See that rating? It says "T." It's rated that way for a reason, but everything except the ending is probably actually "K" material.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. *sigh*

"I'm Lucy. And if you call me Lulu, I'll hex you so bad your grandkids will feel it."

That was how the girl introduced herself as she plopped down, without asking, in the seat next to her fellow third-year, Tom Riddle, on the Hogwarts Express. He glared at her, almost warily, wondering why a Gryffindor—which she obviously was, since her Quidditch sweater was red and gold—would choose to sit with him, a Slytherin.

She had pale blue eyes that glinted mischievously, but behind the outer sparkle, Tom could see a wall of sorts, blocking her most private emotions from the world. Her hair, styled in a blunt cut that ended just above her shoulders, kept fading between neon-blue and seafoam-green. Tom had never seen anything like it before.

"What's wrong with your hair?" he demanded.

"Being Muggle-born doesn't mean you have to be rude," she said in a sing-song voice, grinning and turning her hair dark purple.

His glare turned colder. "I'm not one of those filthy Mudbloods." Then he felt a sting on the side of his face as a sharp crack resonated through the now silent compartment. Slowly, he reached up and tenderly touched his face as he realized what had just happened; she had slapped him.

Her hair was flaming fire-truck-red now as her eyes darkened dangerously. When she finally spoke, her voice was quiet and low, each word said slowly, deliberately.

"My best friend is Muggle-born."

"They aren't worthy to wield magic," he whispered, a dark intensity in his voice. "To have such strength, such power."

She just raised an eyebrow, not sure whether he was being serious or not. "You're off your nut, you know that?" She stood up, deciding to find a different compartment, and took her trunk with her. "Muggle-borns can be just as good as, if not better than, purebloods."

"You're wrong," he said.

"You're nuts," she called over her shoulder as she let the compartment door slam shut.

In that brief meeting, Tom became sure of two things. First, that he would never be able to get along with that Lucy girl. And second, that, despite her accusation, she was the one who was completely 'off her nut.'

"Are not," Tom shouted.

Lucy's hair began turning red at the tips as she shouted back, "Are so!"

"Prove it." He smirked, sure that he had won, but she just grinned at him.

"Prove they're not."

He rolled his eyes and let out a sigh. "How am I supposed to do that?"

"I don't know," she said, feigning innocence. "You're the one who wanted proof."

"I don't need proof to know Muggle-borns are inferior. They're unnatural." He expected her to become angry at this, but was dumbfounded when she laughed.

"And what do you think we are, genius?" she said. "Magic isn't exactly natural either."

He narrowed his eyes, giving her his worst death-glare, but she just grinned and raised an eyebrow at him.

"Let me know if you ever find a way to prove it, Tommy," she said, her hair fading back to blue as she turned and walked out of the classroom with her friends.

He felt his face heating up as he tried to restrain himself; he hated being called 'Tommy.'

"Sure thing, Lulu," he called after her, but he knew she did not hear; she would have come back to hex him if she had.

It had been two months since they had met on the train, and they were now constantly aware of each other's presence. They never passed up a chance to fight with each other. She usually won, since she always walked away before he had a chance to retort to her last insult, and Tom was sick of it. It was time she got what was coming to her.

Yes, he knew she was highly allergic to seafood. Yes, he had snuck a piece of fish onto her plate at lunch. No, he did not feel any regret. She had been taken to the Hospital Wing in time, and would only be out for a little while. Just long enough to ensure Slytherin's victory in the Quidditch match. Although Tom was not a member of the team, he hated to see Gryffindor win, and Lucy was the best Gryffindor Keeper in decades. Besides, he had been meaning to exact some form of revenge on her for a long time.

But when he saw her lying unconscious in that hospital bed, looking so small and helpless, he felt things he had never felt before; remorse. Pity. Concern. He was almost overcome by a strange combination of self-hatred and protectiveness for this girl who he thought he loathed.

"Tom, do you see why this is such a serious offense?" Professor Dumbledore asked. Had Tom not known better, he would have thought it was anger nipping at the edge of the Professor's voice. "You could have done much worse than this to her."

Tom gave an internal shudder at the thought. Her skin was red and blotchy, and she had been violently ill shortly after eating the fish. The girl had realized what was happening, and frantically fumbled through her bag for an 'epi-pen'—Muggle medicine, since the magic to treat allergic reactions was very complex—but she was not quick enough. She went into what is known to Muggles as anaphylactic shock; she could not breathe, and quickly passed out.

But Tom wondered what could have happened to her. Could she have been hurt worse? Or even… died?

"It won't happen again, Professor," Tom promised. He was too busy trying to deal with this new emotion—guilt—to realize that the Professor was watching him, almost curiously. Dumbledore could tell that something was different now, although Tom hid the guilt he was feeling.

"Detention every Saturday for the rest of the month. And you are not allowed to attend today's Quidditch match," Dumbledore said, calling Tom's attention back to him. "Return to your Common Room."

Tom silently obeyed.

Lucy had woken up, declaring herself capable of playing in the Quidditch match—her substitute was under-practiced and not very talented—but Madam Pomfrey still would not let her leave. So Lucy was left alone to sulk while all the other students were down on the Quidditch pitch.

All but one.

Her eyes narrowed, hair flaring red, as she saw him walk in. "Get out of here, Riddle."

"But I—"

"I can have Madam Pomfrey throw you out."

"I'll just keep coming back." he said. She turned her back to him and pretended to try to sleep.

He sat down in the chair next to her bed and let out a sigh, running a hand through his dark hair. "Lucy, I'm—I'm sorry."

For a moment, she thought she had heard him wrong. She sat up and turned to stare at him, first questioning, then incredulous.

"Why are you apologizing?" she asked. "I've never heard you say sorry to anyone. You never regret things."

"I never used to." He looked down at the ground, then made himself meet her eyes. "I just wish I—"

"Tom Marvolo Riddle, you get away from my sister right now!"

At the angry voice, Tom sighed and stood up. "It's nice to see you too, Minerva."

Minerva McGonagall whipped out her wand, pointing it right at Tom's face. "Leave. Unless you want me to turn you into a worm."

He rolled his eyes. "You're not that good at Transfiguration."

"You want to bet?" she snapped, jabbing him with the wand. But before she could do anything, Madam Pomfrey came into the room.

"Miss McGonagall, please settle down. Your sister has had a stressful enough day," she said, snatching Minerva's wand out of her hand. "And Mr. Riddle, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

Tom scowled at her. "But I—"

"No buts," the woman said, pushing him towards the door. "Out."

As soon as he was gone, Minerva turned to her little sister. "You okay, Luce?"

"I've been better," she said. "But, yeah, I'll be fine. How'd the Quidditch match go?" At her sister's frown, Lucy let out a groan. "How bad was Vane?"

"Worse than you'd expect."

"Please tell me the gap was under three-hundred," Lucy begged. At her sister's silence, she continued, "Min? Come on, he couldn't have been that bad."

"Five-hundred-sixty-two points," Minerva sighed.

Lucy's eyebrows raised in surprise. "That's all they scored?"

"No. That's how much they won by," grumbled Minerva; she was an avid Quidditch fan and hated when her team lost.

Lucy shouted some words that earned her a reprimand from Madam Pomfrey, and Minerva was asked to leave. For the rest of the day, Lucy sat alone, brooding over the game that Gryffindor should have won.

Lucy awoke in the middle of the night, a presence at her bedside rousing her from sleep. She opened her eyes and found Tom Riddle standing there.

At first, her hair flashed red, and her face contorted in rage as she reached for her wand. But, then, her grip on the wood loosened, and she slowly grew increasingly curious.

"Hi, Lucy," he mumbled, a look of guilt flooding his eyes.

"Why did you apologize to me?" she demanded, grabbing his wrist to keep him from turning away. "I thought you hated me."

His expression darkened, and he looked down at the ground. "I thought I did too."

"Then, why—"

She was suddenly cut off as something warm and soft pressed rather roughly against her lips. It lasted only a moment, and then it was gone.

"That's why," Tom said, turning and leaving without giving her a chance to respond. She did not even realize what had happened until he was gone.

He had kissed her.

It had been two weeks since the Fish Incident, and Tom had been avoiding Lucy. Whenever she came in the room, he either left or moved as far from her as possible. Despite her requests, her Quidditch teammates and other friends bothered him whenever they had a chance. Finally, one day, Lucy decided it was time to end all the drama.

"Riddle," she shouted, walking right up to him.

He flinched, but it was gone so quickly that only Lucy had time to notice it.

"What do you want, McGonagall?" he snapped, refusing to meet her eyes.

She scowled. "I want to know what that scene in the Hospital Wing was all about."

His fists clenched. "I made that perfectly clear."

"Then why haven't you talked to me?" she asked, her voice lowering to a volume only he could hear. At the new gentle tone in her voice, he finally made eye contact. It surprised him to see such softness in her eyes, although it was polluted slightly by confusion.

"Because," he said, "I thought you wanted to forget it happened."

"You're the most daft boy I've ever met," she sighed, rolling her eyes. Then, before he could protest, she leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss. "Hogsmeade trip next weekend. Meet me in the stairwell near the front doors. And forget your prejudices against Muggle-borns for just the one day, if you can't keep it up longer."

She walked out of the Charms classroom and ran right into a worried and angry Minerva.

"Merlin's pants, what are you thinking?" Minerva demanded.

Lucy sighed. "I'm guessing you heard that?"

"He almost killed you," shouted Minerva. "And now you're dating him?"

"You wouldn't understand. You didn't see how guilty he felt afterwards."

Minerva gave a shout of exasperation. "Why are you defending him?"

"I see something in him, Min. There's good in there. I just have to find a way to get it out."

Looking into her sister's eyes, Minerva could see a determination that she admired and, at the same time, hated. This determination was the biggest factor in Lucy's sorting into Gryffindor; she would not give up on something until she was convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was not possible.

And the most recent object of this determination was Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Lucy and Tom had been dating for over a year now. They were growing closer every day, and, despite obvious changes in Tom's personality, Minerva still did not approve.

"Luce, you're not ready to deal with someone as damaged as he is. His mind is an emotional trainwreck," Minerva reasoned, in another desperate attempt to make her sister see reason.

Lucy just smiled. "I know what I'm doing." There was something else in her eyes now, some sort of fierce protectiveness that Minerva had never seen before. For better or worse, Lucy's life was now entwined with Tom's.

"He's no good for you," Minerva said, although she was already resigning herself to the fact that she could not change Lucy's mind; once the girl was set on something, nobody could reason with her. "He's just going to hurt you."

Lucy's face was dead serious as she declared, "I love him, Minnie."

With those four words, Minerva felt a sense of dread more powerful than she could ever have imagined. Tom Riddle was going to ruin her sister's life, she was sure of it.

Lucy smiled again. "I'll see you back in the Common Room. I'm supposed to meet him near Slughorn's office later."

She was nearly skipping down the hallway, away from her sister, until she reached Slughorn's office. Most of the 'Slug Club' had already left, well on their way to their respective dormitories, but she could still hear Tom's voice coming from inside the room.

She waited outside, but her heart stopped for a moment when she heard what he was discussing with Slughorn. Finally, after a lengthy discussion, Tom exited the room.

Her face was pale, her eyes bright with desperation as her hair darkened in fear. "Tom…."

"Lucy," he said, rather unpleasantly surprised to see her there. He had not expected her to arrive until after he had exited the office. "You're early."

"You wouldn't kill someone," she said firmly, completely ignoring his words. Then her eyes widened and she gazed at him in fear, anticipation, dread. "Would you?"

"Don't worry, my treasure," he said, hugging her gently in an attempt to comfort her. "Everything is already set in motion. We can live forever. Together."

She shoved him away. "By killing people? Tom, what's wrong with you?"

A scowl spread across his handsome features. "We would only kill the Mudbloods."

Before she could remind him that her best friend was a Muggle-born, his scowl turned to a smile that she found extremely disturbing. He stepped closer to her and gently moved a strand of hair out of her face.

"And then, when I rule everything, you can be at my side," he said. "Ruling with me."

Her eyes widened in shock and fear, and she stumbled a few steps back from him. "Tom, you— You're a monster." And she turned and ran, now terrified of the one she loved.

She dropped out of Hogwarts the next day, opting to finish her education at Beauxbaton's. But she never forgot Tom, and he never forgot her.

Voldemort was traveling through the Forest of Dean, six years after the Horcrux discussion in Slughorn's office, when he found a young woman crouched in a small clearing. Her long, braided hair, which reached all the way down her back, was seafoam green, and she was wearing a Gryffindor Quidditch sweater with a pair of blue jeans and sneakers.

"You," he shouted at her, causing the woman to jump slightly. Over the years, his voice had grown into more of a hiss, much more snakelike. "Rise and face the Dark Lord." But when she turned around, his mind blanked for a moment in shock. He recognized those sparkling, pale blue eyes.

He looked her up and down, drinking in the changes the past few years had on her. She had been almost tomboyish before, but now she was a woman, delicate and beautiful.

When he finally gathered his thoughts to speak, all he could think to say was, "Lucy."

Her hair turned jet black. "Tom," she whispered, staring at him. He had always been pale, but now he was almost ghost-like. And when had the dark eyes she loved so much turned to such a blood-red color? He was too thin; he looked very unhealthy, as if something vital had been ripped away from him.

At the use of his old name, he scowled. "Don't call me that filthy muggle name."

"But it is your name," she argued. "It's the name of the boy I fell in love with." At this revelation, she clapped her hands over her mouth, willing the words to come back, but it was too late. Voldemort merely looked amused.

After several moments of silence, she finally allowed her hands to slip from her face. "I'm not calling you that other name," she sighed. Then she looked him in the eye. "How did you turn into this?"

"A lot of hard work," he said, grinning sadistically, "and natural talent."

"You call murder a talent?"

He shrugged, and then his grin was replaced by an angry frown. "You forget that you turned on me, Lucy. And the Dark Lord does not forgive."

She reached out a hand to him, pleading. "Tom—"

"Avada Kedavra," he shouted, blasting her to the ground with a bolt of green light.

In her last moments, Lucy wondered what had happened to the man she had once loved. She wondered what her life could have been had she never met Tom Riddle. Would she have gotten married? Had children? Despite the feelings she still had for Tom, she had grown to hate Voldemort.

Slowly, the color drained from her face, her hair, her eyes. He just stood there and watched, silently, indifferently. And then she was gone; he could almost feel it, somewhere in the pit in his chest where his heart had once been.

He smiled, pulled out a heavy gold locket, and began the next part of the spell.

Tom Marvolo Riddle made his Horcruxes from deaths that were important to him. Most believe it was a Muggle tramp used to make the locket, but they do not know of poor Lucy McGonagall, destined to die by the hand of the one she had once loved. And it may be true that, at some point, he had loved her too.

But, in the end, it had always been his choice.

Lucy: I hate you, Em.

Me: Hey, we all knew he was a bad guy. Not to mention a complete psychopath. What, did you expect a happy ending?

Lucy: It would've been nice. I miss Tom….

Me: He killed you!

Lucy: That wasn't Tom. That was Voldemort. Tom died a long time before that.

Me: Wow, Luce, that's about as deep as a kiddie pool.

Lucy: Whatever. You know, people aren't going to like you if you're mean. And if they don't like you, they aren't going to review.

Me: REVIEW! Please? I'll give you cookies!