A/N: Okay, first thing I wanna say is that this is the entire prologue, but it is still just a teaser. Until I get more outlined and plotted (and most importantly, written) there aren't going to be any more chapters. But yes, this will be continued eventually.
However, I would not object if someone wants to take this idea and run with it. Just let me know first. XD
Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. Harry idly wondered what the inscription meant, before stepping fully in front of the smooth surface of the grand mirror. There was no way he would ever get used to not seeing his own reflection; it was just too weird… almost like muggle vampires. Allowing the hood of the invisibility cloak to drop, he fixed his gaze on the mirror. He jumped, breath catching in his throat. What on earth…?
He glanced around the supposedly empty room. There was nothing there. But the mirror… he looked back.
A tall blond man casually looped an arm around a slender redhead's waist, blue eyes sparkling happily. A baby wriggled energetically in her arms. The baby's hair was the exact same shade as the man's, and Harry knew that the child could only be his. He studied the scene in wonder, taking in the group's carefree expressions and the thriving city behind them. It was beautiful; such joy and peace everywhere in the mirror's image. But what was the point? What did it have to do with him? It was a mirror; shouldn't the reflection show him somewhere in it, however fake it was?
Harry touched the cool glass. The man's eyes met his for a brief moment and Harry felt a sharp thrill of something pass straight through him. Then the moment passed. The man waved, gaze traveling back to the baby's unblemished face.
Harry's fingers trembled on the mirror's smooth surface. "Who are you?" he whispered.
The baby gurgled silently, seeming to wave chubby arms at him, though there was no possible way for the child to know that he was there. The man's eyes followed the baby's wild gestures and Harry braced himself, but the man's gaze didn't lock with his this time. He started to mouth something, but he couldn't make out the words.
The young wizard raked his fingers through his hair, frustrated. "What are you saying?"
The man in the mirror was already looking back at his child. This time there was no reply.
"Ron," Harry said impatiently. He regretted not letting Ron come with him the night before; the mirror's image had been bugging him all day. Maybe with Ron there he'd be able to figure out what the mirror was trying to portray and why. "Ron, come on."
Ron grumbled. "I'm coming, but I really don't see what's so special about some random guy."
"I know. Neither do I. That's why I want to figure it out." Was curiosity really such a bad thing?
He tugged Ron through Hogwart's twisting corridors, finally finding his way back to the room with the strange mirror. "Here, take a look."
Ron stared. "What am I supposed to be looking at? It's just you and me. Don't tell me you dragged me all this way just to look at our reflection, Harry, 'cause we can do that in the bathroom."
Harry shot his friend a dirty look. "No! Look, just… stand in front of the mirror. Here, try standing where I am."
The red-head rolled his eyes but complied. His eyes widened. "Woah!"
"What? What is it?"
"It's me! I… I've got the Quidditch Cup! And I'm Head Boy!"
Harry blinked. That's definitely not what the mirror had shown him. He hadn't even seen his own reflection in the mirror like Ron apparently was, for starters.
"Hey, Harry, d'you think this shows the future?"
The future? "I dunno. It… it just doesn't feel like it." No, the image that the mirror had shown him certainly didn't feel like the future. "And what on earth could it be trying to show me, even if it did?"
Ron shrugged. "Still, it'd be nice if it did, you know? I mean, think about it! Me, Captain and Head Boy!"
Harry laughed. "Yeah. Hey, budge up a bit. I want to see if I can figure mine out."
Ron scowled but obliged. Unfortunately, he didn't have time to so much as glance in the mirror before they heard the sounds of Filch lurking around with Mrs. Norris. Throwing the invisibility cloak around themselves, they hurried back to the Common Room as stealthily as they could.
Curiosity drove Harry back to the mirror for the third night in a row. Frustrated by his lack of answers but determined to figure out the mirror's strange image, he once more stood resolutely in front of the smooth glass. Nothing about the scene had changed since the last time he had seen it, two nights ago, but he found himself paying more attention to it, taking in smaller details that he had only glanced over before.
Everything had a distinctly Asian feel to it; the slant of the people's eyes, the buildings, any visible writing… The man had on a long coat, edged in scarlet flames. The woman was wearing a pretty but exotic dress of vibrant orange, and her eyes were like twin jade stones. The baby had the man's eyes too, not just his hair. Just… details.
Harry scrutinized every last detail of the picturesque scene, trying vainly to find some clue as to its purpose. A tiny scuffing sound broke him out of his musings.
"Back again, Harry?"
"Uh… hullo, Headmaster."
Dumbledore smiled benignly, coming to stand next to Harry. "So, you, like many before you, have discovered the delights of the Mirror of Erised."
"Um," he wasn't really sure what to say to that. His experience with the mirror had been less delightful and more confusing than anything else. "I… didn't know it was called that, sir."
"Do you realize yet what it does?"
"Er, well… no, sir."
The elderly wizard looked slightly surprised at that. "Ah, but it showed young Mr. Weasley himself as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain."
Harry wondered briefly how the Headmaster knew that, before dismissing the thought. "But what's that got to do with anything?"
"Perhaps a hint? The happiest man on earth would look into this mirror and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help?"
He frowned. That made it sound like the mirror showed what the viewer wanted, but that couldn't be true. He couldn't even figure out who it was he was seeing! Realizing that the Headmaster was waiting for a reply, he shook his head.
The elder wizard blinked at that. "The Mirror shows us the deepest and most desperate desires of our hearts," he said softly. "Young Mr. Weasley, who has always been in the shadows of his older brothers, sees himself outshining them all. However, I should warn you, this mirror gives us neither knowledge nor truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by the possibilities they see, never knowing if what they see will or can ever be within their grasp."
Dumbledore looked like he was going to continue, but Harry interrupted, "But…" he trailed off uncertainly.
The Headmaster watched him patiently. When no answer seemed forthcoming, he gently prompted, "Yes?"
Harry shook his head. "Never mind, sir."
But… how could something he didn't even know of be the 'deepest and most desperate desire of his heart?'
As he slipped into bed that night, he dreamed.
"Demon! DEMON!! KYUUBI!!!"
"Ha, ha, sensei. Look…"
"Proud to name you…"
"I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry…"