A/N: Thank you so much! This is the last chapter. I can't believe I got this far. I just want to thank all the loyal readers, for sticking with me even when I wouldn't update for long periods of time. I honestly wouldn't have made it this far without all of your wonderful reviews. Thanks so much to my beta reader Arwenjanelilylyra for being there through it all. My writing is better because of you. I really hope you like this chapter and for the last time please review! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
The final weeks seemed to go by fast. With the help of the headache potion, Harry's headaches became a dull thud instead of an agonizing pounding. The announcement of Draco's condition sparked different emotions from different people. For some it didn't really matter, for others they were concerned, and others still thought that this would keep the blond from getting to big of a head.
Draco though, handled it all very well. Of course he had his other Slytherin friends to protect him but he wasn't too hard pressed on what others thought of him. Besides, he still had Harry. Although he would never admit it out loud, he was glad Harry had the same condition, it made him feel like he wasn't alone; when sometimes that is exactly how he felt.
It was close to end of year exams when something strange happened. Harry had noticed that day that Professor Quirrell was not at breakfast that morning.
"Where do you think Quirrell is?" Harry asked as the boys got ready for another day of preparation for exams even if it was the weekend.
"I don't know… probably hiding from Snape." James chuckled, he had been sitting next to them and had overheard Harry's question.
The other boys chuckled but knew that something was up. Harry looked over to the Slytherin table and saw Draco talking with Goyle. The two had become somewhat friends ever since the revelation of Draco's diabetes; not enough for Draco to openly admit, but enough that the boys could have a pleasant conversation.
The day passed slowly, and Harry couldn't help but think that something was off, especially when his scar wouldn't stop hurting… even after he took the potion.
"Harry maybe you should go to Madam Pomfrey, what if you're mistaking this headache for something else and it really is related to your Diabetes." Terry said after he saw Harry grimace in pain.
"It's not… trust me, I would know. This is different. It feels different. I think Quirrell is going to do something… tonight." Harry whispered looking at his friends.
The other boys looked at each other worried.
"Shouldn't we tell Dumbledore or something?" Michael asked.
"No… I heard Professor McGonagall tell James that Dumbledore was called to an urgent meeting at the Ministry of Magic. I think we need go down there ourselves" Harry stated looking at the clock, trying to see how much time they had to prepare.
"Are you NUTS!" Stephen shouted but then ducked his head as Madam Prince looked sternly in his direction. He leaned in closely and whispered fiercely, "Why would you go into that room again? You don't even know how to control that… that beast!"
"Yeah… but I bet Hagrid does. He knows a lot about big creatures like that and he said that Fluffy was his so he has to know how to control him." Anthony pointed out.
Stephen sighed and looked at his friends, "I guess we're going… but we have to plan it out."
The boys quickly put away their things and headed towards Hagrid's hut to see just what calmed down the three headed dog.
Once the boys where inside Hagrid's hut, bellies warmed with tea, they tried to weasel out the answer without getting the game's keeper suspicious.
"So Hagrid, I noticed that when Hedwig gets annoyed or antsy I just have to pet her and she calms down… does this work with every owl?" Harry asked, calmly.
"Well no, all owls, all creatures are different in the way they calm down. Just take Fluffy for example, play a little bit of music and he falls straight to sleep!" Hagrid smiled.
"That's really cool, thanks so much for the tea, Hagrid, but we really need to go…" Harry smiled.
"Of course 'arry, you boys don't study too hard!"
The little raven's soon found themselves in their dorm room trying to figure out just how to proceed from here.
"Well we obviously can't all go down that trap door… I mean do you know how hard that would be? I saw only three of us should go down… the others will go inform the staff if you guys are down there longer then… let's say 20 minutes." Anthony said logically.
"Yeah but who is going down that trap door?" Stephen asked.
"I'll go." Harry said automatically.
"I'll go with Harry." Terry soon followed.
"Well I don't do well with waiting so I'll be the third one." Michael stated.
"So that leaves Stephen and I to wait; who do we go to if you don't come back in the time?" Anthony asked looking ready to take notes.
"I say Snape and McGonagall. Those two are the most likely to know what to do and who to talk too and how to get Dumbledore if it comes down to that." Terry finished.
"But what about Flitwick… he is our Head of House." Stephen said.
"Well, we'd need another person, and I'm not about to tell James or Penelope what we're about to do tonight." Harry said, digging through his trunk before pulling out his invisibility cloak.
"We'll figure something out but right now we need figure out how to prepare for what's in the trap. Who knows what's going to be down there. If the other teachers have put their magic into it then maybe we can figure it out by their personality." Terry said getting some parchment out so he could write some ideas.
"Well we know Hagrid's, just play some music. What about McGonagall, what do you think she would be?" Harry asked.
"Well she's stern and likes order and she is the Transfiguration teacher… so maybe she transfigured something but what?" Anthony drifted off.
"I heard her talking once… she likes to play chess… maybe it could be something along those lines." Stephen added helpfully.
"How about Madam Sprout? It has to do with plants and Terry is pretty good with plants." Harry said looking towards Terry.
"Yeah it could be and most likely is but what kind of plant? There are thousands of them!" Terry exclaimed.
"We'll figure that out when we get there." Michael said.
"And Snape, it will be potions, but I don't think it will be something like making a potion… that would be too long and too easy. Maybe a riddle?" Harry asked.
"Yeah… I'm good at riddles." Michael added.
"Good… I think that's it. If there's more then we just have to deal with them when we get to them." Terry said.
With that the boys continued planning; hoping that maybe they could stop Quirrell before he got to the stone.
That night the three boys struggled to stay inside the invisibility without getting caught. The other two waited anxiously hoping against hope that they wouldn't have to go to Snape or McGonagall.
"Ouch! Will you get off my foot? That's the second time!"
Finally they made it and were not really surprised to see a harp playing a melody to a sleeping Fluffy.
"You were right Harry! Quirrell's already here, he could have the stone right now!" Terry cried out.
"Yeah we need to hurry." Michael agreed.
Together the three of them were able to get the trap door open and through it without any real problem. Dropping down they fell onto something, something quite hard.
"What in the world did we fall into?" Harry asked trying to get up only to feel a coil around his ankle.
"AH!" Terry shouted as the plant started to painfully constrict his diaphragm.
"Devil's Snare! Oh great… Terry what do we have to do?" Harry asked struggling to get to his friend and failing miserably.
"Sun… sunlight." Terry panted and groaned as he tried to sit perfectly still while the plant slowly crushed him.
Michael quickly pointed his wand towards the plant and shouted a spell that produced sunlight. The effect was instant. The plant released its hold and the trio soon found themselves following until they hit the hard, unforgiving ground.
"You okay Terry?" Harry asked groaning as he got up.
"Yeah, I think so. How about you guys?"
"I'm fine, a little winded but fine." Michael answered helping them up.
"So… where are we?" Terry asked once they got their barring together.
"I have no idea but I must be going crazy… do you hear fluttering?" Michael asked as they neared a door.
"Yeah I hear it too… come on." Harry said pushing the door.
The three were met with a room that was filled with bird… no keys; fluttering keys. On one side there were three broom sticks. Terry went over to the door that would lead them to the next defense and noticed the keyhole size.
"I think the key is going to be big, maybe old…" Terry said looking up to the thousands of keys that fluttered above them.
"I see it!" Harry said pointing to a big rusted key.
Harry quickly got on the broom and raced off towards the key. Only as soon as he got on the other keys started to attack him, making it hard for him to see, much less concentrate on the key he needed. Though he forced himself to concentrate, ignoring everything else he reached for that one key and wrapped his hand around it.
"I got it! Terry, catch!" Harry shouted, throwing the key down to him.
Terry caught it and quickly put the key in opening the door. Michael and Terry went through and once Harry flew in they closed the door, hearing the pounding of the keys as they tried to get Harry.
"That was close!" Michael said leaning against the door.
"Yeah," Terry agreed, and then groaned when he saw what looked like a graveyard.
"Oh, now where are we?"
"I don't know… come on." Harry encouraged.
The trio walked towards the statues but they soon found out that they weren't grave stones… but chess pieces.
"Stephen was right! Chess, we have to play to cross the board." Terry said looking at both the white and black pieces.
"Yeah, but I don't play chess…" Harry said looking nervously at the very life like figures.
"Yeah but I do… I'm actually pretty good." Michael said.
"Me too… I play with my dad all the time." Terry added.
"Fine, then you guys be the judge on what happens here… I don't want to say something that could lose us the game." Harry stated.
The two nodded and soon placed themselves among the black pieces. Harry was a Rook, Terry a Bishop, and Michael was a Knight. The game started and it was soon realized that the game was wizard chess… meaning that the pieces destroyed each other whenever they had the right too. As the game progressed so did the beatings. Terry and Michael did their best to make sure that they won, sometimes even arguing against each other over a move.
"We need to move that Knight over there." Michael said pointing towards the other knight across from him.
"No, if we do that then our queen is right open! We need to move the bishop over, that way you are open to attack the King." Terry argued.
"Guys, you have been arguing for like the past five minutes… just pick a move!" Harry shouted, getting annoyed with all the bickering.
Michael and Terry looked at each other then back at the game. Nodding, they both decided on which move to make. Michael told the other Knight to move. The Queen attacked said Knight making a clear way for Terry to get the King.
"Check mate." Terry said in a clear tone.
The three watched as the sword dropped from the King's grip. The boys gave a big sigh of relief and quickly raced towards the next door. The boys quickly found out what the next defense was, the smell gave it away.
"Ugh… a troll!" Harry said, or at least tried to; the smell was making it hard for them to breathe.
As the group willed themselves to move into the next room, making sure that their wands were out in case the troll jumped out of nowhere and surprised them. They didn't have to worry though, because the troll was faced down, not moving.
"Well that was easy…" Terry said, pinching his nose closed and making his voice sound nasally.
"Come on." Harry said pushing them towards the door, "Let's go before he wakes up."
They made it out of the room without much of a fuss and soon found themselves in a small room, a roaring fire in front of them. Terry turned around and noticed another fire behind them.
"Oh great… we're stuck!" Terry sighed.
"Don't worry; this is Snape's defense, look at all of the potion bottles." Michael said pointing at the seven rows of potion.
"How is this not worrisome? It's most likely a riddle… yeah it's a riddle…" Harry confirmed holding up a piece of parchment.
The boys read the piece together before each set off trying to figure it out. Terry went to one end of the table, while Michael went to another. Harry went to the middle muttering and pointing occasionally.
"I… I think I got it." Harry finally said, holding up two potions, the biggest and smallest bottle.
"Are you sure?" Terry asked looking between the parchment and the bottles.
"So which one's which?" Michael asked.
"The big one will send you back and the small one will send you forward."
"But there's only enough for one person to go forward…" Terry said looking at the small bottle.
"Yeah… I know." Harry said looking at the small bottle as well.
The boys looked at each other… not sure what to say or what to do, so instead of having to express their feelings, they each drank from a bottle, already knowing who was going on. As Harry drank from the small, he felt a shiver run down his spine; he noticed that Michael and Terry experienced the same feeling. Nodding to each other, they went separate ways.
Harry stepped through the flames, readying himself for a world of hurt just in case he was wrong. But he stepped through with no problem and was soon led to a small stair way. The stair way led to a big room filled with nothing but a mirror and a man.
"So Mr. Potter, are you surprised?" Quirrell asked still looking intently at the Mirror of Erised.
"No not really… I heard you talking with someone after the last Quidditch match and my friends saw you try to buck me off my broom. We just put the pieces together." Harry said, sounding much calmer than he felt. He tried to not to give away the pain he felt in his scar as he forced his hands to remain by his side.
"Yes, well it seemed you weren't the only one's who were suspicious; Snape kept a close eye on me after that game, but it didn't work, because here I am, the Stone will soon be ours…" Quirrell drifted off staring so intently at the mirror that Harry was afraid the mirror would crack with the force of his gaze.
Using this distraction, Harry silently tried to get closer to the professor and pulling out his wand. Maybe he could use the Levitation spell and hold it there until Dumbledore or someone else came. Or maybe…
"Not so fast, Potter." Quirrell spat, looking at Harry through the mirror.
"Use the boy…" A faint harsh whisper came.
"But Master… you're not…"
"Potter, over here… NOW!" Quirrell shouted.
Harry was frozen in shock. He didn't know where that grotesque noise had came from but he really didn't want to know. Harry walked as slowly as he could towards the mirror, not really understanding how he could get the stone. Facing the mirror Harry saw what he saw the first time he stood in front of it. Just himself. But when he looked closely, he saw a small bulge in one of his pockets and suddenly he felt the weight of a rock in his real pocket. Harry schooled his facial features, hoping that Quirrell didn't see his shocked expression.
"Well… what do you see?"
"Uh… nothing… just me." Harry said truthfully.
"Lies! Let me talk to him…"
"But Master you're not strong…"
"I have strength for this…"
Slowly Quirrell began to unravel his turban, and slowly Harry began to move away from Quirrell. When the turban was off Harry saw the most grotesque face with bloody red eyes.
"Yes Harry, I am Voldemort. Look at what I have become, what you made me become. You see how I live off another. Feeding off of them like a parasite. All I need is that stone in your pocket and I can be free. Free enough to bring back your parents…" Voldemort smiled cruelly.
"Never… you'll never get this stone." Harry stated firmly, still backing away.
"Get him!" Voldemort shouted.
Harry immediately ran towards the door only to be grabbed and thrown down to the ground. He felt Quirrell's hand around his neck, chocking him. Harry quickly tried to pull off his hand and was shocked when he saw boiling blisters growing from Quirrell's hand. The professor screamed in pain and agony, but instead of letting go he put this other hand on Harry's face, trying to smother him that way. Again the blister's came along with the screams of pain. Harry tried with all his might to get Quirrell off of him but it was no use, even with the pain the man was still trying to kill him.
Harry was losing his senses fast. Black spots started to appear before his eyes and his chest started to hurt from lack of air. Just as he was about to give up and give into the darkness that was surrounding him, he felt the weight on top of him disappear. Gasping Harry let himself go, welcoming the peaceful darkness.
Harry woke up to a slightly sore throat, headache, and darkness. Groaning he reached for his glasses and blinked when he saw pure white all around him. He was in the Hospital Wing. Sitting up as best as he could, Harry tried to remember just how he had got into the Hospital Wing. But try as he might he couldn't remember who had brought him here.
"Ah Mr. Potter, I am so glad you are awake!" Professor Dumbledore said striding through the Hospital Wing with ease.
"Professor… what are you doing up so late?" Harry asked looking at the window in front of him.
"I find that a nightly stroll relaxes me. How are you my boy?" Dumbledore asked looking at the mound of gifts from his friends.
Harry, only now observing the gifts, looked at them and was surprised and grateful for all the sugar-less sweets that swarmed the table.
"I'm fine Professor, thank you. How are Teddy and Michael?" The raven haired boy asked worried.
"Fine, just fine."
"And the stone?"
"Nicholas Flamel and his wife think that it is time to get rid of that stone. They have enough elixir to set their orders in straight and then they will move on to the next great adventure." Dumbledore said, humming slightly as he let Harry comprehend what he had just said.
"I understand sir… but what about Quirrell… what happened to him? When he touched me he just started to blister and…" Harry shivered, not really ready to remember all that had happened that night.
"Harry, your mother loved you with all her heart. When she sacrificed herself, she was giving you a protection that only a mother can give. When Quirrell touched you that protection was there." Again Dumbledore hummed to himself, making himself look busy with the sweets while Harry composed himself.
"Thank you, professor." Harry said sincerely.
"Not a problem, my boy. Now I suggest you get some rest or else Madam Pomfrey will have my head." He said with a wink.
Harry smiled and laid back down, glad that everyone and the stone was safe.
The end-of-the year feast was in full swing by the time Harry was allowed to leave the Hospital Wing. Taking a deep breath Harry entered the Great Hall and was grateful for his friends because they had saved him a seat. The Great Hall was decked out in Slytherin color's for the seventh year in a row but Harry wasn't made about that. Ravenclaw had come in second so that was better than last place.
"Another year… gone. I hope that your heads are fuller than they were before. Now the house points stand as thus: in fourth place, Gryffindor with three hundred and twenty points, Hufflepuff with three hundred and eighty points, Ravenclaw with four hundred and twenty points, and Slytherin with four hundred and sixty points. Congratulations Slytherin!" Dumbledore said with a wave of his hand as the tables were filled with food.
Harry knew that this had to be the best feeling, even if they didn't win the house cup or the Quidditch cup, he was with his friends and he was truly happy. He couldn't wait to tell Dudley all about the adventures and all of the spells that he had learnt. Most of all though, he couldn't wait untill next year.