Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Heir of Blood

Meeting and Defeating Riddle

by ShadeDancer 0 reviews

Chapter 10

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Blaise Zabini, Harry - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2005-10-21 - Updated: 2005-10-21 - 5167 words

Dislciamer: Harry Potter is not and will never be mine.

Harry lit his wand after a hard landing, shrugging off his stained robe at the same time, and found that while he was glad there hadn't been any Devil's Snare what he saw wasn't much better. Rubble and the scattered remains of rodents littered the floor all around him, the tiny bones and brittle skulls breaking under his feet as he tried in vain to find a clean place to stand. He had just given up on the attempt to avoid the rodent corpses when a yell came echoing down the pipe he had shot out of moments before, the cry growing closer every second.

"Damn it" Harry grumbled in exasperation, knowing exactly who the sound was originating from "bloody Gryffindor. Not only can't she listen, but if anyone is down here they'll hear her bloody screams."

Not but seconds later Hermione shot out of the pipe and skidded along the bone-carpeted floor. When she came to a stop she sat still for a moment, grimacing as she rubbed at a sore spot before she realized what was beneath her. With a start Hermione gaze a cry of disgust, prompting Harry to lunge forward and clamp a hand over the Gryffindor's mouth to stifle any further cries.

"Quiet Granger" he glared at her "if they didn't hear you yelling when you came down we might still have a chance. And I told you to get back to your dorm. Can't you bloody Gryffindors ever listen. No sense of self preservation. I wouldn't even be here if Blaise hadn't been attacked."

As Harry said the words, he realized that they were true. Sure, it sucked that Ginny had been taken, but that in itself wouldn't have been enough to get him so determined to find the Chamber of Secrets in order to kill the mastermind behind these attacks. Ginny was more of an excuse because she was the twins' younger sister, his true reason for coming here was to get revenge for Blaise. In truth, this revelation didn't disturb him all that much either, it was just the way he was. It was the way he had been raised to think and act. People died all the time in the mafia and while the dead would be missed, they weren't mourned for overly long. Dead was dead, it was the living that mattered. That, and getting revenge. He just hoped his dad could accept that reasoning as justification for coming down here and putting himself in danger like a foolish Gryffindor. It seemed to Harry that he had at least two times when he totally disregarded all his training: when Blaise was in danger, and when he was bored. There were probably more, but so far those seemed to be the ones to plague him here at Hogwarts. Oh yeah, his dad was going to kill him for being so foolish, Trevor would too. Harry pushed these thoughts away, he needed to focus on the task at hand. There was no turning back now and he wasn't about to chicken out in front of a Gryffindor even though his Slytherin sense of preservation had decided to finally rear its head.

"Come on" Harry tugged Hermione's arm to get her to follow "this is the only way to go from right here and I'm not about to leave you behind where you might get into trouble. Keep your eyes on the ground as much as possible and, for the sake of whatever the hell you hold holy, keep quiet Granger."

For a moment it seemed as if Hermione was going to quarrel with him, but she swallowed any protest and nodded her acquiesce with grim determination. Harry shook his head in exasperation as he turned to look down the stretch of tunnel ahead, Gryffindors. They hadn't gone more than a few feet when Harry stumbled to a stop, causing Hermione to plow into his back.

"By the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water" Harry unconsciously invoked the elemental guardians of Cheveyo's people "eagle, lion, serpent, and bull protect us."

"What is it" Hermione breathed, her voice trembling.

Slowly Harry edged forward, mostly sure of what was in front of them, but still wanting to make sure "a snake skin. A basilisk skin."

It was both fascinating and terrifying at the same time to gaze upon even this hollow shell of what they would soon be facing. The vivid, poisonous green skin lay curled upon the slimy floor and had to have been at least twenty feet long. The basilisk was undoubtedly even longer now, the venom having grown more potent with age. Harry suddenly felt woefully unarmed, but it was too late to turn around. He felt he had to prove himself; prove he could handle things by himself without always having his father, Trevor, or Blaise to fall back upon. He had to do this for Blaise who was lying comatose in the hospital wing. He also had no damn idea how the hell to get back up the pipe that had brought them down to the Chamber.

"Come on" Harry tugged on Hermione's robes to get her moving "we're wasting time."

Harry resisted adding that he wanted to get the hell out of there and continued on along the tunnel, Hermione clutching annoyingly at his shirt. He didn't have the heart to tell her to let go. Every nerve in his body was tingling unpleasantly as he was tautly aware of every minor sound around them. The tunnel turned again and again and while Harry wished it would just end, he dreaded what he would find when it did. Together he and Hermione crept around yet another bend to find that they had run out of tunnel. Ahead was a solid wall on which two entwined serpents were carved, their eyes set with great, glittering emeralds. Though set in stone the snakes looked alarmingly real, their eyes appearing strangely alive. Harry took a deep breath.


The serpents parted as the wall cracked open, the walls sliding smoothly out of site. For a moment Harry closed his eyes before they flashed open again, glowing every as eerily as the emeralds shining from the faces of the serpents. Grasping his wand firmly in his right hand and a gun in the other, Harry drew himself up tall. He was a Darkov, damn it, and he didn't have the luxury of showing fear right now.

"This is your last chance to turn back" he warned Hermione.

"I can't" Hermione was gripping her wand as if her life depended on it, which it probably did.

Without a backwards glance, Harry Potter-Darkov entered the Chamber of Secrets.

~~ ~~ ~*~

The dimly lit chamber was long and while it lacked the majority of the rodent corpses that the corridor leading there had boasted, the Chamber of Secrets was damp with numerous pools of water that reflected grotesque statues of serpents. Harry resisted the urge to comment aloud on how homey the place seemed, it just wouldn't be right after he had warned Hermione to be silent. The serpentine pillars rose up to support a ceiling lost to darkness and cast long shadows through the greenish gloom that filled the place. From somewhere in this gloom came a steady 'plink plink' as drops of water fell to join that which lay upon the floor. Harry's heart began to beat faster as even more adrenaline pumped through his veins. Could the basilisk be lurking in a shadowy corner, behind one of the looming pillars? And where was Ginny? Everything was too quiet. Could Ginny already be dead? The message had said her skeleton would lie in the chamber forever. Why had it not occurred to him or Hermione that Ginny might already be dead?

Gripping his wand more tightly, Harry moved through the shadows near the serpentine columns even though there was a good chance their enemy was using those very same shadows to conceal themselves in. Every careful footstep echoed loudly in the cavernous chamber causing Harry to curse silently, stealth was nearly impossible in this place. Harry was also ready to slam his eyes closed at any moment and risked a quick glance to see that Hermione, who was following behind him and hanging onto the back of his shirt, had her eyes resolutely glued to the floor. Eerily, the hollow eye sockets of the stone snakes seemed to be following their every movement and Harry couldn't decide if this was better or worse than seeing the eyes of the snake guarding the chamber door. The dancing shadows made these snakes seem as if they were moving, stirring languidly as the two young intruders passed their resting places.

It wasn't until he drew level with the last set of pillars that a statute as high as the Chamber itself loomed into view, standing against the back wall. Harry had to crane his neck to look up into the giant face above. It was a noble and angular face, the artist of the statue had captured the subject's wisdom and cunning in the stone. There was no denying who this aristocratic wizard was that towered majestically above them: Salazar Slytherin. Harry's eyes traveled down the statue, taking in the almost unnoticed snake that wrapped around the ancient wizard's torso to lay rest its head upon Slytherin's shoulder, until he got to the stone feet. Between the feet, facedown, lay a black-robed figure the size of a first year with flaming-red hair.

"Ginny" Hermione cried, obviously having given up her starting contest with the floor to look around, before darting forward.

"Damn it" Harry snapped, hauling the foolish Gryffindor back by her robes "you don't know if it's safe to go to her. Use some common sense Granger."

But Hermione had twisted free to run to Ginny, leaving Harry holding onto the back of her robes. Dropping the robes to puddle into a mound of black cloth, Harry made his way over to Ginny and Hermione with a bit more caution than the Gryffindor had shown. He wasn't sure whether to be relieved or not that no one showed themselves from the shadows as he knelt down beside Hermione.

"Ginny" Hermione was shaking the girl "Ginny-don't be dead-please don't be dead-please wake up."

"She won't wake" a soft voice said from behind them, causing Harry to whirl from where he had been feeling for Ginny's pulse.

"Who the fuck are you" Harry's nerves were stretched taut; in this room where every sound carried he hadn't heard the figure approach.

A tall, black-haired boy was leaning against the nearest pillar, watching them with unwavering eyes. He was strangely blurred around the edges, as though Harry were looking at him through a misted window. He had never seen this boy around Hogwarts before.

"I suppose it won't hurt to introduce myself" the boy seemed to muse to himself before giving them a slightly condescending bow "Tom Riddle at your service."

"What d'you mean, she won't wake" Hermione stammered in desperation "she's not-she's not-?"

"She's still alive" Riddle said "but only just."

Harry's eyes narrowed at Riddle's every word. This was the bastard behind all this, he just knew it. In a smooth motion that almost didn't require for him to think, Harry dropped his wand to the ground and swung his gun up to steady it with two hands, silently squeezing off a few well-placed shots into the body of Tom Riddle. The bullets passed right through, the only sign they had hit at all being a slight ripple of Riddle's being. Beside him on the ground, Ginny jerked as if the bullets had passed through her as well, but she too showed no signs of injury. It was as if she had suffered a phantom wound in Riddle's place.

"Curious" Riddle said as he touched the spots where the bullets had went through him "you use a muggle weapon. I didn't really feel a thing, no pain certainly."

"What the fuck are you" Harry had rocked back on his heels in surprise "you look solid enough, but the bullets passed through you as if you were a ghost."

"A memory" said Riddle quietly "preserved in a diary for fifty years. I never thought I would get out of the darkness I had placed myself in until one day little Ginny began to write to me, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes-how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how she felt like the tagalong sister when the great Harry Potter allowed her to hang out with him, Blaise, and her twin brothers."

As he spoke, Riddle pointed towards the floor near the statue's giant toes. Lying open there was a little black diary. It was the same one that he had seen Ginny writing in once during a stay at the manor.

"It's very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl" Tom continued "but I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one's ever understood me like you, Tom...I'm so glad I've got this diary to confide in...It's like having a friend I can carry around in my pocket..."

Riddle laughed "if I say it myself, Harry, I've always been able to charm the people I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul into me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted...I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful that little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her...I could control her, I made her open the Chamber of Secrets and set the basilisk on the students in order to finish Salazar Slytherin's noble work."

"Harry" Hermione was shaking his shoulder, her eyes watching Riddle as he fanatically spoke "we have to get out of here. What if the basilisk comes? We need to go before it comes."

Harry acknowledged the wisdom in this. He needed to get Hermione and Ginny out of here and then he could come back and deal with Riddle. He already knew that he couldn't physically harm Tom, but Riddle had given him the key to his own demise. The diary had to be the clue. If Tom came from it, then the key to destroy him had to be linked with the diary. Instructing Hermione to levitate Ginny, he reached for his wand only to find it wasn't where he had dropped it when he had switched to his gun. Eyes narrowing he looked to see Tom idly twirling it between his long fingers.

"Give me my wand Riddle" he demanded in a low voice.

"Come on Harry" Hermione urged again "quick, before the basilisk comes."

"I don't believe I will, Harry Potter. Oh yes, Ginny's told me about you, how you managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time. How could a mere child accomplish such a task as to defeat the greatest wizard of all time, escaping with nothing but a scare while Lord Voldemort's powers were destroyed?" said Riddle "and don't worry Hermione, yes I know you as well, it won't come until it's called."

"What do you mean, why do you care about you-know-who? He was after your time" Hermione started moving backwards towards the way they had come in, Ginny's body floating eerily after her through the gloom "come on Harry, we have to get out of here."

"For the one Ginny calls the brightest witch of her class, you are surprisingly dense Hermione" Riddle taunted "but then I can't expect everyone to know the secrets of Lord Voldemort as well as I do. You see, Voldemort is my past, present, and future..."

Using Harry's wand Tom traced it through the air to write three shimmering words:


Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name began to rearrange themselves:


For some reason Harry wasn't as surprised as he should have been about this revelation, after all, he knew Voldemort had been a parselmouth and you had to be able to speak the language of the snakes to even enter the Chamber of Secrets. No, it all made sense now.

"You see" Riddle was whispering "It was a name I was already using at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends only, of course. You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father's name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother's side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry-I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!"

Harry stared incredulously at Riddle before he smirked and negligently summoned back his wand, if Riddle wouldn't give it back, he would just have to take it. This guy really was a lunatic, memory or not.

"You're not" he said, voice smug.

"Not what" Riddle snapped, it seemed like he didn't like to be contradicted.

"You're not the greatest sorcerer in the world" Harry's smirk was full of satisfaction "I'm reserving that title for myself. I've already thwarted you twice in my lifetime and I do think I'm going to get quite a lot of satisfaction on beating you yet a third time. How does it feel to know a second year will be your downfall? It must rankle just a teeniest bit. Of course I will concede the fact that I do not yet have the knowledge you and Dumbledore possess, is it true you're afraid of him?"

Harry knew he had struck a cord when Riddle hissed "Dumbledore's been driven out of this castle by the mere memory of me!"

"You really are full of yourself" Harry kept baiting riddle in hopes Hermione would take the hint and get her ass out of there "the Board of Governor's asked him to leave. Why would a pathetic memory such as you frighten him? You're not even solid, you have to rely on a naïve first-year girl to do your dirty work because you're not powerful enough."

Riddle opened his mouth to send out some sort of scathing retort, but froze. Music was coming from somewhere. Riddle whirled around to stare down the empty chamber. The music was growing louder. It was eerie, spine-tingling, unearthly; it made the hair on the back of Harry's neck prickle even as it filled him with a quiet confidence. Then, as the music reached such a pitch that Harry felt it vibrating through his whole body, flames erupted at the top of the nearest pillar. A crimson bird the size of a swan had appeared, piping its weird music to the vaulted ceiling. It had a glittering golden tail as long as a peacock's and gleaming golden talons that Harry did not want to find himself upon the wrong end of, in the talons was clutched a ragged bundle. A second later, the bird was flying straight at Harry, but he knew it meant him no harm. It dropped the ragged thing it was carrying at his feet, then landed heavily on his shoulder. As it folded its great wings, Harry looked up and saw it had a long, sharp golden beak and a beady black eye. It was a phoenix.

"You called a phoenix to you" for a moment Riddle seemed in awe until his eyes fell to the ragged bundle at Harry's feet "and it brought you the old school Sorting Hat."

Riddle began to laugh "how are a song bird and an old hat going to help you against the awesome power I command. You've already proved that you're muggle weapon cannot harm me, shall we see how it does against my basilisk? I would have enjoyed talking to you longer, but you've annoyed me and now must be taught your place. No one shall ever be greater than I!"

Turning, Riddle gazed up into the stone face of Salazar Slytherin and began to hiss "/Ssspeak to me, Ssslytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four/."

"Well there isss one thing we agree on" Harry hissed drolly, amusement briefly flooding him as Riddle jerked slightly at hearing him speak parseltongue; it was probably a new concept for Riddle, to hear another human speak the language he held so sacred.

Slytherin's gigantic stone face began to move, its mouth opening wide to form a huge black hole. Something stirred within the statue's mouth. The basilisk was slithering up from the depths of the statue. A gasp sounded behind him.

"Get out of here Granger" Harry yelled, he couldn't afford to be distracted by her presence, but it was too late.

The phoenix took flight as the huge form of the basilisk hit the stone floor of the Chamber. Diving to the floor, Harry snatched up the Sorting Hat, jamming it onto his head so that his eyes were covered. The Hat may not be a weapon, but wearing it would ensure he didn't inadvertently look the basilisk in the eyes. From behind him Harry heard a strangled cry that could have only come from Hermione, he just hoped the foolish Gryffindor wasn't dead, it was going to be difficult enough to explain coming to the Chamber in the first place without bringing back a dead body.

"Kill him" Riddle hissed gleefully to the basilisk.

Harry ran, blindly shooting off spells and bullets in the direction he could hear the basilisk coming from. Maybe if he was lucky he would hit the things eyes. He needed to take out the eyes. He had no chance against the King of Serpents if he could not see to hit it, and he couldn't risk looking and accidentally peering into those deadly eyes. There was a loud, explosive spitting sound right above him, the basilisk had caught up with him. Then something heavy hit Harry so hard that he was smashed into the wall. Quickly hauling himself back to his feet, Harry dove behind the pillar he had landed next to, feeling the stone column shudder as the basilisk thrashed wildly against it.

"NO" Riddle suddenly began screaming as Harry heard the phoenix cry out in triumph "LEAVE THE BIRD! LEAVE THE BIRD! THE BOY IS STILL BEHIND YOU! YOU CAN STILL SMELL HIM! KILL HIM!"

Almost not daring to hope, Harry pulled the frayed Hat from his head as the basilisk raised itself high in the air and began to weave drunkenly between the pillars. The basilisk was enormous, a poisonous green color and thick as an oak trunk. It was also blinded now, thanks to the phoenix. The phoenix had punctured both the eyes and blood was streaming to the floor as the snake spitted in agony while being compelled to obey its master's commands. Now that the playing field had been evened somewhat, Harry began to shoot off well placed spells and bullets only to curse as the thick skin of the serpent repelled all his attacks.

"Ancestors help me" Harry sent up the plea, he would have to get to higher ground and aim for the ruins of the basilisk's eyes; they were the only weakness Harry could currently see.

As if it had heard him, the phoenix swept down and dropped the Sorting Hat back upon his head. The moment the Hat touched his head, Harry felt it contract and something very hard and heavy thudded into his skull, almost knocking him out. Yanking the Hat off his head and keeping consciousness out of sheer, stubborn will alone, Harry pulled a gleaming silver sword with a ruby encrusted handle free.

"What the hell" Harry stated in disbelief "how is a sword going to help me against that fucking monster? Why couldn't you give me some C4 or something more useful?"

"That's the sword of Godric Gryffindor" the Hat stated as if that made all the difference in the world "but if you would prefer something more Slytherin-"

The handles of two daggers appeared within the hats opening and Harry pulled them out in disbelief "great, something that gets me even closer to the damn thing. /Are you fucking insane/?! Wait-"

Harry shoved the daggers into the belt around his waist before searching through the pouch hanging off his belt. For once he was glad not to have had time to pull a prank as he fished out a handful of the tiny explosives his father had sent him. With a smirk, Harry cast the enchaneta reducto spell over the balls to give them some more power once detonated; now all he had to do was get them down the basilisk's throat somehow.

As if on cue, the basilisk lunged again, scenting its prey with deadly accuracy. Harry met the lunge with one of his own, forgetting about the sword he still held in his right hand. The weight of his body drove the deceptively sharp sword through the roof of the basilisks mouth. Warm blood gushed down over his arms and Harry felt a searing pain just above his elbow even as he jammed the explosives down the serpent's throat.

"INCENDIO" Harry screamed out the spell, fueling his wandless magic with his anger as the spell ripped through him; he had become so used to using a wand that it was unusually hard to focus his magic without the aide of the piece of wood.

The resulting force of his spell meeting the explosives threw him backwards, the fang impaled in his arm splintering off from the basilisk's mouth. Moments later it was all he could do not to retch from the smell of the basilisk burning up on the inside combined with the pain in his head from where he had slammed it into the stone floor. The pain in his arm didn't fade and Harry glanced down to realize the fang was still imbedded within his flesh, spreading a deadly poison throughout his body. Even as he wrenched the fang out and threw it away from himself, Harry knew it was too late. He may have won the battle, but it would be at the cost of his own life. He only hoped that his dad could forgive him for being so foolish, he knew his death would shatter his father and for that he was sorry. His vision grew foggy and the Chamber began to dissolve around him, the only bit of color still present in his vision was the fiery phoenix.

"Thank you" Harry told the bird "without you I would have died without being able to take out the basilisk."

Even through the numbing pain Harry could feel the phoenix lay its beautiful head on the spot where the serpent's fang had pierced through his flesh and to his despair the bird began to cry. From somewhere in the distance Harry heard Riddle laugh in triumph.

"You're dead, Harry Potter" Riddle gloated "dead. You may have defeated my basilisk, but I am still here and you are dying. Even the phoenix knows it. At least you shall have the comfort of knowing there was someone to mourn your death, even if it was only a bird. How does it feel to know you are dying as a failure?"

The Chamber stopped darkening around him and began to come in focus. The phoenix gave him a little trill of encouragement, the tears still dripping onto his wounded arm. Harry started and looked harder at his arm. There was no wound and the numbing pain from the basilisk's poison was no longer burning its way through his body. Riddle suddenly stopped his gloating.

"The tears-get away, bird" Riddle yelled "get away from him! I said get away!"

The phoenix disobeyed, and in a fit of rage Riddle stooped down and picked up the diary, flinging it unerringly at the phoenix. With an undignified screech the phoenix took to the air, squawking angrily at Riddle. Harry gazed down at the diary now lying in his lap. Riddle had just handed him the key to his own destruction without even thinking about it. With a smirk Harry held up the diary and one of the Slytherin daggers.

"Who's the failure now Riddle" he taunted as he plunged the dagger deep into the cover of the diary "it certainly isn't me. I am a Darkov, and we never fail."

Riddle cried out as the dagger pierced the diary, but still advanced as if he was going to attempt to kill Harry with his bare hands.

"Incendio" Harry murmured almost lazily at the diary, the spell coming much easier this time as the book began to sizzle and burn.

Riddle began to scream, a high pitched sound of agony that shuddered down through Harry's spine. Then he was gone, the scream cutting off abruptly, the diary no more than a pile of ash upon a gore splattered floor. Exhausted, Harry slumped down on the floor, ignoring the filth that covered him. The phoenix settled down on a pillar near him and trilled encouragement, but still Harry didn't have it in him to move until a slight stirring near Slytherin's feet caught his attention. Reluctantly Harry stood, shoved the dagger back into his belt before retrieving the sword from the basilisk's mouth, and made his way over towards Ginny just as the girl got to her feet.

"Harry" Ginny stared in disbelief at him "how did you get here? And what's that awful smell?"

"That's the smell of scorched basilisk guts" Harry informed her "unfortunately it's going to smell down here for some time since the basilisk didn't totally burn up, the skin appears to be fire resistant so its insides cooked as if they had been shoved inside an oven."

Ginny merely gaped as she finally seemed to focus on more than just his face. Her mouth worked soundlessly as she took in his gore-splattered appearance, ripped clothing, and battered countenance. Then she fainted dead away. Harry looked down at himself. Except for the blood and guts covering him, he looked better than the time he had been kidnapped and wasn't nearly as roughed up. Come to think of it, he felt better than he had after the time he had been kidnapped, but then that might be the phoenix's doing. With a sigh he levitated Ginny and made his way over to Hermione's prone form. Thankfully he was able to find a pulse and levitating her as well, he followed the phoenix out of the Chamber of Secrets.
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