Important A/N #1: For any of you that read my first fic Chaos Mage (or may be interested in reading it) this story has nothing to do with it. Chaos Mage was the story I thought of after book 4, this one after book 5. Hope you enjoy it!

Important A/N #2: In this story I may use a bunch of character designs, names, or descriptions from other stories or sources. I did this because they fit perfectly into my story. So if you notice a name or character you recognize, it's probably something I borrowed, and I DON'T own them. This in no way should ruin the story.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything you may recognize.

Please review after the story... PLEASE!!!!!

Dark Academy, Chapter 1: Invitation

Harry stared bemusedly up at the crack in the ceiling just visible in the twilight. There was nothing else to do. He had finished all of his summer work for the new school year. Last year... NO! No, he did not want to relive the tortuous memories again. Harry rolled over onto his bed and gazed at the small mirror he held in his hand. The horrible void in side him ached. Why? Why did it have to be Sirius?! some part of him screamed, still unable to except it or believe it. It was the only way he could think of to bear it. Don't think about it at all. Completely forget what had happened last year, last June, in the Department of Mysteries.

There was a soft hoot and Hedwig's bright eyes appeared in the mirror from above him. He gave a wane smile and reached up to ruffle the feathers of the snow-whit owl that perched on his bed. Unable to visit the Weasleys because of Dumbledore's orders, he hadn't any friend to talk to. Except Hedwig. As a faithful owl, she did her best to cheer her master the only way an owl knew: a freshly caught mouse.

"Thanks, Hedwig," Harry murmured. After another moment he buried his face in a pillow. His scar was burning dully, and he did not want to think about Voldemorte, or his nightmares. He shuddered. He could still see flashes of green light, dead bodies, people screaming. He had written to the Headmaster to tell him, but it seemed that Voldemorte was cutting him off, preventing Harry from seeing what he was doing.

I wish I could do something... The prophecy said we would sooner or later meet and one kill the other. I want to do it now. Now, before he kills anymore people. Before I kill anymore people, a small voice inside him spoke. By letting him live. If you were stronger, no more people would die. It's me he wants; let him come after me not some muggle-born. Pain and self-disgust filled him. I'm just lying here; I could do something, anything... He cried softly into the pillow, envisioning Sirius fall through the veil again ... and again... and again...

Below he heard the doorbell sound and Uncle Vernon's chair creak as he went to open it. Things, admittedly, had been very pleasant. Considering where he was anyway. So terrified of the visitors from the train station were the Dursley's that they didn't dare abuse Harry in any way. Despite this he spent most of his time in his room. Now Vernon was shouting something. Harry chuckled under his breath. Probably a salesman. But what kind of salesman comes around this hour? Harry wondered sleepily, beginning to doze off. I t did not quite register in Harry's mind that footsteps were thundering up the stairs.

"Boy! There some-person here to see you!" There was Vernon's desperate banging on the door. Wh-What Harry thought. The banging stopped and the door opened as a figure stepped in.

"Hello, Harry. May I come in?" Dumbledore questioned.

"Professor?!" Harry, in haste to stand up, ended up on the floor somehow in a tangle of sheets. What was Dumbledore doing here? Behind the Headmaster's shoulder Uncle Vernon's face was tomato red...furious at the very thought of second freak in his house. Dumbledore's worried face relaxed suddenly as he realized what Harry was staring at.

"Thank you, Mr. Dursley. I will have a quiet little talk with your nephew right here," Dumbledore smiled, shutting the door quietly in Vernon's red face. He turned back to Harry, who was now standing silently with Hedwig. The Headmaster glanced about the room, taking in the trunk, few pieces of furniture, and various school supplies scattered about the bare floor. Harry gazed back into the old man's tired eyes. Old man... He was very old, Harry realized...ancient. The Headmaster summoned up a small pouf, looking ridiculously like the ones in Trelawney's classroom, and placed it buy the bed.

"Sit down please, Harry. Will you have a lemon drop?" In a small cellophane bag there was a handful of bright yellow candies. "They happen to be a favorite of mine." Harry sank down onto the bed and took one, never taking his eyes of Dumbledore. The expression he saw was old, tired exhausted, regretful, and... sorry?

"I would first like to say Harry... That I'm sorry it had to be this way," Albus glanced up at the teenager opposite him. No, Harry was no longer a child, no matter what his chronological age might be. The boy's hair shadowed his face, but the emerald eyes had grown bright, unnaturally so.

"You are probably wondering why I am here."

"Yeah..."

"Well, you see Harry, there are many things I would like to say to you. Many that as you know, I should have said earlier," Dumbledore heaved a tired sigh. "Here are some letters that the Mr. Weasleys, Miss Granger, Hagrid, and Mr. Lupin wanted to send with me."

Harry took the handful of letters from the Headmaster. There was also a small package, from the looks of it, it came from Mrs. Weasley. He did not open them as Dumbledore sat silent, watching him intently. Not receiving an answer from Harry, he continued.

"It partly concerns the prophecy." I was wondering..." but the old Headmaster didn't seem to know how to say what he had to tell Harry.

"I want to kill him," Harry heard himself say in a husky voice. "If I could do that, if I were strong enough to do that, no more people would die. Because I am the one Voldemorte wants..."

"Harry," said Dumbledore sharply. "Don't you ever believe that any of this is your fault. Ever! You are not responsible for the crimes and atrocities the Dark Lord commits, or the weaknesses of the Ministry of Magic, or the mistake and shortcomings of your elders." Harry jerked to his feet.

"But I still want to do something. Anything! I want to fight back! I would do anything to get stronger and...and," yet again the memory of Sirius's death flashed in his mind's eye. "And make him pay for everything that monster has done!"

"I see." Dumbledore seemed to consider Harry's out burst for a moment or two. "I was both hoping and dreading you would say that." He pulled out a gray piece of parchment, Harry notice a black and red seal on it. "This is a letter of acceptance from the Dark Academy." Harry gave him a questioning look.

"The Dark Academy is practically what it is called. Among the few wizards and witches that know of its existence, it has an extremely bad reputation. It not only teaches thorough knowledge of the Dark Arts, it accepts any manner of student. All those that are shunned by most: werewolves, dark wizards and witches, vampires, certain half-breeds... it exists in an environment where each student must learn to fight against other students and the school itself to survive. It also teaches many techniques, such as Necromancy that have long since been destroyed by many Aurors. There are however, two things-maybe three, to be said in its favor. It teaches an extensive DADA, more so than any other school on Earth. Secondly, there is a definite rule that protects new and young students from any attack of the Dark Arts on its grounds. Apparently they do not want the younger generation to die before full capable knowledge. Lastly, Voldemorte incredibly does not know of the existence of this school."

"And?" Harry prompted.

"The headmaster has written to suggest that you join them this year. Harry, I do not approve of the Dark Arts, under any circumstances. But it seems that you will learn more about them and how to defend against them than from any person I know of, including myself. That is why I have left the decision up to you."

"I'll go," Harry replied instantly. Dumbledore frowned.

"Harry, are you sure?"

"Yes, I'll do whatever it takes. I'll-" Harry stopped as he saw the expression on the headmaster's face. "Professor, sir, I don't ever intend to become anything like Voldemorte. I want to learn what they have to teach me so I can face him. Nothing more."

"Very well then." Dumbledore got up. "We'll leave now." He gave a quick flick of his wand and Harry's possession and clothes flew and arranged themselves neatly in the trunk. Harry pocketed his wand and followed Dumbledore and the now floating trunk down the stairs. In the living room, the Dursley's jumped to their feet, Dudley unsuccessfully hiding behind Aunt Petunia.

"Harry will be returning next summer, Mr. Dursley," Dumbledore informed him. "Please enjoy the remaining of your summer."

Harry walked out the door without a backward glance at his relatives. If Dumbledore noticed this or cared, he said nothing. Outside he tapped the trunk and glanced up at Harry.

"We'll portkey to the Leaky Cauldron from here, Harry. Grab hold." Harry gripped the trunk strap tightly. He still hated traveling by portkey...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Harry stood silently with Dumbledore outside the Leaky Cauldron. The sky was completely overcast and the only light was the one coming from the pub behind Harry's shoulder. A breeze had picked up and shooed debris and leaves over the pavement. Harry's hair blew continually into his eyes. Dumbledore was pacing besides the trunk, his wispy eyebrows drawn together. Hedwig was perched just above them on a darkened lamppost. Fawkes's brilliant plumage shimmered beside her white feathers. The Phoenix had arrived shortly after the Headmaster and student did, and Harry found the bird's presence comforting. Finally Dumbledore stopped pacing and turned to him.

"Harry, I wish I could go with you, but I still have a responsibility to Hogwarts. Fawkes will becoming with you, send him if you need anything or are in trouble. And Harry..." He gripped Harry's shoulder. Never before had Harry seen that expression on his face.

"...Be careful." He couldn't help but smile inwardly. He was no longer mad at the Headmaster for last year, and not telling him about the prophecy. It was also nice to hear the worry in his voice.

"I'll watch my step, sir. I just don't know how I'll explain this to Ron and Hermione."

"I intend to talk to them myself," smiled the Headmaster, "And I-" At that moment Tom the bartender slid his head around the door and asked him to come in a moment. Dumbledore left to see what the problem was. Harry sank down on the curb. He was sure he was doing the right thing. Then he heard a soft hum of an automobile.

A long black car, it looked like a limousine, slid to stop right in front of him. A door popped open, inviting him in. Despite the darkened windows Harry noticed, with a faint shock that there was no driver. In silvery letters just below the door handles were the words: Dark Academy.

"Umm, Professor?" Harry looked behind him at the pub, but the Headmaster was not forthcoming. There was a soft bump as the trunk was magically lifted and set into the back of the car. Then there was a sort trill. Fawkes took wing and alighted on the leather seat, Hedwig right behind. No longer hesitating, Harry slipped in and the door shut firmly behind him. Before he could collect his confused thoughts the limousine's ignition purred and accelerated. Leaving the Leaky Cauldron and the London street behind.

Heaving a deep sigh, Harry noticed Fawkes had made himself quite comfortable on the leather seat next to the bar. A bar? This car, Harry realized gaping, had everything except the kitchen sink! No, scratch that, it had a sink. No toilet, though.

Dim lights came on as the car left London and made its way into the countryside. Harry slid his hand into his pants pocket and pulled out the letters Dumbledore had brought to him and opened the one from Ron.

How's it going Harry?

Sorry you can't come over for the summer mate. We're still over at Grimauld place; the huge house is finally clean, top to bottom. Mom made sure of it. Anyway, hope the muggles aren't treating you too bad, if they are just call Moody. And Happy Birthday! I'll give you your present when I see you, though Mom sent some cake.

~Ron

PS Did you get your O.W.L. grades? Guess what! I passed potions!

Harry grinned. Ron certainly deserved to pass; he had probably study for that subject more than Harry. Hermione's letter was next, and it was no surprise her first half of her letter was about the O.W.L.s.



Harry,

How is your summer so far? I'm staying with the Weasleys, but Dumbledore says you have to wait. Did you get your O.W.Ls back? I did, I managed to pass everything with an Outstanding except for Astronomy, which was an Exceeds Expectations. I didn't get to finish it because of the incident with that horrible Umbridge woman and Hagrid. I suspect that they made allowance for the interruption though.

The Order is finally able to work with the ministry. No one is listening to Fudge anymore. So far there have been more protections added to the Ministry and Hogwarts.

Are you doing all right Harry? Have you been getting any trouble from your scar? Please don't do anything drastic. And Harry, I am really, really sorry about what happened to Sirius.

~Hermione

Harry sat silent for a moment. Being worried about an Exceeds Expectations was just like Hermione. But it was the last part of her letter that made him think. It hurt to talk about Sirius, but there was something about Hermione's heartfelt statement that consoled him. Hagrid's was just a short note:



Hope u are doin well Harry. Take care of yurself now. Happy Birthday!

~Hagrid

Harry smiled and opened the last letter.



Harry,

This is extremely hard for me to write, as I suppose it will be hard for you to read. Last year, Harry, was extremely difficult for everyone who knew your Godfather. I know it was hardest on you. But Harry, he died the way he would have wanted, protecting his godson. You should also know that he left everything to you, including Grimauld place, which you will own when you become twenty-one.

Harry, I suppose there is nothing any one can do or say that can really help, but your friends and teacher are concerned for you. If you ever need some one to talk to, please come to me. I cannot fill Sirius's place, and will never try. In this envelope is something from your father's school days. Take care this summer.

~Moony

Harry slipped out a small photograph. Inside the frame Prongs, Moony, Padfoot, and Wormtail (who's presence probably couldn't be helped) tussled around, grinning and waving broadly. Lupin might have thought that seeing hid father and godfather, even in a picture, may have depressed Harry more. Somehow it didn't. It was good to see their faces-Moony's, Sirius's, and his father's anyway. Hedwig gave a soft hoot, drawing his attention from the letters.

He hadn't noticed it at first, but the car had entered a shadowy wood. Somehow Harry got the feeling that if he wanted a walk under the trees, he was better off in the Forbidden Forest. Despite it being the beginning of July, loose leaves swirled in gusts of wind around tree limbs that seemed bare of even bark. The limo turned onto a dirt road just as the moon drifted out from behind a cloud. Harry shuddered. Perfect beginning to a horror story, he thought. The moonlight seemed to strike a pair of black, cast iron gates that appeared to solidify from thin air before swinging open without a sound. Harry held his breath. The road dipped and descended into what appeared to be an underground cave. It was pitch dark. Funny, he wondered, determinedly not thinking about the car's destination, I wonder if Dumbledore knows Fawkes glows in the dark... The ground suddenly rose causing Harry's stomach to flip as if he were in an elevator. It pulled into a round, stone cobbled courtyard. Walls rose around it before opening up into a perfectly clear, starry sky.

There was a lamp burning in front of two black doors. Harry got out and stepped towards the doors with as much confidence as he could muster. Fawkes and Hedwig glided on either side of him. Harry stopped abruptly. The lamp... there was no lamp. A dim, burning sphere of what seemed to be green fire was suspended above the hand of an old man who stood waiting for him. Old, however, wasn't the first impression that you received seeing this man: power, control, the feeling this was not someone you made angry. His face was smooth, and his entire appearance was that of some great aging lord.

"Mr. Potter, I presume?" Harry nodded speechlessly. The man nodded and turned back inside. "Bryron will show you to your apartments."

Just as Harry felt this possible couldn't be any more unnerving, the student, at least it looked like a student, turned and smiled as he bowed slightly. Harry froze. The smile revealed a pair of long canines and silver eyes in a pale face.

"Welcome to Dark Academy, Potter," the young vampire murmured.