Harry Potter's Most Tragic Artifact? The Two-Way Mirror Sirius Gave Harry

Harry Potter's Most Tragic Artifact? The Two-Way Mirror Sirius Gave Harry
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The tiny piece of magical glass Sirius gifted to Harry in The Order of the Phoenix tells the most devastatingly tragic story of all the artifacts in Harry Potter.


  • Sirius Black gifted a Two-Faced Mirror to Harry so that they could talk to each other at any time.
  • Sirius never learned that Harry hadn’t opened the present and thought his godson just didn’t want to speak to him.
  • Had Harry opened his gift, he would have easily reached out to Sirius instead of going to the Ministry, saving his godfather’s life.

The Harry Potter books and movies had their fair share of unique artifacts, and many of them came with heart-wrenching stories. From Ravenclaw’s Diadem which got her daughter murdered centuries ago to the Vanishing Cabinets that led to Dumbledore’s death and the Hogwarts massacre, they caused a lot of pain to their owners.

Don’t even get us started on the Deathly Hallows, either.

But if we were asked which Harry Potter artifact was the most tragic in terms of its story, we would without hesitation point at the Two-Way Mirror, Sirius’s gift to Harry.

Why Did Sirius Give Harry a Two-Faced Mirror?

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Back when Harry’s father and godfather, James Potter and Sirius Black, were students at Hogwarts, they used a set of Two-Faced Mirrors to talk to each other when they were stuck in separate detentions — and they got detentions often. After James’s death, Sirius kept the Mirrors as a memory charm about his late best friend.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius gifted James’s Mirror to Harry so they could stay in touch: at the time, they had virtually no other way to communicate since Sirius was locked in his Grimmauld Place apartment and Harry was at Hogwarts under Dolores Umbridge’s too-close-for-comfort supervision.

So far so good, right? But that’s where the tragedy kicks in.

What’s So Tragic About the Two-Faced Mirror in Harry Potter?

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Unfortunately, Harry didn’t open Sirius’s present until his godfather was dead — and when he did, he was devastated by the implication. The implication was disastrous.

Not knowing that Harry hadn’t unwrapped the gift, Sirius spent months lonely and isolated in the place he hated the most wondering why his godson didn’t want to talk to him. Sirius was alone and confused, failing to grasp what had he done so wrong that Harry didn’t even want to show his face in the Two-Faced Mirror and chat.

This solitude and longing emerged into Sirius’s burning desire for action, his worry about Harry, and his passion to prove to his godson that he loved him. All these factors combined led to Sirius Black dying an untimely and heartbreaking death in the Ministry during the fight with Bellatrix Lestrange that wasn’t supposed to happen.

It all comes back to the Two-Faced Mirror. If Harry had opened the present and learned about the Mirror, he would have stayed in contact with Sirius, including after Voldemort’s insidious vision. Harry would have reached out to his godfather through the Mirror and realized that he was in no danger. No Ministry, no battle, no deaths.

Sadly, Harry only unwrapped Sirius’s present after the latter was gone. The realization hit him like the Knight Bus at full speed; riddled with despair, the Boy Who Lived tried to use the Two-Faced Mirror to communicate with his godfather. He couldn’t contact Sirius’s spirit and, pained and devastated, shattered the Mirror.

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Later, the Two-Faced Mirror saved Harry’s life: Sirius’s part went to Aberforth Dumbledore who managed to rescue the Chosen One after seeing him in the shard of Harry’s broken Mirror that he kept. The artifact had its use in the end, but ultimately, it was too late. Had Harry opened the present in time, his beloved godfather Sirius would have still been alive, and this truth forever plagued him.

Such was the Two-Faced Mirror’s tragic story.