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 Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)

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PostSubject: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:34 pm

Yao would never normally miss out on a meal in the Great Hall; he loved nothing more than the loud, festive atmosphere and good food of mealtimes at Hogwarts. But he was halfway through an alchemy book he couldn't put down, and classes had been getting in the way of him reading it all morning. Anticipating this, he'd taken it upon himself to prepare his own lunch of delicious dimsum to eat in the arithmancy classroom, which was quiet and far enough away for him not to be disturbed. So he sat contentedly cross-legged on his desk, reading the book he was holding in one hand as he blindly picked dumplings from their bamboo steamers with his chopsticks in the other, using them to turn the page every so often. Table manners didn't really apply to Yao when he was on his own, as much as life at Hogwarts had tried to knock some into him. He still had just under an hour before the lunch break ended and he'd have to deal with students again, so he was happily settled in his poky classroom stuffing his face with sweetmeat buns and examining alchemical diagrams.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:01 pm

Matthew was late to dinner in the great hall. Matthew hated being late to dinner, because dinner was one of his favourite times of the day because it meant getting filled up on delicous, warm food. And that was why he was running- he was already five minutes late and still what felt like a mile away from the great hall (Yet he was convinced he could already smell the food of the day wafting up to him). Matthew shouldn't be running, he could already feeling his asthma acting up and his breath quickening and his face heating up far quicker than it should be. That was why it was probably a good thing when he missed the bottom step of the staircase he was leaping down and toppled over with a shriek, skidding what had to be at least a meter's distance, his hands flying out over his head uselessly and his face taking the brunt of the fall.

He stayed there for a few minutes, staring at the blurry stone in front of him (blurry because his glasses ran away when he fell) before a sniffle escaped. And then a hiccup. And soon to follow, tears battled their way out of his eyes and lept for freedom, and Matthew covered his mouth with a hand, pushing himself into a sitting position with the other. Once he was propped up on the stair, he began to bawl, loud and hard on his throat. It bounced off the walls and echoed down the corridor and Matthew was finding it ever harder to breathe, but couldn't quite yet get his inhaler out to solve the problem. The other, equally as important problem was that he'd grazed his forehead, the palms of his hands, and both of his knees, and blood was starting to ooze from the scrapes on the latter two (and luckily not his face as far as he can tell).
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:26 pm

Yao was completely absorbed in his book and his food, blind and deaf to the world. That is until a loud thump outside his classroom caused him to jump and drop his book, losing his place. "Aiyah!" he shouted irritably, sliding off the desk to retrieve it. But his attention was caught by further noises outside. Namely, a child crying. Oh dear. Please don't let them find me, he prayed. If there was one thing Yao was bad with, it was crying children. He was weak to resist their demands and they made him feel incredibly awkward. Perhaps if he just stayed very still and quiet they would leave and not think to knock on his door for help. But there was something off about the way the child cried; their breathing was coming shorter than it should, as if they were having trouble breathing. A child in tears was one thing, a child hyperventilating and possibly fainting was quite another.

Going against his better judgement, he opened the door of his classroom to find the source of the disturbance. It was a boy kneeling on the floor, crying horribly, with a nasty red mark on his forehead. He was sure he recognised the boy from one of his classes, but for the life of him couldn't remember his name. "Ah, xuesheng!" he called, retrieving the glasses in front of him that he assumed belonged to the crying boy and handing them to him. "Are you okay? Your breathing sounds weird." He said, blunt as ever. He noticed the palms of the boy's hands were raw too, and the fabric on the knees of his trousers was worn. It looked like he'd taken a nasty trip.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:31 pm

Matthew looked up when Professor Wang came out to where he lay, but he could barely see through the tears swimming in his eyes. The Professor then asked him a question, and it was at that moment when Matthew realised he was losing air so quickly, that he didn't even breathe enough in at a time to continue to cry, and so his sobs were drawn in as quick, rasping noises. He couldn't even cry properly, let alone answer the question, and the lack of oxygen made his vision swim- as though that made any difference, so many other things were stopping him seeing too, Matthew had given up on eyesight at the moment. He figured it was about time he fumbled in his robes frantically for his asthma pump. His special, nice looking round one, for his extra bad asthma, when normal pumps just weren't good enough. Jamming it into his mouth he flicked the latch, the pump blowing medicine down his throat. Matthew held it for ten seconds, closing his eyes, then breathed out slowly. Then in again. Then out. Once he was sure he could breathe normally again, he turned his attention back to Professor Wang, silent for a few moments, before the tears started dripping from his cheeks again.

"I-I fell o-o-over!" He sniffled, holding his arms out, expecting a hug. "A-And I'm going t-to mi-i-iss the f-feast!" He wailed the last bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:45 pm

He watched as the young student searched frantically through his robes before pulling out a little plastic device that quickly became evident to be an inhaler. So the child clearly suffered from asthma or some respiratory problem, and crying like that clearly hadn't been helping his condition. Once the student's breathing had calmed down again, he didn't feel quite as stressed out, though the tears didn't seem to show any signs of stopping, much to his disappointment.

As he suspected, the student confirmed he'd fallen over, but oddly enough he seemed more upset about missing out on food than the pain of the collision with the hard stone floor. He frowned at him; he was sure this boy was in one of his classes, so he had to be at least a third year, and yet here he was crying like a little boy. And his arms were outstretched as if he were expecting a hug or something! What was he, his mother? He put the pair of glasses in the boy's proffered right hand and took him by the elbow, not too roughly, and helped him to stand up. "Aiyah, what are you crying about? How old are you, fourteen? This is no way for a young man to be acting!"
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:17 pm

Matthew was glad for the help up, and when he was standing by himself, his legs were shaking- they must be out of their shock too and were reacting in much the same way as his hands, which were also trembling. He gave Professor Wang a watery smile. "A-Actually, I'm fifteen!" He grinned and wiped his nose on his sleeve, not really minding the fact that it sounded like he was being told off. He knew he shouldn't, but he kept giggling internally at the Professor's accent.

"My hands and knees and forehead hurt, I think that's enough reason to cry..." He tried to brush his palms off on his trousers, but only succeeded in making them sting (and probably rubbed the potential dirt in too), so he pulled them away quickly, hissing. Perhaps professor Wang knew what to do... He turned his attention to the wo/man and held out his hands again, this time presenting his palms to the other to solve his problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:55 pm

The student smiled and the tears seemed to be stopping, which was a relief, but he frowned at his excuses for crying. "Bah, it's just a few scrapes!" He folded his arms, examining the scratched up hands the student stuck in front of him. They didn't look too bad, but he looked like he wanted Yao to do something about it. He hadn't been in the mood for children coming to bother him for help, but since his reading and lunch had already been interrupted, it might be better to deal with the child quickly so that he could get back to what he was doing. He sighed. "I might have something in my classroom that'll make it feel better." He knew it wasn't common for teachers (other than potions teachers) to keep medicines and potions and herbs in their classrooms, but Yao was always prepared for the worst. You never knew what illnesses students brought into the class with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:00 pm

Matthew brightened when the Professor relented and happily hobbled towards the door behind him. His knees refused to bend properly without hurting, so Matthew tried to walk without bending them at all, which proved very difficult, and he ended up bumping into the Professor a few times, apologising thoroughly after each time. When he was in the glassroom, he carefully sat down on a desk and presented his hands again. Then a realisation wriggled up to him. "Oh! I wasn't interrupting anything important, was I? Because if so, I can wait, or I dunno... Go elsewhere..." Matthew was mentally reprimanding himself; he was getting help from a teacher, and that's how schools are supposed to work, otherwise they'd be pretty bad schools. Teachers were meant to make some time for the students, whether it suited them or not.

... So he sat there quietly, until his stomach made a loud noise and he tried to cover it up by putting his hands on his tummy. But that didn't work out so well, so he just tried to ignore it.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:08 pm

He frowned at the student as he kept bumping into him, but he was at least apologising about it. Once the boy had sat himself down, Yao went to his desk drawer and rummaged around the bottles and boxes and sachets looking for something to heal him. "Hm? Ah, I was only reading a book." He'd been annoyed about it before, but he was generally hospitable and generous, if a bit blunt and forward, so he didn't really mind so much now. He eventually found what he was looking for; a small vial of yellow potion. "Murtlap Essence" he said, holding it in front of him "It heals cuts and so forth. Just apply a little bit to your scrapes, they'll clear up quickly." he passed him the vial.

He started slightly when he heard the boy's stomach rumbling. Of course, he was missing lunch, he must be starving! Well, Yao had made more than enough of his dim sum for himself in one sitting, and since he wasn't getting any more of his book read, he might as well share his meal. It was more fun that way. "Are you hungry?"
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:01 pm

Matthew gratefully accepted the vial from the Professor, doing as he was told. The potion made his scrapes sting and Matthew resisted wincing which ended up with him twisting his face awkwardly and looking more in pain than he actually was. He was delighted, however, when his hands already slowly started to close up, ever so slowly as they were. He beamed at the Professor. "Thank you!" The pain was slowly ebbing away, and Matthew was so delighted. Perhaps he should get some of this stuff for himself, seeing as he was so accident prone.

When Professor Wang asked Matthew if he was hungry, the tips of Matthew's ears went pink. And then the rest of his face. "Oh. Um. Yeah... I guess I am...." He wasn't sure why he should be embarrassed about being hungry... But... It was some social thing, he supposed. But while he was here... "Uh... D-Did you want to... Nh, never mind." He squeaked. Asking for things was hard.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:50 pm

Normally that potion was used for more serious cuts and wounds, but it wasn't exactly difficult to obtain, so he didn't mind sacrificing a little to stop a student crying and wincing, even if it was over a few silly scrapes. "No problem." He waved dismissively.

He smiled when the student admitted he was hungry. "You want some dim sum?" He offered. His dumplings were pretty good, if he said so himself (and he did, proudly) and he was sure the student would appreciate it if he was hungry and missing out on lunch.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:37 pm

"Dim sum?" Matthew looked curiously at what he reckoned must be the offered food. It looked foreign. What were those called? Begins with a 'D', he was sure, but be couldn't put his finger on it. Instead, he put his finger on one of the lumps to poke it and feel its consistancy. "I don't mind trying some! I'd love to!" He stared at them a little longer. "Uh... How?" Well that sounded like an intelligent intelligent question, well done, Matthew. "I mean..." He tried to make it better, "I mean, do I hold it, or use cutlery, or, uh, chopsticks? They look a little big for chopsticks..." All he knew right now was that the more he stared at them, the more hungry he got.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:08 am

The student seemed a little baffled by the dumplings, but he seemed happy enough to try them. "Yeah, you eat them with chopsticks. Do you know how?" One of the things about living in the West that continued to amuse him to this day was foreigners' inability to eat with chopsticks. They always had such difficulty with it, dropping the food or the sticks themselves. He took out the ones he'd been eating with and used them to split one dumpling in the bamboo steamer in half, then handed the nervous looking student another set (because yes, Yao was the kind of guy to always have several sets of chopsticks lying around in case food suddenly became available). "Char Shao Bao. They're good, try it!"
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:24 pm

Matthew looked back at the Professor. "I have never used chopsticks in my life. But they can't be too hard, right?" He accepted the set with interest and wiggled them about in his hand, trying to get a good grip. "It's like using tweezers but they aren't connected at the end so you have to make them be connected..." He muttered to himself in thought, making the tips move back and forth to each other, the tips clacking each time they meet. It seemed easy enough... But now he needed to try picking up the food with it. He looked at the food - it had been cut in half? How kind of the Professor - and put the chopsticks either side of it. So far, so good. Then he did the same movement he'd been doing before, and the chopsticks closed in on it. Okay, that was good... Then he lifted his hand, and the food moved with it! And he raised it to his mouth! And then- then the food fell and hit his lap. Matthew cursed.

"Okay, maybe it's not as easy as I thought..." He mumbled and stabbed the food instead, deciding he'd try again on the next piece.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:49 pm

It didn't surprise him that the boy hadn't used chopsticks before; very few westerners he'd met had acquired the skill. He nodded at his attempts to use the set, and smiled approvingly as he managed to pick up his half of the dumpling, almost making it to his mouth. He forced himself to hide his amused smile as the student dropped it in his lap, though the amusement ended as he stabbed the chopsticks into the food instead. "Aiyah! You can't do it like that!" He cried in distress "That's very unlucky! It symbolises death!" Of course he knew if the boy didn't know how to use chopsticks, he was probably equally unaware of chopstick etiquette, but omens and superstitions like this were very much engrained in Yao's way of thinking.
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:08 pm

"...That's kinda creepy, Professor..." Matthew mumbled, but stuffed the food in his mouth anyway because he was hungry. "But why? Is it 'cause it's like a stabby motion like a knife? And if it symbolises death, what does that mean? That I'm gonna die? Or the food's gonna die? Because it already did when I ate it. Or maybe it means the person who owns the chopsticks is gonna die..." He frowned in thought. Then brightened. "Maybe it won't count for me because I'm not someone who uses chopsticks! Or I get the benefit of the doubt because I'm a new user?" The thought of it symbolising death still made him shudder though. Death wasn't happy and Matthew preferred happy thoughts.

Instead, he reached out for the second half, repeating what he had done before, except he knelt down to the height of the food and quickly shoved it into his mouth so that it wouldn't have time to drop while he held it. "Hah!"
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:42 pm

"That's..." he was a little bewildered by the student's questions "Y-yeah, sort of. To stick ones chopsticks upright in food, particularly a bowl of rice, is what one does at somebody's funeral. It's not considered good manners..." He was about to correct his wishful thinking, but decided it wasn't worth it. In all his years in the West, he'd seen dozens of people commit acts considered unlucky in China, and they'd never seemed to suffer fates worse than anyone else. He was aware his superstitions were just that- superstitions- but that didn't take away their meaning.

The boy made a second and more successful attempt at eating with chopsticks, this time not stabbing or dropping anything, and though he ate it rather inelegantly, he seemed to have got the hang of it. "Well done, xuesheng." It suddenly struck him that although he'd fixed the boy's scrapes and given him food, he still for the life of him couldn't remember his name. He said he was 15, and he looked far too young to be in the fifth year already, so he had to be in fourth year. Running through the class list in his head, he tried to recall his name. He was sure it was an 'M'... Michael? Max? Mitchell? Damn, why did western names all sound so similar?
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:01 pm

Matthew beamed with pride at having successfully eaten his food. He was almost happy enough to not be hungry any more. But it didn't work that way and his stomach made a loud rumble, demanding more food. He looked at Professor Wang with puppy-dog eyes asking for more food before responding, "China has strange and wonderful customs, I would be so intimidated going there. It's so much easier here and in Canada, by the sound of it." He eyed the other dumplings - that was what they were, of course, dumplings! Now he remembered! - greedily before replying again.

"Thanks, Professor, but what does xu-xue-x-xuesh... That thing you called me, mean? That's definitely not may name!"
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PostSubject: Re: Go away, I'm eating (Open to Matthew)   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:16 pm

"Strange and wonderful, yes, that sounds about right." He smiled. "I don't think it's quite as intimidating now as it was when I was growing up." He admitted. Ah, so he was Canadian. He'd thought he might have been American with that accent; good thing he'd been put right before he made the assumption out loud. He knew how annoyed people could get if you got their nationality wrong.

He noticed the student eyeing the other steamers of dumplings. Well, he might as well share the rest; he wasn't particularly hungry anyway. "There's some Jiaozi too if you want any." He offered, gesturing to the potstickers and taking one for himself (it was his lunch break too, after all) "Or wonton."

Ah, the student had brought him up on the name thing. "Xuesheng is the word for student in Mandarin Chinese, it's how you address students, just like you refer to me as 'professor'." He explained, still desperately trying to think of the student's name. Matthew perhaps? That seemed a relatively common name in the West.
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