In a world created by Tim, an alternate Tim is sold at a slave market and executed. Another Tim, presumably the Other, watches.
The true Tim gets ready for his new school, Bardsey, which he will be attending with Cyril. He is frustrated with having to wear a tie.
The school's head tours Thomas Currie around, who is replacing one of the teachers who went mysteriously missing.
When Tim and Cyril arrive at school, Cyril seems to have a strange influence over the other boys, getting them to do what he says in return for being allowed to see an unknown "it."
He walks the boys through a tunnel under the school and shows them "it": the dead body of the missing teacher, which he keeps from smelling too badly with car air fresheners. Cyril has obviously gone nuts, and wears a skull mask.
Currie teaches a class with Tim in it, and tries to learn about him via questions that are ostensibly about the curriculum. He thinks Tim seems naive and foolish. When Cyril volunteers to talk about what he would do if he were a god, he has a megalomaniacal vision similar to what he did when he was an "angel" earlier; he says he wants to be the King of the Dead.
Currie is confused, because Tim shows no sign of power--because he gave his magic up. Cyril is jealous because Currie ignores him. Cyril talks with the dead teacher about his "problems."
Currie intentionally runs into Tim at a market later on. They watch a street magician, and Currie says he knows some real magic. Tim doesn't believe him, but goes along with it. Currie has Tim close his eyes, and imagine colors. As he does, Tim unknowingly makes objects of those colors appear in reality, despite the fact that he thinks he gave up magic. When he opens his eyes, he has The Sight, and can see all the traces of magic in reality.
However, when he looks at Currie, he sees the illusion of the Glamour Stone now, and realizes Currie is magic. However, he thinks the troll form is Currie's true form. Assuming Currie is trying to manipulate him to get his magic, Tim stomps off.
Currie gets more and more worried about this Tim. He hoped he would be good and skilled, but instead he has no skill and was not raised with good ethics about his magic.
When Tim returns to school, he runs into Davis, a boy that avoided him earlier. Davis says that everyone believes Tim and Currie are having a sexual fling, and that people also think Currie killed the teacher he replaced (which is a rumor Cyril created). Because of a misunderstanding of the term "fairy," by which Davis means "gay" and Tim means "Faerie," Tim agrees that Curry is a "fairy" and he might be one himself. Davis is actually gay, and upon thinking that Tim is too, he invites Tim to hang out with him and his other gay friends, since Cyril has ostracized Tim from all the other boys.