Marley Chapman

June 3, 2020, 7:14 p.m.

This isn't real. Nope.

Ten minutes ago, Marley had been buttoning up her shirt-dress when she decided that it felt like a French toast sort of day. She had no idea why. Maybe it had something to do with her outfit? Her dress had a wide grey-and-teal plaid pattern, and plaid put her in a cozy mood, and cozy moods called for cozy foods; the magical window in their dorm was even showing a picturesque winter scene today - well, minus the yeti on the horizon, that wasn’t about to make it onto a classic Hallmark holiday card - but aside from that it was perfect for cozying up.

Whether it was plaid-related or for some other reason, her craving for eggy bread and maple syrup was justified when she called through the bathroom door to ask what Alice wanted for breakfast and the brunette, unprompted, also suggested French toast. “Roomie hivemind!” Marley had cheered, sliding her feet into a well-worn (and well-looked-after) pair of black leather ankle boots. She belted the dress snugly around her waist, twirled once, checked her dark red lipgloss in the reflection of her very dead phone (at least it was still good for something), grabbed her bookbag, and headed out, promising to save Alice a seat once she was ready to join.

The great thing about RMI was that it was now only ten minutes later and, without any more effort than walking down the hall and sliding into a booth and making a verbal request, she had a heaping stack of perfectly golden French toast in front of her, each triangle dusted in icing sugar with mixed berries piled along the side of the plate. Slicing into it with fork and knife, Marley took a big bite and hummed contentedly. Gosh yes, this was the best way to start the day.

The less great thing about RMI was when the Lion King soundtrack started playing out of nowhere - okay, that part would’ve been fine if it hadn’t been accompanied by the school’s resident poltergeist screaming across the ceiling and flinging a handful of papers at her. In retrospect she’d probably look back at this and think it was to be expected, as Shifty Eyes had been suspiciously absent for a couple years and she couldn’t honestly remember the last time she’d seen uhhh it? (him? xir? What were the right pronouns to use for a vaguely personified embodiment of chaos? Did Shifty Eyes even care? So many questions, so little time) so it only made sense that the poltergeist’s return would be announced with the music of the most traumatizing Disney movie from her childhood plus confetti to the max. But in the moment, Marley was mainly just surprised at suddenly having a piece of paper bounce off her afro and into her breakfast.

“Hey!” she protested automatically, fully aware that wouldn’t stop anything from happening, and pulled the paper out of its syrupy grave. Immediately she saw the word TWATs and did a combination groan/sigh/pffft. Both as one of RMI’s Head Students and as Kit’s Beater partner-in-please-no-crime on the Lyra Quidditch team, Marley had attempted on several occasions to convince her to rename the club. Each time she optimistically told herself that she’d succeeded, and each time Kit proved her wrong. It might actually work if she told her what that word meant but she didn’t have the heart, or maybe it was more like she had too much heart, to break it to her. So the TWATs lived on, apparently.

She cast a quick siphoning charm, totally a waste of maple syrup, and started reading. Her combination groan/sigh/pffft was not improved by its contents and quickly expanded to include gape/frown/confused inhale. Remy and Connor?? No that couldn’t be right, because she was dating Remy. They might not have labelled all of it as dates, but when they hung out there was definitely date subtext, which was normal - subtlety was part of gay dating culture, especially POC gay dating culture since they were sandwiched on both sides by repression and judgement. (Admittedly this was not part of Marley’s personal gay dating culture, but she’d been especially mindful of not rushing things too fast ever since the disasters that were her past attempted relationships.) She and Remy had never had the Exclusive Dating conversation, but she’d definitely mentioned in conversation how she couldn’t imagine being in a poly relationship like her parents were, so her interest in Exclusive Dating was pretty obvious. Last but not least, Connor was a garbage human. Not even human. He was an android with glitchy AI. The odds Remy would date him were like, two percent.

But now she was wondering…… had she screwed up? Were she and Remy not dating? What had they been doing all of the first half of term, then? Marley was so caught in this mini-existential crisis tornado that she didn’t notice another student was nearby until they spoke. She practically jumped out of her seat in surprise. “Gah! What? This isn’t real!” she insisted, brandishing the paper at them with a frown as if it had been their idea.

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THE RETURN OF SHIFTY EYES - Sadie Embers || May 31
This isn't real. Nope. - Marley Chapman || June 03
I hope you’re right - Andrew Tennant || June 08
But what if I'm wrong??? - Marley Chapman || June 14
Then we’re all in trouble - Andrew Tennant || June 20
I don't know who can fix this one - Marley Chapman || June 27
We can try Spellotape - Andrew Tennant || July 25
Good idea! Did it work? - Marley Chapman || August 01