Snapped Heartstrings

Flashback V

Jason was forced awake by sunlight striking his eyelids as Tom yanked their bedroom curtains open.

"Tom," he groaned, rolling over and covering his eyes, "Too bright."

"You need to get up now if you want to spend time in Hogsmeade before we visit the chamber," their plan to visit the chamber of secrets had hatched when Jason mentioned that he missed spending their birthdays there. Celebrating in a private place with just the two of them. No guests, no neighbors, no dealing with real life. They had spent many school nights there after discovering it had a large and luxurious bedroom. Tom planned to sneak in for Jason's 20th birthday. The fact they would be breaking into Hogwarts right under Dumbledore's nose was just the icing on the cake. Jason's tiredness soon gave way to excitement. He quickly got ready, then they left the house. They walked until they reached the end of the wards and Apparated to Hogsmeade.

"Shopping time!" Jason said with childish delight, before running into Zonko's joke shop. They stayed there for a while as Jason examined very trick and prank in the store before picking a few of the more interesting ones to purchase. Then they walked to Honeydukes. Tom left with the shop with arms full of Jason's favourite sweets as the birthday boy bounced around excitedly. Finally, they stopped at the Three Broomsticks for lunch. Once they began to eat Tom put up privacy wards around the table to prevent eavesdropping.

"Remember how I told you I found some information on Slytherin's locket?" Tom hissed, hardly trusting even his own wards with such sensitive information, "I think I'm close to getting it."

"You want to make it a Horcrux?" there was a slight disapproving frown on Jason's face and in his voice.

"Yes, of course. It's all I have left of my mother."

"You hate your mother," Jason pointed out.

"Yes, mostly. But this is a symbol! Not of her pathetic love for a muggle who would even look at her with love potions. This is a symbol of her ancestry, my heritage as the Heir of Slytherin."

"Fine, but this is the last one," Jason hadn't had much problem with the first Horcrux, Tom's old diary, but since then he had created a second with his uncle's signet ring and now he was planning to turn his mother's locket into yet another. Splitting the soul once was Dark and dangerous magic, doing more was practically begging for Fate's wrath.

"Yes, the last."

"Swear it."

"I swear this will be my last Horcrux," Tom made a magical oath which would survive as long as the two lived. What he didn't know was that it wouldn't even last a day, "Once I get the locket I'm leaving Borgin and Burke's. I'll apply at the ministry. With my skill and Slughorn's assistance, even Dumbledore won't be able to prevent me getting in."

"Alright, I'm staying with Garrick. Learning wand lore is a rare and useful opportunity. If you know wands you know the basics of a wizard's personality at a glance. Plus, I meet most students before they even begin school, seeing their untamed magic try to connect with wands tells me even more."

"And selling wands in our society, where most wizards are totally dependent on them, gives you power," Tom frowned, he thought wands were the most ridiculous crutch to magic. Most wizards who left Hogwarts would be as helpless muggle without their wands. Both he and Jason were skilled with wandless magic, and it hadn't even been difficult. They had simply continued to practice with their childhood accidental magic until it could everything spells could do. And some things they couldn't.

The two left the Three Broomsticks and headed towards the Hog's Head with contained the chamber's secret entrance in its cellar. Right behind an ancient barrel of mead that no drank any more. They crept in through a stone tunnel. While the entrance was tight it quickly broadened enough that they could stand. The black walls were lit by an eerie green glow from the chamber's magic. Finally they reached the entrance room, where a giant statue of Salazar himself stood.

"Nahass?" Tom called for the basilisk after sealing the entrance behind him.

"Master!" she hissed, excitedly.

"Only for a short while. Sorry, dear. You remember Jason, of course."

"Hello," he said. Jason was not Nahass' master but she still respected him due to his Parseltongue abilities.

"You have been taking good care of your mate," she told Tom proudly.

"Of course he has," Jason smiled.

"Have you been well?" Tom asked, blushing as he always did at the mention of mates.

"Yes, I have been eating large rats and lost cats. The humans have not seen me."

"Good. We'll be here this evening, but we have to leave tomorrow morning."

The basilisk's head swung, tongue darting out to smell the air, "There is something down here!"

"A person?" Tom gasped.

"No, a phoenix," Nahass led them to the bird, it was old and moulting, nearing the end of its current life.

"Fawkes?" Jason asked

"Dumbledore's bird?" Tom yelled, reading for his wand.

"Don't worry Tom. Fawkes won't betray us, phoenix's have the power to see hearts and they can only turn on those with bad intentions. We're not here to hurt anyone."

"We're Dark Wizards and this is Dumbledore's bird."

"Phoenixes don't care about Light or Dark, as creatures of Fire and Death they balance the two. He won't give us over to Dumbledore just because of alignment. Trust me. I've been studying phoenixes since I found out Dumbledore had one as a familiar."

"Fine. But then why is he here?"

"To see you," the bird said cryptically, transmitting his words directly into their minds.

"Well I'm glad to see you, Fawkes," Jason cradled the bird until he began to emit sparks. He quickly set Fawkes down on the floor where he began to really burn, body disappearing into the blaze. Once the flames died down he stepped out, reborn as a small grey chick.

"I will return in the morning," he said and promptly vanished.

"Phoenixes," Jason rolled his eyes. Then, Jason and Tom retired to the bedroom.

"You know what we haven't done here in a while," Tom grinned.

"Fucked on the Slytherin bed," Jason raised an eyebrow, "Honestly. You're obsessed."

"You love it," Tom rolled on top of him with a shark-like grin.

Once the two had exhausted themselves they lay next to each other, regaining their breath.

"Happy birthday," Tom whispered. They fell asleep wrapped in each other's arms, but when Tom awoke the bed was empty.

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