Title: Lorelei

Author: Neko-chan

Fandom: Harry Potter

Pairing: Tom Riddle/Harry

Rating: T, eventual M

Disclaimer: I like fiddling around with things that aren't mine. But I'm good at borrowing, and I promise that they won't be missed while I have them during my playtime. ;)

Summary: It is impossible to forever resist the siren's call. Eventually you, too, will be caught.

Author's Note: I wanted to write a semi-modern fairy tale. Hopefully I've managed to accomplish that. :) If not… eh. Well, at least I've produced something for you lot to read? *laughs* Anyway, enjoy—and yes, I've finally just given up on trying to fight off the plot bunnies. They always win, anyway. :| Bloody multiplying bastards…

"First you will come to the Sirens who enchant all who come near them. If any man unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and croon him to death with the sweetness of their song. There is a great heap of dead men's bones lying all around, with the flesh still rotting off them. Therefore pass these Sirens by, and stop your men's ears with wax that none of them may hear […]"
- The Odyssey, Book XII; Homer


31 July 1945
Sankt Goarshausen, Germany

It was odd, the dark-eyed man thought as he made his way through the quaint, picturesque streets of St. Goarshausen. With the quiet and the smiles that men and women greeted one another with, the cheery disposition that permeated the entire town—it was hard to believe that both the Muggle and wizarding worlds had immersed themselves fully, had been at war until just recently.

Neither war had ravaged through this small town: and why should it have? St. Goarshausen had not been territorial crucial to either the Allies or the Axis Powers, and Grindelwald had kept most of his attacks to the larger, more densely populated areas of the Continent.

And that left this small, overlooked village, sheltered away from the war that had ravaged the world. It was something that highly amused Tom, though he was fully aware of the fact that there was nothing truly funny about it—just further evidence of how humanity was turned around and irreversibly so with no idea of their comings or goings.

It was with this dark thought in mind that the Englishman slipped into a pub off the side of the street that he was making his way down, closing the door behind himself and immediately catching the barkeep's eye. Making his way over, he offered the man his most charming smile before slipping onto one of the stools before the main bar.

"Guten Abend," the wizard said, German flavored with his clipped British accent. The accent, however, caused the Muggle to narrow his eyes warningly, but a mild compulsion spell was all that was needed for the German to slowly lower his defenses. "Wie geht es Ihnen?"

The compulsion settled deeper, lower, twining about the Muggle man's mind—so much like the muted struggling of a fly that had been caught in a spider's trap, strands of a deadly web catching and drawing tighter. When the barman finally answered, his voice was friendly and the gaze that he shot to Tom was full of appreciation that made the wizard immediately sick to his stomach. "Danke, gut. Was möchten Sie?"

Not in the mood for eating pub food, Tom hurriedly mentioned that he didn't want anything, but then quickly added made sure to add on, "Können Sie mir helfen?" He needed directions to the Lorelei, curious to see the famous rock that so many deaths revolved around—though no one had ever investigated the stories that surrounded the infamous landmark, Tom had grown intrigued as he made his way through Germany towards Albania, deciding to stop by and see if there were any magical reasons why the Lorelei had such a reputation as it did.

It went without saying, however, that when Tom Riddle's "Point Me" spell failed several times in a row, he became that much more piqued about this legendary rock.

With his easygoing demeanor fully erected and the manipulation spell coaxing the Muggles around him to relax despite the fact that he was a foreigner—and obviously British, at that, it took just a moment to charm the crowd into giving him the directions that he needed.

With a smile that never reached his eyes, Tom murmured a quick "Danke schön." before once more heading towards the pub's exit. The barman's smile—and interest—deepened further as he retorted with a "Bitte schön!" to the eighteen year-old, as well as adding in an invitation to return for a lager of beer once he was done with his sightseeing.

Tom smiled and nodded, though his dark eyes were cold: he had no intention of ever returning once he was done with his investigation. What was the point? These people were Muggles—filthy and barely human. The only reason why he had paid a visit to the pub was because he had been need of information, and the wizard's skin crawled in lingering disgust.

He flipped up the collar of his jacket, hunching his shoulders slightly to hide the movements of his hand—with wand flicking idly, hidden away in his pocket, the contented pulse of his magic surrounded him as Tom cast a Notice-Me-Not Charm.

Eyes drew themselves away from the teen as the recent Hogwarts graduate made his way through the streets and towards the bank of the Rhine and the towering Lorelei rock above him. It was a large rock, one that went up and up and up—dwarfing everything around it and making Tom, perhaps for the first time in his life, feel absolutely miniscule.

It was not a feeling that he enjoyed.

No, not a feeling that he enjoyed—at all.

Pebbles and dirt and sand shifted underfoot as the teen made his way along the shore, keeping well away from the quiet lapping of the waves upon the bank. The water was cold here, perhaps unnaturally so, and Tom began to see that his breath started to fog the closer he got to the looming rock.

The temperature continued to drop despite the sticky heat of a summer night in Germany, and Tom wrapped his jacket tighter about his body, stifling a shiver before it had the chance to escape, and let his mind wander to dragons as his breath continued to fog the velvet-dark night air. His thoughts were as lost as his way and, perhaps, it was the night that had enchanted him so: lowering defenses despite the obvious danger, coaxing him along while the pathways to midnight slowly unfurled and bared the way for the Dark teen.

It was the humming that eventually stilled him.

Beautiful, muted singing, husky and silken as strands of individual notes wended their way through the German sky: no words could be made out in the humming, no recognizable tune, but it was still a song that made Tom's blood surge and body tighten, muscles stretching, stretching, shifting in an attempt to break free and move. He craved; oh, how he suddenly craved for that which created the music. It was a nearly impossible feat, but Tom kept himself frozen—nevermind the wide eyes that searched up and down the bank for the source of the Sirenic sound.

The song did not break for several long, long moments and, when it did, it was done so with an amused chuckle. There was no other sound, just silence—the baited breath of the world, a world that waited anxiously to see what else would unfold next—and then there was the dazzling green of spring:

Bright verdigris, emeralds sharp enough to cut, subtle jade that had borne the test of time.

Tom saw the slight form of a teen whose movements were graceful, svelte body moving idly through the wisps of air, night, and spirits of the water—they swallowed him whole until only his enigmatic smile remained, and Tom watched him leave silently, thin lips pursed against the chill that began to settle into his bones.

But his eyes

Oh, his eyes

His eyes flared with sudden crimson.