Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the wonderful characters in it. I wish I did. I also borrowed a lot of text from the second book in this chapter. I want to own it. :: Balls hysterically: So don't sue me I only have pennies and lint in my pockets.
Havoc: One with the fic. Or on with the fic. Whichever you prefer
::Starts banging head on table:: Sure Havoc whatever you want.
Heartache of the Soul
The Wrongly Accused
Fifty-four years ago
The halls silence of the halls was deafening. The usual chatter of voices gone. No one was outside enjoying the sun on this first week of spring. Fear could be felt in the remote areas of the castle. And in a hall were no one walked alone, a boy nervously made his way.
Tom Marvolo Riddle was almost done with his sixth year in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He absently adjusted his prefect badge. Tall for his age and with jet black hair, he had the haunted look of a boy who had had too much in his young life.
Walking down the corridors Tom noticed that the even the portraits where empty. The entire school had been hiding in their Houses and leaving it only with large groups. The 'incident' had increased the fear that had been growing in the school this whole year.
Tom turned into an older corridor one that seemed to have seen little use these past hundred years at least. Spotting a gargoyle he walked up to it, whispering the password he watched as the gargoyle woke up, and leapt aside allowing Tom to silently slip passed into the tower. Stepping onto the spiraling staircase, Tom was a rack of nerves.
Tom had sent the headmaster a letter earlier this week. And hoped that that was the reason why he had been called. With a slightly hopeful heart Tom knocked on the office door.
"Enter," said a feeble voice.
Tom stepped in taking off his pointed hat. His silver prefect badge glinting on his chest.
"You wanted to see me, Professor Dippet?" said Tom, feeling rather nervous.
"Sit down," said Dippet, "I've just been reading the letter you sent me."
"Oh," he said his breath caught; maybe the Headmaster would let him. Tom sat down gripping his hands very tightly. He leaned forward slightly as if the answer would decide the future of his entire existence.
"My dear boy," said Dippet kindly. Tom felt his hopes sink. "I cannot possibly let you stay at school over the summer. Surely you want to go home for the holidays?"
"No," Tom said at once, "I'd much rather stay at Hogwarts then go back to that-to that-"
"You live in a Muggle orphanage during the holidays, I believe?" Dippet asked curiously.
Tom felt ashamed, 'how many people at the school know?' he asked himself. Realizing the Headmaster was still waiting for a reply he quickly answered. "Yes, sir." He could feel the slight blush and ducked his head. 'How embarrassing, a Slytherin blushing, in front of someone too.'
"You are muggle born?"
"Half-blood, sir," said Tom through clenched teeth. "Muggle father, witch mother."
"And both your parents-?"
"My mother died just after I was born, sir. They told me at the orphanage she lived just long enough to name me -Tom after my father, Marvolo after my grandfather." Tom said quickly trying to distract Dippet from the subject of his father. He never understood how his mother could fall for a muggle that didn't appreciate that she could possibly have been in love with him. One day he vowed to go find his father and make him understand that it had been he not his mother who was a freak.
Dippet clucked his tongue sympathetically, bringing Tom out of his silent rant and back into the real world.
"The thing is Tom," he sighed, "special arrangements might have been made for you, but under the current circumstances..."
Tom suddenly perked up maybe there was a way. "You mean all these attacks, sir?" said Tom.
"Precisely," said the Headmaster. "My dear boy, you must see how foolish it would be to allow you to remain at the castle when the term ends. Particularly in light of the recent tragedy... the death of that poor little girl...You will be far safer by far at your orphanage. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Magic is even now talking about closing the school. We are no nearer locating the -er - source of all this unpleasantness..."
Tom's eyes widened, if he could just find someone to blame...
"Sir -if the person were caught- if it all stopped-"
"What do you mean?" said Dippet with a squeak in his voice, sitting up in his chair. "Riddle, do you mean you know something about these attacks?"
"No, sir," Tom said quickly.
Dippet sank back, looking faintly disappointed.
"You may go, Tom..."
Tom sighed in relief, slid off his chair, and slouched out of the room.
Down the spiral staircase he went, emerging next to the gargoyle in the darkening corridor. Tom stopped, he needed someone to blame for opening the Chamber.
Tom felt really guilty all of a sudden. Quickly repressing the feeling, he tried to think of who would be a great scapegoat. Biting his lip, he ran through all the names of the students that were in trouble. His forehead furrowed.
'That's it,' thought Tom as he remembered a second year that had gotten in trouble for having werewolf cubs under his bed last term. The Basilisk had told him of an illegal giant spider that the boy was keeping. Hoping to 'catch' him tonight he hurried off towards the corridor that it was living in.
He didn't see another person until he stepped into the entrance hall, when a tall wizard with long sweeping auburn hair and a beard called to Tom form the marble staircase.
"What are you doing, wandering around this late, Tom?"
"I had to see the Headmaster, sir," said Tom. Professor Dumbledore was the only teacher that didn't really like Tom. Maybe because he used to be a Gryffindor himself and Gryffindor's had always had House prejudice.
"Well hurry off to bed," said Dumbledore, giving Tom a penetrating stare. "Best not to roam the corridors these days, not since..."
He sighed heavily, bade Tom good night, and strode off. Tom watched him walk out of sight and then, moving quickly, headed straight down the stone steps to the dungeons.
Tom quickly positioned himself in his potions classroom leaving the door slightly open so he could see into the hallway. The second year would have to come down this way and soon. Night was always the best time to visit and no one would know. Plus he would have to feed the spider.
The guilty feeling returned and it was slightly stronger. Tom just couldn't shake the feeling that this act was wrong and that he should just stop opening the Chamber of Secrets. Tom tried to push the feeling away, but had a hard time, which grew increasingly worse as the minutes crept on.
For an hour Tom stood at the door, staring through the crack, waiting like a statue. Then he heard a something moving beyond the door and followed.
Someone was creeping along the passage. He heard whoever it was pas him where he was hiding. Tom, quick as a shadow, edged through the door and followed.
For perhaps five minutes he followed the footsteps until Tom stopped suddenly, his head inclined in the direction of the new noises. He heard a door creak open, and then someone speaking in a hoarse whisper.
"C'mon...gotta get yeh outta here... C'mon now... in the box..."
Tom took a deep breath and jumped around the corner; a part of him screaming not to do it. But Tom wouldn't listen and raced through his plan without a second glance. He could see the dark outline of a huge boy who was crouching in front of an open door, a very large box next to it.
"Evening, Rubeus," said Tom sharply. A voice inside him started to plead for him to stop before it was too late. But Tom refused to listen.
The boy slammed the door shut and stood up.
"What are you doin' down here Tom?"
Tom stepped closer, still ignoring the voice telling him to stop.
"It's all over," he said, "I'm going to turn you in, Rubeus. They're talking about closing Hogwarts if the attacks don't stop."
"I don't think you meant to kill anyone. But monsters don't really make good pets. I suppose you just let it out for exercise and-" the voice started to cry silently repeating 'how could you?' Tom tried not to show his inter struggle on his face, grateful not for the first time that he had learned to hide his emotions.
"It killed no one!" roared the large boy, backing against the closed door. From behind him, Tom could hear a funny rustling and clicking.
"Come on, Rubeus," said Tom moving yet closer. "The dead girl's parents will be here tomorrow. The least Hogwarts could do is make sure that the thing that killed their daughter is slaughtered..." The voice had stopped speaking and just sobbed as Tom continued his self-righteous speech.
"It wasn't him!" roared the boy his voice echoing in the dark passage. "He wouldn't! He never!"
"Stand aside," said Tom, drawing out his wand. He was now ignoring the sobs completely, unable to push them out.
His spell lit the corridor with a sudden flaming light. The door behind the large boy flew open with such force it knocked him into the wall.
A vast, low-slung, hairy body and a tangle of block legs, a gleam of many eyes and a pair of raiser-sharp pincers- Tom raised his wand again, but the huge boy leapt on him, seized his wand and threw him back down, yelling, "NOOOOOOO!"
Tom landed painfully on his arm. Looking around quickly he spotted his wand a meter away and rolled towards it. His hand landed on his wand and he snatched it up and quickly got to his knees, but to late the giant spider was gone. Turning quickly back to the boy he shot off a stunning spell.
Rubeus never saw the spell that hit him and a second later crumpled, unconscious, to the floor.
Tom stood slowly checking over himself for any injuries. There were bruises all along his left arm where he had fallen on it but there seemed to be nothing else. Walking over to the unconscious twelve year-old he silently levitated him and started towards the headmaster's office.
The voice started speaking again not pleading with himself anymore but apologizing to Rubeus and silently crying.
Tom felt a small split appear in his soul almost as if a part of himself had died.
For the second time that night Tom Riddle knocked on the door to the Headmaster's Office. After a few moments the door opened and a sleepy Professor Dippet looked at Tom. Seeing the hovering body of Rubeus Dippet's eyes widened and he quickly let them in.
"Why isn't he down in the infirmary?" Dippet asked.
Tom looked at Dippet sadly. "Professor I caught the one who opened the Chamber and let the attacks happen."
Dippet was suddenly wide awake. "How do you know it was him?"
"I was depressed after I left your office earlier and I couldn't sleep so I decided to do my prefect rounds and see if anyone was out after curfew. I found Rubeus holding a box and talking to someone I couldn't see. When I confronted him a giant spider came out and knocked me over then ran out. I'm afraid, sir that I was unable to kill it.
"I stunned Rubeus and brought him straight here." Tom could still here the voice pleading with him to tell the truth, that this was a horrible mistake, but Tom was too far into it now that even if he had wanted to he couldn't have changed what he had said and done.
Dippet stared at Tom. "Thank you Tom. I will call a meeting with the other professors in the school." Looking up at Tom he thought he saw the smallest hint of stress. 'He probably is still in shock that he was the one who found the culprit, poor child.'
"Tom I think you should return to your dormitories and try to get some sleep. I will call you in the morning after and have you tell your side of the story to the council."
Looking over at the Headmaster leaning over the unconscious form of the second year, Tom nodded and turned to leave. His last look as he closed the door was of the headmasters telling the portraits of the old Headmasters to get the staff.
Tom made his way to the Slytherin Dormitories, through silent halls. Reaching the empty expanse of wall that marked the Slytherin Dormitory entrance Tom whispered the password and walked to his rooms.
Tom didn't sleep well that night. When he woke up the next morning the only thing he remembered were the silent sobs of one who was losing their soul.