Author's Note: This is my first story on this website, but I've read quite a bit. I know that this is practically the most cliché plot ever, but I wanted to have my own, self-indulgent version. Many of these types of stories are not complete, so my goal is to make sure that I finish this. Reviews are welcomed and appreciated. Right now, I have about 15,000 words done, so hopefully there is more to come. Also, just so you know, this will not and never will be slash.

Oh, and this is an edit, because I forgot (oops...):

DISCLAIMER - I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER. I am writing this solely for entertainment purposes.

"Boring" was the only word coursing through Tom Riddle's mind as he sat on the front curb of Wool's Orphanage in London. He was probably the only child in the world who hated the summer holidays more than school. Mrs. Cole forced all of the children outside on nice days like this one, and Tom was left with nothing to do. He resorted to watching the streets of London.

Tom lazily gazed at the businessmen, police officers, and women from the recording studio as they went about their daily lives. No one was truly interesting, however, until he saw a strange man clad in robes, of all things. His hair was the same shade as Tom's, but much messier, and his eyes were bright green in comparison to Tom's, which were rich brown. He made contact with Tom, then flashed an unnerving smile and let a golden necklace slip out of his left hand.

Curiosity got the better of Tom. He scrambled across the street, nearly getting hit by multiple drivers, then carefully picked up the necklace. The green-eyed man had disappeared into the crowd — or maybe thin air. He was gone without a trace, and Tom had the necklace all to himself. He made his way back to the orphanage, more cautious of traffic this time, and let the cool gold of the necklace flow through his fingers.

The pendant featured an hourglass, filled with glistening sand, almost liquid in its motion. This necklace was special, Tom knew, so he'd have to keep it away from nosy matrons and children. Absentmindedly, he flicked the pendant, watching the mesmerizing hourglass spin. At that moment, though, something strange happened. An unexpected flash of light later, and Tom found himself somewhere completely different — not in location, but in the appearance of the location. He landed roughly on his back, and the world went dark.

Harry Potter absolutely hated the orphanage. Old Mrs. Cole, still hanging on at around the age of 80, was a complete grump. It really didn't help that she hated Harry on top of that, always muttering about how Harry "reminds her of that Riddle boy." The children, namely Henry Magellan and Richard Kneeler, were just as bad. Harry knew he was different, "freakish," according to the others, but one slip-up in public had made him the primary target of the duo's bullying. And finally, there were the prospective adopters. They looked at the children like they were products in a grocery store. Harry himself had been adopted three times, though the longest of those times was a month. Another day and another freakish accident meant another shameful trip back to the orphanage.

Despite all of this, Harry didn't think that being different was all that bad. At first, he couldn't control his strange "talents," but they'd developed out of necessity. At his current age of ten, he could now levitate objects, start fires without matches, give people compulsions to do things, and even talk to snakes, of all things.

"Boy — Harry — go take out the trash! It's your turn!" Miss Emily, an orphanage volunteer, shouted.

"I'm going, Miss Emily." Harry reluctantly closed his book and heaved himself up from a sunken couch in the orphanage's sitting room.

Dragging three bags of rubbish behind him, Harry exited the orphanage. He had to hurry, or else Mrs. Cole would use some of her more outdated methods to punish him, which sometimes involved rulers and pulling on ears. He ran back up the path quickly. His foot caught on something, and he fell face-first into the grass. It was so dark that it was hard to see, so Harry had to resort to feeling his way around. That thing, though, felt disturbingly like a body. On closer analysis, Harry noticed that its chest was moving up and down — a good sign, because Harry didn't want to be framed for murder at the age of ten.

"What are you doing?" a young voice called out, the boy's body snapping upright.

"What am I doing? You're the one lying half-dead, outside, in the dark!"

"Wha - Where am I?" The moon lit the boy's face up, where his confusion was apparent.

"Wool's Orphanage, London."

"Yes, but nothing's the same…and what in the world are you wearing?"

"I could ask you the exact same thing. You look like something straight out of a 1930s war photo." The boy did, in fact. His wavy black hair was parted neatly, his shorts were held up with suspenders, and he wore knee socks.

"I should think so — after all, it's 1938. And what war are you talking about? The Great War was 20 years ago…everyone knows that."

"You're actually delusional," Harry said in disbelief. "It's July of 1990. World War II? The Cold War? Ring any bells?"

The boy looked at him in utter shock. Harry noticed the necklace in his hand for the first time. Fine gold sand was leaking onto the boy's trouser shorts.

"Um, I think your necklace broke."

The boy's face twisted into an ugly sneer. He leapt up, albeit dizzily, and stomped on the necklace. A soft crunch indicated that it had broken even more. An awkward silence rang out.

"Well, erm, I'm Harry Potter. And you are?" Harry held out his hand to the boy. Tentatively, the boy accepted it, but wiped his hand on his shorts afterwards.

"Tom," he said reluctantly. "Tom Riddle."

So this was the boy Mrs. Cole was always comparing to Harry. "It may be ridiculous of me to ask, but are you a time traveler?"

"I don't know. I don't know anything anymore. One minute I was sitting outside the orphanage — my orphanage, mind you — and the next I ended up here."

"Well, Tom," Harry began, testing out the boy's name, "let's go in. I'll just tell Mrs. Cole that your parents died in an accident or something. She's so old she probably won't question it."

"Mrs. Cole?" Tom asked incredulously. "She's still alive…1990…that would make her older than 80!"

"Yeah, well, she's still as mean as ever. Just yesterday she rapped me with her ruler for coming home from school ten minutes late."

"That's nothing. During my time," Tom said awkwardly, "she used her mother's old cane. She's always hated me."

"That's definitely true. Whenever I do something particularly freakish, she'll mutter about you."

"Freakish? What do you mean by that?"

"Oh, nothing…it's stupid really. You wouldn't believe me," Harry tried to cover.

"Strange. Weird. A freak. A devil. I'm used to it. The things I can do…they're almost like magic."

Harry's eyes widened. Swiftly, he plucked a dandelion from the moonlit lawn. He laid it on his open palm, then directed all of his attention towards making it move and float. To his joy, it worked, and the dandelion gracefully floated upwards.

Tom smirked. He picked up a pebble from the path, and did the same thing that Harry had done. Not to be outplayed, Harry grabbed a twig and lit the tip on fire, watching as the flame charred and consumed the rest of the wood. In return, Tom pulled a dew-covered leaf off of a tree branch and froze the droplets of water. Harry made a cricket crawl onto his arm and jump in circles, and Tom did the same with a grasshopper. The competition between the two was steep, but Harry had a trump card up his sleeve. Picturing a snake in his mind, he readied himself.

"Snakes, wherever you are, come on out!" he hissed. At this point, Tom looked absolutely appalled.

"You can talk to them too…I've never met anyone else."

"Neither have I."

Just as soon as three or four snakes were slithering out of the hedges surrounding the orphanage, light flooded the lawns and the silhouette of Mrs. Cole became visible.

"HARRY JAMES POTTER! As you obviously did not learn your lesson yesterday, I'm going to have to give you anoth—" Her eyes enlarged to the size of golf balls.

"T-tom Riddle."

"Yes, ma'am?"

She pointed shakily at Tom. "T-tom R-riddle. B-but…b-born in 1926…impossible," her quavery voice said.

"I'm here, aren't I? And I have no idea what you're talking about, either. I was born on December 31, 1979," Tom lied smoothly.

"It's true, Mrs. Cole. His parents were recently in an automobile accident, and I'm fairly certain that, as a public orphanage, you have to provide him with shelter."

"Just go inside, Harry," Mrs. Cole said wearily. "And go with him, Tom — er, Riddle."

Harry complied to her request, showing Tom to his room. "I can get you another bed. We have one in the storage room."

"This was my room, before I came here." Tom seemed to be lost in thought.

"I'm getting the bed, then."

When Harry returned from the storage room, Tom was prying at one of the floorboards. Before Harry could even ask what the other boy was doing, he replied.

"I left something here before."

The other was strange, Harry noted. Then again, so was he. He wondered what having a real friend was like. He'd never really had one before, as all of the other orphans thought he was too strange and everyone at school didn't grant him any notice. If he was honest, he'd never really wanted a friend before today — and he was considering this when he fell asleep.

Tom Riddle had never had a friend in his life. In fact, he'd never wanted one. In his experience, maintaining friendships was tedious and annoying, and ultimately worthless. He'd never found another person who understood him like Harry did, though. From the moment he'd first talked to the boy, something had just clicked. It was like talking to himself (albeit slightly less intelligent, and slightly more naïve, he had to say). So, he'd made his choice, and opened up to Harry.

He wasn't sure whether he should be happy or upset to have found another person like him, someone with magic. In the end, he decided on indifference. When he went to bed that night, after finding his old diaries, of course, he couldn't help the small smile that crept onto his face, seeming to melt the mask of ice he'd perfected over the years.