Disclaimer: I don't own the Hunchback of Notre Dame and as such I'm not making any money by writing this. This is purely for fun.
Warnings: It's not Beta'd…so there might be a few mistakes here or there. Also; this will go along with the Disney version of HoND, not the book or the other movies. Why? Simply because it's easier to go with a movie than it is with a book. Plus, I actually like the Disney movie—it's cute and I likes it. And finally: this is a story completely made on a whim. As such it won't be regularly updated. Be warned!
Dedicated to the lovely LxIsxJustice, whose story became my muse for this one. *smiles* you've inspired me! *dramatic pose* thank you! ^_^
Side Note: Many have asked for the songs mentioned already in this fic. I can't remember if I answered everyone (which is bad, I have to admit) so I'm going to leave links to help. Or try, with how fanfiction is with links I'm hoping they work.
Smart In a Stupid Way from Chapter 3: you tube watch?v =Y6fJW1m7Gsk &feature =share&list =FLTVoMwlML 6vu1sEjt-_EvZg
Once Upon A Time from Chapter 2: you tube watch?v =5eKwxSnGKZw &feature =share&list =PL60D7DEEC 288D7FFE
Hopefully it works, just take out the multiple spaces. Now on with the chapter!
Chapter Four: One Times One
Weeks pass in quick succession that turn into months before anyone knew it. The holidays were quickly approaching and families were coming together. Eveline had little time to think of anything but bread. And, needless to say, after weeks on end of nothing but baked goods...she was about to pull her hair out.
Sure she loved the smell of freshly baked bread. And she loved her family. Yes her brother was annoying at times, but all brothers were like that from what she had witnessed. Yes her mother was a wonderful and gentle soul but she was hormonal with the pregnancy that allowed crazy mood swings and cravings. At least Eveline's father was somewhat normal. As normal as a man that rarely spoke could be, anyway. It was in his nature, and she knew that, but after weeks on end everyone needed a break sometimes.
Alas Eveline barely had time to herself. Between taking on more of the responsibilities her mother usually took care of plus her own regular chores Eveline barely had time for anything. Let alone entertaining thoughts of that one night, long ago, where a strange gypsy man had entered her room and struck a bet with her.
Well, not really a bet. No money or no real form of payment was mentioned-but it was kind of like that. It was all just a bunch of silly nonsense, childish really. A bet that stated Eveline and the mysterious gypsy had to save each other three times, each, in order to call each other by their given names. It was just a silly game that Eveline really had no time for now.
No there were much more entertaining and demanding thoughts to take over Eveline's life. Such as the upcoming holidays! They were always hard for any merchant, but much more so for the Fournier family. Every year, it never failed, they came upon hard times. Eveline didn't know if it was just the holiday's where families gathered together to do their own baking or if it was the weather...either way, they weren't getting the business that they normally did. Every year like clockwork around first snow their dailies were cut in half.
Eveline could understand in a way. She would rather not go out in the snow either. It was too cold for her to handle sometimes. The baker's daughter was quite obviously a summer type soul, loving the warm weather and sunlight. But that was beside the point! The point was that her family was having a little trouble with money and had to budget themselves very carefully until business picked up.
This was usually around the New Year, when things started to go back to normal.
Luckily for Eveline her mother had prepared for it. Or, more like her father had prepared for it and her mother took credit. Either way they put aside enough to get them through the holidays-as long as they budgeted very carefully. The only problem they would have would be with fresh produce. Again, as long as they budgeted very carefully then they should be fine.
It was enough to give Eveline a massive headache. She didn't like numbers on a normal day-but all this worrying and talk of survival was really getting to her. Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you looked at it, the Fournier family found themselves with a little help this year.
A young man by the name of Gerald Belrose, a butcher's son, had taken a liking to Eveline. This meant that he would often come by the bakery in hopes to see her. This also meant that most of the time he would come bearing gifts of some sort in hopes of winning not only Eveline but her family as well in his favor. Knowing the family he normally brought things that they would use.
That was the lucky part. Gerald was a nice enough man with a future and he wasn't that horrible to look at. Plus Eveline was getting on in years and really should have been married off years ago. She was entering spinsterhood! She should feel lucky that someone as nice and decent as Gerald held an interest in her...
It was just that Eveline didn't rightly like Gerald.
Sure, he was nice and he was kind to everyone in their sector. He was handsome enough. And he would be able to provide for her and however many children they (he) decided on. There really wasn't anything wrong with him! Eveline had known him since she was a child. He was one of Remy's childhood friends. Seriously, Gerald was a good match for her...but she couldn't get over the fact that he was more like a brother to her instead of a potential husband.
Eveline's only hope was that Gerald would find interest in another female and go bother her for a while. Sure her family needed the food Gerald brought as courting gifts...but not at the expense of her whole life! Yes she didn't always want to be in her parents' house, not to mention a complete burden to them-but surely someone else would come along that she hadn't grown up with...and hadn't seen eat worms on a dare once.
So, with the lean times of her family plus the unwanted, but appreciated, attentions of some man it was no wonder that Eveline was at the end of her rope. Her only hope was to be able to get away for an hour or two to gather the things her family would need for dinner that night. Her only reprieve from the stresses of life.
Unfortunately this only led to more headaches and drama in her life. As soon as Adele had heard that Eveline had a suitor she demanded to meet him, then promptly fell in love with him. Eveline wasn't upset by this at all. Adele was a sweet girl if a bit flighty so would benefit from Gerald's sturdy ways...they were a good match. Now it was just up to Eveline to get Gerald to transfer his attentions to Adele and everything would be perfect!
Easier said than done.
"Eveline! Get your head out of the clouds, girl!" Marguerite stated stiffly as she waddled down the stairs in the back of the bakery. Eveline had just stepped into the back to get more croissants, mind on her woes and annoyances and not paying any attention to what was happening around her. It was horrible considering that while she was off in her own thoughts they could have been robbed.
Marguerite obviously spotted this in her daughter's dazed expression. She decided then it would probably be best to get her out of the shop before any real damage had been done. Grabbing the now familiar bonnet and basket the pregnant woman wrestled the fabric onto her daughters head and the basket into her arms. "Go grab Adele and go to the butchers. Pick up something for dinner tonight."
Which was code for go visit Gerald and flirt, Eveline was quick to translate. Still, she wasn't allowed to argue so just gave a long suffering sigh as she stumbled out of the back door and two streets down to Adele's home.
The blonde woman, of course, jumped at the chance to see her crush and was ready in record time. The whole way there she proceeded to babble incessantly about Gerald, oblivious to her friends feelings on the matter. Or the throbbing headache Eveline felt right between her eyes.
"He's just so tall and so handsome and so muscular and so…" Adele sighed, flushing prettily.
"He ate a worm when we were 10." Eveline once again pointed out, rubbing at her temples. "He said it tasted like raw chicken. I'm afraid to find out how he knows what raw chicken tastes like."
Adele sent her friend a vexed look. "Just because you don't like him doesn't mean I can't!"
"I'm not saying that! Like him all you want! I don't care!"
For a long while the two didn't talk, already frustrated with each other. The subject of Gerald always turned into a sensitive subject between the two. Especially since he was trying to win Eveline while she had no feelings at all for him. Meanwhile, off to the side, Adele was constantly making cow-eyes at the butcher's son wishing and praying that he would take notice of her. The whole situation was just ridiculous and annoying and Eveline just wished it was over with by then.
Truly what needed to happen was for Gerald to spend some time with Adele. So far every time Adele was around it was just as a chaperone of sorts for Eveline. That was no way to see the potential in someone. Gerald needed to see Adele—not Eveline with Adele hovering in the background hiding behind a bonnet. Truly what needed to happen was for Adele and Gerald to spend time together, alone.
Actually—the idea had some merit.
Glancing over at her friend an idea started forming in Eveline's head. Without hesitation the older woman grabbed the blonde to pull her off to the side to an entrance to an alley where they wouldn't be disturbed. Without a word the woman pushed her basket into Adele's hands and started working on her bonnet.
"Eveline! What are you doing!?" Adele tried to push away her friend's hands from the knot under her chin.
"Trying to get this off." Eveline slapped the hands away to continue her work. "I just had a great idea! What we need to do is get Gerald to notice you—and to do that he's got to see you, just you. So we pretty you up and open up an opportunity for you two to interact without me around."
"Eveline, that's stupid!" Adele sighed as her blonde hair came out from under the bonnet. "Love doesn't work that way. This won't work!"
Said woman just straightened her friend's hair so it fell around her heart-shaped face just so. "Well we can at least try. Now you go in there and say you're getting something for me. It's for our dinner so take your time and look through things. Talk to him!" Eveline started pushing her friend towards the butcher's shop.
"What do I tell him when he asks where you are?"
"Just tell him I have so many errands to run that I started getting behind so you offered to help. I'll go make this delivery for you while you do that so you don't have to worry about it. Now Go!" And with one last push Adele was on her way.
Eveline watched as Adele practically floated into the shop, the sun casting a bright shine around her making her look even more like an angel than she normally did. Adele may not believe in Eveline's plan but the darker haired one knew it would work. It was hard not to notice exactly how beautiful Adele was with her hair down and a bright shining grin on her face.
Mentally she congratulated herself on a job well done. By this time tomorrow Adele will be gushing about her new beau Gerald, who would formally apologize to Eveline about falling in love with her best friend (which she will formally accept while informally thanking her lucky stars). Then she would be free to carry on with her life and everything would go back to normal. Her friend will still be her friend. Gerald will have someone infinitely better for him than Eveline. Her family will be at least content with whatever parting gift Gerald gives them and hopefully no hard feelings against him will come up. Eveline could practically hear the wedding bells come spring. She must insist on being the Maid of Honor at Adele and Gerald's nuptials.
Turning with a bright, if mischievous, grin Eveline calmly weaved her way through the crowd to the address on the package Adele was supposed to deliver a new dress to. For such a horrible and depressing day—it was turning into a better one.
Or, at least, Eveline thought that until she came across some guards sneaking up on some gypsy performers.
Frowning Eveline quickly thought out what she was going to do. It was such a nice turn to her day she would hate to ruin it by witnessing an arrest. Plus the poor group weren't even doing anything. They were just standing around each other talking. Not even singing or dancing or begging for money. One was even a woman! Whatever had they done to warrant an arrest?
Nothing, that's what.
Quickly glancing around Eveline quickly stashed her package behind her, pushed her bonnet down, ruffled up her hair a bit and tore a little at her sleeve. Pinching her cheeks the woman quickly looked herself over before pointing off to some random alley. Satisfied with herself Eveline than took a deep breath to scream as she stumbled backward as if something had just knocked into her.
The ploy worked. As Eveline screamed thief the guards rushed to her side. One instantly ran down the alleyway in the pursuit of the imaginary thief while the other checked on her, got a description, and then followed his partner. Eveline was lucky that there wasn't anyone else in the area that could have called her bluff. Well, other than the gypsies. But they had ran as soon as she had started yelling.
Overall, Eveline was very satisfied with herself. She would have to repair her dress at the shoulder but that was but a small price to pay. Straightening herself up the woman reached behind a corner for her package and started on her way. Glancing at the address on the top of the package she made her way around the city streets.
Meanwhile, in a dark alley, a gypsy watched the gadji that had just saved them make her merry way past her without so much as a glance. They had instantly been alert when they heard the scream, scattering in different directions to escape the guards they hadn't even noticed. It was a lapse in judgment on their parts. But, soon enough, one realized it wasn't worth it.
The two guards that had been about to attack them instantly went to the woman. One races off into a random alley while another only stuck around to find out her story before following his partner. It was here that she completely expected the gadji woman to hurry after them or at the very least start crying as most gadji women were of a sensitive sort. Instead the woman just watched after them for a moment, checked around her, then started straightening herself up.
It was when the woman produced a package that was supposedly already stolen that it finally hit her. The gadji had just made all that fuss for the gypsies. She had saved them.
In all her years the gypsy woman named Esmeralda had never seen anyone do that. Especially if they were non-gypsy like that woman was.
She had to get closer. She had to figure out why she had done that. The curiosity was burning inside of her.
The opportunity came quickly, Esmeralda was happy to see. Just as the woman was making her delivery she slipped into a back alley, supposedly as a short cut to wherever she was going. It was then the gypsy woman slipped out to walk beside her.
She didn't even jump as she glanced beside her. Dull blue eyes rapidly glanced at all of Esmeralda before dismissing her to look where she was going. "Is everyone alright?" She asked as calmly as if she were talking of the weather instead of how she had just saves multiple lives.
"Yes," Esmeralda cautiously watched the other woman. "Thanks to you."
The gadji hummed as if to herself, her pace steady and slow.
There were a few moments of silence before the gypsy had to ask. Had to voice the question: "Why did you do it?"
The answer she got threw Esmeralda for another loop. With a shrug of her shoulders the non-gypsy woman simply said, "Why not?" before moving on her way and leaving a stunned Esmeralda behind her.
Later that night Esmeralda was still wondering about the strange woman she had met. It just didn't make any sense. All her life she had been told that no non-gypsy, no gadjikane, would ever help a gypsy. Ever. They just wouldn't do it so it was better to rely only on your own kind. And even then, on your own person since certain times you can only trust yourself.
The fact that this one woman went against everything the girl was taught made it so confusing for Esmeralda.
And, as always, whenever Esmeralda is confused she always goes to one person. Her favorite "uncle", the king to them all: Clopin.
At first he didn't seem that interested in her tale, instead focusing on the next day's routine for his act…at least, until she started to describe the woman.
"What?" He looked up instantly, narrowing his eyes as she repeated herself.
"Brown hair and blue eyes." Esmeralda described, "A little shorter than me. Rounder than most of the gadji up there considering their fashion. Pale. She seemed very….calm, still."
Clopin turned his gaze down to the dark black gloves on his hands. "Blue eyes? Were they dull? Did it seem as if she were almost blind?"
For a moment Esmeralda thought about it. Now that he pointed it out she had to agree. They were so pale and didn't seem to have any light inside of them. She had to nod.
"Kept her hair either in one of those bonnet things the gadji wears or braided?"
"I think it was braided, yes. But she put it back into the thing after she saved us so I can't be sure." The younger watched her friend as he stared off into space, his hands unconsciously fiddling with his writing pencil. "Do you know her?"
"Hm?" The man seemed to shake himself before returning her gaze. "Um…Yes…I think I do. If it's the right woman she should be Eveline Fournier."
"She's a very strange gadji."
Clopin nodded, once again looking down at his hands. "Yes…" He mumbled almost to himself, "I guess she is…"
Clopin had to wait a week before he was able to get Eveline alone. And even then it was a spurt of luck that the girl just happened to turn into that alley as she was apparently hoping to slip away from her group of her blonde friend and some big brute that was escorting them somewhere. Still, far be it for Clopin over look this blessing and promptly showed himself to her.
"Ma belle dame." He greeted with a bow, his puppet quickly making an appearance as well to greet her with a loud kiss to her hand.
His antics rewarded him with a delighted smile and almost silent giggle. "Monsieur Gypsy. Bonjour. How are you?"
"Hey me too!" Puppet protested, forcing himself before her face so he wasn't overlooked.
Again he got an almost silent giggle for his trouble. "Oh, of course! How could I forget! Bonjour, Monsieur Puppet. How have you been?"
"A bit cramped," Puppet replied conversationally. "He keeps me in his pocket when we're not performing. Missed the light of day."
Clopin easily whipped out his long stick to smack the puppet on the head to get him to get him to shut up. "That'll be enough out of you! I've come on very important business and not to nit-pick like a couple of hens."
"But that's boring!"
As the two argues Eveline just stood there with her basket, smiling at them serenely. She knew that eventually they would get to the purpose of his visit. She just had to be patient. And with a few more hits to the puppet (accompanied by Eveline's laughter) Clopin did eventually get on with it.
"I came to ask you something." He leaned in to whisper, as if it all were a great secret.
Eveline easily played along, leaning in with him and even covering a side of her mouth as she whispered, "What is it?"
"A week or so ago…" Clopin glanced around to make sure they weren't being observed. "Did you save a group from some soldiers?"
"Oh that," Eveline grinned, "Yeah, that was me." She shrugged as if it wasn't as big of a deal as it was. "One of them, a girl, came up to me after to ask me why and I told her it wasn't a problem to help. She had really pretty green eyes. Was she the one that told you?"
"Qui, yes…" Clopin nodded, a smirk appearing on his sharp features as he leaned back into the wall behind him. "She was quite confused on why you did it."
Again Eveline gave a shrug, "Well they weren't even doing anything and those soldiers were going to ambush them anyway. Didn't seem very fair to me."
Clopin could only shake his head at her, marveling at her actions that would seem nothing to her but everything to him. "You do realize," He pointed out, "That you have saved my life by saving theirs."
"Really? How so?" The baker's daughter seemed honestly startled by him pointing it out. As if she hadn't even thought about it that way. And, knowing her, she probably hadn't. To her they were un-connectable. Two separate things entirely—but to Clopin it was something completely different.
She had saved his people. But more importantly she had saved his La Esmeralda—his most favorite niece.
"Esmeralda." Clopin grinned down at her. "The girl you saved. She's my niece. My favorite niece. I don't know what I would do without her."
By the widening of her eyes she seemed genuinely surprised by this information. "Really? Oh…" She trailed off as she stared down at her dark boots before looking straight up at him. "I guess that means I'm one up on you!" She laughed at his shocked face before stepping away and going on her merry way. "Goodbye, Monsieur Gypsy. Monsieur Puppet."
"Bye!" Puppet appeared again to wave after her.
He is still marveling at her strangeness almost a week later when Clopin just happens to be begging in the market place when she wonders in herself. At first she doesn't seem to notice him, just going about her daily purchases as normal. The blonde that's always with her gets distracted with some fabric stall so Eveline moved on without her. Unfortunately at her very next stop she faced some problem or another.
Clopin is too far away to really hear what is being said but whatever it is it seems to really upset Eveline. She was at the butcher's and appeared to be trying to buy something or another but the woman that was running the counter just kept shaking her head. They continued to argue back and forth between them, Eveline gesturing as she talked. It appeared they were haggling over the purchase before once again hitting an obstacle. In the end Eveline seemed to be frustrated with whatever the other woman was saying and stormed out of the shop.
It was here that Clopin saw the perfect opportunity and swooped in to hobble along beside her.
"Bonjour, ma belle dame."
This time Eveline was actually startled to hear his voice come out of a seemingly old crippled man. "Monsieur Trouillefou? Is that you?"
"Of course!" Clopin chuckled, lifting his head slightly so she might see his face briefly before quickly ducking down. "Today is my day to beg at the market. Great disguise, yes?"
Eveline eyed it, "Certainly real-looking. But I thought you were a puppeteer?"
"Side jobs when business is slow." Clopin easily explained, pretending to misstep and having to fix himself. "But I surprised you. That's never happened. Is something wrong?"
"No." Eveline quickly answered. Whatever had upset her had slipped her mind while they had conversed but his bringing it up obviously put it to the front of her mind. "Yes…Well, kind of…"
"Tell Clopin. He will try to make it better."
Eveline snorted as she adjusted the basket on her elbow and paused by a corner so he may pretend to rest. "I doubt it, Monsieur Trouillefou, but you may try. The Butcher's wife is being difficult. Because its winter and meat is too hard to come by she has raised her prices. She refuses to be reasonable with me. But also…"
"Also?" Clopin prompted her to continue.
"Her son." Eveline sighed, "Gerald tried to court me for marriage not too long ago. Nothing came of it and I encouraged him to take more of an interest in my friend, Adele."
For some reason Clopin did not like that some man, some gadjo, had taken an interest in Eveline. Especially some simple little butcher's son that would grow up to be a butcher. Eveline just didn't seem like the type to be a butcher's wife. She deserved differently.
"Did he?" He couldn't help but ask, "Take an interest in your friend that is?"
"Hm?" Eveline glanced over from where her thoughts had wondered. "Oh, yes. It took a few tries but just a few days ago he came and formally withdrew his offer. He went after Adele the very next day. She's overjoyed. I'm relieved. I think it'll be a spring wedding."
Clopin had to hide his snorting laughter in a cough.
Eveline gave a small smile down at him but otherwise continued her story. "Anyway—now that Gerald isn't courting me anymore I think his mother is a bit…bitter. Or she's blaming me for the courtship falling through. She wasn't like this a week ago. Hard to think that within just a week the prices would go that high."
"Did they double?"
"More like tripled." Eveline sighed, adjusting her coverings that kept her warm in the cold weather. "And the flower girl just told me how good of a deal she got from her as well. So I'm pretty sure it's just me. What's worse is I can't afford it…We're having a rough spot at the bakery so we have to monitor where every coin goes." She trailed off to start mumbling to herself. Apparently trying to figure a way out of her predicament by herself. "Maybe I can go ask Gerald to talk with her…"
Clopin certainly didn't like her doing that. The less interaction she had with the butcher's son the better, in his opinion. Instead he glanced around before standing to his full height. Making sure no one was paying attention he put away his crippled act to properly face her. "What were you trying to get?"
"Just some beef cuts." Eveline shrugged, "Mama is going to make a beef stew that'll last a few days with it."
"Okay, I'll be right back."
And, without another word, Clopin disappeared into the dark black alley behind them. Eveline blinked in confusion as she stared after him, wondering what he was on about. Either way she stayed right where she was until he came back, toting some basket on his arms.
"Here you go, ma belle dame." Clopin smirked, happily producing the meat she had wanted.
Needless to say Eveline was overjoyed, a bright smile appearing on her face.
"But, of course," Clopin winked, "This means we're even one for one."
A/N: long time no see! I have multiple chapters (almost to chapter 9) planned out….just have to take actual type to type it all. Here's hoping life/school/work don't get in the way too much, yeah?