Summary: We all know the prophecy Harry has to fulfill. Either he kills Voldemort or Voldermort kills him? Simple enough, right? Well, there is one little line that Dumbledore 'accidentally' edited out of the memory in the Pensieve. Now that one line will either change Harry's life... end it. HP/DM slash.
Disclaimer: No, unfortunately I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters. I wish I did, though...sniff TT
Chapter One: Fawkes and Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, sat behind his desk pretending to read the stack of parchment in his hands and ignoring the scarlet bird perched on the chair across from his.
"Albus, please," the phoenix said, exasperation clear in the sweet tenor voice echoing gently in the corners of Dumbledore's mind. "I know you know I'm right. You have to tell Harry the rest of the prophecy—and soon!" With a sigh, Dumbledore put the parchment down on the desk. After carefully making sure the edges of the paper lined up with the pen—more a delaying tactic then anything else—he finally looked up, though still not meeting the bird's dark eyes. In a gesture of weariness, he covered his face in his hands.
"Do you remember what happened when I told Harry the first part of the prophecy?" He didn't wait for an answer. "He trashed my office! Completely destroyed it, Fawkes! What is he going to do when he finds out that not only have I hidden more things from him—which I swore not to do, by the way—the prophecy gets worse! How do you tell a seventeen-year-old boy with a violent temper something like that?"
"I don't think it gets... worse, exactly. There's just more to it. Yes, he's going to be mad, but you might have avoided most of his anger if you had just told him in the first place. And besides, you're being a little hard on Harry, don't you think? That one time in your office is the only time I've ever seen him actually violent. He has a temper, yes, but it's mellowed down quite a bit since his fifth year. Harry's growing up. He deserves to know, Albus."
"I know, I know. Why do I keep putting this off? I know it will only get worse the longer I avoid it," he asked himself, but the phoenix answered anyway.
"You know it will upset him. You love him," Fawkes stated simply. Dumbledore gave him a bitter half-smile.
"Yes, and we all know what happened last time I was foolish enough to love someone," he said, looking pointedly at the bird. Fawkes just stared back with those dark, dark eyes. Then, in a ruffle of wings, he took flight off the back of the chair and landed on Dumbledore's shoulder. Dumbledore turned his head and buried his face in the warm red feathers, cursing himself as he felt the heat of tears in his eyes. He hadn't cried in so long; he certainly wasn't going to do it now.
"Oh, Albus," the phoenix sighed through his mind.
"Fawkes. Merlin, Fawkes, why does everything have to be so complicated?"
"Love is always complicated. Especially for those with power, like yourself—and like Harry. Harry's a strong boy. Tell him."
"I will," Dumbledore sighed, giving in. He caught the look the phoenix threw him. "Really, I will." He pulled his pen and a blank piece of parchment towards him. "Look, I am writing the summons now." He wrote a quick note on the piece of parchment, signed it with a flourish, and folded it up. Fawkes looked at him again. "You certainly cannot expect me to send it now; it is..." he paused to glance at the clock, "two o'clock in the morning. I will send it to him first thing tomorrow. I promise." He heard the phoenix sigh again.
"Very well." He nuzzled Albus' cheek with his beak, smooth and cool as silk. "Try to get some sleep, Albus, please. You need your strength."
"Are you trying to tell me that I am getting old?" Dumbledore asked Fawkes jokingly.
"Yes, I am," the bird replied seriously. "And, unlike me, if you burn yourself out, you won't get another chance."
"I know Fawkes," Dumbledore replied tiredly, the joking moment gone. "Believe me, I know. Do you want to come with me, or stay here?" He heard a low chuckle in his head.
"You're giving me the choice of staying in your cold, dark office alone, or sleeping with you? What kind of choice is that?" Dumbledore had to smile.
"Come then, old friend. Let us try and get a few hours of sleep before we face the music tomorrow."