There Will Be No Foolish Wand Waving
Premise: Petunia Evans always wanted to be just like Lily. The thought of learning magic would make her giddy with excitement. But as it turned out, the rejection letter from the headmaster of Hogwarts blew that dream out the window. What would've happened if the wife of the bookstore owner of Flourish and Blott's had taken a bit of pity and shown her that you didn't need a wand to do magic?
AU, starts during the summer of 1971.
"Petunia! Talk to me, I'm still your sister! What did I do to make you angry at me?" a tearful Lily Evans pleaded to her big sister.
With a huff of annoyance, Petunia Evans turned back to her younger sister and the tightness in her shoulders loosened a bit.
Sighing, "Nothing, Lily. You didn't do anything and I'm sorry for being such a grump. It's that headmaster of that school you're going to. He sent me a rejection letter saying that while my interest in attending the school was a pleasant thought, being non-magical or a 'muggle' as he called me, wouldn't allow me to fully experience their world."
"S-so you're not mad at me, just the magical world?"
Shaking her head no and smirking sadly at the second half of the question caused her little sister to break out in smiles once again. The two sisters entered the bookstore called 'Flourish and Blott's' on a hidden street called 'Diagon Alley.'
"You realize how silly the name of this alley sounds, Lily?"
"Diagon Alley? Diagonally?"
Lily's eyes widen and a snort of amusement escaped her nose. The two of them shook their heads at the craziness that Lily would be joining and entered the shop. Rows upon rows of books, as far as the eye could see lined the shelves just waiting to be picked up, read and learned from.
With a squeal of happiness, Lily rushed in and headed up to the desk to find out where the first year textbooks would be located. Petunia on the other hand, morosely browsed some of the titles near the cashier machine.
"Something the matter dear?" Petunia looked up to see the shopkeeper's wife looking at her with a sympathizing smile on her face.
"I can't go to Hogwarts like my sister. I don't have magic apparently."
"Oh pish! There are plenty of other things to read that will still allow you to practice magic…just without the wand waving."
The look of hope crept into Petunia's eyes, "Really? Like what? How would I be able to study them without needing a school and a teacher?"
Waving her over, the missus whispered in a conspiratorial way, "You just need to write to the Ministry and explain that you will be home-schooled and need the corresponding information packet. Mention that you are a 'hedge-witch' and that you won't be able to take the usual wanded courses and need the abbreviated curriculum."
"What's a hedge-witch?"
"That's someone whose magic is just powerful enough to allow them to see the magical parts of Britain and wield a wand but not strong enough to be accepted to Hogwarts. Nothing to be ashamed my dear, I'm one as well."
"What sorts of subjects are there for someone like us?"
Waving her arm about her the missus gestured about the store, "Just about any topic you can think of and even some you can't. Business, Law, Muggle Studies, Arithmancy, even Potions and that's just off the top of my head."
"With enough study, you could earn a Mastery in just about any topic. Best of all, once you pass the basic courses outlined in the abbreviated curriculum, you can specialize in things that catch your fancy. Myself, I took Business courses so I could help my husband run this bookstore."
Petunia's eyes widened as she realized that while her magical schooling wouldn't be in a fancy castle in the Scottish Highlands, she could 'attend' her classes in her pajamas while enjoying all of the modern non-magical comforts. 'Lily's gonna freak out when she learns about this!'
Sure enough, Lily was excited about Petunia's prospects and opportunities to learn the non-wand subjects. The silliness of wearing pajamas to 'magic class' made her laugh. Petunia wrote to the Ministry for Magic's Department of Education and requested the curriculum that Mrs. Flourish had suggested. A week before the start of the new school year, a witch from said department arrived at the Evans' house to introduce herself as Petunia's proxy and to give her the first of her assigned materials and lessons.
Wednesday 1 September 1971
"Lily! Hurry up and get ready or you'll be late for the train!" yelled her mother, Marigold Evans to her youngest daughter before turning around to smile at her eldest who was sitting on the couch in the living room reading a textbook of all things.
"Good reading there, Tuni?"
Petunia Evans looked up to see her mother standing in front of her with a quizzical expression on her face and smiled back a little sheepishly.
"Yes, mum. I'm excited for this dual education thing that I'm going to be part of. It's a shame that I can't go to Hogwarts like Lily but at least I'll be home to help out around here when you and Dad need it."
Marigold smiled warmly, "I'm happy to hear that and happy to know that you don't hold any animosity towards your sister."
Petunia waved that away dismissively, "It's not her fault that the magical education system is so far behind the times. Besides, I think it's a good thing. I get to learn at my own pace and eventually take the classes that I want to be able to learn. I've read that Hogwarts doesn't offer nearly half the things that can be found in the bookstore."
Marigold harrumphed at that, "Then maybe you can explain to me why we're sending Lily away to what seems to be like a second-rate school?"
Petunia sadly looked down again, "Because we can't afford to hire tutors to come in and teach Lily what she needs to know…"
Marigold joined her eldest on the couch and let her daughter lean into her for comfort, "I know honey. I know…"
Harold "Harry" Evans honked the car horn to hurry up his tardy brood of girls and they came boiling out of the house in a tumultuous frenzy. Lily's trunk was loaded into the boot and all were strapped into the car. Harry managed to get them down to King's Cross Station with nearly an hour of time to spare and assisted his youngest to the barrier of the magical platform of 9 ¾.
"You sure you have everything, pumpkin?" Harry asked Lily who nodded affirmatively, "Then why don't you go and take your trunk through, get it settled and come back to say goodbye?"
The Evans' watched as Lily guided her trolley through the barrier and disappeared. Harry got curious as they waited and tried to push his way through the supposed brick wall only to discover that he couldn't access the magical platform. With a grunt of disapproval, he turned back and rejoined his wife and eldest daughter.
"Not fair, not fair at all that they expect us to just let our eleven year old child to go on through without parent supervision or even to let us be with her on the biggest day of her life." Marigold just patted his arm consolingly.
Lily reappeared five minutes later all smiles and ran back to her family.
After the eleven o'clock train departure, the Evans' returned to the car and headed away from the station. Petunia was dropped off at her school and the two adults headed towards the factory to pick up an extra shift to cover what they missed while taking the girls to school. As Petunia entered her classroom, she spotted her best friend Maya Richards.
"Hey, Maya. How are you this morning?"
"Apparently better than you. You look like you just went through a crying fit."
Petunia smiled sadly and sniffed, "My family and I just sent Lily off to a private school up in Scotland. I just got back from the train station."
Maya searched her friend's face, "You going to be okay?" Petunia nodded morosely.
"I just wish I could go to the same school as her but they have standards. Lily qualifies because she has a certain…talent that they're looking for but I don't have enough of it."
Maya grunted in sympathy, "Scotland, eh? Sounds like Hogwarts alright."
Petunia's eyes widen comically, her mouth dropped open and her head snapped up as she stared at her best friend who just smirked in response.
"What? You're not the only one around here that has magical family members."
"But…but…how? Who? Huh?" Petunia stammered.
Maya sighed briefly, "I'm a Squib from a half-blood magical family. We're comfortably well off so my father has decided that he will permit me to be educated and live at home until I turn seventeen then I need to leave. It could've been worse, I've heard there are darker families that when they learn their child has no magic, they're forced out into the world and deemed unworthy to acknowledge ever again…or killed outright."
Petunia was flabbergasted to find out that her best friend was actually from a magical family! "Wow, I had no idea, Maya. Truth be told, I found out last month that there's another way for someone like me to be able to still learn magic even though I can't wield a wand."
Maya cocked her head in curiosity, "What way is that?"
Petunia explained how they could take magical correspondence classes through the Ministry for Magic's Department of Education and learn in their spare time. The only time they'd need to go into the magical world was to visit the Ministry to take the class tests and for the OWLs and NEWTs. She told Maya what the wife of the bookstore owner in Diagon Alley had told her about the possibilities there were for those who couldn't afford to go to Hogwarts.
"After looking through the course books and the curriculum, I bet I could get done with the first four years in just two," Petunia declared.
Maya grew excited at the prospects and grabbed her notebook to quickly write down the contact information that Petunia was eager to share.
"This is great! I wonder why no one ever thought to explain this to our families before?" Maya inquired curiously.
Petunia snorted, "Have you seen how outdated and backwards the magical world is in comparison to ours? I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they think we mere muggles aren't even capable of having indoor plumbing. Heck, most of them can't even pronounce 'electricity' correctly!" Both Maya and Petunia dissolved into laughter.
Saturday 4 September 1971
Petunia ambled down the stairs and into the kitchen hungrily looking for breakfast. After grabbing the necessary ingredients, she sat down at the kitchen table and poured herself a bowl of cereal and began slowly munching away before spotting and dragging over one of her textbooks. With barely a glance at the title, she delved into the wonderful world of the "Theory of Magic."
By the time that Marigold and Harry joined Petunia, she had already cleared her breakfast space and was busy scribbling down notes and answering the chapter questions. Petunia just mutely nodded a half-hearted greeting to her parents when they said hello.
Harry grunted in amusement, "Good to see that she's not moping around about the unfairness of the situation."
Marigold smiled as well, "I was glancing through the books as well the day after we got them and I'm thinking that maybe we ought to take a couple of classes as well. Might be beneficial for future use."
Harry cocked his head in contemplation, "What subject would you recommend?
Marigold shrugged, "I don't know. Maybe they have a magical arts and crafts class?"
Maya showed up at the house later that same day, all squeals and happiness. She explained to Petunia's parents about how she told her parents what Petunia had told her about magical correspondence schooling and how her parents were thrilled at the idea that their daughter could at least be somewhat part of their world. The Evans' adults were surprised to learn that Petunia's best friend was actually a Squib like they were (and wasn't that a revelation when they were examined by that professor who came around to offer Lily a place in the school.) That led to the adults informing both girls about their own status to equal shock and staring before they all burst out laughing.
"Maya, dear," Marigold asked, "Perhaps our two families ought to get to know one another better seeing as how we have so much in common with our children?"
Maya agreed wholeheartedly, "I'll ask them when I go home."
That afternoon, Petunia and Maya were deep in study learning about the theory behind the Charms subjects. While she was busy taking notes, a flitter of an idea popped into Petunia's mind. 'I wonder if there's another way to make things happen if a wand is not available?' Grabbing her journal, she quickly jotted down her idea. Maya quirked an eyebrow up at Petunia's mad scribbling but said nothing.
After Charms came the theories for Transfiguration, Herbology and Potions. The Transfiguration stuff was challenging to say the least because there was so much that was referenced to a specific wand movement. Petunia sighed repeatedly as she picked up the wand shaft blank that was given to her by her proctor. It was just another reminder that she'd never really be a part of the magical world no matter how much she wished. It didn't make sense for her to learn the theories for subjects she'd never be able to use.
Herbology and Potions were linked together despite being two different subjects. These however were Petunia's favorites. They gave her a chance to be outside in the fresh air and outside of the stifling quiet inside the house. Maya giggled as she dug into the soil and pulled out an earthworm, which she promptly tried to shove in Petunia's face, only to have said girl squeal in disgust and slapped out of her hands. Petunia retaliated by throwing a handful of soil back at Maya before it quickly degraded into a mud war. The elder Evans' came home to find both girls covered head to toe in mud and debris wearing big, sheepish grins on their faces.
The Potions aspect started after they got cleaned up from the 'Turf War of 1971.' Both girls stood at the stovetop with their cauldrons, wearing flower aprons and protective goggles (Harry insisted) and began to read the instructions before delving into their cache of supplies to pull out the needed ingredients. After thirty minutes of chopping, dicing, grinding and squeezing; they began to brew up a batch of a boil curative paste.
"It's too bad that we don't have anyone to test out this curative on," commented Maya to Petunia who agreed wistfully as they settled down at the kitchen table to begin writing up the paperwork describing the results of their laboratory experiment.
The Richards family was invited over to share a Sunday brunch with the Evans family so they could get to know each other better. As it turned out, Mr. Tobias Richards owned a couple of companies of manufactured goods that supplied parts to the factory that Harry worked at. This caused of a burst of laughter and opened the pathway to other interesting conversations.
"So how did you find out that you're actually a Squib, Harry?"
Harry grunted in amusement, "That professor that came around to offer Lily a place at the school, a Minerva McGonagall I believe her name was, waved her wand around after I questioned how Lily could be magical and we're not. Something about a magical diagnosis…charm, I think. Anyway, we glowed a pale gold and a number floated above our heads. According to the professor, there's a number threshold that indicates what a person is. A zero indicates a non-magical, up to 100 is a Squib, up to 250 is a hedge-witch/wizard, and then anything past that is a regular magical."
Susan looked puzzled, "What is a hedge-witch?"
Harry shifted a moment as he tried to remember what McGonagall had explained, "A hedge witch is someone who represents the border between a Squib and a full magical. They're magical enough to be able to see the hidden places without the need for a special charm or bracelet but not powerful enough to wield a wand for any practical purposes. They're also not eligible to attend that fancy school of theirs."
Tobias just slowly shook his head in bemusement, "Susan, I wonder if we should take Maya to Saint Mungo's to get her magical number done?" Susan nodded in agreement.
Petunia spoke up then, "I'd like to get my number checked. Professor McGonagall didn't do mine then. I think she was too busy trying to convince mum and dad to let Lily go to Hogwarts."
Tobias turned to the girl, "Now that you're in the home schooling program, what do you hope to achieve in it?"
"Well, I want to see if I can complete the first four years in two if not faster. I mean, I'll be learning at my own pace and won't be bogged down with slower students. After I take that qualifying test…what are they called… OWLs; I want to eventually become trained in something like Potions or maybe something having to do with a job that bridges between the non-magical and magical world to help other squib-born children adjust to their abilities."
Tobias and Susan's eyebrows rose to their hairlines as Petunia laid out some rather ambitious plans.
"With those kinds of ambitions, if you had gone to Hogwarts, I have no doubt they would've placed you in Slytherin House." Petunia just grinned in smug pleasure.
As their brunch date wore down and the Richards were preparing to leave, Susan Richards turned to Petunia while Tobias thanked Harry and Marigold for a wonderful and eye-opening brunch.
"I wanted to say thank you Petunia for suggesting that Maya take part in these abbreviated magical courses," complimented Susan, "It was difficult to watch her try to compensate between her non-magical education and her home life."
"It was my pleasure, Mrs. Richards. At least now I have a study partner to make school easier and less lonely," replied Petunia.
The three months leading up to Christmas were an exciting time for both Petunia and Maya. Both were extremely busy trying to integrate their magical studies in with their regular ones without letting the non-magical side know about it. There were occasionally a few slips but the girls made an on-the-spot excuse of joining a live-action role-playing group and mistakenly included their write-ups for the group in their homework. Fortunately for them, their teachers fell for it and either admonished them to be more careful or were mildly impressed with the attention to detail.
Petunia found out that of the core classes, she had an affinity for Herbology. Maya joked that it was because the Evans girls were named after flowers to which Marigold and Petunia just grinned. Harry would just snort and shake his head in amusement.
Saturday 25 December 1971
The Evans' home was lively and festively decorated for the holidays. Lily was home after finishing her first term at Hogwarts and she had loads of stories to tell about her classmates and the school itself.
"I can't wait to show off what I can do, Mum!" Lily gushed, "I've gotten all Outstandings on my tests and my Charms teacher says that I'm a natural!"
"That's good to hear, my dear," Marigold replied, "You know what makes me really happy?" Lily shook her head in puzzlement.
"That you and your sister have something in common. Your father and I were afraid that there'd be animosity between you two when you got to go to that fancy school and your sister couldn't."
Both Evans sisters grinned happily at each other.
As the evening wore on, Lily filled her family in on the goings on at the school. She lamented that there was this boy in her House that was a total prat and kept trying to get her attention in some of the most ludicrous ways such as serenading her at dinner or reciting bad poetry at breakfast. Petunia and Marigold thought it was hilarious while Harry tried to look stern but was in fact trying not to laugh.
Petunia snorted, "What about what's-his-face? Severus I think it was?"
Lily grew quiet, "He was sorted to a different House. One where they don't take kindly to people like me." That sobered up the others.
Harry asked concernedly, "Will there be a problem that we should be aware of, Lily?"
Lily shrugged, "I don't know. I'll keep you informed though if anything happens. Right now it's just sneers and sour attitudes."
Marigold spoke up, "If anything happens and I mean anything, you make sure you tell your Head of House. You hear me?"
Lily nodded solemnly.
There was a pause before Petunia broke the silence by bringing up what had been happening in her life both magically and non-magically. Lily was amazed by how much Petunia had been able to learn in only three months compared to what her experiences were like.
"Hey, that's not fair! I want to come home and learn the way Tuni is," Lily jokingly grumped to the amusement of the others.
"Lily, what's really not fair is that you actually get to do the magic to match with the wand movements. I just get to practice the theory and frankly, I don't even know why they require it," Petunia reminded her.
That evening, Petunia was showing off some of her Herbology skills and acquisitions that she'd gotten the last time she was in the Alley. One was a silvery-blue plant that had waving tendrils and the palest translucent blue flowers.
"What is it?" Lily inquired as she examined the plant.
"I'm not exactly sure and neither was the greenhouse owner. All we know is that it grows best in a happy environment. I sing to it and sometimes read to it and it grew into that. I tried being angry at it and it suddenly started wilting. Mum uses it as an indication of what I've been feeling when she comes in to get the laundry."
Lily chuckled, "It's been said that plants do respond to outside influences. Is there really nothing else written about this?"
Petunia shrugged, "Just the basics. Amount of light and water needed, what sort of fertilizer and how much to give it and when. Beyond that, nothing so I've been working on preparing a write-up on it. The greenhouse owner said that if I do a good job on the write-up, he'd help me get it published."
"What about the life-cycle of it? Like, seedling stage or when it'd done flowering?"
"Yup, that's already been documented. I have this small booklet the owner gave me here."
On Boxing Day, they all had a bit of a lie-in before gathering in the kitchen so the kids could demonstrate their brewing skills and simple wandwork in the case of Lily. Petunia was eyeing Lily's wand and asked if she could at least hold it. Shrugging, Lily handed it over. The moment that Petunia wrapped her hand around the handle, there was a small eruption of red and gold sparks.
"What was that?!" cried Lily. Petunia just shook her head in shocked silence. "Petunia, try saying 'Lumos' while giving the tip an upward sweep."
"Lumos," Petunia said while sweeping the wand tip upwards. To the shock and amazement of everyone there, the tip of the wand lit up. It wasn't very bright, barely a dim glow but it was a steady, warm yellow light.
"Wow," whispered Petunia, "I did wanded magic…" The light sputtered then popped out.
"What does this mean then?" asked their father.
Lily shrugged, "I'm not sure. Maybe later today we could go down to the Ministry and ask questions?" Petunia had such a hopeful look on her face, which blossomed into a large grin when both parents agreed to the suggestion.
Later that same day at the Ministry for Magic, Department of Education…
"Hello, I was wondering if you could help us?" began Harry to the desk clerk.
Harry motioned towards Petunia and told the clerk that she was able to light up a wand despite being told that she wasn't magical enough to go to Hogwarts and if the clerk could run that magical diagnosis charm that Professor McGonagall had run on him and his wife as well as their youngest daughter.
The clerk look thoughtful for a moment before asking them to have a seat while he sent the question to his superiors. Ten minutes later, they were ushered into the office of Madam Griselda Marchbanks, the Director of the Wizarding Education Authority.
"Well now, Mr. Evans it's not every day that we get asked this sort of question. I'd like to know a bit more before we do perform the test. What was it specifically that brought about the circumstances of your question?"
Harry gestured to Petunia to take up the story. She told Director Marchbanks how she had wanted to at least have a chance to hold an actual wand despite being told that she didn't have enough magic to wield one. Petunia mentioned that she was signed up under the home-schooling program for hedge witches as suggested by the wife of the bookstore owner in Diagon Alley. She described that it had been a dream of hers to just hold a wand for however short a time; and when Lily handed over hers that morning, there was a small shower of red and gold sparks.
Griselda kept quiet for the most part during the explanation, only interrupting to clarify a couple of points. Nodding to herself, she explained what was involved with the Magical Index Spell and how it measured the strength of a witch or wizard's core then displayed the number from zero to one thousand.
"So you're familiar with how the Indexing Scale works, right and you got to have it done to you as well?" The Evans' nodded.
"Okay youngest Miss Evans, it's your turn." A wave of the wand and a strong 600 floated in front of Lily. Griselda was impressed and congratulated her on a respectable number. Finally, it was Petunia's turn. Again, a wave of Griselda's wand caused Petunia to glow briefly before a number of 249 appeared before her. Lily squealed and hugged her big sister who merely looked on in shock! Harry looked back at Griselda and asked if that was why she could get things to happen with Lily's wand.
"Yes, it's possible. It's a shame that Petunia was only off by a couple of points but like you pointed out my dear, there's no shame in being a hedge witch. You can safely do just about anything that the magical world has to offer…you just can't use a wand on a regular basis or at least you can't do the more complex spells."
Petunia sniffed happily, "Could I get a wand anyhow even if it's not a powerful wand?"
Griselda shrugged, "I don't see why not. Let me write up the report for this and have a copy put into your education file and a copy for you to take with so you can head over to Ollivander's and see what he can come up with."
At Ollivander's wand making shop, Diagon Alley…
"Well, hello there. I wasn't expecting to see anyone of your age in here so late in the school season."
Lily moved up to the front, "Hello, Mr. Ollivander. We're here to see if you could outfit my older sister with a wand."
Garrick Ollivander had been working his craft for a very long time and there was very little that surprised him anymore. What he was told about Petunia's particular case did in fact…surprise him.
Pursing his lips, he studied Petunia's aura for a moment before shuffling into the back recesses of his workshop. When he reappeared, he was carrying a couple of trays of materials.
After setting them down on the countertop, he motioned for Petunia to step forward and place her hand over the wand shafts and carefully brush her fingers over the tops of the wood. When she detected the right one, it would feel warm and loving to her touch.
It took several minutes before a particularly fine-grained 13-inch long Southern White Pine shaft made itself known to her touch. She smiled at Ollivander and pointed it out.
"This one. This feels good."
"Southern White Pine wood, it's a simple and widely available wood with a flexible nature. Now let's move onto the cores."
After another few minutes, Petunia was chosen as it were, by a strand of freely given unicorn hair. As an added bit, Ollivander directed her to look over a set of gemstones. He explained that certain stones magically prepared could hold a small reservoir of magical energy to give the wand waver that extra 'boost.' Petunia slowly ran her fingers over the gemstones before it felt like something was pulling her towards the last tray. A solitary gemstone of deep green peridot lay within, shining brightly. Garrick gathered up the selected materials and informed them that it would take him two hours to complete the task of making a wand just for Petunia.
"How much will it cost, Mr. Ollivander?" inquired Harry.
"The same as every other first year student, Mr. Evans, seven Galleons."
So Harry paid for the wand in advance and ushered his family out to the Alley where they'd spend their time browsing through the stores.
Petunia and Lily urged their parents that time in the bookstore were sorely needed. Petunia wanted to see if there were any books on wandlore that she could read more about matching wands with people like her. Lily wanted to see if there were extra reading material for potions that would help her get ahead in her class.
Mrs. Flourish spotted Petunia and waved jauntily at her while simultaneously helping another customer. Once that was completed, she made her way over to Tuni and greeted her warmly.
"So I heard that you've just finished your own first term in magical education. How are you liking it?"
Petunia's face felt like it was going to split from how wide her smile grew, "How'd you hear about it? I can't believe how much fun it is even if it is a bit slow at first. My only problem originally was the practice wand-work I had to learn. I mean, really? I can't do magic and yet the requirements said I had to learn the movements."
"You're one of the rare hedge-witches that even bother with the program. I found out about it because a couple of our regular customers who work in the Department of Magical Education were discussing it. You said, originally? What changed?" Mrs. Flourish inquired so Petunia explained what happened earlier that morning.
"It turns out that I scored a 249 on the Magic Index Scale. My family and I just finished with the Department of Education where Director Marchbanks examined me. After that, we went to Ollivander's where he's making me my own custom wand." Mrs. Flourish was suitably impressed and said so.
When the Evans returned to Ollivander's, Garrick placed the newly made wand in Petunia's hand and ran her through a few simple exercises. They were warned that any complex spells or charms must not be done, as it would lead to dangerous consequences.
"What sort of consequences?" asked Harry.
"The wand could self-destruct for one," Ollivander replied, "Southern White Pine is not a particularly strong wood for holding up to the stresses of your everyday wear and tear. I would recommend that your daughter not try anything stronger than a wand-lighting charm for the first couple of weeks to let her and her wand get used to each other."