Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari
One of those things sounds better than the other.
Sun Sep 17, 2017 14:48

Westerners were very strange. This was a fact and Tatiana accepted it as a fact without question. When she saw one of them come into class with balloons trailing after him, though, she could not help but stare at this phenomenon in disbelief for a moment, wondering if she had perhaps managed to underestimate just how strange they were after all or if this one was just a special case. She was pretty sure, after all, this was the same one she had seen glitter suddenly explode all over at breakfast….

She considered whether glitter would improve her appearance or not, should any still be around and in the mood to migrate, and then decided that more sparkly gold things about her person was unlikely to be a bad thing as she took the seat next to Balloon Boy. People might even assume it was deliberate, as Tatiana was already sparkling as usual, her robes pulled as far down as possible in front to allow one of her aquamarine necklaces – the one with a oval aquamarine separated from a smaller, dangling pear-shaped aquamarine by a fan-shaped piece of white gold studded liberally with diamonds, albeit ones of no quality, their color and clarity bringing grains of salt to mind almost as much as their size did – and her ears showcasing her favorite earrings, each one a pair of pear-shaped aquamarines joined by a single tiny diamond.

Unfortunately, despite the fact she had worn a hat and carried an umbrella the whole time she was outside, her hair had felt some of the effects of the rain it had encountered on the way in from the common room. The water had taken it all out of curl and she was cross with it and the weather in equal measure for that. It was fuzzy and she was worried it would altogether obscure the class’ view of her earrings, which would be a shame; she had not worn them often this year so far. She raised her hand when the professor for some reason asked those who had gotten their feet wet this morning to do so, then leaned forward in concentration, her brows drawn close together and her chin propped up on one fist, as Professor Skies, whom she had gathered was like the matushka here even though she and the Headmaster did not seem to be married, gave them a speech.

In a month, Tatiana thought she might have improved more in her comprehension of spoken English than she had in her last six months at home. It still wasn’t perfect – one of the professor’s sentences failed to communicate much to her at all until the last few words, as she understood individual words but couldn’t follow the complicated sentence structure the professor used – but listening to English every day, speaking English every day, and even writing in English every day, with no relief except when she wrote home or in her diary (the second source of relief was something she felt guilty about, as Anton Petrovich had made her keep a journal in English for the past year and it felt like disobedience to write in Russian again, but she had to express herself properly somehow, and of course she could not be too honest when she wrote to her family – even her sisters and Grisha could never know how lonely and perfectly miserable she often felt among all these strangers. It would make her look weak and Tatiana would rather beat off every bowtruckle in the country without a tennis racket than look weak) had inevitably had an effect on her. Transfiguration tables, however, were still enough to lower her mood the moment she comprehended the mention of them.

Writing her homework assignments out was tedious, but doable. She had a Russian-to-English dictionary, a thesaurus, and a book of antonyms to help her, and in her dormitory, she also had privacy to use these resources as much as she needed to. In class, though, it was different; for one thing it was embarrassing to have all those books in front of her and to be flipping through them while nobody else had even remotely similar equipment, and for another, more practical, thing, it was slow going. Only the appearance of the same angular handwriting she had developed in English really linked her class and out-of-class compositions, as though two people with the same handwriting had written them, or one person at different ages. She was not entirely sure that she and Professor Skies wouldn’t both be better off if she simply drew pictures and they both pretended they were ancient Egyptians communicating in pictographs. That was a fun game; she and Grisha and Katya played a similar game sometimes.

She selected a pair of brown boots which were not hideous and then looked at the paper in front of her. Size. Well, Tatiana had selected a smallish women’s pair. Okay, then. Smaule she printed carefully. Colour – broun. She knew there was something wrong with that word, but she couldn’t figure out what it was and moved on. Function -

Well, that was complicated enough, wasn’t it? Anton Petrovich had made Tatiana compose some strange sentences in English, but he had never asked her to discuss what shoes were used for! She clicked her tongue in irritation and looked at Balloon Boy.

“Hi,” said Tatiana. “What does shoes do?”

  • Glittery and jitteryDorian Montoir, Teppenpaw, Sat Sep 16 02:26
    Dorian took a seat in Transfiguration, trying to ignore the balloons that followed him into the room and set themselves behind him. October the first was his birthday, and so far it was… mixed. All... more
    • One of those things sounds better than the other. — Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari, Sun Sep 17 14:48
      • Depends how annoying you find glitterDorian, Mon Sep 18 03:17
        It turned out he was sitting with Tatiana. Dorian had, by now, gathered the names of most people via the roll call, and the fact that it was an exceedingly small year. He hadn’t talked to Tatiana... more
        • It would be bad if glitter made you jittery.Tatiana, Mon Sep 18 11:01
          Wearing. Tatiana had forgotten that word. Ruefully, however, she realized she probably would have remembered it had she not been thinking the wrong way about the question – she had thought that was... more
          • Oh. She was Alaskan. So, technically, Tatiana was not an international student. Luckily, she didn’t seem to mind his error. He felt he was very fortunate not to be pulled up on that one or to have... more
            • Good thing it doesn't seem to be, then.Tatiana, Wed Sep 20 20:47
              Tatiana had never managed to get the hang of French even with true teachers, but her eyes lit up at the idea of a language exchange with Dorian and Jehan just the same. That would, she reasoned, be... more
              • “I’m sure,” Dorian nodded, when she asked if Jehan would help her too. He thought that the Club of Tongues might take a different direction than his and Jehan’s previous plans to read poetry together ... more
                • How could they not?Tatiana, Fri Sep 22 11:24
                  Tatiana nodded in sympathy when Dorian mentioned that all the English gave him a headache sometimes. “Me, too,” said Tatiana. “Not as bad as first – then it sounds like many chickens!” she laughed,... more
                  • It does go everywhere...Dorian, Sat Sep 30 00:43
                    “Yes!” he laughed, when Tatiana compared the simultaneous cacophony of English speakers to chickens. “It is so much when many people speak it at one time. At home, maybe two people at one time, and... more
                    • Tatiana nodded to the description of Jehan. “Yes,” she agreed. “He seems so.” If Tatiana understood the rest of Dorian’s speech properly, he was saying that at his home, they switched languages all... more
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