Harry discovers a magic mirror that can show him his father's image.
Through the Looking Glass and What Harry Saw
Harry examined the object before him. It was a standing mirror, about seven feet tall. Noticing something written on top, he began to move in front of it. The Mirror of Erised, it read. Then, Harry looked down at the glass itself . . .
Harry blinked, then spun around. There was no one behind him. He turned back to the mirror, then turned back around. Still nothing. Finally, he returned his attention to the mirror in front of him.
He saw himself, of course, but he wasn't alone. There was a man standing behind him, tall and handsome with brown eyes and dark hair, very messy dark hair . . . just like his own.
Harry's brain told him what he was seeing was impossible; he knew who the man was, had seen him in pictures, but he was . . . dead . . .
"Dad . . .?" Harry asked. Maybe it was only his imagination, but the image in the mirror nodded to him. Harry reached out and touched the glass. He touched his own hand, but his father—or who or whatever the image in the glass was—reached out and placed his hand on Harry's shoulder. In the real world, he could almost feel the slightest pressure . . .
"Your father?" Hermione asked. The trio were sitting in the library—at one of the back tables.
"Yes," Harry nodded.
"Harry . . . How's that possible?" she asked, stopping herself saying "He's dead."
"I . . . I don't know," the young wizard admitted.
Under the table, Daphne squeezed his hand. "Maybe we should all take a look at this mirror," she suggested.
"Maybe," Harry mused.
Hermione squirmed in her seat. "Are you sure that's a good idea, Harry? You almost got caught once already."
"It'll be fine, Hermione," Daphne insisted. Turning back to Harry, she said, "C'mon, Harry, let's go find out what this mirror is."
Harry sighed. One thing was for sure; as long as he had Daphne, he'd never have trouble making a decision . . .
"Ouch! Harry, you're stepping on my toes!" Hermione complained.
"I'm sorry," he said. The three were huddled under Harry's Cloak, walking down the halls as Harry tried to guide them back to the classroom with the Mirror. Shuffling, actually, the Cloak was large, but three children still took up a lot of space.
They came to a crossroads of sorts: two halls, one going straight forward, the other headed to the right. They stood still for a moment. Then, Harry groaned. "I'm sorry," he said. "But I can't remember which one to take—"
"What was that?" Hermione asked. The group shifted and shuffled around under the Cloak.
"It sounded like it came behind us," Daphne whispered.
"Mrs. Norris!" Harry hissed. "I think in came that way."
"Which way?" Hermione asked.
"Straight ahead," Harry amended. Behind them, another THUD! sounded.
"The other way!" Daphne hissed. Shuffling and scuttling along like some kind of giant, invisible crab, the trio made their way down the second corridor.
"In here!" Harry whispered, stopping in front of a door so fast that the two girls collided into him. This in turn caused them all to fall over. It took the trio another five minutes to sort themselves out but, thankfully, no new sounds resounded down the Halls.
"I think we lost it . . . or them," Hermione said, getting up. She offered her hand to Daphne, who thanked her as she accepted it.
"Why did you stop, Harry?" the blond asked.
Retrieving the Cloak, the young wizard answered, "Because we're here."
He opened the door. The three stepped in. It was exactly as he remembered it, right down to the shadows on the floor. The girls walked around the Mirror, examining it from the sides and the back; they avoided the reflective front.
"I thought it'd be decorated more," Daphne mused, peeking diagonally up at the Mirror's title.
"How does it work?" Hermione asked. She was staring intently at the frame, looking for some hidden enchantment in the wood. However, she strayed a little too far in front of the device and saw herself in the glass. "Holy Cricket!" she cried, standing strait up.
"Do you see him?" Harry asked, rushing to her side, looking into the mirror, he only saw the two of them.
"No," she answered. "It . . . It's "me!" Ignoring her friends, she went on. "I'm older; I'm receiving the Order of Merlin from Dumbledore! And my parents are there, and you're there, too! Both of you!" Hermione's eyes were shining like tiny mirrors themselves.
"I don't think Dumbledore gives out the Order of Merlin," Daphne said, smiling as she reached up to wipe Hermione's eyes.
"Oh," the Muggleborn girl said, blushing slightly. "What do you see, Daphne?" she asked.
". . . Tell you another time," the Slytherin witch answered, her own face reddening a tiny bit. In the Mirror, she saw the three of them as adults, sitting on golden thrones and trading kisses.
"So, we each saw something different?" Harry asked, trying to look around his friends and into the Mirror again. He couldn't see anything . . .
"Ah, hello, Harry. I thought I might find you here."
Harry whirled around and sprang to his feet, having been sitting crisscross in front of the Mirror. Or rather, he tried to whirl around and spring to his feet. In practice, he got tangled up in his own legs and wound up on his knees. Pushing his glasses back on his nose, he got up uch more slowly. "Professor Dumbledore?" he asked.
The Headmaster smiled a little, his eyes twinkling behind a pair of half-moon glasses. "Good evening, Harry. I apologize for not introducing myself to you properly before now." If Harry began sweating (his mother and uncle had warned him not to let this happen), the elderly wizard seemed not to notice it. "I see that, like so many before you, you have discovered the wonders of The Mirror of Erised. Have you figured out how it works?"
Harry swallowed, glancing back at the Mirror. He tried to remember what Hermione and Daphne had said about what they had seen in the Mirror when he'd shown it to them a few nights previously. "It . . . I think it shows us what we want," the Slytherin answered.
"Very good, Harry," the Headmaster replied. "Five points for Slytherin. Yes, the Mirror allows those who look into it to see the thing they desire most apparently made manifest . . ."
"What do you see, sir?" Harry asked.
"Me? Oh, I see myself holding a new pair of socks. One can never have enough socks," the elderly wizard replied with a smile. Harry, of course, didn't believe this for an instant, but—he realized—it was a very personal question. "Unfortunately, Harry," Dumbledore continued. "The Mirror only gives the appearance of what the viewer wants most. It is still only an illusion." Turning to look Harry in the eye, he continued, "The Mirror will be moved tomorrow night, and I must ask you not to go looking for it again." Leaning forward, he whispered, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
Straitening, he began to walk out of the classroom. Pausing at the door, he added, "Good night, Harry. You may leave when you're ready; I believe you will find Mr. Filch is otherwise occupied tonight and will not be able to catch you breaking curfew."
After he left, Harry turned and looked into the Mirror one last time. In it, he saw tears slide down his face. His father moved, once again placing his hand on Harry's shoulder, but this time, Harry's imagination didn't fool him; nothing touched his shoulder in the real world . . .
[*Author's Notes: Poor Harry! This chapter ended a lot angstier than I thought it would (Is that even a word?). Hopefully the next one will be a little more upbeat. Also, apologies to the those of you who wanted to know what was going on with Tracey and Susan.