But your advice is terrible
Mon May 14, 2018 22:41

Connor’s insistence that his actions had been perfectly acceptable was perfectly ridiculous. It took all she had not to interrupt him right there and give him a lecture about how literally over a quarter of the world population was illiterate and what he had done hardly counted as ‘human treatment’ when it only applied to, like, basically two and a half people out of every four on the planet. Sure, she could read and write, but she still expected to be treated like a human and communicated with directly instead of being sent for by mail as if she wasn’t worthy of direct attention.

Writing him back hadn’t been an option she seriously considered for more than a couple minutes, max. Because (a) she had guessed right away that it would be a waste of time since apparently one of Connor’s favourite things was being a racist misogynist and arguing for no reason except that he wanted to, and (b) it would also be a waste of time because she would’ve had to stop in the middle of her day and write a totally unnecessary letter instead of finishing her homework and getting to class before Professor Rob had the chance to make fun of her for being late, and (c) Mister Sprockets disliked Connor even more than she did and the odds were very high that her feisty little owl would’ve eaten the letter in protest and/or clawed him with his pokiest toes. And unlike some people she could mention, Marley tried to be considerate, even though she wouldn’t really have minded too much knowing that her owl had sent Connor to the infirmary or at least scared him away to hide under a bathroom sink.

She almost got out of it without the need to argue for her own dignity, except then he called her hysterical and she couldn’t hold back a quiet, sharp inhalation. “Hysterical? Are you serious?” Her mum had gotten called that word once. Marley couldn’t remember how long ago it was or how old she had been, but she could picture it exactly. She’d been sitting in the truck flatbed, waiting for Mum to finish up her meeting with a prospective client, and she hadn’t been listening closely enough to overhear what the guy’s request was but Mum’s voice was louder and she had started explaining safety concerns and then the guy laughed and said not to get hysterical. And then Mum had laid down the law for him. And also charged him enough that even Marley could tell it was too high, but the guy had acted all embarrassed and shook on it anyways. It was a precise enough memory that she could sum it up for Connor in two sentences. “Did you know that Muggle men used to lock up women in hospitals for being ‘hysterical’?” (Insert air quotes.) “That word has a looong history of invalidating girls when all we’re trying to do is explain how we feel, and you wonder why we get defensive?” (That one was a rhetorical question, duh.)

Marley was more taken-aback by his sudden and seemingly random apology than she had been by his choice of offensive adjectives. She firmly doubted that his sorry was genuine, but it was a start, and with a breath that was actually more sigh than huff, the Lyra nodded once, black curls bouncing. “Apology accepted. Now let’s work.” Connor hadn’t offered up any opinion regarding what type of divinations to start off with, or at least if he had suggested anything, it’d been buried under all the terrible opinions expressed both explicitly and implicitly since. That didn’t necessarily mean she got to choose for them, but she was gonna interpret it that way today. “Since you don’t believe me about tiromancy - that’s the cheese one,” she helpfully and pointedly supplied, “we definitely have to do it. Kaz always says that as much can come out of doubt as out of belief. But cheese isn’t natural here,” a gesture to the trees around them, “so let’s save that for tomorrow. I take breakfast early, can you meet me then?”

Allowing a brief pause for his confirmation, Marley continued, “Since we’re outside, we should take advantage of that anthill and do myrmomancy. It’s cited in the textbook, F.Y.I.,” this addition was equally helpfully pointed, because Connor seemed under the impression that she was an idiot and divinations weren’t real, “chapter… seven or eight, I think. The one on animal-oriented methods. And remember, we can’t use a magnification charm, because that would muck up the environmental balances - although I guess you probably don’t know the charm, since we learned it in Astronomy.” That addition was more of a thinking-out-loud scenario, but belatedly it occurred to her that it was also a reminder of how she was doing like twice as many classes as him, and never mind that she was struggling with balancing eight classes because hah, she was smarter. “C’mon, the hill’s over here.” A handful of steps back, and she crouched in front of the anthill to survey it a moment, feeling a surge of excitement at finally getting to try this out, before straightening and looking at Connor. Leaving the question purposely open for interpretation, because whether he wanted to divine first or be divined (was that a word?) didn’t matter to her at all, she asked, “Wanna go first?”

  • You probably should - Connor, Tue May 8 19:15
    Why was Marley always so melodramatic and ridiculous? Connor understood that there were some things to be expected of people in Lyra House, but there was something to be said about being too much of... more
    • But your advice is terrible - Marley, Mon May 14 22:41
      • The thing about Marley that drove Connor absolutely mad - well, okay, there was a long list of those. One of the main things about Marley that drove Connor absolutely mad was that you couldn’t say... more
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