Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 12 - The Mirror of Erised
Christmas time arrives and everyone gets ready to go home for the holidays. Everyone leaves except for Harry and Ron, who are thrilled to stay at Hogwarts together. Malfoy taunts Harry about having no family (and more so no family who cares about him) and Ron for having no money. He provokes Ron into fighting with him just as Snape walks into the room. Snape docks Gryffindor five points for fighting, despite his provocation by Malfoy. Ron hates him deeply and vows to get him, while Harry admits that he hates both Malfoy and Snape. Hagrid takes them to the Great Hall where they admire Professors McGonagall and Flitwick's decorations.
Hermione, Ron, and Harry visit the library to seek information on Nicholas Flamel, much to Hagrid's warning and chagrin. They can find nothing and ask Hermione if she can ask her parents anything while she is home on vacation. She will, but also thinks they will know nothing since they are both muggle dentists.
During vacation, Ron and Harry spend time eating and carousing in the empty halls. They are so busy having fun that they even forget to research information on Flamel. On Christmas morning, Harry awakens to a bundle of packages and presents for him. He is surprised, for he never expected even one gift. There is a fifty pence piece from the Dursleys, a Chocolate Frog from Hermione, a Weasley jumper, (a piece of family clothing knitted by Ron's mother), and finally a rare and valuable Invisibility Cloak, from an anonymous source. The cloak came with a note from someone who said that it belonged to Harry's father prior to his death and that he should use it well. Ron has always wanted one and is thrilled at seeing it in the hands of someone so close to him. The rest of the Weasleys burst into the room, all wearing their respective jumpers, and beckon the family together for Christmas dinner. Christmas dinner is a beauteous occasion, with Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Hagrid all feeling warm and emotional. Harry is amazed by all the candy, food, and gifts, far better than anything he could ever have imagined or wanted with the Dursleys. The remainder of Christmas day consists of the Weasley's fighting each other in a playful game of snowball.
As Harry goes to bed alone that night, he is preoccupied with his Invisibility Cloak and who sent it to him. It belonged to his father and he knows he must use it well. With the cloak, he has all of Hogwarts to discover, and realizes he can do so without the interference of Filch. Harry ventures to the restricted section of the library so that he may discover information on Nicholas Flamel. As he opens a book, it lets out a massive scream, informing Filch that an intruder is inside the library.
Harry looks around at the old, moldy, untitled, creepy books, and is frightened. He sees Snape come to Filch's cry, as they search for the intruder. In his cloak, Harry rushes away and hides in a nearby room. He discovers a mirror inside the room that is as high as the ceiling and decorated with gold and an inscription on the top. As he looks deeply at the mirror, he is terrified because he sees no reflection. He looks closer and sees about ten people staring back at him. A woman appears to wave to Harry, and a man puts his arm around her. She has the same eyes as Harry and he has the same tuft of hair. Harry realizes that this is his family.
"They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry's knobbly knees - Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life...The Potters smiled and waved at Harry and he stared hungrily back at them, his hands pressed flat against the glass as though he was hoping to fall right through it and reach them. He had a powerful kind of ache inside him, half joy, half terrible sadness." Chapter 12, pg. 151
Harry is so excited that he runs to fetch Ron to show him his family. Although exhausted, Ron travels under the cloak to the Mirror of Erised to see Harry's family. However, when Ron looks at the mirror, he only sees Harry. When Ron looks at him for himself, he sees himself as an older, successful captain of Quidditch. They wonder if the mirror sees the future. Harry knows that it cannot for his entire family is dead. Ron worries about getting caught by Filch and pulls him away. The next day Harry rushes off to the mirror, yet again, to sit with his family. This time, however, Dumbledore sees him and explains the power of the mirror. It shows people's desires and wishes.
"'It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.'" Chapter 12, pg. 157
Dumbledore further informs Harry that the mirror will be moved the next day to another place. Harry should not waste any more of his time searching for it, because it is far better to live each day to its fullest than dwelling on dreams. When Harry asks Dumbledore what he sees when he looks in the mirror, he replies that he sees himself with a pair of thick woolen socks.