All things Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling.
Behind Blue Eyes are song lyrics by The Who. St. Paulís name was taken
from the biblical story of his conversion on the Road to Damascus. Karma Police is
the title of a song by Radiohead. The animal magic
history was based upon the mythological
studies of D.J. Conway.
gratitude is sent to Wynne, Freelancer, and Faelaern
for beta-ing, to SlashQueenofEngland
for Brit-picking, to Ronniekins for insightful
reading, to Helena Malfoy, letylyf
and Palia for their support, to the Hogwarts Destiny
crowd for listening to me moan and offering support, suggestions, and an
environment that let me explore Tom, and to GangsterSteph
and Ruxi for their fanart
of Tom, Snicks, Sophie, Annie, Dumbledore, Sammy, Simon, and Randy. Links to
the fanart can be found in the reviews thread, deviantart, or emailed should any request. And, of course,
to JKR, who gave me this magical background to play in for years on end.
No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes
No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies
But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free
No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you
No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through
But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free
When my fist clenches, crack it
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, please tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool
If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat
No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes
It isn't much. A little black leather, a brass buckle, some worn pages
My smears. My words, my thoughts, my voice, my story. My life, before me.
What does it hold? A version. An account, faithfully kept all these
years, yet it is hardly truer than the memories themselves. Truth can become
more factual with age, when emotions ease and a distant perspective takes hold.
But that is not what this is.
I close it softly, the wind gusting through helping to flip the pages to
its end. The windows are stuck askew, leaving me to wonder if any windows
besides the ones at Hogwarts work. Not that it
matters. The decrepit steam-train rattles forward in worn yet determined chugs
through the surrounding Transylvanian forests, and the fresh air cuts the
stench of burnt chips and the conductor's mint and whiskey-laced sweat. The
fact that the train moves at all is a miracle, but it has remained in business
long enough to be of use to me, and that is all that matters.
I place the diary beside me on the seat, feeling the wind whip right
through me. Alongside my past are my acquisitions for the future, boxes
of odd shapes brimming with horrific and hard-won wonders. The nervous energy
those treasures exude is contagious and I relish it, fingering the paper casing
with anticipation. Next to the great, throbbing power in the bags and air, the
old book seems worn and pitiful.
Well, it is over, really. And none know better than I the account of Tom Marvolo Riddle.
I direct the diary outward, letting the wind and my wand carry it out the
window. When I need it, it will come back. For now, it is...
1: Happy Christmas, and Other Oxymorons
"...Nothing, really." I spoke softly, answering the overheard
question to myself. "That's what it's like to be an orphan on
Christmas." Honestly, how dim-witted were the couples that came to
purchase a family? The ones who held my undetected attention now, a small, balding soprano and an
aging smoker, were forcing their inane questions on little Jiminy. Jiminy was
too focused on the fact that someone was finally paying attention to him to
care that they behaved as if they were at a kennel, making sure he could fetch
and was paper-trained. I would have kicked my own shins before I ever acted so
subserviently. Jiminy, however, was positively preening in his worn suit,
proudly doing turns on request to show off the hand-me-downs. The hopeful
hunger in his eyes made me shift my gaze, embarrassment welling higher inside
me the longer I watched. I was glad no one was looking at me with interest. I
Instead, I stared at the tree, half-decorated garishly and situated in a
prime location at the center of the room. In one hand I still held an ornament
which had to be placed on the sparse branches. It was tradition at the
orphanage Christmas party that all the children parade about and hang up
ornaments on Christmas Eve. All of it was done for adults who seemed to think
that the most creative idea in the world was to adopt on this holiday. I had dubbed
it orphan season, like rabbit season. Yes, I know, I was bursting with
"Marvolo, what are you doing?" It was,
of course, the headmistress of the orphanage twittering beside me. Turning, I
found Mrs. Blunt, dressed prudishly in a prim long dress and wide belt, with
wafts of hair uncharacteristically falling out of her strict bun. However, the
overall effect was still severe enough to tighten my stomach. While it probably
lacked in current fashion, her appearance more than fit her dismal personality.
However, right then she was far more festive than I'd ever seen her before. Her
hollow cheeks were red and she seemed pleased with yet harried by the event so
far. Decidedly she was puffed up on self-congratulations, though Iíd heard
someone say something of whiskey-laced eggnog.
Automatically, I responded to her address. She, her husband, and her son
often called me Marvolo, never Tom. There were too
many of us apparently, so it was easier for them to call us by our middle names
or our last names. I didnít mind much at that point. What was in a name, truly?
Eyeing her with forced politeness, I replied. "Bearing good tidings and
From the way her small eyes narrowed, I supposed that I had gotten the line
wrong. "You have been standing there for twenty minutes not putting
your decoration on the tree, and with that terrible smirk!" Mrs. Blunt
replied angrily, though on her face she kept a plastic smile to display to her
guests. Her voice merely dropped, turning more hissing in its disdain.
Glancing down, I examined the ornament in my hand. It was a small golden
ball, decidedly smaller than Madam Blunt's mouth.
Once I hung it up there on a branch it would get lost in the cluttered crowd
anyway. Still, I didn't see anything productive to be gained by arguing with
the woman, so I strolled over and carefully placed the ball on the tip of a
branch. Without smiling, I immediately backed up and felt her manicured hand
fall upon my frayed shirt.
"Riddle, what are we going to do with you? You absolutely refuse to
make any effort to participate in the events we hold here. Don't you know
you're not getting any younger? This is the best season. Members of the British
Council have even been invited!" Her voice rose to propagate that
statement, dropping off then to continue, "there are so many people here, good
people, charitable, who are willing to take children in, even ones like you,
and still you make no effort to socialize!" Mrs. Blunt seemed caught
between her anger and frustration.
Lovely woman, wasn't she? I'd have gladly bet a thousand pounds that she didn't
even know my age. All she knew was that I was a half-life. Maybe she thought we
aged differently than humans, like dogs. Most likely, she just didn't even
think about it. I shouldn't give her the credit of thought.
"I forgot that I was in season. Where is the auction block again?"
She might have been too tipsy to comprehend it, or perhaps she never really
listened when I spoke, but either way my comment went ignored. Instead, she
steered me toward a group of chattering adults. Two of them stopped conversing
and stared at me, and then began whispering frantically. Looking at the man, I
felt nervous for some reason, and began subconsciously fingering the cross on a
chain that hung around my neck. It was real silver, probably worth more than my
life at one point, though by now it was so chipped and marred it was of no
interest to any but me. In sneaking into the office to see my files years ago,
I had found out that my father had left it to me before I was born. Still, it
wasn't overtly special. Almost all the children at the orphanage wore some kind
of religious symbol, but I hadn't really the faith. To be honest, I didn't know
why I kept wearing it, but I felt strange without it on. Plus, it was an
excellent thing to play with to calm my nerves.
The woman, dressed in an oddly fashioned purple dress and cloak, eyed me and
made a wild gesture to her associate as Mrs. Blunt was guiding me aside. Even
without being much aware of current society, I found her appearance strange.
She smiled, not unkindly, and motioned for Mrs. Blunt to stop. Mrs. Blunt, her
eyes wide with shock, stepped aside and crossed her arms, clearly saying that I
had better be on my best behavior, or else.
"Hello dear, what's your name?" the woman asked in a tone that
didn't fully belie her sharp eyes.
Red lips stretched wide across her face, far tighter than her flowing gown. One
of her hands clutched the arm of her associate. The man merely stood at her
side, watching with keen eyes and occasionally stroking his dark beard. He had
the solid bearing of famous military generals I'd seen pictures of in books,
ones whose surety came from strength of mind as well as muscle.
After quickly looking them over I replied, "Tom Marvolo
Riddle." Always give your full name, I had been told. The more names you
had, the more impressive a prospect you sounded. As I answered, the tone of my
voice sounded oddly familiar.
"And how old are you?"
"Almost eleven." Stand taller, and look proud. Iíd also been told
children were supposed to try and impress the adults. I found myself doing it,
but didnít have time to dwell on it. I was quickly realizing that I had morphed
into Jiminy in my behavior
She nodded quickly, accepting my responses but eagerly chiming in with new
replies such as, "my, Tom, you're certainly tall for your age." Her
focus upon me was disconcerting, and Iíd yet to learn to hold my tongue.
"Really? That's a relief. I always thought I was just surrounded by
leprechauns." Recall that feeling of eyes burning into you? Who do you
suppose was doing that to me at that moment?†
Ignoring the glare, I added, "I - I mean, thank you." My ruse
didn't work. The couple looked perplexed for a moment, and then the man pulled
the woman aside. Both turned their backs to me and resumed whispering. As if I
had never existed.
Chest clutching a bit I turned and saw Mrs. Blunt looking furious and
embarrassed. In her low hiss she spat, "Riddle, get out of my sight. We'll
deal with you later."
Lovely. I was on the verge of returning to being my usual festive self when
she blocked my way again, saying, "No, Mr. Blunt will see you in his
"Now?" I asked, trying to hide my surprise. It was an unusual
command; they never did business or dealt with the children during a party.
Every other year I was in trouble I had been sent to see them the next morning.
Mrs. Blunt swayed. She tried to fix a steady, stern look at me, but ended up
glaring at a plant. In a voice more croaky than disdainful she said, "of course
now, Marv - Marvlo - Marvavolo - oh, just go!" Well, I'd rarely been called
smart - and then, it was often suspiciously too smart - but I didn't
need to be told twice to leave. I all but ran to the other end of the
orphanage, my footsteps creaking on the broken floor, slipping where rain and
snow had come through the cracked roof. The orphanage had been converted from
an abandoned farmhouse long ago, refurbished with brick and left to decay from
neglect. Still, it had an interesting structure to it with many nooks and
crannies, and overall it was worn but functional. The Blunts' quarters were
downstairs, as was the kitchen, hall, dining room and study. Mr. Blunt's office was hidden in a corner, away from the noise
of the children who slept upstairs.
I wondered why he was here, locked away in his office on the night of the
party. As I stood in front of the thick wooden door as I had countless times
before, I felt oddly nervous. Perhaps it was an after-effect of seeing the man
with the keen eyes a moment ago, or the built-up nerves caused by a wearing
night. Either way, there wasn't a chance I'd show any Blunt such emotion if I
could resist. Steeling myself, I forced a calm smile onto my face and knocked,
listening to the echoing rattle. It took him forever to answer, his slow steps
trickling through audibly. I remained still, listening to the heavy thuds
crossing the floor inside, and the creaky chain being lifted before the door
Mr. Blunt...how to describe him? He didn't appear overtly mean, maybe a bit
hardened around the eyes. Rather, he was a tired looking man in his
middle-years, with thinning black hair and a beard. His clothing hung oddly
around his disproportionate form, which was thin in some parts, portly in
others. It seemed that his naturally skinny frame was in constant combat with
the unhealthy eating and drinking habits he never seemed to have the will to
curb. Whenever he stared at me I noticed that his face was a mixture of white
and red, and when he wasn't giving in to bouts of hysteria, he had a look of
quiet pity and regret. His clothes were nice but old, in blandly drab colors,
nothing at all like Mrs. Blunt or their son Trevor. Only a pair of snappy
wing-tipped shoes separated him from the dull atmosphere of his study.
Tonight was no different as I stared at him. Mr. Blunt smiled at me, once he
made sure his wife was not around. Waving me in, careful to avoid any actual
physical contact with me, he said in a broken voice, "Hello, Marvolo. Take a seat." I did so, feeling smaller than
moments ago. He sometimes caused that to happen.
The room was somehow simultaneously cluttered and yet it felt empty, like
all of the rooms at the orphanage. It was a mixture of dull grey and dark brown
wood, with faded furniture that at least matched. A calendar hung on the wall,
but other than that and a small window overlooking a desolate landscape, the
walls were bare. The fireplace was unlit, without even any wood present to
collect dust. A solemn candle sat dripping in the corner of the desk next to a
pile of papers, giving off a pathetic light. The contrast between this room and
the festive party down the hall was astounding. Call me morbid, but I preferred
this room. It was more real. I breathed a sigh of relief once the door shut and
most of the scratchy carols droning from the victrola
I took a seat on a hard wooden chair, fingering my chain. Mr. Blunt saw me
and blanched, and quickly I dropped my hand. I knew that this bothered him, and
I had no desire to make him suffer. Mr. Blunt didn't seem to hate me, and I was
quick to capitalize on that fact whenever I could by seeming to act as he
wished me to. And, wellÖ it was simply nice to have someone who didnít seem to
detest me all the time. No matter what, though, the emotion radiating from his
was still decidedly far from warm. I could see he felt pity for me, accompanied
by an obvious fear. He said over and over again that I was cursed since birth,
having demon blood in me. I didn't really know what that meant, though I
wouldn't ask even if I could. In any event, I was not supposed to show any
signs of abnormality, inhumanity, or unchristian behavior. I didn't know how
playing with a cross was abnormal, but then, I hardly needed another lecture
about how I was going to burn in hell.
Mr. Blunt sat at his desk, staring somewhere above my head. "Marvolo, what did Mrs. Blunt and I repeatedly say to you
Like I had listened. I had no reason to, for it was the same thing they had
been telling me repeatedly for years. By rote I replied, "No funny
business. Nothing out of the ordinary is to happen, especially today."
Mr. Blunt nodded, re-emphasizing, "Especially not today. Today
is special for everyone, not just the children hoping to be adopted."
I nodded. "Right. It's also the birth of your Lord."
"Of everyone's Lord, Marvolo."
"Right. That's what I meant."
Mr. Blunt sighed heavily. I did the same, more in frustration over not
understanding what I was doing wrong. I was repeating everything I had been
told, but he still looked disapproving. I hated it when I tried my hardest and
still didn't get something right. Clamping my jaw shut, I waited for him to
take the lead in the conversation again.
"Marvolo, you especially must try hard to
stay on the right path. I don't know what else we can do for you. We promised
that, if you could go a whole year without unfit acts of ...a particular
nature...you could get a gift this year. It works for all the other children.
You almost made it this year. Why do you refuse -"
I cut him off. "I haven't done anything like that! Honestly, not since
last October! Nothing has blown up, nobody levitated, and Mrs. Blunt didn't
even grow anything abnormal. I never consciously try to do those things, they
just happen, but nothing has happened this year, I swear!" Indeed, at
times in my private thoughts I had wished ill fortune on several, but nothing
had ever come of it for months. In a way, I was almost regretful that was so,
since it barely seemed to cut down on Mrs. Blunt's
and several of the children's blatant and active dislike of me.
I think that was louder and longer than I had spoken at one time in a long
while. Mr. Blunt looked at me curiously, and I chastised myself. I normally had
good self-control, but I had panicked, and now he would question me again to no
avail. Strange things simply tended to happen around me, and I couldn't explain
them. It only reinforced everyone's opinion that I was a demon, and even I was
starting to wonder. The bizarre things seemed to have stopped, but now...
The dull color of Blunt's eyes was fastened to my
face, his voice having that faint forcefulness it always did when he sensed a
crack in me to pry open. "Marvolo, then how can
you explain the demon kind that are inhabiting our common room right now?"
Demon kind? "I - I don't know what you mean, sir. What demon
kind?" I wasn't even fully certain how to tell I was demonic myself. I
hadn't green blood - though some had checked - or any such thing. I also had no
explanation for any of the weird occurrences that happened around me, though I
longed to understand and control them. My heart pounded in an odd burst of
desire, hoping something he said would help me comprehend how I was to define
Mr. Blunt turned red. He had more patience than his wife, but even he had
his limits if he felt someone was lying. "Don't lie to me, you - you
-" He fumed, and I was ready for an onslaught of accusatory terms, but
Blunt refrained himself. He merely said, "I try so hard. Mrs. Blunt, she
said you were a lost cause, but I couldn't believe it. You were a child, and
showed such promise." His eyes softened into a look of sad pity, a harsher
gaze to me than one filled with hate. "When I think about your
father..." His voice drifted off, the words carrying such weight they
settled low in my chest after entering my ears.
I froze. In a whisper I said, "Donít talk about my father."
I don't think he heard me. "If he knew that you were born - born as you
are - well, it would have been his greatest fear fulfilled, I'm sure.
Lord knows the things that supposedly happened, for you to have been brought
here under...shall we say, less than desirable circumstances? Yet despite any
rumors, I took you in." He leaned back in his chair, eyes again leaving my
face as he continued, "I supposed, putting you away here, that you stood a
chance to be normal. There was a possibility that you might choose a different
life. I have tried to give you a chance, away from those who whispered you a
demon at birth. Now, with these people out there, I just don't know. I
don't know how they found you, but I'm sure that if you didn't want to be
found, you wouldn't have been. It seems that you've made your choice."
Needless to say, I felt very confused. And I didn't normally get confused.
My stomach twisted, as if I was going to cry from frustration. I tried to calm
myself, but I knew my voice shook. "Mr. Blunt, I don't understand. I don't
know what is wrong with me, but I swear, I didn't do anything!" It was far
easier to defend myself when I was covering something, but right then I hadn't
My words didn't fall on deaf ears. Mr. Blunt stood up slowly, and crossed
over to me. I flinched as he stooped down to my level, saying very seriously,
"Marvolo, are you telling me the truth? Do you
really have no idea what is going on?"
I saw no reason to lie, and anyway, Mr. Blunt was not in a violent mood. The
only time he used violence was when he became hysterical and then lashed out,
and those times were rare. At least I would not have to hear the excuse that he
was enforcing moral discipline, so the beating would still coincide with his
religious ideals. Such sanctimony was worse than any physical pain. I had
personally never bought his brand of morality as anything more than an excuse,
but then, I had never needed religion.
"I am telling the truth."
Mr. Blunt nodded seriously, almost breaking into a smile. He seemed very
relieved, a feeling I shared with him right then. Certainly, Blunt was flawed,
but he was the best to me of the lot, and for some reason his opinion mattered.
That he had faith in me, however little, was the only encouragement I'd ever
received in my life.
He motioned for the door. "Very well, Marvolo,
I believe you. I'll take care of this. They won't bother you again."
I slid shakily off of my seat and followed him to the party. It was
dwindling down, and many of the younger children had gone to bed. The adults
whoíd made adoptions had left with the intent to finalize their deals the next
day. Only a dozen or so were left, including Mrs. Blunt, Trevor, and the two
adults who had spoken with me. They had been ostracized to the corner of the
room, where Mrs. Blunt was glaring at them.
Mr. Blunt, to his credit, walked right up to them. He was a meek man to my
knowledge, but when given the chance to preach he seemed to expand, inflating
for a short while with something he found full of substance. Right now he
ignored his wife's simpering, crossing over to stand below eye-level of the
keen-eyed man. A silence fell over the room as the two squared off.
The man spoke. His voice was strong, containing a bit of whimsy as well in
his guttural accent, as if amused by Blunt's
Mr. Blunt paused, and then said, "I'd rather not do this in front of
company." His tone was stiff, seeming even more so when juxtaposed with
the other man's lightness.
"Do what?" was the flippant response.
Blunt's mouth immediately opened, and then closed,
as if he were constantly reconsidering his immediate responses. He finally
settled on, "Make a scene. However, I'm not willing to give you much time,
either, regardless of the surroundings. The choice has been made, and not in
your favor, I'm happy to say." His voice gained a bit more confidence
there, to where he could finish quicker than before by saying coldly, "So
if you'd please just leave, and never return, I won't have to resort to
The man's eyes narrowed, in a manner not threatening but irritated.
"And what precisely could you resort to?" Scorn dripped down from his
eyes and out his mouth with those words.
Before anything else could be said, the woman stepped in. "Perhaps this
isn't the best of times for this. We'll come back later."
Blunt's form stiffened more than his voice at
that, and a touch of panic crept into his defiant words. "No, you will
not." Under the other man's gaze, Blunt wilted slightly, his tone turning
more wheedling as he gestured towards me. "It won't be necessary. He can
give you nothing. He has no idea what he is doing!" Then, as if alighted
by those words, he added, "And if it's not his fault, then it is your
doing. And I will not condone it. Leave now."
The woman was about to speak again when the man interrupted. Smiling oddly,
he seemed to speak in response to Blunt, but his gaze was now entirely focused
upon me. "Oh, he has nothing, you say? A pity. Well, we'll just be going
then, except -" At that moment, a small snake flew out of his robes and
landed on the floor, where it scurried away. Mrs. Blunt screamed and everyone
began stampeding, more in reaction to her screech than probably actually seeing
the ridiculously small creature. His face a blotched maroon, Mr. Blunt turned
back to the man as he was jostled by his wife. I heard him begin to speak.
"What the hell do you think you are doing? Get your unholy trinkets
And then I heard a voice over the din.
It was low, with an odd speech impediment. I glanced quickly about, but
found no speaker anywhere. With the mayhem surrounding me I tried to ignore it,
and yet the sound continued, somehow forcing my gaze to follow it to the floor.
When I looked down I saw the little snake, who was hiding behind an
overturned chair. His tongue was flicking in and out, and his little black orbs
looked as surprised by my acknowledgment of him as I was of his. Again he
hissed, a hiss even I had never heard before. One that I knew was filled with
caution and curiosity, for it told me so with words I could understand.
I did not back away, though I certainly didn't approach it yet. I may have
webbed a person's hand or two, but animals did not normally speak to me. Reason
told me that it couldn't be the snake. His mouth forming words was a trick of
the lights, and the words I heard were due to damage done to my ears by the
screeching of the guests. I may have been abnormal, but I wasn't psychotic... I
didn't think. Thoughts sprang up and overlapped in my mind to try and reason
this event away, but were quickly overridden by my curiosity and childish
excitement. When his glistening eyes focused on mine with a diligent stare, it
seemed undeniable on a level far deeper than human rationale. Again I heard...
I tore my gaze away, my heart pounding. No one seemed to be watching me.
Perhaps it was a trick of the devil people, as Blunt called them. Maybe they
wished to lure me in as one of their own. Yet it didn't feel like a ruse; in
fact, it felt more natural than any attempt at conversing I had ever done. I
couldnít resist answering. "You can't understand me, can you?"
The snake nodded. "Yesss, I can."
Unnoticed by others behind the chair, his caution seemed to lessen.
He appeared far too calm, and outwardly I tried adopted his attitude.
"Wonderful. Of course you can." However, Iíd not yet gained enough
control to resist adding, "Can you talk to anyone else?"
The snake shook its head.
I felt a rise of smugness at that. It was quickly depleted, though,† as reason seized me finally. "Of course
you can't. I'm the lucky one who's going crazy." But it didn't feel like I
was going crazy, much as it should. As I said, it seemed... natural. Right,
almost. Like it was a part of me, an ability that had always been there,
lurking and looking for a way out.
I suddenly realized that a circle was surrounding me. I looked up to see
both the Blunts and the odd couple staring at me pointedly, though with
different intents. The Blunts looked horrified, the couple merely intrigued.
Mr. Blunt, pale and sweating, whispered, "Marvolo,
what are you doing?" He began to deflate before me, his assured stance
wilting. Whatever substance had filled him for this short time was gone, and he
now looked as if I had yanked it painfully out of him. The faint residue that
remained seemed tinged with an anger or desperation. He let his wife push ahead
of him so her disgusted, frightened gaze was in the forefront.
I didn't know why the truth came out, but it did, in a triumphantly defiant
tone. "Speaking with the snake." I said it loud and strong, though
the only things within my vision's range right then to hear it were the devil
couple, the Blunts, and the snake. Immediately after, though, I felt nervous
and unsure, looking at Mr. Blunt to see his reaction.
Trevor snorted, but Mrs. Blunt grabbed him furiously, looking terrified. Mr.
Blunt said in blatant refusal, "No, no, you can't be, that's - that's
He looked helpless, as the other man said, "Oh, he can, Blunt.
There isn't a way any one of us could make him do that."
Mr. Blunt merely whispered, "Itís a trick, it has to be." I could
see he was grasping for some reason to hide behind.
"I'm afraid not." The man's words were cutting in their
indifference to Blunt, and then he turned to me. His smart eyes gleamed in
excitement mingled with some indefinable emotion. "Have you done this sort
of thing before?" he asked this calmly, his voice controlling whatever
excitement his eyes seemed to show. Still, he was decidedly warmer to me now,
perhaps to further nettle the Blunts. He even knelt before me, matching my eye
I shook my head fervently in response. "No, not on purpose, and never
talking with a - a snake!" It sounded ludicrous, and at the same time,
anything but that. The same confusion applied to what came out of me next as I
stared at the tall man in dark robes. With a suddenly quiet intensity I said,
"But I want to." The desire in my voice was amazing to my ears. It
was a hungry hope. Never had the thrilling prospect of learning intrigued me as
much, for this touched on an area inside that had always been forbidden to me.
I was half-frightened and guilty, knowing this was the sort of demon actions
the Blunts warned me of. Another part of me mirrored the odd man's face, a
smile infused with a burning curiosity.
A gargled sound escaped behind me, and I turned to find Blunt looking
pleadingly at me. He held his hands up, refusing to meet the other man's eyes
as he said, "Marvolo, you don't know what you
are saying -"
The man stood and brushed himself off. "Oh, I'd say he does, Blunt. It
seems he's had a change of heart, now that he's been given a proper
choice." The man then turned back to me and smiled a neutral smile, his
eyes flashing with something he obviously didn't intend to share. All he said
was, "I'll be seeing you again, Parselmouth."
With that, he and the woman swept out of the room without a backward glance. My
gaze followed them, transfixed and tunneling my vision to their backs until the
heavy door creaked shut.
Slowly, I became aware that I was now left alone with the Blunts and the
small snake on the floor. They seemed stupefied, and now that we were alone I
felt uncomfortable as well. Every sense of mine felt heightened as I was
suddenly, painfully, self-conscious before them. My thin chest rose and fell,
my breath sounding heavy to my ears. My mind was reeling, the unfamiliar
explosion of emotion inside making my dizzy confusion worse. I forced myself to
meet their gazes, but I didn't know how to break the silence.
Apparently, though, they did.
Mrs. Blunt, eyes blazing, pointed at me and screeched, "I told you! I
want him out of this place, immediately! He'll infect all the others! Demon!
Check his blood now, it's probably green!" She said this hysterically
while backing away, holding Trevor tightly in her arms.
Mr. Blunt looked deadened, as if something had been lost. "Go upstairs,
Tom." I stood, stunned. That was the first time he had called me that. It
sounded strange. I stared at him hard, trying to get him to look at me, but he
refused. I had no desire to see the disgust on the other faces in that room, so
I turned and left, carrying the small snake in my arms. Alone I climbed up the
creaking, splintered staircase in silence, straining to but hearing nothing