Hey there - dropping your requested review off from the forums! I was so glad to see you re-request - I really enjoyed your last one-shot.
You know, it's kinda ironic you asked me to look at this for you, since I'm in the process of planning/starting a Tom Riddle novel, which will include this moment as well. So yeah, I was curious to read this as soon as you posted it :)
I love the way you write him. He's not quite Voldemort yet, he's not quite at that point, and he's not doing anything hugely dastardly in this, but you've still grasped his voice well. He's definitely /him/, if you know what I mean. He's clever, he's cunning, he has ideas about how things should be, he's arrogant... it's really, really great - he's quite a tricky character to pin down (at least, I think he is, lol), so you've done well to get him down this well!
Your description is great. It's only a short one-shot, and only a short set of moments which you're writing about, so you don't need loads of description, but you've got the perfect amount here. It's all so lovely as well (I liked the use of 'drip-drip-drip'), and it seems like you've taken care to highlight the things he would notice, you know, rather than just blankly describing everything.
I liked how you used everything we know about the Chamber of Secrets - the creature inside, the legends about it - and spun it around Tom, so you get a sense that he has worked to find this out, it's something he's actively searched for and wanted, you know? It's not just something which dropped into his lap, he had to do something to get it. I also liked the parallels, in my mind at least, between Tom and Hermione, with him working out that the snake used the piping, or probably would were it awake. It was a faintly chilling moment and kinda reminded me that he's not a just a bloodthirsty maniac bent on killing Harry, he's also very, very clever.
Your style was great. You wrote his voice excellently, you included exactly the right things in exactly the right amounts. I liked the inclusion of the Parseltongue and the way you didn't explain what it was so - since this is in Tom's voice, it would have been odd if you had. The last line was brilliant. It just really summed him up totally, and sort of connects with what we know from canon, you know? It was the perfect place to end it.
This was really great, I really enjoyed reading it! Please feel free to re-request whenever you want! :)
Author's Response: Hi!
You're writing a Tom Riddle novel? That sounds brilliant! The characterisation was my major worry in this story because - with my preference for minor characters - I've never tackled such a major character before and I was really worried about getting him right. I'm so pleased that you think he sounded like him, and that you managed to see all the elements of his character I wanted to convey.
You picked up on the parallels between Tom and Hermione! That makes me so happy! I think that it's quite easy to forget that he is exceptionally intelligent - after all, Harry found the Chamber in his second year, but there was a lot more information available for him than what Tom had access to.
And I really liked the last line - I was trying to show that he wasn't Voldemort yet, but that he has started the transformation with this. Within a year he'll have killed his family and made his first Horcrux, so I kind of felt this was a crucial moment.
I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading this, and I actually just re-requested for another one-shot (I've entered a lot of challenges recently :P) - thank you for the brilliant review!