Wand of The Feather
(This fiction piece is inspired by the magical world of Harry Potter)
It is hard to say whether she walked into the store or the store’s door sang open while her feet colored the wooden floor with a brownish shade she wrought from rain and dirt. Harder even to tell if she removed her hood or the wind forced her hand, so it can finally mingle with her hair. Her hand pointed to the wands or her fingers motioned the silent music in the air to rise before an eventual fall. Such was she; her life, her movements, and her stillness seemed to be art or, at least, art in progress.
Her face stern and pensive, but not without softness; like the undulating surface of the desert’s sand, space’s daunting blackness dotted with white spots of light, or a serious ocean that while unnavigable and unpredictable, still reflects the clouds.
One gazes upon these things but dares not venture without care. For they are beautiful, but not beautiful as the orchard of green and red in the zenith of sun’s reign; they are so beautiful that the wise know that their beauty veils great perils for those who dare interact with them. A stretch of sand can quickly become parching, space’s emptiness can snuff a person’s soul trying to fill a void that is never filled, and the ocean drowns the same sailors it once carried with merriment.
“I’m here to pick a wand to be my companion,” she said, her voice calm and uncaring, as if she was doing a chore.
“My, oh my. You look unkempt like you’ve been drawn with a worn-out brush,” said the shopkeeper, scratching his grey beard.
He was an unusually tall man and his beard was uncommonly long. Something about him seemed off; the area of his palms were exceptionally big. The wrinkles on his face were peculiarly curved, like a river churning for centuries to carve its way through drought-struck desert.
“The weather isn’t exactly lovely, but I ran out of time.”
“Well, say no more. let’s get right to it. But first, may I offer you a cup of hot tea?”, he said, while already pouring the tea.
She took the cup he offered, the warmth of it spreading to her palms already returning color to her soul. With the first sip, roses bloomed in her cheeks and she drank the rest in a pleasured hurry.
“Good tea, thank you. Now what about the wand? This one looks good.” She pointed at a bland wand, no carvings, inscriptions. Nothing but smoothed down wood.
“It is good indeed, but what wand isn’t? It is not about what is good, it’s about what will be good for you.”
“And what will be good for me? It is just a tool. Like a blacksmith with his hammer or a hunter with his bow.”
“And would not the blacksmith pick a hammer that fits well in his palm? Would the hunter not connect with his arrow so that it listens when he tells it to fly? Everyone that comes to pick their first wand is always excited and they well should; why not you?”
“To tell you the truth, I never liked the idea of a wand. I depended on myself and I would like to only depend on myself. Magic should come from me, not my wand.”
“And it does. We all need a little help; a garden can not grow without a gardener to plant the seeds and water the sprouts, and the gardener can not care for his garden without his mattock and his rake. Is the statue less beautiful because the stone didn’t carve itself? Is the sculptor less skilled because he needs his chisel? And not any chisel, but one he feels like his own hand when he uses.”
“I guess. So how do we know which one fits me?”
“Pick one up,”
She wrapped her finger around the plain wand before she rose above the ground. She levitated into the air until the shopkeeper had to raise his head to look at her, twisting and turning, confused. She tightened her grip on the wand before immediately dropping down to the floor with a thud and a growl of pain.
“Sure-footed in thought yet unsure of the strength of her own feet. Your feet will never be light enough to step on air if you burden them with shackles of self-doubt.”
“Right now, they are shackled with pain from your crazy wand!”
“Here, try this one”, he handed her one with strange lines rounding the hilt, curving and twisting like roots of an ancient tree.
She reached to hold it with anticipation and a bit of nervousness. She curled her fingers round it and waited. But nothing seemed to happen.
“Nothing? Are you feeling anything different at least?”
“Not reall- ”, before she could end her sentence, she noticed something. She tried to move her feet again and again, but couldn’t.
“I can’t move my feet; it even hurts a little when I try, like I’m forcefully unearthing them.” She said with a tinge of fear and extended her hand to put the wand back on the desk, but the wooden surface of the desk shattered on contact with her arm. She threw the wand away and stepped back with a look of disbelief.
“Hmm, tricky that one,” the old man muttered, almost talking to himself.
“I’m sorry? What was that?!”, she spoke with a higher tone.
“Strength of will and power of hand yet rooted in own place for lack of direction”, he said thoughtfully, but quickly added, “wands are strange things; I wouldn’t take everything they do seriously. That one may have just disliked you”
“Right…”, she said askance.
“Try this one and see if…”, she interrupted him looking a little to his right and said, “what about this one?”
She pointed to a wand that, from afar, looked of no certain special character or quality; a bit smaller in size than the rest. If one is not mindful, it would go unnoticed.
“Ahhh, the Wand of the Feather. I’m glad someone finally noticed this one; it is one of the rarest pieces I have.”
He brought it closer and she could clearly see a feather carved on the grip of the wand. The wand was brownish with slightly darker spots than others, like glowing stars were hiding under the surface, as if it was originally black but was brightened; it looked like the moment the sun puts some color in an otherwise dim night.
She blew a breath before once again curling her fingers round the grip of the wand.
“I feel… it feels strange… I feel calm”, she said looking at the wand. She continued, “I feel like everything is going to work out for the best but even if it doesn’t that is also okay. Life finds a way and will continue to.”
She looked at him and he was blankly staring at her, barely even moving. She asked if he was okay, but he didn’t reply. She put the wand down and she didn’t lose the serenity she felt, but it was cracked.
“Why did you put it down? You didn’t even give it a chance? It didn’t do anything? Did you feel anything at least?”, the shopkeeper said surprised.
“What do you mean? Did you not hear me? I told you all about how it made me feel, you just stared and didn’t reply to a word I said”, she said admonishing.
“I di… I… I see. So, this is the effect it has with you. You see, this wand, in the right hands can slow down time. It can give you all the time you want. You’re wise, but you like to take your time with decisions and the wand liked you and decided you deserve the time you need. I think you’ve found your wand.”
“I think so too. Thank you, you were of great help.”
“Be careful, though, time might be slow for you, but it is not endless. Live. And you are welcome.”
With that, she stepped outside, reached to put her hood back on, but stopped mid-way. The rain had stopped.