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19 April 2004 @ 05:52 pm
[Fic] "Mice and Men" -- Harry Potter  
I have been channeling Tom quite a bit, as I start work on chapter 7 of Secrets, and this is one of the results. Once upon a time, Tom Riddle and Alastor Moody made plans for the future. (This story has since been rendered AU by HBP.)

ETA: ishafel remixed this story for RemixRedux 7, as Mice and Men (The Best Laid Plans Remix), which deals with all the things Tom Riddle tried and failed to become.

Mice and Men

"What do you want to do with your life?" asked Alastor. "After Hogwarts, I mean."

Tom propped his chin on his hands. "I never thought about it."

"Never? I want to be an Auror," said Alastor. "Somebody has to keep order, fight bastards like Grindelwald. You can never be too careful. But you've really never thought about it?"


Alastor rolled over on his bed and looked upside-down at Tom. "Why not?"

Tom shrugged. How could he explain that until the owl this summer he'd never thought that he even had a future? He was just the freak in the orphanage -- no background, no prospects, nothing but a name and a tendency for strange things to happen around him.

"I just didn't," he said.

"Well, you should start," declared Alastor. "I know you were raised by Muggles, but your mother was a witch, at least, and the Marvolos were a respected family. And you're smart and good at magic. You could go far, and it's a crime for a good wizard to keep himself down, my father says. You have to keep watch for opportunity and grab it."

Tom turned upside-down to stare properly at Alastor. "You really think I could go far?"

"Sure," said Alastor. "You'll have the power, won't you? Why not do something with it?"


Alastor pulled a fish-face, which looked even uglier than usual with his hair hanging away from his forehead. "No maybe about it. Go on, be an Auror like me. We'll be the best ever, the strongest, and no one'll ever stop us. Moody and Riddle, that's us. And we can start tonight -- my cousin Ethelred knows how to get into the Restricted Section, and I bet there are all sorts of interesting books there. What do you say?"

Be the best, the strongest. Have a real family name, something that belonged to him. And nobody would laugh at him again, nobody would push him around and call him a freak.

"I like it," said Tom. "Count me in."


Inspired by April 2004 15minuteficlets word #51: deeper


In other news, we had a thunderstorm yesterday, the first of the year. *beams* I love thunderstorms.

However, allergy season has also kicked in full-steam, and I'm kind of woozy from all the Benadryl I've been taking. Antihystamines don't make me sleepy if I'm moving around, but if I'm sitting down? Lights out, real soon now. *pout*
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Alone in this crowded roomannearchy on April 19th, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of woozy from all the Benadryl I've been taking. Antihystamines don't make me sleepy if I'm moving around, but if I'm sitting down?

You could take something like Claritin or Alavert during the day (both OTC now) and you won't get sleepy. Benadryl is great at night though; it's used as a sleeping aid even by people who don't have allergies, but for those of us who do, it kills two birds with one stone :)
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on April 19th, 2004 11:40 pm (UTC)
All hail Claritin! Mostly I use Benadryl or a knockoff brand thereof out of habit, but I had some Claritin once when it was still a prescription medication. It was, indeed, non-drowsy. (And yeah, Benadryl's a great sleeping aid. So is NyQuil, for that matter.)

Allergies are the bane of the earth, but at least the really bad pollen only lasts a month or so.
Alone in this crowded roomannearchy on April 20th, 2004 03:43 am (UTC)
Are you allergic to grass or other stuff too? I get tree pollen now, grass in June, then ragweed in August and September. Plus house dust all year round. ACHOOOO! :(
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on April 20th, 2004 04:07 am (UTC)
*offers you a sympathetic tissue*

No, grasses and household dusts are okay; tree pollen's my killer. Unfortunately, because the proteins in pollen are reused in the products of vegetative sex *snerk* I'm also allergic to most raw fruit (excluding citrus and bananas) and a few veggies. This is my most annoying allergy, I think, because it makes healthy eating such a pain. I can't just grab an apple or a carrot stick; I have to peel an orange, or cook the veggies. Cooking apparently changes the proteins enough that the allergy goes away.

I was told by an allergist that usually people with these twinned allergies have violent hayfever and mild reactions to fruit, but I have it the other way around -- and badly enough that I have one of those adrenaline shot thingies for emergencies. I figure stabbing myself in the leg is better than choking to death!

The worst part is that I wasn't allergic before puberty, so I REMEMBER what I can't eat anymore. God, I miss cherries and strawberries. *sigh*
Alone in this crowded roomannearchy on April 20th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
OOOOH cherries and strawberries. I would hate not to be able to eat them :( *pets you*
red wolfredwolf on April 20th, 2004 04:31 am (UTC)
That was a nice little what if.
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on April 20th, 2004 06:42 pm (UTC)
I was trying to leave it kind of undecided as to what Tom eventually does. Notice that he's mostly interested in the power and the not-being-laughed-at parts... but still, it's about being an Auror...

I keep thinking that Voldemort is, in a way, a terribly sad thing. Because damnit, he had sh*tty luck even before he was born, and he could have done a lot of good things. But then again, maybe he was a psychopath and lacked basic empathy and things... oh, I don't know.

Must make lunch. I cannot think properly on an empty stomach.
red wolfredwolf on April 20th, 2004 10:51 pm (UTC)
That's why it made me wonder about the character. Tom came through his childhood experiences with a huge chip on his shoulder, so far Harry is growing beyond his circumstances.

It really points out who the stronger character is. But then you could argue whether Harry has strength of character or his actions are just more socially acceptable.
Laridian: androsynthlaridian on April 20th, 2004 12:01 pm (UTC)
Very nice, with some good dialog.
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on April 20th, 2004 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! *is proud of the dialogue, as it's a perennial worry of hers*
vespertanmer on July 26th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
Here via Remix. I like the brevity and the casual nature of the conversation, of what isn't said, but is between the lines. It was bit chilling at the end with the hint of them getting into the Restricted Section. Thanks for the good read.
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on July 26th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! Communication failure (and its fallout) is one of my favorite themes to play with. Therefore, once I decided (and I am not entirely sure what I based these assumptions on -- they may well be wildly off-base) that Alastor Moody was most likely a Slytherin, and was possibly the same general age as Tom Riddle and Minerva McGonagall, it was inevitable to write Moody and Riddle talking about power and paranoia, and subtly missing each other's points. :-)
werewolfsfanwerewolfsfan on July 27th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! I read the remix and then wanted to read the parent fic. It hadn't occurred to me that Alastor Moody would be about the same vintage as Tom Riddle but it does make sense. This is fascinating!
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on July 28th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
I am not actually sure how old Moody is -- and I like the idea of him being Tom Riddle's contemporary far too much to go check the official timeline. *grin*