Thank you to my readers and reviewers!

Hi and welcome! Some important things about this fanfic:

This is an Out Of Character fic, meaning you will see the main characters doing things that seem strange for their personalities. I try to keep Tom in character to the best of my ability, but I have changed Hermione in order to make her and Tom a more reasonable pair. I am a Ron/Hermione shipper all the way, but was really interested in writing a love story with Tom Riddle. Hermione was the obvious choice for the leading lady. Tom was honestly a more fun character to write, though I try to keep Hermione's core strength throughout the fic.

The first eight chapters were written within the first week I had the idea for this fanfic. The next chapters up through Ch 20 (Slumbering Serpents) were written within the first year.

That means the last chapters starting with Ch 21 were written over five years and are, in my opinion, significantly better than the first 20. (so hint if you don't feel like reading through the whole thing ;) )

Apologies to Hermione.. I know you're shipped with everything with a pulse...

Disclaimer: Harry Potter & Co do not belong to me. They are JK Rowling's. Such is life.

Drink From My Cup

Chapter One: The End

It was over. Officially and indefinitely. Hermione felt as though a hundred years worth of worry had been lifted off her chest and she could breath again… she didn't have to feel guilty smiling, and her and Ron could finally have the peace they needed. Hermione and Ron… they stood side by side behind Harry in the Headmaster's office now, Dumbledore's portrait beaming at Harry and Harry worn and exhausted from going almost forty-eight hours with no sleep had defeated the Dark Lord finally and for good. Hermione's heart swelled with pride and gratitude for her best friend. Harry turned to the two of them and she took it as their signal that it was time for well-deserved rest. Hermione turned to Ron, her eyes shining. They would go and see Mrs. Weasley in the morning and let her know even though she had lost a son, she would be gaining another daughter-in-law very soon. And there Ron was, with his eyes more blue and more clear than she had ever seen them in their seven years of knowing each other, smiling down at her, loving every bit of her bushy hair, her bossy demeanor, her know-it-all attitude, and her mutual love for him. Hermione gave Harry a final nod before she extended her hand to Ron, to take his hand so they could walk together back to the dormitories, so they could begin their new life in a world that didn't contain Lord Voldemort. Ron reached out to take her smaller hand in his, their fingers almost touching when the most unimaginable thing happened. Hermione retracted her hand. Confusion and a hint of hurt flitted across Ron's blue eyes for a moment as he looked at her face, which looked the same as it had only moments before.

"Hermione?" It was Harry's voice, for it was Harry's experience in matters such as these that allowed him to know when something was wrong a split second before others would catch on.

Hermione's body began to shake violently. First Ron and then Harry grabbed her by the shoulders and arms, trying to calm her. Shouts of shock and worry came from the Headmaster's portraits along the wall.

"HERMIONE!" This time the voice was Ron's, filled with fear and alarm. Hermione's body was convulsing and Ron and Harry were unable to hold her. She fell to the ground screaming in pain. Hermione would have been sure the Cruciatus Curse had been inflicted upon her if she hadn't already known that the Cruciatus Curse felt like a thousand white-hot knives stabbing every inch of her skin. This felt quit the opposite. It was as though those very knives were trying to escape her body, as though they had been inside of her and were screaming for release. She felt as though her skin were being ripped open. Ron's shouts and Harry's yells at Dumbledore's portrait for help were growing fainter. Hermione couldn't hear anymore and was sure that the pain would make her go both deaf and blind. In the midst of all her agony and pain came the question of what could have possibly caused her this much torture, what suffering could still exist in the world now that the Dark Lord was gone?

And a tiny realization hit her as she writhed with pain, a memory…

It had only been hours before. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had returned to Hogwarts and Harry had sped off with Luna to find what may be the last Horcrux. Ron turned to her.

"You know, Hermione, we still won't be able to destroy it," he said quietly so the others wouldn't hear. "We need basilisk-" he froze in mid-sentence, his eyes widening. "We need basilisk poison which we have right here in this school!" he said a bit too loudly so that he drew suspicious glances from the old members of the DA. Hermione's eyes widened in mutual realization.

"Oh, Ron! That's brilliant! But…" she sighed, already seeing an obvious flaw in Ron's plan. "We can't get into the Chamber, Ron, we're not parselmouths."

Ron shook his head.

"I heard Harry open that locket. I can do it. At least I can try. It would save us loads of time. C'mon." He grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the Room of Requirement, ignoring shouts of question from it's other occupants.

"We'll be back in a moment. Tell Harry we just went to the restroom!" Hermione called back to them as Ron checked the corridor to make sure the coast was clear.

They had run down to the second floor bathroom, had opened the chamber, had walked down the high ceiling, ominous chamber, and had come across the basilisk.

"Blimey, I don't know how Harry faced this thing," Ron said wrinkling his nose in disgust at the stench of decaying snake. "I'll yank all it's teeth out. You stay here," he ordered, and Ron had made his way bravely over to the basilisk and busied himself with his wand and it's teeth.

Hermione, half exasperated and half touched by Ron's newfound chivalry, settled herself on the floor and pulled the cup of Hufflepuff out of her small bag. It was really a beautiful cup, and a shame they had to destroy such a historical piece of Hogwart's history. It really was selfish of Riddle to use these artifacts for his own gain. The cup seemed to reflect in Hermione's deep brown eyes as she examined it. And now they would never be able to see what great powers Helga Hufflepuff had placed on the cup. Hermione sighed.

"Be done in a moment!" Ron called. "This thing must have hundreds of teeth!"

"Be careful, don't touch any of the tips!" Hermione warned.

"You think I've made it all this way just to do something stupid?" Ron said yanking out a particularly long fang.

"Just hurry up!" Hermione snapped.

"Alright, Alright."

Hermione's attention returned to the cup. She jumped in surprise when her eyes rested on it a second time. It appeared to be filled with a clear liquid. Hermione opened her mouth to mention something to Ron, but closed it quickly. What was it? Was it water? But water was usually cool and this liquid seemed to make the cup hot… so hot in fact that Hermione's fingers were beginning to burn. But Hermione did not place the cup down. She saw her eyes in the liquid, darker than usual and with a fixed stare. Were they her eyes? Hermione brought the cup closer to her face to get a better look. Yes… they were her eyes… but not her eyes. The liquid smelled good. It smelled like water but with a hint of rosemary. Hermione closed her eyes, enjoying the scent. She sighed again, but this time not with frustration but with contentment. She brought the cup up to her lips and inhaled. Heat entered her mouth and sped down her throat. Instead of drinking hot water as she had expected, it was as though she were drinking steam. Hermione continued inhaling until all of the liquid in the cup had been emptied. She sat there in dreamy satisfaction, the cup in her hands on her lap.


Hermione jumped, her eyes flying open. Ron was standing in front of her with an armload of basilisk fangs, looking at her with a worried expression on his face.

A pang of horror shot through Hermione as she glanced down at the cup. Had she really? No… she would never… absolutely not… so…. She composed herself, taking deeps breaths to steady her mind and looked back up at Ron.

"Let's just destroy this thing, now. The sooner the better," she said hurriedly. Ron's worried look changed to one of amusement.

"Ok, I believe it's your turn to do the honors, but be careful. Something funny happened before Harry and I destroyed the locket. I don't know what this'll do," he said holding out a basilisk fang. Hermione grabbed it from him hastily and set the cup on the ground. It appeared less threatening now that it was about to be destroyed. Hermione tilted her head to the side. She hadn't… of course she hadn't… it was very un-Hermione-like to do something so illogically reckless. Hermione raised the fang. After this they would only have one Horcrux to go… She brought down her arm with all the strength she could muster and the fang pierced the cup, shattering it into a hundred worthless pieces… the cup made no resistance. Hermione threw the fang away from her and kicked the shards of the cup away. Ron looked impressed.

"Good go, Hermione," he said patting her on the back. Hermione flushed.

"Thanks," she said with a smile and shakily rose to her feet. Nothing had happened in defense of the cup… or at least she hoped nothing had.

They had made their way out of the chamber and back towards the impending fight.

And now as Hermione screamed out in anguish she realized the cup had made its defense and something had gone horribly wrong. She let out a final scream, shuddered, and fell still.

It was not over.