This is the ninth and next to last episode of Hedwig and the Owlery. There is only adventure left in our journey after this. It has been a pleasure writing and reading your comments. Today Hedwig faces off with Lord Voldemort over Surrey during the Battle of the Seven Potters. You can find the last episode here. And the first one here.
Hedwig and the Owlery
The funeral for Dumbledore and train ride home was a blur. She had written her own eulogy for Hermes but hadn’t brought herself to read it. The other owls had coaxed small parts out of her:
“A testament to owning humans…”
“The love of my life…”
“My dream owl…”
Hermes’ funeral had been a modest affair compared to Dumbledore’s. Fawkes and Francis flew his body high into the mountains with Hedwig. When they finished reciting his last rites Hermes was dropped into the clouds below. Hedwig’s tears froze on her face and she hoped that they reached him somehow.
She wrote a letter to Percy under the guise of a Ministry official. It would be believed as many owls had died during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower. Still, the dishonesty was heart wrenching. She wanted to tell him the truth about their love and Hermes’ bravery. She wanted to tell everyone.
After the train ride, Harry and Hedwig were soon alone for the first time at Privet Drive. Harry could not speak owlish, but he saw the pain glow deep within her amber eyes. “We’ve both lost something irreplaceable tonight,” he told her. She wasn’t sure if he meant Dumbledore or he truly knew of her love with Hermes. They had grown closer than she cared to admit over the past six years. There were times he truly felt like her owner and less a pet. Yet still, she doubted he had deduced anything of their romance, or Dumbledore had told him. She had never told the headmaster, after all….
The summer blazed by in preparation for the task ahead. Hedwig did not think and feel remorse as badly when she kept busy.
The Battle of the Seven Potters over Surrey was Hedwig’s finest hour. Harry never realized, but she had perfected enchantments of her own. Killing curses and Full Body Binds did not miss the young wizard by chance. “Expelliarmus!” the owl yelled frequently as Death Eaters and Voldemort approached. It did not have the intended effect but greatly slowed his advance.
“Avada Kedavra!” Voldemort shouted. Harry’s wand preformed magic he did not know. Hedwig however was fully aware. She had practiced defensive magic with his wand while he slept. She held it in her beak, increasing its defenses. Now, through absorbing the skills of Voldemort and her owlish magic, the wand was more than match for danger. Voldemort was stunned as he should have been: he underestimated owls as most everyone else did. Harry seemed to put more stock in the magic of house elves than her.
Gold sparks connected their wands and Hedwig felt a spark of pride and vindication, if not anticipation for the end result. The plan had worked; others were hurt but she protected her pet in the face of great danger.
There was only one problem: Hedwig had to sacrifice herself for him: the rat-haired scamp she was once despised. He was her responsibility and despite everything she cared for him. The power of sacrificial love could save Harry as it had before. None of the Death Eater’s magic would be binding, though it was already too late for George and Mad-Eye Moody.
She flapped her wings and hooted loudly, drawing attention to herself. It would not be long now. Death might be easier than life. She could see her nest again and mother. Perhaps the suitors would come back and admire her plumage. Perhaps Hermes would be with her. Hermes… he was the hardest to remember. She thought of his eyes staring deeply into hers; the soft grip of his wings on her back… Soon, she might feel him, but it couldn’t be the same as before, when they had years and years ahead of them.
It was surreal as the blinding flash of green light hit her body. She felt both hot and cold at the same time. Her thoughts shifted from the shock of pain to Harry and then Hermes. She closed her eyes for the last time and felt Hermes holding her. She felt his tongue as the battle continued to play out. And as her body fell, it no longer mattered….
You can find the next episode here.