Written for SomethingWithMittens' Prompt & Post Challenge.
My prompts were "Caged" and "innocence"
I don't own Harry Potter in any way, shape, or form.
"You've just taken . . . your first step into hell."
She did it because she was lonely. That's what she tells herself, and for the most part it's true. It was her first time away from home, and it's not like her brothers' are helping any. If they're not ignoring her (too wrapped up in their own lives to notice their friendless little sister), then they're teasing her merciless over her crush on Harry.
Ginny Weasley was a sad, lonely little girl—so when her precious dairy began writing her back, she viewed it was a blessing instead of a curse.
'Good morning, Tom!' she scribbled down excitedly. It was Sunday, and Ginny was tucked into an abounded corner of the courtyard. All around her students harried to and fro, but she only had eyes for the little black book resting in her lap.
'Hello Ginny, we haven't talked in awhile,' even if they're just ink on paper, his words sounded sad, like he'd missed her.
'I'm so sorry. I've had a ton of homework lately, and Professor Snape assigned a huge essay on memory potions. I don't think we're even supposed to get to those 'til next year! Was he this mean when you were in school?' she wrote this all out very fast, not wanting her best friend—her only friend—to think she'd forgotten about him.
As always, he responded immediately, and she could tell he was laughing. 'I'm afraid I don't know, my dear. I attended Hogwarts long before your Potion's Master.'
Ginny frowns slightly. She knew Tom was old, but not that old. She wants to know exactly how old he is, but asking seems rude, so she poses another question.
'Which house were you in?'
'Slytherin,' he answered proudly. Ginny was shocked. How could her Tom be a Slytherin? He was sweet and kind, not cold and cunning. As if sensing her hesitation, his next words were much more somber in tone. 'Just because a house as a few bad people in it doesn't mean they're all evil, Ginny.'
Ginny bit her lip. He was nice, but she can tell he's disappointed. 'I know that Tom, I'm sorry.'
'It's alright, I understand. Now, tell him about this essay; I might be able to help you. . .'
Tom did help, greatly, and Ginny got her essay back with top marks. But now she had something far more serious to worry about.
She'd be in the library, close her eyes for just a second, and then find herself in a completely different part of the castle. Or whole hours would go by without her remembering a single thing that happened in them.
Tom's very concerned when she tells him. 'You must not be getting enough sleep,' he says in that oh-so wise tone he has sometimes. It makes you want to do whatever he tells you; it makes you feel like you can trust him on matter what.
'I've been having nightmare,' she admits. For the past couple nights, Ginny's dreamed of a faceless monster chasing her trough the corridors. Quite a few times her roommates woke her up, saying she was whimpering in her sleep.
'I'm sorry, pet. Would you like to know what I do, when I have bad dreams?' She knows they're only marks on a page, but she swears she can hear his voice in her head. He sounds so gentle and loving, like a father talking to his baby girl
'What?' she's so tired, she can barely get the word down.
'I try to think of something pleasant, something that makes me happy, before I fall asleep. That way I'll dream about it.'
He tries to follow his advice, but all her hazy mind can come up with are vague images of her family, flying, and Harry Potter's brilliant green eyes.
'Go to sleep Ginevra,' is the last thing she sees before she eyes flutter shut.
Tom sneered, stupid little girl! He experimented with this new body, flexing the fingers, wiggling the toes, before making it leave the common room threw the Fat-Lady's portrait.
He hadn't a moment to lose; there was work to be done.
He decided he rather liked his latest victim. She was small, but her movements had a cretin cat-like grace to them. He started for the girl's bathroom on the seconded floor, but quickly changed his mind. Best take care of any potential threats now.
The grounds are just how he remembers them, including the chicken coop behind the groundkeeper's nasty excuse for a house. He counted five roosters—perfect.
Killing them was harder then he thought it would be. Ginevra's hands didn't have the strength to snap all their necks; not with them squawking and trying to peck and claw at her. Anger and frustration growing, Riddle finally made the red-head beat their heads in with a large stone.
Oh, it was so pretty. The wonderfully bright red blood running between his little Ginny's fingers, staining the snow-white skin with lost innocence.
But, alas, there was still much work to be done. Taking the dead animals, the future Dark Lord went back to the castle. His basilisk had been locked in its cage for far too long, the poor thing must be hungry.
And he had a message to send. . .
Ginny's next entry was the most entering Tom Riddle had ever read.
'Dear Tom, I think something happened last night. I was covered in pain and feathers when I woke-up, and my arms were all scratched up. Oh, Tom, I'm so frightened. . . '
Just in case anyone asks: Yes, I got the quote from Fullmetal Alchemist: brotherhood, episode 1.