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"Hi!" the blonde girl half-smiled at him, though the emotion did not reach her stark blue eyes...
Chapter 1

bugmenot

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"Hi!" the blonde girl half-smiled at him, though the emotion did not reach her stark blue eyes.

"Hi." he returned in an equally unenthusiastic manner, not bothering to try and fake any joy at meeting an annoying stranger that he would have to share a room with for the foreseeable future.

A few seconds of silence settled over them as he took in the miserable place that was supposed to be his new home. White tiled floor, brown tiled walls, tiled everything. One ratty bed on each side of the cramped room, one dark wardrobe and one table with a single rickety looking chair... otherwise, the room was completely devoid of any decorations or life. Even the world outside the window looked grey and dead.

He bloody hated it all, already.

"I'm Tanya." the annoying girl shared unprompted.

Well, at least he wouldn't have to ask her for her name now…

"Tom." he simply replied, ready to get this over with.

He hated that name too.

"Glad to meet you, Tom." Tanya smiled without joy again and he wanted to hit her.

Obviously he did not, because he was sure the Matron would lash him or something, so Tom merely grunted and went to unpack his things. He was sure he would soon be rid of the girl anyways.

o-TxT-o​

It had been a month since his imprisonment in this place and Tom did not know what to think of it.

Wool's Orphanage, despite whatever intention its founder might've once upon a time have had, was not a kind place. Each day was filled with monotonous chores and rigorous discipline, punishing each break of the rules with fierce and unrelenting brutality, and whenever the watchful Sisters left the children to their own devices, fierce battles of territory and rank were fought amongst themselves.

For example, Ricky, or the 'Lunch King' as he preferred to be called, ran a gang whose sole purpose was to exploit his fellow orphans of their rare desserts. Most days they were handed simple apples for supper, but on Sundays the Matron sometimes treated her charges to something more delectable. Small cups of Jell-O or the odd piece of chocolate, were prized commodities which he and his cronies collected under threat of violence.

Tanya, as Tom had quickly learned, also held a great interest in chocolate. So great in fact, that she would not cave to the Lunch King's demands and relinquish her precious prize to his greedy, fat hands. The little gnat had then tried to corner her in the hallways after bible studies class, surrounding her with five of his friends, each at least a year older than the diminutive blonde.

Tom of course had hung back, content to observe the trashing his roommate was about to receive when he was unexpectedly proven wrong.

She did not get beaten to a pulp.

No, instead her bullies were the ones being trashed.

Swift kicks to the knees and their groins that had even him wince in sympathy, quickly shut the boys down, sending them to the ground where Tanya placed a dainty little foot on Ricky's wobbly throat and glared him into submission.

It was enchanting.

That power

That confidence

Tom craved it like a man in the desert would a glass of water.

After she was done with them, she stalked away, leaving the scene of the crime before a Sister could catch her in the act. Later, when one of the crying boys went snitching, she was the picture of innocence, claiming to have been in her room to study her textbooks.

That was also something Tom took note of.

How easily she manipulated the gullible woman with her wide eyes and a shy bite of her lips.

"But Ma'am, how could I have beaten up those six boys? I'm barely strong enough to open a pickle jar on my own…"

It seemed so easy. So frighteningly, wonderfully simple.

Thus, when the Matron had passed by on her nightly inspection of their rooms, he couldn't help but whisper:

"How did you do it?"

"What do you mean, Tom?" she quietly asked back from the opposite side of the room.

"Ricky and his gang… They all looked stronger than you… And you still beat them and got away with it. How?"

"Oh, you see… Strength is useless without the capacity to use it. They could have easily overwhelmed me if they had properly utilized their advantages. Like, they could have instantly tackled me to the ground and held me there. But instead they waited around and spent valuable seconds posturing, trying to scare me. Do you know why they did that?"

Tom thought about it for a while, before whispering his answer.

"Because they were overconfident. They thought they couldn't lose."

"Indeed. But you can always lose. No matter how strong you think you are, how many friends you have backing you up…"

Her voice turned wistful and strangely sad; in a way that he had never heard her talking like before.

"You can always lose."

The wind howled angrily against their window as Tom ruminated on Tanya's words long into the night. Ultimately, he found them to be true. His father had arms bigger than his head and shoulders two times as broad as him and yet he still died all the same. Even the Jesus guy that the Sisters kept preaching about died like a pathetic wimp in the end.

Everybody died eventually, no matter their power.

So, he just had to be better than all of them if he wanted to avoid that pitiful fate!



o-TxT-o​



They were often left alone together, as contradictory as that sounded. The other orphans were irritating and so he kept his distance, which most of the time resulted in him being near Tanya who also kept to herself, hiding in some corner or another with her head in strange books. Tom had caught a few glances at the contents of said books and had, at first, thought it to be a different language before she explained to him – much to his embarrassment – that it was simply mathematics.

Of course they were taught about maths in class, but whatever Tanya was reading was so advanced that he could not make heads nor tails of it. Why were there so many letters between the numbers!? That didn't make any sense! Still, he didn't bother her about it, seeing as she was pleasantly quiet and her presence warded off bullies, who by now had learned not to mess with her.

Where he couldn't avoid the other children however, was during meal times. All the boys and girls had to present themselves in the gigantic main hall three times a day and eat what they were served. The Sisters periodically walked around to check for any 'mischievous behaviour', but mostly left them alone to eat at their own grown-ups table.

The rules were simple: If you made a mess while eating, you got punished. If you were tardy, you got punished. If your uniform was dirty, you got punished. If you were unduly loud, you got punished. If you said your prayer wrong, you got punished.

(Interestingly though, he never caught Tanya saying her prayer. She just folded her hands and silently moved her lips with an angry stare in her eyes, not producing a single sound.)

What the rules unfortunately did not account for was the other kids being giant idiots.

He had just been slurping down his thin vegetable soup like usual when the boy on the opposite side of the table got the bright idea to tip over his bowl, spilling the hot broth over Tom's pants. Yelping in pain, he would have nearly fallen out of his seat if not for Tanya's steadying grip.

That fresh bastard had it coming!

While the nitwit laughed and gloated about his successful prank, Tom's hatred grew and grew. It was a boiling fire inside him that rose through his veins and up to his throat where he released it with burning clarity.

"Choke on it!"

The hiss was both incredibly loud and nearly silent simultaneously and the world seemed to halt in its tracks for a moment as the boy's eyes glazed over.

Then he began coughing.

His hands gripped his throat as he started to sputter and convulse. Slowly his face turned blue and his eyes bulged as he suffocated.

The beautiful moment was brought to an end when Tanya appeared like a flash behind him and repeatedly hit him on the back. That seemed to snap the idiot out of it and he began instead to pale dramatically.

Throwing himself to the floor like the worm he was, the bully scooted backwards away from Tom, while pointing at him with a shaky finger.

"G-g-get away from m-me, freak!"

Eventually, due to the conflicting statements of everybody at the table, the Sister decided to punish them both for making a ruckus. It could have been worse, considering that they only had to stand with their face to a wall for an hour.

That night it was Tanya for a change, who asked him something.

"Did you do that?"

They both knew what she meant, but he decided to play dumb.

He didn't want her to get scared or angry at him for it like the Sisters might.

"I don't know what you mean…" Tom deflected, yet she was undeterred.

"That feeling deep in your core. That pressure in your gut that rises and rises until you can almost taste it… It's almost like electricity coursing through your blood. That thing."

What could she possibly know about that? Did she have that special gift as well!?

In hindsight it seemed almost obvious... The Matron had put them in the same room, despite her being a girl and him being a boy. That was clearly because they were both too different from the other kids to fit in anywhere else!

They were better than them.

And if she had the gift as well, maybe she could teach him more about how to use it…

"I guess…" he hesitantly replied, searching her expression. "Do you?"

"Yes."

Wow. Maybe he wasn't alone after all...

"Tom?"

"Mmh?"

"I think it's magic. We're mages, Tom."

Mages, huh?

o-TxT-o​

Sitting on the piece of cardboard, so that his trousers wouldn't get dirty, Tom watched the other children on the yard play one of their boring games again.

"There will be a war soon."

Blinking his eyes slowly in confusion, Tom turned to look at Tanya who was sitting next to him, her book lying closed in her lap.

"What makes you say that?"

"I've seen it in the newspapers that the Sisters read during breakfast. Germany's war efforts are only growing with each passing year. In a few years Britain is going to get sucked into the conflict one way or another."

Tom didn't ask what made her so sure about that. If Tanya was saying it, then it was probably true. She knew a lot of strange stuff.

"And what does that have to do with us? We're too young to be soldiers."

They didn't send kids to the front lines. Looking around, he couldn't help but sneer imagining these pathetic weaklings holding a gun. No way would the King be stupid enough to entrust England's safety to these wastes of skin!

"They?" Tanya inclined her head in the other childrens' direction. "Definitely. But we are mages. We are the only children in this whole orphanage that possess magic. What does that tell you?"

"That being a mage is pretty rare, right?" he asked after a second of thinking.

Tanya nodded her head, making a few of her golden locks spill over her face, which she absentmindedly pushed back.

"Exactly. I'd wager it's something like one in a thousand or maybe even less, statistically speaking..."

He didn't know what 'statistically' meant, but nodded along anyways, committing her every word to memory.

"After all, have you ever heard of any mages in Britain before?"

"Merlin?"

Tom remembered that name only from a story book, but he was supposed to be an important guy in history.

"Well, if Merlin ever existed then he died hundreds of years ago. Today there aren't any publicly known mages around. Why could that be?"

She was testing him and he was loath to lose to her, so Tom kicked his brain into overdrive.

"Mmmh… Maybe they're secret?" Nodding to himself as the pieces clicked together, he continued: "Like, maybe they hide from the world, because all the non-magical people are so horrible. Like the Sisters."

'Like his father' was left unsaid, but still so loud in his own head.

"That's certainly a possibility. But a whole entire secret society of magical people sounds a bit far-fetched, in my opinion."

Shame and a little bit of sadness crashed into Tom. He had disappointed her with his answer! Of course that wasn't right, this wasn't some sort of story book after all!

"I think they're held under lock and key by the government. Just think about it, people like us… We can become incredibly powerful. Stronger and faster and more deadly than anyone else. With the war on the horizon, I'm sure the prime minister and the King are going to use them as Special Forces."

Focusing back on what she was saying, he attempted to make up for his mistake by finishing her thought.

"And that means they are going to want us. There aren't a lot of mages around, so they take every single one they can get her hands on. All for the war with Germany."

Tanya regarded him seriously before sighing in uncharacteristic frustration.

"Yeah, that's precisely what I fear..."

A stupid kid was yelling something in the background, but he paid them no mind.

"What are we going to do about it?"

He didn't want to go to war!

"We train."

"For what?"

"We train to become strong enough to fend them off until we're old enough to take a ship to America. Far away, to a land of freedom and endless economic possibilities... "

Freedom sounded good. He would have to find out more about America and what 'economic possibilities' really meant, but if Tanya was going then he was coming with her!

"Sounds good."

And then the old bell tolled and they had to get back inside, lest they wanted to get their ears pulled for tardiness.



o-TxT-o​



Besides the silvery rays of the moon, merely the flickering light of a stolen candle illuminated their bedroom. At night – after the Matron had made her rounds – was the only time and place where they could do this without fear of accidentally being uncovered by a nosy brat.

Still, it was so exciting!

Tom hadn't felt as pumped to learn magic as he had ever felt in his life for anything!!

Finally, Tanya took a deep breath and broke their mutual silence.

"We are both new to this, so let us set some ground rules first. Magic is dangerous. In studying it blindly we must not become overconfident and hurt ourselves. As far as we know, we might be the only two mages on the planet, so it would be a great waste if this ability died with us due to our incompetence."

Grumbling, Tom agreed. Magic was the best thing that ever happened to him. Except maybe meeting Tanya, but secretly he always attributed that to his gift too.

"Furthermore, magic is something instinctual. It's produced by our bodies and sometimes strikes out on its own when we experience strong emotions. Yet, are we going to content ourselves with that? Becoming nothing but slaves to our whims in order to sometimes harness the force that should be ours by birthright?"

"No!"

Tom was a tiny bit surprised by the vehemence in his own tone. But after a second's thought he understood it, he was nobody's slave!

"Exactly. Magic is something that we have to master instead of it mastering us. It's the power to bend the world to our will with nothing but our thoughts and it's up to us to harness that potential."

When she put it like that, his gift sounded even more awesome!

"And the way that we are going to attain absolute control over our untamed magic is through cold logic. We have to dictate precisely where and what it can do in order for the magic to fulfill our specific desires. We need to be able to understand it at the deepest level, like we understand the motion of our fingers or the balance of our feet. Only then can we one hundred percent rely on our magic to never fail or abandon us."

His magic abandoning him? HIM!? No, that was just inconceivable. That should never be allowed to happen!!

"Good… I see the fire of self-improvement is already burning inside you."

Tanya smiled and suddenly he felt put on edge for some odd reason.

"Let's see you channel that fire into algebra then, because we are going to need a lot of it."

Oh no… Had those horrible books she read driven her insane!?



o-TxT-o​



Over the years his control over his magic slipped multiple times, injuring some of the kids and once turning the Matron's hair baby blue. It rankled his pride a bit that Tanya never seemed to have problems with her emotions, always being perfectly composed in everything she did, but he could never find it in himself to hate her. Indeed, Tom shuddered to think where he would be now without her. Alone, surrounded by hateful morons and oppressive adults who despised his very existence, unable to even call upon his magic by choice…

No, he had decided that she would be his sister in all but blood. If that fat oaf had been able to call himself his father by virtue of once sleeping with his mother then Tom had all the right in the world to form new connections if he so desired. His parents had failed to fulfill their duties to their child and so he felt more than entitled to a replacement. Tanya would be his sister, regardless of if she wanted it or not. No one else could have her in their family...

Not that there was any risk of that happening anytime soon. The ongoing war on the European mainland laid heavy on everyone's mind and so fewer and fewer people were coming by to consider an adoption. They were both 'freakish' enough for the Matron to not even bring them out whenever an adult did show up, if only for slightly different reasons.

Tanya always knew the perfect thing to say to play up the façade of a bright but bookish young girl, completing nearly double the amount of chores as the other kids to gain free access to the local library. Yet, that same inexhaustible drive and intellect somehow scared the Matron. In her view, Tanya was an unnatural existence that exhibited all the traits that she saw as wrong with 'modern women'. Once, his roommate had made the mistake of speculating about economics in the Matron's presence and the ghastly woman had flown into a fit of rage about the 'scandalous and shameless suffragette spirit pervading the youth'.

The Sisters knew, however, that Tanya was reliable enough to be allowed to visit the library on her own; a luxury which they never granted to Tom. He was reviled by the Matron for his 'devilishness', whatever that old crone meant by that. It wasn't his fault that the other children never seemed to learn from the punishments he inflicted upon them. And really, if not for Tanya's cautioning hand, he might have pushed one or two of them down a flight of stairs. They were all so worthless when compared to her.

What made living in the orphanage mostly bearable, was their shared magic training. At first it had taken him an hour of migraine-inducing calculations and absolute focus to produce nothing but a tiny light above his fingertips. It was as if magic was sluggish, actively resisting his will to get pressed into the mathematical form he desired, like a bird resisting its cage. Then, once he finally mastered that little trick to make it work in under a minute, everything seemed to snap into place and his magic fully submitted to his will.

It was exhilarating...

Now he could do much more than produce simple motes of light. He could form a hot beam to burn stuff at a distance (Tanya called it a 'laser' for some odd reason) and he was able to project a weak field above his skin that protected him from attacks! That same field could even be concentrated into a small blade that was wickedly sharp, able to cut through solid metal like butter!

Sadly, he could only maintain one spell at any given time, but he didn't feel too bad about it, as his sister was also unable to do so, despite her genius intellect when it came to mathematics of any kind...

Nonetheless, he could make up for this glaring weakness by employing his focus orb .

Tanya had cobbled the tiny machine together from a pocket watch that he had taken off of a drunkard in front of the gate and the Matron's radio. It had taken her nearly a year of effort to make it function and Tom still couldn't wrap his head around how she had been able to design it in the first place. When she gifted it to him last Christmas, he had barely avoided crying from the sheer joy that filled his heart after using it.

That night cemented her in his mind forever as his family. No one else would be able to match this gift, no matter how many times she tried to downplay her achievements by calling it a 'rudimentary prototype'.

With the focus orb hanging around his neck, amplifying his power, Tom felt absolutely invincible. His 'laser' was now hot enough to melt stone, his shield durable enough to take a full punch to the face without making him so much as flinch, and his blade grew to the length of a kitchen knife, ominously glowing in its cerulean glory and eager to spill the blood of all who opposed him.

Naturally, Tanya still beat him more often than not during their secret sparring sessions in the boiler room, but that only made him more eager to get stronger. One day he would handily overpower her and then she would see his true greatness! In his quest to defeat death itself, that was certainly going to be step number one.

Tom was distracted from his daydream by a short knock on the door. A Sister promptly opened it and spoke with a worrying tinge of fear: "There is someone here to see you both."

Like she couldn't leave fast enough, the woman vanished and a middle aged man who looked to be in his sixties stepped into the frame. His hair was grey and wavy and he wore a nice brown suit with a silk scarf loosely hanging over his shoulders. Although he tried to project an aura of friendliness, Tom was instantly on guard.

Was this a government spook, here to enlist them for the war?

He shot a quick look over to Tanya who was only now putting down her pencil, rising slowly from her seat at the table to face the suspicious man.

"Hello there, children. It comes to you two probably as quite the surprise that I am here today."

"Indeed. We don't tend to get many visitors, being orphans and all that, sir." Tanya flatly stated, her posture tense in a way that Tom knew signalled her being ready to lunge forward at a moment's notice.

Mentally he prepared to cast his mage blade…

"Yes… Oh, where are my manners! My name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, but you may call me Albus if you want. I am here today to invite you both to a very special school, built specifically for children like you."

"And what precisely are 'children like us' ?" he asked with a charming smile in hopes of distracting the man enough for his sister to finish him off if need be.

"Why, those that possess magic of course!" laughed the man and Tom felt a chill run down his spine.

Had the government known about their talents all this time? Were they being watched all that time?

Tanya hid her hands behind her back and calmly approached the bearded agent.

"And why would you think that we can do… 'magic' as you say? Aren't witches and fairies and such only products of legends and fantasy?"

Looking down at the blonde girl staring straight up at him, the spook shook his head in amusement.

"No, no, no… Witches are quite real, I assure you. As for fairies? Well, they make for a rather nice Christmas decoration if I do say so myself. And how I am sure that you are magically gifted is also pretty easy to explain. Through…"

The man stuck his hand into the inside of his jacket and Tom quickly hopped off the bed to get closer to his right while Tanya pulled up on his left.

"… These letters here!"

Oh… That was anticlimactic. What had a piece of parchment to do with magic?

As if reading his thoughts, the government agent looked him directly in the eyes and held one envelope out to him.

"When a child with magic in their blood reaches the suitable age, the Hogwarts Quill will write down their name and address, so that they may be enrolled into the Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry. Go on. Take a look."

Hesitantly he took the letter with his name and watched his sister do the same to hers, although she was clearly scanning the parchment for something. He waited until she gave him a near imperceptible nod, before they both opened their envelopes and peered inside.

It instantly struck Tom how fine the paper was and how gorgeous the gilded illustration at the top looked. Four animals were depicted in a crest: A badger, a lion, a snake and an eagle. And in the middle stood an emblazoned 'H', likely short for 'Hogwarts'.

Directing his gaze downward he intently studied what was written there in green ink. Idly, he wondered what the difference between witchcraft and wizardry might be, before discarding it as unimportant.

Despite all the flowery language and confusing terms used in the letter, it didn't actually explain the purpose or structure of the school at all. Highly suspicious…

Well, at least they now knew the man who led this secret government branch; a certain 'Headmaster Armando Dippet' was the source of their misfortune. Tom made sure to remember that name to hunt him down someday. How that bastard knew his name, however, was still a mystery...

The spook spoke up once again: "Furthermore, if that letter fails to convince you, I am the Professor for Defense against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts and as such I have a certain nose, you could say, for magical objects. And you, dear Mr. Riddle, have definitely one such object hanging right around your neck…"

Instinctively he clutched his focus orb. Was the man going to take it away!? He would kill him first!

"Professor Dumbledore, sir, is participation in this school mandatory?" Tanya asked coolly.

He looked genuinely taken aback by the inquiry.

"Not necessarily, no. But it is the only place in Great Britain where you can study magic. Without an education at Hogwarts you will not be able to succeed in the magical world. All but the simplest spells will likely be forever out of your reach and you will be forced to live amongst muggles, I mean, non-magical people."

Not letting any reaction to that claim show on her face, his sister continued her questioning with a steely voice:

"Sir, are mages required to serve King and Country with their lives? Are Hogwarts students compulsorily drafted into the British Armed Forces or similar organizations after graduation?"

Blinking his eyes in shock, the man began to frown.

"My dear child, what gave you the idea? You are children, not soldiers! Hogwarts is supposed to be a safe space for all magical children to learn in peace. It was founded during a time when witch trials were still happening in order to offer comfort and shelter for all those in need. It is not affiliated with the military in the slightest! "

Exchanging a glance, Tom shrugged his shoulders. He didn't trust this Dumbledore guy at all, but they also had no evidence to the contrary.

"Mmh, assuming that this is true then what are the tuition costs? Those seem to be missing from the letter. And all the extra materials like cauldrons and text books that we are supposed to buy are listed with weird price estimations. I have never heard of a currency like 'Sickles' or 'Galleons'."

It took hours for their interview of the supposed wizard to finish and the only thing that convinced them that they were not going to get kidnapped was his prolonged patience and generally calm attitude. After all, why would a secret government agent make up all these elaborate lies about a hidden mage society and its socio-economic conditions or the intricacies of a mystical boarding school if he was going to just abduct them anyway?

Tom, however, vowed to nonetheless remain careful around the professor. During their talk, Dumbledore had curiously eyed his focus orb on more than one occasion, and merely the fact that he never reached out to touch it was what had saved his life.

Pressed against the glass of their window, both him and his sister watched him leave through the front gate and soon, they began to scheme…



o-TxT-o​



As Albus apparated away from Wool's Orphanage, he couldn't help but breathe out in relief.

What had happened to these poor children to make them so… He didn't even have a proper word for what he just experienced! Jaded? Brutal? Lifeless? Paranoid? Dark?

All of these descriptors failed to do their characters justice...

Two orphans who had been prepared to murder him, deathly afraid that he would drag them away and send them to their doom. Mistrustful to the extreme, their keen intellect was obviously geared for survival and domination, brutality and craftiness. The best comparison he could come up with was that they reminded him of the worst parts of a vampire and a werewolf combined. As if the essence of a dark pure-blood family had seeped through reality to form two muggleborn siblings who were already scarred by life, while having lived so little of it...

Popping a lemon drop into his mouth to take the foul taste off of his tongue, Albus held onto one, somewhat happy, thought.

In a cold world that had apparently robbed them of their happiness and their childhood…

At least they had each other.
 
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Absolutely interesting start.
Considering the Germans of HP verse were the same IRL Nazi's only under Grindlewalds thumb I'm curious how the two of them react to Wizarding world propaganda from both sides of the war.
 
Interesting that this Tom knew Tom senior before being sent to the orphanage.

If ambition for the hat is more so a matter of will and or drive for one's goals irregardless of how big or small they are then it's Slytherin all the way, otherwise I'm unsure if retirement as well as a comfortable life in the rear would be examples of ambition.

One wonders if Tanya will pay lip service to anti muggle and anti muggle born sentiment. Most important of all however would obviously be the question that separates the dross from the Merlins, the hoi polloi from the Senatus, will Tanya sleep in Binns class?!
 
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this is a great story so far! good chapter!
 
Tom tempered and taugh other magic system besides real warfare from Tanaya amd how to use martial arts and moderm weapons. Besides her as a support. The end of Dumbledor is near besides I can see Tanya supporting Grindewald, or worst case her getting on economic warfare using muggles and magic
 
Real excited to see where this goes, wonder if Tanya is going to cut a deal with the Goblins since they are only barred from having wands. Could throw an interesting wrench in everyone's plans when the Goblins come out of nowhere and begin another rebellion but with far more momentum than previously seen. It would be at least another manner in which the war would be prolonged as I am sure wizarding Britain at the very least would withdraw all of their forces from the continent as soon as the rebellion broke out since the politicians tend to stick their heads in the sand in universe. As for the other countries I'm not too sure how it would effect them overall. All in all I'm excited to see where this all goes and I do wonder who Tanya is actually related to or how she will be seen in universe.... hell making her the daughter of Grindlewald or at least having people believe it would throw quite some spice into the mix as far as I could see.

Particularly with the mindset of the wizarding world as seen in canon and before then as it would indicate that they would look at Tanya as a hostage and leverage against Grindlewald rather than as her own person free of her father's crimes. But how well that would work out is up for debate I just know that it would piss Tom and Grindlewald off something fierce, probably even Dumbledore as well, it would sort of be interesting if the British ministry turned into the grounds of the infamous duel instead of being on the continent since Dumbledore may want to kill his former lover instead of leaving him to the mercies of Azkaban. That or having all 3 of them team up to prison break Tanya would be an interesting turn of events to say the least, maybe seeing Grindlewald in action would be enough to make Tom at least somewhat conpetent/charismatic.
 
Real excited to see where this goes, wonder if Tanya is going to cut a deal with the Goblins since they are only barred from having wands.
We also need to remember that Tanya will just adore the fact that the wizards have a SINGLE bank where literally all of their money is located in.

That might throw a wrench in her becoming friends with the goblins, but not as much as learning just how backwards wizards really are! Maybe.
 
Real excited to see where this goes, wonder if Tanya is going to cut a deal with the Goblins since they are only barred from having wands. Could throw an interesting wrench in everyone's plans when the Goblins come out of nowhere and begin another rebellion but with far more momentum than previously seen. It would be at least another manner in which the war would be prolonged as I am sure wizarding Britain at the very least would withdraw all of their forces from the continent as soon as the rebellion broke out since the politicians tend to stick their heads in the sand in universe. As for the other countries I'm not too sure how it would effect them overall. All in all I'm excited to see where this all goes and I do wonder who Tanya is actually related to or how she will be seen in universe.... hell making her the daughter of Grindlewald or at least having people believe it would throw quite some spice into the mix as far as I could see.

Particularly with the mindset of the wizarding world as seen in canon and before then as it would indicate that they would look at Tanya as a hostage and leverage against Grindlewald rather than as her own person free of her father's crimes. But how well that would work out is up for debate I just know that it would piss Tom and Grindlewald off something fierce, probably even Dumbledore as well, it would sort of be interesting if the British ministry turned into the grounds of the infamous duel instead of being on the continent since Dumbledore may want to kill his former lover instead of leaving him to the mercies of Azkaban. That or having all 3 of them team up to prison break Tanya would be an interesting turn of events to say the least, maybe seeing Grindlewald in action would be enough to make Tom at least somewhat conpetent/charismatic.

Considering her past life she was from the Empire, so it could be easy to mistake her for a German, where Grimdlewald have being a lot of time. It would not be to hard to mistake her for atleast one of his followera daughter or even the Dark Lord himself if she start makimg to muh stuff with economy to piss a few.

But I am totally honest that Tanya would suscribe to Grindlewald policy of wizard to rule. She knows war and how to fight it with combination of th best of normal moder warfare and other world magic system in combination.
 

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Though, I do think it was primarily an American thing at the time, maybe.
 
170142_1000.jpg

Though, I do think it was primarily an American thing at the time, maybe.

It's a difference between British and American English.

In the US, "Jell-O" is a brand of gelatin dessert which has become common place name for all desserts of the same type, even if made by a different brand. (Similar to how we use "Kleenex" to describe all facial tissue, "Escalator" to refer to all moving stairs, "Band-Aid" for all adhesive bandages, or "Velcro" to refer to hook-and-loop fasteners.) The UK doesn't have that same brand association, and they refer to that dessert as "jelly" or "gelatin".

The term "jelly" in the US is a fruit preserve made out of fruit juice, or very thoroughly blended fruit, as opposed to "jam" which is a preserve made with fruit chunks. In the UK, "jam" refers to both what Americans call "jelly" and "jam".

This has caused a fair amount of confusion, especially around the concept of PB&J sandwiches, as many Brits didn't realize that Americans meant a different thing than what they know as "jelly."
 
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The UK doesn't have that same brand association, and they refer to that dessert as "jelly" or "gelatin".

The term "jelly" in the US is a fruit preserve made out of fruit juice, or very thoroughly blended fruit, as opposed to "jam" which is a preserve made with fruit chunks. In the UK, "jam" refers to both what Americans call "jelly" and "jam".

This has caused a fair amount of confusion, especially around the concept of PB&J sandwiches, as many Brits didn't realize that Americans meant a different thing than what they know as "jelly."
Huh, I could swear it would be the same there too!!

Guess that I was wrong. I'll be sure to check for other americanisms on the next chapter!
 
Chapter 2
"We must assume that our privacy is compromised."



Those dreadful words echoed over and over again through Tom's head as he stared at the darkened ceiling of their room. It filled him with loathing and disgust to think that somebody else could have listened in on a conversation he had with Tanya, but it was now a possibility to be considered... From what Dumbledore had described, magic was even more vast and diverse in its applications then they could have ever imagined!



The man had brought a bloody pen to life and made it dance with a flick of his hand!



To give a dead piece of wood animated life was beyond absurd and yet…



Every single one of their socks could now be watching over them. Hell, even the walls could become spies for the shadowy 'Ministry of Magic' at a moment's notice.



His sister had subtly indicated that he shouldn't worry too much, because she was working on a solution, but how could he not fear that unknowable power?



Realistically, they were just two orphans. Mages – or was it wizards? – were rare, yes, but according to Dumbledore around two-hundred of them were born each year, so they would definitely not be the only children of interest. Naturally, Tom was expecting them to be mostly snivelling, inbred nitwits, unworthy of any real attention, but adults were stupid enough to not recognize his or his sister's greatness.



In this case, the apathy that authorities usually displayed towards penniless, low-born orphans, would hopefully work in their favour. No one would expect them to do anything extraordinary or ambitious, like for example, completing the entire Hogwarts curriculum in one year instead of seven. In theory, it sounded like madness, but Tanya was certain that the approaching war would spill over into the magical world as well.



After all...



"Where do you think the German mages will start bombing first?"



It would be the most strategically sound decision. First, they would attack the Ministry of Magic, wherever that was, and then Hogwarts, the breeding ground of tomorrow's magical soldiers. By Dumbledore's own admission, it was the only school of its kind in Britain! Which made it a critical point in the entire country's infrastructure, making it so that Tom really didn't want to be there when it collapsed.



That was why they needed to absorb as much knowledge as they could from the place, in as short a time as possible before snatching a place on a passenger ship sailing westward. The cramming would be monstrous, but he was confident in his ability to surpass the average child's progress by at least seven times over. Not to mention that Tanya would easily find a way to teach him whatever bits and pieces he missed. If she could devise multiple spells entirely without the help from supposed experts like Professor Dumbledore, then she would certainly manage to do that.



Why would he, the future strongest mage alive, be content with the creations of lesser minds? If he wanted to be the strongest there ever was, then only the creations of the most brilliant mind would be fit to find a place in his arsenal...







o-TxT-o​






He was equal parts bewildered and awestruck by Diagon Alley. Since it both surpassed his wildest expectations and fell awfully short of them at the same time.



Each of the crooked, half-timbered houses lining the winding street looked positively ancient, as if the middle ages had never left this bustling corner of London while the rest of the city embraced modernity. Weren't wizards supposed to be better than the non-magical 'muggles'? Where was the electricity? Or the automobiles? Tom would be highly surprised if this place even had sewers!!



On the other hand, the very air was buzzing with invisible energy. Bright, multi-coloured lights lit up the many overflowing shops and market stalls selling the most fantastical curiosities. Plants with human eyes instead of leaves, candles that burned upside down, a talking teapot, clocks with way too many hands to be showing the time, a spectral bear that languidly spun around on one foot and other, infinitely more wondrous contraptions, potions or things that he had no name for.



It was all so much and between those mountains of mystical oddities, men and women in the most puzzling outfits pushed and shoved against each other in a manic race to acquire their items of choice. Everything was loud and vibrant and hectic...!



"Tom? Here, take my hand so we don't lose each other."



Wordlessly, he took his sister's hand and let her drag him where they needed to go.



His eyes roved over the dazzling scenery, utterly transfixed by the chaos. Tanya handled their purchases and he carried them, which he felt was more than fair. Slowly, his cauldron grew heavier and heavier with each book or vial or telescope placed within it, but he soldiered on, even when his shoulder started to ache. There was just so much to see still...



"Hey, do you kids want a pet?" their guide suddenly asked, pointing towards a shop window stuffed full with cages of all sizes. Owls, rats, cats and far, far stranger animals fluttered or hopped about inside and Tom instinctively sneered. Why should he care for a stupid animal that would only serve to waste his precious stipend?



Tanya, however, shrugged her shoulders.



"Can't hurt to look, right sir? Don't wizards send their post via owls?"



"Yeah, that's correct, little Miss. Every proper wizard has at least one owl. Can't get by without one really." Professor Barkbite explained genially.



Hiding his scowl, Tom followed the two into the dark interior of the building and was immediately assaulted by the smell of hay and bird droppings. Disgusting.



"Greetings, what can I do for you on this fine morning?" chirped the sales woman and he rapidly tuned out the annoying tone of her voice in favour of inspecting all of the different pets on display.



Outlandishly named monsters like 'Kneazles' and 'Australian Ringhoppers' sat side to side with regular rats and toads. How queer. Though if he was to be honest, their mindless busywork or broken submission was beginning to bore him.



Peering through the bars holding a large black snake, Tom gazed directly into the beast's eyes, daring it to try something, anything, to prove that there was still a predator beneath the limp veneer of an overly long noodle.



"Oh, bother... I'd kill you little human, but I'm not feeling up to it right now. Come back when it'ssss... ughhh... warmer..."



What.



Had that serpent just talked to him?



"Are you a magical snake?" he asked the thing and it just stared dumbly at him.



"Maybe not." Tom sighed in disappointment and was about to turn away when the animal spoke up again.



"You... are a Ssspeaker?"



Hah! He hadn't been wrong!



"Speaker? Do you mean how I am able to speak to you?"



"Yessss..."



"What are you doing, Tom?" whispered his sister who had silently appeared at his side.



"Uhm, I think I can talk with this snake." he replied lamely.



Because when he just said it like that, it sounded like he was going crazy!



Tanya raised a sceptical eyebrow and regarded the reptile carefully.



"Hello? Can you understand me as well?"



The stupid snake only darted its tongue in and out, not doing anything.



"Answer her!" Tom ordered the beast that was embarrassing him in front of his sister.



"Wow, Tom, how did you do that?"



"Do what?" he asked, confused.



"You hissed! Just like a snake!"



"But I didn't..."



Realization set in. And the damned snake had the gall to look smug!



In the end, he bought it, if only to teach it a painful lesson later. If it defied him like this again he would feed it to Tanya's new owl, piece by piece...







o-TxT-o​






"And that's it, kids. Saved the best for last. Getting your first wand is an unforgettable experience! Go on in. I'll keep watch over your stuff outside, wouldn't want to intrude."



The professor shooed them through the creaking door inside of 'Ollivanders', but Tom shot him one last distrustful glance. Barkbite better not think of stealing their property while they were distracted or he would gut him, magical police be damned.



As the door closed behind them and the busy sounds of Diagon Alley abruptly cut off, he turned his attention towards the man behind the counter, who was smiling way more than appropriate for such a simple transaction.



"Greetings, children! I am Gervaise Ollivander and I assume I will have the honour of assisting you with your wand picking today?"



They both nodded quietly, but the smiling man's enthusiasm was not dampened in the slightest.



"Yes, yes! You must be so excited! Which of you wants to go first?"



Tanya looked at him questioningly, but Tom waved her off. He really didn't want or need a silly magic stick when he already had a far better alternative. Still, he would take one if only to blend in with the rest of the wizard population.



"Ahh, ladies first then! Very gentlemanly. Now, dear, please hold still while I take your measure."



Measuring tape shot out of his sleeve and wrapped around her midsection. Moving on its own, the ruler took her dimensions from head to toe, all the while Ollivander animatedly mumbled to himself about ridiculous terms like 'moderate springiness' or 'dragon heart contender'.



When he pressed the first wand into Tanya's palm however, nothing happened.



"That's not it!" exclaimed the vendor, rushing into the back of the shop to poke through the ceiling high shelves full of identical brown boxes to find another one.



This process repeated multiple times until he finally presented her with one that just worked.



Golden sparks shot out from its tip and a deep, echoing gong rattled the room as the piece of wood settled between her fingers. Even Tanya looked impressed as she inspected the thing.



"Yes, very good! A cherry wand with a dragon heartstring core, reasonably flexible, thirteen inches... You have great times ahead of you, young lady!"



Turning toward Tom, Ollivander beckoned him closer. He endured the pompous measuring ceremony without complaint and after quite a few quiet failures, he received yet another new wand to try out...



"Yew with a phoenix feather core, thirteen and a half inches!"



Except, instead of merely doing nothing like Tanya's unsuitable wands, the blasted piece of junk caught fire!



Throwing it away he glared at the idiot peddling such faulty wares. Did that moron want to kill him!?



"Oh my! Please forgive me... I was so sure that... You, young man, appear to be... You seem to already possess a wand. Is that right?"



"No. Never used one before." he bit out, still furious that he had nearly burned his bloody hand.



"Mmh... Curious. Most curious indeed!"



Tom knew what he meant with that question. But like hell would he show this creep his focus orb!



"I might have channelled my magic through a kind of... gem before. Does that change anything?" he admitted while gritting his teeth which seemed enough to mollify the wizard.



"A gem, you say? Mmmmmmh... I haven't heard of anyone doing that for centuries! But then again you seem like a rather extraordinary young man, no? Mmmhh..."



Humming to himself, Ollivander wandered back into the labyrinth of boxes that he called his shop and began noisily rummaging through his wares.



He returned with a few incomprehensible tools in hand that did not inspire confidence in his continued safety.



"Wands are sometimes quite fickle when choosing their wielder. They are like people in that aspect. A strong-willed wand requires a strong-willed wielder... And in that case, just like their masters, they never like to play second fiddle to anyone but their chosen partner. Mmmh... You wouldn't have to have this 'gem' on you by any chance?"



Projecting utter calm into his voice, Tom crossed his arms and sized up the nosy wandmaker.



"And if I did?"



Obviously catching onto the threat of imminent violence hanging in the air, Ollivander held up his hands in a placating manner.



"Well, hypothetically speaking, if you did, I would kindly ask you to permit me to examine this gem and maybe discuss a way to integrate it into a wand core. Otherwise, I would be forced to outfit you with a subpar replacement wand which would be far from ideal. It would permanently stain my pride as a professional to send a child on their first day of Hogwarts with an ill-fitting wand after all."



Unexpectedly, his sister agreed with the insane man: "I think you should do it, Tom."



What!? Tanya wanted him to hand over her masterpiece?



"I am sure that Mr. Ollivander is skilled and experienced enough to handle sensitive magical artefacts with the care that they deserve."



Despite not being worded as a question the man hastily nodded.



"I swear on my magic that I will take the utmost care."



Reluctantly, Tom produced the focus orb from under his shirt and laid it gingerly onto the ancient wood of the countertop.



Spindly fingers reached out for it and he had to bite his tongue in order to avoid doing something rash.



It was absolute torture, seeing the man hold and wave his instruments so closely over the orb in those nonsensical patterns of his.



"Remarkable... Absolutely remarkable. It's undeniably magical, but the whole design... It's so very... muggle?"



At this point, his amazing sister chose to try and share some of her genius with someone who clearly had never seen something as great as it before: "Sir, it functions based on the natural principles of thermodynamics and motion mechanics. In essence, it is a miniaturized computing machine that channels mana through a crystal at its centre. Can you see it here?"



"Mana? Hmm, this is genius! Truly the work of an inspired mind. And yet... It's also complete rubbish."



Tom's arm short forward without him even needing to think, the sharp force field projecting outward from his index finger poised to obliterate that heathen's worthless heart! And yet, before he could enact just vengeance on that bastard for slandering his sister's work, Tanya caught it and sent him a deep disapproving frown.



The worst part of it all, however, was that the scumbag hadn't even noticed anything, as absorbed as he was with his focus orb.



"It's missing the fundamental part that makes a wand special! The individuality! You could probably manufacture these things in one of those muggle manufactories by the thousands and nothing would be lost! It's just a fancy tool, like a pair of scissors or a hammer. No, no, no... This won't do at all for the young man!"



How would that insane scumbag like a hammer to the face then, huh?



"Runes might just do the trick. Yes, yes... The form will be a bit odd, but..."



Abruptly straightening up from where he had been crouching over the orb, Ollivander looked grim but determined.



"Tell you what, young man... This endeavour will require an extensive custom modification that will likely take me more than the rest of the day. Normally such a thing would cost hundreds of Galleons, but because of the never before seen nature of this gem and your impending school year, I will do so for free. Please write down your address on this piece of parchment here and I will owl you your wand tomorrow morning!"



Could this be a ploy of the Ministry to get ahold of their superior technology? Sadly, on second thought it didn't seem like this was the case. Everything in Diagon Alley appeared so behind the times that these people probably could not even conceive inviting such modernity into their culture. He had no solid reason to refuse this offer.



To distract himself from this mortification he gripped his sister's hand tightly as they exited the store.



As soon as they stepped out of the building, the door slammed shut behind them and they could hear the lock clicking shut. The sign in the window flipped from 'open' to 'closed' and above them, thick blue smoke began rising from the chimney.



"Old Ollivander is closing up shop real early today, huh? You were lucky that you caught him right now, then, haha!" laughed their guide.



Tom didn't feel very lucky though...







o-TxT-o​






They would have ended their trip to the side of magical London right then and there if Tanya hadn't wanted to see the local bank.



'Money is the lifeblood of civilization and it behoves us to examine those places where it flows to and from,' was what she had said, but Tom was cranky enough to disagree. Silently.



Even their guide was uncomfortable with the detour, citing his healthy fear of 'goblins' as the cause and urging them to be especially polite to the bankers. Apparently entire wars had been caused in the past by arrogant wizards who tried to screw over the goblins running their financial system.



Why then didn't they establish their own goblin-free substitute? Tom just couldn't understand these people at all!



From the outside, Gringotts looked horribly distorted, each floor slightly angled in a different way, like a warped house of cards threatening to get toppled over by a fresh breeze. Inside it, thankfully, was far less architecturally repulsive: A lot of polished marble and gold contrasting heavily with the ugly, wrinkled dwarves scribbling industriously upon high oaken lecterns.



Professor Barkbite already made to leave after vaguely gesturing at the central hall, clearly eager to escape the place. His sister foiled his efforts by boldly walking up to one of the clerks.



"Hello, Mr. Ripbolt sir, I would like to inquire about your loan and credit options, if you would be so kind." Tanya asked earnestly, projecting an entirely fake aura of shyness and naiveté at the ugly creature.



"What kind of loan could you even pay back, child? Where're your parents?" it sneered with a mouth full of very sharp teeth.



"I don't have any, Mr. Ripbolt sir. I was unfortunately orphaned at birth, sir."



"Then get out of here! No job, no family! Laughable."



The goblin went back to scratching around on his paper, though Tanya seemed undeterred.



"While that might be true, Mr. Ripbolt sir, I have well-founded hopes of acquiring large monetary profits from several technological patents within the decade and as such would like to be able to consider my options until then, if it would not be too much trouble. I have heard much praise for Gringotts' services and would be gladdened by your patronage. It would be too sad a fate if I had to turn to a lesser competitor in the field, simply because I could not convince you of my sincerity, sir..."



Ripbolt stared at her as if she had said something funny before his leathery lips curled into a cruel smirk.



"There's no other wizard bank other than Gringotts, girlie!" gloated the creature and Tanya was completely caught off guard by that statement.



"Really? None?"



"How sheltered are you, child? Did you live under a rock your whole life?"



"Not even in the United States, sir? Or the colonies? From Canada to India, no other bank? Truly?"



Tom relished how the goblin's glee slowly vanished and its brow furrowed in obvious frustration.



"Not entirely... No. There are some... imitators."



He looked physically pained at the admittance and Tom knew that his sister had won the exchange. The chance that she was correct might be slim, but the bank would lose out on far more if they ignored a possible up and coming visionary for such petty reasons.



Barkbite let out an undignified whine at the prospect of having to spend the next hour here while Tanya and the goblins talked business.







o-TxT-o​






Once they returned to the orphanage they had found that the solution to their privacy problem was simpler than expected. Now they both sat huddled together under a heavy blanket, while Tanya channelled her magic into it through her new wand to prevent any sounds from escaping. Tom provided the illumination by producing a tiny ball of light with his own magic. Talking and casting magic at the same time was always a good exercise!



"What do you need the money for?"



He had, of course, some inkling of her ideas, but he wanted to know what exactly she had meant with 'patents'. She couldn't be thinking of selling her focus orb design, right?



"Our world is about to radically change. The communists in the east grow more and more daring and soon the nations of Asia will experience the benefits of industrialization as well. When Germany inevitably loses the war after dragging Britain and America into it, the world will be split into two blocs: West and East."



Tom attentively listened, trying to visualize that description in his head. He could only come to one conclusion:



"There will be another war..."



"Yes."



War on such a scale? He could hardly fathom it. Not just two nations fighting with each other, but entire continents!



"And you want to make weapons, so that the West wins?"



"Not weapons, necessarily... I know of a few promising avenues for research and I'd also like to stop the extreme pollution of our environment, but that is secondary. The real point is: I don't know the future. With magic becoming a variable, there will be tons of possibilities that I could never consider. That's what I need the money for. To find a way to stop the world from ending."



"I mean, sure, a few million people might die, but the world as a whole will probably be fine! It bounced back from the Great War too..."



He was mostly playing devil's advocate, yet a small part of him simply didn't want to believe her.



"The first World War was comparatively tiny to what we are about to experience. With every year technology becomes better, faster, deadlier. Twenty years ago, armies still charged at each other with horses and bayonets. Now, they mow each other down with machine guns and artillery. It takes one second to kill a dozen men; an hour to depopulate a town! All without magic. Soon, somebody is going to develop bombs that can wipe entire cities off the map... One lunatic in the wrong place could shift the entire balance of our society disastrously. I know it's scary," she squeezed his hand when she focused back on his face and gave him a sad smile, "but there is no limit to human stupidity..."



"Always prepare for the worst." Tom echoed hollowly.



Was the world really doomed? Were they actually speeding towards the apocalypse?



He recalled the first thing he had ever asked her and what she had told him in reply.



"You can always lose."



Tom wanted himself and Tanya to be immortal. He hated losing after all.



...



Would just that be enough, though?



Could it even be considered winning if humanity got destroyed?



What good was a king piece without a chess board?



A ruler without subjects was merely a hermit with delusions of grandeur and a single student could never be the best of the class.



If he wanted to be powerful, then...



"I'll help you."



And his sister simply smiled back at him, discerning his reasoning with a single look.



Together they would find a way to save this miserable world from itself!



By any means necessary...



AN: This chapter should answer quite a few of you guys' questions about the canon and how on fire it is.



Professor Barkbite is an OC character mostly because there aren't names for ALL professors during Tom's time at Hogwarts. His name is a pun based on how J.K. Rowling makes her own names!
 
Oh ho ho! The story continues! I can't wait to see what a terrible duo those two make and how much they will shake Hogwarts, though I have a question... did Tanya not get an orb as well? Or just made one for a 'valuable resource' for loyalty?
 
Oh ho ho! The story continues! I can't wait to see what a terrible duo those two make and how much they will shake Hogwarts, though I have a question... did Tanya not get an orb as well? Or just made one for a 'valuable resource' for loyalty?
The first orb took a very long time to make. They also had to use resources that won't be so easily replaceable, like a pocket watch and a radio, both things being quite expensive and hard to steal!
 
The first orb took a very long time to make. They also had to use resources that won't be so easily replaceable, like a pocket watch and a radio, both things being quite expensive and hard to steal!

Fair enough, with her working money and investments soon, she might not need to worry about that. I hope she gets something situated soon, because I can't see her with a regular Wand either, she is likely going to work from what ever happened to Tom's isn't she?
 
So... What are the chances of the eventual shipping of Tom and Tanya? Of, course, fuck do I know what that relationship would actually look like, but they work so well together, and I could see them doing it due to sheer pragmaticism and affinity.
 
So... What are the chances of the eventual shipping of Tom and Tanya? Of, course, fuck do I know what that relationship would actually look like, but they work so well together, and I could see them doing it due to sheer pragmaticism and affinity.

I know I shouldn't expect any different since this is QQ, But Tom has thought of her as his sister MULTIPLE TIMES. Not that I care if it's a sister-brother thing but I just don't think the author is going for that ship right now
 
I know I shouldn't expect any different since this is QQ, But Tom has thought of her as his sister MULTIPLE TIMES. Not that I care if it's a sister-brother thing but I just don't think the author is going for that ship right now
I didn't say now. I said eventually. Tom and Tanya aren't even in puberty yet, I'm thinking more fourth year and up here. Still, Tom has a bit of an obsessive yandere to him, and both eventually marrying even for partially practical reasons is IC, especially in this era where the pressure to do so is high, especially from a political perspective, and will mount ever the moreso post-war to replenish British mages' own depleted numbers. They're not even related by blood!
 
I know I shouldn't expect any different since this is QQ, But Tom has thought of her as his sister MULTIPLE TIMES. Not that I care if it's a sister-brother thing but I just don't think the author is going for that ship right now
I don't know I think the Gaunt blood runs deep.
 

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