My eyes flicked to the large, looming snake; my body was stone, frozen.
When Tom turned, his eyes were narrowed for a second, before they flooded with recognition and surprise. I guess he hadn’t bargained on anybody following him down here. Once again, he opened his mouth, but, instead of words, that familiar hissing noise filled my ears. I glared at him. He stared back unblinkingly.
For one moment, I thought he was summoning that snake to take me, when its great green body curved, only metres away from my feet. Its head was bent to the floor, but even so, I could pick out the edges of its yellow eyes amongst the mass of scales. I turned away, full of disgust.
"Why are you here and what are you doing?” I yelled at Tom again.
For one final time, his face went through its motions of being confused, before finally I heard English from his lips.
"Answer my question. Then I will tell you mine."
“What question?” I snapped, and then it hit me. Instead of talking to the snake, he had been speaking to me. “Do you mean that hiss?"
He nodded, his voice growing quieter, deeper.
“Why are you here?”
“I followed you. What is that?” I added, thumbing to the snake.
“That is the legendary basilisk. She is mine. My beautiful pet. Isn’t she lovely? But beware of the eyes; looking directly into them will do you a lot of harm.”
“It’s a snake, it’ll do me harm either way,” I muttered, before raising my voice and saying to him, “how come it’s down here? The staff won’t let you keep it elsewhere, is that it?”
“Yeah, she’s a bit of secret, so don’t tell anyone.”
I didn’t reply, watching the snake as I considered what Tom had asked of me. He was standing, leering in that funny manner, and his stare glowed with glee as the beast continued down the corridor.
“But where’s it going?” I asked, still fearfully watching the basilisk as it slithered away behind me. Tom was remaining in the damp chamber whilst that snake was beginning to wind itself towards the exit- and the school.
Tom’s face broke into an evil smile.
“Going to find some mudbloods.”
I stared at him, horrified. I wasn’t friends with everyone, but I did believe in equality; that was what Hogwarts was all about, wasn't it?
Suddenly, it didn’t matter that there was a mad wizard in front of me; I began to be lost in my own world.
“I’ve got to warn the others,” I muttered, my voice rising as panic dived inside my heart. “I’ve got to warn the others!”
And then I turned my back on him, running, albeit towards the beast that I so wanted to get away from, in the direction of the entrance-chute. I had no idea how I was going to get back up to the bathroom, but there was no way I could stay here now, not when I knew what villainy Tom was planning. If I could find a professor to tell, Dumbledore perhaps, it would be all right. I jogged away back down the tunnel; if I could get out of here, I wouldn’t have to be a part of it anymore.
Murdering mudbloods! How could someone even think of such a crime as murder?
The snake was already far ahead of me, even though its tail ended behind me. It had a large body so it could climb out the tunnel with no problem, but what was I to do?
I could tell that it could sense my movements as easily as I could see its own. It flicked its thorned tail back and forth automatically. The weighty object was thrown against my foot, and I went flying across the tunnel. Pushed against the rocks and debris, I collapsed my face against the floor, my hands and feet stinging with a multitude of cuts.