Author's Notes: Written for Lady Eleanor Boleyn's Birthday Challenge on xoxLewrahxox's Bellatrix Lestrange: The Dark Lord's Most Faithful Forum.
Your challenge for the next two weeks is to write a story involving one or more Harry Potter Characters and a Birthday Celebration of some sort!
900 words. And because I don't bother doing too much research for fanfiction… this may be slightly non-canon compliant with the exact dates… Oh well. Enjoy!
"Get in the cellar!"
Mrs. Cole's voice was a panicked shriek, and Tom sat straight up in bed. Anything that could make Mrs. Cole sound that terrified in the dead of night was dangerous.
"Everyone, get out of your rooms! Hurry! In the cellar!"
"Why?" someone asked sleepily, but Tom could already see the lights out his window, and hear the aeroplanes, and he knew.
He was already out of bed, grabbing on his dressing gown and starting for the door, pausing only long enough to grab his wand and shove under the belt of his robe. With any luck, in the dark, no one would notice it. And, if it was needed, it could certainly be used for protection. Tom Riddle had no intention of dying at the hands of a German pilot who didn't even know he was killing him.
He shoved the other children out of the way, ignoring them as he ran down the stairs for the comparative safety of the cellar. There was an explosion in the distance, and Amy Benson burst into tears – though perhaps that was because Tom had just very nearly pushed her down the cellar steps in his hurry to get there.
The cellar was no bomb shelter – the walls were nothing more than packed dirt, the ceiling only the underside of the upstairs floorboards – but Tom would have rather been there than in his bedroom while the Germans were overhead. He pulled himself into a corner, taking the handle of his wand, ready to pull it out at a moment's notice. Statute of secrecy be damned.
"Come on, come on," Mrs. Cole was saying. "One by one, that's it, don't hurt yourselves going down the steps."
Shut up, you pathetic excuse for a woman. Better to hurt themselves going downstairs than to be blown to pieces.
Another explosion sounded, much closer this time, and several people – including Mrs. Cole herself – screamed. Tom kept his lips pressed firmly shut. He closed his eyes – though it made little difference in the dark of the cellar, and imagined himself to be back at Hogwarts, where he belonged.
What the Hell had possessed him to come back?
Perhaps he fancied the idea of showing the other children how much he had changed and grown since they had seen him last summer, now that he knew that he was one of the Gaunt family. In part, at least, he had wanted a chance to try to find them without Dumbledore's increasingly watchful eye on him. I should have just signed that damn form to stay at school and hidden in the library to look them up.
But then, maybe the Nazis could fly over Hogwarts too. Maybe, even if Tom had stayed, he would still be hidden in a basement, listening to the sounds of explosions, of falling brick and burning buildings from outside.
He took a deep breath. Calm. You must be calm. You can protect yourself if you need to. The bombs can't hurt you.
He would think about his birthday – good god, was he really spending the eve of his birthday in the cellar while bombs dropped?
Stop thinking of that.
Yes, he could think about his birthday, use those thoughts to keep disgusting notions of fear from his mind. It would give him something to focus on besides the ever-nearing carnage and the sounds of the other children crying.
If he could have anything for his birthday… what would he want? A broomstick? No, Quidditch did not interest him. Books, maybe? That one he had seen in the Restricted Section, Magick Moste Evile – he would not have minded having a copy of that. It had mentioned horcruxes in the introduction, surely there would be other useful things inside…
No, he didn't want that for his birthday. Interesting though the book was sure to be, Tom could hardly have cared less about getting gifts – he had never expected them, nor had he wanted them.
If he could have one thing for his birthday, he would want to stop this. He would want to stop these stupid, worthless, disgusting Muggles from killing each other. What was the bloody war even over? He knew all about Adolf Hitler and his illogical ambitions to kill Jews – and, later, anyone who opposed him – but none of the children here were Jews, and none knew enough to oppose any leader. There were probably hundreds of Christians dying that very second when they would have readily surrendered. Why were they being killed?
Because Muggles do not know what they are doing.
Ambition sparked in Tom Riddle's mind then, as he sat upon the cellar floor among crying children on his birthday. Muggles didn't know what they were doing. They were stupid and worthless, and they were far worthier targets than the Jews could ever be.
If Adolf Hitler could do all of this in the name of killing Jews, then could Tom Riddle not do it too, and get rid of these Muggles who did not know how to use power? And if he had Muggle blood himself – well, some people did said that Hitler himself was part Jew.
If Tom were in Hitler's position, he would not be dropping bombs at random. He would be strategic. He would convert those he could, capture those he wanted to, kill where it was needed.
He would do things properly.