Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The Mirror of Erised

disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Never did, never will :(

Enjoy! Hope you like it :)

The Mirror of Erised

Christmas was coming. One morning in mid-December, Hogwarts woke to itself covered in several feet of snow. The lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban. The few owls that managed to battle their way through the stormy sky to deliver post had to be nursed back to health by Hagrid before they could fly off again.

No one could wait for the holidays to start. While the Gryffindor common-room and the Great Hall had roaring fires, the corridors had become icy. Worst of all were Professor Snape's classes down in the dungeons, where their breath rose in a mist before them and they kept as close as possible to their hot cauldrons.

'I do feel so sorry,' said Draco Malfoy, 'for all those people who have to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas because they're not wanted at home.'

He was looking over at Harry's table as he spoke. Harry ignored them. Ever since the Quidditch match, Malfoy had become even more unpleasant. He tried to get people laughing at the fact that a wide-mouthed tree frog could replace Harry as the next Seeker. Nobody found that funny as they were impressed at the way Harry managed to stay on his broomstick. So Malfoy went back to making fun of Harry about having no proper family.

It was true that Harry was not going back to Privet Drive for Christmas. When Professor McGonagall went around making a list for student who was staying behind, Harry signed up immediately. Ron and his brother were staying too, Mr and Mrs Weasley were going to Romania to visit Charlie. Arabella was also staying behind, her family was busy this Christmas.

When they left the dungeons, they found a large fir tree blocking the corridor ahead. Two enormous feet sticking out at the bottom and a loud puffing sound told them that Hagrid was behind it.

'Hi, Hagrid, want any help?' Ron asked sticking his head through the branches.

'Nah, I'm all right, thanks, Ron.'

'Would you mind moving out of the way?' came Malfoy's cold drawl from behind them. 'Are you trying to earn some extra money, Weasley? Hoping to be gamekeeper yourself when you leave Hogwarts, I suppose – that hut of Hagrid's must seem like a palace compared to what your family's used to.'

Ron made a dive at Malfoy but Arabella pulled him back. She turned to Malfoy.

'Get lost Malfoy. The Weasleys are ten times better than you. At least they're a real family,' said Arabella, glaring at Malfoy.

'Yeah? What would you know about family? Dead mother, locked up father. You don't have a family,' sneered Malfoy with an evil smirk on his face.

Hagrid managed to hold on to the back of Arabella's uniform as she made her way to Malfoy, swinging her arms, trying to hit any part of Malfoy.

'BLACK!'

Hagrid let go of Arabella, just as Snape came up the stairs.

'She was provoked, Professor Snape,' said Hagrid. 'Malfoy was insulting her and Ron's family.'

'Be that as it may, violence is against Hogwarts rules, Hagrid.'

'But Professor, Arabella didn't hit Malfoy, Hagrid held her back,' said Harry.

'Enough Potter, I will not be told of the school rules by a mere student. Ten points, Black, Potter. Be grateful it wasn't more,' said Snape silkily, moving along his way.

Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle pushed roughly past the tree, scattering needle everywhere and smirking.

'I'll get him,' said Ron, grinding his teeth at Malfoy's back. He turned to Arabella, 'why did you hold me back? I could have gotten him.'

'He's not worth it, Ron,' said Arabella, looking sad at Malfoy's comment.

'You were going after him,' said Harry, obviously.

'I'm family, I'm allowed to take a swing at him,' said Arabella with a small smirk.

'Anyway, Arabella, don't yer worry about what Malfoy said. Tell yeh what, you lot come with me an' see the Great Hall, look a treat.'

So the four of them followed Hagrid and his tree off to the Great hall, where Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick were busy with the Christmas decorations.

'Ah, Hagrid, the last tree – put it in the far corner, would you?'

'How many days you got left until yer holidays?' Hagrid asked.

'Just one,' asked Hermione. 'And that reminds me – Harry, Ron, Arabella, we've got half an hour before lunch, we should be in the library.'

'Oh, yeah, you're right,' said Ron, tearing his eyes away from Professor Flitwick, who had golden bubbles blossoming from the end of his wand.

Arabella groaned. 'Do we have to go to the library? It's boring!'

'Yes we do,' snapped Hermione.

'The library?' said Hagrid, following them out of the hall. 'Just before the holidays? Bit keen, aren't yeh?'

'Oh, we're not working,' Harry told him brightly. 'Ever since you mentioned Nicolas Flamel we've been trying to find out who he is.'

'You what?' said Hagrid looking shocked. 'Listen here – I've told yeh – drop it. It's nothin' to you what that dog's guardin'.'

'We just want to know who Nicolas Flamel is, that's all,' said Hermione.

'Unless you can tell us now and save us the trouble of going into the library, again,' said Arabella in a hopeful voice.

'We've looked through hundreds of book already and we haven't found him. Please Hagrid, give us a hint. I know I've read his name somewhere.'

'I'm not sayin' nothin',' said Hagrid flatly.

'Just have to find out for ourselves, then,' said Ron, and then they left Hagrid, Hermione pulling on Arabella's arm, towards the library.

They had been searching books for Flamel's name since Hagrid accidently slipped up. The trouble was not knowing what Flamel might have done to get himself into a book. The size of the library wasn't helping either.

Hermione took out a list of subjects and titles she had decided to search while Ron strode off down a row of book and started pulling them off the shelves at random. Arabella picked up one of the books they already went through, to make sure that they didn't miss him. Harry wondered off to the Restriction Section, but unfortunately, you would need a signed note from a teacher to enter there.

'What are you looking for, boy?'

'Nothing.'

'You better get out, then. Go on – out!'

Harry waited outside the library for five minutes when Arabella came out.

'What happened? Where are Ron and Hermione?'

'They're still in there. Madam Pince kicked me out because I accidently dropped a book on the floor,' said Arabella, looking a bit ashamed.

'Accidently?' said Harry with raised eyebrows.

'Yes, Harry. Accidently,' said Arabella, giving him a small smile.

They stayed outside the library for another five minutes before Ron and Hermione came outside, shaking their heads as they went off for lunch.

'You'll keep searching when I'm gone, won't you?' said Hermione.

'No promises,' said Arabella.

'Send me an owl if you find anything,' said Hermione, ignoring Arabella's comment.

'And you can ask your parents if they know who Flamel is,' said Ron. 'It'd be safe to ask them.'

'Very safe, considering they're dentists,' said Hermione.

'What are dentists?' asked Ron as Hermione and Arabella started to laugh.

'PRESENTS!'

On Christmas morning, Harry was woken up by a screaming Arabella jumping on his bed.

'Merry Christmas Harry!' screamed Arabella, as she went to Ron's bed to wake him up.

'Merlin Arabella! It's too early for you to wake us up!' said Ron, in a grumpy voice.

'Ronald, there are presents waiting to be open,' said Arabella in an innocent voice. 'If you don't get up I'll hide them all over Hogwarts, you know I will.'

That got Ron up.

'I don't like you very much,' said Ron, narrowing his eyes at her.

'Merry Christmas to you too,' said Arabella, going to Neville's empty bed where she had her pile of presents.

'Merry Christmas Harry,' said Ron, going to his pile.

'Merry Christmas,' said Harry. 'Will you look at this? I've got some presents!'

'What did you expect turnips?' said Ron.

Harry picked up the first parcel. It was wrapped in thick brown paper and scrawled across it was To Harry, from Hagrid. It was a roughly-cut wooden flute that sounded like an owl. A second very small parcel was from Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia that was taped to a fifty-pence piece.

'That's friendly,' said Harry.

Ron was fascinated by the fifty pence.

'Weird!' he said. 'What a shape! This is money?'

Harry and Arabella started laughing.

'You can keep it. Hagrid and my aunt and uncle – so who sent these?'

'I think I know who that one's from,' said Ron, going a little pink and pointing to a very large lumpy parcel. 'You got one to Arabella. It's from my mom. I told her that you might not be expecting any presents and –oh no,' he groaned, 'she's made you a Weasley jumper.'

Harry and Arabella tore open their parcels to find think hand-knitted sweater. Harry's was emerald green, while Arabella's was a golden brown. They also received a box of home-made fudge.

'Every year she makes us a jumper,' said Ron, unwrapping his own, 'and mine's always maroon.'

'That's really mice of her,' said Harry, trying the fudge.

'Tes es rewlly tawste,' said Arabella with her mouth full of the fudge.

'What?' chorused Harry and Ron.

Arabella swallowed the fudge. 'I said 'This is really tasty'.'

Harry next present also contained sweets – a large box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione and a box of Every Flavour Beans from Arabella.

This left only one parcel. Harry picked it up and unwrapped it. Something fluid and slivery grey fell into the ground. Ron and Arabella gasped.

'Is that what I think it is?' whispered Arabella, staring at it on the ground.

'Those are really rare, and really valuable,' said Ron in a hushed voice.

'What is it?' said Harry, as he picked up the slivery cloth off the floor.

'It's an invisibility cloak,' said Ron, with a look of awe on his face. 'I'm sure it is – try it on!'

Harry threw it around his shoulders and Ron gave a yell.

'It is! Look down!'

Harry looked down at his feet, but they were gone. Ron was looking at Harry with awe, as Arabella went back to Neville's bed.

'There's a note!' said Ron suddenly. 'A note fell out of it!'

Harry pulled off the cloak and seized the letter. Written in narrow, loopy writing he had never seen before were the following words: Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well. A Very Merry Christmas to you.

There was no signature. Harry stared at the note. Ron was still admiring the cloak.

'I'd give anything for one of these,' he said. 'What's the matter?'

'Nothing,' said Harry.

He looked up and saw that Arabella was staring at something small in her hands with a slight frown on her face.

'Are you ok Arabella?' said Harry.

Before Arabella could answer, the dormitory door was flung open and Fred and George bounded in.

'Merry Christmas!'

'Hey, look – Harry and Arabella got a Weasley jumper, too!'

'Harry and Arabella's better than ours, though,' said Fred, holding up Harry's jumper with one hand and Arabella's in another. 'She obviously makes more effort if you're not family.'

'Why aren't you wearing yours Ron? Come one, get it on, they're lovely and warm,' demanded George.

'I hate maroon,' moaned Ron as he pulled the jumper over his head.

'What are you looking at Arabella?' said Fred.

Before she could answer, Fred snatched the item out of her hand.

'Hey! Give that back!' said Arabella.

She chased Fred around the dormitory trying to get it back before she fell on one of the wrapping papers.

Fred started to chuckle before he saw what the item was. He smile instantly fell off and he showed it to George.

'So, that's what he looks like,' stated George.

'What is it?' asked Ron. Harry was wondering what could get Fred and George to stop smiling.

Fred showed Harry and Ron what it was. It was a picture of a small family. There was a tall man with long black that that reached his shoulders and grey eyes. Beside his was a tan skinned woman with brown hair and brown eyes. In the man's arms was a baby that looked like a replica of the woman, but with the man's eyes. They were smiling at the camera while the man gave same kisses on the woman's cheek and the top of the baby's head.

'Who are they?' asked Harry.

'That's my mom and dad. They baby's me,' said Arabella, as she picked herself up from the floor and got the picture back from Fred.

'Who sent it to you?' said Fred

'Don't know. It just came in a brown envelope. Didn't say who it was from or where it was from,' said Arabella.

'Arabella, I'm – 'started Fred.

'What's all the noise?'

Percy stuck his head through the door, looking disapproving. He had clearly come halfway through unwrapping his presents as he, too, carried a lumpy jumper over his shoulders, which Fred seized.

'P for prefect! Get it on Percy, come on, we're all wearing ours, even Harry and Arabella got one.'

'I – don't – want – 'said Percy thickly, as the twins forced the jumper over his head.

'And you're not sitting with the prefects today, either,' said George. 'Christmas is a time for family.'

Percy marched from the room, his arms pinned to his side by the jumper. Fred and George were about to follow his out when Fred turned to Arabella.

'I'm really sorry for what I did earlier,' said Fred, giving an apologetic smile.

'It's fine,' replied Arabella, giving him a smile in return. Fred and George left the room.

'You wanna go to the Great Hall, they might have some chocolate pudding,' said Ron, trying to lift Arabella's spirits.

'Let's go,' said Arabella.

'You could have woken us up,' said Ron, crossly.

'I doubt it, it was late at night,' said Arabella.

'You two can come tonight, I'm going back, I want to show you the mirror,' said Harry.

'I want to see your mom and dad,' said Ron eagerly.

'And I want to see both of your families too. All the Weasleys and your uncles and aunt, Arabella.'

'You can see them any old time. Just come around my house this summer,' said Ron.

'Same here. I want you guys to meet Nymph, she's fun,' said Arabella.

'Harry, have some bacon or something, why aren't you eating anything?' said Ron.

Harry couldn't eat. He had just seen his parents and would see them again tonight.

'Harry, are you ok? You look a bit odd?' said Arabella.

What Harry feared the most was that he might not be able to find the mirror room again. With Ron and Arabella also covered in the cloak too, they had to walk much slowly that night.

'I'm freezing,' said Ron. 'Let's forget it and go back.'

'No!' hissed Harry. 'I know it's here somewhere.'

Harry spotted the suit of armour.

'It's here – just here – yes!'

They pushed the door open. Harry dropped the cloak from round his shoulders and ran to the mirror.

There they were. His mother and father beamed at the sight of him.

'I show not your face but your heart's desire,' said Arabella, inspecting the mirror.

'What?' whispered Harry and Ron.

'The writing on the mirror,' said Arabella, pointing to the top of the mirror. 'That's what it says backwards.'

'Forget about that. Look! Look at them all… there are loads of them…'

'I can only see you,' said Ron.

'Look in it properly, go on, stand where I am.'

Harry stepped aside and went to Arabella, but with Ron in front of the mirror, he couldn't see his family anymore, just Ron is his paisley pyjamas.

Ron, though, was staring transfixed at his image.

'Look at me!'

'Can you see all your family standing around you?'

'No – I'm alone – but I'm different – I look older – and I'm head boy!'

'What?'

'I am – I'm wearing the badge like Bill used to – and I'm holding the house cup and the Quidditch cup – I'm Quidditch captain, too!'

'My turn!' said Arabella, walking towards the mirror as Ron reluctantly stepped away from it and stood my Harry.

Arabella turned to the mirror and gasped.

'What happened? Is everything ok?' said Harry.

Arabella didn't seem to hear him. She kept staring at the image in front of her. Her eyes seemed to have become glassy and her right hand moved to touch the surface of the mirror.

'Arabella!' said Ron.

This seemed to snap Arabella back to reality. 'Yeah?'

'What do you see?' asked Harry eagerly.

Arabella took a deep breath before she answered.

'I see me, Uncle Remus, my mom and … my dad. We're all looking happy and walking underneath the moonlight. Nobody's dead, nobody's locked up and we're all healthy.'

Arabella stepped away from the mirror, wiping her eyes hastily. 'We should be going. We could get caught. We can come back another night.'

'Let me have another look –'said Harry.

'You had it to yourself all last night, give me a bit more time,' said Ron.

'You're only holding the Quidditch cup, what's interesting about that? I want to see my parents.'

'Is this really the moment?' whispered Arabella.

'Don't push me – '

A sudden noise outside in the corridor put an end to their discussion. They didn't realise how loud they were talking.

'Quick!'

Ron threw the cloak back around their shoulders as Mrs Norris came around the door. Ron, Arabella and Harry stood still until Mrs Norris turned and left.

'This isn't safe – she might have gone for Filch, I bet she heard us. Come on.'

And Ron pulled Harry and Arabella out of the room.

The snow still hadn't melted next morning.

'Want to play chess, Harry?' said Ron.

'No.'

'Why don't we go and visit Hagrid?'

'No... you go…'

'I know what you're thinking about, Harry, that mirror. Don't go back tonight. You too Arabella. You both were acting really weird.'

'Any why not?' said Arabella, looking up from the picture of her family.

'I dunno, I've just got a bad feeling about it – and anyway, you've had too many close shaves already, Harry. Filch, Snape and Mrs Norris are wondering around. So what if they can't see you? What if they walk into you? What if you knock something over?'

'You sound like Hermione,' said Harry.

'I'm serious, Harry, Arabella, don't go.'

Harry only had one thought in his head, which was to get back in front of the mirror, and Ron wasn't going to stop him.

Later that night, Harry went to the common-room and saw Arabella there already waiting for him.

'You coming?' said Harry.

'Just one last time. I want to see them one last time,' said Arabella, in a sort of distant voice.

Harry threw the cloak around their shoulders and ventured out through the portrait hole.

The third night he found his way more quickly than before and Arabella seemed to match his pace.

And there were his mother and father, smiling at him again, and one of his grandfathers nodding happily. Harry sank to the floor in front of the mirror. Arabella sat away from the mirror. They decided that Harry would go first, then Arabella.

'So – back again, Harry? Arabella?'

Harry felt as though his insides had turned to ice. He saw Arabella turn pale in the corner of his eyes. They both turned around and saw Albus Dumbledore sitting on one of the desks by the wall.

'We didn't see you, sir.'

'Strange how short-sighted being invisible can make you both,' said Dumbledore and Harry was relieved to see that he was smiling.

'So,' said Dumbledore, slipping of the desk to sit on the floor between Harry and Arabella, 'you two, like hundreds before you, have discovered the delights of the Mirror if Erised.'

'I didn't know what it was called that, sir.'

'But I expect you both have realised by now what it does?'

'It show's our deepest, darkest desires,' said Arabella in a small voice, looking down.

'Precisely, Miss Black. You who have watched your family ripped from you at a very young age want to see them reunited together. And you have seen your Uncle in bad health for many years, see him healthy,' said Dumbledore.

'Your friend Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. You, Mr Potter, have never known your family, see them standing around you.'

'Sir – how do you know all this?' asked Arabella.

'I don't need a cloak to become invisible,' said Dumbledore gently. 'The happiest man on earth would look in this mirror and see himself exactly as he is. Men have wasted away before it; enchanted by what they have seen, or been driven man, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.

'The mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, Arabella. And I ask you both to not go looking for it again. If you both ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't the two of you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed?'

Harry and Arabella stood up.

'Sir – Professor Dumbledore? Can I ask you something?' said Harry.

'Obviously, you've just done so,' Dumbledore smiled. 'You may ask me one more thing, however.'

'What do you see when you look in the mirror?'

'I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks.'

Harry and Arabella stared.

'One can never have too many socks,' said Dumbledore. 'Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books. Anyway, off to bed the both of you beware of Mrs Norris.'

'How did you know what the mirror would show?' said Harry, as they both reached the common-room.

'Erised is backwards for desire. I told you what the writing on the mirror said last night. It just fits,' said Arabella, shrugging her shoulders. 'Good night Harry.'

Arabella made her way to her dormitory. When Harry remembered something.

'Arabella, wait. What did Dumbledore mean when he said that you watched your family ripped apart from you? Did you see your mother die?' asked Harry.

Arabella stared at Harry for a moment.

'That is another story for another time. I'll tell you one day, just not now. Good night Harry,' said Arabella with a small wave.

Harry stood there for a moment, realizing that probably that was a too personal of a question.

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