Title- La floraison de la Rose
Characters/Pairings-
Eponine, a bit of Montparnasse/Azelma
Rating-
K+, though this is subject to change
Summary-
Eponine gets a chance at the life she's always wanted when one of her father's schemes takes an unexpected turn. But things aren't always as simple as they seem when you're the daughter of a con man, as Eponine quickly finds out. Title means The Blooming of the Rose.

A/N- You'll forgive me for not being exceptionally familiar with the layout of Paris. I'm doing my best with the handful of old maps I've managed to turn up (thank God for Google, right?), but let me say right now that I'll be pulling a lot of street names out of my butt. Thanks for your patience with my non-French-ness.


Prologue

The twelfth of July 1831 was an ordinary day for most of the citizens of Paris. As far as the girl standing at the corner of a little boulevard branching off the Rue Pastourelle was concerned, it was to be an ordinary day for her, as well.

This girl was the sort of person that most eyes skimmed over. If one bothered to look at her, one would have seen that she had the potential for great beauty. Unfortunately, very few people wanted to stop long enough to take a second look after having gotten a first, because what was good in her face was buried under several layers of the bad. She was tall, which boded well, but painfully malnourished, and her elbows and knees were bony and she was disturbingly thin. Her skin had a waxy, unhealthy cast to it, and while her features were delicate, her skin was too dirty for anyone to really notice, and the hollowness of her cheeks distracted from her high cheekbones. Her eyes, of a dark and striking green, might have been very fine had they not been bloodshot and vacant. It was impossible to tell what color her hair was, it was so greasy and tangled. She was dressed in a simple brown skirt that was too short and failed even to reach her ankles, and which was already showing holes, and a ratty blouse that kept slipping off her bony shoulders. She was barefoot.

Her name was Eponine Thenardier by birth, but it had been some time ago since she had really considered the surname as belonging to her. The man she had inherited the name Thenardier from meant little to her anymore beyond a vague feeling of some sort of loyalty, and while she still felt affection for her mother and siblings, she had stopped really caring about much some time ago. As far as she was concerned, she was just Eponine, who belonged to no one and who lived nowhere.

As she stood on the corner that day, Eponine had no idea that the twelfth of July was to be of any particular importance to her, or that the letter in her hands would have any special significance to her. She had delivered a hundred such letters, what was one more.

She peered down the street she was contemplating. It was a very fine street in Le Marais, full of large houses and elegant gardens. Eponine looked down at the envelope again to check the address, then squinted up at the street sign in front of her.

"That'll be the place, then," she said to no one in particular. Her voice was hoarse and cracked.

With no further hesitation, she set off down the street, with not the faintest thought in her head that her destiny was about to change drastically.


A/N- I write short prologues. That is normal. Expect subsequent chapters to be longer. Reviews are always much appreciated!