Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter in any way, shape or form. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Porcelain

There are always days like these, where nothing's different and nothing's changed at all. And she's used to days like these because they're all she knows -- the adventures rarely come to her, rather than her brother and his friends.

But she did have one infamous adventure, one of which her family are so keen to forget about. And the adventure caused so much chaos and fear that the mere memory of such an event sends tingles up her spine.

Good stories are like that. The ones that capture you completely, stealing your mind and body away from you, sending you to an alternate plane of existence where the story takes hold and you, yourself, no longer exist.

And he had done exactly.

Meaning Tom, of course.

Even to this day, she can't fanthom how a boy with such an innocent face and sweet words could become this menace that the world knew him as.

And they say he's evil, because of his family and his past. Because there's so much hate in him that he doesn't know how to be good. And she wonders whether it's true and she tries to think back to first year, to see for herself whether he was so malicious and cruel.

But she doesn't remember, because it was so long ago and she's been trying so hard not to. Her parents told her to forget, that everything would be better now and she could live her life without fear or retribution. That Tom Marvolo Riddle is gone now - nothing more than ash and dust, and he would no longer return to haunt her day in and day out.

And she doesn't think of him as 'Voldemort', because he'll always be Tom to her. The Tom she knew was still young and brash and innocent. Innocent to some extent, at least.

Whenever she sleeps, he comes to her. With a face like a choirboy and eyes so piercingly blue that you get caught up in them and struggle to look away. And it's only then that she remembers that school boy who had captivated her mind and whom she had spilled her soul to.

"Are you real, Tom?" she asks nervously, suddenly so wracked by his mere presence. "Are you here to stay?"

"Would I be here if I weren't real?" he murmurs, his eyebrows raised in his usual careless sense.

His eyes trail up and down the length of her body, realising the change that five years have brought to his crimson haired angel. She still wears ribbons in her hair, or perhaps it's just the memory of such ribbons, and he asks her why, because she's far too old to wear such childish adornments.

"I like them," she says. "Don't you think they suit me?"

And indeed they do, because Ginny Weasley still looks very much like a child. A porcelain doll, though shabby and unruly at times, who still holds the very picture of innocence in her sweet face. And she scowls, because she realises what she has said. So she pulls the ribbons out of her hair, much to his disapproval, and she hands them to him, not daring to look up into his questioning eyes.

"Oh Virginia," he'll whisper in her ear. "Don't you see? I can't be fooled, ribbons or no ribbons."

"I don't understand," she'll reply, and he'll purse his lips and take her chin in his fingers. His hands were cold and pale, just begging to be held and warmed by someone. Secretly, of course, she wishes to be that someone. But he'll never know-- boys rarely find out about silly school girl crushes.

"You're still a child, my dear," he says, frowning. "Resourceful, brave and strongwilled - yes. But a child nonetheless."

She struggles to keep her face passive and controlled, while inside her insides are burning. And it's almost like he can tell, because he smirks and slowly circles around her, trying to catch her eye. His hands travel to her waist and he stops in front of her, smirking in a bemused sort of manner before kissing her forehead softly and stepping away.

"Ah," he breathes, "still as naive as ever."

He half expects crystal tears to slowly stream down her beautiful, fragile face - but they don't come. She bites her lip and furrows her brow, silently begging him as to why. Why does he do this night after night? Why is he always just so out of reach when she wills for him to be closer?

And in his clouded and hypnotic mind, he secretly wishes that for once she'll see him for what he really is. A monster, a murderer, a bringer of chaotic endings and mass destruction. He needs her to see it, to feel it, to realise how dangerous it is for her to wish night after night for his return.

Silently, he begs Ginny to hate him, and for the madness and confusion to end. He doesn't understand anymore, how his emotions can spark up once more, only to disapparate once the young girl before him returns to the real world.

And perhaps he feels because she does, and because he lives through her in some ways. And he tries to find the answer to this eternal question, but it never comes. He ponders whether he should ask her, but he never does. And never will.

He realises that she won't stay forever young and that she's bound to grow up someday. She can't stay young and beautiful forever. And he doesn't truly understand age, because it was something he had learnt to forget about. So how long can he keep coming to her? How long will the memory of such an innocent looking devil reside in the back of her mind?

Upon this thought, he realises that he is once again disappearing. The world turns to light and he no longer exists. And they don't get a chance to say good-bye this time, because she won't let him hurt her anymore that night. So she opens her eyes once more, glancing around her bedroom.

And she wonders what she dreamt of last night.

~Fin