How Voldemort met Nagini

Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.

'Working at Borgin & Borks wasn't too hard, but the hours were just wrong – humans aren't suppose to be active at the more... crepuscular hours and be so passive during the day, better business hours or not,' Tom Marvolo Riddle, who hadn't yet figured as how to become the Dark Lord Voldemort muttered to himself. 'Once I am the Dark Lord, I will regularize all of the working hours for every witch and wizard in the magical Britain, whether they like it or not. Oh, and kill all of the mudbloods as well.'

There was a brief pause as Tom – or the Dark Lord – just mused as to how to kill the mudbloods and perhaps how to practise these techniques on his boss and not get caught. Sadly, he came up with nothing and decided to delegate it later on to Malfoy instead.

There was a knock on the door. "Who is it?" Tom turned away from making his breakfast (not that it was particularly good – only filling).

"You got a package!"

"Really?" Most mail was delivered by owls, but there were always exceptions, like Borgin & Borks, whose mail was the wrong type to be delivered by owls. "What is it?" Tom opened the door.

There was no one there, save for the package... addressed to him. Feeling excited (it has been a while since he got any sort of mail since his invitation to Hogwarts), Tom opened the box (which contained air holes closed by wire mesh. Inside were a small snake and a letter.

Tom may have been a Slytherin and an aspiring Dark Lord, but he never ignored any instructions and read.

Mr. Riddle. Three weeks ago it came to our attention that you seek a way to increase your power and prestige among your peers. This snake is an answer to your problem. It may be small right now, but if you will properly feed it, it will grow to an amazing size solving your prestige problem rather nicely. Good luck and good fortune to you on your path ahead!

There was no signature. Tom closed the letter and looked at the snake. The snake stared back. It was no basilisk, but Tom was not Salazar Slytherin either – only his heir.

"I think I'm going to call you Nagini," he told the tiny reptile and it seemed to blink in agreement.

/ / /

Several epochs away...

"Give the Dark Lord his most trusted companion – check!" Helen Cutter told brightly, as she and her army of clones looked at her checklist, already partially full. "That's that for that plan: introduce a titanoboa to the wizards and see how it'll turn out!" She paused and added, almost chuckling. "I would add that it's a rhetorical question, if it wasn't so self-explanatory!" She paused, and with a 'screw this' look she broke into outright laughter, sounding absolutely crazy, but there was nothing, nothing in the stony face of the clones as she did that.