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Flowers are Wonderful

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Quirinus Quirrell calmly hummed to himself as he sat in the garden tending his flowers. He never got around to ruling the world (thanks to a little stint in Azkaban for a murder he didn't commit), but the flowers he planned on planting would exist if he had to use his wand to make them! Currently, he was doing things the muggle way—with dirt and a watering can and seeds. The muggles always made it look so much easier, but now that he was finally sitting down to plant and tend to these flowers, they were more work than a class of fifth years on a sunny afternoon.

As he was lovingly pulling the weeds from around his new favorite flower, he felt a familiar body slump up behind him, back to back, and he had to smile. Ever since the Dark Lord had attached himself to Quirrell's soul and tried to use him to kill Harry Potter and take over the wizarding world, they both had a fondness for this particular position. Even Quirrell, who had been so accustomed to sleeping on his back, now found himself more comfortable on his side with the other man's body pressed up against his at night.

"Quirrellllll….maaaaaan….liiisten…" Voldemort's head lolled back against Quirrell's, the familiar, raspy voice that used to bring so much fear giving the ex-professor comfort.

"What's the matter, Voldemort?" Quirrell continued to focus on his flowers, which had begun to wilt in the summer heat. While his partner wasn't paying attention, he carefully slipped out his wand to put a little life back in them. He was still determined to do this the muggle way, but he'd rather be back in Azkaban than let them die prematurely. He ignored the writing on the packet that said these flowers sprouted from March to May; he would make sure they lived longer!

"The house is starting to smell really weird, man. I don't like it." The two of them had Apparated from that nasty prison nearly two months ago and had since been living together in a quiet Muggle town where nobody had ever heard of them. Voldemort sometimes felt sick being around all those muggles, but he knew what they had to do to keep the wizarding world from finding out he was still alive. "Coming home" to Quirrell had been the best thing for both of them, and even a few muggles couldn't dampen his feeling of really belonging there with his companion.

"It's beginning to smell like flowers!" Quirrell happily agreed, grinning at his partner before realization struck him and his face fell. "Why don't you like it?"

"It's not that I don't like it!" Voldemort corrected hastily at Quirrell's crestfallen expression. "I just think you're overdoing it, that's all!"

"Well…I spent all that time in Azkaban, and it was so dark and smelly all the time, I just wanted to liven up the house with some flowers. I can get rid of some, if you don't like them that much…" But Quirrell knew nothing else needed said. Voldemort had cringed at the mention of his time in that prison (mainly because it was his fault, and he should feel guilty! Quirrell reasoned to himself), and released a deep sigh of resignation.

"No, if they make you happy…I'll endure. You did want to plant flowers when we ruled the world… I didn't give you a part of the world to rule, so the least I can do is let you overload our home with…flowers…" Voldemort acted grumpy about the whole thing, but Quirrell had to smile and lean his head back to nuzzle his companion's hair.

"You're sharing your world with me," Quirrell decided. "That's enough. I don't need any more than what I have now."

The ex-Dark Lord brightened at that, and he turned around for a peck, only to find Quirrell focused on the flowers again. He almost sulked, but remembering what he had promised his partner, he instead peaked over the professor's shoulder to gaze at the flowers that had stolen his attention away from Voldemort. If he was going to be stuck with them, he might as well show a little interest.

"So what are those?"

Quirrell brightened immensely. "Do you like them? They're called Fritillaria meleagris."

Voldemort took a closer look. The purple bulb had a checkered pattern and was bent over their long green stems as though in mourning, but they also reminded him of something else. Something comforting and familiar, but he couldn't think why he would find anything remotely reminiscing about a little flower. Voldemort had never been particularly fond of flowers; he considered them weak, for females and sissies to create and for him to destroy in his quest for world domination. If any of his Death Eaters saw him in a flower garden with a peon..! He shoved those thoughts away, as well as the notion of killing flowers. If his Squirrel liked them that much…

"Is it poisonous?" Voldemort poked at one of the little white ones with his wand, and Quirrell tried to swipe it away.

"It is!" he chided firmly, though Voldemort didn't expect a little tiny first year would cower at his sad attempt. Which was fine, since Quirrell had no business putting any venom in his voice at all. "The flower itself contains poisonous alkaloids."

"I like the little spotted ones!" Voldemort had to admit; they were far more sinister than the droopy white ones. "Does this flower have another name? Or do I need to bother remembering that other thing you just told me?"

Quirrell laughed, an endearing smile on his face as he looked over his shoulder at the Dark Lord. "Their common name is Snake's Head. I planted them for you since, you know…I wanted flowers, and you wanted snakes. I thought maybe we could…compromise?"

A strange feeling erupted from the pit of Voldemort's stomach, and for a moment he thought he might explode from the ferocity of it! He never used to feel like this. He made fun of those who felt like this, in fact! Emotions were weak, and he laughed and destroyed everyone who tried to tell him otherwise! Then he met Quirrell, and this feeling became, well, normal. It made his face split into a smile even Zefron couldn't conjure (and Voldemort was a man who loved his Zefron).

Without even thinking about it, Voldemort turned just a little to press his mouth to the former professor, and Quirrell responded enthusiastically. Far more enthusiastic about kissing him than paying attention to those bloody flowers! the Dark Lord thought triumphantly. Voldemort was about to take it a little further when Quirrell pulled away, his shy, meek expression gripping Voldemort's heart.

"So are the flowers good?"

"Quirrell…the flowers are wonderful."