The cool, late afternoon sun warmed Remus Lupins thinly clad shoulders as he sat on a low brick wall by the Seine. His hands absentmindedly fiddled with a twisted bit of rubbish in his hands, but his eyes stared longingly over the sparkling river.
He was, however, watching the street to, and when a tall, handsome man, with the eyes of a dreamer appeared, Lupin rose from his seat, and hastened over.
"Hey There; Marius,"
The man turned a look of confused worriment in his honey colored eyes.
" Do I know you, Sir?"
" I am your neighbor, Remus Lupin." Though his tone was nothing but pleasant, Lupin saw Marius groan inwardly. His voice however, was calm-Yet slightly tinged with annoyance-when he answered.
"I see. What is your business with me, Remus?"
"I wish to know about the Jondrette Family."
"The Thenardiers?" His voice was strained.
"They are one and the same?"
"Then, Yes. Who are they?"
"Nothing more the common crooks." Spat Marius. "I am sure you know already." He said, contempt blazing in his eyes.
"I do, but that is not what i meant."
"What did you mean then, Sir?"
"I am not sure. The father-Do you know anything about him?"
" That I can answer. He was a soldier at Waterloo."
"You doubt me?"
"He doesn't seem the type."
"Your right, he does not."
" And the mother? The daughters?"
" The mother? Ah, she was a beast. Nothing good there, sir, she was worthless."
" She is dead."
"Dead? How do you know?"
"That little sniper of a gamin, Gavroche."
" I know him."
"Everybody know him. He was known to go visiting her, he seemed to get along with the family."
"And he told you?"
"He remarked it simply in passing."
"That i doubt. And as for the girls, well, the oldest is brash and disagreeable, the younger a fool." He snorted.
"What do you mean?"
" Eponine is persistent, she is vulgar, and most of all she is to be pitied. It is not her fault. As for the younger-I doesn't know her name- She is a poor little thing, takes her sisters lead in everything. But that is to be expected." He turned to Lupin, "Why do you want to know?"
" No reason. Curious, i guess."
"Its because of them, all that nonsense with the police."
"Yes, scoundrels. That was the last straw. I'm staying with my friend now. That place is a hellhole. Thank god they're locked up."
"Well, of course. Listen, I've got to go, Remus. If you're interested, come down to the ABC café tomorrow night. We're having a rebellion meeting."
"Sounds good. See you there."
"Eponine!" he called, cupping his hand around his mouth. It was late, and Eponine was hurrying down the dark path at a very quick rate, so fast and far away that Lupin wasn't sure she could hear. She paused, silhouetted against the backdrop of stormy blue gray sky. "Eponine," he repeated, louder.
"Wot?" she called, her raspy voice breaking.
"I wanted to talk to you."
" I can't 'ear ya"
"Come over here."
Within seconds she was in front of him, her eyes dull and lackluster. She looked worse then when he'd last seen her, three weeks ago in the ally. Her face was bruised and thinner, her chemise falling off one bony elbow, exposing grimy skin. Her skirt was in rags, a bit of the rough fabric training on the ground. She had a ratty gray shawl around her shoulders, and her face was drawn in sadness.
"I haven't seen you in a while. I was worried."
She laughed, and it sounded slightly crazed, slightly dizzying.
" Ain't got no reason ta be. I've jus been in the lockup for a bit. Ain't nothin wrong with that."
She shivered in the night cold air, the shadows under her eyes deep and weary. Now he could see how worse she looked for the stay in prison, how emaciated and shaking. He reached out a hand to gently stroke her shoulder, but she pulled back.
"I wasn't trying to hurt you. Are you alright?" the later was said in a gentler, softer tone caressed with worry. But she snarled at him as though he'd offended her.
" I ain't no pretty girl to be fawned over. Ain't none of yer businesses wot's 'appinin with me. I'm fine. So jus leave me alone." She straightened her shoulders, her face tough and proud.
"I heard your mothers been killed."
"Wots it to yew? Dead in prison, and there ain't nobody 'ho cares. Least of all me."
" I ain't. Listen, i gotta go."
She turned to leave, and as she did her shawl slipped to the side, exposing a large raw purple and green bruise on her neck. He gently grabbed her shoulders and turned her around, exposing a very angry face.
" How did that happen? Are you alright?"
"I told yew, it ain't none of yew filthy business."
" Who did that to you?" his voice was low.
"Ain't matter none."
"It was Montparnasse, wasn't it?"
" So wot if it was? Anyway, it ain't. And its me own business. And what do yew care anyway?"
" I care about you. He shouldn't hurt you like that. Don't try to deny it. I've seen him do it before. He shouldn't do that."
" None of yew business."
" It should be. If he's hurting you-"
"I don't care! And yew has no right to talk to me about that. I jus want yew to leave me ALONE!"
And with that she turned and ran, leaving a very befuddled Lupin behind her.
"I love him."
She thought as she traipsed along the dark river, reflecting the cloudy nighttime sky.
"I love Marius."
"I love her."
Thought Remus, as he walked slowly home along the darkening river.
"I love Eponine."