The Looking Glass Lesson
By: Isis Malfoy
Disclaimer: JKR owns all. Sigh.
Summery: Even wizards as wise as Albus Dumbledore haven't learned all the lessons there are to learn, and the Mirror of Erised has one to teach. AD/MM
A/N: Just a cute bit of fluff staring my favorite Couple!
The Mirror of Erised had been in Hogwarts for a great many years. It had been created by Nicholas Flamel, accidentally, back when he'd been looking for the sorcerer's stone. It had stood in Hogwarts since the day of its conception. For years it had stood silent, crying within itself as men wasted away in front of it, choosing to stare at what they wanted, rather than going after it.
The Mirror never spoke, or did anything under its own power; not that it couldn't, but no one knew that. Still, the mirror decided that perhaps it was time. There was a man. He had been coming to see the Mirror every day for close to a century. He'd appeared once before he started his daily ritual, as a student. He had seen what he wanted, but he'd been unimpressed and he'd simply left. The Mirror had been very impressed; few people were able to do that.
The boy didn't return for years. And when he returned he wasn't a boy, he was a man. A man with a confident air, long auburn hair and a long beard. But the Mirror recognized him. There was a student sitting in front of the Mirror and the man, Professor-the boy had called him, was there to drag the child away. The Professor looked into the Mirror and his gaze widened. The Mirror knew exactly how he felt. It was disgusted by what it was showing too. How was it that an eleven year old child could want this?
The young boy wanted power, more power than any other person on the planet. He wanted people to fear him and worship him, and he wanted destroy any who had angered him. The man guided the boy out of the room with instructions not to seek it out in its new home and returned. He raised his wand to cast the spell and froze. His vision had changed. The mirror now showed him with a girl next to him. The Mirror appraised this young woman carefully. She wasn't really a girl. She looked like one, but she was clearly more grown up inside. She had dark eyes and glasses that continually slipped down her little nose. She kept pushing them up with a frustrated sigh that made the Mirror image of the man chuckle. The girl also had long black hair. She held the man's arm and looked at him adoringly.
He stared unmoving for a bit. But then he whispered the spell, brokenly and distracted. Every day after that the Man came to the mirror. He never stayed long, but he always came. Over the years the woman grew older, but the scene never changed. The mirror became disappointed with the man. He always went on with his life, and clearly others thought he was very wise, but he came every day, and so the mirror knew he was not going after his desire. The Mirror did not meet the woman until much later.
The man-who was now known as Headmaster- had come to draw away a boy who had come for three days straight. The mirror's heart went out to the boy. All the boy wanted was his family, but the mirror knew the boy was in danger of being drawn to far in and so it was grateful when the Headmaster took him away. Before he left the boy asked what he saw in the mirror. "I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks." He lied.
The boy left then and the man turned to the mirror with a sad sigh. He watched himself and the woman in the mirror for longer than usual before tearing his gaze away to the frame. "Tomorrow I will have a task for you my friend."
The next day the mirror was relocated to a hidden chamber. Many more professors, some the mirror had seen before, looked in. Then she came, the woman the Headmaster saw. The mirror recognized her and for the first time every wanted to cry out. She saw him. She saw the man- the Headmaster- he stood behind her, arms around her waist, holding her close and placing a soft kiss on shoulder. She muttered a cry and fled from the room.
The Man watched her go and turned back to the mirror. In his hand he held a beautiful stone. He muttered a spell and the stone entered the glass. Then he muttered a spell that placed conditions on who could remove the stone. The Mirror paid close attention.
The Mirror didn't see either one of them for a very long time. Actually, the Mirror didn't see anyone for a long time. Then suddenly there was a man wearing a purple turban and not long after the boy who wanted his family came back and the stone was out of the glass. There was a fight. At the end of the fight the man came back. He rescued the boy and took the stone; he didn't spare a glance for the glass.
To the Mirror's surprise the man didn't return the next day. The woman did. She stared into the glass. Tears streaming down her face. The Mirror decided it was time to do something, so it felt the spell the man had used and drew her into the glass. Then it felt its own conditions.
"Don't be frightened." The mirror whispered to its guest. "But something had to be done; I couldn't wait idly for you two to waste away. And then he taught me the spell."
"What are you talking about?" She whispered in a shaky voice.
"The man-Headmaster-he will rescue you."
"Al...Albus? But what if he never comes down here?"
"He will." The Mirror informed her confidently.
And sure enough the man came only a few hours later. He looked solemnly into the glass and was surprised to see the woman in there, really in the glass, not her image. "The Mirror preformed a spell." She mouthed to him.
Albus looked at the frame, studying it. "So you're conscious. And you learned my spell." He walked around the mirror, a thoughtful expression on his face. He came back to stand in front of it, still thinking. The woman banged on her side of the glass and caught his attention. He smiled at her. "Patience Minerva, I'll get you out." She simply narrowed her eyes and put her hands on her hips. "What conditions have you set on her release I wonder?" He mused. His eyes widened and locked with her dark ones through the glass. "What do you see in the mirror Minerva?"
"What indeed?" The Mirror asked its guest. "Should we tell him Minerva?"
Minerva had been watching Albus, but after he asked his question she blushed and dropped her eyes to study her feet.
"He's talking to you." The mirror informed her.
She looked up slowly and he touched the glass. She put her hand over his. "I love you Minerva." He whispered.
The glass dissolved between them and her hand was in his. He pulled her out of the glass and into his arms. "I think Nicholas's mirror was trying to teach us a lesson."
"Stop wishing and start living?" She guessed with a smile as she threaded her hands in his hair.
"Something like that." The mirror watched proudly as the man and the woman shared their first real kiss.
"We should go up to the leaving feast." Minerva told him quietly when he pulled away a bit.
"I'll be right up." She held his hand as she walked away, only letting go when she absolutely had to. He watched her back out, a smile on both their faces. Once she was gone he turned back to the Mirror. "Thank you friend."
He was gone moments later. The Mirror still saw the man and the woman, usually together, when a student had begun to waste away in front of the mirror. They told the student the mirror's lesson and sent the child away, then the Mirror would be sent to a new room. The couple no longer stood wistfully in front of the glass. And the Mirror was happy for them.