"Eight and three quarter inches, cherry, unicorn hair core. Do you recognize that description?"
The small, terrified woman nodded, mopping her eyes on the sleeve of her plain black robes. Her wand, her longest-held possession, the most tangible evidence of her magical ability...
When she was eleven and Mr. Ollivander had placed it on the counter in front of her, she had gasped at its beauty. The red-gold wood looked warm with the sunlight from the front window shining on it. She'd stretched her finger over the top of the wand and smiled at their similarity in shape. She'd known instinctively that it was an extension of her hand. When she'd picked it up, she'd felt a tingle begin in her arm and radiate through her body. Following Mr. Ollivander's instructions, she'd waved it in front of her a few times and the word Mary appeared in a pretty script— blue like her eyes.
"Well, I've seldom seen such compatibility between a novice witch and her new wand, particularly in one not from a magical family. I believe we can expect great things from you, young lady."
Mary had beamed with pride. Something so beautiful and powerful belonged to her. It had chosen her, Mr. Ollivander had said. She'd left so excited and eager to begin her magical education with the perfect tool.
Unfortunately, the great things didn't happen for her. She was a mediocre student, constantly harassed by others at school who called her a Mudblood. Instead of great love, she had drifted into marriage with Reg Cattermole, a nice young man who didn't excite her or the world. Then again, she knew she didn't either. She kept a neat house and raised three children who loved her, yet made clear to her that they were much more powerful magic wielders than she.
Still, she had her wand. The unicorn hair core seemed at times to communicate with her, offering her comfort in her humdrum, dissatisfying life.
"Could you please tell us from which witch or wizard you took that wand?" asked the toad-like woman sitting above her on the raised platform in the dark, dank courtroom.
"I didn't take it from anybody," Mary wept. "It chose me."
She cried as Dementors floated around her, their cold enveloping her and making her feel as though she'd never know warmth or her small pleasures again. The stern, toad-like woman spoke to others on the raised platform. Mary stared helplessly as one of the shrouded creatures came closer to her, placing its icy, skeletal hands on her. If only she had her wand...
Suddenly her bonds were released and Ministry employees were telling her to run. Before complying, she raised her arm. Her wand, the only thing that had ever really singled her out, shot across the room and into her hand.
Now she could face anything.