The mirror in the tower room didn’t show the walls of the isolated cell. It was a mirror—everyone agreed on that—but yet, it did not act as a mirror. If anything, it seemed more like a window, though one which showed a scene somewhere far away. Only, they could not reach through it. There was no way to open such a window, and so the agreement was that this was a mirror, reflecting an entirely different place.
It seemed to those who had studied it as though the owners of the opposite side might have a similar mirror, hung in a similar room. Perhaps they, too, wanted it out of place, where it could not be anything more than an item of curiosity for those who wished to study it. Locked away in the tower room, it was impossible to come across by accident.
Henrick came across the mirror by accident. He had not gone looking for it, nor had he intended to cause any problems or mischief. It was simply that he wanted some time alone, a precious commodity when one was visiting twelve cousins one had never met. He was, it seemed, the height of entertainment for his various relations, and not being used to such scrutiny, he was exhausted. So, he fled at the first moment possible, looking to tuck himself away in some distant corner of the castle until they at last found him.
The tower room was the most distant room possible, and it seemed to him even the servants must come there but rarely, as there was a sheen of dust across all surfaces. The only thing not affected was the mirror in the corner, which was spotless. It was uncovered, for some time ago they had decided to keep it so without really understanding why. Henrick walked in front of it, studying the room in the reflection, and wondered at the mystery of it.
While he did not know the place, he thought he had heard of it. Or, at least, he had heard of its trading partners, for there were distinctive tapestries hanging on the walls. It seemed the room reflected was a good deal colder than the one he was in, though if he was right, that was more because of the climate than the condition of the room. There was a fireplace in the corner, but it had not been lit, and Henrick wondered if this other room was visited as rarely as the tower room.
Though there was little to stare at, nothing more than the strange room on the far side, Henrick could not tear his gaze away. He was still studying every detail when his cousins at last found him and dragged him from the room to continue in their games.