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Snakes and Crushes by sonderwrites

Format: Novella
Chapters: 4
Word Count: 7,837

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: Drama, Humor, AU
Characters: Harry, Snape, Andromeda, James, Sirius, Bellatrix, Lucius, Narcissa, R. Lestrange, Voldemort, Draco, Luna
Pairings: Remus/Sirius, Other Pairing

First Published: 09/15/2020
Last Chapter: 09/15/2020
Last Updated: 09/15/2020


AU where all the timelines are merged so Tom, Bellatrix and Harry can be in the same year. Tom chose Harry, but Bellatrix has a crush on him possibly bigger than Tom’s ego. But when strange happenings start, Bellatrix might have to rethink that.

Chapter 1: Trunks, Trips, and Transfiguration
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A/N: I obviously don’t own Harry Potter or any of the characters in this story


※ ※ ※


“I hate how Harry has to be with Tom! I mean, I see how Harry fell in love with him. Anyone in their right mind would fall in love with Tom upon first sight. He’s just so devilishly handsome, and so smart, he’s tall too, and just... perfect. But seriously? Harry Potter of all people? What about me?” Bellatrix pouts into the mirror as she tries, and fails, to tame her hair with her hairbrush. Her sister sighs, shaking her head.


“I think you’re just a little too obsessed with Tom. There are plenty of fish in the sea, you know, and you can’t marry him anyway. You need to marry a pureblood!” Narcissa picks up Bellatrix’s abandoned hairbrush and tries to brush it for her older sister, but yet again, it doesn’t work.


“But Tom says there’s none of his muggle ancestry in his blood, and I believe him. Anything to do with blood has come from his mother, so he’s just as pure as us!” Says Bellatrix. She opens up her scrapbook that has photos of Tom Riddle inside of it and starts gazing at them mournfully.


“Tell that to father,” sniggers Narcissa. She then goes to her wardrobe and starts packing her clothes and supplies into her trunk. After gazing at the photos of Tom for a little while longer, Bellatrix joins her in packing for Hogwarts.


※ ※ ※


Bellatrix waits on Platform 9 3/4 with Narcissa and Andromeda. Narcissa nervously tugs at her robes, which not yet bear what will most likely be the Slytherin crest. Andromeda checks on her owl, and Bellatrix looks around desperately for Tom Riddle. Eventually, she spots him, perfect jawline, neatly combed hair, staring intently at where the train will arrive. Bellatrix stares intently at him, trying to make sure her mouth doesn’t gape open, and avoids looking at the person beside Tom.


“Honestly, Bella, when are you gonna get over him?” Andromeda had followed Bellatrix’s line of sight, and is shaking her head softly.


“Tom!” Bellatrix says suddenly, wide eyed, staring at her sister, “I mean, what? What did you say?” Andromeda just laughs, and Narcissa smiles, the pale in her cheeks from nerves slowly regaining colour.


Finally, the train arrives, and the students file in. Narcissa awkwardly tries to find a place to sit, whilst Andromeda joins her friends, and Bellatrix mindlessly follows Tom. She continues to follow until he finds a compartment and sits in it with Harry. Bellatrix looks at the compartment longingly, and doesn’t notice a bunch of other girls and boys wishing there were in there with Tom as well.


The train is about to depart, and Bellatrix’s eyes are still transfixed on the door. Everyone else had found a seat. But not Bella. She tries to grab onto something to steady herself as the train leaves, which ends up being the door handle, which ends up with the door being opened, which leads to Bellatrix tripping over and landing right on top of Tom. What a great way to make first contact with a crush.


“Umm...” says Tom. Bellatrix blushes, embarrassed and also kinda excited that Tom actually said something to her.


“Uh, sorry... Tom. Riddle. Tom. Um, sorry... I’ll, uh, leave, now...” she starts backing away, then bolts out, collapsing on top of Andromeda this time. Tom and Harry stare for a few seconds, before closing the door again.


“Uh, are you alright, Bella?” Andromeda says as she peels her sister off of her, her friends staring.


“No! Tom- train- door- fall- on- Tom- talked... to... me...” Bellatrix stammers, breathing in short, sharp, bursts.


“Um... what?” Andromeda tries to hold back a laugh as she edges further away from her annoying older sister.


 “Tom said something to me!!” Bellatrix shouts, a bit too loudly, her head spinning. Andromeda snorts.


“Good for you. Now leave. Now. Please. Thanks,” she shoves Bellatrix away, then apologises to her friends as Bellatrix stumbles up the aisles, looking for a seat as far away from Tom as possible.


※ ※ ※


The train arrives at Hogwarts, and everyone piles off. The first years, including Narcissa, go over to the boats, while the rest of the school walks over to the horseless carriages. Well, they aren’t really horseless as such, Bellatrix just can’t see what really pulls them.


Bellatrix watches Tom get into a carriage in the distance with that boy, then hops into the one nearest to her. Sure, she could sit with her friends, but she’s still in too much shock to even blink.


Some random boy decides to sit next to her, with his girlfriend, and they make out the whole time. All Bellatrix can do is imagine that it’s her and Tom.


Finally, the carriage pulls into Hogwarts, and Bellatrix quickly dashes away. Her eyes are burning, and she finally remembers to blink. She can spot Tom walking into the great hall, and now she can see her friends walking towards her.


“Bellatrix!!” Evan waves, Lucius, Rodolphus and Severus behind him.


“Hi... guys...” she continues to make her way to the great hall, trying to look for Tom again.


“Um, are you okay?” asks Lucius, raising an eyebrow as he tries to follow her gaze.


“Yeah, fine, just... Tom- uh, yeah, doesn’t matter,” sometimes it was annoying being the only girl in her gang.




They make their way into the great hall, and sit on the end of the Slytherin table. Tom is on the other end. ‘Wait, but Tom is alone? Where’s Harry?’ Bellatrix looks over to the Gryffindor table and frowns. Harry’s there with his friends; Ronald Weasley, pureblood, Hermione Granger, mudblood. At least he isn’t sitting with Tom.


Professor Dippet gives a speech, and then Professor McGonagall puts the sorting hat on the stool, and the sorting begins. 


“Abercrombie, Euan,” calls Professor McGonagall. A terrified-looking boy stumbles over to the stool and the hat is placed onto his head, falling just above his ears.


“GRYFFINDOR!” The Sorting Hat exclaims, and the Gryffindor table, including Potter, erupts into applause. Bellatrix decides to stop paying attention. Well, that is until her sister is called.


“Black, Narcissa,” 


Narcissa walks up to the stool, looking white faced and fidgeting with her hands. Bellatrix stares intensely. The hat barely touches her head before it shouts out, “SLYTHERIN!”, and all of the Slytherins burst into applause, Bellatrix and Andromeda try to be the loudest for their younger sister. 


※ ※ ※


Bellatrix and her gang had actually decided to study for once that afternoon. Severus is busily doing his work at their table in the library, whilst the others copy him, and Bellatrix is pretending to read a book whilst looking over the top at Tom reading a book with that thing he calls his boyfriend. They were really great at studying.


Whilst Bellatrix is doing her snooping, she recognises a familiar group of Gryffindors and looks instantly to Severus.


“Hey, Snivellus, you’d better run, the marauders are here,” she smirks, then goes back to her pretend reading. Severus sighs and tries to bury himself deeper into his work and books. A stag walks over and stares at Severus.


“Erm, hi James...” says Severus, trying not to look up. Bellatrix tries to hold in her laughter, which is quite difficult.


There’s a pause. A moment of silence. And then there’s a stag running around the library holding Severus’ work.


“Hey, I was copying that! Give it back!” laughs Rodolphus, looking at James the stag, with his head rolled back in amusement. Bellatrix actually takes her eyes off Tom for a second, and starts watching James race around the library until a professor walks in and he turns back into a human with someone’s homework in his mouth. Bellatrix goes back to staring at Tom, who appears to not have been paying attention to the action that just unfolded. But then suddenly, Tom stands up, walks straight over to James, snatches Severus’ work out of his mouth, and gives it to Severus.


“Oh, uh, thanks, Toriddle,” Severus looks down nervously as Tom starts to walk off, but then turns around again, looks straight at Bellatrix, gives her one of his famous smiles and then goes back to Harry. Bellatrix’s mouth falls open, her cheeks go red and she starts sweating.


“‘Toriddle’?” Lucius raises an eyebrow in Severus’s direction, then leans over to copy the rest of the paragraph he was on.


“I- didn’t know what to call him...” he looks sadly at the identical pieces of work next to his and tries to inconspicuously cover his up, but someone just moves his hand out of the way. Bellatrix isn’t paying attention. She’s not even paying attention to Tom. She’s trying to think, but she can’t, it’s all fuzzy and bleh. 


※ ※ ※


Bellatrix is back in the Slytherin common room, and notices Narcissa sitting on a seat, staring into the fireplace.


“Uh... what’s wrong?” she asks, “haven’t you made any friends yet?”


“Oh, I have, they’re just in Ravenclaw. I’m just... doesn’t matter,” says Narcissa, not turning her gaze away from the fire.


“Oh, ok, bye,” Bellatrix says awkwardly, then walks up to the girl’s dormitory to get ready for bed. Bellatrix was never the best at making people feel better, that was Andromeda’s job. She takes off her uniform, slips on some pyjamas, then slides into bed. She opens her Tom Riddle scrapbook and just stares at the photos, without any actual thoughts flowing into her mind, and then puts it away, blows out her candle, and tries to fall asleep.

Chapter 2: Basilisks, Blame, and Butter beer
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The next morning, something strange was happening. A student—Ginny Weasley—was missing. The professors were freaking out, and, oh yeah, there was also a giant snake roaming the school grounds.


“Everyone, please stay calm. Don’t go near the basilisk or they’ll kill you, you may only walk the halls if you have a prefect or a professor with you. Oh yes, and make sure you’re still doing your work, because even in a lockdown you must do school work, got it?” Professor Dippet explains in the Great Hall during breakfast.


Bellatrix reaches for an egg and chugs some butter beer. She is only half paying attention. Whatever everyone is so fussed about, though, she is sure isn’t that bad, and so she should be fine. 


“Hey, some Gryffindor says you should use mirrors to stop the basilisk from killing you,” Evan says, leaning in towards his gang. 


“What’s that supposed to do?” asks Rodolphus, moving his food around on his plate. He seems to be pretending to not care about the life threat in the school.


“I dunno, but it probably doesn’t work, it is a Gryffindor, after all,” Evan goes back to eating his food, and Severus looks desperate to say something.


“Honestly, Severus, if you wanna speak, speak! We’re all friends here,” Lucius mutters.


“Well, uh, I was just gonna say, mirrors do actually help, so you don’t stare directly into the basilisk’s eyes,” explains Severus, and Rodolphus groans.


“Who let the nerd speak?” whines Rodolphus, not looking at Lucius, but just dramatically looking at the roof with the clouds, and the not-too-hot sun on it. Bellatrix still isn’t paying attention, so she didn’t hear anything about basilisks or mirrors. She’s just eating slowly, and letting her butter beer drip carefully onto her tongue, taking in each little atom of flavour individually. The creaming soda bit, the butterscotch bit, each part enough to make anyone melt. But Bellatrix had already melted, she just wasn’t herself today.


When breakfast is over, they head to potions with Professor Slughorn. Bellatrix is annoyed that they have class with the Gryffindors, meaning Potter has to be here too, but she’s still weirded out about Tom smiling at her, so for once she actually does what the teacher says, instead of copying off Severus. Severus and Tom were tied first in their year for being the best at potions for a long while, until Tom finally took him over. That was another reason Bellatrix loves him. He’s always gonna be top of his class. 


“I’m here!” shouts Pettigrew, who had arrived late.


“I’m queer!” Sirius is next.


“I’m a deer!” then James.


“I’m... sorry,” and then finally Lupin. Severus rolls his eyes so hard they might fall out. And so does Slughorn. Bellatrix continues mindlessly brewing her potion.


“I see you’ve improved, Black. Keep that up and I might invite you to my Slug Club!” Says Professor Slughorn, after checking Bellatrix’s potion.


“Oh! Thanks,” she replies, looking once again at her potion. She supposes she isn’t half bad, after all. 


Once Slughorn leaves, Rodolphus leans over to check out Bellatrix’s potion, “are you okay though, Bellatrix? You seem really out of it today.”


“I’m fine, I think I’ll just walk to our next class alone though, then I’ll feel better,” Says Bellatrix, clearing away her area.


“Alright. Oh wait, isn’t there a-” but then their class is dismissed and they all file out. Bellatrix walks the long way. She had thought she would actually be able to think by now. After all, it was yesterday, and it was only a smile, but no, she still had to unfocused and confused. She wasn’t paying attention to the slithering in the wall beside her, and only when something appeared right in front of her did she start thinking straight again.


“What the—?” she looks up, following the curling body of a giant snake with her eyes, until she reaches its head, and then-


“Stop!” comes a voice, then a hiss, and the snake is gone. All that is left is a boy standing there, against the wall, looking directly at Bellatrix.


“Tom! How did you...?” Bellatrix runs up towards him, goes to touch him, but then quickly moves her hands away.


“I can speak parseltongue. I’m the heir of Salazar Slytherin,” he says smoothly, not taking his eyes off Bellatrix.


“Wait, so... you spoke to the snake?” Bellatrix gapes, she can’t believe it. Just another reason to be in love with this boy.


“Yes, I spoke to the basilisk. However, I didn’t open the chamber. That was the Weasley girl, Ginny. Harry and I—we tried to stop her, but she’s just a little mad,” Tom explains. Bellatrix sucks in his every word, as if they are her life source.


“Oh, she should get expelled, shouldn’t she? Doesn’t the basilisk kill people?” Bellatrix’s cheeks are hot, and she’s not sure if it’s because she’s talking to the hottest person in the school, or because some girl set loose a murderer on the school.


“Yes, she should. Why don’t you go and tell Professor Dippet? I’ll explain to Professor McGonagall why you’re late for transfiguration, alright?” Bellatrix can’t get over how smoothly Tom speaks, but she quickly recomposes herself and goes to find the headmaster’s office. She’d been there plenty of times for detention, so she knew the way there easily. However, when she arrives, she has to wait a whole ten minutes for someone to open the door for her. 


“Miss Black, why aren’t you in class? Have you been sent out again?” the voice came from behind her. Bellatrix quickly spins around.


“Oh, Professor Dippet! You’re not in your office? Anyway, I’ve come because I know who opened the, ah, Chamber thing. The thing with the basilisk,” she explains quickly, eager to spill the tea.


Professor Dippet pauses for a minute, but then opens the door to his office and lets Bellatrix in, “Come, sit down. What is it you know?”


“Well, you see, I was walking to class, and this giant snake creeps up on me—”


“Was anyone with you, Miss Black?” Professor Dippet says sternly, and Bellatrix licks her lips, “I said you weren’t meant to be out alone in the halls.”


“Yeah, but, anyway, that’s not the point. So, Tom comes along and tells me that Ginny Weasley opened the chamber!” Bellatrix is shaking, excited to be the person to call Weasley out.


“Miss Weasley? As if. Miss Black, please stop wasting my time. Go back to your class, Minerva will not be pleased,” Dippet flicks his hand effortlessly and his door opens. Bellatrix opens her mouth to protest, but with a quick glare from Dippet she quickly closes it again and promptly leaves.


※ ※ ※


It had taken Bellatrix a long time to find the classroom, because apparently the room had changed, and she wasn’t told, but with the help of a ghost, she eventually found it.


“Miss Black. You’re late,” Professor McGonagall snaps. Bellatrix laughs awkwardly, looking to Tom for help. He, however, appears to be looking intently at the teacher, and not at Bellatrix, “go on then, take a seat.”


Bellatrix sits at the end of her gang’s table and silently says “hi,” to them. They give her a questioning glance, but stay quiet. 


“Alright, now as I was saying, blah blah blah...” Bellatrix has gone back to not paying attention in class. So much for the Slug Club. There wasn’t much reason to go, anyway. ‘Oh wait, Tom is in it... oh well’. However, this period was particularly short, at least for Bellatrix, after all that time she spent not in class. She follows her gang out of the classroom this time, and is headed for the courtyard when Tom stops her. The rest of her gang walks off, and Bellatrix is left there looking stunned.


“Bellatrix, I was wondering if you’d like to come somewhere and... do something with me, if you have the time,” Tom says. Bellatrix stares, open mouthed. Tom had a way of opening Bellatrix’s mouth. 


“Yeah! Um, wait, aren’t you and Harry—?” She dislikes talking about Potter, but this is all too weird. She pinches herself, and it hurts, which is probably a good thing.


“Don’t worry about that, Bella. But of course, if you don’t want to...?” Only Bellatrix’s sisters called her ‘Bella’, but something about Tom saying it makes her more excited than she thought possible.


“Oh, no, no, no! Of course I want to!” she doesn’t even care how dishevelled she looks, Tom wants her.


“Wonderful. Meet me in the second floor girls’ lavatory when you’ve put your stuff away,” he says, and then walks away. Bellatrix doesn’t think much of the strange setting, simply runs off to put her things away, her cheeks rosy red.


※ ※ ※


Bellatrix waits in the bathroom, watching the drip of one of the taps. She doesn’t really know where to stand, or to wait in one of the toilet cubicles, pretending to be doing her business. All she knows is that Tom isn’t here yet, and she needs to wait for him. She starts biting her nails, wondering when he’ll arrive.


She’s been waiting five minutes when the door slams open and she looks up to see if it’s Tom. It isn’t. It’s a girl crying her eyeballs out.


“Oh... s-someone’s here,” she sobs, trying to wobble her way to a toilet cubicle. She seems very disoriented, so it must be difficult.


“Warren, why are you here?” asks Bellatrix, looking over to the door to see if Tom’s arrived yet. Warren doesn’t reply, she just trips into a cubicle and locks the door, moaning loudly. There’s a reason she’s nicknamed Moaning Myrtle.


“Did- did you see Tom Riddle on your way here?” Bellatrix asks cautiously, trying to speak loud enough to be heard over Warren’s crying.


“N-no, I didn’t s-see anybody...” she moans, and Bellatrix cringes. She considers performing a silencing charm on Warren, but then remembers she wasn’t listening to that class. Maybe that was a reason to start paying attention? ‘Nah!’


There’s movement outside, but Bellatrix decides it doesn’t sound like Tom, so she starts looking at herself in the mirror, to try and make herself look presentable. Something appears right behind Bellatrix, and her eyes widen as she watches it through the mirror.


“Crap, Warren! There’s a basilisk!” she yells. Warren seems to stop sobbing for a second, and then Bellatrix hears the click of the lock and watches through the mirror as Warren steps out. Bellatrix had never heard a scream so loud in her life.


The basilisk leaves, and Bellatrix stares in disbelief at the lifeless body on the floor.


“Oh my goodness, Miss Black!” Comes a booming voice belonging to Professor Dippet, “in all my years as a Hogwarts professor, I never saw a student murder another!”


Chapter 3: Debriefs, Dippets, and Doppelgängers
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Bellatrix had been sent back to Professor Dippet’s office. On her walk over there with Professor Dippet, Bellatrix had been furiously mulling everything over in her head. What if she had died? She didn’t want to one day look like the cold, stoney image of Myrtle Warren lying on the ground, her life taken only seconds ago; her dreams, her everything… wiped clean away. Bellatrix had never seen a dead body before, and it was scary, really. Frightening to see what had just been a fully-functional body, without a soul just lying there, dead. Then she started to wonder about the consequences. She had been in that bathroom when Warren had died, and Professor Dippet already blamed her. Who knows what kind of punishment she’d get…. She tried to refocus. Death was normal. Death happened. It’s okay. As long as I don’t die, everything will be fine. She finally cleared her mind and tried to completely forget about the disastrous image. She attempted to revert to a state of mind where she doesn’t care, where she acted free, and as if death was just a thing that she saw everyday. In Professor Dippet’s office, she sat there, staring at the headmaster paintings on the wall. Two of them were playing cards together.


“Miss Black, I have reason to believe that you opened the Chamber of Secrets and let the basilisk out to kill Myrtle Warren,” Professor Dippet says finally. Bellatrix has to stop herself from flipping her head back, poking out her tongue and groaning loudly. Instead, with much effort, she just stares intensely at the wall behind Professor Dippet.


“So, do you admit to your crimes?” continues Professor Dippet irritably.


“What? No... don’t you have to speak parseltongue-y and all that? I can’t do that!” she tries to make snake noises, but fails miserably. Dippet clears his throat.


“That’s not a sufficient amount of proof,” Professor Dippet says sternly.


“Well, can I have a trial before this is all final? Because I reckon I can find some very fancy lawyers,” Bellatrix pokes her head up and tries to look posh and rich. Technically she is rich, but definitely not posh.


Professor Dippet thinks for a moment. “Very well, you have a week to find proof and develop a case. However if you lose, you will be expelled, and may face time in Azkaban.”


Bellatrix bites her tongue to stop herself from making a snarky remark back, and waits to be dismissed. 


She walks back out, grumpily making her way to her next class. She sees Remus and Sirius in the corridor making out, and carefully steps past them before bolting off to Charms. She sits at her desk, rolling spells around, wishing desperately to learn Avada Kedavra so that she can kill Professor Dippet. She’s kinda glad none of her friends ask where she was, but she can see Severus looking worriedly at her.


When class is over, she looks for Tom on her way to her next class. To her surprise, Tom is just standing in the middle of the hallway.


“Tom!” she greets, her cheeks burning.


“Hello, Bella. I heard the news—you’re suspected of opening the Chamber of Secrets, aren’t you?” Tom replies sympathetically.


“Yeah... they don’t think it was Weasley,” Bellatrix says, then watches Tom reach his hand out to hers, and she waits patiently to feel the soft touch of his skin on hers.


“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you before,” Tom says, and then his hand is touching Bellatrix’s and it’s so soft and comforting, and absolutely magical.


“It’s fine,” Bellatrix says, and she’s surprised she’s managed to speak.


“But I’ll make sure to help the school get off your back, okay? After classes, in our common room this time,” Tom promises. He squeezes Bellatrix's hand slightly, and then walks off. Bellatrix takes a second to process, and then she smiles warmly, all the way to Defence Against The Dark Arts with Professor Dumbledore, and surprisingly, she isn’t late. She can tell Professor Dumbledore is suspicious of her, though. 


At lunch, Severus finally asks.


“Bellatrix, where were you before Charms?” Severus asks.


“Um, in the bathroom,” Bellatrix answers awkwardly. 


“Huh? Oh. Oh!” Severus goes red and looks away.


“Oh, no, not like that,” Bellatrix says quickly, “but, well… then Professor Dippet called me to his office because he thinks I opened that chamber thing.” Evan looks intrigued now, and butts in before Severus can reply.


“And did you? Open the Chamber Of Secrets?” Evan asks excitedly. Bellatrix shakes her head.


“No way! I can’t speak to snakes,” says Bellatrix.


“Oh. Wait I didn’t know you had to be a parselmouth,” Evan replies.


“Well, you do,” Bellatrix moves her fork around her plate, looking up to see Tom sitting at the Gryffindor table with Harry. Seriously, can’t Harry see that Tom is so much more into her?


“So, you’re going to be expelled?” asks Rodolphus, looking sad. 


“Not unless I don’t find any proof it wasn’t me,” Bellatrix says.


“Well, I can help you,” Severus volunteers.


“Oh, ok,” Bellatrix agrees half-heartedly.


“So, anyway,” Lucius changes the subject with a smirk, “who’s everyone got the hots for?”


“Really?” Rodolphus groans.


“Tom…” Bellatrix says weakly.


“Of course,” Evan sighs.


“Um, L- Lily Evans,” Severus blushes.


“You’re in love with someone who’s friends with your bullies?” Evan scoffs, and Severus nods shyly. 


“Speaking of them, doesn’t Harry Potter look a bit like James and Lily?” Lucius says suspiciously, and Bellatrix internally groans at the mention of Harry.


“I always thought Harry and James were twins or something, but not Lily,” Rodolphus comments.


“And now that I think about it, Lucius, are you related to Draco? He looks incredibly similar, and you both have the same last name,” Evan says.


“We must just be distant relatives,” Lucius shrugs. Bellatrix’s face goes red as she realises something.


“Um, doesn’t Draco look a bit like Narcissa as well?” Bellatrix looks nervously over at her youngest sister down the end of the table, leaning over towards the Ravenclaw table.


“Oh yeah,” Evan realises. “This school is very much messed up.”


“I agree,” Lucius’ face flushes when he looks at Narcissa now, and then over to Draco. All three of them are way too similar...


After their next classes, a few of Bellatrix’s friends have detention, as usual, and Bellatrix heads to the Slytherin common room where Tom is waiting for her.


“Hi,” Bellatrix smiles as she slides next to Tom on the sofa. Tom smiles his perfect smile back.


“Hello,” he replies. “Now, I did some research on the Chamber Of Secrets, and basically there’s a pipe in that girl’s lavatory on the second floor that leads to the chamber, and so if Ginny Weasley’s down there, we’ll know she did it.”


“Right!” Bellatrix says, impressed. “Also, um, can she speak parseltongue? Because I heard you need to be able to do that.”


“Yes, of course,” Tom replies quickly, and then just like that he gets up and leaves to go to his dormitory. And then Narcissa comes into the room and stops in front of Bellatrix. Bellatrix looks up and raises an eyebrow.


“Bella, I heard you had to go to the headmaster’s office,” Narcissa says in a way of greeting, worry tinged on her voice.


“Yeah, I’m accused of opening the Chamber Of Secrets,” Bellatrix says lamely. Narcissa opens her eyes wide.


“What?! But you didn’t! We have to tell Professor Dippet! I’ll get Luna to help-” Narcissa begins.


“Luna? Who the heck is that?” 


“She’s my friend, Luna Lovegood. She’s a Ravenclaw… pureblood I think?” Narcissa explains awkwardly, looking up at the roof for a second.


“Oh, her. She’s Loony, isn’t she? Anyway, we don’t need that dork, we can just go down into the chamber. I’ll bet Ginny’ll be in there, and then she’ll be expelled,” Bellatrix decides, and starts getting ready.


“Wait, Bella! Are you sure she’ll be there? Because if not, someone might find you there, and then you’ll definitely be accused. Besides, how do you even get into it?”


“Parseltongue. I’m sure it won’t be that hard, just some weird noises with your tongue,” Bellatrix explains easily, deciding that despite numerous attempts throughout the day to try and imitate parseltongue, she would probably still be able to do it when the time came.


“And you think Ginny Weasley opened it? How could a Gryffindor know the language of our house founder?” Narcissa scoffs.


“Well, like I said, it shouldn’t be too hard to try and speak it,” Bellatrix shrugs, resisting the urge to try again.


“Fine! Go there, but don’t go blaming me when you’re stuck in Azkaban for the rest of your life…” Narcissa mutters, “but if you do back out… My offer for Luna and me to help still stands.”


“Great…” Bellatrix murmurs sarcastically, and heads out the door to the girl’s bathroom.

Chapter 4: Parseltongue, Poltergeists, and Proof
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Bellatrix arrives at the girl’s bathroom, and attempts to find wherever the opening to the Chamber is. Though, she has no idea what she’s meant to be looking for, so that makes things a bit more difficult. Tom said there would be a pipe that led down to it, but there are a lot of pipes in a bathroom. 


Bellatrix stops when she finds a not-so-normal sink tap. This one has a snake etched onto the side. Seems like a pretty obvious clue that this is the pipe that leads to the Chamber of Secrets. Now, she just has to open it…


Bellatrix spends about a minute hissing and spitting at the tap with no success, until someone says something behind her.


“I really don’t think that’s going to work,” says a voice Bellatrix recognises after a second.


“Oh, Warren! Merlin, you scared me,” Bellatrix spins around. “Wait, how are you alive? I saw you die.”


“Oh yes, I saw my dead body too, but I didn’t much like being entirely dead, so I became a ghost instead,” Myrtle Warren floats out towards Bellatrix from inside a toilet cubicle. 


Bellatrix takes a step back. She’s never seen a fresh ghost before. Just ghosts like the Bloody Baron and Peeves who have been here for who knows how many years. Warren looks exactly the same as she did yesterday when Bellatrix saw her die, just transparent and softer around the edges. 


“Okay, but I’ve really got to open this Chamber so I can prove I didn’t open it,” Bellatrix explains, only realising afterwards that it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Warren looks at her with a tilt of her head. “Look, do you know how I can get in?”


“I’ve only been a ghost for a day, I’m not that wise yet.” Warren floats away unhelpfully. 


Bellatrix sighs, and then attempts to go back to spitting at the snake-engraved sink tap in the hopes of opening up the entrance to the Chamber. Just as she was in the middle of that, someone else decided to come in. 


“I may have forgotten you wouldn’t be able to get in,” says a smooth voice.


“Oh, Merlin! Everyone’s sneaking up on me today,” Bellatrix spins around again, and finds that it’s Tom. Her heart rate quickens even more, and she hopes that Tom didn’t see her hopelessly spitting at the tap. She then proceeds to look dreamily at him. 


Tom walks over to the sink tap, and says something in way better snake language than Bellatrix could ever muster. 


The tap starts glowing, and spins, and then all of a sudden it starts to sink, revealing a wide pipe. 


Bellatrix lowers herself into the pipe after Tom, and slides down into a dark, slimy tunnel, deep below the school. The tunnel seems to go on forever, but finally they find a wall with two entwined serpents carved into it. Tom says something else in parseltongue, and then the serpents part as the walls crack open to reveal the Chamber.


“Alright, now go in and find Weasley, I’ll wait back at the top for you,” Tom says, and leaves.


Bellatrix nods, then steps inside. There are towering pillars entwined with more carvings of serpents, and a giant statue of Salazar Slytherin at the very end, but there is no sign of any people. The Weasley girl must just be hiding somewhere. 


After a while of searching with no success, Bellatrix hears something slither nearby, and she quickly spins around to find the basilisk, and luckily it’s so tall that she hadn’t happened to look into its eyes. She steps back, surprised. But the basilisk isn’t done. It lowers its body and starts slithering right towards her. Quickly, she spins back around the other way and starts running for her life. Unfortunately, the Chamber ends up being too short, and soon there’s nowhere to go.


Suddenly, however, the basilisk just stops moving, and goes up to its full height again. Bellatrix turns around to check why it stopped, and finds that the person standing there is none other than Professor Dippet. Weird how the basilisk stopped when he came in, though. Did he open the Chamber?


“Ahu! So you are the culprit, Miss Black,” says Professor Dippet. “Now I’m leaving, but you’d better follow, or else you’ll be double expelled.”


Bellatrix wants to protest, but Dippet is gone, and she doesn’t want to be expelled, let alone double expelled, whatever that means. Not because she cares about that, but because her parents do. So instead, she carefully makes her way past the basilisk, which doesn’t move, and then exits the Chamber. 


Professor Dippet is already pretty far ahead, but she tries to catch up. On the way, she spots Narcissa.


“Cissy! I’m glad you’re here. I accept your offer,” says Bellatrix quickly. “I have to go to Dippet’s office, so I guess you can meet me there?”


“Alright, I’ll be there in a sec. I guess it was good that I decided to roam the school after hours, and it’s definitely just a coincidence, but a good one, that I ran into you, you idiot,” Narcissa runs off, and then over her shoulder she yells, “You owe me, though!”


Bellatrix arrives at Professor Dippet’s office which is becoming very familiar, and sits down in the seat. 


“So, you opened the Chamber of Secrets, let a basilisk loose on the school, and murdered a student. We now have even more proof. I suppose you’re not really a Black then, are you?” Professor Dippet begins. 


“What? Of course I am a Black! How dare you suggest...” snaps Bellatrix.


“I wouldn’t be speaking like that to your headmaster if I were you,” Professor Dippet says calmly.


Just then, Narcissa breaks in, followed by the blonde named Luna Lovegood. 


“Ah, are these your ‘fancy lawyers’, are they?” Professor Dippet smirks as he nods to the two girls.


“Yup, they’re very good at their job too,” Bellatrix says.


“Well, girls, I just saw Bellatrix in the Chamber of Secrets with the basilisk, but it wasn’t attempting to attack. Any proof to oppose her being the Heir of Slytherin?” Professor Dippet asks.


Bellatrix suddenly looks up. “Wait, but Tom’s the heir! He said he didn’t open the Chamber, but he also said he’s the heir.”


Professor Dippet chuckled. “Tom Riddle may be our best student, but his surname is ‘Riddle’, and I really don’t think the Heir of Slytherin would have a muggle surname. He was even the one who told me you were in that bathroom about to kill Miss Warren, and that you were down in the Chamber. Luckily it was still open when I got there, so I could go in and find you.”


Bellatrix looks offended. “You just said that I might not really be a Black, even though that’s my last name, so who’s to say Tom isn’t faking his last name as well to be less suspicious?” Then Bellatrix goes a little pink as she realises she’s fighting against her crush, and she starts to regret it. But then again, apparently he had been the one to tell Professor Dippet about her whereabouts.


Narcissa glances at Professor Dippet and giggles a little bit. 


“I don’t know if you’d realised this, Bellatrix, but Mr Riddle is a lot more trustworthy than you,” Professor Dippet says, leaning closer to Bellatrix. 


Narcissa steps forward. “Professor Dippet, my sister—and yes, she really is my sister—may not be a very good student at all, but I would trust her with my life, because she’s a good person, and a good sister, and she’s also just not smart enough to know how to open the Chamber of Secrets,” Narcissa says. “Can you really believe that she’s the heir, and let a basilisk loose on the school? She doesn’t have the guts to kill anyone.”


Professor Dippet thinks about it. “Good points, only problem is, you’re biased, so it’s not valid.”


“I don’t like Bella! No siblings like each other! How can I be biased?” Narcissa asks aggressively.


Lovegood touches her arm for a second. “It’s okay, Cissy. I can handle this.” It’s very strange to hear someone that isn’t Bellatrix or Andromeda calling Narcissa ‘Cissy’, and part of her is disgusted at Lovegood for saying it, but the two are friends, so it makes sense, and also Tom had called Bellatrix ‘Bella’, which only her sisters are meant to do as well.


Lovegood clears her throat. “Professor Dippet, first of all, Bellatrix is a Black. She looks very similar to Narcissa, Andromeda, and even Sirius. Also, I can assure you you’ll find her name on the Black family tree. That tree doesn’t make much sense, but almost all family trees in our world for some reason don’t make sense, because there are people’s children on there who were said to have been born just a few years, or even months, apart from their parents. But anyway, that’s beside the point.


“Secondly, I saw Tom Riddle speaking parseltongue whilst I was writing an article for the Quibbler about ancient languages. He voluntarily demonstrated it to me. Now we all know that in this day and age, only descendants of Salazar Slytherin can speak that, and only the Heir of Slytherin can open the Chamber of Secrets, so Tom Riddle must have opened it, he was just trying to frame Bellatrix by leading her into the Chamber,” Lovegood says. 


Bellatrix is left wondering how she knows so much of this stuff, especially about Bellatrix’s own family tree with the inconsistencies she’d never before noticed. Lovegood takes out a little box and then continues, “Now I know what you’re thinking; ‘she writes for the Quibbler, so everything she says must be made up’, which definitely isn’t true, but anyway, like a good reporter, I recorded everything.”


Sure enough, coming from the box you can hear Tom say something in English, and then suddenly he’s speaking in Parseltongue. Professor Dippet looks stumped.


“You’re good, Luna,” Narcissa praises.


“One must always be prepared for situations like these,” Lovegood smiles.


“Alright, alright, you’re… right,” Professor Dippet says. “I’m not going to charge you with anything, Miss Black, or Mr Riddle on that note, because he’s just too good a student, but I’ll still have a talk to him, and we’ll get the Chamber sealed off for good.”


“Sounds good to me,” Bellatrix says, delighted, and then they’re released.


The next day, when going to breakfast, Bellatrix and Narcissa spot Andromeda holding hands with a Hufflepuff boy. Bellatrix ran up to Andromeda and smirked.


“Someone’s got a boyfriend, have they?” Bellatrix teases affectionately.


“No!” Andromeda, says, going red. “Well yes. I do. But he’s definitely not a mug- mudblood!” The boy looks at her.


“Okay, well have fun,” Bellatrix says, going into the Great Hall next to Narcissa again. She then starts to think about Tom again. “I cannot believe I had a crush on that guy,” she sighs. It had turned out that he hadn’t been trying to help at all, but set her up so that she could be blamed for his murders. He probably just saw her as easy bait because she had such a big crush, and Tom had been right, she couldn’t look past her blindfold of love, and she’d stupidly fallen for it and his charm…


“Who? Oh Tom. Don’t worry, we’ll just blame the wrackspurts,” Narcissa grins.


“What,” Bellatrix says in a tone that makes it sound more like a statement than a question.


Narcissa just giggles.


Bellatrix happens to stumble upon what looks like Tom and Harry fighting at the end of the Slytherin table. In the end, Harry walks off, and Tom is left staring helplessly after him. Damn Bellatrix’s hormones, because she can’t help but be pulled right over to Tom, blushing before she says anything.


“So, um, did you just break up with Harry?” Bellatrix says, doing a bad job at hiding her excitement. Tom says nothing. “Because, you know, I’m also single, and…”


“Oh, sorry, but I’m gay,” Tom interrupts blandly before Bellatrix can embarrass herself anymore.


“Oh.” Bellatrix walks off to the other end of the table with her unhelpful friends. She doesn’t know why she’s so disappointed; the boy had manipulated her, tried to frame her, and even lead her on even though apparently he’s not even into girls. Seriously, why can’t her body let her be into a guy who isn’t like that?


And then suddenly, as if on cue, a very hot guy walks past, and Bellatrix has a new crush. Let’s just hope he’s not planning to kill a bunch of students as well…