The Desire for Socks

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related characters and themes are the property of JK Rowling and Warner Brothers. I am making no money from this story. All I am getting is a cramped hand from writing and typing.

Summary: "What do you see when you look in the mirror?" "I? I see myself holding a pair of thick woollen socks." Dumbledore looks in the Mirror of Erised as Harry makes his way back to his dorm. He had not been entirely truthful.

A/N: This is the first of my one-shots, which I will be posting weekly in the lead up to the closing of my poll (see my profile for information). It's one of the shorter ones, and came to me in a flash of inspiration while I was eating dinner.

I know the idea is rather recycled, but the plot bunny would not stop jumping about in my head until I sat down and wrote it.

Harry stood up.

"Sir – Professor Dumbledore? Can I ask you something?"

"Obviously, you have just done so," Dumbledore smiled. "You may ask me one more thing, however."

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

"I? I see myself holding a pair of thick woollen socks."

Harry stared.

"One can never have enough socks," Dumbledore said. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People insist on giving me books."

- The Mirror of Erised, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone –

Dumbledore smiled as he watched Harry wrap himself in his father's old cloak and hurry out of the room. It saddened him immensely to hear what the poor boy had seen in the mirror. Lily and James had loved him so much, and the dear boy had never known that love.

Or any love for that matter. Dumbledore knew perfectly well how Petunia treated her nephew. He knew the boy was neglected and unloved. He had hoped that it would change over time, but it had not. The Headmaster had planned to send Harry somewhere else for the summer, until he saw the boy. The amount of love he had in his heart, despite the cruelness he had suffered at the hands of his relatives, was stunning. He had proved it when he had saved Hermione Granger from the troll, even though he did not particularly like the girl.

Dumbledore knew that he had to let Harry return to Privet Drive for the summer. The wards formed by Lily's protection were strongest there, amongst her blood. He swore, however, that if the Dursley's were ever physically violent towards Harry, they would feel the full wrath of the headmaster. And they would fear it.

"I hope I am wrong," He muttered to himself. "I hope that this is all just a trick, that I am becoming paranoid in my old age. I pray that Harry will not have to face Tom for many more years."

The old man stood from where he was leaning against a desk, and moved towards the brilliant mirror. He carefully levitated a sheet over it, and cast the spell that would send it to its new home, before following it himself.

He positioned the old mirror in the centre of the room, and took the stone from a pocket in his robe. He held it in one hand and mumbled several spells. It glowed for a moment, and then slowly hovered towards the mirror, floating through the glass as if it were water.

Satisfied that his job was complete Dumbledore began to turn to leave, but his gaze was caught before he could. Slowly turning back around, he felt his breath catch for a moment as he took in the sight within the mirror.

He stood, smiling happily, several decades younger. In one hand he held bright wrapping paper, in the other, a thick pair of socks. One his left stood another boy, slightly younger, but almost identical. Behind him yet another, who looked like he was a foreigner, from the continent perhaps? Both boys held brightly wrapped presents, heavy looking presents. He knew they were books.

"Hello Abe," Dumbledore whispered. "Hello Gellert."

His eyes strayed to the right of the mirror, and a tear spilt from his eye as he looked upon the smiling face of his sister. She was wearing Hogwarts robes, declaring her a proud Ravenclaw and she held a wand in one hand. The other was holding onto Dumbledore's arm.

"Ariana..." The old man said brokenly. She smiled at him through the mirror. Albus sighed.

Ariana moved then, grabbing the socks which mirror-Dumbledore was holding. The real one almost swore he could feel them in his hand before they were gone. He watched as his sister waved the socks around then passed them back, he mouth forming words that Albus could hear in a memory from long ago.

"Here, big brother, I knitted them myself! I know how everyone gets you books, so I thought I'd get you something practical. You can never have enough socks, Al."

Dumbledore felt another tear slip down his cheek as he felt a pang of longing for the sister he used to have. Then, he waved his wand, and the mirror and chamber were gone. He stood alone in his office, with nothing but a few lemon drops to soothing his aching chest.


Well, it's not exactly what I wanted but its close enough. I started this with nothing but the idea that Dumbledore likes his socks so much because he was given them by his sister- rather like the way that Neville is happy to have his gum wrappers because they come from his mother.

Hope you liked it, please review and tell me what you thought. I have to say, I think this is my shortest fic, ever. Maybe.

Also, I have poll on my profile for the next full length story I am going to write. Please take the time to let me know what you want to see. Voting closes on the 31st of August.