He who must not be named, but named all the same as Tom Ridle, Voldemort, and many other things, was a peculiar looking one, no doubt about it.
It was like all his evil, malice, and dark magic had shaped him into something otherworldly, and it was all showing on the surface. Well, it did happen. Either that, or somebody made him a really crappy cuppa…
Where did Voldemort go after graduation?
When he finished Hogwarts, and had his graduation mocaccino, the books say Tom first had ideas about getting a teaching position there. Defense Against The Dark Arts was his preferred choice of course, or DATDA for short.
He was already formed then into what he would remain until the end of his days, internally, but it wasn’t showing yet. He already started recruiting his Death Eaters while in school and it was Tom’s plan to continue recruiting from a position of a teacher, which would give him an advantage no doubt.
When he was declined, he was naturally upset as a man of his ego and callous intentions would be, but he didn’t let it show. Instead, Tom then decided to go around the world and arm himself as much as he could with all sorts of magical knowledge and skills, no matter where it would lead him, the darker the better, no matter the cost.
Power, no matter the cost…
Well, the cost was dear for many of the things Tom did during a period of some years. He disappeared for some time and some even believed him to be dead. He pursued anyone who had any distinguishing knowledge about magic he wanted to attain, and he usually got it.
Tom was described in the book and portrayed in the movies as someone who could make people do what he wanted and get from them what he needed, through magical force or simply through guile and subtlety, as we’ve seen when he extracted info about the Horcruxes from prof. Slughorn.
Tom came back to Hogwarts once, when his metamorphosis had already begun
The dark teachings he gained and rituals he participated in have begun to show on the outside and Tom visited Hogwarts one more time, before his full transformation into what we know him to be later.
There was a significant amount of deformity on his features and skin, but he was still recognizable on the outside when he visited Hogwarts, presumably sometime in the late ‘70s. Dumbledore was already in office then, in the position of the headmaster, and Tom came to him.
When he visited Dumbledore, Tom told him that he came to give him one last chance to give him a teaching position, not sounding like he was threatening but speaking very seriously at the same time.
Dumbledore politely declined of course, and Tom and he parted ways.
Tom continued his descend into darkness, to call it that, and his transformation was complete soon after. The damage to his skin and tissue had left him looking snakelike and, in the books, his eyes became red with slits for pupils.
And his nose is also gone with only slits for nostrils, which is portrayed accurately in the movies.
So, he becomes very much snakelike. It may have something to do with him being the descendant of Salazar Slytherin, or with him being kindred to snakes, but it really fits his character.
This is most noticeable when he manipulates and “slithers” his way into a person’s mind, not just with magic but with a silver tongue and other means. Like when he tries to talk Harry into using Avada Kedavra on Belatrix, knowing the anger Harry has inside.
Voldemort never spared any effort to achieve what he wanted and went to any length to achieve his grandiose plans, which was his poetic undoing in the end.
Voldemort in a way gave Harry the means to destroy him.
It was because he was afraid of any threat to his plans that he rushed to end Harry, after hearing a part of the prophecy and achieving not only to destroy his body then but also to gift Harry with the means and the tools to destroy him later.
It is undoubtedly one of the sublime messages J.K. Rowling intended to imbue into her work, where ambition, especially dark one, but all kinds of ambition can be a dreadful thing if taken too far.
Harry gives up his dreams multiple times, like playing quidditch for instance, to help his friends and he ultimately sacrifices himself for them and everybody else, something Voldemort would never do. This shows one of the clear differences between the two characters and one of the primary morals of the story, which is that:
When opening up for other people in our life and giving ourselves to them, we don’t actually lose but instead we gain unimaginable power, greater than any dark, selfish, and greedy intent can attain.
So, that’s the story of Voldemorts nose for ya!