Dorian Montoir
Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái [Tag Wu]
Tue Jun 12, 2018 08:30

To say that Vlad had been awoken by shouting again was probably somewhat inaccurate, given that he was a light sleeper and an owl arriving with a large parcel was not a particularly subtle event (however well bred and trained the owl), not to mention all the noise and movement of Dorian ripping into said parcel. However, it was fair to say that shouting, of the cheerful variety, wishing him ‘gōng xǐ fā cái’ along with having various candies thrown at him, had been an event that had occurred fairly early on in Vlad’s day.

Dorian’s mother seemed to be of the general opinion that the school was starving him nearly to death, or that he at the very least missed the kinds of things she made and bought for him (the latter of which was true) and so it wasn’t unusual for him to get fairly large care packages from home. The New Year parcel was much bigger than these though. It contained as many treats as his mother thought would survive the journey, plus a nice new red shirt for the occasion, along with his red envelopes (although these were more symbolic than anything, seeing both as he had no use for actual physical money whilst he was at school, and North American wizards tended to use coins, which really didn’t fit so nicely – the envelopes instead contained ornate slips of paper letting him know how much his parents and maternal grandparents had paid into both his trust fund and his personal account, the latter of which he could at least use if he wanted to owl order things whilst at school). His mother had also sent his horoscope for the year, but he hadn’t tried to read that yet. Not because he didn’t care or believe in it (he took it rather seriously) but because it was bound to contain several characters that needed a dictionary in order to understand. His Chinese reading was, he suspected, somewhere below his grade level, and the horoscopes also tended to be full of very elevated and archaic language. Translating it, feeling he had understood it properly, was a project, not something to be done casually before breakfast.

After he had showered and got dressed in his new red shirt, he loaded a few of the food items into his satchel. This wasn’t unusual, as he often shared his food with his friends, although he actually had a different breakfast companion in mind today. He gave Vlad a cheerful ’zài huì’ to let him know he’d catch him later, dropped a tangerine onto his bedside table, and headed off down to the hall feeling full of New Year spirit.

He had seen the older girl around the Teppenpaw Common Room, and had passed by close enough when she was reading or writing letters to note that she used Chinese characters (he had not taken advantage of his anonymity to read any of them because that would have been ungentlemanly). There was a chance she spoke some other dialect that used the same symbols but pronounced them differently, but statistics were on his side that she spoke Mandarin, plus he thought almost everyone would recognise the phrase for new year greetings, whatever their language. And even if they didn’t speak the same language, it would be nice to spend time with someone who actually understood the celebration. It made him so happy that his friends cared about it, that they wanted to learn and to participate, but it was different that way. Not that they could exactly recreate the real experience whilst stuck at school, but they could hopefully share familiar food, a familiar language and talk about familiar rituals. There was an Asian boy in Pecari who was closer to his age (he was a fourth year - like Victor and Matthieu), but Dorian had chosen to talk to the Teppenpaw girl. In addition to their probable shared language, she was the much less intimidating prospect in spite of her age because she had being a girl and a Teppenpaw on her side. He tended to assume he would get on better with girls, and even though his interaction with Parker hadn’t been disastrous, he still felt Pecari boys were quite likely to be rough. Although if saw the Pecari looking interested and non-threatening, he would certainly wave him over. In spite of the girl seeming the much safer bet, he still felt nervous as he approached her. Even if she was interested in celebrating New Year, would she be interested in celebrating it with him? He was only thirteen. She might think he wasn’t “Chinese enough.” He got far more hassle in Canada for not being Canadian enough, but he’d had definitely experienced both. What if she did want to celebrate but her parents hadn’t sent her anything, and she thought he was showing off or he made her feel homesick?

“Gōng xǐ fā cái’,” he greeted her, a little hesitantly, making sure to give a suitably polite bow. His large brown eyes, framed by their long lashes, observed her slightly anxiously. He wasn’t quite sure where to go from there… He knew the standard Pureblood greetings in Chinese, but he thought that bowing and offering New Year greetings might make that redundant. As he had come with the aim of being friendly and sharing food, he decided to go with that approach instead. Having decided that the nian gao, the traditional sticky rice cake, would not fare well being turned sideways to go in his satchel, he was holding this instead. Admittedly, it wasn’t particularly traditional to eat it for breakfast, but it seemed equally weird to wait until dinner time to approach her. “Nǐ xiǎng hé wǒ fēnxiǎng yīxià ma?” he offered tentatively. Would you like to share with me?

(OOC invoking fuzzy time! This would be waaay before CATS/RATS. Sometime in February, most likely).

Click here to receive daily updates