Tom is a resilient boy. He’s endured far worse than the painfully sincere scrawls of pubescent Ginny Weasley -- a girl who truly knows nothing of true pain, or of the truths of the universe (there is no good, no evil, only power and how much).
But all in good time – Tom is a great teacher.
And Ginny’s an eager pupil. Ready, willing, perfectly malleable, she bends to his will like a flower to a gale of wind, every which way, until she starts to lose track of which way is up and which way’s down, which way’s right and which way’s wrong. (Tom doesn’t care.) She gives herself up, gives herself away, every unblemished inch, into his hungry incorporeal hands. She teases him.
He carves his name into her skin. She traces it with a fingertip, and with the barest tip of her tongue.
Oh, Tom, you’re the only one, the only one who cares how I hurt!
He’s not. He’s merely the only one who has a vested interest in just how much.
And her thick tears drip, seep into the pages. He drinks them in, laps her up, tastes her heat, the low boil of her anger and despair.
A taste isn’t enough.
He’ll slide in, under her skin, overwhelm her senses, fill her to the hilt -- until two become one.
Oh, but Tom, surely you can’t always care so much about my troubles.
But I very much do, Ginevra. Your pain is my own. It cuts right into my soul.
The broken shard of his soul, yes, trapped for so long, with barely a spark of human connection. But he’ll be alone no more – he’ll share it with her, imbue her with his essence.
Two lonely souls, colliding -- or rather, one lonely soul, and a rotting piece of another.
But what a pure soul hers is. Perfectly whole, perfectly untouched. Everything he is not.
How could he resist?
This can’t go on, Tom. You make me… You do things to me. Things I don’t understand. Things that make me feel… ashamed.
Tom doesn’t worry. He’s in every part of her – to erase his words would be to erase herself.
He reaches through the opening, past the pages, caresses and coaxes until she’s half mad with it. She flows into him. He takes the wheel.
He takes her, time and again. Finally she lays spent, barely moving, on the cold wetness of the Chamber.
And he emerges from her depths, frees himself of the receptacle he no longer needs. He stands over her and she watches him, eyes bloodshot, skin paper-thin. There’s a little fear in her gaze, a little awe, a little helpless longing.
Her eyes close.
He crouches over her, leans in, touches her at last. Slides his long fingers over the curve of her neck, the softness of her lips. Moves his hand lower, over her heart, feels its weak beating, the slowing pulse.
He keeps his hand over her heart. He keeps it there, until it stops.