“Happy birthday!” I exclaimed as I shook Tom. Today, I made sure I would get up as early as possible, or at least before Tom woke. It was still dark outside, yet the sun’s glow was barely peaking over the treetops. Surprisingly, Tom’s candles were still lit. To make sure I would arise before Tom this morning, I slept very lightly. My mind would wake me up every hour or so to make sure Tom had not got up yet. For once, I wanted to surprise him, and why not on his birthday?
Tom groaned and turned around to see that I was sitting up in bed with my hands lightly shaking his shoulder. He turned on his back so he could face me. “What are you doing?”
“I’m wishing you a happy birthday! It’s the only thing you have that makes you really special, so…happy birthday!”
“Oh yes, because no one except for me was born on New Year’s Eve. What a good observation Eva,” he half mumbled in his tired state. Somehow he still managed his dry sarcasm.
“No, not like that. You’re the only Tom Marvolo Riddle born on New Year’s Eve. That makes you special!” I was trying to be as happy as I could, perhaps making up for the cheerfulness that Tom so desperately lacked.
Tom turned his glance towards the ceiling, trying hard to wake up. “I’d like to think I’m special besides my birthday, thank you very much.”
I rolled my eyes and playfully shoved his shoulder. “Why can’t you be like normal people and just say ‘oh, thank you’ when some one gives you good tidings.”
“Because I’m not like normal people.”
“Oh I forgot. You’re something else. You are Lord Voldemort.” I inched closer to his face and said the word slowly. I tried to be slightly seductive, hoping some how Tom would realize he’s been sleeping next to a rather attractive young woman who wants him badly. But you can’t live in a perfect world.
“Yes, I am.” He paused and looked up at her face; his eyes frowned as if he thought her seducing methods were some sort of practical joke. “Sometimes, I wonder why you’re still here with me…alive…”
I couldn’t help but let out a laugh. “Oh, psh, you wouldn’t kill me.”
“You don’t know what I would do.” His eyes shined with a fervor that sent chills down my spine.
All I could muster was a quiet response, “You would miss my cooking too much.”
Tom didn’t say anything, but simply looked up at me with a thoughtful expression. If I didn’t know any better, I almost thought he looked up at me lovingly; but I did know better.
He raised a hand and gently grabbed my chin, as if I was a piece of property to be inspected. “You’re a long ways away from that timid little third year I met.”
I chuckled nervously, “I suppose.” It was strange, having him touch me. Although we slept in the same bed and we live in the same house, he rarely touched me with his bare skin.
“No. You are different. But I don’t know if I liked you better then or now.”
We stared at each other for what seemed ages until it started to rain, which blissfully broke our tension. My eyes glanced towards the window next to the bed. It was really pouring, the water from the sky crashing down onto the trees. The shed out back was in my eyesight, and I could see the head rooster with his son running back into the safe, warm coop.
I heard my stomach rumble and grinned at Tom. “I’m hungry. I’ll make you hot cakes, would you like that?”
Tom dropped his hands from my cheek and moaned, “God, you’re always hungry.” He rolled around in the bed and sat up. Then he turned around with a devious grin and told me, “But hot cakes don’t sound too bad.”
“Good!” I proclaimed, clapping my hands together.
I went into the kitchen and started to get out the flour I amazingly created from the wheat I had grown. Tom knew, but I wouldn’t admit, that I had help, with a little of magic of course, to make the flour. Butter had been hard to come by in the past. That was, until we stole a goat. I heard him braying outside, mostly likely because of the rain. I had begged Tom after we got him, a couple months ago, to make a little porch for him and he reluctantly complied. That being said, I couldn’t understand why he was braying so hard if the rain wasn’t affecting him. Meniscus, as I so named him, had to be making noise to annoy me.
Though I couldn’t tell because of the rainclouds, the sun had just risen above the forest by the time I was done mixing all the ingredients together and about to pour them out to make hot cakes. I had never made them with goat butter before and hoped it would taste alright.
After flipping one, I set it aside to cool and ripped off a piece to sample. The soft fluffiness hit my mouth, and although it was hot, it wasn’t bad; but it needed something. I searched high in my cabinets for that something, and then I found exactly what I wanted: walnuts. Perfect. It adds just the right crunch and flavor.
After adding the nuts in I pour ten more of the little breakfast hot cakes and placed them on the table. I set it up as nicely as possible, remembering what my mother told me about setting the table. I dusted off an old table cloth that I had been using as a blanket for the cold nights. I turned a left over fork into a vase and a spoon into a bouquet. I heard Tom turn off the shower a couple minutes before, but I still called out to him, saying it was time for breakfast.
Tom emerged from the bathroom, still looking tired. He was wearing just pajama bottoms, and I couldn’t help containing a smile. He slowly walked to the chair and sat down. Then he stared at his plate. For once, I was up before he was, and I was much happier about it than he was. I put three hot cakes onto his plate and told him to eat. He obliged and took five more. That left only two for me. I pouted a little, but decided to just make more for myself.
Tom didn’t talk the whole time he ate and even when he was done eating. I didn’t find it unusual; simply irritating since I expected him to be a little livelier for his birthday. To break the ice, I called over to him from the kitchen where I was making more hot cakes, asking, “You turned twenty-one today, right?”
He didn’t reply. I heard him shove a couple more bits into his mouth and saw him chew with his cheeks packed with hot cakes. I had to hold back from laughing. He finally swallowed and replied, “Yes, Eva. It’s been twenty-one years since the day I was born.” He put an elbow on the table and rested his head in his hand, allowing his eyes to face my direction. “And it’s been over five years since I met you.”
Tom barely whispered his last sentence, but I still heard him. I glanced down to the skillet and saw it needed more oil. I reached down to the cabinet below the oven and tried to open it. I had opened it halfway, but then it suddenly shut itself. I looked down at the cabinet door, horribly confused, and tried opening it again. For a second time, it closed.
“Tom! My Lord, please come here!”
My Lord slowly obliged and came to see what I wanted. I tried again, opening the cabinet door, and it shut, like the times before. “Back up,” he told me curtly.
Next to the oven was the kitchen sink, and above that, the window that gave me a view of the forest, the shed, and my crops. In the middle of the kitchen were the laundry tub and the washboard I had stolen. I obeyed Tom and stood next the half empty tub swishing with dirty water and old soap scuds. I watched as My Lord took out his ever present wand and aimed it at the cabinet. He said a curse that sent the door flying off its hinges, barely missing me. I stared at the broken door on the ground and thought of what would happen if it had hit me in my face. Tom was so reckless and uncaring. I turned to glare at him.
However, standing in front of me, was not one Tom but two.
One was holding up his wand, with a frightened look that I had never seen and never wanted to see on Tom’s beautiful face ever again. Others would have said his glare was of anger, but I knew the way he quivered his wand was different than the way he would if he was upset. The other Tom was floating in midair, right in front of the scared Tom. His eyes were glazed over, like the chickens I had killed or the manticore Tom had killed. His mouth was open slightly, and his face was ashen. I was seeing a dead Tom Riddle in front of my eyes, and it made me more terrified than I had ever felt.
To my horror, the body swiveled around and faced me. Slowly the corpse made its way towards where I was standing. I tripped on the cabinet door underneath her, almost falling into the tube. I pushed the tube and washboard away with my hands as I fell onto the ground. My head smacked the floor, but I picked myself up as fast as I could. I rapidly crawled towards the wall to somehow climb back up, but I knew I was trapped. All I could do was scream. “No!”
That woke the frightened, but alive, Tom to his senses. He whipped his wand as if it was a real whip and shouted, “Riddikulus!”
A sharp crack came, and the corpse Tom turned into smoke and slithered away through the crack under the front door. My chest rose and fell like the waves of the ocean outside, crashing on the cliff our house was on. The only words I could think to say were, “What…what was that?”
Tom was paler than usual, but somehow managed to look as though he was not ruffled by what had happened. “It was…just a boggart.”
“A what?” I grabbed the back of my head. I must have landed on it when I fell because I was getting a nasty headache.
“Boggart, you heard me. Didn’t you pay attention in Defense Against the Dark Arts?” Tom snapped.
I ignored his tone. “Yes, but…I didn’t really understand…why was it your corpse?”
“It changes into the thing that the victim fears the most. You fear my death, which entails your death, and so it turned into my corpse.”
No. Somehow that wasn’t right. I explained further, “But My Lord, you were the one looking at it when it first emerged. You were its victim, not me.”
Tom said nothing but simply looked at me with hatred in his eyes. I couldn’t stop myself from pressing him. “Is that your fear? That you will die?” It was a hypothetical question, but I answered quickly, “My Lord, everyone dies.”
He stayed quiet. Lord Voldemort paced around the kitchen, squeezing his wand so tight that his knuckles turned white. “No, no they don’t,” he spit out, almost snakelike.
My Lord turned on his heels and glared at me. His face twisted into an ugly looking thing. Though I was right in front of him, he felt the need to shout. “Me, myself alone will live forever and never have to face death. You may be fine with your own death, but I will not allow mine. I don’t have your luxury of knowing when and where the problem might occur, so I am preventing it from ever happening.”
I felt a wave of pity for him, the same I felt when he talked about his childhood. I tried to calmly explain to him, “You just don’t understand. Death is natural. Everyone dies–”
“Yes Tom!” I shouted back at him, pounding my fists on the floor. I was sitting upright, bending my neck back to look him in the eye. “You will die, and I will die too. Eventually, you are going to have to deal with this.”
“What makes you so worthy of lecturing me?” he spit out the words. His voice was menacingly high pitched. It a shiver down my back, reminding me of the dream I had of us in the future.
“I…I don’t know,” I timidly whispered. My hands, no longer fists, rested in my lap. I stared at them, trying to find an answer for him. Without seeing, I could tell Tom was staring at me in a way where he folds his arms and straightens out his back with his head held high, expecting an answer.
“Maybe,” I ventured, “maybe it’s because death is so easy…for me.”
“Easy?” he asked, wide eyed and unbelieving.
“My mum died when I was young,” I started to explain. “I found her when I came home from the market. She was just sitting there, in the chair, with a glass of wine next to her. I had never seen her so still or cold in my life. I overheard the Ministry workers saying that the wine was actually poison. She killed herself. My father…well he killed himself too.” I suddenly couldn’t say anymore. All I could do was stare at the floor, remembering my mother’s cold lifeless body. I thought about my father’s death, of which I had heard from Mother. It was strange, but I had never told anyone, ever, that my parents committed suicide. Not even my precious album knew this secret.
I felt the need to explain more, “I don’t know what I did wrong. Everything seemed so happy. We had just made a cake the other day. Chocolate: my favorite.” I started to choke on my words and tears slowly slid down my cheeks. I got up quickly off the floor and walked away from Tom. I couldn’t bear to look at him, so I kept my head down. I didn’t want him to see me like this. I walk as quickly as possible to the bathroom, so I wouldn’t make anymore crying noises. I kept telling myself in my mind how much I hated being such a wimp, crying over every little thing. Tom never moved at all.
In the bathroom, I tried to keep quiet, but the suppressed thoughts of my mother’s death overtook me. I was crying horribly, not in a beautiful delicate manner that some girls do. Why did she die? What did I do so wrong that she would rather die than raise me? My father even killed himself because of me. He wasn’t ready to take care of a child, my mother had claimed. So he decided to end his life. Was I that horrible, that my own parents would rather face death than love me? And the only person I seemed to love more than my own life wouldn’t even admit to his feelings for me. What was wrong with me? What did I do? More and more tears kept streaming down, making my clothes and hands wet. My breath became ragged as well. Then I remembered it was Tom’s birthday. Some birthday this was turning out to be.
I tried to calm myself and breath in and out till the tears had subsided. I exited the bathroom with as much grace as I could muster. Wiping tears away from my eyes, I saw Tom in the same place he was before, by the sink in the kitchen. His face was much calmer than it had been before. He simply stared at me, probably reading my thoughts.
“I-I’m sorry. That was rude of me, My Lord. Please, don’t punish me.”
He was serious when he said, “No. I won’t. But if you cry again today, I might change my mind.”
“Yes My Lord.” I bowed her head in acknowledgment. I silently cleared up the table, with a huge loss of appetite. I cleaned up around the sink, and Tom simply watched me intently. I wasn’t sure what he was up to, but I tried to pay no attention to him. I peered out the window. Outside I could see the storm was fading away and the sun was coming out, bright as ever. Once I was done cleaning the dishes, I walked past Tom towards the bedroom to make up the bed.
Before I made it past him, however, he grabbed my right-hand wrist. I turned my head to look at him. He had the same thoughtful, calm expression as he had when I exited the bathroom, twenty minutes before. He was studying my face, and I felt it heat up, embarrassed because it was probably still blotchy from crying. He turned my arm so that the Dark Mark was visible. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, until he brought my forearm up to his mouth and kissed the Mark, still staring into my eyes.
The feeling that it created made me slightly weak to the knees. At first, it sent a strange tingling through my arm, like the needles I would get after my arm turned numb, and a jarring stiff pain throughout my entire body. Not a moment later, the feeling melted into a shivering sensation that went throughout my limbs. The reaction felt so painfully good, I had a hard time looking Tom in the eyes. I couldn’t help from blinking and rolling my eyes back. My knees became weaker and weaker by the moment, and I could tell that he was really enjoying controlling me this way. Slowly, the feeling was turning dull enough so that I could look at Tom straight in the eyes. They were buzzing with a passion I had not seen since we had kissed in the Chamber of Secrets, many nights ago.
While he was still kissing the Mark, he said to me in my mind, “Don’t worry Eva. I will never leave you.”
A/N gasp dun dun duunnnn. haha, I'm just being silly. But really, this was a real fun chapter to make. It's one of my favorites, even though it really doesn't have much to do plot wise, just relationship wise. Takes deep breath well, the next chapter's going to be really long. Then after that we'll have a two parter. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful reviews. I take all of them to heart. Thanks for supporting me here on hpff .com! I am glad that you guys are taking a liking to this story. Okay, thanks for reading and reviewing again. Love ya!
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