It only took me a month this time!
Harry "Congrats, the last time you did that was either the previous story or at the very beginning of this one!"
Shut it, Hyena boy. One more thing, I'm cleaning up the previous story to smoothen out the read a bit.
"Snow here is nicer than back home," Harry offhandedly commented, staring out a window to gaze upon the white blanketing the ground outside.
"Why's that?" Hermione asked, hoping that Harry might let slip a clue of his home location.
"Back home the only time you see snow that clean is when it's just fallen or in places where there's not a lot of traffic or people going by. Usually, if there's no more snow what's there turns into a gray slush," Harry responded, wondering if Hermione would get the clue of it being a city out of that. Seeing the slight smile on the brunette's face confirmed that she had gotten the clue. 'Wonder if I'm making this too easy?'
[Not yet, but you're getting close,] Jin chimed in from his cozy spot in front of the fireplace.
"Very funny," Harry sarcastically remarked, playfully tossing a ball at the hyena, "Fetch!"
[No, I'm comfy here,] Jin declined, swatting the object away.
"Lazy," Harry muttered.
"Let's grab some lunch," Luna suddenly spoke up.
"Sounds like a good idea to me," Harry agreed, setting his work aside and closing his book, "You coming, 'Mione?"
"In a few minutes, I want to finish up my homework," Hermione responded.
"That assignment isn't due until after the break," Harry pointed out.
"I don't want to leave it to the last minute," Hermione reasoned, scanning the pages of her book.
"You need to loosen up a bit," the faintly green haired Raven remarked before he and Luna left for the Great Hall.
"Nice decorations," Harry muttered as he entered the Great Hall, taking in the decorations of holly, mistletoe and the trees were covered with tiny icicles or numerous candles.
"How do you like 'em?" Hagrid asked, approaching the two Ravens.
"I like it but I worry that the mistletoe might have Nargles," Luna answered.
Harry shrugged at the giant's questioning gaze, "If you're that worried, Alba, just stay away from them. By the way, Hagrid, I can't take Jin home with me over the break, you mind watching over him?"
"Sure, could use a bit more company, Fang an' me, but why aren't you taking him?" Hagrid responded.
"When I told him we'd have to travel by floo to go home and then come back in the span of a few weeks, he refused to leave," Harry shrugged, "He said the last time we did that he nearly puked... I'm not sure if a hyena can actually throw up but I don't want to take that chance."
Hagrid laughed, "How many days you two have left until yer holidays?"
"Two if you don't include today," Hermione answered, walking up and turning to her friends, "After lunch we should head to the library."
"You lot getting ahead on yer work?" the giant asked.
"Hermione's all done with hers, I'm taking a laid back route... I have no clue about Luna," Harry shrugged, "We're actually trying to look up Nicolas Flamel. I told them what you blabbed to me after we ran into Fluffy a little while back."
Hagrid looked shocked, "I thought I told you, Harry at least, not to go meddlin' in things yer not involved in. Jus' drop it!"
"Sorry Hagrid, when I find a good puzzle I'm driven to solve it," Harry grinned, "You can blame my riddle loving uncle for that."
After quick lunch followed by a search of the library, which turned up nothing yet again, Harry trekked back to his House to double check to see if he had left anything under the bed before he left. Upon entering the dorms, he was met with an anxious Jin.
[Brother, one of those kitchen things put something on your bed while you were gone,] Jin informed as he watched his owner/brother approached, [It didn't smell dangerous or bad but be careful.]
"Thanks," Harry muttered, scratching the hyena's ears and giving him some food he had brought back before carefully approaching the item in question. After a few minutes of poking the item he decided to unwrap it, revealing a grayish-silver colored length of cloth, "What in the world is this?"
"Mind letting me see?" Luna spoke up and upon seeing the questioning look on Harry's face answered his thought question, "Jin got me, he seemed worried about something."
"He said a house elf left this so it shouldn't be bad," Harry held up the cloth for Luna to examine.
Luna stared at the fabric, tilting her head one way then the other before requesting, "Put it on."
"If I can't remove this, I'll prank you so badly..." Harry muttered, draping the fabric around his shoulders and letting it fall over his body.
"It's an invisibility cloak," the blonde smiled, "Those are very rare."
Harry looked in a mirror and saw that it appeared as if he was simply a floating head. Grinning, he announced, "This will give me so much pranking fun!"
"There's a note," Luna smiled at his reaction before holding up a scrap of paper to the disembodied head to read.
Your father left this in my possession before he died.
It is time for it to be returned to you.
I hope you find good use for it.
Have a merry Christmas.
'Like I'm going to use something as awesome as this for good,' Harry rolled his eyes at the emphasis in the note before holding out to Jin, "Think you can find out who sent it?"
The hyena sniffed the note before letting out something similar to a sneeze and batting the paper away, [Yuck, I don't like the smell!]
Harry laughed, "You can't figure out who's it from?"
[The smell I don't like has the scent of those Kitchen Things on top but I get enough that it hurts my nose,] Jin shook his head, trying to clear the smell out, [But I think the smell is lemons... I think that it's that Old Man.]
"Old Man... Dumbledore?" Harry guessed.
[I don't care what his name is, but I hate his smell!]
"What's wrong with him?" Luna asked, rubbing the creature's neck in an effort of a comforting gesture.
"Bad smell," Harry simply explained, rubbing Jin's head, "You want to go down to the kitchens to get the smell out?"
[I like doing that anytime,] Jin responded, nudging the boy's hand before muttering mainly to himself, [Flower's pettings are nice...]
"Ungrateful canine," Harry muttered.
[I'm part of the cat family, remember?] the hyena retorted.
"I was trying to insult you."
After dinner and most of the his roommates had gone to sleep, Harry stared up at the roof of his bed, thinking about the possibilities for the cloak now in his possession. His thoughts drifted to the pranking potential from earlier but it now wandered to sneaking into places where he did not belong, the Restricted Section of the library for one. The knowledge there was dangerous and it called out to him to read the off limit tomes.
Reaching under his bed, Harry pulled out the cloak and wrapped it around himself and, giving Jin a soft pat on the head, left.
Slowly opening the door to the library, to make sure it did not make a sound, the slightly unhinged Raven entered the darkened room and looked around to make sure that he was truly alone before searching for something to light his way. Eventually finding an unlit lamp he patted his pockets for something to light it before mentally smacking himself and snapping his fingers to generate a small, green flame and lit it. Lifting the lamp, the sight of it floating in midair would have be an interesting thing to see for anyone, Harry cast the light over the shelves of books.
"This is some pretty creepy stuff..." Harry muttered as he ran his fingers across the spines of several books, tilting his head slightly to read their names. Choosing one at random, he pulled it from the shelf and opened it only to promptly drop it as it let out and ear piercing scream.
"Crap, crap, crap!" Harry picked up the book and quickly shoved it back into its spot, making sure that the invisibility cloak covered him completely he blew out the light in the lamp before quickly retreating from the library, ducking into an alcove to avoid running into Filch as he came past.
Watching the grizzled caretaker go in, Harry quickly fled down the corridor in the opposite direction to put as much distance as possible between them. He eventually stopped to catch his breath and to check his surroundings, spotting a suit of armor and checked to see if it bore any of his miniscule marks of graffiti that he had done within the first few months of school. He quickly figured out that he had to be a few floors above the library by now and decided that now would be a good time to go to bed.
"You asked me to come directly to you if anyone was wandering around the castle at night Professor; someone was in the library: Restricted Section," Filch's greasy voice drawled.
'Crap!' Harry thought, pressing his back to the wall and looking for a way to escape when he heard the voice of the other person in the conversation.
"The Restricted Section? They can't have gotten far, we'll catch them," Snape replied.
Glancing around frantically, Harry saw a door ajar just slightly and made his way over and though it, holding his breath and sucking in his stomach to make sure he slipped though without touching the door and alerting the two to his presence.
Eventually, the two walked past the room and Harry let out a silent sight of relief, a bit mad at himself that his skills at sneaking around had gotten rusty and that he had almost gotten caught.
Deciding it would be best to lay low for a little while longer before heading back to his House, Harry looked around and figured he must be in an unused classroom if the desks and chairs stacked in a corner of the room was any indicator. He then noticed, propped up against a wall, was a very large mirror that someone seemed to have put there to get it out of the way.
Wondering why someone would store something so random in an out of the way place, Harry approached the object and what he saw reflected back confused him; he turned around quickly to see if what he saw was actually in the room with him, but he was alone. In the mirror was a man and woman; the man had messy black hair, brown eyes, and wore glasses while the woman had red hair and green eyes.
Harry glanced at the top of the mirror and read: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. "What the heck does that mean?" Harry muttered out loud, "Is it a riddle or a different language? The letters are English at least but…" he glanced at the first word before digging out a piece of scrap paper out of his pocket and an extra pen. "Erised, erised… wait a minute," he quickly wrote the word backwards and came up with something recognizable, "Desire? …is the whole sentence backwards?" he quickly wrote down the rest of the sentence, pointedly ignoring the people staring back at him, "What the heck does it mean now?" Ishow no tyo urfac ebu tyo urhe arts desire was now written in front of him.
Harry tapped the pen against he paper idly before covering up most of the sentence allowing him to see a part of it could now be read as not your. He quickly drew lines separating the words in the sentence to make something coherent: I|show no t|yo ur|fac e|bu t|yo ur|he arts desire. "What is this supposed to mean? …if it's supposed to show what I want, this mirror should show my family, not whoever these people are."
Harry pressed his hands against the mirror and glared at the people reflected, even though they kept smiling at him, "Cut that out, you're not anyone I know, so buzz off!" He growled deeply in annoyance and anger, not noticing that his magic was flowing out of him and was interacting with the mirror. The image of the two people eventually faded away to be replaced with more familiar, and colorful, figures. He gave a wide smile as he saw that he was surrounded by his true family: Joker and Harley were right next to him, Poison Ivy next to Harley, Riddler, Catwoman, and Two-Face on one side, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, and Penguin on the other, but what was surprising was the addition of several new figures; Luna, Hermione, Fred and George, Neville and Draco were right next to him, not paying attention to the costumed villains around them, seemingly accepting both sides of who he was.
'I wish that could be true...' Harry though, staring at the image and feeling a slight pang of regret that he could not be completely truthful with any of his friends. 'I doubt that anyone would understand my situation, but I wonder what they'd think of this?'
"Alba... Alba, wake up," Harry whispered, nudging the blonde as she slept.
"I've had enough pudding today..." Luna muttered, almost causing Harry to laugh out loud at the nonsensical phrase.
"C'mon, I need to show you something!" Harry nudged the girl again, finally waking her up.
"Hello, Harry, why're you visiting me in the middle of the night?" Luna sat up and rubbed her eyes.
"I need to show you something cool," Harry responded, pulling his friend out of bed and noticing something, "You wear your shoes to bed?"
"Just in case I sleepwalk," Luna smiled before glancing over at Hermione, "Are we going to wake her up too?"
"I don't think she'd like us all being out of bed, so no," Harry shrugged as he slid down the slide that had replaced the steps when he had ascended earlier and waited at the bottom for Luna.
"How did you get up here in the first place?" Luna asked, as Harry helped her up.
"When the steps changed, I jumped from wall to wall, like a ninja!" Harry grinned but dropped the smile when he realized that Luna most likely did not know what a ninja was, "I'll explain what that is later, what I want to show you is really cool."
Harry eventually led Luna to the room the held the strange mirror, after a few wrong turns along the way, including one that inexplicably led them to the astronomy tower. He pulled the invisibility cloak off and placed Luna directly in front of the mirror and stepped back slightly.
"What do you see, Alba?" Harry asked as he watched Luna press her hands to the mirror, smiling.
"I see my mom... she's beautiful," Luna murmured
"If she's anything like you, I bet she is," Harry smiled, "which I could see what you do... this mirror only shows stuff that's important to the person I guess."
"How did you find this thing?" she asked.
"I hid in here after doing something I wasn't supposed to," Harry tried to joke but his heart was not into it when he noticed that he friend seemed sad, "Are you okay?"
"I think so... it's nice to see her sort of alive even though it's not real," Luna responded, "Thank you for showing me this."
"Think of it as an early Christmas gift," Harry smiled.
"What do you see?"
Harry stepped in front of Luna and lightly touched the glass, "I'm surrounded by my family and all my friends... I guess I'm really homesick."
"Good think you're going home, then," Luna reminded.
"Which is why you two should be in bed," a voice spoke up.
The two Ravens turned around and Harry instinctively stood between Luna and the other person, "Who's there?"
"Calm yourself," the person revealed themselves to be Dumbledore, "I was just checking on two students that are up after hours... or up very early depending on how you look at it."
Harry still stood defensive against the Headmaster, he still had not forgiven the near erasure of his memories and that the old man had not received any punishment for it. "Are we in trouble?"
"No, just a word about the mirror," Dumbledore advised, "Do you know what it truly does?"
"It shows us what we really want more than anything?" Luna offered, touching the reflective surface lightly.
"Yes and no, it simply shows a person nothing more or less than their deepest, most desperate desires of their heart," the Headmaster explained, "For Luna, it is the wish to see her mother and for you-"
"You say another word about me, I'll break your nose," Harry quickly cut off, scared about Luna finding out about his family and that she would not be his friend if she knew.
The old man held up his hands slightly in a gesture of peace, "Be careful, this mirror does not give either knowledge or truth. Many men have wasted away in front of it, transfixed by what it shows or have been driven mad by the thought that what they've seen being fake or impossible to achieve and despairing.
"The mirror will be moved soon, I suggest that neither of you go looking for it. Remember, it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. Now, why don't you two put that cloak on and head back to bed?"
"Why did you give me the cloak?" Harry asked, suddenly remembering that the old man in front of him had given him the item.
Dumbledore smiled, "It was your father's possession so it seems only right to return it to you."
'Sounds like he's trying to bribe me...' Harry thought.
"Professor Dumbledore... can I ask you something?" Luna spoke up.
"You have just done so but you may ask me one more thing," the Headmaster smiled.
"What do you see when you look into the mirror?"
"I? I see myself with a pair of thick, woolen socks," Dumbledore answered, "You can't have too many socks but people insist on buying me books. I don't think I'll be getting single pair this year, yet again."
After the Headmaster left, Harry turned to his fellow Ravenclaw and paused before quite honestly saying, "Who the heck wants socks for Christmas?"