30 The Train to Hogwarts
This is it.
This is finally it.
September 1, 1991.
Casimir stood in front of the Proulx Manor's fireplace carrying the shrunk version of Noir in his arms, being sent off by his father, Alphonse, Edgar and the rest of their house servants.
"Young master, all of your things have been packed inside your case. If you need anything, please send a letter and I'll be sure to prepare it as quickly as possible." Alphonse said, seeming to be tearing up.
"I'll be sending packages containing Fleur, Echelle, and Noir's food around once a week, young master." Edgar informed him.
"Yes, please do. Thank you." Casimir smiled at them. "Then, I'll be off."
Just as Casimir was about to enter the already green flames in the fireplace, Mr. Proulx suddenly called him. "Casimir."
"Yes, father?" Casimir turned to look at Mr. Proulx in confusion.
"... Take care of yourself, son." Mr. Proulx said.
Casimir smiled brightly. "I will father."
Then, he stepped into the flames. "Malfoy Manor."
"Draco... I don't know if you've noticed but, our train ticket says we have to go to platform nine and three quarters." Casimir said as he read through their train tickets after they arrived at King's Cross Station, being followed by Noir who kept looking around in curiosity
"Yeah. What about it?" Draco asked Casimir dubiously.
"Well... There is no platform nine and three quarters." Casimir said, making Draco turn silent.
Fortunately, Narcissa was there to clear their confusion. "Nonsense! There is a platform nine and three quarters! It's just hidden from the eyes of the muggles! And the way that leads there..." She trailed off and pointed towards an unsuspecting pillar between platform nine and ten. "is through this pillar."
As if to clear their suspicions, Narcissa walked towards the pillar and, right before their eyes, she went through it.
Oh! So it's like the underground ballroom that we have at home! I see!
"Well, ladies first, Marie." Draco glanced at him.
"How gentlemanly of you, Draco." Casimir rolled his eyes and said sarcastically, picking up Noir who had bumped into his legs from not looking at where he was going.
"Quit dallying now, boys. The train will be leaving soon." Lucius said from behind them.
"Sorry, Mr. Malfoy." Casimir said apologetically and proceeded to drag Draco by the arm towards the pillar, much to Draco's surprise. "Let's just go."
The passed through the pillar without any accidents happening and met up with Narcissa who was waiting for them at the other side.
"Hurry on, boys! Up the train!" Narcissa ushered them towards an old but clean looking train which looked to be still running on coal fuel despite the world already moving on from that era.
When they entered the train, they discovered that quite a few children were already in it, talking with each other or looking for a free cabin to sit in.
Doing the same as them, Draco and Casimir began their hunt for a free cabin and finally found one at the back part of the area designated for the first years.
Upon settling in their chosen cabin, the first thing Draco did was to open the window to bid goodbye to his parents. Not paying attention to what they were talking about over the window, Casimir just took a small pillow from his case and directly took a nap with Noir settling down on his lap.
He didn't really get enough sleep the night before since he was too busy trying to look for the phantom fifth floor for one last time before he left. Unfortunately, his search was unfruitful so, he had to accept that maybe that one maid had made it all up.
So, without any more care for anything else, Casimir wrapped his scarf tighter around his neck and closed his eyes; not entirely asleep yet not entirely awake either.
With his eyes closed, he could hear things more clearly. He heard the sound of the window sliding closed when Draco finished his conversation with his parents, the sound of children chatting outside their cabin, and the sound of luggage bags being dragged along the train's corridor.
Minutes later, the cabin's door suddenly opened, causing Casimir to open his eyes into narrow slits, too tired to fully open them but too curious to have them remain closed.
"Oh? How surprising to see you here, Malfoy!" A lanky and awkward looking boy said and entered the cabin uninvited. "I was sure you would be entering Durmstrang!"
Right off the bat, Casimir didn't have a good impression of the boy just because he was being too loud when he wanted to just rest in silence. Even Draco knew how to keep to himself at this time.
"Shut up, Nott." Draco said in a kind of snobbish way which was ignored by the other boy.
"Who's this? Your friend?" The boy who Draco called Nott gestured towards Casimir's figure.
"Yeah." Draco answered.
The boy's eyes grew wide in surprise. "I never thought that I would live to see the day you would acknowledge someone as your friend! Just what kind of person is he to make you call him your friend?!"
Seeing that he wouldn't be able to take a nap with this boy around, Casimir just sighed and gave up, returning his pillow to his case.
"Oh? So you were awake after all, Marie!" Draco turned to Casimir as if to use him to escape the other boy's questions.
"Marie? Nice name! Are you Draco's girlfriend?!" The boy asked quite loudly as he made himself comfortable on the seat across Draco and Casimir. At this point, Casimir was pretty sure the children in the neighboring cabins had heard them.
""No!"" Both Casimir and Draco exclaimed at the same time and showed similar looks of disgust.
"We basically grew up with each other!" Draco said. "We're practically like siblings." Casimir continued.
"And besides, he's a boy!" Draco exclaimed, surprising the other boy.
"A boy?!" The boy exclaimed and looked closer at Casimir's face. "... Well, now that I really see what you look like, you don't really look like a girl after all. I must've been confused by your hair. Sorry about that."
The boy scratched the back of his neck awkwardly. "I'm Theodore by the way. Draco's other friend."
(Draco: Since when? Theodore: Since now.)
"Casimir." Casimir nodded at Theodore curtly.
"I thought your name was Marie..?" Theodore said, glancing between Draco and Casimir in confusion.
"That's my second name." Casimir sighed helplessly.
"His first name is too hard to pronounce so I just call him Marie." Draco interjected.
"Oh..." Theodore was enlightened. "Can I call you Marie as well?"
""No."" Both Draco and Casimir answered.
"I'm special." Draco continued.
"Well, I'll be going out for some fresh air for a bit. You two... Do whatever." Casimir said and left the cabin, leaving Noir with Draco and Theodore.