Life's not Fair
Mon Aug 6, 2018 07:50

Alena’s assessment of her dress as ‘delightful’ was not inaccurate - perhaps the fourth year had some idea of fashion after all - but Claudia did not always necessarily wish to embody that particular adjective; she wouldn’t mind if on occasion she could be sophisticated, elegant, or even, Merlin forgive her, attractive. Pale pinks, lace and frills were not conducive to her aesthetic aims, and while the bolder colors and more fitted outfits she had experimented with from time to time had served their purpose well, Claudia wasn’t sure she wanted to ascribe to that persona everyday.

Her companion described wishing to experience a new look for herself, a scenario with which Claudia could completely empathise. Navigating the treacherous waters between childhood and adulthood was reputedly challenging for everyone, even those who had not endured betrayal by their family, arson attacks, and all the other heartache the past year had delivered to Claudia, all of which she was eager to overcome. Therefore the fifth year was prepared to overlook this garment transgression. After all, there were some occasions on which it would be permissible for Alena to be thus attired: if she were accompanying Nolan to meet his winged horse, now stabled nearby, for example.

As Claudia sipped her tea, she considered again that it was not her business to ascertain the level or nature of her friend’s interest in Magdalena. She knew they had exchanged letters over the summer, but Claudia was in the habit of exchanging letters with Connor, so that was no indication of peculiar interest. Claudia would not confess aloud that she had momentarily entertained pursuing an arrangement with Connor, but it was impossible from every angle: in the first place her family was above his in social hierarchy; Claudia was planning on making an enviable union, not settling beneath her station. Naturally she now harboured concerns regarding her ability to obtain her goal, thanks to Holland and Dardanius, in which case any union might be deemed acceptable. Yet she would not wish to inflict this misfortune on someone she cared for as much as Connor; it would not be in his best interests to forge an alignment with such a disreputable family. Then, even barring these considerations, Claudia was not inclined to exchange her refined society, nor the climate and culture of the South, to move to dreary England (she had greatly enjoyed her visit there this summer, but that did not equate to an adequate habitat). Finally, she reluctantly acknowledged that Connor might not be interested in her.

Nolan, however, was an eligible young wizard, despite his family’s own scandal. Claudia would not be discontent to enter into such an arrangement with him, but she was by no means eager to do so: Nolan was very pleasant company, handsome in a carefree kind of way, but restricted in his conversation, and rather brusque on topics of delicacy for Claudia’s tastes. She was fond of him, but not attracted to him. He was better suited to Alena, who was apparently content to wear jeans, so might fare well as the future wife of someone who was as devoted to horses as Nolan.

“It’s acceptable to make mistakes, providing we learn from them,” she said, kindly. “They might have further use,” Claudia added, feigning nonchalance. “Has Nolan introduced Quint to you yet?” Their mutual friend had mentioned to Claudia (and Connor, and Caleb) that he had moved the creature nearer to school, but he had not yet made the introduction. Perhaps she could suggest to him that Alena be the first visitor? “I expect that jeans are probably adequate attire for that occasion.” That was an exaggeration of her opinion, but as Nolan wore jeans with frequency, he would probably not object.

To her satisfaction, Alena accepted Claudia’s invitation. “Do you know of any establishments that would suit our needs?” she asked.

“Several,” Claudia replied with a smile. She stood, prepared to drink her tea as they walked. “I find your company agreeable,” she added, waiting for Alena to join her before they exited the cafe together. “I have high hopes of becoming better acquainted with you, Alena.”

  • That doesn't sound fair - Alena, Thu Aug 2 08:29
    “You do yourself a disservice,” Alena replied smiling, “I think your dress is delightful.” Indeed, Claudia was very aesthetically pleasing, Alena thought enviously, it was no surprise she received... more
    • Life's not Fair - Claudia, Mon Aug 6 07:50
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