Chapter Twelve: The Mirror of Erised
Taunts from both Malfoy and Snape cause Harry and Ron to agree upon hatred of Slytherin. Christmas is approaching, so Hermione thinks the three should spend the time researching Nicholas Flamel in the library and trying to find out what Snape was attempting to steal. Unfortunately, their efforts remain unsuccessful.
The Christmas holidays arrive and the classmates left at Hogwarts have lots of fun together. Ron and Harry share a wonderful Christmas morning together where Harry gets some of the first Christmas presents of his life. The most exciting thing is an anonymous present of an invisibility cloak that belonged to Harry’s father. After a spectacular Christmas dinner, Harry uses the night to try out his invisibility cloak alone. Harry travels to the restricted section of the library, but is again unsuccessful in finding anything about Flamel and in his escape from Filch and Snape (who almost discover Harry), Harry finds a huge mirror in an unused classroom. When Harry looks in the mirror he sees his own parents staring back at him and smiling. Harry stays for a long time and promises to return with Ron the next night.
Because of the mirror, Harry forgets about everything from eating to researching Flamel. When Harry shows Ron the mirror, the vision is different. Ron sees himself as head boy holding the Quidditch cup. The third night Harry returns to find Dumbledore who explains that the mirror shows “nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.” Dumbledore tells Harry that the mirror will be moved to a new home, but to be prepared if Harry ever meets it again. When Harry asks Dumbledore what he sees in the mirror, Dumbledore answers humorously that he sees “a pair of thick, woolen socks.”