Table of Contents and Summary So Far (Title of TOC/SSF page has character name spoiler.)
First rotae has a cool picture of Teddy as a teenager. Check it out! I think it's totally going to rule my image of Teddy for a long, long time.
Anyway, Teddy and Andromeda have gone into Diagon Alley to equip him for Hogwarts. He's having a devilishly hard time finding a wand, and finally pretends to feel a greater connection than he does to a willow and unicorn wand that Ollivander's apprentice (and granddaughter) finds for him. Andromeda asks if he wants to continue shopping or go for lunch, and he opts for lunch.
"I'll never forget when I got my first wand," Granny said, settling in at a table in the Leaky Cauldron. "Maple and dragon heartstring, nine and a half inches. I lost that one fourth year--a very bad hex war with my sister; it just splintered into a dozen pieces--but it was such an amazing thing to have it. Let's have a look, Teddy."
Teddy got the box out dutifully and showed her the willow wand, looking at it curiously himself, wondering if he would soon start feeling more attached to it.
"It's lovely workmanship. I wonder if it's one of Berit's. Do you like it?"
"I... guess so."
"Don't be so enthusiastic, Ted," someone said behind him, and he looked up to see the tall, skinny shape of Daffy Apcarne, one of his mum's best school friends. "It's bad for the heart to get so excited."
His wife, Maddie, sidled up beside him and said, "Hello, Andromeda, Teddy--we're getting Frankie's things for the year. Are you getting ready to CARNY! GET DOWN FROM THERE!"
She ran off in the middle of her sentence to pull her seven-year-old daughter off a railing she was balancing on, trying to climb up it toward the rooms on the next floor. Carny's real name was Dorasana, after Teddy's mum and their other best friend, Sanjiv McPherson, but no one ever called her that. Maddie's real name was also Dora--he had no idea how she'd got to be "Maddie"--and Teddy supposed it would be strange to scream your own name in the middle of the Leaky Cauldron.
Daffy turned back with a smile. "To finish Maddie's sentence, are you getting ready for Hogwarts, Teddy?"
Teddy nodded. "Got my wand," he said, holding it up.
"Always a good day," Daffy said. "I'm sorry we couldn't make it to the party yesterday. Maddie's division had an emergency, and I had to take Carny over to St. Mungo's. She managed to blow her ears up until they were bigger than her head trying to eavesdrop on what Maddie was doing. We're going to have to break that habit."
As Maddie was an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries, Teddy guessed that this would be a real priority. "It's all right," he said. "I hardly had time to say hello to everyone who was there."
"Would you like to come to dinner tonight?" Daffy asked Granny.
Granny shook her head. "Oh, I'm sorry, Daff--yesterday, I got talking to Bill Weasley about the Gringotts Commission--the business with the lower vaults, and unclaimed treasures--and he and Fleur invited us to Shell Cottage--"
"What?" Teddy groaned. "Oh, but we saw them yesterday."
"And we're seeing them again tonight, and you will keep a civil tongue in your head," Granny said, then looked at Daffy. "I really would accept your invitation, but I accepted Bill's first, and it would be awfully rude..."
"Of course, of course," Daffy said.
"Will you join us for lunch?"
"Love to." Daffy Summoned over a second table, and settled himself in.
"Where's Frankie?" Teddy asked.
"He's at Weasleys' with his mates, stocking up for the year. He should be along in a few minutes."
Maddie finally managed to corral Carny and steer her toward the table, where she was unceremoniously dropped down into a chair. "Do I need to put on a Sticking Charm?" Maddie asked her.
Carny shook her head enthusiastically, blond pigtails whipping around like blades on a Muggle helicopter.
Tom took their orders, and just before the food arrived, Frankie blew in from the back, dropping a bag of jokes and apologizing loudly to a witch he'd nearly walked into. He caught sight of them and loped over, the ripped bag gathered up to his chest. Teddy waved.
Frankie grinned and took a seat. He took after his mum in looks--blond, round-faced, and thick through the waist--but it didn't come off quite as well in him. His clothes never seemed to fit exactly right, and there was always an ink stain waiting to happen if he was anywhere near a quill, which he seemed to have been during the course of the day. His thick, curly hair was grimy, and balanced on top of it was a tall top-hat in Hufflepuff house colors. Teddy had always liked Frankie, mostly because he didn't care a whit what he looked like, and always thought of amusing games.
"You're sitting with us on the train tomorrow, Ted," he told Teddy, dropping down into the chair next to his. "I already told Zach and Bernice."
"Teddy might want to meet the other first years," Maddie said gently.
Frankie shrugged. "They need to sit somewhere too, don't they? Oh, is that your wand? What did you end up with?"
Teddy resigned himself to telling Frankie about the wand, trying to infuse the tale with more enthusiasm than he felt, and, of course, Frankie answered by talking about the glory of getting his own wand two years ago, how he'd never felt anything like it, and there was nothing better than actually being allowed to use it. He started to make a joke about growing up and learning to properly use one's wand, but his mother shushed him with exasperated fondness. In fact, most of lunch was spent listening to the adults reminisce about their first wands, and the great sense of power they felt in getting them. His mum's story was duly told (apparently, her first time using her wand, she'd turned Ollivander's counter green), and Sanjiv's (no great magic, but apparently he'd gone out and done a jig in the street, telling complete strangers that he'd just got his wand, and it made sparks). By the end of the meal, Teddy wanted to ask Granny if they might go back to Ollivander's to try again, as he really wanted to feel what they were all talking about--it sounded sort of fun--but a deeper part of him was certain that it would just be another two wasted hours. He could only hope that he hadn't absconded with someone else's perfect wand.
Instead, he went with her to Madam Malkin's to buy robes. She'd been afraid of a rush of first years the day before the Hogwarts Express left, but there was no one there, and they were in and out very quickly. Finally, they went to the apothecary and got a starter potions kit. Granny bought him a new cauldron and a decent carrying case for his ingredients, then glanced at the starter kit and added--without explanation--at least fifteen extra things, muttering that if she knew his Black blood, he'd need them by October, and she'd prefer that he didn't pilfer them from Slughorn's stores.
They got home at four o'clock, and Granny made a quick trip to St. Mungo's to check on some of her patients (she'd decided to take time off this week, and was due back tomorrow) before they were expected at Shell Cottage. Teddy played with Checkmate for a few minutes, his eyes repeatedly going to the wand box on the kitchen counter. He wasn't allowed to use it, but he could try touching it again...
He opened the box and took it out. The wand felt slightly warm, but it had been sitting in the sun. There was no jolt of energy. It might have been a borrowed quill, for all Teddy felt from it.
A high-pitched mew came from the living room, and Teddy put the wand down to go rescue Checkmate from whatever trouble she'd decided to get into. He found her halfway up Granny's good curtains, and carefully pulled her down, urging her claws in as gently as he could. She tried to shoot out of his hands to climb further up, toward the top of the china cabinet, where the few good family pieces Granny had managed to sneak out of her house had ended up, along with a glass plate that had belonged to Granddad's mum (it was cracked down the middle and smudged, as it had survived the fire that had killed her). On the very top shelf was an ornate wicker basket, the front of it set with a picture frame, from which Teddy's mum and dad waved to him. The basket had always been there, and he hardly paid it attention anymore, but surely, if Checkmate--who after all was descended from Mum's cat--had wanted him to see it...
Curiously, he pulled over a chair and climbed up onto it, taking down the basket and bringing it over to the sofa. He'd gone through it before. They hadn't had many possessions, his parents--a handful of furniture and, for some reason, a collection of Muggle photos in which they appeared to be different ages--but what they had, Granny had told him, belonged to him. Aside from the pictures, there was a box of art supplies, now long stale and crumbling, that had belonged to Dad, a set of nondescript cutlery, a game called Jury of Jarveys, Mum's wedding band (Dad had apparently had very skinny fingers, and his had been lost in the battle where they'd died), and, of course, their wands. They'd had to be tested, to see that their allegiance hadn't shifted, but neither wand had been taken by force; both of them had been found with their wands still on them. Teddy had handled both of them before, but never with any standard of comparison.
He picked up his father's wand in one hand, and the wand he'd bought from Ollivander's in the other. There was no comparison. Dad's wand felt warm and nearly alive in his hand. His fingers tingled. It wasn't entirely what the others had described, but--
Teddy looked up, sensing more than seeing motion in the garden beyond the window. Granny had just Apparated in, and was walking toward the house.
Put them away, he tried to tell himself, but he may as well have told the sea to stop crashing on the shore. Instead, he put all three wands back in the Ollivander's box, shoved the basket back onto the top shelf, and had just got the chair back where it belonged when Granny came in, reading a scroll on which Teddy could see the name, "Lockhart, Gilderoy."
They were due at Shell Cottage in only twenty minutes, which were spent frantically packing. Granny didn't notice anything amiss. She suggested that Teddy might want to bring the new wand to show--people often wanted to see such things--and he agreed happily enough. The box was back down to a single wand.
The other two were safely stored in the inner pocket of his jacket.