Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize from the Harry Potter series.
It had been two weeks since Hermione had joined Tom's forces, but nothing truly extraordinary had happened yet. She had attended classes with Tom, hung out with the Slytherins when not in class, and had managed to lengthen her skirts in the past fourteen days.
At the moment she was in the quidditch stands, watching the tryouts along with Lucretia and Walburga Black. Lucretia was lazily doing her nails while Walburga, who had already grown bored with the tryouts, was playing with Hermione's hair, twisting it and tying it up, then completely undoing it. It was slightly annoying, but Hermione wasn't going to stop Walburga; the two Black sisters had power in the Slytherin house, power that Hermione could use to her advantage.
Riddle had remained affectionate towards her the entire time, and the school had noticed. To him, she was his dark queen, and now the rest of the school had acknowledged her as that as well. Hufflepuffs were scared of her, Gryffindors spent all day glaring at her, and Ravenclaws looked down on her, like she was Riddle's slave. The Slytherins worshipped her, and the Black sisters were like her ladies in waiting. Hermione had never been this popular before, and she hoped that it would last.
The tryouts were going well, and Harry was working his hardest. Tom looked pleased with each catch, and Harry seemed to have no competition. Once seeker tryouts were over, Hermione spent her time watching Tom move on his broomstick as the team's keeper. He was beautiful, skilled and graceful, never letting a single shot in. She wanted to say that she came to the tryouts to make sure Harry got the spot, but truly it was the back of her mind telling her to stay with Tom.
Everything in her mind was fighting against itself when it came to Tom Riddle. She wanted to like him, but then she remembered what would happen forty years from now. He was terrifying yet completely wonderful at the same time.
"Cecelia," Riddle called out as he flew over to her. "I would like you to join me for a walk."
The other two girls left her alone for Riddle to devour and started walking towards the castle while Riddle jumped off his broomstick and wrapped his arm around her waist. In the past two weeks he had not tried to kiss her again, but he had steadily gotten closer to her throughout the weeks until it was almost like their bodies were melding together whenever they were together. It was nerve wracking, but he had this comforting effect on her that made her want to stay close to him.
Hermione and Tom walked towards the Forbidden Forest and walked along the edge until they were completely out of sight of the school. If he wanted to, he could kill her now without anyone noticing.
Riddle turned her around to face him.
"I want to know that you are completely loyal to me," he said to her with a darkened expression. '
Hermione stared at him with confusion.
"I have been nothing but loyal to you. Why would you suspect anything else?"
Riddle paced around her for a moment, contemplating. Then he stared down into her eyes for what felt like eternity. He was trying to read her eyes, and Hermione tried to fill her emotions with courage and passion so her eyes would portray the same. Finally Tom gave up and sat on the grass outside the forest, and Hermione quietly followed his pursuit.
"I have said this before, Miss Bagshawe, you are different, but there is something you are hiding from me. My followers must never keep secrets from me, especially you. I will confess that I enjoy your company and that you fascinate me more than anyone else, but if I cannot trust you completely, then I cannot allow you to stay by my side."
Riddle stood up and Hermione began to stand, but he pushed her back down, gaining the assertive position while she lay helpless from the ground. She felt her ankle twist underneath her, but she made sure not to show pain or weakness. He was judging her every movement and emotion.
"Tell me what you are hiding from me. From your records, you have lived an uneventful life. Proper parents, a good education, but before you came to school, both of your parents died. You show no pain or sorrow. In fact, you seem to be rather happy. Then, of course, you have never done well in your studies, but miraculously, you are a perfect student here. Then, of course, you seem to have close relations with that halfblood in Hufflepuff. I dislike being lied to, Cecelia, so you better tell me what is going on."
Hermione stared at him, open mouthed. She could not find an explanation that would make him understand without giving everything away, unless, she could make up something even more drastic. Some secret that would explain everything yet reveal nothing of her true plan. Then something sparked in her mind, something that Tom Riddle would completely understand.
"I killed my parents."
Tom looked up and smiled at her. It wasn't warm, but it was an improvement from his anger and jealousy.
"They were restricting my powers, and…and I couldn't stand them anymore."
"No need to explain, my dear Cecelia," Tom said as he sat down next to her. "I understand your thoughts about your parents. Sometimes, they just need to die."
Tom started kissing her again before she could stop him. At that moment, kissing him back seemed to be the best thing to do. To him, they had just gone through an important part of making a relationship. In his mind, she had told her darkest secret to him, and their bond was closer than ever. She couldn't refuse his affection without giving herself away.
"Lord Voldemort," Blaine Frey said from another side of a tree, interrupting them.
"Frey, can't you see that I am busy?"Tom said without looking up.
"There is a problem in the Slytherin house. Things are exploding at random in the common room, and the mudblood can't seem to stop it."
Tom got up and wiped off his shirt of leaves.
"Why the hell is she a prefect if she cannot control situations like this?" Then Tom looked at Hermione, with an inspired expression. "Stay here Cecelia. I will be back shortly."
Frey followed Tom out of sight while Hermione finally winced from the pain in her ankle. It seemed to be only sprained, so she pulled out her wand and put a light spell on it so that she would not feel the pain until she got up to the hospital wing, but for now she was going to wait for Tom.
His expression had scared her, and she did not want to know what he was going to do. Everything was so complicated at the moment. Hermione closed her eyes and tried to block everything out from her imagination and take a rest.
In what seemed like only a second later Tom was shaking her to wake her up. His expression was grim, but his eyes were alive like she had never seen before.
"Remember the explosions?" he said solemnly.
"What about them?" Hermione answered, afraid to know what had happened.
"They were caused by a mispronunciation in a spell made by a first year. Instead of warding off bug bites, it ended up causing random explosions."
"The expondrum curse," Hermione said to herself.
"Yes, I am surprised that you know about it. The curse is very dark magic, never spoken of in books and known only by a select few in the entire world. I understand it tends to…"
"What happened in the common room?" Hermione interrupted.
"Oh, yes," Tom's face went back to a solemn expression. "There was an accident that could not be helped. Bridget Smith became one of the targets for the explosion."
"Bridget is dead. She exploded along with a couch, a painting of fruit, and a valuable vase worth more than a Liter of unicorn blood. I cannot imagine what we will do without it."
"Bridget is dead! Or is a vase more important than a life?"
"She was worthless filth, Miss Bagshawe. If anything, she deserved it."
Hermione stared in shock at him, and then she remembered something. The expondrum curse only targeted at nonliving things. To have it attack a human was impossible. Tom had done something to Bridget. Her thoughts must have shown on her face, because Tom's eyes darkened.
"I had a feeling you might know about the curse. But remember, if you say anything about my involvement in Bridget's death then don't expect me to keep the secret about your parents."
"I would never tell anyone about this," Hermione said quickly.
Riddle looked satisfied with her comment and helped her stand up to start towards the castle.
"I am glad that you think like me, and now you will be in power with me as a prefect."
"I hardly believe that I will be appointed that position."
"No one will question your gain of power, just like no one will question how Bridget died except for maybe that oaf Dumbledore, but he has no power over me."
"He's smarter than you think," Hermione said instinctively.
"You have only been here for two weeks. You have no idea what kind of man he is. Now come." Tom drew her close to him and silenced her with a kiss before they headed towards the castle.
When they reached the castle, the whole student population had been assembled into the Great Hall, and a few students were still straggling into the hall when Hermione and Tom entered.
There was a dismal atmosphere throughout the Great Hall, but the Slytherin table did not comply with the cheerlessness. Besides a few first years who were absolutely distraught, the rest
of the table seemed rather smug, and Hermione could hear a few of them talk about how Bridget deserved it.
All Hermione wanted to do was leave this time period and go back home, but that couldn't happen yet. There was no proof that Riddle had killed Bridget. No person had seen what he had done, and nobody knew about the spell well enough to put the blame of Bridget's death on him. Hermione would have to wait until he opened the Chamber of Secrets and had Harry at her side before she could go back home.
Armando Dippet stood up to make a speech, and the entire school fell silent.
"As most of you all know, we have recently lost a very important member of our community, Bridget Smith, to a magical accident. Some things, like this, cannot be avoided, especially in a place of learning like Hogwarts. I can only caution you, as a group, to be as careful as possible when handling magic. It is dangerous, and I would wish that none of you are ever in the position that our dear young Mr. Tromven is in. Please, if you only remember one part of today, I would hope that you remember to never take magic lightly. It can be dangerous." Dippet stopped speaking, and the students started walking out of the Great Hall, but before Hermione could leave with Tom, Dippet pulled her aside from the crowd.
"Miss Bagshawe, I know this is rather sudden, especially with the sudden tragedy that has just occurred, but the younger students in Slytherin truly need a role model and someone to be supported by at a time like this. If you would not mind become the new Slytherin prefect?"
Hermione looked over at Tom, who was grinning darkly. Everything was going as he had planned.
"I would love to."
"Good, Miss Bagshawe. I am positive that Mr. Riddle will explain all the duties to you. For now, I need to talk to the authorities. Thank you for taking up the position."
Dippet walked away towards the door at the front of the hall, and Hermione watched him until he had left the Great Hall. As she turned around to face Tom, however, she caught Dumbledore's eye. She had never seen him look so coldly at her before.
"Come on Cecelia," Tom said while he grabbed her elbow and headed them out of the room. "There is something I want to show you."
"Tom," Hermione said with restraint. "I really don't think I can handle much more right now."
"You do not have a choice about this, Cecelia. I was cautious about showing you, but after today I know that your loyalty only belongs to me."
Even though she was tired, Hermione was not going to let this opportunity slip away.
"What is it?"
Tom smiled at her, and Hermione felt a chill down her spine.
"It's a place that was thought only to be legend. A myth that only I, and soon you as well, know is true. With all your knowledge, I am sure that you know what I am talking about."
Hermione played coy.
"I have no idea what you are talking about."
Tom pulled her into an abandoned corridor.
"I have found it Cecelia. I have found the Chamber of Secrets."
A/N: Ugh, I know, it's been a long time, but I truly don't have that much time on my hands. Anyways, I would like to thank Ratdog, Moony's-Wolf, Kessic, SexyKnickers, Morganna12, Black-Rose23, LiarLiarx3, Redbloodgoddess, EmersonRoxx, Iceball19, Lyssa, Tipry, Xxxxcrazychickxxxx, Toowhiteprincess, and Gummysweets for reviewing my last chapter. You guys are great!