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s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Wands

Harry Potter Wiki | Subtle Laws of Wands
Pottermore | Wand Cores
Pottermore | Wand Lengths and Flexibility
Pottermore | Wand Woods
Wizarding Realm

Wizarding Realm: Your Character's Wand: Wood and Core Properties by Jaclyn 'Jax' Sanders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at Wizarding Realm.

Wandlore Academy: Creating Your Perfect Wand by Michael "Mikey" Mannello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wizarding Realm.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Woods

The following description of the powers and properties of various wand woods are taken from notes made, over a long career, by Mr. Garrick Ollivander, widely considered the best wandmaker in the world. As will be seen, Mr. Ollivander believes that wand wood has almost human powers of perception and preferences.

Mr. Ollivander introduces his notes on wand wood thus:
Every single wand is unique and will depend for its character on the particular tree and magical creature from which it derives its materials. Moreover, each wand, from the moment it finds its ideal owner, will begin to learn from and teach its human partner. Therefore, the following must be seen as general notes on each of the wood types I like to work with best, and ought not to be taken to describe any individual wand.

Only a minority of trees can produce wand quality wood (just as a minority of humans can produce magic). It takes years of experience to tell which ones have the gift, although the job is made easier if Bowtruckles are are found nesting in the leaves, as they never inhabit mundane trees. The following notes on various wand woods should be regarded very much as a starting point, for this is the study of a lifetime, and I continue to learn with every wand I make and match.

A very unusual wand wood, which I have found creates tricky wands that often refuse to produce magic for any but their owner, and also withhold their best effects from all but the most gifted. This sensitivity renders them difficult to place, and I keep only a small stock for those witches or wizards of sufficient subtlety, for acacia is not suited to what is commonly known as 'bangs-and-smells' magic. When well-matched, an acacia wand matches any for power, though it is often underrated due to the peculiarity of its temperament.

Alder is an unyielding wood, yet I have discovered that its ideal owner is not stubborn or obstinate, but often helpful, considerate, and most likable. Whereas most wand woods seek similarity in the characters of those they will best serve, alder is unusual in that it seem to desire a nature that is, if not precisely opposite to its own, then certainly of a markedly different type. When an alder wand is happily placed, it becomes a magnificent, loyal helpmate. Of all wand types, alder is best suited to non-verbal spell work, whence comes its reputation for being suitable only for the most advanced witches and wizards.

Applewood wands are not made in great numbers. They are powerful and best suited to an owner of high aims and ideals, as this wood mixes poorly with Dark magic. It is said that the possessor of an apple wand will be well-loved and long-lived, and I have often noticed that customers of great personal charm find their perfect match in an applewood wand. An unusual ability to converse with other magical beings in their native tongues is often found among apple wand owners, who include the celebrated author of Merpeople: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Language and Customs, Dylan Marwood.

The ash wand cleaves to its one true master and ought not to be passed on or gifted from the original owner, because it will lose power and skill. This tendency is extreme if the core is of unicorn. Old superstitions regarding wands rarely bear close examination, but I find that the old rhyme regarding rowan, chestnut, ash, and hazel wands (rowan gossips, chestnut drones, ash is stubborn, hazel moans) contains a small nugget of truth. Those witches and wizards best suited to ash wands are not, in my experience, lightly swayed from their beliefs or purposes. However, the brash or over-confident witch or wizard, who often insists on trying wands of this prestigious wood, will be disappointed by its effects. The ideal owner may be stubborn, and will certainly be courageous, but never crass or arrogant.

Wand-quality aspen wood is white and fine-grained, and highly prized by all wandmakers for its stylish resemblance to ivory and its usually outstanding charmwork. The proper owner of the aspen wand is often an accomplished duelist, or destined to be so, for the aspen wand is one of those particularly suited to martial magic. An infamous and secretive eighteenth-century dueling club, which called itself The Silver Spears, was reputed to admit only those who owned aspen wands. In my experience, aspen wand owners are generally strong-minded and determined, more likely than most to be attracted by quests and new orders; this is a wand for revolutionaries.

The true match for a beech wand will be, if young, wise beyond his or her years, and if full-grown, rich in understanding and experience. Beech wands perform very weakly for the narrow-minded and intolerant. Such wizards and witches, having obtained a beech wand without having been suitably matched (yet coveting this most desirable, richly hued and highly prized wand wood), have often presented themselves at the homes of learned wand makers, demanding to know the reason for their handsome wand’s lack of power. When properly matched, the beech wand is capable of a subtlety and artistry rarely seen in any other wood, hence its lustrous reputation.

Black Walnut
Less common than the standard walnut wand, that of black walnut seeks a master of good instincts and powerful insight. Black walnut is a very handsome wood, but not the easiest to master. It has one pronounced quirk, which is that it is abnormally attuned to inner conflict, and loses power dramatically if its possessor practices any form of self-deception. If the witch or wizard is unable or unwilling to be honest with themselves or others, the wand often fails to perform adequately and must be matched with a new owner if it is to regain its former prowess. Paired with a sincere, self-aware owner, however, it becomes one of the most loyal and impressive wands of all, with a particular flair in all kinds of charmwork.

Blackthorn, which is a very unusual wand wood, has the reputation, my view well-merited, of being best suited to a warrior. This does not necessarily mean that its owner practices the Dark Arts (although it is undeniable that those who do so will enjoy the blackthorn wand’s prodigious power); one finds blackthorn wands among the Aurors as well as among the denizens of Azkaban. It is a curious feature of the blackthorn bush, which sports wicked thorns, that it produces its sweetest berries after the hardest frosts, and the wands made from this wood appear to need to pass through danger or hardship with their owners to become truly bonded. Given this condition, the blackthorn wand will become as loyal and faithful a servant as one could wish.

Whenever I meet one who carries a cedar wand, I find strength of character and unusual loyalty. My father, Gervaise Ollivander, used always to say, ‘you will never fool the cedar carrier,’ and I agree: the cedar wand finds its perfect home where there is perspicacity and perception. I would go further than my father, however, in saying that I have never yet met the owner of a cedar wand whom I would care to cross, especially if harm is done to those of whom they are fond. The witch or wizard who is well-matched with cedar carries the potential to be a frightening adversary, which often comes as a shock to those who have thoughtlessly challenged them.

This is very rare wand wood that makes for a wand of strange power, most highly prized by the wizarding students of the school of Mahoutokoro in Japan, where those who own cherry wands have special prestige. The Western wand-purchaser should dispel from their minds any notion that the pink blossom of the living tree makes for a frivolous or merely ornamental wand, for cherry wood often makes a wand that possesses truly lethal power, whatever the core, but if paired with dragon heartstring, the wand ought never to be teamed with a wizard without exceptional self-control and strength of mind.

This is a most curious, multi-faceted wood, which varies greatly in its character depending on the wand core, and takes a great deal of color from the personality that possesses it. The wand of chestnut is attracted to witches and wizards who are skilled tamers of magical beasts, those who possess great gifts in Herbology, and those who are natural fliers. However, when paired with dragon heartstring, it may find its best match among those who are overfond of luxury and material things, and less scrupulous than they should be about how they are obtained. Conversely, three successive heads of the Wizengamot have possessed chestnut and unicorn wands, for this combination shows a predilection for those concerned with all manner of justice.

Cypress wands are associated with nobility. The great medieval wandmaker, Geraint Ollivander, wrote that he was always honored to match a cypress wand, for he knew he was meeting a witch or wizard who would die a heroic death. Fortunately, in these less blood-thirsty times, the possessors of cypress wands are rarely called upon to lay down their lives, though doubtless many of them would do so if required. Wands of cypress find their soul mates among the brave, the bold, and the self-sacrificing: those who are unafraid to confront the shadows in their own and others’ natures.

Dogwood is one of my own personal favorites, and I have found that matching a dogwood wand with its ideal owner is always entertaining. Dogwood wands are quirky and mischievous; they have playful natures and insist upon partners who can provide them with scope for excitement and fun. It would be quite wrong, however, to deduce from this that dogwood wands are not capable of serious magic when called upon to do so; they have been known to perform outstanding spells under difficult conditions, and when paired with a suitably clever and ingenious witch or wizard, can produce dazzling enchantments. An interesting foible of many dogwood wands is that they refuse to perform non-verbal spells and they are often rather noisy.

This jet-black wand wood has an impressive appearance and reputation, being highly suited to all manner of combative magic, and to Transfiguration. Ebony is happiest in the hand of those with the courage to be themselves. Frequently non-conformist, highly individual or comfortable with the status of outsider, ebony wand owners have been found both among the ranks of the Order of the Phoenix and among the Death Eaters. In my experience, the ebony wand’s perfect match is one who will hold fast to his or her beliefs, no matter what the external pressure, and will not be swayed lightly from their purpose.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Woods (continued)

The rarest wand wood of all, and reputed to be deeply unlucky, the elder wand is trickier to master than any other. It contains powerful magic, but scorns to remain with any owner who is not the superior of his or her company; it takes a remarkable wizard to keep an elder wand for any length of time. The old superstition, ‘wand of elder, never prosper,’ has its basis in this fear of the wand, but in fact, the superstition is baseless, and those foolish wandmakers who refuse to work with elder do so more because they doubt they will be able to sell their products than from fear of working with this wood. The truth is that only a highly unusual person will find their perfect match in elder, and on the rare occasion when such a pairing occurs, I take it as certain that the witch or wizard in question is marked out for a special destiny. An additional fact that I have uncovered during his long years of study is that the owners of elder wands almost always feel a powerful affinity with those chosen by rowan.

The unfounded belief that only pure-bloods can produce magic from elm wands was undoubtedly started by some elm wand owner seeking to prove his own blood credentials, for I have known perfect matches of elm wands who are Muggle-borns. The truth is that elm wands prefer owners with presence, magical dexterity, and a certain native dignity. Of all wand woods, elm, in my experience, produces the fewest accidents, the least foolish errors, and the most elegant charms and spells; these are sophisticated wands, capable of highly advanced magic in the right hands (which, again, makes it highly desirable to those who espouse the pure-blood philosophy).

English Oak
A wand for good times and bad, this is a friend as loyal as the wizard who deserves it. Wands of English oak demand partners of strength, courage, and fidelity. Less well-known is the propensity for owners of English Oak wands to have powerful intuition, and, often, an affinity with the magic of the natural world, with the creatures and plants that are necessary to wizardkind for both magic and pleasure. The oak tree is called King of the Forest from the winter solstice up until the summer solstice, and its wood should only be collected during that time (holly becomes King as the days begin to shorten again, and so holly should only be gathered as the year wanes. This divide is believed to be the origin of the old superstition, "when his wand's oak and hers is holly, then to marry would be folly," a superstition that I have found baseless). It is said that Merlin's wand was of English oak (though his grave has never been found, so this cannot be proven).

My august grandfather, Gerbold Octavius Ollivander, always called wands of fir wood ‘the survivor’s wand,’ because he had sold it to three wizards who subsequently passed through mortal peril unscathed. There is no doubt that this wood, coming as it does from the most resilient of trees, produces wands that demand staying power and strength of purpose in their true owners, and that they are poor tools in the hands of the changeable and indecisive. Fir wands are particularly suited to Transfiguration, and favor owners of focused, strong-minded and, occasionally, intimidating demeanor.

The wand maker Gregorovitch wrote that hawthorn ‘makes a strange, contradictory wand, as full of paradoxes as the tree that gave it birth, whose leaves and blossoms heal, and yet whose cut branches smell of death.’ While I disagree with many of Gregorovitch's conclusions, we concur about hawthorn wands, which are complex and intriguing in their natures, just like the owners who best suit them. Hawthorn wands may be particularly suited to healing magic, but they are also adept at curses, and I have generally observed that the hawthorn wand seems most at home with a conflicted nature, or with a witch or wizard passing through a period of turmoil. Hawthorn is not easy to master, however, and I would only ever consider placing a hawthorn wand in the hands of a witch or wizard of proven talent, or the consequences might be dangerous. Hawthorn wands have a notable peculiarity: their spells can, when badly handled, backfire.

A sensitive wand, hazel often reflects its owner’s emotional state, and works best for a master who understands and can manage their own feelings. Others should be very careful handling a hazel wand if its owner has recently lost their temper, or suffered a serious disappointment, because the wand will absorb such energy and discharge it unpredictably. The positive aspect of a hazel wand more than makes up for such minor discomforts, however, for it is capable of outstanding magic in the hands of the skillful, and is so devoted to its owner that it often ‘wilts’ (which is to say, it expels all its magic and refuses to perform, often necessitating the extraction of the core and its insertion into another casing, if the wand is still required) at the end of its master’s life (if the core is unicorn hair, however, there is no hope; the wand will almost certainly have ‘died’). Hazel wands also have the unique ability to detect water underground, and will emit silvery, tear-shaped puffs of smoke if passing over concealed springs and wells.

Holly is one of the rarer kinds of wand woods; traditionally considered protective, it works most happily for those who may need help overcoming a tendency to anger and impetuosity. At the same time, holly wands often choose owners who are engaged in some dangerous and often spiritual quest. Holly is one of those woods that varies most dramatically in performance depending on the wand core, and it is a notoriously difficult wood to team with phoenix feather, as the wood’s volatility conflicts strangely with the phoenix’s detachment. In the unusual event of such a pairing finding its ideal match, however, nothing and nobody should stand in their way.

My own wand is made of hornbeam, so it is with all due modesty that I state that hornbeam selects for its life mate the talented witch or wizard with a single, pure passion, which some might call obsession (though I prefer the term 'vision'), which will almost always be realized. Hornbeam wands adapt more quickly than almost any other to their owner’s style of magic, and will become so personalized, so quickly, that other people will find them extremely difficult to use even for the most simple of spells. Hornbeam wands likewise absorb their owner’s code of honor, whatever that might be, and will refuse to perform acts—whether for good or ill—that do not tally with their master’s principles. A particularly fine-tuned and sentient wand.

Strong, durable and warm in color, larch has long been valued as an attractive and powerful wand wood. Its reputation for instilling courage and confidence in the user has ensured that demand has always outstripped supply. This much sought-after wand is, however, hard to please in the matter of ideal owners, and trickier to handle than many imagine. I find that it always creates wands of hidden talents and unexpected effects, which likewise describes the master who deserves it. It is often the case that the witch or wizard who belongs to the larch wand may never realize the full extent of their considerable talents until paired with it, but that they will then make an exceptional match.

It is said that a laurel wand cannot perform a dishonorable act, although in the quest for glory (a not uncommon goal for those best suited to these wands), I have known laurel wands to perform powerful and sometimes lethal magic. Laurel wands are sometimes called fickle, but this is unfair; the laurel wand is unable to tolerate laziness in a possessor, and it is in such conditions that it is most easily and willingly won away. Otherwise, it will cleave happily to its first match forever, and indeed has the unusual and engaging attribute of issuing a spontaneous lightning strike if another witch or wizard attempts to steal it.

I have often found that those chosen by maple wands are by nature travelers and explorers; they are not stay-at-home wands, and prefer ambition in their witch or wizard, otherwise their magic grows heavy and lackluster. Fresh challenges and regular changes of scene cause this wand to literally shine, burnishing itself as it grows, with its partner, in ability and status. This is a beautiful and desirable wood, and wand quality maple has been among the most costly for centuries. Possession of a maple wand has long been a mark of status, because of its reputation as the wand of high achievers.

This golden-toned wood produces wands of splendid magical powers, which give of their best in the hands of the warm-hearted, the generous, and the wise. Possessors of pear wands are, in my experience, usually popular and well-respected. I do not know of a single instance where a pear wand has been discovered in the possession of a Dark witch or wizard. Pear wands are among the most resilient, and I have often observed that they may still present a remarkable appearance of newness, even after many years of hard use.

The straight-grained pine wand always chooses an independent, individual master who may be perceived as a loner, intriguing, and perhaps mysterious. Pine wands enjoy being used creatively, and unlike some others, will adapt unprotestingly to new methods and spells. Many wandmakers insist that pine wands are able to detect, and perform best for, owners who are destined for long lives, and I can confirm this in as much as I have never personally known the master of a pine wand to die young. The pine wand is one of those that is most sensitive to non-verbal magic.

“If you seek integrity, search first among the poplars,” was a great maxim of my grandfather, Gerbold Ollivander, my own experience of poplar wands and their owners tallies exactly with his. Here is a wand to rely upon, of consistency, strength, and uniform power, always happiest when working with a witch or wizard of clear moral vision. There is a tired old joke among lesser wand makers that no poplar wand has ever chosen a politician, but here they show their lamentable ignorance: two of the Ministry’s most accomplished Ministers for Magic, Eldritch Diggory and Evangeline Orpington, were the possessors of fine, Ollivander-made poplar wands.

Red Oak
You will often hear the ignorant say that red oak is an infallible sign of its owner’s hot temper. In fact, the true match for a red oak wand is possessed of unusually fast reactions, making it a perfect dueling wand. Less common than English oak, I have found that its ideal master is light of touch, quick-witted, and adaptable, often the creator of distinctive, trademark spells, and a good man or woman to have beside one in a fight. Red oak wands, are, in my opinion, among the most handsome.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Woods (continued)

Wand-quality redwood is in short supply, yet constant demand, due to its reputation for bringing good fortune to its owner. As is usually the case with wandlore, the general populace have the truth back to front: redwood wands are not themselves lucky, but are strongly attracted to witches and wizards who already possess the admirable ability to fall on their feet, to make the right choice, to snatch advantage from catastrophe. The combination of such a witch or wizard with a redwood wand is always intriguing, and I generally expect to hear of exciting exploits when I send this special pairing out from my workshop.

Rowan wood has always been much-favored for wands, because it is reputed to be more protective than any other, and in my experience renders all manner of defensive charms especially strong and difficult to break. It is commonly stated that no Dark witch or wizard ever owned a rowan wand, and I cannot recall a single instance where one of my own rowan wands has gone on to do evil in the world. Rowan is most happily placed with the clear-headed and the pure-hearted, but this reputation for virtue ought not to fool anyone—these wands are the equal of any, often the better, and frequently out-perform others in duels.

Silver Lime
This unusual and highly attractive wand wood was greatly in vogue in the nineteenth century. Demand outstripped supply, and unscrupulous wandmakers dyed substandard woods in an effort to fool purchasers into believing that they had purchased silver lime. The reasons for these wands’ desirability lay not only in their unusually handsome appearance, but also because they had a reputation for performing best for Seers and those skilled in Legilimency, mysterious arts both, which consequently gave the possessor of a silver lime wand considerable status. When demand was at its height, wand maker Arturo Cephalopos claimed that the association between silver lime and clairvoyance was ‘a falsehood circulated by merchants like Gerbold Ollivander (my own grandfather), who have overstocked their workshops with silver lime and hope to shift their surplus.’ But Cephalopos was a slipshod wandmaker and an ignoramus, and nobody, Seer or not, was surprised when he went out of business.

Unskilled wandmakers call spruce a difficult wood, but in doing so they reveal their own ineptitude. It is quite true that it requires particular deftness to work with spruce, which produces wands that are ill-matched with cautious or nervous natures, and become positively dangerous in fumbling fingers. The spruce wand requires a firm hand, because it often appears to have its own ideas about what magic it ought to be called upon to produce. However, when a spruce wand meets its match—which, in my experience, is a bold spell-caster with a good sense of humor—it becomes a superb helper, intensely loyal to their owners and capable of producing particularly flamboyant and dramatic effects.

The sycamore makes a questing wand, eager for new experience and losing brilliance if engaged in mundane activities. It is a quirk of these handsome wands that they may combust if allowed to become ‘bored,’ and many witches and wizards, settling down into middle age, are disconcerted to find their trusty wand bursting into flame in their hand as they ask it, one more time, to fetch their slippers. As may be deduced, the sycamore’s ideal owner is curious, vital, and adventurous, and when paired with such an owner, it demonstrates a capacity to learn and adapt that earns it a rightful place among the world’s most highly-prized wand woods.

The druids considered anything with a woody stem as a tree, and vine makes wands of such a special nature, that I have been happy to continue their ancient tradition. Vine wands are among the less common types, and their owners are nearly always those witches or wizards who seek a greater purpose, who have a vision beyond the ordinary and who frequently astound those who think they know them best. Vine wands seem strongly attracted by personalities with hidden depths, and I have found them more sensitive than any other when it comes to instantly detecting a prospective match. Reliable sources claim that these wands can emit magical effects upon the mere entrance into their room of a suitable owner, and I have twice observed the phenomenon in my own shop.

Highly intelligent witches and wizards ought to be offered a walnut wand for trial first, because in nine cases out of ten, the two will find in each other their ideal mate. Walnut wands are often found in the hands of magical innovators and inventors; this is a handsome wood possessed of unusual versatility and adaptability. A note of caution, however: while some woods are difficult to dominate, and may resist the performance of spells that are foreign to their natures, the walnut wand will, once subjugated, perform any task its owner desires, provided that the user is of sufficient brilliance. This makes for a truly lethal weapon in the hands of a witch or wizard of no conscience, for the wand and the wizard may feed from each other in a particularly unhealthy manner.

Willow is an uncommon wand wood with healing power, and I have noted that the ideal owner for a willow wand often has some (usually unwarranted) insecurity, however well they may try and hide it. While many confident customers insist on trying a willow (attracted by their handsome appearance and well-founded reputation for enabling advanced, non-verbal magic) my willow wands have consistently selected those of greatest potential, rather than those who feel they have little to learn. It has always been a proverb in my family that he who has furthest to travel will go fastest with willow.

Yew wands are among the rarer kinds, and their ideal matches are likewise unusual, and occasionally notorious. The wand of yew is reputed to endow its possessor with the power of life and death, which might, of course, be said of all wands; and yet yew retains a particularly dark and fearsome reputation in the spheres of dueling and all curses. However, it is untrue to say (as those unlearned in wandlore often do) that those who use yew wands are more likely to be attracted to the Dark Arts than another. The witch or wizard best suited to a yew wand might equally prove a fierce protector of others. Wands hewn from these most long-lived trees have been found in the possession of heroes quite as often as of villains. Where wizards have been buried with wands of yew, the wand generally sprouts into a tree guarding the dead owner’s grave. What is certain, in my experience, is that the yew wand never chooses either a mediocre or a timid owner.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Cores

The following description of the powers and properties of the three main wand cores used by Mr. Garrick Ollivander are taken from his own notes.
Early in my career, as I watched my wandmaker father wrestling with substandard wand core materials such as kelpie hair, I conceived the ambition to discover the finest cores and to work only with those when my time came to take over the family business. This I have done. After much experimentation and research, I concluded that only three substances produce wands of the quality to which I am happy to give the illustrious name of Ollivander: unicorn hair, dragon heartstring, and phoenix feather. Each of these costly and rare materials has its own distinct properties. The following represents a short summary of my researches into each of the Three Supreme Cores. Readers should bear in mind that each wand is the composite of its wood, its core, and the experience and nature of its owner; that tendencies of each may counterbalance or outweigh the other; so this can only be a very general overview of an immensely complex subject.

Dragon Heartstring
As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner.

The dragon wand tends to be easiest to turn to the Dark Arts, though it will not incline that way of its own accord. It is also the most prone of the three cores to accidents, being somewhat temperamental.

Phoenix Feather
This is the rarest core type. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they take longer than either unicorn or dragon cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike.

Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalize, and their allegiance is usually hard won.

Unicorn Hair
Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard.

Minor disadvantages of unicorn hair are that they do not make the most powerful wands (although the wand wood may compensate) and that they are prone to melancholy if seriously mishandled, meaning that the hair may 'die' and need replacing.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Other Cores

Acromantula Web (illegal core)
Using a wand with this core has been illegal in Britain since 1782, after it was discovered that the wielder of an Acromantula Web wand has particular ability with Dark magics, especially the Imperius curse. There are certain diplomatic exceptions, as it is a traditional core for Asian wands, but even those are temporary, and many wizard diplomats on long-term assignments find themselves compelled to procure replacement wands for their stay.

Ashwinder Eggs
A common ingredient in Love Potions, the Eggs of an Ashwinder are found in the wands of those skilled in the Potion-making arts, and lend strength to the trade. They are not, however, well suited for more subtle forms of magic, and as such, are often found in the wands of Gryffindors or Slytherins.

Augurey Tail Feather
Augureys, or Irish Phoenixes, were once associated with powerful Dark wands, as their cries were thought to signify an upcoming death. However, they were in reality never a strong Dark core, and were more accurately a powerful core for Divinations. Misunderstood students may find themselves bonded to an Augurey wand, although these wands are altogether quite rare.

Basilisk Skin (heirloom core)
Basilisk wands are incredibly rare, as the beasts are rare to begin with and hard to kill. Due to the rarity, they often are passed down from generation to generation, so Basilisk-core wands are either the heirloom of Slytherin-type Pureblood families or reforged wands from family cores. The occasional new Basilisk wand will almost always bond to a Parselmouth or budding Dark Wizard. Very little good comes out of wielders of Basilisk wands.

Billywig Stinger
Billywig Stingers are not overly common in Britain, but are fairly often imported from Australia, the native habitat of the Billywig. Billywig wands bond almost exclusively to light-hearted pranksters, and are extremely capricious- at one moment it will produce the strongest Cheering Charm in the school, but another time it will object to being used as a potion stirrer and siphon up hours of work without so much as a by-your-leave. Their pranking nature lends itself to the user's Jinxes, and they tend to bond to Hufflepuffs or Gryffindors.

Boomslang Venom
Boomslang Venom, whether crystallized or in a rarer liquid core, provides a small boost to Jinxes and Hexes thanks to its Venomous qualities. However, when a wand maker undertakes the dangerous task of working with the raw Venom, it is generally with the aim of creating a powerful Transfiguration wand. Whether or not the advantages outweigh the risks is not generally agreed upon in wand making circles.

Bowtruckle Bark
Bowtruckle bark is not the most powerful of cores, but it does give a definite boost to the wielder’s nature spells. It is especially potent in Rowan wands, as these are the trees Bowtruckles most commonly guard.

Cherub Hair
Cherub hair is found in the wands of more romantically inclined students. Although many would assume this implies a feminine wand, Cherub Hair is found in boys’ wands quite often. The core gives minor boosts to healing and Divination, as well as a major improvement to Charms, particularly Glamour Charms.

Chimera Scale Fragment (heirloom core)
Although Chimera Scales are magically powerful, they are extremely rare in modern wand craft. This is not out of any concern for safety, as they are generally considered no more stubborn than Hippogriff Feathers, and are more stable than Erumpent Hide. The fact of the matter is that there are more recorded Basilisk slayings in the past fifty years than there are Chimera slayings in all of recorded history. This one slaying occurred in Greece over two millennia ago, so what Scales were harvested at that time have been degraded, broken, and dispersed. Today, they are only found as parts of heirloom cores, and even then, all such cores are a more common core (often Dragon Heartstring) with a tiny fragment of scale embedded. Chimera wands are most common in Greece and the Balkans, although as they were circulated through the Mediterranean and former Roman Empire they are found throughout Europe. These wands are prized for their raw power, although they are difficult to control.

Crup Tail
Crup Tails are typically only used in wands designed to be used for Care of Magical Creatures. As Crups are considered one of the most faithful familiars a witch or wizard could have, Crup tail wands are often found in the hands of those who prize loyalty. As such, they are almost exclusively Hufflepuff wands.

Demiguise Hair
Demiguise Hairs were long considered to not have enough oomph to make a proper wand, but with the advent of multiple cores they have gained favor for their strength in Transfiguration and the subtle arts. When combined with a stronger wand core they make potent wands, however, on their own they can be rather one-dimensional and difficult to use for anything but Transfiguration. They have found favor in students of all Houses, although they may be slightly rarer among the open Hufflepuffs.

Diricawl Feather
Known to Muggles as the dodo bird, the Diricawl is quite skilled in teleportation and evasiveness. (Muggles are convinced they've hunted the birds to extinction.) As such, their wands find favor with those skilled in Apparation, invisibility spells and Disillusionment Charms. They give a slight boost to Transfiguration, and are found in more subtle wands; more likely a Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw than a Gryffindor or Slytherin.

Doxy Wing
Doxy Wings, like the creatures they come from, can be unmanageable and mean-spirited. They are second only to Basilisk wands in their abilities with the Dark Arts, and as such these rare wands are most often found in the hands of stubborn Slytherins without the familial connection to obtain a Basilisk core.

Erumpent Hide
There is a very good reason this is an exotic—Erumpent Hide wands are extremely dangerous, and don't take well to high levels of magic or sharp impacts. They may add a 'punch' to spells when combined with a gentler core, but most wand makers refuse to work with it completely due to the danger it poses to maker and wielder.

Erkling Darts
Erkling Darts are found in the wands of those who tend to command the limelight with a smile, and have the natural allure that allows them to convince others to do their bidding. Erkling Wands are often in the hands of actors, musicians, or other performing artists. The Darts increase prowess in Hexes and Charms, but detract from defensive magic.

Fairy Wing
This core makes for a light, airy wand, and is the absolute best for Charms. They also signify a connection to the mystic, so these wands, despite their relative rarity, are used by nearly half of known witches and wizards with the Sight. Despite their astounding strength in Charms, they are merely average in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration, and will often fail at Hexes altogether. As such, they’re not commonly found in Slytherin House, but are common in Hufflepuff. Ravenclaws and Gryffindors may be drawn to this core, although they tend to react better to blends of Fairy Wings and Unicorn Hair.

Fire Crab Ash
Fire Crab Ash wands are the absolute best when it comes to fire-based spells, such as Incendio, as well as the Flame-Freezing Charm. They work very well when paired with Phoenix Feathers, but they make awful potion stirrers.

Flobberworm Mucus
Flobberworm Mucus makes for an interesting core in that it is next-to useless. It gives a very slight boost to Potions prowess, but if any magic is to be done with a Flobberworm wand, the Mucus cannot be the only core.

Fwooper Feather
Fwooper Feather wands are said to be a mark of ill omen for the wizards they bond to, as, like the birds they come from, they are rumored to slowly drive their wielder mad. Despite their poor reputation, they do well with Charms and Care of Magical Creatures. However, they have a near-inability to cast Quietus. They are commonly combined with another Feather core, such as the Phoenix for health or the Hippogriff for stability.

Ghoul Slime
Ghoul Slime is often found in the wands of divas and people who like to be the center of attention, just like the Ghouls the Slime comes from. They also give a moderate boost to Jinxes.

Glumbumble Honey
Wielding a Glumbumble wand is often considered to be making a ‘deal with the devil,’ because the core improves absolutely all aspects of magic, especially Potions and Alchemy, but at the cost of ‘tainting’ any other core the wand possesses. The Honey twists the aspects of the other core, and detracts from whatever it would normally improve. For instance, a Glumbumble Honey and Cherub hair wand would be somewhat bad at healing and Divination, and absolutely terrible at Charms. The honey also speaks to the wielder’s personality, so our example wand’s wielder would be a bit of a ...promiscuous person, rather than a romantic.

Gnome Saliva
Gnome Saliva gives its wand Charms prowess, and is often found in the hands of more creative witches and wizards. They often are found in Hufflepuff wands, and, because of the Gnome’s inherent stupidity, are almost never in the wand of a Ravenclaw.

Graphorn Skin
Graphorn Skin is notorious for its ability to deflect all but the most powerful of offensive spells. As such, Graphorn wands are skilled in both defensive magic and dueling spells.

Hippogriff Feather
Hippogriffs are noble animals with a reputation for not taking a slight. These wands require constant respect, and if the wielder does not give it, they can watch its formerly stable and versatile magic backfire on it. It is not the strongest core, but it is one of the most adaptable. These wands are most common amongst Gryffindors with a flair for Care of Magical Creatures, but they are rare overall.

Imp Eggs
Imp eggs have a definite leaning towards Dark, and are often found in the wands of Slytherins. They give a powerful boost to Hexes and Jinxes, but they will not work at all when paired with Pixie Eggs.

Jarvey Tongue
Jarvey Tongue wands often bond to slightly more malicious pranksters, and the Tongues are often paired with Billywig Stingers. Their wands also give a solid boost to Transfiguration, and are rarely found outside of Slytherin.

Jobberknoll Down
Jobberknoll down is excellent for casting Memory Charms and making truth serums, as well as giving a boost to Divining magics.

Kappa Scale
Not found in the wands of the most intelligent people, Kappa Scales give subtle boosts to water-based magic and the Dark Arts. They are quite often paired with Kelpie or Cherub Hair, as well as Erkling Darts.

Kelpie Hair
Kelpie Hairs are incredibly temperamental cores, explaining their rarity. They were once common in Celtic wand making, however, the import of Demiguise Hairs has resulted in them falling out of favor. They have similar qualities to Demiguise Hair, and are powerful Transfiguration cores when they don't backfire spectacularly.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Other Cores (continued)

Knarl Quill
An easily frightened creature, it is only natural that a wand begotten of a Knarl is found in the hands of those who are more paranoid than usual. Their wielders are typically proficient with Hexes, and the Quills lend their strength to spells that confuse or disorient the target, especially the Confundus Charm.

Kneazle Whisker
Found most commonly in the hands of Ravenclaws, Kneazle Whiskers channel the Kneazle's ability to sense the intentions of others into a wand that is excellent for Divinations and defensive magic.

Lethifold Cloak (illegal core)
Lethifold Cloaks are only found in the most sinister of wizards’ wands, and use of a Lethifold wand is grounds for an immediate sentence in Azkaban. This is because the only things Lethifold Cloak wands are good for is Dark Magic, specifically Avada Kedavra. Because not much is known about Lethifolds, it is entirely possible that the Cloak is actually skin. Any wand with a Lethifold Cloak core is absolutely incapable of casting a Patronus in any form.

Mooncalf Blood
Mooncalf Blood wands are quite rare, as the Mooncalf is considered such an innocent creature that it is forbidden to kill one. All the Blood is harvested from natural deaths only. It gives a powerful boost to Charms, as well as Herbology, and has leanings towards Light. Mooncalf wielders tend to be proficient with Occlumency, and place great stock in the value of family.

Pixie Eggs
Pixie Egg wands have slight Light leanings, despite the Pixie’s mischievous nature. Pixie Egg wands are rather good at Charms, and are, ironically, the only wands capable of successfully casting Peskipiksi Pesternomi. They will not function when paired with Imp Eggs, and their wielders tend to be skilled in Care of Magical Creatures.

Powdered Clabbert Horn
Clabbert wands are found in the wands of those with a particular affinity for Divination, as well as Defense Against the Dark Arts. While the core will lend strength to these magics, it is rarely used without another, more versatile core.

Ramora Scales
Ramora Scales boost power to any water-based spells, such as Aguamenti or the Bubble-Head Charm. Their wands are typically excellent for healing and potions, and they are often found in the hands of those with the Sight.

Re'em Blood
Extremely rare, Re'em wands boost all forms of magic, but only during their wielders' states of excitement. Re'em wands shine brightest when their owner is panicking or dueling.

Sphinx Whisker
Sphinx Whisker wands are rather rare overall, but particularly so outside of Egypt. They channel the Sphinx's natural proficiency for riddles into boosts to Charms and Curses, and tend to bond to those who are both clever and creative. The wielder of a Sphinx wand typically has one of two different personality types; on one hand, they could be mysterious, reserved, and constantly calculating, rarely to be taken by surprise. If they are not, they are likely to be quite talented pranksters, who can't be bothered to concern themselves with the consequences of their actions.

Streeler Slime
The Slime of the Streeler lends its strength to its wielder's Transfigurations and Hexes. However, the Streeler's tendency to devastate gardens and greenhouses alike translates into a wand that is next to useless for Herbology.

Vampire Venom (illegal core)
The legality of a Vampire Venom core is questionable at best. While it is possible for a dying vampire to leave their Venom to a loved one upon their death, most Venom is acquired by illegal harvesting rings, which kidnap either adult vampires--or, all too often, muggle children, who are then forcibly transformed-- in order to sell their venom on the black market. As a vampire dies without its venom, the trade is, understandably, outlawed. Even the legality of an ethically obtained Venom wand is debated, as the Venom has a particular aptitude for Hexes, the Dark Arts, and Curses, especially the Cruciatis Curse.

Veela Hair
Veela wands are temperamental like the creatures they come from, and are considered too volatile for a decent wand core in many circles. However, some wizards, particularly those with Veela blood, enjoy the boost it gives to outdoorsy magics, divinations, and Charms. The Veela’s inherent intelligence makes finding these wands among the non-Veela blooded most common in Ravenclaw.

Winged Horse Feather
Though exceedingly rare and similar in nature to Hippogriff Feathers, Winged Horse Feathers are prized for their ability with defensive magic and transportation related Charms. The wielder of a Winged Horse wand tends to have a flair for both style and Care of Magical Creatures.

s•u•n•s•h•i•n•e «§KENZ§» | 600 comments Length and Flexibility

The following notes on wand length and flexibility are taken from notes on the subject by Mr. Garrick Ollivander, wandmaker.
Many wandmakers simply match wand length to the size of the witch or wizard who will use it, but this is a crude measure, and fails to take into account many other, important considerations. In my experience, longer wands might suit taller wizards, but they tend to be drawn to bigger personalities, and those of a more spacious and dramatic style of magic. Neater wands favor more elegant and refined spell-casting. However, no single aspect of wand composition should be considered in isolation of all the others, and the type of woods, the core, and the flexibility may either counterbalance or enhance the attributes of the wand's length.

Most wands will be in the range of between nine and fourteen inches. While I have sold extremely short wands (eight inches and under) and very long wands (over fifteen inches), these are exceptionally rare. However, abnormally short wands usually select those in whose character something is lacking, rather than because they are physically undersized (many small witches and wizards are chosen by longer wands).

Wand flexibility or rigidity denotes the degree of adaptability and willingness to change possessed by the wand-and-owner pair—although, again, this factor ought not to be considered separately from the wand wood, core, and length, nor the owner's life experience and style of magic, all of which will combine to make the wand in question unique.

(least flexible)
Quite Rigid
Reasonably Springy
Slightly Bendy
Rather Bendy
(most flexible)

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