Michael was in fits of giggles, still, five minutes after I'd finished tickling him. My little brother had always been so strange. I continued to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ignoring his Woody Woodpecker like laugh.
"I'm telling," he suddenly stated, getting up. For a four year old, he could be so mardy.
"What for?" I paused the TV and looked at him.
"You put me on the floor!" Michael announced. I rolled my eyes.
"Mum won't even care," I said.
"Yes she will!"
"No she won't."
"Michael, it's my birthday. Mum is not going to care that I put you on the floor."
"It's your birthday?" his cute little face screwed up in confusion.
"Yes. I'm thirteen. And I haven't even had a birthday cuddle yet." I folded my arms and stuck out my bottom lip. My brother launched himself onto me and squeezed me as hard as he could, which was actually pretty hard considering how small he was.
"Happy birthday!" he exclaimed cheerily. "When do we get to open presents?"
I grinned and rolled my eyes again. "Go and get Mum up and then you can help me open my presents."
"YAY!" He ran up the stairs sounding a bit like a baby elephant. It was then that I realised I didn't even know where my presents were, never mind when I was opening them. It would be easier and less humiliating if I didn't look for them 'cause if I did they'd be in someplace obvious, like next to the sofa, and I'd totally miss them.
I sat on the carpet with my legs crossed when I heard Michael running down the stairs going "Yay yayay yayay yayay!" on each step. I smiled as he dumped himself onto my lap, and mum sat on the sofa with a large bag. "Open it open it open it!"
"Hey, they're Ewan's present," Mum told him, but she was smiling, too.
"Yeah. You've got nine more birthdays to go before you're my age, little bro."
"I don't care! I want to open presents now!"
"All right, all right. Come on, tip 'em out."
A pile of multicolour squares fell out of the bag Mum upended. I noticed one in particular 'cause it was the only purple one, the paper was abnormally shiny and it had an oddly un-shiny light blue stripe from top to bottom on one side. I looked at Michael, because he normally commented on stuff like this, but he didn't appear to have even noticed it, He was too interested in a small present, wrapped in yellow paper, which rattled when he shook it. I just hoped whatever was inside wasn't fragile.
"Go on then," I told him. "Open it."
"Yay!" he tore at the lemon coloured paper to reveal a pack of playing cards.
"Yes!" I grinned. I could always count on Uncle Mark to get me stuff like that. I wanted a pack of cards so I could play solitaire without going on my laptop. The rest of the present were things like vouchers and gift cards, and someone got me a Nintendo DS game, and someone else got me exactly the same game, just for Nintendo Wii instead. That made me laugh.
After all the gifts were open, and all the wrapping paper had been thrown in a black bag, Mum went upstairs to bath Michael, so I was in the front room on my own. I saw that the purple present with the blue stripe was still exactly where it had been when I'd first noticed it. Curious, I walked over and picked it up. Nothing happened, but I was confused as to why Mum and Michael hadn't noticed it. I shook it gently.
And it disintegrated.
It actually disintegrated in my hands, falling as a pile of silver glitter onto the crimson carpet.
"Wow," I said, impressed, but also very confused.
Behind me, someone cleared their throat.
I spun around to see some random guy standing in front of the fireplace.
"Dude," I acknowledged him automatically, raising an eyebrow.
"Hello," he said. "We've got to get going soon. I'm supposed to be in Wales, not Manchester."
"Ok, but I've gotta ask my mum."
"She knows," he sighed, sounding irritated, as if he was bored of having to say it.
"Um, all right. Where?"
"But it's Saturday," I objected.
"Ugh! I'll explain later. Can we just get going?"
"Sure," I said.
"Thank you!" he exclaimed, annoyed. "What's your name?"
"Ewan Blunt," I told him. "What's yours?"
"Tinsley for you," he said. Then, before I had time to react, he grabbed my wrist and we were gone.