"Why do you think you look so much like your father, Tom?“
Tom jumps to his feet, sea wind whipping at his hair, angry, Rage, blind rage, burnburnburn, startled. He turns and sees and stares at the other one. He’s not real, the other one. A story. A fantasy. A nightmare.
Never, never real.
He comes and goes, and no-one sees, feels him, except for Tom. Tom is sixteen going on sixty and he’s slowly going insane. Mad. He likes the world. Madmadmadmad. It tastes bitter. Like sea salt and broken promises. It tastes like the cave. Cave, sea, salt, rocks, forbidden things, things-that-are-not-right. He made the children scream.
He comes and goes, unseen, unfelt, a ghost in the chilly summer night. Sometimes he leans in an abandoned corridor at Hogwarts school where children play games, silly games, games of war, sometimes he steps out of a shadow at Hogsmeade. And sometimes he appears like a ghost, standing right behind Tom, in his shadow. Last week he sat across from Tom at dinner at the orphanage and no-one knew he was there.
Harry is a piece of Tom, a piece of his mind, madness, that nobody can touch, because he’s only real, tangible in the Slytherin’s head. And he makes Tom so mad, burnburnburnburn. The witches must burn. Light the night with firesfiresfires of human flesh.
Harry smells like human waste and human death when he visits Tom’s living nightmares and afterwards it takes hour to get the smell off. Smell of deathdeathdeath. Tom knows the smell. Remembers it from a time that has yet to come. As familiar as a stolen dream. Tom never dreams. But the smell… It chokes him.
He sits back down, angry, annoyed, cold. There are nights at the orphanage when the children share their beds with three, four others, afraid to die alone in the cold. Tom hates winter. He is glad that he spends his winters at Hogwarts now. Magic keeps him warm.
Shrugging, because he hates his father he answers, “I have my mother’s eyes.”
“So do I”, Harry says, like he expected nothing else and he smiles at Tom, eyes like death decay, forbidden spells, green, greengreengreen, like grass. You have to be careful when you play outside, because you get punished for the stains, like Avada Kedavra.
“Of course”, stupid boy, “You’re in my head.”
Harry laughs at that and lies back on the rough ground, not feeling the pebbles digging into his back like needles, tiny pinpricks of pain in his fingers. Careful, careful, don't stain the clothes with blood, Petunia will hit you if you do. He finds a worn blade of grass to chew on and he grins up at Tom, seeing things in his grey eyes, eyes that shall be as blood, things that make children fall silent forever.
Harry sees Tom and he sees a murderer, death of pretty things,, the death of innocence. He comes here, from the line between waking and sleeping, between despair and more despair. From where Ron is snoring, breathing, hard and fast, heart beating, alivealivealive, not like Ginny, not dead, still breathing, and Dean is scribbling late into the night like feather scratches, thin and pale on his writs, so pretty, pretty to look at. From a place where Tom is Lord Voldemort and he hunts and kills what Harry loves and yet, yetyetyet, Harry doesn't hate Tom.
Harry is a part of Tom, like Tom is a part inside of Harry, locked together in hatred, where’d he hear that?, and they are both alone, lost boys running through the woods, fighting, fighting so hard, for what? For whatwhatwhat?, tainted and so cold. Always cold. Harry can’t remember the last time he was warm, or is that Tom?.
It’s all blurry, all soft watercolours, runrunrun, these days. He goes to sleep in 1996 and wakes in 1940 and he’s messing with Tom’s head, messing with hishead, turning things, upside down, inside out, blood on the pavement, dirt inside their souls and at home Voldemort lays ruin to his world. Little boy, unloved, breaking all the toys in blind rage burnburburn the whores and light the night.
“Do you hate your mother?”
“She’s a whore.”Harlot, burnburnburn, like Babylon.
“Because she didn't want you?” He knows he shouldn't say these words, truths, knows he shouldn't set the other boy off like this, because someone else will pay in blood pain, fear, loathing, hate hate hate, eating you from the inside, like worms. Worms on a corpse and you are all dead.
Ginny’s rotting in the ground, six feet under, sixty years ahead, feeding worms and infinite hatred.
Tom launches himself at Harry, hands wrapping around his throat, delicate and white, Uncle Vernon loves it, loves his hands right there and Harry laughs. He laughs and laughs and laughs.
The other looks at him, eyes wide and green and he laughs and it cuts like glass, tearing at his skin, his back is tender and he can’t lie on it because of the painpainpain. He chokes Harry with all his might, because he has no magic here and the other boy doesn't submit, doesn't plead please, please, let me go, I’ll be good, I promise, I’ll be so good, please don't, doesn’t cry and crawl on his knees in the dirt.
He laughs and Tom sees Jack-O’-Lanterns grinning, horrible faces, like masks, white masks without faces behind them, eaten away by the worms and he grips tighter. Harry slowly turns blue, such a lovely colour on you and with a scream like children dying, Tom lets him go, tumbling back, landing on his ass in the dirt.
Harry sits up, still laughing, always laughing, because he isn't real.
“I’ll kill you”. Tom spits, burning bright.
“You hate your mother, too.”
“Why should I?” Arrogant, arrogant bastard, teach you a lesson, make you cry, make you bleed, you’ll begbegbeg.
“Because you’re in my head. You belong to me.” Mine, mineminemine, pretty boy, white as milk and stardust, break you, break you good.
“I do?” Mocking him, always mocking him, like a bird, mocking bird, above his head, always out of reach and always laughing.
Harry fades as the sun rises.
Harry coughs and spits out blood as he fights go get back to his feet, hurting so badly. Tom screams at him, red eyes glowing like beacons in the dark, I’ll always find you, you can’t hide, you can’t hide, I’m in your head.
He turns and looks up at his friend, lover, murderer, murderer of dreams and hopes and children and he laughs. Sea side memories of hours spent talking, sitting in the library, running through the snow, always there, love you, hate you, can’t exist with you, without you, can’t be alone. Cling to you, choke you, rageragerageburnburnburn, you’ll never be alone.
He spits more blood and asks, „Why do you think you look so much like your father, Tom?“
And Tom lifts his wand, finally strong, after all these year, strong enough to end it, free them, free them both and empty their heads and he answers, “Because you do, too.”
And then the witches burnburnburn, bright as the sun, painting the night forever green and the cave falls silent.