Claudia Dubois
Better the Devil you know
Tue May 22, 2018 15:37
82.38.4.236

Claudia thought she might know what it felt like to be going crazy. She thought it might be happening to her. She was so wary, and weary, and not sleeping well, and constantly on edge. Her fingernails were destroyed; her makeup hid dark circles beneath her eyes, and she sporadically skipped classes when she couldn’t face being in a room with so many people who hated her for no good reason. Now there was a ridiculous party being thrown, which just made everything so much worse again. Normally Claudia didn’t mind a party - she had attended most of those that Marissa had thrown, often sitting quietly with a book but remaining approachable, and amenable to being engaged in conversation - but usually she did not feel so despised by everyone present. She therefore had no intention of going to the party, as being in a room full of hostile individuals was the least appealing way she could imagine spending her time.

Then it had occurred to her that most of the students were likely to be at the party, which made it an ideal opportunity for people to attack her without witnesses. The thought made her wretch. While she was sitting trembling on her bathroom floor, sipping water to settle her stomach, Claudia reasoned that she wasn’t safe away from the party. She couldn’t stay in Cetus, because Dade could get to her in Cetus. She wasn’t even safe in her dormitory, because the staircases messed up for Dade, so what if they let him go up the girls’ staircase? She’d never seen him try, but she had seen him fall through the boys’ stairs, so it was a plausible hypothesis. She could spend the duration with Connor, as she was certain her closest friend would not wish to partake in the gathering anyway, but she was already relying on him for so much, and she would not ask him to give up his time to accompany her while the party was occurring, especially as it might lead to an altercation. It wasn’t fair that it was Connor’s brother who was involved, and if not Dade, then Claudia didn’t trust Drew, either. She knew the younger boys were friends, and she suspected that even though Claudia had done nothing to harm Dade, and she had broken up with Connor when he’d said those inappropriate things, Drew wouldn’t hesitate to side with his friend and attack Claudia, too; she had found those Dark spells written in Drew’s book, after all.

It transpired that Nolan and Caleb would both be at the party, and Danny would be going, too, and while their relationship was still fraught with much tension, Claudia knew Dardanius would not let her be harmed while he was around. After due consideration, Claudia identified attending the party as being the safer alternative. Besides, she would not be kept away by some foolish, dangerous pranks against her person, nor judgmental looks from students who clearly were just deciding to hate her for the fun of it, seeing as she’d done nothing at all to warrant being out of favor (she would concede Holland had cause to dislike her, but the reverse was also true, so it was perhaps best they just stayed out of each other’s way as best they were able). Claudia would attend that party and she would show everyone that she didn’t care what people thought about her.

Connor had gallantly offered to walk with Claudia to the party. She had her wand at the ready, its handle protruding from the cross-body bag worn atop her bold blue satin dress, fitted and flowing, obnoxiously expensive and designed to turn heads. She’d charmed her hair a few shades lighter to a honey blonde, and fixed it into loose curls about her shoulders. Having ascertained Dade was indeed absent, Claudia thanked Connor with a smile, and confirmed the time he would return for her later. She was so appreciative of his friendship when she most needed it.

Having made it to the venue, Claudia tried hard not to regret her decision. There were so many people already, her heart was racing and she was finding it difficult to breathe. The fourth year visually located her allies before stepping to the side of the room, out of the range of exploding decorations or streamers keen to ensnare passers by. Not desiring to appear too ostentatious, she had selected white ballet flats, and she had coordinated them with white stain gloves. This turned out to be a mistake, however, as small spots of bright red blood were appearing at the fingertips, seeping through the delicate fabric from nails she’d bitten until they bled before leaving her room. She had been here only a couple of minutes and already this party was a catastrophe. Claudia lifted her fingers to her face to inspect them more closely, subconsciously chewing her lips in lieu of the nails that were simultaneously the symptom and the cause of her anxiety. Merlin damn it.

Claudia looked up to discover there was a person standing in alarming proximity. She startled at their unexpected presence, and automatically reached towards her wand: an instinctive flinch for a girl who spent every waking and sleeping moment wondering when someone else was going to suddenly hex her.

  • April Fools' Party! (All Years Welcome!) - Marissa Kendrick, Sat May 19 11:41
    It took some convincing, partially from friends who asked when the next one was going to be, but Marissa finally put together her last Rocky Mountain International party. She’d started working on it... more
    • This thing's popping! - Raja Nazari-Richards, Thu May 31 16:27
      Despite being a pathetic teacher’s pet nerd, Raja felt pretty good about going to this party. First and foremost, Aquila had just won the Quidditch cup, and he was riding that high. At least even if... more
    • One good Turn deserves another - Myfanwy Owen, Thu May 24 15:36
      Myfanwy loved parties. When Marissa had invited her, the Lyra said she would definitely be going. Parties were like part of Marissa’s personality, and the older girl had been a bit down lately, so... more
      • A small turn in exchange for your big one - Mikael Anselm Lundqvist, Thu May 31 14:27
        Anssi let out a quiet squeak of surprise as he was jostled. Or to be more specific, the squeak came after. It had been a too unexpected jostle for him to react in quicker time. A blue shoe fell off... more
        • Cake in exchange for no chips - Myfanwy, Tue Jun 5 15:25
          The small, blond boy she had bumped into tried to apologise as well, which didn’t really seem necessary because it was definitely Myffi who had bumped into him with her twirling. “It was my fault,”... more
          • I might just stick with chips. - Anssi, Fri Jun 8 23:13
            Anssi was not completely sure how he should be answering when he apologized for something that was just as much his own fault as another person’s and yet the another person claimed it was their own... more
            • I respect your decision - Myffi, Mon Jun 11 08:20
              Anssi refused her cake in favour of his chips, which was fine, especially given he sounded like he was being considerate to her needs in his refusal (although if Myffi didn’t want to share, she... more
    • Hello, the party's here now [Kaye] - Ruben Lundqvist, Tue May 22 23:33
      Between the laughs, the shouts, and the more-than-occasional explosions, Aquila House was practically a smörgåsbord of pranks on the first of April. Ruben enjoyed it. Maybe too much, but it was not... more
      • Fashionably Late! - Kaye Packman, Fri Jun 1 14:48
        The word to describe Kaye Packmen on this specific April first had to be giddy. Delighted, even. She’d left Aquila early, having better things to do than participate in one of the best holidays ever. ... more
        • You'd be fashionable at any speed - Ruben, Thu Jun 7 22:44
          Between the soft scratch of his suit jacket over otherwise bare pectorals, the glitter stuck in his eyelashes, and the brief glimpse he caught of some goofy kid bouncing around like an antelope... more
          • The beverage didn’t seem to be done screaming, which made it a little difficult to hear Ruben’s praise. She quickly decided that there was a simple solution to that, and with the raise of a perfectly ... more
    • I could use a distraction - Holland Keene, Tue May 22 22:22
      The letters from CalTech, MIT, Michigan, and Carnegie Mellon had already arrived, but Holland was waiting to open them. They hadn’t been able to think about anything else for the past week. They’d... more
      • Allow me to assist - Leopold Harris, Wed May 23 19:43
        Leo hated parties. They promised to be these great memory building events that you would find solace in when you were depressed at forty with three kids, a mortgage and a pot belly because- hey at... more
        • By all means, you can try - Holland, Sun May 27 08:52
          “Thanks,” Holland said, pleased by the unexpected compliment. Holland was usually of the opinion that sparkles improved most things, but they couldn’t deny that earth tones and jeans didn’t pair... more
          • I'm not much of a trier - Leo, Thu May 31 19:13
            “You can pull off anything if you’re confident enough.” People always harp on about being confident. Confidence seemed to be the key to just about everything good in life. A quick evaluation of Leo’s ... more
    • Better the Devil you know - Claudia Dubois, Tue May 22 15:37
      • Consistency is key - Remington Burnham, Tue May 22 21:08
        Parties still weren’t her thing, but Remington did enjoy the ones thrown by Drew’s cousin. They were always fun, had a nice variety of activities, and only required a certain amount of participation. ... more
        • Constant vigilance - Claudia, Wed May 23 08:29
          Until this year, Claudia had never paid a great deal of consideration to Remington. The younger girl was smart, and polite, so Claudia had always been content to work with her in class when they were ... more
          • Constant! - Remington, Fri Jun 1 10:51
            Remington ignored the quip about Dade. She only knew her friend’s side of the story. It was something about leaving Defense because he wasn’t interested in showing the world his fear (valid) and... more
            • Constantly on edge - Claudia, Fri Jun 1 21:15
              Claudia had never had much to do with Remington. She had happily worked with the other girl in class on previous occasions, as they we equally committed to achieving a good grade and the Draco was,... more
              • Hang on, don't let go! - Remington, Tue Jun 5 09:44
                “Why? Nobody else is trying to help me.” Remington doubted that, but she wouldn’t say so. She knew that Claudia had her own friend group, and she couldn’t imagine they’d abandon her over this. After... more
                • Letting go! - Claudia, Tue Jun 5 14:20
                  Remington was still talking to her, Claudia dimly registered as everything in the room faded behind the base of the music, suddenly more perceptible to Claudia as it mis-matched the thudding of her... more
                  • Let's go - Remington, Thu Jun 7 09:24
                    Remington liked to believe she was smart enough to handle any situation on the fly. Professor Boot assigning a group project without telling them what the project was about? Boom, feminism, done,... more
    • Playing the Fool - Dardanius Dubois, Mon May 21 15:21
      Marissa had been having a rough year. It had taken Danny a while to notice, but as soon as he realized she was struggling, he had spent more time with her. The start of term had been weird for them,... more
      • Then who plays April? - Marissa, Tue May 22 13:29
        It felt like she was holding her breath. Was she? Breathe, Marissa. You can do that. Air filled her lungs as she anxiously squeezed her hands together and watched the door. People started to trickle... more
        • You're often the leading lady - Dardanius, Wed May 23 15:41
          Marissa’s laugh caused Danny’s grin to broaden: that was exactly the reaction he’d been hoping for. Too bad Rose wasn’t there, too, but she would probably arrive soon. “It looks great,” Marissa said; ... more
          • I hope I don't miss my cue - Marissa, Fri Jun 1 10:19
            Danny assumed that Rose was coming, but that didn’t mean her attendance was certain. Marissa tried to ignore the lump in her throat. True, Rose never missed one of her parties, but they’d never... more
            • You’re a star in my eyes - Danny, Sat Jun 2 08:56
              There was glitter on Danny’s hand where he had tried - semi-successfully - to brush it from his shoulder. Then there was glitter on Marissa’s hand after she made a similar attempt. He grinned at the... more
              • Flatter me some more please! - Marissa, Fri Jun 8 11:17
                Marissa appreciated Danny so much. His optimism and desire to support his friends rivaled her own. At this moment, it beat hers. Well, Marissa still won the “support the friends” category, since this ... more
                • You are sweet and vivacious - Danny, Sat Jun 9 13:03
                  “Your life would be way boring without me,” Marissa quipped. Danny laughed at her incredulously. “I’ll take a little bit of that boring, please,” he quipped back. If he could make it through the end... more
    • This is turning into a fool's errand - Magdalena Adler, Mon May 21 10:17
      When Alena had heard the theme of the party she had seriously considered not going at all. An April Fools’ party seemed dangerous. What if she turned up and the joke was there was no party at all and ... more
      • I pity the fool - Nolan Ramsey, Mon May 21 22:58
        The way Heather had talked the events up, Nolan would have expected Marissa Kendrick to throw more parties. There’d been the one last year when she’d turned the rec center into a beach, and that had... more
        • I'm not sure I deserve your pity - Alena, Thu May 24 09:27
          Alena relaxed into the safe hands of the poor person she’d stumbled into. Her heartbeat continued to flutter in her chest but the panic which had consumed her moments before began to warp into... more
          • Then how about some sympathy? - Nolan, Thu May 31 19:28
            With Alena not in danger of falling down anymore, Nolan became very preoccupied with looking at his tennis shoes. Last time he’d talked to Alena at a party (the last Marissa Kendrick party Nolan had... more
            • I'll take that - Alena, Tue Jun 5 11:30
              Alena was glad Nolan had decided not to make a fuss over her clumsiness. Her hands still shook a little (whether it was from the embarrassment or the fright Alena couldn’t be certain) but the waves... more
              • It’s all yours - Nolan, Tue Jun 12 00:52
                Alena agreed to join him on a trip to get more food, so he led the way, grinning at her question. “Naw, if I was gonna prank anything, it wouldn’t be the food,” Nolan assured her. “No sense in... more
    • Am I supposed to be here? - Jesse Keller, Sun May 20 14:47
      There was a party, and apparently there had been invitations, but also Jesse had heard about it, and he didn’t know if he was technically invited, and if that was technically a requirement for... more
      • She said all are welcome - Andrew Tennant, Sun May 20 20:25
        As always when Marissa was having a party, Drew encouraged his friends to come—especially because he’d helped with setup. Obviously Kit was going to be there, and he was pretty sure Remy would come... more
        • Sounds like a cult invite - Jesse, Wed May 23 14:46
          Unusually, Jesse knew the name of this student. His name was Andrew Tennant, but staff and students alike called him Drew. He had the same last name as one of the professors, but not a teaching... more
          • Just drink the Kool-Aid - Drew, Tue May 29 10:03
            “I think the popcorn is just regular flavor. I had some of the flavor-changing potion.” Drew jerked his head toward the table, where the bowl of multicolored potion was shimmering. He plucked another ... more
            • The what-now? - Jesse, Tue May 29 14:46
              The words that Drew spoke in reply didn’t make much sense at first. Flavor-changing potion was a new concept to Jesse. He hadn’t learned about that in class yet and he did not read ahead in all of... more
              • Uhhh... the punch! - Drew, Tue Jun 5 12:41
                Drew was pleased to see that Jesse thought the popcorn shrimp joke was as funny as he’d thought it was. Actually he was pretty sure Jesse thought it was even funnier, because he laughed for a while,... more
                • All Punch, no Judy - Jesse, Fri Jun 8 14:33
                  “Just sometimes things explode because Kit,” Drew said, and while the sentence was missing at least one word to properly make sense, Jesse understood anyway, and nodded to convey this to Drew. Kit... more
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