A Riddle Long Forgotten
- Story Summary:
- At the end of Harry's fifth year, Voldemort's return awakens fear in the heart of many, even in the noble and wise Dumbledore. In the hopes to find out more about the man he must help Harry to destroy, he calls upon Mathilda Vesta Torch, a strange woman, who's life and anguishes have been vailed by mystery for many years. Through her eyes, part of the life of Tom Riddle slowly unravles, revealing the complex nature behind one of the most feared men in the history of magic as well as the many unaccounted injustices that he has performed along his road to what he portrays as greatness.
Dumbledore was in his office, standing as usual at this desk in deep concentration. He looked troubled; the lines on his forehead which had come with old age were now furrowed in a small frown- a result not of anger but of sadness and worry. He ripped himself from his thoughts and rejoined the world. "Warm night, isn't it Fawlkes?" he asked the bird as if expecting it to answer. A warm smile appeared on his face as he caressed the phoenix slightly in a way that would make one think that the bird had in fact answered. The professor got up and started passing around his office. Hardships were brewing for the wizarding world and he felt for the boy, which had to endure this undeserving weight on his shoulders. But it was his destiny, and no one, no matter how young, or old, weak of powerful can hope to change the trail that life sets out for them. The only thing he could do now was to try and help but he feared that it was not enough... Old age had weakened him so much- he thought gravely- and he wondered where the youth of his body, his agility and strength had gone; it's not that he regretted the passing of time, or the fact that he knew that sooner or later his time on this earth would come to an end, it was the nostalgia of years gone by, of all those he had the pleasure of meeting, knowing and teaching and of all those he had the misfortune of witnessing die, some right under his very own eyes. There wasn't a moment when he did not blame himself for some of those deaths... After all it was he who founded the Order of the Phoenix. Those extraordinary people had died in anonymity of their great deeds; no one knew that they had set down their own lives for the safety of others, their acts had faded into the darkness of time and would be forgotten with the passing of their loved ones. So many people....so many had vowed loyalty to a cause which was now quickly crumbling...
The strange clock on the wall rang once, signaling that half an hour had passed since it's echo had resounded ten times. It made a couple of wizards from the portraits wake in a very foul mood- the fortunate just twitched in their sleep slightly before carrying on with their low snoring tunes. Dumbledore's eyes traveled towards the clock. Why did she insist on always being late? Perhaps she had changed her mind- he couldn't blame her... In all those years that had passed she had not once talked about the happenings of that time, she had not once turned to her old self, and he was starting to wonder if after all these many years she was still whole....One thing was for sure though, he could not blame her and knew that all the wisdom of this world wouldn't be able to make her pain go away. He had tried on more then one occasion to convince her to talk, telling her it was in fact for the best, that all that anger bottled up inside her would not serve her well, yet the last time she warned that if she would be asked once again he would never hear from her again, and that the truth would disappear along with her. Yet now she had sent word that she was willingly going to tell him everything....
A knock came from the door. "Come in..." said the professor and the door opened slightly to show a young woman . She was neither tall nor slim, yet she had a certain charm about her- a strange yet undeniable one. Her blue eyes were blank, they held no happiness in them and her skin was very pail, as if she had not seen the sun for a very long time. The young woman looked about in her mid-twenties. Long blonde hair fell down her shoulders giving her a warmer appearance. She looked like someone who always seemed to have something on her mind, as if she was expecting something. Her face, though bore no lines, was clearly that of someone who had faced a lot of hurt in life. Her eyes did not shine and her smile faltered. For some reason- which he hoped he would be informed of- she had not aged one single day in all those years, yet Mathilda Vesta Torch was not the same, and he could not stop and wonder at how much the woman before him had changed...