Chapter 1 : Woes of a Midget Owl
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Woes of a Midget Owl
Pigwidgeon was sad.
Hiding himself in the topmost rafters of the owlry, he let tears flow down his soft feathers. The fat little bird had never felt so much rejection and neglect in his life.
Ron hated him. He knew it—Ron was so ungrateful for him.
And it had all started out so well. At the end of the last year, on the Hogwarts Express, Ron had received him with open arms and a wide grin on his freckled face. And the rest of the Weasleys simply loved the midget owl. They didn’t even ask too many questions about where he came from. They all loved him just the same. Pigwidgeon was happy.
Then Ginny gave him his name—Pigwidgeon. The tiny owl rather liked it, but felt strongly against the nickname Ron thrust upon him: “Pig.” What kind of name was that? Rather insulting, the poor owl thought, to be associated with such a fat, smelly animal.
"Then again," Pigwidgeon thought, "I am fat (even if I’m not so tall), and I’m most definitely smelly."
When Ron had taken him off to school, everything started going downhill. Ron called him rubbish. Ron called him a stupid, feathery git. Ron called him a show-off. Ron called him every nasty name that a guy could dream up. Pigwidgeon tried to put on a happy face and pretend that all this didn’t affect him, but inside it tore him apart.
Which was why, on Christmas night, he perched in the highest, most hidden niche in the owlry, crying his eyes out. Ron hadn’t even come to visit him on Christmas day. No, he was probably in his dormitory right now, preparing for a rousing, exhilarating evening at the Yule Ball.
A soft rush of wings lifted his feathers, and a snowy owl landed on the beam beside him. It was Hedwig. Pigwidgeon’s heart jumped into his owlish mouth as he stared at his idol. Hedwig, the perfect owl! She was a dedicated mail carrier, a calm and collected bird, highly revered by all the other owls in Hogwarts, and—oh, he felt ready to swoon—drop-dead gorgeous.
“Hoot?” inquired Hedwig, which meant, “What’s the matter Pigwidgeon? Why so glum on Christmas day?”
When Pigwidgeon didn’t answer, Hedwig continued. “Hoot,” she said, placating. This meant something along the lines of, “Come on, you can tell me. I’m always here to listen.”
There was another few seconds of silence, in which the only sounds they heard were the distant hoots of their fellow owls below them and the drafts of wind that blew through the owlry.
Then Pigwidgeon opened his mouth and let out a pathetic, “Hoot.” This, translated roughly, meant, “Everybody hates me.”
Hedwig cocked her head to one side and stared intently at Pigwidgeon. “Hoot?” she inquired, which meant, “How so?”
“HOOT!” Pigwidgeon wailed in anguish, which is translated as, “Ron hates me! He pays no attention to me and calls me nasty names! He embarrassed me in front of some third-year Hufflepuffs this week and he manhandles me in the most ungracious manner. . . ALL THE TIME!! I’ll bet he’s wishing he had Scabbers back instead of me! It’s animal cruelty, AND I CAN’T BEAR IT!!” Poor Pig burst into tears again.
Hedwig fluttered into the air a foot or so, then landed again, closer to Pigwidgeon than before. She put a snowy white wing around the poor owl. “Hoot,” she said softly, which meant, “There, there.”
Pigwidgeon sobbed his heart out into Hedwig soft, comforting wing. He had bottled up his feelings too long to hold them back. For a full minute he cried into the snowy owl’s warm, fluffy body.
“Hoot,” Hedwig reassured Pig, once his tears had subsided. She had said, “Don’t worry about it, Pig. That’s just how Ron is. For the four years I’ve know that redhead, he’s done nothing but complain about his pets. During his whole first and second year, he wailed about what a terribly pathetic rat Scabbers was. Yet when it appeared that Crookshanks had eaten him, Ron was heartbroken.”
“Hoot?” Pigwidgeon asked, which, in owl language, meant, “Really?”
“Hoot,” Hedwig answered, which meant. “Really. Ron loves you, Pig. He’s grateful to have his own owl. None of his other brothers—except for Percy—have their own pet owl. They’ve had to share Errol. So that makes you special in Ron’s eyes, even though he never shows it.”
“Hoot,” Pig said irritably, which meant, “I guess you’re right, but I still wish Ron didn’t complain about me so much. I wish I had a master like yours—Harry simply loves you.”
Hedwig nodded her feathery head and said, “Hoot.” This meant, “Yes, he does. But he has is own turns of getting fed up with me. Earlier this year he rudely snapped at me, even thought I had just come back from the longest, most tiring mail delivery of my life. Then in November he wouldn’t let me send mail to Sirius any longer. Those were times when I felt unwanted, but I understand his attitude now. He gets frustrated sometimes, and he might takes it out on me. Ron’s the same way.”
“Hoot?” Pigwidgeon said, looking up at Hedwig with wide eyes. This meant, “Really? So I guess Ron does appreciate me.”
“Hoot,” Hedwig replied, which—once again—meant, “Really.”
Pigwidgeon snuggled into Hedwig’s wing, breathing in her feathery aroma. He had always had a crush on this snowy owl, ever since he’d seen her for the first time last June. But now. . .
His feelings were much stronger than simply a crush on a gorgeous, regal bird. Hedwig had a heart of gold, and she had bestowed it upon Pigwidgeon that day.
“Hoot?” Pig said, which meant, “Hedwig?” He stared up into her amber eyes and whispered, “Hoot.” This meant, “Thanks for everything.”
The two owls took flight, and they fluttered from their nook and into the open expanse of the owlry. In midair, they nuzzled beaks in an owlish kiss. A joyful melody soared in Pigwidgeon’s heart as his tiny beak slid smoothly over Hedwig’s. From below the school owls clacked their talons appreciatively, which was their way of applauding the two lovers.
For the longest time the two owls held their kiss. Then they broke apart, ever so slowly, both of them smiling at each other. “Hoot,” Hedwig said softly, which meant, “Come, my dear Pigwidgeon. Our masters are at the Yule Ball, going with most unsatisfactory, last-minute dates. But you and I—we’ll have our own Yule Ball together, and we both have our first-choice dance partner.”
Pig kissed her again, and the two flew off wing-in-wing to the Forbidden Forest to catch mice for a Christmas feast, then to dance an owlish dance above the trees’ snow-laden branches.
A/N: This was my first fanfiction. I plan to write more that are just as. . . “creative.” Please review. It’ll put a smile on my face and the motivation to further my fanfiction career. If you liked this story, please read my new fanfic, "Buckbeak's Ferret Dinner." It's about Buckbeak (duh) getting over Sirius's death--I'm quite pleased with it.