At the end of January, the Rostovs come to Moscow. (This is the trip we see them about to make at the end of the last part of the novel.)
They stay with Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimov, that loud and bossy old lady from the beginning of the novel. She is all gruff on the outside and sweet on the inside. She loves the Rostov family, particularly Natasha.
Akhrosimov fills the Rostovs in on the town news and gossip. The only thing that’s news to us is that Pierre’s wife, Helene, has now followed him to Moscow for some reason.
The day after they arrive, Akhrosimov takes Natasha and Sonya to the most famous dressmaker in town and orders them clothes, including Natasha’s trousseau for the wedding.
The plan is that the next day Natasha will go and meet her future in-laws for the first time. The idea is that it’ll be easier for Andrei if she’s already met them before he comes back.