Change Back.

by Flaignhan.

When they reappear, in the lounge of a small house, Hermione is already crying. She screams and shouts at him, hits him and kicks him. He stands there and takes it, because she makes sure that he knows he deserves it. She has just betrayed her friends for a man who has attacked her school, her friends, and has killed countless people in his lifetime.

When Hermione has no more energy to direct anymore rage at Tom, she falls against him and sobs quietly. After a short while she disappears into the kitchen to make some tea.

When he enters the kitchen she is crying again, two mugs of tea are sitting on the counter, tea bags still in the mugs, milk nowhere in sight.

"There's no milk," she tells him through her tears. She only wants a cup of tea and the fact that there's no milk means that she can't have one. That's what's set her off crying again, because she can't have one of the simplest things in life.

"Are you a witch or not?" Tom takes her wand from the counter and points it at each of the mugs in turn, milk squirting from the wand tip into the tea.

She cries more, feeling stupid and lost and unsure as to whether she's done the right thing or not. Tom pulls out a chair for her at the kitchen table and sets the mugs down onto separate coasters.

"Where are we?" he asks after she has drunk some tea and calmed down slightly.

"Toulon." Her voice is raw for shouting and crying. "South of France. Mum and Dad bought this place a couple of years ago, so they can come out here when they like."

Tom nods.

"You can't carry on," she tells him, "not now. Not after what I've just done for you."

He nods again and looks down at his tea.

"We can go to Paris tomorrow and get you a wand."

"And then what?"

Hermione shrugs.

"Fantastic answer, top marks." The sarcasm drips off his every word.

She smiles, despite the day she's had.

The bin is overflowing with screwed up bits of parchment. How exactly does one say 'Sorry for rescuing the man who's tried to kill you since you were a year old and has made your life misery, but the only thing is, he's really good in bed' without it sounding like it was the most foolish thing in the world to do?

Tom walks in and out of the kitchen several times and tuts when he sees that she is still writing the letter. He learnt the hard way several hours ago not to say 'who gives a fuck about Saint Potter anyway?'.

She has spoken to Ginny, who has told her she thinks Hermione's treading on thin ice, but Hermione has explained the entire story and Ginny sort of understands. She knows how attractive Tom can be, having experienced his charm herself. Ginny even says that in another universe, where Tom wasn't a murderous power hungry lunatic, they'd be a perfect match, what with them both being complete and utter swots.

In the end, Hermione settles for a half decent letter hoping she's managed to explain, and if not, hoping that Ginny will be able to fill in any gaps. She ties it to the leg of Tom's owl and it flies away immediately, having been waiting on its perch all day for the letter.

After two weeks, she has received no reply, and it's easier to think that the owl got lost than it is to think that her best friends will never forgive her.

After four weeks, however, she awakes one morning to find Hedwig sitting on the kitchen table, a thick roll of parchment tied to her leg, and breathes a sigh of relief.

The End.

A/N: I've changed the ending. I can't explain how much I detested the old one, and a review from Kako definitely motivated me into changing it, because I realised I wasn't the only one who felt it was shite and inappropriate. (Not that Kako said it in such terms, of course, because she's far too nice for that). Didn't want angst, so I came up with something shockingly horrible that seems incredibly OOC and decided that that was better than a harsh reality. Still, I think I've found a happy medium now. I hope i have, anyway.