He knew what it was. And he knew what it looked like too, if Amy Benson’s hoard of female playmates was anything to go by. But Tom Riddle did not need it. He had managed just fine on his own thus far- besides, he could talk to snakes, and what more did one need? So as Tom reassured himself for the thousandth time that night, while he channeled his power into this single, irrational desire, he was not asking for a friend at all; no, he was merely testing the limit of his powers, and the full extent of what his gift could grant.
Yes, for Tom could make things move at will. He could make the animals do what he wanted. Even more recently, he discovered he could cause others pain if they hurt or annoyed him. But Tom wanted to find out just how far his power could go… just how far he could push himself, especially if he wanted something that wasn’t immediately within his grasp. So no, it wasn’t as though Tom actually wanted someone to be his friend. He didn’t actually want anyone to talk to, share his bedroom with, or, God forbid, someone to actually play with outside. No. Tom had long ago realized how pathetic it was to rely on anyone, least of all something as demeaning as friends. No, Tom was merely curious as to whether he could have a person to be his friend, whether or not he could find someone who was, presumably, compatible with himself, and then bring them to him—yes, and surely that was the only reason he was even asking for it in the first place.
It was quite a shock when something actually happened. Not that Tom didn’t believe his powers would work; on the contrary, he just didn’t expect anything to happen quite so soon…or so dramatically either. He might have expected another orphan to be dropped off in the coming days, or perhaps an existing orphan he had not already scared away would come to his side the next morning… to be honest, Tom wasn’t quite sure what he had expected his power to do with such an ambiguous request. Therefore, it was quite a startling experience to see a blinding flash of white light sweep through his room, and then a child no older than himself drop softly at the end of his bed.
Sitting there gaping was slightly unbecoming of Tom, so he closed his mouth, and after a few moments of observation in a tense, quiet excitement, a small smirk appeared on his lips. It actually worked. His power had actually granted him a person. Unlikely and impossible as it first seemed, it had taken an actual boy, presumably from his home and away from his family, and handed him, quite literally, over to Tom.
After a few more moments of shock and staring, and when he was sure the other boy was still asleep, Tom examined the strange child who had appeared before him, curled up in a tiny ball at Tom’s feet. He was a scrawny child, small and pale, with striking black hair that was half wild and sticking up in all directions. He also noticed he was wearing clothes far too big for him and wondered whether it was a personal choice or some kind of special sleepwear. He didn’t snore, for which Tom was thankful of. But as he watched the boy sleeping, he noticed he seemed to be dreaming, curling on tighter and shivering, occasionally gasping for air.
As Tom watched in mild fascination, his thoughts drifted to how he should approach the situation. Convincing Mrs. Cole to take in another boy would not be an issue. Tom’s room was still lacking a roommate, after all, and if he played his cards right, he was sure he could convince the old hag that one more boy wouldn’t make too much of a difference.
The real problem was what to tell the boy. Would he protest? Would he put up a fight and want to go back home? Should he tell the child straightaway that he was going to live in an orphanage now, and that he really had no choice since Tom had technically summoned him and thus, was technically his? The child likely already had a family, who would wake up in the morning to find their son missing. They would probably call the police, and the resulting investigation could lead them back to the orphanage… in which case the boy would return home, and Tom would be left alone once again...no, that wouldn’t do.
But first. He needed to wake him up.