I don't own Harry Potter


"I can't believe I was really persuaded by you to do this," Daphne said while Harry was looking increasingly desperately for clues that they were on the right track to the room he had found yesterday. The room with the mirror. The mirror which had shown him his parents. He wanted and had to see them again. And he wanted to show them to Daphne as well.

Ever since they had met at Madam Malkin's during his first visit to Diagon Alley and later at the train ride to Hogwarts Harry shared everything with her. His thoughts, experiences and sentiments. She was his first friend. He had never had friends before. Dudley and his cronies had taken care of that. He hadn't even contradicted the sorting hat which had wanted to send him to Slytherin. After all, she had been sent to Slytherin beforehand, too. Still, living together with persons like Draco Malfoy sometimes made him doubt his decision.

He wasn't sure if Daphne saw him as a friend as well. She was usually reserved, dismissive, even downright cold towards others. At least she tolerated Harry around her, and sometimes he even made her smile. The first time had been at Madam Malkin's when he had accidentally slammed the door in her father's face. Harry wanted to see this rare, precious smile more often, even if the bearer of the smile made it anything but easy for him. Otherwise she didn't reveal much about herself, too. Yet, from the few occasions she opened up towards him and from his own observations, he had learned some things about her. The reserved and mirthless way her parents had treated her in Diagon Alley and which Daphne had responded in the same way. The missing letters while their classmates regularly received messages from home. Staying at Hogwarts during the Christmas holidays instead of going home like most others. Finally, the missing Christmas gifts yesterday. Daphne didn't have a comfortable family life. Like him.

Therefore, he was eager to show her his family who had looked at him with such loving expressions. He wanted to share this love and his happiness with her so that she might smile once more.

All this went through Harry's mind as they passed the ghost of a big witch. Finally, Harry spotted the armor he had seen the previous day.

"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.

"See?" Harry whispered.

"I can't see anything."

"Look! Look at them all…there are loads of them…"

"I can only see you."

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

Harry stepped aside, but with Daphne in front of the mirror, he couldn't see his family anymore, just Daphne's reflection.

[J. K. Rowling (1997), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12]

But now Daphne was staring wide-eyed into the mirror. Her gaze was filled with longing and desire - Harry could not describe it any differently. She closed her eyes and a lonely tear flowed down her cheek. But then she grimaced, and when Daphne opened her eyes again, pure anger blazed in them. Harry had never seen her like that before, and he instinctively took a step backwards. But before he could react somehow, Daphne's expression changed once more. Now disgust was reflected in her features, as if she were offended by what she saw. And then…Was there fear in her eyes? Fear of what?

All this happened within a few seconds. Eventually, Daphne turned abruptly away from the mirror and Harry so that he could only see the back of her head and not her face anymore.

"You shouldn't look in the mirror anymore," Daphne said, heading for the door.

"Daphne ... wait ...," Harry called after her, but Daphne had already left the room.

After a moment's hesitation, Harry followed her, but not without another glance in the mirror and the smiling faces that beckoned to him. Harry would have liked to stay with his parents for much longer, but he needed to know what was going on with Daphne. Something was wrong with her. She usually didn't behave that way. And she had never reacted so emotionally before. Had the sight of his family triggered that in her? But why?

Harry reached Daphne in the middle of the corridor.

"Daphne ...," he said to her, but she didn't respond to him and didn't stop walking. Only then he realized that Daphne had wrapped her arms around her upper body and seemed to shiver.

"Daphne," Harry tried again, "we shouldn't just walk around in this corridor. What if Filch sees us?"

But Daphne still didn't seem to notice him.

"DAPHNE," Harry shouted now, grabbing his friend by the shoulder, "what's wrong with you?"

Now Daphne seemed to notice him. At least, she stopped and turned her head to him. Her normally ice-blue, but now strangely dull, empty eyes fixed on Harry. But he was not sure if she was really looking at him and not through him. But then her eyes became clear again, and she looked him straight in the face.

"I'm fine," she finally replied, "Let's go back to the common room before we get caught."

Daphne seemed to have herself completely under control again, Harry thought. But what had just happened to her?

"We have to get my cloak," Harry eventually said the most obvious, "it's still in the room."

Daphne just nodded briefly, and together they went back in the room with the mirror. There his invisibility cloak was still on the floor by the front door where Harry had thrown it previously. He picked it up and turned back to Daphne. He noticed that she was staring vehemently at the opposite wall.

Harry's gaze swept back to the mirror in the center of the room. It was almost as if the mirror was calling to him. Or did his parents call him? He just wanted to see them again. Only once again before they returned to the Slytherin common room.

"You really shouldn't look in the mirror anymore," he heard Daphne and only then did Harry realize that he had already taken the first step towards the mirror. He hesitated for a moment, but then turned away from the mirror. Daphne looked at him thoughtfully. And ... was there sadness in her eyes?

He had to know.

"Daphne, why did you react that way?" he asked cautiously. "Was it because of my parents?"

"Idiot," Daphne replied, "I didn't see your parents. What a stupid idea."

"But the mirror shows my parents? Every time I look in the mirror, I see them!"

"Did you actually take a closer look at the mirror? What is written above as an inscription?" Daphne asked him in an annoyed tone that was so typical of her. She used this tone of voice every time she explained something to him in class. But she also sounded somehow absent, as if her thoughts were somewhere else.

Harry pondered. He hadn't looked at the mirror so closely. He had been too distracted by what the mirror showed him. But he actually remembered an inscription!

"Something strange. I couldn't understand it," he said and turned his head back to the center of the room.

"NO," Daphne called and Harry stopped. "Don't look in the mirror!"

Harry looked at her in a baffled way. What was her problem with the mirror which causes such happiness in him?

"You have to read the words backwards," Daphne continued. She closed her eyes, and it seemed to Harry that she was trying hard to remember something. "I show not your face but your heart's desire," she said. "That's what's engraved on the mirror."

"What does that mean?" Harry asked, unsure of what that all meant.

"Harry," Daphne responded, and he noticed that this was the first time she had used his name this evening, "Use your mind only once! It means that this mirror shows you what you desire. In the very depths of your heart, in fact."

"But ...," Harry stammered, "I saw my parents. I can't remember them, and I don't even know what they looked like."

"Still, that's what the mirror shows you," Daphne countered with venom in her voice. "They are what you wish for the most. I suppose you should have gone to Gryffindor like they did."

Harry didn't understand what she meant by that. But he had already learned to live with her moods and sometimes cryptic words.

"But how can the mirror show me my parents if I don't know what they look like?"

"Magic, Harry! You'd think that you've gotten used to it by now."

Daphne seemed to have become noticeably more impatient now, standing there with her arms crossed. "Let's go back now! I do not want to get caught out here or be completely exhausted tomorrow."

But Harry still had questions for her. And after she had said that maybe he should have gone to Gryffindor, then maybe he should use this infamous Gryffindor bravery for once.

"Why did you tell me not to look in the mirror anymore, Daphne?"

At that, Daphne looked at him again with a thoughtful look. No, more appraising than thoughtful, Harry corrected himself. What did she see in him?

"It's dangerous," Daphne finally answered after a few seconds. "The mirror shows you only wishful dreams and illusions. Not the reality. It's like a drug. If you look in the mirror too long, you will become addicted. Then you have lost yourself forever."

That made sense to Harry, unfortunately. He had already felt the power of the mirror. He wanted so much to see his parents. To be part of a family that loved him. Not like the Dursleys. But a quiet voice of reason in his head told him that this wasn't really his family he saw in the mirror. His true family was dead, Voldemort had taken care of it.

Even now he still felt the attraction of the mirror. Would it really be so bad to look in the mirror one last time and see his family? Only one last time?

Pull yourself together, Harry thought. Daphne is right, it's too dangerous! He shook his head and turned back to Daphne, who was still gazing at him appraisingly. As if she knew exactly what was going on in his head.

He still had another question for her.

"Daphne, what did you see in the mirror?"

Daphne seemed to be astonished by his question, at least she didn't say anything for a few seconds.

"That's a very personal question," she finally said coldly. "That's none of your business."

Harry felt disappointed. Didn't he tell Daphne about the mirror and what he saw in it?

"Why not? I also told you everything. That I saw my family. I even wanted to show it to you so ...," Harry replied upset.

"Just because you share your secrets with the whole world doesn't mean I have to do it as well," Daphne cut him off.

"What? Share with the whole world? I only told you! Because you are my friend!"

"We aren't friends! We just happen to be at the same school and in the same house! Stop clinging to me like that! I'm not interested in what you see in this mirror and what I see is none of your business either!" Daphne shouted.

Daphne had now released her crossed arms. Her hands were clenched in fists.

Harry, however, had instinctively taken a step back. His thoughts whirled in his head. Unbelief, bewilderment, disappointment. And also anger. He opened his mouth but couldn't speak.

That only seemed to make Daphne even angrier.

"Since the train ride to Hogwarts you've been clinging to me. You don't leave me alone and you follow me everywhere. The whole time you ask me things or bend my ears. As if that would interest me! You're pathetic, Harry Potter! We are not friends. And I don't need any friends! Since I know you, you have only brought misfortune into my life. Even the first time you had had to talk to me. How wonderful you found everything in Diagon Alley. And how much you looked forward to Hogwarts. I took pity on you and talked to you. And my parents made me regret that on the same evening!"

Daphne's voice had grown louder and louder. Finally, she literally yelled at Harry. And in her eyes, he saw abysmal hatred and anger.

For the first time in his life, Harry was afraid of Daphne. He didn't know anything at all and felt the tears rise up in him.

"Don't dare to cry now! That's pathetic, YOU are pathetic!"

Her words hit him like punches in the gut. Harry staggered. Desperately, he looked at Daphne and saw again the hatred in her eyes.

But Daphne looked past him. Her gaze seemed to be directed into the distance. Without a fixed point in the room. As if she was looking at something completely different, which was not here at all.

Or someone completely different.

Her eyes! Harry thought, he'd already seen that anger in Daphne's eyes. Only minutes before, when she had looked in the mirror! The mirror where he saw his parents ...

"Daphne," he said so softly that he could hardly hear himself, "you saw your parents in the mirror, didn't you?"

That seemed to shock Daphne. She looked at him stunned and opened her mouth. But no words came out.

So Harry kept talking.

"You did. You are so hateful and angry. That's how you were before, when you looked into the mirror. What did you see? What did they do to you?"

That seemed to be the completely wrong words.

"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I TOLD YOU, THAT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!" Daphne yelled at him.

She gasped, hesitated, and continued in a harsh, hoarse voice, "My parents ... they ... I" Daphne was just stammering now. The next moment, she collapsed.

Harry was next to her immediately, but Daphne had already curled up on the floor and sobbed softly. He didn't know what to do. What had happened in the last few minutes? What happened to Daphne?

While all this went through his mind, Harry realized that Daphne was crying uninhibitedly now. He'd never seen her cry before in the few months he'd known her. She was always in control, showed almost no joy and certainly no grief. Daphne Greengrass didn't cry! This rule was irrefutable! Seeing her cry now terrified Harry more than anything else that had happened this evening.

Harry sank down beside her and was about to do something else that would have been inconceivable until tonight. He reached out and put his arm around Daphne's shoulders. He half expected that she would immediately push him away and yell again, but none of this happened. Rather, Daphne even leaned against him now. After a few seconds, she buried her tear-stained face in his chest and Harry now had both arms around her. All this confirmed him only in the fact that this was a very different, much more vulnerable Daphne than the one he had gotten to know in recent months. Her normally hard shell was cracked. What was exposed, stripped of all the armors built for self-protection, was the vulnerable interior of an eleven-year-old girl.

Time passed. Whether minutes or hours, Harry couldn't say. He just tried to be there for Daphne and comfort her while she was crying in his arms. They could talk later.

Eventually Daphne's tears dried up. As if she became only now aware of their position, she suddenly cramped. However, she made no move to free herself from Harry's arms or to reprimand him. Rather, she raised her head and looked now in his face with her deep, blue eyes. Harry shuddered.

She contemplated him for several moments, appraising, judging. "You're a much better person than me, Harry," she finally said, her voice barely above a whistle.

Harry didn't answer. He wouldn't have known what he could have said anyway.

Daphne kept talking, still whispering, "But I am a terrible person. Not even my parents love me ... they ... they are always mad at me; they are never satisfied with me. If I'm doing something wrong in their eyes, then..." Here her voice failed her, and she sobbed. Harry toughened his hug.

"They torture me!" she gasped. "They are using the Cruciatus Curse on me!"

"But that's illegal," Harry exclaimed indignantly. Being in the Slytherin House had also led to his early hearing of the unforgivable curses. And their ostracism. That was not supported by all their classmates in Slytherin…

Daphne didn't respond to his words. Maybe she hadn't heard him at all.

"You must really want to inflict terrible torments on your victim, delight in their pains for the curse to work! Which parents delight in the pain of their children?! Which parents ... my parents ..." At this point, Daphne stopped again, unable to continue.

Harry felt scorching and he really wanted to jump to his feet. His body revolted against sitting motionless on the floor. Forgotten were all the fear and disappointment of earlier. He had to do something!

Daphne must have felt his uneasiness. Because again she turned her eyes to him.

"I won't let them do that to you!" said Harry vigorously. He meant it. No one should do this to anyone else, certainly not their own child!

Daphne was silent, but Harry read sadness and doubt in her eyes. She didn't believe him! Daphne broke loose from his embrace and rose again from the ground. For Harry, it felt like his heart was being pierced.

Her face turned away from him, Daphne began to speak again, "Before, all I wanted was for my parents to love me. Hold me in their arms or at least praise me once. But that's over now. That was my old self, my weak self! The mirror has shown me this girl, but she doesn't exist anymore! I am stronger than that. I will own them all. My parents, my classmates, just everyone. I will own the whole world!"

Harry saw the air flicker around Daphne. Was that her magic aura? It became freezing cold in the room.

"I will choke back every word in their throat. Throw back every curse on them. That is what I saw in the mirror, Harry Potter!" Daphne had her head turned back to him, staring at him with flashing eyes. Beautiful! Abominable! "They whimpered before me, begging for mercy. It felt so GOOD! I will prove it to everyone. I will have the last laugh. I will learn every day. I will become powerful, more powerful than anyone else! No one will dare to stand in my way. Everyone will wind down on the ground in front of me!"

Daphne gasped. The flickering around her weakened and finally vanished completely. Now she just looked calmly at Harry who noticed only now that he had almost retreated to the opposite wall, a storm of chaotic and confused thoughts in his mind. Shouldn't he be afraid of Daphne? Shouldn't he even be disgusted by her words? But neither was he afraid nor was he disgusted! Rather, he felt attracted to her like bees round a honeypot. Like it was since the first day. Her words had been terrible, yes, but part of him UNDERSTOOD them! She was just another restless soul looking for some happiness, he realized. Just thrown away from the world. Forgotten. Alone.

Hesitantly, Harry took a few steps forward.

Daphne's face twisted and for a moment it looked like she had to vomit. She swallowed hard and kept talking.

"But that's my destiny alone." Daphne looked him straight in the eyes. Was that regret in her look? "We are all alone. Friendship and love are all lies. When it matters, you stand alone. Everyone is allowed to think only of themselves. I'm alone. It has always been like that."

She was wrong! She wasn't alone!

"You're not alone, Daphne ...," Harry summed up his feelings.

"You're just too naive for this world, Harry," Daphne said in a broken voice, imitating her typical venomous tone in vain.

There were times when a single decision, a few words could irreversibly change a person's life. And sometimes even the fate of the entire world. Harry sensed that such a moment had come.

"Maybe I am, but I believe in love. And friendship. You are my friend, Daphne. I will never let you down."

"You will not dissuade me from my plans."

"I don't want to do that at all! Your words ... your goals, Daphne, they are abominable. But this whole world is abominable! You hate your parents? I hate my relatives too! Never again will I return to them. Only to repay them for everything they did to me. I hate Voldemort and his followers. They have taken away my true family and my life. I hate the wizarding world that has left me with Muggles for ten years. After all, they and their families were still alive! Nothing else mattered, especially not the daily tears of a little boy! They have CELEBRATED the day my parents died! And I hate our classmates. I HATE this world and the people in it!" Harry had become louder and louder. His heart was racing.

"But I don't hate you," he said, gasping for breath. "Since I saw you for the first time, I was under your spell. You were so graceful, so sublime. I only really understand it now, but even then, you rebelled against this world. And I thought that was wonderful!"

He was staring straight into Daphne's eyes. "And I know that you will continue to rebel against this world. But you won't be alone! I will be your partner. I won't leave you alone with your pain and I won't leave you alone, Daphne ... Dissuade you from your plans? Damn, I'll put them into action together with you!"

Daphne stared at him with tears in her eyes. She opened her mouth, but the voice failed her. Her face revealed astonishment, joy, determination. Suddenly, she jumped forward and into Harry's arms. Harry put his arms around his only true friend.

For a few moments nobody said a word. Harry felt his heartbeat slow again, and for perhaps the first time in his life he felt like he had a purpose. A goal worth living for. He was at peace with himself. It was a good feeling!

Finally, Daphne raised her head and ice-blue eyes looked into emerald ones.

"Together?" she asked.

"Yes," Harry answered. "We will cut our own path. You and I will think of ourselves because nobody else does. Our story is not yet written, Daphne. Let's rewrite it together."

Daphne then gave him one of her rare, precious, beautiful smiles. No, Harry corrected himself, it was much more beautiful than all the smiles he had seen before. And Harry intended to see it much more often in his life.

Together, they left the room on the fourth floor of Hogwarts, the miraculous mirror now completely forgotten. Tomorrow morning, the first day will dawn in their new life and they both awaited it eagerly. All would be well, they were sure.


Meanwhile Albus Dumbledore stood invisibly in a corner of the room and gazed back at both children. Tears flowed down his cheeks. He wept over a bright future that had apparently long since fallen to darkness. And he wept over the lost souls of Daphne Greengrass and Harry Potter.


Information:

Based on this oneshot I decided to write a longer multi-chapter story about Harry and Daphne. Check out my new story "Birds and Monsters". The premises are clearly similar to this oneshot, but there will also be some changes. However, we will see the scene with Harry, Daphne and the Mirror of Erised in chapter 6 of my new story.

See you!