February 1, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
This is written by Rix Scaedu to my request for some filler fic to let me rebuild up a buffer; I got a bit behind! It follows relatives of the characters in her Legacy series of Edally/Reiassan fanfics, which begins here with “Legacy.”
“But I want to go to the Empress Edaledalende Academy in Ileltedez,” said Tevyzhyi. “It’s supposed to be the best, and I want to be the best. Gods forbid I wind up like Aunt Baranyi, almost old and with no prefix or home.”
“Your Aunt has spent her life doing things that meant your other aunt, your uncle and I could go off and study away from home for our prefixes and become successful,” her father, known to his friends and family as Tatat, told her severely. “If you’d been paying attention to the pictures she’s sent us from her trip south, you’d have seen that she’s actually very good and I only hope that now she has the chance to do something with it. You, on the other hand, need to do rather more work if you want to t get into any Academy.”
Tevyzhyi began, “Alinyoo says-,”
Her father cut her off. “Tevygaarvyaizhyi, I do not care what your friend says about it. The truth of the matter is that to get any place in any of the Academies you have to beat all the other potential candidates from all over the Empire. Family influence, even Royal Family influence, just doesn’t come into it. I suspect that young Alinypaarydamyoo, and whoever is feeding her this nonsense, is going to get a very nasty wakeup call when the position lists come out if she’s assuming influence will get her in.”
Tevyzhyi looked sulky.
“Tevytevy,” her father used her childhood pet name, “when I went to the Academy, there was a boy in my year whose mother was a Princess in the succession, and his twin missed out on a place by three marks. Family really doesn’t matter in this and if it did, why would someone in the Royal Family help you?”
After his eldest daughter had stormed off to her room with a spat out, “I’m going to study then, all right?”, Tatat went to find his wife.
Lilladzyudgaala was leaning over her drafting table, a swatch of fabric to one side, sketching out a full skirt, tunic and vest ensemble idea for a client. She looked up, smiled, and asked, “What’s wrong, Tatat?”
“I just found out that Tevyzhyi has some idea that some connection of Alinyoo’s can get them both into the Empress Edaledalende Academy without them getting the usual marks. We had a fight and she stormed off to her room. She said she was going to study.”
“Oh dear.” Lilla made a final squiggle that might have indicated a braid trim on the vest and said, “Alinyoo’s mother was in yesterday for her fitting, and while she was here Epabbaa mentioned that there were some funny ideas moving through the younger generation of the family that they couldn’t track down the origin of. It might be an idea if I talk to all of ours over dinner tonight.”
“Could you?” Tatat sounded pleased and hopeful. “You’re better at making those points than I am.”
“It comes of having to talk people into the best clothes for them,” Lilla stood and kissed her husband on the cheek. “Your work simply persuades them with their eyes.”
“That’s not entirely true,” protested her husband.
“Says the man who proposed in a picture,” Lilla reminded him fondly. “Don’t worry.” She kissed him again.
That night, halfway through the evening meal, Lilla said conversationally, “Tevyzhyi, your father tells me that Alinyoo’s offered to share an opportunity with you.”
Their daughter looked up eagerly. “You can see that? Dadda can’t.” She glared at him.
“It certainly looks like an opportunity,” agreed her mother. “Who’s offering it and what do they want in return?”
“I don’t-. What?” Tevyzhyi looked confused.
“This sort of thing doesn’t just happen,” her mother pointed out, “so who’s going to make it happen? Plus it’s a rather massive favour, so what do they want in return?”
“I don’t know,” said Tevyzhyi slowly.
“It could be someone you want to work with,” her mother pointed out brightly, “or it could be someone you’d never have anything to do with if you could help it, and if you take this favour, you’re both going to know about it forever.”
“And one day,” her father added helpfully, seeing the point his wife was making, “they could threaten to ruin your life if you didn’t do exactly what they wanted, right then.”
Tevyzhyi looked nervously from one parent to the other, “What sort of something?”
“Do you have an hour or so after dinner for me to go through my list of possibilities while your younger brothers and sisters aren’t listening?” Her mother glanced down the table, “Some of them are matters I don’t care to raise at the dinner table.”
“Oh.” Tevyzhyi looked thoughtful. “Do you think Alinyoo’s thought of this?”
“You might need to ask her, to make sure,” her mother answered calmly. “You wouldn’t want your friend to ruin her life through not thinking things through first.”
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