A/N- First of all, sorry it's been so looooooong since I last updated. I fail. But I've had a lot going on. Thank you so much to everyone who is still reading. Special thanks to those who reviewed: verox29, hushpuppy22, Ella, The Crazy Marshmallow. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
The Crazy Marshmallow & Ella- I'm going the route of actually changing the future. It's a departure from Rowling's time-travel in the third book, but for this story I am creating the idea that how far you are thrown back into time will affect whether the known future can be maintained. It's a bit self-indulgent and not as logical, but I figure what the hell.
hushpuppy22-Thanks so much for your encouragement. You really helped motivate me.
He stood alone staring out into the darkened forest, listening to the movement of the trees above him. He felt a deep calmness and power just by standing silently in the trees of the ancient forest. There was so much magic encircling the massive wood and so much wafting through the branches above and the brambles near his feet. Through the leaves, he could see patches of the velvety black night sky dusted with bright pinpricks of stars. The Forbidden Forest had long been his favourite places, just falling short behind the castle of Hogwarts itself and the dark, dampness of his birthright: the Chamber of Secrets.
He had given strict orders to his Death Eaters to arrive promptly at midnight. He had called the meeting that night to discuss, or rather, give instruction concerning the newest additions to the school. These newcomers had information that was extremely valuable, and perhaps even extremely dangerous to Tom's future plans. Tom was not impercetive. He saw the distrust in the time travellers' eyes when they looked at him, a distrust he was used to seeing only in the eyes of Albus Dumbledore and the orphans at Wools Orphanage.
The Malfoy boy, according to Abraxas, had been very resistant to any form of recruitment. He had over heard Abraxas complaining that Phineas Malfoy had no proper pureblood pride. Indeed Phineas Malfoy seemed completely opposed to everything his relative said regarding the subject. From what Tom could observe, Phineas Malfoy was everything Salazar Slytherin had prized in his students: cunning, ambitious, intelligent. He seemed coolly detached from his housemates, yet highly concerned with his overall image. It seemed unlikely to Tom, that the Malfoy would become a Death Eater anytime soon. It was unlikely that he would allow the power of knowing the future slip through his fingers. No, Tom was certain that as a true Slytherin Malfoy would understand the incredible power he had from his knowledge. He would be even more difficult to recruit as he seemed to have his loyalties wrapped up with those two red-headed Gryffindors, making it unlikely that he would betray them.
As for the Weasley boy, he seemed intelligent, after all, he had got the headship in the future. Tom had had the least interaction with Hugo Weasley, and therefore had the least grasp of his personality and weaknesses. He seemed less guarded than Phineas Malfoy, as a Weasley and a Gryffindor, he would have a much more difficult time with shielding his emotions making him easier prey. But Tom could also see a deep mistrust in him. Tom did not like the way he caught the Weasley looking at him during classes. Perhaps, it was because he was sitting next to his cousin…no it seemed to go further than that.
And the Potter girl was the most infuriating of them all. She was a bit of an enigma to him. On whole, she seemed rather reserved and introverted, but at times she was downright talkative with her witty banter and pathetic jokes. From what he had observed in his classes, she was constantly forgetting her schoolwork, breaking quills on accident and grabbing the wrong books. In short, Tom was convinced that she was extremely scatter-brained…Though he had to admit, she seemed to be an uncommonly talented witch, perhaps even very powerful. He knew he would do well to not underestimate her abilities, still she seemed the best avenue toward information on future events.
Tom could not fail to notice that her two male companions seemed to guard her constantly with their presence, as though they were waiting for someone to pounce and hurt her. He had already begun to make strategic moves to get her on her own. By slowly working her up to Head Girl, Tom would get more and more time alone with her. Time for him to catch her off guard, to manipulate her into divulging her secrets to him. The secrets of the future he so desperately wanted.
Slowly and silently, his Death Eaters began to appear out of the darkness of the forest. Like him, they wore their dark cloaks over their heads, obscuring their features to one another. As the gathered, each took his place in the forming semi-circle facing Tom. He had at least one Death Eater in every house except for Gryffindor. They were silent and obedient, like they had been trained to be. So eager to give up their sovereignty to join and obey him. So willing to accede to him in order to stand in the glow of his greatness.
Once the semicircle was complete, Tom strode confidently forward. He was in his element. He was in complete control, he had the power. A murmur of diffidence rippled through the semicircle. He began to walk around as though on a moonlit stroll with a lover. He did not speak for a moment or two, but continued to watch them, to increase their anticipation.
"The arrival of these time-travelers presents us with a unique opportunity, my Death Eaters. If played correctly we will have valuable information on our hands. The future and all the advances, all its secrets may be laid open to us.
"Though this opportunity has presented itself to us, it means nothing if we do not have the patience and skill to extract the information from within those who possess it. Abraxas," he said, turning to one of the hooded figures, "you will continue to watch the Malfoy boy, however, as he seems to dislike you immensely," there were some sniggers from the crowd at this statement, " it will be the responsibility of all my Death Eaters to gather information from him. The Malfoy seems to have some brains, therefore, use extreme caution when questioning him. It is likely he will be on guard.
"As for our two Gryffindors," the was a slow chuckle of derision from the flock, "They, too, must be carefully observed. Though they will be much more difficult to monitor without a member from the house of Gryffindor, their interactions with the Malfoy are beneficial. Many of their conversations about pertinent information will have to be out in the open, as the Gryffindor Common room cannot be accessed by the Malfoy. Our Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff fellows are to watch the closely," he looked around at the figures of his Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff Death Eaters, "Though it seems these Gryffindors have less of an inclination toward disliking Slytherin, they will likely be less cautious of your advances of friendshipe. Still I warn you to proceed with caution."
Tom paused for breath, but was interrupted by a gravelly voice.
"My Lord, I volunteer myself to get closer to the girl-" Avery knelt down in front of him. Tom's blood began to boil at Avery's request and Tom had to actively restrain himself from cursing the Death Eater for his impertinent request.. Avery was utterly transparent and only thought with one particular organ of his body. Indeed, Avery was good for little more than brute strength and his penchant for guiltless violence. He would have no finesse when dealing with the intricacies of their situation.
"No one will touch the girl. She is mine. I will deal with her myself," he hissed, his dark eyes burning as he looked into the eyes of each of his followers, "As for the Weasley boy, I expect him to be followed at all possible times. You are to observe his actions, his habits, his words to others. I want to know everything he says, everywhere he goes beyond Gryffindor tower."
"Yes, my Lord." murmured the semi-circle.
"Your instructions have been made clear. You are to lie low this year. We do not want any attention paid to us beyond the ordinary. These time-travellers are your number one priority. Your discretion is critical. Do not fail me."
Going to classes was rapidly becoming a small battle in the great war. Lily felt as though she were constantly behind enemy lines, right in the action, sitting beside the devil himself. As she walked into her first class of the day, Lily braced herself and sat in her designated place in the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom beside Tom Riddle. Lily sat next to Riddle in nearly every class and without fail he was already seated, reading some book every time she entered the classroom. She made a mental promise, as she pulled out a spare piece of parchment, that she would beat him to the next class no matter what.
Lily looked at the boy next to her. His dark eyes were quickly scanning the words on the pages and he seemed to effortlessly understand them. He had an innate grasp of magic that was extremely intimidating, but Lily would not let herself be too impressed by the handsome boy. In order to become anything close to friends, Lily would have to treat Riddle like an equal and not be awed by his exceptional abilities.
"What are you reading?" she asked him. Riddle looked up at her without a trace of annoyance. A lie of course, Lily knew the future Dark Lord had to be annoyed, it was one of the reasons she had interrupted him. She was going to goad him until she got some bit of legitimate emotion out of him. She was going to make him slip up if it was the death of her.
"The Theoretical Practices of the Ancient Wizarding Persians" said Riddle.
"Sounds simply fascinating," she said with a snort. Tom looked at her impassively for a moment and made to turn back to his reading, but Lily couldn't have that, "Did you see the Prophet this morning?"
"No," he said shortly, clearly wanting her to leave him alone. Lily continued on, ignoring the clear social hint.
"Dumbledore has left for Germany. To help fight Grindelwald, you know. They'll probably announce it at lunch," she said, examining his reaction closely. His face remained impassive.
"How very interesting. When does he come back?" he asked, looking unconcerned by the information. Perhaps, Lily thought, he had already know.
"The paper didn't say. As long as it takes, I suppose," she said, nonchalantly.
"Which will be how long?" drawled Riddle. His eyebrow was raised, making him look like a stuffy aristocrat. And it all came together, he was clearly trying to get information about the future out of her. Lily was not going to play his game.
"Oh, very clever Riddle. But I'm not telling you," she said icily, looking away from him pointedly.
"So Dumbledore will come back," he pressed on with a smile. He was clearly trying to charm her into spilling even more information.
"I never said that," she replied, trying to keep the panic out of her voice. Damn, damn, damn.
"Yes, but it was very much implied," he said, she could practically hear him smirking. Sure enough, when she looked back at him he had a Slytherin smirk planted on his face.
"You're reading into things," she said calmly.
"If I am wrong, which I am not, then you seem to be very blasé about your favorite professor getting killed in the war," he replied. Lily laughed.
"You just implied that Dumbledore was my favorite professor, that is certainly reading into things," she said. She glared at him.
"I am just observing your cold behavior, Miss Potter," said Riddle, as he pulled out a large black quill and a roll of parchment.
"It's Lily," she reminded him, a little too harshly for polite conversation. Silence fell between them as the rest of their classmates filed in and their professor began class.
Tom was beginning to understand that Lily Potter was intentionally irritating him. She seemed to derive great amusement from his irritation, like a naughty child. Tom could not imagine what was possessing her to do act so puerile. It was foolish to say the least, extremely foolish considering who he was.
When she had first interrupted his reading, he was supremely irritated, however the information the girl provided concerning Dumbledore was very interesting. The girl clearly knew the outcome of the war. She did not seem to be able to watch herself close enough to not reveal valuable information. This could definitely work to his advantage.
So, Dumbledore will defeat Grindelwald. It was clear from her lack of anxiety in presenting the information and her subtle acknowledgement of his later return to Britain. Tom wondered whether she had studied this era during her previous years at Hogwarts.
Dumbledore's absence from Hogwarts would also give Tom great freedom within the school. Freedom that he had never enjoyed. Constantly and consistently, the old coot had been breathing down his neck, waiting and hoping to catch him in wrong doing. How close he had come when that Ravenclaw Myrtle had been killed in the bathroom. Tom cursed his eleven-year-old self, who had so foolishly revealed secrets to Dumbledore, it had left him constantly under suspicion. Now that Dumbledore was gone, he and his associates would not be as closely watched. The professors that remained at the school were completely wrapped around his fingers. The poor fools had no doubts concerning him. Brilliant, handsome, orphaned Tom Riddle.
He glanced over at Lily Potter. She was biting on her quill like an insipid first year, listening to their professor drone about things he had learned in his fourth year. She noticed his attention and looked back at him. A quizzical look passed on her face before she smiled at him. It was a kind smile, her eyes were twinkling at him. Tom felt a hitch of the deepest revulsion in his stomach. He was going to break her, and she was going to spill all her secrets to him.
Lily, Hugo and Phineas were settled down onto the plush couches in the Room of Requirement. Hugo was sprawled out on the smaller one, while Lily lay on the other, her feet in Phineas' lap. A roaring fire blazed in the large fireplace, crackling merrily.
"So, Phin, have you spoken to Minerva McGonagall yet?" asked Lily. Hugo chuckled. Phineas looked every bit the haughty Slytherin when he replied.
"Yes, I speak to her all the time. We do sit next to each other in two classes."
"That definitely doesn't count, mate. Have you talked to her about anything other than the proper wand motions for transfiguring a turnip into a hippo?" said Hugo with a laugh. Phineas glared at him, but said nothing.
"Aw, leave the poor man alone, Hugh," said Lily, snuggling deeper into the pillows of the sofa, "I could help you out, Phin, Minerva and I are becoming pretty good friends in our dorm. I could have us sit by her-"
"Do whatever you think is best, Potter," he said with an air of dismissal.
"Oh take that Potter and shove it, Malfoy. I'm just trying to help you out. No need to get so huffy," Lily said, poking Phineas in side with her foot. He slapped her foot away, so she continued to do it, trying to tickle him.
"Alright, enough about my love life and onto the subject of Tom Riddle," said Phineas, grabbing both her feet.
"Not that jackass again," Lily said. Hugo sniggered at her comment, while Phineas chose to ignore it.
"So, we need to discuss our options concerning him. We could, of course, ignore what we know is coming and let time take its course." Lily and Hugo began to protest instantly, "I thought not, and I agree wholeheartedly. The first option to prevent Voldemort's rise would be to seriously injure or kill him-"
"Only a Slytherin could talk about that so calmly," said Hugo with a short, slightly bitter laugh.
"Yes, well, if things get bad enough we may have to consider it," Phineas said. The trio exchanged meaningful looks, but remained silent for a moment.
"I would definitely prefer not to spend my life as a killer, but thanks," said Lily, "Our other options include sabotaging ever plan he has, which will be extremely difficult because we would have to know exactly what those plans were. We could also try to change him, you know, somehow get him to change and have morals."
"Yeah, Lils, that's likely," said Hugo, with a derisive snort.
"We have to try, though, don't we?" she snapped, sitting up a little straightened
"What try to be his friend? That'll never work," said Hugo. Lily glowered at him.
"It could though. Maybe no one ever really tried," she said.
"We can't live in your idealistic world where everyone has some redeeming, wonderful qualities that will come out if properly nurtured-"
"You don't know that they wouldn't!" she said, raising her voice a bit.
"Don't be so naïve, Lily. This is Lord Voldemort we are talking about. Not some misguided teenage wizard who wants someone to take him by the hand and lead him down the right path," said Hugo, leaning forward to glare at his defiant-faced cousin.
"Lily, I think we should concentrate on finding out what his plans are and stopping them. While your route would be ideal and cut the problem at the root and all that, it's impossible," said Phineas.
"Fine, then, we try to catch him at something and generally sabotage him somehow. But how the hell are we going to find out what he's doing? The only things I know about him in this time period is that he opened the Chamber, which he has already done, and he killed his grandparents and father…I'm not sure if he has done that yet. We don't even know if he's made a horcrux or two yet. I know that Dad said Riddle didn't find out exactly how to make a horcrux until after he killed his father," she said.
"But I would think he made one from Moaning Myrtle. The diary, I thought," said Hugo.
"Yes, Dad said the diary was made from Myrtle's murder, but apparently it doesn't have to be made directly after the killing. Murder rips the soul no matter what, the only chance for repair is in remorse, which Voldemort did not feel. So Riddle has the rips on his soul, but until we find out whether he murdered his family we don't know if he has created a horcrux as of yet,"
"Why does he need to kill his family to make the horcrux? Why wouldn't he have already done it?"
"Because he didn't question Slughorn about creating horcruxes until after he had killed his family," she said.
"How do you remember these apparently insignificant details but couldn't even remember Voldemort's real name when we got here?" asked Hugo with a laugh.
"I don't know. I guess I've had to access that part of my brain for the first time and it's all falling into place," she replied.
"Alright, so our first order of business is to find out whether Riddle has killed his family yet. That'll tell us whether he has created a horcrux at this point," said Phineas.
"I suppose we can look into the muggle records to see if they are still alive. That'll take ages though. We don't even know the town they live in," said Hugo.
"I don't remember the name of the town, but I do remember that Riddle pinned the murders on his uncle. So we can look at the records of Azkaban and see if he has been sent in for their murders," said Lily.
"Brilliant, Lils," said Hugo.
"Only one problem: do you know the uncle's name?" asked Phineas.
"Gaunt," she said, "The last name is Gaunt. His grandfather is Marvolo, like Riddle's middle name…and his mother's name is…ugh I can't remember. Not shocking really seeing as I didn't even remember Voldy's real name at first."
"You are quite the failure, Lils, even though you somehow remembered the details of Voldemort asking Slughorn and-" said Hugo.
"Oh shut up, will you? But it really is lucky that I paid attention at all. How was I to know that all the information on the war could possibly be put to any use?" she said.
"We need to our ears open for Riddle's plans and keep our mouths shut in public. Riddle will certainly have the Death Eaters watching us, and we can't be too careful in what we say around people," said Phineas. He hesitated for a moment, "Do you-do you think I should become a spy?"
"What?" asked Hugo, clearly horrified.
"Abraxas is clearly trying to recruit me to Voldemort's gang…should I let him?" Phineas' eyes were on his lap where Lily's feet still lay. He saw them slide of his lap, Lily moved toward him, placing her hand in his.
"No." she said, looking very upset, "No, you can't Phineas. Not now. Maybe…maybe if things get really bad. But not yet. Not until we absolutely have to."
Silence filled the room as they stared into the flames, each lost in their own thoughts. Lily's hand still in Phineas's.
"We are completely in over our heads," said Phineas. Lily nodded solemnly, gripping his hand tighter.
"Yes, we are completely and utterly fucked," agreed Hugo, "Now who wants to have a go at chess?"
Once again, as had been the case for the last week or so, Phineas tried to ignore the glares of his fellow Slytherins and the interested stares of the other students of Hogwarts. Most members of Gryffindor had begun to accept his presence at their table. Some had even taken to chatting with him as they ate their meals.
At the very first opportunity, which just so happened to be breakfast, Lily had made good on her promise to help facilitate an opportunity to speak with Minerva McGonagall outside of the classroom. Phineas now sat across from the dark-haired young woman, his stomach clenching a bit with nerves as he tried to eat his rashers.
All that he could do was glance at her every minute or so. He wished he could openly gaze at her, but that would probably alarm the people surrounding him. Minerva's light green eyes were so sharp, holding intelligence and a clear strength of will. It was this ferocity of character that struck Phineas the most. Just by looking at the girl, he could see an iron-clad set of values. This was a person who knew exactly who she was and to hell what anyone else though.
Lily and Minerva were chatting about the most recent Daily Prophet article. Lily kept glancing at him, clearly trying to encourage him to enter their conversation. Phineas knew this was the perfect opportunity to converse with the witch, but he couldn't muster up the courage. He had never had the problem of freezing up in front of witches but Minerva McGonagall was so differrent from other witches he had met.
"Well, Phineas here happens to know all about the theories of international magical law. Don't you Phin? The other day you were talking about the implications of integrating the laws of separate magical ministries into one cohesive thingy," Lily said, drawing him into the conversation. Phineas knew that Lily Potter detested politics, a trait she had very much in common with her father and mother. She was clearly only engaging in this conversation to give him a proper in.
He hestitated for the space of a minute as Minerva's eyes fell upon him, waiting for him to speak.
"Clearly there are many potential drawbacks to international magical cooperative law, however in light of the current war the benefits are obvious," he began. Lily casually sneaked out of the conversation, continued reading the Daily Prophet, a small smile on her face. Phineas could have kissed her he was so grateful.
Minerva was even more intelligent and interesting than he had imagined. Throughout their discussion, Minerva's face remained stern and impassive. And suddenly, Phineas had a new plan, he wanted to make Minerva McGonagall laugh. He wasn't a funny lad, that had always been Hugo's role, but somehow he was going to see her face light up with laughter.
Hugo was by far the best and most efficient researcher, a trait he inherited from his meticulous mother. He began his research into Tom Riddle's family by searching through the family tree of Slytherin, tracing the bloodline to the notably mentally insane, pauper Gaunt family. He laid aside the books most pertinent to their future research on the lineage of their Tom Riddle. The trio had decided that because Riddle focused on his 'noble' ancestry, they could only benefit in their mission by knowing something about it too.
Hugo and Lily now sat curled up in one corner of the library, looking through Daily Prophets and Ministry registrations for any hint of the illusive family. The duo had first tried looking into the Hogwarts records, but no Gaunt had attended Hogwarts for nearly a hundred years, nor had their births been registered with the ministry or with St. Mugo's. The cousins were becoming progressively more irritated and exhausted.
"Honestly! It's like these people have barely existed for the last two hundred years," said Hugo, throwing down a list of ministry employees, "I haven't even found any registration at the ministry for anything."
"Maybe they're paranoid of the ministry or something. I know that his family were the worst kind of blood supremacists, so maybe they didn't want to be associated with anything that accepted muggle-borns in the slightest bit, hence the avoidance of the ministry and Hogwarts," she said.
"Still, it's a little excessive, don't you think. To not even go to Hogwarts…it's insanity," he said with distaste. Lily laughed and silence fell between them once more. Every now and then one of them would sigh or shift their positions, silently praying the next word they read would be a reference to the Gaunts.
The library was beginning to drain of students and the twilit sky was darkening rapidly. Knowing that it was likely to be her last document of the night, Lily was slowly but surely scanning through a Daily Prophet from the 1910s when Hugo spoke suddenly.
"I think I found them!"
Lily looked up at him, shifting over to look and the newspaper he was holding. The small article read: Morfin Gaunt Charged with Muggle-Baiting and Resisting Arrest
"Muffliato. Does it say the age of Morfin? That must be the uncle, that Voldemort framed for the Riddles' murder," she said, excitedly.
"It says he was twenty-three in 1924 and sentenced to three years in Azkaban. So he got out in 1927 by the looks of it," he said, still examining the newspaper. His face lit up once more, "It seems Marvolo Gaunt, age forty-two, was sentenced the same day as Morfin for injuring ministry personnel and resisting arrest. He was to be released later that year."
"I think he died shortly after that…Well, we've definitely found them then," she said, "Does it say where they lived?'
"Yeah, some place called Little Hangleton in Shropshire," he said, scanning the article.
"Lovely! Now we just need to visit Little Hangleton and make sure the Riddle family is still alive," she said.
"You're sure they live in the same village then?"
"Yeah, I'm sure, that's how his mother met the first Tom Riddle," she said, "Is there any mention of her in the article?"
"No, nothing about her," Hugo replied.
"Oh well, I guess we've been lucky enough for one night," Lily said.
"We better get going. You've got to get to patrolling with You-Know-Who," he said.
"Ugh, don't call him that. I don't want to deal with him. I just want to sleep," she said, gathering her things rather reluctantly.
"I'd really rather you not patrol with him, especially with Dumbledore gone. Maybe if you go to Dippet and try-" Hugo said, looking worried.
"Hugo, I can handle it. Don't worry, I'm a big strong girl," she said, looking at him sympathetically.
"I'm going to worry," he said, "I'll be up studying until you get back."
"Hugo, that isn't necessary."
"I just need to study...late," he said unconvincingly, avoiding her eyes.
"You're a liar, Hugh," Lily said.
The evening patrol passed with no incident. Lily had endured Riddle's presence as they patrolled the corridors. They spoke little, and when they did it was on simple matters like schoolwork, left to her own thought, Lily turned her mind to the situation of Tom Riddle. He seemed to be consuming her every minute, she couldn't seem to escape him. She sat next to him in nearly every class, heard his name constantly in the giggles of females, saw him lurking in the Great Hall, and now she had to patrol with him. Even her dreams had the figure of the snakelike Voldemort weaving throughout. It was a dangerous situation to be in. Tom Riddle or Lord Voldemort or whoever he was should not be consuming her waking and dreaming thoughts.
Her attempt to draw her friend and cousin into what she had dubbed "Operation De-Voldy" had failed utterly. She had hoped, without much hope herself, that the two boys would support and understand her desire to reform denial had only reaffirmed the rightness of her choice in her mind.
Lily knew it was absolutely reckless and positively stupid and definitely not going to work at all, but she couldn't help but at least try. If she could somehow get Tom Riddle to understand or, at best, feel love or friendship, then perhaps she would be able to save him. From what she had learned about Tom Riddle, she knew he was not literally a psychopath, as he could feel anger, hate, happiness (at the expense of others). Which meant that he could, theoretically experience love and genuine affection. Couldn't he?
Riddle was a genius, and as an evil genius it seemed very unlikely that they were going to successful thwart or catch him. So, Lily was going to befriend the bastard or die trying…maybe kill him trying. Yeah, that sounded a little more agreeable. But the point was, she would succeed or someone was going to die.
She promised herself that while she might be idealistic, she would not be naïve and under no circumstances would she intentionally lower her guard around Riddle. That would be far to similar to playing near an open flame with a can of gasoline.
"Potter, it's midnight," said Riddle as they passed the statue of Barnabas the Barmy.
"So, we're done for the night then?" she asked.
"Yes, would you like to walk you back to Gryffindor tower?" asked Riddle. Lily hesitated. No, no she did not want him to walk her to Gryffindor tower.
"Sure, that would be lovely. And it's Lily," Lily said. The two began to walk to Gryffindor tower silently.
"So, Potter-" Riddle began.
"It's Lily," she said, once again.
"Have given any thought to assuming the full responsibilities of Head Girl," asked Riddle. Lily
"I just-I don't understand why-I really wouldn't be comfortable taking the headship for Amber DeCorno," she said.
"Oh, I didn't realize you were friends," he said, dispassionately.
"No, no we aren't. But that doesn't mean I want to usurp her position or anything," she said.
"The headmaster agrees that DeCorno is not the proper choice for the job."
"And he has decided that I am from the two brief conversations that I had with him?"
"As I have said, other teachers recommended you based on your skill. And you are clearly up for the job, seeing as you were head girl at...your Hogwarts," said Riddle.
"Yes, but I earned that," she said, "There are others here that deserve it more. Who have been-"
"DeCorno will be stripped of her title whether you take the position or not, Potter," he said, his irritation was becoming even more evident to Lily. Clearly, the conversation was not going the way he had planned.
They approached the portrait of the Fat Lady in silence. Both thinking deeply.
"Well, I guess I'll think about it...Goodnight, Riddle," she said.
"Goodnight, Potter," Riddle said, bowing his head shortly and turning on his heel. Lily watched him walk away until she heard the voice of the Fat Lady cut in.
"Ooooo he's so handsome and such a gentleman. You are a lucky girl, Miss Potter. Next time you should kiss him," the portrait gushed.
"Vigilance," Lily said dully. The portrait swung open and she stepped in.
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