13 What are You
"Fortunately, Mr. Malfoy went outside for some fresh air so he didn't notice." Mr. Proulx said coldly.
He went out? How come we didn't see him though? Casimir was confused.
"But, you! I told you not to wander around. How come you never listen to what you're told?" Mr. Proulx flicked Casimir's forehead.
"Owh..." Casimir held his forehead reflexively and looked at Mr. Proulx with an aghast expression, looking as if he were wronged.
Meanwhile, Draco was just watching them from the side, laughing to himself.
"Don't give me that look." Mr. Proulx had his eyes narrowed. "Tell me, was it right for the host to leave his own banquet?"
"No...?" Casimir replied but, it sounded more like a question since he wasn't exactly sure how banquets worked. "It felt boring here so I thought...that we could...go out..?" He tried to explain but his voice just got softer and softer as he went on, perturbed by the unreasonably cold expression Mr. Proulx had on.
"We'll talk later." Mr. Proulx just said this single line, then, left to chat with the guests.
Oh fuck! That line again!
"Do you always get scolded by your father?" Draco asked out of nowhere, his face still having a gloating expression.
I swear, one day I will teach this brat a lesson. Casimir thought to himself.
"No. Today was special." Casimir lied with a straight face.
"Speaking of special, why did your father suddenly decide to throw a banquet? Don't you know that throwing a banquet on a thirteen that falls on a Friday is bad luck?" Draco asked, looking as if he were a smart person trying to educate a stupid person.
"...It's my seventh birthday..." Casimir said glumly.
"Oh... Happy Birthday." Draco said awkwardly then, reverted back to his prideful expression. "Just so you know, I had mine three months ago so I'm older than you."
"...Did you really come here without knowing what the banquet is for?" Casimir asked skeptically.
"Why would I need to know the purpose of every stupid banquet?" Draco replied with a question of his own.
"So you can avoid offending people!" Casimir suddenly had the urge to smack some sense into this arrogant child.
"Why should I need to be afraid of offending people? They should be afraid of offending me!" Draco stated in a matter-of-fact way.
... Casimir had no words to say.
After the banquet ended and most the guests had already left, Mr. Malfoy finally showed himself again to pick Draco up and, after bidding farewell to Mr. Proulx and Casimir, they immediately left.
Suspiciously enough, Casimir noticed that Mr. Malfoy smelled like he just went into a heavily dusted area.
He was pretty sure that their gardens didn't smell like dust.
Anyways, it's none of my business to pry into. Casimir shrugged.
As they were walking across the lawn of the Proulx manor, heading towards the tall, oppressive gates to exit the premises, Mr. Malfoy glanced towards Draco. "How was Casimir?"
(Casimir: What am I?! A baguette?!)
"Loud. It was like he was born with too much energy!" Draco commented without even the need to think about it. "But, he seemed alright, compared to the other French nobles I've met."
Mr. Malfoy was silent for a few moments, seeming to be thinking about something important. "...I see... Then you can get along with him?"
"As long as it is needed, father." Draco replied.
"Good." Mr. Malfoy said coldly. "His father is hiding something that we require."
In the dark office on the third floor of the Proulx manor, a man sat on a black leather chair, the dim glow of the green, wispy orbs casting a faint light over his figure, illuminating his face slightly; just enough for his dark expression to be seen.
"Alphonse." Mr. Proulx called, making the man who seemed to have become one with the shadows reveal himself. "Yes, my lord?"
"Did anyone come in here tonight?" Mr. Proulx asked in a dark tone.
"...Yes." Alphonse answered after a short pause.
Mr. Proulx narrowed his eyes. "... Malfoy?"
"Yes, my lord." Alphonse replied, confirming Mr. Proulx's suspicions. "He was looking for something in here and in the storage room."
"I see..." With his chin resting on his knuckles, Mr. Proulx contemplated. "You did well to not alarm him."
"Right now, what we need to do the most is to avoid them from finding out that we already know of their motives. Make sure this news doesn't get out." Mr. Proulx ordered then, said a spell and, with a flick of his wand, disappeared from the office. The last thing he left was his faintly echoing voice. "And tell Casimir to visit my office."
In a dark, secret chamber, somewhere inside the manor, Mr. Proulx was walking towards a wide, open space from a long and winding corridor.
At the center of this space were piles and piles of books, jewelries, various knickknacks, and stones of every color and sizes. It seems like no one bothered to arrange them since they were just randomly scattered around.
At the very center of this pile, though, was an elevated stone pillar that looked like it should have been connected to the ceiling but was cut cleanly midway, creating a little holder-like space. On top of this space, laid an ordinary velvet box; just big enough to fit a necklace or a fairly large pendant.
Upon opening the box cautiously, a locket with a snake insignia was revealed.
"You were supposed to be just an ordinary present... But why do troublesome people seem to pop out ever since I got you?!" Mr. Proulx gripped the locket in his fist tightly, as if he was about to throw it away in rage any moment now, but, at the last minute, he managed to calm down.
His hand shook fiercely, dropping the locket to the floor as if it had burned his hand.
"Just what are you...?"