This is my attempt at a dark story. It's not all warm and fuzzy like my others. The chapters are short, details murky. My critics who hated the optimistic good Harry in my other story will love this one. It's rated for violence and abuse – no language, adult situations or slash.

Paint By Number

Chapter 1

Murky, fuzzy, confusing. That's all he could feel. Is this birth? Is this death? Slowly, slowly his thoughts started becoming clearer, his puzzlement more coherent. Where am I? What am I?

Light. Hazy and distant at first, like trying to see from the bottom of a swimming pool. Then brighter and sharper – there – he could see. And he didn't like it.

Flinging his head back in forth in dumb shock, he realized he was sitting, and that he was sitting next to someone. Squinting with new eyes that didn't quite behave as they should, he turned toward the person he was pressed against.

"Petunia?" he asked with dry mouth. She looked as confused and muzzy as he felt.

"Vernon?" She blinked a few times and faced him. "Where are we?"

"Welcome to my art gallery" a dark voice hissed at them. Slowly they peered out a large glass wall in front of them. A figure stood in the shadows, smirking at them. He was horribly ravaged – one armed, scared by burns and cuts, and deeper scars of emotional maiming marring what could have been a handsome face. He stepped forward into the dim torchlight so they could see him better, and they wish he hadn't.

"Harry?" they gasped in unison.