Harry spent the rest of that day playing with his animal companions.
His attempts at exercising Hedwig boiled down to playing fetch with a foam ball he bought for the occasion. He'd never seen an owl run after a ball before. It was oddly adorable. The experiment certainly answered his question on whether or not she could fly anymore. He later cast a weight reduction charm on her but that only served to spook her and make his forearms resemble the Shrieking Shacks' wallpaper.
Neither were particularly fond of cuddling and so they slept apart. In time he knew crookshanks would come around to sleeping on his feet, but like any other cat he was nervous in new environments.
Sadly he had to leave early the next morning as per his agreement with Garick.
"All right. I left you both enough food to last several days, so I expect to come home to two fully alive animals." He told them. "That means no eating each other."
They both stared at him stupidly. Despite being rather brilliant animals, they were still just animals.
He closed the door and made to lock it, but thinking better of it he opened the door again and interrupted a glaring contest the two started in his absence. A few charms later and their claws and teeth/beak were left as dull as a troll. They could settle their differences all they wanted now and Harry could be confident that when he next saw them their worst injuries will be a couple bruises.
He spent his third day in this new world manning the counter to Ollivander's shop. He agreed to take over until such time Garick finished studying his memories. Which Harry knew would take several weeks of full time effort on the old man's part.
On the positive side of things, sorting wands to new students was both fun and easy.
Most of the new students waited a day or two after getting their letters before coming to Diagon Alley, especially the Muggleborns whose parents justifiably worried they were being pranked. Harry spotted several Hogwarts professors escorting families towards Gringotts after a short tour of the alley before vanishing to pick up another family and repeat the process.
He supposed they only took the families that far so they could exchange the currency and work through buying the list of supplies on their own. He imagined it would be one incredible experience making your way through the wizarding market with your parents, like a right of passage. All of you discovering the wizarding world together. He didn't harass the students or their muggle parents to ask them about it. He knew they'd be getting those same questions from other shopkeepers and he didn't want to be a nuisance.
Oddly enough he got more returning students than new ones. Some came in to use a self service wand waxer that Harry somehow never noticed sitting in the corner, others came to check if there was a better match for them in the new stock of wands - something Harry would never have dreamed of checking for himself- and others still came in for replacements or spares.
None bothered to ask him who he was or why Ollivander wasn't manning the counter. Harry assumed that they all made their own assumptions regarding his identity and relationship to Garick. He was happy to remain ignorant of their inner thoughts.
The only real shock he received was when Bellatrix Lestrange walked right in the front door.
At first he thought it was Andromeda, having mistaken her for Bellatrix when they first met. This world's Bellatrix looked even more like her sister. Her clothes were clean, her hair was combed and she looked... well... Sane.
"Good morning." She greeted noncommittally before tossing her wand on the counter without a care.
"Good morning! How may I help you today, miss..." Harry waved for her to introduce herself.
"Miss will do just fine." She said. "And I was hoping you could repair my wand."
Harry picked up and eyed the wand - more like a club in appearance - but there was no physical indication of damage.
"And what is wrong with it?"
"Lately it has been..." She paused to think. "Disobedient."
Don't imagine her as a dominatrix. Don't imagine her as a dominatrix. Must. Not. Imagine her as a dominatrix!
"What's a dominatrix?"
Oh no! Is she in my head?
"Young man, you are speaking out loud."
Well that cinches it. She knows too much. She must die.
"Bring it on you scrawny little ponce. Wandless and starkers I can take you on any day of the week."
"Well then. Let me take a closer look at this disobedient wand of yours and see if I can find your problem." He sidestepped, liking this version of Bellatrix more and more.
It took all of two milliseconds to find the issue once he stretched his magical senses. But he used this opportunity to examine the woman across from him. No dark mark. That was interesting. She still had a decidedly dark aura though, but so do many law abiding witches and wizards. She was still very much a fighter and probably a killer. Her wand testified to such. He could feel the litany of curses, killing and otherwise, to have passed through the wand in recent days.
"Well I found the issue." He told her as he gingerly placed her wand back on the counter. "It's good you brought it in when you did. I recommend getting a permanent replacement."
"Why? What's wrong with it."
"Do you know what a wand blockage is?"
She shook her head.
"Imagine a pipe."
"The kind that carries water."
"Now imagine the pipe bulging at a spot because of too much pressure. That's kind of what's happening inside of your wand. There's a buildup of magic inside of it. Whenever you cast a spell the blockage absorbs some or all of it, or counters it completely."
Bellatrix nodded inquisitively.
"That explains why my spells have been weaker as of late. Is there a way to clear the blockage?"
Harry winced at the question.
"Yes, but it's dangerous. I've seen it happen twice. One time I saw a wand clear the blockage by explosively casting golden flames. It was like a superpowered spell and was pretty amazing." He explained, leaving out the fact that it was his wand that did this along with his wand acting of its own will, as some phoenix feather wands tend to do. "Another time I saw a wand clear the blockage by explosively backfiring a killing curse on the caster. It was very awesome, just not for the caster."
The difference with that situation was that the Elder Wand is supposed to have magical blockage along its length. It was one of the defining principles of how the wand worked. It had five such blockages. One for transfiguration, one for curses, one for charms, one for healing spells and one for counterspells or defensive magic. There were actual knots in the thestral hair running along its length tied around splinters of different types of wood. A Fir splinter for the transfiguration knot, an Elm splitter for charms, Yew for curses, Willow for healing spells, and Rowan for protective magic and counterspells.
Whoever designed the Elder Wand was a genius. Each knot would charge when a spell of another knots' type was used and only expel the buildup when a spell of its type was cast. Harry came to call it the Gambler's Wand because in order to get the best results you'd have to cycle through the spell types in the same order each time and hope your opponent didn't pick up on this trend. If they did they could just wait for a harmless healing spell to mount a proper offensive. Dumbledore was good at using spells that always looked like offensive spells and in creatively using the transfiguration or healing slot and predicting the right time to use a counter.
To design a wand to use what most would consider a dangerous flaw and not just design around it, but incorporate that flaw as a core feature was the epitome of brilliance. And this was just one of the features unique to the Elder Wand.
Of course if you kept using the same type of spell, or the same exact spell, over and over again you'd overload the particular knot and probably die. That was the only reason Harry survived that battle with Voldemort. The fact that he was the Elder Wands true master made backfiring even more likely when it was used against him, which seemed like something Dumbledore would have planned for.
"And I'm guessing it's more likely to just backfire on me?"
Oh right. Other people. Those exist. He better deal with this one.
"Most likely, yes. It's possible to remove the blockage by casting a powerful enough spell of a different type, for example some kid tries to cast a patronus and it causes a blockage. In order to cancel it out he would have to cast a dark curse of equal power." Harry explained. "And even then, it takes a lot of attempts to get right and it can be deadly."
The immaculate woman nodded thoughtfully as she stared at her wand.
"Okay. I'll need a replacement, but I want to try and repair it anyways." She concluded.
Harry made a show of raising an objecting eyebrow at her, but stretched his senses to find a match for her all the same.
"I understand if you're attached to it and don't want to let it go, but it really is liable to kill you, or worse, me."
She answered by way of shrugging.
"It's not like that. I'm just curious to see what will happen."
Harry closed up shop for the day soon after that. Ollivanders closed well before dark on most days, earlier than most shops and long before Gringotts. He tried to tell Garick he was leaving, but he probably didn't hear him, what with his head shoulders deep in a pensieve.
Somehow he'd already come to terms with the fact that most people in this world wouldn't necessarily be like they were in his. In the case of Bellatrix he was pleasantly surprised to discover what he thought was an adrenaline junkie with a proper ladylike veneer. He handled it rather well, or so he thought. Right now his greatest fear was that he might encounter somebody in this world who is reprehensibly evil but fail to act because of how much he loved them in his world, or because he worried that he might be misjudging them based on his prior experiences with their counterpart.
When he found himself chained to an uncomfortable chair across Director Ragnok with five guards pointing an assortment of spears, swords and maces at him he thanked his lucky stars that at least Goblins were the same across dimensions.
Saw this story in your Community just now, and I am very glad you have decided to rewrite it. I've come upon so many unfinished stories that it would have been a shame to watch another fade away. Thanks so much for picking it up and I can't wait to see where this ends up!
For those of you who don;t know I created a community called "Adopt a Fic" where I add incomplete and abandoned fanfiction(or fanfiction that could have been great but had bad writing or just deserves to be stolen and expanded upon.) If you would like to try rewriting a good fanfiction, like I'm doing here. Head on over there.
And thank you TBNRGIRL I hope to keep you entertained.