Disclaimer:I do not own Harry Potter or any of the Copy Righted materials that fall under that domain.
AN: I kind of wanted this chapter to be longer, but saw the only way of doing that was to combine it with others... So instead I left it rather short since I like the Mirror so much.
How different would Harry Potter's story turn out by the change of a single decision? How important is it for Harry to have a role model? This is a darker Wizarding universe than was imagined by J.K. Rowling.
Chapter 14 – The Mirror of Erised
Harry Potter sat in the Hogwarts Library, staring at the Restricted Section openly. Padma sat across from him with Lisa Turpin. The students of Hogwarts returned to their school from the Christmas holiday's without any pivotal events occurring. It was in the news on the morning ride back to school that the legislation concerning cauldron thickness had passed mandating that cauldron thickness should not be regulated.
"Did you have a nice holiday Harry?" asked Padma.
"Oh. Um. Yes. Quite nice. Draco and his parents came over for dinner." said Harry absentmindedly.
"The Malfoys? Why would you want them as guests?" Asked Padma as she scrunched up her face as if she had tasted something disgusting.
"My godfather and Lucius Malfoy had business to discuss. That, and they are related."
"I don't like Malfoy... He's mean..." Said Lisa quietly.
Harry glanced at her briefly before turning his attention back to the restricted section. "Just part of his upbringing."
"Did you get my present Harry?" Padma asked excitedly.
"The candy? On yes... Thank you. I'm afraid Sirius ate it all before I got a chance to." Harry said slowly, without looking at Padma.
It was the first day they were back and Harry was planning. It would be tonight. No reason to delay it. He would get into the restricted section and see what treasures it held.
Harry Potter broke not only one rule, but almost every rule he could in one night. Wrapping the cloak around himself tightly, he rushed off into the night invisble. The fire in the common room was smoldering, the final log having long been burnt up and was now only in embers.
Harry walked quietly through the castle marking how different it was at night. Some hallways were incredibly dark while others were bathed in moon light. Every where, it looked like shadows moved on their own accord. Even the ghosts of Hogwarts seemed more sinister is they seemed to glow whenever they were in the dark.
The library was pitch dark. Pulling out his wand, Harry said, "Lumos." and the tip of his wand burst into a luminous white light.
Moving quickly, Harry ducked under the rope of the restricted section and he smiled.
Running a finger along the spines of the books, Harry read every title as best he could to see which ones caught his interest. Some of the books were so old and tattered that the covers were peeling. Some whispered to him while others were hot to the touch. It was as if they knew that he was here... and that he wanted to open their secrets.
Harry marveled at the entire section. It was broken up into sections within itself. There were the Dark Arts which held well over a hundred titles. There was a section devoted to magical beasts that were more graphic than was recommended for a textbook for children. A section on the most illegal and dangerous potions to brew. A section devoted to rune magic was actually a set of stone tablets set up on display. The magical theory section was relatively small, less than a dozen books concerning the inner workings of magic. These were no simple spell books. These were grimoire's of knowledge.
Harry finally decided to take a few books with him for light browsing. The first book he grabbed had a brown cover with what appeared to be a horrible blood stain across it's spine. It was titled Blood Magic: Practical Uses In Everyday Life.
The next title that grabbed his attention was on the bottom shelf. It was large black and silver book. It was lodged in between two other books, apparently a part of a three part set. Pulling with all his strength at first, it refused to come off the shelf until Harry was about to give up. With one more pull, the book flew off of the shelf and hit the ground and then fell silent for a moment.
With a bang, the giant book flew open on its own occurred. Pages began turning rapidly until at last it was opened to a blank page. Harry studied it quietly, waiting for something to happen.
A piercing, bloodcurdling scream broke the silence of the library. Cursing, Harry slammed the book shut and jammed it back into it's place on the bottom shelf. But it didn't stop. It was of a higher pitch that Hermione's frightful scream but just as adrenalin pumping.
Cursing again as he heard the doors to the library bang open, Harry turned to run and canceled the spell on the tip of his wand. Ducking under the rope to the Restricted Section, Harry rushed passed the caretaker Argus Filch. Filch's eyes were wide and frightful as Harry rushed pass, the caretakers attention was on the screams.
Clinging the brown book based on blood magic to his chest, Harry ran without regard to the noise he made. He finally came to a slow stop, slightly winded. Looking down the corridor, he heard two voices approaching.
"You asked me to come directly to you, Professor, if anyone was wandering around at night. Someone's been in the library... Restricted Section."
Harry let out a soft sigh of frustration. Filch must know every shortcut in the bloody castle.
It was Professor Snape who replied, "Restricted Section? Well, they can't have gotten very far. We'll catch them."
Harry moved as quietly as he could into an empty classroom before they could walk pass him. He was invisible, but still solid and knew that bumping into the two adults would be disastrous.
The classroom was one he had never been in before, which wasn't surprising as Hogwarts was huge with doors that led no where and passages that never made sense. But this classroom was slightly off from every classroom he had been in. He felt as if there was a great pressure on his mind, that something unsettling laid in the room.
The desks and chairs were all stacked in one side of the room. But it was the mirror that made the feeling that Harry felt.
It was perhaps the most magnificent mirror Harry had ever seen. It was as high as the ceiling, with ornate gold framing. An inscription was carved all along it's frame, constantly never ending as if it never ended and would go on and on. Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.
Harry moved to in front of the mirror, marveling at the craftsmanship. It was as he drew nearer, that he saw a shape behind where he should be if he were visible.
Turning quickly, wand raised, he saw that there was no one behind me. But then, he turned back to the mirror and it was there. A dark shadow that seemed to be hovering just behind him, always with him as if it were destiny that was nearly within grasp but always just outside of reach.
Harry narrowed his eyes at the mirror and then stared at the inscription again. "I show not your face but your heart's desire..." Harry read out loud.
Throwing off the cloak, Harry moved to in front of the mirror, his curiosity getting the best of him.
Harry was older. Much older. At least in his thirties in his reflection. His reflection held up his wand, idly twirling it in between his fingers with confidence. There was blood splattered all against his robes and face though, as if it were splattered onto his face from a distance. At once, Harry knew it was not his own blood but another person's blood. Harry stared at this older version of himself. It is in your heart's desire, to be a killer.
Two shapes stepped into the mirror, smiling at him. The one on the right was almost the spitting image of himself, only with different eyes. The women in the reflection had red hair and green eyes. His eyes. Harry knew them instantly. "Hmm... My parents... Very curious."
Harry glanced behind himself, but he saw nothing. Turning back to the mirror his parents stood just behind him, smiling at him still.
Harry hesitated for only a mere moment before he took a seat in front of the mirror and stared into it.
Harry yawned loudly as he sat in class. He kept glancing up at the clock. The mirror was fascinating. So fascinating he had forgotten to head back to bed the previous night and still had not slept. He felt irritated and simply wanted to go back to the mirror.
"Harry, are you sure you are alright?" Asked Hermione. She was clearly worried about him, and kept asking him the same question.
"Just tired is all." Harry said irritably. This stupid charm spell was simple. Why must Professor Flitwick always give tedious work when there are more important things to do.
Neville eyed the two of them before scrunching his face up in concentration. Flicking his wand at the match in front of him, the match's end caught on fire. Neville smiled; he had succeeded. He looked at Hermione to see if he got her approval.
But Hermione continued to glance at Harry for the rest of class, never looking at Neville or the fact he had mastered a new spell.
Harry walked briskly from Charms to the classroom. He panicked at first when he thought he couldn't find it, but he had simply entered the wrong classroom at first. He let out a long sigh of relief as he pulled open the correct classroom door.
Marching back to the mirror, he propped himself down in front of it again. Harry stared into the mirror seeing the older version of himself stand, holding his wand in a battle stance. It flicked its wand at various shadows in the room, causing them to fall over and to form human shapes on the ground at Harry's feet. Blood would splatter onto his face occasionally. The entire time his parents stood behind him, smiling and nodding in approval.
"Harry, what are you doing?"
Harry spun his head around to see Hermione standing in the door way to the classroom. He had been stupid. He never turned around and just got up and bolted at the end of class. He should have known Hermione would have followed.
"Go away, Hermione." Harry said irritably as he turned to look back into the mirror.
"Harry, you have me worried. I want you to... What is this mirror?" Hermione asked, taking deep breaths as she moved to be beside Harry. As soon as she was in front of the mirror, her breath became laborious.
"It's a mirror that shows you your hearts desire." Harry said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. The image of his parents nodded at him, as if it were in approval again at showing knowledge.
"My... Oh... Interesting." Hermione said slowly, as if she were lost for words. She looked at the mirror. Blushing, she glanced at Harry briefly and then back at the image. "What do you see Harry?"
Harry hesitated for a moment, weighing his options and how much he should share. "My parents."
"I... I see myself as head girl. I've written my own book and there are our children running around us." She said, smiling.
"Why would there be children running around us?" Harry asked, not paying any attention to Hermione as the Harry in the mirror flicked his wand, as if he were blasting away one of these so called children.
Hermione shook her said, her blush deepening to a dark crimson. "I mean... There are children running around us. Like me and you. In the mirror they are trying not to step on you." she said quickly.
Hermione took a seat next to Harry and did not say another word.
It was hours later that Harry and Hermione remembered that they were hungry. They made it just in time to catch the tale end of dinner. Harry grabbed only a small piece of pie before he went back to the mirror. It was just as he left it.
"Back again, Harry?"
Harry had just reclaimed his seat in front of the mirror when the voice broke the silence. Turning to look behind him, he saw Professor Dumbledore casually sitting on one of the desks pushed against the wall. Harry knew he was caught. He had walked right past the Professor without spotting the old wizard. Again, he felt stupid for not looking around.
"Yes... The mirror is truly fascinating." Harry said, turning back to look into the mirror. His reflection gave the Headmaster a hard look.
Professor Dumbledore moved from his seat on the desk to take a seat next to Harry on the floor. "It's quite easy to overlook people when you can be invisible."
Harry glanced at the Headmaster, only to see that the old wizard was smiling. Turning back to the mirror he stared at it.
"It's called the Mirror of Erised." said the old Headmaster, advancing the conversation forward.
"Poor choice in a name."
"Really? How so, Harry?" Asked Professor Dumbledore, sounding amused.
"Might as well call it the Mirror of Desire. It's much more simpler to pronounce and would help many people realize what it is initially without looking into it."
"Desire... You are clever Harry. All of your teachers are saying that you are well advanced in your studies. Only Hermione Granger is able to compete with you most of the time."
"Hermione is smarter... I just get magic better." Harry said irritability.
"Yes... With aspirations to be head girl and a published author with many children no less."
"I suppose. I should have realized that some wizards or witchs could become invisible without the use of a cloak." Harry said, casting a casual glance at the headmaster before turning to look back into the mirror. Old men ought not mettle...
"You are, again, quite correct Harry Potter. In my old age I have found many useful spells. Why, just the other day a found a new way of sending messages over long distances."
"How much of the mirror is true Professor?" Asked Harry.
"It shows us our utmost desires Harry. It is all true. The happiest man in the world would look into this mirror and see himself just as he is. Sadly, we are so rarely ever truly happy." Dumbledore glanced into the mirror as his features grew slightly darker at doing so.
"What do you see professor?"
"Myself with a new pair of woolen socks." Professor Dumbledore said with a thin smile. Harry raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "Another holiday season has come and gone and I am still without a good pair. Every year, all everyone ever sends me are books. I'd love to get a good pair of woolen socks one year."
Harry smirked. "Nice answer, Professor."
"Thank you, Harry. No doubt Sirius has taught you how to be quite adept at being able to spot a liar. I am sorry to tell you that the Mirror of Erised will have a new home beginning tomorrow night. It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
Harry looked into the mirror. The older version of him had its wand out. It wasn't playing with it this time. But there was no way to deny it.
Harry's heart wanted him to kill. How long can you dream about something before you attempt to make it a reality?