Disclaimer: Harry Potter and his world belong to J K Rowling

Chapter 1: Alone in the World

31 December 1926

Merope Riddle had screamed out in pain as she had pushed forth her son from her body, but even that was not enough to stop her from wanting to hold him as soon as the doctor and midwife had helped her deliver him. "Let me see him."

The nurse handed the baby to her after cleaning him. "What are you going to call him?"

"Tom Marvolo Riddle." Merope sighed happily at the pretty features her son already seemed to possess despite his squashed and reddened face. "Tom is for his father."

"She's bleeding."

One of the other nurses had noticed a large red stain beginning to mushroom over the white sheet that Merope was lying upon.

Taking the baby from Merope, the medical team began to work to save her. However, in spite of their efforts, an hour later, baby Tom was alone in the world.

1 September 1938

When his name was called by Professor Dumbledore, the deputy headmaster of his new school, Tom Riddle Jr. sat down on the stool to be sorted into a house. Unlike the other children, however, he did not jump when the battered hat, known as the Sorting Hat, had spoken to him in his head, and instead he had merely responded to its question as to his aspirations. "I'm going to be the greatest wizard ever."

The Hat did not need much time to settle on the house into which the determined young boy needed to go. "SLYTHERIN!"

Tom took his place at the table next to some of the children who had already been sorted: Abraxas Malfoy, David Nott, Frederick Mulciber, and Selena Gregory. They were joined thereafter by Algernon Rookwood and Belvoir Rosier. Tom nodded politely at them and then turned his attention back to Dippet's speech.

10 June 1943

Tom stood in front of the second porcelain white sink in the girls' bathroom on the second floor and hissed at it. After a short time, upon hearing a noise in the tunnel below, he turned his back on the basilisk he knew would come forth.

Having sealed the bathroom and believing he was alone, Tom was therefore surprised when a cubicle door opened, and a bespectacled girl he recognized as a Hufflepuff, Myrtle Huggins, stepped out. She started to make a demand of him. "Go…"

Her words were cut off as the basilisk Tom had summoned reared its head out of the chasm behind them and the girl met its deadly gaze.

As her body hit the floor, Tom made a snap decision, and he hissed at the basilisk, "Return."

As the basilisk retreated, Tom stood over the girl. "Effero Animus." A silvery light appeared around the girl, and Tom knelt down by her, casting a second spell. "Aufero Pectus."

Myrtle's heart was ripped out of her body, flying into the air and hovering in front of Tom. Opening up his book bag, Tom withdrew a diary he had bought to record his thoughts in, and he touched his wand to it.

"Ratis Animus Tom Marvolo Riddle."

As the last syllable of the spell was spoken, Tom collapsed on to the floor, screaming in agony as white hot pain lanced through his body. A black splinter of matter was spewed out from his mouth and enfolded the silvery light, before devouring the heart and vanishing inside of the diary. Tom panted heavily as he tiredly pulled himself to his knees, picked up the diary, and placed it back into his book bag.

As he struggled up on to his feet, he hissed 'close' at the sink, and all evidence vanished of the entrance to the hole and what lay it beyond. Glancing down at the girl, Tom decided to leave the gaping and bloody hole that had once been her chest. It would serve him better in what he had planned to cover his tracks.

30 June 1943

Albus Dumbledore found himself contemplating the young man standing in front of him. "That was quite a service you've done for the school, Mr. Riddle, tracking down the culprit behind Miss Huggins' attack."

"I was just doing my duty, Professor." Tom hid the smile that threatened to break free as he thought about how his idea of duty differed from that of the man in front of him.

"I suppose you were." Albus met the young man's eyes, and he suppressed a shiver that was trying to go through him. "Headmaster Dippet will speak to you on his return from the Ministry. You may go."

"Thank you, Professor."

The moment he had turned his back on his Transfiguration teacher, the smile Tom had been holding back escaped. He was aware that Dumbledore did not trust him, no matter how congenial the man appeared to be, and Tom liked the idea that he had bested this teacher he loathed.

Sitting in his office, Albus sat stroking his short, reddish beard. He had no idea how he knew, but he was almost certain that the young man who had just left the room had had something to do with Myrtle's death. Then he shook his head. He refused to believe that someone of Tom's tender years could have wreaked such havoc on a young woman, who, for the most part, had been a pleasant if uninspiring pupil.

Dumbledore sighed. Despite what Tom Riddle had uncovered, Dumbledore could also not bring himself to believe that Rebeus Hagrid, a third year pupil, had meant any harm, but he knew that at that moment the Headmaster was overseeing the snapping of Hagrid's wand at the Ministry of Magic, which would result in Hagrid's expulsion from Hogwarts. Since he knew the half-giant had nowhere else to go, Dumbledore decided to make a plea on Hagrid's behalf that he should be allowed to stay and that the half-giant become apprenticed under Ogg, the current groundskeeper.

14 July 1943

Tom's top lip curled up as he surveyed the horrified looks on his father's and grandparents' faces as he revealed who he was. "And because of you, my mother died alone in a filthy Muggle hospital." Tom withdrew his wand. "And now you're all going to pay for it, starting with my disgusting Muggle father."

The elder Riddles' faces were filled with terror as a green light flew forth from the stick that the young man, who looked so much like their son, was holding in his hand, all evidence of life leaving their son moments later. Their looks of terror were forever ingrained on their faces as Tom then dispatched them both in quick succession, neither having a chance to flee.

Tom subsequently turned to leave, only to hesitate and turn back. "Do excuse me. I do believe I'm forgetting my manners. It was a pleasure to meet all of you." Tom smirked. "Well, maybe I should rephrase my statement. It was a pleasure to kill all of you."

Even though his final words had gone unheard by the three corpses, Tom felt so much better for having said them. He then vanished, leaving the bodies to mystify the village, and to provide them with plenty of fodder for their Muggle gossip for years to come.

1 September 1944

Tom made his way down the train and opened the door to the carriage where five of his 'friends' were seated. "Good morning. Where's Selena?"

"Sitting with her boyfriend." Abraxas had no idea what the girl saw in Macallister Jameson, a Ravenclaw. "She said she'll see us later. We were beginning to wonder if you'd missed the train."

At that moment, Belvoir noticed Tom's badge. "Head Boy?"

Tom smirked. "What can I say? After my courageous efforts as a fifth year in tracking down Myrtle Huggins' deadly assassin, I'm still Dippet's golden boy." He glanced around the carriage's occupants and noticed that no-one was wearing a prefect's badge. "I wonder who Slughorn got to replace me."

"Perhaps it's Selena." Abraxas knew the Potions Master had a soft spot for the girl.

"I'll find out." Tom hesitated instead of leaving, before giving out instructions. "Meet me in the usual place tomorrow night at midnight. We have things to discuss."

Not giving anyone a chance to respond, he then headed out of the carriage and down the corridor where, after checking in with Selena, he discovered that she had been promoted to his spot, Slughorn having made the unprecedented move of appointing two female seventh year prefects. Tom had a feeling that it was because both girls had excellent connections, and Slughorn still had Tom to call on.

22nd March 1964

Selena sat up in bed and brought up a subject she was not entirely certain that Tom was going to take well. "Tom, darling, I was thinking about the name you call your followers."

Tom also sat up and kissed Selena's shoulder. "What of it?"

"Don't you think that 'The Knights of Walpurgis' is a little too feeble?" Selena asked tentatively, before deciding to play up to Tom's vanity "It's hardly going to strike fear into the hearts of others when you finally show the wizarding world your true strength… unlike the name of Lord Voldemort."

Tom had crafted the name using an anagram of his own name while still at Hogwarts, and he preferred it to his birth name, only Selena allowed to call him Tom anymore. "I expect you have an alternative for me, don't you?"

"I was thinking of something along the lines of Bringers of Death and Destruction." Selena had not quite settled on something suitable. "But it is a bit of a mouthful."

Tom stroked her back. "So what else would you suggest?"

Selena thought about it. "You want a name that will inspire dread in others, a name that that will have them eating their hearts out in fear as they contemplate their own death."

Tom pondered what Selena had said, before coming up with his own suggestion. "How about Death Eaters?"

Selena debated the name. "I think it sounds perfect. How is the mask coming along?"

"I'm not going to wear one." Tom had considered wearing a gold mask as part of his outfit but he had changed his mind. "Only my followers will wear white."

"What about the Inner Circle?" Selena asked. "Are you going to go with the silver masks I suggested?"

Tom nodded. "Yes, but it's going to be difficult to pick out the four I consider worthy of wearing them."

"Go with all seven of us then," Selena suggested as she ran a finger over the tiny black mark on her ankle that looked like a magical tattoo of a snake and skull. "Lives are bound to be lost."

Tom grabbed Selena's hair so that she was forced to look at him. "You really are a nasty piece of work, aren't you?"

"That's why you keep me around," Selena reminded him, completely unfazed by his treatment of her hair. "And why I'm here in your bed."

"And that's where you'll be staying so long as you never do anything to anger me." Tom kissed her roughly as he used his other hand to cup her breast.

"You know I'd never do that," Selena gasped out as Tom's hand travelled lower down her body.

"That's only because you know what I'd do to you if you did." Tom rolled on top of her. "You're mine, Selena."

As he began to make love to her, Selena stared up into the possessive face of the man she wished she had married instead of her husband, and her mind wandered slightly as she thought about how Tom had once looked.

Because Tom's appearance had started to deteriorate after the second time he had split his soul, he had chosen to wear a glamour in public, something he dropped when they were alone. It did not bother Selena, however, and she knew that he intended to carry out a ritual that would restore him to his former healthy self once he had completed his sixth and final split. Her mind was brought back to the present as Tom coaxed the response he wanted from her and she cried out, before he did the same.

As the two lay together afterward, Selena wondered what the future held for them.

3rd February 1969

Selena gasped out loud as the door to her bedroom flew open. "Oh Merlin!"

"Oh Merlin indeed." Tom's face was filled with anger. "You cheating whore!"

The naked man next to Selena attempted to grab his wand. His motion was short-lived as Tom killed him without ceremony. Selena backed up against the headboard. "This isn't what it seems."

"You're both naked in bed," Tom responded coldly. "Tell me what I'm supposed to believe it seems to be."

"It was just this once." Selena clung to the sheet as if it would give her some sort of protection against the black cloaked man, who stood in front of her, brandishing his wand. "You weren't supposed to be here. You wouldn't have known."

"You'd be surprised at what I know." Tom turned and put his hand on the door handle. "And I warned you what I'd do if you ever betrayed me, Selena."

"No, Tom, please. No!" Selena's screams were cut off as the door closed.

31st October 1981

Godric's Hollow

Tom stood in front of Godric's Cottage, where James and Lily Potter resided with their son. "Wormtail, you will remain here. Acerbus, you're with me."

Inside the cottage, James Potter made a valiant effort to try and save his family, and his wife, Lily, begged for her son's life, giving up her own when she refused to step aside to allow Tom to kill her child. And less than ten minutes later, Tom had vanished as had all those who had accompanied him and, lying amongst the rubble that had once been his home, little Harry Potter was left alone in the world.