He watches Alice Cunningham page through the worn, leather book in her hand. Stupid pictures of smiling faces of herself when she was small. Who wanted to see pictures of themselves drooling or dirtying their pants like an uncontrolled freak
His eyes glitter in the flickering firelight of the orphanage's kitchen and his fingers claw against the cracked wooden floor - white
with tension. Alice, the girl who had a family once - she was probably so stupid that they didn't want her, and that's why she's here
. Alice, the girl who never got questioned.
Of course, it was he who had caused the rabbits to hang themselves from the ceiling. Of course, it was he who had caused the cauldron to dump its scalding contents on the Dewey weakling.
Never mind that Alice, with her fair cheeks and ready smile, had been there both times. No, it was his name that first filled the Tyrant's mind. That damn caretaker thought she was helping the poor, little orphans
by living here.
His fists clench, dragging thin trails in the beaten wood. He watches in surprise as the scrapbook suddenly flies towards him, hitting him in the stomach. The grunt of his pain is drowned by Alice's stifled shriek.
She gazes at him with wide eyes before scurrying out of the kitchen, and he glares at the pages. Of course, it was he who had caused the scrapbook to fly, not Alice. Biting his lip, he wraps trembling hands around the pages of the scrapbook, eyeing Alice's ridiculously happy-looking family.
Could anyone ever feel that way around me?
He pages through the sheets of birthdays, families, friends, and sunshine, his fingers gently tracing the details of a life he wants to know. Eagerly absorbing the sights, he ignores Alice's ridiculously bright smile in favor for a beautiful woman with black hair.
Is this what Mother would have looked like?
Absently, he fingers the golden locket he stole from Mrs. Cole's desk months ago as he dwells on the light twinkling of the woman's eyes.
Mrs. Cole's voice shakes the pots boiling on the stove. "Tom Riddle! What have you done now, you dratted animal?"
A wistful look twists into a grimace, and then into a defensive scowl. Tensing his fingers white
on the pages, he tears them with a heartwrenching stroke, destroying the evidence of the crime in one ruthless gesture.
Of course, it was he who would get in trouble.
Scraps of paper float to the ground as children scamper into the room in front of an apopletic woman. Laughing faces spread across the wooden floor are quickly blackened by dirty footprints. Alice cries harder, clutching Mrs. Cole's skirts.
Tom's eyes glitter as his hands relax...the fingers remaining white