A Golden Shadow

Dimitri Enjolras was much taller than his younger brother Samuel; tall and beautiful and commanding. He spoke back to their parents, and wrote and read all the time. Samuel only followed. He looked the same, but in a far less magnificent way. He had the same golden hair; but his was shorter and didn't curl gloriously the way Dimitri's did. His blue eyes were paler than Dimitri's; his long lashes were shorter than Dimitri's; his slender hands weren't as elegant as Dimitri's. His aunt had once called him an accessory. She told his uncle that Samuel was like the hat one wore with a dress to try and make it look prettier, but which was inadequate beside the dress itself.

No one who saw the two of them noticed Samuel. Everyone noticed Dimitri, with his stern, quiet gaze and his soft, firm voice. Samuel was two years younger than Dimitri, and for all that he worked harder at things and spent more time on his schoolwork and did his best to help his mother, no one noticed him standing next to Dimitri.

Of course, Samuel didn't mind. He loved Dimitri. And it wasn't as though his elder brother didn't have time for him. Dimitri always liked to let Samuel in on things.

So it was only natural that he would tell Samuel about his revolution, really.

"Patria, Samuel, is my only lover. So don't expect to become an uncle," he said, and ruffled Samuel's hair. Of course, Samuel didn't mind. "She's a beautiful goddess. She represents France, the true France. The France beneath all of these heartless aristocrats without any respect at all for the people."

And Samuel nodded his head, at sixteen years old, and agreed. "No, they haven't. Papa told the maid she was a peasant without a mind." He understood what it meant, but not really. He said it because what it meant was what Dimitri was saying, not because it meant anything very much to him.

Dimitri nodded his head as well, but his wasn't a silly, childish action like Samuel's. He nodded his head gravely, and his golden curls swirled a little, in a soft wind of dignity. "That's exactly what I'm saying, Samuel. You understand. Oh, I'm going to Paris this month, you know. And then I'll get together all the men who feel the way I'll do. We'll get rid Louis-Phillipe, that pig."

Samuel said, "You'll get rid of him!"

"Yes. We'll make France a Republic. That's what Patria commands. That's what Patria stands for. Freedom."

Samuel nodded again. Dimitri was right. Dimitri was cleverer than anyone else. When Dimitri had his revolution, he would win it. Samuel only hoped he'd be old enough to leave home by the time Dimitri did, because he terribly wanted to be in it.

Chapter Two.
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