Nataliya was walking out the door of her brother's house into the unforgiving winter of North-Eastern Europe when she heard a giggle. She looked around with her usual bored face as she looked for the source of the laugh. Her bored frown deepened slightly and her eye brows pulled down just the tiniest in confusion.
Who would be giggling in a snow storm like this?
Suddenly Nataliya had a feeling; it pulled her toward the side of Ivan's house until she was in front of a pile of snow.
She started to dig franticly.
Why am I doing this? There is nothing out here. Nothing under the snow-
Her thoughts froze as her nails scraped against something.
She hurriedly brushed the rest of the snow away and she saw-
She gingerly picked it up and opened it.
A bundle of skin and hair wrapped up in a blanket.
It took a minute for Nataliya to register what it was.
A baby. Oh god someone had left a baby in the snow!
Natalie's frown deepened.
She put her hand to the baby's cheek.
It was still breathing!
Her eyes widened and she hurried back to the front of her brother's house.
Ivan and Katyusha were sitting by the fire. Katyusha stood and grabbed her fur coat and ushanka.
"Well, this visit has been pleasant brother. Good-bye."
"Good-bye Katyusha, but are you sure you wish to go? I can hear the wind howling outside, and it is quite a ways to the nearest airport."
"Ah, thanks brother, but if that's so then I should still get Nataliya before she gets too far."
Before Katyusha could even open the door, Nataliya barged in and rushed toward the fire, not even bothering to close the door, that open, invited a howling wind of cold air and little flurries of snow to come in.
Katyusha hurried to close the door, fighting against the wind.
"Sister? I thought you went home, what are you doing here?" Katyusha asked once she closed the door and brushed the snow off of her.
"Katyusha, can you go heat up some milk?" Nataliya asked the huddling over something so neither Katyusha nor Ivan could what it was she was holding.
Nataliya lifted her head and moved so they could see the bundle in her arms.
Her face seemed passively bored, but her siblings could see the anger in her eyes and the way her eyebrows drew together ever so slightly in worry of the tiny bundle.
They both gasped.
Katyusha immediately went to start heating the milk and Ivan went to sit closer to Natalie and the bundle.
"Where did you find it?"
Nataliya's frown deepened and her eyes flashed in anger.
"In the snow!" she practically spat.
Her hands itched towards the knife she kept strapped to her thigh.
She sighed and moved her arm to hold the baby closer to her, she didn't know who left the baby out, so she couldn't harm them in her anger.
"Is it still alive?" Ivan asked looking at the tiny blue lips of the small creature.
Nataliya's face softened, she nodded.
Ivan sighed in relief, and then he smiled.
"Is it a boy or a girl? Also if its clothes are wet you should change its out of them."
Nataliya nodded and went about changing the baby out of its- her soaked clothes.
"A girl." she said when Ivan came back with a blanket and a piece of cloth.
"We can use this as a diaper, da?"
Nataliya looked as he held up the piece of cloth.
She nodded, taking it from him, and set about trying to form it into a diaper.
When she was done Katyusha had come back with the milk and Ivan had explained to her what they knew about the baby girl.
"I'm done; I tied the sides though since we don't have safety pins, we'll just have to hope she doesn't untie them."
Nataliya held the baby to her chest.
Ivan looked at the basket.
He saw something gold flash against the cream blanket.
He picked it up.
It was embroidery.
The baby awoke.
Her eyes wide pools of Amber, her small pink lips babbling confused mumbles, he tiny nose scrunching.
Nataliya's eyes widened her face flushed lightly, and her eyes softened. A small smile pulled at her lips.
Now that the baby was a normal color, they saw that she had naturally tanned skin and her hair now dried went a little below her ears, curling in loose ringlets.
One strand of hair grew down below her face and curled away from her face in a dramatic curl.
"Felicia." Ivan said louder.
The baby turned to look at him and giggled.
Nataliya's eyes widened it was the giggle she had heard earlier, but how? When she had found her the child was unconscious.
"Nataliya, embroidered on the blanket is Felicia; I think that's her name."
Nataliya glared at him.
Ivan shivered, his baby sister never glared at him.
"The people who abandoned her gave her that name."
At that Katyusha spoke up.
"They might be dead."
Nataliya looked at her.
"Maybe sister, but she now is with us, so we should name her. She is young enough; she shouldn't be able to remember her name. Besides someone had to have
Katyusha reluctantly agreed.
"But sister, it's all she has of the brief old life; of her family she will never know." Ivan argued.
"Exactly, she'll never know."
"Sister, we can give her a new middle name and give her the last name Braginski.
Nataliya pursed her lips but nodded.
She looked at the giggling bundle that squirmed in her arms.
"How about Feodora, instead of Felicia?" Nataliya suggested weakly trying to get her brother to change his mind.
Ivan shook his head.
Nataliya sighed but gave in.
Katyusha spoke up, "How about Anya as a middle name? Or Inya?"
Nataliya shook her head.
"How about Lubochka?" Nataliya asked.
Katyusha smiled. Love, what a perfect name for the child.
"I like that." Katyusha said.
Ivan smiled too.
"So do I." he said.
"Felicia Lubochka Braginski." Nataliya whispered.
She bounced the child lightly in her arms.
Nataliya smiled sweetly.
"Lubochka, Felicia Lubochka Braginksi."
Nataliya's face went back to its normal bored expression.
"She is staying with us, right brother? Right sister?" Nataliya asked her voice pitching slightly revealing her desperation to keep the little baby in her arms.
"Of course she's staying. She's family now."
Across the continent a brother cried over his lost baby sister.
IMPORTANT! IT EXPLAINS STUFF!
1: Nataliya- Belarus
Felicia- N. Italy
2: Yes Italy is a girl and I don't know why she is just becoming a personifacation. I will eventually get to that.
3: There is no set time for this
4: In Italian Felicia means happiness; joy, In Russian Lubochka means love!