I awoke, confused and displaced. Where on earth was I? After stretching my arms and blinking, I found that I was in my bed, in a shack, on the coast of Albania, where I always seemed to have been. The last thing I remembered from last night was Tom flying me back home. I was sitting on his broom and I felt sad. But why?
Then I recalled what he had said. He was never going to love me. For the first time in my life, I felt truly heart broken. My heart was in pain, physically. I grabbed my chest and tried to hold back the rush of tears that I had dammed up. Last night, I felt determined to make him love me; now, it was all gone. If I could never make him love me, what was the point?
I became caught in a mix of emotions, mostly confusion. I was replaying his monologue over in my head, making sure I understood exactly what he was telling me. Yet I couldn’t understand Tom’s logic. He told me that he “refused” to love me, and that he would never “stoop” so low as to experience that emotion. Nonetheless, how else could I describe his previous actions towards me? Tom had saved my life in the third year, befriended me in the fourth, named me his most faithful servant in fifth, and, now, here I was, joining him on his quest for greatness, by his personal invitation. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
On top of that, I was upset that Tom wouldn’t submit to his feelings. I know he has them, so why does he continue to bury them as if they never exited. What is so bad about loving another? A million of questions floated through my mind with no answers.
But then I remembered what he said about his parents. I seemed that his mother had blindly loved his father, and it didn’t turn out very well. They had both died and left him, alone in a forgotten orphanage. I can’t compare my childhood to his at all. I was loved and cared for by Mother, even if it was just a small amount of time. Then, after she died, I was sent to not just an ordinary boarding school, but a prestigious one at that. A life of orphanages simply couldn’t compare to my plush life I had so taken granite of.
Suddenly a rush of pity towards Tom filled me, where I had never felt that for him before. In school, I knew he lived at an orphanage, but I never thought of the consequences of his daily life. But I saw what they were last night. Since he was never loved, he felt that he could never love. But, again, I knew I could. I was put on this earth for a reason, some reason I don’t know about. Perhaps this was the reason: to teach him something. I smiled to myself as I sat on the edge of the bed. Looking at the Dark Mark on my right forearm I realized that, for the first time, I was born with something that he didn’t have.
My body felt a quick jolt after hearing loud rapid raps on the door while a voice calmly spoke to me. “Get up Eva. You’ve been in there long enough. And we’ll need to get going sometime this hour if I’m ever to take over the wizarding world.”
I stood up and smirked to myself. Sometimes, he could be overdramatic. Deciding to call back, instead of stay quiet, I replied, “I’m up, My Lord. There’s not need to break down the door.”
The rapping stopped, and I heard his heavy footsteps walk away. I pulled out my robes from last night and changed. Suddenly, I realized that I had been wearing undergarments--meaning Tom had to have taken off my robes. I shoved the drawer in the armoire shut angrily. I wasn’t sure if I liked him doing that.
I was fixing my hair while I exited the small house. I twisted my golden curls into a bun with one hand, while my hand hesitantly wanted to stick my wand in it. Tom would have a cow if he saw. I spotted him poking around her makeshift garden, before I submitted to the temptation. I couldn’t help but call out, “Looking for that diadem in there?”
He stood up straight and squared his shoulders. “Yes, very funny. I was just examining your plants. They’re doing better than I expected. I’m certainly glad I brought you now.”
Why was he being such an ass this morning? I asked myself. It must have been last night’s conversation. Since he couldn’t run away from me, he would have to insult me and belittle me. But, if that’s what it would take for things to go back to normal, I could be as docile as he wanted.
“Thank you, My Lord.”
He brightened up a little bit, “You’re welcome. Today, we’re going off to have a talk with the Dementors.”
Although most of me wanted to protest, I desperately needed to be on the good side of Tom today. I looked around to the house, and saw the two broomsticks laying against the wall next to the door. I grabbed one slowly and went to him, trying to exhibit a readiness for anything he could throw at me. He smiled and accio-ed his broomstick over. Then we took off, yet again.
In silence, we had been flying for more than an hour. I knew Tom was contemplating something – what it was, I had no idea. I gazed down at the forest below. Tom and I had gone through, what I believed to be, a lot of trees in the past half month. But the farther and farther I flew, the more I saw how miserably and unpleasantly wrong I was. We had barely begun. Finding that diadem was going to take a very long time.
Though I had wanted to do some tricks on the broom, I did not want a repeat of what happened yesterday evening. Instead I lied my stomach down on the broom, with my head placed on my hands. I was floating a couple feet below and behind Tom. Out of no where, a day dream took me away in a trance.
The two of us were flying once again, but Tom was different, in physical appearance and in personality. He seemed almost joyful, if I dared use that word. Both of us were playing around on broomstick, chasing each other up and down and across the open expanse of the sky. I was winning of course, because I was fearless on a broom.
Along with Tom’s changes, I saw that I had changed too. The most noticeable thing was my dress. It was a beautiful Victorian gown, bright cerulean; it was the most perfect dress I could ever imagine. It had a deep blue corset with black roses embroidered into it, which seemed to be dancing around magically on my dress. My hair was shinier than normal, and there were black roses positioned throughout. I thought that I looked quite beautiful, dare I say seductive. But I realized it was only a dream.
Then I looked back on Tom, and his differences were more startling than before. His face was no longer the handsome portrait I know so well. It had a…well, it could only be described as snake-like. But I could recognize it was him. He had a smile on his face that could only be Tom’s.
Then I saw myself turn around and fly backwards in front of Tom. I yelled, “My Lord, I do believe you have lost the race.”
Tom took my quick distraction to zoom by me and yelled back, “Lord Voldemort never loses.”
I smiled to myself, and then the scene melted into another. We were embracing, and I looked up at him. To my shock and surprise, I saw us kiss. Strangely, my heart and stomach plummeted. Flashes of scenes zoomed past. The only one I could remember was one of me playing with a multitude of different looking children with Tom in the background, torturing their parents.
The last scene was something I did not want to see. Tom and I were dueling and yelling at each other. My beautiful dress was torn and ravished. There was blood smeared on my face and it had twisted in fury. My Lord looked no better, his eyes blazing, and I could see that his eyes were permanently glowing red. The last thing I heard was my dream self yelling at Tom, “You pitiful, disgraceful, lying, murdering, scared, filthy half-blood!”
Suddenly, all I saw was a flash of green.
Out of breath, with my hand over my chest, I glanced around, frightened. I saw that I was sitting upright, and my heart was fluttering. I was still flying below the handsome, young Tom Riddle, still complacently thinking. It was all a dream…just a dream.
Still, I had that nagging feeling that it was one of those dreams that would come true. My feelings were twisted – happy in the fact that I saw us kissing, definitely in love, but scared and confused about Tom’s strange appearance. Our angry fight didn’t calm me much either. I didn’t know what it meant, but at the same time, I didn’t want to know.
I guided my broom back up to where Tom was. He was still beautiful, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Although, I knew I could love him no matter what his form was, I wanted to be sure my dream was just that, and nothing more.
Tom seemed to have noticed my panicked face. “What’s wrong?” he calmly asked.
“Oh, nothing,” I quickly replied. “My imagination just got out of hand.”
He looked at her, with just a twinge of revulsion. “No! It wasn’t like that, My Lord!”
He laughed a little, with a spark of jest in his eyes, “I know.”
I pursed her lips to hold back the urge to say something. I was happy inside, knowing that Tom had seemed to have acquired his good attitude back. A smile crept onto my lips. He watched me but, instead of smiling back, frowned.
“You are very odd.”
I was taken slightly aback, but remembered Tom was not a kind man. “Oh…thank you, My Lord.”
“No, it wasn’t a compliment. Aren’t you afraid of falling off your broom?”
“Me? No. I’ve always loved to fly. If I could, I’d fly without a broom, but that’s impossible.”
I grinned, “No – I suppose not for the great Dark Lord.”
“Your flattery is too much.”
I gave him a side glance. I could tell he was trying to keep a straight face. I wanted so badly to grab his hand and hold it. But that would not go over well. He just looked too perfect to me. I changed the subject.
“How much longer until we reach the Dementors?”
Tom looked around, guessing where they were, then looked ahead. “It will be around five more hours.”
I had to hold my tongue from exclaiming again. Five more hours of flying! That was like going back to England. I sighed inwardly. This life I chose wasn’t really hard, but there was a lot of waiting involved, and I greatly disliked waiting. Giving myself something to do, I pushed my broom to accelerate more. My hair whipped around my face, and soon I felt Tom’s presence edge closer. He yelled over the sound of the wind in our ears, “Why are you going so fast?”
“I don’t like waiting, so I thought we’d speed it up a bit.”
Tom looked at me incredulously.
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll lose control and fall off? It’s a long way down, and your damage will probably be irreversible.”
“Why, My Lord! I never knew you were afraid of heights.”
“I am afraid of no such thing. I’m just saying it would be a tragedy if you died.”
“Would you miss me?”
“I would miss your food and a clean house.” I rolled my eyes. It was the best I was going to get. “Aren’t you afraid of dying?” he asked me. His tone was as bored as ever.
I thought it over. “No, not particularly.”
Tom’s face was empty of emotion and continued the conversation, as if it was about the weather. “So, if I threatened you with Avada Kedavra, you wouldn’t even flinch?”
“You wouldn’t do that; you’d miss my cooking.”
“Answer the question, Eva.”
I moved closer to him and slowed slightly so we wouldn’t be yelling at each other. Tom slowed down too, apparently interested in the conversation. I lowered my breath, ignorantly as if someone would hear me up in the sky, but was that important. “Don’t tell anyone this, but…I’ve seen my death.”
His face was doubtful. “You can see into the future?”
“No…I don’t think I can…well, maybe. But I can only see what might happen to me. Though, I’m pretty sure that my death is for certain.”
“And it doesn’t scare you, knowing one day you will die?”
“No, everyone dies. No one lives forever.”
He cleared his throat.
“Sorry, My Lord. Except for you, of course. But it will happen when I’m older, sadly not too much older, but that’s the way life goes, isn’t it?”
And the conversation ended.
It did take us another four or so hours. We landed a little away from our destination, supposedly because Tom needed to prepare me. We left our brooms laying on a tree trunk and walked towards the west of the forest. “Now, have you ever met a Dementor?”
“No,” I answered honestly.
“Well then, this will be your first time. They aren’t very intelligent creatures, but they know what they want. And what they want is human happiness. They’ll feed on all your good thoughts until you go mad. That is why they are so effective at Azkaban. Anyways, that matters not. Most wizards will tell you that the only way to get rid of a Dementor is by a Patronus. There is another way, but not many have what it takes to perform the charm.
“So first, let me see if you can make a Patronus.”
I heard of Patronuses at school, probably from a question on the N.E.W.T.S., but I had never conjured a full-bodied one. To create one, I had to think of my happiest moment. The only moment I could think of was of Tom and me, on my fifteenth birthday. “Expecto Patronum!”
Nothing but a thick cord of silvery light slunk out of my wand.
“Ah well,” Tom sighed, “As I thought. It’s quite alright. I don’t expect my Death Eaters to have many happy memories.”
I was upset that it didn’t work. Stubbornly, I told myself that I was determined to keep my happiness. “No, I can do this. I know I can.”
Tom silently agreed to let me do it again. I thought of not just myself and Tom, but when Mother and I used to go to the park, the time when Norma confided that she trusted me more than Druella, when Tom invited me to go to Albania with him, when Mother and I used to bake cakes, and every time Tom looked in my eyes with a sense of loss and incomprehension. It was at those times, I knew, Tom showed his true love for me. “Expecto Patronum!” I bellowed this time.
And this time a small creature flew out. It spun through the sky then landed in front of a shocked Tom. I was ecstatic that it had worked. A small silvery mongoose looked back up at us, patiently waiting for its command. I beamed at Tom, who looked a little dumbstruck.
“I-I didn’t expect you to make one. But…this is good,” he nodded. “You know, if I wasn’t absolutely sure that you were in love with me, which I am, I would think you were my mortal enemy.”
“What? Why is that?”
“Your Patronus – it’s a mongoose. They’re the only animals that kill snakes for fun.”
My eyes widened. “My Lord! I meant no offense –”
Tom laughed, “I know. Send it away for now, and I’ll show you my tricks.”
I flicked me wand and the mongoose faded away with the wind. Tom pulled out his and spoke, “Infitialis Tutela.”
I blinked and it was like someone had put a dark transparent tent around my Lord and me. Everything seemed darker, which felt impossible to me since the forest was already dark enough. The only clear area was our ten foot diameter bubble. “What does this do?” I had to ask.
“It bounces back the effect of the Dementors. They feed on happiness of human souls. However, this shield gives them a negative emotion to feed on, which they also enjoy. They won’t get any closer, and you can’t feel their effects. The Patronus scares them away, while this charm allows you to get close to them. I find it much more effective, but since you can do a Patronus…”
“Can’t they see this shield?”
“Dementors don’t have eyes. But even if they did, they couldn’t. Only the people inside can see it.”
Soon, we exited the forest onto a clearing and a dense fog hit us. Through the fog, I could see buildings and gates. It looked like some sort of prison-town.
“What is this place?”
“It was an extermination camp that some of the Muggles had made for other Muggles. The locals call it ‘Auschwitz.’ There was so much death and depression here, the Dementors started to grow. This is the biggest breeding ground I know of in the continent.”
Even though there was a shield, I still felt a slight chill down my back. I recall reading the effects of a Dementor, “Dementors sense and feed on the positive emotions, happiness and good memories of human beings to move around, forcing them to relive their worst memories.” The whole place felt depressing, shield or no. Though I was not made to relive my memories, my mother’s death kept zipping in and out of my mind.
Muggles, no matter their magical status or not, were human. Even though Tom may forget that, I couldn’t. It was hard for me to believe that this had been, what he called, an extermination camp. To knowingly gather up people and then kill them was unthinkable.
By this time, the air had become murky and clammy. The sky seemed dark, but I knew that it was still an hour or more until sunset. So far, we had met no Dementors, but I could see the memory of my mother float around again and again. Of course, it did not make me afraid, only sad.
We had reached a gate that had words above it. For as much as I could read German, I couldn’t translate it well. It just stated, “Arbeit Macht Frei.” I couldn’t understand the first word, but the last two sounded like “make free.” Something could make these people free, but what it was, I would never know. Tom seemed to be walking closer towards me, almost like he was protecting me from the Dementors he could sense. I found the act touching, knowing that he had already created a charm to do the same job.
Unexpectedly, we were surrounded, like it had been with the vampires. Except this time the creatures were much more terrifying.
There were at least six Dementors, each must have been ten feet tall each, with dark ragged cloaks for bodies. Long pallor hands reached out of the cloak and reached for us. I was sure that they were going to come and grab her. But, oddly enough, they reached for the shield and stopped. Their hands were open and they felt around the entire bubble. They were stroking our shield with a sick sort of tenderness.
I was struck dumb by watching this strange sight when Tom stood up straighter and commanded their attention. The biggest Dementor, which was in front of us, looked slightly startled, seemingly ignorant of the humans inside of the bubble. He pulled his hood down and I immediately wanted to retch. Its head was nothing but a skull with grey skin clinging to it lifelessly. There were no eyes, only sockets. And instead of a mouth, a hole – which I could hear rattling instead breaths.
I didn’t feel afraid of Dementors as I have known some to be. They seemed more scaring looking than being. But there was the charm and Tom to protect me. I still felt like I wouldn’t be afraid even if my protection was gone, but I didn’t want to test the theory.
I looked back at Tom and noticed that he was not speaking out loud, although it looked like it. After a while I could see he was communicating with the Dementors. After a brief exchange, the Dementors started to float away. Tom grabbed my elbow lightly, leading me towards the floating creatures.
We walked a while on the grounds of the camp. I could see all the different buildings and grounds. Again, I couldn’t understand the idea of killing humans in this size. There must have been rooms for over a thousand people. Where a slight pang in my stomach used to be, I instead felt nauseated. The thought of men, women, and children being murdered made me upset. I couldn’t stand this place any more. Yet, I knew I had to follow my Lord.
Soon we entered into a building. It looked like a hospital, but I doubted it, with all sorts of sick notions of what it probably was. The Dementor led us down a secret staircase. In this basement, there was no light, which didn’t give me much comfort. Tom had lit his wand and I followed the act. The basement was thick, and not just with darkness, but Dementors. And this was where they were growing.
The largest Dementor I had seen, which I could guessed to be the head, swooped forward towards the Dementor that had leaded them there. I noticed Tom smile, seeing it was the head he wanted to talk to. Tom talked to the Dementor again. All I knew was that their communication was in some form or another, but definitely without grammatical words.
The Dementor could make no faces, so I had to watch Tom’s face to see what was going on. For a while, Tom seemed to be polite, and then there was a twist to his face. He had become quite upset with whatever the Dementor had told him. His face became angrier and angrier by the minute, until he whipped out his wand and pointed it at the leader.
“Here!” he screamed, “Would you like me to prove that I am stronger than the Ministry? Lord Voldemort is more powerful than all of those wizards combined!”
And then Tom did something that I had never seen him, much less anyone else, do before. Using his wand more as a prop than an actual tool, he raised his hands and the walls of the building lifted with him. Although the Dementors could show no facial expressions, I could tell that they were frightened. I was frightened. The Dementors started to scurry around, and most of the larger ones fled. The head Dementor backed away from Tom and tried to feel for the walls. The Dementors were blind, but the creature could feel that the walls were being lifted. He dug his white fleshless fingers into the walls, trying to keep them down but to no avail.
I could tell Tom was having a great effect on the creature. As the building continued to rise, I noticed in what used to be the corners of the room were grey slimy things, which looked like large piles of grey puss. I heard a high pitched buzzing coming from the piles, and I realized what they were. The buzzing was the eerie screams from the developing Dementors. The head Dementor had had enough and somehow communicated to Tom to stop, probably afraid for himself and his offspring, or whatever the grey piles were.
Tom held the walls up a little higher until he heard the odd screaming stop, because he had destroyed all of the embryonic bodies. Tom set the building down again with an evil, satisfied smirk.
Without another exchange, he walked away, and I followed closely behind. None of the Dementors bothered us on our way out.
A/N Enjoy! I will try and update this as much as possible, but being this is the third time I have tried to post thist silly chapter, I'm tired of rewriting A/N's. So I will try and get this up to 22 chapters (I hope) before the year is out! Wish me luck :)