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Joe Umland
Sometimes it's not fun being youngest.
Thu Aug 10, 2017 13:43

Julian had worn yellow. It was a much lighter shade of yellow than the one which covered much of the Teppenpaw common room, plus she was wearing blue earrings and a blue pendant necklace instead of anything reddish to go with, but Joe still decided to assume she had made her wardrobe selections out of lingering House loyalty instead of pure awareness that the outfit suited her rather well. She looked at Joe appraisingly as he left the stage after his choreographed duel with Zevalyn Ives.

“On the first day of school you pick a fight with a seventh year, and on the last day of school you have one with a first year,” said Julian. “Interesting social strategy you’ve got, Joe.”

“Zev’s not a normal first year,” Joe excused himself, and he and his sister embraced. After he and his parents did the same, though, he noticed Julian’s eyes flicking around the hotel ballroom, clearly trying to force the low lighting to be less of an obstruction to her aims by willpower alone.

“I hope not,” his father joked, though he looked a touch stressed, too. “Otherwise, I’m going to have to ask some of your teachers about those good reports you’ve been showing us….”

“I’m sure that won’t be necessary,” said Mom, who was looking around, too. Joe decided to cut to the chase.

“Yes, John is around here somewhere,” he announced, and all three of them did double takes and then began to look more than a little guilty.

He did not feel badly about making them feel like that. He knew they would have come even had he been the only one of their relations at the school now, but he also knew that they would have been paying a lot more attention to him had John not also been here, somewhere. He honestly would not be surprised to find that Mom and Julian, at least, had spent the entire performance looking around to see if they could spot John.

Guilt was something Julian seemed to experience a lot, but not something she let stop her from doing what she wanted to do. Joe could never decide how to think of that, but he decided he was fairly sure it was why Julian recovered first. “Where?” she asked bluntly, also getting to the point.

Joe shrugged. “That I don’t know.”

Julian pinched the bridge of her nose and made a noise of clear exasperation. “For God’s sake,” she whispered. “Does he really expect us to – what? Beg on our knees?”

“I don’t think that’s it,” said Joe, deciding he’d mock her for the dramatic touch there later, if it seemed appropriate.

“Well, let’s not talk about that now,” said Dad, sitting down again.

  • Dueling Demonstration!Jozua Sparks, Wed Aug 2 09:34
    Jozua stood on stage in front of the whole school and their families. Somewhere in this crowd, his own parents and granddad were watching, too. He was pretty sure his Dutch grandparents had declined... more
    • Sometimes it's not fun being youngest. — Joe Umland, Thu Aug 10 13:43
    • Did you see me?Zevalyn Ives, Wed Aug 2 16:01
      Zevalyn hadn't joined many clubs her first year at Sonora. It was lack of time rather than lack of interest that restricted her, but Dueling Club was basically an extension of DADA so she'd... more
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