So this is just a little something that popped into my head the other day, and I had to type it out. It has no bearing to my other story, The Demon Siblings, and deviates a bit from canon. For those of you hoping for an update to TDS, life has just been hectic for the past, oh, 40ish days. My best friend was back in town and staying with us for the last 2 weeks of February, March has been getting taken up with a first house-buying expedition, and we just found out last week that we're pregnant, topped off with work and school. Stuff is starting to unwind though, and work will get less hassle now that it's post-Easter, and the big things for the house are done, and we won't be moving until May. So here's hoping I use my 1 day off a week to type, as the reviewers are getting insistent that I update. :P
This story is a one-shot, that will deviate from Canon. It takes place post-OOP. I do not want to hear about proper time frames for Snowy Owl reproduction. I looked it up myself, saw that it wouldn't fit my story, and decided that magical birds just do it faster.
I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I make any money off of these nuggets that spew from my brain out of my fingertips.
The morning sun was beginning it's daily trek across the sky, bringing with it the scorching heat that had been drying out the atmosphere in Surrey for the past week A faint breeze, nothing more than a whisper, wove its way down Privet Drive, offering a brief respite to those brave enough to venture out. Browning grass dotted the expanse, and dirty cars filled the stalls, evidence of the hose-pipe ban. At Number 4, a horse-faced woman glanced out her kitchen window, a pang of sadness filling her heart as she noticed the dying lilies in her once well tended garden, the only memento she allowed herself of her sister.
In a darkened bedroom, a young man was sitting on his bed, knees pulled up to his chest. Tear tracks ran down his face, and he had barely moved from this position for over a week. It had been nine days since he had been forced to return to his unwilling relatives, forced into isolation. Nine days since he had heard a friendly voice or received any contact from his world. The young man was no ordinary teen, he was a wizard, a very special wizard, one prophesied to save the world from darkness. He had just finished his fifth year at his magical school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It had been a year from hell, what with people thinking he was crazy, and then the toad, Professor Umbridge and her Inquisitorial Squad. Throw in his visions and he was having what was surely his worst year yet. It all came to a head when he led a catastrophic rescue mission to save his godfather, Sirius Black, that ended with Sirius being flung through the veil in the Department of Mysteries. And then, barely an hour after he had witnessed the death of a loved one, Dumbledore, a man who had been avoiding him like the plague, reveals to him a plethora of information detailing his destiny.
The information had overloaded him. He was immensely thankful that the school year was all but over, as he withdrew into a shell of himself. He put on airs of being alright, but there was nothing underneath, nothing but pain. As soon as he'd reached Number 4, he'd grabbed his things and marched up to his room, ignoring the indignant shouts of his uncle. He sat himself on his bed, where he had been ever since. His uncle had come in to yell at him at first, until he saw the look in his nephews eyes. They were defeated. Gone was the spark of life that had always defied him. He'd left immediately, smiling as he thought of how the broken brat would never trouble him again.
A white shape fluttered into the open window of the bedroom. Further inspection would detail a beautiful Snowy Owl, a very rare specimen of an all white female. She perched on the top of her cage as she looked at her master's sullen form. She hopped onto the bed and stepped her way over to him, nipping at his fingers gently, trying to coax him to stroke her feathers. After a few minutes of nothing, she decided to change tactics. She jumped up onto his shoulder and began to cuff him on the side of his head with her wing, all the while hooting indignantly at him for ignoring her. After about the forth swat, he began to stir. As he lifted his head up, she alighted once more, landing on his still drawn up knees and looked him in the eye, her amber staring down his emerald. Finally, he uttered his first words since leaving Kings Cross Station. "I'm sorry girl." He then removed one of his hands from his legs and began to gently caress her breast feathers the way she liked it.
Harry Potter sat, mindlessly caressing his familiar, as he gathered his thoughts. So lost in his own world that it took him a few minutes as his brain rebooted back into the real world. He had done nothing but picture the death of his godfather over and over again, interspersed with thoughts about how he was to become a killer of man, lest he be killed. As he gazed into the eyes of his first true friend, an epiphany was reached. It was not his fault. People had, of course, been telling him that, but he finally began to believe it. He remembered what Sirius had told him last Christmas, back at Grimmauld Place. 'If you need help, there is nothing in this world that will keep me away from you. I love you, and I care for you, and I will do all in my power to protect you, even give my life for you if that's what it takes. So long as you survive, I will pay any price.'
As he sat there, he began working on a Marauder-worthy plan. He would honor his godfather by finishing the teachings that he had imparted on him. He would finish his animagus training. They had started towards the end of the previous summer, helping Sirius brew the necessary potion after everyone had gone to bed. He had taken it the night before leaving for Hogwarts, and they had celebrated when they discovered he did have a form. Sirius had lent him the very book that he and his father had used to complete their transformations, and he had worked on it in secret. Over Christmas, his godfather had checked his progress and gave him a few tips on how to finish. He then regaled him with a story of how they had finished their own transition to the animal kingdom. At present, Harry could transfigure most of his body, but he could not yet complete the shift.
As the plan worked its way to completion, he realized that he had a rather nasty case of body odor, a strong desire to use the loo, and a ravishing hunger. He placed a content Hedwig on her perch and made a bee-line for the bathroom, praying that Mundungus Fletcher worked that day.
It was a very nervous boy-who-lived that approached his walrus of an uncle. "Uncle Vernon, I have a proposition for you." He watched the calculating gleam in the obese mans eyes.
Vernon Dursley was unhappy. The boy had regained a bit of his spark. It wasn't all back, but it was enough to cause him problems. "What are you on about boy? It had better not be anything freakish."
"Um, it is a bit freakish," he started. "BUT!" He had to get that in as his uncle opened his mouth to protest. "But you will be well compensated to ignore that aspect, and I give you my word that it's nothing that will harm, disfigure, or change anything in this house." He could see the gears working.
"How well compensated?" Leave it to him to worry about the money.
"I have 500 pounds sterling, as well as however much is left in the bottles after we're done." He had had Mrs. Weasley retrieve and convert the galleons from his vault so he could get himself a muggle wardrobe, but this was more important in his mind.
"Bottles of what?"
"Firewhiskey. I have 2 bottles I was able to get my hands on." Fred and George had gifted him with one bottle after the fiasco at the Ministry of Magic, telling him that they thought he needed it, and he had managed to...procure...one from Dung while he was on duty, passed out along the back fence under an invisibility cloak. He pulled out one of the bottles from his pocket and showed his uncle.
"And what exactly is going to be going on that we need whiskey?" Harry could tell he was interested, as the man loved his liquor. He was more partial to brandy, but would never turn down free anything.
Harry steeled himself to answer. Taking a deep breath, he answered. "I've spent the last year working on the animagus transformation. I'm stuck on the final part, and the man who was coaching me said that the best way to finish was get drunk to the point where you believe you can do anything, and just do it." He left out that it was also the most dangerous way, as he didn't think it would help his case. If you weren't in control of your own mind, the animal would take over and you could end up doing some serious damage. Knowing what his form was, however, he didn't think it would be a problem.
"What is this anihocus transferation, it's not going to wreck my house, is it boy?"
"No sir, it's self-transfiguration. It means that it happens to me and only me. I'll be turning into an animal."
"And why exactly do you need my help? All this money to get drunk, not that I'm complaining." He's sold, Harry smiled to himself.
"Well, I just didn't want to drink alone." With that, he left the sitting room and went back to his bedroom to collect Hedwig, the money, and the other bottle of Firewhiskey. When he returned, his uncle was already seated at the kitchen table, and he had 2 large glasses in front of him. Harry sat down both bottles, then opened the first without saying a word, pouring a large amount into each glass. He reached into his pocket and removed the roll of notes, handing them over and watching detachedly as his uncle counted them all out. Once he was satisfied, his meaty fingers reached for his glass. Before he could drink, Harry stopped him. "All I ask is that once I finish the transformation, you open the door so I can get outside. Oh, and be careful, this stuff has a powerful kick. Bottoms up." He quickly reached for his own glass and downed the contents in one gulp, feeling the burn as it went down, and then being hit with light-headedness. He blinked the tears out of his eyes and looked across the table, very glad that his magic dampened the effects.
Vernon had ignored the warning and pounded back the amber liquid, only to sputter and choke as the powerful alcohol burned its way down. He could have sworn he saw smoke when he coughed. As he regained his bearings, he vowed to sip on the next one as his nephew poured another glass. He nursed this one, and began to relish the taste. While it was potent, it had a flavor he very much enjoyed. Seeing that after only two glasses the boy was nearly sloshed, he realized he'd have upwards of a bottle and a half all to himself. He smirked as he watched him pour a third glass and down it with the same enthusiasm as the first two. He knew that the boy would be feeling that in the morning.
He watched on as Harry set the glass back on the table, but didn't move towards the bottle. Instead, he looked him directly in the eye, gave him a drunken grin, and closed his eyes in concentration. Vernon jumped in surprise as a black and white owl now occupied the chair his nephew had been sitting in. As the owl started to try and flap, he remembered the kitchen door. Making his way over, he opened the door and couldn't help but laugh at the very drunken avian trying to take flight in the back yard, watching as that ruddy bird of the boy's landed next to him. He shut the door and locked it. He had never said he'd let him back in. Putting the cap on the the still nearly full bottle, he brought them upstairs to hide in his closet so no one could see them, his mind forgetting his freak of a nephew as he planned out the best way to spend 500 pounds.
A very sore Harry Potter woke up in the smallest bedroom of Number 4 Privet Drive. The bright beams of sunlight piercing through his open window and straight into his corneas. He yelped in pain and then grabbed his head as the sound echoes throughout his mind, amplifying the painful throbbing ten-fold. He slowly got up and made for his trunk, finding very quickly the pain reliever potions he had brewed at school. As the world of hurt began to lift, he glanced around his room, noticing that Hedwig was missing. His memory of the previous night was fuzzy, but he smiled as he recalled completing his transformation. 'I'm an animagus. You'd be proud Dad, Sirius. I even did it in true Marauder style.'.
He was broken out of his thoughts by a near silent flutter of wings that signaled the return of his familiar. He looked towards the window, and then towards her perch, but didn't see her. Calling out for her, she replied with a hoot from the side of his ground, where she had an old shirt of Dudley's that had been too tattered to wear, as well as a pile of sticks that she was fashioning into a circular pattern. He reached over and pet her, enjoying her content noises, and put her strange behavior out of his mind as he began to decide how to proceed with his life. If the list he had found on Dung was accurate, then he couldn't go flying for a few days as Mad-Eye Moody was his guard for the next three nights, and the guards during the day would be suspicious of an owl leaving that they hadn't seen arriving.
It was two days after he had completed the transformation when he realized that Hedwig hadn't moved in the past several hours. She was awake, and he could hear her shuffling occasionally, but she hadn't left that one spot on his floor. Glancing over at her, he was very much surprised when he realized that she was sitting on a nest, and he could just make out what looked like an egg poking out from under her belly. "Hey girl, are you going to be a mother?" He asked her quietly as he stroked her breast feathers. She bobbed her head up and down vigorously. "Sometimes I wonder just how much you really understand." He continued to pet his first and fiercest companion. "Congratulations girl, I can't wait to see them." She nipped his fingers affectionately before he withdrew them and went back to the defense book he had gotten for Christmas.
Tonight was the night, he was going to go flying, and he was actually going to remember it. It was Dungs turn to watch the house again, and he was far from observant. He concentrated on his owl form and felt the magic tingle across his body. Where once stood a young man with messy black hair and piercing green eyes, there now stood a large Snowy Owl, all white aside from a crest of black that looked just as unruly as his normal hair, and his eyes shining emerald. While his scar was there, it was on his flesh, and had been covered by the feathers. He alighted to the window-sill and flexed his wings. Just before he took off, however, a voice broke him from his thoughts.
:Mate-Harry? Could you bring me back a mouse? I haven't had a chance to go hunting.:
Owl-Harry fell backwards in an undignified heap onto the bedroom floor. As he righted himself, he stared at his pet. He was slightly larger than her, but not by a lot. 'Had she just talked?'
:Mate-Harry? What's wrong?:
There, he had seen it, her beak moved as he heard the words. In the back of his mind he realized they sounded like hoots and coos, but he understood their meaning perfectly. Pulling up his Gryffindor courage, he tried to answer back.
:What do you mean by 'Mate', Hedwig?: He was almost afraid of the answer.
:I mean that you are my mate, Mate-Harry. We bonded four moons ago, and we're going to have our first clutch in a few weeks.:
Harry Potter, boy-who-lived, the prophesied vanquisher of the Dark Lord, and illegal animagus, fainted, as he became the latest in an incredibly long list to have done something foolish and life-changing while drunk. He came around to the frantic calls of his 'mate'. :Sorry, I just, um, well, so you wanted a mouse, right?: He wanted to fly, he always thought better while flying. And he had a lot to think about. At her happy nod, he hopped back into the windowsill and took off, promising her a plump one when he returned.
It was finally happening. He was going to witness the birth of his first children. Granted, they were owls, but they were still his. In the last three weeks, he had spent more time as a bird of prey than he had as a human, having endless discussions with his familiar, friend, and mate. After putting up with some harsh teasing from Mad-Eye, he had gotten him to swear an oath not to reveal his animagus abilities, and to spread word that Hedwig had found a boyfriend instead. He was immensely glad that Moody hadn't demanded he register, and had instead told him to keep this hushed up so that he could use it to his advantage. The rest of his Order guards thought nothing of the Snowy owl coming and going at all hours once Mad-Eye had told them it was fine. As Harry had kept to himself all summer already, they didn't find it odd that they never saw him.
His thoughts were interrupted by a cracking sound signifying that the first of his children was arriving. There were three eggs in the clutch, and all of them had hairline fractures, while the one closest to him was missing a section and he could see a bit of beak poking through. Following Hedwig's instruction, the two proud parents helped their offspring into the world. Hedwig had deferred naming them to Harry, insisting that it was his duty. He decided to wait until they had feathers, and then he would name them based on their appearances. He watched as his mate regurgitated the rat he had caught earlier that night to give them their first meal. He nuzzled Hedwig gently before moving away and transforming back to human and climbing into bed, a smile on his face.
Mad-Eye Moody had watched the evening progress with his magical eye. As funny as the situation was, he was very glad it happened, as it gave the boy something else to keep his mind occupied.
Harry had his hands full. Between he and Hedwig, they had probably caught all the rats, mice, and voles on Privet Drive. He was very tempted to ask Moody to get him a bunch from the pet store. Their chicks had been growing at an astounding rate, and their feathers had just finished coming in. They weren't flight ready, but they didn't look naked either. They could all talk, although they spoke like children, and as Hedwig explained it to him, their magic gave them language that grew with them as they did. He was just happy they could communicate. He decided that it was time to name them.
He had been contemplating the names for some time and had finally decided. For the lone girl, he had decided on Lily Hermione Potter, in honor of both his mother and his best friend. She had a brownish crest and back feathers and black speckles across her breast feathers, with Harry's green eyes. The first boy had a crest much like Harry's, black and messy, with amber eyes. The rest of him was pure white. He was to be called James Ronald Potter, in honor of his father and other best friend. The last male was all white just like his mother, with Harry's green eyes as well. It had been difficult, but he had finally settled on Archimedes Sirius Potter, in honor of his godfather, and, from what his history books told him, Merlin's owl, as he thanked Merlin that he had a family, no matter how odd.
His names were met with much enthusiasm, and he reached down and preened each of his children as Hedwig had taught him. He had started with James, and had just finished Archimedes when another owl flew in the window. He quickly moved in front of his family and transformed back to human, wary of the new bird trespassing on his space. He noticed a letter tied to the new birds leg and calmed down a bit. It was the first mail he had received all summer, and it was nearly his birthday already. He would have been driven crazy had it not been for Hedwig and his children. He removed the envelope and the bird flew off. Recognizing the loopy script as belonging to Dumbledore, he opened it to what his headmaster had to say.
I'm sorry for the lack of letters this summer, but we all thought it would be best if you had time to grieve on your own. As we don't know how secure Headquarters is anymore, we have had to relocate. Alastor is on duty today, and he will tell you more, just approach him carefully.
I wish you well
'A bland and pointless note. He could have just had Moody approach me.' His thoughts were interrupted, however, but a tugging on his shirt. He locked up, fearing the worst, until the person spoke.
"Daddy, it's my turn to be preened. You promised." The voice was that of a little girl. Turning slowly, he saw a naked girl standing near his bed that looked to be around 7 years old, with flaming red hair down her back, vibrant green eyes, and freckles across her face and chest. "Cmon Daddy, turn back normal and preen me." The girl then shrunk down to the floor, and the baby owl he had named Lily looked up at him. Harry did the only thing he could think of, he fainted.
When he awoke, he was looking into four sets of concerned eyes. He was startled to realize that only one of those sets was Avian. The other three belonged to his children, all of them human and all of them naked. He glanced around and noticed how much that Lily looked like her namesake, as did James. Archimedes hair, however, was pure white. Before anyone could say anything, the door burst open and Moody hobbled in, wand at the ready. After much discussion and transfiguring some clothing, they reached what they hoped to be the truth of the matter. Harry had done the impossible...again. He and his mate had given birth to the first ever Human Animagus, or a magical creature with a human animagus form.
Before he left them alone, he told Harry and his children "The Burrow is located in Ottery St. Catchpole" and promised to relay that Harry would make his own way there in 10 moons, as Hedwig had put it.
Since their feathers had grown in, Harry and Hedwig had been teaching their children how to fly. It went rather quickly, as the skill was ingrained into their magic, and soon the family was flying all over Surrey and the surrounding area, learning to catch prey and how to locate names and addresses, with the assistance of the muggle telephone directory. It was now time to make the trip to the Burrow for the rest of their summer. Moody had already been by to collect his belongings, and promised to meet them there. The three children, who now looked to be about 10, had taken to calling him 'Grandpa', and he was very much loath to admit that he liked it. Harry had shared their plan with him, and he wasn't going to miss it for the world.
It was a reasonably long flight of around 240 kilometers, and they had stopped to rest twice. It was nearing dinner time as they approached the Burrow, their magic directing them towards the recipients of the letters they each carried. Harry reminded his children of their roles as they approached the leaning building, the lights on in the kitchen and the noise indicated that they were just finishing the evening meal. They all swooped in and made their way to their respective deliveries.
All talk at the table had died as the five Snowy Owls entered through the kitchen window. The guards had told them that Harry's owl had a suitor, and that there appeared to be chicks, and this proved it. Everyone recognized Hedwig, and watched as she landed in front of Albus, while the other adult landed in front of Remus. Of the three young owls, the pure white one landed in front of Hermione, the black crested one Ron, and the brown and white in front of Molly. Dumbledore was the first to open his letter.
"All it says is that he's had a wonderful summer, and he'll see us soon."
"I do hope he's okay. I don't know why you're letting him come over on his own, instead of having someone pick him up," Molly told him. Her worry for her unofficial seventh son evident. Turning her attention to the owl in front of her as she carefully removed the letter and read it. She smiled and read hers aloud. "My name is Lily Hermione Potter," She smiled at the bird before her. "That's a very pretty name." Her eyes grew wide, however, as the owl in front of her turned into a young girl wearing a flowered sun-dress with long red hair and stunning green eyes.
"I'm glad you like it! My daddy picked it out for me." Molly, however, didn't hear this as she had fainted dead away. The group was staring open-mouthed at the spectacle of an owl turning into a child so intently that they missed the transformation of the other two owls.
"Me next me next me next me next, read mine next!" James was bouncing on the balls of his feet and holding out his letter for Ron to read. Ron just stared dumbfounded. "Grr, fine don't read it. I'm James Ronald Potter by the way, how are you?"
As everyone looked at the new source of shock, the last owl, who had been sitting patiently on the table, made his presence known. "Hi, I'm Archimedes Sirius Potter, pleased to meet you." He held out his hand to Hermione and she shook it numbly.
The shock was starting to wear off, and Arthur enervated his wife. She sat up slowly and looked at the girl seated on the edge of the table. The girl smiled, and asked "Are you my grandma?" Molly immediately found her place on the floor again.
As the noise began to rise, and people started to question who the strange children were, Moody broke out into hysterical laughter. Remus looked at the owl in front of him, that had yet to change, and removed the letter quickly before skimming it, tears coming to his eyes as he finished it. Looking up into the eyes of his last link to his best friends, he engulfed the boy in a hug and mumbling 'yes' as the forgotten letter fluttered to the ground.
I'm a true Marauder now, all I need is a name. I hope Padfoot and Prongs are proud of the greatest prank ever: owls with a human animagus form. In case you hadn't figured it out, I have kids now, three of them, and I want you to be the godfather of my fledglings.
Well, that's all I have. If you want to think of more reactions, or how they'll handle Hogwarts, feel free to write your own sequels, but this is as far as I'm taking this one. Do let me know if you're going to write your own though, as I'd like to read them. I hope you liked it, and I hope it wasn't too 'out there'.