Harry had been told that two other children who had been raised in the Muggle world, Hermione Granger and Dean Thomas, would be joining him and McGonagall on a shopping trip in Diagon Alley, a hidden street in Wyndon.
They were meeting in the Pokemon Center before going to Diagon Alley, so they had time to mingle amongst themselves before going forth. McGonagall had emphasized that fellowship was essential.
Hermione had seemed like a bookish, nerdy girl. She had immediately shared that she was interested in becoming a Pokemon researcher who specialised in the sociological effects of integrating Pokemon into human societies, and to improve that integration. When Harry had asked whether that was the same thing as studying the power of the bonds between humans and Pokemon, she had stared at him with something between consternation and disgust, and said:
"That's pseudoscience—sorry, 'battle science', and frankly I still think battles for sport are somewhat barbaric, and I've been journeying for a year!"
Harry had been about to retort that battles between humans and Pokemon strengthened their bond, and trainers with strong bonds with their Pokemon tended to have higher survival rates when they raided Dynamax power spots, but at that moment Dean Thomas had come up to them and introduced themselves.
Dean Thomas was a black boy who seemed to have been torn between two careers before his region had called him to his duty. He had debated becoming either a footballer or a Pokemon artist. When Harry had introduced himself, and given his elevator pitch about how he'd been working with Excadrill so far, Dean had raised an eyebrow. "Say, you wouldn't happen to be Harry Potter, would you?"
"I am," said Harry, a bit confused.
"Is your cousin named Dudley Dursley?"
"He is! How do you know him?"
Dean grimaced. "He was at a rival football camp. Our teams had dinner after a skirmish, and he ranted for a while about you, and how unfair it was that your parents wouldn't let you go on a journey."
"I guess it's for the best," said Harry. "I get to go to Hogwarts, instead."
"Did they at least let you have a Pokemon?" said Hermione, suddenly concerned. "Studies show that humans who have close contact with Pokemon in childhood and adolescence grow up to be more empathetic as adults, and have a better sense of perspective in the world, on average."
Harry shook his head. "I only got to be around the Excadrill at Grunnings — that's my Uncle's drilling firm — and I wasn't allowed to get friendly with them. What about you two? Do you have a Smeargle, Dean?"
Dean smiled wistfully. "I'd love a Smeargle, to help me paint, but they're hard to get a hold of. No, I just have Mickey here."
He pulled a Pokeball out of his pocket, and pressed a button. With a flash of light, a Minccino appeared. It was a small, grey rodent with large ears, and an even larger tail. The tail was fluffy, and as they watched, Mickey the Minccino sniffed its surroundings and immediately began to sweep its tail back and forth across the floor.
"Interesting," said Hermione. "I thought Minccino's predilection to cleaning was… folklore."
"I thought so too, but this little guy can't help but keep me from being messy!" Dean said. He laughed as Minccino jumped onto his shoulder and started cleaning his face.
Even Hermione smiled a little at that. She grabbed her own Pokeball, and released her Pokemon."Lutra, go!"
The light resolved into a bipedal blue otter, with a round white head, a short blue tail, and a pale yellow shell on its stomach.
"An Oshawott?" Harry said. "I'm surprised you're allowed to have one."
Hermione smiled sadly. "My parents were grandfathered in when the restrictions were rolled out, but Lutra here has an Everstone implant, so she can't evolve. That's how they mitigate the risk."
"I'm afraid that won't do, Miss Granger," said Professor McGonagall, who had somehow appeared behind them without them noticing. "As a witch, you are entitled to as much power as you can handle, so we can probably arrange for the Everstone to be removed."
McGonagall smiled. "I see you've already released your Pokemon from their Poke Balls. You won't be needing those for much longer."
"You don't use Pokeballs?" said Hermione, frowning, though she didn't try to summon back her Oshawott. "That seems impractical. The stasis effect of digitisation extends a Pokemon's lifespan to be close to that of humans, and the versatility benefits are unmatched."
"I do like an inquisitive mind," said McGonagall, "but we'd best be off. And keep your Pokemon out of their balls."
They left the Pokemon center, and walked down the cobbled streets of Wyndon. Harry felt rather out of place for not having a partner of his own, as Hermione was protectively clutching her squirming Oshawott Lutra in front of her, while Dean's Mincinno Mickey was playfully crawling on his shoulders.
As they passed through the throngs of people, McGonagall said, completely casually, "The extended lifetime granted by digitisation isn't necessary, as the bond between a magical human and their Pokemon extends the Pokemon's life. The magical energy naturally flows from a witch to her Pokemon, granting a certain longevity. In any case, witches and wizards don't use mass market Pokeballs. Instead, we use specialized Pokeballs that function off of space expansion and time dilation principles. For the Pokemon of wizards and witches, being in a Pokeball is like a lucid dream. "
"How does that work?" said Harry.
"Are the three of you familiar with the moves Wonder Room, Trick Room, and Magic Room?" said McGonagall.
"Trick Room lets the slower Pokemon move first in battle, Magic Room prevents Pokemon from using held items, and Wonder Room switches the Defense and Special Defense of the Pokemon in the battle," Harry said.
McGonagall nodded. "That's how the effects are described in terms of muggle battle science. The magical and scientific nuance has been reduced to the battle terms. In truth, the 'Room' moves allow for temporary alterations to the fabric of reality."
Hermione crossed her arms, causing her Oshawott to wriggle up a bit to get some air. "I'm sorry Professor McGonagall, but that sounds unfalsifiable. How could you possibly know that there were alterations to reality as opposed to directly hallucinations and psychic phenomena?"
"It's a fair question, Miss Granger. We'll make a Ravenclaw out of you yet," said McGonagall. "But to answer your question, a number of practical tests have been done on each of the Rooms. The most famous is of course the Trick Room Relativity experiment, which should be known in the Pokemon Physics literature, if you've ever had a chance to review it. Objects with higher initial velocity will take longer to pass through a Trick Room than objects with lower initial velocities regardless of the reference frame of the observer. But to my initial point, we have finer techniques based on the same principles that allow for the expansion of space, the transformation of time, and a powerful dream-state. Thus, wizard-made Pokeballs should be thought of as similar but distinct from mass market Pokeballs.
"But why did the letter say outside Pokeballs were forbidden?" said Harry.
"Because muggle Pokeballs aren't designed to capture the soul," said McGonagall. "Ah, we're here. Put on this hat, Mr. Potter. Better to hide your scar."
They entered a dingy old pub. Harry put on the hat, so no one noticed his scar as they made their way through the Leaky Cauldron. "Greetings, Tom," said McGonagall. "Just showing the new Wyndon Muggleborns to Diagon."
The barkeep saluted. "Ave morituri, vos saluto."
McGonagall took them to a back room, and tapped the brick walls with her wand. They folded in on themselves, and a rippling portal appeared. Through it, they could see a street with odd geometry.
"Behold," said McGonagall, "Diagon Alley. One of Galar's finest manifestations of Wizard Space."
They crossed the threshold. Immediately, the air smelled different, like tropical berries and exotic spices.
"Now," said McGonagall, "I should have the class list right here—"
"SOULS?" Hermione shouted, clearly having held that in for the past several minutes. "Souls don't exist! There's simply no proof for the soul! And what would that have to do with Pokeballs?"
"Well, Miss Granger," said McGonagall, "just what about the existence of souls is so objectionable? There are Ghost-type Pokemon, Pokemon moves that rely on the soul as a mechanism such as Perish Song, Spirit Break, and Destiny Bond, and attestations of the afterlife globally, even from muggle cultures."
"Ghost-type Pokemon are explainable as folklore and as purely sensory phenomena, Perish Song, Spirit Break, and Destiny Bond can be explained through psychological mirroring phenomena, and of course afterlife visions are just near death experiences. The human brain is prone to a certain type of hallucination when deprived of oxygen, explaining the uniformity."
"If my knowledge of the literature is still current," McGonagall said, "Current Pokeball technology is said to digitise the physical form of anything so well that repeated materialisations and dematerialisations are correlated up to the tenth decimal place. Pokemon display minimal differences in behavior before and after storage within a Pokeball, suggesting that the entirety of their behavior and the electrical patterns of their brains can be described perfectly in binary, and that personality is nothing more than duplicable electrical patterns. However, experiments on human digitisation were ceased roughly five years after the advent of Pokeball technology, as every death-row criminal who underwent digitisation was the equivalent of brain dead, even if they were released from the Pokeball seconds later. Have there been any breakthroughs in the six-months since I last reviewed the literature?"
Hermione shook her head. She seemed to be dumbfounded. "No, that's… that's surprisingly accurate."
"We're wizards and witches, Miss Granger," McGonagall said. "Not luddites. Much of this will be discussed in your classes, if you so choose, but conventional Pokeballs fail to account for the existence of the immaterial soul, and while much of a Pokemon's instincts will be preserved in digitisation, the possibility of sentience is not."
"Sentience is an emergent phenomena," Hermione said. "It's more complicated in humans than in Pokemon, which is why human consciousness doesn't survive digitisation. Sentience fundamentally comes from the interactions of neural structures, most of which haven't fully been mapped—"
"One such structure is the immaterial soul," said McGonagall. "Try to capture the immaterial soul in a Pokeball, and when it comes back out it'll be in all the wrong order. Fragmented. That's fine for most Pokemon, but nigh-irreparable for humans, and damaging to Pokemon with higher sentience."
Hermione crossed her arms. "Alright. What does the 'immaterial soul' explain that purely sensory phenomena and psychic imprinting don't?"
"The abnormal longevity of wizards and witches, and their Pokemon partners," said McGonagall, a slight edge of annoyance creeping into her voice, "the ease wizards and witches have bonding with wild Pokemon compared to muggles, the sentience of the partners of wizards and witches, and of course the capability for wizards and witches to cast spells at all. If you're at all familiar with Ki-Psi models for explaining martial arts prowess and psychic ability, the soul is part of an extension of the model to a Ki-Psi-Mana paradigm."
"Oh, a god-of-the-gaps explanation," said Hermione derisively. "Everything that can't be accounted for by ki' or 'psi', both of which are conjectures from the already tenuous field of 'battle science', is instead explained by the 'mana' of the 'soul'."
"Miss Granger," said McGonagall in a strained tone, "while I appreciated your intellectual curiosity, your casual dismissal of an entire field of study based on prescriptive disagreements with its basic premises makes me suspect I shall be seeing you in Gryffindor, instead of Ravenclaw. Your research ambitions, while noble, have not produced anything material or falsifiable—I know, I've seen your lack of publications beyond preprints—while the field of battle science continuously produces results that help us hold back the Dynamax storms. The survival of Galarian society depends on the advances made in empirical battle science, no matter how pseudoscientific you may find them. You have not been awarded the rank of Professor in your world, and you are an outsider to ours. If you wish to get anywhere in this life, you must learn to listen instead of preaching and clinging to materialism."
"I'm sorry, Professor McGonagall," Hermione said. Her voice sounded small, and with shock Harry realized that she seemed on the verge of tears, a complete turnaround from her confidence from seconds before. To be fair, usually teachers did not tear their students new ones.
"I mean no offense, Miss Granger," McGonagall said, much more gently. "But in the coming years, you will have many revelations that the world does not work in the way you believed. You would go mad trying to argue away everything that did not fit into your beliefs, but I know how you feel, Miss Granger. I was once eleven myself."
"Alright," said Hermione sullenly. Harry glanced at Dean, who shrugged back at him.
McGonagall chuckled. "I will admit, this is not the usual response of most muggleborns to Diagon Alley. Usually, there is more joy and wonder. You will be happier, Miss Granger, if you live with what is, instead of trying to prove that it should not be."
"So can we go shopping now?" Harry said. He barely understood most of what they were saying, but he'd learned that Pokeballs were bad, that souls were real, and that Hermione believed in most science except for battle science. Mostly he didn't care about any of that. He wanted a Pokemon, and he didn't care if he couldn't keep it in a Pokeball. In fact, he almost felt like it would be better if he never kept his Pokemon in a ball, since they could truly grow closer to each other. There was the mortality concern, that Pokeballs created a state of near stasis that allowed domesticated Pokemon to approach human lifespans, but McGonagall had said something suspiciously similar to 'magic will handle it'.
"Yes, that's rather why we're here," said McGonagall dryly.
The trip was surprisingly boring, and surprisingly similar to other school shopping trips. McGonagall told them they would have time to explore Diagon on their own later. She barely gave them ten minutes in the bookstore, and only gave them exactly as much time as they needed to get apparel. The main event was Ollivander's wand shop.
"Synergy," said Ollivander. "Between wizard, wand and Pokemon."
Harry stood in rapt attention as Ollivander riffled through drawers of wands, comprising a wall that stretched up to the ceiling.
"A wizard, or witch, is the heart of a team," said Ollivander. "The nexus through which knowledge flows, and decisions are made. Power, grace, poise — these are choices that must be made! You could be the master of the battlefield, changing nature itself to grant your team strength. Or you could step forth and funnel your Pokemon's strength into your wand, and strike forth yourself!"
Dean was looking kind of confused, while Hermione had the slightest frown of disapproval on her face.
"Your Pokemon are partners. They are the infinite power of nature itself condensed into beings, tied to living minds. When you fight, when you stand in service to our Region, you will stand as one. Through battle, your bond will deepen, until it will seem as if you are one soul in seven beings. They will lend you their strength, and you will lend them yours."
Ollivander pulled a wand out from a drawer.
"And a wand—why, the purpose of a wand is to deepen your bond. To be a bridge between wizard and Pokemon. To draw your magic from your soul, and share it with your team, and to let you send it into the world. A truly magnificent warrior is a perfect balance of wizard, Pokemon, and wand."
Harry frowned. "But I learned to use Quick Attack, without a wand."
Ollivander chuckled. "Quick Attack is quite basic, Mister Potter. I'm sure you could just as easily learn Tackle, Double Slap, or Pound, but you'll never perform, say, a Grassy Glide without a wand. And forget about a Fire Blast or a Blizzard."
"Those correspond to the Conflagration Spell and the Freezing Charm," added McGonagall.
"So of course, the selection of wand… well, the wand chooses the wizard," said Ollivander. "But you'll never know for sure if the wand is a good fit for you until you've been tested in battle."
He smiled. "I see you have an Oshawott, Miss Granger, and you have a Mincinno, Mister Thomas. But, Mister Potter, have you not released your Pokemon?"
Harry's face burned with embarrassment. "I don't have any Pokemon."
"None?" Ollivander said, his voice angered. "None at all?"
"My adoptive parents wanted to keep me safe," Harry said. It did little to salve his humiliation.
Ollivander shook his head. "I'm also in the matter of finding good first pairs, so you'll be leaving my shop with two milestones, Mister Potter. Still, to deny a Potter his birthright…"
"My birthright?" said Harry, now confused, his humiliation ebbing away. Hermione and Dean were also interested in the conversation, though Dean was more curious and Hermione seemed to be somewhat concerned.
"It's rather nothing," said McGonagall, though she was giving Ollivander a significant look. "You come from a long line of fine wizards and witches, Mr. Potter, and many would find your deprivation from Pokemon contact to be a denial of that heritage. But I am sure that you will make them proud regardless."
"I'm not sure how to tell you this, Miss Granger," said Ollivander, "but your temperament is entirely wrong for training Water-type Pokemon. You are most similar to a fire-type, as far as I can tell."
"Biological essentialism is pseudoscience, 'human types' haven't been verified beyond Dark and Psychic," Hermione said immediately. "I'm not abandoning Lutra."
McGonagall cleared her throat.
"Don't worry, Miss Granger. I'm in the business of amplifying the bonds between human and Pokemon, not replacing them," said Ollivander. "And Minerva, her opinions have no bearing on what wands will work best for her, though her convictions are admirable. Now, given the duality between you and your partner, either a balancing or neutral type ought to work. And from the strength of your convictions… A Grass-type wand, perhaps, but more tree based…"
In the end, Hermione got a Sawsbuck antler wand, suited for any season. She tested it in a battle against Ollivander and his Jolteon, and performed admirably.
Dean had no such issues. Ollivander declared that Normal-types were suited for almost any trainers. After some further questioning, Ollivander had Dean test a wand suited for 'arena-transformation' in a battle against an Espeon, and Dean passed with flying colors.
Finally, it was Harry's turn.
"No Pokemon at all?" Ollivander said. "And your type… it's quite hard to pin down. The Potter line bears an affinity with the Fire-type and the Ground-type, and I can certainly see elements of both in your temperament, yet there's something more that I can't quite pin down."
"I can see the recklessness that James had," said McGonagall. "But it's true, there's a certain mystery. Do you think it might be Lily's influence?"
"Possibly, but look at him," said Ollivander, as if Harry wasn't even there. "Mister Potter, you are the spitting image of your father. Has anyone ever told you that?"
"Not at all, my adoptive parents were very emphatic that my birth parents were dead and that therefore I should only try to remember the good things about them," Harry said.
"Clearly he's a poison type, with that much sarcasm," said McGonagall.
"With that much shifting," muttered Ollivander, "I wonder…"
He went into a backroom and returned with a Pokeball. It looked just like a usual Pokeball, except there was a stylized S engraved in the red top half.
"I thought you said that Pokeballs were forbidden," Hermione said accusingly to McGonagall.
"This was forged by the Smith himself," said Ollivander indignantly. "The Eevee within is having lovely dreams of green fields and golden sun, with its soul fully intact."
He handed the Pokeball to Harry. "Normally, I wouldn't give an Eevee to just anyone. But I simply can't resist the poetry of giving a Pokemon with so many possible evolutions to someone whose self is so enigmatic. Now, to my arena."
Harry fidgeted with the Pokeball as he stood at the arena, which was a dusty open-air court in the back Ollivander's shop. The Pokeball barely looked different from standard Pokeballs. He pressed the Pokemon release button, and the contained Eevee came out in a burst of white light. It looked at him, and cried out a greeting. It smiled at him, and though Harry had heard that when nonhumans smiled it was usually a threat, his heart melted nevertheless.
Eevee was a short brown Pokemon with four legs. It had two long pointed ears, a big bushy tail with a light patch at the end, and a bushy collar of pale fur around its neck. And it was his. His Eevee. Harry knew that Eevee were rare, and their genetic makeup was unstable so they often evolved into forms more suited for their environments. When he'd imagined going on a Pokemon adventure, he'd never thought that his starter Pokemon would be an Eevee, but suddenly the Eevee pounced at him!
He caught it, and it snuggled against him. It seemed to be purring.
"Well," Ollivander called from across the arena, "she seems to like you."
"Are you sure I can keep her?" Harry said. Even now, the possibility seemed unreal.
Ollivander chuckled. "I would be cruel to pull you apart after such a quick bond," he said. "Now, you have the possible wands?"
Ollivander had given him a belt filled with a few wands that he suspected might be a good fit. He'd said that for the low-level combat they were engaging in, the risk of breakage was minimal. The belt also had a satchel for wands that were a bad fit.
"It's art, not a science," he'd said. "As we battle, you will be drawn to certain wands. You will wield them, and your magic will flow through them into combat. You will feel it in your heart when you wield the wand that is best for you and your partner."
Ollivander smiled. "Let's Go! Pikachu!"
He threw a Pokeball into the air. A yellow rodent erupted from it in a burst of light.
"Pika pika!" it said.
Harry, like every other human on the planet, was familiar with Pikachu. It was perhaps the most marketed Pokemon in the world. There were sonnets about Pikachu, love songs about Pikachu, countless snack brands, and countless media franchises. After the Disney corporation had been definitively defeated in court in its bid for perpetual rights to the likeness of Pikachu on the grounds of its character 'Pally Pikachu', the floodgates had been open for Pikachu to be slathered across every brand in every region.
That didn't make it any less cute, or any less powerful. Pikachu were yellow rodents with long pointed ears, and tails shaped like lightning bolts. They had red cheeks. Somehow, they were able to manipulate electricity in a highly controlled manner, causing it to arc through the air to hit specific targets. Harry didn't know the science behind it, but he'd heard that Pikachu's evolved form, Raichu, was so adept at controlling lightning that it could hold its own against even the mighty Copperajah.
"Mr. Ollivander," Harry said, a bit uncertain, "what moves does my Eevee know?"
Ollivander smiled, either mysteriously or cruelly. "That is something you must determine through the trial of battle. Now, let us begin. Minerva, if you would referee?"
Professor McGonagall nodded. "This informal battle between Harry of the Potters and Garrick Ollivander is to be one versus one, with trainer intervention but not participation. The battle will continue until one of the Pokemon is unable to battle. The purpose of this battle is to determine a well-fitting wand for Mr. Potter."
Harry placed Eevee on the ground. Without being told, the fluffy creature trotted forwards and faced the Pikachu on the field of battle.
"Let the battle begin!" McGonagall said.
Ollivander raised his own wand. "Gladiis saltamus!" he cried. "Celeritas!"
Two bursts of red light spouted from his wand. Ollivander's Pikachu leapt into them. "Pi-ka," it said, once it landed. It seemed more nimble and more aggressive, somehow.
"Don't try to cast spells you haven't learned," McGonagall cried to Harry from the sidelines. "Rely on instinct for your spells."
"The moment is won by those who act!" Ollivander said. "Pikachu, Volt Tackle!"
The Pikachu charged forward towards Eevee. Electricity crackled in its cheeks. With each step, the lightning burst from its cheeks, forking into the nearby air. With each footfall, the electricity got larger and lingered for longer, until the Pikachu was cocooned in a pulsating web of arcing electricity. Yet even that was just leakage, energy that the Pikachu couldn't contain within its tiny body. If it made contact with Eevee, the power it contained would be discharged into Eevee's form, in a process that was usually rather painful for the Pikachu itself.
"Eevee, wait for it to approach, then dodge with Quick Attack!" Harry shouted. The Eevee listened, crouching down and allowing the Pikachu to get even closer. Seconds before the moment of impact, it jumped over the head of the Pikachu.
"Eevee, use Sand Attack as soon as it turns around!" Harry shouted. The Pokemon trilled out its assent, and began kicking at the ground, loosening the soil. Meanwhile, the Pikachu crashed into the wall, bouncing off, looking slightly worse for the wear.
"Episkey," Ollivander said, pointing his wand at Pikachu. As Harry watched, the Pikachu's scuffs faded.
"That's not fair," Harry said.
"We are wizards, Mister Potter," Ollivander said. "We fight with our Pokemon in a more literal sense, yet you have not even picked up a wand. Pick up a wand, and let the heat of battle inspire you."
He was right; Harry had been so caught up in the idea of getting to have a Pokemon battle that he hadn't even touched his belt of wands. He groped at his belt, grabbing the first wand he could, and pointed it at the Pikachu, focusing on his desire to win.
"Centiskorch scale in ash wood," Ollivander said. "Best suited for fiery all-out attackers."
A few burning embers flew out of the tip of the wand.
"Pikachu, Light Screen." Ollivander said calmly. His Pikachu bowed his head for a second, cheeks crackling with electricity. Arcs of lightning flew from the Pikachu to the walls, leaving an afterimage of a wondrous wall of light. Harry's embers dissipated harmlessly against the wall.
"Not that one, then," said Ollivander, nodding at Harry to switch wands.
"Eevee, keep using Sand Attack!" Harry shouted. This was his first Pokemon battle, and he wasn't going to lose, even if he had to cover the battlefield in a cloud of dust to win. He dropped the wand into the discard satchel, but didn't move to grab another one. "Keep using Sand Attack, and don't stop until Pikachu is blind!"
Slowly, the clouds of dust began to build up, yet Ollivander did nothing to stop Eevee. The dust became so thick that even Harry could barely see Eevee through it, and could barely see the silhouette of Ollivander on the other side of the dust cloud. Yet the older wizard still had done nothing to act.
Ollivander pointed his wand at Eevee. "Confundus."
Eevee stopped digging at the ground. Instead, it started chasing its own tail, skipping around in joy.
"Eevee, use Quick Attack!" Harry shouted, but in vain. Eevee crouched on all fours, preparing to charge forward, but it stumbled over its own feet and fell on its face.
"The Confundus Charm," McGonagall said, her voice ringing out over the battlefield, "It is a more refined version of the move Confuse Ray, allowing for the user to add nuances to the state of confusion that the primitive version of the move cannot."
"Pikachu, Nasty Plot," Ollivander said. Harry was unnerved. Nasty Plot, according to Pokemon psychics and psychologists, either involved inducing a state of sociopathy or repurposing the user's sense of empathy to maximizing pain, but in battle science terms, it improved a Pokemon's 'special attack', which usually made it stronger with moves that involved hitting a foe from a distance. Unfortunately, most of Pikachu's moves fell into that category. He had to snap Eevee out of confusion. But how?
"You are a wizard, Mister Potter," Ollivander said. It was an obvious, somewhat condescending nudge, but Harry reached for his belt nonetheless, and grabbed a wand.
"Xatu feather in yew," said Ollivander. "Suited for shattering illusions. You've got a good sense for these things, as expected."
Harry had chosen the wand randomly, but he would take what praise he could get. He raised his wand, and pointed it at Eevee, wishing for it to return to awareness. A shimmer of pale blue light appeared around Eevee, shining through the dust cloud, lifting it into the air several centimeters. Then, Eevee was slammed into the ground, and the light faded. It pushed itself back to its feet, looking winded, but resolved to fight. Harry looked at the wand in disgust, and dropped it into his discard satchel. He drew another one from his belt.
"Mudsdale mane hair in birch," said Ollivander, from across the dusty field. "For those with their own tempo, those with vigor and a desire to shake the earth. You'll be needing that. Pikachu, Shock Wave!"
Across the field, the Pikachu was surrounded by a sphere of yellow light, which throbbed with electrical power. It pulsed, sending a spherical wave of electricity outward from its body.
"Eevee, prepare to dodge," Harry said. He wasn't familiar with Shock Wave. He'd never seen it used in a Galar league match. For some reason or another, it wasn't very popular in Galar. He hadn't even been aware that Pikachu could learn that move.
"Futile, Mister Potter," said Ollivander. "Shock Wave never misses."
If that was the case, Harry would have to try something else. He swept his wand across the battlefield. A line of earth popped up, forming a wall, but only a few inches high.
It wasn't enough to block the electricity. Eevee cried out in pain as the first of the Shock Waves hit it. Harry had no idea how long she would hold up, but he didn't think letting her get defeated on her first battle would be good for morale.
"Synergy, Mister Potter," said Ollivander. "Fight as one, not as many."
Harry wracked his brain. What could Eevee learn? Something that would let it avoid the Shock Waves. But the only way to avoid the Shock Waves was to not get hit at all. He stared at the battlefield, through the clouds of dust, wishing that all that detritus, that earth tossed into the air, would nullify the electricity. It was honestly amazing that such a small Eevee had managed to move so much earth.
He pointed the wand at the ground before the Eevee, and shouted, "Eevee, Dig!"
Eevee looked at him in confusion, and Harry clarified, "Keep using Sand Attack, but just where I'm pointing!"
Eevee nodded (which was odd for a Pokemon to do, but Harry didn't care, he'd come across a winning strategy) and started kicking up sand. Harry pointed his wand at the same place, and willed the ground to move up faster and faster. Slowly, Eevee started to vanish beneath the earth, but she wasn't fast enough. Another wave of the shock wave hit her, and another. And then, she stopped digging.
"Eevee! Are you alright?" Harry shouted. Eevee didn't respond. She could've just been tired, but Harry wasn't going to count on it. Would he still be a wizard and Pokemon trainer if he'd gotten the first Pokemon he had killed? He rushed forward — Ollivander had graciously told Pikachu to stop using Shock Wave—and placed his hand on Eevee's back as he knelt.
There was still a pulse. He breathed a sigh of relief, and then dropped his Mudsdale wand in his reject satchel. He raised his eyes to meet Ollivander, who was frowning, and Pikachu, who was barely scratched.
"You have been deprived indeed, Mister Potter," Ollivander said sadly. "Your parents were both talented beyond words. To see you struggle so nobly… it truly breaks my heart."
Harry felt empty. He was flawed. He was a failure. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had been right. He should've stayed at Grunnings. He never should've pursued his dreams of living with Pokemon, and fighting besides them. His Aunt and Uncle had seen it, so why couldn't he have?
But this was their fault. They'd kept him from Pokemon, when it had been his birthright, from a few things Ollivander and Professor McGonagall had mentioned. Being a Pokemon trainer and a wizard, not being a sub-manager at Grunnings, was his inheritance. He wouldn't let their hate define him, and he would prove himself worthy. He would prove himself a worthy son of his parents, and a worthy trainer of Eevee.
He drew the last wand.
"How did that get there?" muttered Ollivander. "No matter, perhaps an easier Pokemon to train…"
"No," said Harry. "I choose Eevee. I don't care if I know less than everyone else, or if I was kept from Pokemon until now, because I'm not going to let that stop me. I'm going to become the greatest Pokemon trainer and wizard this Region has ever seen. I'll serve my Region, and I live through it. It's who I was born to be. It's my destiny, and even if I'm far from it right now, I'll work hard every single day to get closer and closer to where I'm meant to be."
His wand was warm in his hand, as if it was alive. He could feel the energy flowing through him, could feel the wand whispering to him, feel it telling him what it could do with the power that was inside of him. He tapped Eevee on the head, and drew the wand down its body. He could feel a part of himself that was at the edge of his awareness flowing through him into the wand, and from there into Eevee, suffusing its injured body with vitality.
Eevee opened an eye, and cried out in joy when it saw him. It slowly stood up.
"Remarkable," whispered Ollivander. "Simply remarkable. Pikachu, Volt Tackle!"
"It's you and me, Eevee," Harry said, as he stood up. "The two of us, together. Let's Go!"
He pointed his wand at the battlefield. "Eevee, Last Resort!"
Eevee leapt into the air, crying joyfully as it did so. Power surged through Harry's wand, a power he could not describe. At the edge of his vision, he could see Ollivander's other pets, various evolutions of Eevee, watching the battle.
A golden light burst from his wand, flowing towards Ollivander's pet Eeveelutions, turning into seven different colors as they reached them: blue, red, yellow, green, cyan, purple, and black. Then, like an inverse prism, they focused on Harry's Eevee, infusing it with power, granting it a shimmering rainbow aura.
"Impossible," muttered McGonagall.
Eevee landed right in Pikachu's path. It stood, solid, a rainbow of light against an incoming streak of yellow electricity. It stared Pikachu down. The rainbow shimmered, growing more and more intense every second. Then, at the very last moment, when Pikachu was about to strike, Eevee lunged, its head bowed.
Pikachu was knocked backwards. It struggled back to four legs, raring to go—and then it collapsed.
"Pikachu is unable to battle," said McGonagall, somewhat slowly, as if she was in shock. "The match is concluded in favor of Harry of the Potters."
Harry opened his arms, and Eevee jumped into them once more. She cried in exultation.
"Honor," said Harry, gazing into Eevee's eyes. "That's what I'll name you. That's what you are, to me. Is… is that alright with you?"
Eevee—Honor, now—cried in joy again.
"That was wicked!" Dean shouted as he approached Harry.
"I suppose that was—well, fascinating," Hermione said. "What was that spell you cast at the end?"
"I've seen phenomena similar to that, in the Z-Move Extreme Evoboost," McGonagall said.
"Wow, I suppose there's a lot I simply don't know," Hermione said cautiously, as if she were afraid of saying something incredibly stupid while trying to explain herself. "I thought Z-phenomena was localised to the Alolan Islands?"
"Usually," said McGonagall, "but magic is—well, we don't look a gift Ponyta in the mouth."
"Well done, Mister Potter," said Ollivander, clapping as he walked near. "You've found both your Pokemon and your wand. A spectacular performance. Though it is most curious…"
"Indeed, Z-Phenomena is a Gaunt trait…" McGonagall said.
"Not that, Minerva," Ollivander said. He pointed one crooked finger towards Harry's wand.
"That wand… I hadn't intended to give it to you at all, yet now it seems like the perfect fit."
Harry raised the wand. It fit perfectly in his hand, and felt warm, as if it was alive.
"That wand contains a feather from Ho-Oh, the rainbow bird, bringer of eternal life, the great bird of recurrence. Ho-Oh feather in holly. In all my years, I've only ever made two wands from Ho-Oh feathers. You hold one in your hand. The other… why, it made you an orphan."
Harry was happy to get out of the shop after that, though McGonagall gave him no further answers.