Hey, ok... so I finally came around to writing a new chapter. I was kind of nervous about this because I originally intended the story to be a one-shot told from the POV of an OC. But now I sort or added a plot... and I'm scared that I might have ruined it. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me feedback! Thanks.


Tom Marvolo Riddle was not in a good mood. He had just received a note from Professor Dippet asking him to see him in his office as soon as possible. Knowing the blubbering old fool, it was probably something extremely trivial; a menial task that needed to be done, such as overseeing the third- year's first ever trip to Hogsmeade, or, Merlin forbid, planning the upcoming Equinox Festival. Even though Tom knew that it was in his own favor to be a favorite amongst the Professors and the Headmaster himself, it was still quite galling when they would rely on him to do things originally meant for the Head boy or Head girl to do. Not to mention that he was simply itching to go to the Library and do some research on the "Chamber Of Secrets" he had come across whilst reading "Hogwarts: A History".

Tom strode through the Charms Corridor, his mind irate. On the surface, however, he looked completely composed and even a little curious, by the time he reached the Gargoyle statues outside the Headmaster's office. He said the password, and as soon as he entered the circular room, noted that the Headmaster was not alone; Dumbledore was there as well.

"You called for me, Headmaster." Tom said politely, keeping his voice neutral. He turned his head and nodded lightly to Dumbledore, who he observed looked weary.

"Ah, yes. Tom." Dippet coughed, as he turned to the 6th year in front of him. Tom noticed that he looked nervous and more than a little upset, "Have a seat, son."

More than a little curious, Tom took the seat next to Dumbledore, in front of the Headmaster's desk. He kept his hands folded in his lap, and his eyes travelled to a piece of parchment in Armandov's hands.

"Tom, we just a received a letter from your home." On Tom's blank expression, he added, "Your orphanage."

Tom had to fight back the instant disgust that threatened to spill onto his face, and instead frowned as his annoyance grew.

"I'm afraid it is bad news."

He hoped the "bad news" was that the Godforsaken place had been burnt to the ground, or something to that effect.

Dippet took in a deep breath and blew the air out through nose, his nostrils flaring, "It is regarding a friend of yours, a girl named Leslie Pitherford. She and the other children were out on a field trip to a park near a lake. The matrons are not sure exactly how it happened, but she, err… fell into the lake, and drowned." The aging man looked away from Tom, his eyes holding more emotion that Tom had ever felt in his entire life.

Leslie Pitherford.

Tom's mind instantly flew to a small, skinny blonde girl, only a year younger than him, with the blackest eyes he had ever seen. He remembered how much that hag Mrs. Cole had hated her, how she used to hit and scream at her, causing all the other children to cower. He also remembered never seeing her cry. She would just sit there, a petite, frail little girl with a gaunt face and thin, colorless lips, and stare at the raging woman looming above her. He never understood how she did it. Whenever he was yelled at, he would see red. His fingers would curl into tight fists, his jaw would clench, and all he would want to do is throttle that red faced bitch.

But Leslie would just sit there and take it. As would all the other weak- minded, pathetic children. He had never seen anyone stand up to Mrs. Cole. They would actually listento her, they would do what she told them. He had been the only one to talk back to her, to make sure she knew that she didn't own him. That he could not be owned.

Maybe that was why he resented Muggles. They knew so little and they did not want to know more. They handed over the reins of their wretched existences to those who demanded respect, even if they didn't deserve it. And they were all the same. They would cry when yelled at, they would shrink back when hit. They would simply just give in.

Except Leslie. She would never cry or shrink back. Just sit and stare.

He remembered the first time she talked to him. It had been right after that idiot Billy's rabbit had been found dead. She had approached him and bluntly asked if he had killed Billy Stubble's rabbit.

He had glared and shut the door in her face.

The second time she had talked to him was to tell him that he was bleeding and that she had a bandage if he wanted one. He had just gotten a thrashing from Mrs. Cole because Amy and Dennis had run to her, crying and screaming, telling her that Tom Riddle had stolen their souls and given it to the dead.

He had snarled at Leslie then, pushed her against the wall and demanded to know why she should think that Tom Riddle needed her help. And as she choked in his death grip, her eyes had remained empty and devoid of the fear he yearned to see in them. She was not afraid, and his bitter mind wanted to know why. Because even at the tender age of nine he knew that he could see into the souls of people, and Leslie had no soul.

He had released her then, and she had left. Though there were bruises on her neck for the next week or so, she had never ratted him out to the matron. Instead she had come to him again, only this time she had sat on the floor next to his bed, and told him about how one day her parents would come and take her away from the Orphanage to a faraway place where she would rule. She had told him that that was why she never talked back to Mrs. Cole, because she knew that on that day, when she had all the power and all the control, she would make her suffer.

The only thing that had kept Tom from sneering at her was that he had the same fantasy.

And so it had become a regular occurrence. She would come to him every night and tell him about the Kingdom she would one day rule. He would never speak a word, but in the depths of his soundless mind, his own fantasy would grow. They had reached a mutual accord that did not signify friendship or anything of the sort. They were just two people with similar dreams. And it had stayed that way.

Until the night when Dumbledore had come to him. Ever since that day, Tom never spoke a word to Leslie, and avoided her at all costs. Because his dream was coming true, and she was still stuck in the wasteland of what would never be.

The last time he had seen her was a few months ago, the night before he was to leave for King's Cross. He had been sitting on his bed, his wand lying in front of him, his mind a hailstorm of thoughts and ideas. She had knocked on his door and entered, without his consent. He hadn't even looked up as she came and sat on the floor next to his bed. Her pale, sallow skin wore bruises, and though she was fifteen, she had not lost her skeletal look. She had sat there for a while, and then, to his disgust, and not to mention shock, had started crying.

He never said a word. He hadn't even hidden his wand. She had then whispered to him, "It's not fair, Tom. You don't even deserve it."

It was only then that he had looked up at her. Her black, lightless eyes, swimming with tears, had held nothing. They hadn't been accusing or spiteful or even sad. She had then gotten up and exited the room. Alone once again, he had laughed. He was sure that she hadn't known of his magical abilities, but she wasn't stupid. She had known that he was happy, that he was getting what he wanted, while she rotted in this Hell-hole of sanctuary.

And now she was dead and the urge to laugh overtook him once more. He heard a cough, and, with a jolt, realized that he was still sitting in Professor Dippet's office. The old man wore a look of extreme sympathy on his face, as he regarded Tom, and Tom wanted nothing more than to wipe that expression of his face.

"It is always hard to let go of those who it seems have left us." Dumbledore's soft voice spoke from beside him, and he could feel the electric blue eyes boring into the side of his face, "But just remember, Tom, nobody is asking you to let go."

Tom shut off his mind, and without looking at the Charms Professor, stood up, nodded to the Headmaster, and said, "I must get to class, Headmaster, but thank you for informing me of…" he waved a hand towards the letter, "this unfortunate incident."

"Tom, you can take some time off from studying, if you want." Dippet said earnestly, "Your teachers would understand."

"It's alright, sir. Failing school will not make Leslie come back." Tom said, making sure that his voice quivered a little. After all, he needed to look as if he was distraught. Dippet seemed convinced, and he gave Tom a note that explained his tardiness to the Potions Professor, whose class he had next. But Dumbledore's scrutinizing look was extremely unsettling, and so Tom gave a half-hearted smile and left.

Fools, the whole lot of them.

Did they actually think he cared that a stupid Muggle girl had just died? Tom knew that emotionally, there was something different about him than the rest of the people around him. It wasn't that he didn't let things get to him… there just wasn't anything that could get to him. He knew what others thought of him. They called him "emotionally numb" and "closed off". Tom couldn't care less.

He thought of a certain word Dippet had used… "friend".

Ha. As if that Muggle had been his friend. As if he anyone was his friend. Who needed friends when you had followers? A friend was your equal, someone you confided in, someone you respected. Tom had no use for such people.

He entered the Dungeon and handed over the note to Slughorn, and then took a seat at the back of the class. Black leaned over and whispered, "What did the Head want this time?"

Tom shrugged his shoulders, and Black nodded his understanding. If Riddle didn't want to share, no one was going to make him.

As Tom turned to the blackboard to see what Potion they were concocting today, he caught the eyes of a black- haired Gryffindor. After realizing that he had seen her staring at him, she blushed and hastily looked down at her cauldron.

Tom mentally sneered at the Mudblood, and then promptly forgot that she existed.