Oh…my…God…I'm done! Omgomgomg! I can't believe I finally finished it! This is so amazing, my very first completed fanfiction! Wohooo! I just want to thank all of you who have reviewed, favorited, and followed my story, you have no idea how much it means to me to have your support. Without all of you, I could have never gotten this done. I know this chapter is much longer than my other ones, but since it is the last one, I figured I would give you guys a lot to read.
I'm so happy that the first book in this series is done! Just as a note, I am planning on doing all seven years, and I'm going to get started on the second book as soon as I can. The title is basically the same, it's called "You Were Always There: Part Two," nothing special, so keep an eye out for it. I really hope you guys all enjoyed reading this as much as I loved writing it, and I will see you all in The Chamber of Secrets! Love you all and enjoy the last chapter!
Disclaimer: All things Harry Potter are not mine.
Chapter Twenty: The First Encounter
Harry kept a tight hold of Mia's hand as they stepped through the fire, and he closed his eyes, bracing himself for whatever was waiting for them on the other side. When they were finally through, he heard Mia gasp sharply beside him, and he opened his eyes. They were in another room, this one faintly lit, and practically empty except for them, and one other person standing no less than ten feet away from this. Harry felt his mind go blank, and his mouth dropped open in completely shock. The person in front of them wasn't Snape, or even Voldemort…
Standing there, in the middle of the room, wearing a cool and collected smirk, was Professor Quirrell.
"You!" Harry gasped.
"Me," Quirrell said calmly. "I wondered whether I'd be meeting you here, Potter. Although I wasn't expecting you to be having company."
"No-you can't-" Mia stuttered, shaking her head in disbelief. "Snape, he-he was-"
"Severus?" Quirrell laughed, and it wasn't his usual quivering treble, either, but cold and sharp. "Yes, Severus does seem the type, doesn't he? So useful to have him swooping around like an overgrown bat. Next to him, who would suspect p-p-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell?"
"But Snape tried to kill me!" said Harry refusing to believe what he was seeing. "At that Quidditch match!"
"No, no, no, dear boy. Itried to kill you. Your friend Miss Granger accidentally knocked me over as she rushed to set fire to Snape at that Quidditch match. She broke my eye contact with you. Another few seconds and I'd have got you off that broom. I'd have managed it before then if Snape hadn't been muttering a counter curse, trying to save you."
"You mean Snape was trying to save me?" asked Harry, his eyes wide.
"Of course," said Quirrell. "Why do you think he wanted to referee your next match? He was trying to make sure I didn't do it again. Funny, really… he needn't have bothered. I couldn't do anything with Dumbledore watching. All the other teachers thought Snape was trying to stop Gryffindor from winning, he did make himself unpopular… and what a waste of time, when after all that, I'm going to kill the both of you tonight."
Quirrell snapped his fingers, and then ropes sprang out of thin air and wrapped themselves tightly around Harry and Mia. Mia let out a startled yelp and lost her balance, falling to the ground on her side.
"Mia!" said Harry. "Let her go!"
"I don't think so Potter. You and your little friend are too nosey to live. Scurrying around the school on Halloween like that, for all I knew you'd seen me coming to look at what was guarding the Stone."
"You let the troll in?" said Mia from the ground as she struggled.
"Certainly" replied Quirrell. "I have a special gift with trolls—you must have seen what I did to the one in the chamber back there? Unfortunately, while everyone else was running around looking for it, Snape, who already suspected me, went straight to the third floor to head me off—and not only did my troll fail to beat you to death, that three-headed dog didn't even manage to bite Snape's leg off properly. Now, wait quietly, you two. I need to examine this interesting mirror."
Harry was confused at first to what Quirrell was talking about, but when he saw what was behind him, he suddenly understood-it was the Mirror of Erised, Dumbledore's protection. He looked down at Mia and saw that she noticed it too. They shared a glance at each other, and Harry knew they were thinking the same thing. Quirrell must not know how to work the mirror, or else he would have had the stone by now.
"This mirror is the key to finding the Stone," Quirrell murmured, tapping his way around the frame. "Trust Dumbledore to come up with something like this…but he's in London…I'll be far away by the time he gets back…"
"Harry, we can't let him get the Stone," Mia barely whispered to him. "We have to distract him."
Harry nodded, then said loudly, "I saw you and Snape in the forest—"
"Yes," said Quirrell, walking around the mirror to look at the back. "He was on to me by that time, trying to find out how far I'd got. He suspected me all along. Tried to frighten me—as though he could, when I had Lord Voldemort on my side…"
Quirrell came back out from behind the mirror and stared hungrily into it. Mia struggled even more against the ropes binding her, wriggling around on the ground.
"It's no use, Thatcher," Quirrell said without turning around. You're not going anywhere."
"Of course I'm not," Mia growled. "As soon as I get out of these I'm going to kick your sorry arse into the next century!"
Quirrell lips curled into a cold smirk, but then faded again as he continued to stare into the mirror.
"I see the Stone…I'm presenting it to my master…but where is it?" he muttered.
Harry also struggled against the ropes binding him, but they didn't give. He had to keep Quirrell from giving his whole attention to the mirror.
"But Snape always seemed to hate me so much," he said.
"Oh, he does," said Quirrell with a nod. "Heavens, yes. He was at Hogwarts with your father, didn't you know? They loathed each other. But he never wanted you dead."
"Well, that's comforting," Harry heard Mia mumble.
"But I heard you a few days ago, sobbing," Harry continued. "I thought Snape was threatening you…"
All at once, Quirrell's confident expression seemed to falter, and a look of fear came across his face, his strong posture slacking, and his eyes possessing a haunted look in them.
"Sometimes," he said, "I find it hard to follow my master's instructions—he is a great wizard and I am weak—"
"You mean he was there in the classroom with you?" Mia gasped, her face growing extremely pale and her eyes filled with horror.
"He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell quietly. "I met him when I travelled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it…since then, I have served him faithfully, although I have let him down many times. He has had to be very hard on me. He does not forgive mistakes easily. When I failed to steal the stone from Gringotts, he was most displeased. He punished me…decided he would have to keep a closer watch on me…"
Quirrell's voice trailed away, and Harry was remembering his trip to Diagon Alley—how could he have been so stupid? He'd seen Quirrell there that very day, shaken hands with him in the Leaky Cauldron when he went shopping with Hagrid.
"Harry," Mia whispered. He turned to see that Mia was looking at him, her eyes still portraying her fear, and her body shaking slightly.
"It'll be okay Mia," Harry whispered back. "I won't let him hurt you."
"I have a really bad feeling," she said quietly. "He said Voldemort is with him wherever he goes…"
Mia didn't elaborate, for at that moment, Quirrell cursed loudly in frustration as he continued looking into the mirror.
"I don't understand…is the Stone inside the mirror? Should I break it?" he mused out loud.
Harry's mind was racing. What was he going to do? He had to get Mia out of here, and he had to stop Quirrell from getting the Stone. But how? He peered around Quirrell to stare at the Mirror of Erised and then it suddenly came to him. That's it! If he concentrated hard enough, he could have the mirror show him how to get the Stone.
What I want more than anything else in the world at the moment, he thought, is to find the Stone before Quirrell does. So if I look in the mirror, I should see myself finding it — which means I'll see where it's hidden! But how can I look without Quirrell realizing what I'm up to?
Harry was brought back out of his thoughts by Quirrell cursing again.
"What does this mirror do? How does it work? Help me, Master!" he said.
And, to Harry and Mia's horror, a voice answered, and the voice seemed to come from Quirrell himself, though he couldn't see how.
"Use the boy…use the boy…"
"Yes," said Quirrell. "Potter—come here."
"No!" said Mia, struggling even more against the ropes. "Don't you touch him!"
"Silence!" Quirrell snapped at her. He clapped his hands once, and the ropes binding Harry disappeared instantly. Harry glanced over at Mia and saw that she was still tied up.
"Come here," repeated Quirrell.
"I'm not doing anything until you let Mia go," said Harry. Quirrell narrowed his eyes, then he lifted his hand in a threatening way, as if he were about to perform a curse. Harry's heart nearly stopped beating as he saw that Quirrell's hand was not directed at him, but at Mia.
"Do as I say Potter, or I'll kill her right now." he said. "Now come here, look in the mirror and tell me what you see."
Harry swallowed the lump in his throat, and after one more glance at Mia, he started walking towards Quirrell, his mind going on overdrive as he tried to think of a plan. I must lie, he thought desperately. I must look and lie about what I see, that's all. I need to stall in order to get Mia and me to safety. As Harry passed Quirrell, he moved close behind him. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath stepped in front of the mirror, and opened them again.
He saw his reflection, pale and scared-looking at first, and he also saw Mia in the background, looking just as scared as he was. But a moment later, his reflection smiled at him. It put its hand into its pocket and pulled out a lumpy blood-red stone that fit perfectly into the palm of his hand. It winked and put the Stone back in its pocket. And as it did so, Harry felt something heavy drop into his real pocket. Somehow—incredibly-he'd gotten the Stone. He did it.
"Well?" said Quirrell impatiently. "What do you see?"
"I see myself shaking hands with Dumbledore," Harry invented quickly. "I—I've won the house cup for Gryffindor."
"Get out of the way," Quirrell snarled, pushing Harry aside. Harry started to move backwards, feeling the Sorcerer's Stone against his leg. He slowly made his way back to Mia while Quirrell was once again examining the mirror. Once he was next to her, he bent down and began to untie her, his fingers trembling with the ropes. The minute he had her free, he pulled her up and held her to his side.
"Are you okay?" he asked her.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she answered. "But what about the Stone? Did you see anything, or-"
Harry shook his head at her, but he moved his sight down to his pocket, silently telling her to do the same. She did, and her look of confusion soon turned into one of realization. Her mouth hung open slightly, her expression one of shock, but before she could say anything, they heard that horrible, cold and bodiless voice speak again.
"He lies…he lies…"
"Potter, come back here!" Quirrell shouted. "Tell me the truth! What did you just see?"
"Let me speak to him…face-to-face…"
"Master, you are not strong enough!" said Quirrell.
"I have strength enough…for this…"
Quirrell nodded his head, and then he reached up, untucked his turban, and slowly started to unwrap it. A great feeling of unease settled in Harry's stomach, and he found himself standing protectively in front of Mia, and she clung to his arm tightly. The turban grew smaller and smaller as Quirrell removed it from his head, and soon enough it fell away, landing in a pile on the floor. At first nothing seemed to happen, but then Quirrell slowly turned on the spot, exposing the back of his head to them.
Harry felt as if his insides had turned to ice, and a feeling of dread plunged into his stomach. Mia let out a scream, clinging to Harry's arm even tighter, her hand clapping over her mouth and her face going three shades whiter. They both stared at what should have been the back of Quirrell's head, only to be met with a horrible, pale face, with a snake-like nose, its gleaming red eyes boring into them and an evil sneer on its face. Harry felt Mia begin to shake and he instinctively grasped her hand.
"Harry Potter…" it whispered.
"Voldemort," Harry breathed.
"You see what I've become?" Voldemort said. "Mere shadow and vapor…I have form only when I can share another's body…but there have always been those willing to let me into their hearts and minds…like a mere parasite. Unicorn blood has strengthened me, these past weeks…you saw faithful Quirrell drinking it for me in the forest…and once I have the Elixir of Life, I will be able to create a body of my own. Now…why don't you give me that Stone in your pocket?"
"H-he knows," Mia whispered in Harry's ear. Harry grabbed Mia's hand more tightly and took a step backwards with her.
"Don't be fools," snarled the face. "Why suffer horrific deaths when you two can join me and live…or you'll meet the same end as your parents, Harry…They died begging me for mercy…"
"LIAR!" Harry shouted, his hand clenching into a fist at the mention of his parents.
"How touching…" Voldemort hissed maliciously. "I always value bravery. Yes, boy, your parents were brave…I killed your father first, and he put up a courageous fight…but your mother needn't have died…she was trying to protect you. Your friend doesn't have to die either, such powerful magic should not be wasted. What do you think, Amelia? You and Harry can have wonders beyond your wildest dreams. All you have to do is give me the Stone, unless you want to watch him die in vain like his parents."
"NEVER!" Harry and Mia yelled together, then they both whipped around and started running towards the flame door, with Harry clutching Mia's hand tightly.
"SEIZE THEM!" Voldemort screamed. In the next second, Harry felt Mia's hand being wrenched out of his grasp and he turned to see Quirrell throw her roughly to the ground.
"Mia!" Harry cried. He tried to rush over to her, but at that moment Quirrell's hand closed around his wrist. At once, a needle-sharp pain seared across Harry's scar and he felt as if his head was about to split in two. He yelled in terrible agony, struggling with all his might, and to his surprise, Quirrell let go of him. His scar was flaring and his vision was getting blurry, but he still looked around wildly to see where Quirrell had gone, and saw him hunched in pain, looking at his fingers. Harry was stunned to see that they were blistering before his eyes, even smoking at the tips.
"Seize him! SEIZE HIM!" shrieked Voldemort. Quirrell reacted instantly, getting to his feet and knocking Harry straight to the ground, landing on top of him. Both of his hands closed around Harry's neck, and Harry screamed out as his scar was nearly blinded him with pain. Through his bleary eyes, he could see that Quirrell was also shouting in pain.
"Master, I cannot hold him—my hands—my hands!" said Quirrell, letting go of Harry's neck, but keeping him pinned with his knees.
"Then kill him, fool, and be done!" screeched Voldemort. Quirrell raised his hand to perform a deadly curse, but there was a loud shout of "NO!", and in the next moment, Mia leapt onto Quirrell's back and wrapped one arm around Quirrell's neck while trying to cover Voldemort's eyes with her other hand.
"Leave him alone!" she screamed, hanging on tightly as Quirrell struggled to get her off of him.
"Foolish girl!" Voldemort yelled. "Kill her!"
With a frustrated growl, Quirrell finally managed to remove Mia's hand from around his neck. Before Harry could blink, there was a loud bang, and Mia was sent flying through the air. Harry watched in horror as her body smacked into the closest wall and she fell to the floor in a crumpled heap, her body unmoving and still.
"MIA!" Harry hollered frantically, feeling as though a ball of ice had been dropped into his stomach. With an angry cry, Harry reached up and grabbed Quirrell's face with his hands, desperate to get out from under him.
"AAAARGH!" Quirrell yelled, quickly jumping off of Harry, allowing the boy to quickly stand up. Leaving Quirrell hollering in pain, Harry ran over to Mia's side, dropping down beside her. He carefully rolled her over and saw that her eyes were closed, her pale face was scratched up, and a thin trail of blood was running down the side of her head from where it made contact with the wall.
"No, Mia please, wake up!" said Harry desperately. "Please Mia, wake up!"
Mia didn't respond and before Harry could do anything else, he felt a hand grip his shoulder, jerking him away from her. He looked up to see Quirrell's red, swollen and blistered face, scrunched up in pain and fury, and his eyes squinted, as if it hurt to keep them open. Harry suddenly knew what to do, and before Quirrell could harm him, he him by the arm, and hung on as tight as he could. Quirrell screamed and tried to throw Harry off—the pain in Harry's head was building, and he couldn't see anything—he could only hear Quirrell's terrible shrieks and Voldemort's yells of, "KILL HIM! KILL HIM!" and other voices, maybe in Harry's own head, crying, "Harry! Harry!"
He felt Quirrell's arm wrenched from his grasp, and he fell down to the ground. All he could see around him were mindless shapes and shadows, and every sound was muffled to his ears. He felt himself searching blindly through the darkness for Mia, and he could just make out her limp figure in front of him, still lying perfectly still.
Harry could do nothing as the darkness overcame him, and he fell down into silence and emptiness.
For the longest time, Mia could hear and see nothing but black, and silence. Her body felt stiff, and her limbs were very heavy. Yet after a while, she felt herself become more awake. She could start to feel soreness in her muscles, and even though she knew her eyes were closed, she could see bright light, and feel warm rays of sun on her face. What was going on? Where was she? Mia shifted slightly, and by what she could tell, she was laying on some sort of bed. With some difficulty, her eyes slowly fluttered open, and she shut them again quickly, nearly blinded by the daylight that met her gaze. She tried again, this time letting herself adjust to the light, and after blinking a couple times, Mia saw that she was staring up at a high ceiling. She took a moment to gather her surroundings, and tried to sit up in the bed she was in. She hissed softly as her muscles screamed at her from the sudden movement, but she ignored it as she looked around.
It looked as if she was sitting on one of the beds in the Hospital Wing. The sunlight was streaming in through the open window, and Mia noticed that she was wearing some hospital pajamas, tucked securely into the covers. Everything was quiet as she stared around her, her mind trying to catch up with what was going on. Why was she in the Hospital Wing? The last thing she remembered was her and Harry running towards a door, and-
"Harry!" Mia gasped, worry swelling in her chest as everything came rushing back to her. She remembered Quirrell knocking Harry to the ground, how she jumped on Quirrell's back to try to get him off of him, being thrown against the wall, and hearing Voldemort's "Kill him!" But what happened after that? Where is Voldemort now? Where is Harry? Mia pulled off the covers and stood up from the bed. She immediately wished she hadn't, because a stabbing pain shot through her head, and she moaned loudly, her knees buckling and making her drop to the ground, holding her head in her hands. She realized that her head was wrapped in a bandage and she winced when she touched the source of the pain.
"Miss Thatcher! What do you think you are doing out of bed?!"
Mia looked over to see Madame Pomfrey hurrying towards her, her expression stern yet full of worry. The old matron quickly bent down by Mia's side and helped her up, forcing her to sit down on the bed.
"You should be resting!" said Madame Pomfrey. "You can't be up walking around just yet."
"Where's Harry?" said Mia. "Is he okay?"
"Now, just relax Miss Thatcher," said Madame Pomfrey, pushing on her shoulders to lay her back down against the pillows. "Don't get yourself worked up, it won't do your head any good."
"Please Madame Pomfrey, where is Harry?" asked Mia.
"Mr. Potter is just fine," Madame Pomfrey said soothingly. "He's unconscious right now, but he's going to be just fine. You two are lucky to even be alive."
Mia gradually relaxed, letting out a breath she didn't know she was holding in. He's okay. Harry's okay.
"Where is he?"
"He's in the bed right over there," replied Madame Pomfrey, pointing. Mia looked over to see the bed right next to hers on the left was closed off by some curtains, obscuring its occupant from view.
"Can I see him?" she asked.
"Not quite yet," said Madame Pomfrey, reaching into her apron pocket and pulling out a small phial of silver liquid. "You still need to rest and heal, the both of you have been out for a little over a day. Everyone's been extremely worried. Take this, it will help with the pain."
Mia took the phial from Madame Pomfrey, undid the cork, and drank from it. It was like the potion she had to drink with Harry to get through the black flames-it felt like ice running through her veins and she shivered. Madame Pomfrey pulled out another phial and handed it over to Mia.
"This is a Dreamless Sleeping Potion, it'll help you rest."
"But I don't want to rest," said Mia. "I'm fine, really."
"Miss Thatcher, you have been through a terrible ordeal, I think it's best if you-"
"Well now," came a sudden voice. "It looks like you're starting to do better, Miss Thatcher."
Mia looked up to see Professor Dumbledore strolling into the ward, a smile on his face.
"Professor!" said Mia, once again throwing back her covers and attempting to stand up.
"For heaven's sake child, stay down!" said Madame Pomfrey, taking hold of Mia's shoulders and forcing her back down.
"Professor, what happened?" said Mia. "Did Quirrell get the Stone? Is Voldemort gone? What about Ron and Hermione, are they all right-"
"Relax yourself my dear girl," said Dumbledore as he came to stand beside the bed. "You need to save your strength."
"But the Stone-"
"The Stone is gone, Miss Thatcher," Dumbledore said. There was a brief silence as Mia stared at the headmaster.
"Gone?" she repeated blankly.
"Indeed it is. Poppy, could you please give Miss Thatcher and I a moment?" asked Dumbledore.
"Albus, this girl needs her rest, she cannot get worked up," Madame Pomfrey insisted.
"I assure you, this will not take long, and I'll have her take her potion before I leave," said Dumbledore. Madame Pomfrey looked like she wanted to object, but she just sighed and nodded, bustling away towards her office. Once the door was closed, Dumbledore walked to the end of Mia's bed and sat on it.
"How are you feeling Mia?" he asked her.
"I-I'm doing all right," Mia answered, shocked to hear Dumbledore address her by her first name. "My head still hurts, but other than that, I'm okay. Sir, what happened? What happened to Quirrell?"
"Quirrell, I'm afraid, is gone," said Dumbledore. "You are a little behind in the times. After you fell unconscious, Quirrell passed away."
"But how?" said Mia.
"What do you remember of last night, Mia?" asked Dumbledore.
"Well…Harry and I were trying to keep Quirrell from getting the Stone. And…and Voldemort was there too," Mia said with a shiver. "He was on the back of Quirrell's head. We had no idea it was actually Quirrell who was after the Stone. Voldemort told us that Quirrell has been-he's been drinking the blood of Unicorn's to keep him strong until they could steak the Stone. He tried to make Harry get the Stone for him, or else he would kill me. Harry lied about what he saw in the Mirror of Erised, because somehow he got the Stone. It was in his pocket. Voldemort knew he was lying, and when we tried to run, Quirrell pushed me away and knocked Harry to the ground. He was strangling him, so I jumped on top of Quirrell to get him off. Then Quirrell threw me against the wall, and that's the last thing I remember."
"Do you remember what happened to Quirrell when Harry touched him?" said Dumbledore.
"He…he burned up," Mia replied slowly. "His hands were red, and blistering, but I don't know why."
"I believe when Harry saw you fall, he grabbed Quirrell's face," Dumbledore explained. "And at some point Harry grabbed Quirrell's arm and wouldn't let go. By the time I got there, both Harry and Quirrell were screaming in pain, but I was able to get Quirrell off of him before it was too late."
"T-too late?" Mia squeaked.
"If Harry had held on a minute longer, he could have perished," said Dumbledore softly. Mia looked down at her hands in her lap, her shoulders shaking. Tears started welling in her eyes and soon came trickling down her face. This is all her fault. Harry's hurt, and it's her fault…
"Now, now, Mia, there's no need to cry," said Dumbledore gently.
"I-it's my f-fault," Mia cried. "I couldn't p-protect Harry. He hurt because of m-me."
"It's not your fault Mia," said Dumbledore. "There is nothing for you to be guilty for. Harry is just fine, he might be unconscious for a little while, but he'll be okay. You did a very brave thing, your love for Harry helped him defeat Quirrell. And I must say, it is probably his love for you that gave him the strength to hold on as long as he did."
Mia sniffed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
"But I still don't understand," she said. "Why couldn't Quirrell touch Harry?"
"You must understand something Mia," he said. "Quirrell was touched be greed, power, and a darkness one could scarcely even imagine. It grew even worse when Quirrell shared his soul with Voldemort. His heart was consumed with such coldness and evil, there was hardly any going back. Voldemort saw this and took Quirrell's weakness to his advantage. You see, Mia, Harry mother died trying to save him. She sacrificed herself for him. If there is one thing on this earth that Voldemort can never understand, it is love. Voldemort didn't realize that a love as powerful as Harry's mother's 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 his very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch Harry for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good. And the strong bond that you and Harry share, that special kind of love that you two have, it made Quirrell's pain all the worse."
Mia sat quietly as Dumbledore talked, her mind digesting what he was telling her. From what she heard, Harry's mother used an old, ancient charm that most modern wizards today never truly think about. Love is more powerful than anyone might think, and it was Lily Potter's love that saved her son that night ten years ago. If Harry was left with that kind of protection, then maybe Voldemort won't be able to hurt him. She nodded slowly at Dumbledore, wiping away the last of her tears.
"Voldemort got away, didn't he?" she asked. "He's still out there."
"Yes, Mia, he is," answered Dumbledore. "He left Quirrell to die shortly after I arrived."
"You got Hermione's owl?"
"We must have crossed in midair," he replied. "Once I arrived at the Ministry, I realized the place I needed to be was the one I had just left."
"But they're okay?" said Mia.
"They're both just fine," said Dumbledore, smiling at her. "And as for the Stone, it has been destroyed."
"What?" said Mia, flabbergasted. "But your friend-Flamel-"
"Oh, you know about Nicolas?" said Dumbledore, sounding quite delighted. "My, my, you four did do the thing properly, didn't you? Well, Nicolas and I have had a little chat, and agreed it's all for the best."
"But that means he and his wife will die, won't they?"
"They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die."
"Oh," said Mia sadly.
"No need to worry for them, Mia," said Dumbledore. "They have lived for a very long time, and I feel that they might be ready to move on."
"I suppose," said Mia softly. Dumbledore's smile grew and he gestured to the phial in her hands.
"I suggest you drink that, or Madame Pomfrey will have both of our heads," he chuckled. "I will inform Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger of your recovery, and that they may visit you after dinner when you are awake."
"Thank you Professor," said Mia. Dumbledore reached over and patted her shoulder before standing up from the bed and leaving the ward. Mia glanced down at the bottle in her hands, then she sighed, and raised it to her lips, taking a long sip. She barely even lasted three minutes before the potion started to take its effect. Mia yawned before, laying her head back against the pillows and closing her eyes, letting sleep take her.
The next day, Mia's head was no longer in pain, and all her scratches were healed. Madame Pomfrey allowed her to leave the Hospital Wing around midday, but before she left, she went over to check on Harry. He looked peaceful as he laid there sleeping, and Mia silently thanked God for letting him get out of there alive. She didn't know what she would do if she lost him. Mia stayed with Harry for a little while, just talking to him even though she knew he couldn't hear her. She told him how the entire school found out about their little adventure with Quirrell and the Stone, and how everyone was talking about it. She told him that Ron and Hermione were both fine, and she was planning on bringing them back with her later on to see him. She also told him, while laughing of course, how everyone seemed to buy out the entire sweetshop for him. The table at the end of his bed consisted of everything from chocolate frogs to peppermint toads. There were also many gift cards as well, al wishing him a speedy recovery. Mia doubled over laughing when Madame Pomfrey informed her that Fred and George had tried to smuggle in a toilet seat for Harry, hoping to cheer him up, and it wasn't until the matron shooed her out that Mia finally decided to leave.
Mia was glad to see that Ron and Hermione were okay, and they, of course, milked her for every detail on what happened in the chamber with Quirrell. Of course, they weren't the only ones, for nearly the whole school wanted to know the truth of what happened, and Mia instantly felt sorry for Harry while she was practically being chased by other first years for the full story. Her, Ron and Hermione visited Harry often, just talking to him, and they also stayed with him while the last Quidditch game of the season went on outside, Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw. Without Harry, Gryffindor was crushed, and even though Ravenclaw won, they still didn't have enough points to overtake Slytherin. Malfoy has been in an unbearingly good mood ever since, and Mia had taken to avoiding the little snake whenever she could, just for the sake of saving herself from strangling him.
However, Mia did have a nice distraction from worrying about Harry-Hagrid had come to her in the Great Hall, and after calming him down (for he was sobbing and apologizing profusely for telling Quirrell about Fluffy), he gave her a stack of photographs that he had received from the people he wrote letters to. Mia beamed as she sorted through them , looking into the smiling faces of James and Lily Potter.
"Hagrid, this is wonderful!" Mia had said. "Thank you so much, I couldn't have done it without you!"
"It's no problem Mia," said Hagrid. "I think Harry will like 'em. Should have enough ter make yer album. Mind you, tha' Remus Lupin sent me most of 'em, he was happy ter help out."
"Yeah, good ol' friend of Harry's dad," said Hagrid. "Went ter school with him, years ago."
That night before she went to bed, Mia stayed up putting all the pictures her and Hagrid had gathered in the album, which she had received in the mail while she was in the hospital. It was red and leather bound, and Mia even had it personalized, so the letters J&L were stamped across the front, in the middle of intertwining vines. Hermione had helped her, and it only took them about fifteen minutes to do, although half the time was spent just looking at the pictures. By the time they finally went to bed, the album was finished, and wrapped up in paper.
The following day, Mia, Ron and Hermione were just coming down from the common room, intending on going to see Harry, when they were stopped by Professor McGonagall at the end of the corridor.
"Oh, there you are," she said. "I was just on my way to find you."
"Is something wrong professor?" asked Hermione.
"No, nothing is wrong Miss Granger," said McGonagall. "I just wanted to inform you that Mr. Potter is awake, and you can-"
Professor McGonagall barely had the chance to say another word before the three Gryffindors went racing past her, with Mia in the lead. They practically flew down the corridors and down the many flights of steps before they came at a stop outside the Hospital Wing doors just as Madame Pomfrey was going in.
"Oh no you don't," she said quickly as she spotted them approaching. "He's barely been up two hours-"
"Please Madame Pomfrey?" said Mia. "We've been dying to see him! Just a few minutes?"
"Absolutely not!" said Madame Pomfrey strictly. "He needs his rest-"
"Pleeeeeeeease?" Mia and the others said in unison. Madame Pomfrey gave them a stern glare before huffing and telling them to wait a moment before going inside. The seconds ticked away as they waited and Mia was gripping the strap of her bag tightly-Harry's album was inside and she really wanted to give it to him. After what felt like forever, Madame Pomfrey reappeared at the door and pulled it open for them.
"You may come in, but I mean it, five minutes only."
Mia paid her no mind as she, Ron and Hermione all dashed inside.
"HARRY!" they all yelled together, racing towards the black haired boy that was sitting up in bed, looking a little bit tired, but perfectly healthy. Hermione looked ready to fling her arms around him, but she seemed to stop herself at the last minute. Mia, however, couldn't help herself as she threw her arms around Harry, tackling him onto the bed, and grinning from ear to ear.
"Mia!" he said happily, hugging her in return. "You're okay!"
"Of course I'm okay, you git!" she said as she released him. "I told you before, it take more than that to bring me down, especially some wimpy Dark Lord. As far as I'm concerned he's an ugly little dungball who needs a good kick in the-"
"Mia!" said Hermione while Ron laughed. "Stop laughing Ron, it's not funny! Oh, Harry, we were sure you were going to—Dumbledore was so worried—"
"The whole school's talking about it," said Ron once he calmed down some. "Mia told us what really happened though. We were really worried about you two mate, especially Hermione. She nearly had kittens when they brought Mia in."
Hermione responded to this by whacking Ron in the back of the head, scowling.
"Mia told us that Dumbledore said the Stone was destroyed," said Hermione. "Is it true?"
"Yes," said Harry.
"So the Stone's gone?" said Ron. "Flamel's just going to die?"
"That's what I said," said Harry. "But Dumbledore thinks that—what was it?—'to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.'"
"I always said he was off his rocker," said Ron, looking quite impressed at how crazy his hero was. The four friends continued talking for a little while. Mia was so happy that Harry was okay. They told Harry about Slytherin winning the House Cup and about the confiscated toilet seat that Fred and Gorge tried to send him, which made Harry laugh. After about ten minutes, Mia suddenly remembered the album that was in her bag. She gave a pointed look to Hermione, and thankfully, she understood.
"Ron, let's go get some lunch," said Hermione. "We can bring some up for Harry as well."
"Hermione, lunch isn't for another half hour-"
"Then we better get there early, then," Hermione added, giving Ron a look. Grumbling under his breath, Ron followed Hermione out of the ward, leaving Harry and Mia alone. She sighed at them, shaking her head, but when she turned back to Harry, she was caught off guard by the boy pulling her into another fierce hug.
"I'm so happy you're okay Mia," Harry whispered. "I was so scared. When you fell, you were bleeding, you weren't moving, and I-I thought…"
"Harry, it's okay," said Mia, wrapping her arms around his waist. "I'm okay, really. I was more worried about you. I'm so sorry I couldn't protect you."
"Don't be," said Harry as they let go of each other, smiling. Mia smiled back at him before reaching into her bag.
"I have something for you," she said, suddenly nervous.
"What?" said Harry as he watched her take out a wrapped parcel. "Mia you didn't have to get me anything."
"I wanted to," said Mia. "Remember how I kept talking to teachers a couple weeks ago, and you, Ron and Hermione asked what I was up to? Well, this is it."
She handed the parcel to Harry and watched anxiously as he tore off the paper. He looked at the leather cover with interest, and then he opened it up to the first page. His eyes widened in shock, his mouth dropping open, and she could have sworn she saw his eyes tear up a little bit. Staring up at him from every picture was his mother and father, smiling and waving. He kept flicking through the album with trembling fingers, gazing longingly into his parent's faces. After a while he looked up at Mia, appearing speechless.
"Mia," he whispered. "How…?"
"Hagrid helped me make it," she said, a blush coming to her cheeks. "He sent letters to all your parent's old school friends for some while I asked the teachers if they had any. I know you don't have any and well, I thought you might like it. It took longer than I expected, and I'm sorry I couldn't get much more, I just-"
Mia was cut off as Harry once again leaned over and grabbed her into a hug, saying "Thank you," over and over again. Mia hugged him back just as Madame Pomfrey came over.
"All right, you've had nearly fifteen minutes," she said. "Now off you go!"
The night of the End of the Year Feast came very quickly. As soon as Madame Pomfrey deemed Harry well enough to leave, Mia met him outside the hospital doors and they went down to the feast together. They chatted as they walked down the marble staircase, and just as they reached the entrance hall, they found their path blocked by Fred and George, both of whom were looking a little sheepish. Before Harry or Mia could say anything, the two Weasleys started talking at once.
"We're sorry Harry, we've acted like real prats-"
"We shouldn't have treated you the way we did, it wasn't right-"
"The Cup isn't that much of a big deal, there's still next year-"
"We felt bad after hearing what happened to you and Mia-"
"Couldn't deal with the guilt mate-"
"So we just wanted to say-"
"We're sorry," they finished together. Mia giggled at the confused and astonished look on Harry's face. He looked as if someone told him that he was going to marry Draco Malfoy. As soon as he snapped out of it, he smiled at Fred and George.
"Don't worry about it guys," Harry said. "What's done is done."
"Thanks mate," said Fred. "We honestly felt like jerks. We apologized to Hermione and Neville already, and we promise not to be such stupid hypocrites again."
"And we extend our apologies to you, dear lady," said George, turning to Mia. "Can you ever find it in your heart to forgive us nincompoops?"
Mia giggled again and pulled her favorite twins in for a hug, reaching up on her tiptoes.
"Of course I do," she answered brightly. "Now let's go eat."
The four of them made their way into the Great Hall, which was decorated in green and silver, to celebrate Slytherin's victory at attaining the House Cup. The Slytherins in general were looking extremely smug as Harry and Mia walked past, taking their seats next to Ron and Hermione at the Gryffindor table. Everyone continued to chat, and when Dumbledore stood up from his chair, the entire hall fell silent.
"Another year gone!" Dumbledore said cheerfully. "And I must trouble you with an old man's wheezing waffle before we sink our teeth into our delicious feast. What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were…you have the whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts. Now, as I understand it, the house cup here 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."
Mia scowled as students from Slytherin House started cheering and hollering, jumping in their seats and banging their goblets on the table. She internally groaned and had to remind herself that there was always next year.
"Yes, yes, well done, Slytherin," said Dumbledore. "However, recent events must be taken into account."
The room went very still. The Slytherins' smiles faded a little, and Mia perked up in her seat, her full attention on Dumbledore.
"Ahem," said Dumbledore. "I have a few last-minute points to dish out. Let me see. Yes…first—to Mr. Ronald Weasley. For the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years, I award Gryffindor house thirty points."
Gryffindor cheers nearly raised the bewitched ceiling, and the stars overhead seemed to quiver. Percy could be heard telling the other prefects, "My brother, you know! My youngest brother! Got past McGonagall's giant chess set!" Mia clapped and cheered as every else who was close to Ron gave him pats on the back, while he sat there, his face bright red. The cheering kept going until Dumbledore spoke again.
"Second—to Miss Hermione Granger…for the use of cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor house thirty points."
Hermione buried her face in her arms, and Mia strongly suspected she had burst into tears. She smiled as she placed an arm around Hermione while the other Gryffindors cheered for her as well.
"Third-to Miss Amelia Thatcher," said Dumbledore. "For such strong loyalty and unconditional love, I award Gryffindor house fifty points."
Mia went as red as Ron as she looked down at her plate, an embarrassed smile on her lips as Harry and Hermione hugged her from the sides, while Gryffindors up and down the table were besides themselves with excited cheers and roars-they were a hundred and ten points up! She could hear Fred and George whistling, and she saw that even Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff was starting to join in.
"Fourth—to Mr. Harry Potter…" said Dumbledore. "For pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor house fifty points."
The noise was deafening. Mia squealed as she pulled Harry in for a close embrace, nearly knocking him out of his seat, while Ron punched the air. Those who could add up while yelling themselves hoarse knew that Gryffindor now had four hundred and seventy-two points—exactly the same as Slytherin. They had tied for the house cup—if only Dumbledore had given Harry just one more point. Dumbledore raised his hand again, and the room gradually fell silent, with Mia waiting with baited breath.
"There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom."
Someone standing outside the Great Hall might well have thought some sort of explosion had taken place, so loud was the noise that erupted from the Gryffindor table. Mia, Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood up to yell and cheer as Neville, white with shock, disappeared under a pile of people hugging him. He had never won so much as a point for Gryffindor before. Mia shouted with glee as she crushed Hermione into a hug, jumping up and down where they stood, her eyes glowing brightly. In the next second, she felt someone pick her up from behind and swing her around in circles, and from their booking laugh, she could tell it was Fred. Even everyone from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff joined in.
"Which means," Dumbledore called over the storm of applause. "We need a little change of decoration."
He clapped his hands. In an instant, the green hangings became scarlet and the silver became gold. The huge Slytherin serpent vanished and a towering Gryffindor lion took its place. The cheers grew even louder, and Fred easily passed Mia off to George so he could spin her around as well. Mia laughed gaily, feeling happier than she had ever been in her entire life. As soon as she was set on the ground, she ran straight over to Harry, who picked her up in a hug.
"We won!" he yelled. Mia laughed even more as she, Harry, Ron and Hermione all huddled together for a group hug, all four of them with huge smiles on their faces. It was the best night of Mia's life, she would never, ever forget it.
The feast lasted well into the night, and soon enough it was time for everyone to head to bed. Before Mia knew it,, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, Neville's toad was found lurking in a corner of the toilets, notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the summer, and they were all heading down towards the lake were Hagrid was there to lead them across and take them to the station on Hogsmeade. Mia watched sadly as the castle grew smaller and smaller, already missing it terribly.
"Don't worry Mia," said Hermione. "We'll be back soon."
"I know," Mia answered with a smile. "I'm just going to miss it. We had so much fun this year, didn't we?"
"Running into three headed dogs, getting caught in Devil's Snare, taking out a troll, and coming face-to-face with You-Know-Who?" said Ron. "You're joking, right?"
Mia laughed as the boats reached the shore, and they all clamored out so Hagrid could take them to the station. In next to no time, they were boarding the Hogwarts Express, and soon enough, they set off on the journey back to London. Mia, Harry, Ron and Hermione all found a compartment to themselves and spent the whole ride with each other, talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier. Neville stopped by for a little while, along with Jenna, and even Rachel Collins stopped by to wish them all a good holiday. The hours passed by fairly quickly as they all told jokes, played Exploding Snap, and ate tons upon tons of Chocolate Frogs. When the conductor announced that they would be reaching Kings Cross in ten minutes, Mia and Hermione left to change in the bathroom while Harry and Ron changed in the compartment, pulling off their wizard robes and putting on jackets and coats. Soon the Hogwarts Express pulled into platform nine and three-quarters and Mia found herself becoming excited. She couldn't wait to see her parents! Brian must have gotten so big, she really wanted nothing more than to hold him right now. It took quite a while for them all to get off the platform. A wizened old guard was up by the ticket barrier, letting them go through the gate in twos and threes so they didn't attract attention by all bursting out of a solid wall at once and alarming the Muggles.
"You must come and stay this summer," said Ron. "All three of you—I'll send you an owl."
"Thanks," said Harry, "I'll need something to look forward to."
"Gee thanks Harry," said Mia, playfully glaring at him. "Didn't know I was so boring to be around."
The other three laughed as people passed them to get to the barrier. Some of them called:
"See you, Potter!"
"Still famous," said Ron, grinning at him.
"Not where I'm going, I promise you," said Harry.
Mia and Hermione went through the barrier first, taking it at a steady jog. They passed through to the other side successfully, and when Harry and Ron came out from behind them, they heard an excited squeal.
"There he is, Mum, there he is, look!"
Mia looked over to see Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister, standing next to her mother, pointing at Harry.
"Harry Potter!" she squealed. "Look, Mum! I can see—"
"Be quiet, Ginny, and it's rude to point," said Mrs. Weasley before she smiled down at them. "Busy year?"
"Very," said Harry. "Thanks for the fudge and the sweater, Mrs. Weasley."
"Yes, they were very lovely," Mia added.
"Oh, it was nothing, dears," Mrs. Weasley. At that moment, Mia heard an all too familiar voice call her name, and she turned around to see Ben and Catherine coming towards them, with Brian at their side.
"Mum! Dad!" she called, dropping her trunk and running over towards them. Ben grinned as he caught his daughter in his arms and swung her around, planting kisses all over her face.
"Dad!" Mia laughed as she squirmed in his arms.
"Oh I hope you had a miserable time at Hogwarts princess, because you are never going back," Ben said good heartedly, placing Mia back on her feet and playfully ruffling her hair. He moved aside for Catherine to come over and hug Mia as well. When they let go of each other, Mia picked Brian up into her arms and held him close.
"Hey Bry, I've missed you," she said.
"Miss Mia," the little boy said with a smile. "Mia stay home?"
"For now," Mia said. "Mum, Dad, come on, I want you to meet someone."
Mia led her parents back over to where Harry was standing with the Weasleys and Hermione. As soon as Catherine caught sight of Harry, she smiled warmly at him and pulled him into a loving hug.
"Mum, Dad, this is my other best friend, Ron Weasley," Mia introduced.
"Good to meet you son," greeted Ben, holding out his hand for Ron to take.
"You too sir," Ron said, shaking the hand offered to him.
"It's so good to see you again Hermione, Mrs. Weasley," said Catherine.
"Oh please dear, call me Molly," said Mrs. Weasley. "It's so good to see you too. Ron's told how wonderful your daughter is."
Mia blushed at the praise wile Ron sniggered, earning him a punch to the arm.
"You really must come over for a visit sometime at our home," said Mrs. Weasley. "We do not know many Muggles, and it would be a great time for the children to get together."
"I think that's a wonderfully idea Molly," Catherine agreed with a smile.
"Ready, are you?" came a gruff voice from behind them. Mia turned around and frowned to see Vernon Dursley standing there, his walrus face purple, and looking furious at Harry, glaring at Hedwig as if carrying an owl in a cage in a station full of ordinary people was of the highest shame. Behind him stood Petunia and Dudley Dursley, looking terrified at the very sight of Harry, and standing a good ways away from everyone else.
"You must be Harry's family!" said Mrs. Weasley.
"In a manner of speaking," said Mr. Dursley. "Hurry up, boy, we haven't got all day."
Mia glared at Mr. Dursley's retreating back. She didn't see it, but Ben and Catherine didn't looked too pleased either. Mia adjusted Brian in her arms and turned back to her three friends. Upon seeing Harry, Brian squealed in delight and clapped his hands, saying, "Awyy! Awyy!" Harry smiled at the toddler before letting him take hold of his fingers. Ron stared at Brian as if he had never seen a baby before.
"So this is your brother?" he asked.
"Yes, this is Brian," replied Mia. "Brian, this is Ron, say hi."
"Hi Won Won!" said Brian gleefully. Mia and Hermione giggled at the look on Ron's face, while Harry grinned in amusement.
"Well, I'd better get going," said Harry. "I'll see you all over the summer."
"Hope you have—er—a good holiday," said Hermione, looking uncertainly after Mr. Dursley, shocked that anyone could be so unpleasant.
"Oh he will," Mia said cheerfully, earning her confused looks. She grinned evilly as she looked at Harry.
"They don't know we're not allowed to use magic at home," she said. Harry caught on instantly and he grinned too.
"Oh I'm going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer…" he said. He and Mia laughed, and then it was time to part ways. Harry said goodbye to Ron and Hermione before jogging off after his relatives, Hermione gave Mia one final hug before disappearing after spotting her parents, and when it was time to go, Mia hugged Ron, causing the boy to flush a deep shade of red. Waving goodbye, Mia gave Brian to her parents so she could push her trolley.
"You ready to go home sweetheart?" asked Catherine. Mia smiled.
"Yeah," she said. "Let's go home."
I really hoped you guys liked this! I'll post the first chapter of the next book as soon as I can. Love you!