No means no
Sun Apr 8, 2018 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 wasn’t possible to convince Claudia to accept the relationship with a well-crafted argument, but that hadn’t been their goal: Holland just hoped she could accept that she couldn’t convince them to reconsider.

Now they were angry, though. The condescending dismissal—“whatever this is,” like it wasn’t a real relationship, like Holland didn’t even count—this, like they were a thing, an irritating obstacle to be removed—and the implication that they didn’t care about what happened to Danny grated on Holland. Did Claudia think they didn’t know what Danny was risking? Of course Holland had thought about the fact that Danny might be giving up the life he had been raised to expect for nothing. Danny had declared the risk worthwhile. It was still an insecurity for them—Danny could change his mind and make the objectively smarter decision at any time—but Holland thought that that risk was worth it too.

So, fine, Claudia. Holland could call on history, too. “And the existence of Muggleborns proves that magic will continue to surface without pureblood breeding efforts,” they countered, matching Claudia’s derisive tone toward the end of the sentence. In fact, magic appeared to be dominant—historically and anecdotally—so if the goal was to increase the wizarding population, it would be most practical for magical people to reproduce exclusively with Muggles, introducing the trait into new bloodlines. The willful ignorance of this evidence furthered their point: wizarding high society was only interested in protecting and preserving the advantages of its status, and in gatekeeping the definition of wizardkind through eugenics.

Holland had always been able to be calm and cold in an argument—this had turned so quickly from a conversation to a confrontation—and they retreated into that ability as they continued. “If I broke up with Danny now,” Holland said, speaking slowly and deliberately, as Claudia had, “it wouldn’t change the fact that he isn’t straight, or that he isn’t perfectly content within the confines of your society. You can address your parents’ decision with them,” Holland said, not comfortable speaking for people who had not thoroughly discussed their views with Holland. “They had the choice of whether to support us,” the same way Claudia had made the choice not to.

“Danny is capable of making his own decisions. He acknowledges that we might break up one day, and he’s comfortable with that risk. Your definition of a ‘real life,’” Holland couldn’t resist making the air quotes that paired naturally with their sardonic tone, “might be so narrow that it only includes perpetuating an elitist, classist, sexist system,” they threw the descriptors like carefully-chosen hexes, each one a part of Holland’s cumulative frustration with pureblood society, “but Danny disagrees.”

Everyone had the responsibility to question things and develop their own opinions, to not simply accept what was passed down to them as incontestable fact. Claudia might have bought into her culture’s brainwashing, but Danny hadn’t. And maybe Claudia was genuinely concerned about Danny’s future, but it sounded to Holland like her biggest priority was making sure her brother’s choices wouldn’t affect her betrothal options. It made sense: the society she so revered had socialized Claudia to believe that marrying well and having wizarding children was an AFAB person’s highest possible calling. “If your focus is on ensuring he can still fit a mold he is no longer interested in fitting, you need to assess whether your concern is actually for him, or just for your own place in society,” Holland concluded, reverting to their clipped, precise tone.

  • 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
      • 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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