The Calm Before the Storm
An Enjolras tribute
It was that silent time between night and day, when the world is lit by the palest of light, the sun barely peaking its head over the horizon. The streets of Paris were lit by this pale light and by the streetlights that had yet to be extinguished. A lone structure, a barricade composed of odd bits and pieces, stood in the streets, eerie in the half-last that the early morning offered. No one stirred yet at this early hour, except for one. A man sat on the side of the barricade, his face tilted up to look at the sky, his piercing blue eyes scanning the fading stars carefully, as though searching for something that alluded him.
The man's name was Enjolras, and the day was June 5th, 1832.
He watched sky slowly lighten, the day of revolution drawing ever nearer. The day he had been working towards since the flame of revolution had been lit in his heart, all those years ago. He had been a child then, leading a soft, sheltered life. The truth about the monarchy, when he had first learned of it, had been a shock. The wealthy and the important of France live their lives behind a veil, remaining willingly ignorant of the suffering of others, of the horrors of the world around them, living their peaceful lives as chaos took place around them. It is a particular talent of theirs. For much of his childhood, Enjolras had lived behind that veil, ignorant as the rest of his rich family. When the day came that he learned of the King's tyranny, that veil was ripped away, forcing Enjolras to realize the horrors that he had ignored for so long.
He welcomed this change.
The child, so long sheltered from the pain of the world, looked upon this world with the innocence of youth, confident that one day he would be able to make things better. As he grew older, this childish confidence grew into a deep, fiery passion. He scorned his family and all others who were determined to ignore the suffering of the poor. Enjolras especially hated the monarchy. The king, a man whom he had never met, became his most hated enemy, the disease that was eating away at his beloved France, the final obstacle to be defeated at the end of the long road to freedom. It was this goal, the defeat of the king, that controlled everything Enjolras did. It defined him, it gave him strength, gave him purpose.
The blond rebel, lowering his gaze to look at the camp they had set up, smiled at the sight of his friends. The Friends of the ABC, along with the other rebels, were scattered around the camp, sleeping before the first attack was made. Enjolras scanned the camp with his bright blue gaze, discerning each of Les Amis. There was Combeferre, the philosopher, the logic to Enjolras's passion, the reason to his decisions, the thought to his action. He gave the revolution its sense of logic and humanity, the promise of peace amidst the violence. For that reason, among many others, Enjolras depended on him greatly.
A little ways away was Joly, Bahorel, and Bossuet. All great friends, who had supported him in all of his decisions, who had followed him here, perhaps to their deaths. The unlucky Bossuet, the fretful Joly, the laid-back Bahorel, had all trusted him and trusted the cause. Several yards away was Courfeyrac, cuddled up with some waitress that Enjolras didn't know the name of. The man may have a misguided passion for women, but he was loyal to the cause, and Enjolras was glad to have him as an ally in battle, and as a friend. Feuilly and Jehan were a few feet away, their forms cast in shadow by the barricade. Feuilly was a source of admiration for Enjolras; the orphan who had so much love for his country, who could have so easily become bitter, but instead turned to hope and dreams of freedom. Jehan, the poet and the romantic, was timid but loyal, and Enjolras knew he would fight to the death for France's salvation. He was grateful for all of them, for the support they had shown him and for being with him now.
Lastly, Enjolras's eyes fell on Grantaire, who was strewn unceremoniously across the ground, an empty wine bottle held loosely in one hand. The drunkard was the one doubter among them, the only darkness in the light of their passion. Enjolras wanted to hate him for his doubts, and for his weakness for the drink, but in truth, he did not know what he felt for the sorry man. In truth, it was Graintaire's mocking and doubts that forced Enjolras to check himself, to make sure that he had not been irrational because of his passion for freedom. It was Grantaire's disdain and doubting that made Enjolras reach his full potential as a leader, forced to become great in the face of such failure. He should hate Grantaire, but he could not. Something, some unamed feeling, kept him from hating the drunkard. His gaze lingered for a bit on the unconcious man, then returned to gaze up at the sky.
He would not be here without them. That was the truth, pure and simple. Without the Friends of the ABC to back him up, he wouldn't be starting this battle. He would be alone and bitter, hating the king but unable to act on that hatred. They took his passion and gave it a physical form, with the ability to fight. They were his army, and he was their leader. It was as simple and beautiful as that.
Enjolras knew that the battle would start very soon. Not all of Les Amis would make it out alive. There was a good chance that none of them would survive. But it a choice that they had all made on their own, and their willingness to fight to the death empowered him. Whether he lived or died made little difference. As long as France was delivered from the monarchy, Enjolras would sacrifice anything.
His face still tilted towards the heavens, Enjolras started praying silently. Grant that we may we win freedom for our homeland. That my friends may walk out of here, alive and free. Let me die, if France will benefit from it. My life is nothing without freedom. If he expected an answer, none came. The stars, all but gone in the face of the sunrise, stared down at him, cold and silent. And yet, Enjolras allowed his lips to curl into a smile. This day would bring death and pain, but it would also bring freedom. Victory was inevitable, for the people would soon rise up with them, descending upon the enemy with the fury of those who have been so long denied what they deserved. This he believed, with all of his heart. Let them come. We are ready.
Alright, just a forewarning. I know nothing about France's lifestyle, either now or in 1832. If anything seems inacurate, that is why. I apologize in advance. Also, this is musical-based with characters from the book. It may seem unrealistic that the barricade lasted all night without getting attacked. Oh well. Again, I don't anything about the June Revolution except what Mr. Victor Hugo expressed in Les Miserables, and I didn't have a copy with me at the time that I wrote this. I may end up editing this later.
This was inspired by the mental image of Enjy going out on the barricade the day before the first battle and mentally prepping himself for it, greeting the dawn with the air of someone who has already won. I started writing, and this is the result. Also, yes, I snuck a little tiny bit of GrantaireXEnjolras in there. Because I can.