"The diary," said Riddle. "My diary. Little Ginny's been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes – how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how" – Riddle's eyes glinted – "how she didn't think famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her."
All the time he spoke, Riddle's eyes never left Harry's face. There was an almost hungry look in them.
"It's very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl," he went on. "But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic. I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one's ever understood me like you, Tom…I'm so glad I've got this diary to confide in…It's like having a friend I can carry around in my pocket…"
Riddle laughed, a high, cold, laugh that didn't suit him. It made the hairs stand up on the back of Harry's neck.
"If I say so myself, Harry, I've always been able to charm the people I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted…I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets." (17.41-45)
This is a terrible violation, as Tom Riddle exposes Ginny's deepest
secrets to Harry. Tom Riddle's strategy for Ginny's possession involves
lies and deceit, so we could certainly put this quote under that theme.
Still, we also have to remark on how long it takes for Tom Riddle to
gain greater control over Ginny's soul. We have very little sense of who
Ginny is at this point of the series – she doesn't really begin to come
into her own until Book 5 and later. Yet the fact that she could resist
the complete domination of Voldemort for such a long time speaks to the
strength of her character. We know Ginny is going to be important to
Harry, not just because she's a Weasley or Ron's little sister, but
because she shows the same kind of resilience that Harry did when he was
eleven and facing down Voldemort. She may make bad choices – she really
should have told someone about the diary earlier, and she doesn't
actually succeed in throwing off Riddle's influence – but she perseveres
as best she can against his powers. As well, she does try to protect
Harry from Riddle's diary. We don't think we were so tough at eleven. So
we're pretty impressed with Ginny Weasley.