Chapter 17 : Hawthorn
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“Yup.” I said, whilst sucking on a fizzing whizbee.
“Rose told that little first year, what’s her name, to tell me they were snogging. Paid her, actually, the first year admitted the whole thing when James asked her last night.”
Kris rolled over onto her stomach on her bed, cackling, completely out of control.
“Rose is insane.” She said by way of explanation, and I had to agree.
“I still can’t believe she’s dating Scorpius.” I said, staring at the roof as I threw my stuffed toy Snidget up, waited for it to fall down, and caught it, then repeated the process.
“I mean, Scorpius Malfoy. And Rose Weasley. Talk about a recipe for disaster.” I snickered.
“I think it’s cute.” Tanya said, from amidst her pile of stuffed toys.
The three of us, Dom, Kris and I turned to stare at her.
“How is anything involving Rose cute?” Dom said, staring at her in an almost horrified way.
“Just…imagine!” Tanya said, throwing soft toys in the air in some sort of fluffy animal explosion.
Impending N.E.W.T examinations had made us go crazy. There’d been a dramatic increase in Tanya’s baking output, whilst Dom seemed to spend an awful lot of time taking those pathetic quizzes in the back of Witch Weekly. Kris had started commentating on random events that happened, such as when James tripped down the stairs and landed, nice and inelegantly, in the middle of the Entrance Hall last Thursday. I’d just sat there and laughed, such a nice girlfriend I was.
It was May, and exam fever was everywhere. I wasn’t sure how it had struck me. I spent a lot of time with James, I sent letters to Sarah and my father on a regular basis, I turned to my wand lore books whenever I felt the need.
I still flew occasionally, but never very fast or very high. I did it purely for me, and not for anyone else. I liked to think that I’d matured during the year, but I still was rather clueless as to my plans for July and on, so I suppose I hadn’t really.
I had a couple of months to figure all that out, I suppose.
Along with, you know, completing and studying for my exams, the looming evil. Seventh year was quickly coming to a close, and I almost couldn’t believe how fast it had flown by, and how much had changed. It had started out rather horribly, but now, it was turning into my best year at Hogwarts. I hadn’t heard back from St Mungo’s, which was always a good thing, and I assumed the trials they were conducting were going well.
“Oi, Liv, do you have your Transfiguration notes from sixth year handy?” Kris said, chucking a pillow at my head, just for the fun of it.
I glared at her, pulling my wand out and summoning the requested notes.
“I’ll only give them to you if you give me your Potions ones.” I said wickedly, holding out my hand for her notes in exchange.
She groaned, passed them over, and snatched mine up greedily.
“True friendship, that.” Tanya giggled, a toy cow (Amy, I think) sitting on top of her head, looking hilarious.
I burst into laughter in the middle of the dorm, eventually flopping back onto my bed and continuing to laugh.
“Oh, Tanya.” I finally said, and received Amy the Cow being thrown in my face in return.
I grinned, and chucked it next at Dom.
Soft toy war number three began. Apparently, we got distracted from studying quite easily.
“You’ll be in Ravenclaw, I just know it.” My mother said, stroking my hair gently.
I smiled. That’s all I wanted, to be part of the house my mother was in.
“The common room is absolutely gorgeous. The beds are covered in beautiful blue quilts, and you have a view of the entire grounds from the windows. You’ll need to figure out the riddle before you can enter, but for a Ravenclaw, that isn’t hard.”
She paused, and I closed my eyes, already tired. Tomorrow was September the 1st – finally, I’d be off to Hogwarts.
Mother was so sure I’d become a Ravenclaw, that I’d started to believe it myself. I’d bought my wand, which had been incredibly exciting. I was so glad to finally receive the piece of wood, it felt like magic in my hands.
Which I guess it was.
It was hawthorn and phoenix feather, ten and ¾ inches. It was perfect.
Hawthorn, Mr Ollivander had told me, was a wood that made strong wands for healing and cursing. He said I had great power in my hands, especially when paired with the phoenix feather core.
My mum had been proud of me, proud of me receiving such a wand. It was an honour, she said.
I was just itching to get to Hogwarts and be able to learn how to use it. It was all so exciting.
I listened to Mum whisper into my ear about Ravenclaw again, and drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow, I’d be falling asleep in my bed at Hogwarts, in the circular Ravenclaw dormitory that was the colour of midnight.
I couldn’t wait.
It was odd, looking back at my childhood self. I wasn’t a Ravenclaw, as the Sorting Hat had so clearly pointed out. I wasn’t even close.
The funny thing was, now that I had a detailed knowledge of wands, I could understand what the hawthorn and phoenix feather wand meant now.
Hawthorn was attracted to people with conflicted minds. I certainly was one of those people. I’d been sure I was a Ravenclaw, instead I was a Hufflepuff. I’d spent a large part of this year trying to become someone I clearly wasn’t. According to Ollivander, they paired well with those who were complex. I suppose I was.
My wand had backfired a few times in earlier years when I’d performed spells. For a hawthorn wand, that was normal. When I appeared weak and misspoke a spell, often the consequences were far worse than for others with, for example, pine wands.
Still, I’d learnt to work with my wand. Now I couldn’t imagine anything else. I’d tried several other wands when I’d been working in the wand shop over the summer, just to see what the difference was. I definitely preferred the hawthorn wand, Ollivander had made a good choice when he gave me it.
My wand was a curious combination of wood and core. Hawthorn was often a wood that created wands very easy to be won from their owners, whilst phoenix feathers meant a wand was almost impervious to being won.
I would never test my theory, but I was fairly sure my wand would remain in my allegiance. I think, in this instance, the core was stronger than the wood. I could certainly do the range of spells, particularly charms that phoenix feather wands were capable of performing.
My wand was unique, just as all wands were. It represented my personality; I knew that now. Wands could tell us a lot about their owners, if only we learned to listen.
“Stop fretting, I’m sure you did fine.” James said, draping his arm casually over my shoulders as we walked to the Great Hall after the Charms practical exam.
“No, you did fine.” I said, nudging him lightly with my hip.
“I, on the other hand, managed to make my rabbit pink. Talk about embarrassing.”
He just laughed, and pulled me over to the Gryffindor table.
“You’ll get at least an E for Charms, you’ll see. It’s your best subject.”
I rolled my eyes at him, piling my plate with food.
“So? You’re better at it than me, and you don’t even try.”
James shrugged, tearing apart a chicken drumstick with his teeth.
“Well,” He said, swallowing as he did so that I’d be able to understand him without having to listen to him speak with a full mouth, “I don’t need any of it. I already know I’m in to Puddlemere United as reserve for next season.” He said, and I laughed.
“You can’t resist dropping that into conversation whenever the opportunity arises, can you?” I giggled, taking a sip of my pumpkin juice.
We only had one exam left, and then, we were done. It was scary, seventh year was almost over. James had been getting almost daily letters from his mother urging him to study and try in his exams – apparently Ginny Potter was well aware that James knew he didn’t need the marks, and wanted him to try anyway.
I fully supported her in that. He wasn’t going to be a professional Quidditch player forever, no matter how much he insisted that he was.
“You’ll have to come over and meet my parents sometime.” James said, his tone light and conversational.
I turned to stare at him. Meeting the parents was a rather big deal.
“You sure?” I said warily, eyeing him with caution.
He sniggered at the look on my face, moving in to kiss my cheek gently.
“Of course. It’s time they met my girlfriend.”
A happy shiver went through me as he said that word. It still seemed almost surreal, that I was dating James Potter.
Hell, that I was dating at all. A year ago, I’d been the person who’d never dated, never been kissed, never even thought about it all that much. I’d confessed all that to James one night, and he’d just smiled, hugged me and kissed the top of my head.
“Have you had any more idea of what you’re going to do come July?” He said softly, aware that it was a sensitive subject with me.
I’d applied to a few of the places that needed spell creation, and had even got an offer from a small research facility that supplied things to St Mungo’s, but I hadn’t replied yet. Something was holding me back, but I wasn’t sure what.
It was a fairly convenient location, within walking distance of my home town of Birmingham, so I wouldn’t even need to apparate, if I didn’t feel the need.
I just…wasn’t sure. It felt like I was waiting for something, but I had no idea what.
“No.” I sighed, staring morosely at the Ravenclaw table, my mind drifting.
Well, it drifted until I noticed Scarlett Peakes was glaring at me again. She had a habit of doing that, ever since I started dating James, she hated me. It wasn’t all that surprising, but it was quite amusing to watch her seeth.
“You’ll figure it out.” James said, turning back to attack his food again.
I rolled my eyes. Boys. They all live for food, I swear.
Tanya slid into the seat opposite us, groaning.
“Not do too well on Charms, I take it?” I asked, smiling sympathetically at her.
“I don’t know.” She complained, grabbing a bread roll and stuffing it into her mouth. I smiled, Tanya was like this after every exam. She fretted, but always came out near the top of the class.
“Well, it’s over now.” I said, watching as Dom and Pucey entered and came to sit with us. Kris came too, having been sitting over at the Slytherin table, talking to her cousin in fourth year about something or other.
The four of us got along quite well with the Slytherin group. Charlotte, now that I knew her, was a charming girl with a strong liking for sarcasm.
We got along brilliantly.
“Hey, look, an owl.” Kris said as she slid into her seat, pointing up to the window where there was indeed an owl, flying towards us.
We all watched wordlessly as the owl came to rest on the table, strutting around importantly whilst fluffing its feathers, before coming to rest before me, eyeing me in a way that made me feel slightly nervous.
“It’s got a ministry seal.” Tanya said, almost in awe, as I gently took the letter from its beak. It flew off immediately after that, and I watched it’s progression, before turning back to the piece of parchment in my hand.
I stared at the crisp, clean parchment. Slowly, I cracked open the Ministry seal with my finger, whilst everyone else watched with baited breathe. They were doing a marvellous job at heightening the tension and making me feel like I was in even more suspense.
Dear Miss Olivia Song,
It began, and I instantly knew it was official business. ‘Miss Olivia Song’ wasn’t usually used, even St Mungo’s had only gone with ‘Miss Song’.
We require your-
Unfortunately, my concentration was broken at that moment by a squeal from Kris, who was reading this morning’s copy of the Daily Prophet that none of us had read yet, due to having a morning exam.
“What?” I asked curiously, leaning over her shoulder to read.
Wizarding Community Mourns The Loss of Legendary Wandmaker
Below it was a picture of Ollivander, a much younger Ollivander than the one I’d known.
He was dead.
I stared at the page, blinking.
Then, I stared at the letter in my hands.
We require your presence at the Legal Offices at your earliest convenience to discuss the contents of Mr. Garrick Ollivander’s will.
I dropped the piece of parchment to the table, in complete shock. I saw James reach out and read it, and then felt his arm encircle my waist, pulling me to his chest.
He’d left me something. Instinctively, I knew what it was. He was the last of the Ollivanders, he had no one to leave his shop to. He’d told me before that he’d never trained an apprentice.
I was the only one.
He’d given me his research. He’d known this was coming.
I turned to Kris.
“What does the article say?” I said carefully, waiting to hear.
I was right. He’d had a disease I’d never heard of and wasn’t game enough to try and pronounce, and would have known for a while.
“Oh Merlin.” Kris exclaimed, looking up from the paper to stare at me. I could tell from that look that the reporters had, somehow, found out about his will.
Reporters had a way of finding out exactly what you didn’t want them to know.
“What?” Dom said, snatching the paper.
“He left me the shop.” I said faintly, and I felt James jolt in surprise.
“He what?” Tanya exclaimed, moving to read the article along with Dom.
“He left me the shop.” I repeated, a grin slowly spreading over my face.
As much as I was sad for his passing, I was also happy. It had been a peaceful death, from what the article had said. And now, I knew what I’d be doing when July arrived and exams were over.
“Hey, James?” I said, turning to him.
“Yes?” He said, his face only inches from mine as his arm was still around my waist.
“I know what I’m doing after we finish seventh year now.”
The doorbell jingled over my head, and I looked up to see a dusty ceiling. Looking down, I found it was just as dusty as the floor. My mother, my hand grasped tightly in hers, pulled me up to the counter, ringing the bell.
“Ah, Cho Chang. It’s been years. The cherry wand still suiting you?” He said with a smile, before glancing down at me. My mother nodded, but did not say anything as his attention had moved from her to me.
“What’s your name, little one?” He said to me, his head tilted slightly to the side.
“Olivia Song.” I said quietly, intimidated by the old man with the eyes that seemed to see through me.
“Hmm.” He said, before shuffling off down the aisles, pulling out boxes at random. I watched, wide eyed, as at least twenty boxes piled up on the counter, waiting for me to try them.
Those were wands in there. I’d get to finally hold my own wand and do magic. This was so exciting!
My mother let go of my hand and moved to sit in the spindly chair to the side of the room, nodding to me. I waited for Mr Ollivander to finish, shaking with excitement.
“Here, try this.” He said.
I waved the wand – nothing happened. He snatched it out of my grasp before I could look at it any closer, or wave it again, replacing it with another, one made out of a lighter coloured wood.
We continued on in that way for several wands, the pile of potential wands growing smaller, the pile of wands tried, growing larger.
Finally, he drew out a box that looked dustier than the others, older.
“Unusual wand, this one.” He said more to himself than me.
He looked at me, his eyes taking in my appearance.
“Try this.” He said, holding the dark coloured wand out to me to take.
As I did so, I felt it. I felt magic. On instinct, I pointed to the light bulb above me, and waved. It went out. Grinning, I waved again, and it went back on.
Ollivander smiled at me.
“That’s a special wand, Miss Olivia. Hawthorn and phoenix feather, ten and three quarter inches. It will serve you well for Charms, if I’m not mistaken. It’s particularly inclined towards casting curses and healing, you’ll find. Be careful with it, that wand has power.”
I stared at him, wide eyed, as my mother moved to pay for it.
I clasped the wood in my hand tightly. It was my wand now.
“Good luck, Miss Olivia. Perhaps I’ll see you back here someday.” Mr Ollivander said, calling after me as we left the shop. I turned to wave back at him, but Mum pulled on my arm, wanting to return home before nightfall.
“Goodbye, Mr Ollivander.” I called, though I was not sure if he heard or not.
I wondered what he had meant by that, the mention of seeing me return one day. Surely my wand wasn’t going to break? I looked down at the wood, intrigued.
No, that wasn’t it. I wasn’t sure, but something about the shop and the old wand maker intrigued me. The wand itself did too. It was fascinating to think that such a small thing could produce such big magic.
Grinning to myself, I walked happily out of Diagon Alley, clutching my wand in my hand. I was now Olivia Song, the owner of a ten and three quarter inch, hawthorn and phoenix feather wand.
Now, I was truly a witch.
James laughed, and a grin broke out on my face. I couldn't help it.
"You're going to run the shop, aren't you?" He said softly, and, as I looked up at him, I knew he already knew the answer to that.
I did too. Whilst this was a day of mourning, and I would, of course, attend Ollivander's funeral, I couldn't help but feel elated. Ollivander had wanted me to have the shop.
Deep down inside, I’d always wanted it too.
So, that's that. I've toyed with the idea of writing on, and not finishing here, as I originally did when I wrote this for NaNoWriMo. I've also considered writing a sequel. As of now, I'm ending this here. Thank you all for sticking with me through this story, I'm amazed anyone was willing to read this little thing I wrote in ten days, a mixture of random ideas and ridiculousness, all hyped up on caffeine. To everyone who's reviewed or favourited, thank you so, so much (and I promise I'll catch up on my review responses some day soon). The point of this story was to show Olivia's growth, not to see her relationship with James through to the end. There's no telling what I'd do in a sequel, however ;)
Anyway, I'll end my rambling now. I'm sure none of you really want to read me go on and on about completely irrelevant things!