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An hour after Lumine steps on Snezhnayan soil, she is accosted by two orange-haired people, one significantly shorter than the other. Her only warning was a childish voice calling “Miss Nice Lady!” before a small form barrelled into her, followed by a few others. “Hey, ojou-chan.” Childe said with a grin, hands in the pockets of his light grey pants. He looked way too comfortable in his thin clothes considering the weather, and Lumine herself was surviving only with the help of thick clothes and a warming bottle.

 

She was broken out of her thoughts by Teucer asking eagerly, “are you coming to stay for a long time, Miss Nice Lady?” She gave a small smile and patted the small boy’s head. “I’m not sure, Teucer. I’m on a journey to find my brother.” She told him. “I had no idea you were arriving today, I would have picked you up,” Childe pouted exaggeratedly. She shook her head at him. “I had no idea I would get here so fast, but I managed to sneak on a boat so my trip was cut down quite a bit,” she said off-handedly, and Childe gasped. “You sneaked into Snezhnaya, ojou-chan? I should report you to the Tsaritsa!” he whispered, and she gave him an evil eye. “Sure, Ajax.” She emphasised his real name with a raised eyebrow, and he grinned unrepentantly back at her.

 

Their banter was broken by a pointed cough, and Lumine turned to the couple and 2 others who had come up with Childe. Quickly, she took note of their resemblance to Childe and Teucer and concluded that this had to be their family. She bowed slightly, a habit she had picked up in Inazuma and hadn’t managed to get rid of. “It’s nice to meet you, my name is –”

 

Childe’s mother, who was much shorter than the rest of the family, cut her off with a beaming smile. “I know who you are, dearie,” She smiled, grasping Lumine’s hands in hers, “it’s so nice to finally meet the girl who can keep Ajax in line!” At her words, Lumine looked around the older woman to give Childe a smirk that said, ha. Childe scowled playfully at her, even as he whined at his mother not to ruin his image, to which his other brother – Anthon? – retorted with “what image?” which devolved into them arguing and jabbing each other like little children.

 

She smiled at that interaction, the pair reminding her of herself and Aether, and again she was reminded of the prominent spot at her side which was always left empty she and Aether had been separated. She wasn’t given much time to be sad, though, because Teucer and Tonia were pulling her in the direction from which they’d came. “Come on, Miss Nice Lady, you’ve got to see this festival!”

 


 

Childe’s family dragged her all over the festival that was apparently a Snezhnayan tradition, the adults pointing out the significance of the various statues and buildings they passed on the way while the children dragged her to all the game and food stalls (Paimon appeared at the mention of food, and Lumine handed her a few buns to placate her). By the end of the night, Lumine knew more about Snezhnaya in a day than she knew about the other regions in a week.

 

It wasn’t too bad, though. She and Aether had always made the time to get to know the worlds they were in, even if they knew it was temporary. That was their role, after all. Explore, visit different worlds, and learn from each world they visited. Childe’s family were warm and welcoming, and definitely soothed the void in her heart slightly (never totally, not until he’s back with her), but most importantly, she was learning.

 

And that was all she needed.