Holland Keene
I’d rather do a volte-face
Tue Apr 24, 2018 05:28

Holland already knew what their boggart was. It had been one of the more high-concept fears in the beginner’s class. Everyone who had been in present for the lesson in second year probably remembered boggart-Bryony Keene denouncing Holland as an attention-seeking freak and declaring her and Monty’s shared wish that they had a normal child. At the time Holland had been paralyzed; it took them too long to think of how to make it funny, which gave the boggart time to say more things, which made it even harder to think. They hadn’t backed down from the boggart then (although Professor Rasnick had had to suggest what they could do to make it laughable), but it had taken a few hours for them to feel completely comfortable again afterwards.

Holland resolved that whatever came out of the trunk today—despite Cindra’s warning they doubted the fear had changed, except perhaps that the boggart’s precise form would shift from their mother to their father—wouldn’t be given as much time to frighten them.

After Claudia’s hex over midterm they would have expected him to be less eager to confront a manifestation of fear, but Danny voluntarily approached the boggart’s chest first. It opened and Holland, along with the rest of the room, was suddenly looking at—themself. The boggart was wearing the same straight leg jeans, nude wedges, and cropped coral sweater as Holland, but something about their face was different than the one to which Holland applied makeup every morning. Their boggart self looked older, and meaner. Holland studied it. Was the boggart aware that it was mimicking someone who was in the room, or was it only concerned with its current victim, to the exclusion of the rest of the environment?

Then the boggart spoke (the discomfort of hearing yourself talk wasn’t lessened when the voice was saying things you would never say), and Holland felt compelled to argue with it. Instead of heckling the boggart, Holland offered Danny a supportive nod when he looked to them and mouthed Get them.

If anyone was staring, Holland did their best to pretend not to notice, focusing instead on the fears of the students who followed. Buckley was directly in front of them in line; his boggart took the form of a woman Holland couldn’t identify viciously dismantling several attitudes to which he vocally ascribed. Holland was now at the front of the queue, leaving them without time to reprove Buckley for his use of the boggart-banishing spell—which had caused the boggart-woman to take off her bra and set it on fire—before the creature solidified into a different form in front of them. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Holland muttered, arching their perfectly-maintained eyebrows in disbelief. They had matching boggarts? How mortifying. Holland let out a laugh that was so dry it didn’t seem to affect the non-being at all.

“Who did you think you were kidding?” the boggart condescended, using Danny’s voice without sounding much like him. This wasn’t an older version of Danny, but the current model, from dragonhide boots to recently-neatened hairstyle.

“This ought to be good,” Holland said, steeling themself without looking at anyone else in the room. They could guess what was coming, and they already knew what it was like to have a magical copy of someone you trusted berate you. They wouldn’t be petrified this time, but that didn’t stop them from feeling their heartbeat in their throat.

Boggart-Danny continued, elitist and smug. “As if anyone would believe that someone like me would want a delusional freak like you.”

They could say this for the boggart: it really wasn’t wasting time in getting to the point. This was essentially the same as the last boggart Holland had encountered. This one might have learned a new trick—turning into someone Holland hadn’t expected—but the fear of being invalidated by a person who was supposed to care about Holland was a constant. That’s enough of that.Riddikulus!” The boggart turned into a large brown hare, identical to Danny’s animagus form, and began hopping around in giddy, erratic circles, occasionally attempting a midair flip and invariably failing in a slapstick way.

Holland laughed and then retreated, not turning their back on the boggart until it had turned into the next person’s fear. They didn’t feel as shaken as they had after facing the boggart in second year, but they were more self-conscious this time. Now everyone knew. “Well, that was the most embarrassingly gay thing I’ve ever seen,” they deadpanned to the student beside them.

  • Face Your Fears (Years 3-7) - Professor Cindra Embers, Mon Apr 23 09:21
    Someone, at some point this term, had shown Cindra Embers something magical. She’d had no idea that Defense Against the Dark Arts had an actual curriculum! It laid out everything that her students,... more
    • That's not how it works - Marissa Kendrick, Sun May 6 14:11
      Marissa wasn’t entirely sure why she was taking Defense Against the Dark Arts. She didn’t plan on pursuing it when she graduated from Rocky Mountain International – she didn’t want to be an Auror or... more
      • That's not how any of it works - Brynjolf Nilssen, Tue May 15 12:10
        Defense Against the Dark Arts was one of those classes that Bryn was taking because he was bored. It was more interesting then History of Magic by far and he figured that it was more practical as... more
        • You got the reference! Yay! - Marissa , Sat May 19 20:57
          It didn’t take long for Marissa to place the voice. She’d honestly expected someone else - maybe Rose or Danny or Holland - to come check on her. Her heart sunk slightly when she realized it wasn’t... more
    • Yeah...no - Dade Farnon, Sat Apr 28 12:50
      It was time for Defense Against the Dark Arts, which Dade no longer had with Connor, which was about the nicest thing he could say about the class. It was run by Kit’s aunt, who was weird and lame,... more
      • Same - Claudia Dubois, Sat Apr 28 14:16
        Professor Embers was okay. Claudia knew that a lot of the other students didn’t like her, and it was true that her teaching was sporadic at best, but she was far more approachable than many of the... more
        • But different - Dade, Sat Apr 28 14:21
          It was Claudia walking down the hall, trying to talk to him like they were friends still. They weren’t friends still. She was Connor’s friend, not Dade’s friend. “Go. away.” Dade said through gritted ... more
          • Quite different - Claudia, Sun Apr 29 10:36
            Dade’s habitual rudeness as he told her to go away grated less on Claudia than usual. She was still incensed by his audacity to speak to anyone like that - he’d had the same upbringing as Connor; how ... more
            • Now for something completely different! - Shifty Eyes, Mon Apr 30 21:13
              Despite the constant malfunctioning of the school, it had been a quiet time for Shifty at Rocky Mountain International. He felt almost disappointed that so much mayhem was caused by someone other... more
    • Can I save any face? - Teal Rosse, Fri Apr 27 21:38
      Teal Rosse didn’t want to deal with a boggart. Teal didn’t know what her worst fear was, but she sure did not want to find out in front of most of the school. What could her boggart be? Bees? Bees... more
      • We can do it together - Remington Burnham, Sat May 5 18:36
        As the STOATs got closer, Remington spent more time studying for them. It seemed a little silly, since her grades were nearly perfect already, but her place in upper year classes was dependent upon... more
        • We're all in this together - Teal, Sun May 6 21:07
          Someone jumped in front of her (Teal had her eyes clenched shut, so she couldn’t see who). All of a sudden, there were bright, flashing lights, and a sort of metallic wailing. A banshee? With... more
          • Soaring, Flying? - Remington, Mon May 7 10:14
            Despite being frightened by the boggart, Teal wanted to pretend she wasn’t. That was okay; Remington wouldn’t make her admit to things she didn’t want to say. Her best friend was Dade Farnon. The... more
    • I’d rather do a volte-face - Holland Keene, Tue Apr 24 05:28
      • Too many volts!! - Russell Drew, Wed Apr 25 17:53
        Despite Marissa’s reassurances way back in September, enough had happened since to distract him that he had only recently come to terms with how the descriptor gay was applicable to him. He certainly ... more
        • Watt do you mean? - Holland, Thu Apr 26 23:36
          Holland stared at Russell, unsure of how to respond. He obviously hadn’t understood what they were saying, the way straight people usually didn’t understand when you made a joke about not being... more
          • Can't generate an answer to that one - Russell , Thu May 3 22:26
            Russell was vaguely aware of a voice. Although his attention was still far too occupied with the oppressive heat around him to register who the voice belonged to, he was able to recognize that it was ... more
            • Take a deep breath and say ‘Ohm’ - Holland, Thu May 17 21:26
              When Russell returned, he sat down on the floor like a Jenga tower collapsing. Holland stared at the younger student, slightly alarmed. Was Russell shaking? He looked genuinely frightened. Holland... more
    • Getting this over with - Dardanius Dubois, Mon Apr 23 10:04
      Cindra Embers’ classes were usually a little offbeat, and often quite tame for a class that actually had the word Dark in its title. So it was strange that the seventh years’ participation was... more
      • But let's drag it out instead - Ruben Lundqvist, Thu May 3 15:04
        The only reason Ruben had continued on in taking Defense Against the Dark Arts in past years was because Ivy Rasnick was both hot and capable of skimming over the defense bit in the class's name, at... more
        • You're into drag? - Dardanius, Thu May 3 19:02
          Really the last thing Danny needed right now was for Ruben to taunt him, but the Lyra realized this was, in fact, inevitable. Although, actually, maybe mockery from his nemesis-turned-unlikely-friend ... more
          • I'm into dragging you - Ruben, Fri May 4 22:41
            Ruben’s smirk broadened, and he brushed off Danny’s thanks with an airy wave. “Nej, nej, you deserved it.” He watched with blatant satisfaction as the darker-haired student (and much shorter-haired,... more
            • Whatever floats your boat - Danny, Sat May 5 15:01
              Wait did Ruben think he was serious? He had only been dating Holland for - it had to be less than five months. Definitely not long enough for anything like… like that . If they had been engaging in... more
              • And whatever rocks yours - Ruben, Mon May 7 20:36
                Ruben experienced a mild but undeniable surge of relief at the denial. (In addition to this came a less mild and absolutely not necessary to deny surge of humour at the mental image of Emmett in... more
                • Your interest in me is flattering - Danny, Thu May 10 09:25
                  “It’s only a mind-game that a Boggart takes out of your head,” Ruben countered. There wasn’t much known about boggarts, or the type of magic that enabled the creature to access a person’s fears. If a ... more
                  • Well duh, my attention is hard to earn - Ruben, Wed May 16 18:11
                    “You guess correctly,” Ruben confirmed, his voice taking on a cheerier tone just at the suggestion. “Not only because it is more interesting, but also, the real world is not controlled. Any... more
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