Joint Fixation

Tom Riddle doesn't know how to love. He only knows obsession.

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1. Chapter 1: Assist Me

"I can't believe it's our last year!" Claire Brown said, her lips forming into a pout, "Seems like yesterday we all met on the platform." she sighed.

Audrey Row was a seventh year Slytherin student at Hogwarts. This would be her final year and she couldn't wait to finish. She sat at the Slytherin house table with her two best friends, Claire Brown and Victoria Waterman. The three of them had been friends since first year. Audrey had opened her mouth to respond to Claire but Professor Dippet had already stood up to address the hall.

"Welcome!" he clapped his hands together, "Welcome all to the 1944-1945 year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

The students all clapped.

"Yes good, good." Dippet beamed. He was a nearly bald and somewhat feeble man, "We will begin tonight with the sorting ceremony."

Audrey perked up when she saw her favourite teacher, Professor Dumbledore, bring in the sorting hat and stool for the ceremony. She remembered how nervous she was at her sorting. Her chestnut brown hair had been disheveled from the boat ride over causing her to resemble a rouge wildebeest. The first years this time around looked just as nervous. Audrey was in charge of leading the new Slytherins to their dorms after the feast, as she was a prefect. She adjusted her badge and stood up straighter to see over the heads of other students.

The first Slytherin to join the table was a feeble looking boy named Eugene Gallager. He sat nervously across from Audrey and she gave him a reassuring smile. This didn't seem to ease the boy one bit.

"Hi, welcome to Slytherin, Eugene." said a handsome boy a few seats down. His smile was bright and brilliant. His dark hair swept across his forehead perfectly and his eyes seemed warm and inviting. Eugene immediately relaxed. "I'm Tom, Head Boy."

Audrey turned to face Tom Riddle. He could always make people feel comfortable in any situation. Plus, it didn't hurt that he was absolutely gorgeous. He was the most well liked student in the school and did brilliantly in every subject. Any other choice for Head Boy would have been ludicrous. Claire was giggling next to Audrey, causing her long, blonde hair to shake, and Victoria was rolling her eyes.

"Must you be so obvious." Vicky frowned and adjusted the clip in her short black hair. Claire was known for bursting into fits of giggles anytime Tom Riddle spoke. His very presence made her blush, but this was common. Almost every girl in school had a crush on Tom however, Claire made it very obvious. Audrey had to admit that Tom Riddle was the kind of man she had envisioned marrying as a little girl. Handsome, smart, charming; everything a girl would want. But Tom was nowhere near attainable. He was part of the popular crowd at school and Audrey wasn't. In fact she had never spoken a word to Tom her whole six years at Hogwarts.

After an uneventful feast, Audrey led the first year Slytherins down to the dungeons. She was accompanied by the other Slytherin prefect, Liam Mulciber. Mulciber was part of Tom Riddle's gang and Audrey did not care for him at all. He was a snooty and mean boy with a face like a wild boar. She couldn't understand why someone as nice as Tom Riddle would associate with someone as foul as Mulciber.

"And here we are." Mulciber said in a monotone to the first years. He was obviously bored. "Boys on the left girls on the right." The first years went up the stairs to their respective rooms and Mulciber, obviously glad to be rid of them, practically leapt towards Tom Riddle and his gang. They were all huddled in the middle of the common room, whispering. Audrey tried not to stare. It was rude to look on other people's conversations.

The next day at breakfast they received their timetables.

"Yes! Double Transfiguration!" Audrey beamed. Transfiguration was her best and favourite subject taught by none other than Professor Dumbledore.

"Wow, we hardly have any classes with you anymore." Vicky said, comparing their timetables.

"Yeah, we've got History of Magic, Herbology, Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, and Transfiguration." Claire said before she took a sip of pumpkin juice.

"Well this year I took, History of Magic, Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, and Muggle Studies." Audrey frowned. It was NEWT year and the three friends had different career goals.

"Well, we have Herbology first. See you at History!" Vicky said as she and Claire picked up their bags and marched to their first class. Audrey followed them until they had to part ways to head to Potions.

Professor Slughorn was the potions teacher at Hogwarts. He was a jolly-looking man who was notorious for playing favourites in his class. He valued social status and intelligence the most. So, naturally, Audrey was one of his prize students. Not only was her family rich and prominent, but she had also received all 'Outstandings' and one 'Exceed Expectations' on her OWLs. She sat down in the front row of the classroom like usual and pulled out her notebook. She had one notebook for each subject. Each notebook was clearly labeled and contained colour coded dividers to separate each chapter and unit in the subject. She had read every textbook already so she knew how many dividers to make.

A loud crowd of boys shuffled into the classroom. Audrey did not need to turn around to know who it was. Tom Riddle's gang had sat down on the other side of the classroom. They were followed by the Ravenclaws, who seemed to have all come at once. More Slytherins trickled in until the room was full. Slughorn made his appearance shortly after.

"All the usual faces I see!" Slughorn beamed, "Riddle, Avery, Harper, Row…" his grin doubled when he said Riddle and his eyes glittered at Audrey when he said Row. Audrey had no doubt that Slughorn had only allowed his best and brightest students into his NEWT Potions class. But it was a good thing that many of the kids in the room were brilliant because the first potion of the year proved to be a difficult one. Audrey knew the secret to perfect potion making. All you had to do was read the instructions and keep your cool.

"Excellent work Miss Row. Excellent indeed." Slughorn practically stuck his face in the cauldron of her perfectly made Sleeping Potion. "Gather this up and hand it in."

After handing in her potion, she gathered her things and headed to History of Magic. She didn't notice the handsome boy staring at her from behind.

 

 

Tom kept his eyes on Audrey as she left the Potions classroom, her wavy hair swaying behind her. He had been keeping an eye on her since he spotted her on the platform the day before. He had observed that she was a kind girl, highly intelligent and organized and deliciously innocent. She had never served of any importance to Tom before but now it was different. Now she would be useful to him.

"Better run to your next class Tom." Professor Slughorn said behind him.

"Yes of course sir." he replied politely and smiled. Slughorn adored Tom to the point where he would tell him anything. That's why last year he had questioned Slughorn about horcruxes. He had already made one by then but Tom had interest in making another. He had innocently asked the professor what would happen if you were to create more than one. But he had not gotten many answers. Tom frowned as he felt his robe's pocket. The diary inside was not right. It was fragile and had to be kept next to him at all times. The horcrux he had created was not complete. He needed more clear instructions on how to make one. But Hogwarts did not contain such a book. Only the original creators of the horcrux owned such a book. And the only way he was going to find that book was through her. He needed to befriend her. It wouldn't be difficult. She was just like any other girl; weak and easy to manipulate. He would have access to the book in no time.

There was only the matter of finding the right time to approach her. Tonight in the common room would be ideal. She would most likely be going over her notes from that day. She would be relaxed and peaceful, an excellent time to pounce.

"So what are we doing about that girl my Lord?" Mark Rosier said in a low whisper.

"We are going to do nothing. I will take care of her. She will be easy to take on." Tom replied coldly.

"Yes of course." Rosier bowed his head and moved to the back of the pack. Avery and Lestrange stood in front next to Tom while Mulciber and Nott stood in back. The five of them were his loyal followers. He called them the 'Knights of Walpurgis', 'Knights' for short. But only the six of them knew of their secret group. If anyone else knew about what they did behind closed doors, or closed chambers, there would be unpleasant consequences.

After classes were over and everyone had eaten dinner, Tom found himself in the common room sitting on the plush, green couch watching her again. Just as he had predicted, she was sitting by herself reviewing her notes. The two girls she hung around were sitting together at a different table. They obviously were not as studious as Audrey. Now was his chance. It was getting late and she might head off to bed soon. Tom stood up and put on his best smile.

"Hello." he said cheerfully, placing a hand on the back of her chair. Audrey looked up and her eyes widened. "It's Audrey right?"

"Yes." she blinked.

"I couldn't help but notice you over here. You're quite organized." He looked down at her colour coded notes.

"Oh. Yes. Thank you?" she said in a confused tone.

"I'm nowhere near as organized as you. I wonder…" he said, pretending to be thinking about something. He knew exactly what he was going to say. He had been planning it for weeks. She was staring up at him in amazement. She had probably never had someone so good looking speak to her before. "I've taken on a very heavy workload this year. I was looking for sort of an unofficial assistant. With your brilliant skills I'm sure you'd be a good candidate."

"Assistant?" she looked puzzled.

"Yes. Just to help me sort out my notes and assignments. Nothing much. I could pay you if you'd like." he smiled. It looked like she was warming up to the idea.

"Pay me? Oh, no I couldn't accept money from you." she said shyly. Her face was turning red, making her blue eyes more prominent.

"Well I should compensate you for your services. I honestly can't think of anyone better for the job." he said with a hint of flirtation.

"Well, I-okay." Audrey stuttered. He made her nervous. She was very easily swayed because she was so intimidated by him.

"Excellent!" he said, pulling notes from seemingly out of nowhere, "Just organize these for me by the end of tomorrow." He plopped the papers onto the table. They landed on top of her notes sloppily. He gave her a sly wink and then walked away. Audrey was left stunned.

 

 

"His assistant? Why does a 17 year old boy need an assistant?" Vicky grumbled as she ate her scrambled eggs at breakfast the next morning.

"He said he has a big work load. Needs to keep organized." Audrey shrugged. Her brain was still trying to work out what had happened last night. Tom Riddle had randomly come up to her and asked her to organize his notes for money. And somehow, she had agreed. Now she was stuck doing this task for him.

"You're so lucky! I can't believe he talked to you! And he knows your name! I'm so jealous!" Claire whined with excitement.

"I bet he has a crush on you." Vicky smirked.

"Absolutely not." Audrey dismissed the idea. There was no chance in hell Tom Riddle was interested in her. She wasn't even half as pretty as he was.

"This just sounds like some lame excuse to get to know you." Vicky laughed, "I thought he'd come up with something better."

At that moment, Tom and his gang entered the Great Hall. Audrey froze. He was looking right at her. He smiled and began to walk towards her. Eventually he sat next to her, his arm brushing against hers.

"How are the notes coming along?" he asked as he grabbed a slice of bread. He didn't take his eyes off her.

"Great." she squeaked and lowered her head. She was not used to this much male attention. In fact she wasn't used to any male attention. Audrey had never been approached by a boy ever and was yet to have her first kiss. Tom nodded at her and began chatting to his friends. Audrey stared at her two girlfriends with her eyes wide open. Both girls had the same expression. Now Tom Riddle was sitting with them? And even chatting a little? It was like a parallel universe. Audrey's heart fluttered with excitement. The most popular boy in school had taken a sudden interest in her and she liked it.

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