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“Yes,” Luna said. “I don’t think I can manage it with non-verbal spellwork. I do miss my wand.”

Ollivander tried not to be jealous of this girl who was able to conjure a corporeal Patronus when she wasn’t even out of her teens, a feat the majority of grown wizards would envy. She wasn’t boasting about it, though.

“I’ve often wondered what mine would have been if I’d managed it,” he said, surprising even himself.

“I did too before I had one,” Luna said. “I never considered a hare, though. I’d thought perhaps a Nargle, or maybe a Crumple-Horned Snorkack.”

“A what?” Ollivander asked.

“Which one?” Luna said.

“Either. Both,” Ollivander said.

Luna spent an hour explaining Nargles as well as the Crumple-Horned Snorkack and her travels with her father to try to find one of the elusive beasts. Ollivander was secretly concerned at first that her kidnapping and subsequent imprisonment might have affected her mind, but he came to the conclusion that she was fine, if a bit fanciful. As whimsy was in short supply in the Malfoy’s cellar, he was more than happy to find a bit of it, and talking about her strange creatures cheered her up.

At about midday, two bowls of porridge unceremoniously appeared on the floor of the cellar along with two glasses of water. It was as plain as possible, but it was edible. Ollivander had sometimes gone as long as two days without food, usually when Voldemort was questioning him endlessly on wand lore, but sometimes it seemed the House-elves weren’t permitted to send meals. But today there was something, and it was even still hot.

“I rather like porridge,” Luna said. “My mother used to read me ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ when I was little, so I suppose that’s why.”

The perfectly empty bowls disappeared the moment they were replaced on the floor. Luna still held the glass of water in her hand, sipping the last half of it slowly, a wise choice. Ollivander had barely tasted the food, bland as it was, but it had filled his stomach, and that was nothing to take lightly. He was also glad to see that his original assessment of Luna’s situation seemed to be right. The Death Eaters were using her as a hostage, not for questioning, so she would probably be safe for a while. He was very glad of that.

Days passed, and life began to take on an odd normalcy. Ollivander had been alone for so long that he wasn’t quite sure how to talk to Luna sometimes, and he enjoyed quiet occasionally. Thankfully, she did as well. He’d been worried she might turn out to be of the giggly, chattering variety of teenage girl, but she was also capable of quiet. As prison companions went, she was perfection.

He winced every time he thought that. He felt guilty for being grateful she was trapped here, but he also thought she might be the only thing saving his sanity.

The cellar of the Malfoy house grew colder as the days grew even shorter. Luna attempted using wandless magic to create a small fire, but she hadn’t got the knack of it yet. Once she had managed to produce a small, smoldering ember on the floor, and her eyes had danced with hope in its light. Ollivander was certain that, given enough time, she would be able to do it. Unfortunately, time was a risky thing to count on in this place. He hoped both that she would succeed and that she wouldn’t because she would go home before then.

Ollivander never attempted the spell himself, simple though it was. He had tried to conjure up a light many times when he was first brought here; however, his lifelong career with wands had left him in possession of many of their secrets but also completely dependent upon them for any magic at all. Wands were a crutch on which he had come to rely. He knew he could have coerced a bit of magic out of even the most rudimentary of wands if he had the right tools and supplies, but nothing at all suitable was available to him here.

During the days, Luna and he talked. He learned about her mother’s death, the bullying she endured from her housemates, and how she had finally made friends with a small but devoted group of students, including Potter. Most of all, Ollivander learned she had a kind heart. He’d sometimes wished he’d had a child of his own, but he had spent so many hours poring over tomes of wandlore that he never married, never had a family, and never realized he had missed his chance until it was too late. He’d never expected a proxy daughter to share his imprisonment.

The longest night of the year passed. Ollivander had kept a rudimentary calendar since her arrival, and though he could see no difference at all yet, he could almost feel that the sun was returning. With it, and with the introduction of Luna, he had the oddest feeling of hope. He had honestly given up believing he would ever be outside the cellar again, and yet somehow the smallest kernel of belief he might survive had grown in Luna’s beautiful, whimsical, unexpected sunlight.

They were going to survive. He knew it. He would find a way to help them both.

It was, fittingly enough, Christmas Eve when the miracle occurred. December 24th had gone as any other day in their captivity. Death Eaters were not predisposed to any shows of holiday leniency or generosity towards their captives, nor did Ollivander or Luna expect anything of the kind. They had their typical meal (Ollivander noted with concern Luna was getting too thin; he’d long since stopped noticing his own bony frame), chatted a bit about this and that: wands, school, family, what the people they knew might be doing this night.

Then it happened, and Ollivander was stunned into delighted silence.


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