Chapter 19 : Almost Fights and Strange Voices
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Tom lowered himself onto a bench that was positioned in the middle of the court yard and watched the happenings. A few first years were walking around practicing spells on each other. None of them had successfully cast a spell in yet. In the opposite corner of the courtyard there was a dark haired Hufflepuff snogging a brown haired Ravenclaw. They looked like they were about Tom's age, so they were probably in their fourth year. Some birds were flying around in circles and their shadows were dancing around on the ground. A steady stream of students walked out of the castle, all moving to a destination with purpose.
Tom stared blankly at the scene before him and started to empty his mind. He tried his best to push out his thoughts. All he needed to pass through his head was the image of what was happening in front of him now. He was sitting there for a solid half an hour when he started to think he was getting the hang of it. Of course, the fact that he thought he was doing well clearly meant that he hadn't stopped his stream of thoughts effectively.
After another half an hour he was interrupted. A group of eight Slytherins had just emerged from the castle. All of them were dressed in quidditch robes and held brand new shiny brooms in their hands. He didn't plan to confront them. Unfortunately, they had every intent of interrupting his mourning.
"Well will you look at that," one of them jeered loudly. "A Gryffindor out here all alone. What's the matter don't you have any friends?"
The boy next to the speaker snorted, "That's the stupid second year," he said, "He's supposed to be in his fourth year but he was dumber than a giant, so they stuck him with the first years."
Tom smiled lightly at their ignorance, "Yes I've heard that I am extraordinarily lacking intellectually. You see I am known well for my incapability to use a wand. Wouldn't you agree Draco?" Tom shot a broad grin at the blonde haired boy. Malfoy paled as seven sets of eyes turned to him curiously.
Malfoy stared at Tom for another moment, "He's not worth it guys lets go. We have to get to practice."
"Yes you all do seem to have better things to do then mess with the idiotic likes of me," Tom replied happily. It is amazing how cowardly the young Slytherin generation was. After one encounter Malfoy was terrified of Tom. It was magnificent.
Malfoy flinched as Tom rose to his feet to leave. He laughed heartily as he walked back into the castle.
"That was impressive," a high pitched voice said cutting into his conscience. Tom looked up to see a girl with curly brown hair that fell in winglets down to her shoulders. Her striking blue eyes were twinkling slightly in the dim lighting of the corridor as she looked at him with a certain level of curiosity.
"Hi uh," Tom started to say. He knew the girl form his classes, she was a second year Gryffindor too. He was having a mental block at the moment though, and couldn't remember her name.
"My name is Eleanor Ashdown. You're can call me Elly," the girl said holding out her hand and waiting for him to take it.
He shook it, "Tom." He replied. She raised an eyebrow at him as if she was waiting for him to say more.
"Well you have a last name don't you," she said.
Despite the kind undertone she had said it with, Tom was surprised by the bluntness of her sentence. He had grown used to not telling anyone his last name. Riddle was his father, not him. He felt unusually relaxed today though and a last name didn't seem like that big of a deal at the moment.
"Riddle," Tom said.
Elly smiled, "What did you do to Malfoy?" she asked.
"We got into a fight last year. Nothing major or anything, I just disarmed him," he replied with a shrug. Tom didn't tell her that he had disarmed Malfoy without using his wand and he left out the part where he called Lucius Malfoy a coward. These minor details weren't exactly something you shared with the average stranger.
"That’s it?" Elly asked in disbelief, "Malfoy backed off because you disarmed him once last year?"
“Yeah,” Tom said.
She nodded seeing that their conversation was heading towards a dead end. “Well I’ll see you around,” she said with a wave. With that she bounced away back out into the courtyard.
Tom nodded silently and watched her leave slightly confused. Not many new people talked to him anymore and to be honest he liked it that way. A little bit of social interaction wouldn’t kill him though. He sighed and turned, he had his second Occlemency lesson today and he didn't want to be late.
"Unggggggg," Tom yelled in frustration. His shirt was sticking to his body from sweat and his heart beat wildly. He and Snape had been practicing for several hours now, finding no success. Tom wasn't used to simply not being able to do something.
Snape raised a black eyebrow at him," Did you think this was going to be easy," he sneered.
"No sir," Tom replied trying to expel his frustration.
"You need to learn how to control yourself," Snape snapped, "Your emotions are too close to the surface. This is more than just an Occlemency technique. If you can't control your anger in a duel then your pathetic attempts at fighting won't last long enough for you to even realize your dead."
Tom sighed exasperated, "Maybe I'm just worn out at the moment."
"That's likely," Snape said his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Your enemy has no intention to wait until you are well rested."
Tom ran his hand through his hair finding his frustration surfacing again.
"I know sir," he replied defeated. He looked at the ground and was about to open his mouth again when he heard something. It was so faint that at first he wasn't even sure whether it was really or not at first. He looked over at his professor who was about to give him more instruction. Tom held up his hand to show him to wait a moment in silence for a second.
Tom closed his eyes, putting all attention into trying to hear. After a moment the noise happened again. It wasn't a noise though it was a voice. – rip you Let me- that was all Tom heard before the sound faded again getting farther away. He stood up immediately.
"Sir, do you hear that?" he asked urgently.
Snape shook his head and gave him a suspicious look. Tom heard it say something else but it was too faint to distinguish what it was. Whatever it was, it was moving farther away. Tom ran out of the office quickly trying to follow it. The sound of Snape's footsteps behind him were making it hard to hear though. Tom hurried up several flights of stairs following the sound. By the time he had exited the dungeons the words became clear.
Come to me. Let me rip you. Let me tear you. Let me kill you. Yes let me kill you, it was saying in a gleeful tone.
"It's going to hurt someone," Tom told Snape, who was still behind him. He ran up another flight of stairs when the voice seemed to disappear. The sound ceased and Tom came to a stop.
"What is it?" Snape asked annoyed.
"I don't know a voice. It's gone through," Tom replied breathlessly.
"If you wish to end your lessons you should just say it," Snape said extremely annoyed.
Tom shook his head, "I swear I head something," he exclaimed.
"That's quite fascinating Tom," Snape sneered sarcastically, "Meet me in my office again next week. Perhaps you will have an epiphany and learn some self-control in the meantime."
With that Snape turned, his black cloak sweeping behind him, and walked back down into the dungeons. Tom watched as the man climbed down the stairs before turning and heading back to the Gryffindor tower. He had a lot to talk with Scott about tonight.
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