A/N: This is just something I've whipped up. Hasn't been thoroughly proofread, naughty me, especially when the Microsoft Works Word Processor is so damn stubborn with its autocorrect. This could be canon if you like. I hope it is. I've changed the ending of 'Change Back' by the way, if any of you have read that. I took out the last bit and replaced it with a single sentence but it changes the feel of it. If any of you haven't read it, read Change, and then Change Back - they're Tom/Hermione fics that don't beat around the bush with Time Travel necessities. You can find them on my profile, along with some other stories that you may enjoy. After that blatant plug, I invite you to read, review, and enjoy.
The school was empty. Quiet. Ginny had vaguely mentioned a Quidditch match yesterday and so he had taken his opportunity, while the teachers were down at the pitch, while most of the students were screaming foolishly at their athletic classmates, except for the two mudbloods not too far away…
The basilisk sniffed the air, tasted it, and continued to slither its way along the dimly lit corridor.
I smell mudbloods.
Very good, find them. Quickly.
They were near the library. He had walked these corridors many times as a teenager. The library had been his sanctuary. Enforced hush, away from the snivelling of the other Slytherins, away from Slughorn and Dumbledore, who both seemed to run into him far too often, but with very different motivations. One wanted to hand him invite after invite to parties for the Slug Club (although his invitations became fewer after Tom had enquired about Horcruxes) while the other seemed determined to catch him when he was up to no good.
What fools they both were. One desperate for glory by association, the other a mudblood loving fool with outdated ideas about what constituted good and evil. Tom despised both of them equally, though hid his displeasure when either of them made conversation.
Some people may have considered Tom a creep, but Tom just knew who he had to keep sweet. It would be of no detriment to him for the teachers to think that he was the perfect student. In fact, it had helped him a great deal. That half giant oaf had been thrown out of the school instead of Tom, clever, but so dreadfully unfortunate with his childhood. Tom who loved the school more than anything, didn't want to leave during the summer. A prefect, no less.
No, it hadn't harmed him to dish out a few compliments or purchase a few boxes of crystallised pineapple.
He was pulled from his thoughts by a flash of light, a gasp, and then a thud. No. Two thuds. Almost simultaneous, but definitely two separate thuds.
Frowning, Tom opened up the wall to reveal the entrance to a pipe with a wave of his hand.
Go back to the Chamber, I shall deal with this.
Yes, my Lord.
The basilisk disappeared into the plumbing system and Tom closed the wall again with another wave of his hand.
He rounded the corner and smirked when he saw two motionless bodies on the ground. Two girls, one older than the other, sporting a prefect badge. He scowled. Mudbloods shouldn't be prefects.
There was a mirror lying on the floor a short distance from the younger girl's hand. That must have been what caused the flash of light, reflecting the candlelight at him. She had been using it to look around the corner. The pair of them were only petrified.
Tom growled in frustration. Yet another death narrowly avoided. Two deaths, in fact. And not only that but the girl had known to look round the corner with a mirror. Did she know what his creature was? How much did she know? Surely not a lot, if she was a mudblood, but even so, one couldn't be too careful.
There was a book on the ground. It had fallen from her arms when she had been petrified. Tom picked it up curiously, the red leather a dull and faded sensation against his fingertips. The fact that he could now pick it up caused him to smile in triumph. Little Ginny was becoming weaker, and he was becoming stronger.
Gold lettering on the front cover stated that the book was in fact called Particularly Poisonous Pests, by Derek Plumpton. Tom frowned and flicked to the contents page, concerned that this girl, this young mudblood, had sussed out that which not even Dumbledore had realised.
The Basilisk - Page 684
Tom opened the book near the end. Page 712. He turned a few pages back and blinked when he came to page 683. The opposite page was labelled 686. It was then that he noticed the tear mark on the inside of the book. The page had been torn out.
Panicking, he dropped to his knees and began to search the girl. According to the label sewn into her robes, she was called Hermione Granger. The name rang a bell, somewhere in Tom's memory.
Ron's friend Hermione is ever so nice. She helped me with my Transfiguration homework. She's really clever, Tom. I think you'd really like her. She's always reading books and knows everything there is to know about everything. She's not like some clever people, who shove it in your face that they're clever. Apparently she can be a bit annoying in class because she's always got her hand up and is desperate to prove herself (I suppose that comes from being muggle born) but she's not arrogant or anything. Like I said, I think you'd really get on well with her.
Ah yes, Hermione Granger. The intelligent one. Harry Potter's friend.
He clenched his knuckles at the thought of the small boy who had been his downfall, and then continued his search.
He found nothing. Nothing but quills and ink and some scraps of parchment. He considered searching the other girl but she wasn't the one who had torn the page out. In fact, she looked quite clueless about life in general. Whether that was just the effect of being petrified, Tom did not know.
What he did know was that Hermione Granger was a danger to him. But never mind, she was petrified, for now. Perhaps he would get Ginny to go and pour some bubotuber pus on the mandrakes. That would delay things a little longer.
If only he had a wand, he would be able to summon the missing page and replace it in the book. A missing page was far more obvious than a present page, because missing pages were missing for a reason.
The best course of action would be to replace the book in the library, erase the details of the Granger girl ever having checked it out, and then make his way back to the Chamber.
On his way back, Tom stopped and looked at the girl who had solved half of the mystery. A mudblood, no doubt. She had no sense of refinement about her. No sense of belonging. The mirror clearly belonged to the older girl, because the Granger girl looked like she wasted no time on her appearance, let alone carried a mirror around with her to check her reflection periodically throughout the day.
Very wise, in Tom's opinion. Very wise indeed. Although, Tom had found that a neat haircut and a handsome face could make one very endearing to authority figures, only the foolish ones though. Dippet, Slughorn, and the rest. Perhaps Miss Granger was the mudblood that broke the mould. Perhaps she did have some scraps of intelligence littered around that frizzy little head of hers. Perhaps she knew that in life, knowledge and power were a necessity, and aesthetics were of very little concern.
Or perhaps she was used to being ugly.
Far more likely.