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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

You hide the cracks, the facts will find you

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He couldn't get Jack's words out of his head from the night that they had all encountered each other in the library and the night that Dale had finally gotten his true wand back. For the last couple of days he had been barely able to sleep, lying awake and thinking about the implications of Jack's words. He would even look over at Zach's bed in the dormitory and wonder what it was they had in common to be given nearly identical wands. Because according to Jack, the chances of that were infinitesimal, or extremely small, or whatever. It was a word that he didn't understand. Jack used a lot of big words that he had no idea what they meant. 

 

Dale wanted to know what else Jack knew about wands and why for some godforsaken reason, he and one of the Montagues had nearly identical wands. 

 

That was why Dale had entered the library on his own accord. He had been to the library more in the last few days than he had the entire year. "Dare," he said approaching him in the library. "What else do you know about wands?" he demanded. "I mean what does it really mean that Montague and I have the same wand core?" 

 

And the same wand wood or whatever. Jack was quickly becoming the person that Dale turned to whenever he wanted to know something. 

 

The Ravenclaw boy might be annoying but he was also interesting company. 

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Jack Dare

Jack had written about the strange library encounter between Dale and Zach, changing their names of course, and experimenting with different literary genres. It hadn't gone well, mostly because the a motivation for their conflict was too obscure. He'd toyed with adding a love triangle, but that would require creating a female character interested in both Zach and Dale. Jack didn't think his literary skills were up to that yet. So instead he'd written a James Bond sort of affair with Zach, suave in dress robes, and Dale, menacing with enchanted metal teeth.

 

Hearing Dale's voice now, Jack jumped in his seat, closed his notebook, and laid his arms over it casually. Dale was invading Jack's space, leaning over him, making demands. For a moment Jack was unable to do anything but look up into Dale's mouth. Without those metal teeth something was lacking. It was a bit of a let down frankly.

 

Jack cleared his throat and pushed his chair backward to put a bit more distance between himself and Dale. "Your having the same wand core wasn't the issue," Jack said.  "I shouldn't be surprised if the majority of Slytherins had dragon heartstring. It was always much more likely than you both having unicorn." Jack smiled as if he'd said something clever here (he had) but he realized that it was unlikely Dale understood his observation. 

 

"You were right to come to me," Jack said. "I know quite a lot." He had planned on saying '...about wands' but decided the abbreviated sentence was true as well.

 

"Before I explain, what do you know about wand lore? Anything at all?" 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He knew the same wand wood plus the same core was really the issue but he had been avoiding that on purpose. Still, he knew Jack would give it to him straight and aside from his seemingly extensive knowledge about everything, that was the secondary reason for why he had come to the small Ravenclaw boy. Even seated down, Dale knew he towered over him and it somehow didn't surprise him when Jack pushed his chair back, creating more distance between them. The movement caused Dale to wonder if Jack was still afraid of him. 

 

"Do most Slytherins have dragon heartstring?" Was that some sort of requirement to be in the house? He vaguely wondered if @Margarleon Turpentine and his sister @Darby Turpentine had dragon heartstring in their wands. Because he still thought that neither of them belonged in the noble house of Slytherin. They were street rats. 

 

"And what is the issue then?" he demanded. A part of him still wanted Jack to tell him that the chances of having the same wand as Zach were relatively common, a 1 in fifty occurrence, something that could have happened to anyone and was bound to happen to two people in the same year given the number of wizards there were. 

 

As Jack asked him how much he knew, Dale was tempted to lean over the table and shake him so that he got to the point, but he restrained himself. Instead, Dale folded his arms across his chest as he waited for answers. "If I knew anything, I wouldn't be here, so spill, Dare."

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Jack Dare

It was much as Jack suspected. Dale was an empty vessel waiting to be filled. 

 

"Alright then," Jack said. "I'll do my best."

 

"The first thing you must understand is that wands are quasi-sentient-- that means they're sort of smart-- and they have personalities much like we do. Personality is complicated and hard to predict. A wand's personality is effected by lots of different things. The wood and the core are obviously important. Each has unique properties. The length, the decoration, and the flexibility of a wand all make a difference, as well as who handles a wand, how they treat it, and the types of spells they cast with it. With all that in mind, a wand only bonds well with people it likes or feels compatible with. No one can predict for sure if a particular wand will decide to choose a certain person, but scholars of wand lore have noticed certain preferences or tendencies of the various components." 

 

"Take the cores, for instance. Olivander wands only use three types of wand cores: dragon, unicorn and phoenix feather. Phoenix feather wands are notoriously picky about who they choose, which makes them really rare. Dragon heartstring cores make the most powerful magic, but also more temperamental and prone to accidents. They're the easiest to turn to dark magic and are more loyal to power than they are to people. Whereas wands with unicorn hair cores prefer people like me."

 

By which Jack meant nice people. Jack's beliefs on wand cores would later be severally shaken when he discovered that @Julian Pritchard's wand core was dragon heartstring and @Ryszard Althaus-Valerio's was unicorn hair. For now though Jack was steadfast in his belief that unicorns  only chose good people--people like him. Surely there were very few unicorn hair wands in Slytherin, Jack thought, and lots of dragon heartstrings.

Edited by Jack Dare

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He still found it hard to believe that wands were sentient about anything but he, like everyone else, had at least heard the expression "the wand chooses the wizard" of course. That had been basically the only thing that he knew about wand lore before talking to Jack now. How could a thing made of wood have a 'personality'? Of course anything was possible about magic but he was in denial because he didn't want the fact that he and @Zachary Montague had the same wand to have any sort of meaning at all. 

 

It couldn't. But the more Jack talked, the more he was starting to doubt himself. 

 

"So the fact that a similar wand chooses two different people means what exactly?" he said thickly as he listened to Jack go on about cores. He knew immediately from Jack's description that a dragon heartstring core suited him best -- he was the type of person who preferred power over everything else.

 

"Unicorn hair prefers nerds?" he asked mostly joking. "And are you saying most Slytherins have dragon heartstring because they like power?" It made perfect sense to him. But it still didn't explain anything about his and Zach's "twin" wands. 

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Jack Dare

Jack cocked his head at Dale's glib  (and incorrect) conclusions. "It's impossible to underestimate your ability to render the complex facile," Jack observed. 

 

"It means you have a way with words," he added. (It did not.) 

 

"I expect it's more complex than that," Jack went on, "but I suppose there might be a correlation between a Slytherin's ambition and the wand's willingness to abandon a weak master for a more powerful one. A unicorn core wand would never do that. It's a trade-off you see." Jack was defensive about his somewhat weaker but more reliable wand core.

 

"In any case the core can be modified by any of the other elements. You can't draw conclusions on one aspect in isolation. For instance the length of the wand could reflect the expansiveness of your character. Longer wands equal bigger personalities as a rule. Short wands point to inadequacy on some level." Jack's father's wand was significantly smaller than Jack's (for which Jack was grateful), but was not nearly as short as @Margarleon Turpentine's. His was the shortest wand Jack had ever seen, including @Professor Hambeldon's. "Your wands are perfectly adequate in that regard by the way. Not as long as some--" (Jack's for instance which was nearly 2 inches longer.) "--but sufficiently average."

 

"Another factor is flexibility," Jack said. "Some say a wand's limberness reflects adaptability. A flexible wand equals flexibility in life, they would say. I tend to think it's a reflection of resolve and steadfastness." (Jack's wand was notably unyielding.)

 

"You don't happen to recall how stiff Zach's was when you had a hold of him do you?"

 

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

The words and sentences that Jack Dare used made no sense to him. He found himself looking quite dumbfounded over "complex facile". What the hell did that sentence even mean? He wasn't 100% sure if he believed Jack that it meant he had a way with words. That would be Jack all right, but not him. Jack could probably talk all day if he wanted to let him carry on. Dale was not like that at all though. He let that completely pass over him without saying anything in response -- mostly because he had no clue how to respond anyways. 

 

He continued to just kind of listen to Jack, not interrupting his spiel, until he started talking about wand lengths. "Perfectly average?" Better not let Montague hear you say he's just average. It did not seem to jibe with someone who was pure blooded and rich to have something that was perfectly average"How long is your wand then?" he demanded with sort of a death glare at the much smaller Ravenclaw boy. "And what is the average length of a wand anyhow?" 

 

The death glare continued as Jack continued on to talk about wand flexibility. He had never noticed how flexible his wand was before much less Zach. Wood was wood, right? 

 

Apparently not. 

 

"No..." he said slowly though he thought maybe he would test it the next time he got an opportunity. "My wand is pretty solid though I guess now that I think about it." He held out the pine wand again for Jack to inspect. 

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Jack Dare

"Thirteen inches even," Jack said proudly, and he drew his wand to show Dale lest he think Jack was being untruthful. "Most wands are between ten and twelve, with eleven being dead average. And well, I didn't have a tape measure the other day, but if memory serves, yours and Zach's wands are in that range."

 

Jack hadn't anticipated the discussion turning into 'you show me yours, I'll show you mine' but apparently his gesture to prove his own wand's length had inspired Dale to do just that, and as Dale extended his own wand for Jack to test its firmness Jack was put in this awkward position. "Um...very nice," Jack said handling Dale's wand uneasily. "It's quite...uh, robust.

 

However, Jack's interest in feeling Dale's wand was much less than his nervousness concerning his own wand. There was something about seeing it in Dale's hands that made Jack feel even more vulnerable. Perhaps it was the association with being disarmed since the last time Dale held Jack's wand it had been in that context.  Perhaps it was just the contrast of Jack's slender wand and Dale's thick fingers that made jack think of how easy it would be for Dale to snap him like a twig. 

 

"Mine doesn't flex much either," he said. "I think that means we're both stubborn and set in our ways. Anyway, length and firmness are just contributing factors. The type of wood is probably the most important. Mine's cedar. It means I'm perspicacious. Yours looks like--I'm not sure--is this another conifer? I don't know the meanings of all the woods, but if you like I can look it up for you. We are in a library after all."

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He looked at Jack's and knew it was longer than his was -- if they put their wands together side by side, they could see exactly how much by. But Jack had his wand for the moment and all Dale had was the honor of looking at Jack's. He looked on nervously as Jack touched his wand, seemingly with some unease and wondering what other kind of information Jack would get from holding his wand. 

 

"Is that so?" he asked. "So flexible wands are what . . . made for people who let others walk all over them?" He was definitely not that type of person. No one was going to walk all over him. And if they tried, well, Dale always had a muggle weapon that was almost just as effective as the wizarding ones. Punches. 

 

He was dumbfounded though (again) for the upteenth time in this conversation when Jack starting going off about perspicacious and conifer. He had no idea what those terms even meant let alone how it all related to wandlore which was the subject of this conversation. 

 

"You're going to have to use smaller words to say what you mean," he said blinking. "But sure, look it up by all means. I was just told I have a pine wand. Whatever that means." It apparently meant that Zach was the same what? That they were both Slytherins? He knew that already. He supposed he would find out when Jack looked it up in the library though. He was kind of nervous. What could he and Montague possibly have in common? A question that he asked a lot, but still resisted the truth about. He had a couple of other questions for Jack though -- and he asked them. 

 

"Why is wand wood most important though?" 

 

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Jack Dare

"Is that so?" he asked. "So flexible wands are what . . . made for people who let others walk all over them?" 

 

"Yes and no?" Jack hedged. He was frustrated by Dale's constant attempts to bring a complex subject down to his level, but he supposed he could see the reason for it. As frustrated as Jack was, he could only imagine how much worse it would be to be Dale and not be able to comprehend what he was told. Jack resolved to try harder to simplify what he was saying without making it simple-minded to the point that it was no longer true.

 

"You're right that a pushover-- like you describe-- would probably have a more malleable--excuse me-- a more bendy wand, but the reverse isn't necessarily true. I mean there could be other reasons, like just being more easy-going. I bet @Professor Meadows's wand is downright swishy compared to @Professor Knaggs's wand for instance." 

 

"Anyway. I'll try to do a better job of using words you know. What I said before about being  perspicacious--- it basically just means I'm smart."

 

Jack rose to check the stacks, but was back again almost immediately with a thick book on wand-lore which he began rifling through as he tried to answer Dale's question about why the wand's wood was so important.

 

"Well like I said before, it takes all the elements coming together to make the wand's personality, but of those elements its the wood that acts as a conduit---oops, sorry. Let me think--- The wood acts as a conductor ---No...a means of focusing magic into one cohesive--shoot--into one big more or less controlled...uh, thing. Huh." "Jack scratched his head.  "The wood is the most important part because there's more of it," Jack said finally.

 

"I think I found what we need right here," he added, wishing to change the subject anyway. "Okay, yeah, this is good."  

 

""The pine wand always chooses an independent, individual master," Jack read aloud. "..who may be perceived as a loner, intriguing and perhaps mysterious." Jack snorted. Loner he got, but Dale was about as mysterious as a hammer. Dale didn't seem to see the humor though so Jack straightened his expression and continued. "Many wandmakers insist that pine wands are able to detect, and perform best for, owners who are destined for long lives." Jack raised an eyebrow. "Well, that's good news, I guess." Jack wondered if that mean Dale and Zach were never really in danger from the werewolves. Perhaps he should have used Dale as a shield after all. 

 

"Okay then there's this bit about you being creative and caring about aesthetics," Jack said doubtfully. "That's art stuff. The philosophy of beauty. That sort of thing." Jack shook his head. Maybe @Zachary Montague cared about that sort of thing, but Jack just couldn't credit that the guy who made him puke slugs was a closet artist.
 

"Here's something:  'Though they try to act aloof, they do care about what people think about them– especially the few friends they have.'" Jack frowned at how bald that statement was, but so far it seemed the most true of the lot. The room suddenly seemed deadly quiet and Jack hesitated to continue, though he also didn't wish to stop abruptly and draw even more attention to such a vulnerable passage. He tried to move on, though if anything the next lines were worse.

 

"When they love, these wizards do so intensely. They are willing to sacrifice a lot for the happiness of those they feel close to. If a loved one breaks their trust or heart, they may shut themselves off from others or take on heaps of projects and responsibilities to take their mind off it."

 

Jack cleared his throat. "Um, let me see if I can find something more interesting down here," he muttered, not looking up. He skimmed ahead, tossing out random bits that caught his eye. "'Fascination with death and dark or taboo subjects'....'issues with their liver -- most likely lightweights when it comes to alcohol consumption'...'one of the most sensitive to non-verbal magic.'... 'must be careful not let their emotions or thoughts encourage the wand to act on it's own.'"

 

"Huh." Jack frowned.

 

"Even I have never heard of this," he said looking up. "Apparently not all the dragon heartstrings are the same. Depending on the dragon this acting on its own thing can be an issue. It says here that the Hungarian horntail heartstring acts independently as well, so that a wand with both pine and horntail heartstring can be hard to master and that young owners will tend to under perform."

 

"I mean, I don't think that's your issue," Jack said, considering what he'd seen of Dale's casting, "but do you suppose that might be why Zachary is so terrible with his wand?"

 

 

 

source: The CloverlyOne's Wand Lore and Pottermore

 

 

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

“Oh.” He suspected someone like Ringo might have a more flexible wand but that someone like Leon would also have an inflexible one. As for Zach, he had no idea. He was hard to figure out — and it was even harder for someone like Dale who was a bit dense when it came to things like that (and most things in general). 

 

Jack found what he was looking for and then he started to read aloud about the characteristics that a pine wand owner supposedly had. Jack snorted at something but Dale didn’t really notice. All he really heard was words like “independent,” “loner,” “intriguing,” etc. But he wasn’t thinking of himself when Jack read it. He was thinking how Zach and him could have the same wand. Did they both have these sorts of traits? And how did he know this wasn’t a lot of bogus anyways? Still mulling this over, Dale completely missed the part where Jack read that pine wand owners had long lives. It was probably a good thing or else his mind might have wandered over to the fact that he had been this close to bleeding out on the pitch that night. 

 

Wand wood lore almost seemed as hooky as when Julian Pritchard had told him about Divination. Wasn’t this just someone’s opinion? Jack read on though - reading something about art and aesthetics. That barely registered with him too. But then he read the part where pine owners try to act aloof but actually cared about what people thought. That registered a bit for him. A lot. He did care what others thought of him even as he seemed to pretend like he didn’t and played the bully card often. His own breath caught in his throat at the statement and it seemed like no one was really even making a twitch, that was how silent the library was in that moment. 

 

Jack continued reading about how these wizards acted around love. He was too young to know what love was at this time — of course he loved his family but he had a feeling that that was not what this passage was talking about — still, the words he would remember later on when he did start having strong feelings for people.

 

Then Jack said something about them having fascination with dark subjects and death — that sort of registered because his family would never approve of being into the dark arts (though Dale had wanted to go to Knockturn Alley for some time). He was probably more intrigued by the dark arts than his family but he was never going to admit that aloud or act on it. 

 

Jack might has well not have been talking though at this point of the conversation, because the words that Jack were reading now were kind of just largely floating over his head. He was still trying to register what Jack had said in the middle about being aloof, but actually caring what other people thought. That was until Jack mentioned something about Zach and being terrible with his wand. 

 

“Huh?” He said confused, finally snapping back to attention. “I think he’s fine? Do you mean he treats his wand roughly?” It seemed weird for Zach to treat his property without care, but he didn’t know what else Jack meant for he had completely missed the part about a Hungarian horntail heartstring being notoriously hard to master. 

Edited by Dale McQueen-Trengrove

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Jack Dare

Jack thought perhaps some of what he was saying might be getting through to Dale. Certainly the large boy was quiet and seemed thoughtful--or as thoughtful as someone like Dale was probably capable of being. Toward the end though Jack realized that while Dale might be listening carefully that didn't mean that he understood what he heard.

 

“No, that's not what I mean,” Jack said, trying not to roll his eyes at Dale. "It's just that Zach-- " Jack was going to tell Dale how he'd been keeping tabs on all their classmates and their performance in various subjects, and that  @Zachary Montague, despite all his efforts to appear otherwise, had very limited wand ability. Jack hesitated though. Jack's note-taking hobby had proven unpopular before. What if Dale snatched his notes like Leon had done?  Also, Jack couldn't help but feel a twinge of empathy for Zach. The things Jack was bad at were fairly obvious, there was no hiding his lack of strength or stamina, but were Jack able to able to better than he was, as Zach seemed to be doing, Jack certainly would. It would be hypocritical to reveal what Zach was working so hard to hide. "--uh yeah, just-- he could be more careful with it, I think. I expect he's not worried because he can always buy a new one."

 

"Anyway this business with dragon's heartstrings being different from dragon to dragon could make your wand much less similar than we originally supposed. Like some dragons are more savage and some more mild, and their heartstrings are drawn to different sorts."

 

""I still think this Hungarian Horntail--- " Jack muttered, frowning at the page. He shook his head. "Anyway we'll probably never know if you have heartstrings from the same dragon or not. The same type I mean. Cores from the exact same source is something else. That's called twin cores."

 

'Imagine that," Jack said, his expression becoming wistful. "Now that would be rare.  You wouldn't even have to have the same wood, just the fact that the core comes from the same animal would make them twin, and cause all kinds of issues. Especially if the two wands ever fought against each other. Not that I'm saying that's likely for you two-- but if did."

 

Jack's imagination was ignited by the thought of seeing that spectacle and he couldn't help but try to communicate some of that excitement to Dale. "Imagine the two duelists squaring off to fight. Their wand sense their kinship even before the wizards do. They silently call out to one another with a magical bond we can't begin to understand. Spells are cast. The energy streams unite. They literally lock together with a force that is impossible to break. Then it become a war of wills. Each wand trying to dominate the other. Sweat breaks out on the faces of the two wizards. Hearts race. Their breathing becomes rapid. Bodies tremble. Eventually the stronger wizard-- that would be you-- forces a surge of energy down the shaft of his opponent's wand, forcing the weaker wizard to submit. Then, at the climactic moment, his thing happens called Priori Incantatem, or the reverse spell effect . The weaker wand just sort of starts spewing out a shadow form of the last few spells the wand cast. That part's pretty useless actually, but the entire process would be something to see. Afterward the twin cores form a bond--not necessarily a positive one-- they'll recognize each other when close, and if they think the other is a threat might even attack without the wizards' consent."

 

"Alternately, if two people with twin cores work together the cores' connection makes both wizards sort of like super charged. My cousin told me that and I didn't believe it, but my grandfather says it's real. Something to do with two famous American wizards. Their strength was like the strength of ten when they combined forces."

 

"Uh, not that I really think that's likely with you and Zach," Jack added, feeling like that disclaimer was necessary to keep Dale from getting his hopes up. "It's something to think about though, right?"

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

"Oh. You'd think he'd take care of his wand though." It seemed uncharacteristic of Zach to him but he didn't think Jack had any reason to lie necessarily. Shrugging over the comment he continued to listen to Jack's long-winded speech about their wands. He was still very unsettled about it all and he only grew more so as Jack explained the idea of twin cores.

 

His expression said it all for he was sitting there looking the color of puce and was trying to forget the very idea that his and Zach's wands may share the same core. Because Dale didn't share anything with @Zachary Montague. He was an arrogant, rich pretty boy, even if there was something about him that made those things not necessarily true. He was complicated and Dale couldn't figure him out so he had lumped him in with Gabe who he was pretty sure was definitely all of those things. It was easier than thinking there was something more to Zach, something that he could be remotely interested in. Because he was not remotely interested in Zach. He couldn't be. 

 

"Yeah, not unless we dueled or something," he remarked. But he never saw Zach in the dueling chamber so he knew that was an unlikely possibility. The only other way he could probably find out is if they happened to be using their wands against each other in class for whatever reason. But the only class where that would likely happen was Defense Against the Dark Arts and Dale always paired up with Fenella these days and Zach with Gabe. 

 

He certainly wasn't going to volunteer to pair up with Zach. Not like Zach would want to be his partner anyhow. They hated each others guts. It would have to be a professor forcing them together before they would ever pair up. 

 

"Yeah, something," he repeated, his thoughts completely consumed with the possibility. Dale had not really been paying attention to the substance of what Jack was saying -- he really had only grasped the idea that twin cores were real and after that, Dale had pretty much shut out everything else that Jack said. The nerd talked too much in his opinion -- and Dale suspected it was because Jack wanted to show off how much he knew. Which was quite a lot. It had helped though when he had been in pain following the attacks. The amount of talking Jack had done then had been a welcome distraction. 

 

Not that he would ever tell Dare that. "Right," he added standing up. "Uh." What went unsaid was that Jack had given him a lot to think about. He also knew he would never forget this conversation, well, at least not the important parts. The parts that he had actually listened to. Some of it had been gibberish. But from this moment, it would be long burned in his memory as clear as day. 

 

Twin woods. And possibly twin cores. With Zach. Zach. 

 

End

Edited by Dale McQueen-Trengrove

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