HP vs Childhood
I am Lord Voldemort, and I was one step away from conquering WizardingBritain.
October 31st, 1981 began as a fairly normal day – arranging raids, crucioingincompetents, lazing about on my throne – yet it seemed that everything myfollowers did irked me.
Bellatrix crouched at my feet, sneaking glances and occasionally emittingdreamy sighs – exactly the sort of behavior that caused me to turn myself intoa nose-less snake. Rabastan Lestrange was playing a game called Curse theRecruits, the recruits were screaming, Nott was paging through one of my Darktomes, and Lucius had disappeared to go brush his hair or something. Therewere worse ways to spend Halloween, I supposed.
“M-my Lord!” a nasally voice cried, its owner scurrying towards my throne. “Ihave information on the Potters.”
I paused for a moment, contemplating the Death Eater’s words. The Potters wereDumbledore’s minions, the ones with the prophesied child. They’d defied methree times. I should know; I keep a list of these things.
“Speak quickly, then,” I snapped, “I don’t like to be kept waiting.”
The short Death Eater cowered at my feet, and I noted that he was particularlytalented at cowering.
“I’m s-s-sorry, my lord. I’ve gained their trust, as you ordered me to, and Ican tell you that…” – he took a shuddering breath – “the Potters may be foundat Godric’s Hallow.”
He rattled off the proper address, stumbling over every other word. The manwas clearly incompetent, but he had been useful.
I said, “I am immensely pleased with this information…”
What was his name again? I narrowed my eyes at the still shivering man’sunremarkable, brown hair. That was the trouble with giving all your followersmasks. They all looked so similar. After a moment of silence, I murmured,“My faithful servant.”
“Thank you, my l-lord,” he simpered, bowing again and again. By the fifthtime, I’d become peeved and, with an idle flick of my wand, slammed him intothe stones.
“You are dismissed.”
The bleeding man stumbled from the room.
Seizing the opportunity to escape my followers, I gracefully rose to my feet.
“I shall be busy for some time. Do not kill any of your fellow Death Eaterswithout my permission” – I sternly eyed Bellatrix – “We hardly need arepetition of last Valentine’s Day.”
Bellatrix bowed her head sullenly. “Yes, my lord.”
After a moment, she perked up. This was almost certainly a bad thing. “May Ihelp you dispose of the blood traitors, my lord?”
Her dark eyes widened and she batted them at me. Disgusting. Bellatrix lookedalmost like a little child begging for a puppy. Observing the manic grintwitching to life on her face, I resolved to never again use Bellatrix and theword puppy together in the same sentence
“No,” I said a touch too quickly.
Clearing my throat, I clarified, “This is a simple mission for I, the DarkLord Voldemort. Your addition would be unnecessary.”
I turned away from my pouting follower. Bellatrix was a wonderful asset:loyal, powerful, and bloodthirsty. Yet her eagerness could be grating. Iwalked quickly down the gloomy hallway, swept through the heavy door, and – myears popping as I exited the wards – apparated mid-stride.
I appeared in the middle of a quiet street in the village known as Godric’sHollow. I had been here once or twice before to observe Dumbledore’sresidence. Know thy enemy and all that.
It was still fairly early in the night and a few trick-or-treaters wanderedbetween houses. They stole glances at me and my, to quote them, bloodybrilliant costume.
None of them so much as glanced at one particular cottage, though smokedrifted from its chimney. Considering children and their gluttonous fixationon candy, I could only presume I’d found the correct address.
I didn’t bother with the subtle approach. In a moment, the door was blastedoff its hinges and the screaming had started. Again, I’d like to stress thatthis had, so far, been a perfectly normal day.
The father was quickly dispatched, and I merrily climbed the staircase,following the hysterical sobs of mother and child. I’d never considered myselfa violent man, but there is a certain satisfaction in winning, even if myopponents are severely outmatched. So what if I liked to draw it out a bit?
The Potter woman flung her arms out in a pitiful shield. She looked feral,eyes wide, limbs shaking. “Not Harry! Please, no, not Harry. I’ll doanything!” she cried.
I offered her a chance to live because, contrary to popular belief, I can benice. I’m also quite the conversationalist when my companion isn’t trying tolick my boots. Seriously, who does that? But I digress.
The Potter woman had finally used up my patience, and I killed her with anAvada Kedavra. I laughed, the sound nearly drowning out the baby’s sobs. Sothis was the child of prophecy, was it? Pathetic.
“Avada Kedavra,” I said. The baby watched the spell curiously. He screamed, Icackled, and the room turned green.
Suddenly, I experienced a sensation that felt suspiciously like dying horriblyand lost consciousness. My memory of the next few years is rather confused.
That day – October 31st, 1981 – marked the end of my reign and of the FirstWizarding War. It also began my second life. This time, I was going to dothings a bit differently.
I am Harry Potter, former Dark Lord.
In retrospect, I have absolutely no idea how Horcruxes work.
I probably shouldn’t have made one, let alone five, based on only threeparagraphs of description which mainly centering on the mechanics of theritual and not the effects. But I had limited access to the RestrictedSection, at the time, and I was a very enthusiastic youth.
I had originally assumed that they would make my body invulnerable, but thatwas clearly not the case.
Perhaps they bound me to the world, allowing me to possess those weaker thanmyself. Obviously, the Potter child had succumbed to my greater force of will.I supposed that made as much sense as anything.
On that note, what about the prophecy? This would be easier if I knew it inits entirety. It was possible that I’d already fulfilled the blasted thing. Mybody was incinerated by my reflected spell. Did that count as beingvanquished? I was Harry Potter, now, and I could hardly vanquish myself.
My questions would go unanswered for some time.
The Dursleys immediately sensed my evil. This was particularly impressivesince I took several months to properly remember my time as a dark lord, yetthey deemed me a monster upon arriving on their doorstep.
Amid the humiliation of diaper changes, tentative steps, and lisping words, Itook great satisfaction in my caretakers’ building horror. Even as a baby, Icould still strike fear into the hearts of filthy muggles.
It started small as I relearned the art of wandless magic. Forget to feedlittle Harry and Dudley’s bottle explodes. Insult him and your tongue startsto swell up. Go ahead, lock him in a cupboard. He will _always _find his wayout, and you will somehow find your way in.
Even misfortunes that could not possibly be my fault, such as Vernon’sdemotion at work, were attributed to my malice. I, of course, never arguedagainst anything that made me seem more powerful.
The Dursleys eventually decided that they feared my dark presence more thanDumbledore’s threats. They dropped me off at the orphanage, the firehouse, anddeep in the wilderness. They even called Child Protective Services onthemselves. Repeatedly. Yet I was always back by morning.
I blame Dumbledore.
I was five years old when Petunia Dursley realized that she would never be ridof me. I know this because she began sobbing while insisting that she wouldnever be rid of me.
Thick as they were, the Dursleys eventually realized that the only way to liveunharmed was to accommodate my desires. It was the childhood I had alwaysdreamed of.
During those early years, I had a lot of time to think.
From a few expeditions into the Wizarding World, I cobbled together the stateof things. I had obviously vanished, and my followers had either been arrestedor rejected me. Meanwhile, everyone believed that Harry Potter was an amazingand incredibly talented child (a not inaccurate belief).
I’ll admit that I’d grown weary of being a Dark Lord. It was boring, the DeathEaters were annoying, and I had no particular interest in reigning over anation of mindless sheep. There was a certain charm to fighting againstDumbledore – the wily fool – and murder is a good stress-reliever. But perhapsit was time to discard my previous life. This new identity could open doorsthat my previous self had foolishly closed long ago.
It was time to return to my first dream:
To be honest, I hadn’t planned on the whole Dark Lord thing. It just sort ofhappened.
I’d always wanted to be a professor, either of Defense Against the Dark Artsor just of the Dark Arts. The latter wasn’t exactly taught at Hogwarts,however, and Hogwarts was my first true home. My greatest desire was to returnto it and live there. Forever.
With my original Horcruxes created and hidden away, I might have become asmuch a fixture of the school as poor, idiotic Binns. That dream was crushed byDumbledore. His first official act as Headmaster was to deny me the position.After a very strenuous job interview, I might add. Offended and heartbroken, Icursed the DADA post and stormed out of the castle.
So there I was: depressed, unemployed, and increasingly intoxicated. I slumpedacross the Hog’s Head’s bar, accompanied by a few of my old Slytherin buddies.We were reminiscing, telling racist jokes, and complaining about all theMuggleborns stealing our jobs. At some point, we got onto the topic of theabysmal education provided by Hogwarts. Turning away a young, eager,intelligent – if slightly evil – job applicant showed a startling lack offoresight.
“Kids nowadays don’t know anything,” I slurred. “I bet the six of us couldtake out every one of the half-wits they’re graduating and show them exactlyhow much they suck at defending against the Dark Arts. Then they’d have tohire me.”
That’s the last thing I remember of that night.
A few days later, I woke up in an alley with a pounding headache. By the timeI’d gotten home and downed a hangover potion, The Prophet had arrived. In mydrunken haze, I’d killed six Ministry workers and declared myself the DarkLord Voldemort (I never would have picked that name had I been sober).
Once you’ve done something like that, it’s exceedingly difficult to get a jobaround children. I know. I tried.
The next several years were spent struggling to legitimize my movement. Icommissioned uniforms, made inquiries with Europe’s darker creatures, cobbledtogether an ideological banner with which to rally new recruits…Recreating theDark Mark alone took me nearly six months. Natural genius aside, I have noidea how I managed that while smashed.
My power base was entrenched in the Pureblood, Slytherin alumni as my drinkingcompanions benefitted greatly from convincing their allies to join me. Notonly were they tied to my will with dark magic, but they were also desperateto cover up the details of our drunken escapade. An embarrassment like thatwould be a crippling blow to their rapidly declining oligarchy.
In retrospect, the situation could have been worse. I might have joined forceswith dozens of pompous fools and admitted cowards, but at least I was theirleader and therefore best.
I stroked the parchment of my Hogwarts letter with fondness.
The youngest Dursley nearly wet himself at the deranged smile on my face. Thatwas an expression usually reserved for our little “chats” (These usuallyinvolved quite a bit more screaming than chatting. Still, I always healed himat the end, so it’s not like he has anything to complain about).
My “loving” relatives were more than happy to ship me off to Hogwarts where Iwould be far, far away from them. The desire was mutual. Even with training,the three were barely tolerable.
If I’d known the scar would be this much trouble, I would have worn a hat. Islammed the door shut on a particularly persistent fan. Sure, I likedgroveling as much as the next dark lord, but for a stranger to actually tryand kiss my robes? Honestly! Whatever happened to keeping a respectful,reverent distance?
Wandlessly locking the door of the shabby, silent shop, I took a moment tocatch my breath.
“Good afternoon,” a voice murmured. I practically jumped out of my skin. Howin Merlin’s name had he snuck up on me?
“Mr. Ollivander,” I said to the pale eyed, elderly man. Nearly fifty years hadpassed since I’d last seen him, yet he hadn’t aged a day. Clearly I wasn’t theonly immortal wizard in Britain. I quashed the urge to ask him how he’d doneit.
“Yes, yes. I thought I’d be seeing you soon. Harry Potter.” He spoke my namewith a strange emphasis.
While I pondered the wandmaker’s dark secrets, the man chattered inanely aboutnothing in particular. His mask of absentminded insanity was admirable. Hehanded me one wand and another and another still. Before I could even givethem a wave, he snatched them from my hand. He proceeded to do this with everywand in the bloody shop. If I hadn’t been certain he’d taken precautionsagainst such paltry attacks, I might have stabbed him with one of his wares. Iwas Lord Voldemort, for Merlin’s sake! I could easily force the cooperation ofeven an unsuitable wand.
An unsettling glint appeared in Ollivander’s silvery eyes. Mumbling tohimself, he dug out a holly wand. It hummed beneath my fingertips, warm to thetouch. Unconsciously, I smiled at the familiar sensation and swung the wandaround in a rain of colorful sparks.
Wrapping it up, he muttered. “Curious…curious…”
I was beginning to suspect something was curious. I inquired, with carefulpoliteness, “Curious?”
“Curious,” he agreed. He rambled on about my wand for some time before finallycoming to a point. “It is very curious indeed that you should be destined forthis wand when its brother – why, its brother gave you that scar.”
“What a coincidence,” I squeaked.
He stared at me intently, and I could feel my stomach drop. He knew. I couldsee it in his watchful eyes, the taunting tilt of his head. Ollivander knewexactly who I was or, more precisely, who I wasn’t. My gaze darted to thewrapped wand in his hand. If I was fast, I could probably grab it, kill him,and run in a minute, maybe less. I’d have preferred to avoid murder for a fewmore years, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Seemingly unaware of my frantic thoughts, Ollivander continued, “I think wemust expect great things from you, Mr. Potter…After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things – terrible, yes, but great.”
…Was he supporting me? That sounded suspiciously like a compliment. I said,“Thank you, sir, for the help.”
“Anytime, Harry Potter,” the man rasped.
Stepping into the train station as the Dursleys’ car squealed away, I hadnever been happier. I was returning to Hogwarts, and it had been far too longsince I’d been home.
A/N: I’ve posted this previously on Space Battles (under the same username, in fact). I’ve moved this edited version over here since it’s a more permanent and easily-found location. Though I appreciate people who seek to defend my literary honor, please, my dearest darlings, do not accuse me of plagiarizing my own work.
For first time readers: I wholly believe that this story improves with time. Scenes (and years) get longer, characters better settle into their skins, and plotlines diverge more from canon.
It’s been a great delight writing this and a far greater one sharing it with you all. Enjoy.
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