All belongs to JK Rowling!
Running so fast down the hallway she nearly slipped and fell, Lyra rounded the corner at last and skidded to a halt in front of hed parents and grandmother, who were seated around the kitchen table. The three adults looked up at her in surprise and Lyra immediately bubbled over with excitement, holding out the stone, which she had carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth to avoid contact with her fingers, for them to see.
"Do you know what this stone is, grandma?" Lyra asked excitedly.
"Where did you find that?" Lyra's mother asked, a half smirk on her face.
"In the basement," Lyra replied, "When I held it in my hand a boy appeared."
At this her parents exchanged a meaningful look and her grandmother smiled kindly.
"A boy appeared?" Her grandmother asked, gently, "How old was he? What was his name?"
"He looked to be about my age but he was British and from the past. When he held the stone I even went into the past with him and ended up in his bedroom. His name was something really unique, I think it was Riddle. Tom Riddle."
Lyra watched as the look of mild amusement on her mother's face melted away into a look of utter terror. Her father's face had gone white and his eyebrows were knitted together the way they did whenever he was worried about something. Her grandmother, for her part, looked as if Lyra had just announced she was dying of some terminal disease.
"What?" Lyra asked, confused and worried by the looks on their faces.
"Sweety, can I see that stone?" Her father asked and Lyra hesitated, thinking of Tom's warning. What if they did take it away forever? But then again, what if it was dangerous...
Slowly, Lyra walked forward and placed it in her father's hand. Immediately, the stone began glowing a bright red and Lyra looked around the kitchen excitedly, expecting to see someone appear, but no one did.
"Why doesn't anyone appear when you hold it?" Lyra asked.
"Because the boy you saw wasn't real." Her mother said abruptly, standing up and unceremonially plucking the stone out of her husband's hand. The stone turned a deep navy blue in her hand.
Lyra frowned in confusion at her mother. She had always been naive; however, she couldn't shake the feeling that for the first time that she was aware of, her mother was lying to her.
"If the boy wasn't real then why were you so scared when I told you about him. Do you know him or something?" Lyra asked, beginning to wish she had followed Tom's advice and kept the stone hidden.
Her mother and grandmother exchanged a look and Lyra saw her mother's hands shaking as she held the stone.
At last, her mother turned to look at her, "This stone is incredibly dangerous. Do you understand me, Lyra?" Her mother said sternly.
Lyra frowned, feeling a shiver run down her spine, "But why?"
"It does not matter why. I want you to promise me you will NEVER under ANY circumstances touch this stone again. Do you understand me?"
Lyra stared at her mother in mingled shock and confusion, tears beginning to prick at her eyes, "But why is it dangerous?!" Lyra cried exasperatedly.
At this, her grandmother quickly stood up and pulled her into a hug, "Honey, we're not able to explain it to you right now but I promise you will find out when it's time."
Lyra pulled away from her grandmother to glare accusingly at her mother. "You know he told me you would say it was dangerous and take the stone away. Tom told me you would."
At this her mother's face turned a pale shade of grey before becoming a shade of red Lyra had only seen on the angry Muggle man who lived next door whenever he complained about Lyra's owl pooping on his lawn.
"Go to your room." Her mother said with more venom than Lyra could ever remember hearing in her mother's voice.
"Miriam, honey-" Her father began, shutting his mouth at the murderous look she gave him.
Lyra stood rooted to the spot, she didn't understand what she had done wrong. She felt her confusion and anger build inside her until she felt what she could only assume was hatred towards her mother. Tears threatening to spill, Lyra turned and ran from the room, taking the stairs to her room two at a time. Slamming the door to her bedroom behind her and locking it magically, she flung herself onto her bed, finally letting the tears come.
It wasn't fair. Why was her mother lying to her and why was she mad at her? She hadn't done anything - in fact her mother had even looked amused when she had first told her she had found the stone. It was only after she had mentioned Tom that her mother had gotten upset.
Flipping onto her back and staring up at the chandelier above her bed, Lyra realized she would never be able to fulfill her promise to Tom now. He would think she abandoned him or didn't like him.
Feeling sick with guilt, Lyra sat back up, realizing she had to find a way to get the stone back. As quietly as possible, Lyra pushed herself off the bed and opened her bedroom door, tiptoeing down the hallway as silently as she could.
Reaching the top of the stairs, Lyra sat curled up in a ball on the first step, listening to the conversation going on in the kitchen below.
"We don't even know if it was him, Miriam." Lyra heard her father reason, "Tom Riddle is a common name-"
"A common name!?" Shrieked her mother, "How many people do you know named Tom Riddle?"
There was a pregnant silence, and Lyra squeezed her hands together, trying to stop them from shaking.
"They were the same age, Robert." Lyra heard her mother say dully.
"Honey, the time turners are all under the strict protection of the ministry, how could she get-"
"Well apparently she does! Or worse, he does." Lyra's mother snapped, pure hatred in her voice as she referred to this Tom Riddle she supposedly knew.
"There could be other explanations," Lyra's grandmother said softly, "They could share a relationship through the stone without either one using a time turner."
"I'm sorry, mother, but can you explain to me how that is at all better!?" Lyra's mother screeched, and Lyra felt sorry for her grandmother.
"It could have been wrong." Lyra's father said.
No one spoke for a long time and just as Lyra was about to sneak back into her room unnoticed, she heard movement in the kitchen downstairs.
"Tom Riddle never had a single friend in all the time I knew him." Lyra's grandmother spoke softly, "If the stone is right..."
"Let's not jump to conclusions." Lyra's father replied calmly.
November 23rd 1936
Tom resisted the urge to scream as the girl's basement disappeared and he found himself back in his own shabby bedroom in Wool's Orphanage. He had been so close to escaping this wretched place and discovering what, exactly, it was about him that was so different from the other children. To have been robbed of it by a stupid little blonde girl with an airy look about her was completely and utterly infuriating.
She'd promised she'd be back.
Tom knew better than to believe people when they promised things. More often than not promises were simply ploys to get something out of someone else; no one actually cared to make good on them.
Still, despite his rational mind, a small part of Tom still hoped she'd be back.
Tom stared out the window at the dreary street beyond, reliving everything that had just happened. She had been shocked, he'd been pleased to see, when she'd realized he could move the stone without touching it. Tom smirked. She was no different than the others at the orphanage - they were all impressed by silly tricks like that too.
The rest of the events had made no sense. Why had the stone opened up a portal between just the two of them, out of all the people in time and space? Why the stone glowed green when she held it and gold when he did? Why had such a seemingly ordinary girl had such a rare object in the first place?
Tom sat down at his desk, scratching at a chip in the paint, mulling over these questions in silence for so long he was surprised to hear the familiar rap on his door and the voice of Mrs. Cole, the orphanage caretaker, signalling it was time for dinner. Gritting his teeth at the annoying interruption of his reflection on what was the most interesting thing to have happened to him, quite possibly ever, Tom glared in the direction of the door.
If the girl had not come back yet, it was highly unlikely she ever would, Tom thought to himself. Feeling a surge of anger at the girl who had ruined everything, Tom glared at his face in the oval-shaped mirror on the wall; shattering the glass wordlessly.