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Riddle Me This

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Descendant of the serpent. Disgraced line. Mother barely a squib. Aristocrat father. But magic? He had not. Tom Riddle was always doomed. 


Boy in an orphanage. Ignorant of parentage. RIP the poor rabbit. No one to like him, no one to love him, no one who understood him. Borderline a genius, but none of them cared. Not even one. 

 

Found a cave. On a cliff. By the waters. Rocks everywhere. Not a great holiday. But still the best he ever had. No one cared for him. So who would care about the other children? The mean ones. Name callers. They hated him. He hated them. It was balanced. 

 

Except it was not. He was special. He knew he was. None of them knew. Not that they would care. None of them understood. Him. Magic. Who’d believe? 

 

Two children disappeared. No one cared - the first day. People said they must have run away. Nobody knew where. One boy knew, but he weren’t tellin’. He didn’t care.

 

Took a week, it did. They found them. Near the cave. There was no funeral. 

 

And so Tom Riddle knew for sure. Nobody cared about the orphans. 


An old man. Yet he looked young. Strange, too. White bumblebee. The boy couldn’t see a sting. But he knew it was there. 

 

Said he was magic. The boy smiled. So that was what it was. That he had. How… fascinating. 

 

A school. Hogwarts. Strange name. But he’d always loved school. It was an escape. Not safe. Nowhere was safe. 

 

Except maybe Hogwarts. 

 

And then the wardrobe burned. 


Second hand. Still better than what he’d had. 

 

Yet. It made him wonder. How good was magic, when none of them used it? How good was magic, when everywhere he could see the hate? 

 

Mudblood.  

 

But it was magic. Of course he was excited. 

 

Waiting was hell. 


Sorted into the snake house. He felt like he belonged. Almost. 

 

Still the stares. The whispers. The hate. 

 

Mudblood.  

 

He succeeded in his classes. Sneered at the haters. He was better. And he knew it. 

 

None of them cared. Students, or teachers.

 

They didn’t even understand him. It rankled him. 

 

Well, he’d always known he was alone. 


Spoke to a snake. 

 

Parselmouth.  

 

Now they respected him. Feared him. 

 

But it was late. Too late. 

 

They’d already shown their true colors. 

 

He was as alone as he’d ever been. 


He searched for the Chamber. 

 

Slytherin’s monster, or so they said. 

 

Was it a search for ancestry, or a wish for revenge? He didn’t know. He didn’t care. 

 

He just knew he’d find it. 

 

No matter their doubts. 

 

They knew nothing. 


Went back for the summer. The not normal, not normal, magic was normal muggles were bad as ever. He hated them. They hated him. But they knew nothing. He was superior. He was magic. 

 

They said he couldn’t use it. But why would they care? No one cared about him. 

 

He’d done it before. They’d never noticed. 

 

He had magic. Summer could have been bearable. 

 

If not for the bombs. 


Muggle war. Wizard war. He hated both. What idiots. 

 

He admired Grindlewald, a bit. But if he were a Dark Lord, he’d be more clever. 

 

Shows of strength were fine. He was powerful. 

 

But no one else could be trusted. 

 

Never. 

 

Taking over by force was impossible. 

 

He had charm as well as power. 

 

Taking over with politics? 

 

Now that was an idea. 


Returned to Hogwarts. 

 

He was a Prefect now. 

 

He had power. 

 

They hated him still. 

 

But it didn’t matter. 

 

None of it mattered. 

 

He found the Chamber. 

 

Open.  

 

Let the basilisk loose. 

 

The weaklings panicked. 

 

He exalted in their fear. 

 

But it went too far. 

 

A girl died. 

 

He hadn’t meant it. 

 

Regret. 


Dumbledore was watching him. 

 

He daren’t try again. Hogwarts would be closed. 

 

At least that half breed was gone. 


He graduated. 

 

Top grades all round. 

 

No one cared. 

 

At least the war was over. Both of them. 

 

Though he could swear the parties were louder than the bombs. 


The COW Party was a joke. 

 

But he was smart, he was charming. 

 

He had power. 

 

He rose up the ranks. 

 

Became the leader. Renamed it. 

 

Oh. he’d save their world alright. And how they’d love him for it. 

 

He’d make them pay. 

 

There may have been a few suspicious deaths in those years. Dragon pox. How terrible. No one suspected him.  


Turned down for the Defence post. He’d never wanted it anyway. 

 

Dumbledore was a puppet, playing by his strings. 

 

He’d got into the castle, that was what was important. 

 

Went back to passing legislation. 

 

He was a snake, waiting to strike. 


Mudbloods barred from Hogwarts. He’d long since stopped flinching at that… term. 

 

More laws. 

 

And now he’d caught that little Snape boy in his trap. 

 

He might not be loyal, but at least he was amusing.

 

Oh, how he enjoyed this. 

 

Then came October 31st 1981. The Split, as it’d later be known. 

 

Halfbloods barred, among other things. 

 

Ironic. He was counted among them, even though he was superior. The purebloods were hardly as good as they claimed. He was better than them all.

 

No good, no evil. Only power. And that was what he had. 

 

He was weak no more. 


Ten years passed. 

 

The Light - what a joke - could hardly counter him by now. 

 

But the Dark were fading. 

 

His power was waning. 

 

One generation, maybe two, until the end came. 

 

He cared nothing for them. They hadn’t cared for him. But they were the base of his power. 

 

He had to do something. 

 

They’d probably give him a meaningless award. 


Sent a servant into Hogwarts. 

 

Snape wouldn’t do, everyone knew he was a spy. 

 

Snivelling, stuttering Quirrel. Loyal enough. 

 

Sickness spread. 

 

Panic. 

 

The goal was near. 

 

Dumbledore would fall. There’d be no more opposition. 

 

Until the Black Heir did the impossible. 

 

His ploy had failed. But 

 

Tom Riddle smiled. He hadn’t had a challenge like this in years. 


He watched the boy carefully. 

 

Nothing special. Not at first glance. 

 

No aura, though. Peculiar. 

 

Claimed he wasn’t interested in politics, but no one could escape. Not someone as powerful as him. Just a boy, but he could shift the balance. 

 

A part of him envied the boy. Pureblood. Powerful. Influential. Probably never had to want for anything in his life. 

 

An enigma. One he was going to solve. 


The sickness may have failed. 

 

But there were other ways. 

 

He still had his Horcrux. 

 

Lucius might hate him for putting his dear son in danger. But there was no denying he was the best placed for this. 

 

He let slip the Diary. 


Everything was going so well. 

 

Dumbledore suspected him, no doubt. 

 

But no one else knew. 

 

Until they did. 


Black again. He really was becoming rather a nuisance. 

 

The boy thought he was so clever. 

 

The blackmail wasn’t quite good enough. 

 

A more worthwhile opponent than ever, at least. 

 

Even if it was only luck (only luck could explain it all).

 

And so much potential. 

 

If he could be tamed. 


Third time lucky, or so he hoped. Divination was ever woolly, and superstition was weak. But he had no doubts. None at all. 

 

The rat could try, this time. Sentimentality would not sway him from the cause. 

 

Attempts to find the jewel kept failing. 

 

He was angry now. It wasn’t even Black’s doing, this time. 

 

Pettigrew had not been swayed by sentimentality. Power had done it instead. 

 

But he was more powerful than that rat would ever be. 


Even now, fifty years on, Dumbledore still defied him. 

 

But he wasn’t even the one to defeat the rat. 

 

Black again. He almost laughed. Of course the boy would be mixed up in this. 

 

Against all odds, Black had survived. Killed Pettigrew, destroyed the jewel. 

 

He told himself that he’d never needed such trinkets. 

 

It was a lie. 


The World Cup was a disaster. 

 

Black wasn’t even there. 

 

The trouble was his own self. Voldemort had formed an army.  

 

Yet he had fifty years more experience. No way could he lose. 


Plans for the True Triwizard were going ahead. 

 

Black would be sure to win. It shouldn’t be hard to get him to take part. 

 

Except it was. 

 

What did he want? 

 

Neither power nor love persuaded him. 

 

There had to be something. Everyone wanted something. 


The Vow was an inconvenience, nothing more. 

 

It only benefited him to claim he didn’t support Voldemort. 

 

He couldn’t be associated with terrorists. 

 

Black would win. 

 

Pureblood supremacy would be proven. 

 

Support would skyrocket. 

 

The other part he’d find a way around. 

 

He knew there was a loophole. 

 

He was never wrong. 


First, second, third tasks: success. 

 

Black had shown himself to be the best. 

 

He’d keep it up, or suffer the consequences. 

 

A shame he still seemed resistant to mentoring. 

 

He’d crack him eventually. 


Tasks four and five. Intriguing. 

 

That blood ward. 

 

Black had avoided the one in the second task, but not this. Inconsistent in his paranoia. 

 

The drug, maybe. 

 

No. There was something else going on. 

 

Rigel Black was an enigma that wouldn’t be solved. 


Sixth task. 

 

Final task. 

 

A maze. 

 

Black would win. Supremacy would be assured. 

 

Dumbledore would fall and Tom Riddle would rise. 


Boy in an orphanage. 

 

Wizard and politician. 

 

The ruler of the world. 

 

Tom Riddle: his past, present and future.

 

He smiled.