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Acacia to Azalea

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Acacia | Alphard Black

Somehow, this isn’t what Alphard had imagined it would be like when he had suggested they become roommates. He’d been prepared for an invasion of snakes and books everywhere, not—this. Hands shaking, Alphard straightens his ascot. He has a date, and it isn’t with the ivory legs draped carelessly over the bathtub’s edge.

“If you keep fussing, you’re going to be late.” A rustle of pages turning. The soft roll of water. “Is this the same heiress as last week?”

“No.”

“Quick turnaround. Almost indecent, really.”

My family think we’re having sex, he doesn’t say. He lets his focus shift to the rest of the mirror’s reflection. Swallows. Maybe we should be.

Tom leans back, and smiles over the edge of his wineglass.

 

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Acanthus | Draco Malfoy

There’s a painting, in the secret alcove of his grandfather’s old study, of a dark-haired boy a few years older than him.

Draco has never seen the boy awake. He’s always sleeping, hair covering half his face as he leans against the meridienne’s headrest. There’s a heavy, boneless quality to the boy’s posture, a stillness that makes the careful arrangement of his limbs discomforting.

If it wasn’t for the slow rise and fall of the boy’s chest, Draco would think the painting was of a corpse.

Worse still is the deliberate, slovenly state of his robes, half undone and slipping off a slim, pale shoulder. The edge of a long, naked leg framed by a long slit. A shadow wrapping around a delicate ankle, suspiciously similar to a handprint.

Draco doesn’t think he wants to know the story behind this painting or why he grandfather has it.

 

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Aconite | Severus Snape

Potter’s guardian blinks slowly, lashes inky over violet eyes. His smile is sweetly bitter, reminiscent of Severus’s last conversation with Lily. Severus forces down the swell of muddy emotions—regret, jealousy, anger, longing. Potter sits quietly beside the man, eerily calm and completely at odds with his memory of James Potter.

Albus keeps talking, trying in vain to convince ‘Artemis Peverell’ to fall in line—to return Potter to his relatives or accept them into his home.

For a half-second, Severus locks eyes with Peverell. A flicker of yew digging into flesh. Pain. Severus forces down the urge to freeze. That’s impossible—Peverell is too young to be a Death Eater.

Peverell keeps smiling. A spider hunting another, plucking the strands of his prey’s web.

 

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Agapanthus | Albus Dumbledore

“Mr. Riddle, stay behind.”

Albus waits impatiently for the boy’s tagalongs to leave. Tom takes his time, lets Dolohov place a heavy hand on his shoulder and Black lean into his personal space. Finally, Tom waves them off and saunters up the aisle.

“Sir,” he says, with the beginnings of what can only be a pout, though Tom would never admit to it.

The classroom’s door shuts heavily.

“About your summer arrangements—there is an alternative to the orphanage.”

“What do you want?” Suspicious as always, and rightly so.

Albus curls a hand around the back of Tom’s neck, dips his fingers under his robes.

“I’m sure you have a fair idea.”

 

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Agrimony | Thorfinn Rowle

Thorfinn isn’t blind to the game Riddle’s playing. He still takes part, still vies for scraps of his attention even though he can’t compete with the priceless heirlooms and fists full of gold the others bet with. So he finds other ways to make his case, ways the others hesitate to turn to.

Feeds Riddle’s want for attention with fingers buried between his legs and open mouthed kisses along his neck, gasps praises into a sweet mouth. He can’t leave bruises or bites, not yet, but he scrapes his teeth over skin and gropes harder than he should.

And Riddle lets him—let him take and taste. So, Thorfinn is pretty sure he’s winning.

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Allium | Augustus Rookwood

“My Lord,” he greets lowly. His hand is resting low on his Lord’s back, just fingertips really.

A soft hum.

Augustus leans closer, enough to bury his nose in fine, dark hair, and breaths. Vanilla and something softer, sweeter. He wonders if Dolohov has ‘accidentally’ gifted their Lord women’s perfume again. Decides it doesn’t matter.

“The Department has started playing with time travel. As of today, they—”

His Lord pushes him away. Turns, the beginnings of a smile curling his lips. Slowly slides his palm up Augustus’s chest.

“Tell me later. This is a party, and we should—enjoy ourselves.” His Lord steps deeper into the alcove and pulls Augustus with him.

 

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Aloe | Ginny Weasley

Does missing him make Ginny a terrible person? He’d lied to her, used her to attack Harry and Hermione, yet—

Tom had been her friend, had listened to her when her brothers and roommates wouldn’t. Sure, he’d been a captive audience, but Tom had never made it seem as if he didn’t want to talk to her. And he only really lied about himself. Everything else had been true, one way or another.

Maybe Ginny is being selfish, wanting her friend back. She has Luna, and her brothers. Her parents, too.

But—

Tom had been just hers, no one else’s. She hadn’t needed to share his attention.

 

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Almond Blossom | Rabastan Lestrange

The groan of his cell door opening pulls him from his nightmares. Rabastan squints through oily, matted hair and wonders what the guards want. Has he died without noticing? Has his brother, or Bella? Have the guards—

A thin figure slips in, dressed in black and not auror red.

“Rabastan Lestrange,” says a familiar voice, but the Dark Lord is nowhere to be seen.

The figure moves closer, until Rabastan can make out a fine, unmasked face. It’s one he recognizes but he can’t remember how. Can’t remember why that face is important, only that it is.

Hands cups his face, an exquisite heat after years without, and an unfamiliar feeling blooms in his gut.

“It’s time to come home, my dear friend.”

 

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Alstroemeria | Orion Black

“I’ve spoken with my parents, and they’re willing to sponsor you.” Orion pauses. His knuckles are white and aching around his teacup. “They just—they want—” He can’t bring himself to say it.

Riddle leans on his hand. His tea is stirring itself.

“They want me to marry into the family.”

A kinder assessment than it deserves, but— “Yes.”

They want to give Riddle to Alphard, and they don’t care what parts they have to cut away to get Slytherin’s blood. It makes him ill. Alphard wouldn’t appreciate the results, not like Orion would—

But Riddle will never agree to becoming a woman, so no one is going to get what they want.

 

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Alyssum | Salazar Slytherin

It’s a pretty story: a parselmouth channeling falling backwards through time, with magic carved so deeply into his being that it stains his eyes an impossible shade—a Herodias of their very own. Truth or not, Salazar takes the boy in, keeps him close.

There’s something a bit too sharp, bloodthirsty, in the boy’s eyes. A recklessness that makes keeping him occupied and hidden a priority. The boy doesn’t seem to understand the dangers of being a sídhe-touched parselmouth, doesn’t know how the Oracle of Delphi is chosen. Doesn’t realize what will be carved out of him if he leaves the safety of Hogwarts’ wards.

It’s better that he stays with Salazar, safe, where the only future he sees is the one he remembers.

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Amaranth | Gellert Grindelwald

The parselmouths on the continent take such care to keep themselves out of greedy hands, especially the young ones who haven’t learned to be suspicious of Dark Lords asking for their time. Or perhaps this lost little Lamia suffers from arrogance, thinks himself untouchable.

Oh, the boy checks for potions and poisons in the offerings at their little luncheons, but doesn’t look deeper. Gellert will have to correct that, eventually.

The Lamia has already begun shedding his current skin, eyeteeth longer and nails sharper, helped along by rich flesh and fledgling hearts. It’s only a matter of time before Tom Riddle is lost and all that remains is a pretty monster.

 

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Amaryllis | Bellatrix Black

It’s like having a living doll, one she doesn’t have to share with Andromeda or Narcissa.

Riddle watches her reflection in the mirror, mouth pressed in a tight line as he tries to keep his expression neutral. He keeps still as she plaits tiny sections of his hair, pinning them in place with little jeweled hairpins.

She’s dressed him in one of her old robes, the style and cut ambiguous enough that he can’t tell they were originally meant for a girl. A burgundy robe trimmed with copper embroidery over a dark cream tunic and black breeches.

Bellatrix has always wanted a little brother.

 

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Ambrosia | Ignatius Prewett

“You’re graduating next month.”

Tom looks up from fixing his tea.

“Yes.”

“Go on a tour with me.” He means it, is genuine about the invitation but it isn’t what Ignatius wants to say. Don’t waste yourself on them. There’s more to the world than Britain and pureblood egos. Let me take care of you. Let me have—

It earns him a raised brow and a mocking head tilt.

“What does your fiancée think about this?”

“We aren’t—” Ignatius pauses, swallows. Wonders how he’s going to sell this. “She’s courting Elieen Prince.”

“And you’re chasing me.” A sigh. “Alright.”

 

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Anemone | Harry Potter

He’s dreaming again. He knows this because his dreams are the only time Harry receives praise and hugs and attention worth more than “be quiet, boy!” or “don’t ask questions.” Here, in his dreams, Harry is special, loved.

Harry leans into Tom’s hold, wrapping his arms around his waist. Tom’s heartbeat is steady against his ear. Thin fingers card through his hair.

“Harry . . .”

“I hate them so much.” He swallows, tightens his grip. Blinks back tears.

Tom hums.

“I’m going to teach you a little spell to make them agreeable.” Tom waits for him to look up. “It goes like this—”

 

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Angrec | Fenrir Greyback

Hogwarts infirmary smells like it’s been drenched in lemon juice and vinegar, but that isn’t enough to drown out the stench of illness and old hurts. Fenrir follows his alpha deeper into the room, wrinkling his nose even as he tries to scent their newest packmate.

Instead of lingering hints of fur and woods, their packmate smells like the epicenter of a ritual—heavy dark magic and the acidic, bitter taint of hatred. His expression is mild, suitably downtrodden. There’s another scent, too, buried under everything else. Coy and sweet, dizzying.

Fenrir grins at him.

He drapes himself along the new wolf’s side, ignoring low snarls, and buries his face in his neck.

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Anthurium | Antonin Dolohov

“Royal flush,” Riddle says with a simpering smile.

Antonin swallows, frustrated anticipation churning in his gut. They’ve been playing for an hour and he’s down a cool hundred-and-fifty galleons, one loss after another but—he isn’t sure it’s enough. Not for what he wants.

Riddle has a delicate ego for someone so willing to get on his knees. He hates the idea that he’s prostituting himself, even though that is what’s happening. Antonin’s gold in exchange for Riddle’s mouth. So he’s stuck playing this game until Riddle can pretend that it’s his idea that he’s on his knees.

“Who’s shuffling this time?”

 

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Apple Blossom | Bill Weasley

“Are you going to help?

Riddle laughs. “I’m just here to chat up the architecture, remember?”

Wincing, Bill dodges around an unconscious coworker, ducking under a glitter red spell. Not his greatest moment. Goblins hire out only when they have to, and then, only the best. Implying otherwise—yeah. He rolls under a hail of ice spells, slaps down a rune to take out one guardian, and looks up to spot a malicious spell, the kind that ignores shields, heading start for him. Nowhere to run. He braces for impact—

The spell is eaten by a winged serpent made of fiendfyre.

“Lucky for you, I’m bored and feeling generous.”

 

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Apple Geranium | Luna Lovegood

Stealing a time-turner is simple. Folding herself back into her family is simple. Creating a new life for herself is simple. Simple, simple, simple.

Luna slips into the compartment and sits across from eleven-year-old Tom Riddle. The train jostles beneath them. She waits for him to look up from his book.

He stares, eyes a tad too wild, angry magic building. It’s good that she went back and not Hermione or Ginny—both too impatient. Tom Riddle is nothing like Harry, after all, despite what everyone keeps saying.

“Hello.” Cautious, careful, waiting for the attack.

Luna smiles.

“Hello! What do you think of the Heliotrope Conspiracy?”

 

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Arborvitae | Lucretia Black

Lucretia throws her bare feet over Tom’s lap, smothering a giggle at the disgruntled wrinkle of his nose. He pokes at her ankle with his wand’s tip. A swirl of ashen violet blooms over her skin, edges twisting, before fading away. She pokes him with a painted toe.

Ignatius smiles at them.

“I heard Dolohov whining that you turned down his invite to the Malfoys’ Yule Ball,” she says.

Tom makes another face. He accepts the cup of tea Ignatius hands him.

“I’m going with Mulciber.”

She pauses, her own cup halfway to her lips.

“They hate each other.”

“Yes.”

 

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Arbutus | Death

The pretty witchling is holding his wand in a shaking hand, knuckles bloodless with the force of his hold. It’s an empty defense. There are no spells the witchling could use that would protect him from Death, and even if there was, he owes Death a steep debt. He can no longer afford to keep gambling, has nothing to gamble with.

“Come, witchling,” He commands, patience spent. “You must learn your new roll.”

“I—”

“Seven lifetimes for seven fragments. Now,” He pulls the wand from the witchling’s grasp, drapes the empty hand over His arm as though they are companions, “walk with me.”

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Arum | Bartemius Crouch Jr.

Barty helps his Lord to his feet and hopes he isn’t making a mistake. The Dark Lord had given him the diary for safe-keeping, hoping, perhaps, that he wouldn’t recognize it for what it was.

His Lord sighs against Barty’s neck, sinking against him.

He hadn’t known what the diary was, not at first. But then the Dark Lord disappeared that Hallowe’en night and desperation set in. Barty had no qualms finding the sacrifices the Horcrux demanded, or preforming the ritual to return his Lord to flesh and bone. But—

Barty hadn’t realized how young his Lord would be. Younger than Barty, younger than Regulus before he disappeared. Hadn’t realized—

“It’s cold,” his Lord whispers.

He’s watching Barty from under dark lashes, the beginnings of something hungry, predatory in his gaze. Barty remembers his mother’s tales of Leanńan Sídhe and thinks, that’s a lovely way to die.

 

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Asparagus | Sirius Black

His memories of Bellatrix’s godfather are vague at best, locked behind the magic keeping him from revealing the Black family secrets. A handsome, dark-haired man with light, soft voice. Someone who tolerated Sirius’s rambunctious tendencies with good humor. Someone who was safe to admire and—wonder about.

His memories don’t match up with what he knows about Voldemort, with the sadism and torture. There’s nothing of the quiet man willing to teach them about magic in the stories Dumbledore tells. No hints in the bloodshed and carnage.

It’s easy to believe they aren’t the same person, but—

If they are different, why is Tom Riddle a Black secret?

 

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Asphodel | Voldemort

Voldemort wakes to a familiar face watching him.

“My dear Horcrux.” He brushes shaking fingers over a smooth cheek.

“Welcome back, Voldemort.” Tom smiles against his fingers. He lets Voldemort draw him closer, pull him down until he can tuck his head under Voldemort’s chin. The weight of Tom’s body is lovely, boiling heat against the chill in his skin. Tom sighs, buries his face in Voldemort’s shoulder. “Harry Potter is dead.”

“Yes, I remember.” There’s a band of ashen violet tattooed into his wrist. He smiles and drags a possessive hand down his dear Horcrux’s back.

A lovely victory.

 

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Aster | Abraxas Malfoy

It’s rare that he’s allowed such a reward.

Abraxas licks his lips, and slowly slips a dark silk stocking up a smooth, ivory leg. He carefully adjusts the lace top, stroking the skin above it more than he should, and clips on the garter. He drags a hand back down his Lord’s leg, admiring how well the silk suits him.

His Lord lifts his bare foot. Abraxas catches it in his hand, leans down to place a reverent kiss. The second silk stocking follows the first, and he has to keep himself from groping his Lord’s thighs.

Laughing, his Lord pull’s Abraxas’s hands back. “This is a reward. You’re allowed to do more than look.”

His Lord’s legs open wider.

 

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Azalea | Bloody Baron

Riddle grins shyly at him, a touch too sweet to be genuine.

The Baron knows his type, was weak against them when he still lived. A delicate treasure just out of reach, carefully guarded from greedy hands. There’s no one guarding Riddle, no one to tell him to take care with who he smiles sweetly for or who he lets taste his tongue.

No one to keep frozen fingers from leaving trails of ice under his clothes.

Riddle arches against the wall, head thrown back. His gasps are a fine mist. He makes no attempts to stifle the pretty noises he makes or keep the Baron’s fingers from reaching deeper.