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A Governess for Leo Lupin.
The most pitied woman in all of Britain. Possibly all the world. He's awful.
"I'll bleed wherever I damn well please!" She shouted, scowling at him. As if to prove it, she uncovered her nose and shook her head back and forth like a dog attempting to dry its fur of water. Little droplets of blood rained on the sidewalk all willy-nilly. Billie Farrow in A Good Dusting
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A Very Merry Unbirthday
Gideon shrugged at her first question. "Not all trees can become wands." There were some who believed that plants of all varieties had some degree of magic, just as some people believed that all people were capable of some minor amount of magic — but that was a controversial and untested hypothesis. It was one that seemed to make sense in his mind, because squibs could often produce some magic and even Muggles could have some moderate success with simple potions. Magic existing on a sort of spectrum rather than an absolute of those who had and those who had not fit his worldview, but he didn't feel strongly about it either way, so he wasn't inclined to argue for the premise. Particularly when it was, as earlier mentioned, untested — and perhaps untestable, since there was no reliable way Gideon knew of quantifying magical ability.

"You can touch them, sure," he said with a nod. "And tell me what you think of them. Wands are like people; they've got a personality all of their own," he explained. "And ebony wands are, I think, very confident in who they are, so maybe you can get a sense of it."
Billie nodded, assuming most of the trees in the park must just be fairly ordinary, then. That was somewhat of a relief because she'd definitely, accidentally snapped branches, and she didn't want a magic tree to curse her or something! (If that was even possible; she had no idea.)

Turning to the wands, she quickly nudged the one on the furthest right out of the way. She wasn't sure why she disliked it, but she figured she shouldn't touch things that felt wrong. Just like how she'd change directions in the slums when the person heading in her direction made her stomach sink. "Well, I don't like this one's personality."

She returned her gaze to the three remaining. She reached out to tug the next box closer to her and tilted her head, not quite sure what he was hoping her to say. Resting a finger on the wand wood for a good minute, she glanced over a Gideon. "This one seems...strange?" It was the closest word she knew to describe her immediate thoughts on it, but it was clear she didn't mean strange in a negative sort of way. Moreso eccentric.

The next one, she'd barely put a finger on before declaring it to be "Loud. But how could a wand be loud? Perhaps, it was meant for someone who was very confident in what they had to say. The sorts of people who either made you want to keep listening or shove cotton wool in your ears. If that's what Gideon meant by personality.

The last wand Billie actually fully took out of the box and held in her hand. She rolled it between her fingers, struggling much more than she had for the others. The way her eyebrows went up and down, it was clear she had some sense of it, but the exact right descriptors weren't within her grasp. Perhaps, it was because it was a feeling she hadn't yet learned to articulate.

"Can I try this one?"

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Gideon tried to keep his face neutral as she turned her attention to the wands, not wanting to inadvertently give her any hints or lead her in one direction or another. That only lasted until she got to the third wand, which she assigned the description of loud; he knew precisely what she meant and couldn't help the broad grin that broke out on his face. She did seem to have a knack for this, it seemed — though it was different, he supposed, when you were looking for a wand for yourself, and she may or may not ever have the sort of intuition that would allow her to match another witch or wizard to a wand of their own. Still, he was proud of her for even this much: for being able to touch a wand and get a sense of what it was telling her about itself, and to declare it loud.

He watched her expression with keen interest as she moved to the final wand. He couldn't say until she actually tried it out, but he had a good feeling about this one — and it seemed she did, too, since she'd asked to actually try it. "Of course," he answered immediately, moving to have a better vantage to watch when she did. "That's a unicorn hair wand, from a particularly adventurous unicorn. It's a golden hair," he explained. "Unicorns are gold when they're very young — and it's usually impossible to get near them until they're much older. But this one was curious and brave," he said with a grin. "And fond of apples."
Billie still wasn't sure if she'd done anything correctly, but she took Gideon's smile to mean she'd at least done as he asked. Was that really how Gideon chose wands for people? A wand made him feel some strange sort of way, and he thought it could be worth a try? But how did he know it was right for some sort of stranger? Her questions, although clambering to get out, went unasked for she was too busy concentrating on Gideon's next words.

"An adventurous unicorn!" She echoed, clearly delighted at the adjectives he had used to describe said unicorn. She giggled about it liking apples. "How do you know?"

Fidgeting a bit where she stood, Billie was too eager to wait for Gideon to answer that particular question. She'd been given permission to try the wand, and she wanted to see if it would be the right one. (Or if she'd break something.) With a crooked grin, she lifted the wand and gave it a bit of a wave that looked more like a happy point.

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He'd thought his description would have made it obvious how he knew, because it wasn't as though he catalogued this degree of detail about every wand in the shop. "Because I was there," he said pleasantly. "I made this wand a few years ago. Maybe five or six years ago, now." Gideon didn't always collect his own wandmaking materials, of course; there were shipments that came in all the time of various core types and wand woods from all over England and from around the world. It would have been practically impossible to do it all himself. That being said, identifying the proper materials for a good wand was part of what he had been trained to do during his long apprenticeship with his father, and both he and his brother did source materials directly when they were able to do so. Finding unicorns who were willing to give up a hair or two was a much more pleasant experience than trying to deal with some of the more dangerous creatures that were used in wandmaking. Gideon wasn't about to go wrangle dragons on his own, for instance — his involvement in that acquisition process only extended to being called in after a dragon was already dead to disconnect the useful bits of the heartstrings before they were hacked to pieces by someone who didn't know what they were doing. Even then, it was rather gruesome work — unicorns were much more pleasant. Particularly as they didn't need to die in order to assist with the wandmaking process.

She pointed the wand and it responded immediately, with a flourish of little flecks of golden light, as though they'd walked out into a night filled with fireflies.

"I think we've found it," he announced. "What do you think? How did it feel?"
Billie's eyes widened, immediately looking to Gideon as if to be completely sure that he also saw the little golden flecks. Her face immediately lit up with joy, and she glanced from the wand to her father and back again with her mouth slightly agape. "Phew! I ai--I'm not a squib!" She finally declared, triumphantly. Of course, it was obvious that she wasn't one since she'd displayed a fair amount of accidental magic, but she couldn't help worrying a wand wouldn't work for her at all. It still felt like a dream.

"It felt..." Her lips pursed, still not sure how to articulate the words she wanted. Instead she settled with, "Right." She seemed fairly sure about it and tried very hard to restrain herself from waving the ebony wand a second or third time. Billie couldn't believe she'd have to wait another two months before being able to really start learning to use it at school. "I can't believe I have a wand." She whispered, mostly to herself.

After a moment, Billie fully registered Gideon's answer to her earlier question. She'd been much too distracted to make the connection the first time. Beaming she turned to him, "This one is even better 'cause you made it!" She'd probably proudly tell anybody she came across, now. That it wasn't made by that other wand making Ollivander, but by Gideon.

"Can you take me to meet a unicorn one day?" She added, a pleading look in her eyes. Maybe they could find the same one, and she could say thank you for its hair!

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"Of course you're not a squib!" Gideon responded immediately, unaware that she had even been concerned about the possibility. From what he knew about her life prior to coming and living with him, it seemed absolutely ridiculous to believe that she wouldn't have magical abilities. That was the entire reason she'd fallen out with her mother, after all.

"And I can certainly try," he said with a laugh. Her enthusiasm about her wand was contagious, and he particularly appreciated her comment about the fact that he had made it. He wouldn't claim it was any better for that fact, by any means — and in fact, he thought many of his wands were a bit lackluster compared to his father's or brother's — but it was gratified that she thought it was special. It was a bit of an extra bond for them, and he appreciated that. "Unicorns don't exactly advertise where they are all the time, but if you want to come sometime when I'm looking for them, I think that can be arranged."
"Please!" She blurted out in response to the unicorns. "I can be really quiet. They won't even know I'm there. That's how I catch rats. And cats. And other things." She explained, as if those were extremely good examples of how silent she could be. Not that she hoped to capture a unicorn. She'd be content just to marvel at it from afar. Despite wanting every creature to be her pet, she realized some just should remain in nature where they belong.

She glanced down at her wand again, delighted. She couldn't wait to tell Quin and Arnie and the Potts and Miss Montague and--

If she could still even keep them as her friends.

"Thanks, Gideon!" She commented, almost too cheerful, but her expression remained one of excitement, despite other disappointment.

"I can't wait until I can do spells."
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