15. The mirror of Erised
A/N: Everything but Lexie and Max belongs to J. K. Rowling. I claim no ownership and am not making this for profit, only fun.Chapter 15: The mirror of Erised
That night Lexie was seated before the fireplace reading the new book that Harry had gifted her when she heard a noise and glanced up. "Hello?"
She looked around the room but saw nothing and frowned, she was sure she'd heard something. She turned back to her book. Her mind strayed to earlier that morning when Fred and George had come in to visit Ron and Harry, both wearing initialized sweaters. George had smiled widely at her and brushed a kiss over her cheek before she could utter a word. He stepped back, said "Happy Christmas Alexis," and was gone up the stairs before she could react. It was only after glancing up that she noticed a sprig of mistletoe floating above her head and she blushed. Trust George to come up with such an idea, she thought.
Her attention was brought back into focus when she heard the Fat Lady ask who was there, and Lexie watched the portrait slide closed and heard nothing in reply. Now she was confused, something had opened and closed the portrait, unless they both were mistaken? She decided to wait, just to see...what for exactly she didn't know. Lexie waited half the night it seemed when finally, like before, the portrait opened and closed on its own.
"Who's there? Show yourself!" She looked around frantically, certain now that it must be a ghost or something. All of a sudden, before her stood—"Harry?"
Harry took off his cloak, looking at his friend wide-eyed. He had been so excited to try out his father's old cloak for the first time that he had sped right past where Lexie now sat without seeing her. "Lexie? What are you doing out of bed?"
"I could ask you the same question," the girl replied, arching a slim eyebrow at him.
"How did you get out of the Common room before?" Lexie looked down at the silvery bundle in his arms, "What's that?"
"Its an invisibility cloak, it was my dad's." Harry hesitated then pulled the cloak on and she let out a soft cry of surprise. "I wanted to see if it worked," he explained as he took it off once more and came toward her to sit and tell her of his adventure.
"Where did you go?" Lexie was fascinated, the wizarding world never failed to surprise her, and while she wasn't sure she liked the idea of Harry wandering the castle after hours, she was amazed by his tale. The Mirror intrigued her, and made her wonder what she'd see if she stood before it. Her parents?
"Do you want to come next time?" Harry asked, caught up in his story as he relayed it. "I can show you my family and maybe you'll be able to see what yours look like." He said this last carefully, hoping his friend wouldn't get upset once more.
Lexie shook her head sadly. "No, I'd rather not." Harry shined his bewilderment and she went on to explain. "I want to, don't get me wrong, I really do. But I just don't think I could bear to see them and then have to turn around and they not be there."
Harry hugged her, he understood now, she didn't want to feel what he had. "I haven't even looked at my dad's journal," she whispered.
"I'm going back tomorrow night if you change your mind," Harry offered. It had been hard to see his family but it also filled him with such happiness too. Lexie didn't respond and Harry stood, took the cloak, and headed up the stairs to his dormitory to wake Ron.
Gazing into the fire, Lexie stayed for a while, thinking it over. Then she stood, went upstairs, sat on her bed and closed the curtains, and opened her father's journal. Now that she had admitted her fear aloud to Harry, she felt strong enough to take the first step toward facing it. She lit her wand and set it beside her and settled back to read.
January 4th, 1970
I am now 10 as I write this. I don't even know why I am doing so except that Mother and Father gave me this book for Christmas. What am I meant to write? Journals are muggle things, this is just silly. Sirius wasted no time teasing me about it of course, before Mother hit him with a broom and punished him. Next year I will receive my Hogwarts letter, I cannot wait. Sirius tells me so many stories about it, whenever we're alone. I think Father would prefer me to go to Durmstrang but I know Mother will talk him around. 'Don't trust Albus Dumbledore Regulus,' Mother says. 'Stay away from your wicked brother', she says. I don't see why he's so bad, although I know he doesn't share Mother and Father's views. I hear them yelling all of the time. Sirius seems to spend so much of his time grounded. When he isn't, he backtalk's them and the cycle starts again. I don't really know what else to write, having a journal is just weird.
Lexie continued to read the bound book until her eyes began to droop. She wondered who in the world Sirius was, and what had happened to him. Her grandparents didn't seem like very nice people but she noticed that it was always Sirius in trouble, not Regulus. She also pondered when her mother would come along, how they'd met. She whispered the spell to turn the light off of her wand and placed the journal beneath her pillow. Once again, she considered Harry's offer and that she might just take him up on it after all.
The following morning Lexie pulled Harry aside and told him she had changed her mind after all, and he told her that she could go with he and Ron later that night. The rest of the day Lexie spent in Professor Snape's classroom, while she practiced her potion making skills. She was determined to commit each potion to memory and perform them flawlessly. She was mostly ignored by the Potions master, except for the odd comment or grunt in her direction. The girl supposed that her teacher simply wasn't used to a student spending so much time in his labs before, especially willingly.
After another filling and happy dinner, the three Gryffindor's gathered and huddled under the cloak. Harry was afraid he wouldn't find the room a second time and had to walk much slower.
"I'm freezing," said Ron. "Let's forget it and go back." Lexie had pulled on her sweater again so she wasn't cold, but Ron was only in a thin pajama shirt.
"No!" Harry hissed. "I know it's here somewhere."
They passed a ghost of a tall witch gliding in the opposite direction, but saw no one else. Just as Ron was about to start moaning, presumably about his feet being cold, Harry spotted something and they halted.
"Its here—just here—yes!"
The three pushed a door open and Harry dropped the cloak from their shoulders and ran to the mirror in the forgotten classroom. Ron and Lexie followed at a slower pace, the latter holding the cloak in her arms.
"See?" Harry whispered, but they saw only Harry.
"I can't see anything," Ron answered.
"Look! Look at them all…there are loads of them…"
"We only see you Harry," Lexie whispered to her excited friend.
"Look in it properly, go on, stand where I am." With that, Harry stepped aside but with Ron being the closest, and now in front of the mirror, Lexie again saw only Ron in his pajamas.
Ron, though, was gazing at his image.
"Look at me!" he said.
"Can you see your family all around you?"
"What do you see Ron?"
"No—I'm alone—but I'm different—I'm older—and I'm Head boy!"
Lexie was confused. How could Harry see his late parents, yet Ron saw himself as Head boy? She examined the mirror closely, reading the faded words at the top. Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. She turned the words over in her head, wishing she knew more languages.
"What?" Harry shined his puzzlement.
"I am—I'm wearing the badge like Bill had—and I'm holding the house cup and the Quidditch cup—I'm Quidditch captain too." Ron tore his eyes away from the vision to look at the two of them. "Do you think this mirror shows the future?"
"How can it? All my family are dead – let me have another look –"
"You had it to yourself all last night, give me a bit more time."
"Guys," Lexie cut in. "I think we should go back." Neither of them heard her however.
"You're only holding the Quidditch cup, what's interesting about that? I want to see my parents."
"Don't push me—"
"C'mon even Lexie hasn't had a go—"
A sudden noise outside in the corridor put an end to their discussion "Hush!" Lexie whispered sharply. "Quick!" Lexie threw the cloak over them again as the luminous eyes of Mrs. Norris came round the door. They stood quite still, all thinking the same thing—did the cloak work on cats?
After what seemed like forever, the cat turned and left.
"This isn't safe – she might have heard and gone for Filch, come on."
But Lexie stayed put as Ron tried to pull Harry out of the room. She had to know…
Harry noticed that Lexie wasn't with them and turned to find his friend standing where they had stood, and he stopped, "Wait Ron."
Lexie saw the two people from her dreams standing behind her, as well as another man, and she wondered if he was Sirius. She committed their faces to memory, her heart breaking the longer she looked. Then she felt a hand on her arm, and turned to see Harry watching her with empathy.
"We should go," he said softly and she nodded. Ron threw the cloak over them both and hurried back to the common room as quietly as they could.
"Want to play chess, Harry?" Ron asked as they ate breakfast the next morning.
"Why don't we go down to visit Hagrid?" Lexie tried next.
"I know what you're thinking Harry," Ron said. "That mirror. Don't go back tonight."
"I've got a bad feeling about it—and you're lucky you haven't been caught already."
"He's right, Filch and Snape are wandering around now, and you can't risk it. So what if they can't see you, they could walk into you, or you might knock something over," Lexie added. While she sympathized with Harry, she didn't think it was a good idea to go back. She didn't like how Harry was obsessing over the mirror, or the way it had caused the two best friends to argue the night before.
"You sound like Hermione."
"We're serious, Harry, don't go."
Lexie doubted that Harry would listen.