CHAPTER 6: Bezoar Breakfast

The Library of Lost Wands

by Antonia Zenkevitch

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“This is all quite alarming!” exclaimed Cordelia, skirts rustling angrily as she, Lindsay,  Percy and Fizzy with Fred the rat headed towards the dining car. They had been expelled from visiting George on his sickbed by Amos who had propelled them out with a mix of steely determination and avid good humour. The effect of humans moving in and out of such a small space so quickly was quite disorientating. They all looked windswept, as if they’d walked through a storm, which in a way they had Lindsay thought wryly to herself. Launched out in front of the others she could feel the frost of a stare on the back of her neck. Flushed as she was with all she’d witnessed, the affect was like ice-cream melting on a hot day; sticky beads of liquid ran down from her scalp to her collar, stopped in their tracks by goose-pimple chills. The hairs on her arms were standing to attention.

“I don’t think this was the kind of adventure Mr. Quirrel had in mind for us” put in Percy.

Lindsay’s mind flashed to her name and cabin number written on the hour hand pointing to mortal peril on George’s unusual clock. A hysterical giggle bubbled up and tried to escape from her, but she forced it back down. Lindsay’s insides were reeling, sick with the emotions and ideas swirling inside her, not all of them her own. Even Fred was squeaking, wriggling from his beloved Fizzy’s grasp. Percy scooped him up and stroked the little rat behind the ears. Lindsay considered the fact she was harbouring a dog-chewed wand from the authorities and was now being almost marched to her first breakfast on-board the train. She had to leave the letter Seamus had written to George when Amos had steered her to the door. She’d been too in shock to put up much protest, Now she was bumping along the corridor by the momentum of her new travel companions forward motion with little idea who she could truly trust.

The train rounded a bend in the tracks and Percy drew level with her, concern etched on his face. They were approaching her own cabin. Lindsay had a sudden urge to run and hide from everything and everyone. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Percy do something odd. The wizard popped the now calm Fred quickly and carefully in his jacket pocket, and called out “Has anyone seen Fred? I’m so sorry Fizzy I seem to have dropped him.” Cordelia and Fizzy immediately turned and focused on the floor to search for the little squeaker, but Percy caught Lindsay’s gaze, nodding his head towards her cabin door. Flashing him a grateful if shaky smile she slipped silently inside.

“It’s all right, I’ve found Fred, he’s fine. Sorry folks!” she heard Percy say from the other side of the door. Soon their footsteps became distant. Lindsay tried out her own feet, which seemed stubbornly rooted to the spot while her mind raced. Her brother had written to George before disappearing, then George had been found unconscious outside her door just after giving her a message. She knew she was missing a few steps in the middle, but her thoughts were sparking all sorts of connections. She told herself sternly, these were mysteries to be unravelled later. She had to gather herself together and keep up a pretence of normality. Looking scared would never do.

She tidied her hair and washed quickly in the self-refilling basin now scented with lavender and marjoram. Soap and cocoa butter revived her spirits, going someway to sweetening her mood. Outside her window endless fields beckoned. She had a glimpse of a freer future self, riding a Pegasus horse across vast plains. Then her stomach let out a roar that bought her back into the present. After securing her cabin with a few extra charms she walked unseeing along the long corridors, her head as full as her tummy felt empty. Could she really be going to her first breakfast on the train? It seemed incredible.

It had been an unusual journey, from eavesdropping on Minister Moon from Magical Cooperation, to the battle to save Rosa the mischievous pomeranian, to the sinister wizard with his bone pipe, to frightened children, humiliated goblins, odd messages and attacks in the dark. The intriguing people she had met made her feel like she’d been here for weeks. It all seemed somehow connected, and her lost brother was at the heart of the whole strange story, drawing him close. Few of her fellow passengers were what they seemed at first glance, including Poggle, the elf with the hat that wasn’t a hat and her story of a stolen dragon’s heartstring.  Lindsay was beginning to wonder if the riddles ran so deep that the Ministry of Magic was keeping secrets from itself.

She would find decisions easier with a full belly. Crumpets! She needed crumpets and tea. Her mood shifted as she reached the dining car and spied a swishing pom-pom tail peeking out from under a tablecloth. Dorethia sat talking with Amos over pain au chocolat and steaming cups of aromatic coffee. Watching Amos secretly feeding Rosa a sausage under the table, she breathed a sigh of relief. She knew the little dog was safe, for now at least. Hiding the evidence of the wand that Rosa had gleefully shredded had been worth it, even if there was no way of knowing how much damage the remains had caused to the memories in her precious family pensieve. She wondered what proof may still exist of unforgivable curses cast by Bulstrode using that gnawed thing lost in her history. Perhaps the wand and all it held were now no more than memories themselves.

Lindsay took in the room around her. Outside her thoughts, everywhere was sparkling. The bewitched, invisible ceiling and walls of the dining car put Lindsay in mind of eating outdoors. There was the steady hum of laughter, clatter and chatter rising in pitch as the last greys in the surrounding skies melted into cobalt blue open horizons.  The air smelled of delicious dishes laid out by bustling house elves on circular tables covered in crisp white tablecloths. Whatever danger lurked on the train, here couples held hands while strangers talked like old friends. Lindsay reached into each mind she could as she passed, searching for explanations for the attack on George, but the few people in the room thinking about it had similar questions to her own.

Cordelia was across the room in avid conversation with the sleekly turned out Annie Quirrel. Amos’ gaze shifted uncomfortably towards the two every now and again. A short way away Percy Fleamont chatted happily with Arnie Singh and his lanky colleague from magical cooperation. She’d always thought well of Arnie though they only knew one another in passing. Working in the Department of Mysteries tended to make others from the Ministry of Magic give you a wide berth. Arnie Singh was the kind of wizard to always ask after your family and care enough to remember your replies. He gave Lindsay a wave of his croissant, nodding cheerfully in the direction of the now happy dog. Percy turned to see who Arnie was greeting and caught the conclusion of Lindsay’s smile. He smiled back, swallowed incorrectly in the process and was swiftly patted on the back by Arnie amid splutters. Lindsay felt her smile widen.

Some of the students and most of the river folk had left the train in Paris. Other passengers had boarded. A table of young Beaubaton students were speaking animatedly on the next table in a mix of French and Italian. There was no sign of the Guants but many families on board chose to eat in their suites. Lyndsay saw the unknown bridegroom sitting alone, reading a paper, his new bride nowhere to be seen. Ebonine Fitch was on a table near him, sucking on his bone pipe and talking to a new acquaintance while his eyes flicked around the room like a snake’s tongue.

A West African family sat around a table near them. The wizard was entertaining his son by pointing his finger at the salt pot and making it dance. Lindsay knew that magical schools across Africa, especially the largest and oldest known, Uagadou, taught their pupils magic without the use of wands. The boy tucking into jam on toast must be around ten. He’d probably receive his invitation to study there soon. His mother was dressed in a royal-blue print robe that resembled mountains in clouds. She wore a headdress of moons. Raising an eyebrow to her husband who was now conducting all the plates on the table, she touched her son’s hair and looked meaningfully around the room at all the watching faces. A teacup did one more theatrical twirl around its saucer and returned to stillness.

Lindsay quietly pulled up a chair next to Dorethia who fiddled absentmindedly with her napkin. The previous night’s concerns were written in shadows under her eyes and she seemed passive, happy to let others do the talking as she watched over her dog. Amos held court.

“Must have been that terrible Balistrode witch,” he said, throwing Rosa another piece of slightly burned sausage. “Nasty witch casting curses this way and that. It’s Merlin’s wonder she didn’t hit anyone else.”

Dorethia smiled without comment as she watched Amos scratch behind Rosa’s ears.

Lyndsay caught a flicker of an image in the older witch’s mind; a young woman, her dress the colour of the grasses on the mountains on which she sat. She had Dorethia’s deep, long-lashed eyes and full lips. The girl in Dorethia’s vision was around Lindsay’s age, with long dark hair and a golden complexion. With a jolt of recollection, Lyndsay saw her reach out towards a face as familiar to her as her own; Seamus. Her breath caught in her throat. Dorethia smiled as if she knew Lindsay had read her mind, but now was not the time to ask questions.

Fion Heinz strode confidently towards their table, nodding at Percy as he passed.

“Mr. Quirrel, may I have a quiet word?”

“Of course, Mr. Heinz, of course! What can I do for you on this fine day?”

“My colleagues and I are rather concerned about the extra wand registrations that occurred late last night.”

“Necessary my dear chap, necessary. This dear little dog. Miss Prewett here in tears.”

“Yes, I am very happy the dog was saved from that wretched witch” answered Fion, patting Rosa whose nose had pocked out from under the tablecloth to say hello. “Hello, yes, I am very happy you are safe now” he added directly to Rosa before straightening to full height and re-addressing Quirrel. “We feel, however, that some sensitivity could have been spared for my Goblin friends. After all, under current laws they must be registered on a witch or wizard’s wand to travel and can be killed if suspected of a crime.”

“Precautions, only, dear chap, more for other creatures. Goblins are highly valued, respected patrons, I assure you!”

“They did not feel valued or respected last night. This morning I assured them I would talk to you. They wanted to remind you how much Goblin gold you borrowed to build the Eagle engine. They asked me to tell you they may rethink their terms.”

“Dear me, strong words! Most unnecessary I assure you!” Amos bobbed up from his chair, looking wildly around the room.

“I assure you, Mr. Quirrel, that the feelings behind them are just as strong. I’d urge you to take them seriously. Too many more wand registrations and you may have a goblin rebellion on your hands.”

“They are for the security of our passengers” put in Quirrel, rather more weakly.

“Grawgun has had made it clear to me that the goblins see these registrations as a degradation to those whom wizarding kind refuses to allow to carry or use wands.” Fion said in hushed tones.

“Goblins with wands! Preposterous!” Amos blustered, his face flushing red as he rocked forward across the table. The room went still.

Lyndsay realised she must speak up “Perhaps, Mr. Quirrel, you could talk to the Goblins. I’m sure if you listened to their complaint you could reassure them of their safety as passengers and investors.”

Just then Annie Quirrel arrived at their table along with Cordelia. Lindsay noticed a steely determination behind Annie’s famous calming charm now filling the room. There was also a keen intelligence behind those eyes.

“We were fixin’ to do that directly, weren’t we Amos? Why, you were only saying yesterday how glad you were they’re on this journey with us; how happy you are they can see for themselves the wonder they helped create. Perhaps you could invite them to dine with us tonight?”

“Quite right, my dear” Amos answered standing, his bouncy, confident self once more. He wiped his lips and straightened his waistcoat and pocket watch, bobbed a neat little bow each to Lindsay and Dorethia, and threw Rosa another sausage. “Apologies my dears, duty calls. Mr. Heinz please do lead the way.” They strode off towards the corridor.

“I apologise” Annie said to the rest of the table as she scooped up Rosa and sat down, settling the little dog on her knee. “Amos is a passionate man and his heart and soul are in this train. What a nest of doxies we had to deal with last night. One battle at a time is what my momma used to say.” She reached out a lacy sleeve and patted Dorethia’s hand.

Cordelia made introductions, and after a moment or two of small-talk, the only sounds coming from their table were the pouring of tea and coffee, the buttering and crunching of toast and the panting of a dog excited to meet new friends.  Over coffee, the conversation turned to what had happened to George.

Cordelia was adamant; “The whole thing needs investigating, Annie dear.  You can’t have people attacked and not try to find out why. Besides, George is a gem. My main coon and Rosa both adore him.  It’s unsettling. Fizzy is quite ill over it.”

“Yes, where is Mr. Fitzpatrick?” ventured Lindsay.

“In his cabin; he went back shortly after you left us earlier, my dear. Such an upset, seeing George must have done it. He kept saying he wasn’t safe. We left him in bed, green as troll’s boggy asking to be locked in ” answered Cordelia with feeling, much to her friend’s alarm.

“My friend, you must not say such things, they are très indelicate,” admonished Dorethia.

Cordelia lifted her chin, took her teacup gracefully in her hand and drank deep before answering, “My lace may be delicate, Dorethia, but my sentiments never will be.”

“I know mon amie. We all feel sick with it, especially Dear Fizzy. ‘E is not himself at all.”

“Would y’all like Amos and I to send Mr. Fitzpatrick a healer?”

“No thank-you, Annie dear, we just need to know that everything is in hand. How is George?” Cordelia replied.

“”Well, he was beat as all get out last night, but he’ll be right as rain by tomorrow, George is being looked after. There’s every protective charm we know on his room now, not that anyone can get past his house-elf, Poggle. She had a mind to stop the healers getting in to help. ”

“I’d expect nothing less from you, Annie, ma chérie” put in Dorethia.

“Or Poggle” Lindsay added, surprising herself.

“Amos was quite the gatekeeper too” Cordelia added.

“Well, he doesn’t want anyone upsetting themselves. He always wants each Eagle journey to be perfect for everyone” Annie answered, her tone a mixture of pride and exasperation in her husband.

“But of course it impossible what Amos says. The vile Madmoiselle Bulstrode could not ‘av done this terrible thing. She was with us terrorising ma petite” said Dorethia.

“So, there remain unanswered questions…” continued Cordelia

“Which snake in the grass hurt George” finished Annie.

“Yes” said Cordelia, “and how to insure …”

“The snake doesn’t strike again” finished Annie.


“If I had my druthers, we’d check all wands onboard with an a’priori spell right now, to see what spells they’ve cast, but Cordelia, you heard Mr. Heinz. The Goblins won’t be the only ones who may feel threatened. Amos and I have registered one family on our own wands because they don’t use them. As you can imagine, the European and American custom of using wands for identification puts them at a disadvantage. Then there are the ministry witches and wizards from different countries who may be travelling incognito with official secrets to keep. The mutual trust we are trying to build won’t be worth a cauldron of salt if we handle this badly.”

“It sounds a dizzying task, Mrs. Quirrell, but important we find a way to find out what happened” Lindsay ventured.

“Call me Annie, dear, please, Mrs. Quirrell is my mother-in-law.”

Lindsay smiled, glancing around the table for any sign of a guilty conscience as she spoke with an unexpected shake in her voice “George was found only yards from my door”.

“Well, heavens to Sayre, I know it must have been a scare”. Annie answered, nodding to herself. “We’ll get to the nub of it soon enough I reckon, but we do need to be careful. ”

“Well,” said Cordelia, “you must keep us informed of your progress, and let us know if we can offer any help.”

“Bien Sur, please let us know” added Dorethia.

“Of course, my friends’, Annie answered easily, ” but I very much doubt the Miss Cordelia Fancourt I know will be content to wait. Be careful,  all of you, if you decide to take matters into your own hands.”

“I cannot think what you mean,” answered Cordelia, an impish glint in her eye.

Amos had returned to the room. He looked relieved, even quite pleased with himself as he announced there was to be champagne served to everyone. House elves appeared balancing silver trays holding towers of tall stem glasses full of golden bubbles. Fast as lightening the elves levitated a glass to each person. Amos was making his way to the centre of the room where three stewards were conjuring a small stage. Lindsay looked towards Annie, noticing the practiced smile of a woman who had heard many similar speeches. Most passengers were watching the great Mr. Quirrel take to the stand, but several wizards were distracted, watching the beautiful flaxen-haired young bride make her way to her new husband’s side. Among these wizards were, Ebonine Filtch, Arnie Singh and his companion.  Lyndsay saw a tense look pass between Percy and the young witch. He got up and left the room, looking at Lindsay as he passed.

Lindsay wondered if she was watching a tangled love story or the changing of the guard. She was increasingly thinking  Percy and the mysterious bride may be the ‘X & Y’ she had overheard the Minister for International Magical Cooperation telling Arnie Singh to liaise with. She considered it more than possible that the friendly Mr. Fleamont was an auror. He seemed resourceful, chivalrous and hyper-aware of his surroundings. She suspected he was also secretive and imagined he might be brave but slightly arrogant as many dark wizard catchers could be.  Unlike some of the other wizards in the room, he did not have a longing look in his eyes as he looked at the honeymooning witch. Lindsay found to her amazement that made her feel glad.

The bride had caught her attention too. There was a purpose to her fluid strides. Her mind could lock down like a fortress against a legilimens like Lindsay looking for information. She seemed to detest Ebonine Filtch. She and her husband, while obviously in love, did not cling to one another in that way the very newly married often do. Instead, Lindsay had noticed Percy and the honeymooning witch passing one another in a manner that suggested passing the baton in a race. With all the disappearances that had happened on this train’s route it would be surprising if there were not dark wizard catchers onboard and Lindsay pegged these two as contenders.

“They’re a handsome couple,” Lindsay offered, fishing for information on the young witch.

“Lucy and Philip Abbot? Yes, they do seem a pretty pair,” Annie replied.

“There’s something especially compelling about Lucy” Lyndsey pressed.

“Yes, that girl’s got gumption, especially after what happened,” Annie said with meaning.

Amos had started to speak but Lindsay was only half listening. He was saying something about the camaraderie that had saved a small dog from the jaws of death. When he asked everyone to raise their glasses and toast a bright new day, Lindsay bought the glass to her mouth and drank. It tasted sour and strange. She felt first burning and blistering then complete numbness on her tongue and down her throat. The sensation was reaching her stomach and radiating out second by second. She tried to open her mouth to speak but her face would not do as her brain asked. She felt her back begin to jerk and convulse. She was quickly losing control of her body. Poison. Her mind focused on that word. She was being poisoned and all she could think was, this cannot be real.

The numbness was spreading down her arms as she reached for the bezoar her enigmatic friend Eremite had sent her with the note you’ll need the bezoar after Paris. She could no longer lift her arm to reach her mouth. She was aware people close by were staring. She locked eyes with Cordelia as she felt herself slide to the ground, willing the woman before her to follow her gaze down to the cure in her hand. Cordelia was quick to react, grasping the bezoar and thrusting it into Lindsay’s mouth before directing it backward with her wand. Lindsay feared she was going to choke but her body remembered how to swallow.

Feeling was returning to her and with it came needles of pain. She could not ever have imagined feeling so gloriously happy to feel pain but she knew she was alive. Her vision blurred around a halo of people looking down on her. Arnie and Cordelia were either side of her, Annie, Dorethia, Lucy the bride come dark wizard catcher and the man Lindsay had seen entertaining his son with dancing teacups. It was his arms reaching for her, lifting her up and rushing her out of the room with his wife leading the way.  Lindsay was aware of Cordelia, Arnie,  and Lucy following behind.  The last thing she saw before passing out completely were billows of clouds and mountains.

It’s the fabric of a dress, she told herself, not the stairway to heaven. I am alive. It was with that comfort that she blacked out.

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CHAPTER 5: Poggle, George & The Dragon

The Library of Lost Wands,

Epic Potterverse Fanfiction set in 1919

by Antonia Sara Zenkevitch,


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The next day began in a subdued mood, but as The Eagle chugged out of Paris at 4 o’clock the grey dawn drew its first rays of hope in copper rimmed clouds. George was not dead. He had been attacked just yards from where Lindsay had been sitting, on the other side of the wood panelling of her cabin. Perhaps it was the person she had heard outside her door while listening in on Arnie Singh and his colleague discussing muggle peace agreements with the enigmatic Minister Moon. She’d assumed, from a pale reflection in her window, the scent of pipe smoke and sense of the sinister, that it had been Ebonine Filtch listening nearby in the shadows. But the attack on George had happened later, when everyone’s attention had been on the fate of a small dog, Bulstrode had been screaming for vengeance and Lindsay had been working out what to do with the strange parcel George had entrusted her with.

Only paces away the wizard had apparently been silently disarmed, stunned, obliviated and body-bound without seeming to have had time to put up a defence. His wand was still in his pocket. The whole thing appeared to be a crime born of panic, opportunism or angry vendetta rather than a cold, calculated assault she’d expect from her bone-pipe smoking chief culprit.

Lindsay woke and dressed early and quickly, feeling in her skirt pocket for the bezoar the wise and puzzling Eremite Borage had sent her. She clutched it as if the poisoning cure was a talisman. Yet it was hard to be gloomy. The first glow of morning was beautiful; the rythmn of the train on the tracks mixing with far off footsteps, creeks and children’s playful laughter. The rays shining through gold and lilac lined clouds defiantly illuminated every corner. The air smelled of baking and earth after the rain. A phoenix carved in the cherrywood panelling seemed to bask in the sunrise. As she watched it a strange sense of excitement enveloped her. Odd, she thought, as the bronze haired image of a smiling Percy Fleamont skipped briefly into her mind.

She left her cabin and walked restlessly to the end of Wildsmith carriage. Opening a window in the vestibule, she watched the last stars disappear behind brush strokes of sun. Pale gold fields were speckled with late poppies and bordered by the fleecy streaks of clematis her mother called ‘old man’s beard’ at this time of year. She could think more clearly here where the only sounds were birdsong and distant breakfast preparations.

Her thoughts returned to the events of last night. She pondered the connection between George, Bulstrode’s destroyed wand, Seamus and the unknown Sophie. She wondered how much her the loss of her twin and all the other missing seers related to all that had happened in the past few hours.

George’s injuries may suggest a frenzied assault, but it was possible the attacker had planned it all; from the distraction outside to sending George on a mission to deliver the mangled wand to Lindsay’s cabin. Could someone do all this just so they could ambush George in a long, lightless corridor? It was possible. The young attendant would be unlikely to use the lumos charm, because casting any light from his wand would draw attention to himself and his secret task. If that were the case George’s assailant would surely have to be someone able to manipulate and mislead others while gaining their trust. Why would anyone hurt the boy though? He had seemed to Lindsay a kind and thoughtful soul. Despite this, his enigmatic announcements in the early hours about her vanished brother had made her very uneasy.

If she was honest, there was an irrational part of her that was angry at George for being attacked. She had no idea how much of last night he’d remember after being subjected to the obliviate curse. An equally frustrated part of her felt betrayed that he should know something about her beloved twin that she did not.

She heard clattering behind her and turned to see a small head popping out of an even smaller service hatch in the next carriage. A tiny house elf wearing a starched white tablecloth was clambering out, her ears poking out of holes of a shapeless bright blue wool thing on her head bearing the legend Poggle’s Tea Cosy in bold yellow letters. Her hands were full of clean towels and bandages, her saucer-like, periwinkle eyes full of concern. For a split second Lindsay caught the elf’s gaze and saw a glimpse of what was worrying her. In that moment she saw George sprawled in the dark, his limbs at unnatural angles. A swinging door and retreating footsteps were the only signs of anyone else being there. It seemed this elf may have been the first on the scene.

“Poggle’s coming, Master Georgie” the tiny creature squeaked, twisting a stray strand of wool behind her left ear as she pushed through a nearby door. Quick as a shadow, Lindsay followed, allowing her intuition to guide her. When she slipped into the room she just had time to see the unconscious form of George on the bed before being shooed away by the startled Poggle.  Fanning Lindsay back towards the door with a towel while shaking from toes to tea cosy, the elf declared “Master George is not well and must regain his strength, Mistress, if you please.”.

“I just want to see if he is recovering. “, whispered Lindsay to the quivering, indignant elf. My name is Lindsay O’Brian, what’s yours? “

“My name is Poggle, Mistress Lindsay. Please Mistress Lindsay, Master is not well and must rest.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Poggle. Please don’t worry, I won’t wake him. I’ll just sit here a while.”

The little elf looked away, pulling the blue tea cosy down over her ears, muttering and humming under her breath. Lindsay perched on a small stool in the corner of the cabin while Poggle bathed George’s forehead. The attendant’s sleeping quarters were compact and neat with fresh white linen on a small bed. An unusual clock hung above a chest of draws and a scarred desk. The clock had many hour hands, each inscribed with a cabin number and carriage. There was writing round the circumference of the timepiece showing what each cabin’s inhabitants were doing. The choices included hungry, eating, in bed, in lounge car, and in mortal peril. According to the direction of most of the hour-hands, the majority of passengers seemed to be in bed at present. Two cabin occupants were in the corridors and someone in cabin 19 of Fancourt Carriage was needing assistance. 

Looking at the unconscious figure in front of her Lindsay knew it would be another attendant who came to the aid of the passenger in cabin 19. She guessed each attendant on the train must have a similar clock. It would explain their uncanny ability to know what each passenger wanted before the passenger themselves knew. How else could they do their impossible job? She looked for her own cabin; No.8 Wildsmith on the clock-face and found her hour hand was pointing to a segment marked visiting. She tried to memorise the cabin numbers in the hope of finding out who was where but something on the desk caught her attention. A green and silver snake was circling the cover of a book; The Dangerous Secret; a warning in time by Phineas Nigellus Black. She recognised the author as being a past headmaster of Hogwarts and a Slytherin.

Then Poggle spoke in hushed words that seemed to echo. “He doesn’t wake up. When he wakes he doesn’t remember.”

“I’m so sorry this happened.” Lindsay offered, but the elf seemed not to hear.

“I have been his Poggle since he was a boy and I was a small elf.”

Lindsay lent forward, wanting to comfort Poggle, but the elf moved closer to George, stretching out thin, agile arms; shielding him. Feeling for the right words Lindsay settled on “I am sorry this happened to your friend.”

“Mistress must not say I am a friend of Master!”

“I meant no offence, Poggle, I can see you care for Master George” Lindsay ventured, but the elf spoke over her, her voice shrill with feeling:

“I was always told; Poggle, Master George is not your friend, he is a wizard, you are a house elf.”

“Did Master George say that to you?” asked Lindsay

“House elves serve wizards. It has always been this way. Master Augustus says.” Poggle’s voice softened as she added, “Maybe Mistress Lindsay was bought up by muggles and does not know the proper way.”

“I think there is more than one wizarding way,” answered Lindsay, trying to hide her feelings as her gaze slid sideways towards the book decorated with the Slytherin crest.

“Master George is the only son of an old wizarding family,” said Poggle, her chest puffing up with pride.

“Is Master Augustus his father?” asked Lindsay, then noticing Poggle flinch, she continued “and have your family served his for long? I don’t know much about elf customs.”

Poggle nodded to herself, looking behind her at the fitful figure of George whose head was bandaged, eyes closed in troubled sleep. She patted George’s knee as she continued in a tone of devotion, ” I am Master George’s Poggle. I will always be. It is not allowed for us to be friends. Master George’s father would not allow it. He told Master George. My grandpa told me. An elf’s place is to serve wizarding kind. It is the law.”

“Do you normally work on the train with George?”

“I followed him when he came to work on the Eagle. He said I didn’t need to, that it might be dangerous, but I did not know if the house elves here would take care of him.”

A thought was occurring to Lindsay; “Did Master George knit you that tea cosy, Poggle?”

“Master gave it to his Poggle when he went away. He said my head was turning the same colour as my eyes. He knitted this for my head and said it could be a tea cosy if I liked and a hat whenever I wanted. But I told him a house elf cannot have clothes. I wouldn’t be his Poggle anymore.”

Lindsay sat on the wobbly stool by George’s bed and looked at the thing on Poggle’s head. The holes on either side fit around the elf’s ears too snuggly to have been made for a teapot’s handle and spout. She, Seamus and their cousin Syd had not grown up in a house with elves doing their bidding as many wizarding families did, particularly those some liked to call ‘purebloods’. Yet she was aware generations of elves served some wizard families. Her only real connect with elves had been those who worked in Hogwarts, each of whom were industrious and rarely seen. Hufflepuffs like Seamus knew them best. He used to boast that, as their common room was near the school’s great kitchens, hopeful Hufflepuffs would sneak in for a treat. They found the elves only too happy to cater for midnight feasts and pre-dawn quidditch practice snacks. She knew that elves never wore proper clothes. An elf given clothes by their master or mistress was a free elf. Elves had been taught over who knew how long to fear this, seeing it as dismissal and disgrace. Lindsay suddenly found she did not know what to say.

Poggle began to sing, clicking her fingers so that the fresh bandages hovered by her ear, quietly unravelling and arranging themselves as she tended to his injured arm and rib.”We elves have magic of our own, oh yes, and my master knows.” Poggle chanted to herself.

“I can believe that!”

Turning her piercing blue gaze onto the witch before her, Poggle asked  “Who hurt my Master Georgie?”

“I don’t know, yet. I am going to try to find out. Is there anything you can tell me that may help?”

“How do you know Master?” answered Poggle, her voice still spiked with suspicion.

“I don’t know him well, but I like him” Lindsay answered truthfully,  then, trusting her instincts, she took a leap of faith and silently mouthed “He gave me the wand to hide.”

“The wand with the dragon heart” Poggle stated in wonder, her huge eyes welling with tears, her fingers twisting the blue yarn near her ears.

Lindsay cast a muffliato charm so no one else could hear them. She then told Poggle some of what she knew. After hearing and trusting the witch’s account the elf sighed and settled herself down on the bottom of the bed ready to tell her tale.

“Bulstrode killed my aunty, five years ago. She was a good elf, always followed wizarding law. Master George saw her do it. He is Mistress Bustrode’s cousin.”

“That’s awful, Poggle, did you or George report it?”

“Aunty was Mistress Bulstrode’s elf.” Poggle wept, and Lindsay understood. As far as international wizarding law was concerned, Bulstrode had done nothing illegal in killing Poggle’s aunt. Her stomach turned over in disgust. For a moment the two sat in silence, listening to the whistling rise and fall of George’s breath as the clock whirred in the corner. Lindsay noticed that most of the hour hands were now pointing to in the corridors or at breakfast. Any enemies on the train were probably presently focused on filling their bellies. Poggle rested one hand tenderly on George’s cheek as the witch beside her took her other hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

“When the dog, Rosa, took Mistress Bulstrode’s wand and Mistress Dorethia asked Master George to hide it” continued the elf.  “Master George brought it to me. He said he does not trust his cousin and wanted to see what spells it had cast, but it was too broken. Elves are not allowed to carry wands. It is against wizarding law. When Master got his wand for Hogwarts he made Poggle a pretend one, but the Mistress was not happy and burnt it.”

The clock clicked and whizzed, filling the gaps in conversation like a fourth person in the room. Poggle looked at her hand joined with a witch’s. A witch who wanted to know who had hurt her Master George.

“We house elves have magic of our own. Once, Master Georgie fell out of the high tree and his wand was hidden in the branches. I found it, Mistress Lindsay. I heard it calling to me. When I was carrying it back to Master George I could feel the story of the unicorn whose tail gave his wand its core. Master Georgie knows we elves have magic.”

“So, he asked you to tell him about Bulstrode’s wand?”

“The core is the heartstring of the dragon called Dordrax. Part of Dordrax still lives in the wand and she is angry. Her heartstring was not given. She was hunted by Mistress Bulstrode’s ancestors who stole her eggs to lure her into a trap. They had the wand made, binding Dordrax up in elm. Master George says elm is a tree of life and death. The wand was handed down the generations, never choosing any witch or wizard who has claimed it.  Dordrax has been a prisoner, her will taken away from her.  In the hands of Bulstrode the wand has killed creatures like my aunt. Creatures and muggles. But the dragon wanted to be free. Dordrax called out until the dog Rosa heard and freed her.”

“What happened then, Poggle?”

” I heard Mistress Bulstrode calling for her wand and I was afraid. Sorry Master Georgie, but I was afraid. I let my master down.”

“I very much doubt that.”

“We heard Rosa barking and Mistress Dorethia crying. Mistress Cordelia and Master Fizzy were arguing with her. Master George took the wand and asked me to wake Mistress Quirrel. When I came back, he was gone. I found him lying in the dark, alone.”

“He is safe now” Lindsay said reassuringly. “And the wand’s safe too, for now” she added, as much to soothe herself. “George is as lucky as a vial of Felix Felicis to have you.”

“If I had taken the wand to you he would not have been alone in the dark” the elf replied, twisting her small hands in her lap. “But it is forbidden for us to carry wands or to learn their magic.”

None of this is your fault, Poggle. George obviously trusts you, with good reason. I don’t think he wanted to put you at risk.”

“It was all for nothing!” Poggle cried miserably, pulling her hand free from Lindsay’s grasp before wrapping both arms around herself and rocking on the spot. But the witch was speaking to her in soft tones that reminded her of the lullabies she would sing Master George when he was little.

“It was for something, Poggle. Dordrax is now free of Bulstrode, and her story is remembered by you. The chewed up wand can do no more harm. It is hidden somewhere few can find and may well still hold evidence. We will find a way to punish that terrible witch for her unspeakable crimes.”

Poggle stopped rocking. She sat hunched over, her breathing uneven. Lindsay could tell she was crying.

“Poggle,” she said, very gently, “what was your aunt’s name?”

Poggle looked up, startled by the question. After a moment she said in a voice that sounded like the working of a charm “Her name was Epi Bulstrodelf”

Lindsay, feeling a tug of electricity in the air, answered: “Where shall we take the memory of your Aunt Epi and of dragon Dordrax?”

“To the Keeper of Lost Wands.” the elf intoned.

Lindsay had never heard of the Keeper of Lost Wands but in the pit of her stomach, she felt the occamy uncoil. It was as if at that moment she had become the occamy pensieve with the memories of centuries within her waiting to fly. It felt like the bird was within her, the parcel of lace, elm and dragon heartstring held within her beak.

The spell was broken by a knock at the door, followed by a gust of air as Cordelia, Fizzy, and Percy burst into the room followed by Amos Quirrel and an attendant Lindsay didn’t recognise. Everything happened at once, though it seemed like slow motion as the book with the Slytherin crest blew off the desk and a sheet of all too familiar writing fluttered out from the pages. It was Seamus’ writing; it seemed her brother had written to George. She wanted to look but Amos was cheerfully, firmly ushering them all out of the room.

“Breakfast, breakfast my dears! Merlin’s beard, you don’t want to miss the delicious spread we’ve laid out for you. George is in good hands, good hands.”

As Lindsay followed the curve of Amos Quirrel’s wildly gesticulating arms she saw something that made her breath catch in her throat. Her hour hand was now pointing towards Mortal Peril.

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The Library of Lost Wands,

Epic Potterverse Fanfiction set in 1919

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch,

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March 1917, a forest in Eastern Europe

Seamus had seen how this would end. He raced through the tall pines, their sharp scent mingled with the smell of perspiration, lending him courage. He did not know which country he was in. The borders of the human world were changing, but out here the tree roots wrote the maps. Above the war drum of his pulse, he heard the nonchalant pace of his deadly foe’s footsteps through the undergrowth. He slowed his own steps and breath, aware that his trousers were torn and his ankle and shoulder were bleeding. Frightened though he was, laughter gurgled up from deep inside him. It was all so ridiculous. Skilled, cynical seer though he was, he wondered how this unthinkable, crucial mission could fall to a Hufflepuff who, six months ago had been given the role of Care Taker to the herd of Pegasus horses at Beauxbatons School.  His sister was the one who worked at the Ministry of Magic in London, and she knew nothing of this. He had made sure of it.  As skilled in shielding his thoughts and feelings as she was in reading them, he’d distanced himself from loved ones to protect them as long as he could.

He had closed off the telepathic connection that had seen he and his twin through quidditch matches, midnight picnics and being sorted into different houses in their Hogwarts days. It had kept them sane in the short, intense years since. It was vital Lyndsay knew nothing, until later. He had needed time to lay the trail of breadcrumbs he hoped she’d follow. In the three months since he’d seen what was unfolding, he had worn anonymity like an invisibility cloak. Using polyjuice potion, he’d borrowed the faces and names of soldiers recovering in field hospitals, all the while hoping he didn’t see his cousin, Syd, on one of the stretchers.  He’d passed as a muggle for as long as he could.  It was a safe disguise because those on his trail viewed non-magic folk as below their interest. Earlier, he had hidden his wand with all his secrets where he hoped his sister would find it. Then he had come here.

He had chosen the place himself; he’d always found peace among trees.  Wandless, he couldn’t summon the usual anti-detection and repelling charms, but the canopy of inky firs would help prevent witnesses. Looking up into blue sky beyond them gave him the oddest sensation of winging down a long tunnel towards its exit.  He imagined for a moment he had changed form and flew with an eagle now soaring overhead. Mentally he called to the bird; “Tell my sister if she comes this way, tell wisdom too if you see her.” The bird screamed, “Aye” in ascent. Her feathers dappled red and gold as she appeared to disappear like Iccarus into the sun.  Seamus found himself wishing he had studied in Africa, where wizards were often adept at shapeshifting and did not traditionally use or need wands. But his plan could only work this way. And the plan had to work. So many lives depended on it.

A footfall sounded nearby. Sweat merged with one lazy tear wending its way towards his mouth, which he realised in surprise, was smiling.  He did not believe in fate. Many thought this strange for a seer. He saw prophesies like maps, but some could be used as weapons, especially if those thirsting for power believed in them. This one held the key to stop a tyrant, to end an endless war and to protect millions of muggles and muggle-born from being oppressed.  Few would ever know his choice, but Lindsay would. He felt the creatures in the forest watching and listening, so he began to softly hum one of Uncle Harris’s old sea shanties, dancing his way into a low bow as he did so.

“You play the cribbage and I’ll stick the pegs”
Singing blow the wind westerly, let the wind blow
By a gentle nor’ wester how steady she goes.”

He rose slowly, calmly. He saw the house elf before he saw the tall figure striding effortlessly after her towards him. The elf was pleading, tugging at the hem of a cloak woven of black smoke. The wizard kicked out and the elf fell into silent watching. Colder, clear eyes that may once have been handsome fell on Seamus.  It was time. The wind whipped up, caressing his wounds. He heard birdsong over the taunting indifference of the voice behind the wand raised in his direction.

“This is the end,” promised the wizard, the elf quivering by his side as he prepared to strike.

“No”, this is where your end has its beginning,” said Seamus.

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CHAPTER 4: Porte de Versailles

The Library of Lost Wands,

Epic Potterverse Fanfiction set in 1919

by Antonia Sara Zenkevitch,

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Plaintive hoots and rustlings came from the onboard owlery, joined by the clicks and bangs of carriage doors as strangers alighted or joined the train. They had arrived at Porte de Versailles in Paris. The clock chimed one. Late though the hour, suits and cloaks from many nations milled around the platform, their muted conversations sounding like the hum of an agitated beehive. Whispers were all the more guarded because not all on the platform were aware that the Eagle Engine and its carriages were different. Muggles believed this to be the metro line’s terminus. They were repelled from getting close to this triumph of magical engineering by an overwhelming fear of getting on the wrong train. They had no idea that the Eagle and the enigmas she carried would, in a few short hours, continue on through an archway which they could not see and along a track they believed to be bricked up and abandoned.

Muflatio charms were cast here and there to mask conversations. Such spells did not work entirely on those who could read minds and emotions. The atmosphere was tense and serious, determined, belligerent and optimistic all at the same time. War was on everyone’s lips. Conflicts past and still burning in the muggle world, peace treaties and the spoils of war. Lindsay was ever more aware that there were others, like herself, in the wizarding world, who knew all too well that battles in the non-magic world affected the magical world too. In the darkness of her cabin, she listened over the thunder of her heart for any clue that could unlock the secrets of the past years or what the future held.

Then, like a retreating tide, the passengers poured out of the station in a haze of steam. Three men clung to the shadows, talking in low, hushed tones. Lindsay caught their conversation and hesitated, wrapped in the dim light that curtained her window from view. Through the glass, Lindsay could see the men exchanging files. She recognised the taller, slightly older wizard as the Minister for International Cooperation, Leonard Spencer Moon, code name Moon, or simply ‘M’. The other two wizards had their back to her, but she thought she recognised the voice of Arnie Singh from Magical Cooperation.

“I fear the muggle war has not ended but has only changed. Indeed I sometimes question if it ever was purely a muggle war. ” the shadowed figure of Moon was saying.

“Do you think maybe the rumours are true? I’d heard there were dementor attacks, disappearances?” said a lanky, dark-haired wizard bending against the chill in the air.

“There is no clear evidence as yet.” the senior minister admonished.

There was a beat, a cough, the ruffle of papers.

“They’re calling The Muggle Prime-Minister ‘The Welsh Wizard’ after your last shift, Mr. Spencer-Moon,” said Arnie, his friendly voice familiar to Lindsay’s eve-dropping ears.

“I simply nudged proceedings by interpreting the thoughts of Clemenceau regarding his desire for a British-American guarantee of protection against possible aggression from his neighbours. It was Lloyd George that sold the idea to Wilson” answered Moon.

“Apparently, Lloyd George wasn’t that surprised when the portrait of old Ulrik at no.10 told him about the Ministry of Magic. Acted as if he expected the picture to announce a visit from Evermonde. Some say his great-aunt was one of us.” Arnie chuckled.

“Maybe, maybe,” said Moon, who exuded a calm authority the other two men were yet to master. “He was certainly excited when I told him how we travel here. He has been speaking about building a train tunnel under the sea to link France and Britain.”

“I’m surprised our Minister is permitting our help with this muggle peace treaty,” said Arnie, a clear note of bitterness in his voice, “Given that he passed emergency legislation forbidding us to get involved with the war. What is Evermonde playing at?”

Lindsay, not for the first time that night, heard something or someone outside her cabin door. She held her breath but a second later whoever it was had passed by. She refocused her attention on Moon as he spoke in measured tones;

“Evermonde knows thousands defied his order to let the muggles fight alone. Many, like yourself, felt obliged to help. The Minister would lose his position if he does not offer the muggle governments our assistance now. He also worries, I think, that if this muggle peace treaty doesn’t hold potion, more witches and wizards may take up arms. That would risk far greater infractions of the International Statute of Secrecy” he sighed.

“But you say the war has not ended, M? I suppose it won’t end until the treaty is signed.” Said the tall, leggy wizard.

“We may be in some sort of cease-fire but this paperwork is a form of war in itself” Arnie was saying, earning him a swift nod of approval from both men.

“Precisely!” Moon replied. “Civil wars, boundary battles and fights continue, even close to home in the British Isles. Old injustices are bubbling. In the 4 months it took to get to this point Germany has remained under naval blockade, her children dying of hunger.”

“So are children in many countries after the war,” Arnie answered with quiet passion.

“Quite so, starving people do not always make rational decisions, nor do grieving ones”

“Some of us lost people in the war, Sir,” said Arnie.

“We all lost heavily, some, like yourself, more than others. That is why we are here, to prevent, if we can do, more deaths” Replied Spencer-Moon.

“But you fear we cannot?” said the tall stranger, a note of concern in his voice.

“I fear there is more at play here than perhaps there should be. My first job, you know, was as a tea boy in the Department of Magical Accidents. It was then I learned to listen and to try not to judge, though non-judgement is not always possible, or even advisable.”

“But couldn’t you always tune into people’s thoughts?”

“It was then I learned to listen. It is not always the same thing as hearing.”

“Quite so,” said the stranger.

“Not judging is often the privilege of those who have lost little,” said Arnie.

“True. But it may also be the last defence of those who have lost everything.” Replied the Minister for International Cooperation.

“They have 24hrs?” asked their tall colleague.

A nod, a whistle in the dark, then “Journey well boys, you know the details of your assignment. Time for you to swap your tales with X and Y. ”

Goodbyes were said. Lindsay listened as the carriage door opened and closed and two pairs of footsteps moved down the corridor. The minds of both men were on dementor attacks, worrying for their loved ones. As she opened the door she heard soft breaths and noticed a faint smell of tobacco. Catching a reflection of a pale face in the polished wood panels she spun around, wand outstretched, but she saw no one. Nearby a train engine coughed into action, smoke stretching like the fingers of ghosts across the chill night air.

“I heard you both.” Said the now solitary figure of Leonard Spencer-Moon from the platform below looking up. “Your thoughts are loud this night. Fare you well.” And with this, he tipped his hat, turned sharply on his heel and disappeared into vapours of steam and coal dust.

Lindsay must have fallen asleep where she had sat, curled up against the circle of her window, but she was awoken by a shriek. Bleary-eyed, Lindsay checked her pocket watch. It was a little after half past three in the morning. In the distance, she could hear a dog barking and the strangled sobbing of a woman. Then a horrible, petulant voice ripped through the night air.

“What have you done with my wand, you mongrel? I’ll have your hide for this.”

“Woof” was the reply. The witch from Control of Magical Creatures had met the train in Paris to exact her revenge. Looking through the fogged up glass of her porthole, Lindsay could make out shadows taking shape in the darkness. That hateful witch seemed to be dragging the poor Pomeranian, Rosa, outside into a small half-moon of waiting figures.

“Someone give me a wand so I can perform the curse,” she demanded, malice curling her words.

“Now, Miss Bulstrode, please be reasonable, we do not want an international incident,” said Arnie Singh. Lindsay could make out his silhouette in the small gathering.

“Under decree 19 of our wizarding law this unregistered mutt who stole ministry information and my wand …” the witch Lindsay now knew to be Miss Bulstrode panted. Suddenly the officious witch was sent backward in a hail of sparks. Someone had aimed a curse at her. Lindsay could not see who had cast the spell but she heard the response; “There are confidential spells on that wand!” Miss Bulstrode shrieked. “Of international wizarding importance.”

“I hardly think”, said the calm voice of Percy Fleamont, “that records of the creatures you’ve sized up or killed could be any serious security threat to wizarding kind.”

Miss Bulstrode sneered “The beast is under my jurisdiction; I am the only one from Control of Magical Creatures here. It is for me to say.”

“Est-ce votre démocratie?” a French official asked the group at large.

It was Cordelia Fancourt who replied “No, Jean-Louis, my dear, it is not our democracy.”  Dorothia and Rosa’s friends were crowding around them in a shield.

“That dog savagely attacked me in the course of my work for the ministry!” pronounced Miss Bulstrode, pointing her finger at Rosa in a way that would have been comic if it had not had such lethal intent.

“Nous sommes en France. Rosa est une citoyenne français,” pronounced Dorethia, her voice shaking.

Suddenly, there was a furtive knock on her cabin door, followed by George’s strained voice, “Miss O’Brian?” Fearing the worst was about to happen, Lindsay flung the Aran shawl over her nightdress and opened the door. George, apologetic and urgent in his manner, passed her a small package. It looked like wet firewood in a lace scarf, buzzed like a gas lamp and smelled like rotten fish. Seeing that she did not understand and clearly in a hurry, George whispered: “If they can’t find it they can’t prove Rosa did anything.”

Lindsay now understood it was Bulstrode’s mangled wand she held in her hand. The same wand that Rosa had indeed stolen from the cruel witch from Control of Magical Creatures while passengers had been boarding at Kings Cross. This wet piece of wood and remembered spells was evidence of the dog’s petty crime. One, it seemed, that could cost the dog her life.

“But why me?” she asked, wondering why no one had thrown the destroyed wand out of a window while the train was moving.

“I knew your brother, Seamus,” George breathed in an undertone, “The wand needs to get to his Sophie.” With that pronouncement, he lunged away up the corridor into the darkness, as quietly and surely as a prowling cat, leaving Lindsay stunned.

This was too much to take in all at once. George had just told her he’d known her missing twin. She’d searched for eighteen months for answers to Seamus’ disappearance and, she knew inside herself, his death. Was this half-digested magical object now in her hands finally a clue to what had happened to him, or was George simply pulling her strings? She’d been close to her sibling but knew precious little of Seamus’ last months. She wondered what information, if any,  could be found out from the wand itself. Frustration boiled up inside her when she tried to work out who ‘his Sophie’ could be and what she could want with the splintered elm and dragon heartstring in her grasp.

The sound of barking bought her back from her reveries. The debate on Rosa’s future was continuing outside and Dorethia was crying, clinging to her now frightened dog.

“Yes, dear,” Cordelia was saying firmly to Bulstrode, “I quite understand what the regulations do say, but you see there is no wand so no proof Rosa stole one. Il n’y a aucune preuve; there is no evidence. None.”

“The eyewitnesses, madame …” an unknown official responded.

“They’ll tell you they heard an excitable witch making a scene while chasing a small dog, but if you’d like to wake up the rest of the train I’m sure they’ll be happy to answer your questions” concluded Fizzy, as he stood with one arm around Dorethia’s shoulders as she cradled the quivering fur ball. Cordelia stood on the other side, like centurions guarding their treasure.

“The regulations say that all magical creatures …” Bulstrode tried again.

“Must be registered, yes, but no one knows who you registered because you lost your wand. Le bâton est perdu. ” Cordelia’s voice had taken on a dangerously sweet tone.

Rosa was whining now as Dorethia was clinging to her cooing “Ma petite, ma petite. Elle n’est pas magique.”

“If the dog is not magical then she is nothing to do with the Department for Control of Magical Creatures,” said Arnie Singh, a note of triumph evident in his words.

“It ate my wand!” Miss Bulstrode spluttered.

The click of a train door, the clack of footsteps and a delicious smell of roses and violets announced the arrival onto the tense scene of Annie Quirrel. The air around her was suddenly filled with a sense of comfort and calm; Annie’s famous charm was being used as a weapon. Behind her Amos Quirrel bobbed in her wake.

“Well, I do declare, what a gorgeous creature!” she said, the warmth in her voice cutting through the chill night air. “I don’t think we’ve been introduced” she added, scooping Rosa out of Dorethia’s arms into her own and giving the dog’s head a tiny kiss.

“Ro..Rosa” Dorethia stammered, to an answering ice-melting smile from Annie.

“Michael,” Annie gestured to a nearby attendant, “please would you show Rosa back to her cabin and get her a bone from the kitchen while Amos and I sort out this little confusion?” Annie continued, handing the quivering dog to Michael and patting Dorethia’s hand. One more centurion added to the guard.

The French official cleared his throat. “Assez!” he said, “I think if we cannot find the wand during the registration, we will draw a line under this whole affair.”

“Quite right, Jean-Louis” said Cordelia approvingly, “There are more important things than chasing around a dog with a stick. ”

Lindsay started to panic, wondering where could she hide the wand. She considered what might happen if they used the Accio spell to retrieve it. She couldn’t put it in the cabin’s safe because only the rightful owner would then be able to retrieve it, and that Lindsay most certainly was not. It would be a gift to the bloodthirsty Miss Bulstrode and a death sentence for Rosa to hide the wand there. Added to this, Lindsay would not and could not destroy anything that might lead to news about Seamus. She heard the door at the far end of the carriage open and knocking on nearby cabins, awakening the residents for wand re-registration. Lindsay did not have much time to waste and Rosa’s life may be at stake.

In the corner of her eye she saw a glint of silver as the occamy repositioned herself on her treasured pensieve. Of course, only her family could see this magical heirloom; only family could view or retrieve what was inside it. It would be the perfect place to hide the mangled magical thing in her hands. Still, Lindsay hesitated, knowing that if she put Bulstrode’s wand into the basin it was sure to pollute or destroy some of the precious recollections kept there. She would have no way of predicting which traces of lost loved one’s lives and which mislaid happy days she might lose forever. The occamy stirred, eyes watching expectantly, her beak open. Lindsay dropped the wreckage of the wand into the basin’s depths just as there was a knock at the door. She saw the mystical beast unfurl, diving after the wand and catching it in its talons before disappearing into the swirling, sparking electric mists of memories inside. Lindsay starred after it, forlorn and relieved all at once.

A second, more insistent knock on the door bought her back into action. Pulling her Aran scarf tightly around her shaking shoulders and touching her moonstone pendant, she opened the door.  A polite looking young wizard standing the other side was almost bowled over by Miss Bulstrode, who took his arm and waved it as if he was a puppet, pointing his wand into the room. Bulstrode’s fervor had obviously increased with each fruitless search of the Eagle’s passengers.

“Accio wands,” said the nasty little witch directing the silent wizard’s wand arm into the room, her expression wild. Only one wand flew through the air to be counted and it was Lindsay’s.

“I believe that is my wand you have there, Miss Bulstrode, could I have it back please?”

At that moment a fresh cry of outrage came from the far end of her carriage. It was Cordelia. “Oh No, George! Fizzy, Amos, anyone please come. Something has happened to George.”

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CHAPTER 3: The Occamy Pensieve

The Library of Lost Wands,

Epic Potterverse Fanfiction set in 1919

by Antonia Sara Zenkevitch,

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The way back from the feast was uneasy. She felt someone watching in the shadows. The glassy dining car had been magically enlarged with panoramic views of the star-spangled heavens and countryside at night, distant towns and cities glittering as they rolled by. In contrast, the long, narrow corridors were full of shades and whispers now.  Whoever was following her in the gloom, they were fearful of her too, she could feel it. She turned quickly in the direction of the prickles under her skin but saw no one. She heard the click of a door and a sharp intake of breath. Under the light of her wand, the moving pictures on the carved panels seemed to speak of sinister happenings.

Her cabin seemed a little lonely after the company that evening. As she closed the door into her own world, a title winked at her from the bookshelf; ‘Que Vestir O Verde Brilhante’, written by Castelobruxo Herbologists, Catina Faron & Moises Navarro. It had been one of Seamus’ favourites, given to him a long ago by Ermite Borage. With a pang she thought how much her twin would have appreciated the day; Rosa the dog’s escapade, the glimpse of the famous Hufflepuff herbologist’s home, Cordelia Fancourt’s bonhomie, the channel crossing, and all that endless sea and sky. She found herself chuckling to herself, feeling him suddenly close.

She opened the safe, touched the last letter he had written her, then placed the family pensieve on the nightstand. The ancient silver of the occamy shell it was hewn from was sea tarnished. The occamy crest of copper and bronze was adorned by stones and engravings, some which seemed to come from forgotten alphabets. Inside memories whispered to her, some in unknown languages, as if awoken by the lives of those who had travelled before her as well as the adventures yet to be written. There were times when it seemed to hum and sing to her. A low thrum no one else heard. When she was lonely she would go to sleep listening to its chorus of interlaced reminiscences.

It is the custom to bury pensieves with their owners, or to empty them, but family legend has it that this pensieve had been washed up at the feet of a great, great aunt three days after burying it with her sister at sea. This tale went on to say it had washed up many centuries before that in a stream in India. No one had tried to get rid of it, or its store of echoes since. It must have belonged to an ancestor, the magical basin had long been enchanted so that only relatives could see or pass it on to the next generation. This she knew to be true. A permanent tongue binding curse prevented anyone from divulging its existence to others. When it appeared to someone, they had become irrevocably family. Yet only those who had the gift of magic could use it. Syd, her muggle cousin, could see it but not access its contents, but the twins and their mum, his aunt Lizzie, had shared stories from it. When Lizzie O’ Brien had first become ill with Seer’s fever and had to go to St. Mungo’s hospital, she had given it to her children as a way to stay close and guide them with her memories when she could not be there in person. It was their family’s greatest secret and its greatest secret keeper.

She tenderly kissed the crooning occamy’s head and bade goodnight to those loved ones who she carried with her. She took out the second pensieve. The one made of grey stone and pewter carrying the ministry of magic logo, and enchanted with all the usual muggle repelling and undetectable charms. This was only used for collecting, examining and organising the memories and predictions Lindsay collected for the department of mysteries. What went in was not private.  Colleagues and superiors at the ministry with the correct clearance could access the contents. She did not trust, or even know each one of them, and so did not share everything.

She raised her wand to her temple and siphoned off the information she had gathered during the day. The recollections spun like threads of silver silk; like dewy spiders’ webs shimmering in mist, then swirled with those collected in different times and places. Soon, she’d examine the webs and patterns that would begin to form. For now, the threads swirled in and out of one another in the bowl, fizzing and popping occasionally when memories connected. Images raced by on the surface like the faces and landscapes reflected in the windows of the rushing train.

She set them aside, remembering what her mother had taught her. “Don’t get lost in the visions of others or in yesterdays,” she heard her mum say “and forget to live your own life, today.”

Lindsay, back in her here and now, sighed, opened her ministry logbook and began to write. As she did so the words disappeared into the page, leaving nothing behind them;

Report for 16th October 1919,

No known seers on the Eagle. No readings that are obviously directly related to the primary mission but there is a ‘temperature’ building. I have collected several samples which have been stored in the pensieve. Will proceed as planned. Do we know anything about the Princes, or the Filch family, in particular, Ebonine Filch, or his father? 

There are eyes on me. I am not the only ministry official on this train. Can you confirm there are Aurors on this route, and who they might be tailing?

She waited for a beat, as her words vanished, then fresh words appeared on the page. A response to her question had come from her department;

We will liaise with relevant departments and tell you what we can. Ebonine Filch is rumoured to be compiling a book on ancient and original wizarding family trees. What is your interest in him?

Lindsay scratched out her reply by wandlight, the distant hooting of owls in her ears;

A bone pipe, possibly human and a memory of a father who does not like non-magic people, especially those in his own family. More details can be found in the memories collected in pensieve 346.

For a long time, there was no reply, so Lindsay continued:

He seems particularly interested in one witch on the train who is a skilled Occulmens.

Still nothing but the haunting voices of restless birds and the rattle of the train.

So, if the Auror office isn’t looking into him, perhaps they should?

The reply came quickly;

Thank-you for your information. Be assured we will liaise with the relevant departments. You should be aware Ebonine Filtch is a friend to the ministry. Are there other people of interest?

A ‘friend to the ministry’, Lindsay thought to herself wryly.  Well, if that was not a warning off, nothing was. She would have to watch the bone-pipe smoking wizard like a hawk, but do so quietly.  She re-read the message and decided on how to answer the last question. She began writing again:


What do we know of the Princes? His children are scared of him.

A minute before receiving the response;

Scared children do not provide reliable evidence.

Lindsay inhaled very sharply before writing her reply;

Respectfully, children’s fear should always be enough to, at the very least, take note of.

‘Note taken.’ was the terse response from the faceless ministry official to whom she submitted these reports. Lindsay was pacing the floor, silently vowing to talk to her supervisors in person about this when she returned to her London office, when more writing appeared:

There have been reports that a dog viciously attacked one of our ministry witches yesterday at King’s Cross. They made off with a wand carrying classified information. Have you seen such an animal on the train?

‘No’ was Lindsay’s immediate reply. Well, she hadn’t actually seen her on the train, so it wasn’t a lie exactly. She added that she had witnessed an incident in which an entirely unharmed ministry official had chased a small dog down the platform. There was no response. After signing off she pondered this last exchange. She had wondered again why Dorethia seemed to be fretting about passing the dog-chewed wand on instead of getting rid of it. Now she considered there might be important, ‘classified information’ a ‘Prior Incantantum’ spell might uncover. She’d instinctively trusted the trio of elders who had befriended her, and trust given quickly was rare for her. Despite this, she was already aware that the two women had secrets.

And, whatever veiled warnings she had been given to the contrary, she would remain watchful around the bone-pale Ebonine Filtch, whatever secrets, bonds or donations of gold gave him friends in high places. She would watch the Princes too, and tell the aurors about her misgivings about the father, in particular. There were others she was watching too, including that peculiar bronze-haired wizard, Percy Fleamont and the newlyweds.

Lindsay sunk back into velvet cushions inhaling a scent of hyacinths, feeling the faint echoes of the honeymoon hopes of this cabin’s previous residents. Hot cocoa and a sugared violet had been left for her by a thoughtful house elf. As she sipped the creamy concoction her eyes flicked back to the occamy pensieve. She never travelled far without it. In part, this was because it was important to be able to separate the thoughts and recollections of others from her own. Pensieves also made it easier to organise and evaluate ideas and predictions, like books in a treasured library of forgotten minds.

A kindly teacher in her first year at Hogwarts had taught her to use her pensieve when her visions or other people’s worries and opinions were disturbing her school work. It held the past hopes of her mother and great aunt’s younger selves, their struggles and loves. It held Lizzie O’Brian’s glimpses of her journey into motherhood and of Lindsay, Seamus and Syd, their cousin, Aunty Edith and Uncle Harris.

The occamy was stirring, tiny bubbles rose from the surface of the pensieve’s basin to hang in the air like moons. She reached out her hand to hold one. It broke upon her touch, cascading up her arm and into her mind, taking her back to her mother. No longer a series of bright fragments and shadows that can be the echoes of early childhood. These were complex journeys seen through the thoughts of those she loved, woven into a patchwork of broken time.

Some of Lizzie’s ancestors, the McMillans, had washed up in Ireland during the Scottish clearances and two of their daughters had married local Irish lads whose history they said was tied ever to the Emerald Isle. Things had been tense, strained, as they will be when the powerful take land from one group to give to another group they’ve already taken land from. And yet the years went by, threads woven then frayed, like the ancient family tapestries Aunt Enid would clean lovingly each spring.  Lindsay, who had Irish blood but no Irish memory,  had asked her mum to explain the long troubles that lead to the Easter Uprising three years before. Her mother had replied: “I’ve never known, my treasure, but the whole gubu has always felt like a game of wizard’s chess to the likes of me, with not one of us knowin’ the powerful hands moving us around the board.”

She had explained to Lindsay that it was as much the British government’s brutal response to the uprising that had unified half the Emerald Isle against further British rule. Lindsay knew that in January 1919, a few short months before this journey, the South had declared independence and bitter war was raging . She had no doubt that she had family members on both sides of the conflict and she worried for them, but they were family she had not known since she was a small child.

Her mother and aunt had lived in a community that had never really recovered from the potato famines. Poverty and the memory of it had plagued them for generations. The sight of edible food shipped off while people there had to live on a failed crop of blighted roots were haunting memories that one never spoke of. Muggle relations had grown more strained during the Great Hunger. Those who knew of the family’s magic did not understand why they did not conjure the community more food. They did not understand what the wizarding world knew through Gamps’ Law of Elemental Transfiguration; that food could not be created from nothing nor transfigured from unrelated items. The magical community helped in the few ways they were able but they had also struggled with hunger and suffered persecution.

Lindsay’s mother Lizzie Anne had been the youngest. Never physically strong, Lizzie was often thought to be away with the fairies. Sometimes she quite literally was. Other times she was travelling through others’ emotions, something that affected her greatly during hard times and travelled with her after. She was mostly joyful but when the clouds came they bought storms. Her elder sister, Enid, who was quick-witted and steady, would never show signs of magic except for a fierce empathy some non-magic people have which is more healing than a vat of skellegrow. The two were exceptionally close. Two peas in a pod.

Enid married a fisherman when she was 19 and moved to his Scottish homeland with him, sending muggle money home when they could. By that time a young and beautiful Lizzie had caught the eye of the postmaster’s son, Fred O’Brian, and was working out how to tell him she was a witch. She’d told him after they’d married and it had not gone down well. Lizzie had stayed with the intention of raising a family the way she and her sister had been raised, with one foot in each world, magic, and non-magic. Fred had other plans. As soon as the twins learned to walk they started showing signs of magic. Fred would try to bully their nature away with gruff words, everyday judgements, and the withdrawal of any sign of affection.  When Lindsay and Seamus turned three Lizzie smuggled them away and took them to live with her sister, Edith and her husband Uncle Harris in Scotland.

Uncle Harris, Lindsay thought with a bitter-sweet sigh. His ever-present warmth was ever with his family despite often been away at sea during her childhood. He’d bring back stories of monsters as Enid cut back his grizzled red beard by the fire, complaining it was “stiff with salt” to which he’d grin and declare himself “Neptune of the seas.” Her quick reply was always peppered with laughter. Lizzie would say he’d probably seen Merpeople and he’d try to convince the children he was one. Like Enid, Harris, though not magic himself, had always encouraged and delighted in signs of it in his niece and nephew. He quickly realised neither they or his own young son, Syd, were interested in net-mending and long nights and days at sea. Yet he made them toys and trinkets from shells and rope and spun the most fantastical tales.

One day their Neptune did not return; a shipwreck not far from the coast had claimed him to his other home. Young Syd was rocked to sleep by his Aunt Lizzie, his cousins nearby as they told him the story of the Merpeople and how his daddy was with them now. Enid still talked to Harris now in her daily activities and his warmth was still in the house.

Lindsay smiled as a rush of affection for her aunt swelled. Mrs. Edith McGilliguddy. Strict as she was, had loved the children as she loved her own son. It was Aunty Enid, widow, muggle and close friend of various saints, who helped encourage Seamus in his herbology and guided Lindsay in managing her emotions through her art. When the youngest of the brood, Syd, expressed the will to go into law, Enid worked and saved to make it happen. Meanwhile, Seamus and Lindsay had mixed healing potions for local pets to help raise money for their cousin’s studies.  Enid, alongside Lizzie, made sure all three children had a foothold in both the magical and non-magic worlds with an unswayable conviction that “The Good Lord makes all of us of equal worth. He can find what he’s doing better than we folk, ye ken.”

So, they had grown together in a house that smelt of wood, old books, brewed herbs, singed spells and the wild animals Seamus and Syd took in, much to the joy of Lizzie and the pretend annoyance of the house-proud Enid. Their family had two women at the helm, an uncle, who though gone was ever with them and three and cousins growing up as siblings. It had been a loved life, if sometimes a hard one, Lindsay thought as she lay on the velvet covers of her cabin bed in Wildsmith carriage. She had to keep reminding herself where she was. She recalled the long weeks when her mother seemed so distant.

Her mother thoughts had got lost in time before. She had lingered too long in someone’s past, regaining consciousness just in time to fight off a Dementor’s kiss. Lizzie had advised the children to always have something sweet and stodgy on hand to eat in case of an emergency, preferably chocolate. “Memories are akin to occamies,” she would tell them, dishing out slices of steaming clootie pudding to eager hands. “Like those mythical beasts, they’ll fill all available space if you let them to it.”

Lizzie Anne Macmillan had been a Ravenclaw who was quick to think and slow to anger. These were character traits she’d passed to her children, but she would often have visits to St. Mungos Hospital where healers would skilfully help her retrieve and untangle her thoughts. At these times a quiet abstracted distance would occupy Lizzie’s eyes between moments of laughter. Her daughter felt it, as did Syd, who had inherited the quiet, fierce empathy of his own parents.

Lindsay popped another bubble, letting memories swirl together once more in the pensive, smiling at her latest memories of Syd, Lizzie and Aunt Enid on a picnic by the sea. Past and present merged in Lindsay’s mind as ripples lapped idly at the window of her cabin. Another bubble floated to the surface of the pensive to rise and break over her in a wave. She was entering Ravenclaw tower for the first time. Watching the owls swoop over the astronomy tower. This had become a refuge for her, a place where she and her unusual gifts were welcomed without judgement. She had made close friendships with those who celebrated their diverse talents, first within her house, then outside it. Seamus O’Brien had been sorted into Hufflepuff due to his love and care of plants and creatures. Yet the two spoke as often as they ever had, though they lived in separate houses. Few of those she grew to trust seemed to mind the conversations she had with her brother, Seamus, though they could only hear her side. Though some, mostly from the other houses, teased her for seemingly talking to herself before she learned not to. Others feared her uncanny knack of answering unspoken questions, and her sometimes penitrating stare, until she had learned to look away.

Lindsay drew her wand and siphoned away the amassing memories, transporting herself back into the gently rocking train.  She touched the wooden table before her, willing herself into the present. Somewhere she could hear a coronet and its player, but she could not quite surface from the glimmers of her family’s past. She did not know how long she sat there, both lulled and kept awake by the rythmn of the train jolting over the tracks, her hand on the table rooting part of her in the present. She was dimly aware of someone outside her door, of hushed voices and the sound and feel of the train coming slowly to a stop. They had arrived at Porte de Versailles.

Paris, where the world’s future was being decided. Where aurors duelled with the dark arts using pens as often as wands. Where secrets were re-building new borders for nations. The words from Eremite Borage’s note came back to her as she felt the bezoar he’d sent her in her pocket. A cure for poisoning. He’d warned her with his usual foresight that she’d need it ‘after Paris’. She knew she would need the cure soon.

Click to go to CHAPTER 4: Porte de Versailles

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