He never could remember what he was dreaming about that fateful morning. He didn’t know if it was a pleasant dream, a nightmare, or if he was even dreaming at all. What he did know is that the day was beginning like so many others had before. With a gasp and a sputter, he woke up, and felt the wetness of his sheets and the mattress and his clothes… everything!
“Hey! Look, Tommy wet his bed again!”
Morris. It was always Morris. Tommy didn’t even need to open his eyes. He wouldn’t have even needed to hear the voice to know whose it was. Morris Smythe. At least once a week he found it to be so very funny to do this. Slowly, Tom opened up his eyes and there above him stood Morris with a bucket in his hands, laughing at poor little Tommy. If looks could kill, Morris would have been dead ages ago, but they didn’t, and he wasn’t. Too bad really.
Wordlessly, Tom got up and cleaned up as best he could. The orphanage wouldn’t be doing laundry for a couple more days, so he would just have to hope that the bed would dry during the day, but as humid as it was, that wasn’t terribly likely. His eyes closed to slits, Tommy stomped off to the bathroom to get ready for another meaningless day. He had no more than gotten into the shower and gotten himself soaped up though, when he heard a “flush” and the water in the shower turned burning hot in an instant. But, he didn’t shout, he didn’t scream. He wasn’t going to give whoever thought he was that smart the satisfaction of shouting.
Breakfast didn’t look to be any better either. The same old watery oatmeal, the same old dry toast, no butter or jam. The usual thin juice. The way the day had been going, Tommy wasn’t in the least bit surprised when Morris clomped down across from him. “Hey! Tommy! You don’t look like you are hungry!” With that, Morris reached across and pulled Tommy’s breakfast over in front of him. Without thinking, Tom leaped over the table, putting his hands around Morris’ throat. He’d had enough, today, yesterday and for the years that he had been in this cesspool they called on orphanage. The rage boiled up inside of him, the hatred, the anger of a thousand slights, and he went after his tormentor. But, the result was the same as it was every time before. Morris was three years older, and quite a bit larger. He just laughed and ripped Tom’s hands from around his throat, and shoved him backwards, and Tommy sprawled back and hit his head on the next table over with a loud thump.
Finally, with this bit of noise, the matron looked up from her crossword puzzle, and frowned at Tom and Morris, and then returned to her puzzle, not a word said. Tom wasn’t surprised, she never said or did much of anything. The only thing she ever said was “be quiet”. She was more concerned with figuring out a 6 letter word for a type of meat that started with an “M” than she would be if her charges were committing murder.
At least it was a Saturday though. So, after breakfast, he didn’t have to go and listen to the teacher drone on about the Yorks and the Lancasters. Instead, he was able to go out into the yard, and hopefully be alone for a time. He wandered out onto the rather grubby grounds. Weeds shot up through what was supposed to be grass, and the playground equipment was old, rusted and generally unsafe to even look at, much less play on. Still though, what brought Tom out to the garden wasn’t all of that, but instead in a corner at the far end. He didn’t know when he had begun to do this, but it seemed like it had been most of his life. As he sat in the corner, he watched a small hole in the ground, and after a moment he saw a small green shape wriggle out of the hole.
“Hello” he said to the snake. “I tell you, I’m going to slit his throat, I swear it. I don’t care if it takes twenty years, fifty years, but he will...”
Tom didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence before he felt a ball hit him in the back of the head.
“Hey! Look, Tommy is talking to the snake again! What’s the matter Tommy? Don’t have any friends other than your “pet””?
However, before Tom could retort, the matron walked out to him
with a rather puzzled look on her face. She handed him an envelope,
and turned and walked away before she forgot “mutton”. Tom looked
at the envelope curiously. He knew what it was, but he didn’t recall
ever getting one before. He opened it, and read the strange words.
“You have been accepted to Hogwarts Academy of Wizardry and Witchcraft.”
The news should have shocked him. Wizardry? Witchcraft? Nonsense!
Yet, even as he read the words, somehow they touched something in his blood,
he knew that it was true, and that he would go there. Oh, yes, he
would go there. With a cold, snakelike smile, he held the letter
in his hands. Oh, he would go, and he would learn, yes he would learn.
He would finally have the power to do as he will. He would be able to get
his revenge on those who had tormented him.. They would regret the
day they ever heard the name Tom Marvolo Riddle.