Transfiguration had always been my favourite subject. From my very first lesson on the subject I had found it so fascinating. I didn't know whether it was because the subject itself interested me, or because the teacher, Professor Dumbledore, made the subject so interesting. Either way the lessons seemed to fly by and today's lesson had almost come to a close already.
"These," Professor Dumbledore said as he walked around the room, setting some parchment in front of each student as he went, "Are the essays that were handed in last lesson."
He made his way through each student one by one until he approached our desk. Placing Mary's essay in front of her he gave her a gentle smile, "This was a fascinating essay Miss Prewett, and you took an approach many wouldn't take."
"Thank you," she said cautiously, pulling her essay towards her – it was a well-known fact that Transfiguration was her worst subject.
Dumbledore turned to me next and handed me my essay, "This was a wonderfully in depth approach to the subject matter. But what else would I expect from one of my most capable students?"
"Thank you professor." He gave us another smile before walking to the next desk.
I looked down at my essay and at the grade scrawled across the top of it. O. The work I had put in had been worth it. Mary leaned over my shoulder and let out a sigh.
"How in Merlin's name do you do it?" She wondered aloud.
"I don't leave all of my essays until the very last minute, Mary," I said nudging her teasingly with my shoulder.
"Or I just don't understand Transfiguration." She shook her head slightly and glanced back down at her essay. "Fascinating he said and yet he still gave me an A."
I glanced over her shoulder and read the first paragraph of her essay. "That's only because you deviated from the question Molly. Half of your essay doesn't answer the question."
"I swear," she muttered under her breath, "From now on I'm going to do every single one of the essays with you to see if I've been answering them wrong or if he has a blatant favouritism for you."
"Dumbledore's a kind professor, he doesn't have favourites."
She waved her hand dismissively in response as Dumbledore returned to the front of the classroom. He said a few parting words and then we were dismissed from the lesson. We rose from our seats, packing up as we went and headed for the door. With a quick goodbye to Dumbledore we stepped into the corridor.
Looping her arm through mine, Mary led us towards the great hall for lunch. We headed over towards the Gryffindor table and headed straight for our normal seats. Mary stopped walking suddenly, her face a picture of confusion. I couldn't help but laugh at her facial expression.
Mary had an exact spot on the table that she had to sit in because she claimed that from that one spot she had a vantage of everything that happened. I didn't bother to ask how she would see everything that happened behind her. People quickly learnt that no one, without exception, was allowed to sit in her space. Straightening up, Mary narrowed her eyes on the persons sat in her seat. Poor Potter had no idea what was going to hit him.
She stalked over towards him and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned to look at her, she let out a tirade of words that he struggled to keep up with. But once she had finished talking, the two of them started to argue. I rolled my eyes; when these two got started, there would be no stopping them.
Eventually, as he always did, Potter relented and moved further down the bench. Mary reclaimed her spot and motioned for me to sit down beside her.
After we had finished eating our lunch Mary announced that she needed to go back to Gryffindor tower so that she could get the homework that was due in for the lesson she had after lunch. Naturally I went along with her, listening to her as she talked about the latest horror that her newest boyfriend was subjected to at the hands of her twin older brothers.
There was a call of my name and we both stopped walking. Mary's voice trailed off and I furrowed my eyebrows at the unfamiliar masculine voice. Glancing over my shoulder, I turned around and let my eyes sweep over the boy. He was very handsome; tall with pale skin, dark eyes and even darker hair. Tom Riddle. The embodiment of a gentlemen if the rumours were to be believed.
"Can I speak to you for a moment?" He asked as he approached the two of us.
Mary looked between the two of us, a smile tugging at her lips. "I'll just leave the two of you alone."
Before she could take even a step away from me, my hand went to clutch her wrist and stopped her. I didn't do well around strangers on my own.
"I won't keep you long," Riddle said politely, glancing pointedly down at my hand on Mary's wrist and then back up to my eyes. There was a hint of amusement in his voice. "I promise."
"Of course," Mary answered for me as she pulled her wrist out of my hold. She glanced at me, "I'll be in our dorm, come and find me in the common room when the two of you have finished with your talk."
With that she walked away and left me alone with Riddle. I chewed on the inside of my cheek slightly before straightening up my posture.
"What can I help you with?" I asked, resisting the huge urge to turn back and look for Mary.
"It's about the Transfiguration work," he began as he closed the distance between us and now stood less than a metre away from me. He looked down at me as he talked, his eyes set on mine with a small gentle smile on his face "I was hoping that you would be so kind as to help me with it."
"Wait a minute." I glanced up at him in confusion. "I thought that you were at the top of the class? You consecutively get the highest grades?"
"I was at the top of the class," He answered as he reached into his bag. He pulled out a folded piece of parchment and handed it to me. Opening the parchment up, I read the letters, EE, scrawled across the top. "You were always a close second and with this essay you've managed to overtake my position."
"Oh," I said refolding the essay in half and fiddling with it between my fingers before returning it to him, "It is just one essay that you didn't do as well on, I'm sure that you will have reclaimed your position in no time whatsoever."
"Please?" He closed the remaining space between us, his hand coming up to take a hold of my elbow. I looked up at him curiously only to find him looking at me from beneath his eyelashes, his head tilted towards mine. An attractive half smirk grew at the corner of his mouth as he gave my elbow a gentle squeeze. Was this the infamous Riddle charm that I had heard so much about? I could see the appeal of it but I didn't take kindly to him trying to manipulate me into doing as he wanted.
"Alright," I said quietly, pulling my elbow away from him, "I'll help you so long as you do one thing."
"Anything," he said encouragingly.
"Stop trying to charm me." He looked completely shocked at my statement. His expression might have been guarded but his eyes gave away his obvious shock. "It's insulting that you think I will give in because of a smoulder that is thrown my way."
"Then why did you give in?" He enquired.
"Because I believe that you'll provide sufficient intellectual stimulation." With that I turned and headed towards the common room, internally preparing to give Mary an earful when I saw her.
Somehow during our now regular sessions where we worked on Transfiguration, I had managed to crack the puzzle that was Tom Riddle. I wasn't stupid enough to think that I had managed to break him down completely and change him into some semblance of a normal human being. But he did seem to act differently around me.
Not that the difference was so noticeable that it was glaringly obvious. It was little things; tiny mannerisms that alerted me to the fact that his perception of me had changed.
Whenever Riddle passed me in the corridor, he would stop to talk to me rather than passing me by with a nod of his head. Or if he was pushed for time, he would say a passing greeting to me – his voice significantly warmer to me than to others. Or rather significantly warmer for him. So not very much at all.
After one of our sessions we were making out way down to the great hall for lunch. Stepping into the great hall I gave him a parting smile and turned to head back to my own table for lunch. He stepped into my path to block my way.
"Tom?" I asked curiously looking up at him.
"Join me for lunch today," he suggested, tucking his hands into his pockets. "We were planning on heading back to the library afterwards anyway. I don't see the point in separating for a few minutes just to meet once again."
"Really Tom, I should go the Gryffindor table."
"Come on," he said dismissively, taking a hold of my hand to try and persuade me to follow after him. I chewed on the inside of my cheek when he glanced at me over his shoulder and flashed me a genuine smile – one that many people didn't get to see. I remained in my spot and his smile faded. He raised an eyebrow. "What's wrong?"
"Tom; Slytherins and Gryffindor's don't sit together." I took my hand out of his hold and lowered it back to my side.
"Maybe not," He agreed, "But friends do. Besides, I had thought that you were too smart to buy into all of the house rivalry rubbish."
"I don't buy into it," I insisted and cast a glance in the direction of the Slytherin table; most of them were watching us. "But other people do."
"Why does that matter?"
"Because people in your house, especially, are open about their obsession with blood status and blood purity." I looked back up into his eyes; his eyes were calculating. Figuring out what it was that I was trying to say and coming to the conclusion without me needing to say another word. But I said them anyway. "To those people; my blood is the worst kind."
"You are muggleborn," he stated, taking a step away from me. Just like that, with that one step I knew that he was rearranging his defences, fixing the crack that I had made in his walls.
"Yes I am."
"Then perhaps it would be best for you to sit at your own table," he said as a parting remark. Turning away from me, he made his way over towards the Slytherin table.
I did the same; heading over to the Gryffindor table and settling in beside Mary. She gave me a prodding look, trying to get me to spill about what had happened in our session. I rolled my eyes and spouted off some nonspecific details and turned back to my lunch.
Lunch soon finished and waited in the library for Riddle to turn up. It didn't surprise me when he was nowhere to be found.
The entire castle was filled with the news of the recent attacks that were happening in Hogwarts. The target every single time had been a muggleborn and it was beginning to set me on edge. It wasn't so much as the fact that I was a potential target but that it was all anyone seemed to be able to talk about.
But Mary, being the amazing friend that she was had never broached the subject to me since the first attack had occurred. But that didn't mean that I hadn't noticed the protective measures that had been put in place by her. Mary and her brothers had taken to 'protecting' me by constantly surrounding me. I couldn't flaw their logic; the attacks occurred when the muggleborns had been alone. Therefore if I wasn't alone then nothing could happen to me.
Instead she spoke of different topics. Today's one was the sheer disgust she felt for Tom Riddle.
"How can he go from spending hours a day with you to not even being near you when the two of you are in the same room?" She asked in disbelief.
"I was just helping him with his Transfiguration Mary – maybe he doesn't require my help anymore?"
"So he was using you all this time!" Her mouth parted in shock and she glared at something over my shoulder. I didn't need to look to know that the something was Riddle. "For someone so seemingly perfect he sure does have a rotten soul."
"Did you hear about the latest attack?" Mary's older brother, Ignatius asked as he settled down beside me on the table.
Mary's eyes widened across the table at her brother as she silently tried to get him to be quiet.
"Who was it?" I asked quietly, feeling my stomach turn painfully. I pushed my plate away from me, suddenly losing my appetite.
I gasped quietly. Myrtle had been present in class just this morning.
"How is she?" Mary asked.
Ignatius shook his head slowly, "She wasn't found quick enough to save her."
"The attacks are getting more frequent," I said quietly, looking down at my hands.
"There's been talk of shutting Hogwarts down," Ignatius said as he put his hand on top of mine to give it a squeeze.
"They can't do that!" Mary protested.
I remained silent, listening to the two siblings talk. They both misconstrued my silence as worry and turned to give me reassuring smiles.
"Nothing's going to happen to you whilst we're here," Mary promised gently. "Once the Prewett's have set our minds to something we do it no matter what the opposition is."
"Exactly." Ignatius agreed, "If anything you should feel sorry for the poor beast that even thinks of targeting you. Prewett's look after our own."
Whilst I appreciated that Mary and her brothers were willing to go to such lengths in order to make sure that I was safe, I was close to reaching the end of my tether. I was with one of them every second of the day without fail. Even going to the toilet was impossible to do alone. Mary would just follow me in and wait patiently for me to be finished.
"Don't be ridiculous Mary," I insisted when she decided to follow me into the girl's toilets. "I'm sure that I can go to the toilet by myself. I'll be out in like five minutes. Just wait here for me."
"No I should really," she didn't look convinced but I ignored her protests and walked into the toilets. I looked at the door for a while, half expecting her to follow me in but she didn't.
Exiting a cubicle I walked over to one of the sinks. Washing my hands I looked up briefly and caught sight of something in the mirror. My eyes widened and I looked back to the mirror, my eyes riveted to the image of the snake like thing that was creeping ever closer.
A – A basilisk?
This must have been the thing that was attacking all of the muggleborns. I felt my heart race as I wondered how I was supposed to get out of this without dying. One thing was certain – I could not look it in the eye.
Merlin's beard, this was going to be the way I died; in the girl's toilets.
I closed my eyes and turned towards the beast, hearing its scales scrape against the tiled floor of the toilets. What was I supposed to do now?
I jumped slightly when I felt a hand encircle my wrist. I felt myself being manoeuvred by whoever was holding onto me but I kept my eyes closed. The boy before me – if the tone of voice was any indication- started to speak in a series of sounds that sounded like the hissing of a snake.
He was a parseltogue I realised with a start.
I froze suddenly; this was the person that was responsible for all of the attacks. The sounds of the scales against the tile grew fainter until it disappeared altogether. The basilisk had gone.
The boy let go of my wrist and I felt myself begin to tremble in fear. He spoke in a voice that was meant to be soothing. "You can open your eyes now."
I knew that voice. I didn't even have to be looking at his face to know who he was.
"You're a murderer," I muttered horrified, opening my eyes and meeting his. Raising a trembling hand to cover my shocked mouth, I stumbled back from him slightly only to bump into one of the sinks.
"Yes." He said the word so casually that it was as if he had no remorse for what he had done. The deaths had not been an accident.
"You saved me." I cleared my throat slightly, trying to get rid of the fearful tremor that it held. "Why – why did you save me?"
He stepped closer to me and I moved away from the sink, not allowing him to box me in. "I wasn't going to let it kill you." He held out a hand for me to take.
"You're a murderer," I muttered to myself again as if it had only set in.
Looking between his outstretched hand and his face, I darted around him and ran out of the toilets without looking back at him. Letting out a deep breath to steady myself I made my way over to Mary.
"Are you alright?" She looked over my face, "You look as if you've just seen as ghost."
"I'm fine," I said reassuringly. "I've just remembered some things that I was supposed to do for tomorrow."
Shrugging her shoulders slightly, Mary linked her arm through mine and we headed off down the corridor. I couldn't keep this to myself but who was I supposed to tell?
Riddle had created the perfect façade for himself, no one would guess that the boy who was a shoo-in for head boy would be capable of murder. If I did tell someone then it would seem like the ramblings of a girl who had been rejected by a boy. Merlin.
Either way no one would believe a word I said.
It was only weeks later that Riddle had framed Hagrid for the crimes that he had committed and as a result Hagrid was expelled. What was worse was watching him accept a trophy for his 'special services for the school'. There was no single inkling of regret in his eyes. There was only a smug look in his eyes that sneered down at everyone else.
He had committed such heinous crimes and had managed to get off scotch free.
However that was nothing compared to watching him introduce himself as head boy the following year. It was a grave mistake to have elevated him to such a high position of authority but it seemed as though no one else was able to see that. From the moment that I had made my discovery of what Tom Riddle really was like, I went out of my way to avoid him.
So far that plan was working well. Everything was normal; the way it had all been before he had entered my life. Here I was sitting at breakfast, watching in amusement as Mary fought to keep her eyes open. Her head started to dip down as she drifted back to sleep. When her hair started to touch her scrambled eggs and she made no indication of waking up I pinched her side. She sat up quickly, opening her eyes to glare at me as she rubbed her side.
"What is your problem?"
"You were falling asleep again," I said as a way of explanation. "You've even got eggs in your hair."
I watched her as she raised a hand to remove all of the egg from her hair. She glanced away from me for a moment before returning her eyes to me. She widened them at me, trying to get me to notice something. She motioned for me to face forward again and it turned back to the front to see what she was hinting at.
Oh. The head boy.
"Can I help you with something?" I asked when he smiled pleasantly at me but did nothing more. Mary, hearing my cold voice, looked between Riddle and me curiously.
"I just thought that I should come and greet one of the prefects," he answered, his lips pulling up slightly on one side into a barely concealed smirk.
"Anything else?" I asked bluntly wanting to get rid of him. How was it possible for someone that was so handsome to be so evil? Visually alone, he looked like an angel but he wasn't even close to being one.
Something close to amusement flashed in his eyes and I struggled to restrain the urge to demand what was so funny.
"I just thought that we should become close again – seeing as we both will be working very closely with one another." He schooled his expression into one of calm curiosity. "I really have no idea why we drifted apart in the first place."
With that he turned to walk away, giving Mary a parting nod as he went. The moment he was out of earshot Mary had turned back to me, wriggling her eyebrows suggestively.
"Maybe we judged him too quickly," Mary wondered quietly. "He doesn't seem that bad at all."
That's only because you have no idea what he's really like; the words were on the tip of my tongue.
I settled for saying, "I don't think so Mary," instead.
"No really," she insisted, "Besides it looks like you've caught the fancy of the head boy."
"I think I'd rather die than to have caught his fancy," I muttered quietly.
But apparently I wasn't quiet enough. Mary rolled her eyes and nudged me gently. "I know the two of you fell out but that's a bit too dramatic." Her eyes narrowed onto me. "Unless there is a legitimate reason that you're not telling me."
"It was nothing Mary," I said dismissively, "We just grew apart that's all."
"I'll believe you for now." She said as we prepared to leave for the first lesson of the day; Transfiguration.
We reached the classroom and settled into our usual seats, waiting for Professor Dumbledore to start the lesson. Silence fell across the class as he entered the room and headed to the front. He started to describe the task that we needed to complete and we all took notes of what we would need to do.
"The first person to complete the task will be awarded a prize," Dumbledore announced and glanced up momentarily from my parchment. His eyes met mine and I could have sworn that he had just winked knowingly at me. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion and looked back down at my parchment. "You have until the end of the lesson; you may begin now."
Just like that everyone rose from their seats to collect the object we could be transfiguring; a seemingly harmless book. I stared down at the book before letting out a slight breath. Straightening up I raised my wand and muttered the spell. Nothing happened and my shoulders drooped slightly. I tended to be able to transfigure things on the first try.
"Perhaps you should try again," a voice suggested and I looked up to find Riddle standing by the side of my desk, his book held in his hand.
"Perhaps you should do the same if you ever wish to regain your spot at the top of the class." I suggested, reminding him that I had held onto the position as top of the class for the rest of last year – despite being a muggleborn. I looked back to my own book.
"I don't really mind being in second place," he said, surprising me. "I actually like a woman on top."
With that he swept passed me and I spared a quick look at Mary, "Do not say a word."
She mimed zipping her lips and focused back onto the book. Clutching my wand tighter in my hand I willed myself not the rise to the bait that Riddle kept throwing my way. Muttering the incantation I watched as the book was transfigured perfectly and felt my shoulders relax; that was more like it.
"It looks like we have a winner," Professor Dumbledore said as he approached me. Silence fell across the class as he continued to talk, "But do not let that sway you from trying to transfigure the book."
The rest of the class turned back to continue with their work and Dumbledore reached into his pocket. Puling something out from his pocket he set it onto the desk in front of me.
"Your reward as promised," was all he said before he walked back to the front of the class.
I reached out to pick up the necklace and glanced wide eyed at what looked like an hourglass on a clock. Surely this wasn't –
Dumbledore had just given me a time-turner.
The first day of lesson had ended rather quickly and we, Mary and I, were making our way back to our common room. Glancing ahead into the corridor in front of us I saw Mary stiffen beside me. I glanced at her curiously and she looped an arm through mine.
"Slytherins," she muttered into my ear, "Malfoy, Montague and the rest of the despicable lot."
With that she turned us so that we were walking in the other direction. A confrontation with the Slytherins, especially that particular group, was not what I needed right now. I knew exactly how it would go; mudblood this, mudblood that.
Right on time, I thought as I stopped with a sigh. Mary was the first one to turn to face them and I followed her lead. She set her hands on her hips and levelled them the famous Prewett glare.
"What do you want Malfoy?" She hissed.
"The last time I checked you weren't a mudblood Prewett," Malfoy drawled, "Not that being a blood traitor is much better. Now listen mudblood-"
"Abraxus," Riddle said loudly as he made his way down the corridor and walked up behind the group of Slytherins. They parted almost instantly for him, as if he was their …leader? "Do you really think that you should talk to one of the most brilliant witches at Hogwarts like that?"
Seeing that Riddle had things 'sorted' I turned to leave, looping my arm through Mary's and beginning to tug her away before she could start to sing Riddle's praises. At the sound of my name I stopped once again. I glanced back at him and tightened my hold on Mary before she even thought about leaving me alone with him again.
"Can I have a word with you?" He asked and I let my gaze flicker to the Slytherins standing behind him.
"Of course," I relented, shooting Mary a look when she attempted to remove her arm from my hold. She stopped knowing that I wouldn't forgive her if she left me so severely outnumbered by Slytherins.
"Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?" He asked as though his group of blood status obsessed friends weren't standing behind him, as if I didn't know that he was a murderer.
"I'm sorry I can't," I muttered quietly. "I'm washing me hair; it's an all-day thing you see – because I have so much of it."
The weekend came about quicker than I had expected it to and the day leading up to it had brought about another surprise invitation to Hogsmeade. This time from a boy that I had sat with for almost all of my Potions lessons since my second year at Hogwarts. He was nice enough and I had said yes.
The trip itself was enjoyable enough and he had been so completely wonderful, so uncomplicated, so not like Riddle that I felt guilty for thinking about him during the entire trip. He had told me that his friends were waiting for him by the Three Broomsticks and so he would have to cut things short.
"I had a really great time." I looked up at the boy standing before me and willed myself to focus on him rather than on dark eyes, even darker hair and an infuriating smirk.
"So did I," I said with a smile.
"Maybe we can do this again?" He asked hopefully.
I nodded instead of answering and a grin appeared on his face. He pressed a kiss to my cheek and walked away. Letting out a breath I made my way back towards the castle. I was passing by when a hand emerged from the passage between two shops and pulled me in.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" I demanded as I found myself pressed against a wall with a body smothering mine so that I couldn't escape.
"You're too busy washing your hair to go to Hogsmeade with me but you can go with a mudblood?" Riddle asked, his voice was composed as ever, giving absolutely nothing away. To anyone else he would have seemed completely calm but being this close to him I saw the tell-tale sign of his jaw clenching to know that he was anything but.
"You seem to forget but I too am a mudblood." I tried to push him away from me but he didn't budge.
"And in case you've forgotten, you are mine!" With that he stepped away from me.
"I don't remember every being put on sale for you to own me," I protested as his hands moved to my wrist before removing themselves from me. "I'm a human being, not a possession for you to own."
He didn't answer me. Instead he looked pointedly down at my wrist and then raised his eyes to mine with a smug look. Peering down at my wrist I saw a simple silver bangle with something engraved on the outside of it. Raising it so that I could read the inscription I froze.
Property of Tom Marvolo Riddle.
"What in Godric's name is this?" I demanded trying to tug the bracelet off from me. It wouldn't move at all.
"It's just something to let everyone know that you're mine." He tucked his hands into his trouser pockets. "I'd stop trying to get it off if I were you – it doesn't come off until I take it off."
"And why exactly do you want me to be yours?"
His hand rose and I flinched, expecting him to hit me. He had murdered people – he was fully capable of doing the same to me. Even if he had saved me from the basilisk. Feeling something across my cheek, I opened my eyes cautiously to watch him as he caressed my cheek with his knuckles.
"I wasn't you to be by my side-"
"Well that's not going to happen anytime soon."
Once we had returned from Hogsmeade I had immediately made sure to keep the stupid bracelet covered. I had spent the entire night researching how to get it off and there was no other way to get it off except for him taking it off. Letting out a sigh I padded down to breakfast and threw an annoyed glace down at my wrist. The bracelet kept getting tighter over the night.
Stopping by the doors of the great hall I looked over at the Slytherin table. Very few people were down for breakfast yet and I was only down here so early because I hadn't slept well because of the bracelet. Riddle was sat at the table with some of his idiot friends.
I strode over to the Slytherin table, ignoring some of the looks I was getting from the small number of people in the hall. Riddle looked up as I approached and a corner of his lips tugged up.
"Why does it keep getting tighter?" I asked when I stood in front of him.
"Listen here mud-"
"Oh put a sock in it Black," I said shooting a look at the boy that was sitting across from Riddle momentarily. I turned back to Riddle. "Well?"
"The less time you spend with me, the tighter it gets." He slid further down the bench and patted the space beside him.
Huffing in irritation I sat down beside him. The bracelet began to gradually loosen and I let out a sigh when the pain eased.
"Here," Riddle said as though my being at the Slytherin table was ordinary, "Eat something."
He poured me a glass of pumpkin juice and put a slice of toast on the plate that had appeared before me. Malfoy gave Riddle a strange look and I was relieved that I wasn't the only one to find it odd.
The bracelet had forced me into spending time with him. I would find him every day in the library and just sit next to him reading. We rarely seemed to talk – not that I did want to talk to him.
"I don't understand," he finally admitted after having watched me read for the last hour or so. Setting a bookmark in my book to mark my place I looked up at him "Why don't you want to be with me?"
"Tom," I sighed – it was just more convenient to call him Tom – it had fewer syllables than Riddle.
"Am I not handsome enough? Not smart enough?"
"Merlin knows that you're one of the most handsome, smartest and most brilliant wizards I've ever met." I glanced down at the cover of my book, "But you're heartless."
He sighed at my words. Reaching across the table to take my hand, he pulled out his wand with his other hand. Setting the tip of his wand against the bracelet he muttered an incantation under his breath. The bracelet fell off and I looked up at him in surprise. He avoided my eyes and picked up my wrist. Gently he traced a finger against the chafing the bracelet had caused.
"Why did you do it Tom?"
"Do what?" He asked, refusing to look at me.
"Frame Hagrid, kill Myrtle. Why did you do any of it?"
"Hagrid – that half breed was getting in the way," he said shortly and I pulled my wrist away from his grip.
"Wow," I muttered in disbelief, "Do you have any idea how hypocritical you are? I mean, you're a half breed in a sense aren't you, Tom Marvolo Riddle?"
He remained impassive, watching me calmly and I scoffed. "Unbelievable – if anyone else had sad that to you they would have had a one way ticket to the hospital wing or worse. Why not me?"
"I care about you."
"Don't say that," I snapped, gathering everything closer towards me.
"Just tell me what I can do-"
"Nothing. You can do nothing."
I turned to leave and he caught my wrist again and snapped the bracelet back on. As I left the table I could have sworn that I saw a flicker of remorse in his eyes. Making my way through the library I fidgeted with the chain around my neck only to freeze in my step. Heading back into the library quickly I went back to the table where we had been sitting hoping that he was still there.
Hearing my approaching footsteps Tom looked back up at me. "What-"
"There is something you can do," I said sitting down across from him.
"What?" Unclasping the chain from around my neck I set it on the table. He reached for the object instantly and held it aloft in front of him. "Why have you got a time-turner?"
"Does it matter?" I asked with a raised eyebrow, "You asked what you can do – this is it. Go back and change everything."
"Everything," he trailed off and set the time-turner back on the table in front of him. "My horcruxes-"
"Won't exist," I cut in, remembering how horrified I had been to know that he had created horcruxes, "The people you killed will still be alive and Hagrid will still be at school."
"Let me think about it."
It seemed that he needed almost a week to think it over. Maybe he wasn't going to change everything and it had been pointless for me to have tried it. Letting out a sigh I settled down at the normal table in the library where he met me every day. He had met me here every day but never brought up the topic of my suggestion.
And then there he was, striding towards me again –perfectly on time. Settling down across from me he dove straight into it.
"You know what I'm capable of but yet you're fine with letting me go back in time?" He crossed his arms across his chest and leaned back in his chair.
"I guess that some small part of me trusts you even though I shouldn't."
"You shouldn't." He agreed. Straightening up he leaned down to take something out from his bag. Setting a clear vial in front of me, he motioned for me to take it.
"What is it?"
"What's the point of me going back and changing things if you can't remember how things used to be?"
I reached out to take the vial, "And it's safe?"
"I thought you said you trusted me?" He asked before shaking his head slightly, "I'm going to go back tonight – take the potion before you go to bed."
"Are you sure you won't regret it?" I asked, already reaching to unclasp the time-turner and hand it over to him.
He took the time-turner and clasped it around his neck, tucking it in to hide behind his shirt. "I don't know."
I was staring at the vial that was lying innocently on my pillow. Merlin I hoped he did the right thing.
"Are you not going to go to bed?" Mary asked as she settled into her own bed.
"I am," I said reaching out to take the top off the vial.
Raising it to my lips I tipped its contents down my throat and grimaced at the taste. Settling down for the night I closed my eyes and tried to calm my nerves.
I woke the next morning and glanced around the dorm room. Nothing had changed. Except it had –
I had no idea how to explain it but in my memories there were two regarding last night; one where I had taken the potion and another where there had been no need for me to take the potion because Tom hadn't needed to go back in time. Glancing at the clock I saw how early it was.
Knowing that I wouldn't fall asleep again, I climbed out of bed and got ready for the school day. I knew that breakfast would already have been set out but I didn't feel like eating yet. So I took the long way to the great hall. I passed the stairs that lead to Ravenclaw Tower, trying to rearrange my thoughts with every step of the way. It was obvious that Tom had gone back in time because I had two sets of memories of every single day before today. One 'real' set and another of what had happened after he returned to the past.
I was so lost in my thoughts that I hadn't been watching where I was going. Stumbling on my feet as I bumped into someone I was snapped out of my thoughts.
Apologies instantly left my mouth, "I'm so sorry, I should have been watching where I was going." I looked up at the person, "Myrtle! You're-"
"What," she interrupted making me flinch, "I'm what? So ugly in the morning? Of course Myrtle, stupid Myrtle-" I had forgotten how much she moaned.
"I was going to say that it's good to see you," I said cutting her off. She watched me in shock before her eyes narrowed on me.
"Are you making fun of me?"
"Of course not, have a good day Myrtle!" I called out as I turned to walk down the corridor to head to the great hall with a smile on my face.
Entering the great hall I scanned the hall until my eyes landed on the Slytherin table. Tom was sat talking to Malfoy and another Slytherin that I hadn't seen before. I made my way over to the table.
Malfoy seeing my approach, slid further down the bench and made room for me to sit beside Tom. "Good morning," he said smiling pleasantly up at me.
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously as I sat down next to him, "What, no mudblood remark?"
"Why would I call Tom's whatever-you-are a mudblood?" He cocked his head to the side, "Are you feeling alright? You and I have been, maybe not friends, but friendly since fifth year."
He was right – we hadn't liked one another in my 'real' memories but in this life, the altered on we did. Malfoy called my name – my first name – and I emerged from my thoughts.
"I'm fine," I said with a small smile, "Really Abraxus."
He nodded, convinced and turned back to his breakfast. I turned to face Tom and found him already looking at me. My eyes scanned over him. He looked the same; handsome beyond belief, hair immaculate, tie crisp and head boy badge pinned to his robes. He smiled at me, his amusement evident as he waited for me to speak. I glanced down slightly, seeing his hands move from my peripheral vision. He was playing with the chain of the time-turner in his lap.
I glanced back up at him, "You're not wearing the ring-"
"It's not mine."
"Is alive and just as annoying as she was originally."
"Your father and-"
"Are alive as well."
"Never existed in the first place." He gave an indulgent sigh, "Now can you please shut up so that I can kiss you?"
I nodded silently. Tom's hands came up to frame my face, tilting my head up towards his. I closed my eyes as he drew closer, letting my hands rise to grip the fabric of his robes between us. At the sound of a cough, Tom drew back but kept his head bowed towards mine. He looked over my shoulder at Abraxus.
"Just act as if I'm not here," Abraxus said sarcastically.
Tom ignored him in favour of looking back at me. "Go to Hogsmeade with me?"
I felt a small smile play at the corner of my lips, "I'm sure I can fit you in."