Elbow Room 2
AN: Continued from CH 51.
"I thought you were gettin' all new stuff," Hagrid said, seeing the used robe Harry was wearing.
"They're making it now," Xander agreed. "Picked this up at a second hand store, so I'd have something comfortable to wear."
"Right smart of ya."
"Second hand shops are always full of interesting odds and ends," Xander said with a grin. "Armor with free resizing, potions..."
Hagrid laughed. "A lot of potions are explosive if I brew em, I never could get the hang of brewin' small amounts. Better to stick with the used clothes from those places than all the messed up and past due potions they try an' sell."
"You're probably right," Xander agreed. "Ok, where to next?"
"Ollivanders to get yer wand," he replied, and pointed out a shop with a wand on a purple pillow sitting in the window.
The bell over the door rang as they entered, but the shop appeared to be empty so they looked around.
"Gree-argh!" the silver-eyed old man screamed as Xander's dagger pierced his liver.
"Sorry about that," Xander apologized, yanking his dagger back out and causing even more damage, thanks to the hooked blade. "But really, sneaking up on me is a bad idea."
"I do get that impression," the old man agreed in a pained voice, a hand keeping pressure on the wound in his side. "Let me go take care of this right quick and then we'll get you a wand, alright?"
"That'll be fine," Xander agreed, his knife vanishing again as he smiled personably, happy that his blade seemed to absorb blood so he needn't wipe it off first.
Hagrid, a man who loved dangerous creatures and would call a lion trying to maul you 'just being playful', didn't see anything unusual at all in Xander's reaction to being startled.
"This may take a bit Hagrid," Xander said as he heard Olivander call, "Saint Mungo's!" and floo off. "If you've got anything you need to do, now would be a good time."
"I do need to pick up some stuff," Hagrid admitted, shaking his head.
"Go ahead, I'll be fine," Xander encouraged him. "Ollivander's probably going to be gone for at least an hour."
"I'll be back in a little while to see if you need anythin'," Hagrid promised as Xander shoved him out of the shop.
Five Minutes Later
"Bored, bored, bored," Xander muttered, his eyes wandering around the shop.
Walking behind the counter he found a shelf of books, apparently written by Ollivander himself, dealing with various aspects of his business, including a small book that gave instructions on how to run things for any assistants he might have. Having nothing better to do, Xander started reading through it and found a lot of very strange rules with some very good reasons behind them. Following the instructions, he opened a drawer and found a dusty silver ring that he polished and put on, causing a slight tingling sensation to run over his skin as he found himself plugged into the wards.
The shop's wards were mainly informative, they whispered into his brain countless things about the environment around him and even himself. Most of the information was useless, he didn't really need an exact count of the number of hairs on his balls or the length of his big toe, but there were some very interesting bits of information, like the bindings on his magic and the soul fragment in his scar.
The bell over the door rang and he glanced up for a second and tried not to blush as the wards told him countless things about the two coming in the door. "I'll be with you in just a moment Miss Greengrass," he said, marking his place in the book before coming around the counter. It was even harder to contain his flush as the wards fed him images of the two layer by layer including sans clothing, and the sight of Mrs. Greengrass caused physical reactions he hadn't known were possible yet. "Which is your wand hand?" Xander asked calmly, as if he'd been doing this all day.
"My Left hand," Daphne said, brushing her long blonde hair out of her face with it.
"Excellent," Xander beamed. "Stand like this please," he said, getting her positioned like she was about to be fitted for robes and snapping the fingers on his left hand, causing a measuring tape to leap off the counter and start doing random measurements on her that he mentally compared to the wards' readings to insure she was being read correctly.
"Where's Ollivander?" Mrs. Greengrass asked, confused.
"St. Mungo's at the moment," Xander replied. "That's enough," he announced, snapping his fingers again and causing the measuring tape to drop to the floor and roll up into a little ball.
Mrs. Greengrass pursed her lips in thought.
Ignoring her, Xander disappeared into the back room and returned with a handful of boxes that he set on the counter. Opening one, he handed her a wand that was made to react violently. "Redwood and Unicorn hair. Give it a wave."
Daphne waved the wand timidly, causing the shop to vibrate like there was an earthquake for a brief span.
"Definitely not that one," Xander said calmly, reclaiming the wand and putting it away before handing Daphne another one. "This is Oak and Dragon Heartstring."
Daphne waved with more confidence, having seen proof that she was indeed a witch. The air rang like she'd just hit a gong and a wave of cold swept through the room.
"Purity and power, has to be Unicorn hair and...Ash, one of those three," Xander muttered, deciding to end this quickly before Mrs. Greengrass asked any of the questions that were clearly on her mind. Vanishing into the back room, he picked up a Unicorn and Ash wand from the bin, choosing one that was a bit shorter and fatter than most. An ivory case covered in dust and yellowed with age was its chosen receptacle.
Daphne's eyes locked on the ancient looking case, and the wards informed him of the rise in her heart-rate as he set it on the counter.
"Thankfully, I was doing the checks on vault one today, so I had to do physical inventory and clean and comfort," Xander lied. "Otherwise, we'd have had to go through a lot of wands to find this one." Mrs. Greengrass looked over her daughter's shoulder as Xander opened the case reverently. "Wood from a lightning struck tree and Unicorn hair from a pregnant mare, eight and a half inches long, rigid, perfect for emotive casting."
Daphne's hand trembled as she pulled the wand from its case and there was a surge of magic as she gave it a wave, sending a blinding amount of sparks into the air, leaving behind the scent of ozone.
"Emotive casting?" Mrs. Greengrass asked curiously while Daphne all but purred at her wand.
"The stronger the emotion, the stronger the spell," Xander replied. "Has something to do with the dragon blood that stained the mare's mane when she drove it off, but I've probably said more about the wand's construction than I'm allowed. Sorry, craft secrets."
Ollivander waited until the two had paid and left before coming out of the back room. "If it wasn't for that ring, your eyes would be brown you're so full of shit."
Xander laughed. "I followed the book's instructions, violent reaction to impress them with the strength of their magic and give them confidence, follow up with something less violent so they calm down a bit, end with a wand chosen special for them. Make an emotional attachment to it if you can."
"I prefer the 'mystery of magic' route, but you did do a good job. Still...emotive casting?" he asked.
"Strong emotions affect spells, so I figured it was a sure bet."
"Fair enough. Well, now that I'm no-longer in danger of bleeding out and have a fully functional liver again, would you like to try a wand?" he asked dryly.
"I was having fun selling them," Xander said with a grin just before the bell rang and another customer entered.
Ollivander sighed and retreated to the back room, not in position to do his usual appear behind them trick and amused at Xander's actions.
""Miss Granger, is it that time already?" Xander asked from behind the counter before answering himself, "I suppose it is."
"You are a compulsive liar aren't you?" Ollivander said with a chuckle.
"Impulsive maybe," Xander admitted. "But, it's fun."
"Well, let's get your wand now. I think those last five were the last of the day, unless someone needs a wand holster or some wax."
"Sure," Xander agreed. "Got any ancient Fern and Pegasus hair wands?"
"Phoenix feather and Holly," the wand maker replied. "And, I was going to make you try half the store first and tell you a spooky story about You-Know-Who since his wand has the same core, but opposite wood."
"I'll skip it," Xander said with a wave of his hand, the ring activating the cleaning and straightening enchantments in the room. Taking off the ring, he returned it.
"I see you have the sight," Ollivander said.
"What sight?" Xander asked, removing his glasses and rubbed his eyes. Blinking, he noticed how clean everything was without his glasses on.
"The ring allows you to fake the sight, tapping the wards for information, but your eyes still have a silver sheen, so it tricked you into activating your own gift."
Xander shrugged and pocketed his no-longer needed glasses. "I have depth perception again, anything else is a bonus. Now, how about that wand?"
Ollivander decided that he didn't want to know what crazy story Potter would make up involving that and fetched the wand. "Here you go, wand, holster, wax. Free. You made much more than that gouging Parkinson alone."
"Rich twats are glad to pay more, it gives their life meaning," Xander claimed.
Ollivander laughed. "Potter, you are something else."
"My friends call me Xander."
"Because, in another life, a young girl couldn't pronounce Alexander."
"Xander it is," the old man agreed, resolving to ask no more questions, as Potter was so smooth the wards couldn't even tell he was lying.
"Sorry it took so long," Hagrid apologized as he approached, carrying a large trunk with an owl on his shoulder. "I figured I could get all the standard schools supplies while you were busy, and yer present."
"I just finished getting my wand," Xander waved it off. "So, you're exactly on time."
"Why are yer eyes so shiny?"
"Some gift or other," Xander shrugged, just glad not to need glasses anymore, which was good, because they had been interfering with his peripheral vision and making him a lot more paranoid than usual. For instance, if not for the glasses he wouldn't have stabbed Ollivander, just punched him in the balls. Besides, the whole One-Who-Sees thing had taught had taught him enough about various ocular gifts that he'd rather try and figure it out himself first before asking all the loony wizards.
"Well, that was nice of 'im."
"I thought so too," Xander replied, not bothering to clear up Hagrid's misconception. "So, what's next."
"Here's my gift," Hagrid said, placing a large white owl on his shoulder. "Owls are dead useful, and ain't she a beaut?"
"She is a hell of a good looking owl," Xander agreed. "What's her name?"
"I thought I'd leave that to you."
"That'll take some thought," Xander said. "Best sleep on it for now. Where am I crashing?"
"Crashing?" Hagrid asked, confused.
"Sleeping," Xander explained.
"I'm supposed to take you back to your relatives," the half-giant replied, embarrassed.
"On that small island, with no food or decent shelter?" Xander asked, shooting puppy dog eyes at Hagrid.
Xander settled back onto the bed and enjoyed how soft wizarding beds were. It felt like he was lying on marshmallows, a feeling he knew quite well from having a magic-user as his better half. Willow was many things, but restrained wasn't one of them, well except for Thursday nights...Xander shook off that train of thought. He remembered his last life, but while there was enough distance to keep him from pining for it, he missed his Willow something fierce.
"Will I ever see her again?" he asked aloud.
"With magic, anything is possible," his reflection in the mirror over the door told him, as it stood watching him sprawled on the bed.
Xander stared. "Ok, my reflection talking to me is a bit freaky." He sat up.
"If talking mirrors freak you out, the magic world is going to make you go spare," the mirror said with an amused expression on Xander's reflection's face.
"Oh," Xander said as he realized it was a magic mirror. "Sorry, thought I was having another psychotic breakdown. Magic mirrors are fine."
"Another psychotic breakdown?" the mirror asked doubtfully.
"Not important," he waved it off. "What is your function, and what can you do?"
His mirror twin beamed at him. "No-one has ever asked me that! I am a magic mirror created to record and play back messages for you, as well as to operate as an alarm clock and offer fashion tips."
"Really? What all do you record?" Xander asked.
"So, everything that's happened in this room for..." Xander led.
"Eighty-nine years," the mirror said proudly.
"And no-one has a problem with that?" he asked in shock.
"No-one's ever complained," the mirror offered.
"And, no-one's ever asked what you can do," Xander said, putting the facts together.
"Not a one," the mirror agreed.
"And, I'm the only person who knows?"
"You're the only one who's asked."
"The potential for abuse in this situation is...Right up my alley."
AN: Typing by Lucilla!