Birth of a Name by nonjon
Sources: Harry Potter
In fanfiction, there are certain trends which you can count on. Of these, the most notable is probably the choice of focus. It’s rare to find stories which focus on aspects of characters that the original story never touched on. (or never touched on very well) Another such trend is that when somebody does have a good idea and that idea doesn’t conflict with the original story, it usually becomes part of the shared body of “unofficial official” facts.
Today’s Harry Potter fanfic touches on both of these as it answers the question “How did Tom Riddle figure out that his name could be rearranged to spell ‘I am Lord Voldemort’ and how can we make it funny?” It’s “Birth of a Name” by nonjon and if you’ve ever read a fanfic which mentioned the Jumbliatus curse or said that Salazar Slytherin’s pet basilisk was named “Blinky”, then it has had an effect on you.
The fic is written from a first-person perspective and starts with a young Tom Riddle walking into class and dreading the weekly “Friday Fun Spell”. I especially enjoy this because, not only does it provide a glimpse at how a teenage Tom Riddle might have thought, it also takes the opportunity to provide believable teenage versions of several of the other characters who would have been going to school somewhere around the same time. I do suspect that some of the characters in question might have been a little too old to be in the same class, but that’s not the main focus of the story and, given how effective the humor is, it’s not a big problem.
After all, how can you take a future evil villain seriously when this is going on inside his head?
I write my full name down on the paper. I quietly hiss, “Jumblio” and watch the magic change ‘Tom Marvolo Riddle’ into… ‘Lord Leotard Mom IV’? Really? What the hell happened to the first three mothers of Lord Leotard? You know what? I don’t think I want to know. I try the spell again. “Jumblio”.
‘Tim Doom Lardlover.’ Okay, at least we’re getting some variety here. Something tells me I can do better than that one. I mean there’s got to be something good in there, right?
With a non-stop barrage of quotes like these, it’s not wonder that this is one of the handful of fics which have made me laugh out loud. I haven’t noticed any grammatical errors, but it’s an extremely short story, so I don’t want to spoil the ending. I’ll just say that it puts a whole new spin on the events mentioned in the original Harry Potter books and leave you with one more incentive to read it:
‘Model Tom, Viral Rod.’ Hmm, you know if Rod ever became a massive all-powerful festering diseased dark wizard, I might be willing to include myself and my dashing good looks in a partnership. Wait… no I wouldn’t. I’d still kill him. “Jumblio.”
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