Tom Riddle was sitting alone in a train compartment on his way to Hogwarts for the first time. It still seemed surreal to him, like a really good dream he was afraid it will end soon. He didn’t talk to anyone, too afraid of human contact and being bullied even though some of the first years tried to meet him and get him to join them, but he refused. He didn’t know much about Hogwarts, only the things Albus Dumbledore has told him and he has already forgotten most of it because it was a lot of information to take in.
“Excuse me, can I sit here?”
Tom looked up to see a girl with brown hair and dark eyes. She didn’t meet his gaze, instead looked at the ground shyly rubbing her arm. Tom didn’t answer only nodded and she looked up for a second to give him a little smile as she sat.
“There were a lot of people in the other compartments, it makes me nervous.”
She said again and Tom just nodded. She frowned a little, confused why he won’t talk to her, but she wouldn’t give up.
“What’s your name?”
She tried again and this time it caused him to look up and meet her eyes. He looked so lost that it made her sad, but she smiled warmly trying to relax him.
He said quietly that she had to lean closer to hear it.
“Beautiful name, although I have never heard of your surname before. Is it muggle?”
She tried not to sound rude because she didn’t ask it to offend him. On the contrary, she found muggles interesting, like her father. When the boy didn’t answer for a long time she realised he didn’t know the meaning of the word.
“Oh, I meant your parents aren’t wizards?”
She corrected herself.
“I don’t know.”
He said looking at his knees.
She didn’t know if she was being too rude or nosy, she just tried to get to know him.
“I have never met my parents. I grew up in the orphanage.”
He was even quieter this time, but she managed to hear every word.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
She said but decided to change the topic so that he won’t feel bad.
“What house do you think you will be in?”
She said excitedly.
“I’m not sure. I don’t know a lot about them.”
“My dad and uncle were in Hufflepuff so I hope I will be there too.”
She said proudly even though Tom only remembered Dumbledore mentioning this name, but he didn’t tell him why is it special.
“You also look like a Hufflepuff in my opinion.”
He looked up confused.
“It’s not the bad thing. I mean you don’t look like Gryffindor and you’re definitely not a Slytherin. You could be a Ravenclaw, but seeing as you are confused all this time I’m pretty sure you’re a Hufflepuff.”
Tom was absorbing all of the information. So Hufflepuff is a powerful house, he thought. The one where he will grow and become the greatest wizard in this world. The moment he found out he’s special, that there is magic in his blood he decided to become someone great and important and Hogwarts is only the start.
“What is your name?”
He suddenly felt comfortable with the girl, remembering his plans. If they were in the same house, he thought they are similar and he needed people to follow him.
She said proudly raising her head a bit as if she expected him to know who she was. However, he had no idea and he hated it. He made a mental note to learn all of the important things about the wizarding world as soon as he can.
“My dad wrote a book.”
She added as if she read his mind.
“And...” she hesitated for a bit as if she was scared of what she was about to say, “he defeated Grindelwald before.”
Tom has already forgotten the name she told him. He hated that he has no clue about anything.
“He’s a dark wizard.”
Dark wizard. It means bad. Tom knew that there was a lot of bad people, how did she call it? Muggles. Yes, they are muggles and he is not. There are a lot of bad muggles, but the worse they are more powerful they become. Was this one the same? He’s learned a lot from Cybele, but he is still confused.
She said as she jumped from her seat and grabbed her stuff huge smile on her face. Tom was nervous because he thought she will leave and he will have to go by himself, but as she reached the door she turned around and waited for him.
They were walking together with other first-years, Cybele never closing her mouth. In other circumstances, Tom would find her extremely annoying, but she was telling him a story about the castle and the founders so he listened to every word she said.
They were taking the boat to school, although other students were taking carriages, but without horses. Cybele told him it was a tradition for first-years to take boats.
When they arrived in the castle she finally shut up as she admired the castle. They entered the great hall where the sorting will take place. Tom noticed 4 different tables and each had ties of a different colour. Houses. In front of them was an old hat and Tom was confused once again.
“It’s a sorting hat. It will sort you in a house.”
She whispered when she saw his confusion. Tom nodded and the ceremony started.
Her name was first. She sighed and took a step forward. She sat on a chair and the teacher placed a hat on her head.
“Hm...very brave. Also very intelligent and curious. Hard-working, loyal, good-hearted. I know exactly where to put you. Hufflepuff!”
Cybele smiled immediately and one table started clapping and screaming as she reached the table. Yellow ties, so that is Hufflepuff, Tom thought. He saw as they all were all extending hands for her to shake like she was important and she probably was.
The dark-haired boy stepped forward and sat on the chair. Hat took few moments before sorting him in Slytherin.
Tom couldn’t wait for his name to be called out. There were a few more Hufflepuffs, but a lot more Gryffindors and Slytherins and few Ravenclaws. There were about ten more students to be sorted.
Tom let out a shaky breath and sat on the chair. He felt a hat touching his hair and less than a second later it shouted ‘’Slytherin’’.
Tom frowned as his legs carried him to the cheering table. He leaned his head on his palm before the blond boy sat across from him.
‘’I’m Abraxas Malfoy.’’
He stretched out his hand for Tom to shake. Tom hesitatingly did so.
‘’Tom. Tom Riddle.’’
He wasn’t as quiet this time, this topic got him interested.
The boy said.
‘’Are you a Mudblood?’’
The blond boy said with disgust. Tom frowned. What is Mudblood? Is that what Cybele asked on the train; he couldn’t remember.
‘’Um... I don’t think so. My parents died a little after I was born so I grew up in a Muggle world. They used to say my mother was weird.’’
Tom tried to assure the boy he comes from a wizard family and when the blond boy nodded, Tom sighed in relief.
‘’This school is pathetic in my opinion and Slytherin is the only good house. You certainly wouldn’t be here if you were filthy Mudblood.’’
Tom could only nod as he looked around. He was confused because he thought Hufflepuff is a powerful house. Then again, Cybele never said it was powerful, Tom concluded it.
‘’Do you know that girl?’’
Tom motioned towards the Hufflepuff table, where Cybele sat. Malfoy only scoffed.
‘’Scamander. Thinks she’s important because her father defeated a great wizard. He didn’t do good enough obviously, he escaped again. Grindelwald is right though, he only wants us to use our magic freely.’’
Tom was listening carefully to the boy. The more Malfoy spoke the more Riddle agreed with him. Malfoy was similar to him and at that moment Tom thought he is exactly where he was supposed to be.