It had been three days before he was noticed.
His misery began, of course, at the start of this whole debacle. With a cursed artifact in Grimmauld Place, specifically- a stumble here, a misplaced vial of phoenix tears there, and somehow Harry had found himself in the year 1953. Thankfully, he had ended up crash landing directly into Dumbledore's office instead of a more dangerous place (read: Knockturn Alley).
"The phoenix tears, my boy," Dumbledore explained. "They brought you back to another phoenix, Fawkes here, in this time period- the question is, why this year in particular?"
Harry had been thinking the same thing since the time he arrived.
For the first few days, things had gone well. Other than, well, three problems.
The first was the
massive slight hitch of being sorted into Slytherin (thanks a lot, hat). Harry had resigned himself to keeping a low profile until he could figure out his next step. If a time turner isn't an option, does he need to use the same method that brought him to the past in the first place? Would he be able to find the same artifact in the past to return him to the future? If so, how could he get his hands on it? After all, he had no guarantee that the wards at Grimmauld would work on him now-
So Harry, despite his mounting concerns, continued to attend his classes. He talked to his housemates, continued to do the homework assigned, and tried to push down the ache that came from seeing the telltale flash of Gryffindor-red in the halls.
His classes for the first few days consisted of Charms, Transfiguration, and Herbology. Harry managed to talk a housemate (Lestrange, could you believe it?) into sharing their notes with him beforehand, so he wasn't too confused during class. But it was Wednesday, with Potions and Defense back to back, that he was really excited about. With the Prince's knowledge in mind, and his own passion for defensive spells, he knew that those classes were ones he could really enjoy being in, doing well in.
This is when his second issue arose- which was, of course, his Defense professor.
"Welcome to Defense Against the Dark Arts, Mr. Potter," Riddle said. What was happening? Wasn't Riddle refused the defense position?? Tom smiled, the picture of perfect courtesy and welcoming cheer. The resulting sigh from over half the class made Harry shiver in disgust. "I'm sure it will be a pleasure having you in this class."
He had lasted twenty minutes before proving that statement, quite thoroughly, wrong.
Needless to say, one failed spell later (which was, of course, accidentally aimed at Riddle what are you even accusing me of Lestrange) Riddle's focus had zeroed in on Harry.
His eyes glittered, his pleasant facade melting just enough for the underlying anger to simmer across his gaze. "Detention, Potter," he said, voice soft and calm and cold. "With your head of house, this evening."
The third issue? Tom. F***ing. Riddle. Was his Head of House.
He just couldn't catch a break, could he.
Two weeks later, Harry found himself serving detention with Riddle (surprise, surprise) once again.
There was a major difference this time, though. Harry may or may not have... let some important details slip in a heated exchange with the professor. Details that Harry, in this time period, had no feasible excuse of knowing. Which explained the Veritaserum that Riddle had given him, cleverly ingested into his system through his water goblet at dinner. He should have known something was up when Riddle had pulled him away from the table, citing important "Defense matters" for his urgency.
The man (could he be called such a thing?) stepped closer, eyes slitted, glinting, the very picture of devilish poise. Harry fought within his mind, the sweat beading on his brow the only sign of his ongoing struggle.
"Such... anger," the man murmured, circling Harry's chair. He took a moment to check Harry's pulse- his long, pale, warm fingers touching Harry's wrist softly. "So much hatred in your eyes. Now what has made you turn those at me?" he wondered aloud. Harry continued to look straight ahead, silent, unaffected despite the potion running through his veins.
Riddle finally stopped in front of him, meeting Harry's gaze, a spark of fury entering his frame as Harry successfully fought the influence of the Veritaserum. Harry braced himself for a blow, for a spell, something that would express Tom's rage. However, instead of cursing Harry or further dosing him as expected, the man... paused.
And what will you do when the devil has sighted you?
Thumb brushing his lower lip, Riddle tilted Harry's face up with a delicate hand, the slightest flick of a wand causing the hair above the cursed scar to lift.
Harry remained glassy eyed, but mouth still closed, spirit still spitting fire within.
Riddle looked on, transfixed.
"How curious," he said, "That you have a glamour on a seemingly unblemished spot."
Harry's heart leapt. No. No no no.
Ridde grinned, all charm and snakelike calm, not a shred of previous rage in sight."Let us remove that, shall we?"