Title: The Wand of Elder
Revision: 1.3, 4/15/2017
Summary: Harry changes his mind about returning the Elder Wand to Dumbledore’s tomb.
Category: After Book Seven (before Epilog)
Length: 28 pages
Harry was standing next to the outer wall in the garden of the Burrow with Ron, Hermione and Ginny. It was late summer. He had asked them to join him outside after dinner. They eyed each other when Harry took out his wand, pointed it at the door to the house and said, “Muffliato.”
Ron and Hermione had just returned from Australia. Ginny and Hermione were getting ready to return to Hogwarts for their seventh year of study. They would be classmates this time. They had already gotten their school books at Flourish and Blotts. Ron was partnering with George at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Harry was about to start Auror training.
“Of course,” said Hermione. “You traded it for Voldemort’s wand...”
“Which you destroyed…” interjected Ron.
“…Yes, Ron...” continued Hermione patiently, “…as Draco’s condition for the trade. It was confirmation that Draco had changed and the reason we all testified in his defense at his trial,” she concluded.
“I would have testified anyway,” said Harry. “Malfoy Manor was enough for me.”
“I wouldn’t have, if you hadn’t,” said Ron matter-of-factly. “There was too much history for me, especially the way he’s always treated Hermione. But if you could put it behind you -- and you had way more history with him than me, mate -- then I had to do the same.”
Hermione smiled as she stepped closer to Ron and squeezed his arm.
“So why are you bringing this up, Harry?” asked Ginny.
Harry looked at her. She was even better than Hermione at penetrating Harry’s thoughts.
“There’s something I didn’t tell you,” said Harry. He had a guilty look on his face.
Ginny, Ron and Hermione didn’t say anything. They just looked at him and waited for him to continue.
Harry took a deep breath and said, “I told Draco I had destroyed the Elder Wand.”
“Oh… I see,” said Hermione as she nodded her head.
“What’s there to see?” asked Ron. “Harry was just throwing off Draco. There was no need to tell him the real plan.”
“That’s true, Ron, but what I think Harry means is that …he thought Draco made the right decision …about destroying Voldemort’s wand. …So he told Draco …that he had destroyed the Elder Wand too …for the same reason,” said Hermione, rather slowly, as she usually did when she thought Ron might not understand what she was saying.
Even so, Ron gawked at her, and said, “Come again?”
Hermione looked a little exasperated. “Ron, remember what Harry told us? He gave the same testimony at Draco’s trail. Draco didn’t want Voldemort’s wand to become a symbol that Dark wizards might seek out for power or to rally around.”
Harry nodded and said, “Exactly. That’s why I think the Elder Wand needs to be destroyed.”
Ron looked shocked.
“Ron, talk about having a history,” said Harry shaking his head. “The Elder Wand has more history than I could hope to overcome by thinking I could die without ever being defeated. That may have worked for Dumbledore, but it would never work for me.”
“But if you don’t carry it and it remains in Dumbledore’s grave…” said Hermione.
Ginny interrupted, “Hermione, it’s not like before the Battle of Hogwarts. That plan won’t work anymore. Now everyone knows what the Elder Wand is and who its master is. Harry taunted Voldemort about it in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. It’s only a matter of time before some witch or wizard comes after it. Harry’s life is in danger because of it.” Ginny trembled as she said it and looked scared. She edged closer to Harry and took hold of his hand.
“Of course, you’re right,” said Hermione looking alarmed. “I’m sorry, Ginny.”
Hermione looked at Harry and said, “So you didn’t put it back in Dumbledore’s grave like you told us, did you?”
Harry shook his head and said, “No. I changed my mind soon after meeting with Draco. I told you I returned it to Dumbledore’s grave it because that was the original plan. I needed time to think. But then things got busy, with the reconstruction, the trials, you and Ron going off to Australia -- and the fact that I am a fully qualified procrastinator -- so here we are.”
They all laughed, clearly grateful for a change in tone.
Then Ron asked casually, “So we’re going to destroy it now?”
Ron looked at Harry as if he expected him to pull the Elder Wand from his robe pocket.
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ron, that wouldn’t help protect Harry. The Elder Wand needs to be destroyed publicly, officially -- before the Wizengamot and Daily Prophet reporters -- so everyone will know. …So there would be no reason for anyone to come after Harry to try and get it.”
“Right,” said Ron, “I get it. So when are you going to schedule it, Harry?”
They all looked at him.
“There’s just one problem,” said Harry. “The Elder Wand is missing.”
Before any of them could say anything, Harry held his hands up and said, “Before you start asking questions, let me explain what happened.”
Ginny and Hermione nodded, still looking shocked. Ron said, “OK,” but looked grim rather than shocked. His brow was heavily furrowed. Ron was the one who thought the unbeatable wand was the most important of the Deathly Hallows.
Harry continued. “When I decided not to put the wand back in Dumbledore’s tomb, I also decided I shouldn’t carry it -- based on what Draco had said. So I hid it. There seemed to be only one logical place, the…”
“…Room of Requirement,” Ginny finished.
“Right,” said Harry. Sometimes it seemed like she could read his mind. “But…”
“The Room where everything was hidden was destroyed by Crabbe’s Fiendfyre,” interjected Hermione, sounding puzzled.
“Right,” said Harry again. “But I was curious to see what had happened. The room is actually still there. However, it is now about the size of a small broom closet. I could barely fit inside. The Fiendfyre obviously had utterly destroyed everything that had been in there before. The new Room to hide things was completely empty except for a small shelf on the wall where I could place the Elder Wand -- if I had decided to leave it there.”
“So where did you, since you said you hid it in the Room?” asked Ron.
“I used the Room where we trained Dumbledore’s Army. I placed it on top of the highest bookcase, where you couldn’t see it unless you were looking for it. When I went back to get it today, it was gone.”
“Well,” said Hermione, who had obviously been thinking about the problem since Harry had disclosed that the wand was missing, “that’s a relief. There are only about twenty people we need to talk to. It could have been much worse, even potentially impossible, if you had left it in the Room for hiding things.”
Hermione had to explain what she meant to Ron, but Harry wasn’t listening. He was thinking about the members of Dumbledore’s Army they would not be talking to, the ones who had died during the Battle of Hogwarts. He again felt the guilt he knew he could never shake, the loss of so many friends and loved ones he felt responsible for.
Ron’s question brought him back. “Harry, who do you want to question first? I’d go for Marietta Edgecombe. She betrayed us; …and still has the marks of Hermione’s hex across her face after more than two years.” He looked proudly at Hermione, who seemed embarrassed by his praise.
“Uh, I don’t think so,” said Harry. “I didn’t hide the wand until about a week after the Battle. By that time, most of the DA members had gone home with the rest of the students. Only a few of us were still there helping the teachers. As you know, I continued living there until right before my birthday in order to help out with the recovery. Then I accepted Mrs Weasley’s offer to come to the Burrow. When I start Auror training I’m moving into Grimmauld Place. Ginny and I have still been going back to Hogwarts to help out almost every day. As far as I know, the only other DA members who have been back to Hogwarts since the Battle are Luna and Neville. In fact, they have spent more time there than either Ginny or me.”
Ginny picked up where Harry left off. “Luna is still living there. She had a falling out with her father after she learned that he had tried to turn Harry over to Voldemort. That …plus her house being destroyed; she decided to stay at Hogwarts. She’s been like a personal assistant to Professor McGonagall. Neville has been helping Professor Sprout get the greenhouses repaired and back in order for the start of next school year. Since he doesn’t Apparate very well, he remained there too. He told me he’s going to repeat seventh year.”
“Then it looks like we start by talking to Luna and Neville,” Hermione concluded, and then added, “But we also need to find out for sure if any of the other DA members have visited Hogwarts since you hid the wand.”
“I’ll do that,” volunteered Ron. But then he looked at Hermione and added, “If you’ll help me.”
“Of course,” said Hermione, knowing she’d be doing most of the work. “We can start by using the DA messaging Galleons to have the DA members contact us. We’ll send Owl Post to those who don’t. We’ll arrange to talk with all of them.”
“Make sure you don’t let on that the Elder Wand is missing,” said Harry. “Just find out if they have been back to Hogwarts. Ginny and I will ask the teachers if they remember any of the DA members visiting Hogwarts. We’ll compare the results and then focus on anyone who appears to be hiding the truth.”
Ginny added, “Harry and I will talk to Luna and Neville. We’ll go to Hogwarts tomorrow morning as usual. It will probably be easier for you two to work from the Burrow.”
“I agree,” said Hermione nodding. “It will be easier to arrange to meet most people in Diagon Alley than Hogwarts.”
Since she and Ron had returned from Australia without her parents, Mr and Mrs Weasley had insisted Hermione stay at the Burrow until she finished school, got a job and found her own place.
“Let’s meet back here before dinner tomorrow,” said Harry.
Ron and Hermione said, “OK.”
The agreement seemed to signal the end of the meeting. Ron and Hermione walked back to the house.
Ginny remained with Harry in the garden. Harry and Ginny usually spent time in the garden after dinner. He ate dinner with them every day and breakfast more often than not. Sometimes he and Ginny went for a walk toward Ottery St. Catchpole. It was their only real time to be alone. Harry looked forward to it every day. Tonight they didn’t go sit by the garden pond as usual. Ginny just stood and hugged him with her head on his shoulder.
“Are you worried, Harry?” she asked without raising her head.
“I suppose I should be,” he answered evenly. “If we don’t get it back, I’ll have failed Dumbledore again,” he said glumly. But then his voice became anxious as he said, “It’s just that it doesn’t make sense. I couldn’t believe it when it wasn’t there. I thought it might have rolled behind the bookcase. It wasn’t there either. I checked every bookcase lining the walls. I took the place apart looking for it.” Harry took a deep breath and sighed.
“Do you think I took it?” asked Ginny.
“What? No! …Of course not,” said Harry sounding genuinely surprised by the question.
He pulled slightly away from her and she raised her head to look at him.
“I’m a DA member and I’ve been at Hogwarts almost every day since the Battle,” she said very frankly.
“But I trust you completely,” said Harry.
“Harry, you’re going to become an Auror. Mad Eye wouldn’t be happy with you if you let feelings get in the way of doing your job. You can’t assume anything,” she said quite seriously.
“Fine,” said Harry sounding slightly irritated. “Did you take the wand?”
“No. I want you to find it and destroy it. I know you believe me. But if this teaches you anything, it’s that you need to learn Legilimency …and become a master of it,” she answered firmly.
“You sound like Hermione,” said Harry sounding even more irritated. He didn’t like being lectured after making a mistake, especially by his friends, and, he realized, the love of his life.
“You need to ask Ron and Hermione too,” said Ginny, ignoring Harry’s irritation.
“No way,” said Harry, now sounding exasperated.
“I’ve heard Ron talk about the Elder Wand, Harry. For him to have it would be a dream come true. He might have been tempted,” she said unwaveringly.
“He was in Australia with Hermione. They just got back four days ago and haven’t been to Hogwarts,” he said, his voice getting louder.
“But they were at Hogwarts with us before they left. They had the opportunity,” she replied calmly. She had an answer for every one of his protestations.
“I’m not going to talk about this anymore,” Harry said emphatically. His voice was even louder. Without the Muffliato Charm, they would have clearly heard him inside the house.
“Fine. Then I’m going to ask them,” Ginny said insistently.
Harry was about to say, “No you’re not,” when she kissed him. He was surprised and made to pull away when Ginny reached up and held his head and continued kissing him.
Mrs Weasley smiled as she watched Harry and Ginny kissing from the kitchen window while cleaning up after dinner.
Ron looked sullen. Ginny wasn’t at the breakfast table. Mr Weasley had already left for work. Hermione was fixing breakfast because Mrs Weasley wasn’t feeling well and Hermione had insisted she go back to bed.
Harry sat down and helped himself to a piece of toast. “Nothing for me, Hermione. I’ll just have the toast.”
Hermione smiled and handed Ron a plate of eggs and sausages. Ron picked up his fork and savagely speared a sausage, sending the rest onto the table.
Harry looked at Ron, but his eyes were fixed on the plate. Harry looked at Hermione instead.
“Ah…,” said Hermione as she was about to sit down carrying her bowl of granola. “Ginny had a little talk with us before breakfast. Ron was… concerned, but I’m sure he realizes it was necessary. He’ll be fine.”
Ron bit off half of the sausage from the fork and proceeded to chew slowly, still keeping his eyes on his plate. The other sausages remained on the table.
Just then Ginny entered the kitchen looking fresh and smiling broadly. “Morning, Harry,” she said cheerfully. “Ready to go? I ate breakfast with Dad.” She moved to stand by the door to the garden.
“Uh, sure,” said Harry, getting up, still holding his toast. He followed Ginny to the door, which she had already opened and was exiting.
Harry turned to Hermione and said, “See you tonight then,” and he followed Ginny out the door.
Ron was still chewing and looking at his plate.
“Ugh, right,” said Harry.
He turned on the spot and they Disapparated, just as they had done almost every morning for the last month. Moments later, they Apparated just outside the gates of Hogwarts. They stood in the shadows of the statues of the great winged boars on top of the columns on each side.
Ginny let go of Harry’s arm and took him by the hand and they walked through the open gates.
“It’s still breakfast time. We might catch them in the Great Hall,” said Harry.
“Let’s talk to Luna first,” suggested Ginny. “We know where we we’ll be able to find Neville later.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” said Harry.
It was a beautiful late summer morning.
As they walked up to the castle, they could see that Hogwarts had been almost completely restored. Almost all traces of the Battle had been eliminated. But there was a new feature, a memorial with all the names of those who died defending her. It stood solemnly the courtyard of the entry hall. It was to be formally dedicated by the Headmistress and the Minister of Magic after the start of term feast. Harry found it difficult to look at as he passed by.
Harry also thought about the other new feature. There was now also a memorial cemetery. It had been centered on Dumbledore’s tomb. Those who had died defending Hogwarts, whose next of kin had requested it, were buried on the grounds. Well more than half of the fallen remained here. There had been no objection from either the Ministry of Magic or the Board of Governors.
Harry and Ginny found both Luna and Neville at breakfast, which was nearly over. They were sitting at the student tables with the remaining workmen and volunteers who were now focused on final preparations for the start of the new school year.
Harry and Ginny had recently been helping to finish restoration of the Quidditch patch and stands, which had been completely destroyed. They normally went straight there, so Luna and Neville were pleased to see them at breakfast. Harry waved at Professors Flitwick and Sinistra, who were the only teachers still present at the head table.
Ginny and Harry engaged in small talk with Luna and Neville. Everything was fine, and both were excited about the approaching school year. The plates on the table vanished and the remaining people in the hall began to leave.
Harry said, “Luna, do you have a few minutes? Ginny and I would like to discuss something with you.”
“Why, yes,” said Luna pleasantly. “Professor McGonagall won’t need me for at least another hour. I usually go help Neville in the green houses in the meantime.”
Ginny said, “Neville, do you mind if we take Luna from you today?”
“Not at all,” said Neville. “I’ll see you all later then, at lunch.” He got up and left. His whole demeanor had changed. He was now confident and engaging. The many scars on his face were badges of honor and bravery.
“Why don’t we go and find a private place to talk?” suggested Ginny as they got up.
“That would be nice,” said Luna. “Why don’t we go to the Room of Requirement?”
Luna began humming a popular song of the Weird Sisters. She rocked her head slowly from side to side in time with the rhythm as she led them out of the Great Hall and up the large marble staircase in the Entry Hall. They reached the seventh floor without having any conversation. Luna was completely preoccupied with her song. Harry and Ginny couldn’t help but keep glancing at each other, wondering at the mysteries inside Luna’s head.
Luna halted before the stretch of blank wall they all recognized. She closed her eyes and then walked back and forth in front of the wall three times. A highly polished door with a brass handle appeared, just as it had done three years before.
Luna pulled open the door and walked in. Harry and Ginny followed her in and the door closed.
Harry was preparing to apologize to Luna for the state of the room, which he had completely ravaged the previous day looking for the wand, when he stopped short. The room was pristine; everything was in its proper place. He looked at Ginny, who looked at him questioningly. All Harry could do was to shake his head and shrug, indicating as best he could that he had no clue what happened -- because the room was very different than either he or Ginny had ever seen it.
“Oh, I love this place,” said Luna.
There were now many pots with beautiful flowers positioned all around the room. The floor cushions were now much more colorful than Harry had ever seen them. The columns and sections of wall not covered by bookcases had murals of pastoral scenes. But most striking were the bookcases, which were now painted in bright primary colors.
This was clearly Luna’s version of the DA training room. She had just opened it, not Harry. Harry imagined if he had opened the room, he would have found the jumble of fallen bookcases he had left yesterday -- he had certainly expected it to be that way.
“Do you come here often, Luna?” asked Ginny.
“Oh, yes,” said Luna happily, turning to look at them for the first time since they left the Great Hall. “I sleep here quite often, you see. After my fallout with daddy, I was very sad. I came here because of the memories of being with friends.”
“I see you’ve made some nice changes,” said Ginny.
“Thank you,” said Luna appreciatively. “It was so plain before. It needed to be brightened up a bit… and cleaned too. I cleaned it myself, but I asked the Room to redo the decorating, except for the murals. I did those too,” she said proudly.
“Very nice,” said Ginny. “Did you say you did the cleaning yourself?”
“Oh, yes,” replied Luna serenely. “I love to clean. You can let your mind wander. Sometimes it’s even more relaxing than painting.”
Harry knew Ginny was doing a good job and getting close to asking the key question, but she was taking so long, he could hardly stand it. But he couldn’t signal her with Luna facing them. So he pretended to become interested in a mural on a nearby column and, as casually as he could, walked over to it out of Luna’s gaze. He then walked a little more to her rear and motioned at Ginny to speed up. She just smiled and ignored him.
“I bet you did a lot of dusting,” said Ginny.
Harry rolled his eyes.
“Oh, yes. Dusting is probably the most relaxing cleaning activity there is. It’s really just a gentle caressing movement, isn’t it?” she asked dreamily. She even closed her eyes briefly and swayed back and forth as if imagining doing it.
“Did you even dust high up on top of the bookcases?” asked Ginny. She could not hide a slight tinge of excitement in her voice at this question.
Harry had raised his fists and was nodding his head vigorously.
Luna must have sensed the bit of excitement in Ginny’s voice because she didn’t answer the question. Instead, she asked. “Do you like dusting too? Would you like to do some dusting with me now?”
Harry’s jaw dropped and his arms fell. He couldn’t stand it any longer. From behind her he said as calmly as he could, “Luna, did you find anything when you were dusting the top of the bookcases?”
“What?” she asked as she turned to look at Harry.
“Did you find anything when you were dusting the top of the bookcases?” he repeated.
Luna looked at him as if he had asked her whether she had seen a purple cow. Then she blinked a few times as if trying to recall something she hadn’t considered very important, and finally said, “As a matter of fact, …I did.”
Harry and Ginny waited …and waited. Harry was about to explode, when Ginny asked, “What did you find, Luna?”
“A wand,” she replied simply. “I just couldn’t think who might have left their wand in here. It really surprised me to find it. I wasn’t…”
“What did you do with it?” asked Harry quickly, interrupting her. His heart was racing. Ginny looked as intense as he felt.
“Has all this been about the wand?” asked Luna, looking mildly amused. “Why didn’t you just ask me in the Great Hall if I had found a wand? Is it yours, Harry?”
Ginny had walked around to join Harry. They moved close to Luna.
“Didn’t you recognize it?” asked Harry trying not to sound exasperated.
“Noo…, not really,” said Luna thoughtfully. “It was a little familiar, but I really didn’t pay it much attention …I was dusting.”
“It was Dumbledore’s wand, the wand Voldemort stole from Dumbledore’s tomb, the wand I won from Voldemort in the Great Hall,” said Harry trying very hard to suppress his growing frustration.
“Really? …What was it doing in here?” asked Luna nonplussed.
Ginny cut across Harry to prevent him from exploding. “That’s not important now, Luna. What did you do with it? We need to know.”
“Oh… Well, I gave it to Mr Ollivander, of course,” said Luna as if it were obvious.
“Ollivander?” said Harry. “Why?”
“Didn’t you know? The Ministry of Magic hired him to help analyze all the wands found on the grounds of Hogwarts after the Battle. Professor McGonagall told me while I was assisting her. She told me to deliver any found wands to him. So I did,” Luna said matter-of-factly.
Then she added sweetly, “I like Mr Ollivander. He was very kind to me at Malfoy Manor.”
“When did you give the wand to Ollivander?” asked Ginny.
Luna again thought for some time before answering, “Oh, months ago …before the end of term for sure …maybe even in May.”
Harry and Ginny looked grimly at each other.
Luna noticed. She spoke to Ginny. “Does this mean you don’t want to dust?”
They had profusely thanked Luna -- actually, it had been Ginny -- excused themselves, and were on their way out of the castle grounds.
Harry wanted to go immediately to Diagon Alley and confront Ollivander. Ginny thought she knew what Harry was thinking and she wanted time to let him calm down.
Finally, Harry said, through gritted teeth, “OK. We’ll go to the Burrow first. But I’m still going to kill Ollivander.”
As they passed thought the Hogwarts entry gate, Harry grabbed Ginny’s arm, perhaps a little too tightly, and Disapparated.
Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione were standing where they had been the previous evening. It wasn’t yet lunchtime. Ron and Hermione had been surprised by their rapid return. They had not even sent out the message yet using the DA Galleons -- waiting for what Hermione had deemed a ‘respectable’ hour.
“Well,” said Hermione thoughtfully, “she’s been through a lot lately…”
“And we haven’t?” retorted Ron.
“I’m not saying that,” said Hermione calmly. “It’s just that she found out her father did something…”
“He betrayed Harry… and us,” interrupted Ron.
“Well, yes,” agreed Hermione. “But her father had meant everything to her; so it was a bit of a shock for Luna.”
Harry remembered how he had felt when he discovered that his father had been -- as Snape had always said -- arrogant and… worse.
“I still don’t believe it,” said Ron, folding his arms in defiance.
Ginny snorted. “Are you saying you think Luna’s got the Elder Wand and is sending us on a wild goose chase after Ollivander? That doesn’t make any sense. If you had been there, you would have seen she was being completely honest -- as always.”
Ron was about to respond, when Harry cut across him. “This isn’t important. We need to go see Ollivandernow.”
“Wait, Harry,” said Hermione. “We shouldn’t go rushing in without a plan. Assuming he’s in his shop, what are you going to say? What if he denies having it? What if he runs or Disapparates? What if he calls for help? What if he fights?”
“OK. OK,” said Harry, letting out his breath in frustration. He paused for a moment and then said, “Ron and I will go into the shop. Ron will be under the Invisibility Cloak and move to the best position to cover me. He’ll have his wand out ready to stun Ollivander if he makes a move. I’ll keep my wand in my pocket unless there’s a fight. Hermione and Ginny, you stay outside the shop, out of sight, and cover the door. If you hear a fight start, you can come to the rescue. …How’s that?” he asked sharply.
“Fine. But what are you going to say to Ollivander?” prompted Hermione.
“Give me my wand back, you thief!” Harry responded hotly.
Ron growled, “Yea,” in agreement.
Ginny just shook her head with a can-you-believe-it look at Hermione.
“Oh, Harry,” sighed Hermione, “You know you can’t say that. You should say, ‘Luna told me she gave you a wand she found at Hogwarts. I think it may be a wand of mine that I misplaced. Do you still have it?’”
“I’m not going to say that,” said Harry firmly.
Ginny broke in, “Harry, Hermione’s right. You can’t accuse him of stealing it, because he didn’t. Luna gave it to him.”
Harry shook his head, “You can’t tell me he didn’t know what that wand was the minute she handed it to him.”
“Well, I’m sure he recognized it as Dumbledore’s wand,” said Ginny calmly, “but are you sure he knew it was the Elder Wand? He wasn’t at the Battle of Hogwarts. He was still recovering at Auntie Muriel’s.”
“This was at least a couple of weeks later, according to Luna. He had to have found out by then. Even if he had only recognized it as Dumbledore’s wand, he should have returned it to me …or at least to McGonagall,” said Harry as if he had just won the argument.
“Maybe he did,” said Ginny. “Maybe McGonagall put it back in Dumbledore’s tomb and has just forgotten to mention it to you.”
This gave Harry pause. He had to think about that possibility. McGonagall was extremely busy. She must still have a great deal on her mind, getting the castle ready for school again.
Then Ron said, “Hey, maybe McGonagall kept it for herself.”
This brought Harry back to his senses.
“I’d never believe that,” stated Harry. He looked at Hermione and Ginny. “You’re both right. I’ll ask Ollivander what he knows.”
Then he said, “I’ve got to go to go get my Invisibility Cloak.”
As soon as he returned, they went outside and Disapparated together with a loud pop.
He went in followed closely by Ron under the Invisibility Cloak. Harry heard the single spindly chair, used by waiting customers, scrape slightly against the floor. Ron must have brushed against it while moving into position.
It was a repeat of seven years before.
Harry waited, gazing at the stacks and stacks of wand boxes piled all the way to the ceiling. And then suddenly, Mr Ollivander appeared out of nowhere, standing right in front of him, not behind the counter, with his hands held behind his back.
Harry jumped slightly, but Mr Ollivander was already speaking.
“Good morning, Mr Potter. I’ve been expecting you …though rather much sooner than today,” he said rather cheerfully. “I presume Luna has sent you to collect your wand.”
As he said it, Mr Ollivander made a dramatic sweeping motion with his arm, bringing one hand up in front of his face. He was holding the Elder Wand straight in the air by the very end of the handle, holding it between his thumb and forefinger, as if displaying it to an audience.
Harry had clearly not been expecting this. He looked completely surprised, but he did manage to say, “Uh, yes.”
Ollivander smiled and nodded. “Take it, Mr Potter, please. And tell your friends to come in.”
Harry reached up and took the Elder Wand from Mr Ollivander. He felt a surge of warmth -- and power -- in his hand and up his forearm the moment he held it. It was a very great thrill having it back -- even greater than when his own wand had been repaired by this one. Could he really bear to part with this wand again?
“Oh, and your invisible friend can reveal him or herself now too,” Ollivander quipped happily, explaining, “I saw the chair move after you came in.”
Ron pulled off the cloak with a slight groan and said, “I’ll go get them.” He turned and left the shop.
“A cloak then… very nice,” observed Ollivander. He then took out his own wand, waved it, and conjured four more of the spindly chairs which arranged themselves in a wide circle around the two of them.
They continued to stand facing each other without speaking further. Apparently neither wanted to speak without everyone present. Mr Ollivander was still smiling. Harry had never seen him smile so much before. It might ordinarily have been awkward to remain like this, standing in front of each other without speaking, but Harry was still reveling in the return of the Elder Wand. Ollivander seemed to be enjoying it too, perhaps like watching a child receiving a birthday present.
After another minute, the bell tinkled and Ron, Hermione, and Ginny entered the shop. Harry imagined that Hermione had demanded an explanation from Ron before coming in. She had also probably developed a contingency plan.
“Good morning,” Ollivander said cheerfully holding his arms wide in welcome. “Please be seated.”
They all sat down. Harry was holding the Elder Wand so they all could see it.
Ollivander waved his wand and the Open-Closed sign in the window reversed itself and the lock on the door clicked shut. He knew they were waiting for him to speak, so he began directly, and without introductions. He already knew them all.
“I had recovered well enough to leave your Aunt Muriel’s,” he nodded toward Ron and Ginny, “about a week after the final battle. Bill Weasley told me all about it… amazing story. From what Bill said and the stories in the Daily Prophet, I concluded that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named -- whom I now understand we are all free to call Voldemort,” he quipped without the slightest indication of unease, “-- had thought Dumbledore’s wand, which he won from Grindelwald in 1945, was the Elder Wand.”
Ron seemed about to speak, but Ollivander held up his hand, and continued. “I said ‘thought’ because I remained quite skeptical. It had been lost for centuries and many have claimed in more recent times, falsely I might add, that they possessed it. I imagined that in due time I would contact you, Mr Potter, and see for myself. For I was busy, you see.”
“The Ministry needed help identifying the wands collected after the battle and in gathering evidence of crimes committed. They contacted all the wandmakers in England, including me. I was just finishing up my work at Hogwarts when Luna -- a truly delightful girl… as unspoiled a free spirit as I have ever encountered --presented me with a wand she said she had found. Well, of course, I recognized it immediately as Dumbledore’s and was surprised that she had not. She didn’t even seem to be affected by it... amazing girl.”
“As soon as I held it, I knew it was the wand of legend. There was no doubt. Any wandmaker would have recognized it immediately. I couldn’t help but wonder why you had let it out of your sight, Mr Potter. I didn’t doubt Luna’s account of finding it in on top of a bookcase in a hidden room of the castle -- she is unquestionably honest. Could someone have stolen it from you? If so, why would they abandon such a prize? I couldn’t guess; so I had to assume I did not have all the information.”
“Though I can honestly say I did consider returning it to you immediately, Mr Potter, the thought lasted but an instant.” Ollivander paused for a moment and then said with an intensity that took them all aback, “I simply had to study this wand.” He paused again and then resumed his narrative.
“I had not searched for it like other wandmakers, but I had spent years researching its legendary properties -- trying myself to make a wand as powerful. I never came close. The two wands I made for you and Voldemort with the tail feathers from Dumbledore’s Phoenix were the closest I ever came. But I only confirmed that when you came along. I thought Voldemort’s power was exclusively his own doing, but I believe that you proved otherwise with your wand,” Ollivander said with a self-satisfied look on his face.
Harry did not agree with this, but he remained silent. Ollivander was giving himself too much credit. The effect of the twin cores had been important but was only relevant when directed against each other. A larger part of his survival had been the fact that Voldemort had unknowingly made him into a Horcruxe. Voldemort had charted a path to his own destruction when he tried to kill Harry as a baby -- acting on his incomplete knowledge of Trelawney’s prophesy.
Ollivander continued. “But now, I had it and could study it. I didn’t know for how long because I knew its master would eventually come looking for it. It has tremendous power; you can feel it. Obviously, it is not invincible; history shows this. The witch or wizard is clearly a critical component of the pairing. Of course, it would never work for me as it would for you, Mr Potter, for I am not its master. And as we all know, the wand chooses the wizard. The story of your indirect mastery of the Elder Wand via Draco Malfoys wand is also amazing. I have read of such accounts but had never directly encountered one myself.”
Ollivander’s eyes seemed to lose focus for a moment and he said, “Fascinating… fascinating…” After a moment, he refocused and said, “Its core is Thestral tail hair …did you know?”
They all shook their heads. Harry was surprised that Hermione didn’t know, but then, she had never really been interested in wands.
“Only a wizard who has seen death could ever hope to successfully wield this wand. …Only a wizard who has conquered death could hope to master it,” Ollivander said dramatically.
Harry thought it was a little too dramatic. But there was clearly something to it… and it bothered him.
“As I said, the wand is extremely powerful, but alas,” Ollivander said with a clearly defeated tone, “I cannot glean any physical difference in it from almost identical wands I have made myself over the course of my lifetime. I have a drawer full of them.” He paused for a moment looking at each of them.
“Therefore, I must conclude the exceptional power of this wand is due to its… experience. …It is extremely old and has been used by an extraordinary number of extraordinary wizards... and, undoubtedly, witches too,” he added, nodding at Ginny and Hermione, “…though the accounts do not mention any. …Over time, a legend began to build up around it which essentially became self-fulfilling… And there you have it.”
Ollivander seemed to have finished speaking and Harry was about to ask him if he knew the Elder Wand was able to repair a broken wand, when Ollivander suddenly resumed speaking in a much louder voice, looking intently at him.
“And that is the problem; isn’t it, Mr Potter? …You need to destroy it so they won’t be coming after you too.”
“The Wizengamot shall come to order.” His deep voice boomed across the courtroom in the basement of the Ministry of Magic.
The courtroom was completely full. Several reporters from the Daily Prophet were in attendance, including Rita Skeeter, who looked put out, as if annoyed by the competition.
In the place where Harry remembered the chair used to shackle the accused before the court, there was now a wooden rostrum and lectern.
Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione were sitting in the visitor gallery with Mr Ollivander. Mr and Mrs Weasley, Bill, Percy and George were with them.
Professor McGonagall was also present, representing Hogwarts. She was seated high up behind Shacklebolt with the members of the Wizengamot. It was rumored she was soon to be elected to the Wizengamot, not as a replacement for Dumbledore, but in her own right. Her leadership and oversight of the rapid Hogwarts reconstruction had earned her wide acclaim. Luna was with her, apparently still acting as her assistant before the school year started, which was only two days hence.
Luna waved pleasantly at her friends, not only Harry and the others, but also Mr Ollivander, who was sitting next to Harry.
Harry thought back to the meeting in Ollivander’s wand shop. Incredibly, it was only yesterday. Harry had used every bit of the shine on his reputation to pull this off. Ollivander’s plan had been identical to Hermione’s. The wand had to be destroyed publicly. They had all gone to see Kingsley Shacklebolt together immediately after their meeting.
Kingsley had insisted on having several witches and wizards from the Department of Mysteries examine the wand. They had agreed with Ollivander’s assessment and asked… no, not asked… they had insisted, more than once, that they be given the wand to study -- indefinitely. Fortunately, thought Harry, Kingsley had refused. Harry wasn’t sure what he would have done if it had gone the other way. Kingsley had then arranged the emergency session of the Wizengamot.
Shacklebolt continued speaking. “I have called this emergency session to provide official recognition of an extraordinary event, perhaps even unprecedented.”
The crowd stirred at hearing these words.
Shacklebolt paused and then stated, “I now ask Mr Harry Potter and Mr Garrick Ollivander to come to the rostrum.”
There were more murmurs in the crowd.
Harry and Ollivander walked down from the visitor gallery and mounted the rostrum, where they stood side by side behind the lectern. Harry cleared his throat, but he was not nervous. He was looking forward to the end. He had thought about making an introductory statement about how grateful he was for their time, for letting him speak, etc. But instead he decided to get right to the point.
“You may have heard or read about rumors regarding the wand that Voldemort was using during our duel in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. I am here to set the record straight.”
The audience was utterly silent. They hadn’t even reacted to him saying Voldemort’s name.
Harry paused and then continued. “It was Dumbledore's wand. Voldemort stole it from his tomb. He did this because he believed it to be the legendary unbeatable wand -- the Elder Wand.”
There was quite murmuring throughout the courtroom after his last statement. Harry could see people leaning forward so as not to miss another word.
“I am here to tell you it is true.” He made sure he emphasized the last word. “It is the Elder Wand of legend, come to light after centuries.”
As soon as he had said it, there were loud mutterings from the crowd, some definite grumblings, and even some skeptical laughter. Harry was sure he heard Rita Skeeter laughing.
Shacklebolt banged his gavel and the crowd became silent.
Harry reached into his robes and withdrew the Elder Wand and held it up high for everyone to see. All eyes were drawn to it. Then he nodded to Mr Ollivander.
Ollivander’s chest swelled. He seemed to relish the opportunity to speak.
“I have studied this wand for more than two months. There is no doubt this is the unbeatable wand of legend. I have never seen a wand of its equal.”
Then Kingsley Shacklebolt interjected, “Unspeakable Ones from the Department of Mysteries have also examined this wand. They have verified what Mr Ollivander has said. Their sworn testimony is on record and available for review.”
The crowd had again become silent. All eyes remained fixed on the wand.
Harry lowered the wand and held it in both hands in front of him.
He spoke again. “Dumbledore wanted to keep the wand a secret and to die without it ever being won again. He thought that would break its long and bloody history. …But he was wrong.”
Harry paused for emphasis and then continued.
“The wand chooses the wizard. Mr Ollivander has told this to almost everyone in this room. If its current master dies without it being won by another wizard, the wand is free to choose a new master. The only way to end the bloody trail wrought by the Elder Wand is this…”
Harry raised the Elder Wand above his head with both hands and snapped it cleanly in two. Then he handed the handle to Ollivander.
The echo of the sharp snapping sound was immediately drowned out by a tremendous collective gasp from almost everyone in the courtroom. Only those who had been with him at Ollivander’s, the rest of the Weasleys, and Kingsley Shacklebolt had known what was coming. Then the crowd began shouting and talking all at once.
Shacklebolt began banging his gavel, but the crowd remained unruly.
A member of the Wizengamot shouted, “Minister, the wand must be seized and repaired. This is an important historical object that must be protected.”
There were assenting shouts from other members.
Shacklebolt continued to bang his gavel and began to call for order.
Ollivander shouted back, “It is utterly impossible to repair a wand which has been broken in this way.” He held up the half that Harry had given him.
Harry took out his own wand and used it to set his half of the Elder want on fire. He tossed it onto the stone floor and it was reduced to ashes in seconds.
At this, there were more shouts of protest from members of the Wizengamot.
After several more minutes bordering on chaos, Kingsley finally managed to restore a semblance of order.
At that point, he declared, even more loudly than usual, “Let the record show that the unbeatable wand of legend, the Elder Wand, has been destroyed this day by Mr Harry Potter, its last master.”
Without waiting for the chance of further outbursts, Kingsley immediately added, “This emergency meeting of the Wizengamot is hereby adjourned.” He banged his gavel and got up.
Once again, the room erupted in shouts and loud objections.
Ollivander smiled at Harry and clapped him on the shoulder. He started to give the handle of the Elder Wand back to Harry, but Harry waived him off and said, “Keep it as a souvenir.” Ollivander nodded in thanks. They shook hands and Ollivander turned and left.
Harry saw that Ollivander was swarmed by Daily Prophet reporters before he had reached the courtroom door, but he seemed to be enjoying it. Harry wondered how Ollivander would feel after a dose of Rita Skeeter. Harry smiled to himself. For the very first time, Harry felt that he liked Mr Ollivander. This surprised him very much, but he couldn’t figure out why.
Mister Weasley got to Harry first and said, “Kingsley wants a word with you.” He ushered Harry to the side door, the one which prisoners usually came out of, and they were waived through by the guard. Kingsley was waiting in the corridor behind the door.
“Very good, Harry,” said Kingsley placing his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Dumbledore would have been very proud of you.” He patted Harry’s shoulder a couple of times and then withdrew his hand. Then he gave Harry a rather odd look and said, “I assume you are aware of the Tale of the Three Brothers…?”
“Uh… yes?” said Harry questioningly.
“Are you concerned that you will forever be recognized as the one who ruined the children’s story and ended the quest for the three objects?” asked Kingsley.
Harry couldn’t tell if Kingsley was being serious or not.
“Well,” Harry said, “there are still two more objects out there to be found …and two out of three isn’t bad.”
Kingsley and Mr Weasley both laughed, though Harry didn’t.
Then, more thoughtfully, Harry added, “Maybe finding those two would make you the ‘Partner of Death’ rather than the ‘Master’… which, considering everything that’s happened …is probably a lot better.”
Business, which had always been good, was better than ever. The news that he had studied the unbeatable wand had spread like wildfire. He had made a little display in the shop window with the half of the Elder Wand Harry had given him. He had also placed every conceivable protective spell on it -- for obvious reasons.
Many customers coming into to the shop brought along copies of the article from the Daily Prophet. Some even asked him to autograph it for them or even to have their pictures taken with him with their new wands.
He was also frequently asked to sell them ‘unbeatable’ wands -- usually as a joke or by naive children getting their first wands. But sometimes, the customers were serious. They wanted copies of the Elder Wand.
As he always did, he told them the ‘wand chooses the wizard.’ But some were insistent. He told those that the Elder Wand could not be copied. It had been unique -- the particular tree and the particular Thestral were both long gone to history -- and could not be duplicated. To those who continued to insist, he offered wands from the drawer full of the copies he had attempted to make over the years. They were of elder and Thestral, but he told them they would be no better than the wands they already had. They bought them anyway. When they were gone, he demanded a price so high for a custom made copy of the unbeatable wand that no one accepted.
The word got around -- Ollivander would not make copies of the unbeatable wand. Some began to spread the rumor that he had lost his touch in order to damage his reputation. It hadn’t affected business, but it had stopped people who really wanted an unbeatable wand from bothering him. The jokes and the naive children continued, however, and would probably never end.
But he had a secret.
It was buried somewhere in the stacks of boxes, looking like any other. He had done it within days of Luna giving the wand to him. He had purposely mislabeled it -- holly and phoenix feather -- almost as a joke, but not quite. It was truly exceptional, and now one of a kind… someone, someday would live up to its ‘potential’.
He wondered whom it would choose. It might be the next child coming in to buy his or her first wand. He hoped it would be a girl. That would be most interesting. Or it could be anyone. And it may not happen be for years and years, perhaps long after he was gone. He wondered who that future proprietor might be.
Ollivander had used the Elder Wand to magically make a copy of -- itself.
That was the test he had performed which had proven it truly was the wand of legend. No other wand he had ever seen had been able to do that. It was ridiculous simple. He used a mirror and touched it with the tip of the wand, performing the simple Duplicating Charm, Giminio. Any other wand would have duplicated the mirror. The Elder Wand produced a copy of itself in his hand right next to the original. He wasn’t even sure which one Harry had snapped in two.
What a secret it was.
It made him very happy.