Summary: Harry learns at a young age that he can only gain what he can take. Remembering his younger lessons, Harry goes down a dark path that leads to not only him, but his friends as well, growing up too fast in just one summer. Independent and semipolitical Harry. No slash or bashing.

This will be the prologue of hopefully one of my best stories. As I thought about how to write it, I really wanted to put a bit of myself in it. This will be more of a rambler than a first chapter. Oh well. Hope you enjoy.

As always, I do not own Harry Potter.

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Young Harry Potter of only nine years old frowned thoughtfully as he colored his picture carefully. There were tiny little houses that indicated the picture's point of view was taken from the sky. Now scowling as he tried to fix his horribly drawn motorcycle, Harry almost jumped as his teacher came up behind him.

"Having trouble, Harry?" she asked kindly.

Giving one last scowl at the messy picture, Harry turned to his teacher. "I can't get the motorcycle right, Mrs. Kent," he mumbled.

"A bit young to be thinking of such things, aren't you?" she teased, thinking of boisterous teenagers on their loud motorcycles.

"I had a dream about one," Harry responded quietly, gazing at his picture before adding clouds.

"Was it flying, just like in your picture?" Mrs. Kent asked.

Harry nodded enthusiastically, giving her a cute smile. Mrs. Kent soaked it up, for it was not that often young Mr. Potter smiled so happily.

"I dreamt I was being carried away on a motorcycle with a giant!" Harry beamed, now wondering how he could add said giant if he didn't even remember what the giant had looked like.

"Well, you certainly have an active imagination. That's very good for a young man." Harry beamed. "Have you ever thought of doing creative writing? I'm sure you could fill a whole book on your thoughts."

"Why would anyone want him to do that?" a boisterous voice interrupted. Harry grimaced as he saw his fat cousin waddle over, his pudge bouncing with each step. "He's just a freak," Dudley crowed loudly, getting a few snickers from the other kids who were all afraid of the large brute and didn't want to get pounded.

"That is enough, Mr. Dursley," Mrs. Kent scolded. "I will not tolerate name calling in this classroom."

Dudley gave her an annoyed look before snatching Harry's drawing away, ignoring his protests. "Ooh, I'm telling dad," he whispered sinisterly, pushing Harry away to keep him away from the drawing. "You're thinking about… magic."

"I am not!" Harry denied. "It's just a picture."

"Yea, a stupid picture." And with that he took his two pudgy hands on both sides and was prepared to rip up the picture. "Say goodbye to it, fre—"

"That is enough, Mr. Dursley!" Mrs. Kent snapped, startling the nine year olds. She grabbed him firmly and snatched the picture away. "Here you are, Harry." Her voice softened toward him before her voice grew stern once more. "To the principal's office with you!" she barked at Dudley, leading him out of the classroom.

The last the nine year olds heard was his shout of, "I'm telling mom and dad!"

Harry looked down and gulped. He knew that this incident would make him be punished, not Dudley. As he gazed at his drawing, he took it gently and held it tightly. Why couldn't they just leave him alone?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sure enough when he got home the stony face of his aunt got in his face, yelling at him for getting his cousin in trouble.

"But I didn't do anything!" Harry protested angrily, the beginnings of tears forming in the corner of his eyes at the unfairness. "I just drew a picture. I didn't even say anything to Dudley." He showed her his picture just to prove it.

With a horrified screech, Petunia grabbed it, ignoring Harry's protests, much like her son. "What is this?" she demanded, heart thumping horribly. Had the freaks showed up sooner than she thought?

"I dreamt it," Harry said softly, almost pitifully as tears finally leaked down his cheeks as his aunt ripped the drawing in half and tossed it in the bin.

Petunia let out a soft breath. Good, it was just his imagination, which still wasn't exactly good but much better than… than that magic. Petunia stared down at her silently crying nephew, unable to notice how differently he cried from her own son. Dudley bawled and screamed, more often than not destroying her last nerve. She loved her son more than anything, but could not help but help be jealous of how Harry cried, as silly and ridiculous as it was. There were of course other things that Harry did that she wished Dudley did…

And everytime she thought about it, it just made her angry.

"Get started on dinner," she told him with a haughty sniff, turning her back on his sorrowful green eyes. "And then go to your cupboard. I don't want to hear a peep out of you."

Brushing away his tears, Harry sniffled as he got to work on dinner. Slightly red, puffy eyes gazed down at the recipe he would make, unconsciously going over to where his aunt and cousin were. Already she was spoiling him and telling her precious son how much she loved him.

Harry's heart went cold at his aunt's bright smile that would never be for him. With an uncharacteristic scowl, Harry narrowed his eyes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Harry stared at the roof of his cupboard, which was in the shape of the stairs above him, as he listened to aunt and uncle in a hushed discussion a they sat in the kitchen.

"…boy been punished enough?" he could hear his uncle say.

Petunia nodded. "Dudleykinns had been sent to the office for calling the boy names."

"No less than the freak deserves."

"And you forget, dear, that at school there are different rules. Teachers do not tolerate bullying."

"Our Dudley a bully?" Vernon laughed heartily. "He's just showing them whose boss!" He calmed down a bit and took a sip of his tea. "Did you lock him in the cupboard the whole day?"

"With food, of course," Petunia said coldly. She didn't want the boy to die, after all.

"Anything else?"

Harry, who had been as silent as a mouse, twitched a bit at that. Surely his uncle didn't want to hit him again, especially since it was so late already and the incident already forgotten by his stupid cousin.

"No, dear, I didn't spank him, and no you may not. His teacher called and asked why he was limping on day in class and why she noticed his lower back was black and blue when he had crouched down at one point."

Vernon was silent for a moment. "What did you say?" he asked gruffly.

"That he fell down the stairs," Petunia answered calmly, stirring her drink.

Another moment of silence.

"Petunia, pet, you know I am not an abusive man."

Petunia gave him a surprised look before chuckling warmly. "I know that, love, and I know the boy needs a firm hand. Just, we need to be more careful. Just take things away if he's in trouble."

In his cupboard, Harry rolled over sadly, back toward the door as he gazed about his puny room. Take what away, exactly? He had nothing.

As if answering his thoughts, Vernon snorted. "Take what away? The boy hasn't got anything, and when he does our Dudley takes it away."

Harry formed a fist, angry.

"And bad boys deserve gifts to be taken away," his uncle continued, not even knowing he had just caused Harry to have an epiphany.

As his aunt and uncle went upstairs to bed, conversation over, thoughts ran wildly through Harry's head. Bad boys deserved to have gifts taken away…

It echoed over and over. If that was true, why didn't Dudley ever get stuff taken away? He was always in trouble, but nothing ever seemed to happen. Harry frowned as he sat up, brushing a spider off his chest thoughtlessly before it struck him.

Take! Take away! Dudley needed his gifts to be taken away by him, just like Dudley doing he same to him. It was such a wonderful feeling to have discovered this, but he was hit with another snag. How could he take away Dudley's gift? Dudley had brute force on his side, while all he had was…

What did he have?

Harry thought about what he was good at. The first thing he thought of was homework, but that wouldn't help with taking Dudley's gifts. What was another? Well, for one he was good at hiding and sneaking away, having plenty of practice with snatching food and running away from Harry Hunting.

Harry held up the spider he had brushed off earlier and lifted it toward the ceiling, beaming the whole time. "I figured it out!" he whispered excitedly, settling down as the spider began its slow process of making a web.

With a content smile, Harry fell asleep; eager to get Dudley back for all that he had done to him. He wasn't doing anything wrong. After all, he was just following his uncle's rules.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Harry bounced the large, dark blue bouncy ball in delight as he walked down the street. It had been his first Take, as he called it. He had been ordered to clean all the rooms so it was easy enough to grab it and stuff it in his oversized pants pocket. Ok, sure Dudley had dozens of bouncy balls and wouldn't even notice, but that didn't matter! He had made his first Take!

Harry let out a childish giggle, making a mischievous look as he slammed the bouncy ball as hard as he could into the ground and watched it fly high into the air. Hand shooting out and catching it easily, he shot the ball a victorious look, looking far too pleased.

Of course whenever Harry was happy, trouble was sure to come.

"Hey, freeeak?" Dudley sang, his mouth full of chocolate as he ate a mars bar.

An unexplained amount of jealousy shot through Harry, confusing him momentarily. He wished he had a mars bar. It had always been his favorite candy, not that he ever got much.

"Whatchya go' there?" he asked, having a bit of a difficult time swallowing and talking at the same time.

Harry hid the bouncy ball in his fist. "Nothing," he said innocently.

"Don't look like nothing," Piers said, his face looking more ratty than usual as he gave an ugly and rather pitiful sneer.

"It's nothing," Harry repeated, more firmly, surprising himself. Where was this courage coming from?

The others were almost as surprised as him. They had never met a Harry Potter that spoke to them in a firm voice. The surprise of course went away in a manner of seconds.

"It's a bouncy ball," another boy, said with glee. "And its one of those big dollar ones!"

Dudley's face was already full of greed. "Give it here," he ordered, holding out a sticky hand.

For a moment, Harry was prepared to hand over the ball, not wanting to get beat up before he really, really thought about it. If he didn't hand it over, there would be a pounding. If he did, it would happen anyway, so it would be useless either way.

Being near the park, people would have been able to watch and Dudley would have probably just walked away after receiving his prize. Strangely enough, there were no children or adults at the park. All in all, no matter what Harry did, he was screwed.

The tall grass that grew randomly around Surrey blew gently in the wind, breaking Harry out of his train of thought.

Dudley made an impatient noise, looking ready to forget the bouncy ball and just jump Harry. Before he could make a move, Harry moved his hand forward, blue ball visible. Dudley gave a smug grin before Harry reared back and did a throwing motion, screaming, "Go get it yourself!" before running off, leaving the group stunned.

Dudley's gang of idiots looked around frantically, looking for any sign of the bouncy ball bouncing away. It took them a full thirty seconds before one the smarter ones; a boy named Ryan, figured it out that Harry had fooled them.

"Get him and beat him up!" Dudley shouted, running as fast as he could with his other fat friends.

It was always a gross sight to see a fat person run, but to see a fat person such as Dudley run with a look of ugly anger, it was jus plain disgusting.

Harry panted as he ran past the park toys and into the tall grass, head almost taller than the long stalks. It didn't matter if he was shorter than the stalks, Dudley's gang could just follow his movement and into the tiny forest of trees that had been planted years ago for the children to play in.

It was perfect for hide and seek, even if the 'forest' was barely thirty feet. Even still, it was perfect to get away, and Harry was using it to his advantage. Delving into the array of branches hanging overhead and roots that could easily trip you, Harry hid behind a large tree, panting for breath as he crouched, holding the bouncy ball, his Take.

Not even a minute later the boys had entered through the trees, calling to him mockingly as if he were a dog. Suddenly wishing he had just given them the ball, for that would have surely led to a slightly better beating, Harry accidentally released a whimper.

"Got ya!" Piers crowed, fist slamming into Harry's face.

Harry screamed as pain sent his vision swimming. He held his eye carefully as he searched around for his glasses. He wasn't the only one to scream, however. Piers gave a rather girly squeak as he cradled his hand.

He muttered several curses that should not be known to an nine year old. "Gosh, Potter has the hardest head," he complained.

"Who cares," Dudley said, throwing the blue bouncy ball up and down. He gave a nasty look to Harry and kicked him into a bush.

Harry gasped as he felt his feet slide down something and frantically climbed out of the bush. Another punch and kick was the only response he got, startling him back into the bushes.

The harsh laughter and jeers made him blush in shame for being so weak. He didn't dare get up, preferring the cover the bushes were giving him. It was probably doing that that saved him a few more punches, for the boys left, gloating over taking away the bouncy ball from Harry.

Harry felt a sense of loss overtake him, even though Dudley technically took back his own thing. Getting up, Harry gave a startled squeak as the ground once again opened up, causing him to slide down. Harry grabbed at the sides of the hole he had almost fallen into and pushed himself out.

Crouching down, still in the bushes, Harry gazed into the hole curiously. It led down at an angle and wasn't very large, though it could easily fit his frame. Now curios, Harry pulled away roots and bush to let in some light. Getting on his bottom and half sliding half crawling, Harry made his way into the hole.

The bottom wasn't what he was expecting. A part of Harry had been hoping he had found a secret entrance to an underground tunnel that led to treasure or even a hole to China. Childish stuff like that. Harry wasn't sure what he had stumbled upon, though he was still awed. With the bushes cut away, there was enough light to see in the large hole (to him at least) to see properly.

It was an old den that used to house foxes. Harry knew this because he was staring down at the bone remains of foxes. There was one large one with five tiny ones. The bones were dried and were obviously old. Harry gazed about the cave with excitement, the earlier events already disappearing as he looked around the five foot tall den. It was several feet long, obviously made for the little ones to run around in. It was a shame that they had died, but like all boys that found a fossil or bones or even a lizard, they were overjoyed.

Sitting down, Harry poked at the bones, awed by how sharp the teeth were. He tried to pull a canine out, pouting a bit when he realized he didn't have the strength for it. Pushing the bones away in a corner, Harry blinked in surprise as he found something extraordinary underneath the pile of bones.

There, half buried in the ground, was a glowing rock. Not in the sense of shiny, but actually gave off a slight glow. It was almost teal, though it had more of a green sheen than blue. It was smooth in some areas but still had a jagged top. Harry eyed it carefully, amazed by the beautiful sight. Kneeling, Harry dug around it, surprised to see the rock attached to a smoother, much longer rock of the same color.

The two were connected, though not by much. Pulling as hard as he could, Harry nearly fell over as he gave a particularly hard tug, releasing the piece of rock from the larger piece. Harry's eyes sparkled with delight, holding the stone carefully. It was slightly bigger than his hand, but wasn't even heavy.

It had an almost see through look, very much like glass. Giggling with delight, Harry climbed out of the den and away from the bush covered entrance. To his disappointment, the rock stopped glowing as soon as sunlight hit it, though that didn't make it any less pretty.

Placing it in his pocket, and not finding it incredible that his very baggy pants had enough room for the rock to leave an unnoticeable bulge, Harry headed home with a happy grin. As he snuck into the house and into his cupboard, Harry hid the rock into a tiny corner behind dust and broken trinkets that had been in the small area even longer than Harry.

Satisfied that no one would notice it, Harry went into the kitchen, hoping to grab some food before his relatives noticed he was home.

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It had been a week since Harry had found the den and rock and he had returned to it everyday. It was his secret place, his clubhouse. Dudley often put boxes together and made one for himself, so Harry deemed the den as his playhouse. The rock became Harry's favorite possession. He took it everywhere, always squeezing it in his pocket, especially when he felt angry or scared, though rarely when he was happy.

Harry hadn't noticed it, but he had become bolder. He hadn't forgiven Dudley for taking his Take, though it seemed incredibly hypocritical. When he had noticed that, he renamed Take to Trophy, for that was what it should be. A trophy of his bravery for doing what Dudley and Uncle Vernon did to him.

Harry hadn't done anything incredible so far. At least not yet, he thought to himself. The most he had done was take a single pound from his uncle. Small as that might be, for Harry there would be major trouble involved with more bruising than words. Thankfully his uncle didn't even notice or thought Dudley had taken it, often doing so to get snacks at the grocer.

Even with things going as well as they could be, there were always problems with Harry involved. Dudley had gotten in trouble for teasing Harry once again, thus leading to Harry getting punishment once more. The first thing that had happened to Harry when he got home was getting flung over his uncle's knee and getting three hard thwacks!

As always, since it was impossible from the pain of Vernon's meaty hands, Harry cried silently and curled into a ball and clutched his rock to him, letting his tears fall on it. As he fell asleep, feeling nothing but sadness and anger, he didn't even notice the rock glow for a moment – and only a brief moment – before it returned to normal.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Harry, are you doing ok?" Mrs. Kent asked softly.

Harry, who had just turned in his spelling test, jumped a little, not expecting the question. "I'm fine," he said, glancing at her curiously.

Mrs. Kent met Harry's look, wondering if Harry knew his curious gaze really looked more calculating than curious. "If you're sure, Harry." She paused. "Dudley isn't bothering you again, is he?"

"No, of course not."

It was obvious Harry was lying by how fast he said no. Mrs. Kent sighed. "You do know I'm here if you ever need to talk, ok?" There was a distrustful gaze to his eyes now. No one that young should have that look in their eye. Getting an idea, Mrs. Kent pulled out a simple paper notebook that had a black and white striped cover. She gave it to Harry, once again receiving a calculative look. "If you don't want to go to someone with your thoughts, you could always try writing them down," she suggested.

Harry stared at the notebook, not exactly sure what she meant. "Write my thoughts down?"

"Well, let's say you thought of something just now but didn't want to forget it later. You quickly write it down and have it for future reference."

"Reference?"

Mrs. Kent smiled. Harry acted so mature sometimes that she couldn't help but use big words, momentarily forgetting his age. "A comment for specific mentions," Mrs. Kent said, a little unsure. She really hated it when she had to explain a word without truly understanding what it meant. Oh sure, she knew the meaning in her mind, but just couldn't say it. It was one of those words.

At least Harry nodded a bit more surely this time.

"Very good. Now why don't you go on home, you do want to catch up to your friends, don't you?"

Harry glanced around, noticing he was last to go. Shrugging, Harry put the notebook in his beaten backpack and trudged homewards, thinking about why Mrs. Kent would give him such a thing. Squeezing his rock, Harry felt a bit more assured that no harm would come to it. Dudley hated writing, and as long as he didn't let anyone see drawings in it, it wouldn't be taken away.

Reaching home, Harry placed his belongings on the kitchen table, grabbed an apple and a glass of water, and sat down. Munching on the fruit, Harry looked at the first page blankly, completely unsure of what to do.

Write down his thoughts? He didn't even have any.

"Duddykinns, I'm home!" Aunt Petunia sang, the almost exact same way Dudley did. She stopped as she saw him. "Oh, it's just you."

Hurt by her tone, Harry watched her begin to put the groceries away. His eyes lit up as he saw a bag of chocolate chip cookies.

"Aunt Petunia," he said hesitantly before growing a bit bolder with his voice. "May I have a cookie?"

His aunt gave him a dirty look, as if not believing he had actually asked her for food. "No."

Harry's heart dropped. He squeezed his rock through his pocket, almost as if for support. Immediately, as Harry gazed at his aunt as she turned to give her husband, who had just come home, a kiss and both threw him a dirty look, Harry knew what to write down.

I don't like my relatives.

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"Come out, come out, wherever you are, freak!" Dudley's gang called, each one chuckling stupidly as they searched through the trees and tall grass.

Harry held back a sniffle as he held his wrist carefully. It was very swollen and was an ugly reddish purple color. He was in the bush that covered his hideout. He dared not move any closer to the hole, afraid he would be found from the noisy rustle. All he could do was wait, which normally wasn't so hard, but with a possibly broken wrist, it was very hard.

As the last boy moved toward the exit of trees, clearly thinking Harry had bolted out, Harry finally moved and slid down the hole and landed with a small thump, jerking his wrist and yelping loudly. Frightened, Harry covered his mouth with his good hand and waited, eyes wide as he listened for the sound of fat boys tumbling down the small tunnel and towards him.

When nothing happened after a while, Harry let out a small sigh of relief before hissing with pain at his wrist. Carefully removing his backpack, Harry trudged toward the far end of his playhouse, which Harry really started to consider calling it a playden.

After a week of hanging out in his secret spot, Harry had taken to decorating it with whatever he could get his hands on. He had managed to steal the old medical kit in the medicine cabinet that was behind the newer one. It had been gathering dust for years, though it still had all necessary items, wraps included.

Wrapping his wrist until it looked like a mummy's hand; Harry gave a sniffle as he looked around. The walls were covered with drawings of Harry's imagination. They had been pinned up with sticks, which was quite easy with the soft dirt. Each drawing had something that was absolutely forbidden in the Dursley's household.

They were all drawings of something magical, unrealistic and impossible. There were dragons, fairy's and even a vampire. Harry had also drawn what he thought a magic wand looked like. It was white, outline with black, and had golden stars racing across it.

These were things Harry could do to be rebellious, to get back at his relatives. It was small, and quite ridiculous, but Harry was satisfied. It made him think that he was winning. Winning what, even he didn't know, but it didn't matter because Harry was happy he had something that the Dursley's couldn't take.

However, that didn't stop Dudley from taking things he actually knew Harry had. Like lunch, for example. With a hungry belly and a somehow smarter group, they had managed to catch Harry unawares and even managed to hurt his wrist. From the feel of it, Harry was afraid it was broken. He was scared that if he asked his aunt or uncle to take him to the doctors, he would get yelled at for abusing their goodwill by making them spend money.

Not that they ever did, Harry thought bitterly as he curled into a ball on some of the old blankets and towels he had found in several trashcans. With his bad arm curled carefully on his side, Harry used his good hand to take out his stone and squeeze it hard. He had often taken his frustrations out on the rock by squeezing it. It seemed to work sometimes, and now it was, leaving Harry hungry and tired.

Sighing softly, Harry finally let his eyes close, eyelashes still fluttering every now and then as he fell into a hard sleep, dreaming of nothing and everything without realizing because as soon as he woke, he remembered nothing from his dreams. Of course, he didn't know that since he was still asleep at the moment.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dudley was an idiot. That was a fact and was not a big thinker. Then why was it that he was a leader? A leader of idiots, sure, but a leader nonetheless. The more Harry's semiconscious mind thought about it, the more sure he became.

Dudley was only a leader because he got a group together that had the same thought process, the same goals and ideas. Once again, they were stupid goals and ideas but that was what made them stick together.

Stupidity.

It was such an incredulous thought and idea that Harry was momentarily unsure of himself before he realized that he was right. Being a leader meant uniting people under the same beliefs. Shatter those beliefs, and then what are they left? Nothing… unless of course a new goal that interests them is forwarded quickly. It was then that Harry awoke to that train of thought.

At first he was confused as to wear he was, getting over nap shock quickly. The second thing that confused him was that his wrist wasn't hurting anymore. In fact, it didn't even sting. As Harry took off the wrappings, he gazed in astonishment at his wrist. It was completely normal and had no ill color or even a slight swell.

Harry was so shocked that he almost forgot to write down his thoughts on leadership.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Harry flicked his tongue through the empty space in his mouth offhandedly, getting used to the fact that he now had a hole in his line of teeth. He was of course used to losing teeth, but the feeling always left him strange. Glancing down at the tooth in his hand, Harry tossed it in the bin without a second thought, though he did wish he would receive a dollar under his pillow like Dudley whenever he lost a tooth.

Harry had tried to do the same with his own tooth when he had been much younger. To his disappointment his tooth was still there in the morning, and when he asked his aunt why she had simply told him to be quiet and not think about. Then again she wouldn't even let Dudley say 'Tooth Fairy' out loud either.

Pulling away from his thoughts, Harry nibbled on the end of his pen, writing in his journey and absentmindedly stroking his rock, which was still in his pocket. A whole half year since he got the rock and notebook and already his mind had written and thought of so many things. They weren't always good and often led to second thoughts that made Harry uncomfortable as he read them.

Some days he was so mad with his relatives that he wrote how much he hated them and would be better off if they died. There were even a few kid drawings of his fat uncle, cousin and horse aunt dead and sprouting blood.

Harry was just glad no one cared enough to look in his notebook, and although Mrs. Kent had asked once, getting his denial obviously meant not to try again and barely ever speak to him, save class.

"Duh nuh nuh. Phawnu nana!" Dudley screamed in an attempt to sing with the rock band he was listening to.

In his hand was a brand new CD player, something he had been begging for several days. Just thinking about Dudley's high pitched screams and demands was enough to make Harry's ears ring.

Grimacing at Dudley's voice, Harry had to wonder why so many people liked to do stupid versions of singing around him. Dudley, Aunt Petunia and Dudley's gang all sang horribly. It was a wonder their voices hadn't cracked yet.

Dudley grabbed a soda pop out of the fridge, glanced at Harry, gave an ugly smirk and blew a raspberry, and then headed out. As he did so, Harry jotted down the next line in his notebook.

Trophy in sight.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Harry stayed in the shadows with as much care as possible, doing his best to follow his cousin and gang without being caught. Strangely enough, it wasn't that hard. Dudley and his friends obviously thought they wouldn't ever be followed. And that was why the group was talking so loudly and boisterously, despite it almost being dark.

Usually around this time Harry was supposed to finish up some last minute gardening before cleaning the shed. He had already finished those as quickly as possible, using the time he had to follow his cousin.

He was hoping Dudley would take off the earphones and put the CD player on the ground or something. So far he hadn't, taking the time to brag about it every few minutes. Harry was amused to see that even some of the gang was beginning to grow annoyed with Dudley's bragging.

With Dudley repeating everything he just said every few minutes it's more than easy enough to get annoyed, Harry thought.

Another boring ten minutes of following Dudley proved to be pointless. Harry was preparing himself to just give it up, not wanting to be caught away from the house and get in trouble. Just at the last second, Dudley gave an excited shout, startling not only Harry, but the gang as well.

"Look, some idiot forgot his spray cans!" Dudley said excitedly, dropping all his belongings to the ground without the slightest care. Harry was surprised to see the CD player remain intact.

With excited cries, the other boys followed Dudley and dropped their own bags, picking up the spray cans and spraying along the walls that were already covered in wet graffiti. This didn't stop the boys from their own spray painting; they just shouted and gave excited cries.

While the gang was going crazy, Harry knew this was his chance! Creeping along, Harry had his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth with a deep look of concentration. Gulping, Harry crept over the bags, already crouched down and ready to take the CD player and run.

"Hey!"

Harry felt his gasp catch in his throat. He was already starting to shake as he shut his eyes, prepared for the onslaught of punches. He heard the gang guffaw excitedly, probably already deciding to let him bleed to death in the alley.

"Look at the size of that rat! I bet I could spray paint it before you!"

It took a moment before the shock settled in Harry, forcing him to open his eyes incredulously. All of the boys had their back toward Harry. Not a single one had seen him. Instead, they were all giving leery looks toward a very twitchy looking rat.

"Get it!" they yelled, screaming battle cries that sounded a lot like crazy baboons.

Shaking himself out of his shock, Harry took that chance to run. He ran as if Satan were after him. Harry took no chance, not wanting to push his look. He ran all the way to the Dursley's where he quickly buried the CD player in the garden. No one, not even Aunt Petunia, who claimed she did all the gardening, would even set foot in the garden.

Unable to help it, Harry burst out laughing. He had done it! He took Dudley's prized possession! Well, perhaps that was a bit too much, especially since Dudley would probably get a new one, but that didn't matter! After the bouncy ball incident Harry was unable to get anything from Dudley, making him extremely angry because he constantly had to hear his uncle talk about bad boys getting items taken away as punishment. Well, Dudley hadn't gotten anything taken away, and that just urged Harry to find a way to get something.

Squeezing his rock, which probably should be called a lucky rock, Harry gave a triumphant smile, feeling as if could take anything without ever being caught.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Later that night Dudley came home screaming, claiming that someone had stolen his CD player. Uncle Vernon had reacted quickly, saying he'd beat the snot out of whoever stole from his boy. Aunt Petunia had asked where he had last put it.

Dudley, being the stupid pig he was, told them about the alley. What he left out, of course, was the fact that he had been spray painting. So of course the three of them had gone off on a nighttime walk to try and find the device, leaving him with a few threats not to do anything while away.

When the Dursley's had arrived a few cops were there, inspecting the wall. Suffice to say that explaining to a cop that their son had lost something at a crime scene at the exact time of the crime was very hard. It involved quite a few tears and denials from Petunia and threats between Vernon and the cop before they were finally allowed to leave.

Of course with the spray cans littered about with fingerprints, the cops were back within a day at the door of every member of Dudley's gang. Sadly, because they were all kids, a fine was all that happened. Still, it was quite satisfactory to see Uncle Vernon color at someone other than himself.

However, what was not so satisfactory was telling a disbelieving cop in private that he slept in a cupboard, got beat up a lot by Dudley and his friends and was sometimes starved for not completing his chores.

All he received was a hair ruffle and a friendly, "You've got one active imagination, kid. Why don't you put that to good use instead of lies?"

Later that night Harry wrote the last line in his notebook that he would make for years that showed his true feelings.

Adults don't believe me. I can't trust them.

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Not once did it ever cross Harry's mind that what he was doing was stealing and that it was wrong. His relatives did it to him, claiming him 'bad', so why could he not do the same to them when he deemed them bad? It all seemed completely fair to Harry, and that was how he lived his life for the next year and a half, right before he turned eleven.

Harry had poured everything into his special rock, his most prized possession. All his emotions, thoughts, everything… they all went into the stone since it was always with Harry, but now Harry had come to a crossroad. He was going to be learning magic. He couldn't help feeling a bit smug that his relatives had lied to him, told him that he could never aspire to anything. Well, he was going to be learning magic!

But that also opened his eyes to danger. If he could barely pull off getting small trophies from his relatives, what chance did he have against people who have done magic their whole life? Not to say he would Take anything from these wizards, he didn't even no anyone.

But the problem was that those people that have used and are used to magic would find it easy to simply Take his prized stone away. He had already met greedy goblins and too curious witches and wizards. There were always someone around to steal, and Harry couldn't take that chance. And so here he was, in his playhouse the day before he started Hogwarts.

Harry bit his lip, completely unsure and trying to think of some way that he could keep his stone without fear of losing it or having it get stolen. When he drew a blank, Harry thought about magic, wondering if there was something he could do to keep it blank. Coming up with another blank, Harry took out his notebook, eyebrows furrowed in thought.

Study magic hard.

With a sigh, Harry placed the notebook and rock in the exact same place where he found said stone. Shoveling dirt over the items, Harry took one last look around his haven. He looked over the messy colored pictures, to the blankets and towels, finally resting on his second most valuable possession, or perhaps possessions.

It was a small shoebox in the corner, hidden behind the fox bones. Inside were all the Takes, or Trophies. There were a few pounds from Uncle Vernon, small toys that Dudley had cherished, as ell as the CD player, and even a diamond and silver necklace Aunt Petunia had loved so very much.

The Dursley's could never prove he had taken the necklace, but that still didn't mean they didn't blame him, which Harry found unfair since he hadn't left any proof. Well, that didn't matter anymore.

Giving a sad sigh, Harry crawled out of his playhouse, making sure to cover it with plenty of bushes and leaves, promising that he would return at the end of the school year with a way to protect his Trophies.

However, like all things that happen to Harry, things go down hill. With all his worries for the year with the stone and Quirrell, Harry had completely forgotten his playhouse and Trophies. And the same happened the next year and the next year. In fact most of his younger life was slowly being forgotten by the poor excuse of a wizard he was becoming.

It would take several years before Harry finally remembered his broken promise that was meant to protect something that had meant so much to him.

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Clicky duh click click.

Yep, I'm done with this horrid prologue but that's ok. I just really needed you to understand how Harry found his special hideaway and learned about Takes and Trophies. Remind anyone of a young Tom Riddle? No…? Then read the books and stop watching the movies!

I know the stone thing seems kind of weird, but it has a huge point! Promise!

Haha, ok, I'm done. Hope you like the next chapter.