Title: Wisdom From The Dark 01
Author: Jyrnn Spoilers: All four books. Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor any of its characters. They are the sole intellectual property of J. K. Rowling and Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. I gain no monetary reward for this exercise and do not intend any copyright infringement.

Summery: A child has suffered enough, an intruder encounters unexpected resistance, and the careless words of Voldemort have the most unexpected results. Harry Potter is about to take a stand.

Chapter One: Prologue - The Dark of Night.

The dull thumping of heavy footsteps disturbed him. As muffled as they were, he could instantly tell the character and intent of the foot's owner. He wore a heavy boot, an article of footwear which was strictly forbidden by his Aunt Petunia inside her home. She wouldn't have any scuff marks or loud clumping in her halls thank you very much. Obviously the footsteps were made by a stranger. A stranger walked about the house in the dead of night. Instantly any drowsiness left Harry Potter and was replaced by a hollow ache, an ache with which he was now intimately acquainted: fear.

The summer after his fourth year at Hogwarts had been painful for him. His sleep was fitful when it claimed him at all. His waking moments were racked with guilt. The memory of Cedric Diggory haunted him, plaguing him with frustration and despair. He obeyed the Dursley's demands with little comment, in fact he did everything with little comment. Silence was painful and his psyche wished him to suffer. The letters from Sirius and Dumbledore attempted tried to absolve him from blame, but Harry knew otherwise. He knew of the accusation in Amos Diggory's eyes and the suspicion behind Cho Chang's tears. He knew his guilt from his night terrors and his feelings of powerlessness. Whenever he'd close his eyes he could still see the foul thing that was reborn from his blood. The thing reborn with a purpose thick with hate and madness. For this thing , above all others, Harry knew his shame and it was immense. His penance thus far had been imprisonment beneath the stairs, not that his relatives knew anything about the Third Task. Some imagined slight or merely his very existence earned him punishment with the Dursley residence. Such was to be expected from his relations. Harry would not complain, not this summer. He felt he deserved it in some small way. Cedric would never walk free; never enjoy the pleasures of life. What cause had he to shirk from a loss of liberty in the face of his rival's loss of life. Oddly enough, it was this exile which saved his life.

The steps had grown more rapid. Their volume faded and amplified as they traveled further from and closer to Harry's childhood chamber. The situation would have been humorous if Harry's peril was not so apparent. Instinctively Harry knew he was the strangers quarry. He also reasoned that only one kind of person would venture unannounced into the heart of suburban Surrey for The Boy Who Lived. An enemy. A Deatheater. Like the rabbit who notices the wolf first, Harry's body tensed for flight yet remained petrified with fear. He had no illusions, no his encounter with Voldemort had stripped him of Gryffindor dreams. To run would be death. To stay would be death. To fight would be death. Forced into a situation beyond his control, the weary fifteen year old raged at the injustice.

"I'm just bloody kid" he muttered under his breath, voice ruff from the summer's disuse. As the word left his lips he was already winching. They sounded so weak. His thoughts betrayed him, proved his enemies right. Malfoy's constant litany of barbs at his unwanted fame, Snape's condescending sneers at his family, and the wizarding world's breathless anticipation of his failure all seemed deserved when he whined as he had just done. Then, at that moment when he silently commanded himself to grow up, he experienced an epiphany.

It was inaction which fettered him. Harry had never really instigated anything. He merely reacted and endured. His helplessness was perpetuated by youth and obliviousness. Ignorance had been the refuge into which Dumbledore had thrust him. The price for protection was stagnation. Each truth he discovered chaffed painfully at the veil of fabrications which made his identity. He didn't know anything. Pictures and tales were all he had of his parents and his childhood ended with the first swipe Uncle Vernon took at him. He had lived as a wounded puppy, latching on to all that surrounded him, all because he was just so damn passive. The irony was that no choice was actually a choice in itself. Harry didn't want to be a sheep any longer. He would take responsibility for the chaos swirling around his life by ending it.

He stood, and as he did, the Deatheater had begun his ascent up the staircase. He was directly above the young wizard. As near as he was, Harry could hear the rustle of silk and leather robes as he ghosted to the next level of 4 Privet Drive. Harry waited. This time not because fear or helplessness, but because of caution. He lay in wait instead of being stricken by fear.

Its amazing how advice can come from the most unlikely of sources. His sudden outlook was inspired by one man, though at time he uttered his credo he was actually two men. Yes, Harry's dogma was now shaped by the words of the darkest wizard ever to grace Britain. It was amazing that in a moment of fear an eleven year could wrest the wisdom from the words of a mad man. It was even more amazing that he could recall it at such a stressful moment. Voldemort had said, "There is no good and evil, only power and those too weak to seek it." A shocking realization dawned on Harry Potter, he owed Voldemort gratitude for his words. "Power and those too weak to seek it." Harry could feel the importance of this as the Deatheater stalked up the staircase. A grim smile touched the lithe boy's face as he pondered his course of action. He would seek it. He would seek power. What was Harry if not the youngest Seeker in a century? Not only would he look but he would find. First, though, he had an obstacle to overcome. Offering a silent thanks to Tom Riddle, he took up he chosen weapons. Cloak, broom and wand at the ready, young Harry poised to do battle.

Authors Notes:
I only did a cursory re-edit, adding a few more sentences and fixing the damn ugly formatting that had existed before in the original post. It's a token effort at best but maybe it will make a better first impression this time around. I don't want to alter it too much because its prologue and isn't supposed to cover too much. The epiphany was all that really mattered anyhow.