Chapter 10 : Wands
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Godric had trouble sleeping that night as he was just too excited about the next day. Where were they going? How would they get there? Why were they going? The thoughts just kept swimming about his head, and no matter what he tried he just couldn’t get rid of them. But the question that nagged at him the most was how no-one had known before that Rowena was magical. She seemed to be quite powerful.
No matter how much he learned about her she still managed to surprise him at every turn. He eventually dozed into an uneasy sleep. Next thing he knew Helga was standing above him shouting at him and shaking him.
“GET UP!!!” she screamed.
“What..?” mumbled Godric drowsily.
“We have to get going soon. Now hurry up or you will miss out on breakfast.”
At that she stormed from the room leaving him to get dressed alone. Pyre was also nowhere to be seen, but the window was now open. He assumed that he had gone hunting. He splashed some of the cold water next to his dresser on his face to wake himself up a bit. Now wide awake he threw on some clothes and rushed downstairs to get some breakfast. Everyone else was already there waiting for him.
“About time you showed up.” Said Rowena smiling at him.
She looked radiant today in long royal blue silk dress. It fit her body perfectly and made her look even more beautiful than usual. Helga noticed Godric staring at her.
“Will you just hurry up and eat.” She whispered. “You can stare at her later.”
Godric simply glared at her before focusing finally on the food in front of him.
It didn’t take them long to finish breakfast and make their way up to Max’s office where he waited with his wife.
“Everyone ready?” he asked and they all nodded.
“Um, sir. How are we getting… wherever we are going?” inquired Godric
“Portkey.” He said holding up a small book. “Now everyone touch this.”
They all grabbed hold unsure of what was going on when suddenly they all felt a pulling sensation as though a hook had secured itself behind their navel and was pulling them forward. The next thing they knew they were in a pile on the ground outside a large crooked white building.
“Ouch.” Moaned Godric, rubbing his bottom, on which he had landed rather sharply. “Where are we?”
“Diagon Alley. This is where we will buy all the stuff for the lessons.” Replied Max seeming completely unbothered by the painful landing.
As Godric extricated himself from the ground feeling rather sore, he began to look around at where he was. Suddenly his jaw dropped. This was by far the most magical place he had ever been. Normally inanimate objects were flying about and operating with a mind of their own. Buildings sat at incredibly impossible angles. And the street was filled with people mulling over the many magical objects on sale in front of the shops.
As he looked around he saw both Rowena and Helga looking around in awe as he had just done. Clearly it was their first time here as well. Then he turned to survey the building they had landed in front of. It was a huge white building which was even more unusual than any other in the entire street. His eyes slowly worked their way down the building to its burnished bronze doors.
He opened his mouth to ask what the building was but was cut off by Lady Hufflepuff.
“That is Gringotts. The wizarding bank.” She said as she began to climb the steps towards the doors.
As Godric followed he noticed two small figures dressed in scarlet and gold uniforms. As they walked towards the doors the figures nodded, bowed and opened the doors for them. They now found themselves in a large room with a pair of silver doors several metres in front of them with two more figures on either side. These doors had words engraved upon them:
Of what awaits the sin of greed.
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors,
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware!
Of finding more than treasure there.
Godric read it over several times before turning to Max and asking, “What is that all about?”
“It means that you would either have to be incredibly stupid or very insane to try to rob Gringotts. It is the safest place anywhere in the magical world. The lower floors where the vaults are, is carved from solid rock with huge trenches that drop for miles. This is why I want you to all stick with me or Lady Hufflepuff while we are inside. Understand?” he asked the trio who were nearly bursting to get through the doors and see what lay in store.
As the three nodded the Goblins opened the large doors to reveal an enormous marbled floored hall. It stretched until forever to the back and all along its polished floors, Goblins scurried to and fro. Along the polished onyx walls lay many large steel doors with elaborate gold patterns lain across them. Each also sported two numbers and they all had a large desk with three or four Goblins sitting at it.
“Let’s see we want vaults 687, 963, and 724. Might as well start at the bottom.” Said Max, more to himself than anyone else.
The group followed Max over to the door marked 450 - 900. As they approached an important looking Goblin stood up behind the desk, which made him nearly as tall as Helga, and raised his hand.
“Where do you seek to go?” He demanded.
“We need to stop at vaults 687, 724, and 963. Here are the keys for all three.” Max said displaying three small golden keys to the Goblin.
“Very well,” said the Goblin, “Hagar, come here and lead these people to these vaults.”
Hagar just nodded and walked through the door not even making sure that the group was following him. The moment they passed through the doors the building seemed to vanish as they found themselves in the entryway to a large cavern system. A small cart sat on a pair of rails that ran over a huge deep crevice that went as far as the eye could see.
“All aboard.” Instructed Hagar.
Once they were all aboard Hagar sat in the seat at the very back of the cart and they took off at an outrageous pace. Godric tried to keep up with all the twists and turns they took but soon got lost so he just sat back and enjoyed the ride. Helga on the other hand looked nearly ready to throw up.
Rowena didn’t seem to be as badly affected by the ride as Helga; however she certainly wasn’t enjoying it anywhere near as much as Godric. In fact as Godric looked around at the other occupants of the cart he noticed that none of them looked particularly happy about the method of transport except for Hagar.
As he turned back around the cart abruptly stopped. Godric nearly toppled over the edge but Max grabbed his arm just in time.
“Thank you Sir.” Said Godric rather relieved as he extricated himself from the vehicle. He glanced around at the dark cave. There was a large crevasse over which the cart runs. Flanking it on either side were long corridors carved out of the very rock and lined with stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. “Where exactly are we?”
“Deep underneath London. It is one of the things that make this place so hard to rob.” Replied Max as he handed one of the keys to Hagar.
The door to the vault swung slowly open and the group drew a collective gasp as the light from the lantern struck the masses of gold and silver contained within.
“I’ve never seen so much money before. Where did you get it all sir?” asked Godric.
“It’s not mine Godric, it’s yours. This was your parents vault. It has been used by your family for years.” Max stated.
“Mine?” mumbled Godric dumbfounded.
The gold was piled so high that it obscured the entire rear wall. You couldn’t even see the roof. Max grabbed several handfuls of coins and placed them into a bag which he had to press into Godric’s hand forcefully before he even realised everyone was still there.
“Come on boy. We have a lot to do today.” And with that he followed the retreating back of the small goblin leaving Godric staring at the now closed vault.
They didn’t take long to retrieve the money from the other two vaults (the only one of which was even close to the Gryffindor fortune was Rowena’s) and they were soon back on the surface.
“Okay now we need to get a lot of things here. So I suggest we break into two groups. Helga and Rowena can go with Alexandria and get potions ingredients and books. Godric and I shall get the rest and we will meet at Ollivanders when we are done. Agreed?” Asked Max.
As much as Godric wanted to stay with his friends in this incredible place he agreed and was soon following Max through the throng going into varying stores.
“Seems as how you have your phoenix you don’t need an owl. But we shall need one for Helga and Rowena.” Max muttered absentmindedly as they entered Eeylops Owl Emporium.
Godric was amazed at the massive range of birds staring down at him from above. There were brown ones, white ones, black ones, big ones, small ones, thin ones, large ones. Every type one could think of. But two specific owls caught his eye. One was rather small and fluffy. It had mottled brown feathers and a short dull orange beak. It seemed incredibly docile and unsurprisingly just sat there and hooted contentedly as he stroked its feathers. The second was slightly bigger than the first and was very elegant. It held itself high despite its small stature and did not react when he stroked it. They are perfect, he thought as he grabbed one on each arm and walked to where Max was talking to the owner by the counter.
“These two please.” He said catching both men completely off-guard. “They are perfect for Rowena and Helga.”
Max just looked at Godric’s determined face and said, “Well if you say so then it must be true. How much Dean?”
“I’m paying sir. It can be there Christmas present from me.” Said Godric already rummaging in his pocket for the necessary gold.
“They are 40 Galleons each young man.” Said Dean as though he believed Godric could never afford them.
“Here you go.” Replied the young teen, handing over the Galleons. “And two cages for them too please.”
Dean stood amazed for only a moment before retrieving cages for both majestic birds and allowing Max to usher the young man from the store.
“Well that’s us done. How bout we go for a quick snack before we meet the others hey?” Jested Max, leading Godric towards a bright shop with many young faces around it. Max bought them both large ice creams before leading off in the direction of an old thin shop perched just near the Daily Prophet. “Just the wands to get now.”
They both filed quietly into the shop where both Helga and Rowena were already paying for their wands.
“Oh hello Godric.” Cheered Helga, “Look at my new wand. It’s 8 1/2 inches, Unicorn Hair core, Beechwood.” She handed Godric the box so that he could inspect it carefully.
“It’s magnificent. And what about yours Rowena?” he chimed grasping her box and peering inside.
“Mine is 9 1/2 inches, Willow with a Phoenix Feather core. I really love it. It is so beautiful.”
“Now Mister Gryffindor. It is your turn. Come back here and let us see if we can find you something worthy of your skills.” Stated Mr. Ollivander.
He shuffled Godric to the back of the shop and retrieved several wands from a nearby shelf.
“These are quite similar to your parent’s wands. Maybe you will share the great skills they possessed.” He cooed as he handed over the first wand.
Godric waved it slightly before having it jerked roughly from his grip.
“Maybe this.” Said Ollivander.
Again Godric swished it slightly before it too was wrenched from his grip. Again and again this was repeated until finally he had just waved the very last wand in the entire shop.
“Well I must say I’ve never been unable to find a wand for a customer before. You must be a very special customer indeed for it to be this difficult.” Mr. Ollivander seemed utterly perplexed by his lack of wand for Godric.
“What does that mean? That I’m not really magic after all?” Asked Godric becoming rather downhearted.
“Not at all Godric. It just means that your wand is not here right now.” Proposed Max. “Maybe if we go home and come back next week.”
“No. There has to be one here.”
Suddenly the whole group jumped as a bright flash of flame popped in the middle of the room, and a single solitary feather floated gently down onto a small unused piece of wand wood. They all stared for a short while unable to explain what had just happened.
“Maybe if you make that one it will be okay.” Stated Godric looking hopeful.
“Well I can try. It shall take about half an hour to make and another 20 minutes to seal up and test.” Said Ollivander.
“Alright we will try that one then we must be going. We will wait round in the pub. Let us know when you are done Simon.” Said Max leading the children from the store.
One hour later as they were all finishing eating, Mr. Ollivander came walking into the shop with a long box in his hand.
“Here you go Mister Gryffindor. 11 1/4 inches, Ash we all know the core, try it out.” He said handing over the box.
The moment Godric wrapped his fingers around the wood he felt a strange warmth spread slowly through him. The kind of warmth he felt when Pyre was singing. He gently waved it back and forth and a stream of multi-coloured sparks remained where the tip had been only moments beforehand. They twinkled brightly for several seconds then slowly dissipated before Mr. Ollivander clapped his hands.
“Yes, I knew that we could find one for you. I just wish I knew where that phoenix feather came from. I have had the wood for years. I was saving it for a particularly special wand and it appears we have found it. That will be 6 Galleons Mister Gryffindor.”
Godric passed over the money without once letting go of his new wand. Once Mr. Ollivander had disappeared Max stood and gathered the shopping. “Well we need to head back now. But this time we will travel that way.” He indicated a large fireplace in a backroom. “Come on lets go.”
He shuffled them all over to the fire and Alexandria went first.
“Hufflepuff Castle.” She declared stepping into the bright emerald flames that had burst up from the bare wood.
“What was that?” Demanded the three children as the flames engulfed the last of Lady Hufflepuff.
“That, kids, is floo powder.” Said Max, indicating a small pot by the fireplace. “You throw it into the fire and clearly state where you want to go, and it takes you there. So just take some and do what Alexandria did.”
Godric stepped up first having recovered from the shock quickest. He grabbed some of the powder and stood in front of the fire looking very worried.
“Remember Godric, very clearly, Hufflepuff Castle.” Reminded Max.
He took two very deep breaths then threw the powder while saying “Hufflepuff Castle,” and stepped headlong into the roaring flames and felt his body being spun violently away from the pub.
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