The boy found a traffic cone. He picked it up and weighed it in his hand – not too heavy, not too light. He looked around but it didn’t seem to belong to anyone in particular, so he put it on his head and continued on his way to the playground.
Along the way, past the shops on the High Street, he caught a glimpse of himself in a window of a shop selling old clothes and bits of crockery. The boy adjusted the angle of his cone and was pleased with the effect; rather like a magician’s hat, he thought. Only more orange and white.
‘I like your cone,’ said his friend Flo at the park.
‘It’s not a cone, it’s a hat,’ he said frowning at her. She obviously wasn’t looking at it properly.
‘OK,’ she said and scooted off.
The boy walked around the playground a few times and saw that people were staring at him in admiration. They were obviously the sort of people who appreciated a good magician’s hat. He picked up a stick and broke it in half to make a wand. That completed the picture.
Flo came scooting back with some of her friends. One of them was carrying a hula hoop.
‘Look!’ yelled Flo. ‘Alf’s got a cone on his head! Stand still Alf, and we’ll see if we can hoop you!’
The boy endured a few minutes of this before shouting at the girls and stamping off. This was not how wizards were treated. Nobody hoopla-ed Dumbledore. Or Gandalf.
On the way home from the park, the boy put the cone back where he found it. Someone else could have it. Magicians weren’t that great, anyway.