After Alex had trudged up the stairs, Camille turned to Henry and said, "Can you believe your son did that?"
Henry replied with a cheeky grin, "Why is it when Alex does something naughty. All of a sudden, Alex is 'my child', but whenever he does something impressive, he is 'your child'?"
Camille flipped her hair around and said, "Hmph… After over ten years of marriage, sometimes it's like you don't even know me at all."
Henry grumbled under his breath, "There is no knowing crazy."
Right as Camille was getting ready to respond, a small elf-like creature with large green eyes and drooping ears suddenly appeared with a resounding crack. It was wearing a white toga, stamped with the Fawley family crest, a hawk surrounded by stars.
In a high pitch tone, the elf squeaked, "Master Henry's mother has arrived and is waiting in the foyer."
Henry responded, "Thank you, Lola, for letting us know."
The elf disappeared with a crack, and Camille complained to Henry, "Your mother wasn't supposed to be here until noon."
"I know," Henry responded, "But she was probably eager to see Alex on his birthday. Lately, she has been hinting that she would like to spend more time with him and begin teaching him a basic education. Ever since the death eaters killed my father in the war, she has been getting kind of lonely in her house, and it doesn't help that my brother rarely visits, being so busy with his ship."
"I know, I know, I will cut her some slack, but if she thinks that she will need to spend a lot of time teaching Alex, then she has underestimated his intelligence. He already knows how to read and write, as well as his numbers. He picks up things so quickly it's almost unnatural," Camille responded.
Henry replied, "Even if she doesn't have to teach him very much, it will be good for Alex to spend some more time with her."
Upstairs in his room, Alex had no idea that his parents were deciding how he would be spending the next few months.
Sometime later, I descended the stairs into the living room, where I found grandma sitting with my parents drinking tea. It was hard for me to keep my eyes off of grandmother's enormous burgundy hat. Woven into the cap, was a hawk that seemed to be glaring at me.
Don't you look at me like that you big dumb bird, I didn't weave you into that monstrosity.
After I greeted grandma, my parents waved for me to sit next to them while they discussed recent events.
Just as the boredom got to be too much to bear, a loud thump could be heard coming from the solid black cabinet that was over 9 feet tall. After a moment, the tall cabinet suddenly opened and the salty smell of the ocean filled the room. A tall raven-haired man stepped inside wearing a long black duster. Following closely behind him, was an Egyptian woman with long-flowing dark hair, wearing a black sleeveless dress with a twin golden snake armband adorning her arms.
"Are we too late for the party?" The man spoke in a booming voice.
Camille rose with a smile on her face and said, "John, Nefret, I'm so glad you could make it, and where is little Omar?"
Nefret responded while shaking her head. "Omar couldn't come, my father took him on a trip to South America, and he hasn't returned home yet."
"Now, where is the little wizard? I recently learned about a fascinating custom in the states. It has to do with hexing the birthday boy," John interrupted and made a show of looking around the room.
I jumped up with a smile on my face and dashed out of the room while shouting, "You'll never catch me alive, you old pirate!"
John looked at his brother with an incredulous look, "Did he just call me old?"
John pulled out his wand and gave chase while shouting, "This will not stand, calling a dashing young pirate wizard, an old man!"
As I ran out of the living room and past the dining room into the kitchen, Uncle John caught up with me, so I dove for the stairs leading to the basement.
"Oh no, you don't, you little brat!" Uncle John shouted.
He flicked his wand at me and all of a sudden I was floating in midair. With a satisfied look on his face, he returned to the family room with me floating behind him.
After being brought back to the family room, I shot a pleading look at Dad for him to intervene. The gleam in his eye told me in no uncertain terms that this was payback for trying to throw him under the bus earlier and he would not be intervening.
As I floated helplessly before the rest of my family, Uncle John mused, "Now what spell would be most appropriate for the birthday boy?"
Dad weighed in with a malicious gleam in his eyes, "There is always the tickling charm, and I know for a fact that Alex is extremely ticklish."
I glared at my father with death in my eyes and promised retribution for this harsh betrayal. Sensing Uncle John getting ready to make his move, I made a last-ditch effort by pleading for mercy with Mum.
With a smile appearing on her face, she whispered with a grin, "Well, it is a foreign tradition, and you know I love learning about other cultures."
Uncle John pointed his wand at me with a Cheshire cat grin and chanted, "Rictusempra."
A silver burst of light erupted from his wand and hit me. Unable to move in the air, I laughed uncontrollably as the spell tickled my entire body. After several minutes of this, with tears streaming down my face, and kicking the air uncontrollably. A well of energy swelled up inside of me and burst out as I screamed, "Enough!"
Abruptly, the tickling spell ended, as well as whatever spell was keeping me suspended in the air, and I collapsed to the ground with a thud. After catching my breath, I dusted myself off with as much dignity I could manage. I glanced around the room and went to the only remaining safe-haven in the place, grandma.
I climbed into her lap, and her arms wrapped protectively around me, I glanced at my speechless family and stuck my tongue out.
Uncle John smiled and admiringly said, "That was an impressive display of underage magic, I sense another strong Fawley wizard in the making."
Mother preened at my uncle's praise, attributing my burst of magic as her own accomplishment.
"That's nothing, why just the other day my son brewed a potion without any help from anyone." she bragged.
"I do believe that Alex is our son," Henry interjected, trying to remind Camille to share my deeds with him as well.
"Hmph," Camille tossed her hair with a quick turn and challenged, "Oh, and who is the master potioneer in this house? The second he begins enchanting objects and blowing stuff up is when you can take responsibility."
My father visibly deflated at her words, conceding the battle.
I watched the unfolding drama, and a smile tugged at my lips, while I thought, who needs a tv when one's family is this entertaining?
After my mom stopped teasing dad, Nefret spoke out in carefully worded English, "When will Alex begin school?"
I perked up and chimed in with an unmistakable eagerness in my voice, "Hopefully soon."
My dad shook his head and replied, "Not for a while, Hogwarts doesn't allow students to attend until they are 11. He should be going in 1989; had he been born three days earlier, he would be able to start in 88."
After I heard that it would be almost seven years rather than six until I could attend Hogwarts, I glared at Mum to let her know that I blamed her.
Mum saw my expression and laughed, "Don't look at me like that; you were supposed to be born on the 25th of August. It was you who decided to take your sweet time, so you only have yourself to blame."
After seeing my indignant expression, Uncle John stood up and said, "Don't worry, little guy, time will pass faster than you think. I might have brought a little something to keep your mind off school."
I watched Uncle John with eager eyes as he opened his leather duster and made a show of sticking his arm into the inside pocket; a laugh escaped me when I saw how his arm magically sank up to his shoulder while he was digging around in his small pocket.
"I know I put it around here somewhere," he stated, "Ah, here it is," and pulled out what looked like a black rock half the size of a football.
Uncle John tossed the rock towards me and said, "Think fast."
The first thing I noticed after I caught the rock was the heat rising from it. I studied the rock a little closer and saw strange geometric patterns randomly placed on the rock.
"What does the rock do?" I asked.
Aunt Nefret interjected, "It's not a rock; it's a Lamassu egg." She handed me a book and said, "I think you will find this useful."
I glanced at the cover and saw the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Underneath the title were many different images of magical creatures that randomly moved around the book as they pleased.
Mum asked in a worried tone, "Is it safe?"
Uncle John responded, "Of course, a Lamassu will bond with the first thing it sees and consider it a family. It only becomes dangerous if something threatens its family."
After hearing Uncle John's reply, Dad narrowed his eyes, and pointedly asked, "Is it legal?"
Uncle John innocently pointed his hand towards himself and protested, "Of course, I would never break any of the increasingly stringent and unnecessary laws the ministry has been foisting on the wizarding world?"
I heard my father respond in a tone that would accept no-nonsense, "John."
Uncle John pulled out a document and waved it like a white flag and said, "Ok I give, here is the necessary immigration form approving the Lamassu entry into the country. It wasn't easy, but Amos Diggory is an old friend, and he works in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Beasts."
I smiled and asked, "Does this mean I get to keep it?"
I saw my parents look at each other and have a silent conversation with their eyes. With resignation in her voice, my mother responded, "Yes, but it's your responsibility to take care of it; we won't be doing a thing."
With a broad smile on my face, I hurriedly assured them, "Don't worry; you won't have to do a single thing."
I silently watched the egg, expecting it to hatch at any moment, after a few moments, I shot Uncle John a look and questioned, "Is it broken?"
He replied, "They only can only hatch on a night with no moonlight."
It was times like these that made me miss having all the information of the internet at my fingertips. How did people handle random questions that they needed an answer too before the internet?
I felt a pat on my head as Grandma said, "Lucky you, I do believe that there will be a new moon tonight."
"Why don't you go put that up into your room for safekeeping?" my father said.
I got up and rushed upstairs, after entering my room, I set the egg carefully on my pillow, and after making sure that the egg was secure and not in danger of rolling off the bed. I returned downstairs to find several more presents awaiting me.
I looked at my parents for permission, after receiving the nod, I tore into the presents in a manner that is only cute in a child. Deciding to work from smaller to larger, I grabbed the smallest gift. After I tore the wrapping, I saw a little blue leather journal with my name etched in the top of the cover.
As I looked up, Dad explained, "It's enchanted to hide its contents, so no one can read what you write."
I ran over and hugged him and whispered loudly, "Thanks, Dad; this will be handy to keep secrets from a certain nosy nelly," I pointedly didn't look in my mother's direction.
"Hmph, I would never do anything so deceitful." Mum replied indignantly.
"Go on, open mine next," Mum quickly changed the conversation and pointed her wand at a book-sized present and flicked it towards me.
The red-wrapped present launched itself at me, I quickly reached up and caught it before it could take my head off, the gift seemed to shake in my hand as if it couldn't wait for me to unwrap it.
I threw a disgruntled look towards my mom for nearly taking my head off and tore the wrapping off. I found a book with the title The Fundamentals of Potion Making, "It's a handwritten book," Mum explained in a fond voice, "I was able to get someone special to write it, Nicholas Flamel."
After hearing that the author was Nicholas Flamel, I looked at Mum, unable to articulate how much it meant to me. I reverently held the book. Within these pages was information written by one of the most famous wizards in the world. Flamel was over six hundred years old, and the only publicly acknowledged immortal wizard of our time due to the creation of the Philosopher's Stone.
A loud whistle shook me from my thoughts. Uncle John exclaimed: "How did you get him to write that book for Alex?"
Mum replied with a huff, "I've been telling people that we are related, but no one ever seems to believe me." Everyone laughed at her disgruntled expression
I set the book down and reached for the last remaining present; it was a long rectangular box. Grandma spoke as I removed the lid and found a long broomstick inside, "It's a Fawley family tradition to get a broomstick for your 5th birthday."
I only vaguely remember a few of the different models from the harry potter books; I asked eagerly, "Is it a nimbus?"
"NO!" Dad and Uncle John's voice angrily rang out at the same time.
"You didn't tell him," Uncle John accused Dad with a betrayed look.
Dad harshly retorted, "He is only five, he doesn't need to know."
I interjected, "Know what?"
Uncle John and Dad seemed to have a wordless argument, before Uncle John threw up his hands and shouted, "Fine, keep him ignorant."
After a few awkward moments of silence, Grandma broke the ice, "No, honey, it's a bluebottle." She turned to Mum to reassure her, "It's the safest broomstick available. It's nowhere near as fast as a racing broom, and has dozens of spells to ensure safety."
I jumped up and hugged Grandma, "Thank you so much." I turned and ran to dad and pleaded with big eyes, "Can we please, please, please go outside and fly."
He replied with a smirk, "I don't know, more guests should be coming for your party in a few hours."
I mustered up all the adorableness I could manage and pleaded with puppy dog eyes. "Please, I'll be good; it won't take very long, please."
"Fine," he relented, "Grab your broomstick, and we can go outside and have your first lesson."
I jumped up and ran outside, eager for my first lesson. Unfortunately, I've learned things rarely go as well as you plan.