Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Like Some Song You Can't Unlearn

Chapter Fourteen: Feeling Un-Lucky

by BJH 36 reviews

Harry has defeated Voldemort and saved all the people he cares for, so why do they all hate him? In this chapter, Harry confronts this world's Basilisk and a Horcrux

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Narcissa - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2008-04-01 - Updated: 2008-04-02 - 4587 words

Like Some Song You Can’t Unlearn

Chapter Fourteen: Feeling Un-Lucky

Harry raced through the halls with Luna close at his heels. He hadn’t needed to ask where Ginny was, he already knew that there was only one place she could be. She was in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom trying to open the gateway to the Chamber of Secrets. Turning the last corner to the corridor leading to the second floor lav, he slid across the slick marble floor and careened into the wall. That is how Luna managed to catch up as the two entered the bathroom, passing the near permanent ‘Out of Order’ sign tacked to the door, together.

The roar of Ginny’s hysterical screams caused them both to flinch as the door shut behind them and Harry immediately drew his wand to reinforce the silencing charms that someone must have put on the doors to block Myrtle’s moans. She was flailing at the sinks, spittle flying from her mouth as she screamed a near continual stream of curses, damning them to open for her. Harry clutched at her and dragged her across the room. Luna stood silently, as if frozen in place, just inside the doorway, her eyes wide as Harry struggled to control the teenage girl in his arms.

Kicking as hard as she could, Ginny’s heel connected with Harry’s shin with an audible crack and the girl was loose. She had gotten halfway back to the row of sinks when Harry’s spell hit her squarely in the back and she collapsed. Finally, Luna moved. She took two steps towards Ginny’s prone form as Harry scuttled forward, rubbing his shin.

“Is she…” the blonds asked quietly.

“No, Luna, it was just a sleeping spell,” Harry answered, trying to reassure the girl. “Not even a stunning spell, I just put her to sleep.”

As they bent over her they could see that Ginny wasn’t even unconscious; she twitched and grimaced as if in the throes of a fierce nightmare. Harry pulled her into an embrace and tried to calm her, only marginally succeeding.

“So, that’s where it is,” he mumbled half to himself while glancing over at the row of sinks. “I guess there’s nothing else for it but to go back down there and get it.” Luna didn’t respond, she only stared at her friend with her wide-set eyes unblinking.

Harry looked up at the obviously frightened young girl. “Luna,” he said, trying to gain her attention. “Luna!” She snapped her head around and faced him, slowly her eyes blinked once then again as she focused on him. “Luna, I can help her. I think I can stop whatever it is that is happening to her, but I’m going to need your help. Can you help me, Luna?”

Luna looked around the room slowly, as if seeing it for the very first time. “There might be Nargles infesting the…”

“NO!” Harry snapped at her. “Luna, I need you here. If we are going to help Ginny then I need you to be here, all the way here and nowhere else. Can you do that? Can you stay here and help me?”

Luna looked almost frantic, her eyes darted here and there looking for a way to escape. Finally, they settled down and returned Harry’s gaze. “Ginny’s my friend,” she said quietly. “She’s my only friend.” Harry nodded but didn’t say anything to disrupt the girls train of thought. Slowly, Luna nodded. “I’ll help. If Ginny needs me then I’ll help her.”

“Are you sure, Luna? This isn’t going to be easy,” Harry questioned.

Luna nodded, her eyes firm and clear. “What do I have to do?”

“I know what it is that has been bothering her,” Harry said calmly, trying to keep Luna calm and give her some sort of anchor to prevent her mind from wandering. “It’s been bothering her for a long time.”

“She doesn’t like it here at school,” Luna commented, dropping cross-legged to the floor and tugging Ginny’s still twitching form onto her lap. “She’s never liked it here.” She looked up at Harry. “She was so excited to come here the first time but something happened.” She turned and looked at Ginny, running a hand through the girl’s long red hair. “Something got inside her and won’t let her alone as long as she is here. That’s why she wants to go home.”

Harry nodded; he knew that Lucius had slipped that damned diary into Ginny’s hands just before she started her first year. He didn’t understand how it got down into the chamber without her but somehow it did, but it still held onto her mind.

“Yes,” he said quietly, “probably because the Burrow’s far enough away that she can’t feel him anymore.”

“Him who?” Luna asked.

“Tom Riddle,” Harry answered plainly.

Luna looked like she was thinking for a moment. “Sometimes, when Ginny is asleep, she mumbles to someone named Tom. I don’t think he’s a very nice person.”

Harry shook his head. “He’s not. He is a very bad person and he is trying to get Ginny to do bad things.”

“You mean like with boys?”

Harry sat confused for a moment, trying to figure out what Luna really meant but quickly decided to stay on his own course instead of following hers.

“No, not like that. It’s even worse. You see Tom is trying to get Ginny to give up her own life so that he can come back from the dead.”

Luna sat back in shock. Harry didn’t have time to consider it but this was the first time he had ever truly seen shock on the odd Ravenclaw’s face, in either universe.

“That’s very Dark magic.”

“The Darkest,” Harry agreed. “But I can stop him. I know how to stop him but I need you to watch over Ginny while I gather some things that I’ll need. Can you do that?”

Luna nodded, her lips trembled but she nodded notwithstanding. “What do I need to do?”

Harry thought for a moment. “I need to leave for a few minutes. I’ll try not to be long but I will need to get some things. I’ll seal the door behind me so no one can come in but you will have to stay here and mind Ginny.” Luna looked down and cradled her friend’s head in her lap. “With a bit of luck she’ll stay asleep and you will just have to keep her comfortable but if she wakes up or starts to thrash around too much you will have to stun her. Can you do that?”

Luna shook her head. “I don’t want to. I don’t want to hurt her; she’s my friend.”

“And you won’t hurt her. A stunning spell is a bit of a shock but it doesn’t hurt. I didn’t want to use it on her either, that’s why I just put her to sleep, but if she starts to get too upset again it would be the kindest thing.” Luna slowly nodded. “Would you rather I stunned her now? That way you don’t have to worry about her waking up or having to do it yourself?”

Luna thought about this for a moment then shook her head. “I think it may be best if she just sleeps.”

Harry nodded. “I think you’re right, Luna, but if she does wake up, can you stun her? Do you know the spell?”

“My daddy taught it to me in case any boys started to bother me,” she said nodding. “I never had to use it but I still remember.”

“Good,” said Harry. “Now if you are ready then I’ll need to go the get the things I need to stop this. I’m going to seal the door and I promise I’ll be back as quickly as I can.”

Luna looked down at Ginny’s troubled face and pushed a lock of sweaty hair behind the girl’s ear. “Please hurry, Professor,” she whispered as Harry left the room.


As Harry dashed through the halls he was glad that it was lunch; it meant most of the students and staff would be in the Great Hall and he would have less chance of interruption as he did what he needed to do. He rounded a corner and was coming up fast on the stairs going down. Opting not the run down the stairs he, instead, gave a small jump and landed on the banister. He slid down the long flight without losing any momentum. Back on the ground floor he was off and running again. He had to slow a bit as he passed the hall and made his way through the doors and outside, in case he was seen. Hagrid kept the schools henhouses out near his hut and this was Harry’s destination.

Conjuring a canvas sack, Harry grabbed one squawking rooster by the legs and struggled to stuff it inside. Finally succeeding, he pondered a moment before summoning another two and catching them with the sack rather than wrestling with them. As he dashed back to the school he considered looking for Gryffindor’s Sword but gave it up as a bad idea, he wasn’t too keen on directly facing the Basilisk and he doubted that Fawkes would be in any way disposed to assist him this time, instead he went to his quarters to gather up some other small items he might need. So, with his weapons firmly in his grasp, or at least flapping away in a sack, he made his way back up to the girl’s lavatory on the second floor.

After releasing the door, Harry entered the loo and sealed the door again behind him. He turned to see Luna still sitting on the floor where he left her with Ginny’s head still cradled in her lap.

“Everything OK, Luna?” he asked her.

“Yes, Professor Harris, she’s unsettled but still asleep.”

Harry paused a moment to check for himself before stepping over to the sinks.

“Luna,” he said over his shoulder, “I’m going to be speaking in Parseltongue to open the entrance to the chamber, I don’t want you to be afraid when I do, OK?”

The girl nodded and stroked Ginny’s hair as if it were a pet of some sort, as much to get comfort as to give it.

Open,” Harry hissed and stood back as the drain in the rusted sink began to swell and open to reveal the pipe leading down. The rest of the sinks moved aside as the opening grew to a maw even taller than the man standing in front of it. Harry’s mind swirled with the remembered images of standing here with Ron and that fool Lockhart, waiting to go down there the first time to rescue Ginny. Now he was standing here again, but was he here to rescue Ginny or recover the diary? Harry wasn’t really sure of his motivations but he did know one thing, he was going back to the Chamber of Secrets and the monster it held.

Once the entrance stopped shifting, Harry spoke to Luna once again. “If everything goes well I should be back shortly, no more than 30 minutes. If it goes pear shaped then it’ll be a lot sooner. If you hear me yell, I want you to take Ginny and get out of here. Run to the Headmaster and tell him that Slytherin’s Basilisk is loose and to get everyone out of the castle. Can you do that?”

Luna nodded. “Will Ginny stay asleep?”

“She should. If she doesn’t then don’t hesitate to stun her. Under no circumstances are you to allow her to go down this tunnel, is that clear?” Again the blonde girl nodded. “If she does get away from you, get out immediately. Don’t hesitate, just run for help. Got it?”

Harry stood looking down the pipe as he fished something from within his robes. He withdrew a short length of rope, no more than half meter long, but Harry grabbed one end and stretched it out. Taking a couple of turns around a sturdy looking pipe, Harry tied off the rope and looped the other end around his wrist. With a final nod from Luna, Harry turned back to the tunnel and jumped down. The way was just as slimy and unpleasant as Harry remembered. If anything it was more so as Harry had grown some and thus had more surface area to get covered with goo. When he finally reached the bottom he took a few moments to banish away as much of the muck as possible before looking around. Taking the rope from his wrist, Harry tied it to a large stone that he had transfigured into a loop shape.

The tunnel seemed slightly smaller than he remembered from his previous time, although that might have been because he was taller, but it was still tall enough for him to stand in easily. The rough stone passage led off into darkness ahead of him. Squatting down on his heels Harry began to search the floor for the diary and quickly saw it against the wall opposite the pipe opening. It was covered in a dry, crusty goo that, as Harry picked it up, flaked off and fell to the ground leaving the book looking almost new. Harry assumed that the goo had come from the tunnel as the book slid down. He reasoned that Ginny must have thrown the book down the pipe just as it began to close up; that she had been strong enough to beat back Tom’s possession for that long and it was long enough. Without the diary, she could not write in it and Tom could no longer possess her, and without that possession she could no longer speak Parseltongue to open the gateway. But the Horcrux had maintained its link with her. No wonder Ginny dreaded returning to Hogwarts, it must have been torture to have Tom calling to her constantly but not be able to open the passage to retrieve the book.

He hefted the bit of Voldemort’s soul in his hand and began to make his way through the tunnel. As he walked, he wondered whose death it was that allowed young Tom Riddle to create it. Was it the first of his Horcruxes? Harry muddled over this idea as he worked his way through the rocky tunnels towards the real chamber. His footfalls echoing in the darkness in front and behind, giving him the eerie impression that he was not alone on his sojourn. He went over the items that Tom had converted: the diary, the ring, the locket, the cup, his shield, then finally Nagini herself. Harry knew that Nagini was the final Horcrux, made after his resurrection but what came first? The locket and cup had been found, or recovered as Tom would undoubtedly put it, after he left Hogwarts and began to work at Burgin and Burke’s so they were also made later. So it was this diary, Slytherin’s Ring, or his Award for Special Services to the school that were his first ones. But which was the real first? Harry thought back to the memory that Tom had shown him of his framing Hagrid for Myrtle’s murder. He also recalled Slughorn’s memory of Tom, already wearing the ring, and attending one of Sluggy’s little parties. That was when he first started considering making Horcruxes. It wasn’t long before Harry passed the dried shed skin where Lockhart had caused the roof to cave in, in his world. Then he was there, standing before a smooth stretch of wall with two carved snakes entwined in the stone and Harry focused his attention on these.

Open,” he hissed.

The snakes separated as the wall before him split and opened to reveal the Chamber of Secrets. Harry closed his eyes down to slits, ready to slam them shut at a moment’s notice. He listened carefully for the sounds of motion, of scales sliding against stone, but all he heard was the drip-drip-drip of water falling from the ceiling far above.

With one hand clutching his burlap bag full of roosters, the other holding a small fragile jar of Instant Darkness Powder, and the diary tucked into the pocket of his cloak, Harry slowly advanced into the chamber. The torches sprang to life filling the room with their eerily moving shadows. Harry tensed at each stray movement, thinking that it could be the monster. The room smelled of dank stagnation and mold, and his feet splashed through puddles as he moved between the columns that disappeared into the darkness above him. Harry cautiously approached the tall simian statue that stood at the far end. Above the long stone beard, Harry saw that the mouth was closed and that meant that the basilisk was most likely asleep within its confines.

“Speak to me, oh Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwart’s Four,” Harry called. Nothing happened.

Harry rooted through his memories, these were the words, pompous and self-important as they were, that Tom had used to open the basilisk’s den. Why didn’t it work now? Then it dawned on him and Harry spoke again.

This time, thinking about the serpent within rather than the monkeyish statue without, the words hissed from his lips in Parseltongue and the sound of grating stone echoed throughout the chamber. Not waiting for the monster to appear, Harry threw the jar up and against the stone and was rewarded by the sound of shattering glass. A cloud of darkness so deep that nothing could be seen through it enveloped Slytherin’s mouth. Harry heard the snake hissing as he plunged his hand into his sack and pulled out a rooster. He held the bird by the legs and shook it, knowing that the crowing of the cock was fatal to a basilisk, regardless how large. The rooster struggled in his grasp and flapped his wings sending feathers everywhere but didn’t make a sound.

Frustrated, Harry cast the bird aside and reached in to grab the second one. He had just begun to pull the blasted thing out when its sharp beak started pecking at his hand. Startled, Harry released his grip and the rooster scuttled away, squawking as it did but not crowing. Harry stole a glance back up to the statue, just in time to make out the tip of a snout poking its way through the obscuring cloud. Turning away quickly, before the eyes could be seen; Harry snatched up the bag again and dashed down the corridor between the standing columns.

Who daresss dissturb my ssslumber?”

The deep resonating rumble of the great snake’s speech caused Harry to stumble. He fell to his knees and slid through a puddle of brackish water. The rooster struggled within the bag and Harry struggled to keep from panicking. His heart raced in his chest as Harry sought some means of escape. He needed to warn Luna, to get her to escape and alert Dumbledore. He scrambled over to the doorway back into the passage.

“Luna! Luna!” he called out. “Get out! Go warn Dumbledore!” He hoped the girl had heard him. He needed to buy her more time though.

Close,” he hissed at the opening and quivered as the stone wall slowly resealed itself. Harry could now hear the snake approaching behind him. ‘Hurry up, damn you. Hurry,’ he thought as it became a race between whether the door would close first or the Basilisk would kill him.

Finally, the slabs of stone met and Harry screamed, “Colloportus!” as he dove to the side.

Harry felt the floor quake beneath him as the 60 foot long snake rocketed over his head and slammed into the now sealed exit. He scrambled back to his feet and ran. The Basilisk had other plans however, and whipped his great tail around catching Harry across the knees and sending him sprawling again. Harry didn’t even notice that the diary had slipped out of his pocket as he rushed to grab the burlap sack again and escape.

Weaving through the pillars, Harry made it back to the statue’s feet and reached into the sack. Ignoring the bird pecking at his hand, he pulled out the last of his roosters and shook it in the air.


Not a sound.

What Harry did hear was the slithering sound of scales against stone as the monster made its way back towards him.

Lumos Solarum!” Harry called, hoping that the birds, one of them anyways, would react to the light and start crowing. No such luck.

Harry dashed across the chamber to the other row of columns then behind them to make his way back up to the other end of the chamber and away from the Basilisk that was chasing him. There was a distant flapping of wings, Harry hoped for a heartbeat that it was Fawkes coming to save him again. It wasn’t. One of the other roosters had seen the basilisk and tried to get away. The snake, seeing its only natural enemy, turned to try crushing it before it could make another sound. Harry took advantage of this to run again.

Sensing the fleeing prey, the basilisk turned again to the attack. Slipping through and between the pillars. Pushing off the stone columns to gain more speed as well as to channel his foe into a corner.

Harry flapped the empty sack like a wing and chanted, “Engorgio.” The bag grew to five times its size and Harry swung it like a cape.

Seeing his prey stopped before him, the snake struck.

Harry spun on his heel like a matador and dodged the strike while flinging the enlarged sack into the snake’s path. The snake, committed to its strike, couldn’t stop nor turn. The bag flew over its snout and covered its head.

Incarcerous!” Harry shouted and coils of rope flew out of his wand and wrapped themselves around the snake’s head, sealing the bag closed.

The Basilisk began to thrash about in frustration. It could no longer see and so could no longer kill its prey with its sight. Worse yet, the tightly bound bag kept it from flicking out its tongue and so the snake could no longer taste its prey on the air either. The thick coils of its body, as thick as Harry was tall, flicked about in chaos as Harry tried to avoid being crushed. Finally, sensing a way out of its confinement, the serpent began to scrape its head along the stone floor, trying to tear through the ropes and cloth that bound it as it would tear through its own skin when it was time to shed. If it could just free itself from this covering it could attack again and destroy the puny thing that dared enter its lair. He didn’t have long, but Harry took advantage of the snake’s distraction to come up with a new plan.

He summoned one of the loose roosters and snatched it as it flew by. With a flick of his wand there was a cheerful yellow flame, like that of an oil lamp, flickering at its tip. Harry stared hard at the rooster in his fist as he rotated the wrist holding his wand. The flame went from yellow to orange then to a harsh hissing blue, like a blow torch. He brought the flame towards the bird.

“Now, you blasted pigeon, you will crow or I will roast you alive right here.” To make his intentions perfectly clear, Harry pushed the flame towards the now fiercely flapping rooster. Harry suddenly saw the shadow of the great serpent cover him as it rose up to strike once again. Harry pushed the flame into one wing of the bird, scorching the feathers but before there was time for more the bird erupted into a mighty call.


The Basilisk froze as if petrified as the others now took up the call. In seconds, the Chamber of Secrets was echoing with the crowing of the roosters. The Basilisk swayed back and forth for a moment, as if uncertain which way to fall, then, as if someone had suddenly pulled the plug from it, it collapsed to the floor and Harry scrambled away. He dropped to his knees against one pillar and released his hold on the rooster which lost no time in fleeing. With a snap, he extinguished his wand and drooped over to the floor in exhaustion. Harry lay there panting as waves of adrenaline washed over him and his body shook in uncontrollable convulsions.

It was several minutes before Harry regained any awareness of the world around him. He blinked his eyes and flexed his fists, reasserting control once again over his muscles. He sat up, leaning against the pillar behind him and sank his head into his hands. It was done, the monster of Slytherin was dead, now all that remained was to destroy the diary.

Not knowing if the eyes of a Basilisk were still deadly after it died, Harry approached the corpse of the snake with caution. He saw the burlap sack and magical ropes hanging in shreds from its head. Not wanting to take any chances, Harry conjured a tarp that draped over the head of the snake. Then Harry felt his way up the skull, feeling the scales through the canvas of the tarp. When he reached the bulges that were its eyes, Harry stopped. Drawing his wand, he again called forth the hot blowtorch flame and stabbed it forward into the body, burning out the deadly eyes.

Harry relaxed once he was certain that both eyes were completely destroyed. He conjured a large crowbar and worked the mighty jaws of the dead snake open. He propped the upper jaw with the bar and examined the two long fangs suspended before him. They were as long as daggers, easily 18 inches. He remembered the feeling, oh so long ago, when one of them had pierced his arm just as his sword had pierced the snake’s skull. The dull heavy weight of the poison as it made its way through his veins. Shaking his head to dispel the memory, Harry swished his wand to conjure his next tool, a rather large wooden mallet.

Several hard swings later, Harry stood holding one of the fangs in his hand. He wished he had remembered to bring a pair of dragonhide gloves but it was too late for that and the heavily magical hide of a dragon was beyond his ability to conjure. Poison dripped down from its tip and Harry made sure that none got on his clothes. With the fang in one hand he began to pat down his robe looking for the diary. It must have fallen out somewhere along the line as he ran from the basilisk. Harry turned and looked up the long chamber and saw it quite quickly. It was in the hands of Ginny Weasley.
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