Is that a compliment or a threat?
Fri Apr 6, 2018 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 had always enjoyed an especially transparent relationship with their parents. They assumed the difference was part personal (the Keenes were just like that, compounded by Holland being an only child) and part cultural (purebloods were just like that). It seemed to Holland, though, that if you had kids, you should strive to be the kind of parent who your kids would feel safe and comfortable telling about anything. Yes, there were specific details they didn’t disclose to their parents, but by and large there were no broad topics Holland wouldn’t broach with them.

Rather than vocally contradict Claudia, Holland remained silent, allowing her to continue. “You talked to me like I was important.” Another surprise. Holland hadn’t thought they had gone above or beyond in speaking to Claudia at dinner. All they had done was start conversations with her, and ask for her opinion when she wasn’t already contributing, the way they would with anyone. Their goal had been to make her acknowledge them, in defiance to her behavior from the last few months; making her feel important was a nice side effect, but it hadn’t been their goal. Claudia’s reaction to their efforts was completely consistent with the level of nonsense Holland had come to expect from pureblood society. Was she so starved for non-trivial conversation most of the time that being specifically addressed was all it took to make Claudia feel important? This was so typical of a patriarchal society that devalued input from women.

The next thing out of Claudia’s mouth was an apology. Holland felt blindsided. Claudia had been more polite to them in the last few minutes than she had the entire rest of the term, but at best they had expected a gradual thawing, not a direct apology. The feeling of pleasant surprise quickly gave way to wariness. One arguably successful dinner didn’t seem like enough to completely change Claudia’s attitude, given her initial reaction to the relationship and her hexing Danny at the start of midterm.

Danny had told Holland about the spell’s effects when he had visited before Christmas. It had been an involved conversation, and Holland had briefly paused cooking to reassure Danny that the scenario that the hex had conjured for him—which apparently involved Holland abruptly ending both their romantic relationship and their friendship—was so out of character for them that if it happened, he could take it as evidence that they were under the Imperius Curse. Holland didn’t recognize the spell from his description, but it didn’t seem remotely close to anything covered in Defense Against the Dark Arts. They had no plausible guesses as to where Claudia had learned a spell like that, but the incomplete knowledge left Holland on their guard.

Still. They could respond to an apology from Claudia without showing undue amounts of suspicion. “Thank you for apologizing,” Holland said, and meant it. Claudia acknowledging their friendship—in the present tense, even—seemed like another good sign. “I know me and Danny dating isn’t consistent with your culture’s social norms. We thought there might be an adjustment period.” Holland doubted that period was over, but they would do what they could to speed it along. Holland and Danny had discussed how they wanted to handle Claudia when he had visited again on New Year’s Day. Claudia was certainly being more accomodating of their plan than Holland had expected. “You can definitely talk to me. If you have specific concerns, I can try to address them.”

  • 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
      • 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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