Chapter 10 : November 1, 1947
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November 1, 1947
Yesterday was my birthday. Tom even remembered. I was happy that he had. My so-called present was letting me have the day off from searching out in the forest for the damned diadem like we had every day. Of course, I couldn’t complain too much. I made sure we had a break at least every Sunday. The main reason I did that was so I could keep track of the weeks and months I had been here. Although it had only been four months, it had seemed like more than a year since I had been home. But this was my home now.
I didn’t celebrate too much yesterday, mainly because I still had had to clean the house, weed the garden, feed the chickens, check on my new crop of wheat and barley I had decided to grow (with the help of a little quick-grow spell I had acquired). However, for the first time, in a long time, I had time to write in my album. It seemed that from the time I woke up to Tom’s annoying raps on the door, to my unimaginable tiredness once I hit the mattress of the bed, there had never been a moment to sit and write down my recent memories. But yesterday had been as good a time as ever.
I had described the times Tom and I looked for the diadem, and the close moments we had, which were rare. I also included the meeting with Lord Tympanios of the vampires. I wrote down and talked about my determination to win over Tom, no matter how hard he tried to push me away. I wrote, “I will not give up easily. I will be strong.” Just putting those words on paper had given me strength. Lastly, I discussed the meeting with the Dementors.
I felt strangely upset after we had left such a horrible place, and even more so since Tom had destroyed their offspring. Even though they were such horrible creatures who had given me the creeps, Tom had scared me more than anything. I still couldn’t understand how he can kill and destroy without any thought of remorse. I was with a man that scared the most terrifying creature on earth.
Tom, however, was very satisfied. He talked to me the whole entire trip back about our future plans. It seemed his next move would be planning with the vampires and Dementors. Another trip back to Auschwitz will convince the head Dementor to take them to the ruler, who, he guessed, was working at Azkaban. The vampires were trickier, being human once and having a choice in whom to side with. Many of them, he explained, were wizards before they were bitten and killed. Muggles, who had become vampires, simply kept to themselves or tried to stay dead.
Tom was also going to try to get the Goblin population to work with him, though that would be the most daunting task yet. Goblins and wizards have always fought, but Tom thought that the tension between the two may be put to his advantage. From there, he might even go and ask the werewolves for their compliance. Of course, that was only if things turned out the way he planned them so far. It seemed whatever plans Tom had for the future, his concentration was mostly on the present.
Another present that Tom had given me for my birthday was making dinner for us. It wasn’t just any dinner either. He made the same mushroom soup he had our first days in Albania together. I wasn’t sure if he did it out of love or perhaps out of gratitude. I had been working my fingers to a bone for the past few days out in the garden and at home. I had been following his orders obediently and diligently. All I could really hope for was a break from cooking dinner, even if it was my birthday. I decided to pretend that it was a nice combination of both love and thanks. Overall, I was pleased with the meal.
“I thought you might like a bit of cooking for once. You love your memories so much, and I believed that this just might make you relive a few of the good ones,” Tom had said to me as he poured the soup into my bowl.
I smiled at him, looking into his gray eyes. I was always surprised when he mentioned my love for memories. Sometimes I thought he never paid attention to me. “Thank you, My Lord. No one has ever been this kind to me.”
Tom turned back into the kitchen and scoffed, “Remember Eva, no lies in this house.”
He thought that I was complimenting him or trying to be polite. I wasn’t. “No, Lord, I’m not lying. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating but I’m not lying.”
Tom did not respond. He wiped his hands on a towel in the kitchen and walked back to the table. He sat down in front of me, placed his napkin in his lap, and grabbed his spoon. “No matter,” he responded.
We sat there sipping our soup. Neither of us talked for a while. I was simply enjoying Tom’s company like I always did, yet one question was nagging at me. “Where did you learn to cook?”
“I didn’t really,” Tom replied softly, without looking up.
“So,” I mockingly asked, “you just thought you would throw in whatever and boil some water, and that’s how you made it?”
He raised his eyes to glint at me. “I’m not stupid Eva.” His eyes went back down to his soup and he continued. “No, I didn’t learn to cook in the sense of someone taught me. I just used to observe the cooks at my old orphanage. This was my favorite dish: mushroom soup.”
“Mine too,” I whispered.
We ended that night outside, staring at the stars. I had to make Tom stay outside with me. I told him, “The world will always be here to take over. It’s not always my nineteenth birthday.”
To my delight, he complied. We sat down outside and he pointed out the stars for me. I disliked astronomy, but I knew he dabbled in it. I recalled some of what he was saying from the Hogwarts astrology class, but I was mostly focused on how close his body was to mine.
Tom took a deep breath then turned toward me. He grabbed my right arm and looked at my Dark Mark. Lazily, he traced his fingers around it and told me, “I should put color on it tomorrow.”
I couldn’t stand his touch, it was too much. It was partly because the idea of him touching me made me feel ecstatic, but the other part was that he looked at me like I was nothing more than a servant. There has to be something inside his heart, I know! Yet, there is no proof for it.
When I lied in my bed to go to sleep, I felt like crying. I didn’t, but my mixed emotions were still there. Oddly enough, we went to bed at the same time that night. He usually came in the bedroom way after I had already gone to bed.
Last night, I found out something about Tom that was strange. I just couldn’t understand it. I learned that he couldn’t go to sleep without the candles lit. I always went to bed first, and I always woke up last so I never noticed the candles were lit. That was until last night, when I asked him to come to bed with me.
Tom was not tired, of course, and sat up in bed. All he did was stare at me. I stared back, mainly because I wasn’t able to sleep with the room being lit up. “Can we put out the candles?”
I frowned. “Are you afraid of the dark or something?”
“Then why must they be lit?”
“Why must you talk?” He paused. “It’s your birthday, but that doesn’t give you the power to control me. Far from it Eva.”
I instantly regretted my attitude towards him. “I’m sorry My Lord. I just…”
“Will you get it through your head? I know you to be slow, but I know you’re not entirely stupid. I will not be your lover. Neither will you be mine, so stop thinking that way. You drive me insane with that constant banter in your mind that you will convince me of love. There is no such thing as that. You better learn that now, or I will have to get rid of you. And that would be a loss.”
I felt like I couldn’t keep my tears in, but I instead turned my back and shut my eyes. Sleep was hard to get to, but it came eventually. And Tom never blew out the candles.
But today was Sunday, which was great since it meant a two day break. This morning, Tom tried to convince me to go and look for the crown, but I stubbornly refused, to my own surprise. I reasoned that it wasn’t going any where, so there was no need to go out and look for it like it was going to walk away. He huffed and went back upstairs to his bed room.
By lunch time Tom came down as I was serving my spicy potato dish. We ate in silence until I asked him, “You know, you made me miss Druella’s wedding.”
“Did I?” he asked with no interest whatsoever.
“Yes,” I replied curtly. “Yesterday I got an owl from Norma, saying that Druella’s sister, Carina, is getting married next year. I was really hoping that we could go.”
“What did I say when we first left?” Tom abruptly dropped his cutlery and glared at me. I didn’t respond. “Oh yes, I believe it was something along the lines of ‘We can’t go back to England.’”
“But that’s what I am trying to get at; Carina isn’t having her wedding in England. It’s going to be in France.”
Tom went back to eating, but he was still frowning. After a minute of silence and letting my idea sink into his head, he asked me, “Who is she marrying?”
“Why France?” he questioned. “None of them are French.”
“No, I don’t believe so. I’m not sure why they are getting married there. Perhaps they just liked the idea of getting married in the French Riviera.”
“Does that mean we can go?” I hoped.
“Oh Tom! Why not? What have you got against weddings? Anyways, you can see our old school mates. They were obsessed with the Death Eater thing then, and they probably still are.”
He rubbed his chin considering the thought. “Many of our Slytherin classmates will be there.”
“Oh yes, of course.”
I could see he was thinking it over. I was wishing he would say yes. It would be wonderful to get out of here. Even though it’s just been a few months, I miss the company of other people, normal people. A grin spread across his face. “Well, they always were good sheep.”
“Sheep?” I repeated? I was lost.
“Please Eva. I could tell those purebloods exactly what they wanted to hear and they would jump through hoops of fire over bottomless pits to help me.”
I understood what he was saying, yet I knew there was something else behind his meaning. “What do you mean?”
“Eva, I pride myself in tracing my ancestry all the way back to Salazar. It is something that I am very proud of. However, I can not deny, no matter how hard I try, that I am a half blood. And neither can you.”
I vaguely connected the dots, but, at the same time, I just couldn’t see what he was getting at.
“Those little purebloods would do anything to keep their blood pure as possible. If I have to kill a few Muggles to have loyalty from such a group as them, I don’t mind. Muggles are useless to me. Those purebloods seem to hate them with a vengeance, while I have rather a great dislike. Disgusted though I am to have been raised by them and that my father is one, overall dead or alive, they don’t matter to me. It seems though, the more I proclaim of pureblood dominance, the more wizards, the more powerful wizards, I win over.
“That is the card that I play Eva. It is the same card you need to play along with me. You need to act as if the pureblood way is the one and only way. I can’t have you with me if you side with the Muggle lovers. Intermarriage is also not allowed. Whether wizards and witches intermarry makes no difference to me. Though I have to admit, without it, you and I would not exist. But the Purebloods find it abhorrently distastefully, so we must keep up the charade.”
I was shocked, yet at the same time it all made so much sense. Tom, somehow sensing my confusion, made it simpler for me.
“We’re going to the wedding, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Oh!” I grinned happily at him. “Great! Thank you.”
We then continued eating in silence.
After Tom finished, he got up and coughed slightly to get my attention. I looked up in response. “Even though it’s Sunday, we didn’t do anything yesterday or this morning, and that is a long enough break. When you’re done, we’ll search the rest the forest for the rest of the day till sundown.”
I sighed internally and frowned at him. I couldn’t argue, not with Lord Voldemort. “Yes My Lord,” I said disappointedly.
After I had cleaned up in the kitchen, Tom had already left. I walked towards the forest and saw all the red rings Tom had put around the trees. I kept on walking until the ringed trees became less and less and searched the nearest barren one. I absentmindedly looked through the unbranded trees to see if there were any holes or spots a crown or a diadem could be nestled into. All the while I was complaining quietly to myself, out loud.
“Why am I doing this? This is so ridiculous. A diadem…why on earth would he be looking for a diadem, and in Albania of all places! Stupid, bloodly stupid. Oh, and then on my one day off, when I can relax, no, no we have to go and find this thing. You know, I bet someone found it and ran off. What are you going to do then Tom? Hmm?” My mind was a rampart of anger and frustration. A servant: that’s all I was and all I would ever be to him. Didn’t he realize how much I loved him? I kept asking myself all of these stupid questions without any way towards an answer.
“And what do you need a crown for anyways? So that you can parade around, proclaiming how great you are. I wish he would just –” Instead of blaming myself, I simply complained about him. It did make me feel better, letting off a little steam. However, I immediately stopped when I heard a smooth, bright voice interrupting me.
“Talking to yourself?”
I became more upset than embarrassed. I huffed and turned around, expecting Tom since there was no one else in this forest. I would have liked to give him a piece of my mind. Yet it wasn’t Tom that stood in front of me.
A creature with a red lion’s body and bat like wings stared at me, in the direction from where the voice came from. His head was that of a man, older but strangely handsome. The creature had a menacing stare. It almost felt like he was looking me over. It didn’t calm my fear when he licked his jowls as he might in preparing for a meal.
I stood there with my mouth slightly open, my eyes as wide as they were in my third year after seeing the Hogwarts beast. His tail looked like a scorpion’s and was raised directly at me.
His voice sounded like trumpet as he spoke to me again. “Oh, don’t be frightened. When I claw you, you’ll be dead right away. Very painless.”
He was going to kill me, I thought. I backed away as slowly as I could, very afraid. My voice became dry, and I couldn’t scream even if I tried. I eventually backed up into something. I turned and saw I was cornered into a tree trunk. I whipped my head back towards the strange lion creature. He was coming closer, and as he lifted up a paw he showed his razor sharp claws, which looked to be dripping with some sort of liquid other than blood. I felt my way around the tree and rolled behind it just in time to miss the sharp claws of the beast.
I swallowed what saliva I could, and I screamed louder than I ever had before, “TOM!”
Right after I screamed, the beast was thrown to into a tree by a burst of wind. Luckily it was no ordinary burst of wind. Tom was suddenly there with his wand pointed towards the animal. He had an extremely calm expression for the situation, very opposite of my terrified one. In disdain he asked, “Manticore, what are you doing here?”
The manticore got up off the forest floor, with evil and menace in his eyes. He growled at Tom and said, “Looks like double the morsels.”
Tom kept his cool and stared back at the creature with intimidating eyes. “You don’t want to pick a fight with me. Answer me, what are you doing here, in Albania of all places. You should be in Indonesia.”
The manticore suddenly became frightened and acted like he was trapped by Tom’s eyes. The man’s head let out a great lions growl and stared at Tom, afraid. “I am an outcaste! I need food, or I will die. Please, spare me and I will not harm you…or the girl.”
Tom’s free hand rubbed his chin in thought. “An outcaste? Well, I have no need for you then.”
And so he raised his wand and let out a flourish. A bright green light jetted out, and the manticore let out an awful yell before he was killed, preventing my ears from hearing the spell. Even so, I knew what Tom had said.
I was breathing hard and could feel my heart in my chest. I wanted to thank Tom for saving my life again, but the words just couldn’t make it out as I saw the glassy terrified eyes of the dead creature.
Tom looked at me and but talked to himself. “Manticore’s are no good, really. They only attack humans if food is scarce. And just because they can speak, doesn’t make them intelligent. But who knows, I may try and communicate with them later on.”
Then he focused his full attention on me. “You weren’t scared were you?” he said a little sarcastically. “I thought you weren’t afraid of death?”
“No…no I’m not,” I said softly. Then gaining strength, “It’s just, if he were to scratch me or eat at me, it would hurt a lot. I don’t like pain.” I looked at him, and I knew my eyes were that of a scared, small child. He just laughed.
“Well, there are no more manticores; I took care of that. Continue looking for the diadem until dark. But, I suppose, if you’re too shaken up…you can go home.”
I let out a shaken scoff. “Oh, well. If that’s the case–”
Before I could finish, he grabbed my arm, “It is. But if you can scoff then you aren’t that shaken up. Just stop fighting with me and do as you’re told.”
Despite his words, I wanted to fight it. Lord Voldemort knew what I was thinking, and so he held onto me tighter. Me chest began to fill with regret: regret for ever coming to this place and the regret of being afraid of Tom. My damned emotions wanted to make me cry and scream at the same time, but I held back. How could he be so mean, thoughtless, and uncaring? Why am I still with him? What does he want?
Tom reacted to what I was thinking and said, “I want that diadem, that’s what I want.”
I replied to him in my thoughts, thinking “Is it? Is that all you want Tom?”
“…Yes,” was his mental reply.
My eyes fill up, and I tried as hard as I could to stop the tears from flowing. I wouldn’t let myself look weak in front of him. I couldn’t understand why, at this time of all times, I suddenly started becoming defiant towards him. I just knew that Tom was driving me crazy to the point where I didn’t even know what I was doing any more.
“You’re lying! What is that stupid crown going to do for you?”
“With it, I’ll live forever…to keep your promise.”
I gasped quietly, in the way one does before they start to cry. I couldn’t look at Tom any more. He loosened his grip, and I took the chance to pull away. I felt rage suddenly coursing through my body, making my nerves jitter and I jumped away and screamed at him, “Why can’t you just admit it! Why, Tom, why? Just say it out loud! Say you love me! Say you care for me! Say something!”
And the terror I expected came. Tom looked at me, enraged. His mouth pursed so much so that it looked as if he didn’t have any lips. His hand made a shaky fist around his wand and the same with his other hand. He frowned further at me, and his eyes started to have glints of red in them. Half of me would have liked nothing better to do than push him off the edge and to have heard what he was hold back from me, but the other logical half of me said there will be dire consequences if I were to do so. Consequences in which, most likely, I would be hurt and loose Tom forever. So I stayed quiet.
A cold hurtful voice escaped Tom’s lips. I wished never to hear that voice again after this day. “Go back to the house. I don’t want to see you for the rest of the week. And if I do…” his head shook with fury thinking about it. At that moment, I picked up my dress and ran as home as fast as I could, without turning back once.
A/N- This chapter was a filler, but it still played an important part in what I believe to be Tom's logic. You don't have to agree with what I suggested that Tom would say, but I still hope that my readers will enjoy the story for what it is: a story. Also, I really thought that the wizard community had Dementors at Azkaban before Voldemort, but someone said that they didn't. For the sake of this story and my blunder, I'm going to take the liberty of creative writing and say that yes, there were Dementors at Azkaban before the time of Tom Riddle. This, hopefully, will be my only and biggest change to the Harry Potter world J.K. Rowling has created. Anyways, enjoy as always. I love hearing your feedback and thanks for taking time to read this!
with authorly love,
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