The Sugar Quill
Author: Trewyn Potter  Story: A Most Addicting Drug  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

***

“What now?” The doctor shrugged, as he covered the dead woman’s face, hiding her sweat drenched hair, and strangely peaceful eyes.  He went about with his clipboard, methodically taking notes. The young nurse sighed, looking at the woman lying in bed.

“It’s awful when this happens.” Said the nurse, softly, as she shifted the tiny baby in her arms. He was silent, not crying as was so typical of a newborn child.

“Such a sweet little boy, too. I’ll hate to see him go off to the home…” she trailed off, and patted the baby on the head. The doctor made a neutral noise.

“That’s life.” He said, stepping back.

“Call someone to take her out of here.” The nurse nodded, and walked out of the room for a moment. The doctor stood silently, looking at the dead mother, as the nurse entered, cooing the baby to sleep. 

“Go to sleep, you’ll have a new home in the morning.” The baby gurgled, and stirred in the nurse’s arms. She looked fondly down at the tiny child, and placed him in a bed.

“Did she name him?” The nurse poised her pen to record the boy’s name for the orphanage papers.

“What? Oh yes, interesting name, Thomas Marvolo Riddle.”

 

***

 That night ended Tom, canceled any chance I may have had for a peaceful life. My baptism of fire, so to speak. Yet, I have no regrets. It is said that revenge is sweet, a most addicting drug, yet those words held no true, tangible meaning until I returned to Little Hangleton.     

 

I grew up knowing nothing of my mother, except that she died, and that my father, running away before I ever saw him, was nowhere to be found.  I wanted nothing but to know who she had been and to find my father. I received those answers at Hogwarts, but only after eleven long years in St. Michael’s Home for Boys.

 

***

There was a knock on the door. A tall, thin woman answered, peering out into the night. Her eyes rested on a man, clothed in the typical hospital white.

“I wish to speak with Sister Mary Frances…”

“Yes?”

“A woman died in childbirth today, I have her son. Do you have room here for a baby?”

“What about the father?” The hospital man shrugged, and the nun raised her eyebrow a fraction of an inch.

“Very well. Thank you, and God bless. ” She said, and she took the basket. The hospital orderly nodded, and walked away into the darkness. Sister Mary Frances peered into the basket, at the child, fast asleep. She sighed. There really wasn’t room for another child, what with the war having just ended; the place was overcrowded as it was. She couldn’t very well refuse. There was a cradle on the third floor, he would go there. Hopefully the father would turn up soon, and bring him to a family. She laid the baby down in the cradle, readjusting his blankets, and trying hard not to wake him. Tired, Sister Mary Frances trod slowly down the stairs, and into her small room, troubled by strange dreams of flashing green light, and a cold, cruel laugh.

 

***

 The orphanage was an awkward, uncomfortable place.  I intimidated the other boys with my intelligence; obviously something, none of them had, and mystified them by being antisocial. Being the strange boy, I rarely went a day without a new black eye. Occasionally, something unfortunate, and rather amusing, would happen to the boy who punched me, but those magical outbursts made the others dislike me even more. People never have liked anything different from what’s normal. I learned that early. The nuns weren’t too bad, even though they bored me with constant prayer and droning Latin lessons. They were the closest thing to parents I ever knew.

 

 Everything changed on my eleventh birthday, though. I remember the stormy sky, watching a great snowy owl land two inches in front of my face, stretching out a leg with a letter on it. The letter gave me freedom, and led me to a place where I was truly happy, for a while.

***

“Thomas Riddle?” A tall boy with black hair and unusually pale skin stepped forward, grimacing a bit in apprehension. He sat down, pulling the large hat over his head.

“Tom Riddle, a good name. And good blood behind it, dear me, yes. Slytherin Blood!”

Well?” He thought, turning even paler. The hat’s voiced continued echoing in his ear.

“Yes, a brilliant mind, one of the finest I’ve seen, and that’s saying a bit! Courage and determination, sure enough, and a good deal of power, incredible potential on you, Riddle.”

Good. Now where?”  His blood raced with anticipation. The hat scolded him quietly in his ear.  

“Patience! Gryffindor would suit you; not as well as Ravenclaw, perhaps, but yes, you would do well there. Hufflepuff, I think not. Not too loyal are you…” The hat didn’t sound accusing, and Tom shrugged it off.

“Not particularly.”  He thought, considering a bit.

“Cunning, nerve, great ambition, and there’s the matter of blood, yet, still, I think you would make an excellent…” Tom cut the hat off.

Decide, will you? I’m the only one taking so long! Hurry up!” The boy frowned, glaring at the hat.

“In that case, you’ll be…SLYTHERIN!”

***

 

In Slytherin, I met people who had known my mother, whose parents had been friends with her. Philip Nott, one of my closest friends in told me about his mother’s friendship with my mother. My mother had been a powerful witch, a descendant of Slaazar Slytherin, and yet, she had married Tom Riddle, a Muggle man with a bit of money. I couldn’t understand that, and neither could my fellow Slytherins. Quite apart from the forbidden Dark magic, I learned the value of blood in Slytherin, the most important thing for anyone to know. 

 

From my own study, and what my teachers and friends told me of my parents, I learned that Tom Riddle, my namesake, much to my disgust, had left my mother, pregnant and alone, because she was a witch. Because of his stupidity and ignorance, I suffered through seventeen years in that hole of an orphanage. When I learned he was alive, the decision to repay him for his services to me was the easiest I have ever made.

 

***

“Tom!” Tom Riddle looked up from the book he was reading, into the eager face of Callide Malfoy. She smiled down at him, and he raised an eyebrow.

“What? I’m studying.”

“So I noticed. Take a break, we’re all going down to Hogsmeade, why don’t you come along?” Callide smiled winningly, flashing the smile so many found irresistible. Tom found it revolting. Inwardly rolling his eyes, and slowly put the book down. He had absolutely no desire to go get drunk in the village pub, or gorge himself on sweets.

“I really have to keep on this, though, maybe next time.” Raising the book, Tom pointedly made it clear that he had no desire to go at all. Callide swished her blonde hair, and sauntered off, swinging her hips ridiculously. Tom rolled his eyes, and turned the page. Checking to make sure no one was watching, he stood up, and walked over to the restricted section. Sure enough, Madam Pince was quite busy yelling at some first year, she wouldn’t notice him. Tom reached out, and grabbed the book on the far left, the one he had been reading in secret for the past week. It was an ancient, black leather tome with a bloodstain on the cover. Silently, Tom crept back to his chair and sat down. 

“The Cruciatus Curse,” he read, the large black letters spelling out the particulars of his newest task. Tom opened his notebook, and unlocked the secret pages magically, beginning to copy.

***

 

In Slytherin, the Dark arts are an unspoken part of the curriculum.  I had a remarkable talent for curses, hexes, and cruel potions. I even discovered that I could talk to snakes, something I undoubtedly inherited from my Mother’s side of the family.

 

Magic came easily to me, sometimes even without my wand. It took very little effort for me to ace my O.W.L.S and N.E.W.T.S, and to graduate at the top of my class, as head boy. My magical talents showed me power, a drug second only to revenge. I had the blood, I the talent, and the desire. Power was just a small step away, a small break with my past. Before I could attain power, and be a great wizard, there were loose ends that needed tying.

***

 

“Mr. Riddle, could I have a word?” It was the voice of Albus Dumbledore. Hastily, Tom stood up, and followed the auburn-haired professor to his office. “Have a seat.” He said, staring at Tom with those piercing blue eyes.

“Yes, Professor?”

“I wanted to ask you about the Chamber of Secrets.”

“Professor, I’ve already told you and Professor Dippet what I know,” But Professor Dumbledore held up a hand, and Tom fell silent. There was a silence, and Dumbledore leaned over the oak desk, looking more grim and serious than Tom had ever seen him before.

“Mr. Riddle, what do you know about Parseltounge?” Tom frowned, not finding a response. Finally, Dumbledore replied.

“It is my belief that the Chamber can only be utilized by one who speaks Parseltounge. I believe you know what that is.” Tom nodded, mutely. “The ability runs in the blood line of Slaazar Slytherin, as you well know, I am sure.”

“Professor, are you suggesting that I had something to do with the attack?”

“I am not suggesting anything, Mr. Riddle. I would, however, like to warn you. You are a brilliant young man; there is no reason for me to speak down to you. You are also one of the most talented wizards I have seen in my career. I happen to know about some of your extra-curricular study.” Dumbledore looked him in the eye, and paused. ”The Dark Arts, tempting though they seem now, will not lead you to a happy end. You have the ability to become the greatest wizard ever to fight the Dark Arts, or to be one more who falls to their temptation.  I ask that you think on this, the decision can only be made by you.” Tom was silent, not at all knowing what to say. Dumbledore was seeing through him, into his soul, knowing what he was thinking, and it scared him. “You are dismissed.” Nodding curtly, Tom left the room, shutting the door, slowly. Behind him, Dumbledore let out a tired sigh, and closed his eyes. In an opened cabinet, the light of a recently used Pensieve glowed, casting a dim light around the room.  There was still time.

 

***

 

The train ride back from Hogwarts at the end on my seventh year was when my plan really struck me. I had toyed with the idea of taking revenge on my father, I had even found out where he lived, but I have never seriously planned the actual act. As a certified wizard, straight out of school, I felt as though it was what I had to do. I knew the so-called unforgivable curses, they were at my fingers, and now was the time to use them.  I would go to the house which should have been my home, and greet my father. Let him meet his creation before he died for what he did to my mother, and to me. The more I mulled on the idea, the more satisfying it seemed. I sighed, half smiling in the seclusion of the empty car. Suddenly, the long hours until I would be back by Little Hangleton seemed remarkably short.

 

I sat in quiet bliss, thinking over my plan when a cat wandered into my compartment. I looked at it, probably the escaped pet of one of my schoolmates. I drew out my wand, aimed at the cat, and muttered the Cruciatus curse. I had studied the theory, but this was the first time I had ever performed the curse.

 

 It’s a good thing my part of the train was empty. I’ll never forget the noises that cat made. Satisfied that I knew the curse well enough, and content with the results, I put the wand away and smiled secretly to myself.

 

Little Hangleton was dark by the time I got back to the old mansion, my father’s house. It loomed forbiddingly on top of the hill, just as I remembered it. The moon glimmered, and all around the house it was silent. I and entered silently. I heard noise coming from the dining room. They were laughing, eating and having a good time. My heart was ready to burst with hatred.  I walked into the dining room, baring my wand.

 

“Hello father.” I stood in the doorway, holding my wand, and smiling what I suppose was a fairly sadistic smile. My father and elderly grandparents froze, not knowing how to react. I laughed. “Surprised to see me, are you? Didn’t think I’d come back?” I laughed quietly as my father gaped in surprise.

“Who, how…?” He spluttered like the ignorant fool he was.

“Tom, father. It’s Tom. Don’t you know your own son?  Well, I’m back to repay you for the kindness you showed me when I was a child.” I said all this calmly, trying to keep from laughing at my father’s expression.  With a flick of my wand, I put my grandparents under the total body bind curse. They looked at me helplessly as I turned to my father. He was breathing heavily now, scared to death. This was exactly how I wanted it.

“Tom, don’t do this…”

“Why not? Give me one reason why I shouldn’t let you suffer, just like you let me.” He gawked, not able to defend himself.

“Scared of me,  father?” My tone was mocking, but there was no trace of a grin on my face, sadistic or otherwise. My mind was overcome with hatred. I cursed him with a muting spell, and his mouth moved, but no sound came out. He flinched at the bitterness in my voice, and I made my move. “CRUCIO!” I shouted as loud as I dared to, and my father writhed in pain. I let him lie like that for a while, and took a drink, watching him. Pictures of my mother, dying alone in a hospital, memories of my own beating at the orphanage all flooded my mind as I watched his silent screams. Searching my soul, I could find no morsel of pity for the man lying in front of me.

“Had enough?” I asked, and he nodded, tears streaming down his face. “You should have thought about a wizard’s skills before you provoked one.” I cursed him, my anger growing as he writhed on the floor, his pain reminding me of what he did to mum and me so many years before. “I’ll save you for last.” I turned to my grandparents. Quickly, they both lay on the floor, dead, the green light of the killing curse illuminating the room.  He looked at me, pleading for mercy with his eyes.   It was over for him, and beginning for me. I smiled down the wand, prepared for the rush of power, the thrill of revenge, eagerly awaiting my future. I raised my wand, and spoke the last words Tom Riddle heard on this Earth.

“Good bye, father.”

***

One of the police bent down, looking at the coroner’s reports.

“I en’t never seen anythin’ like it.” He said, in an astonished voice, scratching a bald spot on the back of his head. The pictures and files were spread out over a table in the station, all depicting and narrating a strange event. Disbelieving, the policeman looked closer at the photo, trying to find some explanation in the faces of the three dead people. There was none. He just shook his head, and turned to a man in handcuffs, on the opposite side of the table.

“Well, Bryce.” Spat the senior officer. “It looks like we have no proof.” He frowned, as though he sincerely wished he had the essential evidence to convict.

“What did you expect? You examined me enough, ought to have found I told you the truth.” Said the man, an equal amount of bitterness in his voice. The officer grimaced.

The officers gathered up the pictures and files, and shoved them into a folder. One man took the folder, and locked it in a cabinet.

“Get him out of here.” With a click, the handcuffs were off, and Frank Bryce walked out of the station, rubbing his wrists, sore from the handcuffs. The officer grabbed Frank’s hand roughly, and the man turned. “We know what you did, Bryce. I’ll advise you leave town.” Frank started the officer in the eye, not saying a word, before silently walking out of the station.

 

Three miles away, no one heard a voice mutter an incantation, and no one in the sleeping town saw a strange green shape glowing in the sky over the Riddle manor, before it was light and the smoke had faded. 

//
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