In the midst of a growth spurt, Viktoriya is more limbs than anything else. She trips over her own feet sometimes, even as her skirts have become too short to entangle herself in. With downturned blue eyes, she can sometimes give off the air that she is deeply sad, even when she is simply gazing off into space.
Viktoriya Drozd does not usually think of herself as a brave person. Hardworking--yes, that she is, diligently studying during the school year and helping out with all manner of labor on her grandparents’ farm over the summer. Self-reliant--that she is, too, having learned to navigate the Minsk metro on her own to get herself to school as a child, for when her mother was far away working in Norway and her aunt had already gone to her own job in the morning.
But brave? Vika doesn’t see it, even if one of her Koldovstoretz roommates told her so when she said she intended to transfer to Durmstrang. That’s not how she feels, not with the talk of conflict over blood status swirling around everywhere. No, coming to Norway was just the right thing to do, a decision weighed carefully, just as Vika always considers her choices. It would let her be closer to her mother for some of the year; it would teach her new languages and new aspects of magic, all things very important to the hardworking girl. Vika takes her responsibilities seriously, internalizing the lessons her relatives have taught her: the values of learning as much as possible, of not giving up when things are hard, and of doing one’s fair share of work.
That doesn’t mean that it’s always easy. Vika has also internalized the feeling that she can’t possibly make mistakes, that it’s vital that she acts more grown-up than her thirteen years might indicate. She’s prone to worrying herself sick over everything, from exams to socializing to the future in general. Never wanting to let anyone down, she takes professors extremely seriously, and fears their judgement. It’s hard for her to let herself relax and have fun. After all, making all the right decisions is the key to success--isn’t it?
2 May 2014
Your aunt emailed me the pictures of you in the school play--adorable! I never thought a chicken could be so cute. I wish I’d have been able to be there, but the orchard runs on a schedule, just like your school, I suppose. Norway is very pretty, although the sun rises so early here, I feel like there’s never a nighttime at all. Someday I’d like to show you, although not to work, just to vacation. A few years of this, and I’m sure we’ll be able to take a trip somewhere nice! Ever wanted to be a tourist, Vika? There’s so much out there to see, and I want you to be able to see it.
Much love, Mama
3 July 2016
Thank you, dear, for helping your grandfather with the well. You’ve really grown so much, haven’t you? I think you know your way around a toolkit better than I do, and I grew up on their farm! When I get back, I think we should look into getting you your own phone. Writing letters is fun, but I’d love to be able to keep in touch with you more quickly. You’re old enough to want to talk to your friends now, too, I’m sure.
Much love, Mama
4 September 2018
How is the new school treating you? I was so sad not to be able to see you off, but both of us will be back in the winter, and we’ll have New Year’s and Christmas together. As an early present, I’m sending you a new coat in the package. I worry about you, for when it gets cold, and by January it will be too late. It might be a little big at the moment, but that’s so you can grow into it, and have it for several years. I only wish I would be able to call you. It’s odd now, not being able to hear your voice.
Much love, Mama
5 May 2020
Have you heard? I doubt it, since you’re not here at school, but maybe you have. The wizarding school in Norway--it’s called Durmstrang--they said they will start accepting Muggleborns--that’s people like me--to study. I could be a lot closer to you when you’re working! And I could see the northern lights that you talk about, and I’d meet people from lots of countries. What do you think? Should I? Can I?