Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling, as such all rights, royalties, characters, and settings belong to her.
Author's Note: Just a few responses to some reviews before this last chapter really gets rolling. Yes, using Ginny and the book things early strikes many of you as odd. I actually started rolling on the floor laughing as I thought of that scenario, it's meant to be amusing and start that friendship… lord you people are so focused on the romantic pairing side of things I don't know what to do. I did it because it amused me, and I really enjoy writing a snarky Ginny.
As for Harry being a genius…
Really? Learning the Animagus Transformation at 11 is amazing, sure… but I always felt that its difficulty wasn't so much with intelligence (Peter learned it at 15 in canon) or even power (Peter isn't powerful is he) but with the sheer foreign-ness of the transformation… I'm actually going to be suggesting that the Animagus Transformation is easier to learn at a younger age due to the flexibility of a younger mind.
Harry isn't brilliant, he's bright and he's got a very good spell arsenal for a 1st year: Stupefy, Expelliarmus, and Protego don't appear in the canon stories until fourth or second year (Expelliarmus is an odd duck in that). But none of them are effective against a troll, so Ron's victory comes out as mostly being dumb luck. In fact, unless Remus taught him high lethality curses, nothing Harry knows would stop a troll.
The Son of Prongs and the Snitch and Stone
Chapter 21: The Two-Faced Man
"Quirrel..." Harry scowled as he lifted his wand toward the turban wearing man. "Trying to take something that doesn't belong to you."
The wizard in his sights snorted and slowly turned to face him. "Tell me, do you think you can stop me? You're nothing but a boy... an eleven year old boy with delusions of grandeur. I see the talk of being the Boy-Who-Lived has given you a great deal of false confidence."
Then Quirrel snapped his fingers and ropes sprang into existence hurtling toward him. Harry swore and raised the silver-shield up to block them. The ropes wrapped round his arm and shield pinning it in place as he lifted his wand toward Quirrel. "Stupefy!"
The red stunner bounced off the shield Quirrel conjured with just a wave of his hand. "I see you know a bit more than I've taught... Potter." Then Quirrel pointed a finger toward him and smirked. "Pity, it won't be enough..."
There was a bang and Harry dove under his shield as a volley of arrows sailed through the air and thudded against the silver metal. A laugh came from Quirrel as he lowered his finger. "Well Potter... will you huddle quivering beneath your shield while I finish with this—"
Harry snarled and stood his wand flashing. "Stupefy!"
"Please." Quirrel scoffed before deflecting the bolt. "Surely you can do better?"
"Immobiulius! Rictusempra! Stupefy! Dispermarmora! Tarantallegra!" Harry shouted casting spell after spell. They all failed save the second to last one which scattered marbles under Quirrel's feet.
Quirrel laughed as he saw the scattered marbles. "My... it's been too long since I've played..." With a snap of his fingers the marbles surged into the air and shot toward Harry who dove beneath his shield once again as they began to pelt him.
Harry huddled beneath his shield and swore as one of the marbles struck his face. He squeezed his eyes shut as the sound of the marbles hammering against the shield reverberated around him. Just over it he could hear Quirrel's muttering as he turned toward the mirror. "I can see the stone, I'm presenting it to my master... but where is it! Master, help me..."
"Use the boy..." A voice like a hiss came from Quirrel and Harry froze.
With a snap of his fingers, Quirrel vanished the marbles, shield, and ropes that had surrounded it. Harry lifted his wand toward Quirrel, but it was torn from his hand and shot into Quirrel's. "Potter... come here." He lifted Harry's own wand toward him and sneered. "Come here!"
"Why?" Harry growled as he stood up. "You'll kill me once you have the stone!"
A cold chuckle seemed to come from Quirrel before the strange voice hissed again. "Brave... like his father and mother I see. A Gryffindor to the core..."
"Master?" Quirrel asked and Harry felt his heart plummet as he realized the voice had to be Voldemort, but where was he? It seemed to be coming from Quirrel himself, but how?
"Force him." The cold voice snapped.
"Imperio!" Quirrel snarled and suddenly Harry's vision swam. There were clouds everywhere, he felt comfortable... content. A voice seemed to whisper in his ear. Stand before the mirror and tell me what you see...
Okay... Harry thought and walked toward the massive mirror, as he gazed into its depths he felt tears begin to run down his eyes.
Tell me what you see...
The image of his mother stared back from behind his shoulder and squeezed it. It's my mum... that's private! No... His reflection pulled a fat red stone from his pocket tossed it in the air once, and dropped it back in his pants pocket. Then it winked at him.
"What do you see?" Quirrel belowed and Harry felt the clouds over his mind dissipate with a flash. He gritted his teeth and stared into the mirror for a moment.
I must lie... He thought. "I'm back home... I got Os on all my NEWTs!"
"Idiot boy!" Quirrel shouted before stepping before the mirror.
Harry had just taken a step back when the high voice of Voldemort spoke again. "He lies..."
"Potter!" Quirrel spun. "What did you see?"
"I will speak to him... face to face." Voldemort growled.
"But master, you are not strong enough!" Quirrel stammered.
"I am strong enough for this." He answered and Harry stared dumbfounded as Quirrel pulled the turban from his head, revealing a gruesome face. It was noseless, and its eyes were glowing with red light. "Look at what I've become! Mere shadow and vapor, Unicorn Blood can give me blood, but to be restored to my true form I need the stone in your pocket! Give it to me and I will let you live..."
"Never! You killed my parents!" Harry swore. "I'll kill you!" Harry swore and cocked his wrist, summoning his backup wand into his hand. He pointed toward his free hand and shouted. "Fera Gladium!"
"Stop him!" Voldemort shouted as Harry charged a gleaming silver blade in one hand.
Quirrel lifted the wand and shouted. "Crucio!"
It felt as though he'd been hurled onto a bed of burning hot knives. Pain burned through everything and he spasm as he dropped to the flagstones. The freshly summoned sword and his backup wand clattered uselessly across the stone. Quirrel sneered down at him and Voldemort laughed. "See Potter... you cannot defeat me, I've won."
"No..." Harry rasped.
"Give me the stone." Quirrel snarled.
"Never!" Harry shouted and lunged for the man, he grabbed his legs and Quirrel let out an unearthly wail of pain. Harry's wand toppled from Quirrel's grasp and clattered to the ground.
"Master! It hurts!" Quirrel yelled as he staggered.
"KILL HIM AND BE DONE!" Voldemort shouted and Quirrel drew back his hand to cast a curse. Harry lunged from the ground and slammed into him, knocking him to the ground. It felt like fire as Harry's hands slammed into Quirrel's chest over his heart. The wizard grabbed at his throat. The room spun, his scar throbbed with pain. Darkness filled his vision.
"HARRY!" A voice yelled in the sudden darkness.
Is this what dying feels like? Harry thought as he saw a flutter of gold overhead. He frowned for a moment, what was a Snitch doing here? He grabbed it and suddenly his vision cleared. He found himself holding a set of gold-rimmed glasses. Above him, Albus Dumbledore leaned over him, his eyes twinkling merrily.
"Welcome back Mr. Potter." Dumbledore said. "I'd like those back..."
Harry felt his voice crack as he tried to speak. "Professor... What happened? Where's Quirrel?"
"I am afraid, Professor Quirrel is dead. When I arrived, Voldemort fled from his body at the cost of his life. I was afraid I was too late." Albus lowered his gaze.
"The stone?" Harry asked.
"Destroyed... Nicholas insisted upon it, and asked that I discontinue and discourage any research into the construction of another." Dumbledore said.
Harry lay back against the pillow and stared at the ceiling. "How long?"
"You've been here for three days Mr. Potter. I am afraid Gryffindor did not perform very well without their star Seeker." Albus said with a chuckle. "Sirius and Remus wish to have a word as soon as you woke. I have delayed them far too long as it is." He stood and smiled. "McGongall wished that I pass along her apologies for not believing you or Miss Granger."
Harry nodded and let out a sigh. "Professor... does this mean he's gone?"
"No... There are still means by which he may return." Dumbledore's tone turned grave. "But if he is stopped again, perhaps he may never again return, we shall see."
As Dumbledore walked out a black dog shot into the room and scrambled to his bedside. Harry laughed as it licked his face. "Sirius! That's enough!"
Remus came to the foot of Harry's bread and smiled faintly. "How are you Harry?"
"I'm fine... Sirius, stop!" He batted the dog away and Sirius transformed into himself. "Honest... I just feel tired."
"Magical exhaustion, we were afraid you'd burnt yourself out." Remus said quietly. "Harry, why didn't you call us?"
"I'm sorry... I thought, I guess I wasn't thinking." Harry admitted.
Sirius snorted. "Typical, our kid is acting his age when it's least useful."
"You scared us Harry... we almost lost you." Remus slowly sat on the foot of his bed.
"I had to stop him Remus!" Harry said. "Bloody Voldemort nearly came back..."
Remus squeezed his shoulder. "I know, I know..."
"We're upset Harry, you almost died!" Sirius said. "You're giving Remus gray hairs, now no one will want him!"
Harry snorted. "I'm sorry..."
"Pup, we're both proud of you..." Sirius said before patting his knee. "Just don't scare us like that again!"
"I'll try not to!" Harry said before laughing. "I just seem to attract trouble."
"It's a Potter thing." Remus observed.
"Speaking of..." Sirius pulled a mirror from his pocket and turned it toward Harry. "Let him have it."
Ginny Weasley stared out the mirror and Harry immediately swallowed at her stern experession. "HARRY JAMES POTTER, WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING? TAKING ON QUIRREL LIKE THAT. I ASKED YOU NOT TO GET INTO ANY ADVENTURES UNTIL I GET THERE AND YOU FIGHT YOU-KNOW-WHO? WHAT AM I TO DO WITH YOU?"
Harry watched her turn red in the face. "Ginny..."
"HARRY! YOU COULD HAVE DIED! YOU SHOULD HAVE CALLED SIRIUS AND REMUS, INSTEAD YOU GOT MY BROTHER TO HELP YOU CHASE QUIRREL AND HE ENDED UP IN THE HOSPITAL WING! HARRY... HE..." Ginny burst into tears on the screen. "Mum almost fainted when she got the letter from McGongall..." She sniffed and tried to wipe her tears from her eyes. "Why'd you have to be the bloody hero..."
Harry looked away from her and closed his eyes. "I'm sorry Ginny... I didn't mean to, but I had to stop him." He closed his eyes.
"I'm your friend, just... don't do this again, okay?" Ginny said quietly. "Okay?"
"Okay." Harry said and sighed. "I'm sorry..."
"Enough, enough... Ron is going to be such a prat about this." Ginny sighed and rolled her eyes. "I have to go... Mum wants me to help with dinner." Then the mirror winked off.
"She's quite the yeller." Sirius said with a faint smile. "Now... I think Hermione and Ron are waiting for us to leave..."
As his guardians left, Hermione and Ron came in and Harry was engulfed by a hug from a teary eyed Hermione.
"We were so worried!" She said. "Dumbledore brought you up and you were red... and so pale."
"What happened mate?" Ron asked.
Harry proceeded to tell them what had happened with Quirrel. The two of them were shocked that Voldemort had been there, leaching off their defense teacher the entire year. When he got to how the teacher had screamed when he grabbed him, he frowned. "I don't know why though... I didn't ask."
"Didn't you say your mum gave you a blood protection against him?" Hermione said. "Maybe that's what did it."
"Maybe." Harry allowed. "I... Dumbledore said he died when Voldemort left his body."
"Quit saying the name!" Ron hissed.
"I will say the name, I faced him... it's probably made up anyway... who would name their kid Voldemort?" Harry shuddered at that.
"Fine..." Ron grumbled.
They slowly turned to talking of inconsequential things. Hermione muttered about how the twins were plotting something big for the leaving feast, but she couldn't tell what, and Ron flushed when he told them about how he'd gotten a howler from his mom. Soon Madam Pomfrey chased them out and left Harry alone with a small pile of candies and cards from the rest of the school.
That evening Madam Pomfrey let him go to the leaving feast. As he sat down he noticed that the Great Hall was decorated with Slytherin banners and that the Slytherin table appeared really rather smug. Draco was banging a heavy silver goblet on his table as Dumbledore stood to announce the awarding of the House Cup.
"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 and 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 seventy-nine points; in third, Hufflepuff, with three-hundred and fifty-two; Ravenclaw have four hundred and twenty-six, and Slythering, four hundred and ninety-two."
A storm of cheering and stamping broke out from the Slytherin table. Harry could see Draco Malfoy smirking as he banged his goblet on the table. It was a sickening sight.
"Yes, yes, well done, Slytherin." Dumbledore said. "However, recent events must be taken into account."
The room went very still. The Slytherins' smiles faded a little.
"Ahem, I have a few last-minute points to dish out. Let me see. Yes... First - to Mr. Ronald Weasley for outstanding courage in the heat of battle, I award, fifty points." Ron went a bit red in the face as his neighbors congratulated him.
"Did you really charge pikemen on a horse?" Neville asked.
"Yeah..." Ron said quietly. Gryffindor cheers echoed in the hall and even Percy looked proud of his brother.
Slowly the Hall fell silent and Albus smiled. "Second - to Miss Hermione Granger... for demonstrating cool logic in the face of fire, fighting to protect a fallen comrade, and demonstrating mastery of spells well past her year. I award Gryffindor House, one hundred points."
Hermione looked faint for a second before bursting into tears. All around her the Gryffindors started to congratulate her as cheers rang from amongst the entire group. They were a hundred and fifty points up.
"Third - to Mr. Harry Potter." Dumbledore said and smiled around the hall at the tensing students. "For mastering the animagus transformation, I award one hundred points. For defending an alchemical artifact of immeasurable value, I award one hundred points. Finally, for the demonstration and mastery of spells well beyond your year, acting for the greater good, and telling the truth no matter how unbelievable... I award one hundred points."
"We're ahead of Slytherin." Hermione hissed. "We've got five hundred and twenty-nine points."
"NOOOO!" Harry said giving a melodramatic swoon as he did in the chair. Across from him the twins grinned suddenly.
"Not for long..." Fred said as grinned at his brother. "Was that our que?"
"I think it was dear brother..." George said as he pulled out his wand. "Ready Lee?"
"Activate!" Lee shouted with glee and suddenly all the Slytherins were dressed in bright red uniforms. They leapt onto the table as the rest of the hall stared in disbelief.
Malfoy, looking clearly irate in a plaid shirt and long pants, stepped forward. "I didn't want to be a wizard!"
The other Slytherins looked at him in shock as Harry snickered. The Weasley twins were grinning from ear to ear as Malfoy began again.
"I wanted to be... a lumberjack!
Leaping from tree to tree, as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia. The Giant Redwood. The Larch. The Fir! The mighty Scots Pine! The lofty flowering Cherry! The plucky little Apsen! The limping Roo tree of Nigeria. The towering Wattle of Aldershot! The Maidenhead Weeping Water Plant! The naughty Leicestershire Flashing Oak! The flatulent Elm of West Ruislip! The Quercus Maximus Bamber Gascoigni! The Epigillus! The Barter Hughius Greenus!
With my best buddy by my side, we'd sing! Sing! Sing!"
Malfoy then burst into song, looking even more angry then before:
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay.
I sleep all night and I work all day."
Then the rest of his house burst into song as well, acting like a chorus.
"He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day."
Snickers filled the hall as Malfoy, began to sing again in a high-pitched whiny voice and marched back and forth across the table.
"I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
And have buttered scones for tea."
At this point, the Gryffindors were on the ground laughing as the Slytherin chorus joined in again.
"He cuts down trees. He eats his lunch.
He goes to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays he goes shopping
And has buttered scones for tea.
He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day."
Harry couldn't breathe, he was laughing so hard. Hermione was beat red while Ron was banging his head against the table trying to stifle his laughter as Draco pranced across the slytherin table again.
"I cut down trees. I skip and jump.
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women's clothing
And hang around in bars."
The other slytherins were looking more and more unsettled as they continued to sing.
"He cuts down trees. He skips and jumps.
He likes to press wild flowers.
He puts on women's clothing
And hangs around in bars?!
He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day."
Hermione slipped off the stool and fell onto the flagstone before rolling on the ground in laughter. The Weasleys fell from their stool cackling with glee and Lee had a fist in his mouth trying to stifle his laughter. Draco was prancing again looking completely furious.
"I cut down trees. I wear high heels,
Suspendies, and a bra.
I wish I'd been a girlie,
Just like my dear Papa."
The prank seemed to be wearing off the other Slytherins who were looking at each other in confusion, still singing.
"He cuts down trees. He wears high heels,
Suspendies, and a bra?!"
They began to mutter, "What's this? Wants to be a girlie?! Oh, My! And I thought you were so rugged! Poofter!..." Then they were singing again.
"He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day.
He's a lumberjack, and he's okaaaaay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day."
With a bang, the prank ended and the Mounties uniforms disappeared. Harry collapsed in laughter and Hermione was holding her stomach trying desperately to stop.
"ONE HUNDRED POINTS FROM GRYFFINDOR!" Snape roared as Draco looked horrified from atop his table.
"Worth it!" The Weasleys shouted and a great groan came from the rest of the house as they were once again behind slytherin house.
"Yes!" Harry said with a grin. "Let the snakes have the suck up cup..."
"I see, well... at least we don't have to bother changing decorations." Dumbledore said with a chuckle. Snape took the house cup with a smug smile. Afterward the feast wound down and soon they were all off to bed.
The next morning, Harry packed away all his stuff, the film projector, the various odds and ends that any child at school attracts, and his telly. As he shut his trunk, Hermione and Ron entered his room.
"So... going home for the summer?" Ron asked quietly.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, the Wolf's Lair is great... Remus will want to tutor me on DADA some more over the summer, after Quirrel, I think we'll need it. There's no telling who will get the post next year. I'm sure your parents will let you visit."
"But... I don't know where your place is." Ron said. "Isn't it under a Fidelius Charm still?"
"Yeah..." Harry grinned. "Hermione knows the secret, I'm sure her parents won't stop her from getting a bit of tutoring."
Hermione flushed slightly before nodding in agreement. "Definitely Harry."
"Sirius will tell you and your parents. I think he hooked up the house to the Floo too, so you can floo right over." Harry tapped his trunk with his wand and muttered a shrinking charm, reducing it to the size of a matchbox. Then he stuffed it in his pocket before grabbing Hedwig in her cage.
The three of them made their way down to the train and packed away their stuff in the overhead compartment. Harry pulled out his Muggle and Mundane game mat and the three of them played together for hours. They even chased Draco Malfoy out of their compartment with a verse of the Lumberjack song, leaving the Malfoy scion sputtered and flushed with rage.
As the train came to a stop in King's Cross Harry grabbed his things and sighed. "You two will be coming by this summer, right?"
"Definitely." Hermione said with a wide smile. "I bet Remus will show us all sorts of cool spells."
"Yeah mate, I'm definitely coming by. Maybe you could visit us sometime too." Ron said with a grin. "Flooing makes it easy."
"Sounds great Ron." Harry said as he looked down the platform and saw Remus and Sirius approaching. "Yeah, it'll be a summer to remember."
"Definitely," Hermione and Ron said at once.