"How was your first day?", his mama asks in German. She smiles at Erik and brushes her knuckles over his cheekbone before turning back to washing the salad, Erik having taken over the chopping of vegetables as soon as he entered.
"Okay." Erik shrugs and adjusts Pietro on his left hip, crouching to pick up Wanda as well so she'll stop whining and feeling left out. Soon they'll be too big and heavy to be carried at the same time; he's honestly dreading that day. They each can get very jealous if they think the other is getting more attention.
Edie raises her eyebrow at him in exasperation. "A little bit more information would be nice," she coaxes, in English now. She switches back and forth between English, German and Hebrew often, whereas Erik and Lorna have started speaking English exclusively most of the time, a habit born from the fact that it's the language they speak at school. Their papa switches back and forth as well, though with him its more dependant of the environment he comes from – when he's at home a lot he speaks more German, when he comes from work it's mostly English, and when he comes from the Synagogue he often speaks Hebrew.
Neither of their parents uses the languages they learnt in the camps much. Erik and Lorna sometimes speak Arabic them when they're alone; it was the language most spoken in the East Camp, where they spent most of their time. They're losing the others, not having spoken them fluently to begin with; Erik doesn't remember much Swahili, and he can feel the French and Russian slipping away too. He isn't sure how he feels about that – it gives the false impression that the memories are fading as well when they really aren't.
Wanda covering his mouth with her hand – uncannily in accordance with his thoughts, not that she could know that, she definitely isn't a telepath – pulls him out of his musings. He blinks, clears his throat and, very belatedly, answers his mama's question. "Nothing special. It's a school, and it was my first day. It went as expected." No better, no worse.
Edie sighs, but doesn't comment on his taciturnity. Instead, she tells him to please set the table while handing him three strips of red pepper, one for him and one each for Wanda and Pietro. It's a good thing, because it means the twin don't fuss when he puts them down, crunching the pepper while getting out plates with his hands and cutlery with his powers.
He's lifting the twins into their high chairs when Lorna walks in. Unlike her brother, she has lots to say about her first day – mostly about the people she met, most of which are apparently nice. It's a good thing; in a new environment Lorna is somewhat shy and Erik was worried people would be mean to her. He hasn't heard nice things about middle school – though what he heard about high school was worse, and so far it hasn't been all that terrible. Though it was only the first day, so who knows what's yet to come.
There's no point wondering about it, though, and so Erik firmly pushes all speculation aside and sits down in his chair between Edie and Wanda. "Papa is coming," he informs his family quietly, and a moment later Jakob's car rolls into the driveway. Wanda shrieks and wriggles in the futile attempt to get out of her chair; the twins have the habit of greeting any returning family members by running up to them and clinging to their legs as soon as they enter the house, which is nice most of the time, but sometimes can be a bit annoying.
Fifteen minutes later, they're all sitting around the table, eating. Lorna is telling their papa everything she just told their mama, the same things she told Erik when he picked her up from school, so he is listening with only half an ear. That's why he almost misses when she suddenly addresses him, asking, "Who was that boy? The one who walked with you to my school? He was leaving when I came, but I know he came with Erik," she adds for their parents' benefit.
Both of Edie's eyebrows fly up, and her voice is embarrassingly astonished when she asks, "Did you make a friend?" Erik isn't socially incompetent, really. He's just somewhat antisocial. He is perfectly capable of making friends if he wants to; he just rarely feels the inclination.
Not that he did. He isn't a child anymore, he doesn’t call someone he just met friend.
"That was Charles," he replies, wondering what else to add. "He showed me around the school." Not that Erik hadn't already seen everything when they had inspected the school before the year started; it had been less about the location and more about the population anyway. Charles, he had gotten the impression, was well-liked by a great many students, despite his style of clothing that had had Erik pegging him as a nerd immediately. Not that he personally cares much about such labels, but he knows that just because he doesn't care doesn't mean anybody else doesn't care either.
"And then he walked you to my school?" Lorna asks skeptically. She's thirteen, Erik remembers suddenly; she isn't a child anymore either. Not that anybody who had survived Genosha could truly be a child, no matter their age. But she's getting into the age where she's interested in flirting.
Erik quickly pushes the thought away; it's frankly terrifying and he's definitely not going to think about it. Preferably never again.
"Really, why did he walk with you?" Edie asks curiously. "You knew the way, we walked it a couple of times."
Erik bristles, not really knowing why, but somehow their questions make him feel uncomfortable and other things he truly isn't prepared to explore right now. "He was just being nice," he says curtly and pretends he doesn't notice the significant glance Edie and Lorna share, and also not the eyebrow his papa raises at him.
Really. Charles, Erik figures, is just the sort of person who does this sort of thing. He had been terribly friendly and enthusiastic when showing Erik around and introducing him to people, encouraging him to sit with him and his friends and to come to Charles with any questions or problems he might have. The only reason they had walked together after school was because Charles had to vaguely go into the same direction, and they had been discussing the lesson plan for their history class. That's all there was to it, Erik concludes firmly. In a couple of weeks, they'll likely exchange nothing more than vague nods when they pass each other by in the hall; Erik will have found friends (or at least a group of people he vaguely associates with) and Charles will go about his life as usual.
There is nothing special to it, really. And if Erik had felt a spark of interest when he first set eyes on Charles, and if that spark had intensified the more time they spent together today, well. That doesn't mean anything. Nothing at all.