"Did you really just hiss at that girl?" Abraxas watched the latest roommate in what has become their oddest competition yet. She'd confessed she had a minor snake phobia after she'd seen Avery's ridiculous snake and skull tattoo. She'd fluttered her eyes at Tom as she'd said it, and leaned in toward him as though he'd be inspired to comfort sweet, fragile little her.

He'd sniffed at her hair and asked if she'd used rancid coconut oil the last time she'd mixed up the organic hair care products she'd gone on at some length about. You'd have thought she'd have taken that as a hint, but women tended to press on despite Tom's less than subtle hints he wasn't interested. He could tell a woman her hair stank and she'd just clutch at his arm and simper. It baffled Abraxas, but he'd never understood girls. Tom had always had a girlfriend, right until the day he didn't, but Abraxas had always known what he himself preferred.

"Hiss?" what he preferred asked, an expression of diabolical amusement on his face.

"As in the sounds snakes make," Abraxas said. The girl had fled, tears clinging to the edges of her eyes. "Hssssss."

"I said I'd get rid of her in under a week," Tom said. He slid a hand across the table so his fingers brushed against Abraxas'. "I'm not sure why you keep trying to let that room. No one but you is ever going to put up with me."

"It's a challenge," Abraxas said. "In all the big, wide world, is there anyone Tom Riddle likes."

"You," Tom said.

"You dated -"

"You said likes, not dated." Tom said.

Abraxas laughed. He'd lost this round, but the stakes were always fun, and he already had the next possibility coming over later in the week. "Give me time," he said. "I'll find you a friend."

Tom snorted then, as the last failure stomped out with her bags slung over her shoulder, hissed again at her departing back.


. . . . . . . . . .

a/n - a nearly plotless Drabble addition to the Housemates universe because unknown_authoress encouraged me with all her endless cheering and support. A million thanks, love. If you like tombrax, she has a Drabble series in the pairing on tumblr. She's also on ffn as Mrs Authoress Malfoy (add periods between the words of her name).