June 4, 2015

In Which Gennie Can't Find the Wrong

April 15, 1192

"Hello... kiddo," Gennie addressed her brother--sister?--sibling?--not without the unfortunate awkward pause. She hadn't seen much of Holden since they'd settled in at their grandfather's castle. Apart from their mother, most of the household hadn't either.

But today, she--Gennie guessed she'd use 'she' until Holden/Hollie/Holladrin told her for sure--was out of her room, seated in the baroness's sitting room where anyone could find her rather than behind the locked door of her bedroom. Perhaps she didn't actively want to talk, but Gennie took it as a sign that she wasn't opposed to it either. "Hello."

"Um. So." Had Gennie ever had such trouble speaking in her life? Conversation had always come so easily to her! It had been her one pride and joy in comparison to Dea. Well, that and her fashion sense, but Dea's utter indifference to style dulled the excitement of that. "How are you feeling?"

"All right, I guess." Hollie--that was what their mother had called her privately, it seemed--sighed as Gennie sat down next to her. "At least I don't have to be king."

"I guess so." That would have been a downside for many, but the lack of interest in ruling was something Gennie could understand. She had her strengths, and Hollie would too, but ruling required a particular combination she didn't think either of them had. Dea? She had it. "But, uh... how about just you, personally? Are you angry with mother?"

Hollie shook her head. "No."

"I think I would be."

"That's because you'd hate being a boy." Gennie wouldn't argue there! The boring hairstyles and scratchy-looking tunics and... ugh, physical training! "But I don't know. I think most of the boy stuff and girl stuff is made up, if you really think about it."

"Hmm. Maybe." Though, even if that was true, Gennie still had no doubt about her own status as a girl. But, as all of this had taught her, that wasn't the case for everyone--and even if it was an odd thought for her, she couldn't think of any reason as to why that would be wrong. "Do you like being a boy?"

"I don't know. I never really thought about it before now. It was just a thing that I was told and I didn't know otherwise."

"So you don't feel cheated."

"No. I think Father would have been worse if Mama hadn't done it, to her and me. And maybe you and Dea too." That was... well, probably the right way of looking at it. Maybe. The positive way, at least. "Gennie?"


"Could I maybe try on one of your old dresses?"

Gennie smiled. "Take your pick."



Van said...

Look at this awesome picture Andavri drew! :D

Ren said...

Yay for Hollie and supportive siblings. I'm curious to see where she goes from here, especially in regards to the gender she ultimately feels best suits her - or lack of gender. And if she does feel she's a he, not a she, perhaps a trip to everybody's favorite pond is in order?

And good for Gennie, I'm so glad none of them is like Ietrin.

Also, wooo fanart! Fantastic :) -waves Queen Dea flag-

(and maybe she could meet a certain dress-wearing fellow who may or may not be a secret favorite of mine?)

Van said...

It's indeed very lucky that none of the three of them are like Ietrin! :D

It'll probably take Hollie a period of "trying on" to figure out which gender she prefers, if either. Luckily, she's still young, and her family is powerful enough that most people wouldn't dare pick on her too much. The proximity of the pond is also not the worst thing in the world should Hollie decide that a dip is in order.

I was ridiculously happy when I saw that piece in my Tumblr inbox! :D Considering printing it out and hanging it up somewhere (though I do live with people who have no idea this story exists, so that might raise a few questions. Maybe when I move).

Adonis has a fan! This pleases me. Rest assured that I do have plans for him. ;) He and Hollie could get along quite well, actually. He does know the princesses, but none of them particularly well. He probably knows Gennie best since they're closest in age and she's always hanging around his cousin.

katdelval said...

Hollie's situation is thought provoking. What if you were born one gender but told you were another, and you didn't know about the physical differences between biological boys and girls? I think you would end up questioning a lot of things about what really makes someone a boy or girl. I like Hollie's conclusion that gender roles are made up, and I think it's a perfectly reasonable conclusion for Hollie to come to. I am very curious to see if Hollie feels more comfortable in a girl role, or if she decides that being a boy feels right. I'm assuming those things might be more conspicuous when puberty hits. It will be interesting to see where Hollie's story goes from here.

Van said...

Yeah, Hollie didn't know anything about the physical differences until... probably yesterday. I'm sure Jeda would have briefed her when she had the chance, now that Ietrin is gone. In her mind--which is now probably a lot clearer on the idea than a lot of her peers, given the gender roles they've been raised with--there aren't really "girl things" and "boy things", because she has a body that is socially designated as a girl's body, and she did the boy things just fine. Nothing she's experienced gives her the idea that gender roles are an actual result of gender itself.

She's getting pretty close to puberty--she'll be ten in February, so I'll be aging her up then--so she might have a clearer idea of what feels more natural for her.

S.B. said...

Whichever gender Hollie finds suits best, there is a lovely quiet clearheaded calm within her that will probably make either decision the one that should have always been foreseen. She seems to give that calm to other people when they're with her.

The drawing is wonderful!

Van said...

Hollie is a pretty calm kid, for the most part. Like her sisters, she's also generally clear-headed and introspective. When she does make her realization, it will be a natural move.

And she is very calming to be around (for people who aren't Ietrin, at least). Even though she isn't set to rule the country any more, it would be good for her to have a high position--to keep all the other higher-ups in a good frame of mind.