Chapter 1 : Can't she?
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I started to build up images of the magical world and how I imagined it. I was desperate to get to this school, so different from the straight laced world that I knew during my childhood. Recieving my letter was possibly the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. There were only a few other children on the street where I lived. They were delicate young girls and I was the minister's daughter, who always seemed to have a cat and two younger brothers always following her. I was the one that weird things always happened to when I was upset. I wouldn’t be missed by them, but the feeling was mutual.
I loved Hogwarts, it was such a beautiful place, and I felt privileged to be there. It was exactly how I'd imagined it would be. I embraced every moment whilst I was there. I was convinced it was a dream and that I would be woken up at any second, and I would be back in my bland bedroom at home. I decided I would work hard- prove that I was worthy to be at such a fantastic school. I had friends, but not close ones- I couldn’t tell them everything and anything that was on my mind. They were people I could talk and laugh with, and people I have fond memories of, but I didn’t meet anyone that I felt I could pour my soul out to. That was, until the second year of my school education. On the first day of my second year, Professor Dumbledore took me to one side, to speak privately with me.
“He came from an orphanage. He doesn't know much about magic, so I thought you could help him a bit. Please look after him, Minerva? Just keep an eye on him.” The request seemed non-negotiable, and so I just nodded.
I took him under my wing. Taught him about the wizarding world, even helped him to track down the muggle half of his family. He wrote to them. I could see the excitement in his eyes when he sent a letter to his father. I watched his heart break when he got a brief note in reply telling him to stay away. We became close friends. To other people, it seemed odd- he was Slytherin through and through and I was a Gryffindor. People found it strange that we were so close, but we helped each other through both good and bad times.
He was there when I trained to be an animagus, in fact he was the first person to see me in the form of a tabby cat, to which he applauded politely with a look of envy that I could do something he could not. He never said it, but it was clear in his eyes, when he asked me to repeat the transition over and over again.
I was there when the girl in the bathroom was killed in his fifth year. I had a strange suspicion. I couldn't explain it, but he seemed desperate to find the "killer". I hoped my suspicion was not true, I supported him through it. I said nothing when he “caught” Rubeus Hagrid with the beast, apparently from the chamber. I was relieved that it appeared not to be him. I attempted to console Hagrid when he was told he would be expelled. Deep down, I was grateful that it wasn’t him who was expelled. That is a moment that is still on my conscience to this day. No matter how kind and polite I am to Hagird, the guilt still eats away at me. I was one of the reasons he's banned from magic.
He was my first love.
I loved that boy with a passion, and I thought - hoped- he felt the same way. For as long as I live, I will not forget that cool, spring morning in my seventh year. I had been reading a book somewhere in the grounds of Hogwarts, enjoying the peace and quiet. I did not realise that he had arrived, and was watching me quietly, until I looked up, slightly stunned. He sat down beside me.
“You work far too hard, Minerva”
I sighed, rolling my eyes, and looked into his deep, dark eyes. Those eyes seemed to know so much and seemed so troubled. They were almost an addiction. I noticed something new every time I saw them. He was my secret passion, and I loved nothing more than spending time with him. I blushed under the intensity of the stare he was giving me, and looked at the ground, my long hair covered my face. He gently pushed the hair out of the way. I looked back up.
“You are a very pretty girl, you shouldn’t hide it with this hair. If you tied it up, you would be beautiful.”
I laughed slightly. Nervously. It was totally out of character for him to say something like that, but I was flattered, nonetheless. The things that lead to the next event are a blur in my head. The next thing I knew, I felt a soft pair of lips brush against mine. Wanting more, I moved closer. We shared a kiss, tender yet passionate. Needy yet gentle. Everything I wanted it to be, everything I had imagined it would be in my dreams. It was not perfect- we were both inexperienced, nonetheless, it was a kiss that I had been willing to happen for years.
I smiled back at him. To me, nothing felt more right. Obviously, it was not the case for him. He stood up, walking away quickly.
I heard him mumble something along the lines of “I’m sorry” although I can’t be sure whether I'd imagined it. That was the last time we spoke. After that, when I was with my Gryffindor friends in the Great Hall, I sometimes caught him looking at me and he would look away almost immediately, engaging in conversation with his Slytherin friends.
But, I was a heartbroken and confused young woman. I wanted to know why he kissed me if he wanted nothing to happen. As much as he sickens me to this day, I hope that inside the rotten exterior of Lord Voldemort, there is still a flash of Tom. The boy who drank up my every word in his first year, Tom, my best friend, Tom. My first love. The Tom who had kissed me. The Tom I knew so well. I hate myself for thinking so, but I can not help how I feel. I of all people feel the most resentment towards myself, but my only comfort is to think that he walked away because he loved me. It’s not likely, but I do like to wish sometimes that he was trying to protect me from evil somehow. Because I loved Tom, and Tom loved me.
Well, a girl can hope… can’t she?
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