Tom Marvolo Riddle

Tom reveals who he really is to Harry

Extract from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

‘Like what?’ Harry spat, fists still clenched.

‘Well,’ said Riddle, smiling pleasantly, ‘how is it that a baby with no extraordinary magical talent managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time? How did you escape with nothing but a scar, while Lord Voldemort’s powers were destroyed?’

There was an odd red gleam in his hungry eyes now.

‘Why do you care how I escaped?’ said Harry slowly. ‘Voldemort was after your time.’

‘Voldemort,’ said Riddle softly, ‘is my past, present and future, Harry Potter...’

He pulled Harry’s wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words: TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE

Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name re-arranged themselves: I AM LORD VOLDEMORT

‘You see?’ he whispered. ‘It was a name I was already using at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends only, of course. You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father’s name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother’s side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry. I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!’

Harry’s brain seemed to have jammed. He stared numbly at Riddle, at the orphaned boy who had grown up to murder Harry’s own parents, and so many others ... At last he forced himself to speak.

‘You’re not,’ he said, his quiet voice full of hatred.

‘Not what?’ snapped Riddle.

‘Not the greatest sorcerer in the world,’ said Harry, breathing fast. ‘Sorry to disappoint you, and all that, but the greatest wizard in the world is Albus Dumbledore. Everyone says so. Even when you were strong, you didn’t dare try and take over at Hogwarts. Dumbledore saw through you when you were at school and he still frightens you now, wherever you’re hiding these days.’

The smile had gone from Riddle’s face, to be replaced by a very ugly look.

‘Dumbledore’s been driven out of this castle by the mere memory of me!’ he hissed.

‘He’s not as gone as you might think!’ Harry retorted. He was speaking at random, wanting to scare Riddle, wishing rather than believing it to be true.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

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