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Quote #10

But I knew what I must do. It was clear to me that you were on the trail of Slytherin's heir. From everything Ginny had told me about you, I knew you would go to any lengths to solve the mystery – particularly if one of your best friends was attacked. And Ginny had told me the whole school was buzzing because you could speak Parseltongue…

So I made Ginny write her own farewell on the wall and come down here to wait. She struggled and cried and became very boring. But there isn't much life left in her…She put too much into the diary, into me. Enough to let me leave its pages at last…I have been waiting for you to appear since we arrived here. I knew you'd come. I have many questions for you, Harry Potter. (17.63-64)

Tom Riddle knows that Harry takes his friendships extremely seriously. He uses this knowledge to manipulate Harry right into a trap. Riddle's manipulation of Harry by threatening his friends foreshadows a similar maneuver he pulls on Harry in Book 5 with regard to Sirius Black. So Voldemort's sixteen-year-old self is already using tactics that his adult self continues to exploit later on in the series. This raises a question for us: when exactly did Voldemort learn to do all of this stuff? If he's already behaving as an adult Dark wizard at sixteen, was he born knowing how to cheat and manipulate? One way of looking at Voldemort is that he appears fated to become evil (as the Heir of Slytherin). Yet he also develops his evil tendencies in response to his family history and his awful Muggle orphanage background (see Book 6). So Voldemort both chooses the Dark side and seems fated to be Dark. Why do you think Voldemort is the way he is? Could Harry become like Voldemort, under the right circumstances?

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