The Monster Within
The Battle of Hogwarts is about to begin when Harry seeks out the Grey Lady on his search for the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. As she shares her secret with him, she remembers another boy, beautiful and charming, asking her the same questions almost a lifetime ago.
Prompts: The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde: Write about someone whose beauty is only skin-deep
1) (season) winter
2) (word) monster
3) (word) whisper
Word Count: 1.592
A/N: The parts written in italics are taken from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows''. We don’t get that much of a description of Tom’s looks in the book as far as I can remember, so I leaned it on Christian Coulson’s portrayal of him in the second movie.
The black haired boy in front of her looked at her with wide green eyes from behind round glasses.
“And… and the diadem?”
Helena Ravenclaw closed her eyes as she told him where she had hidden the legendary diadem of her mother she had stolen so long ago. Even after all this time, the shame of her actions threatened to overwhelm her. She hadn’t drawn a breath in centuries, but the tightness in her chest was the closest to feeling breathless she could remember.
The boy in front of her – The Boy Who Lived, she had heard him being called – looked at her with surprise. “You’ve already told someone this story, haven’t you?” he asked softly. “Another student?”
She nodded in confirmation. “I had… no idea… he was… flattering. He seemed to… to understand… to sympathise…”
Helena conjured the memory in front of her inner eye; another boy had been with her, looking very similar to the one regarding her with that mix of sympathy and determination just now. His features had been fine and sharp, fathomless dark eyes examining her from underneath a shock of jet black curls.
It had happened during a winter, many, many years ago. Helena hadn’t been able to feel warmth or cold since her death, but she had heard the members of Ravenclaw House complain about the dire conditions inside their lofty tower.
She had never liked the winter time; the castle always felt especially gloomy around this time of the year. The cold could never be fully driven from the ancient stone walls, despite the many fires and torches lit to combat the frost.
The lack of light and warmth had always made her feel glum, even when she had been alive. Now, all she could do was float through the endless corridors of Hogwarts, lamenting her fate and the injustice of it all.
But that particular winter had been different; one stray ray of sunshine had found its way towards her.
Helena usually kept to herself, not interested in the doings of the living. The only people she could sometimes be seen talking to were students belonging to her former House of Ravenclaw, but even those would have described her as unapproachable at best.
He had introduced himself as Tom Riddle, when he had found her distraught after a bitter exchange with the Bloody Baron. He was a student belonging to Slytherin, the House of the Baron, and Helena had had no intent of talking to him whatsoever.
But the quiet, sensitive way in which he had spoken to her and the sympathising glow of his beautiful eyes had made her open up to him eventually. He would have made a good Ravenclaw, as his mind had been unusually bright; it hadn’t taken him long to figure out who she had been in her life before.
“You’re Helena Ravenclaw, right?” he asked her carefully. “The daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw?”
Her shoulders stiffened at the mention of her name.
“I shed that identity long ago,” she answered him sharply.
Tom’s features grew apologetic as he took in her disdainful tone. “I understand why, my lady.”
She snorted. “I hardly doubt that.”
His eyes were blazing as he answered her, as if he was looking straight into her core. “I know how it feels to have the shadow of your family looming over you,” he responded with a peculiar intensity. “But let me tell you, your heritage does not define you.”
That had been enough to spark her interest.
Helena had felt elated at having finally found someone who understood her, who did not only see her for the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw but for herself, a woman who had never been allowed to carve her own path because of a thing as simple as her name.
Tom often came to her when wandering the castle at night and she found herself looking forward to meeting him. He had a way of making her feel at ease and she enjoyed his sheer endless thirst for knowledge. What he loved most were the stories of her past and the time of the Four Founders.
Helena didn’t like talking about her mother and her companions, but she stood no chance against his cunning charm, so before long she told him about them, about their lives and their secrets, her stories hushed whispers in the dark.
He had come to her again on that one frosty winter night; she remembered it well, because it was the day her own life had ended almost a millennium ago. Even after all this time, she could hear the threatening whispers of the Bloody Baron as she had refused him, could feel the sharp pain as his blade had pierced her heart and the fear and confusion that had enveloped her after returning to this world as a ghost.
She and the Baron had returned to the castle together and despite stealing her mother’s diadem for herself, Helena had hoped to find her recovered from her illness. All she wanted was to speak to her again one last time; to find her own salvation in her mother’s forgiveness.
But she had been too late.
Her mother had passed away and unlike her daughter, she hadn’t been afraid to move on. Always the curious mind, she had embraced the journey into the unknown and left Helena behind; damned to regret her actions forever, the coward who stole her mother’s greatest treasure.
“What did you do with it?” Tom’s voice was compassionate as she had told him her story.
“It doesn’t matter,” Helena’s long, beautiful hair trailed behind her as if underwater as she floated to the window and looked over the snow covered grounds below her. “No one will ever be tempted by it again.”
“I understand why you took it,” Tom stood next to her and watched her out of the corners of his eyes.
Helena regarded him silently; the moonlight lit up his elegant features, making him look almost ethereal.
“You wanted to break free from your mother’s shadow; it’s only just. No parent should ever dim the brilliance of their children.”
Relief washed over her that he understood; that he didn’t take her for the coward she was, choosing the easy way to surpassing her own mother by betraying her trust.
He turned to her. “What did you do with it?” The nonchalant tone of his voice stood in stark contrast to the intensity with which his eyes bore into hers as he repeated his question.
“I hid it somewhere no one will ever find it.”
Tom’s eyes gleamed in the silver light. “Where?”
The urgency in his voice unsettled her. She had hidden the diadem in a hollow tree trunk deep in the Albanian forest; it was impossible to stumble upon it by chance.
She didn’t want it to be found; she couldn’t possibly tell him, even if Tom was her friend.
He must have seen her guard going up, because his eyes suddenly grew soft again and he gave her a sheepish smile that made him look younger than he actually was.
“I don’t want it for myself, my lady,” he whispered enticingly. His hand went to his heart. “I want to find it and destroy it for good. So you can finally be free from your sins.”
Her un-beating heart melted at the tenderness of his words; he wanted to help her, to ease her pain and she had nothing better to do than doubt him.
Helena floated closer to him and leaned forward, whispering the location of the tree into his ear. She was too close to him to see the change that flashed across his face for a split second. His mellow smile grew wider, showing off his perfect white teeth in a grimace; his soft eyes glittered with satisfaction and hunger, giving his beautiful face an almost devilish appearance.
It was gone the instant she moved away from him.
Like a knight of old, he bowed to her. “Thank you for your trust, my lady. I promise, you will hear from me again.”
But despite his promise, he never returned to her after that night.
Helena would often watch him from the distance, as he gathered people around him. His beauty and his charm opened all the doors for him that he could ever have imagined; just like herself, everyone bowed to his will eventually.
She had heard stories of what he had become, of course; fearfully exchanged words between students and teachers alike, hushed whispers about a Dark Lord, who had once been nothing but a beautiful, talented student walking the halls of the castle she called her home. Helena refused to believe them all.
She refused to believe that the boy she had trusted with her biggest secret had become the monster they made him out to be and she refused to believe that she had fallen for his beautiful mask and was in the end nothing but the fool her mother had always made her out to be.
Helena snapped out of her memory when the other boy now standing by her side spoke up again.
“Well, you weren’t the first person Riddle wormed things out of. He could be charming when he wanted…” He smiled at her. “Thank you for your help, it will not be forgotten. Maybe it will help bring this monster to an end.”
When he left, Helena’s eyes followed him sadly as his words echoed in her ears.
Didn’t they all have some kind of monster within?
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russian classics aesthetic.
rules: bold what applies to your muse, italicize what sometimes applies to them. repost, don’t reblog.
brothers karamazov. orthodox monasteries. deep woods. starry nights. the sound of paper being torn. dimly lit rooms. withered roses. an unfinished letter. piles of books. the sound of shattering glass. ticking of clocks in a silent house. heavy wooden furniture. the air before a storm. the smell of earth. a crowd of people dressed in black. distant murmurs. emptied streets. the fear of walking alone in dusk.
crime and punishment. coldness of the skin against a blade. slender pale fingers and slightly shaking hands. a red stain blooming on white fabric. lonely steps in a corridor. the slow dripping of water. looking out of the window into the thickening darkness. a single dying candle on the table. listening to one's breath and counting heartbeats. too many stairs. the desire to be invisible. a subtle memory of kind words.
the idiot. classical statues. wealth covered with dust. a dark house tainted with inherited madness. an unsettling feeling. long walks in a park. useless chatter. a silken ribbon forgotten on a bench. a melancholic face. an unexpected spring rain. the joy of reading one's favorite book. the clarity of mind after fully perceiving the world around. looking at cloudless sky.
anna karenina. fields of crops. flowers brought from an early morning walk. the wind caressing a girl's hair. a bowl of fruit. the smell of ripe pears. the clatter of a spoon against porcelain when stirring tea. children's laughter coming from the garden. soft sunlight and white curtains. the sensation of velvet against skin. pearls from a ripped necklace spilling on marble floor. a sudden silence in a room full of people.
war and peace. a glass of wine. the brightness of a crystal chandelier. white lace. a raging snow storm. the sound of a door being gently closed. the moment of holding one's breath before walking in a ball room. indulging in looking at a beautiful earring against light. the sound of a saber being drawn. closing one's eyes for a moment while dancing. the sweet smell of strawberries. a pair of gloves left on an armchair. light scent of powder.
the master and margarita. the chaos of a lively city. ambient jazz in expensive restaurants. jumping on off a moving tram. the sight of Moscow from the roof of a house. yellow flowers in a vase. leaning out of the window. shelves stacked with books. a small tin box with old photographs. strange shapes in the night sky. laughing in the middle of the night on a balcony. colorful posters for a surreptitious magician's show floating in the wind.
eugene onegin. a lonely mansion. reading a book in the parlor. faint piano melody lingering in falling silence. long evenings. passing seasons. discussing french novels of the moment. unspoken thoughts. leaning against the door frame. quickly averted glance. eating a peach absent-minded. bright mornings. footprints in snow. a loud gunshot terrifying a flock of birds nearby.
a hero of our time. byronic boredom. getting up late in the afternoon. the hidden unspeakable sadness of existence. shakespeare's tragedy opened next to untouched breakfast. cigarette smoke. polished boots. walking with one's coat wide open letting the night chill break through to the bone. carved wooden chair. fading warmth of the ashes late in the evening. the thought of farewell.
fathers and sons. birch groves. morning mist. moss covered stones near a moor. scientific books. white roses. cheap champagne. shabby pocket-watch. light-hearted irony. a maladroit cello sonata. freshly mowed grass. leaving thoughts come and go. a slow yawn. picturesque plates and bowls filled with traditional dishes. drinking tea on the porch. longing for the future.
doctor zhivago. a strange feeling of loss. writing poems in a diary. traveling by train. the hesitation before touching someone's hand. the gaze of one lost in thought. the warmth of cinnamon. a scarf brightly embellished with flowers. a glass of water. two people listening each on the other side of the door. a threadbare jacket. the tempting void. the evanescent serenity of yesterday.
dead souls. horses in a merry gallop. delicious smells mingled. grotesque and bizarre tragedy. luxurious attire cheap soul. masks. a perfumed love letter. the triumph of sarcasm. an unattached wheel rolling down a dusty road. the atmosphere of commedia dell'arte. puzzling speeches. a baffling caricature drawn on a handkerchief.
cherry orchard. a lone chair in an empty room. falling blossoms. old samovar. the unsettling need for change. a mirror reflecting full moon. the disappointment of a glossy object turning worthless after second glance. a piano out of tune.
tagged by : my dash-games loving past self.
tagging : @corageus / @dubovoye / @eniqme / @hatilead / @ianuarius / @proditeur / @starfrckled / @stiltskin and you ! I don’t know who has already done this so, if you see this on your dash and want to do it, steal it and tag me !
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