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Free Life Posted on 8/16/2014 1:03:46 AM
Chapter 7: 4000 words and counting
Hero Posted on 3/25/2012 7:32:33 PM
Chapter 6 Chance and Choice: 3,600 words and counting
Long Lost Brother Posted on 4/21/2010 2:57:30 PM
Chapter 5: 0 words and counting.

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Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to the franchise.

Author's Note: Well, I meant to have this posted shortly after the first three, but various distractions came up over the past couple weeks that kept me away from it. The next one shouldn't take as long. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the story, and thank you to Maggie for her beta work. Enjoy.

Chapter 4: When Basilisks Attack
"This is a bad idea, Harry," she protested even as she followed directly behind him.

"We can't just let her die!" Harry insisted without slowing his pace.

"We should go to a professor. McGonagall or Flitwick. They'll know what to do," she persisted. If she thought he'd wait for even a moment, she would already have run off to do so, but there was no stopping Harry once his mind was set. Nothing short of Stunning him would keep him from his chosen task.

"They can't do anything," he countered. "They'll probably just send us back to our common room without even listening. Just like last year."

She could hardly fault his logic. McGonagall had let them down in a big way last year. With Dumbledore out of the castle, there was no one left who knew her true identity. Could they risk going to another professor and being forcefully escorted back to their common room? If the monster of the chamber was what they suspected, Harry’s ability to speak to snakes could help avoid a lot of extra trouble. But that left the ‘heir’ to deal with. Assuming it was a student, she could probably deal with the heir herself, but there was no guarantee. And in doing so she might end up giving herself away to Harry. But she would never be able to forgive herself if she allowed an eleven-year-old girl to die just to maintain her cover.

In a tense silence they made their way down to the second-floor girls’ bathroom which seemed to be the center of all the mysterious activity in the castle this year. They spent several minutes questioning Myrtle, the preteen ghost, about her death. She wished she could throttle the ghost to get over herself and get to the point, but she restrained herself from any sort of outburst as Harry deftly stroked the girl’s ego and got her to talk about her death. The girl finally confirmed their suspicions that the entrance to the chamber lay in that very bathroom.

Her story pointed toward the sinks, and, after investigating, they found a small carved snake in the stonework. “You must need to use Parseltongue to open it,” she suggested.

Harry stared intently at the snake carving before finally hissing at it.

They both stepped back at the sound of stone grinding on stone as a deep, curved hole opened before them.

“Maybe we should go get a professor now,” she suggested. “Now that we’ve found the chamber, they’ll have to listen to us.”

Harry looked torn. “There may not be time,” he finally said. “You go. Bring whichever professors you can find. I’ll try to save her or at least stall for time so help can arrive.”

“I am not leaving you,” she insisted emphatically. She growled deep in her throat and grunted, “Damnit!” With that, she took the plunge and jumped into the hole.

“Hey, wait!” she heard Harry’s voice call.

It was a long descent down the slimy stone path before it finally leveled out and she came flying out of a hole and landed in a pile of what appeared to be rodent bones. She quickly scrambled out of the way and not a moment too soon as Harry came flying out of the hole and tumbled through the bones as well.

When Harry regained his feet, they cleaned their robes as best they could and then lit their wands and moved cautiously forward. When they came across the humongous snake skin, she began seriously doubting her decision not to stun Harry earlier and drag him off to a professor. They were in too deep now, though.

They soon came to another Parseltongue activated door which opened up to reveal a massive chamber. Lying in the middle of the chamber, an enormous statue towering over her, lay Ginny Weasley.

Harry rushed into the chamber and skidded in his knees to stop in front of her. His wand dropped from his hand and skidded across the chamber floor. She saw a young man step out from behind a pillar and bend to pick it up. Tonks quickly summoned the wand and caught it in her off hand. Pointing her wand at the new arrival, she demanded, “Who are you?”

The young man stepped fully out into the light of the chamber, and Tonks noticed something odd about him. He was partially see-through. And his steps made no sounds. Harry turned around at her question. The not-fully-corporeal boy dismissed her and turned his full attention to Harry.

“Harry Potter,” he stated, drawing the name out. “I’ve heard all about you.”

As the boy continued to monologue, she could not help but begin to panic in her mind. Could things get any worse? They weren't just dealing with some student. No, it was some artifact of You-Bloody-Know-Who possessing a student and stealing her life-force. Brilliant!

She tried cursing the specter while his attention was still focused on Harry, but all her spells passed right through it. All her efforts earned her was a sneer as he mocked, "How could you, a common witch hope to harm the greatest wizard who ever lived?"

Harry, bless his heart, quickly insisted that Dumbledore was the greatest wizard in the world, being the only wizard that You-Know-Who ever feared. She was distracted from the conversation and felt her hopes soar when she heard the phoenix song but was disappointed that Dumbledore had not come to their rescue. Instead, his phoenix showed up with nothing but the Sorting Hat to aid them.

The boy-who-would-become-a-dark-lord finally turned to the giant statue of Slytherin and hissed something, causing a large passage to open. She could hear movement inside and knew what was coming.

"Harry, shut your eyes!" she shouted. She turned her head away and focused on the incorporeal Tom Riddle. She may not be able to curse him, but perhaps she could limit the damage he could cause. She quickly, silently, cast an area silencing spell around Riddle. "Talk to the basilisk, Harry," she stated. "See if you can get it to leave us alone."

She heard some hissing back and forth before another voice interrupted. "Foolish girl. Did you honestly think that would work?" Without waiting for an answer, Riddle began hissing to the basilisk as well.

"Uh oh," Harry finally muttered.

"What is it?" she questioned, blindly making her way towards him.

"Well, it seems to be very hungry," he stated.

"So offer to bring it food if it helps us," Tonks suggested.

"I have. And so has he," Harry answered. "But - run!"

He grabbed her arm and turned her around, pulling her behind him. She quickly started running to keep up. "She said she'd rather just eat the lot of us," Harry explained as they ran behind some pillars.

She could hear the basilisk slithering behind them in pursuit when suddenly the phoenix gave a cry, followed by an unholy shriek coming from the basilisk. She risked a glance and saw the phoenix had clawed out the snake's eyes.

"It's safe to look," she said both to herself and to Harry.

"What do we do now?" he asked.

"I don't know," she replied honestly. Even if she used her full repertoire of spells, she wasn't sure she could take down a basilisk. Their scales were supposed to be highly resistant to magic.

"Maybe this can help," Harry stated, putting the hat on his head.

He stood still for a moment before she heard a thud followed by his loud, "Ouch." A sword tumbled out from the hat and clattered to the ground at their feet.

"What are we supposed to do with that?" she muttered in frustration. "That bloody snake is huge!"

"We need to run," Harry said. "Now!"

They set off at a run, back towards the entrance to the chamber. "It can still smell us," Harry said in-between breaths.

She shot off a couple blasting curses at the basilisk, but they seemed to do little good, simply bouncing off its hide. The beast opened its maw wide, hissing menacingly at her, and she got an idea. If its scales protected it from magic, she needed to get past those scales. The only way to do that was to get a spell into the serpent's mouth.

She shot more spells at it, hoping to elicit another hiss from the snake, and after a handful of spells, she got what she wanted. Her blasting curse was right on target, but the snake whipped its head to the side at the last second to avoid the spell.

"Kaylee!" Harry shouted.

She turned and saw that he had run well past her but was now turned back in her direction.

"Go on, Harry," she shouted. "I'll distract them and catch up."

"I'm not leaving you!" Harry yelled back, jogging back to her position as the basilisk once again advanced on them.

"Bugger," she muttered. He was too bloody noble for his own good. How was she supposed to protect him when he insisted on trying to protect her?

The basilisk rose up above her, and she froze. The beast was too close now to try to outrun it. It was just too fast.

As it towered above her, the snake opened its mouth in preparation to plunge down at her, and she shot off another curse. But it was a feint. The snake ducked the spell, and she felt the side of its head impact her chest, hurling her clean off her feet and into a stone pillar. Her vision blacked out momentarily as she struggled to regain her senses.

"Kaylee!" Harry shouted again, and she could hear his footsteps echoing oddly in her mind.

"Harry, no!" she screamed, as her vision finally cleared. There before her stood the savior of the wizarding world wielding nothing but a sword.

As the basilisk struck at Harry, its jaws opened wide for the kill, Harry stood his ground and thrust the sword into its mouth. She lost sight of Harry and feared for the worst. She had failed. She had failed her friend. Failed her job. Harry Potter was dead.

The basilisk suddenly jerked and toppled over, sending up a cloud of dust and rubble. As the dust began to settle, she saw a figure still standing.

"Harry!" she called, scrambling to her feet and rushing over to him.

As she approached, a clang sounded as he dropped the sword from his grip. Harry stumbled to the ground, clutching at his arm. As she approached, she saw him pull a fang out of his flesh, and she felt her legs go weak. Basilisk venom was one of the most potent poisons in the world.

"Harry," she called through a sob, sliding behind him and hugging him to her chest.

"We did it," he said to her, his voice sounding weak.

"You did it," she corrected, squeezing him tightly.

"You need to make sure Ginny makes it out," Harry stated. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what?" she asked.

"For leaving you," he said. He was growing paler by the second.

"No, you can't!" she screamed.

"So the Boy-Who-Lived, savior of the wizarding world is no more." She whipped her head around to the approaching figure. He was looking more solid than he had minutes before. "He may have killed my basilisk, but in just minutes I will be fully reborn, and the world will once again tremble under the power of Lord Voldemort. You, girl, will be the first victim in the new war. Well, after these two, of course."

Just then a burst of phoenix song rang through the air, and she saw Fawkes circling overhead. The phoenix swooped down and landed next to them. It leaned its head over Harry, and she saw tears form in the bird's eyes. Her eyes followed as the tears fell, landing right on the wound left by the basilisk's fang. It took her mind a moment to process what she was seeing and remember that phoenix tears had amazing healing properties.

"Get out of here, you bloody bird!" Riddle screamed, kicking at the phoenix. His leg went right through, but Fawkes screeched angrily and flew away.

Just then, Harry began to stir in her arms. He was alive!

"So, the hero yet lives. No matter," Riddle stated. "Just a couple more minutes, and I'll kill the both of you myself."

Fawkes gave another cry as he flew overhead and dropped something right beside them. It was the diary Riddle was using to control Ginny. She felt Harry move again and saw him reach out to grasp the basilisk fang. He raised it weakly over his head, and she and Riddle seemed to realize what he was about to do at the same moment.


Harry plunged the fang into the diary, and Tonks held his chest to keep him from toppling forward with the effort. Riddle let loose an unholy scream as the diary began bleeding black ink. A bright light seemed to encompass him, too bright to look at. She shielded her eyes until the intensity of the light began to fade and then suddenly vanished.

When she looked back up she could see between the spots in her eyes that Riddle was gone. A huge wave of relief swept through her, and she collapsed backwards, bringing Harry with her until they were both lying on the stone floor. She hugged Harry tightly, hardly daring to believe that he had actually survived, that they had won. "Don't ever scare me like that again," she whispered into his hair.

Just then she heard movement coming from nearby. She lifted her head towards the sound and saw the Weasley girl beginning to stir. She sighed in relief and let her head fall back to the stone, wincing in pain at the impact.

Taking a deep breath, she said, "Come on, hero. Let's go finish saving the day."


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