I’m good at cleaning up messes
Fri Jun 8, 2018 10:45

Garen already knew that Claudia was having a rough semester. In the span of two months she had gone from a spotless record to two encounters with the administration, one as the victim of Dade Farnon’s spell and the other for using mentally manipulative magic on Holland Keene. (From his conversation with Dade, Garen suspected that the former was the indirect result of the latter, but it was still unwarranted.)

So the counselor already knew that Claudia was having what could be lightly described as a difficult time. This knowledge left him entirely unprepared for the tour Claudia provided of what had evidently been the worst year of her life. Garen listened silently as Claudia described the dissolution of her friendship with Marley, her reactions to her brother and Holland dating, her difficult midterm with her family, the altercation with Holland, the punishment she had incurred, the boggart class, Dade using magic against her, and recent events. The last time Garen had seen Claudia in his office, she had been understandably upset by the incident with Dade, but not as traumatized as she was now describing. At the time she hadn’t disclosed why she was cutting class; being already upset by Danny and Holland’s boggarts definitely wouldn’t have helped her cope emotionally with Dade using magic against her.

It was difficult—almost impossible, actually—to think that someone could be frightened of Drew. If Claudia’s primary experiences with Drew had been his brawl with Connor Farnon, her discovery that he had researched questionable magic (Drew had asserted that he hadn’t used any of those spells on other people, but Claudia had no way of knowing that, although surely it would’ve come out if he had), and his friendship with Dade, Garen could see why she would be wary of him. Garen was confident that his son would not attempt to retaliate against Claudia, but it might be beneficial to have a word with him tomorrow anyway.

What felt abundantly clear to Garen was that RMI was failing Claudia. She’d been isolated. Accurately or not, she’d felt betrayed by people like Marley, Danny, Holland, and Dade, who she had trusted. Despite her spending more time with faculty members than most students, none of the staff had noticed Claudia’s distress or intervened to alleviate it. She also hadn’t felt comfortable enough with any of the staff to approach them for help until—he assumed from the Draco’s presence—Remington had made the decision for her. Garen could understand why that was the case, when each action Claudia had previously taken in (slightly misguided) attempts to curb her distress had backfired and left her in a worse position than before.

Right. Okay then. What could Garen do for Claudia? She was still tearful, but no longer panicking; she seemed exhausted, like she might collapse. She was still clinging to Remington. Garen knew enough minor Healing spells that he could fix her nails, but that wouldn’t address the underlying issues that were causing her to bite them. He could teach her other coping strategies for her anxiety, and try to help her deal with the trauma from the fire before that became worse. He couldn’t do all of that tonight, but he would make plans for regular meetings before she left his office.

Not now, but tomorrow, he could speak to Estelle and Aaron about her punishments. Garen had been informed of the detentions they’d set for Claudia, and he did not disagree with them. Twice-weekly detention for the entire semester was extreme, but then again, so was the spell Claudia had used against Holland. Garen knew that Estelle’s interpersonal style was… an acquired taste, but her version of racial sensitivity training for Connor had been effective from what Garen and the rest of the staff could see. He had been optimistic that Estelle could address Claudia’s issues: Claudia had described feeling uncomfortable with Marley dating Teal, and Holland’s description of what the spell had put in their mind supported the idea that Claudia was homophobic and transphobic. However as she described the source of her distress, it occurred to Garen that Claudia’s concerns about Danny’s relationship seemed focused on the impact it would have on him (and on her, to a larger extent), rather than being completely rooted in personal prejudices. Garen wasn’t sure it would be appropriate or possible for Claudia’s detentions with Estelle to cease entirely, but perhaps a review of the content, or the manner in which it was presented, was warranted.

“I’m so sorry,” Garen said gently. “It sounds like you’ve had an awful year. I’m glad you felt you could tell me about this.” That was a step. “You’re not alone, and no one here is going to hurt you.” He glanced at Remington. Claudia apparently felt comfortable enough with Remington to describe her problems in front of her, so Garen was not going to suggest she leave. “I’d like to help. What do you need right now?”

  • Enjoy this mess - Claudia Dubois , Thu Jun 7 11:59
    Still clinging to Remy’s wrist, Claudia managed to stumble from the lecture hall to the admin quarters without passing out or vomiting, although she was insufferably hot and couldn’t stop silently... more
    • I’m good at cleaning up messes - Garen, Fri Jun 8 10:45
      • I'll believe it when I see it - Claudia, Fri Jun 8 15:30
        Just talking about her terrible year with someone who wouldn’t try to convince her to embrace another perspective (not now, at least - Claudia wouldn’t be surprised if, at some point, Mr Tennant... more
        • Don't mind me - Remington, Mon Jun 11 16:56
          Once they’d arrived at the Administrative Quarters, Remington assumed that Claudia would forget about her. She seemed to be partially correct. The older girl didn’t seem completely aware that the... more
          • No one minds - Garen, Tue Jun 12 12:04
            A private place to sleep was such a simple request that Garen felt both relieved and sad. Relieved, because that was within his power to provide immediately. Sad, because Claudia considered it to be... more
            • I'd rather thank you - Claudia, Tue Jun 12 14:46
              Remington’s expression of a wish to provide Claudia with sanctuary in Draco was as unexpected as her approaching Claudia to offer help in the first place. Both instances provided aid to a person who... more
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