Tom Riddle gasped in pain as he awoke from his sleep.
His body was drenched in sweat and his right arm was burning as though a hot iron was being branded onto his wrist.
He reached over to his bedside table and grasped his wand casting a silent lumos as he wrenched back his damp sheets and looked down at his wrist.
Gazing up at him as though they had always been there were three ink black letters and a date.
He put his wand between his teeth so he was able to see clearly as he reached down with his other hand and ran his pale fingers over the ink, trying without success to rub it away.
His wrist began to burn even more as he touched the affronted area, noticing for the first time that it was slightly red around the small symbols as though someone had really branded him.
His brow furrowed. What could it mean? he wondered. He knew of magic tattoos of course, he’d studied them along with all other types of magic, but he’d never heard of a type of magic that appeared on it’s own like this.
Unless, no, they wouldn’t dare. He knew no one would even dare try and do this to him at Hogwarts. He was leader and heir of Slytherin, feared and respected by all those in his house he knew that none of them would even think of trying their magic on him. He was too powerful.
He didn’t think any other students at the school would either, not with him being Head Boy and with all of the student population either afraid, jealous or infatuated with him he knew that it couldn’t be a student who had caused this.
A teacher? He questioned, his brow furrowing even more. He only knew of one teacher that would do something like this to him.
But what would Dumbledore have to gain from this? He thought, staring down once again at the small symbols.
After contemplating the endless possibilities of what they could mean and who or what they came from he decided his best bet would be to head to the library tomorrow morning and find out anything he could.
With a last glance at the symbols, he said a silent Nox before placing his wand once again on his bedside table and laying back down, his eyes staring at the roof of his head boy dormitory before falling into a restless sleep.
Tom cursed inwardly as he closed yet another dead end book and threw it onto a pile that he had made over the entirety of the desk. He noticed a young Ravenclaw witch turn her nose up at his treatment of the book and glared at her, making her scurry off behind some shelves.
Over the last few days Tom’s frustration had grown as he had searched through countless books in the library trying to find any information about magically appearing tattoos, but he was unable to find a single source of information in any book to help him figure out what the symbols on his wrist meant.
He reached for another book in the pile, Wizarding Markings and Runes for Completing Complicated Spells, one of only a few left he hadn’t tried yet. He flicked through the pages ignoring notes on runes and spells used to make specific markings and how to create them. He stopped when he found a small paragraph entitled
Traditional Wizarding Tattoos
This is it! He thought eagerly.
'Often it is very uncommon for Wizards and Witches to be seen with tattoos or any other markings as they are considered very much apart of muggle culture. Most Wizards or Witches who are seen with any type of tattoo or rune like marking are often Muggleborn or Half- Blood, or are working on rune magic. Rune markings are often more distinguishable as they mostly cover the chest and back area and are a repeated pattern of runes used for a spell that have been drawn on by the witch or wizard, and thus often disappear once the spell is complete.
However these tattoos or rune markings are not to be confused with the traditional pureblood custom known as the Soulmate Bond or Soulmate Spell. Which was often cast by traditional pureblood families to ensure their lines did not end. A witch or wizard would cast the spell on a young member of their blood line and when they reached the age of eighteen their soulmates initials would appear on their body as would their own initials appear on their soulmates body. It is unknown what the incantation to cast this spell is as many pureblood families keep it within their own bloodline and often change the spell in some way to be more purposeful such as by bonding the two soulmates together so they will never find love in another only with their Soulmate.'
Tom slowly looked up from the paragraph that he had just read, and glanced down at where the symbols were hidden beneath his school robes. A soulmate bond? That was his only possible explanation, it all fit except for the part about the date, which puzzled him, as it wasn't for another 35 years. But everything else made sense. Today was the date of his birth. His eighteenth year, and all though he never revealed the date to anyone, not even his most loyal followers, someone had to know, someone had to have been aware of who he was as they had cast the spell on him when he was an infant if the book was to be taken as fact.
His first thought was of his mother, but no he knew that she had died during the first few minutes after child birth, that she had only lived long enough to tell the midwife what his name was. He knew of no one else who could have cast the spell, except...
The book had said that Traditional Pureblood families would often cast the spell on their decedents to ensure the line continued on, so what if it wasn’t his mother who had cast the spell, but instead his original ancestor, Salazar Slytherin himself?
Quickly he shut the book and jumped up from his table in the library, with a flick of his wrist the books that were on his table got sent back to their places on the shelves and he was off through the door.
He strode purposefully through the halls, ignoring the stares and whispers and glad that he was so feared and adored that they moved out of the way for him.
He came to a stop in front of the entryway to the Head Dorms where a portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin sat side by side, one reading and the other staring at the hall in silent contemplation.
“Password?” Rowena Ravenclaw said without looking up from her book.
“I’m not here to get in, I need to talk to Salazar Slytherin, it’s about important house information” Tom stated firmly, keeping his voice low so those students still dawdling through the hall didn’t hear him and lag behind to hear what was so important the Head Boy had to talk to a portrait about.
Salazar didn’t show any indication that he had heard him or was interested to hear what he had to say, just continued on staring into nothing. Tom’s frustration grew, but he knew Salazar had probably spent years dealing with annoying students pestering him about questions he had no interest in, and probably thought Tom was just the same as them, an eager Slytherin student keen to learn some secrets.
Knowing what he needed to do but frustrated that people were still around Tom turned to the last students in the hallway, two Hufflepuff girls who were leaning against the wall giggling and casting nervous glances at Tom.
He glared at them eyes narrowing dangerously, “If you two babbling fools do not leave this passage and go to your class I will take 15 points, from each of you” he snapped.
At the look on the Head Boy’s face and the threat of loosing house points they quickly scurried off to their class without another look in Tom’s direction. He waited until he was sure they were out of ear shot and that no one was hiding in the shadows before he spoke to the portrait again.
“I want to know, did you cast the Soulmate Spell on your bloodline!” He spat in un distinguishable hisses to anyone else that was listening.
Rowena Ravenclaw’s eyes widened at his use of Parseltounge, as she lowered her book and looked between Salazar and Tom a hint of curiosity in her eyes. Salazar eyes finally locked with Tom as if noticing he was there for the first time. Tom watched impatiently as the old wizards hand came up to his long white beard and began twirling it around his pale fingers.
It was a moment before he spoke,
“Rowena leave us, I need to speak with this student alone” he said in horse voice not even looking at Rowena as he spoke, his eyes still fixed with Tom’s as if searching for deception.
Rowena looked as if she was about to protest before she huffed loudly and glared at them both, then closing her book with a loud snap she stood and walked out of the left side of the portrait, Tom saw her striding through the other portraits down the Hall.
“You are a descendant of mine?” Salazar questioned speaking for the first time to Tom and in Parseltounge, his fingers still twisting around his beard in interest.
“Yes, I am your Heir” Tom hissed back.
Salazar simply nodded in response, Tom seethed inwardly as he had to repeat his question, not used to having to do so for anyone.
“I want to know if you cast the soulmate spell on our bloodline, and if you altered it in any way?” He questioned, trying to keep his tone as undemanding as possible, knowing that he would get no where if Salazar decided he didn’t like being demanded of.
“Why do you wish to know?” The portrait questioned, eyes narrowing slightly.
Although most students would be in the Great Hall eating breakfast before class started, Tom looked left and right down the passage way, making sure once again that their were no curious eyes. All he needed was some snivelling Gryffindoor first year to go to Dumbeldore and tell him that they’d seen him speaking parseltounge and he would have Dumbeldore watching his every move even more so than usual.
He held up his right arm and pulled up his sleeve just enough to show his wrist, displaying the small inked symbols to the ancient wizard.
Salazar smirked stopping his twirling of his beard momentarily.
“It is good to see my magic still has influence even centuries after I am gone”
“So you did do this?” Tom said accusingly lowering his arm back down and glaring at the face of the stupid smirking portrait.
“Yes, yes I did, I needed to ensure that my line would continue, that my magic would never be gone!” He said, eyes flashing, much in a way that Tom’s own did.
“So these initials, they are the initials of my”… he paused as if he couldn’t quite speak the words… “my soulmate then?” he spat the last part as if it was a bitter taste, trying not to sneer at the portrait who had caused this mess.
“Yes” the portrait said simply, his hands resuming the twirling of his beard once again.
Tom cursed at the thought, how could he, the Dark Lord!, have a soulmate? He was not someone who had a soulmate, he was not someone who felt such things as love and emotion. No this would not do at all.
He looked back to the portrait who had seemed to have resume his silent brooding from before.
“How can I change this, how can I get rid of it?” he hissed to the portrait
“There is no undoing it, those markings will remain on you until you have found your soulmate and both of you have accepted one another”
This time Tom couldn’t hold back the anger that played on his features as a snarl escaped his lips,
“What am I to do then, this was not part of my plan, this was your doing!” he growled.
Salazar glared at him, “I thought as my descendant you would be more intelligent" he said snidely
"You have to find her, and accept her, there is nothing else to be done, whatever plans you had, she is now apart of them to” Salazar stated as if it was obvious.
Tom cursed, all last remaining hope of fixing the curse and getting rid of the fucking symbols died at those words. He glared back at the portrait remembering what else the passage in the book had said about some families altering the spell in different ways.
“Did you change the spell in any way, is there anything else that I should know about this fucking spell?” Tom seethed at the portrait. He was loosing his patience quickly with the ancient wizard. This wasn’t supposed to happen, he wasn’t supposed to have a soulmate, it was supposed to be him in charge of the world, wizarding and muggle alike, not with another by his side. Especially not one dictated by his centuries dead ancestor!
The portrait did not look at him when he spoke this time, but instead resumed starring into nothing, as if remembering the times he had once uttered the spell.
“Yes, I altered the spell to not only identify the initials of your soulmate, but to deter you from any other Witch, you will only find her interesting, captivating, all others will seem beneath you -
Tom opened his mouth to tell the portrait that all were beneath him, but the portrait continued without being interrupted
- but that is not all. My bloodline is one of the most powerful left in the world, I was not going to allow just anyone to be the soulmate of my descendants. So again I altered the spell to match the person to them who was not just compatible mentally and physically but also magically, someone who was also as powerful as that witch or wizard of my line, to ensure that my line stayed the most powerful. And so I knew that to do that I would have to cross boundaries into time, that is why the date now appears with the initials. It is the date of the soulmates birth.”
Tom stood their feeling shocked. The date of the witches birth? He hadn’t expected that!
“But it says 1979, thats not for another 35 years! How is it possible that a witch born in 35 years time is my supposed soulmate?” He hissed fighting the urge not to blast the portrait to splinters and then burn it to ash.
The portrait Slytherin glared at him, not used to being spoken to in such a way even if it was his own descendant.
“You think I am foolish? He asked, pointing a weathered wrinkly old finger at him.
Tom did not answer but only waited for the portrait to continue his explanation of his ancient spell work. After what seemed like hours, and Tom was about to demand if he ever intended on finishing his explanation Slytherin continued.
“I knew that by crossing boundaries of time by matching those of my line with the most compatible to them in the entire universe that age would be an issue. If one was born in one time and the other in another time it would not work. So until your soul mate is born and is of the age you are now you to will not age.”
Tom couldn’t help the grin that graced his features, a rare occurrence for it being real and not fabricated to charm some teacher or witch. He would not age! Not at least for another 53 years it seemed, but his grin faltered, there had to be more, he knew all to well that it was never as that simple as that convenient that he was gifted with an extra forty years of youth and life.
He frowned up at the portrait, eyes narrowing in accusation.
“What happens if I don’t find this witch, this soulmate” he asked cautiously.
Salazars eyes hardened.
“You will find your soulmate and continue the bloodline, the bond will ensure you to forever be entwined in fate, however if you reject her then you will die and so will she.” He hissed, his eyes flashing dangerously.
Tom sneered.“So to continue the bloodline you made the spell for your descendants to die if they don’t accept their soulmate, how does that continue your line if they are all dead?”
Salazar rose from his wooden throne his eyes locked with Tom’s.
“If my descendant chooses to disobey my legacy, my magic then they are not of my blood they are Not. My. Heir!” He spat at Tom leaning as far forward as he could.
Tom hissed under his breath, “And what if she rejects me?”
“Then the same will happen, one cannot live without the other” He spoke in a whisper like hiss, sitting back down on his wooden throne.
At this Tom promptly stalked away, knowing that if he stayed any longer he would indeed burn the portrait to ash.
He walked out of the front gates, ignoring the fact that class started 10 minutes ago. He had potions with Slughorn anyway and he had the professor so tightly wrapped around his finger that he could probably be gone for a month and Slughorn would still be fine with it. He strode towards the black lake, its dark murky depths ripping slightly as creatures from below swam close to the surface. He walked along the edge of the lake towards the forbidden forrest away from the castle ensuring that no one could see or hear him.
His mind was whirling with the information he had gained and his mind kept replaying the words ‘One could not live without the other’. What was he going to do? His plans, his desires all seemed squashed with the information of this spell. No this curse'.
On one positive note he didn’t have to deal with the issue for the next 53 years and in that time he wouldn’t age. Which meant he had that time to establish himself as the leader of the Wizarding world, gaining more power and followers whilst he still had his charm and allure that seemed so often to fade with age. But on the other hand he now had the problem of his soulmate.
He had never once thought about love or witches in that way. He had only used them to fuck occasionally when he was board or frustrated with his lack of progress. But they never were anything to him. He couldn’t help but slightly wonder what she would be like, 'if she was supposedly as powerful as Slytherin had said, could she best him? No, nobody could do that, not even someone who was magically compatible to him. He was above everyone.'
He flicked his wrist accioing a flat round stone towards him and then skimming it across the water, watching it bounce far too many times than what was normal before sinking into the inky black depths of the lake.
He knew he would never tell his followers about the spell. He wouldn’t let them know of why he remained as young as he was, he wouldn’t let them know that there was another who was like him, someone that could be used as a weakness. He wouldn't allow it.
His anger spiked. But what could he do if she refused him? He doubted that she would, there wasn’t one female in the whole school that didn’t swoon after him, but what if she was the exception?
He glared, using his wand to pick up another stone and hurl it as far as it would go across the lake before watching it splash down into the water.
“NOOO!” he screamed. He turned his wand to the nearby trees, firing curse after curse at them, never once uttering a sound. The only noise the blasting of the trees as they were smashed, torn, teared and burnt to splinters and ash. Finally after no trees remained in the vicinity around him he heaved out a deep breath.
He would not succumb to some ancient spell, he was the most powerful dark wizard to ever have lived and nothing would stop him from achieving his goals, not even some stupid soulmate.
He accioed another stone as a plan started forming in his mind.
‘Yes’ he thought grinning as he sent the stone skimming over the water like the first.
He would use this time to establish himself as the darkest wizard to have ever lived. That would not change. Nothing would stop him in achieving that goal. And when the time came he would find his soulmate, and train her, she would be his second another one of his followers, his most loyal. He would mould her from the very start, teaching her to be what he wanted.
And if she did reject him, well he would have other ways to cheat death. He watched as the stone sunk down into the water like the others.
At that he grinned.