Chapter 1 : Constant Vigilance
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"To pass please answer the riddle which I ask of you. A cowboy rode into town on Friday. He decided to stay for two days and then rode out again on Friday. How is this possible?"
"The horse is called Friday." Voldemort said casually, rolling his eyes. The security for this Common Room was way too slack, surely if Rowena Ravenclaw really was as clever as she had been made out to be she'd have put up better defences against those attempting to break in. Obviously not. Salazar Slytherin had had it right, passwords were much better. The portrait swung open to allow him in.
It was dark inside, aside from the fire which still raging in the fireplace, casting shadows across the room. It was also empty; evidently the Ravenclaws didn't like to break the curfew rules. Voldemort smirked; rule-breaking was only the beginning of his ultimate plan. Nobody had ever attempted what he was planning to do. His eyes burned with pleasure and dreadful determination at the thought of it, he would be forever known as the first wizard to conquer immortality eternally.
"Lumos." Voldemort uttered quietly under his breath, he didn't want to disturb any of the sleeping Ravenclaws upstairs. He held his wand aloft and scanned the room. The light beamed over the royal blue and bronze hangings that hung from the ceiling, covering the walls, Ravenclaw's eagle emblazoned on each. Voldemort grimaced. Then his wand stopped, shining on the life-size statue of Rowena Ravenclaw. His grimace turned into a devilish grin as he saw the stone diadem on her marble head, he knew he would be able to find the answers he seeked so desperately in this room. He walked up to the statue, scanning it greedily. There must be some sort of clue here. He knew it.
"Where is it? Come on..." Voldemort hissed to himself, following the light issuing from his wand with his eyes as he inspected the statue.
A sudden movement sounded behind him, a scratching of floorboards and a squeak of a relieved chair. Voldemort spun round, his arm outstretched, hoping to catch the intruder with the light of his wand.
"Hello Tom. What exactly is it you're looking for? Seems a bit late to be creeping around the school, never mind breaking into another house's common room, don't you think?" The familiar voice rang out, echoing throughout the room. Voldemort smirked at the sixth year he'd come to despise over the past years, one of the boys who had forced his plans to a halt on several occasions. The boy had been sat in the chair opposite the fireplace all along, silent and hidden, waiting for the right moment to make his presence known.
"Hello Alastor. I think I may be a bit lost." Voldemort said, his tone demeaning, but Alastor Moody just glared back at him, his eyes boring into Voldemort's, seeming to reach into the depths of Voldemort's mind. Voldemort's handsome features faltered slightly.
"I don't think you're lost Riddle, I think you're looking for something, so tell me what it is before I personally remove you from this Common Room." Moody said strongly and gruffly, his words lined with every bit of dislike he could muster.
"Oh, Moody, Moody, Moody, your lovely Ravenclaw streak is showing through again. You honestly think you could single-handedly remove a seventh year from your Common Room, and not only a seventh year, but one as talented as me? I very much doubt that." Voldemort replied coldly.
"You do, do you? Well, let's make it a formal duel then, shall we Tom?" Moody replied, his brown eyes glinting menacingly from the light of the fire, he pulled out his wand from inside his robes.
"It would be my pleasure Moody, but not tonight, I wouldn't want to have my robes stained with your blood, not when I have more important matters to attend to." Voldemort replied casually, flicking his wand towards the candles nearby, lighting them instantaneously.
"I see how it is Riddle, of course if you want to play it that way I shall. There is no need for conflict I'm sure." Moody's lips curved into a forced smile. His hair was shoulder length, his face smooth and his eyes dark, yet he still held an aura of madness around him, as though he wasn't quite right in the head, as though he was actually a little insane.
"That's wonderful Moody, really it is. Now you've presented yourself, I was wondering if you could provide me with a little assistance, as it were." Voldemort said, his head inclined and a smirk written across his awfully good looking face. The smirk only gave him an even more endearingly dangerous look, but Alastor Moody didn't hesitate.
"Oh really Riddle? What might that involve?" Moody replied harshly.
"Oh, just a little information on your House is all I need..." Voldemort trailed, one eyebrow raised, his head still inclined and his wand pointing towards Moody, the light from it casting a dark shadow across Moody's face.
"I see, would a simple trip to the library not have sufficed, rather than deciding to break into a Common Room that you have no right to be in?" Moody asked, his tone strong and confident.
"I'm afraid not, the library doesn't hold the answers I seek Alastor Moody, the answers I seek are most likely hidden, only to be found by a great wizard." Voldemort smiled treacherously.
"I believe you may be in for some hard luck then Riddle, because as far as I know, you are not regarded as a great wizard." Moody smirked, his wand still in his hand. Voldemort only continued to smile back, a dark evil smile that made the hairs on Moody's neck stand on end, no matter how hard he tried to stop them.
"Say that again, if you would Alastor, and remember the fact that my wand is no longer under the trace, whilst yours I'm afraid, still is." Voldemort grinned, the light from the fire bouncing off his pale sharp features, making him look almost like a nasty clown seen in a child's nightmare.
"I'm not scared of you Riddle. I never will be. So of course I will tell you again, in my eyes, you are not a great wizard, and you never will be." Moody replied roughly, hatred the only emotion that was identifiable in his voice.
"You are foolish Moody," Voldemort smirked, his eyes gleaming, his wand pointed at Alastor's chest. Moody only smiled slightly, his wand pointing straight back at Voldemort.
"Crucio." Voldemort hissed without warning. Moody had no time to react. He collapsed to the floor, writhing in agony. His wand fell from his hand as he succumbed to the worst of the cruciatus curse. Yet he did not scream out, did not want to show Tom Riddle any weakness. Voldemort kicked the wand away from Moody's reach and stood over him.
"You are in Ravenclaw's house, and yet you show no streak of intelligence in that bone head of yours, instead you speak before you think and you choose to act idiotically to try and show what you believe to be bravery. You believe I am not your idea of a great wizard. I don't much agree with your idea of a great wizard though, in fact, I don't value your opinions at all. I, the direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, believe that I will soon be known as the greatest wizard of all time, no matter what a tool like you says." Voldemort said coldly. Moody only let out a groan of agony in reply as he squirmed on the floor. Pain seared through his body like a hot flame, but still Voldemort continued regardless.
"Of course, you wouldn't realise what it takes to defend yourself against a great wizard would you Moody, if ever you were to face one? After all, I have so easily managed to overpower you with one simple curse. Sources tell me you want to be an Auror when you leave Hogwarts? Well," Voldemort crouched now, his face only centimetres away from Moody's, "if you are to get anywhere in that business, I recommend you have constant vigilance, forgetting that will result in death I can assure you, remember that." Then he released Moody from his torture. Alastor gasped, as though it was the first breath he'd taken in minutes. He struggled to his feet, grabbing his wand as Voldemort strolled casually back to Rowena Ravenclaw's statue and began to scan it once again.
"Now I have your unfaltering attention Alastor, I'd like to pull you back to what I was going to ask you in the first place, before you were so rude to me. Do you have any idea where the Lost Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw might be?" Voldemort said, his voice more high pitched than usual.
"You may think I'm stupid Riddle but even you should know that the Diadem of Ravenclaw is missing and has been for centuries, that's why it's the Lost Diadem?" Alastor grimaced, his smooth face crinkled, resembling the echo of the torture he'd just endured. Yet still sarcasm was identifiable in his voice.
"Don't take that tone Moody; you know very well I know the diadem is missing. What I want to know is where it was last seen." Voldemort hissed, his features looked snake-like.
"Well, you didn't make that clear Tom; I believe Rowena Ravenclaw had it last."
"You do, do you? I see... Interesting, very interesting," Voldemort smiled as a sudden revelation occurred inside his head, "The Grey Lady, can you tell me her real name?"
"I thought as much. Thank you for your time tonight Alastor. You have been most...helpful. I guess I will see you around." Voldemort said silkily, turning to face Moody again. Moody glared back at him, determination set on his face.
"I'll be sure to remember the advice you've shared with me tonight Tom, I'm quite sure it will be most beneficial when I come to lock up thousands of Dark wizards like yourself in Azkaban." Moody retorted.
"I must say Alastor, I do so wish you saw things my way, we could work together you and I, we could destroy the Ministry, we could create a better wizarding world, but no, instead you want to keep things the same as they always have been. You are foolish and stupid, not something I would expect from a Ravenclaw, but there is always an exception to a rule of course." Voldemort smiled.
"You won't win Tom. Whatever you are planning, you won't win. I will make sure of that." Alastor Moody smiled back, his eyes glinting. His wild hair and twisted features made him look almost creepy and dangerous as he stood proud.
Voldemort reached the portrait; it swung open to allow him out. He extinguished his wand.
"I look forward to proving you wrong, Alastor Moody."