A/N: THIS IS AN AUTHOR'S NOTE. ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL? /cries

But seriously folks. I am actually proud of this story, because it's a story I actually finished. And, because I am proud of it, I think that it deserves to be spruced up and changed around a little and generally improved. So this is what I have done. I don't really think that you want to read the original for this chapter. I hated it anyway, and it was awkward in a lot of places. In essence, kill it with fire. Blast it with piss.

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING. "Ew. An OC story". But I promise you that you won't have to gag yourself with a spoon if you read the whole thing. I like Voldemort/badass Tom Riddle too much to do that too him. : )


As the ancient and bad tempered Professor began her verbal torture (some would call this a lecture), Cassie Smith's mind began to wander. The classroom disappeared and she gazed out of the window at the beautiful clear sky, staring dreamily and smiling at the warm fancies that floated in and out of her head. Dipping into childhood dreams of faeries and impossible ethereal beauty, she imagined herself as a princess of the earth, a deity of wisdom and elegance, caressing the bedazzled face of a handsome human man with striking eyes and stubble across his strong chin. He gazed at her as though she were a goddess, and the enchanted glowing forest around them was silent and peaceful, and her sparkling white gown flowed around her like an enchanted pool of pearls, and she grasped Mr. Handsome's strong masculine face, leaning down for a kiss sweeter than honey itself-

An amused cough sounded throughout her enchanted forest like the tolling of a death bell, shattering her celestial dream with all the daintiness of a hammer to a cracked mirror. Cassie's eyes flew open and she found herself leaning foreward slightly with her lips on the verges of pursing, giving her the look of a girl bent on kissing someone. Her cheeks turned a blotchy red, and she leaned back and pretended to be picking a piece of leftover food from her teeth with her tongue. She attempted a confused smile at Tom's raised eyebrow, but only managed to look as though someone had just hit her. He shook his head ever so softly and returned his attention fully to the wizened Professor.

She decided to make herself stay in reality this time, no matter how inviting the land of fancy was. She attempted to think of normal things that other sixteen year old girls thought about, but her mind, being in a sort of rebellion against her, had decided she needed to think more about the annoying tosh pot seated beside her. She wrinkled her little nose in distaste.

He was handsome, she supposed. But to her, he certainly wasn't Mr. Gorgeous with whom she had almost shared a kiss of the sweetest quality. Ignoring her informed opinion, the other girls in the school seemed to think that he indeed was Mr. Gorgeous. To them, he was the hunk of macho all the girls (and even some of the guys, she thought, picturing Lestrange and sniggering to herself) wanted. Cassie just could not see what the big fuss over his handsome face was all about.

Then there was his pathetic excuse for a personality. This was where the other girls at Hogwarts truly lost her. She couldn't understand why all the girls swooned so much over him when he mostly gave them the cold shoulder and barely spoke to them. She'd heard that at one of those Slug Club parties (she'd of course, she'd heardthis, seeing as she disliked Slughorn almost as much as Tom), he'd only danced with the girl he took once, and when she proposed a snogging session, he turned her down.

Subconsciously, she turned her head to the side and watched her enemy tackle the paper mercilessly with his quill. He was such a nerd. All he ever did was study. He was always in the library, he never came to the Great Hall for dinner, and she was sure he had no friends. She sniggered again slightly. That'd be good ammo for later on.

Thinking of ammo, she began to doodle her revenge ideas on a loose piece of parchment. Tiny stick figures of herself were caught in various poses of dishing out some ass-whooping to tiny stick figures of Tom. She took extra sadistic pleasure to draw his face as contorted with agony as possible, grinning to herself as her quill scratched away.

Professor Merrythought must have been done with her verbal torture, Cassie realized as she noticed the sudden flurry of movement all around her. She looked up and wasn't surprised to see the rest of the class standing in two neat lines facing each other and the teacher looking at her in a way that deeply suggested she do the same. With a great sigh, she yanked herself from her seat and trudged over to one of the lines, situating herself across from a spotty, greasy, and colossally tall Gryffindor. The teacher gave her one last murderous look before turning to the rest of the class.

"Today", she barked sternly in her ancient, creaky voice, "we will be practising stunning. Yes I know, something very basic for you sixth years, but a lot of people", she paused to look the class disapprovingly over, slowing down on a spacey looking Gryffindor and skipping over Tom, "cannot do this."

Cassie flashed the teacher an aggravated look behind her back. I've only been stunning people with perfection for the past six years..., she thought indignantly, stupid old hag, only noticing Tom because he kisses your ass. Yeah, I see how it is. You like that, don't you? Bet that's all the action you ever got...Cassie continued on in this manner as the 'old hag' began to instruct them, like a bunch of first years, how to properly hold your wand to stun someone.

The truth of the matter, though, was that Cassie was ridiculously and unbelievably short. She stood a whopping five feet in total, and had a rather high-strung voice. She looked like she should be in second or third year and it was a common occurrence to be asked by substitute teachers whether she was in the right class. It didn't help matters much also that the few friends she did have were ones she had befriended before Hogwarts, and happened to all be in Hufflepuff. The other Slytherin's thought she was barmy for it.

The teacher began to count. Cassie immediately went into a ready stance, facing the colossally tall Gryffindor with a lightly serious expression. As soon as the teacher's syllables wrapped themselves around the number three, Cassie launched herself into attack.

"Stupefy!" she yelled forcefully.

The spell hit the Gryffindor boy at an electrifying speed, and he went flying across the room. She smiled. Stupefyhad always been one of her specialties. She looked around to the teacher, and was surprised to find the withered old bean watching her. She even looked pleased!

"Ten points to Slytherin. Well done, Miss Smith."

Cassie felt elated. Finally, someone had noticed her work! And who would have thought it'd be the cranky old coot?

Professor Merrythought told her she could sit down, and she did so with a slight bounce in her step. She placed her chin in her hand and idly hummed a happy tune as the rest of the class practiced.

"Well done, Tom! Fifteen points to Slytherin! That was outstanding! Wherever did you learn that spell?"

Just as fast as it came, her happiness faded. Her smile slowly sunk from her face, and her head slowly fell down to her desk. An unhappy frown crossed her features instead. That's how it always was. She'd be happy about something, and Riddle always ruined it.

With Tom around, her happiness was like a bubble; short-lived and guaranteed to pop.