Childhood of the Dark Lord

My entry for the 'Battle of the Fandoms Competition'. The story of Tom Marvolo Riddle's childhood.

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2. Dented Doors

The shrill screech of a whistle rang through the aging house. The sound of running footsteps slammed on the wooden floorboards above Mrs Cole, leaving her choking in a cloud of dust as the children assembled themselves on the stairs in front of her.

“As you very well know, Billy Stubbs was involved in a terrible accident yesterday. However, I can let you know that he’ll be back within the month.” She smiled.

“Nevertheless, although he will make a full recovery, we still wish to know what happened. Anyone with any information or any confessions to make should come and see me by the end of the day.”

With eyebrows raised severely, Mrs Cole went to lay her eyes on Tom Riddle but found his space empty.  An unguarded sigh of exasperation slipped past her lips as she raised her eyes heavenwards towards the room where Tom would be hiding out. Unfortunately, her patience with the young boy had long ago worn itself away. In fact, in many of her angrier moments she had envisioned pushing him out onto the streets to fend for himself, but then she would remember the money she was being paid to keep each child in the orphanage, and although it was a pittance, it was still money. So she would take a deep breath and continue to ignore his presence until he was brought to her attention again. Unfortunately, this was becoming all too regular.

She shooed the children away and picking up her heavy skirts, slowly made her way up the stairs to reach his room. The doors lining the dingy corridor had all originally been the same. Yet years of scuffed shoes, pre-pubescent brawls and temper tantrums had worn each door lining the corridor. Nonetheless, they wore their dents and scrapes as the marks of war, and Mrs Cole was surprised they were still standing, albeit a few might only just be clinging onto the hinges.

Tom’s door was different. His door was free of nicks or marks in the highly polished wood. Dust never seemed to settle on the black door that stood ominously at the end of the corridor, the flickering candles set into either side of the door casting chilling shadows on its gleaming surface.

Her shoes seemed to click nervously on the floor as she approached the door slowly, her steps failing to falter. Taking a deep breath, she patted her hands down on her skirt in an attempt to remove the cold sweat that was clinging to her skin in fear and reached up a curled fist to knock on the door.

Before her hand had even touched the wooden door it swung open silently to reveal Tom stood in the doorway staring at her unblinkingly. 

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