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.

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Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 3

Hello and welcome to the third installment of my fan fiction series. You can find the first episode here. And the second here. This afternoon Hedwig discovers the secrets of the third floor corridor.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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“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.

Alternate Ending: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

It’s no secret that the ending to the Hobbit trilogy disappointed me. I saw it again, and felt a little better, but Kili and Tauriel still felt manufactured; especially her last lines to Thranduil. That’s why I decided to rewrite them. I don’t buy that Tauriel doesn’t understand love or needs someone else to explain it to her.

~ Find more of my writing for sale on Amazon.

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Tauriel: [weeps for Kili] You cannot be him. He is far, far away. Please, come back. It was much more than just a dream. I have seen the world fall away, but never darkness such as this. We could have walked beyond the forest and up into the night. We could have seen the fire moon and white light forever fill the air. I wish I could show you… I wish…

Thranduil: [sadly] It was real.

Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 2

Welcome to the second installment of my fan fiction series, Hedwig and the Owlery. You can find the first episode here. Today Hedwig discovers a new home in the Hogwarts’ owlery.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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Her time in Surrey proved uneventful. Hedwig wiled away the hours at Privet Drive much as she had at Eyelop’s Owl Emporium. The only difference was the lack of company. She would be grateful to meet the other owls at Hogwarts.

Platform 9 3/4 was terrifying, and the train ride was no better. Hedwig would have liked to fly as any normal owl would. The bumps and groans of the mechanical monster stirred her from sleep. Despite all of it, however she was glad to see the castle. It was a beautiful distraction from what had been a most distressing journey. The turrets stretched up and up until she could no longer see them. Perhaps it was a better home than the nest after all, she thought.

The Hogwarts’ owlery was a dirty but interesting location. During the evening Hedwig and other owls shared various potions they had nicked from their owners. The bottles, often having little effect on humans, were surprisingly potent for birds. Hedwig occasionally imbibed a drink or two before playing stolen gobstones or wizard chess with her claws. It irritated her greatly when the other owls cheated or demeaned her.

“Why play without rules?” Hedwig asked a doughy owl named Francis.

“Why play at all if you bother with rules?” He quipped to general applause. “How about a peck on the beak, sweetie?” She wished the others had not encouraged him..

Hedwig left the owlery. She preferred to fly around the grounds and explore. It was a particularly balmy autumn night, when she saw Hagrid emerge from the Hog’s Head with a suspicious looking package. Hedwig chose to ignore the problem as another distracted her.

Blood glittered in the moonlight but it was far from human judging by its color. Silver reflected from its streams and puddles. “Unicorns are bleeding,” she thought. Hedwig had only heard rumors but felt frightened. Something accursed had reduced itself to hunting unicorns and would therefore live a half-existence….

She continued to investigate, asking centaurs and other creatures in the forest. Firenze appeared to think the culprit was Lord Voldemort. Bane and the other centaurs weren’t so sure. They often saw many possibilities within the stars.

The trail went cold over the next few weeks. Hedwig took up playing wizard chess with Francis once more. His manners had improved considerably since the beginning of the school year. It may have been Hedwig hitting his face, or after one particularly vulgar display, writing home to his mother. It turned out owls could receive howlers as well. Her voice boomed across the owlery: RESPECT WOMEN OR I’LL MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE THEM BEHIND THE QUIDDITCH PITCH!

“It looks like a check mate,” Hedwig told him near the end of a game.

“Please don’t write my mother.” Francis looked worried.

***

Find the next episode here.

Hedwig and the Owlery Pt. 1

I wrote my first fan fiction for NaNoWriMo this year. Unfortunately, I only ended up with 5,500 words. The good news is I plan to post it on my blog in serials over the next month. So, enjoy my Harry Potter fan fic about Hedwig the Owl.

Hedwig and the Owlery

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Hedwig was a beautiful snowy owl and she damn well knew it. Her mother had said it since the day she was hatched. “You’ll go far in this world,” she hooed between preening and regurgitating worms.

Clearly, she had her pick of the best suitors in England. Male owls flew in from as far as Australia to vie for her claw in marriage. Fate however had very different plans.

Owl poachers caught her basking in the glow of admiration one tepid spring morning. The male owls fawning over her ample plumage fled at the first sight of danger. They were first and foremost aristocrats and not prepared to die.

“Leave me!” Hedwig yelled in Owlish as two men shoved her into a cage. They did not understand her pleading and proceeded transporting her to the nearest owlery.

The wall into Diagon Alley had initially filled the young owl with hope. “They’ll never get through the bricks. They’re obviously mental.” It soon became clear as the door appeared her optimism was short lived.

“Magic!” she scoffed as they walked past shops buzzing with cauldrons and the latest broomsticks. “Enough to make an owl sick!”

Eyelops Owl Emporium soon came into view. Hedwig saw the other owls imprisoned in their cages and already longed for freedom. The wizards talked of Azkaban as if it was terrible, but they had no idea what true misery was like. Had an owl ever broke free? Or would she rot behind the iron bars until she perished?

It was several months before young witches and wizards came to buy new owls. Hedwig bided her time, played harmonica, and made trades for owl cigarettes. Owl cigarettes were little more than mice wrapped in paper but they were a fattening vice nonetheless.

She noticed the rat-haired scamp the first time she saw him. He had a lightning scar on his forehead but she wasn’t about to be taken in by all the hype. The boy who lived, indeed: by complete accident… No one really knew the details, but she guessed Voldemort got antsy and bumbled his killing curse at the last moment. Wizards had no grace or subtlety.

Hagrid had already chosen her before she got a good look at Harry. “He would have made a good pet for me,” she thought of the half-giant. Harry however was slight and did not look like much in a fight. Hedwig would be forced to do a good deal of the dueling. She was a rich girl, but knew how to fight dirty. Some of her suitors did not like taking no for an answer back at the nest. One particularly insistent owl named Joffrey insisted he was the Prime Minister of all owls in Britain and demanded a kiss by decree.

***

Find the next episode here.

Dungeons, Dragons, and Defenestration

My two friends, Michelle Franklin and Ciara Ballintyne, both asked me to write poems tonight. Michelle had lost her D20 dice in Dungeons and Dragons. Naturally, she was rather choked up and asked if I could help her with a poem. My other friend Ciara had previously given me a wonderful idea for a poem called Ode to Somewhat. I asked if she had more and she came up with defenestration, or throwing someone out a window.

D20

glowing numbers
rolling red like
dragon fire in
a cave where
we keep warm.

© Ben Ditmars 2014

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Defenestration

curls fighting
urges of
defenestration
twisting new emotions
into old intelligence.

© Ben Ditmars 2014

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Image by: Flickr

FREEBIE from Ciara Ballintyne!

My friend Ciara Ballintyne is giving out free advance copies of her next book. Be sure and sign up.

*****

STALKING THE DEMON ~ Advance Review EBOOKS by @CiaraBallintyne #HighFantasy #FREEBIE
Available for a limited time

FREE Advance Review ebooks (Review Copies only)

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STALKING THE DEMON
(Book 2 in the Seven Circles of Hell)
by Ciara Ballintyne

Date of Publication – 22 September 2014
Genre: High Fantasy (Adult)
About the Book
Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.

Six months after Ladanyon’s defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.

As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can’t trust them.

All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here.

eARCs may not be identical to the final published version and therefore may contain some minor editing and typographical errors prior to the final proofread. eARCs are expected to be available 2 weeks prior to the publication date. Interested? Sign-up now!

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