Chapter 24: The Saviors of Both Worlds and the Perfect Evils
Gohan and Harry looked around, very anxious to see where they were and to get out of there along with Ginny as soon as possible. They appeared to be in a very dim and huge chamber, with stone pillars carved with more serpents on their surfaces soaring over them. These pillars were supporting the ceiling over them to not fall; the ceiling could not be seen from behind the darkness covering it, casting shadows of the pillars to cast over many things in the chamber. They were both very nervous about being here, someplace that only those with evil desires and intentions had ever stepped foot.
“So, you think the basilisk could be waiting somewhere in here, watching us or something?” Harry asked, looking at his surroundings.
“I doubt it; I should be able to sense its ki if it were anywhere near us. Then again, like I said before, these creatures may not have any ki signals.” Gohan replied.
“So, it could be anywhere?” Harry said nervously.
“… No. I’d have heard it or seen some movement near us. Remember, my eyes and hears are heightened greater than almost everyone on the planet from my training and race, except for a couple of people. If that thing comes within a quarter mile radius and I concentrate, I’ll know.” Gohan answered, looking into the darkness for movement. “But just in case, wands out would be a good idea.”
Harry nodded, taking out his wand alongside Gohan. They walked forward slowly, the sound of their footsteps echoing throughout the chamber. Gohan’s eyes narrowed, looking for any sign of a struggle, or the faintest sound. He stared at the sculptures of the snakes on the columns, their hollow empty eyes pursuing their progression. Gohan didn’t like the silence; something was out there, he could feel it. But what it was he didn’t know, but it felt very wrong. They continued to walk past the rows of pillars, silent as they determined on frontward to retrieve their friend. Finally, after a few seconds, Harry found the silence disturbing.
“So, while we walk, can I ask you something?”
“Um…” Gohan was not expecting him to say anything, “sure, I guess.”
“You never told us, me and Ron, what happened to that Freezer guy or the other Saiyans besides your dad. How do you know about them if your dad forgot everything?”
Gohan answered, “That’s a complicated, and besides, this isn’t the time to talk now.”
Harry shrugged, “I was just curious. I mean I thought about it a lot, and your dad couldn’t have known about all of that since he was raised here. And if this Frieza guy is that powerful, why hasn’t he come here to claim the planet?”
“Who said he didn’t?” Gohan replied, a mysterious smile on his face.
Harry’s eyes bulged out, “WHAT?”
“Forget it,” Gohan finished. “Let’s say that there’s a lot more to tell you guys, and that Frieza hasn’t been a problem for about five years. There’s more you guys’ll learn soon.”
Harry didn’t say anything, merely looking at him with a look of bewilderment on his face. Gohan grinned, and continued to walk forward, as did Harry. Finally they passed the last couple of pillars, and saw a statue looming over them beside a wall. It was so huge that they had to hoist their necks up extremely high to take a look at the face; it was that of a man, with an ancient and monkey-like appearance to them with wizard robes.
“And I thought Lockhart was full of himself,” Gohan observed, their heads still looking at the man’s face. “You would have thought that Slytherin would have looked more snake-like than ape-like.”
Harry didn’t reply, merely looking downward with each second. Gohan followed his gaze; at the very bottom of the statue Slytherin’s feet were standing, as though two giant pillars. And between the two feet, lay a small figure with very red hair.
“GINNY!” Gohan and Harry shouted, immediately rushing over to her aid.
Gohan phased over there so he got their first, lifting her up slightly so that he could hold her head. She appeared to be fine, though she was deathly pale; almost like the floor they were on, and as cold as ice. She wasn’t dead or Petrified, but her ki was very low and deteriorating alarmingly slow. He couldn’t have sense this from far away like the many times he had tried, but now that he was this close he could tell.
“At this rate she’ll be dead in les than an hour.” Gohan muttered.
Harry caught up with him, his breath ragged and his face showing concern all over it.
“How is she?” He asked, kneeling down so that Ginny’s body was between the two boys.
“She’s very white and freezing, but not Petrified obviously since her eyes are closed. She isn’t dead either, but her ki is unbelievingly low and getting lower with every second. It won’t be long until….”
Harry grabbed Ginny’s shoulders, shaking her lightly so that she could get up. Her head, now out of Gohan’s arms, rolled from side to side.
“Ginny, please wake up.” Harry whispered, shaking her again.
“She won’t wake,” a voice said softly.
Gohan instinctively got to his feet, his hands brought up with blue energy radiating around them and pointed at the figure, demanding that they show themselves. Harry also got up, though carefully laying Ginny back down first. A boy, black haired like the other two and taller than Gohan and Harry was watching them as he leaned against the nearest pillar. Gohan noticed that he was blurred around the edges. Even so, Gohan and Harry immediately recognized the boy that was standing before them-
“Tom-” Harry started.
“Tome Riddle?” Gohan finished, eyeing the figure with suspicion. Riddle nodded, looking directly towards Harry.
“What do you mean, she won’t wake?” Harry cried desperately. “She’s not- she’s not-?”
“I thought I already established that she isn’t dead,” Gohan remarked sarcastically, “although every second we’re talking she’s closer to dying.”
Riddle completely ignored Gohan, staring only at Harry still. Gohan lowered his hands, the energy disappearing and he stood normal once more.
“He’s right. She isn’t dead, but just barely.” Riddle said.
Harry and Gohan stared at him, as he did with Harry. Tom Riddle was standing right in front of them, just as he was fifty years ago, with the exception of the mysterious light shining off of him. besides this though, he looked as though he hadn’t aged since sixteen. Gohan didn’t like this; the only people who hadn’t ever aged in looks were those that he knew; Piccolo, Vegeta, Mr. Popo, and the most unfortunate of them Garlic Junior being some of these people. Wizards however magical they are were humans, and all humans had the regrettable fate of aging naturally.
“How are you still a teenager?” Gohan asked. “You haven’t aged at all since the memory; witch I might remind everyone was over fifty years ago.”
“Are you a ghost?” Harry added, watching the light shimmer lightly off his robes.
“A memory,” Riddle answered quietly, “Preserved in a diary for fifty years.”
He gestured to the toes of the giant Slytherin statue. In the middle of those toes lied the little black diary that sent Gohan and Harry through time into a memory. Gohan wondered what it was doing all the way down here; it was missing the last time they saw it, though it did explain a little why Riddle was here a little. But things more important were on his mind now, like the basilisk’s whereabouts and Ginny’s safety.
“You’ve got to help us Tom,” Harry said as he raised Ginny’s head once more. “We’ve got to get her out of here.”
“He’s right,” Gohan added, “A basilisk’s down here, and we don’t know where it is. It could be here anytime now, help Harry get-”
Riddle didn’t respond, he didn’t even move a muscle. Gohan walked to Harry and Ginny, gently taking Harry’s hands away from her head to replace them with his.
“Let me,” he said gently, “I can carry her easier.”
Harry nodded, turned slightly and standing back up to face Riddle. Gohan bent down and picked the young girl up easily, standing up as if he were carrying nothing. Harry reached into his robes to pull out something, but then he looked frantic and began patting his robes all over quickly.
“Something wrong?” Gohan asked, concerned.
“My wand’s gone!” Harry exclaimed. “Did either of you see-”
Then, both of their eyes wandered over to Riddle, seeing something out of the corner of their eyes. He was twirling Harry’s wand between his lengthy fingers, smiling as he did so. Harry looked relived.
“Thanks a lot.” He said earnestly, extending his hand out for the wand.
Riddle continued to smile, still staring directly at Harry and still twirling the wand with his fingers. Gohan thought this was eerie; why was Riddle acting like this? Why was he completely ignoring him, and focusing all of his attention on Harry?
“Listen,” Harry spoke up directly, looking around the chamber and then to Ginny. “Guys we have got to go! If the Basilisk comes-”
“It won’t come until it is called,” Riddle interrupted, his voice deathly calm.
Gohan laid Ginny back down carefully, knowing that at this rate he’d be carrying her for nothing. This was ridiculous, what did Riddle mean by that?
“What do you mean Riddle?” Gohan asked harshly. “Look we’re wasting time, just give Harry his wand and-”
“He won’t be needing it,” Riddle said, his smile spreading as he looked at Harry. Harry and Gohan just stared at Riddle.
Harry started, “What d’you mean, I won’t be-”
“I’ve waited a long time for this, Harry Potter,” Riddle cut in. “For the chance to see you. To speak to you.”
“Look,” Harry said impatiently, “I don’t think you understand. We’re in the Chamber of Secrets. We can talk later-”
“We’re going to talk now,” Riddle said his voice strangely pleased and his smile getting slightly bigger.
Harry just stared at Riddle still, though Gohan was looking at Ginny. How she got down here was still a mystery, and the diary and Riddle are both here. Not to mention, why was Riddle acting like this, ignoring Gohan and giving Harry his full attention. Gohan then looked up to Riddle quickly, his black eyes showing cold fury. If Ginny and Riddle were the only ones down here before them, that could only mean one thing if he was correct-
“How did you get a body Riddle?” Gohan demanded sharply, glaring at Riddle. “And more importantly how did Ginny get like this?!”
Harry gasped as Riddle grinned malevolently. Gohan clenched his hands, he was right!
“Those are very remarkable questions,” Riddle replied pleasantly. “And both come from the same, rather long story. I believe it centers on your second question. I suppose the real reason Ginny Weasley’s like this is because she opened her heart and spilled all her secrets to an invisible stranger.”
“What are you talking about?” Harry questioned.
“The diary,” Riddle answered. “My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all of her pitiful worries and woes- how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how”- Riddle’s eyes flashed amusingly, “how she didn’t think, famous, good, great Harry Potter or the charming, innocent, powerful Gohan would ever like her…”
Riddle’s eyes gazed at Harry still, never taking them off his face to see his reactions. They looked ravenous, as though he had to watch how Harry would take the news.
“It gets very boring to listen to the ridiculous troubles and afflictions of an eleven-year old girl,” he 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 to carry around in my pocket.
Riddle threw his head back and laughed. His laugh was oddly high and cold, not suiting his appearance at all. It made Gohan cringe, though he continued glaring at Riddle.
“If I may say myself boys, I’ve always been able to charm the people that I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul to 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 than Miss Weasley was. Powerful enough even to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a bit of my soul into her…”
“What are you talking about?” Harry asked, his face showing slight weakness.
“Start making some sense you little prick or I’ll beat some into you!” Gohan snarled.
“There’s no need to make such threats Gohan Son, even if they are as well as that.” Riddle mused softly. “Haven’t you figured it out Harry Potter? I was hoping that either of you would have guess by now. Ginny Weasley opened the Chamber of Secrets. She was the one strangling the roosters and wrote threatening messages on the walls. She set the Serpent of Slytherin on four Mudbloods, and the Squib’s cat.”
Harry whispered “No” as Gohan growled at Riddle, his hands glowing once more, though his body was crackling with golden electricity this time.
“Yes,” Riddle said coolly. “Of course, she didn’t know what she was doing at first. It was very amusing. I wish you both could have seen her new diary entries… far more interesting they became…”
He then started reciting some of her entries, keeping his voice the same though adding emotion to some of the parts he found amusing. Harry just stared at him as Riddle stared back as he recited and a mixture of shock and anger on his face as he heard. Gohan just stared from Riddle to Ginny the whole time Riddle spoke, listening as he thought. How could this thing just tell them this with such amusement on his face? It was as if he had no feelings of guilt or regret for telling them this. He tricked his friend… this innocent girl into doing these horrific things and manipulated her emotions and feelings as if it were nothing. Gohan just got angrier and angrier as he continued to listen, even as Riddle finished his recital.