A/N: Yes, I should be working on SIS... but when I have the muse it's just great, I write lots in a very short space of time (hence the first six chapters of SIS being posted all at once!) and my muse for this new fic was working. I have two people to thank for inspiring me: A. S. Byatt for the book 'Possession' and Penelope-Z for her damn spooky ficlet 'Metamorphosis,' which got me thinking about this in the first place. It's slightly slashy, but not graphically so. So even if you don't like slash, I'm confident that you can read this without too much bother. Anyway, without further ado, onto the first chapter of:


'The Dark Age, as it has been so aptly named, although having taken place over 800 years ago, still has grave repercussions on society to this day. The wizarding population in the United Kingdom is still struggling to restore its numbers, and, whilst blood curses that destroyed so many families as recent as a century ago have all but been eradicated, we are still not as we once were.

Despite this grave importance, in reality we know surprisingly little as to what actually took place during those 20-odd years, until the Dark Side was defeated and the Restoration slowly began. Book Burnings were common by the so-called 'Death Eaters' of the regime, if said texts did not conform to their ideals; and other information was destroyed simply to cripple the Light Side. That is not to say, however, that we know nothing of this time. The tales of the Dark Age have been so ingrained in legend and general knowledge that it is sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction. However, we do know of the common enemy: Voldemort and his supporters, including the mass-executioner Lestrange. The Light Side was the Phoenix Order, led by Albus Dumbledore, and included arguably the most famous 'hero' of the time: Harry Potter.

Strange though it may seem, we know more about Harry Potter's early years than we do know about his later life and finally his infamous defeat of Voldemort in the 'Bermodsey Battle,' which took place in roughly 2015. It is agreed by most historians that Potter was born probably in the early 1980s, and attended Hogwarts (main United Kingdom Wizarding School; an equivalent to Rosemount today) in the 1990s. Since the school was destroyed, it is impossible to verify this date.

Potter was born to a Muggle-born mother, Lily, and 'Pure-blood' father James Potter. However, he was raised by Muggle relatives after his parents were both killed by Voldemort at the end of the First Uprising. Books that survive today tell us Voldemort was "defeated and destroyed" by little Harry Potter- his power was broken by the boy (for over a decade, at least), and that Harry was left unharmed by the encounter, save for a scar on his forehead. Potter was made famous, haled as a hero and given the title of the 'Boy-Who-Lived'.

It is unknown why Voldemort wished to kill Harry. The widely accepted theory is that Potter was a descendant of Godric Gryffindor, a well-known wizarding figure of the times, who had helped to found Hogwarts less than two thousand years ago today. Voldemort, as a descendant of Salazar Slytherin, another Hogwarts Founder and enemy of Gryffindor, would wish to destroy any living Gryffindor relatives. It has also been suggested that both bloodlines passed down unusual magical powers to their descendants. Neither of these theories has been proved, however.

After Potter's schooling, (suggested reading- AA Brown's 'The Boy-Who- Lived's Schooldays') it is assumed that he immediately began to work for the Phoenix Order under his tutor Dumbledore. Potter participated bravely in many battles and missions including 'Fawke's Stand' and 'Red Zero' (see 'Dark Days- Victories and Defeats'). There are also several accounts of Potter's magical abilities in detecting Voldemort's presence and future plans. Dumbledore believed, as he writes in the well-known 'Dumbledore- Black' letter that these powers were made possible through Potter's scar.

It is common knowledge that Potter was finally able to defeat his adversity but lose his own life in the process during the Bermodsey Battle. He was probably about 30 at the time. Through an unknown mix of magic and Muggle techniques Potter (though not without the help of his colleagues) dealt the final blow to Voldemort and scattered the Dark Side, martyring himself in the process.

Harry Potter is not only a well-known historical figure, but will be forever connected to literature in the modern day, as well as in the future. The so-called 'Lightning Letters' were excavated from his childhood Muggle home in 2636, where they had been hidden under floorboards. The 42 letters, written on a time-scale of over ten years, caused an uproar in both literary and historical circles due to their incredible significance.

Obviously written by Potter's lover, these beautifully-composed love letters add a human face to the Dark Ages, so filled as they were with war and loss. The Lightning Letters are written with aching longing and compassion, in absolutely stunning prose. They are all addressed 'To Lightning'- obviously a nod to Potter's famous lightning-shaped scar. Several prominent literary figures in the wizarding community, including Martha Nitson, have described the letters as "probably the greatest wizarding literary work of all time."

The author, however, remains a mystery.

This unknown and obviously very important figure in Harry Potter's life, coupled with the romantic content of the letters themselves have spurned many to try and uncover the identity of Potter's mystery lover.

There are two main theories as to the identity. Henry Phereson suggests that Virginia Weasley, daughter of famous Phoenix Member Arthur and sister of Potter's best friend, Ronald was the author. His evidence lies mainly in the well-documented fact that Virginia was in love with Potter. However, after investigating all the evidence, I believe that this love was unrequited. In further disagreement, I point out the fact that all 42 letters show the same furtiveness, as if the relationship *needed* to remain a secret from all around them. This would not be necessary if Virginia was indeed Potter's lover. Although their relationship would need to be, if at all possible, a secret from the Dark Side, it would be unnecessary for not even the other Phoenix Members to be aware of it.

Hannah Iveston put forward the theory in her book 'Lightning Strikes' of 2709 that the mystery author was Potter's close friend Hermione Granger. She also highlighted the secretiveness of the letters, and suggested that this was due to the fact that Hermione was involved in a relationship with Ronald Weasley at the time (both survived the Bermodsey Battle and were married soon after). This strikes me as untrue, however. The three comrades- referred to as 'The Dream Team' by one rather cynical Phoenix member- have been well-documented and there is absolutely no evidence that Harry and Hermione were ever involved romantically.

After meticulously reading the Lightning Letters, I have come to the conclusion that the author was someone who believed she was a fool to be involved with Potter, but could not help herself; and could certainly not tear herself away.'

Alright. The finishing paragraph was slightly melodramatic, but it wasn't bad at all for a first draft. Iris Henderson stretched back from her desk, crunching and unclenching her aching hand.

"Oh come on, aren't you finished yet?" Will asked her from where he was stretched out on the sofa. He was Iris's flatmate, best friend and occasional sounding-board; when he was in the mood for it, that is.

Iris scowled "This is *important,*" she said. "I've decided on the subject of my next book. It may take me *years,* but I'm completely determined."

"Let me guess," sighed Will over-dramatically. "Some boring old battle."

"No," said Iris. "I've decided to find out who wrote the Lightning Letters."

Will groaned, and covered his face with his hand. "Darling, *no.* Not *another* event that took place *aeons* ago, that nobody cared anything about."

"*I* care!" said Iris hotly. "And so do lots of others!"

"Anyway," went on Will as if she hadn't said anything, waving his hand in the air, "I thought they'd solved that puzzle. That friend of his... Hermione- I though it was her."

"That's just a theory," said Iris. "And I just don't believe it. You have actually *read* the Lightning Letters haven't you, Will?"

"Of course I have!" answered Will indignantly. He might be lazy, he might slag off his best friend's profession, but he would *never* admit to being ill-informed. "And at the very least we spent a whole *term* on the damn thing at Rosemount."

"Well, then you should *know* it obviously wasn't Hermione Granger. Or that Virginia Weasley. No, definitely not."

"You just want to do this book for the prestige," said Will after a minute, being deliberately provoking.

"I most certainly do not! I'm very *interested.* Not that the prestige wouldn't be nice...."

"AND you just fancy Harry Potter," Will continued.

Iris sighed exasperatedly. "I most certainly do NOT," she said. "I think that's *you,* actually."

This was true. Last year Will had seen a rare photograph of a 20-something Harry Potter, proclaimed him 'divine,' had blown up the picture and had hung it so that it covered an entire wall of the flat. Iris now eyed the picture ruefully.

"I still don't know *how* you can make a career out of this, Iris," drawled Will, lighting a cigarette. "It's all so *dull,* and absolutely *ages* ago. They still used *wands,* for God's sake!"

Iris sighed.

Iris was 24. She had been sharing a flat with Will Self near Diagon Alley for three years. Iris was a historian, and wrote solely on the Dark Age. As a little girl, she had loved to hear the tales her grandmother used to tell her of that time. The Light Side, and Albus Dumbledore, and of course Harry Potter, who had led them all to victory. She loved to hear of a time that sounded quaint, and somehow very noble. And, as Will had pointed out, a time where they had still used wands.

After leaving Rosemount School for the Magical Arts at 18, Iris jumped straight into writing her first book. In the freezing attic of her home, eating sour-tasting apples and wrapped in an old jumper, she had written her first book in under a year. Entitled 'Finding Their Feet,' it chronicled Britain's magical community in their attempt to rebuild their society. Iris had a flair for making history come alive, and the book had been very well-received. She had followed it up with two others: 'Tom,' about Voldemort, his background and what drove him to evil, and 'Dark Days- Victories and Defeats,' describing each battle in the Dark Age in gory detail. That was when she had first become interested in Harry Potter.

Will did nothing. Will was very posh. He came from a well-to-do family and had enough money to live comfortably without doing a scrap of work. He was a lazy bugger and thought that Iris worked too hard. Iris would always roll her eyes whenever he voiced this opinion.

Iris rolled her eyes at a lot of things. Especially when her mother, the dear, sweet, naïve woman- would ask innocently when Will was going to make an honest woman of her. Iris could never explain why it was highly unlikely- nay, make that completely implausible- that Will would ever marry *anyone,* (or at least any girl). Iris hoped that her father would gently explain the truth to her mother sometime soon.

"So who do *you* think it is, Irie?" asked Will. "And just how do you propose to prove this when nobody else has for over two hundred years?"

Iris smiled. "Everyone else who investigated it made one mistake," she said, eager to share her idea. "They only studied the *words* for information, not the actual text. I'm going to see the *original* Lightning Letters. There may be something about them that would afford some sort of clue..."

"And just how are you so sure it's a woman?" asked Will, arching an eyebrow. "Did it ever occur to *anyone* that it might just be a man?"

"Not *everyone's* a man, Will," said Iris, shaking her head.

"And it's *such* a pity, isn't it," sighed Will.

Iris rolled her eyes.



Reviews greatly appreciated!