Disclaimer: I do not own SM or HP.
Mere Memory 13
A Fate Worse than Death
Tom was lucky he had left the Riddle House. Darien and the others would've let him have it the moment they saw him. They were all sickened to hear the terrible things he had done, the kind of person he was. Darien couldn't understand why Serena was upset about Tom leaving. He didn't believe that Tom had actually cared for Serena and that she actually offered to help him.
Mina, deciding that the safety of the Moon Princess was more important and knowing that Harry would be all right, went with the other scouts back to the Riddle House. They had to plan on what they were going to do next. Should they remain in England and try to stop Voldemort or return to Japan?
"He doesn't need help, Serena," Darien said, "he had plenty of chances to turn himself around. He needs to be punished."
"Tom's not like our other enemies, Darien," Serena said, "I don't even think he's our enemy. He's human."
"If he's not our ally then he is our enemy," Darien said, "and the next time we cross paths with him, we'll have to fight him."
As Darien was talking to Serena, Mina and the other scouts were trying to come up with a plan.
"It seems like we're already too involved to turn back now," said Mina, "Tom may have already told Voldemort about us."
"Then it's not safe for us here," Trista said, "We have to stay somewhere else."
Mina nodded. "Sure, we can stay with my grandfather. He's part of the Order of the Phoenix."
"How would we find Voldemort?" said Ami.
"That's the hard part," Mina sighed, "the Order's been trying to find him since the first war with Voldemort. He probably has a secret keeper or something."
"I wonder if Tom and Voldemort have already fused," Ami said. "It would be more difficult for us to fight him."
"Well, nothing's too difficult for the sailor scouts," Lita said, making a fist. "Tom's going to be so sorry he's messed with us."
"Ah, you're awake," Voldemort said when Tom entered his room. "Better?"
"Yes," Tom lied. He still felt terrible but he couldn't sleep. His mind was still uneasy. He wanted to know how Voldemort got his power back.
Voldemort laughed. "Don't lie to yourself, boy. You are still as sick as you were when you came here, aren't you?"
"What?" Tom began. "What makes you think I'm lying?"
"Voldemort can always tell," said Voldemort, "and I'm you. You won't want to lie to me again."
Tom made note of this. He couldn't' lie to Voldemort about anything.
"Yes, I am still sick," Tom admitted, "but I'll be fine soon with a pepperup potion or something. I needed to know something."
"You want to know how I returned," said Voldemort, taking the question right out of Tom's mouth. "Yes, very well. It is extraordinary how I was able to get my body back. There is an old dark magic which many people have forgotten. I was able to restore my body with three things: blood from an enemy, flesh from a servant and bone of the father."
"Bone of the father?" Tom repeated and his mind went back digging through his father's grave. There was no body there. Not a single bone. Nothing. "My father's corpse…you took it."
"Yes," said Voldemort, looking at Tom's eyes. "I needed his bone to return to my body. I see that you've noticed his grave was empty?"
"I thought he had risen from the dead," Tom said, "or become an inferius, or zombie…but you…you took his bone! But why?"
"I needed it," Voldemort said firmly. "What do you care about some muggle's corpse?"
"I don't!" Tom shouted. "I just wanted him to remain in the ground like my mother did! I wanted him to have the same fate! I didn't want him to come back!"
"Tom Riddle is still dead, fool!" Voldemort hissed. "I stole his bone. I didn't bring him back to life."
"You have his bone," said Tom, "the bones in your body…were his! He might as well be alive! If you were going to take his bone for something, you should've taken our mother's too!"
"There was nothing in the potion that needed something from a mother," Voldemort said coldly. "What's this…are you already regretting about killing that filthy muggle?"
"I don't know what to think right now," Tom muttered.
"Master!" exclaimed a Death Eater as he hurried into the room. "We still have not located Draco Malfoy and his mother."
"If Malfoy had just done his job he wouldn't have to hide. We will find him and kill him for disobeying me…his mother too."
"What about the task, Master?"
"I'll appoint someone else. Now leave."
Macnair bowed and left the room. Tom looked at Voldemort.
"What job? What did Draco Malfoy have to do?"
"He seemed so eager to help the Death Eaters," said Voldemort, "so I gave him a task: to kill Dumbledore."
"Kill Dumbledore?" Tom gasped. He couldn't believe it. It was insane. "Y—you told Draco Malfoy to kill Dumbledore? He's only sixteen!"
Voldemort grinned and stepped toward Tom. "You were a killer at sixteen."
Tom's heart seemed to stop beating. His stomach churned. His body felt heavy. Yes. It was true. Tom was a murderer. He was a killer of four people before his seventeenth birthday. Tom put his hand to his mouth.
"Remember how upset we were when we couldn't kill a mudblood?" Voldemort said as he paced the room, trying to jog Tom's memory. "They kept getting off lucky. And then, when we killed that pathetic little girl in the bathroom…knowing that we were finally doing what Slytherin had intended us to do."
"Myrtle," Tom mumbled and he saw her dead body in his mind eye, her blank blue eyes void of life.
"And our foolish Muggle father and his parents," said Voldemort, "I forget what he ways saying…he was pleading for his life, wasn't he? Especially when we told him who we were." Voldemort looked at Tom's eye and it seemed like Tom was forced to think of the memory against his will. The muggle was on his knees the second after Tom had killed his grandparents. He wanted a moment alone with his father, to tell him about the hell he lived through.
"If you really are my son, you wouldn't kill me, would you? You look just like me. You look normal. Don't kill me…son…"
"And what did we say to him? We said…"
"SHUT UP!" Tom hollered. "Just shut up!"
"Oh, what's wrong?" Voldemort asked teasingly. "Can't handle the past? Come on boy, killing those Muggles was the best thing we've ever done."
"Yes, I killed Myrtle Mason," Tom said, clenching his teeth, "and I killed my father and my grandparents but it's not like anyone forced my hand or threatened my family."
"We didn't have a family to be threatened, boy."
"Exactly," said Tom, "I opened the Chamber of Secrets because I wanted to! Everyone at Hogwarts was saying that the Chamber of Secrets was a myth. I wanted to prove it wrong and I've done that! I killed my father because I hated him! I hated him for leaving my mother and I wanted him to die to! No one made me do anything but you threatened Draco Malfoy and his family didn't you? You…are…unbelievably sick! I don't want to fuse with the likes of you, I'm out of here!"
But before Tom could even move, Voldemort raised his wand, pointed it at Tom and shouted, "Crucio!"
Tom fell down in shouts and screams. Hot knives were stabbing his entire body. He tried to think of something pleasant to get his mind off the pain but it was all just too much to bear. Why was Voldemort cursing him? And why wasn't it causing Voldemort any pain? After all, they were the same person, weren't they?
The pain stopped and Tom was crying. Voldemort stood over him.
"I warned you about lying to me."
"Those were not lies," Tom gasped between sobs.
"About leaving. You can't leave. Where would you go? Face it, fool. You belong to me. Have you forgotten who you are? You are me."
Tom laughed. "Now who's lying?" Tom coughed and pushed himself up. "I'm not you. I might have used your name but we're not the same person. Just take a good look in the mirror…I'm not you and you're not me."
Tom couldn't believe where these words were coming from. He wasn't always this brave. Why was he saying these things to himself?
Tom shook his head as he laughed. He held his hand around his side.
"What are you laughing at?"
"I get it now," chuckled Tom, "why you wanted Draco Malfoy to kill Dumbledore…you're still scared of him, aren't you? After all this time, all the power you gained, you're still afraid of that old man!"
"No more lies!"
"Then why don't you kill Voldemort yourself?" Tom demanded. "Why send a sixteen year old to kill someone of Dumbledore's caliber? Why send a kid to do a job for Voldemort? You're the one who wants him dead. You never should give out an order you're not willing to carry out yourself, coward."
Voldemort snarled and grabbed Tom by the front of his shirt. "I've killed thousands of people, fool. I am not a coward!"
"Oh yeah, you tried to kill an infant," said Tom, "but you still won't kill Dumbledore. You want him dead? You do it yourself. You can't expect Draco Malfoy to kill Dumbledore. He's never used the Killing Curse before. He might give Dumbledore no more than a black eye. He might try using other methods that end up going wrong. No sixteen year old kid can just walk into the Headmaster's office and kill him. Not even me. You kill Dumbledore yourself. You'll feel more proud knowing that you were the one that killed someone as great as Dumbledore. Besides, why give the credit to some teenager when you can have it?"
Voldemort released Tom roughly and growled. He stepped away from him. Tom leaned back on his hands, smiling smugly despite having just been tortured by himself.
"I realize now, it was a mistake telling Dippet that Rubeus Hagrid was the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets," Tom sighed.
"Oh, you did not want him to take the blame?" said Voldemort. "Don't tell me you feel sorry for the fool."
"I don't," Tom muttered, narrowing his eyes. "And he didn't take just blame, but the credit. A third year Gryffindor taking the credit of being the Heir of Slytherin? It was stupid. I can't believe people actually believed it. It was a baby Acromantula Hagrid was hiding in the castle. Acromantulas don't live for hundreds of years. Spiders are afraid of the king of serpents. I should've come out and said that I was the Heir of Slytherin."
"You're lying again," said Voldemort.
"No, I'm not," Tom said firmly. "It's the truth. I should've been proud to say who I really was. Everyone thought I was just a talented orphan…but I could've proved more to them. Yeah, maybe I would've been expelled and even gone to Azkaban but at least I would've had my pride. Letting all of Hogwarts believed a Gryffindor did a Slytherin's job. That's like saying it was Godric Gryffindor making the Chamber Secrets instead of Salazar Slytherin…" Tom chuckled to himself. "Well, you can't make the same mistake twice. Don't let someone else take the credit of something you're meant to do again."
"You saying that I should kill Dumbledore?"
"You have more reason to kill Dumbledore than anyone else," shrugged Tom, "you should be the one to do it. Fight him in a duel."
"And how would I get Dumbledore to agree to a duel?" Voldemort demanded. "I can't just walk into Hogwarts and do it myself."
"Oh come on," said Tom, "you had to have become more resourceful than you used to be. Use your imagination. Send him an anonymous letter. Tell him you've got one of his students."
"Hmm, I enjoyed our little duel in the Ministry of Magic," breathed Voldemort. "I think we should resume it."
Dumbledore knew it was a trap. He had received an owl from the ministry asking for help. He had already fallen for that mistake. He was going to fall for it again. The letter was somewhat different than the fake Quirrel gave him five years ago. Quirrel's letter said something about the Minister needing advice. Voldemort's letter said that the Minister had a young transfer wizard that wished to start Hogwarts but he couldn't take the train.
However, he wanted to know what it meant. It was Voldemort. Voldemort wanted him for something. He wanted to kil him. He knew that. But like a lamb to the slaughter, Dumbledore came. If he ignored the letter, Voldemort would go after someone. Voldemort might have had a hostage. Dumbledore wondered if he should go alone. He could be facing a fight with the whole death eater circle. Perhaps he should bring the order…but they had all been his students at one time or another. Perhaps he should be alone with them.
Dumbledore left Hogwarts for the last time. He took a threstral-drawn carriage toward the Ministry of Magic and halfway there, his carriage was attacked. He was able disparate before the carriage hit the ground.
"I'm surprised you came, Dumbledore," hissed a voice.
"I'm always willing to give a listening ear to my old students, Tom," said Dumbledore softly. "You should be careful how you say that," Voldemort said, "now that both of us are here."
Voldemort looked behind him and sixteen year old Tom stepped up. Dumbledore looked at Tom's face in shock. He should've been dead.
"How can you be alive? Your old diary was destroyed."
"If I can come back Dumbledore," said Voldemort, "so can any part of me. I did not call you out here just to show off my old self. I want to challenge you to a duel. I know that you are hiding young Malfoy."
"What makes you say that?" Dumbledore asked.
"Because you're not dead," Voldemort said, "I ordered the boy to kill you and he has failed his task. I was going to have someone else do the job, but my sixteen year old self here, said that I should be the one to do it." Voldemort gestured to Tom, who was staring at the ground. Even though Tom had suggested it and acted excited about the whole thing, he couldn't bring himself to look at Dumbledore right now.
"Really?" Dumbledore inquired. "Is
that true, Tom?"
Tom lifted his face slightly. "Yes, sir."
"Well, I must say, I'm impressed," Dumbledore said, "it is good for you to face your fears."
"For once, Dumbledore, you're right," said Voldemort, withdrawing his wand. "And I'm going to show you that I'm not afraid of you anymore!"
The two grown wizards engaged into a duel. Tom stepped back to give them room. He wasn't sure who he wanted to win. Tom really didn't care. He just wanted it to be over. As he watched the duel go on and on he thought of the war between Voldemort and Dumbledore. It had been going on for over fifty years. Ever since Tom developed a fear of Dumbledore, the war started. Tom's ambition grew and grew. With every taste of power he was able to get, he needed more. Now this was the person he had become? Was this really what he wanted? What if he couldn't stop himself? What if he made it to the top and found out it wasn't enough? What would he do then? Tom could only watch Dumbledore and Voldemort fight like a pair of dogs over a piece of meat. Who was the greatest wizard? Who was going to get the glory?
Tom flinched as he saw a jet of green light escape Voldemort's wand…his wand. The Killing Curse struck Dumbledore in the chest and the old man's wand fell out of his hand. Voldemort grinned as Dumbledore hit the ground.
"Now I am the greatest wizard alive," Voldemort said, "come here, boy."
Tom slowly walked up beside Voldemort. The blank eyes in Dumbledore's face looked up at Tom. Tom shivered.
"He's…he's dead," Tom mumbled, "you really killed him."
"Without Dumbledore to protect Potter," said Voldemort, "Potter will die too."
Voldemort walked away, laughing to himself. Tom bent down and picked up Dumbledore's wand. Dumbldore would never use it again.
"Get over here," said Voldemort, "it's time we go back."
"We're just going to leave him here?" Tom asked.
"Of course," said Voldemort.
Tom slid Dumbledore's wand into his sleeve. "But shouldn't we leave his body someplace where people will find it?"
"The school will go looking for him," said Voldemort. "Let's go. We need to prepare ourselves before we fuse. You still need to recover from that fever of yours."
"Right," said Tom, walking away from Dumbledore's body. He took one last glance at the Headmaster before disaparating with Voldemort.
When Voldemort and Tom returned to the hideout, Voldemort gave Tom a potion for him to recover from his fever and sent him to bed. Even though the potion allowed him to sleep, he was still restless. He kept thinking about all the mistakes he had made. He had nightmares about his past and his future. What type of future would he have if were to fuse with Voldemort? When did he become so cruel, so evil? Was he always like this? On the outside, Tom was halfblood orphan with a brilliant mind. He was a prefect. He did everything right. But he had a secret. He studied the Dark Arts when no one was looking. He had searched fervently for the Chamber of Secrets. He killed a fellow student. Someone he had known and worked with. Of course, he wasn't' friends with Myrtle Mason, but he knew her and probably said nice things to her. For all he knew, she might have been one of the many girls that crushed on him. Without a second thought, he killed her. He could've killed all those other students he attacked. Yet, Tom never imagined himself getting this far. He had to stop himself before it was too late…but what could he do?
Tom woke up the next day. His fever had broken. His stomach had settled and he was no longer achy. However, the guilt inside him was still there. He couldn't get rid of that. The Death Eaters were ecstatic that Dumbledore was out of the way. No one could stop them.
Tom walked into the great room to find the Death Eaters celebrating with their master. Tom could not share their feelings. Yes, he hated Dumbledore. He feared him. Dumbledore had power that Tom could not understand. Yet with all these feelings of fear and hate he had towards Dumbledore, Tom still couldn't help but respect the man. He had learned so much from him.
"You're finally awake young master," said a Death Eater once he noticed Tom in the room. "I understand you were with the Dark Lord when he killed Dumbledore?"
"Yes," Tom answered.
Another Death Eater came up to Tom. "Did Dumbledore beg?"
"Did he scream?"
More Death Eaters crowded around Tom asking about the duel.
"I wish our master had brought us. I would love to see it."
Tom tightened his fist. It was sick how they were talking about Dumbledore's death. Was Tom all this excited about taking a life? He just remembered being angry. Angry at his father for leaving his mother and angry at all the Mudbloods for coming to Hogwarts when magic should only be for all wizarding families.
"Dumbledore did not scream or beg for mercy," said Tom through his teeth. "You were all his students once. You should know him better than that. He put up a good fight."
"What?" murmured Nott.
The Death Eaters wee surprised with Tom's response. It wasn't what they were expecting.
"Please leave the room," said Tom, "I wish to speak to my future self."
"You do not want to join us?" Bellatrix Les asked, putting an arm around Tom's shoulders and gingering his chest.
Tom pushed her away from him. The only girl in his life was Serena. Maybe her heart may have belonged to Darien but he didn't care. Tom would always have his. Tom was not interested in Death Eaters.
"Excuse me," said Tom and he walked up to himself. "We have to talk."
"Ah good," said Voldemort, "right, now that Dumbledore is out of the way, we should get back to business."
Voldemort dismissed his Death Eaters and they went to do their own duties. Voldemort stepped down and started summoning various objects.
"We will have to go into steps before fusing," said Voldemort, "we'll start by keeping something of each other with us at all times."
"Forget it," said Tom.
"What?" Voldemort demanded, turning around to face him.
"I said forget it," Tom repeated. "I'm not fusing with you. You've gone too far."
Voldemort's face screwed up in fury. "What do you mean you will not fuse with me? The only reason why I sent Lucius to Jimmu is so that you can come back. You wished to stay in the diary forever?"
"No," said Tom, "I was bored to death in that place but if I had a choice over fusing with you or staying in the dairy, I'd pick the diary. It used to be a prison, but now, yu're the real prison. I see the prison as a sanctuary now."
"You fool!" Voldemort hissed. "If we fuse then we both become stronger, perhaps even immortal!"
"Why do you want to live forever?" Tom demanded. "You have nothing to live for. There's no one here that really wants to see you live forever, is there? Everyone was glad that you disappeared when Potter stopped you, even your so called supporters. They denounced everything."
"You always wished to be immortal," said Voldemort, "don't you remember? You believed that wizards should live forever. Our worst fear is dying."
"I don't mind death so much now," Tom said, "a life without love is worse than dying. There are fates worse than death. Love is one of them."
Voldemort laughed. "Love is pointless."
"You'd think differently if you understood love," Tom said in a sneer.
"You're wrong. Power is what we've always wanted," said Voldemort, "and now I have it. You always wanted to be the greatest wizard in the world."
"Well if this is power," Tom cried, "then I don't want it! After seeing you kill Dumbledore and knowing everything you've done, I don't want to be part of your next scheme! This is not what I wanted! All you do is kill people! How is that going to make you more powerful? I don't want to kill anymore people!"
Voldemort studied Tom's face. "You haven't changed much. You're still a killer. You couldn't wait to kill again, weren't you?"
Tom gasped and Voldemort stepped into Tom's face, grinning. "Yes…you killed somebody. Who'd you kill? Was it a Muggle?"
Tom swallowed. He remembered now. He killed Jimmu and Ramua but it wasn't for power. He did it to protect Serena.
"No," said Tom, "actually, it was Jimmu and his granddaughter. They captured the girl I love and I killed them to save her. But I didn't stand there and watch them die. I told the snakes to kill them and they did. It was self defense."
Voldemort laughed. "Self defense? Voldemort never kills in self defense. He kills for power!"
"Well I'm not you!" Tom shouted. "You're just somebody I made up! You were just a figment of my imagination."
"A figment of your imagination?" said Voldemort. "I'm more than that. I made you the person you are now. If it weren't for me, you'd still be Tom Riddle, the orphaned halfblood. Now let's get started."
"No," said Tom, "for the last time, I'm not fusing with you. My mother's dying wish was for me to look like my father and I'm going to keep it that way."
"You want to remain looking like that filthy muggle?"
"So?" Tom smiled and held his chin. "I'd remain better looking. You don't even look human.""Fine," said Voldemort, "I don't think I want to fuse with you either. You're nothing but a bad memory."
Voldemort turned around. "I'll find another way to become immortal. I refuse to die. There is nothing worse than death."
"Wanna bet?" Tom demanded, letting Dumbledore's wand slide out of his sleeve into his palm. "Maybe you'll welcome death after being trapped in a book for half a century!"
"What?" Voldemort turned slightly.
"As I was stuck in that diary, you got to live on!" said Tom. "I had nobody to talk to. I couldn't eat anything. You grew. You got power. You were able to feel but I was trapped! It's time you face the same things I did!"
"You…fool…you know it's…too late…to start over!" Voldemort muttered. "I am you…you are Voldemort!"
"I am not! I already have a name. My mother gave it to me and I'm going to keep it. I'm Tom Riddle, the Heir of Slytherin and that's not going to change!"
Tom opened out a book and held it out. "Depiluca Annoto!"
A vortex appeared in the book and began sucking Voldemort to it.
"You cannot do this!"
"Why not?" Tom laughed. "I did it before, why can't I do it again? Now it's your turn!"
"No!" Voldemort shouted and he began speaking in Parseltongue. "Najini, kill him!"
"Just stay where you are!" Tom hissed at the snake.
The snake paused and looked from Voldemort to Tom. She didn't know who to obey.
"Kill him, Najini!"
"Leave!" shouted Tom. "You're free! Go! Or I'll trap you too!"
Najini slithered to the two Parselmouths.
"Fool!" Voldemort snarled as he was pulled into the pages of the book
"Sayonara!" Tom cried.
Voldemort fought hard but no matter how hard he tried, he was pulled into the book, yelling and cursing. He shouted to Najini, to his Death Eaters. Tom slammed the book shut.
"Enjoy the next fifty years," he muttered and he let out a scream. Najini had decided to obey Voldemort and she bit him in the leg.
"Away!" Tom cried.
Najini rose up and bit him once again, this time in his side. Tom cried out and stepped back. He dropped Dumbledore's wand.
"What are you doing? I said you're free! Your master is gone!"
Najini slithered up to Tom again, her fangs raised. Tom grimaced and grabbed for Dumbledore's wand. He pointed it at Najini's head.
The snake fell down dead, inches away from Tom. Tom held onto his side and stepped out of the room.
"Sorry," he said, "you should've just left."
Tom limped out of the hide out. No other Death Eaters were around. He was glad for that. He couldn't take them all in the condition he was in. Tom had to get to the Ministry of Magic as soon as possible. He had to give this book to the Minister of Magic.
"I-if only I had passed my Apparition Test," Tom said as he walked through the snow, "before I decided to put myself in the diary. What a dumb thing…to do…"
Serena and her friends were looking for Voldemort. Snape had found Dumbledore's body and let everyone know. Though Hogwarts was already out for the winter holidays, Hogwarts was closed. The students could not return. Not even Hogwarts was safe from Voldemort. Since Harry could not go back to Hogwarts, he decided to help the Sailor Soldiers look. They were out in the middle of nowhere, up north.
They were walking around in the snow, looking for clues. Mercury had her visor and miniature computer. She had found a couple of good spots for hide outs but the trouble was getting to them.
Without warning, Harry's scar hurt. He slapped his hand to it.
"Aah!" Harry cried out suddenly.
"Harry, what is it?" Sailor Venus asked.
"My scar," Harry whispered.
"It's Voldemort," said Harry.
"Is he close?" Sailor Moon inquired.
"No, I don't think so," said Harry, rubbing his scar. "He's mad. He was shouting at somebody…Riddle I think."
"You saw Tom?" Sailor Moon asked. "Did they fuse already?"
"I don't think so," Harry answered.
"Someone's coming!" Sailor Mercury exclaimed, finding a warning on her computer. She gasped as an image came on her screen. "It's Tom!"
Mercury held down her computer and gazed through her visor. The scouts stood ready to attack.
"We're ready for him if he tries anything funny," said Sailor Mars.
"Wait a minute," said Sailor Mercury, "Tom's hurt. He's limping."
Sailor Mercury pointed through the snow. "He's just a mile away…see him?"
"Hurt?" Sailor Moon cried and she took off into the direction Mercury had indicated.
"Sailor Moon, no!" Sailor Mars yelled. "It could be a trap!"
"Tom wouldn't hurt me!" Sailor Moon yelled back. "I have to see him and make sure he's okay!"
The scouts followed Sailor Moon, shouting after her. Why was she being so hasty? Why couldn't she wait until they made sure Tom wasn't going to attack them?"
"Tom!" Sailor Moon yelled. "Tom!"
"S-Serena?" Tom mumbled, blinking through the snow. He grunted and sank to the ground. He had lost so much blood. He couldn't go on.
Sailor Moon crouched down to him. "You're hurt! What happened?"
"I'll be okay," said Tom, "I'm glad I got to see you again. So…this is what you look like when you become Sailor Moon, huh?"
The others crowded around Tom and prepared themselves for a fight.
"Any sudden movements," said Sailor Uranus, "and you're history."
"I didn't come here to fight you," Tom said, "You can kill me if you want but hear me out first. I need to see the Minister. I have something for him."
"Your next target was the Minister of Magic?" Harry demanded, stepping to Harry with his wand outstretched.
Tom laughed. "Nice to see you again, Potter. I want you to give this to the Minister."
With a shaking hand, Tom held out the book containing Voldemort. "I took care of Voldemort for you. You don't have to worry about him anymore."
"Voldemort's gone?" Harry asked.
"No, he's in there," Tom said, "keep that book in a safe place for fifty years then burn it."
"Voldemort's in here?" Harry slowly took the book away from him. Was Tom telling the truth?'
"I thought you were going to fuse with Voldemort," said Sailor Venus.
"When I saw my future self," said Tom, "I couldn't go through with it. I don't want to become that monster. I'm ashamed that I ever did. I'm so…sorry…I don't deserve to live."
Tom's strength left his arms and he fell into the snow. Sailor Moon turned him over and laid his head in her lap. Tears were forming in her eyes though she looked down at him with a smile.
"I knew you had some good in your heart, Tom," Sailor Moon said fondly, "I knew you weren't the same as Voldemort. You can start all over now."
"No, I can't," said Tom, "It's been too long. I can't return to Hogwarts."
"Then come back home with us," Sailor Moon said, "I'll take care of you. You can start a new life in Japan."
"Sorry, Serena," Tom said, "I can't do that either. You see, Serena…I didn't tell you the real reason why I brought you over here. I was intended on having Darien killed."
"No!" Sailor Moon gasped.
"I couldn't stand the idea of losing you," said Tom, "I wanted to be with you. I can't go back to Japan with you if you're going to be with him. My heart can't take it. Just leave me here to die…"
"Don't talk like that!" Sailor Moon shouted.
"Serena, I am tired," Tom told her. "I can't go back to Japan and I can't start over. I just want to rest in peace now."
"Thank you for everything," said Tom, "I didn't understand anything but love but I do now. I'll always love you."
Tears streamed down Sailor Moon's cheeks. Tom turned his face and looked at Harry. "Potter."
"You were right. I'm not the greatest wizard. Dumbledore is, even if he is dead. He's the greatest wizard in the world."
The others looked at Tom and Harry in surprise. They didn't understand a word Tom said but Harry got the message just fine. Harry nodded.
"Yeah, he was."
Tom looked back at Sailor Moon and smiled. "The only thing good about concealing myself in my diary was meeting you, Serena. If I hadn't done it, I would've lived my life not knowing how wonderful it is to love somebody. I'm so glad…that that somebody was you…"
Tom reached his hand up to touch Serena's face. Serena caressed his hand.
"You'll always be in my heart," Sailor Moon whispered. "I'll never forget you."
"I love you," Tom said.
Tom's blood turned into ink. Everyone stared in shock. Tom's pale face began to look like parchment. Tom's hand fell away from Serena's face.
"Tom, no!" Serena shouted.
Tom's body no longer was flesh and blood but now was ink and paper. The pages of Tom fell through Serena's arms and flew away. Now that he was dead, he no longer had a normal body. The Crystal's power had lost effect.
"No!" Serena yelled. "Don't go!"
Sailor Moon felt the snow give beside her. She was enveloped in the arms of her true love.
"I'm sorry, Serena," Tuxedo Mask whispered.
"I wanted him to be happy," Serena said, "I wanted him to be free from all this pain!"
"He is free," Tuxedo Mask insisted.
Harry looked down at the book in his hands. He opened it and unlike Riddle's diary, it was written in. It wasn't a diary but a simple story book.
"Riddle put Voldemort into a Muggle story book?" he wondered out loud. He chuckled. "He's going to have some fun in there."
"What did Riddle say to you?" Sailor Venus asked. "When he spoke in Parseltongue."
"He said I was right," Harry replied, pocketing the book. "That Dumbledore was the greatest wizard. Y'know, the prophecy about Voldemort and I turned out to be untrue. I was supposed to have the power to defeat him. I was supposed to be his equal. But he wasn't defeated by his equal. He was defeated by himself. Tom had the power all along."
"I guess we are all our own enemies," said Jupiter.
"I have to get this to the Minister," said Harry, "but we still have the Death Eaters to worry about."
"We'll make sure they're caught," said Venus, "we won't leave until England's safe."
"Let's go, Sailor Moon," said Tuxedo Mask, "there's nothing more you can do for him now."
Sailor Moon nodded and wiped tears from her eyes. As she was about to stand up, she spotted a parchment with something written on it. The parchment with writing had been part of Tom's chest, where his heart was located.
Sailor Moon reached to pick the parchment up and more tears flowed as she read the message.
Tom loves Serena.
"Oh Tom," Sailor Moon murmured as she got to her feet. "You may have been just a mere memory…but I'll never forget you."
Harry gave the minister the book with Voldemort in it. Scrimgeour kept in a safe place and agreed to not destroying it until Voldemort had spent his fifty year sentence. Lucius was reunited with his wife and son. The Sailor Scouts remained to help capture all the Death Eaters. Hogwarts reopened once it was safe. As each day passed, Serena remembered Tom Riddle. He will always be a memory away.
Thank you all for reviewing and reading! Thanks Jay for giving me the challenge. I totally enjoyed it. I'm sorry if the ending was sad or crappy or rushed or whatever. I know many of you wanted Serena and Tom to hook up at the end (so did I). But Jay and I agreed on a sad ending. But don't worry, there's another Tom/Serena story I'm working on! Jay's challenge inspired me to write my own T/S story: "Heirs of the Founders". There are like 5 chapters right now and it's on hold. Now that I've got a story done, I'm going to go back to working on "Heirs of the Founders." So please, start reading that if you're not already! And don't worry, Tom and Serena DO end up together in this story. It won't be a sad ending, but a very, very happy one (though there will be some sad parts)! In "Heirs" Harry makes a wish that Tom never became Voldemort and Serena is sent to Earth to make sure it comes true!