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Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari
But not the kind I spent half of this post thinking of.
Tue Sep 5, 2017 21:02

Tatiana loved being outdoors. At home, she could climb higher in the trees than anyone but Grisha, enjoyed long walks more than anyone did, and could play tennis even with Papa. She couldn’t win yet, of course, unless he let her do so, but she could play. She had been thrilled to hear that Sonora had a herbology class, as this meant she wouldn’t have to spend all of the horribly long class hours (why did they need so many hours for a few lessons? She had much more freedom at home, and Anton Petrovich was hardly an easy teacher) cooped up indoors. Therefore, the Potions teacher’s message, when Tatiana finished deciphering it, was most welcome and she donned her hat and gloves (dragonskin rather than the dainty cotton ones she’d wear just to go outside, but made to look as elegant as Mama’s glovemaker could manage) with good cheer even though the very nature of Potions meant leaving all her rings and bracelets locked up tight inside her jewelry box and only wearing earrings and a necklace.

She selected her Byzantine chain again for the latter - it was a thin, light one, and only gilded silver, but nobody could tell it wasn’t solid gold at a glance and it therefore made a good impression and wasn’t quite as boring as a simple strand of pearls - but passed up her diamond everyday earrings. Those were also usually good for making the right impression, but with her hat - and she wouldn’t think of going outdoors without a hat, Mama insisted it would ruin their complexions and would listen to nothing Sofiya had to say about how sunbathing was all the rage among her friends at school - she was afraid they would quite vanish into the shadows of her brown hair and make no impression at all. To avoid that, she replaced them with her square dark blue topazes, each surrounded in a tiny, wavy-edged frame of accent diamonds, figuring these stood the best chance of her earrings of standing out even if they were not her most valuable pair.

Papa and Mama could not understand Tatiana’s taste in stones. Papa even chided her sometimes, saying that people would think he was in financial distress if they saw his daughter wearing blue topazes for sapphires and pale aquamarines for diamonds. The problem - besides the fact that Mama wouldn’t hear of her bringing all the jewelry with her and had specifically excluded the most valuable pieces - was, Tatiana just found the most valuable stones, with the exception of the very good sort of diamonds she would probably never own until she was married and her husband gave them to her, a bit...boring. The topazes in her earrings were simultaneously darker and yet more clearly blue than her blue sapphires, with hints of interesting sorts of grey and green to them that she thought brought out the color of her eyes, and she had others that were in two other shades of blue, and she adored aquamarines because of how the light could play with them - at first glance they could be mistaken for diamonds, but then they radiated all sorts of pretty colors from the inside while glowing that pale blue-green color around the edges. She did, admittedly, love her set of yellow sapphires, but that was just because she loved the color yellow in general. Mama often commented how Tatiana would look pretty in rubies when she was old enough for them, but Tatiana did not like them - or red stones in general, really - very much, though Anya had given her a pair of garnet earrings that one of their aunts had given Anya because Tatiana had loved them while Anya had thought they were a bit gaudy.

Today, though, she was wearing her dark blue topazes, and she made sure to pin the front of her hair back quite tightly and tuck it all behind her ears to make sure they had the best chance of being seen despite her thick, slightly curling hair and green hat as she joined the rest of the class in the gardens. She bowed slightly to the professor once she found her, trying to hide her surprise that a woman so obviously in the family way was out in public and standing up (when Mama had been very big with Alexei, she had stopped having social engagements with anyone but close family and had spent almost all her time lying down on sofas because she was exhausted all the time and the doctor had said her blood had gone thin, so Tatiana assumed this was what all pregnant ladies did), and then walked over to stand near her classmates, though she still did not really feel as though she was with them.

She made a slight face when she heard her name called Tatiana Vorontsov - it just sounded so peculiar! And it was instinctual to regard it as rude that she was not called ‘Tatiana Andreyevna’, but she had to remind herself that the professors here did not know the right way to do things, and then her head was tired - but replied “Here am I!” when Professor O’Malley said it. Then came the really tricky part: listening to the lecture. Most of it was simple enough, but she had no idea what a scavenger hunt was. Hunting was going out and killing things, or catching them somehow, but generally killing them. Were they going to kill things in the gardens to make ingredients? Tatiana wished Professor O’Malley had said so beforehand, because she was not really dressed for that - she’d need riding boots, and she did not want to get blood on her gloves or her necklace. Blood made horrible stains that were hard to get out and she was afraid it might eat away at the gilt on her necklace. Maybe they would learn a spell to kill things without much of a mess? Tatiana supposed that would make hunting a little better; she loved all the excitement when Papa and whatever company of other grown-ups he was in at that time went out hunting, but didn’t much like seeing things all dead and bloody when they came back. Though there really wasn’t anything to be done for the ‘dead’ bit, she supposed. And what was ‘buddy up’ - was that a verb….?

Now the professor was talking about not being an artist, and a worksheet. So they were to draw the things after they killed them? Why would they not just send out servants, or elves, or whatever to bring them back in game bags? This would be simpler, though Anton Petrovich did say it was important to learn to draw very precisely so she could study runes when she was older. Maybe that was why they had to draw the things after they killed them, and then servants would attend to the carcasses later.

Once she had a sheet, she thought her way through the sounds the English letters on the page made silently and then frowned at the sheet. Why, they weren’t hunting at all, they were going out on what Anton Petrovich called a horticultural expedition, at least unless she was reading this all wrong. She turned to another student to see if they could make this clear for her.

“Hello,” she said. “These - all they are plants, yes?” she asked, pointing to the sheet. “We are not hunting?”

OOC: For those who have not spent a lot of time poring over information about things that sparkle and shine, Tatiana's earrings feature London Blue topazes and her necklace is a thin Byzantine chain and you may see descriptions of those things at the links embedded there.

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