I wanna thanks Sheena for reading and correcting this fanfic (ok, for rewriting it). She's a genious when it comes to writing, and I couldn't ask for someone better to help me.

This is an AU oneshot fanfic, where Tom lives in the Golden Trio's Era. Hope you enjoy :)

Disclaimer: I do not own the universe of Harry Potter. I just borrow it.

She was sitting by the Gryffindor table, her expression seemed bored. Of course, it would not surprise him, since her best friend, Harry Potter, and her boyfriend, Ron Weasley, were talking about Quidditch for hours now.

Knowing Hermione, Quidditch had never sparked an interest to her. Instead, she grabbed her backpack then pulled out a book which appeared to be Hogwarts, A History—her favourite. She could recite every word written on it. Actually, it was both amusing and very impressive at the same time. Her face plastered with a small smile, she started to read the book, clearly to avoid the conversation going on between the two other Gryffindors.

Tom had never liked them. The first one, Potter, became very famous after he "defeated" a wizard who was trying to break into Hogwarts in his first year. He also believed that the wizard Potter defeated was never a powerful one and his victory was just caused by luck, pure luck and no doubt, with the help of Hermione.

Then there was Weasley: An unintelligent, blood traitor that happened to be Harry's best mate. Rumour said that Weasley was also part of the "saving Hogwarts" operation. Tom snickered at this for he could not believe that a person of Weasley's par could save a school, not to mention to have an interesting witch to be his romantic interest.

However, despite all of the things that were mentioned, Tom was not an ordinary boy. With his charisma and intelligence, he could achieve whatever he desire. His teachers were fond of him—save for Dumbledore—and his peers respected him and aspired to be like him. Having the title Head Boy and the top student of his class—not to mention an adept in Quidditch if he were in the mood to be part of the team—everyone would admire him and Hermione was no exception to that rule.

Still looking over at the Gryffindor table, Tom stood up from his seat and walked towards the said table.

"May I talk to you for a minute, prefect?" Tom leant down to whisper at her ear. Hermione shivered at his cool voice. Tom's features were graced with a playful, stifling a chuckle as he headed out of the Great Hall and took note of the sound of her footsteps that were trailing behind him.

"What is it, Mr. Riddle?" she said breathlessly as her voice sounded lovely to his hears, managing to walk beside him.

Tom could not help but be bothered on how she addressed him. Stopping from his tracks, he spun his foot to face her and glared:

"How many times do I have to remind you, Hermione? Please call me Tom. Just Tom. Don't tell me you can't do it? My name is a commonality to the norm!" he asserted, his eyes fixated at hers.

Hermione seemed taken aback by his suddenly severity, however, it didn't last.

"Oh, you don't need to be so rude about it, you know." she responded, quite annoyed herself.

Tom's face had calmed down and he smiled slightly. He couldn't help but feel weak around her. It seemed that this girl before him was his weakness.

"I apologise for my rudeness, Hermione. I just prefer it if you are to address me casually. It's quite pleasant to my ears." He replied with sincerity, studying her reaction. He saw her sighing before saying:

"No, I'm sorry, Tom." Hermione paused, pursing her lips. "It's just that I'm used to talk formally to everyone who has a position above me. I just cannot help it." she reasoned out, scanning their unfamiliar surroundings. "Wait, hey, where are we going?"

"You're not above me, Hermione. You're as brilliant as I am, I dare to say." he said, ignoring her question. Tom led her to the girls' lavatory in the fifth floor; the exact one where someone was killed—a girl which had caused for the place to be almost abandoned. Everyone was scared to enter the place but the legendary trio of Hogwarts was not one of them.

As they stepped inside, Tom wondered what she was thinking. He would be willing to use Legilimency on her to be wary of her thoughts but he decided not to.

"Tom?" she inquired, worriedly. "Why are we here?"

"Asking to many questions, my dear. Afraid, I presume?" he muttered teasingly, knowing that her Gryffindor bravery would show up.

"Afraid?" she huffed, proving that his theory was right. "Don't be silly, Tom! I just want to know the reason why we are here whilst the others are having dinner time."

Tom smiled again. Smiling had never been an expression of his. It was rare for him to do so for he had no acquaintances or friends. Yes, he did have 'friends' but they were only mingling with him so they could garner a part of his fame. He had never liked to be with their presence but as years passed by he realised that solitude was much worse. With Hermione around, it seemed that everything for him had felt differently. He would only smile for her.

"I discovered something that might interest you. You can consider it a hiding place…"

Her face lit up at his words, followed by a smile. Of course she would be as excited as him about it; after all she was his soulmate. He opened the door for her, him trailing behind her afterwards. Hermione smiled at him once again. This made Tom felt that unfamiliar feeling again. He was impressed by the way she trusted him effortlessly. It was an interesting notion to him

The moment Tom had been waiting for had come. He would show her his deepest secret. He told himself that if Hermione would accept it, he would propose to her and not bothering about the consequences of it afterwards. And lastly, if she were to retaliate, he would Obliviate her and try to forget his unfamiliar feelings towards her.

"So, Tom, where is it?" she asked, carefully looking around.

He sighed and walked over near the sink; Hermione was next to him in a heartbeat. He clasped their hands together, staring at her eyes. Hermione's eyes were beautiful in his opinion. They were a mixture of warmth and fiery. Tom did not avert his gaze at her, his mouth started to move, muttering something—more likely hissing something.

She seemed scared and surprised at first, and then comprehension made its ways to her: He was a Parselmouth.

His heart had started to beat heavily when he felt Hermione's hands tightened. He was nervous that if she were not to show any sort of reaction, he would have a heart failure. Hermione must have felt his tension, because she looked directly at him and said:

"Tom, this was… This is… amazing!" she looked up with an immense pride in her eyes. Tom stifled a chuckle-no one had ever felt pride of him—no one but her. Hermione, for Tom, was the only person who cared about him. His parents did not for they abandoned him of such an early age but Hermione…Tom could not afford of losing her even just the idea of it was painful.

Her hand still clasped with his, Tom led them down the staircase. He noticed that Hermione did not show any signs of fear but rather happiness. She was like a little girl that just found out a lost secret. As they reached the end of the staircase, Tom, who had been down there many times before, guided Hermione until a great iron door, with two giant snakes as its lock, was on sight,. He hissed again, but this time Hermione only smiled and didn't show any feeling of negativity to him.

The embellished snakes on the door started to move, and the door opened to a place much larger than the Great Hall. To a normal person or rather a stranger, it was scary due to its deformed walls and erected snakes statues, but for Hermione it was nothing—she just laughed at it, not that it's surprising at all.

"Oh Tom, this is beautiful. Can you imagine how long it's been here without anyone noticing? It must have been Salazar Slytherin, himself, who had done it, with all the snakes and stuff. And oh, look how this place is full of magic! I could try any spell here, and this room would probably help me! I lov-"

Hermione was not able to finish her sentence for Tom had ceased her from doing so. Her lips were against his. She was taken aback of what he had done and unsure of how she ought to react. Tom, however, took advantage of her bewildered condition and deepened the kiss. As Hermione's consciousness gained back to her, she widened his eyes, and pushed him away, a sigh came out from her lips.

Her mouth was wet while her cheeks were blushing profusely as if it her lips influenced it. Her brown eyes, wide in surprise, were much darker now. Tom pursed his lips and smiled playfully at her. He was fully aware that she wasn't indifferent for Hermione's eyes gave her away: it was apparent in her eyes that she quite enjoyed it. Needless to say, the only problem that made her to pull away was about the be dealt…

"I have a boyfriend, Tom! I can't… We can't… You can't just kiss me like that, out of the blue!" she said, her voice high, running her hand along her long, curly hair. "No! Ron… I must go back, he's probably concerned about me by now…" she added, panicked was obvious on her voice.

"What if I were to tell you he doesn't care about you?" Tom paused, his face darkening. "Not in the way I do, at least, Hermione. Understand my words." her eyes softened at his words, but she could not help but still feel nervous; she only looked down, biting her lower lip.

"No, you're wrong. Ron and I love each other! What you say are lies! I love R—"

"DON'T! STOP!" he yelled, glaring at her. He could not bear to hear Hermione saying those words for another man. He did not want to hear it. To calm himself down, Tom closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He was fully aware that he had hurt her when he lost his temper. Looking once again at her, he spoke: "What are your evidences that you love him, Hermione? Maybe you only fancy him and such feelings of loveare nothing but fallacy. How about Potter? I am, sometimes, under the impression that you bear non-platonic feelings for him?" Tom quipped, his voice condescending at the same time.

"Of course not!" she said in a tone that suggested she was thinking about his sanity.

Tom grimaced at her reaction, his eyes darkened as he looked at her. "Lost of words to defend yourself, Miss Granger? I think…your infatuation for him is only caused by your feelings towards solace. You are scared of being alone, are you not? " he said calmly, his lips twitched into a teasing smile.

"This is stupid! I love Ron. He makes me laugh, and I feel safe when I'm with him. I like the way he smell, and his freckles." she enumerated, more to reassure herself about her feelings and to prove to him that he was losing his sanity.

Tom couldn't help but laugh at her reasoning. "Yes, you love him, indeed. In the way you love Potter. You laugh with Potter, need I to remind you that? I dare to say that you get along with him even better than Weasley. Besides, you always argue with him about almost everything, am I wrong?" he paused, tracing his fingers on her cheeks. "Do you really feel safe with him? Are you going to trust his magic completely to take care of you if you weren't able to do your own?" Hermione looked down, felt embarrassed for Tom had made a valid point. "You like the way old books smell as well, and you don't want to date them… At least I hope not, because then that would conclude that you have a mental retardation." She chuckled at his remark. "See? You laugh with me as well." He grinned but his expression had become serious again. "However, Hermione, have you asked yourself these questions: Have you ever wanted to kiss Ron so helplessly that you could not even think straight? Have you ever imagine a bright future with him? Have you ever felt like you have found your mate in him? Do you think he has the capacity to stimulate you and your intelligence? Have you ever been so needy because of him that such acts of immorality don't concern you as long as you have him?

Hermione blushed profusely. He could not tell if she were feeling rage or embarrassment. It seemed it was rather both.

"I… I love Ron… I thought I… I thought I did but…" she murmured then took a deep breath before allowing herself to bite her lower lip

"Hermione" he drawled, his eyes fixated at hers. He leant down at her height. Hermione could feel his breath fanning against her cheeks.

"Have you ever felt such ambivalence for someone that you even question yourself if it's right or wrong to feel it?

Hermione swallowed hard, feeling more nervous as ever. Gathering her courage to speak, she didn't meet his eyes and said:

"I did o-once."

This caught Tom's interest. Raising a brow delicately, he smirked and stared at her eyes. "Mind if I ask who?"

Hermione didn't return his query though she managed to look at his eyes briefly. She was too overwhelmed by her emotions that she couldn't bear to stare at Tom's eyes. Taking a deep breath, Hermione looked up once again and this time, it was not Tom who initiated the kiss but her.