Author's Note: *shrugs* It popped into my head as a vicious plot punny so I wrote it. Slash warnings. Don't like, don't read. Lastly, I don't own Tom or Draco or anyone/anything else.


Voldemorte was brilliant, a true genius among men. So many spells, so many tricks and schemes. He was a normal boy once, though. He was a beautiful, normal boy. I never met him then, of course, but I met his memory. Fuck that, I more than met him, I belonged to him. I belonged to the memory of a man who ruled the world and looked too much like Harry Potter.

Father served Lord Voldemorte, but I served Tom Riddle. I was only twelve and he was a perpetual sixteen, but he was arrogant and the age difference only supported his arrogance. I was his playmate, and he promised me that someday I'd grow into him; I'd be his age. He promised me that would be great. He told me that when we were the same age, we'd be happier than anyone else in the world because we'd have each other.

I never asked what would come next. I never wanted to know what would happen when my seventeenth birthday came. I would be older than him. I'd achieve an age he could never reach. What would happen then? I never dared make him tell me -- not that I could if I wanted to.

He was beautiful the day he told me goodbye. His hair was dark and immaculate as it always was and his eyes were bright and glaring. He told me he might run into me, because I was going in vaguely the same direction as him. He was going to Hogwarts and so was I -- he was just taking a more indirect path.

He gave me my first kiss then, a tender brush of lips -- a collision of the tangible and transparent. He promised me that we'd see each other again, and when we did meet again, he'd be real. "I'll give you a real kiss then, a solid kiss," he told me determinedly, touching my face with hands that didn't feel. "I'll come back and I'll grow up with you and kiss you and you'll be mine forever."

"You'll be older than me forever?" I asked disheartened, because then that special bonded time of shared ages would never come.

He wrapped arms around me, through me. "That's the beauty of this plan, Draco. I'm doing this all for you. I have it all mapped out. I'll free myself on your thirteenth birthday. I'll be real then, but my body will have to adjust. I won't start aging for exactly three years." A pause, then a proud smile. "I figured out the math behind the spell."

"So when I catch up with you, we'll age together?" I asked in wonder.

He nodded sharply. "Exactly. But right now I'm going to leave. I'm going to play the part of a stupid friend for a lot of people, and I'll have to play all my cards right plus keep an ace or two up my sleeve. I won't see you again until your birthday, but there will be presents for you. Beautiful presents. I'll give you deaths, Draco. Deaths of people who deserve to die."

"Mudbloods," I murmured in agreement.

"All the people who don't deserve to feel the enchantment of Hogwarts." Another pause, a frown. "Draco, you can't tell anyone. Not your father because he wouldn't approve of me telling you--" he was hasty in adding that he didn't have to follow my father's orders. "But when he tells you I'm gone, look sad. Demand to know where I went. Storm up to your room and stay there for a while. He can't know I've told you because he's too loyal to Future Me to be too concerned with doing anything more to help me than he is." I nodded. "Understood."

"Can you act, Draco?" he asked me. I nodded. "Then I want you to do your acting perfectly at Hogwarts. People will see your presents and they're going to ask you who did them. Everyone will want to know and you're going to lie. You're going to look like you don't care. But this act has to have layers. All good acts have layers. You have to show the people who would guess something. Show them that you're nothing but a two- dimensional villain. Tell your friends and your closest enemies that you enjoy the Mudblood deaths because they're filthy and worthless anyways. Tell them that you wish it was you directing the deaths. They'll see these two layers and they'll never bother to search for more. Will you do that for me?"

"I'd do anything for you," I promised loyally.

"Good," he told me, and prepared to leap back within the pages of his diary, back to where he had more form than shadow. He hesitated, then gave me a sweet, slow smile. "Farewell." And then he was gone.

I didn't see him for a long time. The year came, and then went without any sign of Tom Riddle. There were his presents, of course, but then my birthday passed without word. The night of my thirteenth birthday, I fell asleep with silent tears bleeding into my pillow. The next day I was silent, expectant. And exactly one week later, my father sent me a letter to tell me that he was dead and that Potter had killed him.

Father sent me his diary. He said it was trash now, and after a while, he decided to send it to me. He said he didn't have anywhere else to put it, didn't want to risk common methods of destroying trash. He said he wondered if it might have sentimental value to me.

And it did. Because I wrote in it. There was a hole in it, a fang protruding from the hole and spattered blood on the fang. The life had very much been pulled from the diary. I wrote in it still, even though the ink faded into the pages and it never came back. I wrote to Tom, Tom who couldn't possibly still be in there but had to be in there. It was better that way. Better than dealing with the pain of so many futures that never unfolded.

I wrote him on my fourteenth birthday, told him I wished he was there, told him that I missed him, told him how life was.

I wrote him on my fifteenth birthday, laughed and told him how great life was, how stupid Potter had gone and messed his life up again with the Triwizard Tournament -- that turned to a sour note later, though, when Potter actually won the damned thing.

I wrote him on my sixteenth birthday and cried. It wasn't my tears falling on the pages that did it. I'd cried on the diary too many times to count. I'd written in it everyday, my writing spiralling around the hole in the center of the book. But these tears, tears of my sixteenth birthday woke him up. The ink of a thousand entries over three years rose to the surface. "Are you sixteen, Draco?"