Now I feel special
Thu Jun 14, 2018 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, but it did mean that she was unsure of their thoughts regarding her confessions. Broadly she supposed it didn’t matter, as she still didn’t care what Holland thought - about her or anything else - but trying to realign their interactions to something less openly hostile and more mutually accepting would be more easily accomplished if Claudia knew Holland was prepared to join her in this endeavor.

Okay,” they eventually spoke. “I think we can agree that we both care about Danny and want him to be happy.” Claudia successfully kept her expression blank, rather than frowning at the assumption. Certainly she would prefer Danny to be happy over miserable, but that was a secondary consideration to her brother acting in a rational manner, with propriety and dignity. However, believing him to do so at this stage seemed optimistic to the point of foolishness. Readjusting her interpretation, then, Claudia did not want Danny to be miserable. She did not want him to be disowned, rejected or ridiculed for any reason, even if it was due to a decision he had made himself. She would grudgingly admit she did not want him to fulfill his duties as heir if they were genuinely going to make him unhappy (she did not believe this was the case; she was sure Danny could be content if Holland just left him alone, but that didn’t seem like it was going to happen any time soon). She did care about him: that was an easier agreement to make. She cared more about his safety and his long-term contentment than his present, potentially temporary happiness, and she would not be ashamed to own that. Claudia wanted what was best for Danny, and she was not convinced that was Holland. At least they could agree that they no longer wanted to be in conflict. That felt like progress.

“I don’t think there’s anything difficult you need to understand about me,” Holland continued. Claudia disagreed; she understood practically nothing at all about Holland, which had definitely contributed to their misunderstanding. Trying to navigate something (someone) so in opposition with all her ideals and experiences was immensely difficult for the fourth year, which was evidenced by her ongoing struggle to accept Holland. “I want to be treated with respect. I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone wants,” they said, proving once again that they really came from very different backgrounds. All Claudia wanted was to get along quietly in life, not screw up too badly, maybe have some friends, make an acceptable marriage and produce an heir for her future husband. She doubted being respected would make much difference to her; she didn’t feel like many people had shown her any great deal of respect in her life so far. She was staring at Holland incredulously before she realized she was doing it, and worked at smoothing her expression back to something less obvious.

They offered to answers her questions, however, which felt like the ultimate goal: if Holland helped Claudia to understand them, maybe she had a chance at accepting them. Clearly Danny and Holland were not prepared to change, so the responsibility was on Claudia. Before now she would have recoiled at the suggestion, but she was so tired of everything being so hard. If learning more about Holland’s perspective was what it took to stop feeling hurt and resentful whenever she was in the same room as her brother, Claudia was prepared to try.

“I don’t know if now is the right time,” she said, glancing at their schoolmates seated nearby, and at the Muggles passing along the street, and at the beverage Holland was yet to consume, “but there are some, um, a range of questions, maybe, I wouldn’t mind asking. If,” she felt awkward again, but this time because she didn’t like prying into people’s lives, even if they had offered, and that’s what she was essentially asking of Holland, “if you’re sure.”

In fairness to Holland, she proceeded to outline some subject areas she had been unable to understand, to allow them to rescind their invitation when they were in possession of more details. “Things like,” she flushed as she began speaking, marvelling at her nerve in voicing these thoughts aloud, “why pronouns are important, why you don’t feel aligned to either gender, why you place more emphasis on individual freedom than community cohesion, how you can consider yourself compatible with Danny, where do you think a relationship with him could possibly go?” She closed her mouth suddenly before her overview turned into a comprehensive interrogation. “I don’t understand,” she said, yet again, “anything.”

  • 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
      • 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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