November 13, 2013

In Which Sevvie Is Not Funny

November 12, 1183

"So then my papa and my uncle walk in, and here's my brother wearing Cousin Honora's dress. And my papa asks him why he's wearing a dress, and my brother says it's comfy." Sevvie was curious, but not so much that he was itching to try it himself. He'd determined when Yvanette and her papa arrived that asking her would be the next best thing. Plus, Yvanette probably needed to hear a funny story. She used to be fun, but Sevvie hadn't seen her happy in months. "Are they?"

She shrugged. The humor of it seemed lost on her. Maybe it wasn't as funny as he'd thought, or maybe she was sadder than he'd guessed. He didn't like either thought. "I don't know. More than some things."

"Like tunics and hose?"

"I don't know. I don't wear tunics and hose."

Then what 'some things' did she have to compare dresses to? Well, maybe being naked... but how was being naked uncomfortable? There was no better feeling known to Sevvie's own skin than the sweet freedom of undressing, whether it was for the bath or for bed or at his grandfather's Midsummer feast on a dare. His mother might have been furious, but his grandfather had laughed!

Yvanette would have laughed too, if she'd been there... or so he would have thought at the time. Not now, though.

Or maybe it was worth a try? "But if you think it would be funny, maybe I'll try on your wedding dress when we get married."

She cocked her head to one side. Maybe she wasn't laughing, but the way she was staring at him like he was some kind of idiot was at least a piece of normal. "My papa says your papa's just joking, and I don't really have to marry you."

"You don't have to, but maybe you'll want to." At least, insofar as Sevvie could imagine anyone wanting to get married? Both his parents said he'd change his mind some day... "I mean, you're the only girl I like. Well, except my sister and cousins, but I have to like them." He really didn't want to marry any of his cousins! "What about you? Do you like any boys but me? Except Darry and your cousins, I mean."

"I don't know." Yvanette slumped, back to her months-old blues. So much for thinking he might see her smile today.

"You don't know anything, do you?"

It was a last-ditch teasing ploy that usually worked on Sevvie's little brother when he was down. He said it with a wink--like he knew his brother really did know things--and Adonis usually ran off, giggling about something he knew that Sevvie didn't (or thought that Sevvie didn't; everyone knew that big brothers knew everything). But while Yvanette jumped to her feet, she didn't giggle. She didn't even grin.

She looked almost scared. "Not again..."

Wanting to make things right, Sevvie stood himself, but Yvanette didn't seem to notice. Had he hurt her that badly? "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that--"

"It's not that." Then what was it? Why couldn't girls just say what they meant? "I need to be alone."

Oh no. Had he hurt her that badly? "Do you want me to get your papa?"

"No!" She sprung back, eyes wide like she'd touched a candle. But why? Yvanette's papa was nice! Not as nice as Sevvie's papa, but Yvanette liked him... "No. I need to be alone."

Why? "Well, you can use my room, I guess. But..."

But she was already halfway out of sight. "Don't follow me!"


"If you follow me, I'll never marry you!"

Her feet grew quieter and quieter as she ran down the corridor toward Sevvie's bedroom. He didn't want to get stuck marrying anyone worse, so he didn't follow, but he wanted to. She'd left some of her sadness behind.




Van said...

Today sucks. This month sucks. Everything sucks.

Ann said...

But not this chapter! I think Yvannette didn't only leave a part of her sadness with Sevvie, because I can feel it too and now there are tears in my eyes.
I wonder what's wrong. Though I'm guessig it's magic-related and probably very confusing. Poor girl!

Van said...

It's definitely magic-related and very confusing! But we'll find out exactly what it is in the next post.

Ekho said...

First off, she's adorable. I find Yvanette to be the underdog in this situation, and I always vote the underdog ;)
She is obviously haunted by whatever magic-related thing is troubling her, even before she 'needed to be alone' and I can see whatever she has/is experiencing has made her a little wiser and grown up than you would think for someone her age.
I was saying just the other day, experience is unique to the individual, and cannot be measured by years. Looking forward to discovering her secret...

Van said...

She is quite cute (and yes, definitely the underdog in her battle versus magic).

Yvanette's had a rough couple of months, and it does have everything to do with her magic manifesting. She's very aware of how little control she has over her world, and that scares her.

As for what exactly is going on, that post should be up some time today, assuming my mood allows it. Though honestly, at the time I wrote this post, I was feeling much more like Yvanette than I was feeling like Sevvie, and that hasn't changed much.

Anonymous said...

I hope things start going better for you soon, Van.

And this was ... interesting. Little Sevvie is a pip (and why does it not surprise me that he's the one who goes streaking though Severin I's midsummer party? Or was it Adonis's midsummer party?)! But he's dealing with something here he doesn't understand ... and I'm not just talking about women. ;)

I can't wait to see what's up with Yvanette. I'm still wondering about that cat. Maybe it's a familiar for her? Or maybe she'll get a familiar (kitty) at some point?

I just hope she's ok, because something going wrong with her would be the last thing her parents need.

(And WOW, she is an adorable little kid! Those huge blue eyes are going to be breaking a lot of hearts!)

Van said...

I'm thinking it was Severin's party (though Adonis was probably invited--and he might have been laughing too). But yep, Sevvie does have a lot to learn, about everything. I think he'll eventually be up to the task, though.

I would not discount the cat having something to do with this. Yvanette's latent magic has had a few years to bide its time by now, and who knows what might have set it in motion?

She is very cute! Her parents seem to breed quite well. I'm hoping that if Yvanette ever gets a brother named Dalston, he'll get those eyes too.

Penelope said...

Oh, what divine justice if Lonriad's son married Rona's daughter! XD

Van said...

It kind of would be, wouldn't it? XD