Disclaimer: If you recognize it it belongs to JKR

Written for the Mirror of Erised challenge on HPFC

So, this is Salazar's new toy, Godric mused as he examined the ornate gold frame standing well above his head. The inscription around the edges was in some foreign language, though the symbols were familiar, and the imagery at first glance a series of deliriously happy men and women, though a second glance showed despair on their finely cast faces. Salazar had had it magically shipped from the continent, a grime-encrusted relic from a Roman temple, though it was clearly not of Roman origin. A few days of cleaning by Helga's elves saw the metal frame and the mirror-glass backed by a thin panel of gold-gleaming, and a few repairs made by Rowena, including a pair of clawed feet to support the structure had it restored to its former glory. Salazar claimed he had re-charmed the inscription to a modernized language, though obviously some obscure tongue that only he knew, just to frustrate the others. Well, Rowena, of course understood it too, and Helga had said cryptically that all she saw in the mirror was herself. To frustrate me then, Godric thought, typical of my old friend.

Standing in front of the structure, Godric peered at his reflection. Salazar claimed the mirror had fascinating properties, showing a reflection of the soul as well as the body. He had purchased the relic to aid in his research of understanding human nature. His various projects seemed to be distracting him more and more from the running and teaching of the school, but compared to some of his studies, this one seemed rather tame, so Godric didn't complain. At least, it seemed unlikely that anyone would be harmed by a magic mirror.

One glance at the shimmering surface nearly changed his mind. He was standing, not in his patched half-robe and battered hat, but in his kilt and armour. In one hand he wielded his sword, passed down father to son for four generations, the rubies gleaming with some fey light. In the other hand, he clasped his thick aspen wand, a gift from Rowena after his oak wand was shattered in a duel many years past. She had spent an entire winter infusing the core, a gryffon feather knotted across its length by gryffon tail hairs in a power enhancing pattern. From the moment she presented him the gift, it had felt simply alive in his hand, a glorious tool for defence of their precious Hogwarts and the teaching of their students.

At his side stood Maisie Maclean, the girl he had once loved and lost. She was beautiful as always, her dark curls caressing her pale skin as she smiled at him the way she had always done. Her father had never approved of Godric, as he sought to wed his precious daughter to a man of some wealth and prosperity, not a feckless youth with little more than a sword to his name. Not that it had mattered in the end, for she had died in her bed of a sickness that took the lives of over half the local community before she reached sixteen, including her parents and three brothers. Heartbroken, the eighteen-year-old Godric had left, unable to live in a place entrenched with so much death and sorrow.

And between them, most wonderfully and cruelly of all was a sturdy boy of eleven or twelve, Godric's stubborn chin and grey eyes surrounded by his mother's curls. He wore his father's tartan and stood proudly, like the warrior he undoubtedly would have been. The son he would never have with the woman he had lost.

It was not until little Helena came to tell him that his defensive magic class was waiting that he realised he had been sitting on the cold stone floor for hours, lost in the vision of an impossible future. Rising slowly to his feet with the child's help, he forced himself not to have one last look behind him as he left the room.