We are introduced to Sophia's father, Jacques Anlie, and her two sisters, Victoria and Valeria.
“Papa!” she cried as she hugged her old father. He held her at arm’s length, looking his daughter up and down.
“Princesse Sophie, ma chérie, how are you?” he asked, taking in her body, her soft blonde hair and the pale blue dress.
“Quite well,” she answered.
“Monsieur L’Inspecteur, welcome back to Paris.” Anlié shook Javert’s hand. He then asked what Sophie had been dreading.
“What of my grandchild?”
“I lost it, Papa. Shortly after we moved,” Sophia told him, “I shouldn’t have strained myself...” This was the lie that she and Javert had agreed on: that she had picked up something too heavy and she had dropped it, instead of his enragement which had caused it.
Anlié noticed how close she and her husband were. Maybe the marriage was not a mistake after all.
“Where are Victoria and Valeria?” Sophia asked, looking around for her elder sisters. As if it were on cue, Victoria, the eldest, swept into the entrance hall.
“Sophie! Etienne! Welcome back to civilisation!” she cried, giving her sister and brother-in-law a fond greeting. She called Montreuil uncivilised, as she could not imagine a Parisian such as Sophia living anywhere but a city.
“Bonjour Mademoiselle Anlié,” Javert said, feeling slightly uncomfortable.
“Victoria, is that a ring I spy?” Sophia asked after she had embraced her elder sister.
Victoria was twenty-four and was being courted by an attorney, Henri Zàde. It warmed Sophia’s heart to finally see her elder sister getting married.
“Yes, yes, Henri and I are going to be married in the spring.”
“And another one flies the nest,” came the bitter voice of Valeria, who was descending the stairs. Sophia, still standing between her husband and Victoria, raised an eyebrow.
“Well maybe if you stop praying and recoiling at every man’s touch, you might be finding yourself a husband as well,” she told Valeria.
“Oh my lait-et-miel soeur,” Valeria said, “always with quick wit.”
“Girls,” Anlié chided, “come, come stop it. Apologies Monsieur L’Inspecteur for my daughters’ behaviour.”
Javert noticed that his father-in-law always addressed him as Monsieur L’Inspecteur, and he wondered if old man Anlié was scared of him; Victoria clearly was not- she was calling him by his given name, something only he permitted Sophia to do (after all, she was his wife and it would be noted if she was calling her husband by his surname). But he did not mind what Victoria doing so. Out of his two sister-in-laws, Victoria was the more pleasant of the two, and Valeria was cold and bitter, more so now that her elder twin sister was engaged to her sweetheart. It was a private joke between Victoria and Sophia that Valeria was going to be the spinster sister.
Javert noticed that Valeria was clasping a small prayer book in her hands. Why on earth did he want to marry her instead of Sophia? Sophia was everything Valeria could have been. Whilst all the Anlié daughters were beautiful, Victoria and Valeria took their father’s dark hair and eyes, whilst Sophia was the spitting image of the mother she had never known. Out of all three of the sisters, it was Sophia that he would have been most likely to produce children with, and Javert had a feeling that old man Anlié knew that. Sophia was warm, loving, and although needy sometimes, she was the woman Javert wanted to spend the rest of his life with. The Javerts stayed for dinner, but left shortly afterwards; they had to leave for Montriuel-sur-Mer early the next morning.
On five consecutive mornings in mid March Sophia vomited. On the sixth morning, when her monthly course for February had not yet arrived and she once again vomited (she also felt sick whenever Javert had just shaved), she went to the hospital to be checked over and one of the sisters- the very same who had cared for her during the miscarriage- confirmed her suspicions: Madame Sophia Javert was expecting a child, and was three months into her pregnancy.
Both she and Javert counted the dates and guessed she had conceived shortly, during or after their stay in Paris. Almost straight away, the townspeople of Montriuel-sur-Mer found out, and Sophia had written to her family. Unfortunately, the doctors would not allow her to travel, given the last time, when she had moved from Paris to the town; this meant she could not attend Victoria’s marriage to Henri Zàde in the May of that year but she and Javert sent their congratulations.