Voldemort looked down at the worn book as he made his way through the corridors. The long-forgotten pages had forced many memories to the forefront of his mind, some good and some bad, but nonetheless memories of a lifetime he had chosen to forget. He certainly wished he could have forgotten the Professor who at that time had required this book…
It was his third year at Hogwarts and he had already become quite interested in the darker forms of magic. He was often found deep within the library late at night, the bookkeeper often having to drag him out, yelling at him to head back to his common room. Tom Riddle, oh how Voldemort still shuddered at that name, had already begun to collect a few 'friends' who would later become the first of his loyal Death Eaters, many of which were the parents of his current followers. Lord Voldemort was just a distant thought when Riddle walked the corridors of Hogwarts carrying this particular book.
When Voldemort reached his quarters he pushed open the door and made his way inside. He glanced quickly around the room, only seeing one of his precious horcruxes.
'Nagini, where's Harry?'
'Bathroom' she answered apathetically, not looking up from where she was curled. Voldemort's eyes narrowed, the snake's careless attitude had greatly increased since Harry arrived… the boy was rubbing off on her.
Voldemort made his way to the ornate desk and sat gracefully down into the chair while waiting for Harry to return. He looked around the room and was quick to note the disarray it was in- Harry had his birthday presents quite literally strewn everywhere. The Quidditch book was lying open on the floor, the boy's wand lying carelessly beside it, empty candy boxes and wrappers were everywhere. He looked up as the door to the bathroom opened.
"How can one person make such a mess?"
Harry jumped at the sudden voice, an undignified shriek emitting from his throat. "SWEET MERLIN! DON'T DO THAT!"
"That's not an answer to my question."
With his heart pounding, Harry briefly looked around the room, his face falling a bit as he saw the mess. "Oh. Sorry, I didn't realize it was that bad. Plus, I didn't think you'd be back this soon anyway! You cannot scare people like that!"
"I can do as I so please, unlike you- pick your mess up."
Harry huffed sadly and placed his hand on his stomach, "Do I have to? I don't feel too great…"
"Don't be dramatic."
"I'm not! I really don't feel well."
"Can I assume that has to do with the dozens of candy wrappers scattered across my floor?" Voldemort asked as the boy flopped into an armchair, "Hm?"
Standing from his desk Voldemort asked, "What did you expect to happen?" as he walked to the boy. He conjured a flask from midair and handed it to Harry. "I should let you suffer."
"Will this make me feel better?"
"Mhm." Voldemort nodded.
Harry quickly drank the potion down, regretting those twenty-seven fizzing whizbees.
"I intended for that candy to last you a while, not a couple days."
"Ugghh…" Harry groaned as he sunk lower into the chair and Voldemort simply shook his head.
The Dark Lord turned and made his way back to his desk, grabbing the book. "I have something for you."
Harry perked up a bit, "Yeah?"
"I certainly hope you take better care of this than your other gifts." Voldemort said, his stern tone easily and quickly getting his point across. "I stumbled upon this in the library, forgotten I had kept it actually, it's from my third year and I thought you might enjoy it."
Harry took the worn and obviously very old book, Intermediate Transfiguration, By Cynthia Hornby
Harry flipped through the tome, trying to keep the ripped pages from falling out. "This looks really old… how old are you again?"
"Immortality has no age."
Rolling his eyes Harry teased, "Oh yeah, right. I guess becoming a Dark Lord is quite strenuous, though you should have taken better care of your books... HEY!" he shouted as he dodged Voldemort's attempt to bop him on the head. "Haha! Missed! OW!" he shouted, unable to dodge to stinging hex.
Voldemort smirked as he watched the boy rub the sting from his side. "This coming from the boy who caused damage to numerous books in his wandless fight against the Death Eaters in my library. Anyway, I want you to borrow it, try to learn from it."
"I can borrow it?"
"Of course, why do you think I brought it here in the first place? You have your wand, I want you to try to practice and learn new spells, and I've marked on the inside those which I think will be most useful to you. It's only one book but it's a start, I have plans to get more books your own level so that you can advance your magic." He took a look around the room, "Which will obviously be much more beneficial than you eating candy all day."
"Wow, that's really… uh, nice? Thanks."
"You're welcome. I want you to take it seriously, I want you to be able to show me what you've learned."
"Also, I do not want you trying new spells on anything other than what I provide for you to practice with."
"Alright. Does that mean I can't practice on Nagini?"
"I'm serious Harry. Do you understand?"
"Yes, I understand."
"Alright good. And yes, that means you cannot under any circumstances practice on Nagini."
"Anyway, that's enough of that. Are you feeling better?"
Harry considered for a moment, "Yes actually, I am."
"Good. I have things I need to complete, why don't you begin reading the book, after you clean up your mess that is."
"Gah, alright alright."
An hour later Harry sat with his wand grasped firmly in one hand while the book rested on the floor in front of him. He had been reading and surprisingly had found quite a few transfiguration spells he wanted to learn, but then again the subject had always been interesting to him. He stared at the small chipped tea pot that Voldemort had given him to practice with. Harry wondered if it had been dug up from a trash bin.
"Duro" he whispered enthusiastically in an attempt to get the tea pot to turn to stone, his face fell when nothing happened. "Duro!" he whispered once more, trying not to disturb Voldemort. "Duro. Duro. Duro! DURO DURO DURO!" Nothing.
"Loosen your wrist some."
Harry turned towards Voldemort, but the man was still looking down at his desk, seemingly ignoring the boy. Harry flexed the hand holding his wand and tried once more, "Duro. Duro!" His face lit up as he watched the tea pot turn completely into stone. "AH! YES! I DID IT!"
In his excitement, Harry didn't even think to look back towards the Dark Lord, who was smirking down at his papers.
Harry read and practiced spells for the next hour or so before falling into a deep sleep, his mind exhausted.
As soon as he awoke the next morning he called for Tibby and requested breakfast, which he then quickly shoved down. He wanted to get back to the book.
It was the first new magic he had learned in months, and Merlin knew he was tired of repeating the same spells over and over again which he had previously learned. He grabbed the haggard book, leapt into one of the armchairs, and began reading once more.
By the end of the day he had completely perfected two new transfiguration spells- Duro, the charm that turned objects into stone, and Tortuius, a spell that Voldemort was about to greatly to dislike.
When the Dark Lord opened the door to his rooms later that night he was almost startled by the immediate greeting he received from Harry. He entered the room with great suspicion aimed towards the boy whose smile looked to be about ready to burst off his face.
Harry pulled something from behind his back and raised it into the air. "LOOK WHAT I DID!"
Voldemort stared at the boy who stood with a small tortoise raised high into the air, greatly resembling a Muggle children's film Harry had once mentioned- something about lions and kings. He walked over to the boy and took the animal from his hands, studying it intently.
"I must admit I'm impressed."
"She's awesome isn't she?!"
"Impressive. She's impressive." Voldemort insisted, not 'impressed' by Harry's enthusiastic use of the Muggle word.
The boy took the tortoise back, petting it fondly on the head. "I've been playing with her all day- Nagini has been asleep."
"How long ago did you transfigure it?"
"I don't know, a few hours."
"You need to turn it back."
"It cannot stay an animal forever."
"Why? It was just an old broken tea pot."
"But I thought- I thought I could keep it."
"Yeah, as a pet."
"A pet?! No Harry, absolutely not."
"Because this is not a barn! We already have too many animals here as it is."
"We only have two! And Hedwig doesn't bother anyone!"
"No, Harry. No."
"But I already named her!"
"I do not care!"
The boy stood stubbornly, not happy at all about having to get rid of his new pet. He glanced over to the large snake who was now stirring from her nap, having been awoken by the yelling.
"Harry Potter don't you dare…"
'Hedwig and Nagini are already pets, why can't we have another one?'
They both watched as the snake did a very human-like double take. 'Excuse me?! Nagini is NOT a pet!' Harry looked triumphantly back at the Dark Lord, who was now breathing heavily, not much unlike an angered dragon. 'Snakeling! Nagini is not a pet!'
"Now you're definitely not keeping it." Voldemort said angrily, struggling to keep his voice under control.
'Snakeling, listen to Nagini, I am not a pet.'
Voldemort straightened his back, making himself loom even taller over the small boy, and extended his hand. "Give it here."
Harry's eyes went wide, "No!"
"Harry. Give. It. To. Me."
He held the tortoise tightly to his chest and turned around, speaking over his shoulder, "NO! You're going to hurt her!"
"I'm not going to hurt it I'm just going to change it back!"
"It's in your best interest if you give it to me. Now."
"I'LL DO IT MYSELF! DON'T TOUCH HER!"
Voldemort's hand clenched. "Fine. Do it now."
Harry shot an angry and distrustful look towards the Dark Lord as he placed the tortoise on the ground.
'Snakeling do you hear Nagini? I am not-'
'ALRIGHT NAGINI! WE UNDERSTAND!' Voldemort shouted in Parseltongue at the snake, who had yet to stop talking. He looked back to the boy who hadn't moved yet.
"Harry Potter if you do not change that creature back right now, so Salazar help me…"
"ALRIGHT!" Harry shouted. He turned slowly around and looked down to the floor where he had left his new friend, only to let out a scream when he realized Nagini was there, large mouth open wide and fangs bared, a second from swallowing his tortoise whole.
'Nagini NO!' he screamed as he scooped the animal up, Nagini's powerful fangs barely missing his small arms as she bit down.
"HARRY!" Voldemort shouted and he yanked the boy backwards away from the snake. "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"
"SHE WAS GOING TO EAT HER!"
"Give me the bloody animal now." Voldemort said as he yanked the tortoise from the boy's hands. He quickly pulled out his wand and transfigured the animal back into the chipped tea pot, which he then forcefully threw against the wall in anger.
Harry jumped as he watched the pot shatter.
"Do you understand why we can't have pets?!" Voldemort said, hand extended towards the confused Nagini.
"I get it! I didn't think it'd be that big of a deal!"
"It's a big deal that you don't listen to me when I tell you something! I said no, so the answer was no."
"If you don't want to be hexed into oblivion I suggest you be silent for the rest of the night."
Harry just wanted to get away from the man, so without a response he spun and walked into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
He punched the air repeatedly, letting out his frustration. Why did Voldemort always have to be so crazy?! It was just a tortoise! He could have calmly and nicely said "No, we can't keep it"… Although he kinda did say that… NO. No he didn't have to get so angry about it. Harry thought.
Once he stopped screaming at Voldemort in his mind, which the man could no doubt hear, Harry decided to take a shower, as there's not much else you can do when locked inside of a bathroom. The hot water felt incredible and his frustration soon disappeared in the humidity. When he finally exited the bathroom he shot a quick look over to the Dark Lord, who was sitting at his desk with Nagini wrapped around his shoulders, completely ignoring Harry.
He made his way to the bed and lay down, but before he could snuggle under the covers Voldemort asked, "Nagini wants to know what you named the tortoise."
Harry sat back up. "Nagini wants to know? Why doesn't she just ask me then?" he said sarcastically.
Voldemort threw him a look. "Fine. I want to know what you named it."
Harry briefly wondered if this was some weird roundabout way Voldemort was apologizing for getting so angry. "No. You'll laugh."
"I won't laugh."
"….. Ugg, fine. I named her Michelle."
It took every ounce of self control Voldemort possessed to contain the laughter desperately trying to burst out of him. His muscles worked overtime in an effort to keep the smirk off his face. It took him a moment to answer, "That's a very nice name."
"I told you you would laugh." Harry huffed and flopped down onto the bed, throwing the blankets over his head as he tried to drown out the Dark Lord's unsuccessful attempt to keep from snickering.