It has already been more than three weeks since Casimir had first arrived in this world but he had yet to catch a glimpse of his supposed mother so, like any curious individual, he asked around for information. Discretely, of course.
"Father. Where is my mother?"
Just kidding. It was more like...
"Lately, I've been reading some things about muggle technology but, there are some things which I can't quite understand. If mother was here, maybe I could go and ask her since you're too busy most of the time, father." Casimir seemed to carelessly mention during dinner one night.
"You know she's busy in Paris around this time, Casimir. Just wait for a few more weeks. She'll probably be home for your birthday." Mr. Proulx replied with a sigh. Probably. "For the meantime, you can ask Alphonse for anything you don't understand."
"Oh, I see..." Casimir felt dejected. "Thank you, father."
It was a few days after that, just after Casimir had fed Noir his breakfast and was just about to go and eat his as well, when he saw an ordinary-looking barn owl fly across the garden and entered the open windows of Mr. Proulx's office.
Having already been accustomed to life in the wizardly part of earth, he knew that an owl entering the manor signified the arrival of a letter or a parcel of some sorts.
So, when Casimir was eating breakfast with Mr. Proulx, he posed a question. "A letter arrived, father?"
"...Indeed." The man answered, his voice sour.
It seems that whatever was in the letter put him in a bad mood.
Seeing that he was not in any mood to continue the conversation, most people would either change the topic or would stop talking.
Unfortunately, Casimir wasn't like most people.
"Who was it from, father?" Casimir continued asking.
"...Mr. Malfoy, as usual." Mr. Proulx answered after pausing for a moment. "Eat."
"Oh." Casimir took a bite of the buttered croissant.
"... He changed his owl?" Mr. Malfoy had an eagle-owl. Not a barn owl.
To his question, Mr. Proulx flinched and didn't answer anymore, eating his breakfast in silence.
For the rest of their time eating, no one said a word and, just like that, ten minutes passed.
Casimir quickly finished his food and was about to excuse himself when, his father suddenly spoke.
"It was your mother." Mr. Proulx sighed. "She sent a letter."
"She won't be able to come home for your birthday so she sent a letter to ask what present you would want instead." Casimir turned to look at Mr. Proulx, finally knowing why the man was in such a sour mood so early in the morning.
Honestly, the news also dampened his mood significantly as well but, hey! No one can get everything they wished for.
"She apologized but, it seems like she has something important to do so she'll be extending her stay in Paris for two months more." Mr. Proulx continued in an apologetic tone.
More important than her son's birthday, it seems.
"Oh... I understand. Thank you for informing me, father." Casimir said with a smile, as if the news didn't bother him. "Please tell mother that I would like a musical instrument for my birthday."
Sitting around without any form of entertainment gets boring after a while.
"I see... I'll make sure to pass the message to her." Mr. Proulx smiled, watching the back of his son as he walked away.
From under the table, Mr. Proulx had a letter gripped tightly in his hand and, in the letter, there was no such apology. It had no explanation, no asking for present, it didn't even have a return address. All there was, was a single sentence.
'Won't come back this year.'
...Just when will you come back, Anaise? It's been nine months...
Leaves were slowly falling from the trees, drifting with the wind for a while, fluttering gently before landing on the ground silently.
The trees were slowly turning various shades of orange and reds but, since it was still in the early stages of autumn, most trees weren't going bald yet.
For those sightseeing, it was truly a wonder to see but, for the gardeners, it was a horror.
Take for example, this certain gardener in the Proulx manor who was currently scratching the back of his head in frustration, stomping his foot on the grass and staring the scattered leaves on the lawn.
"I just cleaned this place a while ago! Argh!"
For the other people in the manor, aside from the gardener, today was a joyous occasion. Numerous servants were rushing about; be it the chefs in the kitchen, the maids and butlers, even the owls were more active than usual!
Maids were hastily cleaning the house, making the floors as shiny as possible and the windows so clear, you wouldn't even realize that there was glass separating the inside from the outside!
Of course, the butlers were just as busy, taking notes of who knows what, inspecting the conditions of various items, recording the names of the guests who will arrive, and such.
Inside the kitchen was much more hectic; the chefs were rushing about here and there, cooking various types of dishes, creating a sumptuous feast that could feed around a hundred people in the least amount of time as possible. From time to time, you would also hear the voice of the head chef as he scolded the chefs for a small mistake they made.
One might ask, why is it so busy today?
Well, it was September 13!
The young master's birthday!
Perhaps the only place which wasn't affected by the joyous atmosphere was the stable. And that's exactly where the star of the day was in; reading a book while leaning on Noir, making a pillow out of the beast's belly.