I enter my parents mansion and send my beat-up lacrosse stick sliding across the wooden floor. The heavy duffel bag that hangs from around my shoulder thuds to the ground shortly thereafter.
I'm greeted by my mother washing dishes in the kitchen with her back to me. Her blonde hair is kept up in a nice neat bun. The apron wrapped around her waist protects the pale blue knee length dress beneath.
"How was the big game, sweetheart?"
"Brilliant," I blatantly lie wiping the inside of my blood, sweat, and grass stained jersey across my face. My mother could truly care less about the involvement of my sport, and there certainly was no need to fire up her interest today.
Besides, what was I supposed to say?
The big game went great mum! Started a fight with a bloke from my own team who's twice my size, got my arse kicked, lost the ability to see color from out of my right eye, and somehow summoned a bloody snake onto said team mate!
Brilliant way to end the year!
My cleats clunk against the stairs as I adamantly ascend to my destination. I'm exhausted, and my troublesome eye had yet to heal. I clench my injured and contaminated right eye shut while holding a protective hand over it.
"Harry?," mum calls after me stopping me in place. "Don't forget your mail."
After releasing an internal grunt, I turn on my heels and listlessly head back to the kitchen. She turns to me holding a magazine and a few envelopes. I reach to grab it from her but she quickly retracts her arm with a dramatic gasp.
Her eyes search my bruised and bloodied face with a scoff. "What did you do to your face?!" she scolds brushing my scraggly hair to the side. "Have you gone and instigated yet another brawl, Harry? We've talked about this!"
"I tripped." I swipe the mail from her hand as a petite envelope stuck to my magazine leafs to the floor.
"Enough of the sarcasm." Mum grabs my chin and frustratingly shakes her head at me with the look of disappointment in her eye.
"Your father will be dealing with you tomorrow, and you know what that means."
"And don't you dare get any blood or muck on the new carpeting." She sighs placing the back of her palm pressed against her forehead. "With this behavior, how are we supposed to trust that you won't throw any parties while we're gone next month? I told your father that he shouldn't have scheduled that bloody cruise during your 18th birthday. Only a few weeks from college, nonetheless!" I roll my eyes as she plants both hands on her cheeks peering across the expensive furniture in the living room. "I can see the destruction now. My poor linens.."
"Mum!" I cut off her banter failing to withhold the sheer agitation in my voice. "I won't throw any bloody parties. Don't get your knickers in a twist."
Before she has the chance to retaliate at my snarky comment, I peck the side of her cheek, swiftly pick up the small envelope from the floor, stuff it in my back pocket and head for the staircase.
The steam from the shower clouds the mirror above my sink. I wipe a portion of the surface using the back of my forearm. Lines of condensation drip down my reflection as I lean closer.
My unkempt damp black hair straggles across my forehead and over my closed right eye. I have a busted lip, several bruises and a gash below my eyebrow.
My fingers fumble while scouting out my neglected, most likely expired, useless prescription eye drops from the medicine cabinet.
I tilt my head back and forcefully separate my eyelids that had been tightly clasped shut for hours. The hot liquid spreads across my eyeball with the consistency of lava. Both hands clutch the right side of my face as I rapidly inhale and exhale with great force. I curb the urge to holler at the top of my lungs while desperately rubbing the torturous sensation away.
After relentlessly blinking for what felt like hours on end, I finally manage to open my eye. My eyebrows lower as I inch closer to the mirror.
My injured eye could now not only see perfect 20/20, despite my terrible eyesight, but the overall appearance had changed.
My emerald eyes no longer match.
The whites and iris of my right eyeball had morphed into a bright yellow hue that muddles into a dark orange.
And if the discoloration wasn't unsettling enough; a broad, snake-like diamond shaped pupil stares directly back at me.
1 Month Later
It's my eighteenth birthday, I'm alone at a pub, and I just received the worst news of my life.
I clutch the loathsome piece of parchment between my fingers crinkling the edges.
According to the letter, due to the violent fight with my teammate at our last game of the school year, my scholarship to UCL Lacrosse University had been revoked.
Apparently, someone who possessed the ability to vehemently summon a 6-foot diamondback snake onto another player in a fit of rage didn't make an ideal candidate for the college.
I'm unsure how I'm going to break the news to mum and dad. I can barely digest it myself.
It's the middle of July and there certainly wasn't enough time to apply to an alternative in due time.
I'm in denial, and I think I'll stay here for a while.
But on the upside.. my fake ID worked for once.
Happy Birthday to me.
My fingers lace through my hair holding my head up as my eyes flicker between my drink and the beastly man hunched over at the bar adjacent to me.
"Bloody muggles. Can't tell the difference between gin and water if it hit 'em upside the head!" the gargantuan man booms.
I pray that my innate curiosity goes unnoticed as I examine the giant before me. He's easily 7-8 feet tall with an enormous tangled beard matching his equally bushy hair. His attire is.. unique. A petal pink umbrella appears to be attached to his waist.. in the middle of summer.
"Some day, eh?" He tilts his chin at me as his narrowed eyes observe the back of the retched letter held between my hands. "Ay, pardon me." He drains the martini glass held between three chubby fingers. "I don't mean teh rub it in, or nothin'. Especially on 'yer 18th birthday."
I blankly blink at him a few times as I skeptically place the letter face down.
Who the bloody hell is this guy?
And how the bloody hell does he know it's my birthday? My 18th, to be exact? Even if he had gotten a glance at my fake ID, it reads a December birth date.
The uncomfortable, perplexed expression on my face must speak for myself.
"Right." The giant reaches a hand into his floor length moleskin overcoat that hangs from his broad shoulders. His hand, practically the size of my face, reaches across the bar and offers a familiar minuscule envelope.
It was the same envelope that slipped through the mail by clinging to a magazine mum handed me last month. The same unprecedented, humorous piece of mail I opened on the night of my last lacrosse game; an invitation to a college that teaches witchcraft and wizardry.
Hilarious, I know.
I give in, smirking as I accept the letter from the giant. I was in no position to reject him at this point.
"I think 'yers was lost."
I finally respond in remembrance that I have vocal cords readily available. "I'm sorry. I think.." I glance at the envelope once more shaking my head.
Mr. Harry Potter
".. I think you have the wrong Harry."
My eyes flutter once more between he and the personalized archaic envelope.
"Erm.. I think not," he confidently states with a hearty chuckle.
I grimace at the poor man's delusion. I was in no mood to reason with the drunk.
However, there was something about the friendly twinkle in his eye that holds my patient attention.
"Harry Pearson," I adamantly clarify pointing toward my chest. "My last name is Pearson."
"Maybe 'yer adoptive parents' last name," he replies with a wink. "Gee, McGonagall sure wasn't lyin'. You really do have 'yer mother's eyes."
I can't shake the overwhelming curiosity he had evoked; too much shit wasn't adding up.
"My mother is half way across the world carelessly sipping margaritas as we speak," I reply in an unexpected tone of misery. "On my birthday.."
My stomach flips at the man's frustrated, annoyed expression. I certainly didn't want to be on this bloke's bad side.
"Have yeh ever.." He pauses with an elongated belch. "Pardon.. Have yeh ever had somethin' happen.. somethin' that you can't explain?" His all-too familiar eyes meet mine sending a chill up my spine. "Eh?"
"No," I bluntly reply as my curious eyes scan him once more. My overall intrigued demeanor fails to act less interested than I am.
"Somethin' like at 'yer game there, last month?" He inches forward in his seat, well aware that he has my full attention. Staring into my right eye he whispers, "'Yer eye did heal up pretty quick, if I do say so myself. Fascinating, that is."
My body heat rises, a cold sweat surfacing across my skin. My fingers twitch quickly brushing the hair across my forehead toward my right eye.
How does he know of my deformity, as my shithead bully of a teammate called it?
I stabilize my shaky hand, fish out my wallet, and place enough money to cover my drink on the bar top.
"I.. I have to get going."
With half a nod and not another word, I rotate the bar stool and place my feet on the ground. I don't risk giving him another look as I bolt toward the exit.
The summer breeze hits my face as I exit the swinging doors. My vision remains safe on the sidewalk as I make my way home.
The daunting shadow of a group of about six guys approaches me to my right.
I keep my pace at the same rate and pay no mind.
Minding my own business; unlike others.
"Oi, Pearson! We were talking to you!" A second voice makes an appearance.
My pace slows as my right eye twitches. I incessantly rub both eyes with the back of my index fingers, momentarily blinding myself, and run straight into someone.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Watch where you're going, mate."
I stare up at Sean, my shithead bully of a teammate, and his crew encircling me. He repetitively pounds his fist into his other palm as he approaches me with a sinister grin.
"I don't want any trouble," I reply sincerely.
"That's too bad. I'm out of the hospital, and we have unfinished business to discuss."
An involuntary laugh escapes my lips as my head peculiarly tilts to the side. "Did it really take a month to recover from a few punches to the head by a bloke half your size?"
The rough asphalt scrapes my chin and palms as I'm aggressively shoved to the ground. My circular glasses fly across the pavement cracking upon impact.
"You and I both know what happened." Sean kneels next to me as he adds, "It wasn't your puny wrists that almost got me killed, freak."
The jocks swarm around me in laughter like a pack of hyenas.
"Oi!" A bellowing voice from down the street distracts the herd of bullies as they freeze in place. "Six against one, eh? Well is that really fair, now?"
The drunken friendly giant from the bar casually approaches them, opening his flask with one hand. The other grips the curious pastel pink umbrella.
One of the idiots steps up to him puffing out his chest like a gorilla. "And who are you? One of his freakish friends?"
With a sudden flick of the wrist, the tail end of the behemoth's umbrella casts a blinding beacon of light against the night sky.
All six members of the group vanish into thin air, transforming into dogs right before my fucking eyes. I want to scream, or piss my pants, but I'm too terrified to do either.
The colossal human crouches beside one of the hybrid animal-humans as I stare on in horror, and exhilaration.
"Rubeus Hagrid," he cheerfully answers the dog, delicately patting it on the head. "Keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts University."
"What.. what are you?" My voice squeaks as he looks up to me. I subconsciously kick myself in the arse; I had just watched him turn six guys my age into a pack of coyotes for questioning him, for fucks sake.
But I couldn't contain my intrigue.
I hold my breath as he sluggishly makes his way toward me. "Erm, an old friend." He offers a humongous hand, pulling my whole body above the ground before setting me on my feet. "Now don't you go tellin' Dumbledore about this. Not supposed teh use magic in the muggle world."
"Dumble- Dumble what?" I stutter. "Mr. Hagrid-"
"Call me Hagrid. Mr. Hagrid would be me father," he chuckles delighted with his joke.
"Hagrid," I correct myself. "How did you.. magic?!" I had officially lost the ability to format sentences any longer.
"Ay, enough of that nonsense." Hagrid chuckles once more unscrewing the flask. "Now let's get goin'." He waves for me to follow after him.
"Get going where?"
"Oh for peets sake!" The giant frustratingly halts in place silencing me. "Hogwarts, o' course. Now let's get goin'!" He points to Sean and his friends - I mean, the coyotes - barking and sniffing each other in confusion. ".. Unless yeh'd like to stay o' course." He turns his back to me again, his long legs striding down the sidewalk.
Without another thought, I hock a loogie in the general direction of the pack of dogs and sprint after my new friend.
I think I could get used to him.