A/N: And here I have yet another story because who cares about consistency, right? Anyway, this story isn't meticulously planned out but I have a few solid ideas, so just be aware that I haven't planned out every plot point. And also, be warned that there're some dark aspects that you may not like. Nothing too graphic, though, I don't think.
She sits on her own bed, directly across from him, her back to the wall and her heavy-lidded gaze absently focused on the floating blocks of wood in front of her. They move in a circular motion at alternating speeds and he knows that she'll teach him how to do it eventually. If he's impatient about it, he's less likely to get anything from her aside from the bland rise of a single brow aimed at him.
(Tom doesn't like it when she looks at him like that; like she's silently questioning whether he thinks it's a good idea to continue being obstinate. He is a child, he understands, but that doesn't mean that he appreciates being treated like one. Not by her; not by anyone.)
"Why are we different?" he finally voices the question that's been plaguing the forefront of his mind of late. She would know. Even if she logically shouldn't be any more knowledgeable than himself, she would know.
Morgan doesn't answer immediately, which isn't unusual, and he's content to wait. She's taught him the virtue of patience and its integral role in dealing with someone like her; someone who, more often than not, is lost inside her own head because she finds little importance of the things outside of it. It's likely the reason why she rarely bothers to look and sound like anything other than utterly bored.
"The world is rather drab right now, isn't it?" Her eyes, dark and unfathomable, were directed towards the sky with an apathy he can only partially comprehend. "Especially from this angle. We're orphans that have little purpose other than to be used and abused by those stronger than us, aren't we?"
His eyes were on her because she's always been more vibrant to look at than their surroundings. More compelling, even if it sometimes feels like getting sucked into a black hole. "They haven't touched us yet," he replied then, even as something malignant snaked its way to his chest at the thought of being treated like the other children. He sees the way the adults ̶ and even the older urchins who've yet to find residence elsewhere ̶ look at the two of them.
Tom and Morgan are both pretty, with their dark hair and upturned eyes and unblemished, pale skin. (Sometimes, though, he speculates on whether that's truly her default appearance or yet another convenient disguise.) They could easily pass for siblings of nobility, yet they're still unloved and unneeded like the rest.
"Because we scare them," was her monotonous response, gaze shifting from the sky to look him in the eyes. He barely blinked, even as the sensation of being suffocated by her undivided attention danced along his spine and spread to the rest of his body through his nerves. "They want to break us and violate us, but the risk isn't worth it because we'd do far worse to them just for trying. The primal parts of them can recognise that, at least. Some, however, are still likely to try when they believe we're at our weakest."
He's broken out of his thoughts when Morgan of the present finally replies with, "We possess magic and they don't." His gaze refocuses on her, taking note of how one block is on fire and another surrounded by what he assumes to be wind. The last of the blocks is speckled with drops of water, but she seems to be struggling with that particular element. Yet, none wear signs of damage. His hands twitch as his curiosity and desire to attempt it himself itches at his skin, but he refrains from fidgeting outright.
"Magic," he murmurs, trying the word on his tongue and finding it to be agreeable. "What we have is magic." It feels right. "Does that mean we're special?"
Her gaze flickers to him, and he forces himself to breathe under the pressure. He's fairly certain that she doesn't even mean to have such an oppressive stare, which is equal parts frustrating as it is fascinating. "There're others," Morgan answers, blinking at him and tilting her head as she likely takes note of his physical response. She breaks eye contact to look up at the pitiful window of their shared room. "Wizards and witches, they're called. A small percentage in comparison to the people without magic."
There's a conflicting trickle of displeasure at the realisation that there are more like them; however, at the same time, he feels somewhat mollified that the numbers are still small, regardless. Still…
"Can they talk to snakes and shift shape at will like us?" Tom queries, internally attempting to understand why he needs to feel like they're more than even the magical folk of the world. Perhaps it's because he can see how there's hardly a reason to feel superior towards people who aren't even capable of magic. That, he thinks, would be akin to royalty comparing themselves to commoners. There's no need to do that because it's glaringly obvious that being royal is better than being common.
Satisfied with his own reasoning, he once again returns his attention to Morgan and her delayed answer. With an idle scratch of the back of her neck, she looks back at the blocks to find the droplets of water surrounding the third block gone. He might have felt frustrated with the lack of success, but she takes it in stride and he hopes that he won't burn all the pieces of wood in annoyance when his turn comes. It would only make him feel woefully incompetent and childish.
"You're a Parselmouth and I'm a Metamorphmagus," Morgan reveals, deciding to take a break from practising her magic. The elements disappear and the blocks float over to their shared desk when she casually flicks a finger in its direction. "Both are hereditary traits and extremely rare."
Tom smiles, the information very much welcomed. She watches him, imperturbable and otherworldly. He knows that he should question her improbable knowledge more; that he should wonder why she is the way she is and why she bothers to stay with him even though it wouldn't be hard to leave.
And it's then that he asks, "Will you stay with me, Morgan?"
It doesn't matter, Tom reasons. It doesn't matter as long as she stays. But what if ̶
(What if she decides to go? What if she decides he's not important or special enough for her to stay? What if, what if, what if?)
"Don't be silly, Tom," she responds, and he feels as if his heart has been impaled and ̶ "That goes without saying." He breathes. "If I left, you'd likely destroy yourself and then the world. Which, I'm sure you understand, is not the path either of us would like very much. That kind of destruction upsets the forces of nature."
She bestows upon him an annoyingly endearing head tilt and a silver glimmer in her eyes that makes him scowl at her. "That hurt," he hisses, standing up from his bed to climb up on hers. The mattresses are hard and uncomfortable, but they're minimally serviceable so neither bother to complain. It's a wonder that they even have their own separate beds in the first place.
"Want to learn how to make the blocks float and spin?" she offers once he's settled in by her side. Morgan is warm as she is cold and he relishes in the feeling.
Tom scoffs, "I know what you're doing," but he doesn't decline.
. . .
. . .
The doorknob begins to rattle softly, but Tom is awake even before that.
His eyes snap open, and the only difference he can make out in the darkness is the gleam of Morgan's eyes. Like eyes of a feline, he thinks. It should be unnerving, yet it only helps to calm him somewhat while his chest tightens as the rattling steadily becomes more aggressive.
"Is this supposed to be when we're at our weakest?" he whispers, shifting closer until there's no distance between them and he can feel her steady breaths on his skin. (He clutches her with all of his limbs, trying and failing to will away the feeling of something repulsive building in his throat ̶
He's not afraid. He's not afraid.)
Morgan shifts slightly, bumping for forehead against his as her entire being remains still. Calm. Tom anchors himself to her. "Yes," she confirms with a murmur, ignoring his flinch as a frustrated kick connects violently with the door that shields them.
(He hates them. With all of his being; he hates them.)
"I want to leave," Tom declares, his body a mess of shivers from the rage that bubbles within him. How dare anyone think that they could violate the two of them? To mistreat and shatter them until they break like Annie, who is all jagged shards of glass that can do little more than cut shallow wounds?
The disappearance of Morgan's illuminate eyes and the quiet sigh that brushes against his cheeks snaps him back to reality. "Alright," she replies. "Soon."
Tom breathes. With her, he is alive.
. . .
. . .
When it's close to Christmas and they're to turn six soon ̶ her on the twenty-third and him on the thirty-first ̶ she asks him, "Do you want to leave now?" and he's standing before he can even fully register what she's asking. It's enough of an answer, for she turns around to make her way to the exit and he follows without question.
They don't have any belongings of importance, so they leave with nothing but the washed out uniform of Wool's Orphanage and the apprehensive, curious eyes on their back. No one stops them because no one will miss them. No one ever misses the ones who leave.
("Where's Annie? Wasn't she meant to be here by now?"
"Oh… After what happened, she left. Said she'd rather die somewhere else. Can't say I blame her; that man is vile."
"I suppose. Well, good luck to her. Have you seen the new boy, Richard, by the way? He's rather fit, I'll say.")
Tom exhales, attempting to calm himself but finding it difficult as elation surges within him and allows him to hear his own pulse in his ears. "Where are we going?" he breathes in question, catching up with her swift but leisurely stride and grasping one of her hands with his own. Their fingers intertwine instinctively and he feels alive.
"Diagon Alley," Morgan answers with a yawn that she covers with the back of her free hand. "It's a wizarding area located in Charing Cross Road. We can find one of my relatives to take us in. If not, we'll make do. But I have a good feeling we'll find one."
"Alright," he utters, tightening his grip on her hand as he quickly comes to terms with the fact that he'd follow her anywhere, regardless of the risks.
. . .
. . .
He looks around, fascinated by everything and anything that moves on its own. The residents wear odd robes that vary in colours that could be obnoxious to look at for too long, but Tom notices that he and Morgan seem to be the unusual ones in the crowd.
Wizards and witches. Magical, like them; special, on some scale, like them. And yet…
And yet, as he glances at his companion whose expression is unchangingly bored, he thinks they're missing something. He feels no gravitational pull towards them; no desire to catch more than just a glimpse or to know who these unknown people are and claim them as his own.
(He's only a little disappointed, he realises. Tom doesn't want her to be like anyone else. She's special and she's his and no one else can have her.)
"What are you?" he whispers, half-expecting to not be answered immediately. He's always been willing to wait. But she stops in the middle of the street, forcing him to do the same and neither bother to acknowledge the sea of irritable people whom skirt around them like a blur.
Morgan turns to him, eyes as black as the night with a piercing voidness that enthrals and terrifies. "Yours, Tom," she answers, and he burns like he's staring into the sun as her irises lighten to a dark brown that would match his own. "I was made for you." Her words are said like an indisputable fact and the weight of it threatens to crush him entirely. "Are you mine?"
"Always," Tom promises. There is no other answer.
A/N: Chapters may vary in length because I'm trying not to be anal about reaching certain word limits and whatnot. Update schedule is still trash (I'm so sorry), so there's that, too. But, I hope you enjoyed and I would appreciate your thoughts on Tom and/or Morgan.
Reviews are love. Reviews are life. It's never ogre. Thank you for reading.