Give up and go home?
Wed Sep 12, 2018 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 either of those subjects past her third year. Occasionally her remaining classes, most notably Magical Sciences and Cultural Studies, required her to draw on skills she did not possess to complete an assignment: today’s compulsory class was precisely this sort. She knew how to repot a mandrake and how to remove the sting from a billiwig despite being relatively certain she would never need to do either of these things. She was incredibly unlikely to ever need to know how to repair a flat tire, but it was a partnered assignment and it wasn’t fair to leave Marley to do all the work. Besides, working together made the conversation feel less formal; Claudia could almost pretend they were talking about something inane as she wiggled the flat end of the metal tool Marley had provided under the worn black rubber.

The tire came loose, and then Marley answered Claudia’s question. The Cetus girl had some expectations regarding Marley’s answers, and re-thinking their past conversations was not one of them. Claudia had already decided that was a pointless endeavor, since it was apparent their memories were not to be depended on, giving - as they had established - quite different renditions of the same event. However, as Marley did acknowledge she had not known Claudia’s feelings, which had been one of Claudia’s own primary concerns, she decided it was pertinent not to interrupt. “And also I need to forgive you, for - Holland.”

Being correct about the one particular ‘thing’ for which Marley had not forgiven her did not offer Claudia any sense of satisfaction. Perhaps it was better that she had anticipated that, however, rather than it coming as a surprise. Claudia already had her answer ready, and when Marley hesitantly met her eyes she did not look away. “The apology you witnessed was a very poor effort on my part,” Claudia admitted evenly. She took a shaky breath. “What I did to Holland was wrong.” She hadn’t always felt that way; indeed it had taken several weeks of Professor McKindy’s instruction, and a creative essay from Professor Blair, and a conversation with Holland, and several conversations with Danny before Claudia could accept it. “I didn’t set out for that to happen,” she tried to explain that her intentions had not begun malicious, “and there were circumstances that - I don’t mean to excuse myself, but I don’t want you to believe I meant to cause them harm.” Admittedly, when she had hexed Dardanius, she had been aiming to hurt him, but that wasn’t true of Holland: she had only wanted them to understand. Her methods had been poorly selected, and her misery about the situation with Holland, and with Marley, and with everything, had made her desperate and reckless. She didn’t feel that way any more.

“I talked to Holland,” she said, looking away from Marley, idly twisting the handle of the tool she had used between her fingers. “I gave them a real apology. I ...I don’t know if that makes a difference with us.” Claudia glanced back at Marley. “I also -” Merlin, was she really going to cry again? She took another unsteady breath and wiped her finger delicately under her eye, determined to make an effort to prevent further tears from falling. “I want you to know,” Claudia said, her voice wavering disconcertingly, “that I’m not upset that Danny likes Holland.” It would be more convincing, she was sure, if her voice hadn’t started to squeak and her vision wasn’t blurry through unspilled tears. “And I wasn’t upset that you liked Teal. I know what people are saying about me,” she added, putting down the tool to wipe both her eyes, succeeding only in making the skin around her eyes, and her fingertips, wet, “but I don’t mind if you date boys, or girls, or centaurs if it makes you happy.”

  • 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
      • 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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