"Ginny.. Ginny, it's time to wake up". Dimly the words found their way through her mind as Ginny Weasly woke up. The young redhead shook her head slightly, disoriented. It wasn't her bedroom, and that wasn't her mother's voice. She looked through bleary eyes, still half asleep and realized that they were at the Leaky Cauldron, the inn at the entrance to Diagon Alley, and the voice was that of Hermione Granger, a family friend, and at least for this past night, her roommate as they prepared to go to Hogwarts.
With a start, Ginny felt her pillow, and flipped it over. By this point, she was used to waking up to a wet pillow, but she didn't think that she wanted Hermione to know. It seemed like forever since she hadn't woken up with her pillow soaked with tears, though, somewhere she knew it was only a few months. Every night the horror came back to her, the memories. The memories... memories of calling the basilisk to attack.. to attack Mrs. Norris, to attack Nearly Headless Nick, and to attack the girl that was standing across from her in the room. Everyone told her it wasn't her fault, that it was Voldemort using her, but that didn't purge the memories from her mind, that didn't take the pain from her soul. She had spent all summer wanting to scream and cry, but she hadn't. She found herself unable to talk about what had happened. She couldn't talk to her brothers, she didn't think any of them would understand. Her parents? She knew she should talk to them, but somehow, all summer long, every time she went to say something to them, something else came out of her mouth. She just couldn't find a way to share the pain. So, she didn't scream, and she didn't cry, except at night, when there was nothing but her and her dreams.
Dully, she packed her clothes in the suitcase, ready to go back to school. A year ago, the trip to Hogwarts seemed so exciting, so special. Now, she could barely stand to think about the trip. To walk the hallways of the school. To see the doorway to Myrtle's bathroom, knowing what lay beneath it. The sights, the smells, all of it now was tainted. The only part that she looked forward to was the opportunity to see Harry. She may not ever be able to say what she wanted, but something about him, and being around him gave her comfort and strength.
Well, the day passed by, and she sat along on the Hogwart's Express. She wasn't ready to sit with Harry, Hermione and her brother, but she didn't really have any other close friends in school, so she sat, wrapped up in her cloak and watched the endless miles of the moors roll by. Eventualy, after long hours and even longer miles, she felt herself begin to nod off, but before she quite made it to the dubious pleasures of sleep, the lurching motion of the train woke her up. The train was stopping, but why? They shouldn't be there yet.. and now, the lights where out. She got up from her booth on the train, finding her way back to the car where her brother Ron was. Somehow, she knew she didn't want to be alone. The train was in a panic, students going up and down the passageway, running into each other, stepping on each other's feet. Finally though, she found her way back to Ron's car, and after a few moments of fumbling and stumbling, found a seat to sit in. Somehow, knowing there were friends here, she didn't feel so bad.
But, that good feeling didn't last long, not at all. A slow
wave of terror began to rise in her throat. She couldn't understand it,
but she was terrified. All at once, a dim shape appeared at the door
of the car. Ginny couldn't make it out, couldn't see what it was,
as she was flooded with feelings, feelings she couldn't keep down, no matter
how hard she tried.
She found herself there agian, in the depths of the chamber. That boy... Tom Riddle stood before her. "Oh, yes, yes Ginny, you have served me well, better than you think, you silly little girl." She could understand the words, but somehow to her they sounded as much like a snakes hiss as human speech. "Come, join me Ginny, become part of me, give me your strength" Tom said, as he ran a cold finger under the line of her jaw. The sensation was indescribable. She was helpless to run, to scream to cry out. Some part of her didn't want to even, but even so, the feeling was terribly painful. Where that finger touched her, she felt cold and dead, as if the very life were being sucked from her. Every time Tom touched her, everytime that cold hand reached out to her, it changed, it became more and more like that of a snake. Skin turned to scales, and the eyes of Tom became more and more slitted, his toungue more and more forked. "Yes, just a little bit more Ginny, a little bit more of your life, and I will live again" the snakeman hissed. The reptilian hands reached out for her once again, taking her by the shoulders, and she knew that in a moment she would be no more. In the depths of her soul she screamed.. but knew no one could hear it.
As she began to scream though, the world changed again. She was back in the train, and some older man was standing at the front of the car, his wand out. Everyone else was standing over Harry, looking at him. Ginny sank back into her chair, finally unable to control her tears, as they came flooding out. She was still sobbing quietly, when she felt Hermione put an arm over her shoulder and hold her.
Hermione gently held Ginny. She had heard Ginny's sobs all the night
before, but wasn't sure what to say. She had wanted to ask Mrs. Weasly
about it, but just didn't get the chance with the rush to get on the train
in the morning. Now though, as she held her young friend, she could
only wonder, what horror was tormenting her.