Chapter 2 : Chapter Two
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“Sterling, I must speak with you.” Jade raised her head from her book and feigned interest in what Malfoy could possibly want from her. His usually pristine hair looked damp and dishevelled, his eyes were tired and cold. Jade thought it rather odd that he had presented himself this way, it was unlike the Malfoy family to appear unkempt in front of others.
“What can I help you with, Abraxas?” she questioned, a false smile on her lips.
“The book, I just can not bring you that book, Tom nee-“
“Ah,” she clicked her tongue at him. “No, no, Abraxas. That is not an acceptable answer.” She calmly closed her book, placed it into her lap, and folded her hands on top of the cover. “You can get that book. There is a difference between you not being able to get me the book, and you not wanting to get me the book. Your problem is the latter.” She stood from her seat. “That is just not acceptable.”
“You don’t understand,” he pleaded, his eyes wide.
“No, my dear, I’m afraid it is you who does not understand. I will get that book.”
“But, it’s not me. It’s Tom.” Abraxas looked around his shoulders. “He said I couldn’t allow you the book, Jade.”
“I told you to let me take care of Riddle.” Jade growled under her breath. “You had better not speak to me again unless I have that book, do I make myself clear?” She leaned in closely to him and whispered, “I will get what I want, Abraxas.” Jade pushed past him, leaving him standing stone-faced and alone.
Jade managed to avoid Abraxas over the next week, despite his attempts to come as close to her as possible. On Monday she had nearly ran into him on her way to transfiguration. He had hid himself behind a suit of armour and caused her to nearly die of a heart attack when he lunged at her as she walked by.
"Sterling! Sterling! I need…I must… tell... you!" Malfoy was managing to ruin an otherwise perfect day, a fact that annoyed Jade greatly. She was floors away from her classroom and needed a place to hide from the maniacal Abraxas. She slid through a door on her right that had otherwise gone unnoticed in her six years of schooling.
It was no wonder she had never paid mind to the door before, it was an old broom closet. "Seems like a funny place to store brooms, if you ask me." She muttered to herself as she shook dust off of her robes. After picking mothballs out of her dark hair she exited quietly and made her way to Transfiguration problem free.
Thursday he had sat next to her during dinner. But, luckily for Jade, Professor Slughorn had pulled her away from him before he even had the chance to open his mouth. And, most embarrassingly, Friday he had grabbed her arm as she was attempting to make her way into the prefect's bathroom.
"Sterling! Stop avoiding me; I need to speak with you. It's about…" his grip tightened around her wrist.
"Malfoy!" Her voice was harsh as she slapped his hand off her arm. "Until you can do what I’ve asked, kindly move along.” With that she slid behind the portrait and into the bathroom, leaving Abraxas standing with his mouth agape. As the portrait swung close behind her she shut her eyes and leaned against the wall.
A large sigh left her mouth as she slid down the smooth marble and onto the floor. Safety. Perhaps confronting Abraxas so abruptly in the forest was not the best way to handle things; it appeared as if he now would never leave her alone. She was extremely busy with her schoolwork and had no time to check if Abraxas was stalking around corners for her.
"Ah, Miss Sterling. Fancy seeing you here."
Jade opened her eyes abruptly, embarrassed at the male voice in front of her. She hadn't even noticed another in the bathroom; attempting to avoid Abraxas had made her unaware of her surroundings. The voice belonged to a young man who was facing toward the mermaid statue, which was shaking herself at him rather crudely. Jade rolled her eyes, she knew exactly who that horrible mess of black curly hair belonged to. She stood up immediately and tried to smooth out her robes.
"What are you doing here? And how did you know it was me?" she spat at the man.
He turned to look at her; his tie hung loosely around his neck. His square jaw was held firm and his dark eyes caught the light from the shining metals surrounding the bathtub. He casually flicked a piece of his curled hair away from his face and cleared his throat.
"Now, now, Sterling." His voice was smooth as silk, "I'm a prefect, and this is my bathroom, as well. Although, I do not imagine Professor Dippet would be very happy that you didn't take notice to Boris the Bewildered statue.” A bemused smile played at his mouth. “Wouldn’t it be horrible if Professor Dippet found out that you followed me into the bathroom?” He cracked the bones of his neck. “To see me nude.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her.
"Do not dare, Riddle." Professor Dippet would never believe such an asinine suggestion.
"You would think we would be better acquainted seeing as we’re both prefects. Most usually my glowing personality wins people over." Jade rolled her eyes. “But, I’ve seen you in the library quite often, always picking up books that I’ve put away weeks ago, always just one step behind.” He smiled at her, holding his hands behind his back.
"Don't flatter yourself, Riddle, all you have is your charm.” she retorted.
"Tut, tut, Sterling. I will have you know.” He leaned in closely to her, “I have much more than charm."
"I wouldn't count on it, Riddle." She flipped her hair over her shoulder and glared. “I suppose I’m sorry for intruding on your personal show with that...” she motioned toward the mermaid who was looking rather irritable that Jade had had the nerve to intrude upon her alone time with Tom, “thing. But, I must not grace you with my presence any longer, I have work to do that does not involve mermaids.”
She smirked at him before she pushed her way back out of the bathroom. The past five years at Hogwarts had been spent trying to avoid that horrible little show off and she ran right into him! Jade stormed down the hall; this had been Malfoys fault for harassing her all week. She would have paid more attention to that ugly old statue had she not been looking over her shoulder every minute of the day trying to avoid that annoying little prat.
She stomped toward the library, barking out at a few first years Gryffindor’s who had inconvenienced her with their unwanted presence as they attempted to make their way up the stairs and into the safety of their sixth floor common room. "Your tie looks horrible, 5 points from Gryffindor! And you! Why are you so…damn…short! Another 5 points for being ugly!" The young Gryffindor looked as if she was about to cry, but Jade kept storming on, docking nearly 40 points from the ruby glass by the time she had entered the library.
The smell of old parchment surrounded her as she strolled inside. The walls were full of bookcases, filled to the ceiling with pure knowledge, waiting to be happened upon by a young witch of wizard who desired their contents. Taking a deep breath, Jade reached deep inside her robe pocket and pulled out a frayed piece of paper.
'I, Horace Slughorn, authorize Jade Sterling to access the restricted section in the library of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, until the day she graduates.'
She gripped the note and held it against her chest. How wonderful Slughorn was for giving her this paper, Monsieur Atherol had been horribly annoyed to see that Horace had granted yet another student access to the most dangerous section in the library until their graduation date. One had been a stretch; two was surely just a joke.
Slughorn had been nothing but an irritating nuisance to Jade since she first arrived at Hogwarts. She had even somehow managed to stay under Slughorn's radar until the beginning of this school year. He had a way of making even the most pompous of students feel even better than they were. Abraxas Malfoy, Alphard Black, and even that idiot Bradley Goyle had managed to worm their way into the aptly named "Slug Club."
She had graciously accepted the first invitation to his start of the term party after he heard tell she had received an impressive 9 OWLS and managed a perfect score on her potions exam. However, after she had cursed a rather pathetic looking Hufflepuff in the hallway, Professor Dumbledore decided she should be in detention, rather than attend the party. She had justified missing the party by convincing herself that spending three hours arranging historical notecards in Dumbledore’s office in chronological order was much more enriching than a party.
Jade traced her fingers along the dusty book spines in the restricted section, some of the books shuttered at her touch, and one glowed with a particularly nice shade of pink, attracting Jade instantly. After picking up the book off the shelf and blowing the dust off the cover, she had discovered it was a book dedicated to love potions. "Pathetic," she glowered under her breath as she shoved the old book back onto the shelf.
Jade had no time for love spells or love potions; she wanted to learn more about dark arts in the early ages. Who exactly had discovered the unforgivable curses? Who had brewed the first cauldron of ex vita abire, a potion that would drive one crazy enough to end their own life? Her finger stopped upon a thin black book that peaked her interest; curious, she pulled it off the shelf.
"Magick Moste Evile…" Jade wiped the dust off with the sleeve of her robe as she turned to walk out of the dark, musty section and into the light. Monsieur Atherol eyed her book choice curiously as she made her way to a lone chair sitting at the end of a long book case. She propped her foot onto the chair and opened the book onto her knee. She leaned her head onto her knuckle and began to examine the book contents.
"You wont find anything useful in that book, Sterling, I've already read it." Her eyes raised in annoyance; in front of her stood the other student who had received the very same restricted section privilege as she had.
"Piss off, Riddle."
"Watch your language, Sterling. It's not at all becoming of a lady to speak with such coarse language.” He raised his eyebrows and smirked at her.
"Do not tell me what I can and cannot say, especially as a woman, Riddle." The book that had been on her knee now sat in her lap as she glared at him.
"I would never dream of telling you what you 'can and can not say,'" he mocked her voice. "I was just simply suggesting that you seem manly when you use such crude language. It's not at all becoming of you."
"I'm not at all interested in what you find becoming of me, Riddle." She pushed her fringe away from her face, "Now please find something more productive to do and leave me be."
"That's such a shame, Sterling, such a shame." He reached down to the book in her lap, the side of his hand casually slid against her breast as he lifted the book into his hand. Jade sat very still, and stared as he opened the book in front of him. "As I've already told you, you will find nothing in this book. Quite a worthless read, if you want my honest opinion." He opened the book vertically and let the pages flutter down, specs of dust floating in the air.
"I'm not interested in your honest opinion, Riddle." She stood off the couch, "Further more, my interests may have nothing to do with yours. We are most likely looking for two different things that are inside this book." Jade grabbed the book from his hands.
"You really think I do not know what you're up to?" Tom grinned, "Abraxas tells me everything, Sterling, there is no need in denying what you asked him to bring you." His voice was hushed, yet stern as he spoke.
"I have no idea what you're talking about Riddle. I've not spoken to Abraxas in over a week, he is simply just making up stories again." She lifted an eyebrow at him. "Probably trying to impress you, seeing as you’re his supposed Lord. Isn’t that what they’re calling you now?" ‘Ha! Lord of what?’ she thought to herself.
“For your information, not that it is any of your business, my friends call me Tom,” he stated matter-of-factly.
“Let me take a page out of your book, Riddle. You may think your ‘friends’ are loyal to you only, but Goyle tends to have a fat mouth after I assist him in potions.”
"’Zat is eet!" A loud male voice rang through the library, catching both of the 6th years attention immediately. "Be QUIET! Everybody ‘as ‘eard your entire conversation, and I will not ‘ave such loud banter in my library!" Atherol had rounded the corner of the bookcase and glowered at the two, his hands on his hips. Jade cleared her throat and smiled at him.
"I'm so sorry, sir, Tom was just asking me why magic was spelled differently in the title of this book. A bit thick, isn't he?" She grimaced at her weak attempt of an insult. Tom shook his head, obviously disappointed in her response, as well.
"Actually, I was just about to punish Sterling for her crude use of language, and disrespecting the home of all of these precious books." Jade scoffed loudly at him.
"I don't CARE what you two are discussing, but whatever eet is, you are more ‘zan welcome to continue out of my library! Out, OUT!" Atherol practically pushed them out the door. "You can come back when you can SHUT UP!" He slammed the library doors behind them, which startled Jade.
"Look what you did!" Jade pulled down on her robes and looked at Tom harshly. She stomped down the hallway, ready to get into her bed, and away from Riddle. He had different ideas, clearly, as he pressed closer to her, his shoes catching her heel.
"That was so pathetic, Sterling, as if he is stupid enough to think I don't know why magic was spelled the way it was. Talk about thick!"
"I said," Jade hissed as stopped abruptly. She felt the weight of Tom’s body hit her back, "to piss off, Riddle." She hissed at him. "I've not gone out of my way to talk to you for five years, and I will certainly not be starting today."
In one fluid motion, Tom had grabbed her arm and pulled her close to him. His grip was tight around her small wrist, and his cheek was pressed against hers. "Listen, Sterling.” His breath was hot on her ear. "I can promise you that you will never get that book from Malfoy. His personal interest lies in me, not some little slut like you."
He released his grip and walked in front of her, leaving a red handprint on her arm. Jade was absolutely floored. Of course she had been with some men while at school, she was certainly not the only one who had slept with a couple boys. Nobody, however, had ever had the nerve to call her a slut to her face.
"Flipendo!" Her wand had been drawn and the spell had escaped her mouth before she could stop herself. Tom flew into the air and flipped backward, landing on the stone floor on his stomach. "Oh, Shit!"
She turned on her heel and ran down the long corridor. She was not sure where she was going, but she was going, and she was running as fast as her stubby little legs would take her. This was out of character, she would never usually run from an opponent, nor attack while their back was turned, but she did not trust him. Jade had heard stories from the men of Slytherin about Tom, and she did not plan to stick around to find out if the stories they told were true. Tom’s scream of rage echoed through the empty hallway, she was sure he would follow her, determined to get revenge.
Her instincts were correct; she had made her way down to the third floor, and was rounding the corner near the charms classroom when he stepped out in front of her. How exactly he had managed to run in front of her she had no idea. Jade stopped so abruptly that she stumbled and fell onto the hard ground, her brown hair falling into her face.
"Expelliarmus!" Her wand flew from her grip and into Tom's hand. "Look at you. Attacking me while my back is turned! Just like a pathetic little coward." He kneeled down beside her, his wand drawn, pointed toward her face. He flicked her hair out of her eyes with his wand and held the tip to her forehead, pressing the wood into her skull.
"You really thought, Sterling, that I would not be able to catch up with you?" The pressure of his wand had pressed her flat on her back. He reached over her, and placed his free hand on her arm, his knee on her other, the wand still pressed on her forehead. "I would like to think," he spat, "you are not so stupid." Jade’s face did not flinch, she had managed to stay calm and stare into his dark eyes. They were glaring back at her, cold and unforgiving of the situation they were in.
"And I would like to think, Tom, that you are not stupid enough to be threatening me in the hallways of school." His dark eyes inspected his surroundings as he leaned in more closely to the girl.
"Do not tempt me, Sterling. I may seem to be a friendly boy who tolerates such behaviour, but I am not." His face grew red. “You will not get that book.”
"Don't be so arrogant to think that you could possibly know what my intentions are." ‘Honestly,’ she reasoned to herself, ‘Riddle probably did know why she wanted that ancient book from Malfoy.’ It was full of the most wonderfully awful magic known to mankind. Herpo the foul had a journal full of magic he discovered, and Jade would do anything to get her hands on a copy. However, the only copy known to still exist belonged to Malfoys grandfather.
“You really cannot be so stupid, to be talking to me like that when you are in no position to argue.” Small drops of spit fell onto her face. He was in a state of absolute rage; his eyes were full of fire and hate. "You are an insufferable little girl, Sterling!"
"I may be insufferable, Tom. But I am not a little girl." She clicked her tongue at him and bit her teeth together. "Now, get the fuck off of me." She shifted her body weight side to side, causing Tom to tighten his grip on her arms.
"You will watch your language, you will present yourself to me as a lady, and you will not get…in…" every word resulted in his wand being pressed harder and harder against her skin "my…way." He pushed roughly one last time on his wand. Jade was positive if he would have applied any more pressure it would have went straight through her skull.
She let out a deep breath as he stood up and threw her wand onto her stomach. “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again, Sterling,” he said with his back turned to her. Without another word he continued down the dark hallway.
Jade propped herself up on the cold floor, her arms sat behind her, and she allowed her wand to roll off of her lap. Never had she met somebody like Tom Riddle. He spent the majority of his time fighting off crowds of people vying to be his friend, he would always laugh and nod at the endless stories of their lives. Nobody would expect him to act the way he just had behind closed doors. Riddle was clearly a force to be reckoned with.
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