I'd like some relief
Sun Jul 8, 2018 16:22

Connor offered his arm to her, and Claudia’s stomach twisted again, but this time it was a different sort of squirm, one completely unassociated with her currents distress at the bonfires, and far more due to her inability to perceive any hesitation or frustration as Connor so accommodatingly adhered to her request. For a brief moment she was pleased that she had taken the trouble to curl her hair, and have her nails manicured, and wear a dress beneath her open uniform robes that was neither too conservative nor too outrageous. She met his eyes and smiled her gratitude, only recalling her bloodied palms as she began to raise one upwards from where it had been pressed into her thigh. Claudia had learned the requisite healing spell for fixing minor wounds, and she had some effective salve in her school bag, too, but she could not retrieve the lotion or her wand without alerting Connor to her being yet weaker than she had already let on. Surreptitiously she tugged the sleeve of her robe over her palm, and muttered the requisite healing spell. She had attempted some wandless magic over the summer, and had absolutely no luck with it at all, but she certainly would not succeed if she did not try.

Moments later, Claudia had taken Connor’s arm, and although his physical support helped a great deal, with each small, slow step she took towards the flames, her terror increased. Connor was clearly trying to distract her, so Claudia tried to focus on his words. “Yes, Paris was very agreeable,” she answered. “My relatives were very attentive.” She did not realise her had moved to grasp his as she leaned into him, and had no way of knowing that her face, flushed deep pink minutes ago, was now as pale as though she were a ghost. “Did you see much of your step-sister for the remainder of the summer?” Claudia returned; the conversation was helping to keep her panic at bay.

Somehow, miraculously, she made it to the fire, and, with Connor’s invaluable assistance, seated herself with as much grace and dignity as she could possibly muster while being entirely unable to release his hand. She elected not to draw attention to it (having spent her summer executing perfect propriety, she believed Connor would forgive her forwardness in these extenuating circumstances), instead drawing sufficient courage from this contact to remain seated and listen as the Headmaster began speaking.

As prefects were announced, Claudia was hit by such a strong sudden spell of dizziness that her vision swam. Of course Connor would be prefect - he was demonstrably so considerate and attentive to his peers - but that would mean she would need to release his hand for him to accept his pin. Somehow more upsetting was the news that both Teal and Marley - Teal and Marley, together, as a couple - would also join the team. Claudia had no energy left to attribute to disocerving why she felt so upset by this revelation. She gave Connor’s hand a quick squeeze before commanding herself to let go (thankfully, her limbs obeyed her this time), and said, “I always knew it would be you,” as loudly as her constrained voice would permit. She smiled, and then, as he left, she closed her eyes, focusing on her breathing, the sound of students’ applause, the reassuring solidity of the ground beneath her. Anything to prevent her from thinking about sitting so close to flames, not knowing if they would engulf her, being unable to move away, being so scared she couldn’t think of a spell to stop it.

  • Well that's a relief - Connor, Sat Jul 7 17:23
    Out of the corner of Connor’s eye, he noticed his brother walk up to the Cetus fire and then turn away quickly. He hoped that Claudia hadn’t seen Dade. Connor was so focused on Claudia’s well being... more
    • I'd like some relief - Claudia, Sun Jul 8 16:22
      • “Not very much of her, no,” Connor responded. “My stepmother went on holiday for a bit as well, so the manor was rather quiet.” Had Connor not already been escorting Claudia to a seat, he would have... more
        • I want it Now! - Claudia, Tue Jul 10 06:13
          A brief contact with her arm alerted Claudia that Connor had returned. She opened her eyes, and needed to repeat the process because initially it had seemed to Claudia that Dade was ushering Marley... more
          • Whatever the lady wishes - Connor, Thu Jul 12 08:03
            Much to his horror, Connor realized that Claudia thought she was being a burden on him. Hastily, he rushed to reassure her that was not the case. “No, of course not,” he said in response to her hope... more
            • I could get used to this - Claudia, Sat Jul 14 16:16
              Connor made a compelling case against Claudia being, as she had assumed, a burden. The blonde fifth year felt a complex tugging of emotions at his assertion that despite her pathetic and dependent... more
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