Claudia Dubois
Playing my way
Mon Jul 10, 2017 08:59

Performing in front of people had never appealed to Claudia. She didn't like to be judged, and she cared very little for being responsible for others’ enjoyment. Nevertheless she enjoyed playing the piano, and from time to time it was inevitable that people would hear her. The only person for whom Claudia would willingly play was her father, who had always encouraged her very positively in her musical efforts, reminding her that she could give it up easily, but that with each practise she would only become more proficient. While she wouldn't claim to be particularly talented, Claudia might acquiesce that she could play some pieces quite nicely. Her skills had improved more quickly than usual over the past summer; at home there was a beautiful white gloss baby grand piano in their recessed library, which Claudia had played nearly every day - sometimes for a couple of hours - to achieve some welcome solitude and distraction from her summer of contemplation.

Now back at school, the third year was keen not to allow her skills to diminish from lack of practise. The piano in the theatre was not spectacular, but it was adequate, and in tune. Thin fingers danced across the keys, producing a fast, although not completely faithful, melody as Claudia followed the sheet music before her to the best of her ability. The piece conjured images of butterflies chasing each other above the white water of a rushing river - not that she would ever tell that to anybody, because the Cetus considered it too fanciful to be practical.

Sometimes Claudia thought it unfair that Lyra commons had its own piano, but then she supposed that it would be harder to play alone and unheard in a common room. Here in the theatre it was always possible that anyone could walk by, but often Claudia had the venue to herself. Not today; she had one page left to play when she heard the door open and close, signalling the entry of at least one other person. Determined not to be deterred, she successfully made it to the end of her piece, even though she made more errors in the final few bars than she had in the rest of the piece together.

Frowning a little to herself at her diminished performance, Claudia looked up and turned her head to see who had joined her in the theatre, on the slim chance that somebody was looking for her specifically.

    • I can play along! - Marley Chapman, Wed Jul 26 22:49
      “Hi, Claudia!” Marley chirped up happily at being noticed. She’d snuck in the back of the theatre a few minutes ago (basically hours) and had been doing her best to stay nice and quiet in her aisle... more
      • I can play nicely - Claudia, Fri Jul 28 16:23
        Marley’s presence ignited a bittersweet combination of both relief and disappointment. Claudia was doing her best to be friends with the other girl, and she did like her, most of the time, but... more
        • Then let's get started - Marley, Fri Jul 28 23:38
          Claudia looked happy, which made Marley happier. (She had been already happy to begin with, duh.) The dark-skinned girl beamed back at her friend. “Of course I’ll show you, that’s why I brought it! I ... more
          • How's this for starters? - Claudia, Sun Jul 30 15:31
            The Cetus girl was immediately pleased to have shown Marley how grateful she was, rather than to have expressed any reservations she was feeling about owning some magically manipulated Muggle... more
            • Definitely too much! - Marley, Fri Aug 4 00:06
              Marley nodded agreeably. “Opera is a good choice! I mean, not that any of these would be bad choices. All music is really great, just different,” she noted wisely. It wasn’t a proper, personal wisdom ... more
              • Forgive me; I'm new to friendship - Claudia, Sat Aug 5 14:53
                Marley made an effort to decline the necklace, but Claudia assumed her friend was just being meek (as opposed to really not wanting the gift), and as Marley made no move to stop her, Claudia... more
                • There's nothing to forgive - Marley, Wed Aug 9 19:15
                  Claudia didn’t exactly hug her back, but Marley was so overwhelmed that she didn’t exactly notice, so that was fine. She sighed contentedly and squeezed the other girl a little tighter. Marley didn’t ... more
                  • Hold that thought - Claudia, Sat Aug 12 13:27
                    It seemed Marley’s attention was successfully diverted back to the CDs and player. Claudia supposed that was one of the advantages of her friend’s short attention span: Marley could accidentally... more
                    • I wanna jump on this thought-train, now! - Marley, Sun Aug 13 23:40
                      Claudia moved slower than Marley would’ve, but she was pretty sure her friend had never seen a boom box before yet alone used one, so that was understandable. And it was, weirdly, super interesting... more
                      • The train is leaving the station - Claudia, Mon Aug 14 10:05
                        When Marley agreed to the girls’ day, Claudia felt a small ripple of excitement. She tried to convince herself it was just because she was excited to delve further into the world of cosmetics, but if ... more
                        • It's long gone - Marley, Thu Aug 17 22:24
                          When Claudia showed off her fingers, all that Marley could do was shrug a little, because that was weird. Not, like, bad-weird, just confusing-weird. Biting nails was a totally normal thing; Marley... more
                          • Let's just go home, then - Claudia, Sat Aug 19 07:48
                            Claudia was relatively certain that Holland would indeed let the girls borrow some of their nail polish, and that was certainly an option to consider. Still, Claudia did want to buy her own... more
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