Harry's and Severus' New Family – Chapter 11
"Harry, you're a bird," Severus whispered, curiously glancing at his own body, only to notice it held the same black feathers as Harry's. "I'm a bird too," he added in surprise.
'It hurts so much,' Harry mused, frantically trying to keep him upright on his bird feet as suddenly one of the students noticed the two birds next to the teacher's table and shouted, "Look, two birds! Are they phoenixes?"
Minerva threw the two kids in their Animagus forms a terrified look, confirming sternly, "Yes, the one with the green back feathers is a wind phoenix, and the one with the blue back feathers is a water phoenix."
"They are beautiful!" a Gryffindor girl breathed, causing Minerva to throw the two birds a half angry half proud look.
"Very well. Let's get on, so all of you will get to know their Animagus forms before the end of class," she replied sternly, observing from the corner of her eyes how her two boys automatically transformed back into their human forms a few minutes later. She watched contentedly as Severus gently tucked Harry into the warm blanket and whispered something to him, placing one of his sloppy kisses on his forehead.
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"What do you think you're doing?" Minerva couldn't help asking angrily after finally dismissing the students.
"I'm sorry; it was my fault," Severus explained in a small voice. "I thought it was much fun."
"My fow too," Harry breathed. He was sitting next to his brother, tiredly resting his head against the older boy's shoulder, gasping for air.
"Harry, are you all right?" Minerva asked terrified as she noticed that he obviously seemed to have problems breathing.
"Ye," he whispered miserably, shivering under the warm blanket that Severus had carefully draped around his body.
"I'll better take you to Aunt Poppy again," Minerva decided, gently scooping the child up. "Severus, will you come with us, please?"
"Of course," Severus replied, worriedly, and ran ahead to open the doors for Minerva.
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"How could that happen, Minerva?" Poppy queried in exasperation. "His condition is much worse, and I need to constantly monitor him. He'll have to stay in my office for the time being."
"Is my fault," Severus admitted in a small voice. "Can I stay and help look after Harry?"
"Yes, you may help me; however, you have to stay in my office and not run around the open hospital wing, because there are many students with a dangerous illness that I don't want you to catch, sweetie," Poppy replied gently, turning to Minerva. "I intend to give both of them the immunization shots against all the magical children's diseases during the summer holidays. I hope Harry's immune system will allow me to do so."
"That's a very good idea," Minerva said warmly. "I'm sorry, Poppy. I was so reckless as to leave two spare phials of the Animagus potion on my desk, and Severus must have managed to summon them with accidental magic."
"And they transformed into what?" Poppy queried, rolling her eyes.
"I'm a water phoenix," Severus blurted out, "and Harry is a wind phoenix."
"Oh, these are very beautiful Animagus forms," Poppy replied in amazement. "You're both very powerful wizards. However, you have to be much older before you can try to transform into your forms."
"Yes," Severus replied sadly, resolving to talk Harry into trying as soon as he was back to full health.
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Unfortunately, it took several weeks before Harry recovered, since he caught the wizard's measles on top of his respiratory infect, causing him to remain very ill for the end of the school year.
"Thank God I was alert enough to give Severus the immunization shot the day they tried the Animagus potion; otherwise, we'd have to separate the kids," Poppy said to Minerva as she spelled the potion for the measles into Harry's system.
"How long do you think it'll take before Harry will be able to get up?" Minerva queried. "Albus said something about taking the children to the seaside for a week or two."
"That's a good idea, especially for Harry. The sea air will be good for his respiratory system," Poppy replied thoughtfully. "Does Albus intend to take them alone, or does he expect you or both of us to join them?"
Minerva chuckled. "As far as I understood him, he was planning a family excursion for all of us. I saw several pamphlets of magical holiday resorts on his desk this morning."
"Oh well, let's wait until after the Leaving Feast tonight and ask him then," Poppy said, smiling as she observed Harry drift off to sleep with his teddy in his arm, his small thumb tucked in his mouth.
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Two weeks later, Harry's condition was finally well enough for Poppy to allow him out of bed. Since Poppy had agreed that a stay at the seaside might help with Harry's breathing problems, the Headmaster decided not to waste any more time but to leave for their holidays right away.
"We'll go to a magical resort," Minerva told the excited children. "It's not far from here, but it's on a huge beach, and the air and the water temperature are charmed to be very warm, and we'll have lots of sunshine there."
"Oh, can I learn how to swim?" Severus asked in apparent excitement, causing Minerva to chuckle inwardly as she tried to imagine his older self's reaction to going to a seaside resort together with his colleagues.
"As far as I'm informed, they even have swimming classes," she replied thoughtfully. "Harry, would you like to learn to swim as well?"
"Yeah," Harry shouted happily, jumping up and down on both feet in absolute excitement. 'Whatever swimming is, it sounds like fun, especially if it's classes. In the students' classes, always interesting things happen,' he mused as he continued to listen to his brother's and his guardian's conversation.
Suddenly, Poppy entered the room and handed each of them a small rucksack. "Each of you may take his teddy or dragon to cuddle with as well as one book and one more toy of your choice with you," she instructed the boys, who excitedly toddled through their room, busily throwing cars in their rucksacks only to pull them out and insert other toys seconds later. Finally, Harry had decided on the Hogwarts express that was boarded by many toy animals, while Severus had packed a box filled with Lego.
"Look, Aunt Poppy, is that all right?" they both asked, eagerly showing their rucksacks.
Poppy chuckled as she nodded her agreement, knowing that the rucksacks were going to change their contents at least a dozen more times before they were going to leave the following morning.
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After breakfast, the Headmaster produced an inflatable starfish, motioning Minerva, Poppy, Severus and Harry to hold on tightly, before he muttered the incantation to activate the Portkey. A few uncomfortable seconds later, Harry and Severus found themselves surrounded by sand.
'This is so much fun,' Harry thought, excitedly patting the sand in a huge commotion, not realising that he was flinging small bits of sand on the others until Severus began to cry when a grain of sand ended up in his eye.
"Harry, please stop it," Minerva instructed him in a gentle but firm voice, causing Harry to watch in concern as Poppy cleaned Severus' eye.
"Sowwy Sevvie," he said remorsefully as he leaned over, putting a sloppy kiss on his brother's arm.
"All right, Minerva, let's go and get the key to our apartment," Albus suggested, and the two professors turned around towards the house.
"Oh Harry, look!" Severus suddenly exclaimed, pointing to the waves that were calmly rolling onto the beach. "The sea!"
"Yay!" Harry shouted and dashed away, while Severus asked Poppy, who was searching her bag for sun cream, if they were allowed to play in the water for a while. Seeing that other children were playing in the shallow water, Harry quickly pulled off his shoes and socks and happily followed their example.
"Today, you may only go into the water with your feet. From tomorrow onwards, you can attend the swimming course," Poppy replied gently and accompanied Severus down to the water, assuming that Harry had accompanied Minerva and Albus.
"Where is Harry?" Severus asked suddenly, searching the beach and the shallow water for the smaller boy.
"He went with Aunt Minerva and Uncle Albus. I'm sure they'll be back soon."
"No, he ran down here; look, these are his shoes and socks," Severus replied, pointing to his brother's belongings.
"Oh my God," Poppy gasped and motioned Severus to remain where he was while she hurried into the shallow water, not bothering to take her clothes off.
When Minerva and Albus returned to the beach twenty minutes later, they found a sobbing Severus sitting near the shallow water all on his own.
Thank you so much for your kind reviews and sorry for the delay in posting this chapter. I'm not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes or help me to correct them.
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.