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Maksim Valentin

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

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Thanks to the gift of a two way mirror for himself and Lillian from Kat as a graduation gift, Maksim found that waiting until they left on the family trip to Russia wasn't so bad. It was easy to communicate with Lil, especially about the details of the trip. Sure when the twins found out they would likely sing-song the fact that Maks had a girlfriend, but he would gladly deal with that.

After explaining to Lillian that the family trip was delayed a week while they waited for Kat's summer internship in Scotland to finish, Maks got to work on planning all of the places he would visit with his girlfriend. When he got to Moscow he would ask Grandma Elena if she had any advice on places to visit in St. Petersburg. The only thing he was waiting to hear back on now were the results of his NEWT exams.

He tried not to think about that too much.

He didn't have much time to think about it now, at any rate, because now in Moscow, Maksim had places to go with Lillian, and things to see and show her.

"See luv? It's nae tha' cold at all," he told her, hand in hand while they walked through Red Square. It was definitely not cold when Maksim was out and about wearing a short sleeved shirt and some shorts. "But, ye can still curl up close tae meh if ye really wan' tae."

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Lillian was a ball of emotions as she prepared for this trip with Maksim. She was excited, mainly, because she would get to spend some much-needed quality time with Maksim, something they wouldn’t get much of when the new school year started. She was also nervous, though, because she would be meeting the boy’s family on this trip, and she still wondered if it was too soon. What would they think of her? Would they approve? Would they think she wasn’t good enough for Maksim? So much could go wrong, it seemed, and what would Maksim do if his parents didn’t like her?

She tried to keep these insecurities and nerves at bay, though. The more important emotion was excitement. And, she had already met both Vladimir and Ekaterina. So hopefully both of them would be on her side. Kat at least seemed to like her, but she was never sure where she stood with Vladimir.

The brunette was really glad it was finally happening, though. It had been delayed, but now she was in Moscow, hand-in-hand with Maksim as they walked around the Red Square. It was easier to focus on how blissful she was while it was just the two of them. “I don’t know… I might just want to curl up close to you anyway,” Lillian replied cheekily, moving closer to him and bumping her shoulder against his side.

“So, what’s on the agenda for the rest of the day?” She asked with a smile as her eyes took in the sights. She hadn’t ever been to Moscow, let alone Russia, before, so there was a lot to be seen.

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Maksim chuckled a little bit as he felt Lillian bump into his side, a cheeky grin soon appearing on his face. "Well, ye know tha' ye'll get nae objections frae meh, Lilya," he informed her, a wink accompanying his words and the grin. At times Maksim would find himself wondering how on earth he got lucky enough as to end up with Lillian, but then the rest of his brain would tell that little bit to shut it.

 

The now ex-Slytherin was more than happy with how things had turned out now.

 

"Well, the Red Square has quite a bit tae see, but Ah was thinkin' Ah could take ye over tae the shoppin' center, GUM," he explained, pointing to the elaborate building across the square. "It's an old buildin', constructed back in 1890. Ah had tae learn all about the history o' Red Square, sae if ye have any questions, just ask away luv."

 

He gently tugged on her hand as he led the way to the store. "Tha' there's the Cathedral, St. Basil's. We can gae and check it out later if ye like, or just take some photos," he said, indicating the magical camera he had with him. At least they could take plenty of pictures during their adventures.

 

And he could keep a picture while Lillian was at Hogwarts and he was off training to be a Cursebreaker.

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Grinning at Maksim’s response, Lillian leaned closer to her boyfriend, letting her bare arm rest against his side as they walked. Maksim was right… it was warm. Not anything like a beach on the Mediterranean, but certainly not cold. She was wearing a flowy strapless shirt and shorts, and was perfectly comfortable.

The brunette listened to Maksim’s mini-rundown of the place they were going, though it was hard to focus on the history of the place after he said shoppin’ center. Anyone who knew Lillian knew that she was an avid shopper. She couldn’t help but be excited at the prospect of going shopping, but she tried to listen to the history lesson Maks was giving her. “And to think, all I thought you did in history lessons was sleep,” She teased, remembering Maksim’s disdain for history of magic as a subject.

“Of course we’ll have to see the Cathedral since it’s famous and all, but I think for now I want to focus on shopping.” Lil beamed at Maksim as she walked alongside him. “You know it’s one of my favorite things, other than you, of course,” Lillian stated grinning at her boyfriend charmingly before she turned her gaze to all the sights around them. All the buildings looked so old and beautiful… it was hard to imagine one being turned into a shopping center. They looked more like places that would house museums.

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Maksim burst into laughter when Lillian brought up his disdain for history of magic. She was right, and he wouldn't deny it. History of Magic was the bane of his existence in school until he had passed the OWL exam and he never had to take the class again. "Ach, tha's because History o' Magic was borin' an' definitely sleep worthy," he explained to her, the grin still on his face.

"But, mah Da' was adamant tha' Ah learned abou' the history o' where he comes frae, an' all about the family history an' background. Ah actually liked learnin' abou' it."

And sure, the cathedral was going to be fun to visit, but Maks knew his girlfriend well, and shopping was one of the best ideas he could bring up. "Aye, Ah know luv," he assured her, a wink accompanying his words as he added, "Although Ah'm happy tae hear tha' Ah'm also one o' yer favourite things." The young man fell into silence though as he watched Lillian take in the sights around them in Red Square.

"Aye, here we gae," he said, opening the door to the large shopping mall, which to be honest, Maksim had never spent all that much time in. He shopped when he wanted to buy souvenirs for his friends, but that was about it. "Ah'm sure there'll be some shops in here tha'll suit yer fancy, Lilya. Tae be honest, shoppin's never been mah forte, sae mind teachin' meh some new tricks?"

He chuckled then, because he couldn't think of the word tricks without his mind going places, whoops.


Edited by Maksim Valentin

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Lillian nodded in agreement at his assessment of history of magic. “Still better than potions and herbology, in my opinion,” She chimed in, but was eager to drop the subject of lessons in favor of listening to the reasoning for Maks learning the history of this city. “That makes sense, though… it probably feels more personal to you since it’s your own culture,” Lil suggested with a small smile.

“Don’t get too cocky, though,” Lillian chirped with a smirk a moment later in response to Maksim’s comment. The brunette would be lying if she said that she wasn’t completely smitten with her boyfriend, but being playful with him was too hard to resist. His own playful side always seemed to bring hers out as well.

She followed Maksim into the building and immediately her eyes popped wide. It was beautiful, and there were so many shops to look at that she wasn’t sure where she wanted to go first. She sincerely hoped her experience in muggle studies had adequately prepared her for shopping in the muggle world. Today would be a real test. Maksim’s words flowed into her ear and she immediately looked up at him at the word tricks.

“Well, you do know how much I love teaching you tricks,” She purred, eyes latching onto a shop that seemed to specialize in daywear. “Let’s go there first… and maybe find you a new outfit,” Lil suggested. As much as she loved shopping for herself, shopping for other people was even more fun. Like having a real, live doll.

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"Aye, tha's exactly it, luv," he responded, the grin having melted down to a smile for the time being. "It's part o' mah homeland. Ah still have an uncle, aunt, an' cousin here. Plus a bunch o' extended family, an' acquaintances. Mah grandpa deals wi' them more than mah Da' daes." Grandfather Sergei was a shrewd man, at any rate; no one was going to make any shady deals with him at the helm.

That calculating nature had made its way through the eldest son Vladimir, and down to Maksim. Plus some other family members that we are too lazy to mention here.

"Oi," the boy retorted playfully, poking Lillian on the nose with his finger. "But whit if Ah wan' tae be tha' cocky? Ah'm a confident man after all, Ah know when Ah'm the best," he added, still grinning, which grew to even larger proportions once he saw the look on Lillian's face when they entered the shopping centre.

Being so thoroughly distracted by the word tricks, Maksim had no idea what Lillian's plan was... nor did he have any idea that she'd never been to a muggle shopping centre before. "Aye, Ah know ye dae," was Maksim's lazy reply, his mind drifting and-

"Wait, whit?" Maksim questioned as he found himself being pulled to some store. He hadn't thought they'd do any shopping for him. "But, Lilya, ye dorn't have tae-" Nope, she was not hearing any of this. In the end Maksim just let himself be tugged along to the store. He had to admit, it was kind of nice.

Next thing he knew he was walking out of the store hand in hand with Lillian, while his free hand currently held bags with three shirts, two pairs of jeans, and some socks. "Sae daes this mean Ah git tae help shop fer ye now? Whit if Ah actually dae know some tricks?"

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Lillian’s own family did not have as much history as Maksim’s… well, none that she knew about, at least. She was sure her grandmother would have happily divulged the details of their proud family line if Lil bothered to ask, but she’d always been a bit of a black sheep in her family. Lazy where so many others were driven, Lillian had never fit in with anyone but her mother and Aidan. Not truly, anyway. Her family history had never interested her.

“Do you?” Lillian queried playfully as Maks declared that he was confident and knew when he was the best. “You know what they say about assuming…” She trailed off with a giggle as they entered the shopping center, immediately awed and not particularly caring about continuing their banter… at least for now.

She would hear none of his refusals, and she shook her head immediately as she pulled him into one of the stores, determined to pick out some nice outfits for him. It was good that Maksim didn’t put up too much of a fight; Lil had way too much fun throwing clothes into a dressing room for him to try on and picking out ones that worked.

“Hmmm, we’ll have to see what all you know, I suppose,” Lil told him as she turned into a shop full of young women’s clothes. “This looks like it has some nice stuff… how about it’s your turn to play dress up? You pick out things that you think will look good on me, I’ll go in the back and try them on, hmm?” She challenged, looking around the shop but trying not to look too long at the items she actually liked. She couldn’t give anything away to Maksim! Plus, she wanted to see what all he actually knew about fashion. Perhaps he did know more than she gave him credit for.

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"Aye, Ah dae know whit they say abou' assumin', but the difference here is tha' Ah'm nae assumin' anythin'. Ah know," Maksim replied cheekily, although at this point he wasn't entirely sure Lillian was paying attention; she seemed awfully enamoured with the shopping centre.

And clearly she was enamoured with finding Maksim clothes to wear.

It looked like Lillian was going to take him up on his words, and with a cheeky grin on his face, he let her lead him to a store that had plenty of clothes for young women on display and for sale. Sure, this would be the first time Maks would be picking out stuff for a significant other, but he was pretty confident he could make this work.

After all, he was pretty perceptive, when he wanted to be.

Even though Lillian wasn't giving him any clues, he still shoved her towards a dressing room and picked out anything he spotted that he thought would look good, or that he knew Lillian would like. because he was great boyfriend plz

"Sae, how did Ah dae?" Maksim asked with a grin, after gleefully picking out outfits for her.

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Maksim was right, Lil was hardly paying him any attention at that point; too absorbed at the spectacle in front of her. So many stores, so many clothes, so many accessories! It was like a dream come true. Even more fun was getting to pick out clothes for him. It wasn’t that Maksim wasn’t stylish already, but Lillian loved shopping for other people. It was a special treat, seeing the way the things she picked made them look.

Maks’ shopping aside, Lil was eager to see what Maksim would get for her. Waiting in the dressing room, she tried on the clothes he threw over the curtain to her, noting with (only some) reluctance that each shirt fit well, and there was one particular dress that looked stunning. She would love to wear it when meeting his family.

“It wasn’t that bad, I suppose,” Lil joked, trying to look consoling as she held the clothes he had picked for her over one arm. “Though sadly nothing fit,” She continued with a frown for dramatics, but she couldn’t string Maksim along for that long.

“I’m kiddinggg, it was great. I particularly like this dress,” She held out the green dress he’d picked out with a grin. “I want to wear it tonight, do you think it would be alright?” Lil asked, for the first time showing her nerves about meeting his family. It was an intimidating thing, especially knowing that they were nobility. Was this dress even fancy enough? Perhaps she should resort back to the more formal dress she’d originally had planned…

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Maksim was eagerly awaiting Lillian's appraisal of his work, a slight bounce in his step the girl stepped out from the dressing room, clothing on her arm. Did she like it? Had he failed? No, he couldn't have. However, the look on Lillian's face was saying otherwise.

Oh Merlin, had Maksim messed up that much? "Nothin' fit?" Maksim asked incredulously, not believing his luck. His mouth gaped open for a moment, not really sure what to say until Lillian turned everything around and said she was kidding.

"Ye great big tease," the boy admonished cheekily, a grin forming on his face again. She had tricked him well and good, that was for sure. "Ah luv the green dress. Tha's why Ah picked it out, sae Ah'm happy tae see tha' ye like it sae much," he added, nodding when she asked if it would be fine to wear at dinner that evening. The whole family would be going out.

Of course, Maksim wasn't stupid and could see that Lillian was nervous. "Ach, it'll be just perfect fer tonight, an' ye'll look absoutely lovely," he assured her with a smile now instead of a grin. He brushed a few fingers against her cheek, trying to lighten the mood by saying, "The belle o' the ball. C'mon then, let's pay fer all this an' keep gaein'?" There was still plenty of time before dinner that night, and Maksim was going to make the entire afternoon as enjoyable for his girlfriend as humanly possible, without worries for the evening coming up.

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Lillian almost couldn’t follow through with her teasing when she saw Maksim’s crestfallen look, but it was all worth it for the reaction she got when she admitted she was joking. She grinned back at him, blushing lightly as he complimented the dress, saying he too liked it. “It brings out the colors in my eyes,” Lillian nodded, awaiting an answer to her nervous question about wearing it that night.

She bit her lip even as he reassured her, but decided to just take his word for it. If he thought it would be a good dress to wear, then she’d wear it. After all, she doubted that Maksim would try to lead her astray on such a momentous occasion as meeting his family was. “Okay, I’ll wear it,” She nodded, moving her head to the side and planting a quick kiss on the palm of his hand that had been resting on his cheek before nodding.

“Yes, let’s. You can also tell me what all we have in store for the rest of the trip… oh, and can you remind me of who all I’ll be meeting tonight?” She asked, grabbing Maksim’s hand and tugging him toward the exit. She was certain everything would go swimmingly, and meanwhile, she’d shop for accessories to go with the green dress. Even if it all went awry, at least she’d look fierce while it did.



The End.

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