MANY YEARS LATER
The doorbell rang. I finished wiping my ass, got into some old clothes and went to the door.
There was a young guy out there with red hair hanging down around his face and a frizzy-hair girl who just kept smiling as if she were crazy.
“Yeh. Who you two guys?”
“She is a woman. Don’t you remember us? From that first train into Hogwarts? That time we defeated Quirinus Quirrell? That other time you saved my younger sister from the Basilisk? That time when we saved your uncle from going back to Azkaban? Remember? That time we helped you figure out the riddles for the TriWizard Tournament? And Dumbledore’s Army? And the time Dumbledore got killed? Then there was that time we all quit school and went searching around the country for Horcruxes? Then we fought against Voldemort and he thought he killed you but he didn’t? Then we grew up and had families and boring jobs and lived happily for ever and ever Amen?”
“Oh, balls, come on in.”
They brought in a flower, some kind of red-orange thing on a green stem. It made a lot more sense than many things, except that it had been murdered. I found a bowl, put the flower in, brought out a jug of wine and put it on the coffeetable.
“You don’t remember Hermione?” Ron asked. “You said you wanted to fuck her.”
“Very nice, but not now.”
“Potski, how are you going to make it without Hogwarts?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll fuck you. Or let you fuck me. Hell, I don’t know.”
“You can sleep on our floor anytime.”
“Can I watch while you fuck?”
When the wine was done, we went down and saw a nude floor show, drinking and hollering and laughing. I don’t know who had the money but I think Ron had most of it, which was nice for a change, and I kept laughing and squeezing Hermione’s ass and her thighs and kissing her, but nobody cared. As long as the money lasted, you lasted.
They drove me back and Ron left with Hermione. I got into the door, said goodbye, turned on the radio, found a half-pint of scotch, drank that, laughing, feeling good, finally relaxed, free, burning my fingers with short cigar butts, then made it to the bed, made it to the edge, tripped, fell down, fell down across the mattress, slept, slept, slept…
In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.
Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought. Maybe I’ll write seven, then make them into movies.
And then I did.
One class I was assigned to the seat next to Draco Malfoy. He didn’t read. He just sat there. And talked.
A young girl came in and sat down at the end of the row. I heard Malfoy. “Yeah, you cunt! You want my cock in your pussy, don’t you? That’s what you want, you cunt, don’t you?”
I went on reading the textbook. Professor Snape walked past. Malfoy said, “You’re on my list, mother! I’m going to get you, you dirty mother! You rotten bastard! Cocksucker!”
The teachers never bothered Malfoy. Nobody ever bothered Malfoy.
It was too much. I slammed my book shut.
“All right,” I told him, “I’m calling your card! I’m calling your whole stinking deck! You wanna go right here or outside?”
I looked at Malfoy. He was talking to the ceiling, insane: “I told you, you’re on top of my list! I’m going to get you and I’m going to get you good!”
O for Christ’s sake, I thought, I really sucked into that one! The other students were very quiet. I couldn’t blame them.
“POTSKI!” Snape was staring at me.
“What’s the matter, man?”
“No talking in class!”
His whole face glistened in fury. It was astounding. I couldn’t understand it.
“500 points from Gryffindor!”
“All right,” I said.
Snape came running down with the write-up. It was written in longhand. I couldn’t even read it. He had written in such fury that it had come out in blots and slants.
“I’m going to kill that son of a bitch!” Malfoy said.
“I wish you would, fat boy,” I said, “I wish you would.”
I slept in the Forbidden Forest that night. It seemed safer. I was tired and that hard tree root didn’t bother me at all. I slept.
Some time later I was awakened by what sounded like a roar. I never knew that hippogriffs roared. Or more exactly it was many things: a roar, an agitated inhale, and a hiss. I also heard the snapping of jaws. A drunken seventh-year was in the center of a clearing and he had one of the hippogriffs by the tail. The creature tried to twist and reach the seventh-year but found it difficult. The jaws were horrifying but very slow and uncoordinated. A Ravenclaw boy and girl stood watching and laughing. The Ravenclaw kissed the girl and they walked off together leaving the other fighting the hippogriff…
I was next awakened by the sun. My robes were hot. They were almost burning. The seventh-year was gone. So was the hippogriff. On a fallen log sat a girl and two boys. They had evidently slept in the Forest that night too. One of the boys stood up.
“Mickey,” said the girl, “you’ve got a hard-on!”
“How much money we’ve got?”
They looked through their pockets. They had one Knut.
“Well, what are we going to do?”
“I don’t know. Let’s start walking.”
I watched them walk off, out of the Forest, back to Hogwarts.
I was sitting next to a young girl who didn’t know her Tergeo spell very well.
“Try twisting your wrist this way,” I told her.
An older Hufflepuff boy was sidled up to her.
“You say you’re from Kansas City? Both my parents were born in Kansas City.”
“Is that so?” said the girl.
The she asked me:
“How about the impedimenta spell?”
“Say the word slightly before a clockwise twist.”
She was a little on the plump side but she was ready. I passed. I’d had it with the ladies for a while.
The Hufflepuff was standing real close to her.
“Do you live in England now?”
“Do you like Hogwarts?”
She turned to me.
“How about fiendfyre?”
When class was over, the Hufflepuff spoke to me.
“Potski, I timed you on your spells. Do you know what the standard is for those spells?”
I didn’t answer.
“You went 5 minutes over your time for those spells. And you’ve been talking to that Ravenclaw girl next to you.”
What was the use? I didn’t answer.
“I’m going to have to write you up, Potski. Gryffindor will lose points over this.”
Six years. Although each night had been long, the years had gone fast. Six years shot through the head. I had seen this school eat men up.
They either melted or they got fat, huge, especially around the ass and belly. It was the same motions and the same talk. And there I was, dizzy and with pains in the forehead, neck, chest, everywhere. On weekends I had to drink to forget it.
It had been a brutal Tuesday. Some friends of Hermione’s had come to the commons and sat on the couch and chirped, how they really were great wizards, really the best in the nation. The only reason they didn’t get honors was that they didn’t—they said—show off in public like I had.
I had looked at them. If they practiced the way they looked, drinking their coffee and giggling and dipping their scones, it didn’t matter if they showed their magic to others or jammed it.