Tom Marvolo Riddle crashed through the door. A once handsome man stared up at him in terror. He was too dumbstruck with fear to notice the powerful resemblance between him and the young man who stood before him.

A light was glowing at the end of a stick Tom was holding. A purely innocent light, but the muggle in the room didn't know that—it looked far too alien to be trusted, too unknown.

This disgusted Tom as he stared down at the face of his father. "You will finally pay," he spat.

Confusion flickered across Riddle's face, "What have I done to you?"

Hate gleamed in Tom's eyes. He barred his teeth as he hissed something in parseltongue.

The sound of a snake caused fear to run down the spine of the man Tom was glaring down at. He would never know that Tom had answered his question. He would never know how much anger Tom was holding in—what it would make him become.

"Please. I don't know you. I haven't done any—"

Tom slammed his father's head to the ground with his foot. Riddle screamed in horror. "Remember you peace of scum."

Riddle trembled beneath his son's foot.

"Remember the woman who captured your heart."

As fearful as he was, this didn't stop Riddle from thinking sarcastically, There were many.

Tom heard his father unknowingly mutter this under his breath. Black filled his eyes as he removed his foot.

Riddle, at first, thought the boy was backing off. But when he felt something stab his neck, his heart skipped a beat.

Tom was holding his lighted wand. Anger made his own heart beat faster than even the best Seeker. Part of his mind reminded him that Riddle deserved this. "Every last bit of it," he whispered as he brought the wand to his and said, "Crucio."

It was the first Tom had ever used that curse. No emotion ran through him as this… pathetic excuse for a father… for a man… shook uncontrollably. Bloodcurdling screams echoed around the room. No joy or guilt filled Tom's chest. Just a need to finish the job so he could complete the task at hand.

He cancelled the curse and pointed the wand at him again. "Don't worry, father," he subtly revealed, "it is over."

"W-what did you call me?" Riddle demanded.

A sadistic smile spread across Tom's face, "Goodbye, father," he raised his wand triumphantly, "Avada Kedav—"

"Tom," a voice spoke his name behind him. Usually, Tom would always finish what he started before turning his attention to something else.

But when a spark of something—something he hadn't felt in a long—shot through his chest, he turned to see a person… who he missed deeply. His heart beat with something that was too familiar.

Tom tried to beat down the hopes he had lost long ago. But when the person walked into the light of his wand, Tom's mouth fell open in awe. She was beautiful. She had fair skin, which was framed by straight brown locks that fell past her shoulders, dancing down her back. A glowing aura surrounded her entire body.

She had the same robes she had been wearing at the time of her death... the Ravenclaw blue was undeniably familiar.

But the only thing that made Tom feel like he was floating… were her eyes. Warmth filled his body, as her liquid emerald irises stared at him softly. They were the same color of a boy's that Tom wouldn't meet for many years.

"Maria?" he whispered.

He was shaking slightly as she came closer. She cupped his head in her hands, which were remarkably smooth. For one sweet moment, Tom closed his eyes, just letting himself feel her again. She brought her hands from his face down to his chest.

Maria felt his heartbeat, and her own heart was singing, even though she didn't let this be known. When she brought her other hand down to twine her fingers with Tom's he opened his eyes.

Her eyes… were more intense than he could ever imagine. "You must not do this, Tom," she said.

Tom just stared at her in shock, "Why?"

"Murder. At first… it seems hard," she replied "but it becomes easier. You mustn't let yourself become like that."

Tom closed his eyes. How could she ask this of him? "But everything he did…" He looked over at Riddle,

"No. Tom, look at me," she demanded, her voice hard.

Conflict raged inside him. Anger and want battled within him, "I can't just let him live, Maria."

"Yes, you can," she retorted.

Tom looked down, not wanting to see her face. The conflict was like a roaring fire, tearing him apart. Everything that he had worked for… everything that drove him….

"Is standing right in front of you," Maria finished his thought.

That one sentence made tears fill his eyes. What did he want? What did he need? Pain filled his face in a way that he hadn't even let Maria see before.

"My death is turning you into something that I don't want you to become," she breathed. Her breathe in his face made him close his eyes. The tears fell from beneath his eyelids. "Please… don't fall into that."

He opened his eyes, and Maria looked stunned at his flow of emotion. "Tom…" she placed her hand on his cheek, "…please…" she brushed away a coming tear with her thumb, "…don't do this."

Tom was silent beneath her touch. It was so familiar, yet so fresh. He rushed his hand through her silky, chestnut hair. She closed her eyes momentarily and all he could do was just stare at her. Just… look at her. She was radiant…

When her eyes opened, they were dancing. They were glowing. Maria leaned closer to him, pressing herself into his chest. She leaned into his ear as she said those three words that anyone would know, "I love you."

She kissed along his jaw line, memorizing him through touch. When her lips reached his throat, he all but fell to his knees. She trailed kisses along his neck and his breathing came out slightly uneven…

Maria brought her lips up. Butterfly kisses spread across the young wizard's cheek. When Maria came to the corner of his own lips, Tom's heart stopped for one second as he said… for the last time in his life… "I love you too."

He trapped her lips in his before she could. For one moment, all they could do was hear each other's breathing. Then Maria pulled away. Tom stood with his eyes closed, reveling in her presence.

"Please… don't do this." And then she was gone.

Tom would assume that he had just been day dreaming. He would assume that for one moment, he had had a conscience. Maria was gone—killed in the tournament—and there was no way he would be able to see her.

The young man—though had been warned and pleaded in the deepest way—finished off with Riddle. He walked out of the house, feeling a dark sort of triumph… and he would never know of the spirit weeping for him in the Head Master's tower in the school that he resided.