Harry Potter and the Rogue Feather
Over the many pages of the novels, the character of Mr. Ollivander still remains the most mysterious. His ever-present haunting nature raises an eyebrow from me every time I read Book 1. The scattered dust and the silvery light that fills his store are remarkably note-worthy, but so often over-looked. Book 1 holds the key to the entire Harry Potter universe, and that key is in the hands of every wizard in the world. But the key to Voldemort’s defeat is in the hands of the boy who lived.
Why do certain wands choose certain wizards? Aside from the obvious answer of, it’s magic, there’s a certain logic that dictates who is capable of wielding certain powers. It’s not logic in the sense that you and I have come to understand. For all we know, in the Wizarding world two plus two equals five; however, there seems to be logic of an understanding. The knowledge of the past helps a wizard, or as we’ve so often seen, witch (Hermione) to understand the present. The wands are fighting a war with each other, and they need people capable of wielding them. The wands seem to represent magic at its essence, and the flow of the earth’s creations pulsates within each of the wands that are created. To understand why wands behave the way they do we need to understand the three things that describe them every time: core, wood, and length. This little trio combination seems to give varying results. Today, let’s commence with the core of the wand.
Mr. Ollivander makes wands. He goes out, finds the ingredients himself, and fuses them together into tools for wizards. We know that Mr. Ollivander gets the ingredients himself from GoF. During the weighing of the wands ceremony he recalls the instance where he plucked the hair of a particularly handsome male unicorn. I want to start with our understanding of unicorns. They are very important magical creatures in the HP universe. They were introduced to us in Book 1, where we are told that they are highly magical creatures, and almost impossible to catch, but wizards catch them all the time. The care of magical creatures teachers in GoF use them as teaching aids. Now the forest is a place that is forbidden. In fact it’s so forbidden, we’ve visited it IN EVERY BOOK! But I’ll save that for another time. Everything lives in that forest, weak and strong, ugly and pretty, good and evil. Hence, we are to believe that there are some unicorns, at least one adult and a few colts, in the forest. (If baby unicorns are to be called colts.) Anyways, we are reminded of them again briefly in OotP, when Harry sees Hagrid teaching. Ok, we get it JK, we know that unicorns are very important creatures. They are so important that they are beaten into our brains throughout the series of books. Now, every writer knows that you do not under any circumstances write about something just for the sake of writing about it. That’s called creating a fog; the greats don’t do that, as there is usually a method to their madness. Now we know that these are very important creatures, so important, and so magical, that they are used as one of the means for a human to gain access to magic; something that only magic creatures (the only label I can think of that ranges from boggarts to house-elves) are able to tap into and harness naturally. The unicorn is a handsome creature that enjoys the female touch. They are wondrous to look at, but close to impossible to get close enough to do even that.
Second let’s talk about dragons. These creatures are fascinating, to put it plainly. In many fables throughout history, the dragon has played the part of the noble beast or the lord of ferocity and hell on earth. JK has chosen the latter. Her knack for pointing out that in the HP universe, dragons are nothing more than vicious, havoc reeking monsters, is also note worthy. They make their first appearance in Book 1 as well. They are thought to be guarding some of the high security vaults in Gringotts bank. This could have just been something to peek our interests further into the magical world, but as I have stated before, JK does not create a fog. She does not stray without intent and this first dragon is establishing dominance of the creature. This is not something that any wizard wants to mess with. As we see in GoF, the proper introduction of dragons, dragons are nothing short of scary. They are enormous, they are loud, and their burns are scarring. There is something to the magic that is so deeply imbedded within them that they are able to create wounds that not even a magical healer can vanish. This is evidence to the many burn wounds that Charlie Weasley has. (Harry notices them in GoF when he is staying at the Burrow for the summer.) Doesn’t anyone else find it odd that he has scars at all? It doesn’t make since for someone who works around dragons on a daily basis not to have seen a healer about the constant dragon burns that he’s been getting. The only other scar in the magic world worth mentioning is Harry Potter’s, and that one could not be healed because of the magic behind the curse. Dragons are unrelenting and ugly, yet they are powerful creatures. They, too, are important.
Now we get to the most fascinating of all three of the wand donators: the phoenix. Namely, Fawkes, who is eternal. He dies all the time, but out of the ashes he is born anew. This creature specifically was introduced to us in CoS. This creature was noted to have the most specific characteristics. It can carry enormous weights, its tears have healing properties, and it makes a faithful pet. And that, my friends, is the rub. The creature that donates the least, also probably gets to choose when. What separates the phoenix from the other two main wand-soul-giving creatures is that it’s tame. It’s docile and perfectly friendly to none other than what I can assume to be, nice people, or, not to put it so lamely, people with proper intent. It is Dumbledore’s phoenix, and it dies for him. It lives for him and it helped Harry, who was loyal to his master/friend Dumbledore. Why is this? Why is the phoenix not portrayed as a simple beast with strong magically carnal instincts? This bird is eternal; it is my belief that it knows everything. That’s quite a leap, isn’t it? I mean how can someone know everything. What is everything? That’s not something that our minds can even hope to grasp. What is eternal? Something that always is, was, and will ever be, I’m assuming. So if anyone can know everything, it’s someone whos eternal. Despite what I’d want to believe, Dumbledore is not eternal. Wizards are not eternal. Centaurs are not eternal. Vampires, mermaids, dragons, unicorns, or any other rational or non-rational creature in the HP universe, are not eternal. They die. They are finite creatures, restricted to the limit that is time. Phoenixes aren’t bound by this rule. There is no telling how many there are in the magical world, and what they’ve seen.
Mr. Ollivander states:
It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather – just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined to this want when its brother- why its brother gave you that scar.
The key word there is gave. Fawkes gave those feathers to Mr. Ollivander. He didn’t have to risk life and limb by being gored by a unicorn, or devoured by a dragon to attain this core; no, they were a gift with a purpose. Because Fawkes needed to give up another feather to ensure the demise of the rogue feather. He knows what is going to happen. It’s got to be his feather that can match his own feather, and he knows this because he knows everything. Fawkes knows that the other wands are going to want to try, but he knows that their place lies in aiding the just power on the correct path.
So Harry Potter is worthy of wielding Excalibur. Why, because Excalibur is loyal to those who are nice, or I should say, those that have proper intentions. And who has more intent than one whose parents have thrice directly defied the rogue feather: power gone astray.