Title: The Diary
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything, as always.
Summary: Tom Riddle's diary is discovered after several long years of waiting. Written from Tom's PoV.
Word count: 1722
Not even I know for certain how long I have been confined to the pages of this diary, waiting for someone to open it. It may have been only a few years, or perhaps decades, or maybe even centuries. Time does not exist in a memory, so I have not been able to keep track. But it is no matter, for all I am able to do is wait — wait for a gullible student to happen upon this diary, wait for him to realise the magical powers (and there are many of them, so many that some days I yearn to use them to break free of the binds that hold me here) that these pages hold, wait for his trust in my words to build, enough so that I can take control of his mind... Oh yes, and once that happens, I will finally be able to fulfil my purpose: opening the Chamber of Secrets.
But I must check myself, for I'm getting carried away. There is only the slightest possibility that I will even fall into someone's hands, much less those of a child. A long time ago when this diary had just been created, I entrusted it to a loyal companion of mine, hoping that he would carry out the order I had given him regarding it: to smuggle it into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He swore that he would.
I now know, however, that a part of me was destroyed years ago (how many years I cannot be sure of, for as I have said, there is no such thing as time in this world), and now I worry what may have become of this diary. Did my friend remain loyal, even though he must have believed me to be dead? Did he obey my commands even though he thought he’d been freed of his bond to his master?
Ah — hold on — something is happening — the pages are being shuffled about — someone has discovered and opened this diary...
And suddenly, I look up to find the large brown eyes of a little girl gazing down at me. She cannot, of course, see me; I am without substance and thus indiscernible to the naked eye. But if you can even begin to imagine the excitement, the relief, the elation coursing through me...I have been found at last...
I observe her, taking in every detail of her young face. She is at most eleven years of age. A fair amount of freckles are smattered across her upturned nose, a striking contrast to her pale skin. Dark red waves of hair frame her face, and bring out the flecks of green in her hazel eyes. The innocence in those eyes delights me. She will be easy to persuade.
But first...first, I must find out who she is and whether she attends Hogwarts.
I watch, hoping and praying with every bit of my miserable existence that she will pick up a quill and bring it to these pages. That is the only way for us to communicate, you see — I can only reveal myself to the girl through ink, ink which she must supply.
I see her lips move; she must be speaking to herself. I know there is no one else in the room, for I understand very well how a child's mind works: she would not have wanted to open this diary up until she was truly alone. How thrilling it must be for her to finally have a journal to confess her thoughts to.
Little does she know how special this particular journal is.
Ah, she has picked up a quill and written something down: her name. Ginny Weasley. Quickly, I siphon the ink off the page and use it to form the words, 'Hello, Ginny,' which I spread across the page.
A look of shock crosses her pretty features. For a moment, she does nothing, and fear flames up inside of me. Is it possible that she may be so taken aback by the abilities of this diary that she decides to discard it out of fear?
But no, she is lowering the quill down to the page again. She writes, 'Who are you?'
'My name is Tom Riddle,' I answer. 'How old are you?'
She looks nervous. I hasten to add, "Don't be afraid of me, I won’t harm you — I'm merely a memory, stored in the pages of this diary. I cannot escape it."
Relief replaces the unease on her face, and she writes back, 'I'm eleven. How old are you?'
'This part of me, the one speaking to you right now, has, as I have told you, been preserved as a memory. This memory, then, is sixteen years of age.'
'Do you go to Hogwarts?'
'I did go to Hogwarts. I have long since graduated,' I write. Now, there is nothing to do but anxiously await her answer...
There is a pause. Then, she replies, 'Me too. I'm starting next month. My brothers all go to Hogwarts too.'
Happiness like I have never known floods through me. I would never have imagined Fate to be so kind, providing me with the perfect key...the perfect key to unlock the Chamber with. But finding sweet little Ginny is just the first step, I remind myself. There is still much to do, including the most difficult process of all: gaining her trust.
'Are you scared?' I ask.
I see a blush rise in her cheeks. How cute. It's a shame she'll be dead by the time the year is over...
'Yes,' she writes back. 'My brothers – I have six of them — keep teasing me about it and telling me that I'm going to be hexed on my first day. Mum always gets mad at them for it, and Dad tries to tell me that nothing like that will happen, but I'm still scared...mostly because of Harry Potter.'
My heart (or rather, what would have been my heart if I had one) skips a beat. Hardly daring to believe my eyes, I hurriedly scrawl, 'Did you say Harry Potter?'
'Yes, my brother Ron is best friends with him. I saw him this summer, but I was too scared to say anything. I want him to notice me, but at the same time I don't want to look stupid in front of him again!'
I am barely able to read the girl's response, for I'm dizzy, nearly hysterical, with jubilation. She knows Harry Potter! The chances were next to zero. I never would have dared to dream that I'd somehow find my way to Harry Potter, but this...oh, this changes everything. And suddenly, I see the path I need to take to get to my goal light up...She will need a friend to confide in her longing to capture famous Harry Potter's attention, and when she is all alone at Hogwarts, Tom Riddle will be there for her...
'I know of Harry Potter. Tell me more about him.'
'Oh, well, he's brilliant! Ron tells me that last year, he defeated You-Know-Who — he's this horrible, cruel wizard, but I suppose you've heard of him if you've heard of Harry — in getting to the Philosopher's Stone first. And he's so very nice! He said hello to me, but of course I ran off. And oh, he's so good-looking too. He has messy black hair and these wonderful bright green eyes and his smile makes me feel all faint inside.'
I hungrily absorb the information she gives me about Potter with the fervor of a malnourished child presented with food for the first time in months. But ah, she has stopped writing. I glance up at her to find that she has bowed her head to hide her embarrassment.
'There is no need to be embarrassed about telling me, Ginny,' I write, trying to make myself sound as kind as possible. 'Why are you too afraid to speak to him?'
It takes her a while to look up and realise that I've responded to her. I feel a twinge of annoyance at this, but I do my best to quash it — this is not the time to act irrationally — and read her reply.
'Well, you see, he's really famous. And not only that, my brothers keep making fun of me for liking him. They tell me that he's never going to notice me, and that he was only nice to me because he's friends with Ron.'
To my astonishment, a single tear slides out from the corner of one eye and down her pale, freckled cheek. For a second, I don't believe it; then, I am forced to admit to myself that the stupid girl is indeed crying.
I am not one to comfort a crying child — I have no tolerance for such signs of weakness — but I try my best and write to her, 'Give it time. He will begin to notice you soon enough.'
‘Thank you, Tom,’ she scribbles back. Her hand shakes as she writes the words.
If I could, I would laugh gleefully. Dear Ginny Weasley has proven herself to be emotionally unstable, and even easier to manipulate than I originally thought. For a moment, I marvel at my luck. Where else could I have found a better child?
‘Tom,’ she writes again. I eagerly absorb her words and wait for her to finish her sentence. ‘Tom, will you come to Hogwarts with me this term? I’m afraid I won’t make any friends, and if I don’t, at least I’ll have you.’
Almost instantly, I send back my response: ‘Of course, Ginny.’
Her pale little face brightens. She looks as though she’s about to add something else, but then she whips around to look over her shoulder. ‘I think Mum caught me up,’ she scrawls hastily. ‘I’ve got to go now. Thank you for being so wonderful, Tom.’
Darkness enfolds me once again, but my euphoria remains. With the girl as a catalyst, I’ll be inside Hogwarts’ walls in a mere month. The Chamber of Secrets will be opened again and the beast within released. My plan is foolproof. No one will ever suspect innocent little Ginny Weasley when the murders and bloodshed commence.
Then, after I have drained her body of its uses and possessed her soul, Lord Voldemort shall rise to full power once more.