March 15, 2016

In Which Lara Considers Twelve-Year-Old Definitions

January 10, 1199

"...and it turns out, she copied off of me in mathematics. But I copied off of her in history, so I suppose that's fair." Camaline's curls bounced with a dismissive toss of her head, as satisfied with a twelve-year-old's definition of 'fair' as any other twelve-year-old was likely to be. "But you don't have a school in Carvallon, do you? You just have tutors. That must be dreadfully lonely!"

"Not really." In truth, Lara suspected that Camaline's idea of loneliness was approximately her own idea of peace and quiet, and she'd yet to have a problem with any of her tutors--none that she hadn't been able to spin in her favor, at any rate. But she'd be back in Naroni the year after next to attend the university, and perhaps the Naronian classrooms would have been better preparation for that. Then again, a university class was surely a more focused experience than run-of-the-mill childhood education. "I usually finish up with my lessons fairly quickly, since I don't have to wait for anyone else to catch up. Then I'm free to do as I please."

"Don't you study with Naeva, though?"

"Naeva's four years younger than me--closer to five, even. We study more side-by-side than together."

"So she's closer to my age," Camaline mused. "Why didn't she come along, then? I don't doubt we'd have fun together."

"I don't know. Naeva doesn't really have much fun with anyone." And neither did Lara, really--but at least Lara had learned to be polite about it. Polite enough, at least, that she hadn't vehemently opposed leaving her comfortable room at the castle for the day to meet her cousins by the duchess.

"Oh." Camaline batted her eyes toward their other cousin--who, really, hadn't had much reason for dropping by as far as Lara could tell. "Sounds rather like Hollie."

"You realize I'm right here," Hollie muttered under her breath, the first she'd said since a half-grunted 'hello' to Lara as if it hadn't been only the second time they'd met.

"Yes, dear cousin--but I'm never sure if you do!" Camaline laughed. Lara failed to see just what was so funny. "You'll have to excuse her, Lara. Hollie never has anything to say, except maybe to my brother Ricky."

Hollie shifted, the fabric of her skirts rustling against that of the couch cushion. Camaline was twelve years old, with twelve-year-old definitions: 'loneliness', 'anything'. Camaline herself didn't have anything to say, but she insisted on saying it anyway.

Hollie, from what much-yet-little Lara knew about her, must have had a lot to say.

But having something to say didn't always mean having a way to say it.



Van said...


Winter said...

Camaline seems like one of those people who have good intentions but a weak brain-to-mouth filter. I guess most twelve year-olds have that quality in them, though.

Lara and Hollie look like they could turn out to be pals. Hollie's not up to having to entertain people,, and Lara has enough of her father in her to appreciate the value of silence.

Van said...

Camaline will always probably be too much of a social butterfly for the likes of Lara or Hollie, but I'm sure she'll learn to think before she speaks (at least most of the time) as she matures.

It's possible! They're only a year apart, and Lara would be a pretty low-maintenance friend, which is what Hollie would need. They'd probably be okay with even being mainly pen-pals while Lara is in Carvallon (I don't think she'll be staying in Naroni after she gets through the university, if only because there are way more men than women in the current generation of Carvalli nobles, and it's open season as far as bachelors go). But yeah, Lara is definitely Zareth's daughter. Naeva, I imagine at this point, is more like Mona, but with a bit more of an edge (in a modern story, she'd totally be an emo kid).