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Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari
Setting the bag on fire (oh Pro-fess-sor!)
Tue Jun 19, 2018 19:11

Everyone was so gloomy without you, Katya had written. But it was still Rozhdestvo - Sonia had a beautiful party and Mama let me go. She conjured knockout roses, too, and I put some in my hair - red and white - and Grisha and Rodya and one of Grisha’s friends danced with me!! Imagine, Dmitry Mikhaelovich is not even in the family!!

Tatiana could not imagine it - not least because of the way Katya had written those last two sentences, casually referring to Anya’s young man as “Rodya” and lumping him together with Grisha. Katya was nothing if not proper about such things. If she was calling him “Rodya” like that, it meant he had been about the house far too much in her absence.

I have enclosed a painting of the roses in the vases, and the candles. I am sitting with Mama and Papa and Alexei this evening and Mama is painting Sonia in her pretty dress in oils while I write this. I am sewing a lot, and Mama says my stitches are getting very good. Lessons go on as always all day and half the night. I miss you so much my darling and miss you and want you to come home but until then you must write lots.

Tatiana didn’t know if Katya was really gloomy, but her letter had thrown Tatiana into precisely that frame of mind. She should have been there. She should have danced with flowers in her hair at Sonia’s party, and she should have seen the candles and roses for herself, not just in Katya’s watercolor, and she should have been sprawled on the rug reading while Katya sewed and Mama painted, or while Mama sewed and Katya painted, or maybe playing the balalaika while they did that, or playing with Alexei while Papa read to them all. Instead, though, she was stuck here, and had no better chance of going home at Pascha.

She listened to Professor Skies with scant interest, even though the topic was one that should have been of some interest to her. It would be good, she knew intellectually, not to have to worry about being caught outside without gloves because she forgot them, but what did she care about taking the proper care to keep her hands and face from taking sun? She was stuck here among Americans, who acknowledged no such niceties, for who knew how long.

Her mood was not improved by the appearance of the incantation on the board. ‘Ch’ was the sound that ч made. She knew this because the English ‘h’ was almost-not-quite the sound that х made and ‘x’ was not the sound that х made - it sounded almost more like к, which was already perfectly well covered by the English ‘k’ and also, for some reason, ‘c,’ when it wasn’t busy making it’s own sound and having that inexplicably replicated by the figure ‘s’! - and it had often confused her when she was learning to read English. Sometimes, when she was tired, she still did sound words out wrong based on that kind of thing. So now they were telling her that it was making a sound most like….х?! And how did one ‘roll’ a letter which was also a verb?

Paper bag in front of her, she closed her eyes so she didn’t read the word and sound it out the way she was used to sounding out English and started repeating the sounds Professor Skies had made in her head. Her head was going to hurt by the end of this class, she was sure. She was inclined to share the sensation, but she was too old to get away with that, and -

There was a sound. She opened her eyes. Her paper bag was on fire.

She exclaimed a word her mother would not have liked to have heard a young lady use as she pushed her chair back and stood up in surprise. The bag was already curling up to nothing, but the damage was done - now she was no doubt the center of attention. At least, she thought, no-one else here spoke enough Russian to know she’d just said a rude word….

  • Beginners - Keep warmProfessor Skies, Fri Apr 27 07:20
    It was very strange, returning to classes without having actually gone anywhere over the holidays. She hoped the students had managed to have fun with their friends and blow off some steam, enjoy... more
    • Setting the bag on fire (oh Pro-fess-sor!) — Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari, Tue Jun 19 19:11
      • Eh, zenme le?Dorian Montoir, Teppenpaw, Sat Jun 23 23:48
        Dorian took a seat next to Tatya in Transfiguration. The task for the day sounded relatively pleasing for both of them. Tatya, he was sure, would be happy because she liked gloves, and the... more
        • Could be worseProfessor Skies, Sat Jun 23 23:49
          Selina kept her eyes on the class, looking out for trouble. Since they had confirmed it was a magical illness causing all these incidents, it didn’t feel like a case whether or not there would be... more
          • Normally, hearing Russian was enough to improve Tatiana’s mood by itself – partially for the familiarity, and partially for the thought that her friends cared enough to specifically make the effort... more
            • Please, Merlin, noDorian (and Professor Skies), Fri Jun 29 10:31
              Dorian took a moment to process Tatya’s first remark, and in that time Professor Skies had come over. So by the time he realised Tatya had said I want to go home, the teacher was already there and... more
              • It’s probably inevitable.Tatiana , Sat Jun 30 23:04
                Dorian putting his hand on her arm had never occurred to Tatiana as a remotely strange or noteworthy thing for him to do, and him putting a hand on her shoulder did not register as much more... more
                • Can I be elsewhere where it happens?Dorian, Mon Jul 2 08:12
                  “Merci,” he smiled, when Tatya complimented him on being a good friend. Dorian always tended to look slightly surprised by the compliments he received, but also very touched, and it was one of the... more
                  • Doubt it.Tatiana, Mon Jul 2 16:45
                    “It just says it all not-same,” grumbled Tatiana, glaring and waving toward the word on the board. “Not like always, or like we do – glupyi letters.” Nothing to do, though, but try again, and try to... more
    • We all loseHeinrich Hexenmeister, Tue May 8 15:36
      Heinrich wasn’t sure whether he was upset at the Quarantine that had trapped everyone in the school this midterm or relieved that it meant he was spared the choice of staying here anyway or going... more
      • That's....cheerful.Peyton O'Malley, Crotalus, Mon Jul 2 17:36
        The Quarantine had kind of disappointed Peyton. She missed her parents and siblings-especially Ryan-as well as her niece, nephews and cousins. Plus, she'd missed Marcus and Melanie's wedding. The... more
    • I don't see the use of gloves like these...Parker Fitzgerald, Fri May 4 09:54
      Parker was feeling good about this Transfiguration class. A sentence he would have laughed at a year before, mainly because it took so long for him to get boots right. Now as he sat in class wearing... more
      • Gary put his campaign notebook away and flipped open his class notebook as Professor Skies began class. He was a bit stuck in his planning, and didn't mind the break to do actual classwork. Sometimes ... more
        • My mind... is useful? I mean. Yes. Useful.Parker Fitzgerald, Tue May 22 14:13
          PParker nodded to Gary's comment about math. He'd honestly never thought of math that way, and if he had thought about math at all since he'd come to Sonora, it was that he didn't have to study it... more
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