The best thing with Tom Riddle, Horace thinks, is that he knows his own potential. He knows just how well looking and intelligent he is, and he knows how to use it in the just the right way. And that talent, that particular talent out of all the many talents that the boy shows, is positively endearing. Casting spells and brewing potions might impress other teachers, but Horace is charmed by Tom’s charm in itself. Tom – because that is what Horace calls him, by first name, as he likes to do with all of “his” boys - has a knack for becoming friends with important people that is almost up to par with Horace’s own. Tom does not miss one opportunity to get what he wants.
Tom, Horace thinks, is a real Slytherin. Probably the best example of one in years, and after all, Horace has a number of generations to compare with by now. If he can stay on Tom’s good side, Horace is quite sure that this boy will prove to be his greatest accomplishment yet.