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29 October 2013 @ 11:26 pm
Chapter 68: On This Day of Days  

A/N: A chapter that redefines what bad timing is!

Chapter 68: On This Day of Days

It was fortunate for much of the city that the fugitives at Saint-Sulpice were immediately captured, thus effectively putting an end to any prospect of immediate bloodshed. However this disturbance, coupled with the news that the perpetrators would be facing a court martial, only served to plunge everyone into a state of tense anticipation. It was only to be expected that the first of April, the day set for this controversial proceeding, would be a day rife with much conjecture and speculation.

Yet it was on this very same day that another sort of buzz, albeit a much more welcome one, was afoot in the very neighbourhood of the Place Saint-Sulpice. At past seven in the morning, a small group of young people gathered at Joly, Musichetta, and Bossuet's home on the Rue Ferou. A pair of coaches, gaily decorated with ribbons, waited outside the premises. The inside of the house was a scene of merry chaos; the first floor was given over to the men of the wedding party, while the more comfortable second floor was set apart for the women.

"It would be so much easier if only you and Joly could have had your church ceremony at Saint-Sulpice instead of all the way at Saint-Etienne," Eponine said as she inspected the veil that Musichetta intended to wear that day. "We wouldn't have to travel so much, from here to the mayor's office, then to the church and back here again."

"It was the only church that was nice enough and that would allow us to have a wedding before Easter," Musichetta said from where she was seated at her dresser. Her dress was light blue, with sleeves trimmed delicately with lace, and a billowing skirt accented with a thin ribbon along the hem. Her jewelry consisted only of a simple silver necklace with a pendant in the shape of a lily. The bride wrung her hands once again, heedless of the effect this had on her new gloves. "I cannot believe that Patrice and I are actually marrying. I don't know if this is going to be a mistake."

"Why would it be? You two have waited long enough," Claudine said from where she was adjusting the wide neckline and pelerines of her light pink dress.

"It is going to change so many things. I won't be just Musichetta Laurain anymore, but Musichetta Joly," the bride said. She paused as if trying to get used to the sound of the name she would soon take. "It sounds like a new life," she finally whispered.

"Chetta, you can't be nervous now! Joly is probably fretting enough for the two of you," Claudine chided. "You love him, he loves you, and there is no impediment now to your marriage-"

"Will he still think the same of me years from now?" Musichetta fretted. "I may be beautiful now but not when I am wrinkled and a doddering old woman. He can't think of me as literary or having fine eyes when I reach that state!"

"He'll be old and probably balding then, that will even the score with you both," Eponine pointed out even as a light knock sounded on the apartment door. She jumped up from her seat and raced to see who had just arrived. "It's a good thing you're here now, Cosette," she greeted with relief.

"For a while I was worrying that Marius and I would be late. Where is everyone else?" Cosette said as she entered the apartment.

"It's only the wedding party fixing up here. Everyone else will meet at the church of Saint-Etienne," Eponine explained. "I thought I'd be late too since I had to make sure my brothers would actually get a wash and a good breakfast, but Antoine-I mean, Enjolras, said that he'd take charge of them, so that's why I'm here so early."

"Ah, no wonder then," Cosette said. She smiled at her friends. "You all look so wonderful today."

"So do you," Eponine said, noticing how the simple tea color of Cosette's gown actually drew attention to her friend's radiant face, and suited her station of a married woman without detracting from the charms of her youth. As for Eponine herself, she'd chosen a light green dress that was a little less voluminous than her friends' clothes; her only concessions to fashion were a bonnet and a mantle-like coat both in the same color as her dress. 'The better to keep things in,' she thought, keenly conscious now of all the weight in her coat's inside pockets.

Cosette sighed sympathetically when she saw Musichetta, who'd buried her face in her hands despite all of Claudine's attempts to reassure her. "Claudine, may I have a word with her?"

"Please," Claudine said, stepping away to let Cosette pull their friend aside. She let out a long suffering sigh as she looked at Eponine. "It's a good thing that we have two friends who are already married, otherwise we would be even more lost than we are now."

"I don't s'pose you'd ever be nervous when you and Combeferre will get married," Eponine remarked.

Claudine shrugged. "It will not happen soon. He won't ask when he still has so much to work on, and I would like to continue publishing under my own name for a little while longer."

Eponine nodded slowly, piecing together the sentiment behind these words. "Speaking of publishing, will you be coming with me and Allyce to the third hearing of our bill tomorrow? Musichetta won't be around of course since it's the day after her wedding and Leonor is needed at work all day too."

"I'm afraid I cannot; my father will need me at the shop as well," Claudine apologized. "In any case it's the third hearing. It is supposed to be the easiest one, I hear?"

"For some people like Citizen Mathieu, since he got his work voted on and now we don't have to worry about prices going up too much. It's also easy for Enjolras; his third hearing on the petition went well and now all he has to wait for are the votes from the other areas so that piece of work can become a law," Eponine pointed out.

"Regardless of the outcome, making it this far is already a huge step in itself," Claudine reminded her. "I am sure though that no one will settle for anything less than success."

In the meantime Musichetta was inspecting her tear-streaked face in the mirror and dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief borrowed from Cosette. "I look a mess. I hope he won't see it under the veil."

"You'll look better by the time you see him, I s'pose," Eponine said, picking up the veil where she'd set it down and going over to help Musichetta put it on. "Hope you don't mind I put in an extra pin or two there so it won't fall off."

"As long as I can actually remove it later," Musichetta finally said more bravely, managing a smile as she looked at herself again. "We should go; I think I've really kept him waiting long enough!"

At that moment a knock sounded on the door. "Cosette? Is everything well there?" Marius asked anxiously. "Joly is pacing a hole into the floor downstairs."

Cosette laughed as she opened the door to speak to her husband. "Tell him that he can get into the wedding coach. We'll be downstairs in a minute," she said.

"I see we're all keeping to that part of the tradition," Marius said before nodding politely to the rest of the ladies. "You all look very well today."

"And what of me?" Cosette teased.

Marius blushed deeply before whispering something to Cosette, who laughed before giving him a brief kiss. He excused himself to return downstairs while Cosette shut the door again. "It seems as if he, Bossuet, and Combeferre had to also talk to Joly too. It looks though as if all will be well," she informed Musichetta. "Believe me, you two won't regret this."

"I know. Thank you," Musichetta said before they all went downstairs. Cosette went to rejoin Marius in their private carriage, leaving Musichetta, Eponine, and Claudine to board the first wedding coach while Joly, Combeferre, and Bossuet took the second. The journey to the mayor's office and the ceremony there went smoothly, with everyone breathing a sigh of relief when Joly and Musichetta finally signed the register there. Claudine and Bossuet signed as the primary witnesses to this ceremony. The happiness of the bride and the groom was contagious; even Eponine, who up to this point had harboured only a vague curiosity about these proceedings, found herself feeling enthused and even a little giddy on seeing her friends in such a state of bliss.

This levity was further buoyed when the wedding party reached the church of Saint-Etienne. Some of their other friends had only just arrived, judging by the flurry of activity outside the church doors. Eponine emerged from the carriage first and immediately caught sight of her brothers and Enjolras off to one side of the crowd. Enjolras was crouching so that he was eye level with the boys as he showed them how to tie a simple knot in their cravats. She could not resist laughing out loud at this scene, which was so awkward and yet familiar all at once.

Neville, who'd finished tying up his cravat first, immediately broke away and scooted to his sister. "Ponine, I did it mostly by myself!" he crowed triumphantly.

"It looks very good on you," Eponine said, helping him adjust his hat. Much to her amusement, she saw that Neville had actually managed to tie his cravat almost in the exact manner as Enjolras did his. Judging by Jacques' grin, he had achieved a similar result.

Bahorel and Grantaire whistled appreciatively on seeing Eponine while Azelma, Therese, Nicholine, and Leonor gave her approving looks. Courfeyrac grinned from ear to ear as he clapped Enjolras on the back. "Look behind you," he said in an undertone.

"What?" Enjolras asked distractedly as he helped Gavroche put the finishing touches on his cravat. When he straightened up and turned to look at Eponine, his eyes widened as a smile spread across his lips. "You're..."

"Something passable, I hope," she said, not hiding her own grin. 'How can he look even better than he already does on most other days?' she wondered incredulously as she took in the sight of him. She knew that he was wearing his best maroon waistcoat under his black coat, and his cravat was tied in such a way that had her wishing that she could loosen it if only to run her fingers over the hollow of his throat. When their gazes locked she thought for a moment she would be unable to breathe for the sheer intensity of the moment; his eyes were full of amazement, affection, and a wanting that was enough to send a delightful sort of warmth through her body. "What do you think?" she asked after a moment.

"Just 'passable' is a very big understatement in your case, Eponine," he said.

She ducked her head if only to hide how her face had reddened at this compliment. "I wish I could find a word that fits you then," she said as she began to straighten out the cuffs of his coat.

"There will be another opportunity for that. For now we'd better save the compliments for our friends," he reminded her.

She rolled her eyes even as she caught the conspiratorial tone in his voice; clearly he had also noticed that their friends and the other wedding guests were watching them avidly. "Must you always be so proper?" she teased.

"If the occasion calls for it," he quipped dryly.

"Well then, you'll have to do without me for a little bit. I'll see you later," she retorted before going to help Musichetta out of the carriage. Much to her vexation, both Claudine and Musichetta were clearly fighting to control their laughter. "I don't see what's so funny about it, it's just the way we talk about things," she said a little petulantly.

Musichetta giggled as she smoothed down her skirt, which had gotten a little rumpled during the carriage ride. "You're only waiting for him to ask, aren't you?"

Eponine rolled her eyes by way of reply as she helped Musichetta adjust her veil. In a few minutes the congregation filed into the church while the members of the wedding party took their respective places. Eponine stood with Claudine as one of Musichetta's attendants, which meant that she would not be sitting with her siblings; luckily it seemed as if Gavroche was intent on behaving himself while Enjolras and Courfeyrac took charge of the younger two.

This ceremony was lengthier than that at the mayor's office; the priest gave a sermon about the duties of married life, the vows were longer, and there was that exchange of wedding rings. Despite the occasional sense of tedium, there was something moving, even warm about these proceedings. 'Maybe because everyone is here, even if there is no family to speak of on either side,' Eponine realized. None of Joly's kin had deigned to attend, while Musichetta had necessarily distanced herself from hers, but the church was full of friends from their respective workplaces, neighbourhoods, and other places of association. 'I don't know how full the church will be if I ever get married, but I'm sure that on that day Azelma, Gavroche, Neville, and Jacques will be there,' the thought occurred to her. She had to pinch her wrist and deliberately keep from looking in Enjolras' direction before it came too obvious that she had been daydreaming for a little bit. Yet when she did sneak a glance at him, she was surprised to see him apparently deep in thought.

At last the priest declared the newlyweds as man and wife and then Joly and Musichetta shared a brief but nonetheless tender kiss before they went hand in hand to the church doors to exit for the first time as Citizen and Citizenness Joly. Much to the dismay of the priest, the quiet of the church was broken with cheering and applause from the congregation, but there was no place now for rebuke as everyone went to see the married pair off in their carriage.

"Eponine, there is still room in the coach; you and Bossuet can join us for the ride," Musichetta called to her friend.

Eponine glanced around to where Claudine was now with Combeferre; it was apparent that the two would be riding in the same carriage with Prouvaire and Azelma. 'That leaves me as her sole attendant then,' she thought. She saw Gavroche looking at her quizzically, clearly expecting her to join him and the rest of their siblings. "I'll have to stay with Chetta a little longer. You'd better take a fiacre to the Place Saint-Sulpice since it might rain."

Gavroche gestured to a puddle of mud. "The ground will give us good enough overshoes."

"Which you'll leave for me and Enjolras to clean up?" Eponine retorted. She sighed exasperatedly when Gavroche evaded her attempt to pinch his ear and ran off, stopping only to stick his tongue out at her. 'I s'pose I can't have him behaved the entire day,' she thought as she and Bossuet climbed into the front seats of the carriage, reserving the capacious backseat for the newlyweds. The route of this wedding cortege would pass by the Place du Pantheon, down towards the Rue de Gres and the Place Saint-Michel, and then pass between the Odeon and the Palace des Pairs at the Luxembourg, before turning on the Rue Ferou, where the wedding feast was to take place.

"Won't it be odd for you now that they are married?" Eponine asked Bossuet as the coach reached the Rue Vaugirard, right in the vicinity of the theater. "You're still living in the same house as they are."

"It will be as if she is my sister-in-law," Bossuet said. "Joly is my brother, first and foremost. While of course I was fond of Musichetta; it cannot be helped, you know her. Despite that, I would not risk some things even for the world." He cracked his knuckles pensively. "As for the option of staying with Marthe, it is not a door open yet at this time."

"What will open it then?"

"That is still being negotiated. Neither of us is in a hurry; we enjoy the exercise actually."

Eponine smirked even as her gaze strayed to the crowded street they were now on. The cortege was moving at the pace of a leisurely stroll; in fact she was sure that if she got out now and ran the rest of the way, she would be at the Place Saint-Sulpice at least five minutes ahead of this carriage. The street was far too crowded; there were the fiacres that the other guests were taking, as well as the usual traffic of people going about their Monday morning business in the area. As she looked out on the Palace des Pairs, where spectators had gathered on the curb, she saw the telltale flash of gunmetal in the sunlight, directed in the general direction of the cortege.

"Get down!" Joly suddenly shouted from the backseat. Eponine had only a split second to throw herself to the floor and cover her face before glass exploded throughout the carriage, covering the seats in deadly, glittering shards. She craned her neck and saw that Bossuet was crouched next to her, hiding his head in his coat. In the rear of the carriage, Joly had thrown himself on top of Musichetta, and was covering her head with one of his arms while using his free hand to reach for his cane. Another shot rang through the air, and this time a musket ball buried itself in the woodwork just above the top of the rear carriage seat. Everything was a din of horses neighing in panic, shouts, fleeing footsteps and still more shots as the wedding coach lurched sharply to the right and crashed into a streetlamp.

Before Eponine could reach into her coat pockets, she saw a man with his face masked by a hood, peering in through the carriage's broken window. She immediately evaded the long knife he swung at her and then punched him in the face. She saw another attacker lunge at the carriage, and this time she managed to land a kick on his shoulder to propel him backwards. At the same moment that she heard something crack in the backseat; Joly had just used his cane to parry a sabre aimed right for his head.

Bossuet kicked the door open on his side of the carriage, making an opening just wide enough for a man to squeeze through. He grabbed Joly's arm. "You two get out of here!" he shouted.


"It's your wedding day, not your funeral!"

Joly's look was pained but he nodded grimly to Bossuet before he slipped out of the wrecked carriage and helped Musichetta through the narrow aperture. In the meantime Eponine managed to wriggle out through the broken window, just managing to keep her dress from snagging on the shards of glass jutting out here and there all over the frame. The Rue Vaugirard had turned into one huge melee; not only were policemen and bystanders facing off against masked men but it now also seemed as if there was a tussle now occurring between some members of the National Guard and a squad of lancers. Spectators were fleeing the scene, while more people were jumping out of carriages and knocking on houses or even trying to jump the fence into the nearby Luxembourg promenade. She saw Prouvaire fling Azelma behind him before he knocked down a burly officer who had a gun pointed at them. On the far side of the street, in the direction of the Place Saint-Sulpice, Cosette had somehow acquired a knife and was brandishing it as she, Marius, and Paulette were trying to make their escape. Courfeyrac had his sword stick out, and was fighting his way to where Feuilly was taking down a seargent. Bossuet had managed to also extricate himself from the wrecked carriage, and was now racing to assist Marthe and some other bystanders trapped in a doorway.

Eponine felt her blood run cold when she realized that she could not find her brothers anywhere in this tumult. 'Please let them have run someplace!' she begged silently as she ran towards a side street to check if they were there. At that moment she saw Enjolras facing off against another attacker, using another borrowed cane as a weapon. Unknown to him there were two more men rushing up, intent on tackling him to the ground. "Oh no you don't," she muttered, picking up the nearest piece of broken wood she could find and swinging it at one of the men who passed by her. This man howled in pain and surprise before turning on her, but the moment's distraction was enough for Eponine to grab his wrist and twist it at a sickening angle before she dealt him a blow to the back of his neck.

Before she could run towards Enjolras, she heard a shriek for help coming from an alley to her left. She rushed over and pounced at the unmasked thug who had trapped Jacques in a corner. She pulled at this man's scraggly hair and pummelled him with her fists but this man only grabbed her and threw her to the ground. Although this was nearly enough to knock her breathless, Eponine managed to struggle to her feet just in time to see a uniformed man bring down her attacker.

"Get out of here! You brute, attacking a girl and a young child!" Theodule roared at this thug.

"She's seen too much!" the stranger whined.

Theodule gave this man a confused look. "Too much? The orders were—"he began before suddenly groaning and clutching at the back of his head as he fell to the ground. "I've got the captain, where are the others?" a tall, imposing officer asked as he made his appearance.

"I don't know; I've had to deal with this little bitch!" the first attacker spat.

The officer's perplexed smile turned into a leer as he got a look at Eponine's face. "Not just any bitch," he laughed, drawing his pistol.

Eponine's hands shook as she swiftly reached into her coat and pulled out one of the small pistols she'd been keeping. "Not another step! That means both of you!" she shouted.

The officer laughed patronizingly. "You do not even know how to use that, young lady."

Eponine only bit her lip as she cocked the pistol. She felt Jacques clutch her skirt and bury his face in it. "Look away, petit," she whispered through gritted teeth, already feeling dread close in about her as the officer took a single step. She gripped the gun tightly and pulled the trigger, only to end up staggering backwards with the unexpected ricochet of the weapon. The ball only struck the ground in front of her attacker, scattering mud and sludge everywhere. Eponine did not have time to draw her second pistol before she was pinned to the ground, with the barrel of the officer's pistol pressed right against her forehead. She desperately pushed at the man's gun hand and bit his wrist, forcing him to loosen his grip both on the gun and on her. 'I'm not going to make it out of here!' she realized even as she tried to gain some leverage against her assailant.

Suddenly she heard two loud cracks, the second one only a mere instant before the officer collapsed on her. Eponine pushed the unconscious man off her body and found herself looking up at Prouvaire and Azelma. "Thank you. How did you know-"she asked as Prouvaire helped her to her feet.

"We knew you'd be looking for the boys. We found Neville and he told us they'd all gotten scattered when they had to leave their fiacre," Azelma said breathlessly, kicking aside the limp form of her sister's other assailant.

"Where is Neville then?" Eponine asked.

"With Combeferre. He's fine, they should be at the Rue Ferou by now," Prouvaire said.

"And Gavroche?"

Prouvaire and Azelma exchanged pained looks. "We saw him running towards the Luxembourg," Azelma whispered. "He'll be fine, maybe."

Eponine nodded numbly; if there was anyone who knew how to hide, it was Gavroche. 'But at the same time he's also one for danger,' she thought. She gingerly checked herself over for injuries before scooping up Jacques, now unwilling to let him out of sight or out of her reach. It was all she could do not to laugh when she saw Prouvaire carry Azelma on his back; apparently Azelma had lost her slippers in the fight. By now more police and National guardsmen had arrived at the Rue Vaugirard, and were rounding up the masked assailants and wayward soldiers. Some people were bringing the wounded into their houses, while other bystanders were answering questions from the police. Eponine heard Jacques whimper at the sight of the gendarmes and she clutched him closer while they followed Azelma and Prouvaire to the Rue Ferou.

It was an odd sort of chaos that greeted them at the Rue Ferou. Many of the wedding guests had already made their way there, and were exchanging worried conjectures or trying to soothe their nerves by partaking of pastries and wine. Joly was speaking to a police officer while Claudine was showing Paulette how to bandage up Courfeyrac's shin. Combeferre was examining another friend who had received an ugly looking bruise across his midsection.

Jacques immediately wriggled his way out of Eponine's arms and ran up to where Neville was sitting near Combeferre. Before Eponine could follow suit, she saw Musichetta running up to her, still wearing her now bedraggled wedding dress. "Oh thank heavens you're here!" Musichetta cried, hugging Eponine tightly. "Are any of you hurt?" she asked, addressing this question not just to Eponine but also to Azelma and Prouvaire.

"Maybe just a little bruised," Eponine said as Azelma and Prouvaire shook their heads. She looked around and saw that Gavroche, Enjolras, and Bahorel weren't in the apartment. "Where are -"she began worriedly.

Musichetta shook her head. "I saw your brother escaping towards the park. That was a long while back though. I am not sure about the rest."

Eponine took a deep breath as she fought to quash her growing apprehension. 'They know how to take care of themselves, and l will see them soon,' she tried to remind herself over and over as she followed her friend to sit in a corner. "What about you and Joly?"

"You see me here, don't you? It's a good thing you and Bossuet were around; I don't know if Patrice and I could have taken on all of those attackers," she confided. She swallowed hard before speaking again. "They were after Patrice, you know? Apparently something went very, very wrong at the court martial today, and someone pointed out that Patrice filled in for the barracks' surgeon one day, and that he knew something of the mutineers. They wanted to silence him."

Eponine looked incredulously to where Joly was still speaking furiously to the policeman. "Did he really have anything important on him?"

"He only knew who was feuding with whom, and who was feigning to be ill, but nothing more. He didn't know that some of those attackers, those masked men, were from out of Paris," Musichetta said.

"Out of Paris?"

"Other regiments, so they say. It will be worse than a court martial waiting for them."

Eponine frowned, remembering what Theodule had very nearly blurted out in the alley. 'Would it be useful to tell though?' she wondered. She pushed the thought out of her head as she saw Musichetta let out a defeated sigh. "I'm sorry this all happened on your wedding day," she said.

"At least I'm not a widow, Patrice is not a widower, and hopefully there won't be any funerals to plan," Musichetta replied over the sound of a commotion starting up near the apartment door. "Do feel free to eat anything; being alive is cause enough to celebrate today."

Eponine sprang to her feet when she saw Enjolras now standing in the apartment, carrying Gavroche. The child was holding a bloodied cloth to his forehead. Bahorel was the last to enter, with his cravat clumsily tied around his knuckles. All three of them were covered in dust and blood. "What happened?" Eponine asked frantically as she went to them.

Gavroche grinned as he held up a fist. "Bahorel and I gave the varmints a good lesson."

"Which almost ended badly before Enjolras arrived," Bahorel pointed out before Therese dragged him off by his lapels, all the while scolding him.

Combeferre put a hand on Eponine's shoulder. "I'll see to your brother. You'd better take care of Enjolras," he said calmly.

Eponine nodded gratefully as she went to help Enjolras set Gavroche down on a settee. She saw Enjolras flinch momentarily when he moved his left arm. "Don't you move about so much," she said, pulling him to sit in a nearby chair before going to fetch the necessary supplies for tending to his injury. When she returned she saw that he had given up his chair to another wounded guest, and he was now seated on the floor next to where Combeferre was still seeing to Gavroche. "Antoine, what did I just tell you?" she asked him exasperatedly.

"It's only a slight blow," Enjolras hissed, his hand coming to rest on her arm when she sat next to him again. "You though-"

"I'm fine and anyway it's not your turn to worry about me," she retorted as she helped him take off his torn coat and his waistcoat. She could see through his shirt that he was bruised all the way from his collarbone to the tip of his shoulder, and there was a shallow gash running down to his arm. "I know you don't like watching when you're getting bandaged up, so maybe you should just look at me instead," she quipped as she tugged at the neckline of his shirt to allow her to inspect the injury more thoroughly.

Enjolras chuckled before meeting her gaze. "I saw you in the fight, but you suddenly disappeared."

"I had to go after Jacques," she said as she began to dab a wet cloth on his wound. She ran her free hand through his hair to soothe him when he winced again. "Is it really that bad? I could ask Combeferre to take a look at it if you're worried about something broken."

"It only stings now; it will be fine in a day or two," he said more calmly, shifting a little to allow her to bandage his arm more easily.

"The wound perhaps, but not the bruises," she said as she tied off the bandage and sat back to let him put on his waistcoat. She wanted desperately to kiss him, to throw her arms around him and hold him close if only to convince herself that they were both alive and had somehow made it through this recent debacle, but she contented herself with scooting back to sit next to him again. She felt his fingers come up to trace circles over the back of her neck and she relaxed into his touch, finally feeling safer than she had this past hour.

Suddenly a slight cough came from the nearby settee. Eponine looked up and blushed hard when she saw that Gavroche, Combeferre, and Courfeyrac were watching them amusedly over the top of the seat. "Hopefully there is nothing to worry about with you two?" Combeferre asked mildly.

"All is well," Enjolras said, giving their friends a sidelong look as he and Eponine got to their feet. "I imagine that this celebration will not be a lengthy one."

Combeferre nodded grimly. "I will go to the Necker after this; it is likely I will be there all night."

"Bahorel will surely be needed at the Prefecture and Grantaire will be expected at the presses or at the Cafe du Foy with the other journalists," Enjolras remarked.

Suddenly a shout came from the doorway, where Feuilly had been talking to another lately arrived guest. He sheepishly muttered an apology before going over to join his friends. "Conflicting reports from the Hotel de Ville. Several émigrés are being linked to this disturbance today, and there is one who is fighting now to clear his name."

Enjolras' eyebrows shot up. "Who might that be?"

Feuilly sighed deeply as he looked at his friends; the way he bit the inside of his cheek only added to the grimness of the situation. "This should not be a surprise; it is none other than the Duc d'Orleans."