bethbethbeth: (HP Beholder (femmequixotic))
[personal profile] bethbethbeth posting in [community profile] hp_beholder
Recipient: synn
Author: ???
Title: Choosing the Wizard
Rating: PG
Pairings: Garrick Ollivander/Rubeus Hagrid
Word Count: 14,390
Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): *[None]*.
Summary: Garrick Ollivander is a lost soul after everyone leaves Muriel’s house to go fight in the Battle of Hogwarts. How will he fit back into a world where he feels responsible for handing Voldemort the ultimate deadly weapon?
Author's Notes: Beta’d by my dear friend B, who is, I am sure, regretting her rash offer to beta this story, since she got it over a weekend when both of her boys were sick. Thank you, my dear, you went above and beyond the call. Any remaining mistakes are my own bloody fault.
I hope this fic is to your liking synn, though I profusely apologize for the lack of pr0n. The two main characters had a long, plotty story to tell and by the time they were done, I ran out of both time and room (see the ridiculous word count). It is a bit angsty, though I don’t think it’s excessively so, but I think you will like the ending. :-)




Diagon Alley stood empty and hushed, like the ghost town in a Muggle Western waiting for the showdown between the Sheriff and the Desperado; a fitting metaphor, all things considered. Garrick Ollivander gazed at the front door of his shuttered shop and debated over whether to go inside. Not four hours ago, the other denizens of Muriel’s house and Shell Cottage had left for Hogwarts, where, no doubt, the fate of the Wizarding World was being decided as he stood, wondering if he had enough strength left to lift his own wards. The wandless magic it would require (ironic, wasn’t it, that he no longer had a wand himself) would sap what little strength he’d managed to regain in the last few months.

He knew the others had expected him to accompany them, though it probably wouldn’t surprise any of the Weasley family that he hadn’t followed. It would disappoint dear Miss Lovegood, whose faith in him he could not account for, but she would get over it, he was certain. No, he hadn’t gone, couldn’t go, to Hogwarts.

He felt drained, a thing unclean after his long months in captivity and under the judging eyes of all who had encountered him after his rescue. He was an eagle whose wings had been broken and who will never fly again. As selfish as it was, at the moment all he craved was solitude.

His fate was sealed no matter who won. If He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named proved victorious, he would be hunted down, tortured into insanity and then killed. They had nearly accomplished it before he had been rescued; there was no way the Dark Lord would have failed to notice his escape and not come to finish the job. If it was Mr. Potter who came out the victor, his complicity in the Dark Lord’s gaining the Elder Wand would become known by all. Even if he managed to escape Azkaban, everyone would still know. He would still know. How can a man who cannot stand to even look at himself in the mirror to shave continue to make wands and serve the public as if nothing had happened? No. The business he had inherited from countless generations of Ollivanders was as good as dead. As was he. They would find his body in his shop, after he had sealed his remaining inventory and sent a letter off to Miss Lovegood letting her know she had inherited it.

She had been as good to him as a daughter might have been, and he wanted to leave her something to thank her for it. What she might do with the shop and its contents, he didn’t know, but whether she decided to become a wandmaker herself or simply liquidate it and care for herself and her father with the proceeds, at least he would have been some good to her, to someone in this terrible, terrible mess. He gathered himself and approached the door.

~~00~~

The roofs of the ruined conservatories were still dropping the occasional shard of glass the morning after the battle, and Hagrid picked his way through the remains of Greenhouse number 4 with one eye toward the twisted metal tenuously holding on to the last of the broken panes. There was too much at stake to hesitate, but he didn't want Poppy to have to be patching him up, too. Right now she had her hands full trying to keep Severus Snape alive.

Hagrid had known about what Professor Snape had been getting up to, after he’d had it from Dumbledore’s portrait. He’d come up to the Head’s office after he’d heard that Snape was to be taking Dumbledore’s place, drunk as a lord, intent on making his own justice when the Ministry wouldn’t. He’d have gone to Azkaban with pride after doing the deed, but he’d fallen asleep waiting for Snape to appear.

When he came to, it was in the middle of a conversation he shouldn’t have heard between Dumbledore and the new Head. Snape had looked horrible, and he was shouting at Dumbledore’s portrait, asking if he was happy now that he’d gotten what he wanted, and just how was Snape supposed to fool Minerva, how was he going to control the bloody Carrows, and what, in Merlin’s name, was he supposed to do with the drunken, no doubt murderous, groundskeeper now passed out on the floor of his chambers?

Dumbledore had answered that he wasn’t certain that happy was the right word - relieved might be a better one - and he really didn’t know what to tell Severus about the rest of the staff, but that he was fairly certain that, after what he’d overheard, their groundskeeper was no longer feeling quite so vengeful, wasn’t that right, Hagrid?

He’d feared for his own life for a moment after Professor Snape had spun round and found him gaping in disbelief between the portrait and the man in front of him. But instead of hexing him six ways from Sunday, Snape just dropped his head into his hands and groaned. Suddenly, Hagrid found he had some shouting of his own to do, and after he’d demanded to know what, in the name of all that was decent, was going on, Dumbledore had explained it to him, and he’d been hopping mad on Professor Snape’s behalf. Great man Dumbledore might have been, but this time he'd gone too far, even for Hagrid's high level of regard. He'd promised Severus then - took a wizard’s oath on it, in fact - that he’d do whatever he could to help and wouldn’t tell a soul what he knew until it was over.

He'd kept his word, too, in spite of it being the common wisdom that he couldn't keep a secret. He knew that Headmaster Snape's life depended on it, and near as much, his sanity depended on having someone he could unburden himself to when it got to be too much. He was proud that he'd been able to help here and there. But even with as much help as he could give, Professor Snape had looked more and more like an Inferius as the term wore on. He recognized the signs of a man who had resigned himself to death - it reminded Hagrid of the way the Thestrals behaved when they knew it was time - and when Harry had announced Severus's death, it near broke his heart. It wasn't fair, after all he had sacrificed, for him to have died at that monster's hand and though he knew that Harry knew a bit of the story, when it was all over, Hagrid made sure to tell him all he knew.

It made him proud of Harry, too, that he understood and honored what Professor Snape had done, and went with him to retrieve the Headmaster's body from the Shack. When they reached him, they found Professor McGonagall already there, pouring potions over his torn throat and warning the apparently still living Headmaster that she'd kill him if he died on her. When she saw them, standing there in shock, their normally composed Deputy Headmistress shouted at them to stop standing there like lumps and help her get Severus up to Poppy this minute!, and then burst into tears.

Hagrid wept himself, tears of joy and of sympathy, as they bore Professor Snape's barely living form up to the infirmary. Minerva - it still felt strange to call her that, for all that they'd been housemates when they were young - dried her eyes quite quickly and told him of the letter she'd found after she'd 'had words' with Dumbledore's portrait and hexed him out of his frame. There, behind the former Headmaster's portrait, was Dumbledore's attempt at explaining himself and Severus, and a vial of Phoenix tears he'd wanted Severus to keep with him, but the stubborn man had not.

He'd tried to explain to her about Snape just wanting to die, and she'd looked stricken, but she wasn't having it. 'He can't, Hagrid,' she'd said. 'He just can't.' And she'd wrung her hat in her hands at that - her favorite with the tartan band - and at that point he'd finally twigged to something he probably should have seen long ago, something that explained why Professor Snape had been so worried about fooling her and what it must have cost him to have done it.

So it was for Minerva's sake, as much as for their fallen Headmaster, that he was out here risking being impaled by broken glass, looking for any undamaged Euphorbia that Professor Slughorn could use in the potion he was brewing from Professor Snape's own formula to purge that great snake's self-renewing venom. When he finally had a good arm-load of it, he started back for the castle, his heart still mourning for the ruin that vicious monster had made of the old girl, intent on not losing another moment.


“Hagrid?”

He’d missed hearing it at first, so softly had she spoken, but the second time she called him was about the time he was registering the first. He stopped and looked down at the girl perched on the shoulder of one of the ruined stone knights, her eyes ringed with fatigue and a little less dreamy than their norm.

“Luna! Sorry, there; I din't hear yeh afirst. Wha’ can I do fer yeh?”

“It’s all right. Perhaps I should get Madam Pomfrey to check me over for Scrumnullies infecting my voice box. Loads of people seem to have trouble hearing me today."

“Well, I’m headin’ up ta the infirmary now if yer’d like ta come wi’ me, but I doubt she’d have the time. Righ’ now she’s doin’ her best ta save the Headmaster.”

“I know. I was just up there, returning his wand to him. Strange that no one had done it before.” She smiled at him and his arms full of greenery. “May I help you take some of that?”

Without waiting for his assent, she reached up and caught a bunch just starting to fall from the bottom.

“Thanks.”

“Oh, not at all.” She hopped down and stood beside him. “I’ll walk with you. I know you must be in a hurry.”

He kept his stride small, and for the longest time she said nothing, just trotted beside him. He was just about to open his mouth and ask again what it was she’d wanted him for, when she sneezed - a rather raucous sound from such a small package - and then smiled up at him.

“It really must be Scrumnullies, if Snake Spurge is making my nose itch. I beg pardon if I am intruding, but I thought I’d heard you speaking to Professor McGonagall earlier.” Luna’s nose twitched like a rabbit’s, and she sneezed again. “Goodness!” She lifted her wand and pressed it to her nose through the Euphorbia. “Impervio. It’s very nice about her and Professor Snape, isn’t it? I wish I’d known earlier. And about you, too. I wouldn’t have been so worried about him while I was away.”

Hagrid gaped at her. She’d known? She’d worried about Snape while she’d been ‘away’? He really ought to be done with being astonished at Luna Lovegood, but he never seemed to be.

“How . . . ?”

She shrugged. “I knew after he’d sent us to you for detention. He’d caught us doing something that should have gotten us expelled at the very least. If he’d been like the Carrows, I doubt I’d be here to talk to you now.”

“Yes, well, Min-, er, Professor McGonagall din’t know, see, so he weren’t all tha’ safe, truth be known.”

“Well, he had you, anyway, and that’s something. Were you planning on seeing Mr. Ollivander about repairing your wand?”

He’d been meaning to go for the longest time, since right after old Fudge had acknowledged that what Dumbledore had said all along about his innocence in the Chamber matter was true and issued him a full pardon. About the last thing the man had done while still Minister, in fact. But he’d had to go try to treat with the Giants again, and then he’d been so busy with Grawp, and by the time he’d been able, Ollivander had disappeared. He’d been relieved to hear from Harry that Ollivander had survived his kidnapping and been staying with the Weasleys. So, he intended to go as soon as the old man re-opened his shop and have him put the carefully saved pieces of Hagrid’s wand back together. He’d be a lot more help repairing Hogwarts if he had full access to his magic.

“Yeah,” he said, “as soon as I can get away. Why?”

“Well, I’d like to come with you, if I might. I am a bit worried about Mr. O.”

“Worried? How so?”

She stopped, and set the Euphorbia to hovering in front of her while she took off one of the radishes dangling from her ears. She opened the body of the radish with a flick of her wand and took out a tiny, folded piece of parchment, which she enlarged, then held up for him to read. He stooped over to get a better view, when she said, “Oh! I am sorry - how silly of me!” and muttered something under her breath. The parchment shot up and hovered at his eye level.

“Tha’s dead useful!” he smiled.

“I’ll teach you later,” she answered, “When you’ve got your wand back.”

My Dear Miss Lovegood, (he read)

I hope that this letter finds you well. I wanted to thank you for the care and kindness you showed me during our late captivity, and then afterward at the cottage. I am so very grateful, and it is down solely to you that I survived our time as ‘guests’ of the Malfoys. I have no sons or daughters, no one I can leave the shop to as I pass on, so I am hereby leaving everything to you to do with as you will. Please don’t feel as if you are responsible for this, or feel as if you must become a wandmaker because I leave you this legacy. I am past caring what happens to the business, and I would not constrain you for all I hold dear. The wards on the shop can be lifted with the words ‘acta est fabula’.

May you have a wonderful life.

Best Wishes,
Garrick Ollivander


“That came this morning,” she said as she frowned and scratched the end of her nose with her wand.

“Luna, this sounds as if he migh’ be ill, dyin’ meybe.”

“The thing is, he was quite well, if a bit depressed, when we left him to come here.” She looked more puzzled than alarmed, but it was clear from the way that she held her body, jumpy as a newborn Mooncalf, that she was very concerned. “I had thought he’d stayed at Ron’s Auntie Muriel’s - they’d taken his wand, you see. I knew they were coming to get me, so I’d left mine behind with Orla while I was pretending to go to the loo; I knew I’d get it back one day. But I guess that because he couldn’t fight, he must have gone to his shop. That’s not worrisome by itself, of course. Why wouldn’t he want to go there? But saying that he was past caring -, and the spell to lift his wards . . . .” She trailed off, and when she looked up at him, he saw real fear in her eyes.

“Wha’ about tha spell?” he asked gently. She looked afraid and bemused at the same time, almost comical, really, except he’d never seen Luna afraid before.

“They’re the last words Augustus Caesar spoke before he died. They mean ‘the drama has been acted out.’ Those don’t sound like the words someone who intended to keep on would use.” Luna spoke that last bit in a strangled whisper.

“I’m sure everythin’s all righ’,” he said, in the same tone he’d use to soothe a spooked Hippogriff. Though he wasn’t sure everything was all right, it seemed that she needed to hear it said. “Let’s get these up ta tha infirmary, and if Professor McGonagall can spare me for a bit, we’ll go check on ‘im, yeah?”

“Thank you, Hagrid. You are probably right, but he is still so frail and since his shop’s been empty for so long, there are probably Nargles in every corner - he might need help to chase them away.” Luna looked up at him, her pale eyes so full of concern and sorrow that he vowed to take her as soon as he was able.

“Let’s ge’ up there, then, and barrin’ emergencies, we shoul’ be there in two shakes of Fang’s tail.”


~~00~~


There were lots of people still out roaming the streets when Luna and he got to Ollivander’s, but the door and window were boarded over, and folks seemed to be avoiding even standing near it. Luna looked the shopfront over with dismay. She was clutching a large handful of some dubious-looking grey spines she claimed were Diricawl quills (“He can use them for wandmaking - they’re very rare. Much nicer than bringing flowers, don’t you think?”) that kept fading in and out of view.

“These don’t look as if they’ve been disturbed, Hagrid. If they had, the Nargles living under them would have gone away. Is there a back entrance, do you suppose?”

“I reckon so, but are yeh sure he’s come back here? Meybe he’s still at Ron’s Aunt’s place.”

“I don’t know that for certain, but I -, well, let’s just say that I got to know him rather well in the last several months, and I don’t think that he would have stayed after everyone else went away.” She looked around thoughtfully. “There’s no space between the buildings, but he must take his deliveries somewhere. Perhaps TerrorTours will let us walk through their offices so we don’t have to go all the way down to the end. They are right next door, after all.”

Hagrid eyed the tiny office next to Ollivander’s with some trepidation. Shortly after Rita Skeeter’s articles about him had hit the Prophet, someone from their agency had Floo-called, wanting to know if he might know any ‘authentic giants’ who might be willing to host a group of magical adventure seekers on a tour of the northern mountains, and they weren’t best pleased when he told them what he thought of that idea. It was one of the few times in his life he’d been tempted to roll his eyes and mutter an exasperated ‘Gryffindors!’ under his breath, as if he were channelling Severus Snape. But he had no time to protest, for Luna was already disappearing through the door. He followed after and ducked to avoid banging his head on the doorframe. It was a relief to see Alicia Spinnet behind the desk. She, at least, was sensible. Mostly.

“Oh, hullo Hagrid - I was just telling Luna that there’s a mews out back, but there’s a solid wooden divider all the way around the back of his shop, which is likely warded. The old man was a bit paranoid, but it turns out he had a right to be, didn’t he?”

Behind Alicia was a huge poster of Gilderoy Lockhart’s head and shoulders, flashing his diamond-sharp smile, and winking and waving as if he was back on the cover of Witch Weekly instead of knocking about the Janus Thickey ward in unicorn-print pyjamas. The caption on the poster read ‘Experience your own Travels with Trolls!’ Hagrid tried gamely not to frown at it.

“Hullo, Alicia. Yeh haven’t seen Mr. Ollivander, have yeh?”

“Afraid not, but then I haven’t been around much.” She sighed and fidgeted with what looked like a miniature Graphorn foot on her desk. “It was a lucky chance you caught me in. Business hasn’t been all that good lately, to be honest. No need to leave the country to be terrified.”

“Perhaps business will pick up now,” said Luna brightly. “I’ve been wanting to take Daddy back to Sweden to look for Crumple-Horned Snorkaks since . . . .” Then she stopped, her eyes suddenly far away as she bit her lower lip. Hagrid laid a hand on her shoulder and it did the trick of drawing her back from whatever unhappy thought she was momentarily lost in. Xenophilius Lovegood, if he had survived, was surely still in Azkaban, and it might take Kingsley awhile to get all of Voldemort’s prisoners released from that hellhole. He shuddered and then gave her shoulder a little squeeze of reassurance. She looked up at him with a weak smile then turned back to Alicia. “Anyway, we need to find Mr. Ollivander first. Hagrid needs his wand repaired and I know there will be loads of people needing repairs or new wands now that the war is over and I’ve got all of these Diricawl quills to give him, but I’m sure Daddy and I will want to go adventuring later. I’m sure.” This came out all in one breath, as if she didn’t trust herself to make it through if she stopped.

“Sure, Luna,” Alicia answered, giving her a sympathetic smile in return, “come on, then, just back through here.”

So they followed her through the back of the shop past other posters, none advertising holidays with giants and not all of which, he was relieved to see, had Lockhart’s smarmy face on them. The back door was narrower than the front, but he managed to squeeze through (though he heard a protesting squeak from one of the dormice in his coat pocket). Sure enough, there was the high wooden fence Alicia had told them of.

“Good luck, you two. If old Ollivander isn’t there, you might want to check in with Mr. Fortescue’s son Anton. I used to see the two of them talking regularly in the ice cream shop before, well . . . , anyway, he might know where to look.”

“Thank you, Alicia,” said Luna, “we’ll do that.” Luna turned to him as Alicia went back into the agency. “Can you look, Hagrid?” she asked, giving the quills in her hands a twist as she knit her brow. “Can you see anything? I don’t feel any wards at all!”

He was just tall enough to peek over, and there were no wards that he could feel. The little space in front of the door was as clean as could be, and there was no sign of an easy way through the fence.

“Nothin’ much. Can yeh vanish one of the panels so’s we can ge’ through?”

Luna pulled her wand from behind her school tie - an odd place for it, he supposed, but whatever worked - and plucked one of the quills from the bunch. She touched the wood with the quill at the places he assumed would be the corners of the opening, and then held the quill next to her wand and pointed both at the panel.

Aufero tantum hic.

The panel fell into the little yard behind Ollivander’s with a thud. Gingerly, he stepped over one of the corners. Luna followed with a graceful leap, then pointed her wand and the quill at the bit of downed fencing.

Reverto. Just to be safe, I think,” she said, tucking her wand back behind her tie with the quill as the panel popped itself back into place.

He nodded and looked at the door. Luna stepped over and put her hand against it, then reached down and turned the knob, but it stayed still. “I still don’t feel any wards. I’m certain he would have put the wards back up if he had gone, since he took the trouble to tell me how to lift them.” She rapped at it sharply. “Mr. Ollivander! Mr. O, it’s Luna, are you here?”

They waited for the sound of footsteps, or a ‘Yes, yes, I’m coming’, but there was no sound from the other side of the door. Luna rattled the knob, looking as agitated as he’d ever seen her.

“I know I shouldn’t -, what if he’s just napping or just gone out for supplies or -, I wouldn’t want to intrude.”

“Luna,” he said, laying a hand on hers to stop her wringing them, “he’s as good as invited yeh in, din’t he, by sendin’ you tha’ letter? Why, he’s given tha place to yeh; why would he objec’ ta yeh comin’ in?”

“I don’t want him to give the place to me. I want him to be - oh, Hagrid what if he’s . . .?” she looked up at him, tears trickling down her face.

“No sense jumpin’ tha gun, eh? C’mon. I’ll ge’ tha door.”

He took his umbrella out from his pocket and poked the door knob. “Alohomora.”

With a sharp, rusty squeal, the knob began to turn. Hagrid took it in hand and gave it a quick twist. It took more force than he’d thought he’d need to get it open. The interior of the shop was dark and quiet. This was Ollivander’s workroom, with different types of wood piled in stacks nearly to the ceiling, and shelves laden with neatly labeled jars full of bits from magical creatures that reminded him somewhat of the potions lab. The workbench was tidy, but a fine layer of dust lay on the surface and the tools. It had been sometime since Ollivander had worked there, of course, but seeing it this way sent a pang through him. He glanced down at floor, where the dust lay undisturbed. They were the first souls in here since the poor man had been taken, no doubt. Nevertheless, he stepped across the threshold, encouraging Luna with a wave of his hand to follow.

“Ollivander!” he called, “Ollivander, we’ve business. Are yeh here, man?”

There was a narrow stair off to the right that no doubt lead to the flat above the shop, where the wandmaker made his home. Luna went over to it and called up the stairs.

“Mr. O, are you here? I’m coming up!”

Hagrid’s hair stood on end as he he heard a faint moan that sounded like ‘no’, and a loud thump. Suddenly, there was nothing but the sound of Luna’s screaming as pair of feet appeared abruptly, dangling from the stairwell.


~~00~~


He had just enough energy after he dropped the wards to Apparate himself into his sitting room. The wandmaker sat down heavily on the chair in front of his cold hearth and closed his eyes, waiting to catch his breath.

The shop was quiet. Not that he’d expected otherwise, but it was nice to know that his wards had stayed intact after You-Know-Who’s followers had snatched him from the marketplace. No, they were much more interested in his skills and his wandlore than in anything he possessed.

Wearily, Garrick opened his eyes. He’d have to start a fire if he wanted to use the Floo, which he’d need to call for a post-owl. He heaved himself from his chair and went slowly to his desk. The account and inventory books were right where he’d left them, so his father’s wand should still be where it had been, too. It wouldn’t serve him as well as his own, the one he’d made as the pinnacle of his art, demonstrating to his father, as his father had done to his mother and his father’s mother had done to her own father and so on for countless generations back, that he had mastered the craft and was a worthy successor. Worthy! The very idea made him nauseous. What would his father say if he could see him now? His own wand was still in the hands of the Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor, given back to him only under strict supervision, when they’d needed him to make new wands, and taken away from him again when he’d finished. He never fought to keep it, hoping that by giving it up voluntarily he would retain its allegiance, but that didn’t matter now. He’d never see it again. He just hoped that one of those shames to the name of wizard wasn’t using it. Ah, there it was. There was very little warmth from it as he held it in his hand, but whether that was due to his own depleted magical reserves or to his father’s wand’s judgement of his failures, he couldn’t say. But since it would be only a temporary borrowing, he wasn’t terribly concerned.

It seemed to take years to get to the fireplace, but when he got there, the wand didn’t balk at his whispered Incendio. The pot of Floo Powder he’d left on his mantle had a fine layer of dust, like everything else in the house, but it still flared bright green and the local owl office responded at once. With the promise of an owl within the hour, he sat down at his desk, he sat down to write his letter to Miss Lovegood. With any luck, it would not reach her until well after he was gone.

He stared for a long time at the blank sheet, at a loss as to what to write that would convey his gratitude and affection and his desire to make her his heir without leaving her feeling obligated or as if she could have prevented his death. Best keep it simple and gently to the point.

For a moment, he was overwhelmed with sadness. What might it have been like to have actually had a child he could have passed his family’s ancient legacy to? One to whom he could have taught all he knew, but tempered with the hard-won knowledge his mistakes had given him? Or maybe to have had someone in his life for more than fleeting couplings, who would have been, perhaps, a friend and partner he could have counted on? Alas, there had been none of those things. His business had consumed him - literally, it seemed - and now he would pay the price for his obsessions. Garrick hoped for a moment that Miss Lovegood would simply sell out. Then she might not be tempted down the same dangerous, amoral path.

When the letter was finished, he addressed it, sealed it and set it aside, and then rummaged through the side drawer of his desk for a sickle for the postage. He put the sickle on the letter, then tilted open the small circular window on the wall over his desk for the owl, suddenly feeling completely spent. There was not enough energy left to force his father’s wand to do his bidding at this point, and since the owl had not yet come, he thought muzzily, perhaps he could risk a nap. If the battle still raged, the owl would wait to deliver anyway, so it should be safe. He took himself over to his chair by the fire and sat, asleep nearly before he’d even closed his eyes.

He woke with a start, in the middle of a dream where his mother was calling him to supper but he was covered with mud and hiding from her, to the sound of a sharp rap on his back door and his name being called. Confused and disoriented, he stumbled from his chair, looking about for his father’s wand, but it was still on the desk, where he’d left it. The letter was gone - who knows how long ago - and the sun slanting into the room told him that it was late the next morning. He’d slept too long, and now they were coming for him. It didn’t matter which side it was, what would happen next wouldn’t be pleasant.

Quietly, he stole over to the desk and grasped the wand, dizziness and fatigue forcing the wandmaker to close his eyes and steady himself against the edge of the desk. With a shaking hand, he pointed the wand at his own chest.

Avada Kedavra!

Nothing. He felt nothing. No answering rising of magic, no warmth from the wand, nothing. There went his chance at a painless death. Well, he wouldn’t cower from them. He’d go to meet them and accept whatever was coming. It wasn’t as if he didn’t deserve it.

He staggered from the desk and opened the door into the stairwell just as his own back door burst open. Terror stood him still at the rail. All went quiet and he scarcely dared to breathe as he heard the sounds of bodies moving below. Suddenly a voice called out.

“Ollivander! Ollivander, we’ve business! Are yeh here, man?”

That was Rubeus Hagrid (sixteen inch oak and unicorn hair, very flexible, his mind supplied, quite pointlessly). What was he doing here? He immediately understood when the next voice called from the foot of the stairs.

“Mr. O, are you here? I’m coming up!”

Luna Lovegood! Oh no. No. He couldn’t help the whispered groan that escaped him. She wasn’t supposed to be here yet, she was supposed to find him after! What was he to do? Helpless, angry frustration made his knees buckle and he pitched forward. He fell over the railing, and dangled down to the sound of Miss Lovegood’s screams, barely managing to hang on from the edge. He groaned again. This wasn’t how this was supposed to go.

There was a strong hand around his ankle, and then a large form appeared and reached up to grasp him by the waist.

“Easy there, Ollivander, I’ve got yeh. You can let go now.”

He did as he was bid and the large man eased him down, cradling him against the warmth of Hagrid’s broad chest. For some inexplicable reason, he suddenly felt very safe. Hagrid carried him down the stair and sat at the bottom, holding him as if he were some over-sized infant, or perhaps like one of his beloved magical creatures. Garrick found that he didn’t mind, especially as the frightened face of Luna Lovegood came into view. Oh, he’d messed this up royally, hadn’t he?

“Oh, Mr. O! You gave me such a fright! But then, we must have given you one, too. Are you all right?”

How could he answer that? But before he could formulate a comforting lie, the truth tumbled out of him.

“No. No, Miss Lovegood, I am far from ‘all right’. I shouldn’t be seeing you now.”

“But why did you send me that letter if you didn’t want me to come?”

Miss Lovegood insinuated one of her small hands in his, as she had often done while they shared the cell in Malfoy’s dungeon. He turned his head in shame and stared at the palm-sized button beside his cheek on Hagrid’s coat, and resisted ridiculous impulse to bury his face against the softness of the moleskin.

“Are yeh ill, Ollivander?” asked Hagrid gently “Should we fetch a healer?”

“Not in the sense you are thinking, my friend.” Why Hagrid was still holding him, he had no idea, but he was in no hurry to give up the comfort if Hagrid was inclined to give it. Not to mention, that it seemed mysteriously easier to say what needed said from the shelter of Hagrid’s arms.

“Miss Lovegood -,” he started.

“Luna,” she interrupted.

“Luna, then.” He squeezed her hand. “I -, I assume, since the two of you are here and not the Dark Lord’s followers, that Mr. Potter has defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?”

“He did, Mr. O - it was brilliant.” She squeezed back. ‘So you can stop worrying that they will come back and hurt you. Voldemort is gone and the wand proved his undoing, so you can stop worrying about that, too.” He had forgotten that Luna was a lot more perceptive than she sometimes seemed. But still, he had to make her understand.

“It’s useless, Luna. I lead him straight to that wand and you can’t tell me that there aren’t many people who would still be among the living if he hadn’t believed himself invincible because of it. The Ministry won’t let that go, my dear. They’ll come for me and take me to Azkaban and it will be like being back in Malfoy’s dungeon but worse. There will be no Miss Lovegood to comfort me and tell me that I am better than I know that I am and that we’ll see the sun again soon. There will be no more sun for the remainder of my life. Even if the Dementors aren’t allowed back in, I can’t face that. I know I am a coward, but I would rather die.”

“But you can’t - who would take your place? Who would repair Hagrid’s wand and use these Diricawl quills?” Luna’s pale eyes swam with tears as she spoke.

“But that is what I am trying to tell you. I wouldn’t be allowed to continue anyway. But if I leave you this place - my workshop and my tools - you might be able to find another wandmaker who would be willing to buy it. If it’s yours, the Ministry can’t take it; if it’s mine, they will. But in any case, Ollivander’s is finished. I am finished.”

Hagrid’s arms had tightened around him as he spoke, and the big man was shaking as he finished.

“Yer wrong. Dead wrong. Listen to me, Ollivander.” A large hand tilted his chin so that he had to look into Hagrid’s open face and warm dark eyes. “I’m not sure why it is that yeh think yeh might be sent to tha’ horrible place, but I’ve had it from Kingsley Shacklebolt hisself that no one’s goin’ ta Azkaban until they get things sorted, and their firs’ worry is the Death Eaters. Those they catch’ll be hel’ fer trial in the Ministry. Yer not one o’ them, anyway, an’ Luna’s told me abou’ wha’ they did ta yeh at the Malfoys. Ain’t no one gonna blame yeh for anythin’ yeh tol’ those blighters when they was torturin’ yeh. And, yer too important - after what’s happened, there’s lots who are gonna need their wands fixed besides me, an’ new ones, too. Even if some foreign bloke came in here tomorrow, they wouldn’t trust ‘im. You and yours made most of th’ wands ou’ there. No one knows ‘em like you, an’ mos’ wouldn’t want anyone bu’ you touchin’ ‘em. We need yeh.”

Oh, how he wanted to believe, but he kept coming up against cold reality, no matter the warmth engendered by Hagrid’s kind words.

“Hagrid, I know you mean well, I’m of no use to anyone right now. My wand is gone and I doubt I’ll ever see it again. In any case, my magical energy is too low to make even my own wand, if I had it, work for me for something as complex as making and restoring wands, and I have no idea how long it might take to get it back - if I ever do. I might as well be a squib.”

“Nah,” said Hagrid with a smile, “you just want some lookin’ after, an’ feedin’ up, an’ summat to take yer mind off o’ things, meybe, ‘til yeh get back on yer feet. Come and stay with me fer awhile. The school matron can look yeh over to make certain yeh don’ need more than tha’, an’ if yeh, do, yeh’ll have someone ta help. The elves won’ mind one more to feed, neither. I’m guessin’ they’ll be outdoin’ themselves feedin’ all tha’s come to help wi’ the clean-up. An’ I could use th’ company. Yeh won’ be no burden. Please.”

He looked almost shy as he said it, and actually hopeful that he’d say yes. Luna added her enthusiastic approval to the plan, and he found he hadn’t the heart to resist. He nodded his assent, and Hagrid whooped and caught up both him and Luna in a crushing hug.

“Yeh won’ regret it - you’ll see.”

Garrick hoped - a nearly foreign feeling he almost didn’t recognize - that Hagrid was right.


~~00~~


It was a long walk from the front door to the gates of Malfoy Manor, even for someone with a stride like his. Normally, he’d never have dared set foot here, but Rubeus Hagrid was on a mission. It would probably would not regain him his housemate, but he had come to care too much for Garrick Ollivander to continue to see him suffer.

It had been six weeks since Ollivander - Garrick - had taken up residence with him at the gamekeeper’s hut at Hogwarts. Shortly after he’d settled him in, Hagrid had gone to see Kingsley Shacklebolt, inquiring as discreetly as he could as to whether there was any reason the Ministry might be wanting to take the wandmaker into custody. Assured that there was no reason to even entertain such an idea by an incredulous Shacklebolt, Hagrid hastened up to the infirmary, hoping to get Poppy to come and check on his houseguest, and perhaps bring a Strengthening potion or two with her. She, however, was still very busy with a Headmaster in critical condition. Luckily, one of the healers from St. Mungo’s who’d come to help in the aftermath of the battle had a few minutes to spare.

Healer Calenda was gentle and soft-spoken and made him feel at ease from the start. He explained about the ordeal the wandmaker had undergone and his state of mind when they’d found him, and she agreed to see him at once. After she had examined Ollivander, she pulled Hagrid aside and told him that while the man had pretty well recovered physically, he was still suffering trauma from his imprisonment.

“There’s nothing wrong with his magic that I can find, but his emotional distress may be why he is feeling so weak and drained. I’ve left him with some anti-depressant potions, but there’s one thing he needs that I can’t give him, though perhaps you can.”

“Just name it - I’ll be glad ta help.”

“A means of atonement. He really feels as if he needs to do something to make up for whatever sin he believes he’s committed in the information he gave up during his captivity and that he lacks the means to do so. I don’t know what that might be, but if you can help him figure it out, it will go a long way toward making him whole again.”

It had been a tall order, but he’d been trying ever since then. That first week had been rough, to be sure. Ollivander barely moved from the bed in the room Luna had created for him with Wizard Space in his broom cupboard, eating virtually nothing from the array of mouth-watering things the elves brought to tempt him, responding softly when spoken to, but otherwise remaining silent. Every evening Hagrid would bring in the man’s supper tray, and his own to boot, and he would sit and have one-sided conversations concerning the progress they’d made on restoring the school while he ate.

It was silly, really. Ollivander barely opened his eyes, acknowledging Hagrid’s presence with a nod, then sinking back on the pillows as if merely lifting his head had been nearly too much effort to bear. Mostly, he gave no sign he was aware Hagrid was even speaking, but he wouldn’t give up. It seemed important, somehow, that he make an effort to pretend that all was well; as if they were merely two friends who had met at the end of the workday to share a meal and talk about what had happened. At the end, he’d take his own tray out, and bid him good night, laying a hand on Ollivander’s shoulder with a little squeeze, after encouraging him to have at least a wee bite before the elf came to fetch it. The touch seemed to be the only thing he would respond to some nights, so he kept doing it. The afterwards he’d sit and ponder what could be done while playing his wooden flute or stroking poor, bewildered Fang.

Luna came too, sometimes two or three times in a day, bringing interesting tidbits of information about the castle (though he was pretty certain that Willard the Wobbly had not been keeping a fire-whisky still in the Transfiguration classroom disguised as an Erumpet head during the late Middle Ages) or items she’d be certain he could use once he got back to wandmaking, though these often looked like rubbish to Hagrid. It truly was the thought which counted here, and though Ollivander didn’t seem to react to her much more than he did to Hagrid, he knew that both of them missed her presence when, in the end of the second week, she’d gotten word that her father had been released from Azkaban and left.

As happy as he’d been for Luna, he feared it would be a setback for Ollivander, who had just begun appearing outside his room. Hagrid hadn’t realized it at first, for it had seemed that nothing was different. But he began noticing that little things had changed: his boots neatly arranged by the door, the cushions on his chair plumped, Fang fed on nights he’d worked a bit late. At first it he thought it had been Posset, the elf who had been bringing the meals, but he denied doing anything else.

Then he’d come back early one evening after Luna had left and found the wandmaker sitting on his footstool by the fire - which hadn’t been lit when he’d gone - absently fondling Fang’s ears as the boarhound’s head rested, drooling, in his lap. The sight had nearly stood him still with happiness, but he merely smiled and said ‘Evenin’, Ollivander’ as if this was nothing out of the ordinary.

He’d received a solemn nod in return. That night they ate together at his table for the first time, Hagrid again engaging in one-sided nattering on about the castle repairs. Ollivander nodded every once in awhile, and when Hagrid rose to clear the table, laid a hand on his arm and spoke for the first time in days.

“I’ll do that, Hagrid”

Ollivander’s long, fine-boned hand had lain against his rough-sleeved tunic radiating warmth, and for some unaccountable reason, he’d blushed, puzzled that such a small gesture could affect him in such a way. All he could do was nod, and his eyes had followed the wandmaker as he rose and carried the plates to the tray from where Posset would take them away, wondering if the feelings that were dawning were entirely appropriate. And what would such a magical, elegant man see in a half-giant, barely magical, scruffy git like him, anyway? He’d given himself a mental shake, then gotten up and put the kettle on.

“Tea?”

“Yes, I’d like that. Thank you, Hagrid.”

Then they’d sat with their cuppas in front of the fire in companionable silence, Fang lying between the footstool and the chair, until Ollivander had excused himself for the evening. And ever since, that had been their routine, and Ollivander spent more and more time outside the shelter of his room, doing things around the hut and occasionally wandering out into the garden to bring in fresh vegetables or to the stables to feed and stroke the Thestrals. He had even made supper twice from the garden’s gleanings.

Hagrid had begun to hope things were finally beginning to improve, that Ollivander would express an interest in maybe retrieving some of his tools and materials from his Diagon Alley shop and starting anew. But while the wandmaker’s mood seemed to lift steadily, Ollivander’s father’s wand remained untouched (as far as he could tell) beside his bed. Their chairs in front of the fire seemed to migrate closer together as days went on, they touched all the time - casual touches which Hagrid was certain had no meaning beyond the seeking of reassurance that he was still there - and he had spent more and more time worrying about his changing feelings. Still the mood had been peaceful, one he had been enjoying very much and hoping might be a long-term situation, until yesterday.

He had come back from doing a lot of shuffling of stones in the west section of the castle, very much looking forward to the evening meal in Garrick’s company (he’d been thrilled to his boots when Ollivander had asked him to call him by his first name the evening before), when he entered to a dark hut, no fire, and Fang lying mournfully outside of the other man’s door. He’d knocked gently and received a faint ‘come’ in return.

The moment he opened the door, Fang sprang up and bolted in. Garrick was sitting on his bed in the dark. There was a long box Hagrid had never seen before in his lap, which he was gripping tightly. Hagrid sat down as gently as he could on the smaller man’s bed. It still had the effect of tipping Garrick toward him, but he righted himself without touching.

“I took the liberty of taking a look inside your umbrella a while ago.” Garrick spoke softly, without looking at him, his eyes on the floor where Fang had flopped at their feet.

“Yeh din’t hafta, Garrick, I’m fine wi’ it the way it is for now,” he’d answered, laying a hand on the man’s shoulder. For the first time, he’d flinched, so Hagrid had taken his hand away, an ache blooming in the pit of his stomach.

“I wanted to. You’ve been so very good to me, Hagrid, and I wanted to do something for you in return. I’m afraid that the core of the wand has been severed and it cannot be put back together. The forward portion is still intact, which is why you have some limited use of it, but in the back end of the wand, the core has completely disintegrated, and several splinters of the wood are missing. Since I could not repair it, I decided I would try to make you a new one.” He’d held up a hand when Hagrid had started to tell him that he had suspected as much, but that it didn’t matter. “I know you are about to tell me that it’s all right. But it’s not.” He got up from the bed, still holding the box, and began pacing.

“Every morning after you left, for the past four weeks, I have been using the Floo to return to my workroom. As I gathered the materials, I thought about you, let everything I know about you guide my hands as I selected the components. I was not surprised that the wood should again be oak - is there anyone who epitomizes its qualities better than you? But the wood I put my hands on wasn’t the standard English oak, rather a burr of enormous size, rare and precious. On the surface, it looks ungainly and unattractive. But under the surface lurks a wood of surpassing loveliness, prized not only for its beauty, but for its interlocking grain which makes it uncommonly strong and resilient. I also found myself pulling ziricote down from the shelf for the handle, one that polished into a lovely shimmering red to match your given name and your harmonious nature. But what for the core?

“Unicorn hair, which your first wand held, would still suit you. It is the core for the nurturer and the pure of heart, which you certainly are. But, in spite of what you might believe of yourself, you do have a great strength of magic, one which has matured as you have aged. So I needed a core that combined the protective qualities of Unicorn hair with something that would help you harness the power you possess. Luckily enough, Miss Lovegood - Luna - brought to me a treasure the very day I was contemplating this.”

At this he had stopped, smiled and shaken his head before resuming his pacing. “That young lady has an amazing imagination, and often went to great lengths to cheer me. Just before she left, she brought what she described as Roc chick feathers, but, it turns out the feathers she found in some ancient storage cupboard were, in fact, down from the head of a Gryphon, a magical creature that is strong, protective and fiercely loyal. A crown or flight feather would have been too much, even dangerous, perhaps. But the down feathers are the perfect combination of power, tenacity, pliancy and softness.” Then he’d looked up at Hagrid, his gaze soft, and Hagrid’s breath had caught. “Like you.”

“So I prepared and shaped and worked the materials until they felt right as best I could without my wand. My father’s works all right for everyday sorts of magic, but it will not work at all for me in this.” Suddenly Garrick had looked overwhelmed with fatigue, and he stopped his pacing, looking down at the box in his hands. “It took so much energy to do this wandlessly that in the beginning, I’d barely enough energy when I returned to remain standing. I got stronger as time progressed, but without my wand I cannot complete it. I cannot fuse the core. My wand was taken from me while I was a prisoner and I have no idea what’s happened to it. And even if it were to be found, might not work for me. I was forced to use it to make wands for some of the worst of The Dark Lord’s followers. I told that madman where to find the wand with which he wreaked such destruction in his final months. I could feel it turning from me by the final time I held it in my hands. I cannot finish what I have begun. I am sorry Hagrid.”

Then he’d stepped over to where Hagrid sat on his bed and placed the box in his hands. Before he could step away, Hagrid caught a hand in his and threaded his fingers though, tugging him closer. Garrick had looked at him in surprise, but quickly dropped his eyes.

“Garrick -, I don’ know wha’ ta say. I would have never have expected ta get such a gift, particularly one tha’ is so much from the heart of yeh. I’m honored beyond words. Thank you.”

“Please don’t thank me, Hagrid,” he’d answered softly. “You’ll need to to take that to Beauchene’s in Paris or to Maestri Magico in Catanzaro to have it completed.”

“But, if you could have your wand back -,” he’d replied, looking at Garrick with his heart in his eyes and hoping he’d understand that what he wanted was what this represented, not the wand itself, hoping that his faith in him would show through and tell him what he needed to know. But Garrick shook his head.

“It’s useless, my dear. I’m useless.” Then he’d leaned in, squeezing the hand Hagrid held and placed a kiss on his brow, and stepped back, releasing his hand. “You deserve better, Hagrid, than a broken-down old wizard who can do no more for you than putter pointlessly around your house.” The fear must have shown on his face, for Garrick had immediately reassured him that there was no danger of self-destruction. “I’m over that, thanks to you, but I need to decide what I’m going to do with the rest of the time I’ve remaining to me. Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I won’t forget it. I’ll be at my shop should you need me.”

And then he’d left Hagrid sitting in the dark, with a boarhound who looked as lost as he felt.

The next morning, after several pints and a sleepless night, he’d taken the wand from the box. It was beautiful, no two ways about it. The love that had gone into this had taken his breath away. The burr oak shone in warm, light brown swirls down the length of it. The handle was indeed a shimmering red. The light played across it as he’d sat at his table, picking up highlights and depths he could have stared at for hours. The grip lay perfectly in his palm, completely balancing the long length of the business end - maybe a good six inches longer than the wand he’d had for so short a time as a student. It didn’t quite feel dead. There was an undeniable resonance there, but it didn’t feel the way it ought, the way it would with a fused core. As he’d sat there contemplating what to do next, there was a knock at his door and hIs heart had begun to pound. Maybe Garrick has come back, he’d thought, perhaps I can persuade him to stay. He was over to the door in two steps, but when he’d flung it open, the person who was standing there wasn’t Garrick Ollivander, but Severus Snape.

He’d let out a joyous cry and then flung his arms about man and pulled him close, mindless of Severus’s surprised yelp. Hesitantly, the other man’s arms raised and gave him a brief embrace.

“You’re crushing the air from my lungs, Hagrid,” Severus had said, so he let go of him, but laid both hands on the Headmaster’s shoulders and looked him over. He was still in his ubiquitous black robes, but his eyes were clear and full of amusement instead of haunted and shadowed. His skin was no longer held the pallor of something dead, though he was still extremely thin, and long, angry red scars roped down the left side of his throat where the beast had done its damage.

“Well,” said Severus, arching a brow, “Do I pass muster?”

“By gawd, yeah - , yeah yeh do,” his eyes had filled as he looked the man over. He had feared he might never see Severus conscious again, let alone standing in front of him, looking almost as he had before You-Know-Who’d come back - better even. He’d stood back and waved Severus in. “Oh come in, come in, Headmaster, and have a spot o’ tea and tell me how yehr feelin’!”

He’d stepped inside and sat down at the table, as Hagrid had busied himself with the tea things.

“I’m feeling better than I’ve a right to,” said Snape as he accepted the steaming cup.

“Codswallop!” he’d answered heartily, “It makes me happier’n I can say to see yeh up and about and lookin’ so well.”

Severus had inclined his head, then looked up at him earnestly. “I’ve come to say ‘thank you’, Hagrid. I never got the chance tell you while things were happening how much it meant to me to have you there. You saved my sanity and perhaps my life on more than one occasion. I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for you.”

“‘Twas Minerva who saved your life at the end there,” he’d answered, feeling himself blush to the roots of his hair. “I’m jus’ glad I could do summat ta help. Yeh didn’t deserve tha’ mess yeh got stuck in the middle of. But now we’ll get ta see yeh bein’ the Headmaster yeh were meant ta be, instead o’ the one yeh was forced ta be. Lookin’ forward to it.”

“Yes, well, about that. The other reason that I’m here is that I’ve come to say goodbye, at least temporarily. I’ve resigned the position in favor of Minerva.”

“But why?” he’d wailed, deciding that he was never going to allow anyone he cared about to thank him again, since lately that always seemed to be followed by them leaving.

“You know I never wanted to be Headmaster. I never really wanted to be a teacher, either, but neither was something I had a choice in. Now I have choices. A reason for living.” His voice had been filled with wonder and his eyes had gotten suspiciously soft, but Hagrid had pretended not to notice as he cleared his throat. “I have a lot of thinking to do, and it might be selfish of me to choose now, but as I have inexplicably been given a full pardon by the Wizengamot for any transgressions I may have committed in Albus’ service, it seemed the better part of valor to disappear now before they do something truly stupid like award me an Order of Merlin for them.”

“Yeh’d deserve it, yeh know,” he’d said with warmth. “And what’s Minerva think abou’ all of this? Surely, she’s got summat ta say abou’ you goin’ off an’ leavin’ her ta run the school.” Now it was his turn to watch two red blotches appear on those cut-glass cheekbones.

“No, I most assuredly do not,” he’d answered with something of his old sarcastic fire. “I’m lucky to have escaped with my skin mostly intact, and it was a while before I considered that to be lucky in any way. As for Minerva, after I made it clear that I had no intention of returning as Head, it was she who encouraged me to take time away to decide things, though she has liberal visitation privileges.” Then with a bemused smile and shake of his head, he’d said, “I don’t deserve her, I know.”

Severus then set his cup aside, and noticed the wand lying on the table. “May I?” At Hagrid’s nod, he’d picked up and looked it over, reverence on his face. “I take it that Ollivander’s back in form? This is a work of art, Hagrid.”

At that, it was if the sluice had opened and before he could stop himself he was pouring out what had happened the night before, all of his fears and hopes and hurt. Severus, to his credit, listened to this deluge with more patience than he would have ever dreamed possible, and did not speak until Hagrid had finished. And when he did, he’d only asked to use his Floo. Puzzled, he’d given him leave and watched as he reached into his pocket, pitched some Floo powder into the flames, spoke the words ‘Malfoy Manor’, and stuck his head in.

“Draco! Narcissa! Are you there? It’s Severus Snape. . . . Yes, it is really me, and I have recovered about as well as can be expected. . . . Thank you. How is your mother? . . . I see . . . ummhmm . . . yes, well, if she is indisposed, perhaps you can help us. It concerns Ollivander’s wand. . . . yes, he’s been staying with Professor Hagrid and would like to be getting on with his wandmaking as there is great need after the late unpleasantness. . . . Yes, I know. . . . Potter told me that he’d returned yours, but it I would imagine that it hasn’t been functioning all that well for you. . . . Yes, well, if you could help us locate Mr. Ollivander’s wand, it would be of great assistance, and I am certain that once he gets back up to speed, he will take a look at yours. He’s certain to remember the things you were able to do for him and Miss Lovegood while they were held at the Manor. . . . No, I shouldn’t think so. . . . Of course. . . . Are you at the Library hearth? . . . I’m here with Professor Hagrid now, would you mind if we came through? Very well.” He’d pulled his head from the Floo and turned to Hagrid with a serious expression.

“Hagrid, Draco believes he knows where the prisoners’ wands were kept, but he will have to inquire with his mother, who is not feeling well, about the key. We’ve been invited to join him in the Library - the fireplace there is large enough to accommodate you. If, indeed he can recover it, you will be able to take it to Ollivander directly. I will stay behind to talk to my former student and his mother and tell them about my own decisions.”

He couldn’t stop the swell of hope any more than he could have the flood of worries which had precipitated Severus’ intervention. Great man, Severus Snape. He’d put his new wand back into its box and tucked it into his coat pocket along with his umbrella and followed him through the Floo connection. When he stumbled out, he’d found himself standing on the hearth rug of the most elaborate room he’d ever seen, with thick, expensive looking carpets, elegant bookshelves lining the walls, and a huge crystal chandelier hanging from the delicately frescoed ceiling. He hadn’t wanted to move from the rug for fear of tracking soot into the room, and there was not a stick of furniture he’d have felt safe sitting on. Severus just brushed himself off and strode into the room as if he had every right be there.

“Simply brush the soot off, man, you’ll not harm anything.”

So Hagrid had done what he was told, and joined Severus at the window while they waited for Draco to return. The grounds of the house were orderly, and the garden overlooked by the windows was a complicated mix of rose garden and old-fashioned knot garden with white sand paths and herbal parterres. As they stood looking out, Severus turned to him.

“Assuming Draco comes back with the wand, might I offer a suggestion?”

“Anythin’.”

“Part of Ollivander’s problem is that he feels as if he can never atone for the harm that he considers himself responsible for, even if he did not perpetrate it personally. This, as you might guess, is a feeling with which I am somewhat familiar. I have an idea as to how he might use his gift to make some amends.”

As Severus detailed his idea, Hagrid had been nearly overwhelmed with gratitude. If this didn’t do the trick, he’d eat Buckbeak’s saddle. Just as he was finishing, Draco and Mrs. Malfoy entered the room. At first, the two of them hadn’t seemed to see him at all. They just stared at Severus as if they were seeing a ghost. But he’d stepped forward and extended his hands, and they each took one. They’d stood there in silence, and Hagrid had had the impression that there was an unspoken conversation going on between them. Mrs. Malfoy, in particular, had looked close to tears, but then she’d squeezed Severus’ hand in both of hers and turned to Hagrid, who had remained by the window. If she’d been offended by his presence in her house, she’d showed no sign.

“Welcome, Professor Hagrid, to Malfoy Manor.” She then took out her wand and waved it at a dainty-looking settee, which enlarged and grew stouter. “Please, sit down and allow us to offer you some refreshment.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” he’d answered, “But I’m really in summat of a hurry. Draco,” he’d said, addressing the peaked-looking young man beside his friend, “did yeh find it?”

In response, Draco had pulled out and unwrapped a linen cloth that contained several wands.

“These are all that were in the strongbox in the room H-He’d taken.” The boy’d handed it over to him, looking at him through troubled eyes. “I don’t remember which one is his, nor do I know to whom the others belong. Please, take them all. Mr. Ollivander might be able to identify them and return them to anyone who -, who is still living.”

“‘Course I will. Thank you, lad.” He’d laid a comforting hand on the boy’s shoulder, then turned to Mrs. Malfoy. “May I use yehr Floo?”

She’d nodded and Severus came to him and shook his hand.

‘Good luck, Hagrid. What will happen with the wand is anybody’s guess, but if it responds to him as it should, remember my suggestion. As for the rest, I can offer you a bit of advice by way of Minerva. I told her repeatedly during my convalescence that I believed that she deserved better than me, until she got fed up and told me that if she heard those words from me again she’d use a Sticking Charm to glue my lips together.” Severus raised an eyebrow and gave him a wry smile. “‘It’s not your place, Severus Snape,’ she said to me, ‘to tell me what I do and do not deserve, That’s my decision, and if I think I deserve you, then I bloody well deserve you, so, unless you’ve got some other, more valid reason for wanting to be rid of me, then just put a sock in it - or I will.’ Some variant of that may work for you, though I would suggest a less strident delivery.”

Hagrid had laughed and pulled him into another hug. “Best o’ luck to you, too, Headmaster - which you always will be ta me, yeh know.”

“I’ll be in touch,” he’d answered as they separated, attempting to regain a little dignity.

But Hagrid’s mood had darkened as several attempts to reach Ollivander’s shop by Floo failed, and he’d had to walk to the gates to get past the anti-Apparition wards still in place on the estate. Apparition was his least favorite way to travel. Moving his great bulk had always required extra concentration. And with his truncated wand, it was a wonder he’d not splinched himself half a dozen times by now. Concentration was going to be difficult , as worried as he was, but he had to believe that what Garrick had told him last night was true. Surely he would not hurt himself, but the lack of a response troubled Hagrid greatly. So he reluctantly pulled his pink umbrella from his pocket once he’d cleared the gate, pulled the mental picture of the little courtyard behind the wand shop into the front of his memory and turned in place, Disapparating with a massive crack.


~~00~~


Last night after he’d got home, Garrick had to stop himself from going to his supply of Alihotsy gin and getting well and truly plastered. Merlin, he really was an idiot. He knew that getting drunk would solve nothing, but it might take his mind off of the fact that he was going to have to find something to do with himself that didn’t involve anything but the most mundane of magic, that he was still going to have to liquidate the shop, and that he’d just told his best chance of something other than endless lonely nights to get over him and go and find somebody else. He truly was his own worst enemy. Instead, he did the next best thing. He’d had one more dose of the antidepressant Dreamless Sleep potion the Healer had given him. He’d decided to take it and sleep as long as it would allow him to. When he had rested and added to his meager store of magical energy, he would be able to think more clearly, he’d been sure. But right then, all he had wanted to do was to erase for a time his mourning over what he had lost, and what he could never allow himself to have.

He’d slept the sleep of the dead for 14 hours, but somehow he still felt as wretched when he awoke as when he’d lain down, though it did take him a few moments as he stirred to remember why. He supposed that was something. The small satchel of belongings he’d brought back from Hagrid’s remained unpacked as he stumbled groggily into the loo, did his business, and pulled on yesterday’s robes, avoiding glancing at himself in the mirror. He’d been intelligent enough in his many years to have installed an ordinary, non-magical mirror, so at least he didn’t have to endure any snide remarks or syrupy sympathy as he took his grotty self back out into the small kitchen of his flat and made tea for one. There was nothing fit to eat in his cupboards, and no obliging house-elves popping in to deliver fresh scones, so he’d have to wander down to the shops eventually. Oh well. Time to face his workroom.

He’d not done his usual neat job of cleaning up after himself after the disappointment of being unable to complete Hagrid’s wand, and his bench was an untidy explosion of wood shavings, tools, downy barbs and tiny quill bits. He’d lost himself for a time in the simple joy of craftsmanship, in the silken feel of wood beneath his hands coming to life as he shaped it, in the happiness of creating a thing of beauty for someone he cared for as he fashioned something he knew would delight its recipient, which made being unable to fuse the core a bitter pill indeed. What good was a wand only half made? And what good was a wandmaker who could not do the one thing it took a master magical craftsman to do? The irony that he’d taken his own wand for granted as the crucial tool needed to do the job he’d been born to do, was not lost on him. It depressed him utterly to think of someone else finishing what he could not, of Marcel Beauchene’s or Luigi Sapiento’s magical energy infusing the wand he had made for someone so dear to him.

In fact, as he looked around his workroom at the woods and at the materials waiting to be made into wand cores, things which had been collected by him, by his father, his grandmother, his great-grandfather, the idea of anyone else taking these things in hand was unthinkable. He felt the weight of all his ancestry radiating their disdain and disapproval from whatever perch in the afterlife they occupied, and he felt paralysed by shame. He sank to the floor of his workroom, where Hagrid found him an hour later.

He should have realized that Hagrid wouldn’t take his advice, would attempt to do to something to fix what was broken - it was one of the things about him that Garrick found so admirable. It was, nevertheless, something of a surprise to hear him beating on his door and calling for him.

“Garrick! Garrick, if yehr in there, please open th’ door! I have something for yeh.”

He debated with himself for about 5 seconds about whether or not to answer, but he didn’t want to worry Hagrid any further.

“Come in, Hagrid,” he said wearily. He listened to the gamekeeper fiddle with the knob - that door always seemed to stick no matter what he did to it - and felt the floor shake as the large man strode over to where he sat amidst the dusty chips of burr oak. When Hagrid took a seat beside him, he felt like child sitting next to a much larger parent, an impression that deepened when Hagrid began talking to him the way his mother once did while trying to coax him to eat his vegetables. It was irritating, and he found himself snapping at Hagrid to stop talking to him as if were one of his frightened first-years and get to the point. He instantly regretted it in the wake of the hurt silence which followed.

“I am sorry, Hagrid, forgive me. None of this is your fault and I shouldn’t be taking it out on you.” He looked up into that unexpectedly appealing face, hating the troubled expression that resided there on his behalf, and laid a hand on the substantial knee beside his own. “What was it that you wanted, my dear friend?” Hagrid looked down to where his hand rested, swallowed and then reached into one of his many coat pockets.

“To give yeh this.”

As he laid the roll of linen in his lap, the familiar sound of wood jostling against wood reached his ears. He undid the wrapping quickly and half a dozen wands lay against the snowy fabric, including his own beautiful golden olivewood, with its irregular dark grain. His throat closed in a combination of joy and panic.

“Where did you find these?” he finally rasped out when he could speak.

“At Malfoy Manor. Severus Snape took me there jus’ a wee bit ago, where Draco Malfoy said they’d been kept in a locked box in the place where You-Know-Who’d been stayin’ there. Said yeh migh’ be able ta identify ‘em and see them back to their true owners.”

He began to shake as images flooded his head of others who’d passed through the dungeons during his time there, some more briefly than others, some who vanished and never came back. The comforting weight of Hagrid’s arm went around his shoulders as he picked up the rosewood wand with the Horntail heartstring.

“Emmaline Vance,” he said. He laid the black laurel and heartstring from a Swedish Short-snout next to it. “Amelia Bones. These should be given back to their families or buried with them.”

“I’ll make sure they ge’ back ta them.”

“I did not make this one,” Garrick said as he touched a stout wand, longer than most. “Siberian spruce and . . . ,” it took him a moment to identify its core, “a single, twisted Alkonost hair. I have a feeling that this once belonged to Igor Karkaroff. If the Dark Lord had it, and he wasn’t found imprisoned anywhere, I would presume that he is also dead.”

“Meybe we should send it ta Durmstrang,” Hagrid mused. “Or Olympe migh’ know if he had family. She knew ‘im better’n I did.”

The next was a satiny butternut wood, with a core of unicorn hair. This one was very familiar, make by his grandmother, and his heart cracked to see it there. “Florian,” he whispered, and ran his finger over a wand that had spent its whole lifetime creating joy for others as well as for its owner. “This needs to go to Anton. He went to Italy after his father was taken. I do not know whether he will ever return.”

There was only one other besides his own and he knew to whom it belonged, but he did not know her fate. Charity Burbage’s slender elm wand with the Abraxan feather core lay beside his on the linen. He picked it up and handed it to Hagrid.

“Charity Burbage disappeared from the dungeons one day last summer and never returned. I do not know if she survived.”

“She’s dead,” Hagrid said, his voice rough with sorrow. “Minerva will know where to send it.” Then the arm around his shoulders tightened and Hagrid’s voice dropped to a whisper. “There’s one left,” he said. “Is it yours?”

Garrick nodded, unable to bring himself to pick it up for fear of what he might not feel when he did.

“Before yeh try it out, there’s a couple o’ things I wan’ ta say, Garrick.” Hagrid laid Charity’s wand down beside him and gently tilted Garrick’s face up to look at him. Hagrid’s warm eyes hid nothing as the gamekeeper’s fingers traced over his stubbled jaw with tender patience. “I’ve come to care a grea’ deal for yeh, Garrick, and I don’ care whether yeh think yer ‘worthy’ o’ me or not. We’ve both been alone fer a long time and sometimes tha’ tends ta skew yer thinkin’, and yeh start feelin’ like meybe yeh deserve it. But we’ve go’ the beginnin’s of somethin’ precious here, an’ I don’ intend ta waste it. If you don’ mind a big ol’ lump like me, then I’m certainly willin’ ta put up wi’ a - what didya call yerself? - ah, yeah, ‘a broken-down ol’ wizard’ who’s done a lo’ more fer me than just putter around my place.”

Garrick’s heart contracted painfully, and he couldn’t help glancing down at the wand in his lap. “But what if I can’t - .”

“It don’ matter ta me. I’ve still got me umbrella, and that will get us both through, even if it’s no’ perfect. Seein’ as how I’m no’ perfect myself, it’s a bit much ta ask of anythin’ or anyone else. Will yeh please give it, give me a try?”

The power of speech deserted him again as the heat from Hagrid’s hand seemed to diffuse through his whole body and Hagrid bent his head. Their lips met, and there was the taste of sage tea and sunshine and a liquid warmth that felt so right. They broke apart gently, and he laid his head down on Hagrid’s solid chest, just enjoying the feeling of holding another and being held in return for a moment. Hagrid tightened his arms for a moment and then let go.

“There’s one other thing. I know yeh’ve been stewin’ about the things tha’ happened while yeh were in the Malfoy’s dungeons. Well, Severus, he says he understan’s wha’ yer feelin’ and I reckon he does. He though’ of somethin’ yeh might do to help make thin’s righ’ if tha’ wand does work for yeh.”

“And what might that be?” He knew now that Snape had been working for Dumbledore all along, but he couldn’t help feel wary of what things the man might think would ‘help make things right’.

“Yeh know tha’ Luna’s Dad was released from Azkaban not long ago? Well, it weren’ just ‘blood traitors’ got locked up in there. You were already a prisoner yerself when the Ministry started collaboratin’ wi’ You-Know-Who and Delores Umbridge set up this travesty called ‘The Muggle-born Registration Commission’. They said it was fer their protection, bu’ really it was fer strippin’ Muggle-borns of their wands by pretendin’ that they weren’ really magical an’ din’t deserve ta have ‘em. A lot o’ them ended up in Azkaban when they resisted, and some got tossed in there even when they din’t. Those folks lost everythin’ - family, friends, their houses, their jobs, in addition ta their wands, which were taken and broken in fron’ of them. Well, tha Ministry’s in new hands, as yeh know, and those folks are now being let out o’ that hellhole. But without their wands, they can’t make a new start. Why don’t yeh let it be known that they can come in an’ choose a wand from those yeh have on hand fer free, and tha’ if they can’t find one tha’ fits, you’ll make ‘em one. If yeh send a message on ta Kingsley Shacklebolt, he’ll make sure tha’ it gets to those who need it. This way, yeh’ll be usin’ yer gift ta undo the damage tha’ monster did, an’ seein’ that Muggle-born witches and wizards can take their places where they belong. Wha’ do yeh think?”

Garrick was stunned - it was perfect. It wouldn’t entirely make up for all he felt responsible for, but it would allow him to use the very reason the Dark Lord had kept him alive to thwart his designs and to restore what had been wrongfully taken. He would do this, and proudly if -, if his wand hadn’t yet deserted him.

Slowly, he reached down and grasped the wand he had made for himself from the same tree as had every Ollivander’s wand who had ever become a Maker. The feeling was instantaneous and electrifying, almost the same way it had felt the day he’d fused the core of Sphinx hair to the heart of the wood and brought it life. Tears streamed down his face as his wand welcomed his touch as he’d dreamed and hoped it would.

“Hagrid,” he gasped, “Hagrid, did you bring it?”

“I did.”

With trembling hands, he took the box from him and opened it and bade Hagrid to take the contents up. It was a rare and special wand that got to have its core fused while in the hands of the wizard who would wield it, and he would do it for this wonderful man, the author of every modicum of peace and happiness that had come into his life.

He closed his eyes and began the incantation, then touched the tip of his wand to Hagrid’s. He could feel the pulse of magical energy between them, strong and deeply intimate, as the synergy between wood, Gryphon down and wizard began, making them greater as a whole than they could ever be apart. Hagrid’s hair was standing practically on end, which was a sight to see, and the joy he felt bubbling over became part of the stream, strengthening and brightening the fusion.

It was over far too soon, and when it finished, Hagrid sat there looking stunned.

“Blimey! Tha’ was -, wow.”

He couldn’t help grinning at him. He was feeling pretty good himself.

“Does tha’ happen every time you do this?”

“Don’t know. This is the first time I’ve ever fused a core with the wand’s intended holding it.”

Suddenly Hagrid’s eyes narrowed. “Well, I’m not certain, if you’re wi’ me, tha’ I want you doin’ tha’ wi’ anyone else.”

The possessive look on his face made Garrick start laughing, and Hagrid chuckled back. When he stopped, he waved his hand at the still gobsmacked gamekeeper.

“Go on, then - try it out!”

Hagrid swished it a few times experimentally, then pointed it at him. “Accio, Garrick Ollivander.” And he was pulled so fast and hard toward the bigger man that he actually knocked him backward, and Hagrid hit his head on the floor with a painful-sounding thud.

“Are you all right?” he asked, reaching down from where he lay on top of Hagrid’s chest to touch his face.

“Fine,” he answered, fine. It’s jus’ my head, which is plenty hard, after all.”

“You aren’t supposed to use Summoning spells on people, you know.”

“Yeah, I knew. Don’ care, though.” And Garrick found himself wrapped again in Hagrid’s arms, getting lost in his kisses, a place he intended to remain for a very, very long time.






(Click here to return to the main IJ entry - or here to return to LJ - and leave feedback for the author!)

May 2014

S M T W T F S
    12 3
45 678 9 10
1112 1314 151617
18 192021222324
25262728293031

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 21st, 2017 02:34 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios