AN: First of all, this is SLASH, so if you don't like it, don't read. Also, the main pairing is Draco/Tom Riddle, so if you don't like that, don't read it either. I don't mind flames (it's just another review for my review count) since most flames are childish and stupid, but I'd rather not get them.

Anyway, the idea for this came from another fic called "Playmate" by Chainlinks (and it's very cute so everyone should go and read it!). But I decided that it would be more interesting for Tom to live at the end of CoS instead of die, so that's what'll happen here. Enjoy!

Warnings: Character death, AU, slash

Sound of Silence

Prologue: Draco's Friend

When Draco was six, he snuck into his father's study and stole a small diary as a prize.

It wasn't an important diary, black and nondescript. Draco flipped through it long enough to see that no one had written in it except for the small name "T. M. Riddle" in faded ink on the first page. An hour after he'd stolen it, he forgot about it.

A year later, he found it again in a stack of old picture books he planned to throw away. Obviously, he did not want to throw his treasure away, thus he hid it under his pillow so the house elves wouldn't find it when they came to take away the picture books and give him new ones.

That night, he pulled out the diary and looked over it again. After a moment, he decided that it was quite wasteful to let the diary remain empty and found a quill and ink so he could try writing in it himself in jerky handwriting.

"July 9, 1987

"To-day I found this book again and wanted to write in it."

He paused to think of something else to write, since that didn't seem like enough. When he glanced down at the diary again, he was startled to see that his words were gone. In their place, a line was written in very neat handwriting.

"Is it really '87 already?"

Draco excitedly read the words before they faded away and wrote back, "Who are you?"

"My name is Tom Riddle. What is yours?"

"I'm Draco Malfoy," Draco wrote proudly.

"How did you come by my diary, Draco?"

This time Draco paused before he answered. Should he really tell this stranger what he'd done? But then he decided that a person in a book couldn't tell his father what he'd done and replied, "I stole it out of my father's study."

"I'm glad you did," came Tom's reply. "I've been very lonely waiting for someone to write to me. No one has in fifty years."

Draco's eyes widened. Fifty years? He couldn't even imagine an amount of time that long, but it must have been awful being alone with no one to talk to. "Can I be your friend?" he asked.

"Of course, Draco. I should like that very much."

The next year passed quickly for Draco. He wrote to Tom in the diary every day, sometimes for hours, since his only other regular friends, Vincent and Gregory, were hardly worth the effort it took to have a conversation with them. He liked Blaise and Theodore much better than them, but they hardly ever visited, so he pretended sometimes that Tom was one of them writing to him through special parchment and didn't miss them so much.

He didn't do this often, however; he liked Tom the way he was. Tom didn't care that he was only seven and had just learned to fly when Blaise had known for years, or that he sometimes got behind in his studies when Theo was ahead of him by half a year. Tom always listened patiently to what he wrote, and replied kindly sometimes and sympathetically at others. Sometimes what he wrote was harsh and Draco would throw the diary across the room, but by the next day, he'd forgotten about it.

He found out how old Tom was on his eighth birthday.

He was supposed to be sleeping, but he was so excited that he was another year older and had received so many presents that he couldn't help but tell Tom all about it. He wrote for ages about his party and who had come and what presents he'd gotten, hardly noticing when Tom commented every so often.

"Can you believe it? I'm eight years old now!" he concluded finally.

"It is so odd to hear of you aging. I have not aged at all since I made this diary."

"How old are you?" Draco wrote curiously.

"I was sixteen when I made the diary. My self outside the diary would be just over fifty now."

"You're twice as old as I am!" Draco observed proudly. He'd been learning multiplication recently with is tutor and could do such simple math in his head now.

"Yes, I am, very good, Draco. Your mother must be very proud of you."

Draco frowned in thought before he answered. "I think she is. She never says so, but she always looks like it."

"I'm sure she is. And I am proud of you, too. Now, what time is it?"

"After ten," Draco wrote back sheepishly.

"Go to bed now. You can tell me more tomorrow."

Draco was sure he was in love with Tom when he was ten, and he told the other boy as much. Tom assured him it was just a passing fancy and he'd be 'in love' with someone else next week, but Draco was sure he was wrong. He longed for the older boy to become real somehow so they could touch each other, and he was constantly terrified that one day the diary would disappear and Tom would be gone.

"Isn't there any way you could get a real body?" Draco wrote one afternoon after another long discussion about his feelings.

"I don't know. I haven't thought about it much. I suppose it would be possible."

"Could you do it?"

"I'll have to think about it, Draco. Truthfully, I'm not too fussed about leaving. It's not so bad being a memory."

Draco knew he was lying because Tom began turning their conversations back toward that idea more and more often after that.

Draco knew Tom loved him back when he was eleven. Tom didn't say it outright, and Draco would have gotten very suspicious if he had, but Tom certainly acted like it.

It started on Draco's first day of school. He'd managed to smuggle the diary into his bag without his parents or the house elves seeing it, and had written in it during most of the ride to school. Then, as soon as he'd heard Harry Potter, the Harry Potter, was on the train as well, he'd said goodbye to Tom and left to go see.

Tom was not pleased that night when Draco pulled the diary out again.

"So, what was he like, this Harry Potter of yours? Was he worth leaving me alone again?"

"No, I hate him," Draco answered. He was still fuming about how Potter had coldly turned him down, as though he were worthless. "He's arrogant and self-centred, and I hate him."

"Serves you right, I think, for leaving me. You know no one else will ever understand you the way I do."

Draco blinked and stared down at the words, even once they'd faded away again. "Are you jealous?"

"Of a snivelling little brat? Of course not. Why should I be? What House was he sorted into?"

"Gryffindor," Draco wrote back, though a smile was forming on his lips. "You are jealous of him. You're jealous that as soon as I heard he was on the train, I wanted to pay more attention to him then you."

"I'm not jealous. He's nothing for me to be jealous of. He wasn't even sorted into the proper House. He's worthless."

But Draco had learned how to tell when Tom was lying, and he certainly was now. Tom was incredibly jealous of Potter for stealing Draco's attention, and Draco felt that this proved Tom cared for him, at least a little.

He made a point that year to be as nasty as possible to Potter, then told Tom all about it afterward. Each time he did, Tom seemed to grow more and more jealous, until finally, on Draco's twelfth birthday, Tom wrote the words he'd been waiting two years to read.

"I'm coming out of the diary, Draco."

"You are? When?" Draco asked eagerly. This had to be the best present he'd ever gotten.

"Soon. It will require careful planning. And I will have to kill someone. Are you ready to have blood on your hands, Draco?"

"I wouldn't be killing him, though," Draco protested, a little less enthused now.

"You would be partially responsible. Well, Draco? Would you be able to handle that?"

Draco thought for a moment about what would be worse, killing someone, or Tom staying in the diary forever. The latter option certainly seemed worse.

"What do I have to do?" Draco finally asked.

Tom detailed his careful plan out to Draco, and the blond made sure to write it all down, since the first item on the list was to return the diary to his father's study. He then had to make subtle suggestions to his father that the school was overrun with Mudbloods and that Potter would need another challenge this year and wouldn't it be great if Dumbledore was sacked, since the biggest part of the plan was getting Tom to school in someone else's hands. Lucius knew that the diary held the answer to opening the Chamber of Secrets, so if he could be convinced to give the diary to someone else under the impression that it would make sure the Chamber was opened that year, that was what had to be done.

Draco cheered inwardly when he saw his father slip the diary into Ginny Wealsey's Transfiguration book. His father couldn't have picked a better person to give the diary to; now not only would Tom gain a body, he'd kill a blood-traitor at the same time.