Russell Drew
Too many volts!!
Wed Apr 25, 2018 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 wasn’t anywhere near comfortable openly identifying himself with it, and baffled at how easily others used it. (Well, as baffled as he could be, considering how much of his attention these days was revolving around the cold non-weight in his pockets.) The result of this was a startled twitch-and-blink behind his sunglasses and too long a pause before a forced laugh at Holland’s words. “I guess? But you don’t have to be embarrassed by it. It can be… just... gay.” The irony of him, of all people, offering something resembling reassurance about Gay Stuff to Holland, of all people, was not lost on him.

What was a bit lost on Russell was the point of their Boggart. Not that he couldn’t understand why being dismissed was a fear of theirs - that part made sense. Russell had heard about the whole drama with Danny’s sister, and getting attacked for who you were definitely sucked. Now to be fair, he’d never been magically attacked, nor had he felt capable of seeking out Holland to ask about it (they had enough actual friends to make sure they were OK not to need him around for that too), but he felt it safe to assume that the evaluation of ‘it sucks’ was probably amped up by at least fifty times in that situation.

Regardless, there was a part of him, somewhere in between the surprise of realizing the couple had matching Boggarts and the agitating fact that this put him closer in line to facing it himself, that had wanted to sigh at the Boggart-versions of Holland and Danny. Because for fear of dismissal to be both of their biggest fears-- well. Russell had plenty of experience being dismissed, disliked, disparaged, and other dis-words. He didn’t think he’d ever been afraid of it. Upset when it had first happened, sure, he could remember crying inside the play closet during his disastrous early attempts at public school. Not wanting it to happen again, absolutely. But scared? If he’d been scared, how would he have even survived to sixteen? Nope, he’d just come to expect it, and people didn’t let him down. It was fine. Predictable. Nothing to be scared of.

His younger-but-better co-prefect Harriett was at the front of the room now. Possibly her Boggart was small enough to be hidden behind her, or possibly it was just his own focus being torn between wanting to know what was going on in the room versus wanting to find a way to leave before he knew too much. Whatever the reason, the only observation he made her of her Boggart confrontation was an exclamation that didn’t sound English, followed by the required incantatem that sounded English but wasn’t. There was a practicality to this lesson (especially compared to previous Defense lessons) that kept him from being able to actually shrug it off as ridiculous, but gosh that would be so much easier.

“I’ve never faced a Boggart before,” he confided to Holland, largely for the sake of needing to do something while he waited. “My tutors were good, but there weren’t exactly resources for this level of…” Russell couldn’t pin down the term he wanted. Unfortunately, the gap he left to think meant there was room for him to acknowledge the your-turn look Harriett directed at him as she walked back. He glanced at Holland briefly, throat feeling suddenly tight with nerves, but without any excuse to ignore her, he looked back at Harriett, forced a smile that contained more panic than any other emotion, drew his wand in advance, and moved up to take her place.

This immediately proved to be a huge mistake. Russell didn’t even have the chance to look at the younger Cetus’ Boggart before it erupted. Which was also not the correct term, because eruptions implied volcanoes whereas the mass in front of him now was the Sun. Shrunk down enough that it could actually fit in the classroom, fortunately, but still, it was bright enough that he couldn’t see anything except hot too hot his whole body was on fire and it could only be the Sun. His limbs were seizing up without permission, tall frame hunched over, scalding heat dripping down his spine or maybe up was more accurate because he could swear it was in his brain, too, just this blazing white and he couldn’t see or think anything beyond the pressure in his head.

Well, no, there was one thing he could think: it had to stop. Which led to: he had to make it stop. Which took a spiralling route that ended at: Riddikulus. It felt like it took years for him to reach that conclusion, but once he had shakily wrapped a few neurons around it, he wasn’t letting go. “R- r- r- r-” That was going nowhere. But his nonverbal casting had been improving in his Animagus sessions, and he doubted it would work now because why would it, that would be too convenient, but he might as well try. And as he tried, gradually his brain felt less like it was halving itself under fire and more like it was halving itself due to a migraine, which was almost progress. He still didn’t trust himself enough to open his eyes - not that he could, anyways, since his arm was pulled tight across, and he was only now realizing that the angle of his glasses digging into his skin suggested they had been bent, thereby making him even less inclined to look up. So Russell failed to notice, laugh at, or otherwise react to how his Boggart had reduced to a still-glowing, still-hot, still-too-much-but-better-than-before floating sphere of unknown but less Sun-like properties.

  • I’d rather do a volte-face - Holland Keene, Tue Apr 24 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 ... more
    • Too many volts!! - Russell Drew, Wed Apr 25 17:53
      • 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
Click here to receive daily updates