Projection Room Voices: Starting Media in 3...2...1...
Chapter 23: Enemies Of The Heir
ZeldaQueen: This chapter was apparently dedicated by the Suethor to a fellow named Yami-chan, for giving "wicked awesome reviews". I looked through and apparently he gave "wicked awesome" reviews like this.
"Ah, it's been much too long since I last read this story. I'M SO ASHAMED! *Yami-chan curls into a ball facing dark corner and weeps rather pathetically* I'm such a terrible reviwer, I completely forgot all about your story for MONTHS and probably had you wondering where the hell I was. Truthfully, I came across your story quite by accident the other day, and I'm certainly glad I did! But it definitely took a while to refamiliarize (wait, is that a word?) myself with your fic. I am so very flattered that you would dedeicate a chapter to me...I've never had someone do that before! *tears of agony rapidly transform to joyfully honored humbleness* Was my last review really so great? Really, truly? Anyway, please update as soon as your schedule allows you to! I dutifully await your next chapter!
Neko-chan: ...and you'll probably forget again.
Yami-chan: *glares indignantly at Neko-chan* I won't!
Neko-chan: We'll see. If she doesn't review within several weeks of you updating, rest assured she'll stumble upon your story within the next five months.
Yami-chan: Don't be so mean, Neko-chan!
Neko-chan: *ignores Yami-chan* And Yami-chan would like to thank you for not killing off Tom Riddle, and in her place I apologize for wasting so much of your precious time. She also wants me to remind you that your fic is...*eyebrow twitches as she stares at the script* I am SO not saying something so pathetic.
Neko-chan: *sighs* She also wants me to remind you that your fic is still *voice grows monotonous* "the most awesomest story in the span of the Alternate-Universe-Where-Harry-Potter-Is-A-G
Yami-chan: *blatantly ignores Neko-chan* THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR NOT KILLING OFF TOM RIDDLE! *snuggles a T.M.R. plushie while Neko-chan watches on in morbid fascination*"
ZeldaQueen: Yes, very informative and critical
"Lumos," Holly murmured softly, and the tip of her wand began to glow.
ZeldaQueen: Same for Blaise and Draco, the horny bastards
She exhaled very slowly before turning to her companions. "Remember any sign of movement and close your eyes right away. I don't know if the Basilisk is actually awake or not, but we better not chance it."
ZeldaQueen: See, doesn't this make her sound soooo much smarter than that loser Harry?
Both Blaise and Draco nodded firmly, while Lockhart gave a squeak of terror at the word "Basilisk."
And with that, the four started down the tunnel, the dandy
out in front with Blaise directly behind him. They walked in silence for several moments, the quiet only interrupted by the occasionally whimper from the professor or the crunch of a rat skeleton. During that time, the girl tried her best not to look at where she stepped, desperately hoping that Ginny didn't end up the same way.
ZeldaQuen: *mildly* Little Miss Mary Sue has shown zero concern for Ginny thus far, Suethor. I'm not going to to start believing it now
They were given a horrible fright several moments later when they rounded a bend, only to discover a long and coiled shape on the ground. Thankfully, it was only a snake skin, not the actual serpent.
ZeldaQueen: Way to kill the tension
However, the sheer size of it, at least ten metres long, made Holly go completely white. Beside, her Draco stiffened for a moment, eyeing the skin with a sickened sort of fascination.
ZeldaQueen: That's...just nasty
Blaise was also gaping at it with awe, his face slightly green. The girl heard a muffled thump to the side as the ponce's legs gave out,
ZeldaQueen: LOCKHART HAS A NAME! USE IT! *drinks*
and he collapsed to the floor.
The caramel-skinned boy came up behind the man, prodding him with his wand. "Come on. Get up." He actually offered the dandy a helping hand.
ZeldaQueen: Oh, how kind! You offer to help the guy up after dragging him into this place! It's so much more than he deserves! *drinks*
Holly tore her eyes away from the skin as Draco bent over it, examining the thing closely. She glanced to Blaise and had a flash of forewarning, but it was already too late.
ZeldaQueen: So what good are these sue-per powers if stuff just happens like normal?
Lockhart did indeed get to his feet, but he launched himself at the boy in the same instant, tackling him to the ground. The dandy straightened, the Slytherin's wand now in his hand. Draco stood and moved to intercept him a second later, but it was more than enough time for Lockhart to summon his wand, despite how hard he desperately tried to hold on.
ZeldaQueen: Okay, to be honest? I don't feel sorry for Lockhart here. These maniacs kidnapped him, threatened him, sneered and laughed the entire time, clearly show no concern for him at all, and he responds by trying to disarm them and run away. That sounds quite reasonable to me. *drinks*
The girl's wand instantly rose to point at the teacher, but before she could voice a spell, Lockhart once more aimed at Blaise. The tip of his wand only centimetres from the Slytherin boy's left eye. His free hand was gripping Draco tightly as the man had pocketed the younger blond's wand.
Holly faltered. She stared at Lockhart, evaluating the situation.
Now, only the girl and the professor himself were armed, and she dare not make a move as the ponce's wand was pointed far to close to face of her friend for her comfort. She simply watched him, not sure what to do.
ZeldaQueen: Oh for fuck's sake, get on with it! This took about two seconds in canon! Why does the suethor feel the need to stretch this out? *drinks*
They were at an impasse.
The professor smiled sickly. "The adventure ends here, children! I shall take a bit of this skin back up to the school, tell them I was too late to save the girl, and that you three tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body." His grin widened, a manic gleam in his eyes.
ZeldaQueen: Um, no. This isn't going to work, suethor. You can't spend all of this time doing your best to make Lockhart look weak and silly and scared and suddenly try to pass him off as creepy and dangerous
In that instant, Holly knew exactly what he was about to do. However, she didn't know how to counter it. The Protego shield might not be powerful enough, and it certainly wouldn't protect her friends as far away from her as they were. Desperately, she mentally reached for both of them, telling them exactly what was about to happen.
ZeldaQueen: Good lord, get on with it! Why is it that the suethor reduces most of the actual plot to several chapters and stretches this of all things out?
Lockhart laughed to himself. "Say goodbye to your memories." He glanced at Blaise. "Starting with this one." The ponce flicked his wand, sending it high over his head. "Obliviate!"
At that very instant, Draco suddenly pushed into the man, knocking him off-balance. His spell whizzed by Blaise's head, missing by less than a hairsbreadth. The two boys dove to the side, the ponce unexpectedly releasing them when Draco stomped on his foot. They dashed to the side, just as Holly cast a quick shield around them before turning to disarm the dandy. She frantically hoped that she could get both wands away from him.
ZeldaQueen: Oh, "ponce" and "dandy"! Double dip! *drinks twice* So, how you all doing this fine evening?
By that point, the professor had recovered from his shock and was bearing down on them again. Both wands were now in his hands, and he sneered evilly, looking very much like a more boisterous version of Professor Snape.
ZeldaQueen: Yeah, see, I already told you about this. You did your best to build Lockhart up as an incompetent retard and now you're trying to compare him to Snape? Just ain't working
However, Lockhart didn't go after Blaise and Draco. Instead, he chose the most dangerous of the three students.
ZeldaQueen: Oh gee, I wonder who that could be?
"Obliviate!" he shrieked again, casting with the two wands at the same time. He aimed the powerful charm at Holly, who was still recovering from creating the shield around her friends.
There was no way she could cast it again in enough time to protect herself.
ZeldaQueen: She was hit with double memory charms and spent the rest of her life as a drooling lunatic. She spent the rest of her life locked up in a padded room in St. Mungos. With her far enough away from Hogwarts, her Sue power began to weaken enough for the characters to free themselves from her oppression and resume canon
Her free hand went up in a defensive gesture as the over-powered spell rushed towards her, burning bright blue.
ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "LIVE LONG AND PROSPER, BITCHES!"
Her thoughts locked on the light baring down on her.
ZeldaQueen: Either that's a typo, or the light is stripping
However, a surprising thing occurred in the instant before the charm connected.
ZeldaQueen: The stars aligned just right and with a click, canon was restored and Holly disappeared in a poof of logic. "Well that was easy", said Riddle and went on to prove that he was still Voldemort and died in the next Harry crossing
Power flared from her mind as she wished with every fibre of her being that the spell would miss, that it would deflect.
And that is exactly what it did. The spell hit an invisible barrier directly in front of her hand, rebounding back to its caster. There was an explosion of light and sound, and Holly dove toward the serpent skin and out of the way as enormous pieces of the ceiling caved in right where she had been standing.
ZeldaQueen: *dully* Another power. Great. Just what she needed
A moment later, she lifted her head, only to gaze at the solid wall of rock separating her from her friends. The girl clambered to her feet.
ZeldaQueen: Okay, this makes no sense. In canon, the spell caused an explosion and the cave collapsed because Ron's wand was defective. Meaning that it cast the memory spell into Lockhart and did other stuff as well. I didn't get the impression that memory charms blew stuff up. Whatever! Isn't this just so much more awesome than canon? GACK!
"Blaise! Draco!" she called frantically, opening her mind to find them. What she found reassured her.
ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "Yes, they are still under my control! Excellent!"
There was a muffled groan.
ZeldaQueen: (Draco) "Oh, yes, MORE, BABY, MORE!"
"We're fine, Holly!" Blaise's voice called back after a moment.
"We're perfectly fine," Draco added faintly. "Well, maybe not perfectly."
Holly heaved a sigh of relief.
Belatedly, the girl asked, "What about Lockhart?" She ran her hands over the rock wall, searching for a way through.
"No, Lord Peacock over here Oblivated himself," Draco stated back to her, and she heard him climbing to his feet. "He can't even remember his own name, much less anything else." His voice was filled with satisfaction.
ZeldaQueen: Alright, we have typical Lockhart hatred in bad taste. Seriously, the guy just lost his memories. He doesn't know who he is, can't remember anyone he ever knew - friends and family included, and pretty much is screwed for life. And they still laugh at this. It satisfies them. Gah.
More importantly HOW DOES THIS WORK? We see in canon how memory charms work! They don't cause explosions, especially if they hit a person! If Lockhart was hit with the spell, why would the tunnel collapse? None of them have defective wands!
There was a peculiar thump, which was followed by a painful groan. It suspiciously sounded like the blond had kicked Lockhart in the shins.
The girl smirked before realising that he couldn't see it. "Oh, that's too bad," she replied, laughing to herself. She again ran her hands over the stone.
ZeldaQueen: I slapped my forehead at this. Honestly. This is just...this is horrible! She is laughing and smirking over someone else's misfortune! Oh, and Holly? GINNY IS DYING, YOU STUPID BITCH! DID YOU FORGET ABOUT THAT???
"The way is completely blocked," Blaise stated, as if reading her mind. "It'll take hours for us to get through."
She sighed as she came to the same conclusion. Indeed, it would take quite some time for them to break through, and Ginny had already been gone for hours.
ZeldaQueen: Oh, so they haven't entirely forgotten about Ginny. Good to know
"Wait there with Lockhart," Holly announced to Blaise and Draco. "I have to go on. If I'm not back in an hour-"
"We're not leaving without you," Draco put in fiercely, his voice full of emotion. "If you're not back in an hour, we'll come to get you. We might be through by then."
ZeldaQueen: Gag me. Suethor, please stop clubbing us with how Holly is just that much better than Harry because everyone is so sappy and loyal to her. It's annoying
The girl smiled despite herself. "I'll see you in a bit then." And she started to back away from the stone wall, lighting her wand with a whispered spell.
"Holly," Blaise called behind her, and she momentarily paused. "Just… just be careful."
However, she didn't reply, merely turning around and heading deeper into the tunnel. Behind her, the girl could hear Blaise and Draco shifting rock. Soon, the sound was gone, but Holly had not yet reached the end of the tunnel.
ZeldaQueen: This is the pointlessness song! Why don't we all sing along?
Minutes passed, and she went around another bend. And then, she saw it.
Right in front of her was a solid wall with two engraved and entwined serpents. Their emerald, stone eyes glittered in her wand light as she approached. Holly trembled at the life-like quality of them as her mind instantly supplied her with an impression of the dangers that undoubtedly lurked behind the wall. She could feel Saladin twisting around her wrist, as though he could feel her nervousness and was trying to comfort her.
ZeldaQueen: The song of get on with it now! Get to the climax, you stupid cow!
Regardless, it didn't seem to be working.
Slowly, she stepped up to the wall, momentarily debating whether she should get out the diary and talk to Tom, ask him what to do. Yet, that urge was gone in an instant, and Holly squared her shoulders.
ZeldaQueen: The song of fuck me, I'm bored! Stop trying to reform the goddammed Dark Lord!
"Open," the girl hissed, and the opening melted into existence.
Taking a deep breath, the Slytherin walked inside.
ZeldaQueen: TO HER DOOM!!! *sporks*
A short while later, Holly ran, ducking into one of the side pipes and fleeing for her very life.
ZeldaQueen: Okay, not that I'm complaining about something trying to kill her, but what's going on? Suethor? Explanation?
And side pipes? Great, looks like she's using movie canon. Fantastic
She could hear it just behind her, slithering through the area. She dashed through a connecting tunnel, hoping that it would led her back to Ginny, praying that she would be able to get the two of them out.
ZeldaQueen: Yeah, good luck with that, you scrawny little waif
When the Slytherin had entered the Chamber, she had expected to find Ginny, weak but hopefully alive. When she had stepped through the entrance, she had expected to meet the redhead's kidnapper. She had expected to have to duel him or her, to have protect Ginny.
ZeldaQueen: Which is kind of stupid, given that the message was "her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever".
Oh wait, I see! The suethor's trying to be ironic and describe what happened in canon. Gah
What Holly hadn't expected to find was that the kidnapper wasn't even alive… well, not really. She hadn't thought that he would be little more than a necklace, a trinket really, that he had put his soul in.
ZeldaQueen: So...this is just copying canon, but shifting the blame to another horcrux. And yes, I'm calling it a horcrux. The suethor seems quite determined to ignore that unpleasant detail, but there it is
She hadn't thought that he would be out of the amulet when she entered, his ghostly but still solid shape waiting for her arrival. She hadn't expected to be accosted by him, to learn that he truly was an Heir, just not the one they thought it would be.
ZeldaQueen: You know, this doesn't quite pack the emotional punch from canon. A huge part of the shock was the discovery that the guy that Harry and Ginny trusted and thought well of was actually a twisted, manipulative bastard. It's not as surprising to go "psych, it's an entirely different ghost-Heir possessing people!"
The green-eyed girl definitely hadn't expected to discover that Ginny, little annoying Ginny, had been possessed by the blasted man the entire year or that she was the one behind the attacks.
ZeldaQueen: "Annoying little"? You just had to add that, didn't you?
The Slytherin hadn't believed that he would be draining the very life-force out of Ginny or that the Petrifications were really failed attempts to steal energy from the students. Holly hadn't thought she would learn that Myrtle was killed, not by Tom or the Basilisk, but by a seventh-year, who had been possessed in the same way the redhead had been.
ZeldaQueen: Okay, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I'm sorry, but this is CRAP.
Where is the build-up to this? Where is the lead-up? Where are the clues? Where?
And Myrtle was kiled by a seventh-year? And she remembered only "yellow eyes"? The Basilisk had freaking huge eyes! That was why she remembered those! Don't you think that if a human attacked her, she'd remember something else? Like the hair color?
And Holly certainly hadn't expected that he, the solid-spectre, would now be possessing Slytherin's legendary monster instead.
Even now, Holly was running from the accursed Basilisk, praying to the Maker to save her.
ZeldaQueen: Shut up about the Maker. Now. I've got no more patient for you
Thankfully, Fawkes, whose timely arrival was nothing short of a miracle, had already blinded it. At least, the Slytherin didn't have to worry about its eyes now. Still, there were its metre long fangs and extreme size to contend with.
ZeldaQueen: And yet again! Suethor, do you have any idea how to manage drama or tension?
Curse that blasted Heir of Hufflepuff and his bloody Lifestone, too.
Honestly, just how many disembodied people were running around this school? One would think they were having a bloody convention with the way they kept popping up!
ZeldaQueen: Okay, stop, stop, stop! Let's halt things here so I can have a nice, long rant.
Suethor, sit down and pay attention. You know why this worked in canon? There were hints. There were clues. It all fits together. The Petrification, the voices Harry hears, Ginny's actions, the death of Myrtle, they all end up being foreshadowing. What you did is a little thing called an ass pull. Besides the assertion "Tom is innocent", there is nothing to suggest that any of this stuff happened. In canon, as with this, all we were told was about how there was the Heir of Slytherin and he wanted to kill Muggleborns. We also were given background for this and a reason - Salazar Slytherin became prejudice and wanted his descendant to rid the school of students he considered unworthy. There was the mythology and the house history and the characters to back this up and prove it.
Now you seem under the impression that you can just go "oh no, there was that other evil Heir that we knew nothing about before now, who just showed up now without any foreshadowing or reasoning!" Okay, seriously, I'm going back through the fic. How many times was this "Heir of Hufflepuff" and this stupid Lifestone thing mentioned? Well, there was chapter twelve, which was the first time the amulet was brought up. Then there's chapter sixteen, when the story is spat out. And that's it. There is no build-up before this to indicate why Hufflepuff would make such a thing. No, the explanation given is weak. There are potions and spells for healing and replenishing blood. Why would someone create an amulet to heal someone at the cost of another person? How does that even work?
Also, how would the Death Eaters get a hold of something that is a Hufflepuff artifact? Voldemort wanted it for a horcrux? According to this fic, he never made any. He wanted it to heal himself? Bull, I say! One of the key traits of Voldemort was that he hated being dependent on anything. So why would Malfoy have this thing?
And why would he give both it and the diary to Ginny? In canon, he knew it contained Dark magic. He knew that it was dangerous in some way. He was hoping that if Ginny was caught with an object that was clearly Dark and illegal, it would cause problems for Arthur. According to this fic, the diary is in no way Dark or dangerous. So why give it at all? In fact, wouldn't Voldemort consider the diary to be some deep, dark secret and do his best to destroy it? Surely he'd see this soppy version of himself as a disgrace and want to keep it hidden away.
Finally, and das_mervin brought up this point as well, why the hell is the Basilisk here to begin with? The suethor tried to imply that Salazar wasn't, in fact, a crazed Muggleborn-hater. So what, did he just like keeping around giant, murderous snakes? For heaven's sake, suethor, if you're going to frame a copycated non-canon enemy, go all the way! Give Hufflepuff a chamber and different monster! Oh no, wait, the series made it clear that the Hufflepuffs never had genocidal tendencies. My bad!
*sighs* Sorry about the rant. Proceed
As she sidestepped around another bend, Holly idly wished she had Tom with her, but he wasn't. He was currently laying several metres from Ginny in the exact same spot his diary had landed after falling out of the Slytherin's pocket. Really, it was a stupid thing to desire, his presence, especially since he was little more than a book.
ZeldaQueen: SHE HARDLY KNOWS THE GUY!
He couldn't exactly help her right now, but she still wished he was there with her. He might be able to help her, tell her something useful about the Basilisk… like how to get rid of it.
ZeldaQueen: Why didn't she ask him this earlier? Like, before she went to fight it?
Holly ducked into a side tunnel, reaching the end of it in seconds. With a slightly uplifted heart, she realised that she had managed to make her way back to the main chamber, having lost the giant serpent some time ago. She darted over to the still unconscious Ginny, almost tripping over both the Sorting Hat, which had been brought by Fawkes, and Tom's diary along the way.
ZeldaQueen: And yet again, the Suethor condenses a beautiful Big Damn Heroes moment into a sentence. Lovely
She took out her wand, but Holly hesitated, just as she had when she had first seen the Gryffindor. It wasn't like she knew any spells that would wake the other girl up, just as she didn't know any that would be effective against a twenty metre long snake.
So Holly settled for just shaking the Lion,
not knowing what else to do. "Wake up, Ginny," the Slytherin urged desperately.
ZeldaQueen: Didn't Holly already know a levitating spell? Couldn't she try that?
However, the girl remained completely still. She simply laid there, the yellow Lifestone still clutched in her hands.
Growling to herself, the older girl pried the amulet from the redhead's hands. "Wake up!" She shook the redhead even harder. "Blast it, Ginny! Wake up! I'm handing out signed photos," Holly attempted, not knowing what else to say. "Surely, you want one."
ZeldaQueen: Okay, this is just disgusting. Suethor, how the hell could you rationalize this? How? GINNY IS DYING! SHE IS LYING ON THE GROUND, COLD AND STILL! And you think it's cool or something that Holly is acting this way? It's not! She's being a complete bitch! She's mocking a girl who is nearly dead! She's acting annoyed with Ginny for daring to go ahead and die! I hate you! I hate this Sue! Shoot me!
A flare in the back of her mind was her only forewarning, and she dove out of the way of the Basilisk's thrashing tail, the appendage missing the still unconscious Gryffindor by mere centimetres. Thankfully, or perhaps not, the serpent's attention was fixated on the awake student, so it slithered after her instead of remaining behind. Holly again ducked out of the way, managing to send a curse at the snake, but the spell simply ricocheted off of the serpent's scaly hide. She sent another at it, actually hitting it in the face before the magic bounced off. The girl cast three more hexes in rapid succession, but still, they all deflected.
ZeldaQueen: You know, if I wasn't under the legal age limit, I'd be seriously tempted to move to actual booze
Holly again flung herself to the ground to avoid being trampled. "Help me," she murmured to herself. "Please, somebody help me. Blaise! Draco!"
ZeldaQueen: Look, I'll make you a deal - you shut up right now, and I won't stitch your mouth shut with railroad spikes. How's that sound?
Little Saladin stirred around her wrist, but she knew he couldn't help her. He would be killed within seconds.
ZeldaQueen: DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!
Suddenly, there was a burst of flame mid-air, and Fawkes once more joined in the fray, distracting the flailing beast. Idly, the girl wondered where the phoenix had gone in the first place, but the thought flew out of her mind as she darted to the side to avoid the enraged serpent.
ZeldaQueen: You know, the fact that Fawkes spent this entire year following the Sue around as her personal bodyguard just detracts from the drama of him showing up here. Just saying...
Fawkes dove at the beast, raking his talons across the Basilisk's snout.
ZeldaQueen: How does it have a snout? It's a fucking isnake!
Angrily, the serpent followed after its feathered menace, moving away from the girl. However, its attention wavered momentarily, and the phoenix again attacked, trying to distract it further. The snake's tail whipped across the floor in a frenzy, almost taking off Holly's head in the process before she ducked.
ZeldaQueen: Aw, fudgecrackers!
Unexpectedly, something soft hit her in the face.
ZeldaQueen: It was the skins of Draco and Blaise. You're next, bitch! *raises knife*
It was the Sorting Hat.
Not knowing what else to do, she jammed it onto her head. 'Help me! Please, help me!'
But no one replied.
Inside, she felt the hat constrict strangely, and with another flash of warning, she whipped it off her head. And there was a loud clang as a long shadow fell out of the hat and hit the stone floor.
ZeldaQueen: Oh, how nice! The Sue was smart enough to conveniently know to remove the hat before she got clocked! Isn't that so much better than Harry?
A slender, silver sword was now lying on the ground at her feet.
ZeldaQueen: How in heaven's name did she get that? Only a Gryffindor can pull the sword out!
...She's not going to pull some bullshit like saying it's Slytherin's sword, is she?
'A sword! A bloody sword! What the hell am I supposed to do with this!' her mind screamed, even as she reflexively bent to fetch it.
ZeldaQueen: Dude, you were just given a weapon! Be grateful and stab the damned snake!
Strangely, her attention was drawn to the Lifestone, which was still clutched in her hand. She glanced from it to the sword and back.
And Holly knew exactly what she had to do.
If she destroyed the stone, it might weaken the spectre. It might even cause him to lose control of the giant serpent. Further, it might weaken his hold on Ginny or possibly release her completely. Then, the two of them could escape, while Fawkes held the Basilisk off.
ZeldaQueen: No, you think?
And apparently this little wimp couldn't kill off the Basilisk like Harry could. Eh, probably more Slytherin glorifying, the suethor just couldn't let Riddle's pet die
Holly filled with resolve, even as she placed the yellow stone on the floor. She experimentally hefted the sword after pocketing her wand. She lifted the weapon above her head and brought the sharp edge slamming down on the direct centre of the Lifestone.
It shattered, and in the background, there was a blood curdling screech.
ZeldaQueen: I know exactly how it feels
Holly felt more than saw the giant Basilisk jerk
ZeldaQueen: - off
to the side, shrieking for all that it was worth. Nevertheless, it didn't keel over. Instead, it simply flailed for a second before righting itself and heading directly toward her.
It hadn't worked. The spectre-Heir still possessed the Basilisk. She had destroyed its original holding place, but it still had a host. She either had to get it out of the snake… or killed the blasted Heir.
ZeldaQueen: This pointless interlude, brought to you by Child of Grace
There was a sound to her right, and she sidestepped as the giant serpent once more attacked her. A strange pain shot up her left ankle as her foot slid on a loose stone, but she quickly righted herself.
ZeldaQueen: *waves bloody spork, cackling in triumph*
Fawkes dove at the beast's head again, but it was ignoring the feathered distraction in favour of more savoury prey.
The snake blindly lunged at the Slytherin again, and without even realising what she was doing, Holly raised the sword. She plunged it into the Basilisk's open mouth, feeling a sharp pain in her arm as she did. There was another shriek, and the snake withdrew, dropping to her side. The fang embedded within her arm broke off as the serpent fell, and the beast convulsed with death throes.
ZeldaQueen: ... The Sue was poisoned.
Sing ding, dong, the Sue is dead!
There was a brilliant flash, and even as the serpent tumbled to the ground, the spectre-Heir flew out of it. However, he didn't look as he had earlier. Before, he had been almost completely solid, just fuzzy around the edges. Yet, now, he was rapidly becoming blurry and indistinct, colour draining from him until he was mostly a silverish white.
ZeldaQueen: Are we ever going to be told who this Heir is, or what he looks like?
The girl inhaled as she came to a sudden realisation, momentarily ignoring the painful throb in both her arm and her ankle. The spectre was without a host. He was just a free soul without a body or a container. As such, he was dissipating, losing himself. He needed a new host or object to link with in order to survive, and she wasn't going to allow that.
ZeldaQueen: (Sue) "No one can suck energy from this fic but me!"
Fawkes dove in front of Ginny just as the spectre turned towards her, preventing the Heir from using that escape route. Meanwhile, the Slytherin pushed the Sorting Hat behind her and held up the sword in her uninjured arm, warding the ghostly man off. Holly stared up at the Lifestone-spectre, determination burning in her eyes as she watched him frantically searching for another host. His gaze darted around, even as his eyes were disappearing from view, his energy and soul dissipating.
ZeldaQueen: Get on with it!
The Slytherin knew he was finished. There was simply no where for him to go, and his spectral shape was becoming even murkier as the seconds flew by, but something completely unexpected happened in that moment.
And it would change her life forever.
ZeldaQueen: Hooo boy, let's just see what happens, shall we?
The ghostly man's gaze landed on the overturned diary, which laid not five metres away from Holly. He smirked then, just as his ethereal face was erasing itself. He dove towards it, reaching the book before either the Slytherin or the phoenix could react, and the ghost-man held it up in his barely-there hand.
Just as he faded entirely, the Heir disappeared into the diary. It floated mid-air for a second, a breeze ruffling its pages. Suddenly, there was another flash of light, this one even more brilliant than the first.
Both Holly and Fawkes were forced to shield their eyes.
A second passed in silence, Holly's head whirling the entire time. The sword suddenly dropped from her numb hand, her fingers refusing to hold it any longer. The girl swayed on the spot. Fawkes was about to fly to her, but something distracted him. There was a whirl of magic through the Chamber, drawing the attention of all those present as the earlier flash of light dimmed.
And mouths of Holly and Fawkes dropped open in surprise.
Tom Riddle, the real and true Tom Riddle, was standing in front of where the Lifestone-spectre had just been, the diary in his hands. His mouth was partially open, and he was staring at his mostly solid body in something akin to awe. He patted his hands along his chest, realising that they didn't pass through as they would if he was a ghost.
ZeldaQueen: Oh Jesus Christ, isn't that Sue-ish! He wasn't a ghost, he was a memory!
And now that they've mostly made him real, this means that we aren't going to be rid of him. Fantastic
The Heir of Hufflepuff was nowhere in sight.
Just as the light dimmed completely, Holly collapsed to the ground, the serpent venom becoming too much for her.
ZeldaQueen: She's dying! Hooray!
Tom overcame his shock and ran over to her, kneeling right in front. She simply gaped at him, too shocked to do much of anything else.
ZeldaQueen: On par for her
Her eyes widened as she took in the sight of him: his dark hair, his blue-purple eyes,
the Slytherin House on his robes, and the very familiar shape of his face.
"I… I know you," Holly whispered haltingly. "I saw you in the mirror of Erised. I dreamed about you," she mumbled as he began to look over her, and her mind suddenly understood something that hadn't made much sense before. "You're the Seer that I'm connected to, aren't you?"
No, seriously, what. What is this bullshittery?
And did she seriously rip off Lord of the Rings? "I know your face, Eowyn", anyone?
She swayed then, even though she was sitting down. Her vision started to tunnel in, and Tom was forced to steady her as she slowly slid sideways.
ZeldaQueen: Wow, even as she's dying she has to be a drama queen
He leaned forward to get a better look at her, his barely see-through fingers finding the fang and pulling it free with some difficulty. His hands ran over the gaping hole in her arm, and she winced. The girl began to shiver uncontrollably. His hand went to her forehead, and he discovered that she was already feverish.
ZeldaQueen: *sigh* Who wants to bet that we get a dragged-out description of the Sue almost dying?
Tom's fingers went over her wound again with a sinking feeling of dread. Holly had been bitten by a Basilisk, not just bitten but the fang had sunk all the way to the bone. For the sake of the Maker, there was an enormous hole in her!
ZeldaQueen: I know, ain't it grand? And just as soon as I get my spork sharpened, there'll be even more enormous holes in her!
It was in that moment the teenager knew exactly what was happening. And if he would have been able to, Tom would have wept. Holly was dieing, the Basilisk poison eating its way through her veins. She only had minutes left now.
ZeldaQueen: I'm weeping too, though for different reasons, I'd imagine. Please let the Sue die, please!!!
He frantically reached into her pocket for her wand, actually managing to grasp it in his mostly solid hand, but he faltered. The teenager simply didn't know what to do. He didn't know anything more than basic medical magic, spells to treat simple cuts or scratches. He couldn't cure this.
ZeldaQueen: Yeah, and there's also the fact that nothing except for Phoenix tears can cure Basilisk venom. So... *does a happy dance*
ZeldaQueen: *pauses dancing, is supicious* Salazar's...no, they aren't. They aren't going to say it was "Slytherin's sword", are they?
Tom doubted that the Healers at Saint Mungo's could cure this. If he even managed to get her there in enough time.
He sunk to the floor completely, landing next to her. Without even thinking, he pulled her to him, resting her head on his chest. His hands stroked through her dirtied hair absentmindedly, trying to give her at least some comfort in her final moments. Tom squeezed her tighter as she gave a shuddering breath, her eyes still open and focused on him.
ZeldaQueen: And he's known this bimbo for less than a year, folks. Truely, the power of the Sue is mighty
"Holly," he began but couldn't find the words for a moment, and precious seconds ticked by. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you earlier. I'm sorry for everything!"
ZeldaQueen: ...Hey, what's going on with Ginny, anyway? Is she still lying unconscious, or what?
"Tom, it's fine. You're forgiven…" she trailed off.
ZeldaQueen: Oh, well as long as the Sue forgives him. *rolls eyes*
He heard a flutter of wings as Fawkes landed next to Holly.
"'lo, Fawkes." Her eyes drifted shut, even as the bird leaned his head of her wound, pearly tears dripping down on it from his eyes.
The teenager inhaled sudden, understanding alighting his face.
"Phoenix tears…" Tom stared at Holly's arm as the wound closed completely, and the bird gave a satisfied chirp. "Of course, healing powers… I forgot…" He gazed at Fawkes. "Thank you," he breathed with absolute amazement.
ZeldaQueen: Aw, baloney! Eh, I guess it was inevitable. *goes back to sharpening spork*
The phoenix nodded smugly, turning his attention back to the girl. However, he continued to watch the sort-of-transparent wizard.
And in that moment, Fawkes the phoenix witnessed something that would change not only two lives but the wizarding world. Perhaps even the entire world. In that moment, Fawkes knew that as much as he wanted to, he couldn't yet tell Albus of what he had discovered. He knew that the two still needed time, and he was willing to give it to them. So he simply watched with something bordering on awe as Holly opened her eyes and stared directly at Tom Riddle. She started when she realised where she was, blushing deeply.
ZeldaQueen: Great, now even Fawkes is catering to the Sue and covering her ass.
And "bordering on awe"? *stabs many holes in the sofa*
Projection Room Voices: You're paying for that
"Er… hello," the girl whispered, sitting up.
The action only served to put her at eye-level with him, and Holly finally got another good look at him, inhaling sharply.
"I do know you," she stated suddenly, "You really are the one I saw you in the mirror."
Tom was flabbergasted, her words sinking in. "I… er… that's…" He seemed to be thinking about it. "I'm not sure about that," he finally stated, "but I'm glad that you are all right enough to even think about it now."
ZeldaQueen: WHAT ABOUT GINNY? ARE THOSE TWO FUCKWITS SO CAUGHT UP IN THEIR DRAMA THAT THEY FORGOT WHY THEY CAME DOWN HER IN THE FIRST PLACE?
"Oh, yes. I'm perfectly fine." She stretched her arm experimentally. "Better than fine, better than I have been for months. I feel wonderful, not even the least bit tired." She turned to look at him, wonder lighting her face as she reached out and touched him. "How is this even possible?" Holly murmured more to herself than to him. "I mean, you were a book! An ensouled one, but still a book!"
ZeldaQueen: No, he was a severed bit of Voldemort's soul
The teenager shrugged. "I don't know. I don't think that the spectre expected there to already be something in my diary. He only wanted a place to link himself to temporarily. He just needed something to latch his soul onto before he could go back to defeat you."
ZeldaQueen: SOULS DO NOT WORK LIKE THAT!
Tom experimentally, ran his hands over himself once again. "He was so weak by the time that he entered my diary that he was all but gone anyway, and since I was already there, he had nothing to connect with. He just dissipated entirely, and I got all of his energy."
ZeldaQueen: Curse you, Heir of Hufflepuff! Now we have to put up with this cretin for the rest of the fic!
Onward to: Chapter 23: Enemies Of The Heir (Part 2)
Back to: Chapter 22: Riddle in the Dark (part 2)
Return to: Table of Contents