Hi, I’m here for our review swap!
Alright, so like your description of the rain was like? So? Beautiful? The imagery here was wonderful, and it’s the sort of thing you don’t really notice until someone points it out (I’m referring to the rain here, haha).
Hm. Well, since this story is about Tom Riddle (?), I’m assuming that he’s around 16/17, because I’m pretty sure that’s when he killed his father. Why else would Tom Riddle be ‘mourning’ his father?
I… never would have thought Tom to be a church goer to be honest. Is he attending a funeral? Or maybe it’s curiosity. Probably curiosity.
I feel like I’m missing an important detail here. Does he need the bone or blood of his father? I don’t know. I think that was mentioned in the series, but I don’t remember.
This funeral, for lack of a better word, seems blank if that makes sense. Objectively, a funeral is occurring, and people are there to mourn. Subjectively, it doesn’t really feel like people are really mourning, and doing it out of some religious obligation.
It’s actually so in character of him to toy with the people at the funeral; seems like a very Tom thing to do, especially as a show of who’s in charge here, and also who’s the stronger one here.
This fic was a lot to take in, but I feel like it’s one of those fics that you have to reread just to catch all of the tinier details you missed the first time around. This story is a treasure like that.
May I also say that your portrayal of Tom Riddle was on point? I think that he’s a hard character to characterize in general, and even more so because of what little information we get in the series; you’ve properly given him this sort of dimension that’s hard to capture, and you’ve also made me very very terrified because he thought processes is just enough off that it’s unsettling.
I think by far my favorite line has to be this one: “His mother gave her life so he could live, now his father has done the same.”
Thanks for writing this! :^)
Hi! Here for our swap.
So I decided to try something a little different. I read your summary and the first couple of paragraphs and then I stopped and wrote what I thought this story was going to be about: I believe that this story is going to give us a view into Voldemort's tortured (possibly already shattered) soul. I have a feeling that he's somewhere near Little Hangleton and this rainstorm is symbolic of some conflict or anger he's feeling. Or maybe this is just what I hope I'm going to read. I really love stories that explore his psyche and draw out all of the things that made him into the monster he becomes.
OK, let's see whether I was right!
By golly, I wasn't too far off. Before I go on, I need to get this reaction out of the way:
This story is beautiful. Kind of an odd way to describe it, given the subject matter, but it's no exaggeration. I think the last time we did a swap, I described your writing as "lush". This is another incredible example of that. You are so amazingly descriptive and you think of combinations of sensory details and ways to word things that would never occur to me in 1,000 years. I really, really envy your ability to create atmosphere with physical descriptions.
The scene you set for Tom Riddle Sr.'s funeral -- by the way, I actually just looked up how to take a name ending in Jr. or Sr. and make it possessive. There is... some disagreement on this topic -- was really well done. Nobody really mourns him, outside of some sense of religious obligation. It's a nice compliment to many of the underlying themes of Voldemort's life. All about appearances, but lacking in any sort of emotional substance.
Wow, I love the story from young Tom's time in the orphanage. His dream of the father who would never come was heart-breaking. His attack on the bully, Jim, reminded me of exactly who we're dealing with. The scene was complex and nuanced.
Interesting. So young Tom was also bullied at some time during his Hogwarts years, as well. I really like this subplot and the way you make it clear that his later appeals to blood purity are mostly just a ruse to attract followers. He doesn't really respect their family heritage. He doesn't really care. His own blood is the only blood he finds worthy.
He just sort of toys with the muggles at the funeral service. They can't see him and are mostly unaware of his presence. Possessing the desire to kill them all but the cunning to realize it wouldn't serve his interests was perfect Voldemort.
The duality of Tom Riddle Sr.'s "gift" to Voldemort was clever. I really liked the concept. I was also a big fan of the idea that Merope Gaunt added to his life by subtracting herself from it. It makes perfect sense if you think about it the way that Voldemort would have.
Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the contrast between the Riddle manor house and the decrepit Gaunt shack. That was the perfect image to capture the mismatched union that produced Tom Riddle, Jr.
Overall, just a great piece of writing. I've very pleased that I got a chance to read it. Thank you for the swap!
Hey love! Here for the swap.
Um...whoa. This was intense. I mean, it was amazing, and as always so beautifully written, but so, so intense.
Voldemort is SO difficult to write and get right, and wow did you totally nail him. He was cold, haughty, scary and fascinating. Exactly how he should be. Kudos to you there. Really excellent job!
I love the idea that he actually went to the funeral. How arrogant of him to actually have shown up, but then again, that's just totally in character. And for him to actually go up and touch his father's casket, it like gave me chills.
I really enjoyed the flashbacks. You really made him a little sympathetic here, with showing how he'd dream of his father coming to find him one day and take him away from the orphanage. It gave him a bit of a human quality. But that was also overshadowed with him thinking of how he enjoys hurting people. And the whole deal with him pealing off skin down the the bone... just creepy.
The part when he thought back to being in the dorm and listening to his dorm mates speak of girls and what not was very interesting. He like has this attraction to both sexes, but it's not sexual at all. It's very sick and disturbing and really made me uncomfortable, but like in the perfect way. Because it's supposed to make you feel uncomfortable.
The glimpse into him meeting his uncle for the first time was well done. I enjoyed seeing that canon moment from Voldemort's point of view. I thought the disgust at seeing what his uncle was, and where his family had lived was written perfectly. I imagine he would be disappointed and sickened to see that his family lived in filth as they had. Especially being the heirs of Slytherin, like he said.
Then the moment where he sheds his name, and we know will from then on be referred to as Voldemort/The Dark Lord/You-Know-Who was amazing. His thought process there in no longer wanting the common Muggle name, and wanting to forever leave that part of him behind was just so, so well done. Again, totally had chills. I loved it.
This whole piece was seriously incredible. The imagery was stunning, because you're truly an artist with your words and I would have expected nothing less. :) I felt so tense and on edge the entire time I devoured this. Such an amazing take on such pinnacle moments in young Voldemort's life. Amazing work!
Thanks for the swap, love! I'm up for them whenever you'd like. d84;a039;
Transferred from HPFF :)
I just want to start off by saying I'm sorry I forgot to check this out when (I think) I said I would, because I like Tom Riddle and I like dark (hehe) so I'm glad you requested it and reminded me!
Um, excuse me, I have a hard enough time writing Tom without you having to come in here and be so awesome at it!!!
And ohhh, your descriptions! I could just melt into the screen!
Your Tom is to die for (bad word choice? :P) (knew he would be, curses). Like this: "He imagines this would be what it would be like if everyone in it was dead" - creepy, sinister, perfect, amazeballs.
AND THIS: "He wants to collect people, but he can't bring himself to be patient enough." YOU GIVING ME GOOSEBUMPS
One more because it's just perf: "His mother gave her life so he could live, now his father has done the same."
Oooh, you are good.
Argh all of this is just so perfect you've made me gush and spew words into this review (and half of them are yours anyway, oops) but honestly, you have just blown me away with your writing! I don't know how you managed to get such a haunting, distant POV across that is spot on for Voldemort, but you did. You've made him cold and unfeeling, that creepy calm. *bows down*
For Tom Riddle, for darkness, I am satisfied. (Also glad I've finished writing for the night so I don't screw up my work after reading this :P)
Hey Bianca! :) Thank you so so much for stopping by! :) And no worries about anything - it's totally fine and normal to forget about these things ;)
Ahhh thank you! :) I'm so glad you like it - I know you write him a lot, so it means so much for you to say something like that! Thank you!
Thank you so much! (Though don't melt into the screen - I imagine it would be painful and confusing and very difficult to explain to people :P) I love writing description so it comes kinda easier for me than other parts of writing so I'm so glad you liked it :)
Hahaha, thank you so much! I love writing Tom - there's something so fun and fascinating about him, being so handsome and so clever and seemingly so perfect but with this dark past and dark self and so detached from everything, you know? And how he keeps so much of himself hidden So it was so fun getting to explore that kinda hidden side of him in this, especially coz it's his family and I had a lot of headcanons about his family and his feelings towards them. It seemed a bit far-fetched, at times for me, so I'm glad you liked it and thought it worked :)
Thank you so so much for the lovely review - it means so much that you liked it and that you enjoyed it; thank you so much! :)
Hi,Laura! I thought of rewiting a new review for this, but I'm afraid it will be too late for nominating, so I'll paste the same one I did before, forgive me.
Everytime I read your story, I'm always amazed by your works woven with rhythmic or musical words; beautiful landscape, mother nature and mental scenery.
Life and Death is destined but beautiful. You expressed the unchangeable fact in your poetic way that visualized it.
Reading your story, I remembered a Buddhist priest told our family about parent's death. A parent shows life and death by his or her own death to their children.
All beautiful laments in the church was not for Tom Riddle. He was abandoned by all relatives. The most impressive part is that he wished he could have his own mouth-organ. I wondered if Tom could have it, which would show he got love from his father, his life must have been the different one.
It's horrible to imagine the most fascinating thing for Tom was to play with people. The chilliest description is,
'It reminds him, breathless, of how with a flick of his wrist he can peel off layers of skin, of muscle, of core; carving straight down into the soul, into the very essence of person.'
I feel like I could understand why the terrible incidents happen. The horrible things are caused by people who don't know to love or to be loved.
I pity him, for I imagined he only knew the color grey though the world is filled with beautiful colors. If he could know the other colors, his life must have been different.
One more impressive spot is what you put quotes from Bible in each paragraph. These gave the story profound impression. As I read deeper, the more I was hooked in your world.
The last scene was also dramatic. Thunder and power suits him well but under his mask, the loneliness was completely hidden forever.
Hey Kenny! :) Thank you so much for stopping by and for the review swap - I really enjoyed it! Also sorry for the delayed response - I'm honestly terrible at these!
Ah thank you so much! :) I have to admit that Kevin's prompt made it very easy to get the idea for this, with the suggestions of endings of relationships and beginnings and things, because it meant I could have them be both literal and symbolic at the same time. And then it all ties into the life/death aspect, because by nature life and death are endings and beginnings themselves. So it wasn't entirely mine there.
I loved writing Tom Riddle and connections to his family, because I've never seen it done before, but it was always something I wondered about - what he would think and feel about it, you know? And I didn't want it to take away from what he becomes, but to sort of show how horrible it would have been for him nonetheless, because that kind of abandonment is, regardless of the child, and how he's not innocent, but he doesn't really understand himself either, despite how well he understands other people on a superficial level.
I loved delving into that side of him - I really didn't want to leave out the kinda natural violence he has as a character, because he does, you know? It would have felt wrong not to include it in some way, and it makes a strange sort of counterpoint to the fact that for all he understands anatomy, he doesn't understand emotions, as such.
Yeah, I think he doesn't see the world the same as other people, and things which exist for others - love, friendliness, contentment - don't necessarily exist in the same way for him. He views those things as things he should get but doesn't know how to get them or how to give them, and that kinda limits him and makes it so hard to get them.
Thank you - it seemed fitting to include them since it was a Christian funeral service :P
Thank you so so much for the lovely review - it was so great to get and I really am glad you liked the story. Again, sorry for the late response! :)
Hello, I'm here with a BvB review :)
I was surprised that no-one had reviewed this one-shot, because it's chock-full of imagery, and whilst it's not a cuddly, cosy read, there is something primaevally beautiful about it. It is so deliciously dark and chilling.
Firstly, a church is a somewhat 'unusual' setting for a TMR/Voldemort piece, but it works so nicely in this case; the biblical passages really help enhance the darkness of the piece. You set the scene with such clarity; I can feel the mood and see the surroundings and colours without even trying.
Tom Riddle. Oh my goodness! We all know what a dark, cold, calculated soul he was, but your writing brings this to life so vividly. Giving consideration to his thoughts and feelings for his parents was a very original touch, and I particularly love the part of a line that states "this man who has given him everything and nothing, life but no home, a name but no life." I think you have portrayed teenage Tom very much as I would have imagined him to be but perhaps deeper in character than I've previously considered. I liked your references to aspects of his behaviour as we know from canon; his love of collecting, how he notices things, his lack of emotion, his subtle bullying of others.
I confess - I had to work hard to read this piece, because every sentence speaks and shows volumes, but it was well worth every minute spent devouring it. I know my review has not quite done it justice and I apologise for that. Thank you for sharing this with us :)
Hey Brax! :) Thank you so so much for stopping by! :)
The perils of transferring stuff from one site to another is that people have reviewed it in the past so reviews get left behind :P But seriously, thank you so much! :) It was so fun to write, especially since it had been a while since I'd written Tom Riddle, so it was so nice to go back to it :)
Yeah, it seemed a bit weird, but the prompt was endings or beginnings of relationships between two characters, and I thought about doing Tom Riddle and his father, and since they only ever met once in canon, it sort of had to be either that or sometime after - so, funeral :P Also, it made an interesting setting with Tom Riddle with the whole death connection and stuff :)
Ahh thank you! I gotta admit, it's so fun and fascinating writing him, because he has such a unique and weird way of looking at things, you know - the whole kind of disaffected, disconnected thing, and how he considers everything in such a selfish and self-centered way: he wants people to love him and care for him and look after him, but he doesn't have any interest in loving other people or understand why he would want that. He thinks he deserves love and affection and no one else does, and it's such a strange idea. But it was so fun to write, because of that. I liked with the bullying thing the contrast of how he is both bully and bullied - the other kids at the orphanage tease him and mock him, and he terrifies them in return; and then at Hogwarts, he's bullied there, and so in return he ends up destroying all of their houses and families. He's such a tricky character, but I do love writing him, so I'm so glad you liked him - because honestly, I love him as a character and I could talk about him forever, haha, especially my headcanons for him (and this is all headcanons in this) so sorry about the rambling response :P
Honestly, it's okay - I know that my style isn't always for everything; it's a very heavy kinda style because I go overboard on description, so it's something I hear frequently, to be honest ;) So don't worry about it! And thank you so so much for the compliments! <3 <3
Thank you so much for the lovely review - it was so, so nice to receive.