Chapter 15 : Magical Creatures and other Animals
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He couldn’t sense if it was enough magic, but he felt that it had to be a lot of magic in order to work at all. So he pushed himself as far as he could. Shortly before Harry passed out, Remus was transformed back into his human form, waking up with the transformation. Before then, he hadn’t even noticed Harry’s presence as he had been fast asleep. “Harry?” he asked, turning to the unconscious boy.
“Leave him, Moony, he’s unconscious. He seems to have healed you, or at least he has forced you to turn back into your human form.”
“Sirius, get Poppy immediately. What was Harry doing here in the first place?”
Sirius shook his head. “No, Moony, Poppy’s away for the night. What can we do for Harry?”
Remus, too weak to stand up at the moment, crawled over to the fireplace and Floo-called Severus, asking the angry man to come over immediately. Severus was outright shocked to see Remus in his human form despite it being the night of the full moon. However, he was even more taken aback to see an unconscious Harry lying on the floor.
“What happened here?” he shouted angrily. “Have you put Harry into danger again?” He glared daggers at Sirius and Remus.
“Severus, we honestly don’t know what happened. I woke up when I suddenly transformed back although it’s still around midnight, and Harry was just lying there, passed out.”
“I woke up when the wards alerted me that someone had entered our quarters, and when I came here I saw Harry lying next to Moony, gripping his shoulder. Then Moony transformed back and Harry passed out. Can you please do something for my godson instead of just glaring at us?” Sirius shouted hysterically.
Severus pointed his wand at Harry, checking his magical resources first. “Yes, he seems to have healed you. At least he has tried but if you are really healed, of course we won’t know until the next full moon. And even if you don’t transform then, you will still have to take the Wolfsbane Potion for several months to be really sure. Harry has depleted his magic completely. He will probably remain unconscious for at least a day, maybe longer. But when he wakes up he’ll be fine. I’m going to take him with me. I wonder why he didn’t stay in Gryffindor where he was supposed to be tonight.”
Sirius and a very confused but happy Remus thanked Severus as he picked Harry up and stepped into the fireplace.
When Harry woke up late on Sunday evening, Severus and Poppy had a very stern talk with Harry. They told him that he apparently had Healing abilities, which was a very rare but good thing to have. But as he was very young, he wasn’t allowed to do so much magic because it could be very dangerous to his entire system. Moreover, as he didn’t know how much magic he needed, he would deplete his power without realizing it. Therefore, Poppy insisted that he always had to call one of them if he wanted to perform Healing magic, so that they would be able to pull him away in time. Harry agreed sleepily, and the two colleagues decided to have the same talk again the next day after classes.
During the next months, it became clear that Harry had indeed healed Remus from Lycanthropy. Although Severus still brewed the Wolfsbane Potion for his colleague and Remus took all precautions, he didn’t transform even once and didn’t have any other problems with the full moon either. However, he still couldn’t believe his luck. Only recently, Remus had noticed that Amelia Bones, whom he was very fond of, seemed to share his feelings. He had even admitted to her his feelings but had told her that they couldn’t have a relationship because he was a werewolf and therefore not allowed to marry. However, now everything seemed to be in favour of Remus, and on Christmas Eve, Amelia and Remus announced their engagement. Remus threw a grateful look at Harry, which nobody except for Poppy and Severus noticed.
From Santa, Harry received a book about magical creatures, which Remus eagerly read to the small boy in the following week. When they had finished the book, Remus pulled Harry in for a long talk about werewolves. Harry was very interested at first and outright stunned later when Remus told him about his previous condition and about the fact that Harry had healed him.
Harry threw Remus a huge smile and said, “You’re welcome, Uncle Remus. I like you very much, and I like Amelia too. So I am glad that you can marry her now. Congratulations, Uncle Remus.”
The topic of magical creatures stayed at the front of Harry’s mind for quite a while. One day, he went to see Remus in order to speak to him.
“Uncle Remus, you know that I’m able to transform into a goat and back, don’t you?” When Remus gave him a nod, he continued, “Are all wizards able to transform into an animal? And how do they choose their animal? Can I also change into another animal, or will I only be able to change into a goat?”
Remus sighed but let out a small laugh at the same time. “No, Harry, wizards cannot transform into animals easily. They normally have to learn it and it’s not easy. Very few people can become an Animagus. You are a very powerful wizard, and you managed to transform into your goat form by wish magic, which is a very rare but an exceptionally strong form of magic. Now, I don’t know but I can imagine that you would be able to transform into other forms too, especially if you tried the transformation using wish magic. What form are you thinking about, Harry?”
“I’d like to become a phoenix like Fawkes. He has told me I should try to transform several times but somehow I was afraid I would only hurt myself.”
Remus nodded his understanding. “Harry, I believe you should speak with your grandmother. You know that she’s the Transfiguration teacher here, and she’s an Animagus, too. So if anyone is able to help you, it will be her. And I am sure she will try to help you. However, the transformation into a magical animal is even more difficult and affords more magic than the transformation into a normal animal. The only person able to transform into a magical animal that I know of is your grandfather.”
Minerva suggested to Harry that he should come to see her twice a week in order to practice the transformation if he really wanted to learn it. As he was using wish magic, she couldn’t help him much but at least she could keep an eye on him to see that nothing happened to her grandson. It took Harry a few months, but near the end of the school year he finally managed the transformation into an ice blue water phoenix with a few silver feathers on his wings and his back. His grandmother was very impressed and suggested that he should transform back and accompany her to the Headmaster’s office, so that Harry could ask Fawkes to help him with walking, flying, and flashing.
Fawkes fawned over the young phoenix as if he was his nestling. He ordered Harry to join him every day after lessons, so that he could train him properly. After a week of intense training with Fawkes, Harry managed to walk on his bird legs and even to fly and flash himself around in a splash of water. When he tried to flash himself out of the office for the first time, he landed directly on Poppy’s lap. His guardian nearly had a heart attack, especially when he jumped down onto the floor and transformed back into Harry.
“Aunt Poppy,” Harry shouted excitedly. “I managed it. I can change into a phoenix now.”
“Very well done, Harry, I’m really impressed and very proud of you, sweetie,” Poppy said, pulling Harry up onto her lap.
Harry tiredly leaned his head onto Poppy’s shoulder, yawning. “I like flying, Aunt Poppy,” he mumbled before his eyes closed and his breathing evened out.
Poppy frowned and quietly waved her wand over Harry. Obviously, the phoenix transformation as well as flying or flashing was very tiring for such a small boy. On the first day of the holidays, she had a long talk with Harry, in which she told him that he couldn’t transform too often because it was too strenuous for him. Harry however contradicted fiercely and insisted that only flashing was tiring, and that he didn’t have any problems transforming or flying around. When Poppy gave him an unbelieving glance, Harry told her to ask Fawkes as he could confirm what Harry said. Poppy however needn’t ask for the bird’s opinion but watched Harry closely during the summer holidays, which they spent in their house in Hogsmeade, and soon knew that the boy had told her the truth.
Harry enjoyed flying around in his phoenix form immensely and proceeded to fly over the Hogwarts grounds every morning after breakfast. When he had enough, he often flew up to his grandmother’s window sill and paid Minerva a short visit before he returned back home to play with Ginevra until lunch.
Every afternoon, Harry met his friends, which now included Mandy. One day, it was so hot that the children just couldn’t stay on the playground the whole afternoon and Poppy invited them to come over to her house, have a drink, and play in Harry’s room or in the shadows of the garden. Having met on the playground daily for the last four weeks, the children enjoyed the change of place very much and suddenly Bill asked, “Couldn’t we meet here instead of the playground? I mean, here we can play many more games and it would be so much more interesting.”
“Yes, that’s true,” the twins agreed immediately. “Harry has so many toys and we could even enter the Hogwarts grounds from here.”
“It’s not our decision however, we have to ask Harry’s aunt,” Luna threw in, giving Harry a dreamy smile.
“I’ll ask her,” Harry shouted happily and darted away only to return together with Poppy two minutes later.
Poppy took a seat on Harry’s bed, looking over the group of children, who had made themselves comfortable on the floor, and put her arm around Harry. “Harry told me that you want to play here instead of the playground,” she stated more than she asked, and the children nodded eagerly. “All right, I don’t mind at all. However, do not forget to tell your parents about it, so that they know where to find you in case they suddenly need you.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” the children chorused, and Poppy couldn’t help laughing.
“You are proficient at that, aren’t you?” she commented approvingly, and suddenly, she had an idea. “I don’t know if any of you have already heard about it, but we’re going to have a wedding at Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time.” Ignoring the huge gasp and the questioning looks from the children, she continued, “Our Professor, Remus Lupin, is going to be married to your teacher, Amelia Bones.”
A huge commotion started immediately, and Poppy waited patiently until the children calmed down a little. “Now, stop shouting and listen to me please. The wedding will take place at Hogwarts on August 26th and I cannot imagine that Amelia wouldn’t be happy to have all of you there on this big day. I think we could practise a play together. Do you all know the story of snow-white and the seven dwarfs?”
As some of the children gave her a nod while others shook their heads Poppy shortly explained the story before she told them about her idea, asking to let her tell them everything and then discuss it. “I thought Fred, George, and Harry could play three snow-whites together like they often do mischief together. They only have to ask a mirror who the prettiest is, smile when they’re told that they are the prettiest ones, and then they have to pretend being asleep. One of you others then has to play their teacher and cast a spell on them to send them into a hundred-year-long sleep because of doing mischief all the time. Then all others except for one, who will be the king, are the dwarfs and have to explain to the king that the three have been cursed to sleep for a hundred years because of doing so many funny things. You have to beg the king to help them by each of you telling him one reason why they are not so bad. Finally then, the king gives in and goes over to the three in order to wake them up, and our three mischief makers of course show that they only pretended to be asleep and make fun of the dwarfs, running away while the dwarfs follow them out of the room.”
When she had finished, another huge commotion started. The children seemed to all be in for it and even wanted to start practising immediately. “First of all, you have to choose whom you want to be the teacher, the king, and of course the mischief-makers. Fred, George, and Harry was just my idea,” she added, smiling.
“Without doubt, they will be the best for the role,” Luna agreed, smiling over to Harry, and everyone laughed.
Fred and George exchanged a short glance and spoke up at the same time. “As much as it honours us to have such a great role, we have a better idea. Only Harry is the mischief-maker, and the teacher turns him into a sheep. And when the king goes over to sheep Harry, Harry transforms back before he reaches him.”
Everyone laughed and Poppy suggested, “Let’s do it like this. The teacher makes Fred and George sleep and transforms Harry because she can’t get him to sleep.”
Again, all the children laughed and agreed to this plan. Finally, they decided that Susan was to play the teacher and Neville the king, and under Poppy’s watchful eyes they started to practise their roles, having a lot of fun. “Let me think about what the dwarfs should say. I’ll fix a sentence for each of you by tomorrow, which you have to learn by heart then, all right?” Poppy asked and everyone agreed immediately.
During the next weeks, the group practised every now and then, and by the end of July they had perfected their performance. One day, the twins approached Poppy. “We have thought about something…”
“This is so much fun…”
“…and you said we’re doing so well…”
“…Maybe our parents would like to come…”
“…and watch our play.”
“Oh, yes, why not. That’s a good idea. You’re really doing so well that we should show the play to your parents.” She turned to Harry. “Harry, what do you think, should we invite your friends’ parents for the evening of your birthday in order to watch the play?”
“Yes!” Harry shouted happily. It was so much fun doing the play although he didn’t appreciate very much that he had to play a mischief-maker in spite of his being such a good boy. Fortunately, he could play his role together with the twins, whom he adored greatly.
The holidays passed quickly, and soon it was the day before Harry’s birthday. As Poppy wanted to do some preparations for the birthday party Severus took Harry out for the day. He arrived immediately after breakfast and asked, “Harry, I was thinking about going to the zoo. Would you like that?”
“Yes! Oh, yes please, Uncle Severus!” Harry shouted excitedly and gave his uncle a pleading glance.
Poppy, who had known about Severus’ intentions, laughed at the child’s enthusiasm and Severus and Harry headed for the zoo in London. When they entered the zoo, Harry looked around curiously, suddenly remembering that he had been here before. They walked around for quite a time until they reached the penguins that were just being fed.
“Oh, they’re too cute,” Harry shouted excitedly and ran as near as he could, stopping just in front of the water next to a girl with bushy brown hair that was only a little bit taller than him. Harry watched how the penguins devoured the fish that had been put in front of them until he noticed a small penguin stuck behind the larger ones. Harry concentrated on the small penguin and glanced at a fish, sending a fair amount of wish magic into his thought.
A huge gasp of the girl next to him alerted Harry to the fact that the fish he had observed made a bee-line for the little penguin and moved straight into its mouth. A bright smile spread over Harry’s face and the girl next to him turned to Harry, very excited.
“You did that, didn’t you?” she asked forcefully.
Harry couldn’t help nodding his head and gave the girl an anxious smile.
“Do you know how you did that?” she asked eagerly only to add, “You know, I can do that too sometimes.”
“Really?” Harry replied gladly. “Are you a witch?”
“Oh, you’re very naughty!” the girl exclaimed. “I.am.not.a.bitch!”
Harry let out a confused giggle. “Not a bitch of course, a witch! I’m a wizard, too.”
“A wizard?” she asked suspiciously. “Wizards aren’t real, are they?”
Harry laughed again. “I’m very real, thank you very much. And I can do magic, you saw that.”
“I have done strange things a few times,” the girl said pensively. “Do you think I’m a witch then?”
“For example what kind of things?” Harry enquired interestedly.
“Oh, I’ve turned my teacher’s hair pink because I was so upset that she didn’t give us any homework…”
Harry interrupted her, laughing. “All right, then you’re definitely a witch. Are your parents Muggles?”
“What are Muggles?” the girl asked unbelievingly. “By the way, I’m Hermione.”
“Oh, sorry, I’m Harry,” Harry answered. “Nice to meet you, Hermione.”
Hermione’s mother and Severus, who so far had followed the children’s conversation, glanced at each other and started their own conversation. As soon as Mrs. Granger had confirmed that Hermione had already done strange things like floating books down from the top shelves in order to read them, Severus opened up to the woman and explained about the wizarding world.
Harry, Hermione and the adults stayed together in the zoo for the rest of the day and even had lunch together. There was so much to talk about, and at the end of the day, Mrs. Granger and Severus arranged to meet again on the weekend. Severus invited Hermione together with her parents to come to Hogwarts in order to meet with some of the teachers in order to gain more information about the wizarding world.
“Yes, Professor, thanks for the invitation. We would love to know more, especially as Hermione seems to be very interested in the playschool your son has told her about,” Hermione’s mother said and handed Severus her name card.
“All right. I shall come to your house around ten o’clock on Saturday morning in order to take you to Hogwarts.” Severus turned to Harry. “Don’t forget to tell Aunt Poppy about it, so that you can be there, too.”
“Of course!” Harry gave Severus an eager glance.
Like in the previous years, Harry received many presents for his birthday. His friends had arrived during the morning and after having a huge piece of cake for a second breakfast together with his friends, Harry proceeded to open his presents. To his great pleasure, most of them were books, but he also received chocolate frogs and other magical sweets as well as a few toys.
When Harry unwrapped the last present, he found a green plush frog inside the dark blue wrapping paper. However, as soon as he touched the frog he felt a pull behind his navel and was whisked away instantly. Only moments later, Harry stumbled onto the ground and found himself in a slightly dark stone room. Quickly taking in his surroundings, he became aware of three wizards in black robes wearing gruesome masks towering in front of him.
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