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Psychological Warfare

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Dumbledore had been no help at all. Hermione had entreated the man while she divulged to him what she could of her plight, stretching her capabilities of speech and persuasion to new bounds in order to preserve the timeline, but he had merely murmured and nodded his auburn head impassively on occasion before offering her a sherbet lemon, and it was just as Professor McGonagall had always said: a completely inappropriate time to be eating sweets.

Then she had sat through a Sorting with her heart in her throat where she had even begged the bloody Hat for some sort of recourse—it seemed to work for Harry—but all it had done was shout 'Gryffindor,' and then she'd been alone in a velvet-draped bed that was the same but different from the one she had once considered hers, hyperventilating, because why was she here, hadn't she done enough already, she wouldn't be able to protect herself against him, he'd know—

The voice of Professor Cuthbert Binns drones on as it will ever do, even a half-century in the future when it's no longer in its corporeal form. It is just as stultifying as Hermione remembers. The ever-present warmth of the History of Magic classroom is setting its current students to nod off—just like it always will—while Hermione sits in the back, cheek in hand and glowering. She'd already sat in the front of class diligently taking notes about the humiliating public dunking of Urg the Unclean into a pond once, and she isn't about to do it again, even if this time it's revision for the N.E.W.T.s.

'Fucking useless, just as expected,' Hermione thinks, and whether she means it about the wizarding subjugation of goblins—no wonder they rebelled, Hermione would have too—to the complete indifference for finding any solutions to her situation from this time's Dumbledore, to the fact that Molly Weasley couldn't even come and use her uncanny sixth sense for improper thoughts to glare at her, she doesn't know or care, because actually, it is about all of the above. No one, apparently, can do anything—including herself despite her best efforts—though she's enjoyed hexing the upper-years who bullied the younger students—and Hermione will be arsed to pay attention to the events leading to the Goblin Rebellion while she herself had helped win a war once already and now has to sit in a classroom and witness where it will all begin.

Or rather with whom, not where, it will all begin. Tom Riddle sits straight at his desk in the middle of the other students, no doubt camouflaging his utter evil by implementing his upstanding bearing and attentiveness as a foil against his drowsing peers. Hermione reckons goblins would be interesting to him though, what with their metalsmithing and shiny artifacts imbued with special powers and such, so she focuses her angry stare at the back of his head.

'What a total git,' she thinks, 'I want to kick him in the balls.'

It's not a very inspired fantasy, but she's been thinking of hurting Riddle for months now and has been running out of ideas—she'd even gone to the library to research. It initially made her uneasy she may be giving the future Dark Lord material for his, his, Torturing and Oppression of Innocents, but she reckons he's already so depraved that her own ideas are just a drop in the bucket. She knows that he can hear her thoughts—he was the one to find her after all, in the seventh-floor corridor, when her brain had screamed at her to 'kill, kill him,' as she laid eyes on the student with outdated robes and Head Boy badge and cold eyes. He'd just raised a single brow, amused.

She thinks about killing him now. She thinks about torturing him. She thinks about stringing his prick up. She imagines squeezing it in her hands, throttling it, and then she falters, because she realises she hadn't been imagining it flaccid.

Riddle just sits there, ever so engrossed in the lesson.

Hermione imagines cursing him now, but in her mind's eye, Riddle's still sporting an erection while she does it.

'Stop thinking about his penis!' she scolds herself, but it's like the proverbial elephant—'Erumpent,' she corrects, before she decides that doesn't bloody matter—it's like the proverbial elephant or Erumpent in the room, and she really has been recycling her ideas; it's been months—two and a half to be exact. She tries to think about inflicting pain to some other part of his body, but her mind rebels. She goes back to the penis.

She could slap it, that must be quite unpleasant. Or maybe she could grab it to pull him in so she could punch him in his face. It would be satisfying to hear the crack of a fist against a nose, like when she had hit Malfoy. He wouldn't be able to avoid it, because he'd be dangling from his dick in her hand.

The tips of Riddle's ears are turning red as Hermione continues to scowl at him. The History of Magic room is ever so warm and stuffy, and she gloats to herself about how even he is affected by the temperature—not so untouchable after all, hm?

His hair is, as always, perfect, unlike Hermione's. She'd yank at it while she crushed him to her—he'd be helpless.

Riddle moves to give her a sharp look over his shoulder before turning back around quickly—but not quickly enough that Hermione misses how the whites of his eyes had been showing all the way around. He'd seemed a little... flushed.

Hermione pauses.

Riddle hasn't reacted to any of her violent thoughts since the first time she imagined killing him. She never had the time to learn Occlumency properly, and now that she's stuck in the past with a young Voldemort and too many secrets to protect, she's filled her mind with as many loud thoughts as possible whenever they cross paths. The lunatic doesn't deign to acknowledge her presence while her mind shrieks all sorts of epithets and bodily injury, so why would he look at her now?

She turns back on again.

'Trust Riddle,' Hermione thinks, 'to not bat an eye at maiming and murdering, but the thought of me touching his prick makes him freak out.'

His ears have gone redder.

'Merlin.'

'Surely he's not a virgin.'

They're positively glowing now.

'Are there more filthy words for a penis than prick?' Hermione wonders.

'Prick. Dick. Cock. Knob. Pecker.'

She stops and thinks.

'Penis. Phallus. Organ. Erection.'

Those are no good.

Her mother had a Mills & Boon novel she'd keep hidden in her nightstand:

'Member, length, rod, shaft, stalk, root... Staff.'

Ugh. There's no use in continuing that train. Hermione can't spare the energy to consider wizarding terms like wand, which may as well be like comparing a phallus to a ruler as far as she's concerned. Magical euphemisms are all ridiculous; wizards and their broomsticks are just as bad as Muggle men and their cars.

Better to stick to the basics.

'I'll take your cock hostage,' she thinks hard at Riddle's back, eyes narrowed. 'I'll torment it until you beg for mercy.'

And yes, she catches the minute flinch despite the impeccable posture. Riddle's terrible, evil, the bringer of the First and Second Wizarding Wars, but Hermione feels a little evil herself as she feels her lips curl in a smile.

'I will fuck you up. How would you like my cunt breaking your dick while I ride you, hm? Feel your hipbones shatter from how hard I'm taking you. You'd probably scream.'

Hermione can see past Riddle's broad, angular shoulders that he's dropped his quill.

'You'd beg for mercy, and I'd shut you up in my twat. I'd grab those stupid, symmetrical ears of yours and use them as handles to bring your mouth to my pussy. You'd hate it.'

Now his fingers are turning white as they grip the edges of his desk.

In this moment, Hermione doesn't really know what she's doing. She doesn't know why she's sitting in a History of Magic lesson with Tom Marvolo Riddle in the room with her. She has no idea what had brought her back to the past in the first place, or if there's any real reason she's there. She doesn't know what she could possibly do, after everything else she has already done, only to come back in time and have to see things play out before her once more. But this—taking out her fury, her fear, her powerlessness against the cause of so much of her suffering—this feels good.

'I'll have you by the balls,' she thinks.

It will go something like this.

Tom Riddle's face will have two slashes of color high across his cheekbones when he whirls on Hermione after the lecture is finished. He'll have dragged her into an empty, adjoining classroom while the other students shuffled to the Great Hall for lunch, and Hermione's chest will tighten and her heart will pound, because here she is alone with no witnesses with bloody Voldemort, of all people.

"What," he'll hiss at her, "are you doing, Miss Granger?" and Hermione will still be afraid but also giggle a bit hysterically on the inside because everyone in the past is so stiff. She'll manage a simper before she says, "What are you doing, Mister Riddle, grabbing a female student and pulling them into an empty room? I can't imagine what the professors let alone Headmaster Dippet would have to say were they to hear of the Head Boy behaving so improperly."

"That's rich you're suddenly concerning yourself with propriety when you've been thinking about the most untoward behavior—"

"That's rich coming from you, you're performing Legilimency on everyone—besides, you'd think you'd be used to it by now, with all those girls swooning about how appealing you are, those lips—"

"They're thinking about kissing, and holding hands, and, and courtship, not—not—deviancy!" he'll exclaim, and Hermione will snort because she's suddenly laughing quite hard—perhaps she really is a little hysterical, but did You-Know-Who actually take her into an empty lecture room to scold her about her dirty thoughts?

"Deviancy? Courtship?" she'll manage out. "Next you'll be saying the girls are wishing you'd leave a calling card before you offer your elbow for a walk around the lake with a chaperone!" Riddle will only look at her flatly.

"Did you not see," he'll say slowly at Hermione, like she's a child, and in a way reminiscent of Snape—or maybe it's that Snape's tone of voice was reminiscent of a young Voldemort's— "Did you not see the sprig of violets and acacia McLaggen left with his calling card at your place in Potions? Never mind, we all saw how you Vanished it—positively frigid."

Hermione will wilt.

"I thought the sixth-years before us hadn't cleaned up properly," she'll respond weakly, because she'll have had no idea, but also Tiberius McLaggen resembles his grandson Cormac to a startling degree, and he won't have proven any more pleasant, nor will Hermione imagine he'd be much better of a kisser either. "He could have just come up during mealtime."

Riddle will just scoff, and the color in his face will have receded by then. He'll say, "No, he couldn't have just 'come up.' That's not done; in fact, it's positively outlandish. There's no accounting for taste, of course"—he'll sweep his eyes over Hermione's entirety in a cool, assessing way that makes her bristle—"and everyone agrees it was presumptuous on McLaggen's part; Hallowe'en hadn't even passed then, and you're new at that. While the bouquet colors alone were garish, his sentiments were completely off too. Better he left you with a purple carnation, you've clearly no modesty—"

Hermione won't care about Riddle's or anyone else's stodgy notions of modesty.

"What, so you're saying you just hear all the girls fantasizing about you leaving flowers and a card on their plates in the Great Hall? Forgive me if I can't believe at least one of them isn't thinking about fucking," and there, she'll have sworn out loud this time, and there will be no Molly Weasley to scold her, nor a Professor McGonagall to overhear and disapprove, nor Ron and Harry to stare at her, scandalised, and that hurts, actually, but there's nothing for her here, so she'll say it.

"There will be no fucking," Riddle will hiss, and everything will be hilarious again because she knew it! He grew up in an orphanage in a bad part of London, he would have a foul mouth, model student or charismatic cult leader or no—that's probably not even his real accent—Hermione will think she really has gone mad for thinking this is some kind of win. "Where did you even get such a beastly mouth? There will be no fucking, there will be no flowers, I don't have any calling cards, there won't be any courtship or anything else, let alone your appalling ideas!"

Hermione will know it's not the point—the point is Tom Riddle is a prude, dirty mouth notwithstanding—but she'll have to ask, "Why don't you have any calling cards?" and Riddle will stiffen.

"Clearly you know nothing," is all he'll say. Now Hermione will really want to know, so she'll prod him.

"You're right; I don't know anything. Can you please explain it to me," and keep prodding until he'll mutter that only the Sacred Twenty-Eight and other pure-bloods have calling cards, with signature colognes and their coats of arms stamped on them, and Hermione will stare; this time period is just ridiculous.

"That's ridiculous," she'll voice. "What do the others do, then? Other people get betrothed and married, and it's not like they're all making it into the Society portion of the Daily Prophet." Riddle will give her another cool look.

"So you do know about that, at least. Well, the others hope they marry in, or they vie for the best betrothals they can find amongst themselves without the cards. The unpromised are fighting for McLaggen and Fleamont Potter's attention"—Hermione will wince, because there's Cormac's grandfather again, but also Harry's grandfather's marriage prospects being casually tossed about—"those two certainly have more gold than the Weasleys, Sacred or not—" Hermione will wince again.

"That doesn't make it any less ridiculous," Hermione will say, "and it's just as stupid that everyone is so concerned with marriage at this age. We're here for an education, not bloody betrothals."

Riddle will give her another flat look like she truly is a simpleton. "You may not be here for a betrothal, but the other young ladies"—Hermione will roll her eyes, and Riddle will narrow his in turn—"the other young ladies are. This is a finishing school for them; you can leverage your magical talent if you aren't a prospect in other areas."

What shit.

"That is such shit," she'll snap, and it's true, it is shit, she'll be glad she can say it out loud. "Never mind those ridiculous, wrong-headed standards you're alluding to. The female students are learning everything everyone else is, if we're defining 'everyone else' as men, and it's a complete waste of their futures and potential and, at the very least, resources. I can't believe this. There are witches in the Wizengamot—don't tell me they had to check in with their husbands before they could take their seats!"

Riddle will just raise an eyebrow tellingly and Hermione won't remember why they're alone in the room together anymore.

"Un-be-lievable," she'll fume, and Riddle will say, "I agree." Hermione will start and look at him.

"Witches can be just as powerful as wizards," he'll say, "and it's the Ministry's loss they aren't seizing on an opportunity to add to their base. There's a war going on and Grindelwald has the Continent; we need to pool our own strength. More than that, it's short-sighted and disadvantageous to restrict the mobility of certain people over others," and that's just rich coming from him, Mister Kill The Muggles and Muggle-borns, but here he is, right in front of Hermione, so she'll quickly deflect that thought.

"So I suppose you won't be getting married any time soon," she'll say, even though she knows already, and he'll stiffen yet again—really, what is his problem?

Thin-lipped, he'll say, "No, I don't see marriage in my future." It will almost sound—bitter.

Hermione's mouth will open when she realises, right, if everyone in school is competing for the wealthy, who would see orphan Tom Riddle as a viable option, even with his looks and talent? He's probably a sort of fantasy the Hogwarts witches—and wizards, Hermione's sure, because she hates Riddle, but she still has eyes—he's someone people can daydream about with the security nothing will come of it. When reality sets in and everyone's counting the galleons in their dowries, whose parents would want to give their daughters to him? He'd have to publicly have a windfall of some sort, and it's doubtful his connection to the inbred Gaunts nor the riches of the Muggle Riddles count as a windfall, what with the shame of it all, let alone the murdering.

'Untouchable, indeed,' Hermione will think.

Riddle will stiffen even more before his face smooths and he says, "I'm far more interested in my... academic pursuits as it is." Hermione will narrow her eyes, because she'll know what that means. "I won't entertain any social fripperies like betrothals or"—and then he'll flounder—"dalliances."

Hermione will snort.

"Dalliances? Really? That's what you're calling it?" she'll laugh at him, "You are such a prig. I never would have guessed it. I mean, you act so mild-mannered, but I thought it was just you being Perfect Head Boy Riddle—I mean really? Don't tell me the girls in your orphanage weren't getting into all sorts of business." And that will be the wrong thing to say, because everyone knows Riddle hates anyone mentioning his background, but this will seem like something more besides.

"The girls of whom you speak make do with their resources, and while I never thought you were the prim little overachiever and defender of first-years like everyone else says, I didn't know you were a classist or callous," he'll respond frostily. Hermione will flush in shame, because she didn't mean—she didn't realise—

"That's not what I meant," she'll hurriedly reply. "I just meant I imagine girls and boys in the city probably meet and do more than hold hands. I wasn't referring to any kind of—of work, or anything." Riddle will subside, but his face will still be cold.

Hermione will suddenly remember Riddle may have been stuck in London during the Blitz and have had to eat on rations just like the Muggles out there, who were scared and hungry, and he'd have been surrounded by people who were most likely rather desperate. Then she'll imagine Riddle defending the sex workers in his neighborhood—or that's far-fetched, more like torturing their customers—but hadn't he been terrible to everyone there? Then she'll imagine him bringing Bellatrix Lestrange into his fold not with pure-blood supremacy, but with an escape from her marriage and feminist reform, and she'll quickly banish the thought, because it's absolutely ludicrous and also a terrible idea to be thinking about a future follower of his right in front of him—though to be honest he'll seem a bit distracted still, most likely brooding about his upbringing or lack thereof. Time to deflect again.

"So what you're telling me," Hermione will say, "is that no one here has 'dalliances.' But that's preposterous—don't tell me there isn't a single bloody student having premarital sex!"

Riddle, whose expression has always been controlled in every instance and, Hermione will admit with disgust, perfect in its handsome neutrality—minus the eyes, which truly are windows to the soul, and his are windows to pure evil—his expression will shift to contemptuousness then.

"Where did you even learn these types of things? Never mind, don't tell me," he'll say, and Hermione, who will have accepted her spiral into hysteria and madness—really, everything in her life is just wrong, wrong, wrong, so what's one more wrong in the whole pile of it—Hermione will fully turn herself 'round the bend and plaster a coy smile on her face and say to him, "So I guess since you clearly haven't had any dalliances yourself, you haven't seen anything like this," and flip her skirt open.

"Jesus Christ, Granger!" She'll know he's really shocked then, because he'll have just used a Christian Muggle swear, and his jaw will have dropped, and oh, Hermione will love it, love how the normally self-possessed Riddle is appalled, how his cheeks are visibly burning again. "What is wrong with you? Get some proper underthings!"

Hermione will look down then and wonder, because they'll look quite normal to her—if anything, they'll be rather modest, just plain cotton, though maybe in this time they should be going up to her belly button, not cut right below the hip—but it's not like she'll have actually been planning on showing them to anyone so will have just taken them out of her bottomless bag.

She'll look up after this contemplation of underwear through the decades, and the room will be empty; Riddle will have fled.

'Underthings, really, Riddle?' Hermione will think at him during Transfiguration. 'They're called knickers.'

It will happen that in a Great Britain that isn't the homefront for a wizarding war, the professors are much more stringent on revision for the N.E.W.T.s than the students who'd stayed for Hermione's seventh-year had made things out to be—though the Carrows' torture sessions from her time may have put a bit of a damper on any studying. In this time, Dumbledore will be preparing the students for the exam's written section on theory by expounding upon density and mass to explain the fundamental intricacies behind why it's more difficult to transfigure objects dissimilar in form from one to another, such as soft to hard and vice versa, and Hermione will laugh to herself.

'Did you go from soft to hard, Riddle?' she'll think, but Riddle won't react, so she'll try again.

'If you found my knickers from earlier so shocking, then I can only imagine what you'll think about the ones I'm wearing now; they show my whole bum,' and yes, there she sees him, muscles flexing in his clenched jaw while he nevertheless smoothly completes transfiguring his cushion.

'Sometimes when I'm alone and getting myself worked up, I'll tug on the strap to tease myself,' and his ears will turn red again, and oh. Hermione actually owns only one pair of thongs for when she worries about showing any seams, but she'll have known this would be good and will have deliberately worn them to class for this reason alone—for reference, of course.

She'll think at him, 'That cushion you're holding looks like the one from home I'd sometimes sit on and rub against when I didn't know any better,' and he'll flinch away from it like he's been burned.

'How about I sit on your face and rub on you. You'll be able to feel my bare arsecheeks, and it'll be easy to just move my knickers to the side and force your mouth to scream into my quim.'

Hermione will watch with glee as Riddle fumbles until she feels said knickers slide against her in an undeniable way and realise:

'Oh. I'm wet.'

She'll come back to the Transfiguration classroom that night after curfew. The seventh-year N.E.W.T.s class will be scheduled last, so the cushions that the students had worked on earlier that day will still be there. Hermione will see from the moon hitting the window that hers—the taupe linen one with subtle beaded accents and a washed treatment—looks quite nice next to Riddle's, which is clearly silk or satin and in a dark, muted color that the light will wash out but last she saw was forest green.

Her staring won't mean she'll miss the displacement in the air when the door silently opens—she'll have been on edge since she got here—no, since before the War.

She'll cast a Homenum Revelio as she turns, just so whoever it is knows she knows, but it will be Riddle, and he won't have bothered with a Disillusionment or anything. Hermione will watch him wave his wand at the door to lock it, eyes dark and skin eerily pale in the moonlight.

"You need to stop," he'll say to her, halting a yard away. "Whatever it is you think you're achieving by doing this, it needs to end."

"I don't know, I'm quite enjoying myself," Hermione will reply, and she'll add a few silencing and repelling charms to his nonverbal Colloportus, weave them with some of the strongest wards she knows, all over the classroom. Riddle will look at her, appraising. Hermione won't be showing off necessarily; it's just that she's been bored here—helpless, frustrated—but for her latest psychological warfare with the boy in front of her.

"Did you want some time with the cushions?" she'll ask sweetly, and Riddle will switch from appraising to stony in a second, face visibly tight before he'll snap at her, "I want you to stop thinking those things at me. It's inappropriate and it's—" He'll cut himself off.

Hermione will smile at him. "Please continue, Riddle. You weren't by any chance going to say it's distracting, were you? Were you distracted in class today, then, thinking about my thong? I'm wearing it right—"

"I don't care to know what a thong is, let alone that you're wearing it! Stop telling me!" That will have Hermione add even more honey to her smile as she makes to lift her skirt again, and Riddle will come forward to stop her before she can and loom over her. "You are unbelievable. Do you usually throw yourself at people like this?" he'll spit. "You sl—"

Hermione's hand will come up before she even realises to slap him across the face.

Riddle will slowly turn his head back, and Hermione will see even in the way all color is bleached from the room that his cheek is burning. His eyes will be glittering, and the planes of his face stark contrasts of light and shadow while he stares at her.

"I'm not a slut," she'll tell him calmly. "That's degrading, though I suppose that was the point. As far as it applies to me, it's inaccurate."

Riddle will sneer at her as he says, "That's surprising."

"Just because I've had a sexual experience with someone doesn't mean I'm promiscuous, and there's nothing wrong with promiscuity so long as it's not hurting anyone," she'll respond primly, but Riddle will ask, "Who?" and Hermione will give him a strange look.

"You wouldn't know him," she'll say, which is true. There's no point lying to him; he's a Legilimens.

"Who wouldn't I know?" he'll ask, and that's a silly question, because she's only been at this Hogwarts for barely three months, but he'll press, "What's he like, then?"

"He's older—and he plays Quidditch—"

"How would I not know someone who plays Quidditch? You don't mean a Quidditch player? That's illegal you know, an older man having sex with an adolescent," and Hermione will interrupt, wondering what is happening.

"He was a student, just older than me at the time. And you don't know him, because he's not from around here." Riddle will stop, confused.

But Hermione will also be confused, because Riddle will have turned away from her to pace as he says, "So, what, there's no way you could have met a student from Durmstrang—Grindelwald has the school under lock and key." Then he'll whirl around and narrow his eyes while he says, "Let me guess, some French boy, one of those refugees from Beauxbatons," and Hermione will think Riddle's acting worse than Ron— "Who's Ron?" he'll demand—and now Hermione will wish Harry were here to see this— "So his name is Harry, then?"

He'll curl his lip and say, "Not a slut, really," and Hermione will just have to slap him across the other cheek, and he'll stare at her. His mouth will be partially open, and his tongue will flick out to wet his mouth. She'll see his eyes dart across her face and then down as if looking at her mouth, and Merlin, he likes it when she—and she'll feel a warm twist inside her like she likes it too—

"It was just the once," she'll blurt, and really, what has gotten into her? What is going on? Her palm will sting. "It—he was nice enough," she'll stutter, gods, why is she telling him this, "but it was sort of"—Riddle's stare will be fixed to her, his eyes almost black and his eyelashes so long with the shadows in the room that Hermione will feel a little envious of them as she finishes feebly—"anticlimactic."

She'll be cringing by this point, so she'll glance away to focus on his Head Boy badge. "It—it wasn't—it didn't feel as good as when I—when I try things myself."

Her face will heat. She'll have to drag her eyes up to look at Riddle when she feels his gaze heavy on her. His body will be straight and still, and his hands will be loose at his sides. His face will be utterly serious.

"So what makes you feel good?" he'll ask lowly. "How do you touch yourself?"

They'll both breathe for a moment while they study each other.

"Show me."

Hermione will stare up at Riddle's impenetrable eyes. That soft, wide mouth, set straight in its gravity.

She'll keep her eyes trained on him as she toes her shoes off and unbuttons her skirt, and she'll see his tongue come out to wet the corner of his mouth again. It will shine like a small spotlight. She'll keep her eyes fixed to it as she feels her skirt fall down to her feet but then have to look away to step back and turn before she trips on the cushions. That's when she'll hear an inhalation, and think 'Oh right, my thong,' so she'll bend over to pull it down, but she'll be wet, and Riddle probably won't be able to tell, but she'll feel how it sticks to her on its way over her legs—and maybe he actually will be able to tell, maybe he'll see it too, see how her thighs are damp with the way the moon is so bright, maybe they'll be shining from the slick—so she'll hastily turn around to look at him again, and then his eyes will go wide.

"Your hair," he'll say, and Hermione will look to where his attention's focused between her legs, and right—she'll suppose on top of her underwear being too small in this time, people probably aren't using the Depilator charm to remove their pubic hair. She'll have to swallow before she finds her voice.

"This"—and then she'll have to swallow again because her voice will quiver—ugh, she's already doing this apparently, so she'll repeat herself more firmly as she tells him—"This is what makes me feel good," and sit back into the cushions and spread her legs.

She'll think she really must be mad. Tom Riddle will stand over her as she lies back on the cushions from the Transfiguration lesson with her shirt and jumper still on, but naked beneath—well, naked except for her socks.

Hermione will tell him she likes to start by feeling herself first, and use a palm to squeeze her own—her own cunt, and she'll squeeze her eyes shut too, because she'll have never bared herself like this to someone before, she won't believe she's doing it with him—but then his voice will cut into her inner turmoil.

"Merlin," she'll hear him say, and his voice will have a dark curl of amusement to it. "It's almost like you're shy."

That will snap her out of it.

"Oh, and you're so brave, are you?" she'll retort, hand between her legs. "You're quite far away Riddle, why don't you come and have a better look?"

Riddle's jaw will tighten, but he'll lower himself to his knees before her, and then his eyes will go just as wide as before, because Hermione will have spread her legs even further—she used to go to ballet and figure skating when she was younger—she's quite flexible.

"That's right, Riddle," she'll pant, because suddenly she'll be using both hands to open her pussy lips like she wants him to see it all, and then she'll shift so one hand keeps her quim spread apart up top while she has the other rub and lightly slap at it, feeling the wet taps against her clitoris. "Have a nice look." She'll punctuate that thought with a foot to his face.

It'll be just like when she'd slapped him—he'll turn his face back to her with that glint in his eyes again and lean close. The movement will make her foot slide to rest on his shoulder.

"I'm certainly looking," he'll murmur, and his face will be like some sort of sinister painting. "I'm looking at you hit your own twat like you love it. Do you enjoy mixing pain with pleasure?" Riddle's hand will have risen to hold the bulge in his trousers, and he'll give himself a squeeze at his own question.

"Do I," Hermione will respond—she'll pinch her clit between her fingers and moan.

Riddle will abruptly start unbuttoning the placket of his trousers with one hand as he braces himself with the other, movements jerky.

"That's it," he'll say, as he reaches the end of the buttons. "Tell me what makes you feel good—show me." Hermione will moan again, because Riddle has quite a nice voice generally, and now it's even deeper.

"I like running my finger up along my—my slit," she'll pant as she watches him take his cock out. "Just one to start," she'll say, and trail her middle finger up and down, feeling herself start to leak while she stares at Riddle's erection.

It's pretty.

It's long, she'll be able tell, though she won't have seen enough to really compare—but she'll be able to tell it's longer than average. It'll look like quite a handful as well, and the moonlight will do wonders to it—make it look like marble, carving a stark shadow upon the ridge which runs all along the bottom of its length. The head will look smooth and shiny.

"I like," she'll say, as she puffs an errant curl from her face. "I like this—" She'll show Riddle how she uses her index and third finger to frame her clit and roll it in small, slow circles, and she'll tilt her head back and moan. "I like imagining someone's rubbing their cock right up against it."

She'd normally blush at the audible squishing of her fingers rubbing through her arousal, but she'll hear a distinct, repetitive, slapping sound begin filling the room alongside of her own noises and jerk her head back up to see Riddle fisting himself. He'll be hunched over her with a tendril of hair escaping to rest over a dark, shapely brow now, fully dressed but for the robe that's been pushed aside, his hard, bare prick in his hand.

"What do you think about?" she'll ask him then. She'll feel herself start to get warmer while she watches Riddle watch her.

His voice will be tight between his teeth when he says, "I think about rubbing my cock right up against a pretty, swollen little clit—"

"Is that—is that what you think—"

"I'd torture that succulent little bit of you until you cry."

Hermione will feel heat sweep low in her gut. "You'd be the one crying, because that's all you'd get—I'd make you beg for my cunt, and I still wouldn't give it to you." She'll give him a little push with the foot on his shoulder for emphasis.

He'll grunt, and then he'll be pumping his hips as he leans back in, hovering over her body and looking down like the hand he's fucking into is actually her. His hands will move in a frenetic counter-rhythm to his thrusting, and the noise of his masturbating will turn into a smacking slap-slap-slap; Hermione will find herself pressing harder onto her clit.

It'll just be that sound in the room for a while: the sounds of their skin.

Hermione's joints will start to ache as her tensed fingers continue furiously circling her clit. Everything will be so slippery, and it'll be feeling so good, but not enough, so she'll just flex her hips up into it, but shyly—because suddenly she'll be shy again, it must do with the—the humping. She'll be humping up into her hands towards him, and he'll be bent down over her, jerking his hips and drilling his own fist down at her, and they won't be touching—except for that foot she has on his shoulder to keep him away—

She'll look at his erection, see how he's flicking the head with his thumb to draw moisture down the shaft. She'll watch how the glossy tip of his cock appears and disappears under that thin foreskin with those wet snapping noises. The pearl of fluid that had been welling up at the end will shake off and fall onto her hipbone. And then she'll look up to his face from her lashes, and—it's such a terrible habit, her parents would always try to remind her whenever she did it—she'll chew on her lip.

Riddle will groan.

"That," he'll say, with gravel in his voice—Merlin, it's such a deep, dark voice— "That is a terrible habit you have, Miss Granger."

And maybe it's something about the uncontrollable pang of shame she'll feel from a long-echoed reprimand, or who knows, maybe it's just the way he'll look at her with cold, dark, shining eyes and his face set—cock out and looking just as cold in the bleak moonlight, cruel and glistening—the way his body will just be looming over hers, dominating her field of vision—it will make Hermione rub her clit even faster, bridge her hips up to him, feel herself winding up, screwing tight, face furrowing as she takes her bottom lip between her teeth and pulls, and—

"Ohh-h," the sound will scrape out from the back of her throat in a pathetic, grating, high-pitched crumble, barely a real syllable, and she'll hear Riddle grunt then, see him buck forward, and there will be the splatter of his ejaculate all over her jumper, in a straight line down to her bare cunt, and he'll be swearing and using the cock still in his fist to push her weak fingers away from her clit, to rub the swollen head against her tired, puffy pussy.

Hermione will try to Accio her knickers while Riddle watches, looking immaculate as ever with his hands in his trousers.

It'll be on her fourth attempt that she sees the edge of lace peeking from one of his pockets. She'll stare at it for a moment.

Then she'll turn on shaky legs to dismantle the wards instead.

She'll still be shaking as she crawls through the portrait of the Fat Lady back to bed.

The other girls in the N.E.W.T.s-level course will be exclaiming and cooing around Hermione while she mutely observes Riddle face off with Edmond Lestrange. As usual, Professor Merryweather will have divided dueling partners by gender, which is just—as if danger comes knocking at the door and sees you're a witch instead of a wizard and says, 'Pardon, my mistake,' and skips off—

Anyway. The female students in the Defence Against The Dark Arts class will have finished already, because Hermione doesn't know how to hold back anymore—can't hold back, it's just visceral reflex—so she'll have picked every last one of the girls off, and now they'll be dawdling while the boys continue.

She won't mean to think about it. It's just that Riddle is really something when he duels, which Hermione figured; she'd seen the older version in action, after all. He'll be all sharp angles made even sharper as he turns himself into a knife's edge of a target, silently casting in rapid succession. Hermione will see how his face is still but for his eyes, which will look just as razor-focused as they had in the Transfiguration classroom when he'd been bent over her, and that other time when he'd pulled her into a broom closet and stood watching as she'd kneeled and ground into her hands—against his shoe—as his cum shot all over her face. She won't have done it then, but she'll wonder now what it would have tasted like if she'd just opened her mouth and—

Riddle will stumble but turn it into a feint and blast Flipendo three times in a row at Lestrange, shoulder-hip-feet, spinning him, before he summons his opponent's wand.

"Defence is off-limits," he'll bark at her, shutting and locking the door with more force than necessary.

"Oh shove off, it wasn't on purpose," she'll snipe at him, already backing up into the nearest desk while she spells a modified hybrid of Obscuro and Fumos at the windows—it's evening and Riddle will be sending bluebell flames to the torches lining the room—Hermione won't want any stragglers to see from outside that the space is occupied.

"Clever," he'll comment mildly, and then cast a strong Muffliato before lifting her by the waist. She'll sit on the desk and still be pulling her jumper off while Riddle unbuttons her blouse, and Hermione will be glad she'd picked up the habit of glamouring her scars in case something like this happened—after that time in the Charms classroom when he'd ripped her boy shorts right off her, she couldn't be too sure.

"Show me your—"

"If you're in such a strop about the duel, maybe you should use that Head Boy clout of yours to convince Merryweather to let the witches join in on the fun, not just watch you lot go at it—"

"Agreed it's unreasonable to divide by gender, but as if you could take me—"

"Bold words, Riddle—" Then Riddle will be pulling Hermione's breasts out rather than unclasping her bra like a normal person; he'll knead one in his hand while he unbuckles his belt with the other.

"You're such a bitch," he'll say, and then drop the hand from her breast to rip her knickers off again.

"I'm running out of knickers!" she'll snap, and he'll just retort with, "As if one can call these knickers," and yes, alright, it won't even be a thong, but a g-string she'll have conjured because she really would be running out of knickers and wouldn't be arsed to magic more fabric that morning.

"I should just make them crotchless next time," she'll mutter as she kicks her skirt and torn underwear away, and then Riddle will eye her, but she'll just grumble about how he could have slid her knickers to the side instead of destroying them, he's such a git, until she eventually explains, "They're pants with no crotches for fucking, when you can't be bothered to take them off."

"That's obscene"—and Hermione will scoff, because what have they been doing this whole time, writing sonnets?—"and also irrelevant, since there hasn't been any fucking—"

"Yes, in your wildest dreams, Riddle, you won't be sticking anything inside me any time soon—"

"Oh, and what is it that's getting 'stuck inside you' instead, then?" he'll say—rhetorically, because she'll have frigged herself plenty for his edification at this point—but Hermione will part her legs into a split with her knees hanging over the edges of the desk, and Riddle will still look shocked, and then she'll show him by sticking a finger up her cunt.

"Fuck," she'll say, or he'll say—they'll both say—because Hermione will have a finger up her hole, and Riddle will have himself in hand.

They'll glare as they crane their heads towards one another. Riddle will start with a slow, deliberate pump over his cock, foreskin pulling back to show a red, angry tip. Hermione will shuffle back a bit with her finger still inside so Riddle can brace his hand on the desktop and lean in even closer.

"Does that feel good?" Riddle will demand, and Hermione will still glare as she lets out a breathy moan in provocation, which will make Riddle grunt and jag harder into his fist. She'll pull her finger out and raise it to him, showing how wet she is but also conveniently flipping him the bird.

His lips will curl as he repeats, "Such a bitch."

"One you want to fuck," she'll say, and then smear her wet middle finger down his cheek.

His face will twist. "Unbelievable. I can't imagine how you got this way."

But then he'll turn to suck the finger into his mouth, tongue lashing around it as if in punishment, cheeks hollowing under those perfect features of his. Hermione will moan for real this time, because it will be the first time he's tasting her—they'll never have really touched each other until then—and he'll be braced above Hermione's body where she's lying beneath him, sucking on her finger and thrusting down towards her like he's imagining he'll just feast on that taste straight from the source then stab his cock into her cunt—the thought will make Hermione drag her finger back to herself and insert another one for good measure.

A trail of spit will stretch between Riddle's wet mouth and her hand, reflecting the classroom's torchlights before it snaps.

"You love having your fingers in that wet little hole of yours, don't you?" Riddle will pant as he rapidly tugs his prick over her. Hermione will be shoving her fingers in and out of her cunt as her thumb whips over her engorged clit, and everything will be getting even wetter by the second. She'll try to nod, but then just collapse back against the desktop and gasp, "Yes," before she rises back up on an elbow and finds herself whining, "It's not enough—it never is."

Then a long finger will push inside her and she'll jolt.

"Oh," Hermione will breathe. She'll hear Riddle make a low noise in response. There'll be the recognisable sound of slapping skin again.

He'll keep his finger motionless inside her while Hermione starts to pulse her own two faster, and the wet will make it so, so slippery. The thumb on her clit will be putting just the right amount of pressure, so she'll start flexing her hips again—she'll have lost all shame since the first time—she'll hump up into her own hand and Riddle's single, long, beautiful finger in her pussy, towards his stupid, perfect face.

She'll want him to move, but he'll just be stroking himself with one hand and leaving the finger from his other hot inside of her. She'll start chewing on her lip in frustration.

"Fuck, you're a bitch," Riddle will state, and suddenly he won't be fucking his fist anymore but bending to pull her hands away from herself, he'll pull his hand away, what is he doing?

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Hermione will demand. Riddle's eyes will narrow.

"It drives me to distraction when you bite your lip like that," he'll say, and jam three of his fingers straight into her body.

"Ah—!"

"How does it feel? Enough yet?" he'll ask darkly. "Full enough for you?" He'll twist his wrist so his fingers screw inside her cunt with every jab. "Maybe I should stick some of these in your mouth too. Merlin knows you're always worrying at that lip of yours, or sucking on your quill, you bloody— How does it feel?" His fingers will be bullying and pressing like they're trying to push her insides back to make more space, make their presence known.

"They're—they're thicker," she'll pant back at him. "They're so long—oh," and her legs will involuntarily come in to squeeze around Riddle, because he'll have crooked his fingers up during their persistent, vicious wriggling and found something, and now he's pressing into it, and she won't be able to tell if she likes it, or if she—

"Riddle," she'll gulp, and her whole body will curl in towards him. Her hand will fly out, but he'll just look into her eyes, expressionless, and then back down to where he's cruelly hammering up into her, fingertips juddering against that spot so quickly it just feels like a heavy, unforgiving quake inside of her, the press of it excruciating.

"Riddle, no," she'll try again, shuddering, but his eyes will gleam with a strange light now—Hermione will dimly remember a Muggle psychology textbook she had read in the Forest of Dean, something about atypical responses to distress cues, impulsivity and thrill-seeking behavior—but then her entire body will be coiling, her stomach and thighs clenching, and it'll cramp, and she'll—she'll—

"Fuck," she'll scream, and there will be a gush—no, it'll feel like a gush but she'll see it's a spray—all over Riddle, who'll have had his face right there, and now his face will be—will be—

"You bitch," he'll breathe as he raises it, soaking, and his jumper will be ruined too. He'll be completely drenched. He'll keep pressing that spot, but she'll kick this time, so he'll just pump his fingers into her some more before looking at her, rapt, as he slowly slides them out; his eyes will just glitter when Hermione's whole body spasms. His whole face will be shining with her drip, and he'll lick himself, long tongue coming out and savoring.

Then he'll swipe a palm over Hermione's wet thighs and use her fluids to start stroking his cock quickly over her again.

"I'm going to fuck you one of these days," he'll say over the messy sounds of his jerking. "Just you wait."

"You wish," she'll sob back, but it will sound weak even to her own ears, and he'll slap her pussy with his cock in remonstration, then continue tugging himself, the sloppy smacking of his skin echoing in her ears.

Hermione's orgasm will still be taking its course, and the occasional tingle and throb will run through her body, making her shiver. All she'll be able to focus on is the single wave of hair hanging loose over Riddle's eyebrow, which will sway with the sharp motions of his body as he masturbates loudly over her twitching form.

"So lovely, Granger," he'll murmur through it. "So fucking sweet." He'll lick his lips again.

His cum will shoot out in an arc over Hermione's limp body and land with a splash between her breasts, over her bra now dangling around her waist, all the way down until it trails between her hips to her quim. She'll tear her gaze from his face to watch as he slowly milks his cock while the pulses go lower and lower, until his seed pools around her swollen clit.

Riddle will stand there, breathing laboured, and then pull one, one more, another—three drops of spend from his still erect penis and swipe them onto his finger.

"Go on," he'll murmur. "I know you're curious," and feed it to Hermione.

They'll agree Defence is off-limits. Charms, Herbology, and Potions, too, because they pose safety hazards, and they're both quite competitive in those classes—even if Slughorn's favouritism towards Riddle is fucking stupid.

Care of Magical Creatures—the professor's not Hagrid, so Hermione plans to sit the exam this time—will also be verboten, as will Astronomy since neither will wish to fall off the Tower.

No more naughty thoughts in Transfiguration either, because they'll have finished revising the fundamentals and will finally be moving on to practical applications of human-to-animal transformations after the Christmas holidays; the prospect of musing over the other's genitals while turning into a quadruped begs disaster.

Anything they share around lectures or parchment work will be open field.

Hermione will sit in their Arithmancy class and think at him about how wet she is down there, torture him with the knowledge of how soft it is inside, how she won't let him put anything but his fingers into her. She'll think at him about how his normally composed face gets so tense and distraught, the sharp line of his jaw ruined by the way he grinds his teeth. How that hair of his always falls from his side part as he shakes and thrusts into his fist, imagining his hand is actually her—that he's fucking her. The noises he makes in his frustration.

She'll project to him in Ancient Runes about how lately before she sleeps, she'll cup her quim in her hand as she thinks about him—because she'll think about him even outside of class now—and how inevitably one of her fingers will trace its way inside, not long enough, not like his.

She'll stare at the back of his head in History of Magic, and she'll begin wondering to herself what it would be like if she let him fuck her. She'll have lately been neglecting her usual bedtime reading to instead imagine being filled by him. She'll think about how she'd even started playing with her arsehole, just needing any kind of touch she can get, because she'll feel so empty when it's not bloody Riddle there.

The other students will begin to stir back into animation, signaling the end of class. Riddle will still be at his desk finishing his notes, movements rather fitful—writing quite furiously actually—Hermione will be sure he doesn't typically scribble.

She'll contemplate him some more. How is someone that symmetrical?

'Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to let him. When I was with Viktor—'

Suddenly her view of Riddle will be obstructed, because he'll actually be standing right there, right in front of where Hermione is. She'll look at him, startled, before she darts her gaze around, because they don't do this, they don't interact where others can see them—unless it's them trying to answer the professors' questions before the other can—and if it's the two of them together, the other students will wonder which of their peers is absent who should be acting as chaperone—

"So that's his name," Riddle will hiss at Hermione, and she'll look at him, bewildered.

"What are you on about, Riddle?" she'll hiss right back, glancing at Binns—but he'll just be puttering and mumbling to himself at the front, not paying them any mind.

Riddle will grab her wrist—Hermione will look around again, because this time period is stupid, but that doesn't mean she's seeking scandal—and he'll pull her through the Passage of the Fouls.

"Really, Riddle, the Detention Chamber?" she'll ask as they enter the room. She'll impatiently flick her wand out to add some Confundus variants in case the caretaker comes along; Apollyon Pringle is a shit.

Riddle will just look at her blackly.

"What?" she'll ask. "What are you glaring at me for? I wasn't even doing anything this time," she'll add, and Riddle will say, "Oh, you were doing plenty—I could hear you quite clearly, comparing me to that older student," and she'll stare at him.

"Right," she'll say. "It's lunchtime." She'll push past him towards the door—but he'll grab her and pull her back to his chest and then bend her over one of the tables.

'It must be Pavlovian,' she'll think then, because she'll already be hitching up her robes and skirt and pushing her knickers—a conjured thong this time—they're actually rather comfy—she'll be pushing her knickers to the side, and Riddle's fingers will be there, working their way into her from behind. Hermione will recognise the sounds of his belt buckle being undone, then the fabric of his trousers shifting about, and then there'll be a hot, heavy, length sliding up and down between her arsecheeks.

"So you play with yourself and you think about him?" she'll hear Riddle say, and how the hell was that what he'd construed from her thoughts?

"Don't be ridiculous; I've just been experimenting, and I was not thinking about Vik—"

"Don't say his name!" he'll bark. Bloody hell.

His cock will disappear from her bum then. Hermione will hear the telltale sounds of his wanking as she feels his fingers continue to plunge inside her. Her wetness will smear everywhere.

Suddenly, there will be a finger pressed to her pucker.

"So you've been playing with your arse," Riddle will say. His voice will do that thing that makes Hermione go shockingly hot, it's so low and dark and steady; she'll unconsciously go on her tiptoes to bring her rear closer in reaction.

"I can't fault you," he'll continue. "I don't know how anyone"—the finger on her pucker will disappear—"would not want to play"—it'll come down as a hard, full-handed slap—"with this tight"—another slap—"round"—slap—"arse"—slap.

The hand that had been spanking her will come back to drag her moisture up, up to her hole. Riddle will grope an arsecheek roughly and then push his thumb inside.

"Fuck!"

But Riddle will just squeeze the round of her bum harder as he works his finger in. "So hot inside—everything about you is so hot. People think you're some prissy little morsel, materialised from parts unknown, but I know the truth. You're a bitch in heat." His grip will bruise if it hasn't welted already, Hermione will just know—then his thumb will sink all the way in to the first joint.

Riddle will fist himself in little punches up against the fold of her cheeks, then suddenly slide his cock between her legs.

"In—go on," he'll say with a light smack to her hip. Hermione will jump and tighten her thighs in reflex.

"Good girl. Just like that," he'll breathe, and his cock will be gliding smoothly between her legs from the wet leaking out and coating them everywhere. Riddle's fingers will pull out from her snatch to rub at her clit in precise little movements, and the muscles in Hermione's thighs will clench even harder from the pleasure of it—his prick will fight to wedge in—she'll start squirming—

"I'll wreck you," Riddle will say, his breath scalding her ear. "I'll split you wide with my prick. You'll drip with how full you are by the end; I'll have you in every hole. No one else will touch you because you'll be ruined by me."

He'll drive ruthlessly between her then, thick, hot, demanding, sliding his length along the lips of her pussy in long drags, and she'll look down to see him jutting out the front with every hard, inward thrust, his fingers trying to break her clit—everything will tighten up—her pucker will screw shut around Riddle's thumb as her arse and thighs clamp, her whole body writhing away from the pressure of her climax—

Riddle will just hold her even tighter through it, breathing threats in her ear, and there'll be the smacking noise of their flesh overriding the dull thuds of his clothed body hitting her, and the clinking of his belt buckle as his pelvis pushes in-in-in, the squelch from their combined exertions, that deep voice saying that he's going to bruise her from the inside—

He'll pull away at the last moment to push the head of his cock up against her arsehole and spurt straight into it.

Hermione will try to stand, but Riddle will just roll her onto her back and fold her legs until her knees nearly touch her ears. He'll pet both holes in long, meticulous strokes, skin sticky, and his cum will trickle out of her, soaking into the waistband of her skirt as she shivers with her limbs in the air.

"Beautiful," Riddle will say, after sucking a mark into the thin skin of her ankle. But he won't be looking at the work he's put her through—he'll be looking straight into her eyes. The hand clasped around her ankle will feel like a manacle.

Eventually, she'll wobble to the Great Hall hoping there are some custard tarts left.

Time will pass, and then it will be towards the end of Christmas hols. Hermione will be at Hogwarts, because she'll be alone in this time, nowhere and no one to go to. She'll be in the library, because—well, where the hell else would she be?

Riddle will also be there, because he'll have no one either, but he'll be sitting at a different table, bent over an essay. The two will ignore one another. There will be a tacit understanding that the library is sacrosanct.

Hermione will know all the material already and will be able to write it down from memory, but Merryweather is the sort of professor who requires citations and references; she'll have to get up and go to the shelves looking for Quentin Trimble's The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection.

She'll be irritated to find that all the copies have been checked out over the break.

'Fucking useless,' she'll fume at the stupid other students who'd nicked the spare copies of core reading material; at the fact that the Gryffindor Common Room, where Hermione will have left her copy of the book, is six bloody flights up from the library; at the stupid wool uniform skirt that chafes more than the one from her own time; at being stuck in an empty school with no one—the faculty won't count—no one but a young Voldemort who'll have turned out to be a dirty pervert who still manages to act like a prig—a dirty pervert prig who makes Hermione's knickers wet. She'll fume at still being stuck in the past.

She'll turn to the window to glower outside, but then take in the Hogwarts grounds, draped in snow, stunning in its starkness. She won't be able to help the pang when she thinks about how alone she feels in that moment. How much she misses Harry and Ron, her best friends. She'll feel her eyes sting.

It will be light out, so she won't see Riddle's reflection in the glass as he approaches her.

"I," she'll hear that voice say, suddenly up behind her and so, so low, "haven't been able to think since you've come to this school." His words will ruffle the tops of her curls and his hands will come up to grip her by the hips.

Then Riddle will turn her around and kiss her.

They'll have been meeting and looking and touching, mouthing threats and shouting curses, filthy, but they won't have once kissed.

'The library is sacrosanct,' Hermione will think numbly through her tears.

Riddle's mouth will be soft against hers, lips just a little wider, strangely generous. He'll nip at her, soothe softly with that long tongue of his, and it will peek out tentatively when he parts his mouth more, silently asking to meet her. He'll make one of his deep little noises when she relaxes her jaw and reaches her own tongue out in reply. Hermione's skin will pebble when he groans after she gives his lips, then his tongue, a suck. Their breaths will mix together in warm puffs. His hands will come up to her cheeks to wipe the tears away.

'Heavens,' Hermione will think to herself as her toes start to curl inside her shoes. She'll think she's never had a kiss like this before. It will be much better than Viktor's. So much better than the peck she and Harry had shared. Merlin, it might be even better than when she and Ron—

She'll be interrupted from her delirium by Riddle, who'll suddenly be ripping away.

"You kissed your friends."

Hermione will just gaze at him, disoriented, with her head tilted back.

"I don't want to meet them anymore."

Still rather dazed, Hermione will manage to ask, "Why would you want to meet my friends?" Riddle will scowl in reply.

"To kill them."

Hermione's mouth will come out of its dreamy droop then.

"You will not," she'll snap.

But Riddle's expression will be stormy. He won't have used the word 'slut' since that first time—though his hips go erratic whenever Hermione will mention it aloud or think about it—but the sentiment will be there when he bites, "So do you kiss all your friends, Hermione? Am I your friend?"

"No, you're not my friend," she'll retort, and he'll flinch.

She'll deflate.

"Tom," she'll sigh, because she'll have been calling him that in her head for some time—it's hard not to when someone's stuck their finger up one's bum—but she'll say his first name in a sigh, because Riddle—no, Tom—Tom will have smoothed his face to a blank mask, and Hermione will hate that, she will grow to hate that expression so much.

"I don't know what you are," she'll say. "You're not my friend. You're—you're something else. Something different."

She'll hesitate.

She'll look at him and see that careful face, and she'll feel a sharp twinge in her chest. She'll feel herself go tight in reaction, like everything hurts.

"You're something more."

Hermione won't know what she's doing here, why she's here, if there even is any reason. But she'll know it's been better—with him. Because of him. Hermione will look at the boy in front of her and think about how he is just the same as she had always thought, but also different, too. More.

"Viktor wasn't my friend. He was just—just someone who saw me as a girl for the first time in my life, who was interested in me, and who I lost my virginity to. But he was older, like I've said, old enough that I know I should have waited, and it wasn't very good—even though he tried," she'll add hastily, and Tom will exhale, hard.

"With Harry, the kiss was—we just needed to make sure it wasn't—that we really were just friends, best friends, and Ronald—"

"Stop talking about them," Tom will interrupt, then shut Hermione up with his mouth, and it won't be like that other kiss at all, because his tongue will be forcing its way in to lick the roof of her mouth, determined and hungry, as his hand pushes up her skirt to grip her arse. Hermione will moan and try to kiss back, but he'll just lean away to mutter into her temple, "You best hope I never meet these friends of yours, as they won't enjoy whatever happens."

She'll feel her face drop in a scowl.

"Oh come off it, do you realise how you sound—"

"Yes, like someone who understands the appropriate boundaries between two peopl—"

"Oh is that what this is? Too bad you never learned the 'appropriate boundaries' in a conversation where one person doesn't interrupt the other—"

"Yes, evidently you're an expert in that area," Tom will say suddenly crowding her against the shelves, and then they'll be heaving against one another again, mouths slotted together, clashing and messy.

Tom's hand will move from its grip on her arsecheek to her quim, middle finger coming out to run around her nub and down her slit, collecting the moisture before he pushes in. Her knickers will be off to the side under her skirt, but they won't escape the abrupt rush of wetness when he crooks it inside of her, like he's keeping her hooked to him.

It will be when Hermione's tearing her jumper off while wrapping her legs around Tom's waist as he lifts and pins her against the books that she'll realise she's forgetting something and fumble out her wand. It'll be the holidays; no one else will be there in the library, but there'll still be the Hogwarts staff to consider. She'll hastily ward their area with repellents and disillusionments and confounding spells, and it will all be rather slap-dashed because she's dripping, but Tom will pause to take it in and raise his brows.

"You're improving."

Hermione will just want to swallow more of his low noises in her mouth, and he'll laugh as she drags him back.

"You realise you just did that all wordlessly, don't you?" he'll mumble into her lips as he undoes his trousers one-handed, but she'll just drop her wand to thread her fingers through his hair, and then he'll be the one wrenching himself away. She'll watch as he adds a Muffliato—right, silencing spell, how had Hermione forgotten—but then he'll reconsider, and double up on everything Hermione herself had cast. It will be clear neither of them wants any interruptions.

If a German fighter plane's bomb somehow managed to slip past the castle's own protections, it still wouldn't manage to touch them.

He'll claw open her blouse. "Let me see—"

Right.

That's the other thing Hermione will have forgotten.

Her glamours.

Because the library is sacrosanct.

Hermione will hang limply from where she's pinned to the bookshelf as Tom silently pulls away her shirtsleeves.

"Something happened to me," Hermione will say. "I don't want to talk about it."

Tom will stare at the curse scar that extends from between her breasts to above her navel. He'll see the word 'Mudblood' carved into her arm.

"That's right, I'm Muggle-born," Hermione will say, and she'll cross her arms to cover herself, heart thumping, wishing she'd worn a bra, ready to squirm away, kick, sprint. Tom will just look at her strangely.

"You really think," he'll say, "I didn't know that? You knew nothing about the pure-blood betrothals," and Hermione will start, because then why has he continued to approach her after that first time, why does he keep seeking her out?

"And you really think," Tom will continue, "I don't know you're not from around here? You're not from this time? You have a London accent, but you know nothing about the raids. You don't talk about it with the other Muggle-borns, you don't Stasis food from the tables at meals to keep or send back—when I found you in the corridor, you were wearing denim stockings—"

"They're called skinny jeans," Hermione will interrupt, and Tom will be impatient.

"You could see everything—it's ridiculous that you even had circulation," he'll say. "That underwear of yours too—the future must be positively hedonistic"—Tom will have been unconsciously pushing his hips against Hermione as he spoke, so she'll grab his cock and put it up to her cunt.

The head will catch against her and push in with a pop.

"Minx," he'll hiss as his length sinks in. Hermione won't respond because she'll be busy trying to dislodge the breath that caught in her throat. Merlin, obviously she'll have seen his prick plenty of times by then, but why is it so big? It's not anything like that time with Vik—

"None of that," Tom will cut in with a deep jab. Hermione won't be proud of it, but she'll whine as he goes in another inch. "I was going to take my time with you, but you need a telling off," and then he'll shove the rest of the way in, and she'll have caught her breath only to gasp again, and it'll be like it's not his hips pinning her to the books, but his cock, spearing its way deep inside of her. He'll be swearing, hasn't she done this before, why is she so tight.

"So fucking tight," he'll hiss, and there it is again, that foul mouth that has Hermione's entire body spike with heat. "How is this pussy still so. Fucking. Tight." He'll punctuate each word with another stab.

"I'll have to break you in."

That thick length of his will withdraw in an agonizing drag—then slam in.

"Nnnh—"

He'll fuck her straight past her knickers and her skirt.

Hermione's legs will bob around him while he uses his hands on her arse to keep her still as he pounds in, sending books to the floor. Her breasts will feel positively pendulous as they bounce with every thrust, and suddenly he'll be going faster, fuck, so deep, and she'll look at Tom's face, those perfect brows and that straight nose, and those dark, dark eyes, and his lips will start to snarl back.

He'll pull out all of the sudden.

"You're going to cum," he'll say, and then turn her around to face the shelves.

He'll slide back in. Take a hand to her front and tweak at her clit.

"You're going to cum all over my cock, Granger, do it," he'll order, and she'll moan and arch her back to push against him, and they'll fall to the floor.

"I'm gaining an appreciation for keeping these on," Tom will say.

He'll have a hand hooked into her cotton briefs and another in her hair—"This hair of yours, fuck, Granger"—using them as reins to pull her back with every fuck into her.

Hermione will be horrified she's drooling onto the spine of Slinkhard's Defensive Magical Theory, but suddenly she'll be wailing too, beloved sanctity of the library or no, because Tom will have moved his hands to her waist to drive her back into him even harder than before.

She'll be incoherent after falling apart under his fingers earlier, and the way Tom's length is dragging against that spot inside of her will make her swollen clit throb with agony from the extra stimulation. All she'll be able to do is take his cock in, so deep it feels like it'll hit the back of her throat, and accept the disgraceful noises getting punched out of her.

"Hermione," he'll say from behind over the loud, messy sounds of their fucking. "Hermione. You have no idea."

Tom's fingers, so long and beautiful, will go mean, gripping her waist so tightly she'll wonder that she can still breathe.

"You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into."

His grip will loosen. He'll gather her back into his arms as his thrusts turn into deep, undulating rolls; it'll feel like her insides are getting pushed around. He'll brush her hair—it'll be a right mess by then, what with all the rubbing against the books from earlier—he'll brush her hair to the side and lick at the juncture of her shoulder and neck before sucking at the skin.

"You're going to feel this."

His hips will snap.

It'll be like being battered, body getting pummelled by the thick cock inside of her, so fast she can't drag in a single breath. Hermione will be keening but the sounds will come out in little staccato bursts from the impact. She'll barely even make them out over the wet, meaty smacking of their bodies, his balls slapping up against her quim while he fucks into her and drops her body down again and again, hands clutching her breasts while the rest of her strains away, held back by the cock impaling her.

He'll drag her head around and devour her mouth, and she'll try to kiss him back just as desperately. But then the next inward thrust will be particularly sharp, and Hermione's teeth will clack, and she'll taste metal; she'll bite his lip hard enough to break skin.

Tom's hips will stutter. He'll draw his face back to look at her, eyes alight with that glint—she'll know she's really done it then.

"You," he'll growl, "are going to get it," and push her down.

Hermione will catch herself on the base of the bookshelf and scream, because Tom will have gotten up onto his haunches to ream her, and her body won't be able to decide whether to meet him or pull away, writhing back and forth instead—his cock will keep hitting that spot at every instroke, that one he'll always mercilessly press when he frigs her—her knees will be grazing the floor from the way he's pulling her hips up and back, and everything will be wet, it'll be splashing, no, it'll be another one of those—

"No, Tom," Hermione will beg, but Tom will just keep ramming into her, and she'll feel it, coiling, wrenching—

"Noo," she'll sob. There'll be that unmistakable surge running through her, that gush, the spattering, the wet noises of their fucking turned even sloppier—she'll feel her walls spank against his cock as her stomach clenches, feel the twitch and swell as he grunts and starts to shoot inside, scorching.

"Fuck," he'll breathe as he falls back, pulling her with him.

Hermione will dangle from his grasp as he rocks his hips up, up into her, still cumming.

"You have no idea."

She'll lean limply against his chest in just her skirt and knickers as he tells her how she has no idea, none, no idea what she's gotten herself into, no idea what she does to him, no idea how he knew from the moment he found her she was different, more. No idea she's his now.

He'll suck another mark into her shoulder then, harsh and biting, then smear a bloody kiss over it as the final spurts of his spend fill her, cock pulsating deep inside.

"This is our first time," he'll say. Hermione will eyeball him, because what's he going on about now?

They'll be in Tom's room after having left the library. They'll have levitated the fallen books back, but some of them will be ruined with stains.

He'll undress her carefully and lay her on his bed. He'll gaze at her as he takes his clothes off, and it will be the first time Hermione sees him naked.

He'll be beautiful. He'll stand there completely unapologetic about his biology—Hermione won't even be able to resent him. She'll look at him with his wide, angular shoulders and the narrow waist and hips; the lean strength cording his arms and legs; the lightly defined chest and abdominals and the fine, almost imperceptible down trailing in congruent angles between a visible iliac furrow, meeting and connecting to a thicker line of hair leading to his neat thatch and heavy, silken cock. All of him so long and gracefully muscled, unblemished.

She'll look at him and realise that he's never seen her naked either, and that he'll have been looking at her this whole time too. She won't be able to help curling in on herself, but he'll join her in bed then, rove his hands all along her body, pet her flank and her limbs in smooth glides over her skin.

He'll take her then. He'll settle her on her back and turn her legs so he can enter her from behind as he lies on his side next to her, staring into her face. He'll take her like that, slowly. He'll kiss her, brush his hand over a breast, cup it and gently roll at her nipple. He'll slide it over the scar on her chest, follow it down her stomach, all the way to her cunt, where he'll pet her gently as he fucks her in languid, torturous thrusts, so long that Hermione will feel a warm throb bloom low and deep inside her as she shakes.

"This is the first time," he'll say to her. "This is the first time you should have had."

It will be so slow tears will spring to her eyes, and she won't know why, just that it's overwhelming, and she'll start pleading to him, no, please, more, faster, but he'll just keep gazing at her, riveted, as she cries through their fuck.

"Does that feel good?" Tom will demand, standing over her as she rubs against the cushion he'd Transfigured in class that one day. How the hell he'd filched it from Dumbledore's room, Hermione won't have a clue. He'll have taken it out and lifted her onto it, then pushed her down until she humped it on her own.

"Does that feel good against that needy hairless cunny of yours? Is it just like you remember from when you were a little girl?" he'll ask, fisting himself in front of her. He'll smear the wetness from his cock against her cheeks and then push it to her lips.

"Good girl," he'll murmur, eyes dark, as she sucks him in. She'll choke, but he'll just grab her head and push in deeper; she'll grind against the cushion harder as their spend from earlier leaks onto it, ruining the silk.

"Show me," he'll say. "Show me how else you make yourself feel good."

Hermione will roll to her stomach and tuck her hand underneath. She'll crook her fingers up and flex her pelvis into them in scant motions, stimulating herself. She won't be able to imagine it's all that appealing, her just lying there and twitching her hips, so she'll flush a bit and crane her head over her shoulder to see what Tom's doing.

He'll be kneeling astride her thighs, prick hardening to full stiffness, and his eyes will be gleaming again. "It's obscene," he'll state as though commenting on the weather, "how innocent you look doing that."

Hermione will chew her lip.

He'll quickly lean over to press the head of his prick to the cleft of her cheeks.

"Don't stop," he'll order, so Hermione will keep shifting her body against the hand pinned below it in shy, tiny movements, and she'll feel him pinch her arsecheeks together with one hand as he masturbates against them. She'll hear the slap-slap-slap of his stroking and feel the resultant impact against her rear, feel the moisture from his cock dribbling onto her skin.

Her bottom lip will be raw from the scrape of her teeth when she finally feels that familiar pressure build, and she'll whimper, arse clenching tight under Tom's hand.

"Fuck," she'll hear him mutter, and then there will be the splatter of his semen on her back, her buttocks, right up against her pucker. He'll groan, and suddenly she'll feel the tip push in.

"Ah—!" Her whole body will flinch.

"That's right. Let me feel you squirm on it," he'll say, as Hermione convulses from her own aftershocks, into her hand, then back up into the intrusion. The first jets of his cum will have made everything wet.

He'll slide in deeper.

"Mmm, Hermione."

Deeper still.

"That's it. Keep writhing on my cock."

Deep enough that she can feel the thing splitting her wide jerk as it pumps its wet heat into her hole.

Hermione will be twitching uncontrollably around almost his entire length now. She'll feel two careful fingers come up to pull at the last inch and slowly milk the rest of his seed inside.

"This is mine too," he'll say.

"I'm underwhelmed," Tom will state later. Hermione will feebly turn her head to look at him.

His face will have twisted its handsome features into an arrogant mien of tragedy.

"My dick remains unbroken by your cunt, and my hips stay unshattered from the strength of your passion. The threats were grossly exaggerated."

Ugh.

"Wait and see, Riddle," Hermione will manage out. She'll get up to stand over him on the bed and then drop straight onto his prick. Her hand will dart out behind her to his balls.

"It's only a matter of time."

Hermione will cast a Tempus and see that it's just past midnight.

'The thirty-first,' she'll think to herself. A vague memory will surface, and she won't recall if it was from Harry or Dumbledore, but the oblong box bearing a Malfoy seal that will appear on the floor—no doubt containing an expensive wristwatch—will confirm her suspicions.

Tom will have had his arms wrapped tightly around her, so she'll have to wriggle a bit to escape. His eyes will be alert as she stands to get dressed.

"The Elfs should have cake," she'll say to him.

He'll just look at her.

"Oh, please, as if it's a birthday without cake," she'll press, and pull him out of bed.

One morning after classes have started up again, Hermione will bolt up from her own bed; she'll remember she hasn't been on the pill since she came back in time.

Tom will tell Slughorn that they're attempting to settle a debate over the relative effects of twice-distilling something-or-other versus diluting whatsit—Hermione won't really remember, because she'll have been too busy panicking, because—well why the fuck wouldn't she be?!

They'll go to the empty Potions classroom and line up their ingredients. Tom will take and clean a pewter cauldron, eyeing Hermione warily.

Right, so she'll have been on the rather shrill side when she'd told him about the pill, and maybe she shouldn't have had her wand out when she'd threatened to actually break his dick.

'Whatever,' Hermione will think.

She'll carefully pluck the mericarps off the silphium and roughly chop its leaves while Tom sets the bitter water to a simmer. He'll remeasure the tincture of tansy because Hermione's hands will shake as she does it, subsequently knocking the jar containing the wormwood essence over. She'll watch him catch it mid-air and measure that out too, so Hermione will grumble to herself about how it's fine for him because he's not the one with the bloody uterus and turn to mince the lionfish spine.

They'll brew the potion, alternating clockwise and counter-clockwise stirs every five minutes. They'll decant it. Hermione will stare at the vial and remember that textbook of Harry's she'd snuck a look through before she'd had Professor McGonagall confiscate it.

"The potency increases if it sits for twenty minutes," she'll share. Tom, who will have also been staring at the vial of the freshly brewed Abortifacient, will look at her, and then look at her again when she thinks very loudly at him.

"You're a greedy little bint, aren't you," he'll say, and then pull her onto his lap.

That's how a fifth-year Hufflepuff prefect and Slughorn will find them, pants literally around their ankles.

'Fucking useless,' Hermione will think as she peers at them past Tom's shoulder. She won't have even gotten to finish.

"The way he was staring at me," Hermione will fume as they make their way from Slughorn's office to Gryffindor Tower. "Like I ruined his precious baby Head Boy with my wiles, like I'm some sort of—of—scarlet woman!"

"I'll abstain from the poor pun on your House affiliation to point out it was bound to happen," Tom will say from beside her. "And it is ruinous; we're lucky it was just those two."

"Bound to happen. We warded the room!" Hermione will say—and then pause, because it won't have been the both of them this time, but Tom. "How did you forget to add a silencing charm?" she'll demand.

"A genuine mistake," Tom will say lightly, as if Tom Riddle makes mistakes; he'll grab Hermione's wrist when she goes for her wand and then have to grab the other one and push her to the corridor wall when she tries to punch him.

"You fucking—"

"Shush, you didn't get to finish," Tom will pant into her neck as his fingers creep their way up her skirt.

"How is this the time—"

"It always is with you."

"Someone will see—"

"Good. Don't think I haven't seen the way Potter's begun sniffing around you," which is ridiculous, because Fleamont Potter certainly will not have been, and also he is Harry's grandfather—Hermione would never.

Tom will bite her, right above her shirt collar where everyone will see.

'I'll glamour it,' Hermione will think mutinously, but then she won't think at all as Tom flicks his thumb repeatedly over her clit while he plunges two fingers into her cunt.

"Don't fret. Once we're married, Slughorn will probably start taking credit and say he was the one to match us up."

"Yes, his star Potions students," Hermione will bite, because even if she's one of those stars, she's the second one. Slughorn could take his favouritism and shove it up his sexist arse.

Tom will offer his elbow to her, but Hermione will just purse her lips at it and say, "What the hell, Riddle."

Then Tom will purse his own lips into a victimised moue and say, "We're betrothed, Miss Granger, please allow me to escort you to your tower," and she'll feel her nostrils flare and dig her nails into his arm as hard she can while he escorts her back to the dormitories.

They'll be betrothed so that news of The Incident, as Dippet will have been calling it, won't come to light. Because Slughorn is a shit.

"And that Hufflepuff," Hermione will say darkly as Tom escorts her to Arithmancy. "Why did it have to be a bloody Hufflepuff? At least with someone from our Houses, we could have sworn them to silence."

"I don't understand this prejudice of yours towards the Hufflepuffs; they're completely unobjectionable. They respect privacy and won't try to hurt anyone's reputation, and they're quite steadfast—they keep their heads down more than the other Houses." Hermione will stare, and Tom will hastily add, "Though that yellow doesn't flatter anyone."

He'll change the subject then. "I suppose you would have felt better if it had been someone like Dumbledore who had found us. He certainly wouldn't have pushed for marriage. He's more... 'hands-off,' if you will." It will almost sound bitter.

Hermione will be escorted to her desk where she'll sit and think about the moment after The Incident in Slughorn's office. He'll have been occupied that evening organising the photographs of his Slug Club members, and they'll have still been lying on the desk while he harrumphed and wiped his brow over Hermione and Tom's scandal.

She'll remember seeing a photograph he had of Tom Riddle in his third year, and she'll think about how sharp his cheekbones had looked in his already angular face, how he'd been so thin back then even with the Hogwarts food. Then she'll think about another boy, one who had wide, green eyes and hair even more hopeless than hers, one who would trip on the hems of his secondhand clothes and roll back too-long sleeves to reveal knobby wrists, skinny from malnutrition. Bruised.

'Dumbledore,' Hermione will think, 'is also a shit.'

As though some unfathomable, mutually agreed calendar date was set, the other seventh-years will simultaneously remember the impending N.E.W.T. exams and all stay for the Easter holiday, attempting to break curfew for a last desperate dive into the library. Tom will actually have to do his patrols, and Hermione will be a little relieved about it because it's still the bloody N.E.W.T.s, no, she doesn't care that she'd sat them outside of school in her own time, piss off Riddle. She'll need a job, probably as a bloody secretary since witches in the Forties only get high positions when they come from a notable family.

She'll be wondering if maybe she should have sat in front while Binns went on about Urg the Unclean, and she'll still be there when Tom finds her.

"We need to meet. We haven't spent any time together lately," he'll say, and Hermione will just crinkle her brows without looking at him as she shuffles through her notes.

"You saw me just this morning," she'll say, and it'll be true; they'll have had Ancient Runes. He'll have escorted her before going to his own seat.

Tom will sit down across from her and push the parchments that had spread there back towards Hermione. She'll look up, irritated, and then goggle at the assignment he's pulled out.

"That's not N.E.W.T.s," she'll say, and Tom will give her a flat look.

"Astute, Granger."

"That's Magical Housekeeping work."

"Yes," he'll confirm.

"Why," Hermione will say, "are you in the Hogwarts home economics class?" It'll be widely known only witches desperate for marriage prospects attend that course.

Another flat look.

"The oldest spellwork stems from very basic physiological needs: safety, sustenance, life. Anything that comes from our N.E.W.T.s courses originated there. How do you think I know so many of those wards you've had the pleasure of seeing me cast? Did you think I learned them in Defence? Protecting hearth and home is some of the most powerful magic there is."

Hermione will just stare.

'This,' Hermione will try to convince herself, 'is a fabricated excuse for the fact that Tom Riddle doesn't know how to cook. He just wanted a place to inflate his ego even more by listening to the witches coo over him.' That must be it. Hermione will never be able to swallow down the idea that she'll have been missing one of the most significant integrations of all core disciplines available at Hogwarts because of her modern-day notions of female autonomy and her pride.

"We need to meet," Tom will repeat. "Seeing me this morning isn't spending time together."

That will be fair, because ever since their betrothal, all they'll have done is walk to class together, and Draco Malfoy's grandfather will have been trailing after the two of them, pinched face and all—really, it must be hereditary, because Abraxas doesn't resemble Draco all too much minus the coloring... But that expression—he'll have been following them like a snotty shadow ever since their betrothal. Hermione will suppose it wouldn't hurt to see Tom without their self-declared chaperone.

"Fine," she'll say, still thrown by the unsettling revelation that was Magical Housekeeping. "Tomorrow, then. I can't do today; I need to revise." Tom will give her yet another flat look.

"You'll be fine," he'll say, but Hermione will just frown at him. "How many N.E.W.T.s are you taking that you're in such a state anyway?"

Hermione won't be able to help preening a little at that.

"Ten," she'll say, rather brightly.

Tom will just smirk. "Well, Miss Granger, if I can spend some time away from revising for my eleven exams, then I'm sure you can as well. I'm actually planning to sit a twelfth though I'm not in the class."

Hermione will splutter.

"The 'Come and Go Room?' What kind of name is that? I thought you said students were abstinent."

Tom will splutter, and Hermione will feel a rush of vindictive pleasure. Serves him right—she won't believe Slughorn and Dippet got him a slip to let him sit the Muggle Studies N.E.W.T. He won't even have the textbook.

"It's for studying, or being alone when the library and Common Rooms are too full because everyone's revising for exams! Prewett uses it to write to her mother. Merlin, what's wrong with you?"

"Well it's a ridiculous name," Hermione will say crossly, because Prewett.

Everyone will have been shocked when Tom approached Hermione during breakfast and got down on bended knee, ring in hand, but the girls will have also swooned at how it was so brave and manly of the Head Boy to know his heart's want, which was just—ugh.

Meanwhile, those same girls will have eyed Hermione like she'd done something. It will be just like Molly Weasley after that nasty business with Rita Skeeter and the Prophet during the Triwizard Tournament fourth year, particularly since Muriel Prewett is Molly Weasley's relation and their glare is the exact same.

"Oh, so what would you call it then?" Tom will ask, cutting into Hermione's sulk.

"I don't know. Something like the Room of Requirement, I guess."

They'll go into the room. They'll have asked it for privacy; they'll want a place where it can just be the two of them.

Hermione will stop then. She'll look at Tom. His ring—which he'll tell her is temporary until he gets something more appropriate—will be heavy on her finger.

Hermione will have been carrying Tom's murder ring around with her this whole time. They'll be here, in this room, alone. They'll be betrothed now, and Hermione will know that it will be followed by marriage. She'll know, because while the proposal in the Great Hall will have largely been a demonstration for the masses, the words won't have been at all. He will have told her in a low voice only she could hear that he had known the moment he'd found her she was something different—something more. She'll have looked in his eyes and known he meant it.

She'll decide then.

"Do you know what else is a ridiculous name? Voldemort."

They'll be panting and sweaty from tussling earlier.

(Tom will have reared back from Hermione's mind, and after first showing shock, then anger, then that smooth mask of his—gods, she'll hate that face—he'll have bent her down into a searing, open-mouthed kiss and then have walked to the door, and Hermione will have had none of it.

Hermione will have launched herself at his back and shrieked about how she'd bared her soul to him, how could he, and his hands will have flown to his head where she'll have been trying to rip his side-part in two. He'll have shouted back that she was literally wearing his soul on her hand, he was just making sure the Room was properly locked and warded, Morgana's hysterical, histrionic tits.

"That's fucking sexist," she'll have screeched back, voice reaching new heights of shrillness.)

Anyway. Tom's hair will be mussed as he unbuttons Hermione's skirt, and Hermione will start to feel a little evil and will ask, "Really, though, Riddle? 'Vol-de-mort?' You were being a git about how the French folded under the Germans the other day."

"Figures you'd defend the French," Tom will mutter darkly, "You love them. Like that Victor from Beauxbatons."

And it will take Hermione a moment, because who is Victor from Beauxbatons, until she'll peal with laughter and hiccup out, "Tom, you saw my memories—Viktor was the Durmstrang champion in the Tournament!"

But Tom, expression foul, will only mutter, "Durmstrang. Dark wizards come out of that school; they teach the Unforgivables there," and Hermione will stop laughing and just stare at him, because the bloody nerve.

"Says you," she'll reply, "with your dead daddy issues dangling off my finger as my engagement ring."

Tom will just roll her over to her front and swat her on the rear, then undo his trousers and push in.

"Yes, Tom, fuck—"

"Just shut up and take it."

Tom will have spanked her arse red, because he'll still be coming down after his rant about being defeated—defeated after destroying Hogwarts, his only home—and without a bloody nose.

"What do you think happened?" he'll ask her later.

"I don't really know. I just remember I went back to help with the reconstruction, and I passed by this room—we do call it the Room of Requirement in my time by the way—I passed by this room, and the doorknob was still hot from the Fiendfyre. I remember touching it and thinking how it could have all gone so differently."

"There's something I need to do," Tom will say to Hermione.

It will be spring, and they'll be leaving Hogwarts soon. It may be their last time there.

(It won't be. Tom wants to be a professor, eventually Headmaster.)

Hermione will still be wearing his ring; Tom will have decided against replacing his Horcrux with a diamond.

He'll take her to the second-floor girls' lavatory. Myrtle will be there.

"Tom!" The ghost will swirl out from her stall to float over to them. "You haven't been by! I was wondering if you'd forgotten about me!"

Only then, having noticed Hermione, Myrtle will stop.

"Who is that," she'll say, eyes narrowed. Hermione will grimace some semblance of friendliness at her.

"Of course I haven't forgotten about you, how could you even say such a thing?" Tom will say, smiling his Head Boy smile. He'll add a crinkle to his beautiful eyes. "I just wanted to see you; it's my last year here, and it's almost over."

Myrtle will simper and moan and say she'll miss Tom so much and Tom will smile and nod, and Hermione will think that he is such a git.

"Myrtle, I know it's a bit much to ask, what with... what happened to you here. It still pains me that I couldn't have been there in time to help you," Tom will say, and Hermione will snort.

"Oh Tom, you're the only one who cares. I wish you'd been there too, but"—Myrtle will sigh, as if she would have liked nothing better for Tom to have rendezvoused with her in the leaky girls' toilets—"these things happen, you know, and you're here now, that's what matters."

Tom will gift Myrtle with another flash of his stupid, perfect teeth.

"I need to check on something before I go, and I wanted to bring my fiancé with me. You won't mind terribly if we pass by, will you?"

"Your fiancé? Oh, but I'd always hoped—well of course not, I'm dead now, and a ghost." Myrtle will begin sobbing wretchedly as she swoops to and fro.

Hermione will wince, because she won't have missed this at all.

That's when Myrtle will stop sobbing to look at Hermione, expression black.

"Congratulations, Tom," the ghost will sniff, and then whirl back into her toilet after darting one last glare at Hermione, pipes rattling with her moans.

Tom will open the Chamber of Secrets and Hermione will distantly wonder if she's following him to die.

"What, after all this, you're going to kill me with your pet Basilisk?"

"Don't be absurd," Tom will say. "A Basilisk is not a pet; it's its own sentient being. I'm surprised at you, Miss Granger—aren't you the one who goes on about magical beings and their rights?"

"I think Basilisks are a bit different—"

"How narrow-minded of you, Granger—"

"Oh, shut it," Hermione will snap, and stomp over to the entrance of the Chamber. Maybe he will kill her, but she'll kill him right back. Hermione will duck down and drop through the pipe even before Tom can.

The Chamber of Secrets will be much cleaner than Hermione will have remembered it being. There will still be bones, but they'll have been polished and neatly arranged in rows by size, and perhaps, species.

'The National History Museum would love this,' Hermione will think. She'll feel Tom pass by.

He'll absent-mindedly walk around, occasionally ducking his head to check a crevice, banishing any dust that will have settled. He'll putter.

"Well, what did you want to show me? Not the Basilisk, is it? I'm not sure I'd survive the encounter," Hermione will say.

"You can meet her if you want, and she won't kill you," Tom will respond mildly, still peering into a corner.

He'll eventually straighten from his crouch and approach her. "There's something I need to do here, with you," he'll murmur.

Then he'll bring his hands to her face.

He'll kiss her. Firm, wet, decisive. He'll nip at Hermione's lips for entry and then plunge in, tangling his tongue with her own. Hermione won't be able to help herself from parting her lips wider and moaning as his fingers go behind her head to hold her in his sure grip. The kiss will deepen.

'Gods, this is good,' Hermione will somehow manage to think, even though she feels like she's been ignited, completely subsumed. She'll think about the last time she was here in this Chamber. She'll think about another kiss that had flooded sensation into her body. 'But,' she'll think dizzily, 'that had been full of fear and adrenaline, and this one is—is claiming, and, and care, and—everything—it's just us, it's so perfect—"

Tom will tear himself away, and his dark eyes will flash as though with triumph. Hermione will stare at him, panting, lids half-mast, mouth still open.

Then she'll take in the expression on Tom's face and quickly fix her own into incredulity.

"You've got to be joking!"

She'll try to swat him, and Tom will use the momentum to draw her close. She'll try to swat him again anyway, but her wrists will be in his hands, and he'll be smiling into her face, and Hermione will still be annoyed but also rather flustered, because he's so handsome, ugh.

"You brought me into this bloody Chamber just so you could one-up a kiss."

"Will you meet the Basilisk?" Tom will say, ignoring her. "She's been quite curious, actually. She's been wanting to scent you." Hermione won't be sure if she wants to be scented, but it's still preferable to her last experience with the bloody thing.

She'll stand, eyes clamped tight, as she hears the heavy rasp of dry, smooth scales surround her. She'll feel the Basilisk's tongue flicker out to touch her face. It will tickle.

She'll hear it hiss something, and then she'll hear the slithering draw away into the distance.

"You can open your eyes now," Tom will say.

Hermione will open them to see him standing before her, hands in his trousers, a quirk to his lips.

"What did it say to you?" she'll ask him, only then remembering Tom told her the Basilisk is a she. Tom won't respond, but the smirk will turn into a small smile.

"There's a library here, did you know?" he'll say instead.

Hermione will look at him. She'll think about how he is just the same as she had always thought, but also different, too. More.

"Show me."

They'll go to the library together.

They'll get married. They'll go to Greece for their honeymoon, because Hermione's parents took her there once.

They will not go to Albania.

("It's just across the border—"

"No, Tom. Do you see my wand? Do you see where it's pointed?")

They'll live together. They'll both get jobs at the Ministry, starting in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Tom will start in Investigation for the Auror Division and move his way up the ranks. Hermione will start at the Wizengamot Administration Services.

(Tom will argue that it's beneath her to be a cleric, and Hermione will say that he'll be thanking her later when he needs to draw up on precedents. But she will get bored and then eventually transfer to the Improper Use of Magic Office, then the Administrative Registration Department. Hermione will push to have Muggle-borns contacted at an earlier age, before their letter from Hogwarts. Tom will wish she would just take the Auror exams and head straight to the Department of Mysteries so he won't have to hear her complain at dinner.)

The two of them, together, will use their experience and reputations to propose incentives for the hiring of witches and open the floor when they push for the diversity and inclusion of magical beings. Hermione will transfer to the Department of Magical Transportation, because she'll discover that access to common modes of movement like the Floo Network and Knight Bus are only allowed to wizards and witches. She'll transfer to the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures when the department itself kicks up a fuss.

(Tom will cajole and threaten and occasionally alter the minds of select employees, but he won't kill, because Hermione will have told him she would leave if he did.)

They'll both end up in the Department of Mysteries, but they won't talk about what they did during their time there. Then, they'll return to Hogwarts, where Dippet, in his final years, will hire them immediately. Dumbledore won't be able to raise protest because Tom will suggest he head the Magical Housekeeping course while Hermione takes the Defence position.

When Nicolas Flamel gives Dumbledore the Philosopher's Stone, they'll aid in building its safeguards. They'll switch the real thing out with a Christmas ornament that bounced off their bodies when they were fucking under the mistletoe Peeves had sneaked into the Staffroom.

Really, if a gaggle of first-years and Quirrell had been able to pass through the protections in Hermione's time, Dumbledore didn't want the bloody thing so terribly, did he? And besides, Tom will have his Horcruxes; Hermione will need something too.

None of this will have happened yet.

Hermione sits scowling at the back of a boy's head in the History of Magic class as Professor Binns drones on in his still-corporeal body about the events leading to the Goblin Rebellion.

She doesn't really know what she's doing. She has no idea what had brought her back to the past in the first place, or if there's any real reason she's here. She doesn't know what she could possibly do, after everything else she has already done, only to come back in time and have to see it all play out before her once more.

She thinks about how to protect herself and the future. She thinks about how to conduct psychological warfare.

'I'll have you by the balls,' she thinks to Tom Riddle.

Hermione doesn't really know what she's doing, but it feels good.