Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the recognizable elements of the Potterverse. Hell, I don't even own the story I'm writing, as it belongs to the challenge that Severitus issued. Any new characters that I may add are mine. And that's it. The rest belongs to J. K. Rowling and co.

A/N: This is my first published fic. It is a response to Severitus' Challenge, and I hope you like it. And please, could someone send in their thoughts on a title? For now, mine is only a working title. Thanks.

'these' are thoughts
**this** is parseltongue
*~*~*~*~*~*~ is a new perspective or scene

Harry Potter sat on his bed in the smallest bedroom of Number Four Privet Drive reading through his potions essay, the last of his homework. The Dursley's had been pretty much ignoring him since they picked him up at King's Cross. It was still a few days before his sixteenth birthday, and already he was bored. He didn't dare go too far from the house, and never after dark. He didn't want Dementors or Death Eaters to get hold of him. Thoughts of Death Eaters turned his mind to his godfather, Sirius Black, and his death earlier that year. He was determined, this year, to know all he could learn about the Dark Arts and how to fight them, and to get hold of his mind so he can do his Occlumency. He had been practicing since he got back to Privet Drive, trying to clear his mind of all thoughts. He was going to prove to himself, and Snape, that he could do it. That Voldemort wasn't going to take over his mind again. 'I won't allow it!' he thought. 'I won't let him kill someone else because of me! I've already caused so many deaths, no more! I WON'T ALLOW IT! Books! That's what I need!' With that thought, he pulled a piece of parchment, a quill, and some ink from his trunk and wrote a quick note to the proprietors of Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley.

To: Flourish and Blotts

I would like to request some books be sent to me via my owl. You can bill my account at Gringotts for these.

'A Guide to the Dark Arts: All you need to know' by Icey Eville
'Curses and Hexes they never want you to learn' by A. Nonymous

Thank you,
Harry Potter

With that, Harry tied the letter to Hedwig's leg and sent her off.

On July 30th Hedwig returned from London with his new books. Too excited to wait, and too determined not to learn, he opened the first one, 'A Guide to the Dark Arts', and started reading. For three hours, Harry read. He learned some interesting things about the Dark Arts, and some new curses. He couldn't wait until he could try them out. Although he figured he'd only be able to do that if he kept up the D.A. club at Hogwart's. But he'd figure that out later. Right now, he just wanted to learn.

When he finally lay down, it was 11:30, just half an hour before his birthday. But he couldn't keep his eyes open. He drifted off to sleep, vaguely remembering that he didn't practice his Occlumency that night. His mind drifted, as it often does, in that shadowy darkness between conciousness and dreams, before a mist started swirling before him. Slowly the mist cleared, revealing a nice two story house with six black-cloaked figures making their way in through a door that had been blasted open. 'No!' he thought. 'Not now! This isn't real. This isn't real. This isn't real.' He repeated that mantra inside his head even as his 'body' followed the Death Eaters inside. He watched as they rounded up the occupants of the house, a man, a woman, and a child of no more than five, and circled them. Then, to his horror, a tall, skeletal man stepped inside and his scar flared in pain. The crimson eyes surveyed the scene before a high, cold laugh filled the house.
"Now you know the penalty for defying Lord Voldemort!" Long, pale fingers gripped Voldemort's wand as he raised it, and hissed, "Crucio!" Screams filled the air as the man writhed in pain. Back in Privet Drive, screams rent the air as a sixteen year old boy screamed an accompaniment to the man in his dreams. After what felt like hours, but Harry would find was only ten minutes after his dream started, Voldemort hissed the final curse. "Avada Kedavra!" The family fell dead as each was hit with the killing curse. The man, his wife, and their five year old son. And Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, lay shivering and convulsing with the after-effects of the Cruciatus Curse, pain his only companion.

After waking from the dream, and after laying on his bed for more than an hour after, Harry finally felt that he could move to his desk. Settling with a piece of parchment, he wrote a letter.

Professor Dumbledore,

I had a dream, well... a vision. I'm not sure if it was real, though. You see, I wasn't able to practice my Occlumency before I fell asleep. My mind just sort of shut down. But my dream, it was so real. I can still feel it. (A/N: he scratched out that last line, but it's still legible for Dumbledore, so I'll leave it since I don't know how to do strike-throughs) I saw Voldemort and some of his Death Eaters at a house. I don't know where, and I don't know who, but there was a man, a woman, and a child, a boy, who didn't look as if he were older than five. Please tell me it's just something that Voldemort put in my head and that it didn't really happen. I don't know how many more of these I can take.

Harry Potter

After sealing the letter, Harry had to wait for Hedwig to come back from her nightly hunting. As he wait, he couldn't help but feel for that poor family, if it was real. And somewhere in Golucestershire, the Dark Mark hung over a house that was home to ta family of three. A man, a woman, and a son of five years.

A/N: Please review and let me know what you think. I will continue, probably a chapter a week, tho, as I work quite a bit and I like to read other stories as well. Thanks.