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The Living Dead by auror_snape
Chapter 4 : Snake Infestation
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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Disclaimer: Harry Potter copyrighted by JK Rowling.


Author's Note: With Dumbledore ousted as Chief Warlock, and Sirius out of prison, things are looking up for Harry now, right? Not by a long shot. He's a preteen boy, starting to like girls, and with puberty just around the corner, he has to keep himself from losing his temper and puncturing someone.


Chapter 4 Snake Infestation


Weeks had passed since Harry turned in Pettigrew, and now it was Christmas break. Harry was alone again, but he didn't mind. He didn't want to be around people that much, because he didn't want to accused of setting Slytherin's monster loose. He knew the monster was loose, he could sense it in the walls. He could also hear it speaking parseltongue. That meant Slytherin's monster was a serpent, and he also deduced that the way to open the legendary Chamber of Secrets was by speaking parseltongue. That's why Dumbledore never could find it, no matter how hard he looked. Personally, I'd be more afraid if he did manage to find it, Harry thought.


As he was walking to the library to finish his homework, Harry ran into Dumbledore. He tried to walk past him, hopefully without a confrontation, but it was not to be. It seemed Dumbledore wanted to pick a fight. The Headmaster blocked the corridor and tried to look menacing. I can do a better job than that, Harry thought smugly, as he held his hands in front of him. He could easily slip the ring off and give Dumbledore the fright of his life.


“And where are you going, Potter?” Dumbledore asked suspiciously. “Are you looking for a new victim? Or do you perhaps want to set Slytherin's monster on me, maybe on your master's orders?” Dumbledore saw Harry stiffen, and thought he'd struck a nerve with that last remark. Harry clamped down on his emotions, not wanting to clue the Headmaster in yet.


“If I did want to set my pet loose on you, fool, would I tell you?” And Harry removed his ring. He glared at Dumbledore, turning his pain into anger. Dumbledore took one look at Harry, and left. He didn't run, probably because he didn't want to show fear. He didn't know he was shouting his terror from the proverbial rooftops. Harry continued on his way, and replaced his ring.


After thinking long and hard, Harry figured out that the way to find out where the Chamber was, was to ask a ghost. They were dead, so they learned secrets after death. Also, no one thought to ask them, and they wouldn't offer information without being asked. They were bound to keep silent unless made to speak. So, Harry sought out Nearly Headless Nick.


“Hey Nick, can I ask you something, please?” Harry asked the pearly-white figure in the ruff.


“Ask away, though I can't promise an answer,” Nick replied. He was wary of this little vampire, but he gave Harry the benefit of the doubt because he knew him before he became a vampire.


“The last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, someone died. Can you tell me who?” Harry waited with his fingers crossed.


Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Nick answered. “Her name was Myrtle Whitman. She was a Hufflepuff third year.”


“Moaning Myrtle?” Harry asked. If Moaning Myrtle was the last one to die, and she died in the same bathroom she haunts, the entrance must be in there.


“Yes. She was in the bathroom crying, I heard. When she was found dead, she never left the bathroom.” Nick was getting uncomfortable saying so much about it, so Harry stopped asking. He thanked the Gryffindor House Ghost and ran off.


When he reached the second floor girls' bathroom, he made sure the coast was clear, and went in. He heard Myrtle crying before he saw her, and announced his presence. She came through the stall door and shouted, “Leave me alone! The last time a boy came in here, he threw something at me! Well, I won't let you do the same!” And she flew back into her toilet, splashing water everywhere.


“Myrtle, I just wanted to ask you how you died.” Harry waited for her to respond. Finally, she did. She came back, looking radiant. She told him the entire story with great relish.


After the story, Harry went over to the tap where she saw the eyes. He looked it over carefully, before deciding to speak to it in parseltongue. Just as he'd thought, it worked. The sink descended to reveal a large hole and a filthy pipe. He jumped in, closely followed by Gilderoy Lockheart of all people. He didn't hear the bathroom door open, but he had sensed the interloper's presence. When they both shot out of the end of the pipe, they landed on animal bones. “Eurgh,” Lockheart muttered in disgust.


“What the hell are you doing?” Harry demanded of the ineffectual teacher.


“Dumbledore asked me to keep an eye on you, said he suspected you were behind the attack on the caretaker's cat. I must say, it seems he was correct. Now, I'm taking you into custody,” Lockheart said arrogantly.


“You fool! You never should have followed me,” Harry yelled. It seemed Lockheart didn't like being called a fool, and drew his wand. He cast a Reductor Curse, which Harry easily dodged. But the curse caused a cave-in, and small bits of falling debris hit Lockheart on the head, knocking him out. The cave-in blocked the way out, and Harry decided to go on. Maybe there was another way through.


Harry spoke parseltongue at the door of the Chamber, and entered. When he got there, he saw Ginny Weasley holding a small black book. She was speaking in parseltongue, saying, “Speak to me Slytherin, Greatest -.” Her voice sounded different, not her own. It sounded much more masculine and evil. It was too cold to be emanating from that mouth. The only answer, Ginny was being possessed by Voldemort.


“Ginny!” He tried calling to her, hoping to distract her while he got the book away from her. He knew the book was causing this. She spun around to face him before she could finish the call to Slytherin's monster. Her eyes were glowing red. He decided to try another tactic.


“VOLDEMORT! It's me you want; leave her body now and fight me like a man!” Harry bellowed. It worked, Tom Riddle's spirit left Ginny's body in answer to Harry's challenge.


“You want to fight me! Then we shall fight!” Riddle sneered. He took Ginny's wand from her unconscious body and kicked her aside. “Let's have a real hostage for you to fight for. You don't have any feelings for this blood traitor, do you?” And with a wave of the stolen wand, he summoned Albus Dumbledore down there. “But you do have some regard for the muggle-loving fool.”


“Let him go,” Harry snarled. He worked on keeping his emotions in check, because he didn't want to reveal to Voldemort the fact that he was a vampire. He wanted to save that for later.


“Don't you realize, boy, that the muggle-loving old fool loves muggles more than he loves you?” Riddle taunted. “Yes, he left you with muggles he loves, knowing they loved you just as little as he did.”


Harry felt his chest tighten, but hid it well. He kept a tight lid on his emotions, intending to show Dumbledore the entirety of his well of despair later. He knew Voldemort was right, but he wasn't going to say it. He raised his wand and fired a spell at the wand in his tormentor's hand. The wand went flying away, and Riddle turned in fury to summon the Basilisk Harry had already figured resided here.


Speak to me Slytherin, Greatest of the Hogwarts Four!” Riddle called out. Salazar Slytherin's stone mouth opened wide and a huge Basilisk slithered out. “Destroy the boy.” Riddle ordered it. The giant snake went after Harry, chasing him into the pipes surrounding the Chamber. The great snake chased Harry back out into the open room, and Riddle decided to try something else. “Stop. Leave the boy. Eat the man.” The Basilisk obeyed, and went after Dumbledore. Riddle thought Harry would abandon Dumbledore out of revenge. But he didn't know Harry that well.


Harry yelled in parseltongue, “I will not let you harm him.” Then he shouted in English, “Leave him alone!” Suddenly, Fawkes the Phoenix appeared in a ball of fire. Dumbledore thought he was saved, but then he saw that Harry was gaining strength from the Phoenix song. Fawkes dropped the Sorting Hat to Harry, who immediately drew the Gryffindor Sword from it. He threw the sword straight at the Basilisk, and it drove itself through the roof of the snake's mouth.


The giant snake died, and Harry walked over to its dead body and withdrew the sword. He knew the book still had to go, so he went over to it, and stabbed it with the still-bloody sword. Ink started spraying everywhere as Riddle was destroyed in mid-lunge. He stabbed it several more times, to make sure, then went over to cut the ropes holding Dumbledore. After the fight, Harry was feeling emotionally drained.


“Headmaster, Ginny Weasley is over there and unconscious. Your pet, Lockheart, in unconscious past the cave-in he caused over in that direction. Fawkes can get you out easily, as he is a Phoenix. You can take the Sorting Hat back with you. I will find my own way out.” Harry said all that in a flat monotone. Then he shrank into a shadow and vanished. He reappeared in the bathroom, and saw a bottle of tanning lotion under another sink. He winced when realization came to him.


* *


EDITOR’S NOTE: Nothing, again. Thanks for reading, and please review.

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