Summary: Ever wonder what Ollivander goes through
to make a new wand? Or who might need a replacement? It may not be who you think; then again…
A/N: I am writing this story strictly for
pleasure; all characters are blatantly borrowed from the wonderful world
created by JK Rowling and no profit is being made. Sigh…
Thanks to my partner
in crime and pre-Beta Pippin for ideas, being a sounding board, and being a
Chapter 1 – More Than Most Curious
sunlight filtered through the grimy workroom windows and danced on the backs of
dust motes. Magical lathes, saws,
sanders and various other carpentry tools were arranged haphazardly
around. Wood shavings littered the floor
and a fine coating of sawdust clung to every surface. A pleasant aroma of oak, holly, maple and
willow wood permeated the air. Boxes of
half-finished wands lined the shelves on three sides, with pots of stain,
polish, brushes and rags scattered about.
The remaining wall was much neater, for here resided the precious wand
cores: heartstrings of dragons floating
in various potions, phoenix feathers encased in magically sealed airtight
containers, and unicorn hairs floating within a golden magical mist to keep the
fragile strands from becoming damaged.
was oblivious to the clutter surrounding him, completely
absorbed in the fourteen-inch block of mahogany in his hand. The block was a long rectangle waiting to be
shaped and he cleared his mind and focused on the wood, getting a “feel” for it. He saw the tree as it had been, tall and
stately. Bowtruckles skimmed its
branches, announcing to those who could see that it was wand quality. He saw the wood harvested – not the whole
tree but several large branches which were pruned out, allowing the tree to
continue growing. He felt the bite of
the blades cutting the irregular lengths into uniform shapes, and the warmth of
the drying kiln. And in the quiet
stillness of his workroom it came to him: Eleven inches, unicorn mane hair, with a
tapered comfortable hasp, well suited for spell work.
Carefully, patiently, Ollivander
formed the block of wood into a long tapered wand, removing the wooden core of
the wand. This process was not to be
rushed and proceeded over a number of weeks. One false chisel strike, one wand off-center
on the lathe, one millimeter too much would ruin weeks of work. He was grateful that this time of year, late winter,
was his off-season. Young wizards
wouldn’t be bombarding his shop for their first wands for several months. Christmas shopping was long done, so no one
would be looking for wand polishing kits or holsters. He could work in peace.
Once the carpentry part of making
the wand was finished came the most delicate step in the process: adding the
magical core. He reached into the
golden mist with a pair of long tweezers and selected a mane hair of a male
unicorn. He had just grasped it when his
shop door slammed open with a BANG. Ollivander had
been so intent on his task that he jumped a foot in the air and dropped the
tweezers on the floor. Cold wintry air
blew though the shop and into the workroom, for he had left the door open to
listen for customers. He watched in
horror as the unicorn hair drifted across the floor.
“Blast, blast blast!” he
muttered. Getting down on his hands and
knees he frantically searched the dusty floor.
Grabbing a completed wand, he uttered “Lumos!” for additional light. That unicorn hair was special, unique, and on top of it all very,
very expensive. It continued
drifting across the floor as he chased it on all fours. “You’d think there would be enough shavings
in here to stop that thing!” he muttered.
“Ollivander! I wish to be served!” came
a high-pitched, quivery, imperious voice.
“Oh, bother! Not Madam Chumley-Pitte!” he grumbled,
getting to his feet. She was one of his
most frequent and annoying patrons.
There wouldn’t be any rushing her out of his shop as she dithered over
which polish to buy or which wand case would be suitable. To make matters worse, she rarely purchased
anything. He mentally marked the
location he had last seen the unicorn hair and went into the shop, closing the
door behind him to prevent additional wind from moving the wand core.
Thirty minutes (and zero sales)
later he had locked the shop door, hung the “Out to Tea” sign in the window and
gone back to the workroom to resume his search for the unicorn hair. Ollivander supposed
he could just use another one, but had particularly selected that specific hair
to be the core of his mahogany wand. It
would be a strong wand, sure and true, and he wanted only that hair in it.
Forty-five frustrating minutes
later, he was about ready to give up.
The knees of his trousers were filthy and snagged on splinters from the
floorboards; his hands were dark gray from accumulated dust and grime. Fine sawdust covered him from head to
toe. “Note to self: try Scourgify once in a while,” he grumbled as he crept
along the floor.
Suddenly, sharp pain pierced his
left knee as a nail stabbed through the already tattered cloth and scratched
his skin. The fabric caught on the nail
head and wouldn’t release.
exclaimed, trying to tug free. With a
mighty wrench he tore a hole in his trousers and freed himself, bringing up
half the floorboard with him in the process.
Beneath it was a cavity he hadn’t known was there. Dark and narrow, but definitely some sort of
hidey-hole. Pointing a beam of light
from his wand into the space, he noticed a long, thin, box. All thoughts of the missing unicorn hair were
driven from his mind as he tried to get the box out of the cavity. Removing a few surrounding boards, he was
finally able to bring the box into the light.
“Bronze,” he said under his
breath. The box was about fifteen inches
long and only four inches wide. He could
tell there were designs on the box but they were hidden underneath what looked
like eons of black grime. Well, the box
could very well have been in that hole for eons, he thought. “Ollivander’s” had been in business since
third century BC, after all. Loving a
puzzle almost more than making a new wand, he gave the unicorn hair up for lost
and concentrated his efforts on painstakingly cleaning the box.
Bit by bit, the details on the box
were revealed. What Ollivander assumed
was the bottom was smooth and flat, with a very tiny circle with a slash, one
of the first marks of wands made by Ollivander’s. Celtic knots and triskeles lined the
sides. The top of the box had a relief
of a Crann Bethadh, or Celtic Tree of Life.
More triskeles and triple horns edged the top, and traces of the Ogham,
or Celtic, alphabet could be made out.
The bronze was in remarkably good condition.
pulse was jumping. Judging from the Ollivander’s mark, he held in his hands the most ancient
wand box he had ever seen,
dating mid-fourth century A.D.
A time of ancient magic.
Hands trembling, he fumbled for the
latch, and, once he found it, he prised the lid
open. Inside was a bed of decayed
fibers, possibly silk. On the fibers was a long, slender wand. About twelve inches long, he estimated. Oak, the most sacred of
trees during the time of the Celts.
The wand vibrated with power, sending prickles up his arm and making his
hair stand on end.
Ollivander breathed reverently. He had
never encountered such power in a wand.
Usually unfailingly able to determine immediately the core of a wand, he
could not do so with this wand. “It’s
almost as if there’s a Protego spell
on the wand,” he marveled.
Using every wand-spell he knew, and
a few he didn’t, Ollivander spent the several days trying futilely to make out
the wand core. Open and discarded books
and journals teetered on every available surface in both his living quarters
and workroom. He had plowed through
every record he had ever kept and could not find the key to discovering the
wand’s core. Finally while going through
his family archives, he found notes from a great-great-multiple-great-grandfather
who used a variation of a Reveal
“Revealus Batonium,” he intoned. The wand glowed golden, and a small, mistily
transparent figure, about as tall as the wand was long, rose from the wand tip.
Dumbfounded, absolutely gobsmacked,
Ollivander sat at his worktable, staring at the wand. The most ancient, most powerful wand he had
ever encountered. Twelve
inches of English oak. With a core of…
To be continued…