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Vow's Aren't Forever by javct
Chapter 1 : Vow's Aren't Forever
 
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Minerva shut her book quietly, feeling a cool breeze on the back of her neck. Outside, she could hear the screams of innocent people and the bombs falling from the sky. She was lucky, she guessed, that she made it to The Leaky Cauldron in time. Hannah Potter wasn’t so lucky.

Feeling tears beginning to form, Minerva stood to her feet and banished the creases from her skirt. She glanced in the mirror before walking outside, even though The Battle Of Britain was going on around her, she still had to look spruce. Minerva’s hair was tied back into a bun at the back of her head in a way that told the world that she didn’t care how she looked. Her face had not a single drop of makeup on; not even lipstick and her brown eyes were her best features, so she had been told, but today, she couldn’t see how because her face was all blotchy from all the crying that she had been doing in the past seventy-two hours.

With her hand clasped firmly around the sold, brass handle, she spun it clockwise and walked out into the chaos. She had never seen The Leaky Cauldron so busy before; Wizards and Witches from all across Europe were flooding to The Leaky Cauldron by the dozens. Minerva twisted her red bracelet back and forth, feeling very out of place. No one here knew her name.

'I guess that’s what happens when you arrive at The Leaky Cauldron four months before school starts,' Minerva reprimanded herself. It wasn’t like she had much of a choice. Her mother, the late Celia McGonagall, had been killed by a rouge solider in the safety of their house and her father, Marcus McGonagall, was a muggle and thought that being a witch was a disease.

Minerva pushed past several more strangers in a barren attempt to escape the chaos and madness that besieged her. Her bruises that covered her shoulders began to hurt again as people nudged her. Grimacing in pain, Minerva pushed through; her mind set on where she wanted to go.

“McGonagall? What are you doing here?” Minerva’s blood ran cold when she heard his voice. She would have been happy to see anyone from Hogwarts, anyone except him. The Slytherin Prince himself, Tom Riddle.

“I could ask you the same question.” Minerva retorted, spinning around on her heels. Riddle was looking smug, as though he knew a secret she didn’t know. He hadn’t aged—or matured—since she saw him last; his brown hair was still slicked back and he still wore the same ring on his right hand.

“No need to get angry McGonagall. I was merely asking what you were doing here so early. Isn’t it still four months before school starts?” Riddle stepped in front of Minerva blocking her path.

Minerva bit her tongue, hard, in an attempt not to say something she would easily regret later. Taking a deep breath, McGonagall told Riddle her lie, “I’m here because I wanted to see my best friend... Hannah...” Minerva chocked out the last word, it was the first time she had used Hannah’s name since the bombings. Riddle stared curiously at Minerva, fiddling with his ring.

“Hannah Potter?” he asked curiously. Minerva nodded solemnly, picturing her best friend laughing. Riddle, apparently, had sensed her uneasiness and hesitantly, reached out and patted her on the shoulder. Minerva flinched, but did not move. It felt gratifying, she mused, being touched by someone else. Especially when she knew that they weren’t going to hurt her.

“I... I... I’ve got to go. Goodbye Riddle.” Minerva said, feeling a twang of something she hadn’t felt before when Riddle touched her. Without even waiting for a reply, Minerva spun around and headed into the masses of European strangers; leaving Riddle standing there.

*

It happened again. That feeling. Why do I keep feeling like this? Why do I feel safe when he is around? Why do I feel like I could conquer mountains when he is near me? I swore to never fall in love, I saw what that could do to a person; my parent’s were living-well, not living anymore-proof of that. But, all I know is that, I, Minerva McGonagall, am in love with Tom Riddle. The Slytherin Prince.

Minerva slammed her notebook shut, ashamed of what she just wrote.

‘This is just grief working against me,’ she told herself. Minerva looked out her window; staring at the derelict city. Everywhere she looked there was war and disaster. In years to come, people would call this The Battle of Britain, but Minerva would look back on the years of the unremitting war and would call it a mistake. Something she never should have done. Minerva ran her fingers through her tatty, brown hair, her nails scraping her scalp. A scream jolted Minerva out of her reverie. She ran to her door; her feet barely touching the ground and flung it open with all her might. No one was screaming. The Leaky Cauldron just looked the same as it did before.

Busy.

“Excuse me Sir,” Minerva said to a passerby. The man looked slightly irritated at Minerva for stopped his conversation, but he listened out of politeness, “Did you hear someone scream?” The man shook his head, anger crossing his brow. Minerva hung her head, she mumbled an apology and closed her door. Then the scream came again, louder this time. Minerva blocked her ears in a forlorn attempt to drown out the scream. She knew that scream, it was haunting her. Shaking her head, Minerva grabbed her coat, slipping on some shoes and headed outside. She needed to clear her head. Taking a deep breath, Minerva stepped outside. Keeping her head low, Minerva began to make her way through the multitudes. She saw several people that she knew from school but she didn’t make eye-contact.

‘People from school were coming early this year,’ Minerva noticed, ‘Then again, I suppose this is the only safe place left,’ she corrected herself. Finally, after what seemed like a long and strenuous walk, Minerva reached Diagon Alley. Even with the muggle war going on, Diagon Alley still maintained the same charm and tranquillity that it always had. It wasn’t as busy as Minerva had expected, even though The Leaky Cauldron was full of foreigners, Diagon Alley was well-nigh empty.

Stores all along Diagon Alley were being boarded up and closed down. No one had bothered to place magical protections around their shops; getting stolen from was the last of their worries. A war was coming, everyone knew it. Grindelwald had already attacked the shores of France, and now, he had begun to advance upon England.

Minerva smiled when she found her favourite shop, that was, squashed in-between two large stores. Florish and Blotts was one of the only stores in Diagon Alley that hadn’t even considered closing down and Minerva was glad for that fact. To her, Florish and Blotts was a sanctuary. An escape from reality. As Minerva walked in, the bell making a small sound as she walked in. The owner of store barely glanced at up at Minerva as the door opened. Minerva’s fingers brushed gently along the spines of the books, she wasn’t searching for a particular book, just one that could take her mind of what had happened. She had just found the perfect book when an unwelcome voice filled her ears.

“Well, fancy that, we just keep running into each other don’t we?” Riddle said, leaning casually against the stable, wooden shelves. Peering over the edge of her book, Minerva saw Tom Riddle standing there. She felt a surge of passion and happiness seeing Riddle standing there. ‘No!’ She told herself firmly, ‘this can only end in heartbreak!’

‘Who cares?’ Another part of her brain said. Riddle turned around pointedly and began to search the book shelves. Minerva tried to engross herself in the timeless classic that she was reading, but, with Riddle standing so close to her, it was impossible. After five minutes, her eyes had scanned Riddle far more than her eyes scanned the frayed pages of her book. But she didn’t care.

“What’s your book about?” Riddle asked, jolting Minerva out of her dream-like-state. He raised his eyebrows at Minerva who was smiling sheepishly. She had to glance twice at the cover of her book before she realized what book she was reading: Pride & Prejudice.

“Oh.” Minerva said clearly flustered, “It’s Pride and Prejudice. It’s a classic muggle romance book.” Riddle nodded slowly, his face showing the disgust that he felt. It was well known that Tom Riddle was a muggle hater, rumors had started to circulate last year that he killed his Father in cold blood just because he was a muggle, but Minerva did not believe that. Riddle was evil yes, but not evil enough to kill someone just because he felt like it.

“Are you looking for a particular book? I might be able to help you.” Minerva said, placing her book on the shelves and standing to her feet. She walked over to Riddle and stared into his eyes. She tried to divert her attention to the books but Riddle’s eyes dark black eyes were her distraction. They bore into her skin and she was fully aware of them. Then, without warning, Riddle reached over and brushed his slim and slender finger along Minerva’s neck. Chills ran up Minerva’s spine as he touched her and her hairs stood on edge. It wasn’t like they hand’t brushed against each other accidentally before, but, this time, Minerva felt something; a spark, and she knew that Riddle felt it as well.

Minerva turned around, her back pressed, hard, against the book shelves. Riddle’s face was so close to Minerva’s that she could feel his hot breath on his face. They both stared at one another, not saying a word. They were in a blissful silence. To the two teenagers, it felt as though the world had stopped spinning. Their surrounding blurred around them.

“Riddle.” Minerva started to say but Riddle held a finger up to her lips, neither of them said a word, but, both of them knew what was going to happen next. Suddenly, Riddle removed his finger from Minerva’s lips and kissed her. Hard. Nothing happened in slow motion from Minerva, yet, she still remembered every moment of their first kiss. Riddle pushed Minerva up against the book shelves and his hand grabbed her neck, pulling in her closer. Minerva began to run her fingers through Riddle’s hair, unable to control her thoughts. Eventually, the couple broke apart, panting with effort.

“Call me Tom.” He finally said.

*

{Four months later}

There was no laughter in the Great Hall at the Welcome Banquet. There was no need for laughter, only tears. Minerva was tearing up as Professor Dumbledore read aloud, a list of names of Hogwarts Students that had been killed during the holidays. Hannah Potter was one of them. When Hannah’s name was mentioned, Minerva heard Chord Potter, Hannah’s brother, break down into uncontrollable sobs. She wanted to console him, to hug him and tell him everything was going to be alright, but there was no room for lies in the middle of the war. Minerva glanced frequently over at Tom Riddle during the speech but he never made eye-contact with her. Ever since their encounter in the library, Tom and Minerva had only spoken once. However, they had been frequently sending letters to one another. That night, Minerva fell asleep, thinking only of Tom.

*

During classes, Minerva’s mind went back to her and Tom moments in the library. She could never quite understand why he had kissed her.

Was it a spur of the moment thing?
Did he actually care?
Did he feel sorry for her?

These thoughts passed through her mind quicker than a cheetah running at full speed. It took her weeks, but she finally managed to corner him in the school library.

“Tom.” She said, running her delicate hand around her arm. Tom spun around, a book in his hand. Glancing quickly at the cover, Minerva saw that Tom was reading: Dark Arts, “I was wondering whether I could talk to you.” Tom grunted in reply. Minerva assumed that meant yes; so, taking a deep breath, Minerva summoned up all her courage and began to talk, “Why aren’t you talking to me? I get you’re Tom Riddle the Slytherin Prince and I’m, well, I’m Minerva McGonagall. It’s not exactly the schools idea of a perfect couple, but I don’t care. I really care about you Tom and I hope, I pray, that you care about me to.” Minerva said in earnest and she hesitantly reached for Tom shoulder. She was shocked when Tom didn’t flinch away at her touch; instead, her raised his hand and enclosed her’s with his. Electrical shocks ran through Minerva’s hand, causing all the hairs on her arms to stand up. Tom looked over his shoulder and turned around slowly, until his body was pressed tight against Minerva. It happened just like last time, nothing happened in slow motion as Tom leant down and kissed Minerva hard on her lips. She responded quickly, wrapping her arms around his neck. Tom, once again, reached for her neck and pulled her closer. Both of them wanted more and both of them knew it.

“Minerva, I vow to be with you forever.” Tom whispered into her ear before leaning into kiss her again.

*

{Four years later}

Minerva stared up from her sheet of paper and saw a tumbledown old building. She couldn’t believe that he had sent her here. Shaking her head, Minerva took a step forward in a forlorn attempt to banish the fear that had been growing in the pit of her stomach since this morning. Tucking a rebellious piece of hair behind her ear, Minerva glanced down at what she was wearing. It had been four years since she had last seen him and she wanted to look perfect.

‘He shouldn’t care anyway,’ Minerva reminded herself. A smile crossed her face as she thought about the small and carefree moments that she had shared with Tom. Frivolous memories she liked to call them when she was alone. Which was quite a lot lately.

“Minerva?” Spinning around Minerva came face-to-face with Dolohov. He had aged a lot since she had last seen him, his face already had increasing frown lines and his eyes showed the horrors that he had seen.

“Lord Voldemort will see you now.”

‘Voldemort? Yes, that was his name now. He changed it,’ Minerva thought to herself. Dolohov increased his pace and opened the door for Minerva. Shooting Dolohov a quizzical glance she stepped over the threshold. It felt odd to Minerva, a Slytherin being nice to her.

‘I guess Tom told him to be nice to me,’ Minerva thought, adjusting her skirt slightly. Her nerves were getting the better of her again. ‘Get ahold of yourself woman! Tom will like you no matter what you look like!’ she reprimanded herself. Dolohov shot Minerva a glare, If looks could kill and indicated up the stairs.

“Lord Voldemort is that way.” He gritted through his teeth. Taking a deep breath, Minerva headed up the rotting stairs. She wondered why they hadn’t broken yet; under the weight of everyone. Sending a prayer to whoever was up in the sky, Minerva attempted to banish all the negative thoughts out of her mind. Before she knew it, she had reached the top of the stairs. She looked up and saw a black, ominous, rotting door. The door handle looked as though it was about to break and an odd smell of decay seeped from underneath the door.

Repulsed, Minerva decided to turn around, but, as she spun she came face-to-face with Dolohov, who had apparently followed her up the stairs, “Going somewhere?” He snarled, showing his teeth, “The Dark Lord wishes to talk to you.” He said again, pushing her roughly towards the black door. Fear rose in her throat but she quickly vanquished it. Tom wanted to see her for a reason, and she loved Tom-she was sure of it now.

Dolohov pushed the door open and Minerva peeked inside. She couldn’t see anything. Suddenly, Minerva felt a glimmer of hope and happiness when she realized that Tom would be on the other side of the door. So, taking another deep breath, Minerva stepped over the threshold and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim light.

“McGonagall.” Minerva looked around in search of the voice. It sounded so familiar but she couldn’t find the source of the noise, “Minerva.” The voice was taunting her now. Frustrated, Minerva began to spin around wildly, but, no matter how often she looked around she couldn’t find the voice.

Then, suddenly, a light flickered on and Minerva saw a throne, and sitting on that throne was the only person she wanted to see. Tom Riddle. No, now he was Voldemort. Tom was wearing casual black robes with his hair-still-slicked back. She had never seen him look so regal before. It looked as though he was the King and was staring over his black Kingdom.

“Hello Minerva.” Tom said cooly, running his pale fingers along his god-like-throne. He raised his head and stared at Minerva; his black eyes piercing her light green ones.

“Hello Tom.” She said firmly, butterflies forming in her stomach. She hadn’t seen Tom in four years and this wasn’t the welcoming she was expecting. Hesitantly, Minerva took a step forward; the sound of her shoes echoing on the rotting, wooden floor. Tom, apparently, had the same idea. He casually leaned forward in his throne; his chin placed delicately in the palm of his hand, “How have you been?” Tom let out a small laugh as Minerva attempted to make small talk. An awkward silence filled the air, Minerva shifted her weight uncomfortably.

“What happened to you, Tom?” Minerva finally asked, stepping towards him. Tom took a deep breath and stood up. He walked over to Minerva until his face was inches away from hers. Excitement sparked up in Minerva’s chest, but she said nothing.

“I grew up.” Tom stated simply, tucking a piece of rebellious hair behind her ear.

“Do you still love me?” She said, Minerva wasn’t sure why she had asked him that, it just came out. Tom didn’t look phased from Minerva’s sudden question, instead a small crossed his face.

“My feeling for you have not changed, but my dear, we cannot be together anymore.” Minerva felt as though someone had punched her in the stomach. She had travelled half way across the country in order to be with Tom and then he had just told her that he didn’t want to be with her anymore.

“What! Why? I love you Tom, please, you vowed! You vowed to stay with me forever!” Minerva said, reaching for his cheek. Tom grabbed Minerva’s wrist and pulled her in close. They stood like for a moment before Tom threw her roughly on the ground.

“Love made me weak Minerva! If I am to love you then I can’t go through with my plans!” He yelled, anger burning in his eyes. Minerva was terrified, she had never Tom so angry.

“Tom—” She started to say, but Tom yelled in anger.

“My name is not Tom!” He yelled, “My name is Voldemort!”

“No, it’s not.” Minerva said calmly, standing to her feet, “Your name is Tom Riddle and you vowed to stay with me forever.” Tom roared in anger again and struck her across the cheek.

“Let hell burn for Satan has treated me well,” He said, leaning down to her level. He lowered his face, and titled it slightly, almost as if he was about to kiss instead. Instead, he whispered into her ear, “Never trust the devil, but trust me when I say that vow’s aren’t forever.”




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