Chapter Twelve: What Do You Want Then?
"Someone's looking broody."
The dark haired youth that had been strolling through the empty corridor of the second storey of his home froze, his arms clutching around the two month old infant on his hip. James had grown like a weed the past eight weeks, his little body stretching to that of a three year old human child and his wings slimming to fit his lithe frame. Tall as he was, he was light enough to still perch upon the hips of his father's, as had become his favourite resting spot. He wriggled in Harry's grasp, shouting "Apa" until Harry deemed the hallway not a threat and stood the little blonde on his feet.
He tottered there as Harry's narrowed gaze scanned the dim corridor for what had spoken, his firm grip in his Apa's loose jeans the only thing keeping his wings from landing him on his bum. They stretched out in excitement, ruffling his fluffy blonde curls.
"You know, you could just ask for one of your own."
A snarl was pulled from Harry's lips, his hand clasping around his son's flailing arm as he spun, only to come face to face with himself.
The mirror was twice his height, tarnished with age though it's surface remained perfectly clean. His reflection smirked back at him, hands clasped behind his back as though he held all the secrets to the universe. Harry lifted James to his hip despite the infant's grunts of displeasure, his eyes wide. His reflection rolled his eyes.
"There's no need to look so frightened, you know. I'm only you."
A mistrustful glare. He had seen enchanted mirrors, pretty things that would talk to you, give you clothing advice and spout compliments. This was not one of those. His reflection did not move as he did, merely stood a distance away, smiling softly and watching him. His reflection held no child in his arms, surrounded only by the dim lighting of the corridor.
Harry clutched the baby tighter as the words left his mouth, as though to make sure his toddler was still there. The reflection merely quirked an eyebrow.
"He's right there. I've no need to reflect a child, a child doesn't know what it wants, who it is. A child cannot grasp what their reflection could tell them."
"I thought you said you were just me?"
Whether or not he should have been conversing with his reflection, Harry did not know. He could have simply gone mad. His reflection laughed, a pretty sound that broadened his lips and made his green eyes sparkle.
"You're not mad and I am you. A reflection of you, something you wouldn't otherwise let yourself see. I am what you want Harry."
The Destined toyed with James' curls as the infant chatted to him quietly, nonsensical words filled with seriousness. A mirror that showed him what he wanted? Why would he want himself?
"Like the mirror of Erised?"
The reflection pulled a face. "No, that thing only does damage, showing people what they might have and what they cannot. A dangerous invention. I'm simply a mirror, letting you see yourself from a different angle. I know what you want, Harry, even before you've let yourself know what that want is."
Harry's own eyebrow quirk was disbelieving, certain now he had spent far too much time alone if his own reflection was starting to become company. He hoisted James onto his hip, shaking black locks from his face. "That's great, but I think I better be getting back now, lots of other mirrors to converse with and all that."
His reflection smiled, his head shaking softly before crouching down and opening his arms, as Harry himself had so often done when James had begun to walk. The child that tottered into the reflection's arms, though, was most definitely not James and Harry found himself frozen once more.
This child was human, milky pale with the disorganised limbs of a toddler just learning its feet. It was caught in his reflection's arms, lifted and sat on his hip in a mimic of the fashion James now sat on Harry's hip. The child was small, a china doll of pale skin, rose bud lips and the brightest green eyes Harry had ever seen. Its head was crowned with hair wild and thick and the colour of blood. Baro.
A whine left him and he clutched the toddler in his arms closer, his eyes never leaving the baby that was held in his reflection's arms.
Arms were around him suddenly, a gentle warmth that was as familiar to Harry as it was strange. Red blurred the edges of his vision as Baro's wings stretched lazily to either side of him, no longer needed now that his Dragonette had determined Harry's cry had not been one of danger. A gentle purr built in the chest behind him, soothing and curious and Harry brought his face up to look at his mate.
Baro's violet eyes were trained on the mirror, his pupils dilating even as they flicked to watch Harry's reflection bounce the red haired baby with a glowing smile, drawing shrieks of laughter from the infant.
"This mirror found Erin, too, when he had decided without realising that he was ready. He had been in the kitchen with Theo." Baro's voice was filled with warmth, a soft happiness that made Harry press against him, seeking the comfort only his mates could bring him. "It showed him the most beautiful baby, with pale blonde hair and bright purple eyes. A human daughter that had him shrieking for me and demanding a baby then and there."
Harry's eyes trailed back to the mirror, his mouth parted. He followed the movements of the little boy, green eyes locking with green, before his brows furrowed and he glanced down at the child on his hip, all long limbs and an angelic, cherub face that grinned toothily at him when it caught him looking. "A daughter?"
Baro rumbled an affirmative, bending to place a kiss to his son's soft hair. "The mirror cannot predict the future, nor am I entirely sure whether it was designed for submissives and submissives alone. It's been in this house since I lived here as a child, I thought it had left when my Sire and his mateship found a larger home. I was thankful that it did not."
"It said it would show me what I wanted."
Baro's hands were a gentle caress against the cool skin of Harry's arms, James quiet for once as he stared up at his Sire. "And what do you want, my Harry?"
There was no thought behind it, no decision to be made nor consequences to be thought on. He had known the answer to that question long before today, he had needed only a kick from himself to voice it.
"I want a baby."
A/N: My apologies that this hasn't been updated in so long, I really haven't been well. It is short but I'm hoping to have more up soon. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed and is still waiting for this to be updated :) Happy Readings