Disclaimer: No I don't

"Tom," the Matron's voice sounded a little amused. Tom paused in the middle of the stairs and gave her a suspicious look.

"Yes, Matron?"

The woman turned around to give Tom a view of the bundle she carried in her arms.

"This is Harry. That's the only name there was on the piece of paper I found on him." She gave the baby a soft smile. "I'm going to place him in your room, alright? There is no room anywhere else in the Orphanage."

Tom dropped the book he was carrying. "You're kidding," he said flatly.

"No I'm not Tom," the Matron sang cheerfully. Oh yes, she looked entirely too smug. Albus Bloody Too Many Names Dumbledore had given her a way to contact him when Tom was 'safely' dropped off in the Orphanage. The blasted old coot had told her to contact him as soon as possible if there was any trouble. Dumbledore had given him a look and wished Tom a good holiday. Tom had wished Dumbledore to have a very good holiday too. His Professor's lips tightened and bid them goodbye.

"It's alright, boy. It's just a baby. Miss Ellie will be doing most of the work. But," the Matron's amusement vanished as she looked Tom straight in the eye, "if I or Miss Ellie find anything funny going on Tom, you will not be liking the consequences."

Tom almost scoffed. She couldn't protect him when he was younger. The daft woman thought she could shelter this- this infant? From him? Tom smiled.

"Of course not, Matron. I will take utmost care of," Tom hid his grimace, "Harry."

"Good!" The Matron immediately switched back to being cheerful, causing Tom to roll his eyes. Unseen of course. Tom's classmates in Hogwarts had often wondered how he was so capricious. They wouldn't have believed that he had learned it from the bipolar Matron from Wool's Orphanage.

Tom could have tried threatening the Matron. But perhaps it would not be one of his best ideas, especially with Dumbledore watching him so closely. But it wasn't like he had murdered Warren. Her demise was an unfortunate accident. He didn't even get the chance to make a Horcrux out of her death.

Tom had spent hours after the incident, having a long, nice chat with the Basilisk, who insisted on being called Flower. Why, the great founder Salazar Slytherin had ever decided to call his pet Basilisk that, Tom would never know.

Tom was jolted out of his thoughts as the Matron unceremoniously dumped the baby in his hands.

"I already fed him," she told him without a pause, thrusting a warm bottle of milk at Tom. "Feed him again in a few hours. Call Miss Ellie or me if you need anything."

Tom watched her go, gaping at her back. She might as well have handed him a ticking bomb. What the hell was he going to do with the thing? At least with an explosive, he could have bombed this dratted place.

Tom looked down at the bundle. He almost dropped the thing in shock as two unnatural green eyes peered back at him.

"Er," Tom said, tucking in the bottle in his old sweater and held the baby away from him.

"If you make even a little peep, you frail little Muggle, I will make you regret it. Understand me?"

The baby blinked back sleepily at him. Tom bit back a groan. What was the use of threatening the thing if it couldn't even understand him? It didn't even react to his tone, which even made the seventh year Slytherins piss in their trousers.

Tom stomped up to his room. With his shoulder, he slammed the door closed. Sure enough, inside there was a little crib that looked like it was going to fall apart any minute, let alone carry an infant. Tom smirked and dropped the baby in. At least he wouldn't be blamed for the thing's death if the cradle broke while it slept in it.

The baby sat still in the crib, looking up solemnly at Tom. It looked a few months old, but if it was already sitting up, Tom guessed the infant was around a year old.

"Guess I'm stuck with you," Tom told the babe. "Seems like nobody wanted you either."

The baby tilted its head at him, looking much too serious for something its age. Tom felt a pang go off in his chest. Shaking his head, he sat on his ratty, worn-out desk chair, and carefully started on his Transfiguration homework.

Tom woke up, sweating in the dark. He shook away the remnants of his dream away, the dark, unforgiving eyes of Dumbledore as he held Tom's diary, it's vessel meaning to be a Horcrux.

Tom scowled at the peelings of paint of his room's ceiling. He got up, cursing under his breath as he paced around his bare, disgusting Muggle room. He needed to act quickly. He had to immortality to accomplish his goals. A movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention. Tom went closer to the crib, looking back at the baby who was sitting up in its cot, studying him solemnly as it stared up at him.

"You're not very normal for a child, are you?" Tom asked softly, feeling immediately foolish that he had done so. He had already fed the baby, wincing and cursing softly the entire time he did it. The child had watched him the whole time with wide eyes, swallowing his milk obediently. In the end, he made a small, soft hiccup and after that made no other sound. It seemed he was following Tom's orders to not make a single peep. Which was ridiculous, really.

The nineteen-year-old, Ellie had knocked quietly on his door a little later to change and freshen up the infant. It was a good thing he wasn't in charge of that, otherwise, bomb or not, Tom would have burned the entire Orphanage and the street along with it. Blast the Ministry of Magic and it's half-witted rules.

All of a sudden, the baby thrust it's tiny arms at him, the universal gesture to be carried up.

"Oh, no you don't," Tom snarled quietly. The infant immediately put it's arms down but made an adorable pout, Tom's treacherous mind whispered.

"Oh Merlin," Tom clutched his head as the baby thrust his arms forward again when he didn't do anything.

"This isn't happening."

The baby's bottom lip protruded, and Tom had a horrible flash of Dumbledore striding into the Orphanage and cursing him for causing a helpless Muggle infant to cry. Damn Dumbledore for giving the Matron a way to contact him.

"Damn you too," Tom hissed as he lifted the baby in his arms. "If you take a piss on me," Tom warned, "even the great Dumbledore will be unable to save you."

The baby gave a little giggle and clapped its hands. Tom slammed his forehead on the wall closest to him.

"Only I," he told the baby wearily, "would be in charge of an infant who cannot understand when someone means them bodily harm."

The baby giggled again, pressing its face into Tom's chest. Tom resisted the urge to make a similar giggling sound because his chest positively tickled. But for some reason, something inside him inexplicably warmed in the cold, lonely Muggle room.


"Aww," Tom woke up to a familiar unbearable smug and amused voice.

"They look so cute! Who would have ever thought, that the Tom Riddle would be caught snuggling an infant!"

There was a click and a light flashed. Tom opened his eyes and snarled at Miss Ellie, who shrieked and dropped her camera.

"How dare you?" He hissed, but was distracted as the baby in his arms (what the hell was he doing last night?) gave a loud yawn.

The Matron clapped her hands, scarily imitating said baby from last night. She sat down on his bed, causing Tom to bite back another snarl.

"Come here, you little tyke," the Matron crooned at the baby. She took the child from Tom, leaving him to feel slightly cold.

"Hello, little Harry. And how are you today?" The baby just blinked slowly, looking sideways at Tom, as if he was saying, 'save me from this crazy old bat.'

Tom smirked. "Matron," he said smoothly, all remnants of sleep gone from his eyes, "I assure you, the infant is being extremely well taken care of. You can be sure to tell my Professor that."

The Matron gave him a smile. "I'm sure Professor Dumbledore will be delighted to hear that Tom. He told me he was going to contact me every few weeks to see if you were settling in well. Professor Dumbledore cares a lot about your well-being Tom."

Tom grimaced. He quickly put on a smile. "Of course, Matron. We have an exceptionally extraordinary relationship."

"Good, good," the Matron beamed. "Now I must take my leave. Billy is sick and I have to call the Doctor. Ellie dear, you be sure to help Tom with Harry alright? Goodbye!" She handed the baby to Ellie who squirmed in the young woman's hands.

Tom kept his smile up until he was sure she had left. Then he turned to Ellie who gave an audible gulp. Tom gave her a smile of satisfaction.

At least not all of his intimidating techniques hadn't fled from him during the night. But at that dratted moment, the imbecilic baby gave him a big smirk. Ellie gave the babe a look of wonder as if the child had just won a staring contest with Satan.

"Well get on with it," he snapped at her and she quickly nodded, giving him a tiny curtsy and hurried to change the child's nappy.

Finally, when they were alone in the room, Tom turned to the child. "I'll feed you now and then I will leave you in your cot. I have Potions work to do and you will- will do whatever you do to keep yourself occupied. I trust you can do that?"

The baby gave him such a complete look of disdain, Tom's eyebrows rose. "You most definitely are unusual," he murmured as he tilted the milk bottle into the child's lips. The baby stared at him like last time, his eyes suddenly wide and solemn.

"It's too bad you have such a common Muggle name. With such elegant features, I'd have thought you were too beautiful to have such a name. I've never seen eyes quite like yours."

After feeding, the baby made a motion with his arms.

"What do you want?" Tom asked curiously. The child gestured toward Tom's desk. His eyebrows rose against his will again. "You want to watch me work?"

The baby kept reaching towards his desk. With a huff of amusement, Tom lifted the baby up and placed him on a stool that he never used and scooted him near the desk.

"Don't break your neck," Tom apprised him. "I will not be sent to Azkaban because you decided to be a reckless Gryffindor. I despise such idiots. Undoubtedly you are one of them."

The boy just blinked and with his chubby hands, he grabbed an ink pot.

"Hey!" Tom tried to grab it back. The baby made a sound that sounded a lot like a raspberry. However, as soon as Tom grabbed back the bottle, the baby toppled over. Tom watched in horror as the baby fell in almost slow motion. Miraculously, the boy didn't end up being splattered on the floor, instead, ending up on Tom's bed. The infant made a gurgling noise, clapping his hands excitedly.

Tom stared at him, his jaw open. He had never been so astonished in his life.

"Well," Tom said after he picked his jaw off the floor. "You are full of surprises, aren't you, little Harry?" He put his ink bottle back on the desk, all interest in doing his homework gone with this unexpected situation.

Tom and the baby stared at each other for almost a full minute.

"How old are you anyway?" Tom asked, breaking the silence as the baby tilted its head at him.

"You should be talking by now. You seem intelligent enough."

Harry burped. Tom made a noise of disgust and then snapped his head back to the babe. He had started thinking of the child as Harry.

"That won't do," he said gravely. "Perhaps Harrison?" The child looked offended.

"No?" Tom inquired, wondering when the world went so crazy that he found himself debating with an infant on what wizarding name would fit him.

"You're very powerful," he told the baby absentmindedly. "It has to be a good, strong pureblooded name."

The baby looked bored, patting its cheeks. It reached out towards Tom, who automatically hugged the baby to his chest.

"Maybe Harold."

The child sneezed derisively.

"How in Merlin's name did you end up here anyway?" Tom wondered. Of course, nobody answered him back.

When all the orphans were called down for breakfast, Tom carried the baby downstairs, hiding his smirk as most of them shot them astonished or in some cases, alarmed looks.

With one arm around the child next to him, Tom ate his oatmeal calmly, still inwardly gloating as children glanced at the baby and him often.

"Well Harvey," Tom accidentally brushed the child's hair, ignoring it's indignant expression, "this is-" Tom froze.

His hand brushed a large scar on the child's forehead. It was shaped like a lightning bolt as if it were carved on the baby's forehead.

He lifted the child up, storming up to the Matron. "What. Is. This?" Tom spoke with icy calm as he lifted Harry's fringe to show her the dreadful scar.

She gave a gasp. The cafeteria was unusually quiet, everyone's eyes on them. "I- I have no idea. We must get him to a doctor."

Caretaker Luis Norn, who hated Tom's guts and likewise, spoke up, "how do we know you didn't do it, Tom?"

"Does this wound look new to you, Caretaker?" Tom sneered. "I would have thought to supervise an Orphanage for ten years would have educated you on how recent a wound was acquired? Apparently not," Tom drawled, his eyes flashing. All he could see was that horrifying scar on the child's head. Who had done it? How had he not noticed? He distracted himself by picturing a slow and gruesome death for the one responsible.

"Enough!" The Matron thundered. "Tom, take Harry to your room. A Doctor will be by shortly."

Tom didn't dein a reply, turning away dramatically and left the cafeteria.

In his room, Tom had found that Harry had spilled some oatmeal on his clothes. Tom had fed him a few spoons and he had gobbled it all up happily.

"You are so grubby," Tom muttered, pulling off the child's oversized shirt. "Now, I'm sure I saw a few clothes meant for you tucked away here," he mumbled to himself, looking at the pile near his wardrobe.

"Revolting," Tom hissed as he held up a blue shirt with a yellow elephant stitched in its center. He wheeled towards the baby and then stopped short. He looked closer at the baby's apparent protruding ribs. However, that was not what caught Tom's attention. There were bruises all over the child's body. Some were fading away, and others were vivid purple, only a few days old. He hissed, peering closer. They looked like handprints. Adult ones.

Tom closed his eyes, trying to control his breathing. He opened them when he felt small, wet hands patting his cheeks. The baby's face was close to his, and Tom breathed him in, the mingling scent of oatmeal and baby smell. He pulled the child's fists close to his chest and let his cheek rest on it's wild, messy dark hair. Something was happening to Tom. Something was unraveling itself within him, making him feel warm and unexpectedly light. His chest was filled with something he couldn't for the life of him identify and Tom felt so much of it that it hurt.

"Little one," he whispered into the boy's hair, "what in Merlin's name are you doing to me?"

He caressed the child's back, feeling the infant rumble, almost like a content cat.