Zeph was a fairly ordinary boy, the sort that most of you will know. He was ten years old and small for his age. As most kids do because of the law, he went to school every weekday, rain or shine, and had since he was four years old. Zeph's favourite possession was his prized computer - he loved computer games and spent all weekend playing them. That's what he was doing at the moment when his mother yelled,
"Zephyr Angelo Raphael Granville-Barker! Come down here this instant! If you've been playing on that computer again, turn it off immediately. You know I've banned you for the week."

Zeph groaned. If there was one thing he hated about himself, it was his name. If there was one thing he hated about his mother it was her attitude to computer games. Why on earth had his parents saddled him with a name like that anyway? Angelo appeared on all of his school things, and he was nothing like an angel. Worse, he was teased about it constantly. It fitted the other grand names they'd given him, but did absolutely nothing for his personal image. It was even worse than his much-missed brother's name: Godric (a traditional name in his mother's family) Peregrine Lysander Granville-Barker. That wasn't too bad - not like Angelo, which looked so much like Angel. It had been Rick that had shortened their names to Zeph and Rick - their parents would never have dreamed of it. There was no one who called him Zeph now - it seemed the name was as dead as his brother. Still, there was no avoiding it now that authority (his mother) had spoken.

She was waiting for him in the kitchen. Her thin body tense was with anger, and she clutched a letter in her bony fist.
"Is this some kind of a joke you and your friends are playing?" she demanded. "What do you know about it?" Zeph took the envelope she was brandishing at him; not bothering to inform her as he had in the past that a weedy kid like him, especially one called Zephyr Angelo, would never have friends at his school. He opened it and pulled out a letter. It was addressed to him.

Dear Mr. Z Granville-Barker,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact us by no later than the 31st of July. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term will begin on 1 September.
Yours sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress

Zeph stared at it in amazement, then turned to his mother.
"What does it mean? I mean, wizards don't exist- everyone knows that these days."
"Of course they don't," his mother snapped at him, sounding unusually rattled. "So long as you don't know anything about it, we'll just ignore it - it's just someone trying to be funny."
"Yes Mother," Zeph said, dismissing it instantly from his mind.
"Good, now go and weed the vegetable patch." Zeph sighed, there was obviously no hope at all for his game to continue for a while now that his existence had been brought to the forefront of his mother's mind.

* * * * * *

That evening, Fred Granville-Barker was summoned into the dining room as
soon as he got home from work. He'd much rather have been watching the
television, but it was more than his life was worth to disobey a direct instruction from his authoritarian wife. He looked at the letter wearily,
tired after his long day. Then he looked up at her, shocked.
"Not again!"
"Unfortunately I believe it is. That is an identical letter. They obviously haven't realized how dangerous these children are to everyone- they're a public hazard! Zephyr is not going to end up the same way as his delinquent brother. We couldn't even bury him properly!" she said, starting to get somewhat tearful despite her harsh words.

"The sooner we stamp it out of him the better, I say," Fred said hurriedly, hoping to cut her off before she could start getting hysterical as she did relatively often. "He's our only child now, so we can't afford to get it wrong. Don't let him out of your sight until you're sure that he's free of that disease. I suppose I'd better take him off your hands and look after him at the weekends, not that the little brat will be any use to me. Wasn't your sister similarly affected?"
"She was, all right. She killed our father in front of me!"
"What?" her husband replied, rather startled. "Is it safe to have the brat in the house."
"Don't worry, Frederick dear, she'd always hated him. A right little mama's baby she was. One day, we were out for a family expedition, a lovely little country walk, so bracing you know. She blew him off the top of a cliff. I know it must have been her, because there was no wind at all, and he was standing at least three feet from the edge. Then suddenly, suddenly he wasn't there any more. I'm glad the shameless girl was murdered. She deserved it."
"Murdered! Why haven't you told me this before? Didn't you think I should have known about all this?"
"No, it didn't really concern you. We both hated each other on principle as long as I can remember. After I was five and she was seven, we didn't say a word to each other unless our parents specifically told us to. She just vanished one day and was never seen again, much to my relief. It happens all the time. You'd know that if you watched the news like I keep telling you to."

Fred took a deep breath.

"I've told you before, time and time again. I do not watch the news like your sainted father, may his soul rest in peace, did, because I'm too busy."
"I'm sorry, dear, I'm just getting a bit emotional. It's the shock, I believe, it gets to me, you know that Frederick."