Author's Note: Like I noted in the teaser, this is an old, old fic, and I didn't feel like going through it and editing out whatever wasn't good anymore. One of my readers from FF.net recommended posting this here, and why the F not, so here we are.
Try not to cringe. It's horrible.
The Theory of Magic
All heads in the great hall turned to the first year who had yelled; the legendary Harry Potter. He was seen muttering softly to himself, and even the people right next to him – Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley – could only catch snippets of what he was saying.
“Atoms… Manipulation… Cores… Switching around… Willpower…” And then on normal level; “Willpower? Could that be it?” He looked around and saw everyone staring at him. He blushed and stood up quickly. “I need to do more research.” And with that, he left the Easter feast to find the Library.
It was heard for the second time that day, in the library this time.
Five seconds later saw the legendary Harry Potter running away out of the library from Madam Pince faster than he had from Fluffy the Hellhound.
“Alright, now to see if it can be done easier.” Harry said to himself as he walked off to find an empty classroom after hiding from Madam Pince.
An empty classroom was quickly found, because a school with less than a dozen classes that is stated in a castle has loads, and Harry took a seat on one of the chairs after finding an empty one on the second floor.
“Now,” he began talking to himself just like he always did. “According to my research, a wizard manipulates atoms. I guess this is made easier by using wand movements and incantations, but it isn’t necessary, as seen by silent casting. Silent casting requires willpower and visualization. Therefore, should I have enough willpower and imagination, I would be able to turn this air into… let’s say a piece of human flesh, because I know what atoms it’s made out of.”
Harry held his wand out, closed his eyes, and imagined the air in front of him – including atoms N2, O2, Ar, CO2, Ne, He, CH4, Kr, H2, and Xe – into a piece of human flesh – including atoms H2O, C6H12O6, H, C, O2, N, P, and S, because DNA is unneeded – and, basically, willed it to shift.
Harry opened his eyes, but nothing had happened.
He pouted, but kept trying. He knew it would work eventually, so he was just going to keep trying until it did.
A few days of practicing later, Harry shouted his favourite word for the third time; it had worked.
In front of him was a piece of human skin. Sure, it was disgusting, sure, he was tired, but it worked! His theory was correct!
Now, Harry mused, I only need to learn the atoms of everything I want to do and I’m golden!
He chuckled at the absurdity of it as he turned back to the flesh to try and make it back into air.
I hope I don’t accidently turn it into 100% CO or something and breath it in. That would suck.
Harry grinned as he took in the few potions in front of him. Hermione turned to him curiously, parchment still in her hands.
“Have you figured it out already?”
Harry nodded happily. “Yes, indeed. This one,” He pointed to a small bottle at one end of the table, “can make us go past and this one,” he pointed to the other end, “can make us go back.”
Before Hermione could say anything, Harry had downed the first bottle. “There.” He started walking to the fire they hadn’t been through yet. “I’ll be back in time for dinner!”
And then Harry was gone, leaving behind a worried Hermione still holding the parchment.
Harry, in the meanwhile, had come across a room filled with a giant mirror – the mirror of Erised, to be precise – and a familiar man in a purple turban.
“Quirrell?!” Harry asked in surprise, before shaking his head. “I always knew it was you, you bastard.” He pointed his wand at them and summoned the turban – technically a fourth-year spell, but an immensely useful one so Harry had taken the effort to learn it – revealing a hideous face, reminiscent of a snake.
“Yes, I should’ve guessed. Well, goodbye.” And Harry, who had practised extensively with turning air into human flesh and the other way around, expertly turned Quirrell into air, leaving behind his clothes, wand, and an enraged spirit of Voldemort.
“You stupid child! I was almost there!” It raged, before passing through him; the shock made him fall backwards into a brick wall; he knocked his head and went out like a light, to be found a few minutes later by a worried Dumbledore.
Again, the magical word was heard, this time from deeply below the school. By now, one year has passed since the last time the word was heard.
Harry, believed by most of the school to be a Dark Lord – not in training, a genuine Dark Lord at the age of twelve – had just slid down a long pipe together with his friend Ron Weasley and the fraud Lockhart, who had just blasted himself with a rebounded Obliviate.
“What about Eureekah, mate?” Ron asked stupidly.
“Doesn’t exist… different plane? Nah… Oh, nothing, Ron. Spiritual atoms… Possibility…” Harry muttered to himself as he paced around.
“Can we go and save my sister then?”
“What?” Harry’s head snapped up, before he nodded. “Oh, yes of course. I think it’s better if you stay here.”
“Huh? Why not? It’s my bloody sister, mate!” Ron spat out, but Harry merely raised an eyebrow.
“Because you don’t know a single offensive spell besides Flippedo, which nobody ever uses in a duel.”
“Do you know any, then?” Ron challenged.
“Yes, of course. Reducto, for example. Exploding curse. Originally used for drilling holes in mines. Excellent for drilling holes in Dark Lords’ bodies or heads.”
“Yes, Oh.” Harry rolled his eyes before setting off in the direction opposite of the slide. “Just be ready for when I come back with your sister.” He called over his shoulder.
Ron's dumb reply echoed through the damp cave as he walked away. “Uh, of course.”
Harry rolled his eyes again. “Why I put up with him, I’ll never know.”
Five minutes, an opened door, and a short walk later, he found who appeared to be Tom Riddle standing next to Ron’s sister – Gin-something – sneering down at her. Harry frowned when he saw that expression. He knew it all too well; it was something Snape used against him every time he saw him.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Riddle.” Tom turned around in surprise, until his eyes landed on Harry.
“Oh, good afternoon, Mr. Potter.”
“I don’t suppose you’ll let me take Gin and leave, will you?” Tom merely laughed. “No, I didn’t think so. Now, to test out my theory–” He was taking his wand out as he said this, but Tom raised Ginny’s wand and shouted.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry immediately ducked under it and frowned at Tom.
“Well that’s not nice.” He frowned and closed his eyes, imagining Riddle’s theoretical spiritual atoms shifting into theoretical spiritual air. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and he had to duck under another spell – a cutting spell this time, aimed at his throat.
Before he could do anything else, Tom spoke up. “Speak to me Salazar Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts four!”
The large ugly statue’s mouth opened and a large snake slithered out. Before it could look him into the eyes, he had his eyes closed.
“Stop, Basilisk!” Harry yelled in Parseltongue… well, as much as you can yell in a hissing language anyways.
“Ooh, another speaker! I’ve heard speakers taste well.” The Basilisk replied, clearly having no idea of not eating him.
“Fine, then I’ll do this the old-fashioned way.” Harry muttered to himself with his eyes still closed, and he waved his wand while imagining the Basilisk’s atoms shifting into air.
After training his ability for a year, he found that as long as he knew what atoms the end product existed of, he didn’t have to know what they were in the beginning. This was greatly helpful in magical items, as they weren’t ever studied by scientists.
A shout from Tom a few seconds later let him know that it had worked, even though he was feeling extremely tired. “No! Where has it gone!” Harry opened his eyes, and found Tom’s staring right at him. “What have you done to it, boy?!”
Harry chuckled. “I transfigured it into thin air.”
“Argh! I’ll kill you!” Harry’s eyes widened at the Killing Curse shot towards him; he summoned the only thing he could to protect him. The diary that was lying on the floor next to Gin-something.
Tom screamed out as his spell hit the diary, which burst into flames. “No! Curse you, Potter! Voldemort shall have his revenge!”
Harry raised an eyebrow as he slowly disappeared, but didn’t comment. He had a damsel in distress to save, after all.
Hermione had just turned the time-turned three times and, while the world around them was… fast-forwarding back in time, Harry had shouted.
“Oh, I’m thinking about temporal magic and atoms.”
“Yes, it’s quite complicated. Oh look, we’ve arrived!” Harry was grinning and looking around, before he was suddenly pulled forwards by his best friend.
“What are you doing?! I need to think on this!” He cried indignantly, but Hermione shushed him.
“You can do that in three hours.”
“But I might forget about it!”
“But what if I will!”
“Oh, would you just SHUT UP!” Hermione roared with clenched fists.
“Fine.” Harry sulked for the rest of their trip in time.
Voldemort frowned at him from where he had just stepped out of his cauldron. “What, is the boy-who-lived using muggle expressions now?” All the Death Eaters assembled laughed a loud and fake laugh.
“No – well, yes actually, but that isn’t the point.” Harry explained from where he was hanging from the tombstone. “The point is, ritual magic is something I haven’t heard of yet, and I have just figured out how throwing in bones, flesh, and blood can make a homunculus!”
Voldemort looked intrigued. “Indeed? Well, I’ll let you spend your last minutes explaining this to me.” He said, as if it was a big honour. Harry didn’t mind though, he merely nodded.
“Okay! I assume you’ve placed runes somewhere, Wormtail?” The rat nodded fearfully. “Okay, so Runes are timed spells, basically. They, like spells, change atoms but only when something happens – usually they’re just powered, but if they need to do large stuff, like make something from air, they will need a sample of what is required. I think you will find, Tom, that you have no organs, reproductive, digestive, or otherwise, and will be unable to eat, drink, shit, or pee.”
With wide eyes, Voldemort looked down his pants to see that, indeed, his beloved Basilisk was gone. “No!” he screamed out in anguish.
Harry smirked smugly. “Yes.”
“No!” Voldemort cried even harder.
“Yes!” Harry replied in the same tone, his smirk even wider.
“Potter! I’ll kill you!” He screamed out in anger, pointing an accusing finger at his nemesis.
“You were already planning to do that, weren’t you? And besides, it’s Wormtail who forgot to add them. If he’d scarified his own package instead of his hand…”
“How could you!” Voldemort turned to Pettigrew, who was shaking even harder. “If only you had added them, you unfaithful being! Crucio!”
Voldemort laughed as the man’s screams filled the air, and Harry grinned. The man was finally getting some payment for what he’d done to his parents. Voldemort suddenly sulked when he had lifted the torture curse.
“Why?” He asked to the heavens. “Why must you do this to me?!” Then he sat on the grass, put his arms around his knees, and put his head on his arms. Voldemort rocked back and forth for about a minute, until Wormtail spoke up. “Master?”
“Crucio!” Said master immediately snarled, whipping out his wand and pointing it at the rat. Harry shook his head in exasperation. He never learned, did he? He asked himself, before shrugging. The more torture Wormtail underwent, the better.
“Very well.” Voldemort turned back to Harry. “It’s a bad thing, but I can live with it. I’m sure there’s a ritual somewhere requiring the sacrifice of a virgin which gives me my beloved Basilisk back.” Harry made a face at the thought of Voldemort’s willy.
“Well, I’d rather not go there and lose my breakfast, thanks.” He peered at Voldemort for a second.
“You are aware that you have just precisely followed the muggle theory of the five stages of mourning, that usually applies when someone close to you is lost, right? Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance?”
“Shut up, Potter.”
“It’s getting a bit old, Harry.”
Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Ginny, and Neville where in the Department of Mysteries, in the Death Room; the Veil of Death was standing in front of them.
Harry shot a glare at Hermione, who said the latter sentence, but continued grinning nonetheless.
“No, this is awesome! If this could be studied to find which atoms were in here, I could make a Veil of Death on top of every Death Eater, and let it drop! It would be so awesome! Death Eaters getting eaten by death!”
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. “Real mature, Harry.”
Harry stuck his tongue out at her – once more proving his maturity – and continued studying the veil.
This time Harry mumbled it softly; it was, after all, a not-so-joyous occasion.
Dumbledore’s funeral was going on; the old man was currently being laid down in his tomb in the middle of a lake.
The reason Harry said Eureka was because he’d just figured something out; dead atoms, and how to revive them. Something like that worked only when the Killing Curse hadn’t been used; it literally destroyed the soul, and the soul was something Harry couldn’t mend, simply because it wasn’t made of atoms, spiritual or otherwise.
Your memories, instincts, and all that stuff, are made of what Harry dubbed Spiritual Atoms; they don’t exist, yet they exist. It was what ghosts were made of, and Tom Riddle’s spirit from his second year. The Soul, however, simply is. It doesn’t even exist on a spiritual level; it just is, and that was what made the Killing Curse so dangerous, and what makes it pass through shields. The Imperius and the Cruciatus are Spiritual magic – they affect the mind – which is why they aren’t blocked by shields either.
Dementors also simply are. You can’t break a Dementor up into atoms; it’s literally impossible. Same goes with the Patronus spell. It was why the Patronus was the only defence against Dementors. Should you use the killing curse on a Dementor, it’d be the same as using it against Lord Death – that is, if he exists – completely and utterly useless.
When someone dies from… a shot through the head, for example, they are still healable; sure, it’ll take a year or two, but they can still be healed. When the soul is gone, though, nothing can be done.
Too bad Dumbledore was killed by Soul Magic, Harry thought sadly as the Ministry workers lowered the lid of the tomb, until it closed with a Thud.
Harry muttered softly as he looked upon Voldemort, who was looking back at him. Crimson eyes met green, and they stared at each other for what felt like an eternity, knowing every eye in the hall was upon them.
“So, Tom,” Harry eventually began, recalling why he had said Eureka, “Did you ever get your Basilisk back?” Everyone else in the Hall looked confused, even as Voldemort’s eyes narrowed, his non-existent nostrils flared, and Harry smirked.
“Yes, Wormtail was kind enough to give his.” Harry’s smirk grew wider, as people around them grew even more confused.
“That’s good. Did anyone else give you one? I, for one, would love to have two basilisks, even if I would look like a freak. Imagine the possibilities when there’s two people in front of you, lying on top of each other…”
Voldemort sighed. “If you’re quite done making innuendo’s, Potter,” Most people grew even more confused as a spare few looked green, understanding what they were talking about, “can we finish this? I’m already over fifty years old, and fighting like this makes me tired.”
“Of course, my old pal.” He levelled his wand at him, and closed his eyes.
Even as Voldemort screamed “Avada Keva–”, Harry merely smiled. “Begone.” He whispered, and with a change of atoms, the feared Dark Lord was nothing but air.
Voldemort never got to finish his two words.
Or use his recently re-acquired reproductive organs, for that matter.
A hundred years later, in Limbo:
“Voldemort, old buddy!”
“What are you doing here?!”
“I specifically asked us both to be placed here!”
“Why would you want that?!”
“Because I can torment you for eternity now! And I get to visit my family whenever I want!”
“I’d like to see you try, Potter.”
“Very well.” He cleared his throat, and began to sing horribly off-key. “It's a world of laughter, a world of tears!”
“It's a world of hopes and a world of fears!”
“What are you doing Potter?”
“There's so much that we share that its time we're aware!”
“Where are you going with this?”
“It's a small world after all!”
“No! Potter! Not that infernal song!”
“Iiit’s a smaaall world aaafter all!”
“Iiit’s a smaaall world aaafter all!”