Chapter 15 : Chapter 15
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The twins kept reading until Hermione, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley joined us. Potter was carrying a broom and he and Ron looked overjoyed.
“Fred! George!” Ron said excitedly. “Guess what Harry got!”
The twins looked up and glanced towards Potter’s hands, their eyes went wide.
“No, it can’t be.”
They excitedly invited Potter to sit down and the four boys sat around talking about the broom. Even Ginny asked about it in between shooting Hermione confused glances. Hermione, I could tell, did not approve of Potter’s gift and I was curious why.
“Who sent it to you?” I asked. Potter looked surprised that I had actually spoken to him.
“Oh, er…there wasn’t a card.”
They went back to talking about their chances for the Quidditch Cup. I met Hermione’s eyes, knowing exactly who she thought had sent it-Sirius Black.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I walked a few steps beside the Weasleys, Hermione, and Potter to lunch. I was wondering how Sirius Black could manage to gift a broom while on the run. Obviously he didn’t walk into a shop and order it. He would definitely have enough money to afford it though. He’d also managed to slip in and out of the castle on Halloween. Someone inside Hogwarts had to been helping him. I supposed it didn’t have to be someone who necessarily shared views with Black, maybe just someone he’d paid. Lucius bribed people all the time who valued money more than morals.
In the Great Hall my thoughts on Black disappeared as I paused in the doorway. Instead of the regular five tables there was one. Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Filch, and Hagrid were already seated.
“Happy Christmas,” Dumbledore greeted us warmly. “Since there are so few of us I thought it would be more enjoyable to eat together.”
Hermione, Potter, and Ron quickly grabbed seats by Hagrid. Ginny took the last chair on that side, next to Hermione. There were only three chairs left now and one was next to Snape. Fred and George shared a look and headed for the seats not next to Snape. Before he sat down though, Fred looked back at me and the chair next to Snape. I rolled my eyes and took a seat. Sitting beside Snape certainly didn’t bother me. Fred looked at me with a sorry look on his face.
I grabbed a Christmas cracker and held one end out to Snape. “Happy Christmas Professor,” I said brightly. He gave me a disgusted look and eyed the cracker, glaring at it, then me. “Right then,” I said, still using a cheery voice. I held the cracker out to Fred who immediately pulled on one end while grinning. A couple of chocolate frogs, a chess set, and hat popped out. I took the hat first, it was a black fedora with some lace hanging over the brim and a red rose on the side.
“I like it,” I said out loud. “Except-" I pulled out my wand and tapped the rose. It turned bright blue. “Much better,” I commented, putting it on.
“Is that really your wand?” Ron Weasley asked from across the table.
“Of course,” I answered, twirling my wand in my fingers.
“I’ve never seen an Ollivander’s wand like that,” he said next.
“It’s not one of his.”
“Who made it?” Potter asked.
“A very old monk who lives in the mountains of Japan.”
Hermione gasped. “You have a Mineto wand?” How exactly does Hermione manage to learn these things in between taking a million different subjects? “Those are very rare and valuable. I read he only makes one wand a year!”
“That’s what Ollivander said.” I examined my wand now. I had grown to love its uniqueness, I suppose in a school where nearly all of the wands were made by one person mine did stick out. The handle was silver, adorned with –
“Are those real diamonds and sapphires?” Hermione asked disbelievingly.
“I assume so.” There were eight small alternating stones on each end of the handle. The rest of the wand was made of two different types of wood, ebony and rowan, twisted together. The core was from a rare golden white phoenix.
“Must have cost a fortune,” Ron said.
“No, regular price. I guess Ollivander had to agree to sell it for his normal amount.”
“Mr. Mineto is very careful about the owners of his wands. I imagine we will see great things from you,” Dumbledore said in a mysterious voice.
I would have liked to ask if he meant Dark Lord ‘great’ or Dumbledore ‘great’ but someone else entered the Great Hall. It was a woman with huge glasses that magnified her eyes and a glittering green dress. She reminded me instantly of an insect.
“Sybill,” Dumbledore greeted her.
I turned my focus back to my wand, remembering the day I had gotten it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lucius, Narcissa, Draco, and I were all at Diagon Alley, shopping for Draco’s and my first year. Lucius had already arranged to send me to Durmstrang instead of Hogwarts. Ollivanders was the last shop we visited. Draco had gone first as I stood back against the wall silently watching the Malfoys and Ollivander discuss wand choices. There had been two suitable wands for Draco. Wanting to please his father, Draco had chosen the one Lucius favored. However I could tell that Draco had preferred the other.
Then it was my turn. I stepped forward as Ollivander gazed at me.
“How incredibly similar you look to your mother,” was the first thing he said to me. I sent him glare, already knowing the type of woman Bellatrix Lestrange was. “Eyes like your father though,” he continued, not noticing my annoyed face. He started measuring me then pulled boxes off the shelves, giving a description of each wand.
After the 20th box the description got shorter. After the 50th one Lucius let out a frustrated sigh. Ollivander still seemed perfectly cheerful, he would just hand me a wand now, let me try it and snatch it back before trying again with the next wand. Around the 100th one Lucius was twisting his walking stick impatiently in his hand. Narcissa, noticing this, spoke up.
“Lucius, I can stay here, you can return home. We will return shortly I imagine.” Lucius considered this and nodded. He paid for the two wands and headed towards the door.
“Come Draco,” he commanded. Narcissa hadn’t intended for Draco to leave with Lucius, she generally never left us alone with him but she couldn’t insist that Draco stay. She gave Draco a gently push towards the door after giving his shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
“We’ll be home soon dear,” she promised.
My attention turned back to Ollivander who had twenty more wands for me to try. Unfortunately none of them worked. I must have waved two hundred wands by now, even the one sitting on a pillow in the shop window. By the 300th Narcissa had taken a seat. After the 500th I was convinced that no wand was made for me. Ollivander seemed to be enjoying himself at least.
After I tried every wand in the main part of his shop, Ollivander started pulling out unfinished wands from the back room. None of these worked either.
“I wonder…” Ollivander muttered, disappearing to his back room again. He came back with several very dusty boxes. “Perhaps one of my wands is not meant for you.”
“Is there someone else we should see?” Narcissa asked.
“I would like to try these first.”
“I thought you said none of yours would work,” I interrupted.
“These wands were not made by me,” he said opening the first box.
That much was very obvious when I saw the first wand. It looked nothing like the others I’d tried. There were little runes carved around the handle, which was very flat. This wand didn’t work either. The next wand had miniscule sea shells embedded into the handle. It didn’t work. There were a couple tribal looking wands that Ollivander said were from Africa. A few of the wands were even painted, others had more carvings on them, one had a bulb at the base that looked like it was full of blood, and one even had a shimmering green material twisting up the wand. None of these worked though.
Finally we came to the last box. Ollivander paused slightly before opening it and showing it too me. It looked amazing and when I grabbed the handle I knew. This had to be mine, it felt so right. Blue sparks erupted from the end when I gave it a wave.
"Are those stones…real?” Narcissa asked surprised.
“Yes, real diamonds and sapphires embedded into the silver handle. The wood, ebony and rowan, crafted to fit perfectly together, containing a feather from a rare golden white phoenix. How curious that this wand would be meant for you.”
“Curious?” I asked, still admiring the wand.
“Very curious,” Ollivander said. “Years ago I received this wand from one of the most renown wand makers in the world, an old monk by the name of Mineto. He lives on a remote compound in the Japanese mountains. He tends to the wand trees there himself. Makes friends with the bowtruckles too. His wand cores are as unique and rare as his wands are. He spends an entire year crafting a single wand. With this wand I received a letter. Mineto told me he’d had a dream about a wand unlike any other, a wand that must be sent to me, for this is where its owner would come. I was told to keep the wand pure and safe from others. For all these years I’ve kept it safely in the back, waiting for you.”
I stared at the wand wondering one thing. Why me?
“There was another part to his letter,” Ollivander told me. I looked up wondering what more there could possibly be. “Mineto also sent a feather from the same phoenix used for your wand. He told me in his dream that I too needed to create a wand using the feather. Brother wands, made from two different people who were thousands of miles apart. Of course I immediately began work on this wand and a good thing too. Not half an hour after I applied the final polishing coat, a young boy entered my shop. Like you, he tried every wand out here, none were his though. I thought of the newly finished wand and brought it out for the boy. It was a perfect match for him. Astonished, I gave it to him free of charge. It is nice to know the wand’s brother has found its home at last. Now,” Ollivander said, changing his tone, “I believe that you are quite ready to head home.”
I placed the wand back in the box and tucked it under my arm as Narcissa thanked Ollivander. We’d only gone a dozen or so steps before I’d stopped.
“Jade?” Narcissa questioned.
“I’ll be right back, sorry.” I swiftly headed back into Ollivanders shop. He was still behind the counter and looked up curiously after I closed the shop door. “The other wand, that matched for…for Draco. Can I buy it?” Ollivander tilted his head curiously.
“Of course,” he answered, quickly fetching it. It took nearly all of the gold I had, but I bought it. With my hand on the shop door, I turned back around. Ollivander was still watching me.
“The boy,” I started, “the boy who bought the first phoenix wand. Who was he?” A part of me dreaded the answer, but I had to know. Was it my father?
“His name was Snape. Severus Snape.”
Relief flooded my body. “Thank you,” I called, leaving the shop again.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The next time I’d seen Snape I told him everything Ollivander said. He’d been rather surprised, apparently he hadn’t been told anything when he received his wad. He’d asked to see my wand, which I handed over immediately. In a snide voice he said it was flashy and exorbitant, making me laugh.
The other wand I had kept a secret from everyone. I wasn’t sure why I’d bought it, it had just felt like the right thing to do. I still had it, stored in one of my trunk compartments under various other things. I never used it though sometimes I would take it out just to look at it.
I jumped a bit when I felt someone elbow me. I turned my attention back to the Great Hall.
“Huh?” I said looking around. Everyone was looking at me strangely.
“Er…sorry,” Fred said from beside me. “Your eyes were sort of glazed over.”
“Oh, sorry, remembering something,” I said awkwardly, putting my wand away.
“An owl brought that for you,” I looked at Fred and then were he was pointing. It was an envelope sitting on my plate. “It has a Gringotts seal on it. Do they normally send you Christmas gifts?”
“I don’t think they like anyone enough to send gifts,” I said, picking up the letter. I flipped it over, seeing the Gringotts seal. Curiously I opened it, inside were two letters and a key. One of the letters had my name written on it. I recognized Narcissa’s handwriting and opened this letter first.
I have transferred ownership of my Black family vault over to you. I am certain you are mature enough to handle it on your own. It is not the largest family vault but I trust you have enough restraint to make it last throughout your Hogwarts years. That being said, you are free to spend it as you wish. Transferred vaults require stricter security, so do not loose your key. There may also be undesirable ramifications with this family vault in particular. I am sure you will use it responsibly.
‘This family vault in particular.’ I assume that means the Black family, considering who’s on the run. ‘Undesirable ramifications.’ That could mean the Ministry is paying closer attention to the Black family’s gold. Still though, its not everyday you get your own vault. It was a rather generous Christmas gift.
“What does it say?” George asked.
“I got a vault.”
“So it would seem,” I said, pulling out the key.
“Someone gave you a vault for Christmas?” Ginny Weasley asked skeptically.
“My aunt transferred one to me.”
“I thought your grandmother cut you off,” Hermione said curiously.
“Different family,” I said waving my hand. “Not a Lestrange one, my aunt’s family vault.”
“That was a very generous gift from Narcissa,” Dumbledore commented.
“Suspiciously generous,” I muttered. This was a rather extreme gift.
“Do you trust anyone?” Fred teased.
“Not particularly,” I answered instantly. There were some people I trusted, Snape and Dimitri. Tsukino and Kuniye, well I knew those two were holding something back, but I trusted them some. Of course I couldn’t say that here. “Everybody lies,” I said honestly. That was a universal truth.
“That’s a rather pessimistic view of the world,” Hermione said frowning.
“It’s a very realistic view of the world,” I countered. “At some point in their lives, everyone will lie because being honest all of the time isn’t an option while living in this world.”
“So you’re saying you lie too?” Potter questioned.
“Everybody lies,” I repeated.
“A Gryffindor admitting they aren’t perfect, how exceedingly rare,” Snape said snidely.
“A Slytherin mocking a Gryffindor, how exceedingly cliché,” I said matching Snape’s tone perfectly. I heard the Weasleys, Hermione, Potter and Hagrid snort, even McGonagall and Dumbledore appeared to be smiling. “No disrespect, Professor. You seem like a wonderful chap.”
“You do realize, Miss Lestrange, that you can still receive detention, holiday or not?” Snape threatened.
“Detention on Christmas? Can I bring Christmas cookies?”
“Can I bring Mr. Filch’s thumbscrews?” Snape retorted. Filch looked far too happy upon hearing this.
I put my hands in front of me, examining them. “Thumbs are overrated anyways,” I said in a carefree voice.
“Remarkable how well you’ve adjusted to the usual Gryffindor attitude in four months,” Snape said dryly.
“I do remember the Sorting Hat mentioning obnoxiously arrogant in his song.” Bantering with Snape was always enjoyable.
“You realize you still haven’t looked at the other piece of paper in that envelope,” Snape pointed out in a bored voice.
“Oh, right,” I said, pulling it out. “That was almost polite of you Professor.”
“I assure you, that was not my intent,” he said using a disgusted tone.
I unfolded the note, it was from Gringotts and shorter than Narcissa’s.
Jade R. Lestrange
As of December 23rd, 1993 vault 710, previously belonging to Narcissa I. Black née Malfoy, has been transferred to your ownership. Your key has been enclosed. You may access your vault at the Gringotts, London location. You may access limited funds at any Gringotts worldwide location.
Gringotts, London Manager
The current balance of vault 710 is 1,517 Galleons and 9 Sickles.
My eyes went wide at the vault balance. “Holy –"
“Miss Lestrange!” McGonagall snapped when I swore.
“And there’s your Christmas detention,” Snape said flatly.
“Right,” I said folding up the note quickly. “I have to go.”
As soon as I stood up ‘Sybill’ let out a strangled cry. I turned towards her. “The first to rise when thirteen dine shall be the first to die,” she said in a terrified voice. I looked around the table, noting that there were thirteen of us. She was looking at me as though I had already died.
“Thanks for the heads up,” I said casually, and then I left the hall.
The idea of having 1.5 thousand Galleons was daunting. I’d been content with 10 Galleons a month, now all this at one time. Of course the Black family probably had several thousands of Galleons in total. The Malfoys had well over 100,000, probably closer to half a million or more based on the way Lucius gave it away for future favors. Still 1.5k for myself? That was rather alarming.
Of course suspicion set in. Why would Narcissa be giving this all to me? She would know about my grandmother disowning me for sure. This much money seemed like an extreme pity gift.
‘Last throughout your Hogwarts years,’ she had said. Lucius wasn’t going to pay for my things any more than Ethel Lestrange was I realized. This was all the money I had until I found a job. Four years, that was over 300 Galleons a year. That was more than enough to cover school supplies. There was also the summer before seventh year. I’d already assumed I wouldn’t be going back to Malfoy Manor after I became of age. I’d have two months to myself. Two months of finding a place to stay and feeding myself too. I could take a trip, I wonder if Victor would mind me showing up in Bulgaria. Or I could go to Russia, maybe even Japan. The choices were endless as long as I didn’t waste money on frivolous things. A sudden thought crossed my mind.
I could leave. Leave England for good after Hogwarts. Go to a place where no one had ever heard of the Lestranges. Snape. I couldn’t leave Snape, I needed him. Ok, so leaving the country permanently was out. I could still buy a small place to live in the middle of nowhere and become a hermit. Not having to see much of the wizarding world wasn’t an ideal plan but it was a start. I had over four years, I didn’t need a concrete plan today. Having an abstract plan that didn’t involve me living off someone else was a comforting thought though. I laid in bed, pulling out the small Russian charms book. I was determined to make the money last.
A/N: 0 hours to get validated >_< I should have had the rest of the story ready. It’s coming soon I promise! Thanks for all the reviews, keep letting me know what you think so far.
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