Unleashed Shadows

Harry discovers the most dangerous secret of all. An answer to Severitus' challenge.

Disclaimer: Nothing's mine. Not yet. *Evil smile*

* Prologue *

He was surrounded. Figures cloaked in black stood in a circle around him, most of them masked. Amongst those unmasked, the boy found one strangely familiar looking. The dancing shadows paled the man's face and made his long hair shine silver. The sudden burst of light gave the boy a look at the man's pained face, and he gasped in surprise. . .

Another dark looming figure glided over the ground, finger outstretched. The boy on the floor shrank back, his arm scorching with pain and emerald eyes shining in recognition. He tore them off the bony face just inches from his and gasped when he saw his own arm, which was shining red, but not with blood. The tall figure drew closer and grabbed the arm, causing the boy to bite his lip, straining not to cry out. The tall man touched the boy's forehead, where a peculiar scar was. A shriek pierced the sky at which the cloaked man laughed at, a cold, raspy laugh.

"Pain should not be ignored, welcome. . . but not ignored."

He let go, and only the boy's gasping breath could be heard. Summoning two masked figures, he told them to bring the prisoners. Bowing to their leader, they brought forward two teens, both unconscious and badly beaten. A wand appeared in their leader's hand, at which the boy drew back. The figure only barely waved the wand, but the two teens immediately woke. They too, drew back in fear at the sight of the hooded figure in front of them. The man approached them, whispering inaudible words. The boy on the floor cried out in anguish and anger as the bright green light blinded him, but he heard the voice speak and clenched his fists in hatred at the words.

"Mudbloods and Muggle lovers, pathetic excuses for wizards.

The master of these cloaked figures stepped forward, the wand in his hand turning into a knife. Grasping the knife in one hand, he slit his own wrist ever so slightly, so that a small amount of blood was drawn. Swiftly, he placed his own arm over the boy's, causing him to cry out again. Then, sliding back into the shadows he watched the boy with a cruel smile over his thin face. The teen was on the ground, writhing in pain, and his arm was normal except for the dark shape on his inner forearm. The black shape that, strangely enough, looked like a skull.

"Welcome to the Death Eaters. . . Harry. . . "

~

"Harry!"

The boy gave a gasp and opened his eyes. He was drenched in sweat and he blinked a couple of times before his eyes adjusted to the dimness of the light. Harry glanced around as he recognised the white walls and bed as the Hospital Wing at Hogwarts.

The dream came back to him in a flash, and Harry grabbed his left arm, pulling up his sleeve, nothing except flesh. Tugging at his right sleeve too, Harry finally relaxed. Then, realising there was other people watching him he glanced sheepishly around and found Hermione and Ron looking at him nervously from his left side, Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey on his right as well as McGonagall and Professor Snape. . .

"You!" Harry yelled suddenly, bolting up and pointing accusingly at Severus Snape. The Professor remained expressionless but took a slow step backwards.

"Harry!" Hermione burst into tears and wrapped her arms around him, but Harry shrugged her off, anger shining clear on his face.

"You." Harry repeated, but less fierce. His expression turned blank and his green eyes glazed over as he let out a soft laugh. "Pathetic excuses. . . " Harry mumbled, "wizards. . . pathetic. . . mudbloods. . ." he continued to chuckle softly.

"Harry?" Hermione drew back uncertainly, eyes scanning his face quickly.

Harry's arm shot out, grabbing Hermione's. He traced an imaginary skull over her forearm. "Pain should not be ignored. . . " he whispered.

"What?" Hermione's eyes widened as she tried to pull back.

"Should not be ignored. . . welcomed. . . not ignored. . . welcomed," he continued to smile, but it looked forced, like he was trying to laugh at something that wasn't funny. "Pain."

Hermione continued to pull back, but Harry's grip was strong. She looked around in wonder at why nobody was doing anything. Suddenly, Professor Snape was grasping Harry's arm and his dark eyes were locked in a silent battle with Harry's emerald ones. Harry's grip released on Hermione, who immediately took a step back closer to Ron.

"Potter," Snape began.

"No." Harry tilting his head slowly, "Death Eater. . . "

The Professor's expression turned to shock and then apprehension as Harry tugged at the sleeve of his arm, revealing the Dark Mark. The boy touched his own forehead, tracing the lightning-shaped scar, then mimed a knife sliding over his wrist. Then he seized Snape's arm, his eyes fixed on the skull's dark shape.

"Death Eater," Harry said again, before collapsing in the arms of Severus Snape.

*

The prologue's finished! Tell me what you think about it. You've read it (hopefully. . . lol) now review! Chapter one should be up in a couple of days.