Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.
Unable to solve the mystery of the Horcruxes Tom Riddle is approached by a mysterious woman who calls herself The Devil. She offers Tom a wager, if he is able to control a magical artifact of great power she will grant him the one thing he always wanted, but he he fails his soul will belong to her.
As he looked over the same useless texts for the fifth time Tom hissed before throwing the book away from him. With each passing day he was getting closer and closer to his own death and he still hadn’t corrected the Horcrux problem. He had expected to have his mortality fixed by the time he left Hogwarts, but because of the meddling of one twinkle-eyed professor, all his plans fell apart.
Now, six years after graduation, he was pretty sure the only copy of the book he needed resided within his old school. Tom hissed again before sitting back and tapping his wand on his worktable.
He didn’t think he would be able to gain access to the school any time soon. All applications to work there had been denied on the spot. The old fool, who was now the Headmaster, had actually gone so far as to ban him from the premise. He could get one of his growing group of followers to retrieve the book if he only knew exactly what book he needed.
Even finding that information was proving impossible without access to the most complete library in England. Realizing if he didn’t find an answer or a distraction in his state, he’d take his anger out on his own small apartment. Tom got to his feet and headed for the door.
Once on the dank street of Knockturn Alley, Tom looked around in search of something to distract him from the problem at hand. He felt it would help his focus in the long run if he didn’t keep himself so frustrated.
As he walked he passed people selling everything from fake charms, to illicit drugs. He’d tried some of the latter in the past, though only the ones that he deemed worth experimenting with. Nothing that would make him lose control. Today was not the day for such things though, as he only had a few hours before his shift at Borgin and Burkes.
He glanced to a few witches always standing on the street, trying to sell their bodies to the highest bidder. Nothing was worth paying for today, there had never been really, a man like him never lacked for a partner if it was something he wanted.
Though the pathetic creatures weren’t tempting him, they did give Tom an idea for an appealing distraction. Heading into the main street of Diagon Alley, he figured his target would be in one of the more fashionable cafes at this time of day.
It didn’t take him long to find the willowy form of Abraxas’ new and fairly useless bride. The one useful trait Tom had discovered in her was the witch’s willingness to do just about anything for the feel of him inside of her. It had been a fun game to push her boundaries further and further, just to see when she would finally break.
He usually gave the girl a few weeks or even months between any kind of attention. Showing her how very unimportant she actually was to him. But with his recent frustration, he’d make an exception this time. His last game had only been a week ago, but it would be nice to catch her unaware as well.
He watched her for a moment as she spoke to equally useless friends. He was trying to decide exactly what he’d have her do today. The puzzle of one woman’s fall into depravity didn’t take much of his immense focus. So when a smoldering witch in a dark red robe stepped in front of him he wasn’t caught by surprise.
“Can I help you?” He asked smiling in the way that made most women’s knickers drop.
“You’re so very cute in this form.” The woman said in a more than condescending way. “I really don’t understand why you ever decide to lose the nose.” She says before tapping the feature with her finger.
“Excuse me?” Tom asked in a much colder tone. “You just touched me.” He informed distracted from her insane words by her insane action. “Did you just say something about my nose?” He asked as he became aware of her full ridiculousness.
“That isn’t really important.” She said still talking down to him in a way no one had ever dared before. “What’s important is that you’re good at this…” She added with a motion to the woman he was about to play with before she got in his way.
He took a step back from her clearing the ice from his voice. “I don’t know who you think I am, but you should leave.”
The woman’s smile only spread, becoming all the more predatory. “Oh I know you far better than you could ever understand. I know exactly who you will become and ways to make you truly everlastingly great.”
Tom blinked at the obviously touched woman and wondered if he could sneak her into an alley and just kill her to be done with it.
“I have a wager for you.” She said and it seemed as if time around them stood still. Every shopper in the busy street had frozen in place and even the wind died. The smell of coffee and sweets from the cafe had disappeared as if Tom was actually out of time itself.
“How did you do that?” He asked the woman suddenly much more interested in her than he had been a moment ago. Maybe he wouldn’t kill her just yet. “Artifact or spell?”
“The world stops when the Devil starts a deal. It will only continue once you agree to it or turn me down. But I think we both know what you’re going to say.”
Tom scoffed covering his surprise from a moment before. “This is some kind of trick. There is no devil, if there was I’d know.”
“You weren’t ripe yet sweetie, you just recently became truly interesting to me.” She said poking his nose again.
This time Tom grabbed her wrist and pulled her in so he could look into her eyes to make himself perfectly understood. “Don’t touch me.”
The woman looked directly back into his eyes as if the change in him had no effect on her. At the same time, coldness came over her and he could feel the swell of power off her. “Darling, you’re playing with fire.” She replied in the same tone.
He looked at her with more interest than fear but decided to let her go all the same. Such power in a being, it needed to be studied, it would have to be put to his own use. “What’s this wager?” He asked only to prolong his ability to watch her now. “What would I win?”
“You would win the one thing you desire most in all the world.” She said as the sly smile returned to her lips. “True immortality, or the closest thing there is to it. All you have to do is bend a powerful magical artifact to your will.”
“What kind of object?” He asked interested in what she was offering despite himself.
“You would find that out after you took the wager. It’s a part of the challenge, but you would be able to keep it if you won.”
“And if I lost?” He asks sounding if that would be very unlikely.
“If you’re unable to achieve the task in the time I set I’ll gain possession of your soul and you’ll have no way of gaining what you so obsessively seek. It would also mean you would serve me in life and after.”
His eyes narrowed in thought, he didn’t like the idea of serving another, but what were the chances he would lose when it came to understanding magical artifacts? “How much time would I have? How do I know you could actually pay up when I win?”
“You’d have a month. I’ll even give you a bit of time and say the contract ends at the stroke of midnight on the thirty-first day. And to prove what I can offer I’ll grant you the immortality while you’re working towards the wager.” She said with a dismissive wave. “This is all very generous of me really.”
Tom spent what seemed like hours looking over and reading every detail of the contract the woman wanted him to sign. He made several of his own changes before they finally agreed on the document. Even if the powerful being wasn’t actually the devil she was someone to be careful of. He was sure she’d be able to kill him if she wanted to, and he didn’t think he could gain the power to stop her in a mere month.
“If I know my stories about figures such as yourself, then either you expect the task you’ve given is impossible, or we really win together.” He said signing the page with a quill that cut open the back of his hand as he wrote.
The woman’s eyes gleamed in mischief. “That is so true. I wonder which it’s going to be this time?” She said not answering the implied question in his words. “She’ll be waiting for you in your flat.” She promised before the world started anew and the woman in the red robes disappeared.
“She?” He asked the air with a deep frown.
The young woman in the cafe no longer held any interest for Tom. With a new and challenging puzzle waiting for him back in his flat little of the outside world held interest. Without much real thought he headed back for his flat to see what this artifact was. He wanted to see this powerful magical item that would only add to his power. There was no question in his mind that he would wield it and make it his own.
Before he got home though he was stopped by one of his bosses in the street. It took a great force of his will not to yell at the man as he babbled on about some emergency and how they needed Tom at work right now. Not wishing to lose the job just yet he went to help with some new shipment of items.
It was ten hours later when he finally got back to his flat. He was tired from the manual labor and covered in dust from head to toe. No matter how many times he tried it refused to be magically vanished. He suspected this was the fault of a violin he unpacked that day, but it was no matter now. He would take his revenge on the cursed object after he got a shower and sleep.
Tom headed directly to the shower when he got home, stripping off dusty robes as he went. Once the water was on as hot as he could make it he stepped under the flow. He let the heat wash away the grim and human filth as well as the aches in his muscles.
“This isn’t a lake.” A voice said suddenly in a matter of fact tone as if he didn’t know that already.
Opening his eyes he looked around for the source of the words and found a short bushy haired girl standing in front of him. She’s wearing a pale blue cotton shift that seems to have the ability to repel the water from the shower. Moving back from her he narrows his eyes coldly. She couldn’t have been older than twenty.
“How did you get in here?” He asked accusingly, though he didn’t recognize her from the usual gaggle of girls who tried to invade his space.
“Do you really think it’s respectful to summon me like this?” She asked flushing three shades of red when she happened to glance down at his nakedness. After only a moment’s curious pause she turned her back and stepped from the shower.
Tom turned the water off and wrapped a towel around himself as he tried to figure out whom she was. Were strange women going to start just appearing in his life now? With that thought he was reminded of the artifact and the answer came to him without having to ask.
“You’re connected the artifact.” He said making the girl look up from her very serious examination of his toothbrush.
“You didn’t know?” She asked frowning as she took more of him in now that he was covered. “How did you win the blade?”
Without answering her Tom turned and headed out of the bathroom to find it for himself. He didn’t need some girl’s help, and he hoped he’d be able to get rid of her soon.
Sitting on top of the array of books in his work area was a long wrapped object. He rushed towards it to see exactly what he was dealing with. By the size and shape as well, and her calling it a blade made him think sword. What kind of sword would even be useful to a wizard like him?
The girl passed him quickly to set herself between Tom and the object. Her face got a stubborn set as she glared up at him. “I can already tell you have no right to wield me.” She said in that same annoying tone know it all tone.
He narrowed his eyes on the girl and let the last bit of his charm fall away. “You’ll move or you’ll feel pain like nothing you’ve ever imagined.”
“It’s those kind of statements that only make it more clear you have no right to this blade.” She said placing her hands firmly on her hips.
Without his wand at the ready Tom had to lower himself to a muggle way of discipline. The girl was shorter than him by at least a head though she held all the fierceness of a lion ready to strike. It would have been comical if she weren’t literally standing in the way of something he desired.
With one fluid motion Tom grasped her neck and tossed her easily from his path. Not paying attention to where she landed he advanced on the object only to have the little wench jump on his back. It was only the surprise of the situation that made him tumble to the ground with her still holding his neck.
With a loud hiss and only a moment of wrestling Tom got the fiery little creature pinned under him. He looked down at her with all the power and anger in him. “You will obey!” He ordered firmly.
Even in her prone position, she still managed to look as if she’d assault him again given half a chance. “How did you even get me?” She asked while struggling for freedom under him.
“You appeared in my shower then accosted me.” Tom reminded her as if it didn’t just happen moments ago.
“Not this me.” She said looking at him and then to his desk.
“The blade?” He asked finally making sense of all her babbling. “You’re the blade?” He asked working over what kind of magical object would have a fully formed being attached to it.
“Of course I am. You’re not very smart are you?” She asked taking the opportunity of his distraction to wiggle loose of his hold.
Tom let her go for now getting to his feet as the girl took up her position between him and the object once again. It would have to be a very powerful object to hold such a fully formed personality within it. Too bad it was a stubborn little girl.
“But I shouldn’t be surprised. It isn’t like scholars seek swords.” She says wistfully.
“I’m going to finish my shower and when I’m done we will be having a little talk.” He said figuring she was part of the puzzle, maybe even a weak point he could take advantage of.
While he cleaned the new layer of dirt from his skin he went over everything the devil woman said during their little meeting, and by the time he was dressed he was sure this girl would be the key to getting what he wanted.
When Tom opened the door to the bathroom ready to face the little wench once again he got the oddest sensation of cold steel being driven right through his stomach. Looking down he found the girl standing right in front of him. She held an ornate hilt with silver and gold dragons forming the handle and cross-guard against his skin.
It was only when he realized where the blade must be that he felt the searing pain of the gut wound.
“You little bitch.” He said as he felt the darkness edging around his vision.
“Hermione.” She corrected as the darkness swallowed him whole.
The next morning he woke crumpled in the doorway to his bathroom. His arms and legs protesting from the odd position to sleep in. It took him a moment to remember why he was on the floor at all but when he did he shot up onto his knees and looked down at his stomach.
He pulled the shirt aside and found his stomach unmarred. There wasn’t even a scar as proof of what had happened. Being run through was one of the least pleasant experiences of his life, but he couldn’t help but smile at the fact he had lived through it. Not only had he lived, but also it was as if it never happened at all.
As he fixed his clothes he noted that his shirt didn’t fare nearly as well and now had a large hole in it from where the blade had pushed through. The little brat would pay for trying to kill him and ruining a perfectly nice shirt.
When he thought of her, he look around to see where she’d gone after killing him. The sword sat propped by his bed and the girl seemed to be sleeping in it. It was good at least to know she was able to use the blade herself even if she said she and it were the same.
Tom got to his feet and moved ever so quietly across the room. The pain in his body from sleeping on the floor came back to him quickly, but he simply ignored it. He moved to pick up the blade as he wondered what would happen if he ran her through, but when his hand touched the metal of the handle an electric shock struck his skin. He covered his own mouth to stop the cry of surprise and pain.
He looked down to examine his hand after he was sure he hadn’t woken the girl. Why would she need sleep anyway? He shook off the thought and found that his left hand was not numb and useless. He had been warned that he would need to find a way to wield it; it was silly to think he could just pick it up.
With a quick look around, he found a potholder from his kitchen and used that to grasp what he found to be a very unbalanced blade. He wondered if this was another defense against those it found unworthy.
It would be dangerous to assume she couldn’t just find the blade if he hid it, so he decided to just make it so she couldn’t pick it up either. As he was making a clear spot on his desk he noted that some of his books had been moved around. He glanced back at the girl and wondered if she’d actually sat reading in his room after she thought she’d killed him. What an interesting little creature.
When he had a place cleared Tom set the sword down with a great amount of trouble to get it over to the desk then cast a few protection curses that would keep her from using it on him again. He may be able to live through the attack, but it wasn’t something he’d enjoyed.
With that settled he moved back to the girl, still fast asleep in his bed. It was interesting how very innocent the creature looked in sleep. Maybe it too was part of the blade’s tricks to disarm those who would try to use it. He knew he needed to find out more about what he was dealing with before he took any action.
With a wave of his wand Tom coiled rope around her arms and legs, tying her firmly to his bed before going to change his shirt.
He heard when the girl woke a few moments later as she struggled against his spell. The gasp that sounded from her told him she’d really thought he was dead.
“I’m going out to get a few books.” He told her as he pulled on the new shirt. “You should think about how angry it makes someone when you try to kill them.” He added as if he was some kind of professor teaching her a lesson.
“You need more books?” She asked. It hadn’t been a question he’d expected at all.
“Well I do need to figure out exactly what this is and what I need to do to take control of it.” He said as if they were having a pleasant conversation. “Unless you wish to tell me?” He asked walking over to the bed and looking down at her.
“Someone like you will never be able to wield Caliburnus.” She said narrowing her eyes.
He blinked at her a few times and shook his head. “No.” He said and looked back at the blade on his desk then back to her. “Caliburnus? That isn’t…” He started as a wide smile spread across his lips. “You said my shower wasn’t a lake.”
“What?” She asked, as it was obviously her turn to be confused.
“Well aren’t you a whole new kind of sexy.” Tom said drinking her in. “Hermione?”
“Don’t look at me that way.” She said blushing and trying to pull free of his ropes again.
“I should double check. It would be very like you to point me in the wrong direction.” He said brushing his fingers along her cheek as he thought of the legendary sword.
“Don’t touch me.” She snapped and looked as if she was going to bite him.
“We’re going to have a long talk when I get home little Nimue.” He told her making her blush as he used one of the many names she’d used before. “Think about this. I own the blade, if you are the blade, then I own you.”
With that thought for her to mill over he left his flat and headed to the bookstore to find anything he could on ancient weapons and the time of Merlin.
Caliburnus was obviously the Latin name for Excalibur. It was one of its most ancient names and it fit his knowing of Nimue, otherwise known as the Lady of the Lake, to use that name before any other.
The books he found at the store only confirmed what he already knew of the legend and so he only found one worth bringing back to his flat for further study.
He opened the door carefully this time, just in case she’d gotten loose and was going to try to stab him with something else. It wouldn’t do for one of his neighbors to find him mostly dead and his door wide open. But when he glanced at the bed he found her fast asleep, still tied securely as he’d left her.
He slammed the door to wake her, wondering how a creature could sleep so much, then walked over to his desk to start a detailed comparison of the sword to the book.
“What did you get?” She asked sounding interested despite her situation.
Tom looked over at her curiously tilting his head. “A book, where did you think I’d do my research?” He asked shaking his head after a moment to go back to his work. He wasn’t ready to question her just yet.
“You already have so many, you couldn’t find what you needed in them?” She said as if it was simply too extravagant to own a collection of books.
“No, and there is no such thing as too many books. Knowledge is power.” He said without even really thinking about it.
“But you have so much.” She pressed making him turn his attention towards her. It seemed she wouldn’t stop talking to him while he was trying to work if he didn’t do something about it.
“I’m not ready for our talk just now. I have to make sure of a few things and take some notes first. You have two options at this moment. First you can hold your tongue yourself and I’ll go back to work without punishing you, or I can gag and punish you then go back to work.” He told her without emotion.
“No one has ever dared to treat me like this.” She snapped trying to sit up and glare at him. “You should at least be nice enough to talk to me if you’re going to keep me tied up.”
He sighed and got to his feet. He went to the kitchen without a word and found an old dishcloth. He tied a large knot in the center of it and headed back to the girl. With a quick bit of magic he was able to tie it around her head with the knot lodged between her teeth and grinned down at the scowling girl.
“I have to admit you’re rather sexy like that.” He told her making her turn her head and blush at his words.
Seeing how much his words bothered her he thought to do something sexual to her for punishment, but something in the way she lay told him he should save that. So instead, he simply tightened the ropes around her wrists and ankles so they would rub and mark if she moved. It was up to her how bad the punishment was going to be.
“Now be a good girl while I work and maybe I’ll let you sit up when I’m done.” He told her mockingly, which made her struggle then gasp in pain. He wondered if she didn’t like it just a little, by the way her body started to test each movement.
It took him a minute to pull his eyes away from the show. He worked the rest of the morning taking notes and making comparisons between what the book described and the actual blade itself. Every so often he’d hear a gasp or groan as the girl constantly tested her bonds.
By teatime he was sure he had the sword right and was working on a plan to bend it to his will. From what the book said and what he observed of the blade and the girl, he felt his best option was to bend her to his will and the blade would follow.
When hunger started to get in the way of his studies he got to his feet and headed for the side of the room that was his kitchen. “Do blades eat?” He asked getting a muffled grunt for an answer.
With a smile he made two sandwiches. He then cut one of them up into small bite sized pieces and headed for the bed. He rested the plate of food on her stomach as he sat down next to her.
“I think it’s time we talked.” He said untying his makeshift gag.
“Someone like you is never going to really own Caliburnus, so you don’t own me.” She spit before he even asked her any questions.
“I could do anything I wanted to this body of yours or the blade itself. I think I do own you.” He told her firmly as he ran soft fingers down her neck. “And in the end it’s your choice how you’re treated in this ownership.”
“You’re a no good ruffian!” The woman spat as she struggled against the bonds once again then screamed as the ropes tore at her skin.
Tom watched with interest as the creature slowed her struggling once again and sat there panting as she recovered from the pain she’d just inflicted on herself. “Are you done with your little tantrum?” He asked without any kindness in his voice.
“No one has ever dared treat me like this.” She told him once she had calmed down. “Even the other villains who have gotten the blade treated me with respect.”
“Until you killed them?” Tom asked as he took a bite of his sandwich.
“Or a hero came to save me.” She said with a sniff.
“No hero even knows that you’re here.” He said leaning over her a bit. “You really are all alone in the world.” He purred as if this was some sweet nothing he was telling her. “Now, are you hungry, or do you even need to eat?” He asked sitting back to enjoy his own meal.
Hermione frowned and looked as if she were planning to lie.
“I’m still unsure how your health connects the power of the blade. So if you need food you will be eating.” He told her dangerously.
“No.” She said jutting her chin up in defiance.
Tom grabbed her without a moment’s thought and pushed the plate to the floor so that he could move on top of her. “You belong to me.” He said pushing on her throat just enough to cut off her air. “You have no right to deny me what I want.”
“I’m still a person and have every right to spit in your face.” She said hoarsely as he pressed harder on her windpipe.
“You have no rights but those I give you.” He told her as he shook his head. He could see her defiance still clear in her eyes, as he knew she’d be feeling the effects of the air loss by now. “Fine.” He started climbing off of her as a new plan formed in his mind. The little chit needed to be broken first he realized.
With some thought, he looked over at the blade and wondered what effect it would have on the weapon if he broke the will of its avatar. He didn’t seem to have much choice in the matter though if he wanted any real answers from the girl.
With a plan now set in his mind he set about making preparations. He didn’t talk to the girl again before leaving his flat to go speak with some of his followers.
When he got back a few hours later he couldn’t help but be impressed when the girl actually had an ankle free of his rope, with a second very close to freedom as well. The ankles and feet were raw and even bleeding in a few spots, as she’d endured the clinging rope to free them.
“I’m giving you one last chance to give into me without the unpleasantness of what’s to come.” He told her as he strode across the room.
“I’m sure you can figure out what to do with your offer.” She said yanking the second foot free without showing the immense pain the action must have caused.
“You know this would be fun if I wasn’t on a time table.” He told her as he pushed back hair that had fallen into her face. “Stupify.” He cast making her go limp on the bed.
When she became aware again, the first thing she noted was that her arms and hands were free from the ropes. This enlightenment was quickly followed by the fact she was laying on a hard stone floor instead of a soft bed.
She opened her eyes slowly to look around at where the devil had put her. She frowned and sat up as she looked around at the obvious dungeon cell. The room was a stone cube with no furnishings but a large set of angry looking black manacles that hung from the center of the ceiling.
She could feel it was cold in the cell but such things didn’t bother her in the same way they would bother a human. What did bother her on the other hand was that she still felt cut off from the blade. This devil really didn’t understand her connection to it. It felt like being separated from your arm or leg.
By the growl of her stomach, she figured it had been at least several hours since she’d been in his small living space. She frowned slightly in remorse as her actions had lost her access to all of his books. She wondered if he would have let her touch them anyway then decided it wasn’t a true loss, only the illusion of one.
With nothing to do in the cell she wrapped her arms around her legs and waited. She could still feel the sting of the injuries his rope left on her skin but it didn’t really bother her as much as she felt it should.
Her mind went over the last day as she waited for something new to happen. When she had appeared in the strange watery place and looked up to see the beautiful dark haired man, she’d thought for a moment he was the human looking at the magical water creature. Her heart had leapt at the idea of serving him. Then he’d started to speak and she could tell he was a person filled with darkness and greed.
As the hours with him had passed, she’d only grown more and more sure it was a dark flame in the history of the world. If he were to ever truly own her the way he desired it would only bring more darkness and suffering to the people. It was her duty to stand against him until a great hero could claim her and the blade.
When she heard the door shift she looked up to see the man in question standing before her once again. “Hungry?” He asked coldly as he looked down on her with his dead eyes.
“No.” She said not wishing to give him an inch. She wondered now why those who had created her had made it so she had to eat when she was awake.
He actually smiled at this and placed a bread roll on the ground at his feet. “We will see.” He said closing the door with the roll still on the ground.
She frowned at it and shook her head wondering what this trick was. She wasn’t going to eat it after she had told him she wasn’t hungry, maybe it was just there to tempt her. If she ate it, she’d be giving into what he wanted.
She moved away from the fragment of food staring at it as her hunger only grew over the following hours. At some point she fell asleep again. When she woke she felt cramped from sleeping curled up in the tight ball.
She looked over to the spot near the door only to find the roll had been replaced with a thick slice of bacon. She took in the wonderful scent but shook her head to protect herself from the temptation.
She saw no one over the next few days but every time she fell asleep there would be a new tempting piece of food by the door. The wonderful smells made her stomach growl and churn with need.
She wasn’t exactly sure how long it had been when the dark haired man entered her room again. This time there were two men behind him, both wearing odd white masks.
“You’re really going to starve yourself to death if I let you.” He said with a sigh.
“I can’t die unless the blade is destroyed.” She said in a bleary food deprived daze.
Tom smiled at this and the two men left the room on his signal. He moved to her with a plate of food and knelt down in front of her curled form.
“Could you allow me access to the blade’s power?” He asked gently pushing back her hair from her face.
She nodded unable to know why she hadn’t just answered his questions before. She was too weak to remember she was defying him. “But I won’t.” She added remembering just enough to know that he couldn’t wield her.
“We will see.” He said gently petting her face as he held a spoon of broth to her lips.
“No.” She said weakly but took the broth without further complaint. Maybe not eating wasn’t the best tactic in fighting him as it only made her weaker.
“So you really can’t be killed?” He asked sounding interested in something other than the blade itself.
“No. Unless the blade is destroyed I can live through anything.” She said taking another sip of broth. She felt the information would deter him from trying anything drastic on her, since she didn’t fear for her life. But his expression seemed odd.
“We will speak more tomorrow, once you’re cleaned and ready.” He said feeding her the rest of the broth in silence.
As he set the spoon back in its dish Hermione frowned. “Why? Why do it yourself?” She asked still a bit out of it. She was pretty sure he wasn’t the type of man that just did kind things.
“You belong to me Lady of the Lake.” He said tilting her chin a little so he could look into her eyes. “You are mine.” He told her firmly. “You will never again receive any morsel of food that isn’t from my hand. I hope this impresses upon you how important my kindness towards you is.” He said getting to his feet.
With a full stomach it didn’t take Hermione long to fall into a better sleep than she’d had in what seemed like weeks.
The next morning she awoke to someone pulling on her hair. She swatted the hand away with a frown and snuggled into the soft bed under her. It took her another moment to sit up straight in the bed and look around the room in shock.
It was a fine room decorated in blues and greens. Its adornments were much more fine than Tom’s living space had been and Hermione had to wonder where she was. The woman who’d been pulling on her hair looked a bit put out.
She had honey blond hair with a storm of grey eyes. Her skin was porcelain white and her lips red like a shiny apple.
“Our Lord wants me to make you proper for breakfast.” She said sternly. Hermione didn’t miss the shift of her hips when the woman added. “He says he’ll reward me if I make you suitable.”
“Who are you?” Hermione asked moving out of the woman’s reach.
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Celeste Malfoy if you really must know. You are a guest in my house and you’re not being a very good one.” She said crossing her arms with a pout.
“I was just in a dungeon.” Hermione bit out as she tried to get out of the bed only to find she was still weak from starvation.
“And now you’re in the blue guestroom.” She said as if being in a dungeon wasn’t that big of a deal. “Should I tell our Lord you want to go back to the dungeon?” She asked mockingly.
“Yes.” Hermione surprised the woman with her answer. “Go tell him now.”
The woman sighed and shook her head. “You’re a little bitch.” She snapped in a huff. “Ruining my day just to be spiteful.” She grumbled as she left Hermione alone in the room.
It took longer than she would have liked to make her way all the way to the door and by the time, she was able to try the handle it was already moving.
She looked up at a frowning Tom. “You get a little sustenance and you’re already back to being a little brat.” He said in a disappointed tone.
“It’s not my job to serve you.” She said frowning back at him.
“That is exactly your job.” He bit back as he grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her from the wall she’d braced herself against. He didn’t let go and was soon dragging her down the hall. “Do you know what I could give you? What your life could be like in my service?”
“I don’t care! You’ll hurt people!” She said as she struggled to find her feet.
“Like the people you’ve served in the past never hurt anyone?” He asked mockingly.
“Not good people!” She whimpered now trying to claw at the hand, which held her hair.
When he finally let go she could feel she was laying on smooth stone. Her face was wet with tears but she didn’t remember crying.
“Let’s see about that shall we?” He asked motioning to the room.
When she looked around, she went wide-eyed, as the very large room seemed to be covered in books. Every wall was stacked high with volume after volume.
“What is this place?” She asked unable to keep the wonder from her voice.
“You’ve never seen a library before?” Tom asked seeming amused.
“No one takes a sword to a library.” She told him getting to her feet slowly. She licked her lips wondering how long it would take to be able to actually read all of these books.
“Do you like reading?” He asked sounding keenly curious.
Hermione flushed as she’d obviously given away the weakness she had for knowledge and books. “It’s just bigger than I thought it would be.” She lied trying to cover the mistake.
“There are bigger. This is just Malfoy’s private collection.” He said walking to a table that already had books spread out on it. “This is what I wanted to show you.” He said motioning to the seat.
She made her way to the table slowly and sat down. All the books were open to pictures and sections depicting Caliburnus. She couldn’t help but smile as she ran her finger over the sword she missed.
“Where have you put me?” She asked sadly looking to him as she still missed her blade.
“Someplace safe. You’ll be able to see it again once your start behaving.” He said factually then motioned back to the books. “Can you read any of these?” He asked as if he was unsure if she could read at all.
“I can understand any language.” She admitted and looked down at the book closest to her. Within its pages was the story of King Author. She remembered him with a smile but frowned as she started to scan the page.
It talked about how he had forced his pagan subjects to forget their old ways and start worshiping the new god. It was graphic in the way it described how his army killed and tortured villagers for being suspected pagans. Even Merlin had fled his reign in the end.
“He lost his way and when he did he lost my gifts.” She defended turning away from the book.
“He isn’t the only one to try and use your power on the innocent.” Tom reminded her as he showed her book after book containing information on all those who she’d served over the years.
“My power is too much from many.” She admitted with a frown.
“It isn’t too much for me.” He countered as he sat down next to her.
“You’re already corrupt.” She said looking to him.
“So I’ll be immune to your darkness.” He said with a smile.
“I’m not dark!” She snapped making him shake his head.
“Someone lied to you about that a long time ago.” He told her seriously. “But how can you be a weapon of justice when all those who wield you fall to their dark impulses? You’re already a creature of darkness as much as I am. Together we could be something beautiful.”
She shook her head turning her face down so that she could hide behind her mass of hair. “These books lie. They don’t tell the whole story. I never serve then once they turn.” She told him firmly.
“That only makes you a tease.” Tom said a bit more coldly. “Turning men’s hearts then abandoning them to their fate.”
“I don’t want to see any more.” She said shaking her head. Merlin had always told her her fascination with books was unhealthy for a sword, and now she understood why.
“You are a weapon Hermione. Be my weapon and I’ll never lie to you. I haven’t lied to you yet.” He told her and pushed hair from her face. “I will hurt people with your power, but only to remake this world into something better for my kind.”
She shook her head her eyes tearing up again. “Evil lies.” She told him firmly.
“Good lies more.” He countered looking her in the eyes.
Hermione was torn after their conversation in the library. Tom had told her that she could stay and read any book she liked or she could come with him to get his breakfast. After seeing the distress in her eyes he laughed amusedly.
“You have a curious mind my little sword.” He said getting to his feet.
“I shouldn’t.” She said standing up as well. “You’re trying to trick me, by making me like you.” She told him firmly.
“So it’s evil to be well informed now?” He asked with a tilt of his head.
“Swords don’t need books. These have already brought me pain.” She said motioning to the ones just in front of her.
“Ignorance is the greatest evil of all. Whoever told you you had to stay ignorant was only trying to control you. Would you rather be happy or know the truth about the world?”
Hermione licked her lips looking around at the library once more. With a firm shake of her head she turned her back on the whole thing and crossed her arms. “I want to go back to my cell.”
“It’s time for breakfast.” He told her firmly. “You can either go on your two feet or be dragged behind me. I don’t really care which.”
She glared at him, as her anger at how she go to this room came back to her. “You had no right…” She started but he was on her in a flash.
His hand went directly for her mane of hair, jerking her head back so that she had to look up into his eyes. The other hand moved to the small of her back to hold her firmly against him.
“I have every right.” He told her much more seriously. “What will it take for you to understand that you belong to me now?” He asked her with all pretense of charm gone.
“I’ll never belong to you.” She told her firmly looking up into his dark hard eyes. They seemed as hard as the iron that formed her true body.
He looked down at her as if she were some alien being he was inspecting. He said nothing for what seemed like hours as he just looked down at her. “Why serve idiots and imbeciles Hermione?” He asked finally. “I can tell you have been imbued with true intelligence. With a true capability to understand the world. I wouldn’t be surprised that if you’d actually read any of these books you could form opinions and ideas about them. You could maybe even keep up with my own intellect. So why not serve an equal? Why serve only those who are less than you?”
“It isn’t about the size of their mind, but the size of their heart.” She told him stubbornly, though she had to admit his words put doubt in her.
“Hearts are fickle things that change over time. Look for a new quality.” He ordered.
She suddenly realized how close he’d been holding her all this time and couldn’t help the bit of pleasure that flared at the realization. He was right that he was the smartest man she’d ever met. She could tell by the books he’d back in his small living space. She could tell by the arguments he came up with to tempt her into serving him. Maybe Merlin had been smarter, she wasn’t sure exactly, but he hadn’t had the force of will Tom possessed.
A slow smiled formed on Tom’s face as he could see the way her thoughts sped her breathing. He gently tilted her head back a little more to expose her neck to him then leaned down and gave her skin a delicate kiss.
She let out a small gasp at the feel of lips on her. She couldn’t help but think of all the times she’d seen others do such things near her resting places. But no one had ever held her like this or kissed her.
“Please stop.” She said with much less force than she would have liked.
Tom pulled back to look down at her again. He studied her face for a moment, reddening with embarrassment and actually chuckled.
“In all the time you’ve been around, no man has actually touched you.” He said sounding a bit amazed by the revelation.
“I wasn’t made for such things.” She said as if that should be obvious. “Please let me go.”
He shook his head and chuckled again. “If you weren’t made for such things then why give you such a woman’s body?” Tom asked as he let his eyes look down the dress she wore.
“I was made plain so as not to attracted that kind of attention.” She told him factually.
He looked back into her eyes shaking his head. “No.” He told her simply. “You weren’t made traditionally beautiful so some man could keep you to himself. But you’re very striking in your own way, and add your intelligence makes you a tempting morsel indeed. I just wish you weren’t so ignorant.” He said stepping back. “Now I’m sure you’re hungry.” He said offering his arm in a rare show of gallantness.
She bit her lip in worry for a moment as if taking the arm was the first step into falling into his trap. When her stomach growled, she reminded herself that starving only made her weaker and took the offered arm.
As promised Tom wouldn’t let her eat anything that he didn’t feed her himself. Over the next couple of weeks she actually got used to the process. She found that giving into orders he made that didn’t really matter made her life easier. He made her spend hours in the library when he wasn’t around.
At first, she stubbornly ignored all the beautiful books on the shelves sure, that they would do more harm than good. After three days, she’d broken down as she thought about the way he looked at her when he called her ignorant.
After reading one, she quickly moved to a second and was devouring the knowledge of the books once she had a real taste for them. She realized her draw toward books had actually been a desire to know things, and she wanted to know everything.
It wasn’t long before they were having the debates and conversations he’d promised she would be up to and she had to admit it was the most satisfying life she’d ever experienced.
He never stopped being hard with her, but after seeing him with those he called friends and allies a few times she realized the charm he showed them was simply a mask he wore. He just didn’t feel the need for that mask with her, or maybe it was because he promised to never lie. It was after this discovery she started to enjoy his hardness, as if it were a special part of himself he showed no one else.
She was sitting in bed reading a book he had mentioned in a debate they’d had that day on Arithmancy when she felt a sudden coldness cover the room. She shivered and looked around the space to find Tom sitting at the desk. He had his feet up and was flipping through a book she’d left there the night before.
After a moment of wondering why he felt so odd she realized it wasn’t Tom at all, it only looked like him. “Who are you?” She asked the man with a frown.
The Tom twin looked up at her with a sly smile and it looked wrong on his face. “It’s interesting that this is the most appealing form the magic found for me.” He said getting to his feet and moving towards the bed. “Would you like to taste him without having to give in to him?” The creature asked with a purr.
“No.” She said moving back against the headboard as much as she could while the man moved onto the end crawling up towards her. “No.” She repeated more firmly.
He laughed and shook his head kneeling just at the end of her feet. “You know I thought you would be harder to break than this.” He said shaking his head. “But I guess intelligence dominate men are your weakness.” He added with a sigh.
“What are you talking about?” She asked not feeling as if she’d broken to anyone. It was true she was behaving, but it wasn’t like she was granting him access to the power of the sword.
“There’s a week left of my little bet and at this rate you’ll be begging to suck his cock by then.” The man said then licked his lips. “I could give you some lessons on that.” He added lewdly.
“I don’t know who you are but I want you to leave.” She said getting out of the bed as she could feel a crawling sensation over her skin just be being near him.
“I’m the one who gave him the sword. I’m the one who will have to grant him immortality if you break to his will.” The man said with a sigh. “I really don’t like losing a bet. I was counting on your virtue.” He said regretfully. “But failing that I thought maybe I could bribe you?”
“What are you talking about?” She asked frowning at the man.
“Give it a moment and I think you can figure it out on your own.” He said lying back comfortably in her bed.
She thought his words over and her frown only grew. “You’re saying you made a bet with Tom to grant him immortality if he could take control and wield me?” She asked to make sure she understood his remarks. “And now you think you’re going to lose that bet because you think I’ve nearly fallen to his will?”
“Exactly.” He said rolling onto his stomach. “Now what do you think would be a good enough reward to be able to keep you focused for the next week or so?”
“You want to cheat on your bet?” Hermione asked with a disapproving frown.
“I’m the Devil dear. I cheat. It’s who I am.” He said as if it was just simple fact.
“The Devil?” She asked her eyes widening as she took another step back.
“Yes darling, the Devil, and I want Tom Riddle’s soul.” The man said with a dark threatening tone.
“Wouldn’t you be getting it anyway?” Hermione asked crossing her arms over her chest. “He’s no angel.”
“Well…” The man started with a sigh. “No. For reasons I can’t really tell you I won’t be getting it if he doesn’t make the deal now.”
“Why can’t you tell me?” She asked, as her knew found hungry for knowledge got the better of her.
“Because linear beings such as yourself aren’t allowed to know the future.” He said with a smile.
“He becomes good?” She asked and then frowned at the hope in her voice.
The way the Devil laughed in response to the naive question made Hermione want to take it back.
“I can’t say what he does, but you can know his soul is no good to me until I can own it now.” He said once he calmed down enough to speak. “So my dear, what would you like?”
“You know you have nothing to offer me.” She said with a frown. “You have no dominion over me unless I fall to his will.” She told him and crossed her arms over her chest.
“You’ve fallen enough that I can help. Look at all this reading of forbidden knowledge. Oh dear you know better.” He said with a wide smile. “And if he fails I’ve control of you again and I can give you to whomever you wish.”
She frowned at the offer and bit her lower lip. “So if he doesn’t break me within the next week you’ll give me to whomever I choose?” She asked sounding interested.
“Yes.” The devil said with a widening smile.
“Well then you’ll have to wait and see if this plan of yours works.” She said knowing better than to make any kind of commitment with the devil.
“I’ll be waiting with baited breath.” He said happily before disappearing in a cold wind.
The next morning Hermione let herself be led to a small dining room. She was distracted by everything she’d learned the night before. When a chair was pulled out for her she sat down without even noticing who was in the room.
Whom would she want to serve if she had her choice? This thought was repeated in her head all through the night. Glancing up at the table when she got hungry, she noticed they had company for the first time.
Usually, even though she knew this wasn’t Tom’s house, they had seemed to have the run of it as if they were really the only ones there. Today though there sat four others besides Tom.
Tom was smirking at her in the way that said he was amused by something she did. Everyone else was looking at her expectantly as well.
“What?” She asked feeling as if she’d been caught in some kind of trap. Tom chuckled to himself still amused for some reason and the man across from her sat up a bit straighter before glaring at her.
“I asked if you’ve been enjoying your stay in my home.” The white haired man pressed as if he wasn’t used to being tuned out so easily.
“It’s a nice enough prison I guess. Though I do like the library.” She said then frowned as she looked at the woman she’d met before. “I thought this was your home?” She asked a bit confused.
“Celeste is my wife. This is our home.” The man answered for her. “I hadn’t realized you’d met.”
She turned back to the first man and nodded. “Oh yes, she was trying to…” Hermione started when Tom moved forward and stuffed a piece of food in her mouth.
“She was being a helpful hostess by making sure your guest was comfortable.” Tom answered for her and she realized he’d been worried she would say something else. She remembered the way Celeste had shifted when speaking of Tom and wondered if they were lovers suddenly.
She frowned at the thought as an unrecognized feeling welled in her gut. She chewed her fruit and narrowed her eyes at Tom. Then she swallowed and said stubbornly. “More like she was seeking the your Lord’s favor.” She said before she could be forced to shut up.
“The Malfoys are very loyal to the cause.” Tom said before anything else could be taken from her tone.
In a defiant mood at the moment she turned to see who else was sitting with them and found two other men around Tom’s age. One was overly thin giving his face an almost skeletal look. He had sandy blond hair and a scowl on his lips. The other man had black hair like Tom; an easy smile crossed his lips when he saw her take notice of him.
“Rynard Lestrange.” He introduced himself with a polite nod. “And this is Edward Avery.” He added motioning to the man sitting next to him.
It was then she noticed the oddness of how everyone was sitting. Tom as at the head of the table which seemed perfectly normal, but everyone besides her was sitting on the other side. It seemed to her that at least one of the men should be seated next to her to make things more even.
“Rynard would you care to sit over here?” She asked giving the man a pleasant smile back. “It seems if we’re dining together it would make conversation easier.”
It looked as if the man was about to agree when Tom cut in for him. “Lestrange is fine where he is.” He said a touch of warning to his voice. She wondered if the warning was meant for her, but when she looked to Tom she saw the stare he was giving the other man.
“Thank you anyway m’lady.” He said with a tight tone, not nearly as at ease as a moment before.
Hermione turned to Tom and crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t know why you’re being like that.” She said not about to keep her mouth shut. “I’m sure he would never try and take my power.” She said with a glare. She knew that was all Tom wanted anyway.
“I agree but every aspect of you is mine. My servants know not to touch my things.” Tom said in a tone that made everyone but Hermione shift uncomfortably.
“Well there are parts of me that are not a thing. There are parts of me that are a woman, maybe Rynard would like to get to know those. You seem to not need any further attention in that area.” She said not looking at Celeste who was sinking into her seat a bit.
“Everyone out.” Tom commanded and his servants seemed to run from the room as if it were on fire. Hermione was smart enough to know he didn’t mean her.
Once they were completely alone she reached for another slice of fruit as if nothing was off. He grabbed her wrist before she could get close and pulled her from the seat. “You will not talk to me like that ever again.” He said in a harsh tone.
“I was just pointing out the truth.” She said glaring up at him.
“Ah.” He started pulling her against him so he could glare right back at her. “I didn’t realize you were finding your bed cold at night.” He said in a tone of mock sympathy. “Well we will just have to do something about that.”
“Don’t you dare!” She said as he turned her easily and bent her over the table in front of them.
“Tell me, what kind of sexual tastes does a sword have? Do you even know?” He asked obviously remembering her saying no man had gave her that kind of attention.
“I’m serious Tom I don’t want you like this.” She said struggling against his hold.
He let her go at her words and was smiling at her with a self-satisfied look as she fixed her dress. “What?” She snapped still angry with him.
“How would you like me then?” He asked catching onto the meaning of her words more quickly than even she had.
“I mean I don’t want you at all.” She corrected herself but blushed when he stepped into her space.
“You wouldn’t have been jealous if you didn’t want me Hermione, are you lying to me?” He asked mockingly.
“All you want is to break me any way you can so that I can give you my power. All you want is to win your stupid bet!” She snapped not wishing to admit her own hurt feelings.
“She told you.” Tom said with a growl as he forced her to look up at him.
“Who?” She asked confused by his question.
“The devil woman told you about our bet.” He said firmly seeming angry again, but not at her.
“He called himself the devil, but he wasn’t a woman.” She admitted not wishing to tell Tom he took on his form.
“So you know what’s on the line for me.” He said sounding annoyed. He didn’t seem to like showing weakness. “You understand why you have to give in.”
She frowned and looked away from him. “It isn’t like you’re doing much with your soul now.” She pointed out stiffly.
He chuckled and made her look at him again. “No other man will ever see you the way I see you.” He told her with such certainty that it made her almost believe him.
“You only see the power I can give you. That’s what all men see.” She countered coldly.
“No Hermione, you’re more now.” He told her keeping contact with her eyes. “You are the promise of something I wouldn’t have even figured out I needed for another few hundred years.”
She frowned not understanding.
“Owning you, having you at my side as I move timelessly on through eternity, this will keep my interest. It will fight the boredom that I realize now will one day consume me. You’re a very important part to my future plans.”
She couldn’t understand why she felt light hearted at his words.
“So what way do you want me Hermione?” He asked the question again catching her off guard.
“I’m hungry.” She said instead of answering him.
He nodded and fed her bits of breakfast, always keeping himself close as if his heat and smell would turn her to his side if nothing else did.
Through the week they continued their debate on what it meant to be worthy of her power and inch-by-inch Hermione started to understand his point of view.
With his knowledge to guide her, she started to see the evil of man. How everyone was really the same and that those who called themselves good were lying to themselves as much as they lied to others. It explained so much of her history and past disappointments.
Whenever they were together, he gave her undivided attention, and when he’d to work on other plans, he let her have the run of the Manor as if it was his to give.
She started to read about subjects on her own, things he didn’t direct her towards. She was careful to never show him her own projects. There was a heady feeling to having things to do that had nothing to do with her Master, and he didn’t even ask when he’d catch her reading books he didn’t recognize.
There were only minutes left until the end of the bet when he entered the library that night. She looked up from her reading and left the book open on the table she’d been using as a desk.
He carried her sword with a gloved hand and looked so tired as he set it on the table. “I meant to come sooner.” Tom said looking between her and the sword. “Today hasn’t gone well; I suspect the devil had a hand in it.” He said sitting down in one of the large comfortable leather chairs. He patted his lap obviously trying till the last moment to tempt her into becoming his.
Hermione shook her head and stepped back from the table she was working at.
“Tell me you haven’t actually enjoyed belonging to me? I’ve treated you better than any that came before me.” He said firmly.
“In some ways.” She agreed.
“Than give yourself to me Hermione. While there is still time. Who knows who you’ll end up with after tonight.”
“I can’t.” She said honestly, as she looked at the man she’d grown to respect over the last month together.
“She knows exactly who she’ll end up with.” A woman said with a broad smile as she appeared on Tom’s lap.
He sneered and got up to dump the woman on the floor. “Don’t touch me.” He said moving towards Hermione’s side of the room.
“Once I own your soul you’ll change that tune of yours.” The Devil purred as she gave Tom a lecherous look.
“I will never want you to touch me.” Tom said sounding sickened by the very idea.
“And yet you still have a place as my pool boy in hell.” She said with a smirk as she stood and looked to Hermione. “He only has a minute left. Do you know who you wish to belong to once he’s mine?”
“Yes and no.” Hermione said and suddenly felt the tug as he pulled her back against his hard chest.
“There’s still time to give herself to me Hermione. You don’t know how blissful I’ll make your life if you just bend to my will.” Tom said desperately.
“Ignore him Hermione. Tell me what you want.” The woman said with a friendly smile. “Who will you belong to after tonight?”
Hermione blinked between the two of them for a moment before smiling sweetly back at the woman. “Tom Riddle.” She said as if that was the only answer it could be.
“No. No it’s too late for that.” The Devil said sounding a bit panicked. “He can’t have you.”
“He’s had me for days.” Hermione answered honestly as the clock struck midnight.
“Why? Why give in when you could have anyone?” She growled moving towards them, her form transitioning from one of temptation to one of intimidation. Her skin hardened and came a deep red as she took the first step.
Tom’s arms held her even more tightly against him. “Because of this. Tom, choose your weapon: the sword, or the book.” She said pointing to the books, he had left open on the table in front of them
With a quick glance to both, Tom moved around her and read the passage she’d provided. He smiled as he looked to a decorative looking box sitting near by and grinned fully as he looked back to her. She’d never seen so much lust in his eyes.
In his next move, he turned to the demon now changing to a much more bestial form than either of them has seen before. He raised his wand and spoke the incantation from the page.
“Ego daemonium caperent in potestate mea!”
Winds came from nowhere and the box opened on its own. The demon before them understood too late, what had been prepared for her arrival. A thick black fog rose like grasping hands and pulled the creature towards its new prison. The Devil screamed in fury and pain as it was pulled into the box.
When the box finally snapped closed, Tom looked back to his new pet with actual respect and surprise in his eyes.
“If we’re going to do this there are going to be some rules.” She said in her usual stubborn tone.
He took the step closer closing the distance between them and wrapped his arms around her smaller frame. “The Master makes the rules.” He said in his own serious tone.
“I’m not playing nice anymore.” She said as he lowered his lips towards her.
“Nice? You killed me the first day we met.” He pointed out.
“You survived.” She got out before he took her lips in a crushing kiss. His hand moved up to grasp a handful of her hair as he showed her exactly who would answer to whom.