First Memory, age 1

"You know, through pain, you learn a lot about yourself-things you thought you never knew you wanted to learn. And it's kind of like those animals that regrow a part of their body-like a starfish. You might not feel it. You might not even want to grow, but you will. You'll grow that part that broke off, and that growing, that blooming-cannot happen without the pain."

-Kelle Hampton, Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected-A Memoir

Skull's eyes opened slowly, muddled violet orbs staring at the white void he found himself in.

This wasn't his bedroom...

When that fact sunk in, Skull bolted into a sitting position, head whipping around in an attempt to absorb any information he could on the strange place he found himself in. Last time he had checked, he had been in his bedroom, recovering from the period of time he had been tortured by the British wizards.

His eyes landed on the prone figures of his fellow Arcobaleno, minus Yuni, scattered around him.

"Death," The Cloud Arcobaleno barked, causing the others to stir, but he didn't pay attention to them, his eyes were on the young woman who had materialized beside him.

With her pale skin, regal face, and long black hair, she could be considered beautiful, if it weren't for her completely black eyes and the aura of death that surrounded her. "Master," She greeted stoicly.

Sharp violet eyes bore into the spirit of Death, "What did you do."

"Oh, Master," Death purred, a small smirk growing on her regal face, "I'm doing you a favor."

"What do you mean?" Skull asked, and Death 'tsk'ed.

"I cannot tell you that, Master. It would take away all the fun." She told him, "Your friends awaken. Enjoy yourself." With that, Death vanished in a flurry of shadows, leaving Skull to curse her out in the many languages he knew.

By the time he had reached Hungarian, the others had become completely lucid.

"Kibaszott szar! A fenébe Halál! [Hungarian: Fucking shit! Damn it, Death!]" Skull was screaming, stomping around the empty void they were in while the others watched in bemusement. "Ha nem voltál a megszemélyesítés maga a halál, én megöllek! [Hungarian: If you weren't the personification of death itself, I'd kill you!]" A wordless scream of rage erupted from his mouth and he switched to German, because Hungarian just wasn't angry enough to display his fury. "Scheiße! Was zum Teufel hast du damit gemeint?! [German: Fuck! What the Hell did you mean by that?!]" He waved a fist at what he thought was the ceiling, ""Ich weiß das du über mich lachst, verdammt!" [German: I know you are laughing at me, damnit!]"

Fon cleared his throat, and Skull spun around to look at them, face flushing in embarrassment.

"Sorry, about that..." The Cloud muttered.

Colonello coughed awkwardly, "So... Any ideas where we are- kora?"

As if the magic word had been spoken, the whiteness that surrounded them seemed to dissolve, and in it's place, a calm family living room took it's place.

Skull immediately paled as a baby's delighted giggle broke the silence.

A young man with messy black hair was laying on the couch, wand waving around to make complex cloud shapes and the baby seated on his chest giggled brightly, pudgy hands reaching for the floating clouds.


The man, James, lifted his head, turning towards them, a grin on his face and bi-speckled hazel eyes sparkling.


A beautiful young woman with crimson hair and emerald green eyes entered the room, a smile on her face.

"This is private..." Skull muttered shakily, violet eyes wide and glassy, as if he was about to cry.

"Do you know these people, Skull?" Lal asked, glancing between the two people, and the violet-haired stuntman.

"… They're my parents..." Skull said uneasily; he knew this scene... It had been from another's perspective, but he had seen this memory before.

Lily laughed slightly as she lifted the giggling baby from her husband's chest, cradling the messy-haired infant to her chest.

Bright green eyes, the same shade as his mother's, peered over her shoulder and seemed to pierce into the Arcobaleno .

"C'mon, Harry," Lily cooed, "Bedtime for my baby boy."

James grinned, tossing his wand onto the couch to get up. He ambled over to his wife, wrapping his arms around her waist and nuzzling into his son's downy-soft baby curls.

The baby laughed brightly.

"You were so happy," Fon said quietly, shifting closer to his lover, whom he could see was on the verge of tears, and placing a steadying hand on the younger man's shoulder.

Skull nodded his head silently, unable to tear his eyes from the happy family in front of him.

Lily pecked her husband on the lips before pulling away from his arms and making her way towards the stairs.

Colonello's sniper-trained eyes were the only thing that allowed him to catch sight of a dark-robed figure out the window, making its way up to the front door.

The house shook around them, and both Lily and James paled.

"Lily," James cried, hazel eyes turning from the quivering door to his red-haired wife and son, "take Harry and go! It's him!"

Lily hesitated, green eyes watery, and James gripped her upper-arms in frantic hands.

"Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"

None of the Arcobaleno dared interrupt, but the solemn atmosphere spoke the words they didn't say as they watched the emotions run through Lily's eyes.

Lily hesitated for only a moment, before turning and fleeing up the stairs, her son held tightly in her grasp.

James spun around, and the door was blown off its hinges.

Standing in the doorway, was a middle-aged man; handsome, but dangerous. His wavy black hair fell around an aristocratic and cruel face, and glowing red eyes peered at James in sadistic delight.

James snarled defensively, positioning himself in front of the stairs, and Voldemort laughed.

"Avada Kedavra!" The green light filled the cramped hallway, it lit the pram pushed against the wall, it made the banisters glow like lighting rods, and James Potter fell like a marionette whose strings were cut. [Line written by J.K. Rowling, I take no credit for it].

A low, distressed whine left Skull's throat as he watched his father's body fall, and Fon pulled his younger lover against his side, wrapping him securely in his strong arms.

And then it dissolved, recreating itself in the form of a nursery, Lily Potter was crouched in front of her son's crib, speaking urgently to the infant.

Footsteps made their way up the stairs, torturously slowly.

"Harry... Harry, you're so loved... So, so loved..." Lily's voice cracked as she whispered to her infant son. "Harry, mama loves you, dada loves you..." A single tear dripped down the baby's cheek as his mother spoke. "Harry, be safe. Be strong."

The solemn atmosphere was broken when the door to the nursery was blown open, sending the boxes and chair Lily had barricaded the door with crash into the soft blue walls, and Voldemort swept into the nursery.

Lily turned, throwing her arms wide to shield her small son from the dark figure in the doorway.

"Not Harry!" Lily cried, "Not Harry, please! Not Harry!"

"Stand aside, you silly girl!" Voldemort hissed, "Stand aside, now!"

"Not Harry! Please no! Take me! Kill me instead!" The red-haired woman begged, refusing to move from her position in front of Harry.

"This is my last warning."

"Not Harry, please! Have mercy! Have mercy! Not Harry!" Lily sobbed frantically, "Not Harry, please! I'll do anything! Not my baby!"

"Stand aside," Voldemort ordered, leveling his wand at the young woman's chest. "Stand aside, girl!"

Lily still did not move, her chin set stubbornly, and tears streamed down her pale face.

"Avada Kedavra!" Green light flashed across the room, illuminating the tear-stained face of Lily Potter, her mouth open in a scream, and she crumpled to the ground.

A sob broke through Skull's tight control, his mother's begging hitting deep, her death even deeper. "This is private." The youngest Arcobaleno insisted, eyes locked solely on his mother's dead body.

The child was standing, clutching at the bars of his crib, and big green eyes were locked on his mother's prone form. He wasn't crying; he was much too young to know what death meant.

Voldemort turned his wand to the defenseless babe.

A snarl reverberated through all the Arcobaleno, and Fon tightened his hold on the purple-haired young man at his side.

The small child looked up at the intruder's face, expression open with childlike curiosity.

The wand was pointed at the infant's innocent face, and he began to cry, frightened by the man in front of him.

"Avada Kedavra!"

The green curse swept towards the baby, almost in slow motion, and the moment before it struck the young Harry, green Lightning Flames erupted to life in front of the child, Lily Potter's Dying Wish to protect her son causing her Dying Will Flames to activate and shield her baby from what would have been his death.

The Killing Curse rebound, sending it back to the caster, and the memory faded to black. The sound of the chilling cries of an orphaned baby boy ringing in their ears.

"They didn't even have their wands." Viper hummed, hidden eyes moving to their hysterical comrade, who was sobbing into Fon's chest. "They were defenseless."

Fon shot a warning look at the hooded Mist-user, running his hand through Skull's violet curls in an attempt to calm him, and before he could say anything, the next memory began.

The first thing they took note of, was that it was nearly pitch black, the only source of light coming from the motorcycle parked in the middle of the road.

"-I've got him, sir" The giant of a man was saying.

"No problems, were there?"

"No, sir - house was almost destroyed but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol."

The old man and middle-aged woman bent over the bundle of blankets in the giant's arms.

"Is that where-?" Whispered the woman,

"Yes," The old man said, nodding gravely. "He'll have that scar forever."

Finally calmed enough, Skull absentmindedly rubbed at the spot where his faded lightning-bolt scar was located.

"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"

"That's Dumbledore?" Reborn said, dark eyes on the purple-robed man with the long silver hair, definitely not what he expected; a colour-blind old man.

Skull nodded.

"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground. Well - give him here, Hagrid - we'd better get this over with."

"He sounds like he's taking out trash or something." Colonello muttered mutinously as Dumbledore took the baby from Hagrid's arms and turned towards the house numbered 4.

Hagrid's voice stopped Dumbledore in his tracks, "Could I - could I say goodbye to him, sir?" He bent over the small baby in Dumbledore's arms and place a kiss on the boy's brow. Then, suddenly, he let out a howl like a wounded dog.

"Shhh!" The woman hissed, "You'll wake the Muggles!"

Hagrid sobbed an apology, burying his face in a dirty handkerchief he had pulled from his pocket. "But I c-c-can't stand it - Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles -"

"Despite his blind loyalty to Dumbledore, Hagrid had a good heart." Skull said quietly ashe watched the scene.

"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found." The woman whispered, patting the large man on the arm.

Dumbledore swept up the stone path of Number 4 and towards the front door. He laid Harry on the doorstep and tucked a letter into the baby's blanket.

"Well," Dumbledore said, turning and striding away from the half-asleep child on the doorstep, who wore nothing but his pajamas and a light blanket. "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."

"That's that?!" Fon echoed incrediously, tightening his hold on his lover. "They left a baby on the doorstep with nothing but blanket keeping him warm and a letter, then leaves?"

Skull blushed slightly,

"What the hell is wrong with these people!" Lal cried furiously,

"The wizarding population of Britain are not known for their intelligence." Verde said, adjusting his glasses.

"You can say that again." Reborn snorted crossly.

"Yeah," Hagrid agreed in a muffled voice. "I'd best get this bike away. G'night Professor McGonagall - Professor Dumbledore, sir." The large man swung himself onto the motorbike and kicked the engine to life, and the bike rose into the air and off into the night.

Then Dumbledore turned to McGonagall, an odd look twisting his face. "I cannot have you risking my plans." He informed the confused woman,

"Albus, what-"

"Obliviate." Professor McGonagall's eyes glazed over, and Dumbledore spoke again, "I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor McGonagall."

The woman nodded jerkily and strode off down the street uneasily. Dumbledore watched her go, an unreadable expression on his face, and the memory dissolved.

"You can never be really happy if you keep holding to those bad memories which makes you sad."

-Anurag Prakash Ray

Well, there you have it. The first chapter; the idea was so popular that I just had to write it. I hope you like it, it's kind of a new style for me, so I don't really know if I did it well enough... I'm pretty proud of the cover though! I worked hard on it (the art doesn't belong to me though).

Anything you recognize from Harry Potter does not belong to me, so I really hope no one reports me for copying...

Hope you enjoyed the first chapter!


Update: Thank you, Allykrau, for correcting my German. I used google translate, as the only languages I speak are English and French.