Mischief Managed

Truth in Dreams

...

Harry didn't know how long he'd been sitting there, half invisible as his cloak had pooled around him at some point, staring into the depths of the Mirror.

There he was, those same eyes and the same hair and face and scar, looking back at him. But unlike any normal mirror, this one showed him more. His mother and father, both standing behind him. Lily Potter was smiling, her eyes as green as his, her hair down past her shoulders and fiery red, her hand ghosting above his shoulder. James Potter, hair unkempt and flying free just like Harry's, brown eyes kind but sad behind glasses that were, again, just like Harry's. There were men and women behind them both, people Harry had never seen, and was quite sure that he never would. An old man on one side who had his nose, another somewhere else that seemed to have his knees. Dark hair, some long and some short in an attempt to tame it, some with limbs askew and too long, and some not quite so tall.

But standing behind and just to one side of his father, with one hand on his shoulder and a full head taller, was a man with slicked-back hair and green eyes similar to Harry's mother, dressed in strange clothes even for what little Harry had seen so far of the wizarding world. Blacks and dark greens, with a little gold. Rich clothes, with leather and steel and cloth. And yet he was smiling, uncaring that he was trapped in the mirror unable to escape from it, and whispered something in James' ear, to which the other mirror-occupant smiled, and laughed. And then they were all smiling at Harry, including him, or wanting to include him, in whatever it had been.

Harry sighed. If only they could. If only he could go through the mirror and be with them - but he couldn't. All he could do was sit and stare, night after night.

"Back again, Harry?"

Harry jumped. He hadn't heard the professor come in, hadn't noticed him sitting there - when had that happened?

"It is a funny thing, how short-sighted being invisible makes you, Harry," Dumbledore said, with a smile. Harry blinked owlishly, distantly aware of twin spots of red blossoming on his cheeks. "Tell me, Harry, do you know what the Mirror of Erised does?"

Harry thought for a while. On what he'd seen, and what Ron had seen, the one time he'd brought his friend down to look.

"It shows us what we want. Anything we want."

Dumbledore smiled, faintly, looking in the direction of the Mirror.

"Perhaps, perhaps. And yet at the same time, not quite. It shows us not the past, or the future, but nothing more, and nothing less, than the innermost desires of our hearts. You, Harry, who have always been alone, see yourself surrounded by your family. Your friend, Mr. Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself more than all of them."

Harry didn't say anything, taking this in. Although he was admittedly still captivated by the images of his parents, and of that strange, strange man who was currently giving Lily Potter 'bunny ears' behind her back, grinning straight at Harry.

"Men have whiled away their lives in front of this Mirror, Harry. Gazing into the depths of what they desire, yet never moving nearer to what they long for. Bear in mind, Harry... It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live."

This time, Harry forced himself to turn away, and nodded.

Something, however, was bothering him. And he said so.

"But- sir? You said the Mirror would show me what I... desired," that's the word he'd used. "But... how can it show me my family if I've never seen them even once?"

Dumbledore sighed, and an expression of something akin to pain flickered across his features faster than Harry could follow it. Before he knew it had even been there, it was replaced by an indulging smile, and the twinkle in the headmaster's eyes was back.

"Who knows how the wonders of our magical world work? But I am sure that if the Mirror is showing you those individuals, then they are, indeed, your family. I would, however, like you to promise me one thing, Harry."

"What's that, professor?"

He hadn't been completely satisfied with the answer - the man in the Mirror who didn't look like he completely fitted there next to everyone else wiggled his fingers at them both - but he was fairly certain that he wasn't going to get a more straightforward answer than that.

"Promise me that you won't go seeking out the Mirror of Erised again. It is going to be moved to a new home regardless but all the same, do not go looking for it."

Harry simply nodded. He wasn't sure if it was because he was agreeing to the headmaster's condition, of simply in understanding of the facts. A lump rose unbidden to his throat when, independently of the rest, the figure in green and black smiled at him, sadly, and gave him a one-handed wave. Harry shut his eyes, tight, for a long minute before opening them again, looking anywhere but the Mirror.

He started to leave, but then turned back, one last question on his lips.

"Professor, can I ask you something?"

Dumbledore laughed, "I believe you just did, but you can have another."

"Professor, what do you see when you look in the Mirror?"

...

AN: What started out as crack... now is fic. D'OH.

Point to be noted, is that for Loki this happens way before the events of the movie. Seen as it's in... 1991-ish. Usagi already knows what's going on here - more or less - and where he fits in the scheme of things.

This was simply the first scene that was really important. The first moment of suspicion that Harry gets.