Merril Leonard Portman
"If he was having some kind of breakdown…I might as well take advantage of it while I could. "
Full Name: Merril Leonard Portman
Goes By: Merril
Age as of 2015: 21/22
From: (Assuming) Ohio, USA
School: Dalton Academy (2008-2011) Dobry Hall (2011-2012)
Merril Portman is a male-to-female trans person (the only one in Dalton history) currently staying in Hanover House as a Junior. She is referred to as a female by a vast majority of the school (if not everyone), and absolutely everyone in Hanover House. When not in school uniform, which Merril immediately sheds given any opportunity, Merril dresses neatly and elegantly in female fashions. She actually looks very feminine, and this can be confusing for people who don't know the fact that she is a transgendered person (since she attends a school for boys). Currently, she is pre-op, but taking hormones, as a custody battle over her guardianship continues to ensue in her family.
Merril's school standing is excellent, with a glittering academic record. She is a very headstrong and dedicated person, and one of her main concerns is her petition to become transferred to the Dobry Hall School for Girls, Dalton's sister school. This would be the very first time anything like this has ever happened, and she actively campaigns for it with the support of Hanover House and many fellow students.
Merril is tall with a rather lean but shapely body, and is slightly tanned, with wavy brown hair that was rather long (a request from her guardians to the administration), and wide brown eyes. From her normal clothing, it is unlikely anyone would be able to tell that she is a trans woman, and people treat her like any other girl.
Merril's whole backstory upon arriving to Dalton is told in the side-canon A Rainy Story, revealing her torn situation from her family and how Hanover House accepted her into their fold. It was also presently revealed that Merril has long held affections for her older schoolmate Spencer Willis, who apparently does not return her affections, but it wasn't long after this when Spencer rises to the occasion and proves to the entire House otherwise, with an over-the-top screaming confession that he'd always liked her.
Merril's mom is a housewife and her dad is a bank executive. Her aunt and uncle run a flower company.
Her parents aren’t thrilled about surgery and won’t sign off, so she can’t, being underage.
Her Uncle and Aunt are hoping to win a legal battle about Merril, wanting to adopt her and become her legal guardians, so they can permit her to be whoever she wants to be, and that includes the surgery.
Her Aunt and Uncle don't know about Spencer yet.
Merrils aunt and uncle are Simon and Patty. She loves seeing them.
Baby Merril liked blocks the best. Toss them around or stack them, or just play with them in her little hands.
Except From 'A Rainy Day'
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.
My parents always told me that I was a boy and that I would never be accepted as anything else, but right now I’m sitting in an all-boy’s school whose student body calls me in the feminine terms, treats me entirely like a girl and seems hell bent on moving me to an all-girls school.
Merril finds it flattering when someone asks her why she's in an all boys school because it means they think of her as a girl now. She explains politely with few words.
She has been working hard to become a student at Dobry and Spencer supports her in that and is proud of her.
Merril is just taller than Kurt.
Merril and Adam are the only two Hanovers that haven't been concussed yet.
When Hanover boys are hungry for real food, they try to prod Merril into making them some. She usually gives in.
Merril actually likes talking about Something Damaged to Adam. She likes the show, but Adam knows it to such a degree that she’s a little fascinated—she’s hasn’t encountered anyone who talked about it so intensely there in school.
She baked Kurt an apple pie for Mother's Day.
Merril still wears the uniform as is, a little bit modified to fit her better, but the teachers don’t say anything on the occasion she chooses to wear a gray pencil skirt instead of the pants. Spencer has a huge problem with that because boys check her out.
When she met Julian, she asked for his autograph and he gave her a hug. Julian thinks she's nice.
The Hanovers treated Merril like a princess all Mothers’ Day. She barely had to leave her room, they did everything for her and brought anything she wanted to her. Not that she could, the sheer amount of flowers in her room may have made it difficult.
Merril appears to be the closest to Adam, because she’s discovered his love of Something Damaged.
As for noticing anything strange about Adam, she does notice that he’s particularly interested in the show above all else and that he’s a bit of a shut-in, but not much else. She mentioned Julian to him a couple of times and he seemed very enthusiastic about telling her that he met him in the fair and ran into him in the halls.
She has a really good GPA.
When Danny gets sick (like a cold), Merril cuddles him and puts a blanket around him and looks after him like a mommy.
Derek flirted with Merril just once, in the school coffee lounge. Merril smiled and poured a searing cup of chai into his pants. Julian and Logan laughed until they couldn't breathe.
For Childrens Day, all boys and girls dressed up as their favorite characters as a child. Merril dressed up as Daphne.
Merril's grades are flawless—the best in Hanover.
The Hanovers treat her as they would any other lady (pulling out chairs for her, opening the door—all very casually, actually).
Oliver says about Merril: "Merril is a very elegant lady and we are fortunate to have her presence."
Riley walked Merril arm-in-arm to class once. Spencer wasn't thrilled but Merril found it pleasant.
When Merril arrived at Dalton, she thought that was the last time she was going to be a girl so if she was going to go down in this school, she was going to go down fighting. That means hair, dress, shoes. So the boys at that school might as well know up front what she saw herself as.
When all the boys got together to read scary stories to each other, Justin and Danny look like they're enjoying themselves, but Spencer's pretending he's comforting Merril, who is pretty scared.
Justin taught Danny how to braid hair. So he could help Merril braid her hair before she went to sleep.
If Charlie ever went to Hanover to escape the insanity of Windsor, he'd crash on the sofa. Justin would understand, and Merril would leave tea and scones in case he woke up hungry.
Justin and the rest of Hanover think it's a perfectly good idea to replace their salt shaker with a sprinkle grinder. When threatened that Merril will know, Spencer reasoned that, "This is a minor issue, we don't need to consult her for something as minor as that...right? RIGHT GUYS?" in which Jeff and Danny agreed and since Justin was the prefect, it was his choice.
I went to a junior high near where I lived… I guess…I could understand Kurt a little bit. I was the only one in my old school, and mom and dad never let me out of the house in anything remotely feminine. The school was co-ed. The girls gave me funny looks sometimes, but they tolerated me and that was better than what some of the boys did.
…they called me lots of different things and liked trying to get some kind of rise out of me. They treated me a little like a leper, I guess. I…never imagined the word “princess” to be so horrible before. (thoughtful expression) …when I reached Dalton…when they all eventually became my friends, they called me that too, sometimes, but it didn’t sound like the way the people at my old school did. (smiles)
She watches 'Something Damaged'
She's pre-op and taking hormones and is very prepared for surgery.
She is apparently incapable of flirting.
After she graduates, she wants to run a small business. She plans on helping her aunt and uncle, who grow flowers for boutiques and flower shops.
Merril finished a pillowcase in different colors when learning to crochet.
When given playdoh, she made a house that looks like a gingerbread house.
Merril writes fanfics.
Merril loves eating raspberries because they made her lips red.
Merril isn't all that fond of pink.
She’s quite a nice (if not very headstrong) person.
Merril's hair is always long and pretty and wavy--because she braids them. When they get loose, her hair ends up wavy.
All boys and some girls had a jousting competition. Merril didn't compete, but she did sit in the stands, dressed in a light rose dress. She said she was a little worried about the jousting.
After Spencer was hurt, Merril then started to cry and pleaded that Spencer not go back out there again. But Spencer insisted as he wants to win for her. Although Merril protested that she just wants him okay.
I think it’d want it in a big garden with lots of friends and their family… And it’ll be a white, black and red wedding… With lots of flowers. :)
She gets embarrassed over the physical part of her and Spencers relationship and doesn't know what to do.
She likes how Spencer thinks he’s so badass when he’s so sadly mistaken.
Merril was never kissed before Spencer kissed her.
Her and Spencer have told each other "I love you."
She is a year younger than Spencer.
Spencer once broke out singing Cedric’s part in Back To Hogwarts to Merril, replacing Cho Chang with “Merril”. In the hallway. On the way to lunch. Merril wanted to physically hurt him, but she resisted and just tugged him along. She’s a prim and proper girl and doesn’t like spectacles. Yes, she liked it. She made him a strawberry shortcake for it. Which he refused to share with anyone.
Sydney doesn't really disapprove of Spencer and Merril, it's more that she fears for the safety of them both. She doesn't know how Paxton will take it. As far as Sydney is concerned, Merril is a fine girl and she likes her. It's a matter of being worried about how Paxton will see it.
Merril tucks little treats, like pastry or sandwiches she makes, into Spencer's satchel in secret.
Spencer's face when Merril descended the steps of Hanover all dressed up for their first date.
Merril knows that Spencer is always pressed for time because of the senior work, so she always tries to put a little bit of food for him in his bag before they part ways for the school day.
Spencer knows exactly what time Merril is in bed and sleeping, so he goes to her room and turns down the music which she tends to leave on.
There was very civilized betting going on before Spencer and Merril got together. Justin won the bet. He made a lot of money.
On International Kissing Day, Spencer grabbed Merril and gave her a kiss in front of everyone n Hanover - everyone clapped and cheered.
Merril was mildly starting to feel like none of the boys in the whole school would really like her that way because none of them really made a direct move. Fact of the matter was, no one did because everyone knew Spencer liked her and that she liked him too and they were trying to see if they'd get it together.
Spencer's covered himself in paint and rolled around on a canvas, much to Justin's disdain. But he made that art into the wrapper for Merril's valentines present. Spencer then teased that he stayed covered in the paint for "after" but Merril just swatted him.
Spencer once brought Merril a bunch of flowers so big it was larger than him. He said "I do what it takes for my girl!" and then said Merril can put it anywhere she liked. Danny however took one look at the petals on the floor, and panicked because of the flashback it gave him so Justin yelled at Spencer.
Merril likes to wake Spencer up by pulling his curtains open and telling him to rise and shine. Spencer responds with "Ugh, early. Bad."
Spencer makes sure to pull Merril's chair out for her and gives her the grapes in his fruit salad because she loves grapes.
Merril always saves a piece of her baking batch for Spencer - the one that has the most chocolate chips or the tart that has the most strawberries. She did that before they were dating - it was kind of tradition.
Spencer would protest that he, champion among men, had managed to somehow make the most perfect girl in the world to agree to be his girlfriend. He'd hardly say it was "no skills".
Spencer told Merril that since chocolate comes from cocoa, which is from a tree that's a plant, chocolate is therefor a salad. Spencer and Merril are no longer talking much to Danny's amusement.
Meeting As Kids
Spencer was dragged off by his dad on a bring-your-family to work day so they were at a camp. Sydney had fun, but he didn't so much, even though people tried to cheer him up by giving him balloons. So he wandered off to the pier, looking annoyed because the balloons weren't even colorful, and pretty things should be colorful at least, right?
And then there was this swirl of pink and purple that came into his field of vision, and he looked up to see a little girl with brown hair and a big smile offering one of her balloons, and it was colorful, just like she was--she was bright and pretty and said, "My auntie's in the camp, it's her birthday!" and that's why she's sharing her balloons.
And Spencer stared at her and just took it from her, "Thanks..." and she smiled and skipped off like she was this fairy heading back to the woods and Spencer watched her go. He looked up at his dull balloons and let them float away into the air, but he held on to the colorful ones firmly, like he'd never let go.
Thoughts On Spencers Love Confession
I wasn’t sure…actually. I really thought for a while that he was having some kind of nervous breakdown, what with all the work the seniors had to do already. That whole first part when he seemed to just be randomly spouting out words, I thought he was going to faint or something.
And then he started talking about that time in the courtyard and going out with me and…and after that I wasn’t sure whether to chuck my hair dryer at his head or just crawl under my bed and die. Something like that. He just went on and on!
And then he asked me to prom and to…go out with him…and the boys started hooting and… (rolls eyes) Well…I decided…if he was having some kind of breakdown…I might as well take advantage of it while I could. (laughs)