Lauren and her best friend Liese lay belly down on the twin bed in Lauren’s room pouring over the latest issue of Heat magazine under the watchful eye of her Beyonce, McFly, and HRH Queen Elizabeth II posters. Ryan crossed the cluttered carpet, worn to a fuschia color, nearly tripping over a pair of old trainers in order to check his hair in the mirror for the tenth time. It was over-processed and a plasticized raven color. He adjusted his chunky faux platinum chain so the “diamond”-encrusted dollar sign sat squarely between his pectorals when he flexed them. The girls nattered on so when it came to their favourite celebrities and he required distraction from their chittering. Rolling his eyes at Lauren’s constant mispronunciation, “bing bing” and not having the strength to correct her this time, he began sifting through various teen girl paraphernalia to find nothing intriguing.
He made his way over to the bedside table closest to his sometime girlfriend, trying to get a look up her uniform skirt as he sat himself down to lean back against it. He sighed loudly in her general direction as sometimes it got Lauren to find Liese an errand to run so he could go in for a quick snog in relative private. She was not taking the bait on purpose, flipping her long, crimped ginger ponytail decisively in his direction as she turned the page and continued to describe Justin Timberlake’s, abs. He sighed again, this time without exaggeration.
An elaborately carved wooden box peeked out at him from beneath the bed. He checked to see that Lauren’s attention was still fully occupied elsewhere before he inched it out and nudged it open. Despite the gold keyhole, it wasn’t locked, the brass hinges making a slight hydraulic sound as they propped up the lid. There was a collection of letters on thick, expensive paper, elegant calligraphy on each of the carefully opened envelopes. Also there was a smaller box nestled in the upper right-hand corner. In there was a sphere about the size of a golf ball, engraved to look like it was made with clockwork parts. It was strapped down into a red velvet cushion for some reason. When Ryan undid its bindings, it was literally freed.
Matching metal wings sprouted from it already fluttering and, with a slight whir of cogs and gears turning, it took off with a speed he had never seen. He tried his best to catch it, but as he turned around, it was to nearly collide with an extremely agitated one Miss Lauren Cooper, her right hand raised wrapped around the finally stationary ball.
Lauren heard the familiar whine even over Liese. She got off of the bed, followed it with her eyes for a moment then calmly plucked it out of the air. She didn’t understand what was so difficult about catching the damn thing. Ryan looked positively mortified. As well he should, disrespecting her and her house in that manner. How very dare he? She berated him thoroughly, as was her way when offended, and told him to depart immediately. He did so without hesitation. Lauren turned back to Liese reading one of the letters from the box which lay open on the bed now.
“But what is it, though?” Liese asked.
“What’s what?” Lauren replied with another question as she carefully replaced the ball.
“This flyin’ ball and all. These letters in this box and everything. What are they?”
But Liese had already begun reading one of the letters aloud. “I look forward to meeting you in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Are you a witch, mate?”
Lauren snatched the paper from her friend’s grasp and crossed her arms, dropping onto her bed and crossing her argyle clad legs at the knee. “No.”
“You’re a witch, though. Admit it!”
“No I ain’t, though.”
“You are!” Liese pointed as slim finger at her best friend. “That’s the Golden Snitch and all.”
“No it ain’t, though. It’s just a present from my uncle, is it?”
“What’s he called, then?”
“Who?” Lauren ran her tongue over her top teeth a few times and began shaking her leg a bit in irritation.
“Your uncle, mate! What’s he called?”
“H-he… He’s called Hagrid,” she murmured to the baseboard.
Liese clapped once triumphantly, and with a gleeful cry, shouted, “You are a witch, then! Wait’ll I tell Ryan…”
“You better not tell him nothin’. Besides, I ain’t a witch.”
“You are, mate.”
“No I ain’t, though.”
“You got a letter from Hogwarts and all.”
“But I ain’t even a witch, though.”
“But you got a Golden Snitch, mate.”
“But I ain’t even a witch, though.”
“But mate, you got an Uncle Hagrid.”
As Lauren was about to continue the argument, an oddly-colored owl flew in through the open window and perched on her right shoulder.
"Alright," she drawled in greeting, then from its beak plucked an envelope of the same make as the ones in her special box. “Thank you,” she said to the bird solemnly. She then reached into her breast pocket and extracted a bit of some sort of beef jerky treat which she fed to it. It turned its head almost entirely around and eyed Liese for a moment. It seemed to shake its head, making a noise incredibly similar to laughter as Liese stared at the exchange with wide dark eyes and an open mouth. Then off it flew, back out the way it came as Lauren read her note, then placed it in the box with the others. All was put back in its rightful “hiding” place. She then stood up, awkwardly looking around the room and sliding her tongue along her top teeth again.
“Am I bovvered?”
“But mate, that was an owl.”
“So? I ain’t bovvered.”
“It delivered you a letter, mate.”
“I ain’t bovvered, though.”
“That means you’re a witch, though.”
“No it don’t and I ain’t even bovvered.”
“You had an owl treat in your pocket for it, though.”
“No I didn’t and I ain’t bovvered.”
“But mate you-”
“Look at my face. Look at my face!” Lauren pointed at it with a pale finger. “Does it look bovvered?”
“That’s ‘cause I ain’t bovvered.”
“Yeah, but your uncle-”
“Look! Face? Bovvered? I ain’t bovvered. Hogwarts? Witches? Wizards? Owls? Muggles? I ain’t even bovvered.” She then parroted Professor McGonagall, “Ten points to Gryffindor!” Then went back to her own voice, “I ain’t bovvered. Look. Look! I ain’t even bovvered. Diagon Alley? Wands? Spells? I ain’t bovvered.” She switched to the voice of an alumni, one Miss Hermione Granger. “It’s LeviOHsah not LeviohSAH!” Back to her personal way of speaking, “I ain’t even bovvered.” Then her uncle Hagrid was channeled. “Very misunderstood creatures, dragons are.” She ended with her usually exasperated self. “I ain’t.. Bovvered!”
With a huff, Lauren brought wildly gesturing arms back into herself in order to cross them. Silence hung between them for a moment before Liese finally spoke up.
“You could probably get off with a Weasley, though.”
“Yeah, right, that’d be a laugh, wouldn’t it?”