After the years of torment and frustration that Ballyforth had inflicted upon him, Kevin was surprised to find himself feeling nervous as he pulls on his new uniform. Nervous and disappointed, he expected a cloak or at least a pointy hat. The maroon jumper over a crisp white shirt and grey trousers weren't exactly awe inspiring; he could have been a normal schoolboy going to a normal school.
Only he wasn't.
"I'm Kevin McIntosh . . . I'm a wizard." He says to the reflection in his wardrobe door. "Hi I'm Kevin." He says trying his introduction again "Sup? I'm Kev." No one had ever called him Kev and he wasn't sure he wanted people to start now. With a sigh he picked up his school bag and his cauldron and trudged downstairs.
In the kitchen Valerie McIntosh is watching the news. An unremarkable man in a hi-vis waistcoat and impeccably clean wellingtons is walking through a building site. Hearing her son approaching; Val tries to turn the TV off but presses the wrong button on the remote and instead turns the volume up.
Looking directly into the camera, trying to be sincere the hi-vis sporting man delivers an obviously well practised speech.
"Kevin McIntosh isn't the mindless vandal the prime minister is trying to portray him as here. He isn't a terrorist who needs to be punished and locked away for our protection.
Kevin McIntosh is a child; he is a victim of institutional bullying and the prime minister is singling out this child, making him a leper in our community and I won't stand for it! I will be voting against the proposed anti-magic bill. Wizards and Witches are people too!"
The TV cuts back to the studio where the catalogue perfect couple are sat on a lurid sofa. The middle aged man's eyes flick up and down as he reads the autocue, "That was Martin McVeigh at Ballyforth Comprehensive where rebuilding work is due to start next week after last month's magic based incident. Now over to Sian . . ."
Mrs McIntosh switches the TV off and smiles at her son. "Sorry petal, so are you all set for your big day? "
Kevin smiles back at his mother trying to hide his nerves, "I think so yeah, Mum . . ."
"What if they don't like me?"
For the first time in as long as she could remember, Valerie McIntosh didn't see an adolescent with powers he couldn't handle. She saw a little boy, her frightened little boy. Ignoring the fact he was now at least a foot taller than her, Valerie pulled Kevin in for a hug and ruffled his hair.
"Of course they'll like you petal. They'll love you; you're my special little boy."