I ought to respect that
Sun Apr 8, 2018 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 accepted that evidently Danny was prepared to select dates from a more varied population than was seemly, but she was not persuaded that a curiosity towards Holland necessarily denoted perverse sexual orientation. If, however, Holland was correct in their assumption (and while she could make feeble argument against it, Claudia grudgingly acknowledged that probability), they ought to shoulder the blame for his deviation. Not just because of this current relationship - although that was obviously an important contributing factor - but also by more subtle suggestions against the patriarchy she was now certain Holland had been making to Dardanius for the duration of their friendship. “He’s always been happy in our society until you’ve talked him out of it,” she argued.

Claudia had always known her place, and she was a great deal less likely to be shaken from her beliefs than her brother transpired to be. This school was filled with toxic influences on propriety, yet Claudia had rallied against them and remained steadfast. She had lost treasured companions in her quest to uphold her ideals; it seemed deplorably unjust that Dardanius could abandon his morals and continue unscathed. His friends had not rejected him, nor had his parents admonished such behaviour. Claudia was wounded that the three people she most exalted - her family - had let her down so spectacularly. They were, as Holland underlined, all prepared to risk their reputations for Dardanius to pursue this folly. What about Claudia’s reputation? Nobody had asked if she was content to risk her future so Danny could engage in some hormonally driven experimentation.

She would have countered that she was not comfortable with the risk that Danny was taking, but then Holland’s pointed attack on the system in which Claudia had been raised drove the comment from her mind. Instead, in a hardened voice, she said, “That system you are always so eager to disdain is centuries older than you are. Your disrespect for it merely demonstrates your ignorance of the importance of hierarchy in a functioning society.” Considering they always propagated openness of mind and appreciation of other perspectives, Claudia noted that Holland could be exceedingly narrow minded when the topic at hand was not to their liking.

“I appreciate our societal restrictions deny you a place amongst us,” her tone was now decidedly unfriendly, even while Claudia was successfully preventing physiological emotional displays, “but I have always accepted your identity unconstrained by those paradigms.” When she was younger she had given little consideration to Holland’s gender identity, accepting the given value unquestioningly. As her own identity was being forcibly stripped from her by those closest to her, Claudia had begun to examine theirs in turn. While she could still accept Holland’s gender where their individuality did not matter (it mattered when they came into her home, crossing the threshold of society and blurring the borders between Claudia’s two separate realms of existence), she had also begun to challenge her readiness to take Holland at their word: who were they to disregard anatomy, evolution, and normative roles on a whim? Refusal to conform to one gender was baffling, but to denounce both suggested a conceited sort of arrogance in rejecting any preconceptions, and even defying the English language with the use of irregular pronouns.

Still, what was it to Claudia if Holland wanted to be non-conforming without causing her family scandal? She was not so naive that she expected everyone to be perfect. She was aware by now that closed doors hid secrets and lies. While she was - by dint of good breeding and diligence to upholding the ideals with which she had been raised - a model of propriety, with no need to hide any detriments or personality flaws (beyond the anxious behaviours she had done her best to overcome; her perfectly manicured nails were not even digging into her palms right now, her fingertips instead occupied with teasing the purpose-made long, cylindrical pocket on the outside of her bag, the polished wooden handle of her wand protruding by an inch), Claudia did not expect everyone to be so unencumbered. “I’m prepared to do the same for Dardanius if he can separate his obligations and responsibilities form his less savoury instincts,” said with distaste.

If Danny learned to keep the unenviable episodes of his private life hidden, not paraded as though they’re nothing to be ashamed of, Claudia could learn to look the other way. Was that not proof she was as concerned for Danny as for herself? She did not think it was unreasonable to expect some decorum from respectable individuals, whatever their wayward inclinations. “I would appreciate it if you can accept my perspective as a proponent of civilised society as legitimate.”

  • 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
      • 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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