~Wizards Who Meddle With Time~
Summary: Three years after Voldemort's death, a depressed Harry is still obsessed with Tom Riddle. But neither death nor time can stand in Hermione's way when she wants to help. She drags Ron back to 1943 to kidnap an unsuspecting 17 year old Tom and bring him to Harry in the future. HP/TR slash. Two-shot.
Rating: M for slash (same-sex relationship) between Harry and Tom Riddle.
Author's Note: Yes, of course I had to post the final part of this story on Harry's birthday. Happy birthday, Harry!
"Happy birthday, Harry!" The voice that intruded on Harry's anguished sleep sounded unnaturally bright and cheerful.
Harry groaned and buried his head in his pillow. "Go away, Hermione. I'm sleeping."
"Time to wake up, mate! We've got a surprise for you!"
Harry opened his eyes slowly. "Ron? She dragged you over here, too?" He regarded his two friends with suspicion. "And you broke into my flat at... what, 7 a.m., because-?"
"It's five in the afternoon, Harry." Hermione beamed at him. "And it's your birthday. We've come to take you out for a little birthday surprise."
Harry stuck his head back under his pillow. "A birthday surprise? Look, I really appreciate it, but I'm not in the mood to celebrate. I think I'll just go back to sleep for a while."
But Hermione yanked his covers off. "Get dressed, Harry. You'll want to see this surprise, I promise you."
"Come on, Harry." Ron dragged him to his feet. "There is no point in arguing with Hermione, you know that."
Harry blinked sleepily. "Aren't pregnant women supposed to need rest? Shouldn't she be home taking a nap?"
Hermione just snorted and threw his clothes at him.
"Listen, Harry." Ron leaned closer and lowered his voice. "The day before I married Hermione, my dad pulled me aside and said: "Son, now that you are about to become a married man, I feel that there is something I should tell you about women." I groaned and told him that I had known about those things since I was ten, but he just grinned and said: "Not those things, son. Kids your age probably know more about that than I ever will. No, Ron, what I have to tell you is something you don't know, something I wish I had known myself when I first entered the blessed state of matrimony. There is one thing that I have learned from bitter experience, and I wish to Merlin that some wise older man had thought to tell me this before I married your mother: Whatever you do, don't ever argue with a pregnant woman. If she wants you to sort the spices in alphabetical order, you'd better start putting "basil" before "borage". If she wants you to paint a room purple, you paint it whatever hellish shade of purple she has her heart set on. And if she craves dragon sausage for dinner, then, by Merlin, you head to Knockturn Alley and get that dragon sausage. That's all." And you know what, Harry? My dad lived through six of my mum's pregnancies, one of them involving Fred and George. He knows what he's talking about. So don't argue with Hermione, and put your clothes on."
Harry wrinkled his nose. "Dragon sausage? Really?"
Ron nodded. "Really. I suspect that must have been when my mum was expecting Charlie. The point is, Harry, Hermione has her heart set on this birthday surprise for you. And as her husband, I'm telling you that you would be very wise not to argue with her. So get dressed and come with us."
Harry reached for his clothes.
Half an hour later, Harry glanced around the familiar Hogwarts bathroom in astonishment. "What in Merlin's name-? You are taking me here?"
"That's right, mate." Ron turned and addressed one of the serpent-shaped silver taps in heavily accented Parseltongue: *Open!*
Harry followed Ron and Hermione hesitantly into the passage that led to the Chamber of Secrets. He felt something stirring in his heart as he stepped into the familiar damp chamber. This is where is had first seen Tom, all those years ago... The thought felt both painful and strangely sweet at the same time. Why on earth were they taking him here?
A moment later, Harry realized exactly why his two best friends had brought him to the Chamber of Secrets. For the torches that flickered in the wall sconces cast their warm light over a table set for two, and a young man with dark curls and silver-grey eyes was sitting in one of the two chairs. He met Harry's glance with a long, grave stare, then rose to his feet and greeted Harry with a slight bow.
Harry sighed deeply and turned to Hermione. "Listen, Hermione, I truly appreciate you going to all this trouble, but it's not going to work."
"What's not going to work?" There was a slight smile in Hermione's voice.
"This. Him." Harry indicated the silver-eyed boy with a nod of his head. "I mean, you did a great job of making him look like Tom Riddle and all. Very impressive magic. A sort of glamour, was it? But it's still not him, Hermione. I know you want me to be able to pretend I'm with Tom for a few hours, and that's the sweetest thing anyone has even done for me, but I just can't. It's just a fantasy, and I know it's not real. I would be just as lonely again after it was over."
"It's not a fantasy, Harry," said Hermione softly. "This really is Tom Riddle. I modified a time turner, traveled back to 1943 with Ron, and brought him here."
Harry smiled. "Of course you did, Hermione. And as I said, I appreciate it, but..."
The silver-eyed boy rose to his feet now, and he walked slowly towards Harry.
Harry couldn't help staring at him. All right, Hermione was very good. If Harry didn't know better, he could have sworn that this was Tom Riddle himself standing in front of him, with his dark curls and mesmerizing quicksilver eyes. This fantasy was almost too good to pass up, and Hermione had gone to a great deal of trouble after all...
"All right," Harry whispered. "I'll play. For just a little while..."
Hermione smiled. "I thought so. Bye, Harry. Bye, Tom. Ron and I will be off, then. Enjoy your dinner." She exited the Chamber quickly, dragging Ron along with her.
The heavy stone door clanked shut behind them, and Harry was alone with the silver-eyed boy.
The boy was a magnificent actor. He walked slowly up to Harry, stroked the hair back from his forehead with a pale hand, and whispered: "Your scar. That's the scar she told me about. That's where my soul entered you, and we became one." The luminous silver eyes gazed into Harry's own. "Tell me what it felt like. Tell me what it was like to have my soul inside you."
Harry felt himself smiling. This was exactly the sort of thing Tom Riddle would say in his fantasies. How easy it was going to be, pretending that this unknown boy was Tom!
"Sometimes it felt painful," Harry whispered. "When you were angry. Other times... It just felt as if I was never entirely alone." He swallowed. It had taken a few months after the final battle, but then a curious feeling of emptiness had set in, a sense of being utterly, completely alone for the first time in his life.
The boy studied Harry's face with his bright silver gaze. "I wish I could remember," he said in a low voice. "I wish I could remember being so strangely one with another human being. With you. My horcrux."
He reached out and brushed a finger lightly over Harry's cheek. The touch sent a strange, pleasurable shiver down Harry's spine. Without thinking, Harry did what he had dreamt of doing so often: He leaned forward and kissed Tom Riddle softly on the mouth.
The best part was that the boy stayed in character even then. He didn't kiss Harry back immediately, as a lesser actor would have done; he just stod there for a long moment, and then he raised his hand and touched his lips in wonder, right where Harry's mouth had been a moment before. Then he whispered: "You kiss like Salazar." He met Harry's gaze and added quickly, a slight flush spreading over his cheeks: "I used to dream about him, sometimes."
Harry drew his breath sharply. "Yes, somehow I can imagine you doing that."
The boy traced Harry's face with a trembling finger. Then he bent forward and captured Harry's lips in a fiery kiss.
The kiss took Harry's breath away. It was better than the hundreds of imaginary kisses that he had shared with Tom Riddle. Merlin, where had Hermione found this boy?
The boy pulled back. "Harry. Your friends told me your name is Harry."
Harry simply nodded, unable to speak. The sound of his name on Tom's lips, spoken so softly, sent a shiver through him.
The boy looked gravely at him. "They tell me it's your birthday, Harry. I've brought a birthday present for you. Here." He produced a slim silver box, embellished with serpents, and presented it to Harry with a slight bow.
"A wand case?" Harry accepted the case with a smile. "Thank you." Hermione had really thought of everything to make this day perfect. In fact, it was rather tempting to see exactly how far she had gone in preparing for this surprise. Harry thought for a moment. "Do you have your wand with you?" he asked the boy casually.
In response, the boy pulled a perfect replica of Voldemort's wand from the pocket of his robe. Yes, Hermione had thought of every smallest detail. Well, perhaps not quite everything... Even Hermione couldn't make this boy into Voldemort, could she? Harry studied the boy's achingly familiar face for a moment. "Can you do something for me, Tom? Can you show me one of the forbidden curses? Cast an Imperius curse on me, will you? Just to prove to me who you really are?"
The boy shook his head ruefully. "I wish I could, Harry, but your friend made me swear an unbreakable oath - several oaths, in fact - before she brought me here to the future. I am unable to cast any forbidden curses at the moment. It seems that your friend does not altogether trust me."
Harry smiled. What a clever answer! Hermione had instructed him well. This fantasy was perfect. Harry kissed the boy on the lips again, and the boy kissed him quickly back and muttered into the kiss: "You kiss way better than Malfoy."
"What?" Harry stared at him. Malfoy? He had assumed that Hermione had hired a stranger, some very discreet and not entirely straight actor to play the part of Tom Riddle, not someone he knew. And definitely not someone who had ever kissed Malfoy! Oh, Merlin! If this turned out to be Blaise Zabini under a glamour, Hermione had a lot to answer for. Pleasepleaseplease, don't be Blaise!
But to Harry's great relief, the boy muttered: "Abraxas Malfoy. Just someone I went to school with."
Harry smiled. Of course. Not Draco. Abraxas Malfoy. Yes, that was the name of Draco's grandfather, wasn't it? And yes, he probably would have gone to Hogwarts around the same time as Tom Riddle. Of course Hermione would have known that. Hermione had probably trained this boy for a month before bringing him here to the Chamber of Secrets, making sure he knew the names of everyone Tom Riddle had ever known from birth onwards.
"Come." The boy took Harry's hand and led him over to the table where an exquisite meal for two was set out. "Let's eat, and you can tell me everything about yourself, and about our encounters in the future. I mean, in the past."
Harry enjoyed their dinnertime conversation a great deal. The boy stayed perfectly in character as Harry told him the entire story of his life, and of the rise and fall of Lord Voldemort. The boy asked many questions, and he seemed to want to know every little detail of each of Harry's encounters with Voldemort.
Hours later, when Harry had told him everything, the boy leaned back in his chair and regarded Harry with his quicksilver eyes. "What a wasted life!" he said with a slight tremor in his voice. "To have had so much power, and to have thrown it all away on a quest for immortality that ended in death!"
Harry glanced at him in surprise. Somehow, he had not expected Tom Riddle to say that. But that was the best part of this fantasy encounter - the boy was so good at improvising that Harry had to keep reminding himself that this was not the real Tom Riddle.
"And to think," muttered the boy, as if to himself, "that I had a soulmate all along, a human horcrux who shared my soul! But I, in my abysmal ignorance, spent years trying to kill you." There was a curious expression in his quicksilver eyes now. "Just imagine, Harry, what we could have been to each other, if only I had known what you were! We were mortal enemies when we should have been friends, companions, lovers..." The last word lingered in the air for a long moment.
Then the boy whispered: "I wish you were still my horcrux, Harry." He reached across the table and brushed his finger over Harry's scar. "But there is still a lingering magic between us, I can feel it even now when the horcrux is gone. Can you feel it, too?"
Harry swallowed, struggling to find his voice. "Yes," he muttered finally. "Yes, I can definitely feel it, Tom."
The boy got up, walked over to Harry and pulled him to his feet. The next moment, Harry felt himself swept up in a tight embrace, and a voice breathed in his ear: "She said you are in love with me... Are you?"
Harry closed his eyes. "Yes," he breathed. "Yes, I'm in love with you, Tom." He could feel the thunder of the boy's heartbeat against his chest now, and a soft mouth that lingered against his own. They kissed, deeply, again and again, until it seemed to Harry that there was no other reality beyond this touch of Tom's lips against his own.
The boy pulled back and whispered: "I want to make love to you, Harry. Will you let me?"
Yes, yes, yes! agreed Harry's body at once, but a slight voice in the back of his head protested: Remember, this is just a game... He is not really Tom.
But then the boy kissed him again, and the feeble voice of reason in Harry's head stopped speaking altogether. A hesitant tongue slipped past Harry's parted lips, and warm hands searched for his skin under his clothes.
Harry had a vague notion he probably shouldn't be doing this, but it was impossible not to respond in kind when the boy did that...
They tore each other's clothes off in a frenzy, and then two of them sank down on the damp stone floor together, flinching a little as their bare skin touched the icy stone.
The boy muttered something under his breath, and the next moment, a soft velvety blanket appeared under them.
Harry stared at his companion. "You can do wandless spells? That's rather impressive."
The boy laughed. "You just told me the story of how I conquered the wizarding world with my magic - and you are impressed because I can conjure a blanket? I can do much more impressive magic than that. You will see, love." He left a trail of breathless kisses down Harry's throat.
"Tom!" The name tore itself from Harry's lips, and the boy's kisses traveled further down Harry's chest.
"I like it when you moan my name like that," muttered the boy against Harry's skin. He glanced up, and there was a slight glitter in the silver eyes now. "Let me hear you say the other name as well, the one you knew me by..." His hand moved to Harry's already rock-hard shaft, while the luminous eyes held Harry's gaze.
"V-Voldemort," whispered Harry. He was beginning to feel more than a little lightheaded.
The boy smiled and brushed his hand... oh, right there... "That's not a bad name when you say it like that. I chose well."
Harry pulled the boy up so that their eyes were level with one another. He gazed into the face that looked so terribly, wonderfully like Tom Riddle's face, and something twisted painfully in his heart. Oh, if only this excruciatingly lovely boy could be Tom, the real Tom!
The boy kissed Harry quickly on the forehead. "What is it, Harry? Having second thoughts? It's my first time, too. Going all the way, I mean. But I think I know what to do."
Harry closed his eyes. "Tom? I need you to do something for me first. The name I spoke before, his name. Voldemort. Let me hear you say it. Say the name Voldemort, here in the Chamber of Secrets, where I first met his shadow."
He opened his eyes slowly and looked at the boy. This was the one test not even the best actor would pass. Harry knew what he was about to see in the boy's face, that slight flicker of suppressed terror. Even the best trained actor in the wizarding world would not be able to speak that dreaded name without fear, even now.
But the boy merely raised an eyebrow in surprise. "You want me to say Voldemort? All right, whatever turns you on, love. Voldemort." He spoke as lightly as if he were speaking of the weather.
Harry sighed contentedly and wrapped his arms around the boy. This was good. This was a perfect, flawless fantasy. Perhaps Hermione had confunded the boy into thinking that he was Tom? He wouldn't put it past her.
"Know any other wandless spells?" Harry whispered and brushed the boy's lips with his own. "I understand that we are going to need some oil or something for this..."
The boy kissed Harry fiercely. "Don't worry, I know a spell or two."
And he certainly did. They boy was a fantastic lover, both passionate and tender, and yet with a slight air of inexperience that kept him entirely in character the whole time. Yes, Harry could easily imagine that this was the young Tom Riddle himself, exploring every inch of his skin, caressing him, stroking him, entering him... They made love over and over, furiously, breathlessly, until they both sank down, sated and exhausted, on the green velvet blanket.
Harry buried his head against his lover's neck and breathed in the scent of his warm skin. If only this were real...
"What are you doing?" The boy sat up suddenly. "Something feels wet against my skin. Are you crying?"
"No," muttered Harry indistinctly.
"Yes, you are." The boy took Harry's face in both his hands. "Oh, Salazar. I hurt you, didn't I? Hold on, love, I will conjure a healing potion."
"No, it's nothing like that..." Harry refused to meet the boy's glance. "I will be a little sore tomorrow, but that part just feels... nice."
"Then what is it?" They boy kissed Harry gently on the lips. "Do you still think of me as your enemy? Was this not what you wanted after all?"
"It's everything I wanted," whispered Harry. "All of this. Except for one thing..."
"What?" There was a note of anxiousness in the boy's voice.
Harry stroked the boy's beautiful face. "You. You are so perfect, but I know that you can't be the real Tom Riddle, however much I want you to be..."
"You don't think I'm the real Tom Riddle?" The boy frowned. "Then what, pray, were you doing, making love to a mere impostor with such abandon? You are - all right, were - my horcrux, and I do not care for the idea of you being with someone else, just because he happens to look like me. Wait, I think I am becoming jealous of myself. What a terribly strange feeling..."
Harry had to smile. "Look, you are truly amazing, staying in character even now. But I know that no magic on earth can bring Tom Riddle back from the dead."
"Back from the dead?" The boy shook his head slowly. "But I'm not dead. He is dead. Voldemort, the man I could have become. But I'm right here with you. And if you don't mind, I would like to stay with you."
"Stay with me?" Harry whispered. "And do what?"
"And do what?" The boy stared at him. "Well, first of all, perhaps a little more of what we were doing, if you feel up for it? And then, after that, I thought we could find a place to live. Perhaps an elegant modern flat? I am afraid your friends do not speak highly of your current one. Also, I will have to change my appearance a little and invent a new name and identity for myself. I can hardly go around calling myself "Tom Riddle", can I? What do you think of Thomas Black?"
Harry swallowed. "You... You really are Tom Riddle?" He wanted so desperately to believe it.
The boy nodded. "Of course I am. What, you don't think your pregnant friend capable of traveling back in time?"
Harry hesitated. "Well, she is very clever... Tell me quick, Tom. What year was it when Hermione and Ron came to get you?"
"Then perhaps you remember which team won the British and Irish Quidditch league two years before that, in 1941? That is one thing I don't think Hermione would ever bother researching. She has never been terribly interested in Quidditch."
"Well..." Tom thought for a moment. "I'm not a big Quidditch fan myself, but I'm pretty sure it was the Caerphilly Catapults. I remember hating their robes. Green and red? I don't think those colors go well together at all."
Harry smiled, and he could feel an unfamiliar sensation bubbling up in his heart. Joy? Yes, a perfect, warm, golden happiness... Tom Riddle. This was really Tom Riddle. He glanced down at the emerald green velvet blanket they were lying on and whispered: "If you are going to live with me, Tom, you are going to have to get used to a little red mixed in with the green decor."
Tom sighed. "But green matches your Slytherin eyes so perfectly... Oh, all right. If you insist."
Harry kissed him deeply. "I insist, Thomas Black. By the way, I have heard that there are a few positions vacant on the Hogwarts staff. Hermione told me I should apply, but I wasn't interested at the time. The flying teacher retired, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor received a job offer from Harvard he couldn't refuse. Perhaps you and I should consider applying?"
A slow grin spread over Tom's face. "Teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts?" He nodded. "Yes, I think I would be very good at that..."