Time passed by very slowly in that first five minutes before everyone else turned up to Transfiguration. Professor Dumbledore attempted a conversation with me, asking about what I liked most about Hogwarts and other mediocre questions like that. I answered him briefly, still waiting for him to break the suspense made by his first comment as I walked in.
“Tom, there’s something that I need to talk to you about,” he said finally.
I leaned forwards expectantly; my mind half wishing it would be some other fact as wonderful as Hogwarts.
“There was a little incident last night,” he continued, “It seemed that you blasted Arielle Avery’s chess pieces into smithereens after you lost a game. And I understand that this was done without a wand?”
“Sir,” I began, mentally telling myself to punish the unlucky soul who told Dumbledore about the incident, “I didn’t mean it. The pieces just shattered when I touched the chessboard.”
“So you still possess the children’s wild magic,” he said matter-of-factly, those bright blue eyes making me feel naked under his gaze.
“Wild magic? But I swear it was only an accident,” I said, my voice rose up a notch, “Please sir, I don’t have wild magic. I’m not dangerous. Just please let me stay here.”
“Now, now, Tom,” Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling with amusement, “I never said anything about you being dangerous, or of sending you away for that matter. I was just about to propose that we have a private lesson together, so that I can help you tame your wild magic.”
“It can be tamed?” I asked, “But wouldn’t that mean I’ll lose it forever?”
“Children forfeit their wild magic for wand magic when their wand picks them,” Dumbledore explained, “It’s still there, even within withered old things like Professor Dippet and me, but it’s not going to be as strong as that of a child. I thought you wanted wand magic, when you insisted that we visit Ollivander’s first on our trip to Diagon Alley?”
“I do, sir,” I said, changing the topic hastily, “And I would be honoured to be taking a private lesson with you.”
“Now that would be on Friday afternoons in this room,” Dumbledore said, “You better return to your seat, other students are coming in now and I know personally that it’s never good to start off as the teacher’s pet.”
I nodded my thanks to Dumbledore and headed to the seat in the front corner, close enough to the teacher to learn everything but far enough to not be branded teacher’s pet. As Dumbledore greeted the class, I thought long and hard about wild magic. I didn’t want to lose it; I didn’t want it to lessen at all. Last night was a mistake when I let Alfred’s taunts about losing to a girl get to my head. Wild magic was my specialty, the only thing that yielded to my control every single time. I could not afford to let this one advantage slip away from me, especially now that I knew most witches and wizards lost possession of wild magic. Yes, Dumbledore’s lessons would be aimed to tame my wild magic, but I was sure that there would be some books on wild magic in the library. Perhaps I could learn control from Dumbledore, while maintaining a grip by reading books on how to keep wild magic. Yes, that would be the best path to take.
“Mr Riddle,” Dumbledore’s voice broke through my plans, “Would you be so kind as to demonstrate the Match to Needle spell?”
“Yes, sir,” I said, taking my beloved wand from my robe. Flicking to the right page, I cleared my throat, pointed my wand at the tiny match on my desk and said loudly, “Acusio!”
The wooden body of the match turned a silvery gray, and its rounded pink top became pointy and sharp. I stood there, flabbergasted at my first piece of real wand magic, while Professor Dumbledore started a round of applause from the class. Encouraged by the applause, I lifted my head high and pointed my wand at the needle, trying out the next spell in the book.
“Baculus!” I said, and grinned smugly as the needle transformed into a baton.
Professor Dumbledore stood up to give me a standing ovation, and the class followed suit. I could not help but smirked at the surprised glint in Dumbledore’s eyes. At this rate, I might not even need my wild magic anymore.