Russell Drew
Too quiet
Sun Jul 8, 2018 19:57

The summer had been too long. But also not long enough. Too long, due to the repeated passive-aggressive attempts of his mother to steer him towards decisions about college, information pamphlets left on the basement steps or tucked under the corner of his placemat at the breakfast table, flagged with Post-Its in varying tones of medium-light frown-lined-forehead grey. Too long, courtesy of the hotter-than-usual California summer, which he couldn't completely avoid once he had committed to working several days and every other weekend at his dad's co-worker's neighbour's bee products shop, a job opening that had been presented as perfect for him yet, when another employee left, wound up requiring him to take more time outdoors than agreed upon. At least the hives themselves were shaded. And his mom's hotel restaurant had enough events going on to keep her too busy to actually talk about college with (at) him for more than the odd morning. It was still too long.

But also not long enough, because Maverick, whom he had honestly not expected to see again after he graduated, had reached out several times inviting him on various... well, 'dates' really wasn't the right word for these hangouts, but 'hangouts' didn't feel right, either. They were just... date-like hangouts. Sometimes, frequently enough that he knew he wasn't just imagining it, he'd noticed Mave wearing an expression that made him suspect -- And on top of that, ever since that day when Mave had presented him a beautiful shark statue he'd made to memorialize Jaws and Russell's reaction had been to literally sob on the older boy's shoulder (honestly that was still a little embarassing to remember; he'd never reacted so strongly to the death of a pet before but Jaws was different, okay?), Mave had seemed more open to receiving or even initiating physical contact -- but at the end of the day Mave hadn't said outright their summer things were supposed to be dates, and Russell hadn't asked outright because he liked their friendshipish dynamic and it would be awful to ruin that.

So in sum, having to prepare for his return to RMI both felt like it was happening too quickly and not nearly quick enough. But now he was here for his last Opening Feast, dressed in robes for the occassion, fastened about midway up to reveal a solid V-necked dark-streetlamp-grey tee. Sandalled feet stuck out at the bottom; at the opposite end of his gangly frame, his hair was tied back in a neat bun. He had washed it before the Portkey activated and could still smell traces of fruity soap. Jaws would have enjoyed that. It would have been difficult to keep the black mouse out of his hair. Regrdless of Holland's directive, or not, he would never have stopped letting Jaws nap in his hair if he'd known it would only be a year until he moved on.

As always, the colour-blind young man paused upon arrival in the doorway in order to do a quick comparison of the five grey fires and remind himself which one belonged to his House. Also as always, this resulted in a few of the younger students impatiently darting around him, but Russell didn't notice. Unlike other years, he had spotted Emmett at the Cetus fire. That didn't make sense at all. Maybe he was just looking for some familiar company, since the people he was closest to in Lyra had both graduated...? Yeah, that was probably it. Russell definitely didn't count himself under that umbrella of 'familiar', though, since both Emmett and his much scarier girlfriend Rose (thank gosh she was gone now) had previously held a vendetta against him for reasons unclear. He strongly doubted that had changed and therefore took a seat on the opposite side of the fire for safety's sake.

Having expected this year's Headmaster Speech to pass uneventfully, he was surprised for the second time at having his name called for Head Boy. That made no sense. He'd barely deserved Prefect, and had done the bare minimum of those responsibilities; Myffi's selection as Head Girl made sense, but he was in no way a good choice for Head Boy! Russell still got up and dutifully accepted his new pin, but the fact that he now had to add this to his collection - he, who already had the undeserved titles of Prefect and Quidditch Captain - was making him uncomfortable. Maybe he should talk to Toby after and see if he could be persuaded to change his mind. Or maybe he'd go to Counsellor Tennant instead, because Toby also made him uncomfortable.

Also, why hadn't they kept the titles of Head Student? It was the 'Head', not the 'Boy', part of that title that was making him uncomfortable right now, but that didn't mean he hadn't noticed the return of 'Boy' vs 'Girl'. He couldn't help wondering what Holland would think or say when they found out that their minor legacy in changing school systems had been reversed right after their graduation. He'd probably never find out, because he wasn't really the type to send letters and apparently they weren't either, but he still wondered. At least, (to his knowledge,) there wasn't anyone else outside of the gender binary currently attending RMI, so the staff wouldn't be making anyone feel excluded.

As the house-elves started coming around with food, Russell picked a little here and there and wound up with a mixed plate of fried chicken and bacon-wrapped pineapple skewers. Glancing around the fire once more, he noticed that Emmett wasn't socializing. Or eating. If he hadn't come over for company, why was he here? Russell wavered and then hesitantly stood up, doing a forced-casual migration and repositioning himself within arms' reach of the other seventh-year. "Umm, hi," he greeted awkwardly. "Would you... like some company? Or food? You're welcome to a skewer, I have extra."

  • Itís quiet uptown - Emmett Lawrence, Sun Jul 8 10:20
    Emmett landed with both feet, his weight directly over top, his luggage firmly secure in his hands. The swirling Portkey air had affected him, but it had not disoriented him. Thus he landed, settled, ... more
    • Too quiet - Russell Drew, Sun Jul 8 19:57
      • Not quiet enough, actually - Emmett, Sun Jul 15 10:30
        In avoiding the bonfires of his friendsí former Houses, Emmett had a 50-50 chance. And, as fate would of course have it, he had chosen wrong. Draco would have probably been better. There was nobody... more
        • Fortunately I have no words left - Russell, Sun Jul 15 22:19
          Emmett wasnít often in a good mood. Specifically, not often in a good mood around him. In fact Russell was pretty sure that the only instance in which they had spent time together and the other boy... more
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