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PRESENT DUMBLEDORE: He was Sorted into Ravenclaw immediately, of course.

Tom wears the Sorting hat.

SORTING HAT: Ravenclaw!

A table of Ravenclaw students cheers.

PRESENT DUMBLEDORE: Once he settled in at Hogwarts, he seemed happy again, and dived into his studies with a fervor that we rarely see. In his third year, he was issued a Time-Twister to help him take more classes, a decision we now sorely regret...

PRESENT GRANGER: So that's why Professor McGonagall was so apprehensive when I received mine!


PRESENT DUMBLEDORE: Riddle was very popular with children and adults alike, as he had been at the orphanage, but he was aloof. I think perhaps there was no one he was truly close to.

Professor McGonagall sits at a chair and smiles contentedly as ze writes "Perfect!" on one of Tom's essays. Meanwhile, Tom, who is now wearing the Time-Twister, excitedly reads a book and tries out some magic while pushing away other students who are offering zem a bag of gold and a symbolic heart.

PRESENT DUMBLEDORE: But we professors overlooked that, mesmerized as we were by his amazing talents. He excelled at every subject he tried – again, so much like yourself. He especially loved animals, and spent long evenings having Hagrid teach him the languages of cats and snakes.

Hagrid watches as Tom happily chats with a snake in an unreadable language. Tom is speaking in the voice from earlier, not the Voldemort voice.

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Tom Riddle is born much later in Voldemort's Children than in the books, in order to make my timeline work out. Thus, Hagrid attended Hogwarts already, and graduated as normal before going on to become the Hogwarts gamekeeper.

In book 7, Ron is able to open the Chamber of Secrets just by remembering the hissing sounds Harry made. Thus, it's probably possible to learn the snake language like any other, even if you weren't born knowing it automatically by magic. Hagrid, who loves all kinds of creatures, would have every motivation to learn animal languages if ze can. Also, considering that Riddle is a Ravenclaw here, ze probably isn't any kind of “Heir of Slytherin”, and probably isn't innately a Parselmouth.

Approximate readability: 10.92 (572 characters, 121 words, 6 sentences, 4.73 characters per word, 20.17 words per sentence)