Basically, short one-shot about Quasimodo meeting the gargoyles for the first time. Watched the movie on my flight, and inspired me with this. Kinda random time to post it, I know, but I found it in my files, and figured I might as well post it.
Note: I do NOT own Disney or the Hunchback of Notre Dame in ANY way, shape or form.
Quasimodo leaned back against the stone ledge as best he could with his mis-shapen back, crying into his knees.
It was something he often did after Master Frollo left, lamenting about how stupid and monstrous he was. His master never let him forget those facts, and often scolded the young boy whenever he couldn't remember his lessons or forgot to pray before they started their meals. The judge showed little mercy towards the boy, explaining that he was being punished justly, and that he had to try harder, as if Quasimodo wasn't already trying his best. The man also wasn't afraid to constantly remind the boy of how grotesque he was, which only added to the boy's sadness. Whenever the Frollo left, he would immediately run to the ledge with all the gargoyles, and cry, surrounded by the fellow creatures of stone and ugliness.
"It's all my fault," the eleven-year-old whispered to himself, staring at the ground through teary eyes. "I'm just a stupid monster; why can't I do anything right?!" He slammed his fist on the wall behind him, which hurt and made him cry even harder, cradling his sore hand.
More than anything, he wanted someone to be kind to him for once, but they were scarce, since he wasn't allowed out of the tower. Even the current bell-ringer, an old man named Jean, treated him with disdain. The only person who ever had a kind word for him was the priest who said the masses downstairs, but he rarely came upstairs, save to give the boy the Sacrament each Sunday, since he wasn't allowed downstairs when others people were there. Between him and Frollo, the ugly boy was a devout Catholic, and turned to God with his daily prayer.
"God," he whispered, wiping the blood off his hand with his tunic and drying his eyes, "can you please send me a friend? M-Maybe more, if You w-want to, but I-I'll be content-t with just one, I p-promise. Amen." The boy looked up at the spires above him, as if expecting a friend to fall from the sky, but none did. Quasimodo kicked a stray stone, face full of anger and disappointment. "Who am I kidding? No one would want to be my friend." He glanced at the gargoyles nearby, but he was too sad to pretend to talk to them today.
Climbing to his feet, he made his way back towards his living space, not noticing how three of the statues' heads seemed to turn and follow him.
Later that afternoon, Quasimodo was walking along the walkway, the wind whipping his rusty hair back as he stared over the edge at the city bustling below.
Paris really was a beautiful city. The mighty Notre Dame cathedral towered over the rest of the city, which was full of provincial homes and business, with roads that criss-crossed through them like a giant maze. Down below, the people of Paris went about their daily lives; the Baker was sweeping the street in front of his shop, a mother with her twin children walked down the street, and people came and went through the giant doors at the base of the cathedral for daily mass and to pray. His view was blocked every few feet by a stone gargoyle, their heads snarling at the world to keep evil away, but as he walked, he noticed something odd that made him freeze in his walk.
Three of the rock statues were missing, their pedestals empty, giving a clear view of the city bellow. For a second, Quasimodo wondered if he was imagining; there was no way that three gargoyles could just disappear, since he saw them when he was crying earlier and he'd grown up with the statues everywhere. They don't just get up and walk away, so that meant-
"Oh NO," he cried, running to the edge and peering over, looking to see if they'd fallen onto the street far bellow. His good eye, along with the slit of his swollen eye, scanned the ground beneath him, not seeing any broken remains of stones.
How would they have fallen off, he wondered. None of the pedestals are broken or disturbed, and wouldn't someone have come up here to check if they had fallen? Also, wouldn't I have heard them or at least heard someone bellow scream after they fell? The boy leaned forward a little farther, forgetting the uneven hump on his back could throw off his balance if he wasn't careful, and felt a thrill of fear as his feet left the ground.
"AAAHHH," he screamed, feeling himself go over the edge, his head about to nose dive off Notre Dame. He tried in vain to grab the lege with his hands, but they slipped. There was nothing he could do, and there was no one to save him.
Suddenly, he felt something rough grab his legs, stopping his descent and he hit his shoulder against the stone beneath the ledge. Quasimodo quickly closed his eyes, too scared to look at the ground several hundred feet bellow, and wondering who was keeping him upright.
"Pull him up," an older female voice said in an authoritative tone. "C'mon, put your backs into it!"
"We're tryin', don't get your wings all twisted," another voice said, this one young and male. Quasimodo didn't recognize the voices, but he was too busy trying not to die to care; he didn't even notice the odd 'wings' comment. "Victor, on three?"
"Agreed," a deep male voice said in a calm tone. "One, two, THREE!"
On that, the boy felt himself get pulled back up over the ledge, the two men groaning with exertion as the boy finally fell back onto the walkway, shaking with fear.
"Stand back," the woman ordered, and the misshapen boy heard sounds of stone clomping on stone. "Give him air!" The boy gasped for breath, starting to calm down a little, but then realized that his saviors could see him, and he felt another thrill of fear, along with embarrassment.
"Don't look at me," Quasimodo cried, immediately covering his face with his hands, ashamed of his appearance. "Please!"
"Why not," the young male voice from earlier asked.
"Because I'm a monster! I'm grateful for you saving me, really I am, but you must go! If Master Frollo finds out you're up here and that three gargoyle statues are missing, then he'll punish me again!"
"But that is absurd," the deep male voice insisted.
"Not really," the boy mumbled through his hand. "V-Visitors aren't allowed up here, and Master Frollo often beats-"
"Not that, the part about you being a monster! We've seen you before, and you're no monster; you're just a boy!"
"H-H-How can you have seen me," Quasimodo wondered, still covering his eyes with his hands. "I always make sure that no one in the streets can see me! And you should be scared of my appearance; I am a monster, an ugly one, and you can't convince me otherwise!"
That odd snoise perked the boy's ears, and it stopped right in front of where he lay. "Look at us, Quasi," the woman's voice said, her voice kinder than he'd heard earlier. "Don't be afraid."
The boy breathed in sharply; that was eerily similar to the bible quote that Frollo had read to him earlier that day, and one of his personal favorites as well. Slowly, he brought his hands away from his eyes, gasping slightly at what he saw.
Expecting to see a woman's skirt, the grotesque boy was shocked to see grey stone a few inches from his face. Slowly lifting his gaze, his mouth opened as he took in one of the missing gargoyle statues standing in front of him, staring at him with a compassionate look on its face. He quickly turned around, finding the other two standing there, smiling at him kindly, despite the sharp teeth and horns.
"Hiya, Quasi," the short plump one said in the young voice, holding out a hand to the boy.
Quasimodo screamed, backing away from the creatures until his hump hit the wall behind him. His mind was working overtime, trying to figure out how the gargoyles had suddenly come to life, or if they were going to eat him. The three gargoyles were slightly shorter than him, and the boy noticed that they had no feet (since they were sat upon pedestals), and they hopped closer to the boy, each hop making that clopping noise he'd heard earlier.
"P-P-Please don't eat me," the kid cried, holding his hands out in front of him. "I'm sorry for all those times I messed with you!"
To his surprise, the three creatures broke out in laughter, their voices echoing against the stone around them.
"Eat you," the tallest one asked incredulously in the calm male voice, still chuckling a little. "We don't want to eat you; you'd taste terrible! Besides, we're made of stone, so we technically can't eat anything!"
"Besides," the female gargoyle said, smiling at the boy, "we like you, Quasi. You're the first person to talk to us in decades, and we've enjoyed your company!"
The boy took a shuddering breathe, starting to calm down as he realized the gargoyles were friendly. "You… you do?"
"Of course we do, kid," the plump one said happily. "We've been up here for as long as we can remember, and you're the first person to talk to us and make sure that we stayed clean."
"Yeah," the boy said, remembering all the times he had scrubbed gunk off of the stones, talking to them as if they were alive. It appeared that they were listening the whole time. The boy looked around at all the other statues. "Can all of you talk?
"No, we are the only ones that are alive," the tall one said sadly. "We don't know why, but we are the only ones that can move. That's why we were so glad whenever you talked to us… we weren't so alone anymore." The trio of gargoyles looked melancholic after that, which only made the boy sad as well, though he was still curious.
"Wait, why didn't you ever talk back to me? Do you know how long I've wanted and prayed for a friend who wasn't scared of me?"
"We know," the female gargoyle said sympathetically, "and we wanted to, but it's not quite so simple. We needed some time to think about it; it's not an easy decision, revealing ourselves to a human. Besides, there are unspoken rules we three must follow, like how we must be still stone around humans. But today, something inside us suddenly changed. Something… someone said we could talk to you, which is why we're here now. Sorry for nearly killing you; we should've been more subtle with our approach."
"Hey, I suggested we hide in his room," the plump one cut in
"And scare the child to death," the tall one said. "You must be crazy!"
"Hey, who ya callin' crazy?!" The plump one tackled the tall one, the two of them becoming a tumble of stone fists and wings.
The old gargoyle sighed. "Ignore them," she told the boy. "They're still a little over a century old, so they've got a lot of growing to do. But I'm Laverne, by the way," she said, holding out a hand for the boy to shake.
"And I'm Victor," the tall one said, detangling himself from the scrap and bowing lowly towards the boy, who wasn't used to anyone treating him with respect.
"Shove off, drama queen," the fat one said, pushing the gargoyle over and shaking Quasi's hand excitedly. "I'm Hugo!"
"Nice to meet you," Quasi said, smiling a little. "So… what do you want to do?"
"Anything," Hugo said excitedly, gesturing around them. "The way I see it, Notre Dame is ours!"
Quasimodo couldn't help but grinning along with the gargoyle, glad that someone had finally answered his prayers.