Ares walked into the living room the next morning. “Father you wanted to see me?”
Tom looked at his son. “Yes I did. Ares I told you that I was raised in an orphanage last night. Well you will be spending six months in the same orphanage I was in so you can get an idea what muggles are like and understand my actions at Hogwarts.”
“I already know what Muggles are like thanks to Dumbledore and my family. Why do I need to go to an orphanage?”
“To understand why it is better to keep our worlds separate Ares. Sadly you won’t be allowed to take Iris with you. The muggle orphanage doesn’t allow pets.”
“Iris is bonded to me. How can I leave her?”
“I know she is bonded to you Ares. I know you both care for and love each other just as Nagini and I love and care for each other. But I’m afraid there is nothing I can do about the rules in the muggle orphanage. Even wizarding orphanages don’t allow you to keep familiars.”
“That’s stupid. I would think magical orphanages would realize how important familiars are to their wizard or witch.”
“I agree with you. Now please don’t argue with me. Twinkie will get you some Muggle clothes and a bag to put them in. Lucius will take you to the orphanage and he’ll pick you up in six months. Remember not to tell anyone that you are a wizard.”
Ares sighed knowing there was no use arguing with his father and also knowing that his father was right. “Take care of Iris for me father. I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you as well my son and don’t worry about Iris. No harm will come to her.”
Ares nodded and hugged his father before turning and going upstairs to change into some muggle clothes. Twinkie appeared with a bag with muggle clothes stuffed in them and gave Ares a hug. “Be good young master.”
“I’ll do my best Twinkie. Take care of father for me.”
“I will young master. You can count on me.”
Ares shouldered his bag and went downstairs to the living room where Lucius was waiting. “My Prince,” Lucius said bowing before Ares before straightening up. “Take my arm Prince.”
Ares took Lucius’s arm and they apparated to a rundown muggle street in London. Fences were in need of repair and lawns were overgrown. They made their way to their destination after a few minutes of walking. The sign just inside the gate said “Sprig Orphanage”. The building looked in even worse shape than the houses around it. “Remember your father’s orders Prince.”
“I will Lucius.”
Lucius knocked on the door and it was opened by an elderly woman. “Yes?”
“Good evening Miss Sprig. This is Ares Riddle. His parents died in a fire two months ago and I’m unable to care for him any longer.”
“Riddle? Did you say Riddle?”
“Yes ma’am. It’s simply tragic what happened to Mr. Riddle’s parents so I was hoping you would have room for him.”
“Alright Mr. Riddle come on in. Goodbye Mr.?”
“Goodbye Mr. Light.”
“Goodbye Ares,” Lucius said and walked back down the street. Ares looked at the woman with disdain before walking into the orphanage. Miss Sprig led him into a common room. “This is the common room for all the boys. The dining room is to your left. You’ll be required to be at the table for breakfast at 8AM, lunch at Noon, and Dinner at 5PM. If you’re late you won’t get anything to eat. The stairs to the right lead up to the rooms and bathrooms. The hallway leads to my office, my room which you are never allowed to enter and three bathrooms. Now I’ll show you to your room.”
Miss Sprig led Ares up the stairs and down the hallway to the fifth door on the left. She opened the door and stepped aside to let Ares enter. The room had a wardrobe by the door and a bed against the opposite wall near the window. There was also a desk and chair for kids to do their homework. “This is your room. I don’t allow fighting, drugs, or drinking here. You’ll be thrown out if you get in any trouble. Is that clear?”
“Good. Lunch will be at noon.” Miss Sprig left and Ares heard her footsteps going down the hall and down the stairs.
“What a dump. How do Muggles live here?” Ares said to himself as he dropped his bag on his bed and started putting his clothes in the wardrobe. He threw his bag in the wardrobe and shut the door before going over and laying on the bed.
Two months passed before anything interesting happened. Ares was out in the garden that was in the back of the orphanage when he saw a black snake with red stripes. Hello. My name is Ares Riddle.
Hello Ares. How can you understand me?
I’m a Parslemouth.
So you must be a wizard then huh?
Yes. How are you?
I’m fine thanks.
Do you have a name?
I’ll have to think of something to call you then. My father has a snake. Her name is Nagini.
What type of snake is she?
Some type of magical venomous python.
Do you want to come inside with me? You’ll just have to stay out of sight. We’re not allowed to have pets.
Better than being out here. The snake slithered up Ares’s arm under his sleeve and Ares walked back inside the orphanage and up to his room. He was getting rather tired of being here. A lot of the older children were bullies to him.
Ares lowered his arm when he got to his bed and the snake slithered out. I think it’s time for lunch so I better get downstairs. Please stay up here and be quiet. It’s the only way I can keep you.
Of course Ares. I’ll just take a nap on your bed.
I’ll be back as soon as lunch is over.
Take your time. Don’t hurry back on my account.
Ares left his room and walked down the stairs to the dining room. There were twenty-five boys sitting at the table ranging from three to seventeen years old. At each plate was a cheeseburger, baked potato, diced peaches and a small garden salad with a glass of milk.
Ares looked at the meal and began picking at the food. When he was done he carried his plate to the sink and went back up to his room. He smiled as he saw the snake was still on his bed. It was nice having a friend here even it wasn’t human. He hadn’t made any friends at the orphanage in the two months he had been there. At least I have Draco as a friend. I wonder what he’s doing right now.
The months passed without incident. Ares had successfully hidden the snake in his room that he had named Shadow. Shadow had learned about Ares’s first familiar, a wolf named Iris and had expressed interest in seeing her for himself. What does Iris look like?
She’s got green eyes and light brown fur. Have you never seen a wolf before?
They’re like dogs only with more fur.
I see. Do wolves like snakes?
I don’t know. But Iris seems to get along with Nagini so I’m sure she’ll get along with you as well.
The end of the sixth month finally came and Ares breathed a sigh of relief that he was finally going home. He threw his clothes into his bag and Shadow slithered in as well so he wouldn’t be seen by Miss Sprig. There was a knock on the door. “Ares? Mr. Light is here to take you back. Why he dropped you off here for six months I’ll never know.”
Ares ignored the woman and walked down the steps before smiling at Lucius who nodded back. “Thank you for watching the boy for me Miss Sprig,” Lucius said.
Lucius and Ares left without further ado and apparated back to Riddle Manor. “How was your time in the Muggle Orphanage prince?”
“Boring. I don’t understand how children can live in there. The older boys were bullies to me.”
“Did you make them suffer?”
“No. I followed father’s advice and didn’t cause any attention to myself. I did befriend a snake though that’s in my bag.”
Lucius smiled. With the prince being a parslemouth like his father he supposed it was natural that Ares would make friends with a snake. They walked into Riddle Manor and Ares ran into the living room where Tom was reading a book with Nagini and Iris curled up near the fire. “Father!” Ares shouted leaping into his father’s arms as Tom stood and let the book fall to the floor.