A/N: Yes, here it is. A sequel to The Enchanter. You guys asked for it and here it is!
For anyone who did not read The Enchanter, or if you read it so long ago you don't remember what happened… Basically, Christine is a child performing at a fair with her father. She wanders away and stumbles upon Erik the Enchanter's performance. His mask is torn away at the end, but she turns at that second and does not see his face. She smiles at Erik and gives him a coin and he can not believe that a child could see past his face so easily…
By popular demand, the reunion at the Paris Opera. Hopefully it won't be too terrible….
Christine Daae left the auditorium of the Palais Garnier thoroughly exhausted. She had every intention of going back to her small flat and collapsing onto her bed, with no thought of getting up again. She had not slept the night before and that day Madame Giry had pushed them harder than she could ever remember being pushed before. She knew that the gala performance was in a week's time, but even someone as unimportant as a member of the corps de ballet needed to rest at times.
She leaned against the doors for a moment, simply because she couldn't bear to start the trek back to her small dressing room just yet. She rubbed her eyes tiredly and brushed the hair that had come loose from her bun out of her face.
Christine turned her head and saw Meg Giry poking her head out of the door to the auditorium. Meg smiled and took Christine's hand, forcing her to stand up without the aid of the door at her back.
"Oh Christine, follow me, will you?" Meg asked, excitement in her voice.
Christine stared at Meg incredulously. She was always so bursting with energy, even after having spent an entire day at rehearsal.
Meg began to pull her back into the theatre, but Christine stopped her. "Wait, what are we doing?"
"Just come with me," Meg insisted.
Christine sighed tiredly, but obliged and allowed Meg to pull her inside.
"Look!" Meg exclaimed. "Empty! Nearly everyone has gone home, the stagehands are having their break, and they have left the lights on! Come on!"
The excited ballerina pulled her friend down the long aisle and down to the stage. Christine collapsed into a chair in the front row and watched as Meg climbed up onto the stage and looked around.
"Oh can you imagine being all alone up here with a full house?" Meg squealed.
Christine smiled softly and watched as Meg turned a few pirouettes, landing with a flourish. "Bravo!" she said, though rather half-heartedly and clapped her hands together a few times.
"Come up here!" Meg demanded.
The exhausted young woman sank further down into the soft, velvet covered chair. "I'm too tired, Meg."
"Don't be silly, Christine. This is so much fun!" Meg grinned and proceeded to leap about the stage, completely abandoning all form.
"What would your mother say if she saw you right now, Meg Giry?" Christine asked lightly.
Meg stopped center stage and frowned thoughtfully. "I suppose she would demand that I never sleep or eat again and simply practice all day long."
Christine smiled weakly, although she found the comment very amusing. She never laughed. Never.
Suddenly a loud creak sounded from somewhere in the auditorium. The sound echoed off of all the walls and ceiling, making it difficult to know where the original source was. Meg gasped and Christine sat up, looking around in alarm.
"What was that?" Christine wondered aloud.
Meg's eyes suddenly widened with excitement. "What if it was the ghost?" she cried, grinning.
Christine rolled her eyes. "Oh stop Meg. There is no ghost in this opera. Those other girls in the corps just like to scare themselves."
"How do you know there's not a ghost?" Meg demanded. "I know some of those girls have wild imaginations…but the ghost could exist!"
"Oh Meg, you know he doesn't."
Meg crossed her arms and looked indignant. "Well I happen to believe there is a ghost."
"Well I happen to believe there isn't," Christine retorted.
"All right, if you're so convinced, why don't you come up here and call to him?" Meg said.
Christine, feeling a sudden energy, accepted the dare. "Maybe I will!" she said defiantly. She pushed herself out of the chair and climbed onto the stage to stand in the very center with Meg.
Forgetting the opera ghost for a moment, she looked around her. The stage looked much bigger when it was just she and Meg. The house looked bigger too, more intimidating. When she danced with the corps, it was easy. No one had any reason to look at her in particular. She was safe from all of those eyes, hidden in the third row. But to stand alone on this stage… She could never do something like that.
Meg could almost see what Christine was thinking; she abandoned the idea of the ghost for a moment and grinned. "It's amazing, isn't it? The stage doesn't seem so large when the entire corps is standing with you!"
Meg's smile grew and she began to dance about the length of the stage once more. She stopped downstage right and opened her mouth, singing a few lines of The Jewel Song from Faust. La Carlotta had been practicing it the entire day.
The corners of Christine's mouth rose. Meg was not a singer, and she was well aware of that fact, but loved to sing anyway. Meg stopped and turned to Christine.
"Hope I didn't hurt your ears too badly with that," she said grinning.
"Of course not, Meg. You have a nice voice," Christine said.
Meg rolled her eyes. "Oh I do not. Why don't you sing? You're the one with the nice voice! Go ahead! Sing for the opera ghost!" she shouted with a grin.
Erik sat back in the large velvet chair in Box Five, his fingers steepled, his brow creased in thought. The curtain of the box was drawn shut, creating a small cavern, which he could safely reside in without anyone knowing. The curtain blocked almost all light from the auditorium, leaving the small area pleasantly dark and cool.
He was attending all of the rehearsals in the final week before the gala. He had to make sure all was going well for the new season in his opera house. Some things seemed…somewhat promising. But he could not bear to hear Faust sung by La Carlotta, the leading diva, again. Erik could not imagine why people loved her. She was loud, that was certain. But her pitch was off, sharps reigned supreme, and she exaggerated every line, every word, so the song was nearly beyond recognition. The Jewel Song was Erik's favorite and she was utterly destroying it. He knew that he could not allow her to sing it to the public. He would not have it.
Silence now reigned in the theatre. The singers and dancers had retired for the night and the stage hands had run off for a bit before they had to come back and clean up and readjust lighting and the like. Erik closed his eyes, going over each performance he had heard that day, taking note of things that still needed work. He would send another note to the managers that night with his instructions for tomorrow's rehearsal.
But his mental critique of the ballet was interrupted by a high-pitched, female voice. Erik opened his eyes and sighed. It had been so peaceful and now some members of the corps were interrupting him.
He sat up, deciding that if they did not leave soon he would scare them out. He smiled a little. They'd become quite popular if they had a real encounter with the Opera Ghost.
Erik listened and discerned two voices. One he recognized as that of Meg Giry. She was a rather excitable child. Exactly the opposite of her mother… Erik stood up and pulled the curtain back a little to observe Meg dancing about the stage freely. She stopped in the center of the stage and talked to her companion who he assumed was seated in the audience.
For lack of anything else to do while they were there he decided to listen to what they were saying. Perhaps hear the…exciting…new gossip circulating around the corps. He rolled his eyes; those girls had such wild imaginations…
But as he listened, he learned that their topic of discussion was he, the opera ghost. He raised an eyebrow as the girl in the house stated firmly that the ghost did not exist. Erik smirked; he loved to scare the ones who did not want to believe.
He watched as Meg insisted the girl come up on the stage and call to the ghost. The corner of his mouth twitched slightly. He was going to have fun frightening these two.
Erik pulled the curtain back slightly so he could watch the girl climb onto the stage. Her back was to him, but he could see her thin frame and a mass of curly, brown hair, coming loose from a messy bun. She turned to face him. And he froze. He leaned forward slightly and frowned deeply, his mouth open slightly. He knew this girl…
Erik had no idea how he could possibly recognize this girl…and with that recognition feel such a strong emotion in the pit of his stomach. He stared at her, her beautiful angelic face, pale skin, deep blue eyes, small, thin hands… He knew her, but how?
He realized he had been staring at her blankly and shook himself slightly, refocusing his eyes. Meg was egging her on about something… Erik couldn't seem to focus. It was nearly driving him mad. He felt some strong feeling rush through his veins when he looked at the girl on the stage. And then she began to sing.
Erik dropped the curtain and staggered back a step or two. In a flash he recognized her. He knew who she was. He even knew her name…
"Come Christine! Sing for us!" the violinist shouted, jovially.
His daughter smiled and stepped up beside him on a large crate and began to sing a wonderful folk song as her father accompanied her on the violin. They had attracted quite a crowd. At the very back, half hidden behind a tent, Erik the Enchanter stood, watching the little girl perform.
He had found her. Erik had desperately combed the fair grounds, hoping for another glimpse of the little girl. The little girl who had seen his face and smiled up at him. He had barely been able to think after it had happened. All thoughts had been centered on her. The beautiful child with dark brown curls and deep blue eyes… Her features were etched in his mind. And now he had found her. And she had the voice of an angel…
Erik could scarcely believe it. This little girl…Christine, her father had called her…who had looked upon him with such kindness, could sing so beautifully. Obviously she was very young, but her voice had such a wonderful hint of innocence and youth. Usually when children sang, it was toneless, without melody. He had never heard a child sing like this… Erik shivered in delight, just imagining what her voice would be like when it matured, if it was well trained someday…
Erik closed his eyes and concentrated purely on the girl's song. The small silver coin she had given him was pressed tightly in his fist.
Her song ended much too soon, in Erik's opinion. The crowd applauded and cheered and began to depart. As the people thinned he could see people dropping coins into a battered violin case at the base of the crate on which the father and daughter stood. Beside it lay a single red rose, the one he had given her.
Christine smiled brightly and watched the many people around her. Some called to her, giving her praise and she waved to them, thanking them politely. Her eyes wandered to the back of the crowd. Her eyes lit up and she waved her small arm and shouted, "Erik!"
Erik's stomach lurched slightly. He had not meant to be noticed. He forced a smile onto his face and raised his hand as well. Without any other choice, he glided through the remaining people, who wished to hear more and made his way to her.
He smiled kindly and said to her, "You were wonderful, Christine."
"Thank you, Erik!" she responded happily. "Look, Papa! It's the magician I was telling you about!"
Her father looked at Erik and stepped down from the crate. "Yes," he said, smiling. "My daughter enjoyed your performance, although," he said, turning to Christine, "she shouldn't have wandered off."
"Well I enjoyed this show very much," Erik stated, honestly, ignoring the way Christine's father observed the mask he wore. "You are an accomplished musician, sir."
Charles Daae smiled then at the compliment. "Well, thank you, kind sir."
Erik shifted uncomfortably, not able to bear this interaction must longer. "My apologies, I must be going," he said. He turned quickly on his heel and strode away quickly.
He closed his eyes briefly and stopped walking. He turned to find Christine running after him. She caught up and looked up at him.
"Why must you go now?" she asked.
He smiled weakly down at her. "I have a performance, myself…. Here," he said. He reached behind the little girl's ear and brought his hand back with a gold coin between his fingertips. He handed it to her and said, "Give this to your father."
Erik waved his hand again and another red rose appeared. "And this is for you. The young prima donna."
Christine took it from him with a grin. "Prima Donna…" she said and giggled.
Erik felt a lump forming in his throat. She had seen his face…and here she was, talking and laughing with him. She was just a child…but she was not afraid.
He smiled and turned to go.
"Wait!" she said again. And again he stopped and turned to look down at her.
"Will I see you again?" she asked, hopefully.
No, you won't, my dear, he thought, but said, "Perhaps…"
Erik had by no means forgotten that small girl… But was it really possible? He went back and opened the curtain again. It was she, he would recognize her anywhere. She had become so very beautiful, more so than he could have imagined. Christine…that child who was surely an angel…was now here before him, in his opera house.
Her voice… She was here, in his opera house, singing for him… It was the voice he had dreamed she would have. The voice that she was destined to have. Only… Erik frowned. There was something wrong. Something…missing. Her voice sounded so empty, almost lifeless. When she was a child, it had carried him away. But now, it was beautiful yes, but…empty.
Erik grasped the railing before him for support. He would meet her… He had to. He could not be so close to her and not talk to her. He would talk to her, find out what was wrong, find out why her voice was so empty. He had to… She had the voice of an angel and she had buried it, clouded it over with sadness. Erik couldn't bear it.
Christine's song ended and Meg applauded her loudly. "Bravo!" she shouted, clapping her hands. "Encore!"
"No," Christine said. "I really am exhausted, Meg. I'm going to my dressing room to get my things and then I'm going home. I will see you tomorrow."
She took the stairs off of the stage, and walked out of the auditorium. She knew she shouldn't have stayed to sing for Meg and her "ghost." She was tired and had another long day of rehearsals tomorrow. Christine walked slowly to her dressing room, completely unaware that someone was following her.
Erik followed Christine without thinking. He hadn't made a conscious decision to do so, it was an automatic response. He ducked in and out of rooms and passages, making sure he was going in the right direction. At last he saw her open a door and enter a room. His eyes widened in shock. Fate was having a field day, that was obvious. That room she had entered… The mirror…
And he ran. Erik, the opera ghost, the king of cat-like grace and dignity was running to the passage behind the mirror. He would be able to see her. He would be close enough to touch her…
At last he reached the passage. He slowed upon approaching the mirror, suddenly terrified that she would hear his harsh breath. Erik walked slowly and silently up to the glass. Peering through he saw Christine. She was seated at her vanity, removing her ballet shoes. She began to sing softly as she rubbed her sore feet.
But her singing stopped abruptly and she brought a hand to her throat. She sighed sadly and said to herself, "I don't know why I even try. I can't sing."
Erik opened his mouth, wanting more than anything to contradict her, but he knew he must remain silent.
Christine stood and went to the divan where two costumes had been discarded earlier that day. She began to hang them up. Sighing again she said, "I don't even know what I'm doing here… Why did you tell me I could sing, Papa?"
She froze and dropped the costume in her delicate hands and collapsed onto the divan, burying her face. "Why did you leave me?" she whispered.
Erik stared and saw tears running down her cheeks, through her fingers. Her father was dead… An accomplished musician he was. He had seemed very kind, and she must have loved him very much…
She raised her head, her eyes red, and her cheeks wet. She exhaled with a long shuddering breath and lay down on the divan, facing away from Erik so he could no longer watch her face. Her arm dangled over the armrest above her head.
"You promised me an Angel, Papa…" she said bitterly. Then she spoke as if repeating something her father had once told her. "When I am in heaven child, I shall send the Angel of Music to you…"
She covered her face with her hands. "But there is no Angel… Papa, why did you lie to me?"
Erik felt his throat going dry. He felt so much pity for this poor young woman. She had lost her father and believed she had no talent… This was why her voice sounded empty. She missed her father… She wanted an angel… Erik himself did not understand why her father would promise her such a thing. Obviously it would not come true. But Christine believed it, and it softened his heart that had become so very hard and cold over the years… An Angel of Music to teach her to sing…
Then Erik stopped. His mind froze. Had he not once wished to know what her voice sounded like once it was trained? Had he not even wished to be the one to train her? Surely…surely he could now. Why couldn't he be an angel? He had been told he had the voice of an angel countless times before! It would surely fool Christine, who wanted to believe in this angel so much… This could be his only chance! She would never remember him…and it was not as if he could just walk up to her as if he were a normal man!
It was insane. Erik knew what he was about to do was something he would probably regret later. But he had to speak to her. When he looked at her… He felt something he had never felt before. An emotion so strong that burned inside of him like a white-hot fire. Perhaps he loved her…
And he did. He loved her… Erik shook himself. He was being ridiculous. How could he love this girl? Perhaps it was not love… But, maybe it was the beginning of love… It was an infatuation at least. He had vowed to live his life alone, would he go back on that just to speak to this girl?
Yes… She needed him. And he needed her too, although he would not admit it to himself just yet…
But maybe…maybe he had found someone who could love him. Someone who would see past his face easily and see who he really was. She had done it, so many years ago. Perhaps she could still see him as a man. Perhaps she would love him…
Closing his eyes against sudden, burning hot tears, he took a deep breath, and began to sing.
Perhaps she would love him…
A/N: Poor, delusional Erik. :(
All right… I may add another chapter to this… But that is a huge MAYBE. I'm not sure if I will or want to…or what. So yes, that's a big maybe if something more will be added to this. This might be the end… I'll have to think about it, lol.
Anyway, I hope this was enjoyable, and not disappointing…
Please Review!! :)