Tom Riddle: The beginning
Chapter 1: The Birth of a Lord
It had been quite a sluggish day for the small man sitting behind the store counter rapping his fingers along the table impatiently. His auburn hair, which had recently begun graying (he suspected it was because of the hard time the country had been having; both Muggles and wizards alike), seemed to fall into his eyes even more than usual, aggravating him all the more. It was because he was fumbling with his hair that he never heard the store door creak open. Instead, he only looked up when he felt the cold winter air rush into the store front.
“What the bloody-?” he started, but stopped trying to take in the sight before him. A young lady, not yet in her thirties but strangely aged stood covered in what could best be described as rags that was now sprinkled lightly in the freshly falling snow. Her lank, dull hair covered most of her head, but this still could not hide the hollow expression she wore or the dirt that smeared parts of her face. The man was obviously appalled and failed to conceal it he assumed as the woman returned his flabbergasted stare with one of pleading.
“Erm – Yes. Welcome to Borgin and Burkes. I’m the proprietor of this establishment, Caractacus Burke. May I umm - help you with something?” he asked scrutinizing her now that she had moved closer. He noticed that some of her teeth were missing.
“Y-yes,” she chattered. It had just occurred to him how cold it must have been outside. “I have heard that you buy rare artifacts?”
“Yes,” he said incredulously. He wondered what this woman could possibly own of any value to him.
“Well, t-this locket I have,” she started, simultaneously removing a glittering object from inside of the rags, “It belonged to Salazaar Slytherin.”
He eyed her for a minute, waiting for her to give a rather toothless grin and assert that this was all some type of game. The last person to be in possession of that was rumored to be in Azkaban. Marvolo Gaunt, yes, he was certain of it.
“And where,” he muttered now no longer amused by her presence, “did you happen to procure this if I may inquire madam?”
“M-my father, Marvolo Gaunt,” she spluttered. He noticed her look of desperation as she thrust it forward to him.
“Please, j-just look. I’m to have a baby sir, anything, please!”
“Alright, alright I’ll have a look,” he said trying to stifle her continuously rising voice.
He took it in his hand and let the chain slowly fall through his fingers as he felt the locket gingerly. He placed it down and removed a long, thin wand and pointed it down at the object before him. He muttered something under his breath and suddenly the locket began to glow a bright green, but as soon as it had came it had gone. He looked suspiciously at the locket then towards the girl quickly before concentrating once again on his previous task. Again he pointed his wand at it, muttering something different this time. The locket however, remained still. His heart had began to race as he once again looked at the witch in front of him, who, thankfully, had failed to notice the greedy gleam in his eye. He pointed his wand for a third time at the locket, this time his hand slightly trembling. This time he said nothing, but the locket however, began to emit an eerie glow that illuminated the shadowy store. He placed his wand back in his robes then turned back to the girl with a stony expression on.
“Madam, I’m not quite sure what you may have surmised, but I am no fool when it comes to matters such as these. This locket, as nice as it may be, holds no magical powers whatsoever. On the contrary, I believe that this is simply just a very well made goblin made locket. The store has no use for it miss,” he said curtly before turning his back and feigning ruffling through some papers behind him.
“Please sir, I have nothing left. Can you spare even a galleon?” she said, moving far closer to the counter than he would have liked.
“Listen, you seem like a rather - eh - charming woman. I’m sure my daughter wouldn’t mind having a new piece of jewelry. Instead of a galleon I’ll give you ten, and in exchange, I’ll just take that old thing off your hands,” he said, playing his part magnificently. As he reached into the register and handed her the coins, he had a strange desire to laugh, and finally, rather arduously, he was able to suppress his grin at his own cunning. “Good night miss,” he said, after ushering he to the door. As the door opened temporarily letting a gust of cold winter air again, he thought he heard a small sob come from the girl, but whether he did or not would never be known, as his door shut and the girl once again took to the streets of Diagon Alley.
It was some time later that night that Merope Gaunt awoke from a rather common dream. She could hear his voice in her ear, almost as if he had been watching her sleep. But no, no one would do that for something as despicable as herself she thought. She thought that the feeling she was getting around her midriff was simply hunger pains, but suddenly realized that this was certainly more excruciating. No – not now – it couldn’t happen here. She quickly rose to her feet, ignoring the growing pain in her stomach. She had to get somewhere quickly before it was too late. She recalled the orphanage she saw just outside of Diagon Alley in London. That was her best option, she could never afford St. Mungo’s. She slipped on her broken sandals and quietly moved to the other side of the cramped room before grabbing her shawl and tossing it over her shoulders. She hurriedly rushed down the stairs of the Leaky Cauldron and out into Diagon Alley. She was soon at Charing Cross Road, the pain rising quicker than ever. She suddenly came to a tall pair of iron gates and stopped to stare. Maybe it was just her imagination or the affect that night had on the strange square building, but it looked more ominous than anything she had ever encountered, yet she trudged on up the lane and to the door. She took all three stairs at once and began rapping rather loudly on the door.
“Just a mo’, just a mo’” said a rather small but hoarse voice. A second later the door was opened by a young girl a bit younger than Merope. The scraggly girl scrutinized her up and down, then, as if she suddenly accepted her, gave her a small smile. “Hi, I’m Annie. Are you here for Mrs. Cole? Strange hour to be visiting.”
Merope was taken aback by the girl’s friendliness, but another vicious contraction brought her back to her objective.
“I’m having a child,” she gasped, clutching the threshold of the door for support as another wave of pain doused her body like ice water.
Minutes passed, though to Merope it seemed like hours, as she was being wheeled to the back of a room in the building. To most wizards and witches a device such as a wheelchair would have been baffling, but she had been accustomed to living around muggles ever since she had departed from Little Hangleton. She was glad Gaunt couldn’t see her now. Broken, defeated, hopeless and bearing the child of “scum” as he would call it in a place of muggles. She was being hoisted onto a flat surface in a rather well lit room when the most painful contraction yet hit her. She groaned in agony as women began to surround her talking in hurried voices adorning nursing garments. She was told to lie down when suddenly a burst of pain erupted in her.
“She’s going into labor!” she heard one of the voices yell.
“Honey,” said a more soothing voice, “I need you to push when you’re told. Everything will be just fine we’re going to make it through this.”
It was oddly comforting to be spoken to like something more than filth. She had grown so used to people scoffing at her and treating her like trash that it no longer bothered her when she drew dirty looks on the street. She wondered why things had been so hard for her.
“Push girl,” said the voice again, and Merope began to struggle with all her might. She didn’t know why, nor did she have time to understand while she was in such pain, but there was something oddly important about having this child. She needed some light in such a dark world.
“Here we go,” said another voice excitedly, “just one more!”
Merope pushed with all her might, then, suddenly, the pain had subsided and a loud cry reverberated through the room. Things were beginning to get rather hazy though as she saw faces swim in and out of vision shouting congratulatory praises. Then she heard yet another voice.
“Something’s not right with the girl. She’s too pale!” said someone from far away. It didn’t matter though, she was so very tired. She needed rest, a good, long rest for once. Maybe now Tom would come back at the news of his child. Maybe now…
“Tom,” she muttered.
“Shh, she’s saying something,” said someone.
“What is it dear?” said the soothing voice.
“I hope he looks like his papa,” she whispered out. “Tom...for his father. Marvolo...for my father. Riddle. Yes, his father will like that.”
And with those words, Merope rattled a slow breath and rested properly like she hadn’t in ages.
Last edited by Snivellus; July 27th, 2007 at 11:51 pm.
Re: Tom Riddle: The beginning
Chapter 2: Strange Occurences
Mrs. Cole, the owner of the orphanage allowed Merope to be buried in the small graveyard in the back of the orphanage. She decided that the girl musn’t of had much family if she had came to them for help delivering her child, and what was worse was that no one knew who she was. With no way to contact the father Mrs. Cole decided to take Tom into the orphanage.
She found the boy to be quite different from the rest of the children they were raising in the orphanage. Tom rarely cried, it was with a rather unnerving stare he would give when he didn’t get his way. Mrs. Cole also noticed that things tended to get broken when Tom was having a particular fit, though she chalked this up to coincidence. It wasn’t until a bright summer day in August that Mrs. Cole began to start questioning the boy’s true nature.
Tom, now seven, had become isolated over his years of being raised in the orphanage. On this day again Tom was sitting under the olive tree in the court alone, but he was crouched over low to the grass. Mrs. Cole gasped in horror when, a second later she saw him fumbling with a snake in his hand. She ran down the stairs towards him, but halted in her tracks when she got near him. Tom was hissing and sputtering at the snake, and, though she knew it must have been far too much gin, she was possessed with the odd sensation that this snake was paying rapt attention to every noise coming from his mouth. She regained her composure when she realized she was no longer alone. Standing at her side was a rather pudgy young boy, peering down at the rather handsome face of Tom with the same bewildered expression she wore.
“Billy, what are you doing over here? Go play with the rest of the kids,” she told him.
“What’s he doing? Hey Riddle you’re weird! You can’t talk to snakes,” he laughed as he ran back to go tell his group of friends who had been huddled near by.
Tom, however, was no longer holding the snake. For a brief second Mrs. Cole saw a hint of anguish twitch across his face, but this was immediately replaced by a look of repulsion so deep, that even she nearly grimaced.
“Tom, come inside and clean your hands off, those things are dirty,” she said reaching out for his hand. However, he simply looked down at it as if she had just taunted him. He rose to his feet slowly and swept past her into his room.
Deciding that it was just the gin getting the better of her combined with a young child’s imagination, she went bed at ease that night. As she was eating breakfast in her office the next morning a loud banging came from her door. She opened the door and Annie fell in with a look of terror on his face.
“Mrs. Cole come quick! There’s something….wrong! Hurry!” she added, tears almost coming from her face.
“What is it girl,” she asked as they headed towards the back of the building where the kids ate dinner.
“I don’t know how he did it. I mean, I reckon it wasn’t him Mrs. Cole but who else? I know you’ve noticed those strange things too. I don’t know Mrs. Cole, I don’t know” she said, seemingly talking to herself.
“Girl what is – good Lord,” she exclaimed, halting in her tracks. As she looked up at the roof, there, swinging lifelessly from the rafters, was the corpse of a small rabbit. Her eyes slowly found her way down to the ground, where, in the center of the room, Billy Stubbs was looking up horrified.
"It-it was T-Tom," he sobbed. "He did something - something funny and now he's..he's," but whatever he was was drowned out by the childs renewed sobs.
"Annie, get him out of here please, and send for Tom," she said, strolling forward to get a ladder out of the closet. As she was returning with it she turned around to see Tom staring at her with a hollow expression as if peering into her soul.
"Tom, did you do this?" she asked rather sternly.
Tom seemed to survey the situation with curious intent as he looked between the rabbit and Mrs. Cole.
"No miss," he said rather quietly. As he continued to gaze at her intently she began to feel silly. Foolish even, for believing a child could do this. The question, however, was who did this to Mrs. Cole. Tom had been telling the truth, he hadn't done anything, only wished for it to happen. Maybe someone did care about him.
Although strange things continued to occur around Tom, he began to notice that he was far more special than the other children. He could make his friends do what he wanted whenever he wanted to, and sometimes he could make them hurt, or hear things.Sometime in the late summer on one of the orphanages regular school trips, the children were taken to a little town just outside of London on the coast. The entire ride there he saw Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop stealing glances over at him then putting their heads together whispering. He had a sinking feeling they were talking about him, and he intended to find out.
When they were allowed off the bus to have lunch in a field just outside the town, Tom sat by himself as usual. However, today Amy and Dennis were headed straight to him.
"Hey," said Dennis gruffly, "we know you did something to Billy's rabbit. When we find out how you did it we're gonna tell Mrs. Cole if you don't tell us how you did it right now.
Tom peered into the boy's eyes and took in his figure. He was trembling slightly, afraid even. Tom didn't stop gazing at him as he spoke, "What would you say," he began, "if I took you somewhere and showed you how exactly what happened, but you can't tell anyone else, otherwise everyone will want to know."
After Dennis swore to him he wouldn't, Tom turned to Amy, "You should come with us. He'll need help where we're going," he said with an ominous smile. When he had convinced them to come, he led them to the outskirts of the town. They walked on past the old willow tree Tom was so familiar passing and continued on along a path, the roar of the ocean growing louder with each passing step.
"How much further," whined Dennis.
"Not far now," said Tom casually, relishing every moment of this journey.
They soon came to a huge precipice where the waves crashed into the side of the coast. The roar of the ocean was relaxing to Tom, it was such a powerful force, and unstoppable. Maybe he could use his power to be as strong as the ocean. As he stood for a moment listening to the clash of the waves on rock, Dennis spoke again, this time obviously frightened.
"I don't want to do this anymore, " he spattered. "This is scary, me and Amy are going back I don't want to know."
"No," Tom said firmly, forcefully locking his eyes with Dennis'. "You are coming with me."
For a moment Dennis looked as if he was going to shout in protest, then, oddly his expression went blank and he edged close to the cliff. Tom lowered himself and eased his hands into small fissures in the side of the cliff. Contrary to how he knew he should have felt, he was very peaceful climbing down. Dennis and Amy both seemed to be oblivious to what they were doing as they lowered themselves cautiously. They soon came to a large outcrop of rocks and Tom landed here first and waited as the other two came down.
"Not much further now," he said absentmindedly. He again began to scale down the cliffs, this time much closer to the waves as he felt the spraying water on his face. He soon came to a large fissure in the side of the cliff and went inside. When the other two came in, obviously battered by the elements, it seemed they had finally realized what they had done.
"What are we doing down here!" shouted Amy, her voice trembling.
"What did you make us do, Riddle?" said Dennis warily, now eyeing Tom with caution.
He turned to them and stared at them silently, loathing everything about them. Here they were, boring, useless. Just like his father and mother must have been. They weren't special like him, and all they did was just take up space. He wished he could just hurt them, and as he thought that Dennis and Amy both fell to their feet, writhing on the ground with silent tears streaming from their face. Tom relinquished a twisted smile and moved forward. The wall they were leaning on felt...different from the rest of the cave. He had the creeping sensation that just behind this wall was something incredible, if only he could get in. He stood staring at the wall so intently he never heard Dennis running toward him, and suddenly BAM. Tom hit the wall, feeling a gash on the top of his head as he collided with it. He glared over at Dennis with such an intense fury that Dennis stopped in his steps, transfixed by Tom. Again, he dropped to the floor, this time screaming and rambling about his mother. Tom took a moment to relish the anguish that Dennis experienced, then turned back to the wall to see something peculiar happen. Where his blood had smeared, the wall had seemed to shiver. He placed his hand to his head and then slowly, yet surely, he smeared the blood across the wall. Suddenly, the wall sprang to life and moved apart. As he stepped into a room, he audibly gasped. It was quite dark, yet he could make out a small mass of land somewhere int he middle of a lake. He went to the waters edge and dipped his foot in. The warmth was odd, yet he had a hungry sensatioin to reach that island. Something was calling out to him. He began to breastroke across the lake, growing very tired but was being fueled by this burning desire to reach the island. Just as he thought his limbs would give way, he reached the shore of a very small island. On it was a pedastel, and on top was simply a small snake. He peered at it intently, then he spoke.
"Who are you?" he hissed.
"Nagini is what I am called. I was placed here by my master Salazaar Slytherin, placed here to wait for his heir. Cursed with life everlasting I've stayed here sustained off of the prophecy my master told me. That his true heir would one day come, and I was to reveal his secrets when it was time. This was no mere chance you came here boy, and in due time all shall be revealed" it spluttered back.
"I don't know who Slytherin is, nor why I can speak with snakes." Tom said quietly, now hanging on every word the snake said, his heart beating rapidly, "but come with me, I'll take care of you."
And as Tom Riddle made his way back across the lake with his new friend wrapped around his neck, he was filled with a new sudden sense of purpose.
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