Society to Prevent the Obliteration of Trees
By Elle Delacour (A.G.)
Harry, Hermione, and Ron had just finished the first week of
their 6th year at Hogwarts. It was Friday night and they were exhausted after a
full day of classes. They had a great deal on their minds- after all, a lot had
happened to them during the past year.
So if anyone had come up to those three and told them that
evening they’d have an eye-opening experience in the Forbidden Forest with a
tree-loving Canadian, they would merely roll their eyes and say you’d had too
However, that’s exactly what happened to the three of them on
that Friday night. They had gone to Hagrid’s cabin at the edge of the Forbidden
Forest for a quick visit, but Hagrid wasn’t home.
Turning around to return to Gryffindor Tower, they saw
an unfamiliar girl jogging down towards the cabin. They stood and watched her
approach. When she reached them, she flashed them a big smile and, panting,
took her bag off her shoulder and set it on the ground by her feet. Harry, Ron,
and Hermione noticed that there was a large red maple leaf patch sewn to the
front pocket of the bag.
The girl extended her hand out to Harry. “Hi! My name is Shar D.
Woods. I just started here at Hogwarts. I’m an exchange student from Canada!”
Harry opened his mouth slightly, momentarily taken back by her
forwardness and her cheerful Canadian accent. “Um… hi… I’m Harry.”
Shar turned to Ron and Hermione and also shook their hands, then
stepped back, still smiling at them all. She had a flower tucked behind one of
her ears, and her long, brown hair fell down almost to her waist. “So,” she
said brightly, “is the Care of Magical Teachers teacher here? Hagrid?”
“Uh… no… not right now,” said Ron.
“Oh,” her face fell slightly. “Ah well. I was just looking for
some Bowtruckles. You know… tree guardians. I breed them for fun. I thought
maybe Hagrid might let me help him raise a few for one of his classes. Then I’d
release them into the wild, of course.”
“Of course…” echoed Harry, not exactly sure what to say.
“So…” continued Shar, “Maybe… maybe I could just go into the
forest and find a few! They’re my favourite creatures, you know… so caring and
devoted, protecting the trees all the time. Hey, you three should come along
“Uh… no…” Hermione spoke up. “I really have to study. We’d better
“Oh no, Come with me for just a few minutes,” insisted Shar, as
she edged towards a path leading into the Forbidden Forest. “You do know what
Bowtruckles are, don’t you?”
“Of course we know what Bowtruckles are!” Hermione was obviously
rather affronted, and followed after Shar, quickly reciting everything she knew
about the tree-dwelling creatures.
Shrugging, Ron and Harry followed the girls into the forest.
“… and Bowtruckles are found mostly in the west of England,
southern Germany, and some Scandinavian forests.” rattled off Hermione.
“Ah,” said Shar, “That’s what a lot of European wizarding
communities think. But actually Bowtruckles were also introduced into Canada in
the late 1960’s by environmental activists who were against the logging
industry’s devastating impact on Canadian forests.”
Hermione was quiet and looked slightly put off.
“So how many wizards are there in Canada?” asked Ron.
“Actually, quite a lot,” Shar replied. “There’s a lot of sparsely
inhabited wilderness in Canada – plenty of space for wizarding communities to
flourish away from Muggle eyes.”
“Do you all live in igloos?”
“Ron!” Hermione responded. “How thick are you? Of course Canadian
wizards don’t live in igloos!” She glanced at Shar, who was now staring at some
branches of a tree. “Do you?”
“Most of us don’t,” Shar answered, still carefully inspecting the
tree. “Though there are a few crazy wizards in the province of Quebec who live
in houses made of blocks of clear ice in the winter…”
Hermione sighed, becoming increasingly impatient. “Come on
Harry,” she muttered. “Let’s go back.”
But Harry was also looking at the tree. “Look, there’s one,” he
exclaimed, pointing to a low, leafy branch.
Shar’s hand shot out and nabbed the Bowtruckle, a small brown
creature that looked like a lump of bark and twigs.
“Wicked cool, eh?” She said, admiring it. “Thanks, Harry.”
Hermione just stood there with her arms crossed.
“So do Bowtruckles get a lot of respect in Canada?” Ron asked
“Well,” sighed Shar, “not really. Unfortunately logging is a
really big industry in Canada and Bowtruckles are being killed off by Canadian
Ministry of Magic officials. They are worried that the increasingly large
number of Muggle loggers who mysteriously become blind while out chopping down
trees may attract too much attention from the non-magical Canadian community.
In fact, there was a surge in injuries caused by disgruntled Bowtruckles not long
ago… the Ministry covered it up by informing the public that all of the injured
loggers were actually hospitalized with some sort of flu-like disease.”
“But what’s going to happen to the Bowtruckle population in
Canada?” asked Hermione, her expression softening and voice filled with
“Well… they’d be fine if people stopped cutting down the trees.
In other words, Muggles and magical folk alike need to demand less paper and
wood products and use more recycled materials in their everyday lives.”
“So… what if…” began Hermione, thinking carefully. “Maybe we
could start an organization. To help preserve and raise awareness of the
“You mean to help save our forests?”
Hermione nodded. “Yes. We just need a catchy name for our group…”
“Oh no,” said Ron and Harry in unison.
“Not again…” Ron moaned, shaking his head.
“I know!” exclaimed Hermione. “How about ‘SPOT’! Society to
Prevent the Obliteration of Trees!”
“Wicked!” said Shar, setting the Bowtruckle carefully back onto
the tree branch. “Let’s go to the library and make up some badges!”
“Great idea!” agreed Hermione, and they rushed down the path and
back up to the castle.
Ron turned to Harry. “Who knew there were more of them in this
“What, Bowtruckles?” Harry asked.
“No, people who care about the welfare of creatures! Shar is just
“Sometimes I think this world could use a few more Hermiones,”
Harry replied as they followed the girls out of the forest.