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Disclaimer: Thankfully, I do not own Tom Riddle/Lord Voldemort; he’s JKR’s, and she can have him. Nor do I own any other of her characters, or places, or anything else from the world of Harry Potter.

A/N: Once upon a time I attempted a Tom Riddle one-shot. The result was a three page ‘chronicle of his life’, with a disgustingly mushy ending. Thankfully, it was deleted before too many people were subjected to it. I hope this one turns out better than that. Enjoy!


I have always been different. From my very earliest days, my name was synonymous to different. At first, in my youngest days, I was the bullied. The victim.

“Angie and Anna
Sally and Mary
Billy and Jacob and Luke
And then there’s Tommy
Poor Tommy Riddle
All by himself, alone in the middle.”


A silly, primitive rhyme, created by the children of the orphanage when I was little. Maybe five years old. Pointing out that everyone in the orphanage had a friend, someone to chat to after morning lessons. Everyone but me. I never cared, though.

“And that concludes our morning lessons,” called the young woman up the front of the classroom. The children in the room got to their feet, moving off in chattering groups and pairs. Except one.

The pale, raven haired boy who had been sitting alone in a corner walked slowly by himself, glancing after the other groups with just the barest hint of longing in his dark eyes. He couldn’t have been more than five. The woman up the front bit her lip before calling him.

“Tom, would you like to assist Vera and me in the kitchens? We could use some help,” she called, in a friendly voice. He looked up at her, and despite the young age, there was the touch of condescendence in his eyes.

“No, Martha, I would not like to assist you and Vera in the kitchens,” he said coolly, and continued out of the bleak classroom, heading for the playroom where they all sat at break.

“Why do I continue to try?” sighed Martha, rubbing her forehead wearily before leaving the room.

On her way to the kitchens, she passed the playroom. Voices came from inside. The door was slightly open. She paused and peeked in. Yes, there was young Angela and Anna, chatting in a corner. Sally and Mary, leaning against a wall and playing patty cake. Billy, Jacob and Luke teasing each other. Various other children chatting and playing.

Her eyes fell on Tom, alone in the centre of the back wall. She had come to accept, after many weeks of seeing him in the same place alone, that it was his place. He neither had nor wanted anyone else.


As I grew older, I slowly came to realise I didn’t need to be the victim. As a small child, I would sit hunched in the playroom alone, merely listening to the cruel taunts. I still remember the children who had made them up…they came to regret it later.

Just past my eighth birthday, I realised I could scare other children. My appearance scared them; my dark hair contrasting with my pale skin, and sometimes I seemed to terrify them just by looking at them. I seemed to have a strange power with my eyes-it was not one I understood then, but I loved it. I loved the feeling of power I had.

Once I had learned of my strange power over the orphanage children, even those older than me, it was not long before the children who had once taunted and teased me became my victims. At first it was small things. For example, Eric Whalley’s mouth organ. He played it day and night, and the other children seemed to like it. Shortly after an argument with him, it seemed pure luck that I passed his empty room and saw it lying on the bed.

Mary Silverson’s thimble was another. She loved needlework, little Mary Silverson, and her prized silver thimble was another jewel in my crown. I soon had a whole collection of objects; small things that didn’t matter to me, that I didn’t care for, but that the other children missed dearly.

Others I saved more exact revenge for. Even in my childhood, I had a thirst for justice and vengeance being served where it was due. Billy Stubbs always regretted arguing with me that day. Always regretted calling me a stupid, unwanted little boy.

“Martha…Martha!” called Mrs Cole, sweeping down the narrow stairwell. The young woman appeared in the kitchen doorway, her white apron standing out in the bleak surroundings.

“Yes, Mrs Cole?” she asked with a frown.

“Did you hear a yell?” asked Mrs Cole, stopping abruptly. As usual, she had an anxious, harried look upon her bony old face.

“Well, no, Mrs Cole…but I was distracted, I could’ve missed it.”

Mrs Cole was about to reply when another yell came. The two women exchanged looks before rushing in the direction of the yell.

Upon entering the playroom, the two women’s first sight was that the children were, for an unknown reason, terribly upset. Mary and Sally clung to each other, crying. The general aura was one of great distress, but none was more upset than young Billy Stubbs. Martha rushed over to him.

“What is it, Billy? What’s wrong?” she asked urgently, Mrs Cole hovering over her.

“Hen…ry,” he choked out, pointing upwards.

“Your rabbit, Billy? What…” Martha’s voice trailed off as her eyes followed Billy’s finger. “Oh my…”

Beside her, Mrs Cole made a sound of disgust. The rabbit was hanging, clearly dead, from the rafters.

“Martha, take the children out,” she said quietly, averting her eyes in distaste. Nodding, Martha mutely began shepherding the children into the hall, keeping her arm firmly around the weeping Billy.

As the last of the distressed children trailed out the door, something odd caught Martha’s eye. Tom Riddle seemed the only child who wasn’t at all concerned. On the contrary, he had remained gazing at his book through the whole situation. He didn’t look remotely worried…Martha shook her head.

“Come along, Tom,” she called, gently ushering him out.

They remained out in the corridor for some time. When Mrs Cole came out, she headed straight for Billy, who was still crying.

“Billy, dear? Do you have any idea how this happened?” she asked. Billy looked up angrily.

“It was…it was him!” he cried furiously, pointing his finger at Tom.


They never proved it was me, of course. How could a simple little boy hang a rabbit from the rafters?

It was because of this ability to get away with anything and everything that I never told anyone of my strange ‘powers’. Of course, they all knew there was something odd about me, and after the rabbit incident, the children were even more terrified of me than before.

When I was nine or ten, we went on our annual trip away. It was then I exacted my revenge on the children who had taunted me most, who had created the jeers and the insults. Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop.

They were slightly older than me. But I fooled them completely and totally…

The raven haired child ran excitedly to the small girl and boy who were building a sandcastle happily. They looked up as the boy approached, flickers of fear crossing their faces. Long gone were the days when they were his main tormentors…

“What do you want, Tom?” asked the boy politely. The black haired boy, Tom, smiled excitedly.

“Come with me, wait till you see what I found!” he exclaimed breathlessly. The boy and girl were unable to contain the childish curiosity.

“What is it, Tom?” asked the girl.

“Oh, it’s…I can’t describe it, come see it, come on!” He was impatient, jumping from foot to foot. The other boy bit his lip.

“We should ask…” he said hesitantly.

“No, come on, they won’t mind…please?” begged Tom. At last curiosity won out over every other sense. The two other children climbed to their feet, brushing sand off their swimsuits. They followed Tom across the sand, far away from the others. And in their excitement, neither noticed the smirk that flickered across his face.


One of the things I’ve discovered is that it is easier to play with children’s minds than it is with anyone else. They are easily manipulated and, if you have the right persuasion methods, you can bend them to your will and make them do anything you please. And so was the case with Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop.

However, it is inevitable that you will be detected sooner or later. This is the case even more so when you are still a child yourself.

Martha held a hand to her forehead, shielding her eyes against the sun. The children were having a good time…it was nice for them to get out of that grim household every so often.

Her eyes moved over the clusters of children, mentally ticking them off in her mind. Yes, they were all there…but…

“Mrs Cole!” she cried frantically, turning and running over to the matron. She sat up straight.

“Goodness, Martha, what is it?” she asked in shock.

“There’s children missing…Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop, and young Tom Riddle as well,” she said breathlessly. Mrs Cole glanced over the children and jumped to her feet.

“Oh my…when did you last see them?”

“Amy and Dennis were building a castle over there…I’m not sure when I saw Tom.”

The two women set off on a search off the beach, leaving the other helpers with firm instructions to not take their eyes off the children. It was when they reached the break wall that they heard children’s voices. Running around the other side off a large rock, both were immensely relieved when they saw Amy and Dennis.

“Oh, thank goodness…have you two been here all along?” demanded Mrs Cole. Neither child replied. Tentatively, Martha reached down and touched Amy’s shoulder. The girl looked up at her, and Martha noticed that her eyes were distant and unfocused.

“Amy…are you ok?”

“Yes,” replied Amy in a wooden, almost robotic voice. Glancing over, Martha saw Dennis looked much the same. She glanced up at Mrs Cole, and saw the older woman looked just as unnerved as her.

“Let’s get you back, shall we?” said Mrs Cole, in a forced cheerful voice. Neither Amy nor Dennis replied, but both climbed to their feet and walked off before Martha or Mrs Cole could speak again. The two women exchanged a look, and followed them, both of them plagued by worries over the two children in front of them, as well as the still missing Tom.

When they returned, another of the helpers came running up to them, a young girl named Ettie.

“’Scuse me, Mrs Cole,” she called urgently.

“What is it, Ettie?”

“I thought you said three kids was missing?”

“They are…were. We found two, but Tom…”

“But Tom’s just here, Miss…Jilly noticed ‘im right after you and Martha left, just playing in the sand over there...”

Martha and Mrs Cole spun around, and sure enough, the small boy was standing nearby, looking bored.

“Tom!” cried Martha, flinging her arms around the boy before she could stop herself.

“Where were you?” asked Mrs Cole angrily, but before he could reply, Ettie returned.

“Mrs Cole, what’s wrong with Amy and Dennis?” she whispered.

It was then Martha and Mrs Cole remembered the strange condition the two children were in. Forgetting about Tom, they went over to them. Both were gazing out at the sea, looking vague and unfocused.

“Amy…Dennis?” asked Martha tentatively. Both children looked blankly at her.

“Can you tell us where you went?” asked Mrs Cole carefully. They were both silent for a time.

“Into a cave,” said Dennis finally. He seemed to find it hard to speak.

“With Tom,” finished Amy.


They always suspected me, of course. I protested innocence till I was blue in the face, and they could never prove it was me, but they suspected. And, of course, the other children were more terrified of me than ever.

The age of eleven was when my life really changed. The visit from Dumbledore…these days, it’s almost ironic to think that it was the fault of my biggest enemy that I became who I now am.

My first visit ever to Diagon Alley was exhilarating, to say the least. For once in my life I was free to go and do what I wanted! Of course, my resourcefulness was already shining through at this point, and I had an underlying motive on my trip: to discover my parentage.

Tom the barkeeper was scrubbing the bench down when the youth came in. He looked only about eleven, and he was alone. Tom suspected he was on his Hogwarts trip. However, the boy looked around, seemingly bored, whereas most other new children looked around in wonderment.

He noticed Tom, standing behind the bar, and made his way over.

“Hello, mate, how can I help you?” said Tom cheerfully.

“You must be Tom the barkeeper,” replied the boy in a bored tone.

Tom blinked. “Well, yes. What’s your name?”

Ignoring the question, the boy looked around restlessly. “I don’t suppose Mr Riddle has been in today?”

Tom frowned. What was this boy on about? “Sorry, lad, I’ve never heard of a Mr Riddle…here, I’ll ask around.”

The boy started to speak, but Tom banged loudly on the counter, drawing the attention of the people in the pub. “Oi! Anyone here know someone by the name of Riddle?”

The people whispered and murmured, and heads shook slowly. It became evident no-one did. Tom looked apologetically at the boy.

“Sorry, mate, no-one seems to have…”

But the boy had disappeared. Shaking his head, Tom returned to scrubbing the bar.

“Strange boy, that one…”


The pub scene didn’t worry me too much. They were only a portion of the wizarding population, after all. I was firmly convinced that my father was a wizard; my mother must have been a Muggle, must have been weak to die like that.

Ollivander was another matter. In a strange way, he was suspicious of me from the start. While I charmed the keeper of every other shop I went into, had them eating out of the palm of my hand in no time…he was different.

A dull bell brought Ollivander out of his storeroom. He saw a young boy, raven haired with pale, pale skin. He looked solemn, and his eyes were the coldest Ollivander had ever seen. Something about him sent chills up Ollivander’s spine.

“Hogwarts?” he spoke up. The boy started, and appeared surprised to see the elderly man.

“Oh…awfully sorry, I didn’t see you there. Yes, Hogwarts…just starting,” he said, in a voice as smooth as butter and as rich as chocolate. His eyes now seemed warm and charming, and he smiled engagingly.

Ollivander eyed the boy shrewdly as he went to get a wand for him to try. Something wasn’t quite right about him.

“Where are your parents today, my boy?” he called carefully.

“Parents? Oh…they’re busy,” replied the boy evasively. Ollivander nodded, but he was still uneasy.

“Try this. 10 inches, plywood, unicorn hair,” he said finally, selecting a wand. He handed it to the boy and nothing happened.

“Never mind, never mind…here, 11 ¼ inches, alderwood. Core of hippogriff hair.”

Still nothing.

“Ahh, a difficult one,” murmured Ollivander, rifling through boxes. “Here, a slim cedar wand, just over ten inches. Very flexible, core of dragon heartstring. No?”

They went through a number of wands, until even Ollivander seemed to be getting impatient.

“No mind, my boy…every person has their own wand, it’s just taking a while to find yours…here, try this; yew, 13 ½ long, core of phoenix feather.”

The boy took the wand and waved it. Instantly, green and silver sparks flew out of the end, lighting up the room brilliantly. Ollivander smiled.

“Ah, yes, that is definitely the one…” he murmured.

As Ollivander was wrapping the wand and the boy was getting out some money, he asked a question.

“Er…you’ve not seen Mr Riddle around today, have you?”

Ollivander looked up quickly. “No. I’ve never heard of a Mr Riddle.”

“Oh.”

The boy fell silent and didn’t speak again, but Ollivander watched him the whole time, and kept his eyes on him as he left the shop. As soon as he was out of sight, he went to write a letter.


Now I started to wonder. Surely someone had to have heard of my father? He must have been a wizard, he had to have been.

----

Upon my arrival, I was, of course, sorted into Slytherin. I had read about all four houses, and Slytherin sounded by far the best. It valued the purity of blood, an issue that was growing more important to me with each day.

It took no time for me to charm both my teachers and classmates. I had everything; brains, a charming smile, polite mannerisms, ever helpful. The teachers fell in love with me, and I had a good deal of friends before long. Well, not friends so much as supporters. Lestrange, Avery and Malfoy, amongst others, became forerunners for the Death Eaters, and all three fathered children that also became Death Eaters.

Behind the scenes, however, I was nothing to what I appeared; I admit that freely. I threw off a kind, accepting image, when I actually hated most of the people there. In my spare time, I threw myself into learning as much as I could about the old wizarding families, bloodlines and family trees tracing all the way back to the four founders.

It wasn’t long before I accepted that it seemed all the more likely that I was not going to find my father; at school, though I asked around a bit more, still no-one had heard of any Riddles in any way, shape or form. I had also hoped my appearance might do something-I had been told that I looked nothing like my mother, so that left only my father. But no. I gave up trying to discover the identity of my father, and moved on instead to my mother.

Despite the amount of time I spent doing things that weren’t school related, I quickly became the highest achiever in my year. I aced all subjects, and the teachers adored me even more. I soon discovered that the old quote that I had scorned upon first hearing-‘you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar’-was, in this case, quite right.

It was over my extensive study of ancient wizarding pureblood lines that I came across the Gaunt family. It was late at night, and I was barely paying attention to the words I read. But as my eyes flickered over the Gaunts, one name caught my attention. Marvolo.

I had sat up straight. Surely the name was not very common. I could hear Mrs Cole’s voice in my head...‘The very last thing she said…you were to be named Tom, after your own father, and Marvolo, after her father-your maternal grandfather-and your last name was to be Riddle…

The Gaunt family tree was in an old book of old families. And there it was, the name Marvolo. I could finally be onto something.

I had flattened out the parchment eagerly and pored over it. Marvolo Gaunt was at the very bottom of the tree, with just two names below him; his children, and the end of that line, it would seem. Merope and Morfin. Both Marvolo and Morfin had spent time in Azkaban. As for Merope, it said she had disappeared some time ago, presumed dead.

It didn’t take me long to trace the Gaunt line completely. My heart leapt when I discovered they were the descendants of Salazar Slytherin. And suddenly, I remembered being sorted. I remembered what the Hat had said to me, words that didn’t seem too important at the time.

‘Ahh…well, I can see there is only one place to put you. Only one place you belong…’

And something else-my suspicion that I could talk to snakes. I was almost sure of this ability, and it was a trait of Slytherin’s…

In hindsight, I suppose there was no real evidence that they were my family. But I was thoroughly convinced, and I threw myself into discovering as much about Salazar Slytherin as I could, spending many hours-indeed, most of my time-in the school library.

It wasn’t long before I came across the legend of the Chamber of Secrets. I found it fascinating; by far the most fascinating thing I had discovered about Slytherin so far. A secret chamber, hidden from the other founders and the students. And deep within dwelled a hideous monster…

According to the tales, the Chamber would not open until his own heir arrived at the school. If my suspicions were right, and I was his heir, that mean I would be able to open it and control the monster within. And in doing so, I would be able to complete Slytherin’s mission to purge the school of those unworthy to study magic…

Oh yes, I appeared to be such a wonderful, helpful young man. But inside, I was exactly the opposite.

----

I discovered I knew Parseltongue for sure early into my second year. A mishap in the Forbidden Forest, I suppose you could call it…

“Alright class, today we’ll be playing a game, of sorts!” called the Herbology teacher, Professor Pollack. The others all grinned and murmured excitedly. Tom sighed and rolled his eyes. A game. How…juvenile.

“You’ll be in pairs, and at the end of the lesson, I want each pair to report back here with examples of the following plants: aconite, Alihotsy-remember not to eat the leaves-, nettle, knotgrass, dittany, asphodel, wormwood, sneezewort, and belladonna. They’re scattered in various areas of the Hogwarts ground, and a prize to the pair that gets back here first with all items!”

Everyone started getting into pairs. Tom, by far the most popular and smart person in the class, instantly had several people requesting to be with him. Ignoring them, he glanced vaguely around the greenhouse, and his eyes fell on a boy who was standing alone. His name was Edgar Fawcett, and he was a short, scrawny Ravenclaw boy. He was quite unpopular, and it was clear that no-one wanted to go with him. He was trying, and failing, to look as though this didn’t bother him.

Tom was unworried by Fawcett-after all, he had no shortage of people wanting to be with
him. However, Professor Pollack had evidently seen him as well, and she was worried by it.

“Er-I’ll be putting you in your pairs!” she called above the chatter. This declaration was met with groans and sighs. However, people moved grudgingly as she started pairing them off. Tom smiled charmingly as she looked at him. She would put him with one of
his friends, surely; she loved him as much as every other teacher in the school.

“Tom Riddle and…Edgar Fawcett,” she called. Tom started in surprise.

“Professor,” he began.

“Pairs are final, Tom,” she responded firmly. He sighed, frustrated. He couldn’t risk surrendering his compliant, kind image. Therefore, he’d have to work with the boy. He
glanced up at Fawcett, and saw him walking in his direction. He was smiling happily. Probably thrilled to be paired with someone like Tom.

“Come on, let’s go,” Tom sighed, striding off. He trotted after him.

“H-hi, Tom! I’m Edgar Fawcett,” he babbled happily.

“I know,” Tom responded boredly. Fawcett stopped short before running after him again. Clearly, he was thrilled that Tom knew his name.

He continued chattering as Tom searched for the plants. He really was an annoying little creature, in Tom’s opinion.

He caught a glimpse of dittany on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. He walked over and bent to his knees, pulling at it.

“Oh…what ones that? Dittany, right?” Fawcett continued. “I-hey, is that a unicorn?”

Tom glanced up. His face was lit up, and Tom saw it too; a flash of gleaming white racing by. Before he knew it, Fawcett had disappeared into the Forbidden Forest, clearly hoping for another, better glimpse of the blasted creature.

He swore angrily, kicking a tree. As much as he wanted the infuriating boy to be lost forever in the forest, it wouldn’t suit the image he had worked so hard to build up if he
returned and said ‘The kid got lost, and I didn’t bother trying to find him.’

After a moment of consideration, he darted in after him. He was unafraid by the many creatures in there; most of them were beatable, in one way or another.

“Fawcett? Fawcett, where are you?” he called impatiently. “Oh, come on, you little runt, you can’t have gotten too far,” he muttered.

He slashed my way through some bushes, and reached a small clearing. It was then that he saw Fawcett, pressed up against a tree.

“Oh, there you are. Finally. Come on, let’s go,” Tom snapped, turning.

“Tom!” he called fearfully. Tom spun around, and saw him pointing at the ground. A huge snake was there. He had to struggle not to laugh.

“Oh…a snake. Well, what d’you want me to do about it?” he sighed. He shrugged wildly. To Tom, it didn’t matter if the boy was bitten. But he had to do something; it wouldn’t do it he lived and returned to school, telling everyone how wonderful Tom hadn’t bothered to save him.

“Erm…get away, snake. Don’t bite him,” Tom said loudly, trying to sound like he actually cared about the boy’s well being.

To his surprise, the snake swung its head to look at him, then turned and slithered off.

“Oh…look at that,” Tom murmured in disappointment. He suddenly realised Fawcett was staring at him.

“What?!” he snapped.

“You…you just hissed,” he whispered, trembling.

Tom understood instantly. His mind whirring, he felt alive with excitement. He glanced vaguely at the boy, and shook himself back to earth, noting the look of terror on his face. It wouldn’t do to have him running back telling everyone that Tom Riddle was a Parselmouth.

“Fawcett, I am simply amazed by your bravery,” he stated, speaking in the smoothest voice he could muster. He planned to overdo flattery in every way possible in the next few minutes. People like Fawcett were easy bait to things like that.

“R-really?” he stammered, still looking fearful.

“Oh, yes. Few would have stood so tall in the face of such a snake. I, myself, would have quailed before you if it had faced me head on.”

Now he started to smile. Together the two boys left the forest, Tom complimenting Fawcett endlessly about his bravery, talent and many other things.

At the very edge of the forest, Tom paused a moment.

“And as for that little hissing thing…how about that becomes our little secret? Just you and me?” he said softly. Fawcett’s eyes lit up-sharing something secret with handsome, popular Tom Riddle was probably something he had dreamed about.

“Our secret,” he whispered.


He never did tell anyone, that foolish wimp of a boy. Not even when I rose to power did he tell. I ended up killing him, of course; though he was survived by his brother. I took great pleasure in killing Edgar Fawcett.

When I discovered I was a Parselmouth, I knew I had been right in my speculation that I was the ancestor of Salazar Slytherin. It was too much of a coincidence. And it was with this discovery that I threw myself even more so into learning about the Chamber. I wanted desperately to be able to open it, to control the monster within; to leave a terrible legacy at the school, to begin my rise to power there.

In my third year of school, a boy by the name of Rubeus Hagrid started school. He instantly became the butt of my little gang’s inside jokes. He was twice the size of your average first year, was bumbling, was clumsy, and was always in trouble for one reason or another. The first time I noted his love for dangerous animals was when I started making my plans for him. They were plans that I would only use if I needed to, but his fate was sealed the day he entered Hogwarts. Poor Hagrid. He never did have a chance against me.

It was also this year I finally decided to throw away the name ‘Tom’ and create a new one for myself. I spent many hours rearranging the letters in my name to create new ones. It may have seemed fruitless or mad to the onlooker, but to me it was important. I was determined to create a name that, someday, would be a name people dared not speak. It had to be just right.

Some of the things I came up with were awful. Some weren’t even names, but merely words thrown together. I discovered I could make ‘immortal’ but that did not use all the letters. And it took me awhile, but I finally came up with ‘Voldemort’. It was truly brilliant; cold, chilling, evil. Yet there were letters left over; I, A, and M. I quickly changed them to ‘I Am’ and I had the perfect anagram; I Am Lord Voldemort.

I told only my closest friends of this name. They called me it, too; they were the only ones that knew of my true feelings towards the school and its students.

Meanwhile, I was busy trying to find the location to the entrance of the chamber. I spent hours, too many of them to count, studying old books and old texts, initial maps of Hogwarts, founders notes before and after the construction. I traced back old legends and tales of the Chamber, searching for a clue; researched the possible identity of the monster, hoping that might give a hint as to the location. Things weren’t easy in that particular quest; hard work went into it, and the whole time, I had to hide my mission from teachers and friends. My friends became more like followers every day, and I found it hard, at times, to shake them off. When I eventually worked out how to do it, there could be no trace that I had known a thing about the Chamber.

My first suspicion was that the entrance was somewhere in the Slytherin common room. I wasted many hours poring over plans of it, and searching it itself. I soon realised I was wrong, and when I realised this, I realised something else; Slytherin had been a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have hidden the common room somewhere obvious; it would be somewhere unsuspected.

I began to make real headway one night when I copied an entire map of the school and began crossing off rooms. It was on a massive piece of parchment; after all, it was a hug castle. I crossed off the places where I knew the locations of the other commons to be immediately. I crossed off the dungeons, as well as the tops of the towers.

My third, fourth and a good deal of my fifth year were spent still researching old tales of the Chamber, and searching various rooms throughout the school. A few teachers commented that I looked tired and weary, which was true.

In the summers, I would take library books back to the orphanage with me, and would spend the days locked in my room, studying them. I was desperate to find the entrance, and time was running out. None of the other children bothered me; they were still terrified of me.

In the end, it was a small Ravenclaw girl named Myrtle who helped me find the Chamber. Inadvertently, of course. It was in my fifth year, shortly after I had been made a prefect…

The small, dark haired girl rushed along the corridor, sniffing back tears. That stupid Olive Hornby! The taunts still ran in her head…Stupid Myrtle, ugly Myrtle…

She was so busy running she took no notice of her surroundings. Therefore, it came as a shock when she slammed into another student. She jumped back, and gasped to see the tall Slytherin prefect standing before her. He was two years above her, and quite frightening.

“Oh…sorry,” she gasped.

“Don’t touch me, Mudblood!” he yelled angrily. She started, then spun and raced through the nearest door, the second floor bathroom. She sunk down near the basins and sobbed.

Outside, Tom was wiping down his robes, still muttering in disgust. But he paused suddenly…he knew the girl was a frightful tattletale. While many teachers would brush aside her claims that he had called her a Mudblood, he didn’t want that sort of word to reach the ears of Professor Dumbledore. Groaning to himself, he walked towards the bathroom, disregarding the fact that it was a girl’s one. He entered gingerly, and was relieved to quickly discover it was empty but for Myrtle. She glanced up.

“What do you want?” she snapped grumpily.

“Er…I thought I’d apologise for my overreaction out there,” Tom said with a charming grin. She glared at him silently.

“And, erm, why are you so upset?” he asked her. She sniffed.

“They were teasing me again,” she pouted. “They called me stupid…and ugly…”

He smiled to himself. Silly little girl. Now he knew exactly how to get her onside.

“Ugly? My goodness…don’t listen to them, Myrtle. I, for one, have to say that if you were a couple years older, I would be interested in you.”

She looked up hopefully. “Really?”

He nodded solemnly. “Yes. You are a very attractive girl, Myrtle.”

She perked up quickly, and it took only a few minutes before she had forgotten about the Mudblood slur. She got up to wash her face. She twisted the handle of a tap, but it didn’t work. She shook her head self deprecatingly and moved to the next one.

“What’s wrong with that one?” Tom asked curiously.

“It doesn’t work,” she said matter of factly. “It never has.”

He frowned. It was odd that a tap in a school of magic should not work. He moved forward to inspect it, bending down and twisting the handle curiously. Suddenly he noticed a small mark, disappearing under his hand. He moved his hand away and gasped. Engraved into the tap was a small figure of a snake.


I knew immediately I had found the entrance. It annoyed me that it had been because of a filthy Mudblood that I had found it, but I told myself it had been fate.

It wasn’t long after that that I opened the Chamber. Oh, it was glorious. One of the best times of my life. The Basilisk was easily controllable, and for a period of time I wreaked havoc upon the Mudbloods of the school. Of course, when speaking with teachers, I was doing everything I could to help solve the mystery. But inside, I was thrilled; finally all my research had become productive!

The whole time, however, I had one main thing planned; I needed to kill Myrtle. So far the Basilisk had only caused injuries, as it had been using the pipes, on my orders. But Myrtle was becoming a liability. She knew I had discovered something odd on the sink, even though I hadn’t shown her. She knew that my temper could change from kind and gentle to cruel and hateful. I don’t know if she suspected me then, but it was only a matter of time.

The day I instructed the Basilisk to leave its pipes to pay Myrtle a visit was the first time I had gotten it to leave. There could be no chance that she would survive.

My plan almost backfired however, and it was then I learnt the importance of having a backup plan to anything you do.

I was, by now, sick of returning to the orphanage. So I wrote a letter to Professor Dippet; the old fool loved me, I was sure he would not refuse my plea. But it was then I learnt that the school would most likely close. This was something I had not counted on.

It was here that Hagrid entered my plan. Poor, bumbling Hagrid. I knew from extensive spying that he was, in fact, hiding something dangerous. This would only work to my advantage.

We all know the story of my ‘capture’ of Hagrid, of course. Everyone was so thrilled-good little Tom, good boy, saving us all…and I even got an award.

Dumbledore was always suspicious, of course. He believed Hagrid before me, where all the other teachers believed me. Fortunately for me, his word was not enough, and I succeeded.

That summer, the very first thing I did was buy the diary. I thought of every possible angle, and I recorded the memory, in the hopes that someday, someone would finish the work that I knew I could not.

My sixth year at Hogwarts was reasonably uneventful. I spent most of it planning my next move, my visit to my maternal family. I had to discover where they lived, of course. I hope to also identify my father through that visit.

In the summer between sixth and seventh year, I visited the shack where the Gaunt family lived. Only there wasn’t really a family anymore; merely my uncle, Morfin. It was then I discovered that my father was a common Muggle, one who hated magic, one who had abandoned my mother. Enraged, I set off for the mansion in Little Hangleton, planning the deaths of my paternal family.

My father still lived with my grandparents. I entered their house with magical means, and no servants saw me. They were in the sitting room, all three of them.

“-awfully common, dear,” finished Mary Riddle, the tail end of a long lecture on social status. Her husband, Thomas, and her son, Tom, both nodded their agreement.

The door suddenly clicked open and then shut. None of the three looked up; it would just be a servant, after all. Probably Lucy, the night maid.

“Lucy, I have told you before to knock,” said Mary sharply, not looking up. “And where’s the tea I requested? Honestly…”

The person came into view of the three adults. Mary gasped; Thomas’s brows drew together angrily; Tom appeared shocked. However, the young teenager before them seemed to only be looking at young Master Riddle.

“Hello, Father,” he whispered coldly.


After I had killed my family and framed my uncle, I knew I was destined for great things. I had felt so alive, so elated after the killings, and after the theft of Slytherin’s ring. People would say I was to be the next Minister for Magic, but I knew such a position would never suit me.

The defining part of my seventh and final year at Hogwarts was my conversation with Slughorn regarding Horcruxes. For some time now, the topic that was never far from my mind was that of immortality, and creating a Horcrux-or Horcruxes-seemed the best way to go about it. And so it was that the diary became my first Horcrux.

I ended my years at school spectacularly. I had the best marks in my year, and many of my teachers tried to set me up in the Ministry. But the Ministry did not interest me. I wanted to stand alone, to take on the wizarding world in a way that had never been done before. I wanted to beat even Grindelwald in terror stakes.

But more than anything, by the end of my years I wanted to remain at Hogwarts. It had been my home more than any other place in the world; it had been the one place where I had had the equivalent of friends. I think Dippet would have been happy enough to hire me, really, if only he had stayed in the position longer, or if I had returned sooner.

Armando Dippet sat behind his desk, regarding the young man before him.

“Tom, you did not come here to tell me just that you would miss Hogwarts,” he said quietly. Tom shifted nervously.

“No, sir, I didn’t,” he replied carefully. He hesitated before plunging on with his next words. “Sir, I was wondering if I could take the Defence Against The Dark Arts position? I heard Professor Merrythought was retiring…”

Dippet started. “Teaching? Tom, you…you’re so young. You have your whole life ahead
of you, why would you want to teach?”

“Please, sir, Hogwarts is my home…my only home. I think I would make a good professor, judging by my marks…”

Dippet sighed. “Tom, I have no doubt you would be an excellent teacher. But you understand I cannot let you? Eighteen is far too young to teach, my boy…get out in the world, live a bit. Come back in a few years.”

Tom had argued, but Dippet won. It was late in the day that the young man with raven coloured hair left Dippet’s office. Strode through the corridors, walked purposefully out the front doors. Left the school grounds without looking back, his mission spread before him. He knew what he had to do.


I got my job at Borgin and Burkes almost immediately. A handsome, polite young man such as myself was brilliant for the shop. And it was there that I came into contact with Hepzibah Smith.

Mr Burke spoke of her laughingly; a foolish old woman. A foolish, rich old woman. And she adored me, of course. I was polite, I was charming, I was handsome; Mr Burke sent me to see her often, as he knew I could get almost anything out of her.

The day she showed me the cup and the locket, I knew they had to be mine. I couldn’t resist either one. What better things to turn into Horcruxes, after all? I killed her; she was no big loss to the world, that fussy, cosseted old bat, and I stole both the cup and the locket. They were rightfully mine, anyway; Burke had practically stolen them off my mother. I bewitched the house elf, and in no time at all, I had disappeared.

Ten years. Ten years in which I consorted with a range of people far below me, but people whom I needed. I was ready to do the thing I had not done at Hogwarts; throw away the nice boy image, and begin my journey to become Lord Voldemort. I threw away my handsome looks in favour of ones that would cause more fear. By the time I resurfaced, my transformation was not complete, but it was enough.

In that ten years, I went further with the boundaries of magic than anyone else ever had. And finally, I became properly known as Voldemort. No more was the handsome Head Boy Tom Riddle.

I wanted to return to Hogwarts, though. I was accompanied by my…not friends anymore, more my followers to the village of Hogsmeade. My doings over the past ten years were already being spoken of, and few knew me as the handsome Tom Riddle. My followers had even created a name for themselves-the Death Eaters.

My meeting with Dumbledore did not go well. I knew it was unlikely I would gain the position off him; as I said, he was always the one teacher I could not charm to my will. But it resulted in an argument, and it was that cold, frosty night that Albus Dumbledore became my biggest enemy. I still beat him in a way though; I cursed the position I was refused, and left my mark on Hogwarts forever.

It is hard to describe the next few years; I started to gain power, really gain power. More and more people joined me, and it wasn’t long before I had a faithful army of supporters. The years of my rise were marked with deaths and disappearances, and by the time I came fully out into the open, people were already scared. I created the infamous Dark Mark; the skull, the sign of death, the serpent, the mark of Slytherin. My Death Eaters, by this time both devoted to me and terrified of me, agreed to have the mark burnt into their skin, and it became a calling card.

Even today no-one knows what I got up to in those years. I killed more than they know, tortured more than they found out about.

I knew Dumbledore had created a society to fight me. I knew that they had spies everywhere. So for a time, it became my aim to get a spy in this society. That spy became Peter Pettigrew.

It was laughable, later. He was easy to convince. He felt unappreciated, unwanted. We made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. And so we had a spy in Dumbledore’s society; the Order of the Phoenix.

After that came the prophecy. That blasted prophecy. One of my most loyal Death Eaters at the time-Severus Snape-had heard only the tail end of it. It took some research to work out who the prophecy referred to. Two families; the Potters or the Longbottoms.

The Longbottoms were a pureblooded family, as old as any. The Potters were too, except the wife-Lily-was a Mudblood. Neville Longbottom or Harry Potter. And for reasons unknown even to me, I chose the Potters as my family of choice.

But how to get to them? Wormtail had informed me that they were under the Fidelius Charm, with Sirius Black as their Secret Keeper. I considered torturing him, but I knew he would never surrender the information.

And then it happened. They changed the Secret Keeper to Wormtail. ‘To hide it from the traitor,’ Wormtail explained. I couldn’t have hoped for better luck than this.

So on October 31st, 1981, I went to the Potter house. It shocked them, I remember that. He was a good fighter, James Potter. It was a shame he was so close to Dumbledore, really; he have made a good Death Eater. But eventually I won, as I always did.

The woman pleaded with me for a long time. Tiresome, really. It was foolish of me to overlook the old magic, of course, but in the end I just killed her. But when I cast the spell on Harry…I should have died, of course. My Horcruxes stopped that, thankfully. I truly had ventured far down the path to immortality.

Did I feel bad, afterwards? Orphaning a little baby? No. By this stage, I was too far into Dark magic to care about things like that.

For ten years, I merely existed. I possessed animals, praying for a miracle. And then I stumbled across Quirrell.

It should have worked. My plan was so well thought out and created, it should have worked. Yet, as you all know, I was thwarted yet again by Harry Potter. Seconds away from taking the stone that would have given me immortality, I was beaten. But I was not defeated by any means.

The following year, the diary finally became of use. My teenage self possessed young Ginny Weasley, and her sacrifice almost brought me back to power. But once more, Harry Potter beat me.

By this stage, I was dangerously near to abandoning hope. And then Peter returned to me…

With his help I rose again. I rallied the old crowd and freed some of my most dangerous supporters. And then, one year ago, I moved again into the open.

Now, I can finally see the glimmer of success. Albus Dumbledore is dead, and Harry Potter doesn’t know the location of my Horcruxes.

I will prevail in the end. I will win. You see, as I was all those years ago at the orphanage, I remain different. I do whatever it takes, I sacrifice whatever I need to achieve my end. I am different because I fight for what I believe, and I have more control over the wizarding world than any other.

So you see, I have changed over these years. I have claimed what is mine. Once upon a time I was the victim of the tormentors. Now I am the tormentor. Once I was the one being taunted, now I am the one who taunts.

I am no longer the weak little boy who could not stand up to the bullies. Nor am I the boy who terrified everyone, or the boy who charmed everyone. Tom Riddle is a person of the past.

I am Lord Voldemort, and I remain different.

----

A/N: Thanks for reading. I really hope you liked it! Sorry for the length of it; it’s the longest chapter or one shot I’ve ever done. Before I shut up, I’d like to thank the wonderful Anastasia for her inordinate help and encouragement on this story. This was a really difficult story to write; it took me ages to do it, and I really think I would’ve given up if she hadn’t encouraged me so much. This ones for you, Ana!

Also, like I said, this was incredibly difficult to write, and it’s different to anything I’ve ever done-I think the ending in particular isn’t my best-so your comments are really appreciated on this piece. Thank you!

~Cathryn

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