I pulled my golden Converse out of the urinal and checked the damage. Aside from the worn rubber on the sole and the missing aglet on the right shoelace, it seemed okay, if wet…and smelly. I shrugged but jammed it on to my bare foot anyway and squelched over to the sink, kicking a stupid urinal cake out of the way. I needed to dry my pants.
You may be wondering how my golden Converse ended up in a urinal — and perhaps even why my pants were wet. The answer is quite simply this: Harry Potter.
Now, some have called me naïve before…and that may be true—(I don’t trust goblins), but I am certain of one thing: Dobby is an a-hole.
It was Christmastime at the mall, and I had just finished spray-painting my Converse gold. Snitch gold was supposed to make me wicked fast and damn-near-impossible-to-see. I ran through the mall, zigzagging between the slow bystanders, easily. I kept my eyes closed because it made me feel like I was flying. I opened them only when people shouted. Haters.
I walked into the store ‘Day by Day Calendar’ and immediately bumped into an old lady. I’m sure she couldn’t see me because I had been moving so fast I was probably invisible. She glanced down at my shoes before muttering ‘tawdry’ and walking away.
“My name’s Ian.” I said. Tawdry is a girl’s name.
I very suddenly felt the need to relieve myself. I dashed from the store in search of the nearest loo, unbuttoning my trousers as I went.
A short man dressed as an elf was taking care of business as I flew into him after slamming through the bathroom door.
‘Get your wand out of my face. Bro!’ the elf man said, holding his hands up like a shield.
I realized that he was none other than the house elf, Dobby!
‘I apologize, Dobby, I am simply trying to be invisible.’ I said.
‘Dobby? Dude, seriously, go flush yourself. Happy Holidays.’
A prophecy? Maybe I could ‘flush myself’ into the wizarding world.
I did what I had gone there to do, and then clambered into the urinal and flushed, waiting with my arms crossed over my bare chest. When nothing happened I flushed again…and again. I thought maybe I had to say the destination out loud, like with Floo powder, so I cleared my throat and bellowed ‘MINISTRY OF MAGIC!’ in my clearest voice. My pants slid down to my ankles.
“Kid you’re nuts.” Dobby said, shuffling out the door.
My shout echoed off the walls and I waited until the cold sank into to my bones and goose bumps rose sharply in perfect patterns across my skin. It was in that moment that I realized how impossible it would be to reach the Ministry of Magic through a urinal. I kicked the urinal cake in frustration and it skid across the floor.
I smelled something gross and observed that I probably should have flushed the urinal before stepping into it and sloshing around. I wondered why Dobby wanted me to face this reality; and then it hit me, he wanted my shoes.