It was a reasonably dark room with only a few touches burning, and there at the base of the stairs was Quirrell.
"You!" the boys both said together, Harry surprised even though he had been told it was him. Jack angry and wanting to kill him, but the high vibe of dark magic stopped him and kept him next to Harry.
"Me." Quirrell said spinning around a smirk on his face not twitching or stuttering at all. "I was wondering if I'd be seeing you here Potter. And Frost I thought I left you with Minerva's chess pieces.
"You did, but then my friends came and helped me get away from them." Jack said taking a step forwards, really wishing he had his staff, his eyes turning a little more blue, his hair turning a little more white, the room getting a little more cold.
"But – Snape – " Harry said still trying to work this out.
"Severus?" Quirrell laughed in a cold sharp tone. "Yes he does seem more likely the type of person to try something like this, doesn't he?" he asked "So useful, having him swooping over everyone like an overgrown bat. Why, next to him who would suspect p-p-p-poor st-stuttering P-professor Quirrell? It's funny really, why as far as I could tell, Frost was suspicions of my behavior all along."
"I grew up on the streets of America, I picked things up." Jack said looking at him darkly.
"But Snape tried to kill me!" Harry said unable to take this in.
"No, no, no boy. I tried to kill you. Your friend Miss Granger accidentally knocked into me and broke my eye contact as she went to set fire to Snape's at the Quidditch match." Quirrell said glaring at Harry "Another few minutes, and I would have succeeded. And I swear, I would have had you off faster if Snape hadn't been muttering a counter-curse trying to save you."
"Snape was trying to save me?" Harry asked not believing this.
"Of course boy! Why do you think he wanted to referee your next match? He wanted to be sure I didn't try it again. But he needn't have bothered. I could try anything with Dumbledore there. All the other teachers thought Snape was just trying to stop Gryffindor from winning, he did make himself unpopular... And what a waste of time it all was when after all that, I'm going to kill you both tonight."
Quirrell snapped his fingers and ropes appeared out of nowhere and wrapped themselves around Jack and Harry tightly.
"You two are too nosey for your own good," Quirrell said "Potter scurrying around the school at Halloween, like that, for all I knew you'd seen me coming to look at what was guarding the stone. And you Frost always poking your nose and playing around the Forbidden Forest, making me believe you were on to the fact that it was I that was attacking those pathetic Unicorns. Now wait quietly both of you. I need to examine this very interesting mirror."
It was then that Jack and Harry both saw that behind Quirrell was the Mirror of Erised.
"This mirror is the key to finding the Stone," Quirrell murmured, tapping at the frame "Trust Dumbledore to come up with something like this... but he's in London... I'll be far away from here by the time he gets back..."
At the top of the stairs Harry was asking Jack what they could do.
"We need to keep him distracted," Jack whispered trying to think up of something to say. "I have a friend who's good with monsters Sir," Jack called out "And she says that no Vampires have attacked Humans since the 1800's."
"Really?" Quirrell said in an uncaring voice going behind the mirror now.
"Yes. So I take it, it wasn't a Vampire you met on your year off in Romania." Jack said fighting against the ropes.
Harry had a try.
"We saw you and Snape in the forest." he said.
"Yes," said Quirrell still studying the back of mirror "Snape was onto me by then, trying to work out how far I had got. He, along with Frost as I already mentioned, was onto me from the start. Tried to frighten me – as though he could, when I had Lord Voldemort on my side..."
Quirrell came out from behind the mirror and looked into it.
Jack had another try.
"So if you didn't really come across Vampires, I bet you didn't really get that turban you're wearing as a thank you gift from that supposed African prince," Jack said slowly trying to inch to be in line with the mirror.
Once again Quirrell ignored him carrying on facing the mirror. "I see the Stone. I'm presenting it to my Master. But where is it?"
Seeing what Jack was doing understanding why, Harry, to keep Quirrell from giving the mirror his full attention called out "But Snape always seemed to hate me."
"Oh he does," the man said "Heaven yes. He was at school with your father didn't you know? They loathed each other. But he never wanted you dead, something about him liking your mother."
Ignoring this Harry tried one more try to distract him, looking to Jack who was almost in position.
"But a few days I heard you sobbing – I thought Snape was threatening you."
For the first time a distant look and a spasm of fear came over Quirrell's face.
"Sometimes," he said "I find it hard to follow my Masters instructions – he is a great wizard and I am weak –"
"You mean he was there in the classroom with you?" Harry called out surprised.
"He is with me where ever I go." said Quirrell quietly "I met him one time I was travelling the world. A foolish young man I was. So full of hope and wonder, so sure there was good and evil. But there isn't of course. There is only power, and fear, and darkness, and those too weak to seek it."
"You know Sir you remind me of another friend of my family, he always goes on about fear and darkness," Jack said seeing Quirrell look up to him. "Why just a couple of years ago now, he tried to make it so there was no hope, wonder, good dreams, or good memories left in the world and only he and his power over fear remained." Jack paused feeling the ropes slacken a bit due to Quirrell losing his concentration.
"My family's boss found me and saw how skilled I was and told them to let me help," Jack carried on "But a misunderstanding after one was put in a comma, made them turn their back on me. Here the friend came to see if I wanted to join him. But I said no. Because I didn't want to be feared I wanted to be believed in and loved for all the right reason. And you get that through trust, and loyalty. Not fear and power."
Jack came to the end of his speech Quirrell seeming to try and rethink this whole thing when a cold voice rang out from somewhere...
'Don't listen to the boy. There is no such thing as loyalty or trust. In the end, everyone will abandon you. You need Power to make sure they don't do that. And for that I need that Stone!" it said "Do you want a repeat of when you failed to get it out of Gringotts?'
"No... No Master I don't." Quirrell said sounding weak and timid again, turning away from Jack, but not before gagging him, so he couldn't distract him anymore.
When the voice said Gringotts, that got Harry thinking, and remembering his trip to Diagon Ally.
How could he have been so stupid? He had seen Quirrell there that day. In the Leaky Cauldron, shaking hands with him.
Quirrell cursed under his breath.
"I just don't understand. Is the stone inside the Mirror? Should I break it?" he asked out loud "What does this Mirror do? How does it work? Help me Master!"
'Use one of the boys...' the voice from before said.
Quirrell rounded on them.
"Come here Potter, now!" he said clapping his hands once and making the ropes binding Harry together fall off.
Slowly, getting a nod from Jack, who was still tied up, Harry walked towards Quirrell.
"Look in the mirror, and tell me what you see." he said.
Quirrell moved behind him, meaning he couldn't escape, and blocking Jack's view.
After a few seconds Quirrell asked annoyed "Well what is it? What do you see?"
"I see myself shaking hands with Dumbledore, I won the House Cup for Gryffindor," Harry said, but Jack could tell by the tone in his voice he was lying. And if he was lying... that must mean...
"Get out of the way!" Quirrell said cursing and shoving Harry to one side.
Slowly, Harry made his way back to Jack, who gave him a curious look.
Understanding why, Harry nodded and played with his trouser pocket.
But he wasn't even halfway back to Jack when the voice called out:
'He lies... He lies...'
"Potter get back here!" Quirrell shouted "Tell me the truth, what did you just see?"
Jack got his mouth free.
"I could look instead Sir," Jack called out "Maybe Dumbledore's trick didn't work for Harry because, you know he didn't grow up with magic?" he said shrugging.
"Fine," Quirrell said letting Jack go and come over as well.
Jack looked into the mirror, thinking 'The Thing I most desire right now, is a way to trick Quirrell.'
He saw himself alone. His Mirror self then made a set of plans come up and Jack read it.
Having enough time, Quirrell asked him what he saw.
"I see the Stone," Jack said "It's in the darkest shadows of the Forbidden Forest, guarded by the King of Nightmares and his black horses."
"Then why is all this here?" Quirrell said mad and turning to leave just as the voice said 'He lies too...'
Having enough of this Quirrell turned to them again and again demanded to know what they just saw.
'Let me speak to them... Face to face...' the voice said more coldly then before.
"Master you are not strong enough," Quirrell says nervously.
'I have strength enough... for this...'
Jack knew they had to get out of there, but for an unknown reason it seemed that neither of them could move, as Quirrell reached up and undid his turban.
Soon it fell away and Quirrell turned around slowly on the spot.
It looked as if Harry would scream if his could, but Jack having had a goodish idea that this was the case stayed firm.
Where there should have been a back to the teacher's head there was another face. One that was covered in scars, chalk white, had glaring red eyes, and had slits for nostrils like a snake.
"Harry Potter..." it whispered more focused on Harry than Jack, which gave Jack an idea.
Slowly he pulled out his wand, and quietly moved around the room to where he needed to be, letting Voldemort be the typical big-shot super villain he is and banter on about his life and plans.
"See what I have become?" he said "A mere shadow of myself... I have form only when I can share another's body... like a mere parasite... but there have always been those who are willing to let me into their hearts and minds... Unicorn blood has strengthened me bit by bit all year... but it has not been enough... But when I have the Elixir of Life, I will be able to create a new body of my own... Now... Why don't you be a good boy and give me that stone that's in your pocket?"
So he knew.
Quickly Harry shook his head and tried to back away, but ended up tumbling backwards.
Jack not quite ready yet but seeing as he didn't have that much time, stared making the floor into an ice ring and some piles of snow to make snowballs.
"Don't be a fool," Voldemort snarled "Better save your own life and join me... or you'll meet the same end as your parents... They died begging for mercy..."
"LIAR!" Harry shouted suddenly.
"How touching... I always value bravery... yes boy, you parents were brave... I killed you father first, but your mother needn't have died... She was trying to save you... Now give me that stone, unless you want her to have died in vain."
"NEVER!" Harry yelled got up and raced to the flame door.
"SEIZE HIM!" Voldemort cried out. But as Quirrell turned around and started to race after Harry, he lost his balance on the now ice covered floor and collapsed.
"GET UP YOU IDIOT!" Voldemort yelled "HE'S GETTING AWAY!"
Slowly Quirrell got up but was soon knocked down again by some snowballs.
"Aw... come on Moldy-Wort, surely a big-bad-bully like you can handle a bit of ice and snow..." Jack's voice rang out laughing.
Harry was surprised that Jack would even dare try a thing like this – snowballing and then mocking the most villainess dark wizard of the era.
After a few more hits, Jack came out of the shadows, grabbed Harry and they carried on running for the flames, Jack sneakily pick-pocketing the stone from Harry and putting into his own pocket.
"GET THEM!" Voldemort yelled as they were almost there.
Next thing they knew, they were pinned to the floor, and Quirrell was on top of them, a hand to each of their throats, meaning they were finding it hard to breath.
Because Jack had just used all this power, he was a little drained, but he could still focus his power of ice and frostbite to go Quirrell's hand making him scream, and it seemed somehow, the hand holding Harry's had something wrong as well.
It looked like it had been burnt and was turning to dust.
"What is this magic!" Quirrell cried out looking at his hands and then to the boys.
"GET THEM YOU FOOL!" Voldemort yelled out obviously not caring about Quirrell just as he got the Stone.
"But Master I can't – my hands – my hands!"
"Then kill them, fool, and be done!" screeched Voldemort loudly.
Quirrell raised his frostbitten hand to perform a deadly curse, aiming to Jack first.
But instinct came over Harry and he reached up and placed his hands onto Quirrell's face –
Quirrell screamed rolling off them, his face blistering now, which only got worse when Jack fired a black of the coldest winds he could summon and blasted them in his face too, making the man scream louder.
"Come on!" Jack said pulling Harry up and finished running to the flames just as Voldemort screamed once more to Quirrell to kill them.
After they got through the flames Jack blasted the top of the door, making it collapse and blocking any spells and the trapping a screaming, dying Quirrell on the other side.
Panting, the two boys, sank to the floor, Jack pulling out the Stone to check if it was still ok – it was.
Grinning, he looked over to Harry, but he had already fainted.
Hearing voices, from the chamber before, Jack smiled and let sleep come over him too.