Authors Musings - Hello everyone. For anyone who has poked their head in on my profile page, you'll know that I'm not in a position to be able to update TNOTO for a couple of weeks (but I promise that is due to a technical issue as opposed to any loss of motivation on my part), so I thought I would leave you with a little something to tide you over whilst I am out of the loop.
This little one shot is set in the weeks immediately after Voldemorts death and it should be noted that it follows on from the movie canon where Harry is no longer in possession of either the Phoenix or Elder wand. The inspiration for this little story also comes from the film when Harry spoke to Mr Ollivander about how he talked of wands as if they had feelings and it got me to wondering if 'The wand chooses the wizard Mr Potter.' what else can they decide?
A Wands Choice
Garrick Ollivander surveyed his newly rebuilt domain with a critical eye.
This was the first time he had set foot in his store since his kidnapping and subsequent incarceration at the hands of Lord Voldemort and his supporters. An imprisonment that had lasted almost eighteen torturous months, ensuring that, for the first time in the more than two thousand years his family had run the business, Ollivanders; makers of the finest wands in the world, had closed it's doors.
That is not to say that he had been unable to practise his craft during that time. He had been put to work fashioning new wands for many in Voldemorts inner circle, including, ironically, the very wand that his unofficial prison guard, Peter Pettigrew, used to encourage his capitulation in constructing more.
That wand, and the other abominations, as he had come to mentally refer to them, were a shameful blot on his craft. It was his fervent hope, that, with the war over, and almost all of Voldemorts death eaters either imprisoned or dead, that each and every one of those wands he had been forced to construct during his captivity could be recovered and destroyed.
But even if his wish came to fruition, Ollivander knew that it would be a great many years, if at all, before he would ever be able to forgive himself for some of the other acts of cowardice he had been guilty of during the war.
During the later days of his stay as a 'guest' at Malfoy Manor, Garrick had been subjected to an interrogation from the Dark Lord himself.
The man Voldemort was very unlike the young boy he had first met in Diagon Alley over half a century beforehand in many ways, not least in physical appearance, but the insatiable lust for power and control that he had first noted that sunny August day in nineteen-thirty-eight, remained.
Then, the orphaned Tom Riddle had appeared overjoyed to learn that the Phoenix tail feather that resided inside the shaft of the wand that had chosen him, was almost unique, with only one other example in existence.
A shiver ran down Garrick's spine as he once more recalled the words the pre-adolescent had spoken after he had revealed that fact to him; "Does this mean I'm special? Better than the rest I mean?" his words accompanied by a malevolent glint in his eyes.
Yes, it was obvious, even then, that Tom Marvolo Riddle was destined for great things. Things most terrible, as history would later record, but great never-the-less.
Almost sixty years later, the now self proclaimed Lord Voldemort, had demanded information from him regarding the nature of the connection that appeared to exist between his own wand and that of the person that those who still stood against the darkness spoke of as The Chosen One; Harry Potter.
Much as it shamed Ollivander to admit it, and despite his certainty that it would lead to the boy's death, he had given up the information that Voldemort had required without a fight - the Dark Lord had not even needed to torture him, although his mere presence was perhaps the most frightening thing Garrick had ever experienced in his life.
That was not to say that he had not been subjected to the indescribable pain of torture at the hands of Lord Voldemort. When Garrick had understood that the nature of the dual cores possessed by the 'brother' wands prevented their users from harming one another in battle, he had been certain that requisitioning another wand would irradiate that particular problem.
He had been wrong.
Although, to this day, the elderly wandsmith did not understand why - a different wand should have worked.
The Dark Lord had been most...displeased, his rage taking Ollivander to the brink of deaths sweet embrace many times as he tortured him for information on a new and deadly weapon he had set his sights on. A weapon he had now convinced himself was the only way to destroy the-boy-who-lived - the Elder Wand.
It was perhaps ironic then, that the very person who he had twice sold out to Lord Voldemort, proved to be his saviour, taking him and his fellow captives to the relative safety of Shell Cottage.
Ollivander shock his head in an attempt to quell the disquieting thoughts that invaded his mind all too frequently. Redemption would not come from dwelling in the past.
Leaning on the cane he still required for support despite the many months of recuperative care he had received at hands of Fleur and Bill Weasley and latterly their great aunt Muriel, he limped over the threshold and made his way to the counter, which he used to steady his weakened frame.
Closing his eyes he ran his free hand over the smoothly polished wood of the counters flawless surface and inhaled deeply. "No," he whispered to the empty space after a contemplative moment of silence. He opened his silvery orbs and allowed them to roam freely across the space. "No, this will not do at all."
Objectively, Garrick knew his newly rebuilt store was far superior to the one that had stood on this exact spot in Diagon Alley for seven generations. But, to the veteran wandsmith at least, the dust free, uncluttered shelving, complete with their ordered rows of narrow boxes was just too ordered for his liking; too sterile.
But then, he realised, he should have expected nothing less having hired goblins to repair and restock his store. The shelves, he noted, were the epitome of goblin efficiency. Each individual shelf stacked and catalogued according to wand size, wood type and core material.
He made a harrumphing noise and extracted the wand given to him by his late father (Hornbeam, twelve and three quarter inches with a core of dragon heartstring) and began casting charms that would return Ollivanders to a place where a wand fitting would once more be a story told for a lifetime. Garrick understood that if, as all good wandsmiths accepted, wand making was more art that science, then so too was a persons wand fitting, not some exercise in measuring parameters like some sort of muggle shoe shop.
Half an hour later when he was satisfied with his modifications Garrick stepped back a regarded his shop; gone was the goblin inspired order and efficiency, replaced with what any young witch or wizard from ten, twenty or even fifty years ago would recognise as Ollivanders.
Mere moments later, a soft tinkling sounded in the depths of the store; a sound he was intimately familiar with having worked in the store for his entire adult lifetime. He turned slowly on the spot towards the doorway and was gratified to see two most welcome sights.
Firstly, Ollivanders appeared to have it's first customer in nearly two years, and secondly, that customer was none other that Hermione Granger, to whom he, and the entire wizarding world as a whole owed a great debt.
She stood slightly hesitantly, framed in the dust moats that swirled all around her in the light streaming through the doorway, as if she were unsure if she should be there or not.
"Mr Ollivander?" she asked squinting into, what Garrick realised, would be a dimly lit space in comparison to the bright sunshine outside.
"Come in my dear Miss Granger, we have just reopened," he said unable to hide the pride from his voice. "And please, after all that you have done for me, I believe such formalities are out of place. Call me Garrick."
Hermione nodded, and crossed the space in a handful of strides and settled herself onto the single stool that adorned the space at the front of the shop.
"To what do I owe the pleasure, Miss Granger?" Garrick asked as he regarded the young woman sat before him as he hobbled around behind the counter, a genuine smile creasing his features as he recalled the first time he had met her. The buck toothed, bushy haired, excitable youngster bore little resemblance to the wavy haired beauty now sat before him, but her brown eyes still spoke of the same sharp intelligence that he had noted nearly seven years ago.
She removed something from the small purse that she had slung over one shoulder and placed it on the table. "This...thing is still resisting me."
Garrick recognised the wand immediately as the one that formerly belonged to Belatrix Lestrange. He picked it up carefully and ran his fingers over the smooth surface of the wood, recalling that when he had last held this wand in one of the bedrooms of shell cottage, he had warned them to be very careful if they needed to use it. The wands allegiance, he had explained, still lay with it's previous master; a loyalty that he sensed had, if anything, grown stronger despite the passage of time and the death of the very master it still sought to serve.
"Walnut does always make for a very strong willed wand," he whispered to himself, placing the wand reverently on the counter top. "Lets see if we don't have something a little more suitable back here for you," he added as he limped off towards the now jumbled shelves of boxes. "Vinewood and dragons heartstring before if I'm not mistaken?"
"That's right," called Hermione in reply, feeling as unaccountably nervous as she had in her first visit to the store.
"One of these should suit," came disembodied voice of Mr Ollivander, proceeded by the clonk of his cane that proved very reminiscent of Mad Eye Moody.
Hermione well remembered her first wand fitting; although untrained in the art of wizardry at the time, when she had first held 'her' wand and warmth had enveloped her whole arm and she knew, even before Mr Ollivander had declared their comparability, that this was the one. But although now, as a fully trained witch, she could command each of the wands Mr Ollivander offered for trail, none felt natural. Her magic felt restrained and weakened by the unfamiliar wands.
As she rested the last of the unsuccessful wands on the now cluttered counter, Hermione caught a flicker of disappointment in the elderly wizards moonlike eyes.
"I felt certain..." he muttered as he gathered as many of the wands as he could back into their boxes and hobbled away to the back of the store. "All vinewood or rosewood, both good matches..."
The store keepers mutterings were interrupted by the door chimes tinkling once more.
"Harry!" yelped Hermione joyously as she bolted from her stool and embraced her best friend who had just walked over the threshold in a fierce hug.
"Her-mi-nee," choked Harry. "Can't bre-athe."
"Ooops. Sorry," she said as a blush rose into her cheeks. She loosened her hold on him slightly and added; "I've just missed you so much."
"It's only been three days, Hermione," teased Harry placing a kiss onto the top of her head.
"I know," she sighed unconsciously inhaling his scent and attempting to commit it to memory. "But we've spent every waking second together for almost a year, it's just hard to get used to you not being around."
"I miss you too Hermione," replied Harry softly, his voice full of sincerity. "How's Ron?"
With those two words Hermione jolted back to reality and disentangled herself from Harry, realising just how intimate they were being with one another. "H-He's fine, Harry," she stammered as she attempted to compose herself. "Enjoying being back at the Burrow of course. Three square meals a day and all. Molly and Ginny both want you to come over this weekend," she added almost as an afterthought.
"That would be great," replied Harry with a smile, although Hermione was fairly certain his enthusiasm was not entirely genuine.
Deciding not to push, she changed subjects. "What are you doing here anyway?"
"Same reason you are I guess," he shrugged, using the movement of his shoulders to wrap his arm around her and guide her back to the counter. "The ministry took Malfoy's wand from me; said they wanted to analyse what spells have been cast by it so charges could be brought against him."
"Mmhmmm," replied Hermione. In truth, the meaning of the words had sort of drifted past her, but she was content to let the timbre of Harry's speech wash across her.
"I know when you're not listening to me you know?" joked Harry. "That's the same sound you used to make in the library when you were engrossed in your homework."
"What?" Hermione spluttered, realising Harry was talking directly to her. "Oh, yeah. You caught me," she said sheepishly.
"If your going to get all dreamy thinking about my best mate like that, do it on your own time, Granger," retorted Harry flopping down onto the stool.
If only I could tell him who I really dream about, she thought hopelessly. But if I haven't managed to do it in nearly seven years... but she stopped her own train of though as her mind replayed Harry's last words to her, recognising as they did that although once again his tone was jovial, she was certain it was an act.
She was just about to say as much aloud when Harry a wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her down so that her bottom was perched on his right thigh, in much the same pose that they could often be found in the Gryffindor common room when there were too few chairs to go around - and on a fair few occasions when there were.
For an instant she felt like bounding to her feet once more out of some sort of loyalty to Ron, but the instinct faded quickly and she let out a soft sigh of contentment as she rested her head on his shoulder whilst he played with her curls that cascaded down her back. She fisted her right hand into the material of Harry's shirt, her other hand searching for, and finding, Harry's free hand; their fingers intertwining loosely.
"So?" asked Harry at length, gesturing with his chin to the still sizeable pile of discarded wands on the counter. "Find one yet?"
"No," she sighed in reply, finding that, at that moment she really didn't care about not having a wand. She could stay in this moment for ever.
"The wand chooses the wizard, Miss Granger," wheezed Harry in a fair approximation of Mr Ollivander voice.
"That much has always been true," interjected the real Garrick Ollivander as he limped back to his position behind his counter.
Harry and Hermione both jumped like startled deer, immediately putting several inches of personal space between them, although their hands did not break contact.
Mr Ollivander, who's arms were no longer laden with numerous wand boxes, extended his right hand which Harry embraced in a firm handshake. "It is good to see you again Mr Potter," he added sincerely, a small smile of understanding gracing his lips as his silvery eyes focused on their conjoined hands.
"You too, sir," replied Harry. "How are you feeling?"
"As well as can be expected my boy, and please, as I have asked Miss Granger, please call me Garrick."
"But it is most curious, this one in particular should have been a perfect match," continued the wand maker picking up one particularly ornate wand that remained on his counter. "I do however, have a theory," he finished, his moonlike eyes twinkling in a manner Professor Dumbledore himself would have been proud of.
"Which is?" prompted Hermione.
"All in good time," replied Garrick cryptically with a waggle of his index finger.
He promptly bustled away as quickly as his bad leg could carry him, returning a few moments later with another armful of boxes. "I believe Mr Potter here is also in need of a new wand?"
Hermione slid of his lap and onto the vacated stool as Harry rose to test the various wands Mr Ollivander had brought for him. But after a quarter of an hour, and seventeen different wands with much the same results as Hermione before him, Harry had yet to find a suitable match.
To her surprise, the wandsmith did not seem at all perturbed by his lack of success as he had when she had been unable to find a wand. "You always were a difficult customer, Mr Potter," he chortled good naturedly.
"What's wrong with us?" Hermione voiced the question, but she could tell by the way Harry's eyebrows were knitted together that he was wondering the same thing.
"Nothing," answered Ollivander. "If my theory is correct that is.
"You see, As I have told you both, the wand chooses the wizard; or the witch," he added with a glance at Hermione. "But if the witch or wizard in question is not being completely truthful with themselves, no wand would choose to align itself with them."
"I don't understand," said Harry and Hermione in unison eliciting a smile in response from Mr Ollivander.
"No," he replied. "I don't suppose you would, but if you would be so kind to try this wand again Miss Granger I believe you might," he said, handing her the same ornate rosewood and unicorn hair wand he had said should have been a perfect match for her. "And you, Mr Potter, if you could give this one another try too - " and he handed over a Cedar and dragon heartstring combination.
Both Harry and Hermione dutifully held out their right hands for the proffered wands, wearing equally unconvinced expressions.
" - and if I could suggest you both hold hands," Mr Ollivander added.
Hermione shot a sideways look at her best friend who silently answered her unspoken question with a shrug that clearly said;
Might as well give it a shot.
Harry swapped the Cedar wand into his other hand and clasped his hand around Hermione's own, who would have noticed, and not for the first time, just how perfectly her hand fitted into his, if it were not for the powerful golden glow that suddenly surrounded them as soon as their fingers grazed one another.
After a time the glow subsided leaving Harry and Hermione starring mutely at one another.
Hermione was the first to find her voice. "What - just - happened?"
Garrick smiled knowingly once more. "As I said, Miss Granger. A wand will not choose to align itself with a master who is not being true to themselves. Your new wands have now accepted you both as their masters."
Not waiting for an answer he began to limp towards the rear of his store. "The wands are of course, on the house," he added, but he knew the youngsters would not have heard him.
When, alerted by his door chimes five minutes later, he shot a quick glance towards the doorway. Garrick Ollivander watched in satisfaction as the couple, as he supposed he should call them now, left his store holding tightly to each other, their heads bowed in whispered conversation, leaving Garrick alone with his true loves.
So what do you all think? I was inspired to write this having read two fics recently;
Taming Dragons by Romantic Silence which utilised a rarely used character (Charlie Wealsey) to show Hermione what her heart truly desired and made me want to try the same.
What Everyone Else Saw, and What They Didn't by Namedawesome, which I simply adored for all the gentle moments of Harmony which required nothing more than a smile look or a touch to convey how much Harry and Hermione mean to each other. I hope I managed to pull off something similar.
Till next time peeps