...Wait, more sparkly gold stuff is supposed to be bad?
Mon Oct 9, 2017 23:10

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 the time. Tatiana made a small, rueful face. “I should – the English ones – I should them – “ Understand. Surely she knew how to say that in English – “know better,” she admitted. “At home, only Russian – others know English, French, but we not say it to all us.”

Well, she did speak English sometimes to Katya and Alexei, more or less, because Papa wanted her to. With Alexei in particular, however, this took the form of pointing to objects and repeating their English names more often than trying to carry on any real conversation. She and Katya had polite exchanges in English for lessons, practicing being proper English ladies (who were very boring, to her way of thinking, at least if they really were how she was taught they were; Tatiana had spent very little time studying how to be a proper English lady before deciding to thank all her stars she would never live among Americans or in England as a grown-up), but they tended to revert to Russian the moment they were at liberty to do so – they could say what they wanted to say that way. Not like this, jabbering, thinking through words and grammar backwards. It was nice to speak to someone who understood but still not the same as speaking to her sisters, just as saying ‘good morning’ to Professor Carter wasn’t the same as going to Mama’s room after breakfast and helping her pick out her jewelry for the day after she approved their outfits. It was, though, better than nothing.

“Ah – I forget. Nobody else does names like we do,” said Tatiana. “Sorry. Dor-yan – “ it occurred to her she didn’t know how that would actually typically reduce for someone who was his equal, didn’t wish to insult him, and wasn’t in love with him. “I do not know how it would go for us,” she admitted. “Dorosha? Doryasha? Dorya, like Vanya? In French, you call friends by all their names, like the English?”

Tatiana smiled when she saw Dorian change the cover of his notebook, took up her pen – and then hesitated. “You do not know the alphabet,” she observed, more to herself than him, before she started writing. Well, Anton Petrovich hard started her instruction in the English alphabet by teaching her to write Russian in it, strange as that felt. Ccdnem rozzheidenneiya, she wrote out, in her spiky, angular English handwriting. The letters were narrow and leant sharp right, but were readable, as was Tatia Vorontsova 14 juilette, her best recollection of how to say her birthday in French. Then, in much smoother Cyrillic, she signed this declaration – Татьяна ТАВ Татя.

Tatiana had been willing to talk on Dorian’s behalf, but she was glad that he proved willing to speak to Skies himself. The professor was the one in charge of the special lessons and Tatiana tended to wish to either begin using words Mama would not approve of or else sink into the floorboards whenever anything reminded her of those, something she’d temporarily forgotten in the moment when she’d volunteered to speak up for Dorian. She studied the shoes in front of her as though they were much more interesting than they really were until the professor went away and she felt it was safe to look up again.

“Now you try again, and I try,” remarked Tatiana when this more agreeable state of affairs was accomplished. She closed her eyes and mouthed the word a few times, getting the sounds as clear in her head as she could. Her tongue sometimes felt like it had been put in upside-down when she was trying to make the sounds, which was not a good way to have it fastened when she was performing spells. Feeling relatively confident, she gave it a try – “Brassalenayus!” – and watched in consternation as the shoes did change, but…just not how she’d expected. They shot up taller, more rainboot like, she supposed, but the toes were definitely not supposed to also be growing rapidly and curling up like –

“For a goblin, I make,” observed Tatiana dryly. “Or maybe the smart hag.”

  • 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
    • ...Wait, more sparkly gold stuff is supposed to be bad? — Tatiana, Mon Oct 9 23:10
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