Bird of Fire
Harry was bored. It was long after the final battle against Voldemort had ended and his cohort of evil minions had been rounded up and put into Azkaban. Hermione and Ron had married and had some children, and somehow, this lead to them being too busy to spend any time with him. Didn't matter that their children were now old enough to be at Hogwarts... It confused Harry but he just surmised that some friendships were bound to fade over time.
But Harry didn't have many people in his life. Ginny and him had broken up about a year after the war. She wanted to travel a lot so he rarely saw her, and it turned out she wasn't what Harry wanted in a mate. He wanted... someone who would cuddle, at least once a week? Or a month? Or ever?
Sure, sex was good. Except it wasn't. He didn't enjoy it at all with her. He wasn't sure why. Maybe it was because he wasn't sure he loved her? That could be why... Well, their relationship didn't last very long and Harry wasn't too upset when it ended. And neither was Ginny. About a month after, she'd found her someone that she ended up marrying a year later.
But that still left Harry very alone.
He felt like nowhere was home. He kept drifting from friend to friend, from house to cottage to loft. And he dwelled when he was alone. Was he meant to be alone forever? Would he ever find a home with someone he loved?
After the final battle, Harry had worked on becoming an animagus. A bit late in the game, but he really wanted to do it. Maybe it was something to honour his late father and godfather. Or maybe he was just bored out of his mind. Call it whatever you like...
For his first successful transformation, Harry was wearing his regular clothes. Never thought anything of it. He had his invisibility cloak in his side pocket. And he had the Elder wand on his left arm in its holster. And he even had the Resurrection stone wrapped up in cloth at the bottom of his bag of gallons (it was charmed so only he could open the bag).
Well... His results were unexpected. He became a Phoenix. And when he reverted back to human, he no longer had access to any of the three hallows. And he stopped aging.
That's right. He was stuck at 23, even though he was now 33. While Harry was sure some people would pay huge amounts of money for the looks of youth, he felt it was quite wasted on his scrawny, pale self. But it wasn't like he could undo it.
He didn't go to Hermione for help. He asked, of course, but she was too busy. So he went to Professor McGonagall. Then he went to the Department of Mysteries. They were fascinated. They researched him for years. They took his blood, forced transformations on him, drowned him, and after all that, they couldn't help him. And, apparently, they couldn't kill him. He wasn't sure how he felt when he realized that's why they decided to help him out in the first place.
So here he was, wondering exactly what he was to do with himself. Bored. Tired. Not really so keen on living but unable to die.
So he turned into a Phoenix and went to visit Fawkes.
Turned out Fawkes got bored of Harry too. She was very loving to him, but Harry figured she grew tired of him whining about his boredom.
So one day, Fawkes decided to take Harry out for a game of tag. And didn't that mysterious little bugger trick Harry? For one moment, Harry was swooping, intent on catching Fawkes but knowing he couldn't since he was slower than her (and how that burned him), and then, suddenly, he caught her.
He caught up to her, but when he got there, Fawkes fire-jumped locations and he fell right into her path.
That's how he ended up in Middle Earth.
She squawked at him when they arrived, and she started laughing in a way that only a Phoenix can laugh, before she nudged him eastward.
Then she vanished!
Harry was now alone somewhere he didn't recognize. He tried to travel back home by fire-travel as a Phoenix, but his magic wouldn't let him. Then he tried again as a human, to apparate back to his flat, but again, nothing.
It wasn't like his magic stopped working. It definitely worked. And it was SO powerful! Which shocked Harry. He was use to having more power than most at home, which he felt only helped him end the war. It wasn't much useful after that since he couldn't use it anywhere beyond what normal wizards did anyways. No one seemed to appreciate over powered stunners anymore.
So Harry flew around the new land, slowly realizing that it was definitely not Earth. Or, as he heard someone below on the ground say, it was Earth, but the 'middle'.
Harry wasn't quite sure how he could be in the 'middle' of Earth, seeing as how the Earth was beneath him, and the sky above, but, he had learned to go with the flow over the years.
It was when he was flying over a beautiful area that he learned was called 'Mirkwood', that Harry found something interesting.
An odd fact about Phoenix's that most people didn't know. They liked shiny things. A lot.
So when Harry was flying over the haunted looking castle that seemed shrouded and made of trees, his eyes caught the gleam, just a soft glitter, down in the path between some trees.
Harry was entranced immediately. He zeroed in on it, and did his fancy Phoenix fire-travel and landed upon the very shiny object.
That happened to be attached to a man.
A very pretty man. With white blond hair, grey blue eyes, and very pale skin. Harry would have thought him very attractive had his attention not solely been on the necklace upon the man's throat.
Harry made a dash at it, intent to borrow the necklace for a while. It had the most glittery ruby red stone in it Harry had ever seen as a Phoenix. As a human, he had been offered many jewels by fans but he never had any interest in the random expensive stones. But as a Phoenix...
His bird mouth clasped the necklace, pulling it away from the man. Instead of it coming loose, the man came with it!
"Omph! What bird is this?" cried the man, his eyes wide open in wonderment as he examined the bird that seemed to be made of flames.
Harry was having none of it. He was bored still, and the necklace seemed to break his lull for that moment. He pulled again, which just happened to drag the man farther across the grass.
"If it is the necklace you wish, then you shall have it," the pale man answered, his voice making its way through Harry's ears and into his mind.
Harry let it go, but remained flying directly in front of the man, as though warning the man not to change his mind.
The man was very slow in removing the necklace. His greyish blue eyes were studying Harry as though he were memorizing every inch of him. Harry frowned, wondering what world he was in where Phoenix didn't exist. But then again... Harry had lived in the Muggle world and they didn't exist there...
Well, they lived now and Harry still wanted that necklace. He kept his eyes on the gem, his mind attentive to the gleam it radiated from the sun. Some part of Harry, deep down, felt a bit embarrassed by his actions, but he had been a Phoenix for so long now that his human nature rarely surfaced.
"Here you are, Bird of Fire," said the man. Harry's beak snatched the necklace out of the man's hands. Just as he was about to fly off, he noticed the man's ears. An Elf?
Harry stayed flying on the spot for another moment, wondering if his eyes were deceiving him. Well, he had seen some weird troll like creatures in the forest on his way here... but an Elf that looked nothing like Dobby?
And such a pretty Elf... Harry felt something stir in him that he hadn't felt in a very long time. Maybe not since he started dating Ginny back in Hogwarts, maybe even before that, when he was excited about Fleur. Or Cho. Or Cedric.
Hmm. Cedric. The morbidity of this thought pulled Harry out of his daze and he found the Elf still staring at him, utterly fascinated.
"If you come with me, I can show you many more jewels," said the Elf, a bright smile upon his face.
Harry began flying around the Elf, wondering.
Why did Fawkes bring him here? And, more importantly, did the Elf have food?
Decision made, Harry landed on the Elf's shoulder, startling the Elf before the Elf began laughing at the Phoenix in joy. Harry felt just a little bit powerful in being able to elicit such happiness from this Elf. Enjoying that feeling a bit, Harry decided he might actually stay much longer with the Elf, beyond just getting a meal.
"Aren't you just the most beautiful thing I've ever seen?" spoke the Elf to Harry, as though realizing Harry was sentient. Harry preened on his shoulder, feeling a lightness in himself he couldn't remember having felt before.
This feeling remained in Harry all the way though the tree paths and into a beautiful courtyard where there were Elves everywhere.
Harry was suddenly unsure of his choice. Yes, the Elf was pretty. Yes, he was likely going to get food (even if he had to take it directly from the Elf's plate), but there were a lot of people watching him. He hated it.
He was just about to fly off, when it seemed the Elf noticed his unease.
"Come, Bird of Fire, let's go somewhere more comfortable for you," the Elf stated as he weaved his way through the crowd. Harry held on firm, ignoring all the startled and entranced looks he was receiving.
It wasn't long after that the Elf arrived in a more secluded area of the forest. The Elf sat himself down, then picked Harry off his shoulder and onto his lap.
"I hope you don't mind, but I was curious as to what you felt like," the Elf said smiling. Harry did mind and was just about to show him how much he minded by fire-travelling away, when the Elf's hand made its way through Harry's feathers.
Oh Merlin, did it ever feel good. Harry, who had very little physical contact growing up, or even as an adult, felt the most overwhelming pleasure swirl though his body at the touch of the Elf's hands. He dropped the necklace and let out a joyous Phoenix song as the hand continued its ministrations though the many feathers upon Harry's neck and back.
"You have such a beautiful voice," whispered the Elf to Harry when Harry began to end his song. Harry was feeling oddly embarrassed. He wasn't use to expressing himself at all, none the less as a Phoenix.
The Elf continued to pet his feathers, ruffling them up in a way that made Harry feel like melted butter. He felt himself relaxing deeper then he'd ever relaxed before. He could see the Elf watching him, a soft smile on the Elf's lips.
And that was when Harry decided to keep the Elf.
It turned out that the Elf really enjoyed the sound of Harry's singing. Harry took advantage of this, and decided to sing whenever the Elf played with his feathers.
"You know, Bird of Fire, I will continue to pet you, even if you stop singing for me," said the Elf one day. Harry narrowed his eyes on the Elf, wondering how he knew. But Harry stopped singing and the Elf continued to pet Harry whenever Harry was within arm's reach of him.
The Elf, it turned out, was names Legolas. Not that it mattered to Harry. It wasn't as if Harry was ever going to be human again, and thus, he had no use of a name he could not speak. He was enjoying himself so much as a Phoenix. He'd often ride with Legolas, fire travelling with the blond Elf whenever he managed to get into trouble.
Boy, did that Elf get shocked the first time he did that! But Harry wasn't interested in losing the only person he'd begun to care about. And so what if the Elf huffed at Harry whenever Harry removed him from dangerous situations. Because really, those spiders he was intent on fighting were larger than Aragog!
But Legolas still took Harry with him. And he still played with Harry's feathers. And he began giving Harry the best berries for meal time. When Harry first tasted the small red berries, he completely forgot about his oath not to sing and let out an amazing warbled song that made the entire feasting area silent of Elfish chatter.
When Harry finished singing and went for more berries, he was utterly embarrassed to find many of the Elves eyes upon him. He hid his head in Legolas' hair.
"They enjoy your songs almost as much as I do, Bird of Fire," Legolas whispered into his ear, as his hand went up to riffle though his feathers to give some comfort.
Harry gave a quick warbled answer back, bringing a smile to the Elf's face, before he went ahead to eat more of the berries. Again, he couldn't help himself from singing but he did manage to tone it down some. He caught Legolas grinning at him, but managed to ignore it in favor of playing with the new shinny necklace on Legolas' neck.
It was a few months later that Harry found himself facing a new challenge. It's name was Galadriel, and it was worse than Dumbledore.
When Harry went with Legolas on his newest quest to Lothlórien to visit, Harry thought nothing of it. There had not been a danger Harry could not face, or fire-travel away from. And, of course, no danger he couldn't fire-travel Legolas out of along with him.
However, the moment Legolas walked into the gathering room and all the Elves' gazed upon Harry, he knew it wasn't going to be a regular adventure. For while he was disgruntled at all the stares he received, he could feel the tell-tale ache between his eyes that meant someone was trying to read his mind.
He glared at the long blond haired women Elf. Legolas tried to shush him, splaying his fingers though Harry's feathered back, but Harry only got angrier as the women focused her attention even more so onto him.
Harry was ashamed to note that it only took the women the barest of a minute to pierce though Harry's mental defense and see everything that lied between his mind and his soul. All of his memories.
Harry lashed out at her the only way he thought he'd get away with it.
He sung. And she frowned deeply as Legolas pulled Harry into his arms, looking down at him with fear for Harry.
"What is wrong, Bird of Fire, that you would sing of such anguish?" cried the Elf. Harry had never heard the Elf so upset. It overwhelmed him, the pain he caused Legolas, and the mind tearing from the Evil Elf, that he fire travelled away, not taking Legolas with him.
Harry was quite grouchy for the week it took for Legolas to come home. Harry waited impatiently in his room, every once and a while flying though the court yard to grab some berries from the tables. He could see some of the elves watching him, hoping for a song when he grabbed the red juicy ones, but his worry was so high that all he could muster were songs filled with anxiety that caused the Elves distress.
He eventually kept himself hidden in Legolas' room. Legolas' father, Thrandruil, would come into the room and keep company with Harry some evenings. He would rub Harry's feathers in an attempt to calm Harry. It worked somewhat, though Harry missed the touch from Legolas.
When Legolas arrived that week later and walked into his room, Harry knew from looking at the Elf that he was now aware of Harry's past. How much, Harry wasn't sure.
He ruffled his feathers up and went to sit upon a tree branch high up out of the Elf's reach.
"Harry..." Legolas called, his eyes peering sadly at him.
Harry let out a sad warble, despair running though him. Would he now be deserted in this world as well? Being Harry Potter had never brought any good to him.
He was jolted out of his depression when he felt himself being lifted from the branch and onto Legolas' lap.
Damn Elves and their super strength powers to climb walls with ease...
"When you left, I feared for you, Bird of Fire... Harry," Legolas began. His greyish blue eyes peered at Harry, and it bothered Harry to see the man's face without its customary smile.
"Do you not trust me enough to show me your true form?" he asked sadly, his hand stroking though the feathers.
Harry fluffed up his feathers, not wanting to have anything to do with this conversation, but not wanting to leave.
"Do you think I will not love you if you are not a bird?" Legolas asked, once again, his question hitting right into Harry's heart.
Harry sang out again, frustrated.
"Please, let me help you," answered Legolas, who was apparently very disturbed by the melody Harry was singing.
Harry hid his head into the Elf's shoulders, willing strength to come to him. To do what, he wasn't sure.
To his utter dismay, it seemed his magic decided on the course of action for him. For in the next moment, Harry was there, full scrawny human male, still in the Elf's lap.
Harry was utterly mortified. He was lucky he was wearing clothing, but to just land in the man's lap like a child? Just as he went to move back, he felt Legolas' arms surrounding him, pulling him into a gentle hug.
Harry barely dared breath. Being human wasn't pleasurable for him. He couldn't give up being a Phoenix again, to never feel the man's hands though his feathers, to never bath in his safe company, to never earn the bright smile the Elf gave only to Harry.
Harry was ashamed to admit to himself that tears were tracking down his cheeks.
"It's alright, Bird of Fire," answered Legolas, seemingly able to peer right into Harry's soul. "You are still mine." At that, Harry let out a stuttering breath and collapsed boneless against Legolas.
Legolas leaned back, pulling Harry with him, and drew his fingers though Harry's black messy hair. Harry took in another deep breath, tightening his hold on the Elf as his head buried into Legolas' neck. And then the hands trailed down his back, rubbing softly on his spine and torso. And Harry took in another stuttering breath.
And that was how Harry found himself waking up on the bed that seemed so unfamiliar to Harry when it wasn't Legolas' laying in it. Harry was so unsure of what to do, realizing that he had fallen asleep on the Elf. How much more embarrassment could Harry handle?
But then the Elf smiled at him from the chair he sat in, the one he had been sitting in all evening while he watched Harry sleeping. And Harry's embarrassment faded away into soft joy.
"Come Harry, join me in another adventure?" asked the Prince of Mirkwood with a grin on his face, his soft eyes watching the black haired man.
Harry smiled at him before getting up from the bed. Just as he was about to transform back into his Phoenix form, Legolas grabbed him around his waist.
"No no, dearest Harry. I would like to see some more of you like this, I think," spoke Legolas with a sly smirk on his face.
Harry looked at him in confusion, knowing he was quite an attractive Phoenix, but a very plain and unattractive human.
However, he couldn't deter Legolas in the slightest. Legolas held Harry's hand the entire way to the stables and pulled out a horse. Harry looked around for another one, but Legolas just grinned at him before lifting Harry up onto the dark horse.
"Today, we shall ride together."
And with that, Harry learned how to properly ride a horse. While being held by Legolas. Who's body was placed directly behind Harry.
It took Harry a while to get comfortable, but when he finally relaxed back into the Elf behind him, he was gifted with Legolas resting his chin upon Harry's shoulder, his arm wrapping around Harry.
The ride made Harry wonder if maybe being happy had nothing to do with being a Phoenix, but rather, with being with Legolas.
And so the days turned into months, and yet Legolas never let Harry turn back into his bird. It was as though Legolas was waiting for something, and until Harry had managed to pass whatever test it was, Harry was stuck being plain Harry.
"You know... you won't be able to hear me sing if I don't turn back into my Phoenix self," Harry commented one day after his customary several days of silence.
"But Harry," replied Legolas, looking at Harry with a sweet smile, "Every time I hear you speak, I hear the most beautiful song in all of Middle Earth."
Harry blinked at him, not quite understanding. Legolas walked up to Harry, again seemingly able to see right though him.
"You have no right to judge me, Harry," began Legolas. Harry was about to interrupt, to say he didn't judge him, when Legolas continued. "I shall not find beauty in the same things as you, but when I see beauty, even if you do not agree, you may not tell me otherwise. For I judge by my own standards."
Harry looked at him confused, before nodding his head in agreement. Legolas' eyes blazed bright, peering right through Harry's soul.
"Do you find me beautiful, Harry?" Legolas asked. Harry opened and closed his mouth for a moment, contemplating how to answer. How do you answer that? Of course Harry thought he was beautiful, but of course, he could not say it out loud. How could he risk his friendship for something so foreign and scary as finding Legolas attractive?
Legolas continued to watch Harry, a calmness permeating his being as he waited for Harry's answer.
"I.." Harry fell silent. Legolas continued to watch him, his smile growing brighter. Harry blushed, before looking away.
It was a few moments before Harry returned his gaze to Legolas. Fear was clearly etched in Harry's being. Legolas softened his smile, and walked up to Harry. He put his fingers under Harry's chin and raised his face close to his.
"Do you, Harry, Bird of Fire, find me beautiful?" Legolas asked once again.
Harry nodded yes. Legolas' smile beamed.
"And I, Legolas of Mirkwood, find you, Harry, to be the most beautiful being my eyes had ever laid upon."
Harry couldn't help himself. He had to ask.
Legolas looked startled for a moment before he wrapped his arms around Harry.
"No, Harry. You. The way you smile when you watch me. The way you wrinkle your nose up when something displeases you. Even the way your hair mucks up into a raven's nest when you wake to the sun. All these things, they make you beautiful."
Harry looked at him wide eyed.
"And Harry?" Legolas said, his voice low, "those are all the things that make me love you."
In that moment, when Harry looked upon the face of the Elf beholden to him alone, Harry knew he was finally home.
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