Basis of Bigotry

o~O~o

He backs up again. There is cold hard stone at his back. His pudgy legs collapse under him. On the ground he looks up at his tormentors. They loom over him, blocking the light. All of them are at least double his four years. They do nothing but ridicule him, day in, day out. Fear comes, gripping him in its strong vice grip. What can he do? He's hopeless, lying at the feet of these devils, and they don't care. Nobody cares about him. He opens his mouth and screams.

Energy bursts out of him. A great big wave of pure hatred. He's bottled his anger and now the cork comes off. The five boys are beaten to the floor. He can feel the panic rolling off the boys and he devours the feeling. He's alive and he's victorious. Now he feels powerful. He's not weak any longer, he won't be bullied any longer and he loves it. This is his place. Now they will bow to him. He won't be a pawn to be bullied and sacrificed. Now he's the king.

o~O~o

He's the problem child, the one everyone avoids. He's lonely. He wanders about in his own little world, hating the others for excluding him. Sometimes the new kids talk to him, perhaps a brief 'Hello" or 'How are you?'. He ignores them. Sooner or later someone will tell them about him, and they'll start avoiding him and looking at him funny. He wonders why he's so different. Why does everyone hate him, fear him? They skirt around him in the corridors, and if they have to move within a meter of him they do so with a look of abject terror. He's the odd one, the problem child, the one no-one likes.

All he wants is to be recognized, to be included, anything but the hate and fear. They treat him like he's got the plague, so he acts like it, in the same way a child labeled dumb will act dumb. He starts taking vindictive pleasure in hurting them, although it can never hurt the way they hurt him. His only defense is to keep himself aloof, to live alone among the rowdiness of millions. Anything else rips his heart asunder.

o~O~o

He starts believing there's something wrong with him. He just lies on his bed, staring at the ceiling. If anyone disturbs him he lashes out, not caring who he hurts. He takes to stealing and fighting, anything to distract himself. He's a leper, no getting around it. 27 schools have tossed him out, like the garbage he is. No-one so much as tries to help. If they do, he bites. He meditates all day long. What else is there to do? Nothing.

One day a group of kids get the courage to attack him. They come at him, seven heavily muscled thugs. They hit him, and kick him, and he just lies there thinking that they're right. He doesn't fit, never did, never will.

o~O~o

For the first time in years, he's happy. He was wrong, completely wrong, but in a different sense than he thought. It's not him with the problem, it's everyone else. The- what was it again? –muggles. He fits, he's right, they don't, they aren't. His entire world changes, twisting until it's up-side-down. Then he realizes that it's not the wrong way around now, but that it was wrong before. Tom Riddle takes his rightful place in the world, the place of a ruler, the place of God.

The arguments and violence are only to be expected of such low-life beings. Suddenly everything's so right. This is why he was treated so badly all along- not because he deserved it, but because they didn't know better. They are stupid imbeciles, and he feels hatred welling up at him at the thought of them.

o~O~o

He shivers on the stool, trembling under the gaze of hundreds. This is nothing like he had thought- apart from one table. The group of people sitting behind the green and silver banner are the only ones who look at all as he imagined. They sit straight, with a regal air around them. The stares coming from them are cool and intense, much like his own. While the others laugh and joke like muggles, they survey the hall like it belongs to them. Tom knows at once that he belongs there. This is confirmed when the hat yells 'SLYTHERIN!'

He stands almost lazily, sauntering over to take his place. They move aside for him, as they should. It is only after he is seated that he notices the revulsion directed towards him- not only by the other tables, but by his own house. He shivers, and wonders whether he made the right decision. He is sick and tired of a life of loathing. He wants to be liked, admired, respected. Everywhere, always, they have looked on him as inferior. He wants to rise from where he is.

He always gets what he wants. Always.

o~O~o


AN: I may or may not update this. Reviews will encourage me to do so. If I do, it will probably only be little scenes like this, but during his Hogwarts years. If I get enough motivation to write a third chapter, that will be Borgin and Burkes or maybe his perceptions of his rise. If there is enough interest, I may use this for a story where he was never defeated but Harry was sent to the Dursleys anyway 'for his safety' and they meet. This would have Harry slowly destroying his prejudices. Not completely, of course. Just like so that he doesn't attack school children and innocents. He'll still kill, of course, but Harry will change him so he only takes vengeance on those who wronged him. It's just, there's all those stories where Voldemort influences Harry to the Dark side- or at least away from the light- but very few where Harry changes Voldemort.