The cool and chilly air of Paris kept Papa George and I moving quickly through the streets to the train station. It was another early morning, but I was sure that Hugo was already up and checking all the clocks in the station. It always amazed me at how quickly he could get around to each and every clock three or sometimes four times a day!

I had always thought about having him show me how to wind the clocks so that I could maybe help him, but I knew that he could get it done faster by himself than I could if I helped. So, I sat back and told him grand stories as he worked. Oh, how rude of me, I haven't introduced myself!

My name is Isabelle, Isabelle Méliès. I live with my godparents, George and Jeanne Méliès, in a lovely little place called Paris. About a year ago, I met a wondrous boy named Hugo Cabret, who uncovered great secrets of my Papa George and even of himself.

Ever since then, Hugo and I have been sort of… inseparable. I mean, it's not like I like him or anything…. Well, actually, I guess it is that! It's exactly that. Hugo has opened my tiny little world up so much in the past year and… well, quite frankly, I'm very attracted to him, on so many that is besides the point. Hugo and I are both 13 now, and, as Papa George and Mama Jeanne said, we are 'strictly friends.' But… well, what Papa and Mama don't know won't hurt them, right?

Hugo and I have only really 'kissed' once, and that's because I wanted to know what it felt like! And we've only had one harmless little sleepover, because my godparents had to go get supplies for the toy store and the Station Inspector said he'd look after us.. which he did, until Miss Lisette caught his attention with her flowers…

Anyways, I spend most of my days with Hugo, learning from him and teaching him what I know. Papa George still runs the toy store, since he's still retired from film making, but every now and again he's asked to direct or write or even act!

I come with him to the station everyday, to see Hugo and to help out when he needs me. That's the beauty of homeschooling; I read enough that Mama Jeanne doesn't need to teach me a lot. As I was saying, Thursday morning was a cold one.

As we entered the station, I eyed every single clock to see if Hugo was in any of them. Even if I didn't see him, I know he'd see me and would eventually meet me around the toy store, where Papa George and I would have a croissant and some hot chocolate waiting for him. I shuddered with excitement of the day ahead of me, patting my bookbag, which was carrying the most delightful book that I couldn't wait to share with dear Hugo.

We stopped at the toy store and I waited for Papa George to open up. My eyes wandered to the compartment where Hugo was usually emerging from, but I didn't see him. I frowned and turned back to Papa as he was walking into the toy store.

"No Hugo this morning?" He asked, clearly not that concerned.

I shrugged, unsure of where he could be. We ate our croissants in silence, watching as the morning train catchers caught their trains. By late morning I had finished the book I wanted to show Hugo. He still hadn't shown up, but this wasn't something dire.

He had probably woken up late and had gone around to wind the clocks. I didn't mind, but I did want to see him soon. I decided to walk around the station and stretch my legs, maybe stop by the library and get a new book. I touched Papa George's arm to let him know I was going out, but he was already napping.