That's a great question I don't want to answer
Sun Aug 19, 2018 15:15

He took vague stock of Nolan’s question - just enough to deduct that the only way they were going to make it through this was if either they waited for the timer to go off and moved to the next cubicle, or if he walked Nolan through the process of setting up the mousetrap - which in turn took just enough time for him to decide that the former option was far preferable. He had no idea whether or not Professor Blair-West knew about what had happened last year, but either she was not at all aware of his pet mouse’s departure and therefore unaware of how inappropriate it was of her to assign him to start at this cubicle, and he might be able to skip it and reason with her later to at least still give Nolan a passing grade (admittedly a bit of a stretch but he had taken her class voluntarily since his arrival in fourth-year so that might give him an advantage), or alternatively she was fully aware and had still assigned it to him and he may have to get backup from the Headmaster or Counsellor Tennant afterwards. Once again, the former was preferable. Russell couldn’t imagine what he may had done to incur this type of punishment from the Cultural Studies professor.

Considering the faint sounds coming from behind his back, apparently Nolan had no intention of just skipping this task; despite claiming to not know how to use it, it sounded like he had picked it up anyways and was moving it around. How could he convince Nolan that this was unnecessary to do? Interlocking bony fingers behind his back so as to keep from fidgeting and nervously tugging at his clothes, the Californian considered just telling him the truth about Jaws - he had had Jaws with him on occasion during past interactions, but their schedules and social groups (erm, rather, Nolan’s social group, Russell’s odd companion) didn’t overlap enough that he thought Nolan knew about Jaws’ passing, unless someone else had told him, but he couldn’t imagine any of his companions would have and neither of the school’s primary gossip-mill millers were in Cetus, so. Maybe if Nolan knew more about his history with mice, he would be okay with them pretending to have a conversation until their time was up.

Except now Nolan was talking about cats and nope. Nope nope nope. He understand their natural role and, okay, it made sense that there would be cats on a ranch, and that they would be earning their keep as more than pets, but still. Cats were awful creatures. Russell couldn’t say he hated them, because according to some of their assigned literature in Cultural Studies, hate often grew out of fear, and to say that he was afraid of cats would do a disservice to his much more validated fears: the sun, death, and Kit’s tarantula. He had returned to RMI this year feeling a little liberated from that particular fear, since he no longer had an adorable rodent to defend from the tarantula, but had quickly discovered that actually that hadn’t changed much. Honestly, the last time he came across Kit in the halls, he could’ve sworn her tarantula waved one of its furry legs at him and said “Greetings, food”. That couldn’t be accurate; arachnids didn’t talk, and he had probably just imagined it. But it still creeped him out. Arachnids weren’t supposed to be smarter than cats, right? And cats didn’t wave hello. Right?

“I, um, I get that you might need to manage mice on a farm or ranch, though not how you do it. But still, the only rodents here,” Russell ventured, carefully moderating his talking speed so that his voice wouldn’t get quavery, “are pets belonging to students, so there’s no reason for traps. Can’t imagine why this is one of our tasks. Or what else is coming.” This was only the first cubicle they’d gone into, and there had to be at least ten others to accommodate all of the upper-years. If inhumane mousetraps were fair game according to Professor Blair-West, what more had she come up with? Briefly again, he considered telling Nolan about Jaws, but the other boy wouldn’t get it, he was sure. Then he considered asking Nolan if he was OK for them to skip it, except that opened up a chance for Nolan to argue against skipping and Russell really wasn’t in a confrontational mood right now, and finally the only option he could see was to announce his intentions and leave it at that. “If you really want to try it, fine, but I’ve gotta sit this one out. Er. Stand it out. Sorry.” Shifting his weight on his feet, Russell waited for whatever teasing or questioning was surely coming.

  • How can you tell? - Nolan, Tue Aug 14 22:02
    Russell’s response was to go stand in a corner, so Nolan might have chosen wrong in the partner department. Great. He should’ve just picked Buckley. The guy was always going on about how having a... more
    • That's a great question I don't want to answer - Russell, Sun Aug 19 15:15
      • You’re so evasive - Nolan, Mon Sep 3 09:25
        Russell said he couldn’t imagine why this was one of their tasks. Nolan agreed, but for different reasons. Why bother learning how to do things the Muggle way? Everyone at RMI had magic—hell, even... more
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