Chapter 32 / King's cross
‘Are you sure you don’t just want us to drop you off at school?’ Oliver asked, ‘we don’t mind driving all day. I’d love to see where you’re going to spend the year.’
‘No, King’s Cross is fine,’ I smiled and gave Carrie another hug, ‘there’s a train full of students going from here, so it’s the easiest way.’
‘I’ll miss you,’ Carrie squeaked, her eyes filling with tears, ‘I liked you.’
‘I’ll be back before you know it,’ I turned to Christian, ‘is it okay if I write to you?’
‘Writing? When were you born? Prehistory?’
‘I’m not allowed a cell phone,’ I lied, ‘and there’s no reception anyway, so I’d rather write.’
‘Writing takes ages,’ Christian sighed, looking away.
‘Here, let me show you something,’ I kneeled next to him and opened the cage that held Thoth. It took him a while to find a place to land with all those people, but eventually, he settled on my shoulder and gave a little nibble in my ear.
‘Hey, Thoth,’ Christian rubbed his feathers and smiled.
‘I taught Thoth to deliver letters,’ I said, as I took the bag of owl treats that I bought in Diagon Alley, ‘I’ll let him bring letters to you. When he arrives, you’ll have to give him one of these treats. Than he’ll bring your letter back to me.’
‘Really?’ I nodded and gave Thoth one of the threats. He stretched his wings and, as if to demonstrate what he could do, flew around King’s cross and out of sight.
‘He’ll be at your home when you go back,’ I smiled and ruffled Christians hair, ‘just know that if anything happens, or you just want to talk, I’m still here. And it’ll be Christmas time soon.’
‘You’re coming home for Christmas?’
‘Only if you help me bake some cookies,’ he nodded and, totally unexpected, through his arms around me. I kneeled again and pulled him closer.
‘I don’t want you to leave,’ he whispered. Somehow, these words made me tear up more than anything else, ‘but I understand. School is important.’
‘You’re such a smart boy,’ I pushed him off a bit and looked at him, ‘keep working hard, okay? I want to see your grades when I come home.’
‘It’s almost time,’ Oliver said. I got up and looked at him. He smiled, a sad smile, one only a best friend can feel the pain behind. I smiled back. I knew my smile reflected his own feelings and we didn’t need to say anything.
‘The Thoth-thing goes for you too,’ I whispered as I gave him a hug.
‘You bet,’ he grinned and pushed me away, ‘go now. You’re gonna make me cry.’
‘Kiss Sam from me.’
I hugged all of them one last time and watched them walk out of King’s Cross. Suddenly, I felt nervous. I stared at the gate between platform 9 and 10. I took a deep breath, grabbed the cart more firmly and ran towards the gate.