Disclaimer: Inuyasha and Harry Potter belong to their respective authors/owners.
A/N: A new story! The plot bunnies have sort of migrated from Just A Riddle Away to form this...I did try redirecting them but, well, hope you enjoy!
A product of 'what if', what if Kagome and Tom met when they were younger and inexperienced?
Like Magic and Mice
The shards of the Shikon no Tama had scattered practically everywhere! Kagome was beyond frustrated when, according to a dying woman's murmurs, one piece had somehow managed to slip into a different time altogether. This time period wasn't Kagome's generation or the Feudal Era, it was Tom Marvolo Riddle's.
Opening a time portal was no easy task, requirements had to be met, ones that weren't revealed until they were found and even then they weren't always identified. It was a confusing thing. Creating a time portal, well, that was another matter altogether. That option was discarded the moment it was suggested, it was impossible. There must be a mistake! The mix-matched group of shard-hunters even shared that little bit of 'useless' information to Kagome.
They forgot that 'Impossible' was Kagome Higurashi's middle name.
"Impossible!" Kagome muttered to herself.
She sat on the edge of the well, staring at the surroundings, breathing the air, hearing the sounds and pinching herself for good measure. The fifteen year old teenager had managed to travel through time, a different time. Again. She sighed loudly, half-hoping that Inuyasha would hear and come running and shouting. He didn't. At least the miko could sense the faint presence of a shard, proving the old woman's words and provided Kagome with a goal.
The unfamiliar environment had been her first clue. There was no well house, so it wasn't the shrine, but there also wasn't lush, green nature to greet her either, so it wasn't the Feudal Era. Kagome glanced around, critically examining the place and suddenly she wasn't sure if she was still in Japan. The building nearby appeared old-fashioned but it was the ripped poster fluttering nearby that gave the game away.
'CARELESS TALK COSTS LIVES' the title read and next to a cartoon face of a man with a distinct mustache was 'MR. HILTER WANTS TO KNOW!'
To punctuate the setting, two women approached the well talking about daily life. She caught snippets of 'rationing' and 'the war' in the conversation. Kagome remembered her first encounter with the villagers in the Feudal Era and thought it'd be better to gather more information before she approached anyone. Quickly running and crouching, she hid herself behind a tree. The trunk was large enough to conceal her presence from the women but not to anyone or anything on the other side, which happened to be a boy around her age with a poisonous snake.
"Smell something...nice," the reddish-brown adder hissed. The snake flicked her forked tongue curiously, slithering up the boy's arm for a better vantage point.
Tom decided to indulge the adder's sudden interest, "What does it smell like?"
"Different..." she paused, searching for the suitable description, "like magic and mice."
Intrigued now, he inquired, "Where?"
"Nearby, very near."
He calmly watched as the snake moved towards the direction of the source, not realising that it would find him. Unbound hair smacked him in the face, thick, black and smelling of fruit. The head turned and the next thing he saw was blue, clear skies. No war, no pollution, just blue.
Tom blinked to rid the illusion and this time he saw an unfamiliar female face. The shape of her eyes, nose and face...she wasn't European. She could be Japanese, instantly he narrowed his eyes furiously. He had his wand in his pant pocket and any magic could be considered self-defence. Actually, perhaps he should make the first move and test a few spells...
It was an easy decision but she had probably guessed his intention. She lunged at him, both hands making a grab for his wand but he was quicker. Tom side-stepped and with a swift arc, fired an offensive attack. His aim was true, as always, though the result wasn't. The spell had dissolved into some sort of pink magical barrier in front of the girl's bare palm. Magical...but with no wand.
She had taken advantage of his surprise and pounced to seize his wand. If it had been anything else in his hand, she would've succeeded. However this was Tom and his wand. He fell back, ferociously holding onto the wooden stick.
Angered, he ordered the snake that was still wrapped on his forearm, "Bite her!"
Fortunately for the stranger, that was the exact moment she released her hold. Tom crashed down from the momentum and also caused the adder to dislodge from her position.
She invaded his personal space once again to whisper urgently in English, "I'm not the enemy."
He would've still have attempted to curse her if it hadn't be for the recent presence of a barn owl and its mail. Tom had to quickly think things through. The girl had aimed for his wand, so probably knew about its significance which could mean that she was a witch or knew of magic. Then a delivery owl arrived, probably warning against illegal magic use, but there was only one letter. He didn't want to risk further magic just yet, not when he had the disadvantage with the Ministry of Magic and not when the stranger promised to hold many intriguing secrets.
He stood up, relaxing his shoulders a bit and held his wand in clear view, "Who are you and why are you here?"
Now that Tom had another look at the girl, her appearance would've been terrible for spying with the exotic features and colourful, strange clothes. He wasn't interested in female clothing but he was sure that skirt was on the 'very short' side. The vivid green and bold red that coloured the clothes was also uncommonly seen in these times. Just about everything about her would attract attention.
"I'm just someone who got here unintentionally. I don't mean any harm," Kagome raised her hands in the universal non-threatening gesture, "I'm looking for something and didn't want to attract attention. Sorry about that." She hoped he could sense her sincerity.
Intelligent dark eyes stared back at her, revealing nothing. The boy looked to be around her age and as boys are, especially ones with foreign blood, was taller than her. He had short, black hair that was neatly parted and brushed. The clothes were plain, old and if they hadn't been wrestling earlier, would've also been clean and tidy. Kagome thought the boy had the typical appearance of a smart, studious student but his reaction...he was more powerful than he let on and he knew it. She was almost glad that Kikyo had taken her shards because the young miko didn't want to face this person as an enemy.
Kagome's pondering was interrupted when she heard a faint hiss. Her senses were more sensitive now, though not by much, it was enough for her to notice a poised snake by her ankle. The hiss was probably from the snake but it had changed its mind and slithered away, disappearing from her view behind the tree. She wasn't sure if it was poisonous or not, but she did appreciate the lack of bite.
"Thanks," she whispered to the retreating zigzag-patterned tail. Kagome glanced up to see his eyes expose a bit of curiousity, so she indulged him, "For not biting me."
"You didn't give me your name," he replied instead. The mention of her name and the lack of steel in his tone took her by surprise. By the time she had recovered, he had continued, "Tom Marvolo Riddle and you are...?"
Accent, Hilter, war...Kagome unconsciously bit her lip. Her name was distinctively Japanese, who was this country's enemy in war. "Ka...um, call me..." She hurriedly tried to think up a female European name.
"I'll call you Katherine then," came her smooth save. He glanced at her, smiling knowingly as he retrieved something that looked like a letter from the owl's clutch and quickly hid it in his pant pocket, but that wasn't her business.
"That would be best," she agreed, "How would you like to be addressed?" Kagome wasn't certain about formality around the times of the Battle of Britain.
His grin widened to show teeth, "Riddle will do."
"Riddle," she repeated slowly and hoped that the pronunciation, especially with the 'r' and 'l's came out right. It wouldn't do to get his name wrong and expose anything of her Japanese background, at least not yet
"Walk with me," 'Katherine' didn't immediately comply, so he elaborated "I just have a few questions but you stand out too much here."
Unable to refute that claim, Kagome approached to follow him. He wouldn't allow her to walk behind him and she didn't want to go in front of him (a side-effect from her experiences with Miroku), so they made their travel side by side. Along the way to a different building, not the one nearby, Kagome quickly glanced at the well. It looked deep and was filled with water.
Tom was starting to get excited. His dreary days at the orphanage, without magic, had been pleasantly interrupted. This girl, this 'Katherine', was someone worth his interest. He mentally congratulated himself for calling off the adder bite. The wizard wasn't completely positive but the probability of the girl being a witch was increasing. She had been respectful toward the reptile and might've realised that he was a Parselmouth, which was why she had repeated his last name doubtfully. His lack of certainty was due to that magical barrier Katherine had placed using one hand. Perhaps that ability was from a bloodline like his... Either way, he had to be subtle. She seemed to have some Slytherin survival skills, so he wouldn't be able to easily strike her from behind, figuratively or literally.
He guided her to the outside of the orphanage below his window. There was a sturdy wooden frame nearby with overgrown but harmless yellowing ivy that Tom sometime used for climbing. While he would've preferred any other place, his personal room had the lowest probability of intrusion and eavesdropping. He had made sure of that.
However Katherine had to be uncooperative and refused to climb up because he could peek up her skirt. Like he would! No, wait, it was the 'peeking' in general, not necessarily limited to just him. Well she could have easily not worn such short skirts...
"...except that this is a school uniform," Tom raised an eyebrow, which provoked her to childishly retort, "It's not my fault that the principle's a pervert! Though the material is very durable..." She sighed, "I'd rather ruin these clothes than my good ones. Final point, either you climb up first or I don't at all."
Tom just shook his head and drawled, "Fine, have it your way. Right now it's around...oh, hear that? It's Mrs. Cole's bell for lunch. There'll be a rush and any excuse I come up for idly standing under a window would be plausible, but you...you with your strange clothes..." he dropped his voice lower for better results, "...a foreigner..."
"Okay, I get it! No peeking." Katherine didn't wait for a response, she grasped onto the frame, tugging it thoughtfully and then proceeded to hurriedly climb up with ease.
The boy smirked and merely for extra satisfaction in light of his successful persuasion, not an intentional goal, he glanced up her skirt. He did it just because he could, not because he was a pervert. For his first ever panty-peeking, he saw a smug ginger cat with 'Dogs are man's best friend but I'm the master in this relationship' underneath. His first thought was that who would bother with all that detail for underwear. His second thought was that he didn't mind. The third and final, since he had to turn his head or Katherine would catch him, was that it was worth a look. (He hadn't made any promises anyway.)
He had turned his head just in time too since she whispered down, "Done! Okay, your turn."
Tom approached the wall but before he had even placed a hand on the wooden frame, several of the youngest pests came running towards the orphanage. He didn't want to give away his escape route and so had decided to follow the crowd, go get his pitiful lunch and then return to his room. He hoped that the girl wouldn't pry among his belongings. The wizard quickly glanced up at his window but she had already hid herself.
A/N: 'CARELESS TALK COSTS LIVES' ... 'MR. HILTER WANTS TO KNOW!' This is real.
You may or may not have read about me asking for opinions on Tom's eye colouring. (Poll on profile) Thank you for your input! Just...there's currently one vote separating the leading option. One! While I would've closed the poll a while ago, thought I'd show you the story that the results would've been used in and see if there's any changes. It won't impact the overall plot but having the same imagery might help.
I've also started using more description for this story/chapter, so please tell me what you think!
Thank you for reading,