Wandlore For Beginners
An in-depth description of many wandwoods and cores, and what to expect from them.
Ebony wands are among the best for visual power and impact, though are not as powerful with magic. They are greatly suited for duelling magic and Transfiguration, and have an impressive reputation due to it. Though they are one of the most famous Dark woods, ebony wands have no true alliance, as they have been carried by Death Eaters and members of the Order of the Phoenix alike. These wands generally prefer owners who are brave enough to be themselves, those who do not conform to society, those who are highly individualistic, or those who are comfortable being an outsider. The 'perfect' match, according to Ollivander, is someone who, no matter the external pressure, is not easily swayed from their beliefs.
Elder wands are the rarest of any wand (though the supposed 'most powerful wand in existence' was an elder wand), given that they are, according to legend, very unlucky. When they backfire, it often costs the wielder or maker of the wand their life. They are the trickiest wand to master, which indicates that they are one of, if not the most powerful wands to be created. These kinds of wands scorn any who is not superior to their current master, and to keep one for any length of time requires quite a remarkable witch or wizard. Truthfully, only a highly unusual person will be the 'perfect' match for an elder wands. If such a match is made, the witch or wizard is marked for a special destiny. Many wandmakers are fearful of this wood for wandmaking, and often refuse to work with the wood because they fear they will never sell the wands, due to the old superstition 'wand of elder, never prosper.' An interesting quirk of the owners of elder wands is that they almost always feel a strong connection with those chosen by rowan wands.
Elm wands are believed to only perform magic for pure-blooded wizards, but this rumor was more than likely started by someone who desired to increase his own credentials. Perfect matches between elm wands and those of non-magical heritage have existed. Elm wands prefer magical skill, presence, and a certain native dignity in their owners. Wands made of this wood generally produce fewer accidents and foolish errors, and perform some of the most elegant charms and spells. In the right hands, these sophisticated wands can produce highly advanced magic, which makes them highly desirable to those who wish to flaunt their pure-blooded heritage.
Eucalyptus wands are quite rare, and are primarily imported from Australia. The trees grow very quickly, and the wands generally channel the liveliness of their tree into their magic, making what they perform to be willing and powerful, an excellent combination for a witch or wizard with good magical skills.
Fir wands are not very common, due to undesirable physical properties, but they make are fairly outdoorsy. Fir trees are some of the most resilient to be found, and the wands that are made from this wood find staying power and strong purpose in their 'perfect' owner, who is focused, strong-minded, and (occasionally) has an intimidating behavior. When the owner of such a wand is indecisive and easily swayed, they do not produce very good magic. Wands of fir are excellent in the arts of Transfiguration, and were called 'the survivor's wand' by Ollivander's grandfather, who had sold fir wands to three wizards who had survived mortal peril unscathed.
Gingko wands are very rarely seen in the western part of the world. In Chinese wandmaking, they competed with plum as the most popular wood to make wands with for well over a thousand years. But when the gingko was no longer a wild species, the wands fell out of favor. Most believe that wands made from a wild wood are stronger, so modern wands of ginkgo are fairly rare. To say that ginkgo wands are not useful would be incorrect. While the wood is highly unusual, the wands have an excellent staying power, and can calm tempermental cores.
Hawthorn wands are very contradictory. They are great with healing magic and curses alike, typically choosing an owner who has a conflicted nature, or who is passing through a time of hardship. They perform excellently with the Defense Against the Dark Arts, as the wood symbolizes protection. The owners of hawthorn wands tend to be complex and intriguing, much like the wands themselves. They are not easy to master, and should only be put in the hands of a talented witch or wizard. If badly handled, they can backfire. Another interesting thing about wands of hawthorn is that the wood to make wands with is only cut in prunings at Beltane (the Gaelic May Day holiday).
Hazel wands are sensitive and often reflect the emotional state of their owners. The 'ideal' master of such a wand should be someone who can manage their emotions and understands them. For another to take a hazel wand after the owner has lost their temper is bad news. The wand absorbs the negative energy and discharges it unpredictably. However, the loyalty of a hazel wand is nigh uncontestable. It produces outstanding magic with a skillful wizard, and when its owner passes from this world, the wand is so devoted to its master that it often wilts, or expels all magic and refuses to perform. In many cases, the core can be placed into another wand, but if the core is that of a unicorn tail hair, there is no hope; the wand has died. Wands of hazel are quiet and adaptable to most things, but it boosts Charms and Transfiguration. An owner of a hazel wand is often skilled in Divination. Hazel wands can also detect underground water, an ability unique to them. Should the wand emit puffs of smoke of a silvery color in tear-drop shapes, it indicates that a concealed well or spring lies under the ground.
Holly wands are brilliant at repelling dark spirits at demons, making its behavior pertaining to the Defense Against the Dark Arts remarkable. The Light wood generally reduces the power to perform hexes, though. Wands of holly are fairly rare, though they are considered protective. The 'ideal' owner might be needing help overcoming their tendency to anger or behave in a rash manner, and often are taking part in a dangerous, often spiritual, quest. It's behavior varies depending on what core has been placed in it, to pair i=this wood with a phoenix feather is rather difficult. Holly reacts strangely with the detachment of the feather, but if a wand of this make finds its ideal match, no person or thing will truly get in the way.
Hornbeam wands, also known as ironwood wands are perhaps the most stubborn to be created. However, this makes them one of the more powerful, if their master has what it takes to truly master this wands. The 'ideal' master for a hornbeam wand is talented, with one passion that is pure, bordering on obsession, that is nearly always realized. These wands have no particular strengths or weaknesses, as they adapt to their owner's style of magic. They adapt more quickly than almost any other kind of wand, to the point that anyone else trying to use it will find it exceedingly difficult to cast even the simplest of spells. These wands also take in the code of honor of their owner. Should a spell be attempted that does not agree with the code of honor, the wand will refuse to perform it.
Ivy wands are not very common, as to find a thick enough piece is quite a challenge. However, the challenge is well worth the trouble, as wands of ivy are unexpectedly strong. Wands of this wood are not to be found in Ollivander's shop in Diagon Alley, as he prefers not to make or sell them. But, the Hogsmeade branch sells ivy wands.
Kaya wands are more often used in Asia (more often Japan), though they can (on the extremely rare occasion) be found in Britain. The wood used to make a Kaya wand is a beautiful yellow wood. But, not only are these wands beautiful, they are highly talented. Those who are bonded with a Kaya wand will, more often than not, find a boost in the logical arts (Potions, Astronomy, Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, etc).