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what lies in the shadows..... or something like that

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Jeremy Heere’s life was….strange, to say the least. For the most part, he lived the same life as any normal outcast teen in New Jersey. He went to school, did his homework, and made storms happen when he got upset.

Is that not something every teen does?

Ever since Jeremy could remember, his emotions and the weather seemed to go hand and hand. Jeremy was happy he got that A on a test? It’s nothing but bright blue skies and a soft breeze. Jeremy’s pissed cause some bully dumped their lunch on him? Loud thunder and deadly lightning. Jeremy assumed it all to be a coincidence, but sometimes he wondered. It became more apparent to him that maybe it wasn’t coincidence when his mother left.

The day Jeremy’s mother left was the day that started the longest rain shower in New Jersey history. Almost an entire month of pouring rain without stop. Houses were flooding, roads were closing- it was absolute chaos. People start to wonder if a hurricane was brewing when the forecast showed scarily high winds.

As time moved on, so did Jeremy. He slowly began to accept that his mother was gone, and as he began to live a normal life again, the rains stopped and New Jersey saw the sun for the first time in weeks.

Jeremy didn’t really know what to think as he walked to school on a typical Monday morning, with somewhat clear skies and a nice warm breeze blowing over him. Part of him really believed the weather had to do with his emotions, but he knew that was impossible, right? It had to just be eerily timed coincidences. Maybe it was the universe’s way of reminding him how small and powerless he was, that it could snuff out his pathetic life at any moment. Which was a sad but accurate thought.

Absorbed in his own mind, Jeremy was thoroughly frightened when he felt a strong hand on his back spin him around. He turned and saw two very intimidating men towering over him.

“Are you Jeremy Heere?” one of the men asked.

“Um… Y-yes?” Jeremy responded nervously. He felt himself both somehow relax and tense up as the two men erupted in laughter, even though he didn’t quite get the joke.

“Nice to meet you, Jeremy. I’m Sanchez, and this is Maximus” the first man, Sanchez, introduced himself as he gestured to his partner. “We would like to congratulate you on being accepted into Ravenwood School of Magic”.

“Raven-what?” Jeremy squawked, confused. For a moment he considered calling the cops on these two coke addicts in his area, but they didn’t seem to be on any drugs. At least that he knew of.

“Ravenwood School of Magic in Wizard City,” Maximus said, producing a long, intricately detailed stick from his jacket.

“... It’s a stick.” Jeremy observed rather bluntly.

Rather than giving any clarification, Sanchez laughed. “Watch closely.”

Maximus waved the stick in the air (Jeremy swore it was some kind of pattern), and suddenly a large gaping portal opened up before them. Jeremy thought he was about to pass out.

‘This makes no sense. This isn’t possible,’ Jeremy thought to himself, in awe of the portal. He could see through it. On the other side was a large and impressive city, bustling with life. It was bright and vibrant and radiated an energy that Jeremy couldn’t… Put a name to. A feeling of rightness. Obviously, it wasn’t real, because he was almost certainly dreaming and was probably gonna be late for school, but… There was something about the city before him. A feeling he couldn’t shake off.

Maximus looked at him with a grim expression. “You’re a wizard, Jerry,” he murmured, before breaking character in a fit of giggles, unable to keep a straight face. Sanchez slapped him on the back.

“Be serious for once! We just established his name was Jeremy, anyhow,” he berated his giggling friend (and apparently didn't get the Harry Potter reference?), who was rolling his eyes now that he’d calmed down, before Sanchez turned back to readdress Jeremy.

“It’s true, though. You are a wizard. You are one of the few humans, like this idiot Maximus over here,” he jabbed a thumb at his buddy, “who will ever have the privilege to study magic in the greatest wizarding school in the galaxy. But we have to leave immediately.”

Jeremy still felt like he was going through shock. The logical part of his brain knew these guys were just talking nonsense and there was no way anything they were saying could be anywhere close to true, but… When he thought about it, a lot of weird things in his life started to make sense if he just attributed it to magic. The storms, the sunshine, all according to his mood... That one time he wished lightning would hit the school to push back a test he hadn’t prepared for, and then it did… If it was all magic, then he wasn’t crazy after all! Which was cool beyond words. For a moment he was excited, but then something occurred to him.

“Leave….immediately?” Jeremy asked. “But I… I need to see my dad first. I’m not just gonna leave him like that. If this is real, he should know where I’m going.”

The two men looked at each other, and then back at Jeremy. Maximus kneeled down in front of him, taking him by the shoulders.

“Listen kid, your dad can’t know about this. He’s a human and humans… Well, they don’t have the best track record with wizards. It’s like the first rule of Wizard Club; don’t talk about Wizard Club.” he snickered. Sanchez groaned and rolled his eyes, stepping in to interrupt.

“And now that you are aware that you are a wizard, we can’t have you running around earth causing trouble. Untrained wizards are dangerous. It’s a legal thing.” Sanchez muttered.

Jeremy felt like a ton of bricks was just thrown on his back. How could he just leave his dad behind without telling him where he was going? He just lost his wife, now his only son?

The thought of leaving his father behind caused tears to start to well up in Jeremy’s eyes. Maximus and Sanchez took notice as the clouds above their head began to darken.

“We better get going,” Maximus said kindly as he and Sanchez each took and arm and lead him into the portal. No one else was around to even see them leave.

What had Jeremy just gotten himself into.