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The Dysfunctional Riddle Family

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Being reborn as an infant was a very strange experience. Those months spent inside his mother’s womb were claustrophobic and even till now he still feels uncomfortable whenever in small spaces. Sometimes he would hear the muffled sound of his mother’s voice, most of the time soothing. Other times, he could hear his mother’s crying and it grated his nerves and made him kick out of frustration.

 

He had thought he was in hell and the voice he heard, that familiar voice, was just another form of torture reserved for him. Whatever other reason could there be for the voice of his nemesis to talk to him softly, to hum lullabies and to cry his name, his muggle name, out in pain and lost than to torture him for all eternity?

 

When he was born in this world, it had been… disturbing, to say the very least. He was just minding his own business, trying to sleep while listening to the Boy-Who-Lived’s humming of a muggle Christmas song when he felt the liquid around him start to disappear. The rest of the event was a blur and he honestly doesn’t want to remember. He rarely remembered those months. The first real memory he had was the feeling of security and relaxation he had in his mother’s arms as his mother whispered a strange lullaby he has never heard before. The fact that the voice sounded so similar to Harry Potter didn’t even register to him.

 

The first time he finally saw his mother though…

 

He almost had a heart attack.

 

He could only stare dumbly as Harry Potter, the bane of his existence, smiled and kissed him softly, whispering such sentimental nonsense that he feared he would actually throw up.

 

He had gotten used to the idea of being reborn as an infant. He was already making plans on continuing his goals.

 

He had even gotten used to the fact that his name was ‘Thomas’. It was only a minor consolation that his mother never called him ‘Tom’ since he loathed his muggle name. It was either ‘Thomas’, ‘my dear Thomas’ or ‘my darling’ and he found out he was okay with that. 

 

But being slapped by the fact that his ‘mother’, the one who gave birth to him, was Harry Potter pretty much screwed all of his plans.

 

He had planned on making his mother’s life miserable back then.

 

But having to spend his infant days in Harry Potter’s arms, being coddled and taken care of… was pleasing…

 

The idea that one person’s entire life revolved around his wishes and desires stroke the lonely child he had so painfully hidden for so long. Harry Potter never raised his hand or his voice, no matter how hard he made the young man’s life miserable as much as his infant body could. He would always smile at him, kiss his forehead and simply ask him not to do it again, as if Harry knew his quiet son could understand him.

 

In just a few months, he realized that no matter how much of a thorn in his side Harry Potter had been, he made up for it by just being… his mother… his doting, loving mother who let him play with snakes and never pressured him to walk, talk or even crawl.

 

He did find it strange that the great Harry Potter had become a recluse. He didn’t even look that old. He actually looked younger than the last time he met the boy when he was still the Dark Lord. Now, he looked younger but more mature, quieter, and more of a hermit than he remembered. There were no annoying red heads or know-it-all mudbloods around him. These past eight years, he never even saw one single guest. His only companions were his mother and a house-elf named Minky.

 

They were in some remote unplottable cottage near a beach. He realized they were in a foreign country when he and Harry had dinner in a muggle restaurant one night for a change of pace, as his mother had said. The locals’ dialect wasn’t that well known to him but the locals could understand and speak in English well enough. There were a lot of tourists in the muggle restaurant and on the surrounding beach. He would later find out they were in a province well known for its surfing. Since they rarely left the security of their cottage, the locals who noticed them only knew them as the quiet polite father and son who would sometimes vacation here.

 

It took a while to get used to his new home. There were only two seasons: sunny and rainy. When it was summer, it was so hot he and his mother would refuse to leave their cottage and the entire place would be surrounded by a cooling charm for 24 hours every day. Tropical thunder storms were a norm and it was normal to see some kind of flimsy roof that he would later learn as galvanized iron sheet smack their home once or twice. The only magical shopping alley was at the capital of this island which was a six hour bus ride. They didn’t even have any kind of magical transportation like the Knight Bus back in Britain.

 

His mother had refused to apparate him and they didn’t have a floo network. They were pretty much isolated from the rest of the world in a third world country with a magical community more backwatered than the stagnant Britain. The only consolation he had was that his mother let him use Minky to buy whatever he desired whenever the elf would travel to the magical shopping alley to sell the potions his mother made. Apparently, their only source of income was his mother’s potions which he found a bit ironic considering how much his mother didn’t enjoy potion making in the first place. Minky would always leave at the crack of dawn and would return by nightfall, her little hands filled with bags of potion ingredients and his requests, mostly books to pass the time.

 

He had been surprised when his mother did not try to stop him from purchasing books about the Dark Arts. Apparently, there were many unsanctioned stalls in the shopping alley with dubious goods, most of them were American or Chinese.  

 

Minky even found a book about Parselmagic in one of them.

 

That was his life now, a peaceful life with a recluse yet loving mother and a quiet house-elf.

 

And it all came crashing down one day when someone knocked on the front door.

 

The sound was so foreign to his ears that it actually took him a second to realize that someone was knocking.

 

Even his mother, who had been dozing off while his son sat on his lap, reading a tome about native magic practiced mostly by women during the pre-colonial days of this country, seemed to be confused at the sound.

 

The two of them just stared at the door like it was some kind of strange muggle apparatus for a few minutes before Minky popped in front of them, stating meekly, “British wizards wishes to speak to Master.”

 

“Tell them to leave.” His mother had ordered and Harry took Thomas to his arms as he stood. Thomas was surprised when Harry seems to walk briskly away from the front door, his wand already on his right hand.

 

“Harry Potter! We need to talk to you!” Someone from the other side of the door shouted, banging the front door.

 

“Go away!” His mother shouted back, tightening his hold on his son. Thomas’ hands instinctively tightened around his mother, glaring at the door.

 

Harry was about to run towards the back door when a calm familiar voice called out, “Harry, please open the door.”

 

Thomas knew that voice.

 

But that wasn’t possible…

 

Thomas saw the pain and disbelief in his mother’s face and felt Harry tightened his grip around his little body. His mother’s lips trembled as he stared at the door yet did not say a word.

 

“Harry.” The voice called out once more, “Please. We just want to talk.”

 

Harry turned to stare at Thomas and all he could do was to stare at him and ask in his child voice, confusion and anger seeping through him as he saw the pain in Harry’s eyes, “Mum?”

 

Harry kissed his forehead before pressing their foreheads together. He closed his eyes as he whispered, “No matter what, I love you. Understand? Don’t you ever doubt that, okay?”

 

“I know.” He whispered, unable to stop the fear from gripping his heart as the confusion begins to spread throughout his entire body.

 

Harry walked back to small garden they would usually spend his free time in with his mother gardening and him sitting on his favourite chair and reading a tome. Harry placed him on the chair and kissed his forehead once more before walking back to the hallway. He stood a few feet away from the front door and whispered to Minky, “If I say the exact words ‘camomile and hibiscus blend’, you take Thomas to Lord Master with or without me, understand?”

 

“Yes, Master. Minky understands.” Minky nodded frantically. He could feel his blood grow cold at the seriousness in his mother’s expression.

 

“Open the door.” Harry ordered and their house-elf clicked her fingers together. The door’s lock clicked open and the house-elf popped right next to him, silently taking the hem of his robes, ready to pop out of their cottage at soon as his mother gave the sign.

 

The door creaked open and four figures entered their small cottage. He recognized the one leading as Kingsley, one of the old fool’s lackeys. The next person was Rufus Scrimgeour which surprised him.

 

But the one that almost made him question his sanity was when he realized that the third person to enter their small cottage was none other than Tom Marvolo Riddle.

 

Or, at least, someone who looked exactly the same as Tom Marvolo Riddle when he had been in his early twenties.

 

He didn’t even pay attention to the bumbling fourth person (a woman) to enter their home; his entire focus was at the appearance of his younger self.

   

“You’re a hard man to find, Mister Potter.” Scrimgeour commented before nodding politely as he added, “But it is a pleasure to see you well.”

 

“Spare me the small talks.” His mother hissed at Scrimgeour before turning his glare at the younger man next to him, “What do you want, Riddle?”

 

The amount of venom his mother had managed to wrap around that one word actually made him sit straighter. He had never heard such anger and pain in his mother’s voice before and it only made Thomas want to wring the neck of his double.

 

“Voldemort’s forces have grown bolder and more destructive.” Tom (because who else could he be?) calmly stated.

 

He almost choked on his own spit.

 

Voldemort’s forces?

 

Wait.

 

What?!

 

His mother shrugged as he replied, “So?”

 

“Magical Britain needs you, Mister Potter!” Scrimgeour pleaded, making his mother glare at him.

 

“Why would the great mighty Magical Britain need a hermit like me who never even finished his magical education because he was expelled?” His mother sneered, turning his glare towards Tom at that last word.

 

“The foolishness of Cornelius Fudge will be rectified-“

 

“After eight years?!” Harry cut off Scrimgeour, glaring at him as he hissed, “I’ve told you idiots that the big bad Dark Lord has been resurrected eight years ago and you branded me a lunatic! The minister expelled me because I tried to teach my fellow students spells the damn minister didn’t want to teach! And now that you’re on the brink of losing, you come running to me to clean your shit?”

 

His mother’s laughter was mirthless and full of repressed rage. He walked towards the two and sneered at Scrimgeour, “Clean up your own mess. You didn’t need me eight years ago. You sure as hell not going to have me now.”

 

Harry backed away and ordered, “Get out.”

 

“Dumbledore is dead.” Tom calmly stated, making Harry’s furious killing eyes turn to glare at him.

 

“Boo-hoo.” Harry retorted spitefully, “Dumbledore left me alone for eight years. He’s been dead for eight years to me already.”

 

“Dumbledore has been looking for eight years!” Kingsley defended, making Harry glare at him.

 

“And the great almighty invincible Albus-has-too-many-other-names-Dumbledore couldn’t find me?” Harry mocked, “He’s either stupider than we thought or he wasn’t trying hard enough considering the ministry found me. And we all know that for whatever flaw Dumbledore might have had, he was not stupid.”

 

“Mister Potter, you must unders-“ Tom placed his hand on Scrimgeour’s hand.

 

Scrimgeour looked at him and Tom asked, “Please let me talk to Harry in private.”

 

Scrimgeour opened his mouth to protest but stopped when he saw the solemn look in Tom’s face. Scrimgeour nodded and said, “We’ll wait outside.”

 

Scrimgeour and the woman (an Auror perhaps?) went outside. Kingsley stopped by the door and said, “Everyone is worried about you.”

 

Harry crossed his arms and sneered at him, “Don’t you mean worried for their own hides?”

 

Kingsley opened his mouth but Tom cut him off with a polite tone, “Please leave us to talk in private, Mister Kingsley.”

 

Kingsley’s lips curved into a small frown but he nodded, walking out of the cottage. He closed the door behind him, making Thomas stare at the two young men on the hallway. They seemed to be of similar age but his mother was the smaller of the two. Harry didn’t look at his direction and Tom has yet to notice him.

 

The first one to speak was Tom and he simply said, “You look well.”

 

“I could say the same to you.” There was a hint of mocking in Harry’s tone as he asked, “What are you now? Secretary of the Minister?”

 

“Undersecretary.” Tom corrected.

 

“Good for you.” Harry deadpanned.

 

A minute of awkward silence encompassed the entire cottage as the two stared at each other, Tom with his unreadable unblinking stare and Harry with his furious and pained stare.

 

“I… regret what I have done eight years ago.” Tom finally spoke, placing both his hands behind him.

 

“Which part?” Harry’s tone was filled with pain and anger as he asked bitterly, “The part where you pretended to love me? Or the part where you testified against me and got me expelled?”

 

“Both.” Tom replied immediately before his words faltered as he admitted, “I’ve… been looking for you.”

 

“Yeah, I heard.” Harry drawled.

 

“Even before the minister got involved.” Tom added, staring intently at Harry as he said, “I’ve been searching for you for eight years yet you eluded me for so long. It took the ministry a year to even find this place.”

 

Tom paused for a moment, staring at him, almost as if he was memorizing his face before he said, “Britain needs you.”

 

Tom’s voice grew softer as he admitted, “I need you.”

 

“Stop it, Tom.” Harry snapped coldly, “You don’t get to say shit like that. You don’t get to say lies again and expect me to believe them. I’m not the same stupid fifteen year old Gryffindor you seduced and threw away.”

 

“Throwing you away was the greatest regret I ever made.” Tom admitted, taking a step forward.

 

Harry immediately took a step back and retorted, “Thinking you actually loved me was the greatest regret I ever made.”

 

Thomas could not help but feel a pang of pain by that. It didn’t take a genius to know that Tom was his biological ‘father’. If he understood their conversation correctly, they went to Hogwarts at the same time and developed a relationship. His mother, the naïve stupid boy he was, thought that Tom had loved him and confided to him something that Tom used to get him expelled. That meant that he was, once again, a mistake.

 

He supposed it was only a consolation that Tom didn’t use a love potion. The pain and anger in his mother’s voice and eyes were clear indication that his feelings for Tom had been real. That made him want to wring the neck of his biological father.

 

“Get out.” Harry ordered, turning away from Tom.

 

“Harry…” Tom took a step forward.

 

“Get out!” Harry shouted, turning to face Tom once more, tears falling freely from his glistening eyes, “Keep your lies to yourself and get out! Stop pretending you-“

 

Harry’s words were cut off by Tom’s lips. Thomas could only stare in surprise as Tom gently kissed his mother, caressing his cheek.

 

“Expelliarmus!” Thomas finally shouted, pushing too much magic into the tip of the wand he had been hiding in his robes. The spell smacked Tom against the wall, making Harry gasp.

 

“Tom!” Harry shouted but did not rush to him. Instead he ran towards Thomas and took the young child into his arms. Thomas continued to aim the wand at Tom who stared at them with wide surprised eyes. Harry seemed too surprised to question how Thomas even got a wand in the first place.

 

The beautiful thing about the magical community of this country?

 

The lack of people even trying to uphold the laws and regulations of their ministry…

 

Before Tom could say anything, Harry shouted at Minky, “Hibiscus and Camomile blend!”

 

Minky rushed to grab Harry’s sleeve and teleported them out of the cottage. The last thing Thomas heard was Tom’s shout, “Harry!”

 

Their house-elf popped them into a big chamber.

 

… currently filled with Death Eaters.

 

The Death Eaters all stared at Harry and Thomas in frozen surprised while Harry and Thomas stared back at them with the same surprised look on their faces. Thomas could see that most of them weren’t wearing their masks and among their ranks were Bellatrix, Lucius and Barty, all looking younger than he remembered.

 

It was one of the lower Death Eaters who raised their wands towards Harry with a shout of “Harry Potter!”

 

Almost everyone aimed their wands at Harry and Thomas afterwards and Harry turned away from them, covering Thomas with his body.

 

“STOP!” A familiar voice ordered before the first curse could be uttered. Thomas couldn’t see what was happening, pressed against his mother’s chest. He could hear the loud frantic beating of his heart and Thomas swore he was going to Crucio every single scoundrel who dared raised their wand.

 

He heard someone briskly walking towards their position, all the while ordering, “Lay down your wands! All of you!”

 

“Who are you to order us, Black!?” Someone else hissed and Thomas finally remembered why the voice was familiar.

 

It was the voice of that Black mutt of Dumbledore.

 

Someone grabbed Harry’s arm, forcing him to turn around and Black hissed, “You shouldn’t have come here.”

 

It seemed that today was just one surprise after another.

 

Thomas’ eyes widened as he saw Black and remembered that Dumbledore’s mutt also had the same voice as…

 

“I need to talk to Voldemort, Cousin Regulus.” Harry whispered, tightening his grip on Thomas.

 

Regulus Black (his Death Eater, the traitor) glanced at Thomas for a second before turning to face the rest of the Death Eaters. Thomas realized that during the commotion, Bellatrix and Barty had also approached them, standing on either side of Harry. Instead of aiming their wands at Harry, their wands were aimed at the rest of the Death Eaters.

 

“Lower your wands unless you want to risk the chance of hitting our Lord’s heir!” Regulus ordered, taking a step to the side so that everyone could see the boy Harry Potter was holding. Realizing that Regulus meant him, Thomas turned his upper body so that he could glare at everyone.

 

Most Death Eaters’ immediately lowered their wands and bowed. A few continued to aim their wands at Harry and Thomas saw Draco Malfoy as he sneered, “Why should our Lord care for Tom Riddle’s son?!”

 

“Even if he is in the ministry, Tom Riddle is still my son.” A cold familiar (how many familiar voices has he heard for one day?!) hissed in obvious displeasure, “Crucio.”

 

Draco fell on his knees and bit his lips to stop the scream that tried to escape. Everyone except Harry immediately went on their knees as they greeted in revere, “My Lord.”

 

Thomas could only stare, unable to stop his jaw from slacking, as Voldemort stepped into the room, followed closely by Lord Nott and Dolohov. Voldemort lowered his wand and Draco fell on the floor, grasping for air. Voldemort’s eyes were focused on Harry and Thomas as he elegantly walked towards them, a great contrast to his monster-like serpentine appearance, “Harry Potter… it has been eight years since I have last seen you.”

 

“The Ministry found me.” Harry informed him as he stared back.

 

“I know.” Voldemort stopped right in front the two. He lowered his eyes to stare at Thomas and Thomas glared at him, gripping his wand tightly. Voldemort placed his cold long hand on Thomas’ chin and forced the boy to raise his head as he commented, “He looks just like my son… and me, I suppose.”

 

“My eyes are prettier.” Thomas sneered, making almost all the Death Eaters flinch, fearing for their master’s anger.

 

Instead of rage, laughter erupted from Voldemort’s lips. He grabbed Harry’s chin with his other hand and forced the younger wizard to stare at him. Two pairs of identical Avada Kedavra eyes stared at Voldemort as he commented, “Yes, your mother’s eyes are definitely more precious.”

 

Voldemort continued to stare at the two of them as he ordered, “Leave us.”

 

“Yes, My Lord.” Everyone immediately began walking out of the room. Thomas noticed that Regulus stopped by the door, staring at Harry.

 

Voldemort didn’t bother to turn around as he warned, “The only reason I am not punishing you right now for disobeying my order is because you protected my precious. Do not push your luck, Regulus. Leave.”

 

“Tom Riddle will be informed of this.” Regulus pressed on, staring at where Draco had been lying just a few moments ago as he said that line. Regulus turned his head to stare at Voldemort’s back as he asked, “How should we proceed, My Lord?”

 

“Let him know.” Voldemort nonchalantly said, making Harry freeze. A cruel smirk played his lips as he mused, “Simply because he knows does not mean he will be able to do anything.”

 

Regulus bowed as he said, “As My Lord commands.”

 

Regulus turned around and walked out of the room, closing the doors behind him. Once they were alone, Voldemort finally let go of both their chins. Voldemort caressed Harry’s cheek as he whispered, “So you have come to me once more. Am I to mend your broken heart again, my darling?”

 

“I don’t want to be dragged into your war.” Harry cradled Thomas close as he whispered, “I don’t want Thomas to be dragged into your war.”  

 

“Thomas?” Voldemort turned to stare at the glaring boy in Harry’s arms, “Not Tom?”

 

“His name is Thomas Mathias Riddle.” Harry introduced him.

 

“Yes, my grandson.” Voldemort commented before turning to smirk at Harry as he asked, “Or is he my son?”

 

Thomas’ jaw slacked once more as he saw Voldemort lean forward, capturing Harry’s lips into a passionate heated kiss. Instead of magic, Thomas smacked Voldemort on the cheek as he ordered, “Get away from my mother!”

 

Voldemort stepped to the side, more surprised than hurt, and sneered at Thomas. Thomas sneered back and Harry backed away from Voldemort, cheeks flaming from embarrassment. Voldemort’s lips curved into a smirk as he commented, “Possessive just like Tom… and me.”

 

“Voldemort, I-“

 

“You know where your room is, my luv.” Voldemort cut Harry off, “Stay there while I find you a new haven.”

 

Harry stared at Voldemort for a moment before whispering, “Thank you.”

 

Voldemort smirked as he suggested, “I prefer you warming my bed tonight as a sign of gratitude than your words.”

 

“Get out!” Thomas ordered, making Voldemort laugh. Voldemort walked out of the room, opening the door and smirking at Thomas.

 

“Do control your temper, my dear Mathias.” Voldemort’s tone was too playful and smug for Thomas, “I am either your grandfather or your father.”

 

Thomas hissed angrily at him, making Voldemort laugh once more as he left, closing the door behind him.

 

Once they were alone, Harry sighed tiredly and sat on the floor, making Thomas sit on his lap. Harry pressed his face on his son’s soft dark brown locks. Thomas glared at the throne in front of them. They stayed there in complete silence for a couple of minutes before Thomas finally gave up and asked, “Mother, which one of them is my father?”

 

The silence from his mother did not sound like a good thing.

 

He thought about how both Voldemort and Tom acted around his mother. They both desired him and they both acted as if they were close, which meant that Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, most probably had a relationship with both the Dark Lord and Tom Riddle.

 

Thomas felt like he was going to have a migraine.

 

Taking in consideration Voldemort’s words, the most logical conclusion would be that Harry Potter also had sex with both of them. It was obvious that Harry Potter was the one ‘receiving’ and, if Voldemort’s words of a broken heart was any indication, his relationship with Voldemort started immediately (give or take a few days or weeks) after Tom Riddle’s.

 

That meant…

 

“You don’t know which of them is my father, do you?” Thomas asked.

 

“No.” Harry’s muffled reply only made Thomas’ lips form a humourless close smile.

 

“So, either my father is the man who betrayed you and the Dark Lord is my grandfather or my father is the Dark Lord and the man who betrayed you is my half-brother.” Thomas summarized his suddenly complicated life.

 

And both of them obviously want his mother back…

 

Harry was quiet for a very long while before replying in a weak embarrassed voice, “Pretty much...”

 

Thomas sighed in resignation as he mumbled, “What a dysfunctional family we have…”

 

The soft chuckle and gentle embrace his mother gave him were all he needed to know that even if he was once more a Riddle and he was once more part of a dysfunctional family, he wouldn’t exchange it for anything else.

 

His mother was all that mattered.

 

That was why…

 

“This is what we're going to do, mother.” His voice was clear and commanding, “We keep out of the war. If the Dark Lord wins, you marry the Dark Lord. If the Ministry wins, you marry Tom Riddle.”

 

Harry was silent for a moment before he asked, “You're not going to ask me who I love or who I want to be with?”

 

Thomas finally turned around and glared at his mother as he hissed, “You love me. You're going to be with me. The Dark Lord and Tom Riddle are just to ensure our safety before I get enough power to protect both of us.”

 

Harry actually stunned at that.

 

What did he expect?

 

He was, after all, another Riddle who wanted Harry Potter.

 

Chapter Text

He had a son.

 

That thought had been swirling in his mind the entire time. He felt so numb, almost as if he couldn’t quite grasp reality right now.

 

Scrimgeour was screaming at him and he wanted to Crucio him right then and there. The Ministry and the rest of those clawless Light witches and wizards could go jump off a cliff right now and Tom wouldn’t even bother pretending to be devastated. But he refrained from showing his real feelings. He had a role to play and not even knowing he actually had a son, a family, would deter him to pretend to give damn.

 

“My apologies, Minister.” Tom politely apologized, keeping his head down and his voice calm as he explained, “Harry caught me by surprise. It will not happen again.”

 

“What could an expelled boy do to surprise someone like you, Mister Riddle?!” Scrimgeour demanded furiously.

 

“He had a son.” Tom put just enough force into his words to sound like he was furious. That information actually made Scrimgeour clam up. Tom formed his hands into fists as he continued, “A son…”

 

Tom lowered his voice as he whispered, “… who looks just like me.”

 

Except the eyes…

 

Kingsley’s partner, a new Auror who preferred to be called Tonks, gasped. Kingsley stared at him with kind eyes that made Tom want to throw up and the Auror asked, “Are you certain?”

 

“Yes.” Tom closed his eyes as he explained, “He looks around eight years old…”

 

That sentence was enough for all three to realize the implication.

 

“Riddle…” Kingsley called out and he took a step forward.

 

“We have stayed here long enough.” Tom announced, opening his eyes to stare at Scrimgeour as he suggested, “It would be better if you return to Britain, Minister, to ensure its continued vigilance against Voldemort.”

 

All three twitched at the forbidden name but Tom didn’t give a damn if he had made them uncomfortable as he continued, “I will stay to look for clues to where Harry may have gone.”

 

“Are you sure you can handle this, Riddle?” Scrimgeour frowned at him.

 

“The distraction will be welcomed, I’m afraid.” Tom replied with a shrug, “And…”

 

Tom turned his head to stare at the garden as he continued, “I need to do this.”

 

Scrimgeour continued to frown at him but nodded as he said, “Very well. I will leave you to it then.”

 

“Thank you, Minister.” Tom bowed slightly.

 

Scrimgeour nodded at him before walking away, immediately followed by Tonks. Kingsley stared at him silently for a few seconds before asking, “Was it your child?”

 

Tom glared at Kingsley as he hissed, “What are you implying, Kingsley?”

 

“We all heard the rumours, Riddle.” Kingsley reminded him with a grave expression, “Dumbledore couldn’t find Harry Potter since he disappeared. Only someone as powerful as You-Know-Who could offer such protection.”

 

Tom scoffed and sarcastically drawled, “Sure, the Dark Lord, who wanted to kill Harry since he was a child, would offer such protection instead of killing him on sight.”

 

Kingsley’s lips curved into a small frown as he admitted, “It is a flimsy theory-“

 

“It’s a foolish idea.” Tom sneered, glaring at Kingsley, “You should go now, Kingsley. As the Minister’s bodyguard, your job is to protect him.”

 

Kingsley nodded gravely before warning, “Just be careful, Riddle. Whoever protected Harry Potter these past eight years must be truly powerful.”

 

“I’m always careful.” Tom retorted calmly, glaring at Kingsley as the older wizard left.

 

Once he was alone, Tom chanted the strongest locking charm he knew to the entire cottage. Afterwards, he walked towards the garden, placing his hand on the grass. The wards controlling the entire cottage were in the middle of the garden and Tom began studying it in hopes of finding clues to who had created the wards.

 

Harry had been rubbish at wards so the one protecting him these past eight years must have been the one to place the wards.

 

A small frown decorated his lips as he remembered the smaller boy.

 

No, he wasn’t a boy anymore.

 

He was a young man, just like Tom.

 

It had been eight years since he last saw Harry Potter.

 

They had entered Hogwarts at the same year. Harry was sorted into Gryffindor and became friends with the Weasley family and the know-it-all mudblood currently competing against him politically. Tom, on the other hand, was sorted into Slytherin and became one of the more respected wizards in the house due to being a ward of the Malfoys. The rivalry between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy forced Tom to be seen as an enemy by Ronald Weasley, Harry’s best friend, and to be looked by distrust by the rest of Harry’s cronies. Tom had taken it all in stride, paying no attention to them and focusing on making connections, on becoming the best student Hogwarts have ever seen. Dumbledore kept a close eye on him, using Snape for most parts, but did not do anything. He seemed quite content simply observing from afar. That was fine with Tom.

 

Hogwarts had been mostly uneventful personally. All the adventures the supposed Golden Trio got into were of no consequences to Tom. While the Dark Lord and his forces were lying low, preparing in the shadows, Tom became the Hogwarts heartthrob. Regardless of the crest in his robes, the students flock around him for help or to just chat. Even the shiest Hufflepuff or the most socially awkward Ravenclaw could be seen talking to him. The only ones who kept their guards up were the more judgmental lions and the teachers who knew the Dark Lord’s real name.

 

It was during their fifth year that Draco suggested a game to pass the time. Draco had seen how Harry would steal glances at Tom since the end of their fourth year and thought it might be funny if Tom would seduce Harry then dump him. Tom had almost immediately shot that idea down but stopped himself to think about it. Seducing Harry would mean he would get the boy’s trust. If he gained the boy’s trust, he might be able to get discriminating evidences that will expel the boy or, hopefully, get him a lifetime sentence to Azkaban. Salazar knows just how many troubles the boy gets into each year. Draco had been thrilled when he heard Tom’s alternate plan and the two Slytherins had discussed their plan for the entire night.

 

It had been disappointingly easy to get close to Harry’s group. All he and Draco had to do was pretend to get into a fight in a corridor while the Golden Trio was passing by. After that incident, the rest of the snakes simply had to keep away from Tom and remember to say awful things about him whenever Harry was in the vicinity. It only took a week before the great kind naïve Boy-Who-Lived extended his hand towards Tom. Tom had pretended to be wary but grateful, keeping his distance for the first week since Harry had offered. Most of his friends had been more than happy to make Tom feel welcomed. The twins had tried to prank him (in a friendly way, of course) and Ginny Weasley had stuttered and blushed while trying to keep a conversation going. Neville had surprisingly been the one who supported Tom’s inclusion the most but Tom knew immediately it was because the shy boy was still grateful for all those times Tom had stopped the Slytherins from bullying the boy. Tom had done it because he knew Neville would take the Longbottom name and wanted to find some foundation to keep the Longbottom House from going against him politically. Luna Lovegood had been the only one to approach him with the same deference as before. She stared more, especially when he was talking to Harry, but never said anything against him and only seemed to ask frequently if the ‘wrackspurts’ continued to plague him. The girl had always been strange and Tom didn’t think anything could change that. Only Ron and Hermione had opposed of him joining their circle, it seemed. Ron opposed because Tom was a snake while Hermione opposed because she didn’t entirely believe that one fight could destroy the ‘friendship’ between Tom and Draco which had been cultivated since the boys had been infants. Ron kept his distance, giving Tom distrusting eyes while Hermione pried and interrogated Tom for weeks before Harry finally made them stop.

 

The two never did trust him fully. On hindsight, Tom could see that they had been both worried about his intention with Harry. They both knew Harry’s feelings about Tom before Tom and Harry even knew about it and wanted to protect Harry from Tom.

 

How correct they were…

 

Tom’s brows frowned as he recognized the wards.

 

“That’s not possible…” Tom mumbled, sitting on the chair that the boy had been sitting on just a few minutes ago. Tom stared at the wards in contemplation.

 

The wards were the same wards Tom usually created.

 

Considering Tom had not been the one to create the wards then that meant…

 

No…

 

It’s not possible.

 

He wouldn’t…

 

There was another possibility.

 

During his time with Harry, he had shown Harry how he made wards, even letting the boy practice with Tom supervising. Tom had found he adored the way Harry would concentrate on mimicking Tom’s wards, the way his brows with furrowed and how he could bit his bottom lip. The way his face will light up and smile at Tom when he managed to succeed had always been one of the most beautiful expressions Tom ever saw. It was during one of those times that Tom had kissed him. He hadn’t planned on it. He had been seducing Harry, yes, but he hadn’t been planning on making such a bold move. Harry had been just as surprised at him and Tom had been sure he would run away like a cliché shy teenage boy.

 

But he didn’t…

 

Harry had simply smiled at him shyly and kissed him once more.

 

They never talked about what their relationship was. They just went with the flow. Soft kisses turned into snog sessions in an empty classroom before class or curfew. Snog sessions became heavy petting. Soon enough, Tom was using Harry’s invisibility cloak to sneak into the Gryffindor dorm rooms at night.

 

Draco had only been mildly annoyed by Tom’s sexual relationship with Harry but thought it would pay off in the end. Tom didn’t really think about it before. He never tried to think to hardly about Harry. It was a game.

 

It was supposed to be a game.

 

Tom finally stood and walked back to the cottage but stopped when he saw a bush of roses on the corner of the garden.

 

Blue roses…

 

“It means the impossible or the unattainable.” Harry had once told him while they were in each other’s arms, waiting for sleep to come to them. Tom could still remember the soft smile on his face as he explained how he wish to plant such mythical rose, not just dye white roses blue or place blue dye onto the barks of the roots.

 

Tom walked towards the bush, caressing the petals on one rose. The entire bush was enveloped in Harry’s magical signature, a clear sign that the young man had used magic to create his desired blue roses, the same shade of Tom’s clear blue eyes.

 

“Have you attained the impossible, Harry?” Tom mumbled, “Did leaving Britain and secluding yourself into this place give you what you have always desired?”

 

Peace…

 

“A small house near the beach, just me and… if you wouldn’t object, you…” Harry had once told him with a peaceful smile on his face, “You’ll be a politician, making our world better, and I’ll stay in our house, researching on how to create a blue rose using magic.”

 

Tom closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

 

Harry had been too naïve, too trusting and too blinded by his feelings for Tom.

 

Tom had been too jaded and too ambitious to realize his feelings for Harry.

 

Harry had trusted him and Tom used that trust to give the ministry the excuse to expel Harry. Fudge and Umbridge had blown the Dumbledore Army incident out of proposition, calling it a budding rebel army and proclaiming Harry as a budding terrorist, a Dark Lord fledging. It had been Dumbledore who intervene Fudge’s desire to have Harry thrown to Azkaban. Expelling Harry and breaking his wand had been the best alternative Dumbledore could do.

 

Tom would never forget the way Harry had looked at him that fateful day. Harry had stared at him with the pain of betrayal clear in his eyes and absolute despair in his face.

 

Tom didn’t realize that he had broken Harry Potter that day.

 

Harry was taken by Dumbledore to secure location after the breaking of his wand. Harry didn’t say anything to him and Tom didn’t as well.

 

A year later, Tom would find out Harry had gone missing a day after Dumbledore took him out of Hogwarts.

 

Tom walked back inside and walked up the stairs. The cottage was mostly clean and simple. There was a small veranda on the second floor that had a fantastic view of the ocean. A table and two chairs were on the veranda. Everything in the house was for two people.

 

Harry and… the boy…

 

Tom opened the first door he found and realized it was a bedroom. It was big enough to be the master’s bedroom and it was as simple as the rest of the house. Tom walked inside, noticing that there were jackets for both an adult and a child by the chair next to the bed. The bed had enough pillows for two people as well and there was a stuffed snake toy by the edge of the bed.

 

Tom’s attention went to the bedside drawer, noticing a picture frame. He grabbed the picture frame slowly and observed the moving picture. It was Harry holding a younger version of the boy, perhaps three or four old years old at the time. Harry was beaming and waving at the camera while the boy simply glared, clutching Harry tightly. The picture was clearly taken from the veranda Tom had seen just a while ago, casting a beautiful background of the ocean and the sky.

 

Tom returned the frame back on top of the bedside drawer and began opening each drawer, searching for clues to where Harry could have gone. It was when he was about to open the last drawer that a cat patronus swooped inside the room. Tom turned around to stare at the patronus as Draco Malfoy’s voice reported, “Harry Potter apparated to the Dark Lord’s manor.”

 

Tom’s entire body froze.

 

He what?

 

“I don’t know how to explain it, Tom, but it seems like Potter…” Draco’s voice hesitated for a moment before continuing, “I think the rumours may be true.”

 

Tom’s eyes widened at those words. He knew what Draco had meant by ‘rumours’. He had heard the rumour before.

 

The rumour that Harry Potter had been given protection by the Dark Lord in exchange for sexual favours…

 

“I’m sorry, Tom.” Draco whispered, “Don’t do anything foolish. Please. Regulus Black has already ordered us to keep an eye out for anyone from the ministry. I think he means you. Contact me first before you do anything, okay?”

 

The cat patronus disappeared and Tom placed both his hands on top of the bedside drawer. He rested his forehead against the wall and took a deep breath, trying to rein his fury.

 

That rumour can’t be true. It can’t be true.

 

Harry would never…

 

Would he?

 

But it did make sense. Harry wouldn’t have had the resources or knowledge to procure this impressive cottage. The wards were also too sophisticated to be done by Harry himself even if he had Tom’s tutelage before.

 

Even if Tom knew that it was the more logical explanation, he still didn’t want to believe it.

 

There must be a clue, some kind of clue that he just needed to find that will give him an alternative explanation.

 

Another explanation than Harry being in a relationship with his father

 

Instead of a clue, Tom found proof, hidden inside the closet.

 

It was a jewellery box with snake engravings, covering the entire box.

 

Tom only knew one person who could create such an intricate box. Tom’s eyes hardened as he hissed, “<< Open. >>“

 

The snakes all moved and the box opened with a click. Tom pushed the top off, his blood growing cold when he saw the item inside.

 

It was the Slytherin necklace…

 

The same necklace he had given Harry back in Hogwarts as a sign of his… feelings for Harry…

 

The same necklace that held and nurtured him for years before his father released him…

 

Tom grabbed the necklace, feeling the necklace emit that nostalgic warmth he had always felt when his skin touched it. The warmth of a Horcrux container…

 

Tom apparated out of the cottage and immediately appeared in the private wing of the Dark Lord’s mansion. Tom stormed towards the private quarters of the Dark Lord but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw two figures in front the door just next to the Dark Lord’s bedroom.

 

“Harry?”

 

Harry, who had been crouching in front of the boy, immediately stood and took a step back as he asked back, “Tom?”

 

The boy took a step forward, making Harry stand behind him, as he glared at Tom while aiming his wand at the older wizard, “What are you doing here?”

 

Tom glared back as he hissed, “I can ask the same to you. What are you two doing in the Dark Lord’s private wing?”

 

The boy raised an eyebrow as he sneered, “Does being in the ministry make one a fool? What do you think we’re here for? To play hide and seek with the Death Eaters?”

 

“Thomas!” Harry shouted, not to scold the boy but out of surprise at the obvious disrespect he was showing to Tom.

 

“Mind your tongue, boy.” Tom warned, “That’s not any way to speak to your-“

 

“My what, Riddle?” The boy named Thomas sneered, “My father? Or my half-brother?”

 

Tom’s eyes widened and Harry’s jaw slacked. Tom raised his head to stare at Harry as he asked, “So the rumours are true? You slept with Voldemort?!”

 

“Yes, he did.” Voldemort’s cold annoyed tone came from behind Tom. Tom immediately turned around, glaring at Voldemort who stood just a few steps away from them, arms crossed, “And I believe my dear Harry enjoyed our time together each time.”

 

Tom didn’t see the way Harry’s cheeks burned and Thomas’ face formed into an angry snarl.

 

“Go inside with Thomas now, my dear.” Voldemort nodded his head towards the door next to Harry before turning to smirk at Tom, “I will take care of my son.”

 

“Why don’t you just do us all a favour and kill yourself, old man?” Tom sneered which only made Voldemort raise an eyebrow.

 

“Is that the best comeback you can think of?” Voldemort drawled, “I’m afraid being in the ministry has dulled your imagination.”

 

Voldemort kept his eyes trained at Tom as he repeated, “Harry, my luv, go now. I don’t think you would wish to see for yourself what will happen next. I promise my son cannot enter your room.”

 

“But…” Harry’s voice was trembling as he embraced his son, “Thomas can’t enter my room as well.”

 

Both Voldemort and Tom immediately stopped their stare-off and turned to stare at Harry and his son.

 

“That… can’t be right…” Voldemort mumbled in a slightly confused tone.

 

Tom understood the confusion. He had tried to enter the room so many times before but he never could.

 

It made sense that the room had been Harry’s when he had been in Voldemort’s… arms.

 

That room’s ward was created by Voldemort himself to keep anyone with the same magical signature as him. Anyone who bore his mark could not also enter the room since the mark itself held Voldemort’s magical signature. Not even Voldemort could enter the room.

 

If Thomas couldn’t enter the room, that meant he had the same magical signature as Voldemort.

 

He obviously didn’t have the mark and an offspring may have similar magical signature but not completely the same signature. It was magically impossible.

 

That meant…

 

Thomas was the same as him?

 

Was Thomas also a Horcrux given form?

Chapter Text

He felt Tom as soon as he apparated into the private wing. He was talking to his most trusted about Harry’s protection when it had happened. The wards around the entire mansion made a hissing sound that only Voldemort would hear.

 

“It seems like you were right, Regulus.” Voldemort commented with a slightly amused tone, halting Dolohov’s suggestion in mid-sentence. Regulus’ eyes narrowed as Voldemort announced, “My son has apparated to my private wing.”

 

Dear Bella’s lips curved into a manic grin as she suggested, “It would be my utmost pleasure to escort Young Master Tom here, My Lord.”

 

Barty’s lips curved into a mocking smirk as he asked, “Don’t you mean it would be your utmost pleasure to be punished by our young master?”

 

Bella snarled at Barty, making the wizard laugh maniacally. Lord Nott shook his head at the on-going rivalry of his lord’s two apprentices. Lucius remained silent in his seat yet his grip on his cane tightened. Before Bella could retort something obviously unpleasant at Barty, Regulus asked, “How should we proceed, Master?”

 

Voldemort stood as he announced, “I will deal with my son. All of you will remain here and think of ways to protect my dear Harry and his spawn from both the ministry and the less… favourable of my followers.”

 

All five rose from their seats and bowed as they answered, “As you command, Master.”

 

Voldemort nodded before leaving the small meeting room. It would take about five minutes to get from the meeting room to his private wing but he didn’t think it was necessary to make haste. Harry was most probably already inside his room, safe from everyone inside the manor at the moment.

 

He could still remember the day Harry had appeared before him, clinging onto Regulus’ robes. The boy had been a mess, a broken doll with his strings cut. Regulus had come upon him by chance when he had decided to visit his childhood home. Regulus had only wanted to see the portrait of his mother but he had heard Harry crying in one of the rooms.

 

According to the boy, Dumbledore had locked him in the ancestral home to ‘protect’ him. Unfortunately, the place had been bleak and void of life, Regulus’ brother was out doing an errand for Dumbledore and Kreacher didn’t even want to be in the same room as the half-blood. Harry had spent the entire day crying and depressed. When he had seen Regulus, he had immediately asked for an audience with the Dark Lord. Regulus had agreed after checking for any spells or other enchantments around the boy.

 

Even till now, Voldemort could only be bewildered by Dumbledore’s foolish idea of a safe place being the obviously Dark home of one of his dogs whose younger brother was one of his most faithful. The most logical explanation he could think of was that Regulus’ brother never told Dumbledore that Regulus would sometimes still drop by the house to visit their mother, blinded by the familial love he still had for his younger brother. It was the very same love that made Regulus begged never to be ordered to harm his brother. He will let anyone, even their talented cousin Bella, try and kill his brother but Regulus will never raise his wand against his brother. Voldemort had agreed to it. Regulus’ loyalty and potential were too great to destroy simply because he cannot remove his emotions for the last family he had.

 

The moment they apparated to the small meeting room with only Voldemort’s most trusted inside, Harry had looked at him with those beautiful broken green eyes and begged for death.

 

Voldemort never expected such an outcome by releasing Tom.

 

Tom himself had been a fluke. Voldemort had given his locket to Regulus for safe keeping, the same way he had given Lucius the diary, Bella the cup, and Barty the diadem. It had been a test to his four young followers. Dolohov and Nott had proven their loyalty since the beginning. The four though…

 

Lucius had kept the diary in his estate, protected and hidden from prying eyes by the ancient wards of the Malfoys.

 

Bella had deposited the cup to her personal vault, letting the goblins keep it safe.

 

Barty had transfigured the diadem into the choker he wore at all times which had the unforeseen side-effect of making the young talented wizard smarter and more cunning but also deteriorated his mentality to Bella’s level.

 

Regulus had hidden the locket inside the most secure room in his childhood home showing his pride of hi ancestry.

  

Lucius and Regulus had similar ideas. The difference was Lucius had placed the diary in a separate container while Regulus hid the locket with the rest of the dark artefacts House Black had hidden for centuries.

 

Regulus’ idea was that it would be harder to find that specific locket if it was surrounded by similar dark artefacts.

 

Even till now, Voldemort did not know which artefact affected the locket. A year before the untimely demise of his body that fateful Samhain night, Regulus had reported to him about an infant being found in the room. When Voldemort saw him, he knew immediately that it was his Horcrux.

 

His soul had called out to the infant the same way it would always call out to his Horcruxes.

 

The infant had been an experiment, of sort. He named the boy Tom Marvolo Riddle because he wanted to know how Dumbledore would react. He gave the boy to Lucius because the Malfoy Head had a son at around the same age as the infant Horcrux.

 

Voldemort knew Tom understood him, understood what he was. The infant was too quiet to be normal and his clear blue eyes spoke volumes of the experience underneath. His Occlumency shields were also too perfect for an infant.

 

When he lost his body that Samhain night, he already made plans with his most trusted to keep his followers in line and to lie low, wait for his return or for Tom to mature.

 

He had returned five years later with the help of Tom.

 

Tom had all of his memories up till the very creation of the locket Horcrux.

 

If Voldemort was to ever have an equal, it would be his own Horcrux.

 

That’s why he had Tom enter Hogwarts. Tom’s mission had been to destroy Harry Potter and amass more followers for their cause, maybe even undermine Dumbledore’s grip on the minds of the students and faculty members.

 

It took a while but Tom had succeeded.

 

He had broken Harry Potter.

 

And the broken saviour was now in front of him, begging for death.

 

That look of pure lost and despair had been beautiful in Voldemort’s eyes.

 

He wanted to corrupt Harry Potter.

 

He wanted Harry Potter to no longer exist.

 

Voldemort honestly had no idea how their sexual relationship started. He had spared Harry out of whim, ordered his most trusted to leave and had simply been observing the silent boy for hours. He was the one to kiss the boy first. Harry had melted in his arms and Voldemort could no longer control his urges. He didn’t want to control them.

 

He had taken Harry on the table roughly. The boy had moaned and writhed under Voldemort.

 

It was most arousing vision he had ever seen.

 

Days turned to weeks and Harry became Voldemort’s secret. Only his most trusted knew he was even in the manor.

 

Every night, he took Harry in his arms.

 

Every night, he saw Harry cry in his sleep.

 

Three months after he first took Harry in his arms, Harry had told Voldemort he wanted to leave. He had promised he wouldn’t stand in Voldemort’s way; he will leave Britain and never return.

 

Voldemort knew why Harry wanted to leave. Voldemort knew a month before that Harry was carrying his child.

 

Whether the child was his as Voldemort or his as Tom Riddle was irrelevant, the fact remained that it was his child.

 

Harry was his. Harry will always be his.

 

That was why he had procured Harry that little cottage in Southeast Asia, away from the war and Britain.

 

… away from him.

 

Because Voldemort knew that Harry was changing him. He was getting distracted. His desire to take down the ministry was being ignored by the desire to make the boy smile, to make the boy look at him….

 

To make the boy love him…

 

Voldemort didn’t have the time to be distracted, not when everything was balancing on a very thin thread.

 

That was why he let Harry go. He gave Harry the house-elf who had served him during his stay and would give the house-elf both Wizarding and muggle money each month for all the living expenses Harry might need and a bit more in case the young wizard wanted to buy something, especially since Harry could not withdraw from the Potter vaults in case someone was keeping a close eye on them. Voldemort was sure that at the very least Dumbledore received copies of all transactions done in the Potter vaults as Harry’s Magical Guardian. Any piece of record can be tracked down when one was determine enough.

 

“So the rumours are true? You slept with Voldemort?!” Tom’s voice rang loudly as Voldemort reached the hallway leading to his private chambers.

 

His lips curled into a frown as he stared at his Horcrux. Tom had been spiralling out of control since Harry was expelled in Hogwarts. Instead of becoming his second-in-command after Hogwarts, he began pursuing a political career in the ministry.

 

Tom had announced that it was a game between the two of them.

 

Would Voldemort be able to destroy the ministry on the outside before Tom become the minister?

 

The winner will rule Britain while the loser becomes the second-in-command.

 

Tom had challenged Voldemort with a smirk on his face but Voldemort knew him well enough, knew himself well enough, to know that Tom wanted to win, wanted to be the more powerful between the two of them.

 

He knew that Tom wanted to become the ruler so that he could have more resources to find Harry and to protect Harry from Voldemort who he still assumed wanted to kill Harry.

 

“Yes, he did.” Voldemort didn’t bother to hide the annoyance in his tone. He watched Tom turn around to glare at him as he added, “And I believe my dear Harry enjoyed our time together each time.”

 

It was pathetic how he was battling himself over another person yet Voldemort didn’t want to lose.

 

He didn’t want to lose to a piece of his soul.

 

“Go inside with Thomas now, my dear.” Voldemort nodded his head towards the door next to Harry before turning to smirk at Tom, noticing how his dear Horcrux had flinched when the term of endearment left his lips, “I will take care of my son.”

 

“Why don’t you just do us all a favour and kill yourself, old man?” Tom sneered which only made Voldemort raise an eyebrow.

 

“Is that the best comeback you can think of?” Voldemort drawled, hiding his disappointment, “I’m afraid being in the ministry has dulled your imagination.”

 

Voldemort kept his eyes trained at Tom as he repeated, slightly annoyed that Harry did not listen the first time, “Harry, my luv, go now. I don’t think you would wish to see for yourself what will happen next. I promise my son cannot enter your room.”

 

“But…” Harry’s voice was trembling as he embraced his son, “Thomas can’t enter my room as well.”

 

Both Voldemort and Tom immediately stopped their stare-off and turned to stare at Harry and his spawn.

 

“That… can’t be right…” Voldemort mumbled and he saw Tom’s face contorted to confusion as well.

 

Voldemort walked towards Harry and the boy, staring at the small boy in Harry’s arms. Thomas glared at him, tightening his grip on his mother as their eyes met. Voldemort blinked when he realized he couldn’t read the boy’s mind.

 

His Occlumency shields were as perfect as Tom’s and his.

 

Voldemort took out his Yew wand and aimed it at the boy. The boy immediately aimed his own wand at Voldemort with a snarl while Harry held the boy tighter, covering the boy with his own body as he shouted, “NO!”

 

“Stand aside, Harry.” Voldemort ordered as he glared at the boy, “That child is not normal.”

 

“He’s my son!” Harry countered as he turned towards Voldemort. He pulled the boy’s arm, forcing the boy to stand behind him as he hissed, “If you want to hurt him, you will have to hurt me first.”

 

Tom aimed his wand at Voldemort at that proclamation as he warned, “Try and harm Harry and I will kill you.”

 

“Keep your mouth close, son, unless you want to check if a killing curse will return you to your locket.” Voldemort hissed without turning his gaze away from Harry and his son.

 

The fact that Harry had been wearing the locket for an entire month in Voldemort’s presence had never stopped to irk Voldemort even till now. The day that Harry had unclasped the damn locket and placed it inside the jewellery box Voldemort had created for him was still one of the most glorious day in Voldemort’s life.

 

Voldemort glared at the boy as he explained to Harry, “That room was created to ward off anyone with the same magical signature as me. If the boy cannot enter then that means that he carries the same magical signature as I do.”

 

Harry’s brows furrowed while the boy’s eyes widened at that information. Voldemort’s glare strengthened when he realized that the boy understood what that meant. Voldemort took a step forward as he continued, “Move away from that boy, Harry. He is not your son.”

 

Harry’s eyes narrowed and he hissed, “Thomas is my son!”

 

“No, Harry! He contains my so-“ Voldemort halted in mid-sentence when Harry’s eyes suddenly closed and he fell forward. Voldemort managed to catch him before he hit the floor, cradling Harry’s head on Voldemort’s shoulder as he aimed his wand at the boy who was now aiming his wand at the place Harry had been standing on just seconds ago.

 

“It’s just the sleeping charm.” The boy proclaimed, glaring at Voldemort with disdain as he ordered, “Lower your wand, you fool.”

 

“Which Horcrux are you?” Voldemort demanded but did not lower his arm. He barely noticed that Tom had also aimed his wand at the boy.

 

“Unless the Horcrux in my mother had disappeared, I don’t think I’m any of them.” The boy replied with an annoyed hiss, making Tom’s eyes widened.

 

“Harry is our Horcrux?” Tom whispered, his voice sounding both surprised and pleased.

 

Voldemort pressed his lips against Harry’s forehead, making the boy hiss angrily at him. Voldemort’s brows furrowed as he announced, “Harry still contains a piece of my soul.”

 

The boy raised an eyebrow as he mused, “So you already knew he was a Horcrux.”

 

Voldemort scoffed as he retorted, “Of course I knew. Harry’s room was created to keep everyone with my magical signature but not him. The magical signature of my Horcrux inside him had already mutated to contain both mine and his. It’s no longer a perfect copy of mine. Unlike you.”

 

“There’s a spell that makes an object glow if it houses a Horcrux. Will that work on me?” Thomas asked Tom, making the older wizard frown slightly at him. Thomas rolled his eyes before explaining, “He asked me which Horcrux I am. That means there was already an incident wherein one of our Horcruxes was given form. It can only be you since the very idea of having an offspring disgusts me.”

 

Voldemort and Tom had to admit that he was correct about that. In all honesty, Voldemort never tried to harm Harry’s unborn child simply because he knew Harry wanted to have the child. Tom nodded as he finally replied, “It did make me glow.”

 

Thomas turned to glare at Voldemort as he ordered, “Cast it on me then.”

 

Voldemort’s eyebrow twitched but he repressed his rage, casting the Horcrux detection spell at Thomas. Both of Voldemort’s and Tom’s brows furrowed when Thomas didn’t glow. Thomas let Voldemort cast the spell two more times before finally snapping, “It’s not going to glow because I am not your bloody Horcrux.”

 

Tom glared at him as he demanded, “If you’re not a Horcrux then why do you have the same magical signature as us?!”

 

“Because I am Lord Voldemort!” Thomas snapped at Tom. He took a deep breath before adding calmly, “Or I was in my previous life.”

 

“Reincarnation?!” Voldemort asked ludicrously. Voldemort scoffed as he placed his other hand under Harry’s knees, “That’s absurd. Even if you were reborn, I would have had to die first.”

 

Thomas stared at Voldemort and his mother as the older wizard carried Harry in his arms, “I know it is but that’s the only thing absurd about it. When I said I was Voldemort in my previous life, I meant I was another Voldemort from an alternate universe.”

 

“Forgive us if we don’t believe you.” Tom drawled as he glared at Voldemort as well.

 

Voldemort passed Thomas and opened the door to his private chambers using magic. Both Thomas and Tom hurriedly followed him inside as Thomas argued, “It’s the only explanation I can think of considering I have memories up to my mother-“

 

Thomas’ lips curved into a frown as he corrected, “No, I have memories up to Harry Potter’s seventh year in Hogwarts. He was not expelled and this fool-“

 

Tom glared at Thomas when the boy pointed at him.

 

“Did not exist. Regulus Black and Barty were already dead by then and I had died facing Harry Potter.” Thomas continued, not even bothered by the death glare Tom was currently giving him.

 

Voldemort gently placed Harry on the bed, taking off his atrocious glasses and muggle shoes before turning to stare at Thomas as he asked, “And now you are masquerading as my luv’s son?”

 

“I am his son!” Thomas announced fiercely, taking a step towards Voldemort as he hissed, “Don’t you dare say otherwise. I will not let you, or anyone else, deny our relationship.”

 

Voldemort stared at the boy, his green eyes shimmering with fury and determination. Those eyes which had been so similar to his Harry’s were too different as well. The emotions lingering in them were too similar to his.

 

He had seen that kind of eyes before. Those had been the eyes Tom had shown him when he had tried to bait the boy to anger, baited him using the fact that he could not find Harry for the past eight years.

 

“I will find him.” Tom had announced fiercely then, “I will find Harry and I will kill anyone who gets in my way. Even if that person is you, father.”

 

Voldemort’s face remained emotionless as he placed his hand on Harry’s shoulder. Harry’s eyes opened and he gasped at the shock of Voldemort’s wakening spell. Voldemort took a step away from Harry and watched the young wizard scramble off the bed, half-blind as he called out worriedly, “Thomas?!”

 

“I’m here, mother.” Thomas ran towards his mother, letting the frantic wizard hold him in his arms. Thomas rubbed his mother’s back as he whispered, “I’m alright, mother. There’s no need to fret.”

 

“You caused us quite a shock, my dear.” Voldemort softly said, making all three stare at him confusedly. Voldemort raised an eyebrow as he asked, “Do you not remember? You fainted at the hallway just a few minutes ago.”

 

“I… did?” Harry asked, frowning slightly as he tried to remember the last few minutes. He stared at the floor as he mumbled, “I do remember my vision turning black…”

 

Harry’s eyes widened and he held Thomas protectively as he remembered, “When you were about to curse my son!”

 

“Ah, yes.” Voldemort nodded, lips forming into a slight smirk as he said pleasantly, “I apologize for that. It seems the wards in your room had malfunctioned due to inactivity for a long period of time. It might take me a while to fix the wards but you and Thomas can stay here until then.”

 

Harry stared at Voldemort half-blindly as he asked, “You’re not going to hurt Thomas?”

 

A soft smile graced Voldemort’s face as he replied, “Of course not. I will never hurt your son, my luv.”

 

Harry returned the smile with his own as he whispered, “Thank you.”

 

Voldemort nodded before turning his head to stare at Tom who had been staring at Harry the entire time. Voldemort’s action made Harry turn to face Tom as well as he stood, cradling Thomas in his arms. Harry took a step back and looked away as Tom opened his mouth. Tom closed his mouth and stared at the floor as well. A few seconds of awkward silence filled the room before Tom finally raised his head to stare at Harry as he proclaimed, “I’m not giving up on you, Harry.”

 

Harry’s grip on Thomas tightened but he kept quiet, listening silently as Tom continued, “I know what I have done should never be forgiven.”

 

Tom’s lips curved into a resigned smile as he admitted, “I know I don’t deserve you.”

 

His eyes hardened in determination as he continued, “But I still want to be with you. That’s why I’m not giving up. Even if it takes me 10 years or a century, I will prove to you that my feelings for you are real.”

 

Tom turned to glare at Voldemort as he hissed, “If you even dare to try and hurt him, I will kill you myself.”

 

Voldemort’s face remained emotionless as he retorted calmly, “I will not make the same mistakes as you did.”

 

Tom’s fists trembled in repressed rage, staring at Voldemort for a few seconds before turning around and leaving the room. The door slammed close loudly, making Harry flinch. Voldemort felt the wards around the manor shift as Tom disapparated. Voldemort continued to stare at the door while Harry placed Thomas on the bed. Harry kissed Thomas’ forehead before walking towards Voldemort. Once he was an arm’s length away from Voldemort, Harry asked with soft glistening eyes, “Why did you let me go? Eight years ago… why didn’t you try and stop me?”

 

Voldemort stared at the only person to ever make Voldemort feel these much emotions. He wondered how long Harry had wanted to ask. Did Harry thought about Voldemort each day the way he had cried for Tom each night? Voldemort’s lips curved into a small smile as he asked, “I cannot let go of what was never mine.”

 

Harry’s lips quivered and tears began to form as he whispered, “I… I would have stayed if you told me too.”

 

Voldemort chuckled lightly as he added, “Not because you wanted to. You would have stayed because you had no choice.”

 

Harry closed his eyes as he admitted, “I was happy with you.”

 

“Yet you still cry his name in your sleep.” Voldemort added, caressing Harry’s cheek as he whispered, “I could have you in my arms for eternity but your heart will always scream for Tom.”

 

Voldemort lowered his hand as he admitted, “That was why I kept him away.”

 

Harry’s entire body froze and he stared at Voldemort with wide eyes as Voldemort continued, “He had been looking for you for eight years, using everything in his disposal. Unfortunately for him, everything in his disposal was mine in the first place. It was easy to keep him away from you. All these years…”

 

“Then…” Harry’s lips trembled as he asked, “Why did you let him find me now?”

 

Voldemort stared at him silently for a few minutes before an empty smile appeared on his face as he mused, “I don’t know. Perhaps I wanted you to come to me once more, even if it was to simply get away from him. Perhaps I wanted to see you again without breaking my promise of never disturbing your peace. Perhaps…”

 

Voldemort turned away as he whispered, “I thought eight years would be enough for you to realize you do want to be with me out of your own free will.”

 

“Voldemort…” Harry’s voice cracked as he whispered the name he had chosen for himself.

 

Voldemort stood and said in a slightly nonchalant manner, “Do not worry, my luv. I will never force you. I will find you a secure paradise once more and, this time, I will ensure that no one will ever bother you again. Not my son and certainly not me.”

 

With that proclamation, Voldemort walked out of the room, leaving Harry and Thomas alone in his private chambers. Tears finally fell from Harry’s eyes as he covered his mouth, muffling the cries he could no longer contain as he collapsed on the bed. Thomas wrapped his arms around his mother, cradling the crying wizard in his arms.

 

Thomas didn’t know what to feel. He wanted his mother to stop crying but he did not know how. What could he say?

 

Go to Tom, the one who had hurt his mother yet looked for him this entire time?

 

Go to Voldemort, the one who protected his mother this entire time yet kept everyone else, especially Tom, away?

 

Stay here with him, the one who would do anything to keep him happy?

 

In the end, was Thomas even enough to keep Harry Potter happy?