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Secrets That Remain Untold by rachelhanke
Chapter 1: Hadley's Crazies
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Disclaimer: I do not own or claim any part of the Harry Potter characters or universe as crafted by JK Rowling. The Hogwarts letter is straight from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 4.
Sunlight filtered into the room through the enormous west facing windows, slowly beginning to creep its way across the floor, washing out the gray carpet as it went. The room was designed to have a calming effect on those who waited within it. The walls were a pale shade of blue that imitated the sky on a clear and carefree day. The chairs were arranged in a sort of open circle with a table at their center, and a few plants were strategically placed about the room as well. The only sound was the gentle scratching of a pencil against paper.
The receptionist had stepped out to use the restroom so there was only one occupant in the room and she sat quietly. She was curled up in the corner recliner, the only comfortable place in the entire office, and worked with her pencil over her sketchpad. She was focused entirely on what she was doing but her expression was soft, like she hadn’t a worry in the world. Her eyes followed the path of her pencil, carefully bringing the image in her mind to life on the paper. To a casual observer she may have appeared peaceful, at ease in this tranquil place, but that was far from reality.
A loud bang came from down the hall, immediately followed by shouting, but she wasn’t fazed in the slightest. Every Tuesday afternoon at 3 o’clock she had an appointment with Dr. Hadley, and every Tuesday at 2 o’clock Ms. Lewis had her appointment. Ms. Lewis was one of what the girl had deemed ‘Hadley’s Crazies’, because crazy is exactly what each one of her patients was, each one except the girl. She had no reason or desire to be there; she would have rather been anywhere else, but she had no say in the matter. It had been mandated by the system she was stuck in, they thought, or pretended to think, it would help her. The two oblivious parent wanna-be’s that had adopted her were more than willing to abide, they treated her more like an accessory than a daughter anyway.
So there she went, every Tuesday, and every Tuesday Ms. Lewis would slam open the office door at five minutes to 3 o’cock and leave in a terrible fit, you could set your watch by her, she was that predictable. Of course the first few times had given the girl a start, but she and Ms. Lewis had been coming here for many years now and they had always had those same appointments. The girl no longer batted an eye at her outbursts. She wasn’t sure what caused them, only the doctor could know that, but it was like Ms. Lewis was an alarm programmed to go off each Tuesday at 2:55 in the afternoon. Sometimes the girl wondered if it was restricted to Tuesday’s or if it happened every other day of the week as well.
“Ms. Lewis!” the receptionist came rushing out of the bathroom.
Claire or maybe it was Claudia; the girl never made the effort to remember her name.
“Ms. Lewis!” She wrenched open the front door, which Ms. Lewis had just disappeared through and yelled after her, “Ms. Lewis, don’t forget your appointment next Tuesday at 2pm!”
The receptionist turned around looking flustered, as she always did after chasing Ms. Lewis out the door, though today Claudia had the added bonus of a half tucked shirt from her trip to the bathroom. The girl didn’t understand why the receptionist insisted on running after Ms. Lewis and shouting her appointment time after her each week, it never changed, at least not for the past five years.
Claire took a moment to collect herself before returning to her desk. Once there she looked to the girl and said with that annoyingly bright smile, “Dr. Hadley will be right with you, you can go and wait in her office if you’d like.” It was the same thing she said every Tuesday, of every week, of every year.
The girl flipped her notebook closed and tucked it along with her pencils away into her bag. As she rose she hoisted it up onto her shoulder and crossed the lobby to take the familiar path to the doctor’s office, nothing she hadn’t done well over a hundred times by now. Down the hall, third door on the left, gently open the door so it didn’t knock down the poorly placed wall hanging behind it. So familiar was she with her path that she was several steps into the room before she looked up and saw a not so familiar occupant.
3 o’clock had been her appointment for as long as she could remember, every Tuesday of every month of every year for the past five years; it was always the same. But it seemed someone had made an error, somewhere along the lines there had been a mix up or misunderstanding because there was an elderly man in the room, and judging by his appearance he too was one of Hadley’s Crazies. He had chosen to sit in the doctor’s seat rather than the patient’s and he looked quite comfortable there. He had sparkling blue eyes that sat behind half moon spectacles; his beard and hair were each at least two feet long and as white as snow; and he wore floor length midnight blue robes with a matching hat. He was most definitely one of Hadley’s Crazies.
“I’m sorry, she told me to come back. There must have been a mix up,” she said.
“No need to apologize, there was no mix up,” the man said plainly.
She paused, wondering how he had even managed to get into the office without passing her in the waiting room. Unless he could teleport, which was absurd.
She shook the outrageous thought away, “I’m going to go ask Claire what’s going on.”
She made to turn around when he spoke again, “Clarissa won’t be able to tell you, she isn’t aware that I am here.” So that was the receptionist’s name, although the man was likely a patient, which would put his credibility level somewhere south of zero.
“So you’re invisible to everyone but me, is that it?” she asked, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
He gave a small chuckle, “In a manner of speaking, yes I am.”
She suppressed a small laugh, “okay then, why is it I can see you?”
“Because you’re the one I came to speak with,” he said still smiling.
She was still slightly amused by his delusion but decided it was best not to participate any longer. “I’ll go and get the doc for you, I think she’s the one you need to speak with.” She turned to leave the office but stopped dead when he spoke again.
“No Kaelix, I came to speak with you,” he corrected her.
The slight amusement fell from her face and her mind started doing cartwheels. She turned back slowly to see his still smiling face, though now she felt as though it was mocking her, like he knew something she did not.
“And how is it that you know my name?” she asked flatly.
“That is a story best saved for another time and place, but please come and sit down, there is plenty for us to discuss today,” he said, indicating the chair across from his own.
Kaelix still hesitated, “How do I know that you’re not one of Hadley’s Crazies?”
“How would you know if I was?” he asked simply
“Well it seems rather obvious; you’re not exactly dressed for a stroll through town,” she pointed out.
“That depends on the town,” he said with a smile.
She suppressed another scoff, “Are you suggesting that there are towns where your current attire is acceptable on a daily basis?”
“Of course there are, several in fact.”
“Now you look and sound crazy.”
“And you haven’t even heard any of what I came here to discuss with you.”
“Well, why don’t you tell me already.”
“Very well then, I’ve come here to extend to you an invitation to study at my school.”
“And what school is that?” she asked doubtfully.
“Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But that should come as no surprise to you.”
There was a moment of silence during which Kaelix contemplated who was crazier; him for telling her this story, or her for staying to listen. “Did you think that would make you sound less crazy?”
“Not at all and I never claimed such a thing. But the fact is you are still here.”
“What does that matter?”
“If you truly believed that I was one of, how did you put it? Ah, yes, Hadley’s Crazies, then you would have left already. The fact that you’re still here means that you believe otherwise.”
“You have no idea what I do or do not believe, Old Man. Now how is it that you know who I am?”
“Unfortunately, it is much too long of a story for today,” he said with a small sigh.
“Give me the short version,” she said stubbornly.
He paused and considered her for a moment with a soft expression; his gaze however, was striking. She wondered what he contemplated behind his unwavering façade, what did he hide there? Surely it was something significant for it to be so well guarded. Despite his outwardly eccentric appearance, the man had a certain air of greatness about him that asserted credibility. And although he carried it without arrogance, Kaelix was not impressed with his humility either; it felt more like a tactic than sincerity; he wasn’t here to offer her anything, he was here because he wanted something.
“Very well,” he said without warning. “I came to know you through a friend of mine.”
Kaelix waited for more but he did not elaborate.
“That’s it?” she asked incredulously.
“That is the short version, as you requested. Now if you’ll come and have a seat, we have other matters to discuss.”
She stood in the doorway stuck in uncertainty. She wasn’t convinced that she could trust this man. This stranger that mysteriously showed up in her appointment room, waiting for her, knowing she would be there and somehow knowing her name. Kaelix glanced back down the hall toward the waiting room and wondered; if she simply walked out, would the man be back again the next week, patiently waiting for her in Dr. Hadley’s chair? Somehow, though she didn’t understand how, somehow she knew he would be.
“Don’t worry, we won’t be disturbed,” he said, mistaking her reason for looking.
She looked back into the room at him with her brow furrowed. What he said made no sense at all considering she had an appointment and the doc would be there at any moment. But again for some unexplainable reason, she believed that he was right, they would not be interrupted.
“I almost forgot, I have something for you,” he said as he reached into his robes.
When his hand emerged he was holding a small envelope. He extended it in her direction, indicating that she should take it. She hesitated for a moment but then made her way into the room to see what this envelope contained. It was thicker than she had imagined it would be, not just the contents but the envelope itself seemed to be made of rough thick paper, almost like parchment. On the front, in emerald green ink was her name, Kaelix Williams, and an address that had once been hers.
“What is this?” she said a little sharper than she had intended.
“Something long overdue.” He said with that warm yet mysterious smile.
When it was clear that he was not going to add anything else, Kaelix flipped the envelope over and carefully broke the seal with her finger. Inside the envelope there were three separate pieces of the parchment style paper, she removed the foremost one first. As she unfolded it she began to recognize the same cursive handwriting as was on the exterior. Unconsciously holding her breath she began to read:
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards.)
Dear Miss Williams,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
“If this is some kind of joke, it’s not funny in the least,” she said quietly.
“I can assure you this is not a joke; it is an invitation, to someplace quite real,” he said calmly.
“You mean to tell me that, this place, your school,” -she looked back down at the letter again- “this Hogwarts. You actually teach magic?”
“And more.” There was that damnable smile again.
“Why should I believe you? How can I be sure that this isn’t some kind of trick? And you’re not just some psychopath who kidnaps children?” she asked.
“Ah yes, there are always those few who take some convincing,” he said, still smiling.
He reached inside his robes and withdrew a slender piece of polished wood. Kaelix’s eyes widened a bit when she put two and two together and realized that it was his magic wand. He adjusted himself in his seat slightly as he looked around the room searching for something, though Kaelix had no idea what. His eyes settled on a plant on a little table in the corner of the room. It was supposed to help create a calming and restorative atmosphere, or some other such nonsense. But really it was just a pathetic and depressing little green plant due to the fact that it appeared to be in a constant state of wilt.
The Old Man, as she had titled him, smiled. He looked at the dying plant and smiled. Kaelix was about to ask if there was something amusing that she wasn’t aware of when he lifted his wand and made a few quick motions with it. Immediately the plant began to come to life, and not just straightening up either, it began to grow, it spread along the walls of the room and grew until it reached the ceiling and didn’t stop there. The stems grew until they could be considered vines, and the leaves spread until they covered the walls and ceiling completely. The picture frames and bookshelves were overcome by the plant, it had come to life. The vines crawled across the floor toward Kaelix and she wondered if they would wrap and grow over her as well but they simply parted and continued past her to the rest of the room. Eventually they encompassed the door and swung it shut behind her. The light from the window could hardly penetrate the thick wall of greenery that had grown over it. When all of the furniture had disappeared beneath a sea of green leaves, all of the life seemed to leave the plant and it stilled. Kaelix was now standing in the middle of a jungle.
Her eyes travelled along the thick vines, giant leaves, and flowers that had grown and blossomed in mere seconds and she had to remind herself to breathe.
“This could still be a trick you know, there are plenty of ways to create the illusion of magic,” she said as flatly as she could manage.
“You may investigate as you wish but you will find no assistance, no hidden leavers, no invisible strings, and no secret doors. It is purely magic,” he said so sincerely she almost had to believe him, but she didn’t want to.
“There’s no way to prove that, any proof you offer could just as easily be fabricated,” she argued stubbornly.
“Why do you protest something so strongly when you know it to be true?” he asked.
“Because magic isn’t real, it can’t be.”
“You just witnessed magic turn a frail dying plant into a lush thriving jungle in mere moments, and you would still deny its existence? Even when this isn’t the first instance of magic you’ve been privy to?”
“What do you mean?” she asked, her mind instantly jumping to the memory she knew he must be referring to.
“Kaelix, you’re far too smart of a young girl to ask a question that you already know the answer to,” he was no longer smiling.
She wanted to argue with him, deny knowing anything about it, and forget this conversation had ever happened. But she couldn’t for one simple reason; he was right.
“Magic is real,” she said quietly, finally admitting something that she’d denied for nearly six years now.
“Indeed it is,” he said smiling yet again.
“He was right,” she said quieter still, then scoffed, “he was always right.”
“Pardon, I didn’t catch that?” he asked.
Kaelix gave herself a small shake to dislodge the old memories before she became lost in them, and turned once more to the Old Man sitting before her.
“Why do you wish me to attend your school so desperately?” she asked.
“What do you mean?” he asked in return.
“You seem to have a vested interest in my acceptance of your invitation, or does the headmaster of the school invite every student personally?”
“Ahh, I see. Well, yours is a bit of a special case. You see normally students receive their letter upon their eleventh birthday, and that is the year they begin at Hogwarts. But for some reason unbeknownst to me our delivery system failed to deliver your letter. It is an unprecedented problem and therefor I thought it deserved an unprecedented solution.”
“So I would be two years behind in classes?”
“I’m still working out the finer details with my staff but don’t let that deter you from coming. I assure you, should you choose to attend Hogwarts you will learn much more than you ever imagined.”
Kaelix felt there was a double meaning behind his words but she knew that if she pressed the matter he would not admit to it. It was plain that something was there, he did not reveal it but it was as though he wanted it so strongly that he could not conceal it entirely, at least not from her. She stood in contemplation for a short time and realized that at some point she had resigned to believing him, no matter how nonsensical it sounded, because now she was contemplating whether or not she would go. She disregarded her ‘parents’ because she knew that the Old Man would likely have a solution for that as well. In the end she realized not what her decision was, but what it had to be. She looked back to the Old Man and found him looking at her intently again; when their gazes locked she saw the corner of his mouth turn up with a knowing smile.
“Well that settles it then. You’ll find a list of supplies in with your letter, and a list of extra classes of which you will need to pick two. The train leaves from platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station at exactly 11 o’clock on September the first, you’ll find your ticket in with your letter as well. Now let’s see, anything else.. Anything else… Ah, yes, of course. You’ll need to go visit Diagon Alley to purchase your supplies, would you like someone to escort you there? Or would you rather find your way back on your own?”
Her brow furrowed in question, “back?” she asked.
“Well, I suppose you didn’t make it all the way there last time, but you did manage to find the Leaky Cauldron quite easily, if you remember.”
Kaelix did remember the Leaky Cauldron, quite well. She had stumbled across it when she’d been on holiday with her parents in London last month. Though it was more like bring your daughter to work to show all your colleagues what amazing parents you are, rather than a holiday. No one else on the street that day seemed to have seen it. Apart from the one man that she had followed right through the front door.
“You will find the entrance to Diagon Alley in the back of the Leaky Cauldron. Just ask Tom, the bartender, he will be more than happy to show you the way.” He stood rather abruptly, shaking Kaelix from her thoughts about buying supplies for a magical school down a seemingly random alley located behind a selectively visible pub in the middle of London.
“Now I’m afraid I must be off but before I go, take this.” He withdrew a small pouch from his robes and held it out to her.
He dropped it into her outstretched hand with a small clink. “I believe that will be sufficient for everything you need. If you have any problems with anything, the owls know how to find me. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and remember, the train leaves at exactly 11 o’clock.” He gave her one last warm smile that still seemed to be masking something, before striding across the room and disappearing down the hallway.
Kaelix hesitated for a moment before rushing over to the door herself, wondering if he would truly just walk out the front door. But when she peered down the hallway he was already gone.
“Miss Williams, sorry I’m a bit late.” Kaelix heard Dr. Hadley say from behind her.
She turned around to see that the clock read 3:05pm, being approximately 7 minutes faster than the clock in the reception area it was the same time it had been when she’d found the Old Man in the office. On top of that, everything in the room was just as it had been before; the jungle had disappeared and the small potted plant was back to its original pathetic size.
“How on Earth…?” She whispered to herself.
“So,” the doctor began, indicating she should take her usual seat on the sofa. “Did anything of interest happen this week?”
A/N: Hey there! If you're here reading this I just want to thank you for coming this far! I started this fanfic a long, long, long, LONG time ago and finally got around to finishing it recently so I hope to be posting pretty regularly (maybe once a week) as I edit my way back through it! It would mean the actual world to me if you left a review!!! I know there's not much to go on here because things are just getting started but let me know what your first impressions are/what you liked/didn't like/etc. See you in a week! <3 <3 <3
Chapter 2: 27
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Disclaimer: I do not own or claim any part of the Harry Potter characters or universe as crafted by JK Rowling. The Firebolt description is taken directly from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 4.
“You’re done now, dear.”
Her curiosity had gotten the better of her and it had landed her right here, standing on a pedestal in the middle of a robe shop. Kaelix stepped down from the stool she’d been standing on for nearly twenty minutes. A measuring tape had been flying all around her taking every sort of measurement possible, many of which she was certain were completely useless. Now it gently floated down to rest on the stool where she’d just been standing. More than happy to be done with the unnecessary poking, prodding, and squeezing of the tape; she made her way to the counter to pay for the robes.
The wizard money that the Old Man had given her felt cold and heavy in her hand as she pulled it out, even through the cloth pouch it was stored in.
“How much?” she asked, hoping she remembered what each piece was called.
“3 of the gold ones and 4 of the bronze.” She answered with a warm smile.
Kaelix forced a polite smile, “you could tell?” she asked.
“You often can when someone comes along who hasn’t grown up around it. You watch differently than those that are used to it, you appreciate it more.” She added.
Kaelix smiled politely again and handed the money to the woman. As she exited the shop into the warm August sun she thought about what the shop owner had said, “you often can when someone comes along who hasn’t grown up around it.” So she wasn’t the only one that knew nothing of this place before coming, she wasn’t the only one who’s reality had been altered one day, by one conversation. Shifting the universe that she’d come to know and accept.
It’d been one week since Professor Dumbledore’s unexpected visit and his invitation for her to come to Hogwarts. If anyone had told her before that conversation that in one week’s time she would be walking up and down the cobblestone streets of a magical village, then she would have said that they would be walking into an asylum with a straight jacket before sundown. But here she was walking past a shop that was selling newt eyes, unicorn horns, bat wings, and more. She could hardly believe her eyes when Tom, the bartender at the Leaky Cauldron, had shown her through the brick wall behind the pub. Part of her amazement was due to all the shops and the items they were selling, the other part was at how many people were in the small village. Doors to shops were constantly being closed and opened, kids yelled across the street to their parents, friends laughed and joked while shopping together, and owls flew overhead, their eyes watching everyone in the street in an almost hawk like fashion.
The street was filled with liveliness, but as more and more time passed Kaelix began to feel as if it were all an act, as if the happiness was being forced. Once in awhile she would see someone look cautiously over his or her shoulder before hurrying on ahead. They were on edge; every single person in the village was on edge. As Kaelix looked closer she could see that the doors were being snapped shut with impatience and growing anxiety; the kids weren’t yelling for their parents, their parents were yelling for them to stay close and not wander; friends were staying together in tight groups, most accompanied by an adult, and their jokes were simply attempts to ease the nervousness in the air.
Kaelix pressed on searching for a place to buy a wand, the only thing that she had not yet acquired. She noticed that the anxiety of the crowds seemed to be increasing as time passed and they began to thin out a little as evening approached. What was it that all of these people were afraid of? She wondered. Did some kind of monster come out when the sun went down, or perhaps everything would turn back into stone, or maybe pumpkins?
“Mom I want a FIREBOLT!” someone yelled to her left.
She turned to see a brat of a little boy tugging his mother’s robes begging for something.
“Michael gets one, how come I don’t!” he demanded.
“I told you already Connor, because you’re six and he’s seventeen. Now come on. We have to go home and feed the owls. And prepare dinner for your father...”
The women hauled her son away as he continued to protest. But he hadn’t been the only one ogling at the widow of that particular shop. She had noticed a crowd outside the window of that particular shop before but hadn’t paid any attention before. Now she was curious about what was provoking the curiosity of so many people. And what the hell was a Firebolt anyway? Something like a lightning bolt she supposed. Even now there was a group of boys, whose ages appeared to range from seven or eight to as old as mid-twenties, crowding around and a few girls too.
Kaelix stepped closer and heard snatches of conversation, “it’ll be a favorite for the world cup.” “Price on request though. Hmm...” “It’s the best ever! Everyone will want one!” Want one what? She wondered.
She walked closer to try and see what they were all looking at. It wasn’t easy considering the number of people there and all the bags she was carrying. Somehow she managed to squeeze her way up to the front of the mass of people and lay eyes on what they were all here for.
A broom. That was it. A charcoal black broom lay on a ruby red pillow inside the window. With a raised eyebrow Kaelix looked around. They were all here for a broom. And she thought that the shop selling clocks had been a joke. When she turned her gaze back to the window she saw a sign next to the Firebolt, it read;
This state-of-the-art racing broom sports a streamlined, superfine handle of ash,
treated with a diamond-hard polish and hand-numbered with its own registration
number. Each individually selected birch twig in the broomtail has been honed to
aerodynamic perfection, giving the Firebolt unsurpassable balance and pinpoint
precision. The Firebolt has an acceleration of 150 miles an hour in ten seconds
and incorporates an unbreakable Braking Charm. Price on request.
“Oh brother,” she sighed, “this really is the whole deal, flying brooms and everything,” she muttered to herself.
“Haven’t you ever seen a broom before?” a voice asked.
Kaelix looked around. The voice had come from her right. A boy was standing there looking at her, a questioning gleam in his eyes. She stared at him. She didn’t know him at all.
“Excuse me?” she said.
“A broom, haven’t you ever seen one before?” he asked slowly.
Kaelix opened her mouth to reply but she was pushed sideways into him.
“Watch it!” someone said behind them.
Whoever it was that they had knocked into, shoved them back. Kaelix hit someone else, lost her balance, and fell to the ground just past the now thinning group of people. She lost grip of her shopping bags and they tumbled to the ground, some of the contents scattering. Kaelix sighed in aggravation and started collecting the scattered books and supplies. She reached out for her divination book, titled Unfogging The Future but instead of the rough book cover her hand met another hand. She followed the arm with her gaze to see whom it belonged to. Her eyes met emerald green ones. It was the boy who’d asked her if she’d ever seen a broom before.
She withdrew her hand quickly and stood up. After dusting off her pants Kaelix picked up her bags and looked up.
“I see you’re taking Divination, I am too, maybe we’ll be in the same class.” The boy held out her divination book.
She shifted the bags in her hands and took it from him without a word.
“I don’t think we’ve met before, my name is Harry,” he offered. “What’s yours?”
Kaelix returned the book to her bag and did not reply.
“Are you okay? He asked.
“Fine.” she replied shortly.
She stepped sideways and began walking away from him, and away from the flying broomstick.
“Wait, I asked for your name.” he called.
Kaelix turned slightly to look back at him.
“And do you always get what you ask for?” she said, a little more harshly than she’d intended.
When he didn’t say anything in return she turned and continued once more down the street, leaving him to stare after her. She shook her head to clear it and pushed all thoughts of him and his flying broomsticks out of her head as she returned to her search for a place to buy a wand. She passed many new shops that she hadn’t seen yet. One of which was Eyelopes Owl Emporium, as she walked by she heard a soft ‘hooting’ from inside, then a screech and someone yelling. “No don’t- those mice are for sale Arwin, they aren’t your dinner! No, BAD OWL!” she laughed softly to herself at the image of a shopkeeper struggling with a large owl trying to keep it from eating pet mice and kept walking.
The street, she noticed, was significantly emptier now than when she had arrived earlier that day. Though it was still quite busy, she no longer bumped into someone every time she tried to avoid bumping into someone. And those who remained were very edgy. Some jumped as she walked by, others cast threatening looks at her over their shoulders. But they were all hurrying to get done as if they didn’t want to be there any longer than they absolutely had too.
Kaelix was just about to turn around, thinking she was so near the end of the Alley that she must have missed seeing the wand shop, but she was so intent on her search that she didn’t see the boy headed right for her. Apparently he took no notice of her either because they knocked shoulders half way across the street. Kaelix almost lost hold of one of her bags but managed to maintain her grip and resume walking. She was several more paces across the street before she felt someone grab her shoulder.
“Hey.” She heard a male voice say as she spun around and took a step back, not knowing who was after her attention. “I think you owe me an apology.” Said the same voice.
Kaelix faced a haughty looking boy with blonde hair and a smirk. He was standing a few paces off from her with his arms crossed in front of his chest and an expectant look on his face. She stared at him blankly, an apology, was he kidding himself? People scurried all around them, some cursed at the ‘kids’ standing in the middle of the path, while others silently moved to walk around them. The silence between them lingered only a little while longer before he spoke again, and when he did it was the same drawling voice as before, but this time he spoke slowly as if he were explaining the rules of hide and seek to a seven year old.
“For running into me.” He sounded somewhat condescending but she thought she saw a bit of mischief in his eyes.
“Are you serious?” she asked.
“What, do I not look serious to you?” he asked with a smile that only added more mischief to his expression...
“No,” She said catching on to his game, “no, not at all.”
“What?” he said with mock disbelief.
“You look about half as serious as a clown.” She said playing along.
“See now that just hurts, I was being completely serious. So now I think you owe me two apologies.” he said.
“Well the way I see it you owe me two as well, so you could say that we’re even.” she explained.
“And how do you figure that?” he asked.
“Well it takes two to collide so I’d say you owe me an apology for that and then you went on to begin this conversation without even introducing yourself. How am I to apologize if I don’t even know who I’m apologizing to?”
“You have made an excellent point, I’ve been extremely rude.”
“I’m certain your mother would be ashamed.”
“She would probably disown me.”
“I’m surprised she hasn’t already.”
“Have some mercy, we’ve only just met. How can we get along if you’re so cruel?” he asked.
“Technically we still haven’t met, and not at all if you’re as self important as you seem.” she countered.
“Do you think I’m too arrogant?”
“Truly?” she asked playfully, but then she paused for a moment holding his gaze. “No. No, I think you’re guarded which is why you seem arrogant, so as not to appear vulnerable to anyone.”
He looked taken aback by her answer.
She shook her head with a small laugh, “but what do I know, we haven’t even really met yet.”
“Well then,” he stepped closer to her and offered his hand, “I’m Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, and you are?” There was something in his eyes that she almost recognized, something that felt familiar, but she wasn’t sure what it was. She took the offered hand.
“Williams,” she answered, imitating him, “Kaelix Williams.”
“Williams? I don’t recognize that name.” He said, looking at her curiously now.
“Well you will now. Is there anywhere around here I can get a wand? It’s the last thing on my list and I’d like to be on my way.” She tried to distract him from any questions he might ask.
“What, bored of me already?”
“Yes, ages ago. Now kindly direct me to a shop that sells wands and all my suffering won’t have been in vain.” she added with a mocking smile.
“Your suffering? I’ve just spent the last while talking to a first year, how do you think I’m doing?”
“Oh I’d say you’re holding your own, but just barely.”
“Are you this kind to everyone you meet or is it just my lucky day?”
“Oh no, normally I’m much more spiteful and sarcastic; you must have caught me on an off day.”
“I’d like to see that.”
“You spiteful and sarcastic.”
She furrowed her brow, “have you been here for this conversation?”
“Yeah I have actually,” he nodded. “And on the spiteful and sarcastic scale I’d say you’re probably somewhere around… warm and fuzzy?”
She narrowed her eyes a bit. “Warm and fuzzy, huh? You couldn’t handle anything more than that.”
“Wanna bet, Williams?”
She paused. “I don’t gamble. The wand shop, Malfoy?”
“Maybe you should.” He said with a smirk.
Then he raised a hand to indicate a place somewhere behind her. She turned slightly to see and at first she couldn’t tell where he had pointed but then a sign caught her eye. It read; Ollivanders: Makers of fine Wands since 382 B.C. The letters were gold and peeling off of the hanging wooden sign above the shop. It looked small and quite old, like it really had been around since 382 B.C.
“Thanks.” She turned and quickly made for the shop.
“I’ll see you at the start of term then?”
“You might” she called back without looking. She adjusted her course to cross the street, the quicker she got her wand, the quicker she could get out of there and away from all the people. As she entered she heard a small bell and the ring seemed to travel very far. She looked back out to see if Malfoy had followed her but he was nowhere to be seen. She watched the hustle and bustle of the thinning crowd for a moment and her mind wandered. There had been something almost familiar about him. As if she knew him somehow even though she was certain they had never met before. It was faint but still, it was there. And it made him easy to talk to.
She looked down thinking that Draco Malfoy might make for an interesting classmate. Her eyes traced a purple cushion on which a single wand lay in the windowsill. A shiver went down her spine. It was a scary thought, that something so simple could hold so much power. Power that could destroy. It looked plain enough, made of slick brown wood and recently polished. Who would know that it contained the potential to do any harm to the world?
Kaelix turned and looked around the small shop. It was empty except for a small spindly chair near the door, which Kaelix filled with her shopping bags.
“Good afternoon.” a soft voice said to her right.
She turned slightly to see whom it belonged to. Behind the old wooden front desk of the shop stood an elderly looking man in dark blue robes.
He offered his hand; “it’s nice to meet you, Miss...” he trailed off indicating that she was to finish for him.
She looked down at his hand. He was old; his fingers were thin and looked as if they could easily be broken. Nice to meet me, she laughed to herself, he doesn’t even know me.
Her gaze returned to his face and without taking the offered hand she finished his sentence, “Miss Williams.”
He lowered his hand and his bright blue eyes studied her. It was a few moments before he spoke again. “Well, Miss Williams, have you come to buy a wand?” he asked in his soft almost vacant voice.
Kaelix bit back all the sarcastic responses that came immediately to mind, and settled with nodding curtly in response. Mr. Ollivander turned quickly and disappeared behind tall shelves and Kaelix didn’t even know if he’d seen her answer. Upon the shelves sat several boxes that looked to be roughly an inch tall and two inches wide, from where she stood Kaelix guessed that she could see well over five hundred boxes. From the looks of it the shelves continued on deep into the shop that she had initially thought to be small and cramped.
Mr. Ollivander returned with a box in hand and a small smile across his lips.
“Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance.” he began as he opened the box and took out the slender piece of wood. “We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, phoenixes, or people are the same. Here you are try this one. Maple and phoenix feather, seven inches, quite whippy.” he held it out for her to take. “Go on just give it a small wave.”
Kaelix took the wand from him hesitantly. As she touched it she almost let it drop to the floor, it was cold. But with tense muscles she grabbed it, making sure not to drop it, and then gave it the smallest of flicks. Nothing happened.
“Not to worry,” Mr. Ollivander said as he snatched the wand away so quickly Kaelix almost jumped, “it always takes at least two tries if not more.” he discarded the wand onto the end of his desk and left to go find another. When he returned he had several boxes in hand. He set them all down on his desk and opened the top one and handed it to her.
“Beach wood and unicorn hair, ten and a quarter inches, springy. Try.”
Again the wand felt ice cold to the touch and Kaelix doubted it would work, but she tried waving it a little, feeling a bit like an idiot. Mr. Ollivander snatched the wand back, placed it with the other that she had tried, and immediately held out another for her. “Willow and dragon heartstring, ten inches, rather swishy.” he said as she tried again.
But she had barely moved it when he took that one back as well, discarding it with the others. He smiled slightly, “going to be tricky.” he said almost to himself, and was it her imagination or was there a bit of excitement in his voice.
He continued to pull wand after wand off the shelves and have her try them, some were completely lifeless in her hand and did nothing, and some were so full of life they shot out at random things and made unbearable noises. The more wands that they went through and the more useless Kaelix thought the whole thing was, the happier Mr. Ollivander seemed to get, smiling, laughing, and talking to no one in particular. Was this man’s life really so boring that when it was hard to find someone a wand it excited him. It was as if he were a kid trying to figure out a puzzle, so many pieces but only one of them would fit here, with her.
After Mr. Ollivander put out a fire that was set by a particularly temperamental wand, Kaelix began to wonder if it would ever end. What if they went through the whole shop and none of the wands were right, none of them fit with her. Maybe because she wasn’t right, she was never supposed to be here. That would be rather remarkable, she thought, a witch without a wand. She tucked a strand of her long dark hair behind her ear and looked up to see if Mr. Ollivander had another wand for her to try but his eyes were searching her face, studying her closely instead of looking for another box.
“I wonder...” he whispered and Kaelix couldn’t tell if he was talking to her or himself. Then his eyes stopped searching her and went glassy as if he were deep in thought. “Yes...” he said to himself. He looked to be contemplating something, something that took his full attention. Then suddenly his eyes snapped back to focus on her and widened like he had just remembered something very important.
The stepping stool that he stood on to reach the higher shelves creaked slightly as he stepped down onto the ground. His eyes had returned to normal size now but he hadn’t moved his gaze from her face. He walked forward to his desk, and Kaelix wished that he would look elsewhere. His penetrating blue eyes gave her the feeling of transparency; he could see right through her barriers and read her like an open book. Her thoughts, her movements, nothing escaped his fathoming gaze.
“It has been sometime,” he began slowly, “since it has taken so long to find the specific wand that is looking for a customer. Perhaps...” he did not finish his thought aloud, but simply acted. He tore his gaze from her and looked instead at a drawer of his desk. Reaching inside his robes he withdrew his own wand, gave it a small wave and muttered something that Kaelix could not discern. He then opened it.
Slightly intrigued Kaelix leaned onto her tiptoes and looked over the desk at the open drawer trying to distinguish its contents. Laying in the drawer was a single long slender silver box, it looked just like the thousands of other boxes stacked throughout the shop that contained wands. Except this box had a good thick layer of dust on it, which made it appear as though it hadn’t been touched in many years. Mr. Ollivander changed that though, when he removed the box, closed the drawer, and blew the dust off, filling the room with the subtle smell of an old attic. Kaelix almost sneezed as some of the dust went up her nose and made her eyes water.
Mr. Ollivander however seemed unaffected by the dust now occupying the room with them. He slid the lid off the box to reveal a very dark colored wand. Without a word he held it out for her to take and she did so without question. When she took hold of the wand she was surprised, she had fully expected it to be cold to the touch just as all the others had been. But this wand was different it sent a wave of warmth that spread from her fingertips to the tips of her toes. As with all the other wands she waved it in a small circle a silver mist emitted from the tip of the wand and sparkled sending a shiver down her back. It shined illuminating the room slightly before it dissipated.
“What is it made of?” she couldn’t help asking. Kaelix met Mr. Ollivander’s gaze, waiting for an answer. There was something in his eyes, a question, curiosity, fear. She couldn’t tell which, maybe it was all three.
“That wand is rigid,” he said but his voice was different from when he had described the other wands, it was no longer soft but hard and almost sharp, “Nine inches in length, it is made of ebony and contains one hippogriff tail hair.”
Kaelix blinked. Hippogriff?
“You mean unicorn.”
He shook his head slightly and said, “no, the core of that wand is a hippogriff’s tail hair.”
“But you said-,” Kaelix started.
He held up a hand to silence her. “Ollivanders was founded by my ancestors in 382 B.C. when they opened they had a stock of wands that were made with dragon heart strings, phoenix tail feathers, and hippogriff tail hairs. However hippogriffs are very dangerous creatures and back then not too easy to find, so only twenty-seven Ollivander wands were ever made with hippogriff tail hair. They switched to unicorn hair after too many were injured, it’s more expensive but not as dangerous or hard to find. Twenty-seven wands with a core from the same hippogriff differing only in length and wood. One mahogany, one willow, one beachwood, one maple, one ebony, and well you get it, right. All different on the outside but connected through their core. It is the wand that chooses the wizard, or in this case the witch, Miss Williams. And that wand is the last of those twenty seven, and it has chosen you.”
Questions sprung up in Kaelix’s mind, the loudest of which was screaming why me? If this wand was so special and had been sitting in that musty old drawer for centuries why did it choose her? It was special, it had meaning, why did it choose her of all people to be its owner. There was nothing special about her, she was cursed maybe, but not special.
“That will be eight Galleons.” Mr. Ollivander’s voice broke into her thoughts.
Kaelix absentmindedly took out the pouch of money that Dumbledore had given her still thinking about the wand’s history. She counted out eight of the gold Galleons to pay for the wand- her wand.
Kaelix jerked out of her thoughts, “what?” she asked.
He arched one of his white eyebrows at her and eyed her questioningly before answering, “would you like me to wrap it up for you or are you going to carry it out?”
“Oh,” she realized that she was still holding her wand out in front of her slightly. “You can wrap it up.” she held it out to him. He took it and returned it to its box quickly wrapped it in brown paper and returned it to her.
“Have a good day,” he said as she was turning to leave, but before she could think about it a question slipped out of her mouth.
“Mr. Ollivander, you said that this wand, my wand was the last of the twenty-seven to be sold?”
“That is correct.”
“Well,” she paused, should she really ask. “Were you the one that sold them, all twenty-seven?”
He seemed to think before he answered as if not sure of what to say.
“Miss Williams I remember every wand I ever sold as well as every customer. I’m sorry to say but that is only the fifth wand that I have a memory of selling myself. The others though, I have heard many a story about. The first fifteen went sometime between the year 300 and 415 not much is known about them because that was before we kept track of our customers. The sixteenth wand went over three hundred years later, sometime in the year 755. The seventeenth went in 976, the eighteenth went in 1177, the nineteenth in 1301, the twentieth in 1442, the twenty-first in 1672, and the twenty-second went in 1753. The twenty third was the first that I sold, it was when my father was teaching me how to run the store in 1920, I sold the twenty-fourth in 1959, and then the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth both went just twenty-three years ago in 1970, and now the last of the set, the twenty-seventh has gone to you. So ends the stories, but not the mystery.
“The old stories, myths rather, tell of the wands and how they only chose special wizards and witches. Those that wield these wands are said to be somewhat removed from the rest of the wizarding world, though no one is quite certain how. And so it is assumed that the remaining wands waited until similarly unique owners would come forward to claim them. There isn’t much to prove the stories are anything more than just that. The wand chooses the wizard Miss. Williams. Perhaps these wands are just particularly picky in who they choose,” he arched a white eyebrow before turning to go into the depths of the shop where he could not be seen.
“Who did you sell them to?” She asked.
Mr. Ollivander stopped mid-step and then slowly turned to face her, his eyes searching. He had questions but he did not ask them. Whether it was because he did not want to or because so many years had taught him that not all questions are meant to be asked, she did not know. His eyes were narrowed and for a second Kaelix thought that he might yell at her and tell her to leave his shop but he did nothing of the sort, in fact when he spoke his voice was quite calm.
“The first that I sold went to a girl, her name was Alexandra Fuhrmann. I have never heard what became of her after school. The second went to a boy by the name of Michael O’Conner, who as I understand it, met a rather unpleasant end. The third went to a young woman by the name of Katherine Holstein. She was a nice shy girl. I believe that she became an Auror, but I’m not quite certain. The fourth went a week later to a young man. He was rather outspoken and quite the troublemaker at school I believe. And as for what happened to him after school, he did not make good choices. Now the fifth has gone to you, and only you can determine its legacy.”
It was silent for a few moments and Kaelix did not think that Mr. Ollivander was going to explain, she opened her mouth to ask but he gestured over her shoulder with his hand. She turned to see what he was pointing at; it was a sign, a wanted sign. It read; Have You Seen This Wizard? Above a picture of a very shabby looking man. Kaelix thought he looked somewhat like a skeleton with hair because of the color of his pale white skin and the hollows in his cheeks. But one thing betrayed the fact that he really was alive; dark eyes were staring straight ahead emotionless black holes. Below the picture there was a small red box that contained a warning; Approach with Extreme caution! Do not Attempt to use magic against this man!
“He committed the ultimate crime. He went to Azkaban for it where he resided for twelve years. About a month ago he broke out. Sirius Black is one of the most dangerous wizards alive. Your wand, Miss Holstein’s, Mr. O’Conner’s, Miss Fuhrmann’s, and all the others are brothers of his wand. It’s strange the way these things happen. Good day Miss Williams.”
A/N: So it's definitely been more than a week, heh... but I'm scheduling my updates in my calendar so I do them more regularly I promise! A little bit of excitement happened here, right? Okay, at least something mildly interesting, right? Let me know your thoughts and I'll do my best to update in a week or two!!!