Disclaimer: I own nothing and this is not for profit.

Summary: "Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back." After 10 years of darkness—of saving lives while taking others—can anyone save the Boy-Who-Lived? AU Post-HBP, Dark!Harry, Independent!Harry, eventual angsty HPGW, HGRW, Rated for violence.

Author's Note: This is my "Harry disappears for a long time"-story. Been done before, sure, but I like to think I took an interesting angle on it. Also, I got sick and tired of reading Badass!Harry stories that came up short in my own humble opinion. I don't know—it could be crap. If it is, stop reading. If you like it, I adore reviews.


Prologue: Cold…

April 5, 1998

A cold wind swept through the lush green hills and valleys of the Highlands on the island of Skye. The sun was setting, but it made little difference on the grey, overcast day.

Two Land Rovers stood parked to the side of a road. A group of men stood a hundred yards away on the hillside. One of them was digging.

Three of them were huddled together. They seemed perfectly calm as they looked out over the countryside in all directions. One had a pair of binoculars.

The other two were twenty feet away. They were young…too young. Sobs matched the sound of the shovel piercing the dark earth.

The digging stopped. "Please…p-please…," the teen sputtered through the tears and the snot. "I…I can't…"

"Shut up." It was not a shout, but a simple, sharp command.

"Please!" the teen's cry was desperate; his voice high pitched. "Just let…just let me…I'm…I'm s-sorry!" His sobs were hitching his voice.

"I said shut up and keep digging." No emotion. The eyes were cold, teeth unclenched. His grip on the pistol in his right hand tightened, however.

The sobbing teen looked up into those cold eyes; that emotionless face before his head fell in silent resignation. He continued digging as his crying lessened.

The standing teen could hear the voices of the men off by the way. He heard one of them laughing. A sudden feeling of shame washed over him but he quickly stuffed it away. He stuffed it back behind his façade of calmness; this emotionless mask that he wore.

The hole was big enough. It was time.

"That's enough."

The crying stopped immediately as the boy froze solid, his gasp audible.

"Get on your knees." There was a slight tremor in the voice now; a hint that his heart rate had jumped. His hands shook ever so slightly and he had to adjust his stance to accommodate the adrenalin dump in his legs.

The boy stood solid in his own grave. Finally, he let out a long breath before he let his shoulders drop and the shovel fall from his hands.

"Do…do you have my letter?" the condemned asked carefully.

"I'll make sure she gets it." The tremor was growing. "Now get on your knees!" The command was more forceful.

He didn't kneel. He turned around to face his executioner; tears and snot adorning his face. His pupils were dilated.

"No…" he said, a hint of defiance in his voice.

The pistol was raised. "Turn around and get on your knees!" Anger now laced the boy's speech. He heard one of the other men clear their throat. He could feel their eyes on him. He looked into the eyes of his victim with no sympathy, no sadness; just a low, burning rage.

"No!" cried out the condemned. "If…if you're gonna…if you're gonna do this then you have to look me in the eye!" He was drawing strength from his defiance. He pointed his finger at his executioner. This was his last chance.

The pistol remained raised. The expression of the executioner remained unchanged, but he said nothing; waiting.

The defiance broke into an expression of desperation. "He told me he could bring them back…" His eyes were pleading. "He told me he could bring them back!" he shouted.

Tears brimmed in the eyes of the executioner, but the pistol did not lower.

The boy shook his head and looked down, blinking away tears. He took a heavy breath before he looked back up into the eyes of his killer; the defiance returned. "What would you have done? Huh!?!" His finger pointed. "WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE, HARRY!?!"

Tears leaked from Harry's eyes as he looked down and turned away. He took a deep breath before a darkness fell over his eyes.

"Not what you did, Neville," he said as he took two steps.

Neville crumpled down in the grave into a fetal position, his hands over his head; "NoHarrypleasenoNOOO!!"

The pistol fired, but Harry didn't hear it. He did feel the recoil, and he did hear Neville's cry of pain, utter panic, and fear. Harry fired the pistol twice more before he couldn't hear Neville's cries anymore.

Then he fired five more times before his hand shook so badly that the rounds began to impact in the dirt around Neville's body.

Harry let out the breath he was holding heavily. He then looked up and blinked away a few tears before moving forward and descending into the grave of his one-time friend.

He pulled Neville's bleeding left arm away from his face; it was turned down into his right arm and the dirt so he couldn't really see it. Harry could tell that he was probably dead, but they had to be sure.

He now took a two-handed grip and pointed the Browning right behind Neville's ear. He remembered not to press the pistol against his target because he knew the contact could push the slide out of battery. He had been trained well.

One final report of a gunshot resounded through the hills; the cold wind seemed to carry it farther.

Harry stumbled out of the grave before he doubled over and vomited. He could still smell the shit in Neville's pants.

He heard the three other men approaching. One of them mumbled something and Harry could hear the dirt falling back into the grave; over his friend.

"You okay, Harry?" asked a man just behind him.

Harry was breathing heavily; his eyes closed. He seemed to wince once before his eyes flew open and he stood tall. He ejected the partially spent magazine from the Browning and shoved in it his pocket before he took out a fresh magazine and slapped it home, giving it a quick tap to be sure. He engaged the safety and shoved it back into his holster.

Harry sniffed once before he nodded. "Yeah, I'll be fine."


Author's Note: I know, I know; that's some cold shit.

This is the Harry story I've always wanted to write. It will be incredibly dark, very realistic, and incredibly violent. But don't worry, this isn't just some mindless portrayal of psychopathic violence (I have "TDK" for that), I really do have a story to tell here.

To my TDK fans, I'm sorry. I'm well and truly sorry. I still work on it, but I just get hung up in the language a lot and I have to walk away from it. I do know where I want to take it, though, so don't think it's abandoned. But I just couldn't get this one out of my head.