4th – 5th year summer.
COMPLETE. *Revised* Post-GoF. One-Shot. Sirius gets a new wand as Dumbledore’s old allies answer the call to arms. A missing scene story occurring early in the 4th-5th year summer.
Remus Sirius Ollivander
Night Zephyr from sugarquill (dot) net
This story is based on, or may reference, characters and situations created, owned, and licensed by the appropriate authors, publishers, and entertainment companies. No money is being made from this publication. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: Written Pre-OotP. No plot changes, only grammar corrections and a smoothing of dialog.
The clock at the crown of Gringotts Bank chimed nine times as the waning half moon peaked out from behind scuttling clouds. Rain was imminent later this evening; but the threat was not enough to deter the small crowd of evening shoppers and early nightlife-goers.
The wall leading to the Leaky Cauldron and Muggle London vanished as a tall thin man set foot on Diagon Alley’s cobble-stoned walk, followed closely by a large black dog. The man and his best friend strolled easily passed the stores, watching impassively as final customers exited with their purchases, and owners quietly closed up shop behind them. No one noticed when the man and dog slipped smoothly into the small alley between ‘Feanaro’s Fine Jewels’ and ‘Van Dyke’s Chimney Sweepers Extraordinaire.’
The pair continued down this small alleyway and emerged in the little used lane at the back of the shops. Undaunted by the deserted lane, the man and dog continued with a purpose – they had a man to see about a wand.
The eleventh shop from the Muggle entryway – dark, unmarked, and innocuous – was the pair’s final destination. The tall man knocked quietly upon the back door and awaited a response while glancing nervously down to his companion.
The screech of a metal latch being lifted followed by the creak of old wood heralded the opening of the door. Wide, knowing, silvery eyes glanced out the small opening at the pair, surveying them, measuring their worth…
The silvery gaze vanished as the door was opened completely. The owner of the shop gestured his after hour guests inside with a wave of his arm and few words, “Right on time, Mr. Lupin.”
The pair walked into the dimly lit store and surveyed their surroundings. Many have seen the front room of ‘Ollivanders’, but few indeed had ever seen the back rooms. Yet this is where man and dog stood, glancing with wide-eyed curiosity at the tools and components required to make a wand, a task whose processes were heavily guarded secrets, known only by the rare few born with the ability to create magical wands. Mr. Lupin and his dog were under no illusions that the privilege of observing even this minute aspect of wandmaking was a priceless gift.
“Remus Lupin. Eleven and a half inches, Ash, and Unicorn Hair, correct?” Ollivander asked.
“Yes, sir,” the tall man turned to address the silvery-eyed man. “It’s served me very well.”
“Yes, yes. I imagine it has. Good wand that one; strong, but its power was subtle.”
Remus merely nodded his agreement. His wand, or rather his own power, was never able to produce huge, formidable amounts of energy behind the spell, nor were the results flashy; but they always produced effective and complex spells. Sirius and he used to joke in their school days that their wands mirrored their personalities. Remus quiet and subtle, yet still very powerful; Sirius loud and flashy, his power unmistakable.
“Mr. Ollivander, I assume Professor Dumbledore explained the situation?”
“He did. And quite surprised I was. Not at the innocent part, no no. Sirius Black was too loyal to his friends and the Light Side to ever turn Dark. And to betray the Potters? Never! You only had to know the boys to know that. No, I always knew young Sirius was innocent. Loath was I that I could not prove it; they had destroyed his wand by then. Shame too, that was a powerful wand: Ten and three-quarters inches, Redwood, and Dragon-heartstring. Such a shame they snapped it. It was excellent for transfiguration, yes… No, I was surprised to hear about the Animagus ability, though I suppose I shouldn’t have been; considering the wand and the wizard.”
Remus was surprised at this enthusiastic, if wandering and seemingly contradictory, monologue. His limited experience with this shop’s owner gave him the impression that Mr. Ollivander was a man of few words. Apparently this was another case where appearances were deceiving. But before Remus had a chance to give a response of any sort, he was interrupted by the appearance of his best friend.
“Mr. Ollivander, what did you mean that you ‘could not prove it?’ There was a way for you to prove my innocence?” Sirius Black asked.
The warring emotions on his friend’s face were enough to break Remus’ heart. The thought that Sirius might have been proven innocent fourteen years ago, avoiding the horrors of Azkaban, was extremely bittersweet. A chance long gone, but still offering an undeniable lure of possibility and promise: a Siren’s Call, much like the Mirror of Erised the Marauders had found in their school days.
“Sorry as I am to say it, dear boy, but yes. There may have been a way for me to prove your innocence, but it is in the past now.”
“How?” Sirius’ eagerness and desperation to know was painful.
“Well,” Ollivander seemed hesitant to continue, “had you been given a trial, or your wand not destroyed, I could have forced the wand to regurgitate the last spells performed by it, producing a phantom spell identifying the last spell or curse; a difficult task without a brother wand, but achievable with the proper knowledge of wands. Knowing what we now know, we would have looked for the spell that destroyed the Muggle street and not have found it. At the very least, this would have caused a stay in your sentencing. It would have produced doubt to your guilt and I have a feeling that had you been given the chance to follow up with a clean confession, including your illegal ability, the court would have had no choice but to release you.”
Ollivander fell silent at the end of his explanation, allowing the sorrow and frustration of the situation to permeate through each individual. So much would have been different had Sirius been free. The thoughts were enough to incite the most passive man to rage at all of the injustices involved.
“A shame, but it is in the past. It is to the future that we must look now.” The wand maker laid a gentle hand on Sirius’ arm. “Do not dwell on ‘what ifs’ and ‘what-might-have-beens,’ it leads only to madness. Instead focus on the now and the fight that awaits us all. We can not change the past but we can change the future. Remember, Sirius Black, everything happens for a reason, even if we can not see it. Have faith, my boy.”
Sirius stared dejectedly into the silver eyes, processing the wise words. Slowly, the pain and loss vanished from his face, to be replaced with steely determination.
Remus watched, spellbound and eternally grateful as Sirius shook off some of the shadows that haunted him. For weeks, ever since he had shown up on Remus’ doorstep bedraggled and travel-worn and bearing tragic news, Sirius’ air of despondency had never dissipated. Remus was fearful to admit, even to himself, that Sirius hadn’t seemed this bad even during the events in the Shrieking Shack. The shadows that haunted his eyes seemed a bit different, darker, and stronger of late, and spread throughout Sirius’ entire being. His self-recrimination for failing Harry was only the freshest wound to his already battered soul. And there was nothing, nothing that Remus did that even scratched at these shadows in his battle to help his friend’s recovery.
But now, here in this dark, dusty store, Remus watched the shadows lift from Sirius, retreating to leave in their wake the friend Remus had begun to feel was forever lost to him.
With a grim look, Sirius nodded his understanding to the wandmaker and suddenly grinned his crooked grin. “Right. Ollivander, I think we can do some business. You see, I suddenly find myself in need of a new wand…”
Remus couldn’t help it – he laughed. The pure, tremendous relief he felt at seeing that familiar smile was too overwhelming.
Sirius glanced at his laughing friend and couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight. It had been so long since he had seen Remus laugh…
Ollivander simply watched the two old friends as the shadows and darkness seemingly fled even further from their faces and the shop. ‘There is hope yet for them. For us all…’
“Well, Mr. Black, shall we get to work then?” and with that he pulled a long tape measure out of his pocket.
That tape measure had been put away long ago. Remus quietly sighed as he surveyed the room again. Boxes upon boxes of tried, tested, and unsuitable wands laid piled over every surface; piles even began appearing on the floor. They had been there for nearly an hour and Sirius still hadn’t found a wand.
Ollivander didn’t seem perturbed by this in the slightest. In fact, it seemed that with each failed wand he become more enthusiastic and energetic as he tackled this difficult challenge. The expression on Sirius’ face gave all the indication in the world that his arm was made of lead and Remus wasn’t so sure that he would be able to wave it around aimlessly for much longer.
“No good. Here try this one, Eight inches, Cherry, Dragon heartstring.”
“Not that one, no. Hmm, here try this,” Ollivander retrieved another box, “Fourteen inches, Oak, Phoenix Feather.”
Remus’ sigh was more audible this time, as was Sirius’ accompanying one. They had tried so many wands and hadn’t pinned down anything. The size, the wood, the core, not even a subject inclination. The thought that there might not be a suitable wand for Sirius here was voicing itself louder each time a wand was discarded.
Nine inches, Birch, Unicorn Hair.
Nine and three quarter inches, Holly, Phoenix Feather.
Sirius tried again.
Thirteen and a third inches, Ash, Dragon Heartstring…
But this time, Ollivander didn’t take the wand back right away. Instead, he stood back and surveyed a rather exasperated Sirius.
“Difficult. Very difficult. One of the worst customers I’ve had in years. Nothing seems to be working for you, does it, Mr. Black?”
Instead of the expected sarcastic comment Remus was expecting, Sirius only replied wearily, “No. It certainly doesn’t. Ollivander, there is a wand here that might work? Right?” The last was said with undisguised fear that he might not get his wand after all.
Ollivander merely waved away his concern, “Oh, don’t worry about that, boy. I’ve never had a customer walk out of here without a wand. There is most definitely a wand here for you. We just need to find it.” And then he paused and gazed at Sirius, as if contemplating something only he knew existed.
When that gaze was suddenly transferred to Remus, he couldn’t contain his start of surprise, uncertain of what he had done to warrant the attention of the wandmaker.
The silvery gaze swept along Remus, judging him, weighing him as it had done before permitting them entrance to the store. Finally, those silvery eyes met the werewolf’s for a long moment, then moved back onto the convict and surveyed him one more time before falling contemplatively to the floor.
“I wonder…” the comment was said softly, but in the oppressing silence, it was deafening.
“You wonder what?” Sirius asked after a moment.
The wandmaker focused onto the speaker. “I wonder, Mr. Black, if I have the perfect wand for you; if fate played a hand even in this and had this wand created just for you or if it waits for another to possess it. But somehow, I think not. Why I did not think of it before is not surprising. For over a decade this wand has sat quietly in the corner waiting for its wizard or witch, but none have ever measured up to it’s high standards. Indeed, I began to think it a failed experiment and removed it from the shelves, but now… Now, I think it was waiting for you.”
He stared at a startled Sirius, letting his words sink in before turning and tapping his own slender wand on a shelf, whispering an incantation that the other two wizards did not catch. Silently, the book case opened inward on invisible hinges, revealing a pitch black room beyond.
Ollivander turned back to the pair meeting their gazes, “One moment, Mr. Black,” and then he turned and disappeared into the dark room, never casting any light to illuminate his way.
Sirius and Remus watched the small man vanish, swallowed by the darkness before turning startled glances to each other. They had no time to comment before they heard Ollivander's voice call out for the darkness, “Here, Sirius Black. I think this wand has been waiting for you.”
He emerged from the room carrying another wand box, indistinguishable from the innumerable others that littered the shop, already discounted. There was nothing remarkable about the box at all, and Remus and Sirius both gazed at it apprehensively. They had experience with seemingly innocent and normal looking magical objects, and those objects were often the center of their most harrowing adventures.
The bookcase closed silently behind Ollivander as he approached Sirius and removed the lid of the box. The wand within seemed normal enough.
Ollivander removed it from the box and held it out to Sirius. “Twelve inches, dogwood. Try it Mr. Black, I assure you there is nothing dangerous or harmful about this wand.”
Sirius eyed it warily then glanced at the composed wandmaker and Remus in turn; that Ollivander had failed to state the core of the wand had not escaped their notice.
With a deep breath and determined move, Sirius took the wand from Ollivander’s offering hand.
And the look of shock on his face was one that Remus would never forget.
As soon as the wand was firmly in Sirius’ hand, a glow began to form at its tip. Sirius’ gasp was one of mingled surprise and breathless awe.
“Ollivander…” he whispered softly. He remained motionless, lost for words as he watched incredulously as the glow increased in intensity and took on a golden sheen.
“I knew it. This wand was meant for you. A friend will always recognize a friend no matter the years, distance, or changes.”
The words were lost on Sirius as he reverently waved the wand, creating a shower of blinding golden sparks before the wand settled into a state of quiet once more. The warmth and power Sirius felt radiating from the wand permeated through him, all the way to his soul. He knew that a wizard had unique bonds with his or her wand, but he never thought it could be so strong. Indeed, his first wand never had this effect on him. This wand was as if a lost part of himself had suddenly returned; a part that Sirius did not even know was missing until now. This wand felt familiar. And it was that thought that broke through the haze and belatedly registered Ollivander’s words.
He looked sharply to the wandmaker, “What do you mean, ‘A friend will always recognize a friend?’”
“Every wand is completely unique Sirius Black, but yours even more so. Traditionally, most wand cores are either: dragon heartstring, unicorn hair, or phoenix feather as those magical substances are the most suited for wand cores; but about a decade ago or so, I experimented with wand cores of unconventional sources. I purchased magical attributes from independent sources and individuals: griffin feathers, augurey feathers, billywig stings, werewolf fur, veela –”
He was cut off by a startled gasp from Remus. He was pale and wide-eyed, staring in shock at the wandmaker as realization dawned. “That’s…” he couldn’t continue as his gaze turned to the wand clutched firmly in Sirius’ hand. “Ollivander, is that?” He gestured towards the wand.
Ollivander smiled knowingly at the werewolf, “It is indeed, Mr. Lupin.”
“Oh Merlin…” Remus whispered in disbelief. Blindly, he reached out behind him for the stool he had occupied earlier, stumbling back a few steps. Never taking his eyes off his friend’s new wand, he located the stool and collapsed into it; burying his head in his hands. “Merlin,” he repeated.
“Remus?” The worry in Sirius’ voice was clear as he hurried to his friend’s side, unsure why Remus was so distraught. “Remus,” he placed a firm hand on his shoulder, “What is it, Remus?” The worry began to turn into frantic desperation as his friend remained unresponsive.
He waited but a moment more before turning an accusing glare to the wandmaker, “Ollivander, what is going on? Why’s Remus so upset about the wand?” he demanded.
Ollivander merely gazed steadily at Sirius. “Your wand, Mr. Black,” he answered calmly.
“What about it?” Even Sirius noticed the possessiveness in that question.
“Twelve inches, Dogwood, and Werewolf Fur. Very rare that.” And Ollivander said no more. He only looked at Sirius, waiting for the pieces to click into place.
“Werewolf fur?” Sirius asked quietly, reflectively.
“Mine.” It came so quietly Sirius almost missed it. His attention immediately returned to his friend.
Head still buried in his hands, Remus clarified, “It’s mine. The fur…it’s mine.”
It took a moment for Sirius to absorb the words and form a response. “Yours? What do you mean it’s yours? How?”
Remus would not look at his friend; he couldn’t. “I…I sold it to him…years ago…”
“Remus,” Sirius’ voice was soft but demanding as he raised the werewolf’s head, forcing his friend to look him in the eyes. He was shocked to see Remus fighting tears, desperately trying to keep them in check. “Tell me, Remus.”
It was a gentle plea for the whole story and it undid the little control Remus had; Sirius watched helplessly as several tears wandered down his best friend’s face. Remus only bowed his head and turned away, taking deep steadying breaths, trying to regain control.
Sirius let him retreat and compose himself, wishing desperately for a way to ease his friend’s pain. He wouldn’t push further at the moment; too afraid he might chase Moony away completely. He merely waited until Remus was ready, helpless to do anything.
“It was about ten years ago,” came the voice: quiet, hesitating, broken. “No. No, it was eleven years; right after the three-year anniversary. Anniversary,” Remus scoffed bitterly, “anniversaries are supposed to mark good things: birth, marriage, growth…” Remus was rambling. Remus hardly ever rambled, and this unnerved Sirius more than any words could at that point, but he would not interrupt. He was no expert, but he instinctively knew that Remus needed to talk about this – rambling and all.
“It was winter, after the New Year. I just had lost another job, too many sick days. I think they kept me longer just to cover the holiday rush… Things, they were hard. Hard to cope, to make ends meet. I think I was still in shock, even after all that time… I saw an ad Ollivander placed in the ‘Prophet,’ offering to buy any magical components of…the less common creatures. It listed some of them. I remember because werewolf fur was on it… I had never thought to sell my fur, and especially not for a wand core. It made me wonder how it would work: would it be affected by the lunar cycle or…” A gentle hand on his shoulder stopped him from heading too far off topic. Remus could only manage a weak smile for his friend in reply.
“Right, well, I didn’t think of selling. Not then. And I had honestly forgotten all about it until a few months later. Things were exceptionally hard that winter. I was still unemployed, and my Gringotts account had more spider webs than Galleons. I worked so many random jobs to manage, but it was right after a change in the early spring that I remembered the ad I saw…
“I debated over it for the whole month. It’s not an easy thing to get fur from a werewolf, you know.” He looked up and met Sirius’ gaze for the first time, “You know what I’m like. And I wasn’t on the Wolfsbane then either. It was too new, too expensive…
“I didn’t have a choice really. The next moon I went to one of those Ministry safe houses they offer for registered beasts to use during changes or transformations. Safe houses…safe houses, my wand. Dungeon cells are what they were. But, I thought I could convince the guard fairly easily to magic some hair off of the wolf. It needed to be whole, you see.” He locked eyes with Sirius, as if asking for understanding; “it couldn’t be ragged or scraped off. I couldn’t do it myself.”
Sirius only nodded, encouraging him to continue.
“Turned out,” Remus gave a strangled, choked laugh as more tears threatened, “It turned out that convincing the guard to remove some of my fur was easy. It was Nigel Brice. Do you remember him? Prejudiced Gryffindor prat two years above us? He was my guard. Let me tell you he had a field day with me prior to moonrise. Couldn’t say enough about my condition before… Well, convincing him to magic off my fur was easy. Any reason to give us beasts what we deserve…” Remus trailed off but the implication of what occurred was clear for Sirius. “He didn’t even ask me why, just grinned at me. Needless to say, I had quite a pile of fur waiting for me in the morning. My biggest concern was how many people he would tell about me.” He paused as if unsure if he should continue. “Turns out I didn’t have to worry too much. He overdosed on something about two weeks later; I saw the obituary in the ‘Prophet…” Remus trailed off; lost in memories of a time long ago whose echoes were still felt today.
Ollivander’s voice was a surprise in the ensuing quiet, “Mr. Lupin came to me a few days later, I believe, with the fur. His supply was all that I received and very grateful I am to him for it.” Ollivander waited for Remus’ attention before continuing, “It was of the best quality and in a large enough quantity to survive the many errors that occur prior to the construction of a completed, functional wand. The wand you hold, Mr. Black, is the only werewolf fur-cored wand I have ever made. It is truly a unique creation.”
Quiet fell upon the small group as each man reflected over all that had occurred and was revealed this evening.
“Remus,” Sirius’ soft voice echoed in the room and the werewolf turned sad eyes to his friend.
“Thank you for my wand.”
Ollivander watched from the shadows of his doorway as the man and dog walked slowly back to the Muggle entry of Diagon Alley. What had happened this night marked a strange turning point in the lives of these two men, he knew.
The werewolf wand had finally found peace with its owner; as its owner once again found peace with the werewolf.
The store names mentioned:
1) The name Feanaro from ‘Feanaro’s Fine Jewels’ is the Sindarin form of Feanor (“Spirit of Fire”). Feanor was a Noldorin elf, the creator of many exquisite jewels, and a pivotal elf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.
2) ‘Van Dyke’s Chimney Sweepers Extraordinaire’ is a vague reference to Dick Van Dyke and his chimney sweeper persona (Burt) in Disney’s “Mary Poppins.”
Published On: December 21, 2003
Edited On: June 28, 2005