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During the Christmas holidays, Harry will stay at Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to find more about Nicolas Flamel in books like "Great Wizards of the Twentieth Century", "Notable Magical Names of Our Time", "Important Modern Magical Discoveries" and "A Study of Recent Developments in Wizardry". They do not find him in any of the common books. Students are not allowed to look in the Restricted Section of the library without special permission in the form of a signed note from one of the teachers. Without this, the librarian, Madam Pince will never let them look there. During holiday Ron teaches Harry Wizard Chess.

On Chrismas morning Harry receives several presents; a wooden flute from Hagrid, a sweater from Mrs. Weasley, fifty pense from his uncle and aunt, chocolate frogs from Hermione and an Invisibility Cloak from an anonymous person. The cloak had belonged to Harry's father. Harry enjoyed Christmas dinner. There was excellent food and stacks of Wizard Crackers every few feet along the table. When dinner was finished, Harry is laden down with things he had gotten out of the crackers, including a pack of non-explodable luminous balloons, a Grow-Your-Own-Warts kit, and his own new wizard chess set. Harry uses his invisibility cloak to go unseen to the Restricted Section of the library at night. One of the books shrieks. Harry flees. He almost gets caught by Filch and Professor Snape. Harry enters an empty classroom to hide, finding a large mirror with an inscription across the top which says "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi". In the mirror he sees his family. The next night Harry returns with Ron.

The third night, Professor Dumbledore is waiting for him in the room and explains to him that the Mirror of Erised shows the deepest, most desperate desires of our hearts. He goes on to tell Harry that the mirror will be moved to a new location and asks Harry not to go looking for it again. "It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

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