered.

The light surprised the two students. One, a girl with long blond hair, obviously snogging another boy she couldn’t see right away. Ginny stared as the girl moved her hand away, held up in front of their faces, revealing the red-haired boy behind her . . .

“Percy?” Ginny said, astonished.

“Ginny!” her brother said, jumping back and nearly falling over the desk behind him. “What are you doing here?”

Both Percy and the blond-haired girl were red in the face, but not from blushing. Though Ginny noticed that Percy’s ears were noticeably turning bright pink.

“I could ask the same of you!” said Ginny, giggling slightly, amused that she had caught her brother in such a compromising position.

Percy straightened himself up as best he could. “I hardly think that’s any of your business.”

“No, but I ‘m sure Professor McGonagall might not be too pleased to find that a Gryffindor House Prefect is engaging in lewd conduct with—“ Ginny paused, noticing the girl’s own badge, and said in a surprised tone, “another Prefect.”

Percy tried to keep his composure as best he could in front of the girl, but was failing miserably. “Now Ginny, I don’t see any reason why this needs to be brought up to Professor McGonagall, or any other member of the faculty,” he said, looking at her suspiciously. “In exchange, I will not ask what you are up to in here as well.”

Ginny looked at her brother shrewdly, her hands on her hips. “I don’t think you are in any position to be making any deals, Perce,” she said in defense. “In fact, I think instead of going to McGonagall, I’ll go talk to Fred and George about this. They would kill for this kind of scoop on their big brother,”

Eyes widening from fear or anger, Percy said calmly to the blond-haired girl, “Will you please excuse us Penelope. I think I need to talk to my sister alone for a moment.”

“Yes of course, Percy dear,” the blonde said, smiling sweetly. She pecked Percy on the cheek, and walked towards the door. “I’ll talk to you later.”

Ginny watched her go, and as she shut the door, she quipped to her brother, “Somehow, I get the feeling there isn’t too much talking between the two of you.”

Percy stormed over to her and growled, “You see here Ginny, I don’t want to hear another word out of you about this—to anyone! I mean it!”

“Give me a break Perce, you can’t pull rank with me. Not with this,” she snapped back. “You have nothing on me!”

“I have enough,” Percy said coldly. “I’ve noticed now your marks have slipping the last few months, and I know you don’t want Mum to know about that!”

“Damn,” Ginny thought bitterly.

“Alright, okay,” she said, her hands still on her hips. “I won’t tell, if you won’t tell.”

“Shake on it,” Percy persisted.

Ginny rolled her eyes. “Fine,” she huffed, holding out her hand. He took it at once, and the with the deal sealed, she turned on her heel and walked out the door.

She might have lost out to Percy this round, but she didn’t much care about that. She had a real plan now. “And tomorrow,” she thought happily, “There will be nothing to stop me from getting that diary back.”

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Chapter 14: Hello Again

Chapter Fourteen: Hello Again

Ginny sat in a chair in a dark corner of the common room, reading a book and waiting. She watched as Harry joined Fred and George after dinner for Quidditch practice. Sitting there for most of the late afternoon and evening, Ginny took careful account of where his other dorm mates were located within the school. Ron and Hermione were studying in the library with Seamus and Neville, while Dean was tutoring a first year. It was almost too perfect.

As soon as Harry exited through the portrait hole with the twins, she waited a few more minutes, just in case they might have come back in the event they had left something behind. She got up from her chair and stretched, and headed slowly towards the girls’ dorm stairs. But before she did, she took one last glance at the nearly empty common room, to make sure no one was watching, and she darted up the staircase to the boys’ dorms.

Though she couldn’t see anyone as she neared the second year dorms, she continued to creep down the hall as quietly as she could, looking around for corners she could jump into incase she heard someone coming.

She opened the door to the room and looked around. Right away, she knew it was their room as she noticed all of her brother’s Chudley Cannons paraphernalia draped all over one of the four posters, and various pictures of their family on his night table. She walked to the center of the round room, looking carefully at each one of the beds and night tables, trying to recognize Harry’s. Her eyes finally rested on the bed nearest to Ron’s, a sparse-looking night table, with nothing on it, save a few books and a single picture of Ron, Hermione and Harry waving madly.

Ginny’s hands glided along the bedclothes of Harry’s bed, and continued over his night table, exploring them with her fingers, as if to capture his essence with a touch of her hands. She picked up the picture of the trio of friends and smiled inwardly at their happy demeanor, Harry’s especially, his grin always managed to warm her heart. She put down the photo and looked back at the bed where she could see his pajamas neatly folded beneath his pillow. She tossed the pillow aside and held the shirt up, holding it to her nose, taking in the familiar scent of him.

Seeing Harry’s things stuck a chord in her, she was suddenly overcome with sadness to the point of tears. How aside from his friends and her family, Harry had no one else in the world. He had lived most of his life alone, with very few friends and virtually no family. It couldn’t have been easy on him this year. Almost as soon as he arrived at Hogwarts, he became persecuted by the students for being the Heir of Slytherin. And they had continued to do so throughout the year. She vaguely wondered if Harry would share the same fate as Hagrid, and suddenly she realized that this was all because of her—and Tom. She had to find the diary now, and end this once and for all.

Ginny started there at the bed, looking over, under and between the mattresses, eventually tearing the bedclothes off completely. Then she rummaged through his night table, and pulled all the contents from its drawers. She again looked through his bookbag, but it wasn’t in there either.

The more she thought about Harry talking to Tom and reading the diary, the more frantic her searching became. Throwing out all the contents of his trunk, she then began to search his robes, checking the pockets. In the last robe she checked, she finally found it.

She looked around the room. Harry’s things were strewn all over the place. Clothes, books, parchment and linens were everywhere. Ginny checked the clock near the door; they would be back from the library very soon—if they weren’t back already. There was no time to pick up the incredible mess she had made. She had to leave now, or risk being caught.

Ginny scrambled to her feet, pocketing the diary in her own robes, and started towards the stairs. As she began her desent to the common room , she felt an overwhelming sense of relief, with the diary safe again her possession.

But then, she heard voices coming up the stairs. Ginny raced back up the stairs, hoping no one would notice her. She was able to slip into a dark corner of the corridor, before she watched Neville walk up the stairs past her.

Ginny ran back down the stairs at top speed. She watched until once again, no one was looking and crept to the girls staircase, where she took two stairs at a time to get to her own dorm room.

* * *

Ginny stared at the diary sitting on her bed in front of her the next morning. She had been dreading this from the moment she saw that Harry had found the diary after she threw it away in the girl’s bathroom. Not only was she afraid of what Tom might have said to Harry—if he in fact, talked to Harry — but she was fearful of what Tom might make her do again.

It was the perfect time to check. Everyone was on their way to the Quidditch pitch for the game between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. She had to do it now. She resolved to be strong and fight him with everything she had in her power if the need arose. After all, she was a Gryffindor.

She picked up her quill, dipped it in the ink, and with a shaky hand, wrote in the diary.

“Hello Tom.”

The ink disappeared, and came back in his usual elegant scrawl “Well, hello again, Ginny. What a wonderful surprise to hear from you.”

Ginny got straight to the point, “Did you talk to him or not, Tom?”

“But whomever do you mean, Ginny?”

“You KNOW who I mean Tom. Did you talk to Harry or not?”

“You are not the only one with secrets, Ginny.”

“Out with it Tom.”

“But of course I spoke with Mister Potter. And what an interesting conversation it was,” his words appeared slowly, as if to tease her by drawing out the moment.

“I don’t have time for your games Tom. I know what you’ve done to Hagrid,” Ginny wrote frantically. “I want to know what you talked to Harry about—NOW, Tom!”

“Hagrid? I have done nothing to Hagrid. Whatever may have happened to him, he brought upon himself,” Tom wrote back. “Now I find this rather amusing, seeing as not too long ago, you were all too ready to just cast my diary aside, without a care of who might find it. I daresay I rather enjoy the irony of this, Ginny. You needing me more than I need you.”

“Honestly, I was quite surprised when I found myself conversing with Potter himself, instead of you, dear Ginny. What if it had been your friend, Miss Granger? I would have enjoyed telling that Mudblood a few secrets of my own.”

Ginny thought it strange that he had made mention of Hermione, and the fact that she was a Muggle-born. It scared her. “Hermione has nothing to do with this. And besides, she is my friend, she would understand.”

“Somehow, I doubt that. Otherwise, you would have told her by now. You are more jealous of her than you think. Deep down, you wonder what sort of relationship she really has with our your wonderful Mister Potter, am I right? How is it that this Mudblood ‘friend’ of yours manage to befriend, and steal away, both your brother, with whom you used to be so close, and the boy you happen to fancy? What is it that she has, and you do not? Your fear is holding you back, Ginny. Don’t you see that once you put your fear aside, a great destiny awaits you. A destiny with me.”

A pang of guilt and anger crept into Ginny’s mind. “Hermione is not like that. She’s my friend. She would never do that to me. Never.”

“Yes, well you always have me to turn to, anyway. I am still your friend, despite what you might think of me right now. I will always tell you the truth, Ginny. Remember that.”

Ginny looked at he words on the page, suddenly feeling warmed and comforted by them.

Tom continued, “I am curious though. How did you retrieve the diary in the first place?”

“I snuck into Harry’s room and stole it back.” Ginny wrote, suddenly remembering her mission. “Now tell me what you said to him!”

“Clever girl you are, Ginny. I must say I have missed you. Well, if you must know, I simply showed him what happened fifty years ago.”

“So you lied, and told him it was Hagrid?” she asked.

“Remember, I never lie. Like Potter, I never told Headmaster Dippet it was Hagrid, or anyone else. I didn’t have to. I simply showed them what they wanted to see. Nothing more, nothing less. I cannot help if what they think is merely an misapprehension.”

Ginny felt ill at the thought of Hagrid being expelled from Hogwarts, insuring he would be alone in the world. “You are disgusting, Tom Riddle.”

“Temper, temper. You are never going to get what you want from me by acting like a spoiled child. You do not want to be looked upon as a child, do you? You want to be seen as grown up, and clever. Just like Miss Granger. But you are far better than that Mudblood,” Tom continued to taunt her.

“Did you tell Harry about me?”

“What ever do you mean? Are you referring to our relationship? Are you afraid I told him all your secrets?”


“Then no. I did not tell him of our relationship, or any of your secrets.”

A wave of comfort mixed with relief swept over Ginny’s sleepy thoughts. Harry didn’t know what she had done. “Thank you. I appreciate that.”

Tom’s writing became tighter now, less flowing as usual. “I thought that you would. Your secrets are important to me, Ginny. Much more than you know. But nothing comes without a price.”

The sleepy haze was starting to overcome her body, but Ginny struggled to keep writing. Knowing that if she fell asleep, he would have his way with her. “What do you mean?”

“I need you Ginny. We still have work to do. I need you for another task,” Tom wrote.

Fear swept over Ginny, as her eyelids began to droop against her will. “I won’t do it.”

“Yes, I think you will.”

Ginny began to lose her fight for consciousness. She was so tired. She desperately wanted to feel the warmth again. “I won’t hurt anyone else. I will tell Ron and Harry. I swear I will.”

“I hope so, I’m anxious to meet with him again.”


“All in good time, my dear Ginny. But for now we have an important task ahead of us. You know, I’ve always wanted to meet your friend, Miss Granger. And I think this is the perfect opportunity.”

“NO!” she said, unsure if she was speaking or writing now. “I won’t let you hurt her! You can’t, she’s my friend. Ron and Harry will know for sure.”

“Yes, I know,” Ginny heard him say.

“They will come to find you, They will stop at nothing to find the truth,” she said softly, no longer able to control the wonderful warmth surrounding her.

“I know Ginny. I know.”

It was too late. Ginny found herself in her familiar dream, only this time it was far more vivid than any she had before. As she neared the girl’s bathroom, she glanced at the writing still on the wall. She felt more confident in knowing that she was not going to find anyone in the corridors this time. Everyone was still at the Quidditch match. Ginny tried to stop herself regardless, but it was as if her feet were being controlled by something, or rather someone else.

She opened the door to the bathroom and found Tom already waiting for her there. Ginny shuddered as he stepped closer, a wicked grin spreading across his handsome face. She felt as though he had put her in a full-body bind, because aside from standing up, she was unable to move. Tom stopped in front of her and looked at her with piercing eyes. No matter how much she tried not to let him in, he knew every thought in her head. He leaned towards her, feeling the warmness of his breath as he whispered into her ear, making promises of knowledge and power if she followed him. So many promises her head began to swim, as she looked at herself in the mirror.

She tried to shout at him, to tell him “NO!”, but that was not what she heard come from her mouth; it was Parseltongue, but she could understand exactly what she had said. “Open up, so that I may see the mighty Basilisk, serpent of Slytherin!”

Ginny watched in awe as the sinks began to shift, and a gaping hole appeared in the wall before her. She shut her eyes, terrified of what she might see come from the chamber if she opened them. First she heard the loud hiss of the Basilisk as it neared her, and she could tell it was enormous by the girth of it’s presence beside her. Her eyes still shut tightly, she felt the scaly skin of it as it brushed up against her, causing her to shudder again with fear.

Tom whispered into her ear again, telling her to open her eyes and direct the basilisk to fulfill it’s destiny. Ginny and Tom followed the Basilisk down the empty corridor, and Ginny felt a faint glimmer of hope that the serpent would not be able to complete it’s task.

However, a flash of light caught Ginny’s eye, and she turned around to see where it had come from. She could see the reflection of an eye in a mirror as it peeked around the corner. The brown eye looked strangely familiar, and she turned away, pretending not to notice. Unfortunately, Tom noticed the light as well, and Ginny noticed his grin spread even wider.

“NO!” Ginny screamed, as the Basilisk quickly turned around, and she could hear the hard thud of a body falling to the floor. She heard a high-pitched scream come from the adjacent corridor. For a moment, she thought it was odd that she continued to hear a scream, and then she realized that there were two of them. Ginny ran after the Basilisk, in an attempt to stop it from striking again, but it was too late, and the scream was suddenly silenced.

Out of breath from running down the seemingly endless corridor, Ginny finally stopped right before the corner, covering her face as she cried out, afraid of what she might see. She heard the light tapping of Tom’s shoes as he approached her again. He took her hands in his, and lowered them from her face, and pulling her up from the floor as he did so. Smiling, Tom said, “You’ve done well, Ginny dear,” and gently kissed her on the forehead, before he walked around the corner.

Ginny raised her tear-streaked face and forced herself to follow him around the corner, to face what horrors she had caused this time.

Lying there was the girl she had caught kissing her brother, Percy only a few days before. Ginny’s gaze followed down the corridor until they rested on another body, a girl, whose once warm and familiar brown eyes glistened in the center of a shock and horror-filled face, petrified on the stone floor.

It was Hermione.

It was more than Ginny could handle. She felt sick, dizzy, and at once she fell to the floor, fainting dead away

Back to index

Chapter 15: Confessions

Chapter Fifteen: Confessions

A misty haze came over Ginny’s eyes as she awoke, her head aching with an almost burning pain where Tom had kissed her forehead. It was just light enough for her to make out a pale face beneath a mess of light brown hair in the haze.

Ginny reached out and touched the face. It was very cold, and as her eyes began to focus she heard a tremendous scream escape her lips.

“Hermione, oh no! Not Hermione! What have I done?” she cried loudly.

She clutched her petrified friend’s robe and began to sob uncontrollably. Her only true friend gone. Tom had manipulated her again, taking away from her the last remaining hope of friendship. Someone who would have listened and understood, Hermione.

Ginny’s cries did not go unheard however. Madam Pince, the librarian, came running down the corridor as she heard the screams from the library. Ginny didn’t even notice her presence until she was steps away from her, screaming herself, “Miss Weasley, what’s going on—oh dear! Oh no!”

Unable to restrain her own sobs, Ginny raised her head to look at the stunned librarian. Fear swept over her, suddenly realizing that she’d been caught at the scene of the crime—just like Harry. “I—I,” she started, not knowing how to explain herself. “I—I found them.”

Madam Pince attempted to pull Ginny away from Hermione’s frozen body, but she was still clutching Hermione’s robes in sorrow with remarkable strength.

“Miss Weasley, you must come with me, please,” Madam Pince begged her, continuing to pull her up off the floor.

“NO! I won’t leave her!” Ginny screamed at her, before she fell sobbing back into Hermione’s robes again. She felt Madame Pince let her go, and heard footsteps run back down the corridor.

Moments later, she heard several pairs of feet rushing back down the hall. Ginny raised her head again to see Headmaster Dumbledore, with Professor McGonagall and Madam Pince flanking him on each side. Dumbledore knelt down to her, putting a warm hand on her shoulder, and soothing voice filled her ears. “Let go, Miss Weasley.”

“Hermione, she’s petrified,” was all Ginny could say to him.

Dumbledore turn to Madam Pince, “Irma, thank you. Can you quickly notify the rest of the staff please?” he asked the librarian.

“Yes, of course,” Pince said, walking off reluctantly.

“Minerva,” she heard Dumbledore say. “Will you accompany Miss Weasley and myself to my office please?”

Before she realized what had happened, Ginny found herself in Dumbledore’s office. She felt overwhelmed and intimidated sitting in the round room, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of books as well as dozens of portraits of men and women, who she could only assume were the Headmasters and Headmistresses of Hogwart’s past.

Ginny could feel Dumbledore’s eyes suddenly fix upon her with a penetrating look. “Miss Weasley, can you tell us what happened?”

She had no idea what to tell him. She couldn’t tell him what really happened, she’d be expelled for sure then. She could still hear Tom’s voice in the back of her head telling her how disappointed everyone would be when they found out it was their wonderful Ginny all this time.

“I—I was on my way to—the Quidditch match,” Ginny said, wiping her eyes, still stinging from her tears. “I slept late and I—I was af—fraid that I might miss the match. I was on my way to the pitch, when I came ‘round the corner, and I—I . . .”

She couldn’t finish, and she bowed her head to cover another onset of tears.

“Well then,” Dumbledore said, sitting up from his chair and nodding to Professor McGonagall, “Minerva, while I escort Miss Weasley back to Gryffindor Tower, will you please call the students back to their Houses, we must notify them as well.”

McGonagall, who looked as though she was tearing up herself, blinked a few times. “Of course, Albus. Excuse me,” she said quickly, rushing off herself.

Dumbledore walked with Ginny back to the Gryffindor common room. They barely shared a word between them.

“Miss Granger must mean an awful lot to you, for you to be so upset about her attack.”

“She does, sir,” Ginny said solemnly, her eyes concentrating on the floor as they walked. “She’s my friend—my only friend here.”

When they finally reached the portrait of the fat lady, Dumbledore turned to Ginny, and blinked his eyes slowly behind his half-moon spectacles, asking simply, “Is there anything else, you feel you need to share with me, Miss Weasley?”

At that moment, Ginny almost opened up to Dumbledore, ready to tell him everything. But fear still had a tight grip around her and instead she answered quietly, “No sir, nothing at all,” before she climbed back through the portrait hole.

* * *

Ginny sat on the floor of the Gryffindor common room, up against the wall. The Quidditch match was cancelled before it had even begun, and yet even Wood understood the magnitude of the situation. Nearly the entire house was crammed in there to hear Professor McGonagall’s announcement. She told them of the attacks on Hermione and the other girl, Penelope Clearwater, a Ravenclaw Prefect.

McGonagall read from a parchment, stating that all students were not to be out of their dorms after six o’clock. And all students were to be escorted by a Professor. Classes, the bathroom, even the Great Hall for meals.

The Professor turned around and left the students, and Ginny glanced at Percy, who was surprisingly saying nothing. He looked deeply saddened, and only Ginny knew why. Penelope was his girlfriend.

She continued to scan the room and caught sight of Harry and Ron, who were talking privately away from the others. Both Ron and Harry were allowed to see Hermione in the infirmary, after the game was cancelled. Ron was visibly shaken, but Harry looked away distantly, not paying any attention to various Gryffindor students who began to blame Slytherin House the instant McGonagall climbed out the portrait hole.

The twins’ friend, Lee Jordan had made an argument for casting out the Slytherins from Hogwarts permanently, when it suddenly occurred to her, “Hagrid. They still think it was Hagrid. What will I do? They’ll take him to Azkaban Prison for sure! I have to do something!”

It was after eleven o’clock that evening, when Ginny decided to make an attempt to reach Hagrid and warn him. She crept out the portrait hole and down the hallway. Not an easy task, since the halls were nearly swarming with teachers guarding them. But luckily, Ginny was small, and able to hide behind statues and in corners undetected.

The most difficult task was trying to walk out the east passage that lead outside near the Forbidden Forest, and Hagrid’s hut. It was darker than most of the other passages, and as she crept silently closer, she noticed that a dark figure was standing near the end of the passage—Professor Snape.

“Oh great. As if this couldn’t get any harder for me,” she thought to herself. “If only I had a distraction.”

No sooner had she thought this, than another cloaked figure swept by her on their way towards Hagrid’s hut. It was a man she hadn’t seen since the day she found the diary, Lucius Malfoy.

“Good evening Severus,” she heard him say to Snape.

“Lucius. Why am I not surprised to see you here?” Snape growled back. “Ensuring that our Gamekeeper goes to Azkaban?”

She saw Malfoy gave him lazy smile, one that reminded her of his son. “No, I have bigger fish to fry this evening,” he said, holding up a large roll of parchment. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

Ginny watched as Malfoy walked away from Snape a few steps before turning around again and said, “You know what the outcome will be Severus. I hope that you will use this situation to your advantage.” Malfoy spun around again and made his way towards Hagrid’s hut. Snape too, grumbled something to himself, and walked back towards the castle.

She stood there in the darkness for a moment, trying to figure out what Malfoy had meant by his last words to Snape. And even more important, why they seemed to know each other well enough to speak to each other on a first name basis. But she shook it from her mind, and tried to focus on her mission, fearing that if Malfoy was on his way to Hagrid’s, it might already be too late.

Holding herself back from sprinting past Malfoy to get to Hagrid first, Ginny crept across the cool lawn, and waited patiently by the greenhouses. There was a perfect view of Hagrid’s hut from them, and she watched as Malfoy entered the hut. Ginny noticed that there seemed to be several people in there already, and she waited a few moments longer before she finally saw the door open again.

Headmaster Dumbledore walked out of Hagrid’s hut first, followed by Malfoy. And then much to her surprise came Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, and her father’s boss. She watched as Fudge left the hut with Hagrid close behind him, who looked back into the house with worry, before he stepped out himself.

“If Cornelius Fudge was here to get Hagrid,” she thought. “This could only mean one thing . . . Hagrid is going to Azkaban.”

* * *

The next morning, Ginny went to the infirmary to see Hermione, but the doors were shut tightly. When she knocked on the door, Madam Pomfrey cracked open the door and poked an eye and nose out.

“I’m sorry Ginny, but I can’t allow you to see her,” she said stiffly. “With Dumbledore gone now, Professor McGonagall doesn’t want to take any chances of the Heir making another attempt on these students.”

“Dumbldore’s gone?” Ginny said with surprise. “What happened?”

“I’m afraid that he’s been suspended indefinitely.” Pomfrey said. “By order of the school board of governors.”

“Malfoy, that git,” Ginny thought to herself. “This is all his fault!”

“Please, Madam Pomfrey.” Ginny pleaded. “She is my only friend here at Hogwarts. I have to see her. I beg of you.”

Pomfrey’s face began to soften a bit, and the door slid open just enough for Ginny to squeeze through. “Now, I will do this for you. But you have to promise me that you won’t say a word to anyone about it, understood? You have five minutes.” she said, leading her to Hermione’s bed, shrouded by a curtain around it.

Madame Pomfrey pulled back the curtain, and Ginny gasped again at the sight of her petrified friend. Hermione looked like a porcelain doll. Her brown eyes glassed over, her pale skin shone like moonlight. And her hand was still raised up as if she were holding the mirror, now lying on the night table beside her.

“Can I have a moment alone with her, please?” Ginny asked quietly.

“Yes, of course,” Pomfrey said, walking away to busy herself with other things. “Remember, you have five minutes.”

“Thank you,” she said, holding back her tears in front of the nurse.

Ginny sat on the bed and took hold of Hermione’s hand. It was icy cold. Her own warm tears began spilling down her face.

“I’m so sorry Hermione,” she whispered. “I never meant for any of this to happen, I swear. Tom made me do it.”

With her other hand, she stroked Hermione’s bushy hair on the pillow. “ I should have told you everything, Hermione. The diary, Tom Riddle, the dreams—everything. I know you would have understood. I’m such a fool sometimes. Now look where it’s got me. Nearly everyone I care about has been hurt, or is in danger, all because of me.” Ginny continued, staring into Hermione’s rigid face.

“Of all the people in the school, why did it have to be you?” she asked herself. “I can’t go
on facing him alone like this. I need you more than ever.”

“And now, he’s after Harry for some reason. I don’t understand it. Why on earth would he want Harry so much? Nobody has wanted him this much since—“

Ginny shuddered at the thought, and whispered, “Since You-Know-Who.”

At this moment, Ginny realized that she had to tell Harry about Tom and the diary. Before it was too late, and Harry ended up sharing the same fate as Hagrid.

“I promise you, Hermione. This won’t happen again. I can’t allow it to happen any more. And if Harry and Ron can’t stop Tom Riddle, then I will.”

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Chapter 16: A Fate Too Terrible To Ignore

Chapter Sixteen: A Fate Too Terrible to Ignore

Although Professor McGonagall had announced that exams would still be taking place, they were the last thing on Ginny’s mind. For the last two weeks, she had tried to find a way to tell Ron and Harry about Tom and the diary. They had kept to themselves quite a bit, and without being able to see Hermione, their hopes seemed as grim as their faces. Especially Ron’s.

The looks of despair she noticed Percy and Ron had been wearing when they were alone from time to time were enough to make anyone feel terrible, but they made Ginny only feel more guilt-ridden than ever. A week before exams, she caught Ron staring off into space, a slight look of terror on his face.

“Ron, are you okay?” she asked. “You look like you just saw a spider or something.” Ginny knew her brother was terrified of them, thanks to Fred and George, and a very cruel trick with a teddy bear when Ron was young.

Shuddering at the mere mention of spiders, Ron turned around to his sister. “Sp—spiders? No . . .er, no, I just was thinking about Hermione. I just wish they would just hurry up with the Mandrake draught already, ” he said, not quite looking her in the eye.

Ginny had hidden the diary deep within her trunk, afraid of what she was capable of if she opened it again. And now with Hermione, Hagrid and even Professor Dumbledore gone, she was even more tempted to write in it, seeking guidance . . . even if it was Tom giving it to her. Every day seemed more difficult than the last, as though Tom called to her from within herself, beckoning her to join him again.

Fortunately, Ginny was absolved from this temptation a few days before exams. Professor McGonagall announced at breakfast that Professor Sprout’s Mandrakes were ready for cutting, and that the Mandrake Draught would be made immediately, to revive the victims that had been petrified.

Ginny’s heart soared at the news, as nearly the entire school rose up from their tables and cheered. “Hermione and the others would return tonight!” she thought enthusiastically, feeling a wave of relief sweep over her. “This nightmare will finally be over.”

Of course that was until she overheard Neville talking to Seamus and Dean, “Did you hear that! They will revive everyone tonight, now they will find out who’s been behind all these attacks!”

As if her entire body was dipped in the Arctic Ocean, Ginny froze with fear at this realization. Suddenly the sausages she just ate didn’t quite sit well with her.

The cheers still rang in her ears as she considered her fate. “They will know who did it. Every last one of them will know it was me. The school, my family, probably the entire wizarding world. Even Harry. What will they think when they find out? They won’t understand. I have to explain to them what happened before it’s too late, and I get expelled. I will probably be banished, and have to go live with my accountant uncle, never to practice magic again.”

“I have to tell them. I have to tell them NOW.”

Forcing herself up from the table, Ginny turned to her brother. Ron and Harry, who both had joyous looks on their faces. She thought of the diary upstairs in her trunk, and walked over to them at the table, twisting her hands together in nervousness.

She sat down next to Ron. Saying nothing at first, having no idea how she was going to tell them at all. “What’s up?” he asked, as he served himself some porridge.

Ginny felt faint. She unconsciously looked over the Gryffindor table for Hermione, then glancing at the head table for Hagrid, looking for some sort of support or strength to give her. But she realized quickly that there was none to be found. She had to do this alone.

Ron looked at her, observing her strange behavior. “Spit it out,” he said again.

She glanced at Harry. He, too stared at her with an odd look in his eye. Pondering to himself.

Concentrating hard on not making eye contact with Harry, she mumbled to her brother, “I’ve got to tell you something.”

Harry’s ears perked up, and he looked at her with more interest. “What is it?”

Confused and scared, Ginny tried with all her might to find the words to say to them. It just seemed so hard. All she could think of was how disappointed in her they would all be when she told them the truth.

Ron started to look annoyed. “What?” he said, urging her on.

“You have to do this,” she told herself. “Or they will never understand. They will hate you.” Ginny opened her mouth, but could not even utter a squeak.

Harry leaned towards her and spoke softly, giving her a comfort and strength in his words she’d never known before. “Is it something about the Chamber of Secrets? Have you seen something? Someone acting oddly?”

Ginny drew in her own strength with her breath. She knew then that she could do it. Holding her breath, she looked straight at Harry and—

“If you’ve finished eating, I’ll take that seat, Ginny. I’m starving, I’ve only just come off patrol duty,” a weary looking Percy said behind her, making Ginny jump up.

She backed out of her seat, nearly falling over it. Any bravery she might’ve had by now, completely left her. Ginny looked at Percy, not knowing whether or not he’d heard their conversation. Not knowing what else to do, she ran out of the Great Hall.

* * *

Gazing at herself in the mirror as she twirled the wand in her hand, Ginny felt indifferent. She couldn’t put a finger on how, but she knew in her heart that she had changed, and she wasn’t sure whether she liked it or not.

Physically, she had changed from the start of term. She had become slightly gaunt, and increasingly pale, even more than the average redhead. In addition to the fact that they were swollen from crying, her eyes were sunken with dark circles under them. And it was quite obvious that she hadn’t really ate or slept in days.

It was as if her very essence was slowly creeping out of her body, leaving nothing but an empty shell of a person. Maybe it was already gone.

Ginny turned around and regarded her trunk. Within it lay the last remaining scraps of all the impossible dreams and silly wishes of an eleven year old girl. Her childhood gone.

She was no longer sweet, innocent little Ginny Weasley. She could thank Tom for that.

But somehow, she felt content. More so than she had felt in a long time. Perhaps it was the news that everyone would be soon unpetrified later that evening, even though it meant that she would be soon be named by the victims as the Heir of Slytherin. Or maybe it was that she felt that indescribable brush of strength, looking into Harry’s eyes, that she had never felt before. But she knew it wasn’t either one.

She could hear Tom’s calls to her ringing in her head, and they were difficult to ignore. A part of her wanted to be with him badly. She had already given him so much of herself, it was hard to tell now if it was her or him directing the orchestra in her head. But she had to fight this overwhelming desire. She hated what she had become, but she hated Tom more for influencing her. It wasn’t right to feel this way, and she knew it.

Her feelings buried deep down, she didn’t want to admit to herself that she liked the power Tom gave her. The power was still raw and uncontrollable, but if she could learn to control it, harness it, she could eventually use it against him. But that meant that she would have to face him again. Was it worth having to destroy herself in order to destroy her greatest friend, and her worst enemy?

“Yes.” she thought without hesitation.

Ginny walked near her bed, set her wand down on her night table, and knelt down to dig the diary from the bottom of her trunk. Frightened and relieved at the same time by the small book in her hands, she picked up the quill already sitting on her night table, and dipped it in the black ink beside it. Feeling resolve about her fate, she opened up the diary and wrote, “I’ve come back Tom.”

“I knew that you could not resist my calls to you. Eager for me to show you more are we? You enjoyed that little taste I gave you, and now your thirst for power is growing,” he wrote back.

Trying not to let herself slip into the anger she felt boiling up within her, Ginny allowed herself to feel slightly cocky as she wrote, “No, Tom. I’ve come to tell you it’s over. The Mandrake draught is nearly ready, and soon, they will all be awake. Everyone will know who is responsible for all of this. And when they know it was me, you won’t be able to hurt anyone else.”

“That is where you’re wrong, dear Ginny. I have grown powerful, far more than you can imagine.”

“Tom, you need me. You can’t do anything without me or the diary.”

“I am afraid it is you that is wrong, Ginny. It is you who cannot be without me. You want to feel that power again, am I right? You are desperate to feel me again inside of you, to keep the defenseless little girl at bay. So afraid of the weak person you will become without me.” Tom knew her well—too well, and she grimaced at how he was able to see right through her. Then again, it was she who allowed him to have that power over her.

“I’m not afraid of you. Not anymore.”

“Oh, but you should be,” he chided. “ I think it is time I finally reveal some secrets of my own to you. Secrets about the Heir of Slytherin that not even you know about. I am worse than any nightmare you could possibly envision for yourself and your world.”

“I find that hard to believe. You are nothing but a fifty-year-old memory in a book, Tom Riddle. And once you have been destroyed, no one will even remember you.”

“You silly little child, how very little you understand,” were Tom’s final words in the diary as they disappeared and the diary opened up before her. Ginny was suddenly spinning in a whirl of color, and she shut her eyes tightly. When she finally landed and opened her eyes, she found herself in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, though it looked different than before, as though in a different time.

Ginny glanced around the room. Tom was on the other end of the room, speaking in Parseltongue at the opened sink, calling the serpent.

“Tom, what are you—“

But Ginny was quickly cut off by the wail of a girl crying loudly as she came charging out of one the stalls. It was Myrtle, and she was alive.

“What are you doing here Riddle? Don’t you know that this is a girls’ bathroom?” Myrtle shouted, wiping her tear-streaked eyes, before they suddenly became wide with fear and she shrieked in horror, and Ginny heard the hiss of the basilisk behind her.

“No! No! NO!” Ginny cried.

Myrtle seized up as though she was in a full body bind, and her eyes glazed over, and darkened, as though they were burned out of their sockets. Ginny shuddered and turned away from her and back to Tom, who was walking towards her.

“You, and the rest of the wizarding world may only think of me as a memory Ginny, but how easily you forget that it is the memory that they fear most of all,” he said to her.

“What do you mean Tom?” her body shaking almost violently as she spoke.

“I think you know, Ginny. Deep down, I think you have known for quite a while now,” he said with a devilish grin.

“No! You’re lying!”

“Remember, I never lie.”

“But you can’t be. That’s impossible!”

“You know who I am Ginny. You know that I am Lord Voldemort.”

Ginny’s mind was reeling. Voldemort. Tom Riddle is Voldemort. Her head was beginning to throb in pain from the shock. It was too much. And at last, when she could take it no longer, she fell into unconsciousness.

* * *

Ginny woke up in a darkened chamber holding the diary in her hands, not knowing if she was dreaming or not. Columns of eerie-looking serpents surrounded her, and at the very end of the chamber was an enormous statue of the founder of Slytherin house, Salazar Slytherin himself. Tom again was there, standing near the base of the statue. It was then she realized that she was in the Chamber of Secrets.

She felt incredibly weak, and the only thoughts filling her mind as she got to her feet was that she had to keep strong and have hope. Just keep alive long enough for Ron and Harry to find her in the chamber.

Clutching the diary close, Ginny asked, stuttering, “H—how is this possible? I—I don’t understand . . .”

The corner of Tom’s lips curled up slightly in a tight smile as he walked towards her. “Simple really. I fed off your fear and your hate, and it made me strong. I eventually gained enough strength to overpower and control you, much like a wizard under the Imperious Curse does. Under my influence, you were able to speak Parseltongue and release the Basilisk onto Hogwarts. You were ready to do my bidding.

“Of course, you are much stronger than I thought. Your feelings for Potter have become far more than a silly little crush, and I suppose he has his own influence over you, though you did not know it. You fought me, somehow only allowing our victims to be petrified rather than killed. For if they had met the Basilisk eye to eye, they would have died like that whiny girl in the bathroom. I then realized that there was only one person who could have the power to stop me, your great love, Harry Potter.”

Tom walked around her in circles, as if he were interrogating her. “Until of course you began to suspect me, and tried to flush me down a toilet! You thought it were easy for you. But you were wrong. Harry found the diary. How very lucky for me indeed! Of all the people in the school, he was the one who found me.

“I told Potter about the expulsion of Hagrid to gain his trust, hoping that he would begin to confide in me as well. And I could have made good use of him too. An even better scapegoat than you, I think. But again, I underestimated you. How surprised I was that you had gone to such lengths to steal the diary back.

Tom sighed irritably, “But no matter, Potter is a resourceful lad. He will find me again soon enough, once he finds out his best friends’ sister has been taken. He will figure out how to open the chamber, seek me out, and then he will tell me how he was able to defeat me in the past. And once I get what I want from him, you will have what you always wanted, Ginny—Harry Potter with you, forever.”

Stone faced, Ginny asked Tom the only question that rose to mind. “If you are the all powerful Dark Lord, then what do you want from me?”

Tom’s grin spread across his face. “You have already given me almost everything that I wanted from you, Ginny dear. Power over you and nearly everyone you hold dear. But there is one last thing I need from you. To keep me alive, and make me whole again—your soul.”

Ginny tried to be strong, though she felt her strength slowly diminishing. “What will become of me, Tom?”

“I am sorry Ginny, but you will have to sacrifice your life to give me back my own. I am sure you understand of course. Besides, I have to make sure that I have enough strength to defeat Harry Potter. Yes, my former self may have made a mistake in the past, but it is not one I plan to make twice. Tonight, I will return to power. Younger, stronger and more powerful than ever before, and not even Albus Dumbledore or the great Harry Potter will be able to stop me!”

“No!” Ginny cried. She had to believe that Harry could save her, but doubt began to creep into her mind. “He’s only a boy. How can he save me?” Stumbling to her knees on the stone floor, she shut the thought immediately out of her mind, and tried to think of a way to keep him talking, to stall him.

“Tom, why did you choose me?”

Another smirk crept onto Tom’s young face. “Frankly, it wasn’t me who chose you, it was a friend of mine. A supporter, if you will, of my efforts. He felt that you would be a perfect candidate. Not to mention his deep desire to have your Muggle-loving family in ruins.”

She wondered who could have wanted so much harm to come to her family, when it suddenly slapped her in the face. The brawl at Flourish and Blotts. She remembered taking back one of her books from Mr. Malfoy after the scuffle he had with her father. He must have hidden the diary in the book.

“Malfoy. I should have known,” Ginny growled, her anger at its peak.

“Clever girl,” Tom said. “I must admit, though at times it made my task a bit challenging, I have always admired your intelligence. I believe that if you had not deceived me, we would have made quite a pair you and I. But you had to let your heart get in the way. All in all, I think that it proved to be a far more satisfying payoff when I finally broke you.”

“You haven’t broken me, Tom. I still have strength in me yet.”

“Perhaps,” he said slyly. “But not enough to fight me much longer. When will you learn child, that I will always have the last word? Even as we speak, you feel yourself growing weaker, slipping away into the diary, to take my place. There is no turning back now, Ginny. You will die. Remember, I will always win, no matter what.”

Still grasping the diary in her arms, Ginny finally fell onto the floor, feeling the coolness of the stone bricks on her cheeks, as the rest of her slowly faded away into the diary. She went over in her mind what she could have done differently to stop all of this, but in the end, she could find nothing. She was accountable for everything that had happened, and now she had to accept her terrible fate.

Her only regret as Tom Riddle’s last words echoed through her mind was that she hadn’t told Ron and Harry the truth earlier that morning, and she promised herself that if she ever lived through this, she would never keep anything as important as this away from them again.

The End

A/N: I would like to thank my truly remarkable beta-reader, Kathryn for not only bearing with my atrocious grammar, but really refining my writing style for this piece. Much love to you!

And as always, I would like to thank my muse, my partner in crime and my best friend on the net, Authentic Poppy. Not only was she the inspirational voice of Tom Riddle in this piece, but she has shown me how much more there is to this book than a silly little girl with a diary. Huge glomps to you babe!


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