Ch. 3

Harry's Lessons

There was this fantastic tree in the backyard of Riddle Manor. It was a tall tree, a strong tree and, most importantly, a tree that seven-year-old Harry was desperate to climb. The Dark Lord has kicked him out of the manor momentarily. He had gotten mad at a house-elf ruining his favorite pair of pajama bottoms (they were extra soft and had cool animals on them) and ended up somehow making the chandelier in the dining room fall to the ground while he was yelling at the house-elf in his bedroom on the opposite side of the manor.

But the seven-year-old did not care about that as he pushed his long black hair away from his emerald green eyes and adjusted his glasses. All Harry Riddle cared about was climbing the tree and see the world around him before Daddy started his lessons. Harry licked his lips and rubbed his hands in preparation before running towards the tree, latching onto it with his hands and feet. There was a sturdy looking branch near him and Harry did his best to shimmy towards it before he could grab onto it with his hands and held onto it as he pushed himself up. The branch was sturdy enough to support Harry's weight as he looked around for the next branch to reach. It was right on top of him, so Harry decided to jump for it. Reaching high he jumped and grabbed onto the branch. Grunting, Harry slowly pulled himself up, curling his arms around the tree branch when he could. The next branch was a little out of the way. Harry hugged the tree and did his best to get close to the branch.

But his foot slipped. And he fell.

And fell.

Then he stopped falling. He was six inches from the ground, hovering in mid-air. Harry looked up before his glasses slipped off and saw an exasperated Voldemort standing over him, his wand pointing towards the boy's body. "Harry Riddle," he sighed.

"Sorry Daddy," Harry said. "I was trying to climb the tree."

"Why?"

"I just want to see if I can see the village below," Harry said. Voldemort flicked his wand and Harry fell to the ground. "Ow!"

"Stupid boy! Why were you trying to see the village? You know you are not allowed to go there without me," Voldemort snarled angrily. "What were you thinking? What if someone saw you?"

"I just… I just wanted to see," Harry said as he got to his feet. He looked up at his father and placed his hands on his hips. "And nobody will see me! Nobody ever does!"

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean that I'm seven years old and I have no friends!" Harry yelled angrily. "I don't talk to anybody but you or the elves! I don't see people my age—even when we have to do down there you make me look at my feet!"

"What have I told you multiple times that are out there, Harry? Have I not drilled it into your head the dangers you are in—you cannot step outside the boundaries of this manor. Not until you are ready—"

"And when's that?" Harry screamed. "When am I ready? When I'm eleven and going to Hogwarts? Or are you going to keep me from going there too and instead home school me?"

"If you keep up this attitude, yes," Voldemort said.

"I don't have an attitude!"

"Yes you do."

"That's because you won't let me go to school!" Harry yelled. "I want to go to school, I want to be with kids my own age, Dad!"

"Kids your own age?" Voldemort repeated angrily. Harry could see his eyes flashing red, for some reason the Dark Lord always does that when he is very angry. However, he did not backdown. Instead the seven-year-old matched Voldemort's glare.

"Let me go to school!" the boy hissed angrily. The Parseltongue threw the Dark Lord off, he was not expecting the small boy to speak it so easily. He stared at the child in front of him for a moment before turning around. "Come… it is time for your lesson Harry. I will not hear another word of you heading to a Muggle school."

Harry glared at Voldemort, crossing his arms angrily but he followed Voldemort inside. The two went to a small room that led from Voldemort's personal study. Inside was a small desk that Harry sat at, along with a low bookcase under a window filled with textbooks on multiple subjects. "Since you seem insistent to speak Parseltongue, I will require you to speak it for the rest of the day," Voldemort hissed. "Today we will speak about Gillert Grindelwald."

"The man who was Dark Lord before you," Harry said.

"Yes."

"I bet his children went to an actual school," Harry muttered under his breath. Voldemort glared at him and, with a jab of his wand, hexed Harry's behind to sting harshly. "Ouch!" Harry cried out, turning a tearful glare at his father.

"One more comment like that and you will go to your room without dinner," Voldemort warned. Harry stayed quiet, so Voldemort continued. "When was Grindelwald born? Do you remember?"

Harry thought for a moment before frowning, shaking his head. Voldemort gave him a disappointed look. "You will have to know our history, Harry, if you are going to become a great Dark Wizard like your father. Grindelwald is the latest of a series of Dark Wizards. The old man still lives, locked away in Nurmengard. His goal was simple: To break the International Statute of Secrecy and create a hierarchal world where wise witches and wizards rule over all." Voldemort paused and waited for Harry to write it down in his notebook.

The child stopped and looked up at Voldemort. "Daddy… I have a question. You want me to be a great Dark Wizard but… how am I going to do that if the only person I talk to is you? Shouldn't I interact with muggle kids? That way I know how to rule them?"

Voldemort's angry gaze returned. Harry didn't flinch, he just continued to stare at Voldemort. "There is a good reason why that will never happen, Harry."

"What is it?"

"Excuse me?"

"What is your reason for never letting me near Muggles?" Harry asked.

"You want to know?" Voldemort said, his eyes sharp as he glared down at Harry. The young boy nodded. "Fine. But before… tell me how Grindelwald was defeated."

Harry answered right away. "Dumbledore! He and Dumbledore dueled at Nurmengard where Dumbledore bested and imprisoned him. Now tell me your reason for not letting me near Muggles!"

Voldemort gave Harry's butt another stinging jinx for his attitude, but answered. "I grew up in a Muggle orphanage. The children were not like myself, obviously, they isolated me and I myself. I will admit that I've bullied some of them,"—Harry gasped—"I lived in that orphanage until I finished Hogwarts. I was forced time and time again to return to the hideous Muggle world after having my eyes opened to the wonders of magic. Muggles are not worth it Harry, they are cruel and will bring out all of your imperfections and flaws to light. I will not allow you to go through what I was forced to suffer through. That, Harry, is why you will remain here, with me, until you receive your Hogwarts letter."

Harry frowned. Voldemort's voice made it sound final, as if the door was closed forever, but Harry was persistent. He looked up at Voldemort, still frowning but with a determined glare in his emerald eyes.

"I can deal with that," he said. "You want me to learn but how can I learn the most I can learn locked in here? I promise I won't make friends Daddy, I just want to be around other people. Be near kids my age… see how they act and talk. I'll learn more than you can teach me… and it's only for five or so years Daddy until I get into Hogwarts."

Voldemort just stared at the child.

"And I will come home straight away after school," Harry continued. "The snakes can watch me if you're too afraid of walking me everywhere." Voldemort glared at the boy, his eyes growing red again.

He moved to the door and opened it. "Read the fifth chapter of the textbook and take notes," he said angrily, waving his hand as one of the man dark arts tomes levitated to Harry's desk. "Bring it to my desk when you are done."

Voldemort slammed the door shut behind him and Harry heard the door locking with a loud click. Frowning heavily, Harry gave a huge sigh and turned to the textbook, mentally kicking himself. I went too far, he thought to himself as he looked outside the window. With one wistful gaze, Harry turned back to the textbook in front of him and began his work. When he was done two hours later, Harry closed his notebook brought it with him to the door. He knew it would be unlocked. The boy opened the door and walked into the empty study, left his notebook on his Daddy's desk, then returned to his rooming feeling thoroughly downtrodden.

The next two weeks were spent the same. Voldemort taught him about the Dark Arts and histories of various Dark Wizards, Harry tried to climb the tree or try to find any other way to past the time a sad look on his face. It was on Sunday when Harry's Daddy dropped a backpack in front of the boy during lunch. Harry stared at it curiously.

"What is this for Daddy?" he asked.

"You. There is a school that is a ten-minute walk from here. You are starting tomorrow," Voldemort said. The next second he knew, he had a seven-year-old hugging him tightly.

"Thank you, Daddy! I promise I won't let you down!" Harry said, nuzzling his head into Voldemort's stomach.

The Dark Lord was surprised to find himself chuckling at the small boy's affection. "Of course, there will be rules, Harry."

"Anything!" Harry smiled.

"First. No magic whatsoever. Not only doing magic in front of Muggles illegal, but it is a surefire way that men we do not want to find you will know where you are," Voldemort said. "Second, you are not to make friends with any of the muggle children. You are going there simply to learn, not make friends. You will have plenty of time for that in Hogwarts. Lastly, you will not speak Parseltongue there, or speak to any snakes you find. Do you understand me Harry Riddle?"

"Yes Daddy," Harry smiled. "And I'll come home as soon as school is done!"

"Good boy. Now, finish your lunch. The rest of the day will be spent getting ready for school," Voldemort said. He patted Harry's head gently. "Do not disappoint me Harry."

I won't. I love you Daddy," Harry smiled.

The next day Harry grinned to himself. He was dressed in his best shirt and pants with a backpack filled with empty notebooks on his back. Voldemort was walking beside him, dressed in a black muggle suit. The school was as Voldemort said, a ten-minute walk down from their manor. Harry's grin only grew as he saw the little kids playing in a jungle gym and chasing each other on a playground that was connected to the school. There was a Muggle woman there, who looked down at Harry.

"Hello, you must be Harry Riddle, yes?" she smiled.

"Uh-huh," Harry nodded.

"Speak up Harry," the Dark Lord said.

"Yes, ma'am," Harry said.

"And you must be Harry's father, correct?" the woman asked.

"I am," Voldemort said.

"Good. Well school starts in fifteen minutes, so Harry has time to meet his classmates, all grades are currently on the playground now. And school ends at three-thirty," the Muggle woman said. "Are you going to pick Harry up, or will I be meeting your wife?"

"I am a single parent. I will pick Harry up for the first month, but I am a busy man and Harry is a responsible child. He will walk home after the first month," Voldemort said.

The Muggle woman frowned. "Well… you're going to have to talk with the principal and Harry's teacher on that, I'm the kindergarten teacher, Miss. Potts."

"I've thought so," Voldemort said. He patted Harry's shoulder. "Go to the others now Harry, I'll be speaking to your principal then see you at the end of the day."

"Okay…" Harry said. He turned and gave Voldemort a final hug. "Thank you, Daddy," he whispered. "I love you."

"Have a good day."