Tom Riddle and the Mirror of Erised
By Lady Lestrange
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter characters and previous situations belong to JK Rowlings. No infrigement is meant or implied. No money is made from this Fanfic. Thanks JK.
My only payment for this story is your reviews. Please be generous with your comments: good or bad. LL
I prowled the long corridors of Hogwarts for hours before I found it. It wasn't what I was looking for, of course, but it held me spellbound nonetheless. I couldn't tear my eyes away. One would have thought that looking into a mirror, I should see myself, but not this mirror. It was a magical mirror. I didn't have much experience with magical mirrors having been raised by Muggles, but I knew that mirrors should reflect the face of the one looking at it. This mirror revealed the shady outline of a woman. She was only a shadow, and I couldn't see her face, but I knew who she was. She was my mother, and she was holding me, cuddling me as I had never been cuddled as a child. Sometimes, the dark outline of a man came up behind her and put his hand on her shoulder in a loving gesture that only existed in my mind. This mirror could not show the truth. I knew it was not the truth, but I could not help looking at it.
Each night without fail, I climbed the stairs to search out the room where I knew it would be waiting. After a while, I thought I was climbing those stairs not to look into a mirror but just to see my mother: a person who loved me. Sometimes her hair was silky auburn, lying in waves on her shoulder and with my baby hands I grasped it. Sometimes it was a mop of dark curls like my own. I could almost smell the soft floral scent of her perfume. She was an angel that existed only in my mind and that mirror. Sometimes she was blonde, but not often. I didn't think that she was blonde, but I didn't know. I never saw a picture of my mother, but when I looked at the mirror, I could almost feel the brush of her lips on my forehead, the squeeze of her fingers holding mine. Almost. I could almost feel the love that I missed. I thought, I could gaze at her forever, but the harsh voice of reality said, "She's dead. She will never hold you. She will never see your accomplishments. She will never even smile at you… Never, because she is dead; that damned Muggle killed her. I would not accept it; I could not. Tears ran down my face and I wiped them angrily away, lest even the woman in the mirror see my weakness. She should not have died. Somehow, someone should have been able to save her. Death was such an insidious evil, an evil I vowed to overcome. I promised myself; I promised her. I would become the greatest wizard who ever lived, and I would overcome death. I hated death, and I, as many before me, recreated my desire in that mirror. In the mirror, my family lived.
The man I assumed was my father was even less clear in my mind, and yet I knew this was my family. Everyone else in the school seemed to have a family. They carried their badge of family pride around them like their expensive cloaks, and I was naked. I was an orphan. I needed to come here to see them…to understand who they were. The others all had scores of family members behind them in exquisite pedigrees and I had none. I started to imagine those relatives, all standing behind my mother, but they were dark and faceless. They were all wizards in my imagination, because I had embraced the magical world from the first moment I set foot in it. They were so much better than the Muggle vermin who raised me. Only here in the wizarding world was the power to reverse death.
Dumbledore came one night while I was sitting watching the mirror and told me that I shouldn't spend my life looking at the mirror. He said some wizards had gone crazy looking into that mirror, the Mirror of Erised, the Mirror of Desire. He said "I should not just dream, but I live and make those dreams come true."
"I'm going to move the mirror," he told me. "Don't look for it, Tom."
How could I not look for it? I wondered. How could I never imagine the pride upon my mother's face as I achieved all I desired? However, I heeded his wishes. I was a foolish boy craving the attention and love of those in authority. He asked me to let it go and I didn't look for it. ..Not then…not yet. Instead, since the Mirror was denied to me, I began to study Dark spells, seeking the necromancy that could cure her from Death: my mother and all those faceless relatives that I saw in the Mirror. I could still see them in my mind's eye, and the only change I made was that the filthy Muggle who was my father dissolved from the picture, sometimes in blood, sometimes in a flash of green light.
I prowled Hogwarts, but not looking for the Mirror. I had discovered something about my family. I was Slytherin's heir. It was a bittersweet discovery, since Slytherin was long dead too, but it fueled my thirst to destroy death. Perhaps Slytherin could help me. He had left a secret behind, a secret I was determined to find: a secret so terrible I will not write it here in my diary.
It was ironic that when I finally found the Chamber of Secrets that I sought so diligently, I also re-discovered the Mirror. My mother was still there, still a woman of shadow and mystery, but I was no longer a helpless infant. I had grown from the child in her arms to a child at her side and then as I ruled the basilisk, I became the man that would protect her from the grasping muggle hands that sought to hurt her. You see, my desire had changed, from being protected and loved by her to being able to protect her. Behind her stood her family of wizards all…strong warriors to protect her from death itself. They stood proud in their velvety black robes, but their faces were still all hidden as if behind masks of shiny white bone. I could never see their faces, no matter how hard I tried. It bothered me for a while. At last, I realized it didn't matter. They were my family still, and my revenge for their destruction was a gnawing hunger. Only one man in the group had a face, a leering Muggle who was not fit to touch my mother's robes. Daily, his face disappeared from existence and flash of green light hung around the edges of the mirror. It made me feel powerful, as if I had in some way protected her memory from the Muggle scum.
I looked for a long while, remembering, remembering what Dumbledore said about the mirror, "do not spend your life dreaming and forgetting to live."
I would not do that. I would create my dream, and I would live it. I saw it created there in my desire, in the mirror. I reached up to the Mirror and put my thumb over my father's face, blotting him out of existence with the now familiar flash of green. I saw my true family; my wizarding family. I walked away that night, and never again returned to look at the Mirror of Erised. Instead, I devoted all my time to study. I defeated death, and I created my family…my desire. ..I called them Death Eaters.