Oct 17, 2019 4:09 PM
Margaret in Neuroi World
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"Good, good! I'm glad. She won't have to go this very day, of course. The next session of flight school starts in September, and I doubt you'll need a whole month to get situated there, hm?" She says this last bit at Margaretta.

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"Probably not, and I'll want some time to say goodbye to everyone here. When do you think I should leave?"

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"A couple of weeks would be plenty of time for me to make travel arrangements. I have a few other things to do but perhaps I can come back in a week or so to tell you more about the school and begin teaching you English, as they speak it in Brittania and London, and we would go some time after that."

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This sounds good to all three of them. Margaretta spends the next week saying goodbye to her parents and siblings and the other children and the smith and the monks and the old lady down the street and generally preparing to leave the vast majority of people she's ever spoken to. She also asks the monks if any of them know English and will teach her a few words, since if she's going to be learning a whole new language she had better get started as soon as possible.

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None of them know English. One of them knows obscure facts about how languages including English derive some of their words from Latin and can teach her a few words, like 'novice' or 'village' or 'miracle'.

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Obscure facts are not as good as practical knowledge but they're still pretty good. She also spends a bit of time practicing shields and manalights, which she had been neglecting in favor of her special, because she doesn't want to be embarrassingly behind in anything at Flight School. Anything except English, anyway; that's unavoidable but she'll do her best to catch up. 

It feels like the week has barely started when it finishes.

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Amat shows up during that time and is visibly annoyed when she hears about Freya taking her off to Flight School. Her visit is brief, though she stresses that she's not mad at Margaretta.

Freya is back seven days later in the evening, carrying a dark-skinned boy who is maybe fifteen on her steel broom and followed by a dark-skinned witch a little younger than Margaretta herself is, on a wooden one. The two strangers hang back when Freya lands.

"Margaretta! I'm back! Are you ready to go in a day or two, you think?"

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She swallows and fidgets with the hem of her shirt, but says, "I think so. Yes." Then to the other kids, "Hello! What are your names?"

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The young witch looks at her brother and says something quietly. Her brother says in halting Spanish, "Hello, honored witch. I am Eredan. My sister is called Mala. She was very scared and I know small Spanish and English so I come with her to school."

"We could have one or both of your parents along to help you settle in if that would help," Freya comments. "I didn't suggest it before because it didn't seem like they would want to uproot their lives here."

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"Pleased to meet you, Eredan, Mala. It's very kind of you to help your sister like that. You're right, Señora, neither of my parents would leave their work and my little siblings."

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"I go learn too. And she needs me. A good brother helps." He gives a weak smile. "Flying is scary though."

Freya pats him on the shoulder lightly. "We have a boat ride tomorrow. Just a short while longer for now."

Eredan gulps, then nods rapidly. His sister laughs and chatters something in their mystery language.

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"I've never been on a boat before. Do you want to do English lessons now or should I go pack first?"

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"You should pack. We have rooms in a town a few miles over - if you don't want to go there on an old broom yourself I can make several trips - and a ship that will arrive there in the morning and take us to London."

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"If I took the kitchen broom it would be hard to get it back to my parents. I'll go pack."

She doesn't have much to pack, and most of it is in her bag already--clothes, toiletries, a couple scraps of metal she's been practicing with. 

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Freya fetches the other pair over while she packs. Their rooms are in the town that Amat took her to sometimes; The harbormaster and that blacksmith are happy to see her again and wish her luck for witch school.

Mala falls dead asleep in one of their inn rooms pretty much as soon as they've gotten dinner. "My apologies, but do you mind if the English lessons wait until tomorrow? Those two have had a very long day."

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She's happy to see the harbormaster and the blacksmith, too.

Regarding English lessons: "That's quite alright. I should probably try to sleep too, though I might be too excited to manage."

She does manage, eventually, and wakes up bright and early.

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Freya is happy to teach all three of them English, though she warns them that she is not actually a teacher, exactly. Here are some basic words (Hello, goodbye, my name is, I am a witch, how do you say, who what when where why how). This is the alphabet - No accents or tildes in English and most of the letters have two pronunciations, at least, with complicated rules for which to use. Mala and Eredan have a harder time with it.

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Margaret doesn't have a perfect memory, but she soaks up information pretty well.

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Mala seems to be having a lot of fun playing with the few words she has, at least.

"I am witch!"

Freya tuts and corrects her, "I am a witch, Mala."

"Yes, you too." (Giggle.)

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Playing with words sounds like a good way to help remember them! "Who am you? Where am you a witch?" She jokes.

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"Witch with fly can broom!"

Freya tries to look severe but they can tell she's amused. She patiently corrects everyone. "Try not to memorize things incorrectly, now. I don't expect you all to get it in one day but do stay on task."

Mala nods. "Fly is fun." ("Fly is not fun," insists her brother).

Freya nods and says in Spanish, "Now to talk about tense and verbs. If you are doing something, you usually add -ing..."

And the English lessons are back on track.

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English has a stupid number of kinds of "to be", but at least the other verbs are easier. Margaretta wants to know the words for kinds of metal! "It's my special, moving metal", she explains to Mala. "What's yours?"

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It looks like she's about to do something - her expression changes slightly - and then Freya sharply says, "Mala."

Mala talks to her brother in their fast language and her brother asks "...Can she show you, Margaretta? It doesn't hurt. It's alright if Margaretta says so, right, Lady Freya?"

"The first part at least, that'll be fine. But you should explain your second skill before using it outside of emergencies. I will explain your special to Margaretta if she asks, but I take it you want to surprise her, Mala?"

Mala nods.

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"It's not going to hurt or anything, is it?"

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"No. No hurt. Just - see." And more chatter.

Her brother explains, "The first thing won't touch you at all. The second thing is surprising and can be kind of overwhelming she will explain it and not do it without asking."

"Or emergency."

"Or if there's an emergency and it seems like the best idea at the time. I don't think that's very likely at all. Sorry to confuse you, she just likes surprising people with it."

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