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Of Father And Son

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When Thomas ‘Tom’ Benjamin Riddle spotted a young boy that looked eerily similar to himself enter the grounds of his family’s mansion, he realised a couple of things.

First, that boy must have been his son. Merope hadn’t lied when she had told him that she was pregnant. She had not invented some tale to make him stay. That child was real and it was standing right in front of him.

Second, he had let his son, his only child, and — as he had been married at the time, even if he had been controlled by his ex-wife — his heir to be raised from the child’s mother, the hag.

Third, his child had inherited her magical powers and based on his confidence while pointing his wand at Tom and his parents, he had gotten a proper education too.

Fourth, his son appeared to be very very angry and could reasonably kill him.

Fifth, his parents had no idea about any of those things.

Tom quickly excuse himself and moved away from his parents, towards the man who had to be his son. He might deserve his son’s rage, but neither his mother nor his father deserved to be hurt.

He needed to protect them in any way he could and if that meant his death then so be it.

He repeated this mantra to himself as he moved towards his son — and lightly murderer. The young man couldn’t be over sixteen, but that did not matter. If his expression was anything to go by, he had at very least the plan to do that. Granted, he might not be able to actually do that or Tom might've misinterpreted it — it was almost dark outside after all — but in his heart, Tom knew that his son was not in any way pleased with him.

Tom met his son on the grand stairs leading from the entrance hall.

“My son…” He didn’t even know why he said it and the words had already left his mouth before he could stop them.

“Quiet!” the young man snapped, pointing his wand right to Tom’s heart. “You have no right to call me that!” He was positively fuming with rage.

Tom swallowed. “You’re right, I don’t.” Seeing the stunned look on his son’s face, he continued. “I don’t have any right whatsoever to claim to be your father, unless from a purely biological standpoint. I have never been there for you and I could make excuses right now, but it does not matter in the end. I was not there when I should have been. But my parents are not at fault with that. Please, do not hurt them, I beg you. I will do anything you want. If you let me, I will do my best to make up for all the years I missed. Because even if I have not been your father,  you are my son and you deserve at the very least that much.”

During Tom’s small speech, his son lowered his wand a couple of inches and his face let go of some of the rage.

“Father…” he spoke, his voice quivering.

In a split second, Tom decided to hug his son. Even if that was the last thing he did, even if this was all an act to get him, at this moment it did not matter. He had to comfort his son. He had already failed him often enough.

Maybe, just maybe, they could become a proper family.

Chapter Text

It was safe to say that this is not what he had expected from this visit. Did his father this man actually care for him? It couldn’t be the case.

This had to be an elaborate trick, a ruse, somehow.

“Why didn’t you pick me up from the orphanage then? Why did you just leave me there to rot?” he spat. If the muggle in front of him does not have a decent answer for that part, he’s going to go through with his original plan, or in other words, rid the world of this man’s existence and conveniently blaming it on his uncle.

It’s not like it would be the first time, a voice in his head reminded him, even if he still felt something in a pit of his stomach.

These feelings were something he would have to get rid of as soon as possible. He couldn’t regret killing Myrtle Warren that Mudblood if he wanted to keep his Horcrux.

Or better yet, make more.

(he just cannot live with the thought of being forgotten. he’d rather live to be hated than die and be forgotten)

The man he had gotten his genes from holds his hands up next to his face. Pathetic. “In all honesty, I was unaware your mother has died. I haven’t heard from her since, well, I left. When did it happen?”

“The day I was born,” Tom Junior Voldemort deadpanned. “And why did you leave? Why did you leave me to grow up in an orphanage where everyone despised my very existence? Why did I have to live in a place where I was never quite able to fill my stomach until I was eleven while you live here, in a mansion with more than you could ever need? I was in the streets of London after the orphanage was hit last year when I wasn’t in school? What did I do then to deserve something like that?”

(now he has done something, but it’s not like this man is aware of that. he had such noble blood in multiple senses, so why was he deemed bad enough for such a fate before he had even been born?)

He had been so focused on his tirade that he had not even noticed his grandparents the elderly couple approach from the living room until the man spoke. He cannot be losing his touch that early, can he?

“Tom, my boy, who is this young man and what is he doing in our house unannounced?”

It took a moment until Tom Voldemort realized he was not the one spoken to. Nevertheless, he wanted to question the other man’s intelligence, as he was for some goddamn reason a near-exact copy of his father, but he supposed that his face was rather hidden in the shadows of the unlit hallway and eyesight was one of the things that tended to worsen with age.

“Mother, father, remember when I was… absent for a few months? It seems like this is my son from that time.”

The couple’s eyebrows quickly rose to their retreating hairlines.

“You had a son all these years?” his grandmother the woman replied, putting a hand in front of her mouth.

“It appears so,” his father — for the sake of clarity, he supposed he can temporarily start referring to him as such — responded.

“What’s your name, young man?” his grandfather prompted.

“Tom Marvolo Riddle,” he stated, carefully holding back what emotions he still had.

Chapter Text

Thomas Riddle Senior — or, as it turned out, Thomas Riddle the first — wasn’t quite sure what he expected when he found his son and the stranger holding a stick in the hallway, but he can confidently state that this was not it. He is a grandfather and had been for somewhere near two decades now.

There are a number of questions swirling around in his brain, but before he can ask any of them, his wife Anna decided that this conversation was not one to be had in the hallway and let them to the sitting room.

She did have a point, Thomas had to agree. Revelations of this degree were better handles sitting down, ideally with a cup of tea, which he promptly sends some confused servant to make.

He needed more information — everything even remotely related to the situation he now finds himself in — and he needed it as quickly as reasonably possible.

So Thomas looks at Tom, his son, who the kid seems to be almost identical to as he can see in this lightning.

“It seems like you left out some of the things from the time you were ‘absent’, as you put it.”

“I did,” Tom admitted. The tension was visible in his shoulders. “Because I did not think you would believe me if I told the full truth of my stay in London.”

“And why would that be?”

The kid seems to have an idea based on the look on his face — he has the same tells as Tom does, only without the knowledge that Thomas knows them — which does not sit all that well with Thomas. It means that someone other than him has control over the situation, after all.

“Because it involves magic,” Tom replied, causing both Anna and Thomas to do a double-take.

The kid, meanwhile, seemed to have his expectations met.

“I’m sorry?” Anna said. “I think I must have misunderstood you.”

“You didn’t,” the kids stated, “I would prove it, but having this discussion interrupted by magical law enforcement seems counterproductive and since I’m underage and you’re Muggles, they’d arrive right at the door.”

“You’re delusional,” Thomas stated.

“I’m really not,” the kid responded, “but it just occurred to me that I have evidence on me.” He digs deeper in his pockets than it should be possible and pulls out a newspaper of all things.

Thomas has already opened his mouth to protest when he noticed that the pictures and text of this Daily Prophet were moving.

A single word quietly left his mouth instead. “Impossible.”

“It’s true,” the kid assured them.

After a few seconds, Tom begins to tell the tale of his absence a few years ago. How the Gaunt girl from the hut on the other side of the river had bespelled him to like and marry her, how she had stopped the curse and revealed the truth, convinced Tom had actually fallen in love, and how Tom had immediately started to gather his things.

“She did tell me she was pregnant, given how she had just admitted to lying I did not believe her.” Tom looked at the kid when he said that part. “That’s why I never arrived to take you from the orphanage. I was honestly unaware of your existence.”

“I suppose that is an adequate reason,” the kid admits after a moment of silence.

“But now you’re here you won’t have to return there,” Anna assured the kid and Thomas agreed.