|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Here from review tag. :) This is an excellent one-shot!
It's great to see a story like this because it's one moment in Riddle's life that people don't write about, for some reason. There are many more stories about Myrtle's death or his later murders, but this is actually the beginning of Voldemort, when he claims his place as Heir of Slytherin and the power that title offers. Without that title, he still would still have been formidable, but it also gives him a heritage and a basis for his hold over his fellow Slytherins. Riddle always relies on what others can do for him, and in this case, he needs the basilisk to strike fear into others and rid Hogwarts of the "mudbloods and filth". It's something I've always found interesting about JKR's characterization of her villain - characters act surprised when Voldemort kills someone himself and his followers are always leaping to serve him. You capture this sense of superiority very well in this story, how Voldemort looks down his nose at everything, even those devoted to him.
It's style is very precise, almost scientific in its level of detail and lack of emotion - it's perfect for a story about Tom Riddle, giving readers the chance to see how his mind works, how it catalogues the surrounding world without having much of a reaction to it. He feels impatience and distaste, then pleasure at the thought of taking his place as Heir, but otherwise he's distant in a rather disturbing way, as though he's not capable of feeling, certainly not sympathy or empathy. Even his comment about mudbloods feels like a throw-away line - he simply wants them gone and out of his way. It comes back to his belief that he is better than others, all others except for Slytherin - only he, as "mighty", is defined in superior terms to Riddle.
I really liked his distaste at discovering the entrance to the Chamber in a girl's lavatory. It was a fantastic way of beginning the story, revealing so much about Riddle in a single paragraph. (On a side note, it's curious how your point about Riddle's lack of interest in girls mirrors the one in OotP about Sirius - it's a link that would be lots of fun to explore.) It makes me wonder how the Chamber entrance came to be there - the faucet would have been added by a later Heir (unless wizards took the idea of indoor plumbing from the Romans :P). A girl's lavatory would be an unlikely location, to be sure, but this kind of logic doesn't occur to Riddle - he thinks much too highly of himself and the legend of Slytherin.
You've put so much into this one-shot, wow! I could keep going, but there wouldn't really be a point to it other than to indulge in my love of over-analysis. This is a wonderful examination of Riddle's character at this moment in time, filling in a considerable gap in the canon and in fanfction. It's very well-written with a careful attention to style and diction that makes me an incredibly happy reader. Amazing work!
Author's Response: Hi!
Since this is for the Tom Riddle challenge and we had to write about a moment that was important in his transformation to Lord Voldemort, I thought this really fit. Like you, I've always thought that this is the moment when his transformation really began; within a year he'll have murdered his family and created his first Horcrux. I think that his status as the Heir of Slytherin really helps him to gain power.
You're so perceptive, and I love getting reviews from readers who pick up on almost every little thing I put into a story! I wanted him to come across as detached and removed from emotion - in my mind, he'd never had the chance to learn those emotions, and by the time he reached Hogwarts it was too late to learn something like that.
I put a lot of thought into the opening paragraph, and I'm so pleased that you thought it was a good way to begin. I've always wondered how the entrance came to be there, but I thought I'd leave that one to other people to ponder for now :P Now that you mention it, the parallels with Sirius would be really fun to explore!
You know, this review just made my day. I'm so glad that you like the style and enjoyed the one-shot - thank you so much!