Muggles. If I could I'd take them all in one of my
hands and crush them into dust.
Muggles. Worthless, incompetent, ignorant, they go
about their daily lives like so many ants, their existence meaningless. Like vermin to be stamped out and
I can't remember a day I
didn't feel this way. Perhaps there were
days, long ago, before I knew what I was.
Perhaps then, I only hated them for their insensitivity. Their selfishness. Their utter disregard of others.
but then again, perhaps not
Growing up in a Muggle
orphanage, I learned early and well that my father had abandoned my
mother. Was there ever a time I was not
aware that he was living mere miles away, a time when I did not know that he
had left her before I was even born?
There may have been such a
time. If so, I can't remember it. If so, it was such a meaningless fantasy that
it is now lost to the ages. Irrelevant. Idiotic.
perhaps there was a time like that
but then again, perhaps not
Were there a few pleasant
days or months or years when I was oblivious to the fact that he had found
something about her so strange and wrong and unforgivable that he abandoned
Perhaps there were. I was, after all, only an infant. Still, if those days existed once, in a world that was less cold and cruel, I have
no memory of them. So they might as well
have never existed, if they ever did.
Whatever effect they might have had on the course of my life is
perhaps I wasn't always aware
but then again, perhaps not
The truth was, and is, that
he rejected her. Immediately and without
regret, without punishment for leaving her to die alone. Without punishment for leaving me to be
now I know why he did it
She was a Witch. He
was a Muggle. He did not understand her
powers. He might even have feared
them. I am not certain how he felt about
I do not care
Certainly, he wanted nothing
to do with her, once he knew she was a Witch.
Nothing to do with her, and nothing to do with the child they had both created.
He couldn't possibly have
wanted the child. Am I not proof of
that? When she died, shortly after I was
born, he never came for me. He let me be
taken away, swallowed up into the depths of a Muggle orphanage where I never
belonged. Where I was different,
consigned to corners and condemned to watch other children being taken home by
parents who wanted them.
silly Muggle children, going home with silly Muggle
parents who wanted those children
who wanted me?
what do you mean by wanted?
Johnson wanted me. Terrible old Muggle administrator of a
terrible old Muggle orphanage in terrible old Little Hangleton. I was a convenient target. I was the outcast. I was the child none of the others wanted to
be near. I was the one around whom
strange things happened, who seemed to their pitiful little Muggle minds to be
a walking bad-luck charm.
little did they know
they never dreamed what bad luck I could truly bring
what bad luck I would bring them
Johnson wanted me. I was his mark, the focus of all his pathetic
Muggle frustrations, the child who could be shouted at and slapped around
without fear of reprisal, or of punishment.
From my earliest memories, Johnson was always there, huge and looming,
his ruddy Muggle face deepening to scarlet with rage. Later, as I got older and my powers got
stronger, the rage took on a cast of fear.
He shouted all the louder as part of him recoiled from me.
from what I was
even I didn't know…
It was worse after a child
had been taken home by a family, Muggles getting into their Muggle cars or
buses, Muggles slipping away from a Muggle orphanage into the Muggle
world. Joining the other ants, scurrying from
place to place, fading from the view of those who remained in our little
isolated orphanage world. The loss of
even the smallest targets made Johnson rage all the more. The women in the dormitories knew better than
to try and placate him. Stupid
Muggles. Never a thought for anything
but their own positions. We went hungry
many times on the nights a child had gone to the Muggles, hungry and dazed by
the storm of anger whirling around Johnson and his purpling face.
Johnson was ignorant. He was brutal. And he was unimaginative. Interrupted one of his tellings-off? Locked in a closet. Spoke without being spoken to? Locked in a closet. Forgot your chores? Locked in a closet. Defended yourself from the beatings attempted
by boys who thought you were a bad-luck outcast? Locked in a closet. Failed to defend yourself, and ended in
bleeding on the worn wooden floor?
Locked in a closet.
as though being locked in a closet was worse than
having to see his stupid Muggle face and hear his stupid Muggle ranting
When I was eight, I waited
until Johnson was busy stuffing his ugly Muggle face in the dining room, after
we were all supposed to be in bed, and sneaked into his office. He never locked the door. He thought he had us all too frightened to
dare to enter it unless
That was when I learned that
the snide remarks and cruel taunts of the older boys were true. My father, Tom Riddle just like me, lived
only a few miles away, in a house that I'd seen before on my way to school. The older boys hadn't been lying. Johnson's files proved that to me. It was the only thing that stupid Muggle ever
really taught me.
I wasn't here by
I hadn't been good enough,
not for the people living in that house.
Small wonder I was stuck in that stupid Muggle orphanage with stupid
Muggle Johnson and the rest of them. I
didn't measure up.
Sitting up on a hill, that
manor house looked down on the entire village and everything in it. Including me.
It looked down on me. When I
passed within sight of it the next day, on my way to the little school, I felt
it looking down on me.
That house, and the people in
it, had looked down on my mother. Every
time I passed it, its taunts seemed to grow louder. More insistent. As time went by, its taunts became
Every time something strange
happened around me, I heard the house jeering.
Imagined the people who lived in it pointing at me.
Even as they went about their
lives, as good as oblivious to my very existence, eating in fancy Muggle dining
rooms with fancy Muggle silver on fancy Muggle plates; even as they drove their
expensive Muggle cars and listened to their Muggle radio, they were laughing.
I could hear them
The day I made Alistair Margraves' hair turn white after he tried to trip me into a huge
mud puddle, I heard them laughing. The
day Johnson tried to slap me and recoiled, howling, as if he'd received an
enormous shock, I heard them laughing.
When Johnson finally cornered me and sent me to the closet, slammed the
door, and it fell off its hinges in three separate pieces, I heard them
laughing. When someone put ink in my
soup, when someone stole my schoolbooks, when someone else poured water over my
sheets just before lights-out, I heard them laughing.
they always laughed
if it was anyone's fault that I hated them, it was
they shouldn't have laughed
The only day I didn't hear them
laughing was the day my letter from Hogwarts arrived at the orphanage. The day a great tawny owl flying
through the great room, past dozens of children trying to fill themselves as
full of food as possible to stave off the inevitable hunger pangs that arrived
during the lunch we never ate. Most of
them didn't notice it, too intent on their food to take their eyes from the
table. My closest neighbor at the table
didn't notice, not until the owl landed neatly on the table beside the plate of
toast he'd been reaching for. When he
did notice, having grabbed the owl's tail feathers rather than the bread he'd
expected, he simply pushed it aside and went on eating.
Who else could ignore
something as unusual as an owl delivering a letter during breakfast? It's no wonder Muggles are as weak and as
worthless as they are. They have no
Inside a month, I was out of
the orphanage and on my way to Hogwarts.
Hogwarts, where I learned that my mother had been a Witch. Where I learned that there were ways of
paying back the Muggles who had hurt me.
Where I decided to teach them, once and for all, that they had made a
big mistake in treating me the way they had.
At Hogwarts, I made
friends. Even before the Sorting, even
on the train, I made friends. I was no
longer the outcast, no longer the bad-luck charm. Because I was no longer among Muggles. I was a Wizard among other Wizards and
Witches. And then I was a Slytherin,
among other Slytherins who shared my ambitions and my cunning, who would
understand my plans for the Muggles who had caused me pain. I wasn't the only one who had suffered. Not the only one who had been made to feel
unworthy or unclean or abnormal.
my closest friends were the ones who had been hurt
that was no mistake on my part
you can use anything under the right circumstances
At Hogwarts, it all started
to become clear. There was a way to
avenge my mother, to punish my father, to teach Johnson a lesson, to finally
win against the bullies that had tormented me at the orphanage. There was magic in the world, magic these
Muggles didn't know about or understand.
magic they would never even suspect existed
not until it was too late
At Hogwarts, I discovered that
I had an enormous talent for magic. I'm
not being conceited. It's true. Even my worst enemies would acknowledge that,
in terms of magical ability, few if any Wizards could touch me. I read everything I could get my hands
on. It was never enough. I would no longer be the freak or the
outcast. I would no longer be an
indifferent student. I would make sure
that nothing escaped my attention, that there was no branch of magic in which I did not excel.
There was so little time, you
see, before I would put my plans into action.
There was a lifetime of knowledge I needed to obtain, but so much less
than a lifetime in which to gain it.
I was a model student.
There was no teacher's question I couldn't answer, no exam answer I
couldn't give. In spite of the
disadvantages of living in a Muggle orphanage, in spite of being parentless—my
friends made sure that people knew about this and, believe me, the sympathy it
got me was priceless—I was one of the best students Hogwarts had ever seen. So good at schoolwork, so good at spellwork,
so brave in view of my upbringing. No
one ever had a better cover than I had, when I was at Hogwarts. I had no intention of ruining my image by showing
my ambition to anyone but my closest friends.
I would not allow my plans to be destroyed by revealing my hand so early
in the game.
Still, there was someone who
seemed to be aware of my strategy from the first. I suppose not even the most brilliant Wizard
can hide his true nature from everyone.
Dumbledore, even before his defeat of Grindelwald, was a force to be reckoned with. Those blue eyes, which had seen so much of
the Wizarding World, seemed to burn through the façade of my innocence. Seemed to know the truth about me, as the
eyes of my father had seen the truth about my mother. My mother, the Witch.
Her son, the Wizard.
Dumbledore seemed to know,
without receiving the slightest outward hint, that I was far more than my
model-student outward self.
in that, as in so much, Dumbledore was right
did he know?
He was my Transfiguration
professor. I saw him every day, in the
Great Hall if not in lessons. I felt his
eyes on me even when he was nowhere near.
did my father look at my mother like that?
like she might just be planning something unsavory?
like she needed watching, because of who she was?
like she might be two people caught inside the same
And my outward behavior
became more exemplary even as my secret self became more involved in my
My two sides—the public and the
private—became ever more opposed to each other, even as the public side served
the private. It was far too dangerous to
be learning the Dark Arts Far too
dangerous to practice them if people would suspect it on meeting me. So
I became excruciatingly good on the outside, while my inner self slid further
Did he know? Even after all this time, I am not
certain. It is irrelevant. He did not try to stop me. That was his first major mistake. For all his strength, Dumbledore was foolish
when it came to sentiment. He did not
lift a finger to stop me.
Even after all this time, he
has not stopped me. He has tried. He has fought me. But he has not stopped me.
he cannot stop me…
did he know?
My fifth year at Hogwarts
was, in its own way, the best of them all.
My public side had reached its first brilliant peak; I was made a Slytherin Prefect. My private side, too, had reached its first
peak. After four years of planning and
study, I finally opened the Chamber of Secrets.
No one ever suspected me—me, a Prefect, top student in my year, so
squeaky-clean I nearly disgusted myself.
No one ever suspected me—me,
whose Muggle father had deserted his mother because she was a Witch, who grew
up at the mercy of ignorant and bullying Muggles, whose heart was darker than
no one ever suspected
Opening the Chamber was
simply the first step in my plans for revenge.
Built by Salazar Slytherin, sealed so that only his heir could open it,
the Chamber housed a weapon that fitted in with my plans nicely. Slytherin had opposed teaching magic to
anyone who was unworthy. That is, anyone
who was Muggleborn.
was it any wonder I was Sorted into Slytherin?
I had learned of the Chamber
in my first year, having read Hogwarts, A
History within weeks of arriving at school.
The idea of a weapon which could purge the entire school of Muggleborns intrigued me.
To open the Chamber, though, one would have to be the heir of
Slytherin. Since I had no idea this was
even a possibility for me, a Halfblood born of a foul, common Muggle and a
Witch, I simply admired the idea of such a weapon.
I never suspected that I could be the heir of
not then, at any rate
I learned as much about the
Chamber as I could. And as my knowledge
of the Chamber and of magic grew, as I learned more about Slytherin himself, I
decided to try and open the Chamber.
Perhaps, I thought, the 'heir' of Slytherin didn't have to be a true
blood heir, but rather someone who thought the way Slytherin had, who held the
same principles and who hated Muggles as he had.
Imagine my surprise, in my
fifth year, when I opened the Chamber only to find that I was, indeed, the heir
of Slytherin. At least in some sense. I had no
Wizarding relatives I could ask. My
friends couldn't tell me whether I was truly Salazar's descendant.
I like to think I was. That I was the only one who could have opened the
Chamber and unleashed the Basilisk.
the basilisk surpassed my wildest, darkest dreams of a
I suppose it surpassed Myrtle's as well
When she was found dead, I
realized that I had miscalculated.
Hogwarts was the closest thing I had to a home, and my impatience to
open the Chamber and begin acting on my long-secret plans had jeopardized it. I had also endangered all my plans. There was too much left to learn, and there
was nowhere else I could study.
The school would be closed.
A student had been killed.
she was only a filthy little Mudblood
Still, I needed the
school. I needed to keep learning, to
obtain as much information, to learn as much as I possibly could before
leaving. I couldn't let them shut down
the school. I wouldn’t let them destroy
the plans I'd worked so hard to form.
I needed a scapegoat.
I've always wondered whether
Hagrid, that great, stupid half-breed oaf, ever knew what an enormous favor he
did me, playing around with that ridiculous Acromantula. An Acromantula, for Merlin's sake. Even a Muggle wouldn't have been so stupid.
really, I should have thanked him
perhaps I'll have the chance some day
They believed that Hagrid and
the Acromantula were responsible for causing the students' injuries, for
causing Myrtle's death. Hagrid was
expelled. No one knew what happened to
the Acromantula. How they convinced
themselves, I'm not sure. It's
irrelevant. The school stayed open, and
no one, not even Dumbledore, suspected me.
did he know?
After the Ministry had
dispensed with the formalities, after Hogwarts was officially allowed to remain
open, it was too dangerous to re-open the Chamber. I could have, at any time. But I had learned the value of patience. I never returned to the Chamber. Dumbledore's bright blue eyes, however,
followed me far more closely than I remembered them doing before I'd staged
Hagrid's capture and saved the school I'd nearly destroyed.
did he watch me more closely than ever?
was my imagination simply working overtime?
did he know?
I was Head Boy in my last year at
Hogwarts. I received an Award for
Magical Merit. It was all I could do not
to laugh in Headmaster Dippet's face when he handed me the award. He was nothing compared to what I was, just a
weak old Wizard. I was young and strong
and could have Cursed him into dust with two little words. There was no one at Hogwarts who could compare
to me, who could hold a candle to my power.
no one but Dumbledore
soon I'd be free of his piercing blue eyes
did he know?
When I left Hogwarts, it was
as Lord Voldemort. Tom Marvolo Riddle was gone, never to return. I went to Little Hangleton. It was self-indulgent. I freely admit it. Still it seemed symbolic, somehow, that my
plan would start with destroying the Muggle who had started it all.
No fight in them at all. Staring like idiots, wide-eyed and dazed, as
the spell was spoken.
As the green light flashed.
I don't hear their laughter
Who's laughing now?
Johnson and the bullies from
the Little Hangleton orphanage have long since been taken care of. Other Muggles, chosen at random, have been
punished along with them. They were only
the precursor to my rise.
my first rise
It was a blow, I freely admit
it, when Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald shortly after I took care of things in
Little Hangleton. Grindelwald was then
known as the greatest Dark Wizard who ever lived. He might have been someone to learn
like a father
might have been a teacher I could have
respected. He might have been a partner,
then a follower. Or he might have been a
partner, then he might have met with an unfortunate accident. Nothing would stand in my way, once I found
my path to power.
not even Dumbledore
those piercing blue eyes
did he know?
I gained power slowly and
steadily, and I found that what I had known all along was true for others as
well. Pain can be used, under the right
I used it gladly.
I used it freely.
Their screams used to make me
smile, loosening the tightness in my chest, easing the memories of other times
when the only screams were my own, and the sound they made was unheard except
in my head.
My laughter replaced the
laughter I heard from the filthy Muggles who had bullied me, forgotten about
me, abandoned me. I laughed so loudly
that I could not hear the memory-laughter.
The foul, Muggle memory-laughter.
except in dreams
I was a force to be feared,
as I had dreamed of since the day the owl flew into the orphanage so long
ago. Nothing would stand in my way.
Even Dark Lords have their
Mine was Harry Potter.
Potter. How I hate that name. His parents were irritating enough, defying
my wishes, resisting my authority. I
hated James Potter for his pampered pureblood upbringing, for his pathetic nobility
in the face of danger, for his love of his wife and son, for his vexing habit
of fighting me and my Death Eaters.
Former Head Boy, Auror for the Department, brilliant mind, incredible
magical talents—he had everything he needed to outshine them all, to be one of
my top deputies.
He threw away the chance like
he threw away his life, for a pathetically noble set of principles. At least Muggles aren't so stupid; they kill
each other and betray each other every day.
They, at least, aren't so sickeningly good. They, at least, wouldn't turn down the chance
of nearly unlimited power for the chance to be noble and die. James Potter and his principles. The thought of them is enough to make me sick
to this day.
The Order of the Phoenix.
Saving the world.
Saving Lily and Harry.
-lily, take harry and go! it's him!
go! run! I'll hold him off--
I killed him first, and I
laughed as he died.
that's what a father should be
Lily Potter was worse. I had expected better of her. She'd been better than her husband in school,
a Prefect and a Head Girl, was possibly the most powerful Witch I'd ever
encountered. Certainly, she was the best
at Charms. She could have had it
all. She threw it away without a
backward glance, all to save a puling little baby whose only outstanding
characteristic was an untidy mass of black hair just like his father's.
-not harry, not harry, please not harry!!
-stand aside, you silly girl…stand aside, now…
-not harry, please no, take me, kill me instead—
please…have mercy…have mercy...
Stupid girl. Probably came from being born of
Muggles. She could have had the world at
her fingertips. In her case, I would
have made an exception to my distaste for Mudbloods. Her magical abilities would have made up for
her parentage in time.
-not harry! not
harry! please—I'll do anything—
stand aside, girl!
As though I would have
bargained with her, when she was still defying me. As though a bargain that ended in Harry
Potter living and Lily Potter in my power would have accomplished my goal. She'd known the moment I arrived exactly why
I was in Godric's Hollow. It hadn't been
to watch Harry crawl away untouched.
of course, Harry didn't die, did he?
she died for him
she loved him so much she died for him
what does that feel like?
she saved him
she loved him more than her own life
she didn't fear death, if her death saved her son
what does that feel like?
She didn’t have to die. I told
her that. I could see in her eyes that
she believed me. But the silly little
Mudblood just couldn't leave
well enough alone. I killed her, and
turned to her child.
he was crying
his father's yells and his mother's screams had woken
his mother's eyes
his father's hair
This one, at least, would be
easy. I pointed my wand. I spoke the words.
The green light flashed from
my wand and hit the baby, whose tear-filled green eyes were staring at me
The curse rebounded.
The world faded to grey, and
the concept of easy ceased to exist.
Still, he hadn't killed
me. No tiny little child of a Mudblood
and a spoiled pureblood Wizard, no matter how powerful they had been, could
have killed me. But he still existed.
He still exists.
He must be destroyed. The Prophecy demands it.
I demand it.
can I destroy him?
so many attempts, so little success
Six times now he has defied
me. Six times, he has defeated me. He hasn't done it alone, of course. He has powerful friends and powerful supporters.
Or rather, I have some powerful
enemies. Until now I've been able to use
the Ministry's idiocy against him. Fudge
has been one of my greatest tools, an unwitting—and at times,
witless—ally. If he only knew it.
idiot of a Wizard
might as well be a Muggle, acting the
way he does
I really should thank him in person
perhaps I will
Dumbledore or no, friends and
supporters or no, Ministry or no, Harry Potter must be destroyed. It doesn't matter how I finally manage
it. It doesn't matter who I have to use,
who I have to destroy in the process.
All's fair in love and war,
I've spent a lifetime working
toward my goals.
Potter will try to stand in
I will crush him like an
his parents died to save him
his father died to save him
his mother died to save him
Harry Potter must die.
He must die.
Author notes: The quotes from Voldemort's attack in Godric's Hollow
were taken directly from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ©1999 by J.
K. Rowling, only borrowed with the most sincere respect. I had nothing to do with the original; my
imagination was (and remains) wholly insufficient to such a monumental
task. No copyright infringement is
intended, and no profit is being made from this work.