I rarely do
Wed Jan 16, 2019 18:05

Not done was apparently the answer, since Leo’s reaction was to tear down his card and threaten to punch him. He flinched away, a thousand percent expecting the other boy to throw the paper in his face, if his fist didn’t reach it first. “N-no, um, please don’t,” he requested begged. Begged without any shame, or any more shame than usual at least. His sunglasses weren’t cheap, and while his parents could afford to replace them, Russell had no interest in sharing with his parents a story of getting punched at school, and he definitely couldn’t afford new glasses on his own. He also hadn’t been physically assaulted in a long enough time that he wasn’t keen to break the pattern.

Except oh gosh now Leo was drawing his wand, and Russell quickly concluded he would much rather get punched than hexed. Hexing could result in anything from flowers sprouting out one’s nostrils to your ears being tied in a bow like the Muggle kids’ song, whereas punching had a predictable outcome. Sure, his wandless and non-verbal skills had come far over the past year, but he had little faith in his ability to raise a Protego in time. He could raise one early, but if Leo actually wasn’t intending to hex him, that might provoke him enough to change his mind, and a provoked Leo might be strong enough (magically speaking) (well, also not magically speaking, probably) to break through his own already timid shield charm…

The ill-chosen Head Boy let out an unnecessarily audible sigh of relief when Leo didn’t vanish his face and just vanished the ripped, crumpled card. If he had been a braver sort, he might have responded to Leo’s continued insults by asking why he thought bullying him was a good route to friendship. Or he might have at least been able to better explain that his writing down how friendships and soulmates didn’t make sense wasn’t an offensive thing to say, it was just a true statement. Or he might have at most been able to ignore Leo and walk away, since he didn’t really deserve to be treated rudely. Or something.

Instead Russell’s brain helpfully seized onto his loner commentary, and helpfully decided to open his mouth and helpfully announce “I have a boyfriend”. Wait. What? “I do,” he insisted, although Leo hadn’t challenged him on that yet (or maybe he had and Russell just hadn’t heard him over his own inner turmoil, which was just as likely). It was as if, although he and Maverick hadn’t had the ‘we’re dating now’ conversation, it had suddenly occurred to him that they were dating. Which they were. Kind of. In a ‘hanging out but not totally platonic and sometimes they held hands or more or he wanted to, anyways’ definition of the word. Did they need to have a conversation about it? Did people actually do that?

But back to the conversation at hand that was more likely to wind up against his face if he kept standing silently: “Sorry, Leo, I, I wasn’t writing that about you,” who was he kidding he was an awful liar, “erm not just about you, it was also about me. And it’s… kind of nice, or not not-nice? I mean, you can have a relationship that doesn’t make sense but you still have it, and that’s a good thing.” The more he talked, the more true it felt, even if it didn’t sound the most coherent. Belatedly Russell realized he was talking and not writing but Leo had told him to write, and, blushing, he shut up and turned to the next card. He wrote the word ‘Soulmates’ again, and stopped. He didn’t honestly have anything new to add. Maybe if he stood here another moment, Leo would get impatient and do it himself… or just hex him for real. Frantically, (though all inside his head and otherwise standing quiet,) Russell tried to think of something.

  • I always follow through - Leo, Wed Jan 16 07:55
    One of two things was happening here: a) Russell was an idiot b) Russell thought Leo was an idiot Because thought Leo, as he read and reread Russell’s ‘deep’ words on soulmates, there was no way... more
    • I rarely do - Russell, Wed Jan 16 18:05
      • Time to try it - Leo, Thu Jan 17 07:29
        For one heart pounding moment Leo thought Russell was going to cry. Leo was no stranger to confrontation, one might even suggest he sought it out, but tears were a territory less travelled. Leo had... more
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