Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: Written for the Prison Break Competition at the Hogwarts Online Forum, although it was too late to be actually entered. The prompts used were "shadows", "dancing light", "blood curdling howl", and "There are demons inside and outside these walls."
The rowan tree represents a strong, visionary mind whose spiritual vision may not be shared and argues against ignorance and bigotry in Celtic mythology, while the willow tree represents brilliant inventors with a interest in family history, an odd sense of humour, and excellent memories. The descriptions of two of the wands in this piece are taken directly from the Harry Potter books.
How he would like to die.
He thinks that thought a thousand times, lying on the cold, hard floor. He is old and tired, and every time they aim another spell at him, even the ones that miss, he loses another bit of himself.
(Birch and phoenix feather, eight inches, good for jinxes... Oak and unicorn hair, fourteen and a half inches, rigid, unforgiving... walnut and dragon heartstring, twelve and three-quarters, unyielding...)
Ollivander does not forget.
He can remember back to the furthest reaches of his childhood, back to the time where he would sit and watch the his mum, dad and grandad perform the simplest of spells, fascinated by magic, by wands. He can remember sitting in Ollivander's, back when it was his grandfather's, watching as he made them, as children entered the shop and were chosen by the wand destined to be their soul mate.
He remembers the way his own wand (willow and unicorn hair, ten inches, slender, yet strong, precise, yet ambiguous...) felt in his hands the day his grandfather handed it to him, warming his fingertips when he touched it, choosing him. He felt strong and powerful, that day, the day he not only gained a wand, but began to hear the whispers, the music, the secrets, more clearly than ever before. He is of the few who actually hears magic, who comes anywhere near understanding it.
The day he made his first wand (hawthorn and dragon heartstring, eleven and a half inches, strong...), his grandfather only watched, because, "Wandlore is something you do alone." He sold his wand soon after that, and he remembers watching the girl's eyes widen in surprise when she grasped the wand - her wand and his, the one they shared, now. Ollivander has watched every one of his customers' eyes, and he remembers each pair, each reaction... Sometimes, there was shock, joy, anxiety, even greed... but always, innocence, childishness.
Ollivander always wondered how those eyes would change in the coming years, what the wands he was handing over the counter would do. He imagined great feats: the creation of cures, the healing of near-fatal wounds, the making of magical toys or Christmas dinners... and also the brewing of poisons, the killing of innocents, the horrible murders. He is no fool; he understood. It fascinated him, as magic of any kind always had, but he never in his life imagined this.
(Apple and phoenix feather, twelve and a quarter inches, determined ... elm and unicorn hair, seven inches, bendy... and of course, yew and phoenix feather, thirteen and a half inches, highly potent...)
He doesn't want to remember anymore, not now, in the Malfoys' basement, not when it means that he has to accept that his wands, more like his children than pieces of wood, have turned against him. The information he holds - the wandlore he cannot forget - is what's keeping him alive, why the torture they force upon him always falls just short of murder.
Nearly all of the Death Eaters were his customers, once, but it doesn't really surprise him that they have turned against him, that their eyes have turned so malicious, that they sometimes laugh at his blood curdling howls. It is their wands' betrayal he cannot understand, the pain their wands cause on his heart that makes him cry out in anguish even when their owners leave him alone in the darkness.
Yet the part that hurts his heart most of all is the ache he feels when the Death Eaters take wands away, the feeling that he still needs magic, however cruel he sees it is, however fickle.
Somewhere along the line, he gives up hope.
She comes when he is almost delirious, shaking in fear of something indescribable, and even then, he recognizes her, because he cannot forget a customer.
Voices swirl above him, rough and hard, the ones belonging to the Death Eaters, threats he does not bother to really listen to.
Luna's voice comes, lilting and soft. "You won't win, you know."
He winces when they torture her, when she screams, and after the door has closed, when she cries.
At last, the sobs stop. "Is that you, Mr. Ollivander?"
He means to answer this, but somehow, gets distracted and instead watches the shadows on the walls, the dancing light, from wands that aren't there anymore. "There are demons inside and outside these walls."
She looks at him for a moment, thinking. "Don't worry. I'm pretty sure it's just the Wrackspurts."
This statement makes an almost bubbly urge rise inside of him, and he feels like laughing for the first time in months. He'd met her father before. "Do you still... have your wand?"
Luna considers this question too. "Not really. They broke it, but I still have the pieces." She pulls them from a torn pocket, and he holds out his hands, asking her to give them to her, and she complies.
The wand feels the same way it did a little over six years ago, warming his fingertips slightly when he touches it. It is broken and battered, but still his, has not turned against him.
He looks up at her misty blue eyes. There is fear there, and sadness, but amidst all that, unmistakable kindness, compassion.
It is months before Harry Potter and the others break him out of Malfoy Manor, but there is never any doubt in Ollivander's mind that his prison break starts in that moment.