Diclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling does. The dialogue at the end of this chapter is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, albeit from Voldemort's perspective.
A/N: My first Tom/Ginny fic! This is actually from an idea I had ages ago, but I changed it to be DH compliant. Not too shippy, but the next chapter will be. Hope you like it! Please, if you can, leave some feedback. Also, if you spot any errors, I'd be very interested to know so I can correct them. This was written in the early hours of the morning, but hopefully it's not riddled with errors.
Tom? Why is it that I never saw this coming?
She was so faint now. Merely a shadow... she could not speak, but he understood. Their connection was deepening. Every emotion she felt - he felt it too.
Relax, Ginevra. You are not the first to be fooled by my charm.
He felt the need to keep her calm. Because… because she would die soon. And they both knew it.
Tom- she began again, her voice fainter. He had to strain his ears to hear it, so quiet was she now; –did I ever mean anything to you? Did I – was it just a lie? Are you not the sympathetic man I once knew?
I have never felt sympathy in my entire life, merely pity for those weaker than me.
Am I weak?
The weakest person I know. But that is what made you suitable, of use to me - and Ginny? You could have become strong. Now… sleep, he whispered, and her eyes fluttered to a close, but she struggled against it.
In the afterlife, will we meet?
He hesitated, knowing that to be impossible – he would never die. Yes.
And she gave up.
He felt sure that he was close – close to the Elder Wand, close to his goal. Why, he had already achieved immortality. But there was one annoying thing – the diary.
He kept it close to him, even if it had been destroyed: he could not allow for any loose ends. Lucius had only just worked up the courage to pass it on to him – another act to add to his servant's sins. Somehow, even though it would be worthless next to his other, whole, Horcruxes and the Elder Wand, he felt it to be important.
Idly flicking through its worn, damaged pages, he came across a passage that, curiously, had not been affected by the basilisk venom at all. He began to read (obviously he was able to see the ink while others could not) – Tom? Are you there? I need to talk to you – but was interrupted by a brisk knock on the door.
He reluctantly placed the diary down and lazily lifted his wand, speaking the spell to open the door; he had no need of passwords, for his fortress was impenetrable and his servants gave him their unwavering loyalty every day. They would be sure not to betray him, their Lord.
'My Lord!' the Death Eater said breathlessly. It was clear that he had ran to Voldemort's private rooms – didn't the fool know how to apparate? – and Tom was, for an instant, irritated. But he ignored the feeling, his wish to find out the reason for the unwelcome interruption stronger than his desire to lash out.
The Death Eater bent to kiss his Master's robes, but Voldemort drew back, disgusted.
'What is it, Tiamat?' he snarled impatiently.
'It's the Verrines, My Lord!' Tiamat said, a little more timidly this time. He'd heard about his Lord's legendary temper; that he did not like hearing bad news, but the Death Eater still continued to tell it. 'They've betrayed us!'
Voldemort stood up swiftly and pointed his wand at the tense man before him. 'Avada Kedavra,' he said smoothly – his legendary dislike for bad news was not, after all, utter speculation, and Abram Tiamat was a mere newcomer to his ranks, certainly not valued enough to receive the Dark Mark.
Carefully concealing the diary, he called Wormtail to clean up the mess, another job required of him to clear his debt. It was time to deal with the Verrine family, whom he had trusted greatly until this moment.
His eyes gleamed ecstatically. This would be fun.
Murdering traitorous usurpers was a tiring occupation. While he enjoyed it immensely, it still drained him as other work did not. It was not particularly pleasant to have to admit you were fooled, even though you, in the end, are the victor.
Vengeance was sweet, but it was certainly best served cold.
The night's drudgery, however, was not over. He had already unsealed the diary once more and was endeavouring to find the pages which had caught his interest a few hours previously. There – they were right at the back of the book, two loose pages which had somehow not caught the venom. Could this mean that the Horcrux was still present, still whole? He had to find out. Beginning to read again, his interest piqued further. This was not something that he had written, certainly. It seemed to be a conversation between two people. But who…?
Tom? Are you there? I need to talk to you.
Ginevra? How long has it been now?
Five years. But, Tom, listen: this is really urgent.
You abscond from me for so long… here I was thinking you had abandoned me permanently. And now you come back requesting a sympathetic audience?
Tom! I kissed Harry! Or rather, he kissed me.
Why should I care?
Oh, Tom! Please don't act like that now! I don't know what to do!
'What is this?' Voldemort muttered aloud.
Ah, Ginevra. Impatient as ever. I'd think you would have more understanding of my plight. I have been mistreated.
Tom… help me.
Very well. Such a pitiful plea shall have to be answered. Why, may I ask you, do you feel the need to come to me with this "problem" of yours? Surely this is a happy occurrence – you certainly would have been euphoric a few years ago.
That's just it, Tom – a few years ago. I don't know what I feel now.
Foolish girl. Can't you even keep one opinion?
I thought you would have some sort of empathy with me, Tom.
If this parchment could convey emotions, you would see otherwise. But for now I shall act as benevolent as you wish me to. Some day, Ginevra, we shall meet personally. Then you shall see more of me.
We already have met.
In your dreams, I presume.
In real life, Tom. Don't you remember? I can't forget.
I cannot remember things that have never happened. Now, Ginevra, let's get this conversation going. Tell me what happened.
He suddenly kissed me, and, without thinking, I kissed back. That's all.
Well, I think you should let it continue, even if purely in the interests of science. Don't you think a romance with your beloved idol would be entertaining?
He is not my beloved idol. But you're right… Thank you, Tom. You've been very helpful. Goodbye.
Goodbye, Ginevra. You'll be back I presume?
In your dreams.
Voldemort cast the parchment down in disgust; he knew not what he had just found, but what he did know was that he had more pressing issues to concern himself with – he still had not located the Elder Wand, nor had he killed Potter and ended the war. The Ministry was close to falling… it would not be long. In any case, the diary had been missing for a long while – who knew where it had ended up? He scorned the thought that someone had known on sight how to work it, so this person, Ginevra, had obviously got lucky. Or unlucky, as the case may have been.
His lips curved in a cruel smile. Dismissing the strange pages as nothing, his mind turned to other, more sinister matters.
Then, suddenly, he remembered it all. He remembered everything. And how he wished he hadn't.
'…But before you try to kill me, I'd advise you to think about what you've done… think, and try for some remorse, Riddle…' Potter was standing there, trying to look righteous and clever, as if he had the upper hand. But Voldemort finally had the Elder Wand!
'What is this?' he said, amazed that someone could dare to say such a thing. To imply that he had done wrong.
'It's your last chance,' Potter said snidely, 'it's all you've got left… I've seen what you'll be otherwise… be a man… try…try for some remorse…'
'You dare-?' Voldemort repeated. It was what he had been secretly dreading, in a way. Ever since he had remembered – or rather, realised – what had happened to Ginevra Weasley in her first year, he had felt this niggling doubt. A thorn in his side, if you will.
That first night, he had searched. Looked for something by his side that he felt should have been there, and only later had he realised he wanted to find the Weasley girl. That there was something missing.
Dare he say it? Dare he admit it he had felt even a second of remorse?
Before he could contemplate this further, Potter interrupted him.
'Yes, I dare.'
But Tom Riddle didn't.