My first real attempt at writing any pairing, so I hope you'll forgive me if it's a bit...butchered. Also, it's my first fic in a very long time.
The original version of this fic was posted on my LiveJournal and contained lyrics from several NIN songs. Seeing as FFN doesn't allow lyrics here, I had to take them out. If you want to read the original version (I think it flows better with lyrics), just go to my LJ (linked in my profile).
This fic is based around this NIN quote: "When all I'm really doing is trying to hide and keep it inside and fill it with lies. Open my eyes?"
Warnings: Er, if you don't like CoS!Ginny paired with Tom, I wouldn't read this. There's nothing graphic, just a bit of kissing.
--Ginny likes to talk and Tom likes to listen, drinking in information as though it will make him whole again. Ginny feels sorry for him, broken and imprisoned, left inside a diary for fifty years.
And Tom is such a good friend to her. Sometimes she thinks that they're two against the world, that she and Tom were made for each other. And she dares to hope that one day she'll be strong enough to fix him again. Then she'll be the hero and everyone will know her name, and Tom will be repaid for all the ways he makes her feel better.
Ginny just wants to help.
Tom wants to help too.
Whenever Ginny's tears fall onto the diary, whenever her handwriting becomes spiky and disjointed because she's shaking too much to write clearly, Tom is there.
Ginny has only been at Hogwarts for two weeks and she hates it already. The school is filled with giggling, malicious girls and spiteful boys and Ginny feels like an outsider in her patched, worn robes. But Tom knows about patched robes and feeling alone, and he comforts her.
She sits outside the castle on the second weekend of term, writing to Tom and watching the roosters scratch around outside Hagrid's hut.
It was late, but Ginny was still awake – on the seat furthest from the fire. Unfinished Potions homework lay open in front of her, another detention from Snape. But the red haired girl was oblivious, scribbling madly in a small black book.
Tom, you're such a good listener. Just having you around makes the day easier, you know.
The words oozed into the paper, and new words formed in spidery handwriting.
I'm glad I can help, Ginevra. Anything you want to talk about – I'm here.
She knows she's dreaming because Tom is in front of her, exactly as she imagined him – smiling smoothly while his voice forms hissing sounds she's never heard before.
She knows she's dreaming, because she's covered in black writing, letters and curlicues and sentences, and the words whisper in harmony with Tom.
She knows she's dreaming because she understands those hisses, hears Tom call a monster from the dark depths of the school.
And she knows she's dreaming because she doesn't give a damn.
"D'you think there's something wrong with Ginny?" Fred asked his twin during a particularly dull Transfiguration class, late in November.
"Ginny's always been a bit strange," George replied. "But I know what you mean. Maybe we should –"
"Mr and Mr Weasley, I trust you're paying attention?" McGonagall rapped out sternly.
Momentarily silenced, the twins rolled their eyes and turned back to their books. Three minutes later when Fred dealt the first hand of Exploding Snap, Ginny was forgotten.
Oh, God, Tom. You'll never believe what's just happened!
Ginny didn't wait for Tom to reply, spreading ink droplets everywhere in her haste. Everyone thinks that Harry's the Heir of Slytherin, you know, the one who's been doing all of this. He can talk to snakes, just like Slytherin could! It's called Persaltongue or –
Parseltongue, Tom interjects and Ginny can almost see a dark haired boy opposite her, raising a neat, dark brow. Ginny whispers the word, tasting it, and remembers something.
You can talk to snakes too, Tom, she writes carefully. Tom pauses before replying.
Yes, I can, he says. It's not a common ability, but it certainly doesn't mean that every single Parselmouth is a descendant of Slytherin. You know what people are like, Ginevra, – and here Tom pauses, letting Ginny savour the idea that she and Tom are the only ones who do know what people are like – and you know the kind of silly things they're prepared to believe.
And Ginny does. Ginny's prepared to believe anything if Tom is the one saying it.
Her breath comes short and fast as she snaps the diary shut. Tom's been lying to her, Tom's been doing all of this…no. Tom's been making her do all of this, petrifying Mrs Norris and Colin…the roosters…the writing…
Oh, God. What'll happen when her parents find out that she's been attacking Muggleborns? What'll happen when everyone finds out? And what if someone dies – what if Tom makes her kill someone!
Ginny collapses onto her bed and buries her head in her hands, trying to stay calm. The diary – Tom's diary – lies on the floor where she'd thrown it. She'd needed to get it away from her.
I need to get it away from me.
She needs to get rid of the diary, find a way to make sure that he can't make her or anyone else do these horrible things again.
Myrtle lets out an ear splitting wail when Ginny throws the book through her, but she's already running from the bathroom, eager to leave Tom behind as quickly as possible. She can't believe what she's found out.
Tom's the Heir of Slytherin, and everything's spiralling out of control.
Just one more time.
The diary is stuffed into the bottom of her trunk, and she can't sleep, hasn't been able to for three days. It's not the guilt from breaking into Harry's room,. it's Tom's diary, and she's terrified of what will happen if she gives in and opens it. Tom will be angry, and what if he makes her –
No. She'll be strong. She just wants to tell him that he won't win. That's all. She wants to tell him to leave her alone, that she's not going to fall for his lies anymore.
The book is heavy in her hands as she opens it, and her hand shakes, sending droplets of ink onto the paper. They dissolve, but Tom doesn't write anything back. Typical.
She sets quill to paper, and writes carefully.
Ginny isn't sleeping much anymore. Instead, she spends her nights sitting in bed with the drapes drawn, scribbling to Tom. She can't read his reply in the darkness, but she doesn't need to. She can hear him talking to her, hissing in Parseltongue. He's inside her now.
Sometimes she can even see him, and he sits beside her and strokes her hair. It looks like blood against his pale, not-quite-there hands, and she's reminded of the people he's Petrified and the girl he's killed.
Tom must have caught the sudden flash of fear in her eyes, because he smiles (like a cat watching a helpless mouse, Ginny observes detachedly). The next thing Ginny knows, there's icy lips against hers (again) and the cold has mingled with the fear and Ginny can't move. Can't break away from Tom, can't dash out of the dormitory and down to the common room. She can't even think.
Tom deepens the kiss, his right hand curling around her neck, fingers resting right on her pulse. Her heart is beating faster, but both she and Tom know that it's from fear (this time).
A few more seconds pass before he breaks away. He gazes at her appraisingly afterwards, gauging her reaction. Ginny twists her hands into the sheets to stop them from shaking.
The last time was in a dream, she thinks. Ginny can't quite remember it (but she can't remember much these days). She knows she wasn't afraid then, or if she was, that the fear buried deep – somewhere she couldn't feel it.
Tom had kissed her (she remembers that her back was pressed against a sink) and she'd kissed him back. She remembers that his lips had been warm and so had his hands and Ginny had never needed anyone like she'd needed Tom that night. She'd reached up blindly (Tom had told her to keep her eyes closed; he'd guide her through the halls), grasping Tom's shoulders and whispering in his ear, I don't remember who I was before I met you, but I know I hated myself.
Tom's whispers his reply against the hollow of her neck. And do you like yourself now, Ginevra?
Ginny pauses, her body pressed against Tom's. Finally she says, I think I do. But...
I like you more, Ginny says in a rush. She can feel Tom's smile against her skin.
Later on, when Ginny was back in her bed, she'd wished Tom was real, that he had real skin, real blood. She wished he'd sit with her in the Great Hall every morning, eating breakfast with her and kissing her while her classmates looked on in envy.
Now, the thing that terrifies her most is that he's getting more real every day.
It's just like falling asleep, really. Tom's face is blurry, waxy, but his voice is comforting and she's so tired of fighting him. She knows that he wants to kill her, that he's the Heir of Slytherin and that he's evil, but his voice is so reassuring and his smile is so winning. And he'll still be here when she wakes up, won't he?
"Yes, Ginevra," Tom says, reading her thoughts. "I'll be here when you wake up, I promise. When have I ever let you down?"
Ginny thinks back, knowing that somewhere along the line, Tom had let her down. He had lied to her, she knew it. But the memories just weren't there anymore. He wanted to kill her, she just didn't know why. He'd lied to her, she just couldn't remember it.
Tom smiled, and it sent shivers down Ginny's spine. "You're cold, Ginevra," he says, with a concerned expression that doesn't reach his eyes. "You should get some rest."
She'll just have a little sleep. And then she'll go and tell Dumbledore…no, not Dumbledore, he's not here any more…she'll go and tell…
Tom's smile grows wider and wider as her eyelids droop.
Reviews are very welcome. I'd like to know what you thought.