Quasimodo grew up believing the world was cruel and wicked. Raised by a single father who had no interest in him and had religious delusions, he brought Quasimodo up strictly and angrily. The boy’s existence was kept secret from the world—after his mother died giving birth to him, his father heard “the voice of the Lord” telling him the boy was misbegotten. With utter distaste in his heart, he planned to murder him the moment he could, but just when he went to, “God’s” voice spoke again, telling him that no matter how unholy the boy was, he could not kill him, but he must keep the blemished child separate from the world. Delusional though he may have been, Quasimodo’s father had foresight. How was he supposed to keep the boy hidden from the world forever? One solution came to his mind. He suffocated another infant and left it in Quasi’s crib, to distract and confuse the police, and completely disappeared off the grid.
Quasimodo never had knowledge of his dark start, and still doesn’t. He grew up sheltered to an extreme. He was never allowed outside his house, for his father was obstinate about obeying what the voice had told him years ago. As Quasimodo grew, and began developing symptoms of a syndrome called Marfan, Frollo’s belief that the boy was a monster was reinforced, and gave him all the more reason to hide Quasi and treat him with disdain. No one in his father’s outside world had any knowledge that he lived anything other than alone. Given he didn’t care much for the boy, but still felt he had a duty to try and care for the son he thought of as a monster, he brought him up on minimal education. Quasimodo learned his basic reading skills from the Bible, elementary math, and anything else educational he was exposed to was of a religious nature. The only hobby Quasimodo was allowed to have was wood carving. He’d sit up in his room in the attic, their house high on a hill, and peer out the slatted window at the neighborhood. He memorized all his neighbors’ faces, and he caringly carved figurines of them out of wood. They became his way of experiencing his neighborhood. But despite how little he knew better, and despite the slight comfort he got from the wooden neighborhood he’d created, he longed to go out and meet the people they were carved after. He’d been told how wicked the world was, but the way he saw his neighbors interact made him envious. He saw the affection in their interactions, and though he didn’t know what to make of it, he still wished he could experience it.
But the thing he yearned for the most was to go to the Carnival that came into the city every year. He could see the grounds from his attic, see the lights washing colourful glows in the day and night, and he knew that there was something special about that place. There were people. There were so many people at the Carnival. He desperately wanted to go and be among them, and experience it, if only for one day. But whenever he asked his father, he was lectured with what a horrible place the outside world was. He wanted to meet people? What did he need them for? his father would spit. The only person Quasi needed was him, his caretaker and sole friend. And every year he was denied the freedom to go, he believed him. His father was good to him, the only person who was ever good to him.
But still, he grew restless, and after years of being denied the ability to go to the Carnival, Quasimodo finally braved up and decided he was going to go. It would only be one day, and he’d be back home before his father even knew. So once his father had left for work, he snuck out, and made for the Carnival, hiding himself and his unique frame in a baggy hoodie. And he experienced the time of his life at the Carnival. It was bright, it was colourful, and it was spectacular. But it didn’t last. His father came home early and found out he was missing, and immediately guess where he’d gone, it being the only place he’d spoken about so fervently. With the help of security, he found Quasimodo shortly. He grabbed him roughly by the hoodie to take him home, but Quasi didn’t want to go home. He struggled against his father, and in the process, the hoodie was ripped off, revealing a frame that was shocking to the surrounding Carnival guests. Some reacted in terror, some in cruel jibes. His father did nothing to stop them, not appreciating the way Quasimodo had exposed his existence to the rest of the town.
But one of Scar’s insiders immediately found him, telling him what was going on and how shocking the boy appeared. Scar showed up to the confrontation, and stopped the crowd, sweeping Quasimodo under his wing. After a word with his father, Scar got permission for Quasimodo to live with the Carnival. Quasi’s father couldn’t stand the thought that people might associate the misbegotten child with him, and easily handed him off to Scar.