Disclaimer: I don't own nothing, y'all.
A/n: In my version of things, Dumbledore is alive. I reject realties that I do not approve of. And replace them with my own.
Summary: "I'm not afraid of you, Tom," those were the last words Voldemort wanted to hear. He hated those words. Because for the first time in years, he felt hesitant. Voldemort desire to kill Dumbledore. Tom Riddle did not. Tom Riddle could not.
"I'm not afraid of you, Tom", those were the last words Voldemort wanted to hear. He hated those words. Because for the first time in years, he felt hesitant. Hesitant to kill. Voldemort truly wanted to kill Albus Dumbledore, but Tom Riddle did not. Tom Riddle was unsure. Tom Riddle knew Dumbledore as the old man that came to the orphanage on that gray dreary day and lit a dresser on fire. Tom Riddle knew Dumbledore as the first person he ever considered to be a powerful wizard, the first person he ever met from the world of magic. Tom Riddle knew Dumbledore as the professor that he resented, for making him feel weak.
Dumbledore was the most powerful figure to ever walk the halls of Hogwarts and everyone, even Tom, knew that. And everyone, even Tom, still knows that. Subconsciously, Voldemort remembers. Subconsciously, Voldemort is Tom.
Voldemort is the Dark Lord, the one everyone fears. He inspires nightmares in little children, he's done so many horrific things that some would argue that's why he had to split his soul into pieces. He is the evil that makes the hairs on the back of people's necks stand up. He is the dark that tries to extinguish the light.
Voldemort does not scare Albus Dumbledore. Albus Dumbledore looks at Voldemort and sees the little boy sitting on the worn out cot on that rainy day at the orphanage. Dumbledore took one look at him and knew what he was. Knew he was an incredibly scared, angry little boy. Dumbledore saw everything that day when he looked at Tom's eyes. He saw the fear, the rage, the genius, the madness. The monster. And he did not fear it. He still does not fear it.
Voldemort is feared by everyone, except Dumbledore. And Voldemort fears no one, except Dumbledore.
Voldemort is afraid of Dumbledore, because Dumbledore knows him. Because Dumbledore understands him. Because he cannot instill terror into Dumbledore, no matter how hard he tries.
Because Albus Dumbledore pities him. The one thing that the powerful hate more than anything is being pitied.
Dumbledore looks at Voldemort and sees Tom. Dumbledore looks at Tom and sees Voldemort. The whole rest of the world sees the distinction between the two, but Dumbledore knows there isn't one. He knows the Tom made this distinction, forged it.
He is like a son, that through all his life resented his father, because the father saw the darkness in him and instead of being proud of the power of it, he condemned the evil of it. He resents him because he is the one person in the world that could ever make him feel weak. He tries to get back at Dumbledore, by murdering his loved ones, by being as evil as he could possibly be. By being the opposite of what Dumbledore would want. Voldemort hates Dumbledore because he tried to fix him. Because how dare he think there was ever anything wrong with him.
Everyone knows that Voldemort is the Darkest Wizard out there. Just like everyone knows that Dumbeldore is the brightest. And the Dark fears the Light.