Chapter 4 : Willow and Phoenix Feather, 10.25 inches, Good for Charms
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The pain of a thousand flaming knives stabbing every inch of his body struck Ollivander, causing pain that would have been unimaginable to him a few months before. It was as if every nerve in his body was on fire yet no mark was left on his skin.
“WHY DOES POTTER’S WAND DEFY THE DARK LORD!? CRUCIO!”
This had all been going on for days – the torture to find out why Harry Potter’s wand had thwarted Lord Voldemort. The persecution he had suffered during his imprisonment up till now felt like a holiday in the Bahamas compared to what he was facing now. It had all started without much warning. One moment he was lying asleep in his dungeon, the next he was dragged to the drawing room upstairs by Bellatrix Lestrange, who demanded of him, in between periods under the Cruciatus Curse, the reason why the wand of Harry Potter was able to hold off that of Lord Voldemort.
Ollivander of course knew why – he wasn’t the foremost expert on wandlore for no reason – but he could not tell them; he would not. He didn’t know how long he could hold out, but he would do so for as long as he could.
Ollivander’s reverie was rudely interrupted and he let out a shrill scream as loud and as piercing as that of a banshee as the Cruciatus Curse once more sent his body into spasms of pain. He was so focussed on attempting to deal with the intense pain coursing through him that he found it hard to breathe, so the scream eventually died though it continued to reverberate around the room for several seconds. The wand pointed at his chest by did not relent and the curse continued to do his work for several minutes. Ollivander’s face was scrunched up, his entire body tense and sweat was seeping down his face. But still he did not yield.
“Tell us why! Why does the wand of the Potter boy prevent the Dark Lord from killing him? TELL US!” Bellatrix Lestrange yelled, her face only inches from Ollivander’s face.
“You... you have killed so many people,” Ollivander said, struggling to connect his words together. “So... so many innocent lives l-l-lost. I w-w-will not let you kill Harry Potter. He has suffered too much.”
“He is a blood traitor! His mother was a filthy mudblood and his father was the biggest blood traitor that ever lived!” Bellatrix’s voice was filled with passionate loathing as show spoke, spittle spraying out from her mouth as she spoke.
“N-n-never, he-he-he’s just a boy,” he stuttered, losing his battle against passing out. “He looks j-j-just like his father, he-he has his mother’s eyes...”
31st July 1971 – Ollivander’s, Diagon Alley, London
It was a swelteringly hot day in Central London, and consequently not many people had been to Ollivander’s that day; preferring the delicious treats at Florian Fortescue’s recently opened ice cream parlour to the dark and dusty wand shop in which he plied his trade. It had been so hot that Ollivander had abandoned his usual waistcoat and necktie, instead he was slumming it in his shirtsleeves and had settled down in his comfy leather-backed chair behind his desk for an afternoon nap fully confident that he would not be disturbed.
He awoke with a start, feeling slightly irritable at having been disturbed, to see a young girl standing in front of his desk. She was a very pretty girl, with long dark red hair tied back into a long ponytail which dropped down her blue and white striped summer dress. She was a small girl, so much so in fact that her bright green eyes barely made it above his desk, but those eyes were keen and full of curiosity.
“Excuse me,” the girl asked a third time, this time a little more firmly. Ollivander noticed that her accent, had a hint of a Lancashire dialect. . “I’m looking for a wand and I was told that this was the place to get one?”
“I do beg your pardon, Miss errr....”
“Evans, Lily Evans,”
“Miss Evans, well yes I do apologise, frightfully warm day. Of the sort that addles the brain and makes one forget ones manners.” Ollivander was a little flustered at his lack of decorum and stood up quickly with a start, forgetting that he was sat underneath a low shelf. The connection of his temple with the thick oak shelf laden with boxes and books sent the shelf’s contents flying and pain to shoot through Ollivander’s head. “Ouch!”
“Are you alright Mr Ollivander?” Lily asked, feeling a little unnerved by her experience so far.
“Yes Miss Evans, perfectly so. I must apologise for my service so far. Ollivanders have been selling wands here for over one and a half millennia and this has not been a particularly shining example...” Ollivander went up to Lily and examined her closely. “Evans, Evans...” he muttered to himself, “I’ve never sold a wand to an Evans before... Are you muggle-born Miss Evans? You know what Muggle means don’t you?”
“Yes Mr Ollivander,” Lily replied earnestly. “Professor McGonagall came around to explain everything about me being a witch after I got my letter. Yes I am a muggle-born, first in my family. My parents were so surprised to find out, probably even more surprised than I was. Does it matter?”
“Oh no my dear it doesn’t matter at all. It’s just that it is often quicker to find a wand for a witch or wizard I have sold one to one of their parents,” Ollivander looked around, noticing for the first time that Lily was alone with him in the shop. “Is your mother or father around?”
“Oh yes, I came with daddy but he is still in the bank sorting out exchanging some of our money for wizard money. He said he’d be along in a moment. Ah, here he is now.”
A large balding man, in his late forties entered the shop. He was wearing a flat cap, which he took off as he walked through the door and had all the look of a man who had been at work since he could first walk. He squeezed his daughter’s shoulder affectionately and sat down in an armchair near the door. “Don’t let me interrupt,” he said, betraying a very thick Lancashire accent, far more pronounced than that of his daughter.
“Not a problem at all Mr Evans, I was just about to explain to Miss Evans here about how we will go about finding a wand for her.” He turned to address Lily once more. “Every witch or wizard must have a wand, and every wand needs a person of magical ability to wield it. The two of you are symbiotic and it is the most important magical relationship that you will ever have. Most witches and wizards will only own one wand in the course of their entire lives, and thus its choosing must be done with great care.”
“So how do I go about choosing a wand?” Lily asked.
“It is the wand that chooses the witch Miss Evans,” Ollivander said, going into the back to select some wands for Lily to choose from. “It is very hard to explain how it happens, because it is different for each witch or wizard, but trust me; you will know when your wand chooses you.”
Once he had chosen at random a selection of wands for Lily to try, he rejoined the young girl and her father in the front of his shop. He was struck by how remarkably confident she seemed – her initial nervousness had vanished. Most muggle-born customers tended to be quite overawed by the experience of buying their first wands, indeed many children of magical blood found the experience quite nerve-wracking. Many spent much of the time clutching their parent’s hand and their shoulders would shake more than a tea cup in an earthquake. Lily seemed more curious than scared so far, something that Ollivander instantly admired about her.
“Hold out your wand arm,” he instructed.
“Which is that?” Lily asked, “I write with my left hand, is that what you mean?”
“Yes that will do nicely.” Ollivander handed the first wand to her, which she took and admired in the light from the bay windows. “This wand is quite a short one, 9 and a quarter inches made from elm and unicorn hair.”
Lily continued to stare at the wand, as if mentally instructing it to perform. “It isn’t doing anything Mr Ollivander,” she said eventually.
“Well you need to give it a chance Miss Evans,” Ollivander said kindly, “try giving it a flourish. Give it a chance to get to know your movements a little.”
Lily nodded at Ollivander’s words and waved the wand slowly in front of her, like a conductor directing an orchestra. She looked at Ollivander, looking for feedback on what she was doing. “Am I doing it right?”
“Yes my dear you are,” he said kindly, “any movement would do just fine, but it seems evident that this is not the wand for you.” He took the wand from Lily, replaced it in its box and produced another. “Let’s see if this one suits you better. This one is 13 and a quarter inches, ash and kelpie hair, a little brittle so you’d have to take good care of it.”
Lily took the wand and, holding it very carefully between her forefinger and thumb, waved it very slowly in front of her. Again, nothing happened.
“Never mind, never mind,” Ollivander said, starting to get into his stride. He always enjoyed the customers that struggled to find wands. It was like a puzzle that he had to solve; a mystery that he had to answer and it always perked him up, even on a day such as this. “Let’s try... this one. 13 and three quarter inches, yew. Nice wand for duelling if that should ever take your fancy.”
“I hope you’re not encouraging my lass to get involved in fights,” Mr Evans said affectionately, “she’s been getting in enough of those with her older sister so far this summer.”
“But daddy she keeps calling me a freak!” Lily said tetchily, wheeling around to face her father.
“Careful, careful there Miss Evans,” Ollivander exclaimed, firmly tugging Lily’s wand away as it had been pointed directly at her father’s chest. “I think maybe this wand is not for you.”
“Oh oh oh I’m sorry,” Lily said, mortified at what she had subconsciously done, “I promise I won’t do that again. It’s just that my sister really hates me now, we used to be such friends.”
“I understand Miss Evans,” Ollivander said, picking out another wand, “but the owning of a wand is a great responsibility. I remember every wand that I have ever sold, and every person to whom I have sold one. Some have been used to create great things; others have become powerful forces for good; but others have been used for great evil.” He turned, new box in hand, and knelt down in front of Lily. “The wand only desires to produce magic; it is for its bearer to aim and utter the incantation. You must take care to use your magical powers for good Miss Evans.”
“I will Mr Ollivander, I promise.” Lily said, a little shaken by this lecture. “What is this wand?” she asked, in an effort to get back to the fun part of why she was there.
“This one,” Ollivander said, returning to his more kindly tone, “is willow and phoenix feather, ten and a quarter inches, nice wand for charm work.”
Lily took the wand, and her face immediately broke out into a broad smile. Red and gold sparks rose from the tip of the wand fizzing and popping like a miniature firework display, causing both Lily and her father to gasp with surprise. Lily, who was now grinning like the Cheshire Cat looked at Ollivander in delight and said enthusiastically, “I guess this is it then?”
“Yes my dear indeed it is, well done. Let me put that back in its box for you.”
“Well done my sweet,” Lily’s father said, kneeling down to hug his daughter, “you were amazing!”
“Thank you daddy,” Lily said, her voice muffled from her father’s tight embrace. “Thank you so much Mr Ollivander. Daddy, can you pay him?”
“Yes of course,” he replied, getting up with a creak and a groan at his knees. “How much do I owe you Mr Ollivander?”
“Ten galleons please, Mr Evans,” Ollivander said, returning to his position behind the counter and producing an aging register. “I must say I think your daughter is splendid and is clearly very talented, I think she will make a fine witch.” He glanced at Lily, who blushed a violent shade of crimson at this praise.
“She’s a very special lass my Lily,” Mr Evans said proudly, “my wife and I were so proud when she got her letter and walking around the street outside has been just a dream. Magic eh! Who’d have thought it!” He handed ten gold galleons to Ollivander, who stowed them within the register. “Alright, we’d best be off, say thank you to Mr Ollivander Lily.”
Unnoticed by any of them, the shop’s bell tinkled and a man and a boy, both bespectacled with a mop of untidy black hair entered the shop and sat down on wing-backed chairs by the display window.
“Daddy,” Lily exclaimed, flushed now with embarrassment, “I was going to do that!”
“I know sweetheart, I was just teasing you,” Mr Evans said, laughing and ruffling his daughter’s hair, “Good day Mr Ollivander.”
“Thank you Mr Ollivander! I promise to take good care of my wand.”
Both Lily and her father shook Ollivander’s hand and headed towards the exit. As they approached the boy who had just arrived stood up, running into their path and knocking the boy’s glasses to the floor.
“Oh! I’m so sorry!” Lily said apologetically.
“It’s alright, it’s alright,” the boy’s father reassured her, “he’s always getting in people’s way and makes an awful first impression.”
“I’m just teasing, here,” he picked his son’s glasses off the floor and handed them to him. He now turned to Lily and her father, “well it was good to meet you Mr..?”
“Evans, Bill Evans and this is my daughter Lily.”
“Well pleased to meet you Bill and I hope to see you and your daughter at King’s Cross in September. My name is William Potter, and this is my son James...”
Spring 1997 Malfoy Manor
Ollivander’s dreams were breached by the burning pain as he came too, back in Malfoy Manor.
““Look old man! We are never letting you go.” Bellatrix said, lowering her voice. “You are either going to tell us what we want to know and we will leave you here in your room to make wands for us in peace, or we are going to torture you in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine.” Bellatrix raised her wand, causing the pain to leave Ollivander once more. She stepped away from him and sat on Ollivander’s table and tucked her wand back into her long black robes. “See old man, this is what the absence of pain feels like. Isn’t it wonderful?”
Ollivander looked pitifully up at his torturer, his satanic prison governor and tried to muster the energy and courage to look defiant but he was too weak. His breaths became shorter and shorter and his eyes filled with tears.
“Are you crying old man? You think we have even begun to explore just how much pain I can put you through?” Bellatrix’s mouth widened into a sickly grin. “Did you ever meet Frank or Alice Longbottom? Such a sweet and innocent pair. It took a lot of torture to break them and eventually we never did get the information that we wanted but it broke their minds to keep it from us. Do you really want that to be your fate?”
“I won’t... I will not condemn that boy to death,” Ollivander said, still panting, “you can’t make me.”
“We will break you old man. It’s only a matter of time.” Bellatrix pushed herself off her perch on the table and walked towards the door, pausing to turn to Ollivander as she turned the knob. “If I don’t break you then the Dark Lord will.” She smirked as she saw Ollivander’s expression fill with fear. “He is returning soon from the Continent and if he does not have the information he wants he will torture you personally. Believe me when I say that my powers pale in comparison to his. The Dark Lord can put you in such pain as is unimaginable to your feeble mind. Just tell us what we want to know, and this absence of pain will continue.” She opened the door and began to walk through it. As she locked it behind her, she warned, “Resistance is futile old man.”
A/N Sorry its been a long time to this update, I found it quite hard to write though once I got the idea to centre it around Lily it became a lot easier. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did please review!
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