zelda_queen (zelda_queen) wrote,
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zelda_queen

Child Of Grace: Chapter 22 - Riddle In The Dark (Part 1)

ZeldaQueen: Okay folks, I'm going to give it straight to you here. This chapter just infuriates me. This and the next one. So I probably will be ranting at least once. Link caught wind of this and managed to escape for these two chapters, so it's just me today. Please, strap in

Projection Room Voices: Don't break anything. Starting Media in 3...2...1...
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Chapter 22: Riddle In The Dark (Part 1)


"So let me get this straight," Draco began, pacing back and forth in the space between Blaise's and his bed. "You accidentally put your soul in a diary when you were only trying to make a memory?" He gestured with his hand. "And not only that, but you can actually hear us when we talk as long as the diary is open?" He flung himself down next to Luna.

ZeldaQueen: I guess that's one way of saying "You made a memory of yourself into a Horcrux". Way to handwave that bit of unpleasantness, suethor. You do know that the only way to put one's soul - or rather, a piece of one's soul - into anything requires a lot of Dark magic spells. Oh, and murder. Yes, fucking murder. Which Riddle had done several times by the time he made the Horcrux diary. But of course, that doesn't mesh with the lovely pair of leather pants you've been squeezing him into, so you just ignore it. Lovely. Carry on!

If Tom had been able to, he would have sighed. Obviously, he answered the second question with a hint of sarcasm, since you aren't writing, and I can still understand you. To the first part… He paused, not sure what to say.

ZeldaQueen: How about THE FACT THAT IT'S NOT FUCKING CANON, YOU DOUCHE?

"Tom?" Blaise prompted several moments later, the ensouled diary not yet writing anything else. He leaned closer to Holly, who was holding the book, so that he could see better.

ZeldaQueen: (Riddle, if he were canon) "Ha ha, my plan is working perfectly! Now they trust me and I can suck them dry and become real!"

Oh, and hang on for a bit, folks. We're about to get a really retarded explanation. I'm sure most of you were wondering how the suethor would explain how Riddle is nice and innocent while present day Voldy is evil? Here we go

Well, it wasn't all of my soul, he finally responded, the red ink appearing slowly. It was only about 7/8 of it. The rest remained in my body, but it wasn't really enough to technically be considered a soul. It had no conscience, no morals. It mostly seemed to be a duplicate of my memories with a few other things thrown in.It was more like the memory I actually wanted to put in the diary, except it had part of my soul and stayed in my body instead. The words stopped for a moment, as though Tom was remembering. It didn't even want to reintegrate with me. It knew what had happened, but it simply sealed me in the diary and put me to sleep.

ZeldaQueen: Yes folks, that's it. That's why Voldemort is bad and Tom Riddle isn't. That's how the suethor handwaved this all.

FUCKING BULLSHIT! How does that work? How? By the very laws of canon, soul-splitting doesn't work like that!!! The only way to split one's soul is to do something against the laws of nature, to goddamed murder someone, why are you ignoring that, suethor? You can't make a memory of yourself and just happen to split your soul by mistake! And more than that, you can't just accidentally seal a piece of your soul into an object! Slughorn made it quite clear that there are two things that must be done - you need to murder someone to split the soul, and you need to do a series of Dark magic spells! GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!

There's also the question of how only one eight of the soul was conveniently broken off. Wouldn't it have split in half? I got the impression that each time a Horcrux was made, Voldemort just split off half of what he had left. The way I could see it, the only way to get suck a precise amount of soul broken off would be to make a conscientious effort to do so.

Finally, how the hell does this even make sense? So, let's say that somehow, some way, this makes sense. That Tom Riddle was a sweet, innocent boy who, one day, managed to seal most of himself in a diary by accident and left his body with his memories and no conscious or morals. In an earlier chapter, didn't Dumbledore go on about how he used to be so close to Riddle? So wouldn't he notice and be suspicious of him if something like this happened? I mean, I doubt that something with no conscious or morals could go around and not be noticed. And given that Dumbledore is supposed to be all-powerful and whatnot, at least in this story, shouldn't he have figured something was up?

"You're only sort of a soul?" Luna asked with confusion. She nervously played with the hem of her robe, occasionally blinking her too large eyes.

Well, I am not really "sort of a soul"… I'm not even sure if that is even possible. It's one of those things were you either have one or you don't.

"So I'm guessing that you do," Draco cut in, a strange tone evident in his voice. He seemed somewhat shell-shocked, as if it truly hadn't sunken in yet, and he was only going through the motions.

ZeldaQueen: I'm sorry, but why are they taking this so well? This is just...gah! I am literally in pain from the stupid! This makes no sense, this is possibly the weakest explanation I've ever heard, and...gah!

Though to be fair, the same could really be said of Blaise and Luna. The two were starring at the diary with glazed expressions, the blonde occasionally blinking her impossibly large eyes and the boy rubbing his face tiredly. They both seemed too stunned to really process what was going on, looking to all the world like they had been hit with repeated hexes and were Confunded.

ZeldaQueen: Find a happy place, find a happy place, I'm at the viewing of Eclipse with my friend, laughing over the "I'm hotter than you" line

Only Holly was sparred from the shock of it all, mostly due to the fact that she had heard a big portion of the explanation earlier. To say that she had been initially surprised by Tom's revelation was an understatement of epic proportions. The green-eyed Slytherin had sat numbly as he had made his confessions, not really intending to hear him out but too confused to move.

ZeldaQueen: Hmm, is "green-eyed Slytherin" like "green-eyed lady"? And considering that Riddle just admitted that he was the same dude who tortured and killed many people, including Holly's parents, I'd find it more likely that she'd toss his book out the window. I mean, at least wouldn't she be pissed off that he's the reason she was raised by the Dursleys?

That had been just an hour earlier, and she had immediately gone to her closest friends, the only ones that knew of the diary, telling them what she had learned. So here they were, on Blaise bed, with the door spelled shut and an Alarm charm on it. The other second-year boys were downstairs in the Common Room, Draco having given them some bogus excuse to keep them from the room for the next hour or so.

ZeldaQueen: Fantastic, again we get more effort put into protecting the Sue than actually helping out the rest of the school. Oh look, lunchtime at Kennywood! I think I'll get pizza on toast. Yummy!

Blaise questioned, recovering, "And what about the attacks? Now and fifty years ago? By your own confession, you were the one that found the Basilisk, so were you involved with everything else?" The brunet moved closer to Holly, the better to see the diary's answer.

ZeldaQueen: What is this suethor's aversion to using pronouns? "He moved closer to Holly" would work just as well. Are we entirely sure that this wasn't the fanfiction that Stephenie Meyer wrote before the Twilight series?

No, but I thought I was. I was the one that awakened the Basilisk, but not to harm people. I just wanted to talk to her; she knew Salazar himself. He hesitated, clearly debating telling them something.

ZeldaQueen: Ah yes, of course, because awakening a murderous, giant snake you may or may not be able to control and who was left for the sole purpose of murdering people, just for conversation purposes, sounds like such a great idea

However, Tom eventually decided to get it out in the open as well.

I didn't really have many friends at Hogwarts, none that knew I was a Parselmouth, none that I was really close with.

ZeldaQueen: Alright, this at least is unintentionally canon. Tom Riddle had no friends. Tom Riddle never wanted any friends. He never let anyone close. He never told anyone his secrets. Of course, we all know that the suethor is playing this for angst

My Housemates tried, but I just couldn't really connect with them. We had little common ground outside of magic, and none of the other Houses would ever give a Slytherin the chance. I… I just wanted to have someone to talk to
, he finished, the ink slightly fainter than usual. His mind swirled with regret and other nameless emotions.

ZeldaQueen: Fuck it, there we go. Again, almost canon. Riddle had people lining up to try to be his friends. He only saw them as tools to be used. I feel it worth noting that Harry Potter didn't really have a ton in common with his friends outside of magic, and got along with them just fine. Heck, he made friends the instant he got on the frigging Hogwarts Express! And again, given how handsome and charismatic and intelligent Riddle was, I find it impossible that he would have been forced to resort to going to a huge, murderous snake for conversation. Didn't he at least have Dumbledore, for heaven's sake?

The lone Ravenclaw added very softly, "What about Myrtle? Are you responsible for that?"

ZeldaQueen: (Canon Riddle) "Yes I was. She was a sniveling, annoying girl and the world is well rid of her"

Of course, I'm sure that Holly and her friends would just agree with that. Creepy

She – Myrtle – she died… and I panicked, Tom confessed, the script speeding up as he wrote. It was as if he was showing the awful truth as quickly as possible so that he wouldn't have to think about it for longer than absolutely necessary.

ZeldaQueen: ... Nostalgia Critic?

ZeldaQueen: Thank you!

Holly empathised with him; she wouldn't want to hold on to the horror either.

ZeldaQueen: What. Excuse me? No really, what. He just admitted that he was responsible for a girl's death and Holly empathized with him? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Oh no, I know what this reminds me of! Here!

"
He sighed, seeming reluctant to answer. 'Well, I had a typical bout of rebellious adolescence — about ten years after I was… born… created, whatever you want to call it. I wasn't sold on his life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite. So I went off on my own for a time.'

'Really?' I was intrigued, rather than frightened, as I perhaps should have been. He could tell. I vaguely realized that we were headed up the next flight of stairs, but I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings.

'That doesn't repulse you?'

'No.'

'Why not?'

'I guess… it sounds reasonable.'
"

ZeldaQueen: Just so you know, suethor, it was just as repulsive and appalling when Meyer did it

He went on after a moment, I thought for sure that it was the Basilisk, but I couldn't tell anyone what had happened. I'd have to explain, and there was no telling what they would do to me, especially since I'm a Parselmouth. They would have expelled me and sent me to Azkaban... or worse – back to the orphanage. The script on the page was erratic and distorted as Tom added the last bit, almost like he was trembling.

ZeldaQueen: Oh, this is lovely! Looks like Tom and Holly are really a match made in heaven! Both are horrible, selfish cowards who won't lift a finger to save innocent people if it means inconveniencing or causing trouble for themselves! Suethor, Sirius Black went to Azkaban because he tried to hunt down and stop Pettigrew. He almost had his soul sucked out of his body because he broke out of jail to do so. You could argue that he was insane, but that doesn't change the fact that he lost his freedom and was known for the rest of his life as a traitor and a murderer, just because he tried to avenge his friends and protect his godson from the real traitor.

Remus Lupin had valuable information about Black and did pretty much what Holly and Riddle did - he kept quiet because he didn't want to reveal details about his own life. He proceeds to spend most of the book guilt-ridden about how he could have protected the students better if he only told someone about how Black was an Animagus. And Lupin had damned good reason to stay quiet. If word got out that Holly was a Parslemouth, there'd be some gossip and maybe slander. When word got out that Lupin was a werewolf, he promptly lost his job and basically went back to being a penniless outcast. In other words, his entire livelihood rested on him protecting his secret, and he still showed more guilt about it than Holly and Riddle do. But no, we're supposed to feel sorry for those two, to think "oh how terrible society is!" Nope, not buying it.

And I love how Riddle thinks that being inconvenienced and going back to the orphanage is worse than Azkaban. Dude, we read the sixth book. The orphanage was sucky, yeah, but you didn't help by terrorizing everyone. Apparently the suethor is ignoring the fact that his "I don't want to go back to the orphanage!" schtick in book two was an act

The writing paused for a few heartbeats, like he was trying to catch his breath. But I knew of Hagrid's pet, Tom added slowly. I had seen him with it during my Prefect rounds. I hoped that it really had been the spider, so I turned Hagrid in. I really didn't have any other choice. I couldn't go back to the orphanage. You know that, Holly. I couldn't go back, he added, the text turning very faint, like Tom was whispering.

ZeldaQueen: Yes, that's right. It could have been a giant pet spider that killed a girl without leaving any physical evidence at all. I mean, it's not like a spider bite would leave puncture marks and traces of venom. It's not like someone would see a large spider crawling around or that Myrtle would have had time to scream and probably fight back if it had been Aragog

I just couldn't.

ZeldaQueen: (Riddle) "I tried to be in character! I really did! The suethor forced me to be spineless and weak-willed! I'm sorry!"

Both girls shuddered as he unintentionally sent out an intense feeling of anguish.

ZeldaQueen: GOD, JUST SHUT UP! I WON'T BUY THIS NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU REPEAT IT!

I couldn't, not permanently. The writing was so light now that it was barely a shadow on the page. I wouldn't have survived to be eighteen.

ZeldaQueen: Seventeen, dipstick. Wizards come of age at seventeen. This was written after the last book, so there's no excuse. And seriously suethor, we saw the orphanage! It was not abusive, they just weren't able to provide enough love and care for the children! A boy in his teens would probably have been left to amuse himself, and I'm sure Riddle could have gone off on his own as much as he pleased!

The text stopped for a moment, and a shiver went up Holly's spine as she thought about what Tom had written. She knew the gist of Tom's stay at the orphanage, but she didn't delude herself into thinking that she knew the entire terrible truth. Still, to hear him put it like that shown new light on the entire situation, shoving the true horror into the spotlight.

ZeldaQueen: And she just believes all of this right away! She knows that this is the past self of the guy who killed her parents and she doesn't consider the fact that he's lying or brainwashing her or anything? Good God, this is just like DW's Harry Potter fic, where everyone mysteriously believes those insane books he publishes, right away and with no questions asked!

Besides, the attacks stopped after Hagrid was expelled and his pet fled the castle. It truly might have been them, the diary-wizard inserted with a hint of hope.

ZeldaQueen: See above point as to why that statement is retarded

"Or the real attacker wised up," Draco commented with a sniff.

Tom seemed chagrined. That, too.

ZeldaQueen: Chagrined. Chagrined. DEAR FUCKING LORD, THIS WAS WRITTEN BY STEPHENIE MEYER! I KNEW IT!

"But how do you know it wasn't the Basilisk?" Blaise finally asked the question they had all been wondering.

Eyes, Tom wrote simply, as if it explained anything. Its eyes.

ZeldaQueen: And, let the stupid commence

Draco snorted, gazing at the diary as though it might spring up and suddenly attack at any moment. "Well, that makes as much sense as one of Weasley's Potions essays."

ZeldaQueen: (Suethor) "Hm, I haven't had any Weasley-bashing for some time. Better fix that with a weak insult"

He crossed his arms over his chest defensively. Apparently, the knowledge that he was talking to a younger version of Voldemort was now starting to sink in.

ZeldaQueen: So why's he suspicious then? Malfoy loved Voldemort when he was younger. He wanted to work for him! If anything, he should be insulted that it turned out that his hero is actually a spineless coward

"Come again?" Holly queried in a much politer tone. She wasn't really sure what to do about Draco, not that she could blame his attitude. She was still somewhat jumpy around Tom herself.

ZeldaQueen: Oh, how nice! The Sue is managing to be polite to the past self of Voldemort! Gag me!

Basilisks have white eyes! Tom replied with enthusiasm, clearly excited about something.

The sole Ravenclaw blinked. "What's that supposed to mean?" Luna questioned, obviously not understanding.

ZeldaQueen: Poor Luna, the suethor finally got around to lobotomizing you!

However, in that moment, something occurred to Holly. "Yellow. Myrtle said that she saw yellow eyes, not white." The girl looked at each of her friends in turn. "If she is correct, then it couldn't have possibly been the Basilisk. It was either Aragog… or something else."

ZeldaQueen: I think I'll ask Jean Luc Picard for help this time. Captain?


"Oh, right," Draco put in sarcastically. "Just how many dangerous beasts do you think are roaming around this castle?"

ZeldaQueen: As many as it takes for the suethor to stick to canon and still make the Slytherins look good, of course

Holly glanced at him but didn't respond. She was thinking the same thing herself.

Blaise pinched the bridge of his nose in thought. "How could you know that they have white eyes? If you looked, you'd have died," the boy questioned with heavy emphasis.

I didn't need to. Tom continued easily, Salazar Slytherin wrote it down. It was in one of his journals. If anyone would know, it would be him.

ZeldaQueen: And that was how many years ago? Hmm? Suppose the Basilisk got some sort of eye infection or crust from age? Maybe it's eyes were tinged yellow? Maybe Myrtle and Salazar's opinions on what constitutes "white" and "yellow" differed. Maybe you all are a bunch of idiots!

The four students took a moment to process this new titbit of information.

"How do we know that you're telling the truth?" Blaise asked, making eye contact with Holly.

For one, I never had to tell you in the first place.

The brunet inclined his head in a slight sign of agreement. "That's true enough."

ZeldaQueen: Or maybe he's lying to gain your trust and shake you down for information. There's that too

For another, Holly and Luna would be able to tell if I was lying.

"Wait," Draco put in. "How do you know about that?"

Remember, I can hear what's going on around whenever the diary is open. And you lot certainly aren't quiet about it when you think no one's listening.

The four students blinked.

ZeldaQueen: What, ho? Someone pointing out their idiocy? How weird!

"We'll have to work on that," Luna said faintly. "Perhaps the flying wimblewambles will help us," she added a moment later, studying the interesting pattern of shadows on the ceiling.

ZeldaQueen: For fuck's sake, suethor, stop doing that! You can't just have Luna randomly talk about bastardized Dr. Seuss creatures and pretend she's acting in character! You're just reminding me of Nancy Stouffer. And believe me, that is not a good thing

Holly sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.

ZeldaQueen: What is it with these people and pinching their noses? Is Riddle really flatculent or something?

"Anyway… he seems honest enough to me."

The other witch nodded absentmindedly, now braiding her hair.

"Why shouldn't we go to McGonagall or Professor Snape with this and let them sort it all out then?" Draco asked cautiously.

However, it was Luna who answered in Tom's place.

"We don't know what they would do to him. They could destroy the diary outright without giving us a chance to explain properly." She sighed slightly, still braiding her hair. "We can't turn Tom in, especially if he's innocent," the Ravenclaw whispered, leaning forward so that only he could hear. "Tom would be punished, perhaps even die – when he didn't really do anything worse than make a bad decision. Besides, Holly would have to explain about the diary and her telepathy. Her very life could be in danger if the Ministry learned of either. They'd label her an up and coming Dark Lady, a follower of You-Know-Who's footsteps."

ZeldaQueen: And, here we go again. Everyone instantly sides with the Sue, preferring to protect her rather than do the right thing. I feel it necessary to point out that Harry and his canon friends stood up to protect innocent lives rather than get themselves in trouble.

Anyway suethor, your excuses about Holly being in horrible danger for revealing her telepathy and the diary are rather weak when you consider that in canon, Harry and Ginny both associated with Riddle's diary and neither were expelled or in trouble. Heck, Ginny was possessed by the diary and committed crimes because of that and she still wasn't punished, because Dumbledore knew it wasn't her fault! Anyway, why would the Ministry care if Holly was telepathic? I have yet to hear a satisfactory reason for it, beyond "I said so". If anything, wouldn't the Ministry think it would be a fantastic talent and try to convince Holly to use it for them?

Finally, "he didn't really do anything worse than make a bad decision"? He woke up a gigantic, magical, dangerous creature just for conversation! He thought he was responsible for the death of an innocent girl! He had it within his power to solve the mystery and kept quiet because he was a selfish bastard. You could argue that Lawrence from The Princess and the Frog only made "a bad decision", but that doesn't change the fact that he willingly withheld information about a dangerous crime and was still expected to face the consequences of the actions.

I hate these characters. I really do

The blond Slytherin eyed her for a moment before nodding. "Fine then." He hesitated, rubbing his chin in thought. "So if he's telling the truth, it wasn't the Basilisk that was attacking people and probably not Aragog either. I've never heard of an Acromantula with the power to petrify," Draco finished carefully, addressing everyone.

ZeldaQueen: Well, at least one person is being halfway sensible about the monster thing, even if he's still being completely selfish

Holly murmured, more to herself than to them, "So Hagrid really is innocent then."

ZeldaQueen: And it's not like they're going to try to clear his name. Nope, that would cause trouble for the Sue

Tom didn't respond, not knowing how. At the smallest Slytherin's forlorn look, Blaise reached over to take her hand, giving it a fierce squeeze.

ZeldaQueen: FUCK YOU ALL, DON'T YOU DARE PRETEND HOLLY FEELS BAD ABOUT THIS! IF SHE REALLY FELT SORRY FOR HAGRID SHE WOULD GO AND GIVE THE PROOF THAT HE WAS FRAMED!!!

Draco tapped his cheek with his finger. "And the whole deal with the Heir, what was that about?"

Tom hesitated, thinking it over. The nearest I can tell is that it was meant to be a distraction, something to keep the faculty from focusing on the real culprit. I know that I certainly wasn't doing it, so it had to be the real culprit trying to pass on the blame.

Somehow, Holly managed to put two and two together, getting seventeen, and a little stab of agony shot through her at the realisation.

"You're the Heir of Slytherin then, and you know the location of the Chamber of Secrets," the girl said. "That's how you found the Basilisk; it really is Slytherin's legendary monster."

ZeldaQueen: First of all, no fucking duh? Only the Heir of Slytherin could find and control the monster! That's why Harry couldn't just order it not to kill him - it only obeyed Riddle. Anyway, if he already assured her that he's all bunnies and kitties and only wanted to talk to the Basilisk for conversation, why would she care? The reason everyone was scared of the Heir of Slytherin was the whole thing about him sending the monster out to kill Muggleborns.

Second of all, bullshit? Hmm? This has got to be one of the dumbest ways to handwave canon behavior that I've seen yet. So someone is up to no good and want to hide the fact that they're the culprit. So...they bring up the Heir of Slytherin? Something which very few people seemed to know about before and didn't even believe in before now? Of all the possible scapegoats, that was the one used? What.

Holly felt an internal sting of anguish. She had been searching from the Heir for months now, and Tom had known all along without even trusting her enough to tell her.

ZeldaQueen: I give up. She cares more about the fact that he didn't trust her than the fact that he's the past version of Voldemort and possibly caused someone to die. I...I really don't know what to say here

The other students momentarily looked at Holly as if she had grown another head, but slowly, their shock was replaced by comprehension.

Yes.

"Where?"

The ink appeared very slowly. Under the school, but the entrance is elsewhere… the girl's loo. One of the taps doesn't work. The red writing flowed onto the page in a rush. It has a snake etched on it. You just need to whisper in Parseltongue, and the entrance will open.

"The same toilet Myrtle was killed in," the dark-haired girl stated, not needing Tom's confirmation.

ZeldaQueen: You know, just having it be told like this really sucks out the mystery and suspense that Rowling created

Draco sighed then. "It doesn't really matter now, though. If the Basilisk isn't doing it, then, the Chamber stuff is a ruse. Whoever is doing the attacks was trying to throw us off."

ZeldaQueen: THEN WHO WAS DOING IT, DIPSTICK?

I'm sorry folks, but heads up - the next chapter is where Year Two ends. Which means that this entire thing has pretty much been one giant dead herring!

"So, basically, we're back to square one," the other boy put in with an unhappy sigh.

It was his turn to receive a hand-squeeze from Holly.

"Maybe not," she stated. "We know that the real culprit has an idea of where the entrance to the Chamber is, unless he or she is a very good guesser."

ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "Anyway, the writer will just pull something out of her anus at the last minute. It'll be alright!"

Draco's fact lit up. "That's right. They'd have to know since that's where they killed Myrtle, and they wrote the message about the Heir on the wall outside."

ZeldaQueen: The Heir thing was a legend! Anyone could have known about that! And I thought they just said that the Chamber and all was a dead herring, so wouldn't Myrtle's death have been coincidence in that case? I don't... *mumbles and starts to weep from the idiocy*

"Also, we have managed to eliminate several suspects; we just need to re-examine all the facts," the odd Eagle

ZeldaQueen: On second thought, I'm starting a drinking game. Every time the suethor uses an idiot way to describe a character, take a shot. I'm getting me some milk next recording session

went on in Holly's place, now finished with her hair. "Surely, we can find some new clue from it." Luna glanced at one of the multiple watches that she wore. "But not tonight. Curfew starts in a little bit. I have to be back soon. Professor Flitwick does a count every evening."

The three Slytherins exchanged a look.

"We'll go with you. Nobody should be roaming around alone," the Slytherin girl replied quietly.

ZeldaQueen: Oh, they only figured that out now?

"Actually," Blaise inserted, making direct eye contact with his best friend, "I think that you should stay, Holly. Draco and I will be fine on our own. Tom and you should get started on re-examining everything. Every moment counts, you know."

His unspoken words were, "Tom and you have some things to work out… in private."

ZeldaQueen: Ah yes. Instead of solving the mystery, they're worried about the Sue working out her relationship issues. Why am I not surprised?

Holly blinked. "Fine," she allowed, knowing it was the truth. "I'll stay here and wait for you to return then." She fought the urge to fidget, instead frowning.

"Good," Draco responded. He offered his arm to Luna. "Shall we go, my lady?"

She took it with a slight smile, instantly joining in the dramatics. "Yes, we shall, silver knight. We will have to make haste as it is."

ZeldaQueen: Mr. Colbert?



ZeldaQueen: Thank you!

The pair rose, as did Blaise,

ZeldaQueen: Woah now, I knew Draco and Blaise could do that, but Holly...?

and made for the door.

"Goodnight, Holly," Luna said, Draco also adding his farewell, too.

The other boy lingered for a moment, inclining his head at the diary. "Bye, Hols. I'll see you in a bit."

With that, he also departed.

ZeldaQueen: Wow, I'm so much better off for knowing all of this!

She simply stared after him, not really wanting to talk to Tom at the moment. However, her desire for answers got the best of her, and Holly looked down.

Are you mad? The words were already on the page when she finally looked back at it. Please, don't be mad, Holly, Tom pleaded after she didn't respond.

ZeldaQueen: I'm mad! Why isn't anyone worried about getting me angry?

How he managed to sound so very lost and alone without actually speaking was beyond her.

ZeldaQueen: Beyond me too, but then, I'm used to canon Riddle

"I'm not," she answered honestly. "I'm just…"

Bothered, he supplied. Feeling betrayed, Tom tried again after she didn't reply.

ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "Just shut up, you dumb bastard! I'm angsting here!"

"Maybe…" Holly shook her head, not wanting to continue. However, the feelings that had been boiling just under the surface ever since his confession refused to still, rising up suddenly.

ZeldaQueen: And then she vomited

"Yes!" And her eyes glowed green.

ZeldaQueen: Yet another Sue power! Hooray!

"Yes, I'm mad, bothered… feeling betrayed. You didn't lie to me, not outright, but it was more a sin of omission," she accused, fighting to keep the hurt from her voice and not quite succeeding. "You knew what he did to my family, to me! You knew! All this time, I trusted you, and you knew." She made an angry gesture at the diary, a detached part of her wondering if he could actually see it. "I didn't have to, and I don't trust easily… but I still trusted you."

ZeldaQueen: Oh for the love of - why is this what she's so worried about? She just learned there's a murderous monster, probably more, running around! WORRY ABOUT THAT!

Her breath was quickening as her voice rose. "I told you things about me, my life, that I have never told anyone. Things that no one else knows, not even Blaise." Holly had the sudden urge to throw something… anything… preferably the diary. "And you know so much about me, most of my secrets. You know what I am! You know about it all. The Parseltongue," she hissed. "And the telepathy," the girl added in a much quieter but still deadly tone. "I didn't even get a chance to tell you about it; you didn't earn it like the others. You just eavesdropped; you spied on me!"

ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "How dare you find out something about me? You're depriving me of things to angst about in secret!"

She shut her eyes tightly as she felt the first prickle of moisture.

ZeldaQueen: What, is she crying shards of glass?

She wouldn't allow the tears to fall; she just wouldn't Holly hadn't cried all the years she had been mistreated by the Dursleys, all those years she had been used by them, so she wouldn't allow it to happen now over such a little thing like betrayal.

"You're just like them, you know!" the girl practically screamed at him, trying to redirect her emotions to a different outlet, but with the continued prickling in her eyes, she knew it wasn't working. "You pretend to be my friend, but all this time you were just using me!"

ZeldaQueen: Translation "Blah, wangst, wangst, wangst, wangst, wangst! I'm so alone and hurt, even though I have a bajillion friends who have nothing better to do than hang around with me twenty-four seven and protect my delicate feelings and do my bidding and cater to my every want! WOE IS ME!!!"

Holly felt awash of pain from the book.

ZeldaQueen: I think there's a space missing there

I'm your friend, Holly. I really am. Please believe me. Tom was begging her now. I was just… I was afraid. I feared how you would react. How was I supposed to tell you about all this? What could I possibly say to make it easier to hear? he added faintly, collapsing in on himself.

However, she didn't answer. She was too focused on trying to contain the building hurt in her chest.

ZeldaQueen: Oh holy monkey balls, was the Sue implanted with a chest burster? Please say yes! I want to see her die in painful agony!

I'm sorry, Holly. I am so very sorry.

If Tom had been able to, he would have wept.

ZeldaQueen: ...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOO!!!!

"Yes, well, sorry isn't good enough," she finally choked out, losing the battle with herself.

And with that, Holly began to cry. Her tiny body heaved with her racking sobs as she put her face in her hands.

ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "I mean, I don't care that you thought you killed a girl! But you hurt my feelings, you big meanie!"

Holly…

But she just ignored him, or maybe she just simply didn't notice the writing due to her tears. She wrapped her arms around herself tightly, her head bowed over the diary. Her tears dropped from her face to the pages below, smearing the vivid, red ink and causing it to run.

Holly felt a spike of emotion from Tom; he knew that she was crying. She could feel his remorse in the back of her mind, but she was too upset currently to really care. So what if he was sorry? He shouldn't have betrayed her in the first place.

Why did everyone keep doing this to her? What had she done to deserve this? What was wrong with her? What made this happen?

ZeldaQueen: Folks, I'm not even exaggerating here, my ears are in physical pain from the wangst

What… what she really wanted, needed right now was Blaise.

ZeldaQueen: She's twelve!

Luna or Draco would be nice, but they didn't know her as her best friend did. They hadn't yet had the opportunity, Luna due to the newness of their relationship and Draco because of the previous year. But Blaise knew; he would understand why she hurt so very much right now.

Her weeping intensified at the thought, knowing there was no way he could possibly know she was upset unless she went looking for him or tried to telepathically contact him. However, given her current mental state, neither was an option. He probably wouldn't be back for a while, she had a sneaking suspicion he would wait in the Common Room to give her more time to talk to Tom.

But she really needed him, now more than ever. She needed him. She needed to be held, to be consoled.

ZeldaQueen: Then why not wait for him in the Common Room?

Look, I have no sympathy for the Sue at all. This is just disgusting. The fact that people are being attacked and hurt and scared is being brushed aside in favor of the emotions of Our Hero. Seriously, how is this better than Harry? How? When he found out that Riddle lied and betrayed him, he fought back! He didn't go keeling over and sob "I thought you were my friend, you meanie!"

I hate this. I really do

As if summoned by her very thoughts, Holly felt a pair of arms wrap around her. She jumped, not having sensed anyone behind her; the girl hadn't even heard the door open, and she was in a near panic before she finally realised who it was.

Blaise.

ZeldaQueen: Le gasp! What a shock!

But seriously, folks, you're a great crowd!

She instantly relaxed, burying her head in his chest. Holly didn't even bother to question why he was there, not then at least. She simply continued to weep out her frustrations and agony.

ZeldaQueen: I mean, I know I get all sorts of dramatic thoughts when I cry, but I don't think I quite go this far. Maybe I'm weird, I dunno. So, who here likes pizza?

Minutes… perhaps hours later, Holly began to calm, her sobs turning into sniffles and her tears slowing to a trickle. She didn't move from her position on Blaise's shoulder, where he had moved her head without her even noticing. His arms were still around her, patting her back gently instead of just squeezing her.

ZeldaQueen: Really, there's nothing like a good pepperoni. Or a white pizza, sans tomatoes. Curse my friend for introducing me to that one

More time passed, and she belatedly noted that he was singing to her softly, so softly that she couldn't make out the words. She barely even heard the general melody, but for the moment, it didn't really seem to matter. He could have been singing "God Save the Queen" for all Holly cared at the moment; it was just nice to be comforted like this, like he really did love her, care about her wellbeing.

ZeldaQueen: But seriously, am I the only one who actually likes Papa John's pizza? The rest of my family hates it and thinks I only like it to be ornery. C'mon, I think it tastes great! And it comes with garlic sauce! How great's that?

Blaise's song ended, and he was about to start another when she sat up slowly. Holly rubbed her gritty and tired eyes.

From underneath her eyelashes, she looked at him. "What are you doing here? I mean, why. Shouldn't you still be with Luna? How did you…" the girl trailed off.

ZeldaQueen: Oh yeah, the sporking. Sorry about that

Blaise didn't even pause, now rubbing her back instead of patting it. "You called me." He smiled at her, his eyes glittering strangely.

"I… what?"

His smile widened, and she could see perfectly white teeth. "You called me. I don't how, but I could feel your distress. I knew that you needed me.

ZeldaQueen: Greate, another Sue power. Now she doesn't even need to snap her fingers for them to come running

I ran all the way back from Ravenclaw Tower. Draco did, too, but he didn't want to crowd you."

ZeldaQueen: I HATE THIS BITCH! WHY IS EVERYONE PUTTING HER EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE THAT'S GOING ON? THIS IS BELLA SWAN ALL OVER!

"Oh."

And the pair fell into

ZeldaQueen: - a pit lined with rusty spikes

silence.

"Are you all right now?" the boy asked several moments later as he stilled his hands.

"Yes. I… thank you, Blaise," she murmured softly.

He grinned again. "De nada, amorcita" The boy tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear before pressing a kiss to her forehead.

ZeldaQueen: THEY'RE TWELVE!

Holly flushed red, embarrassment building now that she had calmed. The girl lifted a slightly shakily hand to her head, rubbing it tiredly over her face. She felt empty now, hollow, like her emotions had eaten away at her insides and her outburst had gotten rid of the rest.

ZeldaQueen: It's because she's a Sue. They have no emotions of their own, and can only prey off of those of canon characters

And she was tired, so very tired. Much like how she used to feel after she had done a day's worth of chores only to be thrown in the cupboard afterwards without even a slice of bread for her efforts.

ZeldaQueen: Are...we entirely certain that this isn't a parody?

She felt like lying down and sleeping for the next year or so, but even that probably wouldn't be enough.

ZeldaQueen: Do it anyway. At least we won't have to listen to you wangst for that amount of time

And why did this seem to keep happening? For the nine years she was at the Dursleys before Hogwarts, Holly could count the number of times she cried on both hands and still have fingers left over. But in just this year alone, she had been reduced to sobs twice, Blaise comforting her both times.

ZeldaQueen: Because you're a Sue who's attention-whoring

A squeeze of her shoulder interrupted her thoughts and caused her to glance up at her friend, who was eyeing her worriedly. However, Blaise's intent-filled and suspicious gaze made her hastily look down.

ZeldaQueen: I...guess he gets turned on by that sort of thing?

"Do you think we should tell someone? Maybe Professor Flitwick?" Holly questioned after a moment, trying to fill the somewhat awkward silence and distract his attention away from her shakiness.

ZeldaQueen: YES! YES YOU SHOULD!

Although, why Flitwick? He's not the head of their house or acting Headmaster. So...why?

He exhaled slowly. "Perhaps… but not for now. As bizarre as Tom's story sounds, I believe he's telling the truth. He didn't even have to mention his connection to the Dark Lord; we would never have known otherwise. Besides, if he was lying, I think that he could come up with something a bit more plausible."

ZeldaQueen: Well, I'd think the suethor could have come up with something a bit more plausible, but there you have it

She couldn't help herself as she let out a chuckle. "I had considered that," the girl inserted, looking up at him again with a smile, but it slowly slid off her face. "I really meant it before. Thank you, Blaise."

The boy inclined his head, noting her still trembling hands. "You can stay here tonight… if you want," he offered tentatively, patting her hand gently. "Like you did during Yule."

ZeldaQueen: Wow, slut!

Holly blinked. "Er… thanks… but I don't think that would be a good idea." She shifted nervously.

Blaise looked at her for a moment. "The others wouldn't mind." He added, guessing what she was thinking, "And they wouldn't mention it to anyone."

ZeldaQueen: Because she's a Sue and everyone lets her do what she pleases

She shook her head, not quite meeting his eyes. "Again, thank you… but no. I really don't think it'd be a good idea, Blaise."

The boy shrugged, sliding off his bed. "If you're sure?" He offered her a hand up.

"I am." Holly flushed brightly as he gave her another hug, one that lingered for several moments. "Goodnight," she said slowly before walking to the door and disappearing into the hallway.

ZeldaQueen: This has been another pointless exchange

Blaise starred after her, reaching over to close the still opened diary with a sharp snap. He glared at the book for several moments, tempted to set the bloody thing on fire and just be done with it,

ZeldaQueen: No arguments from me on that score

but he fought away the feeling before opening the drawer to his bedside table and putting it there out of sight.

But not out of mind.

ZeldaQueen: Read - until the plot calls for it


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Onward to: Chapter 22: Riddle in the Dark (part 2)

Back to: Chapter 21: In The Forest Of The Night (Part 2)


Return to: Table of Contents
Tags: chapter 22, fic: child of grace, part 1, riddle in the dark, suethor: lady azar de tameran
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