This is my first foray into the world of Harry Potter. After reading so many enjoyable dark!Harry fanfictions, I just had to write my own version. And yes, I have a feeling this might end up being a clichéd Harry-is-adopted-by-the-Dark-Lord ficlet, but I could not resist. In my opinion, there needs to be more of these fics, I absolutely enjoy reading them, no matter how similar they are.

For a more detailed summary, please visit my profile.

Pairings: I've had loads of reviewers asking about pairings, so as much as I loathe to put spoilers, this is my concession...Romance is not the main focus of the story. Any mentions of it is likely to be unromantic. Harry may date a few candidates before he finds the right girl, ending with Harry/Daphne. There will be no Harry/Draco, Harry/Voldemort or Harry/any male. Other characters may engage in both slash and het relationships. Voldemort is not likely to engage in any kind of romantic relationship, neither is Severus Snape.

Edited for language mistakes on 7/1/2015.

Chapter One: Death

Midnight. An overcast sky and the smell of moisture lingering in the night air heralded the arrival of a storm that promised to be both loud and destructive. It was strange really, how nature worked. What had been a quiet night thus far, interrupted occasionally by the caws of crows, would soon give way to a powerful rainstorm.

In the living room of a small cottage at the magical village of Godric's Hallow, an auburn-haired, green-eyed young woman in her early twenties was waddling after a toddler. "Harry dear, stop. You shouldn't play with Daddy's wand, Harry..." Said toddler in question was gurgling happily and crawling around the carpeted floor of the living room, with a wooden wand emitting small sparks grasped tightly in one hand.

A small chuckle came from a man sprawled over the cushions on the couch. With his messy black hair, wire-rimmed glasses and lazy pose, James Potter did not in fact resemble the powerful Auror that he was. Indeed, he looked like any normal family man, enjoying time with his family, laughing at said family's antics. "James Potter!" The woman, his wife of three years, yelled in an uncharacteristic shrill voice. "How could you leave a pregnant woman to do all the work? Come here this instance or you'll be sleeping on the couch till little Martin is born!"

When crossed, Lily Evans Potter could be quite formidable. James' eyes widened in consternation as he gaped, "Two months? Mercy, Lils! I'm coming, I'm coming." He raised his hand in mock surrender.

As he moved to get up from the couch however, a loud warble soon filled the entire house with its noise. Dread filled James Potter as his brain deciphered that it was the alarm, which had been set to go off if anyone not on the Potters' guest list appeared within the grounds of their house. It was a sound which James had prayed never to hear in his entire life. When his brain had finally caught up with the fact that the most evil man in Wizarding Britain and/or his followers was coming for his family, James' protective instincts arose and he shouted, "Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off..."

Even as Lily scoped up the baby and ran upstairs, the heavily warded wooden door to their cottage exploded into shards. A tall man clad in black, with a bald head, serpentine features and blood-red eyes entered the room. James shivered as his overwhelming presence filled and chilled the room, as his suffocating aura flared out oppressively.

"Hold me off?" Voldemort's laugh was high and chilly. "Do you think you are capable of that, fool?" Gryffindor bravery coming into play, James Potter somehow found a well of courage in him to enable him snarl, "Of course!" He reached for his wand, ready to aim a curse at the dark lord, when suddenly, he realized that he had no wand. In the ensuing panic heralding the dark lord's arrival, he had not retrieved his wand from his son's grasp before Lily had carried him upstairs.

Voldemort's snake-like features were of absolute disdain as he sneered, "Worthless fool. Fighting without a wand? Stupid, stupid boy." Deeming the man unworthy of spending too much time on, with a flick of his wand, he sent James Potter flying out of the way, crashing against the wall before falling to the ground unconscious. "I'll deal with you later..."

Ignoring the unconscious Auror, Voldemort glided up the stairs to confront the woman, intent on his target. Cackling slightly in anticipation, he blasted open the lightly warded door of the room with a negligent flick of his wand.

Lily watched with fear and dread in her stomach as the nursery room's door was blasted open. Before the dark lord's entrance, she had raised her wand, determined not to go down without a fight. However, his very presence sapped her of all her formidable courage. Fear, thick enough to suffocate, drown, and bury one alive, stripped her of the will to fight. Fear, not for her own safety, but for that of her precious baby boy, Harry, and, to a lesser extent, the son inside her womb that she had never met.

"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!" Lily cried out. She would throw away her pride if she had to, she would beg, she would do anything, anything at all, as long as this monster spared her precious baby boy. The love of a mother for her child is strong indeed, as Lily Evans Potter would prove that night.

"Stand aside you silly girl … stand aside now." Voldemort all but hissed at Lily, idly toying with his wand. Even through her fear, Lily could not help but feel a brief flash of amazement - was the most evil and sadistic Dark Lord of the ages actually giving her a chance to live? Yet Lily never once thought of accepting, not when she knew that the dark lord's target was her baby, her most beloved son. Even though she had the life of another son inside her womb, somehow, somewhat, it was different. This overwhelming love that she felt for her Harry surpassed that which she felt for her unborn son whom she had never seen before. Given a choice like that, even if she could have saved little Martin by taking the Dark Lord's offer...

Martin, please forgive me..."Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead..." Lily was desperate now, all but throwing herself between the Dark Lord and her son's crib, sobbing, pleading, begging. Anything, anything at all, to get the monster to spare her son.

"Move aside, girl!" Voldemort all but snarled at the woman, annoying little Mudblood that she was, in front of him. Even as the woman begun to tremble, she shook her head frantically. Voldemort was beginning to get annoyed. Very well, if the woman would not move, he would just have to get rid of her. After all, he had indeed given her the chance to step aside, which, Mudblood idiot that she was, she refused to take...

He raised his wand, aiming it in her direction. Heedless of her subsequent cries, which was only increasing in volume – "Not Harry! Please … have mercy … have mercy… " – a flash of purple light shot out from his wand and the woman slowly suffocated to death. "Pathetic," Voldemort sneered. At least he would not have to listen to her irritating whines any longer.

He turned his attention to the small child lying in the crib, who was looking up at him with wide green, emerald eyes that were the colour of the killing curse. The child had been strangely quiescent throughout the entire confrontation, not emitting even a single squeak when his mother had fell to the floor. Stupid child...Voldemort thought with sardonic amusement. It did not even know that its end was approaching. This was the child prophesized to have the power to vanquish him? This little thing did not look like it could vanquish anyone at the moment.

"Avada Kedavra!" Voldemort aimed the killing curse at the child just before the mother took her last breath on the floor beside the crib. Expecting the child to die in a flash of green light, Voldemort never in a million years would have expected what he saw. The Killing Curse reached the child, then most of it rebounded off some kind of transparent shield. While the remaining components of the killing curse was absorbed by said shield, the weakened form of the curse headed straight at Voldemort, who was unable to dodge it, but was just in time to activate the darkest of his protection runes.

Pain. Absolute agony filled Voldemort as he felt his soul fracture into many tiny bits as it tried to leave his body. Luckily for Voldemort, the protective runes were able to keep most of his soul inside his body, although a small piece did escape...not that Voldemort was too bothered by the fact at that moment. Severely weakened, his soul having only the most tenuous of grasps on his corporeal body, Voldemort gathered all his strength before activating his last resort, his failsafe: a portkey designed to transport him to a safe hideout.

Voldemort left behind a crying baby with a raw, angry, jagged scar on his forehead and the dead body of his pregnant mother.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore sighed mournfully as he stared at a tin of his beloved lemon drops. Everything, everything had gone wrong. It had been two weeks since the death of Lily Evans Potter, two weeks since Voldemort had been vanquished by young Harry, and everything was still topsy-turvy.

While it had been very fortunate that young Harry had survived, the incident at Godric Hollows had left far-reaching and unfortunate repercussions behind. Peter Pettigrew, a man whom he had known since that man had been a boy, had been found to be a traitor and an informant; he was to be led to Azkaban today, Sirius Black, another man he had once known as a young boy, was to be awarded an Order of Merlin, First Class for his heroic confrontation and subsequent capture of Pettigrew, and James Potter...well, James Potter, despite having been healed from his wounds within a day, was basically a wreck.

After Lily's death, James had seen fit to drink himself into a drunken stupor nightly. Even the survival of his two sons (yes two, for the Healers had arrived in time to extract the seven-month old magical baby, who had been able to survive that few extra minutes after his mother's death thanks to the protection by the combined magics of him and his mother, from his mother's womb) did nothing to quail James' despair. Indeed, the presence of young Harry could even be said to have an inflammatory presence on James. It seemed that James had, in his inconsolable grief, irrationally blamed Harry, partly, for the death of his mother. From what Dumbledore could gather, James felt that it was Harry's playing with his wand which had resulted in him not having a wand during his confrontation with Voldemort. In addition, it was quite clear that Lily had died protecting Harry – yet another fact for James to blame on his firstborn. He had avoided young Harry like a plague since his wife's untimely death, according to Minerva, the situation was made worse by the fact that young Harry had Lily's eyes.

Albus Dumbledore heaved another sigh. If things kept up as it was, he would have to make alternate arrangements for young Harry. In James' current state of mind, he could not be expected to take care of both little Martin and young Harry at the same time. Perhaps...yes, perhaps young Harry could be entrusted to relatives? But James was an only a flash of inspiration, Albus found the answer. He knew that Lily Potter had a sister, a woman by the name of Petunia. Ah, that sweet little girl! She had written to him years ago, pleading desperately to be allowed into Hogwarts. Alas! She had shown not even the slightest hint of magical ability, so he had regretfully rejected her request. But surely, surely her attitude towards magic would have remained unchanged? Albus beamed to himself. Yes, that was a problem solved. Harry could be placed with his aunt for a period of time, until things had calmed down considerably. And Lily's protection, Lily's sacrifice would ensure that young Harry was protected while he was with his relative. After all, it would not do to have the boy-who-lived, as they were calling him now, in danger from anyone who might be still loyal to Voldemort.

And the prophecy...Albus had no doubt that Voldemort would one day return. He had no delusions that what had happened two weeks prior was more than what it was; an interlude of peace for the wizarding world, bought most expensively with Lily's sacrifice and young Harry's destiny. Well, all he could do was to ensure that, when the time came for the prophecy to be fulfilled, young Harry would be more than ready to assume his role as the vanquisher of the dark lord.

As plans were made and discarded in one Albus Dumbledore's, Headmaster of Hogwarts, mind, somewhere, somehow, the wheels of fate begun to turn.

Well, here it is. Hopefully, a decent-length chapter. And I hope the scenario I painted of Lily's death and James' survival was plausible. If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them!