So… all these questions about Merril got me thinking… How did she get into Dalton in the first place? I know she’s transgendered, but if she is a she, how did she get into Dalton? (please excuse my ignorance. I’m fairly new to the whole LGBT community, so I’m not as familiar with transgendered.)
And thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions!
<3, a Dalton obsessed Fangirl :P
This is actually a good story.
Justin was barely into his second year the night they assumed God may have decided to destroy all the humans again and bring down a rain of biblical proportions onto Westerville. The rain beat so hard down into the ground and over everything that he imagined the roof would be coming down at any second. It hammered angrily at the windows, wanting to get in.
The Hanover fireplace roared as the boys gathered by it, frowning at the rain that night, the beating so loud that some of them couldn’t concentrate.
That was when the knock at the door came—insistent. “Justin, go get it!” shouted Avery, the reigning King of Hanover.
"Make Spencer get it," Justin grunted from the sofa without looking up from his book.
"Spencer get the door!" Avery yelled, impatient, and not in the mood to argue with the ill-humored English boy.
"Damn it, Justin…" Spencer grumbled and rose. He headed to the door, mumbling, and braced himself for opening the door to the torrent.
The moment he opened the doors, wind came whistling in and a spray of raindrops greeted him, but most of it was blocked from him by the sight of a long-haired boy dripping wet on the terrace, pale and hair dripping steadily. He had on a coat, but it was useless—it was already soaked through and heavy. All of his bags at his feet were wet.
"Come on, quick!" Spencer gasped, pulling him in and helping him drag the bags in. A whistle of wind later, the door slammed shut and Spencer was sinking against it breathlessly. He looked up to the newcomer, who stared at him.
Everything about this new person was wet, soaked, and sopping, and his feet were already surrounded a steadily growing puddle on the ground. Interesting shoes. Were those heels? “Uh…”
"Hi…" whispered the new boy, eyes swollen and rimmed red—he looked as though he had been crying. He pushed back the long wavy locks of wet hair matted to his face, looking pale and cold.
"Who are you?" Spencer asked, confused as he crossed the hall to get one of the blankets in the nearby cupboard.
"Merril…" coughed the new boy, voice very quiet. "Merril Portman."
He did look awful delicate for a guy, though. Spencer found a blanket just as Justin emerged from the common room with the freshman Danny. He took one look at the wet newcomer and had Danny call Avery immediately.
"I’m new," Merril muttered to Spencer, who threw the blanket over him. "I…just transferred. Freshman."
"Why are you crying, dude? It’s all right. Don’t worry about all the water, we got this."
Merril winced lightly at what he was called. But he only said, “…nothing.”
Avery arrived then, and he looked concerned at the sight of him. “You’re the new one? The Portman boy?”
Another wince. “…yes.”
"I thought you weren’t coming today—it’s raining all hell! Come on…"
The Hanovers then flocked around the wet newbie, very concerned, and took him into the common room. The other boys near the fireplace immediately fled it to make way, looking in surprise at the sodden newcomer. But it wasn’t until Danny offered to relieve Merril of his long coat did they see what was underneath. A white (now streaked with mud) dress.
More than one pair of eyebrows were raised, but not a single person made a comment. Danny immediately got a chair and the boys sat Merril in it in front of the fire, throwing more covers on him.
Avery snapped his fingers to Justin’s eyes. “Go get his…” he stopped, and stared at Merril, who stared back at him with big wet, swollen eyes. And Avery shook his head, endlessly wise and understanding for a boy his age. He looked at Justin. “Get her bags. Find her something dry.” Avery now looked at Merril intently. “Miss Portman, if your things are too wet, are you all right with wearing something of ours?”
Merril stared at them, all of them, who were staring with obvious concern. Her mouth opened to speak but nothing came out as tears filled her eyes and she burst into tears—relieved.
When everything calmed down, the Hanovers managed to gain a story that they were not comfortable hearing. Merril Portman was sent to Dalton Academy as a result of a vicious battle between her family members. Her parents were not willing to accept a son who truly believed that he was actually a daughter. They had thrown Merril out of their home, and for the longest week of her life, Merril was lost—until her Uncle and Aunt found her, relieved endlessly to find her still alive and relatively unharmed. They took her in to protect her. The parents found out, and were furious. They wanted Merril back, because her frame of thinking shouldn’t be encouraged. Merril wanted to be with her parents because she loved them.
The battle between her Uncle, Aunt and parents were terrible. The uncle and aunt fought endlessly with her parents, demanding them to take Merril back and accept her, and that she shouldn’t be abandoned or be forced to change. But the parents, while they were willing to take Merril back in, insisted that she needed to change, to behave like any other boy, that this was a phase. That they couldn’t handle this kind of fiasco.
In the end, a deal was struck. Merril’s Uncle and Aunt would continue to look after Merril, and damn them to hell if they wanted to keep encouraging her. But the parents would not relinquish Merril, they wouldn’t let them adopt her. They insisted that they were to send Merril to an all-boys school for high school—Dalton Academy in Westerville. They would continue to consider Merril as their child as long as she was sent to the all-boys school. Merril was a boy to them, that was it.
That was why Merril had been crying all the way to Dalton. She did not want to be sent into a school where she was going to be forced to become what she was not, and to be surrounded by eyes who judged her ceaselessly, as she knew that would do. School was going to be bitter hell, just like her junior high had been, and she wouldn’t be with people who loved her the way her Uncle and Aunt did.
But when the Hanovers looked at her, only concerned for her health, and when Avery and everyone else called her “Miss” and “her”, and continued to treat her like any other perfectly normal girl in spite of her then current state as a biological boy, she couldn’t stop crying, tears endless like the rain that heralded her arrival to Dalton.
It took a while, but the tears did stop and she started to adjust, to the uniforms, to being treated as a boy by people and staff in school—or at least until her situation became widely understood. And the Hanovers earned themselves their own elegant little lady who looked after them almost like a mother hen, sensible and intelligent, helping her every step of the way.