Chapter 4 : Meeting Tom Riddle
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Pronunciations: Lucretia (LU-CRE-TEEA), Natissis (NAT-ISSIS), Celsus (KEL-SIS), Rebecca (REB-ECCA), Luc (LUKE), Cel (KEL) anything else let me know!
After a while, the sun began to hide behind dark clouds on the horizon. It seemed like the sun too was bidding me a good day. In one arm I held Crumbcakes, and in the other, I was holding my wand which I was carelessly waving around in the air, making the window break and unbreak itself. Crumbcakes was fast asleep in my left arm, which was getting numb. Carefully I set her on the seat while I got up and fetched her cage. However, unfortunately, the train decided to swerve at that exact moment resulting on my luggage bags falling hard on me. I couldn’t even get up, and I cursed as Crumbcakes still seemed to be sound asleep, not that a kitten could’ve helped me anyways. The good news is, somebody knocked on the compartment door at that exact moment. The bad news is, he was tall, pale, and completely gorgeous with dark hair and dark kind eyes. Can you say embarrassing much?
“Can I help you?” He asked kindly. I nodded as he helped pick the luggage of me and in my compartment in a heartbeat without hesitation or difficulty.
“Thanks. Sorry for troubling you.” I said, trying to sound like a girl without any cares in the world, not like a girl who’d just been breaking a window for the fun of it.
“It was no bother. You’re welcome. I’ve never seen you before, yet you don’t look like a first year. Excuse my ill manners, I’m Tom Riddle.” He said, smiling, pulling out his hand so I could shake it. Geez, how many other Tom’s where there? I shook his hand which was warm and I realized that I was cold.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Isabelle Ivory, but everyone calls me Belle. And no, I’m not a first year, I’m a fourth year. I-er-got expelled from Salemandra, however, I wish you wouldn’t tell anyone.” I said, uncomfortable. He motioned for me to sit down, as if it was his compartment not mine, then sat down across from me.
“I won’t tell anyone. Salemandra, is this the school in America? Ah, your American, are you not? Yes, you sound American. Salemandra. Is that so… Its only purebloods allowed in?” He asked. For some reason, his brow furrowed and he looked angry.
“Um, yes. I think it’s a stupid thing to do with the school. I mean blood doesn’t matter with me anyways.” I said.
“I see. Well, I’ll leave you to change into your robes, we’re almost there. However, do find me in Hogwarts. I’m not done talking to you.” He said, winking. I forced a laugh, but shivered slightly inside. He was just stepping out when he looked back and seemed to forget something. Bringing my luggage down firmly onto the seat for me, I thanked him, which made him beam, and he left.
I did change into some ordinary black robes, letting my black wet hair loose. My reflection shone back at me from the window, and I realized that I looked like a ghost. Maybe it was a trick of the light, but not even the light could hide the sparkle that once shone in my eyes. Sighing, I put Crumbcakes into her little holder, and sat still thinking of how much I hated my parents. They wouldn’t care less if I died right now. All they cared about was stinking “pure” blood. They didn’t know how contaminated my blood really was.
Pretty soon, it was completely dark out and a cheerful lady came by with a cart full of strange foreign candies. I decided to buy some candy labeled “Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans”. I swear the first bite I took out of a green one tasted like bogies or something. It was the nastiest thing I have ever tasted. I threw them all away. My stomach grumbled from lack of food, but I had heard some kids talking about “the big feast” so I could wait a while. Just like that, the express stopped and every person crowded into the isle. I decided to go after everyone had left. No one had their luggage with them, so I just left them sitting there.
“Sorry Crumbcakes. I’m going to have to leave you for a little. I’ll see you tonight, and I’ll bring you something good to eat, I promise. Goodnight.” I waved to my cat. Man, I was getting crazy. Then my compartment door opened and there was Tom all smiling.
“Come on, let’s go. Why don’t you join me?” he asked, smiling. I shrugged as if it was no big deal, and we set off down the express while people shoved each other. In fact, one younger kid wasn’t just shoving but he seemed to be floating above peoples heads and kicking them in the face as he passed.
Finally we came outside into the freezing night air. People passed us, staring at me as if I was a showcase item. One kid stared at me, which made me self-conscious so I stared back at him, which made him stare harder, which made me strain my eyes to stare even harder, then BAM! He bumped headfirst into a pole. I smirked happily.
“Belle? What are you smiling about? Come on, there’s no time to smile.” I heard Tom say from beside me. He reminded me painfully about my dad which reminded me about America. A wave of homesickness spread over me. At this time, the kids of Salemandra would probably be singing the school anthem…or maybe because of the time difference, they’d be in bed.
“Belle, are you alright?” Tom asked again, looking worried now.
“Oh, sorry, Tom. I-I was daydreaming, sorry.” I apologized.
“It’s quite all right. But you will have time to do that later, come along now.” Tom said, holding my hand. I shivered again, but thankfully he didn’t notice, or maybe he did but he could care less.
He led me to some pretty grand carriages that seemed to be moved by invisible beings. Without hesitation at all, he pulled back the door of the first carriage. He motioned for me to get in, beaming. As I got in, I saw people in there, but before I could tell Tom, he climbed in next to me, and began to talk.
“This is Isabelle Ivory, but she would like to be called Belle. She’s from America and attended Salemandra School of Witches and Warlocks. Beyond that, please do not question her about.” Tom said in a strong voice. And you will not believe this, THEY ACTUALLY LISTENED TO HIM!
“We’re pleased to meet you, Belle. I’m Lucretia Black, that’s Natissis Nott, that’s Celsus Avery, and next to me is Rebecca Bobbin.” the black haired girl, Lucretia, said, as the carriage started moving.
“Call me Nat, I hate my first name. I was named after a river, but I don’t know where it is anyway.”
“You think yours is bad, Nat? Celsus is worse. My name means haughty and proud. But it’s not like I can make a nickname out of my name either. I will never forgive my parents for such a name.”
I smiled. “Well at least you weren’t named after two grandmothers who are either dead or very snobby. Elizabeth, my snobby grandmother, shoots silencing charms towards me every time I talk. Not to mention she proudly displays her expensive underpants to the whole world.” They all laughed at that and I took the time to look at them clearly.
The girl in front of me, Lucretia, was very pretty. Her hair was black, shoulder length, and her eyes were a warm gray. Nat had curly brown hair that looked like worms on his head but his eyes were a pleasant green. Celsus had long black hair that went into his eyes, which were a dark shade of midnight blue. They all seemed genuinely pleased to meet me, except that girl Rebecca Bobbin. Her hair was in blonde ringlets and her eyes were a soft blue, but she was glaring at me. She was possibly more beautiful than Black, which made me envious of both of them.
“You know, I would tell you to call me Becky, but only my friends call me that. No, you will have to call me by my last name, just like the majority.” Rebecca said coldly.
“Becky, what’s the matter? Do you have to be such a cold potato?” Celsus asked, brushing back his black hair.
“Oh your hungry too, then, Celsus? I’m so hungry I could eat my potions books.” Nat said, leaning back on the chair.
“You two are always hungry.” Lucretia smiled.
“You try being a boy sometime, Luc, and you try dieting or not eating for an hour. I mean, it’s not like me and Nat get fat or anything. You know, sometimes I wonder where exactly our food goes.” Celsus said staring down at his stomach, which was in fact, thin. Lucretia giggled madly.
“Tom Riddle I have a bone to pick with you. Why didn’t you reply to my letters? I was practically begging for you to come stay with Mother and Father, and I at our summer home in Venice.” Rebecca pouted.
“Oh, the stupid muggles never gave me the letter. I’m sorry, Becky.” Tom said. I could tell he was lying just by looking at him. She believed him though.
“Well, muggles are by far the worst of the worst.” She sniffed airily, her blonde ringlets bouncing.
“Speaking of bad blood, did you hear what happened to Claremont Jackst, the Gryffindor seeker? I heard some second years talking about it back on the express.” Nat said.
“What, what happened? We’ll win anyway, wont we? But it’ll still be funny to watch.” Celsus said, laughing.
“Well, heard Jackst fell off his muggle home and broke his leg and went to those muggle healers, but they couldn’t heal it properly and now his leg’s in a white hard case. He has to wait to get up to the building to have it done properly by Madam Pomfrey.” Nat said in one breath.
They all laughed, and I laughed a bit too considering the circumstances. Rebecca turned to me and looked me in the eyes.
“Why are you laughing? I bet you’re a muggle born, or even worse, perhaps a muggle?” She said icily. I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Shut up already. You are not funny. You do not impress anybody. But, you are rude. Who taught you manners, a troll perhaps?” I retorted. She looked utterly bemused. Everyone else looked amused though.
“Excuse me?” She said, hoarsely, narrowing her eyes.
“To answer your idiotic question, no, I am a pureblood. However, I do not care very much about my blood nor do I care very much for your question. How would I be a muggle, are you really that stupid or are you reciting what your mother told you?” I said.
I couldn’t stop myself, my temper was flaring. Back on the express, I never would have imagined what my parents said about blood counting here mattered. But here was living proof that they meant it.
“DON’T YOU DARE TALK ABOUT MY MOTHER LIKE THAT!” She screamed at me angrily, struggling to find her wand.
“DON’T YOU DARE TALK TO ME WHAT I’VE BEEN HEARING FOR MY WHOLE LIFE!” I screamed back, my wand already out and pointing at her. She eyed my wand for a second then looked me in the face.
“Go ahead. Curse me. I’d rather enjoy the first day in the hospital wing then anywhere near you. I hope that you get sorted into a mud blood house, perhaps Gryffindor would fill your needs-” She stopped talking for a second. Actually, her mouth moved, but no sound came out. Then I noticed Tom had just hit her with a silencing charm.
“Becky, what is wrong with you? You’re treating a pureblood like a mud blood. Stop it.” He said calmly. Then he undid the spell, and put his wand back into his robes.
Rebecca looked out of the window in the small carriage, looking hurt. Feeling satisfied, I turned away. Everyone was silent for the rest of the way, lost in their own little world. Occasionally, one of them would shoot me a questioning or a supporting stare. It gave me great comfort to find out Tom was on my side. Or was he? Maybe he just didn’t agree with her wording or something.
“We’re here, finally.” Nat said, making each of us jump a mile. He smirked, opening the door, and the cold air hit us suddenly.
We all clambered out and as Rebecca walked by, she hit her shoulder against mine hard, but no one but me noticed.
“If you’re going to pretend your bloods pure at least act ladylike.” I hissed in her ear. She shot me a venomous look and walked ahead. Suddenly, Tom pulled me aside, and the others walked on.
“Yes?” I said, my eyes still on Rebecca’s back, thinking whether she preferred a frog or cat hairs in her soup.
“You have to get into Slytherin.” He said seriously. “Otherwise…we can’t associate with you.”
“I will.” I said, in a monotone. I sounded like a slave. It was impossible not to when you were staring at him.
“Good, then come on, you need to get sorted.” He said, cracking a smile. We walked up to the castle together then, as the wind picked up and it began to drizzle. Through the iron gates of the front door we went…and I was nervous.
What if I wasn’t in Slytherin?
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