Chapter 1 : The letter
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By the time this falls into the hands of any living soul, I’ll probably be dead. I really don’t care; I just want my story heard.
Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Emily Robins, I am sixty-four years old at the time I am writing this, and I am a witch, so obviously, I attended Hogwarts.
I was placed into Slytherin, but I would have preferred to be in Gryffindor, everyone looked so happy at the Gryffindor table, so kind, so welcoming. The Slytherins were another story. I could tell that they all hated me by the looks on their faces when I was sorted. Probably because of my family, you see, even though we were purebloods and had always been in slytherin, we were considered traitors. We lived in a muggle community. We didn’t hate muggles or muggle-borns, in fact, Anna, my best friend was muggle-born, and my parents had always liked her and her family. But despite that, we were always placed in Slytherin I was so sad when Anna was sorted into Gryffindor; I needed her, because I knew I’d never be able to make friends with anyone in Slytherin. At least that’s what I thought, until I met him.
He was sitting on the far end of the table, all alone. Since he was the only one not staring at me with a hateful look, I figured it was safe to sit next to him. He smiled when I sat down and asked for my name. I told him it was Emily, and then I asked for his. “Tom” he replied, “Tom Riddle”
He and I were friends from that moment on, when everyone else teased me, he stood by me. One day, when a fifth year started beating me up, he came running down the hall, grabbed the guy off me, and started to beat him furiously, yelling at him not to mess with me. I had to pry Tom off him and when I did, the guy ran away.
No one ever teased me again after this; they simply ignored me, although I did hear some girls snickering at me one day. I didn’t tell Tom that, I was afraid of what he might do to them.
It occurred to me that people might be afraid of Tom, but I just figured they didn’t know him like I did. He was always so kind and gentle to me. We used to sit up late at night and just talk. Talk about school, and about our future goals. I had always wanted to be an actress. Since I was raised in a muggle community, I went to the movies a lot; it always seemed so amazing that the people in those movies could just pretend to be someone else, with the greatest of ease. I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life, but everyone, even my family laughed at me when I told them this, but Tom never laughed, he just told me to follow my dreams, and to believe I could do it, believe it with all my heart.
Tom brought out the best in me, when I was around him, everything was perfect, and he and I did everything together. Homework, walks along the edge of the forest, we even snuck out a couple of time after dark. Because Tom was a model student, he was made prefect in our fifth year, I was so proud of him, I knew he deserved it. I was especially proud when he caught the person who opened the chamber of secrets. Almost as much was I shocked to find that it was Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid had always seemed like such a nice guy, if not a bit weird (I didn’t find out until years later who really opened the chamber of secrets).
In our seventh year, he kissed me for the first time. We were just sitting in the common room talking, and right out of the blue, he grabbed me and before I could object, brought his lips to mine. It was so amazing, like walking on air. I didn’t want the moment to end. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that he loved me, and that I loved him too.
We were married about a year after graduating Hogwarts. He was working for borgin and burkes at the time so money was tight, but it didn’t matter, being married to Tom made me feel like the richest woman around.
Even though it was the happiest time of my life, it wasn’t all great. About two years into our marriage, I had a miscarriage. I was devastated, but Tom just held me close and told me everything would be okay. Things got better after that, he convinced me to audition for a part in a theatre show near were we lived; I was so shocked and scared when I found out that I got the lead. What if I messed up? What if I forgot my lines? Tom told me not to worry, that I would do fine “besides,” he said, “It’s a comedy so even if you trip, everyone will just think its part of the show”
So, I preformed in the show, and to my surprise, I didn’t mess up once, in fact, people would stop me after the shows and tell me how great I was. On the night after the last performance, Tom took me out for dinner and dancing. He went up to the band and requested ‘as time goes by’ by Frank Sinatra, that was my favorite song. He held me close as we danced. It was like floating on air, I wanted this to last forever.
“You’re the most beautiful girl in the world” he whispered in my ear.
“No I’m not” I answered.
He looked at me lovingly and smiled. “But you are” was all he said.
It was the last time I ever was with Tom Riddle. The real Tom Riddle.
After that night, I started to notice a change in him, at first I thought it was just stress, but later I realized it wasn’t. My first clue was one night when he came home and almost collapsed were he stood. I ran over to help him, but he told me not to. I persistently told him that I wanted to help. Then he did something he never did before, he shoved me to the ground. I sat there shocked for a few seconds before getting back up. He warned me to never disobey him again and walked into our bedroom.
It only got worse from there, everyday he got worse. He would push me and shove me and sometimes try to beat me, he threatened to kill me on several occasions, and once even turned his wand on me. But through it all, I stuck by him, convinced that one day, the real Tom would come out, and he would hold me and love me just like he used to.
One day, I came home from work to find the place deserted, all of his things were gone, without warning, Tom had left me. But I was convinced that this was just his way of finding himself, so that he could be the wonderful, loving husband he used to be. I waited for years for him to come home, still thinking someday he would. Every time I went out I would see a dark haired man walk by and think it was Tom, every time the doorbell rang I thought it was him, finally coming back to me, but it never was. Still I hoped and dreamed that he would return someday, and when he did, I would be there waiting for him.
The day I realized he wasn’t coming back was the worse day of my life. I was sitting in the kitchen when the owl that delivered the daily prophet every day arrived. I opened the paper expecting to find something about the new cleansweep broom that had just come out. Nothing could prepare me for what I was about to see. On the front, was an article about an evil wizard who had just appeared, who was gathering power and followers so fast, people were already in a panic. At first I didn’t think much of it. I mean, sure I was scared for the lives of my parents and my friends, but I didn’t think any of it related to me, and then I read the name of the killer. I had to read several times to fully understand what it said. I couldn’t believe it. ‘Voldemort’ it read. I knew that name, which was Tom’s nickname. I didn’t want to believe it, but in my heart, I knew it was true. Tom had become a dark wizard.
To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I cried for days, I hardly ate or got out of bed. I soon lost my job at the theatre for not showing up, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I became very pale and thin and stopped caring about how I looked. My parents were scared for me and tried to get me to talk to someone about this, but I just pushed them away. One day, I read the prophet to see who had been killed, and Anna, my old friend’s name was on the list. A few weeks later, the names of my parents were on the list. I had hit rock bottom, nothing mattered to me anymore, I had been contemplating suicide, and even tried once or twice.
One morning, I woke up to hear a strange noise in the kitchen. I got up and walked into the kitchen. Standing there was a pale man with nose and silts for eyes. Even though he looked nothing like him, I knew it was Tom. He looked at me for a few moments before speaking, “you haven’t changed a bit” he said a voice that I didn’t recognize.
“What happened to you?” I asked, tears starting to form in my eyes.
He turned and looked out the window, as if ashamed to look at me. “Things change Emily” he said.
I didn’t know what to say now, so I just asked him the question I always wanted to ask, “Why?”
He looked at me but didn’t answer. “Why Tom, why did you leave me, why did you change, why did you kill my friends and my parents, why are you killing innocent people, why did you turn into this…this thing that you are, why Tom why?”
I couldn’t take it anymore, I broke down in sobs. I fell to the floor and just cried. Finally I looked back up at Tom, for a moment, he looked at me with the same love and tenderness in his eyes that he used to have, for a moment; he was the man I loved again. But it didn’t last, he laughed at me, with a cold, high-pitched laugh that I had never heard before. “You’re pathetic Emily; I killed those people because they were filthy muggle lovers, just like your parents and your mudblood friend. I never loved you, and I never will” again he laughed. ‘Mudblood’ that was the word that got me; I had never heard him say that before, ever.
“No, Tom” I said, and stopped laughing, “I don’t believe it, I know that you used to love me, and I know that the man I loved is somewhere inside you, I wish things hadn’t turned out this way Tom. We were so happy all those years, and we could have still been happy, we could have had children, and raise them, and watch them grew up, we could have grown old together Tom, we could have, I know we could have.”
He was silent, so was I. After a moment, I continued, “I never stopped loving you Tom, even after I found out what you had become, I always loved you, I used to hope and dream that you would come back to me, and that this whole thing would be over, I used to hope that this was all a dream, that I would eventually wake up from. But now I realize that it’s not, I know now that you will never be the same man I used to know Tom, but I still love you with every fiber of my being, and no matter what you say, no matter how much you deny it, you know that you still love me, I know it.”
He didn’t say anything, he didn’t move, all my fear left me, and I found the strength to approach him, I stood there in front of him and looked into his eyes, and for a second, saw there real Tom Riddle come out “Emily” he said.
“Tom” I answered. He slowly reached up and touched my cheek. Despite his pale fingers, his touch was warm; I reached up and gently took his hand, he didn’t try to stop me, he just looked at me reproachfully, and I could almost see the real Tom’s face, behind that mask he now wore. But suddenly, the evil face of Voldemort returned. He pulled away from me with a look of disgust on his face and again laughed.
“You’re even more pathetic then I thought Emily” he said.
Again I began to cry, “Tom” I said tearfully.
“No” he snapped, “I am not Tom anymore, I am Lord Voldemort, the Tom you knew is gone and he’s never coming back.” With that, he raised his wand to me, and I knew he was going to kill me, I almost hoped that he would, so I would no longer be miserable, forever searching for my lost love, and never finding him. But he never did, I knew he couldn’t because the real Tom was still inside him, keeping him from hurting me, just like that fifth year so many years before. He lowered his wand. I tried to approach him again, but he apparated away. I fell to my knees in despair. “No, Tom come back, please Tom, please come back, Tom, TOM!!!!” I never saw him again.
The next day, I read in the paper that Voldemort had been defeated, by a little boy named Harry Potter. Voldemort had killed Harry’s parents before trying to kill him, but somehow he couldn’t. When I read that, I cried. I cried for Tom, I cried for the little boy, who would never know his parents, I cried and cried.
I know what you must be thinking, how could anyone love someone like Lord Voldemort. Well, then you should know, that I hated him; I hated Voldemort just like everyone else. The person I loved was Tom, the real Tom, the Tom who was taken over by anger and hate who turned into something nobody could ever love, the Tom who stuck by me when times were tough, who talked to me and helped me with my problems, who loved me, and married me and cared about me. And even now, years after that final conversation, after the boy called Harry Potter finally defeated Voldemort once and for all, I still think of him. While every one else remembers him as the dark Lord Voldemort, I’ll always remember him as the man named Tom Riddle. The man I loved.