Author's Note: Hi all, I know I promised something about school for this chapter, but this bit of business needed to take place before we moved on with the schooling. I hope you enjoy it as well, as my beta put it: 'it's full of mythology'. Speaking of my beta's, thanks to Arnel and Stephanie, without whom my writing would be ideas poorly executed and a heinous butchering of the English language. A great editor makes for a good author, I have two. Lastly, an advertisement of sorts. For anyone who has read either of my trilogies (Bound/Woven/Restored or Continuum/Ranímer/Growing Up...) the conclusion of both arcs has begun with my posting of "Time War". The 'Family' in a race to stop the rupturing of time and set everyone's lives back in order. The story takes place in the past, present and ever fluctuating futures. Okay, enough of my rambling, enjoy the chapter. MNF

Chapter 22:

Annusgwyl (Welsh)/

Surprise (Modern English)

Late Afternoon, 2 February 1996

Greenwood Wandmakers, est. 767

The quintet was quiet, almost reverent, as they passed over the threshold of the wand shop. It had taken a fair bit of gold to get Madame Greenwood to open for them this afternoon. She'd chosen not to work on Imbolic many years ago, too many people wanting to come in for her to keep up with, this Holy day became her holiday. However, when two Lords ask you to personally create wands for them and a few friends and are willing to part with more than double the usual fare, a holiday can be changed.

"Lord's Black and Potter, 'tis me pleasure to serve you this afternoon," Madame Greenwood said as she held the door open for her customers. She dropped into a curtsy, head bowed, awaiting instruction.

"Please, Madame Greenwood, we are customers today, nothing more. Please stand," Sirius directed. "You are to call me Sirius and this here is Harry," he explained as he placed a firm hand on his shoulder. The wandmaker nodded and moved to let the others in as Sirius introduced.

The woman was at least a half-foot shorter than Daphne, and well over a foot below the rest of her guests. Her hair was a mass of red, yellow and white curls, barely contained by the small hat which rested on her head. She wore two pairs of glasses as well, one on her face and the other around her neck on a long chain. Her skin was wrinkled heavily, while her freckles were joined by darker spots, which gave her the appearance of having been sprinkled with an Irish Red beer. Behind her eyeglasses, however, her umber shaded eyes were quick, wise and intuitive. Harry was sceptical of the woman, even though Neville raved about his new wand. Dumbledore had told him Ollivander was the best, and he was finding it hard to consider everything the old man had told him to be wrong.

The last to enter was Maggie, which prompted Madame Greenwood to curtsy again. "Lady O'Lachlan, I did not realise I would be in your presence as well today." The old woman stayed down in deference, awaiting instruction.

"Madame Greenwood, the last Viscount Galway was me great-grandfather and he died nearly a century ago. I'm just Maggie, and I'm here to buy another wand from ya," the Auror explained.

"Yes'm," the older woman said, righting herself. "So, ya all are needin' wands?" The group nodded and Remus raised his hand.

"'Taint a teacher, Professor Lupin, ya don't need to raise ya hand. What are ya needing?"

"The first wand I need is for defensive and duelling purposes. Things might be stable here, but at home there's a war. I'd like to better defend myself and those around me," he explained.

"Excellent idea," Madame Greenwood replied. "Somewhere in the Auror strength and design I'm assuming?" Remus nodded, and then looked away in embarrassment. "Professor Lupin, sir, there's nothing to be embarrassed about regarding your second wand," she continued. Remus was stunned, as he'd said nothing to anyone, not even Sirius, about what he was thinking of when he decided to purchase the second.

"How much do you know?" the werewolf instinctively asked, alarm causing the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

"When ya walked in, certain elements in me shop responded to ya and your nature," she explained. "Tis nothing wrong, young Lord Potter had the same thing happen, albeit for a different nature," she explained.

"Something reacted to me?" Harry asked. "What? Why?"

"You're a duality, Lord Potter. It's not good or bad, it just means ya have light and darkness in you; we all do, yours must just be closer to the surface," she said with a pat to his arm in comfort. "When ya entered, ya resonated with both the diamonds and, to a lesser degree, the onyx. I've never witnessed such a thing before, then again, never met someone who survived the Killing Curse," she said taking his hands. "Working with you shall be an interesting challenge."

"Thank you," Harry replied through his daze. Sirius came to his side and put an arm around him. Sirius and Remus shared a look and then a nod. This wasn't the first time a comment of this nature had been said about Harry in the last months. They would need to speak with Myrddin and his great-grandfather, Eldon, possibly tonight.

The process they went through was far more extensive than Ollivander's flicking of different wands. Here they each had to hold different branches of wood, so the wood-sprites of that of the length could interact with the holder's magic. Madame Greenwood listened to each witch and wizard about what they would do with the wand; the tasks, locations, specifics. Maggie and Daphne were here for wands to do healing with, although Daphne's would be a more diversified healing wand than Maggie's as she only had one patient.

Remus had been urged by his mates to see about getting a new general purpose wand, as he'd been commenting that his school wand felt as if it wasn't channelling enough magic. When Madame Greenwood held it, she was furious.

"This wand as a bind on it," she announced. "How long have ya had it?"

"Since I started at Hogwarts, er, that would be 1971," he stated through his disbelief. He couldn't imagine who would have done such a thing to him.

"Disgraceful," the wand-maker muttered. "Ya bind a child, not their wand!"

"Can you figure out who did it?" Sirius asked, nearly as shaken as his mate. Maggie took it from Madame Greenwood and used her wands to do a few diagnostic tests.

"After this amount of time, there inna a way, dear," Maggie said to Sirius, taking his hand and with the other, rubbing soothing circles on Remus' back while returning his wand to the wandmaker.

"Bollocks!" Harry swore startling them all and Madame Greenwood gave him a glare which would have sent him to his grave if he were near it.

"Lord or not, dere be no cursing in my shop."

"Yes, Madame Greenwood," Harry said with great deference. "I'm quite sorry."

"Apology accepted. Now, as for ya wand, Professor Lupin, I can take ta binding off your old wand, but I'd get a new one, too. Ya old wand is likely to be unpredictable," the older witch explained.

"Yes, please remove the binding and yes, I think I'd rather have something new anyhow. I wonder who would have wanted to..." he trailed off, lost in his own thoughts. "Definitely, a new wand."

While the whole group had been shaken up by the revelations regarding Harry and Remus, they did have a task at hand and a deadline. A mandatory lesson with Myrddin would take place at nine. While they technically 'had' to be there, all were excited to learn more about their heritage and did not see these lessons as a burden.

Madame Greenwood worked with the men in one group and the ladies in another. The girls were done first, but not because they were simple, but rather they were looking for wands so similar in material and nature that it required far less gathering and then stowing of supplies.

This was a sixth wand for Maggie, although she generally carried the one which she had made with her Grandfather O'Lachlan when she was thirteen and only months before his death. The wand was of cedar - the same branch his and her father's had been crafted from - and had Unicorn hair for its core. The whole wand had been soaked in a solution of Cinquefoil, which charged it with defensive energy and changed its colour. She loved this wand, but it was made to channel her power and prowess; it wasn't good for finesse work. When she'd learned from the healer just how much medical care she was going to need to provide for Sirius over the next year, she wanted the correct wand for it.

Everyone was surprised when Madame Greenwood insisted that Maggie and Sirius hold the wand. The magic Maggie would create with it would be to his benefit, the wand needed to be comfortable with him. In a little over twenty minutes, Maggie was the owner of a grapevine and daisy root braidd wand, representing relaxation and deep rest and love, respectively. The core came from a purple Augury, one of his wing feathers, signifying rebirth and healing. All nine and a quarter inches appeared to be covered in daisies.

"You do know daisies have a meaning, Maggie?" Harry asked with a smirk and light tone. "Would you like to know what it is?" She playfully pondered it for a minute, almost smiling, but not quite. Finally, at least to Harry, she nodded. "They represent being reunited with a lost love...and to hold onto said love." Happy laughter began.

"Definitely be needin' that," Maggie continued in the playful tone, "this one has wanderin' eyes." She wrapped one arm around Sirius and kissed his cheek.

"My eyes may wander," Sirius confessed, "but my heart never will." He reached up and gently placed one hand on either side of her face. "If you're willing to put up with me, problems and all, and love me as I am, then I will never wander. The only person who can make me walk away is you, love." He sealed the promise with a kiss, making Remus and Harry think about their own loves, and reminding Daphne how alone she was. Madame Greenwood wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulders and angled them away, allowing Daphne's tears to fall privately.

"It's out there for you," the wandmaker whispered. "When ya find him, ya will know; and he will be just as wonderful and handsome as you are. Mark me words, alright?"

"Yes, thank you, Madame Greenwood." Daphne lifted her sleeve to wipe her eyes. After one more deep breath, the women turned around.

"Let's get this lass's wand done, shall we?" Madame Greenwood asked the room, not waiting for an answer. It took a bit longer than with Maggie, but it wasn't due to anything wrong, just the care Madame Greenwood took ensuring it was the correct wood. The hard work was worth it when Daphne was handed a seven and a half inch Eucalyptus wand with the core of a mute swan feather. The wood was perfect for healing and for protection of the spells cast while the core was used to assist in finding fatal or near-fatal injuries.

"Now, this wand isn't done, dear," Mrs. Greenwood said. "I'd like to soak it overnight in a solution of frankincense and myrrh so that when it touches someone, it will bring them calm and make them open for healing."

"I've never heard of such a thing," Sirius remarked.

Madame Greenwood gave a smile as she handed him Daphne's wand. "There are many, many ways to make a wand. I, like my mother before me and her father before, I work in an older tradition, one in which layers of protections or spells are put onto a wand; especially one which has such a precise use," she explained to Sirius. Then she turned back to Daphne, "Ya can pick it up next Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever is best for you." The wandmaker took back her creation, and walked it to the back room. When she returned, she turned to the men.

"Now, gents, I understand you're all lookin' for wands for defence and duelling, correct?" The trio nodded. "Club duelling or -"

"-Auror grade, Madame Greenwood," Sirius interjected.

"I see," she muttered. "Any particular reason?"

"I have some health issues which must be sorted out," Sirius confessed, "but when that's finished, I'd like to return to work. I was an Auror before I was ..." he trailed off. She nodded and scribbled a few notes in a notebook no one had noticed she'd had before. "What about you, Lord Potter? You're far too young to be worried about your career."

"Actually, Madame Greenwood, Harry's been accepted into the Auror Academy early," Maggie explained. "He's only needing to finish his last student level class this spring, and as long as his final examination proves to be top spot, he will take his Defence class at the Auror Academy come autumn."

"Well, aren't you a fine one," she said, kissing his cheek. "Anything else which I need to know for this here wand?" Harry looked away, uncomfortably. Daphne wasn't sure what was going on, but she knew enough of Harry to realise this was private. Perhaps if he were just with his family, it would be easy to discuss.

"Maggie," the girl said brightly, and a touch too loudly, surprising several. "I need a few things, from the general shop, for the girls. How about we go run these errands and then come back for the rest?" It didn't take a genius to figure out it was an excuse, but Harry was ever so thankful Daphne had offered it. It was in moments like this he was sure he'd chosen correctly in putting her in their group.

"Sure," Maggie answered, even as she stood from the stool she'd been on the whole time they were there. "Sirius, give me your money pouch."

Reaching into his robe pocket, he withdrew the velvet bag. "No please, no kiss on the cheek or promise of something -"

"Give it ta me, or I won't be staying the night," she cut in, playful laughter in her voice.

"Sounds like a good enough reason to me, Sirius," Harry elbowed him in the gut as he spoke. Maggie took the money pouch and kissed Sirius before they left. Madame Greenwood lifted her wand and cast a privacy spell when the latch connected.

"Now, what was it you didn't want to tell me, Lord Potter?"

"You know I've faced Voldemort already, three times actually," Harry explained and Madame Greenwood went white, her eyes wide as yolks when first cracked into the bowl.

"God 'n all the angels in heaven," she mumbled.

"Madame Greenwood, are you quite alright?" Remus asked. Her head snapped to him and it was if her senses simply righted themselves.

"Yes, yes, I'm fine," she answered. "Not every day ya hear something of that sort. Now I understand your need for a strong defensive wand. You're worried you'll come face to face again?"

"I know I will," Harry told her, resignation pulling his tone and features down. "There's a prophecy which essentially says I have to kill him. The last time I we duelled, if you can even call it that, our wands acted wonky with each other. Professor Dumbledore called it Priori Incantate-"

"Priori Incantatum," Remus corrected and Harry tipped his head in thanks. Madame Greenwood lifted the holly and phoenix feather wand and ran her hands along it, held it to the light and uttered something so low and quietly none of the gents heard her.

"Well, it's a powerful wand," she announced after she had completed whatever tests she'd done to it. "Let's see what we can do to make you one which will aid you better."

The four wands took nearly two hours, long enough that Maggie and Daphne had returned from their errands and left again, going to the house to ensure supper would be on time. The wandmaker's final task for the day was nearly completed and the quartet watched as the fire blazed its magic on the blackthorn wand. The flames died away, sinking into the cauldron's gaping mouth, as if devouring them. The wand slowly fell to the bench and tapped a bitonal tune as it landed. Immediately, Sirius wanted to pick it up, but Madame Greenwood stopped him.

"Young man, those crystals are hot enough to burn ya hands," she told him, adding a rap of her wand on his knuckles. "Give it a few, then you're gonna need to polish it."

"Yes'm," he replied with as straight of a face as possible. Madame Greenwood's actions reminded him of Grandma Freddy, and he chortled at the likeness.

Harry sat next to his godfather, admiring his own new wand. While he loved his holly and phoenix feather wand, this new one he felt throughout his body. He hadn't understood what his parents meant when they told him to get a wand now that he was grown, but holding this one in his hands made their message clear.

Through it, he could tell how his magic flowed through him, much like his blood. Outside of him, Harry could feel the magical objects around him, acutely aware now of anything he could use to his defence. Sirius had told him a defensive wand would react this way, connecting his magic with items of aid around him. The young man felt as if he'd grown a new sense, or a magical eye or perhaps it couldn't even be put into words; all he knew was it made him feel stronger.

Not really thinking, Harry laid his new oak and dragon spike wand next to his old one. When they snapped together, tip to handle, handle to tip, and began glowing, it made everyone stop.

"Well, today I'm seeing all sorts of things I never have," the wandmaker said, falling back into her hovering chair. "You're da defence professor, you tell me what we're seein'."

Sirius and Remus both studied the pair of wands, separating them, and then watching them pull back together, like magnets. Truthfully, they were as stunned as Madame Greenwood.

"Harry, since the wand has to stay for a few days, so that it can be infused with the clove oil, I think it would be a good idea to do some research before we return," Remus said cautiously. "Perhaps someone from the Auror department as well?"

"Yeah, sure Remus," Harry uttered, still awed by what he was witnessing. All four just sat, staring, wondering if the attached wands were going to do anything else. It proved to be futile, as nothing happened until the tower bell chimed five, alerting Madame Greenwood that it was time to close up shop. She stood telling Sirius she'd tally his bill for all the wands.

"Padfoot," Remus hissed in his ear, "I have a job now. I do not need you to buy my wand for me."

"I know you don't, mate," Sirius agreed. "Consider it a gift to celebrate the start of your new career. You can pay for the other one when you pick it up." Deciding it was a fair compromise, Remus tipped his head and agreed.

Remus held in his hands the wand he'd use for teaching and daily use. The nine and three-quarters inch wand felt different, and the hum Harry had described he noticed as well. It was so different from his school wand, which he now understood was working at less than full power. Made from Rowan wood with a dragon blood core, the wand had everything to do with protecting those he cared about. Even the runes carved along the sides were for protection and connection.

He'd created a second wand as well, although this one needed to stay and be 'cured' as Madame Greenwood explained. He'd been speaking with Klytië at length, and she'd been prompting him to make peace with his werewolf nature. Remus had never bitten anyone, heck, he'd never even scratched someone other than his mates who persisted on picking on him when they were in their Animagus forms. Being a werewolf one night of the month wasn't his choice, it wasn't something he wanted, but he could choose how to live with it. From speaking with his sweetheart, and having discussion with Headmaster MacLiam, Harlan Potter and James, Remus was discovering there might be benefits to his werewolf nature; benefits which could tip the scales in Harry's favour when he went against Voldemort again.

Taking all of it under advisement, and completing research of his own, Remus had begun attempting to tap into the raw power of the wolf. He only ever did this when he was far away from any humans, save Sirius who could switch over to Padfoot in an instant. He'd had a second wand created today, a wand which would help him centre and focus the gifts the wolf brought to his human form.

The wand was created from a thousand-year-old branch of Redwood. It was short, only eight inches long and was core free. Instead, the wand had shoots of Monkshood, or Wolfsbane, threaded through it. On the night of the full moon, two days hence, it would be wrapped in more threads and left to soak up the moonlight. The grip was being crafted from moonstone. While he'd seen the raw wand, its final physical attributes wouldn't be known until the wand was unwrapped by Remus two days after the full moon. Madame Greenwood had only ever made another wand like it, and that had been nearly one-hundred years ago. From the design to the ingredients to the spell work, this was a wand for someone who the moon had power over, who in turn pledged that power toward protection.

Sirius handed the wandmaker a pouch of gold, not bothering to count it for he knew it contained far more than she'd charged. They'd tested her skills this afternoon, and he wanted to repay her patience. Once she'd pocketed the pouch, she lifted his wand and gave him a cloth. "Ya want to wipe from top to base in an anti-clockwise direction."

Sirius did as he was told, and was ever so pleased with the results. Since he'd been freed, he'd been forced to use his school wand. It was a fine wand, but it wasn't his beloved Auror's wand. That one had been broken by pea-brained Fudge when he was arrested, probably on Dumbledore's orders. No wand, no way to see if he'd cast the spell which killed the Muggles. Sirius shook his head, willing the past to return there. He was looking forward now. If he planned to return to work, he needed a working wand.

The eleven-and–a-half-inch blackthorn wand felt right in his hand. Made from wood for discipline, control and perspective, the wand reflected the man holding it. His core was Angelica root, a very unusual and sometimes unwieldy plant to work with; also not unlike its master. The root was used exclusively for inspiration, something Sirius knew he'd need plenty of if he was to be true to his role as Harry's godfather.

The wand had been 'baptised by fire', as Madame Greenwood said. As he polished away the outer char, Sirius was pleased and perplexed to find tiny gemstones in rows, twisting their way from base to tip, looking like red, yellow and orange flames.

"Carnelian stones," the wandmaker answered his unasked question. "Only a man of great spirit and deep passion could control a wand such as this. No one else will ever be able to command it. Use it wisely in the conflict to come."

Sirius turned it over and over in his hands, his mates silent as he did. It was in this twisting he noticed the Black family crest pressed into the handle. The wand represented a new beginning for the man; a symbol that he'd captured back all which was taken from him by his arrest, save his best mate. His body was finally healing, he was returning to Aurors — albeit the Irish ones — and he was again in love and had his godson under his roof. He would never slide so low again.

Remus reached for the door, and when the trio turned to thank the shopkeeper, they were surprised to find her gone, the shop looking as if nothing had happened during the day, and all the lights extinguished. As the door closed behind them, they heard the lock engage. Deciding not to question what had just happened, they quickly Disapparated home, just in time for supper.