Title: Day of Mourning
Warnings: Mention of sexual assault but you'll probably miss it
Words: 499 >_<
"Wassi! Come, it's time for supper," urged a fair-haired boy with blue eyes.
"I am not hungry," came the reply.
"You do this every year. I thought Thanksgiving was a good holiday for you savages? Isn't it your holiday originally?" questioned the blue-eyed boy.
Wassi suppressed a groan and gritted his teeth. "No," he muttered from under his quilt.
"Why won't you eat with us?" his friend asked, confused.
"I'm Pokanoket," he said, as if that explained it all.
Nonplussed, he other boy left and when when Wassi was sure he'd gone, he stood up and got dressed. Pointedly ignoring a growl from his stomach, Wassi went outside for a thought-clearing walk around the grounds.
Wassi wasn't—by far—the first person in his family to have magic. He was however, the first one to be accepted to Salem Witches Institute.
How well he remembered the arrival of the faculty, prancing into the encampment as if they had every right to be there.
"Yes, most unusual, this," they'd said in their strange tongue. "We don't normally accept the savages, but it says on the list, Wassamuta, son of pureblood witch Weematoo and Muggle Richard Bradford . . .". At this, his mother flushed crimson and refused to meet anyone's face for the remainder of the day, and his father cast a speculative glance at her. Wassi, age nine at the time, had had to preserve the memory for later observation when he understood the language.
After the men had spoke their piece and been offered the customary food and drink, Awannan, Wassi's father, stood and said with all austerity "We will hold a tribal council and consider it. How shall we contact you with our decision?"
The strange men left, and a council was called that night. Awannan argued that Wassi should be sent to school; "the white man comes here with his superior techonology and his plagues that even our medicine and our gods cannot defeat. We haven't even access to the raw materials. Wassamuta MUST go, lest we all die out!" Debate was heated, with some taking the stance that sending Wassamuta to school with the white man was a betrayal of their culture, and others taking the stance that Weematoo should be exiled for her treachery and betrayal, an option Awannan firmly refused to consider. "But Awannan!" protested one of the hunters. "If he is the son of this Richard Br. . . "
Awannan leapt up, a maniacal look on his face. "Wassamuta is MY son, and that is final!"
In the end it was decided that Wassi would go to Salem Institute. He left a year early to take specialised classes in reading and writing.
"And so now it comes to this," he thought. "I must lose myself . . . my culture . . . my language . . . to save my people from annihilation."
Sighing, he went inside.
But he didn't eat with them. Not today.
Thanksgiving has been marked as the National Day of Mourning for the Native Americans of New England since 1970. Whatever else Europeans are good at, treatment of indigenous populations is not among them.
The blue-eyed boy is not intentionally being a jerk. But like a lot of well-meaning and otherwise ignorant people, he does a remarkably good job of shoving his own foot in his mouth.
Awannan here is Wassamuta's stepfather, although until the emissaries from the school arrive, he does not know this and believes himself to be Wassi's biological father. Wikipedia reports there was no prohibition against premarital sex in the Wampanoag tribe (therefore, Weematoo's lack of virginity wouldn't have been an issue), but she wasn't with the Muggle man by choice. However, she was almost immediately thereafter married to Awannan and was in a state of denial ever since, and faced with the ugly reality that his wife had borne another man's child whom he had raised as his own, Awannan takes the rather liberated stance of "this may not be genetically my kid, but I raised him from birth as my own, therefore he's mine." There was a whole scene in there about Awannan and Wassamutta talking about that, but, yeah, 500 words.
Sincere apologies to any Messapie I manage to offend by this; I assure you my intentions were only good. I couldn't use the names I came across so I altered them.
Thanks to HermyBabay82 for the impromptu beta!