Author's Note: Thanks for all the reviews! I apologize for the delay in posting this chapter. This story is dedicated to my best friend who coincidentally shares her birthday with Tom Riddle Jr. Enjoy!
She held her breath and prayed for it to be today. The day of reckoning….
She was not disappointed as standing in front of her was Tom Marvolo Riddle in the flesh. There stood the wizard who would lead the world into the new Dark Ages. The wizard who every man, woman and child would fear. The wizard whose name people wouldn't dare to speak.
Lord Voldemort would rise again..
Myrtle Wainwright thrived in the shadows. Being bullied all her life, she preferred to go unnoticed and slip through the crevices. However, her polar opposite was Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr., the Slytherin Prince. It was hard for anyone not to notice the man with his commanding presence. Myrtle could never forget the numerous carved hearts she found littered around Hogwarts with his name etched in it along with the names of an assortment of swooning girls. She ignored them, the people who had drawn them were idiotic to reduce Riddle to their level and make him the subject of their juvenile fantasies.
But Myrtle always believed that she alone knew his true worth. She could tell the whirlwind of power and might which brew behind Riddle's collected façade. As a bullied child, she naturally gravitated towards the strong child on the playground, hoping that by aligning herself to him she would finally be vindicated. She was sure that by Riddle's side, she would be able to access unlimited power.
But Riddle had overlooked her. She understood that she hadn't yet proven herself to him. Why would he want to take her under his fold unless she had proven her worth? So started the many months of agony and toil spent in creating her own unique branch of potion-making. All this would be worth it, she reminded herself. When Riddle takes control of the wizarding world, she would be at his side and they would both look done at the people who had delighted in tormenting her.
Riddle was the perfect candidate for her power driven fantasies because he was not ashamed of his Muggle roots. In fact, he proudly embraced them and had no vendetta against Muggleborns. If she stood by his side, they would herald in a new world order where the Muggleborns were shown their righteous place. The purebloods would be disgraced, as Myrtle hated the hold they continued to sway over the world which would never truly accept her.
She monitored his career after he left Hogwarts. When he had joined the Ministry, she knew that it wouldn't be long before Riddle would rise to become the Minister. But his sudden career shift to St. Mungos surprised her. Why would someone as dynamic as Riddle want to waste his time at a hospital? However, he was wiser than her, so he must have some grand plan in place. Maybe a place at the hospital's helm would give him an advantageous position, she assumed. So when she finally left Hogwarts, she also applied at Mungos but her application was rejected. Who knew that the hospital was filled with superficial snobs? She would stamp them all out when her time came.
So, she joined Somerset Clinic and devoted her life to her precious potions, never knowing that her life would be changed forever. Circumstances had changed and she no longer dreamed of being at his side. However she hoped that her legacy to this ruthless world would be in bestowing it with the Dark Lord she envisaged Riddle had the potential to be.
Myrtle watched as Riddle took control of the entire room the moment he entered. The wards which she had created using her potions began to sing with his magical signature alerting her that there stood the man himself. The room seemed to be saturated with his presence as he stood out like a beacon of power to which Myrtle was attracted to like a moth to the flame. She had to free him from the chains which enslaved him to the wizarding world. He had to rise above it.
"I had hoped to live to see this day but I was beginning to feel that I could never be so blessed," said Myrtle as her eyes studied the man before her in detail, "Tom Marvolo Riddle in the flesh!"
"You have been baiting me, Wainwright. You know that it is unwise to bait me," said Riddle in a low voice. He stood still, his wand clenched firmly in his hand as his eyes gleamed.
She shivered and a smile crept over her face distorting her features further. She knew exactly what she was doing. When someone had as little in life as she had, small things mattered and Riddle's mere presence was more than a small thing. It was like a gift from the heavens.
"I had my reasons," said Myrtle, "But first, I must get you something to drink." She chided herself, he still had the effect to reduce her to an awkward teenager. Riddle had entered her house for the first time and she had not treated him to the welcome he deserved. What must he think of her?
He raised his eyebrow as he studied the chair opposite Myrtle before sitting on it. He declined her request for tea and biscuits, though he looked amused at the offerings. As if he would accept anything from the poison-maker. This would be the most elaborate game of cat and mouse he had ever played but then it seemed the best approach given the circumstances. He was known for his quick temper but he had to remain impassive and calm if he was going to ferret out all her nefarious secrets. She may be immune to Veritaserum and Legilimency would break her already fragile mind. He had to follow the plan carefully, so much depended upon his ability to do so.
"But you must have some," said Myrtle sadly. He must think the worst of her but all she was trying to do was help. Medicine was always bitter, but it helped in curing the malady and right now, Riddle was very sick. He needed to be cured of his goodness.
"You wanted to talk to me. Talk," said Riddle silkily and Myrtle could feel the temperature of the room rise. How long she had imagined this situation but it paled in comparison to the reality.
"Why Riddle? Why would you waste the talents you've been bestowed with? You could have been brilliant. You still can be, you have the potential, I know it. Together we would have been unstoppable," said Myrtle catching her breath, her excitement was not good for her ailing heart. She had to tread carefully.
Riddle rolled his eyes and stared her down, "Get to the point!"
Myrtle licked her lips and tried to look away from him so that she would be able to collect her thoughts. He still had the effect to unnerve her.
"I waited and waited for you to show your true colours. I had seen the darkness lurking in your eyes. I knew that it would one day hold dominant and I waited for that day. I would have been your most loyal follower when that day came," she said as she trailed off. So many dreams had shattered….
"The poisons you created. The people you killed. Do you have no remorse?" asked Riddle.
"They deserved it," said Myrtle, "They should be honoured that they were chosen to die at the hands of my creations. They were privileged."
"You are a sick and demented soul," said Riddle in disgust.
Myrtle laughed, "You think I'm demented what about your precious Melanie? What do you think of her?"
"What about Melanie?" asked Riddle as his countenance grew grave.
Myrtle sighed. Of all the people to fall into the poisonous embrace of love, for Riddle to succumb was heinous and to such a woman as Melanie, thought Myrtle with scorn.
"You were ready to marry her, to share your life and everything with her. Even to adopt that spawn of hers," said Myrtle with disgust.
She felt the room tremble and she knew that it was working. Riddle could always be goaded into reacting. Maybe he will finally take pity on her and put her out of her misery.
But even as the ground shook, he remained collected and his face didn't betray a single thought of his.
Myrtle was confused but she carried on, "She was married to my brother for the longest time. But I knew she never loved him. She was in love with her work. Melanie only married him because of his contacts in the wizarding world. She was nothing but a social climber."
Her eyes gleamed and when Riddle didn't react, she continued, "He didn't see what she was but I did. Then, she started working at Somerset and everything went wrong."
Myrtle's eyes widened, she was reliving her memories as she spoke, "I had already developed the poisons and they were working perfectly for me. My babies helped me dispose of so many people I didn't like. Nobody ever took notice of me. Nobody ever looked at little Myrtle Wainwright. My health was better then, so I was able to plant the poisons without causing any suspicion. Many of the poisons were passed off as natural deaths. But there were instances when I was clumsy."
She paused to take a long breath. Riddle's mere presence had loosened her tongue and she was dying to tell him everything. This would be her last chance. Finally, he would acknowledge her worth. She continued, "I may have been a little too vicious on Hornby, she deserved it no doubt about that. But it caused people to become suspicious, so I had to be more carefully with my plans. Regardless of this, it was all coming along smoothly before I met Melanie."
Her breath hitched, "Perfect little Melanie who could never hurt a fly. Did you not think it was strange that her husband conveniently dies after she met you? He was an Unspeakable and that was a golden opportunity for her as not many questions were raised because of his line of work."
"Are you saying Melanie killed your brother?" asked Riddle quietly.
"Of course she did. She garnered your sympathy and those of all the people around. Poor widow Melanie! But I knew her for what she was. A thief!" said Myrtle as she spat the word.
"What did she steal from you?" asked Riddle as he frowned but Myrtle could feel the room burn up. However, the feeling passed as soon as it came.
"She discovered the poisons and she realized that I was the poison-maker. She was a shrewd little witch, she was. She wasn't even appalled by what I was doing, in fact, she was fascinated by it. She wanted to experiment on the poisons in exchange for keeping her silence. I complied because I thought that I found an accomplice. I should have known never to trust anyone," she said bitterly.
"What did she do?" asked Riddle.
"She turned my precious creations into a cure for Lycanthropy. She said that I had discovered a previously unknown chemical composition that would rid the world of werewolves. She wanted to announce this to the world but I was against it. If anyone had examined it too closely they would have linked it to the poisons and then back to me. I could not allow that to happen. We fought over it and the resulting fight…. You will remember that there was an explosion in the West Wing of the Clinic. Melanie escaped unscathed not knowing that I was still alive. I was presumed dead. In truth, I had died. The explosion had left me badly scarred and I was rendered a squib while Melanie was free to carry on with her Lycancure," said Myrtle.
"She approached you and you worked so hard to make the cure perfect. You faced so much opposition from the Ministry as they were not prepared for such a revolutionary change. But you were successful and the Lycancure became the talk of the entire wizarding world. While appreciation and accolades flew in from every corner of the world, no one even spared a thought for me the true creator. But I never blamed you, you deserved the adulation. I blamed her. Why do you think I set those dogs on her?" said Myrtle.
"You sent Greyback and his pack after Melanie? You were responsible for her death," said Riddle as the room began to shake. The windows opened and closed violently and the teapot on the table shattered. Then the tremor faded though Riddle looked impassively as if he wasn't responsible for the mess.
"Let it out, Riddle. Your anger and frustration. Let it fuel you as it fuels me. The world is not worthy of us and never will be. Let it consume you and make you burn. Become the Dark Lord and Master this world needs and deserves. You can do it," said Myrtle, feverish with excitement, "You do not know how long I have waited to see everyone worship you like I do."
Riddle's eyes narrowed, "You do not know what you ask for or maybe you do. However, I am not the type of person to grant every deluded old squib her wish."
"Then at least snuff me out. If I have to die, I want it to be at your hands. I was scared that you would send the Aurors after me instead of coming for me yourself. If that was the case, I would have had to kill myself, for I'm tired of running," said Myrtle, "But you just have to say two words and everything will be all right."
"Since when have you had a death wish?" asked Riddle.
"It's been weighing over my head like a Damocles' sword. I'm tired of waiting for it to drop," said Myrtle, her eyes narrowing. It was time to go on the offensive.
"I was there when she died. I took those photographs which I later sent to little Serena. It's a pity that the wolves didn't get to her too. I was hoping they would be able to finish both the mother and daughter. But we can't always get what we want," said Myrtle and paused as a deadly sort of magical presence filled the room. It consumed her and she knew that her end had come. It was disappointing then when it left as soon as it came leaving her bereft of its darkness.
"You sent Sirius after Serena," said Riddle softly.
"It was my idea and Dorcas was mad enough to implement it. It was the perfect way to get to you and make you incensed," laughed Myrtle, "I have no love for that spawn of a niece of mine."
"How long have you been working with Dorcas?" asked Riddle.
"It was Barty Sr. who first found me. His wife Henrietta and I were friends at Hogwarts and when I was left a squib, I took on a new identity of Miss Waynflete. Only Henrietta knew who I really was and she helped me build a life for myself. When Barty Sr. discovered my potion skills, he began to give me the resources I needed. However, he grew apprehensive when he became the Minister as he didn't want to be linked to me directly, so he found Dorcas who was a willing mediator. He didn't know that his son had also become involved," she said.
"I had a vendetta against Dorcas so I was willing to go along with the charade. It was fun watching you tear down the rigid government Crouch had put into place. I knew you would be victorious when I pitted you two against each other," said Myrtle as she stared at the man in front of her with awe, "No one ever loses to Tom Marvolo Riddle."
"And you are no exception," said Riddle.
Myrtle was confused. She confessed to killing his fiancée, for trying to kill his daughter and yet the man was sitting calmly before her and talking to her as if he was discussing the weather. She was sure that she would have goaded a reaction out of him by now.
"I…..," said Myrtle. Something was wrong with Riddle. He wasn't behaving in character. She should be dead by now or even better he should have realized his ability to rule the world. Except for a few tremors, she did not see the Dark Lord emerge, quite the opposite the man in front of her didn't even seem to be affected by what she said.
Myrtle frowned. Riddle was behaving uncharacteristic. Where was the man who was prone to violent tempers and earth shattering bouts of rage?
She took a long sip from the tea cup in front of her. Even though age had not been kind to her, it was undoubtedly charitable towards him. He still looked hauntingly handsome regardless of his age and he could even make the younger men feel conscious of their looks. If only Myrtle could turn back the clock, her potion stained features served an ugly contrast when compared to Riddle's youthful looks.
Only Tom Marvolo Riddle could grow even younger as time passed. However, wonder soon vanished and a shot of fear rushed through her, as Riddle quickly immobilized her with a spell, an unfamiliar look in his eyes. The neat salt and pepper hair turned into an unruly mop of dark hair and the eyes in front of her transformed into an unusual shade of emerald green.
A boy sat in front of her where Riddle once sat. He removed a pair of glasses from his pocket. Frozen in fear and bound by magic, all she could do was look upon the strange scar in the shape of a lightning bolt which illuminated the face of the boy who was Riddle.
To Be Continued…
A/N 2: The inspiration for Miss Waynflete was from Agatha Christie's Murder is Easy. The character was portrayed by the brilliant Shirley Henderson who also portrayed Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movie series. Her interpretation of Waynflete still gives me the chills as I never expected that twist. Of course, the motivations and character portrayals have been changed so as to better suit the story. Cheers!