A/N: My brain is a dangerous place when it is deprived of sleep. I totally blame Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' for where this went. If that doesn't give you some idea where this is going...then give thanks for your sanity and read no further lest it be endangered.


"You seriously think that's going to work?" Harry Potter had found the ultimate antidote to fear. There really was no room for fear when considering just how Potion Master Professor Severus Snape would respond if he bore witness to the sacriledge which was being committed to his art.

"Huh?" Wormtail blinked and then squinted at Harry. "What?"

"Bone of the father...fine, dandy...Snape would kill you for even thinking about dumping that in a potion. Sure it's a bone...but there's also dirt and water and...Merlin, there'd be Wormtail guts spread all over the dungeon...on second thoughts, continue. I said nothing." Harry tried for an innocent expression since he couldn't hold his hands up to protest his innocence.

"Flesh of the servant willingly gi..."

"Merlin save me, no I will not let that passed. Please, deformed baby, back me up on this. Flesh of the servant is precisely what is asked for. Not flesh, blood, bone and a decent whack of interstitial fluid with whatever nasties ended up on said hand getting the bone of the father...and dirt and whatever into the cauldron."

"Will you shut up?" Wormtail seemed on the verge of collapse...not that Harry was particularly surprised since the man still had the knife embedded into his wrist.

"No. I have Snape as a Potions Professor." Harry looked across at the construct. "Please, defective baby, you know Snape. Can you imagine what he'd say if he saw this atrocity being committed. I'd be skinned alive for simply being here. He's already dumped a bone with Merlin only knows what contaminants on it into that cauldron. Snape says that bone must be clean and dry before ever being added to a potion...usually it needs to be ground as well. There is some leeway in potions, but not that much...unless you're a potion's master who knows how to fix stuff on the fly. Wormie, you don't strike me as a Potions fact Mooney said you flat out failed your Potions OWL. I haven't done mine yet, but even I know that potion's recipes are worded precisely. Decomposing baby, please back me up on this and make your mouse re-check the potion before he makes it."

"Get the recipe and ritual information, Wormtail." It was a sour growl which came from the bundle on the ground. "You told me you had done the research properly...but apparently not."

"Yes Master." Wormtail fled and Harry was left to stare at his feet, his only other options were the cauldron or the disgusting baby, and neither were to his taste. Harry needed to think, the more time he could hold things up the more likely that either people would come to help, or mother-nature would catch up with the unstable construct.

"Here." Wormtail returned with a couple of particularly evil looking books which he spread out on the ground.

"Read them out loud, I can't read them at this distance...particularly since I don't have my glasses." Harry was pleased that Wormtail spent several minutes searching for the spectacles before he resorted to the original suggestion of reading aloud. The texts were ancient, Wormtail's pronunciation was worse and Harry managed to spin the whole thing out for twenty minutes...and that had only required the word 'huh?'. The whole situation was wide open for interpretation and Harry settled down to keeping Wormtail off balance, more than a little thankful that the disintegrating baby was limited in interaction and couldn't really yell at Wormtail.

Sadly it wasn't enough, the potion was finished...eventually and an entity arose, requesting robes and turning to Harry.

"Congratulations, Young Potter." Lord Voldemort had taken a moment to appreciate being alive and in a fully-grown body solely his own, then he turned to the sacrifice who was still tied to the headstone. "I'm almost sorry to kill you, for it is rare for a Gryffindor to so nearly achieve the objective as you did." There was almost a faint smile. "Such a pity I cannot let you try again. I almost wish to see what you try."

"So you're going to execute me where I stand? Cowardly."

"No, I am going to summon witnesses and then we shall formally duel. That should satisfy your Gryffindor soul."

"I appreciate the offer." Harry's smile was very thin, death seemed rather inevitable, but he saw no reason not to keep his eyes open for any chance of survival. Harry had a firm belief in McGonagal's quoted 'pure dumb luck' and his own willingness to grab it with both hands given half an opportunity.