Title: A Tarnished Mirror's Reflection
Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, I wouldn't be writing this, I'd be too busy rolling in my money.
Chapter 1- Paradox
Harry was surrounded by darkness. The sound of his footfalls echoed off the stone floors, as he aimlessly searched for something, gliding through the dark.
What was he searching for, he wondered. What was calling to him?
In the tenebrous dream, he thought he saw a gleam of light. He reached out towards it...
And encountered the hard, smooth, surface of a mirror.
His hand slid back down to his side, but he stared at the mirror, his mind slowly registering what he was seeing. Instead of his own reflection, it was that of a hooded Death Eater. Harry starred in morbid fascination as the Death Eater lowered the hood of his black robes to reveal his own green eyes.
Harry was face to face with himself.
Surprised, Harry moved back, but the ground crumbled beneath his feet, and the only thing he remembered before waking up, was falling into the abyss. Startled, his eyes snapped open and starred at the wall of his room. His eyes slowly focused, and his thoughts became less hazy. With only the recollection of falling, Harry didn't think it was worth waking Sirius up for, so he sank back into his pillow. After all, it could have been simply an ordinary dream.
"I thought it would be best to call you here Harry, due to your background as an auror. As you are well aware, I do not doubt the capabilities of my staff, however, it is always wise to request the help of others, is it not?" Professor Dumbledore smiled mildly, leading Harry and Sirius down a corridor.
"If it's really dangerous, you should leave Snape alone to deal with it." Sirius grumbled. His black hair looked particularly mussed, and the buttons on his robes weren't done up properly.
"No one asked you to come Sirius, you could have slept in." Harry pointed out to his dishevelled guardian.
"And miss a chance to see my godson in action? Surely you must be joking!" Sirius replied, insulted.
Harry raised an eyebrow, but knew better then to believe his godfather's excuse. His eagerness to come along was probably due to the fact that he wanted to see Remus, or use the opportunity to prank Snape. 'Snivellus needs to be kept on his toes,' his godfather had once snickered.
"Here we are." The Headmaster smiled as he opened a door. "We thought a few alarm spells would be in order, but so far there has been no sign of magical activity. Filius was unable to determine the nature of the charms on this object, and Minerva assures me that the object has not been transfigured, that it is indeed, quite simply, a mirror."
Sirius and Harry stepped into the room and glanced at the full-length mirror. Harry felt a twinge of familiarity, but ignored it, shrugging it off as a recollection of the mirror of Erised.
"So it was found at which of Voldemort's former hideouts?" Sirius asked.
"This particular item was found in Riddle Manor, though from where originated before falling into Voldemort's possession is unknown by all." Professor Dumbledore murmured.
"I'm assuming that the Ministry found it first, since they were the ones searching the house. So how did you come about it Headmaster?" Harry asked as he performed a series of dark magic detection spells.
"Ah! Though I would very much like to boast of my influence on the Ministry, you and I know very well that that is not the case." Professor Dumbledore's eyes twinkled brightly. "To tell you the truth my dear boy, a member of the Order working at the Ministry noticed this mirror in the trash and had the presence of mind to realise that this is not simply a muggle mirror."
Harry nodded, "I'd like to meet the muggle who would carve the crest of Slytherin into the frame of a mirror." He ran his finger along the carving of a snake on the top corner of the frame. "I can't detect any traces dark magic on this mirror. In fact, I can't sense any magic on it at all."
"Yes, yes! Which is why the Ministry decided to discard it, believing it was simply a muggle looking glass. However, you know from experience Harry, that things which may appear harmless are often times the most dangerous."
Harry nodded absentmindedly.
"Perhaps," Professor Dumbledore started, "due to your unique talent, you may be able to uncover secrets that are kept hidden to those of us who do not understand."
Harry raised an eyebrow at this. The Headmaster was obviously referring to his status as the only living parcelmouth. Deciding it was worth attempting, Harry faced the mirror and concentrated on speaking to the snakes.
"Reveal yourself to me." He hissed.
Silence weighed heavily on the room. The mirror remained static.
Harry sighed and turned to leave the room. Unbeknownst to any of the room's occupants, the mirror's silvery surface had become cloudy.
"I'll start by reading whatever information the staff has come up with, as well as writing a list of possible phrases or incantations I could say in parcelmouth."
"But for now," Harry continued, unaware of the soft hissing, "we should get some sleep. We will start our research in the morning, but I'll ask professor Snape if he has any information that may be useful before going to bed."
The Headmaster nodded. "Indeed. I must inform others of the recent events. And perhaps take some tea. The Headmaster of a prestigious wizarding school in China was kind enough to send me a rather curious type of tea. It came in a variety of flavours such as fruits or nuts and is bubbly! Quite honestly, I cannot think of a suitable gift to send back. Would you have any ideas?"
Harry and Sirius stared at the old man dumbly. Harry was the first to react. "Sorry Headmaster, we have no ideas."
"A shame. It is always so difficult to impress the heads of other magical institutions. Perhaps one of the Weasley Wizarding Wheezes' newest concoctions will have to do." Muttering to himself, Professor Dumbledore retreated to his office.
"Crazy old coot." Sirius muttered, ruffling his hair.
Harry said nothing, but gave a small smile. Despite all that had happened, the Headmaster retained his eccentricity. He would never dream of a place where Albus Dumbledore wasn't an eccentric old man.
Harry and Sirius left to go to the dungeons, unaware that the milky surface of the mirror was becoming darker.
"Come to us."
Hey there peeps! I've always wanted to do an alternate dimension fic, but it there's one thing I hate it's when I finish reading a fic and I think, "I have the most nagging sense of deja-vu. I must have read at least 3 fics with the same plotline." That's why original fics are so appreciated in the Potterverse. I just hope I'm not adding to the monotony!