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Dorian Montoir
A Christmas Carol (tag Jehan, Tatya, Vlad and Ruby)
Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:32

Just as Dorian had had mixed feelings at the thought of going home for the holidays, he had mixed feelings about that no longer being an option… The first feeling to hit him though had been stomach clenching misery, and guilt, even though this wasn’t his fault. He had been focussing on the positive sides of going home, and in spite of all its complications, he couldn’t wait to see his sister. Only now, he had to… Yes, he avoided Matthieu, which was good, and he got to see Jehan for Christmas, which should have been wonderful - which was wonderful - but it was supposed to be Émilie’s turn to see him. He loved them both, and it didn’t feel fair to her… He knew Jehan was excited about them getting to spend time together over the holidays, and he was too, so he tried to match his friend’s enthusiasm, and tell himself that he wasn’t betraying his sister when he did. He thought Tatya might, for once, be a better companion for his melancholy. He was sure Jehan understood theoretically, but right now, Tatya had the same pain he did.

Once he’d got over the initial shock, one of the first thoughts that had occurred to him had been Jehan’s words from last year Someday I’ll actually be able to give you your present on Christmas Day… - words he was keen to remind him of when they exchanged gifts this year. He didn’t think Jehan had thought that Christmas would come so soon when he’d said that. To say that Dorian had not thought about this statement would be untrue and unfair. He had thought of it. But he had never really analysed it, simply taking it as a variation of the idea that one day they would be adults and get to choose for themselves - to make their own social engagements, rather than returning home to their parents, and following other people’s plans for their holidays. If pressed for details of who one tended to spend Christmas with, he would have answered that one spent Christmas Day with one’s family, until one was married, and then with that person, either including them in your own Christmas or joining in with theirs. He also knew that Jehan had talked about them being together for future Christmases. He had accepted both of these as entirely plausible, because he had never thought about them both at the same time, and noticed that they did not mesh particularly well. He had probably given less thought to the former idea - the future was a vague, far away thing. It would be fun. It would be with someone who loved him and whom he loved, but that didn’t have a specific enough shape yet for him to picture it.

He was excited to give Jehan his present too, in person, on Christmas Day. Although, when he had thought about him and Jehan having Christmas together it had definitely not involved the possibility of quite so many other people around (when he pictured the scene, it looked more or less like his and Jehan’s MARS room… Only with a sense that they were Not At School. They were just… somewhere that had both of them and that they’d chosen to be). Now that they had this strange not-yet-grown-ups but still-spending-Christmas-together Christmas, and there were a lot of other people to consider, and it was definitely logistically confusing. He had initially imagined spending it with all the gang, and then he had remembered Victor… And the fact that Vlad and Ruby both had family here too… Ruby had her grandfather here although it was very hard to imagine Headmaster Brockert hanging out with a student, even when you theoretically knew that she was his granddaughter - she just… didn’t seem like it. So perhaps it would just be him and Tatya, which might be a little odd and intense. He couldn’t imagine Victor wanting to join a bunch of second years, nor could he imagine Jehan not wanting to spend time with his brother on Christmas Day. Dorian could only hope that Jehan was planning on spending time with both of them but separately. He had nothing against Victor, he just really didn’t know him, which made him intimidating (along with the fact that it really mattered what Victor thought of him because Victor mattered so much to Jehan), and he also didn’t feel like he and Jehan could be ‘him and Jehan’ with Victor there. He had no idea whether Victor and Jehan could be Victor and Jehan with him there either. He didn’t exactly mind if they spent some time together because he supposed he had to get to know Victor at some point, but he didn’t want to feel like he was intruding on them as a family, and he wanted to spend some time alone with Jehan too, to give him his present. He didn’t even really want to give Jehan his present in front of their other friends. Not that he didn’t have presents for everyone - he did, he had got Vlad a nice new notebook and some different coloured inks, to help make his note taking at Club of Tongues either more organised or at least more fun. He had even slipped in some language practise and cultural awareness by labelling the red bottle ‘Bùyào yòng wèile xiě rén de míngzì’ - he was confident that Vlad would get ‘Do not’ and, if he was paying attention would remember that the final word was ‘name’ because that came up in basic introductions, but he might need to do some dictionary work to understand the full message. He’d got Vlad’s present by owl order and had written to his mother for help with Tatya and Ruby. He had been planning to buy their gifts when he was back home, and already knew what he wanted to get Tatya - she liked gloves, and there was a store his mother loved that had Chinese silks. He had, for lack of a better idea, suggested the same for Ruby. His mother had owled back, with a pair of red silk gloves for Tatya, a small compact mirror inlaid with a red glass pattern on the lid for Ruby, and the advice that the girls in his life probably did not wish to be treated as interchangeable. Jehan’s present was different though... He had learnt from last year, and handmade it, and that meant it was personal. He’d bought the paper in a craft store over the summer. The patterns on it had reminded him of the swirls on their rug in the MARS room. He had taken some time to think of something suitable to do with it, eventually settling on the idea of origami cranes. Not that he had known how to make origami cranes at that point - something which he would be sure to subtly drop into the conversation with Jehan once he had given it to him, both because he resented the idea that just because he was part Asian he knew ‘all the Asian things’ as if they were just one single entity (not that Jehan had ever done that to him, but enough people had that he felt the need to Make A Point) and so that Jehan knew how much time and effort had gone into it. Origami cranes were really hard to make. He had supplemented the original paper with others in blues, yellows, greens, and in blended shades and patterns of them, learnt how to make the damn cranes, and strung them together into a mobile, so that Jehan could have a little reminder of their MARS room with him when they had to be apart, either by being in their separate houses or their separate homes.

But Christmas Day itself was a while away, so the complexities of who everyone was spending it with could wait. And in the meantime, he’d had a fun idea for how they could spend one of their mornings. His family had sent him all kinds of holiday treats, and a few copies of past Christmas photos - it was a holiday tradition to look through the albums, which were filled with formal portraits of them all in co-ordinated attire, along with more informal family snaps. He tended to prefer the latter type, not only because they were more fun, but because they didn’t always involve his brother, whereas the formal shots did - although there was one formal shot he’d been sent a copy of that he was very fond of. It showed their parents seated on the couch, a fourteen month old Dorian next to his mother, and a newly-turned-three Matthieu seated beside their father. Their mother always referred to it as ‘the first photo of all five of us’ although even she hadn’t realised that Émilie existed when it had been taken. He also had their group shot from last year (and had arranged the photos on his wall with a degree of overlap, hoping that Vlad was too polite to comment on the fact that he’d effectively cropped his brother out - three year old Matthieu he could deal with, current Matthieu he’d rather not look at), and a couple of less formal photos that he suspected his sister had had a hand in picking, including one of her aged two and a bit ecstatically running around in circles winding tinsel around him instead of the tree. His parents had also sent an early Christmas present in the form of a small camera and a few rolls of film so that he could document this rather unusual Christmas. His family’s letter had also reminded him of other holiday traditions - Émilie had suggested how tragic it would be that he would have Christmas not only without her, but also without various delicious foods and also without ice skating! The first two he admittedly could not do much about, but the last one was easily fixed with the help of the MARS rooms. He had excitedly suggested it to all his friends the previous night, advising them to dress warmly and meet him there the next morning.

He got to MARS a little early, to make sure the room was free. He stepped inside. Back home, they went to a park that was popular with the wizarding community, where a stretch of the river running through it usually froze over and, if it didn’t, there was a sizeable pond that could take a few skaters. The MARS room did not look like either the river or the pond in the park. He supposed he didn’t really want it to… This wasn’t skating at home, it was skating with his friends, and it was going to be fantastic and he was excited, but it made sense for it to take place somewhere different. It was a large, round pond - Dorian always skated outside, and it didn’t occur to him that a rink, with a side to cling to, might be a bit more beginner friendly. There were some snowy shrubs around the edge and a stone bench… It wasn’t the most exciting scene, but it was the people who were going to join him that would make it so. He sat down on the bench, pulling off his shoes and putting on the black skates that MARS had provided. He supposed it would conjure more pairs as needed. He would have felt odd walking through the corridors in all his winter gear, but he now pulled out a green and blue knitted scarf, a blue pair of gloves and a blue hat with a green pom-pom on top, the ends of his floppy dark hair just poking out around the edges once he had pulled it on. He deposited the camera on the bench, hoping that as people took breaks from skating they could snap pictures of the others.

With a little thrill of excitement, he stepped onto the ice. He loved this. It was just one of those moments that let you know Christmas had arrived - one of those special things that you only got to do at a particular time of year. And even though he was away from his family, it still managed to work that magic. He pushed off, gliding easily around the pond, as if he had been doing this his whole life. Which he more of less had… Ok, so he doubted his parents had dumped him on the ice at two months old, but he also couldn’t really remember a time when he hadn’t gone skating at Christmas… He remembered a few early bumps and falls, but he wasn’t even convinced those were his first times on the ice. And he wasn’t really sure whether he remembered his father teaching him, or had just looked at the photos and talked about it so often that he thought he did... He remembered Émilie’s lessons better, helping out, holding her hands, keeping an eye on her as his father juggled the demands of having three children of different ages and abilities on the ice. Matthieu had always wanted to race - he had sometimes drawn Dorian into it, but tired quickly of how easily he beat him. He had sometimes skated against the other children they knew, but he tired of it quickly if they were older and easily beat him. When they had been small, their father would keep close enough to make it feel like a competition and then often let him win. Matthieu tended to race properly with his friends now, leaving Dorian and Émilies to mess about and have fun together. Their father would still share his time between them, or skate and chat with the other parents. Their mother could skate a little - their father had taught her too - but generally didn’t, or at least not for long, waiting for them on the bank, or even at home. As in many Pureblood families, their father spent a lot of time working, and it was their mother, the homemaker, who they’d spent the most time with, and Dorian had lots of things he associated with her. Christmas, in general, was always a good time for family, but he had such vividly happy memories of skating because it was one of the few quality times they got with their father, doing something that was special and specific to him.

As he reached the far edge, he turned neatly, doing the second half of the lap backwards, a huge grin on his face. He turned again when he reached the bench, so that he faced forward, gliding as long as he could on a single blade. He played this game with himself for a while, then returned to laps, half forward, half backwards. He had just turned at the head of the pond and was seeing whether he could remember how to backwards crossovers (satisfyingly, the answer was ‘yes’) when he heard the door open. He swung around easily, and skated over towards the edge nearest the bench.

“Hello,” he grinned, stopping at the side of the pond, “Come join with me,” he invited, ready to offer a helping hand if it was needed.

OOC - welcome friends! Dorian will do his best to look after you and make sure you don’t fall. If you have questions about what he’d do/need to God-mod, catch me in chatzy or PM me. He would have told Jehan, Tatya, Vlad and Ruby to meet him for skating. If anyone else wants to join, you could either be happening to look into MARS to see what’s going on, or catch us in chatzy to ask if a message would have been passed along (e.g. I imagine Tatya might invite Jasmine).

    • I shall honor the spirit of Rozhdestvo and keep it always.Tatiana Vorontsova, Sat Apr 14 23:58
      They weren’t allowed to go home. When Tatiana had first heard this news, she had rejected it out of hand, sure she had misunderstood. After all, this year, Sonia was going to have her party – she had ... more
      • You seem to be taking that a bit farDorian, Fri Apr 20 10:23
        He was not quite sure what that word meant. And being unfamiliar, it tended to slip away from him very quickly, and that meant he didn’t recognise it as being the same word that Tatya had used for... more
        • Go big or go home, and we can't go home yet.Tatiana, Sat Apr 21 12:11
          Tatiana’s smile flickered for a moment in confusion when Dorian asked if he had made her sick and looked down toward her clothes when he gestured in their direction. Upon looking at them, she stopped ... more
          • Do you have to go quite so big though?Dorian, Tue Apr 24 10:20
            Tatya seemed to shrug off the suggestion of her being sick as something to worry about later, and the playful little smile she gave him was infectious. He smiled back. It was a lot harder to worry... more
            • I doubt I'll give you much to worry aboutRuby Brockert, Sat Apr 28 13:49
              Ruby had been extremely disappointed when the quarantine had been anounced. She had been really looking forward to seeing her parents and younger siblings, even Topaz. Not to mention seeing her... more
              • I like to live dangerously Tatiana , Sun May 6 22:00
                Tatiana recognized her friend’s tone, but was amused by the words anyway, and crossed her eyes to look at her nose. “You hear?” she asked it. “No falling. Dorya does not allow it,” she teased,... more
                • Dorian smiled as Tatya gave her own nose a stern talking to. She made him smile a lot, in a way that was completely different to the way that Jehan did… They started their waltz and she managed to... more
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