Hedwig and the Owlery
“I won’t write home to your mother for beating me at chess. I want you to respect women.”
“I’m trying,” said Francis. “We all know what happens if I don’t.”
“That’s missing the point,” replied Hedwig.
Their conversation was interrupted by a tawny owl. “There’s a problem,” she squeaked. “Harry left the common room. I think he’s going after Quirrel.”
Hedwig flew swiftly toward the castle, afraid for him. It was clear Harry planned to defeat Quirrel before he reached the Philosopher’s Stone. The poor dim boy still thought the culprit was Snape, but that didn’t matter. The hallways were dark and she knew he was likely underneath his cloak. Which room had Dumbledore told them to stay away from? His speech had echoed to the owlery that night….
She rushed down the third floor corridor. The door hung open and she darted inside it. Her eyes did not register what was a gigantic three-headed dog at first. It soon woke, and she sang a hasty melody that put it to sleep.
There was total darkness beneath the door, but her eyes easily saw the next obstacle without light. Hedwig carefully maneuvered to avoid the Devil’s Snare. Its vines caught her claw, but she didn’t struggle. Instead, she chewed her way through its creepers and tendrils methodically.
The next room made Hedwig laugh: winged keys flew everywhere. Her eyes spotted the difference among them. It was an easy affair being airborne. She quickly dived from above, snatched the silver key in her beak, and jammed it into the door. It opened and she was almost afraid.
A large troll lay sleeping on the floor. It easily could have crushed her had it not been unconscious. She squawked with fear as it stirred slightly. Her challenges could only become greater.
The second to last room held a massive chess board, transfigured to play. Whether it was because the chess pieces had suffered severe trauma, or Hedwig had superior logic, the game took little more than ten minutes to complete. Her time spent playing with Francis had been well spent. He could never know, of course….
Hedwig flew over the potions and fire with ease. By the time she arrived in the final room, Harry had defeated Quirrel. His corpse had been abandoned by Lord Voldemort and there was nothing she could do for him, but Harry clung to life. Hedwig wrapped her wings around him and hoped for a miracle. Albus Dumbledore soon came, but Hedwig’s happiness was short lived.
“The boy almost died!” Hedwig told the headmaster, who spoke fluent owlish. “What were you and the other teachers thinking?”
“We wanted him to prove himself. Don’t tell me you’ve grown to care for the boy?”
“Whether or not I care is irrelevant. You almost let a living creature die because you failed to properly observe your students. Harry Potter is my pet, and you will treat him with care.”
You can find the next episode here.