The first year of my exile didn’t really count toward my reckonings. I was a lost being then, a lost entity. Not a soul though, definitely not a soul. I had lost the privilege of an untainted soul many years since. My world was drowned in darkness, an abstract gloom harder to penetrate than any other. I would have to make sacrifices to move forward, I would have to first admit defeat. But I would never disgrace myself in such a manner- I have never been defeated and it will remain so. They may tell you that I had met my match, that I had ended, ceased to exist, but they are wrong. I had not ended, I had just fallen. One must sometimes fall in order to emerge more powerful and mightier than ever before- which is surely what I plan, no, what I will do.

The first year of my reckoning began on a wintery day. The ground was a frozen mass of ice and for the first time since my misstep, I could feel. The first feeling that my being was able to encompass was a sense of bitter despair. It manifested itself as a cold, dull sensation, hammering against my figurative heart. I couldn’t quite fathom its origins, it was just there. Hunger came next. I fed twice that day, my body slithering against the cold ground, rejoicing in the rediscovered feelings that were only just beginning to recolor my pitiful existence. There was a third feeling too, one that I could not identify, but one that held me captive under its steely clutches. Time was an abstract concept that year; I marked its passing only by the changing seasons.

I recognized a purpose during my second year of reckoning. An echo of a memory had made itself known to me. It was a base imitation of a feeling, that cold, cruel sense of purpose that I had always associated with murder. That year, I committed my first real murder since my fall, the first unnecessary death. Not a victim of my growing appetite, not a future meal to assuage my hunger, but a murder to feed my vanity. A fellow serpent was infringing on my territory. He was injured, unable to move. I could sense his fear as I approached. He knew that I was different, I could sense his awareness. He struggled and then he was no more. I was suddenly filled with that feeling that I had craved, that sense of purpose. I felt invincible. I felt like my old self for that instant, but there was that feeling again. The feeling I did not want to identify. The feeling that held me captive under its steely clutches.

The beginning of the third year of my reckoning brought with it a string of memories. Foremost in my mind was the pain at separation on that dreadful day. I was in limbo, the pain was so real yet at the same time it was just a distant memory, part of another lifetime. It formed a wall around my thoughts that I couldn’t penetrate for the better part of that year. I dwelled on memories of the faces of those who had been under my control. My death eaters, the powerless who seek to prey on the gains of the powerful. They were mere mortals after all- they needed to be wielded and molded, made to believe that I, being the all powerful being that I am, was the one that could bring them the power that they so desired. They needed to be deceived; they needed to believe that I would share. And they did believe! So where were they now? What was holding them back?

I had never felt this way before. I had never needed anyone before. I felt…but, no…I won’t say it. That feeling had me under its steely clutches and I was slowly losing hope. Well, not hope per say, for hope is only for mere mortals and pure souls- rather, I began to lose sight of my purpose, my motivations were lacking. The darkness was winning, becoming more compact than ever before. I found my anger, but, where before anger had been motivation enough, it now immobilized me, trapped me in a haze of strong emotions that I could not escape.

I let my guard down in the fifth year. I inadvertently relaxed my hold on that rigid state of non-feeling and was forced to relive the memory I had subconsciously been suppressing. The night of my downfall, the excruciating pain that I had never felt the likes of before, and that sickly innocent face. That face was going to pay dearly. I had been lost in the darkness, feeding and breeding darkness when that face first occurred to me. The memory was so raw I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t broken through the haze before. They called him my downfall, my end. They celebrated in his name and thought that he was possessed of some sinister power with which he was able to vanquish the greatest wizard alive.

The memory of his face, his little hands flailing around and his green eyes shining, filled me with so much hate, so much spite- that I passed the next three years in a rage. I would go days without moving, just thinking, drowning in thoughts and plans. The darkness began to disperse; there was no light, just clarity, purpose. I had always thought that my quest for power would trump everything, would be my source of comfort in those dark days, but it was spite and malice that kept me going. I lived, breathed, ate- all with spite. They would all be proven wrong and they would regret ever doubting me. They would sorely regret it.

The beginning of my eighth year of reckoning brought with it a definite change. It was in the shape of a pale, spineless man of sorts- very easy to ensnare. He reeked of the innocence and naiveté of youth. I trapped him, he was traversing recklessly in the forests of Albania with bright notions of the future, not a care in the world, when I wrapped myself around his legs and possessed his soul. He had dark secrets that he usually kept under wraps, a desire for power- he would make for the perfect disposable. He wasn’t of much importance to the world, just a teacher. I could station myself at the place where it had all begun; he told me of the stone- it would be mine. This was what I had been waiting for, but there was still that nagging feeling, the one that held me captive under its steely clutches, the one I shouldn’t have to identify. I would be at the mercy of a mere mortal.

The days passed quickly. I grew stronger and had a firmer hold on him. He was going to do my bidding, we were headed back to Scotland and all was going according to plan.

I don’t know where I went wrong after that. My plans had been foiled by the headmaster, the man who was too weak to seek the power that he could surely become master of if he so wanted. He was a mere mortal. I would not be waylaid by a mortal! We would work past the obstructions. I pushed Quirrell to find the details to all the protections surrounding the stone; he was more proficient than I had hoped.

And now, in the tenth year of my reckoning, as I stare back into that sickly innocent face, the one that had haunted me during my exile, I can afford to identify that feeling. I was about to lose it all again because of a little boy.

I felt powerless.



So this piece kind of sprung into my mind in response to the writer's duel category Within This Decade. I hope you liked it- please leave a review...double chocolat chip ice cream up for grabs :)

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