This is one of the rarest core types. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn hair or dragon heartstring cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike.
Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalise, and their allegiance is usually hard won.
In Ollivanders wand shop, the owner Garrick Ollivander is known to use phoenix feathers as one of his three cores, the others being dragon heartstring and unicorn hair. Phoenix feather is the least used core type in his shop.
Harry Potter's and Tom Riddle's wand cores came from the same phoenix: Fawkes, who belonged to Albus Dumbledore. This similarity between the two wands means that they are brothers. Therefore, they have a certain connection and may produce unusual magical effects when forced to duel one another. This unique magical effect is a phenomenon known as Priori Incantatem or the Reverse Spell effect.
Tom Riddle, better known as Voldemort, kidnapped the wandmaker Ollivander for information on this situation and how to overcome it. Ollivander told him that a different wand may work against Harry; however, Harry's wand destroyed the "borrowed" wand: in 1997, Lord Voldemort chased Harry during his escape from 4 Privet Drive and tried to murder him with Lucius Malfoy's wand—Harry's stronger wand completely ruined the borrowed one.
The only phoenix known to have donated his feathers to make a wand was Fawkes, Albus Dumbledore's domesticated bird. He only gave two feathers. The first feather resides in Harry Potter's wand and the other resides in Tom Riddle's wand.
There was at least one other phoenix who donated its feather to Ollivander as shown in the maple wand that was shown to Harry in 1991. Who this phoenix was and how its feather was attained is unknown.
It is possible that there are more phoenixes that have also donated feathers, as Silvanus Kettleburn's wand and Celestina Warbeck's wand contains phoenix feather cores. Who these phoenixes were and how their feathers were attained is unknown.
Behind the scenes
- Harry Potter series author J. K. Rowling, if given the choice, would want the core of her own wand to be a phoenix feather, which was the reason why she gave Harry this core.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Seen on phoenix) (Possibly)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Seen on phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Seen on phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warning sign) (Possibly seen on phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Seen on phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Possibly seen on phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Seen on phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault