Watt do you mean?
Thu Apr 26, 2018 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 straight. They wondered whether to point out that they didn’t think it was embarrassing because they were queer, and that they had just used the word “gay” ironically—given that it didn’t, strictly speaking, apply—to mean “emotional and a bit sappy.” Straight people didn’t understand when you used the word “gay” self-mockingly, because they weren’t allowed to use it like that. (Holland had no evidence suggesting that Russell fell under the classifier of straight, and some evidence suggesting that he didn’t—for example, they had yet to meet a straight boy at RMI who wouldn’t be interested in kissing Marissa—but that was more of a hypothesis than a theory at this point, and they didn’t plan on testing it.)

“I’m not embarrassed because of that,” Holland said, less confused than Russell had sounded but not by much. “I’m embarrassed because we’re, I guess, That Couple.” Their tone implied the sardonic capitalization. “Whose boggarts are having the other think badly of us. That’s… awkward to have everyone know.” Holland wasn’t usually demonstrative with affection—not in places more public than the Lyra common room—or easily embarrassed, but they weren’t comfortable with having feelings revealed by their boggart. This should have been a one-on-one lesson, Holland thought. The last thing anyone needed was for the rest of the student population to know their biggest fear, and it would have been easy to do this class individually, especially for the seventh years.

One of the many good things about seventh year was switching from the lecture model to an independent study for some of their classes. History of Magic had always been like an independent study anyway, because Professor Boot often failed to collect homework, leaving the students free to complete the assignments they wished and ignore those in which they had little interest. Holland did all of the assignments anyway, because they were interested in learning, but not being concerned about their grades admittedly took some of the pressure off.

Fortunately for Holland’s courseload, the final project they had selected for Spellwork was also a Defense Against the Dark Arts project. They were trying to create a portable, practical version of a Foe-Glass. Personal security had always been of interest to Holland, and it was especially relevant now. Owning a watch or a bracelet that alerted Holland when someone who harbored ill intent approached them was appealing. Aaron was very supportive of the project concept, and they were making progress on it now that they had completed their Animagus transformation.

Russell trailed off from his next sentence, so Holland offered, matter-of-fact, “We did it in second year. Mine was my mom, saying that I’m crazy, and that they didn’t want me anymore because I’m not cisgender.” It wasn’t the words themselves that stung; it was the betrayal, of those words coming from someone close to them who had previously denied those beliefs. Claudia had done an about-face like that, saying she was Holland’s friend one minute and forcing her bigoted views on them minutes later. The thought of someone Holland had trusted entirely revealing that much hatred for them was horrifying. “So it was pretty much the same for me this time, it just used a different face.”

They glanced at Danny for the first time since dealing with their boggart. He was watching them with a questioning expression, and Holland nodded to communicate that they were okay and would talk about this later. Danny smiled encouragingly, and Holland reflexively smiled back before returning their focus to the lesson. As Harriett stepped away from the chest, Holland watched Russell approach the non-being—

—and then immediately shielded their face with their arm and squeezed their eyes tightly shut, because Russell’s boggart was blinding. Holland knew Russell had problems with bright light, but was his boggart actually a star? He didn’t seem able to get the incantation out, and Holland wondered if anyone would compose themself enough to rush forward and change the boggart for Russell, but after a few moments the brightness lessened. Holland risked opening their eyes again. The black-blue afterimage of the sun bruised their vision for a few blinks, but it resolved so that Holland could see the boggart had shrunk to a glowing orb hovering a few feet in front of the Cetus. He was still cowering. “Russell, you did it. Sort of,” Holland said, loud enough for him to hear. “You probably shouldn’t look right at it, but you can open your eyes.”

[OOC: Godmodding approved by Danny’s author.]

  • 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
      • 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
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