Title: Snow Break
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairings: Harry Potter/Tom Marvolo Riddle
Summary: Harry wants to go out into the snow, and he insists on Tom coming with him.
A/N: Every winter season, I send out cards to anyone willing to give me their address, and I decided this past year to send out winter-themed ficlets to slip in with them, one for each ship that people on tumblr and LJ voted for. I asked if people thought I should post them all in the new year, and most people agreed I should, so this is one of them. Save for one, which is against FFN's rules, all of them will be posted on the major, multi-fandom sites I usually post on; links to those can be found in my profile/about me page of whichever site you're reading this on. ;)
I'd originally thought to post these next month, for my birthday, and then decided I might appreciate the reviews while I'm stuck in video rooms all this weekend, lol. (I staff at Katsucon. If you're attending, feel free to drop me a line! I promise I don't bite, and I've a bag of valentines to hand out. ;)
"You're doing it again," Tom announced.
The humming stopped and there was silence for a beat, then Harry said, "Doing what?"
Tom looked up from his book to cast the other wizard his best flat stare.
Harry's mouth twitched like he was doing his best not to smile, and his eyes practically sparkled with amusement.
Some days, Tom honestly wondered why he hadn't killed the wretched man yet.
Harry turned toward the window, which showed a sparkling white world, and Tom was a little surprised to realise it had stopped snowing since the last time he'd told Harry off for humming Christmas carols. "I can't help feeling a bit of holiday spirit," Harry told the window. "Especially when it's so beautiful out, and I'm trapped inside."
Tom snorted and turned back to his book. "You have my permission to go outside and frolic, if you must."
Harry let out the loudest, most put upon sigh that Tom had yet heard from him, which was saying something, because Harry had always seemed something of a master of put upon sighs. "Tooooom~" he said in that particular whining tone that always left Tom torn between wanting to throttle him, and wanting to make better whatever had gone wrong.
Really, truly, he hadn't the faintest idea why Harry was still alive.
"It's no fun by myself."
"Tough," Tom told his book, annoyed to realise he wasn't even attempting to read any more.
"What if something happens?" Harry pressed. "What if I get my foot caught in a hole hidden under the snow and twist it so badly I–"
"Fine!" Tom shouted, mostly to keep Harry from continuing on about one of his own stupid blunders; leave it to Harry Potter to regularly remind the Dark Lord that he was still just a frail human, no matter how many people had died at his hand. He slammed his book closed and turned a glare on the wretch.
Harry beamed at him and jumped to his feet. "Let's go make snowmen!" he called, then broke out into a loud rendition of Frosty the Snowman.
"Snowmen," Tom muttered, but he was fairly certain Harry hadn't heard him. Had very likely started singing just to cover up Tom's grumbling. He let out one of his own put upon sighs, then got up and followed Harry down to the coat cupboard, where they donned their coats, before leaving the comfortable warmth of the manor for the untouched world of white outside its heavy doors.
It hadn't snowed so much as to completely erase the path to the gate, thankfully, so there shouldn't be any new careless blunders for Harry to store up for the next time he wanted to annoy Tom into giving in to his demands. The wretch.
Said wretch jumped down the stairs to the path with a delighted shout, then twirled in place on one foot without so much as a wobble, inexplicably graceful in the snow. Despite his summer birth. (One day, Tom might actually be able to make some sense of that, though he suspected it was simply another one of Harry's little tricks intended to drive him mad. Well, mad with curiosity; learning the facts behind those little impossibilities was the only reason Tom hadn't killed him yet. Truly.)
Harry's eyes were brilliant-green and as arresting as ever when he finally turned back to Tom and called, "Snowmen! Come on!" His smile took on a slightly sharper edge, letting show a hint of the intelligence so often hidden behind a veneer of childishness. "The sooner you give in, my Tom, the sooner I'll let you back to your reading."
Tom raised an eyebrow at that and made a show of pulling out his wand. "In that case," he said, then pointed it off to one side, at one of the previously-grassy expanses of his front garden, and cast a quick spell.
The snow had barely started to shift, when Harry shouted, "Cheater!" and snow hit Tom in the face.
Only decades of constant danger kept Tom from dropping his wand, and he sputtered a bit through the cold, wet mess as he wiped it away with his free hand. "Harry," he managed once he'd caught sight of the wretch.
Harry flashed him a wide smile, a spark of something dangerous in his eyes. And then he lobbed another snowball at Tom.
Tom ducked to one side, but the ball still winged him, chilling along his temple and ear, and, doubtless, upsetting his hair in a manner that Harry would cackle about later.
"That is it," Tom snarled, jabbing his wand toward the wretch, and sending all the snow on the steps toward him by means of a cloud of snowballs.
Harry laughed and did a little twirl. And, somehow, only one of the balls managed to hit him, leaving behind an explosion of snow against his left sleeve. "Your aim is as terrible as ever," he commented cheerfully, making a show of brushing off the snow.
One day, Tom would figure out how Harry did that, avoiding all but the least lethal of his attacks. He was determined.
But this wouldn't be that day, because Harry's grin had eased into something a bit more welcoming, less childish, and he held out his left hand toward Tom. "Come on. One snowman. Together."
Tom scoffed at the idea of the Dark Lord cooperating with anyone, and Harry's smile widened just the littlest bit, took on an almost knowing turn.
Tom knew why, of course, and he slipped his wand away and stepped down to join the wretched, impossible man who held the scarred remains of his heart, letting Harry thread their fingers together in a way that felt a little more comfortable every time Tom let him.
Okay, so perhaps he knew exactly why he hadn't killed Harry yet.