Claudia Dubois
So many thoughts and feelings
Tue May 8, 2018 14:46

There was a letter from Marley. Claudia knew immediately because the overexcited owl perched on her doorknob belonged to Marley, and it thrust a letter towards Claudia when she approached. Knowing this, however, did not explain it. Perplexed, Claudia carried the envelope into her room and placed it on her pillow. The two girls hadn’t spoken since the start of term, and if Marley did want to speak to Claudia, she could do that any time they shared a class, or ate meals at the same time, or passed each other in the halls. She could only think of two reasons for being contacted so indirectly: the first was that Marley did not wish to give Claudia the opportunity to respond, and the second was that there was something more unpleasant than a sheet of parchment contained in that envelope. Suspiciously, Claudia withdrew her wand and cast “Revelio.” Nothing happened.

Usually, Claudia would not have seriously considered that Marley might use some underhanded method to harm her. Yet she would not have expected Dade to turn on her in the corridor, either, and that had actually happened. Claudia had always gotten along well enough with Dade. They weren’t friends, but they were friendly. She still had no idea what had prompted him to launch an assault on her, and if it had happened once, it could happen again. Claudia couldn’t trust anyone anymore.

She stared at the envelope. She felt it probably contained a detailed explanation of why Claudia was terrible, and how she deserved to be attacked by other students, and to serve detention until the end of the year, and how Marley was so pleased to no longer be her friend. This week had already been awful (the whole year had been horrible, and it just kept getting worse) and the fourth year had no intention of allowing herself to be upset by Marley all over again. She could just throw it away without opening it, or put it, unopened, with the others. Claudia had ignored letters from Marley before - she hadn’t read a single one of the missives that she had received over the summer, concerned that they might contain subject matter that Claudia was not prepared to digest. She had brought them to school, buried in the bottom of her suitcase, and then concealed them in the bottom of her wardrobe, still unopened and largely forgotten about - but if she did not discover what the note contained, Marley might later confront Claudia in person, and that might be worse.

She might as well get it over with, Claudia reasoned. She felt nauseous as she pulled the sheet of paper from its envelope, and read it all the way from start to finish without properly processing the words or really retaining any of the information. Sighing to herself, Claudia lay on her back, head on her pillow, and started again. ‘It was really upsetting to hear that you'd been attacked.’ Claudia’s eyes moistened involuntarily at the reminder of the horrific event. She supposed Marley really had been upset, because there was no need for her to say that if it wasn’t true. Although she could merely have been distressed that Claudia was involved in another altercation; Marley was clearly on Holland’s side in the first instance, so she could easily be siding with Dade now. Though the use of the word ‘attacked’ suggested to Claudia that perhaps her ex-best friend had some sympathy for her in this scenario.

‘But you know what was even more upsetting? I didn't hear it from you. A single tear escaped from Claudia’s eye and rolled pathetically into her hairline. It was upsetting to have lost one of her closest friends, but that wasn’t anything new. Claudia and Marley didn’t talk at all anymore, so why in Merlin’s name would Claudia tell her anything? Marley might have been thankful for the warning that Dade Farnon was a dangerous arsonist, but Claudia did not believe that the Lyra would be concerned for her wellbeing.

‘Obviously we're not friends anymore, and I'm sorry I can't say this to you out loud (but everything you've done makes me totally uncomfortable so I had to write a letter instead).’ Claudia huffed and lowered the letter for a moment. No, they weren’t friends anymore, so nothing either of them did was the other’s business, and that’s exactly what Marley had wanted, wasn't it? She had told Claudia her life wasn’t her business, and now that was true, so why was Marley trying to give her opinion where it certainly wasn’t welcome? It was unreasonable to suggest that everything Claudia had done made Marley uncomfortable. There were several things Marley had said and done - not all of them recent - that made Claudia uncomfortable, but they had somehow managed to navigate past their differences until Marley had declared them to be none of Claudia's business. The blonde really had enough of her own troubles right now to worry whether she was making anyone else uncomfortable.

After a couple of minutes chewing her lip while she contemplated how unfair it was that she was the one following the rules, and trying to uphold her family’s good name, yet she was the one suffering detentions and sporadic attacks and losing her friends, Claudia eventually returned to reading Marley’s missive. ‘But you could've died and I'd never get to tell you that I miss being friends.’ Claudia read that line over another two times, to be certain she hadn’t tricked herself into reading something that wasn’t written. Would Marley really have noticed if Claudia wasn’t around any more? She did not think she had been in danger of dying - although that hadn’t made it any less terrifying - but she had been hurt, and if Dade hadn’t missed his target then she could have been hurt much worse. Apparently getting hurt was what it took for Marley to think about her. Claudia huffed again. She would have been more irritated with that if the sentiment had not been followed by one far more endearing: that Marley missed being friends. Claudia missed it, too. Admittedly it was easier being friends with Connor when she wasn’t friends with Marley, and Caleb had become a good friend, and even Nolan treated Claudia with more respect than Marley had ever shown, but it wasn’t the same. She missed having a girl to share things with: not just as protege like Darlene, but a real friend who was enthusiastic about even small ideas or accomplishments. She even missed having someone around with views so opposite to her own that Claudia could explore the world beyond her own experience (of course that aspect of their friendship had ultimately resulted in its termination, but she missed it nonetheless - being forced by Professor Blair to study battles between lesbians and Muggle police officers was not the same in the slightest).

‘Not that I want to be friends again,’ the note continued. ‘because I know what you think of me, and we can't.’ Again Claudia lowered the letter to think. How could Marley know what she thought of her, when Claudia didn’t even know herself? Right now she didn’t know how she felt about anyone. Her feelings about every single person she had been close to over the past couple of years had altered so drastically that Claudia didn’t know what to think anymore. Her parents, Danny, Holland, Marley, Connor, Dade - she just had no idea how to feel about anyone. She wasn’t as close with Darlene or Nolan or Caleb, but at least she knew where she stood with them.

‘But I still miss you and I hope that you're ok.’ Well, Claudia felt far from okay, but the letter hadn’t been as detrimental to her mood as it might have been. She read it through a couple more times before deciding that she would reply. If she did not, there was the potential for a face-to-face discussion, and Claudia had really already had her fill of those for the term. Besides, this way she could think properly about what she wanted to say, rather than having to speak instantly without time for thorough consideration (which was less of a problem for Claudia than for Marley, who would inevitably make it Claudia’s problem).

(OOC: continued in Lyra)

  • Letter for Claudia Dubois - Mister Sprockets , Sun May 6 15:31
    Round yellow eyes stared at a pair of Cetus students walking past, then left them dismissively. The tiny Northern Saw-whet owl had been waiting outside Claudia's door for some minutes now, as he was... more
    • So many thoughts and feelings - Claudia Dubois, Tue May 8 14:46
      • This will help! - Mister Sprockets, Mon May 14 23:55
        [OOC: continued from Lyra] A day had passed and the dark-brown-and-white speckled owl was back, this time under equally strict orders to do the opposite thing and just dump his letter outside the... more
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