A few notes before we get rolling here:
1. I'm only going to do a disclaimer once, since we all know this and I don't want to have to type it at the beginning of every single chapter. I don't own Phantom of the Opera or Doctor Who.
2. My Erik is almost entirely ALW, as portrayed by Ramin Karimloo in the 2011 stage version. The main reason for this is quite simply because he is my favorite version of Erik. I am using his portrayal in basically everything, from the physical - height, eye color (dark brown, not gold), and especially voice - to the emotional - the way Karimloo develops Erik's emotions is unique and not something I've seen in other versions. That said, I do still call him Erik, despite his name never being given in the musical. It's just easier that way.
3. No, this is not a time travel fic. Yes, it is AU. Yes, it will be Amy/Erik. If you don't like it, well, don't read it. You've been warned.
That said, I hope you enjoy.
It all started when Amelia Pond found the hidden door in the ballet girls' dressing room.
Really, it was an accident. Amelia was the newest member of the corps de ballet, and therefore it was only possible for her to have heard the barest whisper of the 'Opera Ghost' in the three days she'd been there. If she had heard such rumors, she had dismissed them as merely stories, and had forgotten them already. So it was no surprise when she found the door and did not realize it for what it was.
It was the end of Amelia's third day at the Opera Populaire, and the ballet girls were in their large dressing room. Sighing, Amelia gingerly sat on the floor to take off her toe shoes. As she leaned against the wall, she heard a faint creak, and the wall moved ever so slightly, as though she had leaned against a closed door.
Amelia – or Amy, as she was commonly called – immediately stood up again. When she turned to look at the wall behind her, however, there was no evidence of a door there.
"Amy, are you coming?" asked the last girl remaining, a petite brunette named Clara. She stood in the doorway, watching Amy stare at the wall.
"Yeah, I just forgot something," Amy lied, giving her a quick smile. "Go on ahead, I'll be right along."
Clara nodded. "Don't forget to blow out the lamps," she reminded her friend before quietly leaving Amy alone in the room.
As soon as Clara's footsteps had receded, Amy's hands were skimming over the wall, feeling for ridges that might indicate the outline of a door. Even though it could have been just the wall itself that had creaked, but she wanted to find out for sure.
Once she had a rough approximation of the size of the door, she felt along the wall for a way to open it. Eventually, her fingertips slipped into a shallow, circular groove that was a little too perfectly shaped to be natural. She pushed against it, and with another creak the wall opened up into a pitch-black corridor.
Amy stepped into the corridor, still in her toe shoes. Her heartbeat accelerated as she stood just inside the mouth of the tunnel. All her senses were telling her, Go back. Close the door and go to bed and forget about it.
She kept walking.
As Amy went deeper into the tunnel, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, and she had the distinct feeling that something – or someone – was watching her every move. She tried to tell herself that it was just her imagination, that it was just the darkness getting to her. She had never liked the dark much.
She had left the door open, but the light was getting farther and farther behind her. Her uneasiness grew, until every muscle in her body was tense, coiled like a spring.
Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind her, and she was engulfed in blackness.
Amy stopped dead, eyes wide as she spun around uselessly in the corridor. Had one of her friends come back and closed the door? They wouldn't do that to her, would they?
Her question was answered a moment later as a voice filled the tunnel, echoing all around her. "You dare to come here? Do you know who I am?"
The voice was a man's, and while it was threatening, it was rich and melodious. It was undoubtedly the most beautiful voice Amy had ever heard.
"No, I don't," she called boldly. "Who are you?"
There was a dangerous silence that seemed to last several minutes, in which Amy's heart pounded so hard she could feel it in her throat, could feel the blood rushing in her ears.
"I am the Opera Ghost," the voice said finally, "or the Phantom of the Opera."
Amy rolled her eyes, though she doubted the speaker could see her. "Still not ringing a bell, Monsieur le Fantôme."
Was that a growl? Chills ran up her spine as the Phantom said, "I should kill you for your insolence, child."
"Well, that's true," Amy admitted. "You won't, though, will you, monsieur?"
The Phantom chuckled darkly, the sound reverberating through the tunnel. "And why do you think that?" he asked, sounding amused.
Amy cleared her throat, lifting her chin and saying the first thing that came to her mind. "Even ghosts need friends, don't they?"
There was silence for so long, she thought perhaps he had gone. As she turned to leave, a leather-gloved hand clamped around the back of her neck, forcing her head to tilt back a little. It hurt, but she managed to hold back a scream; only a small gasp escaped her lips.
"Are you implying that I am lonely, child?" The Phantom's voice was soft and deceptively calm in Amy's ear, and she shivered despite herself.
"I might be," she said.
His fingers tightened just a fraction on her neck. "I would not speak so casually if I were in your position." He had definitely growled that time.
"Ah, but monsieur, consider this," Amy said almost cheerfully. "If you were in my position, I would be in yours. And if I were in your position, I would have let you go much sooner."
The Phantom paused for a long while. Finally, he chuckled again. "What is your name, child?" he asked, and the dangerous edge was gone from his voice, though he did not release her.
"Amelia Pond," she introduced herself. "Pleased to meet you, Monsieur le Fantôme. I would curtsy, but I find myself unable to at the moment."
"I shall forgive you for that, Amelia Pond," he said. "Your insolence, on the other hand…"
Amy attempted to tip her head back more in the hope that it would make her more comfortable, but he merely gripped her tighter, and she whimpered almost inaudibly. "Not still thinking about killing me, hmm?" she joked, but her voice was slightly strained.
"Not just now," he said, and it might've been her imagination, but he sounded almost disappointed.
Amy felt a tug at her bun, and her long red hair fell loose down her back. The Phantom ran his fingers gently through it, and she wondered what on earth he was doing.
"Your hair is lovely, Amelia," he muttered.
"How can you see it?" she questioned.
He merely laughed, letting her hair fall from his hand. Then his voice grew more commanding as he said, "Do not let me catch you snooping here again, child, or you will not be as fortunate as you have been so far."
"But what if I wish to speak to you again, Monsieur le Fantôme?"
The Phantom released Amy's neck, which still throbbed with pain, but instead of stepping away he wrapped one arm around his waist and pulled her close to him.
"I suppose then you would have to disobey me, and then where would we be?" he said, his voice low in her ear.
As Amy began to reply, the Phantom covered her mouth and nose with a sickly sweet-smelling substance. He held it firmly to her face, and she had no choice but to breathe it in.
Amy's head fell back on his shoulder, her body going limp and her mind clouding. As her consciousness slipped away, she thought she saw something white, floating in the darkness – not a face, something else, something that she couldn't quite put her finger on.
Then her eyes shut, and she knew no more.
The new ballet girl was very intriguing, the Phantom of the Opera mused as he sat at his organ. She hadn't seemed intimidated by him at all, even though she had been in a very dangerous position. And, more importantly… she had wanted to be his friend.
The Phantom, otherwise known as Erik, allowed a scowl to settle over his face as he made a notation on the music he was composing. Try as he might, he just couldn't get the young ballerina off his mind and focus on his music. All the while, one thought was echoing in his mind.
Can she sing?
It had not been very long since his Christine had left him for that… that boy, a few years at most. Yet Erik missed her. With every passing day, he missed her.
But now, there was this Amelia Pond, and she was driving him to distraction.
Can she sing?
He had not harmed her; a quick assessment of her neck revealed some light bruises, but they would fade quickly. He had left her in a safe place, where she would be found in the morning.
He knew she was a dancer. Her long legs and lithe build proved that. But that lovely, lilting voice – could she make music with that voice?
Can she sing?
Erik groaned, pressing his hand to his forehead. He would not become attached to another woman, not so soon after Christine.
But Amelia… ah, Amelia was something else entirely. In his mind's eye, Erik could still see her: her uncommonly pale skin, her long ginger hair, and her wide hazel eyes. Though she didn't hold a candle to Christine, he couldn't deny that she was a unique beauty.
She could be his next student, if she could indeed sing. And if not, the very least Erik could do was watch over her.
He would not make the same mistakes he made with Christine. He would wait, and he would watch.
Perhaps, Erik thought, perhaps it would not be so bad to have a friend.
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