We know that owls are treated as pets and are used to carry letters.

But I was wondering if there is an explanation for how it works as there are lots of questions around the topic, such as:

  • How are the letters screened for Dark magic and curses?
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    Your second question has already been answered here: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/15304/…, so you might want to edit that out and just limit it to the first – Machavity May 7 '19 at 15:53
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    And, how do owls deliver letters directly to a person irrespective of wherever they are on the planet? – Umbrella Corporation May 7 '19 at 16:52
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    Why didn't aurors mailed a letter to Sirius Black and followed that owl to catch him in 3rd book? – Umbrella Corporation May 7 '19 at 16:53
  • @i-love-you-3000 is it a good practice to add those questions to the question as well? – Gonçalo Peres 龚燿禄 May 7 '19 at 18:34
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    No. Ask separate questions if they haven't been already asked. – Umbrella Corporation May 7 '19 at 18:37

Screening for curses

There is no indication that owl deliveries are screened, at all (except for at specific institutions such as Hogwarts during Umbridge’s time). This is why Harry believes it was possible (in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) to have received a curse by owl:

“Someone’s sent it to him by owl, then,” he said. “His mother or someone.”

“All the owls are being checked too,” said Hermione. “Filch told us so when he was jabbing those Secrecy Sensors everywhere he could reach.”

This, actually, provides an example for the fact that owls are not usually screened, but are screened at specific institutions.

Furthermore, Hermione receives Undiluted Bubotuber Pus in the mail, and this owl post was obviously not screened:

She had opened the last envelope, and yellowish-green liquid smelling strongly of petrol gushed over her hands, which began to erupt in large yellow boils.

"Undiluted bubotuber pus!" said Ron, picking up the envelope gingerly and sniffing it.

Intercepting owls

The answer to this should be fairly obvious. They just throw a stone at the owl or, more likely, shoot a spell at it to intercept it in midair. This is probably what Dobby was doing.

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