Title: Harry Potter and the Orb of Souls

Author: Serafina Moon

Date: December 20, 2004

Summary: Voldemort has discovered a new weapon—the Orb of Souls. With it, he has discovered a way to purge the world—with their only savior.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, any of its characters, or themes. I will not profit from this story except receiving enjoyment of your questions, comments, and input on this work.

Claimer: I do, however, own this story and its plot and any Original Characters that I may use during the duration of the story making process.

A/N-I know this is a bit late to be putting out a story, what with the sixth book coming out in a few months, but this idea just wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it, so here it is. I hope you like it.

Chapter 1: Prologue

Grew up in a small town
And when the rain would fall down
I'd just stare out my window
Dream'n of what could be
And if I'd end up happy
I would pray
Trying hard to reach out
But, when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So, I'd pray
I could break away

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And break away
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But, I won't forget all the ones that I love
I'll take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And break away

-"Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson

Sounds of laughter floated through the peaceful air of the park as the lazy sun drooped behind the distant mountains. Children scurried here and there, telling their friends goodbye and making arrangements to meet at a later date as their impatient parents tried to drag them away, back to their homes.

The park playground had been renovated, drawing children out to play so that they dragged their parents out to talk to their neighbors or to push them on the swings for the day.

Harry Potter sat at one of the said swings rocking slowly back and forth, scowling and glaring at the carefree nature of the remaining children and their parents. It seemed unbelievable to him that anyone could be so happy with everything that was happening in the world at the moment.

Granted, they did not know about the all out war raging in the world beside their own, but that hardly stopped Harry from being annoyed nonetheless. He was angry, hurt, and depressed and he wanted everyone around him to feel the same.

It just wasn't fair!

Why did you have to die, Sirius! Harry thought for the umpteenth time, savagely drawing his arm across his face to remove the embarrassing wetness from his cheeks.

No matter how much he tried not to think of his godfather, thoughts of Sirius always came flooding in. The night at the Department of Mysteries kept replaying in his thoughts, effectively trapping him within his own mind as well as any Dementor.

Standing up abruptly, Harry looked around, noticing that everyone had already deserted the park except for a father and his son.

"One more time, Daddy!" the young child cried as he climbed the ladder leading up to the slide.

The father smiled and went to stand in front of the slide saying, "Ok, but after this we need to go home! Mummy will be waiting for us!" as he knelt down in front of the slide's end, arms opened wide in invitation.

The child giggled as he came whooshing down, landing in his father's arms, who scooped him up, swinging him around, and tossing him into the air to catch him again and hug him tightly before they too exited the park as darkness began to settle over the area.

Harry's scowl deepened and he turned sharply away, shoving his clenched fists into his pant's pockets and storming back to the Dursley's house. As he left, Harry felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise, signaling that someone was watching him again.

Not even drawing his wand or turning to look around, Harry continued on, knowing that it was simply another Order member that had been sent to "guard" him again. At least he knew they were there this year unlike the last.

Not that it was any consolation for him; it annoyed him more than anything that even though he knew they were there they would not talk to him at all. It seemed that they were under orders from Dumbledore to not say anything to him. Apparently he was not supposed to know anything about what was going on until he was to be moved later in the summer.

The Order was planning on coming to collect him earlier than any of the other times this year, and although Harry could not help but to be thankful to be getting away from the Dursley's sooner than ever, he did not want to go to Headquarters – the house of his dead godfather – at all.

Don't think about that! Harry chided himself harshly and abruptly switched his train of thought to the behavior of his relatives.

He had only been home – if you could call it home – for a week, but it had seemed like so much longer (as always when he was with the Dursley's.) At least the threat by Mad-Eye Moody had done some good.

His relatives were acting civilly toward him this year, even buying him brand new clothes for the first time the day after they had picked him up from King's Cross Station, but their forced smiles and gritted teeth told everyone that they plainly did not want to do so much as give him the time of day, let alone new clothes.

Nevertheless, Harry had a completely new wardrobe and was now included in most family matters, like shopping, eating out, and just watching the telly together, though he usually declined.

Any other year, Harry would have gladly welcomed the new development, but now he simply wanted to be alone. He would even have liked to do chores (not that he would ever tell anybody else that) simply for the sake of doing something to take his mind off things.

He had already reread all of his school books from previous years and had now taken to going to the park and observing its occupants.

"Get in here now, boy, and change your clothes! We're going out to eat this evening and I will not have you looking like a hooligan!" Petunia Dursley called, startling Harry out of his reverie so that he only just noticed that he had made it all the way back to Privet Drive.

Harry mentally berated himself for not paying more attention; what did Moody always say? "Constant Vigilance!" Well, he certainly had not been vigilant on his way back.

Harry stepped into the spacious living room of Number 4 and passed his aunt in the hallway on his way up to his room. She had her nose in the air and a haughty aura about her like always, but something had changed. She was always following him around it seemed, watching him out of the corner of her beady little eye, taking notice of everything he did.

She was being nicer to him too, but Harry could not for the life of him figure out why this was so. Only last Wednesday she had given him a necklace of his mother's with a phoenix charm on it (which he was currently wearing) and when he had stopped to ask her why she was giving it to him she snapped, "Don't ask questions!" as always.

Harry shook his head at the enigma his aunt had become and continued up to his room to change clothes. Upon entering Dudley's second bedroom, now his, he noticed the sheets and blankets strewn all over the bed and half lying in the floor from the nightmare he had had that night.

It had started out, as was usual for that summer, in the Department of Mysteries with Sirius falling into the Veil once again, but then it had morphed into a vision of Voldemort...only, Harry could not remember what exactly had happened.

He knew that there had been a new member of Voldemort's circle and he had been telling him about some kind of project that was about to be put into effect. He had said that "its effects won't remain for long...certain details from the past can trigger a remembrance of that past, and too much of that can cause it to become mitigated so that your product is nullified."

Everything other than that part of the vision was hazy and Harry could not remember what was said. As soon as he had woken up, Harry had sent Hedwig off to the Order (like he did every third day as per Moody's orders) telling them that he was fine, but also including the meager portion of his vision and the fact that Voldemort was gathering new recruits.

So far, he had not received a reply back, but it was only a matter of time; Hedwig usually came back within the same day as being set out.

Harry snapped to attention as the front door slammed closed and the sounds of his uncle's heavy footfalls echoed up the stairs as well as his aunt's shout of, "Hurry up, boy! It's almost time to go!"

Sighing in resignation, Harry lifted his shirt over his head, tossing it into the corner and walking over to his chest of drawers, pulling out something more fitting with a restaurant environment. He quickly slipped into a different pair of pants (ones without holes and mud on them) and went to stand before his mirror with a hairbrush in hand.

He ran it through his hair a few times, trying to straighten it out a bit and growled when it just stuck up more. Harry glared at his mirror image, putting the brush back down. He looked more haggard than he ever had before previously, even with new clothes.

His lack of sleep had formed constant bags under his eyes and his lack of appetite had caused him to lose any form of weight he had gained while at school. Even through his shirt, Harry could see and count each rib poking out of his skin and his collarbone stuck out alarmingly as well.

One last call from his aunt saying that they were ready to leave had Harry slipping on his trainers and casting one last despairing glance at his mirror before joining his "family" in the living room.

The drive into London was relatively quiet; the Dursley's, not wanting to talk to Harry – and seemingly not wanting him to hear them say anything at all – only whispered to each other, trying to break the oppressive and palpable tension in the air. Harry merely rolled his eyes and stared out the window, watching the passing scenery.

Harry was just being lulled to sleep by the incessant thrum of the car's engine due to sleep deprivation when the car jerked to a stop, causing Harry to start. Emerald eyes snapped open and took in his surroundings circumspectly.

They had come to a famous restaurant that Uncle Vernon usually took Aunt Petunia out to when Dudley would have "tea" at one of his friend's houses. Harry was surprised the Dursley's would actually bring him somewhere that they actually visited quite often. He figured they would take him somewhere of no consequence so that if "something happened" they would not feel too bad if they were never able to return.

"Come on," Aunt Petunia quipped in icy tones before opening her door. Harry did not even bother to roll his eyes as he followed suite. They entered the fancy milieu as a doorman opened the door and bowed them in with a flourish that made Harry nearly groan aloud.

I guess they're trying to impress me, or my "friends" with their high and mighty act. Harry thought to himself, annoyed – it was going to be a long night.

The Dursley's and Harry were seated in a private booth and promptly ordered their meal. The sounds of conversation reverberated around them as they tried to come up with some way to fill the silence that had settled while they waited on their food.

Harry chose to study the other patrons of the restaurant while he waited, that was until Vernon Dursley seemed to feel the need to ask him with a simpering sweet grin how school was.

For a moment, all Harry could do was stare at him in shock. The gaping expression was quickly replaced by one of suspicion and Harry retorted, "Why do you want to know?"

"Just asking, boy. Nothing wrong with that, is there?" replied his uncle in a sickly, syrupy voice to match his smile.

Harry's sense of foreboding kicked in and he immediately became alert. Something was wrong with his relatives if they were being nice to him and the tone of voice his uncle was using combined with the way he was acting suggested that something was amiss.

After all it would take an Imperious Curse to get Uncle Vernon to be nice to him...and out here in the middle of London, his uncle very well could be under someone's control.

Harry looked around, peering closely at everyone at all of the surrounding tables, his wand poking out of his sleeve, aimed and ready. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, Harry turned back to his uncle and glared, as Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia only smiled back disarmingly. To his credit, Dudley was looking back and forth between his parents and his cousin in complete confusion, which only served to further Harry's suspicion.

Something was wrong, Harry could feel it, and he did not care how innocent his relatives pretended to be, he would not let his guard down.

"It was fine," he answered curtly before turning sideways in his seat so that he could keep one eye on the Dursley's and the other on everyone else.

When the food came, it was a welcome distraction from the tangible tension that had once again descended upon the family. All of the platters and drinks came to Uncle Vernon and he passed them all around to their owners carefully, eyes scanning the food closely.

Harry wondered that if he'd had the right materials, if he would dissect each and every piece of food before giving them out.

When it came to the drinks, he swirled each of the glasses, nodding to himself and giving a humph after each one. Harry watched with curiosity and some amusement, trying to figure out what his uncle was on about.

When all of the plates and drinks were finally passed out, Dudley – as usual – dug in immediately, but Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon seemed to be trying and failing to appear as if they were watching Harry as they tucked into their own food.

He glanced up at them to find them both watching him and immediately grew alert once more – the hairs on the back of his neck prickled, all of his instincts screaming RUN!.

"Well? How is it, boy?" Uncle Vernon inquired as Harry caught his uncle watching him.

Harry sagged with relief. This was all about them trying to impress him still. It was all a display to show that the muggle world was better than his world and to show how the Dursley family was above him in every way.

The inspection of the food was obviously to make sure that everything was perfect so they could show off for "his lot" once more. Harry found it all ridiculous.

"It's fine, Uncle Vernon," Harry said emotionlessly with just a hint of impatience.

Uncle Vernon nodded self-importantly and turned back to his own food. Harry sighed and finished eating, taking a large swallow of his drink and settling back in his seat.

Almost immediately a foggy, hazy feeling clouded his mind and his thoughts became dense and jumbled, swirling around each other so that Harry could no longer recognize the difference between reality and surreal-ness.

Then a pain, like a pulse of fire stabbing like needles, started from his lungs, flowing outwards so that his entire body seemed to be engulfed in flames as convulsions wracked his body.

Sweat dripped from Harry's face, cooling his body momentarily before the coolness was abruptly ripped away, replaced with a blazing inferno, and Harry felt himself slipping—falling to the floor to land in a heap before his smirking relatives and horror-stricken Order members that had come to the rescue.

In the background, Harry idly noticed someone picking him up and cradling him against them, as the fire seemed to turn to ice in his veins and his body shook, his thoughts becoming lazy and lethargic instead of a dizzying swirl.

One thought was at the forefront of his mind, however, and that was that his original sense of foreboding had been right...something had been wrong with the food. He was poisoned.

Tears pooled in Harry's eyes as a feeling of acid eating away at his flesh came over his freezing, feverish body and his limbs jerked theatrically of their own accord to ward off the unseen enemy before his entire countenance became slack and limp as the world faded to black...

(To Be Continued…)

A/N- Well, I hoped you liked it. If you did, let me know and I will attempt to continue. I don't really have a clear plot, but the vague idea should keep me going. If you all have questions about this story, please ask and I'll set up an FAQ at the end of each chapter.

Coming Up: What happens to Harry, the Order's reaction, and more information about what's going on...in Chapter 2:End of an Era.

I'd like to thank my beta reader Jin for helping me out with everything.