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Mirror of Erised

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The Mirror of Erised has always been one of my favorite Harry Potter inventions. It's both beautiful and devastating and it has a power that I know many would have a hard time not being entranced by.

 

All that said, I would love to know what you would see in the Mirror of Erised. Remember, it shows not your face but your heart's desire...

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This is an answer I feel would change often for everyone.

 

Five years ago, before I had any intention of having a baby, it would have been all about me.  A fancy home, a beautiful lawn, and definitely no children.  How things have changed.

 

Now I desire only happiness for my daughter.  If she's happy, I'm happy.

 

I would see her smiling, laughing, playing.  No struggles!  That is enough for me.  :)

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I always love this question!

 

For me, it would be me with a copy of my published book in my hands, surrounded by friends and family.  A nice house with a library in the style of Beauty and the Beast.

 

More importantly, someone I could consider my partner in love and in life.

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If I were to look into it right now, it would show myself and my family, all perfectly healthy with no medical issues at all. My mother would be able to walk on her own again, with no cane, walker or wheelchair. Everyone would be happy and healthy.

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I agree that what you see in the Mirror of Erised would change a lot depending on where you are in life.  Mine has definitely changed from what it would have been a few years ago.

 

Right now, I think I'd see something similar to Meg - I'd be surrounded by my friends and family and everyone would be happy and healthy (both physically and mentally).  On a more selfish note, I think it'd also give me some idea what I wanted to do in the future (assuming I know deep down and just haven't worked it out yet!) and I'd have achieved the grades I want in my degree (results come out next week and I'm starting to get a bit nervous).  But I think the most important thing would definitely be everyone I love being happy and healthy, and that probably won't change much in the future, even if there are other things added in.

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I lead a pretty happy life, and what I'd wish for most is probably being a Professor (in the Swedish sense of the title) at University (er, also in the Swedish sense of the word, I suppose).

 

Though it's hard to know, actually. Maybe it'd actually have something to do with being more able to interact easily with people?

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Leaving my shallow a whole new series by JKR all about Scorbus desires aside... I have four.

 

I would probably either

 

1. See myself on Machu Picchu with a best friend or partner, we've spent five days climbing and now we're up there, sweating and smiling at our accomplishment, looking at the ancient ruins.

 

2. I'd be sitting in a large private library, in my house where I live with my three dogs (because I'm anti-social and can't seem to keep anyone but dogs), alone. My feet are up and I'm reading the 20th book I've published.

 

3. I see myself interacting with locals near the Himalayas, and learning about culture/Traveling the world like a local.

 

4. Hugging J. K. Rowling.

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oooh this is difficult, because it does depends on where you are in life. I also have a few, and I'm not sure which would qualify as the one the mirror chose for me to see .

 

 

1. to see myself smiling, like a genuine smile & looking at ease. No mental illnesses or crippling anxiety taking hold, just my reflection looking completely at ease.

 

2. to be on stage, with applause or even complete silence as i act/sing because I have this stage presence where everyone falls silent. (i dont have that right now). I love the stage but audiences make it so terrifying I think my hearts desire would be to live there and love the audience like they were all my own ahahaha

 

3. Having Judy Garland stood with me. I'm not bothered about what we're doing - I'd just love to meet her. It's kind of sad when your hero isn't here anymore, and Judy hasn't been here for a /long/ time, but I would give anything just to see her in person.

...i think thats the one the mirror would probably show haha!

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I'd see my paternal grandparents. I never got a chance to properly say good-bye to them.

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I think what I would see would look something like this:

 

Me sometime in the future with a loving husband and kids. My immediate family would be there too and we would be happy - no family feuds, no emotional blackmailing, no hypocrisy. We'd finally be normal. My children would have a stable life - maybe we wouldn't be rich, but I'd be publishing novels that are popular enough to mean that money isn't our biggest issue. My husband would be in a job he loves. We'd all be healthy and, because I do follow a religion, I would know that we are going to heaven.

 

(Just saw the last post and mine is heavyyyy compared to that lol :P )

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I honestly feel like for all of the years I've know the Harry Potter books, I've never had an answer I could give. Maybe because I want all the things it's hard to pick one? =P But no, I'm not that picky. I really just want to be content, and I don't have one set definition of where that needs to come from.

 

Kind of because of that uncertainty, I have always been deeply curious about what I would see in the mirror. I wonder if it would be something anticlimactic, or more of a dramatic realization. I have not always been the best at knowing myself and what I want, so some kind of outer confirmation like that would be really interesting and helpful for me.

 

I feel like the Mirror would make a great elaborate therapeutic tool xD

 

I also might argue with a lot. That stupid mirror doesn't know what I'm about.

 

It would also be really interesting to see if what you wanted most changed by day. I think there are probably a lot of people who live like that, so like a pocket sized Mirror of Erised would be pretty interesting xD

 

Of course, a big point is made in the books about how dangerous the mirror is and that you can easily lose yourself to it. I never really questioned that before, but now that I'm thinking about it I'm not totally sold. I feel like the kinds of people who would lose themselves to the mirror wouldn't really need the mirror to do so? Like, if they are so obsessively set on fantasizing about a reality they don't have, that would already be showing in their day to day life, and while the Mirror might exacerbate that for some, I don't think the issue would be as widespread as Dumbledore implied. Maybe he just made it sound that way because he knew that Harry was one of the select who was vulnerable in that way. I think that the people most vulnerable would be, like Harry (and Dumbledore), people who had lost loved ones.

 

But honestly, is looking in the mirror so much better than looking at a magical portrait of the same thing?

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I think I might have to disagree with you on this one Sam, I think the Mirror is a great thing. I have no idea what I would see in the mirror and I think if I did it might actually help me in life, not hinder me.

 

I am naturally a very indecisive person, I am also quite content with most things so when someone asks a question regarding my opinion my general reply is 'oh I don't mind, anything is fine with me'. Which is okay, but when it comes to settling on a life choice, that doesn't work. At least if I had the mirror I would know what I really wanted in life, so I could work towards that. It would make life just that little bit easier to know the goal at the end of the road. I wouldn't have had to hum and har over Uni, I would have known weather I needed to go by what I wanted most in life.

 

Although that does bring into question your idea about your deepest desires changing day by day. I think for the most part though you would be okay, I feel like most people's deepest desires would stay the same unless two things happened. 1) They achieved their first desire or 2) something unexpected and/or life changing happened to them i.e someone died or they got pregnant. Then I think it might change, but even without the mirror their life plans would probably change anyway so again, at least the mirror would be able to provide some new, clear guidance in a time when things may be so unclear.

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I always felt a strange controversy about the Mirror of Erised. I love the idea, and I agree it’s both beautiful and devastating, but there is one thing: I cannot understand how a heart’s desire can change? I thought this was something permanent and stable (like the eternal love that causes one’s patronus to take a different form). I don’t quite understand how Harry could get the Philosopher’s stone from the mirror, how he could so much desire that stone, that it has overwritten his all-time desire to be with his family. I can of course understand that wanting something is a temporary thing, but I always felt that the beauty of this mirror was that it didn’t show just any will that one experienced in a given moment (like it did not show to Harry the first time him getting back to the common room without getting caught), but it showed something that seemed to be an ever-lasting desire. One can argue of course that such dramatic events as facing Voldemort could change our deepest desire (just as traumatic events are known to change the patronus as well).

In answer to what I would see, I honestly have no idea. It’s actually an interesting question if this can be guessed at all. I mean we see a few characters look into the mirror and see certain things, but we don’t know if they had been aware of the given desire or not. We know that for the Boggart people are able to tell what shape it would turn into – so they are aware of their deepest fear – (and we know that Boggart shapes adapt to current / temporary fears – like Moly seeing her family dead during wartime), I’m not sure if it works the same way in the other end of the spectrum and if one can know the heart’s deepest desire. It can’t be manipulated for sure, so it might not be that easily accessible.

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If asked, I don’t think I would be able to tell you what my true heart's desire actually was. I know I longed for more siblings when I was younger, and I still occasionally harbour that wish, but I’ve also wanted shallow things like possessions and money and lots of cats. Okay, wanting lots of cats isn’t shallow.

 

However, I admit; I'm a little frightened by the concept of the Mirror of Erised. What if, in contrast to the pleasant things that people wish for, it reveals horrible wishes that you’d never even known you had? There are certain aspects of personality that I think that no-one really fully understands or knows about themselves, and perhaps the mirror doesn’t just show the superficial or meaningless wish-list, such as fame, fortune or glory, but it might reveal deep, dark secrets about one’s self that, once known, can never be forgotten. What if I learned of some absolutely terrible facet of my personality that subconsciously shaped my behaviours and desires? What if the mirror showed me that I secretly yearned for misfortune to befall the person who pushed me off a wall when I was four years old and stole my packet of jelly tots from my lunch-box at school, for instance?

 

I’m not sure I could take what it had to show me. I think Dumbledore must have seen darkness in that mirror too, which is why he pretended it was socks he wanted.

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Very valid points!

 

I think Dumbledore must have seen darkness in that mirror too, which is why he pretended it was socks he wanted.

Sumbledore saw his family alieve and happily reunited (Rawling said that in an interview) :)

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So interesting. I don't know if I'd want to know in all honesty. I like the journey of trying to figure out what it is I actually want and then the journey to get it. I think I may actually feel trapped if I saw what it was my heart truly and deeply desired. I enjoy the uncertainty and I think I've happily accepted that I live in the grey areas of life and that life can truly be uncertain and that needs to be embraced. At the same time, with that uncertainty it gives the freedom for me to create what I need and want from life. I need that freedom otherwise I feel trapped. So, if I went to the Erised, I would probably panic.

 

 

But, to answer the question, I would probably see myself having adventure and travelling the world with someone wild enough to come with me. Or me holding a sign saying 'you do you' or something that represents that sort of freedom to choose where I want to go.

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@Beylah_obscurus I perfectly agree with you, I don't think I want to see what's in the mirror. In fact I'm thinking that this mirror is hidden in the wizarding world for a reason, it might as well be a metaphore of things that humankind is capable of producing, but should never use (like the atomic bomb...) ok, this might be far-fetched but I totall think that the greatest power is to recognize that these things are dangerous and being able to say no, and lock those things up.

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This thread is fairly old, but I'm going to answer anyway. 

The thing I find fascinating about Erised would have to be how it changes from person to person. How, depending on one's life experiences, ambitions and wants, it could change every few weeks, every few months or remain the same for several years. If someone asked me what I'd most desire, I'd hardly pause before answering: "'To be well again."' For context, I have a chronic illness. But would I really? After being isolated for such a long time, would suddenly restoring my health make everything better? If I thought about it, the more honest answer would be to see the world. Not those typical tourist locations, but places where you can get up close to nature, where you can let your mind expand and hear and see and feel all the different, phenomenal landscapes on the planet.

Perhaps Erised would show me something different. Something simple, like a friend instead. The most enthralling element of the concept is the pure, unadulterated unknown.

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