Albus Dumbledore thought the 'Power he knows not' is Love. It's not. This story begins the day before Harry's seventeenth birthday and ends ten seconds after midnight on his birthday. It will have graphic scenes of death, pain and suffering, so if you're the squeamish sort, you might want to wander over to Ruskbyte's page and read some of that, including his version of The Order of the Phoenix, which is one of the best Uber-powered Harry stories around.

Author's Warning: This story will not be on any schedule. It is dark and disturbing and work on it only when the Dark Muse hits me. If you are one of those people that like order, don't start this story.

Harry Potter and the Power He Knows Not.

Chapter One

Ten Seconds of Death and Fire.

Harry Potter had not been feeling well for several hours. It had started off this morning as a headache and gotten progressively worse all day.

By the time he was allowed to go upstairs and collapse on his bed, Harry was having trouble seeing and random cramps were hitting him every few seconds. He had a high fever and his pulse was racing. He dragged his aching bones up the stairs, taking nearly two minutes to get up them, since his muscles were weak and spastic.

The Dursleys ignored his symptoms, as they had ignored everything that afflicted Harry since he was a baby. Had anyone cared enough to look into the young man's room later that night, they would have seen Harry convulsing as blood came from the lip he'd bitten almost completely through in his efforts to remain silent, before he lost all sense of any reality. His hands were clenched into fists and his nails had ripped the skin of his palms.

Hedwig had not returned from her trip to Hermione's house and that was a good thing. Harry was glowing, an eerie green colour that matched his eyes, or would have if Harry had them open.

As midnight approached and Harry's seventeenth birthday approached, Harry was lost in a nightmare world of pain and magic. The glow around him was beginning to flux in time with the beating of his heart, flickering like a strobe light. All Harry could feel was an agonizing pain that fluxed and waned, never settling down so he could fight it. It was raw, as if every inch of his body burned and burned again. The pain had gone on since ten, two hours of agony that made anything he'd ever felt seem like a baby's touch, eclipsing even the Cruciatus. The pain was so intense that Harry was sweating drops of blood as his body began to fail under the assault.

Two doors down from Harry's window, the neighbourhood snoop was watching the light show coming from Harry's window and smirking as she thought about the things she'd say to Petunia the next day. She heard her grandfather clock strike the first chime of midnight and that chain of thought ended when No. 4 Privet Dr. erupted in a mass of swirling green flames, engulfing the house in seconds and flaring high into the sky.

OoOoOoO Headmistress McGonagall's Office, Hogwarts. OoOoOoO

Albus Dumbledore had no less than five magical devices designed to monitor Harry at Privet Dr. and at one second after midnight on July 31st, 1997, all of them exploded in a flare of magic that disrupted almost everything in the office.

The wards of Hogwarts alerted the Headmistress to the unusual event in her office, and she stumbled out of her quarters, opening the door between her rooms and the Headmistress' office.

She looked at the mess and saw what had happened instantly. She frowned and went to the Floo. She called Mrs. Figg, but got no answer. She tried to reach Tonks and sighed in relief when a sleepy Nymphadora Tonks answered the Floo. "Something serious has happened at Harry Potter's house and Mrs. Figg isn't answering. Check on Harry and then find out what happened to her."

Tonks was awake now. "I'll Floo you as soon as I know anything."

OoOoOoO Harry, His Room, Just Before Midnight, 31JUL97. OoOoOoO

PainFearPowerLoveHateLustJoySadness. Harry was lost in a sea of emotions and thoughts that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere. His mind was swimming in things he'd never thought, never felt.

He was a teenage girl, dreaming about a film star.

He was a man worrying about his teenage son.

He was a woman enjoying the attentions of her husband.

He was the husband, thinking about another woman as he had sex with his wife.

He was a small child, loving his parents.

He was a baby, with no real formed thoughts, just desires and needs.

A million feelings and thoughts from people of all sorts. For a split second, he was someone, a Wizard watching a house, then he was someone else. Harry felt, saw, lived the lives of a hundred people or more as midnight approached and all of them had pains, fears, hopes and joys, leaving him awash in emotions and feelings, intermixing with the pain that continued to grow.

The clock by Harry bed ticked away the minutes until midnight. At midnight, it was one of the first things to disappear as Harry exploded in a green flame that washed over his room, destroying everything. He fell to the floor as his bed went up and became ash in less than a second.

Within two seconds Number 4 Privet Drive was a roaring mass of green flame.

Harry felt it as Vernon Dursley woke, saw the flames washing over his bed. He saw Vernon's fear of anything different or strange, and the bullies in his past that had made him the man he was. He saw a love of art beaten out of a ten year old Vernon, lived through the beatings at the hands and feet of his own parents, until Vernon was a perfectly normal child. He felt Vernon's pain, fear and despair for his family as he died, burning in a pain that wiped his mind of everything else in an instant, wiping even his sanity away as he passed away.

He felt Dudley's terror and pain as he woke and died almost in the same second. Harry was him, spoiled and happy, but with a streak of cruelty that found its outlet in hurting anyone, especially Harry, who had a power Dudley could never have, no matter how much he whined or begged. Harry heard the last sane thought Dudley ever had, calling out in his mind, unable to speak through lips and tongue melting away, unable to even scream for his mother.

He felt, as he had with the other two, Petunia. With each of the other two, Harry had been there, inside them, a passenger as they died, feeling and knowing what they knew.

With Petunia it was different, less knowing and more as if he was Petunia.

He knew her long standing jealousy of Lily, who had everything, beauty, friends, brains and magic as well. He felt her rage as she was forced to take care of the child of her murdered sister. He knew her despair as she knew that the last words she ever spoke to her sister were angry words born of hate and rage. He felt her terror and fear for her family, her pain as she knew that she was going to die. He was Petunia as she burned, pain flaring and exploding in her body and mind.

He felt her spirit leave her body and knew her final thought was a curse on himself, knowing that this sudden death and destruction of her family was something to do with Harry.

It was two seconds after midnight.

He felt the fire, burning out of control and destroying everything, the house, his things, his father's invisibility cloak, his wand and all his school things. The fire raged higher as it fed on the magic and raced over the house, destroying everything in it, the furnishings, the appliances and spreading out into the garden.

It was three seconds after midnight.

He felt Mundingus Fletcher's panic as the fire exploded out of the house and swept over him. As the fire touched him, it flared up higher and Fletcher had more time to feel his death as his magic protected him for just a second before it was destroyed and gone and the flames began eating his body away. Harry felt his fear and horror as he realized he had no magic at all and then the pain wiped that thought away until he died a second later.

It was five seconds after midnight.

Harry felt all of that in the few seconds that it took to happen and then his world went away and Harry Potter knew nothing more.

The green fire burned right up to the borders of the lot and consumed everything in the lot, shooting more than eighty metres high as people came running out of their houses to see what was going on.

Nine seconds after midnight on the thirty-first of July, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-six, Number 4 Privet Drive ceased to exist.

Ten seconds after midnight, the green fire winked out and was gone, leaving only ash where the house and four lives had been.

OoOoOoO The Constables and Firemen, No. 4 Privet Drive, 31JUL96. OoOoOoO

"I've never seen anything like this. The entire place was gone and the fire was out before we got here. It took us four minutes and twenty seconds to get here and the fire was out then." The fireman was staring at the lot and there was puzzlement and fear in his eyes.

The Constable taking the fireman's statement looked at him and then back over his shoulder where three more firemen prodded the ash that covered the lot where a house had been. Everything was gone, clear down to the bedrock nearly forty centimetres below the level lawns and gardens of the two houses on each side. The car, the house and the four people that had been inside according to neighbours. There was nothing left of the entire property except fifteen centimetres of ash.

The fireman shivered as he looked at the lot. He'd been fighting fires for nearly eighteen years and he'd never seen the aftermath of any fire that looked like this. No melted bits, no remains of anything, not even the car. Just the ash, as if the fire had been so hot that it burned everything completely away.

That was impossible of course. Any fire that hot would have started the houses on each side on fire as well, but nothing was even singed. The grass on each side grew up to the very line of destruction and it wasn't even slightly brown.

What had happened here was impossible. Stone cold, bloody freaking impossible.

In the years to come, nothing, not trees, not grass, not even weeds would grow on the lot ever again. No animal would go on the lot, no bird was ever seen flying over it. A few people walked over it, but all of them felt flashes of heat and fear and no one walked over it twice. The local children wouldn't even dare each other to go on the lot and babies cried when they were carried down the pavement in front of the lot.

Ten years later, the neighbours pooled their funds and had the entire thing paved over and fenced off. No. 4 Privet Drive became another urban legend. Many tales and stories were told and retold.

None of them ever came close to the truth of what happened in just ten seconds.

OoOoOoO The Author, Here and Now. OoOoOoO

Is Harry dead?

Yes. No.

This story can go either way. I have one ending in mind, where Harry is dead and there is one one more chapter and explains what happened to Harry in that five seconds between Fletcher's death and Harry's passing.

I also have another ending, where Harry isn't dead and that story will take a lot longer to write. I haven't decided yet how I will end it. Someday I will post the next chapter and we'll all find out.