Author's Note: Good luck, brightsun89, on your mid-term week~ Here's the "rabbit's foot" that I promised you. *cheers and roots you on in such a way that only an obnoxious older sister can do* ;)

Chapter Four.

The second time that Tom awoke, it was to mosquito netting—fabric thin and sheer enough that the wizard could easily see through it to his surroundings—raw-silk sheets, muted, predawn light, and the svelte form of his siren—the siren who was currently sprawled possessively over the dark-eyed teen's chest.

Tom couldn't stop his pleased chuckle—and, then again, why would he want to?—while his eyes went heavy-lidded as his fingers slowly began to card through thick, messy hair. The slight weight stirred idly, but only to smooth a pale hand over Tom's equally pale belly before shifting just enough to tuck his face against the hollow of the wizard's throat. Heinrich was obviously comfortable and was just as obviously not planning on waking any time soon; and if that was the case… why not take advantage of this quiet time?

The wizard had never seen the lorelei in the light. True light.

Darkness had always obscured his sight, shadows had stretched and hidden that what he had wanted to see the most. There had only been moonlight, half-light at the very most: dawn was still a little ways away, but there was enough of a glow coming from the cave's entrance that Tom was finally—finally—able to see the other as he had wished all along.

The lorelei—Tom realized full well that he needed to start reminding himself to call him "Heinrich"—was done in a series of contrasts: pale, silver-kissed skin; full, red lips—mouth bruised now, impossibly so, from last night's activities; hair that was as dark and as crisp as a raven's wing, midnight-blue highlights shining strong and clear in the muted predawn incandescence; and eyes, eyes that were shut now in contented sleep, but eyes that were as sharp and as hard as emeralds and as bright, as lush as springtime growth: illuminated viridian, and Tom wanted that verdigris gaze to only ever look at him.

The possessiveness should have been worrying.

But Tom wanted too much to care.

He dipped his head then, lips pressing lightly against the love bite that he had left upon the bend of Heinrich's throat the night before. His tongue flicked teasingly over the mark and he hummed in contentment when the lorelei shivered and finally opened his own eyes to look up at Tom.

"I did not expect you to awaken so soon, Liebling," Heinrich murmured softly as he shifted so that he was sprawled even more thoroughly over Tom's chest, the lovely creature's weight so sylphlike that it was almost as if he was not truly there: a being forged of silver, of springtime, of moonlight, and of shadow. There was a pause between the two of them then, and Heinrich's head tilted to the side as he looked up at Tom: suddenly, however, there was yet another glimmer of amusement—as if he was following the wizard's thoughts—and the slim figure eased up higher to press a kiss to the edge of the elder's jawline.

"You have a five o'clock shadow," the lorelei murmured with eyes that watched Tom from beneath the thick veil of his velvety lashes: obviously delighted with that particular fact as his teeth scraped over the wizard's somewhat roughened skin, nuzzling absently in affection.

"You're surprised at that," Tom said quietly in answer, quirking an eyebrow down at the catlike creature as his fingers threaded through thick, dark hair to tug gently at the silky strands. The siren shivered at the pull, biting down just a bit more roughly in answer. Tom knew that now he, too, would be carrying a bruise—but he couldn't bring himself to mind. Much.

"Mmm… no," came Heinrich's absent answer as he moved over Tom's lax body, idly straddling over the wizard's bare hips. He flashed a smile then, as fast as quicksilver, and smoothed his fingertips over the other's chest and belly—flicking at the elder's nipples with fingernails that gleamed like shells. Tom managed to stifle the gasp, but couldn't stop himself from arching up into the teasing touch. "Not surprised. Curious."

"Why?" Tom asked as he reached out and captured Heinrich's hands with his own, drawing the lorelei closer so that they might settle chest-to-chest. He nipped the green-eyed boy's lower lip, drawing it into the wet warmth of his mouth, and allowed himself just a brief taste of what he wanted most—a kiss—before finally releasing Heinrich so that the siren might answer.

Leaning forward further, Heinrich's lips brushed against the sensitive curve of Tom's ear as the lorelei whispered in a clandestine manner, "Because this is what I'll look like until the end of time; I shall never grow older, Liebling."

Tom shivered and stared up at the canopy of their bed.

His thoughts wandered.

The wizard sat just above the waterline, trousers rolled up to mid-calf so that at least his feet could brush against the river as it breathed and kissed the earth in never ending affection. Tom's gaze was hooded, completely crimson as he immersed himself in Dark thoughts. He wondered as he wandered, watching the Rhine while his consciousness flew far, far away.

He would never die.

His Horcruxes guaranteed this. He would grow older, true, and his body might fade—but should the body be lost, his spirit would retain awareness and he would have the chance to gain a new body to cloak his Self in. It was the not knowing, the Abyss that represented the Unknown that frightened him most—not wanting his consciousness, his sense of Self to end at his death. The Horcruxes that he made would ensure that he remained tethered to this plane of existence.

But that was all that they promised.

To gain immortal youth…? Ah, that was a completely different problem that Tom now knew that he would have to address. But it was an issue that he would solve; after all, he had been able to discover more about Horcruxes, even through the obstacles that Dumbledore and the Ministry lay before him—he had created two for himself and had pulled the Ace against Death that he had always, always craved.

And yet, that was no longer enough.

The wizard's gaze hooded further, completely obscuring his blood-tinted eyes from view, and he dipped further into his thoughts—sliding around suggestions and contemplations, spells that had been forgotten throughout the centuries, learned only because of the gift of Salazar Slytherin's library. Rituals that he knew would break a man's soul further, shredding it apart until there was barely anything left. So many thoughts, so many contemplations and ideas and ponderings: and thus, Tom plotted.

There was no moon that night.

The lorelei settled at his back and their bodies pressed flush against one another's; desire burned deep within Tom's belly, an ache that he wished to settle—a possessive craving that reached out to encircle the siren each and every time that Heinrich came close to him, close enough to touch, to taste, to scent. As the lorelei nuzzled against the nape of his neck, Tom could feel the boy's slow, pleased smile from his own shudder of want.

"What gift do you have for me tonight, Tom Marvolo Riddle?" Heinrich purred against the wizard's throat, nipping and nibbling against the familiar musk of Tom's skin. It was hard to think, so very, very hard, with the one thing that he wanted more than anything else—more than, if he allowed himself to be honest, even the Horcruxes—and Tom's grasp at control was fraying quickly.

"A wish," he whispered huskily. "Make a wish and I shall grant it."

There was silence—and then, finally—

"Your world. That is my wish," the lorelei murmured, voice Dark with intent.

Tom's eyes widened in surprise and he shivered at the tone of Heinrich's voice; he turned, gesture abrupt so that he could look into the lorelei's gaze and ensure that what he had heard was, in fact, what the siren had asked for: but there was no longer anyone there. The complete and utter sense of loss trembled within him, and Tom had to stifle it sharply before it eventually emerged from his mouth in a feral cry.

But the wish had been made.

And Tom would go to any lengths necessary to grant it.