Chapter 2 : The Girl
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He took a breath. Deep deep breath. The another. In. out. In. Out.
Ah. Now that felt great…
That would be one of his first breaths of freedom, for today was the day, he would be freed from that torture chamber. What torture chamber you ask? Perhaps you have no idea about this chamber. Or maybe you just never thought of it as a torturous place. They called it an “orphanage”, a place that the government was gracious enough to provide for the country. Children without their parents would be lovingly given a place to stay, would be provided for, and the country would never ask for anything in return. What a wonderful place… but what did they know? Were they the ones to sleep on those stone hard beds? Were they the ones to eat that slop they called food? Were they the ones clutching to that vain hope that they had people outside the blasted place that cared about them?
No. They weren’t. The people that had such thoughts never truly understood, or even had an inkling about what it was really like for those that were banned to these orphanages. Of course, there were the lucky ones that did, eventually, leave the place. Those were usually the small children. Anyone past five was almost destined to stay there until they came of age. They were lucky.
Key word there: lucky. He wasn’t. Fate wasn’t nice to him. In fact, fate was quite mean to him… cruel, even.
It’s finally over. I’m free. I can put it all behind me. All of it.
And he would. Every little bit of it would soon be far far behind. He wouldn’t miss that place, or give it a second thought. Even now he was free… at least for a couple of hours…
Then again, if fate wasn’t kind to him, then fine. So be it. He’d change his fate. He’d make his own luck.
Some might actually be content to lurk in the shadows for the rest of their lives, their confidence deserting them at the last moment. Not Tom. He was filled to the brim with confidence, some of it threatening to spill out.
He would put his power to good use, of course. The world would be a better place, with him in charge. Then after he was known, after he had power… he’d hunt down his father and his family. Heaven knows where he is.
He might be looking for me right now. He might be wondering where his Tom is. He probably is still waiting for Mother and me to return… maybe he never found out where Mother went off too. He wouldn’t know that she’s dead already… maybe he had always been searching for us. Maybe he has a room for me, all set and ready. My father would be an expert at magic, and when we find each other, he’ll teach me everything he knows. He must be waiting for me.
A guy can dream, can't he?
His father and perhaps grandparents, were all that he had now. It would be nice to think that he had some cousins too. And other than him, or should he say, them, he would place his trust in no one else. Just days before, Tom had refused the help of the old bat that came to his room. Wait… what was his name again? Was his name Dumbledee? Dumbleton? It was Dumble-something. That was all he knew so far. Anyways, he didn’t need the help of others.
Look where everyone’s “help” had gotten him anyways.
And so Tom had planned to charm the old man, charm his way out of that orphanage. The “out” part was done, but the charming wasn’t.
Charm was the best thing to resort to. Yes it was. With charm you could get almost anything you wanted. It had a strange way of getting inside one’s mind and when correctly used, it pulled out exactly the things you needed. Or at least to him, that was the case.
And yet he had freaked out… he hadn’t charmed the old man at all, no, he had freaked out. Let his guard down. How pathetic was that? It broke a severe rule in his book, the one that he had kept in mind ever since he was nine. He had quite a lot actually.
Rule Number One. Never let your guard down. Always maintain a calm face, never let your true intentions/feelings through, a mask of sorts.
Frick. The old man made him break a lot of his rules, a rare occurrence. There was also rule number four.
Rule Number Four. Never depend on others. Independence is the key to success.
Still it had taken him more than a reasonable amount of them to figure out how to actually enter Diagon Alley, and even more to get his supplies. Tom took his time walking from shop to shop, from alley to alley, touching here, touching there. He was fascinated by all that he saw. It was magic. All of it. Everything there was magic. None of it was… muggle items. He learned the term ‘muggle’ earlier.
Tom wanted to buy it all, right then and there, curl up somewhere and learn it all. He had magic in his veins, and he wanted to use it. The small sack of money he had been given could barely buy more than one or two extra books, leaving him a little dejected.
The day grew late and he could find no more excuses to delay his return to the orphanage. Slowly he made his way down the stone paved road, placing one foot after the other. His eyes took in his surroundings, slowly memorizing every store. Then the people.
No one was alone. Two parents, maybe an aunt or uncle, then miniature versions of them followed close by. Some were with their friends. Some were with just family and relatives.
There was laughter all around. It was then that he felt something inside him, something he couldn’t name, but it passed as quick as it had come.
Tom stopped suddenly. His eyes fell on a certain girl in front of him. It wasn’t as if she was extraordinarily pretty, or ugly. A matter of fact, she was ordinarily pretty and blended quite well with every other person there. He would give her a few points for her long brown hair… but she wasn’t by any means standing out.
But it was the fact that she too, was alone, that drew his gaze. He stopped, looking at her closely. She was looking closely at something inside the shop window in front of them.
Then there was her expression. There was something he couldn’t place about it. Something strange. It looked so familiar… it was as if he was supposed to know it, meant to know what it was… but he didn’t. He couldn’t name the expression.
She was about his age… she must be. No one went up to talk to her and she didn’t go up to them either. The more he looked, the more he realized how different she was from the others.
Everyone laughed. She didn’t. Everyone was smiling. She wasn’t. Everyone had friends surrounding them, maybe even family. She was alone. How peculiar. How strange. How… intriguing. So far it caught his attention for three full minutes.
He watched silently all this time. Unlike the others around her, she wasn’t wearing wizard robes either, but rather like him, jeans and a sweater. Muggle clothing.
Is she new here too? I've already decided that no one will know that I belong to an orphanage, a Muggle one too. I have to remember to not let that slip.
A weird sensation seemed to go through him and he almost smiled. Not one of his usual smirks… but one that was more innocent.
What is this? Why? What is so special about her? Why is she different?
He became so intent on figuring out what this feeling was, that it took him awhile to notice that the girl had turned around.
Frick… Oh don’t I just look like a total idiot now? Staring at a girl, right in front of me, how am I supposed to find an excuse for this one? Oh great. She must think me insane now. The ‘Watch out: Insane clueless guy ahead of you’ alert must be going crazy inside her mind now.
Tom hurried to say something while debating on maybe turning around and going somewhere else. The girl was faster than him though.
“Oh I’m sorry, am I blocking your way?” she asked. The former expression on her face had disappeared only to be replaced with a small smile.
“N-no, no, I was just… you know… standing here… I mean, no, ah, uh… just… not at all,” Tom stammered.
Wait, rewind! Stammer? Hello? This is Tom! Tom Marvolo Riddle! He never, repeat, never stammered.
The girl had roused Tom’s curiosity; he still hadn’t quite learned how to suppress it much. And at that time, he was trying almost desperately to figure out what was going through the young girl’s mind. She was still smiling, but it seemed like she was asking him something. But what? The look that the girl was giving him made him doubt himself, making him feel unsure as to what to do.
“Hmm… are you looking for something then?” Her voice cut through his thoughts.
“Um… no, nothing really, just… you know… looking around…” He ended his very awkward sentence with a half shrug.
Wake up, Tom! You’re sounding like a total idiot! Remember, charm! Charm! Introduce yourself… or… oh, oh! Ask her for her name! No wait… what about… just say something!
His thoughts were all jumbled up and he had no idea what to do. What was happening? Everything was swerving out of his control.
“Um… What were you looking at?” he asked instead.
Ah smooth. Really smooth, Tom.
“Not really,” she blushed slightly at this. “I’ve never really seen all this before…” she admitted.
“This. You know…” her voice diminishing to only a soft whisper. It was pretty clear he didn’t know what she was saying. “Magic.”
“You’re not… not from a wizarding family then?”
And so... I was right.
“Nope.” Slightly chewing her lip, she pulled back a stray lock of hair. She had brown eyes, soft and warm. A million questions overcame Tom once more, only he had no idea what he should ask, and what would be right. He had this sudden urge to talk to her, maybe get to know her. Absurd, but true.
“I better go though, it’s been really nice talking to you. Maybe we’ll see each other in school?” she asked softly.
“Oh okay. Right, right. Sure.”
Frick. I didn’t even get to ask her anything yet.
“Alright, see you then!” She flashed him another one of those smiles before starting toward the Leaky Cauldron.
That feeling came again. The feeling of almost smiling.
What’s with me and this… feeling? What, am I sick? He thought for some more before the voice in his head continued.
Not anymore sick than usual. I'm delusional and insane already. Look, voice in my head? Talking to myself? Sad, Tom... this is just sad...
He shook his head and sighed instead. It was slowly getting dark. He thought over his day, bit by bit as he started back. His mind was filled with the idea of magic all the way home. In the middle, the girl would pop up more and more often.
She was lonely. That was the look on her face before… the one that had caught his eye. Lonesome. It slightly surprised him that she could still smile like that when she felt so. It wasn’t one of those ‘I miss my best friend’ kind of lonely, he knew that much. So what was it?
All the way, he wondered, just what it was about the girl that made him so confused… so unsure.
Maybe I should stay away from her. She confuses me… is that more reason to get to know her then? She won’t be… a friend or anything… just a person that I know or something.
But that didn’t mean he couldn’t understand her a little more. Did he even have a rule on understanding others? Yes. That would be what he would do. He’d find her sometime in the school, talk to her a couple of times. Maybe get to know her a little more. That would be good. It wouldn’t bring any harm anyways. Maybe they’d become… acquaintances. Yeah. That would be right… and then… they could…
More and more thoughts had come to him about what he could do when he realized something very important…
He didn’t even know her name.
A/N: Hi! So... this is the second chapter... (stating the obvious here ><). What do you think? I'm thinking about how I want this story to go... Do you guys think that I should keep it in 3rd POV, or switch it up between Kira and Tom's POV from now on? Hehe, review and I'll try and update faster ^^.
Edit: Sorry it's been so long, but I had no idea how to continue for a moment (and even now I only have a basic outline in mind), but I've edited the Prologue and Chapter One, and Chapter Two should be out soon.