Fast forward 14 months. Whilst walking home, unaccompanied at night, Sophia encounters Monsieur Thénardier
The night was cloudy, the stars could not be seen, and neither could the moon. It was a cold November night in the year of 1823. As she walked along, the rotten smell was coming closer. She heard a scuffling noise, and spun around. No one was there. Normally, she would not be walking the Parisian streets alone, but no fiacres could be summoned that time of the night. She began to breathe heavily...
“Hello?” she called out. In a flash, she was grabbed around the waist and pushed against a street light. The light illuminated the face of her attacker. She gasped. It was Thénardier, who used to be a greasy tavern owner, had been left with Cosette by Fantine eight years before hand. He scammed Valjean out of his money, and was a brute. He had two daughters, Éponine and Azelma, and had three sons, whom we do not know the names of.
“Get off of me, you vile creature!” Sophia hissed, trying to loosen his grip on her hands. Thénardier laughed menacingly.
“No can do, little missy,” he breathed, and she tried to strain as far away from him as possible. His breath was absolutely foul. She wriggled away from Thénardier.
“Why all the panic?” he hissed silkily, one hand wandering.
“Get off!” she replied, “or I’ll scream so loud I swear the gendarmes will hear you from down the road!” He laughed, and continued what he was doing regardless.
“You have no idea who I am...do you?” she whispered.
And she screamed.
Javert was walking down the street, when he heard the scream. It sounded so familiar...before his eyes that memory he tried to black out, the memory of him forcing Sophia in front of Beauvais...
“Sophia,” he said to himself. He set himself at a furious pace, a pace he had never used before. He saw two figures bathed in the light from the street lights...Sophia.
Thénardier, as soon as she screamed, covered her mouth with his stinking hand. Terrified, suffocating and repulsed, she bit down hard and he howled out in pain. He wrenched his hand from her the grips of her pearly white teeth, and examined it. There was a mark, and he was bleeding.
“You little bitch!” he screeched, and she moved quickly, ready to run down the street back home. But he lunged for her, she hitting him around the head in desperation. The blood in Sophia’s mouth tasted like rusted iron and she prepared herself to get a beating from this villain. Anger burnt like fire within his eyes, and he was about to hit her, a gun was at his head.
“I suggest you don’t move,” a cold icy voice said. She looked up and saw her husband’s features from underneath the brim of his top hat. Thénardier chuckled and got out a gun he had hidden.
“You think that wise? First of all attacking a good woman, who is my wife, and then threatening a police officer,” Javert said icily. He hit Thénardier around the head with his stick, and the brute collapsed to the floor unconscious. He looked down at the scum with contempt. He took handcuffs from his redingote pocket and chained Thénardier to the street light.
“Thank you,” she said softly as he escorted her home, “I guess I should’ve called a fiacre.”
“You know it’s not safe to wander the Parisian streets at night. I thought you would have known that, Sophie.” Sophia looked at him.
“I’m sorry,” –she did not look at him- “but all I was doing was...”
“It’s partially my fault,” he interrupted, “I should have escorted you home.” Sophia sighed.
“Etienne, my love, I’m sorry. Who was he, anyway?”
Javert did not answer her until they were at home. She was in the nursery, cradling Adele, who was fast asleep in her arms.
“Sophia...That man was Monsieur Thénardier. A crook, originally the innkeeper that the...woman left her child with.”
“That was the man Fantine left Cosette with?”
“Yes.” She nodded.
“You should go back, Etienne; take Thénardier down to the station,” she said softly, laying Adele down in the cradle before walking across the floor, past her husband and onto the landing. He followed her and cupped her face with his hands, kissing her softly before departing without a word.