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Mistaken Part 2

“Hermione,” Tom whispered.

He stared her up and down, not failing to notice her wet coat and frizzy hair. He had been so caught up with his reading that he hadn’t noticed the pouring rain outside. Then again, it was London after all, there never was a day that passed in sunshine and rainbows. Where was her red umbrella? Hermione wore a tired look, her nose red and her eyes empty, nursing purple halos under them. If only he had seen her now empty eyes flow like the Thames with tears. Tom moved to the side, allowing her entry to his flat. Hermione looked past him, marching in like a soldier headed for battle. Even feeling dead inside, she kept her Gryffindor spirit of bravery on. No one would see her cry. She hadn’t let Harry comfort her when Ron had left, and she sure as hell wasn’t going to let Tom see it. She stopped in the middle of the room, once again taking in the small flat. The lights were dimmed, giving the room a cozy glow. Tom has closed the curtains, avoiding any interactions with the outside world. He didn’t like people having the power of seeing him be vulnerable as he put it. There was a black loveseat with a grey throw blanket sprawled across it. The old, partially broken Wizard radio sat on the coffee table next to a pile of books and newspapers alike. They weren’t anything special, seeing as Tom kept his favourite ones inside a wooden chest, locked away. Even she wasn’t allowed to touch them without asking for permission.

“Care for a drink?” Tom asked, trying to break the heavy tension in the room.

Hermione shook her head, declining his offer. She hadn’t come to drink with him, she had come to talk, and drinking would only make her tipsy.

Apparently, Tom himself wanted the drink, not hesitating to pour himself a glass of scotch. He brought the glass to his lips, his eyes never leaving the witch who stood in front of him staring at her feet. Hermione was twiddling her thumbs, biting on her bottom lip nervously.

His arm dropped to his side, now holding the drink by the top of the glass. Taking slow, careful steps, he stood in front of her, holding her face with his free hand.

Tom studied the brown eyes that stared into his own, emotions piling up in them like mountains in the east.

“What’s the matter?” He asked, his voice a mere whisper.

Once again, Hermione shook her head.

He was now centimetres away, holding her as close as he could.

“Hermione, talk to me,”

At that moment, Hermione didn’t look so fragile anymore. Instead she pushed him away, angry tears falling from her eyes.

“Talk? Fine, let us talk! Why don’t you go first? I’m sure all those things you want to say to me have been stacking on top of each other since we last talked two weeks ago!” She raged, letting it all out.

Tom’s face remained neutral. He showed no reaction, simply taking a sip of his drink.

Hermione pulled the glass out of his hand, putting it on the table with force. “I didn’t come here to see you drink Tom. I came here for an explanation,”

Tom scoffed. “Well that’s no fun,”

Hermione couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The man had the audacity to ignore her for two entire weeks and make jokes?

“Am I a joke to you?”

“That depends, am I supposed to laugh?”

“You are so full of yourself.” Hermione pushed past him, planning to leave and never look back.

“Hey now, don’t be like that.” Tom reaches for her hand, pulling her back into himself. “I just want to see you smile,” Being as stubborn as she was, Hermione only glared at him, then shifted her gaze to avoid his eyes. Those black, soul sucking eyes that pulled her deeper into the darkness each time.

He nudged her chin up, forcing her to stare into the orbs he knew she feared. “I didn’t think it was a big deal. I fail to understand the constant need you seem to have for my attention.”

Hermione clicked her tongue, anger oozing off her like water droplets from her coat that had made the floor wet.

“Couples need the other’s care and comfort Tom. That’s what a relationship is all about.”

He scoffed. “Why? Don’t you know how I feel?”

“No. I can’t read your mind. Sometimes, I think I know but then you disappear and leave me to ponder.” She took a step closer, pressing her hands to his chest. “I need to hear you say it.”

He wasn’t sure what to say. Perhaps this is where he would finally come to terms with it, finally tell her how he felt. But he couldn’t. He was Tom Riddle, for Merlin’s sake. He didn’t feel.

When no answer came, Hermione freed herself from his grip, surprised that he let her go. Tom was demanding and possessive. He never let her go., or so she had thought. “That’s what I thought.” With tears threatening to spill, she turned away, quickly stepping towards the door. She wrapped her hands around the gold handle.

“Hermione don’t go.” His voice called, and more than anything, Hermione wanted to listen. But she had too much self respect.

“Give me a reason why I shouldn’t.” She said, not turning back because if she did, well, there would be no more leaving.

Tom’s voice was hoarse as he searched for something to say. Anything to keep hers “Because…because I-“

“You what?” She asked.

A moment passed in silence. “Because I need you.”

“That’s not good enough.” And the pain shot through her chest as the salty substance finally dripped down her face. She walked out. She left.

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