Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, I wouldn't have killed off Dumbledore!
The Art of Being Dead
Andromeda refused to sleep in Tom Riddle's bed. That was the current issue. She'd just discovered that she was dead. Tom Riddle just discovered that he was the only person who could see her. Yet the only thing they could discuss right now was their sleeping arrangements. It was almost nine o'clock and they were both exhausted.
"A gentleman willingly gives up his bed for a lady." Tom muttered for the hundredth time.
"Well, I'm not asking you to be a gentleman. I can sleep on the floor. Just hand me a pillow and that extra blanket there." Without waiting for him to hand it over, she reached for the pillow.
"I can't allow you to do that." he continued to argue. "It's wrong."
Andromeda growled in frustration. "You are starting to annoy me!"
"Then do as I say!" he shot back, glaring.
She whirled on him, returning his glare. "How old are you?"
Taken off guard by her question, he stammered, "Tw-twelve."
"Well, I'm eighteen. I can handle sleeping on cold, hard floors. I've done it before. As a matter of fact, I've slept on much worse!"
Tom opened his mouth to argue, but he didn't know what to say to that. For a moment, he was stumped. Andromeda had already made a very poor makeshift bed when he finally figured out how to convince her.
As he took a step forward, Andromeda froze. The soft, pleading expression on his face and the look of absolute exhaustion in his eyes held her in place.
"Please," he said quietly. "I've had a long day. I've been bullied all day long and I just want to go to sleep. Can you please just take the bed?"
There were so many things Andromeda could say to further the argument and in the end, get her own way, but his expression halted the words on the tip of her tongue. She stood there silently, staring back at the future Dark Lord.
And then she felt her own exhaustion come crashing down on her and she couldn't bear to argue with him anymore.
She sighed heavily and turned her back on him, walking to the bed. "Fine," she muttered, her soft voice tired. "But just this once!"
Tom smirked at her back, but quickly hid it when she glanced over her shoulder at him. He lowered himself down onto the thin blanket, watching as Andromeda silently climbed beneath the covers of his bed. He lay down on the hard floor, shifting to get more comfortable and pulling the blanket around his small frame.
A few minutes passed in silence before Andromeda snorted in laughter. A moment later, she growled, "You're good."
He smirked up at the dark ceiling and muttered, "I know."
It didn't take long for him to fall asleep. The same could not be said for Andromeda, who was slightly nervous about closing her eyes for any length of time. She was tired and sore and her body was demanding sleep, but she was frightened. Of what exactly, she knew not.
When she finally closed her eyes and started drifting off to sleep, an eerie darkness surrounded her. She felt weightless. She felt as if she was floating, but couldn't understand how that was possible. Maybe it was a dream.
There was nothing but darkness and that didn't change. She floated through the abyss, frightened and alone. She lost track of time. She lost track of everything. She didn't know who she was here, didn't know what she was. She didn't have a body. She didn't need to breathe.
Finally, a solid feeling. A gentle tug was felt…somewhere. She couldn't tell where, because she didn't have a body. Maybe…her mind? Her spirit?
"Andromeda, wake up!"
Her eyes shot open as she was shaken violently by the shoulder. She immediately shot up in bed, gasping. Her heart raced in her chest and she whipped her head around, her hand clutching her wand close.
"Hey, it's just me." Tom said, standing several feet away, his hands held up in front of him. "I didn't mean to frighten you," he said apologetically.
Andromeda took deep breaths as she calmed down. "No, it's fine. I'm fine. Just…weird dream."
He doesn't care! He's Voldemort!
"Oh," he said, eyeing her cautiously. "Well, it's…almost nine thirty. We slept in quite late. Sister Marion had to come wake me up." He glanced at the blanket and pillow on the floor. "She probably thinks I'm ever weirder now."
Andromeda couldn't restrain the amused smirk that curved her lips. "Well, just don't tell her you see dead people and she won't have you committed to some kind of institution."
His eyes flickered to hers, staring at her blankly for a moment before he smirked. "Right," he muttered, more to himself. Then he turned towards the door. He paused with his hand on the knob, an unsure look on his face.
"What?" Andromeda inquired when he fixed her with a confused look.
"Well," he began, still unsure. "You're…dead. Do you…are you…hungry? And do you…well, there's a girls' bathroom…down the hall…"
Andromeda sat quietly on his bed, thinking. After a minute, she shrugged. "I'm not hungry and I don't need to use the bathroom. Maybe I don't need those things."
He nodded and started to turn back to the door, but stopped again and looked down over her body. "And your clothes…"
Andromeda glanced down at her jeans and t-shirt and then at the black school robe folded neatly at the end of the bed. Again, she shrugged, "I don't know. I guess they're still clean. I can't change them anyway. I don't have anything else.
Tom glanced at his closet. "I wouldn't have anything that would fit you. Maybe I can find something…" Without another word, he opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. He glanced at the older girl still in his bed before closing and locking the door with a quiet click.
Andromeda stared after him, her mind wandering to the impossibilities of her situation. She was dead, apparently. She'd drowned in the ocean. Now she was stuck with the boy who would grow up to be one of the evilest men in all history and killed by a boy with a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt.
The main problem was that she couldn't hate him right now. He was her last shred of hope. If he could see her, there had to be someone else who could! Maybe, just maybe, there was hope. Maybe she could find a way to—
Something shifted. No, everything shifted. Andromeda jerked up, straightening her back. Everything in the room had just moved.
Slowly, now on full alert, she raised her wand. A second later, her arm fell back to her side as everything in the room suddenly started to blur, objects melting into objects, colors fading into colors.
And then more darkness. But this time, it didn't stay long. She was only suck in the abyss for a few seconds before colors started fading into existence around her. A bed appeared beneath her, the covers a scarlet red. There were four posts at each corner and dark red velvet curtains drawn on each side. The bed, the curtains, and even the pillow at her back seemed terribly familiar. There was light peeking in through a gap in the curtains.
Hesitantly, she reached out with one hand, her wand ready in the other, and drew back the curtain to her left. She leaned forward, poking her head out.
She gasped in shock when she recognized the circular dormitory. There were four other beds identical to hers evenly spaced around the room. Light poured in through the windows, especially the one right next to her bed, which faced east. The morning sunrise cast a golden light across the dormitory floor.
And beyond that window right next to her bed laid an all-too-familiar view. A view she'd spent seven years admiring.
Andromeda pushed herself shakily to her feet, almost unable to keep her balance as she inched closer to the window, unable to believe what she was seeing. Unable to believe where she was. It was so…impossible!
She was dead. She had drowned. She'd somehow gone back in time. And now…now she was back in her seventh-year dorm at Hogwarts.
What the fuck…?
And then the door directly across from her bed banged open and a young woman with bubblegum pink hair came waltzing in.
"Well it's about time!" Tonks exclaimed, stopping short when she saw Andromeda. "Where on earth have you been?"
The next chapter has been written for a long time so it will be up soon. I have to wait awhile, though. I want to take my time with this story. The next chapter was the first chapter I wrote, actually. It will explain a lot and kind of give you some idea where this story is headed.