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Thinking of You

Chapter Text

Everyone knew about the existence of soulmates. Magical or Muggle, it was something that existed in both worlds. Most had one, though it was rare to actually meet them, considering the sheer number of people in the world. Some had soulmates in different countries or cultures, and it wasn't easy for everyone to travel in an attempt to meet their mate, if they could even figure out who they were. Those who actually managed to do so were lucky. Anyone living in the Magical world had a much easier time meeting their own, but even then, it wasn't much of a guarantee. Some people had soulmates, but never knew about it. Others died too early, or were born too late. There was no control over something like this, not really.

It was almost in desperation that people would write or draw on their own skin, hoping and praying their mate would see it and return the gesture. It could only be done by their own hand too. Anything they wrote or drew on themselves with their own hand, would appear on the same spot on their soulmate, if they did indeed have one. If someone else did something, the mate would see nothing. It was awfully convenient, considering how tattoos existed, or how people could otherwise have used this to sabotage or prank others. It didn't seem to work for injuries either, which was probably a good thing.

Having a soulmate was considered a privilege. Actually managing to end up in a relationship with them was an honour. No one ever wanted to be that one person in the group who didn't know who their mate was, or worse, didn't have one. It was something that could almost be considered an open invitation for scorn.

Marvolo Slytherin was no different.

Before he had changed his name, he had been Tom Riddle-the poor, but clever orphan. He had learned all about soulmates, was aware of which other children had one, and was always mocked for seemingly not having one himself which, at the time, had been just as bad as the other reasons he had been picked on and attacked at the orphanage.

That had bothered him for some time, even after he had learned he was a Wizard and begun attending Hogwarts each year.

He had been considered an outcast at first, considered a Muggleborn, but Sorted into Slytherin House. Seemingly not having a soulmate only really made matters worse. All Purebloods had one, he had been told, and those who didn't weren't spoken of or taken particularly seriously.

But he had only let that bother him for a while. Soon enough, he had simply put the entire soulmate thing behind him, and started working hard on proving himself better than everyone else. He may have been poor, may have been an orphan, but he was still intelligent, and was going to show everyone just that. And it worked too.

The other Slytherins had soon begun doubting his supposed Muggle heritage, and started flocking around him. But it wasn't until his fifth year, when it was revealed that he was a Parselmouth, that they really started not only looking and speaking, but treating him as their leader, even as he learned the truth of his parents and heritage.

He had discarded his filthy Muggle father's name, and had his loyal followers call him Lord Voldemort. He started creating Horcruxes, and after Grindelwald had been defeated, replaced him as the next Dark Lord, and tried to impose his will on everyone.

But it hadn't worked. A large resistance had been created, and after much loss of life, he eventually realized that he was going about it all the wrong way. He wanted change. Change that would help their world. But trying to scare the populace into accepting these changes wasn't going to work.

So he changed himself instead. He destroyed all but one of his Horcruxes, and reverted back to the handsome, charming man so many had willingly followed. He worked at the Ministry of Magic, earned his positions, and moved to the top of the ladder quicker than his opposition had hoped he would.

He became a political leader, working with some, and against many more. Laws were created, passed, changed, repealed, and finally things began going in his favour.

Once he had competent followers in the Ministry, he was able to take the position he had wanted all these years, and became the Defence professor at Hogwarts, working 'under' Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who clearly was not as fond of him as he pretended to be. Not that that was new, or anything. It was a wonder he had even hired him. Suspicious, too.

There were still some incidents with some of his more radical followers. Some would ignore his orders or think for him, attacking Light members while under the impression he would approve of their actions, looking for praise.

He hadn't cared much about what they'd been doing, until they had gone too far. The fools coordinated an attack on two powerful Light families. This resulted in a young couple literally being driven to insanity, and a second, equally young couple dead.

Both of these couples had young children about the same age. The boy belonging to the first couple had sustained a nasty head injury that could have very easily been fatal for an infant.

The girl belonging to the second couple however, had been struck with the Killing Curse, like her parents. Marvolo had been there, along with Dumbledore, who had arrived first, though the younger man had trouble recalling what exactly had taken place-couldn't even remember who had thrown the curse, though he knew for sure it had been cast, which was certainly strange. His lack of questioning it was strange too.

Regardless, the girl had survived the Killing Curse thrown at her, and the public had begun calling the mere babe the Girl-Who-Lived. Some went as far as to call her their Saviour, expecting her to save them from Marvolo and his supposed tyranny. He simply ignored them, and didn't argue as it was demanded the Death Eaters behind these attacks be sent to Azkaban. They deserved the punishment anyway, for disobeying his orders like that.

Life had simply gone on for the 'Dark Lord'. He wasn't willing to be pushed out of Hogwarts before he could do the same to Dumbledore, and simply worked quietly, while his followers in the government worked on the laws.

Things were moving along slowly, but surely.

For years, Marvolo had completely forgotten about the very existence of soulmates.

Until one day, three years after the 'incident', completely out of nowhere, a messy purple flower appeared on the palm of the man's left hand.

Chapter Text

It was a rainy Friday morning at Hogwarts, and Marvolo was seated at the Head Table, in the middle of breakfast. He was simply reaching for his mug of coffee with his free hand, when the splotch of colour on his normally pale skin suddenly caught his eye.

Frowning, feeling slightly confused, he raised his hand up slightly, and froze. Right there, in the middle of his palm, was what he assumed to be a flower, drawn with what appeared to be a purple Muggle marker.

It was hardly drawn expertly, looking quite messy, almost...childlike.

"Is something the matter with your hand, Tom?" It was Dumbledore who spoke, seated to his left, the old man never having stopped using that damned name in reference to him. He looked over curiously, and then smiled cheerfully, his blue eyes twinkling happily. "Your very first soulmate mark! Congratulations, my boy!"

It almost sounded as if he was congratulating him for losing his first tooth.

Deciding not to correct the usage of his disgusting Muggle father's name, Marvolo merely inclined his head. "Yes, my thanks, Dumbledore." They both knew he didn't care at all for the old man's words.

Nothing more was spoken of it for now, though Marvolo found himself staring at the messy flower-a violet, he assumed, more than once throughout the day. It was a good thing it was a Friday, because he was having a difficult time concentrating on teaching his lessons...

After dinner that night, he retired to his sitting room, where he was having a drink with the Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House (because Marvolo himself was now too busy to take the extra responsibility and had passed the Head's position on), Severus Snape, one of his followers. The were discussing the mark.

Severus had been fortunate to have met his own soulmate when he had been eleven, in an older House mate of his, Lucius Malfoy. They had bonded not long after Severus had finished his seventh year, before adding Narcissa Black into the mix. She had lost her soulmate at a very young age, long before she had even begun attending Hogwarts, never having met them before their death.

Lucius' father Abaraxas had been clear he wanted a grandson to continue on their line, blood adoption be damned, and with Narcissa being such a close friend, she agreed to have the child herself. Now Abaraxas was happy (or would be if he were still alive), Lucius and Severus were happy to be together, and Narcissa was happy to be with them, she and Lucius their boy's parents, with Severus content to be his godfather.

Severus had a great amount of respect for Marvolo, who had helped him through many painful times and trials that Dumbledore had all but ignored, and he had always wondered why the man hadn't ever mentioned a soulmate of his own. He had assumed the man didn't have one and didn't want it known or brought up. Now, it seemed like he had his answer.

His gaze paused on the other man. Marvolo was seated in the armchair across him, his crimson eyes once more locked on the little flower doodle. He was frowning again. Severus took a slow sip of Firewhiskey, watching.

"I had thought you would be pleased," he spoke after a moment. "I have no doubt Lucius and Cissa will be utterly...ecstatic." Narcissa in particular, always a romantic, that one.

Slowly, Marvolo looked up from his hand. "My soulmate is a child."

Severus raised a brow. "And how would you know that?"

The other man gave him a look that was quite familiar from his Dark Lord days, not that he wasn't considered one now. "This cannot have been drawn by anyone other than a child."

"Simply because it is not perfect? If I were to attempt to draw that, it would look far worse. Not every adult is able to draw." Though he couldn't dismiss the fact that this could very well be a child. If it really was an adult, surely some sort of mark would have appeared before now?

Marvolo was an attentive man. He wouldn't have missed it every single time. And as far as either of them knew, this was the first time something had appeared on his skin. This they both knew clearly.

Severus hesitated just slightly. "Have you...attempted to communicate in return?" he asked.

"...No, not yet." Marvolo didn't want to admit it, but he wasn't quite sure what to do now. He was fifty eight years old (though he looked half that), and had come to terms with simply not having a soulmate. He had put all his attention and energy in his work, and to have something like this happen now... It was just very sudden and unexpected.

"Draw something in return," the usually dour Potions Master suggested. "A flower, perhaps, like the one they drew. There is no reason why you should not."

Yes, that was true. He didn't have to use words just yet. A simple doodle in return shouldn't cause much harm, because while unsure of what to do, he didn't exactly want to just ignore it either.

So he took up the quill he had been using to correct homework earlier, dipped it in the ink, and hesitantly drew a red flower on his left wrist, hardly even feeling the pain, because using quills for this probably wasn't a good idea, if Severus' wince had anything to say about it.

He couldn't recall ever drawing a flower before in his life, and this one very clearly reflected that. Still, it was too late to change his mind now, the ink already settled on his pale skin.

The hours passed and Severus returned to his own rooms in the dungeons. Marvolo had a final drink before deciding it was time for him to head to bed. Tomorrow may be a Saturday, but he still had much work to do, and not just work for the lessons he was teaching.

He checked himself over one last time, but saw nothing new, and with a sigh, settled into bed, the candle's flame snuffing out with a snap of his fingers...

When Marvolo woke in the morning, his eyes immediately landed on his wrist. The red flower he had drawn last night now had a green stem, with a leaf on either side.

His soulmate had completed his drawing. His long, slim fingers traced over it slowly...

Chapter Text

Violet Potter didn't hear of the concept of soulmates until she was four years old.

She lived with her aunt, and uncle, and cousin, and all of them were mean and hated her guts. And they proved it every day without fail too. That was why she slept in the cupboard under the stairs, and why she had to do lots of hard work, while Dudley didn't.

Ugly, stupid, freaks who got themselves killed, had left her on the doorstep of her hardworking relatives who had taken her in out of the goodness of their hearts, despite her being an equally ugly, stupid, freak.

Admittedly, she didn't really understand any of that.

One day, the little girl was picking up her cousin's toys, while he sat on his butt colouring with his new markers. It was an average, and tremendously boring scene, at least until Dudley suddenly began calling out for his mum, very loudly.

Aunt Petunia came running, asking what was wrong, too worried to pay any attention at all to Violet, who was still in the same room. But that was normal too.

Dudley raised his fat arm to show his mum his chubby hand, saying he hadn't put 'it' there, whatever 'it' was. Too far away to see for herself, the little girl listened curiously, while pretending she was still working, a trick she had learned a little while ago.

"Oh, my precious Duddykins! You have a soulmate!"

Dudley looked up at his mum with a frown. "What's a soulmate? Does it mean I'm special?"

"That's right, sweetheart. Very special. Only special people get soulmates." And the cruel woman leveled her young niece with a glare.

But Violet didn't let that deter her, and kept listening as her aunt explained everything to Dudley...

It wasn't until the next morning that she got to experiment for herself. She had stolen one of Dudley's markers-a pretty purple one (her favourite colour), and remembered what her aunt had said about your soulmate seeing whatever you wrote or drew on yourself.

Violet didn't want to write anything, because she didn't really know how to spell yet, and didn't want Aunt Petunia or Uncle Vernon to see it and get mad at her. So that was why she just drew a little picture of her most favourite flower on the palm of her other hand, where it would be easily hidden away.

She stared at it for a while, waiting for something to happen, but nothing did.

Disappointed, and figuring she just wasn't special, she hid away the marker just as Aunt Petunia came rapping on the door sharply, demanding she get up and help prepare breakfast.

Like most children her age, Violet forgot all about the flower she had drawn until later that night...

She woke very suddenly from a strange dream with flashing green lights, and turned on the dented flashlight she had stolen from Dudley's second bedroom a month ago. He had put it in there thinking it was broken, when all it had really needed was a new set of batteries.

She raised her shaky hands to brush her sweaty fringe back, only to catch a flash of red on her wrist. When she looked at it closely, she realized it was supposed to be a flower, although it looked kind of messy, and she gasped, understanding what exactly it was.

A grin broke out across her face. She had a soulmate too! She was just as special as Dudley!

She fumbled around for another marker eagerly, a green one this time, and then added a stem and leaves to the red flower, because how could she not?

Violet was more special than Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. Neither of them had a soulmate, and she knew it. Although, she was smart enough to know this wasn't something she should mention to them. It would stay her very special secret!

Chapter Text

Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. Marvolo and Violet drew many little doodles for one another, but neither of them ever wrote a single letter. They didn't know who the other was, didn't know their names, or ages, or even gender (though Marvolo suspected his soulmate was a little girl).

It was almost as if they were both worried the other would stop contacting them, or be taken away from them before they even had the change to find out who the other was, or meet. Though they didn't know it, they were both so similar in so many ways...

After they were through with flowers, Marvolo found what was possibly a cat drawn on his arm. He drew a snake in return, and then found a rabbit, which he followed up with an owl.

They went through different animals, sometimes returning to flowers, or even drawing random shapes...

Four years went by, and one afternoon, Marvolo was greeted by the sight of his left forearm covered in letters. It looked like his mate was practicing their cursive writing.

He hesitated. So much time had gone by. Surely by now he could bring himself to at least write down his own name? Deciding to do it before he could talk himself out of it, he, in neat cursive wrote 'Marvolo' along his left forearm. And then he waited.

There was nothing at first, but he wasn't surprised. Marvolo was hardly a common name. Most wouldn't even know it was a name. ...Should he, perhaps mention that?

Before he could make up his mind, messy cursive letters appeared beneath his nicer ones, spelling out a name of its own.

"Violet," he read out loud. How fitting, he thought in amusement. He had been correct in assuming his soulmate was female, though he wasn't quite ready to ask for an age just yet. Just the thought of her being a child made him feel like a letch. If she had indeed been practicing her cursive a few moments ago, then she was certainly very young indeed.

As the days went by, Marvolo found himself more convinced that Violet was either an intelligent child, or a stupid adult. Beyond random doodling, sometimes Marvolo would discover Violet was practicing her spelling. He figured she sometimes seemed to forget that everything she wrote or drew on her skin would appear on his. But he didn't mind. It was amusing, really. Kind of endearing as well...

About a year later, he went to shower one evening, only to find multiple math problems written on his thighs. Now, that was an odd place for them. It didn't take him very long at all to understand why they were there.

He just stared at them at first, before he began laughing softly, quite amused. Was his little soulmate cheating on a math test? How ironic, considering he was a teacher himself.

Before he went to bed that night, he found himself leaving Violet a little message, unable to help himself.

'I hope your test went well.'

Violet did indeed see the message, and flushed in embarrassment, having completely forgotten Marvolo would have seen her cheat equations. ...Oops? It didn't seem like he was mad at her, so there was that.

More time passed, and Marvolo soon found the word 'Birthday?' written on his forearm. He didn't care much about the day he had been birthed, but decided there wasn't any harm in telling Violet the date.

'December 31'

There was no need to mention the year. Seeing '1926' accompanying that would, no doubt terrify her, and he had no desire to push her away.

And then, mere minutes later, he found that she had replied with her own birth date, and was glad she hadn't included a year either. He really didn't want to know her age, or so he told himself.

'July 31'

How strange that they had both been born on the thirty first. Completely opposite seasons though.

Violet's birthday had already passed by that point, but Marvolo's was just around the corner.

When he woke on that day, he didn't even remember what the date was, or the significance it had. Well, at least until he saw his arm.


Fully in uppercase letters, with far more exclamation points than necessary, and written in annoyingly bright colours, Marvolo still had a hard time masking his smile before he left his rooms.

Of course, he was sure to return the gesture once the girl's birthday rolled around...

When Violet woke on her tenth birthday, she was surprised by the sight on her arm.

'Happy Birthday, Violet'

The letters were as perfect and neat as always, and that had her grinning as much as the fact that her soulmate was the first person she could ever remember wishing her on this day.

The two wrote a little more after that, never delving into personal topics, both still worried about frightening the other off.

Every day, Violet woke to the words 'Good morning, Violet' on her arm, and every night, Marvolo fell asleep to the words 'Good night, Marvolo' on his own.

That in itself taught them a little something about one another. Marvolo was an early bird, and Violet was a night owl.

Violet often alternated between purple and green ink, while Marvolo often switched between red and green. It seemed they were both fond of green.

Sometimes Violet would leave words followed by a question mark, and Marvolo would always write a brief definition for her.

And it was in this manner that the days went by...

Chapter Text

On the evening of September first, Marvolo found himself seated at the Staff Table at Hogwarts, ordering Severus to wait until later before he started drinking, just like he had to do every year on this day.

Today was the day the students arrived at the castle, which was certainly bad enough in Severus' eyes, but made worse this year because of a certain child who would be beginning.

"You never went to school with James Potter," Severus stated in irritation. "You did not even have to teach him. I have no doubt the brat will be just like him. Spoiled, condescending, and an idiotic Gryffindor through and through."

Marvolo fought not to roll his eyes. The Potions Master had been muttering about this all week. "What makes you believe the child will not be like her mother?" Lily Evans-Potter had been quite kind, after all. He hadn't had much to do with her, as he had begun teaching at Hogwarts the year after Severus had graduated, but even he knew that much.

"Potter's genes were the dominant ones," was the firm answer he received. Severus had no doubt that the genes Lily had inherited were recessive. Just look at what she had for a sister!

Luckily, or unluckily for some, the students finally arrived and began piling into the Hall, taking their seats at their House Tables while they waited for the first years to arrive, chattering loudly.

It wasn't long before McGonagall left the room, only to have Hagrid enter 'subtly' a few minutes later. And finally, just as the noise reached fever pitch, the woman returned, leading a line of small children.

Marvolo examined them all closely. He spotted Draco first, the boy appearing as cocky as always. He noticed a tall, red haired, freckled faced boy as well, and nearly groaned.

"Another Weasley!?" Severus hissed.

Marvolo was just as incredulous. How many of them were there!? He had taught both Bill and Charlie, those two having graduated. Percy was still here, in his fifth year, and a Prefect now too. And then there were those two. The twin menaces, only in their third year now. What was this new one going to be like?

The crimson eyed man continued his examination. He noticed a bushy, brown haired girl murmuring under her breath, and a very pale, very nervous looking dark haired, round faced boy. He recognized a few of the other children as well, those born to his Death Eaters.

And then his gaze landed on a girl. She was positively tiny, easily the smallest out of all the first years-perhaps the smallest student in the castle right now. Her hair was long, as dark as midnight, but her large, doe like eyes were a vivid green that looked strangely familiar, though they were hidden behind a pair of large, round glasses.

He didn't have time to think longer. The Sorting Hat finished the song he hadn't heard a word of, and McGonagall unrolled a sheet of parchment and began calling names.

He watched as the children were Sorted, applauding politely for each one, and aware of, but not partaking in any of the bets his fellow staff members were in the middle of-a yearly ritual, on their part.

"Granger, Hermione!"

The bushy haired girl, still muttering to herself, hurried forward and all but jammed the Sorting Hat onto her head, clearly very eager.

Granger? Muggleborn, he settled on, the surname sounding unfamiliar to him.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the Hat shouted out a minute later.

The new Weasley looked quite disappointed, Marvolo noted. Perhaps they'd had an encounter on the train, that hadn't ended particularly well, though he hadn't heard of any conflict save Jordan's tarantula getting loose.

"Longbottom, Neville!"

Marvolo blinked slowly, watching the extremely nervous boy stumble forward, a small frown on his face. This was the child whose parents had been driven to insanity thanks to some of his more foolish Death Eaters. He wondered if the boy's mind had at all been affected by the head injury he had sustained that night.

The Hat remained silent for a very long, awkward moment, before finally shouting- "GRYFFINDOR!"

Neville scurried off, and Marvolo continued to watch as eventually, Severus' godson was called forward.

"Malfoy, Draco!"

Draco sauntered over, and the Hat had just barely touched his perfect blond hair, when-


Smirking, the boy headed off, and Marvolo was sure he was the only one who was able to see the pride in Severus' eyes.

A few more names, and then-

"Potter, Violet!"

Whispers broke out in the hall, and Marvolo froze. It wasn't the girl's surname that had caught him off guard. It was her given one. Violet.

He watched closely, surprised when the tiny green eyed girl was the one to step forward. No wonder she had looked familiar to him. He had been there that Halloween night, after her parents had died, but before she had been struck with the Killing Curse, and he knew she was the only one who had ever survived it.

She sat down on the stool, her knees shaking, the Sorting Hat falling down past her eyes. He refused to look away for even a second, though he certainly wasn't the only one.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity- "GRYFFINDOR!"

In what almost seemed to be relief, Violet removed the Hat and joined Gryffindor Table, which Ron Weasley ended up joining a few moments later as well.

As soon as the Sorting was finished, the Welcoming Feast began, but even as he ate, Marvolo couldn't stop his gaze from returning to Gryffindor Table every few moments.

What were the odds that Violet Potter was his soulmate?

Marvolo wasn't the only one thinking about their soulmate. Violet soon found herself thinking of her own too.

When Hagrid had come to her on her eleventh birthday and told her she was a witch, Violet had been beyond shocked. She had grown up being told magic didn't exist, and the Dursleys hated the very idea so much, the the word 'magic' was considered worse than a curse word, always referred to as the 'm-word'. Now, Violet finally understood why.

She had gone to Diagon Alley with Hagrid, done all her shopping, gotten her (very awesome wand that was apparently linked to the Dark Lord, which made it still awesome but kind of iffy at the same time), and finally learned the truth about her parents.

As it turned out, they hadn't died in a car crash after all. Instead, they had been murdered.

She had been told that while the Dark Lord supposedly hadn't been behind it himself, and had even punished the guilty party by allowing them to go to prison, some of his followers had decided to try to please him by attacking certain families that had been against his ways. Like her own.

They had killed her parents before apparently trying to do the same to her, but somehow the spell had reflected or rebounded off her, leaving her as the only person in existence to have lived after being hit with the Killing Curse. The lightning bolt shaped scar on her forehead was proof of that, she had been told. And because of that, people now believed her to be fated to defeat the Dark Lord, calling her the Girl-Who-Lived, and even their Saviour.

When Violet had asked where this Dark Lord now was, she had certainly been surprised to hear the answer.

"Well he's a professor at Hogwarts, o' course!"

...The Dark Lord who people thought she was supposed to defeat was someone who was supposed to teach her? What was he going to do? Teach her how to defeat him?

Violet didn't understand this world at all...

Still, she had boarded the Hogwarts Express (with some help), and became friends with Ron, both of them enjoying chatting together.

The Sorting had been another experience altogether. The Hat had told her she would do well in Slytherin, but after hearing everything Hagrid and Ron had said, and witnessing Malfoy's condescending attitude, she found herself practically begging to be put elsewhere. When the Hat settled on Gryffindor, she didn't bother questioning it, just pleased she wasn't going to have to deal with Malfoy. Something also told her that the crowd reaction wasn't going to have been a very good one if she had ended up in Slytherin.

But it was over and done with now, and she eagerly took in the sight of more food she had ever seen before in her life, and ate more in this one meal than she usually got in two or three days, even though it made her feel kind of sick.

While she ate, her gaze curiously passed over the adults at the Head Table, and Percy, one of Ron's older brothers, seemed to be pleased to inform her of who everyone was and what they taught or did.

"-and that's Professor Filius Flitwick," he was in the middle of saying. "He's the Head of Ravenclaw House, and teaches Charms. And next to him is Professor Pomona Sprout. She's Head of Hufflepuff House, and teaches Herbology. You've already met Professor McGonagall-Head of our House. She teaches Transfiguration. And that's the Headmaster next to her-Albus Dumbledore. Beside him is Professor Severus Snape. He's Head of Slytherin House, and teaches Potions." He paused here, his lips pursing slightly.

Violet and Hermione, who had both been listening to him, exchanged a confused glance. "Percy?"

Percy readjusted his Prefect badge, cleared his throat, then said, "Next to Professor Snape is You-Know-Who."

The girls both frowned. "Who?"

"Ah, you know, the ah, Dark Lord?"

Hermione's eyes widened in understanding. "The Dark Lord is a teacher? What does he teach? What do we call him? Will he-"

"He teaches Defence Against the Dark Arts," Percy interrupted, "though he often goes beyond that. And you'll be calling him Professor Slytherin. He goes by Marvolo Slytherin, though I've heard that isn't his birth name."

Violet froze. Marvolo? She only knew one person by that name, and it certainly wasn't a name she had ever heard before either. Her gaze passed over the pale skinned, dark haired, red eyed man who was busy talking to Snape.

What were the odds that Marvolo Slytherin was her soulmate?

Chapter Text

When the Welcoming Feast came to an end, students and staff alike began making their way out of the Great Hall, the first years all following the Prefects of their respective Houses.

Soon enough, Violet was entering the dorm she was sharing with three other girls-Hermione Granger, Lavender Brown, and Parvati Patil. The latter two seemed to have become fast friends, cheerfully chatting as they looked around and put their things away.

Violet and Hermione, who had spoken a bit during the feast, were both too awkward to really start up another conversation, and simply put their own belongings away in silence, before getting ready for bed.

The bed itself was utterly massive, Violet decided, and almost uncomfortably comfortable. She wasn't used to anything like this, not after the 'bed' she'd been sleeping on at the Dursleys. She pulled the hangings shut around her, liking the privacy they gave her, and was reaching for the pen she had brought with her, when she paused in place with a frown on her face.

For the past year or so, almost every night, Violet always wished Marvolo a good night before she went to sleep. But...what if her soulmate really was Professor Slytherin? Not to mention the Dark Lord... Should she still do it? Was it still okay? Or was it wrong?

She supposed there was no guarantee the two were the same person, but the only Marvolo she had ever heard of before was her soulmate. And now the Dark Lord-a professor, just happened to have the same name.

What were the odds of that?

The girl hesitated for another moment. If she was wrong, and started ignoring him, she was scared she was going to lose him, and she really didn't want that.

Resolved, she picked up her pen, and like most days, wished her soulmate goodnight, before lowering down in bed to try and sleep...

A few floors below, Marvolo lay in bed, too many thoughts whirling in his mind, keeping him too distracted to sleep. There was absolutely no guarantee that Violet Potter was his soulmate. There must have been hundreds of Violets out in the world.

...But the purple flower had first appeared on his hand when Miss Potter would have been four years old. She would have been practising her cursive writing when she was eight. He would have caught her cheating on her math test when she was nine, and wished her a happy birthday at ten.

With a painful jolt, he suddenly recalled that Miss Potter had been born on the thirty first of July. The same day as his Violet.

It could still have been a coincidence, but her age fit with the circumstances. And he had suspected, more than once, that his soulmate was a little girl. Violet Potter was a little girl too.

Out of habit, he looked at his left arm, and found the sentence, 'Good night, Marvolo', as he did almost every night. He looked closer. She was nervous. The letters were shaky, but not in the same way as when she was sad. He could tell the difference between them now. After all, the two had been communicating like this for quite a while now.

If Miss Potter really was his Violet, then he had no doubt she had made the connection with him being her soulmate. Perhaps that was why she was nervous now. Not only was he one of her teachers, but he was also the Dark Lord, and it was his followers that had caused the death of her parents.

But she was a Gryffindor, and what did Gryffindors have if not bravery? She was clearly determined not to stop any of this.

His lips curled slightly, as his fingers gently ran over the letters. Yes, she was a brave girl indeed...

Chapter Text

Violet's first day at Hogwarts was beyond nerve-racking. In the morning, she was woken to Marvolo wishing her a good morning, as he always did, which for once wasn't enough to calm her down.

The first year Gryffindors only had two classes that day (Herbology and History of Magic), both in the morning, but she was left struggling to write with a quill, until Hermione, who had been at her side all day, offered to help her out, since she herself had spent all summer practising. Stuck with the Dursleys, and far too busy with chores, Violet hadn't had the same chance.

But it wasn't until the next day that she really began to worry. They had Herbology again that morning, but after that was Defence...the class taught by the Dark Lord. The class likely taught by her soulmate.

There was a great amount of hesitation on the part of the Gryffindors as they entered the classroom later that morning. It was a large room, curiously decorated, with objects and pictures of strange things Violet had never seen before.

Hermione dragged her along to a seat near the front, and almost as if he had timed it, Professor Slytherin entered the room the moment everyone had sat down. They stopped talking immediately, and examined him instead, Violet doing no different on her part.

The man was tall, easily towering over them all. His skin was pale, his hair dark, and his eyes a strangely frightening red. He was dressed in dark trousers and shoes, and from under his black robes, they could see the hint of a dark green shirt.

When he came to a stop by his desk at the front of the room, he gave them a surprisingly calm, and rather charming smile, that had half of them relaxing, and the other half tensing even further.

"Good morning," he greeted, his voice low and smooth. "Welcome to Defence Against the Dark Arts. I am Professor Marvolo Slytherin. Before we get into things, I would like to begin by taking roll. Simply raise your hand when I call your name."

Violet wondered if she was the only one who noticed the way he gazed at her a little longer than everyone else when he eventually called her name...

Violet found the lesson to be surprisingly easy, even as others muttered about how hard it was around her. She had absolutely no trouble keeping up, and decided that she actually really liked this class, regardless of who exactly the professor was.

But neither she, nor Marvolo mentioned to the other that they suspected they were soulmates, neither of them quite sure how to even say it, especially considering their obvious age difference and positions...

The first year Gryffindors had Herbology the next morning again, and had the rest of the day free until midnight, at which point they had Astronomy. The day after that they had Charms and Transfiguration, both in the morning, and on Friday morning they had double Potions.

Violet had actually been quite curious about that last class. Well, at least until it had begun.

It took all of two minutes for the emerald eyed girl to realize Professor Snape was incredibly unfair, especially towards her.

She was certainly no celebrity, and it was hardly her fault she had to read through all her textbooks while dead tired, and with a flashlight, and in secret in the middle of the night! Not to mention her cupboard was absolutely cramped. She was so glad she had asked the shop keeper of the trunk shop for a self-shrinking trunk. It was the only way she could keep her stuff with her and hidden from the Dursleys...

"I'd like to see Snape try to read by flashlight while locked in a cupboard," she muttered furiously. She'd lost a point and earned a detention for not stopping Neville (who had been working at the table in front of her) from making a mistake she couldn't possibly have seen, let alone known about!

"A detention with Snape on your first day, huh?" Ron whistled through his teeth. "Not even Fred and George managed that!" When he saw that the green eyed girl wasn't at all impressed, he shrugged. "Don't worry about it. Snape hates all Gryffindors. You saw how he treated the Slytherins in Potions. They're the only House he cares about."

Hermione meanwhile, was torn. On one hand, it didn't seem like Violet had done anything to earn that punishment, but on the other hand, Snape was a professor, so surely he knew what was best. Right...?

That evening, at eight on the dot, Violet knocked on the door to the Potions classroom, as she had been instructed earlier.

"Enter," Snape called from within.

Cautiously, Violet pushed the door open and slipped inside, jolting as she heard it snap shut behind her. She stepped forward, and saw the dour professor seated behind his desk, a quill in hand. She didn't even get to speak.

"You are to clean those cauldrons tonight. Without magic. Leave your wand on my desk." And then he turned his attention back to whatever it was that he had been doing before she'd walked in.

Violet wanted to argue and insist this was unfair because she had done nothing wrong, but Ron (and many older Gryffindors) had warned her more than once that that was not a good idea at all, and would only land her in more detentions and loss of House points.

With nothing else to do, the girl set her wand down on Snape's desk (which was technically pointless since she didn't know any cleaning spells) and simply began to clean the cauldrons as told. It wasn't all that hard anyway. She was used to doing stuff like this back at Privet Drive.

So, Violet got to work and, as she had expected, it wasn't particularly difficult. Trying to scrape dry cheese of plates was waaaay harder than this, she decided. So lost in her work, she didn't realize Snape was watching her, a frown on his face.

He had been expecting her to whine and complain about having to do actual physical work. She was a Potter. Potters didn't do work. Not unless they expected a reward of some sort. But she didn't do anything like that at all. She simply got to work quietly, and went at it diligently.

The man's eyes narrowed. How strange...

Chapter Text

The days went by. Violet didn't really ignore Marvolo, but she had slowed her usual communication with him. Only her 'Good night' message to him had remained consistent. Obviously, she couldn't exactly forget about him, seeing as it was possible that her Defence Against the Dark Arts professor was said soulmate, which was really quite awkward, if she was being honest.

Instead, she was trying her hardest to get used to being here at Hogwarts. She had been right in thinking that this place was beyond amazing and crazy. The castle was huge and confusing, and the classes were as interesting as they were bizarre.

She had a hard time understanding what the professors were explaining, and performing the spells wasn't particularly easy either. It was a bit discouraging that Hermione, who she had become friends with, wasn't having the same difficulties as she was, despite having lived in the Muggle world like her. Ron, her other friend, figured she would feel better that he, a Pureblood, was struggling too, but it really didn't help. Violet didn't like being weak or stupid.

But it was frustrating that things weren't getting any easier. Professors often said to go for extra help if they needed it, but whenever Violet actually tried to do that, they simply blew her off and told her they were busy, and to come back later. And if she did do that, they would just repeat what they had said before. It was like an endless cycle!

While it was true that Professor Slytherin didn't do that, the girl didn't need any help in DADA, and going to him for help with other classes just seemed...weird. Professor Snape seemed to be open to giving extra help too, but he only really gave it to the Slytherins. Violet would have gone to him and asked regardless, but with the way he very obviously seemed to...dislike her, she wasn't sure if she wanted to risk the reaction she would no doubt receive. He also seemed to like insulting her father a lot, but since Violet knew next to nothing about either of her parents, well, the man wasn't accomplishing much of anything...

Wanting to learn more, but aware the adults weren't going to be of much help to her, Violet decided to take matters into her own hands, and on a cloudy Saturday in October, situated herself at a small table in the back of the huge library, and began to study, the pile of books she had prepared half as tall as she was. She sat there, going through book after book, scribbling things down in her Muggle notebook with her pen, because there was no way she was going to use parchment and a quill for this much writing!

Hermione had been pleased with her initiative, Ron surprised, and a little disappointed that she was wasting a whole Saturday, but Violet wasn't going to let that deter her.

She lost herself in her work, soon becoming completely unaware of her surroundings...

At that very same moment, Marvolo was on his way up to the library, needing to check a reference in a specific book he was positive he didn't own.

The library was fairly empty, most of the students he saw belonging to Ravenclaw House, with a few Slytherins littered about, and a Hufflepuff and Gryffindor here or there. He ignored them, inclined his head towards Madam Pince, smiling at her charmingly, which had her blushing, as it did most women. How simple it was to manipulate these people.

Weaving around tables, chairs, and shelves, the man made his way to the back of the library. He turned a corner, and paused in place. There was a table in front of him that had a good four tall piles of thick books. He blinked. Well, someone was keeping themselves busy.

He stepped forward silently, curious to know who this seemingly hard at work student was. The moment he was able to see the person behind the books, he froze. Violet Potter. It was her, sitting there at the table, taking notes diligently, her brow furrowed in concentration.

Even as he watched, Miss Potter reached out to grab one of the many books from a pile, and as she did so, the tip of the Muggle pen in her hand ran across her opposite hand, leaving a line of blue ink. Automatically, Marvolo looked down at his own left hand. And right there, on the palm near his thumb, was a long, slightly diagonal, line of blue, in the exact same place as on the hand of the girl before him.

Now, Marvolo finally had confirmation. Violet Potter was indeed his soulmate. It wasn't a shocking, or dramatic revelation. He had already been suspecting it. In fact, he was sure he would have been more surprised if he discovered she wasn't his soulmate.

Suddenly, there was a flash of red light, rushing straight towards Violet's back. She didn't notice it at all, but Marvolo did. He reacted instinctively, and moved to stand in front of the girl's back. The red spell-a stunner, hit his chest and dissolved harmlessly. No doubt having heard him move into place, Violet turned, surprised, but Marvolo's cold, crimson eyes were locked on a student, who stared back at him, pale and terrified.

"Miss Russell, do you care to explain why you just attempted to stun a much younger schoolmate while her back was turned to you?"

The fifth year Slytherin stammered, surprised, and clearly not having expected him of all people to be there. She obviously hadn't made sure no one was around before executing her poorly planned attack.

Marvolo smiled slightly, coldly. "I was not asking, Miss Russell. Report to Professor Snape immediately for detention. You are fortunate you only attempted to stun. Anything else, and you would have had no choice but to deal with me. Go." The girl didn't move. "Now, Russell."

She stood, grabbed her bag, and hurried away without a word, no doubt terrified and regretting her actions. Marvolo would give her a head start, and give her the chance to tell her Head of House what she had done to earn her detention. He would go down in a few moments himself to make sure she had done just that. Some of these idiots had the habit of forgetting just who he was.

When all of that was done with and he was satisfied, Marvolo turned his attention to Violet, who certainly appeared very confused. He couldn't tell her he knew the truth. Couldn't tell her he now knew for sure that they were truly soulmates. She was so young, only eleven. There was still plenty of time for them to get closer.

"Have more caution, Violet," he told her instead, his voice quiet but firm. "This may be a school, but it is not entirely safe. There are some who will wish to do you, especially, harm. Watch your back from now on."

The girl blinked up at him, green eyes surprised and puzzled, but she nodded silently, and when she did, he inclined his head in return, then walked past her, resuming his search for his book. When he glanced back over his shoulder, he noticed that Violet had moved, putting her back directly to the wall, and had resumed her note taking.

Marvolo smirked, somewhat pleased, but what he didn't realize, was that he wasn't the only one who had received confirmation on the two of them being soulmates. Violet now knew for sure too, having caught sight of the many ink stains on his hands that perfectly matched the ones on her own.

It wasn't a life changing revelation for her either. Just like the man, she had already been suspecting it too. But even though it wasn't life changing or shocking, it was still pretty strange.

She didn't know what to do about it.

Chapter Text

When Violet woke on Halloween morning, it was with a heavy heart. Halloween itself didn't have much meaning for her. Aunt Petunia had always taken Dudley trick or treating, but she had always spent that same time locked in her cupboard, only to watch apathetically as Dudley went through his many sweets in front of the cupboard door, taunting her because she didn't have any of her own. (The Dursleys never realized she always stole a handful every year.)

No, Violet didn't particularly care for Halloween for the same reasons as everyone else, but this year, today did matter to her.

She, Ron, and Hermione met up in the common room, and together, headed down to the Great Hall, only to stop in place when they walked through the Hall's doors. The Hall had been decorated for Halloween, jack o' lanterns, bats, and other classic Halloweenish things everywhere in view.

It was an amazing sight for sure, but Violet wasn't quite as enthusiastic as her friends. Instead, she told them to go on ahead to their House Table, saying she would join them in a moment. Ron shrugged and walked off, but Hermione, being a little more perceptive, squeezed Violet's hand in a gesture of support and comfort, before going on, despite not knowing what the emerald eyed girl was thinking.

Once alone, Violet took a deep breath, steeling herself, and then carefully made her way across the room, and up to the Head Table.

The Headmaster and her Head of House seemed quite surprised to see her. From Dumbledore's other side, Snape's eyes narrowed as she neared, and beside him, Professor Slytherin...Marvolo, glanced up at her, looking rather interested.

"Miss Potter," Dumbledore voiced, "what can I do for you this fine morning?"

"Good morning, sir," the girl began politely. "I was just wondering...since today is Halloween, if I might be able to..." she trailed off, hesitating and wondering how best to ask what it was that she was thinking.

"Yes, my dear?"

"W-would it be possible to see where my-my parents have been buried?" She received no answer, only looks of surprise. "I-I mean, they have been buried, haven't they, sir?"

"You're relatives never took you to see them?" questioned McGonagall, before the Headmaster could say anything himself.

Violet shook her head. "No, ma'am. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon didn't my parents very much. They never talked about them." Unless they were insulting them, she finished in her head. There was no reason to say that bit out loud.

McGonagall appeared as if she knew exactly what she had just thought though, and didn't look happy at all. That unhappiness, however, was quickly directed at Dumbledore. "You left her there, Albus. The least you could do is allow her the chance to-to visit her parents. She deserves that much."

Dumbledore looked oddly hesitant at that for some weird reason, but after a moment, he turned to Snape. "Severus, would you mind accomp-"

"I'll take her," Marvolo interrupted smoothly. "There is no reason to put Severus through that torture. You know of his relationship with them."

McGonagall frowned. "I really don't think that's-"

"It's fine, Professor," Violet spoke. "I don't mind. I'd be happy if Professor Slytherin came with me, if it's alright with him."

Said professor gave her a tiny, barely noticeable smile. "I offered, did I not? We will depart after your classes today. You don't have Astronomy today, do you?"

The girl shook her head. "No, not today. Thank you for this." Maybe it was bold of her to accept that offer, considering who he was and the connection he had to her parents' deaths, but for some reason, it just felt...right.

Chapter Text

The moment lessons were finished for the day, Violet returned to Gryffindor Tower to put her bag away and change out of her uniform. As she was leaving her dorm, Hermione swept right past her without a word. She was ignoring her. While she left the Tower, Ron did the same.

They were happy she was going to her parents' graves. They were not, however, happy with who she was going with. They didn't think it was right. Professor Slytherin was the Dark Lord. Was the one who had been in charge of the Death Eaters that had killed her parents. He was an intelligent and charming man, but he was still Dark, they said. She shouldn't be allowing him to be there. It would go against everything her parents had believed in and fought against, they claimed.

Violet didn't agree. Maybe she was a bit biased because he was actually her soulmate, but Violet had no reason to believe the professor-believe Marvolo meant her any harm. And as for what had happened when she had been a baby, well, she only knew one side of the story, and she certainly had no memories of the event herself.

In Violet's opinion, judging someone before she got to know them would make her as bad as the Dursleys and everyone else in Privet Drive. She didn't want to be anything like them. Still, she was sure Ron and Hermione would come around once she came back and told them everything had gone well. At least, she hoped they would. They hadn't been friends for long, but they were still friends.

Ignoring those staring at her, Violet hurried down to the Entrance Hall, assuming that was where Professor Slytherin-Marvolo (What was she supposed to even call him?) would be waiting for her. And sure enough, there he was, standing by the massive doors, arms across his chest. He had removed his robes, but was dressed the same way he always was with his dark trousers and button-down shirt (red this time).

"Miss Potter. Are you ready? Come along."

The girl nodded and caught up to him quickly as he walked through the door and out of the castle. She followed him down the path, both of them silent, and Violet then came to a decision on what she should call him. In her mind, she would use his proper name, but around both him and others, she would call him Professor. At least until they both acknowledged everything. She figured that would be the best way for now.

It wasn't until they had crossed the gates that the man spoke. "We will be Apparating to the cemetery-side along Apparating, in your case. Do you know what that is?" When Violet shook her head, he inclined his own in response and explained. Once the girl nodded and tightly gripped his arm, he brought his other arm around her, holding her in place, and then turned on the spot and vanished with a quiet 'pop'...

Marvolo didn't release Violet when they appeared in a small, shadowy alleyway barely a few seconds later. Instead, he ran a hand down the girl's back as she coughed and gasped for breath. He couldn't blame her.

"Jeez! Does doing that always feel that weird?" Violet questioned.

Marvolo smiled just slightly, his hand still on her back. "Unfortunately, yes," he replied. "Apparating is known for being fast but...uncomfortable."

"Ugh. Do you get used to it at least?" she wondered.

"You do, though it does not ease the discomfort very much." Marvolo shrugged and removed his hand. "Are you all right now? Able to go on?"

Violet straightened up, nodded, and then followed the man out of the alley, which she quickly realized was beside a church. "Where are we?" she asked curiously.

"Godric's Hollow," the man replied from at her side. "Named after Godric Gryffindor-one of the founders of Hogwarts. This is a rather small village, inhabited by both Wizards and Muggles, so be cautious of what you say."

Violet nodded. "I understand. Is that-?"

"The cemetery, yes. Come, stay close." He led the way through the gate, discretely using a spell to direct him to the grave. It wasn't as if he knew where the Potters had been buried, after all. "Ah, here they are."



Violet blinked and looked down at the single, large headstone. It was white and shined brightly. Feeling weirdly nervous all of a sudden, the girl lowered down to her knees to get a closer look.

'James Potter, born 27 March 1960, died 31 October 1981'

'Lily Potter, born 30 January 1960, died 31 October 1981'

"James and Lily?" This was the first time she had heard those names. At least in the context of her parents. The Dursleys never spoke of them by name. 'Drunkard bastard' and 'Ungrateful wench' were the names Violet was familiar with, among many other equally unflattering names. 'James' and 'Lily' sounded much better than any of those.

"'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death'," Violet read slowly. She heard what sounded like a scoff, and turned, though the man standing behind her was expressionless. Why had he scoffed like that? "What does that mean?" she asked him. "The-the inscription?"

Marvolo shrugged elegantly. "It can have many meanings, some positive, some negative. I cannot say what it's meant to mean in this context. He lowered his voice now, and under his breath, added, "Your sense of humour leaves much to be desired, old man."

Violet heard the words and frowned in confusion, not understanding, but decided that maybe it would be best not to question it. She had the feeling he wouldn't explain anyway. Instead, she asked, "How-how long can I stay?"

"We have until the Halloween feast begins, so there is time yet. Greet your parents." He reached out and gently, almost cautiously, ran his fingers through her hair just once, as if he were indulging himself with the motion, before quickly pulling back. "Take your time, Violet."

Slowly, the girl nodded and turned her attention back to the grave. She didn't know what to do here. Was she supposed to say something? Do something? When she glanced back over her shoulder, she saw that Marvolo had moved a few paces back, giving her space. Violet refocused and, hesitantly, began to speak.

"H-hi mum, hi dad. I...I'm sorry I never came to see you before this. I didn't know where you were. Um...I learned about magic just a few months ago, when Hagrid told me I was actually a Witch. I couldn't believe it. That was when I learned the truth about you guys too., started at Hogwarts last month, and I was Sorted into Gryffindor. I was told you were both in that House too." She frowned slightly.

"The wanted to put me in-in Slytherin, actually. I asked for it not to. Maybe-maybe that wasn't right. To disagree, I mean. But then Ron and Hermione wouldn't be my friends, and I've never actually had friends before. The Slytherins don't like me very much. Would any of them have become friends with me if I'd let the Hat Sort me into Slytherin? Or would they just've kept picking on me? Guess that goes for their Head of House too. Snape clearly hates my guts. Wish I knew why. But I'm used to that. The Dursleys are the same-worse, actually."

She paused now, hesitating, glancing over to make sure Marvolo was far away enough before continuing. "I found my soulmate too," she said quietly. "And while that's great and all, I don't know what to do about it. I wonder if you two were soulmates? I wonder when you found out, if you did?" She sighed. "I don't really care that he's the Dark Lord, or that people seem to think I'm supposed to save them from him. Which is kinda weird cause they don't have any problems with him teaching their kids at Hogwarts.

"I haven't told him the truth either. I don't know how to, honestly. But he's nice to me, at least. He even protected me once. So at least he cares, even if he doesn't maybe know we're soulmates. But I kinda think he does. Maybe he doesn't know what to say or do either, like me. He's an adult, and I'm a kid. It's probably weirder for him that we're soulmates than it is for me. I guess...I guess I should just wait and see what happens?"

"Violet," Marvolo called out suddenly. "We must leave now. The Halloween feast will be beginning soon."

The girl nodded, said her farewells to her parents, and then returned to her soulmate's side, she the first to reach out to him...

Ron and Hermione were very relieved to see Violet when she returned, and when they saw she was unharmed and that everything had gone well, apologized rather profusely for what they had said before. Since their words had been out of concern, which she fully understood, Violet forgave them, and while they enjoyed the feast, she told them some of what had happened.

She told them what the grave looked like, where it was, and what the headstone had said. Neither of her friends had any idea what the inscription meant, other than it sounded rather creepy to them, and that their professor's reaction to those words was rather odd too. Violet found that she completely agreed with that.

The one thing Violet kept to herself was the true identity of her soulmate. She wasn't ready to reveal that to anyone just yet...

Chapter Text

The days continued to pass. Being at a magical school was still amazing, and the classes were beginning to get even more interesting than they had been before. And now, in November, the First years got to learn how to ride broomsticks, which in Violet's mind, made for a very weird mental image.

'Flying lessons are today,' Violet wrote onto her left forearm with a Muggle pen that used green ink. 'Did you fly?'

'I learned,' the reply, in red ink, returned, 'as a First year, as all do. I can fly well, though I am not overly fond of it.'

'So you weren't ever on Slytherin's Quidditch team?'

'I was not, no. Your father, however, was on Gryffindor's team, I have heard. Flying, it appears, is in your blood. Half of your blood, at the very least. Don't be nervous, Violet. I'm sure you will do just fine. You can tell me all about it later on.'

As their conversation came to an end and Violet left her bed to get dressed for the day, and Marvolo, down below left his quarters, neither of them mentioned to the other that the girl had said what House he had been in when he had been a student here at Hogwarts, even though he hadn't ever told her that himself.

They both knew, they realized at the same time. They both knew the other's true identity, and knew that the other knew that too. But still, neither of them mentioned it to the other. Not in writing, and not in person. They weren't ready. Neither of them. Not yet...

'That was incredibly irresponsible of you, Violet.'

'I know, but Malfoy-'

'I have heard what Draco did, and he is not going unpunished. In fact, I would go as far to say he is being punished worse than you, seeing as you are not being punished at all. You have been rewarded for your actions. A place on Gryffindor's Quidditch team is a reward, Violet, not a punishment.'

'But it isn't my fault that Dumbledore and McGonagall put me on the team! I didn't ask for them to! I barely even know what Quidditch is! It isn't like I'm going to ask for detention!'

'I know. I know you did not ask for this. But the fact remains that even if it was in defence for a House member, you did something incredibly dangerous. You did not learn to fly a broom, had received only the most basic instruction, and could very easily have hurt yourself. You could have died, Violet.'

'...I'm sorry.'

'You have detention this evening at eight with Professor Snape. Report to his classroom then, and do not be late. We will discuss this further later.'


Violet sat curled up in one of the squishy armchairs in Gryffindor's common room. Ron and Hermione were seated on the couch across her, the boy ecstatic, and the girl disapproving. Violet wasn't particularly pleased herself.

She didn't regret what she had done. Didn't regret getting Neville's Remembrall back from Malfoy. She wasn't exactly upset she had ended up on the Quidditch team, but she hadn't lied when she'd said she hadn't asked for it. Hadn't even expected it. How could she be blamed for how the adults had chosen to react to what had happened? She wasn't even upset she now had detention with Snape. It was kind of a...relief, actually, getting detention.

Honestly, the only thing in this that was really bothering her was that Marvolo...Marvolo was mad at her. Was upset with her. That hadn't ever happened before. Not even once. Not ever.

But on a slightly lighter note, the conversation they had just had was again more proof that they both knew who the other actually was. If they didn't, then none of what they had said would have made any sense to the other. But it had, and there had been no need to explain what Violet had done, or who Malfoy was, or how Marvolo even knew how all this had happened.

Violet sighed deeply. She didn't want to think about this right now. It was only making her feel even more upset. Instead, she focused her attention on her friends. Ron was struggling with his Charms essay, and beside him, Hermione was staring at something on her hand, a brow raised in confusion.

Violet blinked. "Hermione? What's wrong?"

Hermione started and looked up. "Nothing! Everything's fine!"

"...Are you sure? You were looking at your hand really intensely."

"No! It's fine! Oh, shouldn't you be leaving now? You don't want to be late for your detention. Professor Snape will get mad otherwise."

Violet immediately understood. Hermione had been staring at a soulmate mark. She had to have been. Her mate must have drawn or written something on their hand, and that was what Hermione had been looking at. But clearly she didn't want to talk about it just yet, and was trying to change the subject. Violet didn't mind. It wasn't as if she was going around openly talking about her own soulmate either.

So she just did as her friend suggested and headed off, making her way down the many staircases all the way down to the expansive dungeons so she could report for her detention. She still wasn't upset about it. She knew that she did deserve it. She had broken the rules, and if Malfoy, who had done the same, was also getting detention for flying unsupervised, that it really only made sense that she should too.

But when she walked into the Potions classroom after knocking and being told to enter, she found her heart sinking when she spotted not only Snape and Malfoy, but Marvolo too standing in the room.

Oh no...

Chapter Text

Malfoy was the first to notice Violet, and as predicted, he just glared at her. Snape noticed her next, and Marvolo did so too just a second later.

"Severus," he said calmly, "now that they are both here, I believe you should assign them their detentions."

Snape inclined his head, but didn't argue for obvious reasons. "You will both be cleaning cauldrons," he told them.

Malfoy's head snapped up, expression one of incredulity. It appeared as if he hadn't expected to actually be punished. Violet found that to be kind of amusing, but she didn't say anything and just got to work. She didn't really care about cleaning cauldrons. Cleaning in general wasn't something that bothered her. In fact, it was kind of...peaceful-familiar. And it helped her forget Marvolo was in the room too. That, she didn't want to think about right now.

So, just as in her last detention, Violet ignored those in the room and simply began to clean. She heard Malfoy come up near her, cleaning his own share, though he muttered petulantly under his breath the entire time. It was obvious to her that cleaning wasn't something he was used to, but that didn't really surprise her. He sounded more concerned over the state of his nails than he did the cauldrons.

Of course, that just made Violet wonder what kind of life she would have had if her parents hadn't died. Would she have grown up the same way Malfoy and Dudley did? Or maybe like Hermione? Or would her parents have had more kids so she ended up with siblings like Ron? Or would her life have somehow been worse than it was with the Dursleys? Was that even possible?

It was hard to say, and she honestly wasn't really even sure why she was bothering to think about it. Thinking wasn't going to change anything, but even then... It just made her wonder why some people had things so-so easy. What kind of struggles did Draco Malfoy have? Dudley didn't have any struggles, after all. Well, unless one counted being unable to fit into clothes or run out of energy after ten seconds as struggles, not that Dudders seemed to mind that, so long as he got to watch the telly whenever he wanted, and eat as many sweets as he could.

It was just kind of strange that Malfoy was so upset by the simple task of cleaning cauldrons of all things. He was having a hard time with it too, she noted when she glanced at him quickly. He couldn't scrub hard enough to get the grime off, and there was water everywhere, including his shirt. ...He was going to have to get out of that before he caught a cold. The water wasn't exactly warm. The dungeons weren't either, for that matter. ...Had Malfoy ever even washed a cup before?

Violet bit back an amused smile at the thought, and continued to work. She didn't want to get yelled at or anything, and it was probably going to be kind of weird to have to explain why she was smiling in the middle of detention. Snape already clearly didn't like her, and she didn't particularly feel like making that any worse than it already was...

Unsurprisingly, Violet was the first to finish cleaning her (slightly larger) stack of cauldrons. When everything was put away and her hands washed and dried, she turned, only to blink in surprise when she realized Marvolo was watching her. Half a second later, Snape looked at her too.

At first, no one spoke, the silence in the room somewhat awkward, though Malfoy, still focused on his task, didn't notice it at all. The other three just kind of looked at one another, before Snape stood and made his way across the room to check out the state of the cauldrons the girl had cleaned. He didn't say anything though, just inclined his head, seemingly satisfied.

Eventually, it was Marvolo who broke the silence. "I'll be making use of your sitting room, Severus."

"Of course. As you will." Naturally, he wasn't going to make a fuss about it. Not when the Dark Lord was the one saying it.

"You should be dismissing Miss Potter as well. She has done as asked, has she not?"

Taking that as her cue, Violet quickly bid the professors a good night, and left the room, eager to get away and put some distance between herself and the Slytherins. She was glad things had gone well, of course, and that she hadn't been lectured, but that, admittedly, wasn't making her feel any better.

She had been able to tell, just by the expression on Marvolo's face, that he was both upset and confused, though the expressions hadn't remained there for very long. She doubted he had even meant for her to see them. She'd thought he was going to lecture her or something, but he hadn't said a word to her directly, and Violet was, admittedly, rather confused.

Ron and Hermione were waiting for her in the common room, and she told them what had happened in detention, discounting her thoughts, naturally. Ron seemed rather amused by Malfoy's struggle to clean (Violet wanted to point out Ron, who did very little cleaning himself, probably would have been just as bad), but Hermione simply cocked her head to one side and hummed in thought, the look on her face one of contemplation.

With it being rather late, they made their way up to bed just a few minutes later, and Violet grew hesitant. She always wished Marvolo a good night. But he was mad at her, wasn't he? Would her doing that make him even more upset? She didn't want that. But what if not saying anything made him mad too?

The girl went round and round in her head, thinking and considering, and before she could make up her mind, she caught a glimpse of green out of the corner of her eye, and looked down at her left arm.

'Good night, Violet. Pleasant dreams.'

A breath of relief left her, and she gently, and rather cautiously ran her fingers over the message, flooded with relief...

Marvolo, seated in Severus' sitting room, sighed deeply. He had been rash in what he had said to Violet. Rash in his reprimand. He hadn't been able to help it. When he had found out what had taken place during Gryffindor and Slytherin's flying lessons, he had practically panicked. Learning what Violet had done, hearing the danger she had put herself in, it had terrified him.

But he had been unable to approach her directly, not without telling her he was aware of the truth, though he was aware she already knew. So he had settled with using their connection, and had written to her instead. He had meant to inquire on whether or not she was alright, whether she had been injured or not. But he had ended up reprimanding her instead.

And he was aware his words had bothered her. It was obvious in the way her responses had had a greater pause between them than usual. The way they had been shorter than usual too. But he had remained firm. He had to. He wasn't upset that he had given Violet detention-someone had to. Regardless of who they were, and regardless of what their connection was, he was still a professor at Hogwarts, and she was still his student. And if none of her other professors were going to do anything, then the task fell upon him.

But there still had been guilt there. So even though her detention had been with Severus, Marvolo had made sure to be there too. Not just so his friend didn't say anything, or to ensure Draco didn't do anything, but so he could simply see his young soulmate and make sure she truly was unharmed.

She hadn't appeared to be upset when she had entered the dungeon classroom. Surprised, certainly, but not upset. She had washed her share of the dirty cauldrons without complaint, though he had caught her glancing at Draco every now and again, appearing amused. He was sure he knew why. It hadn't bothered him. He was hardly going to be jealous of an eleven year old boy, after all.

He had been pleased, however, to see that Violet had been perfectly alright. There had been no signs of any injuries, and her mood had appeared decent as well. Though he had noticed that she had avoided his gaze the entire time she had been in detention. He supposed he couldn't blame her for that.

Once he found himself alone, after Violet had been dismissed, Marvolo, having retreated to Severus' sitting room (they were planning on having a drink after the students' curfew), rolled up his left sleeve to bare his forearm, and waited.

Every night, Violet wished him a goodnight before she went to sleep. Would she do the same today? Or was she too worried? Too frightened of his reaction?

He couldn't blame her. They were soulmates, yes, but she was still a child. He didn't know much about children, hadn't been a particularly normal child himself, but even he knew that children feared reprimand. His own pride didn't mean much here right now, did it?

So he was the one who took the initiative. He was the one who, for the first time, wished Violet a good night, writing the words upon his forearm. And then he waited. Did it bother him that he could hear his own heart beating in his chest? He wasn't quite sure.

'Goodnight, Marvolo. Sweet dreams.'

The next breath that left him was one of relief. Violet couldn't be too upset with him if she had replied to him. That was good.

"Your soulmate?"

If Marvolo had been anyone else, he would have started. Instead, he merely inclined his head, rolling his sleeve back down as Severus moved through the room to pour out a couple of drinks.

"Did something happen?"

"A bit of a... Well, a conflict of sorts. We've resolved the matter now, I believe," the crimson eyed man spoke calmly.

Severus nodded and passed a glass over, before settling down in the armchair across the Dark Lord. "Cissa was pestering me about your soulmate again just last weekend, actually."

"Was she indeed?" Marvolo shook his head in exasperation, then sipped his drink. "I do believed I have stated that my mate's identity is not up for discussion?"

"You have, and we are all aware of it." He smiled slightly, the curving of his lips just barely visible. "Lucius is just as bad."

"Those two. Their curiosity is as insatiable as a Gryffindor's."

"Shall I tell them you said that?"

*"If you wish to be on the receiving end of two painful curses, certainly. Of course, you know as well as I that the two of them will only punish you in a different manner entirely." Marvolo chuckled when he saw Severus flush slightly, and sipped his drink again as they fell into a companionable silence.

Would things between him and Violet change in the future, Marvolo wondered? She seemed content enough for now, but was that something that would change as she grew? He was...well, he was hardly the best person to call soulmate, and he was well aware of it. Right now, Violet was too young to really understand what having a soulmate meant. But how would she grow? How would she change?*

Perhaps she would only see him as a professor. Perhaps she would only see him as the Dark Lord. Perhaps she would become too frightened to pursue any positive relationship with him. Perhaps she would grow to resent him. There really was no way to know what could happen in the future, save for Divination, of course, though that nonsense was nothing he believed in.

...Nothing he believed in?

Marvolo's brow furrowed. Something about that didn't seem right. He didn't believe in Divination. He never had. But then... There was something there. Something in his mind that he was so close to remembering. Something that would give him the answer to the confusion he didn't understand.

"-olo? My Lord?"

The older man blinked, then cursed inwardly, whatever he had been about to remember fading back into the depths of his mind.

"Are...are you well, my Lord?"

Well, it had been quite a while since Severus had last called him that. "Yes, yes I'm well. I was simply lost in my thoughts. Think nothing of it."

"As you wish," Severus replied, bowing his head, though he didn't seem to be convinced.

Regardless, Marvolo thought, it was good that things between Violet and himself appeared to be resolved. At least for the time being. All that panic, that guilt, that fear, all of it was gone.

This wasn't like him. He was entirely aware of it. It wasn't like him to feel things like this, to act like this. And it bothered him. This change. This-this concern. But after having spent the better part of the last seven years communicating with his soulmate, he wasn't sure he wanted to lose it-lose her.

Chapter Text

Days, weeks, and months went by. The relationship between Marvolo and Violet seemed to have mended itself. And even though they didn't speak much in person, instead keeping to their soulmate marks, they continued to learn more about one another.

Violet learned more about Marvolo's Dark Lord side, learned more about what he had done during that time, learned more about the part he supposedly played in her parents' deaths and her near death. It was strange, and honestly kind of disturbing, but Violet didn't really know what to think.

It wasn't that she thought everyone was lying or anything like that. It was just that...well, people liked to exaggerate, and all the people who were telling her about Marvolo, were clearly people who didn't seem to like him very much. In fact, they all clearly enjoying telling her about all the 'terrible, horrible, evil' things he had done. No one who liked Marvolo told her anything. Marvolo didn't say anything himself either. And while Violet knew he would answer her questions if she asked him herself, she wasn't sure she was ready to do that just yet.

She didn't tell anyone who her soulmate really was. She wasn't ready to do that yet either. But she spotted Hermione often reacting to what surely must have been soulmarks of her own, always seeming confused, amused, exasperated, or a strange mixture of them all. Who could her soulmate possibly be to keep getting these kinds of reactions?

Violet didn't ask her about it. Yes they were good friends, but it wasn't any of her business. Plus, even though she definitely had seen the green eyed girl communicating with her own soulmate more than once (the two did share a dorm, after all), Hermione hadn't ever asked her about it either.

Soulmates were a private thing, despite how fairly common they were. A person didn't have to reveal anything about their soulmate until they wanted to, really, and if someone continued to question them after an initial inquiry, then they obviously had no tact. Actually, when a person continuously questioned or harassed someone else about soulmates, it was generally assumed that they didn't have one of their own, and of course, most didn't want to reveal that.

Violet and Marvolo continued communicating with one another rather casually, but she did end up on the end of a reprimand every now and again, usually when she didn't eat properly after a bad night, or performed poorly in class for reasons that were one hundred percent her fault, or when she did something a bit too reckless.

But Violet found that she kind of...liked when Marvolo scolded her for those things. Because it showed her that he cared. That wasn't something she was used to. Adults didn't normally care. The Dursleys didn't, that was for sure. They didn't scold her either. They would yell at her, hit her, force her to do more chores than usual, withhold food from her, and lock her up in a cupboard, not always in that specific order though.

So it was nice that Marvolo cared. It really was. Maybe...maybe one day she was going to be able to tell him about the Dursleys. But she couldn't now. Not yet. She did trust him, of course, but what if he decided he didn't want to have anything to do with her when she told him? What if he ended up agreeing with the Dursleys? What if he started hating her?

She couldn't bring herself to tell him now. But-but maybe one day she could. Maybe one day she would...

Marvolo learned more about Violet as well, certainly more than she was able to learn about him. He learned some good things, like her magic was stronger than he had initially thought, but was too untamed, too wild for her to have good control over it. But that stronger magic helped her learn powerful spells far quicker than her classmates-particularly spells he taught the Defence classes.

She was an intelligent girl as well, though for some reason, appeared to be...almost purposely not trying, which was very confusing. She was loyal to her friends, and far too curious, but she was also very kind and considerate towards others, so long as they didn't do anything to upset her or hurt her.

But there were other things he learned too. Things that weren't quite as good. Things that were, frankly, alarming in comparison.

Violet was a very reckless girl. She had no apparent concern or fear of danger, and watching her during Quidditch matches was an absolute nightmare, in Marvolo's opinion. All those stunts, all those attacks, nearly choking on the Snitch-she was only a first year!

Marvolo learned more than just that though. He learned that Violet didn't like to be touched. She would cringe whenever someone did touch her, even if they simply tapped her shoulder. And whenever someone came up behind her and touched her, she would literally jump away from them. If she saw someone approaching her while making obvious gestures for a touch of some sort, she would carefully shy away from it, clearly trying to make sure what she was doing wasn't obvious.

From Marvolo's observations, the only person who did manage to get away with touching Violet in any way, was the Granger girl. Violet didn't seem to mind her touch at all.

At first, he had thought it was because Granger was a girl. That Violet only had a problem with males touching her, be they boys or men, because not even Weasley could touch her without her flinching. But then he noticed that Violet didn't like other girls or women touching her either. Not the other girls in her dorm, not the girls on her Quidditch team, not McGonagall or Sprout, or Hooch. It was only Granger, and no one else, whose touch didn't affect Violet. And that was not something that was normal.

But there was more than that too. Violet had all but had a panic attack when Severus had raised his voice. Marvolo had only witnessed that by chance, though he was glad he had.

It happened not long before the Easter break. Marvolo had no class to teach that afternoon, and made his way down to the Potions classroom in the dungeons, where the first year Gryffindors and Slytherins were in the middle of Double Potions.

The children had been split off into pairs, Violet working with Granger, while Weasley and Longbottom worked at the table beside them, all of them separated from everyone else as they worked at the tables in the back of the room. Marvolo settled by Severus at his desk, and observed the students as he spoke to his friend casually. Things seemed to be going perfectly fine.

Unfortunately, half way through the practical lesson, things began to suddenly go wrong. Marvolo noticed the problem immediately, and was sure Severus had spotted it too, because when they reacted, it was in unison.

Weasley and Longbottom had, somehow, mistaken an extremely common potion ingredient for an extremely dangerous and volatile one, and the second it hit the potion in their cauldron, it began to sizzle loudly. By the time the men had made it across the classroom, the cauldron was shaking, smoke billowing out of it. Working together, Marvolo and Severus placed a strong and rare shield charm around the cauldron, unable to stop the reaction, but able to prevent anyone from getting harmed when the cauldron itself literally exploded, the shards and potion hitting the shield, before landing and pooling on the table and floor.

And then Severus yelled. Yelled at Weasley and Longbottom for their stupidity, and how could they possibly have mixed the two ingredients up when they had different names on the label, looked somewhat different, were on different shelves, and were placed in different storerooms!? Their mistake would have not only killed them, but Granger and Potter as well!

Deciding to mediate somewhat in a moment, Marvolo lowered the shield and vanished the mess, and it was only when he looked up that he noticed Violet. Having been working with Granger at the very next table in the back of the room, she was quite close to of the incident, but while Granger looked surprised and hesitant, Violet was pale, and had pressed herself to the wall behind her. She was breathing quickly, so quickly she was gasping for breath, and as Severus continued to yell, she squeezed her eyes shut and slid down to the floor.

Alarmed, he moved towards her, and knelt down, everyone else too distracted with what else was happening to notice him and his young soulmate. "Violet?" He placed his hands on her shoulders and, as expected, she flinched at the touch, eyes flying open.


Severus started yelling again, and Violet broke off before she could really even begin, and Marvolo wasn't quite sure how to feel at the fear he could see in her eyes. He understood what was happening, but not why, so he simply settled for trying to calm her down.

He tried to assure her that everything was alright, that she was safe, and that nothing was wrong. He tried to get her breathing to slow back down, told her to try to mimic his own inhales and exhales. He tried to do all this with his voice low and calm, and was glad that Severus had finally stopped yelling. He knew the Potions Master wasn't actually angry with the two boys-just concerned for the damage their mistake very nearly caused. Four children had just barely escaped death because of it.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Violet began to calm. Her breathing slowed, and the colour returned to her face. Marvolo stroked her hair, once, twice, and then released her, sitting back on his haunches.

"I-I'm sorry," she all but whispered, avoiding his gaze, a flush gracing her cheeks, no doubt embarrassed by her reaction, regardless of what had caused it.

"Are you well now? Do you feel you need to go to the Hospital Wing? Madam Pomfrey can give you a Calming Draught."

But the girl shook her head. "No, I'm okay. That-" her voice cracked, and she swallowed before trying again. "That-that happens sometimes."

Marvolo wanted to question that. Was about to, as well, but didn't have the chance because before he could say anything, Granger finally noticed them and called out to her friend. So he simply helped Violet back up to her feet, and retreated to Severus' desk, where he was joined by the other man just a moment later. The students had continued their work, Weasley and Longbottom having been made to restart their own potion, looking quite disheartened.

"One of the seventh years is more incompetent than I assumed," Severus spoke quietly.

Marvolo glanced at him. "Indeed?"

"Weasley was the one to fetch the ingredients for the potions, and stated that he took the weed from the same shelf the others were taking their own. The only students who are authorized to touch the weed they ended up using are the seventh years. They look similar enough that younger students may mistake them, but the seventh years should not be making that mistake. The boy is telling the truth as well."

Marvolo's red eyes travelled back to the Gryffindors in the back of the room. Severus would never have made the mistake of placing the weed in the wrong spot, and neither would Marvolo himself, as he did still occasionally brew potions for himself, if his friend was too busy to handle it. So what had this been then? An honest mistake? A seemingly harmless prank? Or a very deliberate attempt to cause harm?

Whatever the cause, the incident had nearly caused the painful deaths of not only Weasley, Longbottom, and Granger, but Violet-his Violet, as well. And adding the girl's reaction to Severus' yelling... All in all, Marvolo was not particularly pleased right now. It seemed he had much more to learn, and not just about his young soulmate.

Chapter Text

The school year had finally come to an end. Violet wasn't looking forward to the upcoming break at all. Summer meant going back to the Dursleys, and she hated being there, and being around them.

She could just tell someone, she knew. She could tell Dumbledore or McGonagall about the Dursleys, and maybe then she wouldn't have to go back, but...but she couldn't. She had told adults before-three times, actually, and it had never once gone well for her. Each time, through no fault of her own, the Dursleys had come off looking squeaky clean, and she would come across as an attention seeking liar, which was terribly ironic, really.

That was one of the unfortunate things that came with living with the Dursleys. They impressed people. They always had, and probably always would. That was what they strived for. Everyone knew them, everyone liked them, everyone thought highly of them.

Vernon Dursley with his top position in Grunnings, working so hard to provide for his family, going to dinners with his wife, spending time with his son. What a good man! Petunia Dursley raising her son the best she could, cooking and cleaning and being such a fantastic mother, yet still finding time to meet with her friends, and attend all the women's clubs, and ooh she had the best summer pasta salad recipe! Dudley Dursley certainly had a few problems, but he was just a boy and was obviously going to grow out of it, but he was a lovely son even then, and was always out and about with his many friends! And then there was Potter. Small, and filthy, and couldn't even bother dressing herself in clothes that fit her, not to mention she had been barely scraping by in primary school of all places. Always alone, always quiet, always getting into trouble, the little brat. So bad she had to be sent off to St Brutus' Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Girls! No, no they didn't want someone like her, who was so much trouble for her loving family, mixing with their children!

No one ever believed Violet over the Dursleys, and that was exactly what her relatives wanted. They didn't want anyone to believe anything she said. They didn't want anyone to think positively of her, or to even pity her. Because if people looked hard enough, listened hard enough, then they would realize that they were being deceived, and have been for years. And the Dursleys never wanted that to happen.

And frankly, at this point, Violet was tired. Tired of trying. Tired of caring. What was the point? It wasn't ever going to work out for her anyway. And trying to think or believe otherwise would only make her delusional.

So she didn't say anything, and once the Hogwarts Express arrived at King's Cross, simply said goodbye to her friends and approached her grumpy looking uncle who had, surprisingly, actually come to get her. She hadn't expected that. What she had expected, however, was to be forcibly shoved inside the house the moment they had neared it some time later.

"Where are your school things?" Uncle Vernon demanded to know.

"At school," Violet replied quickly.

His eyes narrowed. "At school," he repeated slowly.

"Yes, sir."

"And that ruddy bird of yours?"

"She's with a friend." Having expected this, she had asked if Hermione could take care of Hedwig over the summer, briefly explaining she wasn't going to be able to keep the owl with her, out of safety. While Hermione had been curious, she had been happy to help.

"A friend..." He stared at her for a moment longer, then all but dragged her up the stairs and towards Dudley's second bedroom. "You'll be helping your aunt with dinner. Until then, stay in there!" He shoved her in, and had the door locked before she could even straighten back up.

Violet waited for his footsteps to make their way back down the stairs, then released a sigh of relief. Well, that had gone better than expected. She had lied about her school stuff, of course. She had her self-shrinking trunk hidden down her sock, but she obviously wasn't about to tell any of the Dursleys that.

If they found out she had her things, they would take them away from her and probably lock them away. She supposed it wouldn't have really mattered much if it wasn't for all the summer homework she had. If she didn't get that done, she was going to have a lot of detentions to serve, according to the professors, and she really wanted to avoid that.

But things could have been worse, she thought as she 'helped' her aunt make dinner that evening. At least she wasn't back in the cupboard again...

Marvolo was not in a pleasant mood. There was something he needed to remember, something he was so close to remembering, something that was going to answer so many of his questions, something that was continuing to elude him. He knew it was somehow tied to Divination. It had to be, because that was what he was thinking of when all of...that had happened. But even if he thought of it now, there was no-no reaction, no feeling. He didn't understand it.

Severus was still attempting to figure out how a very dangerous weed had ended up in an entirely different storeroom, Dumbledore was nagging again, Nagini was fussing, and some of the more...rowdy Death Eaters were beginning to grow rather restless, not to mention the ones in the Ministry were beginning to have a tough time thanks to Fudge and his incompetence.

Truly, the only solace Marvolo found he had right now was in Violet. They didn't write every day, not even their usual morning and night messages. He was busy, often had to go days without sleep. Why did he become the Dark Lord again? No, more like why had he tried doing things the right way after that and stopped torturing people? But Violet didn't write every day either. He wasn't sure how busy she would be, considering she, at least, had a vacation, but he didn't even notice half the time.

But when she did write, when he saw the letters on his skin, something about it didn't sit right with him. Her words were bizarrely casual, the letters forcibly neat. It was Violet writing, of course, otherwise nothing would have appeared on his skin. But despite that-

The door to his study burst open abruptly. "My Lord!"

Marvolo sighed inwardly. When the 'My Lord's came back out, something had gone wrong. "What is it this time, Woods?"

"It's Suzuki, he-!"

Salazar, this was going to take a while...

Chapter Text

Violet really wasn't enjoying her summer break. It was, admittedly, better than most years, but still...well, wasn't exactly the best. She still had a million chores, for one, and there were still punishments too, generally only if she didn't finish those chores. That was how she spent most of her days, and at night, once Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were asleep and Dudley clearly occupied, she quietly and cautiously did her homework using a flashlight so she wouldn't get caught.

It was hardly the best way for her to be learning, but really, what other choice did she have? She had to make sure this work was done before she went back, and this was the only way she could think of to ensure that.

Without Hedwig around, and having warned her friends not to try to send her mail, the only person Violet heard from was Hermione, and that was only once, when her Muggleborn friend called while pretending to be from the library, upset over an overdue book. Aunt Petunia had been quite pleased by the trouble Violet had found herself in, minor though it was, and had given her niece the phone before simply leaving the room. All that had done was give Violet and Hermione a proper chance to talk, though it hadn't been for long.

Other than that, Violet occasionally heard from Marvolo, though she was getting the feeling he was very busy. His messages just seemed...strange to her. She wasn't sure why she felt that, or what was making them seem like that, but they just were...

Violet's twelfth birthday did not start off well. It wasn't because the Dursleys completely ignored it-that was something they did every single year. Well, she supposed that wasn't quite true. They weren't completely ignoring it. They did acknowledge it, and she knew that because they saddled her with even more chores than usual! She was going to be at this all damn day!

So she worked, ignoring her aunt's watchful glare and her idiotic cousin's constant teasing. If she could just make it through the day without any sort of punishment, that would be enough of a birthday present on its own, and she would be satisfied. But that also meant she had to finish all the chores, which meant she couldn't allow herself to be distracted.

And she did manage to finish them, much to her own surprise. It had seemed like an impossible task, but really, none of the chores were anything Violet hadn't done before, or wasn't already used to. None of them had been hard to complete-just time consuming.

But her day didn't end there.

The moment she'd retreated back into the house after finishing the last of her chores, Uncle Vernon returned home, seeming very excited. Some important people were going to be coming over for dinner that very same night, and he wanted every single thing to go smoothly, because he might end up making a very big deal, or something like that.

Aunt Petunia had been pleased at first, and then scandalized to learn there wasn't time to cook a proper meal. So she shoved some money into her niece's hand and with some very explicit instructions, sent her out to the grocery store.

Violet hadn't bothered to complain. She headed straight to the store to purchase what her aunt had asked her to, and used a bit of the change to buy herself a single apple, just so she had something to munch on as she made her way back to the house. She was absolutely starving, and had no idea if she was going to be fed tonight or not, so this was going to have to do if she wasn't.

When she arrived back at Number Four, she found the Dursleys had used that time to dress themselves up. Uncle Vernon and Dudley were both wearing suits, and Aunt Petunia was in a hideous dress that made her look even worse than she already did.

Her aunt snatched the bags and change the moment she saw her, before retreating into the kitchen, and Violet barely had the chance to be thankful she didn't have to cook too, when her uncle called her into the other room, only to tell her to head upstairs to 'her room', where she was to remain in silence until the Masons left later on. She wasn't allowed to leave the room for anything at all, and wasn't allowed to make a single sound either. If she did, she should expect to be severely punished, she was warned.

And with that, she was sent upstairs with a slice of bread, a bit of cheese, and a glass of water. ...Wow, the Dursleys must have been really desperate to keep her compliant.

But that was fine. It wasn't like she wanted to be down there for dinner with the Masons anyway. In fact, if the Dursleys were going to be busy downstairs, she could probably use this time to finish up the last of her homework, and head to bed early for once.

So she finished eating and got to work, just needing to add a couple of paragraphs to her Transfiguration essay...

A few minutes passed, and she was waiting for her essay to dry so she could roll it up and put it away, when she caught sight of letters on her left forearm. She wasn't surprised to see Marvolo's usual neat handwriting, and smiled, glad to hear from him again so soon. He'd wished her a happy birthday that morning, and Violet hadn't thought she would get another message until tomorrow, or the day after, considering how busy he seemed to be.

'I'm surrounded by idiots.'*

Unable to stop herself, Violet giggled, wondering what was happening and who was around him to make someone like him lose his patience like this. Picking up the Muggle pen she kept nearby for this specific purpose, she wrote back.

'I know how you feel.'

'Are you surrounded by thankless idiots as well?'

Violet heard her aunt's loud, shrill, fake laugh, and giggled again. 'Yep. Three of them.'

'My condolences.'

This time, the girl was forced to cover her mouth to muffle her laughter. She didn't want to risk being heard. She wrote back once she had stopped laughing, and it was in this manner that Violet passed the time, chatting casually with Marvolo. It was rare for something like this to happen, but she certainly wasn't complaining. In fact, talking, or rather, writing to him like this made today's birthday the second best one she'd ever had, even despite the chores she'd been made to do earlier.

She and Marvolo continued chatting until Violet heard the Masons leave. She knew her aunt or uncle were going to come check on her soon, especially since she'd done as they'd asked and remained quiet, so she quickly put her school things away and settled down on the bed, pretending like she'd been reading one of the many dusty books Dudley had left in this room.

Sure enough, barely five minutes later the door opened, revealing her aunt who glared at her with narrowed eyes displaying suspicion. "What are you doing?" she questioned.

Violet blinked. "Reading, Aunt Petunia," she replied innocently. "Can I take my dishes down now?"

"...Yes, go wash them immediately. I don't want them cluttering up the sink!"

"Yes, Aunt Petunia." Violet didn't bother mentioning that she was the one who did the dishes every day, and that a single plate and cup were hardly going to make a difference to her. Instead, she simply did as told and washed the two dishes before returning to her room, this time to actually head to bed. It was pretty late, and now that she had finished all her summer homework, she wasn't going to have to stay up incredibly late to do it in secret-thank Merlin.

The last thing she saw before she turned off the light, was another message on her arm, this one too forcing a giggle of amusement out of her.

'I'm still surrounded by idiots.'

Chapter Text

Violet was extremely happy when September first finally came around. Ever since the new booklist had arrived a couple of weeks ago, the Dursleys had been threatening that they weren't going to allow her to go back to Hogwarts. She knew it was because the list had been delivered by an owl. That had made them absolutely furious, and the punishment she'd received afterwards had been...well, not good. She was still smarting a little from it, even now.

But it was fine, because now she could go back to Hogwarts and didn't have to see any of the Dursleys until July, which was a long ways off. Yeah, it was fine. Really, it was.

Standing on Platform Nine and Three Quarters, Violet peered around for someone familiar to her. Unable to see anyone, she had only just decided to get on the train and look there, when she heard someone call her name, and turned around to find an entire gaggle of redheads coming up behind her.


She blinked in surprise, not having expected to see so many people. "R-Ron? Uh, hi, this your family?" The only other ones here she knew were the twins, Fred and George, and their older brother Percy.

Clearly not all too concerned, Ron merely waved a hand in disinterest. "What? Yeah, that's my mum, and dad, and that's my little sister Ginny-she's starting at Hogwarts this year."

"O-oh, er-"

"Violet! Oh, it's so nice to finally meet you, dear!"

Before the girl knew what was happening, she was swept up into a bone breaking hug by Ron's mum, and released a sharp gasp of pain at the twinge that went through her not entirely healed ribs.

"Jeez, mum, can you squeeze her any harder?" voiced Fred, no doubt noticing her discomfort.

"Yeah, I think you're suffocating the poor girl," George added, clearly having caught the flash of pain in her eyes.

"O-oh, oh forgive me, Violet." Mrs Weasley released her to introduce herself properly instead, quickly followed by her husband.

And that was that. The warning whistle went off, and the children all hurried off to board the train, at which point the group split up. Percy headed off to the Prefects' compartment, the twins went to find Lee, and Ginny mumbled something about going to sit with someone named Luna. Left alone, Violet and Ron made their way down the corridor, and quickly came across Hermione, who was seated in a compartment on her own, where they then joined her.

The three friends chatted and caught up, talking about how their summer break had gone, though in this aspect, Violet did more listening than speaking. Nothing all too...interesting had happened over the holidays for her, nothing worth bringing up, at least. And she didn't really want to think about what had happened.

Hours later, the train came to a stop, and one horseless carriage ride later, Violet was finally back at Hogwarts. Ginny was Sorted into Gryffindor, her friend Luna into Ravenclaw (which had Hermione releasing a sharp gasp of surprise for some reason), and the Welcoming Feast was uneventful, and after that, Violet and her friends made their way all the way up to Gryffindor Tower, and she was asleep mere minutes later.

It was good to be home...

The first week of classes passed uneventfully, without anything particularly interesting happening. They took a lot of notes, and began to learn about newer things, but beyond that, there wasn't much happening. In fact, it wasn't until Friday, about a week later, that something of note happened.

It was evening, nearly curfew, and Violet was hurrying to Gryffindor Tower. She, Ron, and Hermione had been at the library all evening, before Ron had gone down to the Great Hall for dinner. Hermione had left to join him a half hour later, having finished all her homework, and Violet, wanting to finish her Potions essay, had told her she'd meet them in the common room later, because she wasn't feeling hungry.

But Violet, so caught up in her work, had lost track of time, only becoming aware of it when Madam Pince had called out that she was closing the library for the night, and wanted everyone out. Not wanting to get caught in the halls after curfew without her Invisibility Cloak*, she was all but running to get back to the Tower in time.

And it was here, as she turned a corner, that something strange happened. There was a voice. A low, eerie voice that sounded faintly in the corridor.

"Come...come to me... Let me Let me...tear you... Let"

Caught off guard, Violet froze mid-step, listening hard, but now she couldn't hear anything. Blinking in confusion, she looked around, but she didn't see anyone around her-even the portrait people appeared to be asleep.

Well, that was weird. Shrugging it off as her own imagination (she was pretty tired), Violet continued hurrying down the corridor, and after calling out the password, rushed into Gryffindor's common room, finding Hermione chastising Ron for not starting his homework yet.

When Ron sent her a pleading look, she completely forgot about the strange voice as she approached him to help him instead.

Violet didn't know yet, but she was going to regret it. She was going to regret not thinking harder about the voice she had heard. She was going to regret not questioning the voice. She was going to regret not telling anyone about the voice.

Chapter Text

September passed into October. Violet didn't hear the strange voice again, and she didn't remember she had heard it in the first place. She continued going to her classes, and diligently did her homework, and followed Wood's insane training schedule in preparation for the upcoming Quidditch season.

On Halloween, Violet silently paid her respects to her parents, and in the evening, went to the special feast. She and Ron chatted and ate, both of them hoping Hermione would be able to make it down soon. Their friend had rushed off to the Hospital Wing just as they had been heading down to the Great Hall, but hadn't told them why (though Violet had an idea that she wasn't going to mention to Ron, because that was REALLY awkward).

Too focused on her conversation with Ron, Violet didn't really notice what she was putting in her mouth, and whatever she had just swallowed suddenly made her feel sick. Really sick.

"Violet? What's up?"

The girl swallowed a few times, saliva continuing to pool into her mouth. "I... I think I'm about to throw up." She wasted no more time and jumped to her feet, quickly running out of the Great Hall, Ron rushing to follow after her in concern.

Violet ran through the corridor towards the nearest loo-the one on the first floor, only to skid to a stop in the middle of the hall which was, for some reason, covered with water.

Ron caught up to her, and together the two walked further down the corridor. But they didn't get to go far. They didn't know why the area was flooded with water, but there was more than just that wrong here.

"No! No!" Ron braced himself up against the nearest wall, blue eyes wide with shock and disbelief, his knees buckling under him.

"What's going on here?" A small group of professors were approaching, McGonagall in the lead, followed by both Snape and Marvolo.

Unable to hold it back anymore, and her nausea only made worse by the scene before her, Violet turned to the nearest corner, where she promptly threw up. It was kind of a relief actually. Gross, but a relief, because it meant whatever had caused her to feel sick like this, whatever she had eaten, was now out of her body. Or so she thought.


"I'm fine, I'm fine." When she turned, she found Marvolo kneeling right behind her. "I'm fine," she repeated, quieter this time. "I think I ate something funny. But I'm okay now. Just..."

Everyone turned to face the elephant in the corridor. On the wet floor, still and stiff, lay Hermione. On the wall behind her, written in either red paint or fresh blood, was a message that said, 'The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir, beware'.

Cautiously, eyes still locked on his frozen friend, Ron slowly stepped forward. "What-what happened to her?"

"Miss Granger has been petrified." It was Dumbledore, approaching, who answered him, his voice as solemn as the expression on his face. "Tom."

Marvolo scowled at the name, but inclined his head. "I cannot say why this has happened, or who is behind it, but I will see to it." He had no inclination to say anything more than that.

"Severus, Minerva," Dumbledore spoke. "We should take Miss Granger to the Hospital Wing and have Poppy examine her. Pomona has recently come into a batch of mandrakes, though they're all still quite young. It may take some time before Miss Granger can be cured."

And for some reason, that appeared to be that. Levitating Hermione between them, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape circled her and began to walk away. Ron and Marvolo watched them go, until they heard Violet groan.

"I feel sick again," she muttered, a hand moving down to her stomach.

Marvolo turned to her immediately, and cupped her chin, tilting her head so he could get a better look at her face. His red eyes narrowed. "You are pale. You claimed you ate something strange?"

"That's what I'm thinking."

Stepping forward, Ron nodded, agreeing with her words. "She was completely fine before dinner. She only got sick when we were eating in the Great Hall," he supplied.

Pulling away from the man, Violet hunched back over and retched again. But Marvolo remained where he was, gathering her hair away from her face and running a soothing hand down her back.

"Mr Weasley, please go to Madam Pomfrey and request a potion for food poisoning. Tell her I am the one asking, if need be. It would be best for Miss Potter to remain where she is until she takes it."

Nodding hurriedly, Ron rushed off. Honestly, he was beyond confused right now. Everything was just insane. What was even going on...!?

Still hunched over, Violet just ran a shaky hand over her mouth, coughing. Already she felt bizarrely weak. Pulling her hand away from her mouth, she froze, staring at the blood on her hand.

"Violet?" Having noticed her sudden lack of movement, Marvolo looked down from over her shoulder, and a strange sound left him-something that sounded like a cross between a gasp and a groan. "This isn't food poisoning."

Before Violet could even question it, the man easily lifted her up into his arms, the sudden motion making her very dizzy, so much so that she was forced to close her eyes. Too tired to ask, she simply kept still, listening as Marvolo walked, figuring they were going to the Hospital Wing.

And she was right.


It was Ron's worried call of her name that had the girl forcing her eyes open and realizing they were where she thought they were heading, though she wasn't able to keep her eyes open for long, before exhaustion had them closing again.

She felt herself being lowered down onto a bed, felt warm but rough hands on her, probably Snape's, felt Madam Pomfrey's magic scanning her, but she couldn't make out what anyone was saying. She felt so incredibly tired that only mere seconds later everything faded into darkness...

Chapter Text

"Mr Weasley, you really ought to be-"


McGonagall looked scandalized at the blatant refusal. "Weasley-"

"No! Both of my friends are laying in beds in this room, one petrified and the other passed out and coughing up blood! You can't just-just expect me leave without some kind of explanation!"

"Let him stay, Albus, Minerva," Severus interrupted. He was standing over Violet, examining her closely, thumbing back her eyelids. Frowning, he turned to the boy. "Explain to me what happened to Potter."

Weasley, standing at the foot of the girl's bed, blinked but nodded, evidently too concerned to be intimidated by the Potions Master. "We-we were in the Great Hall," he said hesitantly. "We were eating. Hermione wasn't there. She said she had to go to the Hospital Wing and that she'd meet us in a few minutes. I-I think Violet knew why, but she didn't say anything."

Marvolo, standing opposite Severus on Violet's other side, glanced at Pomfrey, who nodded almost absently, as if confirming what Weasley was saying. He was sure he too understood Granger's visit here, and Violet's reluctance to speak of it around Weasley, and it didn't have anything to do with this, he was sure. "What next?"

"Er, well, like I said, we were eating. And then Violet suddenly got really pale and said she thought she was going to throw up. She ran out of the Great Hall and I followed her cause I was worried, and then we found-found-" he broke off, eyes on Granger.

"What was the last thing Potter ate? Did you see?" Severus questioned.

Marvolo was interested in hearing that himself, but he thought it odd that neither Dumbledore nor McGonagall appeared to be all too concerned. They were looking at Weasley as though they were politely curious, but nothing more than that.

"I-" Weasley frowned, eyes downcast, clearly thinking. "I was some kind of green thing? Like-like spinach or lettuce or something? I don't really remember. We were talking."

"Is Potter allergic to anything?"

The boy shook his head. "I don't think so. I mean, she hasn't said anything if she is."

Despite the vague answer, Severus simply inclined his head and looked to Marvolo. "Did you vanish the vomit?"

"I did not." His priority had been getting Violet here to the Hospital Wing, after all.

"Then I will take a sample of it before doing so myself." He turned to Pomfrey now. "I also require a sample of her blood."

The Medi-Witch frowned in concern, but nodded. "Of course, let me just..." She got to work quickly and with practised ease.

It was only now that McGonagall reacted, a frown crossing her own face. "Are you implying-"

"It is possible. She may very well have food poisoning, despite Poppy's scan saying otherwise, but it is also possible that this is something else that the scans are not revealing. It is best to be sure. I thought you would be pleased I am doing this without being asked, Minerva." He didn't wait for an answer though. He took the vial of blood Pomfrey handed him, and simply left the Hospital Wing right after.

Marvolo didn't linger any longer either. He couldn't remain in here. Not with others here as well. He left as well. Giving Severus the time to get started on his tests, he returned to his own rooms, and it was only when the door slammed shut behind him that he realized just how angry he really was.

He really truly hoped Violet was simply suffering from food poisoning. Because if she wasn't... If she wasn't, then he wasn't sure what he was going to do.

Okay, it was probably best if he didn't remain alone right now. He was liable to destroy a few things if he did. Already he was tempted to leave the castle and find someone to torture. ...At least that was better than wanting to torture someone in the castle...

Marvolo found Severus in his private Potions lab, just as he had expected, the younger man already hard at work.

"It is not food poisoning," Severus spoke in greeting as he entered. "Neither is it an allergic reaction."

Crimson eyes fell shut in resignation, before opening again. "Then?"

"I...cannot say for sure," Severus spoke with a shake of his head. He turned around. "I would like to say that it is poison, but-"


"There is something strange in Potter's blood. Look, can you see them?"

Marvolo approached the work bench and leaned down, examining the few drops of blood that had been placed on a flat disk of glass, and had various spells cast over it. He saw what Severus was referring to immediately. There were small silver flecks in Violet's blood-something that wasn't exactly normal. But even as he looked, he noticed something else.

"They're vanishing-the flecks."

"Yes." Coming to stand beside him, Severus looked at the blood sample as well. "They have been since the blood was drawn from the girl. There were many more when I first examined the sample, but they are, for some reason, not only disappearing, but doing so at an astounding rate."

And he was right about that too, because barely a minute later, all the silver flecks in this small sample were gone, leaving the blood looking completely normal.

"What is this, exactly?"

"I don't know," Severus replied, voice betraying frustration. "I do not doubt that it is a poison of some sort, but it doesn't appear familiar to me. However, as the poison appears to be vanishing from the blood sample, I believe the same will happen to the blood in Potter's body. If it reacts in the same manner, then she should be all right within twenty four hours. The vomiting has been helping her, in this case."

Well, that was something at least. It wasn't enough to make him feel better, not at all, but it was better than nothing. With a partial order to continue researching this, Marvolo left Severus be and made his way to the Chamber of Secrets.

Violet wasn't the only one in danger. Granger's attack was alarming in itself. There were very few ways in which someone could be petrified, but that, coupled with the bloody message left on the wall...

Chapter Text

The basilisk had been the one to cause Granger's petrification. The Chamber's main entrance, the one in the girl's bathroom on the first floor, had been opened and the basilisk called, though the snake was unaware of who had done this, simply obeying the orders given to it.

So the snake had answered the call, and come across Granger, who had been on her way to the Great Hall from the Hospital Wing almost immediately. With the floor flooded, no doubt because of Myrtle (a common event), Granger must have caught sight of the basilisk's reflection in the water, at which point, because she had not looked it in the eyes directly, she had been petrified. The basilisk had then returned down into the Chamber, which had then been sealed once more.

That all made sense to Marvolo. What didn't make sense was how this had all happened in the first place. Who was behind this attack? Who had opened the Chamber and called for the basilisk? The snake itself was unable to tell him. All the basilisk knew was that it had been a female.

But to open the Chamber and command the basilisk, the one behind this had to be a Parselmouth. That in itself should have been impossible. Only direct descendants of Salazar Slytherin were capable of speaking in that tongue, and he was the very last one, as he had never had nor wanted anyone to pass the ability to (there was a reason he had made himself immortal). He, of course, was not behind this himself. This was not something he was willing to risk right now. That meant there was another Parselmouth in the castle. A female. Who?

Marvolo was returning to the Hospital Wing when he ran into Severus, who seemed to have just left the wing himself. "Any progress?" he inquired as they both came to a stop and faced one another.

"I have yet to determine what the poison is, but I have taken another sample of Potter's blood to examine-there was nothing left in the original sample. Poppy says the girl woke three times, vomited the first two times, and was at least somewhat coherent the third time, before falling unconscious once more. I would not be surprised if she gets a fever within the next few hours. Her body will attempt to fight through the rest. Once that fever breaks, she should wake, and it should take a handful of days before she regains her full strength."

"Were you able to find out how she was poisoned in the first place?"

"No. I spoke to the House-Elves who prepared the feast. They had three visitors in the kitchens all day. Dumbledore was there, but that is normal. He always goes to ensure everything is progressing as planned for feasts. He did nothing but speak to the Elves."

"And the other two?"

"The Weasley twins. They touched nothing. They requested two sandwiches and butterbeer, and spoke with the Elves as they waited. When they received their food, they thanked the Elves and left the kitchens."

Marvolo nodded. "They would not do something as malicious as this. Especially not to her. They treat her as a sister. This is either a direct attack, or a poorly planned prank." Again, he realized. First the incident in Violet's Potions class, and now this?

"The Elves," Severus continued, "did not make anything they generally do not for Halloween feasts, and did not see anything they did not make themselves in the food that was returned to the kitchens after the feast."

"Meaning if it was something in Miss Potter's food or drink, then the one behind this placed that food or drink on Gryffindor Table themselves, then removed it once she left the hall with Weasley."

"Yes," Severus agreed with an incline of his head. "And I believe that is exactly what happened, considering how quickly Potter reacted. I doubt anyone saw this either. It was a feast. No one will have been paying attention."

That was true. No one ever paid attention to their surroundings during feasts. A normal dinner would have been an entirely different story, but not on Halloween. He had always been observant, and even he hadn't noticed anything until Violet had run out of the Great Hall.

There was so much going on so suddenly. None of it was making any sense to him...

When Marvolo entered the Hospital Wing, he expected it to be empty, save for Violet and Granger, of course. But to his surprise, that wasn't the case. There was a girl seated by Granger's bedside-a small, blonde, Ravenclaw who looked up as he approached, and smiled at him gently.

"Good evening, Professor," she greeted politely and quietly.

"Miss...Lovegood. I did not realize that you and Miss Granger were friends."

"She doesn't either," Lovegood replied.


The girl gazed at Granger again, and reached out, carefully touching the petrified girl's hand, before looking back up at Marvolo. "Soulmates are strange that way, aren't they?" she spoke, glancing at Violet and then back at him. "That you could be so close to each other, and at the same time, so far away."

Marvolo didn't speak, unsure of what to say. The girl was right, of course, but he wasn't quite sure he wanted to admit that, least of all to her.

"Does she know?"

He knew what Lovegood was asking immediately. How she herself knew, he didn't know, but it was clear that she did. "I have no doubt that she does."

Lovegood nodded and smiled again. "Waiting is a good idea, I think. I think she's as scared as you are at telling the truth. There won't be a point in revealing that truth if you aren't ready for it." She looked down at Granger again. "I'm waiting too. I don't think she's ready yet either."

Marvolo said nothing, giving the girl a moment before he spoke again. "It is very close to curfew, Miss Lovegood."

Without argument, Lovegood stood, touched Granger's hand again, then smiled at him once more. "Good night, Professor Slytherin."

He inclined his head and watched as she left the Hospital Wing, before moving over to Violet's bed, glad to finally be alone with her, again, save for Granger, not that the girl was aware of what was happening around her. Pomfrey was asleep, no doubt, so he was bound to go undisturbed unless something happened to either of the two girls.

Violet was still very pale, he noted, but appeared unharmed and healthy otherwise. Severus was under the impression that the poison, whatever it may have been, was out of Violet's blood and Marvolo believed him, but while that was certainly a good thing, it wasn't really making him feel any better about the situation.

But now that this incident had occurred, he found himself wondering if what had happened in that Potions class some months ago had been an attack on Violet, rather than Weasley and Longbottom. Perhaps Weasley had taken the weed before Violet could, resulting in the potion he and Longbottom were brewing to become volatile, rather than Violet and Granger's.

At the same time though, if Violet truly had been the intended target of the first incident, how had the attacker meant for it all to happen? Anyone could have taken the weed Weasley had from the shelf it had been placed on, even if it had been placed there before that specific class.

That class itself had seventeen children in it, and that day had been split off into eight groups (seven with two students, and one with three). Any of those eight groups could have ended up taking and using the weed (the only one planted there, as Severus had discovered). There had been a rather small chance that Violet or Granger could have picked it up.

So, in that case, had that incident been related to this poison one at all? ...Then again, was this poisoning the same? If everything had happened the way Severus believed it did, had the person behind this simply placed the contaminated food or drink in some random spot on Gryffindor Table, uncaring of who consumed it? Had Violet just been the victim of bad luck being involved with both incidents?

Honestly speaking, Marvolo didn't think it was a coincidence.

Chapter Text

When Violet woke, she felt utterly exhausted, as if she had been doing chores for the Dursleys all day without any food or water (which she had experienced quite a few times), but even worse. She couldn't even open her eyes, let alone get up.

So she simply lay there at first, struggling to remember where she was and what had happened. It didn't take long for the memories to come flooding back to her.

She was in the Hospital Wing, she quickly realized. And she was there because she had been throwing up and coughing up blood. Marvolo had carried her here, and she had passed out, and she didn't remember anything else.

With a great amount of struggling, Violet finally managed to sit up, and glanced around curiously. The bed beside hers had a curtain drawn around it, blocking whoever was there from view, and...wait. "H-Hermione?"

"She was petrified, Miss Potter."

The girl turned quickly, and then groaned when her head spun. She really, really hated feeling like this.

"Keep still," Snape spoke, stepping forward. "You still have little strength."

Violet swallowed, coughed, and then gratefully accepted the glass of water the Potions Master handed to her, sipping at it slowly, knowing better than to down it like she really wanted to. "What-what happened?"

Snape seemed to look at her closely for few seconds, almost like he wasn't sure how to answer her. Just as the girl began to wonder whether he was going to say anything or not, he spoke. "...You were poisoned."

"I-I was what? But-but how? Is it still in me? Am I going to be okay? Am I going to die?"

"Calm down, Potter. You're fine. We are unsure of what the poison was, because it left your system very quickly, long before it could be identified. We believe it was through something you either ate or drank at the Halloween feast, thanks to your sudden and extreme reaction. We are unsure as to how this poison got into said food or drink. The poison however, appears to have been fairly weak and apparently, mostly harmless. You have been unconscious for twenty four hours, and will remain here for another forty eight. Your strength will return to you sometime tomorrow. I will be taking blood samples from you every six hours to ensure the poison is gone, and will continue doing so for the next week for the same purpose."

Violet stared. "O-oh. I-" She bit her lip, trying to process everything she had just heard. Having no idea what else to say, she simply went with, "Erm, thank you for helping me, sir."

Snape blinked, looking completely caught off guard for half a second, before he masked the expression and inclined his head. Then he told her to hold out her arm, took enough blood from her to fill a small vial, called for Madam Pomfrey, and left the Wing.

The Medi-Witch fussed over her, but ignored her questions about Hermione, much to Violet's irritation, because now that she knew she was fine, she was once again feeling very concerned about her friend. McGonagall and Dumbledore didn't tell her much of anything either, when they came to find out how she was doing.

Why wasn't anyone saying anything? It didn't make any sense, and was extremely annoying, and Violet was actually starting to get kind of angry when, fortunately, Marvolo entered the Hospital Wing.

He looked relieved, she noticed immediately. And tired. She was sure he hadn't slept at all. His shirt under his robes was wrinkled, and his hair was kind of messed up, like he'd run his hand through it multiple times and then forgotten to fix it again. It was weird seeing him this...ruffled.

"Violet..." Like Snape, Marvolo came directly to her bedside. Unlike Snape, however, he lowered himself down to sit on the edge of the bed and reached out, gently brushing her fringe out of her eyes, before pulling his hand back.

"Snape told me what happened," she said, correctly assuming the man didn't know what to say to her. "He said I was poisoned, and no one knows how it happened, but that I should be fine now."

Marvolo nodded. "Yes, he is correct. The poison was easily visible in your blood, but we were unable to identify it. He is still doing tests in an attempt to learn more, but you yourself will be perfectly healthy. Your relatives have been notified-"

"W-what? Why?"

"...It is required by law. Dumbledore had a letter sent to them, though he has yet to hear a response."

Violet cringed. That wasn't good. The Dursleys, of course, weren't going to give a damn that she had been poisoned, and probably hoped she died from it, but if the letter was sent to them by an owl, they were going to kill her when she got back!


"Sorry," she said immediately. "It's nothing. I'm fine. I-what happened to Hermione? No one's telling me anything." She knew he noticed the abrupt topic change, but she really didn't care right now. She didn't want to think about the Dursleys at all.

"She was petrified."

Okay, she remembered hearing that much when Dumbledore said it. "But how? How did that happen to her? Will she be alright?"

"She will be, yes. There is a potion that can...revive her, but it requires fully grown mandrakes. The ones Sprout has are too young to be used, and will not be mature enough for months. She is currently searching to purchase ones that are mature enough to be used so that Severus may brew the potion."

That was good. Definitely better than Hermione having to stay like-like that forever. "How did she end up petrified in the first place?"

Since Violet had been unconscious for the past day, she was unaware of the rumours that were currently going around the castle. Even despite the short amount of time that had gone by, everyone was already talking about Slytherin's monster being loose and attacking Muggleborns, after escaping from the Chamber of Secrets. Even though Hermione had been the only one to be attacked so far.

Marvolo was entirely aware that even if he said nothing, Violet was just going to hear the gossip from the others, and that was liable to make her worry even more. So he told her what the students knew...

Violet frowned. "What's the Chamber of Secrets? I don't...I don't think I've ever heard of it before. I mean, other than what it said on the wall."

"The Chamber of Secrets is, as it sounds, a secret chamber created by Salazar Slytherin," the man began to explain. "When Salazar left Hogwarts, the other three founders attempted to find said chamber, but were unable to. Many in the centuries after that too have attempted to do the same, but even then no one succeeded. Because of that, the Chamber of Secrets, and the monster said to live within it, faded into a legend."

"A legend? it really?" Violet bit her lip, then said, "So did the person who attacked Hermione only write that the chamber had been opened so they could scare everyone?"

Here, Marvolo smiled just slightly. "The Chamber of Secrets is no mere legend. It exists."

The girl's eyes widened. "How do you know?"

"I know, because I discovered it. I have stood in the middle of the chamber myself."

"And-and the monster?"

"The monster, as they call it, is a basilisk, the king of serpents."

Violet had no idea what to say at first. She simply stared at the man, blinking, her mind working quickly to understand everything she was being told. "But-but if you've found it, how come no one else could?" she asked him curiously.

"Because to open the chamber, you must be a Parselmouth. And that is an ability that is extremely rare. Only direct descendants of Salazar Slytherin have this ability, and as far as I am aware, I am the only one."

The girl's brow creased in confusion. "What is that? A Parselmouth?"

"A Parselmouth is a person who is capable of speaking Parseltongue-the language of snakes. They can speak and understand snakes," Marvolo clarified.

Violet's eyes widened. "I can do that too though!" she exclaimed, more puzzled than anything else.

"You-" Marvolo broke off, surprised and actually somewhat alarmed.

"I can speak to snakes," Violet said. "I knew it was weird, but when I learned I was a witch, I figured everyone could do it."

Still clearly surprised, Marvolo shook her head. "No, Violet, it is very, very rare." And then he realized something. The basilisk had told him that a female had opened the chamber and commanded it to attack. And Violet was indeed female. didn't appear as if she was lying about not knowing what the Chamber of Secrets was. Not to mention Granger was Violet's closest friend. Why would Violet want to attack Muggleborns? Granger was a Muggleborn, yet still her friend. Her own mother had been a Muggleborn as well. No, it couldn't be Violet. ...But if it wasn't, did that mean there was a third Parselmouth in the castle? "Have you told anyone you have this ability?" he inquired a moment later.

Violet blinked, but shook her head. "No, no one. It never came up or seemed important, so I just kept it to myself."

Then it was unlikely that Violet was being framed for the attack. Marvolo dragged his long fingers through his hair, mussing it further, though he didn't notice. "Do you understand me, Violet?"

"...Yes? Why wouldn't I?"

So she was telling the truth. She truly was a Parselmouth, and was clearly unaware of when she ended up slipping into it. He was going to have to teach her how to do it consciously. When he saw Violet yawn, he sighed inwardly. He shouldn't have gotten into all this with her right now. "You need more sleep," he told her.

She didn't even argue, already lowering back down properly. "Are-are you going to find out who hurt Hermione?" she asked him quietly.

"I will," he assured her gently, once more brushing aside her fringe. "I promise it." And he meant it too. Not just because Violet wanted it, but also because he himself wanted to know who this other Parselmouth was. "Good night, Violet." ...Was she already asleep? He supposed he couldn't blame her. He ran his thumb along the lightning bolt shaped scar on her forehead, then stood and left the Hospital Wing. He had work to do.

He returned to his rooms, encountering no one but a ghost or two along the way, and dropped down in an armchair, debating on getting himself a drink as he rolled his sleeves up to his elbows. Speaking with Violet had only left him with more questions, he realized, rather than given him any answers. Releasing a long, tired sigh, he reached up to once again drag his fingers through his hair, only to catch sight of a spot of colour on his arm. Writing. Violet.

The letters were shaky, even at a glance, no doubt because the girl was not just tired, but still weak from the poisoning. At the same time though, they were written firmly.

'Please sleep. I'm alright.'

Marvolo didn't really understand why, but seeing those words had his entire body flooding with relief. All of his energy leaving him at once, he sagged in the armchair, exhausted. She was alive. She was alright. She was safe. He knew he had spent nearly an hour speaking to her, but seeing this, seeing the writing was what really made him believe it.

Gently, he ran his fingers over the letters on his forearm, and gathered the last of his energy, getting up so he could prepare to head to bed.

Chapter Text

The Weasley girl was acting strange. Marvolo watched her from his seat at the Head Table during breakfast the next morning, only now realizing just how...jumpy she was. Was she frightened because of what had happened to Granger and Violet? Both of them were friends with her brother, so it wouldn't be odd that they knew one another.

But even Weasley-Ron that is, wasn't quite that affected, though he obviously was rather worried himself. The fact that his younger sister, who certainly didn't know either of the two girls very well, was this... Well, it didn't really make very much sense. He decided to keep a closer eye on her for the time being. Though it was unlikely, it was possible she had something to do with what was going on.

But what was going on? There had been three separate incidents now, two of which had affected Violet indirectly and one of which had affected her directly. All three of these incidents had affected her friends as well, both directly and indirectly.

Marvolo thought that there being no connection between the incidents to be impossible. With two of them happening at essentially the same time, and the last one-or first one in this case, taking place just some months before, it just seemed so strange. If the incidents had been happening to other people besides just Violet and her friends, perhaps it would seem like more of a coincidence, but out of all the people in the castle, it always just so happened to be the same three? That was just so...unlikely.

Marvolo supposed that was why he decided to keep a closer eye on Ginny Weasley. Because she was closely connected to Violet through Ron Weasley. It was always that group that was targeted, so really, he couldn't be blamed.

And the more he observed the Weasley girl, the more suspicious he became. She was experiencing something strange.

She appeared exhausted most of the time, disoriented at times, and even seemed to be rather paranoid. She hadn't been like this in September from what he could recall, but now, in the beginning of November, this was becoming a very common sight. Then, by listening in on her older brothers-the twins, he learned something more. She was experiencing nightmares and memory loss as well.

Out of curiosity, the next time he went to the Hospital Wing to check on Violet, Marvolo spoke to Pomfrey about Miss Weasley as well, wanting to see if the medi-witch knew anything about Weasley's new behaviour and obvious problems.

Though the girl had, evidently, been brought to the infirmary by her brother Percy, Madam Pomfrey, despite doing a thorough examination, had been unable to learn anything.

Since she couldn't find anything strange, she assumed the girl was simply feeling anxious and was homesick. It was possible, of course, as people experienced anxiety in different ways, but Marvolo didn't think that was quite it.

He was sure there was something more here. Something that couldn't be detected. He had a suspicion he knew what it was too. He just had to find a way to check.

He would do so once Violet he was sure Violet was properly healthy again. She seemed better now, and according to Severus' tests, no longer had any poison in her body. But Marvolo was still...concerned. It was a strange emotion that he wasn't particularly used to feeling and, honestly speaking, he had no idea what he could do about it, or how he could make it go away.

Violet was writing to him more often now, always assuring him that she was alright. Marvolo had no doubt she was entirely aware of his concern. She was a perceptive girl. And it helped, yes, just wasn't enough.

And then Violet was out of the Hospital Wing, returning to her classes, and now, Marvolo was faced with what he had been trying to avoid, mostly for his own sanity.

He called for Lucius.

It felt like entire days had passed instead of mere minutes, before Marvolo had Lucius standing in his private rooms at Hogwarts, looking as calm as ever, his wand containing cane gripped casually close, as usual.

"What has happened to my journal, Lucius?" Marvolo questioned without preamble. "The one I left in the safety of your father's vault at Gringotts a number of years ago?"

He had left it there a long time ago, long before he had had any vaults of his own, back when he had still been a student at the castle himself. The Malfoys' had a number of vaults, some of which were guarded by dragons. That was why he had left the journal there. It had seemed like the safest place.

After that he had just never removed it, seeing no reason to do so. No one would look there for anything about him, he had assumed, making it safer than any of his own vaults that he had later attained.

Lucius' calm was pierced by a small frown. " not know, Ma-my Lord," he said, quickly correcting himself. This seemed like a touchy subject, and Lucius did not wish to incur the Dark Lord's wrath, even if he was a close friend.

"If I were to go to the vault, would I find it where I once left it?"

"I-I do not know."

Marvolo regarded the other man closely. Lucius was very clearly uncomfortable, but he could see no signs of deception. He probed the other's mind just slightly, Lucius allowing him to do so, but even there there was no hint of anything strange. Lucius really had no knowledge of what the journal was, or what had happened to it, if anything even had.

Marvolo supposed it was about time he found out. He left Hogwarts that night with a curt word to Dumbledore, heading directly for Gringotts. Gaining access to the requested vault (one he had been in many times before), Marvolo searched and, as he had thought, the journal was nowhere to be found. He was sure he knew why.

It wasn't in this vault, because it was currently in the possession of a certain Weasley. He had no confirmation yet, but he could not see it being anywhere else. Not with the way Weasley had been acting recently.

He was quickly able to confirm it as well, and he didn't even need to approach the girl to do it. He gave the first year Gryffindors some time at the end of their next Defence lesson to start on the essay he had just assigned them, as he had finished the lesson early. It was something that happened every now and again, and wasn't considered particularly strange.

And while most students had pulled out some parchment to begin writing their first draft on, Weasley had pulled out a small, dark covered, familiar looking book instead. One that had his own name printed across the front: T. M. Riddle.

Marvolo wasn't sure how or why, but it was very clear that the girl was in possession of his old journal. Ginny Weasley was in possession of his Horcrux, and it appeared that it was possessing her just as much as she was it, if not more.

Chapter Text

Marvolo confiscated the journal. He had no other choice. Now that he knew it was in someone else's hands-a child's hands at that-a Weasley even more, he couldn't just leave it be.

But the Weasley girl couldn't possibly have been able to get it from the Malfoy vault on her own. In fact, other than he himself, who was the exception, only a Malfoy could have entered that vault. Not even Narcissa or Severus, Lucius' soulmates, could enter. So how had she obtained it?

When he asked her, she, nervously, told him it had been with all the other books her parents had bought for her from Diagon Alley. Well that was all fine and well, but where had her parents gotten it from, then? They couldn't have entered the vault any more than their children.

Lucius had had no idea, and Marvolo hadn't done it himself. Narcissa and Severus were unable to enter that particular vault, which left only one option...

Marvolo watched impassively as a rather frightened looking Draco entered his office. If, other than Marvolo, only a direct Malfoy could have entered Abaraxas' old vault, and Lucius hadn't done anything, then his son Draco was the only person left who could have.

" wanted to-to talk to me? Um, sir?"

"Indeed." Marvolo regarded the boy closely. "Did your father take you to your grandfather's vault at Gringotts over the summer?"

Draco blinked, then nodded slowly. "He did, yes, sir. Father wanted something from there-I don't know what."

"Did you touch anything when you were in there?"

"I-I didn't take anything!"

Marvolo raised a brow. "I said 'touch', not 'take', Draco." He watched, satisfied, as the boy paled and his eyes widened. He had at least one answer now. "You took a book from there, didn't you? A small, blank book with a name printed across the front."

Draco hesitated, no doubt wondering whether it would be better to admit it, or deny it. Admitting it was probably going to get him into trouble, but denying it might get him into even more trouble. Finally, he nodded again, his entire body tense.

"What did you do with this book?"

"I..wrote in it, and someone inside...wrote back to me. They said their name was Tom, and when I told him my name, he said he knew my grandfather. He said I should give the book-the journal, to someone weaker, who would be able to-to-"

"I see," said Marvolo, interrupting. His younger self, embedded within the diary had no doubt seen the connection between Abaraxas, who had been in his own year at Hogwarts, and Draco. And seeing Draco as more of a potential ally, he had asked for the boy to pass the diary along to someone more easily manipulated, so that they may do his bidding, so to speak. Of course, all that meant was that Draco had been fairly easily manipulated himself. "Who did you give the journal to?"

Draco looked away. "...Weasley," he muttered. "The girl. Father and I bumped into the Weasleys at the bookshop at Diagon, and she was carrying a cauldron filled with her new textbooks. So I slipped it in there when no one was looking."

And there was the next answer he had been looking for. Draco had stolen the journal when his father had taken him to the vault on an errand of his own. Draco had spoken to Tom, who had successfully talked him into passing the journal on to another. And then Draco had sneaked the journal into the Weasley girl's belongings. Then she had, no doubt, begun writing in it, confessing her secrets to Tom, who had used her energy to grow stronger and eventually had enough power to possess the girl. Possessed by Tom, she had then been able to open the Chamber of Secrets and call for the basilisk. And then Granger had just so happened to encounter the basilisk, had caught the reflection of its eyes, and ended up petrified.

"Draco, do you realize the severity of your actions?"

Chagrined, the boy nodded his head. "Yes, sir. You-you'll be telling mother and father and Uncle Severus, won't you?"

"Indeed I will. Not only did you steal something that did not belong to you, you put a great many people in danger. Ginny Weasley herself could have very well lost her life. If she had-if anyone had died because of this, you would have ended up expelled at the least, and imprisoned at the most. Your parents will see to you. You are dismissed."

"Y-yes, sir. I-I'm sorry." Saying nothing more, Draco hurried out of the room, relieved Marvolo hadn't done anything to him himself. Maybe he wasn't as bad as he had once been, but he was still not exactly the nicest person.

Once the door had fallen shut, Marvolo set his elbows on his desk, propping his head in his hands, and stared at the journal sitting innocently on the smooth wood.

Now that Weasley was no longer in possession of the journal, she would soon grow healthy again, so that wasn't an issue anymore. The basilisk wouldn't be able to leave the Chamber either, so there would be no fear for more attacks either. It seemed there were only two Parselmouths in the castle after all. Just him and Violet.

But even then, he was beginning to realize that it was too dangerous to leave this journal anywhere. This had been his own fault for leaving it where it had been, but he found that he couldn't trust to leave it in Gringotts either. If anyone else happened to get their hands on it...his younger self would have little trouble in doing the same as he had to Weasley, to this new person.

Maybe there were places he could hide it where no one could ever get their hands on it, but...perhaps it would be better if he just...destroyed it. It was his last remaining horcrux though.

No, he could always create one more, then destroy the journal. That would still leave him with one horcrux, ensuring he remained immortal, and since it would be created before the destruction of the journal, it would contain only a small part of his soul, whereas the journal contained half of it. Doing it this way would leave him with more of a soul than if he just left the journal intact. He even had the perfect item in mind.

A new horcrux with a smaller soul piece, while still able to influence another, wouldn't be powerful enough to do as the journal had. So even if someone somehow got their hands on it, they wouldn't have to worry about anything like this happening again.

He could even keep the new one on his own person without it coming across as odd. He was Slytherin's descendent, after all. Wearing his ancestor's locket would hardly be considered strange or suspicious.

He would turn the locket into a new horcrux, and then destroy his old journal. Yes, that was what he would do. He could not risk death. Never.

Chapter Text

Are you okay? You haven't been around for a few days.

I am well. I just caught a touch of the flu. It is nothing to worry about, Violet.

Are you sure? I don't remember you saying you've ever really gotten sick before.

Truly, I am fine. I simply never saw much reason to speak of illnesses. You yourself don't tell me that you are sick every single time it happens, right?

Oh, I guess that's true. Well, I'm glad you're not too sick that you can't write back.

I would have to be very ill for that. You really needn't worry. Do you not have a Quidditch match to train for?

I just came back from another practice. Do you think you'll be better in time to watch the match?

I should hope so. I would like to see you in the air.

Will you be upset if Slytherin loses?

I will show no preference.

Is that your way of saying you don't know which team to root for?


After the poisoning incident, Violet had been watched very closely by the adults for a little while, though she knew no one had made any headway in figuring out who exactly had tried to poison her in the first place. Whoever they were, it didn't seem like they tried to do it again. They hadn't left any sort of clues either, so it was difficult to say who they even were, or what exactly they were trying to accomplish.

While Marvolo didn't forget about what had happened to Violet, and didn't ignore it either, he had something else on his mind right now. Having so much of his soul back felt...strange. He had been young still when he'd last had this much of it, as he'd sealed half of it inside his diary horcrux. It wasn't as if he had specifically wanted to rid himself of half of it-that was just how horcruxes worked. Each horcrux took away half of the remaining soul, and in the case of the first horcrux, that meant half of the entire soul.

But now he'd destroyed his very first horcrux, and that gave him back that lost half of his soul. He was only missing a quarter of it or so, which was currently sealed away in his new horcrux-Slytherin's locket. He'd created this new one before having destroyed the one in his old journal, so that he would be able to regain and keep more of his soul. Now, if someone somehow happened to get the locket, nothing like this incident with the Weasley girl would be able to happen again. The soul piece in the locket wasn't powerful enough for something like that.

Unwilling to leave the locket unattended at the moment, especially since he wasn't sure where would be safe enough to leave it, Marvolo decided the best option would be to just keep it on him for the time being. If someone wanted it, they would have to take it off him, and being able to do that was going to be a greatly difficult feat indeed.

With the horcrux business settled, Marvolo then turned his attention back to his young soulmate-or more precisely, the attacks and incidents that seemed to be occurring around her and those close to her.

Violet herself seemed to have made a full recovery, and had returned to a normal schedule, attending her classes, studying and doing her homework, and training in Quidditch practices. She still returned for occasional blood tests, but the results were always normal.

Unfortunately, Marvolo was incapable of finding any further information on any of the incidents. None of them were repeated either, though in Granger's case that was due to the Weasley girl no longer possessing his old diary horcrux. Marvolo assumed that meant the culprit was aware that Violet and her friends were being watched closely for signs of any other kind of attack, regardless of who exactly carried them out. Luckily, Draco seemed to have learned his lesson and didn't try anything again either, and it was some days later that Granger was finally able to awaken, a potion prepared by Severus causing the petrification to wear off. At least that was one incident solved.

Marvolo didn't normally care much for Quidditch. It was a fine sport and all, but he had no actual interest in it, and normally didn't bother attending the many matches Hogwarts held over the school year, even if old Dumbledore ordered him to. But now there was one exception. The only matches he bothered going to were the ones Violet was playing in. Quidditch didn't matter to him, but she did, so he went because he knew she would like to know he was there, and also to keep an eye on her and ensure she remained as safe as she could be while playing such a dangerous sport.

Today was no different. The match was between Gryffindor and Slytherin, and since that meant Violet would be playing, Marvolo made sure he ventured out to the stands to watch the match. Or at least watch Violet play.

Marvolo felt a little...worried, he supposed. Feeling this was strange to him, and it wasn't something he had felt so strongly before. It probably had something to do with reabsorbing so much of his recently missing soul. It had been a very long time since he had last felt so human, and he wasn't yet sure whether it was something good or bad.

It was cold today, nearing the end of November as it was. Violet had been attending so many late practices recently, and with that coupled by the chill, and her recent poisoning, Marvolo wasn't sure her playing today was even a good idea. But he didn't really know how to actually express his concern. Maybe that was why he was watching her so closely now, unwilling to take his eyes off of her for even an instant, a seed of fear taking root deep inside him.

A Quidditch match was the perfect moment for another incident to take place. Violet was a good target in the air, and her friends were good targets in the stands. Any number of things could have happened.

And as it turned out, something did happen, yet another one of those strange incidents taking place. But this time, nothing happened to Violet. Nothing happened to her friends either. No, this time something happened to Marvolo.

There was a flash of green, and Marvolo fell.

Chapter Text

Violet walked into the hospital wing in silence, and approached the back room that was there to keep single, quarantined patients separate from the other patients. Without knocking, she glanced around to make sure she was alone, and then slipped into the room, shutting the door behind her quietly.

Stepping further into the room, Violet pulled off her Invisibility Cloak, letting it fall on the bedside chair, though she herself made no move to sit down. Instead she stood directly beside the bed, and peered down at the person in the bed-the man in the bed. She'd already lost track of how many times she'd done this recently.

It had been three weeks since the incident. Three weeks since the Quidditch match. Three weeks since the spell had been cast. Three weeks since Marvolo had been hit with the Killing Curse. Violet had seen it happen herself. She'd been up in the air, searching for the Snitch, and had caught a flash of green out of the corner of her eye. She'd turned, seen the spell hit Marvolo, and watched him collapse. She wasn't sure who had screamed. Maybe it had been her, maybe it had been someone else, but someone had definitely screamed. But though Marvolo had been taken away to the hospital wing immediately, the match had, for some reason, continued on.

Or at least, the adults had meant it to. As it turned out, a professor being attacked with a fatal spell in the stands in the middle of a Quidditch match (regardless of who said professor was) wasn'tgood at boosting morale or concentration, and since every single person on Gryffindor and Slytherin teams refused to continue playing, mostly because they'd been in shock, the professors had had no choice but to cancel the match, much to their displeasure.

Violet had tried going to the hospital wing as quickly as she could, but had been forbidden from entering and hadn't really been able to give a reason for why she even wanted to get in in the first place, so instead she'd come back at night, hidden under her Invisibility Cloak, and sneaked into the wing, finding Marvolo in the back room. She'd done the same thing almost every night since then, and today was no different than any of those other days.

It was the Weasley twins who had told her what the Killing Curse was, since it wasn't something she'd had the chance to learn about just yet-apparently it was covered in Defence in fourth year. From what the twins had said, the Killing Curse was exactly as it sounded. If it hit you, it resulted in instant death. Or at least, it was supposed to. It hadn't for Marvolo. It hadn't for Violet either, and she knew that because, well, everyone was telling her that recently-that she'd been struck by and survived the Killing Curse back when her parents had been killed.

Everyone thought Marvolo (or rather, Voldemort) had been the one to do it, but if that was the case, then who had attacked him? And how had he survived? Some idiots thought Violet had attacked him, but luckily for her, very few were actually taking that suggestion seriously. She had a very obvious alibi in that she'd been on her broom many feet in the air along with a number of others, while hundreds had been watching her. It was pretty hard to shoot a spell-any spell at someone from that position. Besides, as a second year, she probably didn't even have enough magic to cast such a powerful spell.

But no one had any idea who had cast the spell, let alone why. There were plenty who wanted Marvolo dead of course, so that wasn't really helping matters either. The fact that he had survived was shocking in itself, though Dumbledore seemed to have some sort of suspicion about that, even if he wasn't saying anything about it.

Violet sighed softly. Marvolo was still unconscious. He had been like this since he'd been struck by the spell. By doing some careful eavesdropping, she'd heard Madam Pomfrey say that instead of killing him, the curse had put him in a sort of coma. She didn't know why, and she didn't know how to wake him out of it, or when he might wake up. She said the only thing she could do was put him in the quarantine room, keep an eye on him, and let him wake up on his own.

More confident than she'd been in the beginning, Violet reached out and gently brushed Marvolo's dark hair away from his eyes. But she didn't pull away after that, and sat down on the edge of the bed, stroking his hair slowly. She'd been so surprised when she'd found out how soft it was, and even three weeks later she had a hard time getting over it. His hair was softer than hers! That was actually kind of unfair.

But now she understood why Marvolo had looked so restless back when she'd been in the hospital wing after the poisoning incident. The way she was feeling now-the way she'd been feeling the past few weeks...that was probably how he'd felt at the time. Violet was used to feeling this way-used to feeling...helpless, if that was what this was, but she wasn't used to feeling like this when it came to Marvolo.

Marvolo was a grown man. A powerful man who brought a steady source of comfort-to her, at least. He always seemed like he was in control, he always knew what to say or do, always seemed so focused and strong. And now he wasn't. Now he was unconscious and vulnerable in a hospital wing bed, and no one had any idea what was wrong with him or when he was going to wake up.

Violet hated it. She hated it because it was making her scared, but she didn't fully understand why. Yes, he was her soulmate, but she barely knew him-she knew him more in writing than she did in person. So why was she so worried? Why was she so scared? She wanted him to wake up. She really, really wanted him to wake up. She wanted to see him around the castle again, and in class, and she wanted him to write to her again.

But it didn't look like that was going to be happening any time soon. Marvolo didn't look like he was going to wake up soon, and knowing that scared Violet all the more. Maybe that was why she kept doing this-kept sneaking into here at night, making sure he was still okay, even if he was unconscious.

Violet sighed. It was late, and she had class in the morning too. It was probably about time she sneaked back up to Gryffindor Tower. Besides, Madam Pomfrey would be coming to check on Marvolo soon, and Violet didn't really want to be caught in here. She'd be in big trouble if she did. So she stood up, grabbing her Invisibility Cloak off the chair.

"I'll...come back again tomorrow," she said quietly, as she did every night, even though Marvolo probably couldn't even hear her. Pulling the cloak on over her, Violet left the room as silently as she could.

Marvolo didn't even stir.

Chapter Text

It took him a long time to realize he was awake. All of his senses had blurred together, everything too muddled to comprehend at first. He opened his eyes slowly, having to blink a fair few times before they were able to adjust to the light of the room he was in.

"Ah, finally awake? You've been sleeping for quite a while there, Tom."

Marvolo grimaced. Dumbledore was not the first thing he wanted to deal with after waking. He turned his head, only to grimace again when he actually saw Dumbledore. Ugh. He didn't bother trying to move sure it wouldn't be a good idea, and instead said, "I trust you have been looking into who dared to attack me?"

"Of course, of course." Dumbledore folded his hands behind his back, and smiled solemnly. "Unfortunately, I have yet to discover anything, and I think it might be impossible to find a satisfactory answer."

"Impossible...?" Marvolo repeated slowly, his eyes narrowing slightly.

"You have to consider where you were at the time of the attack, Tom," said Dumbledore with a shake of his head. "There were hundreds of us in the fans due to the Quidditch match that was taking place at the time, and with everyone's attention on the two teams playing, no one saw or noticed anything strange until the spell actually hit you. And considering the amount of time that has passed since the incident, continuing to search for the attacker seems to be very...well, pointless."

Marvolo frowned. "And just how much time has passed?"

"Months have passed, Tom. Tomorrow will be the first of July. There have been no other attacks, so I doubt there is any further danger to you. Well, in any case, I'll let you rest now, my boy. Do take care. Ah, and take your time in leaving the castle. Your health is more important, after all. Though I believe Professor Binns is the only one who has remained behind."

Silent, Marvolo watched Dumbledore leave the room, and once the door had shut behind him, he allowed himself to finally attempt to sit up. It took him a few minutes. His body was heavy, and there was a dull ache deep inside him. It wasn't too painful, but it was still noticeable. Still, the pain wasn't his biggest concern right now.

His biggest concern was that just over six months had gone by since he had been attacked. Six entire months. And he had lain here unconscious this entire time? That was strange, very strange, though if it was the killing curse that he had been struck with, then perhaps it wasn't as odd as he was thinking it to be. He was immortal thanks to his horcrux, which meant not even the killing curse would end his life, but falling into what he assumed had been a coma was, naturally, the better alternative.

He reached for the locket around his neck, paused, and looked down. The locket was gone. It was gone. Why...why was it gone? His eyes scanned the room, but he couldn't see it anywhere. He couldn't feel it anywhere nearby either. Even though it only contained a small percentage of his soul, it was still strong enough that he, the owner of said soul, would have been able to feel it when it was nearby. But he couldn't. He couldn't feel anything. What had happened to it? Had Dumbledore taken it? Had he destroyed it? Was he no longer immortal?

Feeling panic rising in his throat, Marvolo threw the thin blanket back, and then paused, catching sight of his hands. They were covered in ink. Entering the nearby bathroom, he quickly stripped out of his hospital clothing and found that he he was completely covered in ink. Letters and doodles, written and done in various colours.

'Are you awake?'

'Today was really busy.'

'Defence is SO boring without you teaching it.'

'Fred accidentally hit a Bludger at Angelina today during practice, and he got punched in the face for it. George couldn't stop laughing and he fell off his broom. Both of them had bloodied noses.'

'Pontificate? Snape likes fancy words, doesn't he?'

'My Transfiguration exam was really hard.'

'Malfoy called me an idiot and then walked into a wall. It was really funny.'

'I'll come see you again tonight.'

'I found out Dumbledore likes putting lemon drops in gravy. Isn't that weird? There's no way that can taste good.'

'Summer hols are starting. I have to leave. I hope you wake up soon.'

There were so many messages like these, some cheerful, others written out of boredom, others ranting. The doodles were mostly of flowers and, for some reason, potion flasks. He caught sight of a heart here and there too, and there were a fair few M's written either in or near these. Considering Violet's age, perhaps that wasn't surprising though. It was oddly...flattering, really. Kind of awkward too.

Had she been doing this every day? His hands, his arms, his chest, his abdomen, his legs-he was just covered in these. Covered in ink that hadn't come off because they hadn't been cleaned. Some were faded, the older ones, he assumed, and he was sure there were many more that had faded off completely due to the time that had passed. But there were so many that looked fresh.

Every day Violet painted her skin-painted his skin, waiting for him to finally wake up and answer her.

Feeling strangely mournful, Marvolo showered, washing away all the ink, and then returned to his rooms, sinking down into the closest chair, debating on what to do. He had to write to Violet, of course, even if just to let her know he was now awake. She was likely very concerned, if he knew her half as well as he thought he did.

He also wanted to ask her if she knew anything about the attack. She was more observant than she made herself out to be, and though she had been busy with her Quidditch match at the time, he thought it was possible that she may have seen something.

There was also the fact that she had written that she would 'come see you again tonight'. Again. That led him to believe she had been sneaking into the hospital wing on a regular basis. She may have heard or seen something during one of these sneaky visits. Perhaps Dumbledore had lied about his investigation and Violet knew something more than the old man had told him. Or perhaps, unlikely though it was, that Violet knew what had become of his locket.

He got up again, wanting to find a pen, and hadn't even put the tip to his skin when he saw words appear, written in Violet's familiar hand.

'I made a new kind of pasta for dinner today. It was so good that none of the Dursleys even complained about it!'

There was a pause, and then more words appeared.

'I hope you'll wake up soon. I miss talking to you. Writing to you? You know what I mean.'

Marvolo couldn't help but smile slightly, and finally, for the first time in months, was able to write back. 'I am awake, Violet.'

'You're awake! That's amazing! When did you wake up!? Where are you? Are you alright?'

'Calm yourself, Violet. I am well, now. I woke just an hour or two ago, and I am currently still at Hogwarts. How are you?'

'I'm fine. Much better now that you're actually awake. You were sleeping for so long. I heard Madam Pomfrey was tell the Headmaster that she wasn't sure you were ever even going to wake up. It was kind of scary.'

She hadn't been told that, but had heard that. So she really had been sneaking around. 'Did you happen to overhear anything else? Do you know what happened?'

'I don't know much, really. I was flying too high up to have seen anything until you actually got hit. They said you were hit with the killing curse, but they didn't know who cast it. They just talked a lot about how it was weird that you didn't actually die.'

Marvolo frowned. 'Did they mention anything about a locket?'

'Kind of. The Headmaster was talking about being curious about the locket you had on, and he wanted to take it. They were saying it was bad, and had dark magic in it, and how that made it dangerous.'

So Dumbledore had taken it.

'I didn't think it was right for them to just take it away when you couldn't say anything though.'

'What did you do, Violet?'

'I took it.'

Marvolo's eyes widened. 'You took the locket I was wearing?'

'Yes. I know I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry. But I didn't think it was right for them to take it and break it without you even knowing about it.'

'I'm not upset, Violet. Do you still have it?'

'I do. I've been keeping it hidden so no one's noticed it yet.'

Cunning little thing. 'Thank you for taking it, Violet. That locket is very important to me. I cannot risk it being lost or destroyed. Keep it safe for me until I have the opportunity to get it back.'

'Of course!'

'Sleep now, Violet. It is late.'

'Good night! ...I'm glad you're awake. I missed you.'

Marvolo traced over the last words with his fingertips. How was she capable of this? How was she always able to make him feel so relieved with just words on his skin? How was she always able to make him feel so normal?

How was she always able to make him feel complete?