The idea of writing another book did not occur to me until six years later, when I was on maternity leave due to the unpredictable effects of my typical activities at work on pregnancy, but in no state to simply lie around my house all day doing nothing. I happened to pay a visit one day to Mr. Garrick Ollivander, and in the course of our conversation he began to tell me a little bit about his own wide and varied family history, explaining how they turned out more than just a line of wandmakers. Halfway through he declared that I could write my next book on it, a remark I thought little of at the time. However, as the following months stretched on and left me with too little to do, I found myself thinking more and more about writing that second book, and my mind kept returning to Mr. Ollivander's accounts, or, more specifically, to one particular section of them; the story of Frere Tuck Ollivander of the 12th century A.D., his grandniece Marion of Sherwood, and her daughter Gwynyth, as well as to the mention of the Weyard sisters at the beginning of Tuck Ollivander's life. With the exception of Gwynyth of Sherwood all of these figures have made their way into Muggle culture, so despite being Muggle-born I grew up hearing about them, albeit in strongly altered forms; the Weyard sisters especially were dealt with very harshly, turned into one-dimensional villains. I observed their presence in wizarding folklore also, and all the various contradicting accounts, and eventually determined that, as with Albus Dumbledore, there needed to be an accurate account of all their lives. I have decided to write it to the best of my ability, and I hope I've managed.
As with my biography of Dumbledore, I owe my ability to write this book to the openness and honesty of several people, most notably Frere Tuck Ollivander himself, whom in ghost form is known commonly as the Fat Friar, and currently resides at Hogwarts as the guardian of Hufflepuff House. I also must gives thanks to most of the other older ghosts of Hogwarts who were witness to the lives of my subjects, especially the Grey Lady and Bloody Baron, both of whom have requested their real names not be given, and gave me strong insight into Nian and Dian Weyard, respectively. The Baron also was able to provide me with information about Marion of Sherwood's difficult relationship with her family. Outside of Hogwarts I must thank the Cursed Prioress, real name Sister Sarah Ollivander, for information that it was hard for her to reveal.
Another source of information at Hogwarts were the Headmaster portraits, which are imbued with the full memories of their subjects, especially the portraits of those who ran the school during the era: Professors Luke Charnery, Heinricus de Silvan, Cerys Begond, Lucius Davus, Davidus Dobbs, Magis de Numé, Jason Overdramblus, and Lady Caroline de Lanhaut, the last especially due to her direct involvement in the lives of both Marion and Gwynyth of Sherwood, and I feel that I ought to thank them as I would thank their real-life counterparts. On that note I must thank the current Headmistress, Professor Minerva McGonagall, for allowing me to spend many hours in her office talking with and often harassing the portraits. I am likewise indebted to Mary Cattermole, keeper of the Ministry Portraits, for allowing me to interrogate the portraits of the heads of the old Wizarding Council, which were created the same way as the Headmaster portraits and thus also contained their subject's full memories. They were much less helpful, but I must thank the portraits of Horatius Beckett, and especially Pallas de Malfoy and Burdock Muldoon, both of whom were eager to relate their role in events to me.
Others who helped me and gave me free run of their books and manuscripts include Elfrida Bagnold, Mirielle Hammel, Irma Pince, and Jerome Beauvais, as well as the other staff of the libraries at Hogwarts School, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, and the British and French Ministries of Magic, and I must also thank Memnon Zabini, who graciously permitted me to study his collection of writings by Dian Weyard. I must thank Victoria Solen for procuring Lady Morgause's former book-Horcrux for my study, and Professor Horace Slughorn and my sister-in-law Ginevra Potter for helping me get information out of it. I am especially impressed by the willingness of the latter to help me after her youthful trauma at the hands of a still-active book-Horcrux of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
As well as Garrick Ollivander, for giving me the idea in the first place and supplying more information, I must thank Melisande Binard and her children for further wandlore and information about the Ollivanders gathered by her family, and for owling other wandmakers worldwide on my behalf. Those who responded include Thomas Aldera, Ochieng Samura, Yin Hong, Hevel Tollessarni, and Eirene Helarchin. I was left very impressed by the network maintained by these tradesmen over multiple generations and the records they kept of each other and their particular subculture. Thanks to Madame Binard I was not only given more factual information, but a context for it I would not have had otherwise.
I must also thank not only Ginny but Harry Potter for encouraging me, Percy Weasley for explaining to me how to accomplish things with Ministry officials, Neville Longbottom for letting me sleep in his greenhouse cot whenever I was at Hogwarts and helping improve both my health and that of my then-unborn children, Yannick and Apolline Delacour for putting me up in France, their older daughter Fleur for talking them into it, and their younger daughter Gabrielle for being my guide there. I also need to thank Arthur Weasley for giving me very constant encouragement and reminders, and Luna Lovegood for bringing in some much needed emotional support at the time I least expected it. Last, but not least, I have to thank my husband Ron Weasley for loving me enough to endure everything up to and including the bringing of a former Horcrux into our house, and my two children Rose and Hugo for the same reason, and also for giving me first the excuse to begin this book, and three years later the excuse to finish it.