Claudia Dubois
Revelations [Tag Connor]
Sat Sep 22, 2018 08:31
82.38.4.236

At the first meal back after midterm, Claudia had sat with Marley and Remington, which had been exceedingly pleasant. She did not divulge many details about her experiences over the break, because although she was hopeful about (re)developing close friendships with both girls, they were not yet at the stage wherein she was prepared to share very personal information.

For example, Claudia did not share with them the details of the Christmas Eve ball, where she had not kissed Jordan, or anyone else. She wanted her first kiss to at least be her choice, and with someone who liked her, not just for a game or a dare. Claudia had believed, up until very recently - and perhaps naively - that her first kiss would be with the man to whom she was betrothed, maybe even on their wedding day. It was an idyllic notion, but she realised now that it was not actually common, even amongst societyís elite, for that to be the case. Liaisons were discreet, or secretive, or sufficiently juvenile to be vastly overlooked, and nothing was as black and white as she had once believed. She would still never participate in the back room debaucheries that made her skin crawl, but perhaps an unchaperoned interaction with someone she trusted and who respected her might not, after all, be so objectionable. There was, she perceived, nothing unseemly about Nolanís interest in Magdalena, for example; his intentions were clearly honourable, and if they were to share a kiss, conducted privately and in good faith, then Claudia would not judge them for it.

For her own part, Claudia would not object to kissing Nathaniel, whom she had always admired, but she suspected he would lose some respect for her if she made the suggestion, and that would be deplorable. She still hoped he might express some interest in her beyond flirting one day, but Nathaniel was friends with Danny; he already knew about Holland, and Claudia would not blame him for avoiding forging any connection to her family. Similarly, she had sometimes thought about kissing Connor, but even if he were not her equal in maintaining propriety, she would not inflict her familyís impending poor reputation on him.

Claudia had no interest in pursuing anything serious with Caleb, considering he was not of her society or status, but perhaps he would be adequate for some informal dalliances? Her good name was less of an immediate concern now that Dardanius and Holland were planning to drag it through the metaphorical mud anyway. She had spoken to both of them over midterm and knew they still planned on being together, as a couple, out in society. If the coup did not involve her brother, and their whole family by association, Claudia would perhaps be in a position to appreciate the romance inherent in such a stance. However her anxiety at this being detrimental to her own future prevented any positive view on the events that would inevitably unfold. At least she was, now, back on speaking terms with both Danny and Holland. She had even spent the previous day in Dannyís company, as Holland was busy taking Dade clothes shopping. She had been content to work at patching things up with her brother, even though he only had time to spare for her because Dade, of all people, had claimed Hollandís time.

Why would Dade want to go shopping with Holland, anyway? Claudia had noticed his clothes were different this term, but as she spent her time trying to avoid him, she hadnít really considered this development. She supposed she had gone to Holland for make up advice herself, but she would never ask Holland about clothes. Honestly they were clueless, wearing a peculiar ensemble of garments that ought never to be paired together. Admittedly, Holland somehow managed to pull off this distinctively androgynous style, but anyone who conformed to binary genders would not benefit from-...Oh. No. That couldnít be ... oh. OH. Oh no.

Suddenly it all made sense. Thatís why Holland spent so much time with Dade. And the staircases. Claudia had known for ages that Holland could use both sets of stairs in Lyra, and she knew that sometimes Dade had difficulty with the boysí stairs in Cetus. Oh Merlin, how long had this been going on? She hadnít spoken to Dade for almost an entire year now. Even before he had hexed her, he had been avoiding her ever sinceÖ Ever since sheíd hexed Holland. Right. Thatís why Holland had automatically been on Dadeís side when he had attacked her. Thatís why Dade had reacted so outrageously, meeting Claudia immediately after seeing Danny and Hollandís matching boggarts. They had both been upset, but for entirely different - though not at all unrelated - reasons.

Great Merlin. What now? Did Dade think Claudia wasÖ what? Transphobic? she didnít think she was. Or, well, she was trying not to be. Talking to Holland helped; coping better at school, thanks to Mr Tennantís guidance, gave her more opportunity to consider her own opinions free of conflicting emotions, and that helped, too. No wonder Dade didnít want to talk to her. Or to Connor, who would certainly have opinions about his own brother beingÖ different.

Claudia had been watching the entrance to the commons, waiting for Connor, so she could greet him on their return from the midterm break. Now she saw him approaching, and her mind was racing. Claudia forced her expression into a smile, and gestured for her friend to join her in the vacant seat beside her on the couch. Her thoughts were jumbled. Should she tell Connor what she had deduced? Should she warn him that Dade might be as much a liability to his family as Dardanius was to her own? (Did Danny already know about Dade?) Claudia couldnít think of a single thing to say to Connor. She was delighted by his presence, however, so she settled on simplicity for now. ďI am pleased to see you,Ē she said with warmth, relieved that her voice did not betray her confusing current mental state.

    • Care to share? - Connor Farnon, Sun Sep 30 10:52
      With only his vile stepsister for company, Midterm had been quiet. By this point, although Connor didnít quite know what in Merlinís name was wrong with Dade, he was pretty sure it was the fault of... more
      • Here goes - Claudia, Sun Sep 30 12:04
        When Connor declared his glee at being again in her company, Claudiaís skin thrummed the same way magic trembled in her wand immediately before unleashing a spell. She caught herself looking at his... more
        • Who knows? - Connor, Sat Oct 6 10:44
          It seemed as though Claudia was distressed, which concerned Connor. He always did his best to avoid his friend feeling in such a way, but the unfortunate circumstance of the school did result in a... more
          • You do - Claudia, Wed Oct 10 14:12
            In the first instant, Claudia regretted her revelation. Connorís reaction of discomfort was easily observable in his flushed cheeks, and the uncharacteristic ineloquence of his next uttered syllable. ... more
            • I certainly do now - Connor, Wed Oct 10 18:56
              It was common knowledge that the way to cast a Patronus Charm was to focus very hard on the happiest memory you had. Connor had absolutely no intention of getting into an argument with a dementor in... more
              • Aren't you glad - Claudia, Mon Oct 15 09:53
                Personal space was a sacred concept to Claudia. She disliked being touched by most people, and was distinctly uncomfortable when strangers moved too close. There were few with whom she was prepared... more
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