Summary: Godric Gryffindor wasn't the only Hogwarts Founder with a goblin-made weapon, as Harry learned while down in the Chamber of Secrets. Now bearing a new power, Harry must balance strength with discretion. After all, slimes are supposed to be basic enemies.
Chapter 1: The Second Guardian
Harry Potter, age 12, shuffled uneasily toward the still form of Ginny Weasley, the hole in his arm where he had been pierced by the basilisk fang, now clutched in his hand, dripped blood in a constant stream.
"You have failed, Harry Potter," the diary echo of Top Riddle taunted, his form more solid than Harry had ever seen through his blurry vision. He looked alive while Ginny was on the verge of death. "Ginny has less than a minute until I drain the last of her life and be reborn."
Harry's uneven steps brought him most of the way to Ginny before they gave out, Harry collapsing onto his hands and knees. Even so, he still fought to crawl to her side, blood trailing from the wound in his arm. Harry arrived at his destination, his breathing heavy and disjointed as he tried to protect Ginny as best he could. The rich, evil laugh of the young fraction of the Dark Lord echoed through the Chamber.
"Do you have any last words, Harry Potter?"
"Yeah," Harry rasped. "You should guard your things better."
Tom only had time for his eyes to widen before, with the last of his strength, Harry raised the basilisk fang and plunged it into the diary beside the pale redhead. Black ooze exploded from the pages and Tom Riddle screamed, Ginny's wand in his hand clattering to the floor.
"This isn't the end!" Riddle yelled through the pain of ceasing to be. "The Chamber has another guardian! It will-!"
His final words left unspoken, the echo flickered and disappeared, leaving the Chamber of Secrets in complete silence. The silence remained for only a second before a bird's trill broke it, Faux swooping low to land on Harry's shoulder. He nuzzled the boy gently.
"I'm fine," Harry lied, looking down at his best mate's sister below him, her skin still pale. It didn't look like the death of Tom had returned any of the life essence he had stolen. "Heal her first."
Faux called an affirmative and hopped off Harry's shoulder onto Ginny, tears already glistening in his beady eyes. Each one that fell seemed to improve the girl's color, making Harry breathe easier.
Because of their focus on healing Ginny, Faux's call of alarm came too late.
The only warning Harry had was a strange, wet sensation on his back before he was yanked into a gelatinous substance. He fought to swim in any direction to get out, but it was like trying to move in syrup. His eyes burned every time he opened them, everything in his limited vision those times tinged with green.
Outside, Faux all but screamed as Harry flailed inside a blob of green goo. Faux spread his wings and rose, gaining enough altitude before diving toward the slime. Afraid his fire might burn the student inside, the phoenix lashed out with his talons, but every gash he left closed as quickly as he could make them. Harry slowed inside the monster, losing the last of his energy, and Faux saw the ends of his fingers and his clothing start to dissolve.
Out of options, the phoenix pulled back and breathed fire, the burning stream surrounding the gelatinous creature. It let out the approximation of a scream, the outside crystalizing under the heat, until the slime was trapped inside a hardened likeness of itself. Concerned and confused, Faux started scratching at the surface, intent on saving Harry.
Within the monster, however, Harry still didn't know what was happening. He grew still, all of his clothes gone and his extremities in the process of disappearing. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't move. With something like a sigh, the last of his body dissolved, leaving his soul alone in the monster. The flickering white of his soul was a contrast to the black parasite latched onto its side, but that only lasted for a moment. The white dissolved like Harry's body had, becoming something that could strengthen its new host, while the parasite was expelled.
And then Harry's awareness returned, fuzzy and unsure. It felt like he couldn't see or hear anything, but at the same time, he could sense all the world around him. He was caught in something hard in his shape, a creature he was pretty sure was Faux scratching at the outside. He racked his mind for something to help him, a spell or anything, before he remembered one of Hermione's rants earlier that year. It was about an upper-level curse she had read about and questioned why students would learn something so violent. Remembering the incantation and praying that accidental magic was still as powerful, Harry thought the incantation. /Reducto! Reducto! Reducto!
The last one worked, the shell around him shattering. Harry fell to the floor, but it didn't feel right. He couldn't feel his limbs and he still couldn't see. It felt more like his whole body just went SPLAT!
And then he could see. He sucked in a lungful of air, his arms coming up to check every part of him. Everything was a blur for only a moment before his vision cleared. The stab wound in his arm was gone, the fire in his veins caused by the venom also missing. However, all of his clothing was also gone, causing the 12-year-old to cover himself with his hands and arms. Faux trilled happily and flew over, landing on his shoulder.
"I'm fine, I think," Harry insisted. "Could you go get me some clothes from my trunk?"
The bird gave another call before vanishing in a burst of flame, only to reappear a second later with a pair of pants and a robe.
"Thanks, Faux." Accepting the clothes, Harry threw them on as quickly as he could before standing and making his way to Ginny's side. The phoenix tears had done their job, her color returned and and breathing evened out. Harry let out a sigh of relief. "She's ok. She's alive."
He reached for her, but paused as his hand came into view. Something didn't feel right. Turning his hand over, Harry was shocked to find that his fingers appeared to be melting. The pale tan of his skin seemed to only be a coating for the green goo that was on the inside, the outside trying to replace its color as quickly as it shifted away.
'What magic is this?' Harry thought, both scared and confused. He brought his hands together and pulled them apart, little strings of whatever he now was connecting his palms and philangies until they broke under the strain of gravity. "What happened to me?"
Faux trilled again, directing Harry's attention from his hands to where half of a statue of some sort stood, the outside curved like an egg. The other half of it was shattered, but the inside suggested it had been hollow. It had also not been there before. Harry shuffled to it, knowing the stone floor should be freezing his feet but not feeling any of the cold. There was a familiarity with the stone, both the floor and the weird statue, that he couldn't place. On the bottom of the strange oval was a writhing black mass that reached for him, letting out a pathetic whimper before falling limp.
"Ow," Ginny groaned, announcing her shift into consciousness. Harry's gaze and focus shifted to her instantly, rushing to her side.
"Ginny! Are you ok? You're not hurt are you?"
"What, Harry?" the girl blinked, her face coloring to a shade of red as her hero drew close to here. "What are you-? Did you-? Where's Tom?"
"He's gone," Harry explained, gesturing to the diary that still had the fang embedded in its pages. "He won't be coming back."
"I'm so sorry!" The girl folded in on herself, trying to make her body as small as possible. "If I'd just listened to Dad, none of this would have happened! I should have told Professor McGonagall as soon as Tom started talking to me! Dad always told us to never trust something if we don't know where it keeps its brain. I'm so stupid!"
"It's not your fault, Ginny," Harry whispered, hovering beside her. "Tom was very smart, but he's gone now. You're safe."
"Thank you!" Ginny all but yelled, tears in her eyes as she tried to throw herself into a hug. Harry tried to instinctively respond, but that feeling of wetness returned. Apparently Ginny felt it too, the girl pulling away from her savior, but those strings from before followed her, connecting to Harry's chest. "Harry, what...? What is this? Ah! Why are you shirtless?! And your glasses are gone."
"I don't know," Harry gasped, drawing his robes over his torso. "Something happened to me while Faux was healing you. It's like I'm not made of... well, me anymore."
"But it's still you, right?" Ginny's voice wavered. "You're still... you?"
"Yeah? I think so?" Ginny reached out, not caring or noticing whatever had drenched the front of her robes when she had hugged her savior, but hesitated. After a second, her curiosity overrode her fear, her hand touching Harry's face. This was Harry Potter. He wouldn't hurt her.
Her fingers never moved past the surface, but they did seem to sink into Harry's cheek further than they should have. Harry gasped at the feeling, it being so foreign to anything he'd experienced before. Ginny pulled away, those strings again coming with her, her hand covered now in whatever made up Harry's body.
"It's... slimy," she muttered, having to go back in for another touch. "It reminds me of something..."
"It's something that Dad told me once. Never trust something if you don't know where it keeps its brain. He was shouting that after he got this muggle game system to work. The first monsters in it were... What were they called?" Ginny frowned, wracking her brain for that week years ago. Her Dad had called them living potions, but the game had called them something else. "Oh! Slimes!"
"So I'm a Slime now?" Harry wondered, accepting the shift with all the grace of a 12-year-old. Looking back, Harry would be glad he was a child and had that childhood whimsy that allowed him to take large things like magic in stride without question. He was also glad Ginny seemed to be the same way. "What does that mean?"
"I don't know," the redhead admitted. "The game had different kinds, but I can't remember any of them. I'm sorry-"
"You don't have to apologize," Harry insisted, reaching out as if to comfort her, only to hesitate as his hand once again lost its solid form. "I would say let's get out of here, but I think I need to work on staying in shape."
Ginny couldn't stop the little giggle that slipped out after the joke. Faux seemed to agree, alighting on Ginny's shoulder and preening his luxurious tail, as if saying "you aren't touching me until you won't cover me in goo."
"Perhaps I may be of assistance?" a voice rasped, the students jumping as they searched the chamber. "Down here! Honestly, you'd think you'd know my voice by now."
Harry and Ginny's gaze fell on the tossed-aside Sorting Hat, the living cloth almost pouting.
"Do you know what happened to me?" Harry asked.
"Of course I do! I'm the Sorting Hat! I know everything the founders did! Godric Gryffindor wasn't the only founder with a Goblin-made item. Every founder had one. Slitherin had one, too, a mass of ooze that could break down anything it touched and absorb that which made it stronger. To think it was down here the whole time."
"What does that have to do with me?"
"Oh right," the hat blinked, not that it had eyes to blink but you know. "Sometimes I forget you students are so young. You were absorbed by Slitherin's Ooze, but your higher consciousness and soul were deemed useful to its growth, so I guess you could say you merged with it. You are the ooze now."
"I don't know if that's cool or gross," Harry admitted, studying his hands. "So how do I not cover people in, uh, me when I touch them?"
"I'm afraid I don't know that," the hat admitted. "While I know everything that the founders knew, your situation has never happened before because Slytherin's Ooze was a one-of-a-kind creature. Goblin-made, like I said, though not sentient until now. Since your consciousness is still here, then the ooze most likely absorbed your magical ability as well. Similarly, that," -The hat's point shifted, gesturing to the broken statue thing, the black mass inside it now a puddle similar to the one around Riddle's diary- "is no longer latched to your soul."
"That was inside me?" Harry shivered.
"In a metaphysical sense, yes," the hat nodded. "I sensed it somewhat when I sorted you nearly two years ago, not that I could tell what it was at the time. Good riddance to it. Now, on to other matters, I believe you want to get out of this cave, yes? Then get your body under control."
That's all I have for that. Not much, but it's a start for anyone who thinks Harry being a humanoid Rimaru would make for an interesting twist. I'd certainly like to read it if/when someone picks it up.