It was almost twenty months later that Hogwarts alerted Harry to the fact that the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor was using Polyjuice potion and keeping someone else in a trunk in his office. Barely able to believe the story, Harry alerted his Head of House, who together with the Headmaster questioned Professor Moody under Veritaserum.
Upon hearing that the polyjuiced professor and Auror planned to kidnap Harry from the Triwizard tournament in order to reembody Voldemort, Professor Dumbledore cancelled the Triwizard tournament just a few days before it was supposed to commence ensuring that there was no chance of manipulation.
This forced Voldemort to resort to plan B, and a few months later, Minister Fudge's cousin Theodore Fudge was used in a ritual to resurrect him - a fact, which became quickly knowledge, when Voldemort appeared in the atrium of the ministry with the body of the poor cousin, announcing his return.
During the following months, Harry was frequently pulled into visions, where he was forced to observe Voldemort talking to his Death Eaters. When the evil wizard began to attack Muggles almost every night, Harry told Gwendolyn about his visions.
#Harry, we need to do something about that monster# Gwendolyn trilled in determination and promised to think about a plan before the end of the school year.
After the Leaving feast, when everyone was busying themselves packing their luggage, Gwendolyn suddenly let out a few excited trills.
#Harry, I have an idea how to get rid of Voldemort#
Harry, who was just quietly talking with Neville, abruptly turned around, staring at his familiar. "How?" he asked, impatiently.
Gwendolyn let out a small sigh, before she thoughtfully revealed her plan to him. Harry listened with growing interest, before he interrupted her and queried, "Do you believe it will work? And why should I flash him? Wouldn't it be much easier for you, considering that you have been a phoenix for one thousand years, while I'm not have any experience flashing people?"
Gwendolyn sighed again, before she said in determination #Harry, we should go and speak with Professor Snape about the matter. Do you feel comfortable enough towards the professor to tell him about your Animagus form and also about my identity?# Seeing that Harry hesitated, she added #We could speak with Professor McGonagall, but I believe that Professor Snape has more valuable knowledge about things that matter here. If you don't trust him enough though...#
"No," Harry interrupted her quickly. "In fact, I think I already became used to him and know him quite well. And he has always helped me with everything that concerned Voldemort. It's okay; let's go and speak with him."
Harry hesitantly knocked at Professor Snape's door, knowing that the professor did not appreciate being disturbed after curfew.
"Potter," Snape said in surprise, pointing to the chair behind his desk.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, sir, but my familiar and I would like to ask you for an advice," Harry explained, glancing at Gwendolyn.
#Harry, tell him about yourself and who I am,# his great grandmother instructed him, listening patiently how Harry explained to the astonished professor everything that Hogwarts had taught him four years ago. #My sister-in-law, Rowena Ravenclaw, was a Seer, and she once told me that you, my great grandson Harry, would be the one to get rid of a very evil wizard. Therefore, I believe that you have to flash Voldemort. Please translate and ask him if he has ever heard anything about you and Voldemort.#
Harry obediently translated her words, causing the Potions Master to become very pensive.
"I believe that there is a prophecy about you and the Dark Lord," he replied slowly. "In order to be on the safe side, it would indeed be better if you got rid of the Dark Lord. Do you have any experience flashing people?" he queried, quirking an eyebrow.
"No sir," Harry replied quietly.
"Then I suggest that you spend some time this summer practising together with your great grandmother," the professor said, smirking. "I shall ask my personal house-elf, Cicero, to attend your practice, so that you can try flashing him." He turned to Gwendolyn. "Ms. Gryffindor, are you sure that the Dark Lord won't be able to escape or survive that place?"
Gwendolyn chuckled. #No Sir# she trilled firmly. #I once went to the big magma, but it was so hot, and I burned myself badly.# More to herself than to the others she added, #Luckily, I managed to get away quickly and burrow flashed to the earth phoenix land, where the other phoenixes took care of me.#
"Very well," Snape said appreciatively. "Potter, inform me, before you attack the Dark Lord. Does anyone know where Ms. Gryffindor's quarters are and how to contact you, in case the house-elves are not aware of the Founders' quarters?"
"Professor McGonagall knows," Harry replied in a soft voice. "She is my guardian, but the Headmaster mustn't know about it. Only Madam Pomfrey and Madam Hooch know." He cast his Head of House a pleading look.
Snape slightly inclined his head as a confirmation, before he opened a drawer of his desk, pulling out a thin silver necklace, which he held out to Harry.
"Mr. Potter, put this around your neck," he said in a surprisingly soft voice. "It is a safety Portkey, which will take you into my personal quarters. The activation code is 'Lily'."
Harry stared at the professor in shock. 'Why would he give me his personal safety Portkey?' he thought in disbelief. However, noticing that Snape seemed to be determined to have him wear the necklace, he hesitantly put it around his neck and profusely thanked the professor.
During the first week of the holidays, Harry practised burrow-flashing house-elves, glad that Professor McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey had also offered that their elves, Malcolm and Misty, could help him with his preparation of burrow-flashing Voldemort.
One day, Cicero popped up outside their fixed training time and said, "Harry Potter, Master Severus wishes to speak with you. Please come to his office."
Knowing that he still could not risk being seen by the Headmaster, Harry burrow-flashed into the Slytherin common room, where he transformed back into his human form and turned to the short-cut passage leading to the professor's office.
"Mr. Potter," Snape said in a relatively friendly tone, "I need to go to the Apothecary in Hogsmeade. Are you ready to flash me there?"
Harry stared at his Head of House in shock. "Excuse me, sir," he stammered, averting his eyes to the floor, before he continued in a small voice, "I don't have any experience flashing people. So far I have only flashed elves." To himself he added, 'And they're much smaller and lighter.'
"Do you intend to flash the Dark Lord to the place that your great grandmother was speaking about or not?" the professor asked sharply.
"Yes," Harry replied warily, suddenly feeling like a first year student right before his Sorting.
"Then you must practise," Snape said, quirking an eyebrow.
'Yes, but I don't want anything to happen to Snape,' Harry mused, unsurely returning the professor's gaze.
"Cicero told me that you have sufficiently practised with the elves and should now be able to flash anyone." The professor's words brought Harry out of his reverie.
Harry hesitantly agreed and burrow-flashed the professor to Hogsmeade, feeling very much reassured, when they arrived back at Hogwarts, unharmed.
Only a few hours later, Harry was pulled into a vision, having to observe how Voldemort and a small group of his followers killed a whole Muggle family.
'Oh no! I don't want that to happen ever again,' he thought. "Gwendolyn," he spoke up in determination, startling the phoenix, who was deeply engrossed in a conversation with Fawkes. "I'm going to do it now. Can you come and show me the way?"
Gwendolyn insisted that he had to sleep for a few hours and took a light meal, before she finally agreed to proceed with their plan. Once again recalling the major details of their plan, they made their way to the soft end of the corridor. Gwendolyn grabbed Harry's tail feathers, and Harry burrow-flashed away, thinking of Voldemort and his wish to arrive just behind the evil wizard.
To Harry's surprise, Voldemort was sitting at an antique oak table, deeply engrossed in an old tome. 'He looks so peaceful,' Harry mused, curiously eyeing the room that from the furniture reminded him of his own living room at Hogwarts. 'Must be very old,' he thought.
#Now# Gwendolyn whispered, and Harry quickly buried his feet into Voldemort's back, before he burrow-flashed away, straight to a small room near the phoenix land, where Gwendolyn had promised to wait. #Follow me# she trilled as soon as she saw Harry arrive with his freight.
#Where exactly is the big magma?# Harry trilled as he hurried behind his great grandmother, fast enough to not give his passenger any chance of fighting his grip.
#It is the centre of the earth# Gwendolyn explained patiently. #Hold on Harry; it's not far anymore.#
Harry soon noticed that the air became warmer and the darkness lit up a bit. Completely ignoring his burden's human complaints, glad that the evil wizard's new body still seemed to be weak, he arrived at the big magma. It was bright red and burning hot. 'Hurts,' he thought, horrified, feeling as if he was burning from inside and outside.
#Just drop him# Gwendolyn shouted, and Harry obeyed immediately, noticing in relief that Voldemort's cries died within seconds as the evil wizard succumbed to the burning heat of the magma.
An instant later, Gwendolyn was at Harry's side, covering him with her wings. #Hurry up and activate the Portkey. At Hogwarts, they will take care of us when we become babies# she instructed him and, seeing that he was hesitating, trilled #Lily#.
An instant later, Harry felt his vision fail as they were whisked away. 'Thank Merlin' was his last thought.
When Harry's mind slowly turned back to consciousness, he felt extremely cold.
#Hawwy, you awwight?# a cute, baby phoenix voice penetrated his mind, causing him to automatically return an affirmative trill.
When he looked in the direction of the voice, he saw a completely naked baby phoenix sitting right next to him.
#Gendyn# he trilled as recognition set in, before he looked down his own, equally naked body in shock. 'Of course I knew that we both were going to become babies,' he remembered. 'We vanquished Voldemort.' #Is Vowdemow gone?# he asked, excitedly.
#Of couwse he is# Gwendolyn said soothingly.
However, Harry felt too cold to be really happy about the matter. Only now he curiously took in his surroundings, realising that they found themselves in a very bright room that was build around a huge fireplace and was surrounded by bookshelves, which reached from the floor to the ceiling. 'An awesome room,' he thought. 'We must be Snape's private quarters.' He looked up in relief, when the nearby door opened and his Head of House entered the room.
"Harry?" the professor queried, taking in the two phoenixes on the ground.
Harry let out a series of excited trills, completely forgetting that the professor was not able to understand bird language. He happily snuggled into the soft, green towel, into which the professor gently wrapped him.
"Mr. Potter, is any of the professors able to understand your babbling?" Snape queried as he carefully placed the phoenix onto the sofa next to Gwendolyn, who was wrapped in an equally warm looking silver towel.
Harry remained thoughtful for an instant, recalling that he had bonded to Professor McGonagall, when she became his guardian four years earlier, before he nodded and replied, #Professor McGonagall, sir.#
"Let me guess," Snape sneered, "Professor McGonagall?"
Harry happily nodded his head and let out a series of excited trills that convinced the professor to call his colleague in order to get to know what happened to the Dark Lord. 'Thank Merlin it's warm now,' he thought as he slowly drifted off to sleep. A short while later, he was brought back to reality, when Professor McGonagall's voice penetrated his ears.
"What happened?" the professor asked in surprise, absentmindedly cuddling the phoenix in the silver towel.
Harry hurriedly explained to the Gryffindor head about their trip to the big magma together with Voldemort, nodding happily, when McGonagall translated for the Potions Master.
"Mr. Potter, may I watch your memory?" Snape finally queried, looking at the baby phoenix. "Thank Merlin you kept your older self's memory."
Harry nodded and looked straight into the professor's obsidian eyes. A moment later, he saw the memories of Voldemort's demise flash to the front of his mind. 'I really did it,' he thought, feeling very relieved.
"Mr. Potter indeed managed to vanquish the Dark Lord," Snape finally spoke up and rolled up the left sleeve of his black robes, only to stare at his blank arm, where the Dark Mark had been for many years. "Congratulations, Mr. Potter," he said in a soft voice, before he turned to his colleague. "Minerva, we should alert Albus to the fact that the Dark Lord is gone."
"Yes, I'm going to inform him," the Scottish lioness agreed. "However, what are we going to do with Harry?"
"I suggest that we ask Poppy to check on them. I am sure Cicero will happily help me to raise two baby phoenixes until Poppy allows Harry to transform back." He slowly let his right hand run through his silky hair, quirking an eyebrow at his elder colleague. "Do you expect Albus to believe that Harry defeated the Dark Lord without any evidence? We probably have to tell him about Harry's Animagus form and show him the memory."
#No# Harry interrupted the Potions Master. #I don' wan de Headmaster to know...#
"Harry, I promise that I will only tell him what is inevitable," Professor McGonagall promised and stepped into the fireplace, shouting "Headmaster's office."
"Well done, Harry and Gwendolyn," they suddenly heard Hogwarts' voice. "I am very proud of you."
#Fanku, Hogwawts# Gwendolyn and Harry trilled, simultaneously, not bothering that the castle was not able to understand them anyway.
Three weeks later, Madam Pomfrey finally allowed Minerva to transform Harry back to his human form. The baby phoenix had grown a lot and was spiking tiny burgundy feathers everywhere, but he was still too small and too weak to perform the transformation by himself.
"Harry, are you sure that you want me to change you back now?" the Gryffindor head asked kindly. "As you can imagine, Professor Dumbledore and the Minister of Magic are waiting to bother you with questions and to give you the Order of Merlin first class for vanquishing Voldemort."
#Well, sooner or later I have to endure that anyway, and I still need to do my summer assignments, considering that I have to take the OWLs in less than a year# Harry trilled back.
'Somehow I think I'm going to miss them,' Severus thought. 'It was nice to have two phoenix babies in my care, even if I couldn't verbally communicate with them.' "I suggest that you take Mr. Potter into my guest room in order to give him some privacy," he said gently. "I have instructed Cicero to fetch his robes from his rooms and put them onto the bed in the guest room."
With mixed feelings, Severus observed how Minerva and Poppy took the tiny phoenix into his guest room, staring at the closed door in shock, when the crying sounds of a human baby traveled through his quarters. 'What the heck...' he thought, just when Minerva emerged through the door with a baby on her arms, loosely wrapped in a black robe.
"You had better asked Cicero for baby clothes," Minerva said in her thick, Scottish accent, smirking as she laid the baby into his arms. "Congratulations, Severus. Instead of raising a baby phoenix, you're now going to become a father to a human baby."
In complete shock, Severus looked down at the baby on his arm that stared back with large, green eyes that unmistakably reminded him of his best friend of all times, Lily Evans. Instinctively, his lips stretched to a small smile, which the baby answered with a happy chuckle.
"Minerva, I am not able to raise a baby," he then said to his colleague, casting the Gryffindor a menacing glare upon seeing her smile fondly at him and the baby. "Poppy, can we raise him back to his usual age?"
Pomfrey shook her head. "No Severus, physically, he is a real baby. You cannot just age a baby, even if he mentally is a fifteen-year-old. I'm sorry."
Fortunately, the Headmaster chose that instant to step out of the fireplace and decided that Severus and Minerva should raise Harry together, promising to make the house-elves change Severus' guest room into a nursery and add a connecting door to Minerva's quarters.
'At least he doesn't know that I'm able to communicate with Hogwarts and can just ask her to connect the nursery to my own quarters,' Harry mused, feeling extremely self-conscious, when the Potions Master carried him to the guest room and fastened a nappy, which McGonagall quickly conjured, around his bum, before he dressed him in a beige jumpsuit with a burgundy red earth phoenix on the chest that eagerly flapped his wings when Harry looked at it.
"Fanku Pwofessows," Harry whispered, feeling his cheeks get red from the embarrassment.
'Now I have to grow up again instead of becoming a fifth year in a few weeks' time,' he thought to Gwendolyn. 'On the one hand, I'm sure I'm going to have a better childhood this time, but on the other hand, it will be boring, especially as I already know everything that is taught until the end of the fourth Hogwarts year.'
'Let me tell you something,' Gwendolyn replied, sounding very happy. 'Please ask Professor McGonagall to change me back to my human form as well. I'd love to be a baby and grow up together with you as twins. Believe me, we're going to have so much fun, especially with all our memories.'
Eleven years later...
"Harry and Gwendolyn, are you ready to become first years again?" Minerva asked kindly, when she and the Potions Master were having breakfast together with the twins in the Headmistress' office.
"Yes, I can't wait," Gwendolyn was the first to reply. "Aunt Mione and Uncle Neville promised to be on the Hogwarts Express, too," she said happily, and Harry eagerly nodded his head.
"Yes, and it'll be fun to meet the new first years," he said, smiling as he thought of the prank potions, which he had recently brewed together with his sister, using every unsupervised minute, when their parents and godparents had been in staff meetings.
"Very well then, your father is going to take you to King's cross in a few minutes," Minerva replied, questioningly glancing at the twins' adoptive father.
"We can burrow-flash," Harry threw in, immediately knowing from his parents' expression that they would definitely not allowed to do so.
However, before Minerva or Severus could reply, the former Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, spoke up from his portrait behind Minerva's desk. "Sopho, where are you going to sort the twins?" he asked, curiously.
The Sorting Hat let out a long sigh, fluffing his crumple. "With the father being Head of Slytherin, the mother not only Headmistress but also Head of Gryffindor, the godmother Head of Ravenclaw and the godfather Head of Hufflepuff, what do you expect me to do?"
"Don't sort them at all, you stupid Hat," Hogwarts' voice suddenly filled the room. "Gwendolyn and Harry are my children. They are the rightful owners of Hogwarts and as such don't have to be sorted into a house. They belong to all houses, and don't you dare decide anything else tonight, or you will be too sore to ever sort students again." With that the whole castle shook, causing the Sorting Hat to fall off his shelf.
The twins rushed to a free spot on the wall and hugged the wall, inwardly chuckling upon hearing Fawkes ridicule the poor Hat from the top of his perch.
"Thank you, Hogwarts..." Gwendolyn shouted happily, and Harry added, "You're the best."
Thank you so much for your kind comments throughout this story... Special thanks to my Facebook friends for their continuous encouragement!