The Dualism Trilogy, Book One: Tom and Harry
Summary: AU. Ginny Weasley dies in the Chamber of Secrets. Tom Riddle is resurrected and sets off on a mission to unite with his future self. Some R/Hr. Other pairings would be spoilers.
I. The Chamber
"Obliviate!" The fractured wand backfired, sending Lockhart backwards into the wall. The force of the blast shock the tunnel, loosening the ceiling. Harry covered his head, desperately trying to protect himself from the falling debris, but something struck him, hard, and his world swirled into black.
His first waking thought was that he couldn't move. Fighting back panic, he desperately tried to lash out with his limbs- and felt something shift. His eyes snapped open, and he hurriedly took in his surroundings, shaking the rocks off of his body as he struggled to stand. He took in Lockhart, staring at the wall in a daze, and Ron, knocked out on the ground...
"RON!" Harry scrambled over the debris to his best friend, fervently hoping Ron was alright. He dropped to his knees and pressed his ear to Ron's chest, searching- there. A heartbeat. He'd be okay.
Harry stood back up. How long had it been? Ten minutes? An hour? There was no way to tell. His stomach rolled and he fought back nausea. He had to move.
He swallowed back bile and began to climb over the debris.
Don't be dead. Please, don't be dead...
Harry searched Ginny's body for a pulse, a heartbeat, anything...but there was nothing.
Ginny Weasley was dead. He'd failed.
Harry began to shake. He scooped Ginny's body into his arms and clung to her, wishing, hoping that somehow he could bring her back. He thought of the muggle fairy tales he'd heard in primary school and pressed his lips to hers, hoping that the magic of his childhood would somehow be based in fact, because she'd like him so much, and that had to count for something, didn't it? But her mouth was stiff against his and her head lolled back. She was utterly unresponsive, and Harry was hopeless.
Harry looked into the eyes of Tom Riddle.
After the Basilisk was slain, Harry stumbled back to Ginny's body. He pulled her into his arms again to die there with her, as if his death could perhaps bring her back, but Fawkes cried for him and he was healed.
"Phoenix tears," he heard Tom murmur. "Of course..."
"Fawkes," Harry begged. He offered Ginny's body, wordlessly asking the Phoenix to help. Fawkes tilted his head to look up at Harry and he felt the bird's sadness, but knew that nothing could be done.
Fawkes disappeared in a burst of flames.
"This isn't over yet, Harry."
Harry looked up at Tom. He felt utterly hopeless.
There was a rumbling from deep within the chamber. Tom began to laugh.
"Are you ready to die, Harry? Ready to join your little girlfriend?"
Harry just stared.
Tom looked gleeful. "This is wonderful, Harry! Don't you see? I can bring myself back! I'll find him, and we can rule. I can rule."
Harry failed to comprehend what Tom was saying. He flinched, startled, as a column of flames appeared before him- Dumbledore, holding onto Fawkes's tail feathers. He should have felt relief, but he was numb to everything but the feel of the cold body in his arms- of his utter failure. He was aware, vaguely, of words being exchanged, of Tom taunting Dumbledore. He looked up when he felt a warm wave of air wash over him to see Tom propelling himself backwards, through an opening in the wall- the rumbling from before was it opening, Harry realized.
He felt, suddenly, the rapidness of his breath. He was panicking, he knew, but it was odd- it was an almost out of body experience. He felt that he was floating somewhere on the ceiling, looking down on himself clinging to little Ginny Weasley's dead body while Dumbledore watched Tom Riddle expel himself from the Chamber to...what? To take over where his future self had left off? To create a new Voldemort? Harry didn't know.
He felt the dizziness pushing at the edge of his consciousness and he welcomed it, welcomed the darkness.
He woke up in the dark Hospital Wing. He looked at the clock on his bedside table- three a.m. How long had he slept? When had they escaped the chamber?
He sat up, sheets slipping to pool around his waist. A few beds away he saw Ron. Ron was sleeping, and his head was wrapped tight with bandages. Hermione lay in the bed next to Ron's- she must have taken the Mandrake potion, because her body position had changed- she lay curled on her side, arm outstretched as if she were trying to touch Ron as she slept.
In the bed to Ron's other side he recognized Molly Weasley. Her husband sat in the chair next to her, mouth open, faintly snoring.
Perhaps she had gone into shock. Her only daughter was dead, after all.
Ginny Weasley was dead. It hit him, hard, and he curled into himself, gripping his hair tightly in his hands. Ginny was dead, and it was his fault. He'd failed her and her family in every possible way. He clenched his eyes tightly against his tears, feeling all the world on his shoulders as he fought the urge to sob.
He shook his head. He wouldn't look up. He wasn't much for company at the moment.
"Harry. Look at me."
But who would be visiting at this hour?
He sat back, rubbing the tears from his eyes. He stopped in mid motion, gaping at what was at the foot of his bed.
Ginny Weasley's ghost sat, glittering silver in the moonlight shining from the window behind her.
A/N: This one's been floating around my head for a while, so I wanted to play with it. I don't know how frequently I'll be updating, but I will say that the entire story is plotted, chapter by chapter, and will be finished. I just don't know when yet- my goal is a chapter a week, but sometimes that will vary.
Do review and let me know if you're intrigued :)