Heinrich Hexenmeister
'It' is a pronoun whose meaning changes by context
Mon Sep 10, 2018 07:11

Heinrich was glad to be in second year. There were a lot of other problems associated to this year, but being the older half of the beginners was not one of them. He had a handle on how most subjects worked. His English comprehension was getting a lot better. And he knew what Transfiguration Tables were already, and had already heard most of today's lecture about what Transfiguration was before. He paid enough attention to make sure he wasn't missing anything new for the second years, but he settled for understanding the gist rather than trying to translate every word.

Despite his improved English over last year, he still pulled out a German version of the textbook and laid it out on his desk. As the Transfiguration Tables were mostly for his own use, and the professor was ameniable to them being in other languages, he did not for a moment consider writing it in anything but German. He'd have to use English for the copy he turned in for his homework, but he could do the messy process of translating in his own room, where he could spread out his dictionaries and texts (both German and English) to make sure he was using the right word.

After he selected a pebble from the box, he pulled out a blank sheet of parchment and drew his own Transfiguration Table, as the second years were expected to do now. He provided German titles to each of his columns and rows. He obviously already knew those words after a year of getting a handout with them in English, but would match the content better that way. He'd always thought it looked a bit jarring to have the titles in English and the boxes filled in German.

He was still considering how to make a button that was different enough from his pebble that it would count as 'challenging himself' when his neighbor began working on her pronounciation of the incantation.

"It is nothing to me," he promised when she apologized for her effort. "Trying makes you better." He wasn't entirely sure about his sentence constructions, but he hoped they were close enough to get across his lack of offense and his understanding about how important practice was. Her own word choice was comfortingly simple, and he noticed an accent, much like Tatiana's, so he wondered if she was also struggling with the sheer volume of English surrounding them. "I am Heinrich," he introduced himself, deciding to leave of his surname. Russia was probably less likely than some other places to have heard of his parents' arrest and conviction, but there was no sense in taking chances.

  • But what is 'it'?Katerina Vorontsov, Thu Aug 16 10:52
    It had never occurred to Katya to sit anywhere but the very front of the room until the moment she entered the Transfiguration classroom. Then she saw Julius Astley and her mouth thinned in... more
    • 'It' is a pronoun whose meaning changes by context — Heinrich Hexenmeister, Mon Sep 10 07:11
      • I suspect context can make 'it' a real headache of a word.Katerina Vorontsov, Mon Sep 10 17:37
        Heinrich. That was not a Russian name at all, of course – she had figured out reading history that someone Germans called Heinrich and the English called Henry, Russians would call Genrikh; Katya had ... more
        • He smiled back at Katya. For a moment, Heinrich couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong with Katya’s English. It followed all the grammatical rules he knew, and almost could have come right out of... more
          • And tenses. Don't get me started on tenses.Katerina, Mon Sep 17 20:53
            Heinrich used short, straightforward sentences. This was – at least when it wasn’t done for her benefit, as it clearly wasn’t here – a trait Katya appreciated in a person. His grammar twisted on... more
            • Oh, I am with you there!Heinrich, Wed Oct 3 15:03
              German! She spoke German! Not perfectly, it was clear, but enough! Enough that it would have immediately gotten her an invitation to the ball last year, enough that his eyes widened in surprise and... more
              • Glad we're on the same page.Katerina, Wed Oct 10 11:40
                Katya listened closely, glad for relatively short, straightforward sentences in German as well as English, and then shook her head. “No,” she said, also in German. “I do not go to Germany. Mama war – ... more
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