We’ll just keep swimming
Wed Jul 3, 2019 00:11

“Thanks.” People said Leo had the temperament of a glumbumble, but he was an alright guy in Nolan’s book. He put more work into the AgriClub than pretty much anyone else (except maybe Marley, who really had enough outward enthusiasm to make up for any lack on Leo’s part, and also to make up for any lack of experience on hers), and he wasn’t bad company. So Leo noticed the nogtails before the piglets. You had to have some people who thought that way in order to keep things running. In Nolan’s family, his mother was the practical, serious person who got things done, whereas his father would just like to be left alone with his ranch most of the time. Merlin help them when he was patriarch. Marilla help them, more like.

“It’s a weird plant,” he agreed, giving the slimy green thing a once-over. He liked herbology, but he couldn’t think of another plant off the top of his head that Transfigured you too. “Well, long as I get to ride a hippocampus I reckon I don’t mind so much. Bottoms up.” He raised the hand holding the gillyweed like he was toasting Leo, then put it in his mouth. He wasn’t sure whether or not to chew it, but his mother taught him to chew his food, so he tried. Nolan would try pretty much any food—not a big fan of collards, but he’d still eat ‘em—but gillyweed was now at the bottom of the list of things he’d try again. It kinda squeaked between his teeth, like he was eating a clump of rubber hoses that were soaked in saltwater.

He gave up on the chewing and just swallowed. Then he waited. After a few seconds of nothing he said to Leo, “Yours do anything yet? ‘Cause mine—” Then he choked, because his lungs had up and quit on him.

Nolan had been thrown from horses a couple of times, and he knew what it was like to have the wind knocked out of you: that single second of shock when you hit the ground, the stuttering first attempt to get air back in while your body refused to cooperate, the gasping relief when you finally managed a good breath. This time Nolan just launched himself into the water. The moment he was submerged, his lungs suddenly remembered what they were for. All his normal instincts didn’t want him to inhale water, but the gills he now had were all for it. Weird.

Seeing underwater like this was weird too—Nolan was used to ponds that were a lot murkier than this, and human eyes that didn’t see so clearly. He examined his webbed hands and foot for a few seconds (they’d help him swim, sure, but not as much as another leg would), and then looked around for Leo. He couldn’t have gone far, right? “Leo?” he tried to call. It came out muffled, in a big bubble of air. Huh. Well that was going to make communicating awful difficult.

  • Unless you have an exit strategy? - Leopold Harris, Thu Jun 20 18:11
    When Leo arrived home for the break it shouldn’t have been a surprise to find that during his absence his bedroom had passed into new ownership but, finding his baby brother, Junior, occupying what... more
    • We’ll just keep swimming - Nolan, Wed Jul 3 00:11
      • We swim, swim, swim - Leo, Thu Jul 18 18:38
        Leo had lots of hobbies. When he had first arrived at RMI as an angry a sprightly young boy Leopold had thrown himself into the school’s many extracurriculars with a surprising amount of persistence... more
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