AN: Sorry for the long delay in updates, I hope to get back onto a regular schedule once more. Let us just say real life got in the way and between cataract surgery which went badly due to allergies, taking care of grandkids for the summer and a long visit in Washington State to see the other grandkids, I have been very busy. So I apologize once more and give you the next chapter. Now it's even longer and I have no excuse except I really didn't feel like writing anything for quite a while. Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement.
Chapter 24: Harry's Wand
Mary Beth and Harry had just finished yelling for their Dad when Harry noticed a strong pulling feeling coming from his desk over by the big bay window. He stopped in mid yell for his father and turned, his head cocked to one side as if he was listening to something that only he could hear. He took a stumbling step and then another, stronger one, not noticing that Mary Beth had stopped yelling and was now looking quizzically at her brother as he did an imitation of a Zombie monster from a bad muggle movie.
"Harry…what's wrong? Why are you acting like that?" She reached out to grab his arm but he was just beyond her reach and she had to take a quick step to keep from falling over. She almost caught herself but when she heard a startling noise behind her and instinctively twisted to see what it was, she lost the battle with gravity and wound up in a heap on the bedroom floor just as Sirius, Remus and Glynnis dashed into the room to find out what all the yelling had been about.
The three adults stopped suddenly just inside the door at the sight of Harry jerkily walking toward his desk, his forgotten wand, still gripped tightly in his right hand, was now pointing directly at the small drawer on the left side of his massive desk where he kept his small stash of treasures he had collected over the years. Mary Beth huffed in annoyance and then clambered to her feet, one hand absentmindedly rubbing her sore hip from where she had landed upon it so ignominiously just moments before. She was unused to being totally ignored when she was injured and was indignant at being ignored even if Harry was walking like some kind of Zombie from an old movie on the telly.
"Harry? What's going on?" Remus managed to find his voice first.
As if a spell had been broken, Sirius flicked his wrist, catching his wand as the spring loaded holster on his arm released it into his hand, ready for action. Sirius cast a protective shield spell around Harry but it seemed to have no effect as the boy took the final step and reached forward with his left hand to open the small drawer all in one fluid movement. Glynnis just looked puzzled, but both men started to run towards the still mesmerized boy, hoping they could reach him before whatever object or spell had the boy so entranced.
Harry's hand grasped something that no one else could see because of the angle of the open drawer and he pulled it out towards him as Remus and Sirius still moved forward to reach him, calling out to him to stop, but they were too late. Time seemed to stand still as Harry turned towards the others in his room, his wand in his right hand and the still unseen object in his left hand inexorably moving closer and closer together, until a bright flash lit the entire room, blinding everyone as a strong burst of magic blew everyone off of their feet and down to the carpet, stunned speechless and seeing spots.
Albus Dumbledore was sitting peacefully in his office, his mouth busy worrying a lemon sherbet, his stocking clad feet up on his desk and the latest Wizard's Monthly in his hands, one big toe idly playing with a small hole in the weave of the woolen sock. He turned the picture sideways to get a better look at the scantily clad Miss July when the peaceful early morning was disrupted by the wash of a powerful magical backlash through one side of his office and out the other. Every spinning whirring gadget in his office went crazy, shrieking as they moved faster than they ever had before for several interminably long seconds, before settling down once more to their normal background noises.
Albus had just leapt to his feet, his magazine forgotten as it fell under his massive oak desk, his feet scrabbling for his boots, his wand clenched tightly in his hand as he surveyed the room around him for some clue as to what had just happened, every nerve tensed as he prepared to fight whatever or whomever he found. His eyes forced impossibly wide without a single twinkle visible anywhere.
He had one boot on and was trying unsuccessfully to stuff his toes into the other one when the portraits announced that Minerva McGonagall was on her way up the spiral staircase closely followed by Professors Flitwick and Sprout. Another portrait breathlessly announced that Severus Snape was running like the hounds from hell were after him from the dungeons and was most likely on his way to the Headmaster's Office as well. He absentmindedly called out for the three Professors to enter as he continued to scrutinize his plethora of swirling gadgets for exactly where that pulse of magic had come from…and any clue as to what it had actually been as well.
"Albus, what was that…that pulse that I felt. I haven't felt anything like that since the wards reacted to the banishment of Voldemort all those years ago." Minerva's brogue was clearly audible in her haste to find some answers.
"Come in, come in and everyone please sit down. We're just waiting for Severus to arrive and then we can discuss what I think just happened." Albus sat down heavily in his ornate desk chair, his long wand still clenched convulsively in his gnarled fingers so tightly that his knuckles were turning white from the tension. Without conscious thought he finally managed to stuff his foot into his boot, the tongue folded down uncomfortably over the top of his foot, but totally unnoticed by the flustered warlock.
The sound of Snape running up the moving staircase thundered and echoed up the stone chamber announcing his arrival before he dashed into the room, breathless and panting from his mad race up from the depths of the dungeon, his wand held at the ready as his black eyes, glittering and dangerous, quickly flashed around the office, assessing the threat of everyone and anything contained therein. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, Snape took several very deep, calming breaths before plopping down heavily into the sole remaining unoccupied chair situated before the massive desk.
No one broke the silence for what seemed an eternity, until with a last shuddering breath, Snape demanded, "Just what in the bloody hell was that, Albus?"
Albus leaned forward over his desk; elbows splayed as he steepled his hands and rested his chin in his fingers, as if his head was suddenly much too heavy for him to hold up. "Honestly, Severus? I just don't know. But I assume we are not the only ones to have felt that." He looked expectantly towards his massive marble fireplace which was flashing green with a storm of incoming messages.
Amelia Bones had managed to be the first to shove her head into the Headmaster's fireplace, "ALBUS! Are you there? By Merlin's dirty knickers, what the bloody hell have you lot been doing? Did you destroy a Horcrux without informing us?"
"Now, now Amelia…" Dumbledore placated the clearly irate witch, his gnarled hands making a placating motion in time with his words, "We have no clue about what has taken place either. And I am open to suggestions about just what that pulse of magic was so if you would let me take some more floo calls perhaps someone might be calling with the information we all so desperately seek."
Amelia wasn't satisfied so she just stepped through to the Headmaster's office, figuring that he would get information from his multitude of sources even faster than the Ministry of Magic would.
Cornelius Fudge followed so closely behind her that he almost stumbled over her as she stood for a moment gathering her wits together before she moved from in front of the fireplace. In less than five minutes, there was barely room for anyone to move in the normally massive office as every spare inch was covered in a plethora of conjured chairs of every size and shape, from tiny little Professor Flitwick's tall stool to a massive love seat completely filled by Hagrid. The noise from everyone demanding answers and postulating their own theories as to what that magic pulse might have been had the portraits fleeing in self defense and Fawkes cowering on his perch, his head tucked under one wing as he hid a knowing smirk.
The last arrival, the goblin leader Ragnok, had barely sat down upon something that resembled an upholstered rock more than anything else, was followed by an almost unnoticed last arrival by Sirius Black with his son, a soundly sleeping Harry clutched tightly to his shoulder, a look of panic on his unnaturally white face. He was followed almost immediately by an equally white faced Remus Lupin with Glynnis clutching for dear life to his left side and Mary Beth glued to his left hip, her arms tightly clenched around his narrow waist.
Dumbledore drew himself up to his full height and faced the mad cacophony that threatened to shake his office apart from the sound waves alone, and yelled, "Silence!" Proving once more the authority and near reverence that all of the assembled beings held the aged Headmaster in, the office stilled almost instantly, the previous noise still ringing in their ears as everyone looked madly about, finally recognizing exactly who and how many different beings were crammed into the office together.
"Thank you. Now does anyone have any answers about that pulse…or are you all here to ask questions?" The headmaster spoke in his normal calming tones, though his usual twinkle was glaringly absent from his clear blue eyes, a very unusual wrinkle of worry furrowing his ancient brow.
Sirius shifted Harry on his shoulder so that he could run a trembling hand down the back of his exhausted and still sleeping son, and took a single step forward. "Ah, that would be Harry here…he uh well…" his voice stumbled and he went silent as he didn't know exactly how to explain what had happened. He looked at Mary Beth, the silent plea for her to begin the story plain in his unusually solemn grey eyes, his face showing equal parts of panic and uncertainty.
"Oh, well, ummm, you see…Harry and I were playing, you know, in his bedroom…and he sort of grabbed his wand…I had taken his stuffed dog you see…" she hesitated, unsure about speaking up with all of the eyes watching her. She shrank into her mother's side, suddenly shy with everyone watching her.
"It's okay, dear...go ahead, and explain. No one's going to yell at you." Glynnis turned and glared at each being present, making several of them make an internal comparison between the human mother standing before them and a mother bear protecting her cub. "Are they?" Several nods met her statement and she patted Mary Beth's shoulder to encourage her to continue.
Mary Beth sucked her lower lip in between her teeth making an annoying hissing sound before she continued. "Well, Harry grabbed his wand to make me give back his stuffed dog and when he accio—d it, well, nothing happened. He said it felt like it wasn't his wand anymore and then he yelled for Dad and then he just started walking to his desk, only it wasn't really walking, kinda like a zombie, you know in those old black and white movies on the telly…." Her voice faltered and died as she was met with confused and blank stares from her audience.
Sirius stepped up beside his wife and daughter, putting his free arm around Mary Beth's shoulders as he pulled her protectively closer to him. She turned enough to bury her face in his comforting robes and visibly shuddered. Sirius cleared his throat and took up the story. "I arrived to see Harry being drawn to something in his desk drawer, only he was jerking as if he wasn't in control at all. And then his top drawer began glowing, a gold so bright it hurt your eyes. He opened the drawer and took something out in his left hand. He turned around but I couldn't tell what it was since it was still glowing bright enough that you couldn't look directly at it. He touched it to his wand that was in his right hand and then there was that bright white pulse…it knocked us all down, well, except for Harry who just stood there frozen. When the light faded and we could see a little, he was crumpled on the floor, passed out cold. I picked him up and brought him here and he hasn't woken up yet. Whatever it was I don't know because somehow it disappeared, either in the flash or into his wand and Harry still seems to be unconscious, he hasn't woken up since then." He looked down worriedly at the small face still lying peacefully on his shoulder, his concern plain to see.
Madame Pomfrey stood up and pushed forward from where she had been sitting, shoved to the back of the mad throng and ran her wand up and down the small body, humming and hawing as she went. "Hmm, well that's unexpected…what….never seen anything like that before…what in blue blazes is going on here?" It didn't seem as if she either liked or understood what her diagnostic spells were telling her.
The entire congregation held its breath, waiting for the mediwitch to finish her diagnostics and answer the myriad of burning questions. Finally he could stand the muttering no longer and the impatient Headmaster asked the question everyone wanted to know. "Well, Madame Pomfrey, what have you found?" Albus leaned forward, his gaze intent and unblinking as he waited for her to answer, unconsciously mimicking everyone else who was holding their breath in anticipation.
"I don't really know Albus, that's what is so puzzling. He shows signs of massive magical overload, but it isn't really affecting his core the way I would expect it too. He seems a little tired but nothing like what he should be. It's almost as if the magic that caused the overload came from outside him, not something he caused by an expenditure of magic." As she had completed her scans, Harry had shifted slightly and was now softly snoring on his father's shoulder, his wand still gripped tightly in his right fist. Albus pulled his wand and waved it around his head in a complicated motion, causing the room to expand in all directions. Minerva grabbed the arms of her chair while Hagrid snatched Flitwick before he could fall off his high stool as the furniture jerked and moved like beds on the Night Bus as the chairs separated and spaced themselves around the now expanded space. Another complicated flick and a long couch appeared for the Blacks and Lupin to sit down on. Sirius sat down carefully, Harry still clutched tightly to his chest, Glynnis on his left, Remus on his right and Mary Beth on her mother's lap.
"Ah, that looks more comfortable. I am sure that we are all quite curious about what has happened to young Harry's wand. Minerva, if you can make your way to the floo, would you request that Mr. Ollivander join us?" She nodded and wormed her way around and through the mass of mismatched furniture and her head disappeared into the floo.
Cornelius huffed and puffed his chest out importantly. "I insist that Mr. Potter be examined by the Unspeakables to find out exactly what has happened." His face turned florid with his self importance.
Minerva stood up and faced the group once more. "I have given your request to Mr. Ollivander and he will be here shortly. He has to take care of one customer and then close up his shop, Albus. He said he might have some idea of what has happened but he wasn't sure without running some tests first."
"See Cornelius, we might have an explanation shortly. In the meantime, might I suggest that I share with everyone some rather interesting facts that Severus and I have recently uncovered whilst we are awaiting Mr. Ollivander's arrival?" Albus was once more in command and it showed.
Various nods and murmurs of agreement from the large group met his suggestion and so he turned around and summoned a large roll of parchment from one of his bookcases. Settling his half moon spectacles on his nose he looked down his long crooked nose and began to summarize the history that he had been given by the Chief House Elf, Milton, just the day before.
"It seems that what we call House Elves are actually lesser demons that were mistakenly summoned by an inept wizard over four centuries ago. Whilst trying to summon two greater demons he inadvertently summoned over twenty lesser demons that quickly overpowered and killed him. Since they had no natural foes here, they quickly flourished and spread before eventually being contained and conquered by the goblins. The goblins used them in the mines and in their wars for generations in death bondage. But as the goblins became more successful in mining techniques and less warlike amongst themselves, they had less and less use for the 'elves' as they named them. Eventually they were given in tribute to wizards after the goblins lost a revolution and the elves willingly went for the chance for a more merciful bondage and for living above ground once more. All of this was lost through the centuries but Milton was able to relate this history to Severus and I as it was relevant to our search for a manner in which to destroy the thrice dammed Horcruxes."
Everyone leaned forward as the seemingly unrelated but never the less interesting history was now very relevant to their current crisis. Albus conjured a glass of water and took a small sip, refreshing his throat. He leaned forward and continued, "He related a way to safely destroy the Horcruxes to Severus and I but we are unable to share that method with anyone and have sworn an oath of secrecy and even agreed to be bloviated after the last one is destroyed. And yes, it is necessary though we are unable to share the reasoning with you. This is one area that you will have to just trust us on as it could mean the destruction of the entire planet if the information got into the wrong hands." He glared and met each and every pair of eyes until he got a nod of agreement from everyone, though Cornelius looked mutinous at the thought of the information not being available to his precious Ministry for study.
Amelia leaned over and put a restraining hand onto the Minister's arm. "Let it go, Cornelius. I am sure the reasoning behind this stricture is sound. We really don't need to know everything about the destruction; just that they can be safely and securely destroyed is all we need to know."
Cornelius huffed again, but settled down, just twisting his obnoxious lime green bowler hat around and around in his agitation. His face finally returned to his usual pasty complexion as his blood pressure calmed once more.
Albus finished his explanation just as Ollivander stepped sprightly through the floo and stood up, brushing a speck of non-existent dust off of his impeccable dove grey robes. He carried a well worn leather satchel in his hands and wore a look of anticipation and intense curiosity upon his ancient visage.
"Well, well, wasn't expecting to find such a large group here. But no doubt there is a reason for everyone here. Now, where is Mr. Potter, and his remarkable wand?" He looked around, his odd silver moon like eyes unblinking as he searched for his prey. He stepped spryly around and through the maze like passageway around the packed office and came to rest, perched like some odd bird on the arm of the sofa next to the still sleeping Harry's head. He reached down and tried to remove the wand from Harry's right hand. Harry grumbled and pulled the wand back against his chest, growling softly in his sleep at being disturbed. Mr. Ollivander looked at Sirius and raised an elegant pure white eyebrow in silent question.
"Uh, he hasn't let go of it since it, whatever it was, happened." Sirius offered helpfully.
Ollivander's eyebrow lowered and both gathered together as he wrinkled his forehead in consternation. With a deep sigh of resignation and a look of regret he pulled out his wand and muttered a soft spell at the boy who woke up, blinking owlishly as he looked around at the massive amount of people staring at him. He turned and buried his head into his father's familiar robes, muttering to himself so softly that no one else, not even Sirius could understand, which was probably a good thing considering the tone of his voice was both annoyed and unflattering sounding.
"Now, now Mr. Potter. I am truly sorry to bother you but we need to examine your wand and ask you a few questions about what just happened from your perspective. I am certain that you will be allowed to continue your nap uninterrupted after that if you still so desire." Albus soothed the flustered boy as he nodded at Mr. Ollivander to continue.
Sirius patted Harry's back soothingly with one hand while he gently pulled Harry's wand out of his right hand with his other. Harry made no more protest and simply slumped further into his father's embrace, his bones going boneless as only a child can.
Mr. Ollivander continued to sit on the arm of the sofa, the wand twirling in his hand as he contemplated the group now staring at him with intense concentration. He took a deep breath and began to tell the story of the wand to the assembled group, knowing that only Harry, Sirius, and Remus had heard the tale before, when Harry had first been chosen by the ancient and remarkable wand.
He began his story, his voice soft and cracked with age but gaining in strength as he continued, his audience mesmerized with his storytelling. "After the founding of Hogwarts, the school grew and prospered for many long and happy years, until a disagreement between two of the Founder's over the admittance of Muggle born students grew more and more heated and finally exploded into arguments and then physical fights. It seems that Slytherin wanted muggle born students to be quarantined and educated separately for their first three years and to be obliviated of any memory of the non-magical world and their families. They would be intensely educated in the etiquette and history of the wizarding world and their subservient place within it before being allowed to enroll at Hogwarts for their fourth year and the others considered that to be too harsh and simply wanted a vow from each new student that they would never tell anyone about the magical world. You have to remember that this was the Dark Ages and witch burnings and hangings were common. The disagreements and demands on each side escalated until one Founder, Salazar Slytherin was defeated soundly by Godric Gryffindor and the three remaining Founders banished him evermore and forever from the castle. The wards were reinforced and set against him and any of his descendants that wished harm upon the school or its inhabitants.
No one knows what triggered the original disagreement or why it eventually came to blows and then swords, but the ending had been foretold by Rowena Ravenclaw, a talented and accurate seer. When Salazar was banished, he vowed to return and turn the castle he had once called home to rubble and dust; and swore upon his life and his magic that he, or someone of his line, would have complete and absolute revenge upon the three remaining Founders and all of their descendants.
As the three were gathering up the belongings that Salazar had been forced to leave, Rowena happened to pick up a small vial of some unknown liquid. She went into a trance and spoke thusly." His eyes glazed over as he focused on remembering the exact wording of the prophecy from so long ago.
"A hundred generations will pass as the darkness spreads
Blight upon the land, the light will dim but not die.
Until the innocent child, the champion is born
To push back the darkness and bring light to fair Scotland again.
A babe in his mother's arms he will die
To be reborn as the Dark Lord is vanquished
Into a shade whose spirit will flee.
A decade of years it will wander in darkness most vile
Using darkest arts to survive.
The champion of light will meet the shade twice
Each time more horrific, the suffering and pain growing
Until his blood taken in ritual most vile and the Dark Lord will be reborn
To gather his forces and spread the dark blight over the land once more.
Twice will they battle, the outcome uncertain, the third will end it.
Until with power the Dark Lord knows not,
The power of love and justice and peace, the Champion will prevail.
The reign of justice will once more be balanced
The light will prevail and darkness be vanquished to usher in
The millennia of peace and freedom.
Ollivander stopped to conjure a sparkling glass of water, which he thirstily gulped before beginning his tale once more, the condensation of the chilled water dripping unnoticed down his hand. "When Godric and Helga heard the prophecy that Rowena had told, they gathered together all of their tremendous intellect, all of the books that they could find and spent their remaining years studying and deciphering the prophecy.
Godric met Salazar one final time and found to his great distress that Salazar was no longer sane and in his paranoia did not even recognize the man who had once thought of him as a brother. Godric was able to defeat his former friend and with great sadness and sorrow; he killed him with his sword and burnt his body and scattered the ashes so he could not be brought back. The rest of his followers were quickly hunted down and imprisoned or killed, and the remaining Founders retired from teaching to devote their full time to deciphering the prophecy and finding ways to help the Champion of Peace in his battle.
The task was given to my great, great, many times great grandfather to hold this wand that the three Founders crafted for the Champion foretold. He was told that the wand would somehow find the champion, and would bond as no other wand has ever bonded before. That wizard, who is destined to defeat the spawn of Salazar once and for all, is the only one who can safely wield this wand which is filled with a token from each of the three Founder's own animagus form; a claw from Gryffindors griffin, a crest feather from Rowena's eagle, and a tail hair from Helga's badger. The fourth substance is unknown and comes from the vial of liquid that Rowena was holding when she gave the prophecy. There is some speculation that it is the poison of a basilisk, but no one knows for certain.
There is a suite of rooms here at Hogwarts that the three made and then hid for their Champion. It supposedly contains all of their private libraries and other materials that they felt the child would need to accomplish his monumental and daunting task. The holder of this wand is the only one who will be able to find the rooms and reawaken the power of Hogwarts to help him with his task." As he finished, his voice dyed out leaving the room in stunned silence, the sound of all the gathered beings breathing the only disruption to the silence.
Harry finally looked up at Sirius and then over to Remus before looking out across the group, his shoulders slightly slumping as he shrank back from all of the older wizards and witches that were studying him so intently. He felt very uncomfortable with all of their scrutiny and tried to make himself smaller on his father's lap. He looked up at Mr. Ollivander and hesitantly offered. "My wand felt really weird, like it wasn't mine and then I could …feel… the feather that Fawkes gave to me in my desk and then somehow I was at my desk and I…I don't know…I just had to…well, I touched the feather to my wand and it somehow…just disappeared into it. And now my wand feels just right again. It's mine and again and all," he screwed up his face as he thought about how to but the things he was feeling from his wand into words, "Happy sort of…well, as happy as a wand can feel, I guess." He shrugged his shoulders and cuddled down once more, content to let the adults figure out everything else.
AN: I apologize profusely for the long delay. If you are interested in why I have posted a note on my author page, if you are not interested, just enjoy the chapter. And thank you for all of the support during my long absences.