The Mirror of Erised
No matter how hard he tried, it was becoming increasingly harder for Harry not to search for that mirror that he had encountered in his first year at Hogwarts. At sixteen he wished more than anything to see his parents again. Sure, he had the pictures that Hagrid and Sirius had given him, but they weren't the same, and the one Sirius had given him he couldn't even bear to look at. Seeing his parents along with Sirius and the Longbottom's looking so happy and carefree, not knowing what was coming, just about killed him. He had hid it deep in the bottom of his trunk; under the pair of socks the Dursley's had gotten him for Christmas so many years back.
"Harry" he heard his best friend Hermione calling, and he snapped out of his daydream. He remembered he was in the Gryffindor common room with Ron and Hermione talking about the mysterious delivery that had happened earlier that day.
"Yes?" he asked.
"I was asking you what you thought the parcel was" she said, "Your scar isn't hurting is it?"
"No" said Harry instinctively rubbing the scar on his forehead, "It actually hasn't hurt for a long time…"
"Then what is it mate? You seem a bit out of sorts" said Ron, and Hermione looked at Harry with a concerned look on her face.
"I'm fine" he lied. The truth was that his growing obsession with that mirror wasn't the only thing keeping him up at night. There was something else, but he didn't dare talk about it around Ron. Hermione maybe, but Ron no.
The portrait hole opened and Harry's roommate and friend Dean Thomas walked in, followed by Ron's younger sister Ginny whose hand he was holding, both of them giggling.
'Speak of the devil' thought Harry, watching as Dean pulled Ginny in for a kiss. Harry could feel his fists clenching, and when he looked over at Ron he noticed that he had done the same, his face reddening.
"Oi!" he called, and Ginny and Dean turned towards them. Ginny rolled her eyes.
"Grow up Ron" she said, kissing Dean passionately, just to spite her brother. Harry wondered if she was subconsciously spiting him too, trying to make him feel how she felt all those years that she had had a crush on him and to him she had just been Ron's younger sister. He had to admit that it had sure as hell taken him long enough to discover that he liked Ginny; in fact he had only really realized when she had started dating Dean. Since then him and Ron hadn't been too friendly with Dean, something that Dean had expected from Ron. He had been surprised when Harry took Ron's side though, thinking that Harry wouldn't mind. And he knew he shouldn't. He shouldn't mind. But he did.
"Come on Hermione" said Ron, and Hermione looked at him confused.
"Where are we going?"
"To the room of requirements, to snog"
Hermione turned a bright shade of red, and gave a fake laugh.
"Please Ronald" said Hermione, and Ron just sighed.
"Well, I'm sorry! But what am I supposed to do, watch as Dean sucks my sister's face?"
"You don't have to watch" called Ginny, and Harry thought that was a good idea.
"I have to go guys. Studying you know" he said. Hermione looked at him concerned.
"You're not reading that potions book again, right?" she asked, and Harry shook his head.
"No Hermione, I've gotten my own potion book, remember?" he asked, and Hermione nodded. He felt bad lying to his best friend, but he couldn't tell Hermione that he had switched the covers of the books to continue studying this half-blood prince, something he planned to do right at that moment. He stalked out of the common room, bumping Dean on his way out without stopping to apologize. He started towards the library, but was stopped when he heard Dumbledore and Snape's voices and he slipped into a corner, not wanting to encounter the potions master at that moment.
"But headmaster, are you sure that it is a good idea to store the mirror here?" asked Snape. Harry's heart leapt. Could this be the mirror he had been searching for so long?
"Severus, I believe that the Mirror of Erised is completely safe in Hogwarts"
"Is not aware that the mirror once again resides in the school. You are worrying too much, besides it will only be here for two nights and then it will be transported to Gringotts"
"If you think this is a good idea…"
"I do" said Dumbledore, "And now I would prefer it if we spoke of something else while in public"
"I agree headmaster" said Snape and the two men walked out of earshot. The Mirror of Erised. It was in the school again. He could see his parents once more! He continued his trek to the library, but instead of reading his potions book he found Hogwarts: A History, knowing that the book was thick enough to be able to take the Marauders Map out and watch it. He found Dumbledore and Snape on the map, and followed them until they stopped inside a large room that he realized must be the room of requirement.
'That's where they're keeping it' he thought. He knew Dumbledore was brilliant, but if he was trying to keep the mirror from Harry he should have thought of a better hiding place than where Harry and the DA had met last year for secret training lessons.
'I'll go tonight' he thought, putting the map away and putting Hogwarts: A History back on the shelf. He made his way back to the common room, feeling much better. Sure Ginny was still with Dean, but that wasn't as important at that moment. He was going to see his parents that night and the next, and then he could forget about the mirror for good.
When he walked in he noticed that Ron and Hermione were still sitting in the same place that they had been before and he realized that he can't have been gone very long. He started to walk towards them, but he was pulled aside by Dean.
"We need to talk" he said. Harry shrugged and headed towards the portrait hole. Dean followed him.
"Would you decide where you want to go boy? Didn't you just walk in two seconds ago?" asked the Fat Lady, but Harry ignored her.
"What do you want?"
"Harry, do you like Ginny?" asked Dean. Harry froze. This was the last thing he had expected Dean to ask him. He had to lie. He had to lie. He was going to lie.
"What's it to you?"
Why had he just said that? How hard would it have been to have just said no?
"Well she's my girlfriend see, and I can't have hundreds of boys running after her, because she might break up with me for one of them, understand?"
"Yes, I understand, but you see Dean I am only one boy, not hundreds"
"I know that Harry, but you're you, and you're about the only one that I'm worried she would leave me for"
Harry felt happy when he heard this, but at the same time he was starting to feel a strong hatred for Dean. Why was Ginny with this jealous bastard? Not that he was being any better, but still, he could give her so much more than Dean could.
"Just don't snog her in front of me anymore" growled Harry, walking through the portrait hole again. There, Dean knew. He didn't care anymore.
"What was that all about?" asked Hermione. Harry shrugged.
"Don't lie to me" said Hermione and Ron elbowed her.
"Lay off him. Can't you tell he's been going through a rough time?" Hermione sighed and apologized half heartedly to Harry. Harry wasn't paying attention anymore. His mind had wandered to the Room of Requirement, what was lying in it, and how desperately he wanted it to be that night.
At around one in the morning Harry pulled the blankets off from around him and grabbed his father's old cloak, making his way down the stairs quietly. As he made his way towards the Room of Requirement he heard two voice arguing. He couldn't really make out who they were, only that it was a boy and a girl. He tried to ignore them, but their voices were getting louder, until he finally turned a corner and the voices seemed to dim a bit until they stopped all together. He came to the place where he knew the Room of Requirement was located and started to pace in front of it thinking 'I need a place to keep a mirror… a safe place'. After several more paces a door appeared and he quickly opened it. His heart leapt for joy when he saw the Mirror of Erised standing in front of him. He threw his cloak off, and ran to it, standing in front of it. At first nothing happened, but then suddenly he saw them. His parents, James with his tall messy hair and round glasses resembling Harry's and Lily with her long red hair and warm smile on her face. He noticed himself too, except that he was younger, ten or eleven maybe. There were two kids beside him. A taller boy with red hair who looked older and a younger red head girl. Who were they? Ron and Hermione maybe? No Hermione had brown hair. Ron and Ginny? He looked closer at his parents, realizing that Lily looked different from what she had looked like when he saw her in his first year. She was a bit shorter with a rounder face and her eyes were blue. Blue? No, Lily's eyes were green, like Harry's. He focused on James. He was taller than when he had seen him and more built, and his eyes were green. Harry gasped and looked harder. There it was, on James forehead, the small lightning shaped scar. Harry dropped to his knees, realizing that he wasn't looking at his parents and himself and his friends. He was looking at himself as an adult, and those kids were his kids and the woman…
He put a hand on the glass, not believing what he was seeing, and when he looked back up the image had changed. Now it was just Ginny, looking at him with the love that she had looked at him with for the past five years that he had wasted. She was looking at him the way she looked at Dean. She looked more beautiful then ever, with a long green dress and her hair falling loosely around her face and down her back.
That was when it hit Harry. His parents weren't what would make him truly happy anymore. He had finally come to realize that they weren't coming back, they were dead. He had moved on.
"Harry?" he heard a Ginny's voice, and he jumped up, quickly covering the mirror. He realized how foolish he must look; she wouldn't have been able to see what he saw anyway.
"Ginny?" he asked, confused. He looked at her more carefully. She was sniffing and her eyes were red and puffy. Had she been crying?
"What are you doing here?"
"I should ask you the same thing" he said.
"I… I just needed… I needed a safe place…"
Then it clicked in his head. The screaming, Ginny crying. She and Dean had just gotten in a fight.
He walked towards her, wrapping his arms around her. His arms fit perfectly around her frame, and he felt more comfortable then he had in a long time.
"Oh Harry, why did I ever date that git?" she asked, crying into him. He patted her back, and she grabbed fistfuls of his shirt.
"It's okay Ginny, its okay" he said, moving his hand away from her back and to her hair. It was so soft and he had the sudden urge to run his hands through it, but he didn't. Now wasn't the time.
"What were you guys fighting about?" asked Harry, hoping he didn't sound like he was being to forward.
"He… he told me that he had talked to you earlier… and I asked him why and he told me that it was because he was afraid you were going to steal me from him. Obviously I didn't… I didn't take it too easily, because I thought he was insinuating that I belonged to him. I… I quickly set him straight that… that I was my own person, capable of choosing who I was with for myself and that nobody could steal me and…"
"Its okay" said Harry, holding her tighter. He felt joy fill him. She had broken up with Dean… because of him.
"Wait" said Ginny, pulling away from him, sniffing, "Why are you here?"
"I…" he thought for a second, and then decided that she had been completely honest with him, so she deserved a completely honest answer.
"I came to see this mirror. I found it when I was in my first year here and… well; I've been looking for it since then"
"What's so special about this mirror? Does it make you look better or something?"
"Depends…" said Harry, following her towards the mirror. Ginny looked into the mirror and tilted her head to the left.
"Well, this can't be right" she said, "I don't see myself at all"
"What do you see?" asked Harry, his heart beating fast.
"I see… you" she said, looking surprised. Happiness spread through his body. She saw him. She saw him! Before he even thought about what he was doing he grabbed her by the waist and swung her around, crashing his lips onto hers. She kissed back almost instantly. They stood like that for a few minutes, until Ginny broke the kiss.
"What does the mirror show?" she asked. Harry grinned.
"It shows us the deepest more desperate desires of our hearts," he said remembering that Dumbledore had said almost exactly the same thing to him five years back. He kissed her again. Ginny looked shocked.
"And what do you see?" she whispered. Harry smirked.
"Well, I've seen three different things in this mirror" he said, "The first was in my first year, and I saw my family all standing around me, and then tonight I've seen two images. The first was me with my family again, but this time my parents, grandparents and sibling weren't there. It was me and my wife and kids"
"And what was the third thing you saw?" she asked, sounding both disappointed and expectant.
"I saw you" he said, "And you were in the second image too"
"I was one of your kids?" she asked sarcastically.
"Of course not" he said, kissing her again. They stayed in the Room of Requirement for a few more minutes, before Harry broke their kiss.
"We should be getting to bed" he said, and Ginny nodded, slipping her hand into his. He picked up the invisibility cloak and threw it over the two of them. As he walked away from the room he watched the door disappear, and he smiled knowing that he wouldn't be looking for the Mirror of Erised again anytime soon.