Arimaniusby Darth Kottaram
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story.
To ame_chan, emerald-eyes2, RuinedEmperor, ntamara, insanechildfic, met19, Slim5, Harial, neutrino, Xirleb70, bluebird161221, Lord Master Omega, Natasha, rhiannia: Thank you for reviewing! I'm glad you like my story. I'll try to update sooner, next time.
To White Rider: Thank you for the review, I'm sorry I didn't thank you in Chapter Three, for some reason I can't see you review on FF.net, only in my e-mail.
To Party Girl2: Thanks, they should be meeting each other in this Chapter, albeit for a brief time only.
To HPIceAngel: Thanks for reviewing again. I'm not sure yet, really. Yes, he will be Voldemort's heir, and his better as the title "Arimanius" would suggest. The other question will be answered in this chapter.
To Cornflake: Thank you. I considered it, but Grindelwald died in 1945, and Lily would have been conceived sometime in the late 1950's or early 1960. Also, the incest is rather amusing in my eyes.
To GY: thank you for reviewing. Yes, it is rather funny. I didn't many other people would see it that way though. Later on, it might get a bit gory and generally dark, so that's another reason for the rating.
To Cr1Ms0n^D3v1L: Thanks. I think I'll wait until they're thirteen or so for that stuff. Sorry for the late update, but I'm a slow writer.
To Rarity88: Thank you. I wish there was some more Dark!Harry or Evil!Harry out there. I love this dark stuff.
To Snape-Slytherinking: Thanks. I intend for their relationship to really blossom after a few years.
To Furies: Thanks for bookmarking me, and for reviewing!
Cynthia90: You don't have to say anything, what you did was fine. Thank you.
mione: No problem, I'll take a review whenever I can get it. Voldemort's just testing Harry. I think Voldemort could have easily killed Harry on the broom, if he have really wanted to. I'm glad you like Mother!Lily, she's one of my favorite characters. Evil!Lily is another.
Illucia: I'm not going to have Harry fight Voldemort yet, although yes, it might happen in the future. Voldemort was simply testing Harry a bit, he wanted Harry to prove himself worthy. Snape is one of Dumbledore's strongest supporters, for now at any right. Lily is shaky, as she doesn't have complete faith in Dumbledore, and she too desires a father. They definitely wouldn't consciously help Voldemort at this point. Thank you.
Christine: Thanks for reviewing. You'll get the answer to that in this chapter.
Rated R for disturbing subject matter.
Christmas was coming. No one could wait for the holidays to start. The secret chamber in the Slytherin Common Room was quite warm with it's roaring fire, and the trio studied curses and hexes every afternoon that Harry didn't have Quidditch practice. They were making great progress, and had already mastered fifth-year hexes. Lily had ordered pickled Murtlap growths for Harry, which gave him added resistance to curses and jinxes. His friends were currently sending various spells at him, which harmlessly hit him on the chest.
"I wish my father would buy Murtlap growth for me." whined Draco, sending the Jelly-Legs curse at Harry, which he was able to resist as well.
"Well, they aren't easy to get. My Mum got them only because she has some real good connections in Knockturn Alley." replied Harry.
"But Murtlap growth won't protect you against the Unforgivables, or other powerful Dark curses." reminded Hermione.
"Perhaps, we should look through the Restricted Section of the Library." suggested Draco.
"My Mum would never allow it, nor would Uncle Severus. But I think you're right. We could use my Uncle James' invisibility cloak to get into the Restricted Section." said Harry.
"But Harry, the Restricted Section is restricted without special permission. Who knows what will be in there!" said Hermione.
"Well, we won't know till we find out." said Harry. "Accio Invisibility Cloak!" The silvery cloak floated into the room, and rested in Harry's arms. "Draco and I will go up to the library, you stay in the common room in case Mum or Severus comes around."
Harry and Draco left the room under the cloak, and slowly made their way up to the library. They made it past Madame Pince's sight and into the Restricted Section. Harry browsed titles and picked out a few. The Patronus by Andros the Invincible, 1001 Dark Hexes and Curses by Merwyn the Malicious, How to use the Unforgiveables by Grindelwald, and on a whim Candied Death by Albus Dumbledore. Draco said nothing at the last choice and the boys quickly exited the library, books in tow. They were so absorbed in the books, that they didn't notice themselves walking into an unused classroom. However, they did take notice of the magnificent mirror, as high as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet.
Harry quickly deciphered the inscription at the top, "I show not your face but your heart's desire. This must be the Mirror of Erised." he said to Draco, looking into the glass.
Harry saw himself standing with a man he had never met before. He was tall with unruly black hair, and emerald-green eyes. The man smiled and wrapped his arms affectionately around Harry. "Dad?" he whispered. He quickly shook himself out of his daze, and backed away from the mirror. /Better to miss an opportunity to see my father, than be trapped for eternity./ Harry pulled Draco away from the mirror as well, seeing that the boy was in a similar haze.
"Come on, let's get away from that thing, it's dangerous." said Harry.
"It's just a mirror, how can it be dangerous?" asked Draco incredulously.
"Men have been so entranced by it, that they waste away in front of it; others have been driven mad, not knowing whether what it shows is real or possible." said Harry.
"But one more look, Harry? Just one more?" Draco asked pitifully.
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, Draco. Let's go." he said donning the cloak, and roughly dragging Draco away. Had either of them been paying more attention to their surroundings, they would have heard Albus Dumbledore whispering delightedly to Lily Riddle, "See, I told you Harry would be able to handle it."
The holidays were soon upon them, and with sadness, Harry bid his friends goodbye. He returned to the secret chamber feeling quite lonely. So far he had mastered about a quarter of the 1001 Dark Hexes and Curses and was making progress on How to use the Unforgivables. However, the plain and uninventive language of the books made them quite a boring read. Sighing, he dropped the books down and searched for something else to do. His eyes fell upon the book he had bought along with potions kit in July. Harry had never really looked at the book, the writing on the front was unintelligible, so it gave no clue as to what lay within.
Harry opened the book. At first, Harry could not decipher the strange scripted language. But something within Harry's mind shifted, and he was able to understand the words without any difficulty. The book read:
In the Arts of Darkness, none are so difficult and dark as the Arts of Necromancy and War. This book is dedicated to instructing my heirs the finer point of these Dark Arts. It is with this in mind that I, Salazaar Slytherin, author this tome.
The First Step into The Dark Arts, should be made into Necromancy. With a Mastery of Death, the Art of War is made easier. As such, you should start by reanimating the carcasses of small dead animals. At first, it may only be possible to mentally control two or three undead on one occasion. But with practice, it is possible to move onto greater amounts of large animals, muggles, and finally wizards for indefinite amounts of time. The incantation is Vivificus Anima. After a few weeks of practice, the incantation is made unnecessary; and the will behind the spells shall suffice.
Harry searched the chamber for dead mice, and surprisingly found many. With a flick of his wand, three dead rodents were reanimated. Harry found that by simply thinking hard, he could control the actions of the mice. He made the rodents dance in complicated maneuvers, however, he found that he could not exceed the rodent's basic capacities for movement. With another flick of his wand, the rodents were dead again; their bodies turned to ash, and it seemed that he could not revive them again. Harry looked back at the text for answers.
When resurrecting dead animals, it is not possible to exceed the animals previous capacities. Attempts to do so, simply cause the body to reduce to ashes upon the end of the spell. Golems, made out of Clay, Iron, and Blood of A Sentient, provide a much better starting point for the undead. This is quite similar to seventh-level transfiguration, however, golems allow the creator to retain a certain amount of control to a normally free-willed creature. Attempts to return the golem to it's original state, usually fail, as an extraordinary amount of will is needed. As before, the incantation, is only necessary for a few weeks. Genero Anima Limus, Genero Anima Ferrum, and Genero Anima Cruor are Clay, Iron, and Blood respectively.
Deciding to go for broke, he made a small cut on his finger and squeezed out a drop of blood. "Genero Anima Cruor!" he said, picturing the creature he desired. A giant with a lion's head rose from the blood drops.
/This can be fun./ thought Harry, dreaming of the mischief he could do with these newfound powers.
Harry awoke on Christmas morning to see his mother sitting on his bed, waiting for him. "Hello, Sweetie. Come on, get up, it's time for presents." she said eagerly, pulling the boy out of bed.
Lily dragged Harry downstairs, where Severus was waiting in front of the Christmas tree, with Sirius ad Remus. Severus and Sirius had put aside their differences, for the most part, a long time ago, only because Harry had pleaded for them to act civilly towards each other.
"Hey, there Harry!" greeted Sirius warmly. "Let's start opening presents!"
Harry eagerly opened his presents, as did the adults. From his mother he had got a highly sensitive sneakoscope, a foe glass from Severus, a broom compass from Sirius, Emeric the Evil's scimitar from Remus, and various assorted candies from Draco, Hermione, and not surprisingly Dumbledore.
However, after all the presents were opened, a great black raven came knocking at the window. "I wonder who it could be on Christmas morning!" said Lily exasperatedly.
"I think I recognize that raven, although, I can't say from where." commented Severus.
The raven dropped its parcel at Harry's feet, and then flew out the open window. Harry picked up the large, and feather-light package. "It's addressed to me, Mum. I guess it's a Christmas present." said Harry, as he opened the parcel.
Within was a exquisite dragon-hide cloak. It was black, with gold lacing, and was lined with velvet underneath. "Who would sent me such an expensive gift?" asked Harry aloud.
"See if there's a note attached." instructed Remus.
"Here it is." said Harry, pulling a letter from a inner pocket. He read the note aloud, for the others.
"Dear Harry, Happy Christmas to you. I personally crafted this cloak, to make up for eleven years worth of gifts. I do hope you forgive my tardiness. Best wishes, you father." said Harry, shaking at the last part. As if on cue, the letter burst into flame, a green skull, with a serpent coming out of it's mouth formed from the smoke. It was the Dark Mark.
As Sirius and Remus made their way out of Hogwarts, they were accosted by Professor Quirell. "Watch out for this guy," warned Remus, "According to Lily, he may have been trying to kill Harry."
"Excuse me, Mr. Black, Mr. Lupin; might I have a word with you, in private?" asked Quirell.
"Very well." answered Sirius, following Quirell into an unused classroom.
"What do you want?" asked Remus, watching Quirell unwrap his turban.
"It is not what I want, but what Master wants." said Quirell, showing the back of his head to them.
"My faithful servants, how good it is to see you again!" said Voldemort, in his raspy voice.
At this both men fell to their knees, prostrate before the Dark Lord. "My Lord, we were not aware of your presence here." said Sirius.
"Only you two and Quirell know that I am in Hogwarts, and I would like to keep it that way. I have a mission for you." said Voldemort. "You know by now, that Lily and Harry are my children, do you not?"
"Yes, my Lord. We found out shortly after your … death." responded Black.
"Good. You should realize that my son is quite important to me, as I was willing to sacrifice myself for him." said Voldemort. "As such, I desire him to become a powerful wizard. He has already taken steps in the right direction. However, he needs more training. Harry is a Metamorphmagus, like I am. Black, you must teach him to use his ability, as it is much like being an Animagus."
"Of course, my Lord. It will be done." replied Sirius.
"I would also appreciate it if you keep my presence here unknown to Malfoy and his supporters. They renounced me without hesitation after my downfall, and I don't intend to make things easy for them when I return to power." instructed Voldemort.
"As you wish." replied the two.
Harry spent the rest of the holidays studying Necromancy. By the start of second term, he could control eight raccoon skeletons for an indefinite amount of time. Harry didn't plan on telling Draco or Hermione about his discovery. Draco would desperately want to learn these Dark Arts, but for some reason, Harry wanted a bit of power over him. Hermione on the other hand, would probably disapprove greatly at the moment, as he could tell that she was still a bit disturbed by his heritage.
Nevertheless, he did plan on using his powers at welcome-back feast. Had he done something during the holidays, he had no doubt one of the teachers would trace the monster back to him. Outside the Great Hall, Harry withdrew three drops of blood. He flicked his wand, and three lion-headed giants were ready for his bidding. Using a invisibility charm, he hid them away in a corner, until all the students arrived.
Unbeknownst to Harry, Professor Quirell watched him proceed with great interest, safely invisible from normal vision. Voldemort marveled at the power his son had. Indeed, he was far more advanced than he had been in third-year, which for some reason pleased him greatly.
/The makings of a great Dark Lord are in him. I have no doubts that he will have reached my level of power by his seventh-year./ reflected Voldemort. /It seems my son will provide us an entertaining evening, Quirell./
/But Master,/ Quirell silently replied, /Surely this will only draw more attention to us from his mother and Snape. If Dumbledore was not convinced of my untrustworthiness before, he certainly will be now./
/I believe my son, has taken care of that./ replied Voldemort, watching Harry engrave the word 'Gryffindor' into the backs of the monsters.
Harry entered the Hall, followed a short time later by Professor Quirell. He made his way over to Hermione and Draco, who were patiently waiting for dinner to begin. "Hey, guys. How were your holidays?" he asked.
"Great, my parents got me a model of the galaxy. No more late nights of Astronomy for me." said Draco.
"My parents got me a cat from Dagon Alley. Her name is Crookshanks." said Hermione. "What did you get?"
"A sneakoscope, a foe glass, a broom compass, and a scimitar. But here's the amazing thing. I got a dragon-hide cloak from my father." replied Harry.
"From you father?" asked Draco, incredulously. "You got a Christmas present from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!"
"Keep it down will you? Yeah, I did. It was completely unexpected. I think maybe he's trying to be nice to me to recruit me or something." said Harry.
At that point, Dumbledore stood up, and said "Welcome, dear students to your second term this year at Hogwarts. For those of you who are taking O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s, it will be an excruciating long term for you. For the rest of you, I simply say, tuck in."
The Hall was full of laughter of mirth that evening, as students discussed their holidays. Harry said little to his friends, concentrating mainly on the beasts that he was about to let into the Hall.
The ancient oak doors burst open, as the three lion-headed beasts entered. Giant roars terrified most of the students who hid beneath the tables. The older students launched stunning spells at the beasts, and were surprised to find that they were resistant to the spells. The lion-headed giants made their way to the head table, where the staff sent a hodgepodge spells at it. Again the beasts were unaffected, and began to attack the Professors. One picked up Professor Sinistra and appeared to be licking her from top to bottom. Another took Professor Snape and began brushing it's teeth with his head. The third monster headed for Professor Riddle.
Professor Riddle was not about to be embarrassed in front of the entire school. "Stupefy!" she cried. The screams of children were silenced, as everyone in the Hall could feel the power behind the spell. The beast was sent flying backward, and crashed into the Ravenclaw table. "Stupefy! Stupefy!" The other two beasts were sent flying as well, releasing Professors Snape and Sinistra.
Professor Riddle turned to the students. "Misters Weasley! Would you care to explain how this happened?" she said, in a deadly tone of voice.
The Weasley twins were now a pale white, and they manage to stammer "We didn't do it, Professor! Honestly we didn't!"
"We'll see about that! Fifty points from Gryffindor for each monster!" Professor McGonagall shrieked. "And three months of detention for the both of you!"
"Prefects, lead the students up to their dormitories. Dinner will be served there! Please exit quickly." instructed Professor Dumbledore, before he escorted the Weasley twins out the back of the Hall.
The months past quickly for Harry and his friends. Slytherin was over two hundred points ahead of Gryffindor thanks to Harry's defeat of the Nundu, and the trick Harry had played. Once Harry helped the Slytherin Serpents thrash the Ravenclaw Eagles in Quidditch, they were another fifty points up. Harry was the toast of Slytherin House, and the scourge of the others. The Hufflepuff students seemed to be a bit afraid of him even.
May came, and most of the students seemed to be preparing for end-of the-year exams. Harry, Hermione, and Draco had decided to study near Hagrid's Hut, as it was such a beautiful day. Harry clutched his dragon-hide cloak tightly around him, as it had a charm that kept it at a comfy 60° F.
However, Harry had a prickling sensation on his neck. He nervously looked around for the source of the danger. "Hermione, get a Professor from the castle. I get the feeling that something's going to attack us."
Hermione looked around, but couldn't find anything. "Harry, are you sure? I don't see anything dangerous …. "
But Hermione was interrupted by the sound of a dragon's roar. A jet of flame came out of Hagrid's Hut, followed by a rather large Norwegian Ridgeback.
"RROWWRRRRRR!" cried the creature, as it looked around for it's next meal. It seemed to settle on a large group of Hufflepuffs sitting by the lake. The Dragon rose into the air, and headed towards the defenseless children.
Harry ran after it, and launched Stunning spells at the beast, which bounced off it's tough hide. /How different can Parseltongue be from Dragon language? Should be similar, right?/ he thought as he ran to the lake.
"Sonorus!" he said, pointing to his own throat. Hey, you! Stop right there!
You can speak my language, human? it asked Harry.
Yes, I can. I am a Wizard and I order you to stop right there!said Harry.
Too bad. You look like a good meal..replied the Dragon, and it made it's way to Harry.
Having nowhere to run, Harry made a quick decision. "Avada Kedavra!" he cried. A blast of emerald green light shot out of his wand, and hit the beast head on. The Dragon didn't even manage a death cry before falling.
Too late to be of any use, as usual, Professor Dumbledore and the rest of the staff arrived on the scene. Dumbledore had an unusually grave expression on his face. An unnatural silence was heard upon the grounds, interrupted only by the wailing of Hagrid. "He was just a baby My baby!"
"Harry, would you care to explain what happened here?' asked Dumbledore, the twinkle in his eyes absent.
"This Dragon burst out of Hagrid's Hut. It headed towards those students by the Lake. My Stunning Spells bounced off it's hide. I tried to speak to it in Parseltongue, but it wouldn't obey me. It then tried to eat me, so I had no choice to kill it." explained Harry, only now realizing fully what he had done.
"Hagrid, is this Dragon yours?" asked Dumbledore quietly.
"Yea, 'e was mine, Won 'im in a card game at the Hog's Head," explained Hagrid. The large man was sobbing profusely, and was being consoled by Professor McGonagall.
"Very well. Harry, I must impress upon you the seriousness of what you did. Using the Killing Curse on any living creature, is one of the darkest things a wizard can do. However, as the Dragon was not a fellow human being, you will not be immediately sent to Azkaban as is customary. However, I will have to inform the Ministry about this. Two Hundred points will be deducted from Slytherin for your action, and you will spent the rest of the term in detention." said Dumbledore.
"Headmaster, surely you don't mean to punish him for this. If it weren't for Mr. Riddle's actions, my Hufflepuffs would be Dragon food by now." said Professor Sprout in Harry's defense, although she seemed to be avoiding looking at him.
"And the boy, did attempt to pacify the Dragon before .. killing .. it." added Professor McGonagall, who also seemed to be avoiding looking at Harry.
"This is the second time, young Harry has saved the students of Hogwarts, Headmaster." added Snape. "Although, Harry really ought not to have killed the wretched beast, he really had no choice." added Snape. "Surely, points should be given not deducted."
Dumbledore seemed to consider this, and finally came to a decision. "Very well, no points shall be taken away. However, none shall be given either. I simply cannot condone this behavior. You will still spend the rest of the term in detention, and face a hearing before the Ministry." he said, with a note of finality in his voice. He turned and headed back to school, while the other Professors set about disposing of the corpse.
Harry's mother on the other hand, had remained dangerously quiet during the whole affair, and stared ominously at Harry. "We'll speak in my quarters." she growled at him, before heading to the school.
"Well, uh, good show Harry." said Draco shakily. He seemed quite nervous, and looked at Harry with a bit of fear and awe in his eyes.
"The Killing Curse takes an amazing amount of power and will, Harry. Many Aurors don't even manage it." said Hermione, who surprisingly was not so much afraid as awed. "Your going to have to teach us, Harry!" she said eagerly.
/Ah, so that's why she's in Slytherin. Her thirst for knowledge is unquenchable. Even for the Dark Arts./ "The Book said that the Unforgiveables can be done with less power, when the wielder is state of great fear or anger." replied Harry, "I guess we can practice on Boggarts, if you want."
"I'll find some Boggarts while you … chat .. with your Mum. Good luck." said Draco.
"Thanks. I'm going to need it." replied Harry, before making his way to the school.
Harry stopped outside the door to his Mum's quarters. While he was certain his mother would never raise a hand to him, he wasn't sure she wouldn't hex him into oblivion. With a shaking hand, he knocked on the door.
"Come in, Harry." said Lily.
Harry opened the door to find his mother pointing her wand straight at him.
"Incendio!" Harry ducked, as a ball of blue flames shot towards him.
He rolled out of the doorway, and hid behind the couch. "Look, Mum, I'm sorry. I just wasn't thinking you know?" Harry said, his voice quavering.
"Reducto!" said Lily, turning the couch to ash.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry shouted at his mother.
"Protego!" said Lily almost lazily, sending the spell back at Harry.
He leapt out of the way, and shot another spell at his mother. "Petrificus Totalus!"
"Protego!" she said again, reflecting the spell.
Harry again rolled away from the spell. He knew that if this kept up much longer, his Mum would start using much more dangerous curses. He had to end this, now.
Harry jumped up and shouted "Stupefy!", putting his all, in the spell.
This time Lily didn't even bother to use a spell, she raised her palm and caught the red ball of magic. With a thought, the ball was sent rushing towards Harry. It hit him dead on the chest, and sent him flying backwards, where he hit the wall with a sickening crunch.
When Harry awoke, he was surprised to see two emerald orbs floating above him. He reached out to touch them, but his hands came into contact with something soft. He blinked, and the world came into focus. His mother was sitting on the bed beside, him, her emerald eyes peering deep into his own.
"Mum? Where am I?" asked Harry, trying to get his bearings.
"You are in the hospitable wing. That was quite a nasty Stunning Spell you launched at me, Harry. You suffered a concussion, three broken ribs, and it seems your nose was damaged as well. In fact, your nose matches Professor Dumbledore's!" she said with a chuckle.
"Why? Why did you try to kill me, Mum?" asked Harry despondently. His mother was what his whole life revolved around. He couldn't bear to think that she hated him now.
"If I wanted to kill you, you would be dead by now, Sweetie. Professor Dumbledore thought that it would be an important lesson for you to learn. In real life, a spell like the Killing Curse, would not be enough to save you from a truly skilled Duelist. That, and we don't want to see you go the way of your father. Voldemort first used the Killing Curse in his third-year, against his own father and grandparents. He was quite angry at them for abandoning him. That experience led him to enjoy using the Killing Curse. I believe Professor Dumbledore wanted to ensure the same did not happen to you." replied Lily.
Harry tried to sit up, but winced as found that his ribs were still very sore. "Some lesson." he muttered. "How long have I been out?' he asked.
"Only a few hours. I brought you straight to the Hospital Wing after you were knocked out. Madame Pomfrey was quite displeased, to say the least, to hear what had happened." said Lily, chuckling again.
/At last someone's not insane!/ thought Harry, resentfully.
Lily seemed to pick up on this as well. "I ask you not to be angry at Professor Dumbledore. He was acting in your best interest."
Harry opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted as a strange looking man entered the Hospital Wing. The man had rumpled gray hair, and strange clothes. He had a pinstriped suit, a loud purple tie, a long black cloak, pointed orange boots, and a lime green bowler hat. Professor Dumbledore followed him inside, and the two were in deep conversation, which stopped when they came upon Harry.
"Ah, Cornelius; a pleasure to see you, although I would rather to so, in better circumstances." greeted Lily.
The stranger smiled at Lily warmly, and greeted her in return. "Ah, Professor Riddle good to see you again. I cam as soon as I head the news. And this must be our hero. I am Cornelius Fudge, Harry. The Minister of Magic."
"Pleased to meet you, sir." said Harry politely. He didn't particularly like the man, he seemed a bit slow, and simple minded.
"Harry, I have discussed this with my Council and the members of the Wizengamot. What you have done, defeating a Dragon and a Nundu single-handedly, is amazing. For the incident with the Nundu, we were willing to award you the Order of Merlin, First Class. But Professor Dumbledore urged us not to." said Fudge.
"He urged you not to give me the Order of Merlin?" asked Harry in confusion.
"I didn't want the acclamations to get to your head, Harry." said Dumbledore seriously.
"At any rate, with this second act of heroism; we must definitely award you this great honor." said Fudge.
"Now Cornelius, you must reconsider. Harry should not be rewarded for using the Killing Curse." said Dumbledore sternly.
"But Dumbledore, see it from my point of view. After the incident with the Nundu, my office was flooded with Owls urging me to give Harry the award. Even today, I've already been approached by quite a few influential people, asking that Harry be rewarded. The Daily Prophet was quiet before after your urging, but they've already printed the Evening edition with the title 'Boy-Who-Lived Saves Children From Raging Dragon.'"
"Very well, let us ask Harry if he wants the award. Surely, he should have a say?" said Dumbledore imperiously.
Both men looked at Harry, waiting for his answer. He was more than a little uncomfortable. Harry looked towards his mother. Lily nodded slightly.
"I'll accept it." said Harry.
Dumbledore frowned at Harry, and it was quite plain that he was displeased. Lily on the other hand, smiled at him warmly. Harry was reassured by his mother, and stared Dumbledore down.
"Excellent choice, Harry." said Fudge. "I shall inform the press of this. We shall have the award ceremony at the end of the term, if possible. Good day, Dumbledore, Professor Riddle, Harry." Fudge left the room, in great spirits, and Dumbledore followed, still frowning.
Meanwhile, Lord Voldemort was quite pleased. His son was exceeding his greatest expectations.
/I was a third-year when I first used the Killing Curse. Ah, I remember it so well. The look on my father's face as death sped towards him. The power that flowed through me. Simply incredible./ reflected the Dark Lord.
/Master, surely the boy will get in trouble with the Ministry for this?/ asked Quirell.
/Punishment? Ha! The boy's likely to get the Order of Merlin for this, if that old muggle-loving fool doesn't prevent it again./ replied Voldemort.
/My Lord, I believe we can use this situation to our advantage. From what I've heard, your daughter put your son in the hospital wing on Dumbledore's orders. We can use this fester discord between them./ suggested Quirell.
/Yes, but you cannot be the one to do it. He does not trust you. I shall use Black for this purpose./ decided the Dark Lord.
The nest night as Harry sat staring at the fire, Draco and Hermione approached him, levitating a box behind them.
"Harry, we found another Boggart to practice on." said Draco.
"Good, how many do we have? Three? That should be enough." said Harry.
"Harry, are you sure we can't get in trouble for this?" asked Hermione, nervously.
"Yes. This room is unplottable. No one can detect the spells we do in here. Now give me your wand, Hermione, Draco."
They handed over their wands to Harry. "Dissimulo Incantatem!" he said, enchanting the wands. Then he took Hermione's wand, and did the same spell to his own.
"Now, when you when you do a hex or curse, a thought will keep it secret from Priori Incantatem, the Reverse Spell Effect. You could go on a killing spree, and as long there are no witnesses, the Ministry has nothing on you. The spell is undetectable as well. Alright, Hermione, you go first."
Hermione approached the box, and opened it. Professor Riddle came out of it, with a scrap of parchment in one hand.
"Ms. Granger, I regret to inform you, that you have failed each of your courses. You will not be returning next year." said the Boggart, advancing on Hermione.
"Imperio!" she cried, pointing her wand at the Boggart.
The Boggart stopped it's movement, and smiled at Hermione. "It appears, Ms. Granger that you have achieved a 112% on all your exams. Congratulations." said the Boggart, before is started pirouetting across the room.
"Well done, Hermione. Now onto the Cruciatus. Instead of despair, you need anger."
Hermione nodded, and approached the Boggart again. "You failed stupid girl, you did dismally on my exam. I have no choice but to recommend your expulsion!" said Boggart evilly.
Enraged, Hermione cried out "Crucio!" The Boggart fell to the ground and writhed in agony.
"Good, now the last one. The Killing Curse. Just concentrate. Remember, if I can do it, you certainly can." instructed Harry.
Hermione took in a deep breath, and shouted "Avada Kedavra!" A pale green burst of light came out of her wand, and hit the creature, instantly killing it. Eerily, the Boggart stayed in Professor Riddle's form, and his mother's eyes, empty of life stared up at Harry.
"Why was my light different than yours, Harry?' asked Hermione.
"The power behind the spell determines the intensity of the light, and the power of the curse. I think mine was more powerful because I'm Voldemort's Heir." replied Harry. The other two flinched at the sound of the name, but said nothing. "Draco, you're up."
Draco went up to the next box, and opened it. A werewolf arose from the box, and advanced on him.
"Imperio!" he shouted. The werewolf sat on the floor, then rolled over obediently. It rose, and let out a long howl.
"Now remember, Draco, you need anger for the next curse." said Harry.
"Crucio!" said Draco. The Boggart fell to floor, and writhed in agony as the previous had.
After a few minutes of that, Draco finished it off with "Avada Kedavra!" The same pale green light as Hermione's burst forth, and hit the Boggart.
"Good job you two, now move off to the side. If I'm right about what I'm frightened of, you better stay away." commanded Harry. The two instantly obeyed, and wondered what Harry could possibly be frightened of.
Harry used a levitation charm, to open the lid of the box. This Boggart stepped out in Professor Riddle's form as well.
"Avada Kedavra!" cried the Boggart, sending a blast of green light Harry's way.
He ducked and rolled towards the other side of the room. Standing back up, "Imperio!" he shouted. The Boggart did a back-flip, and then a cartwheel, before standing on it's hands.
"Crucio!" said Harry. The Boggart screamed in terror, and writhed on the floor as before. Harry took it off after a few seconds, but then the Boggart started morphing into different forms.
"What happened?" asked Hermione.
"The Cruciatus curse, when enough power is behind it, can drive someone mad after a while. On weak wizards and magical creatures, it only takes a few curses to madden them. On stronger wizards, it takes quite a bit more. It took an entire night of the Cruciatus to drive Longbottom's parents, Frank and Alice, mad. And those were three of my Father's most powerful servants as well, Bellatrix Lestrange, Bartemius Crouch, Jr., and Rabastan Lestrange."
"Why would they do that?" asked Hermione in disgust.
"They wanted information. What had really happened to my Father was, and is kept a secret to the Wizarding public. Only members of a secret organization headed by Dumbledore, called the Order of the Phoenix knew that my Father recalled the curse. The Longbottoms were a big part of that Order, as were my Mum, Uncle Severus, Uncle Sirius, Uncle Remus, and Uncle James as well as couple of others." explained Harry.
"Most of the key members were killed by Death Eaters or are better off dead, like the Longbottoms. They were really the only successful resistance to my Father, and they probably would have lost soon, if it hadn't been for me. That's why the higher-ups in the Wizarding world treat me as if I'm some kind of Savior."
"But in the end the Order won. They got all the Death Eaters." said Hermione.
"Yes and no. The Ministry and Order retained control of the Wizarding world. But tens of thousands of muggles, and a few thousands wizards were killed in the eleven years of war by Death Eaters. And about three-quarters of the Death Eater army got away scot-free. It's really more of a temporary ceasefire, until Voldemort returns."
The two flinched again, and Draco asked shakily "V-, V-, You-Know-Who will return? My Dad says it's never going to happen, and only Ultra-Death Eaters like the Bellatrix Lestrange and Bartemius Crouch would be foolish enough to believe that."
"Well, they're right. He's not dead, just disembodied. There's a big difference. Voldemort will return, and would you two stop flinching at the sound of his name? He's not the boogie-man."
"But Dumbledore will get him, if he returns, right? He was the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of."
"I don't think so. The two times that they dueled, Dumbledore and Voldemort were pretty much equally matched. I think my Mum has a better chance of defeating Voldemort than Dumbledore." Harry replied.
"Your Mum? She couldn't be that powerful!" said Draco incredulously.
"Yes, she is. I've seen her duel Dumbledore lots of times. She either beats him or they tie. He hasn't ever beat her," said Harry. "She has Grand Sorcerer's Levels in Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Wandless Magic. Salazaar Slytherin is the only other person who has gotten that level in Wandless Magic."
Harry waved his wand again and murmured "Crucio!". The mad Boggart began to writhe again before it suddenly stopped.
"After a while the Cruciatus can overload the mind and kill. It's said to be the worst death possible." Another wave of his wand, and the Boggarts were in the fire, and all evidence was burned away.
Harry looked at his watch, and noticed the time. "I've got to get to detention. Why don't you two practice other curses, while I'm gone."
Harry made his way down to entrance hall. He thought about Draco's Dad, Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy was in Voldemort's Inner Circle, but he was never truly loyal like the Lestrange and Crouch, or his Uncles Sirius, Remus, and James. He, of course, knew that his Uncles were Death Eaters. Sirius and Remus had confessed what they truly were to him, after they had told his mother, and he loved them nonetheless.
He was jerked out of his thoughts, but the sight of a large, black dog in his way. /Looks like the Grim./ thought Harry.
The Grim instantly transformed intro his Sirius. "Sirius, what are you doing here?"
"Just thought I'd drop by and see how you're doing. Heard about the Dragon incident. There's also a rumor floating around that you're going to get Order of Merlin, First Class. That true, kid?"
"Yeah, I did. Professor Dumbledore's pretty angry at me though."
"Now what does Dumbledore have to do with any of this? It's your right, after defeating a Dragon."
"He thinks the award will get to my head. Professor Dumbledore thinks I'll get arrogant."
"And what does your Mum think Harry?"
"She thinks I should get the award."
"So, whose word matters more, Dumbledore's or your Mum's?"
"My Mum's, of course!"
"That's good Harry. Trust in your real family, not the phonies who only act nice to you."
"I guess you're right. Look Sirius, I'll talk to you later, I have to get to detention. Bye!"
"See you later, kid!" replied Sirius, before transformed into the Grim again, and bounded off into the grounds.
Harry found Filch waiting for him in the Entrance Hall. "Follow me." he said.
Harry ignored what Filch was saying, and concentrated on the prickly feeling in the back of his neck. He knew that something was afoot, but couldn't put his finger on what. Absently, Harry picked up that he was to go into the forest, but for some reason this didn't frighten him. /Should be interesting./
They finally arrived at Hagrid's Hut, where the large man was waiting for them with his crossbow. Hagrid explained the situation to Harry, once they got a bit into the Forest. "Look there, see that stuff shinin' on the ground? That's Unicorn Blood. There's a unicorn in there bin hurt badly by summat. This is the second time in a week. I found one dead last Wednesday."
"But it's not easy to catch a Unicorn, no wild creature could do that. It must be another wizard or witch killing them." replied Harry.
"Yeh, would know about' that, wouldn't yeh?" said Hagrid meanly. "GET BEHIND THAT TREE!" Hagrid raised his cross bow, and readied to fire. Harry could hear a cloak trailing along the ground.
"It is a wizard or witch! Hagrid, any wizard that would kill a unicorn must be pretty evil. Maybe we should get my Mum or Dumbledore."
At that moment there was a rustling in the bushes. "Who's there? Show yerself - I'm armed!" called Hagrid.
And into the clearing came a centaur with red hair and beard, but a gleaming chestnut body and a long reddish tail.
"Oh, it's you Ronan, How are yeh?" asked Hagrid.
"Good evening to you, Hagrid. Were you going to shoot me?" Ronan asked.
"Can't be to careful, Ronan, There's summat bed loose in this forest. This is Harry Riddle, by the way. A student up at the school. An' this is Ronan, he's a centaur."
"Good evening." said Harry.
"Good evening. A student, are you? And do you learn much, up at the school?" asked Ronan.
"More than I need to know." replied Harry.
"One can never know too much." said Ronan. He looked up into the sky and said, "Mars is bright tonight."
"Ronan, there's a unicorn that's been attacked. Have you see anything, possibly a Dark Wizard?" asked Harry.
Ronan was quiet for a few moments. He stared unblinkingly upwards, then sighed. "Always the innocent are the first victims. So it has been for ages past, so it is now."
"Yeah, but have yeh seen anything', Ronan? Anythin' unusual?" asked Hagrid.
"Mars is bright tonight, Unusually bright." said Ronan.
The image of the man in the Mirror of Erised came to Harry now. He was here. "Voldemort." whispered Harry.
Hagrid looked at the boy sharply, and scolded him. "Don't say the name!"
"Voldemort's here, isn't he, Ronan? He's drinking the unicorn blood to get stronger!" said Harry.
A second centaur came out of the trees, black-haired and bodied, and he looked wilder than Ronan.
"Hullo, Bane. All right?" asked Hagrid, who looked a little pale.
"Good evening, Hagrid. I hope you are well?" asked Bane politely.
"Well enough. Have yeh seen anything' unusual tonight?" asked Hagrid nervously.
Bane looked up into the sky, and said "Mars is bright tonight."
"I think that's a 'Yes, Voldemort is in this forest, hunting unicorns'." said Harry.
"The forest hides many secrets." added Bane.
"You-Know-Who in the forest? Hah! He'd be too scared of Dumbledore, to get this close to Hogwarts. If either of you do see anything', let me know, won't yeh? We'll be off, then." said Hagrid.
As they walked deeper into the forest, the path came to a fork. "We'll split up here. Yeh take Fang. Send up green sparks if you find somethin' and red sparks if yer in trouble." said Hagrid, before he took the right path.
"Hagrid? HAGRID! Great oaf! He's trying to get me killed." said Harry to himself. Fang seemed to be terrified of something, as if he smelt the danger in the air.
As Harry, walked further down the path, he noticed more and more puddles of silver blood. After what seemed like hours, he came into a clearing, where the unicorn was swaying on her feet. Harry had never seen anything so beautiful and sad. He got close to her, and put his wand up to the long wound on her side.
"Curatio!" he said, healing the wound.
The unicorn seemed better, but was still uneasy. Harry sent up green sparks into the air, to signal Hagrid. The uneasy feeling he had intensified, and he looked around to see the source of the danger. Fang ran like the wind into the woods, leaving Harry alone with the unicorn.
"Reducto!" shouted Harry, as a knife came hurtling towards the unicorn. The knife shattered, but it didn't ease Harry's fear. Voldemort was here, watching him from the shadows, Harry was sure of it.
"Come out, Voldemort! I know you're here! Show yourself to me!" Harry shouted.
A hooded figure, covered in a long black cloak, came out of the shadows and walked towards Harry.
"Hello, son." came the raspy voice of Voldemort.
Harry could hear the thumping of hooves coming closer. A young centaur, with white-blonde hair and a palomino body came out of the trees, and attacked Voldemort. The Dark Lord fled into the night, with barely a sound.
"Are you alright?" asked the centaur, looking at his scar.
"Yes, I'm fine." replied Harry.
"You are the Riddle boy. You had better get back to your school. The forest is not safe for you at this time. Can you ride, it will be faster this way? My name is Firenze." said the centaur.
"That, will not be necessary, Firenze." said Dumbledore, coming into the clearing. "I trust your people, will be able to care for this unicorn?" asked Dumbledore.
Firenze nodded, and led the unicorn away.
Dumbledore picked up a large stone, and turned it into a portkey. "Harry, grab hold of this. One, two, three …"
Harry felt a tug at his navel, and he surrounded by a whirl of colors and sounds. In a moment, he was in Dumbledore's office. Harry was on his feet for only a second, when he was engulfed in hug from his mother.
"Oh Sweetie, I've been worried sick about you! When Hagrid reported you missing a few hours ago, I expected the worst!" said Lily, and Harry could hear the worry and sadness in his mother's voice. It broke his heart, and held his mother closer.
"Mum, I'm okay. Voldemort didn't even touch me." replied Harry.
"Voldemort, Harry? Are you sure? When Hagrid came to see us a few hours ago, he mentioned something about him. I just assumed you were trying to wile your way out of detention." said Dumbledore calmly.
The eyes of both Riddles narrowed in anger. "I assure you, Voldemort is indeed in the Forbidden Forest, drinking Unicorn Blood to get stronger. I encountered him tonight. He only greeted me, saying 'Hello, son' before Firenze drove him away." replied Harry.
"It could have been another Dark Wizard, or former Death Eater. We aren't exactly sure how many know of your parentage." said Dumbledore.
"But how many Dark Wizards would resort to drinking Unicorn Blood to restore their strength. Even Grindelwald and Salazaar Slytherin never went that far. Only Voldemort would ever accept the half-life that comes with drinking it." reasoned Lily.
"Voldemort would never come that close to Hogwarts while I am here. He has better sense than that." said Dumbledore. "I believe Hagrid made that point to you already."
"Hagrid could have got me killed tonight! He made go by me go into the deepest and darkest part of the forest, with only that coward Fang. It's amazing that I even managed to save the unicorn's life." replied Harry angrily.
"Hagrid would never purposefully put you in harm's way, Harry." said Dumbledore.
"Really? And his resentment of Harry, for killing his Dragon, wouldn't happen to have anything to do with what happened tonight?" asked Lily slyly. Dumbledore stayed quiet, and Lily pressed ahead. "Albus, if Harry says that Voldemort was in the Forest, then Voldemort was in the Forest."
"Why would he risk getting this close to me? There are unicorns, all across Europe." said Dumbledore.
"Yes, but there's only one Sorcerer's Stone, and that's here at Hogwarts." replied Harry.
"Harry, Voldemort is more dead than alive. He couldn't mange to come this close, without alerting me. Regardless, of what you may believe, I assure you, Voldemort is gone from Britain forever." said Dumbledore.
"The prophecy said …" started Lily.
"That's enough. Harry, I believe it's far past your curfew. Get to bed, while your mother and I discuss a few things." said Dumbledore.
"Harry has every right to hear this. It pertains to his life after all." replied Lily.
"Is this about why Voldemort tried to kill me, and not you, Mum?" asked Harry.
"My decision on this is final. Not today. Not now. You will know, one day. Harry, I know you hate to hear this, but it is true. When you are older, when you are ready, you will know. Now, you will take Harry to his dormitory." said Dumbledore, with note of finality in his voice.
Lily stared angrily at Dumbledore, and Harry could tell she was close to hexing the aging Headmaster into oblivion. But she controlled herself, and silently led Harry out of the office.
"Why can't you tell me now that we're away from him, Mum?" asked Harry.
"You won't find this in Hogwarts: A History, but the walls have ears. Including the teacher's quarters, to my indignation. Understand me, Harry?" replied Lily. "I've been arguing about this with him for a very long time. Although, I am your mother, he is Chief Warlock and Supreme Mugwump. The decision in the end, is his."
Harry put his lips up to his mother's ear, and whispered very softly. "I know a place where there are no ears."
"Excellent. Then I'll tell you during the summer holidays." she whispered back.
Harry breezed through the difficult written exams that sweltering hot June. Hermione and Draco on the other hand, were nervous wrecks, although they were the number two and three students behind Harry in their year.
They had practical exams as well. Professor Riddle had them charm ice cream to withstand the intense heat, and then make it tap-dance across her desk. Harry had been given extra credit, when he gave the ice cream an aura of coolness that chilled the entire classroom. Professor McGonagall had them transfigure mice into snuffboxes, and gave Harry a lot of extra points, as his looked like it had been pilfered from royalty. Professor Snape, of course, gave Harry extra points for simply being Harry. And so on.
Nevertheless, Harry was glad when they were finally over. Walking down a corridor, with Hermione and Draco arguing over the answers to test questions, Harry was surprised that he had not seen his mother all day.
Professor McGonagall was carrying a load of books to her office, so Harry stopped and assisted her. On the way, he asked "Professor, do you know where I can find my Mum?" asked Harry.
"I'm afraid your mother has been called away to the Ministry, along with the Headmaster. They most likely won't return until tomorrow. Anything important?" replied McGonagall.
Thoughts whirled through Harry's head, but he answered "No."
As Harry sat that night, in his secret room, he thought over the possibilities. /What are the chances of my Mum and Dumbledore getting called away to the Ministry at the same time? Quirell probably sent them a fake letter, calling them away on purpose. But that not only leaves the Stone open to Quirell, but me as well. If I can get the Stone, I can give it to my father, and resurrect him. I'd actually have a father! Yes, I have to get it. I 'd doubt that Draco and Hermione would be of any real help. The only thing that they could do is get killed. I'll go alone, after curfew./
That night, as the rest of his housemates slept soundly, Harry donned his invisibility cloak and left the Dorms. He made his way to the Third-Floor Corridor, only to find Peeves blocking his path.
"Who's there? Know you're there, even if I can't se you. Are you ghoulie or ghostie or wee student beastie?" asked Peeves.
/Wee student beastie?/ thought Harry indignantly.
"Should call Filch, I should, if something's a-creeping around unseen."
Harry had enough of Peeves this year, and had decided on a bit of revenge.
"Silencio!" he whispered first, arousing Peeves' anger. The poltergeist was set to throw a few water balloons at Harry, when he let loose his second curse.
"Crucio!" whispered Harry. Peeves thrashed about in agony, on the floor. After a few minutes, Harry released the curse.
"Finite Incantatem! Peeves!" said Harry in a deep voice. "Keep away from this place tonight! Unless, you wish for me to repeat myself?"
"I will, sir, I most certainly will. I'll not bother you!" said Peeves.
"Do not mention what has happened to anyone else, or I shall have to deal with you. Understand?" said Harry.
"Of course, sir. No problem, sir. I'll be off!' said Peeves, before racing away.
Harry continued on his way, in better spirits, but they fell when he noticed the door to third floor corridor was already ajar. Harry pushed the door pen slightly, and slid into the room. A rumbling growl met his ears. The gigantic, three-headed dog was sniffing madly.
/What did Orpheus do, when he encountered Cerberus? He played music. Ah, there's a harp under it's feet./
"Tocarus!" he said, enchanting the harp to play continuously.
The dog soon began to sleep, and Harry jumped down the hole under the trap door. He was relieved to land on something soft. But that relief faded, when it began to wrap around his legs.
/Must be a deadly plant of some kind./ thought Harry.
"Incendio!" he said, burning the plant.
The plant desperately wriggled away from the fire, and released Harry in the process. Harry went forward, down a stone passageway that ended in a huge chamber. Sitting right in the middle, was a beautiful sphinx, who had the head and shoulders of his mother.
Harry walked up to the sphinx, "I suppose I have to answer your riddle to pass?" he asked.
"Yes," she replied, with a Cheshire grin.
"Will it be the same as the one, the other guy used to get past you?" he asked.
"No, harder." replied the Sphinx.
"Why harder?" asked Harry angrily.
"Professor Riddle said to give Harry Riddle an especially hard riddle." she said smiling at him.
/How like Mum, toying with me even when I'm doing something as serious as this./ "Very well, what is it?" asked Harry.
The sphinx showed Harry a pouch that was attached to her hind leg. "What is in my pocket?"
Harry stared at her incredulously. /Of all the questions …/ "There's a wocket in your pocket."
The Sphinx smiled at him, and the door opened. Harry ran past the Sphinx, and into the dark room ahead. But as he stepped into, light suddenly flooded the room to reveal a giant chessboard. Huge white chessmen
"I suppose you want me to join you and play across?" he asked the Black King. It nodded in response.
"Ha! That's not going to happen." replied Harry. Taking out a pocket-knife, he cut his hand slightly, and withdrew four drops of blood.
"Genero Anima Cruor!" he said four times, creating four Bull-headed giants. The giants crashed through the chessmen, until only shattered stone remained. With a flick of his wand, the giants returned to drops of blood, which he quickly vanished away.
Harry proceeded to the next chamber, and was met by an incredibly beautiful woman. The woman's deep-blue eyes, and long blonde hair were mesmerizing. The woman began to sing an ethereal song, that drew Harry closer. But something didn't seemed quite right, and the thought of the Mirror of Erised floated into Harry's mind.
/Men have been so entranced by it, that they waste away …. A Siren! Her song is maddening me!/ thought Harry. He covered his ears, and ran into the next room.
As he came upon a table with seven bottles on it, a purple fire sprang up behind him, and a black fire blocked the door out. He read over the hints supplied.
/I didn't know Uncle Severus was so poetic. It seems that the smallest bottle will allow me to get through, and the rounded bottle will help me get back. Better keep that one just in case./
Harry put the rounded bottle into his cloak, and drank the contents of the smallest one. Steeling himself, he went through the black flames. As his mother suspected, Quirell was standing there in front of the Mirror of Erised.
"Quirell." said Harry, as he walked into the chamber.
"Riddle." said Quirell, smiling at him. "I wondered whether I'd be seeing you here."
"Yes, you did try to do me in a few times. The Nundu, the jinx on my broom. I bet you gave that Dragon egg to Hagrid. Never came close to succeeding though. Most unfortunate." replied Harry.
"If I really wanted to kill you, I assure you I would have." replied Quirell, incensed by the youth's arrogance. He was about to snap his fingers to bind the young man, when Harry acted first.
"Excipio Chalybs!" said Harry, conjuring rods of steel to bind the older man. "I don't think so, Quirell."
With a flick of his wand, he cast Quirell to the side of the room. Harry stepped in front of the Mirror, and peered into it. "This Mirror is the key to finding the Stone." he murmured to himself. "Dumbledore must have charmed it somehow. A charm to, perhaps, only give the Stone to those who wanted to find it; find it but not use it. A charm that acts against greed and ambition."
As if in response, his reflection smiled at him. It put it's hand into it's pocket, and pulled out a blood-red stone. The reflection winked at him, and put the Stone back into it's pocket, and as it did so, the Stone dropped heavily into his real pocket.
Harry smiled and pulled the Stone out. It glittered at him.
Quirell's jaw was wide open, as he obviously hadn't considered that Harry would be able to figure out the mystery of the Mirror before he did.
"H-how?" asked Quirell. "You want the Stone as well! What makes me greedy and ambitious and not you?"
"You wanted to the Stone, for your own benefit. I want the Stone, to resurrect my Father." replied Harry. "Now, as it is rather late, I'm afraid I'll have to make you permanently disappear, before I meet my Father in the Forbidden Forest."
"Your father is closer than you think …" said a voice, that seemed to come from Quirell himself. "Let me speak to him … face-to-face …"
"Master, you are not strong enough!" replied Quirell.
"I have strength enough … for this …"
The steel rods fell to the floor, and Quirell, instead of attacking Harry, began to unwrap his turban. The cloth fell away, and Quirell turned on the spot. A chalk white face, with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils stared at him.
"Father?" asked Harry.
"Yes, It is I … See what I have become … Mere shadow and vapor … I must thank you, my son … You have done what even faithful Quirell could not … You have procured the Stone … Once I have the Elixir of Life … I will be able to create a new body … And you will have a father."
Voldemort seemed to disappear for a moment, and then his shadowy form came out of Quirell. He came to rest upon the floor, in a terribly ugly form. Voldemort looked like a crouched human child, except hairless and scaly-looking, and a dark, raw, reddish black. His arms and legs were thin and feeble, and it's face was snakelike, with gleaming red eyes.
Quirell turned around and took out a shrunken jug from his robes. With a snap of his fingers, the jug was back to normal size, and Harry could see it contained water. He handed the jug to Harry. "Touch the Stone to the water, and it will turn into the Elixir of Life. Bring the water to his lips, and make sure he drinks it all."
Harry followed Quirell's instructions, and watched in awe as the water swirled in a myriad of colors, before becoming clear again. He took the jug, and brought it over to Voldemort. Kneeling down, he poured the Elixir into Voldemort's mouth. His father drank every drop, and Harry backed away. A blinding light then encompassed the body of Voldemort, and in moments it revealed the resurrected Dark Lord.
However, instead of a pale man, with gleaming red eyes, and a snake-like face; there was a tall man, with unruly black hair, and emerald eyes that looked quite familiar.
Both Quirell and Harry looked at Voldemort in shock. He met their stares with a raised eyebrow.
"Does it surprise you that I actually look human?" asked Voldemort. "My wand, Quirell."
Quirell pulled out a long wand from inside his robes, and handed it to the Dark Lord. With a wave of his wand, Voldemort was clothed in rich black robes, befitting of a Dark Lord. He turned to look at himself in the Mirror of Erised.
"Good, still it needs work." He opened his robes to reveal his bare chest. The Dark Lord brought his wand to his left breast and muttered "Morsmorde Imperium." The Dark Mark was burned onto his breast, and emerald green rather than the normal black.
He then screwed up his eyes, as if he was struggling to remember something. The man who looked like an older version of Harry disappeared, and the snake-like man was in his place.
"Much better." commented Voldemort. He then turned to Harry and examined him carefully. "I sense that your mother and that fool Dumbledore are on their way. They will no doubt question you about tonight's events. After which, you would be immediately sent to Azkaban for allowing me to return. I have thought of this eventuality, and come up with a solution. Quirell?"
Quirell pulled out a small bottle and carefully handed it over to the Dark Lord. "This will make you immune to Veritaserum, as well as strengthen your mind against Legilmency. Should Dumbledore test you, he will find nothing."
Harry obediently drank a third of the bottle, and stowed the rest away for his friends. "Now, I will have to bind you. Give me your wand, as well." continued the Dark Lord.
"Excipio Chalybs!" said Voldemort, binding Harry with steel. With a flick of his wand, the chamber was surrounded by a wall of green flame.
Harry could see his mother and Dumbledore arrive just outside the green flames. They both shocked to see Voldemort resurrected, with the Sorcerer's Stone in his hand.
"Voldemort?" asked Dumbledore.
"Ah, Dumbledore. I didn't expect that you would get here in time. You were foolish enough to heed my owl calling you to the Ministry. And Lily, my sweet, how are you daughter?" asked Voldemort.
"Daughter?" asked Harry incredulously.
"Sweetie!" shrieked Lily, horrified to see her son in such a predicament.
"Ah, yes, our dear son. He came here tonight to prevent Quirell from getting the Stone. I believe that he suspected that Quirell was in league with me, ever since we met in the forest. Quite intelligent, don't you think, Dumbledore?"
"I assume he got it from his mother, Tom, not his father." replied Dumbledore.
"And where did she get from, pray tell? From me, of course. My daughter is the only one to ever score higher than me on the O.W.L.s or N.E.W.T.s. And the first one to get a Grand Sorcerer Level in Wandless Magic since Salazar Slytherin. I'm pleased to say, that I'm quite proud of both my children." said Voldemort.
"Daughter?" repeated Harry again.
"Yes, Harry. Lily is my daughter. Or has Dumbledore kept that a secret from you? I wonder what else Dumbledore has kept secret from you." said Voldemort, mocking the Headmaster.
"Stupefy!" shouted Dumbledore, setting a ball of red light at Voldemort. The Dark Lord merely rolled out of the way, and the spell hit the Mirror of Erised, shattering it.
"Pity. Seven years bad luck for you Dumbledore." said Voldemort mockingly. "What would you say, if I told you, that I have been residing in this Castle for the entire school-year?"
"That's impossible, Tom. I would have noticed." replied Dumbledore, although Harry could see that he wasn't confident in that assumption.
"Oh it is possible. I've been sharing faithful Quirell's body." replied Voldemort.
"He would have died from the strain." said Dumbledore, although his getting less and less certain of it.
"Yes, he would have, had it not been for our use of unicorn blood." said Voldemort.
"I could have stopped you had I been less arrogant." muttered Dumbledore to himself.
"And that's not the only mistake you made Dumbledore." said Voldemort, smirking at the Headmaster. Dumbledore looked confused, so the Dark Lord elaborated. "Remember the lesson that you had dear Lily teach Harry, that the Unforgiveables should never be used?"
Dumbledore made no acknowledgement to this, and stared at Voldemort intently. "Well, tonight, young Harry had the chance to kill me. He could have done it. He could have rid the world of me, forever. He didn't." said Voldemort. Although Harry knew Voldemort was lying through his teeth, what he said was technically true. He could have killed his Father tonight.
The look on Dumbledore's face clearly expressed his dismay at the turn of events. However, Harry saw a brief look of happiness on his mother's face, that was gone in an instant.
"I would like to chat with you longer, but Quirell and I really must be going. Goodbye, dear Lily." said Voldemort, blowing her a kiss. The Dark Lord turned to Harry and smiled, "And a special goodbye for you my son."
He ripped off the front of Harry's robes and pointed Harry's wand at his left breast. "Morsmorde Imperium." said Voldemort, giving Harry an identical Mark.
Harry screamed in agony, as extraordinary pain coursed throughout his body. "I mixed my usual Dark Mark spell with the Cruciatus Curse. The pain is only mental, all you have to do, is believe it isn't real." whispered Voldemort.
Harry concentrated hard on the thought, that the pain wasn't real. Suddenly the pain stopped, and he felt a slight tingle of power flow through him.
"Excellent." said Voldemort. He kissed Harry's forehead, and whispered "Goodbye, my son. We will meet each other again, I promise."
The Dark Lord picked up the discarded turban, along with Quirell, and in a moment they were gone.
One Voldemort left, the ring of green flames vanished as well, allowing Dumbledore and his mother access. His mother rushed over to him, and did the counter curse, freeing Harry from his bonds.
"Oh Sweetie, are you alright?" she asked, eyeing the Dark Mark on his chest.
"It tingles a bit, but I'm alright." answered Harry.
"Harry, Lily, follow me." commanded Dumbledore. The Headmaster led them out of the chamber, and back through the various enchantments.
"There's wocket in your pocket." Harry repeated, as they passed the sphinx.
Lily smiled broadly. "I didn't think you would remember."
"Why did you make a special riddle just for me?" asked Harry.
"I had thought that since Quirell was trying to kill you, you had a right to face him if you wanted." replied Lily. "Although, I admit, I didn't expect that you would actually manage to figure out Dumbledore's Enchantment."
"It was pretty easy to figure out. Someone had to want to find the Stone, but not want it for their own benefit." replied Harry.
The frown that had been on Dumbledore's face deepened at this. /I guess he doesn't enjoy being outwitted by a eleven year old./ thought Harry.
They soon arrived at Dumbledore's office, where the entire staff, Cornelius Fudge, several top Ministry Officials, as well as some of the top Aurors were crowded into his office. Harry identified Bartemius Crouch, Sr.; Amelia Bones, and Arthur Weasley among the people there.
"Dumbledore, I came as soon as I got your message. What happened? Does it have anything to do with Him and the You-Know-What?" asked Fudge.
"Lord Voldemort has risen again, by using the Sorcerer's Stone. I saw him with my own eyes, as did Professor Riddle and Harry." replied Dumbledore, who looked old and tired.
"What have you got to do with this, Harry?" asked Fudge, noticing for the first time that Harry was there.
"I had detention in the Forbidden Forest a few weeks ago, for the Dragon incident. When I was there, I encountered Voldemort trying to drink unicorn blood, as a temporary respite. After that, I knew that he was here to get the Stone; so when Mum and the Headmaster got called away to the Ministry, I figured that he and Quirell were going after it tonight." lied Harry.
"Quirell? The Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor? What has he got to do with this?" asked Fudge. "And why wasn't I informed that V- Vo, ahem, that You-Know-Who was in the Forbidden Forest?"
"I'm afraid, that I arrogantly thought Voldemort would never dare get so close to me. But I was wrong. He was indeed in the Forest that night, but more importantly, has been in the Castle for the entire school-year." sighed Dumbledore.
"What! How is it that possible?" asked Fudge, who had gotten very pale.
"He was sharing a body with Quirell. Although, we have had doubts about Quirell's untrustworthiness. The Nundu incident, the jinxing of my son's broom, the Lion-Headed beasts attack, and the giving away of the Dragon egg were all suspected to be his work." said Lily. "However, it was the Headmaster's position, that we could not simply imprison Quirell without undeniable evidence. Innocent until proven guilty, so to speak."
"So what do I do now? He almost succeeded in taking over the whole of Europe last time!" said Fudge, clearly panicked.
"Firstly, issue a statement to the press, informing the public of Voldemort's return. You must immediately start to reinforce the Auror ranks, by recruiting new candidates. You will have a few months to train them, as Voldemort's strongest supporters are in Azkaban, and the regular Death Eaters have abandoned his cause." advised Dumbledore.
"Easily done. I'll start tomorrow morning." said Fudge.
"Not all of this will be easy. You must remove the Dementors from Azkaban as soon as possible." continued Dumbledore.
"Remove the Dementors! I'd be kicked out of office for even suggesting such a thing." exclaimed Fudge.
"The Dementors will not stay loyal to you, Cornelius; once Voldemort has regained a few of his supporters. Then with an Army of Dementors and Elite Death Eaters, Voldemort will regain the rest of his army within months. Which brings me to my next point. You must send an envoy to the giants."
"Envoy to the giants! What madness is this?" asked Fudge.
"Extend them the hand of friendship, before it is too late. Voldemort has persuaded them in the past, that he all among wizards will give them their rights and their freedom."
"Dumbledore, you must understand, what you're saying is political suicide! Half of us only feel safe in our beds at night, because the Dementors are standing guard at Azkaban. And the giants? Almost all of the Wizarding world despises the giants. I'll give a public statement, and I'll even boost Auror Recruitment, but the rest I cannot do." said Fudge.
"It seems to me," interrupted Harry, bringing all attention in the room to him. 'That whether the Dementors are removed from Azkaban or not; and whether an envoy is sent to the giants or not; the results will be the same. The Dementors and Giants will surely join Voldemort, because indeed he is the only one among wizards who would give them the freedom they desire. He will also find away to free the Prisoners of Azkaban, Dementors or no."
"Are you saying that there is no hope?" asked Dumbledore, although it was clear that he was examining Harry very carefully, looking for any hint of support for Voldemort.
"No, there are measures you can take. Order the Dementors to kiss all the Death Eaters in Azkaban, and then remove them when there's nothing left to guard. Next, you can eliminate the remainder of the giant population, permanently removing their lingering threat. Not only will this remove those three threats, but it will give caution to those would support Voldemort, and prevent many from rejoining him." suggested Harry. /Dumbledore would never allow my suggestions to happen. But once Dad starts his reign of terror, these Ministry officials will look on my suggestions with longing. That'll give me quite an advantage in the future./ thought Harry.
It was clear that everyone in the room, excepting his mother, was shocked by Harry's suggestions. Nevertheless, the Ministry Officials looked as if they would gladly approve of the measures.
Seeing this, Dumbledore quickly responded "While those ideas are interesting, the International Confederation would never permit it. As Chairman of the Confederation, I can guarantee this."
He then turned to Harry, "Perhaps it would best, if you got to bed. It has been a long night, and you seem very tired, Harry."
Knowing that he had no choice, Harry nodded and left without a word. Once he arrived in the Slytherin Common Room, instead of going up to bed, he went into the secret room. Harry spent the rest of night, studying the Dark Arts.
/I need to impress Dad, the next time we meet, after all./ though Harry.
The next morning, after giving Hermione and Draco does of the Veritaserum immunity potion, Harry told them everything that had happened the previous night, leaving out the fact that his mother was his sister. Needless to say, they were both quite shocked.
"He's back? I can't believe it. The Dark Lord has actually risen again! I'll have to tell my father." said Draco.
"He already knows by now. And remember, you two can't tell anyone that I actually helped him return. We, along with my Dad and Quirell, are the only ones who know." said Harry.
"Harry," began Hermione uncertainly, "I really happy for you, but … "
"What about you and your family?" asked Harry. At Hermione's nod, he continued. "You're a Slytherin, so that basically protects them. I'm sure my Dad knows that your one of my closest friends; I assure you, no harm will come to them."
Hermione seemed satisfied, and the trio made their way to the Great Hall for breakfast. When they arrived, the chatter in the Great Hall increased, as rumors were already spreading about the previous night's events. When the owls came in, bearing tidings of Voldemort resurrection, gasps and screams filled the Hall. Harry could barely contain his laughter, at the terrified students, who acted like the world was coming to an end.
A few days later, Harry made his way down to the end-of-year feast alone. His mother had made a fuss about him, and dressed him in black and green dress robes, as he would be awarded the Order of Merlin tonight. The Great Hall was already full when he got there, but his friends had saved him a seat near them. The Hall was decked out in Slytherin green and silver to celebrate Slytherin's winning the house cup for the seventh year in a row. A huge banner showing the Slytherin serpent covered the wall behind the High Table.
Harry knew that most of the students from the other houses were not exactly pleased to see the Slytherin serpent, so reminiscent of the Dark Mark, covering the wall. Many of them thought that Slytherin had no business getting the cup, when Lord Voldemort had only been resurrected a few days before.
/I wonder if Dumbledore feels the same way. Ah, he can't do anything about it. The rules are the rules, and Slytherin gained the most points this year./ thought Harry.
Various Ministry Officials, and a few famous people who had received the Order of Merlin were also sitting at the High Table. After a few minutes, Dumbledore and his mother arrived, dressed in gold robes.
"Another year gone!" said Dumbledore cheerfully. "Despite this years events, I believe that your heads are all a little fuller than they were .. . fortunately, you have the whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts …"
"Now, before the House Cup is awarded, … I have the great honor of giving another award … Young Mr. Harry Riddle has done many great things, in his very short lifetime … the Defeat of Voldemort, although not permanent, brought ten years of peace to the Wizarding world … the defeat of a Nundu that was set to slay many of our students, with a single Stunning Spell … the defeat of Dragon, that was set to eat a great many of our students … and most recently, Harry attempted to prevent Voldemort's resurrection, although he was not successful … for all of these reasons, we award the Order of Merlin, First Class for Valor to Mr. Harry James Riddle." said Dumbledore.
The Hall burst into applause, as Harry walked up to receive the award; he was very popular for defeating the Dragon, and his apparent battle with Voldemort. The applause continued even after Harry had sat down again.
"On to the house cup. and the points stand as thus: In fourth place Hufflepuff, with three hundred and fifty two points; in third, Ravenclaw, with three hundred and ninety-six points; Gryffindor has four hundred twelve; and Slytherin, six hundred and twelve."
A storm of cheering and stamping broke out from the Slytherin table. Harry could see that many of the other students were sickened by the sight.
"Yes, yes, well done, Slytherin," said Dumbledore. "However, other events must be taken into account."
The room went very still. The smiles of the Slytherins faded a little.
"Ahem," said Dumbledore. "It has come to my attention, that a certain student, … who shall remain unnamed, … has repeatedly snuck out of his dormitory, after curfew … For this reason. one hundred points shall be deducted from Slytherin …" said Dumbledore.
The silence was deafening now. The students eagerly awaited Dumbledore's next words, although Harry, and by the looks of it, his mother as well, knew what was coming next.
"Next - Madame Pince has informed me, that various books in the Restricted Section have been taken out without authorization … these books, are confirmed to have gone to Slytherin Dungeons … a hundred points shall be deducted from Slytherin … "
The tension was palpable in the Great Hall. It seemed that none of the Professors had anticipated that Dumbledore would do this. If Dumbledore took off another point, Gryffindor would have defeated Slytherin for the first time in seven years.
"Lastly, I congratulate Mr. Seamus Finnigan on successfully turning a pitcher of water into a pitcher of rum …. Ten points shall be awarded to Gryffindor .. Which means that we need a change of decoration." said Dumbledore, clapping his hands. The green and silver hangings became red and gold; and the huge Slytherin Serpent that adorned the wall was replaced by a towering Gryffindor Lion.
The Hall burst into cheers and applause, louder than anything that had been heard within it. Even Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were celebrating the downfall of Slytherin along with Gryffindor. Professor Riddle could be seen reaching across Professor Dumbledore to shake hands with Professor McGonagall, who had a look of shock on her face. Lily's face was neutral, although, Harry could detect a profound sadness in her eyes. Later on, during the feast, which was deathly quiet at the Slytherin table, Harry read her lips, and saw her say to Professor Dumbledore: "You have condemned that poor boy to a lifetime of suffering."
It wasn't until the next day at breakfast, that Harry found out what his mother meant. The Finnigan house was attacked, Seamus' muggle father had been tortured to death, his witch mother was tortured to madness. The Dark Mark flew over the house, and there was a note left by Voldemort.
"One thousand points to Slytherin, for the nurturing such a brilliant Dark Lord." was all it said.
Harry had completely forgotten about exam results, and was quite surprised to get them. He had the best scores in each subject, and had scored higher than any other first-year in Hogwarts history. Hermione came a close second, and Draco third.
And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks packed, notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays, and Harry was seeing his friends off to the Hogwarts Express.
"You must come and stay this summer," said Draco, "both of you - I'll send you an owl."
"Thanks, but I think your Dad might be a little too busy to have visitors over at the Manor. You two can probably come visit at Hogwarts though." replied Harry.
Soon, the Hogwarts Express rolled off, and Harry waved his last goodbyes to his friends. He was feeling quite lonely when the train rolled out of sight, and was surprised when a hand landed gently on his shoulder.
"Lonely, Harry?" asked lily, using his given name, in the first time in Harry's memory.
"Yes." he replied sadly.
"Don't worry, I'll keep you busy over the summer. You have much to learn, and I have much to teach you." said Lily, putting an arm around her son, as they walked back towards the Castle.
End of Chapter Four.