Hedwig and the Owlery Pts. 9-10

Episodes 1-2 – Episodes 3-4 – Episodes 5-6 – Episodes 7-8

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Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 10

This is the tenth and final episode of Hedwig and the Owlery. I want to thank everyone who has read this far. It was always a dream of mine to write Harry Potter fan fiction. And I’m glad I can finally give Hedwig a proper send-off. You can find the last episode here. And the first one here.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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Image Courtesy of Martin David Porter.

Find more on his website: martsartsphotography.com

***

She felt bliss beyond anything she had ever felt before. Her throat no longer ached from screaming and her body was whole. There were voices all around her: parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts… Hermes.

“Hedwig, you wonderful bird, you brave, brave owl,” he said. “Let us fly.” She opened her eyes and saw Hermes. His eyes were brighter than they were in life, but then, everything was brighter. There seemed to be a golden light bathed over every inch of their surroundings. It reminded her of a surrealist painting she had seen in one of Harry’s textbooks about Muggle art. Hermione had gifted it to him after coming back from France….

She felt saddened as she thought of Harry. The bliss of heaven could not overwhelm her sorrow. Hermes seemed to understand. “We don’t belong in their world,” he said. “But, there is one more chance.”

“Please, Hermes, tell me. I want to see him one last time.”

“You will always see him here, and in a number of years you will forever… have you heard of the Deathly Hallows or the Resurrection Stone?”

“I haven’t… what are they?”

“The Deathly Hallows is three items: the Elder wand, the resurrection stone, and the cloak of invisibility. They make their owner Master of Death.”

“But how will that help me see Harry?”

“Harry is the Master of Death. He possesses all three hallows.”

“So, the resurrection stone can resurrect me?”

“Exactly, but nothing can truly resurrect the dead. He will see you and you will see him.”

“I understand. When can I go to him?”

“Immediately. Time is instantaneous in heaven.”

“How did you learn so much? You’ve only been gone a few months.”

“Darling, months away from you has felt like an eternity.”

Before she realized what happened they were kissing again. She felt the pull of heaven and earth on her heart. Hedwig wanted the moment to last forever almost as much as she wanted to comfort Harry.

Clouds shifted into trees and air below her feet became grass. She was back in the Forbidden Forest surrounded by wizards and witches she remembered well. There was Lupin, who had tried to eat Harry as a werewolf, Sirius, and several others. They were comforting him with human words, which altogether seemed so limited.

“Harry,” she told him in owlish, “I never left you.” He did not hear her speak but felt emotion pour out from her. It was as comforting as anything the others had to offer him.

The world slowly shifted back to air. Hedwig was at peace despite knowing she would not see Harry for many years. She would spend the interlude exploring endless mountains and valleys with her love, Hermes. Through high peaks and low valleys they would bathe in ambrosia and make love in waterfalls. Hermes held her between his wings as they did and both laughed as if the world had never wearied them.

There came a day, of which no date can accurately be put, where Hedwig rested on a snowcap with Hermes. They had finished a beautiful day of hunting, and Hermes woke to the sound of her laughter.

“What’s so funny, my love?” He asked.

“I just remembered something my mother said a long time ago. She told me ‘You’ll go far in this world,’ but she never said which one.”

They laughed until the sun set and they fell asleep. All was well.

The End

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Owl on the Back Fence by Justin Bog

Find more on his website: justinbog.com

Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 7

Hello and welcome to the seventh edition of Hedwig and the Owlery. There are now as many episodes as books, but we have a few more to go.  Tonight Hedwig rescues Harry and meets a new owl.  Perhaps something will develop romantically. You can find the last episode here. And the first one here.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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Percy’s owl, Hermes, delivered a message to Ron and stopped by the owlery for relaxation. He was as obnoxious and uptight as his owner. “Harry Potter is dangerous,” he told the other owls. Hedwig knew it was bunk: Harry was completely inept and could barely jinx a bowtruckle. She tried telling Hermes how worthless he was on more than one occasion, but he didn’t listen. He was determined Harry had some dark power yet to be revealed. It was ridiculous, of course. And yet, something in his yellow eyes possessed her: it was completely unmagical and at the same time very magical.

He returned the next week. There was no package in his claws, but he said his business was of upmost important. Hermes seemed slightly coy and more nervous than before. Hedwig found it strange she felt the same way. “Don’t you have business of upmost importance?” Hedwig asked as Hermes paced along the roost.

“I do, but I’m not sure I agree anymore. Your owner, Harry, seems all right, and the Ministry… I could never say a word against my master, but…”

Hedwig put her wing on his. “It’s okay,” she said.

They flew through past the Quidditch pitch and rested on the goal posts together. They could see Hogwarts Castle in the distance. Hedwig had never appreciated its vast beauty before. The turrets jutted out becoming clouds and melting with the sky. Before she knew how it happened her beak touched Hermes. They were kissing like Harry and Cho Chang under the mistletoe.

Hedwig saw something that made her regret the moment. Harry and Hermione were leaving the grounds with Umbridge. If she was fast enough she might help them….

“Hermes, it has been beautiful, but my pet is in grave danger….”

Hermes was surprised but understood. He had seen the same trouble in the distant light. She flew away before he could offer his help.

If only she could find them in time. There were noises that sounded like hooves, possibly centaurs. And then, something that was unlike anything she had heard before. It crashed against the trees and caused the ground to thunder.

The half-giant Grawp thudded around the forest and it was clear. Harry could be trapped beneath him or in danger. She searched the area frantically. The miasma of centaurs, dust, and other creatures made it near impossible. Minutes passed and she didn’t notice the thestrals flying, with their being invisible, until too late. She would never catch up with them at the rate they were going.

Hedwig could only do one thing: find Dumbledore and rip him limb from limb. Nothing else could give her solace. By the time she found him, Harry had returned.

“How could you leave the castle and not stop him from going to the Department of Mysteries? That’s the most reckless, dangerous place he could have gone. You knew exactly where Voldemort wanted him to go and yet, there were no guards anywhere to stop him. Did you want him to risk his life with the other students?”

“Hedwig, it is about defeating Voldemort for good. We needed an opportunity to catch his followers. This was the best way to flush them out into the open.”

“How can you use young children as bait?”

“Dear Hedwig, it’s for the greater good. If I told Harry he would more than understand. He wants nothing more than fighting those responsible for his parents’ deaths.”

“He wants his friends alive more than he wants vengeance!”

“That’s not for you to decide.”

“Nor you!” Hedwig spat before pecking his face. She slightly regretted her tactlessness but guilt was short lived as the sixth year went by.

***

You can find the next episode here.

Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 6

Much like J.K. Rowling, the fourth book gave me some writer’s block. I guess I understand where she was coming from. This Wednesday however, Hedwig speaks with a dragon and maneuvers Harry through the Triwizard tournament . You can find the last episode here. And the first one here.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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Fawkes broke up with Hedwig before term ended. He told her several hurtful things that were not intended to be hurtful. “There are plenty more owls in the sky,” Fawkes said as he pecked her beak affectionately. “I need to stretch my wings, darling.”

The indignity was that anyone could break up with her. She was the most beautiful owl at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, she had dated the handsomest and only phoenix….

Hedwig tried to distract herself hunting over the summer. When this didn’t work, she observed the Dursley’s. If anything was representative of the futility of relationships or pair bonding the scrawny woman and her blimp husband were. They were nothing compared with the failures of the Weasley clan, however.

How did Mr. Weasley let his offspring slip the fat human candy? His tongue grew enormous before anything constructive was done. Wizards were incapable of watching their offspring, mused Hedwig. Her mother would have flogged her for such behavior. In fact, once she talked out of turn and had most of her feathers pecked off.

The events of the year unfolded and consumed her attention. She initially thought Harry might be safer without quidditch. The Triwizard tournament however was far from safe. Hedwig was enraged Harry could be put into a dangerous contest without her consent. She was his true guardian after all: not the transient canine with fleas named Sirius Black.

“You let him enter the contest!?” Hedwig screamed at Dumbledore. She had flown into his office upon hearing the news. Fawkes had woken but she didn’t care. His loyalty would soon be tested. “He’s a fourth year student. Merlin’s beard! I can’t protect him underwater.”

“The tasks are not life threatening and we have took all the necessary precautions.”

“Really? I’ve flown over the forest and seen your dragons. Tell me those are safe and I’ll kiss Buckbeak.”

Dumbledore, for once, did not have an answer for her. Perhaps he did not want to speak of any more preparations for the Triwizard tournament. It was not likely however she could tell Harry anything, given he never cared to learn owlish. But still she might find some other ways to fill him in.

She flew toward the forest and approached the fierce looking dragons. It was unclear which Harry might get, but she had a feeling it would not be the Common Welsh Green. “That boy has sour luck,” she thought seeing the Hungarian Horntail. Smoke fumed from its nostrils that soon turned to flame.

“Hello,” Hedwig said apprehensively. “You will likely be facing my human in the first task.”

“Am I now?” the dragon retorted.

“Yes. You are.”

“I suppose you’re here to ask for mercy.”

“I am.”

“Well you don’t need to. We aren’t trained to kill the humans. And we wouldn’t anyway. The idea is to scare them a little, you know? Make it look like a challenge.”

“That’s a relief,” Hedwig told her.

“Yeah, I bet it is. Everyone thinks dragons are so violent. We eat everything we see like mindless animals. No one mentions our contributions to science or culture.”

“Science and culture?” Hedwig hesitated.

“You think Dumbledore came up with the twelve uses for dragon blood? We practically told him. The most significant thing he did was learn to speak dragon.”

Harry lived as she maneuvered him through two more tasks. Dobby or Barty Crouch hadn’t really come up with gillyweed.  Nor had the maze been cleared for him by accident. She never trusted the false Moody but possessed a share interest in keeping Harry alive for the time being.

*

Months later

“How many humans smell like dogs?” Hedwig asked. Her friends were often amazed she could locate a wanted serial killer when the best wizards could not. Wizards were narrow minded, she concluded, and would not permit themselves to see obvious realities. Sirius Black only looked like a dog; he moved very much like a human. Hedwig could spot a human pretending to be a dog kilometers away. He walked much stiffer and more awkward than any others she had seen.

It was Dolores Umbridge she could not throw off. The woman had it in for her and was determined to find out her business. She was such a toad: and far from delicious at that. Hedwig would eat her, of course, but enjoy very little of the taste.

Filch did not help matters sneaking around. Why did he insist on being such a nosy squib? She could only give him the slip so many times before he caught up. But, as she was much quicker, it would not be easy.

It was an unpleasant day to begin with. Henry, a large screech owl, had brought a howler back to the owlery with him instead of taking it immediately to its owner. The result was noise and chaos in an already noisy and chaotic environment. It did not help matters when Harry came in and gave her a letter to send. Before she reached the boundaries of the castle something powerful had hit her. It must have been some curse, because she did not remember the event. Luckily, Harry found her. He wasn’t always good for nothing, she thought. In fact, he might be an okay pet… someday.

She soon had far greater concerns than noise or even Harry. Hedwig soon asked herself something she had never recalled any owl asking: can owls fall in love? Hedwig wasn’t sure until the day came.

***

You can find the next episode here.

Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 5

Did everyone enjoy their weekend? This Sunday, Hedwig goes on a date over the Forbidden Forest and helps free a hippogriff. You can find the last episode here. And the first one here.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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Very good, Harry, blow up your aunt and send Hedwig packing, the owl thought as Harry left Privet Drive. It was slightly humorous to see the overweight human bouncing through the air, but more inconvenient than anything else. She had a long journey to make by herself.

She already knew where he would end up. If adults couldn’t notice where he trounced off to she certainly could. Hedwig mused how she was already a better parent than Dumbledore and the rest of them. If she had hatched an egg the owl would be the Minister of Magic by now. But, as it stood, she hadn’t hatched an egg. She was an owl waiting for her pet at the Leaky Cauldron. There were pictures of a wanted serial killer posted everywhere but it didn’t unnerve her as it did most everyone else. She did not see the necessary determination needed to kill within his hollow eyes. Hedwig had hunted enough herself to know what the act called for.

Harry soon met up with her before boarding the Hogwarts Express. The year unfolded with worse things than serial killers on the loose. She dated Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes, albeit briefly. He was not unkind, but often aloof. Their first date over the Forbidden Forest filled Hedwig with a passion that went largely unnoticed by Fawkes. Somehow this and his incredibly good looks, made Hedwig desire him even more.

Hedwig could easily fight off a wizard: emotions were much more like Dementors which had recently been introduced to the Hogwart’s grounds. They filled her with the same dread as they approached and she sometimes saw her relationship with Fawkes in trouble.

Between avoiding their gaze and improving Hagrid’s lesson plans she had little time to spend with Fawkes. Hagrid did not know of course, but she scratched out most of his ideas for riding centaurs through the forest…

Initially, she had flown to Hagrid’s hut with the intention of telling off Buckbeak, and not rewriting Hagrid’s entire curriculum. Attacking students such as Malfoy, even if she was not partial toward them, was a grievously cruel act. The magical creatures of Hogwarts should know better.

It could very well have been Harry he hurt. In fact, the next time it might have been. Hagrid was too inept to properly manage his classroom, but Hedwig would take charge of it if she had to. “Professor Hedwig has a nice ring to it,” she thought before landing near the pumpkin patch.

“Buckbeak!” she yelled in fluent hippogriff. He was chained to a post and looked sullen. “What happened here?” Hedwig asked.

“I nicked that little Slytherin boy so they chained me up. If I had known they’d put me to death, I’d have done a lot more damage.”

Hedwig had to stifle a laugh. Hurting students was not funny, but neither were executions.

“Why did you do it? Is pride worth hurting a lesser creature? Human minds aren’t as developed as ours, you know.”

“I know, I lost my temper. The other boy gripped too tight when he rode my back though. I should have thrown him in the lake.”

“That would be losing your temper again. And if you hurt my pet, I’ll execute you myself.”

They both managed a laugh this time. Hedwig didn’t feel as strongly as she did before. Perhaps the creature was worth saving. She thought of Dumbledore, but asking him for help after last year seemed agonizing to her pride. Perhaps McGongall would be more open to reason….

McGongall, who understood her perfectly when transfigured as a cat, agreed that something should be done. The time-turner she had given Hermione might be put to good use if they were careful. “But, goodness, those children are seldom ever careful,” she mused.

After Buckbeak’s appeal failed, Hermione’s time-turner became the only option. She used it to fool MacNair and Ministry of Magic before any life could be taken. Hedwig, however still needed to protect Harry from Professor Lupin of all people. Lupin had gone into the Whomping Willow shortly after Harry and it was obvious from his gait and expression he had not taken his potion. Very soon he could turn into a werewolf with no conscience.

Buckbeak and Hedwig managed to draw him off of Harry, Hermione, and the others. They led him deep into the forest as they flew high enough to stay out of reach. Hippogriffs were the worst navigators in the magic world after humans and they nearly lost their way.

Buckbeak was one of the more intelligent ones of his species but remained painfully aloof as how to escape with Sirius. He did not let onto Hedwig of course. Buckbeak would rather die of exhaustion over a desert that admit fault.

“I’ll get him there safely, Hedwig, stop nagging me!” Buckbeak assured her about Sirius. “But just for future reference, could you tell me which way is north?”

Hedwig pointed him in the right direction with her wing, unsure if he was serious or not. She did, in truth, really want to think he was incapable of basic navigation. The sun and stars should have been enough for him. It always was for her.

***

You can find the next episode here.

Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 4

I hope everyone has had an exemplary weekend. This Sunday, Hedwig fights Slytherin’s monster in the Chamber of Secrets and has help from some surprising new friends. You can find the last episode here. And the first one here.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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The term ended and summer passed. Hedwig hated being locked up by Aunt Petunia. She pretended to be brave and irate, but in reality, knew enough magic to escape while everyone else slept. The Ministry would not notice the subtly of owl charms. House Elves were reckless in their practice of magic. Dobby should have known better before dropping the pudding. She had tried to tell him it was a mistake. He did not speak owlish however and seemed to welcome the noise.

She later blamed him for the Whomping Willow as much as she did Harry. How inept could a boy wizard be? First, he misses the train, flies her through the freezing air, and then crashes into the most diabolical tree the Hogwarts grounds had ever known? She didn’t know if she could forgive him this time. It would take several owl treats to make up for the injustice.

Thankfully, Harry did provide various owl treats. He was always willing to share some of his dinner with her. Human food was disgusting but she appreciated the sentiment. Why didn’t they eat dead mice like normal creatures? Puddings, sugars, and other compilations of barely edible and impure garbage disgusted her.

Near the end of the term, Hedwig got a sick feeling that was not treacle pudding. Her and Harry were starting to get along much better, but darkness had descended on the grounds. The adults were letting good humans get hurt and doing little to stop it. She contemplated finding the giant serpent herself and pecking it. The width of the pipes it crawled through however was problematic.

It was with great consternation that she learned of the Chamber of Secrets. How had it eluded the teachers when every owl knew where to find it? Whether or not the headmaster listened, Hedwig knew she had to rescue Ginny Weasley before her pet did something stupid.

“Francis, I need you to get the Sorting Hat,” Hedwig told a collection of owls. “Jenny,” she motioned toward the tawny who had warned her about Quirrel. “I need you to warn Dumbledore.”

“What about you, ‘Wig?” Francis asked. “What will you do?”

“I’m going to free Fawkes. I’m the only one with enough magic to manage it.”

Hedwig took her leave and flew toward the gargoyle guarding the Headmaster’s office. “Sherbert lemon,” she told it. Hedwig heard much gossip among the other owls and was not surprised as the staircase appeared.

Secrecy sensors and other dark detectors were strewn about, but Hedwig ignored them. Fawkes’ cage was to the right and he appeared indignant.

“What in bleeding earth are you doing? It’s nearly mornin’!”

“Harry went down into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny.”

“Piss off. Why would he do that?”

“He has a bit of a hero complex and a complete lack of self-preservation.”

“Not to mention the smarts of a bleedin’ bludger. I suppose we better help him, eh?”

“That’s why I’m here. I need you to cry.”

“I ain’t cryin’ for nobody, sweetheart.”

“His life depends on it, Fawkes!”

“Fine, I’ll do it, I will. But don’t tell the other birds. I’ve got a reputation to live up to.”

“Not a word,” Hedwig told him before tapping the lock. The cage flicked open and both of them rushed to the girl’s bathroom.

“How do we get in?” Fawkes asked. “Speak parseltongue?”

“No, Slytherin was nowhere near that intelligent. People just give him a lot of credit by going through with it.”

Hedwig squawked loudly at the sink. It moved exposing a pipe large enough for several birds.

“Blimey. You’d think every girl who came in here screaming would find it.”

“Many have but no believed them. It’s kind of like an urban legend. Let’s go.”

They glided down the slide, grateful for flight. The darkness appeared problematic for Fawkes but Hedwig guided him.

“Can you see anything, darling?” Fawkes asked.

She hated his tone but tried to ignore it. She saw everything as clear as day. Professor Lockhart was passed out behind a wall of stone with Ron Weasley.

“The usual,” Hedwig told him.

“Pity,” Fawkes replied. “I would have liked extraordinary.”

There was a small enough gap near the top for both of them to get through. It would be a tight fit but they could manage.

“We need to squeeze through these piles of rock,” she told the phoenix.

“Lead the way,” he replied with his usual air of ambivalence.

Inside was Harry, Ginny and a tall black-haired boy Hedwig did not recognize. He appeared blurred around the edges like the sheen off her cage. Ginny lay on the floor with Harry looking over her.

The conversation between Harry and who she soon discovered to be Lord Voldemort incensed her. How dare he unleash a monster and endanger everyone, including owls.

“Fawkes, did you get the sorting hat from Francis?” She asked.

“Of course I did. I don’t bloody know why.”

“I need you to drop it over Harry so he can pull out a sword.”

“Why can’t we just take the sword and chop its bleedin’ head off?”

“We can take on the snake, but he needs something to defend himself in the meantime.”

Fawkes conceded as he flew over Harry and the basilisk. Hedwig surveyed the scene, practicing her rooster crow. If she could get it right, she could save everyone. Rooster crows were fatal to basilisks.

Harry never heard Hedwig in the great commotion that followed Fawkes diving. The phoenix struggled in battle as Hedwig tried to mimic the right sound.

His claws scratched its left eye and Hedwig crowed. She crowed with everything she had. The basilisk contorted under the agony and Fawkes blinded it for good. Tom Riddle seized the opportunity and raised Harry’s wand. It was an immensely poor decision. Hedwig and Fawkes realized he was vulnerable.

They flew toward him as Harry stabbed the diary. Francis and Jenny arrived with the rest of the owlery and they pecked every inch of his newly materialized body. He screamed and wailed before he decided that being a second-class Voldemort wasn’t really worth the effort.

Harry’s wand hit the floor with a thud and the owls cheered. Fawkes went to cry on Harry as Francis embraced Hedwig.

“We did it, ‘Wig!” Their beaks touched as the others looked on.

Hedwig paused and put her wing feather to his bill.

“There is no way, Francis,” she told him softly before flying out of the chamber. Snickers followed her, and she felt slightly bad for him. There would be time to spare his feelings after meeting the headmaster.

She found him in the hospital wing next to Harry. The same thoughtful expression filled his face and blue eyes.

“So,” Hedwig asked Albus Dumbledore, “you let a giant serpent take a girl into the dungeons and then let another student save her? I’m beginning to think I’m the only adult at this school who is not psychotic.”

“Understand, Hedwig,” Dumbledore replied, “the boy had to do this. It is his destiny.”

“It is not his destiny to die, no more than it is yours. Are orphans so expendable at Hogwarts?”

“You dare?”

“Yes I dare. If you don’t look after your students, mark my words, I will shut Hogwarts down myself.” Hedwig flew out the hospital window. She wasn’t sure where she headed but it didn’t matter. The summer would be more promising, thought Hedwig.

***

You can find the next episode here.