After shopping the next day Enjolras had bought Eponine 5 new dresses. Though Eponine had groaned all the while shopping she did fall in love with a red dress. That she is wearing right now.
"The carriages have arrived." Combeferre said as he came in the room.
"I want honest opinions." Eponine said as she entered the room wearing her new red dress. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at Eponine with shock.
"Eponine?" Gavroche asked not sure if this was really his sister or not.
"Yes Gavroche it's me. Who did you think it was?"
"I have no idea. You look different."
"Well so do you." Eponine said with a smile taking what Gavroche said as a complement. She then turned to Enjolras whose mouth was opened with shock. "Enjolras?"
"You look… I mean the dress… I mean…"
"Speak to where I can understand."
"You look really, really nice Eponine." Enjolras finally got out.
"Thank you. Now let's go. I want to make a good first impression." Eponine said with a smile on her face.
Once they arrived both Eponine and Gavroche felt out of place and out of their comforts zones. "Enjolras I'm… nervous. What if your mother and father see right past me? What if I make a fool of myself?"
"Eponine you'll be fine. Just remember that no matter what my parents think, I love you and I will always be here for you." Enjolras said pulling Eponine into a warm embrace.
"Let's face the firing squad." Gavroche said making everyone laugh.
Courfeyrac lifted Gavroche so that he could ring the door bell and soon the butler answered the door.
"Welcome please follow me. Master Enjolras your father is in the sitting room and your mother should be down shortly." The butler said with much politeness.
As they entered Eponine couldn't help but think how big the house was. 'Did Enjolras really grow up here?' She thought to herself.
Once they entered the sitting room Eponine saw Enjolras's father m'sieur Arthur sitting and smoking a cigar. "Hello Arthur." Grantaire said.
"Hello Grantaire. Thank you, all of you for coming. Especially you Eponine. Let me be the first to welcome you to our happy home. And might I say that you look absolutely stunning."
"Thank you Arthur. And let me introduce my brother Gavroche."
"How do you do, young Gavroche."
"I do well Arthur right?" Gavroche said making everyone laugh.
"That is correct. Please all of you sit. My wife as you are aware is running a bit late but should be down shortly. We will be having duck for dinner. So I hope you all are hungry."
"I know I am." Gavroche blurted out. Again making everyone laugh.
Before everyone could sit Enjolras's mother came in. "Sorry I'm late. I hope you can forgive me. My name is Martha." Martha said introducing herself to Eponine and Gavroche. To say that Martha thought very little of Eponine would be an understatement. She thought that she was a gold digger trying to take her son for all that he had. But as she promised her husband she would try to be on her best behavior.
Just then a servant came out and said, "Madam, M'sieur and guests. Dinner is ready to be served."
"Wonderful." Arthur said knowing that his wife was up to something.
"Well lets not let the food get cold. Let us eat." Martha said as she took Arthur's arm and walked towards the dinning room.
Once the food was served Eponine really felt out of place. She unlike her brother had forgotten all that she was taught about which silver wear utensil was to be used when. "Is everything ok dear?" Martha asked with a hint of mockery in her tone. This did not go unnoticed by everyone in the room. Especially Enjolras and Eponine.
"I apologize madam. I… I…" at that moment Eponine knew that she was out of her league. She was trying to be something that she just wasn't and she had, had enough. "May I please be excused?" She asked gathering up all the dignity that she had left.
"Of course my dear." Arthur said with worry and concern in his voice.
"Thank you." Without another word Eponine left leaving everyone apart from one worried and concerned.
"May I be excused to comfort my sister?" Gavroche asked not wanting to be in the same room with Enjolras's mother.
"I'll come with you Gavroche." Enjolras said knowing that Eponine needed him right now.
"Enjolras you'll do no such thing. You have guests and…"
"Mother that is enough. Eponine, though you might not approve, is my fiancé and I love her. Just as she loves me. And I will marry her whether you like it or not." And with that Enjolras got up and followed Gavroche outside.
On the porch of the house Eponine had let her emotions give way.
"Eponine?" Gavroche asked knowing that Eponine was trying to be brave for everyone.
"Oh Gavroche I can't do this. And if I can't do this then maybe Enjolras and I…" Eponine cried out.
"That you and I what Eponine?" Enjolras asked knowing very well what Eponine was about to say.
"Enjolras I… I can't do this. I'm sorry. I do love you with all of my heart. But this," She motioned to her new dress. "This isn't me. I can't… no I won't be something or rather someone that I'm not. And I if I can't even have dinner with your parents then maybe you and I shouldn't be together."
"Eponine I love you and we are meant to be together. My mother is just set in her ways and she thinks that everyone who she believes is beneath her isn't worth her time and money. But that's her. That's not me or my father. Look why don't you change out of that dress and into your green one. I brought your old shoes with me. I unfortunately couldn't find your dress in our bed room…"
"That's because I'm wearing it." Eponine laughed out. As she lifted the skirt of her new red dress to reveal her old worn green on that Joly had gotten her from the streets.
"Well then lets take the red one off and from now on just be yourself." Enjolras said. "And you can use my old room to take the new dress off."
"Can you help me with the corset?" She asked not caring if it was appropriate of not.
"I am at your service my lady. Gavroche you go back to the table. Eat what you can. Should my mother's manners not improve we will leave and eat at the café." With that they all left the porch and went inside.
Once she was out of that red dress Eponine felt more at ease and had more confidence and felt more empowered with just wearing her green dress. She felt that she was back to being herself and that was good enough for her.
When Enjolras and Eponine went back to the table everyone apart from Martha. "What is this? What happened to that lovely red dress? You look so… poor."
"Mother. Stop this at once." Enjolras said angry that his mother wasn't showing Eponine the courtesy that she deserves.
"Enjolras is right, Martha. This is the beautiful young lady that our son has chosen to ask to marry him. And as his parents we should be honored that he has found someone who loves him for who he is and not for his money." Arthur said, making Eponine smile.
"Thank you Arthur." Eponine said smiling a genuine smile.
"I will not be honored that my son has chosen a gold digging hussy to be his wife."
Everyone was stunned at Martha's words to the point that no one said a word. "You are wrong about Eponine." Marius said breaking the silence. "Eponine is a really good friend and is like a sister to us all. She has done so much to help us with our revolution to the point where we will not be fighting but instead…"
"You won't be fighting?" Arthur asked with shock and amazement.
"No father and it is all thanks to Eponine." Enjolras said with pride as he placed his arm around Eponine's shoulders.
"Really how did you come up with that?"
"Well it was after I talked to the people on the streets. When I found out that they would not fight I thought that there is another way to help the people of the streets instead of fighting for them."
"You mean by giving them money." Martha said with disgust.
"You know what Madam I have had enough with your unmannerly conduct this evening. I have been polite and have showed that I have more manners than you. You might think that I am a gold digging hussy but that is your first mistake. I would have fallin' in love with your son if he was dirt poor. It is the fact that he treats me like I am a human being and that I matter that I fell in love with him. And the fact that he save my life is only a factor of the reasons that I love your son. And if you can't acknowledge that then I feel sorry for you." Eponine said in a calm collective voice.
"Come on guys lets go. We'll eat at the café." Enjolras said knowing that it was time to go.