How are you at divination?
Sat Jun 16, 2018 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 be right without having to hide this acknowledgment in further argument). They allowed that consequences could govern behavior, but maintained that participation was voluntary. She couldn’t deny that a community was dysfunctional if its members were not voluntarily adhering to its norms and expectations. At RMI, Claudia had learned that she only had autonomy within reason, and that her actions had consequences. No matter how much she resisted the community, however, she remained as much a part of it: it controlled her behavior to an alarming degree, including - but not limited to - the people with whom she interacted, and what food she could eat, and when these activities occurred, and so many other rules and regulations by which she had implicitly agreed to abide on attending a school she had not chosen for herself. However she elected not to argue further; sufficient consensus had been reached for the current moment.

Holland only grinned at being called ridiculous, which Claudia took as evidence they were deranged. “Why not? Change begins with one person and an idea,” they said. Claudia felt faint. She almost missed it when Holland explicitly said ’you’re right’ - almost, but not quite; unfortunately the topic was so inconceivable that Claudia was unable to feel accomplished - but there was no missing the next part of their overture: “Danny is the reason.” To a more romantic individual than Claudia this might have been heart-warming or spirit-lifting. To Holland, she suspected it was a valid point about the system not meeting the needs of the individual. To the person whose life had been repeatedly turned about by this travesty of a relationship, this was a declaration of blame. Her wand was still lying on the table where she had originally placed it. Claudia glanced at it, but made no move to take it up.

“Seeing someone they like in that context will make people think about whether the rules are right or necessary,” Holland theorized. Claudia raised a skeptical eyebrow.

“Or it’s a quick way to become unpopular and ostracized,” she countered. Danny was a fool. She didn’t know whether Holland was the brains in this outfit (she rather suspected that was the case, as Danny had, on more than one occasion, cited Holland as influencing his decisions) but her brother was inevitably its face: he would be the one renounced by their peers, not some Muggle-descended nobody who showed up to society events and verbally eviscerated the guests.

“I’m ready to fight for as long as I have something worth fighting for,” they reaffirmed, and Claudia wasn’t sure if the something was Danny, or future queer purebloods, or just fighting the system they detested, but Merlin damn it she had to admire their determination to defend their cause, no matter how slim the odds of success, no matter how misdirected their obstinacy.

So Holland had reasons, and they had time; they also had proof in Dardanius that re-education was possible. Claudia supposed she, too, was not so uninformed, nor so decidedly against non-traditional expression in this current moment as she had been earlier in the term. She maintained her stance regarding propriety within society, but she was no longer predisposed to condemn all decisions that did not fit within her carefully defined community expectations. Unfortunately, Holland was breaching these borders, which remained a source of conflict. Could they really make any difference to society? It seemed impossible that the pureblood witches and wizards of Louisiana and Mississippi that made up the majority of her acquaintances outside of school would be convinced to accept any aspect of Holland’s relationship with Danny; It seemed inadvisable to find out. Holland declared that they weren’t afraid to try.

Claudia shook her head. “I know I can’t convince you to stop,” she said, finally defeated. “I wish I could believe you would make positive change.” She was not convinced the level of personal choice Holland was advocating was positive improvement, as it defied not simply heterosexuality, but made irrelevant societal connections for matrimony, made folly of perpetuating a strong magical bloodline, and denied any consideration of wealth or social standing. It was antithetical to everything Claudia believed in. “However I expect you will find yourselves longing for the days when your main opposition was merely an upset fourth year.” She was sorry for the spells she had used on Holland and on Danny, but she defended her distress. She had been living in Danny’s shadow, keeping her anxieties hidden, taking comfort in an easy and respectable life (Holland’s fantasy of not being rejected, devalued or being treated like a second-class citizen was purely idealistic nonsense) but even these meager dignities had been stripped from her by this pointless venture. “Some communities do not thrive on equality,” she bit out, with unintentional resentment.

  • 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
      • 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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