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.

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.

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.

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