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Wed Mar 7, 2018 14:40

Nathaniel had noticed Dorian’s accent from the start, but couldn’t say that prepared him for the rather difficult sentence his question was answered with. It took him a moment too long, he feared, for politeness to realize that he was being asked a question in return about what it was okay to say - or how it was okay to say something - or something. He wasn’t exactly sure, which did not make him feel any less awkward about it.

“It’s all right,” he assured the older boy. “I don’t have the best...French, I’m guessing?” He’d had tutoring in modern languages, but did not think he could have gone to school in any of them. He wondered, as with Heinrich at Orientation, why it was someone from somewhere else would come to school here, but knew questions could be delicate things….

He was then surprised again by how smoothly Dorian’s sentences on the subject of etiquette and gallantry came in English, but supposed etiquette itself was a French word. He vaguely thought ‘gallant’ might be as well, actually. A lot of manners went back to France, along with food and dress and dances and many other things important to being a gentleman. Therefore it made sense that someone who spoke French more than English would have fewer troubles with the etiquette words.

“That’s so,” agreed Nathaniel when it was pointed out that he was just following orders, though it still felt peculiar. Not that feelings mattered that much. If they had, then that would have excused his father’s decision to leave them - Nathaniel assumed feelings, wanting something instead of them, had been involved in that - and the occasions when Jeremy was awful to their mother and even deviations from good manners. Plus, here, the orders did have a reason - teaching him useful things. These thoughts were enough to sober him, and he cast the spell.

Dorian’s response was swift and somewhat successful, but Nathaniel still felt a thrill of satisfaction when his shield shattered and the older boy sniffed a bit. He then felt a thrill of feeling bad about himself for the satisfaction - but not enough that he didn’t smile when Dorian complimented his aim.

“Thank you,” he said. “Good shield.” Now came a more delicate part. “Do you think we should keep practicing?” he asked. “So we can both get better at our spells?”

  • No, and I hope never to meet oneDorian, Tue Mar 6 06:21
    “Nice to meet you,” he echoed politely and reflexively. That bit was simple enough. There was a pause a fraction longer than might have been considered normal before he smiled at Nathaniel’s... more
    • We're on the same page there. — Nathaniel, Wed Mar 7 14:40
      • “Yes,” Dorian confirmed hesitantly, when Nathaniel effectively asked if his home language was French. He was always torn when people said that kind of thing. He didn’t want to pretend that he didn’t... more
        • Nathaniel found Dorian’s suggestions on how to proceed a little easier to understand than his earlier remarks and nodded in agreement. “Right,” he said. A coup de grace would, he thought, be somewhat ... more
          • Aaaaand I'm bleedingDorian, Fri Mar 16 09:56
            Dorian wouldn’t have thought to bow, not spending any more time than he could help on the concept of duelling. Still, he was familiar with its customs, having grown up in a magical household, and he... more
            • Aaaand now you're notProfessor Daniel Nash, Sat Mar 17 21:14
              Things were going about as well as could be expected when the assigned curse of the day involved snot. The second years were not doing awful, though enough snotty sneezes were going on around the... more
              • That's the one good thing about this situation.Nathaniel, Mon Mar 19 06:49
                That he had just asked a stupid question was something Nathaniel realized quickly. He didn’t recognize the word Dorian used - something-grey? Wasn’t that what ‘gris’ meant in French? - but he... more
                • Everything else is pretty awfulDorian, Mon Mar 19 19:25
                  Dorian nodded, as Nathaniel apologised. He seemed genuinely startled and sorry by what had happened, and Dorian was willing to chalk it up to being an accident. A small part of his mind tried to... more
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