Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Harry Potter or any of the characters or ideas from the universe created by the absolutely brilliant J.K. Rowling. I wish I did, though.

A/N: Hello everyone. This is my first fanfic. I have been extremely bored since the third HP movie came out. Don't get me wrong, it was amazing; I am just sad that now the next thing to look forward to is book six, which does not even have a release date yet. In order to ease my pain, I started reading various fanfics, many of which are wonderful. The problem is that now I find myself waiting on story updates from 4 or 5 of the authors. It is driving me insane. Therefore, I have decided to take matters into my own hands.

This is a 6th year fic, which begins shortly after the summer holidays begin. The rating is PG-13, although it could possibly go up. I doubt this will happen, but I may as well warn everyone, just in case. The story will be a mixture of genres; that is why it is listed as General. There will eventually be a significant amount of HPGW, because that is by far my favorite pairing. There will also be a touch of HGRW, but not a whole lot. There may be other relationships, but they will not be ever-present. This is not a romance driven plot. It is a plot that merely contains some romance. Also, there will be a lot of action, and Harry will become more powerful. But, this is absolutely NOT a Super Harry fic.

I pretty much have the entire story outlined, and the first few chapters written. I can already tell that this will be a very long story, probably with between 30-40 chapters, and I am guessing it will exceed 100,000 words. But, if I am not receiving reviews from people (or am only getting negative ones), I will discontinue my work. Please take the time to review. I hope you all enjoy.

Harry Potter and the Path to Salvation

CHAPTER 1 – Hard Times

The sun was barely beneath the horizon, having just disappeared. Small strips of light still trickled out in every direction. A boy with out-of-control black hair sat quietly at the window of his second floor room, staring out into the sky. It had been an entire week since Harry had seen his friends. Sure, he had received letters from most of them almost daily, but he still had not been with them. Not that it really mattered, though. Even if he were with his friends right now, he wouldn't know what to say to them. He didn't feel like talking with anyone. And he was positive that he wasn't ready to share any of the recent revelations that had occurred to him since the night when...

He couldn't keep himself from constantly dwelling on this subject. As hard as he fought to bar it from his mind, it always managed to sweep in when he was least expecting it, causing him to slip back into an emotional hole. Sirius, the closest thing to a father that he had ever known, was dead. He had died because of...

Tears began to form in his eyes, and before he knew it, they were flowing freely down the side of his face. This was nothing new, of course. This was the fourth time that day, in fact, in which emotion had taken over the Boy-who-lived. He had yet to figure out how to make it stop, other than when he was forced to by the unsympathetic comments from his Uncle Vernon, who had twice been in Harry's proximity when he lost control.

His Uncle didn't understand what had happened. He didn't know that Harry's Godfather was dead because he, Harry, had been reckless. Nor did Uncle Vernon care about what had happened. He simply yelled both times for Harry to stop making a scene, and threatened to really give him something to cry about.

On he cried, into his open hands, frustrated with himself for being unable to stop. Then, having not noticed the movement in the sky directly in front of him, because his face was buried in his hands, Harry jumped at a slight tapping on his window. He was on his feet immediately, wand drawn, only to find an unfamiliar brown owl carrying a letter, hovering outside. Harry lowered his wand and reached forward to raise the window, after first wiping the tears from his face on his sleeve. Immediately the owl shot inside and landed upon the desk with a soft hoot, which was returned by Hedwig, who was perched inside her cage a few feet away. Harry reached down and relieved the owl of its letter. Without a second glance towards him, the owl rose in to the air and vanished into the late-evening's sky.

Harry slowly returned his gaze to the envelope in his hand. It was a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But, it was too soon for the school lists to arrive, and the O.W.L. results wouldn't be sent from Hogwarts. He didn't understand. What was this letter? Hesitantly, Harry turned the letter over, unsealed it, and removed the contents. After he carefully unfolded the parchment, Harry saw that this was a personal letter from the Headmaster, Professor Dumbledore.

Dear Harry

Be ready to depart from your current location sometime tomorrow. A guard will remove you to the same location as you resided last summer. Further details and issues will be discussed at a later date. Tell no one.

AD

Harry stared blankly at the parchment. He was leaving already? And going to Grimmauld Place no less? Not that he wanted to remain with the Dursleys, but Harry wasn't sure that he wanted to return to the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. He loathed everything about that house. It reminded him of Sirius.

And for the second time in less than five minutes, Harry's chest constricted. His eyes began to swell; his face contorted. However, this time his sorrow was accompanied by another emotion: anger. Turning towards his bed, Harry kicked the chair in his path out of the way. He marched over to the bed and flopped himself down face first into the pillow.

"I won't go back to that awful place!" he screamed in to his pillow.

The tears were now streaming straight from his eyes and on to the linen pillow, dampening it more with every passing moment. Harry lay there, replaying once again, the memory of his Godfather falling through the veil at the department of mysteries, an event that took place hardly more than a week before. And now he was supposed to return to the one place where he would surely never be able to rid his mind of thoughts of Sirius? What was Dumbledore playing at? It was this thought that Harry dwelled on for some while, before eventually drifting off to sleep.

Harry lay stretched out upon a nice patch of bright green grass, in the middle of a deserted meadow. There wasn't a soul in sight, human or animal. It was just him. He slowly rose from his comfortable position on the grass, to stand. He wanted to take in the view around him as best as possible. He could never remember having been somewhere so peaceful and beautiful. He watched as a nearby tree was rid of several leaves from a rather strong gust of wind. He then turned his eyes heavenward; he saw the blazing sun overhead...and then it began to dim.

Harry was confused. He had never witnessed anything of this sort before. The sun was gradually becoming less bright, and with it, the air was becoming cooler. A chill went up his spine as another strong gust of wind struck against his body. Unease traveled throughout his body, from head to toe. Then he heard the all-too-familiar disturbing laugh that had been haunting him for the past several years. Harry quickly turned on his heel, reaching for his wand at the same time. But his wand wasn't in its place. Before he could think to search elsewhere, he had completed his one-hundred and eighty degree turn, and now found himself facing a large black-hooded figure, standing only a few feet from him.

Harry was frozen. He wanted to turn and run, but he found that his feet wouldn't budge from their current position. The cloaked figure was holding something in its hand, which slowly began to move towards Harry. It was a long metal object that Harry didn't recognize as any type of wand that he had ever seen. When the figure finally had it raised to Harry's eye level, comprehension dawned. Harry knew what it was, and that it wasn't something typically seen in the wizarding world. Now only a mere inches from his face was a branding iron, glowing bright-red on the end, the shape of which seemed oddly familiar to Harry. It was the exact shape and size of the scar already on his forehead. Then, unable to move from its path, Harry screamed as the red-hot iron made contact with his forehead. The pain was unbearable. He wanted to make it stop, but couldn't. All he could do was scream.

"WAKE UP BOY! STOP THAT RACKET! YOU STOP THAT THIS INSTANT!" roared Uncle Vernon.

Harry's eyes opened, and his hands immediately flew to his forehead. His uncle was still growling at him with displeasure, but none of the words were getting through. His head was burning so hard, he felt as if he had just been touched with...but before he could finish his thought, a hand grasped firmly on his forearm, pulling it away from his face. Harry watched reluctantly as Uncle Vernon's purple face continued to spit out angry words, none of which Harry heard. Finally, slightly regaining his composure, Harry pulled his arm back from his uncle's grip, and pushed himself up and out of his bed. He started toward the door, but found that his legs were unable to support him any longer. He then collapsed at the feet of his uncle, and violently vomited all over them.

A/N: The chapters will get longer and have much more dialogue, I promise. Also, chapter two will be posted soon. Please review!