Disclaimer: Tom, Ginny and the rest of the cast from the Harry Potter books are the property of JK Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishers, Raincoast Books, Scholastic, etc, etc. I'm merely borrowing them for a somewhat twisted joy ride.
Chapter Notes: As said in the random author's note above, this is my new Tom/Ginny fic. Won't really start out that way, and is probably going to be epic size, with the later chapters rather long (this is short, as it's the prologue) and/or slow coming at times, so please, bare with me and be patient. Warnings include sexual innuendoes, possible situations, screwing with people's minds, things not being what they appear to be, possible time/dimension hopping, possible wonderful use of miscellaneous resources, like the Akashic Records, astral projection and loveliness like that. And the utmost warning is that this first chapter was written whilst listening to the Labyrinth soundtrack.
Shall we begin now? Good. Sit down, buckle your seat belts, you're in for a bumpy ride. Exits are located in the direction of the 'x' button at the upper right side of the screen, feel free to leave at anytime.
How you turned my world, you
You starve and near exhaust me
Everything I've done, I've done for you
I move the stars for no one
~ Within You, Labyrinth Original Soundtrack
It was a rather dark and stormy night, one of the nights that is perfect for the weaving an old gothic tale. Which was what one Ginny Weasley was doing, at the point in time of twelve twenty-seven in the morning. The only noise in her room was that of her breath, which occasionally pushed itself through her lips in sighs of frustration. Although once in awhile, there was the slight scratchy sound of her quill doodling on the edge of the piece of parchment she held, supported underneath by her copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
No, Ginny wasn't doing her homework. That had all been finished during the first two weeks of summer, by her mother's strict orders. After all, Molly Weasley didn't want anything to contradict with her third eldest son's wedding to his long-time girlfriend. The entire Burrow had been in an uproar for the last few weeks with last minute planning and people Apparating in and out of the area. Ginny was rather surprised that the nearby Muggles didn't even notice anything.
Bam! The sound of thunder cut in on her thoughts, causing her to jump slightly. And just when she thought the storm was dying down, too.
Ginny sighed once more and looked down at the bare piece of parchment. It looked rather lonely, compared to scrolls of homework essays and the beginnings of other things. One of the other things was something that Ginny was determined to write. There was about a month left of summer vacation and she still hadn't done anything worthwhile with her time. And since so much of it was spent dodging out of people's ways, she had decided to do something productive with her time.
And that productive thing was to write a story. And therein lay the problem. She simply didn't have anything to write about. The few fantasy tales she had started upon had never got any further than a few dozen paragraphs or so, as they all sounded too contrived, too alike to every other book out there. And besides, the definition of fantasy was an odd one. Muggles found the world she lived in to be filled with fantastical objects and people, so the boundaries of fantasy were definitely skewed in Ginny Weasley's opinion.
With another sigh, the red-haired girl gently placed her parchment down on the ground beside her slippers. She definitely had a huge amount of writer's block going on at the moment and the block wasn't getting any smaller.
And after all, Percy and Penelope's wedding was tomorrow - well, today, Ginny corrected herself, checking the clock in her room. And she didn't really think they would appreciate it if she dropped in the middle of the wedding and began to sleep. So therefore, the logical thing for her to do was to turn off the light. That, and shut the window. Even though it was slightly stuffy in her room, the wind might suddenly change direction and start blowing the rain into her room as she slept. Which would not be a good thing, as her floor would leak. And since her room was right above the kitchen, it would leak into the kitchen and cause all sorts of messes.
With those thoughts, Ginny climbed out from under her covers and quickly walked over to the window. It was open all the way and she was struck with the sudden urge to go outside. She stuck her head outside for a moment and inhaled the water-heavy air. The precipitation had stopped now and the only signs that there had been a thunderstorm were the occasional, softer rumblings of thunder every few minutes or so. It was chilly out, something to be expected at this time of night and after the thunderstorm. Ginny shivered slightly in thin, cotton nightgown and drew back from the window.
There was something out there. The realization dawned on her in a flash. Squinting to see in the dark, Ginny stuck her head back outside the window, feeling slightly apprehensive. After all, who knew what nasties and beasties were out in the dark hours of the night, now that the Dark Lord was back? But as the familiar sound of the flapping wings of an owl met her ears, she relaxed and her fears subsided. For now, at least.
The red-haired girl leaned back into her room as the owl came closer and closer. One it was inside her bedroom, the owl immediately let something drop to the floor. The owl, which was a reddish-brown in colour, swooped around the room once, then exited through the window it had came through.
Curious, Ginny picked up the small, rectangular package that the owl had dropped. It had landed with a somewhat loud thud and she stood there for a moment, unsure if anyone had heard it and was going to come barging into her room, demanding to know exactly what she was still doing up at this ungodly hour. But no one came.
The package was small and flat, like one of those Muggle DC cases, or something. Her father talked about them quite often now. It was covered in brown paper, which was common to any package. Her name was written on the package, in careful, precise script. And there were no warnings on it, saying "Do not open until such-and-such a date". So, therefore, she had free reign on when to open it.
Quickly, her fingers and nails tore apart the brown paper packaging to reveal a small, black book. A sense of foreboding entered Ginny's mind as she slowly turned it over in her hands. It was so much like another book . . .
Stop it, now. Ginny
ordered herself. You are not going to go there. Supressing memories
was a wonderful thing to be able to do, but Ginny wasn't quite at the master
level of that craft now. It's not the same, it can't be. It was destroyed.
She repeated this mantra over and over in her head as she stood there,
clutching the book tightly in her hands.
She must have stood there for at least five minutes, Ginny slowly came to realize. Her fingers were beginning to ache from the tight grip they held the book in. She didn't want to open it, but she had to. Slowly, ever so slowly, she pulled the cover of the book open, expecting to see the words that were in the other book. In his book. She drew in a deep shuddering breath as she forced her eyes to go to the place where she expected to see his words. But there were none.
The breath that Ginny had been holding in came rushing out in what seemed to be a great gust. Her knees felt weak with relief. She placed the small, blank-paged black book on her desk, leaving it open to the first, thankfully blank page and turned to close the window. But the fluttering of a piece of paper as it fell to the ground interupted her path. She picked it up, wondering what it could be.
Just because something doesn't appear to be the same, Ginny love, doesn't mean it isn't.
The words, in his hand writing. Ginny felt the butterflies of terror fly their way back into her stomach as she stared at the note. A shiver slowly made its way up her spine, thoroughly chilling her to the bone. Not possible, it was destoryed! Her mind cried out against this, against this thing which should not be possible. The diary is supposed to be destoryed. Harry had said so, Professor Dumbledore had said so, so had Mum and Dad! The thoughts of disbelief crowded against each other in her head, ringing out loud and clear.
It seemed almost like her hands were moving of their own accord, first ripping the small piece of paper - the note from him - into shreds, then crumpling it in her fist, clenching her fingers together so tightly she could feel her nails beginning to dig into the flesh of her palm. She picked up the diary with the other hand, holding it between her thumb and forefinger as if it were something unholy - which, to everyone, it was.
Getting rid of me so soon, Ginny love?
The words rose to the top of the page as she carried it to the window. A shuddered gasp ripped its way from Ginny's throat as she stopped sudden. The air seemed to drop quite a few degrees, rendering it seemingly freezing in the room to the girl. The words died away rapidly, as if they had never been there in the first place. However, the purpose to that was soon discovered, as more words, written in the old-fashioned script, appeared.
There was a time when you weren't so eager to get rid of me. Remember, pet?
"Stop it," Ginny whispered, staring at the diary, transfixed. "Stop it." It was no use telling the diary to stop, it wouldn't. She had whispered those words to it countless times in her first year and they had no effect then. So why should they now?
Don't you love me anymore, Ginny?
Those were the next words to take the place of the previous sentences. She could picture his face perfectly, the pained expression on his face as he asked her the question. She could hear his voice, hear the utter innocence that he could command into his voice, the silken tones that made her shiver with each request.
Ginny firmly shut the diary, so that she would not have to see his writings any more. Somehow, by some dark magic, the diary had been restored. And sent to her, as a cruel joke, or the sender had thought she would be easily manipulated back into the spot she had been in when she was eleven. But she wasn't that shy, naive child any more. No, no, no.
Swallowing hard, she walked over to the window and uncerimoniously dropped the diary out of it. She opened her palm and let the scraps of the note fall into the night air as well. She firmly shut the window and locked it. She didn't wany anything else unwanted to come back through it. No, that would destroy her. Then would come the psychiatric visits to St. Mungo's again . . .
The thought trailed off and Ginny shuddered. She remembered the frequent trips to the hospital so soon after the end of her first year. She had been sent to a psychiatrist there by her parents, they had hoped to find something wrong with her, some reason why she had let herself be swindled by the Dark Lord. Of course, the psychiatrist hadn't called it swindled. No, Ginny recalled with a twisted smile. They had said she had been seduced by the Dark Lord. After all, if she had let him take her over so fully, that's what it deserved to be called.
With those dark thoughts, Ginny Weasley climbled into her bed and turned out the light. She lay there, under the covers and shivered for an unknown reason. She would not touch the diary, she had thrown it out the window. That would surely show whoever had sent it to her that she didn't want it.
But still, it felt like Tom Riddle had crawled out of the diary and was tracking his ghostly footsteps all over her life once more.
With a final shiver, Ginny closed her eyes and forced herself to sleep. But her dreams were not restful. She dreamed of snakes, of dark corridors, of mocking laugher, of red roses edged with black ink. She had found numerous ones in her dorm room when she was in first year. It was as if someone had taken a blood-red rose and dipped it in a bottle of ink. They had stopped after the Chamber incident.
Lost deep in her dreams, Ginny felt the brush of a dream-rose. Her body shuddered as she slumbered on.