Well duh, my attention is hard to earn
Wed May 16, 2018 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 controlled setting is then immediately fake, man-made, and trying to gain skills in fear management or whatever in this way is a waste of time. No intended offense to you,” he added in afterthought, turning his grin off Buckley and back onto Danny for a moment. “I am sure you learned… something… from it.” How useful a something that Boggart-confronting learning experience had resulted in was very much arguable, as indicated throughout his intentionally slowed, skeptical words. So what if Danny didn’t want his relationship with Holland to go sour, or them to hold the credit against him? That was always a risk. Fan, it had happened to him, too. There was no point in having it show up as a Boggart, and it was a further waste of effort as it was unlikely Danny would just throw them in a onesie if they turned this same way in real life. (Although he’d be curious to see Holland’s reaction to that level of idiocy.)

Despite having intended his question to be rhetorical Danny still made the effort to answer it. A good amount of effort, too, which was evident by the obviously tighter and somewhat strained sound of his denial. The blonde was not about to take his attention off Holland, and so did not miss out on the undeniably satisfying observation of Boggart Danny being squished out into the shape of Boggart Animagus Danny, ears and all, but he did permit himself a moment to take in the fact that apparently this was upsetting Danny as much as he assumed it upset Holland. Wait, had Holland been upset by Danny’s Boggart, too? Probably. Although then again, their brain was wired on hard logic, like him, whereas Danny was more of an emotional type, like Emmett. It was much more expected that he’d react strongly and appear physically agitated in response to their Boggart than the reverse.

“That’s uh, endearing, not embarrassing, right?”

Still turning it over in his head, the contradictory snort Ruben emitted came slower than usual. “You can tell yourself that, sure.” Not that it was genuinely very embarrassing, he thought - after all, it wasn’t as if Danny had done anything. It had been Holland’s Boggart, and while it was still a completely unnecessary use of their time and skill and he had a hundred other options for effective response that he could and would teach them (although forcing an Animagus transformation was already bound to be more effective than conjuring pyjamas), they didn't have anything to be embarrassed about, either. That didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be telling Kaye about this later, of course. She got on fine with both Lyras, at least from his perspective, but she still enjoyed ribbing Danny nearly as much as he did.

Danny’s following challenge was delivered with a nod and a smile. ‘Fair’ wasn’t an attribute that Ruben believed in, because he wasn’t some naive idiot doing yoga on a cloud, thanks. But challenges were life. Literally, life was full of them, and he lived for them. Even when they were stupid. “Well, if that will make you feel better,” he sighed dramatically, rolling his eyes again and then crossing them too just because he could, “I guess I can stoop to this level. Or lie down, to be more accurate.” Cindrags truly lived up to her newest spontaneous name, dragging the whole student populace down with her mediocre spellcasting and fake degree or whatever let her be a professor. He would have to do way more than stoop to put himself anywhere near.

But he wasn’t about to queue up for this one-by-one take-turns-weakening-all-of-our-brain-cells BS. What was he, a duckling? Nope, and good thing, too. Even if she lived on an island instead of the very landlocked Rocky Mountains, Cindrown definitely couldn’t teach a duck to swim. She’d just get distracted halfway through, and then her chalkboard (the likes of which no other professor used, wow, got to wonder why that was) would smack it across the head.

Chains clinking against his quads, he strode forward as soon as the Boggart’s latest sucker had lowered their wand… well not exactly; he was moving before they were finished, simultaneously staring down the kid lined up behind as if daring them to say he should keep to the queue. They did not take him up on the dare. So without waiting any longer, Ruben turned to face the (currently formless and swirling) Boggart, confident this nonsense would be over soon. Sure enough, the Boggart kept swirling vaguely, slower than it had for many of the other students whose Boggarts had morphed in a blink. The Swede grinned smugly. He wasn’t like other students. Duh.

After another moment it started solidifying. That was irritating, but nothing he couldn’t handle. Then Kalle-Anssi was standing there - or the Boggart version of Kalle-Anssi, Ruben reminded himself. It looked too much like him, though, from the chunk of hair that was always standing on end to the large wine-coloured birthmark on his neck and right down all the way to his everyday black-laced sneakers, and despite knowing it wasn’t actually his little brother (or maybe because he knew it?) his chest tightened when it blinked at him and smiled. Ruben refused to smile back at the imposter, which wouldn’t have mattered except that there was a sudden crack and Kalle fell over with his neck snapped. What the Hel? It wasn’t like something had attacked, it had come out of nowhere, how could he have let this happen, jävla falskbror och fan det alla--

He didn’t realize that his thoughts had both switched languages and gone vocal until his hand grasped Kalle’s shoulder. The unexpected physical contact was able to pull him out of it enough to hear himself say “Inte så här!”, although not enough to feel his (now ironically) stooped position and hair flopped over his face, nor how his heart-rate had jumped. And continued to jump. Touching it made it more real - he was too cold to have just died - the seconds felt like days - Ruben jumped, too, backwards so that he was no longer in contact with the fake Kalle. He hadn’t drawn his wand in advance, because he had been confident he wouldn’t need it. And he was still confident about that, if nothing else, because unintentional unpreventable death was bound to confront him in reality one day and it was still a pineappleing waste of time to play pretend with it now. “Riddikulus.” It came out as a growl. Empty hands dangling, Ruben slammed out the spell and waited barely long enough to confirm that the Boggart had turned into a headless plastic mannequin before turning on his heel and storming towards the door. He didn’t have a clue where Kalle was right now, and he didn’t plan to stop until he found him.

  • 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
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