Petunia Evans watched her sister and her mother leave the house, led by a woman who looked like someone’s grandmother in fancy dress, with a pointed hat and long black cloak. As they headed toward the car in which the old woman had arrived, Petunia waited for the three to get on broomsticks and fly away, or to disappear in a flash of smoke. To her great disappointment, the driver merely opened the doors, the three got in, and the vehicle rolled down the street.
Petunia slipped out the back door and into her father’s shop. Shaking her head at the mess of unfinished projects, she rummaged around until she found a utility knife, sandpaper, and a tin of shoe polish. Petunia looked around surreptitiously; she was too old to be playing make-believe. Hiding her supplies in her pocket, she walked to the wood.
She spent hours searching for the right branch, cutting several and discarding all but the straightest. She sat beneath a tree and started carving, whittling away the bark, cutting a smooth handle until her soft hands were red. She sanded until the wood shone, and then, with only the slightest cringe, plunged her fingers into the polish and rubbed life into her new wand.
Looking at her work with pride, Petunia suddenly heard the hum of a car and rushed to put her father’s things away and shake the sawdust out of her clothes before greeting her mother and sister. She slipped the wand into her sleeve and ran into the house.
“Petunia!” Lily called. “Come look at all this!”
She held out a small black cauldron, and a small case that could only contain one thing…
Petunia reached without thinking, and the wand fell out of her sleeve and onto the floor. She blushed, but Lily had already seen.
“Oh, did you make that, ‘Tunia? Let me see.” Petunia offered the stick reluctantly.
“It’s beautiful!” Lily said. “Much nicer than mine. See?” Lily opened the case. Her wand was small and plain next to Petunia’s. Lily waved the two around. “Really, I’m jealous, ‘Tunia… oh!” The smaller wand emitted a green spark, which landed on Petunia’s dress and left a small scorch mark.
“Oh, Petunia, I’m so sorry! Here, this will make up for it.” Rummaging through her bag, Lily brought out a chocolate frog wrapped in foil, which hopped up and down on her palm. Petunia’s eyes were wide as she took the sweet. As her fingers wrapped around the frog, she got ready to restrain it if it tried to jump away, but as soon as it left Lily’s hand, it became still and lifeless.
“What’s wrong…” Lily wondered aloud.
Petunia interrupted. “It’s okay. Thank you, Lily.” Looking herself over, she smiled. “I’m going to change, and we can talk over dinner, okay?”
Closing the door to her room, Petunia set the frog gingerly on her dresser. Looking into its dead eyes, she took her equally dead wand and skewered it.