David considered himself to be a man of certain standing. He had high standards as to who he spend his precious and valuable time with. After all, he was a Clarence, there was a reputation to uphold. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help but be fascinated by those below him on the ever important social ladder of Trafalgar Academy. His beloved foster sister and his less beloved actual sister wouldn’t understand the beauty he found in the glorious misfits. Jojo thought his obsession was adorable, Angelica called it pathetic and David didn’t care too much what they thought. He didn’t have to: as long as he had his little projects to remind him of his own beauty and luck, there was absolutely no need for thinking.
There indeed weren’t many thoughts on his mind when he interrupted one of Angelica’s rare rants about one thing or another- clowns? She hated clowns, this was a well known fact. David didn’t care. “Say,” he began, ignoring Angelica’s furious look, “Who is that? That boy with the.. You know.” He held his hands in front of his mouth, miming what he hoped came across as bandages. “Bondage,” he added in case clarification was needed, before just pointing in his general direction. His sisters turned their heads almost in unison to get a look.
“Oh, him,” Jojo said unenthusiastically, “He hangs out with that blind girl and her dog a lot. Unimportant, dear brother.” David hummed, although he wasn’t convinced. This boy seemed of some importance, or at least of interest. Hell, even from across the room, David could almost smell the misery coming off of him as if he had bathed in it. David preferred a lavender scented bath himself, if he was being honest. Regardless, he vowed to find out more about this mysterious new kid. He knew exactly where he’d have to start with his search too.
“I must go,” he announced, leaning down to press a kiss to Josiana’s cheek, before picking up his bag and rushing off to speak with the janitor, a man who’d been here forever and never seemed to be in a very good mood. David took a moment to straighten his tie, before confidently sauntering over to the janitor’s desk and tinging the bell that was there. There really wasn’t a need for it, since the janitor was right there staring at a computer monitor. Without looking up from whatever he was doing- David didn’t know what a Janitor’s tasks entailed and he wasn’t interested in learning-, Barkilphedro reached out and laid his hand over the bell to stop the echoing noise. Once it was silent, he pulled his hand back and continued typing.
David rang the bell again.
This time he did gain his attention in the shape of a glare aimed directly at him.
“Dirry-moir,” Barkilphedro said, his voice somewhere in between a threat and a greeting, “How may I assist you today?” David plastered on a smile he usually reserved for conversing with the most unpleasant people in life. In his humble opinion, Barkilphedro ranked high on that list. Very high.
“Barkilphedro,” David began, “I require a favour. You do still owe me for that time I rescued you from the geese. Remember?” He continued to smile as Barkilphedro’s expression turned from sour to spoiled milk.
“What is it you want this time?” he asked, voice on the edge of irritation but seemingly bored. David grinned; victory!
“Information,” he said, hopping up to sit on the janitor’s desk and knocking down one of the many porcelain clown figures that decorated his office. “Tell me all you know about that new boy,” he commanded, “The one with the wounded face and the curly hair. He’s friends with the blind girl. What’s wrong with him? Is he ill? Mad?” Barkilphedro stared at him, before tilting his head back and barking out a laugh.
“What need do you have for Grinpayne Trelawe?” he said, leaning back on his swivel chair, “That’s a low point, even for you Dirry-Moir. But very well, I will tell you, not that there is much to tell.” He motioned for David to come in, so David climbed over the desk and draped himself over a wooden chair. Barkilphedro turned back to his monitor, pulling up the boy’s records.
“Grinpayne Trelawe,” he said, “Not much here. He’s new, year under you- oh, apologies. I forgot you’re resitting. Same year as you. Let’s see… He’s listed for counselling, was late to history, missed several days due to hospital appointments. Don’t ask me what for, I no longer have access to medical files after what you learned about Dea.” David did his best to look unimpressed and not like he was soaking up every new piece of information like a lemon drizzle cake. It was a look he had nearly perfected over the years, except for his facial expressions. The minute long silence almost made him combust.
“And?” he urged Barkilphedro on, earning him a low groan.
“Patience is a virtue is what my mother always taught me,” he grumbled, “I suppose mothers teach other values now… But very well. Ah- his primary guardian is Ursus, and it see-“
David gasped loudly. “Ursus!” he interrupted, “By God! Does that not make the blind girl his sister? And she kissed him during lunch! Oh, the scandal!” He laughed, giddy with joy.
“Yes, quite the scandal,” Barkilphedro dryly responded, “Wouldn’t your dear sister agree? Regardless, that’s not the worst of it.” That snapped David out of his giggling fit, and he expectantly looked at Barkilphedro again. The janitor leaned forward, lowering his voice as if disclosing a state secret.
“He’s in the theatre programme.”