Then I have a new challenge for you
Thu Sep 6, 2018 15:49

Marley was measurably more enthusiastic about this next task than Claudia. The paler girl stood towards a back corner of the cubicle, out of the way of its practical assignment, and wordlessly allowed her partner to get to work. Perhaps in discovering there was a task she knew how to complete, it seemed almost as though Marley had forgotten her own suggestion to re-initiate their conversation, until Claudia spoke (and perhaps for the moment that followed, too). Yet the Lyra showed she was listening even as she busied herself with the bicycle, being considerate in sporadic eye contact. Eventually she wrestled the contraption of her focus into submission, and said, “I don’t think I knew if I liked you anymore, either.” It wasn’t the most uplifting information to receive but at least Claudia had not been entirely incorrect in her estimation.

It was harder than she would have guessed, listening to Marley explain that she didn’t like the things - no further details were offered but Claudia could hazard a guess that there was one ‘thing’ in particular with which Marley was uncomfortable - Claudia had been doing. She had never sought Marley’s approval, but nevertheless it was unpleasant to be in receipt of such negativity from someone she had once esteemed. Sullenly, she considered that Marley did not even know any of the details of Claudia’s life (not recently, anyway), nor asked why she had done the things she did, and maybe Marley should try understanding something before she so quickly passed judgment. Yet in her usual, rambling, roundabout way, the other fifth year then explained she was frustrated, and elucidated that they had probably both changed; she repeated sentiments of contrition.

“I know I keep saying that, but I really am, and I really do still miss you and care a lot about you,” Marley added. Based on this statement, it sounded likely Marley would favor the return to friendship over cool indifference, yet this outcome seemed a far more impossible achievement than completing this task set for them by Professors Blair and Fell. Swallowing around a lump that had spontaneously developed in her throat, Claudia placed down the robes she had been clutching to her as though they would provide some sort of security, or protection against the emotional anguish she fully anticipated from renewing this conversation, beside Marley’s own discarded robes. She looked down at her cream damask dress, still beautiful, but by now quite clearly the wrong outfit choice for the activities of this class, before she looked back to Marley. What could she possibly say to fix this? Where would they even start?

“Can I,” Claudia started, but her voice caught in her throat. She cleared it, and began again, “Can I help you with that?” She looked at the tire in Marley’s hand. “You would need to show me what to do. Please,” she added quietly as she approached the workbench.

After several moments, Claudia asked, “What would it take? To be friends again,” she clarified. There were, she thought, two parts to this class: handling Marley and approaching far less abstract problems. Dealing with both simultaneously was bound to make each part correspondingly harder. Magic might help fix even Muggle appliances, but there was no easy answer for the far more valuable life skill of navigating relationships. “I need to forgive you,” Claudia said slowly, speaking her thoughts aloud almost as they formed, “for telling me to mind my own business. And for making assumptions about my feelings when I didn’t even know them myself.” Those had been the two most painful experiences as she recalled them. Seeing Marley sitting with Holland in the Diner after their altercation in January had felt uncomfortable, but now Claudia could accept that Marley was at liberty to remain friends with whomever she chose, with no consideration to how her friendships would affect others around her (not to mention the specific circumstances of the occasion in question did not precisely reveal Claudia’s most commendable attributes, and perhaps Marley could be forgiven for siding against her even without their friendship being recently dissolved). “What do you need?” Claudia asked.

  • I'm not good at giving up - Marley, Mon Sep 3 22:53
    Ears still ringing (or maybe scratching was a better way to describe it) from the sandpapery alarm, she accepted her robes back from Claudia, noticing as she did so that her hand was shaking a bit.... more
    • Then I have a new challenge for you - Claudia, Thu Sep 6 15:49
      • If at first you don't succeed... - Marley, Tue Sep 11 21:54
        Quickly recovering from the surprise of Claudia requesting to help with the tire repair, Marley bobbed her head, long-ish curls bouncing along with her. “Oh my gosh, yeah, of course.” Laying the... more
        • Give up and go home? - Claudia, Wed Sep 12 15:48
          Manual labor was not something to which Claudia was accustomed. Potions and Magizoobotany had both required her to engage in some unpleasant physical tasks on occasion, but Claudia had not continued... more
          • Yup, that's how the saying goes - Marley, Fri Sep 14 23:52
            There was a moment where she felt a little guilty for her hesitation in admitting she hadn’t forgiven Claudia for her actions against Holland. Well, specifically, not guilty in the fact itself,... more
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