Fern Blackburn

Wings of Chaos

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Fern was only three-quarters of the way done with writing her letter home, but she figured she would head to the Owlery anyways. She typically addressed all three members of her family separately in her owls home, writing them each a few paragraphs and she always struggled the most with her father's portion. Harvey was easy, just tell him about dueling. Mum was easy, convince her dueling was educational (and Fern had a million counter arguments to back up this theory) and she was doing well in all of her classes, which wasn't a lie, but her dad.. he still thought that Hogwarts was a sham and the Ravenclaw was tired of trying to convince him otherwise. She figured she would brainstorm what to tell him as she skipped to the Owlery.

 

The problem with that plan, though, was the Owlery was close to Ravenclaw tower and it wasn't enough time to figure out the right words. She stepped inside the circular room, the now-familiar scent of owl droppings and stale feathers filling her nostrils. Her long brown hair swished behind her and Pendleton, her pygmy puff remained nuzzled up on her shoulder where he'd been hanging out for the last hour or so. She pulled the parchment out of her pocket and frowned, her brows furrowing together. She unrolled the thick yellow paper and pressed it against the wall and shrugged, quickly scribbling away about how she wished she was home instead, since that'd make him happy. Unnecessary rambling was a specialty of Fern's.

 

She folded the letter neatly and slipped it an envelope before her blue eyes scanned the room around her and she sighed. Her mum was so terrified of birds that she wouldn't even send an owl and made her brother do it instead. Fern longed for one of her own, especially since they were so useful- and maybe because also finding a decent owl to hold still long enough to tie a letter to it's leg was an actual nightmare- but sweet little Pendleton would do for now. She hummed under her breath absent-mindedly as she circled the room, oblivious to the fact that she wasn't alone anymore. 

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Though Margaret more often than not found herself by herself, whether she was in the common room or outside on the lawn, she never felt too down. Other than the fact she was simply an introvert and enjoyed a bit of isolation now and then, Margaret had her eagle owl to keep her company. He wasn't half the perfect nap time pet her cat at home was, but whenever Margaret wanted some company, she could rely on him to stare her straight in the eye and hoot, as if telling her, "Get out, little child! Go talk to a human being."   

 

Franz was a bit like Margaret, in that he liked to be alone, though he was far more serious, intimidating, and bold. And as much as Margaret liked to keep Franz to herself, she knew that he needed owls to keep him company. It was much like the way she was: though she avoided large groups and gatherings of people, Margaret needed to talk to another person at least a few times  week to maintain her sanity. It had to be similar for Franz, so as a result, Margaret found herself heading up to the owlery more frequently than she would've liked.

 

The owlery wasn't the cleanest place in the castle (which made no sense to Margaret because there were spells to keep things clean?) but she made the sacrifice, her heart lifting every time Franz hopped about to greet other owls. Depending on the hour, it was usually empty, too. On this particular day and time, however, there was a familiar figure with a little puffy object on her shoulder --

 

-- "Franz, no!" Margaret shrieked as her eagle suddenly torpedoed down to Fern's pygmy puff, beak wide open.

 

There once was a pygmy puff named Pendleton...


Edited by Margaret Schoenberger
umm I forgot a word

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One second, Fern was humming to herself and trying to decide which owl looked like the friendliest, and the next, she was being dive-bombed. She heard a voice shriek half a second before the impact, but it was too late. The owl's talons twisted in her hair as she felt them tighten around Pendleton and she entered a state of panic. She dropped her letter and ripped her wand out of her pocket and bellowed "Aspergo! Aspergo!" aiming at the owl attacking her pygmy puff.

 

The stream of water wasn't the strongest she could produce- she would be downright embarrassed had the feeble , unstable pressure had erupted from the tip of her wand mid-duel- but Pendleton's life was in jeopardy, okay? She felt the ball of fluff lift of her shoulder along with some of her long, dark hair and she finally got a chance to aim properly. The jet of water hit the owl on it's feet and then up towards its body and it's grip seemed to loosen enough for Fern to grab the blue puff and cling him tightly to her chest, her heart pounding so hard it probably was hurting the poor thing's ears. 

 

The Ravenclaw finally looked across the room and saw Margaret standing at the opposite end of the owlery, looking just as distraught as she was. "M-Margaret!" Fern squeaked, frantically looking throughout the owlery. "I- was that your owl? Is he okay? Oh, I hope I didn't hit him too hard- the stream was weak- WHERE IS HE!?" she couldn't even form a full sentence, she was so worked up. She lifted Pendleton away from her chest, and he seemed alright, just scared, and hugged him inside her robes while he worked his way back up to her shoulder, hiding under the fabric this time.

 

She hadn't gotten a good look at the owl in particular, and they all kind of looked the same to her anyways- what if she somehow hurt the poor thing? Thank merlin her instinct was just a shower charm and not to set it on fire or something instead. And if she somehow had hurt the bird, then any chance of becoming better friends with the Hufflepuff probably went out the window. Fern grimaced as she looked around the room, now drenched with water, and the scent of wet owl droppings combined with what had just happened made her stomach churn. 

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What was she supposed to do? Margaret was too short to jump up and grab her owl, not to mention Franz was a huge eagle owl and not the easiest pet to regain control of. And while she was protective of her bird, Margaret couldn't and didn't blame Fern for shooting water at him. Pendleton to Fern was what Franz was to Margaret, and if Fern's tiny pygmy puff had somehow grown fifty times his size and attacked the owl, Margaret, too, would've sent spells his way (stronger than water, though this is assuming Margaret knew more than the shower charm. HINT: she didn't).

 

"Franz! Franz!" Margaret hopped up and down pathetically, trying to grab at whatever she could, though her vision was temporarily blinded by a flurry of feathers and droplets of water. Somehow, in all this madness, Fern managed to rescue her pygmy puff, and only then noticed Margaret trying (but failing) to help. "Um, Fern! N-no, it's not your fault - don't-" 

 

Clearly, Fern wasn't ready to calm down yet. "It's okay! Don't - don't worry! I see him. Just... take a deep breath. And, um, where's your little puff?" Margaret eyed the lump moving around Fern's shoulder under her robes; that had to be Pendleton. And if he could squirm around just fine, he wasn't dead. It wasn't that Margaret actually cared about the pygmy puff. She just wanted to make sure Franz hadn't taken a huge bite out of the blue creature, for that would surely tarnish their reputation: Franz the Uncontrollable Beast and Margaret the Irresponsible Owner. Plus, she wasn't quite ready to lose one of the first friends she'd made at Hogwarts.

 

Spotting Franz's angry orange eyes through the mess they'd created, Margaret stretched out her hand and clucked her tongue. He refused to come out from the corner and began to clean himself, ignoring Margaret. "Well, um... okay, I - he's okay, he'll get over it," Margaret shrugged, hiding the embarrassment and hurt in her voice. (It wasn't her fault he got wet, okay!?) "As long as your little pet's okay... is that - he? she? - a pygmy puff?"

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Thankfully, one of the two witches had their wits about them after that fiasco (hint: it wasn't Fern). The Ravenclaw nodded, her heart beat finally starting to slow down. "I- I think he's okay." she replied. She could feel the tiny ball of fluff quivering a bit underneath her robes as he pressed himself into the crook of her neck and lifted her hand up to pat him and added "Just scared, is all."

 

Luckily Margaret didn't seem too upset about the whole water thing. To be fair, most owls she had met could stand to take a bath. "Too bad I don't know the Freezing Charm." she muttered. That way she could have just like, paused Franz, grabbed Pendleton, and the owlery wouldn't smell awful like it did right now. Of course the studious witch had tried before, but she was still basically a first-grader in the wizarding world and had no suck luck, and an incident like that wouldn't have been the time to try anyways. 

 

"Um.. do owls usually do that? Try to grab pygmy puffs? I mean, I guess they're small under all that fluff kind of like mice and stuff.." she let her voice trail off, hoping that didn't sound accusatory. She was just looking for an explanation, more than anything. Maybe it wasn't normal and Franz was just mean anyways, for all she knew.

 

Her blue eyes scanned the room, looking at the damp feathers clinging to the wall and droppings dripping their way down the stone, now wet from the shower she'd give the small tower, and wrinkled her nose. "Sorry, I just have to.. Scourgify!" Fern could be such a goody-two shoes sometimes.

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