Out of Shadows
Writter: fall shadow
Summary: Harry has been raised to follow a path of darkness, but when he meets Hermione things start to change and he finds out everything he has been led to believe is a lie. Now, with a strengthened resolve, he must do whatever it takes to stop the one he once considered his master.
The slope of the tunnel slowly changed and Harry felt himself sliding along as Hermione was pressed against his side. His eyes couldn’t focus due to the alarming pace at which they were racing down the pipe. Without warning, the slide ended and they shot out of the tube, landing with a series of crunches.
Pushing himself up and readjusting his glasses, Harry reached over to help Hermione up. The floor of the small cavern seemed to be completely covered in tiny skeletons.
Hermione made a noise of disgust as she noticed.
“They look like rodent bones,” she whispered.
“What sort of monster would get its fill on mice and rats?” Harry asked.
After sharing a concerned but confused glance, they exited the area into a large tunnel. There seemed to be pipes and tunnels all connecting to the bigger one that they had first come to. The gray, stone walls looked slick and the whole area felt damp.
“We must be really far under Hogwarts,” Harry whispered.
“I think we might be underneath the Black Lake,” Hermione commented, looking around cautiously.
Following what they guessed was the main route they eventually came to a wall with two snakes decorating it.
Although it looked like a dead end, Harry got the strong sense that it wasn’t.
“This is it,” he said quietly. “This is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.”
Harry looked over at Hermione and her eyes quickly found him. After a few moments of silence, he broke her gaze.
“How do we open it?” he asked.
“Speak in Parseltongue again,” Hermione suggested suddenly.
“I don’t-” Harry began, but Hermione immediately interrupted, seeing the look on his face.
“Just look at the snakes on the wall. Focus on them like you did with the snake on the sink,” she instructed.
Harry shot her a skeptical look, realizing that even she didn’t sound sure of her idea, but did as she asked.
He narrowed his focus to one of the serpents. It really did look quite realistic, with bright emerald eyes.
“Open,” he said, feeling slightly ridiculous. This time, since he was more aware of it, he noticed that his voice came out strange and sounding similar to a hiss.
To his surprise, it seemed to work.
The wall rumbled and then split in the middle and the two halves slid apart. Harry and Hermione shared a look and gripped their wands tighter. Facing the entrance and taking a breath in unison, they walked into the lair countless others had searched for, the Chamber of Secrets.
They entered a large, dimly lit room. Tall, stone pillars adorned with snakes rose higher than Harry could see. The whole chamber had an eerie, green glow, and shadows were cast along the floor and walls.
Harry’s eyes quickly scanned the chamber, searching for any sign of movement. Across the area, he saw a figure standing in front of some sort of enormous statue. Unable to tell who it was but realizing that they must have noticed their entrance, Harry ran forward, wand ready.
Harry recognized Draco Malfoy just after hearing him shout.
“Malfoy!” Harry called out, stopping several feet from the young Death Eater. “What have you done?” he asked in horror, noticing that Draco was not the only one in the chamber.
He heard Hermione gasp.
“Ginny!” she yelled, rushing to her friend’s side. Ginny was lying on the floor, her red hair surrounding her face, in stark contrast to the dark and gloomy floor of the chamber.
Harry kept his wand pointed at Draco.
“Relax,” Malfoy breathed out, sounding anything but relaxed, “she’s only knocked out.”
Hermione’s eyes looked up at Draco, blazing angrily.
“What did you do to her?” she demanded fiercely. “Why did you take her here?”
“She ran into me, and I couldn’t let her run and tell a teacher what I was doing,” Malfoy hurriedly explained. “You shouldn’t be here.”
Draco looked like a mess; he was covered in sweat, with his white dress shirt clinging to him in some places and his breath uneven. He looked like a muggle who had seen a ghost.
A noise startled Harry, and his eyes found a small book on the floor of the Chamber with a black cover. The pages were flipping as if a strong wind was blowing through the dim, underground lair.
“N-no,” Draco said, his eyes wide with panic. He was slowly backing away from the book as if it was going to attack him.
“Potter, the monster,” Malfoy panted, turning to look at Harry with a wild look in his eyes, “it’s a basilisk. Don’t look it in the eyes, it- ugh!”
Draco suddenly stopped speaking and looked as though he had been punched in the gut. The fear slowly drained from his features. Hermione helped Ginny up and away from Malfoy; Harry guessed that she must have revived her friend while he was focused on the young Death Eater.
“Ginny, go and get help,” Hermione instructed quickly. “Follow the main tunnel- it will lead you to a large slope that ends up in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. She was supposed to be going to get McGonagall.”
“No, Hermione-” Ginny started to protest.
“Ginny, please, go! We might need more help!” Hermione said.
“Alright,” her friend relented. “Be careful,” she said to them before turning and heading toward the exit of the Chamber as fast as she could after just waking up from unconsciousness.
Draco now looked like he was in a trance; his eyes were glazed over and he was posture was stiff and awkward. He turned toward the large statue in the Chamber and raised a hand.
“Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four,” Malfoy said in a voice that sounded entirely different than his own.
“Parseltongue!” Hermione whispered next to him, her surprise evident.
The sound of stone sliding against stone reached their ears for several seconds, and they watched as the mouth of the statue opened.
“Don’t look at it,” Harry whispered hurriedly. “Malfoy said not to look it in the eyes.”
“What are we supposed to do, then?” Hermione asked, forcing herself to turn her head away.
“Harry Potter,” the possessed Draco spoke, “I never imagined I would find you here, like this, but it will be my pleasure to show the power of the heir of Slytherin!”
With their eyes averted, they tried to rely on their ears. They heard something hit the ground back toward the statue.
“Come on,” Harry said, grabbing Hermione’s hand. “We need to put some distance between us and that thing.”
Together, they dashed back toward the entrance of the Chamber.
“Kill them,” Harry heard the cold voice command in Parseltongue through Draco’s body.
“Get the girl first, if you can,” he said.
Harry felt anger flare up in him.
Why would he tell it to go for Hermione first? It’s me he really wants.
“Do you know anything about basilisks?” Harry asked breathlessly. “Malfoy said that’s what it was, before he got possessed.
“A basilisk!” Hermione all but shrieked. “That explains why the heir of Slytherin can control it- it’s a snake!”
“Not the time, Hermione,” Harry told her through gritted teeth, pulling her behind a pillar as he heard the snake gaining on them.
“Do you know how to kill it?” Harry asked.
The basilisk hit part of the pillar they had dodged behind, and Harry heard stone crashing and raining down onto the floor of the Chamber. Quickly, he pulled Hermione further away.
“Umm…” Hermione anxiously tried to remember what she had read about the beast before. “Oh! Roosters! The cry of a rooster is fatal to it!”
“Wonderful,” Harry responded without enthusiasm, “where do you expect us to find a rooster?”
Harry heard a shout from the direction of Malfoy and the book. Thinking on his feet, he turned them back toward Draco.
A loud noise behind them told him that the beast was still following them. Thankfully, it wasn’t very agile and couldn’t keep up with their quick turns. But Harry knew it wouldn’t last.
He looked toward Malfoy. The Slytherin was knelt down, supporting himself on one knee with a hand on the ground, panting. Above the book, the faint outline of a young man was glowing, slowly taking shape.
Hermione shot a spell behind them, daring to glance back enough to guess where to aim, and brought down two pillars on top of the basilisk. Harry knew instinctively that it wasn’t dead, but he hoped that would slow it down as he reached Draco’s side.
“What’s going on?” Harry asked him quickly.
“The diary- it’s His,” Draco said with difficulty, not needing to specify who he meant. “I think it’s been… controlling me,” he admitted. “He told me to bring it to Hogwarts, to write in it, to do as it instructed. But,” he gasped and Harry heard something like a voice from near the diary, “I don’t remember doing some of… what it said.”
What little energy the youngest Malfoy had left was clearly draining fast as he fell to both hands and knees.
Laughing from somewhere next to them was shortly followed by a voice, “My basilisk will kill you, Harry Potter!”
Sensing the monster closing in behind him, Harry shoved Hermione forward and dove after her. He felt a tug on his right hand and arm.
The sound of cracking, splintering wood reached his ears. He had barely avoided the basilisk, but it had destroyed the wand Harry had been using for a few months now.
“What do we do?” Harry asked Hermione as he pulled her up and they continued their tiring game of chase. “It got my wand.”
“I don’t know…” Hermione said, out of breath now. She shot a spell over her shoulder blindly, hoping it might cause some damage but having little confidence that it would really help them.
Suddenly, Hermione stopped and Harry nearly ran straight into her back.
“Colin…” she said in a quiet voice.
There, off to one side of the Chamber, just a few feet in front of them, was a perfect statue of a boy holding a camera. From what Harry could see of his facial expression, he looked horrified. Regaining his senses from the frightening discovery, Harry pushed them to the side as the huge snake lunged at them.
The side of its head just clipped Harry’s shoulder, and he was thrown sideways into Hermione, knocking them both to the ground.
Pushing himself up off of the floor of the Chamber, he watched helplessly as the basilisk crashed into the statue.
Harry froze. As if in slow motion he watched the statue shatter. Distantly, he could hear the crashing of stone and the cry of the snake.
Noticing almost too late that the snake was turning its head, Harry turned away and shielded Hermione’s eyes, which were also fixed on where Colin’s statue had been.
With effort, they pulled themselves up and tried to keep their distance from the snake. Harry knew this couldn’t last much longer; they were both tired and so far they had only gotten lucky because the basilisk was so large and not as quick.
“What… happened?” Harry asked, figuring she would know he meant about the statue and not wanting to waste more time or breath.
“I think I read before that its gaze only kills you if you look at it directly…” she explained.
“Since he saw it through his camera,” she hesitated, clearly upset, “it only petrified him.”
“I’m sorry,” Harry told her honestly. But he didn’t wait to get back to the problem at hand, “Do you have any ideas?”
“What if we try to cover its eyes? Then we won’t be able to see them and it wouldn’t hurt us to look at it. We can’t really fight back if we can’t see it,” she said in a rush.
“Good plan,” Harry agreed, following her behind a pillar and unexpectedly seeing the front of the beast instead of the back.
“No!” he shouted, yanking Hermione back toward him, hoping she hadn’t looked up.
“We need to get it into one of the smaller tunnels,” Hermione said. “If it has this much room to move around, I’ll never be able to cover it.”
“I’ll be the decoy, then,” Harry told her. “You hide and I’ll get it to follow me, then you come up alongside it and drop something on it to cover its eyes.”
“Harry, that-” he could hear the protest of ‘that’s too dangerous’ in her voice and cut her off immediately.
“We don’t have time!” he countered. “Go that way,” he directed, letting her run behind a pillar as he continued straight, hoping the monster would pursue him.
“You can’t catch me,” he yelled recklessly.
Hermione had pulled out a black cloak from her magic bag and was making it grow to a huge size as the monster followed Harry.
Deeper into the Chamber, in front of the statue of Salazar Slytherin, Draco was struggling with the little black diary.
“Hurry up, Hermione!” Harry yelled to her.
Grabbing up the cloak in her hands, she ran after Harry alongside the basilisk.
Running as fast as his legs would still carry him, Harry sprinted down the first slightly smaller tunnel that branched off from the huge main pipe. He could still hear the snake right on his heels.
His stomach dropped as he reached a dead end. Skidding to a halt before slamming into the bars covering the pipe, Harry panted heavily, both from physical exertion and panic. He was trapped.
“Harry!” Hermione called from somewhere behind him, and Harry sensed the basilisk pause in its movements. It had been instructed to get her first, if possible…
The monster must have decided that this opportunity was too good to pass up, however. It focused its attention back on Harry, who now gripping the bars desperately, forcing himself not to turn around.
Just then, he heard Hermione’s voice saying a spell and the sound of fabric shuffling a few feet behind him.
“I did it!” she called to Harry. “Its eyes are covered! But you have to get out of there!”
Harry heard the beast thrashing around behind him, probably trying to shake off the cover. Taking a breath and trusting Hermione, Harry turned around and saw that its eyes were covered by a large black cloth draped over nearly its whole head.
“Brilliant!” Harry called back, realizing a second too late that the basilisk could still hear.
It stopped flailing and turned directly toward him.
Adrenaline flooded Harry’s body as he realized it was about to strike. Thinking fast, he crouched down and made noise against the floor of the pipe and lower bars. When the basilisk dove forward, down at the ground where the sounds had been, Harry leapt up.
Amazingly, he got just enough height in the jump to get a foot on the basilisk’s head. Now using his hands, too, he pulled himself onto its head, intending to run back to the Chamber as the monster tried to awkwardly back up. There was enough space in the smaller tunnel above the monster that if he crouched down a bit, he could walk on its back.
In a split second, his fear started to ease as he saw his way out.
But just as Harry got both feet on top of the basilisk, it reared its head up and Harry was slammed into the pipe overhead, his back taking the brunt of the blow.
“Harry!” Hermione shouted as Harry landed limply on the covered head of the basilisk.
The last thing he saw was the terrified expression on her face.
Loud crashing reached Harry’s ears uncomfortably as his head throbbed. He pushed himself up enough to see what was going on, his back protesting in pain.
Hermione was blasting spells off the walls of the Chamber, presumably to keep the attention of the blindfolded basilisk trailing her.
Seeing that Harry had regained consciousness, she called out to him.
“Get your cloak out of my bag!” she instructed, throwing the small, magic bag to him as she ducked behind a pillar.
Harry caught it, sitting up to a crouch and reached in, hoping he could easily find the cloak. Feeling something soft, he pulled and found the Sorting Hat in his hand instead.
Glancing up, he saw Hermione backed into a corner by the basilisk. Her back was to a large pile of rubble created in the Chamber earlier when she had brought several pillars down on the beast, and now, she had nowhere else to go.
From that far away, and with no wand, Harry was powerless to stop it.
“No!” he shouted, hearing his voice break.
Hermione dove to the side, dodging its first attack, but now she was on the ground and there was nothing to stop it from striking this time.
He had to do something. He had to help her.
But he couldn’t.
A wave of emotions hit him hard as he stood rooted to the spot, watching as she backed away from the basilisk. In seconds it was going to attack again. He had never felt so powerless, so helpless.
As the basilisk drew back, preparing to strike, a yell from deeper into the Chamber halted it.
Tearing his eyes from Hermione as the snake hesitated, he saw Draco and, to his great surprise, Dobby, struggling with the diary.
“Get them away from me!” the voice from the diary commanded. “Kill them!”
The basilisk turned, obeying its master, and swiftly closed the gap between itself and the offenders.
Harry turned his attention back to Hermione and ran to her side, the Sorting Hat still in his hand but forgotten.
“Hermione! Hermione, are you alright?” he asked frantically, kneeling down next to her.
She looked dazed and scared as Harry reached down to help her sit up.
“I think I’m alright,” she said, her voice shaking slightly. He could hear the confidence she was trying to put in it to reassure him.
The relief he felt was so strong it made him a little light-headed; he had been so sure she was going to die.
“I-I was so scared,” he admitted, realizing that he was shaking. “It was coming toward you and I couldn’t do anything and I thought-”
“Harry,” Hermione interrupted, “it’s coming back! Where’s my wand?”
He turned to see the basilisk slithering quickly toward them as Hermione searched the ground nearby for her wand.
Dobby was chasing after the monster, yelling and waving his arms. His eyes spotted Draco lying on the floor back by the statue of Slytherin.
“No,” Hermione said next to him. Her wand had been knocked too far away by the basilisk’s previous attacks.
What do we do?
With no wands and no time to move, they were caught. Harry cursed himself for being careless and getting caught up in the relief that Hermione was alive.
Suddenly a glint of light caught Harry’s eye on the ground next to him. Something silver was sticking out of the Sorting Hat. Without giving it a second thought, Harry reached in and pulled the object out.
A long, shining silver sword slid out of the old hat. Acting on instinct, Harry moved in front of Hermione and slashed the sword just as the basilisk got within his reach.
Triumph elated him as the sword found its target, the force of the beast still knocking Harry back into the rubble next to Hermione.
Looking at the monster, he saw the black cloak slipping off- his slash had caused a long gash on the basilisk’s head, but it had also sliced right through the fabric hiding its eyes.
Before Harry could even think about shutting his eyes, he heard Dobby yell, “No!” and a bright light blinded him.
He heard the beast cry out in pain and Dobby’s gasp of fear.
Still unable to see anything but white light, Harry reached out for Hermione, remembering where she had been.
“No!” the voice from the diary weakly called. “The stupid elf- he may have blinded it, but it can still kill you!”
Dobby had blinded it? Did that mean they could look at it now?
His vision was slowly returning as a bright outline of objects, which was very disorienting. Having found Hermione, they helped each other up, staggering as their eyes readjusted.
“Potter!” Draco called out urgently. “Get over here!”
They made their way to Draco, who was now sitting up though it seemed like he was having a hard time of it.
“Attack where you hear them!” the diary voice hissed to the basilisk, and it stopped raging, turning around toward them with the focus of a predator moving in for the kill.
They froze, still several feet from him. The basilisk was approaching fast. Draco crawled and reached over to the diary as the giant snake came closer.
“Its eyes are destroyed; you can look at it now,” Draco said loudly.
“Malfoy, shut up!” Harry called, but the beast was focused on the first voice it had heard; it was going to take them one by one.
“Get that sword ready,” Draco demanded as the snake prepared to strike him.
Harry pushed away from Hermione and did as Draco asked. As expected, the Basilisk dove toward Malfoy, its sharp teeth bared.
In a swift movement, Draco spun around to face the basilisk, picking up the diary and holding in both hands, blocking its attack.
“No!” the voice from the diary yelled, but it was too late; two of the basilisks fangs had stabbed right through the little book.
Draco had executed his plan well, but he couldn’t stop the force of the giant beast’s attack.
Several fangs had pierced his arms.
“Now!” Malfoy yelled to Harry.
Tensing his muscles, Harry slashed forward with all his strength. The silver sword sliced right through the basilisk, a few feet from its head. There was no question whether or not the wound it caused would be fatal.
In seconds, the great monster of Slytherin fell to its side at the feet of his statue.
Draco was trembling, struggling to get his arms free of the lifeless beast.
Harry rushed over to him and helped pull him from the fangs. Trying not to look at the red seeping through Malfoy’s white sleeves and spreading fast, Harry helped him sit down.
“Do we have anything to help him?” Harry asked Hermione.
“No,” Hermione answered in a shaky voice. “From what I’ve read there is nothing known to help basilisk venom except phoenix tears. I’m sorry…”
“It’s alright,” Draco said. Despite the situation, his expression was somewhat peaceful.
Harry knelt next to him, not sure what to say.
“I never wanted to do this…” Draco admitted. “They are dead, because of me.” Harry knew he meant Colin, and- the thought struck him painfully- Dobby.
“You saved us,” Harry told him firmly. “If it wasn’t for you, we’d be dead, too.”
“I never liked you, Potter,” Draco said in a strained, weak voice that still held a bit of determination. His eyes were becoming unfocused and threatening to slip closed.
He blinked hard and looked Harry in the eyes with a challenging stare.
“Beat him,” Draco requested before his body slowly relaxed and his eyes closed, his forehead softly coming to rest on the floor of the Chamber of Secrets.