June 10, 2014

In Which Alina Tells of Something Half-Interesting

January 8, 1186

"You just came back here?" The destination was the only element Alina found surprising. Her twin brother was an aloof genius who couldn't be bothered with the ho-hum monotony of mind-numbing busy work like... advanced trigonometry or complex literary analysis or whatever the hell it was he found so easy. Alina herself wasn't stupid--she didn't think--but she was... normal, she guessed. She understood most of the work, but she felt better knowing that she was getting steady review and revision, even if that did mean putting up with the occasional stupid question.

But if it was one of those weeks when Rina didn't show up, then Severin had no interest in staying past the lunch hour. Alina knew that. She also knew that there were about a hundred other places he could go where their mother was less likely to be than their own damn house. "Even Mother's disappointment has no effect on you now?"

"God, weren't you paying any attention during the lunch break? Mother showed up to get Teodrin for his doctor's appointment. She said they'd be gone all afternoon."

"So I have actual friends to talk to at lunch. Whatever." This inspired nothing but a derisive snort from her brother. Because it was so unnatural for people to want to talk to each other, apparently. "I kind of noticed when Teodrin didn't show up to walk home with the rest of us. But even if Mother wasn't here, what about Hamrick and Esela?"

"Esela said she was taking the kids to Veldora for the day, remember? And Hamrick doesn't give a shit." That was true; their older brother had just nodded when the rest of them passed him in the fields, as he always did. Who knew if he'd even noticed Severin coming home. "Any chance I missed anything half-interesting?"

"Yes, actually. Lady Xeta's arranged for us to tour the university next week, plus sit in on some mock-lectures."

"I said 'half-interesting'."

God, her brother was an asshole. At least he was upfront about it. "Excuse me for finding my future 'interesting'. Besides, you'll go anyway. I'm going to ask your girlfriend to go to the economics lecture with me."

"She's not my girlfriend." Regardless, the mere thought of Rina was enough to lift his eyes from whatever dull text he had in front of him. "And economics? Really?"

"Hey, I think it's interesting--and Rina might too. You said she's good at mathematics, and with money."

"I guess you have a point." The highest praise she could have expected. "You two have fun."

"You could come with us."

"And I could pick up some extra pocket money tutoring those morons we study with. Doesn't mean I'm going to."

Neglecting the fact that he'd tutored Rina when she'd first arrived and needed to catch up--for free. "You're passing up a chance to spend some time with your sweetheart?"

"Stop calling her my sweetheart. Tamrions don't marry stewards' sons."

Huh. Of all the stupid things she'd never thought her brilliant brother would ever say. "Didn't think you were itching to get married, bro."

"I'm not. But as loathe as I am to say this, I like being friends with Rina. If we got involved, and things ended, then we might not be able to go back to being friends--and don't say what if they didn't end, because they would, since she's bound to marry someone better than me. At least a knight from a noble family, if not higher."

"Doesn't Rina get a say in it? Her father did try to lock her up in a nunnery, so I doubt he's lining up noble suitors behind her back." Not that she claimed to fathom why. Rina wasn't the prettiest girl in class, but she certainly wasn't ugly. She wasn't stupid either, nor was she cruel--even if she could be moody. Her health, maybe? But even a sickly daughter of a count would surely be coveted... "From the sounds of it, she's free to marry who she wants, but she might not have a dowry. Without that, a steward's son may well have a chance."

"The baroness will cover her dowry. Even if she didn't, it still wouldn't make me a possibility." Her brother turned the page of his book, though even he couldn't have finished the last two while conversing with her. "She could still do one hell of a lot better."

Because believing that was easier than admitting to feeling anything. Alina rolled her eyes. "You're the dumbest smart person I know."



Van said...

So, I know it was established earlier that the school calendar was following the university calendar, but then I got to thinking and... yeah, while I think I'm going to keep the university one as-is for aging-up purposes, I'm just going to go with a more conventional school schedule for the children and teenagers. More intuitive.

Pen15 said...

Oh, Sevvie. What does he expect that he'll be when he grows up? Sparron's steward? Actually, for some reason, I imagine that Florian will be Sparron's steward. I can just picture him at 70, wandering around the castle, releasing 50 cats into the kitchens. How does Octavius put up with that man? LOL Sparron would be better off with Sevvie.

Van said...

It wouldn't surprise me if Florian was one day Prior's steward, much less Sparron's. :S

Sparron probably would be better off with Severin, but I can't imagine Severin would enjoy it. He doesn't know for sure yet what he wants to do (though I have an idea, based on what he rolled for a university major), but it needs to be something very intellectually stimulating.

Penelope said...

Heh, it's 1186. How intellectually stimulating can a job outside of the church get? Wait, that's not true. There is art and architecture. Oh! He would make a great architect! There's also the open-ended job of "inventor" but I am not 100% sure how they made their money. And actually, just now I thought that there was no such thing as patent law, but according to Wikipedia, patent rights were recognized in ancient Greece. Naroni could has. Severin could invent umm the linchpin. Hehe, those probably already existed in some form. He could invent that wheel that British people used to put little dogs in, in order to turn the spit to cook their meat.

Van said...

Architecture is indeed a possibility! And inventing would be too if I was a little more creative in that regard. XD