Harry flicked a bit of tinsel from Ginny's hair, smiling as she threw it in his face. Apart from the fiery glares Mrs. Weasly shot at Fred and George, the Christmas cheer resumed to full force. The smell of cooking turkey wafted through the warm air, as Hedwig wobbled through the room, giving the appearance of a toddler walking its first steps.

She smiled serenely, her arms occasionally flapping in the air, attempting to completely master her cumbersome limbs. She gave a faint resemblance to the Burrow's eccentric neighbor Luna Lovegood.

"Where'd Hermione and Ron run off to?" He asked, stuffing a perfectly glazed bun into his mouth.

Slapping him playfully on the shoulder, Ginny shook her head. "Honestly Harry, maybe if you were more observant…Well, their outside…"

"Doing what exactly?"

"You are quite thick sometimes." Yet, she smiled planting a chaste kiss on his cheek.

The pair turned to Hedwig. Watching as she quickly brought her head down on a treacle tart, they chuckled. Harry's bird had proved to be an interesting asset to the Weasly clan.

"If I see one more experiment, lying around this house, I will go down to that joke shop and close it down myself! Don't you give me that face George Weasley, if touch so much as a hair upon her head …" Mrs. Weasley screetched.

"Yes mum, we're sorry." The two hung their heads low, sharing a smile.

Molly didn't seem to notice; she huffed back into the kitchen, taking her wrath out on the poor raw turkey.

Hedwig looked up, her brown eyes wide as smiled lightly at Harry. Her mouth opened as if she was to say something. Fred and George had other plans.

Seizing the absence of their mother, the twins swiftly fell next to Hedwig, eagerly watching her every move.

Harry sat up, nervously watching them. If they did something else to her….

George spoke first, " So, Hedwig, have you been liking human life?"

Hedwig smiled, nodding slightly.

"Do you have any mutations we should know about, sharp pains, dizziness, nausea?"

Hedwig cocked her head; her fingers extended and put her hand on George's hair.

He shifted uncomfortably, nervously eyeing her pale figure.

Fred scribbled something down a scrap of napkin.

Hedwig kept her round eyes on George, her hand lightly touching his vibrant hair.

"G-George" She said quietly. Her scratchy voice drawing the attention of all spectators.

"George! What did I tell you about-"?

"Mum she was touching my hair, I didn't even go near her!"

Hedwig shied away, turning to the company of owls perched upon the sill.

"Fred and George Weasley get into the kitchen NOW!" Molly brandished a rolling pin dangerously.

Ignoring their mother, they both slumped down on the rug next to Harry, and shook their heads knowingly.

"Sorry about your bird Harry. "

"Mum's practically gone mental, we've told her it will fade in a two days, not like it's permanent. "

"Yet look at her, " Fred grimaced " Becoming attached to the creature of question."

If anything, their furious mother was only more incensed.

The twins groaned.

Harry took another bite from his sticky bun. In truth, Mrs. Weasley had become attached to Hedwig. They all had.

She provided a laugh in these dark times, something they used to keep their minds off of the looming threat Lord Voldemort created.

Now that she had begun to speak it made her all the more interesting. Not to mention her apparent fascination with George.

Things could only become more interesting.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Harry started awake, his chest heaving, sweat rolling down his temple. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Harry pulled off the covers. The cold hit him like a wall.

Staring at the empty owl cage he couldn't help but feel a little bit lonely. Ron's snores ripped through the silence.

Just one peek; make sure she is still here, talk to her, see her...

Muttering to himself, Harry padded across the icy floor.

Just to make sure Hedwig really was still here, still safe inside the Burrow, maybe they could... Opening, Hermione and Ginny's door, he gave a quick scan.

No owl. No Hedwig in the dinning room, kitchen, bathroom, living room.

Running now, Harry pushed open the Weasley's front door, clenching his teeth as the snow stabbed his exposed feet.

She wasn't there…

"Harry!" Her scratchy voice called. His head snapped up, his momentary relief replaced with horror.

"Hedwig, what are you doing up th-"

Her orb eyes shown in the night, as she whispered.

"I will fly."

~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~**~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Sorry I didn't update, there is really no excuse, I am a procrastinator at heart. Thank you for reading; I'll make the next chapter longer!

What's to come, any ideas? Any CC?

How can I not thank all reviewers? Thank you so very very much for sticking with the story, your comments make my day!

~Julie