Aurellius Ollivander looked up from the accounting he had been working through as the tinkle of the small silver bell over his door jingled. He felt the corners of his eyes crinkle as he saw the brown haired boy step into his shop.
“Mr. Longbottom,” Mr. Ollivander came out from behind his counter and held out his hand. “At last.”
Neville shook hands a bit awkwardly and tried to look comfortable, although he felt slightly nauseous.
Ollivander took his tape measure out of his pocket and began measuring Neville. “Left wand arm?”
“Yes,” Neville said as the tape continued measuring him as Ollivander walked back behind his counter.
“Most people come in before their first year at Hogwart’s,” Mr. Ollivander went on as he turned to look at a shelf of boxes behind him.
“I used my father’s wand,” Neville blurted out. Then he shuffled his feet.
Mr. Ollivander turned to look at the boy. Ollivander’s piercing blue eyes seemed to sear the flesh off of Neville and look at the most intimate parts of his self. At least, the way his cheeks were burning made it feel that way.
“Yes,” Ollivander said slowly. “Yes, you did.” He turned back to the shelf and pulled out a long, thin box. “I told your grandmother it wasn’t a good idea. Never get the same results from another’s wand, I told her. Stubborn wench.”
Neville started at anyone calling his grandmother a stubborn wench. No one saying it to her face was likely to survive.
“I remember when she came in for her wand – just give it a wave,” Ollivander had handed Neville a slim black wand. “Told me she wanted something custom, researched the materials herself.”
Neville jumped as Ollivander’s bookkeeping flew up into the air.
“Not that one,” Ollivander said, swiping it away. He handed Neville a reddish, stumpy wand. “Anyway, your grandmother wouldn’t take no for an answer, and you probably know how much her grandfather indulged her.”
Neville did not know. His great-great grandfather had been dead over 80 years before Neville was born. This wand shot great slimy tendrils out of the end.
“Gracious no!” Ollivander squeaked, snatching the wand from Neville and removing the mess. “Don’t know what I was thinking!”
Ollivander handed Neville a wand that began instantly crawling with ants.
“You are a tough customer!” Ollivander exclaimed. “But let’s try this one.”
Neville watched as the pile of failed wands grew. Maybe he really wasn’t all that magical after all.
“Here we go,” Ollivander said as he reached for a green padded box. “Let’s try this for a lark.
Neville waved the wand and silver sparks shop out of the end.
“Oh, yes!” Ollivander said as he began putting the other wands away. “It’s about time that was fitted to someone.”
Neville looked at the wand. It was flexible and slightly greenish.
“Young willow,” said Ollivander. “Younger than any other I’ve made. See? The wood is still green.”
Neville nodded, looking impressed. He had no idea what he was supposed to be impressed about, but it seemed to make Ollivander happy.
“The core has a hair from a manticore,” Ollivander said as he handed the padded box to Neville. “I don’t use those much. Too hard to get. Quite a unique wand, but that tends to run in your family, doesn’t it?”
“I suppose it does,” Neville admitted as he fished around in his robes for his money. “I’ll take care of it.”
“They all say that,” Ollivander brushed him off. “Merlin’s Beard, boy! It’s a tool! Use it!”
“Will do,” Neville smiled.
Ollivander looked satisfied and took Neville’s money.
Neville pocketed his wand and walked back out to the busy street. “Thanks!” he waved before the door shut.
“Good luck, boy,” Ollivander said as he shook his head slowly. “With your family’s history, you’ll need it.”