A strange gathering of various life forms was assembled behind a ruined stone wall on the outskirts of Hogsmeade. A large black dog, a cat, a beetle, and two sticklike bowtruckles were gathered, waiting almost impatiently. As they sat, a large white owl dropped from the wings of the wind to land on the wall, surveying the gathering with large golden eyes.
A twig snapped with an air of intentionality, announcing the arrival of a gray tabby cat who looked most displeased.
'I apologize for my tardiness. Despite many students being off-grounds, I am, apparently, still in high demand as a teacher, counsellor, and personal confidant, among other things,' Professor McGonagall, for it was she, explained as she sat stiffly against a wall, sheltered from the light wind.
The dog whuffed in amusement. 'Well, Hogwarts always was kind of a busy place. Not much to be done about it.'
The Professor fixed him with a glare only a cat could muster.
'However,' she said coolly, 'We have another issue to discuss.'
The owl nodded gravely. 'The student, and the attempted spell.'
McGonagall sighed. 'Yes.'
The other cat, a scruffy ginger tom, sneezed and twitched his tail. 'Can't say there's much more to discuss. The tree's fine, the student wasn't tryin' to harm anyone, and pool ol' Wiggy got stuck with a complication. But where do we go from here?'
'That's what we were going to discuss, Crookshanks,' Hedwig said icily, spreading one snow-white wing to examine the white flakes gathering on the feathers.
'The spell, from what I've heard, seems to be a modification of the Dixus Charm, which is innocuous in itself, and seems to have inspired the Muggle items known as 'audiobooks'? However, this spell, charm, transfiguration- is much more, how shall I put it, aggressive.'
'I could discreetly advertise a request for known variations on this particular charm,' the beetle clicked. 'I know of one already- the one used to enchant my note-taking quill?'
'Oh, yes, we're all quite familiar with that,' the dog snorted. 'It's been plaguing Harry. And, honestly, as if anything coming out of you could be discreet! The Skeeter bug and Discreet don't mix.'
'Noted,' the beetle sniffed, disdain etched in every inflection of the word.
'If we could get back to the matter at hand?' McGonagall asked.
One of the bowtruckles leaped up and started clicking and whistling animatedly, waving its sharp fingers about. McGonagall pulled her tail out of the thing's way before turning to Rita Skeeter for help. 'You can talk to the things, I was told?'
The beetle sighed and clicked at the bowtruckle, eventually calming the sticklike creature down. 'It says our student nearly brought its tree to life,' she said. McGonagall's eyes widened. 'An ent?'
The bowtruckle nodded emphatically. It chirped some more, gesticulating wildly toward Hedwig.
'I knew it would happen,' the owl said quietly, 'And I had to prevent it. An ent running loose could be disastrous.'
'You were struck with the full spell,' McGonagall said gently. Hedwig nodded.
Crookshanks shook his head. 'So, what's it done to ya?' he asked.
'I'll show you.' Hedwig shimmered, just barely more magic than an animagus's shift evident in the transformation. A white-haired girl no more than fourteen, in Ravenclaw robes, sat on the wall where Hedwig had been.
A/N: Since I forgot to put this in the first chapter, updates on this will probably be few and far between until I figure out where this is going. Also: Thanks to everyone who's reviewed so far: Ludost, a guest called Little Monstah, and cjsmalley ! And so, this will be updated again, on pain of discontinued existence by cjsmalley!