Unable to muster the energy to get out of my hospital bed, tears began leaking from my eyes. As my eyes roamed the sterile room, I thought to myself; I must have the worst luck imaginable, what god did I piss off and why was he making it his life's mission to screw up my life as much as possible?
As I laid there, I began reviewing the many tragedies that had happened to me over the past 15 years, beginning with my parents dying in a car accident when I was 2, leaving me all alone in this world. If that wasn't bad enough, I developed leukemia at the tender age of 4. If regular kids have a hard time being adopted, they don't have anything on sick kids. No one wants to take a child who may be dead soon.
As time went on, I spent more time in the hospital than I did at the orphanage; it wasn't all bad; many of the doctors and nurses became my surrogate family. When I was seven, I overheard the doctor telling my caretaker that I had less than a year to live. However, I always had been a stubborn child, and I managed to eke out eight more years of life, but by the time I was 15, I gave up. I was exhausted; every day that I still lived seemed to be a fight. If it wasn't leukemia, it was the brain tumors, it seemed that this body was defective somehow.
I managed by losing myself in fantasy books, often imagining what I would do if I could only visit these magical worlds. The last book I read was The Order of the Phoenix, written by J.K Rowling, and I hoped to stay alive long enough to finish the series. Praying to every god out there, I pleaded for a do-over. When that didn't work, I started to get angry. It wasn't fair that this was my life; I wanted to live, to explore. Exhausted, I fell asleep. Later that night, my body shut down for good and I felt myself slip away.
In another world On September 2, 1977, at precisely 4 in the afternoon, deep within the heart of St. Mungo, the wizarding hospital. In the paternity ward, a young woman with golden hair gave birth to a son. Curiously, immediately after being born the babe was silent and refused to make a sound. After the healer gave the child to his mother all swaddled up, she asked what the child's name was. Once the young mother was finished naming her son, the healer left and a young man entered the room and asked to see the baby. The healer gave the swaddled baby to the young man, and he spun the child around all excitedly. In response, the babe began wailing and as he did so the glass in the nearby windows shattered.
Hundreds of miles away, high in a magical castle, in a room that has not seen many visitors, an enormous leather-bound book lay upon a pedestal next to a heavily feathered quill. Moments after the glass shattered in the maternity ward at St. Mungo's, the feather rose up and dipped itself into the inkwell. Afterward, the book opened, and the quill wrote the name, Alexander Nicola Fawley. When the quill was finished writing, the book snapped shut and the feather floated back down to the pedestal and the room was still once more.
Five years later.
Today marks five years since my rebirth, as traumatizing as it was to be reborn as a baby fully aware, I am happy to be alive. I still don't understand how this happened; I don't even remember dying and as more time goes on the more my previous life seems like a dream that I can barely remember. Which I suppose is a blessing. Still, if someone is going to be reincarnated, being reincarnated as a wizard in a world full of magic makes me believe I hit the jackpot. I had so much bad luck in my previous life that the universe decided to compensate me for it. However, this brings about a critical question, is J.K. Rowling a god of some sort? Did she somehow create this world, or did she have visions of this world and write what she saw? If she did write what she saw, how accurate was she? Did she embellish to write a good story, or did she record the events as they unfolded?
While pondering over these deep philosophical questions, a booming sound shook me from my thoughts, "ALEXANDER FAWLEY… DOWNSTAIRS, NOW!"
I jumped and felt a sinking feeling well up inside of my stomach, which only happens when a child hears their mother speak in that tone of voice. After exiting my room on the top floor of our three-story house, I started descending the steps at the end of the hallway.
While descending the stairs the paintings that hung on the wall started snickering and hooting that I was in trouble now. As I approached the ground floor an encouraging voice rang out from the final painting along the wall, "Courage, my boy."
I turned to the painting to see an encouraging smile coming from an old balding wizard. Cracking my knuckles, I responded with a confident grin, "No worries, I believe I know what this is about and I have mentally prepared myself for what's coming."
After reaching the ground floor I strood purposely through the family room towards the dining room where I would do battle with the monster known as mother. Before I entered the dining hall I paused and took a deep breath to reassure myself of victory. As I entered the dining room, I stopped in the doorway to take a good look at what awaited me.
I saw mum sitting around the round dinner table, her long golden blond hair hanging over her shoulders. Next to her sat my father whose face was hidden by a magazine advertising flying brooms. As I entered the dining area, my mother's blue eyes immediately shot up and made contact with me.
She said in a surprisingly sweet voice, "Please sit down, Alex."
Not for the first time, I tried to compare mum's current soft-spoken voice to the booming one that called for me earlier. I had trouble reconciling the two manners in which she spoke. The latter was carefully spoken, with a slight French accent accompanying her words. The other was not spoken so much as screamed, and when her voice rose to that level her French accent came across more severely.
After I pulled out the heavy wooden chair and climbed into the seat I brushed my long dirty blond hair from my eyes and smiled as widely as I could to bring out my dimples. I knew that they were a weakness of hers.
"Yes, mum," I said with all the innocence of a five-year-old.
Mum's eyes narrowed informing me that my ploy to appear adorable, while usually effective, would not deter this upcoming battle. "Do you have anything you would like to tell me?" she asked me.
I thought to myself, ha, not falling for that trap. Rule #11, never admit to any crime without overwhelming evidence. As several responses occurred to me I selected one that I hoped would distract her.
I said in a bright voice, "It's my birthday; I'm five today."
Mum acknowledged my opening statement with a nod, I started a mental scoreboard. Alex -1 Mom -0. However, after I studied the slight smirk that appeared on her face I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach.
After what seemed like an unusually long silence mom set out a glass jar half-full with a label that identified the contents as mandrake leaves. She asked, "Are you sure?"
I acknowledge my mother's parry to my opening thrust. The current score flashed into my head, Alex -1 Mum -1.
While most children would inevitably crack at this point, rule #15 dashed across my thoughts. When confronted with vague evidence about your supposed crime, double down on your denial. Several avenues of attack appeared in my mind and after selecting the most appropriate one I countered, "Presents!" and reached across the table to grab the evidence.
Mum's eyes widened, clearly not expecting that particular response from me. Alex -2 Mum -1.
After mum held eye contact with me for a moment, she pulled out a small white crystal and set it on the table and murmured, "Reveilo." After speaking the spell, the dining room seemed to disappear, and a place I was all too aware that I was not allowed into without supervision appeared.
After a moment the wooden door slowly creaked open and I observed myself sneak into the room carrying an old tattered book. After shutting the door behind me a broad smile appeared on my face as I looked about the circular room. The room was lined with shelves that surrounded the place and stretched to the ceiling, full of ingredients.
In the center of the room was a table in the shape of a crescent moon with a sturdy cauldron sitting in the middle of it. I set the book down on the table and the book seemingly opened of its own accord.
The book opened to a page containing instructions on how to brew a pepperup potion. It was one of the easiest potions to create and was designed to cure someone of the flu and other common illnesses.
After memorizing the list, I went to the shelves to gather the ingredients needed for the potion. I climbed up on the first step of what looked like a double-sided rolling ladder. After speaking the first name of the component that I needed the ladder began rolling around the shelves until it reached a particular spot. The step I was standing on started rising and the steps on the back half of the ladder began to sink. After rising to a particular point, I found the ingredients that I was looking for. Grabbing all the ingredients, I made my way back to the table to begin brewing the potion.
Suddenly the scene disappeared, and I focused back on mum's face and noticed a shark-like smile had appeared on her face. I thought to myself. Alex -2 Mum -2.
"Anything you want to say?" Mum asked.
I couldn't help but compare those words to when a judge asks if the accused has any final words and is about to pronounce a prisoner's guilt along with a harsh sentence.
After thinking furiously for a moment I looked at my dad and thought, sorry dad, but rule #21 clearly states that when confronted with overwhelming evidence of your crime, the next step is to shift blame. As I looked into my mum's eyes that were shining with the knowledge that she had me and there was no escaping her justice.
I responded, "It was Dad's idea." As the word left my mouth and resonated throughout the room my father violently spat out the coffee he was drinking and lowered his magazine.
"WHAT! HENRY EXPLAIN," Mum shrieked and turned her wrathful eyes upon her brown-haired husband, who was currently suffering from a bad case of bed head.
After meeting his wife's angry gaze he turned his dark eyes towards me, with the burning unspoken question appearing in his eyes, why would you do that to me, haven't I been a good dad? After meeting dad's reproachful eyes I felt a flash of guilt but consoled myself with the common knowledge that when meeting an angry momma bear you don't have to outrun her, you only have to beat the person next to you.
Waving his arms about, trying to convince mum not to rush to judgment, "I said no such thing Camille," Dad quickly defended.
Knowing that mum needed a final push, I sealed dad's fate with the final nail in the coffin. With the most innocent voice I could manage, I asked, "But Dad, didn't you say that the pepperup potion was so easy to make that a five-year-old could brew it?"
After hearing those words, mum's eyes narrowed like laser beams and she remarked, "Interesting."
"Now Camille, it was just an expression," Dad stuttered.
Satisfied that mum had found herself a new target, I thought to myself Alex -3 Mum -2 Dad -0.
I quietly snuck out of the dining room but before I could make the final getaway, I gave the condemned a last glance to remember his brave sacrifice.
As I met Dad's gaze, I noticed a sly smile appear on his face, and I couldn't help but think DANGER WILL ROBINSON… DANGER.
"It's true dear, I did say that," Dad said to Mum, "I told Alex that a five-year-old could brew that potion. However at the time of the alleged brewing he was not five, as he just turned five today."
As mum heard these words, she murmured, "That's true."
I couldn't help but think, well played dad, Alex -3 Mom -2 Dad -1.
I blanched at mum's expression after seeing her face once it turned towards me, and I thought, Rule #35 in the event you ever notice that mum makes that face, RUN! I raced through the living room trying to make a getaway.
Mum shouted, "OH NO YOU DON'T." and whipped out a wand and flicked it towards the heavy drapes covering the windows.
As I ran the drapes came alive and began reaching out towards me. When they were unable to reach me, they started magically extendeding and were able to catch me. After wrapping me up so that I couldn't escape, the drapes lifted me into the air and presented me as if a gift on a silver platter before my mother.
"Does the condemned have any final words?" mum said with a shark-like smile on her face.
Rule #99 popped into my head, if punishment is unavoidable, respond by being too adorable to punish harshly.
"But mommy, you were sick and I knew that the pepperup potion makes people feel better. I just wanted you to feel better," I said in a small voice.
Mum's expression softened, and she responded, "The potion that your father gave me the other day was the one you brewed."
I slowly nodded and thought Alex-4 Mum -3 Dad -1.
Mum's heart melted a little inside, but she steeled herself and said, "Alex, potions are incredibly dangerous. If brewed incorrectly you could hurt yourself. How do you think that would have made me feel?"
After hearing these words, my eyes shifted down guiltily, unable to meet my mother's gaze. She continued, "As for your punishment, we will get to that tomorrow. Now, today is your birthday, go upstairs and get dressed for the day. Your aunt and uncle will be arriving soon, along with your grandparents."
After being released by the drapes and set down, I trudged up the stairs towards my room. All of the paintings on the wall made clear that they agreed with my mother that what I had done was indeed foolish. After getting to my room, I threw myself on my four-poster bed.
I tallied up the points, and I thoughtfully considered that what ended up being the best defense to the situation ended up being the truth. I honestly did want my mom to feel better, so I made the potion. The fact I also really wanted to make a magic potion was killing two birds with one stone.