PAIRING: Tom Riddle/Blaise Zabini.
FANDOM: Harry Potter.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, nor do I pretend to own them. All characters and locations of the Harry Potter universe belong to J. K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, Scholastic Books and associates. No money is made from this work.
CREDITS: Many thanks to Strangemuses for giving me the urban legend that spawned the plot bunny that became this.
He's asleep, wrapped in a blanket of memories -- visions? -- and he doesn't want to move.
Soft hands caress his skin; a gentle mouth kisses his neck. Dark hair that brushes teasingly against his throat. A hard cock rubbing against his own, creating glorious friction and making him writhe and pant and beg for more, now, harder, faster, inside, gods, yes!
Warm embrace, strong arms around him, holding him close. Soothing words whispered in his ear.
You're safe now. I've got you.
He clings to the words and the body wrapped around his own. He buries his face in the crook of the other's neck, not wanting to let go. He's never felt this before -- the sense of fierce protection for someone else and the desire to be protected. His fingers clutch at strong shoulders as he presses himself closer against the body against his own.
Sleep, dear one. You're not alone.
Yet in the back of his mind, he knows this is a dream, a fantasy, and when he dares to look around him, the reality will be far from pleasant.
Tom Riddle gulps, opening his eyes and staring up at a grimy and dirt-caked ceiling. He blinks, trying to focus, trying to hold on to the dream. It was safe there, safe and warm and accepting, unconditional caring and empathy, gentle caresses and soothing words. He wants to go back, wants to fall asleep and be lost with his dream lover and never return.
The room is cold and it is dark. He's alone, on a bed with a rusty headboard, the mattress dipping sharply in the middle, mute testament to years of abuse and neglect.
He tries to shake the fear that threatens to overwhelm him, and closes his eyes. For all his power, for all the future-present knowledge of what he as Lord Voldemort has done and will do, Tom Riddle is still, at his core, a frightened eighteen year old boy, cold and alone.
There are no air raid sirens here, no reminders of war-torn London, and for that he is grateful. He does not move, instead desperately trying to return to that dream state where he is held and protected and...
Tears spill down his cheeks then, an overwhelming sense of loss and regret and pain like nothing he has ever felt before. Love is not something he is familiar with, though he is all too familiar with hate and her offspring. Yet he remembers dark eyes locking with his own, a soft voice speaking Russian, and knowing that the words he hears are not simply endearments, but truth.
You fall, I've got you. I love you, dear one.
He wants to return the sentiment, but the words stick in his throat. And his lover smiles at him, traces a finger down his cheek and kisses him.
Tom whimpers with loss, feeling it so profoundly that his very soul cries out. This was not supposed to happen. Emotions were not part of the plan. They were not supposed to interfere with his becoming the greatest dark lord to have ever walked the earth.
Soft lips kiss away tears once more and strong hands rub soothing circles over his back. Tom cleaves to the body against his own, clinging with more desperation than before.
You'll leave me. Everyone always does.
No, I won't.
How do you know?
Because I'm not everyone else.
He'd believed those words then, he believes them now. Determination fuels him, and he struggles to sit up.
It is then that he realises that something is...
Pain shoots through him from his abdomen and all through his body. He cries out, gasping, his fingers sliding down his torso, searching for the source of the pain. As they travel over his abdomen they come away sticky.
By all the gods above and below, not again, please, not again...
He stares at his fingers for the longest moment before the sensations of pain and fear begin to overwhelm everything else. He fights with his protesting body and manages to fall from the bed, hauling himself to his feet with great difficulty and stumbling into the bathroom. It takes him a long time to be able to pull himself to a standing position, his breath is whistling between his teeth and the pain is causing him to see spots of red behind his eyes. Eventually, he meets his gaze in the reflection of the mirror and stares in shock.
A long slash across his body, leaking blood. But...why? How?
And where is...
I'll be back soon.
Always, for you.
He remembers now. They were not Death Eaters, not his own followers, but someone else. They came for him, in this strange present that is also past and future rolled into one, and they held him down, one of their number slicing a long gash in his body and removing part of him. He chokes back a sob, staggering back into the bedroom, and his eyes light upon a piece of parchment.
'You should go to St. Mungo's.'
A howl of frustration and anger that ends in a whimper of pain, and he's falling, falling back onto the bed in his weakness, falling into a pit of blackness that he fears he will never wake from.
When he opens his eyes again, he is not alone, and his lover is by his side, dark hair falling into dark eyes that are filled with grave concern.
"What happened?" Tom blinks, clearing his throat.
"Some fucker took your kidney."
His lover would never lie, but sometimes, Tom thinks, he'd like him to sugar coat the truth just a little.
"While I was out. They came and cut out your kidney. They left a note telling you to go to St. Mungo's."
Tom digests this information. "You found me?"
The reply is automatic, but no less heartfelt because of that. "I would always find you."
Later, Tom learns, a spate of surgical crime has run rampant through the wizarding world. He is not the first, nor, he suspects, will he be the last. People have had pieces of themselves, their internal organs, cut out and are left with a note: 'Shouldn't you get to St. Mungo's?' So far, no one has died, but it's only a matter of time, of that Tom is sure. And now he is minus a kidney, with the only knowledge of who did this to him being a note written on a piece of parchment.
"Shouldn't you get to St. Mungo's?"
He crumples the parchment and throws it across the room, scowling. He looks up to meet the steady gaze of his lover, standing in the corner, idly smoking a cigarette and flicking the ash out of the open window, defying all rules and regulations.
"I got you here," is the matter of fact statement, and Tom suddenly smiles.
"Thank you," he replies, and is rewarded with a grin.
Minus a kidney, but still alive, although in pain, Tom Riddle settles back against the clean white pillows of the hospital bed and watches Blaise Zabini smoke.
He got me to St. Mungo's.