Holland Keene
Just wand-ering
Sat Mar 4, 2017 10:25

In Cultural Studies, they’d discussed the role of wands in wizarding culture, so now Holland was thinking about wands. There were several places on Earth where witches and wizards performed completely wandless magic, or only used wands as temporary training wheels until spells could be managed without an aide, but the Western world loved them. Getting your first wand was a rite of passage, there was tons of wandlore about different cores and woods (ebony, Holland’s wand wood, was apparently associated with non-conformists and determination, which they felt was suitable), and a magic user’s wand was so personal that getting a wand secondhand was pitiable. If you were kicked out of wizarding school, the authorities would snap your wand in half as a symbol that you were no longer a member of the community, even though nothing was done to suppress or dampen your magic.

So, the question stood: was it the wand industry or the government that wanted everyone so dependent on wands?

The safest bet was usually to follow the money. Wandmakers had the most to gain financially; Holland couldn’t imagine it was a profitable field, since most people bought one wand when they were eleven and kept it for life. Barring occasional repairs and tune-ups, the initial sale was the most money a wandmaker would make from most customers. But the wand industry mostly consisted of regional experts and specialists. As far as Holland knew, there wasn’t even wandmaker’s union, although there must be some sort of regulatory body—otherwise there was nothing stopping sellers from trying to pass off ordinary sticks as wands. Come to think of it, Holland had no proof that their wand actually contained Veela hair. It wasn’t impossible that their wand was just a stick, and the tingly magical feeling it gave them was just a placebo effect.

On the other hand, wanded magic made for a more easily-controlled population. A powerful enough magic user could Summon the wands of everyone in a room with a single spell, rendering most of the population unable to use their magic well. Accidental magic could still occur in adults when they were upset enough, and some people were proficient at wandless magic, but they were in the minority in America as far as Holland could tell. That was dangerous. More wizards and witches should be trained in wandless magic so they couldn’t have their best means of defense easily taken from them.

That wasn’t why Holland was practicing their wandless magic today—they were practicing because it was important for Animagus work—but that was a consideration. Unfortunately for Holland’s safety from the wizarding government, it was not going especially well. They had been staring and occasionally gesturing at their coffee cup for ten minutes without it floating, changing color, or sliding across the table to them. Holland had placed a charm to keep their chai latte at the right temperature before they started, so they didn’t have to worry about it getting cold, but it was still discouraging.

Holland wasn’t an impatient person, but they were getting so fed up with all the nothing that was happening that they’d turned to their Cultural Studies reading for suggestions. Swapping the teen’s wand with an identical stick was the technique used to wean students off of wand reliance in some cultures. Maybe that would help them see if their problem was magical or mental.

They were unsuccessfully searching for a pencil to transfigure into a copy of their wand—damn the quill-and-ink wizarding aesthetic—when someone else walked into the lecture hall they were using as a practice space. “Do you have a pencil or something?” they asked. Today the fifth-year was wearing a sleeveless white dress with a rainbow splatter pattern, a dark gray bomber jacket, and black and gray Oxfords. Their coral hair peeked out from under a grey knit beanie. “I’m trying to do wandless practice, but I need something to wave around so I can trick my brain into thinking we have a wand.”

    • Nice pun - Dardanius Dubois, Sat Mar 4 13:33
      Danny strode through the school corridors in his incredible dark green boots, wearing a button-up shirt in a coordinating shade. He had just been up to Pearl Street for some ink and a new quill - he... more
      • I hoped you wood notice - Holland, Sun Mar 5 10:54
        A licorice wand was a good option in theory, since it was already shaped like a wand, but Holland declined the offer with a friendly wave and a “Keep it, I’ll keep looking.” The candy was the right... more
        • Of core-se I did - Dardanius, Sun Mar 5 15:29
          Holland rejected the offer of the candy, so Danny shrugged, took a licorice wand for himself, and put one end of it in his mouth, holding it there with his teeth while both his hands were engaged in... more
          • Now you're getting a handle on it - Holland, Mon Mar 6 14:27
            The part of Holland arguing that coffee would help their spellwork won while Danny suggested another incentive. “That was the idea, but it’s not working,” they agreed, collecting their cup. The... more
            • I wave-red for a moment - Danny, Tue Mar 7 15:00
              He wouldn’t argue; it would be easy for someone to abuse Animagus powers, but Danny didn’t necessarily agree that made the registry sensical. There were plenty of people who were Animagi who would... more
              • But now your grip is steady - Holland, Sat Mar 11 15:53
                “ Yeah when I put this shirt on I did think you'd be proud of me making an effort to co-ordinate, or whatever. ” Holland beamed. They thoroughly enjoyed seeing that they had been a good influence on... more
                • My thoughts have wand-ered - Danny, Sun Mar 12 13:35
                  “Hey, not bad,” Danny grinned at Holland’s transfiguration. If his enthusiasm sounded muted, it wasn't because of Holland’s performance. Yes, the prop of a wand was only the first step in a... more
                  • *another wand pun* - Holland, Sun Mar 12 14:55
                    Mostly ignoring Danny, Holland picked up the mint tin and examined it. The side opposite the new handle had also folded into a slight lip, which meant it was even closer to a creamer than Holland had ... more
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