CH 35 Getting Albus ready for Hogwarts
The end of June there was the annual party for Aurors and their families. There were at least six children of Aurors going to Hogwarts for the first time the next year. They included Albus and Rose, Christy Shook, Patty Finnigan, Colin Creevey II, and John Nott They all got together with Teddy Lupin, who had graduated, and who was in training to become an Auror. Somehow during the discussion Albus was asked about the battles he had fought, and finally John Nott asked, "Did you really win the Order of Merlin for those?"
Albus said, "I do not have the Order of Merlin."
Teddy said, "Albus, you know the situation is more complicated. I was at the funeral when you were three, and Minister Shacklebolt said you ought to be awarded the Order of Merlin for summoning thirteen wands."
"I was only three," Albus said. "It would be stupid awarding the Order of Merlin to a three year old."
"What about the attack in Switzerland?" Teddy asked. "I know they wanted to give you an award then."
Albus said, "And draw attention to myself? Can you imagine handing in a parchment with Albus S, Potter, (OM) on it?"
Christy Shook said, "I do not see any problem. Don't be so humble, Al."
Patty Finnigan said, "We read about the attack in France. Did they want to award you an Order of Merlin for that one, or for all three?"
"The papers exaggerate," Albus said. "Although it WAS scary!"
James Potter had wandered over to the discussion, and he said, "I think it would be great to have the Order of Merlin. It sure doesn't hurt that we have famous parents."
Albus said, "Some of us want to make our own way, and not just act proud for things we didn't do. None of us was even born when the Battle of Hogwarts was fought."
Teddy said, "I was, but I was just a week and a half old."
Patty Finnigan said, "I just got my wand, but my Mum will not let me use it yet. Have any of you used a wand?"
Rose eagerly volunteered, "Albus and I have helped my Mum write the new Potions textbook for the last two years, and we have had to use a wand for that. I've only used a wand in the basement of the Potter house. Al, you have used that wand a lot! Will you tell us how long you have been using a wand?"
Albus said, "No."
Christy Shook said, "Albus, you will be able to use a wand legally from on. Just how long HAVE you been sneaking around using a wand?"
Albus didn't say anything.
Rose said, "I think Albus has been helping Uncle Harry make potions with a wand since he was five. I know Teddy has been working with Albus for years."
Christy said, "Teddy, how long has Albus been using a wand?"
Teddy said, "I would get in big trouble if I admitted I had anything to do with Albus using a wand when he was underage. You are not getting any information out of me."
John Nott said, "Albus, just how long have you been using a wand?"
Albus said, "Can we please talk about something else."
The discussion continued, with Albus not saying much. It was obvious to everyone, however, that when Albus said something he knew what he was talking about.
Albus wanted to get a wand as soon as possible, so the very first part of July Harry and Ginny took Albus to get his school supplies. Albus was measured, and prodded, and then Ollie Ollivander brought out about a dozen wands, all in different woods. Albus picked the first one up, waved it, and stars came out. He levitated a heavy chair.
"Excellent wand for you, Albus," Ollie said. "You are doing more with that wand than any young person I have ever seen."
Albus went to the next wand, and did the same thing.
Ollie looked at Harry and Ginny, more than a little wonder in his face. About this time his grandfather Garrick came out.
Harry said, "Let Albus find a wand."
Albus went down the entire row of wands, doing the same levitation with each one. Plenty of sparks came out as Albus waved each wand. He finally looked at his father, and then at young Mr. Ollivander, and then back at his father. "They are all good wands," he said. "None are any better than the one I have been using. None are really MY wand."
"Can you call YOUR wand?" Ollie asked.
Albus held out his right hand. He waved it back and forth. "I feel something. I will try."
Albus turned to the window, and summoned the very unusual wand in the window. He held it, and said, "I can see using this wand! I … Oh my, I cannot say it."
Albus put the wand back, his face very red.
"You don't like that wand?" Harry and Ollie said together.
"It is a feminine wand, most wands are pretty neutral, but that wand wants a female owner. Oh, I like that wand a LOT, but it is a female wand. I," Al was very red and obviously embarrassed. "I … I hope I get to meet the girl who buys that wand!"
"It is not like you are going to marry the girl who buys that wand," Ollie said.
Al got real red. He raised his hand over the wand again. It was almost like something was telling him that he WAS going to marry the female who wielded that wand.
Harry looked at Al, but did not say anything.
"What wand have you been using?" Garrick Ollivander asked Albus.
Albus looked at his father, and Harry said, "Albus has been using Draco Malfoy's old wand."
"The wand that defeated Vold…" Garrick looked at Harry, who had started to say "Tom."
"Tom Riddle," Garrick said. "Albus has been using the wand that defeated Tom Riddle."
"I still want to find the right wand for ME," Albus said.
The next week Harry spent a day in Switzerland, where there were two wand stores. One was the original Ollivander's, in business since, "About 2,000 BC." They were not any more successful in finding a wand for Albus. They spend another day traveling to four more wand shops, all the good wand shops in Europe, without finding a wand.
"I am sorry I am causing you so many problems," Albus said.
"You have a wand you can use," Harry said. "I promise you that, if you do find a wand that chooses you, I will do anything I can to get it for you."
"Thank you, Father," Albus said.
A couple of weeks later Draco took Scorpius to find a wand. Scorpius quickly settled on a wand made of Hawthorn. Ollie had numerous Hawthorn wands, including some with Unicorn hair. Scorpius was waving a couple of wands back and forth, one about eleven inches long, the other nine inches. Finally he said, "I think I could use either of these."
By this time old Mr. Ollivander was out, and he said, "Draco, your first wand was almost identical to these, but ten inches long. Do you know what became of it?"
"I think Harry Blasted Potter still has it," Draco said, scowling. "He never gave it back to me after stealing it."
"I think that wand has passed its allegiance on to someone else," Garrick Ollivander said, not mentioning that Albus Potter was using it. "Does your new wand work for you?"
"It works, but it feels like a replacement wand," Draco said. "Nothing has felt right since Potter killed Voldemort."
"I will take this one, Father," Scorpius said, holding the 11" wand.
Within a week Narcissa was in Ollivander's with Cleopatra. Cleo again had no problem getting sparks out of the end of any wand, but none seemed to be special. Cleo finally asked, in a small voice, "May I see the wand in the window?"
Olive Ollivander brought the wand out. Cleo waved it, and sparks flew. She pointed it and said something and a big fire was burning under her hands, but burning down not up. The fire stopped almost as soon as it started. She held it up to Narcissa, and then Olive, and then Ollie.
"YES!" she finally said. "Oh Mrs. Malfoy, will you please buy THIS wand for me! PLEASE!"
Ollie said, "The wand is mostly Bamboo, but the Bamboo is attached to a Sandalwood handle, and the tip is the tip of a dragon tooth. It has a woven core of Unicorn, Thestral and Centaur hair. It is usually too hard for people to control."
Cleo indignantly said, "You just have to SHOW HER who is the BOSS." It was obvious that the wand was the "her" Cleo was referring to.
Ollie said, "Ten years, and no one has felt comfortable with that wand, and two people come in this year and can control that wand! This is amazing!"
Cleo sort of waved the wand over young Ollivander, and then Narcissa. Old Mr. Ollivander came out, and Cleo waved the wand over him as well. Finally she waved the wand over herself. "The wand can tell the difference between male and female," Cleo pondered, waving the wand at waist height sort of pointing towards everyone's private parts. She quickly put the wand down, chagrin on her face. Cleo thought that she could almost feel the history of the wand. It had seldom been touched by a male, and she could only find one male who could use it, the one who had touched it last. Only females had used this wand. So she asked, "Who did you say could use this wand?"
"Albus Potter did a little magic with it, but said it was a female wand, not a male wand," young Ollivander replied.
"Albus Potter, THE Albus Potter?" asked Cleo in amazement.
"Albus Severus Potter, the son of Harry and Ginny Potter," young Ollivander replied. "He could not find a wand, though. He had been using an old borrowed wand."
"That was Draco's wand," old Ollivander interjected. "That's the wand that defeated Voldemort, Tom Riddle."
Everybody was quiet for a bit contemplating that. Cleopatra KNEW that Albus being able to control HER WAND was very significant, and important! YES!
"How did you get this wand?" asked Cleo, holding out the dragon tooth tipped wand.
"I did a favor for the witch who owned it, and when she was dying she gave it to me, sold it actually, and ordered me to find it a good home. She told me what I needed to charge for it. It is by far the most expensive wand in the shop."
"THIS wand feels good, REAL good, in my hand," Cleo said.
"I am certain this wand has chosen you," young Ollivander affirmed.
"The money is available at Gringotts," Narcissa said.
"Take the wand, Miss. I know Mrs. Malfoy will get us the money soon enough," old Ollivander said.
Albus Severus Potter came down to breakfast 7:30 AM the morning of his eleventh birthday, August 8, 2017. Waiting for him were his parents and a richly dressed goblin.
Harry said to Al, "This is apparently your first birthday present, Al. We were supposed to wait until you came down for breakfast. Goblin Chainmail has the present."
Al looked at the goblin, went up, looked him right in the eye with great warmth and affection, shook his hand, and sat down. Most 11 year olds were afraid to touch a goblin, especially one dressed to be intimidating, and the warmth with which Albus looked, and touched him, obviously surprised the goblin, and it took him a minute to recover.
The goblin took out a letter and read.
"From Severus Snape to Harry and Ginny Potter and their son Severus,
"I have written many wills, with all but one to be destroyed. This will, and this letter to Severus Potter, is the one I most wanted to be read. I hope by this time Harry knows that for most of my life I was deeply in love with his mother, Lily Evans, and wanted the best for her and any offspring she might have. Harry has heard, I know many times, how kind his mother was, and also that she was an extraordinary witch. What he may not have heard is how high spirited she was, what a commanding figure she was in her own right.
"James Potter was always a leader, and he dominated most groups and situations. He did not dominate Lily, however. She was the only one who I saw who could put him in his place. She eventually turned the supremely arrogant first year James Potter into a somewhat kinder and less arrogant person, at least towards most people.
"I am writing this letter at the end of my first and I expect last year as headmaster of Hogwarts. Everything is coming to a head, and I do not expect to survive. I want to let Harry and Ginny know that I fervently hope at this time that you two do survive, and marry, and have children. There is only one witch at Hogwarts right now that has the high spirits and competence of a Lily Potter, one that can be an equal partner to Harry Potter and that is Ginny Weasley. Potter, Ginny is going to be a challenge. You deserve it."
The goblin paused. At that last remark Ginny had gotten the "I got away with it" smirk on her face.
"I did not have the magnanimity of spirit to be nice to you, Harry, although I did always want the best for you. That you would respond by naming a son after me, even if it is a middle name, is humbling, and shows that you are a better man than me. You more than me deserved to live after confronting Tom Riddle. I know that if this letter is read Tom Riddle is dead, and I assume you have defeated him.
"Severus, your parents are extraordinary people. Love them, but also respect them. I expect great things from you. Make them proud of you.
"I have left most of the money I saved in trust for you, Severus. If you need it for schooling, or any other urgent needs, it is available. Otherwise, it is yours when you become an adult. Use it wisely, and listen to your parents before you spend it.
"The other gift is to be given in private, with only Harry and Ginny and Severus present."
The goblin looked around. For some reason the rest of the families were not down to breakfast yet, so he continued.
"This ring and the goblin held out a very small band with a tiny red stone in it, "has been charmed to protect your mind from being read by others. If you want you can let someone in a portion of your mind and keep them from other parts, without them knowing. It takes practice to use this ring. Once you put it on it will disappear. There are other potentially useful charms on this ring. Instructions are included with this gift. Please open this bag with the instructions in private.
"Charm it to go somewhere else if something happens to you. Give it or leave it to someone else who needs it. Use it well.
Albus took the ring and put it on. It immediately disappeared, but Al could feel that it was on. He took a little bag with instructions on the magic of the ring. If felt like there was more in the bag. Albus kept the bag closed until he could look at the contents in private. Albus could be very secretive and sneaky. He then looked at his mother and father and said, "Why me? I cannot find the wand I am supposed to have, but I get this ring?"
"I will get you the right wand, Albus Severus," Harry replied. "If it is in my power to give you the wand that choses you, I will, if it is before you go to Hogwarts, or much later. It's not like you cannot use another wand. You're already good with a wand."
Goblin Chainmail took his leave. Almost immediately other people started to appear, and no one mentioned the visit of the Goblin and Albus's first visitor.
A couple of days later Al finally got a good private look at the instructions in the bag. There was an identical ring, with instructions to give it to your soulmate so you could share thoughts, and keep sharing even as you were blocking other people out. If you used the right spells there was also some power to keep you from losing control to a powerful magical person or object.
Ginny had a key to Albus's vault at Gringotts. She kept it in a secret compartment in her jewelry box. It was obvious when you went to the vault that it was for Albus and this Cleo person they had never met.
The middle of August Minerva McGonagall received a visitor from Switzerland, Nausicaa Scheria.
"Good afternoon, Nausicaa," Minerva said. "Why would a prophet be visiting me?"
"Omens say you are going to have interesting times the next seven years, Minerva," Nausicaa said. "I wanted to give you a little advanced warning, and ask you to keep an eye on two of your students."
"Just watch them and keep my observations to myself?"
"Well, no, report anything unusual to me, please, and to Harry Potter."
"And who are these two special students?"
"They are Albus Potter and Cleopatra Smith."
"Not Albus and Rose?"
"No, Rose and, there are quite a number of students that will probably be of some interest, but the Prophesies are very strong on these two."
"Does Harry know?"
"Harry knows as much as anyone, but that doesn't mean he knows all that much."
Minerva took a deep breath. Life had been very peaceful, interesting but not dangerous and dramatic. The eight years starting with Harry arriving at Hogwarts had been exciting enough. She could do without any more of that type of excitement. "Thank you for the warning, Nausicaa."
It was the Wednesday before the last weekend in August, and Harry had just come home. Ginny said, "I hope you can free up this weekend, because the family is invited to the marriage of Fred Weasley to Mariam, in Africa."
"It seems rather sudden," Harry said. "Is there a baby on the way?"
"She began to wait and worry, so they wedded in a hurry," Ginny replied, the snarky smile on full display. "SOME couples don't wait until their wedding night."
"Are you going to teach that 'Touch of Lust' spell to your son's girlfriends?" Harry asked.
"Merlin no," Ginny said. "Lily Luna better not find it either, or we will have a grandchild on the way, marriage or no marriage.
"Everybody likes everybody else, and it seems to be a good match. Sometime early in September George wants Fred back in England, and Mariam is coming back with him. The baby is due the middle of April, so she is just pregnant."
"Who is invited?" Harry asked.
"I guess the whole family, all the cousins," Ginny replied.
Harry had a reasonably large contingent of Aurors shadowing the family, but in the end there were no problems. They even had time to look at two more wand shops for a wand for Albus, but without any more success. Harry did keep telling Albus that if he found a wand that chose him that Harry would do anything he needed to do to get Albus the right wand for him.
That Sunday night Ginny looked at her bottles of birth control potions. She could not remember taking them this August. She tried to remember when her last period was. It was about the first of August, but she was not certain when. This Summer had been so busy that maybe she forgot.
If she wanted Lily to see how much work a baby was, and to get her help in taking care of one, it would not be the worst thing in the world to get pregnant in August. Ginny did not take a potion. In just a few days they would take Albus to the train to go off to Hogwarts. She was really too young to have all her children off to school.
She wondered when Albus would meet this Cleopatra person. Albus was small, and Ginny thought she would probably be a little girl, maybe taller than her but shorter than Harry, another thin little Luna. Ginny was anxious to meet Cleopatra, but not anxious to have Albus meet her.
Well, the next few years would be interesting.
Ginny had no idea just how interesting the next few years would be.
"She began to wait and worry, so they wedded in a hurry," is a direct quote from a poem by Robert Service.
I promised a nineteen year story, and it is finished, but I am not. The story grew on me, and having finished book 1 of 4, 2 of 4, 3 of 4, and 4 of 4, I am hard at work on book 5.
Thank you for reading. Thank you, FriendofMolly, for being my Beta for most of this series.