Summary: Dumbledore wasn't the only one who was suspicious of Tom Riddle. Katherine Smalls was many things, but gullible isn't one of them. Not a Tom Riddle/OC pairing. WARNING: 1940s historical views on race maybe offensive. Please be warned.
A/N: Hey guys! This is my first Harry Potter fic, I hope you enjoy it! Please leave a review and tell me what you think. By the way, this is only a one shot and it's pretty short.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or its characters, they belong to J.K. Rowling. Katherine Smalls, however, is mine.
Hogwarts in 1944 provided no safe haven for muggleborns of all types, and Katherine Smalls had learned this the hard way when she first met her Gryffindor roommates. It wasn't apparent at first, but oh they were friendly enough and they smiled, made polite chit chat, inquired about the muggle war and those horrible bombings that completely decimated London. Katherine knew they weren't bad people, but there was something about the way they ignored her and the way those girls - Pureblood girls - looked at her sometimes, as if she was nothing more than a dog that merely occupied a bed in their room. To be treated no better than a Jew or one of those coloured folks, it was quite degrading.
Being isolated at times gave her an advantage over others - and that was observation. For instance, she knew that Septimus Weasley harboured quite the infatuation for that Black girl over at Slytherin, Katherine always catch his eye wandering over to her table and whenever she'd look back he would blush and pretend that it was only a mere glance. She also knew that Abraxas Malfoy, although appearing to be quite the perfect gentleman, had a few discreet affairs here and there. Druella Rosier wasn't exactly the quietest conquest he's ever had, perhaps she should have thought of casting a Silencio around her table before she'd started gossiping. Then there was...her eyes wandered over the Slytherin table across the Great Hall and her mouth was set in a thin line.
Tom Riddle. Perfect prefect Riddle, Slughorn's pet, those were just a few of the names that they called him behind his back. Filthy, Slytherin mudblood used to be among them but that stopped around third year after Orion Black had mysteriously ended up in the Hospital Wing due to his "Quiddtich" injuries. Katherine scoffed when she'd heard that Madame Filch had bought such a lame explanation, and she was all the more irritated when Caspar Crouch (her only friend, really) came up with more ridiculous theories. Really, Orion Black hates anybody who isn't a pureblood and always made a point to let people know how embarrassing it was to have that "mudblood" Riddle in Salazar Slytherin's noble House.
Though he was most admired for his intellect and his looks, Riddle was also a target for a few crude jokes here and there and was often subject to quite a few vicious gossip mills started by offended female admirers who had the misfortune of being snubbed by the boy. She, like many other girls, had started out fancying Tom Riddle by fourth year until it faded away some time after that. He was the perfect English gentleman her mother always told her to marry when she finished Hogwarts. He was very intelligent, a member of the exclusive Slug Club and the perfect, pristine picture of politeness.
And that was the problem.
Anyone who has ever had a conversation with him didn't notice it, but she did. Oh, she did.
His tone, smooth and gentle, had the lilt of forced nicety and an almost mechanical quality to it. His eyes were often said to be the best feature about him, but it was blank! Every time he raised a hand in class, every time he smiled, when Slughorn would praise him, when he won that bloody Special Services award - there was nothing! No sparkle, no glint, nothing notable to see. He never had a hair out place, his clothes were always neat and - and it just drove Katherine so crazy sometimes because when people were this perfect they always, always had something to hide.
Tom Riddle was completely hollow. Like a pumpkin that had been carved out of stuffing for All Hallow's Eve and you think it looks so real but when you take a closer look, it's empty. Utterly empty.
That was even scarier than having a beast of a snake wandering around the school, hunting down muggleborns at night as they all slept above its home.
That's what she felt like when she looked at Riddle at times.
He'd noticed her staring now and she gave him a besotted smile that told him she was only a silly girl with a passing fancy, and he gave her a small charming smile in return before lowering his eyes to his plate.