This fic doesn't really have a specific time line, and is not in any specific order, other than I like to save my favourite character until last :)
Disclaimer: Not mine. I would never write a story where the characters are so similar to to my father Ron and his brother and best friend Harry. Don't even get me started about the fact that there are twins in the family *grin*
Summary: The mirror of Erised is visited by several other members of Hogwarts. If I was a better writer it would be angsty, but I'm not. Please don't laugh, it's not *intentionally* supposed to be funny :)
Reflections of their souls
He ran his finger softly across the dust coated desk, slowly bringing his hand to eye level to examine the fragments that now stained its tip. How much time had passed since the dust had settled? When had the dark, gloomy room gone into premature retirement?
Why had he been so drawn to the room in the first place anyway?
He weaved through the stacked furniture aimlessly, occasionally brushing against the leg of a chair or table top. Any contact guaranteed a puffball of dust.
Why was he here?
A soft moonbeam filtered through a gap in the heavily drawn curtains, streaking a soft trail of light across the room. As it came into contact with the recently disturbed dust it seemed to transform them from insignificant static specks into brilliant shades of reds and golds. Rising on invisible currents, he watched them entwine and swerve in a complicated dance to music that only they could hear as they made their floating journey downwards. He stood there, transfixed. What silent music was this moonbeam playing to inspire such life, such brilliance?
And why had the beam chosen to share it only with the ancient specks, and not with him?
The moonbeam played only momentarily with its dance partners before continuing on its predestined path. All thoughts of the specks were forgotten as the moonbeam finally reached its destination.
It was a mirror.
He traced a finger over the words carved elegantly into the wooden frame.
Mirror of Erised?
Who was Erised, and why was his mirror hidden deep in the heart of a lonely, forlorn class room?
He tilted his head to the side, intent on studying the mysterious object that had been haunting his dreams. The reflection of your soul, the voice had spoken to him repeatedly. Only upon gazing on it will you discover your true self.
The voice had never told him what he was searching for, or even where to find it. Yet he knew to the deepest, darkest depths of his soul that this mirror was the object that had been told to him in silent whispers.
Reflection. Mirror. Cute.
He raised his eyes from the frame to the moonbeam illuminated mirror face itself, finding himself almost fearful of what awaited him there. As he saw the reflection his eyebrows shot up in disbelief, and he spun around on his heels, eyes darting quickly from side to side.
"There's no-one here!" Disbelief coloured his panic tinged voice as he found himself speaking aloud to the empty room.
"But ... but ..."
He closed his eyes momentarily, desperately trying to maintain some composure. Deep breaths. He should take deep breaths - wasn't that what panicking people were supposed to do?
Or was that pregnant women?
Time was irrelevant. It could have been mere moments before he felt his heart beat return to a more respectable rate, it could have been quite possibly hours.
The mirror was still there, and the pulsing energy that had enticed him with it. Everything else paled in importance.
He slowly turned to face the mirror, his jaw locked in determination. A flare of defiance in his eyes, he met his reflections gaze. Acting on their own will, his hands clasped into fists at his side as he seemingly casually looked over his shoulder into the still empty room before recapturing his doubles attention.
His reflection was still not alone in the mirror. Instead of a reflection of himself in the empty room, he was surrounded by other students, all laughing and apparently enjoying themselves.
What surprised him more however, was the way in which he *knew* that his reflection was part of the festivities. There was a lightness in the reflections eyes that seemed so out of place, and a smile the looked so ... genuine.
A classmate - one he recognised from Potions, bent over his shoulder and whispered something into his doubles ear, causing him to erupt into laughter.
Had he ever laughed like that?
*A reflection of your soul, of your deepest desires*
Drinks were being passed around, and somewhere in the background he could hear music playing. If they started a conga line he was sure he would become comatosed by the sweetness and friendship that was rolling off the mirror in waves.
He sharply drew his attention away from the mirror, and stalked towards the door.
No way in hell.
No longer caring that he was in a restricted area, he slammed the door as he left. He felt a hollow sense of triumph as the sound echoed resoundingly in the empty corridor.
The mirror had been wrong. A Malfoy did not need to be popular, or to be liked - it only got in the way of achieving ones goals. Power could only be achieved through ruthlessness.
He didn't need friends. he didn't *want* friends.
To put it bluntly, they were bored.
Their favourite past time was off at one of his snobby Prefect meetings, and they had used up their entire stash of supplies on Snape last week. Too lethargic to plan anything that required much thought, too wired up to simply sit down and relax, it meant only one thing.
"I told you George, we've discovered every hidden passage, been in every room in the entire school!"
Exploring every single inch of Hogwarts.
George grinned at his twin.
"Come on Fred, we can't have found everything! I mean, how often had have searched *this* corridor?" George's grin widened as Fred simply groaned in response. They'd only briefly checked over the little used corridor once before, and George had a feeling that it still held undisclosed secrets. He stopped suddenly in front of a door.
Had it been there the last time they'd examined the corridor?
His frown deepening, he pushed it opened, surprised when it did so easily and unlocked. Fred was at his side in a flicker of a second.
"I don't remember this" He spoke up quietly, putting to words George's own thoughts. As one they entered the room, silently splitting up to examine what appeared to be an old classroom. Judging by the thick layer of dust that covered all the furniture, the last class that had been held here had happened a long time ago.
"George, you better come look at this!" The urgency in Fred's voice cut though his thoughts, and he rushed to Fred's side.
Fred had found of all things a mirror, framed in old oak. However it wasn't the frame, nor the inscription engraved into it that both twins were staring at, but their respective reflections.
Fred's hair was down to his shoulders, held back from his face by a simple black band. Perhaps even more startling was the amount of black leather that the reflection was wearing. In contrast, George's hair was now seemingly impossibly short, and George felt himself running a hand through his own hair to make sure it was still all there. The simple suit that clung to his frame was more something Percy of all people would wear, not him!
"We look so ... different" Fred spoke in a whisper. George was about to snap back that of *course* they looked different - neither of them would ever wear such weird muggle clothes, when the true meaning of Fred's comment began to sink in.
It wasn't that they looked different in comparison to themselves, but the fact that the barely resembled each other.
"You can't even tell we are related" He softly replied, after a tense few moments of thundering silence.
"Mirror of Erised" Fred read aloud the inscription.
"What does that mean?"
"Aren't mirrors supposed to be like looking into your own soul?" George asked, his gaze still captivated by his reflection. Fred's laughter seemed forced.
"I don't think I've ever wanted to be a Hells Halo, or whatever dad calls those weird biker gangs"
"But that's not what it is saying, is it Fred?" George's voice was deceptively soft.
"The fact we don't look alike, that the reflections are polar opposites. It's saying ..."
"Nothing!" Fred broke in, desperation seeping into his voice.
"It's just some silly bewitched mirror, George - it means NOTHING!"
"... that we want to be individuals, not just part of a pair" George finished quietly, his face devoid of any emotion. Fred stared at him in disbelief.
"That we want people to think of George or Fred, not automatically George AND Fred. That we ..."
"There is no we!" Fred erupted, eyes blazing.
"It's all you - and you're wrong! It's a mirror for goblins sake! I don't want that - YOU don't want that!" The almost pleading tone of his twins voice forced George to break contact with his own reflection and turn to Fred.
"Don't you mean WE don't want that?" The sad smile that crossed George's lips was reflected up in the depths of his eyes.
"G-George?" Fred stuttered uncertainly, taking a couple steps backwards. He desperately searched his twins face, a face he'd always felt he knew better than his own. Yet even a lifetime of experience couldn't interpret what he was thinking. For the first time in his life, George had shut him out.
"Fine" He stated, his voice quivering slightly.
"If that's how you want it" He waited, desperately hoping for a reply, denial, but there was none. With a small shake of his head, he soundlessly exited the room, forcing himself to not turn back.
Curse that mirror. Curse it to hell. Curse it for whisking George away from him, for separating him from the person he cared for the most.
Curse it for being right.
He felt foolish for even coming here. He had always been secure in his position, always believed that there was nothing more in the world that he desired than the life he was leading now. But others opinions, fragmented comments picked up on wisps of the wind, had resulted in his own convictions being whittled down like a boulder on a beach into a mere pebble by the crashing waves.
How could he be content? They whispered behind his back.
How can he not inspire to be something greater?
They couldn't believe he was happy, and their doubts seemed to be contagious. He could think of no other reason why he would be sneaking around Hogwarts at night, seeking out the little known about Mirror of Erised.
Ah, this was the room.
He headed straight to where the mirror was placed, ignoring the murky surroundings. He fondly caressed the aging wood, the mirror was unchanged from the last time he had seen it years before. He took a depth breath as he focused on his reflection.
The reflection showed himself in the empty room. No distortions. No changes.
The mirror confirmed what he knew deep in his heart, even if his head had become clouded by others piteous and callous statements. He was completely content.
"Come on, Fluffy" He patted his companion with a smile.
"Lets go home, I'll make ya a nice cup of my special tea"
He had needed to get away.
Away from the constant humiliation heaped upon him by his brothers, from the pressures of being the perfect student everyone expected him to be. Away from himself.
This area of the school was rarely used by students, so had been the perfect place to get away from everyone.
Pity that his emotions hadn't decide to stay away as well.
The classroom he had entered seemed to have been abandoned many years ago, but that suited Percy just fine. What chance was there of a student walking into a classroom that was devoid of anything save some ancient pieces of furniture?
He walked slowly around the room, careful not to brush against the dust laden, oddly stacked furniture, when a flicker of light caught his eye. Turning, he saw a mirror as aged as the room propped in the courner, illuminated by a stray moonbeam. Curious he approached it, discovering an inscription near the top.
"Mirror of Erised" He read, his forehead scrunched into a frown. The jumbled sentence below made as much sense as the title. He traced his finger back and forth other the title, lost in his thoughts.
"Mirror of Erised, Mirror of Erised ..." He stopped suddenly, a small smile playing on his lips.
"Mirror of Desire" With slight difficulty he read the passage underneath, biting his lower lip as the meaning of the sentence sunk in.
Desire was dangerous, especially if what you desired the most was so unobtainable.
He closed his eyes, feeling the familiar companionship of coldness and hurt wrap itself around him like a cloak. The mirror wouldn't show him anything that he didn't dream of each day, wasn't haunted by throughout every hated sleep. It would only serve to confirm that he was as unhappy and lost as he already felt.
And alone. Always so alone.
Yet part of him, he was unsure if it was fed by hope or denial, was whispering to his soul to just take a peep, just to make sure ...
When had he become so masochistic?
He opened his eyes, and glanced almost fearfully at the reflection.
His soul shattered.
His reflection was surrounded by his family, at some form of a picnic. The atmosphere was as light and breezy as a spring wind, as warm as a summer sun. There was no tension, no false expectations. No cold isolation for content Percy.
When had he last been warm?
The twins were teasing his own double, yet it was devoid of the malice, the lack of ability to comprehend why their brother was so uptight, that was inflicted so constantly on him in this reality. His double merely grinned, *grinned!* at them before turning to say something light to Ron.
Why couldn't it be that easy to talk to his family, to relax and enjoy himself? Why couldn't they love *him* as they did his reflection?
For the first time he noticed the object in his reflections hand. Even slightly damaged, the age of the object was apparent. The once bright colours were muted, the paint peeling like a sunburn. It was delicately made, threads had been woven in carefully and built up over time.
It was solid, unbreachable. It was a mask.
He watched, captivated like a child, as his father took the mask from his reflection, and with a slight squeeze of his hand, shattered it as if it was made of fine china. Loving arms wrapped around his reflection, and the twins cheered.
They loved him even without his mask?
It was too much. He sank to his knees, fighting back the sobs that were trying their way through their own heavily constructed barriers.
"You shouldn't have looked!" His heart cried to him, his soul had long been silenced.
"You shouldn't have, you shouldn't have, you shouldn't have...." The phrase kept pounding inside his head, causing a cry to rip free from it's constraints.
He was falling. Falling endlessly, uncontrollably, frighteningly.
And there was no one there to catch him.
And that is that! I've written one other H.P fic, 'Flame' which is a Percy fic if you are interested, it's posted here somewhere. I'm still having trouble convincing myself that it is fine to be writing fanfic for a book whose intended reading age is half of my own - it's a weird feeling I can tell you :)
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to send flames, comments etc! Chocolates will be especially well received *grin*