May 29, 2022 4:07 AM
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"True.

 

Speaking of books! Which ones would be helpful for, um, someone in my, um." She gestures vaguely. 

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"I found a few options, but I can't get all these books too. Help me narrow down the pile, and I'll go get the others."

He puts Death Omens and Hogwarts: a History aside, assuming they'll see some use.

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Naomi is admittedly less interested in vampires, they don't seem to be too common. She picks a book on magical radios to put with Hogwarts: A History, sets aside a book on jinxes ...

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Flesh-Eating Trees of the World, Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century, the Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy, Prefects Who Gained Power...and the required textbooks, of course.

"Does this look like a good starting point?"

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"Sure! Oh, hey, do you mind if I take one of these books with me so I can read them at home? I'm thinking those two would be best --" she points to Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century and Hogwarts: A History -- "I can pay you back if you want, I don't have much extra pocket-change but I should be able to do that! I really don't want to be," she lowers her voice, "culturally insensitive." 

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"You can have them, and give them back at school. I should buy these now. Who are you shopping with?"

 

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"I don't actually know where my parents are! We went to Gringotts first and then I got my robes, and when mine were done they decided they should get robes too, I guess they must have gotten weird looks even though the Headmistress was there with them. And they let me go off to look at books instead of waiting for them! Which is nice because I met you!"

 

They purchase books. Naomi goes into a corner to read more of the ones that don't make her look suspiciously -- what was the word, oh, muggle. If Josh wants to he can read with her.

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Josh should probably go with his parents. They can meet up at the ward shop! 

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They do! Josh is there before Naomi is -- she waves enthusiastically when she sees him. 

"New friend?" Her mother asks softly. 

"Yep!" She replies. "I met him at the book shop!"

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"Hey. Mom, dad, this is my new Ravenclaw friend. I'm Josh, I'm morbid and a bit of a handful."

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"Hello, Josh," Naomi's mother says, smiling a little wearily. "Do you have your wand yet?"

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"No."

Josh's dad frowns.

"Josh, we talked about this. You're getting a wand." 

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"You don't want a wand?" Naomi says curiously. "Can't you still do other things, even if you have a wand? That's what you said in the bookshop."

Naomi is intrigued by the idea of wandless magic but thinks it makes sense to practice in addition to wanded magic. Not instead of. Hmmm. 

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"Every witch or wizard needs a wand," explains his mother.

"This is just a child's fancy," his father adds.

"People don't use wands everywhere, there are other ways of using magic," Josh whines. 

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"There are?"

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"Of course, like in-"

Josh's mother interrupts by ruffling his hair. He pouts, stopping mid-sentence. 

"There are some countries where wands are less common, but no witch does magic without something to focus her power. Centaurs, merfolk, house elves all use magic without wands, but even those of us capable of wandless magic never turn to it first." 

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"Oh. Okay. Well, I'm going to do both wand magic and wandless magic, so I want a wand," Naomi says. She feels very clever for having found a compromise and smiles conspiratorially at Josh.

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Josh seems pleased! 

His faher shakes his head.

"Wait to try serious wandless magic until you have more experience. Accidental magic is uncontrolled and dangerous, so it's safer not to practice wandless," he says to Naomi's mother. 

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"Thank you," Naomi's mother says dryly.

Meanwhile Naomi is being accosted by floating measuring tapes and trying out wands. She goes through five before Ollivander decides on one -- aspen, dragon heartstring, twelve inches, flexible, good for charms. 

"That's you done," Ollivander says, eyes shining. "And -- Mr. Fawley. I hope you don't think you're too good for my wands."

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"Not too good, I just think that maybe everyone doesn't need wands? My mom said, about centaurs and everything, if they can do it, we can too." 

She sighs. "Josh, please. We have more shopping to do." 

"Okay, I'll do it, but under duress." 

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That is a satisfactory answer. Measuring tapes fly around, extending themselves across his back, between his eyes, around his waist, under his nose ...

 

They go through several wands. 

"Perhaps this one," Ollivander mutters. "Black walnut, eleven inches, unicorn hair, slightly swishy, excellent for nonverbal magic ..."

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Nope. The wand sits idly in his hand.

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Ollivander snatches it away. "That one won't do, no."

Four more wands. Maybe ... this one?

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This one flashes, as though struck by lightning, and a burst of water appears over his head.

He's soaked, but laughing.

His parents look ashamed and amused, and apologize to Mr. Ollivander, who has really been quite patient.

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Mr. Ollivander is completely unfazed and waves them out of the shop.

"We have wands!" Naomi exclaims. "I can't wait to practice -- I bought a book about radios, mum, I'm going to figure out how they're enchanted and then I'm going to figure out --"

"No," her mother replies.

"Muuum!"

"No, honey. You're not enchanting the home computer. It was expensive, and you'll break it, and your father will throw a fit."

"I won't break it!" 

Naomi's mother steers her away from Josh and his parents. Naomi waves distractedly at her new friend before continuing to argue. 

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