Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, and I'm making no money from this. All in the name of fun.
Harry Potter sat bolt upright in his bed in the Gryffindor boy's dormitory, as he felt the uncontrollable need to go into the forest. He looked out of the window, and even through the blackness of the night he felt that he could almost still see the line of trees at the forests edge. Listening carefully, he made sure the other boys were still sleeping as he hurriedly pulled on some baggy jeans and pulled a sweatshirt on over his t-shirt. The strange tugging he felt got worse the longer he took, and after grabbing a thick cloak, his wand, his invisibility cloak and his map, he quietly left the dormitory.
Once outside the portrait guarding the entrance to the common room, he cast a silencing bubble around himself and almost ran through the castle in his rush to find out where the sensation was coming from. He slipped through the castle entrance doors and was glad for his thick cloak as he was slapped in the face by a gust of wind carrying several leaves. Here he paused, for the first time wondering whether or not this was a good idea, it could be a trap... just like Sirius...
Thinking of that strange pull, he looked over to where it wanted him to go, and as he'd known before, it led down a side path into the forest. It didn't feel evil, it just felt like something he had to do. Like there was no option of not doing it. Like it knew that he just couldn't turn round and walk away. Like he was meant to go, and he just knew it was important. He glanced behind him at the castle once more, then turned and started running for the forest, with nothing but starlight to guide him. Harry wasn't worried about falling, he just knew he wouldn't.
As he ran down the path, he sensed he was coming to the edge of the Hogwarts wards, and slowed to a stop. Through his harsh breathing he picked up a familiar sound, getting louder as it neared him, and he vaguely recognised phoenix song before his mind was lost in feelings of joy and happiness. Harry stood just inside the wards, entranced as he closed his eyes and let the song fill him, let it wash away his guilt, grief, loneliness and sadness. Gradually the song ended, and when Harry opened his eyes, he looked around for the source of the beautiful song, and just stared.
In front of him, perched on a tree branch, was a pure golden phoenix, with emerald green eyes eerily similar in colour to his own. It looked at him with its head tilted slightly, and all Harry could do was stare back. He dimly noted that the pull was gone, and he shook himself from his daze.
"Did you call me here?" he asked, looking at the phoenix, which bobbed its head in response.
"That's good, if it was Death Eaters I'd feel really stupid right about now."
The phoenix just looked at him, then swooped and hovered in front of him, and he got the impression that his arm was expected. He dutifully held out his arm, which the phoenix promptly landed on, then it resumed its staring.
"So why would you call me all the way out here in the middle of the night?" he asked, reaching up to stroke the beautiful golden bird.
Suddenly he felt the phoenix's response in his mind, and he knew that the phoenix wanted to take him somewhere. Harry turned and looked through the trees in the direction of Hogwarts.
"I'm sorry but I don't think that's a good idea. I don't know where you're taking me, or for how long, and the Professors and my friends would worry if I just suddenly disappeared!" he replied, even though his curiosity was almost more than he could handle. The next impression from the phoenix was extremely confusing to say the least.
"Hang on, how can it be a long time and a short time at the same time? And I'll be safe? And it will help me? What about my things?"
The phoenix tilted its head and twittered in what sounded like amusement. Then Harry received a mental acknowledgement, and the next thing he knew, there was a flash of whitish-blue light, and a second later it was apparent that he was standing next to his trunk at the foot of his bed. The phoenix hopped onto the footboard at looked first at the trunk and then at Harry.
"Alright, I'll come with you. You'll bring me back here afterwards though, wont you?"
The phoenix bobbed its head.
Ten minutes later and Harry was finished packing his trunk. The only things left out were his invisibility cloak, wand and broomstick. He shrunk his broom and trunk, wrapped them in his cloak, and stuffed the bundle in his pocket. He glanced over to the phoenix who had been watching him calmly.
"What now?" he whispered.
The phoenix sent an impression of a forest clearing, and of him holding his arm out.
"Alright, here goes," he whispered, and held his arm out.
The clearing looked to be part of the Forbidden Forest, and he got a feeling from the phoenix that he was right. Next was what he guessed was the phoenix equivalent of, "Are you ready?"
"I guess so. I still don't know what you need me to do though."
Suddenly they were enveloped in the white-blue light, and Harry could see nothing of his surroundings. The light lasted a lot longer than the flashes to his dorm and back, but just as Harry was starting to wonder if something was wrong, the light faded.
He was standing in a clearing in a young forest that definitely felt less oppressive than the one he'd just left. Birds sang in the trees, clumps of herbs that he recognised from potions and herbology classes grew in-between some of the trees, and the wind moved through the branches, gently rustling the leaves and adding a peaceful aura, unlike the notable stillness of the Forbidden Forest.
"Where are... What? No way! It's impossible! How can this be the same forest? The same clearing!"
Panicking, Harry turned round in a circle, trying to see anything through the trees that could tell him where he was and why he was there, until a sharp trill from the phoenix stopped him. When he calmed down enough, he tried to interpret the impression from the phoenix.
"It's the same forest, but younger, right? So you brought me back in TIME? You can travel through time? Wow... so you're a time travelling phoenix, you called me from Hogwarts in the future, and brought me back to when the Forbidden Forest was younger. So we've gone back quite a way huh?" Here he looked up, and just stood still for a moment.
"This is a lot to take in."
The phoenix chirped in amusement.
"Yeah yeah, you think this is really funny don't you? Let's dump Potter in a different time, with no idea of why he's there, and see what happens! Well, you seem to be in charge here, so where do I go now, oh great time travelling phoenix?"
The only reply he got, was that the phoenix took off, slowly gliding away from him through the trees.
"Alright! Slow down, I'm coming!"
The phoenix trilled back in amusement. As he was running to keep up, Harry was starting to think that this bird could become quite annoying.
It wasn't until Harry saw the edge of the forest in the distance that a stray thought entered his mind, his mind having been more focussed on not tripping on tree roots, or being snagged by thorns, although he still had plenty of scratches.
"Hang on! You could have just flashed me out!"
All he heard was a musical trill that was definitely laughter.
He got the shock of his life when he saw Hogwarts. Gone was the aged stone castle of his time, with moss and ivy growing up the walls, gone were the well worn paths that students frequently travelled across the grounds, along with Hagrid's hut, and apparently there were no greenhouses in this time.
In its place was a very different Hogwarts. Where the Hogwarts of his time radiated age, wisdom, and strength, the castle in front of him literally glowed. The stone walls were freshly built, still recent enough that moss was non-existent. The roof tiles were a bright red, not having been weathered to the brown that they were in his time. The massive doors, even from a distance, looked brand new. It was a castle of possibilities. This Hogwarts hadn't seen all that his Hogwarts had, and he was both cheered and saddened by this. When he was busy looking at the castle the phoenix flew down to him and landed on his shoulder.
"Right... Well, let's go and see who is at Hogwarts in this time, although by the looks of it, this can't be long after it was built... I wonder..."
The phoenix trilled happily as he started walking, and burst into song, making Harry forget his nerves and laugh happily as he almost skipped towards the young castle.
Just as they reached the steps leading to the massive front doors, they opened. Looking up, Harry held his breath as a young man stepped out. He was of medium build, with broad shoulders, and dark blonde, almost light brown wavy hair down to his shoulder blades. He was dressed in traditional medieval clothing; black trousers tucked into knee height boots, a white poet's shirt, with a dark red sleeveless robe that had a pattern in golden thread that couldn't be seen from the distance. The man's eyes had widened at the sight of the golden phoenix on his shoulder, he had his wand ready, and a sword hung from his waist. Harry could make out some gold jewellery before his observations were cut short by the man speaking, saying words that Harry couldn't understand.
"I'm sorry sir, but I don't understand you," Harry replied, holding his hands up in a peaceful gesture and shaking his head apologetically.
The man seemed to freeze for a moment, eyes flickering between him and the phoenix, before he held his hand up in a 'halt' gesture, slipped back into the castle and shut the door. Even so, Harry could hear the man shouting in what he assumed was Old English, the sound fading as time passed.
"Well, looks like we'll have to just wait until he comes back, and hopefully we can figure out what is going on here. Although it's not like they can understand me, or I them!" The phoenix just stared at him, trilled, and bobbed its head. Don't worry. Just wait, I will help you.
Harry sat down on the bottom step and stared out towards the lake until he heard the door behind him opening. Carefully he stood up, mindful of the phoenix, and turned round.
"Bloody hell, you're the founders aren't you? Bloody hell!" Harry looked away from the four curious founders now openly staring at him, and turned to his companion.
"How am I supposed to explain this to them? 'Hello there founders, I've been dumped here by this phoenix, can't speak a word of your language, I have no idea why I'm here, how long for, oh and by the way, I'm from a THOUSAND YEARS INTO THE FUTURE!'"
During his rant, the phoenix had flown over to a low wall and was staring at him. Sounds good to me.
"I was right! You ARE annoying! You're getting a proper laugh out of this! How can I make them understand?" very much agitated, he turned sharply on his heel and grabbed fistfuls of his hair. A moment later he turned back to the phoenix, momentarily forgetting the four people at the top of the steps, each with varying expressions, still with his hands buried in his hair.
"NO! I shouldn't even be here! What if I change time? What if I'm not even born? What if I make history different? This was a REALLY BAD IDEA! In fact, this was a SPECTACULARLY bad idea! We should go now, before something changes!" By now, Harry was pacing at the bottom of the steps, still with his hands buried in his hair, muttering to himself.
"Go with you... short time, long time, you sneaky bird...never should have left my bed!"
The four founders watched all this in silence, looking between the strange agitated young man, and the golden phoenix that seemed to be communicating with him. Godric Gryffindor looked on in bemusement and curiosity, wanting to know where this young man had come from, and what he was doing at their castle, as he looked a bit too old to be starting as a student. Helga Hufflepuff was alternating between confusion at the strangers appearance, and worry for the state of his mind. Rowena Ravenclaw was trying to place the young man's language, but she'd never heard anyone speak in a tongue remotely like it, and was fascinated by the magnificent golden phoenix. Salazar Slytherin stood with his wand and dagger out, eyeing the stranger with suspicion, whilst trying desperately not to show exactly how curious he was.
You may not speak their language, but you can talk to snakes.