|Review:||teh tarik says:|
...you certainly know your mentally unhinged psychopaths well... :O
The thing about your writing is that you know your characters so well, as though you've pinned them out and made diagrams of them and studied them in detail - and this includes psychopaths like our Mr. Riddle over here. Which really makes this chapter a whole lot darker and less...well, festive...than the previous one. If there were any hints of romance or romanticised dark brooding Byronic heroes in the first chapter, well, all notions of those have now been safely dispelled as we spiral deeper into Tom's mind, so completely lacking in empathy or humanity. Dark brooding figures always turn out to be creeps, anyway. (...by the way I'm still keeping fingers crossed, and they'll be kept crossed over the next two weeks, that there'll be some kind of a not-too-grim-and-tragic ending.)
Those first few opening paragraphs - they were stunning, but also very disturbing in depicting Riddle in a rather unhinged state, striding about his mansion 'with purpose' but then not remembering why he ends up in certain rooms, and racing back here and there, his eyes all bloodshot and probably all scarlet and Voldemort-ish. And OMG the way he regards Pomona when she appears - there's not even a mote of curiosity for her anymore. Tom the Psychopath fiddling around with the concept of love is such an interesting idea. He knows so much; everything is learnt from scratch, installed carefully into that photographic memory of his - but knowledge and intelligence simply do not equate to understanding or realisation. And I dunno, maybe the idea of love being inaccessible to him really is annoying - it's like a tiny blip in his perfectly structured inner world where he prides himself on knowing everything - this tiny blip of incomprehension - and so he tries to understand this whole love thing with Pomona as a guinea pig of sorts and fails and finds himself bored with trying and instead embraces his psychopathy. Sorry for rambling.
And Pomona again ♥ I totes know what it's like to be in a very uncomfortable, sometimes unsettling situation and not being able to get out of it because you're trying to be polite, to not hurt the other person's feelings. And Pomona here is completely under his control; she's just so inexperienced that she doesn't realise Tom is merely reciting a script, simply rolling off a list of platitudes, leading her along and pulling at the strings in her brain so she responds exactly as he wants to all his cues. Arrrgghh. And paranoid Tom thinking she’s going to attack him :O :O. I just…aklaksjdhd he's just so wholly unused to human interaction and spontaneous human emotion or displays of empathy. Hmm, he has so many facades and he can assume the most perfect mask anytime - he can be anyone but at the same time he is no one; and this sort of raises a really interesting point: that people are people through other people. And Tom here is completely incapable of relating to other people and so his thoughts are barely human, unable to comprehend love or most other human emotion. RIIIGHHHT. Gonna stop with the rambling which has become really repetitive and is probably off the mark anyway eeep :P
From what I looked up, monkshood flowers mean 'without struggle' or 'a deadly foe is near' :( :(
As usual you've got really stunning lines of description:
It was a physical continuation of his spirit; his mind, sieve-like, drained into the décor, the lighting and architecture, staining miles of rough white carpet runner the darkest and bloodiest red conceivable.
I'm not sure what this reminds me of, perhaps a Horcrux, partly. And I think this happens to Pomona near the end of the chapter as well, when she feels like an extension of Riddle.
Ooh, so there's Helga Hufflepuff's bloodline all buried in the cemetery. I keep wondering if Tom somehow killed the last descendants of Helga's and took over St. Tenebris.
The last bit with the diary just made my jaw drop. OHMYGOD. WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO. DO NOT COME BACK POMONA. D: D: Surely he's not going to make a Horcrux out of her D:
Fantastic chapter ♥ And in response to your review response, I'm just glad you don't find my stalking of your stories creepy :P If you didn't write the things you write I simply wouldn't be on your page following your fabulous writing :) So thank you for sharing your stories ♥
Author's Response: teh! ♥
Psychopaths are the literary lottery. I adore writing them. (I am growing aware of how weird this sounds.)
I would have loved nothing more than to have the dark, brooding Tom sweep Pomona off her feet and be genuinely in love, but pesky canon won't let me do it and writing OOC Voldemort makes my whole brain twitch. The most he could manage was to be /curious/ about love, if only because it was the one thing he could not attain. But since he strives to be so charming on the outside, he must spend a good deal of his time practicing and mimicking. This is how I think he became so adept at becoming the person he needs to be whenever he wants to be it. What you said about Pomona being his guinea pig is exactly right. He's testing the waters to see if he's capable of love, and when he feels nothing he calls it a draw and thinks no more of it.
People are people through other people. Gahhh ♥ YES. Tom lives entirely inside his own head. He's never tried to look through someone else's eyes in his life and struggles to understand other people's thoughts, motivations, etc.
The whole house is a twisted AU version of Hepzibah Smith's, which he stole because of its connection to one of the founders. :3
Eeep thank you so much for this lovely review!!