DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately, none of these characters are mine; they belong to the amazing JK Rowling (great woman). I have only borrowed them, and pormise to return in them in one piece.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: OK, my first HP fic! Tell me if you like it or not, but no flames, unless you want to face the wrath of my pet Dementor.

SUMMARY: As Father's Day draws ever closer, Harry sneaks out of bed late at night to find the Mirror of Erised so he can see his father, but finds someone who can offer him a greater comfort... Set during the PoA.

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Their friendly chatter felt like taunts to his ears. "So, what are *you* getting your dad for Father's Day?"

Father's Day - a day Harry had dreaded all his life, more than Parent's Evenings or Report Card day at his old school (and Harry had definitely received more than his fair share of bad reports). The Dursely's wrath, he could handle; but the gnawing agony that tore his heart asunder was more than he could bear. In the early years, he would stay in his cupboard, crying softly to himself, until the present-giving was over and done.

His Year Three teacher, a jovial woman (well, at least until he had turned her brown wig a bright shade of blue) called Mrs Anderson, had asked her class to make Father's Day cards. Harry said that, since he was an orphan, could he just draw instead? But Mrs Anderson insisted that he make a card like the rest of the class. "You can give it to your Uncle. I'm sure that he would like that." Harry had acquiesced, despite knowing in his heart that it was futile.

Come Father's Day, Harry joined the Dursely's in the living room for the present exchanging ceremony. He watched nervously as his Uncle lauded over Dudley, thanking him for such a lovely pair of socks (which, strangely enough, Vernon was never seen to wear). Then, Harry stepped forward, and presented the card: "To Uncle Vernon," it read, "Happy Father's Day, from Harry." Vernon Dursely's mouth twisted into a sneer, hatred flickering in his beady eyes. The man promptly ripped the card to shreds in front of the boy's eyes, before ordering Harry to pick the scraps up and taken out to the bin, scolding *him* for making a mess.

When he was outside, away from Aunt Petunia's watchful eyes, Harry let himself cry. He had worked *so* hard on his card, signing it his best handwriting and everything! But Uncle Vernon hadn't even cared. And Dudely, who had a PhD in grinding a fistful of salt into raw wounds, Harry thought bitterly, had never let his cousin forget that day.

Even now, Harry felt the sting of tears in his eyes when he thought about it. Sinking deeper in an armchair, near the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room, he pretended to be engrossed in a book, taking notes for his exams, which were to begin the Monday after Father's Day; but all he could hear was the constant chatter of friends, discussing their plans and trying to outdo one another by boasting of the presents they had bought.

Harry looked up. Ron and Hermione, who had been eyeing him with a measure of concern, quickly dropped their gazes. He sighed, standing. Glancing at his watch, he noted that it was just leaving half-past nine, so with a quick, "Good night," to his best friends, Harry climbed the serpentine staircases to his dormitory.

Instead of going straight to sleep after changing into his pyjamas, Harry rummaged in his trunk, looking for the leather-bound book Hagrid had given him at the end of his First-Year. He turned the pages slowly and decisively, savouring the smiling images of his parents. Then, his heart grew hard as he stopped at the picture of their wedding day.

HE was in that picture!

Like a poison, hatred churned in Harry's gut, whilst the image of Siruis Black smirked at him. It was because of Black's betrayal that he had no father to send gifts to tomorrow, no father to tell, "I love you." It was because of Black that Harry was an orphan who had gown up in the shadow of Vernon Dursely, demeaned, persecuted for being a wizard.

The boy slammed the book shut, stuffing it back into his trunk, unable to remove Black's image from his mind. Burying his face into the pillow, a lone tear trickled from his sea-green eyes as he thought of the parents he would never know, never be able to whisper, "I love you," and have them say the same thing in return. He wished silently just to see his parents, if only for a moment.

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When Harry awoke, the dorm room as silent as a tomb, save for a few muffled breaths from Neville, who had been experiencing sinus problems of late. It was late; probably close on midnight, he thought with a yawn. Sitting up in bed, he stretched, rubbing his eyes. Climbing out of bed, Harry shuffled towards the door, careful to wake the others. He paused in front of the mirror, staring at his reflection for a moment.

Then, the thought struck him. The Mirror Of Erised!

Grabbing his Invisibility Cloak, the only link he had with his father, Harry threw it around his shoulders and slunk down the stairs, cautiously opening the portrait-hole and slipping out into the dark corridor.

"Who's there?" The Fat Lady muttered sleepily, but Harry had already turned the corner, and was creeping down the stairs.

A lone torch still flickered in the main corridor, casting a faint orange glow over the darkened hallway. As he passed the library door, Harry paused. Dumbledore could have moved the Mirror... what guarantee did he have that it was still within Hogwarts?

Suddenly, the sound of shoes slamming against the steps filed Harry's ears. He froze, praying with every fibre in his body that it was not Filch...

Professor Lupin rounded the corner, carrying an armful of books. He murmured quietly to himself, before stopping abruptly. Turning his gaze in Harry's direction, the boy stiffened. "Hello, Harry."

Throwing off his cloak, Harry stared. "How did you know I was there?"

Lupin merely pointed to the floor. "Your shadow." Brushing a crease from his tattered robe, the teacher added, "Now, what are you doing out of bed at this godforsaken hour?" But his tone was not scolding, merely amused. "In fact, don't even answer that, I think I already know. You truly are your father's son."

Lupin had said precisely the wrong thing. Tears began to pour from Harry's eyes, but he wiped them away angrily, ashamed that he had allowed someone to see him cry. He slipped under the cloak again, about to run back to Gryffindor Tower when Lupin griped his arm gently. "Come with me, Harry."

Although Lupin did see it, Harry nodded, as the teacher led him to his study. Upon entering the room, a bronze cage in the corner caught his eye. Half a dozen pixies, sky blue in colour, waved their fists at him, and Harry was filled with the memory of a particularly disastrous Defence Against The Dark Arts lesson during his second year, when Lockhart had made the *enormous* mistake of setting them lose in the class.

Lupin sank into an armchair and bade Harry to sit down. "Now," he said, leaning forward. "I get the feeling that there's something wrong with you. Now, I'm not exactly brilliant at giving advice, but do you want to talk about it?"

The Invisibility Cloak pooled at his feet, Harry nodded. "It's just... Well, everyone's always talking about Father's Day, and what they're getting their Dads, and..."

"You have no father," Lupin finished. "I felt the same as you the year my Dad died." He leaned back in his chair, rubbing hand across his lined brow. "It didn't seem right for everyone to be planning surprises for their fathers, buying gifts and cards, when my Dad had only died three months earlier. It was like no-one cared about me and how *I* felt, like I shouldn't be unhappy. But I suppose it's harder for you, having never known your parents."

"I just want to see them," Harry whispered, "To tell them that I love them. But that's never going to happen."

A look of pity flickered in his eyes as Lupin stood, and opened a drawer in his desk. "I think you would like to see this," he said mysteriously. He handed a Harry a wooden photo frame, leaving the boy to stare in wonderment at the teenager who smiled up at him from the glass.

It was James Potter aged around seventeen, dressed in the scarlet and gold Quidditch robes of the Gryffindor House team, holding the Quidditch Cup trophy in his hands, grinning triumphantly. James lowered the Cup to kiss it for a moment, then lifted it above his head again, a silent cheer escaping his lips.

After staring in fascination for several minutes, Harry handed the picture back to Lupin. "Thank you," he said. Then, out of curiosity, he asked, "Were you one of the people Hagrid wrote to and asked for pictures so he could compile that photo album for me?"

Lupin nodded. "Yes, I was. Lily and James were two of my best friends, even while we were still at Hogwarts. Now," he said with a yawn. "Perhaps it's time you got back to bed, before Mr. Filch starts his rounds." Nodding, Harry stood, and wrapped the Invisibility Cloak around himself. Lupin held the door open for him, but as the boy began to climb the stairs, the teacher called to him.

Turning, Harry made his way back, glad that Lupin could not see the quizzical expression on his face. "Yes, Professor?"

He held out the photo of James. "Here. Take this."

Harry was dumfounded. "Thank you."

A smile crossed Lupin's features. "Now, off to bed with you, or I shall have to call Professor Dumbledore to complain."

Chuckling slightly, Harry made his way back to Gryffindor Tower, clutching the photo to his chest. "Happy Father's day, Dad," he whispered.