Closed Ready to Sink or Swim

Sawyer Carnahan

'58 Grad | Adrift
OOC First Name
Blood Status
Relationship Status
Interested in Somebody
12 Inch Whippy Holly Wand with Mermaid Scale Core
06/2040 (18)
Without their OWLs this year, Sawyer was relieved that classes felt at least minutely more mangagble than they had last year. At the very least he was able to leave the room without feeling like he was constantly forgetting something important. The downside of this being he had a lot more brainspace back for thinking. Or overthinking. And he'd certainly been spending more than enough time doing just that when it came to things with him and Essie.

The problem was he liked her. He really liked her. And she liked him! She'd told him as much over Yule. So why couldn't he bring himself to stop dancing around that fact and actually ask her out properly, no safety net? It was dragging him down and with the Ravenclaw Quidditch season officially in the dirt, Sawyer wasn't sure how much longer he could go without his brain exploding from it all.

Leaving Transfig, Sawyer slowed as he slung his bag over his shoulder, eyes lingering on Harper as she left the room. She'd seemed pretty intense all class herself and Sawyer wondered maybe there was a solution there. Harper had been a good ear for his relationship woes in the past, it couldn't hurt to try it again. "Hey, Harper, how's it going? What's your take on Professor Abberline? Better or worse than Styx?" He asked, jogging slightly to catch up with her in the hallway as they filed out of class.
Harper had spent all of Transfiguration dreading this moment. As her classmates started to leave, she hung back, staring at the door to Professor Abberline's office. This was when she was supposed to have her animagus lessons, but Professor Abberline had cancelled those, telling her not to come back until she was "ready." Well, Harper felt ready now. She'd been ready to become an animagus for years. But as tempted as Harper was to march over and insist she was now fine, she knew that if he asked her to transform, she wouldn't be able to do it. She'd had another nightmare about the accident only last night, and the thought of getting stuck again made her skin crawl.

In the end, Harper forced herself to leave the classroom, her head aswim, and she jumped a little when she heard her name. "Sawyer. Hey." She smiled at the Ravenclaw and slowed down a bit to let him catch up. But her smile faltered a little at his next question. "Oh. He's nice, I guess." She sighed, knowing her frustration was misplaced. It wasn't Professor Abberline's fault she'd developed a fear of self-transfiguration. "He's a lot more enthusiastic than Styx." Harper glanced over at Sawyer, tilting her head a little. "Why? What do you think?" She couldn't tell if he actually cared about their Transfiguration professors or if this was a prelude to a different conversation.
Sawyer hummed as Harper responded, trying to actually listen to her response even as his gaze tried to drift further down the hall in case he could spot Essie again. "I dunno, Styx was kind of hard to read but she always kinda wigged me out. Like anyone who voluntarily married Styx-Uh, the other Styx- like, surely something had to be a little bit wrong there right? Like blink twice if you're under an Imperio curse or whatever," he said with a wry smile and a shrug, aware that maybe he wasn't in any position to judge romantic partners considering his own reservations.

He glanced back at Harper, dragging his eyes away from where he'd been looking for Estella as he tried to hunt down a decent segway. He couldn't exactly lay out exactly what he was worried about, Essie probably would never forgive him if it got out he was spreading rumours about who'd she'd been kissing. He'd done that before with Ivy and it hadn't ended well. No, he had to be delicate here. "So uh.. what do you think of.. Essie?" Smooth, he thought, grimacing.
It was a little mean, but Harper chuckled at Sawyer's comment. "They did always seem like very different people," she agreed. The Transfiguration professor had never been as stern or dour as her husband. She actually smiled at her students and even decorated her classroom for the holidays — two things Harper couldn't imagine the retired Styx ever doing. "Maybe it's a case of opposites attracting or something. Wonder why she decided to stick around after he retired though," she mused. Was that where Professor Styx had disappeared off to this semester? Was she spending time with her husband?

Sawyer seemed a little distracted, and Harper couldn't tell if he was actually listening to her. She was about to comment on it when he suddenly brought up Estella. "That's quite the subject change," she said, raising her eyebrows slightly. Harper was silent for a few moments as she debated her response. She had a lot of thoughts about Estella, none of them good. "Do you... do you want me to be honest? You don't still like her, do you?" she asked before immediately wincing. She hadn't meant for the question to sound so judgmental. At the same time, Harper didn't understand why Sawyer still cared about the Hufflepuff. She knew Sawyer didn't have the greatest history when it came to dating and picking romantic partners, but he had literally witnessed firsthand Estella's cruelty towards Nikko.
"Probably for the best there's not more folks exactly like Styx running around," Sawyer said, playing up an elaborate shudder at the idea.

He could only shoot Harper a sheepish smile when she called out his sudden deviation in their conversation, shrugging his shoulders high. "Well, I was aiming for subtle," he muttered, rounding his shoulders and chewing his lip at her next question. "No yeah, uh, fire away, I think I need like, an objective opinion since my brain turns to goo every time she flips her hair around or something so I'm pretty hopeless here," he admitted, glancing briefly further down the hallway before forcing his attention back to Harper. This was why he wanted to talk to her in the first place. "It's just like... I know what she's done in the past, I was there, and I should be concerned about that right? But I'm... Not sure it matters to me, I dunno," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets. "I wanna think she's learnt her lesson about that kind of thing, that's not a bad thing right?" Essie had extended the same kindness to him after the mess with Ivy but Sawyer couldn't shake the feeling like proceeding with caution wasn't the worst idea here, and if anyone could think about things objectively, it'd be someone like Harper he hoped.
Judging by the way Sawyer spoke about Estella, Harper doubted there was anything she could say that would change his opinion of the girl. Somehow, that made it a little easier to be honest. "I don't know if I can be objective," she admitted. After all, Nikko was one of her close friends, and Harper had always been incredibly loyal to her friends. She listened quietly as Sawyer explained his thinking, frowning a little when he said he wanted to overlook what Estella had done. "I don't think it's bad to want to think that," she started, deciding to chalk his sentiments up to wishful thinking.

"But do you have any proof she's actually learned her lesson?" Personally, Harper didn't think she had. "She didn't even think about apologising to Nikko until last semester, when I told her she needed to." That had been a full seven months after the dance. "I still don't know if she ever ended up talking to him." If Estella had, well, Harper had her own theory as to why, and it wasn't flattering. She sighed. "If she hasn't learned her lesson, then there's nothing stopping her from doing something similar again." Sawyer was a friend, too, and Harper didn't want to see him get hurt. But she also knew he would make his own choices.
Sawyer raised an eyebrow at Harper's admission about being bias here, but maybe they could balance each other out. Beggars couldn't be choosers and all that he figured. "Naive maybe?" He murmured, listening as Harper continued.

"It can be scary to talk to someone after you've... hurt them," he said, failing to resist the knee-jerk urge to defend Essie. He'd asked Harper for her opinion, he reminded himself, he needed to actually listen. "I'm not sure how thrilled I am at how much this is starting to sound like I actually have to urgh, talk about my feelings with her," he said with a massive sigh, scrubbing a hand through his hair. He really wanted to believe Essie wouldn't do that again, after all, the person she'd ostensibly cheated on Nikko with had been.. him. Maybe he could just mark it up to his irresistible charms... Sure. Sawyer shook his head, resisting the urge to hide his face in his hands. "Thanks though. For the very bias advice," he said, offering Harper a sheepish smile. "Seriously, next time you have stupid relationship woes please let me return the favour this is starting to feel very unbalanced," he said accusingly, trying to lighten the uneasy air now hanging over his head.
It was a little eerie hearing Sawyer defend Estella because she had made an almost identical excuse, though in Estella's case, she hadn't even seemed to register that she'd hurt Nikko. "It is," she agreed. "But that doesn't mean you can just ignore them." Harper hadn't realised that she'd been giving advice until Sawyer summarised their conversation. She smiled sympathetically as he sighed. "Isn't that what all relationship advice boils down to? 'You should talk about your feelings with the other person'?" Of course, that was easier said than done. She supposed the alternative was moving on and forgetting about Estella (and personally, that's what she would have done if she were in Sawyer's position) but she could tell that wasn't an option for him.

Harper shrugged a little when he thanked her. "You're welcome though I'm not sure I was that much help." She was pretty sure she'd just spent more time ranting about Estella than giving actual advice. He was the one who had pieced it all together. She did have to chuckle a little at Sawyer's last comment. "Will do. Next time I have relationship problems, I'll keep you in mind," she said with a smile. Privately, however, Harper wasn't sure Sawyer was at the top of her list of people to turn to for relationship advice. Then again, he did have a lot more experience than her.

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