The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF Snigle  Story: The Diricrawl in the Forbidden Forest  Chapter: Default
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Harry Potter and the Bowtruckle

The Diricrawl in the Forbidden Forest

 

The sound of leaves crunching on the ground awakens me.  I can feel my body become tense, then it becomes cold and I feel as if air is passing through me.  I open my eyes and look out into the darkness.  A shadow creeping over the ground shows evidence of something hiding the moon’s soft light.  I stare closely at the shadow, then my body relaxes and I close my eyes once more.  It is only children—three children that I know, though they know nothing of me.

 

They are coming to see Hagrid, with whom I am well acquainted.  Hagrid is a dear friend of mine—the one who found me so many years ago.  I had been fleeing from my home, which was destroyed, slowly, gradually, by the muggles who came in and chopped it down with loud, buzzing machines and awful, shiny blades.  I left when the last tree fell, in search of safety—in search of the fabled forests tended by wizards where no person cut down any tree.  I fly slowly and awkwardly because of my heavy weight.  I walk easier than I glide.  I struggled to find safe haven. My kind needs thick branches and sturdy bows.  I could find only concrete ground, skinny, steel trees with funny lights on top that were no good for nesting, and forests crowded with houses and people.  At last, weary from my long search, I collapsed on the strange, hard ground and waited to die.

 

I am a Diricrawl, or, as the muggles call me, a Dodo Bird.  The muggles all think I am extinct.  They don’t realize that there is more to their silly, fat, beloved dodo birds of myth than meets they eye.  Usually, we Diricrawl do not meet the muggle eye at all.  We possess the ability to become invisible.  Lucky for us.  Or not.  As the forests began to disappear ages ago, we realized what a threat the muggles really were, and we tried to use our invisibility to our advantage.  But even though we can turn invisible at will and thus escape the muggle invasion of our forests, we cannot recreate forests at will.  There are thousands less Diricrawl today than there were a hundred years ago.  I can run and even hide from the muggles’ harsh destruction of my home, but with no home to run to, I will die.

 

I would have died, in fact, if Hagrid had not found me lying there on the pavement near Diagon Alley.  In what I thought were my last moments of strength, I had turned visible again, conserving the energy it took to hide myself from the human eye in order to prolong my last breaths.  Hagrid took me up, nursed me back to health, and brought me here, to Hogwarts, to live in the Forbidden Forrest.  I am the only Diricrawl living here, though I have heard that some of my fellow Diricrawl have found shelter in other wizard forests.  We are not extinct, but I fear we may soon become extinct if the muggles continue to cut down our forests.

 

The children are in Hagrid’s hut now.  They are here to see Hagrid’s Hippogriff for the last time—he is being executed.  The thought makes my throat dry.  The children are Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, who have been working to help Hagrid to save his Hippogriff, and their friend, Harry Potter—the famous Harry Potter, who, like me, has no real home except for Hogwarts.  The Dark Lord, Voldemort, killed his parents.  It seems that even amongst the wizards, whom I usually think are much smarter than the muggles, there are some humans who are prone to waste and recklessness.  If only they could understand what a loss of energy and life it is to destroy human, beast, tree, bird, river or anything with such vitality as these beings possess.

 

The children have left the cabin, and they are creeping back under their cloak of invisibility.  I can see that they are walking slower now.  They have been forced to leave.  I hear another noise nearby, and I am startled to realize that the children must have somehow played with time.  There is a second Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, and another Hippogriff.  I hear a thud and a cry from Hagrid’s hut, and as I look at the second Hippogriff, I realize in a flash what has happened.  These are good children.  They respect life.  They have saved Hagrid’s Hippogriff.  I coo softly, and I forget that my call is now strange and lonely—the call of a creature who has lost its home and its family, and who cannot stand to see anything else taken from it.  The children walking from Hagrid’s hut hear my call, and they stop for a brief moment, startled.  The one named Harry Potter turns, looks out of the cloak, and sees my eyes in the dark.  We are locked in a stare for a second.  I can tell by the shadows in the boy’s eyes that Harry Potter and I are bonded in loss, past loss, and loss that is yet to come.  He pulls the cloak back around him quickly, and I see the shadow of the cloak become smaller as the children huddle together a little closer and then continue on, hidden and protected from the world for the time being.  I remember a time when I, too, felt that my invisibility could protect me, and I coo once more, my call a warning cry to the children, who are still so young and unaware of the tragedy they have left to face.  If only there was no destruction of life, they would never feel such tragedy.  I feel a tear drip down my beak.  Then, I set off an explosion of feathers as I lift heavily into flight, invisible again, and I soar above the Forbidden Forest.

 

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