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
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.”
“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.
“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.