Author's Note: Well, this is the third and last of my Halloween specials this year. Sorry that it's a late posting, but I was swamped with work this week and I didn't get it finished until this morning. Song is Mordred's Lullaby by Heather Dale, a truly beautiful and very haunting piece. It's not as directly Samhain-related as my other two pieces, but the sheer evil factor is enough, at least in my mind.

Warnings: Slash, dark themes

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I own this gorgeous song. If I did, Harry would be Harry Riddle (if not Harry Malfoy!) and this would be on the movie soundtrack as Tom Riddle's Theme.


Hush, child: the darkness will rise from the deep

And carry you down into sleep

Tom Riddle had always known that he was different. He had always understood that he had power, and that because of that, he had great things to do. He didn't understand the shape those goals would take, not when he was a child at the orphanage, not until he reached the Wizarding world and saw the decay and corruption therein. He always knew, though, that he was destined for greatness.

Child, the darkness will rise from the deep

And carry you down into sleep

When he was a child at the orphanage, Tom knew nothing of his past, and therefore could determine nothing of his future. He decided early on that he must learn all he could of his own past and the past of others, so that he would not repeat the mistakes of others and so that he could decide what shape the future should take. He found the information he sought when, at the age of eleven, he was introduced to the Wizarding World - and what he found horrified him.

Guileless son, I'll shape your belief

And you'll always know that your father's a thief

He learned that his mother was a witch who had become so besotted with a Muggle that she used a Love Potion to obtain the man's affections. He learned that that Muggle - his father - had later discovered the ruse and cruelly abandoned his mother, with no thought for their unborn child or for Merope's heartbreak. Anger grew in the young boy's heart: anger for his mother and father, who had both abandoned him. His father, who had walked away before he was even born, and his mother, who was too weak to fight for life to be there for her son.

And you won't understand the cause of your grief

But you'll always follow the voices beneath

At first, Tom didn't understand. A Love Potion might cause a rather unhealthy compulsion, but it was still love, wasn't it? Wasn't love supposed to be the strongest power in the world? Yet Tom Riddle Senior had left Merope without a backward glance as soon as the potion wore off.

Furthermore, what of Merope herself? She had loved Tom Senior, without the aid of any potion. So why didn't she fight harder to live, so that she might see him again someday? Or, if not for him, why didn't she fight out of love for Tom?

Didn't she love her son?

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, loyalty

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, only to me...

When Tom was eleven years old, a kindly man came to the orphanage. He said that his name was Albus Dumbledore, and that he ran a school for special people - people like Tom, people who could do great things. Tom was more excited than he'd ever been in his life, more even than the day he first spoke to a snake and heard the serpent speak in return. When he arrived at the school, however, he suffered an unpleasant awakening.

Apparently, the Wizarding World was not so special after all. Like the world Tom had grown up in, it was rife with bigotry, hatred, and misunderstanding. Tom was both bewildered and angered. These people had magic, like him! Couldn't they see what was right in front of their eyes? They could not, though. Speaking to snakes was evil, they said: being an orphan made you worthless, only certain magic was good and the rest was 'Dark' and evil.

Tom loved snakes: he thought they were beautiful and powerful. The people at Hogwarts - at least, those not in Slytherin - hated and feared him for that. Tom decided then that love wasn't worth it. Love was fickle and fleeting and never made you stronger: it only broke your heart and left you hollow and useless. So Tom turned his love for snakes into a respect for their power and an emotionless appreciation of their abilities, and stopped looking for reasons to love. Instead, he looked for reasons to hate.

Guileless son, your spirit will hate her

The flower who married my brother the traitor

As time went by, Tom's hatred grew and flourished like a sickly jungle vine. He studied the world around him, and with eyes sharpened by suffering and pain he saw the corruption that lurked beneath the veneer of normality. He saw wizarding families as old as history marrying worthless Muggles, watched as purebloods who should have defended the Wizarding World instead betrayed it and extolled the virtues of Muggles instead. His anger festered like an open sore, but he kept it carefully hidden, biding his time throughout his early years.

It was not until his sixth year at Hogwarts that he began to make his designs known. Slowly, a group of like-minded students began to form around him: students who could, like him, see that their world was crumbling around them and that no one else would even believe, much less fight.

And you will expose his puppeteer behaviour

For you are the proof of how he betrayed her loyalty

Gradually, they began to make a name for themselves. The Knights of Walpurgis, they called themselves then, for they were defenders of magic and all that it stood for. As time passed, however, their methods grew harsher: they were frustrated, for even still, none would listen. None would accept the danger that loomed before their very noses.

This was the turning point.

A man named Albus Dumbledore, a teacher at Hogwarts and one of the few people Tom had thought might actually be worth something, betrayed them. He began to spread dark and terrible rumors about the Knights of Walpurgis, taking the stories of the few times that a Knight had lashed out in frustration and warping them into tales of gruesome, sadistic torture. Suspicion began to rankle, narrowed eyes turning upon the Knights - and with them, their cause.

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, loyalty

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, only to me...

Tom knew his days were numbered, and when he left the school for the last time, he understood that the time had come for him to act. Taking the most loyal of his followers, he disappeared from the public view, and began his work. He surfaced now and then to keep his enemies on their toes, or to obtain a valuable artifact, but never for more than a few months at a time.

He Marked his followers with an emblem of his own design, a piece of living dark magic connected to his own magical core that would serve as a reminder of the cause to which they had pledged. Above all else, they sought power - for as Tom had seen, power was the only thing that the narrow-minded masses would respect, and so power would be their gateway to change.

Hush, child: the darkness will rise from the deep

And carry you down into sleep

Fear began to spread throughout the Wizarding World. The Knights of Walpurgis were no more: they were called the Death Eaters, now, because they fed on death and inspired terror. Their leader had shed his shameful Muggle heritage and donned a new mask, a mask that would terrify even the strongest soul: the mask of Lord Voldemort.

Lord Voldemort feared death, but most of all he hated the thought of dying with his work unfinished. He had to live, to see it through. So he used dark magic to sever little pieces of his soul - only small pieces, bits whose absence was hardly noticed - and bound them into precious artifacts of magic, to keep them safe.

Child, the darkness will rise from the deep

And carry you down into sleep...

Then a prophecy was made. A half-mad soothsayer who had never spoken a true word in her life predicted that a child would be born who would be the downfall of Lord Voldemort, and Voldemort was furious. How could a mere child defeat him? Yet the prophecy spoke of a danger greater than any Voldemort had faced, and of a power he had not mastered, and so he locked away the stirrings of guilt and reviled emotion and went after the child.

When he saw the child, though, he faltered. Killing the parents had been unnecessary, but they were in the way and he had long ago trained himself to kill those who would hinder him. This child, though... the boy did not cry, not even when his mother fell in a flash of green light. He looked up at Tom with wide eyes, eyes that were the color of the Killing Curse yet vibrant with life, and something cold inside Tom began to melt.

Then Albus Dumbledore arrived.

Tom was caught off-guard, and barely had time to turn before the Killing Curse struck him. Horrified, he watched as if in slow motion as his own body fell - and as the wizard who claimed to stand for all things good turned his wand on a boy barely a year old, and spoke the curse again.

The blackness swallowed Tom, and fear such as he had never known overcame him. Would the Horcruxes work? He could feel something in him shattering, breaking apart: would the dark magic be enough to keep him alive?

A strange sense of warmth enveloped him, chasing away the cold, and a soft voice touched his mind. It's all right, I'm here. You're not alone.

And somehow, Tom's fear melted away.

Guileless son, each day you grow older

Each moment I'm watching my vengeance unfold

The presence had saved Tom from death that night, but it couldn't save him from madness. Lurking in the Albanian woods, little more than a specter, Tom knew only hatred and hunger, his rational mind subsumed by the need to find a living body once more. That madness possessed him for many years, leaving him an insane shadow of his former self: even when he returned to his body he was changed, wearing the mask of Voldemort at all times, his actions cruel for the sake of cruelty itself. That madness continued, until one fateful night in the Department of Mysteries.

When he attempted to possess the child he defied him, he used the strange link between their minds to do so - a link that he had not known of until earlier that year, a link whose presence and creation he had never really questioned. When he touched the boy's mind, though, the familiarity of that touch actually broke through his madness for a moment.

The feeling of warmth, of something strong and pure and undefinable... it was the same presence that had saved him that night in Godric's Hollow.

Tom was shocked, and after the shock came a flash of bewildered fear. He started to withdraw - but an equally shocked plea from the boy stopped him.

Wait! You... I know you. I remember you. Tom?

Tom sensed the all-too-familiar presence of the beloved Headmaster, and knew his time was up. Harry. I can't explain now, but please... don't tell Dumbledore about this. He cannot know that we have spoken. I must go, but if you want to know the truth - after you return to your relatives' house, meet me nearby, someplace we can talk undisturbed. I'll know where to find you.

He left then, but not taking a precious moment to bask in that warmth that filled his mind and heart and, for just a heartbeat, soothed the wounds his own hatred had left on his heart.

For the child of my body, the flesh of my soul

Will die in returning the birthright he stole

He had gone to meet the boy the second he felt him step beyond the wards of the Dursley house, but he had not truly expected Harry to listen to him. Harry had listened, though. Despite his upbringing and despite all of Dumbledore's manipulation, the Boy Who Lived listened as Tom told him the full story - how he had been maligned and painted as a villain, how he had hesitated at the crucial moment and Dumbledore had cursed both of them, how he had almost lost everything that night despite his Horcruxes. He also explained what he had deduced since that night in the Ministry.

There was only one real possibility. Somehow, by some miracle, when the Killing Curses fractured their souls that night in Godric's Hollow, a bond had been formed. The bit of soul that had broken off from Tom had found a home in Harry - but Harry had lost something as well, something that had sought refuge in Tom.

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, loyalty

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, only to me...

Upon hearing just how many lies Dumbledore had told him, Harry was furious. He told Tom everything: who was in the Order of the Phoenix and what their plans were, how much they knew of Tom's movements and how to access every secret passageway into Hogwarts. It was the first time since finding out about the existence of Hogwarts that Tom had felt true joy: Harry listened. Harry understood. Here, at last, was what he had been searching for all along: an ally who truly understood and believed, someone like himself who could see that change was needed and was willing to fight for that to happen. Here, at last, was an equal.

There was still something making the Dark Lord uneasy about the boy, but he firmly ignored it, not wanting to jeopardize their alliance so soon. It wasn't until they invaded Hogwarts, and he watched as Harry personally cast the curse that brought down Albus Dumbledore, that Tom realized what was wrong.

He was falling in love with Harry.

The old fear surged up in him again, cold and stinging - but Harry's warmth blocked it, chased it away, and when Tom turned to his once-enemy and greatest ally he saw understanding in those Killing Curse eyes. This, too, Harry understood. The fear that love would betray you, that you would be hurt, that the person you trusted would abuse that trust. It was another thing that they shared, another fear driven into them by the harshness of their lives - but Harry was willing to try, and therefore so was Tom.

Hush, child: the darkness will rise from the deep

And carry you down into sleep


Startled, the Dark Lord looked up from the thick stack of papers before him on the desk. Harry was standing in the doorway - well, leaning against the frame - his green eyes sparkling and a warm smile on his lips. "Aren't you supposed to be working, love?"

Tom shifted guiltily. "I am!" he said defensively, gesturing at the report he had supposedly been reading. Harry chuckled as he stepped into the study, graceful as a cat: Tom couldn't help but pause to admire his lover. The hideous glasses were long gone, leaving Harry's stunning eyes to sparkle unobstructed: the younger of the two was still in his formal dress robes, having just returned from a diplomatic meeting with the President of the United Wizards of America, and looked both sophisticated and elegant in the deep green fabric. He looked to be in his early twenties, much like Tom did when he wasn't wearing the serpentine glamour of Lord Voldemort - which he rarely bothered with anymore, now that he ruled Wizarding Great Britain. Despite his seeming youth, it had actually been twenty-five years since Harry defected from the Order and brought Dumbledore down: it turned out that he and Tom had traded bits of their souls that night in Godric's Hollow, making them each other's Horcruxes. Tom had been overjoyed to discover that his beloved was already effectively immortal, and that both would remain so as long as the other was alive.

Harry braced his hands on the desk and rested his weight on his arms, smirking at Tom. "Right. Then why have you been staring at the same page for fifteen minutes?"

Tom grimaced. "I didn't think you were here for that long."

Harry's eyes flashed in triumph as he broke out in a grin. "I wasn't."

Tom groaned. "Oh, Merlin, I'm getting soft." he muttered, shoving the report away with a disgusted sigh. Harry laughed, stepping closer as Tom stood and wrapping his arms around his lover's waist.

"I do have a bit of an advantage, love, considering I can read your thoughts. You're not going soft, at least not where the rest of the wizarding world is concerned: you just need to accept that you're never going to get one over on me." Leaning closer, Harry kissed his lover, holding the contact until he felt Tom's reluctant smile. Grinning, the younger wizard drew back and asked, "So, what were you thinking about when you should have been thinking about vampires?"

"I was thinking about you, actually." Tom said, smirking himself as he lifted a hand and quickly ruffled it through Harry's perpetually messy - though currently slightly ordered - black hair. The former Chosen One yelped and ducked away.

"Tom, I spent hours getting it to lay flat!" His petulant protest earned him only a fierce kiss from Tom, who still found it utterly enchanting when his lover tried to look intimidatingly angry and only succeeded in an adorable pout. Harry wrestled himself out of Tom's possessive embrace, laughing in spite of himself. "Alright, alright, I get the picture. Thinking about how you masterfully seduced me away from the Light, were you?"

"Thinking about how royally Dumbledore fucked up, actually." Tom said dryly. "It's the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death today, you know. We should probably celebrate that."

Harry's green eyes lit up, and he smirked, leaning back against the edge of the desk. "Oh? And I suppose you have some ideas of how we might celebrate such a significant occasion?"

Tom treated him to his best predatory grin as he rested his hands on either side of the smaller wizard, trapping him against the desk. "I have an idea or two." he admitted, grinning wickedly as he leaned down to claim his lover's mouth.

Dumbledore was probably rolling in his grave.

Child, the darkness will rise from the deep

And carry you down into sleep...



There you go, folks, the last of my Samhain trilogy for this year! Of course, that means I'm back to working on my regular fics, so updates for Seeing, Believing, Dreaming, Deceiving and They Made The Devil So Much Stronger Than A Man will be coming soon. I hope you enjoyed my little Halloween treat!