A Risk Worth Taking
Magellan Ollivander had not had such an intriguing
customer in a long time. The boy had
tried most of the ordinary wands in his shop, and even some of the rarer ones,
with now success. Ollivander was now in
the back room, where he kept his most interesting wands. He reached to the back of the shelf and
pulled out a very dusty, slightly cobwebby box. He had not taken this wand out for years; it had singed the
fingers of everyone who had tried it.
He studied the box. This wand
had always seemed slightly sinister to him.
He would certainly never forget the day he had made it…
In the days when Voldemort was at the
height of his power, Ollivander did a brisk business replacing wands that were
lost or damaged. He was almost out of materials;
unfortunately, it was not safe to go roaming about the country searching for
the woods and magical substances he needed.
So he wrote to his old friend, Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts’
school. Might he come and search the
Forbidden Forest for the materials he needed?
Dumbledore replied of course, it would be wonderful to see his old
friend. In fact, if Magellan could come
tomorrow, he would accompany him into the forest.
next day, Ollivander arrived at Hogwarts’ at the agreed upon time. Albus Dumbledore was waiting for him in the
“Magellan! How good to see you! I wish this could be like one of our old
rambles, but I fear it will be just a shadow of those good times.”
“It has been a
long time, my friend. I am afraid that
it will be quite a while longer before we can have a carefree day again. How are things at Hogwarts? Have you had any luck engaging a new
“Yes, just last
week I hired a most qualified young lady.
It is a glorious day for a walk in the woods, shall we get started,
Ollivander and Dumbledore spent an enjoyable
morning wandering around the forest, stopping occasionally to gather items that
Ollivander needed. Dumbledore was a
great help. He was most adept at
distracting Bowtruckles with wood lice; he occupied a unicorn long enough for
Magellan to collect some of its tail hairs, he even convinced a wood nymph to
give him a lock of her tresses.
They were quite far into the forest now. The trees grew so thickly that they shut out
the sun. Suddenly, they emerged out of
the thick undergrowth into a small, grassy clearing. Sunlight slanted down through the surrounding trees, striking a
magnificent Holly that grew at one end of the oval space. It was the largest Holly Magellan had ever
seen; it’s shiny green leaves looked as big as his hand. On the other side of the clearing stood a
circle of close set, tall stones. The tree’s
shadow fell directly into a gap in the circle, disappearing into the darkness
within. He stood gaping at it for
Albus, why have you not shown me this before?” He whispered.
does not come here without great need.
It is an ancient, hallowed place.”
they stepped into the clearing, strange things began to happen. The light faded, as if the sun had gone
behind a cloud. Fawkes appeared in a
burst of smoke and flame, dropped a feather at Ollivander’s feet, and settled
on Dumbledore's shoulder. As he bent to
pick up the feather, Magellan noticed an aged centaur standing in the gap in
the stone circle. Her snowy white hair fell to the ground around her front
hooves, which were also white. She wore
a crown of Holly upon her head.
comes unasked to the Heart?” Her voice was clear and imperious, but not
unkind. Upon closer inspection,
Ollivander realized that she was blind.
It is I, Albus Dumbledore.” Dumbledore replied.
Dumbledore. You have another with
you. It is time, then.” Her voice had become sad.
Maithair, it is. You are willing to
make the sacrifice?”
“Yes. I have always given when there was need.”
She smiled, as radiant as the sun.
“However, you still have not told me what you require, Albus
bowed. “My deepest thanks to you
Maithair. What we ask will perhaps be
the most difficult to give. For we need
a branch from the Heart.”
was beginning to feel as if he had wandered unawares into an important
meeting. Then he realized what the
branch was for.
He began, but Dumbledore silenced him with a wave of his hand.
centaur finally spoke again. “What you
ask, it may have a great cost.”
am sure it will, in the end. I am
willing to pay it.” Dumbledore replied
“You do not understand. The cost may not be yours to pay. It is possible that it will be paid by
is a risk worth taking. It may save us
generations of strife.”
see you will not by swayed.” She sighed.
“It has always been so with your kind.
Very well.” She went to the tree
and placed her hands on the bark. The
tree began to quiver. Then, quite
suddenly, a small branch fell from the top of the tree.
it, and leave this place. I must rest
now.” And she turned and disappeared into the stone circle.
picked up the branch.
Phoenix feather…it is meant to go with this Holly.”
it is.” Dumbledore sounded as if a great weight had fallen on his shoulders.
wand…. it will be very much like…” His voice trailed off
It will. It is time, now, to go home.”
two men turned and left the clearing.
wonder now—yes, why not—Holly and Phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and
handed the wand to the boy. He would be
able to do wondrous things with it; he might even save them generations of
strife. He remembered that it was a risk worth taking.