September 1st, 1943

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restored and sorrows end.

~William Shakespeare

You know that moment that you sort of have always been waiting for? The one that you convince yourself will change everything? For me it was always Hogwarts. It was never a question; I never looked forward to anything more than getting on that train for
thefirst time. You see by the time I was eleven I had been on the platform watching the train go off without me for four years, I'd heard stories from my brothers and every year I would beg my parents to go. When I got my letter I had to try
my hardest not to squeal, at least not in front of mother.

When we were going to Platform 9 3/4, I couldn't contain my excitement anymore. My brothers watched me with amusement, rolling their eyes as I practically jumped up and down. But my parents who would not have me making a fool of the family name looked
on in disdain, nothing out of the ordinary there.

Upon seeing their disappointment I sit as still as I could and start interrogating my brothers about Hogwarts... again.

"So, how do I get put in Slytherin? Who do I sit with on the train? What if I get lost on my way to class? Can I-" I fire a hundred questions at them before they finally decide to answer one or tell me off for annoying them.

"Lord, Vina slow down your making me dizzy with all these questions! The Sorting Hat will put you in Slytherin. You can sit with whoever you want as long as it isn't me or some mudblood. And just stick with a group when walking to class, it's less likely
that all of you will forget at once" Octavius replied a genuine smile creeping onto his face as he messed up my short blond hair. Octavius though at times a bit prickish and annoying was a good brother, a perfect example of an aristocratic pure blood
/Slytherin.

"You're not sitting with me either." Abraxas added a smirk appearing on his face as hauling his trunk towards the fireplace. Abraxas despite being raised the same exact way and only four years younger wasn't perfect. He tried, but family superiority wasn't
/something that was easy to learn. "In fact, act like you don't know me at all... Starting now"

But, I wasn't the kind of sister that would take a hint and stopped bothering them; however I probably wouldn't talk to them much until I got home for Christmas Break. Now don't get me wrong, I love my brothers, really I do. But there were times when
/they're just so small minded. Once you look at the big picture, they were so obsessed with blood status and being the superiors of Mudbloods and Halfbreeds that they never even got to enjoy it.

The horrible thing about being the youngest in a 'prejudice' pureblood family was the loneliness, I spent week after week being taught to be proper by people who were too terrified of my parents to defend themselves, but in a way that gave me an advantage,
/too. Well, the name Malfoy opens quite a few doors, you needed your own wits to get thru to them. After acting like the perfect little girl for my parents for years, I was an expert at opening door all by myself. I had been at every single party or
/social gathering my parents went to. I knew half the first year curriculum before I was even potty trained. I was more than ready for Hogwarts; or so I had convinced myself. Hindsight tells me I was probably a bit full of myself.

Now to even slightly grasp what went on at the station you have to understand, being a pureblood is like a never ending battle, you always need to be two steps ahead of your opponents. You need allies, strategies and most importantly information, the
/one place that you can get this Hogwarts. So they prep their kids to be ahead of the rest and at the station, they brag like hell. Even if on some level you might be lying.

The perfect example was right there as we walked in, Septimus Weasley was not our equal, and most certainly not our superior, he had married Cordella Black nearly 14 years ago though, and suddenly became slightly worth our time. Almost as soon as we walked
/on to the platform my mother went over to him.

"Oh, Septimus! How's Cordella? I heard she just had another baby!" She exclaimed in laughter, the man was a deer in head lights as he faced my mother, this branch of the Weasley family expanded rapidly and took quite a bit of grief from families such
/as mine.

He might have been nervous but his Gryffindor pride kept a certain level of confidence in his voice, "Yeah our fifth son, Arthur. She had to stay home with him but she'll be glad you asked for her, Ditty."

"Oh, why not bring the baby with her? They're all adorable when they're young" my father said a smirk growing on his face, knowing exactly where the conversation was going.

"Well the noise mostly, wouldn't want him to start crying and um... annoy anyone" he said his voice steady but a glare appearing on his face (no doubt remembering what my father said a few years ago about Jonathan Weasley. Something about it being easy
/to see what the child inherited from his father but not his mother (which was true, they were both redheaded, improper complainers) from personality to appearance).

"Oh, I hardly could find a child's wining annoying. An adult however. " He said a smile on his face and a chuckle that you wouldn't hear unless you were standing right next to him. Septimius on the other hand was struggling to maintain his composure,
/his ears and face had gone so red they had started to clash with his bright orange hair.

Weasley gave my father a look that seemed to be a brilliant combination of embarrassment and disappointment before turning away from us in a fit of rage. I don't know why my family did things like that, holding school yard grudges into their adult years
/seemed rather petty to me, but it was rather entertaining. As my parents continued conversing with the other families I started wondering around the platform. There

Platform 9 and 3/4 was always a sight to behold, the first time I saw it I was astounded from the assortment of magical families saying their goodbyes to the owls and cats running amuck it was one of the most inviting places I'd ever been. Even with both
/wars, World War II and the War with Grindelwald, this seemed to be one place no one was avoiding. There had to be at least three hundred people there, parents and students all seemed to be united over the generation of waiting for the Hogwarts Express.
/Even some of the Muggle parents looked in awe of the community, instead of being scared of it!

As I started to lift my bag on to the train a boy came up behind me. "Need some help there, love." he said a gleeful look appearing on his face, as he addresses me in a dreadfully fake American accent.

I turned on my heal throwing my arms around him, knowing who it was without a second thought. "Orion! It's so good to see you!"

"Oh, come on! I could have been anyone, there's no way you knew that was me. I'm great at accents!" he said as I pulled out of the hug smiling. Orion Black was the closes thing I had to a best friend before my time at Hogwarts, he was a pompous, arrogant
/fool at times but he had this sort of charisma that consumed you and made you feel safe.

"Can you believe it?" I asked a brief smirk on my face as he carried my heavy trunk onto the train. "We're going to Hogwart's! No more waiting or wishing, we're on our way!"

Even with his back facing me I knew he was rolling his eyes at me, "I've never understood your obsession with going to Hogwarts. You always talk about it as if we we would never get there."

Trust me, Orion shared my excitement about going to school but he also had an 'image' to uphold and a nonchalant attitude to obtain."Oh, shut it, Black. As if I you haven't been dreaming about this for years."

"But it's... school. I'm bored enough as it is with the tutors but now we'll actually be tested on this stuff. What's appealing about that?" he argued. I admit he had a point tests were never something to be excited about, but we had already been taught
/the difficult stuff so I didn't really share his fears. And he certainly didn't share my fear of heights, being the Quidditch-nut he was.

"Well, I imagine the same thing that's appealing about flying around on brooms only to get hit in the head by a bludger!" I hit his shoulder as we get into an empty compartment dragging our trunks behind us.

"Oh please! Quidditch is the only reason I'm going here instead of Dumstrang, be thankful." He said trying (and failing) to get our trunks onto the storage rails. "And well you're at it be thankful that I'm your friend, too. I'll put these in the with
/everyone else's luggage"

"Thanks! I'll just be here" I said lying down on the uncomfortable bench. "Or maybe I'll even find someone else to sit with. Leaving you all alone, aren't you glad to have me as a friend?"

"I'm simply elated, Malfoy" he said as he whipped out his wand making my trunk float on top of his and slowly levitating them both back onto the platform. For a second I wondered why we didn't do that in the first place, I had almost completely forgot
/that we could technically use magic now. Not enough that it becomes obvious we had schooling before eleven, but all the same.

Before I could even get my wand out though the door slid open revealing a boy I'd never seen before. He had an almost stony gaze in his green eyes a look that sent chills down my spine from the first moment I saw it. "Is anyone sitting here?" he said
/in an almost intimidating tone, it was bizarrely calm . I shook my head no, before turning towards the window, eager to escape his stare. I wasn't so fortunate though, as he ignored my answer and sat down anyway.

I turned back only to find that he was ignoring me, too. "Well if you were going to sit down either way, why bother asking?" I glared at him crossing my arms like a child as I watched him open one of our textbooks. He refrained from responding and simply
/flipping a page causing me to pout and stomp my feet. Why was I doing this? I never act like this; this boy was acting like I was the nuisance when in fact he was. "Excuses me but I believe I'm speaking to you."

His book snapped shut, his hand stuck out to shake in seconds, "Fine, if you insist on talking, I'll introduce myself. Tom Riddle."

I look at him in surprise; his voice was harsh and annoyed as if I personally offended him with my excessive desire to speak. I narrowed my eyes in confusion, ignoring his hand completely, "Divina Malfoy. I've never heard the name Riddle, are you a half-blood?"

"I don't know" he said picking up the book again uninterested. "If you don't mind I kind of need to study some of us plan on learning thing this year."

I feel my eyebrows shoot into my forehead in disbelief, "Well, you're awfully quick to assume, Riddle. Good Luck in Ravenclaw, I guess, they won't put up with a sharp tongue like yours."

Whatever his response might have been it was cut off by the door sliding open. "I see you've already found my replacement" Orion said plopping down in the seat across from me. "Who might this be?"

Like all things seemed to, this annoyed Tom. "I'm sorry. I think I'm in the wrong compartment, you two obviously never learned decent manners" he snarled and as if the conductor knew to make this statement all the more dramatic the whistle blew at that
/very second.

"Well aren't you just a ray of sunshine!" Orion grumbled sarcastically as Tom went back to reading. "I swear, Vina, anymore friends like this and I'll be forced into a damn book club."

Now it was my turn to roll my eyes.

I don't know why I did this it was rather illogical but I then pulled out my wand. "Watch, I've been practicing." I told him clearing my throat. "Colloportus!"

The locking charm was one of my favorites, not only because it was the only third year spell I could successfully do but because of its practical use. Of course it could be undone by a first year charm but oh well. "Does that look like a book club nerd
/to you?" I said trying to hide my own astonishment.

"What does that even do? Now I'm confused and not entirely sure if that worked!" he started chattering on about how weird it was.

"It's the Locking Charm you idiot, all she did was lock the compartments door." Riddle said in his signature annoyed and unimpressed tone, as if he could do that spell or any spell at that point.

No matter how utterly unimportant our first meeting seemed it's hard not to be glad I met Tom before even getting to Hogwarts. I'm glad that I did not because of what he would soon become but because without him my years at Hogwarts would have been a
/lot more boring. If not a bit less depressing and mysterious.

I heard a book snap closed next to me, he had a new look in his eyes this time, not quite like Orion's annoyance but similar. "Well, I'm not going to get much reading done, am I?" He said a friendly tone infused into his voice. "I'm afraid I've been terribly
/rude, Miss. Malfoy, please allow me to make it up to you."

I knew exactly what he was doing; he was collecting players, you'd see it all the time if you looked closer. I that second I had no questions about Tom Riddle; he was a different kind of Slytherin, a True Snake. Not many people have the determination
/and ambition to make it in Slytherin without knowing their blood type and having generations of family members to prove they were meant to be here. But he did, and I couldn't help but find that utterly fascinating.

I narrow my eyes for a moment, he was obviously smart, and probably a halfbood but that didn't matter much. "I think this could be the start of an... Interesting friendship. Wouldn't you say, Tom?"

I've never been more right.

The Train ride was interesting to say the least; I mean I never thought I'd have to explain the houses to anyone...

Orion seemed pretty annoyed about having to sit with the 'impure' but I didn't know. I didn't know that he was the heir to Slytherin, or that he'd kill four people before graduating school, right now the only thing I knew is he was intelligent. He was
/obviously a bit... socially impaired but we'd help him with that.

"So, Riddle, where were you before Hogwarts?" Orion asked in an attempt to make conversation, at first we were talking and playing Exploding Snap but when I came back from putting on my robes they were silent.

"Wool's Orphanage. Sorry, Black, even I don't know what mummy and daddy are" he snapped a sarcastic tone in his voice.

"Who said I was trying to find out? It's just a question." Orion said giving him a look that I'd seen many times before. It was a look he had perfected by the time I met him, this timid little smirk, and those innocent gray eyes were only brought out
/to deceive unsuspecting victims.

I tried to contain the roll of my eyes as I told Tom he was only being paranoid (after all even if he could prove a useful ally I had just met him, loyalty is important to me). But his back stayed straight as a stick, his eyes unblinking as he regarded
/Orion.

I was sitting there looking between the two as if they were in a particularly skilled game of ping pong. Even after knowing him for a short time, Tom Riddle was positively confusing. Ironically, enough I didn't realize it until I saw this little staring
/match. He was challenging a Black after openly admitting that he might be a mudblood. You might not understand just how dangerous this could be, maybe he didn't either, but challenging any Black even one who is barely eligible to go to school is...
/highly unrecommended, completely insane, political suicide? Anyone of those would work. But someone of a lower class challenging, someone from a family as powerful as Orion's? Well, let's just say it increased your chances of showing up in the garbage
/shoot at some random muggle hotel (and that's if you're lucky).

I gulped for a second, trying to convince myself that they were both just having a pathetic staring match but part of me knew that this argument would never be over. It would always lurk over our heads, all of our heads now. Tom would have it the worst
/of course, not knowing who his parents were, but now it was our problem, too. And the second our families' reputation were put on the line by our choice of friends we'd have to ignore him.

"Guys? I'm still here! God, if you want to stare longingly into each other's eyes at least tell me to leave first" I laughed trying to defuse the tension that had accumulated in the past few minutes. It worked, too, because almost instantaneously their
/eyes were wide in shock and aimed directly at me. "Just joking" I said holding my hands up in surrender.

"Well, I must apologize, Riddle. I didn't mean to strike a chord... I'll try to remember not to ask next time" Orion said an overly submissive look in his eyes.

"Oh, no! My fault really, I have quite a flare for dramatics at times." Riddle replied his words practically dripping with his apologetic tone. "Let's just forget about this silly little farce"

The train compartment was then consumed completely in uncomfortable silence, it was so quiet that I could hear the gossip from the girls in one of the neighboring sections. It was arguably one of the most awkward times on the Hogwarts Express (actually
/the "brother incident" might have been worst but we'll get to that later).

Desperate to break the silence I said, "Well... At least no one lost a hand"

Looking back, it wasn't funny. It wasn't even the slightest bit humorous! But for some strange reason we all burst out laughing. I guess that's just what eleven year olds did, laugh at literally nothing.

All I could think at that moment was, "Whew, Crisis averted" As the train ride continued, we nearly choked on our displaced hysterics, blood status and possible (unlikely) house differences could be temporarily forgotten.

The first time I saw Hogwarts was like a dream, it wasn't particularly special; I wasn't ringing my hand over sorting or awkwardly shaking hands with new classmates, no. But the first time I was at Hogwarts was October 27th, 1939. That's right; I didn't
/get to marvel at its glory well gliding across the lake (though I must admit the view from Hogsmeade is just as breathtaking). So let's just get that out of the way seeing Hogwarts is always amazing. I mean how could it not be, right? But I wasn't
/green with envy that my brothers got to see it before me.

Well... That's not completely true... and Hogwarts certainly was utterly amazing, the light from the school illuminated the lake in a way that sort of forced you to watch it shimmer as the boats broke thru the water, it might have even been the main reason
/I was gapping like a fish ... if the chocolate frogs weren't trying to claw their way up my throat.

After I stopped marveling at the simply magical picture this was, my other senses kicked in. I started to smell the low tide and felt the bug crawling up the back of my neck, the splash of something falling into the lake behind us. And worst of all the
/taste of bile slowly rushed in my mouth. I quickly swallowed it but the taste had already settled in my mouth. I wanted to be at the school. I wanted to be inside. I wanted to be sorted. I wanted to not be anywhere near this boat. And I was used to
/getting what I wanted.

"Okay," I heard Orion behind me. "This is awesome, you're right, you win"

I turned toward him a forced smirk slipping onto my features, "Is Orion Regulus Black admitting defeat? Do my ears deceive me?" I mocked him.

"Yeah, yeah, take pride in your victory but remember mockery is degrading, what would your parents say if that's the first thing you gave them from your first year at Hogwarts was a bad reputation?" Orion said jokingly, even though he was right, the only
/reason purebloods would have more than one heir is so they could prove superiority, not so they can sit back and wait for their inheritance.

"I can't quite remember but I'm pretty sure mocking would degrade you." I rolled my eyes turning back to stare intently at Toms neck, already getting a bit seasick. "What do you think Tom? Who's thought less of in this situation?" I asked trying to include
/him and distract me from the ever rocking lake. Are lakes even suppose have waves?

"Well, both of you I guess." he said not particularly interested.

"Oh come on Riddle! What are you a diplomat? That's an awfully easy answer" Orion laughed extending the light atmosphere.

"Not really. On one hand you were wrong which in the right context could make you look weak. On the other hand Davina boasted showing arrogance, which could make her someone you wouldn't want to work with due to the fact that narcissists tend to take
/more credits then is due to them." Tom corrected him turning sharply a proud smirk spreading across his face. Narcissist!?

It's so obvious; he knew absolutely nothing about the politics of our world. Part of me was refreshed this to hear a true opinion, but for the most part I was appalled by his nerve. I know, I sound like a priss but to be honest at this part of my life?
/I was. I was annoying, too sure of myself, spoiled, entitled, rude and extremely full of myself. But no one had ever dared to point it out before this young ignorant halfblood. So yeah, I was surprised! It didn't show it on my face, there were no
/wide eyed stares or hanging jaws but if you looked close, if you looked for the narrowing eyes you might have seen it by a fraction of a centimeter.

I imagine Orion had a similar look to mine because Riddle suddenly looked rather confused by our blank expressions. "I don't know. It's a pretty juvenile argument, isn't it?" he said his eyebrows drawing closer together.

"Um... Tom you realize it wasn't a serious argument, right?" I tried to keep my embarrassment for all of us off my face.

"Yeah, that's what I said" he shaking his head in the universal sigh of 'duh'.

"You've haven't been in many social situations, have you?" Orion smiled in a sort of apologetic tone, as we finally got to the school.

Careful not to step straight into the muck, I climb out of the evil boat already feeling considerably better being on land. I turn back only to see Orion picking up a wad of mud behind his back, as if he was being discreet about it.

"Put it down Orion. Tom is right, silly confrontation make us both look bad" I negotiated my hands raise to show my surrender, while Riddle chuckled behind him.

Orion looked at us both before bursting out laughing. "Oh, don't flatter yourself, Vina. This is for the ghosts I want to see if your brothers were lying about the whole 'soulless' thing"

Tom's eyebrows scrunch together in confusion as he asked, "How would mud help you with that?"

"Oh, if you can go straight thru something it has no soul... Or at least according to Octavius, who I'll admit, not the most reliable source." I rolled my eyes trying to catch up to our classmates, who somehow managed to pass us without me realizing.

"Well, he has told the truth before. Maybe it is a good test to check for souls." Orion said the mud still clenched in his fist.

"In my opinion those are the worst kind of liars, you never know when they decide to fib." I told them finally stepping into the school.

"Not to mention that's a really stupid lie... They're ghost of course you can go thru them" Tom said. Orion looked at him for a second before pushing ahead in the crowd muttering under his breath.

"Ignore him." I said rolling my eyes at his antics. "He can be rather dramatic at times"

"You don't say! You know I hardly even noticed" he joked, sarcasm leaking thru his tone, surprising me.

"Was that sarcastic! How very out of character, Mr. Riddle!" I mocked him playfully. "For someone who can barely follow a joke, you are starting to fit into our little group quite nicely."

His eyes widened a smirk etching into his features for the first time, "Your group? You didn't notice me recruiting you and Orion to be my friends."

I laughed at his comment, not knowing then that it would in fact be his group, and we would always be his pawns.

I posted this on a different account before but I lost my password so... Here is an edited (hopefully) better version of the first chapter!

-ItIsNeverReallyOver