AN:I own none of this. Not the characters, not the settings, not the magic.

This story will be rather dark. Do not be expecting a happy ending.

TW/CW: Sexual violence, as well as regular murder, torture, major character death and the like.

Thanks to my incredible betas moomoogoat and geckoshan for the enormous assistance.

Please review/P.M. me.

Enjoy!

Prologue

"Tom?" Ginny whispered, "I'm-I'm scared."

The bathroom was quiet, the soft rhythmic tone of the dripping faucet the only noise breaking the silence.

She leaned against one of the sinks, her body shaking like a leaf, the diary clutched tightly under her arm.

Her reflection stared back at her from the cracked mirror, far paler than she'd been at the beginning of the year, her eyes carrying thick bags under them, the corner of her mouth twitching restlessly.

It had been the worst year of her life. It had also been the best year of her life.

All because she'd found Tom.

A part of her mind hated what she was doing. It screamed at her, shouting that Tom had enchanted her, that he was twisting her thoughts and making her obsessive, making her think she loved him.

He was making her obey him, that corner of her thoughts said, making her betray her family and friends for him, making her do things she didn't want to.

She knew that it was right. She also knew that she loved Tom, that he cared for her in ways that no one ever had before, that he wanted to hear her talk and listen to her problems.

She knew that Tom never wanted to hurt her, that Tom would never have forced her to do his bidding if she'd simply been better trained, if she'd been more useful, if she'd been smarter.

Tom never wanted to hurt her, she knew. He had no choice but to punish her when she was bad, when she'd tried to betray him after everything he'd done for her.

The mirror fogged over, just for a second.

When the fog vanished, Tom was there, standing in place of her reflection.

Her heart sped up at the sight of his face, her fingers stopping their trembling.

'He's evil!' Her mind shrieked, 'don't listen to him, he's evil! He hurt Hermione and Colin, he wants to-'

"Ginny," Tom said, smiling so sweetly at her from the glass, "what's wrong?"

She leaned closer to the mirror, tears welling up in her eyes, fierce joy filling her at the sound of his voice.

No one else would be able to hear or see him. He was hers and hers alone, just as she was his.

Tom wasn't looking as good as the first time he'd appeared to her. He seemed less solid than he had, his form looking like it would shatter into mist at any point.

'Good! Let him die! Let him die and you can be free!'

She shook her head frantically, tears flying off of her face as she dislodged those terrible, terrible thoughts.

She wouldn't be free without Tom. She'd be lost, floundering and helpless and alone.

She would rather die than lose Tom.

"I'm scared," she repeated, her voice almost too thick for the words to be heard. Tom understood her though. Tom always understood her, no matter what.

"You're the bravest girl I know," Tom said, "the bravest girl in the world. It's alright to be afraid. That's when true courage shines, when you're afraid but you do what you need to anyways."

"I'm just-I-isn't there another way?" She asked desperately, "a way that I don't-don't have to-to-"

Tom shook his head sadly, a suspicious wetness making his eyes shine.

"I'm sorry, love. There isn't. I told you, I've been growing weaker ever since you woke me up. I won't last much longer."

Her breath caught in her throat, the thought of Tom dying too large, too terrible for her to comprehend.

"I won't force you," He said, "You know that. I care too deeply for you to force you. But you need to choose."

"You-you said that there are rituals, other ways to do it?"

"They take too long," Tom said despondently, "and they're too advanced for you. You're a most brilliant witch, Ginny, but you don't know half enough dark magic to think of performing one of them, even with my help."

"Can't I take you to someone who does?" She asked, her fingers starting to shake again, "or-or help you another way?"

"Could you kill for me, Ginny?"

She nodded earnestly, ignoring the part of herself that began to weep.

She would definitely kill for Tom, if need be. Tom was the most important person in the world, the most important person possible. Anyone who stood in his way deserved to die.

"I didn't ask if you would be willing. I asked if you could. Would you be capable of beating a fully trained wizard in battle? Would you even be able to beat a fourth year in a duel?"

"Why-why would-"

"Because that's what I would need!" Tom exclaimed, the force of his outburst making her take a step back, "if you can't rebuild my body, you would need to be a soldier for me! You are simply not able to do that!"

"I-"

"Ginny," Tom said, looking as desperate as Ginny felt, "you are the most special witch in the entire world. But at this point, you cannot fight for me, and you can't make a body for me. If you really do want to help me, like you said you did, you know what you have to do."

"I do want to help you," she whispered.

"If you truly did, you would help me. If you loved me the way I love you, you would help me."

She stared at him for a moment, her heart racing.

"Only one of us can live," he said, a tear making its way down his perfect face, "I wish it could be different. My sweet, brilliant girl, I wish you didn't have to make this decision. But you need to choose. You need to think about which of us is worth more, and you need to choose."

He raised a hand, transferring his attention to it.

Horror froze her heart, the sight of his almost see-through hand shocking her brain like a bucket of ice water.

"It's starting," He said, a slight tremor in his voice, "I'm fading. I don't have much time, Ginny. I won't choose for you. You need to do it yourself."

"My family-"she mumbled.

Tom frowned, his dismayed fear vanishing for an instant.

"Of all the reasons to hesitate," he said sharply, "the feelings of a brood of muggle loving blood traitors should not be among them."

She winced, hurt more by the tone of voice than the contents.

She'd been upset, the first few times Tom had spoken badly about her family. It still hurt, but not that much. Not after he'd shown her the truth.

"Have I not shown my love and care in far greater ways than them, than the father who wanted another son, who wished he could spend all his time with Muggle toys? Have I not been better than a mother who never had time for you? Are the feelings of brothers too old to know you more important than mine or yours? What of Percy, too power hungry to even notice that his sister was upset? What of the twins, unable to put aside their immaturity for long enough to simply treat you as human? Am I truly worse than Ron, Ron who would rather the great Harry Potter shared his name than you?"

"No," she whispered, "you're-you're better than them."

'He's not! They love you, he's just using you, he's worse, he's evil, stop! Don't listen to him, don't-"

She scratched at her arm enough to draw blood, enough to derail that train of thought.

"The only people whose feelings matter in this," Tom said, "are you and I. Make up your mind, Ginny."

She ignored the hungry look on his face, ignored the way he was setting his chin.

'Run,' the voice in the back of her mind said, 'if you don't give in, he'll take control. Run, Ginny. Run and get help before he even realizes you're gone. Leave the diary and run!'

She scratched again, the pain cutting through her and bringing her concentration back.

"I just-will it hurt?"

"Not at all," Tom said, giving her a look so full of love that her insides began to flutter, "it won't hurt at all. And I'll be right here with you."

She hesitated, just for a moment.

"I'll never forget you, Ginny. You'll be remembered for a thousand years as the bravest, most special and unique witch to ever have lived."

With tears running down her face, Ginny nodded.

"I'll do it."

Tom smiled, and she knew that she'd made the right decision.


Ginny woke up with a start to the jarring sensation of something prodding her.

"Please, Ginny, don't be dead, don't be-"

She gasped, sitting bolt upright and staring at Harry in the gloom.

"Ha-Harry? What-how-"

"It was this diary," Harry said, holding up Tom's diary, "it was possessing you, but I managed to destroy it."

The diary drew her eye, the terrible blackened and burnt hole through the centre filling her with dread.

Harry put his arm around her as she started sobbing.

"It's ok, Ginny," he murmured, "its ok."

She wanted to shout, wanted to launch herself at him and claw his eyes out.

"He's gone," Harry said softly, "he can't hurt you."

She could feel it, the absence of Tom. The tears running down her face felt like acid, the terrible empty pit in her heart welling up and spreading poisonous agony through her body.

Tom was gone. She would never speak to him again, would never see his comforting script appear on a page.

Harry had saved her. Harry had killed Tom.

"He can't hurt you," Harry repeated, "not anymore."

'I was meant to die,' she wanted to scream, 'I was meant to save him! You killed him, you killed Tom, I was meant to die!'

"Come on," Harry said, getting to his feet and pulling her up, "let's get out of here."

She allowed him to lift her, making no effort to stop her crying, letting her body shake with her hysterical tears.

'You were meant to save me!' She wanted to scream, 'you're Harry Potter, you were meant to save me! Why couldn't you have saved me before I loved him?'