It's more than just a stick: A Wand Crafter's Story

Premise: After learning about 'magic' from his primary school teacher Miss Honeybloom; Harry embarks on a journey to make a real wand. Little does he know the adventure that is about to begin. In this alternate universe, the Dursleys are good and somewhat supportive. While Petunia never got to study magic, she and her sister Lily did 'bury the hatchet' and re-bond as sisters.

[A/N: Some of my eagle-eyed readers will probably spot a delightful character and subplot from another of my stories. Miss Belinda Honeybloom is back!]

[A/N2: My friend RhysThornbery coined the trope "Delightfully Nerdy" that I think this story (and the rest of my lighthearted ones fall into.)]

Tuesday 1 September 1987 St. Grogory's Primary School, Little Whinging, Surrey

"Okay, boys and girls! We have a new student amongst us. Please welcome Miss Hermione Granger to our class," called out their teacher, Miss Belinda Honeybloom, "Miss Granger recently moved to Little Whinging with her parents and I'm sure that you will all get along nicely." She said that last bit while staring sternly at Peter Jacobson, the class bully (or dimwit, depending on who you asked). The teacher placed Hermione's chair next to Harry's.

Harry smiled at the clearly nervous girl with the bushy brown hair and cinnamon colored eyes, "Hi, I'm Harry Potter. Welcome to the jungle." He said that last with a bit of an exaggerated tone and a sweeping gesture of his arms. Hermione giggled at him and blushed deeply.

"Thank you. It's tough moving to a whole new town and all. I hope we can be friends?"

Harry shrugged, "It depends."

"On what?" she asked, suddenly nervous.

"It depends on whether or not you like to read and learn. If you're more the active sort, I'd recommend you go sit next to Dudley and his crowd. I'm more of the brainy sort."

Hermione's eyes lit up and her breathing quickened a bit, "I love to read and learn!" she blushed and looked down at her fingers before she admitted that at her previous school, she got teased for being the 'brainy sort.'

Harry grinned at her embarrassment, "Don't worry about that. That life is over. Here, you and I are going to make magic!"

Hermione looked skeptical, "Harry, magic doesn't exist."

Harry scoffed at that, "Then explain pizza. Magic doesn't exist… honestly." Hermione scrunched her nose at him and playfully shoved him on the arm.

Over the course of two months…

Hermione quickly settled in amongst her new classmates. Unfortunately, she quickly developed the moniker of "know-it-all." This angered Harry and to some extent, Dudley. Both boys made it quite clear that Hermione was off-limits to bullying. When asked why, Dudley replied that he understood what it was like to be teased for being different. His problem wasn't that he couldn't learn; it was just that there were things that he had difficulty absorbing. The school set him up to be tested and found out that Dudley had a bit of dysgraphia and attention deficit disorder. In Harry's case, he had the reverse problem. He had been teased as a "know-it-all" for a while and did what he could to stamp it out from the others.

Hermione also became a regular guest at the Dursley household once she and Harry discovered that the two of them only lived a couple of blocks away. He lived on Privet Drive while she lived on Wisteria Way. He laughed a bit when he found that out because as he explained, the Dursleys used a neighbor, Mrs. Arabella Figg at Number 12, on that street as an occasional babysitter. Petunia welcomed Hermione and her mother Emma into their lives with a wink on how it was so lovely having another girl in the house to offset the boys. Vernon and Dan Granger got along when they discovered a shared passion for football and that Vernon sold drills while both adult Grangers were dentists. The boys found that while Hermione acknowledged she was a 'bookworm,' she had the capacity to play just as hard as they did when they foraged and explored the backyard in search of adventure or out to the local park for a couple rounds of football.

Whenever Harry would go over to Hermione's house, she was kind of embarrassed by the pink walls and fluffy pillows on her bed. She apologized for how 'girly' her room was compared to his. Harry shrugged this off and said it wasn't a problem. They would then lose themselves in various board games and books that were scattered around her room or make up stories about the adventures that included her goldfish, Bubbles.

When Halloween rolled around, Harry as well as Petunia became a bit morose. Harry never really got into the whole excitement of trick or treating, preferring instead to stay home and flip through a photo album with his aunt, reminiscing about funny stories about his mother and what little his aunt knew about his father. Hermione was puzzled by this and asked him why this was. Harry told her the story of how he came to be living with the Dursleys. How a terrorist had been rampaging up and down the British Isles during the sixties up to 1981 when he disappeared after murdering his parents. Hermione cried in sympathy for him and gave Harry what had been coined as a 'Hermi-hug.'

In the guise of educating her class in what she called, "World Cultures Month," Belinda Honeybloom touched briefly on the "History of Magic," the history behind and how to make "Potions" such as how to identify ingredients, properly prepare and brew them to create different colors and effects. She taught her students the history behind and how to read and write "Runes." She gave the students assignments written in runes and they had to decipher what was written. They also learned how to write their names using runes. Each student then made a small plaque with their names on it and hung it on their lockers. Those who did the best on the assignments won a small trophy. She introduced the children and any interested parents to the concept of 'Divination' and taught them how the ancient people used to divine the 'secrets of the gods' with the use of seashells, tea leaves, crystal balls and the like.

She taught them what she called "Herbology" and "Arithmancy." She taught Herbology and Potions side by side explaining the importance to each other. The students learned how to identify the different seeds or cuttings, how to cultivate and grow herbs and flowers, and learned how to prepare them for their "potions." She would dress up as a famous character from the period and give a lecture on how it was used to benefit the population of Great Britain. Parents were concerned at first when they heard from their children about the strange but fun classes and came in to see what this innovative education plan was about and were pleasantly surprised when included in the lesson plan.

One of the parents started complaining that it seemed like Belinda was pushing this 'blasphemy' onto their children. This caused the school's headmistress and a board of examiners to stop by and take part in the lessons. At the end of the class, the panel conferred for a bit before telling a relieved Belinda that they found nothing wrong or subversive with her lesson plans.

One of the examiners was even kind of eager to continue, "Do you know where I could go to learn more about this 'Ancient Runes' and 'Arithmancy' subjects?"

"Well, I learned this on my own from the library and visiting those 'living history' museums. If I recall properly, the local university is holding a short seminar on cultural anthropology which goes into greater depth than what I'm doing here."

The topic that Harry really liked and seemed to get really well in comparison to everyone else was the history and creation of a magic wand. He didn't understand why he could follow along better than most and the only other student who could keep up with him was Hermione. She was a special case in his view. Her love of learning was second to his and rapidly putting him to shame. 'The girl is like an information sponge!'

When they were finally ready to construct their wands, each student was given a twelve inch length of white pine, some sandpaper and an actual modeling knife to trim off or etch in designs of their choosing. Miss Honeybloom made sure to constantly roam around the class to make sure that no one was goofing off or being dangerous with the knives. She considered herself fortunate that Peter Jacobson was out sick that day. She paused at Harry's desk and watched the boy as he carefully trimmed and shaped his wand shaft.

"Very good job there, Harry," she beamed, "What sort of inscriptions were you planning on putting on?"

Harry paused in his carving and pursed his lips a bit in thought, "I have no idea, really. I want to put something maybe that will allow me to… channel? Yeah, channel the 'magical energy' through the wand without blowing up."

Miss Honeybloom knelt down next to him and lowered her voice, "Have you thought about what kind of core you want for this?" Harry looked at her in puzzlement, "I know some things about you. See me after class, okay?" He slowly nodded his head, humoring her.

As the teacher moved away, Hermione leant over, "What was that about?" she mock whispered.

Harry scrunched his lips up a bit and slowly shook his head, "I have no idea."

While the rest of the class was out enjoying recess, Harry stayed behind as requested. Hermione had hung around as well, nervous for her friend. Miss Honeybloom smiled at Hermione and promised the young girl that there wasn't any problem then shooed her off to the playground before turning back to Harry.

"Well," Miss Honeybloom let out a breath and scrubbed her fingers through her hair, "The reason I held you back is because I know some things about you, Mr. Potter; things about your parents and your past."

Harry's eyes lit up! Anything about his parents and family was always a surefire way to get his undivided attention. His teacher began by explaining that she had the honor of going to the same school as his parents and even had a working relationship with his mother, Lily Potter nee Evans. Miss Honeybloom explained that there was a special school up in Scotland where children with a certain talent were trained.

Harry being the typical boy asked if his parents were training to be spies. "No, Harry," she chuckled, "Your parents weren't training to be spies. They were training to be wizards and witches. You see Harry, like your parents before you, are magical. You're a wizard, Harry."

"A what?" Harry exclaimed.

"A wizard. When you get ready to turn eleven, you'll be sent an acceptance letter to attend the magical school known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

Harry could only goggle at her and squeaked out, "Really?"

Belinda nodded and smiled encouragingly, "Yup. That's where I learned how to be a witch just like your mother. Everything I've taught the class this past two months are just some of the things I learned in school."

Harry's mouth dropped open, "You, you mean even the wands too?"

Belinda shrugged, "Maybe not the wands but the information is easy to pick up if you can get a hold of the books to learn the craft."

"Do you have a wand?" he asked hopefully.

Belinda smiled knowingly and pulled out her own wand from her sleeve. She then cast some simple spells and charms to turn her teacup into a gerbil, a rubber eraser into a frog, and lit up the end of her wand like a torch. Harry watched entranced as the frog hopped around the desk while the gerbil nibbled on a piece of paper before returning to their original forms.

"Harry? I need to ask you something personal. How well do you get along with your aunt and uncle?" Miss Honeybloom asked seriously.

Harry shrugged, "Pretty well, I guess. I'm not their son but I think we get along fine. Why?"

Belinda sighed, "It's just that while your mother was in school, she would occasional mention how rough her relationship with her sister had become since she started learning magic. I had hoped that things got patched up between them."

Harry pondered that, "I think they must have because Aunt Petunia loves telling me and Dudley about the sort of adventures that she and my mother used to get into. She cries a bit near the end but she'll just give me a hug then shoo me off to go play."

"What about your uncle? Is he… Does he ever hurt you?"

Harry's eyes widened as he finally got what she was implying, "No! Never! I mean sure, when he, Dudley and I wrestle and I'll get bumped or something. We'll also chase each other around the backyard with water balloons during the summer and I sometimes trip and get pummeled with water but nothing bad happens."

Belinda sighed in relief and turned the conversation back to the wands, "Earlier I asked you about what kind of core you were going to put in your wand. Now that you know that magic is real, you should be careful as to what you experiment with."

"Really? Why?"

She gestured with her wand, "Some cores and woods don't get along well together. It sounds funny but it's true. It's the same with people; some get along better with one type versus another.

Harry solemnly nodded, "What sort of wood and cores would you recommend?"

"Well, mine has a tail hair from a unicorn and the wood is cherry but there are many different kinds of materials you can use. The problem is identifying what would work for you and how to obtain it."

Harry was positively fizzing with excitement, "Is there a book on wand crafting I could borrow?"

Belinda laughed at his exuberance, "Yes Harry, there are many books about wand crafting. I'll tell you what, I'll swing by the magical shopping district in London over the weekend and pick up one. It might be a little advanced for you right now but I'll see what I can do."

Harry bounced up and down and cheered, "Thank you, Miss Honeybloom! That'd be great! Can I tell Hermione about it?"

That wiped the amused look on Miss Honeybloom's face immediately, "No, Harry. That's not a good idea. You see there's a law in our world that forbids a witch or wizard from telling non-magical people about magic."

Harry pouted a bit, "Oh. I don't like keeping secrets from her. She's my best friend."

"Sorry, Harry but it's for the best. Now, go outside and play."

When Harry got outside, he was besieged by Hermione demanding answers to her questions about what happened.

"Easy, Hermione!" he giggled at her enthusiasm, "I'm alright and there's no problem. Miss Honeybloom just wanted to tell me that she knew my mother and had some stories to tell."

Hermione pulled back and blushed, "I'm sorry, Harry. That was rude of me to rush you like that."

Harry patted her on the back gently, "No problem. You wouldn't be such a great friend if you hadn't." He glanced around sneakily, "I got something to tell you but you gotta keep it a secret." He led her off to a shady and secluded section of the playground where he filled her in on what the other conversation their teacher had with him. Hermione's eyes grew wide as the story progressed with her mouth dropping open at the end.

"You, you can actually do magic?" she squeaked out, "Our teacher can do magic too?" Hermione's eyes went glassy for a few moments as she took in and processed this new information, "Would she be willing to teach me too?"

Harry shrugged a shoulder, "I don't know about me doing magic. I don't think I've ever done anything. I don't know if she can teach you, Hermione. She told me that only magical people can do magic. Can you do anything?"

Hermione glanced around them worriedly before holding out her hand. With the look of intense concentration, a small ball of blue flame appeared floating above her palm. Harry's eyes bugged out and his mouth dropped open as he stared at his best friend's amazing accomplishment. He poked a finger at the flame and giggled at how it just kind of bobbled around like a marble in her hand. The flame wasn't really burning but more like sticking his finger in hot water. Harry glanced up at Hermione and smiled at her; she shyly returned his smile. He grabbed her hand and dragged her back to the classroom where they found their teacher munching on a sandwich.

Belinda quirked an eyebrow up in silent question at their noisy entrance.

Harry blurted out, "Miss Honeybloom! Guess what! Hermione's a witch!"

[A/N3: Well there you have it. The first chapter of my newest creation. I hope you enjoyed it and would be so kind as to leave a review on what you did or didn't like. Was it too fast? Too slow? Did I miss anything that could've fleshed out the chapter a bit? The story will be Harmony but there won't be any romance as they're still kids. If it gets long enough to where they're in third or fourth year at Hogwarts, I may change that.