With this I want to thank everyone who read my story, reviewed, favourited, alerted it or otherwise commented.

Thanks for reviewing on last chapter:

DramioneLover123, XellamyBB, Pinky Prattle, xPaintedxRedx, CarlaMelina, .Ink, azulaiii, Hulkishpower, Le26199, Umbra8191, Mooglez, 1poisonivy, Velvet-Tales, jennyz, RabxBlack, Scabior's-Horcrux, AlmostExistentExistentialist, Heart of Aiur, adalis, ebonyeyez1, PintoNess, LeahHeartsSirius, Will Solace, too addicted to fiction, Melimay, Diane Potter, LiveLoveWrite-93, Vita Artista, m0nt, loralye, HollyVanDerBerg, Sarah, lovetwilight2, Iceagesurvivor123, pansy25, Komo Pineconeseed, EriEka127, Dedicated Follower, KaleidoscopeEyes213, monsterinc90, Fiane, Nes sly, Starrgirlfish, amidtheflowers, KimchiKute, Evie Siri, KamiaKeller, random-lemon, BoulderGirl1059, Schnuersenkel, nikif, Hakus Princess, Incredibly Anonymous, hollanddj13, nlech16, Tyffanie. T, KThxBai, HereToRead84, Maru M. Cullen, Lady Insanitee, Astrid, Lady Kaliska, LeeshiLou, flyei, Hunter111, Faenea, EHbonds, Santisela, Wicky, Ceralyn, aringle42, xXRosexScorpiusXx, EnuNR-zero, marmia days, Mareen, Lady Whitlock, Evadne Riddle-Malfoy, NAO-chan33, WhatshouldIcallmyself, ra1nf1re, ZabuzasGirl, Iwilldiewithoutasequel, yazdm, Dances-With-Pen, shine lots, Chanel's Reign, Lilmissxx, AKEMI SHIKON, StValentineSt, Nostalgic Beauty, Matrixa, Ntago, Melissa, Lunaticrag, Karasu, Mademoiselle du Lac, niya509, mousie1990, LAP84, Cellar, simidiane, kewlbubzlouise, rok sok, IS, ilovefireyredheads, Monnbeam, Lissie1019, Ljg, R. B. Evans, Lyring, Rndmprsnlily, Christy, MoonLight32, TwilightGirl100195, ZuzuManiac, Blank, hyugatenten, Alemie, Sesshomaru'sGintsuki, Jessie95, Alyette, Fire Storm Weaver, DismalDreams, trestreschic, Chamilia Lutien Tinuviel, jjang556, Yuuki Kuchiki, lilyhale22, callalily32, ihfd, timunderwood9, commentator, Magdallenne, Chamilia Lutien inuviel, Sin-and-Smokin, Atilia Dawn Black, MissRiddleLupin, Vysage, X-Random-X, Garling, TomRiddleCrazy, Lauren Kassidy, Person, Lsid, NothereNorthere, Dorota, superfan8, Nerys, tigers16, CannibalisticCows, taramegareader, ashrachellexx, Esyaba, Wfhbe, Anon, BeNeRre, unknownkyitty, Sabine Eileen Snape, moviefan-92, Xx King Aaliyah xX, cakemaster, BubbleGumLover, erinelle, alannalove1990

I'm very glad that so many people gave me input to the story. I took it to heart, compliments and critique alike. Writing this and especially hearing what you think about the story really helped me a lot.

Anyway, thanks to all of you out there. And - you know the drill - take care, have fun,

kisses from Winterblume.

As a thank you, here's a little one shot about our favourite pairing (it has nothing to do with Ultima ratio. Just a one shot.)


Evil Snakes


„Snakes are not evil," Riddle insisted, scanning Hermione coldly. "I mean, look back at it in history. The symbol of the Greek God of Medicine, Asclepius, is a snake curled around a staff. Snakes only got their bad reputation as Christianity proclaimed them to be the origin of all sin. Other religions see it differently. In Buddhism, for example, the snake-god Mucalinda is said to have protected Buddha himself as he was meditating. In Norse mythology the Midgard serpent curls around the earth holding it together. You have to admit that's not negative at a-"

Hermione raised a hand thus silencing the Head Boy and said dryly, "You know, Riddle, I don't have anything against snakes." Her eyes flashed at him as she added meanly, "Non-human ones that is."

A fearsome scowl appeared on Riddle's face and he hissed darkly, "And yet you connect snakes with evil. Why? Not every wizard who likes snakes is dark."

Hermione pointedly ignored how Riddle's cold gaze lacerated her. Instead she raised her eyebrows mockingly and said, faux innocence in her voice,

"Let's see. Why do I think that a snake is a sign of dark wizards? I guess it all started in my second year, as a Basilisk tried to kill me." Her sharp eyes wandered over Riddle as she added curtly, "The Basilisk was commanded by a dark wizard, I might add. Said dark wizard also had a man-eating cobra for a pet. By the way both, Salazar Slytherin and Herpo the Foul, also had a pet basilisk. And both were dark wizards. Morgan Le Fay's animagus form was a viper and she was a dark witch. Merwyn the Malicious' past time was it to breed black mambas. And, of course, he was a dark wizard."

Hermione lazily leaned back in the couch and lectured a now quite annoyed Riddle, "So, it's not just me being prejudiced, it seems snakes and dark magic are related to one another. The snakes might be innocent victims here, but they still are a sign of dark wizards."

Hermione averted her eyes from Riddle and bent over her Arithmancy essay. Quill in hand, she said without looking up,

"I guess this discussion is over, isn't it?"


There was a knock at Hermione's door. Yawning loudly, she rolled out of bed and shuffled over to the door, shivering slightly in her scant pyjamas. Rubbing her eyes, Hermione opened the door. She raised her eyebrows in surprise as Riddle stood there.

"What…?" She checked her watch and groaned. "Do you even know how late it is?"

Tom didn't reply to that but offered her a box, wrapped in green paper. Confused Hermione accepted the box.

"What's that?"

"Happy birthday."

Tom flashed her one of his charming smiles that always managed to make her knees go weak. Unfortunately most of the time his smiles were as fake as they were charming. Fighting against a blush on her face, Hermione reasoned,

"It's not my birthday."

Tom just shrugged and supplied carelessly, "I still got you a present."

Hermione threw him a suspicious glance but then opened the green box. A soft gasp left her as she removed the lid. A small, lime green snake lay curled into a ball in one corner of the box, sleeping. It looked quite adorable. Hermione peered up at Tom.

"What…? Why did you get me a snake?"

He smirked at her and said triumphantly, "Well, now you are the proud owner of a snake. And you are not a dark witch."

Tom put a hand on her shoulder as he informed her patronizingly, "There goes your theory that snakes are a sign of dark witches or wizards."

He looked rather smug as he eyed her now. Hermione frowned at him then again looked at the tiny snake in the box. It really looked rather cute, didn't it? A soft smile was on Hermione's face as she peered up at Tom. He still scanned her, self-satisfied expression on his handsome face. Hermione stepped a bit closer to him. A wave of his pleasant scent hit her as she stood on her tiptoes and placed a soft kiss on Tom's cheek. As she released him, Hermione saw that the smugness had left him and now a slight blush tinged his high cheekbones. She smiled up at him and whispered,

"Thank you."