Claudia Dubois
Hello, Holland
Fri Apr 6, 2018 11:07

A couple of months ago, Claudia had seriously considered transferring out of Rocky Mountain and attending a more elite school closer to home, where she would have liked-minded peers and could see her parents with greater frequency; a school where she would not need to avoid so many people to preserve her sanity. Returning from midterm, however, the fourth year felt less fractious regarding her place of education. Reconnecting with Connor had made her life considerably more bearable, and the friendship she had unexpectedly developed with Caleb was gratifying. As both these students were reasonably familiar with Nolan Ramsey, Claudia had also become gradually more acquainted with the Aquila, and was content to tolerate his company; she had high hopes of finding him an agreeable companion (and also of convincing Connor of Caleb’s virtues as a friend, so the four of them could convene together with some frequency).

Conversely, her midterm had been massively disappointing. Everything was even more about Danny than usual, and Claudia had been astonished that her parents did not exhibit any tangible opposition to her brother’s traitorous declarations. Perturbed, she had withdrawn as far as possible from most social interactions, immersing herself further in study (she had, for the first time, investigated some of the darker texts within their home library, citing DADA coursework for her interest), and being as practically invisible to others as ever.

Very soon after returning to Rocky Mountain International, Claudia had come into the theater to play the piano (one of the leisurely respites from which she still drew some satisfaction). Upon seeing Holland also present, Claudia took a steadying breath and did not slow her footsteps. She was certainly not inclined to search them out intentionally, but Claudia no longer found it impossible to voluntarily share the same space (they had necessarily been in classrooms together last term, but Claudia had been sure to keep her distance). When near enough to the older student to speak at a normal volume and be heard, she deigned to utter a non-confrontational “Hello.”

Holland made a point of speaking to her during that dinner that transpired to be not as ghastly as she had imagined. Beyond a cursory greeting, friends, family or mere acquaintances rarely paid Claudia any notice. She managed to draw attention to herself when it pleased her to do so, by speaking out or even initiating the occasional flirtation, but Holland had treated her as if she had been relevant, without her explicitly vying for a place in the conversation. It served to remind Claudia that they had been friends, once.

Conflicted by instincts and intuitions, that her friendships ought to align to some degree with her own beliefs and values, against the benefits she had reaped from her interactions with Holland - and with Marley, too - Claudia was unsure how to progress. If her own parents were not on her side when it came to matters of the family, to whom should she turn: the friends who understood her predicament and would join her in denouncing Danny’s unforgivable deviation, or the ex-friends who found no error in her brother’s decision? Claudia had no desire to understand their warped perspective, but she could acknowledge that acceptance of their differences might prevent Claudia further alienating her family.

Holland had not betrayed to her parents that Claudia wore make up at school, nor the associated truths concerning her hair colouring or less conservative outfit selections (today her hair was its natural dark blonde, loose about the shoulders of her sky blue silk dress, worn with co-ordinating knee-high boots, purple eyeliner and matte mocha lipstick). Their actions could have been self interested, as they seemed to be there to make a good impression on Claudia’s parents, for whatever that was worth, but Holland could easily have mentioned the fact without implicating themself as an accomplice. “I wanted to thank you,” her voice was even; she was not certain quite how she felt about Holland now, so aimed to keep emotion out of her interactions, “for what you did. At dinner.”

    • So nice to have me back where I belong - Holland Keene, Fri Apr 6 13:39
      Although Little Shop of Horrors rehearsal had yet to resume this early into term Holland wanted to work on the costumes without the “help” of their assistant or their assistant’s assistant. What Kit... more
      • You're looking well... for now. - Claudia, Fri Apr 6 16:01
        Whilst Holland favorably accepted her apology without fuss, Claudia was affronted by the implication that she did not want her parents to know everything about her life. It sounded like Holland was... more
        • Is that a compliment or a threat? - Holland, Fri Apr 6 17:52
          Holland frowned slightly in disagreement. Clearly Claudia did mind her parents knowing everything—knowing about her appearance choices at school, at least—or she would have told them more. Holland... more
          • It’s open to interpretation - Claudia, Sat Apr 7 09:50
            For the first time since receiving news about this debacle in October, Claudia felt some spark of optimism. She felt remiss in not bringing her concerns to Holland sooner, as they were clearly the... more
            • But my answer isn’t - Holland, Sat Apr 7 12:54
              Ah. This made more sense than an apology. Holland took a moment to collect their thoughts. They had prepared for this conversation. Not for Claudia in particular—the argument had been drafted with... more
              • Then I’ll repeat the question - Claudia, Sat Apr 7 14:35
                Claudia was disappointed, but not entirely surprised by Holland’s obstinate resolution to continue to date Danny, despite apparently knowing all along the damage they were causing to Claudia and her... more
                • No means no - Holland, Sun Apr 8 02:05
                  Something shifted. Holland had thought their response was—well, reasonable. For what it was worth, they had only been trying to explain that they wouldn’t acquiesce to Claudia’s request. It probably... more
                  • I ought to respect that - Claudia, Sun Apr 8 09:35
                    Claudia resented Holland talking about Danny not being ‘straight’ - even the word itself implied that was the normal order of things - like they suddenly knew everything about him. The fourth year... more
                    • But are you going to? - Holland, Sun Apr 8 10:52
                      Holland managed not to scoff at Claudia’s assertion that they had talked Danny out of kowtowing to pureblood society: they did not agree. That dissatisfaction had preceded Danny and Holland’s... more
                      • Not so much - Claudia, Sun Apr 8 14:37
                        She had not anticipated Marley being brought into the conversation; Claudia knew her cheeks were burning at the mention of her ex-best friend’s name - there were some emotional responses that were... more
                        • I have to insist - Holland, Sun Apr 8 16:12
                          [ OOC: Effects of the spell confirmed by Claudia’s author, all godmodding approved. Content warning for homophobia/transphobia. ] The instant the spell struck, the benefits of Claudia’s society... more
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