Okay. So far, so… weird. Plus side: Magdalena hadn’t written to his dads or forced him to watch a romantic movie marathon that consisted of only one movie. But he also couldn’t tell what she wanted. Was she going to try to convince him to get back together with Darlene? Did she want him to grovel and beg for Darlene to apologize to him? Did she want him to let Darlene break up with him so Darlene could save face? None of these were things that Drew wanted to do. In fact, these were all things Drew fully planned on refusing to do if they were suggested.
But at least he and Magdalena both agreed they cared about Darlene, so he didn’t interrupt her or walk away from this meeting that was clearly an ambush unrelated to the newspaper. It was weird having a frank conversation with someone who was functionally a stranger (all he really knew about Magdalena was that she was in Lyra and she was betrothed to that horse guy who had graduated a couple years ago) about kind of the biggest thing going on in his life right now, but it was a relief to not cover anything up. Maybe that was what counseling was good for: just talking to someone who didn’t have an opinion, or who you paid to keep their opinion to themself.
Not that Magdalena was unopinionated, obviously. “And I cannot imagine the difficulties you personally must have faced during your years of courtship.”
Honestly the main difficulty had been Kit, until she had decided that Darlene was her best friend and that it was actually not just okay that Drew was dating her, but fantastic. In hindsight, Drew should have seen that coming back to bite him, no matter how pleased he’d been about it at the time. Served him right for trying to convince Kit of something in the first place. At the time, he just hadn’t thought un-convincing her would be necessary. Other than that, there had been vague implications about blood status and propriety from various pureblood-type people, but Drew didn’t especially care what those people thought because they were wrong.
Still, it was nice of Magdalena to suggest Drew had been through things too. He nodded agreement, eyes darting down at the papers as Magdalena rearranged them. What were those papers for? Drew couldn’t tell from his quick glance. Maybe they were just props. He looked back up at the Lyra as she continued speaking.
Oh, for Merlin’s sake. Of course Darlene’s reputation had not been his main thought in the breakup! He had a couple of other priorities at the time. And now. “No,” Drew said on an irritated sigh, “no, I don’t understand. It’s not perilous. People break up all the time, especially here.” A chart of the relationships between all the students at RMI over the years would just be a mess of broken lines, with a few long-term survivors. “I’m not saying it’s not a big deal—it’s a big deal to me!—but this is between me and Darlene. No one else should care. Besides, I’ve been hearing for years that I’m not best for Darlene.” Some of those people may have been right, but it wasn’t for the reasons they had thought. “So how is us dating gonna keep affecting her life now?”