Harold pushed his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose. It had entirely escaped his thought that someone so deeply rooted in all things magical - how else would he be able to make an establishment such as this viable without knowing the real value of things? - should have come from such an inauspicious background; the notion that a wizarding child should grow up without having studied in a wizarding school was alien to him, especially now.
"A magical school is indeed a privilege to have studied at, and one all too often taken for granted, I'm afraid. Though I must say your studies of magic seem remarkably astute in absence of a formal tuition, your grandparents did indeed teach you well."
He smiled. "If you should ever like to visit a magical school, I'm sure our headmaster would be more than delighted to receive you as a guest, show you around and so on. Albus Dumbledore is many things, one of which is curious about how others see the world, and I'm certain he would be fascinated to get an insight into the life of an individual who is clearly studied in magic but without having attended an institution."
The charming shopkeeper turned the conversation back towards the mirror - and he could certainly spare the time, plus he had offered to take a look.
First he studied it from a distance, even taking his glasses off and replacing with a lens-eyeglass that he kept in his breast pocket, for the closer examinations of things. The frame was wooden, not a typical English or even European wood, but a dense rich hard-wood, golden brown in colour, and artfully carved. There seemed to be no inherent pattern to the carving, except for a form of rotational symmetry about it, as though the top and bottom halves were indicating some kind of relationship. He peered, but it yielded nothing, perhaps it was simply decorative.
Then there was the silvery sheen of the glass in the mirror. At first glance it appeared slightly concave, more than normal for a mirror of that size, but closer examination showed it to be an optical illusion of the frame. He didn't have any of his instruments with him to determine the refractive indices, that might better suggest what the mirror might show if observed directly, and as such there was nothing further to learn by proxy examination.
Harold squared his shoulders, evened his weight out between his feet and then stared directly into the mirror, full-facing.
At first the reflection was simply his own face, as one might expect from a mirror, though it seemed to Harold as though he were both younger and older, by a margin of a few years either way from his present age. A background faded in around his portrait; it was familiar: the entrance hall to the Ministry of Magic, albeit hazy and distorted as one might see in a hall of mirrors. Staff entrance, specifically.
Harold raised an eyebrow. "How curious."
Then a figure emerged from the haze and distortion, until becoming crystal clear. To his great surprise it was a former colleague of his from the Ministry. From the Department of Mysteries if his memory served, but he was having trouble putting a face to the name. That was one of the curses of the Unspeakables, of course, with the levels of compartmentalisation across the Ministry and the surrounding secrecy. But Harold was positive he recognised the face; he couldn't place where the face was from, he could no more tell an individual from Japan or Korea or China than he could someone from a specific South American country, simply due to a lack of exposure. But the face he saw definitely had some ties to the Far East even if unable to be specific about it.
Then the face and the background dissolved. "Well, that was rather unusual."
How could he begin to explain it? Had they seen the face he'd seen?