- Vernon: "What does she mean, 'the normal way'?""
- Harry: "Normal for us, you know, owl post. That's what's normal for wizards."
- Vernon: "How many times do I have to tell you not to mention that unnaturalness under my roof?"
- — Harry Potter irritates his uncle by mentioning owl post inside 4 Privet Drive
Owl post is a wizarding system of sending messages or items using owls as the carriers. Besides the Owl Post Office, individuals and organisations with their own owls use them as their mail bearers — owls are employed by wizards in such numbers that is estimated that virtually all of them are either the property of the Postal Service or individual wizards. Harry Potter's owl, Hedwig, was used as his primary means of communicating with his friends and his godfather, Sirius Black. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had a number of owls that anyone at the school could use. They, along with students' personal owls, were kept in the Owlery.
It is also noted that owls can address 'real owners' under pen-names, as Hedwig did this as he wrote 'Padfoot' or 'Snuffles' and Hedwig successfully delivered these to Sirius Black. Though Harry might have said who to send it to, thus owls might be capable understanding of human speech.
Use of owls
Post owls are quite intelligent, and can usually find their mail's recipient with little to no direction.
Other birds can be used for delivering messages. Sirius Black, while in hiding, sent unspecified tropical birds as message carriers while communicating with Harry Potter, leading Harry to speculate that Sirius was hiding in a warmer environment than England. However, the preponderant bird used for messaging was the owl. Muggles have their own form of post and therefore do not use owls, nor were they generally aware that owls or other birds could be used for correspondence.
Behind the scenes
- It is possible to make oneself impossible to be traced by owl post; Sirius Black and Lord Voldemort both were able to do so to avoid having the British Ministry of Magic find them
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it may be illegal to send mail-bearing owls across international borders without authorisation.
- The non-canonical Educational Decree Number Forty-Seven required Hogwarts students to submit to their post being searched for illegal contraband. In the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix novel, Dolores Umbridge had her Inquisitorial Squad examine the post of all incoming owls, apparently regardless of student consent.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Pottermore (First identified as Owl Postal Service)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault