Ginny, Tom (Riddle)Challenge:
Dark, not non-con, Ginny's sixth year or beyond.Prompt word:
PG-13 (suggestive language)Suggested by: spiritedrinoaNotes: Am currently overhauling the story to make it less emo-licious. For now, this version stays up. ~efg 13.07.06
Tom Riddle had never really left Ginny’s mind. When Harry had driven the basilisk’s poisonous fang deep into the hide of the journal, she had felt as though a part of her would die, but then she’d felt him filling her consciousness. The horrible stench of sulfur and burnt blood had seared into her nose, and every time she thought of him – the way he’d listened to her, the way he’d genuinely cared – that strange scent would return. At first it made her nauseous, but as the years had gone on, the smell had etched itself upon her psyche. She forever associated his presence with that pungent aroma.
The dreams had started her fifth year. There was nothing she ever remembered in the morning, but there would always be that lingering scent that no amount of tooth brushing could quite banish. After awhile, she stopped trying to purge the taste from her mouth. She couldn’t quite pin down when the change happened, but part of her wanted to say after that Quidditch game – the one where she and Harry kissed.
Every morning she’d wake up, the tang in her mouth and a pressure in her mind. Over the weeks, she felt herself withdrawing from Harry (and perhaps he was withdrawing from her as well), and after Dumbledore died… well, she was almost grateful when Harry did the hard part for her. She played it off as best she could, but it was hard to hide her relief.
In what would have been her sixth year, Ginny stayed at home with her folks and they taught her as best they could. However, with all the difficulty with Bill and Fleur, combined with the general troubles of the world, and Ron running off to help Harry fight the good fight… she was mostly left to her own devices and trusted to study. This, of course, was completely daft of Molly and Arthur, as what Ginny ended up doing was going through the twins’ stock of leftover pranks and half-finished items for their shop. They used to entertain her, but now… they were like ash in her mouth. It wasn’t until she was looking through her birthday presents several months after the fact that she found the diary that Percy had sent her. At first she thought it was a sick joke and put it aside and promptly forgotten about it. However… well, now she had no one to really talk to. And it’s not like the diary would talk back to her this time, so why not?
She started writing again, mostly by candlelight. Every morning she woke up and the taste of blood was fresh on her tongue, though no matter how hard she looked, she could not find a cut. One night, towards spring, she dreamt... and knew that something had changed.***
He stood before her upon the platform at the front of the Great Hall, expression serious. The hall echoed in a way that it should not, but there were no tapestries or house colours decorating it, nor students’ bodies to absorb the sound. It was staggeringly empty, and stark. Ginny could feel herself looking around, though her eyes never left Tom’s.
“Thomas,” she intoned, sensing a formality that she’d only read in old textbooks and the books her mother kept locked away under her bed. She did not understand the compulsion she felt to curtsy, but she did it anyway, inclining her head. She noticed the serpentine green robes that clung to her in ways that would probably have gotten her in trouble were this not a dream.
“Ginevra,” Tom replied, extending his hand to her and righting her. She stepped closer to him, inexplicably. “I’m so glad you could join me. It’s been too long, my dear.”
“Is this a dream?” Ginny asked, frowning and tucking a red curl back up into her coif.
He smiled indulgently. “It’s more than a dream, Ginny,” he said. “For more than a year, we’ve met here almost nightly… to dance, to talk.” His fingers reached up to touch her face. “To do other things that require neither talking nor dancing…” She shivered, but could not pull her eyes from him. “And every night it starts the same way… and you ask me that question. Every night I must explain it all to you…”
Ginny’s fingers reached up to cover Tom’s with her own. “Is this… real?”
“As real as we can have for now,” he said. “I have no form, no substance, and it’s you that keeps me alive. You’re the reason I’m able to come here every night… But I do not know how much longer this will last, Ginny.”
A flash of anger surged behind his dark green eyes. “Harry Potter.”
Somehow, she knew. The knot of fear that should have formed in her stomach was strangely absent.
“The horcruxes?” she asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yes,” Tom said urgently. “When those are destroyed, it won’t just kill what I become; it will cause me
to cease to be altogether. When that happens, our time together will end, and all hope of a corporeal reunion will have passed.”
“How long?” she whispered.
“There is only one left, and it will happen within the week,” he said. “Ginny,” he urged, stepping close to her. “You must
remember this meeting.”
In a motion she almost remembered, her hand went automatically to his and he… well, Tom never really smiled. Not with his eyes, though his lips would draw up in a way that would suggest mirth on anyone else. His expression did grow more tender, softer, and he pulled her against him. Her fingers traced up his arm and to his face, seeking something.
“You know no one else understands you the way I do,” he said. Ginny was not surprised to discover that his lithe fingers were tangled in her hair, nor was the sudden taste of sanguine pleasure in her mouth completely unexpected. A pressure up her back pushed the air from her lungs and she found herself kissing him. Her arms slid around his neck and he deepened the kiss, a burnt flavour entering her mouth and mingling with the iron taste already there. In all ways, this was Tom
. More than his touch or his smell, his taste
is what surged into her mind. She found herself not wanting to come up for air. Suddenly, the room began to spin and black spots encroached on her vision.
When she awoke, her bare back was pressed against the cool floor of the Hall, and Tom, shirtless, hovered above her. “Ginny,” he murmured again, leaning in to kiss her. “Gin…”
Her arms reached up for him and she pulled him down against her, hips rising against his. “Tom,” she breathed, not daring to move. “What’s happening?”
“I was wrong,” he said quietly, touching her face with one hand. “It’s happening tonight.”
“No,” she protested, growing angry at Harry. How dare
he try to take Tom from her? Tom was hers
, and hers alone. “What if I forget again?” she asked, voice tense.
“Then we can’t let you forget,” he said, one hand moving up her leg, and she didn’t have time to protest or wonder to where her robes disappeared.
Twining together, they sank into a dark ecstasy.***
When Ginny woke up, it was to her mother shaking her violently. “Ginny Weasley!” she exulted. “Get up, get up! The war is over! Harry defeated You-Know-Who last night!”
She sat up slowly, feeling something slip away from her, like fog burning off in the morning sun. She struggled with the memory of emerald and the taste of… Of what? What was it?
No matter what she did, there was no taste of blood in her mouth.