"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in
sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
— MATTHEW 7:15
"do you remember your name?"
"hassan... bin mahir bin ali suleiman... that about right."
"is that what i should call you?"
"hassan'll do. tonight works too." you crack a smile, flash a wink that looks nothing like one when you only have one eye.
mother tells you you have your father's hands.
"what are father's hands like?"
"one line here for humble successes," she traces a steady, straight line that runs along your palm. "health a little unsteady, but okay. very successful with love," she raises her brow, tickles your palm.
"ewwwww. that's gross, ma."
father calls them hands of a suleiman wandkeeper. he makes sure you learn just exactly what that means.
"this one here is abada hair," your father explains as he showcases his latest wares from his recent trip to africa. "they're very quiet creatures. they're like the african varieties of unicorns. gentle creatures, they are."
he gifts it to you, ruffles your hair. then you present it back to him.
"put it in a wand. i want to use it."
you test your wand when father is done with it. swish and flick. the power makes your hands feel light and giddy with euphoria.
mother teaches you to play with fire. She plucks sage from the backyard, brushes it over your face, and sets it alit.
the smoke travels upwards. "and what does that mean?" you'd ask her as her face turns pale.
when you learn about it in divination, you realise the image that'd appeared signified unimaginable loss.
"hey, mister, how'd you lose your eye?"
"got it slashed out by a parang by my mad muggle ex-wife. want to see?"
the next time someone asks, you tell them how someone fought you with a teacup shard. or how phonewaves caused it to pop right out of its socket. or how you hacked up a lung and an eye. the story changes everytime.
( then they won't see the telltale signs of a werewolf's claw marks, how the flesh still feels tender from the first night, and how the world doesn't look all that different through one eye instead of two once you get used to it. )
you hate the word sorry. it reminds you of disappointments and heartbreak.
the former, when the first healer that you see in st. mungo's won't stop apologising. "i'm so sorry, we've tried our best, i'm so sorry—" but sorry doesn't bring your mother back to her ethereal beauty.
"i'm sorry, it's not you, it's me," says your boyfriend when he can't accept things the way they are, but sorry doesn't bring back the joys of a relationship you thought would've lasted forever.
father never fails to mention how beautiful mother was when she was alive. that much is apparent in their photographs. he refers to her like a distant goddess, out of his reach when he'd first tried to court her; out of his reach now.
"sorry you got stuck with me," you comment, hissing in surprise when you prick your finger on an embroidery needle.
"it's okay, hassan," he says. he takes the embroidery hoop from you, then pulls you in tightly for a hug. apparently losing an eye doesn't mean that it stops producing tears, you learn.
it's not really okay, you think, tightening your hold on father. ( then releasing, fearful that your hands are claws instead and they're digging deep into his bones, tearing him apart. )
"i can't use the core anymore, hassan. it's ruined beyond repair," father says, "i replaced it with one of your mother's hair."
he holds it out for you to try. swish, and flick. a pot shatters and it sparks, clattering to the floor when you drop it.
"i don't know. doesn't seem right.'"
"maybe you should give it time to warm up to you."
eight years later, it still doesn't seem right.
sometimes when you work the wood, your fingers shake and your bones hurt and you can feel the scars across your body tear apart, ripped anew and trembling hands drop the piece you're working on.
you hate dropping wands. father teaches you that they deserve the basic respect of being held, never dropped, and you think you could've held on tighter to yours before it clattered to the ground and left you defenseless.
the first few years there's father to rush in and bring you back to your senses. the next few years you simmer in it and learn to pick up and continue where you left off.
suleiman's has been making wands for as long as magic has tainted the blood, forcing suleiman wizards into hiding for fear of persecution. it was in england that they'd come to grow roots and settle, it was wand making that became the family's bread and butter.
for the past 40 years that mahir, your father, has carried out his business, they have specialised in veela hair wand cores. while not always the most reliable, it is but one of the few ways to get one's hands on the rare core otherwise impossible without a veela relative.
father learned everything he knew about wandmaking from his father, ali. but it was mahir that opened the possibility to more exotic cores to open doors and expand business opportunities.
and hassan, son of mahir, son of ali, of the suleiman family, to carry on this practice with your wandkeeper hands is your birthright.
+ apostates of islam for as long as the suleiman name has been wizards.
+ best at fire-omens and palmistry divinations. the former his mother was particularly talented at, the other he picked up at his own interest.
+ attacked about eight years back. mother died from her wounds while he lived to tell the tale.
+ scars down his sides, back, shoulders, and a missing eye to boot. strangely confident about the scars, not so much with being intimate with people.
+ father operates the wand shop in diagon alley, while he handles the branch in hogsmeade. his father travels a lot to fetch rare wand cores and woods from overseas. the hogsmeade branch is newer, around 6 years old.
+ his original wand was broken during the attack, the core severed. his new one never works quite the same as before.
+ ravenclaw alum. best subjects were (obviously) wandlore and divination. had a knack for herbology and astronomy.