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A Sense of Loss by Hermionesclass101
Chapter 1 : Thorn
 
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A/N - A response to The Challenge to End All Challenges Challenge, courtesy of OvergrownEden9 over at the forums:

STEP ONE:
Tom Riddle/OC

STEP TWO:
A Sense of Loss

STEP THREE:
10. silky, straight, milky white hair and prominent cheekbones

STEP FOUR:
"I do care. Just not about you."
"You are like all the rest."
“They only love your face.”


STEP FIVE:
"Don't say that its over, I'd kill to be closer. Don't say that its over, you can't live without me." Closer, Burn Season. 

Enjoy! And in case it's confusing (I don't think it will be...) the italicized text is Tom reminiscing.

She was intoxicating.

I couldn’t think; I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t even plot when she was around.

Every time she walked by me, everything I’d ever wanted was forgotten. With the gently, unintentional sway of her hips, all my accomplishments were nothing.

She made me feel so unworthy. And that was a feeling no one had the right to instil in me.

I growled in frustration, running an elegant hand through my dark curls. She was everything good in me; which is why I hated her. But it was also why I loved her. Oh Slytherin, I loved her. She had a fiery spirit, and a stubbornness that was matched only by my own.



I walked into the Slytherin Common Room, the familiar green and silver welcoming me. I scanned the familiar room in interest. I saw someone sitting in one of the elegant armchairs, their sleeved elbow barely visible. Curious, I made my way to the chair opposite it, making a show of sitting down, so I could catch a glimpse of the person ensconced so comfortably within the chair. A petite girl sat curled up with a book, a pair of reading glasses perched elegantly on her nose. I recognized the girl as being in my year…Acacia Stone. That was it.

I continued to observe the calm way in which she surveyed the page, her startlingly blue eyes skimming over the words. After a minute, I could tell she had stopped reading, because her eyes no longer darted back and forth. Taking me by surprise, she looked up, looking directly at me. Her brilliantly cerulean eyes, their intensity not affected at all by the wire framed glasses, met my near-black ones, and she gazed stonily at me. I matched her stare, smirking slightly as she refused to cast her eyes back to the book. Something about her fascinated me.

She sat with the book in her lap, her slender legs tucked beneath her. Her shimmering blue eyes complimented her silky, straight, milky white hair and prominent cheekbones. Her pale complexion, even fairer than dear Narcissa, stood out sharply from the dark material of the chair. Her rosy red lips were pursed in resolve. There was a fire behind her eyes, a determination, and it was exactly that presence that made me stand and do what I did next.

“Stone,” I greeted, sitting in a chair closer to her. Her expression did not change, but she did close her book.

“What do you want, Riddle?” she sighed, sliding her glasses onto her head.

“I was simply wondering what literary work had you so entranced,” I replied smoothly. She looked at me doubtfully, fingering the spine of the book in question.

“Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland,” she finally replied, chewing on her lip.

“You like dragons?” I asked, surprised. Not an interest I had considered for one appearing as delicate as Acacia.

“Is that a problem?” she challenged. I quickly shook my head.

“’Course not, my love,” I answered easily. She looked at me like I had three heads for a moment before speaking.

“Just tell me why you’re here, Riddle,” she insisted, rearranging the folds of her robes. I smiled winningly.

“Well, Acacia,” I breathed, my use of her first name catching her off guard, “I chanced a journey over here to ask you if you would consider going to Hogsmeade with me next weekend.”

Her mouth formed a small ‘o’ of surprise and I smirked.

“You might want to close your mouth; it’s slightly unbecoming of you,” I prodded. “Though it would be quite hard to take away from such beauty.”

Normally I didn’t do things like this. I was never looking for a date, nor a shag. My only desire was world domination. She changed this.

“That’s a yes?” I confirmed amusedly as she opened and closed her mouth. Finally, she clamped her jaw shut determinedly. She sighed.

“Okay, Riddle.”

She had been becoming very curious as to what I was doing when I wasn’t at the school. I had a nagging suspicion that she was expecting me to propose before the year ended. I scoffed. As if that would happen. Nothing could stand between me and my being Ruler of Wizards. And I certainly couldn’t allow her to get hurt. Physically, anyway, because I wasn’t so naïve as to assume I wasn’t going to hurt her emotionally. She was getting too close. I was becoming attached. I wouldn’t allow that to happen.

But alas, it already had. I was infatuated. My desires were conflicting, though I hid it with a stony look as I gazed out of the Astronomy Tower window. I knew which would win. I sighed.



“So, where are we going, Tom?” my name slid unsurely off her tongue, though I enjoyed the sound of it. She had a voice almost like bells; a soft, whimsical sound. I was even entranced with the way she walked, her posture perfect, as would be expected from a Pureblood. But she had a certain personality that was all her own exhibited in her gait. She walked confidently, with a slight spring to her step.

“I was thinking The Three Broomsticks,” I ventured. “It’s much too cold out here.”

If one thing could be said about the cold, it would be that it was giving Acacia’s usually pale cheeks a pleasant warm glow.

“Too cold?” she giggled. “Is Tom afraid of a little snow?” I shook my head.

“I wouldn’t say afraid,” I began teasingly. “Repulsed by the freezing temperature —”

I was quickly cut short when an excruciatingly wet substance hit the side of my head. My mouth opened in shock for a minute before I was fully able to retaliate. I glared daggers at her, stooped and collected a handful of the dreadful stuff, flinging it in her direction. It connected soundly and I smirked as she squealed in protest. What ensued was a very long and exhausting snow fight. Eventually, Acacia took the easy way out and tackled me to the ground. I immediately pinned her beneath me, laughing.

“You took me by surprise, Miss Stone,” I said, climbing to my feet, and offering her my hand. She accepted it and laughed, the sound equivalent to music.

“I tend to do that,” she teased, flicking a final piece of snow at me. I laughed.

“Butterbeer?” I asked, pointing to The Three Broomsticks. She nodded, and we started walking, falling into a comfortable silence. I chanced another glance towards her. Clumps of snow were stuck in her flowing white-blond hair, and her face was flushed. She was positively glowing. And I had just had more fun than I’d ever had. I was suddenly attacked by an urge to grab her hand, and I did so, surprised to find that she didn’t pull away. Instead, she tightened her grip on my hand, her skin frozen, but still emanating an inexplicable warmth.

We had a great time. I was completely comfortable around Acacia Stone, and it appeared that she felt the same way about me. We didn’t feel pressured to snog as I had with the other girls I had taken on pity dates. She was a fascinating person. Her dream was to study dragons, she had two younger sisters and an older brother, she believed in the good of everyone, and she was surprisingly tolerant of Mudbloods and Muggles. And to my surprise, this didn’t bother me about her. I told her my brief history, leaving out the more graphic parts. She was surprisingly sympathetic, which annoyed me slightly, but also flattered me.

I sighed in frustration as I combed the Common Room for Acacia. She was no where to be found, so I sought out her friend, Mita.

“Where’s Kace, Mita?” I asked abruptly. She looked up from the still life she was sketching.

“Hmm? Oh, she’s in the dormitory,” she said, dreamily. I tapped my foot in impatience for a minute, until it became clear that Mita wasn’t going to move.

“Would you mind getting her for me?”

“I’m a bit busy,” Mita narrowed her eyes dangerously, pointing at her still life. I growled darkly, and moved over to the staircase.

“Fine,” I muttered, cupping my hands around my mouth. “ACACIA!”

Acacia poked her beautiful head out of her dormitory door, and I regretted what I was about to do. When her eyes fell on me, she smiled, and I gestured for her to come down.

“Come to the dungeons with me?” I asked, avoiding her beautiful blue eyes. She smiled excitedly, and we started off. When I found an empty dungeon, I pulled her into it.



We sat, curled up, in the same chair on which I had first noticed her. The fire was crackling as merrily as possible in the damp room. My head was resting on her shoulder and our hands were intertwined. I was playing with her fingers as I placed delicate kisses on her neck. She smiled in pleasure.

“I’ll tell you a secret if you tell me one,” she said playfully, her other hand on the nap of my neck, leaving tingles where ever her warm fingers touched my skin. I moaned slightly at her disruption of my fun, but I agreed. “You first.”

“Hmm,” I murmured thoughtfully, breathing onto her neck. I dropped my voice to a whisper, suddenly feeling inclined to divulge something personal, “I’m a virgin.”

She shivered. I smirked at the effect I had on her.

“Really?”

“Mhmm,” I acknowledged. “I swear it on Salazar Slytherin himself. Your turn.”

“I’m not.”

This took me by surprise. My innocent Acacia not a virgin? I waited for an explanation.

“This guy…actually, more than one…I’m kind of gullible apparently,” she laughed darkly. “Anyways, they used me to get what they wanted. Then they left.”

I stayed quiet. That was heavy.

“Nice guys,” I commented dryly. “I would never do that to you. Ever.”

“I know,” she murmured, rolling over to make eye-contact. “I love you, Tom Riddle.”

“I love you too, Acacia Stone. For ever and always.”

I made love to Acacia Stone that night. For the first and last time.

“Kace, you know I love you, right?” I said, drowning in the depths of her eyes, and then mentally smacked myself as she nodded gleefully. “Wait, no!”

Acacia’s expression became confused, and hurt.

“You don’t love me?” she rearticulated. I nearly died from the hurt in her voice. I sighed.

“That’s not it,” I tried, in frustration. “It’s – I can’t…I can’t do this anymore.”

I had never, in all my seventeen years, been at such a loss for words. I snarled and started pacing. Acacia watched me, vulnerability evident on her face.

“You…me…we,” I growled again. “This isn’t WORKING!”

I kicked the wall for emphasis, which I immediately regretted as a sharp pain coursed through my foot.

“What’s not working?” she asked quietly. I took a deep breath.

“We aren’t working,” I sighed, and I could see tears welling behind her blue eyes.

“Why not?” she asked, her voice cracking slightly. I turned to face her, heaving a great sigh. I decided that it was better for her to be angry than sad. Righteous anger was easier to overcome than sadness.

“You’re a Blood-traitor,” I said with as much venom as possible. Her sadness turned to anger. “It was fun, but did you really think I would leave Hogwarts with you still attached to my arm?”

“You son of a BITCH!” she screamed, running towards me. She seemed to have forgotten that she was a witch, and tried to attack me in the Muggle fashion. I easily held her off.

“It has to be this way,” I implored, trying to keep up my façade.

“You can’t live without me,” she shouted. I laughed viciously.

“The whole school loves me. And the school happens to be filled with many beautiful girls who are NOT Blood-traitors.”

“They only love your face,” she emitted after a moment. “They don’t know what a horrible person you are.”

“You didn’t seem to think I was so horrible the other night,” I smirked. I could not believe that I was bringing up her weakness. She didn’t either.

“You’re just like all the rest,” she spat, eyes brimming with tears as she stepped backwards. “You never cared. You don’t care about anything but yourself.”

“I do care,” I retorted, my heart aching from all the pain I was causing her. I didn’t mention, however, that what I cared about happened to be the destruction of Mudbloods and Muggles, “Just not about you.”

She broke down. She started crying even before she ran out the door. Watching her leave, I felt my own eyes prickle. It couldn’t be helped, I told myself. She would have left me had I told her what I had done, anyway. I couldn’t have her being hurt. And I certainly couldn’t have her as a weakness. It was all for the best.

But still, a bitter taste rose in my mouth. I would love Acacia Stone forever. I wasn’t any better off than before. Only difference was, now I didn’t have her love in return. Oh, the sense of loss that overtook me then was indescribable. I stood watching the door through which she had disappeared for an immeasurable amount of time before heading back to my dormitory, my head down and my hands in my pockets.



A/N - Ehn. Not my best. But it's okay. I treated this story as if it were taking place today. I realize it might not be completely acurate, but it'll do; the plot wouldn't have worked any other way. I hope you enjoyed it, or hated it enough to leave me a review!

~Katie




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