Much as I hate to sound like a review whore (which I am), I must express my, er, dissatisfaction in the fact that only two people reviewed my last chapter… Anyways. Much love to both of them. By the way, in case anybody was wondering, I sent chapter 7 of The Spoken out to be betaed, so that should be up soon.

As for the writing in this one. Even I think that E! sounds way too old to be ten (which he is in this chapter) but this time, I actually had a reference; I "19th centurized" my own writings from when I was twelve and thirteen (I decided that a prodigy- which is how I see Enjolras, Eponine –well, sort of, and Combeferre, in case you were wondering- would write about two or three years above his peers) and used them as the models. He might still be too old, but by ten, I think that it's plausible that a prodigy-ish person would write like this, so…

June 15, 1816

Oh, honestly! If Papa could stop for a second and actually think about what he's doing, the world would be a better place. I am a little scared by the changes I see in Maman. She spends her day tiptoeing around the house, being his little slave. Afraid that he'll beat her if she gets on his bad side. I don't even know if she realizes what's happening, but Fleur and I do. She's being crushed in Papa's iron fist; that's what's happening.

Well. I'm not entirely sure that Fleur notices, but she says that she does. I know for a fact that at age seven I did not understand the concept of misogyny. Though, as Fleur is a woman, perhaps she'd understand things of that sort- feminism, you know- better than I, being a man. A boy, really. But you know what I mean.

I seem to be conversing with a notebook. How odd.

June 17

I really must hide this notebook better. Papa came into my room this morning, and while lecturing me on something- I'm not sure what as I wasn't listening, really; I never do, as he no longer says anything of importance- he picked this notebook up and started absently turning it over in his hands. It was all that I could do to school my face into an expression of nonchalance, as to avoid his suspicion.

I'm not afraid of what he would do to me, should he read what I've written in the last couple of years; rather, what he would do to Fleur. She is the apple of his eye, so to speak, and I would hate for her to suffer by my hand, though indirectly.

June 19

Henri and I hid in the garden today and listened to our fathers speaking. They are good friends, I suppose, as Henri and I are, though they never address each other on a first name basis.

They were talking about us; about Henri and I, which is why we were eavesdropping.

My father said that I am too precocious for my own good, and that I'm headed for trouble. How odd; I don't think I've ever heard him say that before. Or maybe I have. Once, or twice. Or every day. He hopes that Henri, who is far more subdued than I, will "positively influence" me.

Henri's father, however, delights in the fact that Henri and I think for ourselves and concern ourselves with current events.

Papa went on grumbling then, and Henri's father quickly changed the subject.

Henri and I found the way that they seem to be brothers and yet still address each other by their surnames only amusing.

So now I'm going to call him Combeferre, and he will call me Enjolras.

June 20

I feel for Maman. She is becoming no more than an empty shell. Her mind is emptying, and I feel helpless to stop it.

It is, indeed, Papa's fault, yet I must question whether Maman herself is not partially to blame. Yes, Papa has kept her oppressed, but he has treated me far worse than she, and I have still retained my intellect and individualism. My freedom, if you will.

Combeferre and I walked through the fields surrounding our estates, and I expressed my concerns to him. While it seems that his parents are far more open-minded than mine, Noelle's well-being is still greatly distressing to him; she is being schooled in the fine art of homemaking, and the finer art of containing one's self and suppressing any independent thoughts one might have.

And to think; this is what is deemed appropriate for a lady.

Ladies are not to think. And it seems that I am not to think either; Papa simply wants to instill his skewed vision of "virtue" in me and have me regurgitate said virtue as my own thoughts.

It will not happen, but I am now even more afraid for Fleur. She is already falling into the trap that Papa has laid. I wonder now if it is too late to rescue her.

The most frightening part of all of this is that I am now beginning to draw a line between the females of "high class society" and the poor of the country.

You see, the female populace are, in all honesty, no more than slaves. They cook for their families, bear their husband's children, look elegant, and hold their tongues. They are not permitted a voice.

The poor generally work for, say, seventeen hours of the day. They do hard manual labor for barely enough to stay alive. They, too, are schooled into servitude. They are slaves, slaves of society. Some are forced into prostitution while others are driven to beg and steal. As such, they have no voice.

Over the women watch the men of the house.

Over the poor watches the government.

June 23

Who cares about damned algebra? There are children dying for lack of food. My mother is dying as well. No, not in body, but in her mind. She is dying, and my sister is next. The masses are in chains. And here I sit, trying to discover the meaning of x.

I abhor the situation.

Not to mention that I am horrid in mathematics. That, however, is inconsequential…

It should be obvious by now that I am a prodigious linguist; I have read and continue to read any and everything that I can lay my hands on and I absorb everything. It irks me, then, that I am still forced to work from my primer.

My schooling is quickly becoming pointless.

Perhaps I should take charge of my own education by reading in Combeferre's library. I have already read anything of interest here- at least what has not been burned. I do not doubt that Combeferre's family does not censor what their son reads; it certainly shows in conversation with him.

Regardless, I must admit that I have much to learn in the field of mathematics; things that I can learn from what Papa and Maman have to teach me.

Though that doesn't make finding the value of a letter any less worthless or irritating. But I digress…