A.N. I don't own Harry Potter!! Honset!!! ***********************************************************************
Christmas dinner was over. She was sure of it. But, maybe it wasn't over... no. She wasn't there so it was over to her. Her eyelids managed to lift up and survey the room. It was spinning around and around and around... It made her even more dizzy. Yet it mystified her. Sure, Albus Dumbledore could be a strange man at times, but a spinning room? Why in the world would he put something like that in Hogwarts? The students could come onto it and be forever lost in the spinning... and spinning... She shook her head which only proved to worsen the matter.
"Stop it Minerva. You're just drunk." To prove it, she hiccuped and giggled loudly. The morning would be bad if she didn't have Severus make her one of his Anti-Hangover potions. But he'd been giving her snide grins all night, like he knew that she'd be asking him for that very night. Well you won't get away either Severus, she thought with a grin. Minerva McGonagall wasn't the professor of Transfiguration for nothing. One tap here with her wand and *poof!* his drink was just as bad as hers. A devious smile creased her face. It hurt almost and she knew why. Ever since this school year had begun, she'd smiled probably twice. It was one of the few bad things about the school year, she couldn't be herself, she had to be strict.
Waving her wand around, McGonagall managed to produce a Hover Fae. The tiny little creature cast light around the entire room. She didn't truly know how she ended up here. Everything was a blur. She remembered leaving the dinner because if her face got any redder, Dumbledore's phoenix would get jealous. Then after that she tried to make it back to her room and somehow got lost on the way. The Hover Fae seemed curious about this room as much as its creator and shone brighter.
It flew towards something at the far end of the room and let out a high-pitched squeak. McGonagall covered her ears at the sound which had interrupted her thoughts and increased the pain of her headache. Light from the Fae reflected off whatever it had found and shone in her eyes. She dismissed it with a wave of her hand and dropped unceremonally to the floor next to it. The Hover Fae landed on her out-stretched finger and began to shriek high enough to put a banshee to shame in Fae talk. McGonagall tried to keep up with it.
"Now that right there is something you don't see everyday." She began talking to the Fae and gesturing to the large object next to her. "Actually I think Dumbledore's got the other one up there in the Ministry of Magic. Her twin and the only other one. Anyway... it's called the Mirror of Erised."
A few peeps came from the Fae, inquiring what that meant. McGonagall giggled a few times and shushed the Fae loudly.
"I was getting to that. You see there where it has that engraving? Well that says 'I show only your facbe urts desire.' Hence why the name of it is the Mirror of Erised. The Mirror of Desire."
The Fae began to rapidly speak in Fae talk, gesturing with its tiny hands and wondering what 'facbe urts' had to do with desires.
"I can't believe you forgot what facbe urts are! I thought Fae were supposed to remember things like that." She accused the Fae whom did not reply. "Well if you used potions more often you would remember. Facbe urts are the words you use to describe your deepest desire. What you would want more than anything in the entire world. *pause* What do ya mean 'why couldn't they just say that'?! And let anyone who happens to get ahold of it know what it does? If you think the right things, then you will have whatever you desire! We wizards couldn't let that happen."
The Fae took off to look at itself in front of the mirror. Seconds later, it came back to McGonagall and talked about what it had seen, arguing that what it had seen wasn't what it desired most of all. The mirror had lied. At this, the professor giggled even harder.
"Don't you see? It knows even if you don't. You can't lie to it. The first time you look you can't control what you see. Since you don't know what you're in for, it does it for you. After that, you can desire whatever you want." She stopped as the Fae asked her a question. "Well, no. I haven't looked into it before. But I'm sure I know what I'd see."
The Fae laughed, a high pitched tittering that did wonders to excrutiate McGonagall's pain even more. It told her that if she looked, she might not want to look away. The professor sighed and laid her head on her knees.
"I know. Actually, I don't want to look. Dumbledore informed me that he will be using it as his spell to prevent the Sorcerer's Stone from being found. So if tonight I don't look, I won't ever be obliged to." Her drunkness was wearing off, Minerva could tell because her speech was returning to normal. She slid so that he back was pressed against the cool mirror face. The Fae hovered in front of her, staring at itself in the mirror. "Do I want to?"
Its sighing could barely be heard for it was so tiny but the Fae did sigh. It sighed and came closer so that McGonagall could see its tiny face staring into her eyes. But the Fae didn't have genders, so she was destined to still refer to it as 'it'.
It spoke slowly and deliberate Fae words. McGonagall could understand every single one of them. When she had been a student, it was required that each student learn a language. Being the enthusiastic learner she was, McGonagall had used the Time-Turner to learn seventeen different ones. In fact, she wasn't quike unlike another student at Hogwarts, one she found herself giving points to and favoring.
" 'You must look. It is like the Sorting Hat in your first year. It helps to define who you are. I saw in there something I didn't want to see. But it is true nonetheless.' " McGonagall couldn't help but smile fondly at the little Fae. It spoke sich feeble words that no wizard would ever heed. But maybe it was on to something. " 'There is something you fear in there Minerva. Something that you do not want to acknowledge. But me, being from you. I have seen you, and if I were I would have looked into the mirror AGES ago.' "
She couldn't help but laugh at the earnestness in its voice. "But alas." She started, maybe to try and convince the Fae one last time... or maybe herself. "I am none too sober and would my looking into this Mirror of Desire only let me see what my drunken mind would wish to see or the real me?"
It was impossible not to laugh as the Fae bristled at this attempt to save herself. " 'I never forced you to look. If you do, do it only for yourself. From what you have told me, it doesn't matter if you're unconscious, it will show the truth.' " McGonagall rose from her seat and faced the doorway, the way out.
"I can't believe I'm listening to a spell." She muttered as the Fae held a triumphant grin on its face. "You do realize that you little Fae aren't even supposed to talk?"
It tittered again and flew to the back of her head and unravled her dishevled bun. " 'Then maybe I am your conscience. That you aren't even here at all. Then when you look into that mirror, you shall wake up in a half-drunk stupor, sprawled on the dining hall table with the rest of the teachers. And Hagrid.' " It couldn't help put adding and delighted at the flush in her cheeks.
"You are too... blunt, to be my conscience. Besides, what happened between Rubeus and I was a long time ago." McGonagall said quickly. This Hover Fae wasn't going to get beneath her skin.
" 'Right. That explains why he kissed you tonight.' " This time she could feel her cheeks grow crimson and it spread from her hairline to her neck.
"One snap of my fingers and you're gone." The professor threatened, fingers in the position already. But the wee little tyke didn't accept it.
" 'Oh right sure. Then you would be in complete darkness and stumble around here until finally you collasped and in the morning when you wake up, classes will be half over and you will have missed them all.' " Its victory was evident in it's voice. McGonagall then made an oath to herself never to conjure a Hover Fae again.
She inhaled deeply and slowly turned around. The mirror had a reflection in it. But it was what she had feared it would be.
A girl stood there, hands full of brimkle berries. Red as blood, they stained permentenly and as a child she had used them to line her lips in a dare. But the girl quickly vanished and a woman replaced her. She no more wore black robes but a shining iridescent (and somewhat unmodest) dress, made from dragon scales no doubt. The hair she never let lose cascaded in black waves around her to the waist and smoldering eyes that would gain anything they wanted burned a hole through the mirror. In her hand lie one of the berries that she'd used as a child, her lips darker than they could ever be. Her skin was too white to be her own, and McGonagall slowly reached up and felt her face.
But this wasn't the whole picture, her heart cried out. No. There was something more. McGonagall knew in her deepest desires that she wanted to show off her beauty, to not be restricted to those troublesome glasses and black robes. Yes, that was one of her deepest desires, but the other one was unrevealed. That was, until a dark figure threatened to come into view.
The professor spun out of sight so she couldn't see the mirror anymore. The Fae with its blinding white aura hovered in front of her and pretended not to see the water welling up in her eyes.
"Come with me Fae. Show me the way to my room." The Hover Fae compelled and led the way. McGonagall furiously rubbed at her eyes until the tears didn't exist anymore. Her quarters were in sight when none other than the merry headmaster himself passed her.
Dumbledore stopped her and smiled happily. "I think that Snape has fallen to your improvisions to his drink. I could not stay in there longer for fear that my sides would burst. Merry Chirstmas Minerva."
"Same to you Albus." She said and forced a smile. The headmaster left her thankfully and she knew that he would be asking what was bothering her. A snap of her fingers and the Fae disappeared as well as the candles flickered on. McGonagall caught her image in the normal mirror in her room. Her reflection stared back at her grimly. The Fae had taken her hair down but it only fell a bit past her shoulders in this mirror. That was her image now, the strict but somewhat fun professor of Transfiguration. She wouldn't be the little girl in the mirror again nor would she be the beautiful woman that she could be. As for that dark figure... well, she wouldn't think about that.
McGonagall didn't feel like having mirrors around her this night and waved it away so that it was merely a empty place on her wall. Noises outside her room caught her attention but then she ignored them. It was most likely Harry Potter again. Ever since Dumbledore gave him that Invisibility Cloak he'd been going everywhere in it. Tonight McGonagall didn't have the heart to say anything. After all, it was Christmas.
As if coming back to haunt her, the mirror came back with the Mirror of Erised image in it. Frustrated, the professor slammed her palm into the mirror and watched it shatter. It wasn't bewitched, it wouldn't be forming back into a mirror unless she made it do so. McGonagall sighed and sat down onto her bed. Her hand came to rest on something. Surprised, she found a small box on top of her bed.
Minerva McGonagall had not received a gift since her fifth year at Hogwarts. It was then that her parents had been killed. It was then that her favorite teacher (who had been teaching Transfiguration ironically) Albus Dumbledore had taken her in and let her stay at Hogwarts even during the summer holidays. It was then that she had decided that one day, she'd be headmistress of Hogwarts.
But back to the gift.
It was wrapped in simple brown paper and someone had went through a lot of trouble to use a spell to make her name flash several different colors on the top in fancy loopy handwriting. Not far from her own actually. Slowly, she unwrapped the plain paper and her name stopped flashing. Gently, as if afraid to break the box itself, McGonagall lifted the cover off and saw a bunch of brimkle berries nestled in a crimson scarf.
She allowed a full grin to break out on her face. Never had someone given her a more fulfilling present. But it seemed that wasn't all.
Carefully, McGonagall removed the berries (perhaps Snape could tell her of a potion that used them) and found a folded piece of parchment. She opened it and dropped it out of sheer surprise.
It was a spell using brimkle berries.
She hoped so.
The potion required a few other things she knew that she could pleasently demand from Severus. It was a Glamour spell. A full body one which, as it looked like as she skimmed over it, brought out the best in you and shined it up a bit with polish. It was a spell that whomever had sent it was clear she didn't need.
Two more things remained in the box. McGonagall pulled out the second to last thing. Looking over it, she blushed wildly though no one could see it. A pure blackmail photograph that someone had given up. The two figures in the picture seemed very caught up in their activity and McGonagall cleared her throat only to have the wizards ignore her completely. It was herself, doing a pastime she hadn't experienced in years out under a tree in the Forbidden Forest. Her heart seemed to have stolen the Snitch's wings and used them to flutter around her ribcage. Good thing Hagrid hadn't seen this one.
And finally McGonagall reached the bottom of the box. No longer did she feel frightened by her desire as the mirror had shown it nor was she afraid of the dark figure that had not been revealed. A curiosity swelled up in her mind as to whom this could be from... someone had been watching her and knew that she wasn't fully up to par. That her mind hadn't been as set and she wasn't too happy lately. The bottom of the box held another box about half its size. And when she realized what it was, a smile once again graced her face as it never had before.
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