Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Turning Point, Part One

Back up in her rooms, Totenberg was holding his small mistress's hands, trying to warm them. She had gone through the full crash after the immense relief of opening the letter of acceptance to Hogwarts; the stoic mask shattering like porcelain when they returned upstairs to find her trunks deposited on the floor, her writing desk restocked with ink and papers.

He'd stopped her from diving into the trunks and pulling everything back out into it usual magpie's nest by reminding her that everything was packed and ready to travel. "Just a couple of days till term starts. Don' want to pull it all out just to have to put it away again, yah?" Reluctantly, she'd agreed to the wisdom of his proposal, and left most of it put away, although she'd pulled out her wand and slept with it in her hands that first night. He'd watched her breathe from his post by the door, remembering when she'd held a toy that way. Remembering her father and his first wand.

The next three days simultaneously dragged by and went far too quickly. When she woke up in the morning, Spike wondered how she was going to fill the long empty hours of the day, and when it was over and she was finally able to drop into bed, she had no idea where the time had gone. At last, the footmen were loading the last of her trunks onto the carriage of horn, and they were off to England.

The trip was uneventful--people took one look at her sideboys and got out of the way, but they did that everywhere. They had a compartment on the train to themselves, and she noticed some of the students, particularly those with green trim on their robes, seemed to be accompanied by escorts as well. Spike breathed a small sigh of relief. She had heard that Hogwarts wasn't like Durmstang, and had been concerned that she might be utterly separated from her batsmen, told to send them home for the duration, only to see them during term breaks.

When they left the train and found the famous horseless carriages, all three of her body servants stopped and looked long and hard at the front, where the empty harnesses and traces hung.

"That what I t'ink they is?"

"T'ink so. Closer look?"

"Yah." Totenberg stayed behind, at her side, while Sascha and Dmitri slowly approached from the side. Sascha took a lump of sugar out of his pocket -- he was fond of the stuff, and would hoard it given half a chance-- placed it on his open palm, and offered it to the nothing at the head of the carriage. Spike gaped as it suddenly vanished from his hand as if plucked up by soft mobile lips. There's no there there, she thought. How did --

But it was time to board the carriage and ride to the school, with the rest of the first years.

No comments: