Title: Harry Potter and the Dark Lord's Blessing Author: Drake Rating: T (on verge of R) Pairings: Going towards harem (without Ginny!) Status: WIP (only one chapter for now, but with 20,000 words) Summary - What if Voldemort had seen the similarities between his and Harry's life and tried to set Harry on a very different path? Link - Err... none (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pottersplace3?) EDIT: He posted beaten version in files section HERE. No FFN version yet. This first year AU branches off Harry's first lesson with Quirell. Seeing Harry's childhood through the scar, Voldemort decides to change his plan regarding the Philosopher's Stone. Instead of going after the stone on his own, he truly starts teaching DADA and takes Harry (and few other -female- students) under his wing. Truly fantastic idea. The way Voldemort manipulates the kids into his advanced class, gets rid of lazy-arse Ron and motivates them to study harder is really great. New magical concepts and descriptions of rituals are high points too. Unfortunately, there are quite a few flaws in this rough version of the first chapter. First of all, some parts are rather poorly described and not quite clear (especially the beggining, before the first DADA class). Next, Dumbledore lacks any kind of character. There is a lot of Dumbledore bashing, but the man stays practically invisible - never says a word, never makes a move to defend himself, lets Quirell do what he wants, etc. He's more like a punchbag than a real person. And finally and most importanly, it seems that the author will make standard mistake for these kinds of stories ("Indentity"), and turn Harry's entire harem into a bunch of supermen (or rather superwomen). It's ok for one person to have special talents, or even for a few friends to be above-average, but for an entire group of 12 random kids to turn out super talented and heirs to XYZ uber-famous wizards is kinda lame and totally kills Harry's character and role in the story. Still, this is one hell of an idea, one of the best new stories in last few months. Definitely worth your time. NOTE: This story is not posted anywhere yet. The only form this exists in for now is as a message on pottersplace3 yahoo! group (subject is: "Harry Potter and the Dark Lord's Blessing", sender "Drake", message ID 1746). I'm not sure whether the author will post this anywhere else (or when), but stay tuned (or join the group). EDIT: Posted in files, see link up.