A/N: LORD VOLDEMORT HAVE MERCY. I haven't written a fan fic in years. I'm pretty sure I suck at it now. I've had two fairly sucessful Tomione stories that I'd like to finish, but can't even get back into my account. Somewhat wondering if some fans of the other stories will recognize me...well, I'm starting out again. So please, be gentle. I'm trying to get back into writing and honestly...I didn't know it can go away after a few years. I'd love to know what you think!

(Excuse any errors. I do not have a beta!)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Chapter One:

SMACK!

Ron stumbled across the grass, falling harshly on his ass as Hermione stood with her fist balled up, ready to strike him again as he clutched his nose.

"Hermione, lets just calm down-" Harry began, holding his hands out defensively as slight amusement crossed his features.

"Calm down?" Hermione laughed, feeling slightly deranged. "CALM DOWN?!"

"Look, we'll just figure out-"

"There's nothing to figure out, Harry!" Hermione cut in, waving her arms dramatically. "do you realize what he's done—the MAGNITUDE of this problem?"

"Well..." Harry scratched his head. "we can just go back—"

"WE CAN'T GO BACK!"

"Hermione, please!" Harry shouted, looking apologetic as Hermione panted in a panic. What were they going to do? Oh God, this was bad—Apocalyptic bad.

"What do we do?" Ron spoke up, earning a glare from Hermione, making him flinch.

"I think the more appropriate question is when are we?" she seethed, trying to breath slowly and calm herself down. "we're clearly on Hogwarts grounds...but if we go to Hogwarts and see people dressed like Marie Antoinette —I swear I'll go into cardiac arrest."

"What's cardiac-"

"Shut up, Ronald!" Hermione snapped, stomping her foot.

He flinched away, looking hurt and Hermione felt a pang of guilt through her panicked anger.

"Look, Ron," Hermione sighed, rubbing her temples. "I'm sorry, but I'm terrified. I'm panicking and I don't know what to do. I need you to understand the implications of what happened."

She frowned as he nodded slowly, looking down and muttering an apology.

She sighed, looking around the forest. They seemed to be near the outer edges as Hermione bit her lip in thought. Clearly, they couldn't stay there. Well, they could – it may even be better. But she knew, they would be seen there just like they would anywhere else. Eventually, they'd get caught. The only thing to do is to go to the castle and hope they can find Dumbledore before anyone else sees them.

She had to believe that they hadn't gone THAT far back. Surely they were within the past 100 years or so, though that thought brought her little comfort. Professor Dumbledore was either headmaster or the Transfiguration teacher. He had to be. They wouldn't make much headway at the Headmasters office. Even if Dumbledore WAS the Headmaster, they couldn't get in. The best idea was to go to the Transfiguration classroom. In which case, it would be Professor McGonagall and that wasn't the worst thing that could happen. Even if they did manage to get into the Headmasters office, she didn't want to have a run in with Headmaster Dippet—if they were that far back. But deep down, she knew they were years back. How it had felt...no, it wasn't a small amount of time.

She gripped her wand, looking down at her jeans, running shoes and pink tee shirt. Ron and Harry dressed very similarly. She groaned, knowing there was nothing to do about it. She didn't know what decade they were in and could possibly just end up making them look even more out of place. No—the best option in sight was not to be seen.

Who was she kidding? There was no best option. Every option was bad. Bad, bad, bad. She barely stopped herself from glaring at Ron before she began to speak.

"Okay, there's not much we can do, except try to find Professor Dumbledore." Hermione sighed dejectedly, crossing her arms.

Harry's expression looked pained and she reached out, grabbing his arm with a smile. A mixture of happiness, worry and sadness was mixed on Harry's face. She understood, because she felt the same way. They could see their Headmaster again...

"What—" Ron cleared his throat, looking slightly nervous still. "what if he—you know...hasn't been born yet?"

Hermione shook her head.

"As you would say, we'll be royally….fucked."

((O))

"We're teenagers, we shouldn't sound like stampeding hippogriffs!" Hermione hissed as they shuffled awkwardly down the Hogwarts corridors.

The panicked looks made them stick out even more thank their probably odd clothing. Unless, of course, they were in the near – past. Yet, Hermione highly doubted that. How could they possibly be that lucky? Considering what happened, she supposed it wasn't entirely impossible they weren't in Marie Antoinette's time – she'd literally only been half joking.

She somewhat felt like they might as well dress up like chickens are start clucking.

"Shhh, we're almost there!" Hermione exclaimed, seeing the Transfiguration classroom in sight. By some higher power, they hadn't run into anyone on the way there and Hermione instantly pegged that everyone was in Hogsmeade or something. Finally, some luck was on their side.

"Okay, on the count of three, we run across the hallway and into the classroom."

"What if someone's in there?" Ron asked.

Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Ron, use your eyes!" 'Or your brain' she added in her mind. "its almost dark, classes aren't this late!"

"Oh, right." he grumbled.

"Okay, one..." they all stepped forward, glancing behind them. "Two..." they approached the corner, gently peeking around it and Hermione let out a breath of relief when she saw no one.

"Three!" they awkwardly shuffled across the corridor, making more of a scene than Hermione would have preferred.

They flung open the door and closed it as quietly as possible, but of course, it made a loud banging noise. Hermione tensed, then let out a huge sigh of relief.

"Hermione, we'll let you do most of the talking." Harry nodded at her. "is that okay?"

"Yeah, sure..." Hermione sighed as they walked up to the office, knocking on the door and hoping to Merlin, Professor Dumbledore opened it.

It creaked open, making Hermione hold her breath in worry.

The very first thing her eyes met periwinkle robes.

Yeah, that was Dumbledore alright.

He auburn eyebrows rose in surprise, his blue, calculating eyes flicking over each teenager in confusion. Her heart lurched, seeing their beloved headmaster alive and well was an emotional experience. She glanced over at Ron and Harry. Ron looked somewhat tearful, while Harry looked as though he wanted to hug the man.

"Professor Dumbledore." Hermione squeaked, her voice breaking with emotion and taking in his youthful appearance. Granted, he still wasn't young, but he was MUCH younger than he had been in her time period.

Fuck.

"Yes, may I help you three?" he asked warily, looking momentarily confused.

"Professor Dumbledore," Hermione brought her hand up politely, clearing her throat. "we find ourselves, well, in a bit of a predicament. To be completely frank with you, we don't trust anyone, but you Sir."

He raised his eyebrows in alarm, but looked more curious now than suspicious. He stared into Hermione's eyes and she gasped when she felt a gentle nudge in her mind. She frowned, pulling forth only good intentions and he withdrew quickly.

"Forgive me, Miss…?" Dumbledore trailed off.

"Granger." Hermione nodded.

"Miss Granger," he nodded. "but I had to be sure you meant me no harm. One can never be too careful nowadays. With Grindelwald - I'm sure you understand, but I still sincerely apologize."

Hermione's face paled as Ron and Harry shot her panicked looks.

"Grindelwald..." she trailed off quietly, taking a deep breath as she closed her eyes.

Double fuck.

((O))

Dumbledore watched the three over the desk, his fingers laced together in deep thought and the three remained quiet.

The only noise was Hermione's munching on lemon pastries. Great, now she was stress eating.

Thanks Ronald! She thought bitterly, shoving another pastry in her mouth, wishing it was chocolate. Ron was looking over at her, looking as though he was debating asking her for some of her pastries after he'd already eaten all his.

He didn't dare. Not from the bitchy look on the curly haired girls face.

Harry was looking at Dumbledore with an intense, sad expression. This definitely didn't escape his notice, as the older man kept glancing at him over his half-moon spectacles.

"So, you are from the year….1998?" he trailed off slowly, frowning.

"Yes, sir..." Hermione nodded, swallowing her last pastry.

"In the future, they just allow students to use time turners, do they?" he asked gravely, frowning in disapproval.

"Yes, sir..." she repeated uncomfortably. "you see, I wanted to take extra classes. Ronald got angry and broke it, then we ended up here."

"I didn't mean to!" Ron interjected. "I didn't know that when I slammed it on the ground, it would make this vortex-like thing!"

Dumbledore frowned, looking at them intensely as his intelligent blue eyes

"That doesn't make sense," Dumbledore said, leaning back. Though, it seemed to just be an observation. Clearly, he didn't think they were lying. "you know that I cannot send you back?"

"WHAT?"

"What do you mean?!"

"Yes, sir. I am aware."

All three answers were different, causing Harry and Ron's head to whip over to her.

Dumbledore looked at her grave face appreciatively. He could tell that she was the only one of the three that fully understood the implications of their actions.

"All I can do, is try to figure out what exactly happened," he said quietly, unlacing his fingers. "perhaps the answer lies there. I cannot promise much else."

"Not to sound incredibly selfish Professor," Hermione began, looking off to Ron and Harry. "but what do we do?"

Dumbledore thought for moments.

"I can enroll you in school."

Hermione looked taken aback.

"But sir, the timeline..." she said quietly.

"Has already been disrupted," Dumbledore said gravely. "that cannot be changed. Perhaps the three of you are supposed to be here. I wouldn't presume to know…" he trailed off thoughtfully. "we hide you, we don't hide you - either could be the incorrect move, you'd drive yourself crazy trying to find the right thing to do in this situation. So, I chose the option that won't drive you three into insanity."

Hermione swallowed thickly, nodding solemnly.

"Miss Granger, you can keep your name," Dumbledore cleared his throat. "you are muggleborn, yes?"

"Yes, sir..." Hermione nodded as he did.

"Obviously, Potter and Weasley are prominent Pureblood names," Dumbledore trailed off. "you will need different names."

"Evans." Harry said quickly, making Dumbledore nod as he scribbled his name down.

"Er..." Ron trailed off, looking lost. Chances were, he only knew mostly pureblood names.

"Wesley?" Hermione suggested.

Ron looked over at her, nodding slowly.

"Wesley would be alright, I suppose."

"I would say you were transfers from Durmstrang," Dumbledore said ruefully. "but as you know, Durmstrang does not accept muggleborns."

"I know French," Hermione suggested. "I could say I'm from Beaubaxtons."

"Too much room for error," Dumbledore shook his head. "someone could easily check to see if that were true. We have many dealing with Beaubaxtons – the headmistress visits Hogwarts from time to time."

Hermione frowned.

"America...is the only option," he said quietly, pulling out his wand and pointing it at them.

"Sir?" Hermione asked, her eyes wide.

He waved his wand, making her skin slightly more tan, as she looked down, seeing her hair had lightened several shades. Her clothes transfigured into plain Hogwarts robes. She reached down fingering the slightly lighter hair, looking like she had spent a decent amount of time in a sunny climate. Her skin was already very little tanned, but it was slightly more pronounced now. It wasn't really much of a change, it was subtle enough.

He waved it again, and Hermione saw no change.

"Sir? What did you do?" Hermione gasped, slapping her hands over her mouth. She had an...an American accent, sounding like she was from California or something.

He waved his wand over the two boys, tanning their skin slightly as well as giving them plain Hogwarts robes.

"What in the world?" Ron started, gasping in shock as a thick, southern American accent flowed out.

Hermione wanted to bust out laughing in his face at his alarmed expression. Perhaps his punishment was to be the one with that accent.

"Uh..." Harry started. "its not that bad, mate."

Harry raised his eyebrows, having a distinct New Yorker accent.

"Hermione, you're from California," Dumbledore nodded. "Harry, you're from New York and Ronald, you're from Georgia."

Ron frowned, looking put out but didn't comment.

"You're from the Salem institute of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

Hermione nodded, frowning.

"But sir, why are we here?"

"War."

"Right..." Hermione trailed off, feeling uncomfortable with her California accent, that honestly sounded too sweet-like. She sounded like her parents owned a mansion in L.A.

Ugh...she internally groaned, but what thankful she didn't have a thick southern accent like Ron. The thought put a smirk on her face.

"I'll take you to Headmaster Dippet," Dumbledore said, standing. "after an explanation and sorting, but first, I need to go over customs of 1944."

Hermione felt like passing out every time he said the year.

1944.

"We were all Gryffindor." Harry spoke suddenly, looking tense.

Of course, Harry didn't want to be sorted again. He barely escaped being in Slytherin the first time.

Dumbledore smiled warmly.

"I see. However, for appearance sake, I'm afraid it must be done again."

They all nodded, listening to Dumbledore as he went over many things they already knew, but he didn't know what the future was like...so they all listened respectively.

((O))

"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat shouted from Ron's head, Harry and Hermione showing no surprise as he lumbered off the stool.

"Mister Evans." Dippet gestured impatiently as Harry warily approached the sorting hat.

He lowered it on his head, and Harry instantly frowned, an intense look on his face. Hermione knew he was arguing with the hat.

"SLYTHERIN!"

Hermione bit her lip, looking down. Perhaps she should ask the hat to put her in Slytherin, so Harry wouldn't be alone? She doubted that would work, as she was a muggleborn...she could try.

Harry dejectedly walked away from the stool, Ron and Hermione giving him a pitying glace.

Hermione approached the stool, sitting down slowly.

Slytherin? A muggleborn? The hat instantly started cackling, making Hermione scowl.

Yes, my friend needs me. I can't abandon him! Hermione thought desperately without much hope.

He belongs in Slytherin, you do not.

Look here! Hermione thought aggressively, I've made my decision! So, you just bloody well put me-

I admire your spunk, the hat snickered. I'm sorry, but you don't belong there. The best I can do is…

"RAVENCLAW!"

Hermione pursed her lips. Harry didn't look surprised, but Ron was looking in between the two of them, appearing panicked. They were all three in separate houses.

She saw the hats logic, if she wanted to stay close to Harry, she was much more well suited in Ravenclaw than Gryffindor. Gryffindor and Slytherin hated each other too much. It would be much more difficult to stay close to Harry. Assuming not much had changed, nine times out of ten, Ravenclaw had classes with Slytherin.

"Excellent," Dippet commented, clapping his hands together. "I've sent for the Head Boy and girl. You're in luck, the Head Boy is Slytherin and the Head Girl is Ravenclaw."

"I can show Mister Wesley to Gryffindor," Dumbledore commented. "I am on my way there anyway."

"Of course," Dippet waved him off, looking distracted as Dumbledore led Ron out of the office, leaving Hermione and Harry to stand and stare at each other in plain Hogwarts robes.

"Mister Riddle and Miss Wiley are wonderful students-"

Hermione heard nothing further, as Hermione and Harry went rigid on the spot. Of course, how could she be so STUPID?!

Tom Riddle went to school in the forties!

She was panicking and from the look on Harry's face, he looked like he was about to have an aneurysm. She reached and grabbed his hand to find it was shaking. He looked at her as she tried to convey with her eyes that it would be okay.

She couldn't believe she didn't even think of that fact, but how could she? She was so shocked about being in the past, her mind hadn't had room to register the fact that Voldie Jr. could possibly still be here. Not only that, Harry had to be around him every day.

Unless...she thought, looking off to the side at Harry. What if...what if they killed him now?

Harry side glanced her, as though he knew what she was thinking. She raised her eyebrow in question, making Harry swallow thoughtfully.

"We'll talk about it later," he said in a low voice so Dippet wouldn't hear.

Hermione bit her lip, squeezing Harry's hand as they stared at the door, trying not to look petrified.

"We need to act natural, not like we've just seen a Dementor!" Hermione mumbled quietly, glancing back towards Dippet, seeing him shuffling papers and not paying attention to them.

A knock sounded at the door, and Hermione and Harry jumped like someone had crucioed them.

"Jumpy from the war, eh?" Dippet asked, noticing their defensive postures.

"Er – yeah," Harry muttered lamely. His back tense, his green eyes darting from Hermione to the door.

"Come in."

Just breathe...Hermione chanted, staring at the opening door with a tense expression she couldn't seem to wipe off her face.

Harry just looked angry at this point, making Hermione nudge him.

Hermione's jaw dropped. She had heard that Tom Riddle was handsome, but fuck was that an understatement. Her eyes widened as his extremely tall form gracefully crossed the threshold, his dark eyes instantly landing and narrowing on the pair. He had wavy, jet black hair that fell across his forehead, right above his sinfully aristocratic face. A sharp jaw, chiseled features, high cheekbones that looked slightly hollowed and those long dark lashes that made most women angry.

He looked like some kind of fuckin' dark Adonis. Hermione wanted to to die as he approached them confidently, a mousy looking, small girl following behind him.

"These are the new students from America," Dippet said, walking up. "Harry Evans from New York and Hermione Granger from..." he trailed off, already forgetting.

"California, sir." Hermione said, cringing at her new voice.

"California, right!" Dippet smiled. "This is Head boy, Tom Riddle and Head Girl, Jennifer Wiley."

Tom Riddle's dark eyes flashed as he looked at them, raising an elegant eyebrow in Harry's direction. Hermione glanced at Harry and his face was expressionless, but his eyes burned with such hate, that it even shocked Hermione.

"Tom Riddle." he spoke suddenly, a shiver going down Hermione's spine at the smooth, deep voice.

He held out a pale, long fingered hand towards Harry—who stared at it, looking repulsed. Hermione actually thought he was going to refuse, but he placed his hand in his, looking pained as he did so.

Riddle cast him a questioning glance, but did not comment as his eyes trailed to her.

Hermione wished the earth would swallow her as she looked into his sinfully angelic face.

He reached the same hand out, making Hermione swallow and stretch out a newly tan, small hand towards him. She jumped as he quickly grabbed her hand, before letting it go as though she'd burned him...though he had done the same thing with Harry.

Probably assumes we're both muggleborn and doesn't want to touch us...fine with me, she huffed internally.

"The pleasure is all mine, Miss Granger." he said silkily, making Hermione's eyes widen even further, a deep red settling on her face.

He was—he was trying to charm her because she was a woman…Irritation flooded through her system, narrowing her eyes.

"Pleasure." she said in the same tone she'd used when she first met Ron—sarcasm and disgust.

The young Dark Lord looked extremely taken aback by her reaction. It seemed he'd forgotten all about Harry scowling at him.

He was quiet for moments, his sharp jaw twitching slightly.

"This is Jennifer Wiley, Head girl." he gestured to the mousy girl behind him. She looked at Riddle, turning red, then looked at Harry and turned even redder.

Poor girl. Hermione thought, smiling at her.

"Its nice to meet you," Hermione said kindly, holding her hand out to the girl.

The small girl looked grateful at Hermione, gently shaking her hand for moments.

Tom Riddle had a slight glare in his intense eyes, before schooling it into an expressionless face.

"Miss Granger is in Ravenclaw and Mister Evans is in Slytherin," Dippet said, gesturing to them. "show them to their dorms, would you? I'm sure you'll have no issues showing them to their classes?"

"Of course, sir," Riddle said, locking his hands behind his back. "I would be glad to help."

Hermione wanted to smack him as she saw the pride in Dippets face.

"Right! Off you go," Dippet shooed, "good luck to you both!"

"Thank you, sir," Hermione and Harry said in unison, following Riddle and Wiley out of the Headmasters office.

They followed the Head students, but Wiley fell back in line with Hermione, smiling hopefully at her.

"I wanted to ask, how is California?" she asked hesitantly. "I bet it was really nice living there..."

She blanched slightly before answering.

"Oh yeah...really….sunny," she said. "and hot." she added lamely.

"I love your accent, its really nice." the girl complimented, giving her a smile and making Hermione grin back at her.

"Thanks. You should hear our other friend, Ron," Hermione chuckled, shaking her head. "he has a southern American accent."

"Like a cowboy?" the girl asked, looking alarmed.

She let out a bark of laughter, looking at Riddle's rigid posture. If he was eavesdropping, he didn't show it. But, she knew he had to be listening – how could he not?

"Exactly. It's ridiculous...to be honest," she smiled. "I'll introduce you tomorrow."

"Do you have your schedules yet?" the girl asked, looking hopeful.

"No, we have to do testing tomorrow." Hermione smiled, glancing over at Harry, seeing him glare at Riddle's back.

She frowned, looping her arm through Harry's and smiling at him. His eyes snapped to her, the green orbs softening slightly as they landed on her. Her eyes went to Riddle, and she noticed he was oddly silent. In the office, he'd seemed charming and talkative in front of the headmaster. But, now that they were alone, he turned mute and kept his distance.

He stopped, turning to look at the pair as his eyes flicked to their interlocked arms for moments before speaking.

"We must part ways here," he said smoothly, his face completely having lost the friendly expression he'd displayed earlier. "the Slytherin common room is located in the dungeons."

Harry nodded, looking at her reluctantly as she smiled encouragingly at him, letting go of his arm.

He shocked her when he wrapped her in a quick embrace, letting go without looking at her and wordlessly following Riddle, his ram-rod back clearly tense. Looking after them, it was astonishing how much taller Riddle was. He had a good five inches on Harry and Harry wasn't short.

She kept wondering if she should be worried. Logically, she knew she shouldn't. Riddle had no clue who Harry was. If anything, he looked mostly disinterested. She doubted he'd even bother with Harry. After all, the Dark Lord hated people. He only had use for them if he felt he could use them. She shouldn't be worried - yet she looked after them, feeling sick in her stomach.

"What did you think of Tom Riddle?" Wiley asked, the second the boys turned the corner.

She felt sick, her stomach flipping. She couldn't exactly say what she was really thinking.

Psychopathic future evil Dark Lord...but handsome.

"He's...nice." Hermione forced out, wanting to gag on the words.

"He's never had a girlfriend – can you imagine that?" she told her. "and its not like no ones wanted him. The prettiest girls have tried and he just ignores them or declines politely."

"Imagine that..." she trailed off, feeling uncomfortable as they walked up the spiral staircase to the Ravenclaw dorms.

"Maybe you'll have some luck," Wiley shrugged. "you know, if you were thinking about it. I know how handsome he is...but I'm not sure I'd waste my time."

Hermione blanched, giving her a flabbergasted look. Her? Want him? She hadn't checked the news, but she was pretty sure hell hadn't frozen over today.

"That's quite alright," she answered, pressing her lips in a thin line. "I'm not interested."

Now Wiley looked taken-aback.

"How could you not want him? He's so – so..."

Psycho.

"Ohhh," Wiley looked as though she understood perfectly. "Evans is your boyfriend, right? That's why you can't say that Riddle's-"

"Oh, no!" Hermione laughed, turning red and putting her hand on her heart. "he's just my best friend."

Wiley was looking at her suspiciously, clicking her tongue.

"Riggghhtt….well, this is the entrance," she waved to a great oak door with a bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle. "it will always ask you a riddle. You must answer correctly to get in. I'll let you try."

She hit the knocker.

"The man who invented it doesn't want it. The man who bought it doesn't need it. The man who needs it doesn't know it. What is it?"

She stared at the handle, thinking. It was a little more clever than she had originally thought.

"A coffin..." she answered lowly, watching the door click open.

Wasn't that a little morbid? She thought with a frown as Wiley smiled and led her inside. She looked around, seeing that the room was very much like the Gryffindor common room, except the room was covered in blue and bronze. She zoned out as Wiley explained the dorms to her, already figuring as much – though she'd never been in the Ravenclaw common room.

She followed her up the stairs, finding the dorms essentially the same.

One girl turned to look at them. Hermione raised her eyebrows. It was just the three of them? Not even - Wiley had her own room, being head girl.

"This is your dorm mate. Beatrice Hudson." Wiley introduced the girl with long black hair and glasses, who smiled at her. "This is Hermione Granger."

"I'm so relieved you're here!" she exclaimed, making Hermione jump. "I've had to room alone for six years!"

"Really?" Hermione asked, looking around. "there's no one else?"

"Not many girls get sorted into Ravenclaw," Wiley smiled ruefully. "but, its nice to have your own space to study."

Now, Hermione liked the sound of that.

"Your beds over there!" Hudson pointed, smiling happily and making Hermione slightly uncomfortable.

She walked up to her bed, seeing Ravenclaw colors on her new robes. The skirts were slightly longer than in her time and instead of flat shoes, there were heeled black Oxfords and slingbacks. Shoes popular in the 40's.

"Its time for dinner!" Hudson exclaimed.

Hermione could sense that her over excitement would be waning on her nerves. Yet, she supposed it would be better than having a bitchy roommate – like what she would have gotten in Slytherin.

"Let me change first." she smiled, picking up her robes.

"Right, we'll wait for you downstairs – I love your accent!" she added as they went out the door, making her smile and shake her head.

Hermione quickly changed, eager to check on Harry. She sped down the stairs, patting her hair down and she followed the chatty girls to the great hall.

Never did she ever think she'd miss Harry and Ron's quidditch talk.

They arrived in the great hall and she instantly started scanning the Slytherin table, her eyes immediately falling on Tom Riddle.

As if he sensed it, his eyes shot up, looking directly at her. His face remained completely expressionless, his dark eyes boring into her. She gave him a startled expression – noting that he was sitting completely alone – and looked away, turning red. It wasn't because he was handsome, but more of the fact that he would think she was staring at him because she fancied him or something.

The thought made her sick.

Her eyes continued to scan the table, finally falling on Harry. She smiled in relief, seeing him sitting with a somewhat burly boy and talking lightly. He looked somewhat uncomfortable, but not as completely as he had before.

Her eyes scanned the hall, falling on Ron at the Gryffindor table. Her jaw dropped, before snapping shut.

He was surrounded by girls. They were all looking at him with an interested expression, hanging onto his every word. It looked like Dumbledore had done him a favor. She shook her head, sitting next to the two girls, facing the Slytherin table.

She dug into the food and started loading her plate as students around them gave her curious glances and kept staring at her oddly.

"You know, I take what I said earlier back." Wiley whispered.

"What's that?" Hermione asked disinterestedly, spooning some potatoes in her mouth.

"About not having a chance with Riddle."

Hermione instantly started choking, coughing and punching her chest, making the potatoes go down as her eyes watered.

"I told you, I don't want him-"

"He's staring at you." Wiley whispered excitedly.

Merlin, don't even look. But she couldn't help it when her eyes snapped over to the Slytherin table, seeing Tom Riddle sitting at the end, alone – and he was indeed staring at her expressionlessly.

She pursed her lips, making herself look away. She was just something new to look at. Probably not the same reason a few other boys were looking at her – but still, it didn't mean anything.

"So?" she commented dryly, shifting in her seat as she drank from her goblet. "I'm new – that's all."

"No, he never does that." Wiley whispered, shaking her head. "we had a transfer from France last year and my God, she was gorgeous – not that you're ugly!" she said quickly, making Hermione roll her eyes. "-but yeah, she might as well have been a part of the wall. She even tried to get with him, he rejected her."

"Fascinating," she commented bitterly, glancing up to see his dark eyes still on her, making her frown and look back down. "as I said before, I have zero interest-"

"Oh, come on," Wiley cut in. "he's still looking at you. You should-"

"He's not my type." she interjected quickly.

"How can tall, dark and handsome not be your type?" Wiley frowned, looking at her disapprovingly. "he's so gorgeous...kind and helpful. Of course, there's rumors of him not being very nice-"

"You don't say." Hermione wanted to snort. Of course there was. He was the closest thing a human could be to being the devil himself.

"Yeah, but its codswallop in my opinion," she said, waving her hand off. "nothing you need to concern yourself with. People are just jealous of Riddle because he's so brilliant and handsome."

"Right." Hermione muttered, rolling her eyes dramatically when the girl wasn't looking, forgetting momentarily that Riddle was still looking at her.

She took a glance, her heart jumping when he was still staring. Why the hell was he looking at her like that? A terrifying thought ran through her mind: could he hear them? Surely not—no, that was stupid. He wasn't some kind of super human, despite what he may believe.

She looked away with a worried expression, cutting her food up slowly and forcing herself not to look back over at the Slytherin table. Even though she felt his powerful gaze linger for a while.

As they were walking back to their dorms, she heard Ron call out to her.

"Hey, Hermione!"

She paused, watching the Ravenclaw girls go red as Ron ran up to them.

"How do you like your house?" he asked in a thick, southern accent that made Hermione smirk.

"It's great," she said quickly. "this is Jennifer Wiley, head girl. And this is Beatrice Hudson, my dorm mate."

Ron nodded to them both.

"Pleased to meet you ladies."

Hermione wanted to slap him upside his head. It seemed he embraced the accent completely—even egging it on!

The girls muttered their hello's and Hermione couldn't help but to find it humorous how their personalities changed in the presence of boys.

Her eyes snapped towards the door, seeing Tom Riddle emerge. He didn't look at her this time, but walked right by as though she didn't even exist. He left girls giggling after him and whispering to each other. He seemed not to notice as he walked quickly and regally.

Ron doesn't even know...Hermione thought. Her and Harry needed to tell him as soon as possible. At the moment, Ron was the lucky one.

"Well, I'm gonna try to catch Harry," Ron smiled. "I'll see you tomorrow, yeah?"

"Yeah sure." Hermione smirked, shaking her head as she started walking with the chatty girls again.

When she'd finally made it to the dorm and crawled into the bed, she was sure she'd never been more exhausted in her entire life.