Lydia was studying magical plants in Russia, and it was cold as hell. She liked her job, but this was a bit of a ridiculous thing she was asked to do. She’d be here for a few weeks studying magical plants, if not longer. Right now it looked like it would be longer as a storm was rolling in and preventing her from actually doing any real studying as it was a bit hard to see in snow storms. Going to Russia in winter was really not what she had signed up for, but whatever she could yell at her boss about it later. It was remote parts too naturally, so she always had to find somewhere to apparate and disapparate to and from her hotel in Moscow. Another problem was that she didn’t actually speak the language, or read it, so she had some level of difficulty dealing with that too.
Well, one thing she could do in Russian was order a drink so she decided to go to the bar. She wandered her way in and took a seat next to a really tall guy as most everywhere else was full. Perhaps nobody sat next to him because they were intimidated or something? Oh well, it made no difference to her, she just wanted to order a drink. Her pronunciation was probably not the best, and Russian probably wasn’t supposed to be spoken with a British accent, but at least she got the right drink.
Being back home for the first time in many years was completely strange. At one point, Nikolai had been so sure he'd never see his home again after his parents had sent him and his sister away for their own safety. There had never really been a reason to go back. They were settled into their lives in England, they had jobs. But then the questions that had been eating away at Nik since he was a teenager ate away a little too much. He needed to know if it was just him and his sister left. He needed to know why they'd had to leave. He needed answers. And if his parents were dead, he needed to kill whoever it was that responsible for that.
There was only so much he could do at a time though. Calling it a day when all he got were dead ends was frustrating, but the weather and his contacts were both preventing him from getting anywhere. There was little he could investigate if he couldn't go anywhere. Perhaps a drink or three would make him feel better. Not enough to ruin him, but enough to be something to do that wasn't failing. He hated to fail.
The bar he went to was a bit crowded, but hopefully that just meant he'd blend in. No one would notice one more body among many. He found his seat and order his drink, feeling at ease to be using his first language again so freely, to be hearing it around himself. When someone finally took the seat next to him, he glanced up for a brief second at the sound of her accent. What was an English accent doing out here? He supposed it wasn't really that strange because of tourism and all that, but all the same it hadn't been something he expected.
Lydia glanced over at the man next to her and noticed he looked up when she ordered. It was probably the accent. She got lots of weird looks for her accent when she was here. All she wanted was to collect plants, but people always had to comment on her accent, and how bad she was at Russian. She wasn’t here as a tourist, but most of them didn’t know that. She couldn’t exactly tell most of them that she was out here collecting magical plants. She didn’t know who was magical and who wasn’t, and being that most of the places she visited weren’t inherently magical she couldn’t just assume one way or another. That was especially the case in a nonmagical bar too. “привет,” she said to him as she at least knew how to say that much. He had looked up, maybe he wanted to say something. If not, she could go back to her drink. Though, if he wanted to have a full conversation that would be more complicated. She knew a few words and how to ask for certain things, but she was pretty sure she would not be able to hold a full conversation.
Still, she would at least try, despite the fact that her accent would probably screw up a number of the actual words. Just so long as the words didn’t get twisted so much that they became other ones it would be fine right? It would be easier to have a conversation in English, but there was no real guarantee that he spoke it. Whether someone she ran into did or not seemed to just be a tossup most of the time. Though, she supposed it was possible that people just pretended to have no idea what she was saying to be rude.
Oh, was she going to speak more poor Russian at him? That would admittedly be sort of hilarious, but he didn't really feel like dealing with that today. It did amuse him when people tried to speak a language they didn't know well. At least they were trying to. And Russian was a beast of a language to start on, considering it had an alphabet different to the language she used normally. "You're English," he said casually in English, accent a bit heavy but still understandable. He could have played along with the game of only knowing Russian but he just wanted a drink and to move on with his life. His words weren't very meaningful anyway. It was just a statement of the obvious, but she'd spoken to him first and manners told him to speak back. Except that he hadn't exactly used a greeting for that. Oh well.
Lydia was trying, and nobody could fault her for that. She hadn’t picked to come to this country for work and had only really learned a few phrases she thought she would need. Everything else she was going to have to use a translation book for, which was extra difficult due to the fact that the Russian alphabet was a bit weird. Why did half the letters have to look like some variation on the letter n? It just seemed like it would be hard for anyone to read. Apparently though he had noticed she wasn’t very good at it and was replying to her in English rather than in Russian. She probably would have had no idea what he said if he hadn’t swapped so this was actually good.
“Yes,” she said simply in English this time. She knew the word for it in Russian, but she had probably butchered enough of the man’s language for the day. “Here for work, there are some fascinating plants here,” she said with a slight smile and a shrug. The woman had no real intention of staying in Russia, but perhaps if she ever planned to return she should try to learn a bit more Russian.