Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling created and owns Harry Potter, and all other characters that you recognize here. Plot is inspired by various fanfics including Let History Repeat Itself by Dauphin, and Conspiracy of Silence by Nomad.

Conversation - " . . . "

Thoughts - ' . . . '

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Prologue

The sun rose on the tidy front gardens and lit up the brass number four on the Dursleys' front door. A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive as the occupants awaken to another normal day. Or so they thought.

Mrs Dursley opened the front door to put out the milk bottles as per normal, and immediately froze when she saw the bundle of blankets on her front steps. Within lay a sleeping baby with jet-black hair, and a curiously shaped scar on his forehead, like a blot of lightning.

She let out a piercing scream loud enough to wake the dead, "Ver- Vernon!"

The baby, so rudely awakened by the scream, let out a shrill wail to show its displeasure.

A sound of haste followed as her husband tumbled out of bed and rushed down to see what was wrong. His eyes followed her pointed finger to the wailing bundle that lay on their doorstep. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, certain that he must be dreaming, but "is that a BABY on our doorstep?" he asked incredulously.

He looked to his wife, wondering what it was all about, but only saw a mixture of fear and disgust. Realization dawned in his eyes and he said in a deceptively calm voice, "It's one of them, isn't it?"

Petunia nodded, still not saying a word, wondering what they should do. Vernon made that decision for her, contempt in every word, "there is no way that the freak is staying here. He'll have to go to the orphanage."

"But- but they will know... an- and it's not safe..." Petunia stammered before her husband cut her off forcefully, "I will not allow that freak to contaminate my son and our home with his- his abnormality!" His voice softened as he attempted to reassure her, "Don't worry, he'll be gone before noon and they probably will not bother to check on him until he needs to attend that- that freakish school. We'll burn the letter. No one will know."

With that, he roughly picked up the crying bundle from the front step, and drove off in his car, looking for the nearest orphanage available. Stopping at a traffic junction, he turned to glare at it, his annoyance steadily mounting with the incessant noise that it was making. "Shut up!" He snapped. It continued crying, driving him mad.

'Figures that the brat will annoy me to no end,' he thought. 'Oh well, he'll be none of my business once he's off my hands. I hope the orphanage is abusive. The freak deserves it…'

Chapter 1

Of Drunk Caretaker and Beatings

There was a loud bang as the door swung open, revealing the drunken caretaker that stumbled through the doorway. All the children looked on in wide- eyed fear and backed away as danger pressed closer. "You there! Boy, what are you staring at?" he growled, advancing towards the 5 year old boy who's shaking his head and turning to run. He caught him easily despite being unsteady on his feet. "Thought you could be disrespectful to me and get away eh? We'll see about that you brat…" He ranted before lifting a hand, preparing to strike the poor boy.

"Stop it! He didn't do anything." A voice cried out from the back.

Keleman, the caretaker, turned in surprised at being interrupted. Then anger flashed across his face. "Who said that?" A little boy with a messy mop of raven black hair came forward, trying to look brave, but his whitened knuckles, clutched tight to prevent them from trembling, gave him away. "So it's you again, trying to be heroic and save him from a beating eh?" Keleman sneered.

The little boy lifted his head defiantly, green eyes flashing with anger and disgust at this man, who was supposed to be their caretaker but instead abused them whenever he is drunk. This man, whose name means gentle and kind. How ironic. His nature could not be any further from the meaning of his name.

"Very well, you shall take his place." Keleman reached out to grab him as the meaning of his words sunk in too late. The boy struggled and thrashed about wildly, trying to get free, but Keleman's grip tightened until it felt like his bone was about to break. He gasped in pain, a bruise rapidly forming on his pale skin. The first blow struck his cheek so hard, he could taste blood in his mouth. Then another two punches in the face and stomach. He was screaming and crying, his eyes pleading with the watching orphans to do something to help. But they all stood frozen in horror and fear, not daring to do anything, in case the caretaker's attention turned to them.

The beating continued as Keleman vent all his frustrations and anger on the boy in his drunken haze, barely registering the fact that the boy was already fast becoming unconscious. He finally stopped, and threw the boy onto the floor carelessly, like a broken rag doll. He gave the injured boy a last kick and deliberately stepped on his right wrist, hearing the sickening sound of crunch as the bone snapped before walking from the room. The watching orphans rushed to their companion's side once Keleman's back was turned, trying to revive him.

But Keleman's voice from the doorway stopped them in their tracks. "Leave the boy. Let this be a lesson to all those who are disrespectful and defiant. Your fate will be the same, if not worse, if you persist." He smiled sinisterly before striding upstairs to his room. The orphans looked at each other uncertainly, not daring to defy the caretaker yet not wanting to leave their companion who suffered the beating so they could be safe. However, their sense of self- preservation won out and each fled from the room. All slept with an uneasy mind that night. (with the exception of the caretaker, of course.)

Dawn came, and gentle rays of sunlight shone through the windows into the darkened room, revealing a broken boy lying on the floor, his wrist twisted in an unnatural angle, his pale skin marked by numerous bruises. His messy black hair obscured his face, until a breeze blew in, ruffling his hair, and unveiling a strange lightning shaped scar on his forehead.

Soft padded feet walked cautiously down the stairs. A pair of brown eyes peered into the room to check that no one is around before entering and walking over to the unconscious boy's side.

"Harry…" the boy shook him gently, afraid of aggravating his injuries further. "Harry, please wake up," he pleaded. "We have to get you away before Keleman wakes up and sees you. If not he might get angry again and beat you some more."

Harry stirred, and moaned in pain as his body ached all over, some parts more so than others. He heard someone calling and tried to open his eyes, gazing dazedly, trying to ignore the pain. "Daniel…" he whispered weakly, looking up at the anxious and concerned face of his friend.

Daniel sighed in relief at Harry's voice. Although he was fifteen, and Harry only six, the age gap did not matter for Daniel had always looked after Harry like he would a younger brother. "Are you alright? Come on I'm gonna help you get up." Daniel gently slid one arm under Harry's neck, the other under his knees, and slowly lifted him off the floor. Harry let out a sharp gasp of pain as his fractured wrist was moved, and Daniel gave him an apologetic look before carrying him out of the room slowly, careful not to jerk about too much.

Once upstairs, Daniel lay Harry down on a bed and took off his shirt to see the extent of his injuries. He was shocked by the number of bruises on Harry's arms and torso, plus those that were on his face. "Bloody hell!" He said. "I'm so, so sorry I wasn't there Harry. I only heard this morning what had happened. I should have protected you…"

"Don't feel bad. It's not your fault that you were sick in bed and that Keleman is just a bastard."

"Harry! Don't swear! Where did you get that word from anyway?" asked Daniel, appalled by his choice of word.

"It's true anyway. Oh, I heard a couple of older boys using it. Why can't I swear? You do it too."

"That's different. You're only six. Those boys with their bad influence, wait 'til I give them a piece of my mind. Corrupting young children like that…" Daniel muttered.

"Yes, mommy," said Harry impishly despite being injured and in pain.

Daniel immediately stopped his mutterings and smiled wryly. "Sorry I got carried away."

"It's ok. I know you were just trying to protect me."

"Yeah, some kind of protector I am letting you get beaten up by Keleman."

"I'll be ok. A few days of rest and I'll be as good as new."

"As good as new huh? Two broken teeth, countless bruises, one fractured wrist and who knows what else."

"Why don't you check? Not that all this bantering isn't fun but I'm getting cold."

"Right. I forgot." Daniel said sheepishly.

Harry rolled his eyes.

"Ok, I think there's nothing else besides those I've said. But I'm not the expert. You sure you don't want to see a doctor to make sure?"

"And tell him how I got those injuries? Surely I can't say I got those injuries 'cause I'm such a klutz that I crash into everything when I walk."

"Okok, I get your point." Daniel sighed and proceeded to apply ointment on the bruises and bandage the fractured wrist. " You have a good rest. I doubt Keleman will be sober enough to realise you're missing and go looking for you. He always has a bad hangover."

" 'kay.." Harry murmured, already falling asleep.

Daniel smiled sadly and closed the door softly as he went out.