Anywho, this is what I wrote, and thought some of you might enjoy it.
I must say that the general acceptance of "Hippogriff=love" rings false with me. While I have found refrences to a symbolic link between the creature and love, the primary symbolism/meaning behind a Hippogriff has always been something impossible, "to cross a griffon with a horse" and all that. So the idea that Buckbeak symbolises Harry and Hermione's love for each other seems a bit silly, because to me it more implies that such a love is impossible, that, in fact, the two people have irreconcilable differences that would make such a match impossible.
However, I don't believe Rowling meant either the Hippogriff or the Pheonix to be absolute symbols of the "couples" associated with them. To me there are better things associated with the symbolism of both creatures. With the Hippogriff, the symbolism implies "impossibility," and boy, shouldn't the reader have seen what this was leading up to! Harry was hoping that when he found Sirius he found a new family, an escape from the Durlseys, and the answer to all his dreams. Things changed for the worse right away though, when Peter escaped and Sirius had to go back on the run, taking away Harry's chance of escape. OotP brought the absolute ending to the chimerical hope Sirius represented to Harry.
As for the Phoenix, rebirth plays a large role in the whole series, however the main example we have of it right now is Voldemorts very unnatural rebirth in GoF. I think the Phoenix represents the counterpart to this by showing a natural rebirth. Where Voldemort's rebirth came through death, Fawkes' rebirth in OotP came when the bird saved Dumbledores life by literally (and rather ironically, ie. the death eaters) swallowing the killing curse.
But I digress just a tad. tongue.gif
So I don't think that Rowling meant the Hippogriff or the Phoenix to ulitmately symbolise romantic couples, but I do think that the situations surrounding the two creatures can be symbolically linked to which pairing will happen.
Rowling does use a close adherance to the traditional "hero's cycle" and I think that when you look at the situation in Chamber of Secrets you can very clearly see symbolism in the way the situation is set up. Harry plays the hero, going down into the chamber to face his worst fear and risk his life to rescue the captured Ginny.
BUT, Rowling is also very much a 21st century gall, or so I've been lead to believe. tongue.gif Believe me, I wouldn't ship H/G if I thought Ginny was always going to be some fainting damsel in distress. I can burn my bra with the best of them. wink.gif However, this Hero saves damsel situation is flipped on it's head in OotP when Ginny returns Harry the favor, "saving" him in two different situations. This time the enemy is within Harry himself, quite literally with the dreams Voldemort is feeding Harry, and Ginny gets him out of his funk in both the "Lucky You" scene at Grimmauld place and the "chocolate in the library" scene at Hogwarts.
Anywho, there's my two knuts. biggrin.gif