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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Karkaroff was just beginning to understand the demon he was working with.
The First Task had ended less than two days ago and already the eyes that had once gazed at Charlov with envy and admiration now held contempt. Of course, it was only a matter of luck that he’d managed to do so well, but a rumor had that he had taken Felix Felicis had spread rapidly and disgust followed in its wake.
“He cheated!” The Hogwarts students protested. “He should be kicked out of the Triwizard Tournament!”
As the rumors about Dieter Charlov spread through the school, the students got angrier and angrier as Charlov, the unwitting fool, lashed back and protested his innocence.
Even the Slytherin students, who looked upon both sly tactics and Durmstrang with favor, treated its Champion with disdain.
“How carefree he acted after his victory. I imagine he’s going to be eliminated soon.” Cygnus Black sneered as he and Tom walked by a group of Durmstrang students, "If the judges really do detect Felix Felicis, I’m afraid they’ll be lucky if their school is still allowed to compete at all.”
Tom reacted little to the conversation, mouth refusing to even twitch, but some amusement leaked into his words, “Truly, he turned out to be quite unlucky.”
What else could he be after falling from so high, having his glorious victory pulled out from under his feet? He’d been able to feel the glory in his success and now he would be cast aside, despised among even his fellow students. How could he be anything but incredibly unlucky?
When the investigation is over, how far will Charlov fall in his despair?
Karkaroff kept his face turned toward Krumlov, another Durmstrang student standing beside him, as he watched Tom Riddle from the corner of his eye. When he caught a flash of red in the boy’s eyes, a chill swept through him and he a shiver traveled down his spine.
He wasn’t sure how but that Slytherin boy, not even sixteen years old, seemed to be so calculating, so clever, that none could match the easy manner in which he turned a situation to his benefit. He hadn’t even needed to pull out his wand to succeed.
Ever since Charlov had become the Champion, Karkaroff had scheming up ways to beat him, but Riddle wasn’t interested in just taking him down; he intended to destroy him!
Was it a matter of it being easier or more efficient for the boy to destroy a man? Or was simply winning not enough to satisfy him?
The boy caught his stare, smiled at him, then calmly looked away and moved on.
He’d gone from vowing that his own prey would not escape to finding his own head covered with an inescapable net. As he felt his role change, fear burst bright in Karkaroff’s chest.
The gloomy boy gritted his teeth, and tried to restrain the cold rising through him.
He was just a child, not even a proper wizard, Karkaroff assured himself.
The First Task of the Triwizard Tournament had been met with wholehearted enthusiasm but the mood had taken a turn.
The Tournament was a joke! Durmstrang had cheated and the Beauxbatons’ Champion had to be sent directly to the Hospital Wing! The only saving grace was that, considering what Durmstrang had done, Hogwarts would likely be the de facto winner.
As angry, disappointed, or depressed as the students were, Harry took no notice as he hurried along to the Hospital Wing.
"Harry?" A voice called out to him.
As he was carrying a basket of fruit and enough colorful little boxes piled on top to almost rest right under his nose, Harry had to strain his neck to see who was asking for him. The precarious pile wobbled dangerously in his arms.
A hand reached out to catch a box that was slowly sliding off the top of the pile.
Relieved, Harry turned his attention to his helper.
“Good morning, Tom.” Harry freed a hand from under his stack of gifts to quickly push his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. He gave Tom a brilliant smile.
Internally, Harry sighed at the sight of Tom. He had to admit that he was a little jealous of the young boy.
The fifteen-year-old had already grown quite tall, was slim but didn’t appear weak, had a confident posture, and was gifted with a fine face, as handsome as you’d find on a Roman statue. He was practically perfect and even standing in the hall with dusty stone walls behind him, he looked like he belonged in a painting. Slytherin’s heir truly had a striking appearance.
Tom cocked an eyebrow and Harry set aside those bitter thoughts, bringing his good mood back to the fore.
“Where are you going? I can help you carry those.” Tom didn’t notice Harry’s distraction and held out his hand to help.
“Oh, these are from the Beauxbatons students. They asked me to bring them to Mylene Lance. Do you know her?”
Oh, of course he knew her. He’d watched gleefully as she’d been taken to the Hospital Wing. Tom smiled, a kind and easygoing look that served to hide his sudden dark thoughts and the flash of red in his eyes. “Of course, she’s the Beauxbatons Champion."
“The Mediwitch won’t let her group of friends in, so they came and asked me to deliver their gifts.” At the thought of the vibrant and sharp girl, Harry began to smile. Somehow, here in 1942, he could find people so similar to those he knew in 2001. Alphonse reminded him of Ron, Joan of Hermione, and Mylene, with her cheerful and resolute character, was so similar to Ginny that it pulled at his heart. It wasn’t fair to them, but Harry saw these near-strangers as shadows of other people and felt in his heart their familiarity.
Tom loathed the sight of Harry smiling for someone else. How could he so easily treat a stranger to that genuine gentle look?
Even worse than Harry being too generous with others, Tom compared that smile to those he had received from the man. The smiles given to him still held sincerity but they were mild in comparison, mixed with reluctance, weariness, and something cold. That increasingly dark part of himself crept into his eyes, a harsh edge that he could not quite hide.
Tom considered Harry’s smile for a moment longer and then dropped his focus on the gifts. He asked Harry, with a somewhat distracted tone, “Harry, do you know her well?”
“Not well, no, but we’ve met occasionally in the library and we’ve dueled several times.”
So they’d met a few times?
“Harry, you came to see me again!” A girl in a white gown greeted them with a smile just as they entered the Hospital Wing.
Again? Behind Harry, Tom seized on the word, turning the implications over in his mind as his dark eyes watched on.
“Harry, I’m so glad you came back. I wanted to ask you something. Would you be my date to the Christmas party?” The enthusiastic girl from Beauxbatons was bold, asking with Tom still standing there. He watched as she slyly put on a lost look and told Harry, “I don’t know many people here and don’t have anyone else to ask.”
Lying in bed, face pale and with a terrible scar that was slowly subsiding, her young beautiful features were still visible.
Harry didn’t react so Tom took the opportunity to speak first, “It appears that Miss Lance is recovering well.”
Tom’s handsome face, angular and soft with a smile, could deceive even the wise Athena, and he turned his charm on the girl in the bed.
His warning lesson was already being healed and in such a short amount of time. How could she have already gotten over the pain of her wounds? Her recovery was occurring too fast, Tom thought.
Now Mylene was unsure of how to proceed. Tom was stunning and regarding her with a captivating stare. She blushed a little looking upon him, but she still liked Harry.
“Ah, yes the Mediwitch has been wonderful and the potions have been working fast,” She politely replied.
As the two talked, Harry shifted awkwardly. He had forgotten the distress of the Yule Ball and the clumsy way he had interacted with the girls there. He hadn’t expected one to take the initiative to invite him this time around and was caught completely off guard.
Any notion to ask him should have been repelled due to his age alone. He was over thirty years old and ought to be considered an old man to the girls attending the Yule Ball. He shook his head, and was going to outright turn her down, but stopped as he considered how badly rejection could sting, especially if there was another person around to see it.
This young girl’s emotions were in his hands and he needed to make sure this confident, wonderful girl wouldn’t be hurt or embarrassed for asking.
So, he deliberated on his options and said, “I can’t dance.”
"I can teach you!" Mylene said eagerly.
Harry couldn’t help but think of how anxious he had become at not having found a partner and sympathized with her. “That’s okay, you need to relax and recover and I would probably embarrass the both of us.”
“What makes you think that?”
Tom watched Mylene laugh, the monster called jealousy boiling behind his eyes.
Well, if Harry didn’t want to make a fool of himself and Mylene wanted to teach him — the bite of jealousy hit Tom’s heart, spreading its toxin.
“Perhaps I could teach Harry to dance.” The Slytherin boy wore the most charming smile he could muster, voice deep and elegant, “Miss Lance could rest while you learn. After all, it could be quite strenuous teaching you everything in so short a time.”
Harry agreed, if a bit slowly, but the monster in Tom wasn’t satisfied with what he’d taken and was still tempted to reach for the girl’s neck.
“Get a good night’s rest. The Mediwitch told me that you should be able to get out the day after tomorrow.” Harry smiled and waved goodbye to Mylene as he left.
Tom also gave her a smile and politely said his own goodbye. “I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next Task… get well soon.”
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