The walk to the stage feels like it takes forever, whereas previous students journeys to accept their awards were met with polite applause and the occasional heckle his was met with deathly, awkward silence.
He knew it was going to be like this. "Most Improved Student." All it really meant was an entire term had passed and no one had vanished, or caught fire, or found themselves as a different species.
It was all his parents fault, it wasn't that they were ashamed of his powers it was more they didn't like the idea of sending him away to a "special school".
They even did the inverted comma thing with their fingers. "Special". As if being a natural warlock was some type of disease.
If he had been allowed to go to a wizarding school, none of this would have happened. His powers would have been celebrated and honed, he would have learnt to control them and realise the potential he had within him.
But instead here he was at Ballyforth comp, the school his brothers went to and as his mother was apt to remind him the school the local mp went to when he were a lad.
And if a great man like him can get ahead in life why should Kevin McIntosh get any special treatment?
There was that word again, "special."
So he trudged his way up to the stage where the head in his finest gown and mortarboard stood nervously waiting to hand over the small, cheap, solid tin trophy.
As he made his way up the steps, he stumbled and landed face first at the headmasters feet, the assembly hall erupted into a chorus of giggles.
"Silence!" Bellowed the head, picking up young Kevin.
"Just keep calm eh lad?" The head muttered, hoping he could style this out and end the year on a blood free high.
"So the award for most improved student of the year goes to Kevin McIntosh!"
The head hands over the gaudy trinket and tries to start a round of applause, only a few people join in and Kevin starts his way back to his seat.
As he reaches the steps, some brave soul, safe at the back, shouts "Mind your step Wizbit!"
This gets the reaction he hoped for and the hall once more bursts into laughter.
Kevin drops the trophy, it clanks, cheaply down the steps, falling in slow motion.
He clenches his fists and closes his eyes, when he reopens them they are glowing red.
"Fara í brott" shouts Kevin in a tongue he doesn't know and pushes his arms outward, fingers splayed.
A ball of energy leaves the child engulfing the hall with a satisfying, warm "Whooompf" sound.
And then they are gone, the hall is empty.
Kevin picks his trophy up, polishes it with his sleeve, smiles at the reflection and tosses it over his shoulder.
"Most improved student my arse" he says to no one and walks out of the hall.