Chapter Thirteen: The Philosopher's Stone
That evening, Harry heard Ron, Seamus and Dean Thomas whispering about Snape stealing the Philosopher's Stone. That, combined with the odd pain he'd been having in his scar all day convinced him that whatever was going to happen with the Stone, was going to happen that night. He quickly went to the Den, where Hermione was still studying, despite exams having been over for a full day.
"Tawny, the Stone's in danger," he said as he burst into the room. Hermione glared at him briefly, for daring to interrupt her work, then, as what he had said penetrated her brain she leapt to her feet.
"We've got to warn Professor McGonagall and the Headmaster," she said as she tore out of the room, Harry hot on her heels, only barely remembering to lock the door behind them. The two students flew down the corridors, and now all that early morning running round the lake paid off as they were only beginning to approach breathlessness when they reached McGonagall's office. The head of Gryffindor looked up, slightly annoyed to be interrupted by two first years and just before curfew as well. Her annoyance softened slightly when she saw who it was, and changed to shock when Harry explained the reasons for dashing in like they had. He was pacing round, rubbing at his scar, seemingly ready to race off and retrieve the Stone himself. McGonagall managed to calm him down and sent both he and Hermione back to Gryffindor Tower, her assurances that the Stone was perfectly safe seeming rather hollow.
Later that night: Harry was awoken by a sharp sense of fear. He raced down to the common room and saw a note on the table, addressed to him. He picked it up and read it.
The prat and his two sidekicks have taken me to the third floor corridor. They mean to stop Snape from getting the Stone. I don't know how they got that into their heads but that doesn't matter. Get McGonagall and your master and come help, please. We know what we're up against, the three idiots don't. Please help.
Harry dashed back upstairs and dressed in record time, forgoing his Hogwarts robes for full Jedi regalia. He clipped his lightsaber to his belt and pulled his robe over top. Racing out the portrait hole with Hermione's letter in his hand, he raced to McGonagall's private quarters, banging on the door. When his Head of House opened it, he thrust the letter into her hand. After a quick explanation, McGonagall Flooed Kiara, who dressed quickly and came through. Another very fast explanation and Harry and his master were on their way to the third floor corridor.
Reaching the corridor, they saw the three-headed dog, snarling and snapping at them over the trapdoor. Kiara immediately ignited her lightsaber, keeping herself between the dog and Harry. Cautiously they approached the trapdoor and jumped down it, the dog's jaws snapping shut on empty air just as they disappeared. They landed on some thick plant that Harry recognised immediately as Devil's Snare. He drew his own lightsaber and held it over the plant, which shrieked in agony and released both himself and Kiara. They dropped through the plant, onto a hard stone floor, automatically rolling to accommodate the force of the landing.
They then heard a fluttering noise. They walked closer to discover a room of flying keys. Harry grinned before hopping on a broomstick nearby and flying in search of the one they needed. Catching it, he tossed it to his master, who opened the door. He flew through it and Kiara closed the door just in time, as a series of metallic "thunks" were heard as the keys buried themselves in the door.
Turning round they were confronted by a chessboard. Playing their way across took fifteen minutes and then they went through into the next challenge. Harry stopped dead when fire blocked both exits and there was nothing on the table except for seven potion bottles and a roll of parchment.
"Uh, Master, what do we do here?" he asked.
Kiara walked forward and read the parchment before grinning. Turning to him, she asked, "How are your logic skills, Padawan?" Harry didn't understand the question until he read the parchment. All of a sudden he began to grin as well.
Working quickly and double-checking each step, he got the right bottle to get them through towards the Stone. He then looked at the amount and his face fell.
"Master, there's only enough for one person here," he stated quietly.
Kiara looked at him as if she thought he was being particularly dense. "Padawan," she began, "are you a wizard or not? You spend all that time with Hermione, holed up in your den and you mean to tell me you haven't learnt the flame freezing charm yet?"
Harry thought about it and then blushed. "Uh, oops," he said sheepishly. His master looked at him, and then swallowed the potion in one gulp. Calmly, she stepped through the fire, emerging on the other side, completely unharmed. Harry quickly performed the charm and followed.
Moving quietly behind a couple of pillars, the two Jedi observed what was going on in the next room. Ron Weasley, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan and Hermione were on the floor, bound up with ropes. Their wands were on the floor by Quirrell, who was standing in front of the mirror, which, Harry noticed, was the Mirror of Erised. The three boys where whimpering in terror, while Hermione faced Quirrell with all the dignity and bravery of a Gryffindor and the calmness of a Jedi.
:Looks like you rubbed off her, Padawan: Harry heard mentally.
:Maybe so. Those other three idiots don't look so brave now, do they: he sent back with a mental laugh.
:Don't laugh at them Padawan, they didn't know what to expect, coming down here. It was probably just an adventure for them; they didn't think there was going to be any danger: came back the reply.
:Yes Master. What are we going to do though? I can get the Stone, I know how to work the Mirror to get it, but I can't get past Quirrell and I don't want to endanger Tawny, nor the three idiots: Harry sent.
His master thought a moment before outlining a plan and sending it to him over the bond. They took a few minutes to compose themselves, sinking into the Force and letting it flow through them, before acting.
Harry reached out to Hermione, touching her mind briefly and sending a message to the effect that a rescue was being enacted and to go along with it. She looked slightly startled at Harry being in her head but then thought an agreement to him. Harry felt the slightly clumsy mental acknowledgement and sent his own message.
:Master, Tawny agrees, and I also think that with a bit more practice the two of us could open lines of mental communication the same way we do: he sent.
:Good, you can explore that after we get all of us out of here, with the Stone and preferably with Quirrell either dead or otherwise incapacitated: came back the response, just before the opening act of the Jedi rescue began.
With a snap-hiss the two lightsabers ignited, bathing the room in green and gold light. Quirrell whipped round, searching for the source of the sound. From the shadows, Kiara stepped out, twirling her gold lightsaber easily in her hand. The ominous humming was mesmerising to Quirrell, and also the other occupants of the room. Hermione had looked up in delight and hope when she heard the lightsabers, and was very, very glad to see the Jedi Master walking towards them. She then scanned the room for Harry, finally seeing him behind a pillar. He was working his way towards the Mirror, and was sneaking up on Quirrell, his now-deactivated lightsaber hilt held in his hand. While his Master was keeping Quirrell's attention on her, Harry crept up behind him and whacked Quirrell over the head with the hilt of his weapon. Quirrell crumpled to the ground, leaving Harry free to get the Stone from the Mirror. Having achieved this objective, Kiara freed Ron, Seamus and Dean, while Harry freed Hermione. Ron started trying to take credit for discovering the plot to steal the Stone, only to have Harry inform him that he and Hermione had worked it out several months in advance of him, and that all he'd done was put himself and three other students in danger. Ron advanced towards Harry, intent on attacking him, when he was pulled up short. Looking round, he gulped to see that Kiara had a firm grip on his collar. Harry's master pushed him to the side, away from Harry and started escorting them out of the chamber, the Stone safely in her pocket after Harry had given it to her. The last person to leave was Harry but all of a sudden, Quirrell regained conciousness.
Quirrell snapped his fingers, and flames shot up in the entrance to the room, trapping Harry on the side with him, and his master, along with the rest of the students on the other. Harry turned, igniting his lightsaber and falling into a defensive stance, the blade of his lightsaber angling to provide a defense for his torso and head. Quirrell laughed coldly while the spectators looked on in horror. Kiara, especially, was terrified for Harry, and angry at herself for not making sure that she was the last one out.
Quirrell walked forwards, unwinding his turban and turning round. On the back of his head was Lord Voldemort. Voldemort started speaking, offering Harry everything he could want, the most tempting being the offer to get his parents back. All Voldemort wanted in return was the Philosopher's Stone. All Harry could do was laugh.
"You really think that offering me my parents back is going to get me to give up the Stone, Moldywart." he said derisively. "I know my parents are dead, but I've got a perfectly good surrogate parent in the form of my master, on the other side of that fire there. Nothing you could offer me is worth selling my soul for and I hereby refuse to cooperate".
Voldemort was furious and ordered Quirrell to attack Harry and kill him. As Quirrell came forward, Harry readied himself. The eleven-year-old Jedi sank into the Force, seeking forgiveness for what he had to do. The Force reassured him that Quirrell needed to die and he wasn't doing anything wrong. Thus reassured, Harry stepped forward and brought his lightsaber down in a vicious slash across Quirrell's chest. The DADA teacher-turned-Voldemort-host fell apart, literally. Harry sank to his knees, exhausted, as the fire separating him from his Master and fellow students went out.
Hermione ran forward and pulled him up, putting an arm round him and leading him out. A second arm joined hers, and so Harry was escorted up to the Hospital Wing with Hermione and his master supporting him. The three idiots, as Harry had dubbed them, also followed silently, still in shock from what they had seen. They now knew that Harry was truly a Jedi and Seamus and Dean resolved to apologise to Harry and Hermione as soon as they got the chance, and maybe form a friendship with the two of them. Ron on the other hand was even more jealous of Harry and resolved to try and make his life even more difficult if he could.
A few days later:
The end of year feast was boisterous and noisy. All the students were happy to have the end of the year come at last. Harry and Hermione were sitting at the Gryffindor table together, with Neville on one side and Fred and George sitting opposite them. Dean and Seamus came down to sit next to them and a tense silence fell over the students at that part of the table.
"Harry, we just wanted to say sorry," Dean started.
"Yeah," Seamus chimed in, "we were stupid to follow Ron's lead and we want to make amends. Can you two forgive us? We really would like to be friends."
Harry and Hermione looked at each other before turning and facing the two other Gryffindors. "Yes we forgive you, and yes we can be friends. Try hurting either of us again though and it's over for good," they stated firmly. Dean and Seamus nodded and smiled with relief. Further down the table Ron scowled, his scowl going unnoticed.
Dumbledore stood up and announced that the winners of both the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup were Gryffindor. The Gryffindor table exploded with cheering, and Harry relaxed, happy that his first year was over, and looking forward to that summer's animagi lessons with McGonagall and the Demons over at Sanctuary.
Soon the train pulled in at King's Cross and the students disembarked. Harry was met by Kiara, and he waved goodbye to Hermione and the twins, promising to write over the summer and also to see them at Sanctuary later on in the week. Goodbyes over he went home, happy to have survived his very eventful first year at Hogwarts.