Author's Note: This is my first Harry Potter fic and it takes place not too far into Deathly Hallows. There may be a few spoilers, but very few if any. Rating is T for now, but may move up to M in later chapters.
I have turned Voldemort back into his handsome self when he was still popularly known as Tom Riddle. I think it's such a shame what he does to himself once he's all grown up. I liked how he looked in the movies; both Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince. Anyways, happy reading!
P.S: I do not own Harry Potter.
Chapter 1: The Locket
Harry woke up with a sharp pain in his head, but this time his scar wasn't the source. The pain came from the back of his head, and when he ran his hand through his messy black hair, he felt a rather large bump. His vision was a bit fuzzy, even with his glasses on, but he could still tell something terrible had happened the night before. For one, he didn't even wake up in his bed. He was on the floor and so was Ron. Things were thrown around and Hermione was nowhere to be found.
"Ron! Ron! Wake up, Ron!" Harry shook Ron until he groaned to show he was alright.
"Bloody hell, what happened?" The redhead groaned as he sat up and saw the mess inside the tent. It was if a tornado had stuck it.
"I don't remember. I don't remember a single thing that happened last night other than…" Harry strained his brain to remember something, anything. Any minor detail he could work on. There was screaming. Hermione's most likely. He rushed over to see what all the commotion was. Then, he was stuck hard in the face. Hard enough to send him back and have his head collide with the floor.
"I can only remember being stuck very hard," was his only answer. "I feel as though I took a bludger to the face."
"Well that's quite a shiner you got there, but I can't remember a single thing either." Ron rubbed his head trying fruitlessly to remember anything. He didn't feel pain really, but his mind felt as empty as ever.
"Anyways, we need to find Hermione. The locket was around her neck. The curse on it must be manifesting or something."
"You're right, but who knows where she could be by now. We've must have been out for hours."
"Well no use staying put any longer."
Harry stood up and pulled back the entrance to the tent expecting to see the desolate forest, but saw an old, dusty yet exceptionally large room. It looked so familiar, like he had been there before. He'd seen that green striped chair before and seen fire blazing in the fireplace that was now filled with soot.
"Blimey, we must have been 'napped as well." Ron said as he looked out of the tent to see the large room as well.
Harry ignored him as he tried to remember the last time he'd been inside this room. Never before had he been inside a mansion, not physically anyways. He did have the occasional dream of being in a large, luxurious home far away from the Dursley's, but this house was from no such dream. Instead, this place had a very dark loom over it, as if he'd seen it in a nightmare.
Riddle Manor…that's where they were! He'd seen this room in a dream during his forth year.
"We need to find Hermione and fast. This is worse than I could've imagined."
Hermione, on the other hand, woke up in a rather large bed; four-poster canopy with a king-sized mattress and a blood-red comforter was keeping her warm. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw an old man in a black robe sitting on the floor not far from her bed. A scream nearly left her mouth, but reflexively, he shot a silencing charm at her.
"Be a quite little girl and there won't be any trouble." Her captor smiled sarcastically and then removed the charm to allow her to speak again.
"I'm seventeen." She snapped and noticed the heavy Slytherin Locket hanging from his neck. "Hey, give that back." She instinctively reached inside her pocket to retrieve her wand that was no longer there.
"For a seventeen-year-old, you sure are naïve to believe that I'd let you keep your wand. Not to worry though. It's quite safe with me." He tapped his chest indicating where the wand was kept.
"Why do you want the locket anyways?" Hermione studied the man for a while and noticed he looked oddly familiar. Not as one of the Death Eaters she had seen at the ministry, but as someone else. "Who are you?"
"It's such a shame you can't recall me when I can easily recall you. I remember most of the children who have ever walked into my shop, especially the Weasley twins who happened to be my best customers as well as promoters. If I'm correct, you're that girl who came in with their little brother during a few Hogsmeade weekends. A little snappy at him if I might add." The old man said in his hoarse voice which sounded a bit calmer than before.
"Zonko? It can't be."
"The world's a funny place, eh?" Zonko smirked as he held the locket in his hand and caressed the snake with his thumb.
Hermione continued to study the former joke shop owner. His jet black hair had lost its sheen and sprouted quite a few more white hairs. The wrinkles around his face became more prominent and he had lost a considerable amount of weight. He was a slight man to begin with. Now, he almost looked skeletal.
"Quite an adventure it was to obtain this godforsaken locket."
"Why are you helping him? He's evil, a vile man if you can even call him that." It was obvious who Hermione was talking about.
"I have my reasons. Reasons you could never understand. Go ahead and take another nap. I have no interest in any sort of conversation."
"Don't call me by that infernal name!" His eyes flashed. Any sort of whimsicalness that remained inside him had flushed away. "If you must address me, call me Elliot."
"Well Elliot, how long do you intend to keep me up here?"
"It all depends on your friends. They're here in this house as well."
"Are you using me as bait?" Her eyes narrowed.
"Why yes, I am. I'm sure you must have realized by now that the Dark Lord wants Potter. For the time being, however, it will just be you and me."
"Well I need to use the bathroom. I can surely do that on my own, right?"
"My my, you sure are fussy, but I'll escort you. Without your wand, there is no need to go in with you. I highly doubt even a talented witch like you can do any sort of wandless magic."
Hermione remained quiet, but he didn't wait for an answer.
"Just so you know, I won't be escorting you all day, so only ask to go when it's absolutely necessary. If you feel the urge an hour from now, you will hold it. So do you still wish to go now?"
Without her wand, Hermione was forced to wait things out. Elliot had already taken the liberty to magically secure the window in the bathroom to ensure she couldn't escape during her one moment of privacy.
He never tried speaking to her whenever it wasn't essential. He did answer questions she asked him, be it straightforward or vague. Meals were limited to only snacks and the fastest way to pass the time was through sleep, but she didn't think it was wise to do so. She felt as if she needed to keep her eyes on the enemy at all times.
Near dawn, she felt her eyelids grow heavy, and before she new it, she had fallen asleep. Elliot took this opportunity to walk out of the room, locking the door once he was out. He walked all the way up to the attic that was the dirtiest room in the long abandoned house. Junk was tightly compiled together and the amount of dust around made everything look white. Elliot made his way to an empty space in the center of the attic and removed the heavy locket that was around his neck all day.
"Open," he said in parseltongue.
It snapped open and Elliot fell to his knees, feeling much weaker. Little by little, he felt his life slipping away. With what little strength he had left, he lifted his head to see a tall man in a solid black suit in front of him.
Much younger than he, maybe not yet twenty. Skin was pale, sharply contrasting his suit and neatly parted black hair. His skin, in fact, was what made him visible in the dark attic.
"You've done well, my son." The man said in his soothing, velvety voice. "Forgive my absence from your life, but I assure you it was not vain and neither will your death."
"F-fath…er…" Elliot struggled to say with his last breath. He then collapsed at his father's feet.
Young Tom Marvolo Riddle knelt down to take both Elliot's and Hermione's wands from the pocket inside of Elliot's robes. He studied both. Elliot's felt more fitting for him so he kept that one in his hand and tucked Hermione's inside his suit. He then took the locket and put it next to the girl's wand as he made his way out of the attic.
Phase one of his plan was complete. Now for phase two.
Again, Harry felt pain inside his head, and this time it was from its usual source; the scar.
"Agh," he groaned as he put his hand over it.
"Harry, what's wrong?" Ron said as he put down his glass of mead. It was the only thing they could find to drink that wasn't spoiled.
"My scar…it hurts. Vol—I mean, You-Know-Who, he must be here." Harry remembered the taboo on Voldemort's name just before saying the whole thing. It was bad enough that he was close by and he didn't need any of his Death Eaters around to make things worse.
The pain inside his head was getting worse, to the point where it felt as if his skull was going to slit open.
"We better get moving again mate. If You-Know-Who is lurking around, Hermione is in even worse danger."
The boys stood up from floor and walked out of the kitchen. They had stopped there to eat some food that they carried in their sacks and found an unopened bottle of mead that had survived over fifty years.
Riddle Manor felt almost like a desert with its scarce resources and its vast size. They had search maybe a third of the house, but still found no traces of Hermione.
"Alohamora." Tom said and pointed Elliot's wand at the locked door. The door creaked as it opened, but Hermione didn't stir. She was still fast asleep in the enormous bed.
"My, you are a pretty one." Tom whispered to himself as he looked down at her, with a bit of moonlight shining over her face. "Not the kind of girl I would've shagged back in my day, but still quite pretty. Hopefully that'll entice Potter to find you faster." An evil smile stretched across his face and his grip on the wand tightened.
A/N: So what you think? I've wanted to write this story for a while now, but I've been a little lazy to do so. Don't hesitate to flame me. I want criticism to become a better writer, but go easy on me. Please review!