Chapter 1 : The Trial
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The room was full of every witch and wizard with in a one hundred mile radius. The entire population in the ministry had come to see him and more. In the front of the rows of wizards was one Barty Crouch, today he was Tom's judge and jury. Tom leaned back in the metal chair, today was a waste. It was clear on the judge's face, his fate was already decided. Crouch tapped a large gavel on the table in front of him twice and the room went silent.
"State your name," he commanded.
"Tom Riddle the third."
"Your father is Tom Riddle Jr?" Crouch asked, though he already knew the answer. It was probably for the benefit of the crowd.
"I share his DNA, yes, but he never acted as my father."
"Explain yourself," Crouch grunted.
"After I was born Voldemort imprisoned my mother and tasked her to take care of us. She raised me and my brother until we were three. Then she died and my father took us in. The Dark Lord was dead at that point. I refer to the man who took me in as father," Tom explained bluntly, fidgeting his hands when he talked about the man. He had practiced the speech a few times over in his head on his way here. His voice sounded emotionless foreign as it left his lips. It had to. After all if it was his voice that was speaking than it must be him that these events happened to. Life was so much simpler when he pretended it wasn't.
"Your father is Augustine York," Crouch said almost accusingly.
"Yes," Tom had to keep himself from cringing at the name. You never called father by his real name in Tom's household.
“The death eater?” Crouch clarified.
“Yes,” Tom repeated
"You mentioned you had a brother. Where is he?" Crouch asked.
Tom knew they would ask about Jonathan, but that didn't mean that he was prepared for it. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, "We were twins. He is dead now."
Crouch narrowed his eyes, "How did he die?"
Tom bit his lip, "I'm- I'm not sure. I buried him though. I dug his grave with my own two hands. No magic. If you don't believe me I can take you to it."
Crouch shook his head, "That won't be necessary. How old are you?"
"What is your magical ability?"
"I've been learning spells since I was three. Since the ministry didn't know I existed I don't have the trace on me… I am probably more skilled than most twenty year old normal wizards," Tom answered. A murmur went through the crowd. Apparently that was impressive.
Crouch leaned forward in his seat, "We have examined your wand and have found spells deemed illegal by the ministry on it. Specifically the Cruciatus curse and the Killing curse. Most wizards go their whole lives without the knowledge of how to perform these spells. Who did you harm?"
Tom showed no reaction to the accusation. Why deny the truth? "My father hunts muggles. He incapacitates them and takes them to our house. He will kill them immediately sometimes. Other times he tortures them for days. Other times he brings me up and has me use them as practice. The reason those curses are on that wand is because I'm a murderer."
Crouch stood up and pointed at him enraged with by the words, "So you admit it then," he yelled.
Tom was about to respond when someone else beat him to it, "Would you have expected him to do otherwise?" a man asked from behind Crouch. The man was old, with a long white beard that went down past his chest. He wore half-moon spectacles and a navy blue robe. Clearly he was the most respected wizard in the room, for no one questioned his interruption in this high profile trial, not even Crouch.
"We have laws to uphold Dumbledore, laws that have been broken. The boy has confessed," Crouch sneered at the man.
Dumbledore ignored Crouch and instead he addressed Tom, "What is that on your arms Tom?"
Tom glanced down at his tattoos becoming uncomfortable. If there was one thing he had learned from his years with his father, it was never to show weakness. Well right now it seemed as if he were going to have to announce his to the world, "I believe it is a dark mark. I've been told that all of his followers have them. I've always had mine."
Dumbledore shook his head, "A traditional dark mark only is on one's left arm. I see you have it on both. Also yours is particularly dark. Normally it is only dark when active. Voldemort has been gone for ten years now and yours looks like it was active just yesterday."
Tom nodded and sighed then he proceeded to remove his shirt. The room gasped. He had two marks on his arms. The snakes from these two spiraled from up his forearm, around his bicep and onto his chest. In the center of his chest was a third mark, the tails of the two on his arms connecting with the skull of the third larger mark. The closer the mark got to the skull's mouth on his chest the better his audience could see the pink irritated outline around the black of the actual mark.
"When my brother and I were little my father’s favorite punishment was the cruciatus curse. Well apparently you can build an immunity to that because when we were six it stopped working. He made a new curse for us. I think its linked to my dark marks and believe me its much worse than the cruciatus curse. It makes my mark turns a fresh black color and my skin gets red around the edges." He explained. His voice was faint, no louder than a whisper, but the court was silent as he spoke as everyone listned intently to the thirteen year old boy. The people of the ministry were hanging on his every word staring at his dark mark with what might be sympathy in their eyes. Not that Tom would know, he grew up in a house hold were sympathy wasn't exactly a common emotion.
Dumbledore nodded and turned back to Crouch, "Tell me Barty if you were under that kind of pain for your entire life and you were raised knowing if you obeyed the pain would go away, how quick would you be to kill a muggle here and there."
Crouch's lips twitched, "What are you suggesting Dumbledore we cannot just let him go. The Dark Lord was also known to be quite charismatic and look what happened when we let him run wild." Tom scanned his audience. Most of the spectators looked rather shocked that Crouch was still fighting for him to be put away. Crouch on the other hand held a strong resemblance to a mad man as it was becoming clearer that he was going to loose this trial.
Dumbledore nodded, "Yes many were taken by Tom Riddle Jr's smile. However, this one has yet to even so much as defend himself. He just admitted to breaking the law and is probably expecting to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban. I am the only one here arguing his case. Unless you are suggesting his plan all along was to play on my compassion by confessing to his crime, assuming that I would stand up for him myself."
Crouch irritation was becoming more and more evident in the lines on the man's face, Dumbledore was putting a damper on his plans. Dumbledore continued, "I agree though, it is not in our best interests to simply send the boy off. I think you should enroll him to Hogwarts. Have him start out with this year's first years. He will then have seven years in which he will be under my watch. At the end of this probation period he will have another trial. At that one we can gather witness of his behavior and nature and then decide whether he is a risk. Thirteen year old children don't belong in Azkaban Barty. They should be out enjoying their childhood. This boy hasn't had a childhood,, he has been trained and abused and I think that we should salvage what he has left his innocence."
The transformation that was occurring in the crowd was incredible. They had entered with expressions similar to that of an angry mob and Tom didn’t blame them. Voldemort may have fallen eleven years ago, but the wounds he left would last for a lifetime. Tom’s sudden appearance had reopened this wound leaving the pain raw and fresh. He was the devil’s spawn to them. Then Dumbledore had spoken. He had opened the ministry’s eyes to something they hadn’t noticed before. Tom was indeed human and this realization was showing on each and every face that stared down from the audience.
Crouch’s eyes may have been the only one not boring into Tom, instead he was staring at Dumbledore. The man looked like he was about to explode. The man must not have been used to setting people free. Tom decided it was best to keep his poker face on. His eyes were staring at Crouch waiting for the man to say something.
"He shall not be allowed to join Slytherin. I don't want him in his father's house." Crouch growled.
Dumbledore smiled warmly at Crouch, "Of course we will leave him out of the normal sorting process, and have the hat put choose his house appropriately under these circumstances. I will be sure that it understands that Slytherin is not an option."
Crouch nodded and clapped his gavel on the table, "Alright I hereby sentence you to a seven year trial period at Hogwarts. Let me make myself clear though. If you so much as slip up once in your time there. Meaning any visit to Mr. Filch's office for any measure of rule breaking I will have you shipped to Azkaban before you even realize what you did."
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