Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter world
Takes place after DH but before the Epilogue.
The New Girl
She had only been in his life for two and a half weeks and he hated every single thing about her.
She was sat at the Gryffindor table as usual, the rest of her seventh year housemates looking at her as though she was some sort of goddess. He only just resisted the urge to roll his eyes. They were pathetic.
Unfortunately it wasn't just the Gryffindors who were extremely impressed with the mysterious witch; word had spread round the school about how she had managed to outdo the talented Head Boy in Transfiguration, Ancient Runes and Potions all in her first day. He had tried to get his act together since then and it irked him to no end that she was still able to beat him every now and then. The Slytherins were suitably disgusted that a girl with no magical background could perform so well but there was little that they could do but glare hostilely at her and whisper the odd "Mudblood" comment when the teachers weren't paying attention. He thought childish name calling beneath him and thus did not take part but he agreed with the sentiment wholeheartedly.
Another reason for not revealing his true feelings towards the girl was that he had his squeaky clean reputation to uphold. The whole school absolutely adored him- apart from that fool, Dumbledore, but he reckoned that there was nothing he could do to improve the Transfiguration teacher's impression of him. And yet, even without Dumbledore's suspicions, he was the darling of Hogwarts School. He was careful to flatter the right people, show kindness to the younger students and seem to strive to earn the respect of his peers. It was, of course, all an act, but it was one that he performed very well and his handsome looks didn't exactly hinder him. Most people wouldn't understand why he put so much effort in keeping up this guise but if the rest of the school thought he was a saint, then he could get on with his more unsavoury activities while they were looking the other way. It also wouldn't hurt to keep the more notable students and teachers sweet in case he ever needed something from them. He never considered himself to be someone who needed anyone but, and he was loath to admit it, it could help things in the future go a lot easier if he had their support. He had no family to help him in the future- only his wits and his power. He often found it ironic that people like Malfoy and Black could swan through life thanks to the aura attached to their name while he, the Heir of Slytherin, had to make his own way.
And so, when she had first arrived at the opening night feast, he had taken very little notice of her. However, his version of very little notice was probably the average person's version of intense scrutiny. With the war in Continental Europe still raging, a number of students had transferred over to Hogwarts but she was the only one in seventh year, his year, which made her stand out. He remembered that she didn't look at all nervous or surprised about the ceremony while the other students bit their lips, or fidgeted, while looking up at the ceiling of the Great Hall with interest. Nor did she show any shock when the sorting hat opened its mouth and started to talk. When Dumbledore called out her name she strode forth and gave the hat a look that seemed to him remarkably like affection. She smiled at Dumbledore and sat down before the old coot placed the hat on her head. It seemed to take a few seconds to consider and she frowned for a moment before the hat shouted out "Gryffindor!"
His least favourite house table clapped politely and she calmly took a seat after giving the hat back to a smiling Dumbledore. He watched as she spoke to a few fellow Gryffindors before her eyes started to roam up and down the other house tables. Before he could look away their eyes met across the hall. He smiled politely at her and if he had been expecting a similar response then he was sorely mistaken. She stared at him and he thought for a moment that she had been dazed by his good looks- it wouldn't have been the first time a girl had been halted by his features. But there was something very cold in her expression and, he realised, a faint sign of recognition. Someone on her left started talking to her again and she looked away. He had frowned and thought the moment distinctly strange. He occasionally glanced over at her throughout the feast but she did not seem to look his way again. Perhaps it had been a case of mistaken identity? He could not think of why she would look at him so coldly seeing as they had never met before. It was not a matter that concerned him greatly; her housemates would surely fill her in on how intelligent, considerate and, in general, brilliant their new Head Boy was. It was not as though he needed her to look up to him. She was, after all, a nobody, just a refugee from a war torn country.
He had completely forgotten about her by the next morning when he went to take his seat in Transfiguration. He was in a slight bad mood when he'd discovered that every Monday morning he'd have to endure a double length lesson with Dumbledore and his mood darkened considerably when he discovered her sitting in his seat.
Technically, it wasn't his seat. Dumbledore had never allocated them specific seats but this was the seat that he always sat in. He was almost surprised that her fellow Gryffindors hadn't told her that. It was no matter; he'd simply ask her to move.
"Excuse me, Miss," he greeted her politely and her eyes flew up to him in shock. There was no mistaking it this time; something about him definitely unsettled her. She tried not to let it show but he was an expert at reading people and he could practically see the defensive fronts she was putting up against him. "I'm afraid you're sitting in my seat." He forced a charming smile onto his face despite his growing distrust of this girl.
"Your seat?" she intoned, flatly. "I wasn't informed that there was a seating plan."
"Well, no, there isn't one." He replied, keeping his tone as friendly as possible while his mood worsened even more. "I've sat in that seat in all my transfiguration lessons for the past six years. I know it's a bit silly but, if you wouldn't mind?"
"Wouldn't mind what?" He wondered if she was being difficult on purpose. Or perhaps she was just brainless?
"If you wouldn't mind moving."
"Sorry, I was here first." She replied, her jaw set.
"Excuse me?!" He asked in shock. He had been as polite as humanly possible and she had outright refused him! No one had ever refused him at Hogwarts before.
"Look, this is the seat I chose when I came into the room. It's not too far back that I can't hear what's going on and it's not too near the front in case so that I avoid the breeze between the window and the door. If you want to sit here then I suggest you get here first next time."
He was saved from making a reply by the arrival of Dumbledore. "Find a seat please, everyone," the Professor announced to the class and he was forced to take the only vacant seat right under Dumbledore's nose. He was furious. He actually could not think of a time when he'd been more livid with a single person. That insolent girl had managed to show him up in front of the whole class and now he had to suffer being right where Dumbledore could keep a close eye on him. It was odd, he thought, that she had chosen that seat for the exact same reasons he had all those years ago. And, it was odder still, that she had absolutely no trace of a mainland European accent.
"Good morning, class. It's lovely to see you all back again after the summer. And because I'm sure you've forgotten a lot of what we learnt last year we will revise a few old spells in today's lesson." Dumbledore flicked his wand and from a cupboard at the back of the classroom flew a large number of small rocks. The rocks placed themselves in front of the different students and each of them ended up with ten each. "Now, you will need to transfigure your ten rocks into the ten objects described on the board. The student with the most accurate transfigurations will be awarded twenty five points for their house." He tapped the blackboard with his wand and ten detailed description appeared. "You may start!"
The head boy's mood improved slightly at this. That was surely going to be 25 points to Slytherin seeing as he was easily the most talented student in his year. He read the first description through carefully before transfiguring his first rock. Over the next hour he was able to forget about the irritable new witch as he concentrated on his work. Some of the transfigurations had many steps and he was determined to show Dumbledore that he could complete this task without much difficulty.
He was about to transfigure his eighth object when he heard a voice a couple of rows behind him. Everyone had been working in near silence and he had nearly jumped at the intrusion.
"Excuse me, Professor, but I've finished."
The head boy frowned at the familiar voice. Someone had finished already? Their transfigurations were probably very poor then. He turned around and saw to his surprise that it was that bloody new witch again. He was revolted to see that she was looking very pleased. He was even more aghast when he saw the objects on her desk. They were good. They were better than good; they looked perfect. He turned back to his desk in disgust as he heard Dumbledore tell her that if she was satisfied with her transfigurations she could start work on her homework.
He frowned at his work before sneaking a look back at hers. They were pretty much on an equal footing so his last few transfigurations would have to be outstanding if he was to win the points for Slytherin and keep his reputation intact. He was in no doubt that Dumbledore would pick a Gryffindor over a Slytherin if their work was equally good. He could hear her quill scratching away on her parchment and he grit his teeth to try and ignore the distraction.
As the end of the lesson approached he waited nervously to see whether she had beaten him. He had come first in every test and piece of homework throughout his whole time at Hogwarts and he did not fancy that winning streak to end now. It would be a perfectly miserable way to start the year.
Dumbledore carefully examined each student's work before making his way to the front of the class, where a certain wizard was holding his breath.
"Congratulation, Gryffindor! Your new housemate has earned you twenty five points." The Gryffindors cheered and the witch in question's cheeks were tinged with pink as she tried to look modest.
A hiss of words were on the tip of the Heir of Slytherin's tongue before he stopped himself just in time. Cursing in parseltongue in front of Dumbledore would not be a very wise idea.
He had to try very hard to keep his composure in check as they filed out of the transfiguration classroom. It would not look good if he appeared to be sulking.
He considered the new witch as he made his way to his next lesson. He wondered why the sorting hat had not placed her in Ravenclaw if she was so obviously talented. He could see her bushy, brown-haired head bobbing in front of him further up the corridor. She was talking to a Gryffindor that he knew was in his next class. Surely she wasn't in that one too? But, inevitably, he saw in turn into the Ancient Runes classroom a few seconds before he did. He had a funny feeling he knew what he'd see inside the classroom and, sure enough, she was sitting in his preferred seat. This girl was really starting to grate on his nerves.
He knew it was pointless to ask her to move so he decided to take a seat at the back of the room. He noticed her stiffen as he passed. What on earth had he done to affect her so much? Perhaps it wasn't just him; maybe it was Slytherins or men in general? He observed her reactions as the rest of the class trooped in. She talked animatedly to any Gryffindors (male or female) and seemed happy to talk to a Hufflepuff boy when he struck up a conversation. So it couldn't be a man thing. The other houses must have poisoned her against Slytherins already.
He was not given anymore time to think about this as the Ancient Runes professor entered the classroom and an instant hush spread throughout. Professor Pentile was obviously in a similar frame of mind to Dumbledore as she set them a revision-like task by getting them to translate a number of different texts using the rune languages they had studied last year. This time he was determined to beat the new Gryffindor so he completed his work as quickly as possible before taking it up to the front to his Professor.
He looked around at the other students while Professor Pentile checked his work. He was pleased to see that the annoying witch in his seat was still writing, her quill flowing across the parchment as she studied the runes.
"I'm afraid there are a few mistakes in here, young man." Professor Pentile interrupted his thoughts. "I think you'd better take another look." She handed his parchment back to him and he flushed, embarrassed.
As he passed his usual seat he caught a glance of the girl trying, but not succeeding, to not laugh at him. He clenched his fists in anger, his knuckles standing out against his skin.
He plonked heavily back into his seat and started to read over his work again. The scraping of chair legs against the stone floor caught his attention and he looked up to see her now making her way to Professot Pentile. He stared blankly at his work, not really seeing it properly. If she managed to translate the work correctly before he did, he didn't know what he'd do.
The minutes passed in slow agony for him as he waited for the Professor to say something.
"Congratualtions, young lady; it seems to be a perfect translation. Take fifteen points for Gryffindor."
"Thank you, Professor," she replied, happily.
He risked a look up at her and he was just in time to see her throw a look in his direction that could only be described in one word. Smug.
She was the hot topic of conversation at the Slytherin table at lunch. In fact, wherever he went, the fact that this new girl had beaten the Head Boy seemed to be all that anyone could talk about. News travelled fast in Hogwarts.
His closest followers could tell that he really didn't want to talk about her and they could sense his bad mood. He had to admit that she was talented, at Transfiguration and Ancient Runes at least. He would have to wait and see how she faired in other subjects.
"What do you know about her?" he asked Richard Rosier, his best source for information on the other students
"Nothing," Rosier replied, shrugging, before he felt the cold stare of the Head Boy. "But I will find out soon, my Lord." He added, in barely more than a whisper before disappearing off to complete his task.
There were still fifteen minutes until the start of his Potions but the Head Boy was already considering going to his lesson. A feeling in his gut told him that that bloody Gryffindor was going to be in his class and was bound to sit in his seat. However, if he did leave now then it would prove that she was getting to him, something that no one else had been able to do before. He weighed up the pros and cons and decided that he'd quite like to have his seat in potions as it was near the supply cupboard which meant he was able to get the best ingredients first. He told himself that he was leaving early to get away from everyone's whispers and stares but he knew the real reason.
He was very pleased to see that the dungeon was empty upon entering it. He sat at his desk and took out his supplies before checking his watch. There were still ten minutes until the lesson was due to start. He drummed his fingers on his desk and looked boredly around the room.
His mind inevitably wandered back to his new nemesis. If she was as capable in all her subjects then it would be worth considering her for one of his followers. She'd have to be taken down a peg or two for showing him up like that but that was something he'd certainly revel in. While he couldn't show his dislike for her in public due to his reputation, when she was his follower she would learn her place. He may dislike her but he wasn't stupid enough to ignore talent when he saw it.
And, just as though his thoughts had summoned her, she walked into the dungeon. There were no other students with her and she bit her lip when she saw it was just the two of them. She cast her eyes around the classroom and took the seat that was furthest from him.
With his most recent thoughts in mind he thought that trying to have a conversation with her couldn't do too much harm.
"Are you settling in ok?" he asked, turning in his seat to look at her.
She looked up at him in surprise. "Fine, thank you." She replied. "I haven't lost my way yet, which is a relief."
"Hogwarts is a big place," he commented. "If you have any problems, you can always come to me for help. I am Head Boy, after all."
"Yes, I remember from the feast last night. You don't have anything to worry about. I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself."
The door to the dungeons opened again and a few students came in, effectively ending the conversation between the rivals. The head boy frowned at his desk, something about the way she had said that last sentence had been out of place. Was she warning him about something? This girl seemed to know things that she shouldn't, which irked him even more.
Professor Slughorn asked the class to make the Nox Noctis Visum potion which allowed the drinker to see in the dark. It was an intricate potion where one stir in the wrong direction could ruin the whole thing.
The class immediately got down to work; one person in particular, eager to produce the best potion.
At the end of the lesson Professor Slughorn examined the potions and, for the third time that day, the Head Boy was beaten. He had done everything to the letter this time and still he had been beaten. While his academic reputation may be under attack he was not going to let his character come into question. His acting skills were put into good practice as he laughed off the Gryffindor's success with his lesser acquaintances through dinner. He praised her intelligence and stated that it was a shame she had not been placed in Slytherin seeing as she had earned her new house around 60 points on her first day.
After fulfilling his rounds as Head Boy he retreated to the Slytherin seventh year's boys' dormitory to hear what Rosier had to say on the new girl.
"She's a mudblood, Lord," Rosier said as soon as their room was safely warded. The occupants of the room all hissed at this revelation. "Her parents are a couple of farmers in the Channel Islands. That's why she doesn't sound European. She's been living with them all this time and received private lessons from some old wizard before their island got invaded by some muggles."
The Head Boy swiped his wand at the wall in anger, carving a deep line in the stone. He'd been beaten by a filthy mudblood. How dare she think she could take on the heir of Slytherin?! Well, there was no way she was going to be joining his followers now.
"Mulciber, Nott, I wish you to make it known to the new girl that she is not welcome here and that her attainment is expected to sharply decline." He told two of his more brutish followers. "Do not get caught or you will be sure to suffer my wrath. You will have to wait until tomorrow night, it is too late now. Rosier, I want you to carry on with your observations. I want to know if she is going to be of any threat to us."
"Of course, my Lord." The three teenaged boys replied, bowing their heads.
The next day was slightly better for the Head Boy. He had managed to get back on top of things in Charms and Defence against the Dark Arts but he was unimpressed to find out that the mudblood had received higher marks in her transfiguration homework than he had. He had managed to sit in his normal seats for all his lessons but only by getting there fifteen minutes before the start so that he was always before her. It was a price worth paying to be back in his favoured seats.
Rosier had informed the group that the mudblood was likely to be found in the library and now the head boy waited for Mulciber and Nott to return so he could hear how they had gotten on in their intimidation attack.
The door to the dormitory was flung open and Mulciber and Nott staggered in.
"She must've known we were there, my Lord. We were as silent as possible and had tracked her into a secluded part of the library. It was the perfect place; there was no one around." Said Nott, wincing as the sat on his bed.
"We were just about to attack when she whipped around and had us both flat on our backs," Mulciber put in, placing a hand tenderly on his lower back. "Then she flicked her wand and we were both hanging by our ankles. She said that she'd let it slide this time, but if any of us ever tried to attack her again then she'd tell one of the teachers."
"Then she walked away and I thought she was going to leave us hanging there for ages but suddenly we crashed head first onto the floor again. So thanks to that bitch I now have a headache as bad as a - "
"Crucio!" A simultaneous cruciatus curse was cast upon the two boys who howled in pain. "Did I not tell you what would happen if you failed, you pathetic worms?"
This was not how events were meant to go. She was supposed to be scared into becoming a shadow of herself and not pose a risk to the Head Boy's status. Now, she would feel buoyed by this victory and he knew it would be very difficult to stop her without personally doing it himself. Something he was loath to do if there was the chance of recrimination.
Over the next couple of weeks they traded victories in the classroom and the teachers were ever more endeared to the Gryffindor, much to his displeasure. He had not spoken a word to her since that potions lesson, something that he was thankful for. Rosier was still asked to keep an eye on her but after the first couple of days there was little to report. The only time she spent outside of the Gryffindor common room was either in the Great Hall, lessons or the library. Rosier claimed that she was very difficult to trace; she nearly always managed to evade him and he had no idea how. She was a mystery; which was something else that the Head Boy disliked about her. He was someone who needed answers to questions.
Upon reflecting on the last two and a half weeks, something that he found unsettling was a look he had caught her giving him on a few occasions. The first time she had given it to him had been at lunch one day. The Head Boy and his followers had been having a private discussion about said mudblood's activities. They were hunched together and speaking in low voices. He risked a glance at her and she had been giving him this look. It was difficult to describe. It was not quite a smile and not really a smirk. But the message it seemed to put across was that she knew something that he didn't. It was a superior look, almost as if she found him amusing. It infuriated him so much that he wished he could set the basilisk on her. He could not think of anyone whom he would rather kill at that moment, except perhaps Dumbledore. She had also given him that look a couple of times when he'd beaten her in class and the rest of the Slytherins had made a fuss over him. This wasn't the only unsavoury look that she'd send his way though. Disdain, disgust, hatred, anger; they had all crossed her face while looking at him. It was incredibly annoying, particularly seeing as there was little he could do while they both attended Hogwarts with Dumbledore watching his every move. But, when this year was over, she was going to be one of the first to suffer if he ever rose to power. She was the epitome of the things he loathed about the wizarding world. She was a mudblood, one of Dumbledore's favourites and she was perceived by most of the school to be his equal. How they could possibly think that this stubborn, disrespectful mudblood could be a possible rival to the heir of Slytherin he didn't know. But he'd show them, all of them. Especially her.
He raised a hand and counted on his fingers the things he hated about her. He hated her blood, her self-confidence, her magical ability, her stubbornness, her intelligence, her supposed fearlessness, her knack of beating him class without too much effort, her popularity among the staff and students, her voice, her disrespectfulness towards him, her bushy hair, her laugh, her ability to pick out which seat he preferred to sit in, her house, her resilience, her superior air despite her inferiority, her ability to evade Rosier and the numerous distasteful looks that were sent his way.
Oh, how Tom Riddle hated Hermione Granger.
A/N Thanks for reading guys! This is a one shot for the time being unless I get particularly inspired with a way to further the story.
The not mentioning of their names was a conscious decision even thought its fairly obvious who they both are. I hope all the hes and hers werent too confusing!
I recently got really into Tom/Hermione fics but thought it would be really interesting to see the whole side of the story from Tom's POV. It also means that I don't have to bother coming up with an original way of how Hermione went back in time! You will also notice that this is not a romance fic. Some of you may be disappointed in that but considering that his is all set within the first two and a half weeks of him meeting her then he most gonna go falling in love with her, is he? Especially seeing as she does pretty much represent everything he hates. Oh, and if anyone thinks that Hermione wouldn't give a smug look to him, I would disagree. Voldemort was a ruthless dictator who thought that he was better than everyone, so for her to be able to beat him in a simple class would feel pretty good for her. Hell, I'd be exceedingly smug!
To any readers of New Dawn, I will get back onto that now. This was just a fun diversion.
Let me know what you think!
Lots of love,
Lil Drop of Magic