Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Fear of Falling


by Faeline 1 review

The book, the serpent, and Ginny's confusion. (1 of 3) Slight Movie canon. Does not take into account The Order of the Phoenix.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Fantasy, Romance - Characters: Dean Thomas, Ginny, Tom Riddle, Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [?] [X] [Y] - Published: 2005-06-05 - Updated: 2005-06-05 - 1176 words

AN: This will, I think, be a short story in three parts. Not likely to be continued into anything more, but there may be drabbles/vignettes that fall into the same realm as this story.

Fear of Falling

An ordinary book has no mind of its own, but is imbued with that of its creator. With each carefully chosen word, etched inside the pages is a spark of life. A diary is a very special book for it holds the spirit of its author, frozen in time, exactly as he was in mind when the words were penned.

Now diaries, just as other books, can be destroyed, the essence of their writer torn to shreds in the ruining of the pages, the ripping of vellum, of binding. They are, after all, mortal creations, containing the dreams and desires, the strengths and weakness of their authors.

But the diary concerned here is no ordinary book.

It is small and wine dark, edged in silver, with a name printed in tall imposing letters across the bottom of its cover. The name is old, the letters deeply grooved, having been traced repeatedly by wandering fingertips. Despite the decades it has seen, the cover is soft and supple. The vellum pages are neither yellowed nor brittle; they are white as cream, flawless, but for one thing. In the center of the book, directly over its spine, is a ragged hole, surrounded by viscous blackness that might be ink or blood.

Someone has tried to murder the book.

But it would not die so easily.

And that is how it came to be floating in the dark place. Thrown into the murk by the hand of the boy who sought to destroy it.

Picked up by one of the small underground streams, it drifts through darkness. It knows to let the stream lead it to the Chamber's center. Knows to wait for the shift in the dark waters, for the form to rise from them and slither over stone, scales singing along the rough-hewn cobbles.

On the stone shore the book lies waiting for some time-hours, or days or months, it knows not-resting over blood-ink stained stone, listening to the sound of rippling water and smooth coils.

The serpentine creature has devoured its mother's sightless eyes, what meat was left on her frame, her bitter heart. It is but a hatchling and its stare cannot yet kill, only strike a paralyzing fear in the hearts of man and animal alike. It comes from the bottom of the underground reservoir where it had accompanied what was left of its beautiful mother to the dark depths.

The pages of the diary ruffle and seem to sigh when at last the serpent winds its body around it and flicks a pale, forked tongue over the cover.

The scent of the book is musky, and cool, and dry, much like the serpent's own. The young basilisk closes its yellow eyes and lays its angular head upon the cover, knowing with reptilian certainty that it will eventually be the recipient of sibilant whispers, that hands will once again move lovingly over its body, stroking with parental tenderness the darkly jeweled skin.

It lays its head upon the book and sleeps.


The halls of Hogwarts' dungeons were not the most welcoming of places. More than one student over the thousand years the school had existed had some to the conclusion that the very walls watched them as they made their way to classes and whispered to themselves in languages that no one understood. It was often dismissed as the actions of one of the castle's numerous ghosts.

Ginevra Weasley knew better. There was more in the depths of Hogwarts than a ghost marred by silver bloodstains and the stealthy shadow of a sneering potions master.

Still, midnight always seemed to find her in the dark halls of Slytherin territory, roaming in and out of the torchlight. She was careful to keep to the shadows, not wanting to be caught again by Snape, who had stared at her so intensely and for so long when he had found her running here fingertips along the crags in the dungeon walls that she truly wondered if he could read minds.

He'd taken house points with the usual sneer and sent her back to Gryffindor tower, to the cheery warmth of the common room, to the light.

That had been two nights ago and here she was again, skulking through the corridors like a forgotten memory, trying to lose the feelings that plagued her around blind corners as she spiraled deeper into the castle.

Tonight, Dean had kissed her.

He'd kissed her. In the middle of the entrance to the common room, he'd taken her hand, and pulled her close, and she'd let him.

There had been nothing official, no declarations between the two of them when sitting beside one another at a Quidditch game, or talking over butterbeer in Hogsmeade. And then tonight, after a small interhouse study session, he'd kissed her. And she'd forced a response, wrapping her arms about his neck, caressing the side of his face, feeling the coarseness of stubble where he'd missed a spot shaving.

Her fingers had become harsh as she clung to him, grasping desperately at the skin of his neck, tangling in the short waves of his hair, and opening herself to him without thought. She'd wanted to feel that tingle in her limbs, that delicious shivering ache she'd only barely known once before.

But it hadn't come.

They'd parted, her lips tingling from the release of pressure, his saliva drying sticky on her mouth. She remembered pressing her lips to those of her great aunt as the woman lay awaiting burial, the yielding cold, the nothing that lay behind them. She'd drawn back from Dean, schooling her features to hide her antipathy of finding a corpse kiss in a living person.

But Dean had run his fingers lightly over her hair, looking at her with eyes gone dark with adoration and something more. So she'd done what had worked well for her in the past. She'd fled, tossing some half-witted comment over her shoulder about a missed Transfiguration text and ignoring the Fat Lady's disgruntled "harrumph" as she bumped into the painting.

She'd gone to the dungeons. To the one place she knew people would not search for her. They thought she'd had enough of the place in her first year as she had the grace to look distinctly uncomfortable when traversing the stairs for Potions.

No one knew that she'd been going there for the past five years, slipping away during the night, when everyone was caught up in his or her own lives. She came to the place where she'd once been known, by dream, ephemeral vision, or insidious seducer-she didn't care. He'd been closer to her than anyone, had been deep inside her very essence, her viscous cells, her tough tendons and ropy muscles, the wirework of her brain. He knew her, inside as well as out.

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