The Magical Misperception of Meridian
On the final day of the term, a fancy horse-drawn carriage waited in front of school, flying the royal flag of Meridian. Rumors and speculation about an illustrious visitor ran rampant through the school halls. Just after the beginning bell rang, however, Jona was called to the office of the headmaster, Mr. Widgette. The blood left her face, and rightly so. Getting that sort of summons was never a good sign.
“What did you do?” Fiona whispered, but Jona had no reply.
Many of her schoolmates gave her a sympathetic smile as she left the classroom, but Quinton smirked. Jona smirked back. With an air of resignation, she trudged down the hall to meet her doom. She’d only been called to the headmaster’s office once before, when she’d accidentally poured ink down Chet Bettle’s pants for calling Holly stuck up. If she’d somehow managed to get expelled on the last day of school, her mother was not going to be pleased.
Upon entering Mr. Widgette’s office, Jona saw a strange little man sitting in a chair, dressed in an expensive suit. The headmaster rose from behind his desk.
“This is Mr. Phipps, Queen Gaia’s representative,” he said, without ceremony.
“Jona, Mr. Phipps wishes to have a word with you,” Mr. Widgette said.
In the silence that followed, Jona waited for someone to start laughing and let her in on the joke, but nobody did.
“Miss Haever, Queen Gaia would consider it a personal favor if you would live at the castle for the summer and assist her in a matter of some delicacy. In return, you would be paid a salary, and your parents’ tea shop would be awarded the royal Seal of Approval,” Mr. Phipps said.
A relieved grin spread across Jona’s features. “That’s very generous, sir, but I think you must be looking for my sister, Holly. I’ll go fetch her if you’d like.”
“We are most definitely looking for you, Miss Jona Haever,” Mr. Phipps said. “Mr. Widgette has agreed to release you from school this morning. If you would be so kind as to accompany me, we will drive to the Haever Tea Shop and discuss the matter with your parents.”