Title: Scarred

Rating: R

Summary: Sometimes scars are on the inside. Sometimes they aren't. Sometimes a scar is a someone. A Tom/Ginny fic.

Mood Music: "Strawberry Gashes" by Jack Off Jill

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. The song "Strawberry Gashes" belongs to the fabulous, fabulous band Jack Off Jill. The knife belongs to the Hogwarts kitchens.

Author's Notes: Dedicated to Sami, Winged Dragon (AKA Hayley), Hippie In a Chevy, and all members of the SS Gin 'N' Tonic, may it sail the seven seas and the Park forevermore! Also: it doesn't say it in the story, but this takes place in Ginny's sixth year. And all other couple(s) mentioned are completely, utterly random. Enjoy!

Turn her over,
A candle is lit I see through her
Blow it out, and
Save all her ashes for me

He was back.

It had taken years. He wasn't quite sure how long, in fact. Far too long, even in an interesting place like Ginny's subconscious. He had escaped there just when Potter had destroyed his diary. It couldn't have been too soon when Ginny had finally become aware of his presence in the back of her mind, and found the necessary spell to free him. Now he sat on a bed in the Prefect's wing, with a face he knew very well in front of him. Ginny, he breathed out. She looked at him. You brought me back.

Hello, Tom, she whispered, and her hair glowed in the light from the candle.

For a moment, the two stared at each other. Questions raced through Tom's head, not the least of which was why she had brought him back. Of course, he wouldn't ask her. At least not outright.

At his prompting, she explained the spell she had used to free him. A very illegal Dark Arts spell, stolen out of the Restricted Section, had done the trick. But it wasn't permanent. Only for an hour a day could he exist in reality. Unless Ginny helped him.

She said quietly, Here. I know what to do. With a knife that he hadn't even seen behind her back she reached out and slit open the tip of his finger. Smiling, she pressed it to a cut of her own, letting the blood mingle freely. Blood for blood, she said, and he smiled too.

Curse me sold her
The poison that runs its coursethrough her,
Pale white skin with
Strawberry gashes all over all over

For twenty three hours a day, Tom lived in Ginny's mind. Again, he played the part of the charming, caring confidant. But this time, she refused to be the innocent child, and slowly, Tom dropped his act. Ginny knew what he was, and his false persona was of no use.

Hecouldn't trick her anymore, he realized. She knew full well what he was doing. But why anyone would willingly go to their death, he didn't know.

You don't? Ginny said when he asked her. I'm tired. After you left me, I stopped caring about everything. I drew away from my family. The only people I liked were Harry and Hermione. Hermione's dead now, she added without any real grief.

I'm sorry, he said. He didn't mean it.

And Harry left me, she continued. If he lives through this war, he's going to ask Parvati to marry him. They're in love, she finished bitterly.

So, other than Harry or Hermione, I was the only person you had cared about, Tom said in a flash of insight.

Yes.

I need more blood tonight than before.

I know. She pulled out the knife again, which, Tom noted, was actually a steak knife which had more than likely been stolen from the Hogwarts kitchen. Without blinking, she sliced a line across her arm, and blood welled up in the gash against her pale skin.

Watch me fault her
You're living like a disaster
She said kill me faster,
With strawberry gashes all over

Ginny was ill again. Her blood was getting thinner and thinner, and Tom was to blame.

He sat on her bed again, enjoying the few hours that he was real. Perhaps if he did not take blood from her that night, she would get a bit better. After all, he reasoned,if she died too quickly, what use was she? So he waited for two nights, letting her regain her strength. When he was solid again, he pulled her into his arms, and she didn't resist.

Called her over,
And asked her if she was improving

She snuggled deeper into his arms.

She said feels fine,
It's wonderful wonderful here

Tomcaredabout Ginny. He realized it suddenly, as she burrowed deeper into his arms and fell asleep with an innocent trust written on her face. He didn't like it. He was far too concerned over the health of a girl he was planning to kill. Guilt welled up in him like Ginny's blood. Softly, he lifted her hand and kissed the still-bleeding gash she had made in her arm.

Ginny was wearing long sleeves, even though it was the middle of April. Her skin was so pale as to be almost translucent, and the dark circles under her eyes and scars on her fingertips gave her a sinister beauty. Tom was the only one who ever saw the scars on her arms.

She slept in his arms more and more often now, now that he was able to stay solid for a few hours at a time. The paleness of her skin against the red of her hair and the black of the robes he wore made her look like a sort of sad, marred angel. Tom had a sudden vision of himself as a devil, a vision that he had had before, but never before had it been tinged with regret.

Hex me, told her,
I dreamt of a devil that knew her,
Pale white skin with
Strawberry gashes all over all over

He was hurting her. But he wouldn't stop. And she couldn't. He kissed a scar.

Watch me fault her,
You're living like a disaster
She said kill me faster,
With strawberry gashes all over all over

He was stronger now, much stronger. He could stay solid for ten hours at a time, though not without effort. He touched one long finger to another, matching up his two hands ina game he never tired of.

Ginny's arms were covered in scars. She would never dare to wear short sleeves again. He thought about Ginny far too much now. Even when he occupied the unused corners of her brain, she was too far away. He wanted her to be by his side, forever and ever. He couldn't deny it. Not anymore.

She slept in his arms again, still in her rumpled school robes. He pulled the blankets up over them, shifting Ginny to one arm, and she opened her eyes. Talk to me,Tom, she said.Ask me something. Anything.

Tell me about how you loved Harry, he said. It was half born of jealousy, and half of a desire to hurt Ginny by bringing up painful memories. Her eyes darkened.

I lay quiet
Waiting for her voice to say

She wrapped an arm around his neck and looked up at him. I didn't.

Some things you use,
And some things you just give away

And she kissed him. And he kissed back.

He could not remain solid until she woke up the next morning, although there was nothing he wanted more. He had spent too much energy, and would have to take more of Ginny's blood.

He was too preoccupied that day, and did not roam about Ginny's thoughts as he usually did. Instead, he withdrew into a corner of her mind, with just enough contact to reassure her of his presence. It was far too late for him to turn back now.

In the night, she gave him her blood, body, and soul. He never noticed how much weaker her blood was getting. He didn't notice the way her eyes seemed more like hollows in her face than the sparkling jewels they had been.

Scold me, failed her,
If only I'd held on tighter
To her pale white skin, that
Twisted and withered away from me away from me

He didn't know the next morning that he had stayed solid the whole night through until he woke up, still next to Ginny. She smiled at him, and leaned up to kiss him before she pulled out her knife. He stretched out his arm, and she made the shallow cut just below his elbow. She moved the knife to her own arm, and drew it from the base of her palm to the inner crook of her elbow.

She pressed the gash against his arm, and he looked at her with blackness in his eyes. She smiled, and he pulled her towards him for one last kiss, pouring his soul into hers.

You know, she whispered as she leaned against his body. I lied to you too. You never needed my blood for the spell.

She smiled.

Watch me lose her,
It's almost like losing myself
Gave her my soul,
And let them take somebody else get away from me

Slowly, the river of blood slowed, then stopped. Ginny was limp, and Tom dropped her arm. The sheets were stained red. Tom touched a drop of Ginny's blood to his tongue. As he rose, pressing the sheet against his arm to stop his bleeding, he paused.

Ginny was darkly beautiful, lying naked against the bloodstained sheets, scars bare for whoever found her body to see. He lifted Ginny's wand, and as he leaned down to kiss her forehead, he whispered a charm. Ginny's scarred arms were again clean and pure, pale white skin unmarred. He glanced at his arms, and smiled as he saw Ginny's scars.

Watch me fault her,
You're living like a disaster
She said kill me faster,
With strawberry gashes all over all over me

A/N (con't): So why did Ginny lie to Tom, and kill herself? I think in reality, she just wanted to be done with everything. She wanted to die, and she wanted someone there who cared... unfortunately, Tom is not the best person to talkyou out of a death wish.

Oh hell, I dunno.

Read and review!

-Aradia