Yevetya Alkaeva
New Stories, Old Places
Wed May 31, 2017 00:53

Yelizaveta Alkaeva thought one entirely unexpected letter was enough for the year. The first had been from a private investigator, and had required an annoying amount of travel and the resurgence of some unpleasant memories. The second, from a name it took her a moment to place, called for even further travel but (hopefully) happier memories. She’d graduated from Rocky Mountain International just under ten years ago, and it was time for a reunion.

The invitation allowed a “plus one,” but there was no one for Yevetya to bring. She’d never married. After graduating RMI, she’d attended the University of Toulouse, studying languages. It had been a fight to convince Kristina, her mother, to allow her to go; but something about throwing a fit and storming out of her debutante ball made everyone think a break from Moscow would be worthwhile. For a time Kristina and Anton’s hopes were high. After a string of beaus, in her junior year Yelizaveta accepted a proposal from Georgiy Orlov, a fellow student from St. Petersburg. Her parents were delighted -- Georgiy was tall, handsome, studying Arithmancy (respectable), and had four older brothers in well-placed careers. He and Yelizaveta had been friends since they met in their freshman year. Yakov and Ilya were impressed that their sister managed to find a well-mannered Russian in France, of all places.

Georgiy’s family was also happy, as their youngest son had broken a childhood betrothal and turned down another attempt. Yelizaveta was a marginal choice, what with all that American influence, but the Alkaevs were part of the Tupulovs, and they were worth a connection. The Orlovs even acquiesced to the couple’s insistence on waiting for their graduation to be married. The long engagement just gave everyone more time to plan an extravaganza of a wedding.

It wasn’t meant to last.

Yevetya sighed and began brushing her hair, shaking her head with the memories. It was a bright, sunny spring day in Narbonne, but with the time difference, it was early morning in Boulder. She had plenty of time before the reunion, especially since she wouldn’t even have to Apparate. Adisynne had somehow arranged for their old dreamcatchers to become Portkeys for the day. Yev glanced at the familiar blue dreamcatcher hanging above her bed. It would be good to go back to RMI. She’d had fun there, and the school had been a refuge from Moscow. She’d had friends in other years as well-- Annaliese, Leo, -- but hadn’t kept up. Yelizaveta, unlike Ilya, wasn’t good at letters. She barely kept up with Georgiy after all that had happened.

It had also been April, six years ago. She and Georgiy had a system worked out; one of them would go out of town, and the other would only go out to Muggle places. This reduced the risk of either of them going home with a man who would recognize them later. It had worked well for the past year of their “engagement.” What they didn’t expect was Georgiy’s second-oldest brother, an Auror, to investigate Yelizaveta in his spare time. Mikhail had tailed Yevetya to a bar in Montpellier, and after seeing her dancing with a different man, he’d tried to confront her.

The Cetus had never been good at dueling, but she was good at flying. If not for his Merlin-damned Auror reflexes, she might have gotten away. Her first Stupefy had missed Mikael, and he’d knocked her backwards and disarmed her in another second. Yevetya didn’t see the resemblance to Georgiy until it was too late. Mikael, inexplicably, had been suspicious that Yevetya was involved with shady business with Dimitri, who (at that point) she hadn’t heard from almost a decade. The Auror had then thought Yelizaveta was cheating on his brother, and she’d panicked, not knowing how to explain to Mikael that Georgiy was fine with this. And she had no way to warn Georgiy, either.

Mikael had dragged Yev back to Toulouse, expecting to throw her at Georgiy’s feet with proof of her infidelity. He hadn’t expected Georgiy to also bring another man home. After the scuffle, which required Obliviation of the poor unfortunate Muggle who’d met Georgiy, the truth had come out. Georgiy had been in the closet for years and avoided previous betrothals because he thought it wasn’t fair to his future wife. As the Alkaevs pressured Yevetya to get married, she and Georgiy realized they could solve two problems at once. They got along well and enjoyed spending time together; in fact, she’d tried to date him before he told her he was gay. They would marry for convenience and both date around. It worked, until they were caught with their metaphorical pants down.

Georgiy wanted to Obliviate his brother, but the two couldn’t take on an Auror. Yevetya couldn’t tell if his brother’s lack of discretion or sexuality infuriated Mikael more, but the truth got out. She’d tried to play the hysterical woman with cold feet, but shortly after graduation, Georgiy had been disowned, and he saw no reason to make Yevetya go with him. Last she heard, he’d applied to teach at Hogwarts. Yev’s older brother Yakov and his girlfriend Varya married that summer instead. They’d planned to, eventually, and Kristina Alkaeva tried to pretend all was well. Yevetya had not been disowned; the family could only take so much scandal, and having one of four children in good standing was too few.

Her parents still badgered Yevetya about getting married, but fortunately Yakov and Varya soon had children, who could take up much more of Kristina’s energy. Yev had only had two serious boyfriends since then -- serious lasting more than one month. At twenty-eight, she enjoyed keeping things casual, and she was far too independent for most Pureblood families.

Yevetya had considered inviting Ilya to the reunion, as she hadn’t seen him since Christmas, but if everyone else had been suitably married, she’d be embarrassed to bring her brother as a date. Since she couldn’t impress anyone with status, she’d go for appearance. Yev donned an asymmetric blue dress with mesh cut-outs and high-heeled black boots; it was a bit risque for a school reunion, but the Seeker knew she looked damn good in it. A gold choker necklace, shimmery eyeshadow, and neutral lips rounded out the look. She swept her dirty blonde hair into a dramatic updo and waited for the appointed hour, rehearsing tidbits of her life to share.

Finally, it was time. She gently took the dreamcatcher off the wall, and as she squeezed it, it squeezed her, spun her around, and dumped her in RMI’s Finer Diner. Years of practice with Portkeys and heels kept her from toppling over. Yevetya smiled at the brightly colored banner that someone (she suspected Addi) had made. And there were snacks and wine, perfect.

There were already a few people here; she saw a pregnant Megan Havelock, although that wasn’t the girl’s last name now, and Trevor Jacobs with her. Yevetya liked Megan, but she did not like Trevor, so she did not go over to them. Instead, she sat, sipping a glass of rosé. As her former classmates (and a scruffy dark-haired man she couldn’t place) sat down, she raised her glass to the person next to her.

“I’m glad to see I am not the only one who has not married well,” she said wryly, nodding at her classmate’s ringless hand. Her slight accent now muddled Russian and French. She meant it jokingly, then realized in an instant it sounded insulting. Yev hoped the other person would recognize it as a jest at so many people’s obsession with proper marriage! She followed it up with a genuine compliment. “But it is good to see you are looking well.”

  • Class of T15 reunion! - Adisynne Leppit, Mon May 1 19:55
    Yeargroup-specific reunions were not really a part of RMI’s tradition. Major events at the school were open to alumni of all years past, and that was about as close as it got. But Addi was Addi and... more
    • New Stories, Old Places - Yevetya Alkaeva, Wed May 31 00:53
      • Catch me up on the stories - Adisynne, Tue Jun 20 12:58
        Addi was glad to see familiar but changed faces arriving; the class was small, so any absences would be noticeable, but looking around, she felt pretty successful in her and Megan’s event. It was... more
    • Not exactly your typical reunion guest - Reece Campbell, Thu May 11 23:51
      Reece hadn’t been at RMI in a while. He’d dropped out midway through his sixth year, so he was aware of how easy it would be to simply count out the years since and figure out exactly how long it has ... more
    • Sparking Diamonds, Sparkling Water - Megan Brenner (née Havelock), Fri May 5 07:00
      The planning period had been brief, and yet Adisynne had managed it with finesse. Megan had been successful in her efforts to encourage Trevor to go, and to prevent and last minute jitters on his... more
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