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CHAPTER 15

 
[a/n: I am soooo sorry it took me ages to update! I know i usually update atleast every 2-3 weeks but i've just been so busy! and it'll be even more busier! BAAH. but dont worry since exams/assesments and classes will be over in a month and a half and i will have my month long holiday! expect a LOT of update then!
Thank you sooo much to my faithful reviewers!!! you are the reason i keep on going! Seriously.. If it wasnt for you guys, i wouldnt have the motivation and inspiration! so THANK YOU! and thanks to the people who added me to their faves! you guys are just awesome! if you havent checked it out yet, i've put up chapter images for the earlier chapters!]


 


Tom Riddle had no idea whatsoever how long it had been since he entered the Chamber of Secrets contemplating over the overwhelming events that happened the night before. He was still shaking in anger. He paced back and forth in the cold filthy dungeon and was about ready to blast off anyone who would dare interrupt his thinking. Even Nagini stayed safely away from his master, sensing his foul mood. 




Many things unexplainable happened since the girl entered into his life. It has already been several weeks since he had found her in the forest. After that night, there has never been a day his mind were able to rest as new questions arrived each moment he was with her. He constantly craved for answers and even now, as he paced in the chambers, he wanted answers from her.

 

Suddenly an image of Nerissa Vane in her silver-white gown flashed through his mind. He cursed loudly as he tried to shake the image away. What exactly was happening to him? What was this excessive need to see her? What was that undeniable ache he felt when he was touching her? When he was looking at her?

 


He had never felt this kind of sensation before and so he was confused. What could it mean? What exactly could it be? He allowed his mind to drift back hours ago when he watched her graciously make her way down the steps or maybe it was long before that. What could it be?

 

A part of his brain was making ridiculous assumptions. Of course it couldn’t be what any fool would think it was. The day he falls in love with the Vane girl would be the day the sun would be rising in the west. He smirked at the thought and then an idea came to mind.

 

He finally found his answer. Could it be? Yes, it has to be that. It would be the only explanation. He desired her. He almost laughed in relief. He cannot believe he locked himself in the chamber when the answer was only as ridiculous as this. Of course, he could not have known it was that.

 

He never had any desire for any girls as he could not find anyone who deserved to be by his side. Not that he thinks the Vane girl deserve to be his right hand. She would have to prove herself worthy, of course. He didn’t care about the girl, after all, he only desires her, he mentally acknowledged. Still, he was content with the conclusion he found.

 

It was as simple as that; he desired her.

 

With that, he finally decided to leave the dark dungeon. When he reached outside, he realized it was already morning. He felt quite drowsy and was happy the seventh years were given the day off as a study day for NEWTS. Nerissa Vane and his new found revelation would have to wait until the afternoon. He desperately needed his sleep.

 

As he was just about to reach the steps leading towards his dormitory, Abraxas Malfoy called out from the common room. Tom did not even notice him there due to his stupor.

 

“Tom” Malfoy’s expression was one full of iniquity as if he knew a most dark secret. “How was last night?”

 

“I seriously do not have time for your foolishness today, Malfoy. I need my sleep.” Riddle spat, turning around and began climbing the steps.

 

Malfoy followed him right behind. He barked a laugh and said, “Oh I completely understand, Tom. You must be really tired from the night you had. I just really wanted to know. How was she?”

 

Tom sighed exasperatedly. He made a mental note to punish Malfoy once he regains his energy. “How was who, Malfoy? What exactly are you on about?”

 

“You don’t need to hide it, Tom.” Abraxas smirked, “I know you spent the night with Nerissa.”

 


“I have no idea what you are on about and I honestly don’t care.” Tom told him as they finally reached their Dormitory. He went straight to his bed, burying his head on his pillow. The truth is he was partially interested, especially with the mention of Vane’s name. Why in the world would Malfoy think I spent the night with Vane? He was too tired, however, to inquire deeper and so he made another mental note to ask Malfoy in the afternoon.

 

Malfoy chuckled. “No one has seen a hair or toe from Nerissa since last night and I know she disappeared from the ball to follow you. So tell me, was she good?”

 


It took a full second before he fully grasped what Malfoy was saying. He lifted his head from the pillow. “She disappeared from the ball? And no one’s seen her since?”

 

He swiftly stood up from his bed and faced Malfoy. “Tell me everything.”

 

“You mean she wasn’t with you?” Malfoy asked, confused.

 

“Would I be asking if she was?” Tom said angrily, his patience diminishing every millisecond.

 

“Well last night, when you left, she was just about to follow you but I stopped her. I was teasing her for a couple of minutes when Ogg announced about Dumbledore seeking a duel from Grindelwald and—

 

“What did you say?”

 

“Haven’t you heard? Blimey, the news is all around the castle! Dumbledore disappeared last night and is now in search of Grindelwald.” Malfoy told him, “Pity that, don’t you think?”

 


Tom digested this news quickly and deemed it less important, “Then what happened?”


 

“Well, everyone was either excited or horrified and so I turned to Nerissa to ask what her opinion of the matter was but she had already gone.” It was clear he was annoyed at being deserted without so much as a goodbye but he continued on, “I expected her to be searching for you since that was her initial plan in the first place.”

 

“She was trying to follow me?” Tom asked slowly; a rhetorical question.

 

She couldn’t have followed her all the way to the Chamber. Only, he was much too preoccupied last night that he probably wouldn’t have noticed if someone was following him. ‘If she somehow met up with the basilisk or Nagini… Why must this stupid girl always put herself in trouble the first chance she gets.’

 

“If you see her, tell her to stay put and then search for me, do you understand?” Tom told him, his voice hard and commanding. He didn’t wait for Malfoy’s answer as he dashed outside the dormitory. His destination; back to the Chamber of Secrets.

 


-----

 


Hermione had no idea how long it had been since she first entered Dumbledore’s study and sat on the cold granite floor, sobbing. She had no idea how long it had been since her tears had stopped flowing and dried. Her legs were already so numb and yet she didn’t care. A couple of hours ago, she contemplated on sitting in Dumbledore’s chair or summoning up one yet she did not think she deserve such comfort for the huge mess she had made. How she wished she could somehow find a way to stop Dumbledore. Only, she knew it was not possible to find him. The butterfly effect that could take place next could make or break the future.


 

She was leaning with her back on the wall, her head resting on her knees. She was dimly aware that morning had come and go and now it was already night, though what time exactly, she didn’t care. A part of her brain was aware she was feeling unbelievably drowsy and hungry, but the other half of her brain prevented her from even sleeping a wink. She needs to wait for Dumbledore.


 

She had not slept fully for several days just like Riddle as they were both entirely too busy organizing the ball. It was stupid of her not to have brought her wand with her to the ball. She could not even warm herself now. She was pleased Riddle had at least given her his robes. She shuddered to think how much colder she would feel now otherwise.


 

She heard a noise from somewhere yet her mind could not formulate where it was coming from. It sounded so far away and so she didn’t feel the need to waste her energy in looking up. Suddenly warm hands touched her left hand. She took a sharp intake of breath and looked up, alarmed.

 


“Miss Vane?” a soft voice spoke from the dark.

 


Hermione jumped up from the floor. Although she could not see him through the darkness as she had her eyes covered for more than 24 hours, therefore not allowing them to adjust, she could tell it was him.

 


“Th—that is you, Professor Dumbledore, right?” Hermione asked slowly, her voice breaking.

 

“Yes, it is I, Miss Vane. Mind if you tell me what you are doing in my study at this time of night?” he asked, his voice sounding immensely tired.

 


“Oh thank god!” Hermione cried, throwing her arms at the tired old man in front of her and began sobbing uncontrollably.

 

“There, there girl” he said, clearly startled but genuinely worried for the distraught girl.

 

“I am so sorry, Professor! I am so sorry! If something would’ve happened! Oh god, I don’t know what I would’ve done! I am so sorry.” Hermione was gushing her apologies, her tears still cascading down her cheeks.

 

“I am afraid I do not understand, Miss Vane.” The Professor said, “Might you calm down and have a sit?”

 

Hermione let go of her iron grip of her Professors neck and shook her head, “I need to tell you something important, Professor.  I lied about a lot of things and I need you to help me.”

 

The Professor raised his eyebrows but said nothing, letting the girl continue.

 

“My name is Hermione Granger.” She said. “I’m from the future.”

 


----

 

Tom Riddle silently muttered the vigor inoculation spell he had invented long ago for what seemed like the 10th time today. He felt so excruciatingly exhausted and yet he roamed around the castle still. He had already blinded the basilisk temporarily and had sent him on a mission to search for Vane’s scent with specific orders not to harm her.

 

 

Where could that wretched girl be?’ he thought angrily. It was already midnight and everyone had already gone to their respective dormitories. He swore he would break her neck once he finds her for all the trouble she caused him. Maybe even break several of her already healed ribs. She had no idea what kind of measures he had to take and how low he had to stoop to look for her. He cringed disgustingly as he remembered.

 

 

Is it possible she might have gone back home?’ he thought. Only, there isn’t any reason at all for her to leave without a word. He contemplated on searching for her again in the forbidden forest only; it was already much too dark for him to go. He curled his upper lip, plagued with frustration.

 

 

“Where in the world is that girl?” he growled into the murky corridor.

 

 

---

 

After what seemed like an hour or two, she was finally finished telling her tale. Her mouth already felt so horribly parched. The Professor had interrupted her beforehand and told her only to tell him the details that will not affect the future so gravely if he discovers it and so she could not tell him about Riddle and only his counterpart; Voldemort.

 

She told him about the war, her family and friends and how she ended up fifty years before her time.

 

 Hermione was scared as he waited for Dumbledore’s reaction. He looked simply solemn and seemed deep in thought. Finally he nodded at the girl.

 

 

“I see.” Professor Dumbledore said softly. “Miss Granger, it is crucial for you to remember what spell it was that you used before Voldemort cast the killing curse on you. It may be the answer on how or if you will be able to go back.”

 

 

Hermione bit her lip. She has been trying to remember only nothing comes to mind. All she was thinking at that moment was that Harry was gone and so she used the first spell that came to her.

 

 

“I’m sorry Professor but I really don’t remember.”

 

 

The Professor nodded gravely, “You must try, Miss Granger. You must keep trying until you are able to recall.”

 

 

Hermione nodded, “I will, sir. I just, I really am sorry for lying.”

 

 

Professor Dumbledore smiled sadly, “Perfectly understandable. I do rather hope you will opt not to tell anyone else of this matter.

 

 

“Of course, Professor, I already ruined the future enough.” Hermione said, “Well, at least as much as it can possibly get ruined.”

 

 

“You must come to me once you are able to remember the spell. I will help you with all my abilities in order to get you back home but you must also promise to be careful. We are not sure what kind of repercussions we have created until we know in what way you have travelled through time. The future will depend on that alone. Time-travelling is a delicate affair to meddle with, Miss Granger.”

 

 

She nodded at the Professor in understanding. Hermione thought it was a good thing she could not remember yet. She is not going anywhere near home until she had finished her vendetta against Riddle. The time Tom Riddle’s corpse is rotting six feet under will be the perfect time for her to leave. She swayed on her spot as she contemplated.

 

 

“I think it best if you go back to your dormitory now, Miss Granger. You are in dire need of rest. We shall discuss this more some other time.” The old Professor smiled at the girl in front of him before opening the door of his study. He watched the girl slowly make her way towards it. “Would you like me to accompany you?”

 

 

By this time, she was too exhausted that she merely mumbled her goodbyes to the Professor before somehow willing her legs to walk down the steps and through the empty corridors. She rubbed her eyes constantly and slapped herself a couple of time to avoid herself from slumping into the cold stingy floor and pass out.

 

 

It was proving a very difficult task to keep herself awake. She was so close to just giving up and curl up into a ball right there right then. She didn’t even notice the wand held out by a man who suddenly appeared providing light all around the corridors.

 

 

“Vane?” Tom asked incredulously.

 

 

Hermione blinked a couple of seconds before meeting Riddle’s eyes. She guessed it must be about three in the morning. Was she having hallucinations? Is she really that drowsy? Her head was already spinning and she was only half-conscious of the fact that Tom Riddle was marching his way closer to her, his face full of rage.

 

 

She was about to ask what in the world he was being angry again for when he suddenly grabbed her from the shoulders and placed his mouth on hers roughly.

 

 

It was as if someone had splashed masses of outrageously cold water on her as her entire nervous system seems to have awakened. Her eyes flew wide open, and anyone who could’ve seen it would’ve been worried it would pop out of its eye sockets. The grip he had on her shoulders was cutting the circulation to her brain with how tight it was.

 

 

It took her a full five seconds before she was able to get over the shock. With all the strength she could muster, she placed her hand on his chest and pushed him.

 

 

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!” Hermione screamed so loudly that her voice bounced off through the corridors. She wiped her mouth with the back of her arm. “Are you bloody mental? Do you realize how bloody lucky you are I don’t have my wand with me? HOW DARE YOU!” she pushed him away again roughly.

 

 

“I’m sure the students in this school find your dulcet tones irresistible but I beg to differ.” Tom scowled. “Where in Merlin’s beard have you been, Vane? Do you have any idea what kind of troubles you have caused me?”

 

 

“Well, excuse me while I go cry,” she said sardonically, still wiping her mouth.

 

 

Tom grabbed her arm and growled, “You will not mock me you ungrateful girl. You have no idea what measures I took to find your unworthy carcass.”

 

 

“I will mock you anytime I want, you arrogant toe rag.” Hermione snapped, wincing a little from the grip he had on her shoulder. She knew she would not have the strength to push him away anymore “And what do I care about your troubles, Riddle. Why were you trying to find me in the first place? Need my assistance on another social event?”

 

 

He finally noticed her wincing and slowly let go of her arm. He noticed his hand mark on her ridiculously thin arm and sensitive skin. He couldn’t control his anger again. Even so, the girl deserved it though a part of him could not help but wonder at how much pain he had left on her arm. Not that he cared, of course not.

 

 

“I don’t need to explain myself to someone of your likes. Do whatever the damn pleases you. Get mauled by a werewolf for all I care, Vane. I’m going back to the common room.” He looked ridiculously like a child throwing a tantrum. He could not believe he wasted hours of sleep for that insolent girl. He had not had a wink of sleep in almost a week.

 

 

She watched him as he turned his back on her and walked away. She rubbed her arm from where he had gripped. He looked just as tired as her with his ridiculously huge bags under his eyes and shadows showing on his chin.

 

 

She wondered briefly what he meant about the measures he had taken to find her but found it was not worth pondering over. She had used the last of her energy pushing Riddle. She still could not believe Lord Voldemort had just kissed her. She wiped her mouth for the second time in disgust.

 

She knew she would be having a panic attack if it hadn’t been for her ultra drowsiness. She didn’t even have enough energy in her to feel the full revulsion she should be feeling. Everything was already starting to get blurry as her exhaustion was getting the best of her.

 

 

A few seconds later, everything went black and Hermione Granger fell to the ground.

 

---

 

 

“Nerissa Vane? Uhm, Nerissa Vane?” a small high-pitched voice said hesitantly.

 

 

Hermione felt something tentatively prodding her back. She groaned loudly, pulling her covers over her head, “Leave me alone.” She growled groggily.

 

 

“I’m really sorry but… you really need to wake up.”

 

 

“I need more sleep” she moaned on her pillow, “Go away”

 

 

“Uhm, I—it’s already five in the afternoon and you’ve a—already skipped your classes for the err… day” the voice said, scared. “The Headmaster calls for you in his office in 10 minutes. He told me to tell you the password is A-Anurcgart

 

“Who cares?” Hermione groaned before finally processing what the girl had said. Hermione sat up quickly, surprised. “What? What in the world for?” she felt quite frightened she was going to get expelled only what reason would there be? She only missed a couple of classes for the day. Hermione blinked up at the small girl in front of her who must be a 1st year.

 

“I—I’m not sure. I was just told to come and get you, that’s all.” She told her before running out of the dormitory, terrified.

 

Hermione felt guilty as she watched the girl go. She was never a morning person, or at least in this case, she was never one to wake up with grace when she had only less than 8 hours of sleep for a whole week.

 

She sighed heavily as she stood up from her bed and started getting ready. She realized she was still in her gown and Riddle’s robes were still around her shoulders. She made a mental note to return it to him before putting on a set of clean clothes. After she was finished, she left the dormitory, massaging her temples as her head throbbed viciously.

 

Suddenly she halted right in front of the door of the common room. She could not, for the life of her, remember how she ended up in the Dormitory. The last thing she remembers was fighting with Riddle and then trying her best not to fall asleep. She remembered feeling incredibly woozy somewhere in the 3rd floor or was it the 2nd… and then…

 

Did someone find me and carry me back to the Dormitory?’ she contemplated. ‘No one else would be awake at that time of the night… well except for Riddle, that is.

 

Not again’ she groaned inwardly. Why in the world did she have to owe him all the time?

 

She began running towards the Headmaster’s office, realizing she only had 2 minutes left. Finally, she reached the Gargoyle and said the password. She wondered briefly why his password was an extinct creature but thought nothing more of it as she knocked the Headmaster’s office.

 

“Come in, Miss Vane.”

 

She did so, her head bowed in shame, when she found that she was not the only one meeting the Headmaster. She was surprised by the amount of people inside the Headmaster’s office. Most of the Professors were there, standing near the walls while three students stood in front of the Headmaster, two boys and one girl.

 

She knew one of the boys was Riddle only she could not exactly figure out which one was which. Both boys were of the same height and had the same dark hair, granted the other was a tad messy.

 

“You needed me, Professor?” she asked, taking her eyes off the boys. She was suddenly feeling embarrassed as most of her Professors for the day in which she skipped were now present in one room.

 

“Yes, it’s nice of you to have finally graced us with your presence, Miss Vane.” The Headmaster raised his eyebrow. He urged her, waving his hand “Come.”

 

Hermione walked closer, standing beside the girl.

 

“Now, finally you are complete.” Professor said, satisfactorily as he examined the four students in front of him. “You are all probably wondering why I have asked for you to come.”

 

The four nodded at the Headmaster. Hermione noticed the Professors were looking quite excited as if they knew a secret they were dying to tell.

 

“The four of you have been chosen carefully by myself and the Professors in this office for a very important affair. You have all been chosen to represent our school. Naturally, the Head Boy Mr. Riddle and the Head Girl Miss Sawyer were selected. The Professors and I have agreed that you, Miss Vane who is excelling in all of your subjects and have also assisted Mr Riddle here while the Head Girl was away, is only deserving to be selected.”

 

Hermione smiled, hesitantly, confused by his words. ‘Selected for what, exactly?’

 

 

“And of course the Captain of the Gryffindor Team and Gryffindor prefect who also holds excellent school records, you Mr. Potter is undoubtedly selected.”

 


Did he just say…’ “I— Sorry, Professor but did you just say Potter?” Hermione asked carefully. She must have heard him wrong. She couldn’t count how many times she day dreamed Harry suddenly being mentioned or even appearing in front of her as if he was still alive.

 


“Yes, I believe he did.” A voice coming from her far right said dryly. Standing by the Head Girl’s right was Riddle and the boy beside him…

 


Hermione certainly did not have enough sleep yet as her head was suddenly spinning. He looked almost exactly like Harry…her Harry if only for the eyes which were brown and his lips much fuller. He also did not wear any spectacles and his hair was not as messy. She could not stop staring at him. He was scowling at her as if he was offended by something she had said. 

 


“You have all been chosen for the International Magic Schools Student Exchange Program.”

 


Hermione whipped her head, her attention back at the Professor even though half of her brain was still in disbelief of her recent discovery. ‘Did he just say…?’


 

“E-exchange Program?” the Head Girl, Miss Sawyer asked. “I’ve never… heard of such… programs like that.”

 


Professor Dippet smiled, “That is because it is the very first exchange that will happen in the History of all three schools.”

 


“Three schools, sir?” Harry’s grandfather inquired. “You mean Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and Hogwarts?”

  

“Why, yes.” He nodded, “The exchange will take place between all schools. Each must choose four of their best and deserving students to represent their school. You will be going to Beauxbatons for three weeks before moving on to Durmstrang for another three weeks. You will be home by Christmas time and will be able to spend them with your families and friends.”

 


“If I may ask, Professor, What brought about this program?” Tom asked politely. He didn’t look at all relatively surprised nor bothered they were going to be shipped off in Merlin knows where Beauxbatons or Durmstrang was.

 


“As a matter of fact, all three headmasters have been planning this program for months now. The Department of International Magical Cooperation suggested the idea a good few years ago but the three schools believe this is the perfect time to establish the program now that the reign of terror we have been plagued with for a long time has now ended. Thanks to Professor Dumbledore, of course.” The Headmaster nodded proudly at the employee to his right.

 

He continued, “It is the perfect opportunity to help the magical community overcome grief and truly celebrate peace, prosperity and harmony between all three schools.”

 

Hermione shut her eyes tightly, biting her lip nervously. She was changing history so much. She made a mental note to ask Professor to find a way to somehow prevent the Program from happening. Who knows what might happen or change if Lord Voldemort were to leave the grounds of Hogwarts. But then again, this could be also way to delay his plans and his assembling of the Deatheaters.  



“When are we to leave, Professor?” the headgirl asked. She calculated the weeks off when the Headmaster mentioned they would be home by Christmas only it was impossible unless they leave…


 

“Tomorrow” the Headmaster replied.

 

 


Chapter 16 Preview

 

“Charlus Harold Potter, am I correct?” Hermione smiled kindly as she held out her hand, “Pleasure to meet you.”

 

Harry’s Grandfather stared down at Hermione’s hand for a few seconds and looked up at her face with a scowl. “You don’t honestly think I would fall for that, Slytherin, do you?”

 

“Fall for… what exactly?” she asked, confused. She could not for the life of her understand why he looked so wary and almost angry at her.

 

 

[a/n: Explanation on the program: Basically, if Grindelwald’s expeditions did not end earlier and happened on the right time as it was supposed to happen (2 months later) then many many more deaths would have happened especially students and families in Durmstrang and the three schools would not think it appropriate to create the program and so they ended up abandoning the program in the ‘real timeline’ and was never brought up again. Also the fact that the Headmaster of Durmstrang dies on Grindelwald’s reign of terror but now survives to give the go ahead on the exchange. That’s just my made up story on why this program was never mentioned in the real timeline.


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