Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made.

Warning: Eventual Harry/Draco slash. Includes a very dark/cunning/manipulative Harry.

A large thank you to my Beta lovingsiri for beta reading this chapter for me.


Independence of the Dark


Chapter 1


The windows rattled in their frames, as heavy gusts of wind battered the stone walls of Hogwarts. The weather outside the castle mirrored the turbulent thoughts inside the head of one very pissed-off Harry Potter who happened to be currently ensconced within the Room Of Requirement.

And the person who had roused Harry's ire was none other than the esteemed Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore. Staring at the small piece of stone on the floor, Harry suddenly smirked, realizing that the small crooked stone piece was the cracked nose of the old coot's statue; one that he had blasted not five minutes earlier. Sighing, he speculated about the events that had brought him running here.

[begin flashback]

Harry had been waiting for the headmaster to return from the Ministry after the fiasco that had happened at the Department of Mysteries. During this time his mind began running rampant, thinking-up various possibilities, all of them starting with 'what-ifs'. He knew he was wasting his time, thinking of all the alternative ways in which he could have saved Sirius. Because Sirius was DEAD and he wasn't coming back. But that didn't mean he couldn't wonder.

Cursing the headmaster for his tardiness, Harry stood up from his chair, which in truth was a rainbow-coloured monstrosity and glared at it. As if realizing the danger it was in, the armchair changed its colouring to black which suited Harry's current disposition perfectly. Much better , Harry nodded in satisfaction.

He peered through the window and noticed the shadow that had fallen upon the castle grounds. He could see Hagrid doing some work in his garden while Fang stood guard, although Harry wasn't quite sure what Fang was supposed to be guarding. Just then, the headmaster flooed in through the fireplace dusting off the soot from his robes. About time, Harry mentally groused. He needed some time alone to grieve for Sirius and he was not in the mood for the headmaster to monopolize him.

"Please sit down, Harry", the Headmaster said indicating the now black coloured armchair while he himself sat upon a winged back chair on the other side of the oak desk.

Harry plopped into his chair and resolutely stared at the inkwell perched on the desk. He wasn't going to start the conversation. The headmaster shifted in his chair slightly.

"Harry, my dear boy, I know that losing Sirius was a hard blow to you, but you mustn't blame yourself for his death."

"Headmaster, not to be disrespectful or anything, but what makes you think I'm blaming myself for Sirius' death?", Harry asked, but somewhere in the back of his mind, a snide voice chided him saying, 'Liar'. He wasn't going to deceive himself, he was perfectly aware that part of the blame rested on his shoulders .Not everything, mind you; but some part would always weigh on his conscience because Sirius wouldn't have even come to the Ministry if it hadn't been for him. But still, there was no need for Dumbledore to know that. It would be just like the Headmaster to exploit his guilt and manipulate him according to his plans.

Dumbledore looked taken aback for an instant, before he rearranged his expression into one of understanding. "Ah,ah..there is no need for dishonesty between us, is there Harry? I won't think any less of you if you accept the blame. After all, it maybe an exasperating quality, but nonetheless, it is a noble quality."

"I'm not lying Professor", Harry lied through his teeth. Only you, old man, would make me think it's a noble quality. When, in reality, it is such a stupid tendency to lay unnecessary blame at your own door when it is out of your hands. "Enough of this, Sir, I don't want to talk about Sirius anymore."

Dumbledore regarded him silently, willing him to look into his eyes. Harry stubbornly glared at a point over the Headmaster's shoulder.

"As you wish, my dear boy. Now I know, you want to know the details of the conversation that transpired with the minister and myself. Alas, I regret to inform you that once the shock of seeing Voldemort died down, the minister accused us of using illusions to deceive the ministry. The good news though is that some of the ministry officials who saw the debacle believe us. Thankfully, the contrary views amongst them and the lack of traces on the usage of any Illusionary magic, stopped the minister from arresting us right then and there. And, as he so eloquently put it, he was graciously allowing us to walk free just this once."

"The bastard. Why can't he acknowledge the truth that is staring him right in the face?" Harry burst out, an expression of utter incredulity on his face. How can anyone be so thick? The minister even made Crabbe and Goyle to look intelligent.

"Language, Harry", Dumbledore admonished."Now, don't lose heart. The Unspeakables are investigating the area where they are bound to find some evidences of an actual battle that had taken place and then they will be able to confirm that it was not a hoax created by us. Besides, Voldemort won't remain in hiding much longer, now that the copy of the prophecy is destroyed and there is nothing holding him back from revealing himself to the Wizarding World."

"A copy of the prophecy? Does that mean that the real thing is still out there?", Harry asked. Not that he particularly cared if it still existed or not. Obviously, the headmaster wanted him to ask the question, so why not indulge the old man?

"Ah, the prophecy. Yes, the prophecy at the Department of Mysteries, was only a copy of the original one. But do not worry, as the original one is my memory of the prophecy which was made to me and no one knows the content of it."

"A prophecy about me and Voldemort was made to you? By whom?", Harry inquired. Now that the possibility of hearing the prophecy was real, his curiosity was sparked. While another part of his mind was wondering, why the headmaster had not breathed a word about it to him all of these years, when he had obviously known about it for a long time.

"By Sibyll Trelawney, who is the great-great-granddaughter of a very famous, very gifted Seer, Cassandra Trelawney. It as on a cold, wet night sixteen years ago, in a room above the bar at the Hog's Head Inn. I had gone there to see an applicant for the post of Divination teacher but it soon became evident that Sibyll had not a trace of the gift herself. I told her, courteously I hope, that I did not think she would be suitable for the post and I turned to leave."

At this point, Dumbledore paused and got up to fetch the pensieve from the cabinet and place it on the desk. Placing his wand to his own temple, he removed silvery white strands of memory and placed it within the pensieve.

A figure rose out of it, draped in shawls, her eyes magnified to an enormous size behind her glasses, and she revolved slowly; her feet in the basin. But when Sibyll Trelawney spoke, it was not in her usual ethereal, mystic voice, but in the harsh, hoarse tones Harry had heard her use once before:

"The one with the power to vanquish the - Dark Lord approaches…

born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…

and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…

and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…

the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"

The slowly revolving Professor Trelawney sank back into the silver mass below and vanished. Silence reined in the office as each were lost in their own thoughts.

Harry scowled at the pensieve. Did prophecies have to sound so dour? The prophecy wasn't much of a shock to him. He wasn't stupid, he knew it was related to something that had made Voldemort come to Godric's Hollow to kill him on that fated Halloween's night. To his surprise, he wasn't even scared that it would come to an eventual show-down between Voldemort and him, which would evidently result in only one of them surviving. Because, he would have tried his damn best to kill that pathetic creature which called itself Voldemort or died trying, prophecy or not. But still, it annoyed him that whatever he was going to do, had already been dictated by a fucking prophecy. It rubbed him the wrong way. But all of this begged another question, how did Voldemort come to know the existence of the prophecy?

"Sir, how did Voldemort come to know the contents of the prophecy?", Harry queried.

If Dumbledore was surprised regarding his lack of reaction and questions on the prophecy, he hid it well. He thankfully answered the question Harry asked, rather than pestering him about what his thoughts were concerning the contents of the prophecy; because he would have been sorely disappointed.

"Unfortunately, as I found out that night, The Hog's Head is not a safe place to carry out important conversations. One of Lord Voldemort's followers had eavesdropped on the interview in hopes of gathering some news for his master, and as the muggles would call it, had hit the proverbial jackpot-he had heard the starting two lines of the prophecy before he was detected and thrown out by the barkeeper. However ,the damage was done and according to the prophecy, there were only two viable candidates to fulfil the prophecy-One is you and the other is Neville Longbottom."

Harry blinked. Neville, huh? Neville Longbottom is a good person, capable of following and loyal to a fault, but he was no leader, Harry surmised. Now, I wonder why Voldie chose me rather than Neville? Perhaps, I'll ask him the next time I see him...

"Ah. I see. And perhaps, now I ask the most important question of all. Why had I not been informed about all of this earlier?" Harry bit out coldly.

Dumbledore peered at him from on top of his half-moon glasses, then sighed and looked out through the window before turning back to him. He had been hoping the boy would not ask him that question. Well, he had to give him some type of answer.

Harry tried to calm his enraged emotions as the old fool tried to sell him some story about how he had come to care for the boy too much and had been unable to foist such a burden on his young shoulders. Codswallop! He knew very well that the headmaster knew that he would have been able to handle the truth in his second year, if not in his first year. The meddlesome coot had had some other agenda and he would find out what it was one way or another.

"I see", Harry replied, "and of course not telling me about the prophecy doesn't have anything to do with me being forced to stay at Privet Drive, does it Professor?", Harry asked in a deceptive voice. He had a hunch on what the Headmaster had tried to do and it made his blood boil at the thought.

Dumbledore blanched for a fraction of a second before he regained control of his expressions. "Of course not, Harry. I placed you at your relatives home for your own protection and theirs. I knew you would suffer ten long and difficult years, but it was the only choice for many of Voldemort's followers were still at large. Why, I was so happy when you arrived here , unfortunately malnourished-yet happy and had already made wonderful friends with the Weasleys before you even arrived at the castle. I couldn't have been more proud to see that you were a very humble boy instead of a pampered prince."

The last two sentences were enough to confirm Harry's suspicions. Harry stared at his hands, as he struggled not to throttle the headmaster. One which he was losing spectacularly as the frames and windows began to rattle, once his magic began reacting to his anger. No... this is not the time to let my magic free, Harry decided. If the old goat saw his magic now, he would no doubt realize there was more to him than just his golden boy persona.

Harry abruptly stood up from his chair, and walked to the window to see the storm clouds rolling in the sky. Harry suddenly hoped there would be a thunder storm that night. And a heavy one at that. Bringing his emotions under control for the moment, he stated, "If that is all Professor, I'd like to retire to my dorms."

"Yes. Of course Harry. If you want to talk about anything at all, my doors are always open for you", Dumbledore smiled at him, however, not surprisingly his customary twinkle was absent from his eyes.

Harry nodded. Walking up to the door, he twisted the Griffin-head doorknob open and gently shut it behind him. Deciding quickly, he began to run to the Room of Requirement, knowing that it would provide him with what he needed.

He reached the seventh floor in record time and stood facing the stretch of blank wall opposite an enormous tapestry depicting Barnabas the Barmy's foolish attempt to train trolls for the ballet.

I need some place to vent off my anger...I need some place to vent off my anger... I need some place to vent off my anger... , he thought, pacing in front of the wall three times.

Immediately, a large wooden door appeared on the wall and he quickly rushed inside, locking it behind him. That's interesting, he mused. The room had graciously provided him with human statues, and the statues' faces morphed into the faces of the people he dearly wanted to hurt badly, namely Dumbledore, Voldemort, Bellatrix, Fudge, Snape, Umbridge, known deatheaters and some masked deatheaters.

Harry grinned, twirling his wand in between his fingers. Pointing his wand right in front of Dumbledore's face, he shouted, "Reducto" and watched in glee as the headmaster's statue was blasted into smithereens. And frowned when another Dumbledore took its place.

Incensed, Harry fired the reductor curse and the blasting curse rapidly, one after the other, at the statues and soon the room was filled with minute pieces of stone and dust, accompanied with Harry's yelling and sounds of stone blasting into high heavens.

"Reducto!Bombarda!Reducto!Reducto!Reducto!Bombarda !Bombarda!Reducto...", Harry cursed.

After nearly ten minutes of blasting statues into smithereens, Harry stopped, sweating and panting, covered in a fine layer of dust. True, that had been enjoyable, but it still didn't satisfy something deep within him.

[end flashback]

Harry's blood boiled at the audacity of the Headmaster. Harry had figured out the reason why the fool had not told him of the prophecy before. It was very simple. Dumbledore had wanted to mould him into a tool. A weapon. The old man had created the circumstances which would make him into his little golden boy.

He had placed him at Privet Drive, fully knowing that he would be abused there and that he would immediately warm up to anyone who showed him the least bit of kindness, once he was outside that household. And surprise surprise, the first person he meets in the wizarding world is Hagrid who just so happens to warn him that all the bad wizards were turned out from Slytherin (conveniently failing to mention Sirius Black who they thought to be a traitor at the time had come from Gryffindor), thereby effectively pushing him in the right direction (atleast according to Dumbles). Coincidentally, Hagrid 'forgets' to inform him how to enter the platform 9 and 3/4, making him approach the Weasleys for their help, who for one are strong supporters of Dumbledore and a family of Griffindors. Crème de la crème, they too have a son who is entering his first year at Hogwarts, and surprisingly or maybe not-so surprisingly, young Ron couldn't find a single seat in the whole train, other than the one Harry was sitting in. How subtle was that? The whole story had 'Dumbledore' written all over it.

And when he was firmly under Dumbledore's control, through his little machinations, the manipulating old man would reveal the prophecy to him under right circumstances, and poor distraught Harry would look up to the man for guidance, to help him fulfil the prophecy and the old coot would once again manipulate him to fulfil his own plans for the 'Greater Good'

Pity. Harry had neither been distraught nor had he been under Dumbledore's thumb, as the man had previously believed. He had had suspicions in the past regarding Dumbledore and had even witnessed first-hand some of his manipulations, but he had brushed it off as not a big deal. Now, only now though, he had become fully knowledgeable about the true extent of the codger's manipulations and had received the confirmation he had needed to prove his suspicions.

Still, a small childish part of him hurt, the part which was his eleven-year old self's love for the kind, grandfatherly headmaster, before it too died abruptly, snuffed out by his more cynical and cruel side.

Harry supposed part of the blame lay with him, for turning a blind eye and allowing the old man to manipulate him. Well, no longer. His trust and respect for the Headmaster had been slowly dwindling since his fourth year. However, what bit of trust left in him for the headmaster was completely wiped out now. Why, he wouldn't be surprised, if all the adventures he had had at Hogwarts had been planned before by the man so that he could test him out.

In truth, Dumbledore might care for him, but he cared about the 'Greater Good' even more. He might even regret manipulating him, but probably consoled himself by deeming it necessary. His intentions for the Wizarding World were laudable, true, but not by achieving it using him as a pawn. It was his fucking life, damn it!

He would show Dumbledore not to mess with him. He had trusted the headmaster and he had used him. Well, it ends now, Harry decided. He would not be a pawn in his blasted game. He would get his due, Harry vowed.

Harry started feeling melancholy, as his rumination turned towards his godfather, the only person who had truly cared about him. HIM, not the boy-who-lived or lately, the pawn. Oh, how he wished, Sirius was here with him. Harry had already taken a resolve that he would not weep for his loss. His godfather deserved better.

Rather, he would avenge his godfather by killing that bitch, Bellatrix Lestrange as viciously as possible. Perhaps it was time for him to investigate those Dark Arts books he had seen at the Black Library. During his stay at Grimmauld Place, he had been feeling a draw to the Dark Magic that saturated the house. He had felt a bone-deep yearning to grab those forbidden books that called to him, that felt so deliciously dark and to lose himself within them. Unfortunately he had to reign in his longing, as Sirius would have been disappointed in him otherwise and that was the last thing he wanted.

He wasn't naïve. He knew his aura was dark as was witnessed by the number of thin black threads that seemed to appear in it.

According to the book, The Mystery of Auras, only a person with a strong affinity to Dark Magic combined with an equally dark nature had black threads in their auras. An aura could have any number of colors ranging from vivid oranges to murky browns. Each color represented an affinity or an aspect of their personality whereas the thickness of the thread represented how much they embraced it. For example, a person may have a pale blue thread in their aura which represented compassion, whereas a sea blue thread again represented both compassion and their affinity to Healing magic.

He had been taken aback the first time he had seen his aura. It was during his winter break when he had been cooped up in Grimmauld Place with his emotions riding high. One minute he had been hitting the wall with his fist in sheer frustration and anger, the next minute, the very air had thickened around him and the heady smell of magic had permeated the air making him dizzy. For about a minute, he had seen a myriad of colours surrounding him before it had faded out as he soon as he had gotten his emotions under control.

He had wondered if the others would be able to see what he had seen, if Dumbledore would be able to see it. Thankfully, the book had addressed this topic as well. The book had made it clear that only an exceptionally powerful witch or wizard had the ability to project their auras. Usually, it would be because of strong unstable emotions, but if the person had fine control of their magic, then it was possible to project it whenever they wanted. A projected aura could be seen by wizards, witches, magical creatures, sometimes even squibs.

That is the reason why he had left the headmaster's office in a hurry. He wasn't ready for the old man to be on his guard against him, for he would be, once he took a look at his aura. For now, he wanted Dumbledore to underestimate him, it would only make his victory even sweeter later.

Glancing at his watch, he found the time to be 6.00 a.m. Hoping that his friends would be recovered by now, he went to visit them in the Hospital Wing.


Upon entering, he noticed that Ron and Hermione were bickering, as usual. Did they ever stop? It had been getting on his nerves lately. With a feigned smile, he waved at them. However, Ron glared at him and Hermione nodded tersely. Wondering what had crawled up their arse and died, he arched an eyebrow at them. It was Hermione who took a deep breath and started.

"It was all your fault. I warned you not to go to the Department of Mysteries, yet you did not listen. Had you listened to me, Sirius would still be alive and well. Now, because of you, he is gone and the entire blame in this, is yours. And now, you walk in like you do not have a care in the world and wave at us. Because of you, I took a nasty curse to my chest, which would have killed me and yet you smile at me, without any guilt. I am ashamed of you. How could you be so callous? Every year, you place us in one danger or another, narrowly escaping with our lives. I'm sorry, Harry, maybe I'm not, but I don't want to be friends with you any longer. I've got a future and I need to study for it."

Harry couldn't believe the nonsense she was spouting. Incensed, Harry impulsively stared right into her eyes. Suddenly, he did not know how it happened, but he was sorting through her memories rapidly collecting information. Then it stopped. Barely a minute had passed, but he had gathered all her thoughts into a single file. Then he turned to look into Ron's eyes, where the same thing happened, when all the while the redhead was giving his own prepared speech to him, with the brunette nodding her head apparently agreeing with something the former was complaining about.

Harry was dumbfounded, to say the least. He had somehow accidentally performed legilemency. He made a mental note to himself to analyze this new development later.

Then, Harry started processing everything he had seen inside their minds. It seemed their friendship had been nothing but a hoax.

Dear Ronald Weasley had been instructed by their Headmaster to befriend him on the train and had ordered him to support Harry in everything. In return, Ronald's career was guaranteed to be more successful than his brothers(which was his deepest desire) by either getting an amazing job in the ministry or perhaps by owning a Quidditch team (though how Dumbledore would manage that, he was quite unsure) and he would also be given some pocket money every month until his seventh year to buy some chocolates or trinkets.

The Weasley mother hen, Molly Weasley, had been bribed by Dumbledore, with the promise of wedding her only daughter into the Most Ancient and Noble House of Potter. Thankfully, Ginny knew nothing about this and Ron had only known about this by eavesdropping on the conversation. Molly had also been promised that all her sons would be well-settled in the future in their respective fields. And Arthur Weasley was a good man who knew nothing about this.

Hermione Granger was nothing if not an ambitious witch. She had always wanted to be the friend of Harry Potter, not because she genuinely wanted to know him, but because she wanted his influence to climb up the social and political ladder. Oh yes, she wanted to become to be high-up in the ministry, with the group of underlings she could boss around. The witch had also made sure that none of the others in the school were able to approach him and make friends with him, jealous that they would also use his influence and compete with her. In their first year, the brunette had noticed him studying a lot, so she had conspired with Ron secretly to make sure that he was always kept distracted from his studies, with the purpose being that he would not end up topping her in the academics.

And in their third year, Ron had told her of Dumbledore's offer to him. Then, she had agreed with Ron to meet the Headmaster, so as to ask him to extend the offer to her as well. It had ended up with her getting two books of her choice per month, bought by the headmaster.

Well, could the day get anymore interesting, Harry mused. Betrayal after betrayal, was it ever going to end?

But, for some reason, he couldn't really dredge up enough emotions to feel sorry for himself. Oh yes, he had felt a sharp pain somewhere in his chest, when he had viewed their memories. But once he got his mind around their betrayal, he slowly thought about it. Was it really necessary to wallow in self-pity at the unfairness of the people around him? After all, he had already decided to shed his old persona from this day onwards, and being friends with them would only hold him back; because no way could they ever be seduced into the dark.

Making up his mind, Harry looked up at them. Ron was still going on,"...really, mate, they are just inflating your ego. After all, you are just an average wizard, are you not? Nothing special. You cannot beat me at Wizarding Chess either. No one can beat me, of course. You really shouldn't listen to them. You are just a scrawny kid. I don't know why I was friends with you all these days. You don't even get me anything big for Christmas or my birthdays. However, had you bought me a broom, maybe...blah...blah..."

After Ron finished his babbling, Harry quickly dredged up a few tears and started pleading in a small voice," Please Ron, Hermione, I'm sorry. I know it's my fault. I should have listened to your superior intelligence and stayed here, Hermione. Had I listened to your infinite wisdom, Sirius would still be alive. I am so thick-headed. And Ron, I am so sorry that I am such a pathetic friend. You are so brilliant; I am lucky to have such a friend like you. Please don't stop being my friends. I wouldn't what to do if you both abandon me. To make it up to you both, I'll get you a Firebolt for Christmas, Ron and I'll get you 25 books, Hermione. Will that satisfy you?"

Looking at their smug and greedy faces, Harry couldn't hold in his mirth anymore and burst out laughing. Merlin's beard, could they have been anymore obvious? Harry thought sarcastically. They had obviously wanted him to beg them, so he had instead decided to humour them.

Controlling his amusement, Harry glanced at their reddening faces and chuckled before continuing in a smooth voice, "Now that I have sufficiently stroked your egos, let us move onto more pressing matters. But before that I'd like to refresh your memory, Granger. You seem to have gotten some of the facts wrong. First is, yes, you warned me that it could be a trap; so, we had double checked and the blasted thing Kreacher lied to us. So, the blame for falling into the trap lies with Kreacher and not with me. Second, I never asked you to follow me; you followed me of your own free will and you faced the consequences for it. You were stupid enough to get yourself hit by Dolohov's curse and you paid for it. So, the blame for getting yourself nearly killed lies with yourself and not with me. Just wanted to get those two facts straight. And Ron, you are one very conceited arsehole. Now that all's said and done; Yes, please do; Do cancel the contract."

Looking at their confused expressions, Harry clarified, "The Contract, our Friendship, two books per month for Ms. Granger and pocket money for Mr. Weasley. Ring a bell?"

Harry smirked at the horrified realization dawning on their faces. Ron had a constipated look on his face and he could practically see the wheels turning inside Hermione's mind. They had obviously planned to kill two birds with one stone; that is, they had wanted to keep their contract with the headmaster intact and they had also wanted him to beg, so that they could graciously accept him back as their friend, once they had blackmailed him into getting something for them first.

Ron dumbly asked, "How did you know?"

Harry decided to let them stew on a lie for sometime, "Did you think you could fool me? No, I knew from the start that you were bribed by Dumbledore. I was pissed for a few days, then I shrugged it off. Bugger it, I decided, I have much better things to do. I still had some uses for you, after all. I had been resolved that, when the time came, I would drop you. After all, we weren't true friends, were we?"

Hermione replied with a small smile, "What are you talking about Harry? Of course, we are true friends. We were just bickering, weren't we Ron?", elbowing Ron in the ribs, who had been staring at Hermione slack-jawed and wide-eyed.

"Of course, mate. We both were just jiving you, I swear on Merlin's sagging scrot-"

Harry interrupted before he could finish that rather ridiculous expression, "Enough. I'm no naive fool. Even if you want to be friends with me, I don't want to be friends with you. So now that we've made that clear, I'm leaving. After all, I don't want to burden ourselves with each other's presence."

"Harry-", Granger started.

Harry had already reached the door and with his back turned towards them, he simply raised a hand halfway in farewell, "Have a good day" and left.


Harry walked out of the castle, deciding to visit the lake. He stood under the very tree where the Marauders had bullied Snape. When he had learned about what his father and Sirius had done, he had felt such righteous anger on behalf of Snape. Now, he couldn't even be irritated at them. He felt so emotionally drained.

The previous night' storm had cleared and left a bright blue sky behind. Harry climbed onto a low branch and rested his back against the tree trunk, one leg hanging free underneath him.

He wasn't exactly emotionally drained, per se. He guessed his emotions were lacking intensity, save for his anger, to which he supposed, there could only be two reasons. One, he was tired of people dying on him or betraying him, so maybe his inner self had finally decided enough was enough and had closed off his feelings; second, would be, some other thing could be at work here.

Or perhaps, it could be a combination of both.

Whatever it was, it gave him a sense of tranquillity, that he had not felt for a very long time. He had always worried, fretted, blamed himself for many things, and to be given a break to all those things was just a luxury to be enjoyed. Oh he knew, he would still very much come to care about the select people who might manage to worm his way into his heart, somewhere in the future, but he would not make it easy for them to gain his trust. He would not be fooled twice. If nothing else, he was a fast learner.

He needed to train, that much was evident. He still had one week of school left. He would have to make all the preparations necessary for him to escape from Privet Drive. He would start his planning today, once he made sure Ginny, Neville and Luna were alright; and also finding out where their loyalties lay.

His thoughts went back to Ron and Hermione, he knew he would have to deal with them again once the year started. Oh how he wished they would leave him the hell alone. Unfortunately, life couldn't be that easy, could it? They would try to latch onto him somehow once he came back to Hogwarts for the next year, no doubt brought to task by the Headmaster. Maybe he could somehow work that in his favour. He would have to keep the Headmaster and his group of sycophants off his back without rousing any suspicion, he knew that it would only make his blow all the more powerful, at the end.

Harry knew that he had enough money in his vault to make sure he could buy many books to study privately. Truly, he would have quit Hogwarts too, if not for the fact that he could recruit a lot of potential followers from the student population.

Wait. WHAT? Followers? Was he trying to become a bloody Dark Lord?

A/N: I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Please leave a review. Your reviews make my day !