Of Wands and Wonders
Chapter 6 Of Wands and Wonders Many thanks to Amie for recommending this story Olivander’s Wand Shop, Diagon Alley, earlier that morning
Garrick Olivander had opened his own shop for the first time in far too long that morning. And as soon as he’d unlocked the door, it opened, almost hitting his nose. He stumbled back
“Oh, Hi, I’m so sorry!” A redhead, the girl who had opened his door so forcefully, helped him to his feet and started to dust him down, all the while babbling like a brook. “I’m Willow! I’m here for a wand! My girlfriend, that’s Hannah, told me I ought to go and try and get a wand, so that’s why I’m here. For a wand. Which is what I’m here for. A wand that is.”
Olivander blinked at the redheaded force of nature that had entered his store, noting she was slender, nervous and American, before he focused on a more familiar sight carried by the girl who followed. *Rowan, nine and a half inches, Unicorn mane, springy… Hannah Abbott, yes.*
“Willow, let Mr. Olivander go. He won’t run,” the blonde soothed the redhead.
Olivander smiled. “That remains to be seen, Miss Abbott. So, you’re here for a wand?”
Willow nodded vigorously. “Uh-huh!”
“Quite. You’re rather old to be getting your first wand, what happened to the previous one?” Olivander got out his tape measure.
“Never used a wand as a focus before. I’ve used sticks, and orbs of Thesulah and flowers and herbs and stuff. Never a proper wand,” the girl called Willow babbled. *An orb of Thesulah? What has this girl been doing?*
Olivander thought as he approached the young woman. “What is your dominant arm?”
“D-dominant?” the girl blushed, glanced at her girlfriend, and then brightened. “Oh, dominant! Right, I’m right-handed.”
Olivander coughed and ignored Hannah’s very red face. “I see. Are you in a relationship with Miss Abbott?”
Willow smiled and the room seemed to light up. “Yes,” then she glared at him. “Why?”
“Because it’s important information. I’ve noticed that many who wield wands made of elder wood are attracted to those with wands of rowan, so we shall start you out with elder wands,” Olivander told her soothingly as he moved to gather the first few wands he thought might match.
“Oh. Okay then. Hey! Stop that!” Willow scowled at the tape measure. It shivered, rolled up and flew to Olivander, hiding in his pocket.
Olivander blinked and turned very slowly. “Ah… Are you sure you need a wand?”
“Well, like I said I never had one, so I don’t know but I want one! Hannah can do all sorts of neat things with hers!” Willow pouted. Hannah blushed again.
Olivander coughed again. *Merlin, these two are almost as good as a Vaudeville act,*
he smiled slightly. “I’m sure she can. Let’s try this one. Elder, seven inches, Unicorn mane, rigid.”
Willow took the wand and waved it enthusiastically. Incandescent light burned around her hand and fingers, engulfing the wand and with a roar of power a ball of white hot fire struck the wall of wands.
Unlike with his usual eleven year old customers, Olivander had taken precautions. In this case that meant raising the shop wards and getting ready to dive behind the counter. When he rose from behind the counter, dusting himself off, he noted the mortified expression on the girls’ faces. “Not to worry. I was prepared. This however, might be a bit of a challenge. Would you mind using a touch less power with the next one? But first, please, sit.”
Willow nodded, then held out the wand in a trembling hand. Olivander’s eyes widened. The wand was charred from tip to butt, cracked and split. He could smell the sour, dead scent of burned unicorn hair. One of the strongest wand combinations possible and a single burst of raw magic had turned it into a useless cinder.
Olivander accepted the former wand, studied it carefully, running his fingers along the length, feeling the hundreds, if not thousands of minute cracks where the witch’s power had escaped from the powerful focus. He sniffed it, held it up and cast a Lumos
with his own wand, seeing the light shine through the destroyed wand.
“Amazing,” he whispered. “Such enormous power.”
He glanced at the young redhead who looked about ready to cry and smiled as he put the wand on the counter. “Please, sit. Don’t worry. It just means that we’ll have to do this differently.”
Willow nodded. She picked up a stool and sat down.
Olivander sat down on his own stool. “Normally I don’t ask many questions of my customers, but in your case I feel I need to, lest my shop, and the Alley, suffer irreparable damage.”
Willow nodded, much subdued. “That might be wise, yeah.”
Olivander summoned sheet of parchment and a quill. “Now, from your accent I’d say you were American. Where were you born? And do you have magical parents?”
“Sunnydale, California, and no, I don’t think so,” Willow replied.
“How old were you when you first did magic?”
“Seventeen, for my first real spell,” Willow answered eagerly.
“And that was?”
“I restored a soul to a vampire,” Willow sighed. “It worked but it was really bad, since my friend had been in love with him… are you alright?” she anxiously asked the wand maker.
“A soul to a vampire?” Olivander was aghast. “Merlin! Without a wand? At that age? That’s-that’s…” He fell silent. “Who are you?”
Hannah sighed as Willow seemed to shrink. “We call her the White Witch of the West.”
Olivander sat staring at Willow for a full minute and she began to fidget. Hannah stepped up and put her arms around her. “Please, Mr. Olivander? A wand?”
Olivander shook his head. “I doubt very much I have anything of sufficient power in stock. I may even have to combine woods, and even cores! Yes, yes, we will run some tests. Yes. Don’t worry about the wand reactions, my dear, but I would appreciate it if you used only a small amount of your power. I do like my shop, and if we can prevent accidents like what happened to the first one, it would be better on my inventory as well.”
He smiled brightly, suddenly looking years younger. “This may take a bit of time. I shall make tea! Oh, I do wish Luna were here, she would be of great help, I’m sure!” He bustled off into the back, humming happily.
“He thinks it’s a challenge?” Willow whispered at Hannah. “He isn’t angry that I wrecked his wand?”
Hannah started to giggle. “I think he does. And no, I don’t think he is.”
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP In front of Olivander’s Wand Shop, Diagon Alley, later that morning
Dawn was scowling, her head tilted slightly as she looked at her boyfriend. Well, manfriend. He was Buffy’s age after all. *Hmmm… that means that Buffy is dating a younger guy? Weird.*
“Percival Ignatius Weasley, you’d better have a very good explanation for dragging me here!”
Percy coughed. *Merlin I wish Mum hadn’t told her my full name. Or shown her all those photo albums. Or told her I’m ticklish behind my elbows… Actually that last bit is quite fun.*
“Well, you see, you have magic. It may be different from ours, but you still have it. So we were wondering if it might actually not be that different. So… Ummm. Mum told me to take you,” he finally admitted.
“She wants a daughter-in-law who can use a wand?” Dawn asked, her voice hard.
“No,” Percy shook his head, smiling. “Wands react to you. That’s the problem. Mum wants a daughter in law who doesn’t accidentally blow up the kitchen. And was that a proposal?”
Dawn flushed and she slapped his arm. “Shush, you. But why wait so long?”
Percy smiled apologetically. “Mr. Olivander was visiting family in the Colonies when the International Portkeys were shut down because of a Death Eater and Dementor threat. That was recently resolved. Mum wants you to be helped by the best.”
Dawn sighed. Then she smirked. “Maybe I should get Willow to come here and try for a wand.”
Percy smiled. “If she’s as powerful as I think she is, she doesn’t need one. And it might be quite harmful to Mr. Olivander’s shop.”
“I suppose so,” Dawn admitted.
The first thing Percy noticed when he entered the store was that there were other customers, and neither of them was a child. The second was that Mr. Olivander was busily taking notes in a large book as he handed the redheaded customer a brightly shining feather.
“Now this feather was the last one donated by the Phoenix Fawkes before he left after the death of his companion, Albus Dumbledore. I think it likely you will find it matches you quite well.”
Willow nodded and gently waved the feather, leaving a trail of fiery sparks.
Olivander smiled. “Wonderful! You have strong reactions to all of the supreme cores as well as several woods. Oh, what a lovely challenge!”
“Mr. Olivander, good morning,” Percy greeted him. “Hannah, Willow.”
Olivander whirled. “Ah, Percival Weasley, Fir, ten inches, inflexible, dragon’s heartstring. And who might this young lady be?”
“Dawn!” Willow squeaked with excitement. “This is so awesome! Are you here for a wand too?”
Dawn nodded. “Mu- Mrs. Weasley insisted. Apparently I’m a menace.”
Olivander frowned. “Really? How?”
“Wands react to me. Or so I’ve been told,” Dawn replied glumly.
“Wands react…” Olivander whispered, then whipped out his measuring tape. He looked at Willow, “I am sorry, dear lady, but this is not a situation that can be allowed to persist,” he then turned to Dawn. “What’s your dominant hand, my dear?”
“Umm, right, I’m right handed,” Dawn looked askance at the tape that was now doing its own thing.
“Excellent, excellent. Now then, what sort of reactions do you cause? The old man had opened a second roll of parchment and held a quill at the ready.
“Umm? Dunno? I didn’t notice anything! Percy might,” Dawn glared at the tall redhead, who smiled.
“Spells in her vicinity are more powerful, they exceed the caster’s wishes and desires. Mum says her wand vibrates whenever Dawn looks at her doing magic. Mine does too. And she can open anything, even things closed by the Anti-thieving charm,” Percy explained.
“I didn’t steal anything!” Dawn yelled, tears coming to her eyes as she saw Willow’s shocked expression. “I didn’t!”
Percy blinked in surprise at her defensive reaction before taking her in his arms. “We know you didn’t. It’s just that both Vicky and Teddy are very good at getting into places. And after Vicky got past the Colloportus on the kitchen sink cabinet and almost ate the Gnome bait, Mum put a heavier charm on them. You needed a cloth and it just opened for you. You didn’t even notice and the charms were gone as if they’d never been there.”
“Oh…” Dawn whispered.
Willow had risen from her stool and came over to hug her. “Easy, Dawnie. You’re fine. Everything’s fine,” she soothed.
“It will be, once we get her a wand and some training,” Olivander asserted. “Why ever was she not sent to school?”
“We didn’t know about your type of magic. America’s tracking wards, if that is the right word, are patchy at best. And she lived on the Hellmouth,” Willow smiled. “Might have done you some good to go to boarding school, Dawnie.”
“You mean it would’ve driven me screaming insane? Gee, thanks,” Dawn snarked through her tears.
“Maybe it would’ve given you a taste for… experimentation…” Willow whispered, her eyes twinkling with mischief as she batted her eyelids coquettishly.
“Wil-low!” Dawn gasped, shocked. “EEEEWWW!” Then she laughed.
“Hah, that worked,” Willow smiled. “Okay, now let’s hope getting you a wand is easier than getting me one,” she pouted prettily at Olivander who looked at Dawn thoughtfully.
“I cannot promise anything, Miss Rosenberg. But I will do my best. Well, hhhmmm,” he contemplated his pile of boxes, then grabbed one. “Let’s try beech, dragon’s heart string, eleven inches, stiff.”
Dawn sat on the stool, looking tired and worn and pale. Percy stood behind her. She leaned back against him, seeking warmth and assurance. By the desk Willow was talking softly with Olivander as they drew and wrote upon a large sheet of paper. Hannah had headed off to Slugg and Jiggers for work hours ago.
“They so need a flip chart,” Dawn said, trying to keep her voice even.
“A what?” Percy asked.
“A flip chart? Man, you guys really live in the Dark Ages. It’s an easel, like for a painting, only with large pieces of paper. You can make notes on it, and all look at it,” Dawn explained.
Olivander nodded at something Willow had just said. “Indeed. Miss Summers? One last test, if you will?”
Dawn nodded. To her surprise the old man handed her his own wand. Like all the ones before, it vibrated very slightly in her hand. A faint humming noise filled the store, like a thousand soft voices singing a chorus of glorious descanted notes. But the longer she held Olivander’s wand, the louder and more desperate the sound became.
Olivander looked around him with a look of boyish wonder on his aged face. “How perfectly splendid!” he whispered. He held out his hand with a regretful expression on his face and Dawn put his wand back into it.
“Well my dear, I think I know what happens. You allow witches and wizards to tap into the depths of their power. I have no doubt you do the same with magical creatures and even charmed objects,” Olivander’s voice was awed. “This will require thought and experimentation, and that will take some time. For you I have to create a wand that will not only channel your own magic, but contain the influence you exert over other magic, on an unconscious level.”
Dawn paled and her eyes shot to Willow. “I-Influence?”
Willow smiled sadly. “I was wondering about a component in my shields. It seems I instinctively formed a shield against you.”
Dawn gulped back a sob. “A-are you sure?”
“Positive. And even then, the things I did, those are my responsibility. I’m not a wand, to react without thinking,” Willow soothed her.
Olivander rubbed his chin. “I do wish Luna was here. Her insights would be invaluable.”
“Luna,” Dawn frowned. “You’ve mentioned that name before. Who is she?”
Olivander smiled sadly. “A very wonderful and gifted young lady who it is my honour to call friend. We met in very difficult circumstances. I found she has an exceptional understanding of wandlore, but she told me she wanted to follow a different path.”
There was ding-dong of the shop bell ringing and the door opened, showing a couple, a tall, fair man and a short, blonde woman.
Then the bell let out a discordant clang, the clapper withdrew shivering into the bell and the blonde looked up, annoyed.
“Is that another of those ‘Slayer alarm’ thingies, Neville?”
Dawn started to laugh, incredulously. “Buffy? What’re you doing here?”
Buffy scowled. “Neville says I need to get a wand. And learn magic. You know, study?” she shivered. “I thought I was done studying.”
“You’re never too old to learn, Buffy,” Willow scolded.
“Yes I am! The things I’d have to learn, kids here learn at age eleven! I’m way older than eleven!” Buffy pointed out.
Neville gave Mr. Olivander a nervous look. The old man ignored him, instead moving to Buffy.
“A Slayer. It has been a very long time since a Slayer last visited this shop. Wandmakers are forbidden to supply Slayers with wands,” he mused.
Buffy glared at him.
Olivander ignored her. “Yes… Hmmm. A silly law, if you ask me. I wonder…” he strode into his shadowy back room and emerged seconds later with a newly bound leather book. “The Act pertaining to rights and duties of magical creatures and beings, yes. The Declaration of Hogwarts, ah yes… Let me see… It should be, ah, here...”
Olivander cleared his throat and started to read. “All those recognized as beings, magical or not, are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, possession of magic, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”
Willow frowned. “That’s based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
“Is it? Miss Granger did say she found it somewhere. But this is the basis of the Act. And it states quite clearly further on that any being recognized by this treaty is allowed to use a wand, or other magical tool, if they so wish,” Olivander smiled.
“The Goblins were quite pleased with that. They were less pleased about the paragraphs on property, stating it was against their culture. Miss Granger pointed out that Wizarding culture was against giving them wands, and they really couldn’t have their cake and eat it,” Olivander pursed his lips at Buffy.
“This should be interesting. Hmmm… Something martial, I think…..”
Buffy grinned as the first wand was handed to her, looking over her shoulder. Neville winked.
Mr. Olivander cleared his throat. “And we’ll be having words about what you’ve been doing to your wand too, Mr. Longbottom!”
Neville’s gulp was audible across the store.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP Charing Cross Road, outside the Leaky Cauldron
Xander looked up dubiously at the unprepossessing frontage of the building. “This is the entrance to the Wizarding world? Couldn’t they, I don’t know, put on a lick of paint? Straighten the roof? Wash the windows? Do something about the smell?”
Luna gave him a level look over Joyce’s head. The girl was between them, holding both their hands. It had taken a bit of persuasion for her not to squeeze as hard as she could in her nervousness. Joyce might not be as strong yet as a grown slayer, she was stronger than either Xander or Luna. Or both together for that matter.
“It’s practically perfect in every way!” Luna told him firmly.
“Perfectly impractical if you ask me,” Xander muttered, but allowed himself to be drawn inside. “Why do we need to go here first and not to Willow’s?”
“Because I need to talk with Mr. Olivander,” Luna smiled. “Like I told you half a dozen times.”
“Yes. But why? I could understand meeting your father first, but a wandmaker?” Xander sighed as Luna dragged them onwards, calling out a cheerful greeting to the bald and wrinkly guy behind the bar, who somehow looked like all the bartenders Xander remembered from pirate movies rolled into one.
“Because I need to talk to Mr. Olivander, and not to Daddy. Besides, Daddy’s in Russia, looking for the Split-spleening Gospodeen,” Luna replied airily. She tapped the wall in the dingy, smelly courtyard and the wall opened.
Xander looked at the scene beyond and nodded. “Okay. That looks slightly more impressive than I thought it would be.”
Luna smiled. “I knew you’d like it.”
Xander sighed. “Okay, let’s go see this Olivander bloke and then find Willow.”
Luna smiled enigmatically. “Very well. This way.”
Xander eyed the bottle-glassed storefront with considerable disdain. It was much the same look he’d been giving a lot of the buildings they’d passed. “Well, if I didn’t believe in magic, this would convince me. This place can’t be held up by anything else. I’ve never seen such shoddy construction in my life.”
Luna smiled serenely. “Its quite safe you know. The magic makes it so.”
“Possibly,” Xander admitted. “But it would be even safer if the buildings were up to code before the magic was applied. It’s almost a ruin.”
Luna put a hand on the building. It seemed to glow under her touch. “Xander! This building has been here longer than the United States have existed, since before the time of Elizabeth I. It’s a part of the history of the wizarding world!” she told him sternly.
Joyce giggled. “You should apologize,” she poked Xander. “And then we can go in and meet the Slayer lady.”
Xander blinked, “Huhn?” He asked intelligently.
“Apologize!” Joyce poked Xander again.
Xander looked at the building. He had to admit it looked no worse than a building of its age could be expected to do. Possibly a lot better. “I’m sorry, I spoke without considering its history. What Slayer Lady?”
Slayer Lady,” Joyce told him firmly and bounced up the worn steps and into the store. Luna laughed and followed, equally as exuberant.
Xander sighed and followed. *I’m supposed to be the bouncy one, dammit!*
He stepped inside the store, and immediately to the side, so as to have the wall to his back as he let his eyes adjust to the dim light. He could see there were people inside, but with one eye, he wasn’t taking any risks.
“XANDER!” an excited voice called out and then Willow was bouncing off her stool and into his arms, while he could hear similar noises coming from Buffy and Dawn.
Over their heads he could see Luna being hugged by an old man wearing robes and then by a tall blond man and, in a very reserved fashion, by a spare, serious looking redhead.
“Wow. What are you guys doing here?” Xander finally managed to say as Buffy released him from a hug that had pushed all the breath out of his body.
“Getting wandy things,” Buffy smiled. “Mr. Olivander is mucho confused about all of us. And who’s this little cutie?” Her smile widened as she took in Joyce.
The little Slayer was looking at her with wide, almost worshiping eyes. “Lady Slayer,” she bowed. “Revered Mother of us all.”
“What?” Buffy spluttered. “XANDER!” she punched him lightly in the bicep. “What’ve you been telling the poor girl?”
Xander could see the questions, as well as the pain in Buffy’s eyes. Willow was pale as a sheet. But then, Joyce was by far the youngest slayer that had been found, this Xander knew.
Xander raised his hands. “Hey! Don’t ask me! I dunno!”
Joyce gave Buffy a solemn look. “Miss Luna told me that it was the Awakening of your Inner self that made you truly our Mother. The acceptance of who and what you are allowed us to bond with you. I couldn’t sense you until a few weeks ago.”
Buffy pinched the bridge of her nose. “Oh Neville?” she called out sweetly.
Neville strode up warily. “Yes, Love?”
“Neville, remember those Qi exercises you told me would let me get into contact with my inner magical thingy?”
“Yes?” Neville smirked. “Quite well.”
Willow giggled. Xander smirked, and then glared at Neville, his eye flickering to Joyce. The bigger man nodded his comprehension.
“Seems it had an eensy-teensy-weensie side effect…” Buffy’s glare intensified.