Her mother would tell them fairy tales when they were little, some traditional and some stripped-down versions of the romances she immersed herself in. How often had the girls dreamed of being plucked from their mean beginnings (ignoring the servant-child quivering by the ashes of the fire) by a prince, rescued from some imagined peril (they always thought of dragons, never fever or hunger or the stiffness of Cosette's limbs when she'd been out in the cold too long) by a handsome knight?

Eponine never wondered what Cinderella's stepsisters felt like when they saw her ride away with her prince.