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Chapter 15

Late September, 1945

A forest somewhere in Albania.

Tom liked it here. Albania was a great country, and he had learned a lot during the month that he had been here. He had been searching for the long lost diadem of Ravenclaw, and so far, it hadn't been going very well. He had been experiencing some difficulties finding the tree that Helena Ravenclaw had told him about months earlier.

Currently he sat alone, deep in a forest, and was looking at a small mountain lake. This mission he was on was proving to be far more difficult than he had anticipated. He had spent the last couple of months wandering aimlessly through the forest, in search of an ancient forked tree. He had very little information to go on, but he knew that the tree would be very heavily guarded with ancient magic, he was sure that he would feel the magic pulsing once he was close to the right tree.

Tom sat and enjoyed the silence in the forest. He could hear several animals that were running around in the heavy forest surrounding him. No humans, aside from himself. It was heaven. He thought back on his summer at Malfoy Manor. It had been nice, he had his own suites now, located in the family wing. He had made some plans with Abraxas, who was busy trying to run all of the Malfoys businesses and estates, and Tom had to admit, he did look forward to spending more time with them when he returned. Alcina had left Malfoy Manor with Tom, and after spending a week seeing the sights, they had parted ways, Tom taking the portkey to Albania, and Alcina taking the portkey to South America. He would miss her, that was for sure.

And then there was Gellert. Tom must admit, true to his word, as soon as Gellert was out of Hogwarts, he was making plans. He wanted to rule the world alongside Tom. Tom did like the sound of that, ruling the world.

Tom's plans were to make the Diadem, as soon as he found it, into his third horcrux. It would be the perfect magical object to house a piece of his soul.

Tom stood and went over to the clear mountain lake, he looked down in the sparkling water and took some to wash his face with. Taking his backpack, Tom started to walk into the forest. He wanted to find a good spot where he could make camp for the night. He needed to decide where to look tomorrow.

Tom spent the next couple of weeks trying to find that damned tree. He was so close to just giving up, after two months of endless searching, when he got to a small clearing. Tom looked around in awe, it was absolutely beautiful. He was close to one of the great snow capped mountains, and a small river flowed down the mountain side, gathering in a small pool. Before the small pool, stood a huge yew tree. Tom remembered that Helena Ravenclaw had told him that she hid her diadem in a yew tree, near a snow capped mountain. He put his backpack down, and went over to the huge tree to investigate. Tom looked up at the tree and noticed a small hole in the tree's thick trunk. It was a long ways up, but Tom didn't mind. He cast a levitation spell on himself, and managed to make himself float up towards the hole in the trunk. The hole was rather deep, and Tom had to stretch his arm to see if there were anything down in the hole. He was about to give up, when he felt his fingers brush against something hard and smooth. Pressing his body up against the tree and shoving his arm in as far as he could, he managed to get a hold on something. Tom pulled it out slowly so he wouldn't drop it. As he got it out, he stared in awe at the Lost Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw, which now lay in his hand. Tom read the text that was etched upon the surface of the Diadem.

"Wit beyond measure, is a man's greatest treasure." Tom read out loud.

Turning the diadem over in his hands, Tom thought it was rather beautiful. There was a large round opal in the middle with an eagle atop it, with diamonds encrusted in its great wings. To smaller opals, hang like tear drops down from the huge opal. Tom couldn't help it, he laughed, long and hard.

He had finally found it, after weeks and months of searching for it. He had found a piece of wizarding history, that no one else had managed to find. He truly was a remarkable wizard.

Tom carefully, lowered himself down to the ground, where he very carefully, placed the diadem in his backpack. Now he just needed to find someone he could kill, someone who wouldn't be missed. Tom decided to get out of the forest, and look for a village.

It took Tom 5 days to get out of the forest, and when he did, he quickly found a small village, where he could get some food and a place to stay for the night. After a brief walk through the rundown village, Tom walked into a small cavern, and managed to get a room for the night. He was really looking forward to sleeping in a real bed again, granted it wasn't the best mattress, it was nothing like in his room at Malfoy Manor, but it would have to do for the night. Tom took off his clothes, and went to have a quick shower before he would go down and find something to eat. It was nice to be able to wash up properly for a change, Tom let the water run down his face, and he closed his eyes and let his mind wander. He had done it, he had managed to find the diadem. Tom could barely believe it, after such a long search he finally found it. Maybe he would have a chance to get to Malfoy Manor before christmas. It would be nice to be back home.

With his mind set on a nice dinner, he walked out and dressed in clean clothes before he went to walk through the village. Tom quickly found a place where he could eat, and ordered some food and a glass of water to drink. As he waited for his dinner, Tom looked over an old text book he had copied from his search of Dumbledore's office. There was a lot of useful information in it. Tom read about the Philosophers stone, and ate his dinner. It would be very difficult to create that stone, but he knew Gellert surely had some men already working on it.

When Tom was finished, he walked outside and started to look around. It was getting dark, and now Tom would have a chance to create his third horcrux before he would return home to Britain.

Tom looked around trying to find a victim, when he saw an old peasant walking around, begging for food. Tom quickly followed the old man, and when the man walked out of the small village, Tom too, left the village.

When he deemed it wise, he pushed the man up against a tree, and used legilimency on him. Tom quickly sifted through the man's memories, and was happy with what he found. The man clearly didn't have any family left, so no one would miss him. The man had started to whimper and cry as Tom finally withdraw from his mind.

"You should be happy, you get the honor of helping me to create immortality for myself. You shouldn't cry but be overly happy by it." Tom whispered to the man, and could feel his magic crackling around him.

The man continued his whimpering and began shaking like a leaf. Tom flicked his wand so the diadem floated beside him.

"Avada Kedavra," Tom hissed and watched the green light hit the man straight in the chest. Tom felt the familiar feeling of magic ripping his soul apart, and as he pointed his wand at the diadem he began to recite an ancient spell, and felt as his soul ripped from his body and into the Diadem.

Tom took several deep breaths before he quickly left the old man, erasing all traces of his presence so no one would know he had been there.

He left the body behind, while he went back to the Soddy little inn to get some sleep before he would make plans for his return to Malfoy Manor.

December 1945, Malfoy Manor

Abraxas sat in his father's study, trying to get everything to work to his liking. Svea and her family would be arriving any minute now, and he was quite nervous. Alcina wasn't able to make it home this December, she was studying ancient healing magic somewhere in northern Greece at the moment.

Tom had written a letter to Abraxas telling him that he would be arriving at Malfoy Manor at some point before Christmas.

"Missy!" Abraxas called, and the little elf appeared with a quiet pop.

"Master called for Missy?" The little elf said and looked expectantly up at Abraxas.

"Yes, is everything in order for Sveas arrival?" Abraxas asked. He wanted the Manor to feel like her home, from the very moment that she arrived.

"Yes, Master, Missy has done everything Master! Yes, Missy has. Young Mistress will love it here, Missy is sure of it!" Missy said, excitedly bouncing on the balls of her feet.

"Thank you Missy, and prepare Tom's room as well. He should be here in a couple of days." Abraxas said.

"Missy will prepare Mr. Riddles room. Anything else Master wish for Missy to do?" Missy asked.

"Yes, put these letters in Tom's room. They are private, so please put them someplace safe." Abraxas said and handed the elf some letters that had arrived for Tom while he was in Albania.

"Yes Master! Missy can do that!" Missy said and took the letters and disappeared with another soft pop.

Abraxas started to pace in front of the fireplace in his study. He had been pacing for several minutes when he felt the wards breach.

"Missy, who is it?" Abraxas called.

"Master, Mr. Riddle has arrived home!" Missy called when she appeared in the study with Tom in tow.

"Thank you Missy, you may go. Please ensure the fires are all lit so the Manor is warm." Abraxas said and went over to Tom, looking him over.

"You look nervous Abraxas, is everything alright?" Tom asked and went over to shake hands with him.

"Yes, My Lord. Svea and her family are due to arrive any minute now with the Portkey I sent, and I am a bit nervous that she's changed her mind. Perhaps she won't be happy at the Manor?" Abraxas said, as he sighed and shook hands with Tom.

"Everything seems to be in order, the house is lovely, I doubt you need to be nervous. I'm quite certain she will be happy here." Tom said and gave Abraxas a small smile.

"I hope you're right." Abraxas sighed, when he felt the wards breach again, which only made him more nervous.

Tom chuckled as he saw what little color Abraxas had, slowly drain from his face.

"Abraxas, go meet your fiancé. I am going to take a bath and maybe get some rest. I only wanted to let you know that I was able to return a few days earlier than I had anticipated." Tom said and turned to leave the study and go to his room.

"My Lord, I would be quite pleased if you were to dine with us tonight?" Abraxas asked.

"Of course Abraxas, I would love to." Tom said and went up the stairs just as he heard the doorbell chime.

Abraxas took some deep breaths before he turned around. He watched how Missy lead Svea and her family in. When Abraxas saw Svea he was instantly filled with happiness. Why had he even been nervous? The young blond witch with grey blue eyes, lit up in a huge smile when she saw Abraxas.

"Mr. Malfoy, we are pleased to see you again!" Sveas father, Thor Wilkenhawk said as he shook hands with Abraxas.

"Likewise Mr. Wilkenhawk, and you to Mrs. Wilkenhawk." Abraxas said and kissed Sveas mother, Freja Wilkenhawk's, hand.

"Where is Jonathan? I was under the impression he would be joining us as well?" Abraxas asked.

"Jonathan couldn't get the time off. Apparently they just got some new Dragons at the Dragon Reservation, so he chose to stay behind." Mr. Wilkenhawk said.

"What a delightful home you have here Mr. Malfoy! And such beautiful gardens! I do hope I get the chance to see them before we travel home." Mrs. Wilkenhawk said.

"I would love to give you a tour before you go. Come, let's go into my study where we will be more comfortable." Abraxas said as he held his arm out for Svea, and led everyone into his study. Guiding his guests to the large, plush sofas in front of the fireplace, Abraxas went to prepare a drink for his soon to be father in law.

"Do you live here yourself?" Mr. Wilkenhawk asked as Abraxas handed him a tumbler with the finest aged Firewhiskey.

"No, my sister lives here as well, however, she is currently in Greece studying ancient healing practices. I have a friend from school who lives here, you will have the opportunity to meet him at dinner this evening. He just got home from a trip to Albania." Abraxas said and handed Mrs. Wilkenhawk and Svea a glass of vintage white wine. Abraxas and the Wilkenhawks sat and enjoyed their drinks, chatting about recent holidays and the Wilkenhawks plans for a future trip to Italy. Svea spent the entire time smiling coyly at Abraxas, and blushing each time he glanced at her.

"Well, I think we better be off to begin unpacking, Svea darling, would you like to come along and unpack or stay and chat with young Abraxas a little bit longer?" Mrs. Wilkenhawk asked.

"I think I'll stay, if that's alright?" Svea said and eyed Abraxas, who nodded his head in agreement.

"Oh, young love!" Mrs. Wilkenhawk said and went with Mr. Wilkenhawk after Abraxas had called for Missy to show them to their rooms.

As soon as the door was close behind her parents, Svea squealed and launched herself towards Abraxas who captured her in his arms and held her tight.

"I missed you so much!" Svea said and kissed his cheek.

"I missed you to darling." Abraxas said and kissed her.

"I can't wait until I can move over here and be with you everyday." Svea said and broke the kiss.

"I can't wait for that day to arrive either." Abraxas said and carried her to the couch in the room, where he laid her down, and kissed her again.

Tom had no idea how long he had slept, but it felt so good to lay in a proper bed again. He was happy to be home again.

After a long, hot shower, he had gone straight to bed.

"Missy?" Tom said, and the little elf appeared with a pop.

"Mr. Riddle called for Missy?" Missy said.

"Yes, what time is it? Is it time for dinner?" Tom asked.

"Dinner is served in 30 minutes in the great dining room, sir!" Missy said.

"Thank you Missy, please inform Abraxas that I'll be there." Tom said and watched the small elf vanish in a pop.

Tom turned around and noticed the letters that had arrived during the time he had been in Albania. He had read them all. Apparently the Ministry of Magic had offered him several jobs, in different departments, but Tom really didn't want to work in the Ministry. At least not right now. He had other plans, he had decided to go to Borgin and Burkes and request a job. That would give him a good opportunity to gather more support from the shops patrons. He also was rather interested in some of the objects that passed through the shop. Working there would give him the opportunity to get a good look at each item, perhaps he would find a few trinkets to claim for himself.

Tom quickly went to the wardrobe, and took some of his more formal robes out. He wanted to impress Abraxas's guests. Tom was grateful for Abraxas and all his help, he wouldn't want to embarrass his friend after all of the kindness Abraxas had shown him over the years. When he had put his robes on, he went down to try and find Abraxas.

Tom found him, in the study close to the dining room.

"Good evening Abraxas." Tom said and went to sit beside him.

"Good evening, my Lord." Abraxas said and took a tumbler with fire whiskey and handed it to Tom.

"Did you read the letters?" Abraxas asked after some time.

"Yes, apparently the ministry wants me to work for them. The letters were primarily different job offers in different departments." Tom sighed.

"I'm assuming you don't want to?" Abraxas grinned.

"No, I have other plans." Tom said.

"Was your trip a success?" Abraxas asked.

"It was, I have learned a great many new things." Tom said.

"I am glad." Abraxas said and smiled.

"I look forward to meeting your fiancé. As well as her parents." Tom said.

"I still have a hard time believing that she is finally here." Abraxas said and smiled.

"I am happy for you." Tom said.

"Well, come along, my Lord, I would like to introduce you to Svea and her parents." Abraxas said and walked into the dining room, where Svea and her parents had just arrived.

"Oh, Mr. Malfoy! This really is a gorgeous home you have! I could just spend days looking at the gorgeous artwork in the hallways, that marble bust outside of my room is incredible." Mrs. Wilkenhawk said.

"Thank you. Mr. Wilkenhawk, Mrs. Wilkenhawk, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Mr. Tom Riddle. Tom these are Sveas parents, Thor and Freja Wilkenhawks. Svea's brother had to remain in Sweden, where he works at the Dragon Reservation." Abraxas said.

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Tom said and shook hands with Sveas father and kissed her mother's hand.

"And this lovely lady here, is the next Lady Malfoy." Abraxas said and turned to look at the beautiful young blond haired witch.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Abraxas has told me so much about you." Tom said and kissed her hand.

"The pleasure is all mine My Lord." Svea said and bowed her head slightly.

I like her already.

"Come let's get some dinner, and then I can show you around the house later. Perhaps we can talk a walk in the gardens, they are quite beautiful at night." Abraxas said and led Sveas mother to her seat, where he gently pulled the chair out.

"Allow me?" Tom said and handed Svea his arm, which she took gratefully.

"What has Abraxas told you about me?" Tom asked quietly when he showed Svea to the table.

"He has told me everything, we don't have any secrets from each other." Svea said and smiled.

"I am glad Miss Wilkenhawk." Tom said and pulled the chair out for her, before he went to take his own spot. He looked at Svea and Abraxas and could see how much they loved each other. Tom would never understand it, that was for sure. Love only makes you weak, but if that was that it would take to make Abraxas happy, then so be it. Abraxas should be happy, Tom thought.