I'll believe it when I see it
Fri Jun 8, 2018 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 tried to encourage her that Marley dating Teal was perfectly natural, because he was married to Professor McKindy, so clearly had no objections to homosexual relationships - right now he was just listening) had already helped. Claudia was no longer fighting waves of panic. Nothing was better, she felt miserable and nauseous, and she was certain she looked atrocious, but she was no longer frantic. She didn’t know how the counselor could help, or even if he could help (and if he could, whether he would; Claudia had stopped trusting just about everyone, as so many people had demonstrated that her trust in them was misplaced), but at least she had now told him that there was a problem. Admittedly it wasn’t quite the same as asking for help, but as his position at the school was to assist students with assorted problems, she was hoping the request was implied.

When the counselor spoke gently to her, and acknowledged her year had been terrible, Claudia felt fresh tears start falling from her eyes. It felt awful to hear an unbiased voice confirm that she was suffering. Connor had asserted that Claudia had experienced some terrible things this term, but he was there to comfort her, to reduce her pain through validation. His indignation on her behalf had helped tremendously, by encouraging Claudia to remain strong in his presence (as far as she was able) and by allowing her to feel justified in some limited dissatisfaction at her circumstances. By admitting her distress was reasonable, Mr Tennant was removing the necessity for Claudia to appear in control of her emotions: he was permitting her to be affected by her experiences. If she chose to accept that, she might become overwhelmed by relief that she was struggling legitimately, and not just because she wasn’t strong enough to take a few knocks. She refused to believe him.

He said that she wasn’t alone, but neither did that align with her sensation of loneliness. He claimed that nobody would hurt her, but that had not been accurate in her experience, and she could not believe anything else he had said, so why should that be any different? Mr Tennant glanced towards Remington, and Claudia did the same. She realized with a start that she was still holding the other girl’s wrist. She let go suddenly, and uttered a quiet but sincere apology. Remy had enough ammunition from this evening to use against Claudia however she chose, and Claudia could do nothing to stop her, but the Draco had brought her to Garen: she had helped to keep Claudia safe, and the blonde was grateful for that. “I’d like to help,” the counselor said; Claudia returned her attention to him. “What do you need right now?”

Despite not knowing how to fix any of her problems, and perhaps because she felt so completely exhausted, Claudia knew at once what she needed right now. “A good night’s sleep in a place I feel safe,” she said, hearing a plea in her words, and dabbed at her eyes to cease weeping. “I can’t sleep well in my room because sometimes the staircases mess up for Dade,” she didn’t know whether Garen or Remington would know about Dade’s trouble with the staircases, but Andrew or Professor McKindy could verify this if needed, “and I think he can probably get to the girls’ dormitories.” She had no proof of this, but as her concern was given as a speculation, no evidence was required. “Even when I do sleep I always have nightmares,” she confessed. “Usually about the fire, sometimes about Holland, sometimes other things.” She looked down at her gloves. She’d been woken by dreams of chewing her own fingers completely off, of Connor turning his wand on her, of being stuck in the Floo, but she did not feel it necessary to share these details at this moment. He had asked what she needed, and she had told him. If he could provide this, perhaps she might trust that he could help with some of her other troubles.

  • I’m good at cleaning up messes - Garen, Fri Jun 8 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... more
    • I'll believe it when I see it - Claudia, Fri Jun 8 15:30
      • 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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