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Spiders, Dragons, and Love by Maelody
Chapter 1 : Spiders, Dragons, and Love
 
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The room here is dark and I somewhat wonder why I am here. Shouldn't I be somewhere someone needs me? I could be doing something productive, like listening to someone in need, rather than sitting here collecting dust (not that anything actually catches dust around here). There are people who need to be shown who they are, and what they want, but I am here. Alone. This room is pretty much deserted, and who knows how many years it was deserted before I came along. An occasional small creature with bat-like ears and a terrible sense of fashion comes in to clean. Every once in a while one of them will even stop to look at me. They tell me their greatest desires and wishes someday (most of them just want a proper line of clothing). I don't say a word to them. My job is to sit here and listen, and that is exactly what I do.

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I haven't been this popular in years! (A few centuries more like it). A small boy with glasses comes and visits me and then brings along his little friend, and then of course the old man who I can only suspect has seen far more in his years than any other man. Those are my only visitors, but I won't complain. Now that I think about it, the little red headed boy only came to visit once, and getting to know him was definitely interesting, but the little boy with glasses and the old man have been coming to see me for the last several nights. Getting to know both of them has been the greatest pleasure I have ever had!

All they have to do is look at me, and I can just tell what it is they are longing for. I see the heartbreak in their eyes, or the love for someone near and dear to their heart. While most people I meet are greedy and selfish, I can't help but favor these two people as they tell me more about themselves. I never say anything to them, because that would be rude to interrupt their thoughts, but I always appreciate them by being there for them.

The small boy, Harry, (I later learned his name after overhearing a conversation between the old man and him) is a sad story, and I want to tell him he has more in common with the older man than he may know, but I don't. I stand here and listen to him as his eyes pierce through my mirrored expression. Suddenly, without realising it, he begins telling me about how he longs to be with his parents again. I assume they are dead, because he nearly cries every time he sees thinks of them. He appreciates talking to me, I can tell, because I don't interrupt his memories.

Unfortunately, my popularity cannot last for long. The old man, Professor Dumbledore as the young boy calls him, has discovered Harry found me. Thankfully he is not mad, though I do not think it would ever be in the old man's bones to be so angry, but he seems worried. I can see how he looks past Harry and to me, quickly telling me about his younger sister and brother. He wants them to be with him right now, and he wants to be with his immediate family. He wants less than Harry, who wants an entire family, but he still has pain in his eyes. Somehow, I cannot help but feel this is the last time Professor Dumbledore will talk to me. Harry tears his eyes away from me, though I don't think of it as a rude gesture.

Harry calls out Dumbledore's name and stands immediately. I cannot tell what he is thinking now, because he is no longer looking at me. I want to ask him to turn around and just continue to talk with me. He needs to talk to me. After all, it could be centuries more before anyone comes to visit again.

Before long, Harry is gone and I am now left with Dumbledore. His eyes are a piercing blue, just like his sister's, only his are hidden behind half-moon spectacles. I tell him, again, what his life would be like if his brother and sister were with him and his parents. This is his only wish, and he comes every night to tell me so. Normally he doesn't come until after Harry, but I could tell already that tonight is going to be different.

Dumbledore's attention leaves me for a moment, so I stop telling him about what his life could have been and concentrate solely on him. He reaches into his robes and pulls out a small, wrapped parcel. It is a brown lump of a thing with a little white string wrapped around it. Dumbledore pulls on the string and reveals a little red stone. Besides the magnificent colour, it isn't anything to look at. Once his attention is off the stone, he looks back at me. It is then that I realise he is telling me something entirely different. He is no longer talking about the family he never entirely had, instead he is talking about the stone. He wants to hide it.

Dumbledore pulls out his wand and taps the tip of it on the stone. I assume he cast a silent spell because the stone is now gone, leaving nothing but the brown wrappings that covered it before in his hand. It took a moment for me to realise the stone didn't disappear and that it was in my hand instead of his. He nodded his head in my direction, a small and kind smile on his lips. Somehow I know it is up to me to keep this stone, or whatever it may really be, safe.

“Hagrid?” Dumbledore speaks softly out in the empty room, not even bothering to turn around. Heavy, thudding footsteps come from a dark corner and a giant of a man that I didn't notice before comes out of the shadows. I would say he is a head taller than me, and he is most definitely wider than I am. I've never seen him before, but he definitely seems interesting. There was a large, furry cloth draped over his arm. It looked big enough to be the giant's blanket. Why does he have it here?

“Yeh asked me ter mee' yeh 'ere, Professor Dumbledore?” Hagrid asked, his beady little black eyes looking at my direction and then immediately back to Dumbledore. Even though it is dreadfully late at night, Hagrid was wearing a long, red shirt covered by a moleskin vest and some of the furriest pants and boots I have ever seen. I'm not exactly sure if this is his only form of nighttime attire, but it is definitely odd nonetheless.

“Yes, Hagrid, and you're right on time, too,” Dumbledore gave the giant the same adoring smile he gave me. “It seems as though young Harry has been returning to this spot every night for the last couple of months. As this mirror is an extremely powerful enchanted item, I believe it would be best to take it elsewhere.”

“Tha' thin' there?” Hagrid asked, indicating me with a nod of his head. “Wa's it do?”

“It is actually a wonderful artifact,” Dumbledore said, a twinkle in his eye. “It shows the viewer exactly what their heart's desire is. Me? I desire a nice wool pair of socks.”

That is the second time Dumbledore described what I am, and the second time I caught him in a lie. He most definitely did not see socks when he looked into me, but I remain quiet and let him continue.

“I would not dwell upon it too long, Hagrid,” he said once he caught the giant trying to look into me. He was too far away for me to hear exactly what it was he wanted. “Its powers can drive any sane man crazy.”

“Wha' do yah need me fer, Professor?” Hagrid asked innocently, his attention once more on the much smaller, older man.

“It seems this mirror has more than one use, Hagrid,” Dumbledore said gently. “I thought it would be best if we hid it, with your help of course, in the third floor corridor. It will help save Harry from insanity, and hide the philosopher's stone.”

“Yah mean t' tell me tha' thing there 's 'oldin' the stone?” This time Hagrid pointed at me and his beady little eyes opened wider, making it easier for me to see them underneath all of his black, bushy hair. Dumbledore's only answer was a nod. “Alrigh'.” He said as though that were all the convincing he needed from Professor Dumbledore. He marched past the professor, a thud following shortly after each step he made, and he began to unfold the blanket as he came toward me.

Now everything is black. All I can hear are the same noises from before whenever Hagrid took a step.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The occasional grunt and groan escaped from him as he climbed the stairs (I assume that is what he was doing since I can feel myself being jerked around more frequently). So my new home is to be the third floor corridor? I wonder if it is nice up there. Or is it down there? Where was I really even before? Wherever I go now, I hope there are more people to see and talk to. Once they get to know me, I know they will love me! They need to love me. They always love me.

Incredibly loud barking interrupted my train of thought. The barking is frequent, which leads me to believe there is more than one dog, but they sound massive. Even more massive than Hagrid.

“Now, now, Fluffy, it's on'y me,” Hagrid said, putting me down momentarily. Fluffy? Is there only one dog in here? The dog didn't listen to him, but Hagrid did not give up. After a moment or two of silence on Hagrid's part, there was a high-pitched flute noise surrounding the room. It is not the best tune I have ever heard, but it definitely made the dog keep quiet. Hagrid picked me back up and continued on with his journey.

At last, after a few more pauses and odd words from Hagrid's mouth (I assume they were passwords to advance through many different rooms) he put me down. The darkness went away as he pulled the blanket off of my face and draped it over his arm once more. Finally, I am able to see his face completely. It is hard to see past his black, bushy beard and hair, but his eyes are locked into my mirrored glance. He is definitely intrigued by what I can do, but I don't think he entirely believes it. In the end, he winds up telling me exactly what he wants.

Hagrid wants a dragon, a bright-eyed spider, and a beautiful woman to call his own. He describes to me exactly how he wants them, too. I tell him what his life would be like if he had everything he wished for. I get him to imagine his fiery, green scaly beast wrapped around his leg. Its black eyes are staring directly at Hagrid before him. His horns are aching to be scratched by the rough hands of Hagrid, so the giant complies to the dragon's wishes. A smile spreads on the real Hagrid's plump lips as I tell him about the life he wishes for. He doesn't even bother looking around him to see if the images I show him are real. Harry and Dumbledore did.

Next I told him about the spider he always wanted. Luckily the dragon never saw the spider, or else it would have made an easy meal. The spider crawled over Hagrid's shoulder, his eyes bright and glossy, not dull and milky like Hagrid seemed to be used to. The spider was at least the size of Hagrid's head, and it was only a baby. Its pincers snapped happily as Hagrid reached over his shoulder to pet it. With this last movement Hagrid looked to see a shoulder with no spider on it. He looked back at me and the spider reappeared. He repeated this routine with his leg before he realised everything he sees are only things I am telling him. I am showing him.

A woman walks up behind Hagrid. She is as tall as him, but not particularly as wide. She is strangely beautiful for a woman that is half giant. Fitting the two of them into my mirror image is a stretch, but I can do it. She places an oversized, manicured hand on his broad shoulder and then rests her chin on top of it. She has beautiful blue eyes like Dumbledore's, and her hair waves down past her shoulders in red locks. She smiles at Hagrid, resting the top of her head in the nape of his neck as she does so. Again Hagrid reaches for his shoulder, the opposite one this time, and is disappointed to feel no real woman there.

“Wha' sort o' magic 's this?” he whispered, looking back at me and noticing something new about the woman on his spider-free shoulder. On her hand appeared a beautiful wedding ring that, in the real world, Hagrid knew he could never afford. Now he knew what Dumbledore meant. I am a dangerous magical being. I can draw Hagrid into his own fantasies and desires, leaving him down here for the rest of his lonely, miserable life. It is up to him to find the willpower to leave me. It is not my goal to keep him here. I am only looking for someone to talk to.

The smiling, happy, dragon and spider clad Hagrid looks out to the real Hagrid before him. The no-named woman leaves her position on his shoulder and walks to his side, allowing the reflective Hagrid to put his arm around her. Together, they are a truly a happy couple. With a bit of grooming on Hagrid's part, they make a beautiful pair. The other Hagrid, the real Hagrid, is frowning. His hand is on me now, but its aim is for the beautiful mistress in his reflection. She only continues to smile, not noticing how his thick, large as sausage fingers should have been poking her in the face.

“This 's no' real,” he concluded in another whisper. Hagrid dropped his hand back to his side and watched as everything I was telling him, everything I was showing him, disappeared. He, like Dumbledore and Harry, is strong enough to walk away the first time. However, seeing as where I am, I do not think he will be coming back for a second time. He turns his back on me and begins to walk away without looking back.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The sound of his hard boots hitting the ground disappear as he goes farther away. Now I am left here alone, and by the looks of it, the third floor corridor is a lot lonelier than wherever I was before. Who knows how long it will be before someone comes to see me again. Hopefully, for my sake, it will be soon.

 




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