A/N: So quite randomly I started this fic yesterday (and haven't moved from my seat since). It's a sequel to The Night Before the Morning After, and it's about little Emily, and, of course, dear Tom. Updates will be pretty fast (by this I mean, actually, really fast) and it'll be mega nice to hear whether you guys like it or not. I'm not MASSIVELY into OCs as main characters but Emily is an exception, because for all we know, she could be canon, and I like to think she is.
The Years that Followed the Morning After.
Emily kicked the bookshelf in frustration, and yelped when the solid oak did more damage to her toes than she did to it. She sat down at the nearest table, dropping her satchel to the floor and rubbed her toes, trying to ease away some of the pain.
Once the ache had dulled, she pulled her homework out of her bag along with her quill and ink bottle, taking care to make a great deal of noise as she did so. She unscrewed the lid of her ink and slammed it down on the desk, green splatters covering the surface.
A fifth year working alone at another table looked over to her and tutted, her eyes narrowed. Emily raised an eyebrow in response, challenging the girl to do something, but she merely returned to her work.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," Emily muttered as she unrolled a scroll of parchment and picked up her quill.
"What's what you thought?"
She turned her head sharply and winced as she jarred her neck. Tom was standing next to her table, looking as tall and handsome as he always did.
"Oh, nothing," Emily replied, suddenly feeling bad for the commotion she'd been making. What if Tom had been revising for his exams? Had she disturbed him?
He sat down in the seat opposite her and drew his hands together, his long fingers interlaced. He wore a gold ring with a black stone on his little finger, something which Emily hadn't noticed before. She liked it though.
"Now," he said, "what's all this noise about?"
She had disturbed him. Her face fell into an apologetic expression and she dropped her eyes to the table. "I'm sorry Tom, I didn't mean to disturb you –"
He shook his head and held up a hand. "You didn't disturb me, I was merely browsing. What's the problem? I take it there is a problem, and you're not just feeling particularly raucous today," he smiled warmly and Emily felt herself relax in his company.
"I wanted to get a book out of the restricted section, but Professor Merrythought says it's not suitable for young ladies. I bet he'd let Withenshaw get it out, Withenshaw can't put a foot wrong in his eyes," she folded her arms across her chest, her lips pouting in displeasure.
Tom frowned and sat back in his chair, hand resting against his chin. "What's so special about Withenshaw? I was always under the impression that he's an idiotic little toad that copies straight out of textbooks without even reading what he's writing."
"He is, you're right," Emily paused and then added, "as always."
Tom chuckled and leaned forward, "Oh my dear, I'm afraid you have a rather high opinion of me."
"I don't think so," Emily replied.
Tom smiled. "I think some of the other girls in the school would beg to differ. What book is it that you were after?"
"Moste Potent Potions," Emily told him. "I only wanted it because Professor Slughorn told us all about the different kinds of things that are in there and I just want to read about them, it's not like I'm going to go and start making Veritaserum and slip it into people's drinks, is it?" she sighed, skewing her lips to the side. "And this is a school, unless I'm very much mistaken. We're here to learn, aren't we? And young ladies shouldn't even be allowed here if they're not going to be allowed to learn. It's just a waste of everybody's time, isn't it?"
Tom smirked as he listened to her rant, and once she was finished he spoke. "It seems that Professor Merrythought has rather underestimated your ability to deal with the more...grizzly areas of potion making, as well as your desire to learn. I'm afraid he is rather old fashioned when it comes to matters such as this, though I'm sure he does have your best interests at heart."
Emily sighed and pushed the lid of her ink pot around with her quill tip.
"What homework are you doing?" Tom asked, changing the subject.
Emily looked at the title at the top of her parchment. "Switching Spells, sixteen inches."
"Ah," Tom said. He pulled his wand out of the pocket of his robes and waved it. Three books floated smoothly towards him, and Emily watched enviously.
"I wish I knew how to do summoning charms already, we don't learn until next year," she said.
"It's only a few months away, and you can't use magic in the holidays anyway, so you shan't be missing out on much," he smiled and then opened the first book. "You'll want to use this for your basic facts and theory, then this one," he pulled the second book towards him, found the page he was looking for then slid it across the table to her, "is for the more advanced parts of the spell. It's got a lot of good examples about what can go wrong and how you fix it, and this one," he opened the final book, flicking speedily through the pages before he stopped, having found what he was looking for. "It's quite dense, so let me know if you have any trouble, but this will guarantee that you get at least a hundred percent. You only have to reference it and Dumbledore will be doing cartwheels around his office. This paragraph here," he pointed to the lower section of the page and Emily's eyes followed his finger, "this is where the real stuff is. Don't bother with the rest, it's just convoluted waffle. This is worthwhile though."
Emily nodded and smiled widely at him. "Thanks so much Tom, that's really kind of you."
"It's my pleasure," he said. "Let me know if you need anything else, I'll be around for the next few hours."
He got up, winked at her and left her to her homework.
She cursed herself as she tried to force the blush in her cheeks down. She had been doing so well until he had winked at her.
"All done?" he asked, an hour and a half later.
Emily nodded as she rolled up her parchment. He held out his hand and she looked blankly at him.
"Do you want me to proof read it or not?"
"Oh! Yes, if you've got nothing better to do," she passed the parchment to him and he began reading, his eyes moving quickly along the lines of neat writing.
Halfway through he let out a small chuckle.
"What? Have I got something wrong?"
"No," he said with a smile, "you just write in an amusing way."
"Is that bad?"
Tom shook his head. "Professor Dumbledore is going to be reading the same thing at least forty times. It'll be a nice change, to read something that's not only correct, but also interesting. I'm sure you'll earn Ravenclaw a considerable amount of house points."
For the second time that day, Emily failed to fight her blush, and opted to look down at the desk while Tom finished reading her essay. Once he had finished, he rolled it up, tapped it with his wand to seal it and handed it back to her.
"Top marks!" he said brightly. "Now, come with me for your reward."
"Reward?" Emily asked. "What reward?"
Tom merely smiled and gestured towards the exit.
Emily packed her bag, wasting no time. In seconds she was on her feet, heading out of the library with Tom. She wondered what her reward was going to be, and what she could have possibly done to deserve one. She didn't have too much time to dwell on these thoughts, however, as once they were on the floor below the library, Tom opened the door of an empty classroom and stood aside so she could go in first.
Once inside, he jabbed his wand at the candle brackets on the walls and they illuminated instantly. He closed the door and set his bag down on one of the tables. he opened it and pulled out an old, leather bound book with yellowing pages that had quite clearly seen better days. He passed it to her and she turned it over so she could read the faded gold lettering on the cover.
Moste Potent Potions.
Emily's jaw dropped.
"It's due back in three weeks, so you'd best get reading," Tom said.
"Oh Tom!" she ran her hands over the cover before she flipped it open, eyes wide as they took in the information on the handwritten contents page. She looked up at him. "Won't you get in trouble?"
"Are you going to tell on me?" he asked.
Emily shook her head.
"Then I won't get in trouble. I'll see you soon."
He left the classroom and Emily wasted no time. She sat down in one of the chairs and began to read.
She hung around in the doorway awkwardly, looking at her feet every so often. Eventually, he noticed her and beckoned her over with a warm smile and a wave of his hand.
She approached cautiously, not knowing how she would be received by the other Slytherin seventh years who were all sat around Tom.
"Did you want to talk to me?" Tom asked once she reached him.
Emily nodded, "I finished it," she said. "I was going to ask when you wanted me to give it back to you."
Tom looked over towards the teachers' table to check that none of them were looking. "I think we'll be safe now," he said with a smile.
Emily nodded and opened her bag, sliding the heavy book out and passing it to him as discretely as she could. He took it and put it inside his own bag.
"I got you this," she said, ignoring Abraxas' raised eyebrow as she pulled a small box of Honeydukes chocolates out of her bag. "Just to say thanks for helping me and getting that book out for me."
"Oh you shouldn't have," Tom said with a warm smile, taking the chocolates from her. He looked at the label on them. "My favourite, how did you know?"
Emily shrugged. "Lucky guess I suppose. Anyway, I'll let you finish your breakfast."
She smiled at him one last time before she departed.
"Are they your favourites?" Arcturus asked sceptically.
Tom shrugged and opened the box, popping a chocolate into his mouth. "Oh yeah," he said after he swallowed the chocolate. "These are excellent."
Abraxas reached over to take one and Tom slapped the back of his hand.
"They're for me," he said. "Not you, you oaf."
"I can't believe you," a disgusted voice said.
Tom looked towards the speaker. "Problem, Celeste?"
"She's a third year," Celeste said, leaning forward, her long hair falling in a curtain against her shoulder. "Have you got any morals?"
"We have a connection," Tom told her, smirking. "I've never felt this way about any girl before, not even you. I think you're just jealous because she's prettier than you."
Celeste opened and closed her mouth several times before she huffed and turned away from him.
Arcturus let out a long low whistle. "Dangerous ground, Tom, dangerous ground."