Twins’ Tall Tales: The Haunted Chamber
“What even is the Chamber of Secrets? ” Ron leaned back in the overstuffed armchair. Professor McGonagall had sent them to the common room after questioning. The room was full of whispering students; a single phrase danced upon their lips: “The chamber is open.”
Hermione was pacing, her face lost in thought.“You saw the way the professors reacted to the writing on the walls. There must be something important about it.”
“And you haven’t read anything in the library, have you?” Harry asked, hopefully. Hermione just shook her head.
Out of nowhere, a voice boomed out, “Are you talking about the Chamber?” Fred sidled up behind them.
“Do you know anything about it?” Hermione halted. “Find a hidden passageway or something else against the rules?” She asked incredulously.
“Not yet, Hermione,” George answered, joining the group around the fire. “Not that I would want to, really. It’s haunted.”
“Come off it! You’re joking!” Ron sat up a little straighter, curiosity evident on his freckled face.
“We are not!” Fred huffed. “It was all the talk in our second year.” Fred looked around conspiratorially and lowered his voice. “The legend goes that before Slytherin left, he bred a giant monster in the underground chamber.”
The dancing shadows from the crackling fire made the twins’ pale faces look eerily gaunt.
“Oh, it was a terrifying dragon of Slytherin’s own creation,” George added. “It breathes a fire so hot it melts stone! And it shoots acid streams from its nostrils. Its long tail ripples with electricity.”
“For a while, when it was young and tame, Ravenclaw created an old charm that would harness this magical energy.”
“But then Slytherin fled, leaving the monster behind.” George’s words tumbled over his brother’s.
By now, the room had cleared, leaving the twins and the trio alone.
“It grew apoplectic! It was during a fit of rage that disaster struck. A student lured the creature from its cage in the castle, making it cross. It began to stomp around, causing a terrible ruckus.” With a wave of his wand, Fred sprinkled dirt across the room for effect. Hermione muttered about the mess but didn’t interrupt. “With a giant roar, the 13-ton grotesque dragon fell to the ground, the land caving in beneath the creature.”
“The beast fell headfirst into the pit. It tried for days to get out, but years of captivity had kept it from ever learning to fly. With each beat of its mangled wings, dirt went flying, mixing with the rain and snow until Slytherin’s monster was caked in mud and frost.” Fred paused, his words dying like the last embers of the fire.
“One day it simply stopped fighting,” George picked up in an almost inaudible whisper. “Where its body fell, the chamber was created. If you go down past the Quidditch pitch at night, you can still hear its agonized screams whistle through the air. Its ghostly figure still haunts the castle, in the throes of eternal rage. There is only one entrance…” Harry, Ron, and Hermione leaned in, eager to know the location. “They say that the dragon will breach the surface of its crusty tomb, sending cracks through the ground. Follow them, for there the being is waiting to welcome you into its humble abode… AND EAT YOU!” George wailed.
Unbeknownst to the three second years, his twin had snuck up behind their chairs, and with an ear-splitting growl, he lunged, startling the younger students, who screeched in terror. Fred and George howled with laughter, causing the Fat Lady’s peaceful snoring to falter as she called out, only half awake, “What happened?”
“You made that up,” Ron protested as the color returned to his face. His brothers just shrugged.
“Maybe we did. Maybe we didn’t,” they chorused from the stairs.
“They’re joking,” Hermione assured the others, her face betraying her confident tone.
“We should head to bed,” Hermione announced, pragmatically. The others agreed and followed her to the spiraling staircase. They told themselves that everything would be fine. Yet all three of them walked cautiously, watching the ground for any sudden cracks in the cold stone floor beneath them as they trudged off to bed, still not quite ready for sleep.
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