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Chapter 1 : Helena Ravenclaw
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I awoke in Hogwarts Castle. I was wearing the gown that I had worn when the Baron had hunted me down. At first, I was in a panic. Where was my mother’s diadem?
And then it dawned on me with a terrible sense of dread. All of my memories came back to me in a rush. Stealing the diadem. Albania. Hiding the diadem. The Baron. The tree trunk.
Of course, at first I tried to go back to Albania to search for it. But I soon realized that my wise mother, my terribly, infuriating, wise mother, had set an enchantment on the castle. I had Founder blood—or, at least, I used to have Founder blood--running through my veins. I could not leave Hogwarts. I searched many years to find out why, and I finally got my mother’s old friend, Helga Hufflepuff, to explain it to me. It was my duty to protect Hogwarts. I was bound to the castle by ancient magic.
So I stayed at Hogwarts for the next three hundred years, watching, listening. Trying to find out information about the diadem. But I never heard a whisper. Until he came.
He was quite charming, at first. I didn’t speak to him until he was sixteen. He sought me out. Part of me let him. He was so handsome, and there was this air about him…I knew he knew something about my mother’s—my diadem.
His name was Tom Riddle.
He told me things…things about myself that I didn’t even know. He described me better than anybody I’d ever know, living or not. He got me. He listened. He cared.
Or so I thought. I should have never been so foolish.
One night, he sought me out again. He asked me about my mother’s diadem. He told me it was for purely academic purposes. He told me that he was doing an essay for the current Ravenclaw Head of House on the diadem. He flattered me. He told me that if anyone was to know anything about Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, it was me.
So I told him. I told him that the diadem, once you placed it upon your head, magically adjusted to fit you perfectly, and that it would give you wisdom that you never had before. I told him the ancient words inscribed on the diadem: Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure. I told him that I stole it, and where I hid it. And he thanked me. He kissed me on my transparent cheek and left.
But I was suspicious. Why would he be doing an essay for the Ravenclaw Head of House if he was in Slytherin? Why wouldn’t he be doing an essay on the locket of Slytherin, for his Head of House? It didn’t add up.
So I followed him. I was soundless, as I had become as a ghost. I followed him out to the castle grounds, right out to the castle gate. And he was just about to leave when I stopped him.
“What are you doing? Where are you going?” I asked him. He turned slowly.
“Helena.” He greeted. “You followed me.”
Maybe, just maybe, if he hadn’t used my name, I would have stopped him. But I got a tingling sensation when he said ‘Helena’. He hadn’t addressed me as Ravenclaw’s daughter, or the Grey Lady. He had called me Helena. My name. My identity. The one I had very nearly forgotten.
But when he spoke my name, I remembered. I had stolen my mother’s diadem. I had run to Albania. I had hidden the diadem in the tree trunk. I had refused the Baron’s summons, and died to pay the price. I was Helena Ravenclaw, wiser than my mother. Better than my mother.
“Yes,” I said. “I was just wondering—” He smiled.
“Where I was going, yes. I inferred. To answer your question, I am going to Albania. I am going to find your mother’s diadem.”
“And what, may I ask, are you planning on doing with it?” I asked. My voice shook slightly.
“I am planning on bringing it back to you.” He said.
“No! It must stay in Albania, Tom!” I exclaimed. The smile slipped off his face.
“But why, Helena? Why do you insist on hiding it? It’s quite obvious to me that you want it back.” He started pacing around me. I suddenly felt very vulnerable, and swirled to keep looking at him. He had a dangerous glint in his eyes that made me breathless. Breathless with fear.
“I saw the way you inspect every student who comes through these doors,” He said, gesturing to the castle doors. “I see the way you gaze longingly at that statue of your mother wearing the diadem on the third floor corridor. But I never saw you staring at your mother. It took me a while to figure it out, but finally, I did.” He smiled. “You don’t want your mother back, Helena. You want her diadem. You never loved her. You hated the way people would just look at you as the great and wise Rowena Ravenclaw’s daughter. It infuriated you.”
“So let me go to Albania. Let me retrieve you diadem for you. Please.” He finished his speech.
I was stunned. He was right. I never did love my mother. I was constantly overshadowed by her. I couldn’t stand her. I had wanted to be greater than her. That’s why I had stolen the diadem. To be greater than her. To be Helena Ravenclaw, the wisest of them all. I wanted to be Helena Ravenclaw. It was my name. It was my identity.
Helena Ravenclaw wanted her diadem back.
I floated aside, letting Tom through. He smiled at me, and bowed slightly. “I knew you would let me.” He said. And he walked outside the no-Apparation zone, and with a crack, he was gone, leaving me with only the grounds and the castle that had been my prison for the last three hundred and fifty years.
I was waiting for him when he came back. Right at the gate. He had branches and twigs in his hair, but he was smiling. The smile scared me. It was the smile of a madman. And I knew, before I even passed my transparent hand through my diadem, that there was something wrong with it.
“Dark Magic,” I hissed. “You defiled it!” Tom smiled.
“I made it more powerful. It was ancient, powerful, simply wonderful—”
“I know what curse it was!” I snapped. “You’ve—you’ve murdered! You defiled my diadem!” Tom chuckled.
“Poor, silly, Helena. Couldn’t you tell that I was just using you? I got what I wanted. The process to me becoming immortal is nearly complete!” He laughed. I shivered.
“Tom, what you did was wrong! So, so, wrong.” I said. His laughter subsided immediately.
“My friends call me Voldemort now, Helena. I’ll see you around.” And he disappeared with my diadem.
I followed him, of course. He went to the seventh floor corridor, and paced in front of a wall. Then, a door appeared. He slipped inside the room and the door vanished.
I waited for him to come out of the hidden room. Eventually, he did. I tried to get in after him. But nothing I did worked. If I tried floating through the wall, I’d come out on the other side of the Hogwarts wall. I tried the pacing, but that didn’t work either.
For several years, I was drawn to the seventh floor corridor. I couldn’t stay away from the place, and I knew that it was because of the diadem. Tom graduated, and I heard of the terrible things he was doing, and felt terrible, because I knew that he had accomplished these things because of me.
And then I heard. Tom had fallen. Harry Potter was the only survivor of the Killing Curse. It was impossible, yet he had done it. A mere baby had survived Tom’s wrath.
When he came to Hogwarts, I knew he was trouble, even without the diadem. In his first year, he defeated the teacher Quirrel and enabled Dumbledore to destroy the Sorcerer’s Stone. I nearly died again when I heard that Tom was magiked onto the back of Quirrel’s head. Tom was back. Alive.
I suppose I always knew that he would be back. He never really seemed like the type of person who would stand to be defeated by a half-blood baby. I didn’t know how he had done it, but he was back.
In the year following, I knew that the first year Weasley girl, Ginevra, had been possessed by Tom. I found Myrtle sobbing her eyes out because Ginevra had accidentally thrown her diary at Myrtle’s head. And then I took a closer look at the diary.
I knew at once that it was Tom’s. It radiated the same Dark Magic as the diadem had after he had defiled it. I knew at once that Ginevra was being possessed, but by the time I had alerted Professor Dumbledore of what I thought, the diary was gone. Dumbledore dismissed my alert casually. Like I wasn’t even sane, and therefore wasn’t to be taken seriously.
I knew Tom roamed the corridors of Hogwarts once again, this time through Ginevra Weasley. I watched her as she attacked Harry Potter’s muggleborn friend, Hermione Granger. I saw as she strangled the roosters. I saw as she wrote her own farewell in blood, and I saw as she opened the Chamber of Secrets. And as Tom forced her into the depths of the school, I followed.
When I found the place that Tom was residing, Ginevra Weasley was passed out on the floor and Tom there. He was blurry around the edges, but he was there.
“Let her go, Tom.” I said. He turned.
“Helena. We meet again.” He said, a smile on his face.
If he had just addressed me as ‘Ravenclaw’s daughter’, or the ‘Grey Lady’, I would have stopped him. But I didn’t. Because he called me Helena. Helena Ravenclaw. My name. My identity. The one I had nearly forgotten.
I was Helena Ravenclaw. I had stolen Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem. I had run to Albania. I had hidden the diadem in a tree trunk. I had refused the Baron, and paid the price with my life. I had searched for the diadem for four hundred years. I had helped Tom Riddle become Voldemort. I had helped him murder all these people, and it was my fault that Ginevra Weasley would die tonight.
“Let her go.” I said again.
“No, Helena.” He said gently, as if explaining to a small child that one and one made two. “I am dependent on Ginny Weasley’s magical powers. If I let her go—” he flickered for a moment. “I am but a memory again.”
“Memories are the past, Tom. They should remain that way.” I said quietly. His face darkened.
“They call me Voldemort now, Helena.” He said.
“They call me the Grey Lady now, Tom.” I countered.
“Oh really? I was under the impression that you disliked being called the Grey Lady.” He said.
I remained silent, and he smirked. “Go, Helena. Go back the castle. The Potter boy is coming, and you don’t need to be here when he is.”
And so I left.
Two years later, Luna Lovegood told me dreamily that Harry Potter claimed that You-Know-Who was back, and that she believed him.
I believed him too.
I knew the potion that Tom had used. He was powerful now. So powerful. I knew there was a war coming. I knew like dogs knew when there was a coming storm.
Nearly three years later, Harry Potter sought me out.
It was not nearly in the same manner as Tom. I caught him staring at me in the middle of the Great Battle. He was speaking to Sir Nicholas, for directions to me, I suppose. I knew that as he got closer and closer to discovering the secret of the horcruxes that he would.
I raised my eyebrows, and floated through a wall. I would not have the information dispersed to random passerby Hogwarts students.
“Hey—wait—come back!” He cried.
I paused. The passage was concealed enough. I turned toward him and gazed into his brilliant green eyes. Lily Evans had spoken to me a couple of times, and his eyes were just like hers.
“You’re the Grey Lady?” He asked. I nodded. “You’re the ghost of Ravenclaw Tower?” He asked. A stupid question, if you ask me.
“That is correct.”
“Please:” He pleaded. “I need help. I need to know everything you can tell me about the diadem.”
My heart plummeted like a stone. I didn’t want to give out this information anymore. Nobody cared about me. I had never known love. They just wanted the diadem.
He didn’t speak my name. Perhaps, if he had, then I would have told him immediately all I knew. But he addressed me as the Grey Lady. Not Helena. The Grey Lady.
Helena. My name, my identity. I was Helena Ravenclaw. I had stolen my mother’s diadem. I had run to Albania. I had hidden it in a tree trunk. I had rejected the Baron and paid for it with my life. I had searched for my diadem for four hundred years. I had helped Tom Riddle become Lord Voldemort. I had helped him come back. I had helped him with this war.
I smiled a cold smile. “I am afraid that I cannot help you.” And I turned and glided down the corridor.
“WAIT!” He yelled.
I turned, and he was in front of me again. “This is urgent!” He said, sparks flying from his eyes. “If the diadem’s at Hogwarts, I’ve got to find it quickly!”
“You aren’t the first person who has asked about the diadem.” I said disdainfully. “Several students have badgered me—”
Only the one.
“This isn’t about trying to get better grades!” He shouted at me. I was slightly taken aback, though I did not let it slip through my façade. “It’s about Voldemort—killing Voldemort—or aren’t you interested in that?”
I blushed opaque. How dare he suggest that I didn’t want to defeat Tom! The monster that I had helped create.
“I—of course—how could you suggest—?” I spluttered.
“Well, then help me!” He shouted. I stammered out my answer. My composure was slipping.
“It—is not a question of—my mother’s diadem—”
“You’re mother’s diadem?”
I cursed myself.
“When I was living,” I told him stiffly. “I was Helena Ravenclaw.”
Helena Ravenclaw. My name, my identity.
“You’re her daughter? Then you must have some idea to what happened to it!”
I couldn’t give this information away again. The last time I had, I had helped create the worst wizard of all time. “While the diadem gives you wisdom—” I said, trying to pull myself together. “I highly doubt that it would increase your chances of killing the wizard who is called Lord—”
“Haven’t I already told you, I’m not interested in wearing it?” He said fiercely. How rude. “There’s not enough time to explain—but if you care at all about seeing Voldemort defeated, you’ll tell me everything you know about the diadem!”
I remained still, staring down at him. How could he do any harm, really? He was the Chosen One. The Boy Who Lived. He had saved Ginevra Weasley from Tom, and befriended Luna Lovegood. He was Harry Potter.
Not Tom Riddle.
He shook his head hopelessly and turned away—now was the time—when I spoke.
“I stole the diadem.” It came out barely over a whisper.
“You did what?”
“I stole the diadem from my mother.” I repeated. “I wanted to make myself wiser, more important than her. I ran away with it.”
I was Helena Ravenclaw. I had stolen the diadem of Ravenclaw. I had run to Albania.
I took a deep breath. Harry Potter. Not Tom Riddle.
“They say my mother never admitted that the diadem was gone. She pretended that she still had it. She hid her loss, my betrayal, from even the other founders of Hogwarts.”
Harry Potter. Harry Potter, not Tom Riddle.
“Then my mother was ill—fatally ill. In spite of my betrayal, she wished to see me one last time. She sent a man who loved me, though I had rejected him many times, to find me. She knew that he wouldn’t rest until he found my location.”
Deep breath. Harry Potter. Not Tom Riddle.
“He tracked me into the forest where I had been hiding. When I refused to go back with him, he became violent.”
I was Helena Ravenclaw. I had stolen the diadem. I had run to Albania. I had rejected the Baron, and paid with my life.
“The Baron always was a hot-tempered man. Infuriated at my refusal, and jealous of my freedom, he stabbed me.”
“The Baron? You don’t mean—”
“The Bloody Baron.” I lifted aside my dress to reveal a dark wound in my chest.
“When he realized what he had done, he was overcome with remorse. He took the weapon that he had used to kill me and used it to kill himself. All these centuries later, he still wears chains as an act of regret…as he should.”
“And…what about the diadem?” He asked. The diadem. They were all interested in the diadem.
Harry Potter. Not Tom Riddle.
“It stayed where I had hidden it when I heard the Baron. In a hollow inside a tree.” I told him.
“A tree? Which tree? Where was it?”
“A forest in Albania. A lonely place that was far beyond my mother’s reach.”
“Albaina…you’ve already told this story to someone else, haven’t you?”
I closed my eyes. Instead of Harry in front of me, I saw Tom. Tom, coercing the location of my precious diadem out of me.
“I had…no idea…he was…flattering. He could…understand…and sympathize.”
He muttered something. He seemed to be lost in thought, until he burst out, “—the night he asked for the job!”
“Excuse me?” I asked. And he started blabbering about Tom and asking for some job, then he ran off around the corner.
I was bewildered, but I soon figured it out. He had said that he wanted to kill Tom—Tom couldn’t be killed unless the horcruxes were destroyed. Dumbledore knew that. Dumbledore spoke to Harry Potter often. Harry Potter—Luna had told me that he was hunting for something, and asked her to help. Harry Potter was destroying horcruxes.
I had helped Harry Potter like I had helped Tom Riddle—but this time, I knew there was no need to follow the boy who had the information. I knew where he would go—the Hidden Room. Harry Potter was going to kill Tom Riddle. His odds were low—I knew that without the diadem—but he would do it. I knew that he would kill Tom Riddle.
All these years later, I still walk the halls of Hogwarts. I see Harry Potter’s children in the halls, and students now seek me out to know about the diadem more than before. But it’s okay. Because I could give them all the information in the world and they would never find it. The diadem was gone. Destroyed, never to be seen again. And I was happy.
I was Helena Ravenclaw. Ghost of Ravenclaw. I had stolen my mother’s diadem. I had run to Albania. I had refused the baron, and paid with my life. I had come back and searched for the diadem for four hundred years, and failed. I had helped Tom Riddle become Lord Voldemort. I had helped Harry Potter. I had fulfilled my destiny to protect Hogwarts.
I was Helena Ravenclaw, and I was a hero.
Reviews would be great.
EDIT 12/9/11: I think I'm going to make this into a short-story collection instead of just a one shot. I'll keep the title the same, but it's going to be sort of just a little story of a lot of characters that don't really have their stories and what they were thinking set in stone.
EDIT 12/11/11: I changed my mind. I'm going to make one-shots like this into their own stories.
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