"Well." Niki said after they had finally stopped running. "Now we know what Dumbledore meant by, 'dying a most painful death.' However, now we're lost."
"Well, all we'll get by standing here is detention when Filch finds us." Hermione panted. "So let's see if we can find our way back."
"Not likely." Ron muttered.
"Shut up, Ronald." Niki sighed.
"Shut up both of you." Harry said wearily as Ron opened his mouth to retort. "Be quiet, or we'll be caught."
They walked a while farther, and then heard the unmistakable shuffling and panting of Filch.
"Quick! Through here!" Harry hissed, shoving the other three through a door and closing and locking it, then putting his ear to the door. "He's gone." he finally announced.
"Good." Hermione said. "Now, let's get back. Come on Niki, Ronald." she turned around and saw Ron, but not Niki. "Harry, where's Niki?"
"I'm over here." Niki said, coming around a pillar. "Harry, come see this."
Harry curiously walked over to Niki and saw a large mirror. There were strange markings around the top. "What? It's just a mirror."
"Look in it properly." Niki insisted. "Stand here." she positioned Harry so he was directly in front of the mirror.
"Niki, what?" Looking back into the mirror, he almost screamed.
There he was in the mirror, along with three other people. One he knew, and two he knew of, had seen pictures of, but had never spoken to. Niki was standing there next to him, her arm around his shoulders, and behind them were James and Lily. Harry looked behind them, into the background, and saw Moony and Padfoot. Behind them where lots of people Harry had never seen before.
"You see them, don't you?" Niki asked, coming to stand next to Harry. The Niki in the mirror faded and was replaced with the actual Niki. "You see all of them."
"Yeah, I do." Harry said. "Ron, come here."
"What?" Ron asked, coming over to the twins.
"Look in this mirror and tell us what you see." Niki said, her and Harry stepping out of the way.
"um..." Ron said. "I only see me." he looked curiously at the twins.
"Look longer." Harry insisted, and Ron looked back at the mirror, and let out a yelp.
"Wow!" Ron exclaimed.
"Do you see them?" Niki asked.
"I only see me," Ron said. "But I'm older! I'm Head Boy! And I'm Quidditch Captain, too! I'm holding the Quittitch Cup!" he paused. "I look good."
Harry and Niki looked at each other.
"Hermione, what do you see?" Niki asked. Hermione stepped in front of the mirror.
"Um, I see..." Hermione looked into the mirror. "I see myself as a Hogwarts Professor. It looks like I'm the Transfiguration teacher. I'm all grown up and able to pass on something I loved learning and doing to other people."
"Huh..." Niki said, looking carefully at the markings. "Hey, these are words." she suddenly said. "'Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.' Look, if you turn it around and change the spacing, it says, 'I show not your face but your hearts desire.'" she looked at the other three. "Come on, am I wrong?"
Hermione stepped forward and studied the mirror. "No, you're not. What did you and Harry see?"
"We saw the same thing. Us with our parents, Moony and Padfoot, and people who I'm assuming are our gandparents and family." Harry said.
"Well, I'm guessing that what each of us saw is our deepest desire." Hermione said. "I mean, it says that pretty plainly."
"She's right." Harry said.
"So that means that our deepest desire is to have our parents and family, along with Moomy and Dadfoot," Niki said, contemplating. "And Hermione wants to be a Hogwarts Transfiguration professor and pass something she loves learning and doing to others, and Ron..." she stopped, and looked at Ron. "He sees himself as Head Boy, Quidditch Captain, and holding the Quidditch Cup." she glared at him. "Really? That's your deepest desire?"
"Niki," Harry said in a warning tone. Ron's ears were turning red.
"Come on, let's go." Niki sighed, taking one last, long look into the mirror, and then walking to the door. The other three followed.