A young Albus Dumbledore meets Ollivander, and they talk. About werewolves, vampires, and what Dark Creatures are.
A lesson to remember.
The drizzly summer rain had turned into a full-blown storm, which made the streets of Diagon Alley very slippery. The new school year was in a few weeks, but no student was mad enough to go shopping when it rained like this. Many shopkeepers had closed their shops early because of the lack of customers. No sane wizard would go outside today, not even with a Nonpluvius Charm.
No wizard, except one.
A young boy clad in a dark blue cloak hurried across the street, searching for a shelter against the rain. He cursed himself for not having listened to his older brother, who had claimed the weather would get worse. He was so excited to finally go to Hogwarts... And he hadn’t thought that all the shops would be closed. Now he still couldn’t get his school supplies.
His mother would be worried by now. He’d left her a note, telling her he’d gone to Diagon Alley. They had recently moved and now they lived nearby, in an apartment in London, so the walk to the Leaky Couldron wasn’t very long.
He wished he had stayed home with Aberforth.
Thunder made the Gringott’s building shudder. The boy looked wide-eyed at the threathening sky. Oh, no!
Lightning was attracted by magic. The stores all had a protection charm on them, but he had none. He needed to find shelter, and fast! If only one of the stores had been open...
There!A narrow, shabby-looking shop, right between the second-hand robe shop and /Marvin’s Muggle Bookshop/. Gold lettering above the door said: /Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC/.
It didn’t look very promising, but he didn’t mind; all that mattered was the lonely word on the door: ‘Open’.
He hurried to the door, and yanked it open. A bell tinkled as he stepped inside.
At first glance it seemed very empty, except for the chair standing in the middle of the room. But then he noticed the walls weren't even visible, because of the rows ands rows of narrow boxes that were piled against them, which filled the whole backside of the shop.
The silence was deafening. He shivered, and it wasn’t because of the icy rainwater that run off his cloak. The air itself seemed to humm against his skin.
“Good evening,” said a soft voice suddenly. With a start the boy turned around, to see two pale eyes watching him.
“Hello,” he said, twiddling with his cloak fastenings. The silvery eyes followed his every move. It made him nervous.
The thin man stepped out of the shade, and stalked closer. “I don’t believe we have met, young man. I am Ollivander, Quinten Ollivander. You are going to Hogwarts this year?”
“Er, yes, Mr. Ollivander.” The pale eyes were quite unnerving. He suddenly remembered it was polite to introduce himself. “I’m Albus Dumbledore. Well, actually, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, but that’s ridiculously long.”
Amusement crept in the moonlight-colored eyes. “I presume you are here to purchase a wand?”
Albus glanced around. He hadn’t planned on buying something, but he needed to buy a wand anyway. “Yes, sir.”
“Very well.” Mr. Ollivander took out some measuring tape, which started measuring the lenght between Albus’ nostrils immediatly. “Which is your wand arm?”
Albus’ eyes followed the measuring tape, that was curling around his left kneecap. “Er, I’m right-handed.”
Mr. Ollivander called the measuring tape back, and took a box from the shelves. With the utmost care he opened it and took the lightbrown wand out.
“Maple, 7 inches, Unicorn hair. Quite firm.” He gave the wand to Albus.“Give it a wave.”
He obeyed. Nothing happened.
It was the same with the next wand, and the one after that, and after that...
After waving what seemed an endless stream of wands, Albus started to get desperate. What if he needed to get a wand made for him personally?It had happened before, but that was way too expensive... Mother didn’t earn that much with her job in Muggle London, and father...
He’d never be able to go to Hogwarts!
The voice of Mr. Ollivander pierced his thoughts. “Relax, child. Remember, the wand chooses the wizard. That this takes so long is asign of your future capabilities.”
“Excuse me sir, but what do you mean?” Albus asked, while he gave the latest wand back.
Mr. Ollivander’s eyes gleamed. “The less powerful a wizard is, the more wands might agree with him, therefore, he finds a wand sooner.”
Albus frowned a little. He didn’t understand this, not really, but it didn’t matter as long as he found the right wand. Or the right wand found him. Or something. This was confusing.
The next wand did make something happen, but not what he wanted. The“Yew, 13 inches, Dragon blood,” somehow levitated the heavy silver candlestick from the counter and right on Mr. Ollivander’s foot.
Mr. Ollivander mumbled a curse in latin.
Albus dropped the wand hurriedly. “Oops. I’m sorry sir, Ididn’t mean to –“ Albus started to apologize, but he quieted when he saw the two fangs protruding over the other man’s lower lip. ‘/Vampire!’/ Albus’ mind screamed.
He blinked. Once.
Then he yelped and ran to the door. He managed two steps outside, but when lightning scorched the ground before his feet he hurried back and closed the door agian.
Oh, no! Stuck between a vampire and lightning, how was he supposed to get out of this alive!?
Fearfully he glanced at Mr. Ollivander. The fangs had retracted again and the man looked worried.
“You don’t need to fear, child. I have not harmed any human since Iopened this store, and I’m not planning to start.”
“But you’re a vampire! Y- you drink people’s /blood/,” Albus stuttered.
Ollivander inclined his head. “Yes, that is true. But that does not make me evil. You need not fear me, young Mr. Dumbledore.”
“All Dark Creatures are evil,” Albus insisted. “You’re just trying to make me feel at ease so you can attack me.”
Mr. Ollivander thought that very amusing. “Child, you don’t even have a wand. If I truly wanted to harm you, I could have done that the moment you stepped into this store.”
Albus had to admit the truth when he heared it. The thought didn’t make him calm down, however.
“Does the Ministry know?”
“Some of them, yes. They merely choose not to acknowledge it because I am the best Wandmaker in this part of the world. After all, I do have alot of practise.” He smiled.
Albus wasn’t convinced. But with the lightening outside, what choice did he have but to remain? Neccesity makes strange friends.
Ollivander had a question of his own. “Why do you think all Dark Creatures evil?”
“They just are,” Albus mumbled. “Everyone says it.”
“Perhaps, but why?”
How should he know? “Er, because they kill people, I suppose.”
Ollivander arched an eyebrow. “And what about dragons, those whose only contact with humans is by dragon hunters trying to kill them for their heart and scales? Are they evil because they eat every human they encounter?”
“Well, no, I think I can understand that. But dragons aren’t Dark Creatures,” reasoned Albus.
The vampire smiled. “What are Dark Creatures then?”
A question straight from one of the books Albus got for last Christmas.“Dark Creatures are Beasts or Beings that are created by Dark magic or that were born with Dark magic.”
“So according to you, a werewolf is evil.”
“Even though he is human every day and the most nights of the month?”
Albus was silent for a moment. Again, a truth he could not deny.
“Okay, so werewolves aren’t really evil. They still kill people if they have the chance. It’s their instinct.”
“Yes,” Ollivander agreed. “As it is the instinct of a vampire to bite humans. But not all creatures are as bound by their instincts as awerewolf, which is exactly why you don’t need to worry about me.”
“You’re saying vampires aren’t dangerous?”
“No, I did not say that. I said that most creatures – vampire or otherwise – can have enough control over their instincts to function normally in the world. Alas, not all of us go through the trouble of trying. And that is why we get such a bad name. It's all about making an effort.”
“Instinct isn’t evil, child. Instinct is merely that: instinct. It’s nature’s way of ensuring survival. Like a fledgling vampire without sire knows to evade the sun. Or like a young dragon knows to hunt so he won’t starve.”
“Or like some babies quiet when they sense danger.” Albus frowned. This was actually rather interesting. “Which creatures can’t control their instincts?”
Ollivander looked thoughtful. “A werewolf when the moon is full. Dementors don't really have a choice, since they are controlled by their Hive Queen. They also cannot help but be drawn to emotions to feed upon. Boggarts do not have any reason to learn control. A Basilisk on the other hand can, but won’t try unless a Parselmouth commands it. Also, the young ones of most species are led by their instincts, which is fortunate in some cases. There are other examples, but these you should know.”
Albus nodded. He only had one more question. “If you didn’t plan on biting me, why did your fangs show?”
“You are a curious young man,” Ollivander smiled. “My fangs lenghten automatically by strong emotions. In this case, pain. That wand is certainly not meant for you.”
Albus looked at the wand he’d dropped on the floor. He had totally forgotten about it. “Oh.”
He picked it up and gave it back to Mr. Ollivander. “I’m sorry, sir. For a lot of things.”
“I understand, and I forgive you.” The vampire smiled again. “Now, let’s concentrate on finding a wand that fits you.”
After another bunch of wands without any effects, Ollivander offered him another one. The thunder startled Albus, followed by the harsh light of a lightning bolt that flashed through the shop when he touched the base of the wand.
Warmth engulfed him; suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore that he was still dripping wet, and his legs hurt from standing so long.
He waved it. Red and Gold sparks in the shape of a Phoenix showered the room in light, before they faded again.
“Hawthorn, 10 inches, Phoenix feather. Quite swishy. Congratulations, young Mr. Dumbledore. I see we can expect great things from you.”
Albus blushed. He payed for the wand, and noticed the clouds were disappearing slowly. Mr. Ollivander offered him a cup of tea.
Albus sat down on the chair gratefully while he enjoyed his cup. Together they watched the sky become a clear blue once more.
Albus placed his cup back on the saucer when he was finished. “I should be going back. My mum will be worried.”
“It has been a few hours since you came here,” Ollivander agreed.“I wish you much luck with your wand, young Mr. Dumbledore.”
Albus smiled. His blue eyes twinkled. “Thank you. I promise to visit sometimes. And thank you for answering my questions.”
“Anytime, child. Just come here and we’ll discuss the world over a cup of tea.”
The boy grinned, waved, and left the store, with his new wand quietly humming in his bag.
Ollivander smiled, looking at the bend Albus just disappeared behind.
That boy would be a great wizard one day.
~And, what do you think? I’ve always imagined Ollivander to be avampire, strangely enough. Oh, and I’m actually Dutch, so I’m sorry for all the grammatical errors you find.