Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this story. They belong to the lovely JK, if I did, Ron and Harry would be together, and sadly, they're not. sob And Minnesota's a long way from England. I lurve to ramble. =3
No warnings, just a fun fic. Bwahahahaha. . . .
It was a clear, warm night on the night of August the 5th. People cluttered the streets with activity on this superb night. Kids riding down the road on their bikes, couples walking to the park for that romantic night they always talked of but never did, teenagers just hanging around on the corner, for they had nothing better to do, and one boy of 16 in his room on Number 4 Privet Drive, spending time with his owl friend that listens to every word he has to say.
Harry Potter sat at his desk that lay beside his open window, going over some of his homework that was assigned for that summer, as he looked on at all the people that scurried about the streets.
His faithful owl was perched on the window ledge, watching her owner intently. Watching him scribble notes, watching him turn the pages on the text books that held the answers, watching him chew on the tip on his pen that he traded for his quill over the summers.
He now looked up from his studying and smiled at Hedwig. He took his hand, and gently ran it down her silky, feathery side. He now put down his pen and went back to watching the people outside.
"Look at them all. All of them in their happy own little worlds, not thinking about dark lords and prophecies. Not thinking about someone they lost." Hedwig answered in reply with a little hoot.
Now Harry looked back at Hedwig, and another smile appeared on his face, "Why are you up so early anyway? You're an owl, you should be nocturnal." Hedwig now ruffled up her feathers as some sort of shrug.
"I suppose it's not too early. It is seven at night. Owls usually get up at that time, right?" A ruffled shrug from Hedwig once again. Harry still smiled at his bird, now raising a hand to her once again, now petting her down her side like he's done so many times in the past.
"Why do I expect you to answer back? You can't talk." Harry said as he took his hand away. Hedwig did that ruffle once again, but now, it seemed a sad expression swept over the owl's face.
"Why do you look at me that way? Maybe you should get out for a bit." Harry now took an owl treat from a drawer in his desk, and gave it to Hedwig, her nipping his finger in affection for it, "That'll boost up your energy. Now go and fly a bit. You've been sitting here for nearly a week without getting out." With that, Hedwig turned, with a reluctant shake from her tail feathers, she flew out the window, flying high into the orange, blue sky that held the pinkish, fluffy clouds that people dreamed of in their sleep, except for Harry, that is.
Hedwig still flew higher and higher, worry on her mind for her owner of over five years. How she worried for him so.
Not more than an hour had passed by when Hedwig returned to Harry's window ledge. Harry was a bit surprised at Hedwig's return, he wasn't expecting her back until later that night.
"You couldn't have possibly gotten a good fly under just an hour." He scolded his owl. But he just then shook his head, and went back to his work.
Hedwig hopped down from the ledge onto Harry's desk, and nudged his arm lightly, wanting to be petted.
Harry gave up on his homework for the moment, and started to pet Hedwig.
"You're a pest, you know that? Really you are." He said as he smiled at her. He went into his drawer once again, and took out another owl treat.
"What's gotten into you lately? You've been surviving on owl treats instead of going to catch a vole, or a mouse." He said as he gave her the owl treat, still petting her soft feathery side.
He stopped petting her, and now just looked at her. Her ivory, white feathers, her dark eyes with that little shine to them, and her glossy beak shone now more glossy than previous nights.
"Hey, I have an idea," Harry said as he went into his drawer again, and took out a fresh piece of paper, "You should go onto the Burrow early," he kept talking as he wrote out a note for Ron, "Then you'll have something to do and not just sit around all night." Finished with the note, he carefully fastened it to Hedwig's leg, making sure it was tight enough to stay, but not too tight that it would hurt Hedwig.
Hedwig looked at him with that mournful expression she had on earlier, looking at him more intently than before.
"I'm still wondering about that look. Don't worry, I'll be along in five days when the advance guard comes to rescue me, okay?" He said with a smile, patting her head lightly, "Now, off you go." And off Hedwig went, into the now black, starry sky, heading off to the Burrow without her owner that she loved so dearly.
Hedwig still traveled to the Burrow after half the night had disappeared. Still gliding along the cool night breeze, still worrying about her owner.
She had worried for him so much since the end of his fifth year. Of course she didn't know what exactly happened, but knew that he lost someone, someone dear to him, someone that made his attitude change, that made his sense that Hedwig knew change. All this made Hedwig worry, that's why she didn't want to leave his side, that's why she looked at him with her forlorn looks.
Hedwig was beginning to tire from her long night fly, but she didn't want to stop. She just wanted to get to the Burrow and rest with Errol and Pig.
But with all the laying about she had been doing, she wasn't used to flying such distances yet, she had to stop somewhere and rest.
She scanned the vast forest that lay beneath her, looking for a clearing where she could land and rest.
She still looked out over the pines and the willows, and all that lay beneath, until something happened to her. She felt compelled to go over to one spot of the forest, one that really didn't have a clearing. She just felt this luring sensation that she had to go over to that spot. But she was unsure. She didn't know if this luring was one of good or one of bad, but this luring was strong. She couldn't deny this feeling, she had to obey.
She swooped down low over the trees, heading for that spot, wanting to see if this lure was going to lead her to something great, or something that would lead to her demise.
She was almost there, gliding down slowly to that spot that was calling to her, that just wouldn't stop calling to her.
She landed on a branch with grace, and now looked at her surroundings. There was somewhat of a clearing, but not that big. The moon shown down on this one little spot, illuminating it so it glowed with a light not of this world. Now Hedwig noticed a man there, one that she recognized from Harry's school. A tall man with blue robes, moon spectacles hitched on his hooked nose, and a very long white beard that almost went to the ground.
"Ah, my dear Hedwig, you look tired." This man said to Hedwig. She tilted her head at the man, not really knowing what else to do.
"Did you have a pleasant flight? Hmm, by the looks of it, it was a bit of a long way for you," He took out his wand, and with a swish and a flick, a bowl of water appeared in his opposite hand, "Here, have some water. It'll do you good." He floated the bowl over to where she sat, she still wasn't too sure of this person, but she took a drink, grateful for this man's kindness.
After she was done, she hooted at this man, and with great surprise, the man answered back.
"You're wondering as to who I am? My dear, Hedwig. I am Albus Dumbledore. I am a teacher, and a friend to Harry." He said with a warm smile, "You've been worried about Harry, haven't you?"
Hedwig answered with a hoot, and one of her sad looks.
"Yes, we've all been worried about him. But you in particular have been." Dumbledore said as he made his way up to Hedwig, petting her side as Harry did.
"It's been said that an owner and pet can bond far more than that of any human being. You happen to be one of those pets, Hedwig. That is why I've called you here." He said with another smile. He now stepped back, with a swish of his hand, he unveiled a long, red silk cloth the size of an afghan. It shimmered in the moonlight, making it look surreal.
"My dear Hedwig, you want to comfort Harry, and you don't know how. I however, know just what you can do." He brought the silk closer, showing it to Hedwig, "This is the Cloth of Kitsune. She was a powerful witch with the ability of shape shifting. She gave me this cloth two days before she passed on, knowing that I would only use it for purposes that mattered. And I think this matter counts." His smile faded away from his face, and now it held a look of sincerity. "Hedwig, I know how you love Harry, that is why I have brought you here. With this cloth, you can become human. You can comfort Harry the way you want." Hedwig didn't know what to think. She could actually become. . .a human? She wanted to comfort Harry, she wanted him to be happy again, but become human? An actual living person that could walk and talk? What was she to do?
"This is clearly your decision, Hedwig. Whatever you decide, it will be right." Hedwig was thinking and thinking, deciding what she should do. Could she really be a human? Could she actually be what she's watched for so many years?
After a minute or so of thought, she gave a little hoot, and swooped down to the ground, wanting to become what Harry was, a human.
"Excellent! Now, stay still, my dear Hedwig." He took the Cloth of Kitsune, and lay it on top of her, covering her whole feathered body.
He now took out his wand, raising it over the lump that was Hedwig. He started to make a swirling motion with the wand, chanting softly along with it. Soon, the swirling became faster, the chanting becoming louder as each second slipped by. Just a tornado of words, colors now sparking from the wands tip, everything becoming faster, more urgent.
There was a feeling that Hedwig was developing, a twinge just growing in her stomach as the words and colors flashed by.
Now she felt pulling of her wings, pulling of her legs and claws, bones cracking and twisting to longer, different forms. As transformation formed; feathers sunk in now soft flesh, each and everyone pricking like a needle.
She couldn't take it much longer. She felt like she was about to fall over the edge with pain.
A deafening owl screech came from her, sounding along the slopes of the vast forest. . .but soon this screech turned over to a scream. . . One that you would hear from a young woman in distress.
As Dumbledore's chant and wand died down, so did the scream. Now where the small lump that was Hedwig, lay a much bigger, more shapely lump.
This lump began to squirm, moving toward one of the edges of the cloth. Soon a hand poked out, a delicate, ivory hand. The lump raised, bringing the cloth up, dropping down to the new form of Hedwig's shoulder. She had short, spiky feathered hair, but was still a bit long-ish, and bangs that framed her face into a kind of circle shape.
"Are you alright, Hedwig?" Dumbledore asked the wide eyed girl. She looked up at him with gray, shiny eyes, and uttered, "I-I'm, a-a . . . a human."
"I'm a. . .a human." Hedwig repeated looking down at the hand that apparently was hers.
"You certainly are, my dear child." Dumbledore said with a wide smile and with that twinkle in his eye.
Hedwig began to stand, the cloth falling to the ground in a slow ruffle. She stumbled as she stood straight, but regained her balance after Dumbledore gently pressed her back, so she wouldn't fall.
Now where an owl once lay, stood a petite, nude girl with a look of wonder on her face. She looked down upon her new form. No feathers. . .no claws to perch with. She raised her once feathered wing, and was surprised to find an arm in it's place. She looked at her new hand, and flexed the fingers. With her feet, she felt the ground in between her toes. She was amazed she was doing this. Nothing of her old self remained. Just the smooth, pale ivory skin that she had seen on so many humans.
"I'm a human." She said once again in a whisper, still not being able to take it all in.
"As a human, you can say more than just, "I'm a human." Dumbledore said with humor in his voice, still smiling at Hedwig.
"I'm sorry, it's just really. . .quite amazing." She said, still flexing her fingers. She now realized what she had just done, and slapped a hand over her mouth.
"What's the matter?" Dumbledore asked, an eyebrow raised towards her.
The hand slowly descended from the mouth, and now she said, "I just spoke. I've never spoken before."
"Wonderful, isn't it?" Dumbledore said with an amused voice again.
She gave him a smile. Now with an even grander smile, she said in an excited voice, "I just smiled! How am I doing this?"
"Well, you are a human now. We all have emotions, and these emotions can show on our faces." He still had a smile.
She still smiled at him, and now decided that she wanted to try and take a first step on her new legs.
She raised her right leg in front of her, and tried to take a step, but now lost her balance, and began to fall backwards. Luckily, Dumbledore caught her in the nick of time under her arms. He put her back up, and now brought a hand up to his chin in thought.
"Hmm, and since you're a human, you need clothes. We all need clothes you know. Except for an old wizard I know, but I won't go into that. And I don't think you want to be like that wizard." He said, amusement showing in his eyes.
"I think we can transfigure you a robe out of the Cloth of Kitsune." He took out his wand, and with a swish and a flick, the cloth on the ground flowed over to Hedwig, now twisting and turning until it wrapped itself around Hedwig into a nice fitting robe.
"That will do nicely until we get you new clothes." He said as he placed his wand back in his robes.
"But, where will we go? And don't I need to exchange those shiny, circular things if I want clothes?" Hedwig said as she tried to step once again. She was successful this time, but still stumbled a bit.
"Don't worry my dear, Hedwig. I will supply you with clothes. But first, we'll go back to Hogwarts for the night, then in the morning, we shall get you clothes." He said as he took her arm in his, and helped her walk to get out of the clearing to a near by portkey he had placed.
"But where will we go?" She asked, looking up at him.
"The best place to go. Diagon Alley, of course."
"Would you like some tea, Hedwig?" Dumbledore asked from the fire place of his quarters as Hedwig wandered all around.
"Um, okay." She said, unsure if she would like it. She walked up the spiral stair case, the wall along side it lined with it's many books and treasures. All of these things made Hedwig's heart jump. She loved how the books looked so ancient, and so brand new at the same time. She loved how some of the things sparkled inside glass containers, how some swelled and burst.
A little more up the stairs, she discovered a beat up, worn out old witch hat. Why would this be on a wall of magical things?
"Mr. Dumbledore? What's the story behind this ha-"
"Who are you?" The hat interrupted Hedwig. This made her scream out, and jump back, well, as far as possible, since she was on the stairs.
"Hedwig, are you all right?" Dumbledore called up to her. She looked down on him, and with a squeak said, "A hat talked to me." Dumbledore chuckled, and called back up to her, "No need to worry. That's just the Sorting Hat. He won't do any harm."
"Well, well, well. Who is this, Dumbledore?" The Sorting Hat called out to him.
"This is just a friend staying for the remainder of the summer holidays." Hedwig looked at the Hat and smiled.
"Well, who exactly is she? Is she some kind of toy, is that why you won't tell me her name?"
"Hey!" Hedwig said to the Sorting Hat angrily.
"That was clearly uncalled for." Dumbledore said as he went over to the stairs, and climbed them two at a time.
"It seems perfectly logical if you won't tell me anything about her." The Hat said in his defense.
"Now listen here!" Hedwig yelled at the Hat, "Mr. Dumbledore has been nothing but kind to me! He wouldn't use me for nothing of the sort!. . .Would you?" She asked after Dumbledore had reached her.
"Of course not. As for you," He turned his attention to the Hat, "You've been rude, so you'll be put away for the remainder of the holiday."
"Well, I get what I get for being curious." The Sorting Hat said sarcastically. Dumbledore took out his wand once more, and flicked it at the Hat, making it disappear to some unknown place.
A whistle started to sound, making Dumbledore's attention go toward the fireplace.
"Ah, tea is ready. Shall we, Hedwig?" And with that, they both descended the stairs, making their way to the couch.
Dumbledore had just poured the tea, the steam rising into swirls soon disappearing when it went to a certain height.
Hedwig took the warm cup off the saucer with both of her new hands, afraid that she might spill, and was still a bit hesitant of using her hands in full swing. She brought the cup up to her face, feeling the warmth that was there, and now took a sip, the strong tea going nicely down her throat.
"I've never had tea before."
"I could imagine, since you've been an owl your whole life. . .until recently, of course." Dumbledore said, taking a small sip of his tea afterwards.
They sat in silence now, just sipping their tea, the glow of the fire making them an orangey glow as well. Hedwig looked at Dumbledore, seeing that the fire reflected off his moon spectacles, making his eyes give the impression of being on fire themselves.
The stillness of the room went right along with their silence. Just calm and quiet, not a thing moving, not a thing making a sound except for the popping and crackling of the fire in front of them.
Hedwig all of a sudden felt so tired. Just sitting in the sinking couch, drinking the warm, pleasant tea, the heat she felt from the fire. . . It all made her feel drowsy. She was soon to drift off.
Dumbledore noticed this. Without disturbing Hedwig, he stood silently, took the cup from her drooping hands, and placed her feet up on the couch. He now took a blanket from a near by chair, and covered her gently, Hedwig took a corner of the cozy blanket, and brought it right up to her chin.
Dumbledore smiled and began to go to his own room for the night. But before he could, Hedwig spoke to him, in a sad, worried tone.
"Yes, Hedwig? And please, call me Albus."
"Albus, do. . .do you think Harry will be alright?" Dumbledore smiled a sad smile toward the owl turned human, and gently said, "Only time will tell, Hedwig. Only time." And with those final words of the night, Hedwig drifted off into a deep slumber, visions of her beloved owner wandering in her dreams all throughout the night.
And that's the first chapter folks. applauds If you like, just review, it's that simple! If you hate, review! I like any kind of reviews. I'm a review harlot, what can I say?