Oh snap, Albania. Bet you weren't expecting that ;) ok, maybe you were...
June 4, 1947
We had been flying all night and I was certainly drained. I had talked to Tom about what he had done in the past two years, and he had told me he had worked at Borgin and Burkes the whole time. He told me stories of all the different artifacts he had to collect or sell for Mr. Borgin. The one that made me laugh the hardest was about him trying to get the Hand of Glory. It seemed he had tracked down a mad old wizard in some forgotten cave in Wales with it. They had quite the conversation and Tom eventually convinced the poor fellow to hand it over. He did always have a way with words.
By the time we started to descend, the sun had been up for only a half hour and was barely peaking behind the mountains. From up in the clouds, I could see we were in southern Europe, near the Mediterranean. The sea was a breathtaking blue-green, nothing like England, and I could see the white foam crash up on the rocky, raggedy cliffs. Up the plateau was a dark green forest. I was surprised that any vegetation could grow upon those jagged cliffs. As we flew closer, I could see a small shack near the edge of one of the cliffs. Two kilometers down from the cliffs was a small little beach, which looked very inviting.
The whole scene could have been from a photograph. However, I had no idea where we were.
As we landed I saw that the shack was a pretty nice size. It looked to be two stories and it was more like a forgotten cottage than anything. Its white paint had been peeling for a while and some of the window shingles were in need of repair. Cobwebs had also grown over everything, but that was easily treatable. Behind the house, facing the forest was a small shed which looked like it could come in handy. I wanted to go inside, but Tom started talking to me.
“Welcome to your new home, Eva.”
Even though I guessed this was where we were going to stay, hearing the words come from his mouth made it suddenly unreal. “We…we’re living together?”
His eyes squinted as the sun shone a bright ‘good-morning’ into them. He detested it. “What else did you expect? You have been my most loyal servant and I know that you admire me more than any of the other Death Eaters, including Rookwood himself.” I had to let out a laugh after that comment, and I know that was his desired effect. “Also, I understand that females have a knack of making ‘a house, a home.’ We will be staying here for quite a while, so I will need you to make the best of what you have.”
I took a deep breath and let it go. So it was all real, all true. Five years ago, I would have given anything to live with Tom Marvolo Riddle, especially in a place like this, where no one could bother us. Five years from now, I would still feel the same.
I looked at Tom and my eyes filled with happiness. I said, in a higher tone than usual, “Oh Tom!”
A annoyed frown came across his face. “What did I say about calling me Tom-” I had realized my mistake, but I didn’t care. Right now, he was Tom.
“Look I’m sorry! But I can’t be enamored with a man who calls himself…Voldemort. It’s too…evil sounding.”
Tom was fiddling with his wand, yet again. I wondered if I would ever get used to it. “Exactly. People are meant to fear me.”
“But I…” I wanted to say “love you,” but I couldn’t; not just yet. “I don’t want to fear you.”
He understood, nonetheless. “I suppose…you can call me ‘Tom’, but not all the time. I still prefer ‘My Lord,’”
I giggled a little at his pompousness. “Alright then, My Lord. Where are we?”
“We,” he said, spreading out his hands to convey the land to me, “are in Albania. Far away enough to be unwatched by the Ministry, but close enough to continue my dealings. I’ve made sure that no one can track us here, Muggle or wizard. I hope that you are unbothered by our location.”
Albania. I had heard of it, but never imagined it to be this beautiful. Every time the world ‘Albania’ came up, I imagined a boring plain landscape with maybe one tree. From what I remembered, it was somewhere near Greece, across from Italy. However, this Albania was not beautiful just because of its landscape, but because Tom and I were here, alone. “No, it’s wonderful.”
“Good. Now let’s get inside.” And he ushered me in.
The shack was a two story little thing. The kitchen was right there at the front door with a living room behind it. The stairs divided the two rooms, and behind the staircase was a bedroom. The only bathroom was upstairs with the second bedroom. The entire house was devoid of any kind of furniture. But all in all, it was not a bad place to live. Though, it did need a little tender love and care. But I suppose that was why he brought me.
Tom ended our tour at the top of the staircase in the bedroom upstairs, which was the largest one. “You and I will be sleeping downstairs. I need this room for myself. If you want, I can move the bathroom to our level.”
I was still taking in everything and didn’t listen to him. Once I was done looking out the small window, I turned back at him. His words had finally registered. “Would you?”
Without answering, as always, Tom flicked his wand-hand wrist and the house lurched. I grabbed onto the windowsill and watched as the room expanded. Once the house settled, I ran downstairs to see where he had put the bathroom.
I noticed that the living room was slightly smaller, but near the bedroom was the bathroom. I looked up at Tom from the bottom of the stairs since he was still on the second floor and beamed at him, “I never dreamed that this would happen…that you would come and take me away; but you have!”
Tom walked down slowly, taking his time. Once he reached the floor he gave me a quick look that made me weak to the knees. He looked so perfect; I couldn’t hold in my words, “I’ll do anything for you, anything.”
Then he smiled at me, slightly wickedly. He wrapped his arm around my waist and brought me closer to him. Then he whispered to me, “I know.”
I looked up at Tom and bent in closer. I thought maybe he was going to continue what he should have three years ago.
To my great displeasure, he was still the prick I had known who left me alone in that scary hall. Tom let go of me when he realized what I had expected of him.
After a few moments of awkward silence, Tom finally said, “I think now is the time for you to make yourself useful.”
I was slightly hurt and frustrated at him for leading me on a few moments ago, I snapped at him, “What am I supposed to do?”
He ignored my tone. “For one, this house needs some furniture…and candles. I’m sure you know how to transfigure. I brought parchment, quills and ink. Eventually we will run out, so I’ll need you to go village.”
“Village?” I raised an eyebrow. He expected me to just go “shopping” for all that stuff?
“Yes. It’s a Muggle village about fifteen or twenty kilometers away. I didn’t want to be near any wizards. I don’t need their intervention. I’m surprised I even considered bringing you. But then again…” He trailed off and started walking towards the kitchen. I didn’t know if he saw the flaw in his plan, but being an angry and scorned woman, I wouldn’t let him leave without knowing it.
“Tom, you can’t just transfigure furniture out of nothing. Or, at least, I can’t.”
Tom stopped and pondered. “Yes, yes I guess you’re correct. Must have slipped my mind. Well, that’s not important. Just steal some from that village when their sleeping.”
I was getting tired of his determination to make me work. Did he not realize I just went through a life changing experience? “My Lord, I’m freezing and hungry. I’m sure you must be too,” though he doesn’t look it, but I continued talking, “So I’ll just make us some breakfast.”
He made no complaint, so I continued forward towards the fireplace, so conveniently located in the living room. I accio'd for some firewood and it rushed through the open door way. Once I had started the fire, I went work on the kitchen. A few cleaning and scourging spells later, it looked as good as new. Since I was on a cleaning streak, I decided to try my luck in the bathroom. During my whole ordeal, Tom disappeared to his room upstairs. I supposed I had better get used to that.
By the time I had finished cleaning and was outside looking for something edible, with no luck, Tom found me.
“No wonder this shack was abandoned. It seemed a ghoul had taken up residence.”
I turned around and saw him holding an orge-like creature upside-down by the ankle. It was grey and very terrible looking. Tom held it out as far away as possible since it was trying to claw at him with his free hands. It made awful moaning and hissing sounds. My heart held pity for the disgusting thing.
“I want peace and quite while I’m here, so I’m going to have to get rid of you,” Tom told the ghoul.
He then proceeded near the side of the cliff and simply flung it off into the abyss.
I was shocked by his action, but I tried not to show it. Still, it was hard for me to block out the image of Tom killing that creature. Then I tried to justify his actions, by telling myself it was just a ghoul. But another part of me said it was also a living thing.
I tried to let the whole thing dissolve in my mind, which it did a few minutes later. I was determined to find mushrooms, and mushrooms I did find, hours later of course. But while I was in between my mushrooms, I wandered through the forest. I even hoped to find a lost chicken; however that idea was mostly to amuse myself.
I had forgotten about my anger and frustration with Tom by that time. The forest was very calming and I felt peaceful with all the trees around me. It was nothing like the Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts, which held all sorts of dangerous creatures. The most dangerous creature this forest could hold was probably bowtruckles.
I was curious about the village that Tom had told me about earlier, so I thought I would venture until I found it. As I had noticed again, the terrain was very rocky. The growing trees and plants still amazed me. I was given a little comfort by the determined trees. It was almost a sign that if I was determined enough to dig my roots, I could grow onto Tom Riddle’s rocky heart.
As I wound around the forest, I found a well not too far off. A little more than a kilometer away from the house, I found a trail. Fear never entered my mind like it would have in the Forbidden Forest. I had my wand, and I was at least a fifteen kilometers away from civilization. I followed the path for about a kilometer. By then it became wider and much more comfortable. By five kilometers or so, it suddenly turned into a road. There was a sign, that probably read “Dead End” but it was in Albanian, so I couldn’t understand it. I turned around and walked back to our shack.
Conveniently there was a bucket at the well. I filled it up. After that was when I found the mushrooms, which I held in my dress. Once at home, I dumped them in the sink.
But before I could chop them, I noticed a difference in the house. There was some furniture, which had not been there before. There were four large bookcases on the opposite wall of the front door in the living room. They were packed with all types of books, but mostly about the Dark Arts.
My feet wandered into my bedroom, and I saw a larger bookcase, on the wall next to the door. This one had books of different languages, but I could tell that they held very evil magic too. On the other hand, I also found books that I would love to read, mostly wizarding novels.
I smiled, knowing that Tom had brought them especially for me.
I flopped down onto the bed and realized how extremely tired I was. We had flown all the way from England to Albania with no rest. Then again, I knew I couldn’t go to sleep because I was just too excited. It seemed my dream to live with Tom had come true. How could I fall asleep after that? I hoped that it wasn’t all a dream and I pinched myself.
It hurt, and I was still tired, sprawled out on the bed staring at the cobwebbed ceiling.
So it was real. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. This would definitely go into my album.
Then I sprung up. I didn’t bring it with me! I jumped off the bed and started looking futilely for it. I needed that book; it was my life! Nothing, nothing mattered if I didn’t have it.
Also, I did not want anyone but myself to read that book; not even Tom. Well, maybe Tom, but now was not the time to discuss it. My album did have a charm on it, where no one would see anything if they opened it, but the charm would wear off eventually.
I hopped out of the room and walked up the stair skipping two steps at a time. The whole floor was dedicated as Tom’s room by now. It had turned dark and slightly menacing, just in the few hours we were here. He covered the two windows with a dark fabric, maybe to make it more mysterious. Or maybe he just didn’t enjoy the sun. On the left side of the wall was a long bench that reached from one wall to the other. It had all sorts of papers, ink bottles, and quills. A couple cauldrons were bubbling and frothing on the bench. On the floor was a multitude more cauldrons. There was also a huge one, big enough to fit me inside. Cages of different sizes were lined up on the floor. Three more bookcases were lined up on the right side of the wall, along with Tom’s desk.
I found Tom bending over a couple of trunks in the corner where his desk or work station was. There were melting candles all over the desk along with piles and piles of papers.
“Tom!” I called; he didn’t answer.
“My Lord!” Then he looked up from his trunks.
“Yes?” he replied politely.
I twisted my hands, like I usually did when I was nervous, and his face was preparing for the worst. “I left my book…I left it and I-I need it. Please, please let me go get it!”
The Dark Lord frowned. “It’s that stupid memory book you have, isn’t it?”
“Yes, My Lord. But I need it. I-I don’t know what I would do without it. It has my life!” I didn’t know how else to explain it, but I tried to show him my desperation.
But Tom just laughed. However, it’s not an evil laugh, like I expected. He bent down into his trunk again and rummaged until he found what he was looking for.
I saw him pull out that small diary I remembered from fourth year. Tom walked over towards me, and put it in one of the bookcases. I was so upset that he didn’t seem to care about me or my possesions.
Tom turned around towards me and put his hand on my face. Gingerly, he wiped the tears forming in my eyes. I was slightly ashamed, but I felt much better after his act of kindness.
“I understand,” he said softly. “But I won’t let you go get it. You’re tired and you need your rest.”
I protested, “But I-”
“No.” His answer was firm, and there was no arguing. “You go to your room and sleep. And next time, don’t come up here unless I call you.”
“Yes My Lord,” I replied, depressed.
As I walked down the stairs, I began thinking. Overall, I was still glad I came with Tom. Maybe he really did understand my feelings about my album. I knew that his diary was very important to him also. Most of the kids made fun of him, in our early years at Hogwarts, that he kept a diary. However, when he became known as Lord Voldemort, no one teased him any more.
I walked into the bedroom and cast a spell to fix the moldy sheets and the holey blanket. I also tried a charm to make the pillows fluffier that Norma had taught me. Once my head had lied down, I was out.
By the time I woke up, the sun had set and it was dark. I looked down and saw that I was sleeping under the covers. It puzzled me since I specifically remember sleeping on top. Oh well.
I walked out of my room and encountered the smell of a mushroom soup. Tom was bending over the fire, stirring the contents around. Looking out one of the windows, I guess it must be eleven o’clock or later.
I smiled at Tom behind his back and lean against the empty wall between the bedroom and bathroom. “I didn’t know you could cook.”
He turned around and said sadistically, “I didn’t know you could sleep for twelve hours straight.”
I gave him a “touché” sort of look, but then apologized. “I'm sorry; I was just really…” then I was distracted by the room. Giving it a proper look, I saw that there was furniture in it. A couch sat in front of the fireplace with a beautifully woven rug underneath, which Tom was standing upon. Behind the couch and in front of me was a dining table with four chairs around it. The furniture just fit and filled up the small space nicely. I looked up and saw a chandelier above the table with the candles melting. Another beautiful rug was beneath the table. And on it was my album.
I walked towards it in amazement and picked it up. I looked through it carefully to make sure it was mine and then said, “Oh, thank you!”
I set it back down and skipped over to Tom. Without realizing yet again, I pull him into a hug. I felt him place the stirring spoon back in the cauldron and with his other hand hug me back lightly.
I didn’t want to let him go, but his long fingers grabbed my shoulders and pushed me off. It wasn’t in a rude way, but more of a “I-have-things-to-do-and-I-can’t-do-them-while-you’re-on-me” sort of way. He nodded his head over towards the table and commanded me, “Go. Sit.”
I obeyed and waited for my soup. I didn’t even know he could cook, but there would be a lot of things that I would find out about Tom. He went into the kitchen and came back with soup bowls. I was surprised on how he acquired everything so quickly. Truth be told, I really didn’t want to know how he got the cutlery. I just wanted to be amazed that he did. It was better not to ask him, and just enjoy that I wouldn’t have to go and get it myself.
Tom served the both of us and sat down across from me. At first we ate silently. I didn’t realize how hungry I was. The soup wasn’t bad either, so I ate as much and as fast as I could. I looked back at my companion every so often, and he looked to be eating simply to eat. He took no pleasure in it, like I did. He didn’t even finish.
I truly did not care if he thought I was a pig. I know that it would be the least of their worries from now on. I heard living together wasn’t easy, and it definitely wouldn’t be with Tom. I mean, I don’t even know how long we’re both going to stay here in Albania.
There was only one way to find out. “My Lord? How long are we staying here, if you don’t mind me asking?”
He put his spoon down and looked at me. “I’m not entirely sure. As long as it takes, I reason.”
“As long as what takes?”
“You’ll see. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.”
“Oh…are you going to finish that?”
Tom looked down on his bowl and slid it towards me. As I started to eat his, I could hear my stomach rumble. It seemed I could not tame my tummy beast. Only now do I thank my father for his thinness because I’m not sure how I keep such a good figure with my huge appetite.
Tom laughed at me though, saying, “If you keep eating like that, I’m going to have to acquire a bigger bed.”
I didn’t expect him to say that, and I started to snort, trying not to spit out my food. I calm down enough to swallow and playfully yell, “You take that back!”
He laughed at me more, but then said calmly, “Lord Voldemort takes nothing back.”
My face scrunches up, trying to think of a good come back, but nothing pops up, so all I can say is, “Oh, he doesn’t, does he?”
“No.” And Tom smiled, knowing he had won. I didn’t want the talking to stop, so I struck up a conversation.
“Do you remember that time when Professor Binns died?” Tom nodded. “They said he just fell asleep in the faculty lounge. I was scared stiff when he floated into the room.”
He smirked a little, “I could imagine. That was probably the most interesting thing that ever happened in that class.”
“Oh yes. I could barely stand History. In fact, I couldn’t stand any classes, especially after you left.
His smirk grew wider. “That’s not what I heard. I was told you became top of your class, even offered to be Head Girl.”
“Yes,” I rolled my eyes thinking about it, “but I didn’t want it. I would have been stuck with Augustus again. He was driving me nuts by then. Slughorn was very upset with me for a while because it would have been the first time in a couple hundred years that there was a Slytherin Head Boy and Girl.”
“He courted you, didn’t he?”
Tom frowned and said, “Don’t be stupid.”
“Oh, Rookwood? Yes.” I tried to look away, for fear of him. I felt like I had been disloyal to him. Then again, Tom had never courted me, so I don’t know what I was on about.
“Did you sleep with him?”
“What?” I exclaimed, dropping my spoon in the empty bowl.
Tom didn’t reply, but I could feel him in my mind. For once, I tried to block him, and he could tell. Since I had never tried to stop him before, I was no match mentally against him. He had found the truth.
Tom blinked and licked his lips. “No matter. He won’t get anyone else, especially with those scars he’s got.”
I couldn’t help but give him a dark look. For the first time in my life, I felt violated by Tom. Rookwood had been very ambitious. I partially knew he saw me as leftovers from Tom Riddle, but that was good enough since Lord Voldemort was like a god to him. The truth was, it had just sort of happened.
I did have to admit to myself, the whole time we did it, I wished that it was Tom and not Augustus. After, I did realize that I took any kind of attention, good or bad. It was especially so after Tom left, since he was the only other person I had ever received personal interest from.
“I also heard that Cygnus Black was marrying Druella Rosier.”
So Tom was trying to change the subject, but I could play along. “Yes, I was invited to their wedding. It’s in a couple months.”
His well structured face was complacent. “The Blacks are good purebloods. It’s too bad they have that habit of intermarrying with each other. They all have a naughty temper because of that.”
“It’s simple though, why they do that: Purebloods are running out of people to marry. You know we’re all related to each other somehow.”
“We?” Tom looked at me mildly amused. “In this house, there’s no point lying to each other. You know as well as I do that we aren’t related to anyone.” Then he stood up and took our bowls. “You look tired. Go back to bed.”
I nodded silently and went back into the room. I lied down to the closest side to the door. Soon, Tom came in and lit up about thirty candles throughout the room. I suddenly notice that there is a beautifully crafted armoire on the wall in front of the bed. There were also table ends next to the bed, holding mounds of wax from the candles
Tom came over to me and gave me a small cup filled with a steaming violet liquid. The cup was just the right temperature of warm. It smelled like grapes.
“What is it?” I asked
“It will help you sleep better.”
I believe him and drink the whole thing. Drowsily I put the cup on the table next to me. A deep sleep takes over me, but before I’m totally unconscious, I feel my stomach hurt slightly.
A/N Well, this is the second section, the Albanian section as I like to call it. Thank you for all your lovely reviews. Although I haven't mentioned it before (I don't believe) I take every review to heart (not in a bad way). I'm very grateful that you take time out of your life and send a comment on my story, even if it's a critize. Hmm, what to say about the chapter...well Tom's retarded in the love section as always, but without that there would be no story. I don't know if you've noticed, but I try to make each chapter pretty detailed. Every one has a purpose, but sometimes it feels like it doesn't. So keep sticking with me! Happy readings!