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Chapter 2: Mudblood
The Great Hall was buzzing with - tedious, I’m sure - conversations as Tom and I entered. Some of which had died down as they saw Tom standing besides me. I felt self-conscious. I wasn’t a girl who was able to match Tom’s handsome looks. I was a brunette, had auburn eyes and quite dull. I gave Ellie - who was at the middle of the Gryffindor table - a small smile.
Tom did not seem to be affected by any of the curious eyes gazing our way. “I’ll walk you to your table.” He put a gentle hand on my shoulder and strode ever so slowly. I cringed with humiliation as everyone turned to stare. Was I that horrible looking?
He waited until I had sat down across from Ellie before he bent down to whisper into my ear. “I’ll see you soon.” He had given me a short peck on the cheek before he had left for the Slytherin table.
“Amy, you’re as red as this tomato.” Ellie said, biting into a tomato to exaggerate the fact. I didn’t reply. “I’m guessing all went swell with Mr. I Want To Take Over The World.” She stared at me intently.
I furrowed my brows at her and left my plate untouched, folding my arms against my chest instead.
“Did he convert you to Mrs. I Want To Take Over The World? Your stink eye’s not working here, Amy.”
I sighed and told her everything that had happened, knowing full well that I would have anyway, despite her intolerant stance towards Tom.
“And so, I think everyone thinks he’s too good for me.” I concluded, feeling my cheeks burn up.
“Amy, good is not the word. It’s more like he’s too bad for you. Honestly Amy -” I had given her the biggest look of disbelief - “I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of, heck, the world here. He is not, let me say it again, not a good person.”
“Honestly Ellie, get to know him. He’s a very nice guy.” I felt angry at her. How could she be so prejudiced?
She sighed deeply and smiled softly. Tenderly, even. “You’ll realise eventually.” I heard her mumble under her breath.
I ignored her and looked away, catching a glimpse of the Slytherin table on the opposite side of the hall. There Tom was where he had belonged, with the rest of the pure bloods, conversing quite normally. It had made me wonder... Why me?
- - - -
The next morning was back to the ordinary. Ellie and I were on speaking terms, speaking about the homework that neither of us had done as we journeyed down to the dungeons.
“Slughorn loves me though.” Ellie said, smirking.
“El, you think everybody loves you.” But it was true, Professor Slughorn did find Ellie’s witty remarks quite pleasurable in his otherwise dull classroom.
We had been the first ones to arrive, until a group of Slytherin boys had appeared from the corner. I looked on eagerly for Tom.
My heart jumped and butterflies fluttered as soon as I saw him. He had been trailing along at the back of the pack. His dark hair ruffled and his white skin was illuminated in the shadows.
Ellie sensed this falter in me and scoffed, turning her face towards the door.
The Slytherins had come closer and closer. I saw Ace Kennelly, the leader of the so called pack squinting through the shadows. He identified me almost immediately.
I cringed and turned away as they all jeered like silly baboons. Ellie looked at me and patted my shoulder comfortingly.
They crowded around us and I was forced to look at Ace. His blue eyes were small and squinty, his face was large yet chiseled with a sizable nose. Overall, he was a bulky young man and that was what made that encounter so intimidating.
I was shivering to my boots and I prayed to Merlin, that nothing would happen. I prayed he wouldn’t turn my ears into snakes or my nose into a toad. Being headboy, Tom was expected to help me but being my potential beau, I wished him to.
“Leave her alone, Ace.” His voice penetrated my bones and it soothed me. Ace immediately stepped back. “We don’t fraternise with filthy mudbloods like her.” I felt my stomach plummet deep into the earth. I looked at him, eyes wide. Ellie gasped.
“You’re such a conceited son of a bitch, you know that?” Ellie shrieked at him, ignoring the snickers and sneers of the Slytherins.
Tom merely looked at her, a blasé look on his face. He turned to look at me and all I saw in his eyes was a dark, monstrous figure. One I would never have thought to see.
“What’s going on here?” Professor Slughorn’s head popped out of the door and several more students began arriving.
“I’ve sorted it all out, Professor.” Tom said, giving Slughorn a warm smile.
“Oh have you m’boy? Good on you.” His voice was so cheerful, filled with confidence in Tom. “Well, come on in.”
Slowly, the other students entered the classroom, leaving Tom, Ellie and I last.
“Stay away from him Amy.” Ellie sneered, pushing past him to get into the room.
I avoided his gaze and followed after her. He put a hand on my shoulder.
“I’ll speak to you later.” his voice was so smooth, so deep and so comforting. I looked up at his face and his eyes displayed nothing but true remorse.
He walked in first, leaving me perplexed and pondering over the emotions that one like Tom Riddle may feel.
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