A/N:Hope you enjoy! Please read, reviews appreciated.


Chapter One

Sunrise was drawing near, the night sky transforming gradually from navy to mauve to a grey-blue. The stars were fading, sparkling for their last time as they disappeared into nothing, and the first rays of sunlight were getting ready to break out over the horizon. All was peaceful and tranquil.

And below the smoky-blue sky, in the Great Hall of Hogwarts castle, hundreds of witches and wizards, students and teachers, members of the Order of the Phoenix and Death Eaters alike all stood still and silent… watching… waiting…

For this was the moment that two enemies had waited for for seventeen years. This was what their lives had led to. One of them was about to kill the other.

Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort circled each other, Voldemort's gleaming red eyes never leaving Harry's sparkling green ones. Voldemort was filled with an immense hunger; at last, after so many years of plotting and hunting him down, this was the day he was finally going to be rid of the troublesome boy that he hated with his whole heart.

'You won't be killing anyone else tonight,' Harry said, as they maintained that perfect circle.

Voldemort sneered. Oh, how noble Potter was trying to be! But did he really think that he, a stupid little boy, could ever stop the great Lord Voldemort from doing anything that he wanted to do? And yet, though he would never admit it, deep down, Potter's bravery had always slightly impressed him. But, of course, there was a very fine line between bravery and complete foolishness…

'You won't be able to kill any of them, ever again,' Harry continued, 'don't you get it? I was ready to die to stop you hurting these people –'

'But you did not!' Voldemort spat back, his hand closing tighter around the Elder Wand, his wand, the wand that would help him defeat Potter once and for all…

'- I meant to, and that's what did it. I've done what my mother did,' Potter said, as they continued to prowl around each other, 'they're protected from you. Haven't you noticed how none of the spells you put on them are binding? You can't torture them. You can't touch them. You don't learn from your mistakes, Riddle, do you?'

Riddle? For a fraction of a second, the word scorched Voldemort's heart like a hot poker, and froze his whole body in shock. No soul had called him Riddle for years, a number of years that he could not remember, and the idea of his Muggle father's name repulsed him… sickened him and disgusted him to the very bone…

And now his mind was rapidly and unintentionally wandering and he could do nothing to stop it… what was wrong with him? Was Potter performing Legilimency on him? No…his magic was not that powerful… Voldemort panicked as his own mind took him back to memories that he had not visited in years… for this moment, his focus on Potter vanished… and he was Tom Riddle again…

The library was deadly silent, the falling snow outside silencing it even more so, with only the small clattering of Madam Thompsett, the librarian, to be heard, organising and rearranging her beloved books.

Most students had gone home for the Christmas holidays, but Tom Riddle was one of the few that remained. Now he sat in the corner of the library, his brow furrowed in concentration as his dark eyes scanned through each of the books that lay in a pile before him.

He sat there for hours, unmoving and silent, reading word after word of books that interested him and books that bored him, searching for the faintest hint of the name he so wanted to see…

'Tom, sweetheart…'

Tom shut the cover of the last book heavily, sighing, and looked up into the face of Madam Thompsett, who was smiling kindly down at him, her large round glasses perched on the end of her short, stubby nose.

'I'm sorry, darling, but you'll have to go… the library has to close for the day,' she said sweetly, picking up some of his books and putting them back on the shelves, as Tom Riddle was the only student she would do this for.

'Maybe you could come back tomorrow to finish off your work?' she asked, sounding hopeful as she replaced the last book.

Tom, who had been simply staring out of the window, surprised to find it dark outside, turned his head and answered his admirer automatically, though his thoughts were somewhere different entirely.

'No, sorry,' he said, and he stood up suddenly, almost knocking the chair over, 'I – I've finished it. I won't need to come back tomorrow.'

'Oh,' Madam Thompsett said, disappointed,' that's a shame. I say, my dear, are you alright? You look very pale…'

'I'm fine,' Tom said, a little sharper than he intended, but he didn't care about charm and manners at the moment… he had more pressing things to deal with…

He walked briskly out of the library, almost running as he set off down the corridor, desperate to get the ideas floating around his head out of his mind… it could not be true… it could not…

But over the last three years, he had searched and asked every record of magic in Hogwarts about it… the portraits, the trophy room, ghosts, teachers, every single book in the library – finishing with those he had just read – but now he had reached the conclusion he had dreaded, even, perhaps, feared…

Tom Riddle Sr. had been a Muggle. He had never set a foot in Hogwarts, had never performed magic, probably never even heard of it, he had never been the great wizard Tom Riddle Jr. had always imagined his father to be. And as Tom skirted round yet another corridor, he ran at full speed in desperation to get away from the images that haunted his mind…

With a brutal force, he remembered what he had said to Dumbledore upon learning he was a wizard just over three years ago: 'Was my father a wizard? My mother can't have been magic, or she wouldn't have died. It must've been him...'

Tom ran and ran, rage, disgust… and even a little fear building inside of him. What would his fellow Slytherins say when they realised he was a filthy half-blood, not unlike the Mudbloods that they frequently tortured? Would they shun him? No… he was their leader, wasn't he? Marcellus Lestrange and Icarus Avery worshipped the ground that Tom Riddle walked on…

Suddenly Tom stopped as he spotted a light at the end of the corridor, and he noticed how dark it had become without him realising. He saw he was near the Astronomy tower, the other side of the castle to the library…

'Just where do you think you're going?' a girl's voice rang out in the black, empty corridor, and the source of light drew closer as its creator did so.

'What business is it of yours?' Tom snapped, a dark eyebrow raised.

The girl came into view, the light illuminating her face. She was extraordinarily beautiful, with deep navy eyes and shimmering light blonde hair. Tom noticed a 'Ravenclaw Prefect' badge was pinned proudly onto her robes.

'It's my business,' the girl snarled, 'when arrogant third years decide to go for a night time wander. Now get back to your common room,' and she added, eyeing the Slytherin emblem emblazoned onto Tom's robes, 'I believe it's several floors below.'

Tom narrowed his eyes and reached for his wand. He wasn't in the mood for bossy prefects and their pointless commands… no-one told him what to do. Quickly checking there was no-one around, Tom drew out his wand…

'What do you think you're doing?!' the Ravenclaw cried angrily, quickly drawing her wand as well.

Tom sent a jinx flying at her, but only for her to block it with a shield charm.

He tried again, but she was too fast, and he dodged one of her jinxes just in time, sending another back, but once again she blocked it…

'Petrificus Totalus!' the Prefect cried, and Tom fell to the floor, frozen and furious.

'Lumos,' the Prefect muttered quietly as she came to stand by Tom, her breathing shallow and a look of pure terror on her face at what she had done.

'Oh no… I'm sorry,' she said, and murmured 'Relashio', though she still kept her wand pointing at Tom.

'You –' Tom began, ready to throw insults at his attacker as he lay on the floor, glaring at her.

'Don't you dare!' she cried, angry again, 'you started it, you arrogant idiot! Listen…' she said, calming herself again, 'Prefects aren't exactly meant to attack students… and you shouldn't be wandering around here at night, let alone starting fights with people… so, why don't we both just keep quiet?'

Tom felt ready to duel again… to make her feel pain like she had never felt pain, because nobody had ever beaten Tom Riddle at a duel before. But her navy eyes calmed him as well… and he knew that this was a good deal… he had the headmaster eating out of the palm of his hand – a very good position for Tom to be in, and something that would surely help him at sometime – and it wasn't something he wanted to watch crumble.

So Tom stood up, and as the Ravenclaw offered him her hand, before he could even truly think about the consequences and his morals, he took it.

'I'm Adonia Breckenridge, by the way,' she introduced herself.

'I'm…' Tom hesitated. Did he really know who he was anymore? He had always said his name with such pride, believing his father to be someone important and special…someone who would make Tom Riddle Jr. different from all other Toms…

But who was he now? He did not want his filthy Muggle father's name… and then he remembered something he had written once whilst practicing his signature… an anagram, and a different name for himself… so much better than the common Tom

Tom smiled, though it looked ghostly and slightly ethereal in the dark.

'Voldemort.'