The sink parted impressively, exposing a large pipe that was fit enough for a person to slide down in it. Colin was in awe at the sight, having never seen anything like it. Whoa, wicked! "Harry, do you suppose the chamber is really down there?" he asked.

"I'm sure of it," Harry affirmed with a faintest tint of confidence that somehow managed to calm Colin's own fears somewhat. "We've got to get down there."

"Are you sure?" Colin frowned uneasily. "Perhaps we should go get Professor McGonagall. She'll know what to do."

"We don't have time," Harry disagreed, shaking his head with a pointed look. "Look, I'll go down and you, Luna and Myrtle stay up here and keep guard, alright?" he began to lower himself to the floor, legs first on the pipe.

"Harry, no!" Colin grabbed his arm, eyes pleading for the older boy to think with some sense, as uncommon of an occurrence that might be. "I'm not letting you go alone. I'm coming with you."

It was a stare off if Colin ever saw one. Harry's eyes, stressed and panicked, stared into the first year's soft brown ones, conveying the words that went unsaid. Honestly, Harry was mental if he thought he was going down there with that-that creature all by himself. What was he even thinking? A nervous feeling of dread settled into Colin's stomach that could've paralyzed him had his adrenaline not been on hyperdrive. So much for Gryffindor bravery, he thought wryly.

"We'll go down together," he proposed, hoping to strike a compromise. "Luna and Myrtle can stand guard-if that's okay with you, Luna?"

"Of course," she smiled and briefly, he smiled back.

"You didn't ask if I wanted to stay," Myrtle said sulkily.

Colin bit back a groan of frustration. "Alright, Myrtle, do you want to stay or come with us?"

"I'm not going down there," she declared, perching herself mid-air with her arms crossed over her chest defiantly.

He and Harry shared a look, rolling their eyes at the ghost. "I suppose we should undress a little, don't you?" Harry said as he began to remove the extra pieces of his uniform, beginning with his tie. Colin followed suit. With his legs fastened and his wand tucked into his pocket for safe keeping, Harry took one last glance behind him and took the plunge, sliding down into the darkness.

"I hope he's alright," Colin mumbled. He got himself into position, absentmindedly wondering how steep of a drop it would be at the end. He couldn't hear any noise from Harry so he hoped everything was fine.

"You'll be fine," Luna told him cheerfully.

"If you don't get eaten," Myrtle muttered.

Colin turned to stare at the ghost incredulously. Really? As serious as this was, that was the best confidence booster she could give? "Just go," she said, exasperated by his stalling.

Colin chose to disregard that and closed his eyes, allowing his body to naturally start to slide down. Despite the fact that he (sort of) knew what he'd got himself into, he gave a squeak of surprise along the way down as he tried to imagine it as just another muggle slide he'd been on thousands of times. As he reached the bottom, he crashed right into Harry, whom had clumsily rose to his feet and knocked back down again. "Oof!" he groaned when their foreheads smacked right into each other, creating intense pain for the both of them. They clenched their heads, breathing heavily through a spell of dizziness that overtook them for all of five seconds.

"Owww," Colin moaned. "Sorry."

"S'okay," Harry winced. "You alright?"

"Yeah," after his head stopped pounding and the dizziness that had come onset suddenly subsided. "M'fine." He took notice of their surroundings. It was eerily dark, so much that their silhouettes were hardly noticeable. But he could make out the structure in which they were in. It was like a cave, it smelled like a cave. Eww, he wrinkled his nose. The smell was indescribable, it was like rotten fish or something worse. But he digressed. Mere feet away was an exit, such conclusion could only be made because of the tiny, yet unmistake ray of light that peeked through. Colin took a step forward, jerking in surprise when something crunched beneath his shoe. He bent down, deciding to pick it up and hold it up to the light. He wasn't sure what he was expecting, anything but that. It was a bone; animal bones to be exact. He yelped, throwing it as far as his arm could heave it. The skull hit the wall, emitting a horribly loud sound that reverberated throughout the secret chamber.

Harry yelped, too, but his was more of startlement than anything. "What'd you do that for?" he asked with his hand clenching his chest. "Nearly gave me a heart attack, you did."

"Sorry," Colin apologized. "But have you seen this?" he held one a single bone, "look, Harry, they're bones. Don't you see?"

Harry bent down to check it. "Wonder they got there?" he remarked and Colin didn't even want to think of a why or how. "Wonder if Dumbledore knows about them?"

Colin dearly hoped not. Because if the Headmaster had no problem inviting students to attend a school where there were human remains that- that was just mad. "Dunno," he muttered. "Hope not."

But Harry, determined as he was, wasn't much worried or taken with the bones. "C'mon," Harry stood up, shuffling past the younger boy. "Let's see where this takes us." Colin was still quite freaked out by his recent discovery but followed him obediently. They walked further into the chamber. It moaned and creaked like the noises in the muggle horror movie. Colin's heartbeat quickened. It was absolutely terrifying to hear. The noise became louder the deeper they went. They also found that, deeper they traveled, were puddles of smelly, cold water. Unfortunately, their shoes weren't invincible against it and the eldest Creevey griminced at the feeling of liquid inside his shoes, soaking his socks. His mother was going to go ballistic once she found out he ruined his good school shoes.

"Gross," he muttered under his breath. If Harry heard him he didn't acknowledge. Using a louder voice, he asked, "Do you see Ginny yet?"

"Do you see Ginny yet?"

Colin scowled at the blatant sarcasm. The tunnel-like structure of the chamber seemed to go on forever. His scowl dropped the more the interior of the chamber was becoming visible to him. It was all vaguely familiar and a nagging in his stomach told him so. Oh! His eyes widened a little. His dream! That's why it was familiar! The last couple dreams revolved around the chamber for some reason. It was always him and Tom. Somtimes in the chamber and Colin would feel this feeling of dread, like something bad was going to happen. It was all very suspicious but he had little proof Tom was going to destroy him or something. His instincts told him otherwise. His instincts told him something was very wrong. Still, what was he to do? Tom was just a memory, locked in a diary. What harm could he possibly do?

"Col," Harry gasped, shaking his arm quite roughly. "It's Ginny!" The two boys raced over, careful to avoid a slip from the damp floor. They dropped to their knees beside her comatose form. Colin instinctively checked for a pulse; to his relief there was one, it was faint but nonetheless it was there. He was horrified, however, to observe how lifeless she appeared. Her skin, pale as porcelain, was cold and clammy. Her hair was thinned and looked like it hadn't been taken care of recently. She just looked...awful.

"Harry, what do we do?" he looked to his brother for answers. "We've got to get her out of here, but how?" The sliding pipe had no possible way for someone to climb back up the pipe and there hadn't been a ladder or anything. Adding to that, no one besides Luna and Myrtle knew that they'd gone down there.

Harry kept himself relatively calm, more than the budding anxiety that was pulsing through Colin's veins. His face, though, was screwed with an unreadable emotion that could be classified as concern if so choosed. "We'll get her out," he muttered so low that Colin's ears struggled to decipher it, even in the emptiness of the area. "Just-just steady her, alright? Just grab her head-yeah, there." Together, with Harry holding up half of the redhead's lifeless body and Colin fighting to keep a firm grasp on the other, it was determined that they just needed to get back to the pipe. Perhaps if they yelled loud enough, Luna would hear them.

"Maybe we can ask Myrtle to help us," Colin wheezed. Ginny Weasley was a skinny girl but didn't feel as light as she looked.

Somehow, her upper body became too much to hold, her head tilted backwards and she began to fall. Harry let out a string of curses, much to astonishment of Colin. With his body being used as leverage, his left arm went around her shoulders, while his brother made sure the rest of her was well cared for.

Colin's heart returned to its normal rhythm, eased when they successfully managed to pull her body a total five steps. "Wait," Harry stopped them, breathing in and out rapidly; breathless from effort.

If five steps was all they were going to make at a time, it was going to be a long walk, Colin noted with a hint of dryness. Perhaps he was on edge from the entire situation or with the looming threat of the basilisk that had yet to appear, but every nerve of his was on overdrive. Harry seemed more worried about Ginny; understandable, of course, given his relationship with the Weasley family, in particular Ron.

"Ready?" he asked for confirmation, which was given in the form of a nod.

Another five steps taken, another break. They hadn't even made it close to the entryway yet. As far as this was concerned, it could've been an hour before they made it back to the bathroom safely.

"I'm tired," Colin painted, groaning at his increasingly back. "I can't take much more of this."

"Try," Harry encouraged. "We're almost there."

Colin stared at him, entirely convinced his perception was off...by a longshot. "What are you on about? We've a ways to go."

Harry shrugged, sort of. He was still gripping Ginny with white knuckles. "Ginny," he whispered with a pained face. "Come on. Wake up, won't you? We'll get you to Madam Pomfrey. She'll fix you."

"That's where you're wrong."

They whirled around; surprise evident on their faces, combined with the slightest hint of confusion. Harry's was more so directed at his abrupt entrance but the first year was still pondering tat second sentence. Quickly, they composed themselves again. It was a miracle, or perhaps magic, that they didn't let go. It was Harry who made the decision to lower her to the chamber's floor.

"She won't wake, I'm afraid."

Riddle had not aged (if he was even supposed to. He was still in the beginning stages of understanding wizard life), he looked as real as he'd looked as a memory in the diary. His dark hair was combed neatly to the side, allowing a full view of his face. His robes, donning his Slytherin uniform with pride, were in pristine condition.

Colin eyed him warily, unconsciously taking a step back, forcing Harry to do the same. He still had not forgotten those nightmares Had they, simply, been a result of his overactive imagination? He wondered with a frown. It was easy to sway toward that conclusion, though deep down, he was leaning away from that. Those dreams, nightmares, were far too real and interactive for it to be anything but. He recalled pr actually feeling the anger, the fury bouncing off of Riddle.

"Tom," Harry inched his way closer to Colin in a sort of protective stance, with one arm coming to shield him. "It's you."

"Your endeavors will be in vain," Riddle's face didn't change in expression or emotion. It was rigid, held in place with a cold stare in those dark eyes of his.

"What are you talking about?" Harry said cautiously, slowly, as if he isn't sure. "We can save Ginny-Madam Pomfrey can help us. She can heal her." The desperation in his voice was evident, with a glance or two over his shoulder to accentuate his point.

"You foolish boy!" Riddle suddenly barked, causing them to spring back in sartment. "No one can save her, don't you understand?" he spared a glance down at her stiff body, lingering with a predator-like glaze.

"Why not?" Harry's voice rose an octave, daring to challenge him. "Who says she won't? There's got to be a potion or something she can take."

Riddle's face softened into a more mellow expression, blinking very slowly. "I'm afraid she is too far gone for any sort of resolution. In a few minutes she'll be dead."

"No," Harry let out a strangled gasp. "No, she can't be dead! Ginny!" he bent down beside her again, shaking her rather roughly. "Ginny, please wake up. Please."

Colin was still standing, stomach dropping at the pitiful sight. Oh Harry. It was then that his concentration shifted from Riddle to his brother. He set a hand on his shoulder, intending it to be comforting. He really wasn't sure what else to do.

"What a shame," Riddle spoke up softly, voice was smooth, like velvety chocolate. It wasn't exceptionally cold nor was it a welcoming warmth. It was almost monotonous, emotionless. "She had been very useful, but as one does, I soon grew bored of her. She has proven to be an acceptable resource."

Colin and Harry's heads snapped up, sharing a look of bewilderment. Useful? Resource?

"Of course," Riddle continued on, refusing to acknowledge

their obvious confusion, "once she became suspicious I was forced to relinquish her of her duties immediately."

"What duties?" Harry piped up, frowning. 'What are you on about?"

"I thought you said you didn't know her?" Colin asked at the same time, recalling his previous statement. "You told us you didn't, when we found your diary."

Riddle didn't respond straight away; his lips curled into a smirk. He pulled out his wand from his pocket, toying with the end piece, sliding it between his two fingers. "I suppose I lied," he said softly. "How...unfortunate."

Colin shivered involuntarily, further fueled by not only the chilly air of the chamber but also by the hushed, sly tone in which Riddle spoke. He licked his lips habitually.

"If you lied about Ginny then what else did you lie about?" Harry questioned, his eyes narrowing, clouding with an impression of doubtfulness. Both boys kept a close, watchful eye on Riddle's wand-so far, there was no reason to presume he had any ulterior motives, as far as cursing them was concerned.

Riddle raked his teeth over his bottom lip, his smirk widening. "Well, well," he remarked, "it seems Harry Potter isn't as dense as I had previously presumed."

Neither boy knew what to say.

"Has it ever occured to you the culprit was right in front of you, right in your very house?"

No, Colin realized where this was going and, as far as he could tell, so did Harry.

"It was Ginny Weasley. Ginny Weasley killed the roosters, she was the one who wrote the writing on the wall. She set the basilisk on the mudbloods and the cat. She opened this very chamber."

There were no words that could be spoken to convey their horror.

"Surely you were not insensible to her deterioration?" Riddle was, at the absolute minimum, amused, albeit it wasn't exceptionally clear. "Surely you noticed her angry outbursts and lack of self care?"

They had, of course, but the point of initiating had come later than it should have.

"Every day she would write to me, whinging about her woeful school days, the distasteful way her family treats her and how the great Harry Potter doesn't notice her," the last sentence was said in mockery. "You have really no idea how annoying it is to listen to the troubles of an eleven year old," his eyes flashed but dimmed as fast as they had changed. "But I was patient. I listened, I offered advice. I encouraged her to take more drastic measures to ensure her presence at Hogwarts would be one that people wouldn't forget-but she refused initially."

He began to pace, his footsteps echoing off the chamber's walls.

Tap, tap, tap.

"After that, Ginny became restless, nervous. She decreased the amount of writing she typically wrote, if only for a short period."

Colin discretely glanced over his shoulder toward the entrance of the chamber, contemplating on how long it would take to reach the end if they made a run for it.

"I wouldn't."

The first year, gobsmacked, stared at Riddle. Harry looked between them, caught off guard by the random interjection.

"Eventually I resorted to more...traditional methods in order to reign her in," his smirk was back.

"Mind control," Colin whispered.

"In a way, yes."

"But why?" Harry asked sharply. "What do you want with Ginny?"

Riddle looked thoroughly pleased with his interruption. "A catalyst at the most. Her participation was imperative and I couldn't afford any setbacks; so when she refused to heed my warnings I had to act fast." The smirk was back, bigger, devilish. "Of course, she didn't realize what she was doing at first. It was quite amusing to relish in her terror. Oh Tom, I have blood on my hands and I can't remember why. Oh Tom, I was in the Slytherin hallway and I don't no why. Oh Tom-" The mocking in Riddle's voice numbed, until it evened out back to normal.

"Why?" Harry voiced what Colin was thinking.

"Because I told her to," Riddle said simply. "And I can be very persuasive." Colin shuddered. "Of course, later on the diary began to scare her and she tried to dispose of it but I wouldn't let her. Then you stole it from her."

Riddle's face hardened as he turned to him. Immediately, the first year looked away, even so, he could feel Riddle's eyes boring into him. He didn't want to look back, despite the nagging feeling in the back of his head, telling him to do so. When he dared to, it was like a bucket of ice water had been dumped all over him. He swallowed thickly, stomach churning in a painful way, as if he'd eaten something spoiled. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, as if they'd been electrocuted.

Colin's breath was blown away by the sheer intensity of Riddle's glare. "I, erm-"

"That's why you came to Colin in his dreams," Harry accused. "You were confronting him for it."

"I was quite miffed at the intrusion but I soon found it to my gain," Riddle chuckled humorlessly. " Of course, you and your little friends were growing suspicious so I had to take action. I found myself able to enter your dreams and could not let the opportunity rest."

"Gain for what?" Harry was growing frustrated. "What could you have possibly gained out of all this?"

"Why, a chance to meet you, of course," Riddle stepped in closer, his face morphing into a nasty, hungry expression with a lingering stare on Harry's scar. Colin was inclined to step in front of his brother, to protect him. "I was intrigued by you; fascinated by your seemingly ordinary skills that have passed through extraordinary limits. How is it that a mere child is able to defeat death twice and escape unscathed?" As he had spoken, Riddle brought himself closer into Harry's personal space, nearly nose-to-nose. Colin gripped his wand cautiously. "How is it that a powerful wizard is rendered useless by a baby boy who hadn't even shown any magic yet?"

His voice had risen, with an unmistakable note of anger. His facial features twisted into an ugly expression that clearly conveyed his displeasure.

"Harry, let's go!" Colin shouted in a burst of panic. He pointed his wand at Riddle as Harry bent down in a rush to awkwardly wrap arms around Ginny's body in an effort to lift her up.

"Expelliarmus," they heard Riddle hiss and Colin's wand flew out of his hand, landing a few feet away from them. His heart sank. "Did you really believe you were going to get away?" Riddle scoffed with a manic gleam. "Did you really think you could escape me?"

"What do you want?" Harry's temper took over and he yelled. "Why do you care about that diary so much and why are you fascinated with me? Voldemort was after your time. Why should you care if he was defeated or not?"

Riddle smirked, letting out what was between a sharp exhale of air and a snort of derisive laughter. He was beginning to close the gap between them again. "Why should I care?" he repeated rhetorically. "You mean you haven't figured it out?"

"Figured what out?" Harry demanded. Colin could only helplessly glance at them and at his wand, unable to think up a way to retrieve it without being noticed.

"You amuse me, Harry Potter," Riddle whispered. He took his wand, raising it and beginning to write his name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, in mid-air. The letters were arranged rather neatly but then Riddle started to change them.

I am Lord Voldemort.

Colin gasped.

Harry was horror struck. "You? You're him."

"Indeed," Riddle, Voldemort, confirmed. "I urged the Weasley girl to reclaim what was mine and she did, not without consequences of course." Colin saw Harry's clench his hands into fists. "It was vital she must be in possession of the diary in order to complete the process. As much as I was looking forward to meeting you I could not guarantee success unless the last bit of her life would drain out of her. I needed her to live."

Colin felt sickened by the revolution.

"You see," Riddle said smoothly, "as a mere memory, I have very little influence and powers, which is precisely why I needed the Weasley girl. I was to use her to bring me back to reality once again."

"You got Hagrid arrested," Harry said quietly. "I suppose the memories you showed us were a lie as well?" He paused for a split second, "you framed Hagrid didn't you? You're the one that killed Myrtle and framed Hagrid just so no one would know it was you."

"That oaf was a danger regardless," Riddle said dismissively. "He would have gotten expelled on his own even if I hadn't stepped in; I just sped up the process."

"Hagrid's our friend," Harry said with an ounce of courage. "He didn't deserve that."

"Just as I didn't deserve to be reserved in a diary for fifty years!" His bellow reverberated off the walls, causing it sound much louder than it actually was. Then, he calmed down considerably, his lips curling into a charming smile. "No matter. In a few moments, she'll be dead and I will be whole once more. There's nothing Dumbledore or anyone can do to save her."

While Riddle was preoccupied with his attentiveness staying directly on Harry, Colin inhaled a deep breath of air, about to set his plan into action. He took off running, while still cautious of the damp floor. Distently, he heard Harry shout "Go, Col, go!"

"Stupefy!"

Colin let out a yelp as he stepped foot wrong in a puddle, throwing his body backwards until he fell straight on his back. His clothes were wet, his back arched terribly and he just barely avoided the charm by an inch. "Ow," he groaned.

"No!" Riddle hissed.

"Col!" Harry called to him. "Col, are you alright? Can you hear me?"

M'fine," Colin called back weakly as he brought himself to his knees. "Just a little shaky." His wand was just in reach, if he just-

"Accico Creevey's wand."

No! Colin watched as his wand flew straight into Riddle's outstretched hand. What was he going to do now? "Give me back my wand," he tried to sound confident but the immense pain he was suffering from caused his voice to waver.

"I'm afraid you won't be needing it," Riddle said wryly.

Harry came to his defense. "Give it back, Riddle."

"You're a fool, Harry Potter," Riddle sneered. "You dare go against the Dark Lord?"

"I don't see a dark lord," Harry shot back. "I see someone who is horribly misguided and blinded by prejudice."

If this angered Riddle, he wasn't showing it. "You're afraid of me," he stated, perhaps as a last effort.

Harry shook his head. "I might feel sorry for you and wished you hadn't turned out like this, but I'm not afraid you-or Voldemort for that matter."

"You lie," Riddle faltered but straightened up.

"Why would I? You're no threat to me."

Colin wasn't sure whether to admire his brother for his outstanding bravery or gap at his unbelievable stupidity. He was antagonizing Voldemort with no qualms about what he was doing.

"How dare you!" Riddle's face went very ugly. "Crucio!"

"Harry!" Colin cried. "Watch out!"

But Harry was too late. He'd let his attention slip toward Colin that he didn't see Riddle's wand raised until he was too late. The spell hit him square in the chest and he fell back with a howl. Colin's eyes widened at the inhuman sounds Harry made.

"AHHHHH!" he writhed on the floor, throwing his head against the floor repeatedly,limbs flinging about. He clawed at his face as more ear-piercing screams erupted from him, echoing throughout the empty chamber. "OKAY, OKAY! I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY!"

"Stop it!" Colin's eyes were beginning to fill with tears. "Stop it! Let him go! You're hurting him!"

Riddle kept it for what seemed like an eternity, his face unreadable but the first year had a sickening feeling he was enjoying this.

"If only your friends could hear you now," Riddle taunted over Harry's screams, "begging, pleading with the Dark Lord. What would they think of their savior then?"

"Please!" Harry sobbed, his breathing becoming rather labored, "I'm sorry!"

"Yes, yes," Riddle said boredly, "they all are."

He lifted the curse, allowing poor Harry a much needed break. "Harry!" Colin rushed over to his side, brushing back his sweaty bangs. "Oh God, are you alright? Say something," he urged, his heart thumping in his chest.

Harry let out a poor sounding cough. His face was bright red, like a cherry, and tearstained. His body had relaxed somewhat but was also seemingly stuck in that half arched position. Not only that but his glasses were askew. "G-Get the diary," he stuttered, muttering it through thinned lips so Riddle couldn't hear. "Get it now."

But I don't have my wand. Colin rose to his feet, swallowing thickly as he turned to face Riddle again. But I'll try. For Harry. He didn't get very far; a swift jet of red light came hurling at him. Yelping, he threw himself backwards, just barely escaping its path.

"You foolish little Gryffindor," Riddle spat, his wand lowering just slightly. "You think you're liable to defeat me? I have powers you could never even dream of. I've learned more than you will ever do in your lifetime."

"Be that as it may," Colin started off shakily, "but Harry and I are powerful too." He was cut off by a cold, harsh laugh.

"You think I'm threatened by a mudblood and his tratorious brother?" Riddle spoke in contempt. "You are no match for me, not while I have the power from Salazar Slytherin himself!" He turned around to face the giant statue, muttering furiously in parseltongue.

"Harry!" Colin whispered urgently, "c'mon, get up! Hurry!" But his brother simply moaned, hardly acknowledging him at all. Great just great.

"M'moving," Harry mumbled, blinking dumbly. He rose to his feet, his legs trembling terribly. Colin was very concerned.

"Are you alright? Do you need help? What's wrong? What hurts?"

"Everywhere," Harry groaned, wiping a hand across his sweaty, pale face.

"We've gotta get out of here," Colin fretted, catching a glimpse back at his wand and the diary. "Oh shoot."

"Going so soon?" Riddle was sneering. "And here I thought you'd be interested in staying for tea."

Colin's mouth was bone dry. He didn't know a way out of this; but he didn't have to. Harry, bloody exhausted as he was, stepped in front of him, a defiant look upon his face. "Let us go, Riddle," he said calmly. "Give us Ginny and let us go."

"Let you go?" Riddle was incredulous. "After all this careful planning, the waiting, the opportunities waisted, you want me to let you go? You're as mad as they come, Potter."

"Look we really haven't the time!" Harry snapped. "Ginny's dying...she needs Madam Pomfrey to have a look at her!"

"Have you not been listening to a single word I've said? Ginny Weasley is to die in this chamber. If she lives, I won't," Riddle's eyes flashed.

Harry limped himself towards Riddle. "That's a chance I'm willing to take," he whispered.

"Why you little-!" Riddle looked ready to lunge forward, perhaps engage in some muggle fighting but he didn't. He whipped back around to face the statue. "If you believe yourselves to be so powerful, prove it," his face was disturbing, his pupils dilating and his mouth agape as the words flew out of his mouth in a long, snake-like the mouth of the statue, out came a giant, slithery, scaly serpent. Its mouth was wide open, making its sharp teeth visible. The book hadn't been kidding when it stated how long basilisk could become, Colin realized with a shudder. It just looked so slimy. "Match yourselves up with Salazar Slytherin's power. I'm rather intrigued to see the results. Get him," the last part was said in parseltongue, his eyes narrowed to slits.

"Move!" Harry grasped Colin's had, dragging him along down the pathway with the snake hot on their feet. "Don't look at it in the eye!"

The first year struggled to keep up, his feet were dangerously close to tripping over each other. "Harry!" he squeaked, "slow down!"

The snake reared its head backwards, charging back towards them at an incredible speed. Colin shrieked, taking on Harry's shirt to lower him to the floor. The snake missed its initial target-them-by rushing right over them and crashing head first into the wall with a sickening crunch. It sounded as though some of its teeth had been knocked out. The basilisk let out a wail of pain that overpowered Riddle's furious screaming.

"Let's go the other way," Harry urged, jumping up and running off without Colin this time. The first year followed him with hopes of taking his wand back.

"You fool" Riddle was red faced, his concentration solely focused on the serpent. "Kill him! Kill him! Don't worry about the other one, just get Potter!"

Colin didn't understand parseltongue but he had a hunch that whatever was being said wasn't friendly. They swept past Ginny, she neither looked any better or any worse. The gravity of the situation was weighing on Colin's shoulders; they needed to act fast or Ginny was going to die and Riddle was going to be alive. They needed to think of a plan but what could they do?

"Try that spell," Colin and Harry were itching to the other side of the chamber, walking backwards to keep an eye on the basilisk.

"What spell?"

"The one that took my wand. Maybe we can get it back!"

"I'll try," Harry pointed his wand straight at Riddle, " What was it? Oh-accio Colin's wand." Colin's wand slid out of Riddle's hand and into Harry's, who was blinking in surprise at the outcome. The first year reckoned he hadn't anticipated it would work. "Here you go."

"No!" A hoarse cry came from Riddle's throat. "Kill them! Kill them now!"

Harry turned to Colin. "Go get the diary. I'll handle the snake."

"Are you sure?" now really wasn't the time for questioning or doubts but Colin was worried. "Don't you want help?"

"Just go!" his brother shoved him roughly, facing the creature with a touch of apprehension on is face.

The diary wasn't that far away, just laying in the middle of the chamber, saturating in the puddle of water. Colin was to set off, hurriedly grab the blasted thing and bring it to Harry; unfortunately, it seemed, somehow, Riddle already knew what he was going to do. They made eye contact and no sooner did the book whip into the air away from him and in the grasp of Riddle.

NO! Colin's heart dropped. He hadn't even uttered a word-how? How did he manage to do that? He was taken back to the earlier days in his classes where Professor McGonagall mentioned wandless magic, which was a very difficult skill to master, particularly in the area of charms and transfiguration. Riddle was older than him and Harry both, he must have known wandless magic!

"Wingardium leviosa." Colin was in awe, Harry had lavitated the serpent up in the air, the only issue was that the snake was squirming, desperate to get freed. Whatever his brother intended to do or accomplish from this was unclear; Colin noticed right away the toll it was taking on him. Harry couldn't handle the weight and his wand arm dropped; he stumbled back with a sharp exhale of defeat. The serpent fell to the floor with a thud. It hissed, bearing its pointy teeth at Harry. His brother had enough sense to close his eyes shut to avoid death.

Colin sent his brother a look that conveyed is helplessness. What are we to do now?

A squeaking sound echoed throughout the chamber. Colin furrowed his eyebrows in confusion before it dawned on him who it was. Fawkes. The phoenix was sweeping low, curling around Riddle then dropped what it was carrying next to Colin. It was the sorting hat, he noted. Fawkes then lunged at the snake, digging its talons into the deadly eyes. He's helping us. "Go Fawkes!" he cheered. "Get him!"

The basilisk threw its head back in protest, trying to rid itself of the phoenix but no matter, Fawkes sunk in deeper. A bit of blood seeped out as well as some kind of liquid Colin would have preferred not to have seen. He's blinding him.

"No!" Riddle was losing patience, steam was practically spewing out of both ears from pure rage. "No! Forget the bird, get the boy! Get them both!"

"Harry!" Colin glanced down at the worn out hat that laid limp in his hand with mild curiosity. How was this supposed to solve anything? Perhaps he was to try it on-? He jammed it on his head and for a missecual second, nothing happened. He couldn't stop the oncoming sense of foolishness he felt for believing the sorting hat of all things could help them now.

"Well that's quite harsh, isn't it, Mr. Creevey?"

Colin gasped. Sorry! Err, I didn't hear anything and I thought-

"Thought I was just a hat," the hat finished with amusement lacing through its voice. "Yes, well, that seems to be the opposite now, isn't it?"

Err, yes. Can you help us?

"I've been helping the youths of this world for sometime now, Mr. Creevey. Just get me to Mr. Potter, allow me to sit upon his head and I will give you both the assistance needed."

Well that was easier said than done, Colin griminced. He observed Harry with critical eyes, as he did everything he possibly could to avoid an untimely death. Riddle had all but forgotten about him, thoroughly too busy with hysterically urging the serpent to catch Harry to pay him any attention. Albeit, that was primarily a good thing. Perhaps then he could work towards helping his brother without any interference.

How will I do that? The snake is after him and Riddle will see me. He'll just take it away like the diary and my wand.

"Not to worry, Mr. Creevey. I am quite capable of fighting off magic. Just get me to Mr. Potter and all will be fine."

Okay, Colin tried to maintain eye contact with Harry, but, understandably of course, he was a little more focused on the monster than he was with him. "Harry!" he called imperatively. "Harry, over here!" He waved his arms around, even after they began to feel sore.

Harry spared him a glance, enough for Colin to discern the fear in those emerald eyes. "Take the hat!" he was never any good at sports, that's a particular reason why he was always picked last for dodgeball, but now was not the time to dwell on such thoughts. With a great heave, he tossed the hat. If he was being honest, he didn't have high hopes that it would reach Harry; it was just too light. But somehow, against the odds, it made it. Harry's face was a clear what do I do with this look.

Before Colin could begin to explain, he heard Riddle scoff from behind him. "You really believe that will stop me, an old hat? Perhaps I overestimated your intelligence."

"Harry, put it on your head!" Colin shouted, pausing to gasp loudly when his brother just barely escaped the jaws of death yet again that night. Harry was climbing-climbing up the statue of Slytherin with the hat in his grasp. "The hat will help you!"

"Alright!" Harry reached for a piece of rock, grabbed at it but found himself holding on with just one hand when that piece broke off and descended down to the floor.

Colin's hand flew to his mouth in shock. Oh God. Oh no, no, no. C'mon, Harry, just reach up a little higher-yeah, he relaxed, that's better.

Harry was standing on the top of the statue, more precisely, on top of Salazar Slytherin's head. He still wasn't wearing the hat. "Put it on!" Colin would have face-plamed had the situation not been so dire. His brother did, ducking to steer clear of the basklist as it dove down again. Then, abruptly, Harry's face went odd; his body jerked downward and he tumbled back dizzily. Huh?

Harry took off the hat, but alongside it was-a sword. A sword was taken out, held in his hands as he stared from the sword to Colin cluelessly.

"The sword of Gryffindor," he heard Riddle mutter furiously. "Of course Dumbledore sends his savior help. Well, no matter. Expulso!"

A burst of blue light shot from Riddle's wand, aiming straight for Harry. Luckily, Colin was fairly sure he was going to have a heart attack or two, it missed but just barely. The result was that it blasted away some of the interior; it was an exploding spell, the first year realized. Harry let out a cry of fear; moving away from that spell had caused him to maneuver a little too far off to the right, just to the edge of the statue. He was in real danger of falling off and face planting on the floor. Colin's heart thumped wildly in his chest, anticipating the worst possible scenario. Riddle sent that spell a few more times, his eyes concentrating on only one thing: Harry. It eventually blasted away the remains of the statue, sending Harry to the floor as he screamed in panic.

Harry!

The blood drained from Colin's face as he feared the sword would puncture him if he landed wrong. Oh God. What if he dies? He desperately wished he knew more spells, ones to specifically aid his brother in his landing.

Harry did face plant, crying out in pain when his face smashed against the cold, wet floor. Colin fought the urge to rush over, bit he didn't have to; Harry slowly staggered to his feet, with blood gushing out of his nose. With his eyes locked on the monster, he waited until the correct moment came and lunged the sword into the under area of the serpent's mouth. It went through to the other side and wailed horrifically.

A tiny smile etched itself on Colin's face until he was grinning broadly. He did it! He killed the basilisk! His happiness was short lived, however.

Riddle sprung forward, robes bellowing behind him that was reminiscent of Snape. He marched right in front of Harry, nostrils flaring with the most infuriated stare. Colin hurried over, unsure of what to do so he glanced between them.

Riddle leaned in closer, gripping Harry's shirt with white knuckles. "If you think," his voice indicated that he was using every once of strength he had to rein in his temper, "killing my backlit means you've won, I must say otherwise." He threw a glance over his shoulder, over at Ginny. "She's just about out of time. In just minutes I will whole again. I'd like to see how Harry Potter and his brother," he sneered at Colin, "plan on saving the day now."

"I dunno," Harry said simply much to Colins astoundment.

Riddle was momentarily caught off guard before a natural look replaced his surprise. "Of course you don't," he scoffed. He whirled back around on his heels in the direction of where Ginny's unconscious body lay. The diary was tossed to the side, as he was interested in it anymore.

Harry grabbed Colin, pulling him closer. "I've an idea," he whispered underneath his breath. "Get the diary." He seemed to have said that multiple times that night but the first year was sure this time he would.

"Alright," Colin whispered back. "But what will you do?"

Harry wiped away some of the blood from his face, coughing. "You'll see," he said.

"Okay," Colin kept his eyes on Riddle as he inched closer, tongue hanging out of the corner of his mouth. So far so good, Riddle was hovering just above Ginny with a pleased expression. He appeared to be wholly confident in his plan, no doubts at all.

The diary was just within reach, yes, yes-gotcha, Colin held it in his hands. Victory!

"What are you doing?" Riddle's sharp voice startled him but it wasn't him whom he was asking. It was Harry.

Harry had pulled out one of the basilisk's teeth. He didn't reply, calling to Colin, "Give me the diary!"

Colin threw it, he caught it with his free hand.

"No," Riddle had caught on. "Don't-"

Harry stabbed the diary with the tooth repeatedly. Some kind of liquid, blood perhaps, leaked out, splashing onto Harry's face and mixing with the blood that was already there.

Riddle screamed, his hands feeling his face as little holes appeared all over his body. With a brutal glare, he tried to seize Colin, however, in mere seconds, he disappeared into nothingness, leaving the boys wide eyed and breathless.