I'm BACK! Soz it took so long to upload the chapter ... again. I was at a loss. I didn't know how I could top the last chapter and I had NO IDEA what should happen in the morning. I literally sat with a pencil in my hand ( momentarily off-topic: I write my stories in pencil then type them up, it just seems to flow better when I do, odd huh?) Anyway, I was sitting with a pencil in my hand having intense internal conversations in my head, that went something like this - Should Mama Jeanne walk in on them? Or Papa George? Or BOTH? or Neither ... Maybe it would be better to have a cute morning moment ... and yet ... GAH! - ... and so it went on.

I finally bought the Hugo DVD though, and rewatched it. (The awesomeness had not faded! C: ) and that gave me a bubbling bunch of ideas sooooooooooooooo I should be pretty good now, probably ... ^^'

Shoutouts:

Mogi93: Thanks so much for those unusual words. I've written them down in a list that I add to when I find odd words and yours were great. I particularly liked the one about people covered in dust ... I'll have to work that one in somewhere ... and yes, my Hugo is incredibly sweet C:

Guest: WHO ARE YOU?! You left that gorgeous incredibly long review and you didn't leave your NAME! I don't even know if you'll read this! If you are reading this, I would just like to say that I was incredibly touched by your kind words and that I didn't mind the length of your review at all! (In fact I wish others were as lengthy as you!) I completely empathise with you on the Asa front. He's so Gorgeous. dark hair, blue eyes, pale skin AND GLASSES for the win! I cannot WAIT untill Ender's Game comes out in Feb next year. Gah! As for Romilda, I don't think I could push her in front of a bus, especially with what I've got planned for her (wait in patience my sweet, WHA HA HA ... C: ) This one is pretty long, and it's quite fluffy so I hope you're satisfied. Thanks again, mynameisqwerty

Dalianna: Your comments had me grinning from ear to ear, thank you. I'm writing my story as I go, so I sort of go where IT leads ME. I watched the film, Loved it, did a bit of research and this story sort of formed itself. I had the basic plot by the end of that week, but there's been a heap of surprises already (I didn't expect Romilda to come back, for instance). I basically have a skeleton of plot points that I update every chapter and fill in the rest as I write it. Hope this answers your question! Thanks for reading.

UNOmavs: Please please! For my sake, PLEASE don't look every day. I would hate to think of someone out there checking that often when I update so infrequently and um ... dollopy ... please. restrain yourself to once a week at least. please. that's five pleases. take note.

TheBFG: I was trying to indicate that wasn't exactly RATS that were Hugo's fear, but the memories they envoke. Sorta like Harry Potter being afraid of fear itself.

TO THE STORY!

When Mama Jeanne woke that morning the first thing she noticed was the golden, watery sunlight streaming in through the window, illuminating the room in a game of shadows.

The storm was over.

She sighed gently with relief and got out of bed, careful not to wake her husband, who was turned the other way, as she moved toward the armoire. It was early yet and nobody else would be awake. She slipped on a black dress, polka-dotted with small white spots, bought years ago at a Wednesday Market Day. She then went upstairs to check on her charges, as she often did in the morning before starting to make breakfast for the family.

She had been worried about Isabelle lately. Jeanne knew her dislike for storms, and had seen in Isabelle's face that she had not been sleeping lately. Carefully, she pushed open the door.

The room was empty.

The bed had been left unmade. Books were scattered across the floor.

Mama Jeanne stood, one hand gripping either side of the doorway, her left higher than her right. Where was she? She swept a glance around the room once more, then looked out along the landing.

Hugo's door, which he always closed at night, was ajar.

She made her way to his room, perhaps a little less carefully than before. She peered in.

Hugo was in bed. He wasn't alone. His arms were wrapped in a careful embrace around Isabelle, whose head rested on his chest. Isabelle looked more peaceful than Mama Jeanne had ever seen her. Hugo too, looked calmer, now she came to think of it.

Quietly, she closed the door on them. She was very glad it had been she, and not George who had found them. All the same, it was better to ensure that Papa George did not go up until Isabelle came down.

There was no doubt in her mind that Hugo and Isabelle's night together had been completely innocent, but she could not vouch that Papa George would not jump to conclusions the moment he saw them both together.

She made her way downstairs and began to prepare her family's breakfast, so that it would be hot when they came down.

.

Papa George had already been awake when his wife got out of bed. Not wishing to worry her, he had pretended to be asleep.

George Melies was tired. Fatigued was a better word.

He shouldn't be. By all accounts he had had a good night's sleep, but the thought of getting up made him want to bury himself deeper and deeper under the quilt.

He roused himself eventually, his feet fumbling over each other as he made his way to the ensuite bathroom.

He splashed a little water over his face, hoping to wake himself up. He inspected himself in the mirror, it's edges speckled lightly with black spots. Dewdrops of water clung to his beard. His face had a rouge quality that will have died down by mid-morning. And ... was it his imagination ... or was there a slight yellow tinge to his eyes ...

.

Isabelle woke up sleepily, she felt deliciously warm. She suddenly gave a start as she realised where she was. He head was full of Hugo's musky, sweet scent as she looked up at him from his chest.

She hadn't dreamt at all last night, but she didn't mind, and now she felt refreshed and rejuvenated.

Ready to start a new day.

It slowly entered Isabelle's head that she didn't know what time it was, and that worried her for a moment. She looked over to a pocket watch, hung on a leather strap on the wall, a habit Hugo had retained from his days in the walls.

Seven o'clock.

Wanting to stay, but knowing breakfast would soon be ready (she could already begin to smell it) she got out of Hugo's bed.

She folded the quilt back over him, and stood up, looking at his face. Then, on impulse, she bent over and kissed him swiftly on the forehead. She straightened slowly, a faint tinge gently spreading through her cheeks, as she walked out the door towards her own room to get dressed and ready for the day, confident that neither Mama Jeanne nor Papa George knew about what had happened the night before.

However, from that moment Isabelle knew.

That she was irrevocably, irretrievably, deeply in love.

.

Hugo woke to find his bed disappointingly empty. He had hoped to find Isabelle still lying there. Still, he supposed, better to not have her found here.

He got out of bed, the wafting smell of breakfast already enticing him downstairs. He dressed quickly and, hands in pockets, he went down the stairs in a kind of gambling gait.

While usually mornings were a tired and irritable blur for Hugo, this morning he was feeling uncharacteristically optimistic. "Particularly chipper," his mother would have called it.

He came in the kitchen and kissed Mama Jeanne on the cheek.

"Morning Hugo," Mama Jeanne said, surprised. There was something else in her gaze as well, but Hugo did not stop to contemplate it as he grabbed an apple and sat down opposite Isabelle.

Time, which had seemed a little fast ever since he woke, slowed to normal pace once more as they stared at each other, eye contact broken only by Mama Jeanne's arm as she set crepes at each of their plates.

.

Mama Jeanne looked between the two, unnoticed by either, curious, could she say even slightly excited, as to what the day would bring.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Whadya think?