AN: Hmm. First story. And it's two in the morning. Wow. Well, as I said, this is my first story I've written, please be gentle for I am a writing virgin, and this will probably be painful. This story has been knocking at my brain for some time, and I do hope I continue with it. Reviews always help! hint hint

Disclaimer: I own nothing of Harry Potter &co. I only like to borrow them for short periods of time, just to torture, manipulate, and bend them to my will, but they never belong to me and always return to the owner relatively unharmed, maybe a little worse for wear, but always intact . . . most of the time.



The lamp in the corner of the room flickered on and off continuously, having not decided which way it would prefer to be. The storm outside was raging, and the power lines that ran up and down Privet Drive were about to fall prey to the storm's fury. The light flickered, and then died as quickly as it had been born from the bulb. He was left in total darkness.

The darkness embraced him as a mother would her child, it soothed his woes and eased his fears. This was his safe haven, the one place where everything wrong could be made right for a little while. It was where he could pretend that the pain was not real, that reality was all a dream, and that the nightmares were all his imagination. In the dark, nobody could see the bruises, the cuts, or the blood. It was impossible to see the tears. The blackness hid him from prying eyes and granted him precious moments of peace.

But as it is said, all good things must come to an end, and peace is fleeting in this house. Harry Potter grimaced as he slowly uncurled from his fetal position. His body screamed in defiance at the exertion. He sighed in exhaustion once he had completely straightened and relaxed his aching muscles. He opened his eyes and peered into the darkness, his sanctuary, and did the only thing he could do to pass the time. He thought.

He could see small dots and different color in the darkness. Harry remembered from primary school that everything in the world was made of little things called atoms. He had often wondered if that was what he saw. He had never mentioned them to any of his friend for fear of sounding crazy, but once he thought about it, the world was made of magic, so why couldn't atoms be magic themselves? Maybe it just took a witch or wizard to see them, but the wizarding world was so far behind the times, maybe they didn't know about the tiny particles called atoms.

Harry sighed and tried to think of something else less confusing. But really, that's all he had to do these days, think. It wasn't like he could do his summer homework, his wrist was broken, and he couldn't do the mountain load of chores he was usually assigned in the summer. No, all he had to do was think, and it certainly got boring after awhile. Harry shifted his head a little more unto the pillow, he was starting to get a headache.

A sudden boom of thunder made Harry jump, and he immediately regretted the action. "Oww," he groaned into his pillow. He really did love thunderstorms, but sometimes the thunder had it's drawbacks. One of Harry's favorite things to do was sit and watch a thunder storm. It positively fascinated him. He could sit and watch the rain and lightening dance in the sky for hours, and never for a moment feel bored.

Unfortunately for Harry, watching the lightning and rain meant that he had to be at the window, which meant moving, and what with his condition, it would prove most challenging and quite painful to attempt such a feat. So he stayed put and contented himself with listening to the rain beat against his window and, of course, thinking.

It was odd, Harry thought as he looked at the old wrist watch of Dudley's that lit up, that Vernon wasn't home yet. Not that Harry wanted to see the man anytime soon, or ever really, but Vernon usually got home around supper time, and that was at six. It was about eight thirty now. Harry felt slightly guilty for hoping that maybe Vernon had some sort of an accident and wouldn't be coming home, but then quashed that feeling when he realized that it was his uncle that he was feeling sorry for, and he had better people to feel sorry for, like perhaps himself.

The summer had started out pretty much the same as ever other had, besides the fact that the only family member that actually cared for him had been murdered, and the man he had looked up to as a sort of grandfather had betrayed his trust. Yes, life as usual for the Boy Who Lived. It just got harder and harder every year.

Unbidden, a picture of Sirius floated to the top of his consciousness. Harry squeezed his eyes, trying to dispel the image and keep the tears at bay. He had thought of everything else but his godfather since that night. He couldn't bear to face the situation, even in his mind, because he knew that if he admitted that Sirius was truly gone forever, and given the current circumstances, he would not be able to stop himself from giving up completely.

However there was a nasty little voice in the back of his head that kept telling him he deserved all that his uncle did to him, and it seemed that no matter how much he argued with it, the accusations would become louder each day and his protests feebler. He couldn't decide if it was Voldemort or just himself telling him of his worthlessness. Unfortunately, Harry didn't think he could blame Voldemort for this one.

So it was better to deal with one thing at a time, and right now Harry was happily residing in a lovely little state of mind called denial, and he had no intention of leaving it, thank you very much. As depressing as it sounded, Harry just hoped he made it back to school in one piece. There were ways to cover up signs of abuse, potions to help heal the broken bones, and Harry needed Hogwart's library to help him.

Dumbledore had already written to Harry a few days ago, telling him that he would remain at Privet Drive for the rest of the summer, which on one hand Harry was relieved that no one would discover him the way he was without a chance of hiding his ailments, but on the other hand, he felt just as hopeless and angry that they would abandon him. But then again, Harry figured it was for the best. He really didn't want anybody to know what his uncle did to him.

Harry guessed it was a pride thing. He knew that he was only human, and that it was near impossible for him to stand up to a 350lb muggle without his wand, but he didn't want to be perceived as a weak child. The Order already thought that. They didn't need anymore evidence to support their claim though.

Harry pushed the button of the watch again and the greenish light came on. It was almost nine. Vernon should be home any minute. He was already late by three hours. Harry dreaded to think what could have kept Vernon out so long. Dozens of scenarios flashed through Harry's mind. Yesterday Vernon had come home two hours late, drunker than an Irish sailor. The experience hadn't been pleasant. That was when he had taken Dudley's old cricket bat (Dudley never made the team for obvious reasons) and had broken Harry's wrist. Harry shivered slightly. That particular beating had hurt badly.

Vernon had been angry as of late because a younger employee had gotten the promotion at work that Vernon had been eyeing for some time. Well, of course this was all Harry's fault, and Vernon made damn sure Harry knew this, so three days ago Vernon came home, in a drunken rage, and promptly beats down the door to his room, takes his belt off, and proceeded to thoroughly pummel his "freak" of a nephew. The same thing had happened the next day, and then yesterday was when he had broken Harry's wrist.

Some hero I've turned out to be, mused Harry, I can't even attempt to defend myself against a muggle. Granted, I don't have my wand and he's over 200 pounds larger, but aren't I supposed to have some great power to defeat the worst Dark Lord the world has seen in centuries? Where's that fabled power when you need it?

And that brought up another thing that Harry had plenty of time to think about. One of the first things that came to mind when he thought about the prophecy was, "Oh shit, we're doomed." But of course, this wasn't a very positive outlook, so he contented himself with pondering on what power he could possibly have that Voldemort wouldn't know about. Hell, he was with Voldemort on this. He didn't have an inkling of a clue either.

Harry sighed quietly and turned slowly onto his side. He should really be thinking of something a little less depressing, but nothing would come to mind. Suddenly, Harry remembered one of those songs that likes to play over and over in your head. Awfully annoying as they were, he decided it was better than thinking of his and the world's impending doom. Although, Harry decided to change the lyrics up a bit.

"Home, home with the deranged. Where I'm treated like I have got the mange. Where seldom is seen, more food than a single bean, and Dudley just gets fatter everyday. Oh. . ." Harry continued muttering bitterly under his breath. Yes, home with the deranged indeed, but this was more fun than he'd had in a long time, which was not saying much, so he continued to sing the song quietly to himself.

The slamming of the front door stopped Harry mid sentence. He felt his body stiffen in fear, and he immediately brought his knees to his chest, ignoring the spasms of pain that shot through his body as he did so. He silently prayed to whichever gods that listened that he would live to see tomorrow as he heard his uncle's angry footsteps coming up the stairs.

His chest tightened in fear, and his breath came in short gasps. He squeezed his eyes shut, tears streaming silently down his face. He could feel the anger of his uncle as he heard the heavy steps stop outside his door. A small sob escaped his lips before he quieted. His uncle was unlatching the first lock.

Click. That was the second.

Harry buried his face into his pillow.

Click. That was the third.

Harry begged the gods to send a savior.

Clump. There's the dead bolt, only one more to go.

Harry screamed in his mind for Sirius to save him.

Shhhhhttt. There's the chain. The door is unlocked.

Harry froze.

The door war gently pushed open, with a loud, groaning creak that chilled Harry to his very bones. But since the electricity was out, Harry could see a thing, but he knew there was someone in his room, he could hear the heavy breathing.

A terrible boom of thunder didn't make Harry flinch in the least, he was frozen in fear at the thing that had crept into his sanctuary, the vile creature that masqueraded as human by day and demon by night. A flash of lightening lit up the room for brief seconds, and Harry spied the boogeyman from his nightmares.

With an enraged roar, Harry heard the huge man rush at the bed on which he laid. And suddenly, the darkness wasn't the sanctuary that it had once been.

AN: Well, that's it. Drop a line and tell me what you think of the story. All opinions are welcome of course. Expect an update maybe sometime this weekend. I'm going to try to make the chapters a lot longer, but keep in mind that this is the prologue. Ciao.