Nov. 8, 2020, 4:20 p.m.

That's just a lie to make people feel better

“Da, for you,” he confirmed, head bobbing. “You can open it if you are wanting to.” It was polite of her to ask, and he was not surprised that she had. From his occasional interactions with Madeleine in class, he had always gotten the impression that she was a polite and kind type of girl, which he appreciated in general but especially when compared to some of the rude and unfriendly girls he had met at RMI. Madeleine definitely wasn’t from his society; that wasn’t possible with having two fathers. (Dmitry had heard this in passing, and had wanted to ask more questions, a part of him hoping it couldn’t be true that his classmate could be connected in that way with two men - and likewise hoping it couldn’t be true that one of those men was a teacher, the horror - but with gossip and homosexuality both being highly improper, he was not comfortable pursuing the topic.) But she presented herself in manners and dress as if she could be, and the fact she might have theoretically fit in made it easy to interact with her.

Dmitry watched as she opened it and was relieved that her reaction to the trinket was positive. It seemed a genuine reaction, which suggested that she was unfamiliar with what it was, and he gave himself a mental congratulations for choosing a Russian toy for this secret gift exchange. Clearly, buying something cheap and un-American had been the right strategy to still be making a good impression. In contrast, buying something of good quality and truly American was apparently very difficult. He had gone with the other younger students on Pearl Street when they were allowed, not because he planned to buy anything for Madeleine there but because he was curious if he could find something to bring home to his parents. However, most of the things he looked at in the stores were either magical items his parents could better get themselves, or Muggle items with a ‘made in China’ sticker on it. It also all felt very cheap, even when the price tag was higher. He could get better Chinese items in Vladivostok.

Madeleine thought he had made it? Now that was funny. He didn’t even enjoy doing simple crafts, and while it might be interesting to learn how to make things out of wood, he definitely didn’t yet know the right spells for that. Dmitry grinned widely and shook his head. “Nyet, I do not have this skill! It is called a matryoshka. A popular toy, or just for decoration.” He considered explaining more about what it was, but if Madeleine had never seen one before… well, it seemed kind of fun to let her figure it out herself. Even his baby sister, who had always known what matryoshka dolls were, had burst out into laughter when she played with one for the first time. “It has a surprise,” he offered as a hint. Not a very good hint, but also, not one that would give it away.

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Secret Santa Extravaganza! - Tobias Morgan || November 07
[G] This is a sadly low budget to work with - Dmitry Kovalchuk-Rojkovsky || November 07
But it’s the thought that counts - Madeleine Tennant-McKindy || November 07