Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I just wanted to tell a story that I hope hasn't been told before. This is eventually going to be connected with my other story, but it hasn't all been written yet. Oneshot.
Professor Albus Dumbledore looked down at the brown paper wrapped parcel that he had just finished preparing, sitting on his desk. How it had brought back memories, to bring the cloak from its keeping-place in the wardrobe with his Pensieve! James would have been proud at this moment. However, Albus felt a frown pull at the corners of his mouth at the thought that crossed his mind-James would be proud that Harry had received the cloak, but the professor wished that James were here to give it to his son himself. How tragic, that James could not see what a fine boy his son was, and appreciate all of Harry's good qualities. Lily and James would have been rejoicing to the heights at Harry getting into Gryffindor, and doing so well in his classes. No one knew that the Headmaster kept Harry under almost constant surveillance, in and outside of Hogwarts. Albus sighed. It pained him to think of Harry's past ten years. When he had first seen Harry's thin condition, he had felt like Apparating straight to those Muggles, and blasting their house apart for treating Harry the way they had-no proper bedroom, often enough practically starving him, and allowing their pig of a son to beat on him. How could they know that the boy that they mistreated would one day be the only person that could stand between them and pure evil?
And yet, the most painful thought that the Headmaster was experiencing was the knowledge that he would have to consign Harry to their treatment again. Harry didn't deserve it, to be handed over to those people! If James could see Harry's living conditions of the past ten years, he would probably have to go to Azkaban just for his thoughts. Still, in life difficult choices had to be made, and Dumbledore remained convinced that he had done the best he could. He couldn't continually regret the past. All he could do was give Harry the tools he needed to get through the next few years, and keep him alive.
Calling a house-elf to his office, the professor handed her the parcel. "Be sure that this is placed on Harry Potter's bed on Christmas morning."
"Yes sir, Professor Dumbledore!" the elf chimed.
The next day at the Christmas feast, the Headmaster examined Harry from afar. While the boy appeared to be having the time of his life, bless him, every once in a while a troubled look passed his face. Thinking of the cloak, no doubt! Professor Dumbledore knew that Harry would probably be using the cloak in the night to come. Would he find what needed to? How could he manipulate the situation so that Harry would receive a crucial piece of the puzzle that he was so close to solving?
That night, an invisible Professor Dumbledore waited outside the Gryffindor Tower entrance, waiting for the appearance that Harry would make. He had absolutely know doubt that the boy would break the rules and leave his bed. Just like James! Always wanting to do the right thing, but getting into trouble along the way. He wasn't disappointed when the portrait hole opened, and the Fat Lady squawked, "Who's there?" Whispering a spell under his breath that would allow him to see the invisible boy, the professor followed him swiftly and silently. Where was he heading?
Ahhh, the library. He knew that Harry, Hermione, and Ron had been looking in the library at all hours for clues as to the identity of Nicholas Flamel. He wished them luck; surely they would eventually find out what was hidden in Hogwarts. However, now the professor knew exactly where Harry was heading in the library-the Restricted Section.
Sure enough, Harry went straight there, and after lighting a lamp, looked through the books. Finally, he reached for a heavy black volume, and inwardly the headmaster sighed. It was a screaming book, and Harry would open it!
A piercing wail immediately filled the air, and Harry dropped the lamp, extinguishing it. He shoved the book back in its place, and ran from the library. The professor kept pace with him easily, his long legs taking one step to Harry's three.
"Good," thought the headmaster. "He's heading for the right corridor! But here come Severus and Argus Filch-they mustn't catch Harry! He still has to find it!" Seeing that Harry was standing right outside the classroom that held the Mirror, Dumbledore stepped around the trembling student, and silently unlocked the door and opened it just enough so that it looked ajar. Harry, looking around for an escape route, saw the door and ran inside it just after Dumbledore, closing it just as Snape and Filch passed, talking loudly.
Dumbledore waited in the shadows, knowing that at any moment, Harry would see the Mirror. What would it show for him? Would it show him as a powerful wizard, in control of all? Perhaps in the mirror he would be surrounded with riches, to make up for the poverty in which he'd lived most of his life. Would it show him with a family, safe and away from the wizarding world? This moment would tell the professor many things about the boy's future, important things.
Harry turned, and looked at the mirror. He walked forward eagerly, and examined it. When he stepped forward to look into it, he jumped back with a gasp. He leaned back in to look at the glass, and the professor stepped to his side so that his swift eye could see what Harry could beheld.
The sight gripped his heart with hope and sadness beyond belief. There weren't riches or domination or cowardice in Harry's mirror. A tear fell down the teacher's crooked nose when he realized that he could now indeed hope that Harry would save them all from Voldemort, for the boy could look into the Mirror of Erised, of desire, and see only the family that he had lost and wanted more than anything else in the world.
As the professor slipped away, his heart ached for the boy, and for himself. He, too, had looked in the mirror, and seen the love that been taken away from him many years before. It appeared that he and Harry had more in common than others saw. It was appropriate that in the future, they would stand and fight together for the loved ones that had fought as well, and lost. But something was different about Harry and Albus, the survivors. They would fight, and perhaps die. But they would win; for all that they had been denied and wanted once more for everyone else.