Chapter 1 : Power Isn't Power When it's Shared
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The room was filled with so much noise that it was nearly ready to burst. There was the laughing of children, the chatter that continuously grew louder as the kids tried to top each other, and the occasional popping of a balloon. It was nothing new for the room though, the large tired out living room filled with mismatched furniture matched the mismatched children filling it. It was an orphanage, a place that was typically happy despite the horrors that many of the children in the room had faced. And today was an even happier day, a birthday party, a day that got everyone excited no matter who was getting older.
Today it happened to be Tom’s birthday; one of the least liked boys in the entire orphanage was turning eleven years old. Most of the children hadn’t even told the boy happy birthday, or given him a special treatment because it was his special day. No, the children were gathered happy because of the sweets and the juice, things that were scarce to find in the orphanage these days. They danced to have fun, and for one day to try to wash out the memories of the things that they constantly had to carry around and just be a child again.
Tom however was not enjoying the party nearly as much as the others in the room, and he sat in a chair watching the others with the scowl that never seemed to leave. Mrs. Cole had asked him numerous times if he was happy about the party, and if he was sure that he didn’t want to join the others, but the boy didn’t move. To an outsider it might appear as though Tom Riddle was merely shy, but all in the room knew that the boy would never dare to play with others in the room as he believed he was above them all.
“Hey Riddle, Happy Birthday.” One of the girls hollered at the boy, before turning back to her friends and giggling. Knowing that it was clearly a dare, Riddle resisted the urge to go off on her as they were under the watchful eyes of Mrs. Cole. Besides, when the girl awoke the next morning to find her favorite dolls head missing, she would know who did it. Shifting in his spot on the couch, Tom’s scowl simply grew wider.
“You’re supposed to say thank you.” Tom knew right away that it wasn’t Mrs. Cole who was scolding him, and he quickly turned to see a girl who was brave enough to get that close to him. Not that Tom would dare to harm anyone in the room at that moment, but children talked, and everyone knew not to cross him unless you had a death wish. But the slight blonde hardly looked scared, and her blue eyes weren’t trained at the floor like most of the others when they addressed him. She was new to the orphanage, and clearly hadn’t been properly informed on the orphanage outcast.
“Maybe you should mind your own business Eloise.” The boy countered, hoping to get the girl to leave him alone. But she merely rolled her eyes.
“No need to be snappy, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday myself.” Eloise stood before Riddle, waiting for him thank her but knowing that it would never come. Catching Tom’s eye, she made sure she was clear that she expected him to say something back, but he averted his icy glaze. “Do you have any manners at all, what are you supposed to say?” The blonde demanded, hoping to get something in return.
“Bugger off.” He muttered, not letting another word pass through his mouth, leaving Eloise to soon wander off.
“Tom.” A small whispering voice broke the previous silence of the orphanage hall, and a knock that followed did as well. Not that it would be noticed by anyone, because several floors below things were quite a different story. Many children would spend the night howling because of their dreams making it impossible to be heard. The blonde who knocked bit her lip before daring to knock one more time.
A moment later Tom came to the door, his dark hair a mess and his face clearly unhappy, but he came all the same. Pleased that she was successful, Eloise pushed her way into the room and into the lone chair in the room. Tom’s wild eyes watched her, clearly not expecting a girl to come barging into his room in the middle of the night.
“What are you doing?” He demanded, trying to piece together why the girl who had suddenly began to spend a whole lot of time following him around, was now in his room, in the middle of the night.
“I wanted to talk.” The girl answered quickly, clearly not seeing a problem with the present situation.
“You wanted to talk? It’s the middle of the night, when normal people are sleeping and you wanted to have a chat?” He wondered, making his way over to his bed to sit down. The blonde nodded, pushing some of her stringy hair behind her ear.
“Well, I wasn’t sleeping. And I have a question, and if I wanted until tomorrow, then I might not remember it.” A small smile played on the girls lip, and she prayed that it would be enough to keep Tom from throwing her out.
“Make it quick.” Nodding, Eloise pulled the blanket she had wrapped around her closer before she opened her mouth.
“Do you really do all those things the kids say you do?” Glancing over at Tom, Eloise could tell that this was not a question that he had been expecting, or one that had been asked before. Tom was used to people being afraid of him, all because of talk, and no one had ever asked him about any of it before.
“Of course it’s true, do you think people just make it up?” He fired back, never having anyone doubt him before made Tom awfully determined to make sure that it never happened again. He was Tom Riddle, the terror of the orphanage, because he had powers that made the others squirm.
“But how?” The girl demanded, none of the stories having made any sort of sense. “Unless you’ve got some sort of superpowers none of it seems like it could happen.” Biting down on her lip she waited for an explanation, wondering how he was going to convince her that that impossible had actually occurred.
“I don’t need superpowers; I’ve got something even better.” He responded, feeling high and mighty as he pushed himself above the others.
“Well, what is it? A really good magic set or do you know how to hypnotize people into thinking these things.” Eloise counted, fishing for an explanation that made any sense at all.
“I don’t need a magic set! I’ve got something even better. I’ve got real magic.” Tom bragged, figuring that magic was a good enough explanation of what it was that he did. He looked smugly over at Eloise, waiting for her eyes to grow wide or for her to dart from the room. But the blonde held steady, and merely grinned.
“That’s good, because I’ve got magic too.” And it was Tom whose eyes began to grow wide with disbelief, shaking his head at the girl. His powers, magic, whatever it was that he could do were what set him apart from the others, what made the others fear him, and there was no way that some girl could have them too.
“You’re a liar.” He spat out, refusing to believe the new knowledge. “You just made that up, because there’s no way that a little girl could have powers anything like mine.” His eyes grew icy, not wanting to believe the silly girl who was claiming to be as powerful as he was.
“Am not, I bet you I can do ten times the stuff that you can.” The small girl bragged, grinning as she watched the strong willed boy fall apart before her eyes, unwilling to believe that anything the girl said was true.
“There’s no way! I’m the only one who can do magic around here. You’re just making this up, you think it’s funny or something don’t you?” Tom demanded, eyes darting around the room as he tried to come up with some way to prove that he was right and she was wrong.
“I think you’re the one whose making this all up, it’s normal for people who never knew their parents, who grew up in places like this to turn a little crazy, don’t worry.” The girl assured the boy, nodding furiously as she tried to push the boy over the edge. His anger quickly built, especially as his parents were brought into the picture.
“I don’t lie.” He managed through clenched teeth. Tom focused on the chair Eloise was sitting on, letting his anger out and causing one of the legs to break, bringing the blonde to the ground with a thud. Silence followed as the two waited to see if anyone else had heard the cracking of the chair. But there were no footsteps and Eloise quickly stood and dusted herself off, a grin placed on her face.
“I just wanted to see it myself.” She explained, pulling her blanket from the ground and taking off towards the door. Tom didn’t say a word, simply watched her walk from the room and noticing the way she shut the door without lifting a finger. He couldn’t believe that she had tricked him into doing magic like that, and if defiantly couldn’t believe that she could do magic too.