Fan Fic / The Very Secret Diary

Ginny: I'm just saying goodbye. I can't think why I care, but I didn't want to throw you in the fire without saying goodbye.
Tom: You don't care. You can't help yourself. You come back to me again and again, you try not to but it's too much, isn't it? Because you're mine, Virginia. And this is not goodbye.

The Very Secret Diary is a fanfiction set during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, made up solely of Ginny's written conversations with Tom Riddle's Diary.

Starting from her first entry, the story shows Ginny's increasing terror as she starts blacking out and waking up to hear about students being petrified. She turns increasingly to Tom for support, but his underestimation of Ginny, along with his frustration at being a child's diary, causes him to gradually reveal his true nature. Ginny catches on to him, and they soon find themselves in a fight as Tom tries to completely control her and Ginny casts about for a way to fight him without going to a teacher and getting expelled.

Despite its Foregone Conclusion, The Very Secret Diary is able to draw out a lot of characterization, Fridge Horror, and suspense out of its subject. The story can be found here and there is also a German translation that can be read here.

Not to be confused with The Very Secret Diaries.

This novel contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Your eleven year old daughter makes a new friend she doesn't tell you about. They write back and forth for months, not meeting in person. She pours her heart out to this new friend. He is older than her, very possessive and controlling, and makes her feel isolated and alone without him. He presents himself as a benevolent ally, someone who wants to "teach" her things about the world, but slowly reveals himself to be a sadistic monster. When they finally properly meet, he shows his true colors, but by then, it's too late.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ginny, at the end.
  • All Take and No Give: Tom and Ginny's relationship, with Tom as the Taker. Tom needs her to pour her heart out to him and she just gives and gives and gives. However, he makes her feel like the Taker, painting himself as the generous Giver who listens to her problems, manipulating her further.
  • Break the Cutie: It's a long, slow process for Ginny.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Ginny keeps Tom from just killing her in this way in the final chapters, by reminding him that if he kills her, he's back to square one and will have to start again with someone new.
  • The Charmer: Tom Riddle, of course.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Ginny, towards Harry, a little bit, though it's relatively harmless — just perfectly ordinary frustration any eleven year old would feel if her crush seemed way more interested in his female friend than her.
    • Tom acts like a male version towards Ginny, accusing her of abandoning him every time she goes for too long without writing.
  • Consummate Liar: Guess. Tom frequently feeds lies and half-truths to Ginny, both to further his plan and just for kicks.
  • Creepy Monotone: Ginny's writing voice is this while possessed by Tom, and near the end it starts to bleed into Ginny's conscious voice.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Very Secret Diary can be this to Arabella's Hermione, Queen of the Witches, which is Hermione's take on the series up to Book Five, written in her (not-evil) enchanted diary.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's how Tom lets out his aggravation, and Ginny's often too naive to get that she's being laughed at.
    • Tom Riddle especially likes using double meanings: for instance, when he's trying to persuade Ginny to tell him a secret:
    Ginny: You wouldn't care if it was a bad one?
    Tom: You could not tell me anything that would make me like you less.
    • Sometimes straight-up sarcasm does the trick.
    Ginny: Oh, Tom, guess what!
    Tom: Harry looked at you.
  • Defiant to the End: Even when she's powerless against him, Ginny refuses to go quietly, until Tom reveals his true identity, after which she freaks out, and starts begging for her mom.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: The last few entries. Did she just flip off Voldemort? Why yes, yes she did.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: It's been pointed out that Tom's manipulation is disturbingly similar to that of real life predators.
  • Doomed by Canon: Ginny gets possessed. That much is inevitable. Also inverted — knowing how the actual book ends takes the edge off the fic's rather bleak ending.
  • Downer Ending: But, a happy epilogue, if you've read the book.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Tom, questioning Ginny on why she loves her family. He's also repeatedly baffled by her genuine innocence and kindness, though never for long.
  • Evil Gloating/Kick the Dog: Tom bullies Ginny well past the point where he's won. 'Cause he evil.
  • False Friend: Tom to Ginny, shown here in complete, horrible detail.
  • Flat "What.": Tom gives a couple of these on the few occasions Ginny manages to genuinely shock him.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Tom fully possesses Ginny in the end. Knowing this makes the fic so much harder to read — it's like watching a trainwreck in slow-motion.
  • Freudian Excuse: Defied. Ginny acknowledges that Tom had a rough life, but as she points out, so did Harry. Tom's terrible upbringing didn't make him evil — and she's not sure what did.
  • Gaslighting: One of Tom's preferred methods against Ginny.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Ginny gives a remarkable "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Tom, saying she simply can't work out what's wrong with him.
    • Get Out: Tom's only response to the above.
  • Good Is Not Dumb/Guile Hero: Ginny. Despite all of Tom's insults and snipes, she was able to delay Riddle's plans by several months, first by manipulating the concern of her friends and family, and through sheer willpower.
  • Hufflepuff House: Although she doesn't know why, Ginny doesn't want to be sorted here. Tom tells her that there's no need to explain.
  • Insult Backfire: Some of Tom's snide remarks towards Ginny fail to actually hurt her because they fly right over her head, especially in earlier chapters.
  • Lack of Empathy: Guess who? He wouldn't be Tom Riddle if he had an ounce of empathy in him.
  • Little Miss Badass: Fighting Voldemort off from the inside despite being terrified and significantly weaker than him would already be impressive, but then you remember Ginny is eleven. She's a Gryffindor for a reason, after all.
  • Madness Mantra: "I do not know. I do not know. I do not know."
  • Manchurian Agent: Ginny has no memory of Tom's possessions.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Tom. For a while, he manages to convince Ginny against herself.
  • Mind Rape: Guess who, on who. What makes it so terrifying to read is that we know Tom's an evil bastard who's only manipulating and using Ginny, but Ginny doesn't have a clue.
  • Minimalist Cast: Other characters are mentioned frequently, but only Ginny and Tom appear in person. (Or, on page.)
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: This fic gives Ginny one for the original book. Ginny spent almost a full two months fighting Tom off before she was finally fully possessed. Talking back to him and snarking at him along the way. Downer Ending or not, that's impressive.
  • Oh, Crap!: A deadly serious one when Ginny realizes what "Tom Marvolo Riddle" is an anagram for.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Had Ginny simply told any adult about Riddle, she (and Hogwarts) would have spared a lot of anguish. There were moments when Ginny would have gone to an adult, but Riddle was able to stop her, first by playing to her sympathy, and then, when he reveals his true colors, terrorizing her by claiming that she and her family would be punished if she told the truth of what happened.
  • Precocious Crush: Ginny's crush on Harry doesn't count, since he's only a year older, but her heavily implied crush on Tom does, since he's sixteen. On the surface, an eleven year old having an unrequited crush on an older boy seems harmless, even normal, but the full truth of the matter is way creepier than that. It doesn't help that Tom appears to be encouraging it.
  • Psychological Thriller: Despite the presence of magic and all it entails, what makes the story so gripping is the mind games Tom plays on Ginny, and seeing her fight back.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: While Riddle waits for Harry in the Chamber of Secrets, he passes the time by giving Ginny a Reason-You-Suck Lecture. Earlier, Ginny gave him one of her own, which actually managed to stun him. Not for long, but still.
  • Sanity Slippage: Ginny, from the very start, but especially after the attack on Halloween. By the end, she's barely keeping herself together, and one gets the sense that telling herself she has to stop Tom is the only way she's kept a firm enough grip on her sanity to be functioning. When she realizes he's Voldemort, her sanity nearly shatters entirely.
  • Saved by Canon: An odd case of this and Doomed by Canon applying to the same character. Ginny is going to be possessed by Tom, but we know that his victory won't last for long, as Harry will find her and save her by destroying the diary.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ginny, although she gains some Character Development halfway in.
  • Significant Anagram: Tom is fond of them, as in Canon.
    • Let's get the obvious out of the way. "Tom Marvolo Riddle" = "I am Lord Voldemort."
    • "Viane Folo" (the name Tom gives for his alleged girlfriend) = "naive fool."
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Or, rather, Lonely Girl Seeks Nice Boy. The main reason Ginny has a crush on Harry is because of how nice and brave and heroic he is. She's implied to develop a crush on Tom because he's nice to her and listens to her. Yeah...
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Ginny, to Harry. It's also implied that she starts to develop feelings for Tom before things go pear-shaped.
  • Smug Snake: Riddle is certainly dangerous and manipulative, but he's not as smart as he would like to believe. He utterly underestimates Ginny's intelligence. This partly ends up his undoing, since he constructs fake backstory was so weak, Ginny only had to ask a few questions to poke holes in it. And when Ginny does get wise, his plans are setback by her attempts at resistance, leading him to basically throw a tantrum.
  • The Sociopath: Tom, as in canon, is incapable of feeling love, compassion, guilt, or empathy, though he's pretty good at faking it.
  • Soul Jar: The diary contains the soul of sixteen year old Tom Riddle.
  • Spanner in the Works: In the end, Ginny herself. While she couldn't fight him forever, she did manage to hold Tom off long enough to ensure that his full possession of her doesn't happen until the night the Mandrakes will be ready to cure everyone. Ginny's resistance is the only reason Tom wasn't able to carry out his plan in full, much earlier.
  • Spotting the Thread: Ginny finds an inconsistency in Tom's story about "Viane" and her alleged history with him and Moaning Myrtle (apparently, it didn't occur to Tom to double-check to make sure the timeline matched up). After that, she decides to look into some other details, and once she does the proper research, his story falls apart at the seams. It's all downhill from there.
  • Stealth Insult: Tom, to Ginny, a lot.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Ginny sometimes comes up with her own ideas about Tom's past. He tends to just roll with it.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Tom frequently addresses Ginny as "dear" or "sweet girl" or other pet names. It's enough to make you sick.
  • Villainous Breakdown: On the moments where Ginny completely outsmart him, Riddle's response is dead silence, followed by violent threats.
  • Visionary Villain: Tom, as always.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Yep. From start to finish, and Ginny fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.
  • Wham Line: "You have mentioned this You-Know-Who several times, Virginia. But I do not know who. Won't you tell me?"
    • Once Tom has Ginny fully under his control, he gets off an epic one:
    Tom: Idiot girl, it took you five months even to suspect me. And in another five months you have been completely unable to extract yourself from me for long enough to say a single word in your own defense. Of course you do not know who I am. You do not know to whom you have been giving your soul. Ask me now who I am. I want to tell you.
    Tom: And who else am I?
    Ginny: I do not know who else.
    Tom: Ah but you do. You do know who, Virginia. You know who.
    Ginny: No, I do not.
    Tom: Yes you do. You know who. You know who... You-Know-Who.
  • Yandere: Tom acts like one towards Ginny, though he doesn't so much "love" her as "need" her...