Midterm had been far too short. Or at least, not long enough that Norah wanted History of Magic to be one of her first classes back at RMI. Yet, here she was, listening to Boot talk about people. She stared incredulously as he seemed to find the topic enthralling, or maybe he was good at pretending. He was a weird man and the more she saw of him, the more she understood why Brynjolf had been fascinated by him. Norah was less enthused. This was probably the most boring classwork yet and so she sat down at her desk and picked up both quill and parchment. Families were complicated, so she had learned, but her own seemed to be shrouded by silence. Starting from the bottom seemed easiest and so the third year set to work there.
To start, a neatly etched Norah Gretchen Nilssen with her birth year sat on the paper on the bottom line. She moved her hand over to the line next to it, looped handwriting signing her brother’s name marking a dash and adding Professor Boot’s Biggest Pancake Eating Adversary next to it. Her lips twitched upward and she twirled the stem of her quill between her fingers. She wasn’t actually sure if Boot really knew who her brother was, but she couldn’t help but add the note. She wrinkled her nose, moving up the lines. Her eyes followed carefully as dark ink formed each shape of her father’s name.
Norah frowned as she paused directly after the dash. There were things they weren’t supposed to talk about, reasons why they’d moved to America and Da didn’t talk to anyone else in the family. The blonde was fairly certain that she wasn’t even supposed to know about it, but everyone was far too trusting of sweet little Norah who was her parent’s pride and joy. Trusting enough to believe her when she said that it had been Brynjolf snooping through their father’s study. It wasn’t like it was totally a lie, they both had done their own digging, Norah just knew how to get away with it. A short stroke of her hand and disowned joined Nils’ name.
A lot of other words came to mind - traitor, coward, liar - none of which she was supposed to know about. But her grandfather’s letters made it quite clear that her father had done enough to have his name burned off the family tree for good and was no longer welcome to call himself a Vaegir. Not that she was complaining, Norah Nilssen sounded much better than Norah Vaegir. Still, it left so many curiosities and she often wondered why exactly her parents chose to lie about it. She’d known since she was seven that the stories they told probably weren’t true, but had been smart enough to not ask about the truth.
The Lyra added her grandparent’s name to the list and that was it. That was all she knew about her father’s side of the family or at least, the truth about it. With a frown, she stared at the paper. There had to be more to them than that and she promptly decided that the whole notion was stupid.
“This feels like a class for first years,” she muttered aloud, turning to the person next to her. “Isn’t there anything more important to learn about than the family we grew up in?”