During the first few weeks of school Hermione found herself completely immersed in her studies. She had loved school and learning at her muggle primary school but it was nothing compared to being at Hogwarts and learning about magic every day.
Hermione was glad to find that her years of training and learning magic from Tom had paid off immensely. She had come to find that she already knew most of the spells and charms the teachers taught them and could perform them all with ease.
In her classes she shared with Draco and Theo the three had come to a silent agreement to compete with one another whenever they could, each of them trying to best the other to be the first, quickest or strongest in whatever it was they were doing.
Currently she was sitting in her potions classroom waiting for class to start and listening to the Gryffindor’s in front of her wine on and on about how unfair Professor Snape was.
She couldn’t help but role her eyes at the idiotic Weasley and Potter.
Hermione had come to notice very quickly just what Draco and the other boys had been talking about when it came to ‘favouring Gryffindors.’ It seemed that they were the favourites of almost every single teacher at Hogwarts. If a Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff student happened to hand in a piece of homework late it was punishable with detention, but if a Gryffindor did the same thing they were simply told to make sure they had it handed in by the end of the night.
Hermione had found the injustice absolutely infuriating so when she had walked into her first Potions lesson that happened to be with the Gryffindors, needless to say she had been expecting the same treatment. However she was positively ecstatic when Professor Snape had shown no inclination for special treatment and favouritism and simply offered praise when it was well deserved.
For this reason and his ability to challenge Hermione in her learning he quickly became her favourite professor, much to the Gryffindors disgust who found it despicable that they were not treated with the same favouritism like the other professors and were actually expected to work in their potions class.
Hermione smiled up at Draco as he sat down next to her.
“Weasley maybe you should try opening your potions book rather than drooling on it and then you might actually find you can create a simple potion, that is if you can read.” Draco said, clearly over listening to the two boys wine about how unfair Snape was.
Hermione watched as the two boys turned around abruptly at Draco’s insult.
Here we go. She thought.
“Watch it Malfoy.” Potter said about as threateningly as a bunny rabbit.
“Just because you’re the ‘boy who vanquished’ Potter doesn’t mean you get everything served to you on a silver platter.” Draco retorted.
“Easy for you to say Malfoy, he’s your head of house and so he treats you like royalty, everyone else he treats like dirt.” Potter said scowling.
Hermione let out a laugh.
“Oh really, well he’s not my head of house and you don’t see me complaining about the injustices of Professor Snape do you?” She said raising an eyebrow.
“Well not everyone is a know it all bookworm like you Granger.” Weasley said nastily.
Hermione’s eyes narrowed, she was about to retort when the door banged open and a forever scowling Professor Snape walked in.
“Potter, Weasley ogle Mr Malfoy and Miss Granger in your own time, for now how about you open your books and at least attempt to pay attention.” Snape said not even looking at the two boys.
Draco turned to her and smirked, finding it ever so pleasing whenever Snape insulted the two boys, Hermione couldn’t help the grin that formed on her face either.
Tom was officially going insane.
At first he had coped well with Hermione’s absence but after two weeks he couldn’t handle not seeing her. Not being able to see her smile, the way her eyes lit up whenever he arrived, the way she threw her arms around him was driving him mental.
“I can feel your frustration from three rooms away.” Lucius said from the door way.
“Well if it bothers you so much then move four rooms away.” Tom said in no mood for sarcasm.
Lucius held up his hands in mock surrender and Tom rolled his eyes before inclining his head for Lucius to sit down.
“I’ve been thinking recently about what has been happening within the ministry over the last few years.” Lucius said looking up at Tom who had taken to pacing the room
“Mmm and what about those changes.” Tom asked his mind elsewhere.
“Well for a start the fact that there has been no change, not since you were in power that is.” Lucius said.
Tom stopped for a minute and looked at Lucius who clearly had a plan forming in his mind.
“You know as well as I do that I can’t step foot in the Ministry without being killed or thrown in Azkaban at best.” Tom said.
“Yes, but I am still in my fortunate position.” Lucius said still not giving much away.
Tom sat down slightly intrigued about what Lucius was thinking and glad for the distraction.
“Are you going to actually tell me or just toy with my like a dog.” Tom clipped.
“I was planning to, I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention, you’ve been rather…distracted lately.” Lucius said choosing his words carefully.
“Well get on with it.” Tom said impatiently.
“As I was saying my fortunate position has allowed me to over see the changes that occur within the ministry and over the years I’ve been noticing that less and less change is occurring. Have a guess when was the last time that a bill that I sent to the Wizengamot for review was actually passed by them?” Lucius asked
“Does it matter?” Tom sighed.
“Yes, because the last bill that was actually passed was early last year and was in relation to Animagi, and all it consisted of was making Witches or Wizards inform the ministry if they were working towards becoming an Animagus and if successful to then register.” Lucius said in obvious distaste for the Wizengamot.
“So the Ministry is at a stand still, we always knew that was bound to happen once our ‘party’ was dismantled.” Tom said wondering why this information was so important.
“Yes, but compare our government to those of France and America, they are working towards continuous improvement, always reviewing old laws making new ones that work towards ensuring their governments are a success.” Lucius explained.
“And what’s more is their own version of the Wizengamot is always upon review and new members can petition to be accepted every five years. Allowing for new voices and opinions. However as you know with ours it…”
“…is dependent on family and wealth.” Tom finished for him.
“Exactly, and what’s more is most noticeably run by the sacred twenty eight.” Lucius said eyes shining.
“The sacred twenty eight haven’t been in full power since the 1940’s.” Tom said wondering where Lucius was going with this.
It was true that the sacred twenty eight held immense power in the Wizarding World, however that was only when all members or representatives of the family where present on the council. And since the 1940’s only about five families remained on the council.
“Yes, I thought so to. But lately as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’ve been doing research into the Wizengamot and the powers they hold and I happened to come across two small, very unknown law’s or clauses to a law if you will about the sacred twenty eight. The first states that when a member of one of the sacred twenty eight families comes of age they automatically have claim to their family position on the council, over ruling other members of the family if the Minister for Magic finds them more able in their position. And the second which is most intriguing, is that if the council is not in full power but has more than half of the twenty eight families present on the council then that half is able to take full power and over rule any decision the Wizengamot is placed with, no matter if there are more members on the Wizengamot outside of the twenty eight.” Lucius explained with obvious excitement.
“Well that’s all very interesting but how does that help me, you know I hold no position on the council and you’ve already got your position and as I stated earlier the twenty eight are not in full power, they don’t even have half of their members, they only have about five from memory.” Tom said.
“It is not you or I that I’m concerned with it is the other families that make up the twenty eight, more specifically the new members that have just started their first year of school.” Lucius said smirking.
Tom raised an eyebrow curiously.
“I think it’s high time to show you the twenty eight family trees.” Lucius said standing up and waiting for Tom to follow.
Hermione waved goodbye to Draco as they entered the great hall for lunch and he made his way over to the Slytherin table.
“Have you seen the profit this morning?” Theo asked her.
“No I haven’t had time today.” She said sitting down next to him.
“It’s an update about the Gringott’s break in.” He said holding out the paper for her to read.
Gringott’s Attempted Break In: Update.
As many of you know some weeks ago Gringott’s Bank had it’s first ever attempted theft in over five hundred years, believed to be the work of Dark witches and wizards unknown.
The vault in question number 713 was not a personal vault but was one of Gringott’s holding vaults available for rent. Although nothing was stolen from the vault, Gringott’s Goblins have confirmed the item/s in question have been moved to an alternate location.
What’s more is through the investigation one goblin has come forward as a witness. He refused to be quoted in this article however did confirm that he was able to get a brief glimpse of the thief, but alas he was cloaked at the time and so was unrecognisable. What seems to be most alarming however is that upon the sound of the alarms signalling the attempted theft, the witch or wizard seemed to ‘vanish’ and could not be found upon search of the bank.
This comes as very alarming news for many as it is known that Wizard and Witch magic does not work in the vaults of Gringott’s so many are wondering how the alleged thief was able to vanish.
Hermione turned to Theo after she had finished reading.
“What do you think?” She asked, knowing Theo had many theories behind the break in.
He pondered for a minute holding his sandwich and thinking.
“Well for one I think they’ve got no real clue who it is that broke in, but its’s clear they were using some undetectable magic, that doesn’t necessarily mean dark magic but the fact that there was a break in and not in a rich family vault suggests that whatever was in the vault was quite a rare or valuable object.” He said.
“Mmm I was thinking the same but I’ve got no clue as to what it could be.” Hermione said taking a bite of her apple.
“Me neither, but I do think I know where the object or objects where moved to.” Theo said nonchalantly.
Hermione stared at him.
“How could you possibly know that!” She asked indignantly.
“Well it’s quite obvious I would think, theres only one other place safer than Gringott’s… Hogwarts.” He explained as if it was obvious.
“You think they would move valuably rare objects that have already had one attempted theft on them to a school, with children!” She asked disbelievingly.
“It would make sense, there aren’t any other places safer than Gringott’s or Hogwarts and witches and wizards can’t just come and go and there are many hidden rooms, vaults, chambers that only the staff, possibly not even all of them would know about.” He said reaching for some more food.
Hermione hummed in response thinking over what Theo had said before deciding to ask Tom what he thought as well.
“I’ll see you in Charms Theo I’ve just got to go and get one of my books.” She said, standing and pulling her bag onto her shoulder.
On her way out Hermione walked passed the Gryffindor table and couldn’t help but overhear some of their conversation.
“I’ll bet you it was those Snakes parents that did it. Probably whatever it was, was really dark and powerful and they wanted it for their Dark Lord.” She heard Ron Weasley say.
Hermione couldn’t help but role her eyes at their antics. How dare they assume that just because the profit said Dark Witch or Wizard it had something to do with the Slytherins. The thief could easily have been someone sorted into Ravenclaw or Gryffindor or Hufflepuff, their house had nothing to do with it.
And besides the Dark Lord was gone, wasn’t he?
Tom was currently sitting with Lucius in his study reviewing the members of the sacred twenty eight that were currently apart of the Wizengamot and those who had not claimed their positions as of yet, when he noticed a drawing of a raven appear on the front of his diary.
Tom had charmed the raven to appear whenever Hermione wrote to him so he was able to know and reply quickly.
Deciding he needed a break from reading about the many magical families and all the members they comprised of he opened the book to see what she had written to him.
I hope your doing well. I’m sorry I’ve not written in a few days, I’ve been ever so busy with school.
However I was wondering if you had read the profit this morning about the update on the Gringott’s break in. I was discussing it with Theo at lunch time and he believes that the new location for the objects is here at Hogwarts and I was wondering if you thought the same. Personally I think it would be quite foolish to move valuable objects to a school no matter how safe Hogwarts might be. Especially when there had already been one attempted break in, what if the thief was to come here? Who knows what they could do.
Let me know your thoughts,
Tom reached for the Profit that had been delivered about an hour earlier, neither Lucius nor him bothering to read it however.
After reading the article Tom had to agree with the Nott boy. There was no safer place than Hogwarts, and he knew that Dumbledore would jump at the chance to be a possessor, at least temporarily, of a rare and magical object. Although he had many people fooled, Tom knew what thirst for power looked like, and Dumbledore reeked of it.
Tom also had to agree with Hermione however, it was a foolish idea holding rare objects within a school. The objects could be dangerous or what if the thief came to the same conclusions as Hermione and Theo had come to and what if he went to Hogwarts and did something to Hermione.
Tom simmered as he thought of the danger that Hermione could potentially be in.
“What’s wrong?” Lucius asked not looking up from his paper work.
It always slightly surprised Tom how well Narcissa and Lucius could tell when something was wrong with him.
Wordlessly he handed over the diary and Profit for Lucius to read.
After several minutes Lucius placed them aside.
“I could go to the board of governors, and petition to get the items removed under the speculation of jeopardy of the students.” Lucius said.
“Mmm I don’t think that will work, Dumbledore would just deny any knowledge of such things, I think we need to try another angle, get someone on the inside to investigate.” Tom said pondering the possibilities.
“Severus?” Lucius asked.
“That’s what I was thinking, he’s become quite confident over the years and I’m sure he would know if Dumbledore had some hidden items in the school, and I could even persuade him the protect them even further. Make sure that no one can get to them wherever they are.” Tom said knowing Severus would be able to help.
“Good idea, I think you should also get Hermione to keep an eye out, lord knows it wouldn’t hurt especially as we don’t know who this person is that was after them, and I’ll tell Draco and his friends to do the same.” Lucius said pulling out some parchment from a desk and starting to write a letter to his son.
Tom nodded and pulled out his own quill.
I happen to agree with Theo and yourself, I think that the items have been moved to Hogwarts. I wouldn’t worry too much about them, but keep an eye out for anything suspicious and if you see anything inform me immediately. Lucius is telling Draco and his friends to do the same.
I’m glad you are enjoying school and have made some new friends.
P.S I know how much you love to get to the bottom of things, but I think it is unwise to do so this time. It’s to dangerous.
Hermione smiled as she read the message Tom had sent. She loved when he called her Mia.
She was also unsurprised to find that Tom agreed with Theo and herself, in some ways Theo reminded her of Tom, not because of his looks but because of his intelligence.
She looked over to the boy in question who was sitting next to her in Charms.
“So does your mysterious friend agree?” Theo asked without looking up from his parchment.
Hermione tried not to blush.
“Yes he thinks that whatever it is could have been moved here. But he also thinks it’s to dangerous to find out what exactly it..they are.” She said frowning slightly at Tom once again being so over protective of her.
Theo smirked, much like the way Draco often did.
“I’d have to say I agree but we already know that it’s not going to stop you. I’m sure you’ve already been doing some research into what the object or objects could be.” Theo said dipping his quill in his ink pot.
Hermione bit her lip at having been caught out.
“I’ve just been doing a bit of light reading is all.” She said defensively.
“And?” Theo asked glancing towards her.
“Nothing, I haven’t been able to find anything… though I guess I’m not really surprised we really don’t know much about whatever it is, maybe… maybe I should just give up?” She asked defeatedly.
“Well it would make sense, I mean what are you supposed to do if you happen to find out what they are? Why does it matter anyway?” Theo asked grabbing another piece of parchment.
“Because I hate not knowing things! And besides, what if it’s dangerous and it’s just sitting somewhere in a school full of students?” She said indignantly.
Theo let out a laugh.
“With that sort of brave talk you could just about be a Gryffindor.” He said jokingly
“I’m nothing like those idiots.” Hermione said narrowing her eyes.
Theo laughed again.
“Do what you have to do Hermione, but I agree with your friend, be careful.” Theo said piling up his essay to hand in to Professor Flitwick.
Draco re-read the letter his father had sent him.
As I’m sure you are aware the profit this morning gave us an update on the Gringott’s break in this morning. I have been discussing the matter with Tom and both of us agree that the object/s in question have been moved to Hogwarts.
Both of us feel that you need to take extra precaution over the next few weeks, as well as your friends. The thief who tried to steal them could very well try to break into Hogwarts and don’t let the illusion of Dumbledore fool you into being safe, you know as well as I do that he won’t stick his neck out for Snakes.
Also keep an eye on Hermione, Tom has told her to be careful as well but we all know that she is very curious and likes to get to the bottom of things. So try and keep her out of it.
We will be working to try and ensure more safety is put upon the objects so don’t worry to much.
On another matter, Christmas is just around the corner and as usual we will be having our Christmas ball. All your usual friends are invited of course, but I would like you to personally invite Hermione as well as some other choice peers of yours whose names are enclosed on the other piece of parchment, there parents may come as well if they are inclined to do so.
Draco quickly read over the adjoining piece of parchment frowning at the names on there.
What was Father playing at?
Nevertheless Draco knew he had to do as he was told but, some of these people wouldn’t wait to hear him out, they would judge him just for being a Slytherin.
He needed help.
Draco’s eyes lifted to the Ravenclaw table, looking for the bushy head of hair that was Hermione but not being able to find her anywhere.
Dammit! He already knew where she would be, no doubt doing just what Tom and Father had instructed them not to do.
“I’ll see you guys after lunch I’m just going to go and find Hermione.” He said to Blaize, Crabbe and Goyle who were currently talking about the upcoming Quidditch game of Slytherin versus Gryffindor.
“See you drake.” Blaize said.
“Bye.” Greg and Vince said in unison.
Draco made his way through the shelves of the library to where Hermione’s favourite place to read was.
He couldn’t help but laugh as he saw the bushy haired girl sitting on a large armchair and holding a book that was almost as big as her.
“Caught in the act.” Draco said coming to sit across from her.
“What ever do you mean.” Hermione said failing to act innocent.
“You really think your going to be able to figure out what it is?” Draco asked looking at the stack of books next to her.
“Maybe, I can at least try.” She said bitting her lip in doubt.
“But why? They could be dangerous your just putting yourself in danger!” Draco said his voice slightly strained.
“And besides Father and Tom are working at making the objects more safe anyway.” Draco said looking to Hermione to see her reaction at having mentioned Tom's name.
She could see her visibly freeze and glance nervously towards him.
“You-you know about Tom?” She whispered hesitantly.
“I’ve known him since I was born, he lives at my house you know.” Draco said.
“Oh no I didn’t know that, he told me you were very good friends, him and your family I mean. I guess he didn’t want me to think he made you be my friend.” She said thinking about the tall wizard.
“Well…” Draco said trailing off.
Hermione narrowed her eyes.
“Well what?” She demanded.
“He didn’t make me become friends with you exactly, but he did tell us about you before we met, and told me to be nice to you at the very least. But even if he didn’t tell us I still would want to be friends with you!” He said quickly hoping he hadn’t hurt her feelings.
Hermione didn’t answer just thought about what Draco was telling her. She should be mad at Tom for forcing someone to be her friend but she knew that he was just looking out for her, and Draco said that he hadn’t really forced him, only told him about her.
“So the day we met in Diagon Alley, you and your mother both knew who I was?” Hermione asked.
“Not at first, only once you told us your name. We wanted to get to know you more after that, Tom had told us so much about you, you see.” Draco said smiling, glad she hadn't gotten mad.
Hermione nodded as if accepting his answer but didn’t offer anything more.
Draco cleared his throat hoping a change of subject would make it less awkward.
“Speaking of my parents, each year they hold a Christmas ball and this year they’ve asked me to invite you as well, and your parents if they would like to come.” Draco said.
“A Christmas ball?” Hermione asked curiously, she’d always wanted to go to a ball.
“Yep, Theo, Blaize, Vince and Greg will be going to and some of my other friends who you’ve not met and Tom will be there to.” Draco said smirking.
Hermione blushed picturing what Tom would look like in a suit.
“So you’ll come?” Draco asked hopefully.
“Of course I will, when is it?” She asked.
“It’s Christmas eve, your more than welcome to stay the night at the manor as well, some of my friends do and just floo home in the morning.” Draco explained.
“I’ll have to check with my parents first but that sounds lovely!” Hermione said, smiling happily.
“Great, I’ll let mother know.” Draco said jumping off his chair and getting his books.
“Oh Hermione I almost forgot, I need your help with something.” Draco said pulling out the list of names his Father had sent him.
“With what?” She asked puzzled, Draco was just about as good as her in his school work so it surely couldn’t be homework.
“Father has asked me to invite some other people from Hogwarts and, well some of them…here just have a look at the names and you’ll see.” Draco said handing her the parchment.
“I see what you mean, you want my help because they won’t trust you because your a Slytherin.” Hermione said angry that Draco couldn’t even ask people to a ball because his house had such a bad reputation.
Draco nodded slightly embarrassed.
“Okay well let’s go then.” Hermione said packing up her things and standing.
“What now?” Draco asked nervously.
“Yes Draco now, we still have a little bit before class and the quicker we do it the quicker we get it over with.” Hermione said walking towards the exit.
It took a bit of convincing on Hermione’s behalf but everyone on the list eventually agreed once they had okayed it with their parents of course, even if they were slightly suspicious as to why they were being invited to a Malfoy ball. However the encouragement from Hermione and the forced smiles she got Draco to give seemed to work in their favour.
“I don’t understand why father wanted me to invite those idiots.” Draco said walking with her to Defence against the Dark Arts.
“Draco be nice! They are all lovely I’m sure, you just need to open your friendship circle more, or at the very least become acquaintances with them.” Hermione said chastising.
“Fine but don’t expect me to talk to them at the ball.” He said walking into the classroom and plonking down on a seat.
“Oh yes you will!, how would you feel going to a party and not knowing anyone, you will be nice or so help me I will tell your mother.” Hermione said rather frighteningly.
Draco pretended to sulk all class but Hermione knew he would do as she asked, though most people just saw his name and his house and didn’t look any further, beneath all of that he was actually very kind.
Severus was trying not to look shocked by what the Dark Lord had just told him.
He had a soulmate?! And it was the Granger girl?
“This is why Lucius and I would like you to find out what the objects are and to try and conceal it more, to make sure that no one finds out it is at Hogwarts or that no student stumbles upon it accidentally.” Tom said not really caring about other students just Hermione.
Severus blinked his mind still on the fact that Hermione Granger was Tom Riddle’s soulmate and not on the objects that had been moved to Gringott’s.
“Are you even listening to me?” Tom asked angrily.
“I-I’m sorry my lord it’s just a lot to take in, what was it that you want me to do again?” Severus asked.
“I’ve told you, you don’t need to call me that anymore, my ideas… opinions have changed.” Tom said sighing.
Severus blinked again. This was all too much.
“The objects that were moved from Gringott’s, Lucius and I want you to find out what they are and…”
“…I already know what it is.” Severus said cutting him off.
Tom looked to Severus incredulously.
“And you’ve not mentioned it before!” Tom seethed.
“I-I was worried you might find it to tempting, it is a very powerful object that many people have become consumed by.” Severus said nervously.
“What is it?” Tom asked trying to keep his anger at bay at having been kept in the dark.
“The Philosophers Stone.” Severus said thinking about the stone that sat atop Dumbledore's shelf in his office.
Tom froze, he had heard about such a stone. Once he had tantalised with the idea of finding it to receive eternal life. But now things were different. He was different. If he was unsure before about how changed he really was then he wasn’t anymore, as he had no interest in the stone, other than to protect it’s whereabouts so the thief could not break in and potentially cause harm to Hermione.
“I told you Severus I’ve changed all because of her. Yes once I would have gone after the stone… but I don’t want that anymore, relying on another thing for life is no sort of life I want. That is not the power I seek now.” Tom said his words barely audible.
“Then what will you have me do. Dumbledore keeps the thing in his study as if it is a kind of… trophy.” Severus said screwing up his nose.
Tom scoffed. Of course he did.
“Urge him to protect it more, tell him you fear the thief or someone else might try to steal it and that you think it needs to be protected.” Tom said shaking his head at how foolish Dumbledore was to display such an item in the open. Many people would kill for that stone and here he was displaying it like a Christmas decoration.
“I’ll try but I don’t know if he will.” Severus said standing and collecting his coat.
Tom nodded his thanks and watched at Severus apparated away, his mind more eased now that Severus was able to watch over his mate and keep her protected from Dumbledore’s foolishness.