AU: Tom Riddle is Tom Riddle. Voldemort is Riddle's horcrux (the diary with a half of Riddle's soul). Grindewald was defeated by Dumbledore but managed to flee before being imprisoned, he helped Voldemort out of the diary and made him his apprentice and right hand. Voldemort betrayed Grindewald a few years before he killed the Potters. He was defeated by little Lily when the killing curse bounced back to him. He involuntary turned Lily into a horcrux with a quarter of Riddle's soul. Riddle is the DADA teacher at Hogwarts, he's a renowned politician that supports the rights of wizards with Dark affinities. He doesn't support Voldemort but he doesn't help him either. Tom Riddle is also known as Lord Slytherin and is the head of the dark party in the Wizengamot.
PD: Have you ever read "Inside my Mind" by sistersgrimmlover? It's a gorgeous fic and I recommend you all to read it. Someone told me that my story was really similar to that one, and it's true, but only for that first chapter because it was the only scene that could work like a good prologue. Her plot is really awesome with the all "Death, war, famine and plague" and all the sisterhoods and brotherhoods and the invented characters, but my plot is completely different. I'm not trying to copy her story or anything, just saying.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything *sobs grossly* I am doing this for fun and free :)
11/09/2013: This chapter was beta'ed by my awesome beta Paige!
26/10/2013: This was rewritten.
Sirius Black landed roughly in front of the -now visible- Potter household. He jumped down his motorbike and raced towards the open front door. A couple of minutes ago he had been informed of the Potter's ward being dismantled and obviously, he came right away.
'Please, let them be okay' the Black Lord prayed with all his heart but all hope was lost the moment he ran into the hall.
There was a corpse lying at the bottom of the stairs. Raven black hair, round glasses… it was him.
"JAMES!" Sirius roared, his eyes wide and unbelieving. His best friend… James, no! It could not be possible! Black threw himself on his knees and pressed an ear against his chest, trying to find a heartbeat. There was none. Sirius could feel the tears threatening to fall from his eyes. He just wanted to lay there, next to his best friend's body and to break down in sobs, to hold James and never let him go, but he still had to find Lily and his little pup. There was a chance, a pretty slim one, that they were alive.
He snorted in pain and hopelessness. Who was he kidding? The Dark Lord had no mercy, he left no survivors.
Suddenly, he heard a soft whimper. Sirius all but rushed to the top of the stairs, despite his excitement he managed to stop himself just before he stepped on the last step. For first time in a very long time his Slytherin instincts kicked in. What if it was a trap? "Homonum revelio," he whispered to his wand.
Almost immediately the form of a baby appeared in front of him. She was alive. Lily, little Lily, his pup was still alive!
The Black Lord ran towards the baby's nursery with a small smile on his lips, which was instantly erased after entering the room. Lily Evans was lying on the wooden floor, dead. Her usually bright and happy emerald eyes were now dull and lifeless as they stared at the ceiling; and her long fiery red hair was sprawled all over the floor.
This time Sirius couldn't stop the tears. Lily and James? Both of them dead? The grief hit him like a truck. The pain was terrible. James and Lily were dead and Peter was a damned traitor. Three of his best friends, the ones he considered as his family, were gone. His vision turned red as the rage became uncontrollable. He wanted to kill him, to make him suffer, to make him pay. That back stabbing rat! He could not believe he had sold Lily and James to Voldemort, how could he?
"Pawfoo?" a small croaky voice asked, startling Sirius in the process.
The man turned on his heels, all the thoughts about revenge and hate completely forgotten. He walked closer to the crib…and there she was, his little pup. The baby was standing with the help of the bars of her crib, her little emerald eyes were red and puffy; snot running from her nose. Lily grinned at Sirius and lifted her arms.
"Pawfoo! Up!" she exclaimed, her voice much clearer and loud. Sirius complied in no time and held the little girl close. He cleaned her tears and snot with the bottom of his sleeve and pressed a loud and sloppy kiss to her cheek, causing the baby to giggle loudly.
"Everything is going to be ok, pup" he whispered against his goddaughter's hair.
She pressed her face against the crook of Sirius neck, still giggling. Her forehead was wet. Sirius made her lean back against his arms to have a better look at her face. He gasped loudly and Lily's happy face morphed into one of confusion "Pawfoo?"
Her forehead was covered in blood and damp locks of dark hair were sticking to her skin. Sirius pushed her hair back with his free hand. "Ow!" she complained and tried to slap his hand away "Pawfoo, ow!" Sirius ignored her whining and casted a 'Lumos' to watch the injury better. It was an open wound with the shape of a lightning bolt, and it was irradiating dark magic. He immediately knew that there was where the Killing Curse hit her. He cleaned the cut with a spell but it kept bleeding. Sirius sighed and ran a hand through her hair again, Madam Pompfrey would heal her later.
"Come on, pup" The man grabbed a blanket from a random drawer and covered the baby with it "Let's get the hell out of here"
Sirius walked out the room and climbed down the stairs, his eyes locked forwards and not stopping until they reached the front door. He knew he wouldn't be able to control the grief and rage if he saw James and Lily's bodies again. The Black Lord climbed up his motorbike and after making sure that little Lily was safe and sound in his coat with a sticky charm, he turned it on and started flying away, heading to the second place he had always called home, Hogwarts.
"Pawfoo?" Lily had managed to take her head out of his coat "Mummy? Dada?" she looked down at the destroyed house "Come us?"
"I am sorry, pup" Sirius apologized, his eyes full of sadness and pity staring right into her emerald eyes "Lily and James won't come with us" he explained, feeling a lump on his throat forming "Now it's just us"
"I luw Pawfoo," she exclaimed and snuggled even deeper into Sirius coat, seeking the warm of his chest. He could feel his heart breaking inside, how could one explain a one year old baby that her parents are dead without feeling like shit? You just couldn't. Sirius tried to ignore the emotional pain growing and kissed her injured forehead.
"I love you too, pup."
The whole travel to the next inhabited place was made in utter silence, Lily had fallen asleep. As soon as Sirius made sure that no one was close, he apparated to Hogsmeade as it was impossible to apparated directly in Hogwarts.
They were received by dozens of people celebrating in the streets, thankfully, he was quick enough to cast a disillusionment charm before someone noticed them 'How could they have found out? It just happened barely an hour ago!' Sirius thought but he wasn't really surprised, news always spread quickly in the wizarding world. He couldn't help but to feel annoyed by all the celebration. Sure, he was happy that the war was over –the last years were like a living hell for the wizarding world- but the price everyone had to pay to make it all end was too much high and painful. Families destroyed, friends lost, orphan kids… Sirius shook his head and tried to think about something less depressing.
He was so deep in his thoughts that he barely managed to realize they had finally reached the castle's gates, where the DADA Professor was waiting for them. With a wave of his wand, the man opened the gate just enough for them to enter before closing it again. His eyes were locked on the sleeping baby Sirius was holding. Professor Riddle waited patiently until the other wizard was by his side before starting to walk towards the majestic castle in a somewhat hurried pace.
"Is it true?" the Professor asked with a demanding tone "Dumbledore is out, he received an urgent call from the Minister. I received the patronus. Is he really go-"
"Yes, he's gone and Lily and James are dead," Sirius interrupted with a broken voice. He cleaned his throat a few times as he tried to regain his composure, not wanting to start weeping like a toddler in front of his former teacher, who also was one of the most influential politicians in the Ministry. Black had tried to act strong and brave for his pup, but now that she was safe he could use some time alone to handle the grief. "C-Could you t-take little L-Lily to the infirmary?"
Professor Riddle snorted in annoyance "There's no need for that, Black. I can fix her myself," he retorted with a sneer of disgust. Urgh, he hated sentimental fools "and for Merlin's sake, Black, put yourself together I need to talk to you. It's important." he commanded "Come to my office in ten minutes."
"Good. Now hand me the girl," he said and opened his arms to receive the sleeping baby. Riddle held her awkwardly for a few seconds before arranging her into a more comfortable position "Ten minutes Black," he warned as he started to walk away.
Professor Riddle's office was located in one of the highest and most isolated towers of Hogwarts. The walk would usually last around ten or fifteen minutes but after taking a fair amount of strategic shortcuts, Professor Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord of the Noble and Ancient house of Slytherin, reached the entrance of the office in less than five minutes.
The entrance of his office was guarded by the last portrait of the Great Salazar Slytherin "Open," he hissed to his ancestor portrait. Salazar opened his eyes and stared at the young girl cuddled on his heir's arms. The most powerful founder of Hogwarts gave Riddle a significant look and scornfully smiled, but before he could start teasing his old heir, someone interrupted.
"Open!" a babyish voice exclaimed between giggles "Open! Open!"
With eyes wide as possible, Riddle looked down at the girl.
She could speak Parseltongue.
No person alive –besides Voldemort and him, of course- could speak Parseltongue.
Was she another Slytherin descendant? No, it couldn't be. The Potter line had never had a Parseltongue speaker and Lily Evans was a muggleborn. Maybe she was a Slytherin squib descendant? Riddle discarded that idea with a shook of his head. He had meticulously tracked down his family line, even the squibs. There was no one left. It was impossible, then why?
Salazar internally chuckled at the confused expression on Riddle's face "My, my, Tom," Slytherin couldn't help but to tease with a side looped smile "Finally decided to give me another heir?"
"Tom?" the little one tried the name "Tom!" Lily Potter exclaimed, clapping her chubby hands and giggling, not even realizing she was speaking in another language. "Tom!"
Salazar coughed a little to camouflage his laugh. Tom hated his common muggle name.
"Ssshut up, brat!" Riddle snapped, sending one of his best glares towards the girl and another one towards his ancestor "It'sss all your fault" he blamed the portrait "Ssstop laughing"
Salazar promptly ignored Riddle who was staring at the portrait as if he wanted to burn it with his eyes.
"Tom?" Lily called him. He hummed and looked down at the girl, his deep glare still occupying most of his face. Suddenly, emerald green eyes locked with wise hazel ones. Tom's glare disappeared as he got lost in those big emerald pools for what it seemed an eternity. A familiar yet strange feeling ran all over his body. It was cold but warm, it felt safe, it felt complete… it felt good. Their magical cores were practically touching, he could feel how her undeveloped and untainted magic gave tentative and curious brushes against his dark and immensely powerful core. The feeling stopped abruptly as it came. Holy shit.
No. It was impossible. That girl…was his horcrux? Could Voldemort make horcruxes? Horcruxes couldn't create their own horcruxes! Or could they? And if he could…why did he choose a human as the container? Fuck, he was fucked. Riddle grinded his teeth in ager. Voldemort was going to pay.
"Tom? Pawfoo?" the baby asked, oblivious to the internal panic attack Riddle was having "Pawfoo?"
"That idiot isss weeping ssomewhere in the casstle and," the man started, switching from Parseltongue to English with ease. He raised his occlumency shield to their maximum level, trying to hide all the emotions and thoughts that were almost drowning him "stop calling me Tom. You shall call me Professor Riddle." he tried to correct the girl even if he knew it was a lost case.
"Tom!" she giggled and clapped a little more "Tom! Tom!"
"Damn. Stop it" he commanded with a firm voice, or tried to as the little girl seemed to ignore his warnings. Riddle entered his office and sat on his comfortable leather chair with the girl on his lap. He checked his hand clock. Five minutes had already passed; Black should be arriving at any moment.
Lily Potter was still madly giggling, this time her source of amusement being Tom's hands. She fondled, pulled and even bit it, but surprisingly this didn't seem to bother the old man; it even made him relax! He could clearly feel a pleasurable sensation flowing through their touch, a side effect of the horcrux since he had felt almost the same the few times Voldemort and he shook hands. Everything was different now. That drooling baby seated on his lap had a piece of him inside of her pudgy body and that was enough to make her special and in priority to be protected. Everyone was mad as hell if they thought he would just leave a piece of his soul, a piece of himself, in Dumbledore's manipulative hands.
The first plan had been to secure Potter's guardianship to Black, since Dumbledore wanted to leave the girl with some hideous muggles, and then to leave them to live their own life but now he had to make a new plan. The first step was alright, he would ensure Potter's guardianship to Black, but… the wards around the Black residence were not strong enough, she'll have to stay elsewhere. Which places were the most protected and guarded of all Britain? Hogwarts, Gringots and of course, his own manor. Yes, he'll take Potter and Black to the Slytherin manor. Now… how would he convince Black?
Riddle's plans were interrupted by Nagini who had just appeared through a hole in the wall. Tom was too deep in his thoughts, planning, plotting, that he did not notice his familiar entering the room, but the baby did.
"Sssnakey!" she exclaimed, letting go Tom's hand in her excitement. The man opened his eyes, startled a little bit at the loss of contact. He looked down at his lap and found Potter making grabby hands to his twelve feet long familiar.
The snake trailed across the room, her eyes fixed on the pair "Massster?" Nagini hissed, flicking out her forked tongue to catch the new scent better "Who is thisss hatchling?" she asked. The reptile started enrolling herself around the chair, climbing up and up until until she was face to face with her master and the small girl "May I eat her?"
Riddle snorted in amusement and shook his head "Hello, my dearessst," Tom greeted his large familiar, scratching under her chin with a lopsided smile. "No, you may not eat her, Nagini, you are to protect her from any harm, understood?" she nodded, hissing in contentment at the pleasure his mater was providing "Her name isss Lily Potter," he informed. Nagini flicked her tongue, brushing softly Lily's cheek to catch better her scent.
"Sshe sssmells like family...like you and the other you," stated Nagini. Tom was not surprised. The snake looked at the girl directly on her eyes, as if she was testing her, until the baby raised her hand and started petting her scaled head. Nagini turned her head to face Riddle "I like her," the great serpent declared and proceed to leave his master's shoulders to enroll herself around the girl.
Lily snuggled against the snake and fell asleep in a matter of seconds, lulled by the soft hissing Nagini was making.
Professor Riddle watched the girl sleeping on his lap, staring directly at her scar. That was when he realized he hadn't healed the wound yet. Riddle muttered an analgesic charm before pressing a finger against her scar. Dark magic, dark, very dark magic. Yes, he could feel it and it felt good. It had been such a long time since he felt the rush of dark magic running through his veins…Ah, good old times. Tom sighed in nostalgia as he pointed his wand at the girl's forehead. He would pass the dark magic to his core, which was also dark, so he could close and heal the wound. Otherwise the wound would never close. After doing this, he tried to erase the scar but couldn't. It was a curse scar and they couldn't be erased, especially one occasioned by a killing curse.
That bloody prat. He still couldn't believe it. What was going through Voldemort's head at that moment to risk his entire plan because of a silly prophecy? True, most of the prophecies were always fulfilled but when the protagonists decided to ignore it then nothing would happen. Damn, that man was crazy. But… there was still a chance that he made the horcrux accidentally. Unprovable, but still a good explanation.
His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door; Black. He was late.
"Come in," he said and almost instantly the door was opened magically. Lord Black entered the office, his eyes red and puffy but decided and strong "You are seven minutes late"
"I got distracted on the way" Black answered, this time with a clear voice "Where is my baby?" he demanded.
Riddle pointed at his lap where the baby was sleeping. He had to hold back a smile at the sight of Sirius incredulous face. The man had almost literally his jaw on the floor and his eyes were wide and round of surprise.
"I-Is that my goddaughter sleeping with N-Nagini?" he stuttered in disbelief. Nagini hated everyone, everyone, besides Lord Slytherin and a few selected people, barely enough to count with both hands. But somehow the snake had taken a liking towards Lily…weird… and creepy
"Yes, she is Nagini feels attached to her, unlike to you." He snorted at the memory of the time when Nagini had tried to strangle Black after being the victim of one of his pranks.
Sirius shivered. That snake brought no good memories.
"Your goddaughter can speak Parseltongue, barely a few words taking her age in consideration, but that is not what I wanted to talk about," he started, dismissing the Parseltongue subject with a wave of his hand. Riddle leaned over his desk "I wanted to talk about Ms. Potter's guardianship."
"Wait, Parseltongue?" Sirius eyebrows raising almost to his hairline "What? That's impossible!"
Riddle snapped his fingers in order to catch Sirius attention and succeeding "Focus, Black, the guardianship is much more important now," he said with an exasperated tone "Dumbledore is going to send your precious goddaughter to the Dursleys."
"What? He would never do that!" Sirius exclaimed. Dumbledore was like a grandfather to Lily and James, he wouldn't send their only daughter away, wouldn't he? "I trust him."
The Professor was fighting the urge to roll his eyes "Of course you do," the DADA teacher replied, wandlessly summoning some papers, which fell neatly on the desk "Now, sign here."
"Dumbledore would not send Lily to that bitch's house."
"If you say so, but," Riddle started, smiling maliciously "are you willing to take the risk?"
Black opened and closed his mouth two times, and then he shook his head. No, he wouldn't risk it "Do you have a quill?"
Riddle summoned a quill and passed it to Black "Sign here, and here, good," he directed Sirius with his wand "Now I need you to put your full name here and a drop of blood there."
Sirius did as indicated and the moment he finished, the papers started to glow and disappeared. A second later a few gold letter appeared, forming the word "Accepted". The younger man looked expectantly at Riddle, who offered him a small smile "Congratulations, Black. You are now officially the brat's guardian."
Said man was about to return the smile, ask for his kid and then leave but decided to throw a look of distrust at Riddle, "Why did you do this? What do you want?" he asked "I know you enough to tell that you are after something."
"My, my, Black. Your words wound me." Riddle said sarcastically, but then his smile vanished and his expression turned serious "I will not let any magical child to live with filthy muggles if there's anything that I can do, and yes, Black, Dumbledore was really going to send her there. Believe it or not, your muggleborn friend made a blood ritual to protect the girl. A very dark ritual; and that's why she lived, I can feel the power of her the wards on her blood, they are very powerful, but they need to be recharged. Her aunt and cousin have the same blood, the same protection and the brat needs to spend some time with the muggles for these wards to be recharged."
"However," Sirius continued "we can provide her more powerful wards. Can we not?" Sirius asked locking his eyes with Riddle, who nodded "What do you want in return?" he repeated, this time with a more exasperated tone "I'm fucking sure you wouldn't do this for nothing."
"Sharp as ever, Mr. Black."
"Spit it out."
"I want you to let me train her, including at least the basics of dark arts" he offered, his left hand softly ruffing the baby's jet black hair "then and only then I'll let you and the brat to live at my manor"
"The training I can understand. About the dark arts, hell, I have learnt them form my family and I can't deny they are very useful," Sirius shifted on his seat to a more comfortable position "but I cannot understand why do you want us to live with you?"
"I'll only return to the manor during the summer breaks. The rest of the year I'll be teaching on Hogwarts, as you know," Riddle explained "my manor has very powerful wards, even stronger than the Black's wards, only being Hogwarts and Gringots superior to them. There, the girl can be safe with no need to spend time with useless muggles," he stressed the word with disgust.
Sirius didn't seemed very convinced "She has to be trained, Black" he added "She has to be prepared when he comes after her for revenge and believe me, I have no doubts that he will"
"But, he died didn't he?" Sirius asked "Lily defeated him!"
"Voldemort was defeated, but that does not mean he is dead, just weak and-" Riddle stopped in mid-sentence and scowled "We don't have any more time, Dumbledore is here," he ordered his snake to move and handed the girl to Sirius. He levitated his snake until it fell on Sirius shoulders who gave him a terrified look "Take her with you, she's a portkey that will take you to the manor and don't worry about returning her. She'll protect Potter if necessary until I return. Now go, I'll explain everything to him. GO!"
The snake started glowing, and they disappeared. The last thing Tom saw were those beautiful green eyes, looking at his very own soul. The door opened at once and Dumbledore stepped in.
"Good evening, Professor Dumbledore" he greeted the white haired man with a dark smile. No. He won't let Dumbledore have her. She was his.