Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
Summary: It is Tom Riddle's time at Hogwarts .He's clever, charismatic, powerful and envied. He is the leader of Slytherin house. All of the aristocratic, dark, pureblood families follow his example. Black, Malfoy, Greengrass, Parkinson, Nott, Zabini, Crabbe, Goyle, Macnair, Yaxley...the list goes on. He can charm anyone, and has, but one. Hadrian Carrow. Tom first met him in a tumult of unlikely circumstances and, since that moment, forever captured his unending interest. Hadrian is the Carrow heir, a dark pureblood family, a member of Slytheirn house, powerful, handsome, popular, cunning...but, for some reason he does not fall into Riddle's circle. Seemingly friends with everyone but no one at the same time. A joker, but someone that shouldn't be crossed. A dichotomy. Acquaintances with his Slytherin classmates, Hadrian is constantly running from his familiar duties as a dark heir on par with the Malfoy's and Black's. He's ruthlessly intelligent and entirely capable of pureblood decorum. He chooses to drink with Gryffindors, debate with Ravenclaws and associate with Hufflepuffs. He's a playboy. The only one who can beat Riddle in a class. He amazes the school in Quidditch, angers and frustrates his powerful Father, capable of being dangerously flippant with his life. And Tom Riddle's enduring obsession.
Tom sneered deeply at the passing muggles as he made his way through Kings Cross station.
He had decided to leave the orphanage extremely early this morning so that he would have plenty of time to find this platform Professor Dumbledore had told him about a month ago. After informing Tom of his acceptance to the prestigious magical school, Hogwarts, the auburn haired wizard had presented an elaborately decorated train ticket to him. Dumbledore had given him a small, patronising smile and said that the students usually enjoyed the unique transport to school.
Crossing the barrier and letting his grey eyes dance across the numerous parents and students on the wide platform, Tom scoffed.
A steam train.
Oh yes Dumbledore, ridiculously unique.
A sudden and inexplicable fountain of exhilaration was abruptly bubbling, uncontrolled, inside of him. Still, with an iron will, Tom kept his expression impassive as he moved carefully through the white steam towards the brilliantly coloured crimson train.
He walked slowly, but steadily, towards his destination.
This was the world where he belonged.
Tom's shoulder over-extended as his body was jerked to an abrupt halt. The handsome, black haired boy cursed softly under his breath as he turned back around, rubbing his sore shoulder joint, to see that one of the wheels of his battered school-trunk had slipped into a deceptively deep crevice in the platform and become stuck.
Setting his mouth in a tight, firm line, Tom narrowed his slate orbs in angry determination and pulled on the handle of his trunk strongly. The back of his neck burned with his perceived humiliation at the mortifying halt in his confident stride towards the glittering Hogwarts Express.
The cold, steam filled air was suddenly ringing with the painful whine of the train's warning whistle. Tom's neck snapped round and his eyes widened in panic. Rushed hugs, kisses and calls of farewell were exchanged between parents and children all around him. The final tide of bodies clambering quickly onto the ruby train, anxious not to be accidently left behind.
Tom hurriedly turned back to his stubbornly still trunk, twisting and pulling it every which way in a desperate effort to find a means to free it from the platform's trap.
"Hey! Need a hand?"
The laughing voice clearly belonged to a young boy.
Tom didn't even have the chance to pause and consider whether his increasing need for assistance outweighed the degradation of accepting help; let alone, from someone who was clearly laughing at his predicament, before a similarly sized hand joined his on the trunk's handle and pulled.
The brown, second hand trunk submitted under the overwhelming force and, with a small screech of metal against concrete, popped free of the deep hollow in the platform.
Tom barely refrained from sagging in relief before his elbow was being grasped tightly and he was being pulled toward the moving Hogwarts Express at a run. Good thing his other arm had retained such a good hold on his trunk or the fast, jerky movements of the laughing, black haired boy in front of him would have surely sent it flying.
"W-wha?..." Tom's angry, confused demand was cut off by the charming and cultured voice which had spoken earlier.
"No time to talk! As you can see," Here, the boy let out another bark of laughter, clearly finding their predicament hilarious. "The train leaves at precisely eleven o'clock and we both need to be on it!"
Tom scowled darkly but quickly regained his balance, shook off the hand grasping his and quickened his run, the other boy increasing his speed easily to keep up, obviously having hung back to make sure Tom wasn't left behind.
The train wasn't moving very quickly but fast enough that the two black haired boys had to run along beside it when they finally reached the train. Tom hadn't noticed before, but his helper was pulling along his own pristine, expensive looking trunk behind him as well, the wheels bouncing off the platform at the quick pace they were setting.
"Go on! Jump on! I'll lift your trunk up to you!" Tom couldn't make out his companion's face through the thick steam but quickly saw the logic in their words.
Feeling the boy's hand grab hold of his own trunk handle, steadying it, Tom had time for just one thought about what he'd do to the person if he damaged his property in any way, before he gracefully jumped onto the metal steps in the gap between the train's carriages. Spinning around quickly, and it was a good thing too, Tom barely managed to extend his arms swiftly enough to catch the large school truck flying towards him.
"Oomph." Winded, from the blow to his stomach, he glared blackly as he found himself looking at the expensive red school trunk of the other boy, instead of his own brown, beaten one.
That scoundrel! The boy was clearly making sure Tom wouldn't just disappear when he had his own trunk. This way, it ensured he would stick around.
"Look out!" The boy was still laughing! Tom realised with rapidly growing ire. "Next one's coming!"
Tom could feel the growing power beneath his feet as the train continued to pick up speed and hastily shoved the red trunk behind him without care, catching his own as it came sailing through the steam filled air moments later. As soon as his worldly possessions were once again in his grasp, with the knowledge that he was standing on the Hogwarts Express safe and sound, Tom felt the adrenaline that had quickly built in his blood stream immediately subside.
The train was moving quickly now and Tom could just make out flashes of black as his helper sprinted alongside the train on the magically extending platform. It didn't take long for him to figure out why the other hadn't leapt onto the train yet. The Hogwarts Express was now moving at such a speed that the boy didn't have time to slow for even the instant it would take to jump to where Tom was safely standing.
The other's caviller attitude and careless invasion of his personal space had seriously aggravated Tom. He had wanted this day to be perfect. He had wanted to walk slowly, yet, confidently up to the Hogwarts Express, meet the curious gazes of those around him coolly as he entered the world where he really belonged. It was supposed to be a moment he would never forget! It was supposed to be special! He gritted his teeth together angrily.
He should just turn around and enter the carriage through the crimson polished door beside him and let the other boy be left behind. The audacity and nerve of passing up his own trunk first! He clenched his fist against his side.
The train gained even more speed as he stood there silently. He thought he could hear a voice shouting, but, surrounded as he was by the deafening sound of the train's spinning wheels, he couldn't be sure. Through a sudden break in the thick steam clouds Tom glimpsed the end of even a magically lengthened platform in the distance.
In the end, he did what he did so that he could start his beginning in the magical world in no one's debt. He would make it one his own. With no help from anyone!
Tom narrowed his eyes, picked his wand out of the pocket of his Hogwart's robes, he had put them on before he left the orphanage this morning, and cast his first spell.
It was effortless. He grinned in amazement as he felt his magic rushing through him for the first time.
The steam dispersed; swept away under the power of his successful command.
Now, with nothing to obscure his vision, he was able to see that the boy was running with a speed Tom had never before witnessed. His feet barely touched the platform before they were in the air again and his legs moved at a phenomenal rate while still, incredibly, maintaining an instinctive gracefulness.
He was a gifted athlete, Tom realised; his helper.
"Grab my hand!" Tom ordered, bellowing over the noise.
Bracing himself, he locked his left foot behind one of the gaps in the stair's metal handrails and leaned forward, reaching his arm out.
And suddenly, he was staring into the most vibrant, striking emerald eyes he had ever seen.
His fingers slackened but his arm remained extended.
It was the first time he saw the other's face and it was far from laughing now. Pink, tinged the boy's white cheeks from his furious exertion but those eyes...they were judging, calculating. Those eyes, at that moment, assured Tom more than any action the boy would take in the coming years that this was not someone to be taken lightly.
A hand grasped his firmly, and his helper launched himself into the air.
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