Here we go! Sorry it took so long, folks. Finals and things kindof got the best of me.
We snuck out at night after everyone went to bed. I, Ron, Hermione, and Draco tried to fit underneath the invisibility cloak, but it was simply too small for four people to walk under without our feet being seen.
"I'll just go it alone," Draco suggested. "You know, the old-fashioned way. Hide behind tapestries and things."
"Works," I said with a nod, and, after pulling the invisibility cloak over myself, Ron, and Hermione, we stepped out of the portrait hole.
Draco stayed behind us, so we could give him some warning in case someone was coming. But it seemed like fate was with us tonight – we didn't meet a single person, not even a ghost, as the four of us headed to the third floor.
"We have to hurry," Hermione muttered next to me. "We have to try to stop Snape before-"
"Don't remind me," Draco and I said in unison. But Hermione had us prepared for the worst, just in case. We'd gone down to Snape's office early and taken our Wolfsbane potions. We had to make sure that we were ourselves, tonight most of all. I knew from personal experience that without it I would kill Ron or Hermione without any reservation if I didn't have the potion in me.
We crept up the moving staircase until we reached the third floor. Hermione poked her wand out of the invisibility cloak.
"Alohomora!" she whispered.
"That just looked really weird," said Malfoy from behind us. "Your arm was floating by itself-"
She wrapped her fingers around the handle and pulled. The ancient door creaked open on its grimy hinges.
We stared at the room beyond, aghast. The tinkling some stringed instrument reached our ears.
"Wait a minute!" I whispered. I pulled the invisibility cloak off of me.
"Why is it already asleep?" Ron demanded, rolling the cloak up in his arms.
"The harp," said Draco, pointing. He was right. On the far right a full-sized, golden harp plucked its own strings, playing a random melody. And next to it lay Fluffy, Hagrid's enormous three-headed dog, flat on its stomach, its heads laying on its paws and its tongues flopped out. It was completely knocked out.
"Snape's already been here," Hermione concluded gravely. "He's put a spell on the harp.
"Where's the trapdoor?" Draco pressed.
"There… under it's paw," I answered.
I desperately tried to stay on my square. That was my only thought. I laid down as my muscles rippled, my bones crunched.
The moon had risen.
Draco was across the game board, in the position of a knight, writhing as his form began to change.
I lost track of my own thoughts after that.
But soon the finishing touches began to arrive. Fur sprouted across my skin. My fingers crunched in on themselves and became paws. My tail sprouted.
"That… looked bloody awful," Ron gasped, his face white.
"Oh Harry," Hermione wailed, her eyes wet.
I'm fine, I assured her, then remembered that she couldn't hear me.
Don't worry about me, I'm fine, too. Draco growled, getting to his feet.
"I – er…. Ron closed his eyes and shook his head, trying to think. "Well, we knew this was going to happen. What… what was I about to do?"
"I… Harry? Oh, right. You can't talk. Erm…" Hermione wandered from one foot to the other, biting her lip. "Just… think of a new move, Ron."
Ron let out a shaky breath.
"I'll try." He quickly looked around at all of the pieces.
We were on McGonagall's enchanted chess set. We had to play Wizard's chess and win to get into the next room, to get either to another puzzle or to the Sorcerer's Stone itself.
And the other side was very good.
Their queen was a menace – she'd taken out half of our troops and Ron had barely managed to keep all of us alive. I was no good at chess, so I didn't help, but Draco had been an excellent help. He'd saved us more than once.
Now Draco couldn't talk to anyone but me.
And Ron had just watched us transform, and looked like he might throw up.
He scanned the board, analyzing all of the pieces. He growled in his throat and shook his head.
"I don't have a choice. There's only one way. I've got to be taken."
I snarled in shock.
"What's going on?" Hermione demanded.
"When I make my move, the Queen'll take me. Then Harry's free to check the King."
"No, you can't do that!"
Draco growled his agreement, shaking his head.
"That's chess!" Ron cried. "You have to make sacrifices! Do you want to stop Snape from getting that stone or not?" He looked at me. "Harry, it's you that has to go on. You." I saw Draco staring at him fixedly. I can't read wolf expressions very well, but if I had to guess, he was looking at Ron with something like amazement.
After a moment I nodded. Ron looked forward and his jaw tightened. He stepped two squares forward and one square to the left.
"Check," he managed. I could see the sweat rolling off of his cheek from here. He shook as the queen strode towards him.
She raised a marble arm and crashed it down onto his skull.
"Ron!" Hermione screamed. I barked and snarled in surprise and anger. Ron toppled and lay still.
My eyes flashed to Hermione again. In an infinite millisecond I realized she was about to run to Ron.
Draco and I both jumped to wide stances and barked at her. She froze. When I was sure she wasn't going to move, I stepped diagonally across the chessboard until I was two spaces away from the king.
Checkmate, I said, glaring up at him.
The king's sword fell from his hands and slammed to the floor with an almighty clatter that roared through the cavernous room.
I immediately jumped over to Ron. Draco and Hermione weren't far behind me. Hermione knelt next to him and examined his head.
"I think he's just knocked out," she said after a moment. She looked at me and Draco, her eyes full of panic. "What are we going to do now? We can't just leave him here!"
As best I could, I pointed to Draco with my paw, then waved my head to the side of the room that we'd just conquered – the door that lay beyond.
"You'll go ahead? With Draco?" She asked, uncertain. Draco gave me a furtive look, then nodded. I pointed at Hermione again, then at Ron, then at the way back.
"I… take Ron back," she repeated, nodding. We both nodded again. I began to turn. Draco turned to follow me. I may have been afraid of Snape when I was human, but Draco and I were fast, strong, and deadly now. I wasn't very-
Hermione grabbed my tail. I jerked and looked back at her.
"Sorry," she said. "Harry, Draco? Be careful." We both nodded, then faced the doorway beyond the chess pieces and strode toward it.
We struggled to open the door for a few moments, and by the time we managed to turn the knob Hermione had dragged Ron out of the room, back the way we'd come.
On the other side of the doorway we found a long, dark corridor lined with pillars and flaming torches. The dim flames cast flickering shadows like half-formed ghosts on the stonework. We stepped forward, side by side, our paws silent.
After a solid minute of quiet, we both stopped. A voice. We didn't even have to look at each other to know we'd heard it.
I'll take the left, you take the right, I suggested.
Fair enough, Draco answered. We slunk off and pressed close to the opposite walls, keeping low.
The tunnel opened into a massive square chamber lit by hundreds of torches. The whole room glowed gold. In the center stood – the Mirror of Erised.
And in front of it was not Snape. It wasn't even Voldemort.
It was Quirrell.
He was impossible to miss – his black, flowing robe and his ridiculous purple turban.
The unfortunate thing about mirrors, for us, anyway, is that it allows people you're stalking to see behind them.
Thus, Quirrell turned around with a smirk.
You? I demanded automatically.
A shadowy cackle whispered through the chamber. Yet no one's mouth had moved.
"I finally get a rematch," Quirrell murmured with a grin.
He's not stuttering, Draco observed.
Careful. He's going for his wand. And indeed, Quirrell's wand had begun to appear, sliding out of his sleeve and into his right hand. He raised it with a flick of his wrist-
Quirrell froze. We all did. His lips had half-formed the spell.
"Let me speak to them," I looked around. There was another voice in this room. The voice that had laughed. But where –
Quirrell looked incredulous. He lowered his wand.
"Master, they are Werewolves. And besides, you are not strong enough!"
"I have strength enough for this."
A shiver ran down my spine.
Harry, what do we do? Draco wondered. I had no answer.
But Quirrell began unwrapping his purple turban. Circle by circle, it decreased in size. It almost looked funny. I'd gotten so used to seeing Quirrell with a turban on that his head looked far too thin.
But then –
Such fear and revulsion I've never known.
Quirrell pulled the last piece of cloth away. And in the mirror, reflected by the glimmer of the torchlight, a pale face with slits for nostrils and eyes like a cat's protruded from the back of Quirrell's head like a parasitic growth.
"Harry Potter," the face whispered, its mouth spreading into a serpentine grin.
Lord Voldemort, I murmured back.
L-lord….? Draco breathed. He stumbled on his feet, like he was dizzy.
"Yes," Voldemort whispered. "See what I've become? See what I must do to survive? Live off another, a mere parasite!"
How? I thought Snape - ?
"Oh no, Quirrell was the one who found me. He allowed me to share his body, killed the unicorns in the forest to sustain me. Severus… has not been as I thought."
Draco made a choking noise in his throat, and it was that moment that Voldemort realized that I was not the only one here. He frowned, intrigued.
"Who is this?" He wondered.
D-Draco Malfoy, Draco whispered. He sat down, looking faint.
"Ah, Malfoy… such a familiar name…" Voldemort murred. Then his eyes narrowed. "But why are you with Potter? Have you forsaken your own family for the one who tried to destroy me?"
I'm… a Gryffindor.
Voldemort rolled his eyes and looked back at me. That gaze was like ice – it was a relief to be out from under it, and terrifying at even the slightest glance. And he was staring at me.
"Tell me, Potter. Why – How could a little baby destroy me? Do you know? And… who has shown you the Wizarding world? Whose side are you on? The side of power, or the side of…." He smirked. "failure?"
You killed my mum and dad, I growled.
"Help me get the stone, boy, and I can bring them back."
That stopped me dead.
What did you just say? I demanded. Voldemort raised his eyebrows and smiled nonchalantly.
"I am the greatest wizard of all ages, Potter. Even a backfired curse, an explosion, my own body destroyed, could not kill me. I do believe it is within my power to grant you a small favor. In exchange for loyalty."
I was frozen solid. My parents. My parents. Voldemort could bring my parents back? Was it possible? I couldn't resist – no more Dursleys. No more loneliness. We could find a new house close to Ron's. We could visit every day. Everything would be perfect! And just for helping Voldemort-
My eyes widened. I turned and found Drano's blue eyes fixed on me.
All of that happiness, that blind hope, torn away like stitches ripped from a newly sewn wound.
"KILL THEM!" Voldemort screeched.
Quirrell's wand slashed forward.
Go! I shouted. Malfoy and I jumped in opposite directions and the top of the stairs blew to pieces. Dust clouded the room. Quirrell stood in the center as the two of us sprinted, his spells flying, sending stones erupting and shrapnel slamming into my fur. Shards of pain stabbed into my shoulder but I kept running.
Go in! Malfoy yelled. I turned and leapt right at Quirrell. He raised his wand with a laugh.
Malfoy came in from behind and slammed into his knees, knocking his feet out from underneath him and sending him sprawling.
A white flash and a concussion rippled through the room, nearly shattering my eardrums. Draco yelped and stumbled away, then flopped to the ground. Quirrell had swung wildly and hit him with a spell.
Quirrell rolled over, wand in hand, and pointed it at Draco. I did the only thing I could: I leapt onto Quirrell's back and bit his wand arm.
"AAAGGGH!" He screeched as my fangs sunk into his flesh. But the moment the roof of my mouth touched his skin, my scar burst out in agony. I yelped and let go. Quirrell sobbed and grabbed his arm, then snatched his wand again, rolling onto his back and raising it to curse me. I snapped out of my daze of pain and lunged, snapping his wand in half with a snap of my jaws. He grasped my throat with an iron grip. I gurgled, my windpipe squeezed shut.
My scar burned like someone had placed a hot wire to my head. A canine scream burst from my throat without my knowledge and my pain filtered the outside world into a haze of red. My eyes fluttered and everything spun. Quirrell screamed.
"My hand! My hand!"
A snarl. He screamed again. I flopped hard onto the stone, cracking my head. I heard the noise of my bones hitting the rock, like a tin can on cement. A flurry of white fur and waving arms thrashed in a corner of my vision, then went still. A pale form stepped over to me. Red spots dappled across its surface like ink splatter.
Harry, it murmured. My vision was beginning to clear, if only for a moment. I lifted my head. Draco stood over me, his mouth, chest, and paws splattered with blood.
You…? I wondered, amazed.
I - … yeah.
A twisting pillar of smoke rose up behind Draco. My eyes widened, and he saw where I was looking. He whirled, growling. But the growl quickly stopped.
Above us floated a towering, spectral form of smoke, with a face like a snake. It looked down at me with smoky eyes full of hatred and rage. The spirit screeched and flew right at us!
I couldn't move.
When I woke up, everything was blurry. How strange.
When I hit my head – did I have brain damage?
No, wait. Glasses.
I reached over to the nightstand, picked them up, and slid them onto my face.
Ah, good. My eyes still work.
I was in the Hospital Wing.
I quickly sat up. The Hospital Wing was a long, mostly white room with rows of empty beds lined up with their headboards against either wall and a row in between. At the foot of my bed sat a small table piled a foot high with… gifts? All manner of wizard sweets and 'get well soon' cards.
Next to my bed sat Malfoy. His left arm was in a sling.
"You're awake," he said quietly. He smiled. I tried to sit up, but a rash of prickling pain rocketed up and down my spine. So I settled for propping myself up on my pillows.
"What happened?" I asked. "How long have I been out?"
"Two days," Draco answered. I gaped.
"Two days?" I repeated, aghast.
"Madam Pomfrey said that she was about tell Professor Dumbledore you were in a coma," he said with a slight chuckle.
"All right, but what happened?" I gasped, remembering. "The stone. Where's the stone?"
"Relax," Malfoy reassured, raising his hands. "Quirrell didn't get it. Dumbledore told me-"
"Dumbledore was here?"
"Yes. Now, stop interrupting. He told me that the stone has been destroyed."
"Destroyed? But what about Nicholas Flamel?" I asked.
"Dunno," Draco answered. "He said something about that, but I really didn't understand."
I was quiet for a moment. I waved a hand to the pile of food and cards at the foot of my bed.
"What's all this?"
"Oh, people have been leaving gifts."
"Oh, yeah. Apparently what happened with Quirrell was a complete secret," Malfoy grinned. "So, naturally, the whole school knows."
But a memory came to me. A white wolf dotted with red.
"Did you…? I mean: Quirrell. Did you?" Malfoy looked down. His fingers intertwined.
"I'll live with it."
We were quiet for a long time. Then Draco brightened a little.
"Which reminds me – random students weren't the only ones leaving things."
"Really? Who?" I asked. Draco stood and stepped over to the pile. After a moment of shuffling through the packages, he pulled one out. It was a black, wooden case, small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. He held it out to me, and I took it. After a moment, puzzled at what could be inside, I lifted the lid.
On black felt lay a silver crescent inlaid with stars, and from its center the head of a howling wolf. I pulled it from the case. A black string hung from two loops – one at the top and one at the bottom. It was a bracelet.
"Is this from you?" I asked, looking up. The corners of Draco's mouth twitched. In answer he held out the arm that was in a sling, pulling it back to bare his wrist. An identical medallion, one of gold, was tied to his left wrist, bound directly over the white lines that marked him as a Werewolf. I put my medallion on my right wrist, over my own scars. No words were needed between us.
I jumped with a laugh as Ron and Hermione burst into the room. They both hugged me, then hugged Draco as well. Then they took up empty beds by us and demanded to know everything that had really happened after they'd left. I told them, Draco helping me out with some details. Hermione and Ron were a wonderful audience, and gasped in all the right places.
I would never, ever forget tonight.
The night that Dumbledore awarded me, Ron, Hermione, and Draco enough points to bring Gryffindor from last place to first. The night that the flags above the tables flickered from the sign of the Snake to the sign of the Lion. Werewolves had gone from disgrace to honor. The four of us were heroes, the stuff of Hogwarts legend. We would always be friends, and we would never forget that night.
Term ended. We all rode the train back in the same car, playing Exploding Snap and talking about what we were going to do over the summer.
It was when we got to platform nine and three quarters that it really hit me: I was going back for another summer with the Dursleys. Last summer I was a completely ordinary kid. Now I was on my way to being a Wizard, and-
"Oh, no!" I shouted, freezing just a few feet before stepping back through the barrier. Ron, Hermione, and Draco stopped next to me, pulling their luggage racks to a stop.
"What is it?" Ron asked. I looked to them, eyes wide.
"I just realized – what am I going to do during the full moon if I'm at the Dursleys?"
Obviously, it's not done, folks! This story's just getting started!