The damp cold and dark chamber echoed his almost non-existence footsteps as he made his way to the fabled Mirror of Erised. Its white marble sides and flawless glass mirror glowed magically in the room. It was almost like it was beckoning to Severus to come closer to the light of its glow. Severus came even closer still, though he knew better. He knew all about the mirror and its powers to show one true desire locked deep within a persons heart.
Severus stood firm at the base of the mirror and took a deep breath. He glazed into the emptiness of the mirror and waited. A dark swirl of red and grey slowly rippled into view and the vision cleared to show a women in her early twenties with porcelain skin emerald green eyes and hair as red as the color of Mars surface. She stared back at him with eyes lingering with understanding, sadness and disappointment. Lily I am so very sorry he wanted to whisper in remorse but he didn't deserve to have her sweet name grace his lips ever again.
She place her hand against the glass almost as if she was reaching out to touch him. Severus felt a swirl of emotions hit him all at once. He couldn't take it anymore as he placed his hand upon her hand feeling the coolness of the glass. He slide to his knees in shame covering his face from her green piercing eyes. There was so much that had went unsaid between them and the void that guilt had taken the form of in the place where his heart use to be clinched in pain. He dared to stand on shaky legs and glance upon Lily's form in the mirror once more.
Severus couldn't look at the image any longer it hurt too much and reminded him of all the mistakes and failures he had made as a man. Those green eyes and fiery red hair would do him in as they always had and always would. He dropped to his knees his chest clenching his heart barley beating in his ribs. His eyes watered as she gazed upon him with eye's filled with sadness and pseudo love. A lone tear that no one but the wind and the night would ever see fell to the floor with a wet thud. Lily leaned close to the mirror her hand posed on the glass as she stared down at Severus crumbled and guilt ridden figure laying on the ground. Her silhouette covering his form like a goddess whom watched in pain as her child suffered and she could do nothing to ease it. So close but so far away from him.
Severus almost felt like he couldn't go on the walls closing in as he began to have a mild panic attack. He glanced up once more as he felt the presence of another wizard in the room and slowly got up and compose himself. Brushing the dirt off his hands and knees he turned to face Dumbledore.
Dumbledore smiled a small smile of understanding and came to stand beside Severus patting him on the shoulder in a gesture of comfort.
"I understand your plight I too gaze in the mirror and see my heart's desire." Dumbledore said breaking the blanket of silence in the chamber. Severus looked at him with a question gaze.
"What do you see Headmaster?" Severus asked soberly.
Dumbledore smiled brightly before answering.
"An endless supply of socks and lemon sherbet's." the old wizard replied.
Severus had the strong urge to roll his eye's and wondered how much of that private moment Dumbledore had seen.
"No worries my boy the Mirror of Erised has bought many a man not prepared to his knees." He said caressing the curved designs on the side of the mirror.
Severus ignored his comment and fought the urge to hold his tough but failed miserably.
"Headmaster should you really leave something like this where it can be reach by a certain someone that may or may not have an invisibly cloak?"
Dumbledore waved his hand in a dismissive manner.
"It will be fine Severus I am moving the mirror first thing tomorrow morning before breakfast to a new location where it will be under the best protection magic can provide." Dumbledore said with a tone that left no room for argument.
Dumbledore leveled Severus with a look that said "I know what I doing here and oh did I forget to mention I have a hundred plus years of experience of handling these types of things before you were even a twinkle in your father eyes". The Potions master blinked Dumbledore had a way of conveying a lot through his twinkle if you knew how to read it.
Severus decided not to dwell on it to much and glanced back at the mirror one last time the image of the Lily long gone leaving the reflections of Severus and Dumbledore standing at separate ends of the chamber.
He couldn't believe the things Dumbledore had put in place to mold Harry and this mirror was just one step of many on his ladder of the "grand plan". He stalked out of the chamber not bothering to bid the headmaster goodbye as his cloak billowed behind him.
Severus might have been many things but even he could never stoop to the level that Dumbledore was operating on. To many people had suffered for his vision of the "greater good". His poor Lily, Harry, and begrudgingly James. Dumbledore didn't understand the suffering that Severus went through everyday having to live with the fact that Lily was dead partly because of him.
He needed to redeem himself and if that meant an eye for an eye then he would gladly protect Harry or give up his life as forfeit trying. That would be his punishment, taking Harry's hate and looking into those same green eyes that once gaze at him with love and care hardened with loathing on the face of that damn Potter spawn. He would get no peace tonight except the one found at the bottom of a fire whiskey bottle and the familiar territory of his nightmares.
The linger of a broken man waltzed down the dark corridors of the Hogwarts castle. Never knowing that his punishment would constantly wear him down year after year before he died a sad and lonely death staring into those same green eyes of Lily's on the face of his childhood enemy's son.
In the chamber
Dumbledore watched Severus go fading out of the room. He turn to stare into the mirror seeing the form of his sister smiling at him. He looked away with shame and guilt. Severus had no idea how Dumbledore truly felt but he had do these things so what happened to his poor sister would never happened to any one else ever again. Even if it meant some people had to be hurt in the process of the "greater good". He would place all of his magic and his life on it.