:






THE MIRROR OF ERISED 6



 

Quirrells voice trailed away. Harry was remembering his trip to Diagon Alley how could he have been so stupid? Hed

seen

Quirrell there that very day, shaken hands with him in the Leaky Cauldron.

 

Quirrell cursed under his breath.

 

I dont understand is the Stone

inside

the mirror? Should I break it?

 

Harrys mind was racing.

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 myseff finding itwhich means Ill see where its hidden! But how can I look without Quirrell realizing what Im up to?

He tried to edge to the left, to get in front of the glass without Quirrell noticing, but the ropes around his ankles were too tight: he tripped and fell over. Quirrell ignored him. He was still talking to himself.

What does this mirror do? How does it work? Help me, Master!

And to Harrys horror, a voice answered, and the voice seemed to come from Quirrell himself.

Use the boy Use the boy

Quirrell rounded on Harry.

YesPottercome here.

He clapped his hands once, and the ropes binding Harry fell off. Harry got slowly to his feet.

Come here, Quirrell repeated. Look in the mirror and tell me what you see.

Harry walked toward him.

 

I must lie,

he thought desperately.

I must look and lie about what I see, thats all.

 

Quirrell moved close behind him. Harry breathed in the funny smell that seemed to come from Quirrells turban. He closed his eyes, stepped in front of the mirror, and opened them again.

 

He saw his reflection, pale and scared looking at first. But a moment later, the reflection smiled at him. It put its hand into its pocket and pulled out a blood red stone. It winked and put the Stone back in its pocketand as it did so, Harry felt something heavy drop into his real pocket. Somehowincredibly

hed gotten the Stone.

 

Well? said Quirrell impatiently. What do you see?

Harry screwed up his courage.

I see myself shaking hands with Dumbledore, he invented. IIve won the house cup for Gryffindor.

Quirrell cursed again.

Get out of the way, he said. As Harry moved aside, he felt the Sorcerers Stone against his leg. Dare he make a break for it?

But he hadnt walked five paces before a high voice spoke, though Quirrell wasnt moving his lips.

He lies He lies

Potter, come back here! Quirrell shouted. Tell me the truth! What did you just see?

The high voice spoke again.

Let me speak to him face-to-face



Master, you are not strong enough!

I have strength enough for this

Harry felt as if Devils Snare was rooting him to the spot. He couldnt move a muscle. Petrified, he watched as Quirrell reached up and began to unwrap his turban. What was going on? The turban fell away. Quirrells head looked strangely small without it. Then he turned slowly on the spot.

Harry would have screamed, but he couldnt make a sound. Where there should have been a back to Quirrells head, there was a face, the most terrible face Harry had ever seen. It was chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils, like a snake.

Harry Potter it whispered.

Harry tried to take a step backward but his legs wouldnt move.

See what I have become? the face said. Mere shadow and vapor I have form only when I can share anothers body but there have always been those willing to let me into their hearts and minds 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 dont you give me that Stone in your pocket?

So he knew. The feeling suddenly surged back into Harrys legs. He stumbled backward.

Dont be a fool, snarled the face. Better save your own life and join me or youll meet the same end as your parents They died begging me for mercy

LIAR! Harry shouted suddenly.

Quirrell was walking backward at him, so that Voldemort could still see him. The evil face was now smiling.

How touching it hissed. 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 neednt have died she was trying to protect you Now give me the Stone, unless you want her to have died in vain.

NEVER!

Harry sprang toward the flame door, but Voldemort screamed SEIZE HIM! and the next second, Harry felt Quirrells hand close on his wrist. At once, a needle sharp pain seared across Harrys scar; his head felt as though it was about to split in two; he yelled, struggling with all his might, and to his surprise, Quirrell let go of him. The pain in his head lessenedhe looked around wildly to see where Quirrell had gone, and saw him hunched in pain, looking at his fingersthey were blistering before his eyes.

Seize him! SEIZE HIM! shrieked Voldemort again, and Quirrell lunged, knocking Harry clean off his feet, landing on top of him, both hands around Harrys neckHarrys scar was almost blinding him with pain, yet he could see Quirrell howling in agony.

Master, I cannot hold himmy handsmy hands!

And Quirrell, though pinning Harry to the ground with his knees, let go of his neck and stared, bewildered, at his own palmsHarry could see they looked burned, raw, red, and shiny.

Then kill him, fool, and be done! screeched Voldemort.

Quirrell raised his hand to perform a deadly curse, but Harry, by instinct, reached up and grabbed Quirrells face

AAAARGH!

Quirrell rolled off him, his face blistering, too, and then Harry knew: Quirrell couldnt touch his bare skin, not without suffering terrible painhis only chance was to keep hold of Quirrell, keep him in enough pain to stop him from doing a curse.

Harry jumped to his feet, caught Quirrell by the arm, and hung on as tight as he could. Quirrell screamed and tried to throw Harry offthe pain in Harrys head was buildinghe couldnt seehe could only hear Quirrells terrible shrieks and Voldemorts yells of, KILL HIM! KILL HIM! and other voices, maybe in Harrys own head, crying, Harry! Harry!

He felt Quirrells arm wrenched from his grasp, knew all was lost, and fell into blackness, down down down

Something gold was glinting just above him. The Snitch! He tried to catch it, but his arms were too heavy.

He blinked. It wasnt the Snitch at all. It was a pair of glasses. How strange.

He blinked again. The smiling face of Albus Dumbledore swam into view above him.

Good afternoon, Harry, said Dumbledore. Harry stared at him. Then he remembered: Sir! The Stone! It was Quirrell! Hes got the Stone! Sir, quick

Calm yourself, dear boy, you are a little behind the times, said Dumbledore. Quirrell does not have the Stone.

Then who does? Sir, I

Harry, please relax, or Madam Pomfrey will have me thrown out.

Harry swallowed and looked around him. He realized he must be in the hospital wing. He was lying in a bed with white linen sheets, and next to him was a table piled high with what looked like half the candy shop.

Tokens from your friends and admirers, said Dumbledore, beaming. What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally, the whole school knows. I believe your friends Misters Fred and George Weasley were responsible for trying to send you a toilet seat. No doubt they thought it would amuse you. Madam Pomfrey, however, felt it might not be very hygienic, and confiscated it.

How long have I been in here?

Three days. Mr. Ronald Weasley and Miss Granger will be most relieved you have come round, they have been extremely worried.

But sit, the Stone

I see you are not to be distracted. Very well, the Stone. Professor Quirrell did not manage to take it from you. I arrived in time to prevent that, although you were doing very well on your own, I must say.

You got there? You got Hermiones owl?

We must have crossed in midair. No sooner had I reached London than it became clear to me that the place I should be was the one I had just left. I arrived just in time to pull Quirrell off you.

 

It was

you.

 

I feared I might be too late.

You nearly were, I couldnt have kept him off the Stone much longer

Not the Stone, boy, youthe effort involved nearly killed you. For one terrible moment there, I was afraid it had. As for the Stone, it has been destroyed.

Destroyed? said Harry blankly. But your friendNicolas Flamel

 

Oh, you know about Nicolas? said Dumbledore, sounding quite delighted. You

did

do the thing properly, didnt you? Well, Nicolas and I have had a little chat, and agreed its all for the best.

 

But that means he and his wife will die, wont they?

They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die.

Dumbledore smiled at the look of amazement on Harrys face.

 

To one as young as you, Im sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very,

very

long day. After all, to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above allthe trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.

 

Harry lay there, lost for words. Dumbledore hummed a little and smiled at the ceiling.

Sir? said Harry. Ive been thinking sireven if the Stones gone, Vol, I mean, You-Know-Who

Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.

Yes, sir. Well, Voldemorts going to try other ways of coming back, isnt he? I mean, he hasnt gone, has he?

No, Harry, he has not. He is still out there somewhere, perhaps looking for another body to share not being truly alive, he cannot be killed. He left Quirrell to die; he shows just as little mercy to his followers as his enemies. Nevertheless, Harry, while you may only have delayed his return to power, it will merely take someone else who is prepared to fight what seems a losing battle next timeand if he is delayed again, and again, why, he may never return to power.

Harry nodded, but stopped quickly, because it made his head hurt. Then he said, Sir, there are some other things Id like to know, if you can tell me things I want to know the truth about

The truth. Dumbledore sighed. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. However, I shall answer your questions unless I have a very good reason not to, in which case I beg youll forgive me. I shall not, of course, lie.

Well Voldemort said that he only killed my mother because she tried to stop him from killing me. But why would he want to kill me in the first place?

Dumbledore sighed very deeply this time.

Alas, the first thing you ask me, I cannot tell you. Not today. Not now. You will know, one day put it from your mind for now, Harry. When you are older I know you hate to hear this when you are ready, you will know.

And Harry knew it would be no good to argue.

But why couldnt Quirrell touch me?

Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didnt realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.

Dumbledore now became very interested in a bird out on the windowsill, which gave Harry time to dry his eyes on the sheet. When he had found his voice again, Harry said, And the Invisibility Cloakdo you know who sent it to me?

Ahyour father happened to leave it in my possession, and I thought you might like it. Dumbledores eyes twinkled. Useful things your father used it mainly for sneaking off to the kitchens to steal food when he was here.

And theres something else

Fire away.

Quirrell said Snape

 

Professor

Snape, Harry.

 

Yes, himQuirrell said he hates me because he hated my father. Is that true?

Well, they did rather detest each other. Not unlike yourself and Mr. Malfoy. And then, your father did something Snape could never forgive.

 

What?

 

He saved his life.

What?

Yes said Dumbledore dreamily. Funny, the way peoples minds work, isnt it? Professor Snape couldnt bear being in your fathers debt I do believe he worked so hard to protect you this year because he felt that would make him and your father even. Then he could go back to hating your fathers memory in peace

Harry tried to understand this but it made his head pound, so he stopped.

And sir, theres one more thing

Just the one?

How did I get the Stone out of the mirror?

 

Ah, now, Im glad you asked me that. It was one of my more brilliant ideas, and between you and me, thats saying something. You see, only one who wanted to

find

the Stonefind it, but not use itwould be able to get it, otherwise theyd just see themselves making gold or drinking Elixir of Life. My brain surprises even me sometimes Now, enough questions. I suggest you make a start on these sweets. Ah! Bettie Botts Every Flavor Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomitflavored one, and since then Im afraid Ive rather lost my liking for thembut I think Ill be safe with a nice toffee, dont you?

 

He smiled and popped the golden brown bean into his mouth. Then he choked and said, Alas! Ear wax!

Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was a nice woman, but very strict.

Just five minutes, Harry pleaded.

Absolutely not.

You let Professor Dumbledore in

 

Well, of course, that was the headmaster, quite different. You need

rest.

 

I am resting, look, lying down and everything. Oh, go on, Madam Pomfrey

 

Oh, very well, she said. But five minutes

only.

 

And she let Ron and Hermione in.

 

Harry!

 

Hermione looked ready to fling her arms around him again, but Harry was glad she held herself in as his head was still very sore.

Oh, Harry, we were sure you were going toDumbledore was so worried

 

The whole schools talking about it, said Ron. What

really

happened?

 

It was one of those rare occasions when the true story is even more strange and exciting than the wild rumors. Harry told them everything: Quirrell; the mirror; the Stone; and Voldemort. Ron and Hermione were a very good audience; they gasped in all the right places, and when Harry told them what was under Quirrells turban, Hermione screamed out loud.

 

So the Stones gone? said Ron finally. Flamels just going to

die?

 

Thats what I said, but Dumbledore thinks thatwhat 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.

So what happened to you two? said Harry.

Well, I got back all right, said Hermione. I brought Ron roundthat took a whileand we were dashing up to the owlery to contact Dumbledore when we met him in the entrance hallhe already knewhe just said, Harrys gone after him, hasnt he? and hurtled off to the third floor.

Dyou think he meant you to do it? said Ron. Sending you your fathers cloak and everything?

 

Well,

Hermione exploded, if he didI mean to say thats terribleyou could have been killed.

 

No, it isnt, said Harry thoughtfully. Hes a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me a chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I dont think it was an accident he let me find out how the mirror worked. Its almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could

Yeah, Dumbledores off his rocker, all right, said Ron proudly. Listen, youve got to be up for the end of year feast tomorrow. The points are all in and Slytherin won, of courseyou missed the last Quidditch match, we were steamrollered by Ravenclaw without youbut the foodll be good.

At that moment, Madam Pomfrey bustled over.

Youve had nearly fifteen minutes, now OUT, she said firmly.

After a good nights sleep, Harry felt nearly back to normal.

I want to go to the feast, he told Madam Pomfrey as she straightened his many candy boxes. I can, cant I?

Professor Dumbledore says you are to be allowed to go, she said stiffily, as though in her opinion Professor Dumbledore didnt realize how risky feasts could be. And you have another visitor.

Oh, good, said Harry. Who is it?

Hagrid sidled through the door as he spoke. As usual when he was indoors, Hagrid looked too big to be allowed. He sat down next to Harry, took one look at him, and burst into tears.

Itsallmyruddyfault! he sobbed, his face in his hands. I told the evil git how ter get past Fluffy! I told him! It was the only thing he didnt know, an I told him! Yeh couldve died! All fer a dragon egg! Ill never drink again! I should be chucked out an made ter live as a Muggle!

Hagrid! said Harry, shocked to see Hagrid shaking with grief and remorse, great tears leaking down into his beard. Hagrid, hed have found out somehow, this is Voldemort were talking about, hed have found out even if you hadnt told him.

Yeh couldve died! sobbed Hagrid. An don say the name!

VOLDEMORT! Harry bellowed, and Hagrid was so shocked, he stopped crying. Ive met him and Im calling him by his name. Please cheer up, Hagrid, we saved the Stone, its gone, he cant use it. Have a Chocolate Frog, Ive got loads

Hagrid wiped his nose on the back of his hand and said, That reminds me. Ive got yeh a present.

Its not a stoat sandwich, is it? said Harry anxiously, and at last Hagrid gave a weak chuckle.

Nah. Dumbledore gave me the day off yesterday ter fix it. Course, he shoulda sacked me insteadanyway, got yeh this

It seemed to be a handsome, leather covered book. Harry opened it curiously. It was full of wizard photographs. Smiling and waving at him from every page were his mother and father.

Sent owls off ter all yer parents old school friends, askin fer photos knew yeh didn have any dyeh like it?

Harry couldnt speak, but Hagrid understood.

Harry made his way down to the end of year feast alone that night. He had been held up by Madam Pomfreys fussing about, insisting on giving him one last checkup, so the Great Hall was already full. It was decked out in the Slytherin colors of green and silver to celebrate Slytherins winning the house cup for the seventh year in a row. A huge banner showing the Slytherin serpent covered the wall behind the High Table.

When Harry walked in there was a sudden hush, and then everybody started talking loudly at once. He slipped into a seat between Ron and Hermione at the Gryffindor table and tried to ignore the fact that people were standing up to look at him.

Fortunately, Dumbledore arrived moments later. The babble died away.

Another year gone! Dumbledore said cheerfully. And I must trouble you with an old mans 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.

A storm of cheering and stamping broke out from the Slytherin table. Harry could see Draco Malfoy banging his goblet on the table. It was a sickening sight.

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.

Ahem, said Dumbledore. I have a few last minute points to dish out. Let me see. Yes

Firstto Mr. Ronald Weasley

Ron went purple in the face; he looked like a radish with a bad sunburn.

for the best played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years, I award Gryffindor house fifty points.

Gryffindor cheers nearly raised the bewitched ceiling; the stars overhead seemed to quiver. Percy could be heard telling the other prefects, My brother, you know! My youngest brother! Got past McGonagalls giant chess set!

At last there was silence again.

Secondto Miss Hermione Granger for the use of cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor house fifty points.

Hermione buried her face in her arms; Harry strongly suspected she had burst into tears. Gryffindors up and down the table were beside themselvesthey were a hundred points up.

Thirdto Mr. Harry Potter said Dumbledore. The room went deadly quiet for pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor house sixty points.

The din was deafening. Those who could add up while yelling themselves hoarse knew that Gryffindor now had four hundred and seventy two pointsexactly the same as Slytherin. They had tied for the house cupif only Dumbledore had given Harry just one more point.

Dumbledore raised his hand. The room gradually fell silent.

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. 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. Harry, still cheering, nudged Ron in the ribs and pointed at Malfoy, who couldnt have looked more stunned and horrified if hed just had the Body Bind Curse put on him.

Which means, Dumbledore called over the storm of applause, for even Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were celebrating the downfall of Slytherin, 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. Snape was shaking Professor McGonagalls hand, with a horrible, forced smile. He caught Harrys eye and Harry knew at once that Snapes feelings toward him hadnt changed one jot. This didnt worry Harry. It seemed as though life would be back to normal next year, or as normal as it ever was at Hogwarts.

It was the best evening of Harrys life, better than winning at Quidditch, or Christmas, or knocking out mountain trolls he would never, ever forget tonight.

Harry had almost forgotten that the exam results were still to come, but come they did. To their great surprise, both he and Ron passed with good marks; Hermione, of course, had the best grades of the first years. Even Neville scraped through, his good Herbology mark making up for his abysmal Potions one. They had hoped that Goyle, who was almost as stupid as he was mean, might be thrown out, but he had passed, too. It was a shame, but as Ron said, you couldnt have everything in life.

And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, Nevilles 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 holidays (I always hope theyll forget to give us these, said Fred Weasley sadly); Hagrid was there to take them down to the fleet of boats that sailed across the lake; they were boarding the Hogwarts Express; talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier; eating Bettie Botts Every Flavor Beans as they sped past Muggle towns; pulling off their wizard robes and putting on jackets and coats; pulling into platform nine and three-quarters at Kings Cross Station.

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 didnt 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, both of youIll send you an owl.

Thanks, said Harry, Ill need something to look forward to. People jostled them as they moved forward toward the gateway back to the Muggle world. Some of them called:

Bye, Harry!

See you, Potter!

Still famous, said Ron, grinning at him.

Not where Im going, I promise you, said Harry.

He, Ron, and Hermione passed through the gateway together. There he is, Mom, there he is, look!

It was Ginny Weasley, Rons younger sister, but she wasnt pointing at Ron.

Harry Potter! she squealed. Look, Mom! I can see

Be quiet, Ginny, and its rude to point.

Mrs. Weasley smiled down at them.

Busy year? she said.

Very, said Harry. Thanks for the fudge and the sweater, Mrs. Weasley.

Oh, it was nothing, dear.

Ready, are you?

It was Uncle Vernon, still purple faced, still mustached, still looking furious at the nerve of Harry, carrying an owl in a cage in a station full of ordinary people. Behind him stood Aunt Petunia and Dudley, looking terrified at the very sight of Harry.

You must be Harrys family! said Mrs. Weasley.

In a manner of speaking, said Uncle Vernon. Hurry up, boy, we havent got all day. He walked away.

Harry hung back for a last word with Ron and Hermione.

See you over the summer, then.

Hope you haveera good holiday, said Hermione, looking uncertainly after Uncle Vernon, shocked that anyone could be so unpleasant.

Oh, I will, said Harry, and they were surprised at the grin that was spreading over his face. They dont know were not allowed to use magic at home. Im going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer

 





sdamzavas.net - 2017 . ! , ...