A/N: Hello, people!

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***WARNING!*** SORT OF TIME TRAVEL.


Tom Marvolo Riddle stared out at the starry sky, from his place near the window in the Astronomy Tower. It was the night of his fifteenth birthday and he was quite certain that he hadn't had a better time in his life. He was the only Slytherin to remain at Hogwarts for the Yule holiday and he had a veritable amount of time to himself. His first birthday that was actually peaceful.

With a sigh, the teen turned to leave. It wouldn't do good for him to be caught out after hours, even during a break. Dumbledore would certainly hound him for ages. Old fool.

When he was safely within his room in the Slytherin boy's dormitory, he put up a few protective spells and drifted off, hoping to get some rest for tomorrow. The students would be returning and the hectic day to dayness would return along with them.

***Tom looked around, strangely conscious of the fact that he was dreaming. He'd never been a dreamer and was always aware of when he dreamt. He looked around at the room he was in. It was obviously muggle owned, which made him sneer in distaste. Though the muggle that owned it obviously had fine tastes.

The room was decorated with expensive looking vases and portraits done with fanciful lining. They did not move, reassuring him that he dreamed himself into a muggle house.

There was a large window to the far side and a door to his left. He turned around, seeing a large open space that had been filled with a table and four chairs. He walked closer and noticed that a kitchen was open to his view. So it was adjoining this faux dining room then. So then the former must have been the drawing room or the entertainment center.

He did not recognize many of the things around him. He did recognized a miniature rendition of Elizabeth Tower, which fueled his belief that he was presently in England. He moved over to the widow and noticed a large Union Jack pillow resting on the sill. Definitely fans of their country then.

His inspection of the place was disturbed by a tapping. It started out soft, but quickly become louder and more insistent. He tuned in a full circle, wondering where the noise had come from.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He was not one for repetition. Not to terribly fond of it.

He strode with sure steps toward the door, and opened it carefully. A small corridor and a staircase met his view. The tapping was louder now, which meant it was coming from this area.

He closed the door behind him and listened again, for the noise.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

His head snapped to the left, eyes zeroing in on the small door under the stairs. There was a small vent on it that as halfway closed. The door moved slightly with the tapping noise, making him realize that the tapping was coming from inside the cupboard!

He frowned and moved quietly, switching the latch over and watching as a small form fell as the door swung free. The form landed with a thump on the floor, making a small 'oof!', noise.

Tom took in the messy black hair and the small body and realized that this was a child. A small child had been locked in a cupboard under the staircase?!

He bent down, intent upon helping the child up - even though it was a muggle - off the floor. What caught his eye though, was what was inside the cupboard. A blanket and a small pillow. Underneath the blanket was a large pair of trousers, spread out on the floor. Stuck to the wall, were small pictures of flowers and red-haired women. More like stick figures, but the intent in the drawing was clear enough. And the truth stuck out to Tom easily. This was a bedroom. The bedroom of the small child still lying on the floor.

He shifted his attention to the child and tapped him on the shoulder. The boy looked up and groaned, but rearranged himself onto his knees.

"Why were you locked in the cupboard?" Tom asked, remembering the latch.

The boy looked up an Tom's breath caught. The brightest green eyes he had ever seen. And they were attached to such an angelic little face too. The messy black hair and the pale skin, made the boy look so delicate. Breakable, in a sense.

The boy tilted his head and pointed behind him, "Woom. I's in twouble. I's do fweaky dings. Uncoi Voinon not happy."

Tom had to take a second to process it. The boy was in trouble with his uncle for doing something 'freaky'? So he was locked in a dark room because of it?!

Tom had a minor flashback to his younger days in the orphanage. The matron used to shove him in the basement for days whenever she found a good enough reason to.

He then remembered when the boy said. "Why are you with your uncle? Where are your parents? Surely they wouldn't allow you to be locked in a cupboard?"

The boy shook his head. "Ant Tuny and Uncoi Voinon have me. I's have no mummy or daddy."

An orphan then. Just… like… Tom.

"Mummies and daddies are for good boys. I's a fweak. Fweaks no get mummies and daddies."

How many times had the child called himself a 'freak'? Tom didn't like it. It reminded him too much of the orphanage and what the children were like to him.

"What is your name?" he asked, trying to remain calm.

"Fweak Boy."

Tom had it! Who the fuck taught a child to believe such a thing? At least the matron called him by name! The boy didn't even have that luxury!

"Why do they call you a freak?"

The boy looked down, "You no like me if you know."

"I promise not to hate you."

The boy looked up and huffed. He looked annoyed. "I's make Dudy's toys fwy. Ant Tuny was angwy. She scweamed and I's was scawed and make vase bweak."

His aunt was angry with him making someone's toys fly?

He was a wizard! The boy was magical and was living with muggles who obviously didn't appreciate it. And such a large display of accidental magic too.

Tom looked at the boy silently, wondering if maybe he should just give him a name. Perhaps it was for the best. "Is there a name you like? One you've heard and want to be called?"

He would never admit to anyone that the pout that came over the boy's face was cute. He'd take it to the grave with him. Wait, he wasn't planning on dying ever. Instead, he'd keep it close to the chest for the rest of his days.

The boy looked up and smiled suddenly, a bright cheerful expression that Tom was not used to seeing being aimed in his direction.

"I dweam of pwetty wed wady call me Hadwian."

"'Red lady'? Tom mimicked question.

The boy raised his hands to his hair and repeated the words in his childish language. He meant a red-haired woman. Probably the same woman from the pictures in the cupboard. And she called him 'Hadrian'. It was certainly better than 'freak'.

"I'll call you Hadrian, you like that?"

Hadrian nodded and smiled. "You name?"

"I'm Tom."

Hadrian's head tilted, "Like kitty?"

Tom had no idea what that meant, so he just nodded. Let the boy believe what he wanted.

As the boy grew excited, Tom finally took notice of the swollen cheek. There was only a small amount of light in the corridor, so he hadn't noticed it in the dark, but he was sure that one of Harry's cheeks was a lot larger than the other. He lifted his wand and cast the Lumos charm.

The boy's amazement did not deter Tom from noticing the red mark on the boy's left cheek. Tom was filled with anger. How dare those filthy muggles raise a hand to a wizard child! They should be killed for such actions.

Tom carefully placed a hand on Harry's cheek, mindful of the boy's flinch. With a murmured word, the swollen area shrank and became less inflamed. Pale skin was left in its wake, unmarred by injury.

Harry gasped lightly, "It no hoit anymoi!"

"No," Tom agreed with shake of the head. "Not anymore."

"Dank you, Tom!" Harry smiled, wrapping tiny arms around Tom's neck and hugging him. Something that had never happened to Tom before.

"You're welcome. How old are you?"

"I's five."

So small for a five year old little boy. Too small. A sense of dread filled Tom. "When did you eat last?"

"I's not eat today. I's boin food and Uncoi Voinon no let me eat."

Tom lifted the child quickly, mindful of his shocked gasp, and turned back to the drawing room. He then cut through to the kitchen and looked around wonderingly. "Where is the food kept?"

"Fwidge," Harry said, pointing to a large white box with a few handles.

Tom pulled on one handle and was graced with the sight of milk bottles. There were other things too, but he just grabbed the milk and the bowl of fruit and set them on the large counter.

Once he made sure that Harry had eaten two apples and had a full cup of milk, he cleaned the dishes quickly and looked around. "Where is the cutlery?"

Harry looked confused, but his eyes brightened quickly and he pulled a drawer open. Tom grabbed a knife and nodded his thanks to the boy.

Tom grabbed a few more apples and nodded for Harry to follow him. Back to the cupboard, Tom made a spectacle of pulling up one of the floorboards and showing Harry the open space. He cast many cleaning charms on the area and the outlined the small space with a cooling charm and set the apples inside. He then proceeded to carve as many Runes as he could remember, into the back of the wood. His magic filled them, making the odd markings glow. He then set the board back in place.

"This is to hide extra food in, okay?"

He waited for Harry to nod before continuing.

"Putting cold food in here is fine. It'll stay cold for you. The marks are special. No one but you or me will be able to move the board to get the food, okay?"

Harry was gaping, but nodding quickly. "Dank you, Tom."

Tom sighed as the boy once again hugged him. If it wasn't a dream, he'd be able to do more. But even he wouldn't allow a dream child to suffer.

Tom cast a shrinking charm on the boy's shirt to make it more form fitting He then put a heating charm on the pathetic excuse of a blanket and the enormous trousers.

Finally, Tom placed a small Rune ward on the doorway, so that no one but Harry could enter. No one could yank him out either. They's be unable to pass the door.

"Come. Lay down and try to get some rest."

Harry was obedient and stared at Tom from under his now warmed blanket.

"Would you like a song?"

The boy nodded and Tom sat in the small doorway and began humming a small nursery rhyme from his childhood.

Little Miss Muffet,

Sat on a tuffet,

Eating of curds and whey.

Along came a spider,

Who sat down beside her,

And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Harry giggled a little and Tom continued to other rhymes.

Ring-a-ring o' roses,

A pocket full of posies,

A-tishoo! A-tishoo!

We all fall down.

Harry's eyes began to close.

Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of rye.

Four and twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;

Wasn't that a dainty dish,

To set before the king?

The king was in his counting house,

Counting out his money;

The queen was in the parlour,

Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes,

When down came a blackbird

And pecked off her nose.

There was such a commotion,

that little Jenny wren

Flew down into the garden,

and put it back again.

By the time he'd finished, Harry was sound asleep. The teen stood quietly and sighed as he closed the door soundly. Even in a dream, he didn't like to leave such a child all by his lonesome.

An idea struck and Tom grinned evilly as he ascended the staircase. Even in a dream, he would get revenge.

The three other occupants of the muggle house were subjected to some very bad hexes. When they awoke the next morning, they were sure of a big surprise.***

Tom sat up from his bed and rubbed a hand over his forehead. One of the oddest dreams he'd ever had. And since he'd only dreamt a few times in his life, that was saying something.

The teen reluctantly got dressed for the day, mind wandering to the little boy in the cupboard.

Muggles really did things like that to magical children. He'd have to make sure that the muggles couldn't do such things. The world of magic needed to stand divided from the muggles and Tom knew that he'd be the one to make it happen.


Little did Tom know that far away, beyond the reach of time, lay a little boy. He curled up tightly under his warm blanket and dreamed a dream of magic, red-haired ladies, and and cats named Tom.

The Tom who was so nice.

The Tom who helped him.

The Tom who gave him a hug.

Harry Potter sighed in his sleep and allowing himself to be beguiled by the strangeness of his own inner world.


A/N: First is done! Chapter length will vary. The nursery rhymes originated from England. I looked them up. I do not own them. Anyone who doesn't know what 'Union Jack' is, it's the British flag. And Elizabeth Tow is sometimes referred to(inaccurately) as Big Ben.

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