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Simon Mordue
I concur.
Wed May 31, 2017 13:52

Balls and parties were far from Simon’s favorite occasions in the world, but this winter, he had discovered that there was, in fact, something worse than having to stand around and try to look interesting at an occasion aimed mainly at people ten years his senior and with ten times his average degree of social confidence. This something was huddling in his house with his family, attending only limited social occasions and acting in general as though they were in mourning.

His uncle had…left. Simon did not know the details, nor, he had decided after taking a second glance at his father’s face when Father had explained the situation to him, did he want to. Uncle Nicky had disappeared – that was what Mother had warned Simon about discussing with his classmates in the autumn – and they had apparently worried he might be dead for a bit, but then (Simon had put together from the bits and pieces he’d heard and been told) he had contacted Aunt Cynthia to tell her he didn’t want to be married to her anymore. This was why they were all now acting as though Uncle Nicky were dead and that had ruined the holidays, even the parts which were not usually on public display. Even when Aunt Cynthia (he must, he had been told, still say ‘Aunt Cynthia’; they were treating her now as though she was Father’s sister, or at least Uncle Nicky’s widow instead of whatever it was she really was) and her boys managed to conduct themselves more or less normally, Grandmama did not – she was furious with Father, even though he was the one, Simon thought indignantly, who hadn’t done anything wrong, and had refused to even come over to their house for lunch and present-opening on Christmas. Father acted as though he were really just very annoyed by it all, but Simon had seen him sitting alone after a spat with Grandmama and had been forced to come to the terrifying realization that his father was actually capable of experiencing sadness.

At the time, the thought of returning to Sonora had seemed highly appealing. At school, he didn’t have to see everyone wandering about, still half stunned and confused by what had happened, everyone angry on and off, and none of it making a lot of sense. Now that he was back, though, listening to the new staff introductions and looking around the Crotalus table, it occurred to him that he had overlooked one critical factor when he’d longed for a return to the orderly world of his classrooms: the fact that Sonora was also inhabited by other people.

What was this going to mean for his social standing here? He had always, he thought regretfully, taken a certain measure of pride in coming from a family with fewer scandals in its recent past than Winston did. Now his family was the one with a scandal sort of happening right now. Would his roommates distance themselves from him? Would everyone? Mother and Father had told him that if he was asked anything about Uncle Nicky, he now was to say ‘he is no longer with us’ and no more, letting people assume he was actually, physically dead if they liked and using a tone which intimated that further questions were unwelcome. Gravitas, however, was not one of the things Simon thought he possessed in abundance. What if they didn’t pay any attention to his tone? What if they knew more than he did, even? That wasn’t likely, Mother or Father would have told him if it was, but….

He was, not for the first time, deeply jealous of Nathaniel and Sylvia. His cousin and sister had a relationship he had with no-one. He had to be the responsible heir even with them, so while they could at least stick together, there was not a living soul he could express all his confusion and worries to. He just had to get on with it.

He picked his first conversation partner of the new year with some thought. Miss Spaulding had been in the Fair group with him last year; she had been more friendly with Winston than with Simon, as they had worked together on a display, but Simon thought the whole group got along. She was also, it seemed, rather shy, not the type to confront him about anything even if she knew the whole story and realized that he didn’t. Accordingly, he put on his composed heir face as the food appeared and then spoke to her.

“Good evening,” he said.

”Um, hello,” was not the most enthusiastic response he’d ever gotten from a potential conversation partner, but it wasn’t actually the worst, either. Simon decided it was safe enough to continue.

“There’s a lot of new teachers, isn’t there?” he asked. “Did you hear if the headmaster said anything about who was going to cover our Defense classes?” Simon had not, and was pretty sure this was because nothing had been said about the topic, but it couldn’t hurt to confirm it and put the conversation on a school-related path.

  • Midterm SucksKira Spaulding, Mon May 29 08:47
    This year, Kira had come to a decision about midterm-she absolutely loathed it. The holidays had used to be an all right time minus the part where she was not technically supposed to be using magic,... more
    • I concur. — Simon Mordue, Wed May 31 13:52
      • I have mixed feelings on you concurring.Kira, Sat Jun 10 14:38
        Kira had been very involved in eating her spaghetti as neatly as possible when addressed which was probably why she didn't seem more enthusiastic when she greeted Simon as she was pretty concentrated ... more
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