Dumbledore’s Socks: by Rainydaie
Author’s note/Disclaimer: My first fic. Sniff. Thanks to SQ
for tolerating me and millions and millions of thanks to my perfect beta,
Doctor Aicha, for, well, beta-ing this story and correcting my many mistakes. I
shall never again get its and it’s wrong, I swear! The usual disclaimers.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold
two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
He held the small stone in his palm and looked at it,
shivering a little from the cold drafts of air that played across his skin in
the darkened, gloomy room. The stone was a very irregular shape, and it seemed
to be filled with some ruby red liquid that sloshed around inside its strange
prison. He could see a dim reflection in it. Not his.
He looked up, into the mirror. He saw himself, but a
different person altogether. He was the same age, height, weight – but his
twinkling blue eyes were different. They seemed even more intelligent, filled
with a heavy knowledge that he had strived for all his life. Albus knew what
his true heart’s desire was. He hadn’t told Harry. The boy might not have
understood, though doubtless his friend Miss Granger would have.
The Mirror of Erised stood before Albus Dumbledore, and the
Philosophers’ Stone was in his hand. Minerva McGonagall was asleep in the chair
behind him, having succumbed to a hard day’s work and staying up three hours
past her bedtime for a week in a row.
Albus ran his eyes over the inscription in the Mirror.
Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on woshi.
I show not your face but your heart’s desire.
And yet, the Mirror did show his face. Albus’s heart
twisted as he gazed into his own eyes and saw the beginnings of the answers
that he had wanted for so long nestled comfortably there.
Minerva let out a loud snore. Albus chucked, pulled at last
from his gloom. He tore his eyes from his eyes and looked back at her
fondly. Minerva had always been a good friend, and he knew that there were of
plenty of rumors about their “true” relationship. It was, of course, utter
rubbish. Minerva was just a friend. Like Golden and Rhys and Riley had been.
Albus turned, taking his entire body the direction his head
was pointing. No sad thoughts, he chided himself. He had to get ready cast this
spell. The Mirror of Erised had to cooperate if this plan was to succeed, and
he needed to be at full mental, magical, and physical strength. The
Philosophers’ Stone glinted innocently in his palm. He stared down at again. Such
a small thing. So many lives were in limbo because of its very existence. But
Nicholas was such a scientist. Albus remembered working with him in the
creation of the Stone, but he had left to accept the full-time post of
Headmaster before they had neared completion of the experiment. Albus closed
his fist on the Stone.
He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, wondering when he
had closed them in the first place. Albus turned to face the mirror.
“Mirror, speak to me,” said Albus. His face faded almost
instantly, to be replaced by swirling fog that condensed into the visage of a
human. Man or woman, he could not tell.
You could have that, you know. The face’s mouth was
not moving, but he knew it was the face that spoke. Its voice was like violins
and cellos, deep and high and all between.
“I do,” he replied calmly.
You are a mere mortal. The Stone can turn you into a near
“I realize that.”
Are you not tempted? Nicolas and Pernelle Flamel trusted
the Philosopher’s Stone to you. You could become greater than you are, though,
admitably, it is not such a giant step.
“It is a possibility.”
I said, are you not tempted?
“You have no idea how tempted I am, Erised. But my will is
stronger than my want. I have a request for you.”
Now the voice sounded interested. What is your request?
“You know what this is.”
The Philosophers Stone, of course.
“And you know about Tom
“Whatever name he goes
under at the moment. My request is that you take the Stone and hide it.”
How. Why. The Mirror
managed to make the questions sound like statements.
“How? It is within your
capabilities to store this item inside yourself. Take it.”
And for how long would it stay with me?
“Until the right person comes
Who is the right person?
“Whoever wants to have the
Stone, though not to use it for personal gain, or for the personal gain of others.
Whoever wants to… save it.”
Save it. I shall not ask. And why?
“You owe it to us.”
The face in the Mirror
looked rather shocked.
I owe it to you? Who?
“To the world. To the
people and creatures of it.”
And what debt to I owe, pray tell?
“You yourself have driven
so many to ruin those that did not know your secrets. And your larger self,
Greed, has killed and ruined the lives of so many.”
And why would I try to redeem myself? In the eyes of what
god shall I be judged when I die - which I never shall, remember. I am an
emotion, and the embodiment of an emotion. I have no life. Only a half-life.
Why need I do this?
“Because you have life.”
What do you mean by that?
“You have a semblance of life. You experience, in part, some
of what we mortals feel – jealousy, humor… desire…”
But I feel only those small emotions, not love or grief or hate. To me,
there is not good or evil, only the problems you humans have brought upon
yourselves. A human imprisoned me, after all – I do not torture my victims out
of my own free will. After all, in the eyes of what god shall I be judged when
I die? Not that I ever will.
“All of that is true. But you do have the capacity for
The Mirror was silent for a long while.
Yes. I have mercy.
“Then do this,” said Albus quietly.
The silence following his words was so heavy he could barely
breathe. Albus waited, his face a picture of calm, his insides writhing. If
this worked, there was no way that anyone evil could gain the Stone. If it did
The face stared. It did not blink. It did not move.
Time stretched. The Stone flickered lazily in his hands.
And then there was not Stone.
Albus stared at his hands, then back at the Mirror. The face
and the fog were gone. Only he himself remained, the same deep knowledge as
always winking in his sapphire eyes.
“Thank you,” whispered Albus.
The Mirror said nothing.
Albus turned away from his image, to face what the rest of
the world had to throw at him next.
Minerva was still snoring.