Title: Jörmungandr

Author: Neko-chan

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: M

Pairing: Tom Riddle Jr./Harry Potter

Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor Kuroshitsuji, my two favorite fandom franchises. One day, perhaps, when my plan for world domination has been completed, I will then be able to change that statement because—at that point in time—I will own everything. ;) Until then, however… I own nothing. OTL

Summary: Her hands were ice, frozen solid against Harry's palms, and her face continued to pale until her skin became as white as bone. And the boy, the silver-tongued boy, smiled like a snake through it all.

Author's Note: No, I'm not abandoning Paradise Lost. Yes, this will also be a multi-chaptered story (twenty-nine, actually, based upon the most commonly used runes in the Old English runic alphabet). Yes, I'll be alternating the chapters between the two (for my own sanity's sake). Yes, this is again dedicated to brightsun89 (if only because the little sister will be able to bully me into finishing this *lazy older sister*). And yes, I enjoy my classics a little too much. ;P On a side note, the Anglo-Saxon rune poem and its ME translation are both taken from the site ragweedforge[dot]com since I don't want to take the time to translate the original myself—though, fyi, I might do minor adjusts with the translations depending on if I think that a better word fits (or if the word that they use is wrong *bratty Medieval Brit Lit major*) or if the turn of phrase could be better implemented with something else. (Nothing wrong with being both lazy and nitpicky.)


Ear byþ egle eorla gehwylcun,
ðonn fæstlice flæsc onginneþ,
hraw colian, hrusan ceosan
blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosaþ,
wynna gewitaþ, wera geswicaþ.

Grave is horrible to each brave man,
when the flesh quickly begins to cool
and is laid in the bosom of the dark earth.
Prosperity declines, happiness passes away
and covenants are broken.

From the first time that Ginny Weasley had stepped into the Great Hall for her Sorting Ceremony and glanced over to the Gryffindor Table with a shy smile tugging at the corners of her lips and doe-brown eyes quickly turning downcast so that she might look at the toes of her shoes that peeked out from the hem of her robes, Harry Potter had known that, no matter how long it ended up taking, Ginny was going to be the one that he spent the rest of his life with. He knew this with a certainty that only the extremely young were capable of experiencing, the type of knowledge that came when one looked up and saw how the firelight gleamed upon silky hair and how a smile made a face glow with inner light; these were things that the young noticed, that the young insisted were the first signs of True Love, and these were the signs that made Harry's heart beat faster as he watched Ginny step forward so that the Sorting Hat could be placed upon her head. He knew. He knew that she was the one for him.

Of course, the twelve year-old boy didn't tell his best mate any of this.

After watching the interactions between Ginny and her older brothers during his time at the Burrow, Harry had come to see for himself that the girl was the apple of her family's eye; not only was she the youngest child, but she also happened to be the only girl. Even Percy tended to dote on her, though the snooty redhead tended to do so in a backhanded manner. Ginny was her brothers' sweetheart, and if they found out that Harry knew himself to be in love with her... It wouldn't end well for the Potter heir. And yet...

And yet.

It was this memory that resided in the foreground of Harry's mind as the boy ran through the passageways that threaded through the Chamber of Secrets, leaving an Obliviated Lockhart and a worried Ron behind a solid wall of rock, caused by the Defense teacher's spectacular demonstration of being a horrible human being behind the lying mask of his brightly smiling face. But—that was neither here nor there, because Harry's attention was riveted upon the task that he was the only one capable of doing: saving Ginny before the basilisk harmed her. That thought alone spurred Harry's steps until his shoes slap-slap-slapped roughly through puddles and against stone both, echoing eerily in the underground chambers as Harry ran and ran and ran, hoping against hope that he would make it in time to save Ginny. He was the only one who had managed to remain on this side of the cave-in, and his best mate's little sister needed him. The girl with the kindest, sweetest, shyest smile needed him; and Harry just had to make it in time to save her.

The boy's breath was harsh, heavily panting from his exertion, and just barely managed to hiss out an »Open.« as the Gryffindor came to a stop before the huge metal door that barred his way to the main chamber. The door opened impossibly so, almost seeming to purposefully lag.. as if knowing that the boy that now commanded it wasn't a true heir of Slytherin's despite the fact that he was able to Speak. Still, however, it did open for him, and all Harry needed was just a small crack before he was wiggling his way through, darting deeper into the Chamber of Secrets. Too long; she's been by herself too long. I have to go faster. Ginny needs me! Harry thought, each word timed to perfectly match the pounding of his feet. By the time that Harry finally made it to the main chamber, the one where Salazar Slytherin overlooked all he saw with a cold, assessing gaze, the second year discovered something that he hadn't ever expected to see.