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47 Days to Change (a translation) 

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Harry Potter/Tom Riddle, Harry Potter/Voldemort
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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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Chapter 33: Husband and Wife

NOTE: This is a translation of a Chinese HP Fanfiction by  墨玉绿

BETA: the brilliant and awesome AzulticSerpens December 20, 1939

For all the families in Europe, Christmas was the most important holiday of the year. Even though most nations were no longer under theocratic control, Christmas still held a special place in their hearts. It had become a traditional festival rather a religious holiday. Even the wizards, who were once persecuted by Christians during the Middle Ages, were eager to celebrate this special day alongside the muggles.

Ah, yes... religious or not, there were presents and feasts to be had.

"Are you seriously refusing the invitation of a Malfoy?" Abraxas asked in disbelief. He leaned toward Tom from across the train compartment, looking rather offended by the second-year's nonchalant reaction. "No Slytherin would turn down a chance to spend Christmas with my family."

"Thank you," the boy repeated. His apologetic yet firm tone indicated his refusal quite clearly.

Puzzled, Abraxas turned to look out the window, as rolling hills and green fields flew past.

Normally, he was very confident in his ability to judge people. He could see Tom was a capable and ambitious boy. He could see the potential in the boy's eyes, from that fathomless, dark depth into which people did not dare to look directly. The boy reeked of ambition and greed — the favourite perfume of Slytherins.

He was confident that, given time, this boy would become an influential figure in the wizarding world. Exceptional intellect, ruthless ambition, powerful magic... yet combined with an insignificant background and lack of familial backing— such a boy was the perfect target for Malfoy family to recruit.

Therefore, it had never occurred to Abraxas that Tom might refuse the golden olive branch extended by the Malfoy family. Yet...

Suddenly, Abraxas seemed to realize something. He frowned, before quickly plastering a friendly smile on his face.

"Then... are you planning to spend Christmas with your Harry?" Abraxas smirked; his tone was friendly and teasing, just enough to conceal the true intention behind the probing question.

Tom looked down, concealing the darkness flashing in his eyes.


Abraxas' smirk grew wide. He adjusted his arms, leaning back against the soft leather cushion. He was rather pleased with the boy's answer.

As long as the boy cared for something — he would always have a weakness.

Ha, now once he successfully recruited Tom, he would know exactly how to control the young viper.Naturally, Tom had sensed the shift in Abraxas' mood, but he paid the blond no attention. After all, in the eyes of the young Dark-Lord-in-training, who had been perfecting his mask since he was four, the Malfoy's schemes and games were as obvious as child's play.

No. Tom's mind was occupied by something else.

From the moment he stepped onto the train, his mind was whirling wildly, exploding with painful thoughts and memories. He felt a dreadful tension building in his stomach, spasming in his throat, slowly but surely suffocating him.

Today was December 20th... and he couldn't help but recall the scenes from last year's holiday.

December 20th, 1938... Last year, same as today, he boarded the red, puffing Hogwarts Express. Same as today, he sat quietly in a train compartment, feigning an appearance of nonchalance as he stared out the window. His heart thumped in his chest; his throat tightened with dread. Although, in the back of his mind, he had been very aware that the man wasn't waiting for him at 'home', yet... he'd been foolish enough to hope. The flames of hope burned ruefully in the boy's chest, until he had finally reached the dark square building, where only an empty silence greeted him. At once, hopelessness had drenched him like freezing rain and, at last, snuffed out all the silly, childish sentimentalities of his past.

Once again, the scene in front of him appeared so similar. The same train compartment, the same soft leather seats — everything was as it once were...as if history was set on repeating itself; as if, once again, that same, unbearable disappointment was waiting to tear him apart.

Tom's face twisted. He clutched the letter in his hand, crumpling up the carefully preserved parchment. Its waxy sheen gleamed ominously in the sunlight.

The writing on the parchment was neat and easy to read— "...I've found us a house. Obviously, the building behind me is our new home."


Using his hands, Tom shielded his face from Abraxas' inquisitive gaze. His red lips cracked into a mocking smile, revealing his adorable canine teeth.It was almost seven o'clock. Darkness has descended upon London amidst a flurry of white snow. Outside the window, memories from 1938 seemed to blur into the present scene of 1939. The hour, the location, even the weather, were exactly the same.

The red steam-engine train emitted a sharp whistle. The locomotive puffed out thick, cloudy columns as it screeched to a stop inside King's Cross station.

Then, beneath their feet, the compartments shook violently and inertia jerked them forward. The next second, the doors slid open and cheering children streamed out of the train at once. Laughing, hollering, the children ran into their parent's arms, free at last from the prison of homework and classes.

It was like the scene abruptly transformed from a silent black-and-white film into a lively, clamorous movie — as if their loving reunions had injected a burst of colour into the world.

Tom watched the commotion coldly. His fist tightened; cold sweat soaked the letter in his hand.

He looked at the letter, which he had read so many times that he had memorized it, and hesitated. Then, he tucked it into the pages of a book.

He didn't throw it away.Harry had arrived at Platform 9 3/4 early.

Even though he knew the train's arrival time was seven o'clock, he still worried that it might come early or he might run late. So he showed up ahead of time and waited in the snow, alongside many other eager parents. It seemed that they all had the same idea.

Harry couldn't wait to show Tom their new home. He almost wanted to laugh at his own childish giddiness. After all, it was just a regular house, not some treasure.

The flurry grew thicker. Harry had to retreat into a sheltered waiting area, as more and more snow melted on his coat. All around him, wizards and witches wisely casted heating charms and drying charms on their cloaks. But Harry had lost his own wand in the airstrike from months ago. Not a piece of the holly wand remained. Not even the summoning charm could locate its fragments. So he had to make due, stomping his feet and rubbing his hands together like a muggle.

Maybe, it was time to pay Ollivander a visit. The holly and phoenix feather wand should still be in a box somewhere in the old man's shop.

Just as Harry was growing restless and rather bored, he heard a clear, piercing whistle. The train was pulling into the station.

Then, at once, the crowd pushed forward, parents rushing toward the train, just as [the] children, who had already changed out of their Hogwarts uniforms, ran out its doors. Instantly, the platform was filled with happy faces and festive greetings.

Harry, too, was trying to push through the crowd.

"Excuse me. Coming through!"

"Sorry, ma'am."

"Pardon me."

Harry scanned the crowd and he found Tom instantly.

Even though Voldemort's nose-less, pale face was rather horrifying, Harry had to admit that Tom Riddle was very handsome in his youth. The boy was tall, slender, with an indescribable charm and charisma. And, he was the center of attention everywhere he went.

After four months of separation, Harry could tell Tom had grown quite a lot at Hogwarts. He might even reach Harry's shoulder now. The boy was dressed in muggle attire, his hands hidden in his pockets, relaxed and casually confident as he watched the crowd; his trunk floating by his side, the impressive spell work drawing envious stares from his classmates.

Harry wiggled his frozen fingers and toes, before rushing toward the boy. He grinned widely.


As he approached the boy, Harry found that not only had Tom grown taller but he had also lost some baby fat. A protruding Adam's apple was quite visible on his long neck. His face no longer held the roundness of a child; his features becoming more chiseled and sharp, with the assertive and powerful lines of a young man. He was transforming, growing up beautifully, as if being perfected under the chisel of a master sculptor.

The boy stood very still, back straightened, lips pursed, silently studying Harry's smiling face. Harry almost found his unwavering attention to be... rather flattering, for the lack of a better word.

"Hello, silly. Don't just stand there. You'll catch a cold." Harry patted the boy on the head, while silently lamenting to himself that time sure flies.

Tom didn't reply. He couldn't look away from the young man's bright green eyes. He couldn't explain the strange yet intense emotions bursting from his chest when he heard that familiar voice shouting his name. If he'd been a Gryffindor, he would've been running forward instantly, hugging the young man tightly and never letting go. But... Slytherins valued control. So, instead, he internalized his ecstasy and relief, dissolving its fierce intensity into a mask of polite and innocent smile.

He knew what Harry expected from him... and he was even willing to pretend for the sake of the young man, for the sake of their new home, for the sake of this momentary happiness.Godric's Hollow was home to a mixed muggle-magical community.

Harry didn't spend a lot of time strolling through the village, even though he had lived there for a while. He spent most of his days locked up in his room, working on strategies for Dumbledore's Army.

He couldn't explain why he chose to live here.

In the village square, there was a black obelisk carved with names — yet they were names that Harry didn't recognize. And, whenever someone got close to the memorial, it didn't transform into a statue of a father, mother and baby.

"Harry?" Tom followed Harry's gaze to the plain marble pillar. The boy observed the obelisk carefully, but he couldn't find anything special about it.

The question snapped Harry from his memories. Flustered, he squeezed Tom's hands, then he quickly pulled the boy away from the obelisk and toward their house.

Suddenly, Harry regretted buying a house at Godric's Hollow. Everything in this village reminded him of his parents, of their murder, and of their murderer— their death was his and Tom's beginning. Harry walked quickly, determined to avoid looking at the grim marble slab. He bit his lips.

He couldn't afford to cry.

"Harry? What's wrong?" Tom asked as he looked up at Harry. The young man's eyes were still bright and beautiful as emeralds, yet Tom detected a shift in his mood instantly.

"Come, we are almost home."

Harry wrapped Tom's hands in his palms, trying to keep the boy's fingers from freezing. Yet, in the face of the winter's cruel wind, such a feeble gesture was barely noticeable, its warmth easily robbed by the cold, arid air.

The walking distance from the village square to their home was short, yet long enough for Harry to calm down.

Every road must lead to somewhere. Every choice must have some consequence.

Since he had decided to stay with him, to love him and to watch him grow up, then this was his choice. No regrets."Welcome to your new home." Harry smiled as he pulled open the front door to reveal their new house.

Its walls were newly painted, as white as the snow outside. For a moment, as the young man's gentle and graceful smile filled his vision, Tom thought the entire world had melted away into the snow. Harry hurried him inside, then earnestly asked for his opinion, as if he were a child eager to be praised.

The man's enthusiasm was contagious, so much so that it made Tom's lips curl up. At once, the boy felt very warm.

"Ah, you are back already?" Someone walked out of the living room. Very naturally, she took Harry's coat from his hands and hung it up. Then, with a wave of her wand, she floated Tom's luggage inside and lined it neatly against the wall, then gave them a stern greeting.

It was Joan.

As soon as Tom saw the young woman, his smile vanished. He frowned, before immediately shifting his expression back into a polite smile. "Miss Joan, what are you doing here?"

Harry evened out some wrinkles on his beige sweater and rolled up the sleeves. He turned and answered, "Oh! I invited Joan over to celebrate Christmas with us. She's helped me a lot — with moving and everything."

"I see, but... doesn't Miss Joan want to spend Christmas with her own family?" The boy asked politely, before gasping and covering his mouth in an over-dramatic manner. "Ah! I apologize. I think... I might've forgotten that Miss Joan was kicked out of her household. Sorry, let me take this inside—"

Tom pushed past Harry and Joan, then dragged his luggage into the living room.

Harry stood in the foyer in awkward silence. Was...was Tom lashing out?... It wasn't like him.

"Sorry, Joan. He—"

"No need. He was telling the truth." Joan shrugged. She wasn't offended at all. She nodded toward Harry, "Don't worry about it. I'm going back to my room. Later, I'll bring your potions to you."Tom sat down on the sofa, cool dark eyes roaming over the room. The house's interiors were almost identical to that of number 15 London Street, yet it felt like a strange place to him.

The boy ran a hand through his soft, black hair. Suddenly, he felt very irritated. The good mood, in which he just been savoring three minutes ago, vanished completely.

He didn't like Joan. He didn't like her being here, intruding in his home. But he wasn't stupid enough to confront her about it. Yet, that scene he just witnessed, when she helped Harry put away his coat, so naturally as if she was the mistress of the house... it was all very irritating.

Husband and wife, a new household, what a fitting and wonderful combination?... Just heart-warming, no?

Tom grinned to himself, the little wolf cub showing off his sharp fangs.

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