Ever since he was little, all Harry had known was his cupboard. He was let out occasionally, to be seen and to do chores, but he was always shoved back in afterwards and forgotten about. At meals, scraps were pushed through the small slot installed by Uncle Vernon. Harry ate them greedily. He couldn't afford to waste them.

His cupboard was small, not unduly so, but nonetheless cramped. And it was completely dark except for his 'glow.' Harry had found the 'glow' one day after being let out to clean the attic. He had seen it glint in the corner- a quarter-sized spun glass globe with an engraved silver clasp for a chain- and had shoved it in his pocket hastily, hoping no one would notice its disappearance. No one had. He had been thrown in early that day, since Dudley had come by unexpectedly with Piers Polkiss, a weedy looking kid who generally held peoples' arms while Dudley hit them, and of course he couldn't let his 'freakishness' infect poor Dudders and his adorable friends, now, could he?

Harry punched the wall in frustration. A satisfying smack rang in the cupboard, then Harry was on the floor, clutching his throbbing hand. He shed no tears. Years at the Dursleys' had taught him that much, at least.

It was only after he'd calmed down that he realized it was brighter in the cupboard than usual. much brighter, in fact. The glow seemed to be coming from his pocket. Harry fished in his pocket for a few seconds before pulling out a clear glass globe. It gently glowed with a pure light in the darkness, turning the stark cupboard into a strange place of dancing shadows and light. As he watched, entranced, it shifted subtly to an eerie green glow. It reminded him of something he couldn't quite remember. He fell asleep that night clutching it to his chest and dreaming of strange green lights and darkened rooms and a lady with fire-red hair blazing as bright as the sun.

Harry kept his glow with him everywhere he went. He had even managed to scrounge a long piece of string from Aunt Petunia's sewing basket when she wasn't looking, and hung his glow around his neck like a pendant. He knew if any of the Dursleys ever caught sight of his pendant they would take it away.

Harry didn't 'talk' to the pendant, per se. It seemed to know how he felt, and sympathize. Once or twice, he found himself talking to it in his cupboard as if it could really understand him. It had somehow always glowed reassuringly brighter after these 'conversations.' And Harry had always felt safe and warm.

oOXOo

Harry bolted down the street. He could hear the jeering voices of Dudley and his gang not far behind. They had waited in back of the school by his usual exit for him. And he had fallen for it- like an idiot. Something- someone hit his back. Harry fell hard on the sun-baked cement, probably bloodying something. No time. He had to run- Another foot hit his back, bouncing him back onto the pavement. His glow flew out of his shirt.

no no no no no no no-

"Well look at what the freak has here."

give it back give it back give it back-

He curled up in a ball. He was hurt more that day, more than any other. It wasn't his scrapes and bruises, he was used to those. It was the empty feeling in his chest. Of something lost.

Why could Dudley take my glow from me?

He has more power.

It is power that rules the world.

I will gain more power.

And he will regret taking anything from me.

And so he learned.