Holland Keene
You’re not gonna like the answer
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:06

After Aaron dismissed them, Holland made their way to the Lyra Common Room, almost on autopilot. They weren’t sure what they wanted to do right now, but first things first: they had to tell Danny. Holland didn’t know how that would go. Both of them had been aware that his sister was taking the relationship poorly, but Holland had thought—especially after that dinner had gone well—Claudia was adjusting. Even outside of that, Holland had thought she was accepting of their identity before today. Naïve. They weren’t going to trust her intentions again.

Holland managed to shakily whistle Electricity at the blank bit of wall that served as the entrance to Lyra. The wall parted, and then they were walking tensely and quickly down the passage into the common room, the way they had hundreds of times before—but only one other time came to mind. Holland felt the way they had after they’d argued with Lucien two years ago, furious and unsettled, and… something else. Holland had never—not once, not ever—experienced the kind of self-loathing that Claudia’s spell had induced in them. The spell might have ended, but Holland didn’t think they would ever be able to forget feeling that ashamed and disgusted with themself. They had pushed all these thoughts down for the conversation with Aaron; it left them guarded, but they could feel that composure wearing thin now that they didn’t have to defend themself magically or verbally.

The familiar brown and seafoam hues of the Lyra common room were a welcome sight. So was Danny, seated on their couch, then standing, then crossing the room to meet Holland before they reached him. “What happened? Are you okay?

For an instant, they wondered if he already knew somehow. Anyone could have seen Claudia and Holland on their way from the theater to Aaron’s office. Holland had been alert but hyperfocused, not giving a second thought to anyone they might have passed. RMI’s rumor mill did work quickly. But if Danny knew his sister had confronted Holland, he would be more angry than concerned right now, or at least would have given away what he knew. Then he had just known from—what? Seeing them? Danny put his hand on their arm, and Holland focused their attention on that, feeling more present.

“Claudia hexed me,” Holland said, quietly, to avoid being overheard by the other occupants of the common room. Their voice sounded flat and strange to them, but at least it wasn’t shaking. Their hands were shaking. Holland cleared their throat and tried again, this time in a more normal tone. “She asked me to break up with you. I refused, we argued, and she hexed me. It wasn’t much of a duel. I won,” they added. That felt important to mention. “And I reported her to Professor McKindy, so the staff is dealing with it. I’ll be fine.” Holland didn’t feel okay just yet, but they were back in Lyra, and Danny was there. Safe.

  • Who hurt my Holland? - Dardanius Dubois, Mon Apr 9 14:25
    Danny had always thrived on routine. A schedule of classes helped him focus, a regular exercise regime kept him active and alert, and predictable periods of leisure time helped him relax. Before... more
    • You’re not gonna like the answer - Holland Keene, Tue Apr 10 11:06
      • There is no good answer - Dardanius, Tue Apr 10 16:02
        “Claudia hexed me.” At once Danny experienced symptoms similar to how he’d expect to feel if a bucket of ice water had been emptied over his head. He was shocked, his senses numbed beyond an icy fury ... more
        • Then you might be disappointed - Holland, Wed Apr 11 06:00
          Danny hadn’t known, based on his rapid pivot from concern to shock to outrage. Even last year when they had argued and yelled at each other, Holland didn’t think they had ever seen him this mad, but... more
          • That much is apparent - Danny, Wed Apr 11 09:39
            Danny wasn’t sure if it was better or worse that Claudia had used a different spell. The hex she’d cast on Danny had been so destructive to his emotional state, he’d be alarmed if she ever used it... more
            • There must be a silver lining - Holland, Thu Apr 12 05:16
              Both Danny and Emmett had grown taller than Holland over the last two years. They didn’t think heels high enough to make them taller than Emmett existed, but they were close enough in height to Danny ... more
              • Every cloud has one - Danny, Thu Apr 12 15:13
                Danny had interpreted Holland taking his other hand as a sign they would be comfortable with more intimate contact, which they confirmed as they leaned into his embrace. Both Lyras had understood... more
                • At least, that’s what I’ve heard - Holland, Fri Apr 13 15:15
                  “A lot better now,” Holland said, still not quite able to match Danny’s genuine smile, but making an effort. They felt a rush of affection that surpassed their usual feelings for Danny. It wasn’t... more
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