Certain Truths
by Hecate

Many wise words have been spoken about the nature of truth, most of them suggesting that truth is a matter of perspective, and that there can never be a complete truth. Merope thought that this was blind men's thinking. She knew that certain truths were without perspective; some truths simply were what they were:

She was breathing.
Her brother didn't pin that snake to the door because it had bitten him, but because he thought it would look nice.
She had hated the way the animal had wriggled for hours.
Her father despised her.
She loved Tom Riddle.

Tom Riddle would love her one day.

Denying those truths seemed silly to her and while she easily admitted to herself that she was weak, she knew that she wasn't a silly girl. Her blood forbade it, even if she did bring shame to her family. There were some bonds that could not be broken by her inability to wave a wand correctly, or to speak the right spell.

When her father was gone and her brother with him, she discovered another truth, this one with angles and perspectives and holes like the roof of their house: she could do some magic after all, she could do it well and she could make Tom love her with some plants, some whispered words and a wave of her wand.

She made him love her, but she knew that her lie would become truth soon, for Tom Riddle would truly love her in due course. She simply had to wait, and she didn't lament this because she didn't have to wait for him. He had already been bound to her, his love would follow.

And so he ran away with her, a wild smile on his face and his arms around her. Her laughter was even wilder because she was free now. Free! She had all that she had ever dreamt of, all she needed.

They settled down in a Muggle city easily since she could provide for almost everything with a flick of her wand while he wasn't looking. He might love her, but Muggles were Muggles and she still was her father's daughter. She knew she had to be careful. She knew she had to wait until the truth was unravelled.

She didn't love the Muggle place they lived in, but she didn't hate it either. Merope met places with an indifference honed by growing up in a house that was only a ruin of a wealth she herself had never known. All she needed was Tom and truth, one of which she had already achieved.

Her life before Tom had taught her patience, but her life with Tom made her forget all these lessons, made her forget how it felt when people lashed out at her. Tom made her forget; Tom, with his dark eyes and his low chuckle and his hands following the trace of her backbone over her dress.

And then... and then, she became pregnant and she had to tell him. She had to really tell him, and she had to stop mixing the love potion into this drinks.

Merope told him. Tom listened.

She had always toiled through life like it was a storm. Her father and brother had ripped at her, torn apart pieces and carried them away, but there had always been something left. Somewhere behind the grey, dirty thing they had made her, far behind her clumsy movements had always been her soul and her magic, waiting without knowing. But this...this was too much to weather: Tom's angry shouts, the hatred in his eyes, the way his cloak swept after him as he stormed out of their flat, the wave of fear as he took one last look over his shoulder...

A part inside her simply refused to bear this. A part of her gave in and with it she gave up her magic because it was this... this curse, that had given her Tom and then ripped him away. Ripped him from their home that she could not even bear the sight of it any more: every corner made her sick, every part of the floor told her to run.

So run she did. Some clothes, a little money, and a child under her heart were all she had and it seemed like it couldn't be enough. Not after the riches of Tom's hand in her own and the way he had looked at her sometimes... like she was special. Like he loved her.

Nothing could be enough after this until she felt it grow, felt that it was alive. There was a part of Tom in her and she knew she had to be strong now. Strong enough to let it grow, to give birth to their child, because then, then, she would go to Tom and show him their love. Because this child was proof, this child was an absolute truth. And he would see that, he would understand, and he would come back to her.

She wouldn't use magic until then because Tom wouldn't understand that yet, she would be strong without it. She could, she told herself, pulling a ragged cloak around her, the wind like ice. She could, Merope repeated, and then again and again, until it was her truth.

There were certain truths that did not depend on perspective, Merope whispered, wrapping her cloak even tighter around herself while the wind whirled around her in a mad dance: truths that were complete.

The bruises her brother gave her took longer to fade than others.
Her father had almost loved her when she was a child.
She did not look like her mother.
Breathing hurt.
The baby would be a boy.
He would be named after his father.

Tom would love her one day.


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