Chapter 1: One Hell of an 18th Birthday
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.
Chapter 2: The Wand That Chose Me
The Next Morning
"Pipe down, ya bloody 'lil mongrel!" Hagrid barks back at my parents little rat of a dog.
I lead the magical giant through my parents mansion, keeping note to avoid all chandeliers hanging overhead. It was in my best interest to avoid my guest's beard getting tied up in one of them.
Mum would have a mental breakdown if any of her precious belongings were-
Speak of the devil.
My shoulders tense as I slowly turn to Hagrid; his index finger now in place of where my mother's antique glass vase used to stand.
"Hagrid!" I shout. Rosy cheeks and a guilty smile shine through his bushy beard. "Don't touch anything."
"'Er, sorry 'bout that." He bashfully wrings his enormous hands together as I turn to my staircase.
I ascend the stairs noticing that the expected prominent heavy footsteps behind me are non-existent. Instead, I hear the clanking of a few bottles from my father's liquor cabinet echoing down the hall.
"Hagrid!" I call after him again. The thud of his weighty leather boots slowly make their way toward the stairway as he appears in the hallway holding a handle of Fireball whiskey.
"Do 'yeh mind?" he asks unscrewing the cap.
"Well, actually I-"
The beastly man guzzles a quarter of the way through the bottle before I have the chance to respond. He half chokes removing the brim from his lips with an astonished expression.
He holds the label up close to his face smacking his lips together.
"Cinnamon whiskey. Now 'yer on teh something, muggles," he says with delight before taking another hefty gulp.
I manage to get Hagrid in my room and immediately lock the door behind him. Hopefully the locked door half his size will keep him from venturing off to find another glass trinket or alcoholic beverage of my parents to violate.
If I could avoid a savage beating from my asshole of a father, I’d prefer that route. Breaking into his alcohol stash and a broken vase was already more than enough of a promise for a few bruises.
I grab the large suitcase from beneath my bed spreading it open on the floor. I hear the slosh of the whiskey against the surface as he places the handle on the dresser behind me.
"Ay! Who be this?"
"Oops." Hagrid bends over picking up the broken frame knocked from my night stand. "Err, I think I know a spell to fix 'er right up." He clears his throat removing the umbrella from his jacket.
"No," I use myself as a human shield between myself and the shattered picture beneath me. "No magic in my parent’s house. You’ve done enough damage. Don’t touch anything!"
As expected, my words fall upon deaf ears as he kneels before me and picks up the picture. He lightly brushes the shards of glass from the photograph with close observation.
"Is this 'yer, uh.. 'yer.."
There's a tense silence in the room as the picture intently holds his attention. "Would you like 'teh see 'yer real parents, Harry?" There’s a newfound solemn severity in his tone.
My eyes dart from side to side with an uneasy sensation in my stomach. He hadn't brought up the fact I was 'adopted' since he briefly mentioned it at the bar. I was a bit distracted after witnessing a whole group of wankers from my school turn into a pack of wild dogs before my eyes.
"Those are my parents," I agitatedly insist referencing the picture. "I'm barely even a year old in this."
His hand searches the unlimited number of hidden departments in his jacket. A wallet sized ripped up photograph hangs between two fingers as he offers it to me.
"That's 'cuz yeh were only 5 months old when 'yer parents.. when they, uh.."
My thumb traces the tiny picture in hand. A woman with strawberry blonde hair and bright green eyes stands next to a man with long dark hair well-kept across his forehead.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say the man in the picture didn’t look exactly like me; circular glasses and all.
I clutch the picture nearing it closer to my face. The woman's head in the photo suddenly appears to turn toward the man, and he looks over to her, as the photograph comes to life.
I gasp and aggressively flick it from my hand as if it had just burnt my finger. My eyes widen at Hagrid, thoroughly stunned. "That picture- it was.. why was it moving?"
"Well uh course it was movin'!" He lets out a hearty chuckle before picking the mini photograph from the floor. "Lily and James Potter, that is," he introduces.
Hagrid plops on my bed as the other end lifts from the floor struggling to support his weight. "'Yer parents were some of the finest witches and wizards that Hogwarts University had ever seen. And 'yer next, it's in 'yer blood. Dumbledore's 'sher of it-"
"They were the finest?" I question his usage of past tense. "Well, where are they now then? No offense, but if they’re such great wizards, why aren't they in my bedroom instead of sending you?"
"'Er.." Another object miraculously emerges from Hagrid's coat as he peers down at the stop watch in hand. "We best get goin' now. 'Yer gonna need 'yerself a wand."
30 Minutes Later
Dog food spills across the floor as it overflows the tiny bowl. I balance my cell phone between my shoulder and head as I hastily empty the rest of its content. My parents would be home in a couple of days, and this would surely hold the little rat over until then.
I multitask, finishing up a bogus voicemail to my mother. I informed that I was leaving for UCL early; lacrosse practice, or some rubbish like that.
They wouldn’t care to question anyway.
"So that's what 'yer tellin' your 'rents, eh?" Hagrid questions with a judgmental brow raised. I shove my cell back in my pocket while trying to keep up with his pace. I near the front door hauling the oversized luggage behind me.
"If I’m being honest, I could give a damn where they think I’ve run off too," I respond more agitatedly than intended. "Probably won’t even bloody notice.”
Hagrid halts stopping me in place. "Codswallop!” he booms. “A load of rubbish, that is! ‘Yer famous in the wizarding world, where yeh belong! Besides, yeh seem like a good fellow teh me."
Clearly the gentle giant wasn't too keen at getting a good read on people.
I’ve never been one to be described as ‘a good fellow’.
I sigh, pass him out the front door, and make my way toward the two-person motorcycle parked out front.
"Pit stop!" Hagrid hollers over the loud engine of his bizarre scooter. He pulls over at one of the local dive bars.
What a surprise.
After all, it had already been 45 minutes since his last drink.
I yank the helmet and silly goggles from my head before shaking my messy hair in place. Stumbling out of his funky motorcycle, I follow Hagrid inside the dimly lit joint. We pass the bartender and wait staff as we make our way back toward the kitchen.
"Hagrid?" I inquire tapping him on the shoulder. "We passed the bartender," I state the obvious pointing my thumb the other direction.
He ignores my comment as we reach a dead end.
Hagrid’s massive fingers pull a billowy dark purple curtain to the side. His eyes scan the bland cobblestone wall that was curiously hidden behind it.
With three taps of the tip of his umbrella against the surface, the bricks begin to part like the Red Sea. Each brick is invisibly shoved to the side, perfectly stacking into each other like Legos.
My mouth hangs agape in amazement.
"Let’s get on then!" Hagrid casually steps through the other side of the wall.
I make sure to watch my step, cancelling out the chance of clumsily tripping through a fucking portal.
My surroundings rapidly change; from the inside of a dull dreary pub to the quaintest, most uniquely beautiful town I’ve ever seen.
And that was saying a lot, as I've seen a large majority of the world.
Well, sort of.
Mum and dad were required to drag me around with them when I was younger while travelling. You know, before I had the ability to stay home and trash their house with parties.
I was only allowed to view the cities we visited through hotel windows, and was required to stay in the room for the duration of our trips.
Too ‘troublesome’ of a child to experience the free world.
I bring my attention back to the cobblestone wall that I successfully don’t trip through. It had teleported us into a completely different area.
A completely different world.
The endless alley is filled with a swarm of people dressed in similar attire as wizards and witches from the movies. Draping robes, lengthy coats, pointed hats.
I momentarily wonder to myself if they’re even wearing trousers beneath their robes. The second I make eye contact with an older gentleman, however, I shudder and force that question from my mind.
A numerous amount of tiny gift shops line each side, each uniquely shaped and designed perfectly in place. A trail of kids run past us giggling with hands chock full of different colored candies.
The warmth of the bright sun graces my skin. I lightly shiver as goose bumps swarm my arms and legs.
It was the first time in my life that I felt truly euphoric. The first time I felt at home.
The first time I felt that I belonged.
But if I’m required to wear a robe at this school.. I’m fucking wearing trousers.
I choose to withhold the roster of questions lined up in my brain as I'd quickly come to learn that Hagrid wasn't the best with his words. It was best to just sit back and enjoy the crazy, magical ride he had generously led me on.
And I had the innate feeling that this was only the beginning.
"Diagon Alley." He finally answers the unspoken question turning to me. "Beautiful, ain't it?"
I nod my head frivolously. The grin plastered across my face and untamed eyesight gives me the appearance of a kid in a candy store. A majestic, brilliant, magical candy store.
"I'll meet 'yeh here. This is where 'yeh get 'yer wand." He points to the gift shop on his left that has the outward appearance of a quaint library.
"Where are you going?" I ask with a sudden wave of jitters.
"Gringott's Bank. I have 'teh pick somethin' up fer.." I watch the wheels visibly turn in his head as he slowly says, ".. Fer Dumbledore." He gradually nods his head while his eyes dart left and right.
From the little bit that I had gathered, Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts University. The wizard of all wizards. One of the wisest and most powerful to ever roam the Earth.
Basically, someone I never wanted to fuck around with.
Surely, Hagrid was hiding something.. but if it involved Dumbledore, it quite frankly was none of my business.
I eventually obey his orders and make my way into the tiny shop. A bell above the door jingles upon my entry. I'm faced with an older man, probably in his mid 70's, with eccentric white hair and light stubble. His eyes widen once they lock on me. The crazed look in his eye reminds me of that of a mad scientist.
I smirk with an intimidated nod while slowly backing away.
"Mr. Potter!" The elderly man places both palms on the counter leaning forward.
My eyebrows raise in curiosity instinctively looking behind both shoulders. It takes a few seconds to register that the man was in fact speaking to me.
I still hadn't gotten used to the whole ‘Potter’ thing.
"Hello," I awkwardly reply. I halt the backward progression of my feet as the front door hits the back of my sneakers.
"Please, please, come in!" His friendly smile lures me deeper into the shop. I inch closer, enthralled by what appears to be millions of thin shoe boxes messily aligned behind him.
I patiently wait as I watch the man excitedly spin on his heels. He mutters under his breath while hoisting himself on a mobile ladder that slides between the aisles of mystery boxes. "Here we are!" One comes flying my way as he tosses it to the surface before me. The ladder clanks as it slides to his next destination. "And another one!" he joyfully adds, launching another one onto the counter.
I nervously crack my knuckles, unsure of what to do with my hands. So I shove them in my pockets.
"Well, don't just stand there, my boy. Try them on for a size!"
My fingers tenderly explore the top of the velvety black box. I lift the lid to find an approximately 10-inch, intricately and uniquely crafted stunning wand.
After receiving another encouraging nod from the man, I gently pick it up between my index and thumb.
The dumb smile on my face is impossible to detain. I point the wand at my destination before assertively flicking my wrist.
The targeted ladder before me viciously slams to one side throwing the elderly man to the ground. The wand slips between my fingers and rattles against the ground.
"Well, don't point it at me!!" he scolds.
"S-Sorry." Both of my hands sky rocket above my shoulders as I make my way behind the counter. I help him to his feet, grimacing at the flustered expression directed back at me. "Sorry," I repeat. His lack of response cues me into the fact that I had already successfully pissed off my first wizard.
I notice his wild eyes are quickly distracted by something rolling along the floor. My attention now joins his, curious as to what was making the rattling noise beneath us.
The wand that I had just assaulted the old man with rolls across the floor and jolts against a stray dusty box in the corner. It’s behavior is lively and spastic, like my parents dog when it begged for food from the dinner table. The tail end of the wand impatiently taps against the box over and over before lifelessly collapsing to the floor.
"It can't be." The shopkeeper creeps his way to the pointed-out corner. He kneels down picking up the juvenile, now motionless, wand placing it in his pocket. Still crouched next to the neglected box, he peers up at me with a fascinated, almost disappointed expression.
After pursing his lips and sending several specks of dust across the shop, he wordlessly hands over the box.
I accept his offer much more cautiously this time.
There's a warm sensation emanating from within the box that rushes up my right arm. For a brief moment I become light headed followed by an intense adrenaline rush. My fingers delicately trace the uniquely embroidered snake across the velvet exterior.
I do a quick double take between he and the content in hand, desperate for another reassuring head nod.
Some indication that I was headed in the right direction.
But I never receive it.
The shopkeeper remains stubbornly silent. His previous boisterous and kooky attitude had turned to pensive and inquisitive.
I finally gain the gumption to open the box.
Some sort of invisible laser beam ejects from within directly piercing my right eyeball. I yell out in pain cupping my hand over my face. As the box drops to the floor, the perilous wand eagerly levitates into my free hand.
"Fascinating," the shopkeeper speaks slowly standing to his feet. "The brother wand to this one was once owned by.."
I place my both hands on my knees, the wand still grasped in one hand, as I try to catch my breath.
The pain had substantially dissipated.
Unfortunately, my eye sight had too.
I wince as I gain focus of the now warped, infrared elder man before me.
Avoiding the risk of being looked at like the freak that I am, I cover my ugly bum eye.
"Owned by who?" I ask in an attempt to divert the attention from my mutant eyeball.
He leans forward before whispering, "He who must not be named."
"What's holdin' 'yeh up, Harry?" Hagrid's deep voice startles us. I turn with my palm still held flat against the right side of my face.
I glance at the wand lightly vibrating in hand. "I was just-"
"He was just finishing up," the storekeeper interjects. "Good to see you, Hagrid." He firmly grabs my shoulder twisting my body toward his. "We've found your wand, Mr. Potter."
It’s not as if there weren’t several thousand other options to choose from. Maybe a better option would be one that didn’t incite agonizing pain or temporarily distort my vision?
“I don’t like this one."
Lowering my right hand at a snail's pace, I'm delighted to find that my vision had returned to normal. Everything was back in color with perfect definition.
"We do not choose the wand. The wand chooses us," the man informs with a friendly nod. "It was a pleasure in meeting you, Mr. Potter."
“Ay! How ‘bout we go get yeh a new pet, eh? Fer yer birthday!” Hagrid boisterously offers. “How ‘bout a frog, er an owl-”
“I’ve always fancied a snake,” I eagerly reply. “Mum would never allow such an ugly creature in her house.. but I find them fascinating.”
“A snake?!” The frustrated speculation is plastered across the giants face. “Well, that’s no pet fer a wizard!” he harshly lectures.
Hagrid places an enormous hand on my back leading me toward the door. “See yeh around, Mr. Olivander.”
I place the retched wand in my back pocket as we near the exit.
"Mr. Potter?" The shopkeeper calls after me. I look over my shoulder stopping in place.
Mr. Olivander peers at me with a disturbed expression that would burn into my memory forever.
"Please, do be careful."
Chapter 3: Hogwarts Express
I slowly pass each cubby once inside the Hogwarts Express. My fellow college students surround me chattering away in excitement and impatience.
After I finished gathering the rest of my supplies in Diagon Alley, Hagrid dropped me off at King's Cross station. He simply handed over my train ticket, and then vanished into thin air by the time I had the chance to ask where the bloody hell I was even supposed to go.
From my experience, there was no '3/4' or '1/2' or '1/4' following a platform number.
I was left alone with overflowing luggage, a new pet owl, and a funky wand that I'm still unsure will either end up helping or killing me.
I had luckily found a friendly group of three fiery haired wizards at the train station. They attracted my attention when I heard the mysterious Platform 9 3/4 mentioned across the crowd. The youngest of the three brothers was in my grade, and his older twin brothers were going into their third year.
The bloke from my grade demonstrated just exactly how to get to this platform:
Running full speed at a bloody wall.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't horrified, but his exuding confidence calmed my nerves. We seemed to naturally click at the time and I was happy to have possibly met my first friend.
But once I had made it to the other side of the wall, I had completely lost track of him.
And worst of all, amongst the chaos of running full speed at a bloody wall.. I forgot his name.
I was cooped up for a large majority of my life; restricted to my bedroom if I wasn't at a game or school, or in a stuffy hotel room if I was forced to travel.
Because of this, I suffer from terrible social anxiety.
Despite growing up with 'undiagnosed anger issues', I never got along with most of the kids at school.
And even though I played lacrosse, I definitely never reached popular-jock status. I didn't really belong to a group.. just considered myself as more of an outcast, I guess.
Which brings me to today; having to fit in with a bloody train full of teenaged witches and wizards.. one of which I already lost track of.
After passing what felt like thousands of rows, I finally find a cubby that isn't filled to capacity. I'm faced with three blokes; one short and stubby, one tall and bulky, and one on the slender side such as myself.
The first two I mentioned are babbling on about something to the very uninterested blond sitting across from them.
I stall for a moment as they look up to me.
"Um.. hello." It's the only words I can think of.
The short fat one looks down his nose at me. "And who are you?"
My eyes slowly scale between the three. ".. Harry."
"Harry Potter," the blond states matter-of-factly. He straightens his posture before resting his back against the cushioned seat. It's hard for me to get a read on him and his lackluster tone doesn't help.
"Uh, sure." My newfound popularity makes my cheeks uncomfortably flush.
"Harry Potter," the tall one mocks as he and the short one share a hearty laugh. The beady eyes of the taller one peers straight into mine. The intimidating look – I mean attempted intimidating look – in his eye makes my lips shutter as I hold back a snicker.
"Crabbe. Goyle." The clear leader of the group silences them. "Don't be rude to our new celebrity."
My eyebrows naturally furrow as my eyes curiously dart between the three.
Was he being friendly?
Was he joining in on the mockery?
Wait- why were they even mocking me in the first place?
"Well, what're you standing there for?" the bloke with grey eyes denounces. This time, he makes it easy to detect the irritation in his tone. "Have a seat."
His two minions scoot to the side of the bench leavening minimal space for myself to sit. Apparently, anyone sitting beside the leader of the group was not allowed.
"Think I'll stand, thanks."
I peek my head out of the cubby, let down once again, as I regretfully fail to recognize my friends from the platform.
"Suit yourself." His eyes scan me up and down with an arched brow. "This is Crabbe," he introduces pointing to the stubby one. "And that's Goyle."
They both side eye me with the briefest indication of acknowledgement. It was as if their mum had just ordered them to play nice with the rest of the kids at the playground.
"And I'm Malfoy." He dramatically snaps his neck toward me as he adds, "Draco Malfoy."
"Well, clearly you already know who I am. So I won't waste my breath," I joke receiving zero reaction.
I uncomfortably clear my throat and politely extend my arm toward him. The five second pause he holds sends me into a light sweat before I retract my hand.
A denial of my first handshake.
Thanks for escalating my social anxiety, mate.
I could curl into a ball of humiliation.
But maybe that's what the bloke wanted; to see me scramble.
Two could play at that game.
We thoroughly size each other up before Malfoy reclines back in his seat, placing his chin on his fist and gazing out the window.
There's a solemn, broken.. dark facade that holds my fascination.
It was as if I saw a side of myself in him.. and not a good side, I should note.
"Well this has been.." My thumb points in the other direction as I try to come up with an excuse. My eyes defeatedly close shut as I candidly add ".. extremely uncomfortable." My eyes flutter open as I begin to back away. "It's been a pleasure," I state dryly.
"Don't become a stranger, Potter." Malfoy holds a noticeable spiteful enunciation of my last name.
"Don't worry," I reply placidly. "I won't."
Malfoy raises an entertained brow, the shadow of a smirk on his face, as he turns to peer out the window once more.
I let out an unkempt sigh of frustration as I turn the corner. My fists hold clenched at my sides as I continue my journey down the aisle.
A group of familiar voices catches my attention from a couple rows down.
I enter the cubby to find the same animated group of redheads from the platform. "Chug Ron, chug!" both twins cheer on their youngest brother.
That was his name.
Ron finishes the beer before crushing the can on his head and flexing the invisible muscle on his right arm. I chuckle with the rest of the guys as they turn to me.
"Oi! Harry!" The extrovert motions his hand for me to join them. Ron hands me a beer before leading us into a toast. "To Hogwarts University!" We all cheers before cracking open our brews.
My cheeks hurt from grinning as I hadn't smiled since.. I don't even remember when.
Ron's lower lip suddenly drops as his eyes zone in on my hand. "What is that?"
"Oh, it's uh.." I glance to the cellphone that tended to stay glued to my hand at all times. "My iPhone."
"Your wha'?" George and Fred ask in unison.
"It's a cellphone," Ron scolds his brothers as he swipes the phone from my fingers. "But this one.." His eyes widen as his fingers trace the glass casing. "They're really rare. Dad hasn't had the chance to get his hand on one."
"Are you yanking me?" I question. "iPhones have been out for over 10 years! This isn't even the latest edition."
"There are editions?" Fred leans over his brother's shoulder gawking at the technological device. "Bloody brilliant, those muggles."
The iPhone screen lights up as I receive a text. "What's it doing?" Ron hesitates, now delicately cradling the device in both hands like a baby. "Did I break it?"
"No," I chuckle swiping the phone from him. "Invading my privacy is more like it."
The genuine confusion on their faces gives off the vibe that I was suddenly speaking a new language.
"I've noticed that your family is.. em.." I narrow one eye as I observe their ragged luggage and clothing. ".. modest. But surely you own cell phones?"
"We aren't muggles, mate." George replies in a tone that makes me feel like the biggest idiot on the planet. "We've got no use."
"Muggles," I try to keep up. "So you don't fancy alcohol?"
The responsive roaring laughter in my face frankly pisses me off.
But my humiliation is short lived as I reassure myself that there clearly was a language barrier taking place.
"Is this not considered alcohol, George?" Fred taunts as they tap beer cans.
"Hagrid called the bartender a muggle!" I irritably insist. "And whoever created Fireball whiskey-"
"Oh! That's what he's saying!" Ron encourages his brothers. "Hagrid's a bloody alcoholic, that git."
"Thanks Ron," I reply sarcastically. "Took myself a while to figure that one out.." I withhold an eyeroll while taking a seat on the bench.
I couldn't have been on this train for more than an hour and I was already confused and agitated to high hell.
This experience was surely going to test my patience, and I certainly wasn't well-known for having much to offer in the first place.
"Muggles are non-magic folk." An angelic voice appears from the heavens, putting an end to my ignorant misery.
I do a double take at the attractive brunette with long wavy curls who stands in the entrance to our cubby with both hands perched on either side of the doorway.
The self-assured smirk on her face silences all of us. Her eyes uncomfortably transition between the four of us; all of us blokes gawking at her beauty.
"And who are you?" George asks in a much nicer manner than Gargoyle; or whatever the bloody hell his name was.
The witch grabs her bookbag from the floor, stacking several textbooks into one arm. She invites herself in our booth and takes a seat across from me with her books held close to her lap.
"I'm Hermione Granger," she introduces with a confident voice. "And.. you are?"
"Geor- Fre- Ro- Harr-" The guys and I grimace after eagerly talking over each other.
"I'm Ron," the wanker beats us to the punch. "Ron Weasley."
"Fred. George." The twins introduce each other.
Hermione lightly smiles to the three. "Pleasure." Her eyes ultimately fall on me as I squirm in my seat.
"Harry," I blurt with a brief hand raise.
I look between the three who act as if they had never been around a girl before. I take initiation, as I if I had the choice, and turn the attention to the textbooks held safely against Hermione's lap. "Getting a head start on the curriculum?"
"Oh, God no!" She places a hand over her heart in shock. "I'm rather behind. I mean- I've learned all of the set textbooks by heart, but there's still much to be learned."
"You're telling me," I respond with a light chuckle. "At least you all have had previous schooling."
"No, mate." Ron slowly shakes his head without looking at me. "I think she's new too. I would have noticed her." He promptly turns tomato red at the realization of his transparent attraction to the bird.
"That's nice of you to say." She kindly smiles purposefully ignoring his awkward comment. "And you'd be correct."
My eyebrows furrow in disbelief of the bookworm.. I mean, she had just said that she knew the entire bloody textbook by heart for fucks sake!
"So.. I'm not the only first year?" I skeptically confirm. I'm having trouble believing that this was her first experience in the wizarding world as well.
"Technically you're all first-years at the University, mate," George pesters.
"Oh, you know what he meant," Hermione defends folding her arms. "And no, Harry." She turns to me with warm friendly eyes. "You aren't the only one. Mum and dad were rather surprised when I received my letter over summer," she shares. "Both muggles."
"A muggle born?" The twins say in fascination. "Our dad studies them."
"He's my dad too," Ron unnecessarily adds.
"Is that right?" Hermione opens up her bag and pulls out another book; this one hand held and most likely for free time. "Appears as though Harry and I will have much to fill you blokes in on, then." Her eyes flicker to me before casually opening her book and readjusting in her seat.
I can't hold back a grin.
Maybe this wouldn't be such a lonely experience after all.
Chapter 4: Sorting Hat Ceremony
Two doors the size of three Hagrid's stacked on top of each other reveal a breath-taking auditorium in a church-like setting referred to as the Main Hall.
Candles magically hang and levitate from the ceiling hovering over the students. Individual fires erupt from intricately crafted statues lining the walls as we pass.
Professors of all different shapes and sizes are seated in a line front and center.
The freshmen were told to wait at one of the lengthy cherry wood tables until further instruction. I remain in the company of the trio of redheaded brothers. I had zero interest in losing track of them again.
"There's Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor-" Ron is interrupted by his rowdy brothers loud cheers. "And Slytherin."
Fred howls “Booo!” cupping both hands around his mouth.
"So, I take it that the Weasleys are notorious Slytherins, then?" I lamely joke. Fred and George give me a sympathy 'ha ha' before taking a seat on either side of me on the bench.
"Listen mate." George wraps his arm around my neck pulling me into a headlock. "Us Gryffindors are fierce, courageous, brave.."
His twin mirrors the adjectives making silly mannerisms while flexing his muscles.
"But most importantly, we get all the ladies."
The boisterous crowd of guys surrounding us burst into cheer and laughter.
Within a matter of seconds they fall deafly silent.
I peer over George's shoulder and make eye contact with one of the professors in her mid 60’s. She's very thin, and is wearing a bright emerald robe with a pointed black hat. Her expression is stern and impassive.
She aggressively taps a rolled-up piece of parchment on both twins' shoulders from behind.
"Professor McGonagall," they briskly acknowledge in unison.
"Good to see you ma'am," Fred notes. "Looking lovely as always."
"Save it, Weasley. Join your class," she demands pointing her thumb in the other direction. “The both of you.”
Without missing a beat the twins and upper classmen divide to their designated tables. They scramble to each respective table representing the four houses.
"Good evening students," Professor McGonagall addresses the freshmen at the forefront of the auditorium. "It’s time to begin the sorting ceremony. When I call your name, I will place the sorting hat upon your head who will then assign which house you belong in. Such assigned house shall remain your home for the duration of your time here at Hogwarts."
"Good luck mate," Ron whispers with a nudge of his elbow. “I’ll see you at our table.”
I finger the collar of my dress shirt to breathe some air down my neck. I had been compartmentalizing the hesitation I’ve felt ever since I heard about the whole ‘house’ situation.
To be honest I had the gut feeling that I wouldn’t end up with my friends.
I still hadn’t really wrapped my head around the difference between each house.. but I sure as hell knew that I wasn’t one of the Weasleys.
Don’t get me wrong.
They’re a group of great blokes; each brother a part of a wholesome family who was unconditionally loved and cared for.
I couldn’t resonate with that.
And this was aside from their overall cheery disposition and light-hearted façade that tended to oppose mine.
My hope was that their positive influence would help shine some light during my time here at Hogwarts. So, I keep the pessimistic thoughts to myself.
Besides, maybe the tired old hat could be manipulated; it was one of my finer qualities, after all.
At least that’s what my parents have always told me.
‘Too smart for my own good’.
I think back to the days as an eight-year-old; peering outside my bedroom window watching the kids on my street ride bikes and play hop scotch together. All I ever wanted was to feel accepted and to be part of a group.
But whenever I complained about being withheld from such, my mother emphasized that I was simply ungrateful and a spoiled brat. Apparently, a brand-new game console or television was supposed to fulfill my inner loneliness and insecurities.
Aside from being manipulative and ungrateful for yearning for normalized socialization, I’ve battled suppressed anger issues all of my life. In high school when the self-instigated fights came to fruition, my father reprimanded that I was throwing tantrums simply to get attention.
Well, maybe if he had given an ounce of attention other than to yell at me for poor grades, or whipping my arse for tracking mud into the house, I wouldn’t throw as many tantrums.
Brilliant problem solving, dad!
Speaking of which; my ‘smart mouth’ was the main reason for getting smacked around, and why I have a significant cigarette burn on my inner forearm.
All I ever wanted was to feel that I belonged; to not be withheld from what my parents thought that I should be, as opposed to growing up like a normal child who finds out on their own who they truly are.
My art of ‘manipulation’ was the only way to get around their asinine treatment in the first place. It was self-learned to influence situations to my benefit.
Was I being manipulative?
I preferred to call it cunning.
I turn to Ron giving him a reassuring head nod. "See you there, mate."
"Harry Potter!" McGonagall calls me to the front.
I temporarily make eye contact with the headmaster who adjusts in his seat in noticeable intrigue. I anxiously crack my fingers like a mad man from beneath my draping robes.
And yes, I’m wearing trousers.
I sit on the stool straight as a board and place both clammy hands in my lap. I gaze across the sea of students who had noticeably turned silent while watching with great intent.
Ron and the twins lean forward at the Gryffindor table erratically waving and silently cheering. Hermione sits across from them who had just been placed. She leans her elbow against the table with her head rested against her fist. She gives a bashful smile and joins them in waving.
I close my eyes as the weighty leather hat is placed upon my head. I lightly cringe as it wobbles back and forth, adjusting itself for the best feel.
"Hmm.. difficult" it begins. "Very difficult."
I patiently hold my breath with eyes squeezed shut.
"Plenty of courage I see," the sorting hat continues.
Courage. That was one of the qualities George had listed. Good. On the right track.
"A thirst to prove yourself.."
Yep. I’m a serious lacrosse player after all. I'm no stranger to competition.
"But where shall I put you?"
"I'm not so sure," it replies to my inner request.
Well, you should be. Put me in Gryffindor.
I nod my head, eyes clenched shut, the grasp of my clasped hands tightening.
"But there's a fire burning inside of you!" the magical hat roars startling me. "A dark fire. A fire within..”
Okay, well you got me there..
“A fire not too different from a student I attended to many, many years ago."
A pin drop could be heard across the massive hall. And if I didn’t know any better, the rest of my classmates were just as uneasy and nervous for me as I was. Beads of sweat form along my forehead and I pray I don't get the ornery hat dirty.
"This feeling, I'm afraid, cannot be ignored..."
Damn. I bloody knew my gut feeling was right. But come on! I need friends! Don’t ruin this for me.
"Friendship isn't everything, Mr. Potter," the hat insists. "I must place students in the correct house where proper teaching will cater to their needs. Whatever those needs are destined to be."
It was painfully obvious that my gut premonition was proving to be correct. And although the mind reading hat was open to negotiation with my requests, it certainly wasn't receptive to obeying them.
Ah, screw it. Stupid bloody hat. Hopefully they’ll still be my friend once I’m placed in-
"Slytherin!!" the hat roars.
I let out an exacerbated sigh as my eyes slowly flutter open. I sharply inhale in response to the audience surrounding me. They appear intimidated, restless, discontent; all the while avoiding direct eye contact with me. And unlike previous students who received applause from at the very least their own house, each table is dead silent.
Each professor is dead silent. I instinctively turn my head to the row of teachers behind me.
Hagrid's eyebrows are furrowed and he slowly shakes his head in disbelief. My heart drops as my eyes drag to Professor Dumbledore who holds a similar expression. His lips are in a thin line and his eyes are shut in what appears to be deep disappointment.
Somehow I had just managed to let the entire wizarding world down within a matter of seconds.
McGonagall finally removes the dreaded hat from my head as I quickly bolt from the stage.
I accelerate my feet toward the table decked out in green and silver with my head held low. I'm mortified, pissed, and more than anything fucking confused.
Granted, Slytherin held a bad rap according to Fred’s boos.
But why the bloody hell didn't anyone else get this response after being placed in the troublesome house?
"Potter,” a familiar voice hisses. I look up to find Malfoy seated at the very end of the Slytherin table next to Crabapple and Gargoyle.
At least there was one person in the auditorium who had a smile, or more so a mischievous smirk, on their face. Malfoy tilts his head to the side silently offering a seat.
"Thanks," I mutter under my breath as I plop on the bench.
"I underestimated you," he states in a low tone. His eyes glow as they excitedly scan my face in a way that makes my stomach churn. The sinister facade that I had previously picked up on eagerly comes to the surface.
Unlike before, he reaches out his arm and offers to shake my hand. I lower my eyebrows as my left hand hesitantly nears his.
I had been faced to make a deal with the devil and was left with no other option in the moment.
I sternly grab his hand with a firm shake as the smirk widens on his face.
“Meet me in the Common Room at 11 PM sharp,” he instructs. “We have matters to discuss.”
I give a dismissive nod as I turn my attention to the Gryffindor table. All three Weasleys solemnly peer at me from across the room.
Malfoy follows my line of vision and possessively throws an arm around my shoulders. I resentfully peer at him from the corners of my eyes as he pulls me closer. “Welcome to Slytherin, Potter. I think you and I are going to have a lot of fun together."
Chapter 5: The Housemate Who Told Me Everything
The house prefect leads us to the entrance of our dormitories; more well known as the Slytherin Common Room.
The Slytherin dormitory, albeit gloomy and grim, is simply breath taking.
An assortment of lit bright green candles levitate across the high ceilings emanating a neon glow.
Snakes, our wicked mascot, are dispersed throughout the room. Serpent statues with glistening emerald eyes follow us as we pass, and reptilian glass stained windows riddle our surroundings.
An assortment of long jungle-like vines hang from the skylight above us. Enchanted lime green fireflies peacefully rain from the skylight mesmerizingly fluttering across the room.
I eagerly look to Malfoy with a grin who apathetically yawns in response. Apparently the majestic, ripped-straight-from-a-movie dormitory that we now lived in wasn’t anything special to the blond.
I had realized along our brief tour that Draco wasn't a man of many words. He kept to himself with a recognizable guard held up. He was possibly misunderstood and pushed people away.
That is, aside from his set of devoted groupies who have yet to leave our bloody tail.
Outside of Malfoy’s loyal followers, I classified him as an outcast such as myself.
I generally ate most of my lunches alone even though I had a couple of friends from my lacrosse team.
And I was fine with that.
This was probably due to the fact that I never possessed the ability to truly connect with someone on a platonic or romantic basis. Growing up with little maternal or paternal warmth affected me greatly.
At least, that’s what my therapist tells me.
Wait til she hears about this:
I apologize for my sudden disappearance, Dr. Smith. You see, I was off casting spells and flying on broomsticks at my new college for the last few months. Hope we can pick up from where we left off!
Yeah. That’d get me sent to a ward straight away.
Anyways.. back to Malfoy.
I saw myself in him, yet there was an inner discontent with this premonition. But beggars couldn’t be choosers, and I was satisfied with the idea that I could find a good friend in Draco.
We’re soon faced with the men’s dormitory. Each dorm is divided into duo bedrooms just big enough for two beds.
Malfoy and I decided it best to room together. Neither one of us wanted to end up stuck living with Crabapple or Gargoyle.
We solidify plans to meet by the fireplace in a couple of hours to get to know each other better over a few drinks. In the meantime, I claim my bed in the corner and start to unpack.
I had the opportunity to finish unpacking and shower just in time to meet Malfoy.
It's well into the night, and I'm shocked to find that most of our housemates had already gone to bed.
I guess the cases of beer consumed on the train plus the humongous feast did the trick.
I find Malfoy reclined in one of the pine green chairs in the Common Room. The lamp hanging overhead projects an emerald glow against the whitish long bangs brushed across his forehead. He's wearing a dress shirt and tie underneath a tailored black suit.
I look down at my dirty converse, ripped jeans and colorful flannel in embarrassment. I guess I didn’t receive the memo to show up dressed in attire fit for a job interview.
With one leg propped on the other, Malfoy turns to me holding a glass of bourbon with an ovular ice cube.
"Put that rubbish down," he harshly orders in disgust.
I peer at the cheap can of beer in my hand. He passes me and opens a diamond shaped glass vase filled with bourbon. The ice crackles against the warmth of the alcohol as he fills it to the brim.
I vehemently toss my beer in exchange for the whiskey. He takes a seat and I follow suit, grabbing the couch adjacent to him.
"You've certainly put Dumbledore into quite the panic. Trying to give the old man a heart attack, are you?" Malfoy smirks staring into the fire, the reddish hue lighting up his face.
"I'm sorry.. what?"
"The famous Harry Potter; a Slytherin," he continues the one-sided conversation in amusement.
"You know what; why does it matter if I'm a bloody Slytherin?!" My built-up animosity and impatience could be held back no longer. "Why am I the 'famous Harry Potter'?" I wildly quote with my fingers. "Why does everyone know who I am.. or give a shit for that matter?"
Malfoy makes eye contact for the first time since I entered the room. Apparently my impromptu interrogation sufficed his attention. His stormy grey eyes are dangerous and give off the unsettling appearance that he’s closely zoning in his prey.
His prey, meaning me.
"You really don't know, do you?" he darkly states with lowered eyebrows. “I thought it was all an act.”
“Thought what was a bloody act?” I pinch the bridge of my nose with my index and thumb. "All I know is that my biological parents are wizards. Hagrid didn't care to tell me much else."
"Hagrid?" I notice him dramatically grimace from out of my peripheral. "Well what’d you expect? That big bumbling oaf can't even count to ten."
"Oh shove off,” I irritably groan. “Hagrid's my friend, mate."
Malfoy’s eyebrows immediately furrow peering at me sideways. I stand my ground as I watch him process the defense of his unnecessary harassment.
Apparently my disconcerting comment was a difficult pill to swallow. I don’t think the bloke was used to many people disagreeing with him to his face.
Well that was coming to an end.
He chose the wrong bloke to room with if he expected me to blindly follow him around and stroke his ego like dumb and dumber.
After another sip of whiskey Malfoy decides to guide the conversation back on track. "The reason you're the famous Harry Potter.." he agitatedly continues. ".. You're what they call the ‘Boy Who Lived’."
"The ‘Boy Who Lived’?" I repeat with a chuckle. "Lived through what? Surviving the suburbs of London for a large majority of my life? Sure, that was quite the feat I suppose.”
Malfoy doesn’t take well to my sarcasm. There isn’t the slightest indication of a smirk or amusement on his face.
“Your biological parents; they’re dead Potter,” he impassively delivers the unexpected emotional blow.
My chest severely tightens in dull pain. I'm shocked to find that the passing of my biological parents, who I’ve never even met, hurts this bad.
Plus, it only made sense that they were dead; I even questioned Hagrid about why they hadn’t come looking for me themselves!
But that didn’t make it any easier to hear the bleak truth.
"I give my condolences." Draco clears his throat shifting in his seat. He rests his arms on the sides of the chair while looking to me with – I think - sincere empathy. “Father says they were great. Too great, if anything."
I bring the rim of the glass back to my lips, welcomingly accepting the satisfying burn of whiskey as it slides down my esophagus.
I join Malfoy’s gaze into the fire pit. "What happened to them?"
"Voldemort," he simply replies.
My foot nervously taps against the floor as I sit in a trance.
In remembrance of my ignorance of.. you know, my entire life, Malfoy continues. "My father refers to him as The Dark Lord. A master of great ambition and a proud Slytherin.”
I’m antsy and can’t sit still for the life of me.
I’m up on my feet again.
I press my palms to my forehead as I make my way to the self-serve bar. My glass is bone dry and I'm well aware that I'm going to need another drink.
“He’s feared by all,” Malfoy adds with noticeable admiration in his voice. “All powerful."
I think back to that kooky wand bloke from earlier. "He who must not be named," I think aloud as I fill my glass.
Draco snorts in amusement. "That's what the spineless lot around here call him. But I say his name with great pride."
I almost shatter the diamond vial as it comes slamming to the glass table.
"Maybe you’re the spineless one, Malfoy," I seethe. “Who the bloody hell talks like that? You just told me he killed my parents.”
I storm toward him with my fingernails digging into my palms. My pace hesitates as my eye twitches and begins to blur. I blink repetitively as it momentarily goes dark.
I sharply inhale, afraid of what my unpredictable bum eye would do next.
My deformity reacted to certain emotions as I grew up; anger and fear being the most noticeable. But as of late, the reactions had grown stronger and more debilitating. Certain things would happen that were unexplainable.
Certain things, at least, before I knew I was a bloody wizard.
I hear Malfoy’s prominent footsteps and promptly turn away from him.
I’m naturally led to the soothing darkness of the corner of the Common Room where I blink over and over until vision returns in my right eye.
But this wasn’t normal vision.
I reach my hand out into the pitch black, exploring the surface of objects that are now viewable.
I alternate closing each eye. The vision from my left eye promptly goes dark, and the vision from my right eye gives off some sort of fluorescent lighting.
I promptly learn that my bum eye gave me the ability to see things in the fucking dark.
My body temperature shoots through the roof as I break into a light panic. My feet stumble over each other as I back away from the shadowy area.
"Don't you want to know why he killed your parents?" Malfoy tempts from behind. My chest heaves as I begrudgingly turn to him. "You, Potter. Voldemort wanted you."
A light shiver runs through the course of my body. I slowly creep from the side of the room and fully emerge from the darkness.
"And when you didn't die, it damaged him a great deal. Some say he died. Father on the other hand-" Malfoy abruptly stops his sentence with shifty eye contact. "Your eye. What's it doing?"
"Nothing." I quickly cover it with my right hand.
"Lower your hand," he demands. He sets his glass down before impatiently pacing toward me.
The moment I feel his hand grab my forearm I instinctively shove him a few steps back.
The hand covering my face lightly relaxes as I peer at him through my fingers. He scoffs while frustratingly straightening his jacket.
To be honest, I was tired of keeping this unconventional condition to myself. And if anything, my corrupt housemate was in no place to judge.
I let out a grunt as I involuntarily take a step toward him.
“Bloody hell, fine.” I promptly whip the hand protecting the right side of my face and daringly stare him directly in the eyes.
As expected I receive yet another disgusted 'what a fucking freak' expression. But it's short lived as a captivated smile creeps across his face.
"Brilliant," he states in clear admiration.
I glance to a silver handheld mirror and pick it up from the cocktail tray raising it to my face. I stare back at the bright, sunrise toned, orange and yellow color surrounding my pupil. My pupil had once again turned into a distinctive diamond shape that vertically stretches the length of my eyeball.
"So what they've been saying is true then?" Draco emerges into view from behind the mirror. The wild look of intrigue in his eye remains.
I slowly shake my head in confusion prompting him to continue. His voice lowers. "It's said, that when Lord Voldemort failed to kill you, it weakened him. Weakened him so greatly, that now, a piece of him lives inside of you."
My right eye pulsates as it begins to sting unlike before. I ferociously shake my head in denial. A wave of uncontrollable fear washes over me.
I make a run toward my unattended drink.
My shaky hand spills a bit of alcohol on the table beside the glass. “It’s a little unnerving, how much you know about me, Malfoy. I would say I’m flattered, but-”
"Is anyone informed of your condition?” he ignores my statement. “Does anyone else know about your eye?"
"Your trust in me hasn’t gone unnoticed, Potter." He grabs my shoulder forcing me to face him. "Now I'm certain there was a reason that tired old hat placed you in Slytherin."
My jaw remains locked shut and I'm barely listening to a word he's saying.
"You and I will make a brilliant pair, Potter. Unstoppable." Malfoy yanks the glass bottle from my grasp and neatly pours each of us a fresh glass. "But for now, your condition is best left secret." I peer back at him hesitatingly clinking my glass against his. "Our little secret."
I tighten the green and silver infused tie up to my neck using the mirror for reference.
I stare back at the dark circles beneath my eyes reflecting the lack of sleep from the night prior. My hair is damp from the shower, and my eyes are bloodshot red; refusing to accept the contact for my right eye.
I drape the circular glasses over my nose that still have profound cracks in both lenses.
Lightly hung over, emotionally violated and severely lacking rest, I finally gain the gumption to make it to the first class of the year.
I enter the eerie classroom that solely relies on minimal natural lighting. Minor sunshine emits through the glass stained windows and candles are evenly distributed throughout the room. Cauldrons are positioned on each table overflowing with holographic smoke.
"Oi! Look who it is!" Ron approaches me with a warm welcoming smile. "I thought I'd never see you again after running off from the ceremony like that. Best be seeing you at the first-year initiation celebration tonight, mate. Everyone will be there. It's the biggest party of the year!"
I uncomfortably scratch the back of my neck feeling my cheeks burn. "Em.. I'm not in the most social of moods. Don't feel there's much for myself to celebrate," I answer honesty.
"Don't worry mate," Ron reassures, throwing an arm around my shoulders and guiding me toward his seat. "That sorting hat's been around for centuries. Surely it's bound to make a mistake at some point or another."
We approach the group of Gryffindors surrounding Ron's table snickering and whispering to one another. As expected, their eyes remain glued to me silently judging my every move.
Harry Potter, the 'Boy Who Lived'; a controversial Slytherin, befriending Ron Weasley; the eccentric outspoken redhead whose family represents the Gryffindor house with great pride.
Both pinnacles of their respective, opposing houses.
I've already been doing quite the number on myself ever since the grim revelation of my parents' history, and I have little patience receiving the same scrutiny from those who don't even know me.
"And besides." Ron stops in place turning to me. He squares my shoulders with his hands so I'm forced to look at him. "You are a Gryffindor. At least to me."
"Thanks mate," I mutter forcing a smile.
Unfortunately, his kind words leave little effect, as I glance to the Gryffindors behind him who clearly aren't in agreement. They continue to giggle amongst themselves, some even pointing directly at me.
I had left that 'muggle' town of mine to find a new life; a life in which I wasn't constantly objectified as a freak.
My 'dark inner fire', as the hat accurately depicted, ignites with unkempt flames.
I had received enough bullying in high school for not fitting in. If I couldn't even fit in here, I'm certain I will never find where I truly belong.
Oh! And to make matters worse, my bum eye starts spazzing again.
At this point I had come attuned to the fact that it was triggered by that inner fire, that inner Slytherin, that was desperately waiting; yearning to unleash at any moment.
I half-mindedly rub my eye as I grit my teeth.
"You alright, Harry?" Ron asks.
"Maybe he's color blind," one of them taunts. "Your tie has green in it, Potter. Not red."
I spot Hermione who, despite being a Gryffindor herself, looks at her housemates in disgust. She snarls at them with an attitudinal hip jutted to the side.
"Shut it, Dean," she scolds. She gracefully makes her way toward me with her wand, not so gracefully, pointed directly between my eyes.
I instinctively hop back with both hands held above my shoulders. Based off the woman's intimidating repertoire of knowledge in wizardry, I had no clue what she was planning on doing next.
"Bloody hell Harry, hold still!" Hermione demands widening my eyes; the tip of her wand held directly between them. "Oculus Reparo."
A quick sound, something like a tree branch snapping, crackles from her wand as the jagged cracks in my lenses disappear.
My jaw drops as I remove the glasses from my face.
"Brilliant!" Ron interchangeably gawks at Hermione and my repaired spectacles.
I join in on Ron's rapid transitional line of vision.
"Thank you Hermione.. Thank you Ron, for everything," I mutter slowly backing away from the Gryffindors. "You've both been brilliant since we met.. but I don't belong at this table. The more I learn about myself, the more I believe that I truly am a.. I'm a-"
"A Slytherin." Malfoy approaches us with a discontent look on his face. He scoffs at Ron before saying, "My condolences to your tattered textbook, Weasley. How many generations did that one make it through? And your robes? Your knickers?"
I wince at the uncalled-for statement.
"Why so fussy, Malfoy?" Ron shoots back. "Lack of sleep; not having Daddy here to tuck you into bed last night?"
"What did you just say to me?" he growls through gritted teeth."You filthy peasant."
"Stop it!" Hermione orders startling us. "The both of you!"
"Oh! Look who we have here." Malfoy's whole demeanor changes. The snarky, off putting façade remains.. well, snarky.. but there's a sudden addition of charm to his tone. "Granger; our new muggle born. Isn't that right?"
"And who are you?" she challenges, maintaining a confident stance while looking down her nose at him.
"Draco Malfoy." He does a quick bow as a devilish smirk crosses his lips. The sleezeball grabs Hermione's hand while demanding eye contact from her. She skeptically peers at him as he plants a quick kiss on the back of her hand. "Pleasure's all mine. Father failed to mention how beautiful you are."
Hermione's cheeks pinken as she tears her hand from his. She scoffs with a slight look of noticeable intrigue.
"Honestly, Malfoy," I interject in annoyance. "What is with your invasive knowledge of every single bloody person at this school?"
"Only the special ones," he cunningly replies keeping his eyes on her.
"Shove off, Malfoy," Ron threatens in slight.. jealousy? "Leave Hermione alone."
"My apologies Weasley; was never my intention to impede on your girlfriend."
Before Ron, who looks like he was about to backhand Malfoy, has the chance, the door slams open silencing everyone in the room.
A tall melancholy man with long black hair and a distinctive hooked nose rushes to the front of the room. He's dressed in black from head to toe with a cape-like robe that swirls in the air as he walks past.
I shake my head giving Ron and Hermione a silent apology for my housemate's rude gestures.
I shove Malfoy in the direction of our table who defiantly lashes an arm away from me. As I follow my moody roommate to our seats, I notice a pair of footsteps scurrying behind me.
"There will be no wand waving, or silly incantations in this class." The professor demands our attention. "You will all refer to me as Professor Snape."
Once seated, I throw my book bag on the table and notice from my peripheral that Hermione had trailed behind us and was now seated beside me. She gives a quick smile before focusing her attention to the front of the classroom.
My mouth twists failing to hold back a smile. I lean my face in the palm of my hand, my right hand, so as to not get distracted by the enchanting witch beside me.
"Those of you will succeed.." Professor Snape continues his rant as his eyes dart to Malfoy on the other side of me. "..who possess the predisposition."
Draco nods his head, with stern eye contact and a smirk of admiration, as if he and Snape had some sort of understanding.
"I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper on death."
My ears perk at the captivating line, and my thoughts begin to wander:
If only I had learned in my infancy how to put a stopper on death and spare my biological parents.
If only my fame wasn't derivative from essentially that same sentiment.
If only they hadn't given life to someone who would someday become some sort of spawn of the very same entity who slaughtered them.
"And then, there are those who feel confident enough to not pay attention!" Snape's voice elevates a tremendous amount causing my neck to snap up at him.
His black eyes pierce through mine with the look of thorough hatred. He makes his way from his post in a rush toward me.
"Mr. Potter," he slickly remarks. "Our new celebrity."
I peer to the opposite side of the room breaking our mutual glare. My breathing accelerates and I can feel my heart pounding in my ears.
If I hear one more reference about my 'celebrity' or being 'famous' for getting my biological parents killed, I'll go mental.
The professor pelts me with questions regarding the course, using words I never knew existed. It's the first fucking class of the year, and he expects me to know what the bloody hell a bezoar is?
From the corner of my eye, I notice Hermione eagerly raising her hand in an attempt to answer each question thrown at me.
Snape ignores her, lowering his face to mine with a stoic expression. I notice that he looks more closely at my right eye.
"How unfortunate," he continues. "Clearly fame isn't everything."
My teeth are clenched and I'm seeing red.
"Or clearly, Hermione knows all of the bloody answers!" I seethe, rapidly gesturing to her. "So why don't you get off my arse and call on her like professors are supposed to do?"
The crowd gives a resounding gasp. Hermione promptly lowers her arm and I look to find her peering back at me in trepidation.
"How dare you speak to me in such a way," Professor Snape lectures in an elongated manner.
I suddenly feel Hermione's hand on my thigh, and she squeezes it as some type of warning. I take another quick glance at her who's concernedly shaking her head.
I look to my left at my friend – I mean roommate -
Whatever the bloody hell he was; I haven't fully decided yet.
Anyways.. I look to my left, and I'm not surprised to find Malfoy staring in my direction like the rest of the class.
But what does surprise me is how his eyes disapprovingly glare, almost in an envious manner, at Hermione's hand in my lap visible from beneath the table.
Malfoy narrows his eyes at me before turning back to his idolized teacher.
Aside from not having many people disagree with him to his face, I also have a good idea that the bloke was possessive; if Malfoy didn't get what he wanted, it wouldn't end well for those who did, in fact, possess it.
I squeeze my eyes shut and deeply inhale while running a hand through my hair. I'd officially reached the level of irritation that my right eye was now burning, and I had to get out of there before it's reptilian appearance made a debut.
"Have you failed to realize that I'm the Head of Slytherin?!" Professor Snape spits just inches from my face. "Your Head of House?!"
I brush Hermione's hand from my lap as I pack my things.
"10 points from Slytherin." My table groans as I clumsily throw my legs over the bench and stand to my feet. "You can thank your new celebrity."
I stumble over my feet as I turn my back to Snape and make a run for the door.
"And just where do you think you're going, Mr. Potter?"
"I think it's best if I left," I inform without looking back. "Enough celebrity treatment for one day."
Hey all! Been going through a lot lately, but I just wanted to say how much gratitude I have for my readers and supporters! So, thank you. :)
I'm also excited for you to read the upcoming chapter as it's one of my favorites.
Until next time!