Disclaimer: HP isn't mine.

Beta'd by the fantabulous Nimbirosa, who puts up with me for reasons unknown to God and opalish (not that there's a difference between me and God).

oo00oo00oo00oo00oo

you know that this will end in tears

Merope isn't sure, at first, why she keeps going back to Tom Riddle. She isn't sure why she still needs him, despite the cutting words, despite the bruises. But his presence masks the hollowness in her chest, gives her at least the illusion of belonging, and she needs that more than she needs water or air.

you know the scars will last for years

There are moments when she regrets nothing so much as her foolish decision to stop feeding her husband the love potion; sometimes she even regrets seducing him in the first place.

He was supposed to be her escape, her passage from hell to something better...only nothing's gotten better. If anything, it's all the worse because she cares what Tom thinks of her. Her father and brother weren't worth her concern, but Tom...

And he hates her.

He rages against her, calls her filthy names, and there are days where she can hardly tell the difference between her old life and the new. Tom breaks her heart again and again, and laughs at her when she tries to stitch it back together.

She wonders, for a while, why he doesn't just leave her if he hates her so much. She wonders why he doesn't just go home and forget all about her.

She wonders if he stays because he enjoys the power he has over her.

you know that he feeds on your fears

She suspects he stays to get revenge.

you know it kills you when he's near

And then he leaves for good.

Merope knows better, she really does. She knows she shouldn't miss him, especially as she never really had him in the first place. She knows it's unhealthy to need him so much that she'd take insults and injuries as readily as loving words and kisses.

But she can't help it, because the hollowness is worse than the pain, and the loneliness hurts worse than his fists. She's used to beatings, anyway.

And she'd give anything just to belong.

and yet you want him back.