This came to me in the middle of a dance class, because I really wanted to see what would happen if these two characters talked to each other. Lemme know what you think!
"Sleep," Cosette ordered in the softest whisper she could manage, and carefully backed out of her son's room. It had taken forty-five minutes to get him to calm down enough for a nap- for an eighteen-month-old, Jean was quite strong, and also stubborn. Once she shut the door, Cosette sighed with relief and counted to ten. When no whimpers came from the room, she returned downstairs.
She had just settled into an arm chair and opened a book when a loud crude voice cut through the silence.
"God dammit! Where the hell am I?!"
Now, even without the language, this interjection made Cosette extremely angry. If whomever just yelled that obscenity woke up Jean, well, she'd just have to teach them a lesson. But who could that have been?
Getting up from her chair, she left the living room and looked around the hall. Standing in the doorway to the kitchen was a young, dark-haired man she's never seen before who was about Marius' age, looking about in confusion.
"Monsieur?" she asked suspiciously. "May I help you?"
He jumped about a foot in the air. "Who are you?"
I could ask you the same thing, she wanted to say. After all- this was her house he'd intruded. "Madame Pontmercy," she answered, looking at him carefully.
"MadamePontmercy?" He sounded so surprised!
"Why, yes," she said. "I am a woman, so therefore I am Madame."
"Ah, forgive me, Madame. I know you are a woman," he smiled warmly at her. Too warmly. "I was just surprised at the surname. But it helped, you see. For now I know where I am! Here to see my good old friend!"
Cosette had nothing to say in response, so she asked another question. "May I ask who let you in here?"
"You may. Though I don't have much of an answer for you, Madame. I'll just have to settle for... the man upstairs, if you understand." He pointed a finger at the ceiling. She had no idea what he was talking about- she was sure Basque had gone out.
"What do you want, Monsieur?" This man confused her. She'd never met him before, and his presence felt odd to her. Like he shouldn't be in her home.
"I wish to speak to your husband," he said. "At least, I think that's why I was sent here. My goodness, it's so strange to imagine him- married!" He laughed aloud.
Cosette, offended, stiffened. "He's out," Cosette said simply.
"With who? Don't tell me he's got friends!" Again, he laughed.
"Monsieur, he is out on a walk with his daughter-"
"Marius has children?!" This time, his laugh turned to a series of bellowing hoots.
"Monsieur Pontmercy has two children," she replied curtly. Who on earth was this man, and how did he know Marius? Though she hated to agree with anything he said, he was right about one thing... she wasn't aware that Marius had friends. So who was he?
"Oh, the poor little beings! What do they look like? Ugh! But they're your children too, I take it? So maybe they are attractive... and they probably are your children- I remember Marius' aversion to women- he wouldn't talk to a single one! But if he's got you, well then-"
That was it. "Monsieur, if you have something important to pass on to Marius, I suggest to relay it to me. Otherwise if you'd just move on and-"
"Hold it there," the man said, holding up a finger and silencing Cosette. It was a moment before he spoke again, his eyes carefully scanning her face. "I know you. I remember you." His voice was quieter this time, thoughtful.
"Well I most certainly don't remember you," Cosette shot back.
"You're Mademoiselle Lenoire."
What? "I usedto be Mademoiselle Fauchelevent. Now I am-"
"With Monsieur Leblanc. The old man with the white hair! You're that girl from the Luxembourg!"
Cosette took a step back. She didn't know who these black and white people were, but from the other descriptions, he might actually be right.
"How do you know me?" she asked, this time somewhat apprehensive.
"I used to walk with Marius in the Luxembourg! And you were there with that old man- only, you don't look the same. Back then you were... you were... Well, now, Madame, you are much more beautiful." Again with the warm smile. She shuddered delicately. "I never properly introduced myself," he extended his hand. "Monsieur de Courfeyrac. Call me Courfeyrac."
She politely extended her own hand, pulling it back just before he touched it with his lips. "How do you know my husband?"
Again this Courfeyrac person laughed. "Well, I thought I knew everything about the man- but apparently I knew nothing at all! See he didn't tell me about your little romance-"
"Monsieur, this isn't very proper-" Cosette interjected, embarrassed now.
"Oh, don't worry, it's all between friends, eh? Anyway, he wouldn't tell me anything, but I can guess it all now. That's why he walked around like an oaf in his new suit and went to the Luxembourg every day! Ha! He never told me how beautiful you were- well, actually, he never told me anything. But I was not completely stupid- when he didn't return until one in the morning most nights, I knew something was up."
"Monsieur, is there something you need? Because I'm not sure I know what you came here for-"
"Oh, I'm not sure either, darling. Can we sit down?" Without waiting for an answer, he brushed past Cosette and took a seat on their couch. Cosette, feeling flustered, followed him inside and took a seat opposite him.
"Do you remember my name at all? See, I'm slightly surprised he never spoke of me! After I let him live with me for all that time and everything-"
Cosette held up her hand to silence him. She did remember. 'I already owe Courfeyrac more than ten louis- he's a friend of mine you don't know.' Marius lived with this man five years ago when they were meeting in her garden. But now that she thought on it, she remembered something else. The first time she'd met Marius' family and they were planning the wedding, his grandfather had asked if he had any good friends. 'There was Courfeyrac.' 'What happened to him?' 'He's dead.'
He said he didn't know why he was here. '...the man upstairs, if you understand...'
At once, she stood up.
"Get out," she said, her voice filled with fear. "I don't know how you came here, or why, but I remember you now- and you shouldn't be here! You're... you're not alive!"
"You remember me!" Courfeyrac exclaimed, purely happy. "So he did mention me! Ah, I always knew he loved me! I didn't die for nothing, I knew it!"
Cosette just let out a shriek.
At that moment, the door opened, and Marius entered holding little Marie in his arms.
"Hello," he called, then. "I see we have a visitor."
He handed Marie off to Cosette, not noticing how dumbstruck she was. Then he turned to greet their visitor, and extended his hand. He handed uttered one word, however, when Courfeyrac turned and smiled.
"I've missed you, my friend."
Then Marius fainted.