Lucky you
Wed Aug 16, 2017 22:20

"Oh, I am sorry for misunderstanding," Dorian apologised. "My English is terrible," this was a conclusion he had been forced to reach in the past ten minutes. Prior to disembarking the wagon, he would have said his English was passable, maybe even quite good - he was certainly the best speaker out of his siblings, but he was rapidly realising how little that counted for when thrown in amongst native speakers. Whilst he was, somewhere in the back of his mind, relieved that he was not having to deal with someone recently bereaved, this was largely eclipsed by his acute embarrassment at having misunderstood. Whilst only a slight blush coloured his cheeks, the remainder of his expression conveyed the emotion very clearly.

Dorian enjoyed good stories though. He prefered to read them, or to see them on stage, than to invent them himself, but now that Jehan had explained his comment, he didn't find it the least bit odd, and was indeed quite enthusiastic about the general subject.

"Perhaps I was thinking a similar thing?" he asked, phrasing it as a question because he didn't quite trust his interpretation of the conversation. "That maybe I cannot talk well to people here. Though for me, this is more the real worry than the story," he added sadly. He frowned slightly. "My explanation does not join up as well as I would like," he added. He felt like what he had said had missed a step somehow, but as he couldn't identify what it was, he could only acknowledge that he knew something was missing.

He was encouraged to know that Jehan had French family and spoke some of the language, although from the way he phrased it, they were not going to do better at sharing their deeper feelings by switching language. Still, perhaps Jehan would be interested to practise, and then Dorian would feel less horrible about asking for help with his hideous English because then he'd have something to offer in return. He was going to suggest this when Jehan took the conversation off on a different tangent.

"I think not," he searched his memory for the author mentioned. "He is the Muggle?" he queried, taking the fact he hadn't heard of him alongside Jehan's lack of a formal introduction. Literature was a strange area, with almost everyone disagreeing, or having their own personal version of 'acceptable.' Some Muggle authors readily made most people's cut for their brilliance, some with a Muggle section to their work had really been wizards dabbling in both worlds to increase their audience (opinions again varying on whether this 'tainted' them), whilst others with little known about their biographies were fiercely argued over by academics as to which group they belonged to. There stood next to this, if course, plenty of unambiguously wizarding literature. Perhaps Baudelaire would have made it onto Dorian's curriculum at some point with 'Le Vampire,' but his tutors had not deemed that appropriate thus far, either because of the author's questionable blood status or the poem's more mature themes.

He named a couple of authors he had enjoyed in French to see whether they rang any bells with Jehan, although having not recognised Baudelaire's name he had not made the conversational leap from prose to poetry, and so stuck with the former, even though the latter was something he enjoyed reading very much.

"In English, our tutor gives us the more modern work for the language to be more easy for us," he added, naming some works they had recently studied. Judging by this, their tutor regarded 'modern' as works produced up to around 1920.

"At the moment, I read the history of Serpentina. She is the Ancient Greek lady who is speaking Parseltongue, and many people are treating her differently. Sometimes she is loved and worship. Sometimes she is regard as evil," he explained, his tenses slipping a little as he got excited about the subject. "I enjoy this very much at the moment because for the birthday of my sister, we go to see 'Melody.' It is the musical show about a girl who can speaking Parseltongue, and it makes the very interesting subject to see how people are reacting to this," he explained, trying to make his interest sound like it was more vested in the story and the reading around this he could do, and not mentioning that the soundtrack was also simply breathtaking and that he and Émi had spent most of the summer singing it, draped in spangly fabric and him with a wig on. He had learnt that it was this sort of behaviour that tended to make people want to beat him up, if Matthieu was anything to go by. Being interested in stories and history was also dangerously nerdy but as Jehan had started a conversation about books, that part was probably safe territory. Admitting that he loved to sing and dance probably was not.

OOC: my explanation of wizards' treatment of Muggle literature follows on from discussion with Jehan's author. Whilst there is presumably a whole wizard canon, some authors prefer to reference Muggle work for ease, and have the head canon that there may be large cross overs. This was an attempt to explain Dorian's ignorance of the subject whilst leaving it as open as possible for everyone else. I may also start working on a wizard literary canon, if anyone wants to help. This will mostly be taking descriptions of Muggle authors and the main themes occurring in their works and then applying wizardly edits and new names. E.g. Oscar Wilde equivalent is either a half blood or disenfranchised society type who writes satirical pieces mocking society. Not widely read by Purebloods as it might give their children Ideas.

  • Well, mine isn't too badJehan, Sun Aug 13 16:14
    Jehan was a little thrown off by Dorian’s assumption, not really having considered that as a possible response. Still, there was logic to the other boy’s question. It was a big world, and who knew... more
    • Lucky you — Dorian, Wed Aug 16 22:20
      • Lucky you, it sounds like!Jehan, Sun Aug 20 07:01
        “No, I quite like your English,” reassured Jehan, not wanting Dorian to think badly of his language abilities. After all, people often said that Jehan didn’t always make much sense (even if Jehan... more
        • I'm starting to feel that wayDorian, Mon Aug 21 05:35
          Jehan liked his English. Dorian was not quite sure whether this was just a way of saying that his English was fine, or whether it meant something else -that there was something special and different... more
          • Yes, this is all going very well!Jehan, Wed Aug 23 09:55
            Jehan beamed at Dorian as the other boy said that he made sense, and that he had good thoughts. No one had ever said that to Jehan before. His flights of fancy were seen as, at best, amusing, if not... more
            • Then let's keep goingDorian, Fri Sep 15 00:48
              "Yes, that will be very good! And I can also read some more harder English with you to help," Dorian nodded, glad that Jehan had brought up the idea of shared language study so that he didn't have... more
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