A Les Misérables Fanfic

The sun was falling steadily through the sky, leaving a blood-red trail behind it. The shadows were lengthening, stretching to fit over the gloomy barricade. Bodies were strewn across the barricade, their life's-blood spilling onto the ground. They lay still, never to rise again, their passionate cries for revolution silenced forever. Looking upon the bodies, one could only see frozen faces. But what lay beneath these faces? What thoughts had once gone through those minds, thoughts now frozen in time, lost forever. What lives had they lived, what stories had they told, what loves had they lost? No one will ever know. They are lost forever to the past, that dark chasm which swallows us all up in our time.

Among these frozen remainders of life, something stirred. A thin girl slipped through the increasing darkness, a shadow in the night. She stepped silently through the desolate streets, her weary brown gaze searching the streets. She wore rags that were torn and dirty, her sketal form clearly visible through the patches. She was one of the unfortunate of Paris, a creature of the streets, cast unceremoniously out of the world of the rich. Her eyes held the faintest traces of a fear that never died, like a deer that is always searching for the wolf in the shadows. Her name was Azelma Thernardier.

Silent and wreathed in shadows, she seemed little more than a ghost as she walked among the bodies. Azelma came to the side of one of the bodies and leaned down, her eyes quickly running over the still form. She reached out with her skeletal hand and gingerly slipped a watch off of his wrist. She checked the man's hands and pockets, coming up with a few coins and a ring. She gave a small shadow of a smile. Her father would be pleased. She put them into a small bag already filled with stolen valuables and abandoned the body, giving him one last, sad glance. Who were you? She wondered silently. Was your life worth anything at all? Is mine?

Azelma knew without being told that her father was here as well, searching the bodies for valuables. She hoped that she would win his approval with her own findings. Maybe then he would be nice to her. Maybe he wouldn't hit her.

She knew that she was weak. She knew that all she ever did was follow others, allowing her meek voice to be lost in the shouting of the crowd. She knew that she let her father control her, forcing her to do his dirty work. But what other choice did she have? Without her father, she had nothing. She would be cast onto the streets, without a home or crust of bread to her name. She'd had that once, when her father had been in jail. She never wanted to go back to that again. Better to be a follower than to be alone.

A little ways away, Azelma discerned the still form of a woman in the darkness. Women meant jewelry. Even the poor often carried something. She made her way over to the body, stepping gingerly over the other bodies in her path. She finally reached the woman's body, stooping down to brush her scraggly black hair out of her face. The woman's face was revealed, and Azelma recoiled, a cry of horror escaping her. The frozen face of her sister looked up at her.

She stooped down, her fingers reaching out to touch the girl's face lightly. "Eponine. My God, 'Ponine." Her sister's dark brown eyes were closed, never to open again, never to flash with their usual defiance. The girl seemed smaller in death, more vulnerable. And yet, in life, she had never been afraid. Azelma remembered it all, as vividly as if it had happened a day ago. Eponine had always been the strong one, never backing down, never letting the uncaring words of their father or the harshness of life on the streets break her. Her mind had cracked, it was true, but never her courage. Azelma had always admired her sister, even when Eponine had spoken sharply to her, disdainful of her weak nature. Azelma had been the follower, timid and quiet; Eponine had been the leader, strong and unyielding.

Azelma looked down at her sister's body, emotions flowing through her mind, unsure of what to feel. Trembling a little, she looked over her sister's body, searching for the cause of death. She found that Eponine had been shot through her chest, not through the heart, but close enough to be fatal. Her sister's face looked peaceful in death, more than it ever had in life. Azelma felt a twinge of envy for that serenity into which her sister had escaped. Why did you have to die, Eponine? Why couldn't I have died instead?

Azelma leaned down and gently kissed her sister's forehead, tears building in her eyes, then rose a little shakily. She turned and forced herself to walk away, averting her eyes from the bodies around her bare feet. We all die. She thought sadly. We all have our time, and we may choose to fight for a better life, but in the end, we all die. Our actions decide where we go. I honestly don't know if I care whether I go to Hell or not. If I go to Hell for what I've done... well, it can't be any worse than the streets of Paris. It can't be worse than anything I've already suffered. The bag of stolen valuables seemed to turn to lead in her hand, an unwanted weight, a reminder of her crimes. She left the gloomy barricade, her sister's silent and cold grave. The lifeless place was as silent as when she had first come. It was as if she had never been there at all.

I got bored, so I decided to do another Les Mis fanfic. No one ever mourned Eponine (except for Marius and all of the Eponine fans) so I wanted to show someone in her family mourning her. Azelma seemed to be the perfect choice, and besides that, she's shown so few times that her character is basically left for the fanfic writers to decide. I felt like she should be a follower, and aware of it, and that she should be more philosophical than her sister, more thoughtful. I hope you guys like this, but if you see any inacurate, please tell me. As stated in my Enjolras one-shot, I know nothing of France in 1832. Also, this is more musical-verse, with a character from the book mixed in. Just because they never showed Azelma doesn't mean she didn't exist. (That's my excuse anyway.)

Azelma, Eponine, and Thernardier (c) Victor Hugo and the guys who made the musical