Characters: Ginny and Tom Riddle
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just here to play with them. Like Ken and Barbie.
Wordcount: 1,857 thereabouts.
Summary: In the space of a heartbeat, Ginny dreams.
Notes: This was originally included in a chapter of my WIP. I've reworked it some and now it can stand on it's own.
The Twilight King
Ginny lay on her side, one hand under her pillow, the other tucked beneath her chin. Within moments of closing her eyes, the dream haunted her once again.
Tones of umber and moss filled the forest, and the burgeoning shadows were a dusky, whispery purple as the red and gold sun set to the west. The copse was alive all around her with birds calling to one another from the top of the silhouetted trees. Smiling at the sound of their song, she stepped off the path.
The forest was old, many of the tree trunks so wide it would take ten or more men with their arms outstretched to span their massive girth. The tops of the trees towered above her, their great heights dizzying to look at. As she passed them, she reached out to touch each tree, the rough edges of bark biting the soft flesh of her palms. The brambles and underbrush moved aside, none snaring the flowing green of her skirts.
She had the sense of them, the spirits of the woods. They were present in every leaf and needle, falling in showers to the earth before her. They crackled under her bare feet, a living carpet for her to walk upon, shielding her from nettles and burrs. Taking a deep breath, she tasted the scent of moss and decaying leaves on her tongue. She wanted to drink it down, and hungered for more.
Throwing her arms out wide, she twirled in a circle, her skirts and loose hair flying like a rippling flag in the wind. Faster and faster she spun, the sky and trees blurring until she fell to the ground, her mind spinning.
The sun dipped further in the sky, and the shadows all around her grew long. Soon the sun would slip beneath the horizon and the Twilight King would appear where the depth of shadows dropped into blackness.
The forest quieted around her.
She folded her hands in her lap, and bowed her head. Long red hair fell over her shoulder, covering her entwined fingers.
The dying sun found a hidden path through the trees and cast one last ray, alighting on her bowed head. The wisps of her red hair glowed like a halo of liquid fire.
The shadows along the trees opened, and at last she heard his approach.
An indescribable feeling that she had grown accustomed to coursed through her young body. This was not her first meeting with the Twilight King, and it would not be her last. She was amazed to realize she loved being here with him, on the brink of falling into the endless dark. He was supposed to be her enemy, the son of darkness and she a child of light.
But it was he she had grown to love.
Then he was standing above her, offering his hand and she took it, a shiver flowing through her body at his touch. She rose to meet his gaze.
They stared at one another in the gathering gloom, knowing at once when it was full dark they would be parted. Their time together was always so brief.
At what seemed an eternity, she smiled up at her lover, and his hand tightened around her much smaller one. His other hand snaked into her hair and pulled her to him, her body falling against his solid warmth. She moaned and it was all the invitation he needed.
His mouth smashed down onto hers and she fought the urge to fall. She wanted all of him, to taste him, to devour him and he wanted the same. She could feel her lips bruising from the onslaught of his kisses, but she didn’t mind. Too soon, he would push her away and all she would be left with was the swelling sensation of his mouth on hers.
She shouldn’t be doing this. She shouldn’t be here with him, and a small part of her mind revolted at the taste of his lips on hers. It was against the laws of the forest, but it was him, and it was her and their hearts beat in a frantic pulse together.
It was over before it had begun. He was gone and dark shadows surrounded her. She found herself flung to the forest floor, her skirts in a heap around her.
The dream was changing as they are apt to do. Someone else was coming. The darkness approaching was alive, and it threatened to swallow her, if she allowed it. But it was also a darkness that could slither close to her feet and plant little kisses against the hem of her dress if she wished it. She was strong here; this was her place, as the intruder would learn with just one word from her.
Footsteps echoed throughout the forest, and slowly she stood, turning to the sound. All around her the night sounds died away and the silence was deafening. The forest did not approve this new arrival, but could do nothing to stop it. It was coming for her, their favorite, and all the forest could do was watch.
“Hello, Ginerva,” Tom Riddle smiled as he walked into the pale purplish light teetering on the edge of night. “It’s so nice to see you again.”
Ginny nodded, her lips pursing into a frown. “Tom. I wish I could say the same.”
“How long has it been?”
“Not long enough,” Ginny said as she smoothed dead leaves and twigs from her skirts. “Why are you here?”
Tom’s young and arrogantly handsome face broke into a wide grin. “For you, of course. Why, you look quite stunning. Never would I have imagined you’d grow into such a beauty.”
Ginny bared her teeth and hissed at him in anger, but it had no effect. He moved closer, picking up a strand of her hair to roll between his fingers. “So much hair,” he savagely tugged on the lock and she gasped at the sudden sharp pain. “Where did you get all this beautiful hair, Ginerva?”
She slapped his hand away and moved away from him. “How dare you touch me,” she said in a low voice. “As if I still belong to you. I never belonged to you.”
Tom smiled and spread his hands wide. “I come to you unarmed. Let’s not make a fuss, shall we?”
“What do you want, Tom?” Ginny asked through gritted teeth.
“You, my love. It’s always you I come back for. ”
Tom slowly walked away from the vines looked down at her. “I wonder how long you’ll believe I fully possessed you, Ginevra. I wonder how long you’ll let your beauty continue to fool them. Will it be until the day I give you choice to make? On the day you betray them all will you reveal your true self. Only then will you reveal what lies beneath your mask,” he tilted his head as if to study her. I believe underneath your mask lays a cold-hearted killer. It won’t take much to bring you to my side.”
Ginny narrowed her eyes at Tom. “And you know this, why?”
Tom spoke, his eyes still boring into hers. “One of these days, Ginevra, you’ll realize how much time I spent exploring your mind while you expressed your deep secrets onto my pages. One of these days I’ll allow you to remember our little dream trysts. You’re not always so…combative.”
Leaves rained down upon them from above. The trees were weeping.
Tom continued to stare at her. He reached out a hand towards her face and Ginny turned away. “I think I could have fallen in love with you. It’s a shame you were born fifty years too late. But you were weak. They were all weak. All your kind does is simper and beg. I abhor weakness. What a difference my life might have been if I had fallen in love, right Ginerva?” Tom bent a picked up a five pointed leaf from the ground and shredded it. “But think of all the fun I might have missed? I wanted to be the most feared wizard who ever lived. Everyone should cower at the sound of my name.”
“You accomplished that, Tom,” Ginny said as she moved another few steps away from him. If she ran towards the setting sun, would she find him, would he protect her? With his kiss still lingering on her lips, she wanted to feel no fear of Tom here in this place.
“Oh, yes. I did, didn’t I? But then there was that boy, one little boy who destroyed all of my plans. I remember now,” Tom spat.
“And he’ll defeat you again, this time for good.”
Tom looked up at Ginny and a shiver ran down her back. Did his eyes flash red? Her hands clasped together and she grasped them tightly, willing them not to shake
“Will he? You never stopped loving him, have you Ginerva? Has he noticed you yet?” He smiled cruelly. “No, of course he hasn’t. Who are you to him, little Ginny Weasley? You’re nothing more than a mouse to your love, Harry Potter and that makes you so very angry.”
Her hands curled into fists so tight, her fingernails cut into her palms. “Why are you here? You tried to kill me, remember?”
Tom ignored her. “I recall while coming to find you, I saw you wrapped in the embrace of another, who was it again?” Tom tapped his index finger on his chin. “Oh, yes. I remember. The Twilight King.”
Ginny felt a cold shiver of fear run down her spine and her heartbeat quickened.
“How would your love, your Harry Potter feel if he were to learn the identity of your Twilight King?”
“You’re not real,” Ginny said, her voice quavering. “No one will ever learn of the Twilight King. He’s mine and mine alone. I will never let you hurt me by using him!”
Tom threw his head back and laughed, sending the night birds squawking from their perches high above. “Oh, Ginerva, how you do amuse me so. So much passion, so much vitriol for me, all because of your Twilight King. Maybe one of these days, I’ll show Harry Potter what your dreams consist of. Do you think he’ll pay attention to you if he learns you run fingers through hair so light it glimmers in the gloaming? Do you think he’ll pay attention to you if he spies you kissing--”
“Shut up!” A cold sweat broke out along her chest, the bodice of her gown growing tight on her skin. “Why should I believe a word you say to me? You are Tom Riddle, master of lies.”
In the space between a blink of an eye and a heartbeat, Tom was mere inches from her. Something flickered deep in his eyes as he smiled down at her. Ginny fought the urge to fall beneath him. His smile was positively feral.
“Because you were mine, once,” his tongue flicked between his lips, briefly lighting on hers before retreating. “And I still remember how your fear tastes.”