Chapter 1 : I Am Special
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I should feel.
But I cannot.
“Why a child must be taken from this earth is a mystery to us all, incomprehensible by our mortal understanding.” The preacher spoke, leaning his hands on the pulpit and looking straight at the crowd of small children.
I am surprised that they even brought this preacher out to this dirty fellowship room. They usually do not. It costs too much money.
Well, William was beloved by all of the cruel ladies on staff. They used to say that he was a nice boy, smiling with their rotting teeth and laughing with a harshness that no one else detected besides me. Maybe that's why they brought this preacher out on this gloomy day; even the sky seems to weep for William. Everyone weeps for William.
“On this day, we remember not only William's death, but the happiness of his life.” The preacher continued, but I knew he was lying just by the look in his sagging brown eyes. I can always tell when someone is lying. He does not want to remember happiness; he wants to be sad. Everyone wants to be sad, “We do not know how he came to his untimely end, but that does not matter anymore. All that matters is that we keep William in our hearts, and remember the man he might have become.”
Everyone stood up at once, all of the children and the adults. I stood up too and followed the line around to look into the open coffin one more time. William's tiny body looked broken, lonely, so lonely in that big coffin.
That coffin wasn't meant for an eight year old boy, it was meant for a seventy one year old man.
Though, when I think of it, it doesn't seem to be that much of a difference after all.
The boys cry, and the women with the rotting teeth weep, placing their gnarly hands on William's cold forehead.
I know I should cry, but I cannot.
He came to me like an angel one day; brilliantly lighting my wardrobe on fire and telling me that I was special. Me, special; an orphaned boy can be special. He can be saved by an angel.
I try not to think of William's angel as I follow the man out of the orphan house.
I live in a castle now.
It seems like some kind of strange fairy tale, but I really do live in a castle. Not a castle in the air or the dirty, evil castle down below, but a warm, large castle filled with students just like me. We go to class and we practice magic.
I always knew that magic had to exist. Nothing else could explain why I could look at a garden snake and know what it was thinking, or why the man I now know as Dumbledore could light my wardrobe on fire without burning it. Nothing else could explain the strange black creatures I saw in the sky, or the hidden fire in the eyes of a man I do not yet know.
Nothing else could explain why an eight year old boy is rotting under the ground in a coffin made for a seventy one year old man.
Many people say that I am handsome, that I am popular, and that I am brilliant. I do not doubt these things, but I do wonder why they chose me.
I guess it really doesn't matter why they chose me, but they did. I chose me too, and I always will choose me. Others are not as special; they do not cherish what they have. They do not cherish their life, a fragile string that can be cut at any moment regardless of stature, contribution, or intelligence.
Life is precious to me, and I will try to covet it.
Alas, I cannot.
I might die one day, and rot under the ground just like William did. I have no doubt that maggots and worms have consumed the whole of his tiny body, since there was not that much to consume anyway. I cannot die like William, for I am special.
I have been chosen.
I cannot die.
Behind every corner in my castle, there are the old women from my orphan house. I know it is them because I can smell their rotting teeth mixed with the cheap floral scent of their overused perfume. I can hear their high heels scrape on the stone floor and their high-pitched, cackling laughter. I must avoid them, for they are here to claim me at last. They always wanted it to be me anyway, not William. Never William. They loved William, and they did not love me. They would trade me for William, but now they cannot, for William is dead.
That doesn't matter to fiends.
They are here for me.
I gather those who follow me close. They will do anything for me; take on torture, torture others, steal, lie, and cheat. They will even give their life for mine.
At the end of my wand lies a twisted, contorting figure. It cries out in pain, thrashes upon the ground, claws at the cold, hard stone of the castle I live in. A castle that is home to ghosts and fiends, all following my every step because it should have been me. I continue the torture, listening for the approval of the old fiends that follow me.
They are not satisfied.
They want more; they want a life, but not just any life.
They want mine, because I am special. They want mine because they know that without me, the future will crumble.
Won't it crumble? People say that I am the most intelligent being that has come through the halls of my castle, graced the shelves of my library, and slept in the dormitories of my House. It must crumble if I am not there for the future. I must live, and free myself of the fiends which haunt me.
But I cannot.
They want Tom Marvolo Riddle.
They know. They have to know.
I cannot forget the day, nor do I ever really want to. It was the first day that I chose me, that the world chose me, and that life chose me. Or, rather, I forced life to choose me. I would not allow Death to choose me, although Death wanted me. Death wanted me most desperately. It pulled on me, It followed me, It terrorized me to no end, but I fought.
I was out on the rocks one gloomy day, only eight years old. I was walking with a boy named William, and I felt Death beckon me.
I saw the jagged rock with the loose rock before it. An easy fall, a quiet death, and Death told me to step on the rock. Death wanted me to come home, but I was afraid. I could not die; I am special.
So I pushed William.
I saw blood, I heard the sickening crack of a skull, I saw the light leave his eyes.
I heard Death cry in fury, for he, too, wanted Tom Marvolo Riddle.
I am new.
I am strong.
I am reborn.
I am invincible.
I have tricked death; he can no longer find Tom Marvolo Riddle, for I have abandoned that boy.
I am, forever more, Lord Voldemort.