||[Dec. 29th, 2004|10:58 pm]
Mad blood purists gotta stick together, yeah?
I'd completely forgotten I wrote this; be that as it may, I've found it. And now I demand you sit through my OOC!Tom and Mad!Pansy. But I won't give too much away.
She thinks that she will do anything for the sound of that voice. It is the hiss and slither of dark beauty, a black rose, bleeding, a beautiful disease, spreading to ensnare her in its death-hymn. Pansy knows no other thought, no other feeling but the touch of his hand on her face, the soft whisper sliding across air to caress her ears with music. There are no words to this melody, only a flowing, vague tune too ancient to comprehend or indeed express in words, and then there is silence; she remembers that he has already stopped speaking. But the spell is not yet broken.
He curls the fingers of one hand into a fist, rejoices in the feeling of clenching muscle, of this newfound energy, youthful vitality—so long denied to him, so long has he been fixed in squalor, inside a broken diary—and smiles at last. His teeth are stained scarlet and he licks them clean with his tongue.
‘This world is mine. And you will follow me. You will conquer with me.’
She has forgotten the meaning of no. All the yessses slither out of her mouth and linger by his side, for she never leaves it. Across the Chamber, the dark waters ripple and gleam. Tom stretches sinuously.
‘Let’s go somewhere I’ve not been in a long time. Is it a beautiful day – outside?’
His now-white-and-clean teeth flash in another smile of ingratiating self-contentedness. ‘And how lovely we shall make it, my Pansy. I’ll bring down the sun, drag it from its perch. Come and watch, come and watch.’ Tom laughs and begins his long, stately walk across the ancient stone floor, the click of his shoes echoing through the Chamber.
Pansy has never felt so beautiful, so warm and yet so cold. She wonders what life would have been without this serpent of the sun, who might fell the world with a single word, or bring it to its knees with a smile, a laugh. Everything is beautiful, here. She imagines the banners of Gryffindor stained with their own scarlet blood, what an ironic choice for a house colour, is it destiny or is it death? She watches Tom striding away and smiles. Perhaps it is both, for them.
It is five o’clock in the afternoon, and Tom is kneeling on the floor, retching, his white-fingered hands clutching the bedpost, the carpet becoming increasingly spattered with splotches of scarlet. She stands in the doorway, watching, and tries to disguise her look of disgust at the way he is behaving. It ought to have been purged long ago, like all the Muggles and Mudbloods they left alive to come here, to this place, for him to gather strength, he had told her; but she cannot see how he is getting stronger, she can see only frailty, and she hates it.
And she cannot bear to see him show these signs of weakness. That he would cry out to her for aid—the old Tom would never have done that, never. She stands and watches with her arms crossed, she watches the scarlet pool of ink deepen and grow darker, but does not move—she cannot—she cannot bear to touch him—she takes a step backward—she hesitates—
She misses the cool hard sound of Tom’s voice, enchanting, dreamlike, something from within a trance from which she wishes she never awakened. She misses the way he once sounded. Now there is only a withered, shattered shell of that voice. She touches a hand to her ear and taps it, once, twice, as if trying to summon the memory of his voice again. But her will is not enough, it never has been, she has never had much strength, she has always been such a follower. Or not; Tom has laughed at her bent head and called her false royalty and dirty blood, and then she raised her chin defiantly as she once had done and never lowered it again. She knows, yes, Pansy knows. She knows precisely what she is, a leader or a follower. Pansy understands everything.
The noise is becoming tiresome to her. She wishes it would stop. It is grating on her ears now, the sound mechanical and annoyingly feminine. She clenches her jaw and gazes down at the floor, at Tom lying there. The scent of rust and leather—and the more delicate fragrance of her favourite perfume—assault her nose. They mingle and create a pandemonium which scatters over all of her senses, and she holds a hand to her forehead, realising as she does so how dirty her fingernails are, and wondering how long they have been that way, and how long it has been since she has taken notice of such things.
A tear trickles down her cheek and her voice would have broken, but she chokes down a sob because that is most improper, she hates it when people cry at a funeral, she hates how hollow people are when they see the dead all laid out so beautifully in their coffins. Pansy loves how elegant and pale the dead look, more beautiful than in life; she doesn’t believe that they ever truly rot, like mother told her—she thinks that is just a lie—she knows that they lay there for ever and ever like stone statues in the cool earth.
That is why she is going to burn him.
That infernal voice. She wets a handkerchief and daubs it over Tom’s face, streaked with ink. Of course he does not resist; he cannot. His lips are redder than she would have expected. More ink, Pansy supposes. She bends down and leaves a feather’s-touch of a kiss on his lips. They are so cold.
And he is watching her now, his eyes never leaving her face, and they are not quite widened with fear, only with recognition. Pansy smiles down at him.
She straightens his limbs, folds his arms across his chest so that he will look proper. ‘Shut up, just shut up,’ she snaps. ‘I’m doing this for you, you know. This is what you want. You’ve grown so tired of this. This is all for you, shut up, shut up, just shut up.’
Standing, Pansy retrieves her wand from a pocket and feels its smooth firmness, the rise and curve of the handle: she is ready. Ready. Yes; she’ll do it; she is not a follower, she is no-one’s pet, no-one’s toy, she has had enough and this is the end. ‘Are you ready?’ she asks of Tom.
No more. She aims her wand hand and murmurs the incantation—she points. Flames spring up, a straight line; everywhere is smoke and fire. Pansy wonders whether Tom will cough from the smoke or not, if he is able to move. He has not been able to speak for a very long time now; there is no reason he should be able to cough—but then again, coughing is such an instinctual reaction, so perhaps—
‘No,’ she says to herself with finality. ‘Do stop begging, won’t you? I think I’ll sit here and watch the flames burn away my skin. Tom always liked fire. He liked to watch it burn, he thought it was the way of a coward not to stay and exult in his masterpieces. I think he’d be pleased if I stayed, don’t you? Oh, and there are the curtains…no, they’ve gone now…’
From inside the house somewhere, somewhere inside rooms of speckled scarlet blood, if not for the crackling of the flames and the creaking of the fire-weakened floorboards sinking down—down—down—, one might have heard a voice laughing, and a flower’s name being spoken, if only to herself, as if in a strange trance, as she knelt by a white-faced boy and caressed his forehead—
But then again, it might have only been silence, and night has swallowed the orange of the flames, and there is only the charred timber of the fallen house, and a slow trickling of ink from beneath the last remnants, oozing into the earth.