I just had to read this fic; it featured our very dear Tom! And oh my, you do seem to capture the cold, dark character so well. I'd even go ahead and say that I love your 'dark' character stories more than the others, just because they seem to have this dark depth which is explored and analysed well, and so beautifully described.
This was no exception. The glimpses into Tom Riddle's head scare me at times, but somehow, I find them quite realistic. After all, the mind of a psychopath should be able to be explained in terms of actions and deeds-- one of which you've chosen to explore through this fic. =D As ever, I found that your description was right on target. It sets up the mood of the fic well, and functions as a refreshing change from the monotonous flow of Tom's thoughts which is the main part of the fic. Also, I found it interesting to see how you employ description as an accessory to the characterisation. The caution and the alertness that Tom possesses is one of the shining examples of how description aided the characterisation here.
I think I particularly liked the part when you describe Tom's reaction to the carcass of a dead rabbit, and what thoughts it brings to his head. You bring about his fear towards the force of death very well at this point, and how he wished to overcome it. Tom, as a character, is an enigma. One moment he reminds me of a domineering, pretensive character, and the next, we see his deepest fears that he so effectively tries to suppress. Small acts such as rubbing his ring to calm himself down, and glancing all around are just examples which add to his character, and I quite like the use of those here.
His relationship with his father, and what he thought of him now, was another point that created an impact. I like your take on that subject-- the fact that Tom decided to hate the emotion of love just because of his own little conclusion drawn about his family. It's a biased opinion, no doubt about that, but it's reasonable. After all, he did live his life without his parents.
One thing that I found a little irksome was the fact that the first few beginning paragraphs just refer to Tom as 'the young man in black'. After a few times, that reference gets monotonous, and I felt that 'Tom' could have been used a little earlier than you chose to introduce the name into the story.
The ending of the story, and the glee that Tom feels, despite coming there to perform what was undoubtedly a gory act was just bang on target. His dearth of feelings towards his father's home, and the absence of love totally does give us a clue of what 'older Tom' would be. He really was very much in character and in accordance with canon, a fact that I must appreciate. It's a difficult task to write characters that are completely in character and in accordance with canon, and I really admire how far you've come through in this case. It would've made a very good filler in the HBP, I think. =D
Author's Response: Wow thank you very much for this wonderful review. I really appreciate the time you took to write such well thought out feedback. A lot of people really seem to like the rabbit scene and the funny thing is, is that I added that in at the last minute. It popped into my head and I added it in. As for this being a filler in HBP, I could never ever be as good as JK Rowling, but I do really appreciate the sentiment! Thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful words.
A really interesting point of view to use throughout the story. Nice Job!
Author's Response: thank you for the review. I appreciate it!
Great story, it's very well written and it's a great characterization of Tom Riddle. I really liked it and I usually don't enjoy dark fics.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the first review! I really appreciate it and am glad that you like it!