Claudia Dubois
A Friend in Need [Tag Connor]
Thu May 3, 2018 06:28

Claudia had not expected to feel worse after speaking to the counsellor. Yet thanks to Dade’s violent attack, they had both lost House points for leaving class early, and Dade had told Mr Tennant that she’d been following him. Why in Merlin’s name would she be following him? She denied the allegations, making clear she had left the class of her own accord; she had not even noticed Dade leaving. It was also insulting that her Housemate had only been assigned two weeks of detention for damage to school property when he had clearly intended to ignite an innocent bystander in a wholly unprovoked attack, but Claudia was accustomed now to unfair staff bias against her; Garen Tennant was undoubtedly in sympathy with Professor McKindy.

Escaping the office as soon as she was able, Claudia detoured into a bathroom on the way back to her commons. She hadn’t yet cried, but she wanted to. She had thought the DADA class would be the worst part of her day, but someone she considered to be a friend suddenly turning on her, rendering Claudia the most frightened she had ever been in her life, was unequivocally the worst part of her whole year so far (and there was lots of competition for that spot). The girl reflected in the mirror above the sink had a face paler than usual, flushed cheeks, and brown eyes that looked in need of rest. She was wearing brown mascara and nude lipstick, both of which had considerably faded since their initial application that morning, yet were held in place by the charms Claudia used. She smoothed her hair, today its natural, dark blonde shade, and straighten out her ivory skirt, pale yellow blouse, and uninform robes, all of which were creased from being magically drenched then dried, but they would recover after being laundered.

Several minutes passed before Claudia convinced herself to leave the confines of the bathroom. She felt vulnerable. It had happened to her before, when she had first started RMI and didn’t know anybody except for Dardanius, three years above her. There had also been the Christmas Eve ball, the time before last, when Danny had not been there, and the other boys had been laughing crudely about Claudia. On neither of those occasions, however, had she felt her person was in danger of being physically assaulted. Whenever she thought about how she had looked up past the flames, and seen Dade with his wand in hand, she felt like she might be sick again. She resolutely pushed the recent memory deep to the back of mind, and forced herself to Cetus, her wand raised ready for the duration of her short journey.

It wasn’t merely the safety of her own dormitory propelling her, but also a desire to be comforted. Dade had told her to go away, and made clear his intent to cause her harm. Claudia needed to be in the presence of somebody who made her feel valued, who would be concerned for her wellbeing. She wanted Connor, her oldest and closest friend, who would know without being told that Claudia would never do anything to antagonise Dade. The person who had always treated Claudia with utmost respect, who would never harm her. Claudia needed Connor, and was relieved to find him in the common room, immediately visible as she entered. She went directly to him. “Connor,” Claudia said, her relief audible. “I’ve just come from Counselor Tennant’s office, and before that the infirmary,” she told him, quickly and quietly. “I was attacked in the corridor, there was a fire.” She thought the effects of the calming draught might be wearing off, because she was starting to shake a little. She would not make a scene; not here, not in front of Connor. Still she felt panic rising again. Her voice barely above a whisper, Claudia said, “It was Dade. Dade did it. Connor, I was so frightened.”

    • Well we can't be having that - Connor Farnon, Fri May 4 07:14
      Since Connor wasn’t taking very many classes, his days were typically fairly light. He had considered doing something else in that time, but the clubs available did not particularly interest him - he ... more
      • What do you propose? - Claudia, Fri May 4 11:26
        Claudia had joined Connor on the couch as he had moved across to make room for her, and sitting down was a relief; her dizziness did not subside but while she was seated it was less likely to cause a ... more
        • Didn't get that far yet - Connor, Sat May 5 08:36
          As Claudia narrated the situation in which she had found herself not long before their meeting, Connor grew more horrified than he had been, although he made his best attempts to remain outwardly... more
          • Act first, think later? - Claudia, Sun May 6 09:06
            She had not been certain that her touch would be welcome. Claudia had necessarily broken off their exclusive arrangement last year, terminating the paradigm it which the couple had deemed it... more
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