A/N: This is a oneshot song-fic I have written for my best friend AnarchicMuse.
The song this has been written off of is "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles.
My life began with two words. Two words that brought death to so many, the words of the most lethal piece of Dark Magic to exist. The Killing Curse. The curse which gave me life.
At the time I was nothing more than a forgotten shard. A tattered remnant of the soul of Tom Riddle, so utterly fragmented it could not hold together under the brunt of the Dark Magic that it split off the main portion and lodged itself in the most capable vessel. A young baby by the name of Harry James Potter.
It took me many months to gain proper self-awareness; I was, after all, nothing more than the tiniest piece of a true soul imaginable. A weak, shattered little thing incapable of existing without a host to bond myself to.
As the boy grew, I grew. I learned. I remembered. Everything that I was, that I had been, that I would one day be. From Tom Riddle, the lonely little orphan with freakish powers, to the Dark Lord Voldemort, ruler of the Dark Arts and scourge of the Wizarding World. I knew what I should do-what I needed to do, to bring myself back to strength.
Kill the boy. Kill him, drain his life force, and return to power.
At first I told myself I was merely not strong enough. After all, even young, Harry Potter was a gifted wizard. Wandless apparition to say the least! So I decided to wait.
But the more I saw, the harder it became to consider killing the boy. Because the more I saw, the more curious I found myself. How is it that a boy, so hurt and neglected, could become so… good? From saving a baby bird at the cost of his cousin breaking his arms, to standing up for a classmate and having his food stolen for a week, Harry never ceased being everything that young Tom Riddle had not been.
And, somehow, I found myself growing attached.
Something always brings me back to you. It never takes too long. No matter what I say or do I'll still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone.
I smiled as I stood beside Harry in the Great Hall, letting the Sorting Hat whisper in his ear. He was so… so pure, so innocent, even having faced the difficulties of his life. A life even worse than my own, yet where it had damaged me, he had grown more strong, more kind and good. And it astounded me; how could one so pure possibly exist in a world so filled with darkness? How could a boy, so like myself, still shine so brightly?
Harry's grin as the Hat bellowed out its decision-Gryffindor!-made whatever small part of me that wished he was in Slytherin vanish. That feeling only grew as he was immediately given a place beside the redheaded boy who had befriended him so eagerly on the train. Immediately the two struck up a conversation, several other members of the table coming forward to meet Harry.
Yet still a darker emotion curled its way around my broken, fragmented shard of a soul: jealousy. And worse still, sadness. Sadness that I would never be able to do more than watch, unbidden and unwanted, as Harry travelled through life. Jealousy that others could be there where Tom could not, those who would never truly know or appreciate Harry.
"I will always be here for you, Harry," I whispered as I watched him. "Always. You are not alone."
You hold me without touch. You keep me without chains. I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your rain.
The Dark Lord Voldemort rose, taller than any normal man could ever be, looming dark and terrible, eyes a gleaming crimson against milk-white skin. When he grinned it was like that of a shark; pointy and sadistic. Hungry.
I watched, almost detached, as he summoned the Death Eaters and began his ruthless interrogation and punishment of them. This was the man I once was. The man I was a part of and supposed to support unconditionally; after all, how is a mere shard of the soul supposed to rebel against the entire thing?
But this was not me. Not really. This… this was a monster. A twisted, mutilated beast with nothing left but hatred and cruelty. There was a time where such raw power would have drawn me close, made me crave strength, for that was the only strength I believed in.
However, as I watched Harry struggle against the Dark Lord, fight back and nearly win, even as a mere teenager, I found myself doubtful of the man I once was. I knew now that there was more to strength than magic and power. There was more to life than domination and conquering. All power had its flaws, its price. But strength?
I felt a strange inkling of pride as Harry managed to escape from the Death Eaters and Voldemort himself and make his way back to the Triwizard Cup. Just a boy of 14, yet still with enough determination to match the most powerful Dark Wizard to ever live.
Perhaps I should have been more loyal to the man I used to be. Yet Harry was truly inescapable.
Set me free, leave me be. I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity. Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be. But you're on to me and all over me.
"I wish I could hate you."
I would sometimes say that as I watched Harry. Because it was true. I wished it was that easy. I wished that I could look at him and loathe his very existence, be disgusted by his every breath.
But, truthfully, I was tired of hatred. Tired of the anger, the rage that had made up my last life. I was nothing more than a tiny strip of a real person, and perhaps that was why I had become so much less or more than I once was.
Harry was so like the young man I once was, and yet so different at the same time. We were both Parselmouths. Both orphans. Both incredibly gifted with magic and unappreciated by those around us. And yet, somehow, Harry had become something beautiful, while here I was a twisted, mutilated monster clinging to the barest edges of existence.
"I wish I could tell you that you are a stupid, pigheaded, foolhardy boy with no regard for his life," I continued, staring into the fire of the Gryffindor common room. "I wish I could tell you that your loyalty is undeserving and your intelligence underutilized. I wish I could tell you that your magical powers are being wasted."
I turned around, looking at Harry. He was alone in the crimson room, reading a book and utterly ignorant of the fact that his friends had gone up to bed ten minutes ago. He didn't even blink as I walked up to him and drew close.
"I wish I could tell you that you amaze me sometimes, Harry. I wish I could tell you that you are the first person to make me believe in love. I wish I could tell you that you are the most impressive person I have ever met."
I lowered myself to my knees and leaned in close, wishing I could breathe him in.
"I wish I could tell you I might love you."
I live here on my knees as I try to make you see that you're everything I think I need here on the ground.
Harry sat by the window of Gryffindor Tower, looking out onto the rainy night. The light of a single candle cast shadows over the room and lit a soft light onto Harry's features. The emerald-green eyes I had come to know and love so much almost seemed to flicker with gold as the flame twisted and curled.
I reached over, wishing I could brush away the single lock of hair that fell down past his forehead, but I stopped before I could, my hand pausing in midair. I already knew that my wishes meant nothing, for I was only a spirit in my own mind. My touch was as ineffectual as my hopes and dreams were.
A single tear traced down his cheek, marking a glittery path before dropping off his chin. For once he didn't bother to hide it, merely allowing the silent tears to course their way down, again and again.
Never had I wished so much to be able to help him. To ease his grief, his sorrow, his guilt.
Tom Riddle had always thought himself better than anyone else. The weak and feeble masses ruled by their own baser instincts and emotions. The ones who believed things like 'love' to hold any sort of real power, even in the face of true magic. Fools, the lot of them.
But I did not feel like Tom Riddle. Not anymore. I could not look at myself and believe the things I remembered him to have believed. I could not believe that what I felt for Harry was a weakness. Love is not weakness.
Though I can't seem to let you go. The one thing that I still know is you're keeping me down.
My time had finally come. It should have caused me more fear than it did, for I was the product of a past fear of death. And yet, all I could think of was how this would be a final chance for peace. A chance to finish what had begun, sixteen years ago. I was not meant for this world; I was nothing but an abomination, the product of murder and Dark Magic. Not even a true person in my own right.
I almost wanted to smile as I followed Harry into the Forbidden Forest. All this time, all these years watching, wishing I could do something, and the chance had finally come. I would die, yes, but Harry would live. Lord Voldemort would fall; the Elder Wand was not his to own, the Horcruxes dead-I could feel the death of Nagini only moments before-and so his time had rightfully come.
I watched as Harry called the souls of his deceased family members. It hurt me, the guilt, to know that this was on me. The dead loved ones, the way Harry had grown up. It was my fault. Shard or not, I was still Tom Marvolo Riddle. I was still little more than a murderer.
Farther within, I could hear the cries of the Death Eaters. Harry heard it too, clearly, for he looked to his family for advice. "You'll stay with me?" he asked.
James Potter, so much like his son in face, smiled and nodded. "Until the end." He turned to his wife, who smiled as well.
Harry resumed his trek, and I followed. However, suddenly, he felt a hand on his arm, and he saw the bespectacled hazel eyes of James Potter fixed on him.
But there was no malice. No hatred, or anger, or fear.
"Thank you," the man whispered, nodding once to me. "Thank you for watching over him."
Lily placed her hand over his own. "We'll be waiting for you on the other side."
Wetness tickled my skin and I raised my hand to my eyes, stunned as I realized they were tears. I looked from James to Lily, seeing their smiling faces. And, for the first time in my life, I could say definitely that I was doing the right thing.
So when Lord Voldemort drew his wand towards Harry and readied the spell on his lips, I stepped forward and held out my arms, blocking the path. I knew what I had to do.
The Right Thing.
My life ended with two words…
Something always brings me back to you. It never takes too long.