Chapter 10

The Man with Two Faces

"You?!" they said.

It was Quirrell.

"No," said Harry. "It can't be. Snape…he was the one…"

"Yes. He does seem the type, doesn't he? Next to him, who would suspect p-poor st-st-stuttering Professor Quirrell."

"But that day, during the Quidditch match, Snape tried to kill me."

"No, dear boy. I tried to kill you. And trust me, if Snape's cloak hadn't caught fire and broken my eye contact, I would've succeeded. Even with Snape muttering his little countercurse."

"Snape was trying to save me?"

Eponine only remained silent; her face turned white. She couldn't believe any of this. Snape was trying to save Harry? Impossible!

"I knew you were a danger to me the moment we met, especially on Halloween," Quirrell continued, speaking to Harry.

"Then, you let the troll in!" Eponine said.

"Yes, very good, Miss Eponine. Snape, however, wasn't fooled. While everyone else was running about in the dungeons, Snape went to the third floor to head me off." He paused. "He, of course, never trusted me again. He rarely left me alone. But, he doesn't understand. I'm never alone. Never."

He turned towards the Mirror of Erised. "Now, what does this mirror do?" He paused. "I see what I desire. I see myself holding the Stones. But how do I get the first one and where is the second one?"

"Use them!" said a voice. A voice that sounded familiar.

"Come here, Potter and 'Ponine!" yelled Quirrell. "NOW!"

The two of them forced themselves to walk. Harry and Eponine stood in front of the mirror.

"Tell me, what do you see?"

They looked at their reflections in the Mirror of Erised. Together, they saw Harry's reflection smile at them. It put its hand into its pocket and pulled out a blood red stone, similar to Eponine's pendant. It winked and put the stone back in its pocket—and as it did so, Harry felt something heavy drop into his real pocket. Somehow—incredibly—he'd gotten the Stone.

Eponine looked in his direction and saw him clutch his pocket.

(no harry don't you must lie about what you see)

"Well, what do you see?" Quirrell said, impatiently.

"I'm…I'm shaking hands with Dumbledore," he invented. "I've won the House cup."

"He lies!" said the voice.

"Tell the truth!" he shouted "What do you see? And you," he said to Eponine. "And you, where's the other Stone?"

Eponine was frightened; she could feel the heat from the pendant from beneath the dishtowels.

"Let me speak to them," said the voice.

"Master, you aren't strong enough.

"I have enough strength for this." The S at the end of 'this' hissed like a snake.

Petrified, the two of them watched as Quirrell reached up and began to unwrap his turban. What was going on? The turban fell away. Quirrell's head looked strangely small without it.

They would've screamed, but it died in their throats. Where there should've been a back to Quirrell's head, there was a face; a dreadful face appeared. It was chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils like a snake.

"Harry Potter, Eponine Black," whispered the face. "We meet again."

Eponine only stared in horror; white as ever. That face! She remembered that terrible face standing over her crib, wand pointing at her. An image appeared on the mirror and there was Eponine's mother, holding her baby, protecting her. The blinding green light. That horrible scream. Her falling to the floor…

"That's right, Eponine. You remember that night?"
"Voldemort," they said together.

"Yes. Do you see what I've become? See what I must do to survive? Live off another like a mere parasite. Unicorn blood can sustain me, but it can't give me a body of my own. However, there is something that can. Something that, conveniently enough, lies in your pocket, Harry and something that you're wearing on your neck, 'Ponine."

The two of them began to bolt towards the stairs, but Voldemort yelled,

"STOP THEM!"

Quirrell snapped his fingers and there was a wall of fire that blocked all possible ways to escape.

"Don't be fools, you two," he said. "Why suffer a horrific death when you can join me and live?"

"NEVER!" they screamed.

Voldemort laughed. "Bravery. Both of your parents had it too. Tell me, Harry and 'Ponine, would you like to see your parents again? Together we can bring them back."

The images of their parents appeared in the mirror, engulfed in flames.

"All I ask is for something in return."

Eponine unwrapped the dishtowels from her necklace while Harry took the Stone out of his pocket.
"That's it, you two." He paused. "There is no good and evil. There is only power and those too weak to seek it. Together, we'll do extraordinary things. Just give me the Stones!"

The images of their parents disappeared like smoke in the mirror.

"LIAR!" they yelled.

"KILL THEM!" shrieked Voldemort.

Quirrell flew towards the two of them. Quirrell, pinning both Eponine and Harry to the ground with his knees, started to choke Harry and Eponine. The First Stone slipped out of Harry's hand as cut off his air and Eponine's necklace slipped out of her blouse, glowing with intensity.

Together, Harry and Eponine used their free hands and tried to pry Quirrell's hands off of their necks. He let out a painful scream. Soon, Quirrell's hands turned to ash and disintegrated.

"What is this magic?" he whimpered.

"Fool! Get the Stones!" yelled Voldemort.

Soon, the Sorcerer's Stone glowed along with Eponine's pendant and it levitated in the air. Soon, a golden beam connected with the Heart. Eponine let out a piercing scream that sounded similar to an eagle. Her entire body felt like it was on fire…

"NO!" Quirrell yelled.

"STOP THE GIRL!"

Eponine's eyes turned a red orange color and her hair rippled like flames and became gold. Suddenly, there was a powerful pulse and the mirror broke and pieces of glass flew hurling themselves at Quirrell like knives. He used his wand to turn the glass against her; the force between the two was intense. Eponine saw fire…hot, burning fire and began to sweat. The glass heated and disintegrated into sand. Soon, there was smoke coming from beneath Quirrell's skin. He screamed. Soon, he burst into flames and disintegrated into ashes.

Eponine fainted from exhaustion as if all the energy inside her was burned up…

Eponine blinked her eyes. She felt much cleaner for some reason, but didn't know how. She sat up and found herself in the hospital. Soon, she was surrounded her three friends, who looked worried that she would never wake up. They were happy to see that she had finally woken up.

"Good to see you again, 'Ponine," said Ron.

"What happened?" she said.

"You've been asleep for three days," said Hermione.
"I have?" she said. "What happened?"

"Well, you didn't miss much," said Harry. "You fainted when Quirrell disappeared."

"And the First Stone? Is it safe?"

"It's gone. Nicolas and Dumbledore destroyed it. They thought it would be best. Dumbledore told me that the First Stone had been drained; all of its powers are gone. Once you fainted, the First Stone was crystal clear. Dumbledore explained to me that your pendant must have absorbed all the First Stone's powers." Harry paused. "What exactly happened to you?"

"I don't know," said Eponine. "I felt like I was burning and then, I felt all this power filling me and I felt so strong…I can't explain it. Then, once it was over, I felt so exhausted…"

"That must mean you're powers are stronger," said Hermione.

"So, what happened while I was asleep for three days?" asked Eponine.

"Well, the end-of-term banquet was yesterday. We're leaving today. We thought we'd say goodbye before we left."

"I'm going to miss you this summer. It's going to be lonely for me since I'll be alone in the castle."

"Don't worry," said Ron. "We'll write to you every day."

"Let's make a promise," Eponine said. "Let's promise that if my powers do get the better of me, you'll be there to stop me if you have to."

They all smiled. They placed their hands on top of each other. "Friends forever," said Eponine.

"Friends forever," they all said.

"I believe you have a train to catch, you three," said a voice from the doorway. It was Dumbledore. They three of them nodded and took off.

"See you next term," said Hermione.

"I believe you have questions," said Dumbledore. "About what happened in the dungeons with you, Harry, and Quirrell, don't you?"

"Yes, sir. I must know. When Harry and I touched Quirrell, he disintegrated into ashes. Do you know why?"

Dumbledore smiled, his blue eyes twinkled from behind his half-moon glasses.

"Yes, 'Ponine. It's because both of your mothers. They sacrificed themselves to save you two. This kind of magic leaves a mark, one that cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin. Do you know what it is?"

Eponine shook her head.

"Love, 'Ponine. Love."

Eponine smiled. "Sir, when the Stones came together, I felt as though so powerful. My powers felt stronger than ever."
"Of course, Eponine. That was why Nicolas Flamel chose you to be the bearer of one of his Stones. Mr. Flamel knew your parents very well and they were good friends. He gave you his Stone as a gift because he believed you are a worthy protector of the Stone. He believed that you would use your powers to do good. You are indeed a worthy bearer, Eponine."

Eponine smiled as he patted her on the head.

Eponine looked out the window of her attic, watching the scarlet Hogwarts' Express disappear in the distance. She waved at her friends as they disappeared, knowing they were waving back…