Sophia held Adele’s hands as the three-year-old stood up unsteadily. Adele was a late developer, and although Javert had been worried about it when she had not yet spoken a word by her third birthday or begun walking, both Minette and Sophia had insisted she was fine. Sophia was on the floor of the nursery, on her knees in a white and pastel blue dress, her long blonde hair loose. At twenty-one, she was happy with her life. Javert was now Police Inspector First Class, and already Adele was turning into a beauty. Her dark hair had lightened and was now a dark blonde, and her eyes were the steely grey of her father’s eyes.
There was also the issue of Monsieur Anlié close to death. Since the birth of Adele, Sophia and Javert had fallen out with him. It happened five months after the birth; they had not told the old man that she could not have children, that she had been injured in labour. The couple had hoped they could conceal her infertility with reluctance to have another child, Sophia’s reluctance to lose her figure or Javert’s age. But Sophia had snapped and told him straight out he should not hope for another grandchild off her because she was infertile, and that it was bearing his precious granddaughter that had caused it.
But this autumn day in 1825, Sophia was feeling sick, like she had done when carrying Adele through the thirty-eight week pregnancy. She kept this to herself, for if she had gotten pregnant by some miracle, she did not want to get her husband’s hopes up. He had been dismayed at the news, of course he had, when he had wanted a son badly. But he loved his daughter, and to Sophia that meant a lot.
Over dinner that night, Javert had found her secret out. Why should she try to hide secrets from him, when he was a police inspector?
“Sophia, are you feeling alright?” he asked, not looking up at her. She looked at him, smiled softly.
“I am fine, Etienne, why shouldn’t I be?” she replied, giving a little false laugh.
“Sophia, this may sound ridiculous, especially since...” he trailed off, “but are you pregnant?”
“What did you say?” she breathed.
“Are you with child? I’ve just noticed some things in the past few days...you haven’t drunk any wine for one thing, which you normally do...you’ve had mood swings...”
“Yes... I think I am...I don’t know...” he stood up and walked over to her.
“I’ll send Juliette to get you a doctor.”...
“Well?” Javert asked Monsieur Foveaux as he came out of the bedroom.
“I thought that-“
“I thought so too, Monsieur Javert, but sometimes an infertile woman’s body has a surge of fertility. A lot of the time it goes unnoticed; we don’t know why it happens but it does. But the baby is healthy, and as long as Madame Javert is kept under strict instruction, there will be no impediment to the birth.”
Javert nodded, “when is the child due?”
“It is due in April, Monsieur.”
April? Javert thought to himself, that was when Sophia was due to give birth to our lost son....
“Merci, Monsieur Foveaux.” As the doctor left, he went into the bedroom. Sophia was sitting in the window seat, looking out the window. She looked over her shoulder and smiled at him. They embraced one another, glad that inside her, she was carrying their baby, not a phantom child like they thought.