The moon sat high in the sky, large and brilliant in the cloudless night. The soft light bathed the ancient forest in a gentle glow, illuminating the grass and white moonflowers that only bloomed at night.
This was one of Harry's favourite spots on Peverell Island, always calm and tranquil. The island had quickly become a place he could call home.
At first it had been strange, claiming a place for himself, building it up from the ground and nurturing it. Hogwarts would forever be his first home, the first place he felt like he belonged. But this island, it was truly his, somewhere he had set down roots, a place where he felt safe and happy. This was his home now, together with his family that consisted of both living and dead.
Harry laid down on the grass and closed his eyes. It was a pleasantly warm night and he enjoyed the quiet sounds of nature surrounding him.
Tomorrow he would be leaving for Hogwarts again, meeting old friends and enemies. As he laid there he thought back on the past month.
The letter he'd sent off to professor McGonagall had held more than just his acceptance of his place at their school. He had also reassured her that there was no need to send someone to introduce him to the magical world as they had done for his mother, Lily.
The reason for this was that his aunt still remembered where to find Diagon Alley, and as such had promised to take him before school was due to start.
This was of course a complete lie. Petunia Dursley wouldn't be caught dead somewhere so freakish, nor had she ever deigned to inform Harry that magic was real. In fact the word was a bit of a taboo at the Dursley residence, or at least it had been in his first lifetime.
Professor McGonagall didn't have to know any of that, however. Let her live with the belief that the Dursleys weren't as awful as she'd first imagined. The truth would come out sooner rather than later.
There had of course been a chance that Dumbledore would send someone, no matter what his letter said, but luckily that hadn't been the case.
When Hedwig returned, the reply from professor McGonagall had included the key to his trust vault. She informed him of the importance of keeping it safe and not letting anyone but him handle it aside from the goblins.
Neither she nor the headmaster had any idea that said key was void, nothing more than a pretty little chunk of gold.
Harry met every now and then with Kartaak, the Potter account manager, and during one of those meetings he had collected the heir ring for his family and deactivated any existing keys, that way making sure that nobody could enter his vaults. Not that there was much to steal.
The Potter family vault mostly contained furniture, weapons and books, the gold having long been spent during the first war.
It was only his trust vault that held large quantities of actual gold. Not a veritable fortune as he'd first believed when he set eyes on it at eleven years of age, but still a decent amount if spent wisely.
Harry didn't have to worry about that though. With his Peverell inheritance, not to mention all the investments he'd made as Lord Peverell, he was quite frankly filthy rich.
Harry looked up at the stars and thought back to how excited Sirius had been over the prospect of school shopping, only for him to sulk when Harry informed him that he couldn't come, and no, not even as Padfoot.
People had to see him alone. Even if he had written in his letter that his aunt Petunia would take him, that was clearly a lie, an intentional one.
The chances of Dumbledore having someone in the alley to keep an eye on him was too great, he couldn't make a mistake this early.
Before Harry could get on the train to Hogwarts he had to acquire everything from the list that had been included in his letter. He already owned most of the more practical items, and the school books were still the same as those he'd purchased second hand before he sat his OWL and NEWTs a few years back.
Regulus had wanted him to purchase new books just for the sake of his image, he was no pauper after all, but Harry thought it a waste of money. The books were fine , besides, he already knew their contents by heart and wouldn't be using them much, if at all.
That only left clothes and a wand, since he couldn't very well use the Elder Wand, nor the ebony wand that was tied to his Peverell persona.
To avoid most of the back-to-school rush, he waited until July had passed and they were well into August.
The day after his birthday, the Daily Prophet's front page was adorned with the infamous break in at Gringotts. Harry groaned.
"What's wrong?" Sirius asked, making his godson sigh and put down the Prophet.
"I forgot all about this." Harry replied as he shoved the paper across the table to Sirius, tapping the front page.
"Dumbledore is housing the Philosopher's Stone at Hogwarts this year, hoping to lure out Voldemort. He's going to be at the back of Quirrell's head the entire year." Harry despondently sighed and rubbed his temples.
Sirius frowned. "Are you sure it's the real stone? It sounds a bit… suspicious."
Harry snorted. "Trust me, the thought has crossed me more than once, but I have no way of finding out unless I steal it to run some tests." Which was tempting… Very tempting. Not because he wanted immortality or gold, he already had plenty of that, but because he was curious.
What made the Philosopher's Stone so unique? And if it truly was the real deal, how could Dumbledore be so incredibly foolish as to hide it behind traps that even a first year could surpass?
"So, are you gonna steal it then?" Sirius asked unconcerned as he buttered his toast.
Harry hummed. He hadn't originally considered that a possibility but now he did. "Perhaps."
In all honesty it would be ridiculously easy. The only thing that could have deterred him would have been the mirror of Erised, but seeing as he had no desire to use the stone, even that was a moot point. Dumbledore really had fucked up with the protections hadn't he?
Ollivander's wand shop was just as Harry remembered it, cramped, dusty and filled with wands from top to bottom.
The man himself, Mr Garrick Ollivander, hid in the shadows ready to surprise his newest customer.
"Hello Mr Ollivander." Harry said before the wandmaker could start his weird 'Harry Potter' spiel. He stared right at him.
Ollivander startled, not used to being detected before he got to make his entrance, and when he stepped into the dim light he eyed the young boy with shrewd scrutiny.
"Mr Potter, I thought I would see you soon." The wandmaker mused out loud.
The conversation went much like it had the first time around, with Ollivander detailing the wands he had sold to Harry's parents.
Next came finding the one most suited to him. Harry felt like he tried every damn wand in the shop. Some of them were usable but none were right. He wondered if it had taken this long in his past life before Ollivander mentioned the holly wand, or if it was just his perception of things being different.
He was so tempted to ask about the holly and Phoenix feather wand just to make things go quicker, but he kept quiet, there was no way he could have known about it after all.
Eventually, Ollivander went to the back of his shop to fetch said wand. Harry felt excitement beginning to build, it had been his first wand and he still loved it dearly. His faithful holly wand had been with him through thick and thin.
"Go on, give it a try." Ollivander said and held it out towards the young boy, eyes shining with anticipation.
Harry wrapped his fingers around the hilt. Warmth spread up his hand and he was sure he could hear Fawkes' beautiful song lift his spirit.
At first the warmth in his hand had been comfortable, but it grew hotter and hotter, so much so that he instinctively opened his hand with a yelp.
The wand clattered against the wooden floor and a bright red and gold flame burned through the holly wand until there was nothing left but a pile of ash.
Harry stared at it with wide eyes. He thought he could see something red poking out of the grey ash, and when he crouched down to pull at it, an entire feather followed. Like a baby Phoenix it rose from the ashes after a burning day.
He stood there holding the wand core in shocked silence. "I-I'm sorry?" He hesitantly said. He honestly had no idea what had just happened.
He was hit with a feeling of sorrow for the destroyed wand that had been like a faithful friend over many years, but perhaps it was still possible to use Fawkes' feather, Harry really hoped so.
Ollivander looked gobsmacked as well, and he struggled to take his eyes off the feather in Harry's hand. With a sharp intake of air the wandmaker turned on his heel and disappeared into the back of the shop.
Harry was left standing in bewildered uncertainty. "Mr Ollivander?" He hesitantly called out.
Sure he didn't really need a wand to perform magic, but Harry Potter couldn't be without a wand… the media attention would be massive, and not in a good way.
"Sir?" He tried again, a little louder this time as he peered over the counter, trying to catch a glimpse of the man.
He could hear faint muttering but was unable to make out what was being said. He had a niggling suspicion it was about him and what had just happened though.
The seconds ticked by and Harry wondered if Mr Ollivander planned on returning at all. He was just getting ready to walk into the wandmaker's workshop when the man himself returned.
His pale, blue eyes studied him in an eerie way that made Harry want to squirm. Thankfully he'd gained much better control over his own body and expressions than he had in the past, so outwardly he remained confused and innocent.
"It is most unusual for a core to reject a wood so resolutely after its successful creation." Mr Ollivander murmured, scrutinizing Harry and the Phoenix feather with keen eyes.
"I didn't mean for it to happen." Harry said with a frown. "Will you be able to fix it, sir?"
"Hmm, no I'm sure you didn't. And yes, seeing as the core is still intact and seemingly bonded to you, it is indeed fixable." Ollivander replied and turned on his heel back into the workshop.
"Come along Mr Potter, and bring the feather!"
Harry scurried after the wandmaker, listening to him mutter under his breath that holly probably wouldn't work a second time.
Ollivander's process of selecting a wand wood was entirely different from the one Madam Lavoie, the Canadian wandmaker that crafted Sirius' wand, had used.
Instead of a metal rod covered in runes, Mr Ollivander drew an intricate magical circle in chalk onto his work-bench. It was fascinating, and Harry could recognise some of the runes and how they connected to each other.
Inside the circle that surrounded the pentagram, were two smaller circles. And after placing five different blocks of wood at each point of the star, Ollivander instructed Harry to put the Phoenix feather into one of the smaller circles and his hand, palm down, in the other.
Harry did as he was told and watched in interest as the old wandmaker withdrew his own wand and began to chant. The runes and pentagram lit up but didn't burn the wooden work-bench like his own experiences with rituals, possibly because there was no blood involved, Harry mused.
Like with Madam Lavoie's process, Harry had no clue what was actually happening. Garrick Ollivander on the other hand seemed to gain information from the different colours the chalk had taken on.
Once the chanting stopped, the glow died down and the chalk was once again just chalk. Ollivander removed four of the wooden blocks and replaced them with new ones. The process repeated several times, and in the end, there was only one block left.
Harry had no idea what type it was. The wood was a creamy brown colour, and he wondered if perhaps it could be hawthorn. He expected Ollivander to reveal the wood immediately, but when he looked up at the man his face was ashen.
"Are you alright sir?" Harry asked. Because as a matter of fact, Mr Ollivander did not look alright, he had the appearance of someone who'd just had a meeting with a Boggart.
The wandmaker's eyes were glued to the block of wood and swallowed hard. "Yes, yes, I'm perfectly fine Mr Potter." He replied, but his voice was hoarse and distant.
"Leave the phoenix feather and come back in a week." The man murmured, ushering Harry out of the door with a faraway look in his eyes.
That had… not gone as expected. Harry blinked slowly at the sign Mr Ollivander had hung up on the door. The shop was closed for the next four hours… what on earth had startled the man so?
"I swear that man gets odder the older he becomes." Regulus muttered, just as confused about what had happened.
Harry hummed quietly in agreement and figured he might as well get the rest of his shopping done since he was already in the Alley.
The following week passed quickly and Harry was once again back in Diagon, making his way over to Ollivander's shop.
As soon as Mr Ollivander spotted him, the man's face blanched and he stared for a second before scurrying into the back of the workshop. When he returned he looked both nauseous and intrigued, holding a long wand box like the ones piled up in the shop's tall shelves.
Ollivander's gaze was heavy, as if he was scrutinizing Harry's character, but in the end, he probably came to the conclusion that it didn't matter. He was a wandmaker, a neutral party whose job was to provide magical foci to both good and bad.
Pale, callused fingers lifted out a beautifully carved wand. The main part of the wood was lighter than its original block, with the natural grain showing through in places and having taken on a creamy tan colour.
There was a carved tendril wrapping around the handle that had been stained a darker shade of brown, and where the handle ended and the shaft began, the wood widened into a rounded bulb before continuing to a tapered end.
Harry eyed the wand with curiosity. It looked so unlike any of his other wands. It was a gorgeous piece of art.
"I think it is time you tried your new wand now Mr Potter." Ollivander said, his attention not once having strayed from the blackhaired boy in front of him.
Normally, the wandmaker would have regaled the wand in as much detail as he could, prattling on about its characteristics and components, but not this time. Harry didn't pay any attention to that fact however, too enchanted by the wand itself.
He reached out and softly let his fingers grasp the hilt. The warmth was there, stronger than ever. It raced up his arm, filling his entire body from head to toe with love and encouragement.
An invisible wind ruffled Harry's black locks, and a golden glow illuminated the tiny shop, emanating from the tip of the wand.
His blood and magic sang in unison with the new wand.
"How curious." Ollivander murmured, still looking rattled yet intrigued.
"What is?" Harry absentmindedly asked.
"Your wand Mr Potter. Yew and Phoenix feather, 13 inches, unyielding…"
Harry grew completely still. Yew… that was the wood Voldemort's wand had been. He didn't let his surprise show however.
"Yew wands are rare and have a notorious reputation in certain circles. Some think it is a wood for wizards with an inclination for curses and the Dark Arts, but it can just as easily be used by Healers and those who are a fierce protector of others. What is certain, is that yew wands never choose a weak companion. After all… He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named certainly couldn't be called weak. He did great things. Terrible, yes, but great." The old man mused, seemingly lost in memories of the past.
No, Voldemort didn't do great things, Harry thought, but Tom Riddle could have…
Mr Ollivander snapped out of his strange mood and continued to speak. He told Harry of Fawkes, the headmaster's Phoenix, and how he had only ever given two feathers. One now resided within his wand, and the other belonged to the Dark Lord.
Harry already knew this of course, but that was also where the known information stopped and the new shocks began.
"Not only is the core of your wand the same as the one who gave you that scar, so is the wood. Both wands were created with yew from the same tree and feathers from the same Phoenix. I think we can expect great things from you Mr Potter, great things indeed."