Harry swallowed, thickly, breath caught somewhere in his chest as he stared up at the mad-man looming over him.
It all felt so surreal, far too fast and sudden.
He'd spent years of his life searching for this man, hunting him down, feeling his emotions (but-never-quite-like-this) and crawling into each other's heads, however unwillingly, that it seemed strange to have a face for Voldemort.
The real face, not those scarlet eyes and serpentine features.
It was dizzying. All too much, with the betrayal still coursing like ice in his veins, to clash with the heat of loathing and too many other things in his gut.
The Riddle House...he couldn't help but strain against his restraints some more, only for Tom to smirk, circling the bed again with the predatory slowness of a hunter that knew perfectly well his prey wasn't going anywhere.
But he knew he had to stall.
"My mother, you see," Tom started, in that velvety tone of his, as if he was just calmly discussing a point in one of their sessions. "Was a rather weak woman, who lived a wretched life. So, of course, she would fall for handsome, muggle Tom Riddle, the squire's son. He was everything she wanted in life, and an escape most of all."
Harry couldn't tear his eyes away, could feel the way Tom's wand tapped against his skin and the silk sheets in a way that may seem idle to a casual observer, but made Harry's blood itch with agitation and wariness.
"So, one day, when he rode past on a particularly hot afternoon, she coaxed him into accepting a glass of water from her...spiked with a love potion. They were very happy together for a while, as she kept drugging him...and then my dear mother found she was carrying their child." Tom's gaze seared straight into his. "One would think, wouldn't they, Harry, that parents would do anything for their child?"
The images flashed behind Harry's eyes of a Halloween a long time gone, of vacant eyes and of his mother pleading with Voldemort to spare him...and how the hell did Tom look so young when he must be so old by now if the villagers could scarcely remember the Gaunts…his stomach lurched uneasily.
"My father tossed my mother to the street the second he found out she was a witch," Tom said icily. "But you know exactly what it feels like to be called a freak for something you have no control over, don't you?"
The words ached in his chest, and he couldn't help the sympathy mixing into the turmoil of everything else.
"That doesn't excuse killing over fifty people," he said, in a quiet voice. "What did my parents do to you, Tom? Or was it just that we were happy and you were alone. I've been in your head…" he swallowed, aware that what he was doing was stupid, but unable to stop, "and honestly I've never felt more lonely. You have no one, and you destroy anything that has a chance of getting close so it doesn't hurt you. You need to control it and crush it and pin anything beautiful to a fucking wall because you can't stand it."
By the end he was all but screaming the words at Voldemort's face, and the next second the other was top of him, straddling his waist, teeth bared.
"And what about you?" Tom hissed. "A selfish little brat who can't see the gift I'm giving you. I've seen you slump into my office day after day as you let other people and your boss stomp you down and crush you into dust, when all you do is never enough for them. You have your friends, but they don't really understand, do they? They've always been whole. Loving families, loving homes and you feel almost sick knowing you'll never have that. You're so fettered by this idea that you owe the world something, because then maybe then you'll be accepted into it, that you will left people use and abuse you until there is nothing left. The difference between you and me, dearest, is that I have always stood up for myself and punished the people who have wronged me, whilst you make excuses for them and take their behaviour as some mark of your own freakishness. Earlier today you asked me what you did wrong to cause me to fixate on you, as if my actions are anything but my own and born from my own desires."
Harry stared, wide-eyed, and Tom's gaze seemed to burn, bleeding scarlet, the handsome visage twisted with a wild sort of rage and madness that Harry had never seen before.
"I take what I want and you ask permission-"
"Oh, just like your mother then," Harry bit out. Tom's grip tightened on his throat, squeezing, and black dots danced in his vision, his mind churning dizzy and almost euphoric because despite everything he knew that what he saw now was undeniably real. All professionalism clawed down and the other stripped bare in front of his eyes. "Gonna take what you want from me too? Got me damn well tied down to a bed."
There was a moment of screamingly loud silence, and Tom gave a rather nasty smile.
"I could, you know," he said, softly, and Harry's eyes widened further as the emotions started to assault his already overwhelmed mind, giving a low groan.
Images of their kiss flew through his head, coiling hot in the pit of his stomach with the heady want in Tom's eyes and the dizzying rush of not being able to breathe properly.
It was like being hit with an aphrodisiac, suddenly he couldn't help but feel intently aware of himself, of the way Tom's fingers dragged like fire against his skin, and his hips weighed heavily on certain parts of his anatomy.
He swallowed, thickly.
He could feel the need building in his chest, the emotions which weren't his in his head, but which felt like they were and he couldn't think straight, his hips rolling up a little with frustrated discomfort, trousers starting to strain.
"All chemicals in the brain, Harry," Tom smirked. "You should be careful who you show the switch board too." The other shifted down a little, trailing the wand down his slightly straining chest. "Hold still, or this is going to hurt a lot," was the only warning before Tom had used his wand to slice straight through the seam of his trousers, sending them to tatters just like he had his shirt.
Harry went rigidly still, disorientated, mind mimicking the grazing of his lips against his neck and snatching up the details of any such encounter he'd ever had. He couldn't help a small groan, catching to a near-whimper in the back of his throat, eyes glazed, hips bucking up slightly and…Tom pulled back, and the feelings stopped but for the lingering echo.
"But," Tom stressed, "I won't, and I think it bothers you that you know that I have never forced you into anything."
"You made me kill Crouch!" Harry struggled to re-organize his thoughts. Tom raised his brows.
"I set up the situation. The choice was yours. You could have walked away. I didn't put any mind controlling curses on you." Riddle let go of his throat, and he couldn't help but cough, gasping down air. "I could have had you institutionalized under my personal care in a straightjacket; I could have spiked one of the numerous meals or drinks you've accepted from me with a love potion. I didn't."
"And you want me to be grateful that you didn't torture me as much as you could have?" Harry croaked, but, under the surface, his mind was writhing. He knew what Tom was getting at, of course he did. He knew from the trail of bodies he'd chased across London that mercy was not characteristic of the self-named Lord Voldemort.
The other looked set to strangle him again.
He squeezed his eyes shut, suddenly couldn't help but feel exhausted – almost thought Tom slicing him up (as he was probably intending to, seeing as he was clearing his canvass with the removal of clothes) would have been less traumatic than just bloody well talking to the man.
His eyes snapped open again at the sharp slap to his cheek, and he blinked.
"Eyes open," was all Tom said, with a twist of his lips.
Right, all the victims had opened eyes. He probably liked watching the hope leave along with life. A shudder ran down his spine, which Tom seemed to drink up and devour too.
There were few things Tom hadn't taken from him yet. He wanted to pull his arms and knees to his chest, for some semblance of warmth and comfort, but there was no chance of that, was there?
He wetted his lips, breathed out, stomped onto the buzz of panic once more.
"You never answered my question," he said, quietly. "Why did you target me and my parents?"
"Your father was an Auror, on my case though he didn't know it was mine at the time, when he started. He got too close, or rather, Lily Evans did. It was just business."
"Business?" Harry's voice cracked, and Tom's face softened, gentle fingers trailing over his skin once more.
"It's not business anymore, don't worry. You're different."
"Why?" It was a question that had circled incessantly through his mind, repeated a million times on other people's lips as they looked at him, as they tried to save him and cut themselves on the pieces, or stared at him with accusation after he told them Voldemort had killed their son or daughter or lover or mother or friend. Why.
Why did he let this happen? Why was Voldemort doing this? Why hadn't he caught him yet? What was it about him that was so wrong as to bring such violent urges in the man?
Tom's head tilted to the side in an almost reptilian fashion, and his face may have been soft but those eyes never once warmed. He wondered why he hadn't noticed that before, thought maybe he'd projected his own affections and misplaced obsession and fascination for caring.
"That's a secret for another day," Voldemort murmured, eventually. "Once I'm sure I can trust you. Suffice to say, you are my soul mate."
Harry nearly choked, brain stuttering to a halt, wide-eyed.
Oh god, the man was more deluded than he thought, though he suspected that breaking the fantasy would simply be his own destruction. He wondered if he even cared anymore, or just wanted it to be over.
Tom's gaze raked over his face, and his grip tightened slightly.
"I'm helping you," he said, once again. "I think you know that, once you get over your unnecessary moral fussing. I understand you acting like this is one sided, but I think we both know it stopped being that a long time ago."
Harry wanted fervently to deny it, to deny that anything in this was mutual, but the words ran dry in his mouth under Tom's gaze.
He remembered his own thoughts; he remembered his empty flat and the bits of his life and relationships getting swallowed up one by one. He remembered Hermione worrying about him getting in too deep with this case, and he remembered his own inability to stop.
Riddle's smile broadened.
"Exactly. Just stop fighting it. We're connected, you and I, and we always will be."
For the first time since this whole mess started, Harry let a smile cross his own lips too, and not a particularly nice one at that, taking some pleasure in how quickly Voldemort's dropped.
"What?" the man growled.
"It's funny," Harry said, almost softly. "You placed so much of your time and effort into making sure I was just as messed up as you were. I haven't had a steady girlfriend in years, my social life consists at staring at pictures of your murders and trying to think who would be next as if I could stop it. You walked into my head and rearranged the furniture as if it was your own home…" he stared at Tom, hard, when the man dared to look smug, wetted his lips. "I know I've said around you before that Voldemort just cares about me in the frame of his own desires, and this just proves it."
"What are you talking about?"
"My flat," Harry stated.
"What about it?" the other bit out, starting to look a bit annoyed. Harry suspected he'd expected this scene to play very differently. Of course he did, he had all these ideas and expectations, pinned on a pedestal and not a real person. A fantasy Harry Potter, and maybe a fantasy relationship. It was almost normal, if not for the violence inherent.
"Has a copy of my notes, and thus leads straight here," Harry said flatly. "Or did you not imagine swallowing up my life would mean an office to you in my flat?" Voldemort had completely frozen, and Harry gained a sick sense of satisfaction from it, grin cracking a little mad around the edges. "And I never once invited you in, because I spent so much time at your place in therapy because I couldn't stand to spend time in my own."
He could see Tom's thoughts racing, spinning ahead through points and comebacks, on the thoughts of how easily a face could be changed rendering the current investigation useless for a new identity, and how Hermione Granger worried and there was probably a team already here in the time they spent talking.
The man sucked in a sharp breath, and Harry heard the tramp of footsteps on the stairs, grinning wider. It faded when Tom's wand flicked, and a knife appeared in his hand.
Illusion shattered. Side not joined. Understanding perhaps, a painful understanding that denied unadulterated hatred, but not enough. A shard of defiance left, and a victory which soured in his mouth and didn't feel like a triumph at all.
"Very clever, Harry," Tom breathed, flipping off him, behind him a moment after that so Harry was stuck chained between him and the door, arms contorted backwards so much he felt like his shoulders were about to dislocate, back arched. The other pressed a kiss to his cheek, lips against his ear. "But you know this isn't over. It's never going to be over, and whilst you still have questions you're always going to be coming to me. You know my sessions were the only time you had peace, my murders your happiness. You're disorientated now, angry naturally, but that doesn't change that I'm the only person who will ever truly understand you and love you for everything, not just the Golden Boy hero. You can make mistakes with me."
The door slammed open.
"So let's give you something to remember that by."
They both knew how Voldemort made butterflies.
Harry screamed as the knife plunged straight into his gut.
A/N: THE END (of part one.) Those of you who know Hannibal/Silence of the Lambs, might have a vague idea of what comes next. But yeah. This one was about Harry finding out Tom was Voldemort...the next, well, you'll just have to wait and see.
This chapter was stupidly difficult to write, and I had a thousand different ideas and I'm still not entirely convinced the middle bit came out as I wanted it to, but my tweaking isn't doing anything because I can't pin down what I wanted with it. I hope you managed to appreciate it anyway. If you've enjoyed this story, I'd love to hear what you thought of it! Part 2 will probably start around the time NBC Hannibal starts again, seeing as I started this story to deal with my feelings for that show :P Don't worry, no new alerts needed, I'll just continue on from this one. But nonetheless. Hope you liked Part One of Butterfly Heart! :D
Part 2 will probably start around the time NBC Hannibal starts again, seeing as I started this story to deal with my feelings for that show :P Don't worry, no new alerts needed, I'll just continue on from this one. But nonetheless. Hope you liked Part One of Butterfly Heart! :D