Gohan immediately looked around, and saw Harry was right. Except for fewer paintings (though not many) and not as many objects, this was obviously Dumbledore’s room. But there was one other big exception- someone was sitting in Dumbledore’s chair, but it wasn’t Dumbledore! A man that couldn’t have been taller than Gohan was reading a letter by candlelight in the chair; he looked a little frail, and was bald except for a few strands of white hair (something, no doubt, that Master Roshi would have liked). Gohan had never seen this guy before, and judging by the look Harry gave him he had never seen him also.
But what was even weirder was that this guy wasn’t supplying an energy signal of any kind! This person didn’t even have one that was as low as Master Roshi’s turtle; it was as if he was a zombie or something. In fact, with the exception of himself and Harry, there was no other ki source in the whole area. Gohan wondered how this could be; nothing could be living and moving around without even having some sort of energy radiating from within them, even if it would have been a weak one.
Then, Harry decided to break the silence between the three of them.
“Sorry, me and my friend didn’t mean to barge in here”-
“We just sort of… crashed in accidentally.” Gohan added in.
But the wizard never looked up to them; he didn’t even make any signs that he had noticed them come in. he was still reading, though his expression had a very unhappy and disturbed look on it. Harry looked to Gohan with a look of confusion, as though Gohan could explain whatever was happening.
“Don’t look to me for answers,” Gohan said, “I’m just as in the dark about this whole thing as you are.”
Harry nodded in understanding, and then he walked closer to the man. Gohan also did, thinking that if they got closer the man would finally become aware of them.
“Er-I guess me and my friend will just go, shall we?”
The wizard continued to ignore them still. He still didn’t seem to have heard Harry.
Gohan muttered, “Maybe we should just yell in his ear, it always works when my mom wants me.”
Harry didn’t know whether he was trying to be funny or serious, but nodded in agreement anyway.
“Sorry if we disturbed you, we’ll just go now.” He half-yelled to the wizard.
But that didn’t even work; all he did was hold the letter and sigh deeply. He then got up out of the chair, walked right past the two boys without even looking at them, and then went over to open the curtains at his window. Gohan and Harry noticed that it must be sunset now, since the sky was deep red. The wizard then went back to his desk, sat down again, and watched the door while twiddling his thumbs.
“This guy must be the most oblivious person in the world.” Harry stated.
Gohan then had an idea, an idea that would explain everything that was going on. How could he have missed it? Hadn’t Riddle already explained what was happening right now? If he had just paid more attention he would have figured it out before and save all of this effort and perplexity.
Gohan shook his head, “I don’t think so. I don’t think we can communicate with people that are in a memory.”
Harry looked at him strangely, as though he had just spoken a different language.
“I’m sorry, what? What are you talking about?”
Gohan sighed, “Remember? Riddle only told us a few minutes ago. He told us that he could show us how he caught the Heir fifty years ago; he could show us his memory. I’m willing to bet that this is what he had meant. We’re in his memory from fifty years ago! That’s why this guy can’t hear us, and why he didn’t bother looking at us. We are only observing what was happening a long time ago, we can’t influence at all what will happen now.”
“But how can that be? How can we be in a memory?” Harry asked.
“I don’t know, “Gohan said, “But look around. No Fawkes, no silver objects on the desk, and there are a couple of paintings missing from the walls. This is Hogwarts as Tom Riddle remembered, so this guy is obviously”-
“The Headmaster of Hogwarts fifty years ago.” Harry finished.
Gohan nodded, “Glad to see you finally understand.”
And then there was a knock on the office door, and the boys immediately turned to face the door, since they didn’t expect that to happen.
They heard the old wizard say “Enter” automatically, and then the door opened.
A boy that couldn’t have been older than sixteen came in, and removed his hat from his head. There was a prefects badge shining from the light on his robes, he was exceptionally taller than Harry and Gohan, and he had hair that was just as black as the younger boys.
“Ah, Riddle.” The old wizard greeted.
Gohan pointed to the boy, not keeping his voice down since they couldn’t be heard.
“Harry, that’s Tom Riddle!”
“No really?” Harry sarcastically remarked.
“You wanted to see me, Professor Dippet?” Riddle asked. He looked nervous and uncomfortable for the moment.
“Sit down,” Dippet replied, “I’ve just been reading the letter you sent me.”
“Oh,” said Riddle. His hands were laced together tight, as though he was anxious for something.
Gohan and Harry didn’t bother talking while the two memory people engaged in their conversation; this may have been crucial to their investigation, and didn’t want to miss anything that was said. Besides, how many other times would you be able to watch people doing normal stuff and they wouldn’t notice you no matter what?
It turned out Riddle was trying to stay at Hogwarts over the summer, so that he wouldn’t have to go back to the muggle orphanage he (apparently) lived in. It seems that Riddle was a half-blood, his mother was a witch (who died giving birth to him) and his father was a muggle, and that his mother lived long enough to name him after his father and grandfather (Tom after his dad and his middle name, Marvolo, after his grandfather). They then talked about the attacks back then including the girl that died and the Minister of Magic was considering to close the school (something Gohan assumed, didn’t happen), and that special measures may have happened if the attacks didn’t happen, or if they stopped.
Riddle’s eyes widened, and asked if the attacks stopped and the person was caught he may stay, and then Dippet asked Tom if he knew anything. Gohan noticed that as Riddle answered no, he said it a little too quick and looked tense. Gohan knew Riddle (the diary) knew something since he told them that he did, and assumed that the Riddle that was sitting in front of him now was lying. He looked at Harry, and saw that Harry must have been thinking the same thing. Dippet looked disappointed and dismissed Riddle, who got out of the chair and left the room.
“Do you think we should follow him?” Harry asked Gohan.
“I’d like to think that we would.” Gohan replied, walking out the door with Riddle and Harry followed as well. “After the performance we just saw he’s definitely up to something.”
Riddle continued walking down the spiral staircase, and Gohan and Harry continued to follow him. As he made his way down a dark corridor, he suddenly he stopped walking. Gohan and Harry also stopped. They observed him, wondering what he was doing.
“What do you think he’s doing?” Gohan asked Harry.
“Probably thinking about the Chamber and what just happened back in Dumbledore’s old office. I mean, if Riddle wants to stay over the summer and keep Hogwarts open and he knows something, he’s going to have to make some serious decisions right now.” Harry answered, both of them continuously looking at Riddle as they talked.
Riddle seemed to have up his mind, because he without warning hurried off, and Gohan and Harry followed immediately behind him. They didn’t see anyone else until they arrived at the entrance hall, where their paths came crossed with a tall wizard who had a long, auburn beard who called out to Riddle.
“What are you doing wandering out this late, Tom?”
Gohan and Harry gaped at the wizard in front of them. This was none other than a fifty year younger Albus Dumbledore.
Gohan grinned, “Wow, who would have thought his beard wasn’t even a little white or not as long as it was before.”
Harry smiled as a reaction, silently agreeing. But then the two boys sent their attention back to Riddle and Dumbledore.
“I had to see the headmaster, sir.” Riddle responded.
Dumbledore gave him a very unusual look, one that was similar (in Gohan’s opinion) to how Piccolo or Roshi or someone would have if they were reading someone’s mind. Then Dumbledore told Riddle to hurry off to bed, and that it wasn’t smart to stay out in the corridors these days. He then sighed, said goodnight to Riddle, and then left.
As soon as he was gone, Riddle made his way fast down to the dungeons, and Harry and Gohan followed him intently. He led them to the dungeon where Snape held his Potion’s lessons, not the Chamber of Secrets or some passageway (something, Gohan noticed, Harry was disappointed about from the look on his face). They and Riddle waited, apparently for whatever Riddle was hoping for. It seemed as though they waited for an hour, and in the mean time Gohan and Harry didn’t say or do anything, only waiting and staring.
Finally, Gohan decided to break the silence between him and Harry.
“Riddle seems to really want to stay at Hogwarts, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Can you blame him?” Harry said moments later. “If I had a choice I’d rather live at Hogwarts than with the Dursleys.”
“You must really not like them, do you?”
Harry frowned, “If all your stuff was taken away from you, and you were locked in your room so that you couldn’t go to a place where people actually like you and treat you normally (except Snape), I think you’d want to stay here too.”
Gohan smiled, “Well, if they give you any more trouble, just get me and I’ll “persuade” them to treat you normally. I might even have a few friends come with me.”
Gohan knew that if Piccolo and the others (maybe even Vegeta) heard about the Dursleys and how they treated Harry, they would probably go to their house.
Harry grinned, “Thanks, you could put on an impressive light show, which might convince them to be a little nicer.”
He was about to say something else, but all three boys in the room heard something moving on the other side of the door. Someone was moving along the passage, and they unnoticing passed Riddle, Gohan, and Harry. Riddle, with his wand out, moved ahead toward the door not making any noise, and followed the person out the door. Harry moved forward to follow them, and Gohan noticed he was tip-toeing out the door.
Gohan tapped him on the shoulder, and was rewarded with a grunt of irritation and annoyance.
“What’s the point of tip-toeing if we can’t be heard?” asked Gohan.
Harry glared at him, and got off his toes, “Shut up.”
They hurried up to catch up to Riddle, who wasn’t very far ahead since he was moving slowly. They walked for five minutes following the sound of the perpetrator’s steps, until Riddle stopped abruptly. He tilted his head into the direction of new noises, noises neither of the boys recognized. They heard a door creak open slowly, and then the sound of someone talking in a gruff whisper.
“C’mon… gotta get yeh outta here…C’mon now… in the box…”
“You know,” Gohan said slowly, “That voice sounds familiar somehow.”
Harry nodded, “I know, but who could it be.”
Then, Riddle jumped out of the darkness, around the corner. Harry looked to Gohan, and both of them nodded. They followed Riddle out of the black, hoping to see the person. Although it wasn’t as dark as the corner, the most they could see was a black outline of a rather large boy. He was kneeling in front of an open door, and had a very large box next to it.
“Evening, Rubeus.” Riddle said harshly.
This boy really made Gohan think about whom it was, this person seemed really familiar. The boy slammed the door and stood up, shaking a little.
“What yer doin’ down here, Tom?”
Riddle stepped forward, his gaze raised directly at the huge boy before him.
“It’s all over,” he told him, “I’m going to have to turn you in, Rubeus. They’re talking about closing Hogwarts if the attacks don’t stop.”
“I don’t think you meant to kill anyone. But monsters don’t make good pets. I suppose you just let it out for exercise and”-
“It never killed no one!” The large boy shouted, backing up to the door. Harry and Gohan heard clicking and moving noises from the door.
And then, Gohan knew. He knew once he heard “monsters don’t make good pets”. His eyes grew wide with fear, hoping it wasn’t true what he thought. How could this boy be who he thought it was? It just couldn’t be who he considered. He seemed like such a nice person, how could he be the Heir? It made sense though; he was expelled when he was young, he was at Hogwarts fifty years ago when it happened then and he was there at Hogwarts now when it was happening. Not to mention the boy’s size was much bigger than the average Hogwarts student. But how; how could he do it? Gohan thought he was their friend, why would he be attacking kids?
Harry noticed Gohan’s state, his eyes fearful and his knees weak.
“What’s wrong Gohan?”
Gohan didn’t answer; he just kept watching the scene between Riddle and boy, his eyes still frozen with shock and horror. The boy and Riddle kept arguing; Riddle was keeping his voice very calm and collected while walking closer to the boy, and the boy’s voice was very unstable and loud, his back pressing against the door ever more. This went on for maybe a minute, until Riddle had enough.
“Stand aside.” Riddle demanded, drawing his wand from his robes.
The spell he launched from his wand made the entire corridor glow with a flam-like light. The door flew open immediately, and hit the large boy with such force he was knocked forward into the wall opposite of the door. And then, something came out of the door, and whatever it was emitted a stretched, piercing scream that caused all of the boys to cover their ears in pain. Harry and Gohan gasped at what they saw; an enormous, hairy body with many long black legs was before them. It had many eyes and a pair of razor-sharp and deadly pincers by the look of them. Riddle raised his wand once more, most likely to execute the creature for good, but he was too late. The thing pounced on him as it scurried away, moving up the corridor and then out of sight. Riddle got to his feet once more, and had his wand pointed to the end of the hall, as if hoping to blindly hit the creature. But the boy tackled Riddle, grabbed his wand, and threw him to the ground again. He yelled out “NNNNOOOO!” as he did so, his voice echoing throughout the hall.
And then, the whole sight began to spin as it did at the beginning, the darkness taking over everything, Harry and Gohan not able to see a thing. Gohan felt him falling to the ground and crashed straight to the floor spread-eagle on his back. Gohan got up, rubbing the back of his head, and looked around for Harry to see if he was hurt. He was also getting up, with Riddle’s diary open on the page it was before, in-between himself and Gohan for all to see. Gohan got up, shaken and pale. He walked over to Gohan and offered a hand to Harry.
Harry was also pale and shaky, but grabbed his hand and let Gohan help him pull him up.
“Yeah… but how could he?”
The next thing they knew, the dormitory door opened and Ron came into the room.
“There you are”-
He looked at Harry, and then to Gohan and his expression was shocked and confused. Gohan guessed he hadn’t expected to see him so soon. Both Harry and Gohan were sweating, pale, and shaking uncontrollably.
“Harry, Gohan? What happened to you?” Ron asked with distress in his voice
“It can’t be, it just can’t be him. There’s no way.” Harry said to Gohan, his voice hoarse.
“Who can’t be? Harry what are you talking about?” Ron asked, now clearly troubled.
“It’s Hagrid Ron,” Gohan said, his voice changing in tones. “Hagrid did it. He’s the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets. I don’t know why or how, but he opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago.”
But somehow, I just can’t believe he did it