Holy sheep... An update? Within just a couple months? In the same year? ! OH MY MERLIN IN HEAVEN! O.O No, but really, like I said, starting to write the Grape fic "Care for a Dance?" (which will be updated later this week ;) ), really got my fanfic motor running, so, I'll be trying to update this one here more frequently (hopefully at least once a month, which is quite a bit better than once a year ^^; ).
Also, the one-shot that was won last chapter is still being worked on. Just a bit of a tough couple to write (but pretty interesting to too, I might add), so there's that to look forward to as well. :D
On another note: To make this fic even more lovely/enjoyable (which I hope you think it is), I'm going to be editing the first couple chapters in the next couple months. :) Since this was started over seven years ago *le gasp!*, I believe (hope?) my writing has gotten a smidgen better, so, why not update, as I enjoy this fic, and I want it to be the best it can be. :D So, just to warn you.
One more thing (sorry): THANK YOU so much everyone for the continued favorites, alerts, and reviews! They mean terribly much to me and I appreciate each and every one. You're all totally awesome.
Now, on with the fanfic! Also, a certain question that I've received many times will be answered. ;) More comments about that at the end.
Darkness blanketed her short form as she lay in the large four poster bed of the sixth year Gryffindor girls dormitory room, feeling so restless as she stared up at the blank cover of the bed. Thoughts buzzed around in her head of her first official night as a student at Hogwarts, how her emotions were running rampant throughout the entire day well into the evening, how she wanted so desperately to console Harry when he finally appeared at the feast after hearing what that dirty Slytherin had done to him…She also thought that maybe she let her feelings get the best of her… Just maybe.
Looking at her injured hand, she carefully unwrapped it from it's handkerchief cocoon. Unraveling the cloth away, seeing that even in the darkened vault of her bed that around the knick was a well formed bruise. Bringing it up to her mouth, she placed her lips on the cut in the middle of the bruise, giving it a little lick as if she were cleaning her wound.
"I never knew I could hit so hard," she mused to herself as she inspected her hand once again, laying it delicately on top of the blanket, bringing her non-injured hand to her face, rubbing her eyes in a bit of a frustrated gesture, "What am I on about? I never knew I would hit anybody. When did I become such a git?"
The view of the top of her canopy wasn't changing anytime soon, so with another sigh, she slowly sat up, pulling the drapes of the bed away. At a snail's pace, she put her bare feet to the cool floor, reaching over to her nightstand and opening the drawer; she removed the journal within along with ink and a quill, hugging and juggling the objects to her night-gowned self. With her other hand, she bunched the comfy blanket from her bed under her arm, soundlessly making her way through the room of sleeping girls to the door, opening it with the smallest of creaks; she made her way down the steps and into the Gryffindor common room.
"No one here." she thought to herself. Drifting slowly over to the fireplace, she came to rest at the cushiest chair she had ever known. Setting her journal, inkpot, and quill on the arm, she climbed in the chair, tucking her feet under herself as she sat, wrapping the blanket around herself, taking but a moment to enjoy the warm glow of the slowly dying embers of the once roaring fire.
Snuggling a bit deeper into her blanket nest, she took her journal in and opened to a new page. Setting the ink carefully on the arm, she dipped her quill, placing the tip on the fresh page and began to write.
What a first impression I must have caused throughout the school. Everyone must think I'm an absolute nutter…Well, probably most everyone outside Gryffindor that is, as most of my fellow housemates gave me a cheer when I entered the common room this past evening. Most everyone, save Harry. He didn't pay me much mind at all after dinner.
…Why does that make me feel so odd, Journal?
Hedwig looked up for a moment, brushing the feathery tip of the quill lazily on her chin as she contemplated her question for a moment.
Yes, I want him to notice me, I want to form a friendship with him once again and be by his side to listen to his late night thoughts again…I want to make him happy, to bring him out of this darkness that he's been in but keeps hidden to most. But…I want him to notice me.
But notice in what way? Yes, a friendship way, but…do friends feel their hearts race a bit more when they're near one another? Or feel flustered? Or just a bit wonky in general? Why do these feelings make me feel so confused? Why were my emotions so mad throughout the day about Harry?
Sighing, she rubbed her weary eyes with her free hand, quickly moving that hand to stifle a yawn, thinking that she should probably end this entry very soon before she dozed in the too restful chair.
Confusing thoughts to end a confusing, exciting day, it looks like. I guess being a witch will be a tad more difficult than I first realized…
Shannon A. Dumbledore
Closing her journal, she placed it under her inkpot along with her quill, burrowing a bit more deeper into her blanket, feeling her eyelids feel so obnoxiously heavy, the warm embers from the fireplace not helping whatsoever.
"Just a short rest, then I'll go back to bed." she convinced quietly to herself, closing her eyes for the briefest of moments as she burrowed further, head resting behind her journal on the arm of the chair now, not exactly realizing that her eyelids didn't open again, not realizing further still that sleep had finally taken her in a nice, light rest.
She was flying. Flying high above the ground, higher than she had ever flown. It was exhilarating, positively exhilarating! Arms outstretched on either side of her, the cold wind whipping through her hair, jumper and skirt thrashing about her wildly as she was going faster than she ever remembered going. It was simply amazing.
What was she doing up here though? Looking down at the bit of parchment tied to her ankle, she immediately knew: She was going to Hogwarts. To deliver this letter. And knowing this, she right away looked up and saw the grand castle in the distance, as if appearing from nothing, traveling high above now what had turned into the forbidden forest. She had to hurry, she just knew she had to.
But out of nowhere, she heard a voice behind her. Not knowing who the voice belonged to; she ignored it, keeping her destination in mind, not wanting to falter off course.
But soon, she recognized that voice. One she herself had grown accustomed to hearing throughout the years. She turned her head, seeing Harry James Potter off in the distance. Racing after her swiftly on his broom, Hedwig finally being able to hear what he was saying.
"HEDWIG!" he was bellowing into the wind over and over again as he chased toward her, gaining on her almost too quickly. Letting go of his broom, balancing on the flying branch, reaching out to her as he started to close the small gap of sky between them.
"HARRY!" she called back to him, rolling over on her back as she still flew high in the atmosphere, hands reaching out toward the wizard, finger tips just centimeters from his own.
Instead of grasping on to her hands though, he flew closer still, making Hedwig gasp as his arms enveloped the young owl turned witch, feeling pressed tightly against the wizard's chest, feeling secure, safe. She sighed, wrapping her arms around his shoulders, burying her face into his neck, feeling the sting of tears in her eyes as her arms squeezed him a tad tighter.
"Hedwig…I missed you." She heard Harry say softly, feeling warm droplets graze her cheek.
"Harry. I-I missed you too…so much."
Pulling away from her slightly, she saw that his eyes were glistening as he looked at her with such fondness. Taking one of his hands, he placed it gingerly on her cheek, leaning in just the slightest bit, their breaths mingling lightly.
"Hedwig…Hedwig…Hedwig…" he kept repeating, her name becoming softer as he was leaning in closer still, his lips just a jolt away… until a very confused look popped onto his face, his voice sounding just as confused.
"Shannon? You alright?"…
Hedwig woke with a start as she felt a hand on her shoulder shaking her lightly, this hand seeming to want to wake her. Sitting up in a split second, her eyes looking around wildly, not sure for a second as to where in the world she was. But spotting the now barely visible embers and seeing that her journal had flown to the floor in her panic (thank goodness that the top was on her inkpot), she knew she was in the Gryffindor common room. She also took note of the hand still on her shoulder.
Eyes moving up the arm of her human alarm, she could feel her cheeks burn as she saw none other than Harry Potter himself.
"You alright?" He repeated, his eyebrows raised slightly in surprise, "It's half-three in the morning, what are you doing down here?"
She looked away for a moment, biting her lip in thought. What was she doing down here? She shook her head when she remembered, blushing a bit more as she also remembered her dream, she nervously looked back up at the confused looking wizard.
"I-I came down to write a tad," Her tone was terribly groggy, "I guess I fell asleep." she raised her hands, rubbing her palms against her sleep laden eyes, feeling that a couple real tears had appeared, feeling too that Harry had taken his hand off her shoulder.
She now squinted her gaze up at him in a questioning look, "What are you doing down here?"
He gestured to a glass of water in his hand, raising an eyebrow at her, "Was thirsty. Saw that it looked like you weren't having the best dream," 'wrong', Hedwig thought a bit discouragingly, "and thought I'd be nice and wake you from it. Is that wrong?" Hedwig looked away, hearing that tone in his voice that meant he knew he was doing what he thought was right.
In a small voice, she answered, "No." still not looking up at Harry again.
"Good. Now I'm going back to bed. Goodnight, Shannon." and with that, she heard his footsteps walk toward the boys dorms, looking after him, raising a hand to his back as if she wanted to stop him… But she just let him go without another word, dropping her hand as he disappeared from her sight.
With a great sigh, she leaned over and picked up her journal and accessories for it, holding them in her lap as she stretched the kinks out of her joints.
Leaning in the chair, staring upon the now smothered pit of flames, she thought back to her dream. She had dreamed this dream before a few times, just not…to such extremities. Her cheeks flushed once more at the thought of Harry being in such a close range. Sure, he had held her in these dreams before, and said he missed her, but…it was never that intense, never had he held her that close. She blushed even further.
She had wondered time and time again what Harry had been doing without her, his owl, his pet, his non-speaking confidant as it were. She wondered if he missed her, if he had searched high and low for her, if he had sent out a bloody search party, just to bring his owl home!
She kind of smiled at that, looking back to the boys dormitories door, that smile fading from her lips.
"He doesn't show it, but he does miss me… doesn't he?" She asked herself aloud, starting to feel those emotions wanting to go rampant once more.
Now thinking back to her dream, not being able to help it, she was becoming more confused at the ever changing proximity of Harry's body. How much closer he got and how much more near his lips reached with each dream she had. She shook her head as the scarlet hue returned to her cheeks, feeling more baffled than ever.
Opening her journal once more, going back to her entry, jotting down with a quick scribble before she picked up her belongings and headed back up to bed:
Confusing thoughts indeed...
The Great Hall was extraordinarily animated as the first day of the new term started for Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Kids laughing, joking, chatting about their new classes, so many first years looking terribly nervous.
It was all so exciting for Hedwig. Yes, she probably felt as nervous if not more so than how the first years looked. But the excitement was winning out.
She woke early that morning and was there before most, finally being able to have a little something when most people were appearing as her stomach was just too full of butterflies earlier that morning.
Nibbling on a strip of bacon as she watched a heated argument between a Ravenclaw and a Gryffindor; she was surprised to hear a thump on the seat across from her. Looking over, she smiled as she saw Hermione sitting down with a very much larger than average book, the book making quite the larger noise than Hermione did as she set it down on the table.
"Morning, Shannon." she smiled herself, opening her book to a bookmark wedged about halfway into the book, taking a piece of toast and biting it right away as she started to read, Hedwig giving her a very curious look.
"Morning." She said, a bit unsure, thinking that that was the end of their conversation before it even began. With a small shrug of her shoulders, she reached to the middle of the table for a bowl, ladling a small amount of porridge for herself, deciding to add a spoonful of lemon jam as she spotted it out of the corner of her eye by the toast.
So they went on like that: Hermione reading her book as Hedwig kept up her people watching, now ensnared by a Hufflepuff, who looked to be a first year, trying to turn a goblet of water into rum. She nearly choked on a bite of her porridge when the goblet burst in the Hufflepuff's face, their face covered in soot, hair blown back in a comical way. She started laughing to herself, feeling a tad bad at the same time that she was sniggering at the poor Hufflepuff's expense.
"So, what class do you have this morning?" Hedwig heard Hermione say, looking over, surprised that she had stopped reading her book. She was also surprised that she was talking to her and not someone else.
With a bit of a stumble, she uttered simply with a smile, "Potions."
"Oh, I have that too!" she exclaimed, "I wasn't sure if any other Gryffindors would be in the class since Harry and Ron couldn't take it. I quite enjoy the subject myself. It's so interesting to me that a potion could go so pear-shaped with the smallest miscalculation," She went on, Hedwig truly feeling her enthusiasm for the class, "But where are my manners? You must have an apt for it if you're taking the class. How did your potion classes go at your old school?"
"I think they went alright. Better than average, I would say." Hedwig said as she thought to her potion lessons with the stark professor that most deemed 'the bat of the dungeons'.
"Well, if you ever need some help, I'd be happy to, as I'm sure some things differ from school to school."
Hedwig just smiled, not knowing how to respond, feeling almost bashful at the invitation for help. With a nod, she said in a low voice, "Thanks Hermione," the witch across from her smiling back.
"I can't believe that you were named Quidditch Captain! I mean, I can, but it's just brilliant!" Hedwig's head turned as she heard Ron's excited voice, spotting the red head gesturing wildly to a quite pleased looking Harry. This made her smile and then smile even more widely when he sat by her side once again with Ron taking the seat by Hermione.
"Did you hear? Harry made Quidditch Captain!" Ron beamed, pouring some juice in a just grabbed goblet.
"Yes I have, congratulations Harry, but more importantly," She paused for a bit of effect after quickly wishing him congrats, "Where have you two been? Breakfast is nearly done with." Hermione asked with a bit of an annoyed look. The two boys formed almost identical grins as they started digging into the food about them, Ron speaking first.
"No morning class, Hermione."
"Slept in." Harry chimed in, scooping some eggs onto his plate.
"Probably goof off for a while."
"Don't you think there are other matters to prioritize over rather than just goofing off?" Hermione said in an incredulous tone, closing her book a tad rather roughly.
"No, not really." Harry replied, starting to laugh along with Ron, Hermione cracking a smile, Hedwig doing the same.
"I sincerely hope you two get a bit of a better morning schedule than just goofing about," Hermione said as she was starting to stand, picking her book up as she did, "I have a book on hold at the library. I'll see you two later, and I'll see you in potions, Shannon." with a smile, she went on her way at a quick pace soon gone from The Great Hall.
"So Shannon," Hedwig's head turned rather abruptly, feeling rather surprised Ron was calling on her, "You wanna have a match before morning class?" he said as he took out a rather beaten up portable chess board from his bag, shaking it a little bit towards her as if trying to entice the witch, "I've beaten Harry so many times-" Harry gave him a glare and a bit of an incredulous 'Hey!' at that statement, "-that it'd be nice to play some new blood."
Hedwig smiled broadly, feeling terribly flattered that she had been offered, stirring her porridge a bit absentmindedly as she thought of her answer.
"Well I..." her words drifted off as the morning post was flying in, her eyes growing wide with disbelief as she spotted something that was not at all possible:
A snowy white owl.
A snowy white owl that was headed toward them.
That was getting closer and closer to Harry in what seemed slow motion. It had to be someone else's owl, right? At this table? In the same house?...Right? !
Soon, that-that... thing landed in front of Harry, Hedwig dropping her spoon in alarm, her heart starting to race as her hands grabbed the table edge in a tight grip, feeling as if she didn't, she'd hyperventilate into a coma. It looked exactly how Hedwig looked when she was an owl! How could this be? !
With a squawk, the bird stuck out it's leg, waiting patiently for Harry to take the note. He took the letter off delicately, giving the thing an appreciative pat and what made Hedwig's eyes go even wider, a genuine smile of thanks.
He gave her a bit of bacon, moving her up to his shoulder, the one closest to Hedwig, as he opened the letter.
All she could do was stare at the impostor perched up on Harry's shoulder, too many thoughts flying around, jumbling into one grand knotted ball that made it impossible to untie one of those thoughts free.
Suddenly, all she saw was red then, her eyes narrowing into slits as Harry gave the owl another pet, the owl in return giving him an affectionate nip. How dare the little berk do that with her owner!
"Shannon? You alright?" She heard Ron speak up, looking over to see his chess set in front of him on the table, setting the pieces up already. She shook her head and with the greatest difficulty, answered Ron in a semi calm way.
"I-I'm fine. Just...Merlin..." she started saying as she looked on the pair through the corner of her eye, seeing Harry...laugh. Laugh at another nip the faker gave him... Merlin help this bird with all the magic you can summon.
Hedwig, feeling much of that same kind of anger she felt the night before toward the rotten Slytherin, retaliated with her hand swinging backward at this bogus bird, her fingers grazing her, the bird freaking out slightly, screeching loudly, wings flapping wildly as her talons clutched onto Harry's shoulder. Harry, in turn, tried to calm the thing, the former owl at his side not at all pleased.
"Watch it!" Harry exclaimed, finally settling the bird down on the table, giving Hedwig quite the glare, one that could rival Snape's, honestly.
With a deep sigh, still feeling terribly upset, Hedwig thought of something quick.
"Sorry! Have a bit of tick, you see. My hand will just swing about out of nowhere- whoops!" she repeated the act, hitting Harry square in the shoulder this time, Harry grabbing his shoulder at the light slap. How dare he mistake that damn impostor for her!, "See? Don't know when the bloody thing will strike! As for a game, Ron, "she continued in an all too happy, overly loud voice, "I simply must decline as I planned to have tea with Uncle Albus before my class! Another time, though, yes?"
With that, she stood from the table, making a quick dash out of The Great Hall, it exploding into a run as soon as she was out of the room, the only destination on her mind was Dumbledore's office. Not for tea, not for a nice chat, but to find out where in the world that phony Hedwig came from.
YAY for new chapters! I know what quite a few are going to say for the 'fake Hedwig': "COP OUT!" But honestly, no, it's really not. :) I've been planning that scene for about as long as I've had the idea for this fanfic. So if you want to yell shenanigans, be my guest. ;D
On another note: No, Hedwig isn't overly aggressive. That's not the impression I'm trying to give her. To me in the books, she can just get terribly jealous over Harry (and be very protective, for that matter, like with slapping Draco the night previous in the story). So, she's not violent, really. You won't see any hitting from her for a very long time now. ;)
You'll get more of an explanation from Dumbledore about the owl at breakfast in the next chapter, and also, the potions class begins. :D
So, I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Until we meet again, have a lovely time.