May 14, 2021 5:48 PM
yer a grayward tintin
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Tintin is bored.

This is not uncommon. The orphanage ("it's a group home," the nuns would chide him, but that's semantics) is boring. Exploring the building was fun when he was six, when he was eight, even sometimes when he was ten. But now he's thirteen, and he knows every nook and cranny, and he's bored. So he's hiding in the vents again, sitting above the Mother Superior's office. She has a meeting with somebody today. If the meeting is interesting, he'll listen in. If not, well, he's got a comic book and a flashlight.

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The meeting is with an American couple, the husband introducing himself as Stephen Grayward...

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And his wife, a seven feet tall woman that is introduced as Sophia Grayward. Both speak fluetly without a hint of accent.

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That is a tall woman. This is already interesting. Tintin listens attentively, peering through the vent.

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The Mother Superior lays out a tray of cookies for her guests. "-I'm told you're here looking for a relation of yours. It's very honorable of you, many are unwilling to go out of their way for a distant cousin. What is his or her name?"

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"You are too kind. I believe her named was Eléonore, she should be thirteen?" He has a package of documentation that he hands her.

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The wife accepts a few cookies, though she doesn't immediately eats them.

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"Oh, our Léo! Eléonore Saint-Martin, yes? What a lovely girl she is - a bit troublesome at times, and rather a - what do you call it, tomboy? But very clever, and very sweet with her little friends, is our Léo-"

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Tintin has had entirely enough of this. 

"That is not my name!" he shouts. It echoes through the vent into the room. Then he pops the grating and leaps down onto the Mother Superior's desk, rattling the plate and her teacup. He glares at her, then turns to the Graywards.

"Félix Saint-Martin," he says, extending one tiny hand. "Call me Tintin, please. I am a boy."

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The Mother Superior clenches her teeth and forces a smile. "Mademoiselle Saint-Martin is perhaps a handful sometimes."

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Sophia screams.

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"Oh, dear." He takes a moment to help his wife clean up the cookie that she reflexively crushed with her hand. "And I see, at least my family energy is well present there."

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"So you are my uncle Stephen, then? I'm sorry for frightening you, Auntie, it was just the quickest way down. Will I have to learn English?"

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"It's okay," Sophia says surprisingly apologetically. Apparently trying to figure out a way to dispose of the crumbs that doesn't involve speaking again.

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"We are distant cousins, but you can call me 'uncle' if you prefer. And if you want to live with us in the United States, learning English would sure help a lot."

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"I speak a little," Tintin says in accented English. "But I will... try... practice, much more. I would like to call you uncle! And aunt Sophia! Will I have brothers and sisters?"

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"Léo, I'm sure you will learn all this when they take you home," the Mother Superior says. "Would you go back to your room and let us complete the paperwork?"

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Tintin switches back to French. "Paperwork is dull. So is my room. And my name is not Léo, it is Tintin. Or Félix if you must."

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"Six brothers," Stephen answers. "Hopefully, you were not expecting a childless couple," he directs a smile towards the Mother Superior. "Do you strongly object if I get to know Tintin?"

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"Six!" he shouts with delight.

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The Mother Superior raises her hands. "Of course not! I simply thought - no, take all the time you need."

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"Thank you," Stephen tells the Mother Superior, "Yes, six. Most a bit older than you."

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"And they're nice? And - friendly, and they want a new brother?"

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"Oh, definitely. I know it must sound a lot of kids, but we have very few relatives left. They were very happy to hear we found another one. And they are moody teenagers, but nice."

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"I can work with moody teenagers," Tintin says confidently. "Do you live in a city? Do you have many books? What do you do for a living?"

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Chuckle. "We live in a small town, surrounded by woods. I work in commercial distribution. But we have a lot of books, don't we, honey?"

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