Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, this is just for fun.
AN: this fic was inspired by another AMAZING one-shot fic by JadePresley called "Professor Riddle" which is posted over on AO3…if you haven't read it, you need to! Jade has given me her blessing to write this multi-chapter fic, though it is NOT in any way a continuation of that fic. This is a Magic AU – obviously, it's not canon. In this fic, there is no snake face Voldemort, though Tom Riddle is a Dark Wizard and is going by the name Voldemort in secret. Also, his main agenda is to reach the minds of younger wizards and witches to gain more followers, so that he can overthrow the ministry…Also, There is a lot of stuff I completely changed for the sake of this fic RE: Harry – I'll go into more detailed explanations about that when things come up in certain chapters, in an Author's note. In this fic, Tom is 28, and has just been given the job of Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, though instead of this happening in his "natural" time in 1955-ish, I changed it to 1997, Which is the start of Hermione's seventh year. Sorry for the EPIC AN, but I know some people won't read it, and assume I've never read the Harry Potter books, and take me to task for it…so I'm saying it up front: I purposely changed a lot of stuff for the purpose of my fic.
September 1, 1997 3:30pm
The rumors are true. Though, I will admit that I already knew that. After Umbridge (I refuse to call that horrid woman "Professor") had an unfortunate run-in with a horde of Centaurs, and Professor Snape was hence force shipped off to Azkaban for the murder of Headmaster Dumbledore, there was a vacancy in the DADA teaching post. Professor McGonagall, though I suppose I should get used to calling her Headmistress now, has assumed responsibility for the school; thankfully. There is a new Professor this year, though I haven't heard nary a whisper as to who it may be as of yet. I do hope, however, that we might actually learn something this year. Also, I have been made Head Girl, which is what I've been working toward for the last seven years…
Hermione slipped into her seat at the Gryffindor table alongside Ginny Weasley, and allowed her eyes to scan the head table for signs of the new Professor.
"I heard he's devilishly handsome." Ginny remarked, a faint blush tinting her cheeks.
Hermione rolled her eyes, as the thought stirred memories of Gilderoy Lockhart, whom the entirety of the female population of Hogwarts had once admired, herself included, before he turned out to be a complete fraud.
"Honestly, I don't care what he looks like, so long as he can bloody teach." Hermione said in exasperation.
The corner of Ginny's lips curved up into a smile, "Well, even if all he turns out to be is eye candy, we still have the D.A." Ginny whispered, flicking her eyes across the table to Harry, who was deep in conversation with her brother Ron.
Hermione bit her lip thoughtfully as she observed the red-head sitting next to her and her best friend across the table, and leaned in close to Ginny to whisper in her ear.
"Have you told him yet?" she asked.
Ginny's eyes widened fractionally, and she shook her head indicating that no, she most certainly hadn't told Harry Potter how she felt about him.
Hermione sighed and turned her attention to the podium where the Headmistress stood to begin the start of term announcements. She was loathe to admit that she allowed her mind to wander during the first part of her speech, as it was mostly the same every year and primarily for the benefit of the first years; though she could think of a few people who would do well to also heed the reminder, as her eyes fell on Harry and Ron.
"And finally, I would like to welcome a new member of the Hogwarts Staff, who has so graciously agreed to take up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts this year…"
The Headmistresses' words penetrated Hermione's errant thoughts, and her attention snapped back to the head table where her eyes fell on a tall, dark haired wizard.
She could already hear the hushed whispers of the other females at the table, and then felt Ginny's elbow nudge her side sharply. He was handsome, incredibly so, and young.
"I told you he was dreamy!" Ginny whispered as Hermione grimaced and rubbed the sore spot on her ribs where Ginny's elbow had connected.
"And I said, I'll reserve my opinion on the matter until I assess his teaching methods." Hermione snapped as she picked up the serving spoon and began to fill her plate.
"Kill joy." Ginny muttered under her breath and started to fill her own plate.
September 1, 1997, 10:00pm
The new DADA professor was introduced at the feast tonight – Professor Riddle. He wasn't at all what I had been expecting…To be honest, after some of the Professors we've had to endure, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but he's young. He must be incredibly intelligent to have been offered the position at his age; he can't be more than thirty. I am very much looking forward to finding out what his classes are like…
Hermione walked down the hall sandwiched between her two best friends, listening to them whine about how they were dreading their first defense class with the new Professor. Even though she heard them already making comparisons to Lockhart, she knew their ire was most likely due to jealousy. Every witch in the school it seemed was already talking about their new Defense Professor, herself not included, much to Ron's delight.
She slipped into her usual seat in the front of the classroom, and scowled when she noticed that the entire front row was now filled with eager eyed females who usually took every opportunity to skive off class. She shook her head and pulled some parchment, ink, and a quill from her satchel and waited patiently for the new Professor to arrive and begin the lesson.
When he slipped into the room from the back and made his way towards the front of the classroom to the chalkboard, the din of chatter stopped; all eyes were on him. He had chosen to forgo the standard black teaching robes, and instead wore a pair of tan khaki pants held up with a brown leather belt, and a white button down Oxford shirt. Hermione took in his casual appearance, wondering if he had done it on purpose; his sleeves were rolled to his elbows, and he was not wearing a tie.
He picked up a piece of chalk, and began to make a list; Werewolves, Vampires, Dementors, Acromantulas, and Trolls.
"Who can tell me what all of these creatures have in common?" he asked the sixth and seventh years, his eyes sweeping over the class.
Hermione watched a small frown form at the corner of his lips when he was met with blank stares.
"No one?" he asked, raising his eyebrows in surprise.
Hermione let out a small sigh and raised her hand.
His eyes flicked over to her, and seemed to brighten at her willingness to answer, "Yes, Miss…" he trailed off, picking up a sheet of parchment from his desk.
"Granger, sir." She supplied helpfully, "They can all be repelled, at least temporarily, by a Patronus charm."
A smile formed on his lips as he met her eyes, "Excellent. At least one of you completed your summer reading."
Hermione blushed in embarrassment as a few chuckles were heard around the room. It was no secret that she was a bookworm, of course she had done the required reading.
The rest of class passed surprisingly quickly, as it turned out that the new Professor gave very engaging lectures. It almost came as a surprise when she realized that she was the last one in the class room.
She was diligently packing up her belongings when he made his way around to the front of his desk, watching her closely.
"Miss Granger, you are the Head Girl this year, am I correct?" he asked leaning casually against his desk and studying her with his intense gaze.
"Yes, sir, that's correct." She answered, focused on packing up her books.
"Professor McGonagall tells me that with your marks, you're likely to have your pick of positions down at the Ministry after you graduate." he said conversationally.
Hermione blushed, not used to hearing such praise, especially coming from male Professors.
"Erm…I suppose so, I mean…I hope so, sir." She stammered uncomfortably, accidentally knocking a quill off of her desk and blushing deeper when she noticed his lips curving into a small smile.
He moved away from his desk and took a step towards hers, bending quickly to pick up the quill that had fallen.
"I was Head Boy myself, once upon a time, you know." He said, handing her the quill.
As she took it from his outstretched hand, his fingers, ever so slightly brushed over her knuckles as her hand closed around the quill, causing her stomach to flutter nervously.
She stared at his hand before he quickly dropped it, and turned back towards his desk to lean against it once more.
"Well, in any case, it's nice to know there are still students here who strive for academic achievement rather than just meeting the minimum requirements." He said giving her a small smile.
Hermione couldn't help the small smile of her own that graced her lips at his compliment, and she gave a small nod, "Thank you, sir." As she turned to leave, his smooth voice stopped her just as she reached the door.
"Oh, and Miss Granger? I may require your assistance in the evenings periodically, if it's not too much trouble; there's quite a bit of grading to be done for the first and second years, and I would be grateful for the help. If you're amenable to the idea, I can speak with Professor McGonagall to ensure that you receive proper credit for your time."
She felt her stomach give another nervous flutter, "Of course, Professor, I'd be happy to help." she answered before disappearing through the door.
September 2, 1997, 9:00pm
I am happy to report that the new DADA Professor is not another Gilderoy Lockhart. I will admit, that he is rather dashing, but what is more important, is his vast knowledge of the subject that he is teaching. The sixth and seventh year girls though, are dreadfully insufferable. Do they honestly think he doesn't notice their pitiful attempts to capture his attention in class, or their incessant giggling? Merlin, I practically needed a headache potion after just one class with him, I can't imagine how he deals with that all day long! I was honestly surprised when he asked for my help grading first and second year essays; on the one hand, it's a tremendous compliment that he finds me competent enough to grade the students fairly on his behalf, but also, none of the other teachers require such assistance; I suppose it could be due to his limited experience with teaching, he is quite young after all. He had also mentioned, that he had been Head Boy when he was a student at Hogwarts…I'll have to remember to look him up in Hogwarts: A History.
It wasn't until a week later that she had received his note at breakfast.
If you have no prior commitments this evening, I would very much welcome your assistance as discussed. Come to my office after dinner, and I'll explain what needs doing.
She felt the nervous flutter in her stomach again as she read the words on the parchment written in his neat penmanship. There was one detail of his note that didn't escape her notice; he had signed his letter 'Tom'. Not 'Professor Riddle', just 'Tom'. Her mind immediately went to every possible reason that this could be, and eventually, she decided that he must have done that out of habit; he was young himself, and maybe he still saw himself as one of their peers rather than an authority figure. It also would explain why he never wore the standard black teaching robes that all of the other Professor's wore. Yes, that had to be it.
"Oi, Hermione, who's that from?" Ron asked cutting through her thoughts.
She folded the note quickly, and put it in her satchel, "Oh, it's nothing, it's just about an extra credit project I'm working on." She said quickly, wondering why she felt the need to lie to her friends about the note, as if it were somehow inappropriate.
Ron snorted, "Extra Credit? What's the point of that if you already have perfect marks?"
Her eyes narrowed at him recalling Professor Riddle's words to her earlier in the week, "Just because you don't strive for academic achievement, Ronald, does not mean that I don't." she snapped before pulling her bag over her shoulder and sweeping out of the great hall.
"What's got into her?" Ron muttered blinking in confusion as he looked at Harry and Ginny.
That evening, she ate her dinner quickly, doing her best to avoid her friends' questioning stares. For some reason, she didn't want to explain to them that she would be receiving extra credit for helping Professor Riddle grade essays. She could feel Ginny's eyes on her when she finally spoke.
"So Mione, what is this extra credit project you're doing? You didn't say." Ginny asked curiously.
Hermione's fork stopped halfway to her mouth as she looked up and saw all three of her friends watching her expectantly, and she put her fork down on the edge of her plate.
"If you must know, I've been given a teaching assistantship of sorts." She said cryptically.
Ginny's eyebrows furrowed, "I didn't know they did that here…who are you assisting? Slughorn?"
"That's Professor Slughorn, and no, actually. I'm assisting Professor Riddle." Hermione mumbled, and then her eyes widened when Ginny ungracefully spat out her pumpkin juice.
"You're assisting Professor Riddle?" Ginny asked in surprise.
Hermione was beginning to get annoyed, and crossed her arms over her chest, "Yes, as a matter of fact, Tom thinks I'm quite capable-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa…Tom? Since when do you refer to Professor's by their first names?" Ginny snorted.
Hermione blushed, she hadn't intended to say that out loud, and did her best to back-peddle, "Well, as a teaching assistant, that makes him more of a colleague than a Professor, so in this case it's appropriate." Hermione said defensively trying to effectively end the conversation.
Harry chuckled at Hermione's obvious embarrassment knowingly, "Did he ask you to call him Tom?"
She glared across the table at her best friend, "Well, not expressly, no, but-"
"Well, would you look at the time? You better hurry up, Hermione, we wouldn't want you to keep Tom waiting…" Harry snickered.
Hermione growled and pushed herself away from the table. She knew they would tease her about working with Professor Riddle. She knew Harry would never let her live down her irrational crush on Lockhart from back in their second year, and this was his way of still tormenting her over it.
"Piss off!" she shouted as she strode away angrily, still hearing their laughter as the heavy doors closed behind her. When her eyes fell on the clock in the entrance hall, she gasped; he was expecting her in three minutes.
Hermione took off at a run, taking the stairs two at a time until she reached the third floor corridor where his office was located. She skidded to a stop at his door, just as he was stepping out, and she nearly collided with him. Strong arms caught her around the waist to steady her and all rational thought fled her brain. Her eyes flicked up to meet his dark gaze, and she stood there gaping at him like a fish.
"I'm sorry, I didn't see you." He said as he released his hold from her waist and took in her bedraggled state, "Are you quite alright?"
She flushed in embarrassment, she could only imagine the state of her hair, and she could feel the sweat glistening on her forehead from her marathon sprint across the castle.
"Oh…yes, of course. I didn't meant to keep you waiting, Professor." She said taking a step back from him and running her hand nervously through her hair in an attempt to smooth her riotous curls.
"It's Tom." He said, the corner of his lips curving into a smirk.
She looked at him questioningly, and he continued.
"If we're to be working closely together like this, I'd prefer it if you call me Tom. May I call you Hermione?"
She nodded dumbly, "Yes of course, Professor…Tom." She corrected wincing at her awkwardness.
He opened the door and she followed him inside, taking the opportunity to look around his office. It was cozy and warm. There was a large fireplace off to the left with two black wingback chairs in front of it, and a large mahogany desk situated on the right. He gestured for her to sit in one of the chairs by the fire, and moved over to his desk to pick up a stack of essays.
"Here. These are the first year essays I assigned on disarming opponents. Feel free to make any comments you think are appropriate, and we'll go over the first one together to make sure we are in agreement with the final grade. The rest I'll leave in your capable hands." He said giving her a small smile as she took the stack and nodded. She watched as he swept gracefully behind the desk, taking his seat to work on something else. She turned her eyes back to the essays in her hand and began to read. Before long, the only sounds that could be heard in his office aside from the scratching of their quills on parchment, was the crackling of the log in the fire place. After about 30 minutes, she finished the first three essays, and cleared her throat to get his attention. The thought of speaking his first name out directly to him, even if only in the privacy of his office seemed strange. When he didn't acknowledge her small cough, she internally berated herself for her lack of Gryffindor courage.
"Excuse me, Tom? I've finished the first one if you'd like to discuss it."
He looked up from his work sharply, and he set his quill down, standing from his chair and making his way to the other empty chair across from hers.
Once he was seated, she handed him the essay, and waited patiently. She watched as his eyes moved back and forth quickly across the parchment while he read, and occasionally, a small smirk would grace his face, though she couldn't be sure if he was smirking at her comments, or the content of the essay itself. Finally, he handed the essay back to her with a chuckle.
"I must say, Hermione, that you are a difficult woman to please."
Whatever she had been expecting him to say, it certainly wasn't that.
"I beg your pardon?" she asked in surprise
He snatched the essay back from her hand once again and held it up so he could read her comments out loud.
"Not only is Reducto a rather advanced spell for a first year, it far exceeds the force necessary to disarm an opponent, not to mention the potential damage that particular spell could inflict."
Hermione scowled at the look of amusement on his face and felt the need to defend her comment, "Well, it's true, isn't it? I mean really, the damage such a spell would inflict is hardly necessary. A simple Stupify, or Expelliarmus would be far more appropriate."
He chuckled at her defensive posture, "While I do tend to agree with your assessment, technically, a Reducto would still be effective in stopping an incoming threat, therefore not entirely the wrong answer, however over the top it may be."
She gaped at him.
"Professor-" she began before he corrected her.
She sighed, "Tom, I respectfully disagree. I don't think it's wise to give a first year Slytherin the idea that using a Reducto to disarm an opponent is justified." She said crossing her arms over her chest.
He raised an eyebrow, "Oh? Do enlighten me, Hermione, as to why you believe a Slytherin might abuse such information?"
Her stomach dropped when she recalled reading in Hogwarts: A History that he had been a Slytherin himself when he was a student. Had she offended him?
"I merely meant that this particular student happens to be a Slytherin, I didn't mean to imply anything about his character, moral or otherwise."
He smirked again, handing her back the essay, "Of course not, being Head Girl, I'm sure you're above all that petty house rivalry nonsense."
She blushed, and took the essay from his hand.
"In any case, I find your comments thorough, and appropriate. I would have given this student a 'T' for this assignment."
She released the breath she had been holding, "That was my assessment as well."
He nodded and stood from his seat and headed back over to his desk, "Very well, you may continue."
They worked in silence for the better part of three hours, when she finally set aside the stack of essays and her quill and stood to stretch. Her neck was stiff from sitting in the chair, but at least the fire had been warm. He looked over at her when he noticed her rubbing the back of her neck with her hand.
"It's not very comfortable, is it?" he asked brushing his thumb over his bottom lip thoughtfully.
She smiled apologetically, "Not especially, no."
He stood, "Well, we can't have that. Merlin knows Minerva would never let me hear the end of it if I allowed any harm to come to her star student."
Hermione scoffed, "It's fine Tom, nothing a pain relief potion can't fix."
"All the same, I think we'll meet somewhere more comfortable next time." He said as he gestured for her to turn around.
She nodded at his suggestion, and turned around obediently, but then almost jumped out of her skin when she felt his fingers run along the bare skin of her neck, his thumb kneading the tense muscles in small circles. Her mind was screaming at her that this was highly inappropriate, but before she could speak, she heard him chuckle behind her.
She knew she should stop him when she felt his warm breath ghost across the nape of her neck, but instead, she forced herself to relax as he continued to massage her neck with his hands. She reasoned that he must feel partially to blame for her discomfort, and was trying to help her; it's not as if he was kissing her. His hands continued to dance across her skin, and her eyes slipped shut as she felt all the tension leaving her body. To her utter humiliation, she actually moaned when his fingers found a stubborn knot in her shoulder, and he chuckled again, only this time it was different; it sounded dirty. Her stomach began fluttering nervously once again, and with every ounce of will power she had, she stepped away from him, and turned to give him a pleasant smile as she moved to the door of his office.
"Thank you, Professor, it's getting quite late, and I should be heading back to my quarters now." She said automatically.
Her breath hitched when he reached out a hand and held the door closed, his intense gaze locking with hers, "It's Tom."
She shook her head, smiling nervously at him, "Right, of course. Goodnight Tom."
She felt a wave of relief when he stepped back, pulling the door open for her, "Thank you for your help this evening, Hermione."