Author Topic:  [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]  (Read 337 times)

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44 Posts 13 Flying he/him
[June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« on: August 21, 2023, 03:52:59 PM »
It didn't feel like the end of term, much less like an exciting beginning to the summer. Ruslan had enjoyed the anticipation, even hadn't minded terribly when Klyk had lost the Quidditch tournament (though he was very glad he hadn't taken part, given the amount of scrapes and bruises that were inflicted on and by both teams), but then... Well, he didn't really know what had happened, just that somene had died and there were to be no end of year celebrations. There was a feast of course, because that was traditional and if you were going to eat dinner you might as well eat a good one, but there were no decorations, no speeches and honestly, Ruslan had no idea how to behave.

He knew people died of course, but those were old people who had lived long lives, not students just a few years older than himself. It was sad but it was also scary...what if he messed up a spell and the same thing happened to him? Ruslan didn't stop to consider that freak accidents were just that, and in the past couple of days he had started to feel afraid of casting any spells at all. Maybe, if he did really well in the junior championships this summer his parents would agree he could stay home and train full time. He could do theoretical studies at home and not have to use his wand at all. Yes, that would surely be the safest plan.

As he approached the Grand hall he slipped a hand into his pocket, feeling slightly happier when a small whiskered nose nuzzled his fingers. There was probably some rule against bringing pets in to feasts, but he had never bothered to ask and Makar was small enough that he wasn't noticed. Reaching the door, he stopped dead and bit his lip. He'd heard the no decorations part, but hadn't realised the whole school would be in mourning. It made everything seem even more real, and he stopped where he was, not wanting to go any further.

180 Posts 17
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2023, 12:23:07 PM »
The end of term wasn’t just the end of term for Zhenya. This particular end of term marked the end of her time at Durmstrang. It felt both relieving and frightening to know that her time at school came to an end. She had been eagerly waiting for this day and at the same time dreaded it and wished it would never come. 

Her N.E.W.T. exams had gone rather poorly. Zhenya seriously doubted that she had passed any of them. The oral and practical exams had felt particularly awful. Returning an almost blank piece of parchment was embarrassing for sure, but nothing was worse than being questioned from eye to eye and not being able to give any satisfying answers. She had stuttered some bits of information and had ultimately told one of the examiners that he should give her the answer already as she didn’t know it and would never be able to answer herself.

Given her academic failures during the years of her magical education, Zhenya should have been looking forward to the time after school, but the young athlete felt that more disappointments were waiting for her outside of school. Having been stuck at Durmstrang for the past months, she was certain that she missed out precious training time which meant that she would hardly be competitive as a senior athlete. Her family surely expected her to do well and compete for the spots on the international team, but how could she do that? There were Aglaya, Svetlana, Larisa who also came from the family and were far stronger and more experienced. There was a girl named Maria who had almost made the team last year and there was Yelizaveta who was graduating from Durmstrang this year as well and who seemed in better shape - physically and mentally.

To make Zhenya’s mood even worse, a student had died at Durmstrang and everybody was still in shock and grieving the poor kid. Everything just felt wrong and the young woman would have loved to hide and just try and process everything, but there was no time for that. She had to attend the end of term dinner and then, soon enough, she’d be at Rybinsk, facing her new challenges.

As she made her way to the Grand Hall, she let her fingers run over the cold stone walls of the building, feeling not in the slightest sentimental that she wouldn’t return here after the summer. Reaching the door, she saw her younger brother and approached him, grateful for the distraction.

“Lanchik,” she said and put a hand on her brother’s shoulder, “what are you standing here? Don’t you want to get in? Aren’t you hungry?” She could understand if Ruslan told her that he’d rather go elsewhere as she was tempted to avoid the dinner herself.

44 Posts 13 Flying he/him
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2023, 12:49:21 PM »
Were end of term feasts compulsory? Ruslan didn't know, and he couldn't remember anyone ever mentioning it before. He had just assumed that it was one of those things you had to go to, like classes, but really, how would he get into trouble if he wasn't there? Would anyone even notice? If someone was sick and in the hospital wing, they were hardly going to be wheeled out in their bed and parked beside one of the tables. Perhaps if he pretended he was feeling ill he wouldn't need to go in either.

He jumped at the feel of a hand on his shoulder, even as he recognised his sister's voice and knew he hadn't been caught loitering here by a professor. He knew his face displayed a guilty look though, even as he tried to conceal it. Not that it would make any difference. Big sisters always knew things like that. He shrugged and stared down at his shoes, not wanting to say anything. If he could just sit with Zhenya maybe he would feel a bit better, but they were in different houses so didn't see much of each other at school. He should have walked down with Lina, he realised, but she was probably already in there.

Zhenya was still standing there, still waiting for an answer. Ruslan managed a small shrug that was supposed to convey - well whatever his sister took it to mean. And then, after a pause, he added "I'm not hungry." What he really wanted to say was that he didn't want to go in there at all, that he wanted her to make everything alright and suggest a walk in the grounds. Anything, really, that meant he didn't have to think about that fact that someone had died.

180 Posts 17
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2023, 09:58:34 AM »
“Not hungry…” Zhenya echoed. End of term dinners were usually something to look forward to. Maybe not so much for athletes, though. The artistic flyers had to watch their diet, especially considering that the summer was competition time and they needed to be in their best shape.

“I get that,” the seventh year said, offering her little brother an encouraging smile.

“It all feels wrong, doesn’t it?” Zhenya asked. It was more a rhetorical question than one she expected to get answered. “I can’t believe that this is my last day at Durmstrang.”

The mixed feelings that came with the end of her academic career at Durmstrang were hard to process. Zhenya was relieved to leave the school that she hated so much behind, but the prospect of being an adult now and competing among the senior athletes freaked her out as well. She didn’t feel ready and, truth be told, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever feel prepared for what lay ahead.

Rodion had managed quite well, it seemed, but then her elder brother had also been tsar for Klyk Vampira and was generally just better at everything. He had transitioned fairly well into the senior ranks of their sport. Zhenya, on the other hand, felt that she could never compete with the likes of Aglaya or Svetlana. Anyone who thought differently was delusional in her opinion.

44 Posts 13 Flying he/him
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2023, 09:51:20 AM »
There was a scuff on his right shoe. Ruslan frowned at it; he liked his clothes to look neat at all times, as was fitting for a future champion, and he was irritated that he hadn't polished it properly this morning. Just another item to add to the list of things that were dampening his mood.

He forced himself to look up to his sister's face, and realised that he didn't have to look quite so far now. How come he hadn't noticed himself growing this year? He hoped his costumes wouldn't need to be adjusted! And with that thought, at least a little bit of the despondency was chased away. Ruslan matched his sister's smile.

"Yeah. It's going to be weird without you here next year."

Suddenly he knew for sure that he didn't want to go in there, didn't want to listen to the speeches, to hear about the deceased student and how good they'd been at everything (even at his young age Ruslan had noticed there was no such thing as a bad obituary). He shuffled his feet, then stopped when he remembered that would scuff his shoes even more, and said "Can we just... go somewhere else? Will something bad happen if we don't go in there?" 

180 Posts 17
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2023, 08:31:36 AM »

The next year would be weird for sure. Suddenly the realisation that she would be a full time athlete struck her as quite weird. Did her family really expect her to do nothing but train and work on new routines? Coming straight from school this seemed so odd and, frankly, rather tiring. Was she really supposed to focus on artistic flying all day long? Seven days a week?

Her year mates were going to study (which was an impossible thought for Zhenya who never wanted to have to sit an exam again and was relieved that she had survived seven years at school) or they were starting a job which would guarantee them a regular income. Of course, her family wouldn’t let her starve if she didn’t win prize money in her first season among the seniors, but she would be dependent for as long as it took her to be a successful athlete if she’d ever manage that at all.

Suddenly she felt cold and shivered. Maybe the time at Durmstrang hadn’t been quite so bad after all. At least she had been a relatively normal teenager whose main task was to go to school and, well, train artistic flying in every free minute.

Her brother’s question interrupted her train of thought before it could spiral out of control and leave her totally freaked out.

“Oh… hmm,” what did she know about it? Zhenya wasn’t sure what happened if you skipped the end of term dinner. So far she had always gone because that was expected of her. However, breaking out of that seemed rather intriguing.

“I say if we sneak out somewhere and nobody sees us, we should be fine,” she whispered and immediately thought that she needed to be more responsible. Maybe nothing bad could happen to her at Durmstrang anymore, but Ruslan still had a few years of school ahead and he might get into trouble. Still, the prospect of, for once, not doing what was expected of her kept her from rectifying her initial statement.

44 Posts 13 Flying he/him
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2023, 03:39:40 PM »
Neither spoke for a while, and Ruslan wondered what would happen if they just stood out here and didn't go anywhere. Would one of the professors come out and ask what they were doing and tell them they had to go in and sit down? That might not be so terrible if it was one of the nicer professors, but it would still mean walking in there, and he supposed nearly all the other students had gone in already... Ruslan was perfectly comfortable performing in front of hundreds of people, in fact he looked forward to it, but walking into a crowded hall of fellow students where he didn't really want to be anyway was another matter entirely.

Oh, good! Zhenya had said it was okay...she'd given him permission...well no, that was exactly right. That wasn't what she'd said at all, in fact, but it was good enough for him.

"Okay. Where did you want to go?" he whispered back, and just the fact they were whispering felt somehow exciting and dangerous. Ruslan had already taken a couple of steps away from the Grand Hall, his feet feeling light once again. And then he had a brilliant idea. Zhenya was leaving, but although she'd been here seven years there was one place she had never seen.

"Zhenya..." he whispered in a hopeful tone "did you want to see the Klyk common room?"

180 Posts 17
Re: [June MP] Cruel summer [Zhenya/open]
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2023, 08:19:18 AM »
Zhenya shrugged. She was still shocked that she had told her younger brother that they could skip the end of term dinner. It wasn’t right. Attending that dinner was a rule they had to follow. If Zhenya had learned anything in her life it was that people were expected to follow rules. The whole life was an obstacle course of rules.

Ruslan seemed relieved, though, and the girl couldn’t bring herself to revise her prior statement. If anything happened she’d just have to take the responsibility. She was the older one. She was actually of age now. On the paper she was an adult even if she still felt like an unknowing kid most of the time.

Her brother’s idea to visit the Klyk Vampira common room seemed so venturous, so impossible and yet… It was terribly tempting. The girl smiled nervously and looked around to make sure nobody was eavesdropping on them.

“Do you think that would be possible?” she asked in a hushed voice. Her brothers were both Klyk Vampiras, Rodion was a graduate by now, though, but she had never really considered that she could get into their common room. It had been out of bounds for her. It was trespassing, if Ruslan led her in and yet… “I mean… what if we’re caught?”


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