But the Orient Express was Whizzy's idea, and a wonderful surprise it was too. It's even fancier than the Hogwarts Express and I run my hand along the mahogany paneling as we follow the cabin steward, who wears an elaborate uniform. The dark blue cloth of his long coat is trimmed in gold piping and it makes me think of the colors of Ravenclaw House. As we reach the cabin the sensation of Whizzy's long fingers curling around what was once my tiny waist pulls me back into the moment. Then he presses a tip into the palm of the steward's hand and the young man closes the compartment behind us.
The quarters are cramped, but I think that's only because I am now the size of a dairy cow. "You really shouldn't have gone to so much trouble, Whizzy," I say as I stand in front of the large windows at the end of our compartment.
"Things of this nature are never trouble for me," he replies with a smug smile, "You should know that by now, love." He takes the shawl from my shoulders and hangs it on a hook by the door. I take a deep breath and sit near the window on the sofa-sized settee that is built into the wall on one side of our little cabin. Passengers and well-wishers kiss and hug goodbye on the platform on the other side of the glass as the train whistle blows sadly. I feel the indention of Whizzy's body as he settles next to me on the banquette sofa.
"I guess there's a part of me that will never get used to the extravagance that comes with you," I smile as I lean into his warm body. "I would have been perfectly happy with a Eurail train." When I finish speaking Whizzy raises his eyebrows in disbelief and disgust at my statement.
"Surely you jest," he chides softly. "All those crowds scrambling for jam-packed compartments. Traveling and sleeping next to total strangers. I think not," he comments as he watches an elderly couple board the Venice Simplon.
"Sometimes," I whisper, "It's the crowds and the strangers who make the journey all the better. More interesting. Where's your sense of adventure?" I playfully scold in return.
"Beaten into submission by my desire for comfort and my sense of good taste," he chuckles. The train whistle cries its lonely plea for all to board and is answered in return by the stewards as they call out to the remaining passengers. As if sensing my sudden solitude, Whizzy snakes his hand around my back and leans in to me, nodding to the view of the platform as steam begins to thicken the air. With the first lurch of forward motion he guides me to lean deeper against him.
"It's not your fault, sweetie," I whisper to him as we still gaze out of the windows, "It's just that sometimes the lushness of life with you, it overwhelms me. I'm just a simple half-blood girl from London." When I turn to him he wears an expression of slight hurt and confusion. "Oh love, I'm sorry," I say as I take his hand and weave my fingers with his. He smiles weakly, apologetically.
"I am the one who should apologize," he replies seriously, "Sometimes I do not take the time to stop and think that you may not be accustomed to the lifestyle in which I was raised." He becomes silent as light and shadows flicker and burst through our compartment as the train gains speed, pulling away from the station. "I get caught up in the thought of spoiling you," he releases my hand and covers my belly with his palm, "Of spoiling him."
"Of spoiling her, you mean?"
I feel his lips brush mine as the train moves into the dark seclusion of a tunnel.