5. NUMB

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Witches' Sabbath, Francken II, 1607
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"Josiah, the headmaster was looking for you just now. He received a call from your parents. They say it's urgent."

His eyes widened. "Okay professor, I'll head to his office right now."

Shit.

     He knew they would figure out on their own eventually, but he didn't think that girl would alert his parents of his ditch only two days after their arranged date. Still, he wasn't regretful nor frightened in the least. How much harm could they cause through one phone call?

Surprisingly, a lot, as he learned after the fact.

After a few minutes of screeching through the phone, his mother had given him a "rightly deserved punishment". The first part included a slash in his personal finances, a rather useless punishment for someone who wears the same hideous uniform every day, though he wasn't going to argue.

     It was his second part of the punishment that made him agitated. His parents demanded his return home that weekend to have a formal dinner with the ridiculous girl and her family. They were making him fly all the way to bloody Oxford to meet a stubborn brat! As if his life couldn't be more irritating: first Isaac Harley discovers his secret and now this. He didn't think his week could possibly get any worse.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* ✦ *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

"Josiah Elliot Beckett! In case you magically forgot, you are still seventeen and therefore must obey your parents' orders!"

"Mother! Please, just hear me out."

"You will have this dinner with Charlotte Fitzgerald and you will be charismatic and you will enjoy it! I've had enough with your childish behavior."

It was around seven when the Fitzgerald family showed up at his doorstep. According to his mother, they were distantly related to the royal family and filthy rich. Not that any of this information mattered to the boy, for he was never in a million years going to marry into their family.

     When he opened the door, he was unpleasantly surprised to see that Charlotte's white skin and golden hair resembled a familiar devilish delinquent. His type, that's what his mother described her as. How unsettling.

"Hello, you must be Josiah." Her voice was faint and he could see her cheeks burning up. "I'm Charlotte. Nice to meet you."

Josiah, though rather irritable, knew it was time for him to put on his mask and play the character of perfect boy once again. He smiled his most charming smile, the one that revealed his left dimple, and simply replied, "the pleasure is mine." before bending down to press his lips against the back of her hand.

Dinner was just as, if not more, awkward than he expected. The servants were in and out with various appetizers, which eventually turned to entrees. Other than the plates clattering, the only noise in the room was from Charlotte's father asking Josiah countless personal and meaningless questions as if he planned to wed him with his daughter right then and there.

"I hear you hold the top spot in academics at Eton," he said with a mouth full of steak. "In fact, I think I've even read about you in the local paper once! Your parents should be mighty proud. Tell me, Josiah, was that difficult to achieve?

Of course it's difficult. What kind of demeaning question is this?

     "In general, I'd say it's rather hard to be successful at Eton, rankings aside. Nonetheless, I've definitely had to cut my social life and reduce my hobbies in order to maintain my position."

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