Hi again everyone! Winter discovers what's in the Corridor and gets curious. XP Plus the Mirror.
Winter managed to slip back into the School routine rather easily and even managed to get a pass into the Forbidden Section of the Library where she resumed her research on Nicholas Flamel.
She managed to find out he was involved in the making of something called "The Philosopher's Stone"- which had Winter intensely curious- and she was relatively sure that was the mysterious item in the third floor corridor. She wasn't positive, but was pretty sure. What else could be in the corridor that involved Nicolas Flamel and Dumbledore?
While Winter was rather relieved to find out what was-most likely- in the corridor it left her feeling a bit… off.
Something in her gut screamed something was wrong, and Winter had learned a long time ago to trust her instincts.
The 'wrong' feeling started when she received a cloak that allowed her to become invisible when she put it on. She had wiped it of enchantments when she got it since she could sense Dumbledore's Magic on the item, but it left her thrilled with all its possibilities.
Winter had put the cloak into her pouch and decided to check out that third floor corridor. She might as well put the cloak to use.
It had been bugging Winter ever since she had read about Flamel, trying to imagine what would be placed between a school and the Philosopher's Stone.
She imagined all kinds of things.
When she actually slipped into the corridor and checked- after slipping away from her friends- she realized she hadn't imagined everything.
There was a huge Cerberus inside the first room guarding a trap door.
The dog said to guard the gates of the Underworld was the first obstacle.
Winter had stared into three pairs of eyes and three sets of large teeth before slowly backing out the door she had just entered and shutting and locking it back.
She managed to stumble out into the second floor before leaning on the wall and sliding down it.
She had sat there in numb disbelief staring at the wall across from her before it actually sank in twenty minutes later "Oh by the Moon's Grace. I just escaped from a Cerberus without dying." The terror followed by disbelief and pure relief had hit her then, one right after the other.
It had left her light headed and weak.
~Winter are you ok?!~
Winter about jumped out of her skin when Jack's voice rushed over their link sounding worried before she replied ~I…I'm ok. I just…I ran into something unexpected. Where are you?~
~I'm on my way back to Hogwarts. I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way.~
~Ok. I'll see you then.~
Winter had some research to do.
At least this one would be simpler.
She didn't even have to search the Library. She only had to reference her personal Greek Mythology books and ask Hagrid if any of the information she found was true. She could even use the books as an excuse and Hagrid would probably be interested in them anyway.
So she pulled the books out and she searched through them carefully reading any information she found on Cerberus and the Underworld. After reading a few of the stories she had discovered that anyone that got passed the Cerberus used music. There was a myth inside the book that stated a living man had gotten into the Underworld using a Magical harp-like instrument that put the three headed dog to sleep before attempting to lead his dead wife out of the Fields and back to the living world against her will. He hadn't succeeded but the myth left Winter wondering if music may be the key.
She went to the only person she could ask. Hagrid had been thrilled to see a 'Muggle take on a Cerberus.' He had excitedly informed her "I have one you know. Named 'im Fluffy I did. This Muggle Book here is right. Music puts 'em right to sleep!" then he had frozen and whispered "I shouldn't 'ave tol' you tha'."
Winter had flipped through the book with him and talked a little more- she really did enjoy the kind half-giant's company- before slipping outside.
She was nearly bowled over by a worried Jack. She could hear him shooting question after question all asking if she was ok and what happened in different ways. She tried answering him a few times but he didn't really listen and she resorted to smacking him in the head with his own Shepard's Staff.
She finally managed to answer his questions as he went silent. "Yes I'm really fine Jack. No I'm not injured. I was researching. Remember how I told you what I thought was in the corridor? Well I was curious about what was guarding it…"
"Winter…Tell me you didn't go in by yourself." Jack stared at Winter's sheepish smile and sighed. "I'm not telling you not to go find out what was guarding it- I've been curious since you told me yourself- but next time…could you maybe…wait for back up or something?"
"Sorry Jack. Anyway I went in and I found a Cerberus!"
Jack's eyes widened. He was torn between curious awe- because come on that was awesome- and dulled horror- because Winter had walked into a situation with a Cerberus by herself.
"As in giant three-headed dog that guards the Underworld. Did you know there really is one that guards the gates of Hell? Hagrid told me. He said the Cerberuses here in the Wizarding World originally came from the one that guards the gates. Anyway I found out that Cerberuses are put to sleep very easily with the use of music!"
Jack grinned. "You planning on using that information?"
Winter grinned back and didn't say a word.
"I'll be going with you of course."
Jack stayed close to the castle waiting for Winter to make her move. She had been carefully learning to use a wooden flute Hagrid had given her for Christmas and was getting pretty good at improving a decent sounding melody.
Jack knew she wasn't ready yet though and was confused when he felt something over his mental link with her. It was a subtle thing, but he'd had the link long enough to know when something changed and he immediately focused on the link. Something was wrong. Winter felt…foggy, like she really wasn't there.
Jack immediately started heading her way, worried when he realized she wasn't even in the Ravenclaw Common Room. He sped up flying over anyone that happened to be in his way leaving cold breezes in his wake.
When he managed to find Winter she was standing in front of a mirror with a completely flabbergasted look on her face. He could see her take a shaky step closer and reach for the mirror's surface like she wanted to touch whatever was there.
Jack was almost brought to his knees by the wave of pure unrestrained longing that came over the link.
"Winter?" She didn't even so much as flinch at his voice. Jack stepped closer calling "Winter?" louder than before. She finally snapped out of it when Jack sent frost over the surface of the mirror blocking her view.
She turned to face him with dazed eyes and asked "Jack?" like she couldn't understand what she was seeing.
Jack felt his stomach turn worriedly "Winter? Hey are you okay?"
"Jack did you see them?" her eyes were still slightly dazed but they were focused on him which was good.
"See who Winter?"
"Them! There in the mirror!" she pointed sharply and Jack turned to the mirror and them back to her. Winter gave him a look and he slowly pulled the frost away leaving the mirror bare.
Winter was watching him as his eyes widened and Jack stepped forward. He didn't know who Winter had wanted him to see but Jack could see all the guardians standing slightly in the background but smiling at him as he and Winter danced across his lake smiling surrounded by hundreds of children all scrambling to be taught their dance and get him to pay attention to them pulling on his hoodie and poking his sides and calling out what he assumed was his name since he couldn't hear them.
Winter's eyes went wide at the sharp feeling of longing coming from the immortal she was staring at, her best friend, and now that she wasn't actually looking at the mirror she noticed the subtle probing Magic that swirled around the mirror and attached itself to Jack the feeling of stay and desire and longing and trapped coming off the Magic. She gasped sharply and gripped Jack's arm pulling him sharply.
The two of them stumbled away and Jack turned to face her, the sharp feelings of anger followed quickly by confusion and sadness and lonelylonelylonely flowed not only over their link but through his Magic. "Winter what was…?"
Winter shook her head ignoring the frost that had spread over the floor and slightly over the bottom of the mirror with the freezing winds that swirled with Jack's emotions. " I don't know what that was exactly…" she glanced quickly at the mirror only noticing the carving over the mirror then since she refused to look into the glass and be pulled into the illusion of herself happily laughing as she introduced Jack and her friends to her parents and the rest of her dead family. The carving was the reverse of "I show not your face but your heart's desire"
"Jack I think this is a trap mirror. The Magic it's using isn't right. It tried to keep you there. The carving up on top says 'I show not your face but your heart's desire' and I don't think you're supposed to escape it once it has you. If you hadn't covered it with ice…I wouldn't have moved. I would have stayed there as long as I could. I only noticed it when you were affected."
As she spoke Jack's mind cleared and he was able to focus past what he had seen. Winter was right. If she hadn't pulled him away he would have stood there staring at the image he had been shown. He shook his head sharply shaking away the last of the effects "Your right, but Winter…how did you end up here?"
Winter looked confused " I was heading to bed and I remember sensing faint traces of Dumbledore's Magic and then something made it hard to think anything except 'I have to go look in the room' and I was out of the Common Room and down the stairs before I knew what was happening. Then I was here and the mirror…" she trailed off but Jack knew what she meant and he nodded.
"Come on we got to get out of here."
The two of them left looking back at the mirror only once.
Jack escorted Winter back to her Common Room before he decided to claim one of the seldom used couches to sleep on. Most Ravenclaws seemed to prefer the Library or the chairs and couches closest to the fires or the entrance so Jack settled into a couch that was pressed against the back wall away from the fireplace and the entrance as well as away from most of the windows leaving very little light to get in from either the sun or the moon.
Winter went up to her dorm and her bed.
It took the two of them a while to manage to sleep.
Dumbledore had sensed Winter enter the room with the mirror just as the compulsion spell was supposed to make her, but by the time he had entered the room Winter had been gone and he was left wondering how she managed to resist the Mirror of Erised enough to walk away. Even he had issues with it once he was pulled into its Magic.
He left feeling frustrated and confused.
Meanwhile Winter lay in her bed unaware that she had escaped a late night run-in with the Headmaster.