“Are you afraid of the dark?” Tom asked sarcastically.
“No.” Joanna narrowed her eyes at him before she stepped onto the edge of the pipe and slid down.
The only light that shone down the winding tube finally disappeared when the opening of the sink closed after Tom. Joanna was uncertain on where it was taking her, and just as she was about to shout a question to Tom, the pipe ended and Joanna landed on a damp floor.
As she got up and examined the place, Tom pulled out his wand, brightening up their surroundings just enough to see a passageway in front of them. The damp and musty walls gave her a forboding feeling, making her immediately regret coming down with him.
Joanna had to hold on to the back of Tom’s robes as they walked down the dark passageway. There were times Joanna thought she felt something scurrying by her feet and she would jump in response, only to have Tom laugh at her.
They finally stopped in front of a big door. It looked like one of those vault doors you would see in Gringotts, but the only difference was that there were 2 snakes. Not real ones of course, but metallic snakes, which green glowing eyes, that formed a lock.
Tom whispered 2 syllables in parseltongue and the door started to unlock with a hissing sound.
“Now when we enter the chamber, you need to do something,” Tom said as he slid his wand under his sleeve.
“What?” Joanna asked, squinting at the hissing door.
“You have to close your eyes and open ONLY when I tell you to,” Tom instructed. “Understand?”
“No time to ask why, just do as I tell you.” Tom sounded stern and Joanna obeyed. There was something in his voice that made others obey him, and Joanna was no different.
The hissing sound from the door finally stopped. Joanna took it as her cue and shut her eyes. She felt Tom’s hand grabbing on to hers as he led her forward.
As she took a few steps, she heard the door closing with the same hissing. Right then, she knew she was in some kind of a room. And it was brightly lit. She could also smell water as a cool breeze swept through her hair.
Joanna strained her ears to hear for anything else that might explain why she had to keep her eyes close and she did.
It started off as a soft hiss. But then it grew louder, and louder, painting an image of a giant snake. The ground vibrated as the giant snake slithered pass her, and when part of its cold, scaly body brushed passed her legs, Joanna jumped immediately.
“DON’T open your eyes,” Tom said in response.
Joanna pressed her eye lids tighter as she felt for more of Tom than just his hand. Tom, knowingly sensed her fear, pulled her closer and was seemingly conversing with the snake.
A few minutes later, Tom whispered into her ear, “You can open your eyes now.”
Joanna slowly opened her eyes, peeking behind Tom as she examined her surroundings. She knew she looked stupid but she was not a fan of snakes, 5 inches long or 10 feet tall.
“It’s gone,” Tom brawled.
Joanna nodded and stepped away from him. “This is the chamber of secrets. It was built by Salazar Slytherin,” Tom said, as though giving a tour.
“As you can see, there’s a statue of him right up front,” Tom continued comically. “These pillars are also carefully designed with an artistic touch to resemble snakes.”
Joanna couldn’t help but laugh. Her previous expression must have been rather unpleasant to have Tom trying to crack her up.
Tom waved for her as he headed towards the foot of the statue of the monkey looking man, and knelt on the floor beside a cauldron. Which Joanna assumed he had prepared earlier.
“Is the snake coming back?” Joanna asked as she sat across him.
“No, I told her not to come in here for a while.”
Tom took no delay as he started laying out the ingredients.
“Tom, are you sure-“
“We’re just making the potion, its not like I’m going to make a horcrux now,” Tom interrupted.
“Right.” Joanna nodded and started helping him prepare.
Tom, who was exceptionally well in potions, finally completed the disembodiment potion before sunrise. Joanna who had barely helped, sat playing with the remaining ingredients. She constantly wondered why he asked her to follow along, being that she was rather useless the whole time. But by the time they left the chamber of secrets, Joanna just wanted to fall into the cushions of her bed.
Tom was kind enough to walk her back to her common room, and this time, he waited for her to disappear behind the painting before he left.
As she entered the quiet and deserted common room, Joanna tip toed up into her bedroom, careful not to wake anyone. She was ready to hit the sack without even changing, when a thin leather covered book fell from under her robes.
That was when she remembered Tom asking her to help him hold on to it while he closed the chamber. And she never gave it back. It must have slipped her mind.
Curious of its contents, Joanna flipped it open, but all she found were empty pages. Blank, clean pages, which did not resemble it’s dirty, overused looking cover.
It was at that very moment she remembered her cousin saying something about books with secrets. And if it was a book of secrets, it must be Tom’s diary. It’ll only take a while for her to figure out how to dig out everything in the book, as her cousin so conveniently showed her all the tricks in the book, but should she do it?
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should attempt at seeking out the contents of Tom’s diary!)