|The Story Teller
Author: she.s.a.shy.one PM
Upon recieving a letter 10 years after the disaster of the Populaire theatre, Christine de Chagny begins to unravel the incredible story of the Phantom of the Opera and the backstage girl who loved him. Erik/OCRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Erik - Chapters: 19 - Words: 69,761 - Reviews: 81 - Favs: 39 - Follows: 35 - Updated: 03-28-13 - Published: 07-11-12 - id: 8308757
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N : So. Hi. This is my first Phanfic (ha, see what I did there? See? With the 'Phan' tom- alright, I'll shut up now) and I hope you enjoy it. Erik, to me is one the best antivillains ever written out. It's based off the 2004 movie and please forgive any changes regarding ages or such, Erik is a little younger in this than he's portrayed.
Château de Chagny
Christine de Chagny sat quietly in her parlour, her interest currently consumed with her teacup. Her visitors did not appear to mind much that their hostess was remaining quiet for the afternoon and carried on in their usual fashion, debating the newest trends in ribbons and shoes.
Christine's mind had taken a leave of absence from her roles as the Viscountess de Chagny. Instead of indulging her friends in their chatter or throwing herself into the question of whether the new low-cut neckline of Mme Amelie was slightly too low, the brunette's mind had cast itself back in time, to a day very much like today when her home and future had appeared to burn down around her.
And yet here she was, she mused, stirring her tea idly. Living comfortably in her husband's beautiful countryside manor, servants to attend to her every need, all the luxuries that had been denied her growing up in the ballet barracks at the Parisian Populaire Opera House.
Even now, as Christine closed her eyes ever so briefly, she could remember the music from the orchestra, the fumes of freshly painted backdrops, the prick of jewel-sewn gowns against her skin. Despite the nightmares and darkness that haunted the newly opened theatre, Christine could not help but recall the magic of a well performed opera and the wonder of being part of such a spectacular.
But she must, the Viscountess de Chagny schooled herself, nodding politely to the lady on her left. She must never remember that darkness. It only named the fear and confusing feelings hidden against the interior of her heart. She must not, her dear husband had begged her, remember any of it. He would take her away from it all and they would never set foot in Paris again. They would never speak of what happened under that hellish theatre, in those watery catacombs. She must not allow herself to remember those deep, passionate emotions.
Ten years and Christine de Chagny, formerly Christine Daae, the most beautiful and promising soprano the Populaire had ever had on its stages, had finally composed those emotions into more manageable ones. The complicated sensations of music and terror and the unknown had been limited and restrained into a love of the arts, a chill of fear, a curiosity which had almost led to their undoing.
No, Christine told herself as the butler Marcel came to the door of the finely decorated parlour. She must not remember.
"A letter, your ladyship, has arrived." He said, quietly. Christine raised an eyebrow, confused.
"Marcel, I'm with my guests, please leave it with the others in my chambers and I will see to it later." She said, smoothly. Marcel hesitated, which should have been her first sign that something was wrong. The forty six year old servant was normally unwaveringly obedient.
"Marcel, I will see to the note later." Christine's tone was so different from the times she had been recalling. Perhaps it was those memories, making her sharp, she mused as the grey haired manservant bowed and left quickly.
"How embarrassing Christine," Madame Amelie tutted, shaking out her fan though for what reason Christine could not see: there was still snow on the de Chagny manor grounds so it could not have been the heat.
"I agree, are all your servants so disobedient to their lady's wishes?" Duchess Rose of England muttered, her voice unflatteringly croaky.
Christine flushed delicately. "Of course not but Marcel is my husband's favourite manservant, he must have misjudged the importance of the note."
And so her tea party continued, the giggling of ladies and talk of the Baron's illegitimate son by a seamstress sweeping away the memories Christine was not permitted to recall.
"And tea with the Duchess?" Raoul said, absentmindedly. "How was it?"
Christine rolled her eyes as she ran a brush through her hair. Her vanity threw back a reflection of the lovely thirty-odd year old but Christine was focused on the lines around her eyes and the sallowness of her skin. Madame Amelie's skin was perfect and she was but a year younger than the Viscountess. I'll ask her next time I see her, she decided.
"Fine dear." She replied to her husband, tiredly. She decided not to mention that the Duchess ate with her mouth open and had a terrible habit of mumbling. The Viscount de Chagny was attempting a business deal with the English which would go better if his wife were friends with the English Duke's wife.
Glancing at him in the reflection, her eyes studied the lines of his body which showed his good living. But with his glowing blue gaze and full head of fair hair, Christine could still say he was without a doubt the man she had fallen in love with all those years ago.
Not again, she cursed herself, her brow furrowing as she took in the letters that had piled up on her bedside table. Slipping into the voluminous silken bed, she picked them up and began to flick through them. When she had first married Raoul, she'd been startled that so many people would write to her with extensions of friendships and invitations. Ten years on, she couldn't help but find the process somewhat tedious. If I agree to this person, will she be offended? If I snub him, will his wife spread rumours? She never used to have to worry about this kind of thing. Not back when her routine revolved around the stage and lessons by candlelight in the dark glowing chapel of the Populaire…
Startled, the brunette's head flicked toward her husband who look worried. "Christine, love, are you alright?"
She thought about nodding and smiling as she usually did but could not muster the energy. Her memories were beginning to cloud her. She was beginning to remember again. "No," the brunette and former soprano admitted. "I fear sleep tonight."
"Oh my poor love," Raoul whispered, slipping his arms around her tall, willowy form. "Have you been thinking much of it lately? It is nearly that time of year again."
"Tomorrow it will be ten years to the day, Raoul." Christine murmured. "And yet I still have no answers or defences for the fear inside me."
"You have me now Little Lotte," her blond husband said, trying to give her his strength. "And I am your defence."
"I know," she sighed, half comforted, half disappointed that Raoul did not understand her wish for clarity. She was no closer to answers than she had been as a seventeen year old maiden.
"I was going to surprise you," he suddenly confessed. "But I've arranged tickets for this Saturday night in town. There's a new Laurent opera opening at the theatre if you'd like to attend."
Christine gasped and hugged his neck tightly. "I think that shall make me feel much better, my love. Thankyou."
Raoul smiled at her gentle eyes. "Now let's see what we have here shall we? Perhaps the tickets are among these letters…" he said teasingly. He ran his hands through the pile on her lap, shaping out her legs and thighs from on top of the blankets as she giggled. "No…no…not here…" he kissed her cheeks softly right as Christine came across the letter Marcel had carried into the parlour this morning.
"Oh, Raoul, I must look at this one," she said, apologetically. "Marcel appeared to think it of great importance."
"He does not read our letter my love," Raoul pointed out, frowning.
Christine tore open the thick envelope slowly and pulled out what appeared to be a manuscript of some kind. "How odd," she murmured, opening the first page and casting her eyes at the greeting.
To my dear solnyshka-
She nearly dropped the pages out of sheer astonishment.
"Christine? What's wrong? Who is this from?" Raoul asked, growing more panicked.
Christine could not answer, her eyes eagerly consuming the opening line over and over…to my dear solnyshka…to my dear solnyshka…
There was only one soul in the entire world who called her their little sunshine and for many, many years, she had assumed her to be dead.
"It's from Margot." Christine whispered.
Raoul, on the other hand, turned pale. "Who? No, that's impossible! You must have read wrong!" he made to grab the pages but Christine clutched them to her breast automatically.
"Stop Raoul!" she cried out, keeping the pages to her chest protectively. "It must be her, it must be!"
"That woman is dead Christine!" Raoul said, angrily.
"Perhaps." Was all his wife replied, coldly. Even now, their marriage rocked on precarious seas where this particular corner of their shared past lay.
"You mustn't read it." Raoul decided after a moment. "Even if it is from her."
"I must." Christine said, steadfastly, rising from the bed and slipping a gown around her shoulders.
"Christine what are you-?"
"Since it is obvious you will not allow me to read my letter in your presence, I will do so elsewhere." Christine said, stonily, leaving their bedchamber without a glance backward.
Settling into her favourite winged chair in their library, the fire roaring thanks to the late working maid Marie, Christine began her letter again.
To my dear solnyshka,
I know that this may come as a shock. I know that it is something that has weighed upon my mind for many years. But with the anniversary nearly upon us, I knew that it was time to write to you and reveal myself. The winter is cold isn't it Christine? It is so cold here that the snow is constantly fresh and crunches under foot. That always used to make you happy and I hope time has not changed you so that it does not any longer.
Forgive me, I am trying to stall myself from what must be said. Firstly, let me tell you that I am safe and loved. I know that in the arms of your Viscount, you must be also, though it does pain me to think of you with him. Again, I beg for forgiveness, moe solnyshka, I had promised myself that I would not allow my personal thoughts of your husband to cloud this letter.
Secondly, I must address the purpose of this letter. Out of all of us in that tomb that night, you were the one left most in the dark and it is time for that to be amended. I am going to tell you everything sunshine and I am going to tell you here, on these pages. You may do what you will with them. Burn them. Tear them. Or god forbid, read them.
It is your choice but know this solnyshka: In these pages is the uttermost truth of what happened leading up that night and what happened after. You will know everything I do after you read this and I hope, for my own conscience's sake, that you will.
With much love,
With only a moment's hesitation, Christine unbound the bright green ribbon binding the pages and with shaking fingers, she began to read.
A/N: So there's Margot, my little Russian-French OC. I should probably mention that the itallics at the beginning of each chapter is a segment from her letter too.