Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or the other characters of JKR's universe.

This is the part of my story "HP and the Twists of Fate" that I removed since it was a bit too close to the original.

That night, Harry, Ron and Hermione waited nervously for the Gryffindor common room to empty. Once it seemed to be, Harry pulled his invisibility cloak from a pocket of his robes,

"Right, let's go" he told his friends and they moved to the Portrait covering the entrance to Gryffindor Tower.

"Where are you three going?" a voice in a corner of the room said.

They were confronted by Neville appearing from behind an armchair.

"Oh, uh, nowhere." Harry said lamely.

"You're going out, aren't you?" Neville asked, "You're going out to protect the Philosopher's Stone."

The trio stared at him in shock and consternation.

"Neville," Hermione said, "What are you talking about?"

"Don't worry," Neville said, smirking, "I overheard you a couple of time discussing the Stone being hidden here. One of you said that Professor Snape may want it. I want to help you. Don't forget, my parents are aurors just like Harry's Dad. They've taught me a few things over the years."

Harry pulled Ron and Hermione to one side. "What do you guys think?"

"Harry, can the cloak fit all of us?" Hermione asked, "Remember, those times we pulled pranks, three people moving under the cloak was not too much fun."

"I know, Hermione," Harry said, "But he is good with spells in class. Plus, we haven't got time to waste arguing with him. Snape could be charming Fluffy by now."

They turned back to Neville who had been waiting patiently.

"All right, Neville, you can come but do exactly as we say." Harry said.

Four was a tight fit for Harry's invisibility cloak but, luckily, they didn't meet anyone in the corridors.

When they got to third floor corridor, they heard heavy snoring through the door and soft music playing. Fluffy was asleep while a harp was at one side, playing without anyone there. Neville's eyes widened at the sight of the three-headed dog but didn't say anything.

The three boys pushed one front paw off the trapdoor. Harry peered down but couldn't see any bottom.

"I'll go first," he told the others. "Don't follow until I say so."

Harry lowered himself through the hole until he was hanging by his fingertips then dropped down. After several seconds of falling, he landed on something soft. He called back, "Its okay. There's a bit of a drop but I landed on something soft. I think it's some sort of plant."

Soon, all three dropped down to join him. Just as Ron, who was the last one down, landed beside them, the plant started to wrap tendrils around them. Hermione had dropped near the end of the plant and managed to wriggle free before it got a good grip on her. The three boys, however, were being slowly strangled.

"Great, this is Devil's snare." Neville said, "It likes the dark and the damp. You need fire to kill it. Now if we can just light a fire."

"But where are we going to get some wood?" Hermione called.

"WOOD! What do you need wood for?" Ron shouted at her, "AREN'T YOU A WITCH! USE YOUR WAND!"

"Oops!" Hermione said. She brought out her wand and muttered something, causing a jet of flame to hit the plant. It soon relaxed its grip on the boys, allowing them to move off it onto the stone floor.

"Great work, Neville, Hermione." Harry said, as they watched the plant burn up.

Neville grinned, "Always liked plants and herbs. Dad thinks it's a bit odd for a guy, but Mum and Gran always gave me books on them."

They entered a stone passageway that seemed to slope downward. All they could hear was the steady drip of water trickling slowly down the walls. The passageway ended in a large chamber with a very high ceiling.

The sound of soft rustling and clinking drew their eyes up. High above were numerous small, jewel-bright birds. On the other side of the chamber was a heavy wooden door.

They crossed to the door, keeping a close eye on the flying figures. They found the door locked. No matter how they hard the four of them tried, they couldn't budge it. Hermione even tried the Alohomora charm.

Wondering what to do, Harry looked around and noticed several brooms propped up against the wall. Then he looked up and watched the birds soaring above.

"Hey, wait a minute, guys," he said, "They aren't birds, they're keys. Those broomsticks over there will let us catch one of them, the right one."

"How will we know which one?" Ron asked, "There are hundreds of them."

Neville and Ron examined the lock. "The handle looks like it's made of silver." Neville said.

"Yeah, we need to found an old-fashioned key made of silver."

"Right," Harry said, "Ron, Neville, we'll all go up and try to find the right one. Hermione, stay down here and we'll drop it to you. I've a feeling the other keys won't like it when we do."

The three boys each grabbed a broom and took off. They circled around and looked over the numerous keys.

After a while, Harry shouted, "OVER THERE! That large key with the bent wing, the one with bright blue wings…it looks like Snape had used it already."

The three boys chased after it. When they had trouble catching up to it, Harry had Ron and Neville herd it to him. Using his seeker skills, Harry managed to grab the key and toss it down to Hermione. As soon as he did, the other keys started to chase him. Ron and Neville landed and helped Hermione open the door. Harry flew through the open door and Neville slammed it shut before the other keys could pass through.

The next room was initially dark, but as soon as the door closed, torches lit up all around the room. The four Gryffindors gaped at the sight of a huge chessboard that the light revealed. They were behind the black pieces, and across them were the white chessmen in front of another door.

"Now, what?" Harry asked.

"Um, it looks like we have to play our way across the room," Ron said. He walked up to one of the black knights and asked it if they had to join them to get through. When it nodded, he gulped and turned to the other three.

"No offense to the three of you, but none of you are as good at chess as…"

"Ron, never mind that," Harry said, "just tell us what to do."

"All right, we'll have to take the place of three pieces. Harry, take the place of that bishop over there. Hermione, stand in place of that castle. Neville, you'll be the other castle. And me," Ron said, squaring his shoulders, "I'll be a knight."

The game began with a move by a white pawn. Soon, pieces of chessmen were flying all over the place. Neville received a gash on his forehead as he subdued a white pawn.

Finally, Ron told them he had to let the white queen take him. In spite of the other three's protests, Ron moved forward in front of the white queen, threatening the white king. The white queen moved to Ron and hit him hard over the head.

Hermione screamed when Ron fell, but stayed where she was. Harry shakily moved forward to check the white king. As soon as the white king threw down his crown, the other three ran over to Ron. They were relieved to note that he was only unconscious.

Neville offered to stay with him after they had bandaged his forehead. Hermione looked forlornly at Ron before reluctantly agreeing.

In the next room, Harry and Hermione found an unconscious troll. They quickly moved around it.

As soon as they entered the next room, a purplish pillar of flame descended in front of the door, blocking their way back. Another pillar of black flame appeared in front of another door on the other side of the room.

On a table in the middle of the room were seven bottles of different sizes and shapes and a piece of parchment. Hermione picked the parchment up and read it. Harry read it over her shoulder.

"It's a logic puzzle, Harry," she said, her eyes shining and a smile on her face.

Harry groaned. Most wizards had barely a shred of logic, preferring the way of magic.

"Then we're going to be stuck here forever," Harry said.

"No, we won't," Hermione said, "Everything is here. Let's see, three hold poison, two hold wine while of the last two, one would send the drinker forward and the other back."

Harry's forehead furrowed in thought. …poison tries to hide….some on nettle's wine's left side….different are those who stand at either end….neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides….second left and the second on the right….twins once you taste them.

"So, that means…"Harry said.

"The smallest bottle will get us through the black flame," Hermione said, "to the Stone."

Harry frowned, "That bottle's content is just enough for one of us. I guess that rounded one at the right end will let us go through the purple flames back to Ron and Neville."

"Yes," Hermione said.

"All right," Harry said, "I'm going on. You take the other potion and head back. Get Ron and Neville to the hospital wing. Then, send an owl after Professor Dumbledore either Hedwig or Barny. We'll need him to handle Snape. I could hold him off for a while but I don't think I'm a match for him."

"But, Harry," Herminone said, "What if he's got You-Know-Who with him? You can't handle them both."

"Well, I survived him once," Harry said, trying to smile, "I may get lucky again."

Hermione suddenly embraced him.

"Hey!" Harry said, surprised by the sudden show of emotion.

"You can do it. You're really a great wizard you know."

"Not like you," Harry said, smiling.

"Me!" Hermione said, smiling a little, "Books! And a little cleverness. There are more important things like friendship and bravery. Just be careful, Harry."

With that, she drank the potion in the rounded bottle, then stepped calmly through the purple flames and through the door.

After seeing her go, Harry squared his shoulders, gulped down the contents of the tiny bottle and moved up to the other door.

When he had gone through the door, he saw that someone else was there. But he was surprised to see Professor Quirrell there, instead of Snape, standing in front of a large full-length mirror.

"You!" Harry blurted out.

"Yes, me!" Quirrell smiled, his voice calm. Then he laughed, a cold and sharp laugh unlike the quivering treble Harry was used to, "You probably thought it would be Severus, eh? Yes, he does seem the type. Swooping around like an overgrown bat, greasy hair and all. Beside him, who would have suspected poor s-s-stuttering Professor Q-Q-Quirrell." He laughed again.

"But he tried to kill me!" Harry shouted.

"Him? Hah! I tried to kill you, boy. He was trying to save you, muttering his countercurse. Even then, a few more seconds and I would have gotten you off that broom. Not even your parents could have saved you in time. But your friend Miss Granger interrupted my concentration when she caused Snape to bump me from behind while setting him on fire."

"Snape tried to save me?" Harry said, stunned.

"Yes, surprising, isn't it, especially in the light of his history with your father and his friends," Quirrell said, a cruel smile on his face, "That's also why he asked to referee the next game, to keep me from trying again. It wouldn't have mattered, since I couldn't do anything with Dumbledore there. Well, all a waste now since I can just kill you tonight." With that, Quirrell snapped his fingers and ropes materialized out of nothing and wrapped tightly around Harry.

"You are a nosy kid, Potter, just like your father. You even intercepted that troll on Halloween."

"What! You let the troll in!"

"Yes, I have a certain knack dealing with them as you can see from that troll out there. Now, keep quiet. I have to figure out how this mirror works. Leave it to Dumbledore to come up with something like this. Well, he's in London by now and by the time he gets back, I'll be long gone."

Harry now looked past Quirrell at the mirror. It was a magnificent mirror, almost reaching the ceiling, with a frame of gold and resting on two clawed feet. There was something written along its upper frame: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

Harry couldn't make sense of it. Then, he decided to read it backwards, carefully. Now, he read it as: I show not your face but your hearts desire.

Harry thought furiously as he watched Quirrell circle the mirror. He had heard something of this in some obscure books in his library he had read last year.

Of course! This was the Mirror of Erised! It was supposed to show your most heartfelt desire though it was said that the happiest man would only see himself.

"Now," Quirrell muttered, "How does this mirror work? I can see myself holding the stone and giving it to my master. But how do I get it? Do I break the mirror?"

Hoping to distract Quirrell, Harry said, "Who's your master? It's Voldemort, isn't it? Where is the bloody bastard hiding?"

"Oh, you are so right, Potter. Yes, the Dark Lord is my master. But he isn't hiding. In fact, he's quite nearby. I met him while traveling the world. I used to be so naïve and weak, filled with ideas of good and evil. But he showed me that there is no such thing as good or evil, just power and those willing to use it. Since then, I have served him faithfully, though he is harsh towards failure," Quirrell shuddered, "like that time I failed to get the Stone from Gringotts. But now, he will reward me greatly when I present the Stone to him. Now, how do I get the Stone."

Harry tried to inch towards the mirror, but tripped on the ropes.

Suddenly, he heard a cold voice say, "Use the boy, use him to get the Stone."

Quirrell faced Harry, "Come here, Potter. No tricks now." With a gesture, the ropes disappeared from around Harry. Harry got up slowly.

"Now, come here and stand in front of the mirror. Tell me what you see."

Harry stepped up in front of the mirror, breathing in a strange smell that seemed to come from Quirrell's turban. He saw his reflection, pale and scared-looking. Then, his reflection smiled, placed its hand in a hip pocket, then, when the hand was withdrawn, it was holding a blood-red stone. Winking, the reflection put the stone back into its pocket. Suddenly, Harry felt a heavy weight in his pocket.

"Well? What do you see, Potter?"

I must lie, I have to lie to him.

"I-I see myself shaking hands with Professor Dumbledore," Harry answered Quirrell, "I'm holding the Quidditch Cup and the House Cup."

"He's lying," Harry heard the same cold voice say, "Let me see him face-to-face."

"No, master," Quirrell was saying, "You are not strong enough yet."

"I am strong enough… for this. Don't contradict me!"

Harry watched with sick fascination as Quirrell unwound his turban then turned around. Harry gasped and almost screamed. On the back of Quirrell's head was one of the most hideous faces he'd seen, even more hideous than any he had seen on the telly or his videogames.

It was white as chalk with reddish glaring eyes and slits for nostrils, very snakelike.

"Hello, Harry Potter. We meet again,…. after ten long years."

Voldemort!

"You see what I have become since that night. Mere vapor and shadow….depending on others to provide me with a body…but there are always those willing to take me into their hearts and minds….these past few weeks, faithful Quirrell….has drank Unicorn blood for me….strengthening me…..soon I will have the Philosopher's Stone and with the Elixir of Life, I will be able to craft myself a body…now, why don't you give me the Stone, the one in your pocket."

Harry gasped. He knew. Harry scrambled backward, away from Quirrell and the hideous visage.

"Come now, boy," Voldemort said, "Let me have the Stone. Join me, and I will reward you greatly. I'll even spare your family."

At the mention of his family, Harry grew angry. How dare he! Asking Harry to join him, after trying to kill him back then; that would never happen. He even threatened his family.

"YOU LIAR!" Harry screamed, "You tried to kill me ten years ago! You dare to try and get me to join you. NEVER! No Potter has even gone Dark and I won't be the first one."

Voldemort's face grew uglier as he grew angry, "GRAB HIM! GET THE STONE!"

Harry felt Quirrell's hand on his arm. Harry then felt a sharp pain on his forehead, in the area of his scar, causing him to double over. He struggled mightily then, suddenly, Quirrell let go and the pain eased in his head.

He looked around quickly and saw Quirrell doubled over, clutching his hand, which looked reddish and raw, like it had been burned badly.

"SEIZE HIM!" Voldemort screamed again. Quirrell lunged forward again, knocking Harry down and pinned him down, his hands on Harry's neck. The pain flared in Harry's head again, but suddenly eased as Quirrell withdrew his hands, screaming.

"Master," Quirrell said, "Something's wrong. I-I can't put my hands on him."

"Then kill him, you fool and then get the Stone."

As Quirrell started to withdrew his wand from his robes, Harry pushed his legs up with all his strength, pushing Quirrell off him and backward to sprawl on the ground.

Harry pulled his own wand out as Quirrell reached for his wand, his head turning momentarily around to reveal Voldemort's face again.

A dim memory awoke in Harry's mind concerning that face, a memory of Voldemort pointing his wand at Harry's mother and saying a spell. Harry's mind concentrated on the words of that spell and the wand motion.

"EXPELLIARMUS" Harry screamed, his wand pointed at Quirrell.

A red light flew from Harry's wand and hit Quirrell, throwing backward against the far wall. Harry heard his head smash against the wall with a sickening crunch. As Quirrell's body slid slowly down to the ground, a shadowy form drifted up from it then faced Harry.

"Damn you, Potter!" the figure said, "I'll be back and you will pay for this." With that, Voldemort floated quickly away and vanished through the door.

Harry suddenly felt weak, his knees giving way. He slid down to his knees, then felt dizzy. Wow, that spell must have taken a lot of his energy. Finally, he slipped into unconsciousness just as he heard someone calling, "Harry! Harry!"