March 22nd, 2010
There are so many times that Tom used his gifts and powers to hurt that he has a long way to go to make up for it. Legilimency, in particular, is something he can use to help, and he's promised Havelock he'd do what he can to help Puck.
Knowledge is trapped, somehow, in Puck's mind. River can see what's there, but specifics are not forthcoming. Perhaps he can help. He certainly can't perform the spell on the fae himself. It won't work on non-humans, and, although Tom has come to like Puck a great deal more than in the past, he'd still prefer to not look into his mind.
He's wary, however, of looking into River's either. While he's helped people like Bill Weasley retrieve obliviated memories, River has had an altogether different experience. Having found River, he's told her what he's offered to do and how they might work together.
"Why don't we sit here," he says, indicating one of the more secluded booths. It's still in public, still in plain sight, but private enough for discussing this kind of magic. "I can tell you more about what I might be able to do to help."
March 9th, 2010
There are times when Ingress truly vexes Tom. He’s been told that this is a normal parental response. You can love a child dearly even as you want to throttle her for behaviors such as speaking to potentially dangerous strangers at Milliways despite being reminded over and over not to do so. What’s even more vexing is the fact that, unlike a normal child who could be, oh, locked in her room for her own good, there are no locks or spells that will keep an Opener child from not opening to wherever she pleases.
That’s been a problem as long as he’s known Ingress, though, so he can only hope for continued good luck and the watchful eyes of friends and staff. She is an outgoing child, he realizes, but surely she could listen to his and Door’s admonitions. Of late, their words seem to go unheeded more often, and she’s even taken to sassing back on occasion. It’s quite a shocking transformation, in his opinion, but he’s not at all sure what to do about it.
However, in this particular matter, she made a passionate, well thought out argument for knowing more about using knives and daggers. Who is Tom to stand in the way of her education? Especially when the knowledge could save her life one day?
As a result, he’ll be speaking with Havelock Vetinari as soon as he can find him. He met the fellow once, and thought him quite sensible. He has slight misgivings about an assassin teaching Ingress. These are quite slight, however, as he has nothing against assassins in general, so long as they are good with children and have otherwise upstanding characters.
It could be said that Tom’s priorities are somewhat skewed. If you said it to him as he sits at the bar in Milliways, writing a note to Havelock, he would give you a strange look indeed. And possibly hex you!
December 22nd, 2009
Tom is out by the lake today, not because he enjoys tromping about in the snow, but because Ingress wanted to give the squids a Christmas present. It was wrapped very nicely in a box that smelled vaguely of the ocean. Tom doesn't really want to know what it is, as the possibilities are slightly terrifying. But he does want to be with Ingress should anything go amiss, what with Milliways being Milliways.
He can see her out on the ice of the lake now, a blot of bright blue and purple against the white. If she falls through, Mr. Julia will retrieve her, but that is a slim possibility. It's winter in Scotland. That ice is thick.
He casts another warming charm and adjusts his green and gray scarf to cover more of his face. Blast this wind. He'll have wind-chapped cheeks if he's not careful.
March 22nd, 2009
They have firm directions, and the sun is now directly over their heads as Tom, Alec, and Laura make their way up and over one small hill after another, as the ground rises to the foot of the mountains. The way is very rocky now, and Tom has startled more than once as sliding rock moved under his horse's hooves. Going downhill on a horse is a daunting task, even if the dips are less intense than the inclines.
He is riding in the rear, letting the two younger rescuers go ahead. They're doing quite fine without his help, after all. He's still smarting a bit from the encounter with the shepherdess. He'd like to see Alec charm his way through the Underside. It's much easier to locate lost people there; he's had to do it a time or two. Or maybe it's ridiculously difficult, but Tom has the knack for working amidst chaotic magic. It's silly, he knows, to feel glum about such things.
At least he brought the tent. He also has actual experience dealing with dragons. And he's the bloody Lord of the House of Arch, and he has, in fact, kicked ass and taken names on more than one occasion.
He's roused from his sulk by the irregular movement of something in the trees before them. It doesn't look like birds.
March 14th, 2009
There is more riding through countryside, and mountains loom closer. The road is less discernible now, more of a path now. There is no sight of a dragon, though, and many fewer people to ask about sightings.
Tom isn't worried, per se, but time is ticking by, and he will rescue the King and his friend. He owes Amy nothing less.
"You know, I think we're far enough away from any large concentrations of people to, ahem, ask around about the dragon. If we see anyone else."
There's a village not too far away, nestled into the foothills of the mountains. Maybe a half day's ride?
"And no, you needn't say 'I told you so'."
March 12th, 2009
It's not long past their vaguely harrowing encounter with the Knight on the bridge that Tom calls a halt in the progress. It's getting too dark for the horses to see, and he's hungry. And tired. Don't forget the tired. The other two could go on for hours, he can tell, and they are welcome to it. He wants to be awake, alert, and ready for their trip into the mountains the next day.
He's also ready for a nice long soak in the tub and a soft bed. He's so pleased to have the Wizarding tent along.
It's not hard to set up camp. Tom removes the bag in which the tent is rolled, spreads it out on level ground, and waves his wand. The tent pitches itself.
From the outside it looks like a canvas tent that would maybe sleep two adults fairly comfortably. Inside is a working kitchen, hot and cold running water, two bedrooms, and a snug living room. The tent is, quite possibly, one of the best purchases he ever made.
"There, we're ready. Laura, you have the hamper from the royal kitchens? I'm famished."
March 11th, 2009
|07:48 pm - On the Road Past Litchlea|
There is still a great deal of damage to the Ambergeldan countryside from the storms a while back. Tom is surprised to discover this as they ride along the road to Litchlea. Perhaps even fairy tale countries must suffer, sometimes. Perhaps the bitter with the sweet is what keeps them fairy tale countries.
Litchlea itself is a bustling place with a fine tavern in which they are served the best once Tom shows his letter of safe conduct. It is embossed with the royal seal in wax on one side of the envelope, and Amy's hand-written letter inside with a signature. So far, Tom has merely had to show the seal, and no questions have been asked.
Once they leave the city, the road becomes rougher and the shadows longer. Tom is glad for his fur-lined cloak, pulling it from a saddlebag and wrapping it around himself. Of course, he's also glad for the warming charm and the hourly healing charms he casts on his aching knees.
Bloody horseback riding.
March 8th, 2009
|01:54 pm - The Rescue Party Departs|
Of all the rescues and forays into other worlds that Tom has been a part of, this one is by turns the least worrisome and the most. Ambergeldar should not be a land where its sovereign can be abducted, least of all by a dragon. For all the times that Amy has been there for Tom and his family, he wouldn't miss being here for her.
He's worried about her, even as Lord Stefan, a likely looking fellow, keeps an eye not only on his Queen, but on the rescue party, as well. Good man.
The rescue party is worth keeping an eye on. He hasn't worked with Laura in such a way, but if he trusts her with Ingress, he can trust her here. He doesn't know Alec, Parker's friend, and Laura's- are they friends? He can't quite tell. Tom prefers to know what he's getting into, but surely, surely tracking a dragon down in the land of Ambergeldar will not be so very difficult, even with some unknown quantities.
If only there were no horses, involved...
"I can't see why you lot won't just sidecar Apparate with me. It's perfectly safe."
He pauses, barely perceptibly. He hasn't tried to Apparate here, and Opening is a little iffy. He can't find the doors as easily here. Temple and Arch, different worlds' magical systems wreak havoc with his powers.
"Alright, it's mostly safe. In any case, we'd be in the mountains in a moment, and then we could track this dragon down quickly instead of trudging over land for what, a week?"
He stares at the mountains. They seem very far away, but having used magical shortcuts all his life, it's difficult to say.
September 15th, 2008
|07:33 pm - Scary Threads for Halloween Podcast|
List the scariest/most chilling/creepiest threads in Millihistory for this October's Halloween-themed podcast. You can list as many as you like, and in or out of Milliways. These comments are screened to BUILD SUSPENSE!
Please let me know why the threads spooked you out! It will make the podcast much more personalized for what you read and shivered over.
ETA: Oops, if at all possible please also give me a link and/or the date (or at least the year) so I can, you know, find these threads all historical-like.
May 3rd, 2008
The last time he'd been in the presence of the rose, Tom had been exhausted and ill. He had not been able to hear the song, to feel the vibrations that had affected River and Anthy so. Black 13 had clouded his senses with darkness so cloying he thought it would never lift. Nor did he wish it to do so.
To my surprise, and my delight, I saw sunrise, I saw sunlight
There are places in which Tom feels most contented - the meadow in London Below where the family goes flying, the family rooms in the House of Arch, their cottage in Brittany. He fits in those places. He feels utterly himself there, and utterly loved, faults and all.
I am nothing in the dark and the clouds burst to show daylight
He closed his eyes in the last moments of stepping through his door, in fear, partly, of opening them and feeling the dizziness, the ache in his head, the repulsion he'd experienced during his first visit. When he opens them-
The sun will shine on this heart of mine
There is a rose. It is just a rose. Dusky red and full-petaled, like the ones in his favorite courtyard, but so much more.
And I realise cannot live without, come apart without it
He knows he fits here. He knows in the core of his being that he has come out on the other side, and, finally, he hears the song.
At full tilt, and in full flight, defeat darkness, breaking daylight
He hears the voices of those he loves in the song. The vibrations, the humming tingles up and down his spine, and he feels the magic, the doorways around him, the unlimited possibilities. He stands, as once before, between a gunslinger and a girl before the rose, and this time...
Slowly breaking through at daylight
Oh, this time...
Slowly breaking through at daylight
"I didn't know. I never- I didn't- It's so..."
Slowly breaking through at daylight
Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Ostium of the House of Arch, smiles, struck dumb with joy.
February 14th, 2008
|08:00 pm - Valentine's Day Schmoop|
Letters written (but never delivered) late in the night after Tom met Door.
Dear Miss Door,
I enjoyed meeting you this evening. We should see each other again soon. Meet me at the bar tomorrow evening. I will make it worth your while.
(This letter was Incendio'd several minutes later.)
Dear Miss Door,
I enjoyed speaking with you this evening. I can't say I've had such an interesting conversation with anyone in quite some time. I find I can't return to my own time and place from here, so I'll be waiting about the bar if you'd like to meet again.
(This one was crumpled up, straightened magically, crumpled up again, and finally, after considerable thought, Incendio'd.)
If I don't see you again, I don't know what I'll do.
(This one was destroyed before the ink dried.)
He didn't write a another letter that night, but he certainly waited about the bar to see her again.
January 6th, 2008
July 10th, 2007
July 9th, 2007
February 24th, 2007
|07:34 pm - Door's birthday|
Tom woke up early to put the finishing touches on Door's birthday present.
By the time he's done, a bit more time has passed than he planned. The cottage in Brittany is not set up for much magical experimentation, after all.
He wraps his gift with a wave of the wand and ventures into the kitchen, looking for the birthday girl.
She's eating a croissant and having some tea when he bursts in, singing "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday my beautiful, lovely, ravishing Dooooor, happy birthday to yooooou!"
He kneels on one knee before her and hands her the gift. He is an incredibly silly, cheerful mood this morning, and there is no one in the cottage but the two of them.
January 27th, 2007
Reply here and I will:
1)Tell you why I first approached you.
2)Associate you with a song/movie.
3)Tell a random fact about you.
4)Tell my favorite memory of you.
5)Associate you with an animal/fruit.
6)Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7)In return, you MUST spread this questionnaire amongst the patrons.
January 17th, 2007
What's the worst thing someone could do?
Be like I once was.
What's the worst thing someone could do to you?
Hurt my family and friends.
What's the worst thing that could happen to you?
I'd say this summer pretty much took me to that place.
What's the worst thing someone could say about a person?
What's the best thing someone could say about a person?
Are men and women basically different?
*stare* Well, yes.
Which is better, to be a woman or to be a man?
A man, of course.
What can men do that women can't do?
*shifty* Lots of things.
What can women do that men can't do?
Is it possible to change genders?
With the Polyjuice Potion, certainly.
How old is old enough to have sex?
Is it wrong to have sex if you're unmarried?
Is it wrong to have sex with someone other than your spouse if you're married?
I'd not do such a thing, but I can't say it's wrong.
Is it wrong to have sex with a person of the same gender?
Is it wrong to have sex with a person of a different race (or a different intelligent non-human species)?
Is it wrong to have more than one sexual partner at the same time?
Is it wrong to have sex with someone you don't love?
What are the responsibilities of a mother toward a child?
To take care of and protect the child and love it unconditionally.
What are the responsibilities of a father toward a child?
The same. Fathers should also be proud of their children.
What are the responsibilities of a child toward a parent?
To listen and respect the parent.
Which should be more important to you, your parent or your child?
Which should be more important to you, your parent or your spouse?
Which should be more important to you, your child or your spouse?
I... can't choose.
Is it wrong to have a child if you're unmarried?
Is abortion wrong?
Is contraception wrong?
Bloody hell, I hope not.
Is there one true religion?
Does a deity or deities exist?
I've met a couple in Milliways. Whether one exists for me personally, I can't say.
How important is it to believe in a deity or deities?
As important as you want it to be.
How important is it to actively practice your religion?
Not very? I don't know.
Does magic exist?
Of course it does.
Is practicing magic wrong?
*blank stare* What kind of questionnaire is this?
Is killing always wrong?
Is war always wrong?
How old is old enough to fight in a war?
I suppose 18.
Is rape always wrong?
I think it must be.
Is torture always wrong?
Is theft always wrong?
Is slavery wrong?
Is lying wrong?
Lying which hurts people close to you, yes.
Is swearing wrong?
December 22nd, 2006
|10:10 pm - A Failed Attempt|
It’s ridiculous advice, he thinks. Stripping? To shock someone out of a curse? Ludicrous.
But as Tom steps into the bedroom and sees papers spread out all over his side of the bed whilst Door clacks about, he decides he might as well… give it a try.
Awkwardly he loosens his tie. “Door?”
“Hmm?” she says, not looking up.
Tom switches on his wireless. A Weird Sisters song plays, and he recalls the sights and sounds of The Witch’s Tit strippers on ‘Dora’s Hen Night.
Temple and Arch, I can’t do this, his mind shrieks.
Nervously he takes off his tie and flings it on the bed.
“Honey, if you're going to change, maybe you should shower first?” Door says, glancing at Tom. “And will you please turn the music down? I'm trying to balance the accounts.”
He tries to step in time to the music whilst tugging off his shirt in what he hopes is a sexy way. However, in his nervousness he forgets to undo his cufflinks. He flings the shirt off, but he gets rather tangled and ends up, well, flapping a bit.
“Tom, I'm serious,” says Door, looking up, but not really seeing him. “And if you'd unfastened your cufflinks this whole thing would go much more quietly.”
Tom sulks and switches off the wireless. He unfastens his cufflinks in defeat. “I knew it wouldn't work,” he mutters.
“What, removing your shirt without unfastening the cuff links?”
“Never mind.” He throws his shirt over the chair.
Her eyes dart to the shirt. “I know that isn’t going to remain there.” Then she goes back to her spreadsheets.
He picks up the shirt and stuffs it into the hamper. Once he changes into his green silk pajamas, he climbs into bed. He scoops up the papers in the way and hands them to Door first. Then he lies back, sits up, and watches the laptop over her shoulder. “May I play a game of Minesweeper?”
Door frowns. “Give me ten minutes?”
Tom sinks back onto the pillows, thoroughly miserable.
December 20th, 2006
Door's gotten worse. She has something she calls a fax machine now, and it whirs and flashes at all hours. She keeps a death grip on the Blackberry and the laptop is very rarely out of her lap.
Tom is still convinced the answer to her bewitchment lies within the mechanical devices she's surrounded herself with. So he waits until she passes out from exhaustion in her study. Using a Summoning charm, he retrieves the laptop from her grasp and retreats to a corner of the room. He doesn't want to leave her on her own, especially now that he's stolen the computer away.
He flips the lid and pokes the screen with his wand, leaving that strange, wavering mark. "Revalare," he hisses. Door stirs in her sleep, reaching out and clutching the Blackberry to her chest like a teddy bear.
Tom casts a Muffling charm so he can continue his examination without taking a risk of waking her.
The computer answers the magical command by popping up the Start menu. Tom raises an eyebrow and moves his finger along the touchpad as he's seen Door do the past few days. The arrow follows his finger as he mutters, "My documents, programs, settings, search- aha."
He clicks on Search and another menu pops out with gibberish options. Tom frowns and decides searching for curses might not be so easy on the dread machine.
He begins randomly clicking through different menus and options, scanning what appears on each one and trying to make sense of this non-sensical thing.
At some point in the wee hours of the morning, he stumbles upon the Games menu. Curious, he clicks the one menacingly named Minesweeper. Perhaps this is Muggle terminology for brain modification. He wouldn't be surprised.
But no, as Tom clicks on the boxes and promptly loses the game, it appears to simply be a game. A maddening game. A game which must be beaten.
Door awakes, startled from sleep by a dream in which she was running through a board room dressed like a street person with a giant pie graph chasing her, its 4th quarter gains chomping at her frayed skirt.
Her eyes widen with alarm once she focuses on the sight of her husband touching her beloved computer. "TOM!" she shrieks, "Let got of it!!! Put my computer down!"
"I have to win one more game," Tom says, his eyes bloodshot and glassed over. "Just one more game."
A struggle ensues. Door, having had more sleep than Tom and even more motivation to gain back her darling machine, prevails. "Get your own laptop, Tom Riddle," she scowls, fiercely clutching the computer to her chest.
Tom stands, clothes rumpled from sitting in a chair and hardly moving all night. With dignity he turns on heel and storms over to the painting. "Maybe I shall," he says and disappears through.
It's at times like these that Tom wishes for doors to slam.
December 18th, 2006
Something is terribly amiss. Door is so far from her normal self it's beginning to frighten him. She's on the bloody computer every spare moment, and when she's not on the computer, she's on this small, diabolical device she calls a 'Blackberry'. He checked them both for traces of magic of any kind, but neither registered anything at all.
Tom is not amused. She's ignoring him, and while he understands she enjoys her work, this has gone beyond the heights of overwork the summer he nearly lost her. If it was just fascination with a new gadget or project, he'd understand. He certainly could become wrapped up in a problem to solve, after all.
But this? This was different.
For one thing, he highly expected that the last time they were intimate, Door's throes of passion were not... genuine. Even worse, right afterwards, she turned to the Blackberry to clack out some feverish message. They were a passionate, imaginative couple. Even when things were strained between them, nothing like that had ever happened.
He walks into their bedroom and is surprised to see Door not at either of her new contraptions. Instead she's standing in front of his wardrobe, staring at his... suits?
November 1st, 2006
Hallowe'en night wasn't so busy that Tom couldn't take care of a few errands before returning home. He'd changed his punk raiment into a more sensible jumper and robes (although he kept on the leather pants; they were right comfortable, like a second skin by that point) so he was fit for mixed company.
Since he'd only just figured out the spell to raise the salinity of the water around The Black Pearl per Merriman's suggestion the day before, he decided to head out to the lake for some rum, conversation, and a nice round of spellwork bringing heating charms throughout the ship. Casting about the hull was a bit of a trick after the second round of rum, but Tom was up to the challenge.
On the way back in, Tom knocked on the door of the Tonks-Wrangle flat. When no one came to the door, he passed through the wards and into the flat. He'd owled back and forth with 'Dora earlier. He knew they all might still be in London with her parents, but she'd said for him to drop by if he liked. He wanted to see if the bar played any costume tricks with them. Besides, he hadn't seen Sunny in some time, and he wanted to give her some Honeydukes candy as a Hallowe'en treat.
Sitting down on the sofa, Ellie immediately joined him, resting a blue head on his lap. "Here now, I'm no pillow, the other night not withstanding," he said sternly. He didn't move her away, though.
The living room was downright cozy. Even with all the casting of warming charms, the night air had chilled him through. Now as he leaned back against the cushions, he realized his day had been quite long. He yawned. "Right. Just a few more minutes then, and I'll leave a note and go home. Sound good, Ellie?" He patted her head absently and in doing so, his limbs felt heavier and heavier.
At some point soon after, his eyes closed, and he was walking down an alley near Vauxhall Road. But this alley was Diagon Alley, and it was also the Underside. He passed a war propaganda poster and a kiosk of Daily Prophets, pictures awhirl. It made perfect sense for this to be a place where all three of his worlds came together.
He was here to find someone, but he wasn't sure who. Was it Door? No, she was safe at home. This wasn't one of the nightmares in which he searched wildly through the darkest of places for her.
He stopped, looking round the alley. It kept going on and on, but that made perfect sense, too. The magic thrummed around him, as it often did in the wilder parts of the Underside. Something was coming.
Out of the shadows before him a figure appeared. At first Tom thought it was Door after all, but as the woman stepped forward, he made out her light brown hair and the plain face he knew only from photographs given to him just the year before.
She walked closer, her steps tentative and her face pinched and wary. She was pregnant, and her robes, while clean, were well-mended and of a very old style. Her eyes met his and she started, nearly tripping over a cobblestone.
He hurried to her side, taking her arm, lest she should fall. Taking his mother's arm, for that's surely who this was.
"Tom?" she said, gazing up at him. Her voice quavered with hope.
"Yes," he said, "but not the Tom you hope for, I fear."
She was so young. Temple and Arch, she looked younger than Door, and here she was, as she was before he was born.
"I- I must be dreaming," she said, and she clutched Tom's hand. "You can't be- What's your full name? Do please tell me."
A few moments passed, mother and son frozen in dream time. "Tom Marvolo Riddle," he whispered. "You're Julia, yes? You're my- my mother?"
"I suppose I am," she said, her hand slipping to her stomach in a protective gesture. "I suppose- oh, I suppose you turn out just fine. I've been terribly worried."
"I do, Mother. I turn out just fine," Tom said, watching her worried face relax somewhat.
Fog swirled around their ankles and Tom felt a tug as palpable as that before a Portkey activated. The dream was ending. Julia deHavilland Riddle looked up in surprise. She felt it too.
"Wait, before we go-" She took his hand again, pressing something into his palm. "I'll see you soon, I suspect. But just in case, this is for you. If I don't give it to you now, I'll have to sell it, and I can't bear to part with it that way." She smiled shyly up at him, and then ducked her head.
He was about to speak to his mother, to reassure her, when his eyes opened.
Disoriented, he looked around the darkened room, searching for the alleyway where the dream could continue just a little bit longer. It did not reappear, but he felt something in his clinched fist. He opened his hand to find a signet ring in the center of his palm.
More than a little unnerved, Tom slipped the ring onto the ring finger of his right hand. He completely forgot to leave a note before heading for home.
October 22nd, 2006
Tom's on his way to visit 'Dora, because he's not in the mood to do the work he should be doing (making yet more bloody boring notes on this fiefdom or that barony - Temple and Arch, some of these people's troubles are insipid). He can't go forward in his latest magical experiment since he's has to wait on a potion that needs time for brewing.
God, he's bored. He's itching to do something. Door told him to go find something else to do besides trying to tempt her into skiving off for the day as he wanted to do.
Stupid sense of duty, he thinks as he stops by the bar to order a cup of tea.
He sips it as he heads for the flat. That strange, sweet taste is present again in the tea. Tom finds he doesn't much mind it today. He knocks on the door and then lets himself in. "Anyone home? I'm bored."
October 3rd, 2006
Things progressed so quickly, there was little time to do much but find a room for young Clement, now Lord of the Green Park.
The Bowery was taken. Clement was an orphan, and now he was their fosterling. He could not be their child, of course. Not with the state of politics in the Underside.
This goes against every nurturing instinct they possess. Tom finds it especially harsh. He was an orphan once, after all.
Peter Pevensie at one time offered to help the former Lord of the Green Park, serving as bodyguard. Now Tom hopes he might be able to do more.
He rings the chime on Peter's painting.
August 15th, 2006
Hong Kong placeholder. To be prettied up when I have the time
They're leaving their colonial-styled wizarding hotel and wandering around the Wizarding quarter first, on their way to the Underside.
Um, let's say they had breakfast in the hotel. The alleys are like Diagon Alley - a distinct British stamp upon everything, but you can tell it's China.
They pass by a menagerie with the requisute owls, but also larks, pheasants, and ducks milling about or flying round wicker cages. Tom's not sure if they're used for the post or the dinner table, but they are fine birds.
July 10th, 2006
|10:37 pm - At Ollivander's|
Tom hesitated a moment before reaching for the door handle of Ollivander's Wands. When he'd first come here, he'd been an eleven-year-old socially maladjusted boy determined to force his destiny upon his new world. He hadn't waited patiently for Ollivander to find his wand - Tom began rummaging through boxes on the shelves in his eagerness. He'd ignored the older man's piercing stare, but he'd managed catch himself in time to make a sincere-sounding apology for his actions, blaming his lack of parentage and magical upbringing for the obvious breach in etiquette. He'd wanted a wand so badly, and when Ollivander handed it to him (for, of course, it was the wand specialist who ended up finding his 13 1/2" yew wand with phoenix tail feather core), he'd known at once that it was his.
He opened the door and stepped in, stopping with his back against it as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. Ollivander had gone missing for a time, but he'd seen the advertisement in The Daily Prophet announcing the shop's grand opening. The scent of old cardboard, polish, and wood shavings met his nose. He became aware of the tingle of potential magic. So many wands waiting for something to focus made for quite the psychic vibration.
"Ah, Mr. Riddle," said a creaky voice from somewhere back amongst the shelves. "There you are. Dumbledore said you'd be along soon. I'm surprised it took you so long."
"Yes, Sir, I was- unwell for a time," Tom replied, stepping forward. He was terribly relieved Dumbledore had written Ollivander. His existence was a tricky thing, after all.
"I should say so," Ollivander said, as he shuffled to the counter. "It's never an easy thing to lose a wand, especially in such a way." In response to Tom's look of surprise - his role in the defeat had gone completely unreported, which was fine by him - Ollivander continued, "I know enough of what happened, and what I know is between you, me, and Albus Dumbledore. Now, I thought something in an oak might do for you." He bent down and rustled about behind the counter. When he stood, his arms were full of wand boxes. He handed one to Tom with a wry smile. "I selected a few ahead of time, so you needn't help yourself, I hope."
Tom grinned sheepishly as he took the proffered box. "Sorry about that. I was overeager and quite impolite back then. This time I'll depend on your expertise alone." He opened the box.
"Twelve inches, oak, unicorn tail hair core - nice, sturdy wand, that," said Ollivander. "Good for the more powerful wizards and witches, I've found."
Tom picked it up, knowing that it was rare for your wand to find you on the first go. Sure enough, it wasn't a fit. He could feel the spark of magic within, but it was nothing he would choose to work with. He shook his head and set the wand back in the box.
"Well, well, it was a try. Let's see the next one," Ollivander said, moving it aside and taking off the lid of the next choice. "13 inches, rowan wood, very pliable - good for Transfiguration work."
It was also a wrong fit. So was the third, the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth. Ollivander then moved through the stacks, bringing Tom one wand after the other. All of them either felt completely wrong or had no spark whatsoever.
As Ollivander disappeared into the back shelves once again, Tom began to fret and reminded himself he was absolutely not going to start rummaging through boxes himself. "Is it true that sometimes there simply aren't two wands for one person, that one perfect wand is all you get?" There had been a rather swishy willow wand that hadn't been - bad. It just hadn't been right. He hoped he wouldn’t be reduced to buying it.
"Nonsense, Mr. Riddle. Pure poppycock. Your wand is here. We simply haven't found it yet." He shuffled back to Tom. "I thought perhaps a different wood would be called for, but perhaps not." Ollivander shrugged and handed Tom the box. "Yew, thirteen inches, dragon heartstring core. I don't make many wands out of yew. It's a difficult wood to work with."
The polished wand shone atop the blue velvet lining. It was a darker in color than his old wand, and Tom frowned as he reached to pick it up. It was shorter than his old wand, as well, but it fit his hand perfectly. When he waved it in a trial casting, the power surged through him and connected seamlessly with the focusing element of the wand.
"Oh," Tom said in surprise, as a flight of birds burst in a newly conjured vase on the counter. "I think this one will do."
"Excellent, Mr. Riddle, excellent. I trust a new wand will bring you different prospects this time round?"
"Yes, Mr. Ollivander," Tom said, too entranced by his new wand to put it back into the box. "Much different. Much better."
Ollivander nodded and placed the lid back on the box. The lad wouldn't need it. He doubted the wand would see the inside of a pocket for a few good hours. Sometimes replacement wands didn't quite work the way he'd like them to - this time all expectations were exceeded. This was the match that should have been, but then again, this man didn't exist when Tom Riddle first walked through his doors.
Once Tom had paid the required galleons, he said, “Thank you, Sir. It’s- I believe it might be a better fit than my old one.” He waved it smoothly. It was different, and he’d need to get used to a few details of balance, but Tom was amazed. It had definitely been worth the wait. Yew - the wood of death and rebirth, of transformation and resiliency. It suited him still, and it would serve to remind him.
Ollivander nodded his head. “I believe you are right, Mr. Riddle.”
"I hopefully won't have to return on my own behalf anytime soon. Goodbye, Mr. Ollivander," Tom said, as he walked to the door, wand still in hand. He could hardly wait to try some new enchantments.