"Well, the diary was destroyed two years before he came back. Does that mean there is a second?"
She was good; Harry had to admit that. She was smarter than he was, and if there was a second Horcrux, that raised a whole lot of problems for them, and double for Harry as it meant that by the same ilk, Voldemort must have at least two Horcruxes. Harry had destroyed the diary, leaving on
"Very good, Kathryn," said Riddle, sounding impressed. "It is my belief, that the diary was not a Horcrux in the truest sense. Remember, the magic that lets a wizard split his soul was his invention, and like any invention was developed through trial and error. At the time he created it, I do not think he realised its full potential, and I don't believe the thought of immortality even crossed his mind whilst making it. I believe he simply saw it as a tremendously powerful energy source. Tearing the soul releases a tremendous amount of energy that he could harness, and he was exploring the power of a soul fragment. In the case of the diary, he wanted to see if he could separate his soul and instil it into a memory. The diary was intended as a weapon, which was to be powered by a soul fragment, but it was meant to be found and used."
"How can you know all this?" asked Harry. "In my world is was you who opened the chamber, you that left the diary in the hands of Lucius Malfoy!"
"You believe that I opened the Chamber?" repeated Riddle pensively. "I must confess, Harry, that another few months and I would have had the knowledge to open the Chamber of Secrets. However, someone beat me to it. Sadly it resulted in their own death."
What? Grindelwald was alive, so it couldn’t be him. Who was it who died then?
"Who?" asked Harry.
"Myrtle," answered Katie, having already pieced it together.
Riddle's head sank into a slow nod. "Grindelwald remains to this day the greatest Legilimens I have ever encountered, a skill he no doubt learned from Albus."
"Yes, I saw them together in a memory," interrupted Harry. "Dumbledore and Grindelwald were on
Riddle's head turned and he stared at Harry, his face deliberately held firm. Whatever was going on in his mind, Tom was determined to keep this a secret. Harry hesitated for a moment – why had Riddle’s demeanour suddenly changed?
"There are very few left alive who know that," said Riddle slowly. "How could you...but of course, in your world..." he trailed off, thinking he had answered his own question.
"Actually no," Harry corrected him. "When we were fighting, I...don't ask me why, but I Legilimised him," said Harry. "He was so angry with me at the time, which was probably why he had no defence. I saw his past, I saw him at Durmstrang, I also saw him laughing and joking with a very young Albus Dumbledore, and most imp
"What name did he use?" asked Riddle leaning forward intently.
"Gellert Gaunt," replied Harry. "I guess we might be able to find out a bit about him, now?"
Riddle raised an eyebrow. "Well that certainly answers the question of him being a Parselmouth," he said pensively. He paused for a second, deep in thought before explaining further. "The Gaunts were the last descendants of Salazar Slytherin."
"I thought you were the last," said Harry curiously.
"My mother was Merope Gaunt," explained Riddle. "It seems possible that Grindelwald was related to her father, Marvolo Gaunt. Then again, the family tree could have branched a generation or two earlier. I suspect he changed his name to hide his past on
"How will that help?" asked Harry.
"If we know enough about his past, it may reveal an inerrant weakness, or perhaps information about his Horcruxes," replied Riddle.
"But we don't have time," insisted Harry. "He will move it today!"
"Correct," said Riddle. "So back to the Chamber of Secrets. Grindelwald was strong enough, even back then, to possess people. I believe that he cornered Myrtle during the holidays and took control. Hogwarts' medical records show she went to the matron at the time, complaining of inexplicable tiredness, headaches and blackouts. Grindelwald took charge of her and used her to open the Chamber of Secrets, right under Albus' nose. Naturally, Albus blamed me and took to following me around."
"Saw right through you, didn't he?" Harry said with a smile.
"Not exactly," Riddle corrected him. "Let me explain. Grindelwald possessed Myrtle Hubbard in order to open the Chamber, which being a Parselmouth, he was able to do. As a prefect on patrol, I stumbled across Myrtle killing Roosters. Naturally, Grindelwald ordered the basilisk to kill me, and was most upset when it turned and slithered off after I spoke to it. He didn't count on a second heir being present. To keep me in line he offered me a job, so to speak, in return for silence and later for finding someone to blame the whole fiasco on – Rubeus Hagrid. It was a long time before Hagrid would speak to me again. I offered him the teaching job because I have wronged him greatly. I told you, Harry, I have spent the last fifty years trying to right Lord Voldemort's many, many wrongs. Anyhow, on
"Dumbledore wasn't fooled, was he?" replied Harry with a glow of pride.
"No," acknowledged the headmaster, "and looking back now, I am most grateful that he was not. But we have digressed. On
"Hang on," interrupted Katie. "So you knew where the Chamber was all those years ago, but when it was opened again, you pretended you didn’t know."
"No," said Riddle. "As I mentioned, I know what was in it, but I never knew the location. Grindelwald never shared that information with me. But back to his second Horcrux...I knew he was planning to split his soul again, and I saw the possibility of using the soul to anchor on
"Seven?" burst out Harry. "Are you telling me that back home I have to find seven sodding Horcruxes to finally finish you off?
Riddle looked at him for a moment, before answer. "I cannot in all honesty say," he replied. "It was a theory and it was my intention to make six Horcruxes, the seventh piece being in my body. It sounds like your Dark Lord is a logical extension of what I on
"We have gone slightly off topic," said Katie, interrupting them. "As fascinating as I find all this, I’m more concerned about my Dark Lord than your Lord Voldemort. Harry said it himself. We have to move very quickly on this if we are to have any hope at all of stopping him."
"You're right," agreed Riddle. "Which leads me on to a confession that I have never breathed to another soul before this day. I created a full Horcrux shortly after leaving Hogwarts, killing my father in the process." He paused for a minute bowing his head. "I was wearing it as I arrived in Versailles the day Albus was killed. Grindelwald recognised it for what it was, and it was from me he stole the notes on my Horcrux research. While he on