(1937-10-12) Kitten and Foreign Language Exchange
Details for Kitten and Foreign Language exchange
Summary: Elspeth announces the birth of new kittens to the barn cat in her muggle parents' house. It is discovered that everyone speaks, or signs, a different language, and suggestions are made to meet ane exchange knowledge.
Date: 1937-10-12
Related: none

Sitting on the edge of the wall, with her back against one of the pillars and one foot swinging down the side slowly, Elspeth is reading a letter. With the warm weather, she's shed her school robe, and is sitting on it, while she's even pushed up the sleeves of her sweater and rolled up the short sleeves under it, and loosened her Ravenclaw tie. Tucking a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, she turns the page over and reads more.

Walking back toward the school, Evelyn is carrying a little yellow-ish rose in one hand. Taking a long whiff of it, she nearly smiles, humming as she does so. In her other hand she carries, like she often does, a book. What the topic of this one is, is anybody's guess. She does tend teo have her nose in a book more often than not.

Looking up from her letter as a leaf blows across her field of vision, Elspeth follows the path of the leaf, and sees Evelyn in the process. Lifting a hand, she waves, then calls. "Hullo, Evelyn."

Ophelia is sitting in one of the courtyard windows, facing the center and staring most gloomily. She's been doing this for over an hour now, so quiet that most have passed her unnoticed. And its really only the fact that she's quite close to Elspeth that pulls her from her brood, as she hears her fellow Ravenclaw greet Evelyn. She leans over, smiling suddenly, then hops down from her perch to join the two. "Hello." She calls with a now cheerful smile, "Good letter?"

Startling a little, which she seems to do quite often, Evelyn looks up at her name. A shy smile crosses her face as she tucks stem into the the front cover of the book. With a single hand she uses sign language to says, -Hello- to Elspeth. Oh no! There's another voice! A sigh and look of relief crosses her face. Someone else familiar. "H…hello." She says in a quiet tone to Ophelia, walking slowly toward where Elspeth is sitting.

"Hi Ophelia, yes, it's a good letter," Elspeth replies and turns to Evelyn. Leaning her elbow against her leg to keep the papers from blowing away, she signs *it is a letter from my parents*. "My family is writing that the cat in the barn has had her kittens," she explains to both, reiterating basically what she signed to Evelyn and adding to it. "There are being five kittens, and I am going to be naming them."

Ophelia watches Evelyn's signing with wide eyes, her cheerful smile brightening when the girl then greets her as well. "So /that's/ why you don't talk!" She exclaims, nodding to herself and murmuring, "I had wondered what that was all about. You /are/?" Switching gears as soon as she hears 'kittens,' she quickly skips over to see if there is a picture included in the letter, "Oh, how exciting! Do you get to name them all?"

-Do they have any kneazle in them?- Evelyn asks, actually using the letters in sign language to spell out 'kneazle'. She pauses for a moment before asking, -Do muggles have creatures like them?- She once again has to spell out a word, in this case 'muggles'. Though she's fairly quick and proficient. She sits down next to Elspeth, putting down her book. Clearing her throat she says, "Sorry…I should be speaking right now. Umm…I was asked if her family used kneazles at all." She looks down, blushing. She also realized that what she signed may have been too much for Elspeth, who is only learning sign language. "I…well, um, you see…I use a type of speaking with my hands. It's called sign language." She explains to Ophelia, eyes still looking downward in embarrassment. "I was, well, um, I was deaf as a child, growing up. So it was the only way for me to really speak. And my whole family, practically, knows it. It wasn't until I was fully done treatments at St. Mungo's that I was able to hear and speak properly…"

Elspeth lets Evelyn get all of her explanation out, and nods. "And I have been learning from Lan, and some learning from Evelyn. Lan was calling it a trade. He is teaching me sign language because I am teaching him German." She goes back to the letter, and reads down it. "Yes, I am to be giving them all good English names, and to see if anyone here at the school is wanting a kitten. They can be…" she pauses and frowns a little bit, trying to think of the word. "They can be leaving their mother at Christmas, so I can be bringing them back to school." She looks up again to Evelyn. "I am thinking they do not have kneazle in them. Muggles, I think, might be having some cats that have kneazle in them? But they would not be knowing it."
Bannon has submitted a new event: NMitH 1937: Log Deadline

Ophelia smiles brightly at Evelyn, "Really? Its pretty! Can you teach me too?" She rocks forward on the balls of her feet, clasping her hands together in excitement. "Oh, I'd /love/ a kitten! If they aren't already spoken for, of course!" She nods as Elspeth replies about Kneazle possibilities, her excitement at the possibility of kittens /and/ language learning overriding anything else for now.

"Umm, well, there's probably lots of good homes for them with students here." Evelyn smiles. "I suppose you're right about the kneazles. It'd be silly for them to have kneazles in them." She seems to blush some more. She looks up at Ophelia and blinks. "I um, well, uh…you see…umm, you really want to learn to? I dunno. I mean, are you certain?"

Elspeth chuckles. "Of course she is being certain. She is a Ravenclaw, and Ravenclaws like learning things." Her smile is transferred to Ophelia. "Since you are being the first to hear about them, there are none of them being spoken for, yet. There are being too many cats around our town, so no one there is going to be speaking for them, either." She looks down to the letter, and reads off the list, "there is being an orange one, a light gray one, a dark gray fluffy one with a stripe down his forhead, a …" she pauses "one with many colors, gray and orange and white, and a tan one." Her hazel eyes glance back up. "Are any of those sounding like one you would be wanting?"

"Well, of course!" Ophelia beams at Evelyn, then Elspeth. Her day just got incredibly /awesome/. She listens to the options carefully, sucking in a breath almost the moment Elspeth starts listening, "Oh, can I have the little orange one? We'd match!" She tugs at a lock of her hair.

"I…well, yes. I mean, of course Ravenclaws like learning." Evelyn murmurs quietly. "I'd be happy to teach you." She says in an equally quiet voice to Ophelia. "I'd very much like a cat. Perhaps the dark grey one?" She looks up at Elspeth hopefully, though there's no reason for her to refuse. "My aunt and uncle will be ever so surprised."

Elspeth smiles happily to both of them. "Of course you can be having the dark grey one," she tells Evelyn enthusiastically. Ophelia also gets a nod. "And since you are choosing your kittens already, what would you like to be naming them? And then your cats can have names that you are liking." She reaches over to the other side of her where her book bag has been sitting unnoticed, and pulls out a pencil.

Ophelia dances a little, bouncing with excitement not unlike that of a first year at Christmastime. "Oh, oh, I ah… I'll uhhh…. gosh, I don't know. Let me think a minute." And so she drops down, on the ground, crossing her legs and resting her chin in her hands, and starts doing just that.

"I'm going to name my cat…Thornton." Evelyn says after a moment of though. "Do you uh…will you…are those cats in the United Kingdom or…or…you know, not?" She asks timidly, her way of asking if the cats are in her original home in Germany.

The three girls are gathered at the edge of the courtyard, Els sitting on the wall with her back against a pillar, and she draws up the leg that was hanging over the edge. Taking advantage of the warm weather, she has left off her robe, and pushed up the sleeves of her sweater and shirt. She's taken out a pencil, and is writing on the paper that is against her legs. "Thornton is being a good name," she says. "A strong name for a kitten. They are living in a barn where we live now, in Hadley on Little Rush. I do not think it is being far for you. Maybe you and Lan can come over to visit at Chanukah, and I can show you the manorah, and being playing dreidl with you!" She starts to get a little excited at the idea, then she clears her throat and settles down, watching Ophelia think with amusment. "I think I am liking the tan one for me."

Ophelia drums her fingers along her jaw as she thinks, missing a little of what Elspeth says to Evelyn about her own kitten's name. And then, rather suddenly, she lights up and points a finger in the air, exclaiming, "I've got it! Whizzbee!" She beams at the girls, belatedly registering some of what Elspeth was saying earlier, "What's a draydel?"

"Whizzbee?" Evelyn looks at Ophelia with a near amused glint in her eyes. But her attention gets brought to the other topics, however. "D…draydel?" She asks, seeming to pronounce it much like Ophelia. "And…Cha…Cha…and what was the other thing, too?" She does seem curious. And she loves to learn after all. "But yes, I do believe that's um, well, that's rather close to where we live. I believe it shan't be an issue."

Elspeth chuckles at Ophelia's decision for name, writing it on the piece of paper, too. She looks up when they ask her about the holidays. "Chanukah is what my family is celebrating near the time you are celebrating Christmas. We are being Jewish, and we have different holidays." She flattens the paper on her lap as she speaks. "A dreidl is a top, and you can play a dreidl game with it."

"Really?" Ophelia, after beaming at Evelyn with pride over her name choice, tilts her head at Elspeth. "Sounds fun! Do you hae one here at school? What other sorts of things do Jewish people do?" Intensely curious, she draws her knees up and prepares herself for one of her favorite things. A lesson!

Noalan exits the school looking a little tired. Shading his eyes against the sun he starts down into the courtyard. He spots Elspeth first, seated upon the wall and starts towards her before realizing she has company. His step hesitates momentarily, and he lifts a hand in greeting, "Hey, good afternoon all. What's this about a dreidl?" He asks catching the last bit of what Elspeth says.

"It well, sounds interesting! I can't wait to learn more and to see this top that you play with." Evelyn murmurs to Elspeth and smiles. When she hears an all too familiar voice, she looks up to see Noalan. To him, she she uses sign language and says, -Elet is giving me a kitten. Her family has a bunch of them. She was inviting us over for them during Christmas.-

Elspeth shakes her head to Ophelia. "I am not having one here at school. We are only playing with it at Chanukah." She looks up at the approach of Evelyn's cousin and smiles. "Hi Lan," the papers in her hand are picked and waved as she calls to him. "The kittens in the barn have been born! Five of them! Ophelia and Evelyn are wanting ones, I can be bringing them back at Christmas. And I was talking to Evelyn, maybe you and Evelyn can be coming over to see them and maybe stay for one of our Chanukah days to play the dreidl game."

Ophelia is nodding, happy and excited and bouncing in her seat, as Noalan approaches. "Hello!" She calls, hearing his greeting and those given to him in reply. "Isn't it fantastic? /Kittens/! And Elspeth is going to teach us about being Jewish and Evelyn's gonna teach me to talk with my hands!" Despite the fact that she is sitting, she looks rather excited enough to start doing cartwheels or something.

Noalan gives his cousin a slight grin and a brief flicker of his hands to say -Nice-. "Looks like Aero will be getting some company then. She keeps trying to spend time with Aelus's Owl but I think she see it as more of a meal." He moves over to the wall and slides down it into a sitting position. "Kittens are cute, but they've got the sharpest claws, and no idea how to use them yet. What kind of kittens are they?" He asks, "Sign language is useful, maybe we should all form a language club and get everyone to teach eachother whatever languages they know.

"Mine's…a grey one." Evelyn states as for the type of cat, though she knows that it's hardly a useful. -But they're probably not part kneazle, muggles do not know about kneazles- she signs to her cousin. "A…language club? I…do you umm…I don't know. Do you really think so? I just…you should lead it." She nods to Noalan. There's no way she'd lead anything! Let alone something that would involve her standing in front of other people and talking.

Elspeth takes a closer look at Lan, distracted right now from Ophelia and puts her papers back down in her lap. *you look tired. Are you all right*? She turns to Ophelia, "there is a lot to be telling, I am not sure I can be telling it all at once. Chanukah is being the festival that a lot of muggles who aren't being Jewish have heard about, I am thinking because it is near the holiday they celebrate. It is being the Festival if Lights, and we are lighting one candle each night to celebrate."
She tips her head looking at Lan as he sinks down against the wall nearby. "I do like that idea," she considers. "Everyone sharing their languages. I have heard people in different parts of Britain speaking different languages. They are cats that live in the barn. Normal cats, and I am thinking Aero will be happy to be having friends." She considers. "Well, we do not know who is being the father cat, or father cats, so who knows. Maybe… I am wondering if muggles have kneazle cats and just are not knowing that they are kneazle cats."

"Ooh! I asked for the orange one, I'm gonna name it Whizzbee!" Ophelia bounces again, "And that's a /great/ idea! I can teach you all Mermish!" She beams proudly, having offered this information, nodding as the explination is given. "The festival of lights," she echoes, "Sounds pretty!"

"You're probably right." Lan responds to Evelyn's silent statement, "Not to worry, Aero doesn't have any in her either but she's smart enough." He lets out a momentary chuckle, "No, I don't think I'd make much of a leader, even if just for a club. I don't have the charisma for it. I'm just happy to be learning German." His eyes catch the movement of Elspeth's hands and nods back -Fine. Little stress, will be gone soon.- He assures her. As soon as the names are drawn out of the Goblet. "I'd imagine there's a little Kneazle blood in a lot of cats, just really really watered down. The improved intelligence would be a beneficial trait after all. I don't think you'd see a part Kneazle getting hit by a car." Lan's eyes light up at Ophelia's statement and he sits up a little bit straighter, "You know Mermish? Now that would be interesting to learn. I've just got English, Japanese, and the sign language of course."

Listening intently to her year- and housemate, Evelyn smiles. "It sounds nice." She responds about the holiday before looking at Ophelia. "We might have to get Thornton and Whizzbee together to play!" She says quietly before turning to Lan once more. "Just as long as, well, you wouldn't expect me to stand in front of people and lead the group. You know what I get like!" She makes a little 'harumph' sound.

Elspeth eyes Lan's response a little doubtfully when he says he's fine, but she does not push the matter. Her response to Ophelia's announcement is similar to his. "Mermish? How are you knowing Mermish? Maybe we can be having our own little club for languages, just the four of us. We can all be taking turns being leaders, and be sitting in a circle so we do not have to stand in front of anyone. Lan can be teaching Japanese, Evelyn can be teaching sign language, Ophelia, mermish, and I can be teaching German." She smiles, and then looks back down. "I have three cats left to be thinking of names."

Grinning as brightly as she possibly can, Ophelia nods to Evelyn so fast her hair bounces. "Yes!" She agrees. 'I love it!' She nods once more to Elspeth's idea of the language club, and explains while trying to think of more names for the girl, "Well my uncle speaks it, you see. He likes the Mermaids the, ah, way I like wands." She grins, "Oh! Is there another girl? Name her Amelia! After that Muggle pilot lady!"

"Maybe next summer we could invite a bunch of people to stay at the house for a while, pets and all. We're hardly short on rooms." Lan agrees with Evelyn. "Elspeths right though, the leader would end up being who's ever doing the teaching at the time. I'd be able to help you teach sign-language at least." He says, a little surpised he's talking like it's already a done deal. "You're uncle like Mermaids the way you like wands?" He asks, the tone in his voice sounding slightly strange, like he isn't quite sure to make of that and seems afraid to ask. There are several images that pop into mind with that. Finally he just tries, "Is he married to one?" Perhaps to move the subject along, he quickly adds to Elspeth, "Neko would be a good name for a cat. Like, Nekomata."

"There…there are lots of rooms free at our place." Evelyn agrees with Lan. -And aunty and uncle are gone a fair bit- She notes to her cousin in sign language. -Do you think that would be a problem if people were invited over?- She frowns a little at Ophelia. "You really like wands, though…I always hear you talking about them." She tilts her head. "Muggle…pilot? What's that?"

Elspeth grins. "Amelia is being a nice name, although I am thinking for an actual girl." She glances over to Lan at the question of the pilot, then back to Evelyn. "A plane is something that muggles use to fly in the air. It is like a boat or a carriage that can fly. People who are flying the plane are being called pilots. What is meaning Nekomata? Maybe I will be naming my cat Neko."

Ophelia giggles at Noalan. "Haven't you heard the rumors? I'm pretty much obsessed with wandlore." She's still giggling as Elspeth answers the question about planes, and quickly adds, "Yes, and there's this one woman who flew one across the Atlantic! Just like Jocunda Sykes, except on a /machine!"

Noalan glances down when Elspeth looks at him, flicking a -Later- at her. He's been avoiding trying German again since his last embarrassing flub. "It's a legendary Japaneese two tailed cat. Neko actually means Cat while Mata means forked. So a Nekomata is a forked cat." He explains. He looks slightly embarrassed, "Yes, but… well, the way a man might be obsessed with a mermaid… Never mind." He is a teenaged boy.

Standing, taking her book under arm, Evelyn looks between the others. "I've…I should…I mean, I've got potions homework. But umm, you know, let's figure things out? Languages and learning and…stuff." She clears her throat. Turning and nearly scuttling away toward Ravenclaw tower.

Elspeth hmmmms, making no response to the flicker of Lan's fingers. "I do not think any of these cats are having two tails, but Nekomata is still being a nice sounding name, even if Ima and Aba were expecting more English like names." She looks up as Evelyn takes her book, and then glances down to hurriedly write 'Nekomata' next to one of the cats. She hops down, putting the letter in her book bag. "I can maybe be helping you, if you like? I like potions. I will be seeing you at dinner, Lan?" she asks with a smile, then gives him a wave. A smile to Ophelia, "the language club is sounding fun."

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