Chapter 1- The Orphanage

“If you throw that potato, Dennis Benson, you will regret it.”
The hurried footsteps of Ms. McCollum echoed through the canteen, her voice ringing forcefully in the ears of the group of children that were eating their lunch. Their heads turning excitedly between Dennis and Ms. McCollum, waiting to see how this all too common scene would play out, although this happened every other meal time it still provided the children with a rare excitement in their otherwise dull days.

There was one child that did not get sucked into the excitement of the fate of Dennis Benson or the potato that was still held high in his arm. That was a 10 year old black haired boy who stared uninterestedly at his plate. “Potatoes,” he thought to him self, “food of the common man. How could anyone get him self in trouble with the ignorant Scottish girl, McCollum, over a potato. Dennis had surely reached a new level of inanity.”

His fork slid into the overcooked potato and with a grunt he tried to chew on the tasteless substance that the staff, of this downgraded government institution, called food. ”It is not acceptable to expect human being to eat that slob on the plate. Well, then again no one looks at us as human beings anyway.” The boy thought and furrowed his brow slightly. Life in poverty was all that was waiting for him, life shared by millions of others. Just like his name, Tom.

He hated that name, name so common that it was almost hard to remember due to the sheer number of people, normal people, which shared that same dirty name. He had early on denounced the name Tom and demanded, often by force, that people call him Marvolo. That is, until Ms. Cole had told him it came from his mothers family, the mother that had abandoned him in this miserable place, abandoned life without ever caring for him. He was forced to accept the name Tom, but resentment and rage built up every time he heard that indignant name. Not even his last name could be special, Riddle, what kind of name was that? His name could just as well have been a John Smith.

Ms. McCollum now stood over Dennis, her hands crossed over her flat chest, her eyes glaring at the boy who obviously fought an intense internal battle. But as he seemed to decide to buck down and his arm slowly started to lower down. The dark haired boy, that had started, reluctantly so, to watch the scene, although with a clear air of superiority, felt a stabbing disappointment when Dennis seemed to be backing out of what might be a good entertainment. “Throw the damn potato, don’t be a coward.”
Dennis was looking down when suddenly the potato flew out his hand right into the face of astonished Ms. McCollum.

Three things happened simultaneously, all the kids broke out in wild cheering, this was going to be a historical lunch. Dennis looked bewildered, his jaw dropping down, the colour in his freckles fading away. Ms. McCollum started shaking, her fury only matched by the excitement of the children. As she grabbed now sobbing Dennis, he stammered helplessly; “I didn’t, I was putting it down.”
“How do you suppose the potato ended in my face then?”
Ms. McCollum snorted as she pulled him up.
“We are going to see what Ms. Cole will say about this.”

As Dennis was dragged out of the canteen, the kids went into furious discussions about this remarkable event. Dennis Benson was now a hero, a David that had taken on Goliath, although this Goliath was a under nourished petit looking Scottish woman, that did not matter, he had dared to do something no one else had done. This time the black haired boy was also smiling, although he did not consider Dennis a hero. “I did it again, amazing, how does this work, I must do it again.” He thought while he re-lived the moment repeatedly in is head.

He had lived in this pitiful place for almost ten years now, every day of his monotonous life. He still refused to call the orphanage a home. He was sure; beyond doubt that his treacherous mother had run away from his father and that his father would be looking for him, to take him to a better life. It was only matter of time, and time was something he had enough of. Life here at St. Katherine Orphanage was extremely un-interesting, although most of the kids seemed content with life, running around in senseless games, laughing at each other foolishness. Tom on the other hand refused to join in, he just observed from the distance, wondering where his father would be right now, if he was getting close, if this might be the day. But each long day ended and every time he went to bed carving a little line in the back of the headboard. He had gotten the idea from a book, book about a man, stranded on a deserted island. He had marked each day in his cave to keep track of time. Tom liked the idea, liked looking at himself as temporarily stranded in this desert of human intelligence.

The first night after he had read that book he had moved the aged, heavy bed away from the wall. There on the back of the head board some kids that had called this bed theirs, before Tom, had already written and carved into the dark brown oak. Mostly it was dreary phrases such as:
”Nina was here.”
“Johnny’s bed.”
But now, after over three years of carving the approximately one and a half centimeters long lines into the wood, every night, those hollow messages were long lost behind tight grid of lines. One-thousand one-hundred forty three, Tom whispered as he carved the newest line that night, before moving the bed again to the wall.

Tom didn’t pray before going to bed, no matter what Ms. Cole said, there was just no way, that he would pray to some god that had left him in this place. He did, on the other hand get his tin box. That tin box meant more to him than any god. He fetched it from the bottom of his, almost empty, wardrobe and opened it. The joyous feeling he felt when he saw the interior of the box made these dull days worth living. This was his treasure, not a treasure in the conventional sense. He would not be able to get any value for the things in the box, but to him personally those three things were beyond value, priceless.

First of all, the box it self brought him joy, it was the proof of his first achievement. It had been a biscuit box, filled with Danish butter biscuits. They had been meant for desert after the Christmas Eve dinner but as the kids opened some worthless presents, he had snuck into the kitchen, taken the box and hid it outside. The disappointment in face of the other kids as they were told there would be no desert filled Tom with indescribable satisfaction.

For the following month he had eaten two biscuits a day, remembering the sad faces of the other kids as he felt the soft biscuit dough crumble between his teeth. After the box had finished he had not been able to throw it away as originally planned, he had entertained the thought of placing the box under someone’s bed and watch them take the blame. In the end he had decided to keep the box as a sweet memory of his first major achievement.

Since then the box had served as the safe keep of his conquests, so far two more trophies, one a yo-yo which he had picked up as James Trotter ran away crying with his pants wet after Tom had somehow managed to hurt James even without touching him. They had been fighting because James tried to follow Tom behind the small shed on the grounds outside the orphanage. As James seemed to be gaining control of the fight, pinning Tom beneath his unusually big calves, Tom had somehow thrown James of himself and as the rage took control he had walked towards James that lay on the floor screaming in agony. Tom had pushed him up against the shed and whispered.
”Follow me again and I’ll do that while you sleep, every night of your miserable life.” He had let go of him and as James crumbled to the grass, frantically trying to get up to run away his yo-yo, a piece held in high esteem by all the kids, as it was the only yo-yo in the orphanage had fallen out of his pocket. Tom had picked it up and kept it in the biscuit box as a reminder of that beautiful moment. Since then, he had spent many hours contemplating over this incident, wondering how he had managed to throw James of, and why he had been in so much pain.

The second memorandum was an old, worn out, mouth organ. It had been the only thing that silly girl Amy Benson had from her parents. Tom ran his fingers over the rough surface of the mouth organ and a smile emerged on his face as he remembered the day he had acquired it. She had been showing of as so many times before, playing that darn instrument, although she could not keep a simple tune. Every one had gathered around her and watched in awe as some horrible sounds emerged from that metal instrument. Tom stood, as so many times before, a little bit away from the group. He watched as she played that blasted thing she got the respect of every one of the drooling fools in the orphanage. That infuriated Tom and as that happened to him; the mouth organ soared through the air, straight into his hands. This had happened so quickly that the kids were all looking around the wooden box Amy had sat upon while playing. No one thought about looking over to Tom who held the mouth organ deep in his pocked, excited and incredibly happy over this strange incident.

The last object in the box was the smallest, but gave Tom the biggest thrill it was a tiny silver thimble. It had belonged to Mrs. Cole, the annoying obnoxious person that ran this so-called institution. Tom had been in her office waiting for a lecture from her after an argument he had just had with that moron of a boy, Billy Stubbs, which had ended in him throwing Billy of him, into a bookshelf knocking him out for a second or two. Billy claimed that Tom had locked his legs although no one took that seriously. He had been smelling the sherry in the bottle that stood on her desk as she entered the room. She grabbed Tom by the shoulder and pulled him away from the desk.
”Never touch that again, you are way to young, child.” Her words were like a slap in the face for Tom. Child, child, how dared she calling him a child, he was admittedly only ten years old, but that was a hideous way to asses ones place in life. Even the staff here, although three or four times his age, were much more fitting to the adjective child than he was. He was a young adult. As he turned around, ready to snap back at those ridiculous words of that foul woman, he suddenly felt as he was inside her head. He felt as if their minds were connected and that he could control her, just by thinking. He felt for a second as she fought for the control of her mind, but he subdued that with ease and then he started experimenting. He made her kneel before him, tap-dance and act like a dog before he stopped for a moment, pondering what he could make her do as a final token of this marvelous experience, something for him to remember her weak state, her complete helplessness forever.

Then it had dawned upon him. Her thimbles, she collected those stupid thimbles, she had over two-hundred thimbles already. They were arranged in a special shelf behind her desk, neat and orderly rows of fifteen thimbles each. There was one thimble that had a special place; it was a silver thimble with the name of Malaga written on it. It lay on a tiny blue, velvet pillow, inside of a glass box. It was the proof she had of her only vacation abroad. Not many people had the opportunity of traveling abroad and especially not people working in an orphanage. She simply could not stop talking about her wonderful week in this unremarkable city. Tom had long before promised himself never to go to that city. He made her open the box, carefully remove the thimble and give it to him. Then he had her kneeling before him one last time before he let go of the control of her mind.

She had stood there for a second, confusion apparent in her face as she was trying to remember what she was about to say. She had then shrugged her shoulder before starting a lecture about how fighting was a destructive behavior and how rules must be obeyed for a place like this to work. The whole time Tom just stared at her feeling triumphant beyond anything he had ever experienced before.
”How did I do that, I must learn to do that.” He thought, rolling the thimble between his fingers behind his back, while nodding occasionally as Ms. Cole kept talking about the mundane things of the orphanage.

Tom placed the thimble in the box again, looking over the three trophies, feeling revitalized, ready to go to sleep, ready to welcome his father tomorrow, ready to collect even more trophies. He carefully hid the box again before laying down on his useless pillow. Another day finished, maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow.
Voldemort is my past, present and future.