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I have come across a few questions on this site where people ask "how did x store/take out y from the Mirror?", so were the things actually stored in the Mirror?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

Yes, all evidence points to the fact that Dumbledore stored the Philosopher's Stone inside the Mirror of Erised.

We know that the original purpose of the Mirror was to show the viewer their "heart's desire". However, according to JKR, Dumbledore specifically changed the enchantment on the Mirror to "hide" the Stone in it:

Only after Professor Dumbledore makes key modifications to the mirror (which has been languishing in the Room of Requirement for a century or so before he brings it out and puts it to work) does it become a superb hiding place, and the final test for the impure of heart. src

The term modifications implies that hiding the Stone was not done by using the Mirror's original purpose at all; it was something else, a different behavior that that Mirror was updated to perform. And given that Dumbledore specifically changed the mirror to be a hiding place, the most reasonable explanation is that he turned it into that hiding place directly.

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This is cheating. People like me who only use the book are always outsmarted. Why does JKR have to answer fans' questions? – cst1992 Jan 19 at 13:44
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Because she's got a genetic inability to stop writing about Harry Potter? :) – KutuluMike Jan 19 at 13:47
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@cst1992 To the best of my knowledge, JKR's Pottermore writings are considered canon by the Harry Potter fandom, second only to the books themselves; if she says something on Pottermore and it doesn't contradict the books, it's "truth" as far as HP is concerned... – KutuluMike Jan 19 at 14:25
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@MikeEdenfield The suggestion that Dumbledore knew about the Room of Requirement does potentially contradict the books, though, since he at least pretends to be completely unaware of it. – Anthony Grist Jan 19 at 16:02
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that is true. but I feel like Dumbledore pretends to not know a lot of things he actually knows – KutuluMike Jan 19 at 16:04

As a tentative answer, I don't think that's the case.
As a similar example, take the Sorting Hat.

When a true Gryffindor showed need of the Sword of Gryffindor, they could pull it out from the hat. That means it was just wired that way, that the said person received the Sword, through the Hat. Similar was the Room of Requirement, which provided something that a person wished. We know, in the Sword's case, that it was stored in Dumbledore's office, behind his desk in the glass case.

The Mirror was just a magical medium of showing one's true desire, the person just needed to 'tweak the desire', to trigger the outcome.

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So where was the stone, if not "in" the mirror? – phantom42 Jan 19 at 13:10
    
Anywhere, where only Dumbledore, or probably also Flamel, knew it was. It was transported due to the Mirror, in Harry's pocket. – cst1992 Jan 19 at 13:12
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So what is the point of all the defenses if it's so well hidden that only Dumbledore/Flamel knows where it is? – phantom42 Jan 19 at 13:15
    
The enchantments were placed there before the Mirror. It's possible that the Stone was actually lying in the last Chamber before Quirrell tried to get to it. Then it was moved and the Mirror placed there instead of it. Also, didn't you read Book 7? Just because Dumbledore thinks it's well hidden doesn't mean no one will find it. Harry does end up finding it in spite of all the enchantments. – cst1992 Jan 19 at 13:19
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this is making even less sense now. if you're removing the stone, why would you put IN the one thing that could possibly be used to retrieve the stone from its new super-secret hiding place? – phantom42 Jan 19 at 13:21

I wouldn't say he stored the Stone in the Mirror of Erised. As we know, the Mirror shows each person their deepest and most desperate desire of the heart. While I agree with @MikeEdenfield in that Dumbledore used the enchantments of the Mirror and tweaked them slightly to protect the Stone, I wouldn't say the Mirror was storing the Stone. As Dumbledore tells Harry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17: The Man With Two Faces

You see, only one who wanted to find the Stone – find it, but not use it – would be able to get it, otherwise they’d just see themselves making gold or drinking Elixir of Life.

I think Dumbledore enchanted the room as well, in connection to the mirror. If the Mirror recognized somebody's desire to "find the Stone, but not use it" it would trigger the charm in the room. The Stone was hidden in the room by a controlled Vanishing charm, causing the Stone to reappear when triggered by the Mirror. Dumbledore definitely used the Mirror to hide the Stone, but not to store it.

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