I am going to tell you a story. A story of love; a story of hate. A story of hope; a story of despair. A story of solitude; a story of friendship. A story of time. The story of a phoenix.
Every so often, I die. Every so often, I am re-born. I am hope, I am life, and I am love. My feathers can burn holes in the strongest defence. My tears can heal the most endangering wound. Who am I? I am a Phoenix. I am Fawkes.
I did not have a beginning. I will not have an end. I simply exist. I have seen many masters, great wizards; even, in several cases, witches. I pass through time joining those who need me most, the greatest wizards, those who are the most loyal to me. Phoenixes are very loyal. My first master gave me a home. I am loyal to that home. Its name is Hogwarts.
My first master built a school. His name was Godric Gryffindor. He spread equality among wizard-kind, along with love and bravery. However, he was flawed. A noble knight, steady and true, but flawed. The consequences of his biggest mistake changed to path of magical history forever; they still create trouble today, thousands of years later. His mistake - unity. Or, rather, a lack of it. Have you ever wondered why there are for houses in Hogwarts? For originally there was only one. He created a rift between two houses, those of Gryffindor and Slytherin. This mistake was to be the beginning of a great battle - the greatest battle in history, you could say. The battle between good and evil. A battle of blood. A battle to tear families apart, and unite those who would never in their wildest dreams have fought together. He started this, he, and three others. But he gave me a home. And for that, I forgave him.
I have lived the lives of the four founders of Hogwarts, learned magic that no wizard could ever wish to master. But I would not do it again. I saw the secret smiles exchanged between the wise, the brave, the sly and the helpful; the smiles that founded not only a school, but also a friendship so strong it caused generations of magic to develop and thrive.
When Gryffindor died, I sung my song. The song of loss and laughter, love and cruelty. The Phoenix Lament. A song to signify the end of an era.
A phoenix does not live like any other creature. It does not die and pass to the afterlife. It simply moves on, through time, to its next great master. It flits past periods of time, only re-emerging to join the person who will be loyal to it above all else. After the death of Gryffindor, I found myself living in a different time, one of deeper trouble. My new master was the cleverest wizard of his age. His name was Albus Dumbledore.
Dumbledore was, perhaps, the most loyal of my masters. Even his Patronus was a phoenix. Dumbledore was anything but ordinary. He took on a legacy, strived to finish it, yet failed. He left it to the last of my masters. He tried to unite the houses. He saw the rise of Slytherins heir, and watched Gryffindors heir defeat him. He defended the truth, and gave everyone, even if they had greatly wronged him, a second chance. Throughout his life, he rightfully wrote his name in every book of wizard genius. He was a brilliant wizard. In the end, his wisdom killed him. I will always remember his last words to me, they ring as clear as a bell when I remember him - "It does not do to dwell on dreams, Fawkes". He was quite right. When he left on that ill-fated night, armed with 150 years of knowledge and understanding, he spoke his greatest mistake. For he did dwell, but not on dreams - on memories. I watched him solve the greatest mystery for hundreds of years: almost single-handed. He may have solved it, and I am sure that he now rests in peace because of his actions, but his own knowledge and wisdom destroyed him.
My perch is in the Headmasters office at Hogwarts. I barely leave it - only when I am needed elsewhere. From where I sit, I have a wonderful view across the Hogwarts grounds towards the lake, and beyond that, the forest. My perch has always been here, with this wonderful view, for a millennium, ever since Godric Gryffindor placed it there. I have watched dewy springs mould into stuffy summers; autumns flecked with gold pass into harsh winters. Now, it is summer. As the evening passes, the sun glints of a white marble tomb that lies by the lake. Unlike the surrounding giants of mountains, the tomb has not been there for long. Once, it was smashed, by the very heir of Slytherin whose secret its occupant had tried so hard to reveal. It is mended now, and it reflects the sunlight directly into my window. Unlike other creatures, I do not shirk away from the bright light, but soak it up; it gives me new strength and life. I remember my master Dumbledore, who now rests in the marble tomb. He is dead, yes, but he is not gone. For he will only be gone from Hogwarts when none there are loyal to him. Phoenixes are very loyal. I will always be loyal to him. And I will never be gone from Hogwarts.
The last of my masters to date is the most famous of all. His name is Harry Potter. He is The Boy Who Lived. I have watched him grow into the strongest wizard of generations to come. He has lived for seventeen years with a destiny that he was born to fix. He was born to unite the four houses. Godric Gryffindor created a rift; Harry Potter has fixed it. The battle is over. I watched Harry Potter grow, mature and fight. The battle is over now. The darkness has passed; this is the morning. The sun has returned.
All my masters fought for their beliefs. Godric Gryffindor fought for learning and knowledge. Albus Dumbledore fought for 'The Greater Good'. Harry Potter fought for unity, for peace, and for the greatest magic of all - love.
My story is complete. It was a story of love, and a story of hate. It was a story of hope, and a story of despair. It was a story of solitude, and a story of friendship. It was a story of time. The story of a phoenix. The story of Fawkes.