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Harry Potter: The Path of Indifference #3

Death of a Mentor

Harry worked quickly to copy down the potion instructions for the Exploding Potion from the copy of Moste Potente Potions Goyle had gotten during the winter break. Goyle’s grades had improved in Potions—not by much, but beating Crabbe was easy enough—and he honored his commitment so long as Harry returned the book by the end of the week.

So naturally he was copying everything he could that interested him in Myrtle’s bathroom.

“Hello, what do we have here…?” Harry said, finding the section on Polyjuice Potion and began taking notes. “I was looking for an Age Potion, but this works—”

“I HATE PEEVES!” Myrtle blurted out as she ran crying into her stall because of Peeves the Poltergeist, effectively ending the silence. Quiet time over now.

“What’d the poltergeist do this time?” Harry asked.

“Oh Harry, it was horrible!” she told him. “Peeves kept pelting me with peanuts!”

“And he pelted me with sticks on the first day, he’s a spirit of chaos and a bully all wrapped up in one,” Harry said. “Not much anyone but the professors could do…for now.”

“I know, but it’s not fair,” Myrtle said. “Even in death I can’t get away from bullies! I could kill myself and no one would miss me!”

“Oh come on, people would miss you if you died…again,” Harry said sheepishly. He felt bad for her. He really did.

She glared at him and said, “Like who? You? All you want is to use my bathroom!”

“I would,” Harry said. “I know it seems like I’m just crashing here, but I’ve been where you’ve been, ignored by most people and even my family to an extent. Heck, I’ve only got maybe one person I can call a friend among the students. They’ve tried bullying, but I give as good as I get.”

“Yeah, but no one sees you as nothing more than a bother!” she argued. “Try being here for a few decades after dying and forced to stay in a bathroom. At least the other ghosts get free reign of Hogwarts and Peeves can touch more physical stuff, but as soon as I step into my own former common room they tell me to leave and that I’m annoying and—”

“Myrtle…” Harry cut in. “Would you feel better if I told you that I trusted you and don’t feel that you’re annoying? A bit chatty sometimes, but not annoying.”

She wiped her eyes and sniffled. “You’re just trying to make me feel better…”

“I’m being honest,” he said. He understood how it felt.

“Prove it,” she said, moving close to him.

“Alright,” Harry said. “Help me test a spell and if I get it down soon, I’ll help drive Peeves off if he bothers you again. But it needs to stay a secret until I say so.”

“Ooooh, promises, promises, Harry,” she wagged her finger. “Alright, show me. I won’t tell anyone!”

“I need to see if this will interact with another spiritual being,” Harry said and cast, “Phasmatis Canis.

Phantasmal fog gathered and molded, swirling into the shape of the ghostly dog that had tongues of mist rolling off it. The Gytrash had gotten a good deal bigger between November and now, thanks to all the practice. The spectral dog looked around before settling it’s gaze on the deceased girl and sauntered over to her, rubbing against her leg.

“Aren’t you a good doggie!” she exclaimed, running her hand over it. Its tail wagged a few times before it pushed open a stall and started drinking from the toilet, leaving her confused. “It opened the door instead of going through it?”

“It has a substantive charm weaved into it, but it’s only a minor one and the Gytrash decides when it wants to go through something on its own unless I use the Oppugno Jinx,” Harry told her. “I haven’t gotten how to do a substantive charm for ghosts yet, only things made from my magic, but hopefully I’ll learn and you’ll be able to interact with the living world more.”

“You would do that for me?” Myrtle asked.

“Well, you’ve been nicer than most of my housemates, Harry said. “It seems only fair.”


Time Skip to February

Fumos!” Terry bellowed as smoke vacated the yellow-lit tip of his wand after he moved it in a spiral. The pair had gotten back into their practice now that the weather had warmed up a bit and they both wanted to get ahead of the curb in DADA, so he went through The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection and taught himself the Smokescreen Charm.

Ventus!” Harry cast the boy’s favorite jinx against him, washing away the smoke. He would also admit the way his scarf moved looked badass while the spell billowed it.

Terry put more magic behind his spell and smirked. “Blow this away then! Fumos Duo!

Smoke didn’t so much as vacate his wand as it had before, but instead erupted in a geyser. Harry’s wind only managed to blow a portion away before it swallowed him and he pulled his scarf and around his mouth and nose like a mask and cast “Celario!” as silently as he could.

The air around him shimmered and shifted under the Bedazzling Hex and he broke through the smoke while invisible to the naked eye and—

Titillando!” Terry cried as a purple light spewed the violet haze that shaped itself into hand-ribbons and started tickling him.

“HAHAHA! I yield! I yield!” Harry surrendered to get him to drop the Tickling Hex before canceling the drain of a failed Bedazzling Hex. “What gave me away?”

“Well, there were smoke streamers coming off you and you weren’t completely invisible. It was more like camouflage where the light was bending around you slightly so I could make out the slightly transparency details.”

“I didn’t cast it right,” Harry said, looping and tying the violet scarf around his robe sleeve. “I’ve seen an actual Bedazzling Hex done, if it was proper then you wouldn’t have seen any details and even the outline would be hard to notice.”

Terry nodded and asked, “How’s the whole getting rid of Howlers thing going?”

“I finished the first batch today,” Harry answered. “I’ll have a professor help me test them and hopefully it’ll work.”

“That sounds like something that people would get behind if it did,” a voice came from behind an outcropping. “With finals a few months away, some of the parents have been sending Howlers for their kids to shape up and I have a feeling that they would be wanted.”

“Isobel MacDougal,” Harry said while scratching his head. “Why are you out here?”

“My sister sent me to spy on you and see what the ‘Black Sheep’ of Ravenclaw is doing every morning,” she said with ice in her voice. “She’s apparently too lazy to wake up early enough to do it herself. I was down at the lake before now and heading back when I saw you bungle that hex. ”

“What are you going to tell her?” he asked.

“That the both of you were playing around like a bunch of school children,” she stated. “As far as I’m concerned, what she doesn’t know, you can use to humiliate her later.”

Terry dusted himself off and asked, “Why is there so much bad blood between you and her?”

“Many things, even before Charm School when I was younger,” she answered. “Now I’d suggest we all get back since classes will be starting soon.”

As they walked back, Harry attempted to play his ocarina pendant and didn’t completely suck at it. Granted, he spent most of the winter break when he wasn’t studying or working on his spells getting the tune down and playing a song. But it wasn’t good enough for Isobel to stand listening to.

“Let me show you how it’s done,” she said before taking the instrument and playing a calming tune. The song was elegant, yet invigorating. When she finished and handed it back she said, “You need to alter your breath as you blow and position you fingers right next time. The way you play, the Merpeople in the Black Lake would sic the Grindylows on you.”

“Why?” Harry asked. He was warned about the Dark Creatures known as the Grindylows and why swimming in the lake unsupervised wasn’t recommended—not that it was against the rules—but he couldn’t fathom why the Merpeople would attack him unprovoked.

“Merpeople love music,” Isobel told him. “There’s a colony near where I live. The Merpeople in the warmer waters are more attractive than the ones here, but they all share a love of music. Your playing was an insult to music and the instrument itself.”

“Ouch,” Terry said. “That was cold…but, you said where ‘you’ live. Don’t you and your sister live in the same estate?”

“Our parents are separated,” she said in a manner that told them to drop it right there. “Anyway, practice more—in private—before you even think of maiming someone else’s ears.”

“Sorry,” Harry said with sarcasm, putting the instrument away in his pouch with an extension charm on it. They went back to their rooms, went to breakfast, and then the classes, where in Transfiguration class they went over the Chair-to-Cat spell.

It was a transformation spell, his worst field. Even using the advice Isobel gave him months before it didn’t work properly. Harry noticed that Isobel was having trouble too, meaning it wasn’t just him. He was about to try again when Padma tapped him on the shoulder.

“Tell me how you’ve been doing it so far?” she requested. “I want to help.”

“What about your shepherd?” Harry asked, referencing to Morag.

“The sheep that sticks out is the one who gets caught by the wolves…” she trailed off as a smile appeared on her face. “But I’m not a sheep, now am I?”

Harry nodded. “I black out all thoughts and force it to go step-by-step. But when I try it here it doesn’t work at all.”

“Isolating it and going step-by-step may work on non-living things, but doing so for an actual animal is bound to fail,” Padma said. “Transfiguring to an inanimate object is far different from something that lives on its own. If I may…”

Padma proceeded to try and help him further on the subject. The keyword being ‘try’ in this case. Harry would need more practice, but he was fairly certain that he would never get to an impressive level with it.

On a more impressive note, Professor Snape tested his ‘Howler Buster’ as Harry called it and gave him a backhanded compliment on the success of it. Harry bottled it in small vials, paid an older student, a Prefect named Penelope Clearwater, to place a Vanishing Charm on the glass that activated when it broke. A quick demonstration later earned Harry some much needed coin for himself.

The Weasley Twins soon met up with him to discuss business, willing to work out the details during the summer out of the school. With things looking up, Harry spent more time working on his spells and keeping things under control while training with Quirrell.

“This spell is known as the ‘Stream of Darkness,'” Quirrell said as nebulous darkness bellowed from his wand, washing against the Silver Shield as Harry was being pressed back against the flow while bracing it. It didn’t help that the faulty shield was being eaten away. “As you can feel it corrodes and dissolves physical matter, even the Silver Shield spell wasn’t meant to weather this, but give a brief reprieve. Now, I’ll show you how it can be used for a more decisive action.”

All the darkness swirled into a black-rimmed sphere of light at the tip of his wand. With a silent Banishing Charm (Depulso), he knocked Harry back from his defense to get him out of range as the dark orb was released, barreling down slower than the average spell, but carrying an heavy presence. On impact with the shield in the air, it expanded into a orb of pure, cold, blackness and then spun into itself, imploding as it…ate his spell, as far as Harry could tell. “Whoa!”

“That was the Abyss Sphere Curse, a spell designed to swallow space and pull itself into oblivion by compressing with an intense, concentrated gravity. Against a living target it is fatal, to say the least. I could have also released it as a less lethal shockwave instead,” Quirrell told him. “I’d compressed the spell and then let it out with my wand in the air. I’d recommend that should you attempt the spell, rather than the Abyss.”

“Okay…” Harry dusted off his robes and asked, “What next?”

“Next we’re working on your transformations,” he told him.

“What’s the point of that if I can conjure?” Harry asked.

“You said you were bad at it,” he answered. “Are you content to remain as you are? Or will you advance no matter what, grasping power with your own hands? If that’s the case, you will work on it from tonight on, five nights a week, to ensure you are at least competent in that field. But perhaps a more hands-on approach, hm?”

The professor entered a duelist stance. “Attack me with say…a conjured element, for now.”

Harry opted to go with summoned flames, “Incendio!

A line of fire bellowed from his wand and surged towards Quirrell, who captured it with a parry of his wand and twisted them into the shape of a quadruped that barreled towards the boy. Caught off guard, it pounced and was about to smother him with its flaming body when it scattered into countless embers around Harry.

“In a duel it is sometimes for effective to take your opponent’s spell and turn it against them,” the professor lectured. “Catch them off guard by being defensive and then using their own offense against them.”

Harry took his glasses off and cleaned them with his robes before saying, “Lesson learned. I’ll study transformations.”

“Good,” he said, using his wand to get things back in order as they readied to break for the night. “By the way, I heard you were still having trouble with your housemates for not kowtowing to their standards and costing them house points again.”

“It’s just a stupid cup,” Harry said. “The rest of the first years are either sheep or cowards and the older students don’t have much to say to me—granted they don’t like me for it…”

“Don’t let it get you down,” Quirrell told him. “It was always like that, even in my time. I was looked down upon because I lacked the abilities I have now and didn’t toe the line. It often end in violence, and I could only rely on myself.”

“So you were bullied for the same reason I was?” Harry asked. “You refused to be a sheep?”

“Yes,” he admitted. “But unlike you, I didn’t have an excellent teacher to help me grasp power with my own hands. At least, not while here.”

Harry nodded, grateful for the Ravenclaw graduate’s assistance in pushing him this far in such a short time. “Thanks…I mean it.”


Time Skip to May

It started simple enough.

Madam Hooch had left to take Morag and Fawcett up to the infirmary after a nasty spill and ordered them to circle the grounds within range, at a low altitude. Since Harry’s mind was on how Professor Quirrell seemed more…antsy lately—the man had started stuttering again and Snape seemed to be glancing at him with eyes of suspicion—he was caught off guard when he was clipped from behind by Stephen as he passed.

The duelist’s son turned and spoke in a mocking tone. “Careful, before you have an accident. Wouldn’t want to get hurt, would you?”

“Hold on to that thought,” Harry said as he dusted himself off, put his scarf and glasses back on, and, with a whip-like motion, pointed his wand at him. “Ventus!

The blast of wind hit him square in the chest and sent him spiraling to the ground. Stephen stood and drew his wand, moving his locks out of his face as he exclaimed, “That was a challenge. Face me in a duel!”

“Bring it on, Morag’s Herding Dog!” Harry exclaimed, attempting to nail him with the Curse of the Bogies off the bat. “Mucus ad Nauseam!

Protego!” Stephen announced as a blue-rimmed, shimmering shield of magic protected him from the curse, scattering the curse’s light on impact. It lacked deflection due to the lack of power, but still blocked it. He retaliated with the Jelly-Fingers Curse. “Finxi Wibbly!

Harry dodged, the spell whizzing past his turned torso. Digging into the knowledge of the second-year spells from the Standard Book of Spells Grade 2, he briefly considered the Severing Charm or Quirrell’s Stream of Darkness but found both to be too risky in a school-duel and he wasn’t advertising he was that far ahead of the curve. So he stuck with charging his standard offensive spell. “Flipendo Duo!

“You’re not the only one who bought the text ahead of their year and practiced, Potter!” Stephen yelled as he dodged, recognizing the charging as a second year technique. He moved his wand in the shape of twin-tipped mountains and put a good deal of power behind his spell as he cast, “Immobulus!

A blue bolt shot from Stephen’s wand with intent to freeze Harry in place. However, Harry had cast his own Shield Charm, which took the attack but the shattered like glass upon impact, staggering him. There was a reason that most first-years didn’t use this spell, it was because they couldn’t put enough power behind it having just adjusted to getting a wand in that year and it was a moderately difficult charm that most adults had trouble with. There was a reason the Twins planned to market shielded clothing.

Locomotor Wibbly!” Stephen verbalized as he cast the Jelly-Legs Jinx and winged Harry, dropping him to his knees.

Finite Incantatem!” A white flash vacated Harry’s wand as he used the General Counter Spell. His legs regained strength and he rolled to avoid the incoming Disarming Charm and then the Body Freezing Spell. He came up and announced, “Glacius!

Chilled vapor vacated his wand, barreling down as more magic was poured into the spell and turning the grass into crystalline blades as the Shield Charm came up. The spell spread at the barrier, chilling the ground. Harry followed up with an Oppugno Jinx, taking control of the frozen grass and sending them flying and battering it against the shield.

A smile crossed Stephen’s lips. He lived for the thrill of the duel, courtesy of the blood running through his veins, and hadn’t expected a challenge from a First Year like himself. He may have been ordered by Morag to kowtow him into line before he lost them anymore points, due to a debt he felt he owed her, but now…now he could relish the duel—a situation where wands were used to their fullest—with the added bonus of having a crowd.

At this point several students left behind them were taking bets with 3-to-1 odds.

Inflatus!” said the duelist son as he attempted an Inflation Jinx, a pale-pinkish light that streaked forth and passed by Harry’s head as he dodged.

Harry countered which a Revulsion Jinx missed and followed with a Stinging Jinx, “Fodio!” The jinx hit Stephen’s leg and it felt like he had been hit with a dozen times over at the location, the pain stopping him from moving as it swelled, right as another spell left his wand.

Tarantallegra!” Stephen cursed Harry with the Dancing Feet Spell, making him do a jig. And when Harry thought it couldn’t get any worse, it made him do a split, getting a collective “Oof!” from the men in the audience. Stephen gloated as his ego demanded, considering his victory at hand…it left him open.

Alright, time to pull a Quirrell special out then, Harry thought with vengeance in mind. His wand’s tip glowed an ethereal, sickly green color before he cast the Ghostly-Head Curse. “Phasmatis Capitillus!

Lime-colored smoke gave birth to a ghastly, green-tinted head twice the boy’s size, which opened its mouth wide and screamed as it lunged for the Ravenclaw, terrifying the hell out of everyone who had gathered. Stephen tried to use some jinxes to stop it, which was a mistake. He should’ve used an element to affect it, like the Ventus Jinx or targeted Harry, who guided it. Taking him into its mouth, the head bit down and ruptured with enough force to throw him Stephen off his feet and sent flying as a wave of the ethereal smoke washed over him.

“Gloating is for after the wands are down,” Harry huffed after terminating the Dancing Feet Spell. He was about a split-second away from using the next curse when Stephen aimed towards the tree Harry was by and went into using the Caught transformation spell.

Incacerata!” The tree limbs bent and turned into chains, descending to capture the Potter. Coiling around his torso and free arms, Harry dropped his wand before he could try the Severing Charm or even the Pressure Blasting Charm (Expluso) on it.

I should’ve cursed him instead of telling him not to gloat—it was my own fault, Harry thought.

POTTER! CORNFOOT!” The roar of an angry Madam Hooch, short gray hair billowing and hawk-eyes furrowed, coming in on a broom took away the brief joy Stephen had at that moment. “There is no dueling on the school grounds!”

“He started it,” Harry said. “He knocked me off my broom first!”

“That does not excuse a duel—especially one of this magnitude!” Madam Hooch huffed as she used the General Untransfiguration spell to turn the tree back to normal. “Reparifarge!

The tree chains melted and flowed back into becoming limbs. Done with that, the pissed off instructor looked at the gathered crowd, who all made like eggs and scrambled while she dragged them both away to Flitwick, who took twenty house points from his own house for both of them and detention for an undetermined amount of time.

The winner of the bet was not announced, but galleons did pass hands.


Later that Night

Harry, Draco, Hermione, Stephen, Neville, Gene, and Hagrid stood at the entrance of the Forbidden Forest.

“How’d you get detention?” Gene asked.

“Duel,” Harry responded and pointed his opponent. “Which he started, I might add.”

“And won,” Stephen added.

“Says you,” Harry countered, before looking at the rest. “What about you guys?”

“We all got caught outside during curfew,” Hermione said.

“They were smuggling a dragon,” Draco added.

Gene snorted. “Like you can prove it?”

Hagrid cleared his throat to get their attention and tell them how they were to search for injured unicorns in the forest and send up Red Sparks (Vermillious) if they found them or something happened. It went about as well as expected when Draco spooked Neville into releasing sparks, leaving Harry, Gene, and Draco together as they searched with Fang.

“Look,” Harry said, leaning down and picking up clumped strands of Unicorn Hair next to a drop of silver blood. He pocketed the hair strands in his expansion charmed pouch. “We’re going in the right direction.”

His brother noticed the pouch and asked, “Where’d you get the pouch?”

“Classified,” Harry responded, freezing as they came across the scene.

Draping over the downed Unicorn, a cloaked figure drank deep the luminous silver blood before noticing the interlopers to its meal. It looked up, and Draco fled in terror with Fang. Harry’s wand was already up and out of panic at the grisly scene he fired off a spell. “Flipendo!

The creature raised a hand and the spell rebounded like it hit an invisible wall, sending the streaking comet of orange back to its caster, whose eyes went wide. Like he was kicked by a mule the young boy was sent flying into a tree. Then the world flashed for him as he screamed in pain, the misfortune of having his wand arm impaled upon by a jagged, broken branch the size of a pencil penetrating through it and breaking from the impact.

The creature froze upon hearing the scream and briefly contorted with pain, waging a war between emotions. Once a centaur arrived, it decided to retreat as the boys were carried off to Hagrid by Firenze, where Gene realized after a conversation just who it was they had faced: Voldemort.

He opted to keep silent at the moment.

After arriving in the Madam Pompfrey’s care and getting the wound treated and bones mended, Harry was groggy from the potions when he received a visitor the next morning.

“Professor…Quirrell?” Harry asked, vision blurred as he reached for his glasses. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see how one of my students was doing after a trip to the Forbidden Forest,” he said. “I heard you were attacked. Did…did you see what did it?”

“I didn’t recognize whatever it was drinking the Unicorn’s blood…” Harry said, not noticing the tiny breath of relief Quirrell had or the fact that he loosened his grasp on his wand. He had been planning on hiding the memory with the Forgetfulness Charm (Obliviate). “It could’ve been a vampire.”

“Possibly,” he nodded. “I believe we hadn’t covered that Dark Creature in class or private yet. I’ll see what I can find.”


Time Skip to June 4th

Harry was out the third floor, under his improved Bedazzling Hex, when he saw Ron and Hermione, two of Gene’s friends, leaving the room that they were forbidden to enter in the first place under the pain of death. He supposed it was none of his business, but the playing of a harp drew him in and he entered the room…coming face-to-face with the slumbering three-headed dog behind an opened trap door.

Venturing through the rooms of cleared traps and obstacles, taking a minute to deal with the potion’s riddle, he eventually made his way to a scene he hadn’t been expecting: Gene and Quirrell, one’s hand burnt to the bone while the other was bound by ropes. His frantic thoughts left ceased when Quirrell looked his way and another voice came from behind him. “Harry…Potter…I know you are there.”

With a wave of Quirrell’s wand the hex was canceled and Harry stood there with his wand out, confused as hell. “What’s going on?”

“Come apprentice,” it said, beckon Harry forward. “You will be useful here. Come and assist me in retrieving the stone, and I shall give you more power. More knowledge. Enough respect that you shall be greater that the Boy-Who-Lived…”

“Don’t listen, Harry!” Gene said. “He’s Voldemort! He’s the one who killed Uncle Pettigrew!”

“You can trust me, Harry,” Quirrellmort said, Voldemort had already begun possessing the man and controlling him. “If you want to get out of your brother’s shadow, this is the way. He is an obstacle to your quest for power by merely existing. Hasn’t he caused all problems you faced by simply living that night, long ago?”

“What stone?” Harry asked, eyes shifting between the two. “What does he mean, Voldemort?”

“He’s trying to steal the Philosopher’s Stone!” Gene yelled from his bindings. “Voldemort’s been possessing Quirrell all year!”

“No…” Harry said, shaking his head. He’d been studying under the very person who tried to murder him as a toddler along with his brother. “He’s lying, right?”

“I’ve taught you much, apprentice,” he said, not denying the claim. “I can teach you more. Just prove your loyalty and get the stone from your brother. Serve me and gain power as Quirrell has. I could use someone of your talent among my followers, and you have much room to grow…”

“…Where’s this stone, Gene?” Harry said after a moment.

Gene looked at him in shock. “Are you serious?”

“Tell me or I’ll force it out of you,” Harry warned, his grasp on the wand tightening as magic flowed into it, light gathering like a forming star as he aimed at Gene. The glow became an ominous scarlet as his wand hand trembled from the power being placed behind it. “Last chance.”

Defiance rose in the Boy-Who-Lived eyes. “Never.”

“So be it.” The light turned white, shining like a morning star as the stain became unbearable…and he pointed it towards Quirrellmort. “Flipendo Tria!

The spell knocked the man against the mirror and shattered it into a rain of enchanted glass as he flew through it and into the wall with a sickening crunch and crumbled onto the floor..

“I serve no one,” Harry said as he cut the bindings—and some of Gene’s clothing—with the Severing Charm (Diffindo) so Gene could break free grab his wand off the floor next to him. “Come on!”

The two sped through the rooms when Gene asked, “You were Voldemort’s apprentice?”

“No!” Harry exclaimed, shaking his head. “I was Quirrell’s! That man was not him! I refuse to acknowledge it!”

“So that was all an act to get his guard down?” Gene asked. Harry didn’t answer. “Was it an act or were you seriously—”

“Shut up and focus, Gene!” Harry told him as they ran, gritting his teeth upon hearing the scream of an angry Dark Lord chasing them. As they entered the Devil Snare room, Harry decided to do what he could to even the odds. “Fumos Duo!

Gene conjured Bluebell flames, taught to him by Hermione, to keep the Devil Snare at bay while Harry’s wand spat smoke out like a fountain, filling the room and path up to hinder the sight of the incoming threat. Afterward he threw down the Stickfast Hex to trap anyone who walked through it as the flames died.

Once they were clear Harry climbed first to get through the trap door while Gene came up and slammed it shut. He hit it with a Sticking Charm (Gluternus) to keep it down and then made way to the exit. All the measures they took should have bought them—

NNNNYYYEEEAAAHHH!!”

—about three seconds as the proxy of the Dark Lord howled and the trap door exploded open. The exit to the room slammed shut and locked, immune to the unlocking charm no matter how many times Gene cast, and Quirrellmort appeared, eyes illuminated with power as the possession had been completed.

With a wave of his wand the twins were knocked back and the harp began playing an ominous, haunting tune as he looked at Harry first. Quirrellmort raised his wand and a green light gathered, one that flashed in Harry’s memory to a long night ago, spurring him to summon his ultimate defense. “Foolish boy. Much like Pettigrew, you have betrayed me. If you will not serve me, then die…Avada—”

With a practiced grace done a hundred times over and over since he learned it, Harry recited the only spell he knew that would protect him. “Cotego—”

“—Kedavra/Argenti!” They finished together, the silver shield taking root in front of him, gleaming in the candle light as the emerald green light of the Killing Curse jetted forth, moving like serpentine lightning speeding towards prey. There was a loud gong as the curse hit the shield, which shattered in an explosion due to the difference in power and the inexperience that left some of the conjured steel ending up as shrapnel that decorated the boy’s body.

Harry was thrown back against the wall and slid down, leaving bloody trails as he bled and his breath went near still. Pain—all over, he only knew pain and agony.

Expelliarmus!” Gene cast, taking the possessed man’s wand and snapping it without a second thought, before he could reclaim it. Quirrellmort and extended his hand, wandlessly and silently casting a Strangulation Curse (Suffocio) upon the elder twin. Unable to breath, he slowly slipped into the void of unconsciousness.

The world blurred for Harry as he witnessed his brother being Force-Choked like he had seen when Sherry took him to her place to watch Star Wars during one of the holidays. He spied the enchanted harp playing, lulling the dog into a sleep, and Quirrellmort right in front of it. His choice was one that would scar him for life as he cast a final spell with a limp wrist, about to kill the very man who taught him with it. “Ex…pulso…”

The pressure around the harp increased to rupture it in an explosion, the cessation of the music awaking the sleeping dog…that mauled the possessed man.

The first set of fangs came around and dug into his abdomen, crushing and piercing the rubbery flesh that seeped visceral fluid as the organs gave way. The second managed to get a leg off, the blood flowing out with bits of sinew and meat that rained down as it hungrily ate the morsel. The third…well, it got the rest beginning with the stringy arms that were slightly chewy.

Naturally, all the screams drew the attention of Peeves, who stumbled in. “What’s all the—” he froze for a moment, noticing Harry’s wand trained in the direction of the dog and the mauled professor and left out screaming all around the castle, “POTTER’S KILLED PROFESSOR QUIRRELL! MURDERER! MURDERER!

As Gene laid passed out, Harry looked into Quirrell’s remains and noted, the life was gone as his own would soon be. He had killed his mentor to save his brother, possessed or not, it wouldn’t change that fact. As his vision died he heard the door unlocking and rushing footstep, along with someone calling his name right before the world went black.

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