Summary: She would die, all her beauty and loveliness and her vibrant smile, so he could live. Nothing comes for free, especially this. Hints of unrequited TMROC. One-shot.

Disclaimer: I'm JKR. Seriously. Can't you tell? /sarcasm


It's in every sinew of his body, woven into every neuron of his brain and even where his nails attach to his fingers and toes. This night, he absolutely hums with raw power and pure ambition; crackling in the air around him as he walks inside the circle. He has no friends, but is surrounded by his followers. His eyes ghost over each of their masked faces - conformed and yet individual. He knows each intimately, as they are the first, but certainly not the last.

She is led inside behind him, struggling, like a fire that refuses to be extinguished. A wicked, cruel ghoul of a smile fitters across his features as he gestures her over. They push her towards him and she stumbles a little a bit. However, her face remains defiant and strong -- his smile returns because it only serves to make her more beautiful.

"You have been chosen," his voice echoes, eerie and distant, as though it isn't his or he isn't himself.

"Lucky me," she retorts, eyes flashing. It's a warning he doesn't catch as suddenly, she jumps him him, clawing at his face and pulling his hair for a split-second before a red jet of light arches in the air, and she's thrown to the ground, almost growling, like an animal. For a moment, he almost regrets what he must do. Almost.

Merlin, she was brave and feisty now, but yet, he'd known her to be loyal, forgiving, kind, and witty. They are nothing alike and he's always wanted her, even at this very moment. But they would never be together -- he would strip her of her life and vibrancy so he could live forever.

As they all watch, he carefully approaches her, holds her chin lightly, but firmly, so their eyes stare into each other and his body catches on fire. She is burning him alive and he vaguely wishes they had chosen another before he grasps a handful of her hair, but wasn't expecting her to thrash and punch him in the face. Momentarily stunned, he attacks again with fervor, and so does she. Every blow makes his lungs burns, but it's fantastic and he feels more alive.

Suddenly, he has her pinned to the ground. His hood slips off as one hand tangles itself in her hair and the other grips her shoulder and shoves. Again and again, he pounds her head against the cold, hard ground and loves every little gasp and scream she makes. Blood begins to bubble up into her mouth, the vivid red even more bright against her cream colored skin. The imagine excites him and he can't help but lean down to kiss her bloody mouth. The glorious, glassy-eyed look of almost-death glazes over her eyes, but she still pitifully attempts to push him. There's something else in those eyes, beyond the inevitable death, and her hoarse, yet strangely melodic voice crackles to life one last time.

"Tom," she whispers throatily, her breath tickling his ear. "I worshiped you."

Even in death, she is exquisite. He breathes in sharply as air turns to fire and he's new and alive forever. That ghost of a smile returns and leans down to claim her now pale lips once more.

Goodbye lingers, unsaid, in the air; goodbye, I'm sorry for all the things I couldn't say. But everything has a price, especially this, and he understands. But quietly, he grieves; he grieves for all the dead that will follow, but mostly, he grieves for the woman he could never love and still did.

But then, he's himself again because he can't (and isn't) Tom Riddle anymore, except in name. Today, a woman is dead and a name is born.

Tom Marvolo Riddle.

I wrote an original, rough draft of this long before the sixth book when no one knew how Riddle managed to make himself immortal! So I rewrote it, and it is based on the idea that Myrtle's death is not what Riddle used to create his first Horcrux (the diary). This is also posted on ! Hope you like it!