(OOC I'm not going to apply for an actual board for this because I doubt I'll ever have another thread here.)
Monday, July 11, 2011 4:30 p.m.
DC sat outside his mother's small duplex. Their yard was about the size of the average muggle's SUV, and seemed cramped for the lounging youth.
He had either went out of his way to appear odd, or was just in a weird mood. Sitting in a lawn chair, he was staring at a spot of grass two feet in front of him. On his head was a floppy fly fishing hat that complemented the fishing pole he had leaning on his shoulder. Other than the fishing gear, he had a sleeveless yellow tee shirt, black shorts, and flip flops. There was nothing to do, so he simply did nothing.
When someone walked up the driveway, he glanced at them briefly.
Alexi was doing his best to appear casual, but he had the distinct feeling it wasn't working. His disguise of the sandy-haired boy wasn't helping much: he felt distinctly.... nerdy. The fact that he had been talking with his normal accent all day wasn't helping either, for it made people look at him as though he was rather below-average intelligence. Overall it wasn't the best day of his life. He only hoped it wouldn't get too much worse.
Approaching the house that he had been told was his relatives, however, he had the distinct impression that it just might. A black-haired boy was sitting on a lawn chair in the miniature-sized lawn in front of the duplex wearing quite the oddest outfit Alexi had seen for a while. He was also staring into space as though it was the most fascinating thing he'd ever seen, a fact that made Alexi wonder if it should be this boy that people stared at as they had been doing him. Still, appearances weren't everything, a fact that Alexi, as a Metamorphmagus, knew extremely well.
It was only when the boy admonished him for strolling up the driveway that Alexi's eyebrows shot up his forehead. His cool was so shaken that he intentionally shifted his appearance back to normal, making sure that the boy saw. "I am no solicitor," he stated with a frown, using the accent he had adopted upon arriving in England, "I'm actually, if I am not mistaken in thinking that you are Dmitri Cross, your cousin." He intentionally didn't say his name in case the boy decided it would be more entertaining turning someone in to the authorities than sitting in a minuscule yard in odd clothing.
DC's eyes narrowed at the face changing person. He had no way of knowing if the face now being shown to him was in fact the real cousin. Did he even have a cousin? That was a great question.
"So....how do I even know if I have a cousin? For all I know, you're an agent of the Ministry come to check mother's loyalty. Bugger off. No, wait, don't....come inside and have something to drink...we'll chat it up inside."
DC stood and slung the fishing pole over his shoulder and sauntered into the small home. All the pictures on the wall pointedly excluded the blue eyed boy, who pointedly ignored them as he made his way into the kitchen. DC dropped the pole haphazardly in the corner of the dining room and continued into the cramped kitchenette area. He opened the fridge and leaned againts the door, scanning the contents. Screw the electric bill...
"Soda,water, tea, pumpkin juice...bat's blood? Awkward...Lemonade, ice, aaaaaand....baking soda. Take your pick, Sam."
DC pulled out the lemonade and poured himself a glass, eyeing Alexi carefully. Without listining to what the young man wanted, he poured a second glass of the yellow fluid and forced it upon him. He also started talking again, overriding the Russian's words.
"So, if you're really my cousin, then you know the family history of my name...how many Germans?"
He waited for the familial answer of forty two. This referred to the supposed number of enemies killed by the great-grandfather of DC and Alexi. Who knew if there were more or less? It was the traditional response and family joke. Whenever there was a needed number, 42 was there waiting.
Alexi wasn't really sure what to make of the boy's response to his statement of kinship, so he simply shrugged and followed him into the house when he was invited. For a moment he wondered whether this was actually the boy's house at all, for there was no sign of him in the pictures on the walls or in the decor. Alexi's own home had practically been wallpapered with pictures of him, a fact that had once annoyed Alexi but now made him long for those days of happiness.
The moment of insecurity and reminiscing was shoved aside when the boy asked Alexi what he wanted to drink. Alexi opened his mouth to answer, but he was handed a glass of lemonade before he could so much as finish deciding. He accepted the cup without a murmur, however: the boy hadn't had time to add anything to it, and he himself was drinking the same liquid. It was the question asked him that Alexi finally answered.
"If I'm right in assuming that you're named after our great-grandfather, then the correct -- though possibly not accurate -- answer to your question is 42. Yes, I am your cousin... your second cousin, anyway. Is your mother here? I need to speak with her about.... something."
DC drained his glass of lemonade quickly. Unfortunately, he was still swallowing when the other man mentioned his mother. The resulting spit-take managed to land back in his glass, mostly. Still coughing, he started to answer.
"Eh. Look, she and I...well, no she ain't home and ain't gonna be home for a bit. And when she's here, I won't be. We've got bad blood between us, she and I, if you get my meaning."
DC hoped that he WOULD get the meaning, that Sylvia was a blood supremecist and disapproved of DC.
"So, cuz...what's your name then? Call me DC." He peered into his cup with a frown. A shrug later saw him finishing the glass.
Ah... so the boy apparently had some sort of trouble with his mother. Alexi wasn't sure what it might be, but he also wasn't sure he wanted to: she might easily have the same problem with Alexi, and that would mean he had come here for nothing. Still, it could very well be an exaggeration on the boy's part; most parents and children had some sort of problem at one time or another. The fact that he had reacted so strongly to Alexi's comment, however, led the Russian to believe that this just might not be the case this time. He should probably leave. But he would have a talk with the boy first... a short talk.
"A pleasure to meet you," he answered the introduction and question politely with the slightest of bows, "I am Alexi Antonovich Martinov, but you may call me Alexi if you wish." He smiled then, hoping to put the boy more at his ease. "I merely wished to ask your mother a few questions. If she is unlikely to be around for a while, I could come back at a more convenient time..."
Russian. Wanted to meet his mother. No. Bad. Bad idea!
For the few times that they were forced to be in the house together, DC had heard a few things of importance. For example, he had overheard his grandparents discussing the death of Sylvia's cousin Anton Martinov. The news in the family had been that the family had been killed by the Russian government. Sylvia had laughed. Laughed, she quickly explained, because thats what blood traitors deserved.
DC quickly adopted a serious face and emphatically shook his head.
"No, mate. We need to get you gone if thats the case. My mother is a pureblood NUT and...well lets just say we half bloods are not welcome, eh? I know a family that'd take you in...Lord knows they've offered it enough times to me. Lets get you there, eh? They're the Steel family...my best mate's their daughter. You'd probably get along with her father, Malcolm. But, sorry, you can't stay here. She'd be all whacko and turn you in, man."
He placed a hand on Alexi's shoulder and began hurrying to the door. A note of panic decorated his face.
Alexi's eyebrows shot to the top of his forehead, and he tugged backward against DC's pull. "Wait.... what? The Steels? I know Mr. Steel -- Malcolm -- he's the one who sent me here, gave me the address. I can't repay his kindness by bothering him into taking me in..." He shook his head, still trying to comprehend. "And how do you know them? This is utterly confusing..."
"I know Sofi, his daughter. And you absolutely should not be here. My mother-" A cracking sound outside the door made DC stop suddenly with impossibly wide eyes. He gave one whispered instruction: "You are my friend Sam from school, and pureblooded."
Sylvia opened the door and fixed the two boys with a hard stare. She immediately rounded on DC.
"Not waiting today in the lawn in some retarded get-up I see...Thats a delightful change for once. Who is this?"
DC fixed a mocking smile on his face and introduced Alexi to his mother. "This is Sam. Gamgee. He's a friend of mine from Hogwarts....family's from Switzerland, can you believe it? They decided to holiday in England this summer before Sam's last year of school." He kept the smile up through Sylvia's scrutinizing glare. Slowly, she turned to 'Sam' and greeted him.
"Ah... Hello then Sam. I hope your holiday is going well then?" She had all the charm of a dementor.
The moment Alexi saw the woman who was this boy's mother, his stomach clenched in a sort of horrified recognition. She was one of them: one of the sort of horrible people like he found so often in Russia who thought themselves superior to all other beings, especially those who didn't meet their standards of lineage. Still, he couldn't just run away; she'd never let him get away if he tried. So instead, he fixed a polite smile on his face and held out his hand to her.
"It is going quite well, thank you, ma'am," he answered her, adopting an appropriate German accent to add to the disguise of him being Sam from Switzerland, "I merely wished to visit my friend DC while we are in London, though we could go out and visit, if it would be less disrupting for you. We have no wish to cause you any trouble." Or have you cause us any trouble, Alexi thought, but he knew better than to say this aloud.
DC gave Alexi a sideways glance. The accent was totally different than the previous two. Apparently, this boy could change more than his appearance. Sylvia, however, was charmed. She whapped DC with the stack of letters she was carrying.
"There, Dmitri, why don't you ever act like that? Sam, my compliments to your parents for raising you like a proper gentleman. No surprise, considering the Swiss Board of Eugenics has been way ahead of most other countries for some time now. See? This is the child of the future. Oh, seeing you makes me so happy. Please, have a good time together. And, Dmitri, if you aren't home by nine o'clock, you know what will be waiting for you."
Her finger, shaken with a stern sort of authority, had no effect on DC.
"Yeah, yeah, ma, I'll be back by nine, no worries." He waved nonchalantly and strode out the house. Internally, he was sweating bullets. Was it really that simple to get past the she-dragon?
Sylvia Cross was literally making Alexi feel sick to his stomach. He literally hated people with the sort of attitude she was displaying, that of a rabid blood status fiend who would even turn against her own child for what he had been born into. His every instinct was to either run for his life or fight her to the death. Since neither one would end well for him, he decided to go against these instincts and try for a third route.
He glanced at DC as he strode out of the house, and felt a small, grateful feeling for the boy. He was giving Alexi an easy out, whether it was a conscious choice or not. Turning back to Sylvia, he gave her a small bow and an even smaller smile. "Thank you, ma'am. I'll be sure to pass on the compliment. Good day to you." With these pleasantries out of the way, he turned and walked out of the house after DC, quickly catching up to him.
"How do you stand it?" he asked in the lowest voice he could manage, "Living with... that?"
DC gave his cousin an eye roll complete with sardonic head tilt.
"I don't, mate. She came home early otherwise I'd have been out of the house completely. You got someplace to be? I don't, really, but I need to stay away from that house. We could go bother the Steels...but Malcolm threatened to turn my hair pink if I showed up unannounced again...hm...Duck and Dagger, but my money's at home, and I'm not going back there..."
DC contemplated their destination for a while longer, then changed the subject.
"So d'you know the entire Steel family or just Malcolm?"
Alexi walked along beside his cousin, his hands in the pockets of his hoodie and an almost brooding expression on his face. He listened to DC, trying to come up with a good answer to his various questions. Finally he resolved on several and opened his mouth to speak.
"I have no money with me, so if this Duck and Dagger is a public place that requires it I can't help with funds. And I only know Malcolm Steel; we met... sort of by accident. If we were to go to them, I would need you to help me get there, for he didn't give me his address, only yours." He sighed. "And I do have a place we could go, only I don't know if they'd allow you in... I don't know their policy for visitors...."
DC shrugged. Money wasn't that big of an issue. They couldn't go to too many public places if Alexi was a wanted to stay safe. For all Cross knew, the bloodhounds had been released and were tracking his cousin at this very moment.
"Eh. We could try this place you know...or go to the park down the street here...not too much to do in this part of town. Thank goodness, there aren't too many wizarding families in the area. Mother, in all her fanatical wisdom, sacrificed her community to spearhead the reclaimation of the subdivision. Yeah, mate, I hate her too, but what can I honestly do about it? Well, besides move out..."
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