“The shop’s display consisted of a solitary wand lying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. The shop was tiny, empty except for a single, spindly chair in the corner. Thousands of narrow boxes containing wands were piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place had a thin layer of dust about it.”
I wonder what would happen if Dudley grew up in the wizarding world but still as a muggle? like kind of reverse AU where his parents are dead and he has to go to Lily for whatever reason? do you think he would become bitter like Petunia about magic?
Lily remembered her sister, how there had been a time she was curious
and delighted about magic, before it slowly sank in that she could look
and not touch.
The last thing Petunia had said to Lily before she
died was a chilly goodbye, ending a holiday dinner where they’d had a
shrieking row in the entryway. Petunia had said freak and Lily had hissed better than this, better than this being my whole fucking world, Tune, do you even see yourself, are you happy–
now here was Dudley Vernon Dursley fussing himself to sleep as Lily
walked the halls of the Godric’s Hollow house. His tiny soft hands with
their tiny soft fingernails curled under her chin, the same way Harry
She passed James, who was gently bouncing his way up
the hall the opposite way. “I think he’s asleep,” James mouthed over
Harry’s tousled head. His hair was the same mess, bent down to peer at
his sleeping son.
Lily stopped where she stood, her nephew heavy
on her chest, her husband smiling, her sister buried. “James,” she said.
“How are we going to do this?”
“Oh,” he said. “Hey. Don’t you
cry, you’ll start them off– unless you need to cry, I mean, you go
ahead, hey, sweetheart, hey, it’s alright, you just let it out.” He
stepped forward, shifting Harry gently to his other shoulder, and
pressed his forehead to hers. “We tuck them in, okay, that’s what we do
next. Then we go to our own bed, okay, and go to sleep, and when we wake
up it’ll be a new day.”
“A new day,” she said. “Another day– James, that’s the– I’m so tired.”
let’s sleep. It’ll look better in the morning,” he said. “And if it
doesn’t look better this morning, it’ll look better in the next one.”
“Better than that. I’ll show you. Every day,” he said and kissed her cold forehead.
had not shown up on the Potters’ doorstep with the milk bottles. Lily
had gotten a phone call from the landline she still had installed in
Godric’s Hollow, about an accident, and she had gone down to the Muggle
police station to identify the bodies.
The cupboard under the
stairs was filled with spiders, broomsticks, and the sewing machine
Lily’s mother had given her when she married James– that’s all. Dudley
slept downstairs. Uncle Remus taught Dudley and Harry to knock out coded
messages through the wall their rooms shared.
In the backyard,
beside a rickety porch and an ambitious hedge, James taught them to
fly– first on little tot brooms where their toes brushed the grass the
whole time, then out of the barrels of practice brooms James used for
lessons and coaching Little League Quidditch.
When the boys turned
ten, five weeks apart, they both got shiny new Nimbuses on Dudley’s
birthday (which came first), and a set of enchanted Quidditch balls on
Harry’s, to share. The Bludgers were enchanted to be very kind but
Dudley spent long afternoons whacking them far afield while Harry chased
the Snitch at his back.
Harry had a scar on his forehead, like a
jagged bit of lightning. Dudley had no scars– the car crash that had
killed his parents hadn’t touched him where he sat strapped into a car
seat in the back, chewing on a stuffed dinosaur toy.
Lily did not
believe in lying to the children. She was bare years off being a child
herself, and spare moments on the far side of a war. When Dudley asked
about his parents, she told him there had been an accident. She pulled
pictures off the shelf and wrote Petunia’s old university friends for
Photographs came by mailman, the images still and unnatural
to Dudley’s eye. Every day he’d gone out to play, for years, he’d been
waving at the picture near the back door of his aunt and uncle on their
wedding day, and they waved back every time.
“She was very clever,” Lily said. “Your mom liked to know everything.”
“And my dad?”
“Vernon liked… cars?” James offered. “That’s the word, right, Lily?”
didn’t know him very well,” Lily said. “He liked drills, I think; he
worked for a firm that made them, and he talked about that a lot.”
brushed his thumbs over the dull edges of the photos. When Lily went
off to Auror headquarters the next morning for work, James bundled the
boys up and took them on an impromptu invisible tour of Grunnings Drill
They tiptoed down halls and past water coolers
and ringing fellytones. They held hands under the Cloak as they dodged
around the machines on the manufacturing floor, thumping and pounding
and whirring away loudly enough that Harry and Dudley could whisper to
each other under the noise. An elevator took them all the way up to the
top floor. Harry whistled cheerily and eerily along with the elevator
music while the Muggles slowly edged toward the doors and pressed floor
buttons lower than they’d originally wanted.
There were boxes and
cabinets and folders and desks and staticky monitor screens full of
numbers strewn in endless grids. “Merlin’s knuckles,” said Harry, who
was seven and a half and rather proud of this expletive. “People can
look at this all day, their whole lives, and not die?”
“Work is hard work,” said James.
“At least mum gets to curse things.”
my dad liked it?” Dudley said, peering at a white board that was
bleeding enthusiastic marker. “There’s a lot of things, here. Maybe he
liked knowing things, too.”
When the boys asked about the scar on
Harry’s forehead, Lily and James looked at each other. “You know how
sometimes we sit with Uncle Remus and talk about a war?” James said. “Or
with Ms. Amelia or Mr. Mundungus.”
“Mr. Mundungus is kinda smelly,” Harry said helpfully.
“It’s not nice to say so though,” said James, and Lily made a face.
“Are we raising them to be nice?” Lily said.
“I’m trying,” said James.
“You talk about a war,” said Harry and shrugged. Dudley nodded.
“There was a very bad man, in those days,” said James.
“Voldemort,” said Lily, and James made a face.
was so scary a lot of people don’t like to say his name, even now,”
said James. “And he was coming after us because we had been fighting
against him, in the war. He came to the house and he tried to hurt you,
Harry. But it didn’t work. It hurt him instead, and gave you that scar.”
“Is he going to come back?” said Dudley, who was paler than his normal pink.
“No one’s heard of him since then,” said Lily.
“Where were you?” said Harry, because all his life they had been right there.
“Oh,” said Lily, but her throat closed up.
were at Dudley’s mum and dad’s funeral,” said James. “Our friend– our
friend Sirius was watching you two. The bad man, he came to the house.
He. Well. I.”
“Sirius died,” said Lily, one hand squeezing James’s
knee and the other reaching down to brush hair off Dudley’s forehead.
“You lived, Harry, and Voldemort vanished. And that’s why sometimes
people stare in the streets, baby.” James tweaked Harry’s collar
Two days after they had buried Lily’s sister,
the Potters had stood together in the first chills of November and
buried James’s brother.
Sirius had been burned off the Black
family tree years before. Lily and James had talked to his cousin
Andromeda, to Remus, and then they had laid him to rest in the Potter
family plot. At the wake, they’d told old jokes about squirrel breath,
shedding, and man’s best friend. Remus had fallen asleep on their couch
and stayed for a month.
It took a two hour row with HR for Lily to get two passes to the Ministry’s Bring Your Kid To Work Day.
“He’s a Muggle.”
“He’s not,” Lily snapped. “He’s family.”
had to get permission, sign a million forms, and she also had to take
the boys in early so that Dudley could get smothered in the spells that
would keep the Anti-Muggle wards around the Ministry from activating on
him. “If a Muggle stumbles in somehow, they just see a funny-smelling
supply cabinet and turn back around,” Lily told Dudley. He nodded and
dragged Harry off by the wrist to go look at the fountain.
windows were pouring sunlight into the underground room– the
maintenance workers had just gotten a win on their contract negotiations
and had banished the grimy rain-spattered windows of the previous
weeks. The light hit the falling water, the golden statues, and the
small excitable crowd of Ministry dependents who were gathering in the
atrium. Dudley was fishing about in the fountain for Knuts to toss back
out again, elbow-deep, and Harry was laughing and coming up with weird
wishes to make on them.
Lily hadn’t said son. She’d said family, and that was true enough, wasn’t it? She didn’t say son–
she had a son, and she had a nephew, a ward, another child who came to
her after nightmares and scraped knees. It was not less, it was just
Lily worried about stealing more things from Petunia. Tuney
had shrieked at her, in ladies’ restrooms and suburban foyers, had
hissed at her in grocery store aisles and family dinners, because Lily
got everything. And now Lily had her son.
Lily could just imagine it– could just see Petunia’s face twisting and chin stabbing at the air. You could have anything, and you took my son– my son!
left him to me,” Lily whispered, but that wasn’t quite right. “You
left,” she whispered, and that wasn’t quite right either, so she strode
off toward the fountain to ask the boys if they wanted to go see the
Auror spellwork ranges. Dudley’s sodden shirt sleeves dripped all over
the Ministry floors. Harry’s hair fell down into his eyes and they both
grinned bright enough to rival the spelled sunlight.
Do you ever think about how when Ron’s wand broke 2nd year, just using spell-o-tape wasn’t enough to fix it. It kept backfiring in ways that were really bad, like making himself eat slugs, or kinda just. being defective in general.
Hagrid’s wand was snapped his 3rd year. But he still uses it, disguised as an umbrella. And it works.
Like we know Ollivander didn’t fix it, since he was surprised to hear Hagrid had the pieces. Not to mention since Hagrid was expelled, it would be extremely illegal to fix it. Hogwarts works as a groundskeeper, and lives in a one room wooden hut that he made himself. He’s not going to have the money to ribe someone to fix it, and then there’s also the fact that because of his heritage, even if he could bribe someone to fix it, they probably wouldn’t. And sure, Dumbledore probably knows that Hagrid fixed his wand, there’s a certain level of deniability there. He wouldn’t have actually gotten involved with the wand mending process. Especially when Hagrid was just accused of killing a student.
So that means Hagrid would have put his wand back together himself.
The 3rd year transfiguration examination was to turn a teapot into a tortoise. Only inanimate objects into animals. Part of the reason animagi are so rare is because they’re human to animal transformations. The first time we meet Hagrid, he gives Dudley a tail, and correctly animates the boat he and Harry are on. Silently.
Harry and co. didn’t even attempt to learn silent casting until 6th year. Anything Hagrid learned after 3rd year would have been self taught.
Hagrid is one powerful wizard and holy shit combined with his resistance to magic with his giant heritage forget McGonagall holy shit Hagrid is terrifying
The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter. It’s not always clear why. But I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things. Terrible… yes, but great.
wizarding places → ollivanders.the shop was described as narrow and shabby with peeling gold letters over the door of the shop read: ollivanders: makers of fine wands since 382 B.C. the shop’s display consisted of a solitary wand lying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. thousands of narrow boxes containing wands were piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place had a thin layer of dust about it.
The pile of tried wands was mounting higher and higher on the spindly chair, but the more wands Mr Ollivander pulled from the shelves, the happier he seemed to become. ‘Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we’ll find the perfect match here somewhere - I wonder, now - yes, why not - unusual combination - holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple.’ Harry took the wand. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wand above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls. Hagrid whooped and clapped and Mr Ollivander cried, ‘Oh, bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well … how curious … how very curious …’
“The magical rod is the verendum of the magus; it must not even be mentioned in any clear and precise manner; no one should boast of its possession, nor should its consecration ever be transmitted except under the conditions of absolute discretion and confidence.” - Eliphas Levi, “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” (1856)
It is a matter of fact that properly making a wand is a pain in the ass. It is a rather long process, with lots of detailed steps, none of which can be skipped. It takes more than a month of near daily work, invariably leads to both accidental and purposeful blood spill, not to mention all the mess.
Having lived in London for over a decade I can assure you that there is no Ollivanders in which to purchase a finished wand. And while many many sticks that have been nicely polished, often having had some baubles attached to them, are for sale from a variety of vendors they are not in any practical way a wand.
A wand must be cut by the practitioner themselves directly from the tree, must be worked to shape by the practitioner’s hands, tooled by the practitioner’s blade. It is a very necessary tool in the arsenal of witch and wizard alike, found throughout history in the practice of magic.
On the whole its a bothersome process; messy, meticulous, exacting and often tiresome. But at each point where you would shirk the necessary steps it is only in reminding yourself that the tool you make may save your life that you push on, doing every little bit that is needed to make it as strong as possible. Because like a parachute your life may hang in the balance of your wand having been made in an exacting process that I would personally never trust to something I bought online or in a shop.
The length of the wand varies from culture to culture and use to use. I myself prefer a length that is the distance from one’s nose when looking straight ahead to the tip of one’s fingers. Approximately three feet long (four spans) though tailored exactly to the body of its owner. The perfect length for tracing a circle on the ground without bending over.
It so happens that I had long held off on making myself a second hazel wand, my first being in storage in the US and something I had used for decades - though not seen in years. In its stead I have been using a very nice rowan wand I constructed about a year after I arrived in London, which works for most situations and is particularly adept at landscape magics. But then there are some things for which only a hazel wand will do the job properly.
Unfortunately my original hazel, cut from a deep and old wood in the states when I was a young man, has gone missing. Its whereabouts are a mystery, though where it should have been among my library storage materials it was not. Thus I have been slowly getting around to replacing it, and some near future work that needs doing has required my starting in order to finish before the vernal equinox.
So while the blackbird sang me a song of predawn delight I cut the hazel and have begun the process. As it dries I will gather the bits I need, offerings and ointments for its preparation, and by the first day of spring it should be ready for a bit of that old black magic.