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Amelia Layne
Not the kind that ends with heads on walls, I hope?
Thu May 25, 2017 20:23

Upon leaving the wagon in South Carolina, Amelia had maintained the attitude of a poised young person with some sense of dignity for approximately three seconds before squealing in delight and doing (he had complained jokingly) her level best to knock her brother down. She had been only slightly less enthusiastic about reuniting with Granddad and Grandmother, who had both exclaimed over how well she looked and laughed as they tried to keep up with the rate at which she’d answered questions. It was always funny to her how much she only realized she missed them when she got home, but it had, she thought, been worse this year than last year, just because last year Lionel had been here.

Her family was not, aside from occasional rumors of Aunt Helena (who Grandmother and Granddad had not mentioned much) and Alicia (who, to everyone’s surprise, had sent presents this year and then turned up at Aunt Emily’s on New Year’s, looking hugely uncomfortable in her own former home and prompting Lionel to speculate that she was getting a divorce), very interesting. Even Lionel was already steadily progressing toward being as boring as the rest due to accepting a job with Uncle Geoff, a job Amelia worried was responsible for Lionel not looking as well as he might have – he seemed tired and less happy than she remembered, and had definitely been more given to sarcasm than usual. On the holidays, though, this uninterestingness of her family seemed not to matter much at all, or even to be a desirable trait. The ordinariness of everything seemed comfortingly familiar, and the only way she thought the holiday really could have been better would have been if Mama had actually dropped in on Christmas again like she had last year. She had sent a postcard from, of all places, New York, there was that, but it wasn’t the same at all.

With or without Lionel’s company or a visit from Mama, though, coming back to Sonora was still easier than it had been last year – at least at first. The departures among the older students were not something that would have registered much on Amelia’s radar – maybe some mild surprise over John, who still sort of frightened her even now that she’d decided that she trusted his assurance that he wouldn’t hit her hard enough to cause any permanent damage, being Head Boy now, he was so different from Clark that Amelia could hardly believe the two had been best friends, much less John doing the same jobs Clark had done, but overall, the older students were people who minimally impacted her life. The teachers were another story, and after Professor Perrault had already left, Amelia was distressed to hear that Professor Pye was gone as well. Who was going to be Head of Aladren now? Admittedly, Amelia had never needed her Head of House, and suspected nobody in Aladren really went out of their way to find a shoulder to lean on very often (Amelia suspected her own occasional desire to do so was, in fact, the sort of thing many of her classmates would view as a character flaw; goodness knew she couldn’t imagine Uncle Geoff or Alicia seeking out friends for moral support), but still….

She was still a bit disturbed by this as the feast began, but she smiled at Cleo, who she recognized from classes – not an Aladren, she was pretty sure, but that was all right – when the younger girl asked if she had had a nice Christmas. “I did!” she said, helping herself to some of the first dish which came to eye. Amelia had no idea what it was and hoped it wasn’t something so bizarre and alien to what she knew as food that she spat it out before she thought in front of everyone. Fortunately, she thought the odds of this humiliation actually occurring were minimal. Even if it was strange, it was probably going to be tasty, and she thought she recognized shrimp in the mix of many things the thing appeared to be. Amelia liked shrimp. “I don’t think I even thought about how much I’d missed my brother until I got home, you know? He was here last year, so I didn’t think about it then. The only thing was that we don’t get any snow at home, and I know it happens here, so I was kind of sorry I had to miss that. But I’d rather see Lionel.” This was probably more information than Cleo really required, but Amelia was used to relations lamenting her tendency to ramble and hardly even noticed it unless someone commented on it anymore. “Did you, too? Have a – nice Christmas.” She had started to say good time at home, but of course she didn’t know who’d gone home and who’d stayed here, much less why each person had done that, so making assumptions really did have the potential to turn things awkward.

  • We're going on a friend huntCleo James, Wed May 24 20:22
    Cleo stared around the Cascade Hall and realised, with a sigh, that it was in fact possible to be both incredibly impressed by somewhere and to simultaneously wish you were elsewhere. Their little... more
    • Not the kind that ends with heads on walls, I hope? — Amelia Layne, Thu May 25 20:23
      • Cleo nodded along politely to Amelia’s rhetorical ‘yknow,’ even though she actually had no idea what it would be like to have a sibling at school, and then to fail to miss them, seeing as she was an... more
        • Amelia nodded her agreement as Cleo remarked on how difficult it was to believe they were in the middle of the desert. “I know,” she said. “I just wish we could do something like...whatever’s going... more
          • “So, I guess you’re from somewhere with hot summers, reasonably far from here,” Cleo sleuthed, as Amelia mentioned both unbearable summer temperatures and a substantial time difference. She herself... more
            • Fair point.Amelia, Thu Jun 1 17:44
              “South Carolina,” confirmed Amelia. “Right on the coast. The East coast. My brain isn’t going to accept anything the clocks around here say for the next three days I bet. I hope John doesn’t feel... more
              • “Oh, that is far!” Cleo sympathised, when Amelia described where she was from. “I promise not to take offence if you start yawning. You must be exhausted.” Amelia’s family sounded interesting, and... more
                • Sprung from cages out on highway nine.Amelia, Thu Jun 1 21:25
                  Amelia grinned gratefully at the promise of forgiveness if she started yawning at the table. “Thanks,” she said. “I took a nap before the Feast, so I might be okay, but…yeah, thanks,” she laughed.... more
                  • So, you wanna be Bruce or Wendy?Cleo, Fri Jun 2 03:06
                    It seemed like Amelia had a fairly extensive family, and there were plenty of potential apprentices to take up her Uncle Geoff’s profession if she declined. Cleo often wondered what it was like to be ... more
                    • Amelia smiled happily as Cleo said she, though a Crotalus, was also aware of the enormity of the number of things one could do in life. She didn’t really wish the feeling of the world being... more
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