It's short. Better ones ought to come along sometime soon.

The young boy stared up at his hands, eyes wide, breath stuck in his throat. He couldn't have been more than four, hardly human yet, although he'd already faced more than many others would deal with in their entire lives.

And now, curled up on the broken-in bed, the dark night wrapped around him more protectively than the coarse sheets, there was a light in his hand. It was soft sphere that glowed enough to illuminate the room in a cool flush, dull enough that it didn't awaken the other boys in the room, but bright enough to fend off the encroaching darkness.

He wasn't afraid of the dark; only, he'd been startled when something had moved. It had probably been nothing more than a mouse, but you could never know in these places- sleeping lightly could save you from all sorts of terrible fates at the hands of other orphans, older orphans.

He hadn't been certain how it had happened; only that he had wanted light, and that a star must have fallen from the sky into his hands to provide it for him. The sphere shed heat only when he touched it directly, no warmth emanated from it, and the light it cast was a decidedly chill shade of white- but it comforted him nonetheless.

It intrigued him.

His breathing had returned to him, without his notice, and caught again when the sound of it threatened his concentration. It wasn't so bright that it hurt his eyes to look at it, but when he looked away there was a glowing purple outline of a sphere, its edges vaguely shrouded by his hands.

He almost wanted to know what it might taste like- something sweet, something wonderful, but he knew instinctively that if he lifted it to his mouth, it would leave him. So instead he held it above his head, unsteady grip sending the light trembling across the room. Leaping shadows darted about him and he didn't take the slightest notice.

He was growing tired once more, but he did not want to go to sleep, did not want to lose the light that he stroked gently once, like a pet.

But slowly, his eyelids crept shut, and he rolled onto his side, holding the light to his cheek, where it slowly faded, leaving warmth in its wake. He was too tired, too soothed to become upset at its absence, although something hollow filled him as he drifted off to sleep.

When he awoke in the morning, Tom Riddle did not immediately remember what had happened during the night; the bustle of life distracted him, so that he couldn't dwell on it, try to duplicate the event, until when he remembered it much later on that day… and a small smile formed at his lips when he did, for he knew finally, that he was special.