It was a radiant Saturday morning on the twelfth of June in 1943 of Riddle’s fifth year, a Saturday. Ravenclaws with blue and bronze outfits donning rosettes and Slytherins clad in their green and silver colors were leading the school out. Everyone was going down to the Quidditch field to see the final match of the season and the entire year, which would determine the Quidditch championship and which house would hold the Quidditch Cup. Gryffindor had been in the running for the championship for a while, but recently had a series of unfortunate events. In their last game, they lost 50 to 150, and got them out of the running for the first time, and into fourth place for the first time in nearly 75 years.
Myrtle could be found as if lost in deep thought, as she trailed in the middle of the enormous crowd. She was the only Slytherin present in the midst of the cheering not wearing the festive colors of her House. Instead, she was just wearing her black usual cotton robes that were terribly creased.
As she plodded forward, shuffling her feet, the girl who loved to bully Myrtle scouted her out. She nudged her friends, and they began to laugh. Myrtle pouted, the dimples on her cheeks pinching. Olive Hornby suddenly started waving at more of her associates and then pointed at Myrtle again as she sang,
“Moping, moaning Myrtle!
Her glasses as dumb as her wits.
With pus in her eyes
From all that she cries.
And she spits on her reflection,
To not see her mud-blood
Moping, moaning Myrtle!…
With glasses as dumb as her wits!”
“Woo-hoo!,” said the girls in her group to signal approval. Then they all began to shout it at the top of their lungs. They had clearly memorized this together, as a plan to embarrass Myrtle. It worked easily, as it didn’t take much for Myrtle to feel harassed.
Myrtle just raced back towards the castle, away up the steps that lead inside to the main entrance and on towards her favorite place to dwell in her misery in seclusion on the third floor. Her body was already wracking with sobs. She couldn’t take her glasses off, because she was far-sighted, and therefore wouldn’t be able to see where she was going.
Once she got inside her favorite stall, she yanked her glasses off with one hand and threw them off her face, and wiped her eyes. She had not surmised the full extent of their insult about her muggle-born roots. Then she dejectedly slumped herself on top of the toilet’s tank as she always did.
Her usual moaning slowly started and over the passing moments grew into howls. It was the worst state she had ever been in. It wasn’t just crying, rather bordering on a tantrum, made all the worst because Myrtle knew there was no audience for it as all of Hogwarts was out to watch the game, or so she thought….
After another couple of minutes, she heard somebody enter the hollowed bathroom and close the door. Myrtle remained locked in her cubicle determined to make the supposed girl she thought was there to come to console her or at least get angry with her, if that was the only attention she could get. Her breathing changed to hiccups and shallow intakes of her unknown last breaths. It calmed her to think there was someone to complain to.
Riddle had never been planning to go to the Quidditch match that day. He was using as an opportunity to do some last minute purging of the school, through instructing his basilisk. He went over to the row of sinks directly opposite the row of stalls. In the middle was the exact entrance. Riddle listened to the pitiful woes, knowing perfectly well that Myrtle was lurking about. He did not care much either way, whether she died or not. Although it was almost inevitable that she would. Myrtle was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time with nowhere to run .
First Riddle told the snakes on the taps to open up in the proper language. As he did so, the taps glowed a brilliant white. The eyes of the snake looked oddly alive, as they thrived spinning like clockwork. Then the sink began to move soundlessly and a large pipe was revealed.
He continued in a low, soft hiss. Myrtle was becoming paranoid from this sound, and she did not react for several seconds. She was too afraid of this strange noise and then she deciphered that it was some kind of language that was extremely foreign to her.
“Slytherin’s heir…summons you. Come forward!,” Riddle commanded the basilisk, while also wondering at what moment Myrtle would emerge like a jack-in-the-box from her toilet. He was aware of just what motivated Myrtle. He knew, with near certainty that she would come out soon because she is so intrusive over others.
At the precise time, Riddle started speaking in Parseltongue, Eileen Prince was passing the bathroom. Through the walls and doorways, she could just make out that whisper-like noise in the silent, deserted corridors. She was feeling stressed as well as leaving the party because she was no longer was interested in Quidditch, but rather more risky, discouraged activities like dark magic, or even just to skulk around the school.
It sounded familiar to her. Her heart then started to pound as the comprehension that it had to be Tom dawned on her. Any other student or teacher or other staff-member (except Dumbledore) would have discounted the sound as perhaps their imagination or just a regular whisper. But Eileen had heard it before and had it explained to her.
Afraid to meddle in Tom’s many closely guarded secrets, she cringed. But her courage mounting, she took a deep breath and pushed the door of the bathroom ajar. She just had to see him, as they had not been getting their alone time since March.
Busy concentrating, Riddle didn’t detect the presence of someone else entering. Eileen stood on the side, a few feet from the narrow doorframe. Riddle was in the middle of the room, with his back turned to her. She prayed to herself that for once, she could just enjoy marvelling him without him seeing her.
Her brown eyes shifted from Tom within those few seconds to what was before him. She had to stop herself from gasping, as her mind began to whirl with questions. A giant, hideous snake was rising out of the wide black hole of the pipe.
The snake was not facing Eileen or Riddle, but rather looking in the direction to their left as the venomous, green snake curved itself, sniffing the air hopefully with it’s slits for nostrils. It then, sensing something began to rear and coil maliciously. It was peering around the stalls in the most predatory fashion, and it traversed up nearly the whole space between the sinks and the stalls, and it wasn’t even out of the pipe fully.
Eileen fought the temptation to run away or at least retreat into a stall because a part of her was much too entranced by the allure of Riddle’s power over his hideous King of Serpents.
Riddle began speaking in Parseltongue much more forcefully than prior, “GET IT. GO RIGHT TO THAT FOUL BLOOD. LOOK HER IN THE EYE.”
He would allow himself to be responsible in some sense for her death. His reason is he wants to see what the school authorities will do when they learn she is dead. It was too grand an opportunity, to miss.
In a split-second a door was unlocked in the stall directly adjacent to the sink with the pipe that the basilisk had come out of. Myrtle swung the door open about to say go away as the tone of the language, made it clear to her it was a boy.
The snake turned it’s head, and flashed it’s big yellow eyes like glowing lamps on the young girl. Myrtle was dead before a second passed and she barely registered who owned those pair of eyes. Eileen had heard and seen the event obstructed partially by looking down, avoiding the basilisk, but she wasn’t sure if the girl was dead or petrified.
Myrtle’s pre-pubesent body began to shrivel up like a mandrake that never got to mature. It happened slowly, as the skin began to curl itself and looked like it was burned and she soon had the appearance of an aged individual. Meanwhile, a misty-gray fog was rising from her body.
Riddle looked down with sheer amusement at the corpse on the floor that was originally dirty for only a few seconds. It was humorous to the young Voldemort that for the first murder he was responsible for, all he had to do was sit back and watch it unfold like entertainment.
But he wasted no time laughing. Keeping himself in check, he became to dispose of the evidence, his presence of mind and rationality was remarkably intact. With a spring in his steps, from this boost to his ego he made a sudden movement back over to the sinks.
Turning to face the basilisk, Riddle signaled with his right hand for it to follow him. Riddle’s dark eyes seemed to be electrified with energy as he said in the snake-language, “Do not eat it.” He wanted the body to be found, and he glanced at it again with a feint smile of satisfaction. The body continued to have a gray-ness rising over it because Myrtle’s spirit was in the process of morphing into a ghost.
Meanwhile, Eileen was shuddering. She had retreated behind the stall door furthest from the man, the murderer she loved and fallen on her knees on the hard surface of the floor. Still peering and peeking towards the horrific scene still unfolding. She was instinctively, terrified for her own life. What if the snake went after her now?
The snake obeyed Riddle who then told it to go back to its nesting place within the bowels of the Chamber. It started slithering back towards the opening, and as it did it shed it’s skin gradually. Eileen looked on and all of this made her want to hurl as she watched the serpent from behind move back into the pipe entrance.
Riddle moved like a shadow of darkness once the snake left. There was a tiny red gleam in his electrified blue-gray eyes, but Eileen could not see it with the weak sunlight streaming in. He flicked his wand at the snakeskin on the floor, aware of what could be deduced if that part of the action was left. He directed with his wand and levitated pieces of it and dumped them down the pipes as quickly as he possible. There was a look of glee on his face, as he looked down at the last bit of snake’s skin falling.
The Heir of Slytherin proceeded to close the entrance of the chamber planning to re-open it a later, sooner date to continue perhaps with more victims that would actually die and not just be petrified.
The boy Voldemort glided, his footsteps echoing loudly and he stopped in front of the corpse and bent to examine it. He was deciding whether it truly was the ideal location and position to leave Myrtle’s body in to make sure there was no sign or chance he could be accused or it could be realized of how she died.
So he moved her. But not before, stepping on her eyes, with the glasses on her face, cracking. Riddle laughed loudly, then took pride in dragging the body to a different stall. He propelled It forward with his wand, and it slid to a different stall. One not in line with the taps that were across that led to the entrance where the basilisk had come out.
Eileen a little more composed, but now had a buzzing inside her head for she was trying to filter out and forget where she was and what she witnessing. But couldn’t help but continue to peek at him from her hiding place.
The handsome, Tom Riddle took in another moment of this wonderful feeling to him. He laughed again as if ten Riddle’s were ringing with derisive laugher at once. Then remembering the time, he reasoned if he left now he would have just enough time to sneak in the back of the Quidditch stands and make it obvious to others that he had been present for the championship. So he swiftly darted out of the room, not looking to the sides at all, and did not see Eileen partially visibe behind a stall door.
Eileen listened as if to a clock chiming the hour, counting Riddle’s sound of him walking down along the corridor. Once it got far enough away, she took a hesistant step out of her safety zone. She then stood in the room, frozen and entranced by it all.
She then jumped as though scalded and fled the room. She ran like she never did in her life for the comfort and security of her dorm-room. Once in her room, she tried to take a nap, but winded up just feeling ill. She wanted to forget all she saw, but she just couldn’t. She was in a state of shock. The boy she loved had practically killed that little girl, Myrtle. Eileen tried to come up with a reason why. She was at a loss for now. But what was worse, was the indecent if not bestial way he had responded to what transpired. She just might go insane with this love for Tom she thought mixed with memories like the one she was now stuck with.
The Slytherins were still celebrating their victory several hours later in their common room. Tom Riddle was smartly cautious. He did not emerge from the common room for the rest of the day after coming back into the school. He mingled among the crowds talking with everybody as his followers all made actions of poor attempts to copy his sophisticated style of interaction. People continuously gave there own blow-by-blow accounts of the final Quidditch match, Riddle did not pay a mind to remember this useless information. Many gloated over the fact Slytherin would be winning the House Cup as well as the school Quidditch cup for the fifth year in a row, Riddle came to dwell on Slytherin’s triumphs, the ones that had nothing to do with Quidditch.
So everyone was enjoying themself despite the fact that exam time was mere weeks away. They all had decided to take the evening off for this great celebration. All except Eileen Prince, who was slumped in the furthest corner of the room, by a fireplace and staring into it. She did not look upset just odd and plain.
After a while, Horace Slughorn came in through the double-doors, which closed with a loud, echoing sound over the hollowed room. Most people looked to see who had come through the least used entrance into the Common Room. After a moment, everybody except Eileen were gathered around him. It was very unusual to have a Head of House come into the common room as it only occured for significant reasons.
Slughorn cleared his throat, and spoke slowly, “I regret to inform you all that Myrtle Maudley d-died…this afternoon in a freak accident. “ Slughorn swallowed , “I repeat this was an untimely death for such a young girl and there was no foul-play. None at all,” he stressed.
People eyed Slughorn carefully, and then slowly looked at each other. A minority of the more decent people from Slytherin actually had tears in their eyes. Eileen remained hidden, slumped in a chair, staring at the floor, but listening closely.
“But how did she die, sir?” somebody in the back of the crowd asked with innocent curiosity.
“The story is that it must have been a freak accident. It happened in a girl’s lavatory on the third floor….” Slughorn started shaking a bit, and dabbed his sweaty forehead with his handkerchief. “Investigations are underway to get the facts straight…. when this happens I’m sure it will be published,” he finished, as meant to be a finalizing note not to ask any more questions.
But many of the older students were now looking in varying forms of suspicion regarding Slughorn’s anouncement. Many sensed that this was not the truth or at least a half-truth.
“And who discovered the body professor,”? a girl asked from the sidelines. Meanwhile Riddle was looking around at everyone, including at times looking straight at Slughorn. He felt little fear, but still crossed his arms protectively.
Becoming agitated Slughorn said quickly, “She was found by a little first-year. I believe the Headmaster and Dumbledore said she was in Gryffindor…Now I’ve been told by the Headmaster to advise you all strongly against leaving the common room until tomorrow afternoon. I also-“
Somebody interrupted arguing, “But why? We’re not under danger, as it was an accident?”
“The school is being scoured for the cause as it may be…mobile. All the entrances into the castle are barred at the moment. So don’t ask me any more questions. I advise you strongly to abide by the Headmaster wishes, and remain here until it is safe,” people began to frown icily. They wanted to all get a chance to go outside and enjoy the good weather tomorrow.
Responding to this Slughorn finished, “I don’t make the rules about leaving the school and such. So don’t ask questions. If you must complain about an inconvenience take it up with the Headmaster, not your Head of House. Good-night.”
Slughorn left in a hurry to get away from everyone as he knew more than he was allowed to divulge, plus he wanted to be in the safety of his own bed. The room instantly began to buzz with conversations and people developed theories as to what was really happening. People could tell Slughorn was reluctant to disclose everything.
The most intelligent rumor circulating was that it was the Chamber of Secrets and the mysterious Heir of Slytherin. But most people scoffed at this idea. People also started to wonder if the school was going to close. Perhaps the legend was truly alive and took the life of Myrtle Maudley? But over the next few hours, the room went back to It’s euphoria over winning. Most people had thought Myrtle’s death to be a loss that meant little to nothing to their House or the school. She had been an un-intelligent, easily manipulated, unpopular mud-blood, and a stain on Slytherin House after all.
By around eleven o’clock most Slytherins had went off to bed. A handful of upper-classmen were gathered around, drinking butterbeer, Tom Riddle amongst them. Eileen was still in the room, but unnoticed, still in the least inhabited space.
An attractive blond-haired girl asked rhetorically, “Do you think the petrified people will still survive?”
Riddle raised his eyebrows and nodded slowly at the girl.
“Yeah, I guess so,” said a surly voice that belonged to Rookwood.
The girl carried the conversation, “But to think….Slytherin’s Heir could be someone we know. Old Sluggy looked pretty nervous, didn’t he?” she countered a wild guess, just to see people’s reaction.
Riddle had the nerve to discuss it amongst his peers, “Well, I didn’t have anything to do with it…,” he said with definitiveness, shrugging.
The girl laughed and said, “I think we can rule you out as a suspect, Tom.”
Rookwood busied himself with setting up the chessboard, pretending he did not hear, terrified he would divulge one of his Master’s secrets.
“But I wonder,” said the girl (who was a great gossip, by the way) “If anyone held a grudge against her?”
Eileen suddenly felt a surge of a memory. She recalled that day in March, when Myrtle had bothered Riddle and nearly put a stain on his glowing reputation because she claimed he had told her she had no future and the other Prefects were annoyed. But he had somehow weaseld out of that. Eileen began to mull this over, searching desperately for a good reason for Riddle to not care that he was responsible for Myrtle’s death.
Another broke into the conversation, “That Olive Hornby liked to bully her…a lot. Maybe it was her.”
Holding his drink in his hand, Riddle just looked up and shook his head as if annoyed. He was partially burning with desire at the moment to be recognized for his crimes and being noted as the Heir of Slytherin.
Nobody responded to this idea of Hornby wanting to hurt Myrtle . After a short pause, Riddle whispered sounding serious, “All we know, is that Hogwarts is not safe anymore. Whatever the accident entailed, it is said to be mobile. That means we all must be on the look-out." He said that because he had also enjoyed scaring people and now was a great time to. The blonde-hair girl shuddered.
….But for now,” he started suddenly his demeanor, suave, “Let’s finish our celebration with me, beating Augustus at chess? So how about it Rookwood?”
So Riddle played chess, acting cocky and self-assured. He leaned back in his chair after all his turns, smiling pleasantly. Meanwhile the few people left watched Riddle’s brilliant strategies unfold on the board. Of course, he didn’t always win as even a grand master doesn’t, but he only lost a couple of times a year at Wizard’s chess.
Eileen disappeared feeling righteous anger at Riddle, yet she still loved him. Yet her heart filled with disgust for how he acted tonight so cooley speaking of his crimes. Eileen was beginning to believe he had Myrtle die out of revenge, which was not accurate.
As Tom finished his game several minutes later, he made the analogy of the game to his future plans to dominate the wizarding world. Finishing up, he ordered his bishop to capture Rookwood’s king even thouugh in normal wizard’s chess the pieces gave their orders. But with Tom he, the player always did. And Eileen Prince, why she was hardly a pawn that he could sacrifice whenever he felt the need to.
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