Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 35

Joanna hurried to a small closet before she apparated to five different places before she headed to Tom’s house. She didn’t want to be followed and she knew Dumbledore still did not truly trust her. When she entered the house, she started shouting his name, but she heard no reply.

Entering the reading room, she found the darkness and the cold so unwelcoming.

“Tom?” Joanna shouted but the only reply she got was dead silence.

Immediately she headed to his bedroom, and when she entered, it was the same; dark and cold.

“Nagini?” Joanna called, and even the snake was no where to be found. Joanna felt like she had just missed them and there was a sudden tightness in her chest. She was afraid for him, she was afraid of loosing him.

“Tom, where are you?” Joanna whispered as she sat on his bed and stared blankly at the floor. She was trying not to panic, trying not to give in to the fear, trying not to cry.

Just when she thought she was just wasting her time, she heard him.

“What are you doing here?”

 “Tom?” Joanna looked up and saw him standing by his desk. Immediately, she got up and ran to him. She threw her arms around him and she felt him return the hug.

“Tom, the ministry knows about the muggle attack,” Joanna suddenly pulled back and warned.

“The ministry knows about what?”

“Don’t try to play dumb. That muggle town, you were planning for a muggle attack weren’t you? You have to call it off! The ministry are sending aurors in the moment the attack happens!”

“I’m not calling it off,” Tom replied with a straight face.

“People will die if a battle starts!”

“It is too late to call it off. Everyone are at their positions waiting for my orders.”

“Tom please,” Joanna whispered her plea, hoping that it would have a different effect on him.

“Sorry,” Tom said as he made some distance between them.

“Tom, don’t do this. I can’t lose you,” Joanna said.

There, I said it, I admitted it, Joanna thought to herself.

“I won’t die. You’ll see me again,” Tom replied as he shifted his gaze away from her.

There was a short moment of silence before he walked up to her, placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, before disapparating.

Immediately after he disappeared, the tears fell, because Joanna knew she wasn’t going to see him again. Falling to her knees she attempted to control her sobs, but it was impossible. She had a very bad feeling and she couldn’t shake it off.

After multiple attempts of trying to calm herself down, Joanna forced her way back to the ministry. Even at 6 in the morning, people were still bustling around, but the crowd was thinner than it was before.

Joanna slumped on her desk and caught a couple of hours of shut eye before she was wakened by her colleague.

It was 10 in the morning when teams were being sent off one by one into the small town. There were easily 50 of them up against a rough estimate of 30 dark witches and wizards.

Joanna was in team B. The team where 10 of them were to try and get as many muggles to safety. She was glad she didn’t have to be in the battle, but she was still afraid she might have to watch it all go down.

At 10:10, she apparated into an alley where she charmed a mother and child to return home. Just as she watched them disappear into safety, she saw a sign on one of the shops on the main street. The sign read, ‘Erlton Motel’. Was that where Tom was staying?

Ignoring the shouts of her teammates as she dashed across the soon to be blood wet streets, all Joanna could think about was stopping Tom. Entering the strangely empty motel, Joanna hurried up the stairs and onto the first landing. Was she going to knock on every door? She had to try.

When it came to the fourth door with no answer, she felt like crying again. Just then, the next door opened and Joanna’s draw dropped.

“What… Joanna?” Malfoy managed to ask in shock.

“Malfoy?”

“What are you doing here?” they asked each other simultaneously.

 Neither of them answered.

“Where’s Tom?” Joanna quickly asked.

Malfoy did not answer her question. He just stared at her, unsure on what to do. Just before he could say a word in reply, they heard it. Screams, yells and eruption of spells; the fight had begun.

Malfoy immediately said, “I’m late.” Before attempting to walk pass her.

Joanna pulled out her wand and pointed it right in his face.

“Where’s Tom?!” Joanna demanded.

“Where else?” Malfoy answered, backing away from her. When he realized Joanna had lost her interest in him, Malfoy ran pass her to join the rest.

Where else, Joanna thought.

She had to save him. Or she had to trust he would be safe, like he assured. Whichever she had to do, it was no easy decision.

To Be Continued….

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should wait for the fight to end, or attempt to do something!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 34

Not wasting anymore time, Joanna chased after Tom. As her feet took quick steps, her mind was coming up with a reasoning that would convince her more than Tom. Hoping that they could both forget what they saw, Joanna entered the reading room blurting out her thoughts. But when she realized that Tom wasn’t there, she stopped mid way.  Sighing to herself, she slumped into the sofa and stared at the flames in the fireplace.

“I’m sorry,” Joanna said with a sigh.

With that, she left. She did not bump into Tom much after that incident, and if she did see him, he would vanish before she could say his name. Soon, she was back at work in the Ministry. Days got busy again and she barely had any time to herself. Some nights, she found herself missing Tom and his company. Even Nagini came into mind. She wished she didn’t have to work so much and that she could still spend some nights talking to him in his reading room.

If she ever told all her inner thoughts to her friends, especially Annoria, she would have been told that she was in love. But that was stupid wasn’t it? How could she love a boy she hated at the same time? Her own Jiminy Cricket would prove her wrong. Sure she hated his dark side and his desires, but she loved everything else.

“This is confusing,” Joanna always said to herself every time she tried to find out how she felt for Tom. It became tiring just trying to figure out something she was denying with all her might.

“Focus Joanna, focus!” Joanna scolded herself every day when her mind started wandering off into the world where she was with Tom. Those worlds were the only time Tom existed in her life these days, but when a new case came up at work, Tom had reappeared in reality.

“We have information on a muggle attack,” her team leader announced at one of their morning meetings.

“What information?” her colleague asked.

“A team of Aurors have been spying on a few suspicious gatherings around the country, and word was being spread about a group attack on muggles,” her team leader explained.

“Where?” Joanna immediately asked, hoping it was not the place she saw in Tom’s file.

“A muggle town outside of the city called Maryfields.” Her leader began handing out pictures of the place.

Immediately, Joanna’s heart sank. She was not going to snitch on Tom but how was she going to be part of this? Tom was involved in this group attack and Joanna did not want to have to face him on the battlefield.

“When?” her colleague asked, snapping her back into the meeting room.

“We believe it would be happening this Sunday. We already have a team stationed there to keep an eye out. But right now, we need to form teams and be ready to go in when it happens. We do not want innocent blood to be shed over the actions of some attention seeking morons,” her team leader said, clearly angry.

They were all angry. Except for Joanna. She was confused and worried for Tom.

Since Sunday was two days away, she helped in spreading the information to everyone on the long list she was given, that she did not even have time to use the bathroom. It was impossible to escape her team for even a couple of minutes and she wondered how she was going to try and tell Tom.

On Saturday night, a couple of important people from the ministry decided to drop by their office. Together with them was Professor Dumbledore. Oh, how Joanna did and did not wish he was there!

“Do you think it is possible to arrest the culprits before anything bad happens?” Dumbledore asked.

“We have been trying to catch them in the town, but it is almost impossible. They might not even show up till Sunday itself.”

“Ah, well. That would probably be their plan. Their leader … is smarter than we think,” Dumbledore said and turned to Joanna.

I’m not their leader, Joanna thought and then realized what he meant. Dumbledore was suspecting Tom.

And just as Joanna predicted, after the brief with the ministry officers were over, Dumbledore caught up with her and asked, “Have you seen Tom recently?”

“No. I haven’t seen him in years,” Joanna lied and continued, “You think he is involved?”

“Yes, I’m certain. I know that boy, and this is just his first act. Probably testing the waters,” Dumbledore said.

Joanna did not know what to say, because Dumbledore was probably right. “Don’t worry Joanna, I’ll be going with all of you tomorrow,” Dumbledore added.

“Great,” Joanna replied before excusing herself.

She needed to see Tom, she needed to warm him before it was too late. But there was so much to do that night and everyone was keeping everyone accountable, she couldn’t leave. If she did, she would be taking a risk. But as Joanna started pacing up and down by her desk, she realized that no one even said a word to her. Was it possible for her to sneak off?

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should stay or leave to warn Tom!)

Fan Fiction (Shorts)

Loser

Before his father left him and his mother, he taught him a lesson. It was a lesson he never forgot and a lesson he was sure to practice.

It all started when his father started gambling and drinking. His mother was afraid of the man she married, and he was afraid of being thrown across the room every time he did something wrong. His father never really cared if he broke a leg or bled, because to his father, a little pain was a good lesson. But that wasn’t what he learned from his father.

It was during an evening game with his friends when he saw his father standing by a tree watching. His team wasn’t winning and he was sure his father knew that. When they took a break for water, his father called him over.

“Who is winning son?” his father asked, as the stale smell of alcohol escaped his breath.

“Harriet’s team,” he replied softly.

“Are you in Harriet’s team?”

“No,” he replied even softer than before.

“Then beg Harriet to take you,” his father ordered.

“But… I can’t leave my friends.”

“You what?” His father reached for his arm roughly and pulled him closer.

“I- I can’t leave my friends,” he repeated.

“But your friends are losing, do you want to lose?” The grip of his father’s hand tightened, and his dirty and untrimmed nails dug into his flesh.

“No sir,” he whimpered.

“Then make Harriet take you in his team!” his father shouted, shoving him backwards and causing him to fall on his back.

“It’s only a game,” he immediately replied in anger.

“It is not ONLY a game boy. Do you want to lose all your life? Do you want to be a loser? Do you like being a loser? Do you?!” His father had pulled him to his feet and slammed him against the tree.

From the corner of his eye, he saw his friends stopping to watch. They were whispering among themselves, not sure if they should help him. But what can three 10 year olds do to a grown man? He was certain he was on his own. And just when he was about to get hit in the face, he heard his mother scream.

“You stay away from him! Don’t you dare touch him!” she yelled as she tried to pull his father from him.

His father turned towards her and slapped her across the face. He was strong enough to send her flat on the ground, weeping.

“Don’t!” he yelled, struggling to free himself from his father’s grip.

“Don’t?” his father asked, and then he laughed, releasing his grip on him.

Immediately, he ran to his mother’s side, and tried to prop her up. Tears were streaming down her face as her lips bled.

“Why do you have to hurt her?!” The sudden anger made him bold.

“You wanna know why? Because losers deserve it.” His father spat on the ground and continued, “You mother is a loser, and so are you. I don’t want to be around losers.”

His father chuckled to himself and shook his head, before he left them. He hated his father even more then, but he knew he would have to face his father when he got home, so he sucked it up and tried to help his mother. By the time he had gotten his weak and weeping mother on the couch in their living room, he noticed something was different. His father’s shoes weren’t in the walkway, and when he headed up to his parent’s bedroom, he saw the wardrobe door wide open and the clothes on his father’s side were all gone.

When his mother entered the bedroom after him, she fell on her knees and wept even more. The picture of their family that once hung above the bed was also on the floor, with the frame shattered.

“He’s gone!” his mother wailed.

“It’s o.k, I’ll take care of you,” he immediately replied.

“You’re a boy. A boy who can’t even win a stupid children’s game. It is your fault he is gone!” his mother accused.

He knew she wouldn’t intend on hurting him, but those word stung. He was indeed a loser. How was a loser going to look after his mother? He was going to amount to nothing, and his father was right. That was why his father left, his father didn’t want to be around losers.

“No, I’m not a loser,” he said to himself.

“Mother, I’m not a loser. I’ll pick the winning team, and we’ll be alright.” He turned his mother to face him.

“No, Peter, you’re not a loser,” his mother replied, merely repeating his words without giving much thought.

“We’ll be alright, you’ll see,” Peter assured, as he embraced his mother, whose sobs continued.

True enough, Peter Pettigrew made sure that he was always on the winning team. He left the friends he used to play with for James Potter when he started at Hogwarts, and he left James Potter for the Dark Lord when a war was starting. And during all those times, his only motivation was to be a winner and not the loser his father said his was.

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 33

Joanna got up and Nagini immediately exited the room. Hurrying after it, Nagini waited for her at corners, just so Joanna would not lose sight of it, before it continued slithering. Finally, after a few turns, Joanna found herself standing in front of a white door. The knob was not dusty like the rest which meant Tom used it.

Nagini hissed at her, as though urging her to hurry up. After hesitating for a moment, Joanna turned the knob and entered the unlocked room.

The room was Tom’s bedroom. Clean and tidy like the reading room, there was a table, with books and papers scattered on them, and a fireplace with ashes. Nagini did not stop to look around like she did, as it slithered to a chest at the corner of the room and hissed for her attention.

Giving into Nagini’s demands, Joanna headed over and attempted to open it, but it was locked. There was some locking charm around the chest which made Joanna even more curious of its contents.

Should she open it? Joanna was tempted to. She had learned a lot of unlocking spells and she was certain she could get this chest opened in no time, but that would mean intruding Tom’s privacy. Nagini didn’t seem to care though, as it kept on hissing.

Not really thinking it through, Joanna pulled out her wand and tried a few spells on the chest. Third time was indeed the charm as the chest glowed around the gaps. Excited, Nagini slithered onto her lap and waited for her to open it. Not wanting Nagini to stay any longer on her lap, she pushed the top over and found herself starring down at a folder and a square cage, covered with white cloth.

Pretty sure Nagini had no interest in the folder, Joanna took the cage out and pulled the white cloth off. A sudden shrill came from the contents as blue Cornish pixies began shaking the cage. Accidentally dropping the cage, Nagini hurried towards it and started striking at the pixies.

“You eat pixies?” Joanna asked in disbelief.

Joanna reached for the cage, pointed her wand and jinx the afraid and noisy pixies. The pixies started to fall into a dreamy state and that was when Joanna opened the top and pulled out one pixie. Placing it on the ground, Nagini immediately grabbed for it and slithered away to a corner.

“So much for a thank you,” Joanna said as she placed the cage back into the chest.

Naturally, she reached for the folder and when she saw its contents, Joanna wished she had not.

There were names, places, spells, and internal information about the ministry of magic that even Joanna could not get her hands on. Joanna told herself to stop reading and put the folder back where it belonged, but her eyes and hands worked in harmony to disobey her commands.

“Erlton Motel?” Joanna asked herself more than the audible. The motel was located in a muggle town outside the city. Why was Tom so interested in a muggle town? Unless…

Joanna’s thoughts were cut short when Tom entered the room. Immediately the file and its contents fell from her hand.

“I can explain,” Joanna quickly said.

Tom merely stared at the papers on the floor before turning to Nagini and casting an inaudible spell at it. Nagini hissed and attempted to slither under the bed. But Tom’s second spell caught it by the tail and sent it up onto the ceiling before falling to the ground.

“STOP! Don’t hurt it!” Joanna shouted.

Tom seemed to have not heard her as he cast another spell, followed by a sentence in parseltongue.

Nagini curled up at a corner as Tom headed up to it, wand still pointed at the terrified snake.

“No!” Joanna ran towards him and pulled him away from Nagini. He looked as though he was about to kill his own pet.

There was fury in his eyes when she finally looked him in the face, but a few moments later, the fury left.

“You shouldn’t have read that,” Tom said as he looked past Joanna.

“I know. I’m sorry. It’s my fault, not the snake’s. Please don’t hurt it anymore,” Joanna pleaded.

Tom did not reply. He simply turned around, waved his wand at the papers sending them back into the chest, before exiting the room. The chest sealed itself with the same glowing edges, and Joanna stared at it for a while before wondering if she should go after him.

She was afraid to face him, because she knew she was at fault. She could have just jeopardized their relationship for knowing too much. Turning to Nagini, hoping for an answer she knew she wouldn’t get from the poor baby snake, she found that the snake had disappeared under the bed, leaving her to decide.

Should she try to explain, or should she just leave and come back when she had her words figured out?

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should go after Tom or come back another day!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 32

Taking his hand, Joanna felt an immediate surge of energy as Tom brought her along in an apparation. A few seconds later, they appeared in front of a mansion.

“What is this place?” Joanna asked.

“My place. Supposedly,” Tom answered, as he led her through a door which entered a dusty kitchen.

“If it is your place, why are we entering from the back?”

“It is supposed to be mine, but it isn’t.”

Tom pulled out his wand and brightened up their path out of the kitchen, pass the dining room, and into the hall.

“Whose is it then?”

Tom did not answer as they started up the curving steps to the first floor.

“What if we get caught?”

“You’re still afraid of being caught?” Tom asked in reply.

It was Joanna’s turn not to answer him.

Finally, they entered a huge reading room. Tom started a fire by the fireplace while Joanna examined the room. There were tall bookshelves, a grand piano, and three sofas that sat by the fireplace. The house looked abandoned for several years, as the dusty carpets and cobwebbed ceilings made the air so stale and difficult to breath. However, this room was an exception.

“You live here?” Joanna asked, settling down on a sofa.

“This is the Riddle House. It’s mine by default.” Tom took a seat across her before he continued, “I don’t use the front door because it’s booby trapped. I’ve put spells around the house so no muggle would dare enter. Their fear of the dead is an advantage.”

“Fake ghosts?”

“Fake ghosts of my dead father and grandparents. Even their loyal gardener is afraid of entering the house after their deaths.”

“I see.”

“But this is not what I wanted to show you.”

Tom smiled before he whispered in parseltongue. A few seconds later, Joanna heard a hissing reply.

“Should I close my eyes?” Joanna immediately asked. The last time she met one of Tom’s pets, it was a killing machine.

“No. Nagini is not a basilisk. She’s a rare crossed breed snake I acquired when I was travelling.”

To Joanna’s surprise, the snake that entered the room was not at all huge. It was merely 4 feet long and half a feet wide.

“She’s still a baby. But she’ll grow,” Tom said, after he saw her slight relief.

The snake slithered up the sofa next to Tom, and rested its green head on his lap.

Tom said something else in parseltongue and the snake turned its head to look at Joanna. With its tongue flicking in her direction, it slowly stood up.

“What did you say?” Joanna asked, watching the snake closely.

“I introduced you to her.”

The snake slowly slithered onto the wooden table in the between them and Joanna reacted by standing up immediately.

“Relax. I told her you’re not dinner.”

Was that a joke? Joanna asked herself as she turned to Tom.

“She’s just being friendly,” Tom continued. “Give her a pat on the head, so she knows you’re not hostile.”

Joanna shook her head in reply.

“Nagini won’t bite. She’s a baby and she’s friendlier at this stage. In a couple of months time, it would be impossible to befriend her.”

I don’t want to befriend a snake, Joanna thought.

“If she knows you now, she won’t attempt to kill you later on.”

Looks like I don’t have a choice then? Joanna thought.

Slowly, she reached out towards the snake. It was watching her hand as she watched it, and Joanna had a bad feeling about it. Quickly, she touched the top of the snakes head and pulled her hand back. The snake then lowered its head, before returning to Tom.

“That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Joanna sat back down cautiously.

“I just wanted you to meet my new friend. Nagini has been accompanying me for some time now and she sort of reminds me of you.”

“I’m not a snake,”Joanna immediately responded.

“Of course not. But you’re a friend.”

Tom’s reply made Joanna smile. He never stopped taking her as a friend. That was good, she thought.

…..

Throughout that one month break, Joanna had been catching up with many of her old friends during the day, and spending the nights with Tom in the reading room. One evening, while Joanna was reading a book on dark magic, which was one of the many that rested on the tall shelves, Nagini entered the reading room.

Tom was not around that evening as he said he had an errand to run. Joanna was fine being alone, but certainly unsure on how to react when his snake decided to be her company.

“Hi,” Joanna said, as she lifted her legs off the ground and folded it on the sofa.

Nagini headed up to her and hissed.

“What is it?”

Nagini rose higher off the ground, hissed at her, and turned to look at the door.

“What do you want?” Joanna asked, pushing herself against the sofa. She had to admit that she was still afraid of the snake, baby or not.

Nagini dropped to the ground, slithered to the doorway, rose from the ground and hissed at her again.

Does it want me to follow it? Joanna asked herself.

“Do you want me to follow you?” Joanna then asked Nagini, which she knew did not understand English.

Like a puppy trying to hint for something, Nagini slithered back and forth with its head turning to the hallway outside the room.

Joanna was now certain it wanted to be followed. Yet, Joanna was not so sure if she should. God knows if Nagini intended on attacking her somewhere else.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should follow after Nagini!)

Fan Fiction (Shorts)

A Slippery Gift

She hatched into the family of the rather insane Mr. Grabbill Hookland.

Grab, whom his friends commonly called him, was a collector of rare magical creatures. He would keep them as pets and sometimes mate them. And when the little cross breeds were born, he would sent them as gifts to his nephews and nieces.

Yes, an odd man he was.

You would usually see him in his black tuxedo, striding on the streets of London, claiming to be a business man. And with a wicked sense of cruelty towards muggles, he would often invite them home to give them a scare. Of course, with a memory charm, he covered up that hobby of his easily.

Among his friends, Grab constantly bragged about his “pets”, and how fantastically unique they were. He would flaunt the new breeds and the recently hatched, and today, he flaunted a snake.

“Oh, such beauty isn’t she?” Grab said to Tawrent Lovegood.

“Yes. Rather.” Tawrent gave the snake a poke and sank deeper into his chair. He hated snakes, especially this one. There was something about it, something that made it feel dangerous to be around it.

“Do you know that this one can grow up to 50 feet! If brought up properly that is,” Grab stroked the snake’s head.

“How… delightful,” Tawrent said uncertainly.

“But I’m not keeping this one.”

“Which unlucky nephew or niece are you giving this creature to?”

Grab laughed at what he thought was a joke. “Well, I have a special buyer who’s particularly interested.”

Grab went on to placing the baby snake into a small plastic box. He then waved his wand and brown paper messily wrapped itself around the box. A small card addressed to an unknown source also sat nicely on top of the box. And as an owl swooped into his living room, Grab tied the gift to its legs.

“You know who to send it to,” Grab said cheerfully to the owl. And the owl obediently went on its delivery.

“Is it legal?” Tawrent asked as he watched the owl fly off.

“What is? Selling my pets?”

“Yes. Especially to people you don’t know,” Tawrent said.

“Why not?” Grab smiled as he sipped at his tea.

“I thought there’s a license process for sales and purchases of such creatures.”

“You have too many friends in the ministry that the law is starting to confuse you.”

“I just don’t want you to get in trouble,” Tawrent said with a sigh.

“I won’t be in trouble. This buyer knows a great deal about snakes.”

“Really.” Tawrent was not convinced.

“Oh yes. But I told him that at this age, the snake needs a lot of grooming, and if he has any intentions for it, he best wait till it is fully grown. I also told him not to show it off to anyone, since, it is a very rare breed that I would consider dangerous.”

“Right. Lets hope he doesn’t send it on a killing spree.”

“That would be a waste of her potential if he didn’t. But I think he only wants a companion.” Grabbill laughed.

“Odd choice for one.”

…..

The packaged arrive in a house outside of town. The special buyer sent the owl off with the money he owed before heading to his reading room to unwrap it. But before he could do so, he saw an intruder hiding in the shadows.

Panicking, he pulled out his wand and demanded, “Who are you?! How did you get in?!”

Before he could react. he saw a flash of green light, that even an attempt to draw his last breath was impossible.

“Thank you for the slippery gift,” the person in the shadows said, before heading to the package.

Knowing that the old man he just killed was a loner, he took his time at opening the gift he claimed. And when he first laid eyes on the snake, he was amazed at the beauty of it.

“Hi,” he said.

The baby snake curled at a corner and watched him closely.

“I won’t hurt you. I just want to be friends,” he continued.

He then put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a rat he had bought from the market earlier in the day.

“Here’s a treat,” he said, as he carefully released it into the plastic box.

She hesitated for a moment, watching his hand pull out from her safe zone. Then, without thinking twice, she striked at the rat.

“Fast one,” he said, sounding impressed.

“I am,” she replied.

“I hope you liked it.”

“Thank you,” she said as she moved out from her curled position.

“Do you have a name?” he asked.

She shook her head at him in reply.

“I shall call you Nagini then. Do you like that name?”

“I guess. Do you have a name?”

“Yes. I’m… master. Call me master.”

“O.k master,” Nagini replied.

“Let’s go home,” Master said as he picked up the snake and disappeared in a swoosh.

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 31

Joanna hesitated. Honestly, she wanted to hear him out, but her inner voice was telling her to leave. Not wanting to take a step forward or backward, Joanna planted herself on the ground and waited to see if he insisted.

“Look, I’m sorry alright. I was just… suspicious,” Tom quickly said.

“Of what?”

“Of aurors. They like sticking their noses up in everything.”

“I told you I’m off duty,” Joanna immediately responded, clearly upset at the assumption.

“That’s what they all say.” Tom paused just as the waiter arrived with their food.

“Please sit back down,” Tom added.

Joanna hesitated for a moment before she returned to her seat.

Dinner went on fairly well as Tom suddenly showed interest in her life. He kept the questions going and gave no room for Joanna to ask any. Maybe he didn’t want to be asked, Joanna thought as she left for home that evening. Tom had volunteered to accompany her home, but she declined. His sudden gentleman act reminded her of the times they had back in Hogwarts, and she found herself secretly wishing they had not lost any part of that friendship.

The holidays went on and Joanna found herself bumping into Tom more frequently at Diagon Alley. He even asked her out for a second meal and a third. Before she knew it, she was certain they had obtained that piece of friendship that only she could have with him.

“I once caught a man who was killing innocent muggle girls and drinking their blood,” Joanna said.

“If immortality is what he seeks, unicorn’s blood will do the trick,” Tom replied.

“I don’t know if that’s any better.”

“Better than killing girls, am I not right?”

“Since when did you care about sparing lives?” Joanna asked jokingly.

“I never did. I’m just saying that unicorn’s blood works better and faster.” Tom’s casual reply told Joanna he had dwelled his years in the dark arts. His knowledge was beyond her years of training, and it made even the senior aurors look uneducated.

“Where did you learn all these?”

“My knowledge comes from experience.”

“You killed a unicorn and drank its blood?”

“No, I know someone who did. But he failed to complete the process, and he was never really immortal or mortal in the end.”

They were seated by the fireplace of the tavern, and throughout their conversation, Tom never took his eyes of the flickering flames.

“Horcruxes are better,” Tom muttered to himself.

“You have all of yours done?” Joanna blurted out what was on her mind, and immediately regretting of wondering so. She knew that if she knew too much, she would have to do her job and stop whatever dark magic he was playing with.

“Don’t answer that,” Joanna quickly added.

“I wouldn’t. I’m not stupid.” Tom finally took his eyes off the flames, and the once tall flames went into hiding under the wooden logs, occasionally peering above.

“What did you do to the fire?” Joanna was watching the fire too, and the sudden lost of boldness in the flames was odd.

“I did nothing to the fire,” Tom replied as he sunk deeper into the red velvet arm chair.

Instead of following after him, Joanna leaned towards the fire, telling herself she did not just imagine it all. Just then, the flames made a sudden rise, higher than it did before. Joanna immediately shoved herself back into her seat, and when she turned to Tom, he merely smiled.

“You did that!” Joanna exclaimed. The empty tavern at one in the morning made her exclamation sound like a shout from the rooftops.

“Hush now, there’s no need to shout,” Tom replied, still smiling.

“How did you do that?”

Tom did not reply. He simply kept his smile.

“Tell me!” Joanna insisted.

“I didn’t do that.”

“Liar. I know you did.”

“You can’t prove it,” Tom said.

“You could burn this whole tavern to the ground if you wanted to. I’m sure you could.”

“You have great faith in my abilities. Aren’t you afraid I may be the next evil wizard to send the world into mass hysteria?”

“I don’t think your ambitions are that heinous.” Joanna found herself answering like her innocent 17 year old self. Had she not matured a day from all the bad wizards and witches she had encountered?

“Unfortunately, your youthful innocence blinds you.”

Tom’s statement plummeted Joanna’s thoughts into a dark vortex of self evaluation. Indeed her innocence was blinding, but only to his dark side, which she feared.

“Enough talk. I want to show you something,” Tom said, after the ticking sound of the grandfather clock became too monotonous to bear.

“Show me what?”

“You would have to come home with me to see it,” Tom replied.

“Go home with you? Can’t you just summon whatever it is here?”

“If I did, I would cause some hysteria, and that’s not what I intend on doing. At least not so soon.”

Tom stood up from his chair and waited for her.

Should she follow him home? Joanna was curious on what he wanted to show her, but it was really late and going home with him might not be the best idea.

“I won’t hurt you. You should know that by now,” Tom added, as she stretched out his hand for her to take.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should follow Tom home or go home!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 30

Joanna headed to Knockturn Alley after gossiping about everyone from school with Annoria. Being that she was an Auror in one of the darkest parts of the Wizarding World, Joanna never took her hand off her wand. As she walked down the old shops, mostly unable to tell if they were still operational, Joanna recalled the trip she took with Tom to the tavern in Hogsmead. Oh yes, the same trepidation was lingering within her.

Finally reaching Borgin and Burkes, Joanna took a peep through the old musty window. She saw a wide array of magical objects which she was sure all could be used for dark magic. Silently, she wondered why there was no law against magical objects that enhanced dark magic.

“Can I help you?” a man, who was standing by the door, asked in a suspicious tone.

“I’m… looking for someone,” Joanna hesitated.

“Why?” The man, whom Joanna recognized as Caractacus Burke, kept the same suspicious tone.

“You’re Caractacus right?” Joanna had to confirm her doubts, as the man was missing a finger, which was not the description they had on him at the Auror department.

“Who’s asking?”

“You’re on our watch list,” Joanna simply replied as she walked past him and into his shop.

“I didn’t do anything, you can’t prove anything,” Caractacus immediately defended himself as he followed after her.

“Relax, I’m not here on a job.”

“Then why are you here?” His suspicious tone returned.

“I’m looking for an old friend from school, they say he works here.”

“Who? Tom Riddle? He’s the only one that works for me,” Caractacus quickly replied, hoping to shift the conversation away from himself.

“Yes. Is he here?”

“I’ll… I’ll go get him,” he said, before hurrying off and disappearing among the shelves and big objects.

And then, as though the placement of the objects were so perfect to bounce off sound, Joanna heard a conversation.

“Who is she?! What did you do?!” Caractacus demanded.

“Relax old man, she’s a friend from school.”

“She better not be snooping around. They need a warrant for that.”

“She won’t give you any problems.”

Joanna could still hear the authoritative tone in his voice. Though it may seem like Tom was working for Caractacus, but Caractacus was wrapped around Tom’s fingers.

“I’m taking a break,” Tom said, before she heard his footsteps. And though they were loud and clear she couldn’t make out the direction he was coming from.

“Funny how sound works in here huh,” Tom finally said from behind her, making her jump as her hand tightened on her wand.

“Yes. It is.” Joanna turned to face him. Tom had not really changed as he still looked the same, just older and more manly.

“Let’s talk outside. Mr. Burke likes to eavesdrop,” Tom said loudly before he led her to the exit.

Once outside, Joanna found herself letting go of her wand. Somehow, she knew he wouldn’t hurt her.

“The arrangement of the objects… your job?” Joanna asked, already knowing the answer.

“Yes. We like listening to our customers’ thoughts,” Tom answered with a smile. “So, how have you been?”

“Pretty good, you?”

“I’m fine.”

“I thought you wanted to work in Hogwarts?”

“I was turned down.”

“Ouch. But I heard you had a lot of offers from the Ministry.”

“I turned THEM down.”

As Tom answered, she noticed how he never took his eyes off her.

“As an auror, aren’t you trained to be on guard every time?” Tom suddenly asked.

“Yes.”

“You should keep your hand on your wand. I must tell you, it is more dangerous out here than in there.”

“I…” Joanna didn’t know how to answer. She didn’t intend on letting her guard down at all.

“But don’t worry, I’ll protect you. No one here crosses me,” Tom said with full of pride. And then he smiled, that same smile that captivated the hearts of many.

“I get off work at around seven. We can have dinner if you want to catch up?” Tom added.

Joanna started to read him again, just like how she would back in Hogwarts.

“Dinner sounds fine,” Joanna replied, after a few seconds of internal debates.

“Great. I’ll meet you at the Three Broomsticks,” Tom replied and disappeared back into the shop without even saying goodbye.

Placing her hand back on her wand, Joanna left Knockturn Alley, did some shopping, and settled down at the Three Broomsticks right at the stroke of seven. Moments later, Tom walked in and sat down at her table.

There was a long moment of silence as the waitress came, went and returned. Joanna buried her face in the menu long enough for the waitress to make an annoying throat clearing sound. After they made their orders, Joanna started staring out the window, trying to avoid Tom’s gaze. He had never taken his eyes off her the moment he saw her.

“Could you stop staring at me?” Joanna could not take it any longer.

“Why did you come and see me?” Tom asked in reply.

“I… I just wanted to see how you were doing.”

“Curious as always,” Tom said.

“No. I was concerned.”

“Right. But why? We haven’t spoken since we left school, its almost a year and a half now.”

“Is it wrong to check up on an old friend?” Joanna was getting defensive.

“I don’t know. We weren’t really friends after you came back to Hogwarts.”

“Well, that’s not really my fault, is it?” Joanna couldn’t believe they were getting into an argument.

“You were saying it was my fault?”

“You weren’t there when I needed you the most, you ditched me remember? After your emotional speech about wanting me to be in your life and all that, you still ditched me,” Joanna replied, trying not to get angry.

“I made a speech? I don’t recall it,” Tom said, with no expression on his face.

“Wow Tom, just wow. I don’t know why I agreed to have dinner with you. You’re just the same arrogant boy I use to know.”

“I’m always the same, Joanna. I’ve never changed. Is that all you remember me for, arrogant?”

“I don’t need to remember, you’re proving it now.” Immediately, Joanna stood up.

“You’re leaving?” Tom asked, not at all surprised.

“Yes. I am.” Joanna decided to give up trying. Tom may have grown to be more handsome, but he was still the same inside.

As she walked past him, he reached out for her wrist and stopped her.

“I’m sorry. Old habits die hard,” Tom quickly said. “Please, sit back down.” The tone in his voice had changed.

“No. I got to go.” Joanna often wondered if Tom had a split personality, and if he did, she did not want to deal with either personalities anymore.

“Don’t go. I need to tell you something.” Tom refused to let go of her wrist no matter how hard she tried to tug it free.

Joanna thought for a while. Should she listen to him and give him a chance? Or should she just leave him, as dinner WAS his chance.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should stay or go!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 26:

It took a long time before Joanna could make up her mind. She then decided that going back to school was a much better option than staying at home. Hence, she wrote a reply to Professor Dippet, and a week later, she found herself boarding the Hogwarts Express.

As the train started to move, Joanna decided that she would just mind her own business and keep her head down for the rest of the year. By the time she had her mind set, the train was already in the country side, and the fresh scenery of greens reminded Joanna of the days where her life wasn’t full of curses and bad omens. Yet, she knew she could never run from them, as her days seemed to be marked with darkness. Wishing she never existed, Joanna resorted to closing her eyes and falling asleep.

Moments later, a knock came from the door, and just as she opened her eyes, she saw a blond headed boy in a prefects uniform.

“Malfoy?” Joanna asked in surprise.

“Hey. Yea, it’s me. I volunteered to make sure you got to Hogwarts safe,” Abraxas Malfoy replied.

“Wow, how kind of you,” Joanna said sarcastically.

“It was a good excuse to skip classes,” he immediately said.

“I bet. And since when were you a prefect?” Joanna straightened up and watched as he entered the compartment and took a seat across her.

“Tom put in a good word for me.”

“He probably needed you out of bed late at night, that’s why.”

“Yea, he does.”

“Such loyalty,” Joanna trailed off.

It was utter silence from then on as they both stared out the window, watching the blue sky turn orange and then to black. It would have been a very awkward moment, but somehow, Joanna knew what Abraxas was going through. She could see how torn he was, between staying loyal and doing what was right, and she knew he wanted to get out as much as she did. If Abraxas didn’t have such a prideful soul, Joanna could have seen them as good friends.

Joanna was about to break the silence with a question when Abraxas beat her to it.

“Why do you like Tom?”

“What?” Joanna replied, not at all expecting it.

“I know you’re not the first. There are many other girls. But Tom isn’t exactly nice. Yea, sure, he’s a sweet talker and he’s intelligent, but he’s sometimes rather mean.”

“Like you aren’t mean,” Joanna replied.

That immediately silenced Abraxas.

“I’m sorry. I don’t like Tom,” Joanna added.

“I read the letter you wrote him,” Abraxes said, so softly that he hoped his confession was not heard.

“What?!” Joanna stood up and pulled out her wand.

“I’m sorry! I was just curious, and I didn’t mean to.” Abraxes slid on his seat towards the exit.

“So, you know everything? Even what he’s doing?” Joanna asked as she eyed him carefully.

“I won’t tell anyone, I swear!”

For a brief moment, Joanna was hoping Abraxas might have told someone. But then she panicked, and she instinctively wanted to protect Tom.

“You swear on your mother’s life?” Joanna asked.

“Wow, you’re really going to protect him?” Abraxas slowly stood up.

Joanna narrowed her eyes at his sudden boldness.

“Maybe you don’t like him, maybe it’s something more.”

“What are you talking about?” Joanna straightened her wand at Abraxas, and Abraxas responded by casually folding his arms.

“Or maybe you’re just living up to your Hufflepuff trait of being loyal?”

“What are you talking about?!” Joanna asked again, confused at where he was going.

“Look, I know what Tom is doing, I’m helping him as well. I think he has a pretty good plan. AND, I’m not here for you.”

Abraxas pushed her wand away, and sat back down.

“I’m here because Tom suggested to Professor Dippet to give you an escort, but when he sent me, Tom asked me to run an errand for him.”

“What errand?”

“Ah, that is for me to know only.”

“Then why are you telling me this?”

“Because you’re not the only one who knows things.”

“So, you’re just bragging that Tom is using you?”

“When the reign of blood purity happens, my family would be on top. That is his promise to me.”

“I don’t care.” Joanna rolled her eyes and added, “Did he tell you to pull that trick on me as well?”

“No. I was just testing you. Tom said if I could tell where your loyalty stands, then I should tell you that he would be waiting for you at the tower tonight.”

“He wants to see me?”

“He thinks you’ve changed-“

“And can be useful to him, right?”

“I don’t know. He just wants to see you.”

Just then, the train stopped at the station and the horn was blown.

“The tower. Remember,” Abraxas said with a smirk, before he got up, and exited the compartment.

Joanna was left standing, with her wand in hand, wondering to herself if she should actually meet Tom. What was he up to? And why is he bothering to see her now? Joanna knew she only had a brief moment to decide.

To Be Continued…

(Vote or leave a comment below on whether Joanna should meet up with Tom, or ignore him!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 25:

Joanna hesitated for a moment, as she looked at Annoria who was shaking her head and tugging at her hand to leave. But instead of heading out the front door, Joanna walked towards the back. Annoria quickly tried to stop her but Malfoy butted in before Annoria could say anything.

“What are you doing?” Malfoy said, as he hurried up to them.

“I’m giving your girlfriend the duel she wants,” Joanna replied.

“She’s not my girlfriend,” Malfoy replied and said nothing else as he opened the back door for both Joanna and Annoria to exit.

The back alley was rather abandoned at that hour of the day. The sun was at its highest and it wasn’t the best time to be strolling down the streets.

“So, will here do?” Matilda asked, sounding very much like Rose at that moment.

“Where ever would do,” Joanna replied casually as she headed up to Matilda and gave a bow. Not even bothering to see if Matilda did the same, Joanna turned and placed herself 20 feet away across Matilda.

As Joanna went into her dueling stance, Matilda quickly asked, “Wait! Who’s your second?”

“I don’t need one,” Joanna repled, immediately waving her wand and throwing a spell at Matilda, who barely managed to block it.

“Hey! I wasn’t ready!” Matilda shouted.

“The duel started a while ago. Unless you don’t know the rules, you shouldn’t challenged anyone.” Joanna threw another spell, making Matilda stumble backwards. Her housemates immediately caught her before she fell over.

“I didn’t challenge you!” Matilda threw a spell in return, and Joanna blocked it off with a wave.

“Then you shouldn’t point wands when you don’t intend on using them,” Joanna replied as she sent 3 more spells. Sparks of red, blue and green flew towards Matilda and as she screamed, she ran behind her housemates, shoving them forward as she did.

Three of her housemates took the spells as they were caught off guard. One flew backwards, knocking over a few Slytherins like a bowling ball. Another had his legs tied together, and as much as he tried to balance himself, he joined the pile of his friends on the ground. The other girl screamed as boils started appearing on her hands and face.

When Matilda saw it all, she immediately demanded, “Where you trying to kill me?!”

“That is the common intention of a duel. No other rules were set, right?” Joanna replied as she walked towards Matilda.

“Joanna! What are you doing?” Annoria asked, with desperation in her voice. Then turning to Malfoy, which Annoria rarely did, she said, “Stop her!”

“Me? You gotta be kidding. Clearly, home school paid off,” Malfoy replied as he remained where he stood, by the back door of the Three Broomsticks.

“Joanna! Don’t!” Annoria shouted, as Joanna was closing in on Matilda.

Matilda’s housemates were already backing away, leaving Matilda to fend for herself.

“Guys! Help me!” Matilda commanded as she dared not to take her eyes off Joanna.

“If we did, we would be breaking the rules,” one of her friends replied.

Matilda then attempted to run, but Joanna managed to cast a leg locking spell before she could, and Matilda fell to the ground instead. She screamed in pain as she landed on her shoulder, and when she tried to prop herself up, Joanna flicked her wand and sent Matilda’s wand 10 feet away from her.

Immediately looking up at Joanna, Matilda stammered, “Ple-please. I’m, I’m sorry o.k?”

“Looks like we have a stammer,” Joanna said, and she could have sworn she heard a few of the Slytherins laugh. They probably never liked her at all.

“You know, when I was being tutored at home, I learnt a spell.” Joanna slowly squatted down beside Matilda. “This spell is not illegal yet, and most people use it in duels. It’s called, the Cruciatus curse. Have you heard of it?”

Joanna immediately felt like Rose, when she threatened to use the Cruciatus on her. But Joanna felt better than Rose, as Matilda deserved it. She was a gossipy, back-stabbing, nosy girl, who gained attention through the false rumours she spread all over school.

“Do you know what it does, Matilda?” Joanna asked as Matilda’s eyes widened.

“Joanna, don’t!” Annoria said, as she ran up to her and pulled Joanna to her feet.

“If you don’t stop your nonsense, Matilda, you will feel how it’s like being cruciated,” Joanna gave a final warning, and walked off.

As she headed past the exit of the Three Broomstick, Joanna saw Tom standing by the doorway. She didn’t know how long he had been standing there, but she decided she didn’t want to know.

After the duel, Joanna told Annoria she would be going home. She also apologized if she scared her, and justified her actions by saying she was only doing it to warn Matilda. But deep down inside, she wasn’t sorry at all, because it felt good.

That night, as Joanna was lying on her bed, an owl swooped into her room, through an open window. It landed at the foot of her bed, and with the little light that came from the moon, she noticed the seal on the letter. It was a letter from Hogwarts.

At that very moment, Joanna was afraid that the duel had reached the ears of Professor Dippet, and so she hurriedly took the letter from the owl and tore it open. But the first sentence immediately drowned her fears, as it stated that her father has informed the school that she can return to Hogwarts if she wishes to.

Why her father did not just inform her himself, she did not bother to dwell over. The question that really bothered her was whether she really wanted to go back, or remain home schooled.

To Be Continued…

(Vote or leave a comment below on whether Joanna should go back to Hogwarts or remain home schooled!)