DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter or and affiliated works.

A/N: Now, there are a few things to note with this story. One, Voldemort does not look like the film versions, as he had not been destroyed and then resurrected. He looks like the actor before the effects are added. So, just picture Ralph Fiennes, and you'll have it. Second, this will not be a pretty story. It will be dark, and dreary, and at times downright brutal. Not to say there won't be any humor or anything like that, just that the overall tone is rather bleak. So, if none of that turns you away, please continue.

Oh, and there will be times that Harry seems like he is going light on us...fear not, it won't last.

Now, this first chapter is just to feel out the reception of this idea, a pilot episode if you will, so please let me know what you think in the comments.

Now, enjoy!


Part One: Atra Incipere

"To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees; but he who is not afraid of my darkness will find banks full of roses under my cypresses." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become." - Carl Jung

I. Atra Incipere (Black Beginning)

Darkness. To most, it is frightening. Suffocating. To him, it was all he had ever known. To him, it was home. In the darkness he found solace and warmth, the feelings others found in the sun or in their loved ones; but not him. He had no loved ones. He had no family. He had never felt love in any form or fashion. And it was due to this lack of gentle affection, that his heart had become as barren and cold as the room in which he now resided.

The chamber was silent, save for the steady drip, drip, drip, of water echoing as it fell from the uneven rocky ceiling into a small gathering pool on the just as rocky and uneven floor. That, and the slow, rhythmic breathing of the young man sitting, unmoving in the center of the pitch-black chamber. His eyes were closed, and his back was straight and rigid; his hands rested gently on his knees, half opened. Above his right hand, his wand floated, spinning in a slow, graceful circle like the hands of a clock.

As was his daily ritual, he would sit here in the darkness, below the earth, and meditate on himself. On his life. Past, present, and future. He did this every day upon waking, for hours at a time. Though it never felt like so long to him. He would often become so lost in the past that time seemed to fade away completely.

Today was one such day.


For the longest time, he had never seen the sun, nor felt its warm rays upon his skin. When he was born, it was inside, locked away from the outside world. In hiding. Not that he had any actual memory of his birth or early years; No one really does, and he was no exception.

His parents, if one could call them that, had hidden themselves away from the world, long before his conception. They were afraid, you see. Afraid of him. The Dark Lord, Voldemort, and his army of death and terror - the Death Eaters. His power spread through the British Isles like a plague and soon to the continent as well. Though he lacked the sheer numbers to overthrow the Ministry at the time, all who opposed him were swiftly cut down just the same; and none dared to speak his name, for fear that this act alone would draw his attention to them. It was a bit absurd, but the idea of placing a taboo on the name had come up a few times at meetings, though it was never accepted. Voldemort didn't care if people said his name, so long as they feared it; it was his followers who seemed to take offense at people speaking his name.

His parents had been part of an underground resistance group known as the Order of the Phoenix, and along with the rest of its members they were amongst Voldemort's fiercest foes. So much a thorn in his side that he eventually targeted them specifically. He killed his father's parents, and sent their dismembered corpses to his doorstep in a burlap sack as a warning. It was the next day that his mother and father were moved to a secured safe house, where none but their closest comrades could find them.

And there they stayed, for several months. Then it was learned his mother was pregnant, and the number of people who could find them was reduced to three. Alas, even this added measure of safety was to be for naught. One of this number would prove to be false in their allegiances, and the location of their safe house was leaked to Voldemort's camp.

It was on Halloween night, a year after his birth, that the Dark Lord came for them.

He came alone, in the dead of night, long after the rest of the Isle was asleep, to the quaint, ancient little village of Godric's Hollow. He had strode silently up the front walkway and with barely a flick of his wrist, sent the door bursting into splinters with a sound much like a muggle gunshot.

His mother and father had awoken and rushed down the stairs to see what the ruckus was all about, only to find the dark, hooded figure waiting for them in the entryway, wand in hand, ready to deliver the final punishment to the two who had plagued him and his forces for so long.

They traded curses and spells. His father, he was told, was a renowned duelist, not quite champion level but noted at least, and held his own quite admirably for a few short minutes. His mother was not so skilled, but offered some support in the form of distractions and the like; a small hex here, a levitated piece of furniture there and no small amount of shielding. Together they were quite an effective team.

The fight moved through the house and eventually his parents led Voldemort outside. But, out in the open with no cover, Voldemort proved to be the better fighter both in speed and skill but also in sheer power, and his parents were forced to retreat. Thus they apparated away, leaving him behind in the house all alone and crying in his crib on the second floor.

They had abandoned him.

It would be false to say they both did so without thought or care. His mother had insisted that they retrieve him first, but with Voldemort between them and the house, his father made the choice and so, by means of forced side-along apparation, they left him behind at the mercy, or lack thereof, of the Dark Lord.

The Dark Lord, seeing his prey flee beyond his reach once again, was incensed. He turned and stormed back into the house, prepared to blast everything in sight into kindling in a fit of rage, but he stopped short, frozen with his wand raised and the words of the Fiendfyre curse on his lips as he heard the frightened cries of the babe upstairs.

He mounted the stairs and ascended, following the sound of the wails across the landing until he found a small nursery with a small, dark haired child sitting in a simple polished wooden cradle.

The child fell silent as the dark figure entered the room, his mere presence filling the room completely. His shadow fell upon the child, and he was silhouetted by the light from the landing outside the room. He gazed coldly, but curiously down at the infant, who's chubby little hands clutched at the rails of his cradle. He approached the child, who looked up at him with wide eyes. His arm rose over the rail and the tip of his wand touched lightly against the boy's round cheek. Without missing a beat, the child reached up and grasped the wand as if it were a toy, or a finger, as babies are wont to do, and giggled. Voldemort sneered and his lips began to move, forming the first syllables of the killing curse's incantation. However, he again stopped short, a new thought entering his keen mind.

He lowered his wand and returned it to its place within his cloak. His pale hands reached in and plucked up the child, lifting him easily from out of the cradle. The infant whimpered quietly at his touch but, to his credit, did not cry out at Voldemort brought them face-to-face, his cold pale eyes meeting bright emerald.

Voldemort smiled. He would keep this child. If for no other reason than it would hurt his enemies where they were weakest; their hearts. But there were other reasons, reasons unknown to all but the Dark Lord himself...

He glided back down the way he had come, the child tucked securely against his breast. As he went, he cast the Fiendfyre curse, which slithered forth from his wand in the form of a dozen serpents, consuming the house and everything in it in his wake.

He exited the house and did not stop until he stood across the property line, at which point he turned about to view the now blazing inferno that had all but engulfed the entire house. It was but a few moments later that the house creaked and collapse in a shower of fire and sparks, which drifted up into the dark sky like a flurry of fireflies dancing on the breeze.

The small child laughed and clapped his tiny hands at the dazzling display, not understanding the destruction he was witnessing.

Voldemort smiled down at the child and ended his curse. The flames continued to burn, but they were no longer the demonic flames of the Fiendfyre, merely the dancing tongues of the typical, mundane variety. But, though they were not magic in any fashion, they were just as glorious and all-consuming as those spewed forth from a dragons maw. Or so Voldemort thought as he gazed at the ruins of his enemies' 'safe house'. He had dealt a serious blow to his foes this day; he had crippled their hope and sense of security.

As the fires burned low, Voldemort finally turned and apparated himself and the now-sleeping child away from the scene. It would not be long before the boy's parents would return with their friends from the Order in tow. But by then, the Dark Lord and his new captive were long gone, leaving no trace, save for the smoldering ruin.

And that is what the boy was, a captive; at least at first.

Voldemort had intended to use the boy as leverage against his enemies. Hold his life over their heads with intent to kill him if they continued to oppose him. But, this plan was not to hold up very long. Soon, the boy found his way into what must have been the sole remaining soft spot in the Dark Lord's heart, for he made the choice to keep him close, and viewed the boy as near to his own as could be possible for the malicious being that had once been Tom Marvolo Riddle.

His first real memory, all previous having been shown to him when he was in his early teens within a Pensieve by Voldemort, was his first kill. He was five years old. Voldemort had ordered he be brought to the 'great hall' of his hideout, which was actually the dining room of Malfoy Manor. He remembered being escorted in by the Carrow twins, who walked beside and slightly behind him, each with a hand on his shoulders. They were his guardians, his bodyguards and they took their jobs very seriously; or were they his keepers? He could not rightly remember anything before that day.

Voldemort was waiting there, sitting on his throne, which was actually just a highly ornate, dark wood chair, with an expression that was almost a smile, save that it was filled with malice and absent of any and all warmth.

"Ah, there you are, my boy," the Dark Lord said, standing from his makeshift throne, his smile looking a tad more genuine now. "Come, come." He beckoned and the child went to him without a trace of fear or any other feeling.

Voldemort's hand brushed against the boy's hair gently, then settled on his small shoulder, giving it a small squeeze.

"Today is a very important day, my son," he said. "Today, you shall take your place amongst us. Today, you shall become one of my Death Eaters."

The boy looked around him at the gathered throng of black-robed witches and wizard. He spotted a few familiar faces smiling at him. The Carrows were close by nodding encouragingly. Bellatrix LeStrange smiling with gleeful anticipation. Peter Pettigrew, his parents' old friend turned Judas, leering in a rat-like manner. Lucius Malfoy gazing at him curiously. Barty Crouch Jr., who's face was near-unreadable before, but now watching him with great interest and Regulus Black, his expression blank, standing just behind the other man.

He looked back to Voldemort, who was watching him understandingly. "Do not be afraid," he spoke kindly, which was a weird thing to hear. "There is nothing to fear."

He turned to one of the Death Eaters and nodded. The throng split and two hooded figures strode forth, supporting a third figure between them.

It was a woman, approximately sixty years of age, she appeared very weak and frail, barely able to stand without the support of the two wizards beside her. He recognized her immediately. Walburga Black, patroness of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. She was Bellatrix's aunt, and his own relative, though exactly what she was too him he was unsure. Aunt? Great Aunt? Cousin? What did it matter?

He looked at the old woman and then back to Voldemort questioningly.

Voldemort smiled. "Walburga here has graciously volunteered to be your first kill."

He was shocked to hear this. They wanted him to kill her? Why? What had she done do deserve that? And why did he have to do it?

Walburga must have seen the look on his face, for she spoke softly, her voice barely more than a whisper. "Now, now, child. Don't fret none. I am old, and dying. You will be doing me a kindness." Those words struck a chord with him and would stay with him for the rest of his life.

"But why must I do it?" he asked.

"Because," she stopped as a coughing fit overtook her. Once she had regained her breath, she continued, her voice barely audible. "You have to earn it. The Mark." The boy looked at her arm, where he knew the symbol of skull and serpent, the Dark Mark, lay branded into her flesh. "With this, this mercy killing, you do a service to myself and my family. I am of no use to anyone anymore. I cannot fight, I cannot lead. I can not even stand on my own any longer. You must kill me, so that the next in line may step up and lead our noble family."

He wasn't sure who she meant when she said 'the next in line'. Her only remaining sons were Regulus and Sirius, Sirius had been disowned long ago, and was now a key member of the Order of the Phoenix and Regulus was here with them; did she mean Regulus then? He looked to the young man, whose dark hair fell long around his face and whose dark eyes were watching intensely. He didn't say anything, so he must have passed on the role of Head to someone else. But who? Perhaps Lucius would take over, being married to Narcissa, who was a Black by birth, and being of richer stock than Bellatrix's husband.

He was brought out of this train of thought by the feeling of something being pressed into his hand. He looked down to find a sliver of light wood between his fingers. He felt a rush of energy pulse through him and rush of wind through his hair. The dual sensation left him breathless.

"Ah, excellent," Voldemort breathed. "This, my boy, is your new wand; eleven inches, made from holly, with a phoenix feather core. One of a kind. Well, almost. You see, your wand, and mine own, share something in common." He knelt down so that he was eye-to-eye with the young boy. "The core. They are the same. Phoenix feather. From the same bird, no less. I give this to you, as a mark of our connection. From father to son." He looked into the emerald eyes of his once-prisoner, a paternal smile on his face. The boy smiled back and nodded his thanks, unable to form words at the moment. Voldemort returned the nod and stood back to his full height. "Now, your first spell. I shall teach it to you."

He stepped behind the boy and grasped his wand arm, raising it until it was pointed directly at Walburga, who shook off the two Death Eaters holding her up, with a look of stoic determination. Using what must have been her last reserves of strength, she stood up to her full height, head held high and proud, her shoulders squared.

"It is a simple enough incantation." He let go of the boys arm. "Repeat after me: Avada Kedavra."

The child looked up at Walburga, who had a contented expression on her age-scarred face. Reassured of her willingness, he swallowed, cleared his throat and uttered the words that would change his life forever. "Avada Kedavra."

A burst of sickly green light shot forth from his new wand, and impacted into Walburga's chest. She stood, as if stunned for a short moment, though her expression had not changed, then fell heavily to the floor. Dead.

The events that followed were a blur. He remembered being lifted up off the ground and spun about by Voldemort, who rained praise upon him. He remembered Bellatrix planting a small kiss upon his cheek with the words "you're a man, now". He remembered Walburga's body being carried away by four Death Eaters. He remembered Regulus pressing a ring into his hand with an unreadable expression on his young face; a ring with the crest of the House of Black set into it. And he remembered the searing pain of the Dark Mark being magically branded into the skin of his left arm. But most of all, he remembered the words the Dark Lord had spoken to him immediately afterward. "Rise, Harry Potter, Lord of Black, and take your place among us. Rise, my son."


A/N: Hello, hello! Alright, now, let me know what you think? Should I write more? Let me know. I love to hear feedback.