Chapter Seven: Of Wands and Wizards
Disclaimer: I don't own Btvs or HP... wish I did though ;)
Author's Note: Alright people, here we go! I just want to think all the reviewers who kept up with me. It's cause of you guys that I HAD to make time to sit down and finish this chapter(I know it's been along time coming.lol). Also, I wanted to clarify a few things: the slayer dream below is the darkest one yet which is why I adjusted the rating for this story. And you can probably expect more of the same in all of the stories for this series when it comes to action and violence and later on(when Buffy's older) Sex. I'm not trying to gross anyone out or offend, so fair warning. Alot of the Slayer Lore I've compiled for this story is not only from the tv series but from the comics(some of the comics) and from the screenplay of the original movie(which is where I got inspiration for the scene below).
And if anyone hasn't yet checked out the totally awesome Video trickS did, please do at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6IEXnO0Nz4
Author's Note2: I've been thinking about doing some Fan Art for this story(which I've never done before.lol); if anyone has some suggestions for a first timer, please feel free to share! Even if it's just recommendations for what programs to use. Thanks!
Chapter Seven: Of Wands and Wizards
Chinese Whorehouse - 18th Century The Man was leaving. He dressed with his back to her.
Sun-Li was still splayed naked across the straw mattress. She made no move to rise or cover herself. Her entire body ached. She gazed at him dully through strands of blue-black hair.
The Man turned and smirked down at her prone form, his black eyes glittering. His hand moved and Sun-Li watched as a meager number of gold coins landed next to her.
“ Thanks for the good time, pretty one.” He turned, leaving through the ratty curtain that barely covered the doorway.
Now alone, she allowed her eyes to close. She could hear the man’s footsteps moving down the hall and towards the back door that the Madam’s customers entered and left by. She could hear the murmuring, laughter, moans and grunts, and the occasional crying that sounded through the various rooms below. Sounds that had been her lullaby for most of her life.
A short time later, her eyes flickered open. She’d fallen into a light sleep but something had disturbed her. She listened for a moment but heard nothing but silence. Unusual for this time of night.
Sun-Li rose, feeling older than her seventeen years. She grabbed her threadbare dress from the cold floor, wincing as she pulled it on and hobbled toward the dark hallway.
Tiredly brushing back the rough brown cloth of the curtain and peering out, she frowned. Something was wrong. The oil lamps should have been burning brightly but the unrelenting darkness shrouded everything instead.
She’d only taken three steps out when a match flared into life behind her. Sun-Li turned, expecting one of the other girls to be there. It wasn’t.
It was a man but of a kind she’d never seen before. He was tall and broad at the shoulder, dwarfing her own small frame. His hair was long and dark red, worn in the manner of the Europeans. He was shrouded in a dark cloak, making his pale skin stand out in the encompassing dark. His teeth, that he flashed at her, were white as bone and sharper than a blade.
The pain in her body flared bright. Waves of pain radiated from her abdomen and spread to her limbs. It took all of her strength to continue to stand. She gasped out a breath and stumbled backwards.
He glided forward, his movements almost shark like in their smoothness. He reached out and caught her arm in a vice like grip, stopping her movement. His other hand seized her collar and tore it, exposing her shoulder, a breast, and part of her arm. He examined her shoulder, her mark, with brimstone eyes before speaking in a low tone, “ There you are. You’ve kept me waiting.”
Sun-Li trembled, her eyes pleading, “ Please--”
She was cut off abruptly by the blow to her torso. She blinked once, twice, before slowly looking down.
His hand was buried deep within her chest. As she watched, he rapidly pulled it back out, his prize clenched tightly within his fist. Her heart.
Her body slumped to the ground and the red haired fiend smiled, “ I knew you would be sweet.”
He sank his teeth into her heart like he was biting into an apple.
The girl tossed and turned in her bed. Bernard watched her with concern.
Her lovely hair was tangled and mussed and soaked with the same sweat that coated her skin and nightgown. His Mistress tossed her head towards him, giving a good view of her small pale face and of the tears that wetted her cheeks.
She whimpered and cried out but didn’t wake. A few moments later, the bedroom door opened and a pale figure slipped inside. It was too dark for Bernard to make out any distinct features but from it’s slender form and long pale hair, he assumed it was female. She hovered over the distressed girl, reaching out with a thin white hand to brush back his young mistress’s hair.
The child seemed to find comfort in the gesture, growing silent and still, lost to the depths of sleep once again. The figure sat with her late into the night, a silent guard.
Bernard kept watch.
“ Excuse Pipsy, Miss Belle. I has your breakfast.” A high squeaky voice prodded Buffy awake.
She groaned and rolled over, rubbing her eyes. She blinked blearily at the tiny creature that was peering at her over the top of the mattress.
It was a female house-elf even smaller than the one she’d seen at Semele’s. She had big softball sized eyes, a button nose, a small round face and the large bat like ears that seemed typical of her kind. She wore a snowy white pillowcase with lace at the hem and a matching kerchief.
Buffy yawned and squinted, “ Huh?”
The house-elf bounced up and down a bit, “ Breakfast, Miss Belle. Pipsy has brought your breakfast.”
“ I take it that you’re Pipsy?” She asked groggily, sitting up in the bed and pushing back the covers.
“ Yes,” she squeaked, “ I am Pipsy.” She snapped her long thin fingers and the silver tray that had been set at the end of the bed floated over and settled in Buffy’s lap.
She blinked blurrily before lifting the tray cover. A small bowl of poached eggs, a small plate of cheeses and fruit, slices of fresh baked bread and small containers of creamy butter and strawberry preserves covered the tray. There was a tiny tea pot and tea cup as well but when Buffy poured, thick steaming hot chocolate filled the cup.
“ Mistress Malfoy did not know if Miss Belle liked tea or not so she suggested the Hot Chocolate. Does Miss like?” Pipsy gazed up at her hopefully.
Buffy gave her a small smile, “ I’m sure it’s wonderful. Everything looks great. Thank you for bringing it to me.”
Pipsy’s dark blue eyes turned misty, “ Young Miss is very kind and generous.”
She gave the little creature an uncertain look, “ Please don’t cry!” She patted the place next to her, “ Here. Why don’t you sit for awhile and keep me company.”
The elf actually threw back her head and wailed, “ Oh, Miss is so sweet and kind! Miss is so--”
“ That’s enough Pipsy. Return to the kitchens.” The cool commanding voice belonged to Narcissa, who stood in the open doorway. She looked fresh and perfectly put together, hair neatly pinned and wearing robes of storm grey.
The house-elf gave her mistress a fear filled look before disappearing with a slight pop.
“ Sorry about that, Dear.” Narcissa smiled at the wide eyed look on Buffy’s face. She moved towards the bed, “ House elves tend to be a little too… enthusiastic sometimes. I know you’re not very familiar with dealing with them so I thought I should probably check just to make sure everything was going well.”
She nodded, “ Yeah, she was okay till the end…”
Her aunt perched on the edge of the bed, “ Did you sleep well?”
Buffy glanced down at her eggs, trailing her fork through them. Half remembered terrors raced through her mind but she gave a weak half smile to her Aunt, “ I slept okay.”
Narcissa examined her for a minute before patting her knee, “ Well, I thought once you ate a bit and got dressed, we would go ahead and leave for Diagon Alley.”
“ Sounds good. I’ll uh… hurry.” she offered.
“ Oh, don’t worry about that. Take your time. Enjoy your breakfast. I’ll send Pipsy back later to show you where to find us.”
Her aunt left, closing the door behind her. Buffy sighed and started in on her breakfast.
“ So… that was your Aunt? She seems… pleasant.”
She glanced up with a mouthful of eggs and stared at the face staring at her through the large mirror, “ So I take it you settled in alright?”
Bernard nodded, “ Of course. And this is a nice mirror, roomy and everything.”
“ Well, as long as your comfortable.” was her dry response.
For the next few minutes, the mirror kept her company; talking about everything that popped into his floating head. She listened with half an ear while she ate.
Buffy was rapidly putting away all the food on the tray and she figured it was because of jetlag or something. And of course she hadn’t eaten much dinner last night either. She buttered a piece of warm bread and then reached for the jam. It was strawberry and had the tiniest little berries throughout. She piled it onto her buttered bread.
“ Are you even listening to me?” Bernard asked irritably. Apparently, he’d noticed she was preoccupied.
He huffed, “ Oh sure, stuff your face. It’ll just go to your thighs.”
Buffy shoved the rest of the doctored bread into her mouth, swallowed and glared, “ Hey! Excuse me but my thighs are perfect! Not even a hint of cellulite, thank you very much.”
Bernard rolled his eyes and changed the subject, “ So Diagon Alley, huh? Gonna get your wand and everything…”
She nodded, taking a last sip of the hot chocolate, “ Yup. I’m kinda excited about getting a wand… learning actual magic.”
“ It is a momentous occasion for a young witch or wizard. And the type of wand you get tends to tell a lot about yourself.” He commented.
Buffy glanced up from where she’d been trying to maneuver out from underneath the breakfast tray and out of the thick blankets piled atop the bed, “ It does? Like how?”
“ Well,” Bernard drew the word out, clearly pleased at having acquired her full attention, “ Wands are generally made from two magical sources, the wood and the core. Typically, every country has its own selection of what it offers, generally from the native area. In England, they tend to stick with dragon heartstrings, phoenix feathers, and Unicorn hair-”
“ Okay, back it up! Dragon heart what? Phoenix? Unicorn?” She asked skeptically.
The Mirror phantom gave an exasperated little moue, “ You’re a witch, living in a magical world but the idea of other magical beings existing is hard to believe? Have you ever heard the term ‘Expand your Horizons’? No? Well, you should definitely look into it.”
She rolled her eyes, “ Fine. Dragons, phoenixes, and Unicorns oh my! Could you focus and finish the explainy about the wands already?”
He gave a put upon exhalation, “ As I was saying, wands can tell about their owners. People with wands made from dragon heartstrings tend to have some skill in offensive spells like hexes and curses, Unicorns with a gentler subtle magic like healing and charms, Phoenixes tend to be quite powerful overall, excelling in many areas. And of course, the wood is an important catalyst as well. And with so many varieties, every wand tends to come out unique.”
Buffy bit her lip, “ What do you think I’ll get?”
Bernard chirped happily, “ Dragon defiantly. You’re a pretty offensive person.”
“ Hey!!!” came the outraged reply.
“ Just saying.”
Buffy had snagged her set of blue robes and headed into the bathroom to change. She’d finished dressing quickly enough, washing her face and brushing her teeth, combing and pinning her hair back, lightly applying her makeup, and dressing similarly as she had before with a black lace camisole under her robe. She forgone the silver flats she’d favored lately and decided to wear her favorite black knee high boots.
All this had taken ten or fifteen minutes tops. It was exploring her remarkable bathroom that really took up the rest of her time.
It was definitely the coolest bathroom Buffy had ever seen. It was huge, nearly the same size as the actual bedroom that she now occupied. The floor was covered in stone tile colored a misty grey. The walls were a misty iridescent blue with some of the most intricate wood work Buffy had ever seen. The theme seemed to be of the sea, the carvings mimicking waves, bubbles, and foamy plumes of spray. A few marble pillars stood throughout the room, drawing the eye to their carvings of sylph like mermaids and other gossamer water world creatures.
A large inset tub the size of a small swimming pool filled much of the room. Mounted next to the tub was a row of knobs and switches, apparently used for controlling the amount of water that actually flowed from the surprising outlet set in the high ceiling. Arrested like a chandelier high above the pool, a type of colored glass statuary hung. Curling glass tendrils formed pictures- mermaids with silver green tails, slim milky bodies, and long bronze hair seemed to actually move,
undulating and swishing back their hair, and watching her through sly gem colored eyes. A long opening set in the midst of the work of art emitted a font of crystal colored water that fell to the pool below, filling the room with the tinkling sound of running water.
On the far wall a row of windows sat, letting in hazy morning light through sheer cream colored curtains. The curtains were repeated through out the room, sometimes used to provide privacy - like the ones that actually surrounded the toilet area, and sometimes used to generally give the room a decadent harem like feel. Mounted candle bras were placed strategically through the room as well as placed on a small table situated by the pool. The table held a pile of soft pale bath sheets as well as gleaming colored bottles that when Buffy unstopped and took a sniff, found filled with bath and body oils.
On the wall nearest the door, was situated a marble counter with double sinks and topped with a gilded framed mirror. A small door sat beside it and when opened, showed a linen closet. On the inside door a row of hooks held terry cloth robes softer than fleece.
Buffy had spent most of her time exploring, spellbound by all the beautiful things. Oh, she was so
taking the longest bath ever
tonight. Forget the bedroom, she wanted to live in here!
By the time she emerged back into the world, it was to find Pipsy waiting for her.
“ Is Missy Belle ready?” the house elf asked timidly.
Buffy shot a glance at Bernard’s mirror. He was silent and no sign of his hazy face showed.
She looked back at Pipsy,“ Ready.”
She offered Pipsy a smile but the small creature kept her eyes to the floor and gestured for Buffy to follow her, “ This way Miss.”
Once again, Buffy was led through the maze like corridors and staircases. The House elf leading her seemed to have no problem keeping her bearings, giving Buffy hope that eventually she too would be able to find her own way.
Pipsy seemed pretty quiet, only speaking when directly addressed or to offer further direction. Buffy had to inquire to find out where they were heading.
“ To the Mistress. She is in the Solarium. Mistress wanted you brought to her when you were ready.” was the answer.
The Solarium, as it turned out, was a huge space that seemed to cross a sunroom and a green house. The walls and ceiling were glass, filling the place with natural light. The ground was actual grass and dirt though they walked on the stone path that was laid out in front of them. Trees and plants in unrecognizable shapes and colors were everywhere
. Some were still in pots, some actually planted in the ground. They followed the sound of humming further in, finding her Aunt standing at a table bending over something and murmuring to it.
Pipsy, obviously feeling as though her job was done, literally popped out of the room, leaving Buffy standing awkwardly.
She cleared her throat, “ Aunt Narcissa?”
The woman turned and gave Buffy a welcoming smile, “ Hello dear.”
Buffy moved closer, “ What are you doing?”
Her Aunt was cradling something in her hand and as Buffy came closer, she opened her hands wider to give her a peek.
A small bird rested in her Aunt’s pale hand. It was the size and general shape of a sparrow but that was were the similarities ended. This bird had ruby colored feathers and gleaming little black eyes. It cocked it’s head to the side and seemed to study Buffy as she was studying it.
“ What is that?” She murmured, not wanting to startle it.
“ A Fama Calx.” Narcissa explained, “ One of the rarest magical creatures in the world.” She nodded to a place behind and up of Buffy.
She turned and stared. On the lower branches of several trees, sat more of the beautiful birds. Colors ranged from ruby to emerald, sapphire, amber, even onyx colored and there were even a few that seemed multicolored and had small plumes atop their little heads. A thin silver ribbon was tied around each of the bird’s right legs.
“ On our tenth anniversary, your Uncle obtained one of these small birds for me. I adored it immediately and soon began collecting them whenever I could. As you can see, I have a little over a dozen living in the solarium.” Her aunt ran a gentle finger over the bird’s glossy scarlet feathers.
Buffy took a step closer and peered down at the tiny bird, “ It’s beautiful. You said they’re magical?”
“ Oh yes. They’re native to the Black Forest in Germany,” something sardonic flitted through her Aunt’s expression, “ They became known not only for their lovely gem colored feathers but for the fact that they can speak.”
“ Speak? Like a parrot?”
“ Not quite. Like a person.” At Buffy’s look, she continued, “ It’s true. Though it’s rare that they do… and they don’t speak in captivity. Ever… unfortunately.”
“ You see, everything about them is highly magical. Feathers… and other body parts. In some places, they‘re considered a delicacy.” Narcissa mused, “ A few centuries ago, it became very popular to use them in potions and spell work. Of course, it didn’t help that gypsies began trapping them and selling them to the highest bidder. It very nearly brought them to extinction. Laws were passed that forbid all these things and they’re native population is still recovering but you can still to this day purchase them on the black market.”
Buffy frowned, “ That’s awful.”
Her Aunt murmured her reply, gaze intent on the helpless creature resting in her hands.
“ You will have to forgive your Aunt, my dear. No doubt she’s been talking your ear off about her little pets.” Her Uncle’s sardonic voice came from behind them.
Buffy turned to see Lucius standing in the doorway. He was dressed in unrelieved black and carried his silver-topped cane. He watched them with sly amused eyes.
Narcissa let out a small huff before snapping,“ Lucius, I have never nor will ever, talk someone’s ear off. I might, however, hex yours
He only gave a dark chuckle in response.
Narcissa sniffed before moving over to a pretty little cage. She set the small bird back inside, closing and flipping the latch.
Her uncle stepped up to Buffy’s side and offered his arm, “ Shall we?”
She nodded and twined her arm with his. Narcissa moved to her other side, “ Hold tight.”
Everything went black.
Since the start of her journey into the magical world, Buffy had seen more then a few different wizarding areas. Each one was very different from the last. The Mall’s magical floor had been contemporary and fantastical, and though she had been wonderstruck at the magical items, the fact that it was set in and around her home away from home had given her firm ground to stand on. And then Roanoke had been another step deeper into this other world she was beginning to know. It was a smorgasbord of cultures and time periods, mixing old and new, magic and mundane, but it too had at least provided some sense of familiarity by being American.
But Diagon Ally on the other hand, made her feel spectacularly out of place from the moment she stepped foot inside.
Buffy was pretty sure that it was mostly due to the fact that she’d never been to England before. She’d traveled often with her family while growing up, from Canada all the way down to South America and pretty much everywhere in between. But she’d never been anywhere in Europe. Which, now that she new the truth about her mother, kinda made sense.
The sights, sounds, and smells all seemed foreign and strange. The architecture was different from what she was used to. The innumerable streets and alleys were narrow, crowded, and cobble stoned. Buildings were tall and narrow, lording over everyone. People looked as though they’d just stepped out of times long passed, dressed in styles more popular in the days of Yore. But Buffy was pretty sure this wasn’t an English thing, as much as it was an English Wizarding thing.
And it didn’t help that people kept staring at them.
At first she’d thought it was her imagination. But she couldn’t help but notice the people that actually stopped whatever they were doing to gawk as they passed, the way some averted their faces, or the ones who peeked out at them from the corner of their eyes.
But if her new guardians felt the eyes of the crowd, they certainly gave nothing away to show it.
Her Uncle strode briskly on her right, a stony countenance on his aristocratic face. Her Aunt swept along on her left, her head tilted upward to show a slightly haughty look. They were the picture of utter confidence and more then a little bit of arrogance. The people watched them with mixed reactions; admiration and envy, wariness, even some fear and anger. And Buffy felt, for the first time since her life before
, the stirring of her old ambition. That was what she’d wanted, once upon a time, to be at the top. The best. To be admired, envied, and just a little feared. Old emotions and half-remembered schemes begged to come to the fore of her mind. To be used. To be that girl again but better
And which she promptly bypassed for the promise of shopping.
Let ambition sleep awhile longer.
The first stop they’d made was at the bookstore, Flourish and Blotts. Lucius had immediately made his way to the front to hail a clerk to bring out there order while Narcissa gently guided her around the store, murmuring and pointing out things she thought Buffy would like.
The huge pile of books they picked up were shiny and new and had Buffy’s eyes widening. She was supposed to read all those? Uh, problem!
She couldn’t even make it through the Reader’s Digest her mother used to get.
She was half way expecting her Uncle to wave his wand and shrink the bulky pile but he flipped the clerk an extra gold coin and a house elf in a tidy blue pillowcase snapped his fingers, vanishing himself and her new school books with a loud pop.
Aunt Narcissa spotted her confused face and smiled, amused, “ Home Delivery, dear. We’re witches, not pack mules.”
She linked arms with Buffy, “ Now that we have those stuffy books out of the way, we can do some Real shopping.”
“Real Shopping? I can’t wait.” Her Uncle said dryly, walking up behind them, “ I suppose you don’t need me to stay--”
“ Don’t even finish that thought, Lucius Abraxis Malfoy, because you are certainly accompanying us.” The Arctic had less chill than her Aunt’s tone.
Lucius moved to open the shop’s door, allowing Buffy to spy the corner of his mouth curling as they walked by, “ Of course, dear.”
For the next two hours, Narcissa took the lead, guiding them from place to place.
Buffy got to see Slug & Jiggers Apothecary
, a smelly little place filled with things that would look at home bubbling away inside a cauldron; Scribbulus Writing Instruments
, a stationary store; Quality Quidditch Supplies
, a place that apparently sold broomsticks for some sort of sport… the details of which just left her very confused; Potage's Cauldron Shop
, which was basically… a cauldron shop; the Magical Menagerie
, apparently the magical equivalent of the little shop of horrors. A very cramped and noisy place with every inch of the walls covered by cages. She’d glimpsed poisonous orange snails, giant jewelry wearing turtles, rabbits pulling themselves out of hats, cats of every color, sleek black rats that had way to much time on their paws, and a gassy four foot slug that slimed its way along the far wall; Sugarplum's Sweets Shop
& Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour
, where they stopped and treated Buffy to ice cream and bought her samples of wizarding candy; and finally Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Twilfitt and Tatting’s, and Stitches for Witches - Where Narcissa and Buffy found they had something in common.
A inborn talent for the sport of shopping.
Again, her aunt took the lead since Buffy was highly unfamiliar with the ‘wizarding’ approach to buying ‘wizarding’ apparel. She was led to a back fitting room, forced to strip down to her underwear and stand on a stool, be measured, and poked and prodded with fitting pins as Narcissa played Master and Commander by ordering the seamstresses and robe makers around. She was swaddled in silk, satin, velvet, chiffon, merino wool, Egyptian cotton, cashmere, and fabrics she didn’t even have a name for. Colors, every shade of the rainbow, were held up to her skin, hair, and eyes and either discarded or added to a rather alarmingly large pile. It consisted of dozens of everyday robes, fancy evening robes, morning robes, dressing robes, nightgowns and peignoir sets, filmy underwear, and shoes of all kinds. Buffy might as well as shown up naked on their doorstep because she didn’t think there would be enough days in the year to wear everything Narcissa was selecting.
She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt so spoiled. It felt nice… which immediately sent a rush of guilt flooding through her. How could anything feel nice after everything that had happened?
She stiffened at the errant thought before shoving it away. Damn it, she was going to enjoy today. She was
Looking back, Buffy wasn’t sure how her Uncle had the fortitude to stick with them. Even though he busied himself by sitting in the front of the stores and reading the newspaper, he wasn’t left unmolested. Narcissa was persistent in asking for his opinion on practically everything and once she saw the annoyance on her Uncle’s face and the smirk on her Aunt’s, Buffy took up the game as well. Though, once they had the clerks begin to bring out robes for men and Lucius began to glower rather ominously, they’d eased up a bit.
It was mid-afternoon by the time Narcissa deemed her suitably outfitted and announced them done… for now
. Buffy spied a measure of relief on her Uncle’s face but it was gone a moment later, hidden behind his normal mask.
They stopped at a pleasant looking café located on a corner street for lunch. Buffy people watched while she nibbled on a finger sandwich, listening with half an ear to her Aunt and Uncle talking. It wasn’t until she heard, “ Cissa dear!” called from behind her that her attention was caught.
A middle-aged witch strode toward their table. She was petite and small of stature, though she gave off a rather large presence. She wore her dark hair pulled back in a bun at her neck and stately robes of somber green. She wasn’t beautiful but her face was interesting; square shaped and strong featured, with lovely golden eyes that tilted slightly at the corners.
Narcissa arched a brow and gave a polite smile, “ Esme. I didn’t expect to see you here.”
The woman, Esme, sniffed, “ Yes, well… I had to pick up a few things at Jigger’s. I’m sure you know how hard it is to find powdered bicorn horn. He just received a fresh shipment this morning.” She turned and nodded to her Uncle, “ Lucius. A pleasure as always.”
He bowed his head slightly, “ Esme. How is Tobias?”
“ Busy at work, I expect. I’m sure I don’t have to explain that to you, Lucius.” Esme replied coolly. She turned and looked at Buffy, examining her closely, “ And who might this be?”
Her Uncle gave a tight lipped sneer that apparently passed as a smile around here, “ This is my niece, Christabel Malfoy. My dear, this is Esme Flint.”
Mrs. Flint’s eyes widened for a moment before studying Buffy with new intensity, “ Really? I had no idea, Lucius, that you had such a lovely girl child in your family. Josceline’s daughter I presume?”
Buffy tried not to glare at the woman. She was subtly abrasive, the kind of person Buffy had no patience for. If you were going to be mean, why not just own up to it?
She flipped her hair behind her shoulder, answering for herself, “ Yes, I am.”
“ American? Oh my…” Esme looked mildly scandalized.
“ Yes, American. Josceline recently passed and Belle has come to live with us and finish her schooling.” Narcissa cut in smoothly. A moment later, she subtly shifted the conversation, “ This is Marcus’s last year at Hogwarts isn’t it?”
Esme nodded, dragging her eyes from Buffy to Narcissa, “ Yes, it is. He’s pleased of course.”
“ Of course.” her Aunt nodded.
“ Speaking of our sons, I heard from Marcus about that horrible incident with the Hippogriff. Is Draco doing well?” there was a sly inflection to her tone though her face remained polite.
Narcissa’s lips pursed and Lucius stiffened, “ He’s fine. And soon enough, that Oaf of a teacher and his rabid beast of a pet will face the board. This sort of thing will not be allowed.”
Esme nodded firmly, “ I can’t imagine what they were thinking letting him
teach our children. I assure you, Lucius, you’ll have Tobias’s and my full support when the trial comes. Endangering our children will not be tolerated.”
“ If Draco had been seriously harmed… there would be no trial.” her Aunt murmured darkly.
Buffy sipped her tea and cast covert glances at the adults. She wasn’t clear on what had happened but she could make an educated guess. The tone of this lunch seemed to be going downhill fast. Thankfully, Mrs. Flint smoothed the front of her robes and began making her goodbyes. She nodded to Buffy, giving her a last lingering glance before making her exit.
There was a brief tense silence. Guess it was up to her to break it.
“ So where to next?” Buffy asked, selecting a dainty cake with pink frosting and white flowers from a plate on the table to nibble on.
Lucius regarded her thoughtfully for a moment, “ To Ollivander’s. He’s quite decrepit but remains unsurpassed when it comes to the making of wands.”
Buffy grinned, trying to lighten the atmosphere,“ I’ve been looking forward to getting a wand.”
Narcissa folded her napkin primly in her lap and sent her a gentle smile, “ Of course you are, darling. It’s an important moment in any witch’s life. Why I still remember when I got my first--”
Her Uncle snorted, “ Narcissa my dear, I’m sure she’d rather get her first
wand then hear about how you got yours.”
The look his wife sent him made it clear he’d pay for that comment later. Nonetheless, a short time later, they left the café and made their way to the Wand Shop.
The Store front was tiny, solemn, and dusty. Buffy read the peeling gold letters over the door of the shop. Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C..
Through the grimy glass of the window display, she could see a solitary wood wand laying on a faded purple cushion. Buffy wrinkled her nose. This wasn’t quite what she was expecting.
Uncle Lucius opened the door and ushered in her Aunt with a hand to the small of her back. Buffy shot one more uncertain look into the window before following them inside.
The shop was small, empty except for a single, spindly chair in the corner. Thousands of narrow boxes were piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place had a thin layer of dust about it.
Buffy stood behind her aunt and Uncle, inspecting what little she could see when someone began speaking from behind the counter.
“ Lucius Malfoy. Elm and Dragon Heartstring. Twelve Inches, Unyielding.” A pause and then, “ Narcissa Black. One of my more unusual wands. Willow and Acromantula Venom. Eleven Inches, Inflexible.” Another pause, “ To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”
“ We’re here to acquire a wand, Ollivander.” Uncle Lucius said crisply, shifting to the side. He placed a hand on Buffy’s shoulder to bring her forward, “ For my niece Christabel.”
They caught sight of each other at the same time.
An old man stood behind the counter. His clothes were drab and just as dusty looking as the rest of the store. He had wrinkles, shaggy white hair, and wide moon-pale eyes behind a set of spectacles. They widened dramatically when she stepped into view.
“ Oh my…” he breathed out, gawking at her.
Buffy shifted uncomfortably and glanced up at her Uncle. He was watching the old storekeeper with a narrowed icy gaze, “ Is there a problem?”
Ollivander seemed to catch himself. He straightened and cleared his throat and slipped his glasses off, “ Ah, no, no of course not. Your niece…” he turned to Buffy, “ That would make you Ms. Josceline’s daughter.”
He examined her for a moment thoughtfully, “ I remember when your mother came in here for her first wand-”
“ Ollivander. This isn’t a social call.” Lucius cut in curtly. Buffy frowned. She wished he’d stop doing that. She’d wanted to hear what he remembered about her mother.
The Shopkeeper straightened and nodded, “ Of course, Mr. Malfoy.”
All business, he turned back to Buffy, “ What type of wand do you have now?”
“Um… none?” She offered a shy smile.
His eyebrows rose, “ None?”
Narcissa replied coolly, “ This is Belle’s first wand.” It was clear that she wouldn’t be offering any type of explanation.
The old man responded dryly, “ I see. Well, please step forward then Miss.” He gestured to her.
Buffy stepped forward and was greeted by a very friendly tape measurer. As it buzzed around measuring every body dimension possible, Ollivander began striding from shelf to shelf, pulling boxes and piling them on the counter.
“ Which is your wand hand?”
“ Um…” Was he asking if she was right or left handed? Typically she used her right but… She glanced back at her guardians. They just watched expectantly, “ I’m actually ambidextrous.”
The old man paused for a moment, seemingly taken aback, “ Oh. Well, that’s ... interesting. Don’t get many of those.”
Buffy tried not to squirm uncomfortably. She felt very much on display. The tape-measurer was now bordering inappropriate behavior as it tried to measure space between her breasts. She pursed her lips and blew at it, trying to shoo it away quietly.
“ That’s quite enough of that.” The Tape zipped over to the counter as Ollivander gave her an apologetic look, “ Alright Miss, go ahead and give this a wave.” He opened a narrow box and handed her a pale colored wand, “ Willow and Unicorn hair. Eight Inches, swishy.”
Buffy bit her lip as she reached for it, remembering just what had happened when she’d waved Piper’s wand in Roanoke. The handle felt smooth in her palm as she gave it a tight jab of a wave. Her eyes squeezed shut out of reflex.
She didn’t hear anything explode. What she did hear was her Aunt’s muffled inhalation, the surprised yelp of the old man, and the darkly amused chuckle of her Uncle. Already dreading what she’d see, Buffy opened her eyes. And nearly gagged.
Bulbous pus-filled sores had sprouted all over the wandmaker’s face. She could actually see them throb in time with his heartbeat. He winced, “ Ah. Apparently not.” as he pulled out his own wand, an old creaky dusty thing that she privately thought rather suited him, and gave a slight flick. The pustules vanished.
He pressed another wand into her hand, “ Holly and Dragon Heartstring. Go ahead, give it a try.”
This wand felt heavy in her hand, and seemed to pulse with a life of its own. Buffy held back a groan, she just new this one was going to be bad. She extended her arm forward and gave a neat counter clockwise turn of her wrist.
A bomb went off. Or at least that’s what it sounded like.
The glass in the store front window, the lone chair, two shelving units, the countless wands they held and a good portion of the east wall simply exploded. The blast had thrown her Uncle and Aunt away towards the opposite side of the shop and they looked relatively unharmed if more than a little stunned. Mr. Ollivander, on the other hand, hadn’t moved an inch and wore a rather bland expression. Slivers of wood, blown into tiny sawdust sized pieces, floated in the air around him.
He deadpanned, “ No. Definitely not.”
Buffy could feel her mouth opening and closing but it took her a moment to find her voice, “ I am so sor--”
The wand maker waved her apologies away, “ Please think nothing of it. It’s certainly not your fault. Very similar things happen to all untrained witches and wizards searching for their first wands. Admittedly, nothing ever so… Grand.” He turned and eyed the distruction, grimacing when he beheld the pile of mangled wands, “ Almost everything can be repaired quite easily, I assure you.”
Uncle Lucius stepped closer and spoke coolly, “ We will, of course, gladly pay for any damage that cannot be repaired. Price is no object.” Aunt Narcissa quietly agreed beside him.
Ollivander gave a short nod before turning back to Buffy, “ Alright, why don’t you give this one a try… Maple and Phoenix Feather. Go ahead.” He surreptitiously took a couple of steps back.
Buffy swallowed hard. She held the wand gingerly, feeling a dry warmth itching her palm. Part of her was resigned to seeing whatever chaos she summond next but the other half couldn’t help but think - what the hell were these people thinking letting her have one of these?!
Taking a deep breath, she arched her arm in a loose wide wave. And watched as a giant purple fireball, six by six ft at least, erupted from the wand tip and incenerated the already damaged and blown to bits left side of the shop.
Buffy turned wide eyes to her guardians. Her Aunt stood grasping her husband’s arm, a hand covering her hanging mouth as she stared wide eyed at a pile of wood that now more closely resembled a bonfire. Her Uncle stood still and silent, apparently struck speechless as well though his lips kept twitching suspiciously.
Buffy turned back around, this time searching out Mr. Ollivander. He looked pretty calm, barring the fact that his entire right side was blackened with soot, half of the hair on his head had been singed off, and an eyebrow was missing. He stood, watching a large pile of what had been salvageable, if somewhat badly damaged, wands burn merrily in purple flame. He reached up and scratched the side of his head that had been scorched bald and sighed, “ I have a feeling, young miss, that you will be my most challenging customer of all.”
The words proved true.
Two hours had passed and Buffy had gone through his entire selection. The shop looked like a battlefield. She’d blown holes in his floor with a wand that had shot actual cannonballs at high velocity; the ceiling was coated and dripping with a thick odorous black venom that had spewed from the tip of a wand like the girl in the Exorcist had spewed pea soup; She’d summoned a plague of fluffy blue squirrels that ran amuck, caused a thunderstorm inside the store, caused a flock of terrifying piranha hybrid birds to fly out in the street and begin chasing people, iced her Uncle’s pants, floated her Aunt onto the ceiling(and into the black gooey venom), and given the poor wandmaker another case of boils, this time in a rather unfortunate place.
But not all the wands had reacted so… strongly. They’d all reacted on some level, which from what Ollivander muttered to himself, she supposed wasn’t typical but only a handful had caused so much trouble. Rather than becoming short tempered or beleaguered, the shop keeper seemed to become more cheerful and intrigued the longer it took to find her a wand.
Finally, after they’d tested the very last wand in his inventory and he’d finished chasing the five hot pink sparkly porcupines outside with a worn and slightly singed broom, the old man turned to them and rubbed his hands together, a rather disturbing grin lighting his face, “ Well, I’ve come to a very intriguing conclusion.”
Buffy looked at him glumly. This was it. The moment he told her she couldn’t have a wand. She’d never felt more of a freak then she did right now. How much of a lame ass witch was she that she couldn’t even get a wand that wouldn’t spaz out when she used it?
Lucius and Narcissa likewise looked unhappy. Her Aunt had moved forward and placed a supportive hand on her shoulder, throwing the obnoxious man venomous looks. Lucius’s jaw was clenched tight and he looked ready to kill.
He sneered at the dusty shopkeeper, “ And what conclusion might that be? That you cannot provide an obviously magical child with a proper wand? My, that Is intriguing!” The contempt is his voice was an ugly thing.
Mr. Ollivander tried to placate them both, “ Not at all. The conclusion I am speaking of is this: When someone selects a wand or the wand selects them, it is because their own magic resonates with the magic in the wand. A parallel, if you will. Obviously, Miss Christabel has quite a bit of potential… therefore it only makes sense that I have not yet created a wand fit to match her personal brand of magic. So, I will simply do so.”
Buffy brightened considerably and noted her Uncle and Aunt relaxed a bit as well,“ You can do that?”
“ Certainly, my dear.” He rubbed his chin, a pleased look in his eye, “ It’s been a very long time since I had a chance to create something specifically for a customer.”
Lucius still watched him with narrowed eyes, “ My niece’s schooling begins within days. She needs a usable wand immediately. How long will this take?”
“ Well, for the bonding process alone, I’d need to have three phases of the moon and sun to work with…” the wandmaker was in deep thought, “ I could have it finished within three to four weeks. But, if you need something she can begin learning with…” He reached behind a counter and brought out the ruffled packaging of a wand Buffy had already seen. It was one of the ones that hadn’t had something horrible or potentially dangerous erupt from it. It had hummed in her palm pleasantly but still hadn’t felt quite right. Ollivander pulled the length of pale gold wood free and examined it, “ I believe this will do. Apple and Phoenix Feather. Ten Inches, Supple. Not a perfect match but it will allow her to start practicing magic adequately.”
Her Uncle nodded briskly, “ Very well. I believe that could work as a temporary solution. What else would you need to begin the crafting of her wand?”
“ Nothing. I have all of the materials needed located in my workroom in back. I just need the young miss to select the properties and I can begin crafting right away.” the old man replied. He turned to Buffy, “ Why don’t you go ahead, my dear, and head back. Just through the aisle there, straight back. Go through the door on the right and down the twisting stairs. You’ll come to a round room. Please wait there and… don’t touch anything.” He said firmly but kindly.
Buffy gave him an affronted look and started off. The indignation melted away however as she glimpsed the ruin that she’d created of his shop.
wouldn’t touch anything.
All three adults watched her disappear into the back.
Lucius watched as the old shopkeep turned back to them, pulling out his spectacles and putting them back on. He gave the Malfoy Male a serious look, “ Was your niece raised among muggles?”
He stiffened and prepared a scathing retort but his wife beat him to it. Narcissa stepped closer and hissed, “ I fail to see how my niece’s history is any business of yours.”
Ollivander sighed, “ I mean no disrespect. But I have to say something for the child’s sake. Do you know why I reacted so strangely when I first saw her?” He slipped his glasses off and held them before the couple, “ These are charmed to show certain levels of magic as well as the aura of a person. Very useful in determining what type of wand will suit and who will suit that wand. But I’ve never seen anything like…” He trailed off.
Lucius shared a look with his wife before turning back to the old man, “ What are you babbling about?”
The wandmaker scratched his chin thoughtfully, “ Let me see if I can explain this right. A Wizard or Witch’s magic is generated by a type of internal magical engine. It produces the magic inside you. The older you get or the more you use it, the stronger it gets and the more it generates. The power begins to flow out when you practice your craft. You do not want it to build up because it tends to cause wild magic-”
“ I am familiar with magical theory, old man.” Lucius drawled impatiently.
Ollivander pinched the bridge of his nose, “ Your niece is fourteen if she’s a day… And she has the largest build up of magic I’ve ever seen.” Seeing the surprise on their faces, he continued, “ I can also tell that her powers were being bound but now they are not. Normally, a person would simply leak wild magic all over the place all of the time, causing chaos. But your niece is subconsciously containing it. And I have no idea how.”
Narcissa’s eyes were wide. Lucius frowned and paced a few steps away.
The wandmaker moved forward, trying to impress upon them the severity of the situation, “ Magic swirls and clings to her everywhere. It’s like looking at the sun. I watched tendrils lash out and her yank them back. It’s a constant push and pull game. That amount of wild magic… and there is nothing containing it. Just the subconscious of a fourteen year old child. It’s one of the reasons the wands reacted so strongly to her. She’s a bomb waiting to explode. The sooner you begin her training the better. She needs to begin siphoning the magic off so that it flows normally. Otherwise… things could get very messy.”
Ollivander studied them for a brief moment before heading towards the back, “ Just thought you should know.”
Buffy followed Mr. Ollivander’s directions and ended up in a small round room downstairs. Obviously a workshop, it was just as musty and crowded as the rest of the place. Tables and benches were piled high with odd looking metal tools, drawings and diagrams of wands covered nearly all the available space on the walls. Two arching doors with medieval-looking locking contraptions sat on either side of the room.
Making sure that both of her hands were in the pockets of her robe, Buffy leaned forward to exam the lone picture sitting on the main work table. In it, Ollivander and a young boy with curly brown hair stood out in front of the shop. The old man’s arm was around the boy’s shoulders. Both had wide smiles on their faces. Every so often, the young boy would stick his tongue out, cross his grey eyes, and make funny faces.
“ My great-great-grandson. Likes to come and visit me during the summer.” The wandmaker said from behind her.
She turned and offered him a smile, “ He’s cute.” She blew out a breath, “ So how do we do this?”
Ollivander made his way over to the door on the left, pulling a heavy ring of keys from the depths of his robe, “ First, you must select the materials. We’ll start with wood.” He shuffled through the keys, selecting a long bronze one, “ Behind this door is the room I keep the various selection of woods I have gathered over the years. Once you enter, select whatever piece or pieces that appeal to you and bring them out.” Unlocking the door, he continued, “ There are no wrong choices, just what feels right to you.”
“ You’re not coming with me?” She shot him an anxious look.
He gave her a reassuring smile, “ You’ll better sense what feels right to you if no one else is in there. Anyone else’s magical aura could confuse the essence of the wood and your senses.” He opened the door wide for her.
Buffy took a deep breath and entered.
A candle flickered to life across the room at her entrance. She could see bins and racks of wood pieces, ranging in size from sticks to larger branches.
She sighed and bit her lip before stepping forward to the nearest selection. She wasn’t sure what she was exactly supposed to do. Hold her hand out and see if she could sense any ‘ pick me vibes’?
Feeling foolish, that’s exactly what she did. But nothing, nada, zip. She sighed again and just starting rummaging through the selection. Maybe it was like shopping for shoes…
Turns out, that’s exactly what it was like. Buffy went through the entire selection and came away with two pieces that had given her successful ‘Ah-Ha!’ moments. There wasn’t any huge magical epiphany or ‘vibe’ that made her choose them… instead, something more subtle. The first piece was large and pale, though it hard a dark gold-green undertone. It was the length and thickness of her arm and small white flowers the size of her fingernails dotted the knotty bark. It thrummed in her palm, dry and hot, a pulsing beat like tribal drums echoing in her ears like an second heartbeat. Mine
, she thought.
The second was discovered at the very back of the room, under a pile of larger limbs. It was slimmer and sleeker than her first choice. It had a mirage of colors, bleeding from pale grey to the depths of charcoal.
She’d reached out and soothed her fingers down its length. It blazed
. She grasped it. And was consumed
. The warmth and the flame of power, an explosion of possibilities, she felt drenched and coated in new sensations, felt the winds of change heralding. Electric spirals all around her… until everything settled inside and she felt strong. Powerful.
“ Oh yeah.” Buffy breathed, “ That’s what I’m taking about.”
“ Interesting choices, Miss Malfoy.” Ollivander studied her selections closely.
“ What are they?” She asked, practically bouncing in place.
“ Well, this one,” he held up the one with the tiny blossoms, “ is called Whitethorn. It belongs to the Hawthorn family. It is often used for love spells and protection with its powers of dispelling negative energy and strife. The Hawthorn is said to stand at the doors of the otherworld and is sometimes called the faery tree and can be found 'guarding' cemeteries and holy places. The tree is sometimes regarded as a very unlucky tree due to its contradictory nature of having beautiful flowers and deadly thorns. But I certainly don’t put stock in that rumor, Miss.”
Buffy leaned forward to get a better look, “ I don’t see any thorns.”
He nodded, his eyes on the wood, “ I removed them when I first obtained this piece in Ireland.” He sat it gently on the table and moved to the next stick, “ Ah, and this one...” He held it respectfully, “ Lignam Vitae. The tree of life. The Great Merlin’s own wand was created of the same wood. Very Impressive.”
She bit her lip, “ So I have to choose, huh?”
Ollivander rubbed his chin thoughtfully, “ Maybe not.” He stood and began rummaging in a draw of drawings, finally pulling free his prize, “ Ah-ha! Take a look at this!” He held it out for her inspection with a florish.
Buffy eyed him warily before taking a look at the drawing. It was a design for a wand. At first, it looked remarkabley similar to all the others; It was a long pointy piece of wood. But the notes and smaller drawing next to it said differently. It showed different layers and conjoining parts.
She gave him a skeptical look, “ Um, what exactly am I looking at?”
He gave a huff, “ This is a design for a very complex wand. Do you see the layers and different compartments? They can be made from different woods
Her lips made an ’O’ in understanding, “ So I could use both?”
The Wandmaker nodded pleased, “ This design is from the Dueling days. It was created to harness and use power in complex and intricate ways. It’s very difficult and costly to make, however, so eventually it was passed by for simpler models.” He got a nostalgic look, “ The last time I made one of these I was a very young man… had more hair too.”
“ Uh,” Buffy cleared her throat, “ So what next?”
Ollivander seemed to catch himself, “ Right. Well, you’ll need to choose your wand core. It’s through the other door.” He nodded to the door on the right, “ I’ve already unlocked it while you were selecting the wood. Just do the same thing you did before and you’ll be fine.”
She turned and marched through the doorway without a hesitation. This would be a piece of cake
Okay, maybe not a piece of cake. Unless, it was like, a piece of that holiday fruit cake her old neighbors used to give her family at Christmas. Freakin’ Hard
The Core room was set up very much like the Wood room had been. Except in here there were bins of autumn colored phoenix feathers, multi-colored balls of what she presumed was Unicorn hair, and jars filled with things that looked like tonsils. Dragon heartstrings. Yuck.
Besides the ick factor, she’d tried to find something that appealed to her. But the feathers had just given her a major sneezing fit, the large balls of hair just kept coming unraveled and sticking to her clothes, and she couldn’t even look at the jars filled with those poor dragon’s heartstrings.
Buffy was started to get very frustrated. Why couldn’t anything be easy? Just this once?
She leaned over to pick up a pile of feathers that had fallen over the edge of their bin. She scooped them up and set them back where they belonged before glancing down and pausing. She’d lifted them off of another box and now could see inside.
Shiny, pretty, semi-precious stones. A rainbow of colors twinkled up at her. Her hand dived in before she even thought about it.
Buffy wondered what they were doing in here. She didn’t think pretty rocks would be able to be a wand core but then why were they here?
She lifted two clear ones in her palm. One was the size of her pinky nail, the other slightly larger like a small marble. She studied them for a moment, admiring the way the light flicked over and through them and cast prisms against her skin. It was only because she was looking so close that she first noticed them changing.
The larger one started first. Color seemed to leech from her skin and into it’s deepths, swirling darker and darker till the stone shone a deep dark red. The smaller stone did something similar, its clear crystal clouding over to show a slash of liquid silver.
Buffy felt a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. Where they supposed to do that?
Buffy brought them out to Ollivander.
He seemed stumped that she hadn’t been able to find any core materials and fairly surprised when she showed him the crystals.
He rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he stuided them. She watched him expectantly. After a few moments where he still said nothing, she grew impatient, “ Well?”
“ Hmm? Oh.” The wandmaker shook himself, “ Well, my dear, I can honestly say I’ve never had a customer quite like you before.”
Buffy tried not to groan at the comment. Could you sayDu?
Ollivander seemed to try and reassure her, “ Now, that’s not a bad thing. When it comes to magic, my dear, the more unusual, the more different, the better. Generally. We, of course, still get some bad apples. But we were talking about your wand.” He began looking through drawers as he spoke, “ Since you didn’t find anything in the Core room that appealed to you, we’re going to have to ah… think outside the box a bit…where did I-oh yes! Here it is!” He turned, a small vial in one hand, a large pointy knife in the other.
Buffy took a big step back, “ Uh, how outside the box are you thinking?”
He gave a chuckle which did nothing to make her feel any better, “ Now, none of that. I need to prick your finger. As a witch, your blood can be used as your own wand core. Unusual yes, but not unheard of. I believe it will make you a very powerful wand.”
She took another step back as she gave him and his big ass knife an uncertain look, “ It doesn’t seem very sanitary.”
The knife happy old man came towards her, “ Don’t you worry, it won’t hurt a bit. Hold out a finger, please.”
Buffy swallowed but did as he asked. She watched as he swiftly poked her and her bright red blood welled. He placed her finger directly over the vial and instructed her to catch ‘every drop’.
She grimaced but did as instructed.
Ollivander moved back towards the table to scoop up the crystals, “ And as for these… are you familiar with beryls?”
Buffy frowned, “ Diamonds, check. Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, check. Beryls? Nope.”
He seemed happy to have a chance to lecture her again, “ Beryls come and go in wand making every other decade or so. You can place a stone at the tip of your wand, at the base, or on both. Typically, if they’re set on the base, the crystals are used to reserve extra power in case of an emergency. At the tip, it can give extra pricision in spells. They start off clear and once they hold power, they turn colors. Seems like you’ve already filled these two.” He examined the dark red one closely, “ I’m going to add them to your wand. No sense wasting the power in them.”
Buffy nodded again but was curious, “ So anytime you touch a crystal it just reserves power?”
Ollivander glanced up at that and met her gaze, “ Not at all. Typically, it takes will and incredible focus to infuse magic into a lone beryl. Once it joins with your wand however, it becomes much easier.” The old man hesitated for a moment, “ Excuse me for asking, but am I correct in the fact that you haven’t been trained at all yet?”
Buffy sighed, “ Nope, not trained at all. My mom raised me… ah, muggle. I found out I was a witch after she died.”
The wandmaker nodded, solemn, “ I’m going to tell you what I told your Uncle and Aunt earlier. Because you haven’t been trained, your magic has built up exponentially. I’m quite surprised it hasn’t gone wild yet. The sooner you begin your training the better for you. Anything that gets your magic moving and flowing at a healthy level is a good thing. In fact… wait here a moment.”
He turned and left the main workroom, returning a minute later carrying a mid-sized bag. He sat it at her feet, opening it briefly to show her the contents. Crystals, larger than her two, ranging in size from a large marbel to fist size.
“ Oooo, pretty!” Buffy cooed before catching herself and giving the wandmaker a sheepish smile.
He gave a snort but she could see the amusement in his ruamy gaze, “ I think these may help you with your abundance of power problem. Holding them in your hand should cipher a lot of your extra magic into them. And they will reserve it till you are able to use it again.”
“ Really?” She was relieved. Exploding from wild magic was so
not on her ‘to do’ list. “ That’s really nice of you.”
“ My dear, it’s the least I could do.” He took the vial of blood from her and stoppered it. Buffy glanced down at her finger, relieved to see that the blood had stopped. Ollivander turned and placed it next to her soon-to-be wands, “ You are giving me the chance to design a wand from scratch again. It’s rare I have the chance to test my creative abilites.”
“ Uh-huh.” Buffy gave him a speculative look. Where she came from, no one did anything for free. “ Then I guess… You’re welcome.”
A short while later, Uncle Lucius and Aunt Narcissa led her from the wand maker’s shop. By this time, it was early evening and dusk had cast deep shadows in the street. Buffy carried her beginner’s wand and bag of crystals and couldn‘t help but give the dingy place one last long look.
Her Aunt gave her a warm smile, “ Well, your Uncle Lucius and I thought we’d take you out for dinner to celebrate the start of your magical development. What do you feel like for dinner, darling?”
Feeling touched at the gesture, Buffy smiled back, “ Surprise me.”
Later that night, Buffy crawled into bed.
Note to sel, she thought, neve
let Narcissa pick a restaurant ever again
They’d taken her to a wizarding resturant called Délicieux, which was located in the Royal Botanic Gardens. It was a very lovely with lush flower arrangements, secluded alcoves, candlelight, and bubbling fountains. They seemed to cater to wealthy well-to-do wizards and their families. Buffy could see quite a few young children, hair in perfect curls and dressed in their Sunday best, sitting and behaving with perfect manners while their parents sipped champagne and talked politics.
The Restaurant served elegant French cuisine and provided unusual entertainment for the patrons with performing fairies. Buffy had tried to get a better look at the little creatures but they kept high above the crowd, swirling and twirling their glowing colors in light bending displays.
After dessert, her Aunt and Uncle had seen a few social acquaintances of theirs and stopped by to visit briefly. Already bored, it didn’t take long before Buffy made a break for it, intending to get some air outside.
The night air had felt wonderful, fall making it crisp and cool. Admiring the scenery of the famous gardens, Buffy had walked a short ways before stopping at the sounds of giggling up ahead. Curious now, she’d trudged through some bushes to the clearing on the other side.
What lay there could only have been the fairies’ personal gardens. The trunks of the trees gleamed silver, the leaves golden pale. Exotic blooms filled the air with magical scents and eye catching colors. The moonlight filtered through the leaves of the canopy, and cast everything silvery blue.
Tiny fairy creatures flitted her and there, playing with some of the wizarding children from the restaurant that had apparently made a break for freedom as well. A couple of small boys had been giggling nonstop as a group of the winged beings chased them around. Near by, a young girl with butterscotch curls and pink robes sat on the ground and chattered excitedly to the trio of fairies that were busy braiding her hair with flowers.
A tiny one had flitted up to Buffy as well. Smaller than her thumb and reed slender, She (and from the lack of clothes, she was irrefutably a she) wore her long blue hair down, letting it swirl to cover and display her nakedness. Her wings were like a dragonfly‘s, gossamer and delicately thin.
She’d lighted on Buffy’s nose for a moment, leaning close to peer into her emerald eyes. Buffy felt them cross for a moment as she tried to examine it as well. She’d glimpsed large liquid black eyes before the tiny being smiled up at her and flitted away, leaving a trail of pale blue sparkling dust on Buffy’s nose and cheeks like star struck freckles. Her nose wrinkled before she gave a tiny sneeze.
Tinkling laughter had caressed her ears and when she’d glanced up, her eyes had widened alarmingly. The Blue Fairy had come back and apparently, she was ready to party because she’d brought at least a dozen friends. They glowed all different colors but seemed similar in every other way, like their penchant for not wearing clothes.
They flocked around her, chattering in their high pitched voices. Although they seemed very friendly, Buffy gave them an uncertain smile and tried to edge away.
A short time later, when her Aunt and Uncle came to collect her, they’d stopped short at the sight of their niece. The fairies had crawled through Buffy’s hair; braiding, weaving, and looping her locks into a gravity defying hairdo. They’d even tucked blooms and other trinkets here and there for decoration. Her skin was covered in multi colored fairy dust, showing where the fairies had taken to landing on her and staying. She was reclining on one of the stone benches, scowling at everything with wings. Every fairy in the garden either sat on her or as near her as they could. All of the other wizarding children crowded around, wanting to pet the fairies that surrounded the older girl.
Buffy caught sight of them and mouthed ‘Help Me
”, desperation plain on her face.
Her Uncle cleared his throat, very careful to keep his expression as bland as possible. The fairies took flight and the children quickly dispersed.
Buffy gave a sigh of relief and made to stand up, crying out half way as three more fairies burst out of a nest they’d made in her hair. Trying not to blush, She’d tried to come off as nonchalant as possible,“ So… Ready to go then?”
Her guardians had tried to follow her lead in acting casual but Buffy caught Lucius’s mouth twitching every time he glanced at her. Narcissa wasn’t any better since every time she glanced at her, she’d had to turn her head away. The fact that Buffy could feel her shoulders shaking from the repressed laughter the woman was trying to hold in gave her away completely.
Normally, Buffy could shake stuff like this off… well, not likethi. But she usually could. But now, her stiff repressed English relatives were practically busting guts, in their own way, because those stupid fairies had decided to play Extreme: Makeover - Buffy Edition. It was not to be borne!
And of course, the moment she’d walked through her bedroom door, Bernard had demanded to know what had happened to her. He seemed to find her answer,“ Mugging by Fairy” hilarious.
And, of course, he’d demanded to know every detail of what had happened with her wand. Buffy had prepared herself for non-stop mocking but surprisingly, the mirror phantom did none of that. He’d seemed surprised at what she told him and rather quiet.
“ You feeling okay, Bernie?” She asked as she combed her ratted wet hair.
“ Hmm?” He seemed to come back to himself,“ Of Course. And don’t call me Bernie.”
She rolled her eyes but didn’t respond, much too tired to banter tonight. Buffy had crawled beneath the covers, exhaustion taking over.
She managed one sleepy,“ Good night.” before she slipped into sleep.
She never heard the quiet,“ Good night Buffy.” that followed.