Author's Note: Anything that appears Underlined is quoted straight from the book. Sorry that I did this but I couldn't come up with a good way to paraphrase or re-word it. I've enjoyed engaging in this "What If?" and hope everyone who's read it has as well. As for sequels, well I'm working on the outlines, re-tooling them and tweaking them. Hopefully I will be inspired enough to start on "Chamber" next. Thanks for all the positive reviews, they helped a lot.
THE MAN WITH TWO FACES
Harry was shocked to see it was Professor Quirrell, who was standing in the final chamber. He was standing in front of the Mirror of Erised and appeared to be talking to himself.
"It's you!" Harry blurted out before he could stop himself.
Quirrell turned around quickly, "Ah Potter, I was wondering when you'd be getting down here."
"You were expecting me?" Harry asked, too shocked to do anything but stare.
Quirrell took advantage of this and started casting. Thick ropes sprang from his wand and wound around Harry's legs, as well as his arms and upper body. With another flick of Quirrell's wand Harry found himself floating closer to Quirrell and the mirror.
"Yes, after you stopped the troll on Halloween, I knew it was a matter of time before you decided to come after the Stone to stop anyone from stealing it," Quirrell responded.
"You let the troll in? But Snape —" started Harry.
"Yes he does present that image, doesn't he. Dressed all in black, flitting around the castle like a huge bat," said Quirrell, in a mocking tone.
"Next to him, who would suspect, m-me-meek little st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell."
"But the Quidditch match, Snape was jinxing my broom!"
"No, I was jinxing your broom. And if Snape hadn't knocked me down when is robes caught on fire, I would have succeeded in throwing you off. Even with Snape trying to mutter his counter-curse," Quirrell gloated.
"Snape was trying to save me?" asked Harry, astonishment heavy in his voice.
"Surprising, I know. That's why he wanted to referee that match. Funny, since with Dumbledore attending I couldn't do anything," Quirrell grumbled.
"Snape's been after me since Halloween. While the other teachers went to search the dungeons he went to the third floor to head me off. Of course all he really got was his leg bitten, shame that monstrous mongrel didn't take it off," Quirrell paused for a moment, "Speaking of Halloween and trolls again, did you see the one in the last chamber, like what I did to it. I have a special gift with them."
"Snape decided that he couldn't afford to leave me along again. He has no clue though, I'm never alone," Quirrell said absentmindedly.
"Now how does this mirror work? I see what I desire, I see myself presenting the Stone to my master. But how do I get the Stone," Quirrell yelled.
Harry knew he had to buy more time and the only thing he could do was talk and ask questions, "But Snape hates me; he always picks on me in class."
"Oh yes he does hate you, just not enough to want you dead. He was in the same year as your father when they attended Hogwarts, and they loathed each other. I must say you do look rather like your father. Guess that makes it easier for him to hold the grudge."
Suddenly a hissing raspy voice sounded out of thin air, "Enough, use the boy to try and get the Stone."
Harry shuttered, the voice sounded familiar somehow.
"Come over here Potter," Quirrell said as he turned his wand on Harry again.
The ropes loosened and he floated to a standing position.
Quirrell jabbed his wand at the spot in front of the mirror, "Stand there and tell me what you see."
Harry walked over and stood in front of the mirror.
How can I keep the Stone safe, he thought, There must be a way to make sure they don't get it.
He could see his reflection, and for a moment he thought he would see his parents again. But then his reflection winked at him and pulled the little package that he'd seen Hagrid remove from the vault and Gringotts and hold it up. Then his reflection placed it back down in his pocket and suddenly he felt as if there was weight added to his real pocket.
"What do you see?" asked Quirrell, before bellowing, "Tell me what you see Potter!"
Harry swallowed , "I see myself standing in the Great Hall, I'm shaking hands with Dumbledore, I've just won the house cup for Gryffindor."
But just as the lie left his mouth the rasping voice sounded again, "The boy lies… he lies…"
"Tell the truth Potter!" Quirrell yelled again.
"Let me speak to the boy… face-to-face…" the eerie voice said.
"But Master, you are not strong enough yet!"
"I have strength enough… for this…"
Harry took a few steps back as Quirrell started taking off the purple turban he always wore. Harry thought Quirrell's head looked as if it was shrinking as the turban was unwound from his head.
As the turban fell away Harry almost screamed. Where the back of Quirrell's head should have been there was a face. It was chalk white, with familiar glowing red eyes, and the slit like nostrils of a snake.
"Harry Potter… we meet again…" it whispered.
Harry felt his legs begin to shake.
"See what I have become?" Voldemort said.
"A mere shade of my former self, forced to live off another like a common parasite. Unicorn blood can help sustain me for a time, but it cannot give me a body of my own. However, there is something that can, something that at this moment is residing in your pocket."
Harry started to turn and run.
"Why try and flee Harry. Join me and we can bring back your father and mother. Would you like that Harry, we can do it all I need is that Stone and we can do it. We can accomplish extraordinary things Harry. Or you can meet the same end as your parents."
"I'll never help you!"
"Bravery, your parents had it too. I killed your father first, he tried to put up a good fight, but no one can stand against Lord Voldemort. Your mother didn't need to die; she was just too stupid to move aside. Now hand over the Stone or they will both have died for nothing."
Harry started to run back towards the black flames, hoping that the potion was still working.
A yell of "SEIZE HIM!" and Harry felt Quirrell's hand grab his shoulder to spin him around.
The next thing he felt was Quirrell's hand on his neck starting to squeeze. When this happened Harry felt red hot pain shoot through his scar, his head felt like it was going to split wide open like a mellon. Harry screamed and tried to pull back, and to his surprise Quirrell's hand dropped away from his throat.
As the hand fell away, the pain in his head eased away, and Harry stumbled to the ground. He shook his head and looked up at Quirrell, who was on his knees looking down at his hands, which were blistering.
"Seize him! SEIZE HIM, you fool!" Voldemort continued to shriek.
"Master, I cannot touch him — my hands — my hands!"
"Then kill him and be done with it!" Voldemort yelled.
Quirrell reached to pull his wand out again, but Harry scrambled to his feet and grabbed a hold of Quirrell's face with both hands —
Came the screams of both Quirrell and Voldemort.
Harry's hands came away and he could see that Quirrell's face was blistering too. It was then that he realized that Quirrell couldn't touch his skin.
He grabbed a hold of Quirrell's head again and as he did the pain in his head returned. The chamber was filled with the screams and yells of all three of them. Quirrell fell sideways and Harry held on tight following him down. As he struck the floor his hands slipped free and blackness claimed him.
Harry could hear voices and the sound of boots on the stone floor. He opened his eyes to a blurry world. He started to search for his glasses only to the hear the clearing of a throat.
"Ahem, I believe these will be of help," came the voice Albus Dumbledore.
Harry took the glasses and quickly put them on; he noticed at once he was in the hospital wing.
"Sir! It was Quirrell! Did he get the Stone?" Harry began.
"Calm yourself, my dear boy. Everything is fine," said Dumbledore. "Quirrell did not get the Stone."
"But I had the Stone, and then —"
"Relax Harry, please relax. Madam Pomfrey, will have me thrown out and you will be given another dreamless sleep potion."
Harry took a deep breath and looked around. He saw that the table at the foot of the bed was filled with candy boxes.
"Tokens from your friends and admirers," Dumbledore informed him. "What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so naturally, the whole school knows. Madam Pomfrey was most upset earlier, when your friends, Mister Fred and George Weasley brought in a toilet seat, no doubt in an attempt to make you laugh."
"How long was I out?"
"Nearly a week. Your court will be most relieved to know that you have come round and are feeling better."
"But the Stone, where is it?"
"I see you are determined to know all that has transpired. Very well, Professor Quirrell did not manage to take it from you. I arrived just as the two of you fell to the floor of the chamber. I must say you seem to have handled yourself well."
"So Hermione and Neville were able to contact you?"
"No my dear boy, if they sent message then it would have arrived far to late. When I arrived at the Ministry, and everyone was surprised to see me, I returned immediately."
"It was a good thing you did, I don't know how much longer I could have kept him away from the Stone."
"Yes the Stone, the Stone has been destroyed my boy."
"Destroyed? But your friend — Nicolas Flamel —"
"Oh, so you know about Nicolas?" said Dumbledore, with a twinkle in his eye. "You did do the thing properly, didn't you? Nicolas and I had a little chat, and agreed it's for the best."
"But then he and his wife — they'll die — won't they?"
"They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die."
Dumbledore smiled at the look of amazement on Harry's face.
"To one as young as you, I'm sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all — the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them."
Harry lay there, lost for words. Dumbledore hummed a little and smiled at the ceiling.
"Sir?" said Harry. "I've been thinking… sir — even if the Stone's gone, Vol-, I mean, You-Know-Who —"
"Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself."
"Yes, sir. Well, Voldemort's going to try other ways of coming back, isn't he? I mean, he hasn't gone, has he?"
"No, Harry, he has not. He is still out there somewhere, perhaps looking for another body to share… not being truly alive, he cannot be killed. He left Quirrell to die; he shows just as little mercy to his followers as his enemies. Nevertheless, Harry, while you may only have delayed his return to power, it will merely take someone else who is prepared to fight what seems a losing battle next time — and if he is delayed again, and again, why, he may never return to power."
Harry nodded, but stopped quickly, because it made his head hurt. Then he said, "Sir, there are some other things I'd like to know, if you can tell me… things I want to know the truth about…"
"The truth." Dumbledore sighed. "It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. However, I shall answer your questions unless I have a very good reason not to, in which case I beg you'll forgive me. I shall not, of course, lie."
"Well… Voldemort said that he only killed my mother because she tried to stop him from killing me. But why would he want to kill me in the first place?"
Dumbledore sighed very deeply this time.
"Alas, the first thing you ask me, I cannot tell you. Not today. Not now. You will know, one day… put it from your mind for now, Harry. When you are older… I know you hate to hear this… when you are ready, you will know."
And Harry knew it would be no good to argue.
"But why couldn't Quirrell touch me?"
"Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good."
Dumbledore now became very interested in a bird out on the windowsill, which gave Harry time to dry his eyes on the sheet. When he had found his voice again, Harry said, "And the invisibility cloak — do you know who sent it to me?"
"Ah — your father happened to leave it in my possession, and I thought you might like it."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "Useful things… your father used it mainly for sneaking off to the kitchens to steal food when he was here."
"And there's something else…"
"Quirrell said Snape —"
"Professor Snape, Harry."
"Yes, him — Quirrell said he hates me because he hated my father. Is that true?"
"Well, they did rather detest each other. Not unlike yourself and Mr. Malfoy. And then, your father did something Snape could never forgive."
"He saved his life."
"Yes…" said Dumbledore dreamily. "Funny, the way people's minds work, isn't it? Professor Snape couldn't bear being in your father's debt… I do believe he worked so hard to protect you this year because he felt that would make him and your father even. Then he could go back to hating your father's memory in peace…"
Harry tried to understand this but it made his head pound, so he stopped.
"And sir, there's one more thing…"
"Just the one?"
"How did I get the Stone out of the mirror?"
"Ah, now, I'm glad you asked me that. It was one of my more brilliant ideas, and between you and me, that's saying something. You see, only one who wanted to find the Stone — find it, but not use it — would be able to get it, otherwise they'd just see themselves making gold or drinking Elixir of Life. My brain surprises even me sometimes… Now, enough questions. I suggest you make a start on these sweets. Ah! Bettie Bott's Every Flavour Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit flavoured one, and since then I'm afraid I've rather lost my liking for them — but I think I'll be safe with a nice toffee, don't you?"
He smiled and popped the golden-brown bean into his mouth. Then he choked and said, "Alas! Ear wax!"
It was later the next day when Harry finally convinced Madam Pomfrey to allow his friends to come up and visit with him. They all wanted to know if all the rumours were true. Harry told them everything he could remember, as well as what he talked to Dumbledore about.
Hermione and Neville filled Harry in on getting Ron out of the dungeon and finding Fred and George at the entrance of the third floor corridor. The twins took their brother to the hospital wing, while Hermione and Neville found Professor McGonagall, who was so surprised that four first years had gotten through the traps that were set up, that she didn't give them a detention.
Unfortunately they had all become rather animated and Madam Pomfrey removed the others, in order to let Harry rest and recover from his ordeal.
The end of year feast had finally arrived. The Great Hall was decorated in the green and silver colours of Slytherin House. Everyone had been looking forward to the food as were all sitting patiently waiting. Once everyone had arrived Dumbledore stood.
"Another year gone!" he announced cheerfully.
"And as I understand it the house cup needs awarding, and the points stand thus: In fourth place, Gryffindor, with three hundred and twelve points; in third, Hufflepuff, with three hundred and fifty-two; Ravenclaw has four hundred and twenty-six and Slytherin, four hundred and seventy-two."
Loud shouts went up from the Slytherin table as they cheered.
"Well done Slytherin, well done," Dumbledore interrupted. "However, recent events must be taken into account."
The room went completely silent. The smiles on the Slytherin faces, especially their head of house, Professor Snape, started to fade.
"I have a few last-minute points to give out," Dumbledore proclaimed.
"First to Mister Neville Longbottom, for his quick use of knowledge in the face of danger, I award Gryffidor house forty-three points."
Fred and George both gave Neville and slap on the back causing the boy to nearly go face first into his plate from shock.
"Second to Mister Ronald Weasley, for the best played game of chess this school has seen these many years, I award Gryffidor house forty-three points."
Ron blushed at the mention of his name.
"Third to Miss Hermione Granger, for her cool use of logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffidor house forty-three points."
Hermione blushed even more than Ron and tried to bury her face in Harry's sleeve.
"And finally to Mister Harry Potter, for strong decisive leadership and outstanding courage, I award Gryffidor house forty-six points.
The entire Hall, except for the Slytherins erupted into a standing ovation. Dora came over from the Hufflepuff table to share a hug with Harry and her other friends Gryffindor. Harry spied Malfoy sitting shocked at the Slytherin table, looking like he was about to be ill.
"And now, if my calculations are correct, Gryffindor with four hundred eighty-seven points wins the house cup. I think that a change of decoration is in order," said Dumbledore as he clapped his hands and the green and silver banners sporting the Slytherin snake changed to scarlet and gold bearing the Gryffindor lion.
It was after the feast in Gryffindor tower, that the students found out their exam results. Harry, Neville, Ron, and of course Hermione, who had the best grades in all of first year, all passed with good marks.
The last day of school had finally arrived . Harry had made sure to pack everything the night before. He and Neville left their roommates, who were still packing, in the first year boys dormitory and met Hermione in the common room before heading down to the Great Hall for breakfast.
"Fred and George went down earlier with Lee," Hermione told them, "They said they'd save us seats."
The walk down was enjoyable. All three were in high spirits, a condition that all the students shared, save maybe the Slytherins, since the end of year feast the night before. Arriving in the Great Hall, Harry could tell that it was still the case.
They joined Fred and George at the table, after waving to Dora, who was with her other friends at the Hufflepuff table. Breakfast was delicious and Harry told Hedwig to meet him at the train platform in Hogsmead, when she showed up to get her daily morning bacon. The other students finally made it down to eat and before long the call for the first carriages went out.
Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Dora rode down together. While Fred, George, Lee, and Cedric Diggory shared the second carriage.
Hermione and the others went to secure the largest compartment they could, while Harry was stopped by Hagrid as soon as he stepped out of the carriage.
"Hey 'Arry, I've got somethin' fer ya," the large man said as he pulled a leather bound book out of his overcoat.
Harry opened it to discover that it was a picture album. There were several pictures of his parents, who he recognized from seeing them in the Mirror of Erised, as well as many pictures of Harry with his friends.
"Thanks Hagrid, how did you get all these?" Harry said.
"Had a few of them and wrote to some people to get copies of others," Hagrid said, beaming at the thanks from Harry. "Oh, and just to let you know, if the Dursleys give you any grief you could always threaten that cousin of yours with a nice pair of ears to go with the tail I gave 'im."
"But Hagrid, you know I'm not allowed to use magic outside of school."
"I do, but your relatives don't, do they."
Harry smiled before joining the others on the train. It was a short time later that Ron joined them.
"Feels strange to be going home doesn't it?" Ron said, as he sat down.
"I'm not really going home, or at least I hope not to have to call that prison home much longer," Harry replied. "Speaking of which, have you heard any news from your parents Dora?"
"As a matter of fact, I have. They wanted me to tell you that they are close to being ready to file your case. You should only be at the Dursley's for a week-and-a-half, two weeks tops."
Harry was ecstatic, this was some of the best news he'd received in a long time, "That's great news," he said as he borrowed a scrap of parchment and quill from Hermione and began writing on it, "Here's the address and phone number, in case you need to contact me by normal means."
Dora took it and folded it up, before placing it in her pocket. The children spent most of the train ride playing Exploding Snap, and a couple of muggle games that Hermione taught everyone.
During one of the breaks between hands the twins spoke up.
"Harry we meant to ask you this earlier, but we got thrown out of the hospital wing, and there wasn't really a time we could bring it up without someone outside the group hearing it," George started.
"You said that Quirrell had You-Know-Who growing out the back of his head, right?" asked George.
"Well, it's just on the Marauders Map, You-Know-Who wasn't listed as being anywhere in the castle," said George again.
At the confused looks on everyone else's faces Fred chimed in, "But there was another name very close to Quirrell on the Map, I'd say right on top of him. It was Tom Riddle."
"That doesn't make any sense. Why would Voldemort's name show up as that?" asked Harry.
"Don't say his name," protested Ron.
"VOLDEMORT!" yelled Harry, "Sorry Ron, I'm going to call him by his name. 'Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.' At least that's what Dumbledore says."
"But you have to admit it's strange, why wouldn't it list Voldemort with Quirrell?" commented Dora.
"Maybe that's his real name," answered Hermione.
"But why change it?"
"Well you have to admit that Voldemort does sound more menacing than Tom Riddle," Harry said.
They all mulled this over in their heads for a bit.
"So what are the plans for our summer projects?" asked Neville.
"Maybe we should add research into the name Tom Riddle," Dora interjected.
"Maybe later," said Harry, "I think that the comm. system, the research on the magical bonds that have formed between us and the possible upcoming hearing about my removal from the Dursleys is enough for now. If you happen to find something, make some notes and we'll try and get to it when we finish something else. As for who is doing what — I think that Neville and Hermione should head up the research on the bonds. Fred and George should be lead on the comm. System, specifically try and see if your dad has anything that will work better as a receiver than the coins we've been using. I think that Dora and myself are going to be very busy with the possible upcoming hearings."
"And if I get accepted into Auror training I will be even busier than that," Dora chimed in.
The trip home finally came to an end and all the students were leaving the train and gathering their belongings. Harry received hugs from all the girls and manly slaps on the back from the guys.
Dora's parents were there to pick her up and they both greeted Harry before reaffirming the message that Dora had passed along. They escorted Harry out off of Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, along with the Grangers, who were picking up Hermione.
"There you are boy, hurry up we haven't got all day," said his Uncle.
"Ah you must be Harry's Uncle," asked Ted as he extended his hand to the man, "Mister Dursley isn't it?"
Vernon looked down at the hand of the man who was walking with his Nephew as if it might be infected.
"Yes, that's right. Sorry lots to do today, no time for small talk," he said as he turned and started to leave the station, motioning for Harry to follow.
Harry looked over at Hermione and Dora, "See you soon."