Theodore looked out the window sullenly, listening to the sounds of pattering rain on the windows and children his age running through the hallways of the orphanage. He found himself staring through that exact window everyday now, peering at the various number of visitors and the people passing by, not give a sideways glance at the bleak building. He often thought what it would be like to walk freely pass a home for parentless children and not batting an eye towards them. Of course, he'd never know. He had been stuck in this place all his life, according to Madam Geoffrey. He was left in a crummy basket with nothing but a worn out blanket and a single note. Of course, there was nobody in sight but he guessed that was usual here. Children dropped off like unwanted packages. Seemed quite barbaric to him. The note was the only thing that was from his past, the key to who he was. He would strain his eyes at the piece of paper, determined for something to happen but no. He was still there. He was still motherless. What could he expect from a simple letter which only revealed one thing? His name.
Theodore was not one to feel conflict within himself. No other ten year old felt that way. Even with his current status of being an orphan, it didn't faze him. The fact that his parents were dead in an unmarked grave somewhere didn't make him feel that sad… and that's what shocked him. The other children cried regularly in their sleep for their mothers, sobbing quietly to themselves under the sheets. The sympathy was there, but empathy? That's what he lacked.
Nights were not usually sleepless but he would stay awake sometimes. For somebody else of course. He had made a single friend who he had been quite attached to all these years. Louise Free. She came some time after Theodore, when he was around four years old. He remembered the day perfectly. He walked past the Madam's office and peered through the gap, seeing a little girl of the same age facing straight to the floor, her wild black curls masking some of her face. She had been alone for her first week until Theodore decided to take her under his wing. Ever since, the two had been inseparable, never to be alone again.
Theodore had realised that he had zoned out for a while as the sky's hue darkened a bit. He faced away from the window and left his small room. Different aged children ran past him, chattering away about their new games and whatnots. He walked in the opposite direction to seek his best friend when he found himself latching onto the Madam's office door, unable to mind his own business. He pressed his ear, listening to the conversation that was behind…
"I must say Professor, it is quite the surprise to see anyone here for him." Madam's fair but stern voice was easy to recognise.
"That's true. Nobody has bothered to pick him up, not a relative, not even someone who was choosing." Sister Gretchen. She was a foul woman who kissed up to the Madam even though it was obvious that she hated the children.
"Then it should be all the more better that I speak with the boy in person, don't you agree?" Now this voice was strange. It was definitely a man, yet he had a soft tone to his voice. Almost soothing. Theodore was fully invested.
"I don't see no reason not to. I guess it would be good for him. He never had anything similar to family. Except for his friend." Madam Geoffrey spoke.
"Then I guess that would be great, m'lady. I wouldn't mind waiting here." Theodore was perplexed by what he was listening to. Somebody, a boy to be specific, was going to speak with this stranger? But to not be adopted by him? He didn't sound like he wanted to take a son onboard. Theodore wanted to hear more of it but tensed up quickly at the sensation of his ears being tugged by cold hands. He slapped them away and spun around to be facing his best friend, who had a goofy smile upon her face.
"Oh my gosh, Theo! You always wiggle when I do that! Your face was too funny!"
"I told you not to do that! Besides, you almost blew my cover, I was doing something important."
"Like spying on the Madam? You don't want to give Gretchen another excuse to lock you in the cellar right? You've been there way too many times before." She blew a curly lock that had rolled onto her right eye but it fell back on it again. Theodore pulled her over to the hallway corner and checked to see if anyone was listening. He then closed in and whispered.
"I've heard that somebody is here for one of us." Louise perked up.
"Really? Do you think they're here for me?"
"No. He said he was looking for a boy." She sulked and pouted at her friends bluntness. "They said that the boy had no family to visit. And that he only had one friend." The young brunette bit her lip for a second to try and think who this lucky person could be. She thought even longer until she tapped Theodore's shoulder rapidly.
"Hey, that could be you! Maybe he's here for you!"
"Are you saying that I have no friends?"
"Correction: you have ONE friend," she replied as she pointed to herself. There was a possibility. Minuscule at the most.
"I don't know. I've never been considered for adoption back then. Why now?" She punched his shoulder lightly while giving him a heartwarming smile.
"Maybe it's fate that has given you a chance. I mean you could get adopted and leave this place! Isn't that what you wanted?"
"But what about you?" Theodore saw her eye twitch ever so slightly but she kept the smile on her face. He couldn't imagine a world without Louise in it. She was the only person that he liked, second person being Madam Geoffrey. Leaving her behind was not something that he had ever thought of.
"I'll be fine, Theo. You don't have to worry about me. I'm the toughest girl you know, remember? Nobody's hurting me." That was what he liked about her. She used to be quiet and meek when they first met, but now she was headstrong, loud and always there when he needed her. She made living in this place bearable.
Unfortunately, there were others who weren't as kind as Louise in the orphanage. Theodore had many confrontations and incidents with the other older children, whether it be teasing him about being parentless (because that made sense) or torturing him with dead animals and defecation on the playground. Those children brought out the worst in Theodore. He'd want them to feel his pain, writhe in suffering and anguish on the spot. And oddly enough, it happened. If he'd gotten enraged but managed to focus hard enough, the children would scream and roll on the floor, crying. He didn't know how he did it but he just did. He didn't need to touch them. Just thinking hard enough would send them over the edge. This was quite sadistic from anybody else's perspective but from Theodore's? It was him trying to survive. And he liked that.
"Yeah," he replied, snapping back to reality.
"If you do go, would you forget me?" He scoffed at the idea.
"You're being ridiculous." Her face beamed up and glowed. She knew that he meant 'never in a million years'. He was just being… Theodore. A sigh of relief was released and the two walked through the corridors and into the dining hall, happy that they were both the most important person in each other's lives. For now.
Theodore raised an eyebrow at the sight of Louise chomping on her chips and fish with her mouth wide open. Theodore knew that being ladylike was not one of her traits. In fact, he didn't know if she would ever close her mouth when she would chew. On his own plate, the chips were slightly stale but edible and the battered fish had its bread skin peeled off. He preferred it like that. Louise called him a weirdo for it. He ate his food quietly among the talkative children when he caught sight of the Madam. She was talking with Gretchen and a few other adults about something. He downed his apple juice while he still gazed at the group. He noticed Louise swiping a few chips off his plate but that was normal. As soon as he placed the cup down on the table, he turned to his friend.
"Do you think-"
He turned his head back to the Madam, who called his name out for everyone to hear. Louise looked confused as her mouth was stuffed with chips. He slowly got up from his seat and made his way to her while everyone stared at him like an animal. A few whispers here and there but he couldn't hear what they had to say. Madam Geoffrey opened the door behind her and led the way for Theodore to follow. His legs were a bit skinny for his age and were pale like his face. His were also a bit long but it suited him well. He had quite the sharp face with interesting features. Although none of the other girls, Louise included, would admit it, Theodore was actually very good-looking, even for his age. His vivid hazel eyes and thick eyebrows somehow dazzled most of the girls but they would never say that to his face or to each other. His cheeks were a bit thin but other than that, he looked as normal as a ten year old could be.
They paced through the empty hallways until they stopped at his room door. Madam didn't face him but the door only. She had a look of worry on her face.
"Madam? Is everything okay?" She realised that the boy had asked a question and turned to him quickly.
"Yes, dear boy. I-I'm fine. Well don't waste time, get in there!" Theodore obeyed as he opened the door and walked in slowly. The room was darker than when he left it but the street lamp that was near his window lit the room well enough. He fixed his eyes on his chair near his desk for a man sat there, staring outside the window.
"Wonderful view, don't you think? Although I would say, being a bit higher up could enhance it, no?" He twisted on the chair to look at Theodore, showing his face to him. The first thing that he had noticed was the silvery long beard that flowed onto his lap. His crooked nose held a pair of half-moon glasses which covered the bright blue eyes that were full of life, despite the obvious age of the man. His clothes looked quite odd with the amount of frills on his coat but it wasn't alarming. Theodore had seen worse. Underneath, he had a simple purple suit with a black waistcoat and a pocket watch hanging out of one of the pockets. This strange man was both odd and wonderful at the same time. Why was that? Theodore wasted no time.
"Who are you? Did you come for me?" The man smiled and answered back.
"To answer your first question son, my name is Professor Albus Dumbledore. And yes. I came for you." Theodore sat on his bed before carrying on the conversation.
"Are you going to adopt me?"
"I wouldn't say adopt. More like… induce you. There is a place for people like you." The boy scoffed.
"Like me? In case you hadn't noticed, I am in that place."
"You are, yet you are not." Dumbledore's cryptic response puzzled Theodore. What was he on about? "What I meant, was that for people who have something about them which makes them… special." Theodore widened his eyes.
"Special as in…"
"Special as in, wanting something to happen so desperately only for it to come true. Something that you've longed for suddenly appears or changes. Have you ever seen anything like that before?"
"I… no." Dumbledore straightened his back to lift himself higher on the chair and leaned in closer.
"It's alright, Theodore. I too, am special," he whispered.
Theodore could see slight hesitation in Dumbledore's eyes with a hint of rue(?) before they became joyful again. He looked over across the room until he saw the image of a woman and her child hanging above the doorway. He pointed towards it which motioned Theodore to face it. He couldn't see it at first but after a few tries, he saw. The woman swung her child around as they laughed together playfully. But that wasn't right. That was a picture. A painting. Not one of those animated screens like the television. This was.. this was… amazing. He walked over to it and looked up to the image. The occupants both waved to which he waved back, still in shock. He turned to Dumbledore once again.
"How did you do that?"
"Magic, dear Theodore. You could do it too, if you practise and refined your gifts."
"I could do that," he whispered to himself. This was overwhelming. He couldn't wait to tell Louise!
"And so much more, dear child! I sense within you great aptitude and power. It comes natural to you after all. You are capable of great things! Great, great things!"
"But where will I learn? Would you teach me?" Theodore asked eagerly. He wasn't skeptical about the concept of magic as he knew that something had to be different about him. He just didn't know what. Dumbledore chuckled at the boy's enthusiasm. He cleaned his glasses with a cloth in his pocket while answering the desperate boy.
"Not me specifically. There is a school for children like you. Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. And I'm the headmaster of the said school. You'll learn the ways of magic extensively until you are trained and ready to go about through your life after your time at Hogwarts is over."
'Life after school. I never gave it that much thought.'
"Professor, how do you know that you're right? That I am a wizard. You didn't make a mistake?" Dumbledore wagged his finger while closing his eyes.
"Absolutely not, dear boy! I know for a fact that you are 100% a wizard and that you will go to the finest school for the great talent that lies inside you!" The boisterous personality of the elderly man made Theodore crack a smile, something that only Louise had accomplished. If he was right, if he was really a wizard, then that meant he could use magic to leave the orphanage with Louise and find someplace to stay forever. This was too perfect.
"Okay, okay, okay! A few more questions! Is this place only for wizards? Is it far? How big is it? Did you go there? How many others are there?" Dumbledore tackled each one with absolute ease.
"And for witches. Quite. Very big. Yes and around 300." Theodore was impressed. The Professor seemed surreal, but wasn't he though? He had made a painting come to life and he was the headmaster of a magical school. There was no telling what he was capable of. Theodore had thought that he had cleared out all of his questions until two more came into mind.
"Just two more. Can I tell my friend about this? That I'm a wizard?"
"I'm afraid not. As far as I know, you are the only one with magical descent in this building. Everybody else here are not like us. They are what we call 'Muggles'. Non-magical folk. Makes it easier for everyone if they didn't know about us." Theodore was upset that he couldn't tell her. He told her everything. Secrets were never kept between them. He held his disappointment in as he asked the second question.
"Were my parents Muggles? Or were they like me?"
"They were magical, yes."
Theodore was hoping for a more thorough answer but instead left it. His parents were probably just as average as he thought they were before today. But to leave him in a Muggle orphanage, was strange to him. Surely, wizards and witches could be orphans as well. His thoughts were interrupted as Dumbledore handed a letter to him. Theodore took it into his hand and opened it up. Dumbledore stood up and fixed his flowing beard. It made him look taller, oddly enough.
"Inside on the list are all the school equipment that you'll need for the first year. I will be back soon so that we can go together. Then, you could finally see the world of magic before your eyes. I trust that you are still up for it?" The boy nodded his head eagerly while reading the list off a folded piece of parchment. He carried on reading until he remembered one more thing.
"Wait." Dumbledore halted at the door and turned to Theodore. "I can also do one other thing... I can speak to snakes. Understand them. They hiss at me, but I know what they say. They tell me things... They find me. Do they teach something like that in Hogwarts?"
Dumbledore was frozen. He clutched the doorknob in his palm. His eyes seemed quite… dead. The liveliness that he exhibited before vanished. Silence wrapped around him until he responded quietly.
And like that, Theodore was alone in his room. He gripped the letter, being careful to not tear it apart. He felt as if a piece of him had been restored. Only a piece of him. There was much to find out and to uncover. Dumbledore didn't say who his parents were. Were they heroes, evil or simply, were they just not special? Questions needed to be answered. He was determined to know who he really was. And nothing was going to stop him.
He walked over to his cupboard and opened up a draw from within. He pulled it out and inside were a few possessions that he had kept over all his years of being in Stuggle's Orphanage for Boys and Girls. A pearl from Gretchen's room that he had taken when he was five, a toy figurine from one of the adults that worked in the orphanage, a silver chain that he and Louise found in the playground bushes and the very note that had been with him since he was found on the doorstep of the orphanage. He placed the Hogwarts letter aside and picked up the older note in his hand and unfolded it slowly. He read the words that he recited for over seven years in his head. Those special words that he thought about day and night.
"His name is Theodore Silas Riddle."
The words stared at him, burning into his eyes until a knock on the door broke him out of the trance. He placed it back inside and closed everything before opening the door. A familiar black haired girl stood in front of him with her hands behind her back. She invited herself in and plopped onto the bed, acting as if Theodore was the visitor. He rolled his eyes as he closed the door and sat on the chair near the desk.
"What did you guys talk about?" He scratched his arm as he remembered what Dumbledore had said.
"We talked about me going to a different school."
"Really? What's it called?"
"Um, it's called... Tugforts." Louise raised an eyebrow.
"Tugforts? I've never heard of that school before."
"That's because it's really far away. Like in Scotland or something." The girl's demeanour changed as she realised what it meant if the school was far away. She looked down on her lap as her locks of hair fell to her face. Theodore felt terrible that he was lying to her but what was he supposed to say? She was a Muggle. Not a witch. He didn't want to ruin his chance of learning magic because he told her. It be for nothing. But the least he could do was console her. He placed himself next to her left and poked a finger in her side. She squirmed but did not laugh. He poked her again and again until she cackled as she fought him off. She was too easy.
"Stop it, I'm supposed to be sad!"
"Don't be. I'm not leaving forever. I'll come back in the holidays. I'll even bring you a present." Her sparkling emerald eyes gazed right into his hazel ones.
"You mean that?" He nodded. Louise kicked her feet together to show that she was touched. Both of them had weird ways of showing affection but they've been together for so long that they were used to it. The children were both silent among each other before Louise reached to behind her neck. She loosened her necklace and handed it to Theodore who instantly refused.
"Take it! Stop being boring and take it, man."
"But that's your father's! It's the last thing you have of him. You said it helped remind you of him all the time."
"Well now it's going to help remind you of me, so that you won't forget." He rolled his eyes once more. Didn't he get the message through the first time?
"I won't forget you, geez. With the amount of times you tell me, I definitely won't." Louise locked her arm with his as she placed her head on his shoulder. The boy blushed. He didn't attempt to brush her off. If it were the other way around, it wouldn't have been the same but other than that, he was moved by her gesture.
"Time for bed! Get your little behinds in your beds, now!" Gretchen screeched. Louise jumped a bit, as did Theodore, and skipped to the door. She gave him a small wave before closing the door behind her. Theodore ran to his cupboard and quickly changed into his pyjamas. He bounded straight underneath his sheets as the door swung open in the split second his head hit the pillow. He closed his eyes, expecting Gretchen to scream for seeing him out of his bed, but she was mute. The door slammed shut and Theodore looked over his shoulder to check if she had left the room truly. She had caught him using that trick many times. No, this time he was truly alone in his room. He sunk his head deep into his pillow and brought his hand to his face upon seeing a golden glow shine into his eye. Louise's necklace was still in his hand. It was a beautiful piece of jewellery, a circular golden ring with a diamond heart inside. There were words etched onto the ring but seemed too small to read. He stuffed it underneath his pillow and forced himself to go sleep, rewinding the day from when he first woke up to when he slept. This was a day like no other. He was happy, almost jubilant that he had known what he was, completely unaware of how his story was a dark tale to which some would call, 'The Curse of the Father'. Theodore didn't know how much weight was held in his last name, that had been tainted, defiled and ruined by his own blood…
I've stepped into the sacred territory that is known as the Harry Potter Fanfiction. I actually found this years ago from when I was twelve and obsessed with Harry Potter. I think I need to read them all again to refresh my memory. It was much shorter but seemed good enough to develop into a story. This was all edited at like 4 in the morning so there could be a few mistakes here and there. Love it or hate it, this one is going full speed ahead, please leave a review or check my other story, thanks. Later
P.S. Some of the events within the original story has been altered to that mine could fit in, so if anybody seems different then just know it was intended.