Holland Keene
With no Ulterior Motives
Sun Jan 21, 2018 02:27

Holland was already behind this early in the semester, but that was mostly because of Animagus stuff. It could be said that a seventeen-year-old who was close to completing their Animagus work was actually ahead of most people who ever attempted that kind of magic, but Rose and Danny, who were both doing the project too, and who had started at the same time as Holland, had finished in the spring.

One big problem was that Holland’s motivation to finish the spell was low. It was an accomplishment they wanted to complete, but being able to transform into an octopus wasn’t especially useful. They’d have to go to the ocean to safely transform, which wasn’t accessible from either landlocked Pittsburgh or mountainous Boulder. Holland was trying to research a spell to salinate water to solve that problem. One existed for desalination of seawater, but not the other way around, as far as they could tell. Wizards really needed an equivalent of Google. Holland liked books, but even with scanning spells, searching them for a single spell that may or may not exist and for which they weren’t certain of the keywords was tedious. Until Holland figured that out, their Animagus options were limited.

Holland was of age now, so they could have practiced their Animagus work at home, but it seemed like the kind of magic that could go horribly wrong. Holland didn’t want to, unsupervised, attempt a spell that could potentially end with them stuck as a cephalopod. Over the summer they’d practiced some of the partials. At this point, Holland could turn their legs and left arm into tentacles fairly easily, but transfiguring their wand arm was harder, even though they weren’t using a wand most of the time anymore. It was like their whole brain didn’t want them to get rid of their dominant hand.

At some point today they were going to have to practice the parts of the Animagus transformation with which they weren’t comfortable. But for now, Marissa had asked them to help with audition setup. They were doing Little Shop of Horrors, which Holland had watched over the summer in preparation and enjoyed, even if the movie was a little campy. Marissa had been very insistent about using the darker musical ending, about which Holland had no opinion but was prepared to help. And they also wanted to talk to Marissa about—well, about other things. If they got around to it.

“You’re not missing anything,” Holland agreed, surveying the tables Marissa had set up. They took off their jacket, revealing a collared red crop top, and slung it over the back of one of the theater seats. “Except, like, half your hair? It looks great,” they continued, completely genuine. “Let me know if you wanna try any fun styling things.” Marissa’s hair was so curly that there was a risk of humidity turning her into Annie Warbucks, but the haircut really worked on her. And Holland had a few ideas of how to tame the mane if Marissa was ever sabotaged by weather.

After a moment of internal debate, Holland voiced a theory. “Breakup haircut? Emmett mentioned after the Feast,” they added, which was true. “I’m sorry, that sucks.” Less genuine, but hopefully still believable as friendly concern and not—not whatever extra reason made them want to know what had happened. “How are you doing?”

  • Totally an Innocent Conversation (Tag: Holland) - Marissa Kendrick, Sun Jan 21 01:30
    Pink sneakers squeaked against the clean stage floor while Marissa Kendrick waved her wand and muttered a spell to set up another table. Her friends were great at nonverbal magic, but the red-head... more
    • With no Ulterior Motives - Holland Keene, Sun Jan 21 02:27
      • We never have ulterior motives - Marissa, Tue Jan 23 21:47
        “Thanks.” Marissa knew that her hair wouldn’t go unnoticed. Her wild, long red hair had been a staple of her life ever since she’d been at Rocky Mountain International. It was literally impossible... more
        • Never ever ever - Holland, Wed Jan 24 01:03
          Marissa’s “ I’m fine ” sounded real, and Holland felt the nervousness in their chest relax with relief. Marissa had initiated the breakup. Marissa had initiated the breakup, and Marissa was fine,... more
          • Don't be suspicious - Marissa, Thu Feb 1 20:45
            Excellent. Holland was someone who sometimes got lost in thought. After knowing the Lyra for about seven years at this point, Marissa knew what Holland’s different types of silence were. There was... more
            • Suspicious is my middle name - Holland, Tue Feb 6 12:38
              “ It seems like the perfect time for both of you, ” Marissa said, demonstrating a very loose understanding of the adjective. She was right about one thing: if nothing happened here and now, nothing... more
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