"This is a two-way mirror, I've got the other one of the pair. If you need to speak to me, just say my name into it; you'll appear in my mirror and I'll be able to talk in yours."
—Excerpt from a note of Sirius Black to Harry Potter[src]

A two-way mirror is one in a pair of mirrors that are magically connected. This allows people to communicate with each other whilst in different locations.


"James and I used to use them when we were in separate detentions."
—Excerpt from a note of Sirius Black to Harry Potter[src]
Two Way Mirror

The mirror

During their years in school, James Potter and Sirius Black used a pair of two-way mirrors so they could talk to each other while they were in separate detentions. Sirius later gave James's mirror to Harry in 1996.[1] After Sirius' death, his mirror came into the possession of Mundungus Fletcher, who sold it to Aberforth Dumbledore.[2]

Harry smashed his mirror in 1996, after finding that he could not contact Sirius's spirit using it, since Sirius did not have his mirror with him when he died. In 1997, before Harry left the Dursleys' house, he emptied his school trunk and cut his right ring finger twice on a shard of the mirror.[3] Despite the apparent uselessness of this shard, Harry kept it with him in his mokeskin pouch during his search for Voldemort's Horcruxes.[4]

Harry Potter examining a shard of the Two-way Mirror given by Sirius Black

Harry Potter examining a shard of the two-way mirror

Aberforth's possession of one of the two-way mirrors became a great help to Harry and his companions in 1998. After being kidnapped by the Snatchers and brought to Malfoy Manor, Hermione was tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange, who wanted to know how Godric Gryffindor's Sword had come into their possession. Experiencing no success with his Golden Snitch and his broken phoenix wand, Harry grabbed the mirror shard and saw a gleam of bright blue eye and thought that it was Dumbledore's. He called for help, and Aberforth managed to send Dobby to rescue them.[2]

Behind the scenes


Aberforth Dumbledore looking out of the mirror fragment

  • The mirror does not appear, but Harry and his friends see Aberforth buying it from Mundungus Fletcher in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  • When Sirius gives Harry the mirror in a badly wrapped package, Harry vows to himself he will never use it, not wanting to lure Sirius from his place of safety. Ironically, if he had used it rather than Dolores Umbridge's fire to contact his godfather, Kreacher would not have been able to lie to Harry about where Sirius was, and thus Harry would never have gone to the Department of Mysteries and Sirius would not have died. This unhappy truth does not seem to occur to Harry in the novel (and the mirror is not in the film version), though arguably, he needs no more reasons to lay blame for Sirius's death at that point. Also, there is no way of knowing if using the mirror would have helped, unless Sirius kept it on his person at all times.
  • The mirror could possibly be charmed with a Protean Charm, like the one used by Hermione on the Dumbledore's Army Galleons, or at least a variation of the same spell.
  • The two-way mirror was never seen in the films before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and its origin and significance are not explained. These are explained in Part 2.
  • Two-way mirrors may be considered a subtype of enchanted mirrors.
  • Phineas Nigellus Black was cut from the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hence, it is unclear how Severus Snape found Harry and Hermione in the Forest of Dean. Since Harry was looking at the mirror shard before Snape's Patronus appeared, and the inside of the Hog's Head was seen, the most likely explanation is that Aberforth was working with Snape, and that Albus may have told him of Snape's true allegiance before he died.[5]



Two-way mirror as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Notes and references

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