Fandom: Harry Potter
Theme: #20 - the road home
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money made.
Tom Marvolo Riddle was a genius. He knew he was. His friends knew he was. His enemies knew he was, though most of them didn’t know how truly manipulative he was and counted themselves as his friends. People who knew of him thought he was brilliant, and those who didn’t yet know him would eventually inevitably bow to his superiority. For Tom Marvolo Riddle was a patient man.
But if he was such a bloody persistent genius, how did he get stuck inside this pathetic impression of almost-Hogwarts? He could relive moments that he knew had already happened. He could, to a degree, experience novel incidents, though they felt like facsimiles of what might have once been real. Nothing surprised him. Nothing excited him. Each day—if there was such a thing, in this place, anymore—he ate in the great hall, wandered to classes, tormented the mudbloods and half-breeds, and plotted world domination.
And he was bored.
It seemed like forever, but it couldn’t have been that long, before someone real, and electrifying, and intoxicating appeared as Tom Marvolo Riddle stepped into the potions classroom for the zillionth nauseating time. It was a man a handful of years his senior, in wizard’s robes, with green eyes and a lightning bolt scar blazed across his forehead. He looked strangely familiar, though Tom Marvolo Riddle was certain they’d never met before.
The man stepped to him, confidently, purposefully. “Tom,” he said, the aching immediacy of the voice slicing a jolt of surprise down Tom’s spine. “I’ve been looking for you for so long. We need you to help us defeat a monster.”
The man’s hand came up to Tom’s cheek, but stopped just shy of touch. Heat leapt from his palm, his fingertips. Tom tilted his head to meet the man’s caress. Fire shot through Tom’s body. It had been such a long time since anyone had touched him. Could anything possibly ever have felt this good?
“Who are you?” Tom’s senses whirled. He felt like he should know. But he didn’t care. The pleasure of another’s company, another’s warmth, after so long. Fear knotted his stomach. Hope clogged his throat.
“You don’t remember?” The man’s eyes searched his.
Tom shook his head and stepped back, removing himself from this stranger’s tangible urgency.
The man ran his hand through his disheveled, black hair. It should have made the strands stick up even more, but Tom didn’t think that was possible. Instead, it just rearranged them. Tom longed to touch it. His hand recalled something about its softness, how this man—but younger—liked it pulled. Tom stared at his hand until the man’s sigh jerked his gaze back up.
“I used to visit you. Here, in this book, years ago.” The man’s fingers flailed in the air. “It doesn’t matter. My name’s Harry. Me and my friends are trying to save the world.” A small chuckle left his lips, but it was a sad, hopeless thing. “Two of my friends, Hermione and Snape, brilliant buggers, figured we need your help. Given our… history, they thought you’d be amenable.”
Tom’s eyes widened, and Harry caught his surprise, but not the reason for it.
“Amenable, I know,” Harry shrugged, a small smile playing across his lips. “Snape’s word, not mine.”
Tom raked his eyes across this man, weighing and assessing. If this was all a dream derived of desperation, he would return often to this moment of delight and immediacy. Tom knew he imagined it, but Harry seemed to glow in this flat, pale place.
“Please, Tom.” Harry’s green eyes blazed with need. “Will you come with me?”
It was Tom’s turn to laugh. “Why not?”
So Harry leaned in and pressed his lips to Tom’s. His mouth was soft, and hot, and insistent—foreign yet familiar. Harry teased, at first, then grew bold. Tom fought back. He nibbled Harry’s bottom lip, savored a gasp, then soothed with his tongue. He fisted his hands in that black, unruly, soft hair.
And then Harry broke away, cheeks flushed, eyes wild, and Hogwarts churned, solidifying into itself, and everything was more present, more tangible, more terrifying, and unfamiliar, and new.
“What the hell did you do?” Tom Marvolo Riddle gasped, the world dimming around its edges.
Harry seized Tom’s shoulders and guided him to a bed. Was this the hospital wing? It looked so different. So much less wood and so much more chrome. And the feeling of everything. The air was thicker, the floor harder, the lights burningly bright. Even his robes chafed his skin. Tom looked around, but because he could see everything so clearly, so presently, everything was hard to see.
“It’s okay, Tom. It’ll be okay.”
Harry pressed a glass of something to Tom’s lips. He drank, swallowed. The room softened, fading, but not before Tom was tucked underneath a thin blanket.
Disorientation. A lean, hard body curled around him. Voices muttering. Exhalations. Tom turned toward the warmth, falling away from everything, nausea condensing in his stomach, shooting tremors into his arms and hands. Then Harry’s hands braced Tom’s head, anchoring him to those piercing green eyes, pinning him inside this terrifying immediacy.
“Thanks,” Harry murmured. “Thanks for coming with me.” He spoke with the relief of a man coming home after a long, long time away.
Tom seized Harry’s hot fingers and squeezed. “Thank you for getting me out of there.”
The green eyes filled. A watery laugh brushed Tom’s ears. “Took me too long.”
Tom closed his eyes and settled against Harry’s warmth. “Better late than never.”