Summary: There's more to Albus Dumbledore than meets the eye

Rating: T

Warnings: Other Sensitive Topic

Disclaimer: I wish I owned JKR's lovely creations, but I don't. Stand back, lawyers!

Author's Notes: This fic's dedicated to my little bro.


Chapter One: Revelations of the Heart

By Alexannah

"One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books." – Albus Dumbledore PS/SS pg 157 (UK edition)

"What do you see when you look in the Mirror?"

The question surprises me, but thankfully I do not show it. I do not tell him the real reason – although I do long for socks at Christmas. But that is not what I see in the Mirror.

I have not let myself look for a long time. I suppose I am scared of what I might see. Maybe it has changed since the last time I looked. Maybe it has not. However, curiosity triumphs over my common sense, and when Harry has left the classroom, I move forward.

For a few moments my own reflection stares back at me. I know I am doing the wrong thing, but I cannot step away.

My mind wanders to my last encounter with the Mirror. It must have been around twenty years ago now… yet it seems like only yesterday. Like now, I had trouble restraining myself, and when I saw what it showed me, it took a great deal of effort to step away.

Harry is not the only one to see deceased loved ones in the Mirror of Erised.

Unlike Harry, I knew the woman staring from inside the glass. Although I hadn't seen her for a very long time – over a century. I still remember what happened.

I was the oldest of the three of us. Aberforth was five years younger than me, and my sister was born the year I started at Hogwarts. Although, as the oldest, I was supposed to be the responsible one, I never really knew them very well. When I was at school, Aberforth wrote (or tried to), but Aminta wasn't old enough. The only times I saw her were the school holidays.

Despite this, I did love her. So did Aberforth. We were both rather protective of her, I suppose. Unfortunately, so were our mother and father. Aminta wasn't spoiled, but lived a rather suffocating life, and longed to be independent and free of her protective family; which we guess was the reason behind her actions.

She ran away. It wasn't as simple as that, though. She got into an argument with our father. A young man who lived nearby asked her to marry her, and she wanted to. But none of us really thought he was suitable. Looking back, I think we all over-reacted. She was only nineteen, but she was old enough to make her own decisions.

After a whole week rowing over the subject, she packed up and left. We all thought she'd be back soon, but she didn't return.

After a couple of weeks, she sent an owl to me. She told me that she and the young man were married, and I was not to tell our parents her whereabouts. I passed on the message that she was alright, but I told my parents that she hadn't told me where she was.

She sent private owls for a while, but they grew less frequent and eventually we lost touch. The years went by, and one day, nine years after she had run away, we got news she had died.

I never found out the details.

My wandering mind now back in the present, my reflection in the Mirror changes. I feel like I am looking through a window into a room.

Aminta is nowhere to be seen.

Most people find that the Mirror holds a still image; that is, more like a wizard photograph. It moves, but the actions are not important. But this is not always the case.

It is Christmas. There is a splendid tree, and presents clumped around it. A roaring fire is in the grate, and a cat is curled up lazily on the hearth-rug.

I am there. I look no different. Maybe a little tipsy, but it is me all the same. But I am not alone.

A dark-haired eleven-year-old boy is sitting cross-legged on the rug, next to the cat. His face is turned away from me, staring at the tree. As the mirror me moves, he turns his head, and I gasp.

It's Harry.

The me in the room is picking up presents, and Harry is scrambling over to take them. There is something different about him. Something I can't quite place…

The two figures in the mirror are laughing. They look so happy, so content.

That's it. Harry's eyes are different. The real-world Harry's eyes look so sad and haunted, even when he laughs. I have not had a huge amount of opportunity to examine them, but it is enough.

But in the Mirror, they have none of that. They're happy.

I feel a tear trickle down my face. I realize I am standing right up against the glass, my hand pressed on the cold surface.

As Harry moves again, I notice what else is different. His scar is gone.

I force myself to step away, and the image fades from the Mirror. But somehow, the laughing, carefree Harry is still imprinted in my mind.

My life changed on Halloween 1981. I didn't even realize at first.

But now I know what my greatest desire really is. It is to see Harry free.

But I know, as I leave the classroom and head for my chambers, the Christmas scene still playing in my vision, that is one thing that I doubt will ever be.

TBC ...

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