Tom deals with some annoyances in getting into Hogwarts.
Normally he would have been surprised to see more Aurors rushing about than usual, even insulted when two of them approached him at a quick stride.
But today has been anything but normal for the senior Malfoy. "I intend to have a meeting with Minister Fudge. Move aside." he sneers in his usual manner, stepping between them yet bumping into one, and carrying on to the elevator.
The two Aurors swiftly turn about and follow him. "Lucius Malfoy, you are to halt and allow yourself to be examined for weapons, wand not included as that is to be handed over immediately!" one ordered, upping his pace to catch up with the older Wizard.
Lucius neither halted nor allowed himself to be examined. With a flourish his wand was out and the Auror to speak up was blasted off his feet and into a wall.
The other quickly drew his own wand but found himself paralysed as the fast-acting poison held in the tip of Lucius cane spread through out his body from the brief contact.
Several other Aurors on hand yet scattered about the main floor were too slow to reach him before the doors of the elevator closed with a clang.
Minister Fudge wearily rubbed his eyes. "It just makes no sense, Albus. The boy-who-lived, dead? I find it hard to believe it was a Death Eater attack considering the lack of a Dark Mark above the residence, and you yourself said the body seemed to have been rotting for some days now!" he argued, leaning back in his chair.
Albus Dumbledore reigned in a retort and sighed in its place, feeling this was going nowhere, fast. He had been at it for the better part of yesterday and now this morning, and the burning of Olivanders had done little to help his frazzled nerves.
"You have often taken advice from me, Cornelius, and I ask that you do so once again: Call in all alleged Death Eaters and have them questioned! If you do this now, it may be possible to get an accurate wand-check before any traces can be erased!" Dumbledore insisted.
Fudge merely shook his head. "Albus, the Aurors are already spread out after that incident at Olivanders-- rest his soul-- and I simply can't invade respected members of our community and demand" whatever else Fudge may have been about to say was lost in the explosion of wood as the double doors leading into the Ministers office were blown apart.
Lucius Malfoy barely had the next spell on the tip of his tongue before he was gagged and bound.
Dumbledore squared his jaw as he tucked his wand back into his robes and rounded on Fudge. "This is precisely what I am telling you is going to happen, Cornelius, and if you continue to refuse I will take it above your head! The Wizengamot still has some power you do not." he stated fiercely.
Fudge slowly peaked his head up from around his desk and wiped a few splinters off, slightly paler now than before, and turned slowly to face Dumbledore while still keeping his attacker in sight.
"If you insist on doing so, Dumbledore, than so be it. It would appear one alleged Death Eater has willingly come to the Ministry. If you would be so kind as to remove his gag I would like to hear what he has to say." he responded slowly.
Dumbledore resisted the urge to hex the Minister of Magic into next week. "Are you truly so blinded by ambition and power that you fail to see the attack led against your very person by this man?" he demanded.
"The only one leading an attack against me as it stands is you, Dumbledore. I must insist you leave once the Aurors get here." Fudge responded.
Dumbledore drew himself up to his full height. "If no word of this, nor the death of Mr. Potter, is in the Daily Prophet by tomorrow morning, Cornelius, there will be no end to the trouble I shall cause for you and the office you hold dear." he stated plainly, and without waiting for an answer, spun around and promptly exited the room.
On a nearby shelf a small, otherwise unnoticed, beetle listened in on the conversation with much interest.
It seems the Daily Prophet would be getting a very fascinating story that evening, well before Dumbledore expected it to be there.
'Boy-who-lived kidnapped from muggle residence by pure-blood supporter of He-who-must-not-be-named! Headmaster of Hogwarts declares all former Death Eaters be brought in for questioning! Cont. Page 2.'
Tom idly flicked through the Daily Prophet left out on the Ministers desk. So far things were going according to his plans, mostly.
After being 'rescued' by a small squad of Aurors following Lucius confessing, Tom had been checked over for any permanent spell damage or lingering effects. They were unable to find anything, save for the magical scar on his forehead.
Of course, carefully placed Obliviations did a good job of hiding anything unnecessary, such as the abnormal amounts of magic the eleven year old had available to him, or the fact he had two wands strapped to his inner wrists.
After wards he had been questioned about the last few days and what had happened. His story of being kidnapped, Imperiused, and then set to be killed when he resisted matched up with Lucius. Almost too well, even.
But back to the present...
The repaired doors slid open with a creak and Fudge himself entered. "Hello, Harry-- do you mind if I call you Harry?" he asked kindly. Toms face slid into a scowl that was instantly replaced with the tired, battered image of an 11 year old.
"N-no, sir..." he began weakly. Inside he was very much loathing the act, but to the world at large, no one could know what he truly was. So he had to act like the actual Harry Potter would have. And Tom had years of the boys memories to use for just such a need.
"Right, Harry, you have had a very exhausting week, are you sure you wish to travel to Hogwarts so soon?" Fudge continued in the same kind, concerned voice.
"Yes, sir." Tom responded. "Also... I-I, theres something... I n-need to tell you.." he added in the same weak, scared voice.
Fudge leaned in. "I am always available, Harry. What is it?" he asked, sensing an opportunity to gain the boys allegiance for the future.
Glancing around slowly, Tom leaned in. Fudge did so as well.
"Imperio." he whispered, Elder wand emerging from one sleeve.
Fudges eyes glazed over briefly before returning to the usual bright, intelligent look. Well, for Fudge, anyway.
"You are going to start holding inquires to the goings on of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You will start a bill to have the school closed down if students start dying, and the property ownership will be released to the highest bidder in a closed off auction the following week." Tom ordered.
Fudge nodded his head. "Albus Dumbledore will be sacked as headmaster and removed from the Wizengamot. When I buy the property through Gringotts you will authorize me as the new owner and back my every order." he stated.
Fudge nodded again. "Now place your right hand into my own." Tom grasped the Ministers right hand with his own. With his left he idly pointed to the closed window and sharply spun it around to the bookshelf over the fireplace.
With a loud crack a woman fell from it in a heap. "Imperio." Tom ordered lazily, directing his attention to the Witch. Rita Skeeter rose to her feet and drew out her wand, placing the tip to their clasped hands.
"You will do nothing to tell another Wizard or Witch what has occurred within this room over the last twenty minutes?" Tom asked. "I will." Fudge responded. A thin tongue of flame escaped Ritas wand and wound around their wrists.
"You will do everything in your power, including using the Imperius, Memory charms, and blackmail to insure the orders given you on this day by Tom Marvolo Riddle are carried out?" Tom asked. "I will." Fudge answered.
A second tongue of flame wrapped about their wrists and the first, forming a glowing chain.
With that the Unbreakable Vow was completed.
As the chain faded from sight the two released one anothers hands. Tom leaned in close to Fudge. "Now tell me, Minister, where do you store the Prophecy's?"
Tom met with Dumbledore later that night. "Harry, m'boy, I can not express the joy I feel that you are alive and well!" Dumbledore stated with true pleasure to his voice.
Tom merely stared at him blankly, though inside he was seething. 'You old fool.. I would destroy you now if it would not damage my plans!' he thought darkly, but his well trained Occlumency hid it.
Without a response, Dumbledore carried on. "Harry, I know you are eager to begin school, but perhaps you should rest for a few days. The mental trauma can be more lasting than you would expect, and I do not wish for you to become fatigued or worse." he said kindly.
Tom shrugged. "Sir, I have waited ten years to rejoin the Wizarding world. I will not wait one day longer than I need, and the mediwitchs declared me fit to attend school." he replied in a dull and tired voice.
Dumbledore frowned but nodded his head.
"So be it, Harry. You already have a wand, but you are lacking all other items necessary to attend Hogwarts. I believe I still have your invitation letter with me..." he paused, reaching into his rich purple robes and dragging the slightly battered letter free.
Tom reached for it and slit it open. He carefully allowed a small expression of joy to show up as he read, but it was emulated merely for Dumbledore suspicions, if there were any, to be laid to rest. For now.
"It is late, but I believe I can persuade the owners of the necessary shops to open up for just a few minutes more for the Boy-who-lived, if you do not mind using your reputation to your benefit, that is?" Dumbledore asked.
"No, sir." Tom answered. "Then let us be off." Dumbledore responded, approaching the nearest floo on the main floor.
Arriving in the Leaky Cauldron, Dumbledore led Tom out the back door and through the magical brick wall.
They were shortly gathering the needed supplies after a trip to Gringotts, where Dumbledore produced the Potter vaults key. Tom made sure to summon it from the old Wizard after it was returned to him by the goblin.
An hour later and Tom had every item needed. Including a pet owl. A snake would only raise warning bells, if not now than when Tom arrived at school and started regularly opening the Chamber of Secrets, so he went with a less likely animal.
"Am I finally supplied enough to arrive at Hogwarts, headmaster?" Tom asked as they returned to the Leaky Cauldron.
"Yes, m'boy, its time. We can floo directly to my office, and from there the Sorting Hat can place you into a house. If you are hungry the house-elves can bring you something before you turn in for the night after wards." he said.
Tom nodded his head. "I would very much like to be on our way, headmaster." he responded. "Then let us be off."
Tom slid the hat warily onto his head. 'Oh my, oh my...' the Sorting Hat said, looking into Toms mind. 'A Slytherin returned. You have grand plans, Tom Riddle, very grand indeed. Obviously you belong in your original house, but that would raise trouble once Slytherins beast is released, yes it would... Shall I put you in Gryffindor?' it teased, knowing the reaction that would get if Tom was able to give it.
'If you do so I will have a permanent regeneration charm placed upon you and placed into the acidic stomach of the Basilisk.' Tom thought back to it venomously
The Hat grinned. 'No need to get so vicious, Tom Riddle. Or would you prefer Voldemort these days? No matter. How sounds Hufflepuff?' Tom nearly tore the hat from his head.
'No? Well, if you are sure... It must be Ravenclaw for thee." the Hat said aloud. Dumbledore began to clap when the Hat grimmaced. "No, no, I must be getting old, headmaster. That was meant to be a question, not a statement, and for the boy only." it said.
Beneath the Hat Tom banished his conjured serpent, whose fangs remained lodged in the back of the Hat for a few moments more.
'No more jokes. Sort me into Slytherin or I swear I will set you alight now!' Tom demanded. "Ah... yes, very cunning indeed, to have outwitted a Malfoy in such a manner... very well. SLYTHERIN!" the Hat yelped.
Tom drew it from his head, the black flames licking at its innards briefly for a few more seconds.
Dumbledore reached for it and the flames vanished. Tom stared at the Hat darkly and it grimaced back at him. "I'd watch this one if I were you, Dumbledore." it warned. "He's had a very rough life with those muggles. Regular beatings and the like. Don't want him going dark if pushed by the other students too harshly." it stated, knowing that would slow down Toms plans.
Tom barely held back his hiss and turned it into a sharp cough. "Goodnight to you, Harry Potter." the Hat stated, returning to its usual stiff and silent posture.
Tom entered the Slytherin house room, knowing Dumbledore had sent a house-elf to following him and ensure he made it there safely... as well as to keep an eye on him for the next few weeks.
The following morning Tom was already sitting in the main room, waiting for the others. "Who the hell are you?" a seventh year demanded. "Harry Potter." Tom responded coolly.
Those two words worked they way back along the line of growing Slytherins.
"Potter, huh? Well I don't know what the fuck you think you're doing in my house, but--" and that was as far as he got before Tom stood up and hissed. A dozen cobras slid out from beneath various couches or tables, and one anaconda in particular dropped down from the overhanging picture of Salazar, landing with a thump behind Tom, and quickly sliding up and onto his shoulders, hanging there looking at the others with disgust.
"Lets get a few things straight. From this moment forth, this house is under MY orders. Severus Snape may be your head of house, but the head of house takes his orders from ME. Resistance will not be tolerated and I will kill you on sight if it pleases me." he stated coldly.
The seventh year sneered and drew his wand. "We'll see about that, Potter! Reducto!" he shouted.
Tom raised the Elder wand and countered. "Crucio!" the dark curse shattered the other and slammed into the seventh year with enough force to throw him off his feet, screaming. As the other students paled at this and looked slowly back and forth between the two, a voice very familiar to Tom spoke up.
"Potter! Release him this instant and follow me!" Snape ordered, leveling his wand at the first years head.
Tom hissed something in parseltongue and the Dark Mark on Severus arm burned sharply, making the older Wizard flinch and grasp at it. "In a minute, Severus. I've got much to talk with you about, but first I have to make sure my lesson penetrates this mudbloods thick skull." he said calmly, grinning as the screams reached a higher point.
With the entire Slytherin house gagged, bound, and stupified to keep them out of trouble for the moment, Tom and Snape entered the head of houses office.
Several privacy spells and locking charms later...
"So, Severus. Working for Dumbledore now. I can't say that has me happy." Tom said softly. Snape grimaced and rubbed at his Dark Mark again.
"I am finding this hard to believe. You have been reincarnated in the body of the son of the two who defied you thrice, nine years after your original body was destroyed?" Snape repeated what he had been told briefly before.
"Lord Voldemort does not enjoy repeating himself, Severus." Tom stated.
Snape resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Forgive me if I find it hard to swallow this rather bitter potion. You know how I loathed James Potter, and now I must look him in the eyes every day, knowing my Master is residing beneath that face..." he trailed off.
Tom scowled. With a few words his face transfigured itself to the actual Tom Riddles, though at the age of 17. "Tell me, Severus, does this sight help motivate you? Or perhaps you would like to see Lord Voldemort as he was at the height of his previous power? But he does not follow what his servants want. He does as he chooses, and his servants will do so as well if they wish to live." Tom ordered.
Snape slowly dropped to his knees and, leaning forward and down, kissed the hem of Toms robes. "Better Severus. Now why don't you tell me everything you have done since my downfall. And when we are done, I believe you entire house needs to be Obliviated."