1pm - Friday 6th September 1889
Luka squeezed Hannah’s hand ever so tightly as the carriage carrying them, Claude, Alois and the two boy’s luggage came to a halt.
No sooner had the Trancy carriage stopped its door was flung open by a final year student. His uniform identified him as belonging to the Scarlet Fox (Red) House. His curly blonde hair didn’t hide the scowl he wore on his face.
“Welcome back Trancy. You know the way so don’t get lost.” The young man said, no bothering to hide the obvious distain he felt having to meet and greet the younger pupils.
“Aw, does Cole not enjoy being able to get others to do his work for him? Things change very quickly don’t they?” Alois mocked Maurice Cole as he exited the carriage. Claude followed Alois and began unloading his master’s luggage.
“I can still give you a ‘Y’ even though term begins on Monday.” Cole snarled.
“How about you order me to write it in German this time? My new 'special lady friend' is teaching me.” Alois grinned and poked his tongue out.
“That’s enough.” Hannah called from inside the carriage.
“Wow, is that your mother? She looks...willing. She’s a woman I’d like to get ‘formerly acquainted with’.” Cole smirked.
Alois’ countenance changed to one of utter disgust.
“Ew! Hannah’s my maid, Claude’s wife and my brother’s adopted mum!”
As if on cue Luka exited the carriage, the same look of revulsion on his face that his brother had.
“I don’t know who you are, but please don’t talk about my mum like that.”
Unfazed by the small boy in front of him, Cole lurched forward and just avoided stepping on Luka’s feet.
“Listen here Oliver Twist, you keep that mouth of yours running and I’ll have to shove something of mine inside it.”
Alois burst forward and grabbed Cole by his shirt collar, eyes ablaze and spit firing out of his mouth as he forced the taller boy backwards.
“LISTEN ‘ER YOU MAKE-UP WEARING FAIRY! IF I ‘EAR YOU EVER THREATEN MY LITTLE BROTHER LIKE THAT AGAIN, I’LL SET YOUR PUBES ON FIRE, CUT YOUR COCK OFF AND FEED WHAT’S LEFT TO THE GUARD DOGS!!”
Claude and Hannah (somewhat reluctantly) pulled Alois off of Cole, who, anxious not to draw a crowd, scarpered back inside the college grounds.
Alois hugged Claude has he tried to get his breath back and calm down. If there was one thing he hated about Weston, it was his fellow pupil’s mocking and not taking seriously certain abuses he and others had suffered. Hannah meanwhile was handing Luka’s suitcases to another, rather less confrontational pupil.
“Is everything alright here madam? Trancy seems in some distress and, er, younger Trancy looks pretty nervous.”
“I know that voice!” Alois beamed and released himself from Claude. “Kadar!”
“Long time no see Trancy!” Prince Soma smiled as he and Alois shook hands and pulled each other in for a man hug. “What’s this I hear about you and a German girl?”
Alois blushed. He wanted to tell everyone, but didn’t want to go into details like her name, her scientific genius or their age gap.
“I met her on holiday in Germany when we went with the Phantomhive estate. She came back to England and we write to one another every week. And that’s all I’m saying.”
“Nice to hear.” Soma grinned and pointed at Luka. “Is this your little brother? He’s so cute I could just eat him up.” Soma bent down to Luka’s eye level. “Hello little guy. I’m Soma Asman Kadar, a prince of Bengal.” Soma said extending his hand, but Luka instead grabbed Hannah’s again and tried to hide behind her.
“I don’t want to be put into your curry you wog!” Luka blurted, but before he knew it Hannah had slapped him rather forcefully across both cheeks.
“Don’t you dare say that horrible W-word to this young man ever again Luka Macken-Trancy! Apologise to him right now.”
Still reeling from the shock of Hannah’s palm, Luka offered his hand and looked Soma in the eyes.
“I’m very sorry your royal highness, sir. I didn’t know that word was bad.”
“I’ve been called worse by worse people than you kid. Apology accepted.” Soma took Luka’s hand and winked. “And between you and me, I use chicken in my curry, not first years.”
A light chuckle was had by all before Soma placed the two younger boy’s cases on the respective first year and third year trolleys and waved goodbye to Claude and Hannah.
“It’s almost time for us to go boys. I don’t want to leave the triplets on their own for too long.” Claude announced.
“Oh I can’t believe it. Little Luka finally going to big school with his brother.” Hannah waved her hands in front of her different coloured eyes to stop them from shedding tears.
“I’ll be fine mum. I’ve got Jim with me.” Luka smiled.
“I’m Alois here Luka. In fact I’m actually ‘Trancy’ because we have to use our last names. In fact now you’re here I’m now ‘Trancy Major’. That’s why it says ‘Trancy Minor’ on your stuff. That’s who you are here.”
“Do you have any words of advice for Luka, your highness?” Claude asked.
Hannah composed herself. She didn’t want to miss this precious moment.
Alois faced Luka and cleared his throat as if he’d rehearsed this before.
“How to survive Weston College: one, be true to yourself. Two, stay out of trouble. Three, don’t do any favours for Maurice Cole. Four, don’t ever let them see you cry. And five, don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
Claude and Hannah internally groaned at how that had ended before the quartet shared their final group hug until the Christmas holiday.
The two boys waved the Trancy carriage away until it went out of sight, which is when it finally dawned on Luka that he really was away from Hannah for the first time since she adopted him.
Sensing his brother’s unease, Alois put his arm around Luka and guided him through the gates.
Their time together at Weston had begun.