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The Secret

By Quill and Parchment

Thriller / Fantasy

The Secret

“What can’t be spoken, must be read,

Inking secrets, late night in bed,

But words like these must not be said,

Lest finding students, broken and dead.”

During the day, the corridors of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry were filled with the hustle and bustle of everyday activity. Corridors filled with teachers going from one place to another, students late to classes, owls flying to and fro, ghosts floating about lazily, and of course Peeves, everyone’s favorite unrelenting poltergeist.

However, when the moon was high and the stars were out the school was more often than not quiet. The halls that echoed at the smallest sound left any wanderer feeling skittish and paranoid. Only the occasional teacher or prefect could be found patrolling the corridors for any student that may take a mid-night stroll.

The moon peeked up over the horizon as Tom Riddle’s quill caressed the parchment of his black leather-bound diary. A few muttered words of a spell caused the already private words to seep into the porous confessional. He stood from his desk, tucked his wand and diary in his pocket and left to secure the halls of what he called home. 

He went about his route like he did every night: through the dungeons, up the stairwell, into the main hall and then down again. However, this time after making two passes of his usual walk, he deviated from the dungeon and continued up the stairs, following the new path that he had memorized to the female lavatory.The lavatories were never locked at night. He stepped inside casually as if he had every right to be there.

Stopping to run two fingers across the crafted design of a carved snake that ran the length of the faucet, he took a step back. He began to hiss and hush, watching as a large passage-way appeared where the sink used to be, the shadows below slowing uncurling in answer to his hiss.  The latch of the stall furthest from the door suddenly clinked open and Tom’s head slowly turned. His view obstructed by a huge monstrous head and a coiled sinewy body, he heard a soft cry and then silence. Stepping around his pet, Tom Riddle looked indifferently at the girl who had collapsed onto the cold stone floor, her tears still fresh on her cheeks.

A tingling in Tom’s fingers alerted him to the finished product of the night’s task, the sizzling dark magic in his pocket tickling his pale skin pleasantly. He was pleased at this unexpected opportunity and relished the way the universe continued to bend to his pleasure. Taking a deep breath, he hissed again and the mysterious monster slid back into the dark passage, the doors closing behind it.

Tom then turned his eyes to the pitiful girl on the floor.  Kneeling beside her, he took her chin in his hand and turned it this way and that with clinical curiosity. Her skin still felt hot from sobbing, her final act.  The first death he had truly witnessed, how curious and boring. His work done, he stood up briskly and strode to the door.  Without a single glance back, he left her to rot in her own indignity.

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