Chapter 2 : Chapter 2: New Beginnings
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“You nervous Harry? About seeing him again?” Ron asks as I tie a small note for Dudley to my new owl’s foot. He’s a snowy owl like Hedwig; I thought I should get him because he’ll always remind me of her; his name’s Hedge.
“Little, I got to send this and see if he actually wants to see me first. It’s been almost a year since I saw him last remember?” I say. He shakes his head at me and rolls his eyes in a Hermione type fashion.... he’s spending far too much time with her. It’s still a little weird seeing my two best friends together.
“Oh yea.... I totally forgot about the whole Voldemort taking over the world thing” he said sarcastically. I finish tying the note to Hedge’s leg and watch him soar out of the owlery window.... well the giant hole where the window used to be; Hogwarts sure does need some repair work.
“Come on lets go help Hermione put the astronomy tower back in order” I say turning to leave.
“But that’ll take ages!” He yells in protest following.
It didn’t take long for Harry’s new owl to find me; he flew right into me while I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom. I nearly wet myself from the fright. He looks like Harry’s old owl; just he’s a little bigger and fluffier.
Let’s just hope you have enough brains to get this of Hedge (The owl) I was wondering if you’d like to meet me, here. At Hogwarts (my school in case you’d forgotten) it’s in real bad shape and needs some.... well a lot of work. We could use all the help we can get. Just send your reply back with Hedge. I’ll sort things out from there.
Blunt and to the point isn’t he? The bloody birds nipping at my fingers, he’s probably hungry. I hold out my arm and let him cling onto it and carry him to the kitchen.
It’s not very big, then again there’s only me living here and the rents dirt cheap. I leave the bird on a wooden chair and search through all the kitchen cupboards. They’re all empty, of course I already knew this but it was worth a shot. I hadn’t gone shopping yet, I’d been living off takeout food.
“Sorry Buddy I haven’t got anything. Stay here; I’ll go get some stuff. I’ll feed you then you can go back to Harry.” I tell the bird (not that it’s much use talking to a bird is it?) I put my coat on, I check all the windows are locked and slip out the front door carefully so he doesn’t fly off.
It’s still pretty cold for May so I pull my coat around me tighter. Not that it can get much tighter; I can’t believe I’ve never noticed how over weight I am. Note to self; start working out.
I walk to the pet shop which is just around the corner from my new flat. There are several shops in a row along here; the fish and chip shop, the £1 shop, the post office, the dairy shop where you can buy all the necessities. A little bell goes off as I walk into the shop; it’s noisy with all the animals but otherwise deserted.
I look around the shop helplessly, what the hell do you buy an owl? There are bird cages and seeds for budgie’s but nothing owl related.
“Can I help you?” Asks a voice from behind me. I jump out of my skin suddenly startled; I hadn’t even heard the store helper coming up behind me. Man I wish I had though she is.... WOW Tall, slim, brunette and what a figure! Oh crap I think she’s noticed I’m staring.
“Err.... yea, do you have owl food?” I stutter. She smiles bemused.
“Owl food? As in a wild owl?” she laughs.
“Err.... yea. It like keeps coming into my garden..... I..... I think he’s cute.” Man I sound like such a prat.
“Aww! That’s so sweet! You like nature? Well most owls hunt for themselves but there are some pellets you can get. Would you like an owl box too?” She asks sweetly. What in the world is an owl box?
“What’s an owl box?” She giggles at me, great now I know she thinks I’m a prat.
“It’s a small wooden box people like to put in their gardens for the owls to nest in, they’ve become real popular recently” She said pulling a large wooden box with a hole in it from one of the shelves. I just nod politely.
“Yea great! Thanks!” I say enthusiastically taking the box from her as she goes to find owl pellets. Ok Big D keep it cool keep it cool.
“Is there anything else I can get you?” she asks when she returns and begins tolling up my items. My next words slip out before I can stop them.
“Your number” I gasp and cover my mouth quickly, mumbling an ‘I am so sorry’. But I’m surprised when she smiles and pulls out a pen.
“Sure. Give me your hand” she asks outstretching her palm, I comply giving her my hand on which she scribbles her number and her name.
“Penny, what a lovely name” I say reading my hand, she blushes.
“And your name is?”
“Well it’s been a pleasure to meet you Dudley. Call me” she says handing me my bags, I smile and leave, I wait until I’m safely around the corner before jumping up and down in pleasure. Note to self; call Penny; the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.
Hedge flies straight into me hooting as soon as I open the door.
“Okay okay! Jesus Christ give me a minute!” I say shooing him and putting the bags on the bench top. I poured some pellets into a small bowl and left him to eat while I set up the owl box outside in the garden of the flat.
When I came back in Hedge was happily preening his feathers. I scribbled down my reply to Harry and carefully tied it onto the bird’s leg. As soon as it was secure and I’d opened the door the owl was off in flight.
Would love to come help, can’t wait to see you. Have so much to tell you.
“Well that’s good love isn’t it? That he wants to help?” Ginny says kissing my neck as I read Dudley’s letter out loud to her. She wraps her arms around my waist from behind and lays her head on my shoulder.
“Yea your right love, it is good” Since we were alone in the Gryffindor common room I risked kissing her forehead. She released her grip and came around to my front where I happily embraced her.
“Are you okay Harry?” she asked running her fingers along my chest.
“I’m fine, just a little tired. It’s me who should be asking you” I replied holding her tightly.
“The numbness of loosing Fred’s gone, but the grief’s still there; lingering” she replied softly, I felt her tears through my shirt. I ran my fingers through her flowing red locks and then wiped away her tears with my thumb.
“I love you Gin” I whispered
“I love you too” she replied kissing me. Her lips were moist and melted into mine. I kissed her back softly as we swayed on the spot, not wanting it to end.
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