((A.N. Welcome to Take My Heart Away, my newest, and, in my opinion,best, story. It's darker and certainly more complex than my other ones. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. One more thing . . . quotes at the beginning of each chapter are extremely important. hint hint And, oh yeah, review! ;D))

Disclaimer: I do not, under any circumstances, own Harry Potter, (a wonderful woman named J.K. Rowling does, if any of you were wondering), and I'm not making any profit off of writing this story. The lyrics below are by AFI, from Leaving Song, Part II. Throughout the course of this story, there will be lyrics and quotes including but not limited to: AFI, Evanescence, Shakespeare, Plato, and Helen Keller. I do not own or claim to own any of the quotes in italics at the beginning of each chapter. Without any further ado . . .

Break down

and cease all feeling.

Burn now

what was once breathing.

Reach out

and you may take my heart away.

Prologue: Take My Heart Away

Hermione gasped as a flash of blinding green light flew past her. She watched its procession across the forest clearing with a horrid fascination frozen in her tracks. Time seemed to slow as she witnessed the beam of light hit her best friend squarely in the chest. She did not even turn away when Harry Potter fell to the ground, his eyes already blank and lifeless.

The next thing that she was aware of was a high, freezing laughter that seemed to echo amongst the highest branches of the trees. The unmerciful cackle of a madman.

Hermione suddenly knew what it was that she had to do, and a numb coolness enveloped her insides. It's the only way.

"It's the only way," Harry had said in a whisper, only a few hours before. His eyes, normally so full of light and determination, now held the fiery resolution often seen in the eyes of a condemned prisoner.

Hermione gazed up at him, full of fearful uncertainty.

"But Harry, Dumbledore said . . ."

He cut her off with a sharp movement of his hand through the air.

"I know what Dumbledore said," he intoned in a severely strained voice. "'Don't fool around with time.' But I'm only asking you to do this if I - if I fail."

He looked at her, willing her to understand what he meant without having to explain.

"You won't fail, Harry. You can't," Hermione choked out.

"Dumbledore said ..."

"Dumbledore's gone!" Harry cried out, smashing his fist against the wall. When he saw the expression on her face, his whole presence seemed to sag with the fact that he was scaring her; scaring the only best friend he had left.

"I'm sorry," he murmured, not recognizing his own voice, "but like I said, Hermione: I have this – this certainty, almost, that something or someone made Voldemort who he is. Believe me, I know him, and I know that he wasn't born as that horrible creature. If you could go back before that, you could kill him as easily as a normal human. And Hermione, if there's anyone – anyone at all – that I would trust to go back in time in place of me and make things right, it would be you."

He regarded her with an expression so full of the earnesty she had remembered in the old Harry that she was flushed with a sudden confidence.

"I'll do it,"Hermione had said solidly.

I'll do it, she thought. She decided that she was willing to do almost anything to reverse the horrifying events of the past weeks.

The ghastly silence of the woods around her seemed to intensify with the onset of a slight mist. Moonlight fell like a veil across the soundless landscape. The only solidity in the eerie half-reality she faced were the trees, gnarled and lifeless, but solid all the same.

A slight shift in the mist ...

And Lord Voldemort himself had turned to face her. She realized, as if doused in freezing ice water, that she was the only one alive in the clearing, save the demon that stood before her. The mist momentarily obscured his face.

"Ah, the filthy Muggle-born that Potter adored so much," Voldemort spat, his ominous voice sending uncontrollable chills down her spine. She fumbled for the chain around her neck.

"Pity, I don't even know your name," he whispered with a terrible smile. Voldemort raised his wand.

At the same time, Hermione took hold of her time-turner. Instead of turning it over, as she usually would, she turned it to the left. Instead of going back hours, she was attempting to travel back decades. With the first twist, a jolt like lightning jarred her. Again she twisted it, as the eerie forest clearing began to fade from existence. She fixated a time in her mind, and concentrated on turning the instrument to her bidding. Every jolt jarred her harder and harder, until she flew through an indescribable vortex of memories, events, and places that she had not been alive to remember. The roaring in her head got louder, until it seemed to consume her every fiber. And after that: Blackness.

Tom Riddle gasped as he sat up in his bed. Caressing his temples, he tried hard to remember the dream he had woken up from. He was sure that it had not been one of the usual, ghastly nightmares that had plagued him for as long he could remember. This time it had been something utterly different, yet somehow more haunting than any nightmare. He remembered, or rather, imagined, a girl with large brown eyes and honey-colored hair, and a boy with a lightning-shaped scar. The girl was the one that had stood out, however. Her face, though, obviously average, was for some reason chillingly beautiful to him. Quickly, he belittled himself for thinking such inconsequential thoughts. Dreams are nothing but poison to the mind, he reminded himself sternly.

For some reason, this did not comfort him much. Am I seeing things? Am I going crazy?

((A.N. So? What do you think is going to happen? Tell me in a review!))