The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF Elle Delacour (A.G.)  Story: Society to Prevent the Obliteration of Trees  Chapter: Default
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Society to Prevent the Obliteration of Trees

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 much Butterbeer.

      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 with me!”

      “Uh… no…” Hermione spoke up. “I really have to study. We’d better go.”

      “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 Shar.

      “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 concern.

      “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 Bowtruckles’ habitat.”

      “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 world?!”

      “What, Bowtruckles?” Harry asked.

      “No, people who care about the welfare of creatures! Shar is just like Hermione.”

      “Sometimes I think this world could use a few more Hermiones,” Harry replied as they followed the girls out of the forest.

//
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