You Shall Go to the Ball (Rina)

Brunnhold's college town, located inside the university grounds.
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Location: Ireland
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Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:41 pm

Bethas 40, 2719 | Late Morning
Rina's House, The Stacks
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Niamh was in a tizzy. Well, maybe tizzy wasn't the right word - too narrow. It was more like someone had taken a variety of emotions that didn't work well beside one another, shaken them together and dispensed a potent cocktail of distress in the form of the final year student. Despair, anger, hopelessness, determination and possibly some hysteria had all been blended together as well as some reckless abandon.

She was going to do something stupid. She was going to do something intentionally that was exceptionally stupid and was likely to lead to a world of trouble. But she didn't care anymore. She hadn't asked for this and if her father disowned her then well... she'd prepared for this, hadn't she? And she'd be better off than Fionn who had also done something so unforgivable that their parents acted as if he'd never existed: he'd been born passive.

Okay, maybe it wasn't truly world-shattering, she highly doubted that her actions would send ripples shivering through Vita that threatened to rip its order apart and cascade it into chaos. It was a dress. It was just a dress, women wore them all the time, just... not women who were meant to be very sensible, respectable and newly betrothed. What she was planning might have been all right, fuelling some gossip, earning some raised eyebrows and amused looks if she'd been planning on wearing such a thing while hanging on her fiancé's arm. Wearing a revealing dress to an event and publicly snubbing your future husband was the act of a wanton woman, one who was interested in exploring the market rather than one that had been all but bought and sold.

But she wasn't Caleb Darcy's wife yet and she had no intention of becoming his either. If she snubbed him publicly, if she showed that she wasn't some trembling and helpless little wallflower then perhaps everyone would stop trying to walk all over her. The eldest Madden was sick of being walked on and as had become quite evident recently, she was more than capable of letting people know it. This time, she had no intention of losing her temper with anyone, not losing control in a wild and uncontrollable way. There would be no accusations that she was hysterical, no sir.

She would show them and damnit, maybe she would show Harper something in the process too because damn her family, damn society, she should have the bloody right to choose.

It was petty, childish even but it would be her little rebellion. She was a grown woman and maybe it was time to make people sit up and take notice of that. So she had come to a decision and even though she was scared and nervous and doubted her intent to some degree, she was also set on making her presence at this year's St. Grumble's Red Tie memorable.

It was what was driving her into the Stacks this tenth, unaccompanied despite the recent fears about the safety of Brunnhold's students. The truth was that the Living Conversationalist only had a vague notion of fashion and she also had limited time. Limited time meant limited options and her friends were few and far between so there weren't many people whose advice she could seek. However, there was someone she was friendly with who knew about fashion and from all accounts, had experience in shaking things up in a scandalous fashion: Rina Salifa.

The half-Mugrobi girl had attempted to take the redhead under her wing, offering her opportunities to socialise and be part of things, doing her best to draw Niamh out of her shell. It hadn't exactly worked out but that wasn't Rina's fault; sometimes you needed a person to meet you halfway. Now was the time to make the necessary effort.

Thus, the young woman was out on the final day of the weekend and the month at an hour that might still be early for those who were taking advantage of the last bit of freedom before classes resumed. The necessary enquiries had been made and the requested directions given to lead her to this particular location, sturdy red-brick homes towering above her, as solid and impressive as those of Brunnhold but these were for just a few people, not the multitudes of galdori youth who required an education. These were the sort of houses owned by very well-off galdori, which were either kept for personal use or to turn a profit by divvying them up for renting purposes. It seemed unthinkable that the wealthy younger student would be sharing a household with anyone, even if they were giving her parents money, and yet it also seemed unthinkable that one person could possibly require so much space.

The precise location of the house hadn't been known to her but it was recognisable for its unique modification: a ramp in the stead of a step. Knowing Rina's need for it, she could see how that simple slope opened a world of mobility for the half-blood and her wheelchair. Shoes tapped softly on the gentle incline, a small gloved hand raised to grasp the brass knocker before there was a pause. A pulse went through her field, a nervous energy trembling out from the epicentre as her resolve wavered a tad. As doubt tried to creep in. However, she was already holding the chilled metal, the cold seeping through the material between it and her skin and she shoved it back against the wood before she could talk herself out of this. An initial slam, more forceful than strictly necessary, was followed by two smart but more measured taps. She let the knocker fall from her grasp, clasping hands and letting them dangling before her. After a moment, they went behind her back instead; she was fidgety, her body language betraying her edginess as readily as the anxious eddies in the mona surrounding her.

Moments stretched by with painful slowness, the youth nibbling her lip as she wondered if this would be an inconvenient time, if Rina would want to entertain an unexpected guest so early on a tenth. Would the girl be cross or bewildered? To think that after all her attempts over the past two months that Niamh would appear of her own accord and in so unexpected a guise-

The door opened and revealed a servant - a butler. As the man looked her over, the student straightened her coat self-consciously before thinking better of it; she straightened her posture instead.

"Good day. I need to see your mistress on a matter of urgency. I understand that she won't be expecting me but if I could come in out of the cold, I can wait for her. Provided that you assure her that she needn't rush herself on my account. You can tell her that Niamh Madden is here to see her," she announced grandly, feeling warmth enter her freckled cheeks that she doubted showed thanks to the flush brought on by the lingering Bethas chill.

Her words sounded too adult to her ears, too false and insincere, more akin to the words that her father might use; apparently, Toibin Madden had taught his daughter well after all. Surprisingly, the shake didn't show in her voice although the chaos within was likely felt in her field, no matter how closely she held it around her. There was either sufficient command in her voice or he had some standing orders concerning certain sort of guests - or perhaps her specifically - because she was ushered in and placed in a room with a fire roaring in the hearth. The enveloping warmth was gratefully received, the galdor keeping her coat on as she shivered her way back to a reasonable temperature, perching on the edge of a chair that would likely have been comfortable if she'd been willing to relax rather than adopting the attitude of a bird ready to take flight.

She didn't want Rina to overexert herself on her account or make unnecessary haste but at the same time, the young woman selfishly hoped that she wouldn't have to wait long for her to appear.
word count: 1425

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