The Keenes
Good grief, the comedian’s a bear
Thu Mar 29, 2018 18:40

Pretty sure he sent us alcohol that he made as a dowry for dating our daughter.

“What?” Monty said to Mr. and Mr. Packman. He turned to Holland. “What??” he repeated, more emphatically. Ruben stole his girlfriend’s parents’ alcohol and then made more to replace it? Monty was inclined to agree with Thomas about Ruben, overall, being some kind of Not Great. Honestly, the more he learned the less he liked Ruben. Holland had been vague about their reasons for breaking up with Ruben but good riddance, probably.

Holland shrugged as if to say, Well, what can you do?, because while the information was new to them, it wasn’t surprising. They didn’t have anything to say in defense of Ruben, because it was credible and not the kind of thing he would defend himself against. Ruben was much more likely to be openly proud about it. Holland hadn’t counted on the Packmen bringing up the fact that Ruben was a moonshiner, but in terms of making their current boyfriend look especially respectable, talk about a gift hippogriff.

Bryony glanced between her dining companions. Holland seemed at ease, despite Monty’s frown. Bryony unknowingly shared her child’s sentiment that Holland could not have hand-selected more convenient tablemates for the purposes of what they had set out to accomplish today. It was hardly a similar situation—to start with, she’d been in her thirties at the time—but Bryony remembered how nervous she’d felt bringing her Muggle boyfriend home to meet her pureblood parents twenty-some years ago. She’d wanted Byron and Louise Talbot to like Monty so badly. (Her mother had liked him right away, after hearing about him in Bryony’s letters, but her father had taken a while to come around. Monty had made good headway by introducing Byron to classic Muggle films—they both liked Cary Grant—but Bry thought that her father hadn’t been totally convinced until he’d seen Monty with Holland for the first time. Hopefully this was really not a similar situation.) Holland wasn’t like her—they had never sought approval from anyone besides themself—but Bry and Monty’s opinions clearly mattered to them.

Bryony shared a glance with Jared, the less overprotective of Kaye’s fathers, and offered a sympathetic sigh and a subtle eyeroll at their husbands. She diplomatically took up the thread of the conversation. “No, we didn’t get the chance. They broke up after… a couple months?” Bryony glanced at Holland for confirmation. Only hearing about the relationship through the relative slowness of letters made it feel like longer, but Bryony was fairly sure it hadn’t lasted very long.

“Yeah,” Holland said. They had dated Ruben for about two and a half months, which was longer than they had been dating Danny, but there hadn’t been a convenient family school event in that time, so the question of Ruben meeting their parents hadn’t come up. (If there had been such an event during that part of fifth year, Holland was certain that Monty and Bryony would have taken advantage of the chance to meet Holland’s boyfriend. The Keenes were just like that.) It wasn’t just the time frame of them dating Ruben; the relationship had also been different. Holland and Ruben had met at the blind date party and jumped right into… yeah, there was a reason they had not mentioned that part of the story to their dad. In contrast, Danny had been their friend for six years before they started dating, and the relationship was based more on romantic feelings than on mutual hair appreciation and mistrust of the government. Things were also necessarily more serious with Danny because the stakes limited the ability to be casual, but Holland was comfortable with the current situation. They’d had conversations about pace and boundaries, and it felt like they were both on the same page.

“We saw him in the Talent Show last year,” Bryony continued. “He did some kind of martial arts display with Danny. Holland’s boyfriend,” she clarified to Thomas and Jared, in a teasing tone that made Holland roll their eyes.

“I’m still friends with Ruben,” they said, redirecting the conversation from the time that the two people they had dated fought on a stage. Holland decided not point out that they had broken things off with Ruben because they didn’t like his tendency to beat up other students. Kaye must have gotten her attitude from somewhere, but neither of her parents seemed like likely candidates for the kind of person who would interpret a willingness to get into fights as a positive trait.

Although, actually… “He’s been very clear about being an ally to me and Danny. Offering to fight bigots on our behalf, that kind of thing.” It might help Dad to know that there were other, somewhat intimidating people on their side, to counter all of the anticipated societal opposition. And it seemed like something that would gain approval from the Packmen, so, you’re welcome, Kaye and Ruben. Holland selectively omitted that Ruben would happily volunteer to fight most anyone, as well as the part that had involved their ex threatening their current boyfriend. As Holland had reminded Danny when he told them about that conversation, people from his background were probably going to say worse things to him than Ruben just pointing out that he might not be able to protect Holland from dealing with those people.

  • *insert Fozzie Bear joke here* - The Packmen, Sat Mar 24 21:39
    Hold on, wait a minute. Thomas and Jared both exchanged a look. They hadn’t had this information. Ruben was the ex of one of Kaye’s other friends? This was an incestuous little group, huh. They added ... more
    • Good grief, the comedian’s a bear - The Keenes, Thu Mar 29 18:40
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