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Chapter 1: Doomsday
Hello readers :D
Be nice - this is, as I've said, my first upload, a little Ginny/Tom one-shot. I've been really nervous about putting this up, but hopefully, everyone will enjoy it. :)
It's For Sam and Nelly.
a 'tick' or 'tock' indicates a new time frame.
It is an odd present.
If she had known she would be receiving one, she would have expected a woolly jumper or a scarf, perhaps a pair of knitted mittens.
Not a book.
It is surprisingly heavy and cold when she lifts it out of the cauldron. It has a thick spine, a worn, black leather cover, pages, completely blank, tinted stale yellow. It is a diary, and it smells sweet and cloying... like library dust.
It is better than a pair of mittens.
The robes stink.
They are red. Fantastic, sparkling red and they stick to her. They stink. They cling to her arms in big, gluey sections.
There are scratches, like cat scratches, all over her hands. She stinks and bleeds. Her palms glisten like oranges sliced open.
And there are feathers on her, big speckled feathers, shimmering gold feathers, tawny feathers. She stinks and bleeds and weeps.
(Roosters are hard to kill with a pair of twelve-year-old hands.)
Ginny Weasley’s Diary she writes, but the ink dissolves into the paper.
She watches as writing, thin, wavy, delicate writing seeps up through the page.
Hello there, Ginny Weasley.
She doesn’t want to sleep.
Colours swirl, shapes melt in and out of the darkness. Somehow, each shape expands or shrinks, twists and ripples and becomes (what she imagines to be) Tom’s face.
When she sleeps, the dreams weave and ring. They are always of Tom – and in the dreams, he talks, he touches. He has a voice, he has a face (a beautiful face), a body. She wants it to be real.
You must not think that way. You are a special girl, Ginny. You are special to me. Always.
Her pulse flutters in her wrists and she closes her eyes and smiles.
Always, she will always be special to him.
(And now she barely cares about being special to Harry.)
She writes, biting her lip, feeling woozy, feeling wonderful:
I wish you were real, I wish I could see you.
And he writes back:
I am real. Or rather, I was. I’m a preservation.
Ginny notes now that the diary is strangely like a body. The spine is thick and hard like bone, the pages are soft and dry like skin. Does Tom need to breathe? Perhaps, inside of it, there is blood and organs, veins, a heart, a mouth, a pair of eyes...
He’s still writing.
It’s like I’ve been waiting for you, Ginny. Waiting for you to wake me, to save me.
And she writes:
You have saved me.
When he replies, she grins hugely.
But you have, literally, breathed life into me.
She wishes he was truly alive. She wishes she could hear his voice, smell his hair.
She writes in return:
I wish that I could touch you, see you. Wouldn’t that be brilliant?
She chuckles to herself, but then stops abruptly when she sees the words, just fading on the page.
There is a way, Ginny.
Mrs. Norris was an ugly, ugly cat anyway.
Ginny reaches forward (and she doesn’t even shake) and runs her fingers over the cat’s throat, finds the source of the steadily weeping wound.
She was an ugly, ugly cat...
It stinks. Like her robes had. She can smell rotten meat and bloody fur.
Her hand, wet, red garish against white, runs down the stone and she crosses the last T.
She was an ugly, ugly cat...
Somehow, the diary is never, ever damaged.
It is bonded together like the body’s bones and joints.
It is never damaged, but it always, always –
He is not the way she imagined, not the way he had been in the dreams.
In real life (she doesn’t know if he is real or not...) he doesn’t have bright, gleeful blue eyes and golden blonde hair.
In real life, his hair is dark, and it moves like liquid in the light. In real life, his eyes are like glittering black glass. She can see her face in them sometimes, but most times, she can’t look.
She doesn’t know how she can speak it, she just can, now.
Every night, he comes to her. Every night without fail.
Tom sits on the end of her bed, his knees tucked up by his chin, his feet bare. They talk the way that serpents do.
He says, ‘I want you to do something for me.’
She sits up on the bed and asks, pressing her lips together, ‘What?’
‘I want you to come with me.’
She smiles slightly, ‘Where are we going to go?’
He holds out a hand (and how she loves those hands. They are cold, but they are long and slender and soft. She had mused before that his hands might disappoint Professor Trelawney – they don’t have an age line or life line – but she thinks they are lovely.) and she takes it, and then they are walking down the corridors, feet silent against granite.
He takes her into the girl’s bathroom on the second floor and it smells of rainwater and seaweed. He tells her, leaning against one of the sinks, smirking, ‘You have to say open.’
She frowns at him, her hair bright orange in the eerie light, ‘Why can’t you do it?’
And he says, his smile growing wider, beautiful in every way, ‘Oh but, you forget, Ginny... I’m not real.’
She gazes at him.
How can he not be? He is standing before her, he breathes, he talks, he moves, he blinks...
‘You are the only person who can see me, who can hear me...’
She asks quietly, bowing her head, ‘Am I mad?’
He laughs, high and cold.
‘No, Ginny,’ he says.
– finds its way back.
She threw it away, and George gave it back.
(‘I found this in the dustbin, Ginny. Honestly, you’d lose your head it wasn’t screwed on!’)
She tried to burn it, and Mum gave it back.
(‘Ginevra Weasley! You are not to practise conjuring spells, especially ones involving fire, inside of the house!’)
And then she tried to drown it, and Harry discovered it.
So she went to find it, the way the diary always found her...
It’s only when she’s lying on the floor that she realises.
Tom stands over her, looking down, and she can see her face, her revolting, dead face, in his glittering eyes.
And he says, ‘Oh, don’t look at me like that.'
Ginny cannot speak, her voice is frozen in her throat and her body feels like solid stone.
When she doesn’t reply, Tom sits down beside her. He looks into her face, the black eyes swimming, and then cocks an eyebrow.
‘Come now, Ginny, what did you expect?’
Well, Ginny’s teeth clench. She did not expect this.
‘You know who I am, don’t you?’
Yes, yes she knows who he is. He is Tom Riddle. He is her saviour!
Not the stereotypical saviour, but (and people, she knew, would try to warp it, modify it, make it sound cleaner, make her sound cleaner, but it wouldn’t change a thing.) still a saviour.
He says softly, sighing slightly, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this, should I?’
Ginny wants to scream at him, but she cannot.
‘After all, Ginny, you were such an obedient little girl... Such a good little girl...’ he brushes her cheek with the tips of his fingers, head tilted to the side, ‘I do, honestly, regret this. It’s such a shame. You were brave, you were efficient, you were loyal... Hmm, such a shame...’
Ginny hates him, now.
‘But, Ginny...’ he continues dreamily, ‘imagine it, living the way I did...’
Ginny’s head feels as if it’s full of little butterflies.
‘Not solid, not liquid, not breathing or feeling, just left to fester, to stew with all of my anger, all of my agony... Imagine...’
Ginny can’t imagine it. At the moment, she can barely breathe.
‘And then... then you came along...’ he says slowly, ‘You, ablaze with life,’
Ginny hates, hates him...
‘Well, what did you expect? I couldn’t let you leave me, Ginny, I needed you...’
He points to his chest. His heart.
‘Listen, thank you for this.’
His heart is real, now. He is becoming real, alive, and Ginny can feel weight, time, life slipping away from her. It feels strange. Like the first menstrual blood down her thigh.
Tom gets up his knees and pushes the hair out of her face. She can see herself crying in his eyes.
‘You’re, most probably, very bored, but don’t worry,’ he is saying, his voice is like velvet, ‘you’re beloved little Harry will be here soon... When he does arrive it will be, I’m sure, very entertaining,’
She still doesn’t understand his fascination with Harry. It is almost like her own, only hungrier, greedier... obsessive.
‘Here,’ he says, and kisses her cheek softly, ‘you always wanted a kiss, did you not? You always wanted a kiss... I’ll return the favour. I’ll give you want you want, Ginny.’
He kisses her on the lips, and Ginny feels sick.
‘After all, Lord Voldemort is generous...’
Thanks for reading! :)
Please R&R. I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about this.
Who knows, if everyone likes it, I might upload a few more. :D