Chapter One

"And rain… will make the flowers…" I couldn't hear my beloved Marius's sweet voice anymore. All I felt was his lips gently kissing my forehead. Then all was dark.

My eyes fluttered open. My first thought was of course Marius. Was he alright? Did the revolution succeed? Was he with that rumpus of a girl Cossette? But wait… how could I be thinking? "No… impossible! I was dead! I'd been shot! How can I be waking? Am I in heaven?" I thought, bewildered. My eyes soon adjusted to the bright light before me, and what I saw was far from heaven. A dirty, dark room with beds all around; each one occupied by a tiny child sleeping, coughing, or screaming in pain. My mouth opened in horror when I saw a glassy eyed girl in the bed next to me, no longer breathing with blood on her nightdress. I closed my eyes and took a deep, shaking breath, trying to escape the horrors around me. What is this place? I wondered in disgust. Suddenly, I heard a gasp, and my eyes snapped open to see an old woman staring in wonder at me. "May I help you Madame?" I asked, slightly irritated. She broke into a warm smile, and tears began to form in her eyes. "Oh, Anette, you're alright! How are you feeling dear?" My brow furrowed. Why was this woman calling me Anette? "I'm sorry Madame, I think you've mistaken me for someone else. My name is Éponine Thénardier." I told her. She looked puzzled. "What are you talking about? You are Anette. You always have been silly girl." She smiled then, as if this whole thing was a joke. Was it? But the only person who liked to play jokes on me was… no, I wouldn't think of him. "Madame, whatever trick you are trying to play is not at all funny. I am not this Anette you speak of." I told her sternly. She shook her head sadly and called another woman over. "What is it now?" the second woman asked crossly. The first woman looked me over then said, "Poor little dear's gone mad. When I came in she was alive, which is fortunate of course, but rambling on about being 'Éponine Thénardier." The second woman looked at me pitifully, then put a hand on my forehead. "Her temperature's normal. How strange! Usually hallucinations come with a fever." She said, brow furrowed. I couldn't believe what was happening. How are they so sure I am who they seek? I kept my mouth shut, knowing arguing would obviously do no good, as they looked me over for any further signs of ailment. After that they left me, saying, "The girl needs her rest." And as soon as I was sure they were gone, I got up out of the bed. "Let's have a look around, shall we?" I whispered to myself. No sooner than the words had left my mouth I gasped. The voice speaking was not mine, but one of a child's. I looked down, and my feet were the small ones of a child. I shakily lifted my hands up to my face, and they were a child's as well. I ran over to the small, dusty window, and in the reflection, two big brown eyes stared back at me above a sweet little pink nose, all wrapped up in a little girl's face. I gasped and jumped back. "How… how is this possible?" I whispered to myself. I had become a little girl again. But… I was not me. I was some other little girl. I felt my knees begin to wobble, so I went to sit down on the bed. I must have thought about it for at least a good hour, but I finally came to the fact that I had died, and for whatever reason been sent back to earth instead of just moving on. Why? What did I do to deserve this? Why was I being deprived of heaven? Maybe I'd not been the most sinless girl in the world at the time, but I was only doing what I was told! Why did I have to be reborn into this dark world? At that point, my childish instincts kicked in. I began to weep, too overwhelmed and upset to do anything else. "It's just…not…fair!" I gasped to myself. I had thought, as I lay there dying in my love's arms, that his flawlessly handsome face would be the last thing I saw before the gates of heaven. But no, because of what I'd done, or for whatever other reason there could possibly be, I was thrust back here onto this cruel earth. I dried my tears and tried to calm down. Well, you're here, and if this is a punishment you won't die just because you want to. It seems you'll have to earn it. I told myself with a sigh. I picked myself up and started walking towards the door, but suddenly I heard faint voices, and I dove back into the bed. "Yes, she's right in through here. And really? That's why you're late? How horrible. How many casualties?" one of the women from before asked. They entered the room, and a tall man with a thick coat stood with the woman. "Too many to count. There were few, if any, survivors." He answered her gravely. She nodded in agreement. "Indeed, that's what I'd heard too. Serves them right though, filthy little rebels." She finished with a hiss. My stomach dropped. There was only one rebellion that everyone was talking about right now… 'There were few, if any, survivors.' The man had said. "Marius!" I gasped, eyes welling up again. They turned at my gasp, and the man smiled at me. "Hello mademoiselle. How are you feeling?" he asked. All I wanted to do was flee the room, scouring out the streets for any survivors, but I knew I'd just be dragged back if I did. I hated being so helpless, so weak. But all I could do for now was play along. "Fine monsieur. How are you?" I asked in he sweetest tone I could muster. He grinned. "Very good. Tell me dear, what is your name?" I took a deep breath before answering, "Anette monsieur." He nodded, then turned to the woman. "Well, it seems she's back on track. If you need anything else, I'll be much quicker coming now that there are no more living rebels to tend to." He told her. I shivered at the way he said 'living'; drawing it out longer than it normally would be said. They left in deep conversation about the rebels and their barricades, the army and their victory, and voicing their opinions on the matter overall. The talk of barricades confirmed it; I was still in France, and this was the same revolution. That meant that most likely… Marius was gone. And because I was stuck here, we couldn't even be together. "Not that he'd suddenly love me in death.' I thought sadly.