Dragons and Snakes
Yue Qi talked with Snape for a moment before leaving with Huhana. Snape led the children straight to the wand shop, only to have both of them pulling out their wands with big grins.
Snape stared in contempt. 'I would advise that Mister Ollivander still take a look at your wands. To see if they follow proper regulations.'
Nalani shrugged and walked through the door Snape was holding open, Kiran holding her hand.
A short, old man greeted them with a smile that, although honest, looked very eerie.
'What do you bring me here, Severus?' he said.
'Fire wielding Elementals. It would seem they already have wands of their own. I think, however, that it would be advisable for you to analyse them,' Snape said in a formal tone.
'Of course, of course. May I?' he held out his hand for the children's wands, which they gave him immediately.
'I've had the pleasure to meet a few of your kind in the pas-' Ollivander began.
'Our kind?' Nalani interrupted.
'That's racist,' Kiran pointed out casually.
'Oh dear,' Ollivander looked up at them, 'I'm sorry if you felt any offence. I simply meant that the Elementals' wand lore was still a mystery to me.' He turned his gaze back to the wands in his hand. 'I've never seen this type of wood in my life.' said Ollivander, shaking his head apologetically.
Kiran opened his mouth to speak, but Nalani squeezed his hand lightly.
Ollivander continued his observation of the wands. He took Kiran's wand between his thin fingers and brought close to his pale eyes. He did the same with Nalani's wand. 'This is quite curious,' he said, looking at the two children closely.
He looked back at both wands before saying, 'How peculiar, the cores of this wand seem to be human hair, and while I still can't seem to identify the wood, it feels like it has a powerful magic of its own.'
'The wood was given by the banyan-grove tree,' Nalani said. 'Branches given by the tree are filled with powerful spirit energy. When adding a strand of your own hair, this energy binds with the energy inside of the individual.'
'And if the individual happens to be magical,' Kiran continued, 'the magical power is amplified by the branch, and you get a wand. Benders never used wands until the property of spirit vines were discovered. And even then, most benders still prefer wandless magic. Wands are mostly used for when you really need loads of energy.'
Ollivander stared at the two children curiously. 'So am I to understand that wand lore is no secret to children in your country, or are your parents wand makers?' Ollivander asked.
'We learn about this in school, sir,' Kiran said, 'in spiritual class.'
'Perhaps when you met Elementals, it wasn't yet common knowledge,' Nalani stated. 'It's only been on the curriculum for 10 years, or so.'
Within twenty minutes, they were done and out of the shop. As they walked to the next shop, Nalani holding her brother's hand, Snape stopped briefly.
'You should be careful what you accuse people of. "Racist", is not a kind word,' he started, looking at Kiran.
'"Kind", is not a kind word either.' Nalani interrupted him, squaring her shoulders and looking Snape straight in the eyes, 'People, humans, are one "kind". The history of my family is written in genocide. You live in a world of segregation because you believe it brings peace, but peace never lasts in segregation. You're my potions Master; I suggest you limit your teachings to things you know about.'
Snape's ear became red as his face contorted into a grotesque expression. 'How d-... I... Why you arrogant little... Hasn't anyone thought you to resp-'
'I'm sorry, I meant no disrespect,' Nalani replied.
Snape's eye grew larger, and his face redder. He was about to reply when Nalani continued.
'Our word choice can have a bigger effect than we expect. What Mr Ollivander said may have seemed innocent to him, or even to you, but now he'll think twice before using the word "kind" when referring to other people. Just like my telling you to only teach me about things you know, felt to you like an insult, because you're used to children being obedient and submissive around adults. Your life experience will change your perception of other people's words and actions. I do respect you as a potions Master, but you can't ask that I show any respect for your political knowledge when I've had the best teachers.'
'You are not in your world anymore, young woman,' Snape said through gritted teeth. 'You are a child, and as such, you will respect what adults say, no matter how unfounded you think it may be.'
Nalani glared at the man, firmly holding her brother's hand, keeping him slightly behind her. Snape could feel the temperature of the air around him increasing. A few of the torches nearby were even glowing brighter. For a second was worried he'd put himself in a situation he didn't know how to handle. The child took a deep breath before walking in the bookstore close by, dragging her brother behind her. Snape's lips thinned to a line as he followed the children.
'Do not walk away from me,' he said, grabbing Nalani's arm. He let it go quickly, as her arm became hot as a red iron.
'Maybe we should just finish this shopping thing?' Kiran mumbled with a pout. He was holding on to his sister with both hands now.
Snape thought it might be a good idea. He'd simply talk to her parents when they joined back at Gringotts.
'You,' he pointed to Nalani, 'will not speak out of turn or act out again while under my care. Am I understood?'
Nalani's jaw clenched, but she gave a curt nod. Snape looked like he was about to add something else, but he simply nodded towards the bookstore.
The children were mostly silent for the rest of the trip through Diagon Alley. Nalani asked questions concerning her textbooks and classes, while her brother followed her around in near silence, only making a few comments here and there.
Snape observed the pair with interest. He'd never met Elementals before, but he'd read a lot about their culture and history and was curious about their unique ability to control the elements. He believed he knew the genocide she had referred to, but that had been centuries ago unless there was a more recent event he didn't know about. Dumbledore had, as usual, been quite vague on the subject of their exile. He knew of course that the elder child was meant to have been the heir to the throne of their nation, which certainly showed in her speech and attitude. He assumed the only people she had to show respect to, before the exile, were her parents and the acting Fire Lord, and everyone else had to show her respect since they were bellow her in rank. Of course, her opinion about segregation was no surprise. The Elementals were well known around the wizarding world for refusing to separate their magical folks from their muggles. The entire international wizarding community had had to agree to put the entirety of their territory under the statute of secrecy, so no muggle could ever visit these parts of the world. It had made things very complicated for everyone, and he did not understand why they simply wouldn't just do like everyone else and hide from muggles. It's not like they hadn't had troubles with muggles revolting against magical folks.
He would have to keep an eye on the girl at Hogwarts; she seemed the sort to start fights, despite being a princess. It was something dark in her attitude that made it so. Even with the sort of education, she would have received as an heir, her speech was too adult, too sour. It dripped with a resentment and anger that should be foreign to children. He wanted to peek at her memories, but both children had apparently been taught Occlumency and were excellent. Of course, he should have expected that; it was fair to assume they had both received an outstanding education. The boy's shield was as cold and impenetrable as stone, and quite remarkable for his young age. The girl's mental shield had the heat of anger and was very aggressive. That didn't reassure him in the least.
As they walk passed the broom shop, both children stopped and looked curiously at the crowd that had formed around it. The new nimbus 2000 had just come out, and there was a lot of excited children trying to get a good look through the display window.
'You seriously ride brooms here?' Nalani asked, trying to suppress a laugh.
'Cultural differences,' Kiran sighed, shaking his small head seriously.
A blond boy, slightly shorter than Kiran, turned around when he heard them. He caught sight of Snape and eyed the pair of children standing with him, in strange, exotic clothing.
'Severus,' the boy's father coldly said as he turned towards the trio, 'good evening.'
'Hello Lucius,' Snape acknowledged.
Lucius jerked his head in the two young benders' direction with a subtle but apparent sneer. 'Have they stuck you with young muggles?' He said, the disdain in his voice clear.
'I believe "muggles" is what you call your non-magical folks?' Nalani asked Snape.
'Their hair are soooo pale,' Kiran said in awe, staring at the man and the boy who was clearly his son, 'Do they have Tui's stuff in them?'
'These children are from the Elemental Territories,' Snape answered the older blond, ignoring Kiran. 'Their culture is very different, so they need assistance to understand our customs.'
'Cultural differences... like your white hair,' Kiran said to the man with a completely serious face.
'Oh by Raava, shut up Kiran!' Nalani whispered harshly to her little brother.
'It's true, though!' Kiran replied.
'Yeah, but still shut up,' Nalani said in an exasperated tone.
The professor and the blond man had been talking during this little display, ignoring the children. The small blond boy waited for the siblings to finish before presenting his hand with a smile.
'I'm Draco Malfoy, if you're new here, you'll want to be friends with me! My family is a very old pure-blood family.'
'Okay... I'm Nalani Onenga,' she said, shaking the boy's hand while watching him carefully.
Kiran looked at his sister before also shaking the boy's hand, 'I'm Kiran Onenga. Flying on brooms is dumb.'
Nalani smiled at this, while the blond boy, Draco, sputtered indignantly.
'So how to Elementals fly on?' Draco challenged.
'Air gliders,' Kiran said, 'Airbenders can control the air around it of course, and for the other benders we just enchant them. And non-benders use them with just the wind from high places. I'll bet it's more comfortable than a broomstick.'
'Not to mention, less damaging for your boy parts,' Nalani added with a giggle, that Kiran mirrored.
'Well I'll bet you can't play Quidditch with those gliders of yours,' Draco said in a huff.
'What's that?' The siblings said in unison.
Draco smirked with satisfaction and said, 'A wizarding sport for which you need broomsticks.'
'Well, we have a tonne of sports you couldn't play because they require one form or another of element bending,' Nalani said with a smug expression. To Draco's surprise and amazement, Nalani bent a small flame as she spoke, small enough not to alarm the adults, but still enough to impress the young wizard who had never seen element bending.
'Yeah! Like pro-bending!' Kiran added, and Nalani gave him a high five.
The adults, while still conversing, motioned for the children to follow them, to which they complied, still arguing over sports. The two groups walked towards Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions together, where they were to get their school robes. Thinking it was a good opportunity for the children to learn more about England's wizarding world, and seeing how much more comfortable the children seemed with someone their age, Snape proposed to Lucius to let the children get acquainted while getting their robes, and they could themselves grab a cup of tea nearby. Draco was tasked with helping Nalani get her robes. Snape told the children to meet with him at the teashop next door as soon as Nalani had her robes.