Holland Keene
To avoid an awkward conversation?
Wed Mar 8, 2017 20:22

The outdoor classroom was cool at night this time of year. To defend against that, Holland was wearing a navy double-breasted wool peacoat and gray dragonhide gloves. Technically this weather was what RMI students owned cloaks for, but the coat was warmer than the cloak, and Professor Ramirez didn’t seem to mind the break from uniform. A red scarf Mom had knitted from alpaca wool peeked out from the collar of their coat, matching their bright crimson hair. Holland was especially pleased with their hair tonight; it was a nonverbally-managed transfiguration, and the right color had come through in the right places. Not that anyone else could tell in the dimly-starlit classroom, but Holland knew.

Jupiter was in Virgo this month, which meant something for Divination that Holland couldn’t remember but should probably know at this point. By now the fifth-year was certain they did not have the Sight, but astrology was their strongest skill in Divination. They thought they might drop the class after the year was over; it was not especially relevant to their goals, and while they firmly believed in magical folks’ ability to predict the future, it was clearly not a gift they had. The only thing keeping them in the class was that Kaz was one of their favorite people in the school, and they weren’t completely ready to give up talking philosophy with him.

The fifth-year traced an arc on their star chart and muttered “lumos atrementum.” The ink fluoresced a gentle blue color, the light spreading from the point of contact to illuminate all the lines on the page. Jupiter was just north of Spica, the brightest star in the virgin constellation, and Holland modified its position on their chart by a few degrees to match the sight through the telescope. Europa—their favorite of Jupiter’s moons for its potentially-life-supporting liquid ocean—was visible, and they focused their lens until they could see the fracture’s on the moon’s surface.

A few other students were talking nearby, although for now Holland was working alone. Hearing their name, Holland tuned in to Zoey and Lucien’s conversation in time to hear the older Draco say, in clear reference to them, “I guess she would probably know.

Holland scowled down at their star chart. Despite the fact that Lucien had never used their correct pronouns and they should probably be used to it by now, it still irritated them every time. It was disrespectful. They knew Marissa, Rose, and Emmett all made a point of correcting the older boy if given the opportunity. Holland could forgive a fair amount of misgendering, especially for people who knew them before they switched to they/them pronouns (Mom and Dad) or people who corrected themselves if they made a mistake (most of RMI’s students, at some point). Lucien was not in either of those categories.

Oh, stars. He was coming over. Holland suddenly became very busy fiddling with their telescope lens, but that did nothing to deter Lucien’s approach. “Sorry to interrupt; could you catch me up on what Ramirez said about the cloud bands?

“No,” they said frostily. Holland straightened and leveled a glare at the older student. They were taller than him, even without the wedge boots which added two inches to their five-foot-seven frame. “I don’t share notes with people who misgender me. And I know you’ve been corrected on my pronouns many times by several people at this point, so you’re obviously doing it on purpose. What’s your deal?”

  • Lucien had not been the happiest to find out that this month was full of noteworthy celestial events. His displeasure was understandable: he had only really chosen to continue on with Astronomy... more
    • To avoid an awkward conversation? - Holland Keene, Wed Mar 8 20:22
      • You're the one making it awkward - Lucien, Thu Mar 9 01:33
        “No.” Well, that was just disrespectful. His request had been perfectly nice. Having been at the top of Potions and similar classes for quite some time, Lucien was used to people asking him for help, ... more
        • At least I’ll own it - Holland, Thu Mar 9 20:06
          Lucien, who apparently owned the world’s tallest horse and misgendered Holland out of the goodness of his shriveled little heart, was now lecturing them like they were a slow toddler. Holland... more
          • At least I'm not denying the truth - Lucien, Fri Mar 10 01:15
            Lucien considered himself fairly good at reading people and had not often felt the need to re-evaluate this opinion. For this reason, he was momentarily astounded to realize that Holland hadn’t been... more
            • Oh, good. Now Lucien was doing verbal bullet points. And oh, good, he was done being insulted. Clearly someone couldn’t take being shown he was wrong. On the other hand, Holland knew they were right, ... more
              • I’m only a jerk to other jerks - Lucien, Sat Mar 11 21:02
                He had a lot of thoughts while Holland talked back at him. It started scornfully. Of course she wouldn’t admit to being mentally unstable. That was the whole reason behind why psychologists even... more
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