Chapter 56 // The Basilisk
Riddle opened his mouth wide and hissed — but we both understood what he was saying: ‘Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four.’
Slytherin’s gigantic stone face was moving. Horror struck, I saw his mouth opening, wider and wider, to make a huge black hole. And something was stirring inside the statue’s mouth. Something was slithering up from its depths. Harry grabbed my arm, pulling me closer.
‘I need you to take care of Ginny,’ he whispered, closing his eyes and backing away, pushing me in Ginny’s direction. ‘When you have an opening, you run.’
‘What?’ I reached for his hand, ‘Harry, I’m not leaving you here.’
‘Don’t look into its eyes,’ something huge hit the stone floor. I felt it shudder. I closed my eyes, backing away, moving slowly in Ginny’s direction. I knew what was happening, I could sense it, could almost see the giant serpent uncoiling itself from Slytherin’s mouth. Then I heard Riddle’s hissing voice: ‘Kill him.’
I reached Ginny, looking at the ground as I opened my eyes again. I grabbed her arms and started pulling her to the side of the chamber, out of harms way. I slowly looked up, wanting to see what was happening. The basilisk was moving toward Harry. Harry started running blindly sideways, his hands outstretched. Voldemort was laughing. Harry tripped. The serpent was so close to him. Voldemort started sweeping the basilisk up, urging it to kill Harry. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. If I was indeed Tom Riddles daughter, Slytherin's blood ran through my veins too. So I did the only thing I could think off. I closed my eyes and embraced my inner Slytherin.
‘Stop!’ I hissed, hoping the snake would react. It raised it’s head in confusion and I closed my eyes before he looked into mine. 'Don't kill him.'
‘Why do you listen to her, you fool! I said kill him!’ but the damage was done. There was a loud, explosive spitting sound. The enormous serpent had raised itself high in the air and its great blunt head was weaving drunkenly between the pillars. The bird was soaring around its head, and the basilisk was snapping furiously at him. The bird dived, and his long, golden beak sank into the snake’s eyes, showering the floor with dark blood.
‘Leave the boy,’ I hissed again, confusing the snake even more, 'I am the true heir of Slytherin. Obey me.'
‘NO!’ I heard Riddle screaming. ‘LEAVE THE BIRD! DON’T LISTEN TO THE GIRL! THE BOY IS BEHIND YOU. YOU CAN STILL SMELL HIM. KILL HIM!’
The blinded serpent swayed, confused, still deadly.
‘Help me, help me,’ Harry was muttering wildly, ‘someone — anyone…’
The snake’s tail whipped across the floor again. Harry ducked. I raised my wand, ready to cast some spells, but Harry was in the way. I couldn’t reach the snake without hurting him too. The basilisk had swept the Sorting Hat into Harry’s arms. Harry rammed it onto his head and threw himself flat onto the floor as the basilisk’s tail swung over him again. If the situation wasn’t so deadly serious I would have face-palmed myself. Suddenly, he grabbed the top of the hat to pull it off and he pulled out a gleaming silver sword out of the hat, its handle glittering with rubies the size of eggs.
‘KILL THE BOY! LEAVE THE BIRD! THE BOY IS BEHIND YOU. SNIFF — SMELL HIM.’
The basilisk’s head was falling, its body coiling around, hitting pillars as it twisted to face Harry again. It lunged blindly. I dropped down in front of Ginny, shielding her with my body as Harry dodged. He raised the sward in both his hands and threw himself at the basilisk, driving the hilt into the roof of the serpent’s mouth.