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Voldemort Explained. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Voldemort Explained.

The concept of the Radical Loser.

Suggestive, isn't it.

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tiferet From: tiferet Date: December 2nd, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, I think it is a better explanation for some (not Lucius Malfoy, for instance, but perhaps Barty Jr or Pettigrew) of Voldie's followers than it is for Voldie. Tom Riddle knew how to work the system; he was a Prefect, he was congenial, he was one of Slughorn's inner circle. He was not a 'radical loser'.

My earliest explanations of Voldemort, to be found in House of Ill Faith (or what remains of it) and specifically in "Jubilee" where Severine discusses it with Harry, are that he was a ceremonial magician attempting the leap across the Abyss toward Gnosis and immortality (without truly understanding either goal, perhaps because the surfeit of power in the Potterverse is such that literal immortality seemed within reach), and that his own internalised self-hatreds and unresolved angers destroyed him, as so frequently happens. I'm not sure it isn't still applicable, but GoF is the book in which the most actual historical correspondence and symbolism appears, and then in OoTP Rowling takes a wild left turn into steampunk and X-Files territory from which my mental conception of the Potterverse never quite recovered, and which is why I have never finished HoIF.
tiferet From: tiferet Date: December 2nd, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

(as the fic is no longer on public archives...this is the bit I mean...)

“You don’t get scared much, do you? I remember in the Chamber, thinking that we should have both been scared, but we weren’t. I used to get scared all the time…but now I’m just used to it.”

I shrugged. “It’s the dreams.”

“The ones you won’t talk about.” He frowned.

I looked out the window at the snow, and the glare of the sun on the snow. “The first one was probably before you were born. Though maybe not. I was two years old.”

The glare of the sun on the snow reminded me of the Light that had eaten me alive.

Harry flinched. “Sorry,” he said.

“Don’t be. It’s why I’m alive.” I looked down at the crumbs in my empty plate. “Draco asked me once how I could remember my mum so clearly when she was taken away before I was four. And how I could be so close to my dad when I spent so much time away from him. It was because of that dream, that first one. Except that it wasn’t a dream. Not at all.”
I shuddered. “I thought I woke up in the middle of the night. I’d been asleep, I hadn’t wanted to go to sleep, I’d been afraid to go to sleep. But it wasn’t a dream.”

Harry blinked. I had his full attention. Those huge green eyes were a bit unnerving, owlish. “What do you mean?”

“I mean…” I searched for words. “People who were born with the Dark Mark are…damaged. If they were alive at the time. Because of what happened.”

“What happened?” asked Harry, refilling my teacup.

I sighed. It was hard to put into words, but I was committed to telling him now. I’d never told anyone else the whole story; I’d tried to tell Aristide, but he hadn’t been able to hear it all. And my parents already knew. “I woke up in a dark place, full of…horrible things. Things that were just all wrong. Shapes and colors that didn’t, that shouldn’t exist. And I heard Tommy screaming. You have to understand, I’d only met…him…once before. He played with me and told me jokes. He said he’d marry me when I grew up. I thought it was a joke because he had a wife already. I thought he was my friend. He was in the middle of all of those horrible things, and they were tearing him apart. They were tearing us all apart. Him, my parents, their friends, Uncle Lucius…everyone.” I fought for words: I wasn’t two any more, but I felt like I was.

“These things, like living poison, shaped like horrible things, worms and caterpillars, were trying to get into my body. And there was this horrible burning white Fire. I knew that the Fire would kill me. But Father and Mother said I had to go into it. Mother went first. She said she’d wait on the other side and she’d catch me. I wanted us all to hold hands and go in together, and they said we couldn’t, that anything we tried to hold onto, even each other, would keep us in there and we’d never, ever, ever get out. That I had to trust God, and to trust in my angel self. That human beings could only cross alone, that if they could go together they would, and that if they could take me through they would, but they couldn’t. She went first and said she’d be waiting and praying for us. And Father said he wouldn’t go through until we’d both gone through, so I had to jump ‘cause the worms were eating him up, but he said that I mustn’t think about them, or try to hold onto them even in my mind.” Tears rose to my eyes; I could still see the worms if I let myself.

tiferet From: tiferet Date: December 2nd, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: (as the fic is no longer on public archives...this is the bit I mean...)

“I called out to Jesus to save me and then I just jumped into the Fire. And then I realized the Fire was God. I couldn’t hold onto anything, Harry. It took all of my memories. Not that I thought I had a whole lot, I was just two years old after all. I remembered being born, how scary and red it was. I remembered the room where my parents were making love with all the candles and knowing that these were the people I wanted to be with. And I remembered dying. I died a lot; I died of lots of things. I fell in love, I had children, I killed, I lived and I died. I ate my Death, Harry. I died to my old self and was reborn to my true self. I’m twice-born. The Fire burned up everything, my life, my love, my fears, my dreams, my self, my mind. I truly believed I was dead, dead and gone, that I’d given it all up, my parents, my body, my whole life and all the ones before. It destroyed me. But I knew it was better than staying in the Darkness with Tommy. And the Fire is still with me.”

Harry stared at me. “That’s what being a Death Eater means?”

I shrugged. “It’s what it was supposed to mean. But Tom Marvolo Riddle
didn’t cross—he fell. And unless he’s cut out of the Circle, some part of all the rest of us remains there. Dumbledore’s right about one thing. There are worse things than dying. Being where and what Voldemort is—that’s a lot worse than dying.”

“What happened afterward?”

I smiled. “I woke up in my mother’s arms. We’d never left the house, you see. My mother cried out that I was awake and they were both worried and sad. My father took me in his arms and made me look at him, look deep into his eyes. I’d never before seen him scared. They ran their hands all over my body, checking the energy flows. And then my father poured a potion down the sink, and he held us both with all his strength and cried. They knew it was very unlikely a two-year-old child could cross the Abyss; they knew that I might not be able to let go, and that nothing could save my mind if I didn’t let go. I would have become as possessed and demented as Voldemort is, and the only way to free my soul would be to kill my body. And that’s why nothing much scares me, Harry: I’ve already died. The only things I’m scared of are the ones that are worse than death. Like becoming one of the creatures inside the Abyss.”

Harry swallowed. “What was the potion?” he asked nervously.

I shrugged. “I never asked. I could guess. My father loves me very much. It would have been painless, and people would have thought I’d just died in my sleep. I’m sure they would have held me till I passed. And mourned me all their days, just like they will my brother, the one she was going to have when Voldemort took her away—the one that never got born.”
Harry was white: white as Draco, as paper, as white as the light on the snow outside, and the Fire which had burnt my heart clean of my self.

“So we have that in common too. We’ve both been dead.”

I nodded. “I suppose we do.”

“I think that’s what the Order of the Phoenix is about,” he mused. “Headmaster Dumbledore won’t tell me very much. Did he ask you to join, too?”
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 2nd, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)


(Excellent fic, by the way.)

You are thinking, I suppose, psychologically, and that is reasonable. I am thinking, perhaps, politically: Riddle is a nihilistic terrorist on a 'faith' model rather than a political leader with whom one can negotiate, the DE ideology simply has no rational demands that cd be appeased or satisfied if one wished to do (wh is where Fudge was so foolish). Riddle is in this more like UBL or Jim Jones or Hitler than he is like Stalin: his alleged political causes are top-dressing, they are irrational and incapable of being realised, and what truly drives him and his is a mystical madness fuelled by odium theologicum. He can't win, but that's all right so long as he gets his Gotterdamerung, which IS winning, to him.
tiferet From: tiferet Date: December 2nd, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Possibly.

Oh, I wouldn't disagree with that; but those guys that the writer is talking about are, basically, serial killers, very disorganised, who never acquire the kind of political power that Voldemort did.

And I'm glad you like the fic. I really need, now that I've been removed from FFN.net, to find another public archive to put it on. I keep saying I'll move it to FOSFF.net where most of my other fics are.

Severine is, if you hadn't figured it out, Severus Snape's daughter by a lady who was Lucius Malfoy's sister. Having never heard that all such characters were Mary Sues, I wrote her anyway. Some people are willing to deal with that, and some are not.
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