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Tom Riddle's Lover
June 31st 1943
Today is a beautiful day in Little Hangleton. Father planted the first of our flowers in the garden today, declaring that this year would be the best year yet. I am amused by his optimism, for he says this every year, and every year the garden fails to grow. I tease him about this consistency. He insists it is those damn Riddles, stealing all the water for themselves. I personally would be unsurprised if they did such a thing. They honestly believe that they own all the land.
I turn seventeen in three weeks. I am dreading the moment, for Father has not yet met an applicable suitor. I have met many a young man, but few are as intellectual as I. Though I am a woman, I need some wit in a man. Mother chides me, calling me picky and stubborn. I am neither—I am just not stupid. I hope Father does find me a husband soon; I am almost ready to take matters into my own hands.
As I write, something curious is proceeding over the hill. The old, poor man in the shack over the hill is screaming and shouting. I watch wearily—he is probably having a dreadful fit again. He tends to come into town randomly and stir things up. I have a suspicion about the old man, though. He is too strange to be harmless. Father insists he will never act on his threats, but I have my doubts.
July 2nd 1943
I discussed the marriage issue with Father, who tells me there is a boy in town I would enjoy meeting. “He seems sharp,” Father snaps as he sips at his morning coffee. He is taking me into Little Hangleton’s town center, allowing me to walk around and shop for Mother by myself! Then for lunch I will meet the boy Father believes is witty. I am hoping for the best—this is all very exciting.
July 2nd 1943
What a peculiar day! When Father left me at the pharmacy, I had no idea where to go. I wandered around for a good hour and a half without a care, ignoring my morning duties. Suddenly, I saw a young man with dark hair and ivory skin across the street. His lips were pressed together in curiosity and detachment. My stomach leapt and I sucked in my breath. Who was this boy? Then he looked at me with such a clever gleam in his eye I almost collapsed. He saw me staring breathlessly at him, and laughed maliciously. Instantly I despised him. I started off in the other direction, deciding to never speak to the boy. Suddenly a hand clasped my wrist, squeezing it tighter than necessary. I turned in surprise—it was the boy! How he got across the street so quickly, I will never know. The boy smiled, but I could see a mean glare in his eyes through his glasses. He inferred where the Riddle mansion was. I immediately realized the likeness between the Riddle son and the boy. I pointed him in the right direction, and then he stormed off in the other. Out of pure curiosity, I shouted, “Who are you?” The boy ignored me completely.
I met the boy Father liked for lunch. He was dull, so not worth discussing. I hope to never see either boy again.
July 5th 1943
The Riddles have invited the entire town to a celebration at their mansion. It is very formal, so Mother and my younger sister, Martha, are working furiously to get ready. I am wearing a beautiful gown made of dark green cloth. It folds in marvelous waves from my waist to my feet, which are decked in silver shoes. My hair, done by Mother, is built up so my blonde curls sit atop my hair, drifting down around my face. I have paling makeup on for the first time in my life. This attire must have cost Father a fortune, but he insists this is my chance to make a statement. Wish me well!
July 7th 1943
I have never felt so baffled in my entire life. It has been two days since the glorious ball at the Riddle mansion, yet the whole experience continues to be cratered in my mind.
That intense, gloomy boy from town attended the ball. I intended to ignore him the entire dance, but apparently that was not his objective. As soon as I entered the large ballroom, the boy stormed up to me and took my hand. He looked dreadfully handsome in a tuxedo, though his glasses remained faithfully on his nose. His dark eyes peered at me. Were they brown? Hazel, I decided crossly, annoyed by the fact I had been dragged away from my protective father.
“Did you inform anyone that I was here?” He demanded without even greeting me. Irritated, I shook off his grip.
“No, I did not, sir, and I will not, for you being here is of no importance to me,” I snarled, and struggled to walk smartly away from him in my tall silver shoes.
After an hour or so of dancing with random boys, and a couple of men, I took up a conversation with a professor of the university a few towns away. We discussed physics and folk tales. “Scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as magic, for it is a ridiculous concept that defies basic scientific laws,” the professor kept insisting, and I was beginning to agree. Then, the boy walked over. The professor and I continued to argue until the boy finally spoke up.
“Well, Professor Quirrell, I’m shocked that you of all people would say that.” The boy smirked. The professor flushed and immediately recognized the boy.
“T-t-t-Tom Riddle, what are you doing here?” The professor exclaimed. I started back, staring at the boy, who glared angrily at the young professor.
“Excuse me sir, I am not, in fact, Tom Riddle. My name is Henry Garfield, thank you very much. Would you like to dance, Miss Jackson?” He did not really ask, though, and whisked me away.
He put his hands on my hips, and mine on his shoulders, but there was an awful tension. After several minutes of this, he stopped dancing, and out of nowhere began laughing hysterically. “What is so wrong, young sir, that you laugh like a drunkard?” I snarled, looking around to make sure no one else was watching. I had a reputation to uphold, even if he did not.
“Our awkward dance is just too hilarious not to chuckle at,” Mr. Garfield snapped, his mood changing to gloom in a manner of seconds.
“Our awkward dance would not be taking place if it were not for you, Mr. Garfield. In addition, I would not call that a chuckle. Perhaps a cackle, but definitely not a chuckle,” I countered. Henry smiled warmly at me. I questioned whether he was right in the mind.
“I like you, Miss Jackson, and I intend to get to know you very well.” Henry spun me into the crowd. I have not seen him since.
July 14th 1943
Strange tidings are happening. No one has seen the old man in the shack in over a week—ever since Henry randomly appeared. I believe I am the only suspicious one, for everyone else is overjoyed to be rid of the drunk. I am not unhappy, per se, just wary.
I am beginning to revert to my childish ways again. There is a monster under my bed, but I have not told anyone, for no one would believe me. It is like a wolf—only larger. I fear for my life, but it does not make a move, only sit and waits for me to reach under the bed in search for it. I began to sleep with Martha, but the monster followed me and waited in the closet, so I had to go back into my room. I do not want to endanger Martha.
I see Henry every once in a while wandering back and forth on the street in town. I do not shout for him though because he is the boy and ought to speak to me first. I have not told my father about Henry. He would not approve of the constant inconsistency of the boy’s mental state. I feel wrong keeping Henry a secret, but I do not want to worry anyone.
July 17th 1943
I caught the monster under my bed last night. Around midnight I heard a growling sound, and it dawned upon me that the monster might be ready to attack. I leaned over my bed to watch as the monster crawled out from under my bed. It stuck its claw out, scraping the floor, and as a first, curious response, I poked the pale paw. Immediately the claw turned into a human hand, and I screamed. He leapt from under the bed, completely nude, and stared me straight in the eye. He leaned over to touch my face, almost lovingly, and I felt my skin become frozen under his finger. Then, he ran for his life, for my family had heard my foolish screams. My father came running into my bedroom with a shotgun, and started shooting off at the intruder. Luckily he has a bad shot, or else he would have hit Henry.
July 19th 1943
Yesterday, I went for a long walk with Henry. We walked from the old man’s shack, which is still silent, to the Riddle Mansion. We did not touch once. We walked in silence until we arrived. Finally, I inquired, “Why are we here?”
He cackled. “Of all the questions you could ask, such as how did you turn into a monster? or where did you come from? or who are you? or why did you hide under my bed? and you ask why we are here.”
“I have some time to ask those,” I declared as I sat hesitantly at a small table in the Riddles’ garden. “Are you sure we can be here?” The boy nods, annoyed at my reluctance to discuss the monster. I truly did not want to know, but I knew I had to find out. “Okay. How did you turn into a monster?”
“Magic,” Henry answered, curling his lip. I snorted.
“Fine, if you do not want to tell me, don’t.”
“No, really, magic. I killed a raccoon and enchanted myself into the body so I could hide under your bed as somewhere to sleep, for I have nowhere else to go, and I knew you would not tell anyone about the monster under the bed,” Henry insisted, grabbing my hand. I wanted to let go, but I could not shake off his grip. He smiled.
“Okay,” I bit my lip, and tasted iron. “You answered why you were under my bed. Where did you come from?”
“Here, but my true home is at Hogwarts.”
I did not even bother questioning what Hogwarts was. I doubt it truly exists.
We sat still for a while, Henry staring at me hungrily. I finally asked in a desperate attempt to break his stare, “Who the bloody hell are you?”
“Tom Riddle, Jr,” The boy spat out his name like he despised it. I looked around.
“Is Tom Riddle, Sr. aware of your presence?”
July 20th 1943
I turn seventeen today. I informed Tom of this development, and he intends to take me somewhere special. We agreed to continue to meet secretly. I noticed that Tom has stopped wearing his glasses. I suppose that was part of his disguise as Henry Garfield. This morning, my father came up to me with fear in his eyes. He is concerned for my safety, for he is very nervous about the monster under my bed. He declared that he should have known. I told him that none of this mess was his fault, but I really must go into town. He drove me there, and went to work. He gave me twenty dollars to buy something nice for my seventeenth birthday. All efforts to find a husband have been extinguished.
July 22nd 1943
Tom has made a terrible mistake.
July 25th 1943
The police are everywhere. They keep questioning everyone about the Riddles’ gardener Frank, and his relationship with the Riddles. Frank has murdered them, according to the police. I know better. The image of green light keeps bubbling up in my mind, seizing every part of my body and capturing my mind. I thought at first… Now I do not know anything. Everything is wrong.
July 30th 1943
I do not know where Tom is hiding. Frank has been released, which I am extremely thankful for. I have not left my house in over a week; I fear to do so. “Lorena,” my father chides me, “Your beauty has managed to fade in a manner of days. Why do you care about the Riddles? Now, at least, we will get some water for the garden.” I began to sob enough tears to water every neighbor’s garden for a year. My father patted me uneasily on the back, and left me to write furiously in this journal. I cannot write, though. I just reside in my room, my pen floating over the paper, for there is nothing to say.
July 31st 1943
The sky broke open today in a fit, rain running down to melt into the tears on my cheeks. The paper is getting soggy, but I must share my downfall.
I was staring out of my window when I saw Tom sneaking around outside of my house. I rushed from the house into the rain, my parents too stunned to question my actions. Tom realized that I had spotted him, and he began to run in the opposite direction from town. From me! I cried out his name, demanding him to speak to me. “Tom, please, Tom!” I sobbed, my voice cracking. I tripped on a loose stone in the road and fell into a puddle. I laid in the mud for a moment, wishing I had never met Tom.
I felt hands on my waist, strong hands, pulling me up. I wrapped my arms around him. He picked me up and I held on, like a baby. When I opened my eyes, I realized that he was carrying me miles away from my house. Green, rolling English hills filled the landscape. It would be beautiful if I were not so afraid. Finally, he rested in a small cavern about ten miles away from the old man’s shack. “How did we get here?” I inquired, though I did not really care. Tom did not answer, brushing the curls from my eyes.
“Lorena, I have never felt sorry for anything I have ever done in my sixteen years on this planet, and I refuse to ever feel sorrow for that awful family,” Tom spoke at last, the words breaking a dreadful quiet.
“I think I am in love with you,” I whispered. Tom did not even start back, for he already knew. “I think I fell in love as soon as I laid eyes on you.” He did not move. “Please, say something.”
“I have nothing to say,” he moaned mournfully. The rain pounded noisily on the roof of the cavern. I glanced away for a moment at the loose dirt, drawing messy circles into the ground.
“Then kiss me.” I still could not look at him, grimacing; he placed his hand behind my neck, and leaned into me. Our lips met for a single moment, his cold and wet from the abrupt rain. I felt his grip lighten. I tightened mine, but when I opened my eyes, he was gone.
September 1st, 1945
It has been over two years since I have seen Tom. I count every day like it is my last. My father came to my house this morning. “Hello, my dear daughter,” and Father kissed both my cheeks in greeting. I gathered together some tea and served Father. He seemed reluctant to speak, so we sat in silence. At last, Father declared that he was worried about me. He brought out a photograph, and placed it lightly on the table. He informed me that he believed that someone was stalking me. I looked down at the photograph, observing the young, curly haired girl staring deeply into a dark haired, pale boy’s eyes. Hazel, I thought. They were surrounded by a marvelous garden, clutching hands. I smiled sadly at my father. “No one is stalking me, Father,” I whispered, twirling my lank hair around my finger. “There is not even a monster near my bed.”
My father left in a fit, hoping to convince me to stay careful. I practically had to throw the old man out.
John is home now, waiting in the bedroom for me to return. I pick at the wilting edges of our wedding picture, labeled, “Jonathon and Lorena Quirrell.” I place the photograph next to the one of Tom and me. My eyes dance between the two, realizing I never had a choice. Tom made it for me. “Darling!” John calls me. I shove my photograph into this journal. Keep it safe from prying eyes. I must return to John. After I finish this entry, I will burn it—there is evidence in here that would hurt Tom. But first, I must admit to one last topic of interest. I do not know how, but the baby has hazel eyes.
Mount Berry, Georgia
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