A/N: Once again, I apologise for the lateness of updating, but I have been on holiday... if that's any excuse :) . Would really like to reach the 50 reviews landmark for by the end of this story, so please, again, if you read then review!!! Thank you so, so much.
Love, L.D.O.S. xxx
Voldemort could not move, could not think… for a moment he could not even breathe… the shock was too overwhelming.
The person in front of him gracefully pulled back the hood of her lavender cloak, revealing a long, silvery-blonde mane of hair that shimmered down her back and stared at him with sparkling, navy-blue eyes, round with surprise. She had gained a few laughter lines across her face over these last few years, but they seemed only to enhance her grace. She was just as beautiful as she had always been, and yet, Adonia Breckenridge looked just as startled as Voldemort felt.
'Tom Riddle?' she finally murmured.
Voldemort flinched involuntarily, and suddenly, pure loathing and anger replaced the surprise. He glared at Adonia, fury threatening to engulf him… but the entire occupancy of the Hog's Head was watching them. No, it was better to continue this outside…
He stepped out into the cold, Adonia still half-smiling at him. Without the need for orders, the Death Eaters drifted casually to the other side of the snow-driven road, leaving Adonia and Voldemort perfectly alone.
He led her down a small alley that was hidden at the side of the tavern, her eyes never leaving his face.
Adonia's hood was drawn over her head again now, even though the snow had calmed since Voldemort had been out in it last. Her eyes were shining with something that he recognised – the look of infatuation and dreaminess, a look she had given him ever since their first kiss in her time at Hogwarts. He felt a quiver run down his spine. How he despised love.
'Indeed Adonia… it is I,' he smiled charmingly, taking her gloved hand in his. A shiver danced through his fingers, his palm and up to his elbow as he longed desperately to crush her hand in his. Un-noticing of his agony, Adonia smiled girlishly.
He was ecstatic to find, however, that as he stared back into those deep blue eyes… she had no effect on him anymore. No desires to kiss her or to hold her...just the feeling of complete loathing that he could not, and would not, banish.
'Oh, Tom…it's been much too long since I saw you last,' she simpered, and Voldemort resisted the natural urge to let out a low, threatening snarl. 'You've changed a little...' she added, pondering and examining his face, looking quite bewildered. 'You don't look very well at all, now I come to think of it… ever so pale…'
Voldemort bristled unintentionally. The Horcruxes had visibly muffled and distorted his handsome features, making his face chalky white which contrasted with the eyes that held a hint of crimson.
'I'm perfectly well,' he replied, his voice as smooth and soft as silk. 'However I must admit that… I am anything but warm.'
He drew a small, flirtatious smirk across his face, his dark eyes smouldering at hers.
To his surprise, Adonia blushed dramatically, her cheeks suddenly burning a bright scarlet.
'Tom…,' she began, her voice seeming a little reluctant, as if the words did not want to come from her mouth, 'I'm a married woman now.'
Voldemort raised his eyebrow suggestively, sickening himself as he did so.
'Besides,' Adonia said, sharply and suddenly, 'in my last few years of school we didn't speak! You completely and utterly ignored me! Why the change of heart, Mr. Riddle?'
Voldemort scowled, and anger scorched his heart as he yearned to scream and shout and cast a thousand curses at this beautiful yet hateful creature.
But he forced himself to lean closer to her, close enough to almost touch noses… breathing her breath. The sweetness of it was overwhelming, and the harshness of the scent dried the back of his throat for breathing it.
'Why ask?' he said roughly, yet the false longing in his voice still broke through.
'I'm a married woman, Tom,' Adonia repeated expressionlessly, yet she remained where she stood, with Voldemort smiling crookedly at her. She continued in the same mechanical manner, as if she were reading badly from a script…trying to convince herself of the meaning, 'I'm Mrs. Lionel Lovegood…and then there's my baby Xenophilius. I couldn't possibly –'
But at that moment she stopped talking, for Voldemort's lips were on hers.
The feelings that rushed through him at that precise moment were unlike anything he had ever felt before: the agony of what he was doing wrenched at his heart, threatening, it seemed, to tear it from his very body; His mind whirled with loathing, fury and disgust… not only for Adonia, but for himself as well; Her sickly scent engulfed him, dragging him to an abyss of terror from which, surely, he would never resurface… and her lips seemed to scald his, painfully withering them. And yet, the worst of all was undoubtedly the feeling that he was trapped now, unable to pull away and escape from this horrific torture…
But suddenly he found strength…and the kiss broke.
Then, in a split-second, his wand was in his hand and was pressed against Adonia's heart, who, in turn, looked bewilderedly at him. A long, leering smile spread slowly across Voldemort's face.
'Did you really believe I would fall for your trickery for a second time, Mrs. Lovegood?' he sneered.
'Tom, what are you doing?' Adonia asked a little stupidly, staring worriedly at the wand that pressed threateningly against her and then at the man she had just kissed.
Voldemort glared at her, a low snarl emanating from deep in his chest, his eyes momentarily gleaming scarlet.
Adonia started, alarmed and frightened.
'Did I not inform you many years ago, that my name was Voldemort?' he whispered icily.
When he received no more than a small, terrified squeak for a reply, he continued: 'Come now, Adonia. Even a filthy half-blood such as yourself must have heard of the stories… how the Muggle family from simply dropped like flies? How several witches and wizards have abruptly disappeared? How the Ministry is trying desperately and pathetically to identify and locate the murderer?'
Adonia was shaking a little now.
'I have read about th-them,' she muttered, 'in the D-Daily Prophet. The Ministry are s-saying they've found the murderer.'
Voldemort laughed, loudly and scornfully.
'They lie! Only a handful of people in this world know who Lord Voldemort is... and even fewer know that he is the murderer.'
Adonia gasped audibly. Voldemort cackled with malevolent laughter once again.
'And… and now you're going to kill me?' she questioned, her eyes full of fear.
Voldemort smiled evilly.
'You have caused me too much trouble over the years… so yes, I will kill you,' Voldemort stated simply, the smirk still playing over his face.
'I could scream,' Adonia informed him, raising her head proudly and valiantly.
'I could silence you,' Voldemort returned, moving his wand to her neck.
Adonia remained silent, breathless and petrified.
'No final requests, Adonia? No last, wise words or heart-wrenching speech?' he asked mockingly.
'None at all,' she replied steadily, all fear vanished from her face… replaced now by pure rage.
'Well, in that case –'
'One thing I must tell you though, Tom,' Adonia interrupted, much to Voldemort's fury, 'is this: one day – perhaps not tomorrow, or even the next – you'll meet a horrible end, because people like you always do. And the worst thing is, you probably won't even realise what's going to happen to you – not like I realise what is going to happen me in a few short moments – because you're too arrogant and inhuman even to care… and that, Tom Riddle, shows what a cold, horrific creature you truly are.'
For a moment, Voldemort froze, his face blank with shock. None of his victims had ever spoken to him like this… they had been much too scared. But this only increased his anger, as she dared to defy his threats.
'Very well said, Adonia,' Voldemort laughed humourlessly, 'a truly epic, Ravenclaw-worthy speech. Perhaps you should be rewarded...yes, I believe you should... Crucio!!'
Adonia fell to the ground, screaming in anguish – a scream he hastily staunched with a silencing charm. She clawed at his robes, as she yelled silently in terror. Voldemort kicked her off, laughing quietly.
He lifted both the curse and the charm at the same time, leaving Adonia lying in the snow, breathing heavily. She raised her head to look at the menacing face above her, still smiling cruelly. And Voldemort looked back at the woman who had fooled him and flawed his plans… and felt no remorse of regret in softly saying, 'Avada Kedavra.'
Voldemort left the little alley immediately, leaving Adonia's body still lying lifelessly in the snowy ground.
He crossed the street and was greeted wordlessly by his Death Eaters, until Cathair Breen unthinkingly piped up, 'so, did you kill her, my Lord?'
Voldemort spun to face him, the freckled man who still looked so like a little boy.
Unanswering of his question, Voldemort said, smiling sweetly and mechanically, 'you know, Cathair… I was wondering to myself one morning, what does Cathair Breen actually do for his master? After all, Icarus provides a healthy facade at the Ministry, Marcellus has the fighting power of men and Antonin is a truly faithful spy… and then there's you. Please enlighten us to your role, Cathair.'
The other Death Eaters all laughed appreciatively as Cathair gaped in undisguised horror at Voldemort.
'I – I am a faithful f-friend, my Lord,' he said meekly, after some thought.
'Faithful?' Voldemort repeated sceptically, a long smirk across his pale face, 'that's not the word I would use at all Cathair. Weren't you telling Xavier just the a few short days ago of how you could be a better master than I am? And this very day, just a few minutes ago, you complained to Carbus about how long I was taking, among many other complaints and pitiful moans. Would you call that faithful, Cathair?'
'Lies, my Lord!! All lies!' Cathair shrieked, evidently panicking.
Voldemort's jeering smile vanished instantly.
'And you dare to lie again,' he said. 'I'm afraid that simply isn't good enough, Cathair... Goodbye.'
A cold jet of green light hit Cathair Breen in the chest before he could reply, and he fell woodenly to the ground. The Death Eaters and their master Apparating immediately afterwards, their icy laughs still buzzing through the air.