Mary Brooding
I had a pet rock once.
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:41

Mary grimaced at the realization she had perhaps field to mention her family members' deaths before. It was a morbid topic and not one she preferred to spring on people. Her grief ran deep but it had been a long time - over a decade now - and she was accustomed to its weight. Her resignation often made others uncomfortable.

"I might not have mentioned it," she admitted sheepishly.

She watched as understanding slowly appeared across Dorian's face, followed by a sincere blossom of emotion. "Thank you," she said, trying not to let her teary eyes be too obvious. She had a distinct mother bear feeling in her chest, and that didn't seem like the sort of smothering affection Dorian might appreciate. For a boy fighting so hard to be a person, to be independent, and to figure out what all of that meant, a second mother was probably not what he came to her office hours for.

When his expression changed, it was like watching a storm cloud roll in. It was like standing in a grassy summer field and watching the rain race towards her, barreling inevitably and unstoppably towards her. There was no way to a void the onslaught, and there was nothing to do to comfort that beautiful summer cloud. She wondered if mentioning Tabitha's family had been helpful or not. Perhaps it made things worse. She opened her mouth to say something (or at least to remove her foot from it), and found Dorian sinking instead. It was the clearest panic attack she'd ever seen someone have in front of her, and she found herself sinking with him.

"Dorian?" she asked as his voice rose and his face contorted.

His admission of love for his friend was more surprising than she thought. There was no denying the looks between them, then the coldness, then the glances between them, and Mary had long since made it a priority not to start by assuming people were straight until they said otherwise. But to hear Dorian, who suddenly seemed very small, sound so heartbroken over it was more surprising. To her, it seemed that Jehan felt the same way as Dorian, if not a little more gruff about it all. Was that not the case? Her memory flooded with images of her own school days, before she had been out, and before she had known who she was. Before Michelle or Tabitha or anybody else. The world hadn't just seemed big, it had seemed oppressive and crushing. She had gotten through it alone, despite the odds, and it seemed like she was looking in a mirror of the past to see Dorian now. A hard lump rose in her throat as familiar anxiety, remnants of feelings she'd learned to manage but never learned to let go of, swelled in her stomach.

Before she was quite aware of what was happening, she was sitting on the floor as well, crouched on her knees. She was glad they had fairly comfortable halls and rooms and floors here. She'd heard the potions master at Hogwarts had a dungeon for an office, and that seemed terrible.

Moving slowly so as not to disturb him and so she could keep an eye on whether she should pull back instead, Mary extended her arms around Dorian and drew him into the warmth of care and concern.

"Oh, Dorian," she cooed, pressing her cheek against his hair and holding him. She found herself rocking and whatever she was planning to say hitched in her own throat as well. Her mother used to do this for her. It had been a long time. "My poor, sweet thing, I'm so sorry you're hurting. Love isn't supposed to hurt, is it? It always sounds so easy until you fall in it."

She waited until there were fewer tears and slower breaths, although whether she was waiting for stillness to find herself or her young friend was unclear. In any case, words eventually came out without strangling her. "It doesn't feel okay now, and it might not feel okay for a long time," she admitted, not wanting to lie to him. He was smart and didn't need her false comforts. "But I can promise you with one hundred percent certainty that it will feel okay eventually."

Mary considered the last of his words before tears had overtaken him. "I understand," she promised. "I don't know what it's like to be Dorian Montoir," she clarified, not wanting a single word to be untrue. "But I know what it's like to love someone you think you shouldn't, and to feel small and alone." She looked closely at his face, wanting him to know she meant every word. "I see you," she said. "You aren't alone."

Silence crept through the office that suddenly felt too big and too much for the little girl who worked there. She couldn't possibly have become a grown up, could she? She couldn't have become anybody. She had spent so long not mattering, but here she was.

"I was twelve the first time I had a crush on a girl, and sixteen when I fell in love with one," she murmured quietly. "I had so many questions and fears. You can ask me anything, or you don't have to ask me anything."

She let her comment drift into the air, not wanting to pressure him. Not wanting to pressure herself. Sitting on the floor of the potion mistress' office, they were just two scared little kids. And that was perfectly okay.

Or at least it would be.

  • The next, I'm at rock bottom.Dorian, Fri Jan 11 07:42
    You know that my family passed away when I was young? Honestly, the answer to that was no. He had not known that. He couldn’t remember ever really talking much with Professor Brooding about her... more
    • I had a pet rock once. — Mary Brooding, Fri Jan 11 10:41
      • Over and over, all day longDorian, Fri Jan 11 20:38
        OOC - oops realised I never specified him sitting down and then suddenly he was. I pictured him more having taken a seat at some logical point, rather than collapsing to the floor in a miserable... more
        • This too shall pass.Mary Brooding, Sun Jan 13 01:58
          Mary considered quietly and carefully. She was loathe to frustrate or embarrass Dorian, but he was a rational boy and she doubted that comfort would help him any. She couldn't use Tabitha as a... more
          • “Can she do that?” he asked, in a frightened voice when Professor Brooding talked about the risk of Professor Skies firing her for marrying Professor Hawthorne. He knew people could be mean but there ... more
            • Undo! Backup! Reverse! Abort!Mary Brooding, Mon Jan 14 17:45
              Mary grimaced, realizing with a big lump of dread that she shouldn't have used the example that she did. This wasn't exactly the time to admit that yes, sometimes people of non-normative sexual... more
              • Come back!Dorian, Tue Jan 15 19:40
                "Ok," Dorian nodded, when Professor Brooding assured him that he wasn't about to be kicked out. "And are any of those other things going to happen? To you?" he asked, noticing that she had only... more
                • I'm always here. Mary Brooding, Wed Jan 23 20:51
                  Mary allowed her shoulders to relax, surprised by how much tension they'd in carrying through this conversation. She was certain that she was projecting, or possibly just confronting some of her old... more
                  • GoodDorian, Sat Jan 26 21:39
                    Nothing bad was going to happen to Professor Brooding. That was one less thing to worry about. Well… that was one thing to worry less about. He wasn’t sure he could stop worrying altogether. He... more
Click here to receive daily updates