Of course, it would’ve been wiser to wait in Diagon Alley for Lupin to come for his school supplies but Tom Riddle was too excited to procrastinate. His plan would go faster if he could somehow manage to gain access to the boy’s person. This woman wasn’t on the guest list, he’d already checked her memories, but he could inhabit somebody who was. In excitement, Voldemort shot out of the body, letting it fall down the gorge he was standing over. He couldn’t let her live after knowing his deepest thoughts and he didn’t have the ability to use a wand, so he just dropped her to her death.
There was something wonderfully uplifting about her screams as she plummeted to her death at the rocky bottom of the enormous gorge. Maybe his psychopathic tendencies were getting stronger with all the plotting he’d been doing lately. Or maybe he’d never taken the time to get to know somebody so intimately before killing them. Though using Legilimency was similar to this, it wasn’t like that made him a part of her. This was even more exhilarating than regular murder. He would have to do it a few more times before he could get the giddiness out of his system, but that was simply the most entertainment he’d had in quite a while.
To the outside world, it looked like the woman pulled a memory out of her body before jumping to her death. A suicide note contained in a memory would be a pretty efficient way to get your point across, however the full meaning might be lost without context. Oh well, nobody would question the motives of a witch with a drinking problem and past psychotic breaks. She had a final meltdown and ended her life before the biggest party of the year, quite a surprise. He appeared as a silver thread of memory, floating through the air. Nobody would suspect that a single strand of memory could contain the entire essence of a person.
But what was a person other than their persona, a combination of their ego, superego, and id? An entire personality could be based almost entirely off of somebody’s collective life experiences. Everything has a psychological effect on us, changing the way we think. Sometimes the change is miniscule, other times quite the opposite. Physiological changes caused by stress could alter brain chemistry and change not only the hardware, but the software as well. The operating system of the human brain is the human mind, and it is quite fickle indeed. If memories are nothing more than proteins and neurons and they can be converted through magic into an identifiable and understandable format, then why should the entire operating system be any different? That was the key idea behind his plan, and it turned out to be a very good question.
Hypothesizing that something could be done and then testing that hypothesis was how the muggles advanced their understanding of the world. Scientific method was beginning to become integral to the wizarding world too. Advances in transfiguration, alchemy, and charms were brought on simply through testing the world. Muggle society was starting to leak its way into the wizarding one, and it was helping wizards rediscover ancient aspects of magic that were once lost. Voldemort hated to admit it, but in some respects they were right. No matter how easy it would be to take over their society with magic, they still had some ideologies that secretly fascinated him.
He remembered being back in the orphanage and being told of weapons of mass destruction, capable of wiping entire cities off the map in the blink of an eye. The muggles had gone to the moon before wizards even thought it possible. They knew the secrets to biology and chemistry, studied their own history to change the future, and had more complicated economic and political systems than any the wizards could hope to create on their own. Studying them made him question everything he thought he knew of the world, even the phrase, “Know thy enemy” was derived from a muggle! Riddle never realized just how saturated the wizarding world was with backwash from muggle society until he discovered that. So his entire plan was hinging on muggle ideas and thought processes. What was he turning into? A promuggle Dark Wizard? The thought was preposterous indeed, but yet...
He was nearing the Potter residence and saw the enormous line to enter the premises. He floated towards the front of the line and jumped into the body of some child of approximately the same age as little Harry. The boy seemed vaguely familiar to Voldemort but he couldn’t quite place the certainty that he’d seen the boy before, or more likely one of his grandparents. He entered the boy’s head but didn’t take control, allowing the kid to steer him past the security checkpoint and into the enormous yard. Annoyance flooded Voldemort as he saw just how big the Potter residence was. Who did they think they were? Oh right, the Vanguards of Voldemort. That would change soon...
The boy’s parents split away from him and began walking towards the congregation of older people in the marquee. With a jolt he saw a middle aged Harry Potter amongst a crowd of other people from his generation. Then he realized who he was inside. The grandchild of Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood? How bizarre, to be in the spawn of your greatest enemies. Now would be a good time to shoot for the blonde child, but there were so many witnesses. He’d have to wait for the opportune moment- The children were running to a small shed nearby full of flying broomsticks. He would have to aim perfectly through the craziness of flying kids to touch little Harry’s head.