Claudia Dubois
Not an opportunity to be missed [Holland]
Tue Jun 12, 2018 13:58

The end of term had objectively begun to improve for Claudia, although there was still some way to go before she would admit to being anything close to ‘okay.’ If things had to get worse before they could get better, the April Fools party had been Claudia’s turning point: things no longer seemed to be getting worse. The fourth year had felt confident enough to venture to Pearl Street on her own for a trip to one of her favorite boutiques before the school term ended.

Prior to reaching her destination, Claudia halted her progress along the mall. Holland was there, sitting outside a cafe, at a table on their own. Claudia stopped and watched them for a moment. She thought it was likely she would see them over the summer, considering Danny’s evident attachment to them, but as interactions between Holland and the Dubois family had been tense at midterm (and nothing had happened in the interim to improvement the situation), she would not be surprised if Holland decided to stay away. The remainder of this term might be the last time Claudia would be much in their company. The realization came as a relief, but carried with it some unexpected melancholy: they had been friends this time last year. It felt… dissatisfying to end their acquaintanceship without resolving some… issues.

Claudia altered her path, instinctively smoothing out the skirt of her pale brown linen dress as she crossed to the seventh year. She withdrew her wand. Deliberately, she laid it on the table, handle facing away from her, before she sat down opposite Holland. She wanted to be clear: this was not a confrontation.

“Forgive my interruption, I won’t stay long,” she promised, nervously tucking her (naturally) dark blonde hair behind her ears. Today was a good makeup day: she had contoured successfully and applied her gold shadow evenly. Holland had taught her how to do those things. “I don’t understand it,” she said abruptly before she had thought properly about what she wanted to say. “You.” Claudia corrected the final word of her sentence, although it was not much of an improvement on her impromptu utterance. If Holland made any indication that they did not wish for Claudia to be speaking to them, she did not notice, intent as she was to tell them what was on her mind.

“Professor Blair had me write an essay,” she started again, no less disjointedly, “from your perspective. About the things that happened around midterm.” The change in her professor’s approach to the manner in which Claudia passed time in detention had occurred just after the fourth year had confessed her troubles to Mr Tennant; she couldn’t help wondering whether the events were connected. “I’m sorry.” Claudia paused and raised her eyes to theirs. She wanted them to know she meant it. “Mostly for using that spell on you. It was a retaliation and I shouldn't have done it.” It was the apology she should have given months ago, but her own distress had prevented her from making objective assessments.

    • It only knocks once - Holland Keene, Tue Jun 12 16:21
      With seventh year winding down, Holland had gone to Pearl Street for what they suspected would be the last trip there before they were an RMI alum. (Monty and Bryony Keene were going to take... more
      • No second chances? - Claudia, Tue Jun 12 16:55
        Claudia waited nervously for Holland to react. She didn’t think they would cause a scene here on Pearl Street, which was partly what had driven Claudia to have this conversation right here and now,... more
        • I might make an exception - Holland, Wed Jun 13 15:36
          Despite wanting to interject something several times, Holland managed to remain silent throughout Claudia’s explanation. They wouldn’t have argued that their identity was completely irrelevant to... more
          • Now I feel special - Claudia, Thu Jun 14 06:23
            Holland had allowed Claudia to get through the things that she wanted to say to them, which was ideal because otherwise she might have forgotten parts or become sidetracked by less relevant debates,... more
            • But no third chances - Holland, Thu Jun 14 12:05
              Holland had thought Claudia would demurely defer the offer for answers. Instead, they were pleasantly surprised by her unleashing a barrage of questions. It was as though she had been saving them up... more
              • Duly noted - Claudia, Thu Jun 14 16:11
                If she had realized Holland would start to answer her questions right there and then, Claudia would not have asked them: she was only intending to give them an idea of the things she was pondering,... more
                • I don’t think you’ll need one - Holland, Fri Jun 15 01:45
                  Claudia probably didn’t know that she had brought up a point of contention in the trans community. Trans people were often expected to perform hyperfemininity or hypermasculinity to “prove” that they ... more
                  • “Not letting society dictate how gender should be expressed and experienced is a good ideal, and it’s worth striving for,” Holland said. Until this year Claudia had not given much, if any, thought to ... more
                    • Can I guesstimate them? - Holland, Sat Jun 16 01:10
                      “You don’t get to choose the society you’re born into, but you still have choices about how you participate in that society,” Holland said patiently. “If you attend a ball with your family, you can... more
                      • How are you at divination? - Claudia, Sat Jun 16 15:47
                        Holland breezed over agreeing that you could be born into a society, but Claudia didn’t miss it (in fact she considered that it would be easier to discuss things with them if they just allowed her to ... more
                        • I dropped it - Holland, Mon Jun 18 15:17
                          “ Or it’s a quick way to become unpopular and ostracized. ” Holland had nothing reassuring to tell Claudia about that. Yes, that was a possibility, maybe even the most likely outcome, even in this... more
                          • That's why you didn't see this coming - Claudia, Tue Jun 19 15:41
                            Claudia didn’t see how her current community could thrive on equality in the proportions Holland was advocating. She was confident there were many social prejudices that did not apply to her... more
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