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The crunch of leaves under tiny paws was the only sound over creaking branches and the cold wind. A hawk wheeled overhead as Ollivander and Benjamin walked slowly along the trail. The hawk let out its shrill cry and dove down. This would normally have been a cause for alarm, sending them running in any direction, but instead the creatures stood still and watched the bird of prey drop like a stone towards them, its wings tucked to its sides, streamlined and lethal.

Mere feet from the ground, the hawk’s wings came out and talons opened, landing right for them; the gust of wind sent leaves flying toward the otter and ferret.

“Horatio” the beaver shook his fur “bloody show off” he muttered with a grin and Ollivander tried his best to stifle a giggle.

“Lovely day for a stroll, or a quick loop through the clouds” Horatio replied with a smile and shook his wings as he tucked them to his sides “Say, Benjamin, would you mind coming over later? I have a rather tricky part of the nest I need redone and would appreciate your advice on the subject.”

“Sure” Benjamin said with a smile “I’ll come over tomorrow?”

“Lovely, Helen found a beautiful piece of mahogony they other day, if you and Beverly would join us after your consultation?”

Benjamin’s smile broadened “Sounds great, see you then.”

Horatio returned to the skies, Benjamin and Ollivander continued along the path, crashing through piles of leaves, sending the colorful bits flying into the air and scattering them into the path they left beind. The crisp day was so clear that they ended up walking much farther than they ever had before, looking out on fields they had never visited and mountains that had once been too distant to view.

They also found a small path that broke off from the main trail, through brambles and undergrowth, down off the high trail and out of sight. There