This chapter was updated on September 15 in order to make more sense.

Hermione didn't want to leave her quarters. If she did, that meant that she was going to spend the night with the one person she truly hated. It meant that she would be betraying the one person she loved the most.

The girls were long gone. They'd gone back to their rooms to do final touched before meeting their dates. Hermione was alone.

And she wanted to keep it that way.

She put on her necklace, the last touch before leaving. As she walked towards her door she caught herself in the mirror and paused. If this had been any other night, she would have praised CeCe for her work. Not a strand of hair was out of place. Her red lipstick wouldn't come off, no matter what he lips touched. Her eyelashes were so long, she swore that they would never get longer. Her nails were perfectly manicured.

And the dress - Merlin the dress. When she had picked it up, she never thought it would look as beautiful as it did. It was a pink hued crème colored ball gown. It had full length sleeves and a high neckline. But it wasn't conservative. The material was mostly see-through.

It was risqué.

Just like tonight.

Tom fastened his cuff links into place. Tonight was the night. Tonight, he would finally come out on top. He combed his hair one last time before looking at himself in the mirror.

He thought he looked handsome and smart in his dress robes. He hoped Hermione would agree. He turned to his door, knowing that on the other side of their shared common room, Hermione was getting ready for this night too. The thought made the box in his pocket seem heavier than ever.

He pulled his pocket watch from his breast.

Let the games begin.

She left her rooms without a shred of excitement and without the normal butterflies that usually accompanied a dance.

He was waiting for her at the portrait hole. She knew he would be. Riddle was nothing if not thorough.

He smiled at her. No – smirked at her.

"You look…" he did not finished the sentence but his meaning was clear.

Hermione smiled tightly, "Thank you."

"Let's be off, then," Tom said as he helped her out into the corridor. There were many other students walking towards the Great Hall as well. Hermione noted that unlike the Yule Ball in her time, all students were permitted entry.

The Great Hall was decorated to look like a room of crystal. Hours earlier, the prefects and quite a few volunteers put up decorations and charmed the hall until it was ready for a full functioning celebration. Clearly they had done an excellent job.

After a few minutes of quiet chatter between students, Dippet cleared his throat and stood from the teacher's table.

"I would first like to thank the Prefects and volunteers for the decorations." Polite clapping, "And the Head Boy and Girl for their services to make this dance happen." He pointed towards their table where Hermione smiled politely with a slight flush before waving. "As tradition, the Head Boy and Girl will open the dance with the first dance."

Hermione had been dreading this almost as much as going with Riddle. She counted her lucky stars that her favorite professor and Head of House had taught her to dance expertly.

Riddle led her to the middle of the floor where the pit band for The Black Magic Trio began a waltz. Riddle smirked triumphantly at her. She glared back.

"You could pretend to be modest. It wouldn't kill you."

"It would actually. I've no reason not to be proud."

Hermione rolled her eyes as they finished the dance and took their seats.

Hermione was lucky that she and Harry had reserved their seats together. Harry and Cecila were having an excellent time. He even danced.

"I'm very surprised, Harry."

"By what? That I can actually dance?" he asked mock offended.

"Hmm," she replied with a smile and twitch of her lips, "Poor Cecila almost had the same experience as the Patil twins."

The two laughed deeply before tucking back into their food.

Riddle glared in annoyance at Harry. He disliked not knowing what they were joking about and stabbed his steak brutally.

Abraxas Malfoy started conversation and the table. Hermione was thankful, since the tension was slowly building.

"So, Hermione, what are you planning on doing after graduation?"

Hermione cleared her throat. "I've already gotten an offer from the unspeakables."

The group laughed.

Hermione frowned, "I wasn't kidding."

"Without your N.E.W.T.s?" asked CeCe in shock.

Harry smiled proudly. "Hermione is the brightest witch of the age. Her O.W.L. scores were higher than anyone else in the last two centuries!"

Hermione tapped Harry's knee, "Really, Harry. Enough boasting."

"She even corrected a question on the transfiguration exam!"

Hermione rolled her eyes. "It was barely a correction."

The two stared at each other fondly.

Tom was getting very frustrated. He and Hermione had danced only six songs together so far. She was off talking to her "brother" and Charlus Potter now. He grasped her drink tighter in his hand trying to quell his rage.

"Ah, Hermione! I've gotten you a fresh drink." He handed the glass to her carefully and she smiled in appreciation before knocking it back in one gulp.

Charlus and Harry laughed as though this was the funniest thing they had seen tonight.

"You'll be drunk by the end of the night."

Tom frowned, "It's only elderflower wine."

"It's also her sixth glass tonight."

Tom gave her a concerned look. "Six glasses, Hermione? You'll pass out before we even reach our rooms." Tom smirked at the ire on both Charlus and Harry's faces when he stressed our.

"I'll be fine, Tom. Harry and I used to drink bottles of fire whiskey like water!"

Charlus burst out laughing again. "I knew you were a whiskey woman. You're quite the spit fire."

Finally the night was ending, and Hermione and Harry were sighing in the corner. "After that experience, I'm going to need something stronger than Elderflower wine." She turned to Charlus with a very serious look, "Get thee gone, sir, and bring me Odgen's."

He laughed before turning and walking away.

Clearly this chapter has had many, many changes. I haven't been happy with it for a while, and so I changed it drastically. It is much shorter now, but there were many unnecessary fillers in this chapter.