47 Days to Change (a translation)
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Harry Potter/Tom Riddle, Harry Potter/Voldemort
Harry Potter and Tom Riddle are enemies, born adversaries, prophesied leaders of opposite factions.
2001 to 1932, forty-seven days to change the fate of the Dark Lord.
This is a 'Harry travels back in time to raise Tom' story. An unfortunate tale of one man's failed attempt to mold young Tom into a decent, law-abiding citizen. Instead, as Fate will have it, young Tom grows up to become the same twisted psychopath, who is hell-bent on winning the love of his adoptive father. Harry's consent be damned.
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NOTE: This is a translation of a Chinese HP Fanfiction by 墨玉绿
BETA: the brilliant and awesome AzulticSerpens
As his body tipped into adolescence, the boy began to grow at an impressive rate. His height shot up like a spring's young willow after abundant rain. He stood tall, lean and proud, with a confidence that was uncharacteristic of boys his age. Combined with his superb intelligence and eloquence, his new physical transformation had caught the eyes of a lot of young girls, especially the Ravenclaws.
"Tom, can you explain to me the theory of magic flow?" A girl with a white-and-blue scarf asked him, a sheaf of parchment in hand, looking eager and studious as always.
Tom nodded politely. With patient and gentle manner, he helped her label all the main points on the diagram. His smile remained pleasant and charming, as he had perfected his model student act a long time ago.
"Thank you!" The girl squeaked, her cheeks flushed pink.
Yet, Tom's expression turned dark as soon as her back was turned. Immediately, his sharp, narrow eyes relaxed into their natural state — long lashes framed black orbs that reflected his predatory nature, full with swirling menace and cold arrogance of a solitary wolf. It was hard to imagine that just a moment ago they had projected nothing but warm friendliness.
He walked down an empty corridor until he saw his roommate, Ovidius Parkinson, waiting by a door. The boy was one of the three people who had sent Christmas presents to Tom.
"Hey, Tom!" The scrawny boy waved at him, long black hair obscuring half of his face. This boy was wholly unremarkable, weak, except for his eyes —which were so bright that they made him seem out of place in Slytherin— they almost reminded Tom of... Harry.
But as soon as the name popped into his mind, Tom immediately suppressed his thoughts, discarding that name along with all accompanying confusion and bitterness.
Tom nodded in greeting. "Let's go."
The scrawny boy led the way as they walked out to the courtyard. He walked stiffly with a pace that was, perhaps intentionally, just fast enough to put a bit of distance between Tom and himself. His eyes bright and alert like a wary fox.
As they stepped out into hot summer air and green lawns, Tom's cold eyes assessed the boy in front of him.
Ovidius Parkinson was rather useless for a Slytherin, an obedient and unremarkable boy. The Parkinsons were a small and unimportant pure-blood house, which traditionally served as a vassal house to the powerful Malfoys. Tom knew that Ovidius was a jittery boy who only acted friendly toward him on Abraxas' orders. In other words, the boy was spying on him for Abraxas Malfoy.
"Now that we are done with exams, summer vacation will start soon. Do you have any plans for the summer, Tom?" Ovidius asked carefully. He tried to act friendly and nonchalant, but Tom noticed his nervous fidgeting right away.
"No. I'm going... home."
Although Tom's tone remained pleasant, a vicious smile bloomed on his red lips. He chewed on the word 'home' slowly, as if it were in a foreign tongue. To him, home was a forbidden word; instead of evoking feelings of joy and protection, 'home' only made his blood boil with malicious anger.
Of course, Ovidius' back was turned toward Tom, so he completely missed the murderous expression flashing across his roommate's face.
"If you are free during the summer, please come to visit my home at any time." The Slytherin boy gave his invitation enthusiastically.
"Thank you, Ovidius. That's very kind of you." Tom dipped his head courteously.
For the moment, his perfect manners and beautiful smiles were more than enough to mask his true nature— as vicious and selfish as the devil himself.There was still no news of Harry. It was almost as if the young man had vanished from the world.
The young Dark Lord sat on his bed, twirling his wand between long fingers, watching sparks flying out of the wand's tip with a bored expression.
It had been ten months since he last saw Harry.
Ten months — from September 1, 1938 to June 28, 1939 — exactly three hundreds days had passed since he had last seen Harry. Yes... Harry had vanished for ten whole months.
Ten months were long enough for Tom to accept the circumstance as fact. It was long enough for him to learn to swallow his sorrow and rage. It was long enough for him to drill the new reality into his head. He repeated to himself, over and over again, that Harry Potter meant nothing to Tom Riddle.
Tom had returned from Hogwarts sometime during the beautiful month of June. Hogwarts in June was bustling with activities and noises, children turning their happy faces toward hot summer sun, eagerly anticipating the summer holiday when they would return home.
But Tom's own home was not bustling or happy — it was empty, dead, devoid of all life and activity. Home was not a word that brought joy to Tom. Home was nothing more than an empty house, without Harry waiting for him, without even the nanny's daily visits.
Yet, Tom insisted on returning...home.
Thin film of dust covering all the furniture, lights glowing through dirty windows, mould growing on dried cheeses on the kitchen counter, withered orchids spilling out of cracked pots— those were all that waited for Tom at home. The London house was silent and eerie, an empty manor only suitable for dead things, like vampires from novels.
The first night after he returned, Tom spent the whole night wandering through the empty house. He sneered at the unkempt rooms, but he was calm, as if he couldn't feel the disappointment crushing his chest.
The door to Harry's room remained open as it did ten months ago. In some aspects, Harry had a rather open personality, naive and careless and welcoming. The young man was pure of heart, his mind unpretentious and simple. It almost seemed like he had been too eager to believe Tom's lies and disguises, simply because Tom had asked him to.
Harry's room was simply furnished, one large bed, one plain lamp and one nightstand with some ink bottles and quills. Harry's life was very simple. It was hard to imagine that, seven years ago, this unassuming twenty-year-old had the capability to purchase a house and raise a child on his own.
Tom narrowed his eyes, onyx eyes as dark and unreadable as the night outside. Once his suspicions had been aroused, it would be hard for him trust again.
Now that he thought about it... All those years ago, Harry's appearance had been rather sudden and suspicious; now, his disappearance was equally sudden and suspicious. With his emotional attachment cut out, Tom was able to assess all the uncertainties surrounding Harry's life with cold objectivity — maybe, from the very beginning, that man had an ulterior motive for adopting Tom?
Tom paused. He stared at the pot of withered cymbidium orchids on the window sill, suddenly he pushed it out. With a loud crack, the ceramic pot fell to the pavement below and splintered into pieces, spilling a pile of black soil and dried roots. Then Tom smiled cheerfully, revealing two rows of gleaming white teeth.All alone, Tom did what chores he could to maintain the large house. Currently, he was weeding the garden under the blazing summer sun.
Honestly, Tom didn't know why he insisted on staying here. Even if Parkinson's invitation was not exactly genuine, it would be still interesting to visit a pureblood household. However, even though Tom refused to admit it out loud, he knew that somewhere deep in his subconscious, he was still clinging onto the hope that one hot summer day, the green-eyed young man would step through these gates again, unannounced, smiling at Tom with his unique warmth.
Hope... so utterly pathetic.
The youth rewarded himself with a mocking smile. His muscles tense as he worked, the scissors in his hands chomping away at flowering bushes, delicate pink buds falling under his brutal and reckless hands.
Tom picked up a flower bud, then ripped away its delicate pink petals. His eyes narrowed — he needed to get rid of his emotions, all these useless, uncontrollable emotions.Fate liked games with cruel twists and turns. Before Tom's heart could turn completely dark with resentment, Fate brought Harry back to him.
It was towards the end of summer when Tom saw Harry again. Although September was approaching fast, the glorious sun was still blazing down on London like it was mid-summer. Harry was bundled tightly in a winter coat, because it was January on the other side of the timeline. To Tom, twelve unforgivably long months had passed; and yet to Harry, it had been less than three days.
Just like last time when he returned from God-knows-where, Harry appeared very weak and exhausted. After months upon months of simmering anger, the young Dark Lord thought he had prepared for this moment. He thought that he no longer cared, yet the moment those emerald eyes turned toward him, once again, he found that his heart began beating impossibly fast.
Yet, as soon as those emerald eyes met his own, Tom noticed that Harry's body stiffened visibly with alarm and wariness.
"Tom!... I'm so sorry, but I must rest... for a bit. May...may I pass?"
Harry stood in the foyer, nervously avoiding Tom's fervent gaze. He had hoped that he was mature enough to separate young Tom Riddle from Lord Voldemort... but right now, he just couldn't bear to look into those familiar, intelligent dark eyes, lest to keep his mind from reeling— Tom and Voldemort... were one and the same.
See, he won't even spare one minute to speak to you! A voice in Tom's head jeered at him.
Tom smiled politely and shuffled aside, surrendering the staircase which he was blocking.
"Of course, Harry."Harry collapsed onto his bed. He didn't even notice the sheets hadn't been changed in a long time. He couldn't think, exhaustion clawing at his mind.
Right after he'd wounded Voldemort and before the Dark Lord had discovered that his horcrux had actually been destroyed, Dumbledore's Army managed to move their camp successfully. One big advantage of being wizards was that they could transport things that would take muggles weeks to move. So, hastily, they escaped with what they could and abandoned their headquarters all together. Although Voldemort's attack was a big blow to their cause, the important thing was that they survived. In those two tense days, they carefully ducked around Death Eaters until they've found a new safe haven in some desolate woods, where they settled and made camp.
With great power comes great responsibility. And Harry was so tired from all the grave responsibilities pilling on his shoulders.
The next thing he knew, sleep had claimed him. He didn't even have time to worry about the assaulting waves of pain that had never left his body.
Slowly, Tom walked up the stairs, fingers gliding along its polished rails. The hardwood felt cool beneath his skin.
He pushed open the door to Harry's room. It squeaked loudly, although not loud enough to wake the sleeping man.
Tom watched the young man's pale, peaceful face. Suddenly, Tom wanted to shake him awake and scream at him until all the questions of the past twelve months were answered... but Tom didn't. Instead, a mirthless smile appeared on his lips as he compressed all the dark turmoil into himself. He blinked, black pupils turning as depth-less as black holes, which concealed the brief feeling of hurt.
Tom left the room quietly.
Humph... The young Dark Lord lowered his eyes. He felt extremely agitated and indignant. He hated how the mere sight of the young man was enough to affect his emotions, so easily, so carelessly — Why couldn't he escape Harry's influence?Tom tilted his head, fingers tapping the cover of A Collection of Rare and Practical Potions.
He was deep in thought. If only he could create some objects to store away his emotions... he wanted to get rid of Harry's power over him, because he needed to grow up. He needed to act more independent and logical in order to grow his powers.
His eyes darkened as he made up his mind. He locked the potions book into a drawer.
This was not enough! He needed other textbooks — something more powerful and dark!Miss author (墨玉绿/Emerald Ink) would like to give you a warning:
"This story exists in a no moral, dark, grim, ironic universe. Tom's character traits are high IQ, anti-social, egoistic, proud, cruel, and other common villain traits. He is a total sociopath, not a tsundere. He doesn't understand love and he doesn't know how to show affection. I have no plans to make him a good guy or redeem his actions. That's the main character. Be aware. Run away while you can."
Snow Owl: Hahaha... That happy ending does seem impossible when you put it like that. Hopefully these two don't go the way of Doctor Hannibal and Will Graham, hmm?
Emerald Ink: RUN AWAY— while you can.
Snow Owl: Hahaha... Psst, gals and guys, sometimes miss author comes to read your reviews. So feel free to leave constructive criticism, but be nice.
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