A Spell

Disclaimer: (the quite famous) J.K. Rowling and all licensed authorities own these characters and the Harry Potter books.

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There's a room only Tom knows about. Tom and her.

It's an echoing cavern filled with treasures, whimsical crowns and stacks of golden galleons piled in mounds all over the room. It's easily more than she's ever seen, in their vault. More than a Weasley could ever have dreamed of owning.

They go there with ghostly feet, sidestepping Mrs. Norris with a trick Tom taught her. He's good at that. He knows things a first year like her would never have known, even if he's a diary.

Tom has cast a spell, you see.

When they step in, it's like the world really is magic, even for someone who's been used to it all her life. She ogles the thick ropes of gold, encrusted with emeralds and sapphires, the pearls braided into great big vines hung about the golden mirrors. Tiptoeing fervently, hesitantly, on Holy Ground, she lays Tom on a special chair, cushioned with a silver and emerald-trimmed pillow, so warm and soft it flowed out around the slightest depression or touch. Almost like it were charmed.

Then Tom meets her. She closes her eyes and he's there. He steps from the chair with an elegant step, long slender fingers draped on his chest as he sweeps her a tiny, flattering bow. Ginny giggles because no one's ever done that for her, the smallest Weasley, sister to six older rowdy, teasing brothers.

Tom is special. He's her friend, the very best, and the way he treats her is special. Tom always tells her what she wants, needs to hear and makes her feel like she's not boring, weak little Ginny Weasley. He's her special secret.

You'll be a Queen, he promises, looking every bit the dashing prince, and she can almost forget that Harry is her King. He's so like him-cauldron-dark hair and kindly gallant face- so much nearer.

You, my princess. He whispers in that low rolling little way of his, and his eyes are so blue, so blue. Like the sapphires he dangles on her ears and his smile is so gentle, teeth like the pearls he lays on her brow next to silver tiara. She laughs, and it's not Ginny Weasley's awkward, half-braying laugh. It's a chiming little fairy sound, the kind she had always read about and wanted.

Tom has cast a spell, you see.

So when she looks in the mirror, and he smiles, she sees Princess Ginerva looking regally back, her autumn-burst hair curled in ringlets to frame her beautiful face. Her brows are arched and her eyes entrap. Jewels wink at her ears and the crown on her head was made for no one else. She's gorgeous. And behind her, hands on her delicate shoulders, Tom tells her she's special.

Tom has cast a spell you see.

And every single waking day, she prays nobody will say the countercurse.

It's a fragile, girlish hope.

She wakes with rooster feathers and blood on her hands; she hears sibilant whispers and rumors of the Heir. Suddenly, her hair is blood-soaked and she sees gaping dead people in her dreams and wake. Decayed hands reach out from behind tombstones, clawing at dirt.

Her hands never, never feel clean.

It can't, it can't. It can't be.

Foolish girl.

Tom has cast a spell, you see.

And now he breaks it.

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A/N: I was itching so much to write in another fandom. XD Thanks muchly for this request, lorei. This was also surprisingly easy to write and the image of Riddle crowning Ginny stuck to my head fast. :3 I don't like Ginny a lot, but I think this part of her life is probably the most interesting.

The Request:

Characters/Pairing: Tom Riddle/Ginny
An Item: a crown
A Setting: The room of requirement
A Genre: Macabre/Horror