A/N: In case you missed the summary, this story is rated R for violence and very adult content. You have been forewarned. This story is about Lord Voldemort's ascent to power; therefore, it cannot possibly be nice and sweet. Read it...if you dare.
Note: It is going to take me awhile to complete this story, so expect weeks to pass between chapters. Why? I'm writing about evil. It's difficult to think dark and evilly for long stretches at a time. Also, I'm writing about stuff I normally would not watch on a television or movie screen. This is the most intense fic I've ever written. It also contains themes or elements which cause me to blush while writing them. As you can see, I'm serious about this.
Hugs and kisses to those who stick with this "epic." Give yourself a long-stemmed, red rose if you provide a review. ^_~
Disclaimer: Harry Potter ideas, characters, and places do not belong to me. They belong to J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers.
Immortalis Dominus Dominatus
"Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think, there are no little things." ~Bruce Barton
Please let it continue, she thought in the twilight between dreaming and waking.
She was six years old again playing in the hilly, flower-dappled meadow behind Grandfather's house. The sky was a beautiful, soft summer blue where gulls frolicked, and chattered in harsh voices. A playful, light breeze from the Irish Sea caressed the girl-child's face and lifted her long, glossy tresses. She bent and pulled up a daffodil from the soft earth to bring to Grandfather. After she acquired a handful of the sunny flowers, she ran down the hill to her much beloved grandfather. He stood and watched the picturesque child with his dark, ringlets and dusk blue eyes run barefooted towards him.
Panting, she gaily shouted, "Here, Grandfather. These are for you." She handed him the bouquet of sweet smelling sunshine, lovingly chosen just for him.
Grandfather took the gift and gently placed his hand on the girl's head. "Thank you, my Moon Princess." He smiled warmly at the little face upturned to his.
She gazed up at him with a smile that radiated her delicate, pretty face. How she loved Grandfather!
Then the sun's angle changed to obscure Grandfather's kindly face. Slowly, he began to disappear into the bright rays.
"Grandfather!" She began to panic.
"GRANDFATHER!" she wailed as he completely vanished into the sun.
"GRANDFATHER, COME BACK TO ME!"
Far away, his voice came back to her. "Not yet, Moon Princess."
Then she remembered that Grandfather died when he was thrown from a Thestral, a rare black winged horse.(1)
The horn blasted through her dream and shredded it.
She rose slowly and awkwardly from her cot for another day's work at Holwark Textile Factory.
"Better get a move on, Winona," said Rivers not unkindly.
Winona smiled wanly, and, before she could prevent it, was attacked by a series of brutal coughs that wracked her frame and tore at her lungs and throat. She was able to grab a ragged handkerchief to catch the blood that invariably flew from her mouth whenever she coughed.
"Are you going to stay with us another day?" said Ruby.
Winona nodded, and managed to stand. It was a miracle that her thin frame, vainly fighting the last stages of consumption, was able to withstand the load she was carrying. It seemed as though the unborn child was taking everything from her. Despite it all, it continued to thrive and grow. Winona's large, bulbous stomach appeared grotesque on her nearly emaciated body.
The matron of the ward, Gertrude Von Tassel, barged into the cramped room housing twenty-three indigent women. Her large bulk blocked most of the doorframe.
"Step lively!" she barked. "There will be no time for breakfast."
The women groaned.
"Come, don't you people have a heart? We're half starved as it is," Mary boldly stated.
Von Tassel gazed at Mary as though she were an insect. "Greedy, ungrateful riff-raff, that's what you are. That's what all of you are! We provide a roof over your heads and healthy rations, and you dare to ask for more. Ungrateful wretches!" she spat.
"It is your own fault that you are too lazy and shiftless to do for self! Now, get a move on! Mr. Baron wants all of you at the factory an hour early, and I mean to see you get there, on time."
"Please, Miss, could we have something? A piece of bread or an orange?"
"What did I just tell you, Sally? You will get nothing this morning! If you open your mouth again, you won't get supper either!"
"What about, Winona, Miss?" retorted Lizzie. "Look at her. She needs something for the child, if not for herself."
Von Tassel turned her chilly blue eyes on Winona and gazed at her with contempt. "That bastard needs nothing. It deserves to be drowned as soon as it is born. It will just be another burden on society, as if we don't have enough problems."
She turned to the rest of the women in the poorhouse ward. "Now, MOVE IT, I say!"
Her water broke and the labour pains began while she was working the loom. She gasped as the cramps tore at her abdomen. The foreman shouted at her to continue working when he caught her doubled up in front of the partially woven wool.
Before the workday ended, she could no longer bear the constricting pains. She begged the foreman to send her to a hospital for her baby was coming. He sneered at her helplessness, and then summoned two women employees.
"Escort this wench over to Ste. Catherine's Orphanage. I don't want her having the bastard on the premises."
"Come, Winona," said Frances as she gently assisted Winona to her feet.
Frances and Carolyn helped Winona walk three-quarters of a mile to Ste. Catherine's Orphanage. It took them nearly two hours to reach their destination.
"Name, please," inquired the unfriendly woman behind the desk in the receiving room at Ste. Catherine's.
"Winona," she gasped in a weak voice as another wave of contractions hit her. "Winona Astrid Riddle."
"Wait here," ordered the woman, and then she left.
"Are you going to be all right, dearie?" said Carolyn, a scrawny, middle-aged woman.
Winona nodded. A moment later, she was seized with a coughing fit.
"Good God, you would think that they would give her a chair to sit on," exclaimed Frances in consternation.
About twenty minutes later, the unfriendly woman returned with a man wearing a long, white coat and a mask over his face.
"Good evening, ladies. I am Doctor Potten. Will you two help bring Miss Riddle to the room down the hall?"
"Yes, Doctor," replied Carolyn.
"Come, Winona, just a little farther," said Frances softly as she placed her arm around Winona's waist.
Once she was settled on the bed, Doctor Potten politely ordered Frances and Carolyn to leave. After they had left the room, the doctor began to ask Winona questions. The nurse beside him, wearing a mask, jotted down Winona's responses in a ledger.
"How old are you, Miss Riddle?"
"The child's father's name?"
"Tom Riddle." Then she screamed as a particularly agonising cramp seized her.
"Nancy, give her some water, and bring more towels," he told the nurse. "Be careful not to touch anything with your bare hands. She has consumption."
Nancy left. About a minute later, she returned to encourage Winona to drink a glass of water. The drink was cool and refreshing to her raw throat.
"Now, then," said Doctor Potten returning to business. "How long have you been coughing up blood?"
"About five months, sir."
Doctor Potten winced. "I will be frank with you, Miss. I doubt that you or your child will survive. I've seen cases like this before. Your child may be stillborn. In your condition, it is highly unlikely that you will live after it's born. Tell me, do you have anyone for us to contact in the event your child is born healthy? Where is Mr. Riddle?"
Weakly, she replied, "Tom abandoned me, sir. He has no interest in the child."
Doctor Potten and Nancy glanced at each other. Then Doctor Potten said, "Can anyone else vouch for it? What about your parents?"
Overwhelming sadness briefly flitted across her face. "My parents live in Little Hangleton, in North Yorkshire."
"Their names and address, please."
"Drakonis and Iris Slytherin. Number thirteen, Hollow Lane."
Hours later, she was deep within the throes of labour. The doctor told her when to push and breathe. Winona did not believe she could make it. Her breathing became raspier, and blood began to trickle from her mouth without the aid of a cough.
Once, she thought she heard the doctor whisper to the nurse that she was dying. Death no longer frightened her. It would be a relief. She would be free of this wretched world. Doctor Potten noted her glassy eyes.
With all of the failing strength she could muster, Winona pushed and the baby's head broke through with a ripping pain.
"Come, Winona, just one more push!"
She pushed. A moment later, Winona heard her child cry.
"You have a boy," smiled Nancy.
Feebly, with darkness gathering on the periphery of her vision, Winona requested to see her son.
Nancy placed the swaddled newborn in her arms. Winona gazed at the reddish coloured baby with sparse, fine strands of jet-black hair and indistinct hued eyes. She pressed her lips to his forehead.
"Here, let me take him," said Nancy.
"Please, let me hold him," begged Winona in a weak, raspy voice. "Please." Then she closed her eyes.
"Nancy, she will not hold on much longer. Go fetch Father Joseph."
Winona heard Nancy's footsteps as she left the room.
"His name is Tom Marvolo Riddle," Winona said quietly as her life began to ebb in earnest.
"Pardon?" said Dr. Potten.
"My son. His name is Tom Marvolo Riddle. Tom after his father, and Marvolo after his grandfather."
"It has been noted."
In a journal, Doctor Potten wrote: "Born 11:13 P.M., on the 24th of June in the year of our Lord, 1926, a boy: Tom Marvolo Riddle to Winona Astrid Riddle, age 19."
Tom would spend the first five years of his life in Ste. Catherine's before being transferred to St. Cuthbert's Orphanage for Boys.
Nancy returned with Father Joseph, who grabbed a chair and sat next to Winona's bed. While wearing a mask and gloves, he began to read from the twenty-third chapter of Psalms.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in the green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Distantly, as the darkness rushed toward her and began to enfold her in its arms, Winona heard a voice say, "Take the child to the infants' ward."
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. "Amen."
"Come, Moon Princess."
"I'm here. I've come back for you."
She smiled, for it was true. There he was standing before her in the bright sunlight on the hill full of daffodils behind his house. She reached out to take his hand. "Grandfather, I missed you. Where have you been?"
(1)J.K. Rowling as Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, (Scholastic Press, 2001), p42.