Javert survives the Seine and finds redemption. Javert/Original Character
dark blue trousers she'd altered for him were a near perfect fit, as was the dark blue vest and
The clean white shirt was another matter. Although a good fit otherwise, Victoria had forgotten that
the sleeves would also need some lengthening.
Javert didn't seem to mind. He'd carefully rolled up the sleeves, apparently without a second thought.
It was a much less formal, and decidedly more fashionable look than he was accustomed to. He
questioned the appropriateness of the situation, but said nothing. Javert was, in fact, grateful, and
said as much.
Victoria smiled. She could tell that expressions of gratitude were not an easy thing for such a man,
and her Aunt Elisabeth's unpleasant attitude throughout the meal certainly couldn't have made it any
"Monsieur, I must apologize for my aunt's behaviour. I'm certain she didn't mean anything by it."
Javert looked at her. "And I'm certain that she did." He replied resolutely. At Victoria's horrified
look, he continued. "No matter, I was not offended in the least."
Victoria relaxed a little. "Did you really arrest her? For trespassing?"
Javert reflected for a moment. He vaguely remembered an incident a few years back, in which he'd
detained an old lady who'd been loitering about the Gillenormand residence. The occupants of the
house were gone. The old man had taken his staff with him wherever he'd gone for one reason or
another. So, Elisabeth had been trying to get in. She'd been reported, which is how it happened.
Finally, Mlle. Gillenormand came to the police post along with M. Duvalier and straightened
everything out. She and Elisabeth had gotten their arrangements mixed up, and Mlle. was waiting at
the Duvalier house. When Elisabeth failed to arrive, Antoine made some inquiries and found out
where Elisabeth was. And so, since she hadn't been trespassing after all, she'd been released, with a
warning. Not a kind warning at that, he recalled.
"No charges were filed." He said at length. "I'd prefer not to discuss it."
"Very well." Victoria sighed, and they were silent.
They sat on one of the two benches in the garden, and Victoria pointed out the different kinds of
flowers and foliage that grew there. "I brought those clippings all the way from England...they have
thrived here, as have I."
Javert seemed not to be listening. Victoria couldn't read him. She tried again.
"I shall have to make the sleeves longer for you, Monsieur."
Javert started slightly. "Surely not." He replied. "You have already done far more than I can
"There's no need to repay anything at all, Monsieur." Victoria said. "Indeed, it is I who should repay
"I don't understand." Javert answered, coughing a little. His chest and ribs were still painful from his
near drowning, but he refused to acknowledge that.
"Have you not wondered why I was there?" Victoria looked into his eyes.
A little ashamed, Javert admitted that he hadn't. "It's all right, you had more pressing matters to
think about. I'll tell you, if you tell me how you came to be there."
Javert was at a complete loss for words. How could he tell her? He could barely admit it to himself.
Although at the time, it seemed the right, indeed the only thing to do. "A mistake." He finally
managed to say. "I know now, that I was wrong, that I should be punished...but...instead...I am
Victoria could see the effort it took for Javert to even allow her a glimpse of his situation, and she
took his hand. "Yes, Monsieur, you are redeemed, and I with you, for I very nearly made the same
mistake as you."