Disclaimer: I really don't own anything this time. Not even the plot.

Author's Note: This is a challenge response from Lazy Chestnut of The Official Hunchback Forum. If you like The Hunchback of Notre Dame (particularly Clopin) you should check the forum out!

Clopin at five:

"But, mama," whined Clopin. "I love playing with dolls!"

Clopin's mother, Jaelle, glared at her son. "It is not a fitting habit for a future king of the gypsies to have!"

Clopin bowed his head and little tears fell to the stone floor.

His mother patted him on the shoulder. "My dear, are you crying?"

He looked up, all traces of sadness gone, and said: "No, I'm sweating through my eyeballs!" With that, Clopin Trouillefou, future king of gypsies, stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry at his mother and ran away.

"That little brat," she growled. Realizing that she would probably get nowhere spanking him, she simply went back to washing pots.

Clopin at seven:

Talaitha was sitting and playing with her dolls in the very center of The Court of Miracles; and she was having a fun time doing it as well. "Well now, Monsieur Puppet, would you like to have tea with us?" She made the little doll nod his head. "That is wonderful! Now, Mademoiselle Gypsy, do you want to have some tea?" Before Talaitha could make the doll do anything it disappeared out of her hands; she immediately knew what had happened.

"CLOPIN! BRING BACK MY DOLL!" she screamed, but he was already half way across the court. She decided to run after him. After all, he was stealing her dolls constantly.

Clopin stopped half-way across the court and scratched his head. "A doll," he questioned. "I thought he was a lady!"

He realized that Talaitha was getting closer and continued running across the court. Off to the side an older woman smiled at her friend. "Aren't children delicious?"

Later that evening Jaelle was trying desperately to get Clopin to take a bath. "But, mon amour, you need to take a bath."

Clopin stuck his ever present tongue out. "No! I want to be dirty," he looked from side to side, as if making sure that no one was watching. "Can I take off my tunic now? It's terribly itchy!"

His mother glared at him. "Only if you take a bath too."

He pouted. "That's not fair!"

She smiled. "Life isn't fair, get used to it."



Clopin grumbled a bit then got into the bath. His mother started scrubbing viciously, knowing that this could be the last time she got to wash him in a while.

Talaitha and her mother walked into the tent and Clopin started screaming. "GET HER OUT! I HATE GIRLS!"

Talaitha's mother glared at him. "Jaelle, please quiet your son down. He is bursting my ear drums! He ought to have his tongue cut out and put on lettuce!"

Clopin started screaming again and Talaitha turned to her mother and said: "Shall I get the piece of lettuce now?"

Jaelle smiled fondly at Talaitha, and then shook her head. "Don't talk like that dear; you're putting evil thoughts into my head."

Clopin at ten:

Some Italian gypsies were visiting the court when Clopin ran up and started screaming. "Je suis ananas!Je suis ananas! Je suis ananas! Je suis ananas!"

One of the Italian gypsies looked quizzically at Clopin's father. "Signore Trouillefou, what is going on here? And why is your son running in circles and yelling 'I am a pineapple'?"

The gypsy king patted the other man on the back. "If I only knew."

Jaelle and Clopin were walking down the street when they saw a vendor selling chestnuts. The vendor smiled at little Clopin and said, "Hello there, young monsieur, how are you today?"

Clopin, for once, smiled back. "Fine."

"Would you like some chestnuts?"

Clopin sneered. "NO! Chestnuts are lazy!"

He ran off into the streets of Paris while his mother and the vendor watched in amazement. "That was unexpected," the vendor said.

"Well, that's our Clopin. Always doing the unexpected," Jaelle smiled nervously. "I just hope he doesn't do it all his life."

Clopin at thirteen:

Talaitha was watching Clopin practice juggling. He neatly caught the last of the six flaming pins and bowed low.

She smiled and clapped. "How do you do that?"

He smiled back. "Ahh, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you."

She scowled. "That's not fair!"

"I believe that my mother once told me this: life isn't fair."



Clopin Sr. smiled at his son as they were surveying the court. "My son," the king said. "One day you will rule all of this. You will be in charge of all of these people and I believe that you will be good at it."

Clopin Jr. looked airily out at all of the people and places and things going on. After a moment of contemplation he said, "Ruling the world sounds easier."

His father gave him a strange look but didn't say anything. Clopin Sr. knew he had a very odd son.

Author's Note: Go! See the epilogue!