Check Chapter 1 for the Disclaimers.
Note: Here we are with the finale of Harry's Year 1. What is the Phantom Relic? Who is after it and why? Answers to most of that will be answered here. Sorry I don't have a long note as usual, but even I want to get right into the story. Anyway, hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.
Harry Potter and the Phantom relic
Harry ducked a Bludger as he zipped across the field. 'Oh come on now,' he said, 'Can't any of these people take a little ribbing at face value instead of so seriously?' Gryffindor was slightly ahead of Ravenclaw 80-70. He had been using his usual taunting tactics to distract other players, though it mostly met negatively.
Both teams had a perfect season so far so no matter who won, Slytherin wasn't going to win the Cup for the first time in over a decade and had technically already finished in third at 1-2. They were also more or less equal in overall team performance, though in different ways. Hufflepuff had been completely shut out at 0-3.
Gryffindor had played Hufflepuff before the break and had trounced them thoroughly while Ravenclaw had shown just how smart they were by showing real on the fly strategy to not only avoid injuries beating Slytherin as well as win against Hufflepuff, who had been forced to forfeit to Slytherin because of injuries.
As for Slytherin, unfortunately for them and Hooch, though she couldn't do anything about the results of the games, Professor McGonagall had come down on them hard, threatening to both disband the team and put a new one together herself and find another referee if a game such as the one with Hufflepuff happened again.
Snape had tried to argue that only he could recruit players or kick them off the team, but McGonagall had been ready to shut him up by showing him the school charter.
It said that as the Deputy Headmistress, McGonagall could make such decisions for even the other Quidditch teams when it came to them causing excessive injuries during games or leading up to them.
Snape had started to try appealing to Dumbledore before the elderly wizard said that he backed McGonagall up since the other two heads were also backing her. This did shut him up and the beautiful thing was he couldn't even take it out on the students during Potions with his restrictions.
Harry noticed the Ravenclaw Seeker, a pretty young Asian girl about a year ahead of him named Cho Chang, staying close to him. He knew from watching their previous game that this was her game. 'Let's see if I can make her play her own game,' Harry thought with a grin as he headed into a dive.
"Has Potter seen the Snitch?" Lee Jordan asked.
'No, just making Cho think I have,' Harry answered silently.
Harry turned his head slightly and saw Cho diving after him out of the corner of his eye. Just before he got to the ground, however, he pulled up suddenly, mimicking the move he pulled to get on the team except horizontally.
From the thud and cry behind him, Cho wasn't as graceful, though she apparently wasn't hurt as she quickly got back on her broom and glared at Harry. He just shrugged. 'Can't help if you just want to follow me around,' he thought before flying off.
Suddenly, Harry did see the Snitch and headed for it. Somewhat ironically, it was just actually near the Slytherin section of the stand, above the head of a certain greasy-haired git, which made him grin as he sped up.
Harry saw Snape's eyes widening as he came closer. The git actually ducked as the Seeker pulled up, did a roll, and grabbed the Snitch before zooming making a U-turn up and back towards the pitch, holding his prize over his head triumphantly.
Hufflepuff and of course Gryffindor were going crazy while Slytherin and Ravenclaw booed them. The Ravenclaws reaction was good natured in simply that they had just lost whereas the Slytherins did it just to be nasty.
"GRYFFINDOR WINS THE HOUSE QUIDDITCH CUP!" Lee yelled out triumphantly, which made the Slytherins boo even louder while the Ravenclaws changed to cheering since at least someone took it from Slytherin.
Harry touched down to a huge group hug by all of his teammates, followed by most of Gryffindor with his friends leading the way. He couldn't help but grin as he noticed Snape reluctantly handing over the Quidditch Cup to McGonagall, who brought it over.
Harry didn't notice Wood nodded at him as McGonagall walked over. She returned it before handing it over to him. He held it high above his head as the twins put him up on their shoulders.
The victory party in the Gryffindor tower lasted nearly all night before being broken up by McGonagall and for the next week, Harry was slapped on the back for his wonderful catch.
The next Saturday, Harry and his friends went to Flitwick's class afterwards for their dueling lesson. "I'm afraid that with end of year exams coming up, this will have to be our final lesson," the tiny professor said, "But I also think I don't have much else to teach you when it comes to actual dueling styles because you all have done wonderfully."
"But Professor…" Neville tried to interject.
"Yes, even you have had shown great improvement, Mr. Longbottom," Flitwick said, "All you need to do is keep practicing the movements even during the summer months and the spell work when you're here and you'll do fine and could even teach other friends the styles I've taught you this year if you wanted to.
"The rest will be filled in by spells you learn during your years here," Flitwick continued, "If you want, we can have refresher courses every couple of months so you can learn to adapt new spells you've learned to your dueling strategies but overall, I think you all have grown past our meetings here."
"Thank you, Professor," Harry said, "We've really appreciated you taking time to show us dueling styles this year and your words honor us." Ron, Hermione, and Neville nodded and the group left.
A few nights later, Harry and his friends were heading back to the Gryffindor Tower after setting a time-release prank when they noticed something odd on the Marauders Maps. Snape and Quirrell were in one of the unused classrooms.
"Didn't think those two even knew each other that well," Ron said, "What's going on?"
"Don't know, but I think we should check it out," Harry said. The others nodded and they headed towards the room. They were lucky enough that the door was open a little. He put his invisibility cloak over them so they didn't get caught in case one of the two teachers came out.
"Have you found a way past the dog?" they heard Snape ask.
"I-I-I d-d-d-don't know what you're t-t-t-talking about, Severus," Quirrell stuttered.
"Nonsense," Snape said, "I followed you to the corridor after your little fainting spell on Halloween. I know you're after the relic inside." Quirrell started to say something else but the greasy haired teacher cut him off. "Have it your way but remember that I'm not someone you want as an enemy, Quirinus."
"O-O-Of c-c-c-course, Severus," Quirrell said.
The group barely had time to get out of the way before Snape flung open the door and stepped out. He took a long nasty look up and down the corridor before walking off. Quirrell soon followed and surprised the teens a little with the hateful glare he aimed at his fellow teacher's back before walking off as well.
Once they double checked the Map to make sure both teacher's weren't coming back, Harry whipped his invisibility cloak off him and his friends. "We should tell a teacher," Hermione said, "Or better yet, the Headmaster."
The others nodded and they checked the Map but couldn't find Dumbledore's name anywhere. Deciding that McGonagall would know where he was, they located her in the Transfiguration classroom and headed that way.
They found McGonagall coming out of the classroom as they were getting there. "Professor McGonagall, we need to see the Headmaster quickly," Harry said, "It's an emergency."
"I'm afraid he was called to an emergency meeting of the Wizengamot and won't be back for several days," McGonagall said, "Why? What did you need to see him for?"
"We think someone's after whatever's being held in the room below the sealed off corridor," Hermione said.
"Nonsense," McGonagall said, "There are far too many enchantments in place for anyone to possibly get through."
"Like what?" Harry asked, a plan starting to form in his mind.
"Never you mind," McGonagall said, "Now, I don't want to hear another word of this nonsense. Get back to your tower before I take points for trying to start a panic." Not wanting that, they reluctantly did as McGonagall said, noticing that she followed them to make sure they did go back. Hoping she was right and whatever the relic was Snape and Quirrell were talking about was safe, they headed on up to bed.
The next morning, something was nagging Harry but he couldn't quite put his finger on it until Hermione accidentally came across a missing piece of the puzzle. "I found Nicholas Flamel," she said as she threw down a book and pointed to one particular line. "I was flipping through this for a little light reading…"
"You call this light reading?" Harry joked with a smirk. The book Hermione had put on the table was huge.
Hermione glared at Harry. "As I was saying, I was flipping through this and found him," she said, "It says that him and Dumbledore had discovered several uses of dragon's blood as well as new alchemy recipes."
"Well then, we should write him," Ron said.
"No good on that," Harry said, "It says that he's been missing since the riots ten years ago."
Taking place around the time Harry crashed to Earth, the riots had begun because the purebloods had tried to force a new system in place to have all Muggle-borns and half-bloods not born of pureblood inbreeding classified as slavcs and they hadn't taken kindly to such measures.
It had gotten very nasty from what Harry heard, but they had eventually come to an agreement with outside mediation. Muggle-borns and half-blood were still considered second class but now had their own rights registered so that the purebloods couldn't try it again anytime soon.
"That's why your parents moved to the farm, right?" Hermione asked.
Harry nodded. "My mom was safe as she was married to a pureblood, but they had just adopted me and figured that my blood ancestry would probably be in question since I was an orphan, so they took me there just in case it got really nasty," he said.
"I guess Hagrid knew… him… if… aw crap, that's it!" Harry exclaimed and he suddenly started hurrying down the corridor towards the castle's main entrance. His friends reluctantly fell in behind him.
"What's it?" Ron asked.
"Yeah, where are we going?" Neville asked.
"Don't you think it's odd that someone just happened to have brought an egg to Hagrid?" Harry asked, "They must have known that it was illegal but they just happened to not only have one in their pocket but lost it in a card game to someone who's known for always having wanted a dragon?"
"Er, right," Ron said.
"Of course," Hermione said, "As much as I adore Hagrid, he's not the best person to keep secrets. Snape, Quirrell, or whoever it was must have used his trusting nature to trick him into telling them how to get past the Cerberus." Ron and Neville nodded as they headed out of the castle and towards Hagrid's hut.
They found Hagrid outside. It didn't take long for him to blab that he hadn't known who it was that lost the egg to him and that he had told them that to get past "Fluffy", all they had to do was play music and he'd fall asleep. At that, he tried backpedalling, but they rushed back to the castle, ignoring his calls.
"We're going to have to try to stop them," Harry said.
"But how could we do that?" Hermione asked, "We're just kids. Even with the training Professor Flitwick had put us through, there's no way we can beat Snape or Quirrell."
"No, but maybe we won't have to," Harry said, "Maybe they haven't gotten through some of whatever other traps are in place and we could use that to our advantage." He noticed the apprehensive looks on the faces of his friends.
"Look, you can go get a teacher if you want, but I'm going down there," Harry said. 'It would probably be easier that way actually,' he thought, 'No matter how good Snape or Quirrell is, I know I could take them out easily if I'm on my own and can use my powers.'
"No way," Hermione said determinedly, "You're not leaving us behind." Ron and Neville nodded.
'Crap,' Harry thought but he nodded. "Let's go." With that, he led the way towards the door they had found earlier in the semester where they had found the Cerberus. As they neared the door, they heard what sounded like a harp playing. 'He must have used that to pacify Fluffy.'
They opened the door to find that indeed a harp was inside playing and the three headed dog asleep. Not knowing how long it would keep playing, they rushed over to the trapdoor, opened it, and jumped inside. They were a little surprised to land in a plant.
"Guys, don't move," Neville said, "It's Devil's Snare. If you try to struggle, it'll get worse."
"Kind of like quicksand I suppose," Harry said, "But how do we get past?"
"Heat," Neville said, "If we set a fire, it'll disappear.
"But we don't have any matches," Hermione interjected.
"Don't have any… HERMIONE, ARE YOU A WITCH OR WHAT?" Ron yelled.
"Right," Hermione murmured sheepishly. She grabbed her wand and summoned a flame and within seconds, the plant shriveled up and the teens fell through. She quickly extinguished the fire. "Sorry guys."
"Don't worry about it, Hermione," Harry said, "As a Muggle-born, you're still more used to thinking about Muggle ways of doing things than magical ones." Ron and Neville nodded.
The next potential obstacle was apparently supposed to be fighting not one but two trolls that made the one Harry had knocked out look small. However, to the relief of the teens, the trolls had already been knocked out. Shrugging, they moved on.
As they approached the door to the next room, the quartet heard flapping sounds and when they opened the door, they found several butterfly like objects flying around the room and a broom in the middle.
Hermione went over to the door and cast Alohomora. "No good," she said, "Must be enchanted to open only to the…" She broke off and squinted at the objects flying around. "Wait a minute. Those are keys." The boys all focused on the objects and realized she was right. Keys of various colors were flying around the room.
"We must have to use the broom to retrieve it," Harry said.
"You're the best candidate I can think of, mate," Ron said, clapping Harry on the back. Neville and Hermione nodded.
Harry mounted the broom. "Whoever came through here was probably rough handling it and most likely bent its wings," Hermione said, "And the handle silver, so it's a good possibility the key is."
Nodding, Harry kicked off the ground and flew to the top of the room and hovered there. 'Silver key, bent wings, sliver key, bent wings,' he repeated over and over silently. It didn't take long for him to find the key and shoot off after it, grabbing it as easily as if it weren't moving around.
However, as if on cue, the other keys started trying to make Harry drop the key in his hand, but he held on tight as he made a dive. Coming to an abrupt stop at the floor, he threw the key to Hermione, who used it to open the door. The second it opened and she let go of the key, it and the other keys went back to hovering around the room.
The group wasn't too surprised to find that the next room was a giant chess set. "Wow, it's almost like these were specifically made for us," Neville murmured, "Plants for me, trolls that we worked together to distract, a flying challenge for Harry, and a challenge involving chess for Ron. Guess you're next, Hermione."
"Guess so," Hermione said. She turned to Ron. "Where do you want us?"
"All right, let's see," Ron said, "Hermione, take the Queen position, since it has the best range of movement." Hermione nodded. "Neville, take the Rook." Neville nodded. "Harry…"
Harry had been thinking the whole time that the three had been talking. 'I think it's time to come clean,' he realized, 'Whoever made this probably charmed it to use a strategy to force us sacrifice one of the players we take the place of and I'm the best choice to take the hit.'
"Before you decide on my position…" Harry said, "I'm guessing you already have a strategy running through your head, right? And you know that we'll probably have to sacrifice one of us no matter what position?" Ron nodded at both questions. "And what would the sacrificed piece be?"
"The knight," Ron said.
"Then trust me when I say put me there," Harry said. He held up a hand to stall the protests. "Look, I can take the hit because… I'm not human."
"What are you talking about?" Ron asked.
"You remember the story about mum and dad found me?" Harry asked. His friends nodded. "It's not exactly a lie, but they found me in a rocket sent from a scientist sent from a planet called you might know as Krypton." Ron and Neville didn't recognize the name, but he wasn't surprised to see that Hermione did.
"This is crazy," Neville said, "You can't be an alien. You're just… Harry."
"Guess there's only one way to prove this," Harry said and before his friends could stop him, he walked over to one of the nearby pillars and drove his fist through it.
Not surprisingly, it was Hermione that got to Harry first as he pulled his hand back out of the pillar. "Harry!" she exclaimed, "That was so stupid. You must have… not broken… one bone." She examined his hand to find that he didn't even have a scratch on his hand.
"When I want it to happen, my skin can't be penetrated by anything on Earth," Harry said, "My bones are even stronger, I have the strength of several hundred of Earth's strongest men, and I can move at supersonic speeds."
"The troll," Hermione said, "I always had a feeling there was something you were holding out about what happened to it."
"It was no big deal really," Harry said with a shrug, "Only thing I lied about was that I knocked it out myself pretty easily, but more on that later. Right now, we have to get through and stop Snape or Quirrell from getting to whatever it is they're looking for." The other nodded and they all took their spots with Ron taking the Bishop spot.
Ron played his strategy out as ruthlessly as he could so they could get through it quickly. "You ready?" he asked Harry.
Harry nodded. "Let's do this," he said. Ron somewhat reluctantly commanded him forward and on the next turn, the opposing queen moved forward and destroyed the horse he was riding, knocking him on his ass.
Harry's friends shouted and started to move forward, but he waved them off as the queen dragged him to the side. When she left him there, he got back to his feet. "I told you, I'm fine," he said, "Just end the match and let's go stop them."
The others nodded and Ron stepped forward. "Checkmate," he said. The opposing king took off his crown and threw it down in front of the red head. Harry got back to his feet and met his friends at the middle of the chess board.
When the group walked into the next room, flames suddenly jumped up behind them and in front of them and they noticed a small table with a selection of bottles with a note attached which read:
Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind
Two of us will help you, whoever you would find
One among us seven will let you move ahead
Another will transport the drinker back instead
Two among our numbers hold only nettle wine
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line
Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore
To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four
First, however slyly the poison tries to hide
You will always find some on nettle wine's left side
Second, different are those who stand on either end
But if you would move onward, neither is your friend
Third, as you see clearly, all are different size
Neither dwarf nor giant hold death in their insides
Fourth, the second left and the second on the right
Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight
Hermione gasped. "This isn't just magic, it's also logic," she said. She read it thoroughly, murmuring to herself softly. "The smallest bottle will get us forward while the one on the right end will get us back."
Harry picked up the smallest bottle. "Looks like someone's been through," he said, "There's barely enough for one person." Grabbing the other bottle indicated, he turned back to his friends. "You guys head back and get McGonagall. If I can't beat him, I know I can at least hold him off until you get back."
"But one of use could go with you," Ron argued.
"Yeah, can't you go use your powers to go through without it?" Neville asked.
"I don't know if I can," Harry said, "I've never tried my invulnerability against magical flames." Ron and Neville nodded and drank from the other bottle and walked back through the flames.
However, Hermione wasn't buying it. "You made that up," she said.
"All right, yes, I did make it up because I'm not putting any of you in any more danger," Harry said, "It's best if I go through alone because I should be able to take Snape or Quirrell out and I don't want to have to worry about you."
Hermione nodded and stepped forward but instead of taking the bottle, she instead gave Harry a big hug. "You're a great wizard you know," she said, trying not to turn red as she pulled away.
"Nowhere near as good as you," Harry said, also embarrassed.
"Me!" Hermione said, "All I have is stuff I got from books and cleverness in how to use what I read. There are much more important things like friendship… and bravery… and…" She suddenly moved forward and hugged Harry again, this time giving him a kiss on the cheek. "Oh Harry, please be careful."
"I will," Harry promised. With that, Hermione drank some of the potion and left through the flames at the back of the room. He looked down at the small bottle in his hand. 'Just in case she comes back,' he thought and downed the contents. He couldn't help but shiver at the icy feeling emanating from the potion.
With that, Harry put the bottle down and headed through the flames at the front of the room and wasn't too surprised to find Quirrell there, though he was a little shocked to find him looking at the Mirror of Erised. "So it is you," he said as he walked down to stand a few feet away from his adversary.
Harry had apparently surprised Quirrell because he turned abruptly. "Potter?" he sneered as the two circled each other, "What are you doing here? How did you know I would be down here?"
"I heard your conversation with Snape the other day," Harry said, "It didn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out that one of you were going to come claim whatever it is down here, especially once Hagrid let slip he met you in Hogsmeade. As for why I'm here, there's no way in hell I'm letting you claim it."
"Yes, that big oaf is good about that," Quirrell admitted, "As for you stopping me, Incarcerous!" He lifted his wand and pointed it at Harry's feet. Vines shot up from the ground and grabbed hold of the boy, who allowed them to do it so he could catch the wizard by surprise later.
With Harry apparently no longer a problem, Quirrell went back to the mirror and started peering into it. "Now, where is it?" he growled, "I can see myself holding the stone and bringing the master back with it, but I can't quite see how…"
Suddenly, Quirrell gasped and grabbed his forehead. After several seconds, he spun back around. "Potter, come here and help me find it… NOW!" he demanded, banishing the vines holding the boy still.
"Find what exactly?" Harry asked, "I mean, if I'm going to help you, I'll have to know what it looks like."
"A small, diamond-shaped crystalline stone," Quirrell said, "Flamel was supposed to have left it here and my master sent me to find it. Now, don't be asking any more stupid questions. Help me find it and I promise your death will be quick and relatively painless."
Quirrell had turned back to the mirror and was apparently so engrossed in whatever he was seeing and missed Harry rolling his eyes at the threat. 'But maybe I can use the mirror the find it and keep it safe at the farm or Gringotts,' he thought, peering into the mirror.
At first, Harry didn't see anything until he noticed that the image wasn't really of him. Oh it looked like quite a bit like him but there were also subtle differences, starting with the mirror version being a little older and with blue eyes instead of green. 'Could that be a younger dad?' he mused.
The mirror image put its finger to its lips and took something out of its pocket. It was the crystalline relic that Quirrell was looking for, except instead of being plain, it had a zigzagging, lightning bolt-like S across it. It winked and put it back in its pocket… and Harry suddenly felt something drop into his pocket.
"Tell me what you see!" Quirrell demanded.
"I see myself becoming Captain of the Gryffindor team," Harry lied. Instead what he saw was his counterpart along with his Kryptonian family. "I see us winning the Cup every year, and I see me graduating, but no relic."
"Useless boy," Quirrell growled, pushing Harry back. Suddenly, he grabbed his head again. "No, you're lying. Come here and tell me what you really saw!" He lunged forward, only for the Kryptonian wizard to easily side step him and for him to land face first on the floor.
"You didn't really think it was gonna be that easy now did you?" Harry asked as he held his wand up, "You only got me the first time because I let you so I'd catch you by surprise now and that won't be happening again."
"You've obviously had some training, boy, but there is a reason that I teach that joke of a class," Quirrell said as he got back to his feet. He tried the Incarcerous spell again, but Harry easily sidestepped and used a Finite on it before it could move towards him.
"Maybe in general, but it sure doesn't look like you've had any real training in dueling to me," Harry said, "Stupefy!" A red light came from his wand and rushed at Quirrell, but he deflected it easily and sent what looked to be a Reducto back at him.
Since the spell was tough to deflect for even a fully grown wizard, Harry did a forward roll under the spell. Quirrell was so surprised that it was easy for the younger wizard to hit him with a "Petrificus Totalus!" to end the impromptu duel.
Harry then used a disarming spell before picking himself up off the floor and walking over to Quirrell, also dusting himself off. "Thought I'd be an easy target didn't you?" he mocked the older wizard, "Your dueling style is rudimentary at best while I've been taught by one of the world's best duelers."
Quirrell couldn't answer of course but when he suddenly got a panicked look in his eyes, Harry rushed forward and casted a Finite. However, he was apparently too late as the older wizard started aging before his eyes. "If you tell me who did this, I can avenge you," he promised.
"You'll have enough people to avenge soon," Quirrell murmured between gasps, "The dark one is coming and there's nothing even you your fantastic abilities will be able to do to stop him… Kryptonian."
Harry's eyes widened. "How do you know about that?" he demanded. Quirrell just laughed as his body faded into dust.
"Harry!" a voice called and Harry turned just as Hermione came running up to give him a hug.
"What in Merlin's beard is going on here, Mr. Potter?" McGonagall asked as the Heads of Houses and to Harry's surprise Dumbledore joined them in the chamber.
"I was dueling Quirrell and had hit him with a full-body bind when he started aging," Harry said, "I couldn't do anything about it before he completely crumbled into dust."
"Bah, what nonsense," Snape sneered, "A mere boy beat a fully grown wizard in a duel? You must have used some kind of dark magic on him, Potter."
"You can check my wand if you want, sir," Harry said.
Snape nodded, took Harry's wand, and caste a "Priori Incantatum" on it. It showed the standard range of dueling spells and nothing else. "That doesn't mean anything," he said, "You still wouldn't have been able to defeat him in a duel."
"Actually, Severus, I'll have to disagree," Flitwick said, "I've been tutoring young Mr. Potter and his friends on dueling while Quirinus has no real training to my knowledge, so even with the age difference, it's possible. But we could always ask him to donate memories that will prove his side of the story."
"While I do believe that would be the best course of action of finding out what happened here," Dumbledore said when Harry shot him a panicked look, "I believe there are things about Harry that should not be made public. However, as I am privy to those secrets, I will take him to my office to investigate this myself."
The other staff members nodded and Dumbledore started to lead Harry away. "Wait, sir," he said, "Can my friends come too? They know what happened up to my duel with Quirrell and I have no secrets from them now."
Dumbledore apparently caught onto Harry's meaning and nodded. "Mr. Weasley, Ms. Granger, Mr. Longbottom, if you would please join us then?" he asked. The three nodded and they headed back to the room beneath the Devil's Snare, where he revealed a staircase leading back up to the school.
"Boy do I wish I had known of this before," Harry joked, "It would have made it much easier to get down here." His companions nodded.
"Only Minerva and I knew about this passage until tonight," Dumbledore explained, "When we brought the others down here to create their part in the obstacle course, we flew down here and back up. The plant was last of course since it would have complicated things." Harry nodded.
Once they were back in the main part of the school, Dumbledore led them towards his office and gestured for them to sit down. "Now, from what Harry has told me, you all know about his hidden heritage?" he asked.
"Yes, he told us before the chess obstacle but we didn't know you knew," Hermione said.
"James and Lily thought it best to tell me in case he needed someone to cover for him when he has to deal sudden flare ups of his powers during his years here," Dumbledore said, "There hasn't been nothing of note yet, though there were a few close calls with Ms. Vasquez."
"Wait… Yoli knew before the rest of us?" Ron asked.
Harry nodded. "I can't tell you why though," he said, "I promised I wouldn't so you'll have to ask her next we see her. But there is a reason I revealed my powers to her, even though I held back that I was an alien. Anyway…"
Harry proceeded to tell the group about his confrontation with Quirrell and his strange headaches that seemed to tell him everything. "It's like something was telling him when I was lying," he said, "Do you know anything about it, professor?"
"I have my suspicions, but I'm afraid that will have to be a tale for another time," Dumbledore said, "I do not wish to bother you with the details until I think you are old enough to be able to handle it." The teens didn't like it but they nodded.
"He said he was searching for a relic that Nicholas Flamel left here, a crystal-like object," Harry said. He took said object out of his pocket and to his surprise a small piece of paper fell out as well. "Whoa, didn't notice that."
"Would you mind…" Dumbledore asked, reaching for the note. Harry shook his head and handed it to him and he read it. "Oh my."
"What's wrong?" Harry asked.
"I believe it's best for you to see for yourselves," Dumbledore said and handed it back to Harry. His friends crowded around.
To my however many times removed great-grandson, I leave this in your care for I feel you will have a better chance at guarding it than I. Make sure no one you don't trust gets a hold of it or it could mean disaster.
Flam-El, the guardian of the Phantom Zone
"Wait a second, Flam-El?" Harry asked, "You mean he's…"
"Flam-El is not only your ancestor but what you would call the warden of a pocket dimension Kryptonians used as a prison called the Phantom Zone," Dumbledore said, "Roughly 12 years ago, I accidentally found a way to see into it and thought that he was an innocent prisoner there and freed him.
"Though that isn't that far from the truth," Dumbledore continued, "Flam-El told me that he had been went there willingly to serve as a prison warden to keep anybody there from getting out. Flam-El was worried so we searched for a way to send him back
"It took almost 3 years… during which, under the name Nicholas Flamel, he helped me find ways to further magical developments, as I'm sure you know," Dumbledore said, "But in the end, we were able to send him back, using a piece of crystal he brought with him."
"That relic," Hermione said. Dumbledore nodded. "Nicholas Flam-El being Kryptonian would make sense since Quirrell put so much emphasis on his last name from what you said, Harry. He might have met him."
"It would also explain how he knew you were Kryptonian," Ron said, "If Quirrell found a picture of Flam-El and you look a lot like him, it wouldn't have taken a genius to figure it out."
Harry nodded. "And I'm guessing you both brought him here and sent him back to this 'Phantom Zone' through the Mirror of Erised," he said, "Which was why he could use the mirror to send it back to Earth to give to me.."
The elderly wizard nodded again. "That crystal is unlike any in the known universe because he had crafted it in the Phantom Zone," he said, "If I had to guess, Quirrell was probably searching for it because it must still have remnants of the spell I used to send him back."
"Which is also why I'm guessing you told everyone about the corridor," Hermione said, "You figured anybody looking for it would go after it there while you actually had the key to obtaining it in a room in the main part of the castle. Sorry we messed that up."
"Very good, Ms. Granger," Dumbledore said, "Even Minerva doesn't know about the corridor being a decoy at first. And I don't blame you for finding it. I can't fault you for your curiosity. It was bound to happen eventually. The four of you speeding up my plans by finding it probably kept it from being found sooner.
"However, once you found the mirror," Dumbledore continued, "I knew it would be a matter of time before both word got around and one of you… probably Harry as he did tonight… would unknowingly obtain the relic and had to take measures to avoid that."
"Why?" Harry asked, "I could have been able to keep it safe."
"With all due respect to you and your powers, there's no way to be sure of that," Dumbledore said, "Whatever was feeding Quirrell information could very well have other agents in the castle. Even given your abilities, I didn't want to risk your life, so I just felt it was the right way to go about this."
Harry nodded and sighed. "That makes sense I guess," he said, "But what about now? We can't destroy it… can we?"
Dumbledore shook his head. "Before I sent him back to the Phantom Zone, Flam-El asked me to do so in order to keep any more breaches," he said, "But I ran it through every way imaginable, both Muggle and magical, and nothing could even scratch it.
"However, I do have a plan." Dumbledore said before reaching into a nearby drawer and took out a chain, "This is made from the Muggle metal titanium. It is nearly indestructible on its own and with the right runes, it can be made to be even more so.
"Let me borrow the relic as well as a few drops of your blood," Dumbledore continued, "And in a few days, I should be able to make it the perfect place to keep the relic because I can enchant the chain to where it would only come undone at your touch."
Harry nodded and allowed Dumbledore to draw some of his blood with a small dagger. "You may head back to your tower now," he said, "I will tell the others that I have seen your memories and can vouch for your story. They trust me and will not question it."
Harry's friends nodded and started heading to the door, but he stayed seated. "You guys go on ahead and I'll catch up in a minute," he said. They nodded again and left the office. "Sir, about Professor Snape…"
A couple of days later, rumors of the quartet's adventures were being passed around school at a speed that would challenge Harry's. They were constantly getting congratulated everywhere they went, except by Slytherins in general and especially by Snape during Potions in particular.
Snape was particularly nasty one day and ranted about the supposed idiocy of the four friends. However, they knew that he was just baiting them so they kept quiet and just smiled. Of course, that just made him madder.
After class, Harry walked up to the teacher's desk. "Sir, could I talk to you for a moment?" he asked.
"I doubt you have anything to say I want to hear, Potter," Snape spat.
"I wouldn't ask if it was important, sir," Harry insisted.
Snape just glared at Harry before nodding. "Very well, if you insist," he growled.
Harry noticed his friends filing out and tried to suppress a smile as he wished he could see their reactions to what was outside. "Sir, I want to say I'm sorry for whatever trouble I've caused to you," he said, "But if I could be honest, you've done nothing but antagonize me since I came here."
Snape gave Harry a nasty smile. "Aw, poor baby can't handle a little criticism?" he said.
"Not when it actually has very little to do with me, no," Harry said, "I know what dad and uncle Remus and Sirius did to you and I can't apologize for that because it's not really my place…"
"But it is ours," a second voice interjected.
Snape turned and saw James, Remus, Sirius, and Lily standing at the doorway of the classroom. "What are you here for, to beat me until I agree to kiss your son's worthless ass?" he spat.
"No, Severus," Lily said, "We're here to make peace."
"I have no squabble with you, Lily," Snape said.
"Maybe not directly, no," Lily said, "But I'm protective of my son and you've done him wrong since he came here for no good reason other than the fact that he's mine and James' son."
"I treat him no differently than I do every other…"
"Harry's sent us memories… Severus," James said, "You might treat everyone that's not a Slytherin badly, but not even close to the way you treat Harry and by extension his friends. And for what, the pranks we pulled on you? We were teenagers and I recall you giving about as well as you got."
"You nearly got me killed!" Snape shouted, glaring at Sirius.
"Oh please, you were in no real danger," Sirius said, "We had discretely given Hagrid a heads up and he would have gotten you out of their clutches before they got you back to the nest to feed."
"He knew?" Snape demanded.
"You know as well as we do if he had known what we were doing he would have stopped it before it happened," Remus said, "We had just told him that the acromantulas might have gotten hold of a student."
"The last we had known, he was heading to their den to stop another incident with them," Sirius said, "Hell, even James didn't know but wormed it out of us at the last second and went and saved you. And Lily didn't until years later and trust me, anything you do would be nothing in comparison to her chewing us out."
"But that isn't what this is about, is it?" Lily asked, walking forward to stand right in front of Snape, who was avoiding her eyes. "This isn't about how they treated you in school because that could just be put off as all of you being teenagers. This is because I chose James over you."
"Utter nonsense," Snape said, "I… you…"
"Is it nonsense?" Lily asked softly, "We had known each other for quite a while before we came to Hogwarts and I knew you really fancied me. I know I fancied you. You were one of the few that treated me nicely when we started here."
"You did?" Snape asked. Lily nodded. "But how did you fall for that-that Neanderthal over me?"
"I partly chose James because he was the one who asked me out first," Lily said, "By the time you… well, figured yourself out, he had asked me out and won my heart. It didn't help that not long after that, you started listening to your pureblood dorm mates to start treating me like they still do to this day.
"If you want someone to blame, blame them and frankly, blame yourself," Lily said, "Not me, not James, Remus, and Sirius, and especially not Harry since as he said, he has nothing to do with it. But believe me when I say I don't blame you. I just want my first magical friend back."
Harry was a little surprised to notice that he wasn't the only one that was a little teary eyed at his mom's speech. Everyone in the room had been affected, even Snape. "I-I…" he started before taking a deep breath. "I want my best friend back too." Lily came forward and the two enveloped each other in a hug.
After several minutes, they pulled away and Snape looked up at the three Marauders. "Don't get me wrong," he warned, "I will probably never really like you three, but I will learn to at least tolerate you… for Lily's sake."
"For Lily's sake," the three Marauders said in way of agreement.
"And as for you, Potter…" Snape began as he turned to Harry. Lily interrupted by loudly clearing her throat. "Excuse me, Harry… I feel I should apologize for my behavior. I admit that I was too bitter to look past you being their son and starting next year, I won't be making that mistake again."
"It's all right, Professor," Harry said, "I never really took it that personally."
"And that just proves just how much of a remarkable boy you are," Snape said, "As well as a student that even I have to admit has been a joy to teach and I will start to treat you like that at least when it comes to being outside of this classroom.
"As for points," Snape said, "Though I will have to keep up appearances so it can't be directly… while I can't go into reasons why, I do have to be seen as a pureblood fanatic… Minerva and I should be able to work out something to restore the points."
"And Quidditch?" Harry asked.
"I will tell the team to tone down their rough housing to more or less normal standards," Snape said, "In fact, I might do as Minerva threatened to do and disband the team as it stands… Flint especially, as he's consistently the worst… and put in players that fit the positions better and are fair so we can kick your butts next year."
Harry grinned. "With all due respect, I think you'd probably have to go to another school for that and even then it'd take a miracle," he joked and was a little surprised when Snape let out a genuine, booming laugh, something that not even very many Slytherins had ever heard in that classroom.
"You're most likely right," Snape agreed.
"You can go catch up with your friends, son," James said as him, Remus, and Sirius joined the three in the center of the room. "I think we're going to catch up with Severus for a while before we Floo back." Nodding, Harry went off to join his friends.
Over the next week, the students went over their end of year exams. Harry was pleasantly surprised when McGonagall told him that he was second in their year. "After Ms. Granger of course," she said with a wink, "Keep this up and Prefect, Head Boy, and Salutatorian are all in your future."
"I figured Hermione would be first, but I thought I'd be somewhere after pretty much all of the Ravenclaws," Harry said.
"While the Ravenclaw house is very smart as a whole," McGonagall agreed, "You seem to have a grasp on magic that those in your year probably won't have for years and only then if they work hard at it. That seems to be able to more than make up for any difference there might be between your IQ and theirs."
"Doesn't hurt I've got Hermione helping me," Harry said, "And thank you." He couldn't help but grin at the compliment for the rest of the day.
Later that day, Dumbledore brought Harry the necklace with the Phantom Zone relic attached. He explained that no one would be able to remove it but him and would give an increasingly bad shock to anyone that tried.
The Great Hall was buzzing with excitement as the students ate what for some of them would be their last meal at Hogwarts. But when Dumbledore stepped up to the podium near the end of dinner, they all fell silent.
"I have a few end of year announcements to make," Dumbledore said, "First, to all of you departing Hogwarts for the final time, remember that you will always be welcome to visit. The staff and I will be more than happy to reminisce offer help wherever we can." This got polite applause, mostly from the graduates.
"Secondly, congratulations to the Gryffindor Quidditch team for their flawless season and winning the Quidditch House Cup," Dumbledore said, "And to all the teams for all the hard work that they put in. I have to say that it was one of the best seasons in years." This got a huge round of applause.
"Now, before we get to the House Cup, I have some points to give out," Dumbledore said, "Please hold any applause to the end so I can finish this as soon as possible. 100 points goes to Neville Longbottom for using his extensive knowledge of Herbology to help his friends."
"100 points to Ronald Weasley for the best game of chess I have personally in my many years of life," Dumbledore said, "100 points to Hermione Granger for being able to think logically when most would have lost their heads."
"And finally 300 points goes to Harry Potter," Dumbledore said, "100 for using both his excellent flying and Seeker skills to capture an object that even most professionally trained Seekers would have trouble capturing and 200 points for being able to out duel a fully grown dark wizard and with his friends, saved the school." At that, most present stood and gave the quartet an almost deafening ovation.
"Since they had a good lead already, I believe it goes without saying that Gryffindor has won the House Cup," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling. With a wave of his wand, the House Cup disappeared from being the center piece of the Slytherin table to Gryffindor's and everyone except the Slytherins cheered loudly.
With his announcements over, Dumbledore waved his wand and the food disappeared. The students headed out of the Great Hall and Hogwarts itself and took the school carriages to the Express, where their luggage and various familiars were already waiting in the cargo hold.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville were quick to find a compartment and the twins joined them. "Oh look, it's the saviors of Hogwarts!" the two proclaimed.
"Should we bow?" one asked.
"Or at least ask you to bend over enough to allow us to kiss you're…"
"Hey now," Harry said, trying his best not to laugh at their antics. "If you want to join us, watch the mouths." The twins nodded and sat down.
It didn't take long for Malfoy and his idiot buddies to show up of course. "I bet you feel all big and bad just because Dumbledore's kissing your arse don't you?" he challenged.
"Malfoy, I out dueled a fully grown wizard within a couple minutes," Harry said, "Do you really have enough confidence in the abilities of you and your buddies to stand a chance against me even working together?"
"Now look here, Potter," Malfoy said, "You're just an uppity little half-blood with delusions of grandeur and when my dad hears about this…"
"That answers that question," Harry interjected, "You can't even wipe your arse without your dad's say so and even he can't do squat because I haven't done anything the pureblood traditions you two supposedly hold up to wouldn't allow. But you better remember one thing if that tiny little thing you call a brain can allow it.
"You see, I know why Hermione was in the loo at Halloween," Harry said, "And if you ever treat her like you did that day, you won't be able to run far or fast enough to keep me from kicking your arse thoroughly and the beautiful thing is that once again, I'd be holding up your high and mighty inbred tradition. Understood?"
Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle were shaking so badly Harry was surprised they weren't actually pissing themselves. "Is that understood?" he roared. They actually did empty their bladders before muttering compliance and running off as fast as they could.
"You didn't have to do that," Hermione said as Harry shut the compartment door and she casted an air freshening charm and Scourgified the puddles of urine near the door.
"Yes I did," Harry said, "That little inbred idiot needs to learn that he's part of the minority not Muggle-borns, half-bloods, and families that are usually less inbred and therefore more magically adept and I'm going to put him in his place whenever he needs it." His friends nodded.
The rest of the trip back to the Diagon Alley train depot was relatively uneventful for the group, though they did play a few pranks on other passengers, especially Malfoy and his stooges, whom they also placed time-release pranks to torture them with over the summer holidays.
When they met up with their parents, the group went their different ways. The Weasleys and Longbottoms were heading straight home while the Potters had to make a trip to the International Portkey hub to send Hermione to the one in Ireland, where her mum was going to pick her up.
At the station, Harry was hugging Hermione like she was a life raft. "I don't want you to go," he murmured.
"I'd love to stay, but I haven't seen mum in almost a year," Hermione said, "Not to mention we'll see each other soon. Have you known me to miss your birthday?" Harry shook his head.
"Actually, we've been talking with your mum," Lily interjected, "And we've decided to come visit you for a change for Harry's birthday. We've never really had the chance to visit Ireland and want to change that."
Harry grinned. "That would be awesome," he said.
"I'll see you next month then," Hermione said. She gave Harry one last hug and a kiss on the cheek before giving Lily and James on as well before heading over to the group getting ready to travel by Portkey, which included Seamus Finnigan and a woman she guessed to be his mum or aunt.
The Potters waited until the group disappeared before leaving. As he followed his parents outside, Harry knew that the summer was probably going to be very interesting, especially since he was going to Ireland for his birthday.
The end… well, for now
Author's Note: So, what do you think of the series so far? Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There's going to be a quick little summer-time Interlude as well as starting the spinoff about Yoli's adventures recruiting US-based superheroes before the kids head back to Hogwarts for Year 2 and Luna and Ginny's Year 1.
I know everyone probably wanted Harry to really knock Snape down a notch, but I honestly think something similar to this could have happened even in the books given the right situations. I mean don't get me wrong, I love Snape bashing stories, but I decided to go a different way, especially since that scene turned out so emotionally powerful.
As for the duel with Quirrell, I know I'll catch hell for having Harry defeat him easily (still surprised no one thought it was odd he beat a troll in seconds), but I stand by what I wrote. Quirrell had very little if any training in dueling while Harry has both somewhat extensive training and his Kryptonian abilities to back him up.
Besides, a duel isn't just based on skill but circumstances concerning environment among other things and Harry also had the element of surprise when it came to Quirrell underestimating his dueling skills. Same with fights in general of course, which is why Spike TV's show "Deadliest Fighters" is full of crap.
Not that I didn't think the show is awesome, because I did, but they base the fights on computer simulations centered around armor and weaponry when fighters with such training as some they've shown would know how to use their environments to their advantage to make up for most disadvantages.
All right, I'll get off my soap box. Anyway, on a final note, you might have noticed that I only vaguely answered one of the questions I brought up at the beginning, "Who is after the Phantom relic and why?"
The immediate answer about who it is should be somewhat obvious, though it's not the complete one. Don't want to spoil things, so that's all I'm going to say. It's why I was vague on who Quirrell was talking about when he mentioned his master.
The full answer about why is an even more important plot point that will be revealed in layers that even I have not been able to fully plan out. Anyway, see you then and as always, Pueda el solitario Dios encuentra la paz por ultimo.