Tom Riddle was always the perfect student, right?
There was one spell he never could get right
A spell that required the one thing he couldn’t have
A happy memory
It’s hard to be the best when what you need is just out of reach
Categories: Dark/Angsty Fics Characters:
1. Everyone Else Has A Memory by J Raven
Everyone Else Has A Memory by J Raven
All That I've Got
Hit me, knock me out
And let me go back to sleep
I can laugh all I want
Inside I still am empty
I'll be just fine
Pretending I'm not
I'm far from lonely
And it's all that I've got
All That I've Got
"Now, to conjure a Patronus, you need to focus on a memory, but not just any memory. It needs to be a purely happy memory. The incantation you will need..."
Tom Riddle slipped his hand into his pocket and smoothed the binding of the diary he had been carrying since the beginning of fifth year. The diary would eventually be passed on, to ensure that Slytherin was always a house to be feared, but until then it had to be protected. For the present time, there was no better place for it to reside than in his possession. It contained many memories, just not the ones he desired at that particular moment. Every memory in the diary was purely factual; not one snippet of emotion had bled into its pages. There was defiantly nothing happy to be found in this particular journal.
"...everyone stand in a circle and we'll all have a go. Fifty points go to the student with the best Patronus by the end of the lesson." The Slytherins around Tom looked smug, they all knew which house had the best student and would be walking away with the fifty points.
As the students all tried to conjure something other than silver mist, Tom scoured his brain for a memory which would be sufficient for the exercise. He came up blank. Then it was his turn to try the charm. He bit his lip, and ignored the expectant faces of the rest of the class.
"Just lie," he told himself. "You can lie to everyone else, why not yourself. Make up a memory. You're with your friends... what friends? You're Minister for Magic; you're playing Quidditch for England, um..."
"Expecto Patronum." Nothing happened. Not even the barest of silver wisps came out of his wand; the first time it had ever failed him.
"Concentrate, Tom." Professor Merrythought offered in a voice that she obviously assumed to be encouraging. "Miss Black, your turn."
Tom tuned the insufferable teacher out as his vision turned red. There was a pounding in the back of his head that only came with the feeling of failure. The Slytherin next to him patted his shoulder encouragingly and the teacher gave him a sympathetic look. Salazar save him, even the teacher's name was mocking him; Professor Merrythought, how preposterous.
"It's not that hard, you can do this. Everyone else has a memory. Everyone else..." Now that was an interesting idea. Tom looked across the circle and caught the eye of a blonde Ravenclaw who blushed at his gaze. Her thoughts were as easy to access as one of those children's diaries with the generic lock. She was remembering the last school holidays, at the seaside, with a boyfriend... Tom drew back; he had no interest in the sex lives of nameless Ravenclaws. But the seaside, now that was intriguing. Tom had a memory of the seaside and although it wasn't exactly happy, he felt a rush of pleasure when he remembered what he had done to those idiot children. Dennis Bishop and Amy Benson should have known better than to mess with Tom Riddle. He remembered the ecstasy of dealing out the punishment vividly.
"Mr Riddle, let's try again shall we." The idiotic teacher was back. Tom fixed a charming smile onto his face and in his mind he relished in little Dennis and Amy's screams.
A cloud of silver mist fell from his wand, exhibiting all the protective force of a piece of wet paper. Tom's face dropped and he clutched the desk beside him in support. A couple of the Ravenclaws gave him looks that were far too calculating for Tom's liking. Did they suspect? Could they tell he had nothing happy to remember? He looked at his watch, still another hour of class to go. The other students were whispering amongst themselves and the Gryffindors looked ecstatic; it was a rare day to see Tom Riddle fail at anything. The blood was pounding in his skull and he felt lightheaded, he needed to get out.
"Professor, I've just remembered, I was supposed the meet with Headmaster Dippet ten minutes ago. May I be excused?" Tom feigned composure as he quickly fabricated a reason to leave. Professor Merrythought gave him another hard look. Quickly he switched up his act. "I believe he wished to see me about rearranging the prefect's schedules, so the teachers aren't required to patrol weekends."
The professor smiled. "Well I suppose you mustn't keep the headmaster waiting any longer, off you go."
Tom nodded and swept from the room. You could always trust teachers to want less work for themselves.
Just outside the classroom, Tom leaned his head against the wall. His long fingers clenched into fists as he fought against the urge to scream. Failure was for Mudbloods and Squibs!
Around the corner there was the sound of a door opening. In a swirl of black fabric, Tom swept away and by the time third year Amelia Bones rounded the corner, the corridor was empty. Had she been just a little quieter, she may have seen a side of the Head Boy that had never been seen before. She never did realise that she owed her life to the squeaky door of her Charms classroom.
CRASH! Tom's face was covered in black spots as he hurled an ink bottle at the bare wall of his room. The ink coated his hands and stung where his sharp nails had bitten into flesh. He pulled the diary out of his pocket and threw it at the wall, the binding breaking and pages spewing everywhere. "Why hadn't the memory worked?" Tom felt that he had been sufficiently happy at the time. With a groan he threw himself onto the bed and focused on that day seven years ago.
"Come look at this!" Dennis Bishop was waving a live crab at the girls, who ran away screaming. Tom could hear some of the younger girls crying, it was such an irritating noise, a high whine like a door that had never heard of grease. Although Tom was sitting quite a way from the other children, the noise still aggravated him. He glared at the youngest girl, willing her to shut up. Suddenly her cries turned to laughter and Dennis screamed. The crab had bitten him on the finger. Tom allowed himself a small chuckle as the other children began to tease Dennis.
A rustle in the grass reminded Tom why he had wandered away from the group. When he was six and on a trip just like this one, Tom had seen his first snake. Like any little kid, he had screamed. The snake rose up on its tail and much to Tom's shock, it began to speak, telling the boy not to be afraid. Being a curious boy, Tom stopped screaming to ask the snake how it was that he could speak but other animals couldn't. He soon learned that some humans could understand snake talk but that it was so rare that this particular snake thought it was a myth. Ever since then, Tom looked for snakes everywhere. Tom found the snakes to be far better company than humans, perhaps because having an ability that set him apart from others made being different more bearable.
It didn't take long for Tom's whispered hisses to be heard and soon he was in deep conversation with a pair of small grass snakes. Their lives fascinated Tom, they loved to tell stories about scaring hapless townsfolk and Tom told them that the best victim for one of their pranks was sitting over by the cliff. Soon they were laughing at Mrs Cole who was screeching like a baby and running away from the snake that had gotten into the picnic basket. Their conversation then turned to all the tricks that Tom had pulled with the strange power that he had discovered a limited control over. They especially loved the rabbit that had apparently hung itself from the ceiling.
Tom was enjoying his conversation so much that he didn't even notice the little girl who had snuck up behind him. At the last second the snakes scarpered but it was too late. Tom turned to see little Amy Benson's panic at what she had just seen. Tom stood and tried to explain but stopped when her face turned to pure horror, he was still speaking snake! Amy turned and fled. Tom cursed himself and kicked at the ground before starting after Amy. He had to stop her telling the other children.
It took Tom quite a while to find Amy, he assumed that she would go to Mrs Cole; instead he found her crying to Dennis Bishop. As he walked closer to Amy, Dennis stood up in a misplaced attempt at chivalry, his sore finger obviously feeling better.
"What the hell do you think you're playing at? Who pretends to be able to talk to snakes just to scare a little girl? You're mad."
Tom's eyes flashed at the last statement. "Well, I had come over to apologise..."
"I don't accept," Amy cried tearfully. "Dennis is right, you belong in a madhouse."
Tom glared at the girl and grabbed hold of her arm. "I am not MAD!" Dennis tried to make him let go, but jumped back although he had been burned. Tom pulled Amy away from Dennis and back towards the cliffs.
Amy thrashed and screamed but Tom wouldn't let go. He dragged her down the little used trail that ran from the town to the highest point in the cliffs. Dennis ran along behind them, trying to alert Mrs Cole and pull Tom away from Amy. When they reached the cliff face, Tom stepped out onto the edge and pulled Amy next to him. Dennis' face paled as he realised that Tom could just push Amy and she would fall to her death.
"Please Tom, you don't wanna do this."
Amy screamed as the wind picked up and pressed her closer towards the edge. Dennis took a small step towards Amy. Tom smiled; it was not a nice smile by any stretch of the imagination. The ground creaked and Tom grabbed the front of Dennis' shirt. There was a crack like a gunshot and the three children plummeted toward the ocean. Amy and Dennis' screams filled Tom's ears as they fell and if anything, his smile got wider.
At the last second, Tom willed them to stop falling, and hoped that his strange powers were enough to at least save him. They stopped with their feet just above the stone outcrop at the base of the cliff. The children continued to scream for a second and then stopped. Tom breathed a small sigh of relief and they fell the last few inches to the ground. Amy and Dennis crumpled to their knees, pale and shaking.
"Get up," Tom snapped and he looked around him for an idea of what to do next. A few feet away there was a crack in the cliff face and it appeared to lead to a sizable cave. He pulled the shaking children to their feet and dragged them to the cave. Dennis found his voice and cried out in terror.
"Tom, Tom please. We won't tell anyone if you just let us go."
"Don't worry," Tom replied sweetly "you won't be telling anyone."
The interior of the cave was circular and the only light came from the gap that they had just come through. There was a pool of water in the centre and Tom shoved Dennis into it. It was quite a deep pool and the boy thrashed as he tried to stay above water. Amy backed into the wall and watched, tears streaming down her face. Dennis made to climb out of the pool but Tom placed a foot on his hand, keeping him in the water.
"Now, perhaps you might want to revise what you said before?"
"Wh- What do you mean?"
"I believe that you said I belong in a madhouse? Would you like to retract that statement?"
"No, you're insane," Dennis spat. Tom's eyes flashed red and Dennis screamed as a wave of burning agony swept through his body. "Fine," He gasped, "you're not mad."
Tom lifted his foot off Dennis' hand and swept out of the cave, leaving the younger children alone in the dark. Tom remained just outside the opening, listening to the frightened crying of the two children he had abandoned. In the distance, he heard Mrs Cole bellow his name and he realised that their absence had been noticed.
He went back into the cave to find Amy and Dennis huddled in a corner, they had been unable to find the exit. There was a sharp crack and they suddenly found themselves back at the top of the cliff. The other children were looking for them and Mrs Cole spotted them first. She interrogated them all separately but the only response she got was that they had been exploring a cave. Amy was crying and Dennis couldn't stop shaking, yet they had no memory of why they were scared. Tom just smirked and parroted the same line as the others, secretly pleased that they had gotten what they deserved. The snakes would love to hear this one.
"Expecto Patronum." Tom tried to summon a Patronus but was again unsuccessful; his silver shield wouldn't have stopped a ball of tissue paper. He screamed in frustration and clenched his wand with his long pale fingers. Tom tried to think up another memory that would work for the charm. He came up with nothing.
"Why won't it work? It's a happy memory. What else could I use, it's all that I've got."
He caught sight of his reflection in the mirror and saw something that made him freeze. The wizard he saw in the reflection was a far cry from the all powerful sorcerer that he had once seen reflected in a magical mirror. This mirror showed a dishevelled young man, shaking with anger and disappointment. Tom studied the image for a second and his eyes flashed red as he recognised himself in the cowardly picture.
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" A jet of green light flew from Tom's wand and shattered the mirror with the force of a small bomb. At that moment, the young man resolved to never see himself like that ever again. The weak wizard had been killed and in his place stood a powerful sorcerer who would do anything to succeed.
Tom swept back into his Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom and the students all fell silent at his entry. They had never felt such raw power radiating off a person before.
"My turn, I think." The teacher just nodded and Tom pulled out his wand.
"Expecto Patronum." The class had yet to begin on non verbal spells but Tom was well versed in them. As his feeble Patronus formed, he secretly cast another spell, creating the illusion of a fearsome silver snake that encircled the classroom. The other students stepped back in fright. Tom smiled, a snake seemed fitting for Slytherin's heir.
"Fifty points to Slytherin, well done Tom." The stupid teacher looked so smug, like she had taught his so much. He just smirked at her and she recoiled as she noticed a red gleam in his eyes. Tom turned and strode out of the room as the bell clanged.
Lord Voldemort had arrived.
A/N - This is my first fic so I'd love to know what you thought. Please review :)
Disclaimer - These amazing characters belong to JK Rowling. The song lyrics are from 'All That I've Got' by The Used. I own nothing except the plot and would like to thank these creative geniuses for letting me use their material.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.