A/N: Revised 5/27/04 I added this because I felt that this chapter needed a little more background information...I just corrected some things, and added on to the story a bit for the first chapter. I don't own the story of the Phantom of the Opera, or any of the songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber...I do own Christina and no she is not a Mary Sue! You have to read farther to discover her true nature!

Christine was dead. Erik's body shook with shock. His muscles and bones seemed to move upon their own accord. He was in anguish, but he had to be mindful of how the emotions played across his face since he was in public in the old cemetery. She was being buried atop a lonely hillside. Drops of rain pelted the tiny group. It was fitting for only Christine's closest friends and family to be there. She wouldn't have liked the pompous wealth of Paris to attend such a private affair. Erik drifted out of sight behind the group. He'd caught a glimpse of her before they closed the coffin lid. She was just as he remembered when he last saw her only forty years ago. He knew she had grown older, but age did not affect her wondrous beauty. Her long brown hair was streaked with grey and lay delicately around her pale skin. Her quietly upturned nose and the soft tilt of her chin still gave no small hint to her beauty. Her pale lips looked as if they could smile at any moment. Oh how happy she must have been up with her family in the big manor. He hoped she had been. He dashed a tear away from his eyes. Her precious Vicomte de Changy was flitting around the casket give out occasional tortured moans. Raoul's sweet protector had died. Erik felt a soft wind brush at his black cloak and fedora. The rain was beginning to come down in torrents. He leaned against the rough bark of a nearby willow tree still watching the activities. The priest was muttering prayers over the coffin as it was being lowered into the ground. He heard the resounding sound of the coffin hitting the earth. The older Vicomte was becoming inconsolable now. His cries for his wife Christine were becoming hysterical. Erik had a better control of his emotions, but the urge to pound on the earth and cry up to the heavens and ask why they had taken her the angel on earth away from them, was very tempting. He watched as a girl with blonde curls cascading down her back tried to console the Vicomte. She whispered things in his ear, and patted him softly on the arm. She looked very much like Christine, perhaps a distant relative. A damp dusk was settling around them. Erik fled the cemetery feeling as if his heart would never mend. He recalled her tombstone as he ran.

Christine Daae

The little light of Paris has left and now all is dark

Her voice will live on forever in our hearts...

Erik sighed softly as the rain continued to pour down on him. Those words fitted her. The ominous words on the tombstone was right, her music would live on forever...in his heart.

The darkness of the corridor hid the lonely figure who was slowly playing a mournful tune on his organ. He'd been there for forty long years after Christine had left him. Christine had been his only love other than the shadows in the dim depths under the Opera House. She had brought out the only good in his soul. Now it seemed he was fated to a life forever in the deep hell alone. So be it. Christine would occupy his world forever, even if he went mad he would continue on. Maybe he was mad. The anger in his heart may have suffocated all things good out of him, including his sanity. Candles flickered making the ivory keys on the organ glow. He suddenly stopped playing and turned. He was hearing things again. A beautiful soprano voice floated through the silent depths. Christine appeared. Her eyes were lit with the fire of young dreams. She seemed to dance, swaying with an invisible partner. "It is only a dream," He whispered. He reached out and touched her hand. He felt nothing, only air. So she was a ghost of his memory after all. A younger man slowly appeared. He took her hand and they danced a ballet duet. "Christine!" He cried. Why was she being enchanted by this man? And suddenly she was gone and with her the young man, a ghost, a wisp of memory floating before his eyes. He slumped against the organ, his body pressing against the keys. A horrid sound emerged from the pipes. It sounded strangled.

The mob had come long ago, and in their rage they did not search well enough forty years earlier. He had hidden himself. After their failed attempt to find and murder him they had boarded up every possible way for him to get out of his "prison in the dark". Nothing was impossible for the Phantom of the Opera. Even he could not be chained. He touched the silky white cloth of his mask. They had not taken his last piece of dignity; they had left it where he had placed it, thinking it cursed. In a cruel sort of way he was happy he had let Christine and Raoul go, she would never be happy living in the depths with no light or sun to warm her beautiful face. She had been like a flower. She would have wilted and died with out real light that not even candles could not give. His twisted lips curled into a smile, at least a ghost of a smile. "Christine...Christine" He whispered. "My love,"

The Opera House was in shambles now, it had closed. No one in Paris dared to cross him. They did not even wish to truly believe he was dead. So after a failed attempt to show a new Opera they packed everything up and left.

An auction had been held and he had seen Christine's lover. Raoul in a wheel chair had been clutching onto the memories he had purchased. He was confined with old age, while he the Phantom lived on with youth. Erik would have rather traded his life for Raoul's in a wheel chair. Even though Christine was dead Raoul still carried with him the memories of forty years with his love. All Erik had was forty years of darkness and loneliness.

He had a sudden urge to see the Opera House once more, and climbed a forgotten stair to the stage. It was dark, but he held his candle up high to create an eerie glow. The boards creaked with age. The ragged material on the seats had been chewed by mice, and rats. The once magnificent room was reduced to humiliating shambles. The gold edging on the ceilings, and floor had been torn away by thieves, but they would be disappointed. The owner had been stingy, the gold was only paint. A sudden sound caused him to fly back into the shadows and blow out his candle. Footsteps could be heard. Just one pair of feet was making that small sound. A girl...no a young woman appeared. She was holding a cane which she used to make sure nothing in front of her would cause her to fall, or trip. In the dim light of the candle she was holding in her left hand he could make out the features of her face. Long golden blonde hair lay in curls around her shoulders, unfashionable, but beautiful. She was well dressed, in a lovely blue dress that accented her figure, and made her eyes glow. Her eyes! How she looked like Christine! "Christine," A voice floated in the darkness.

He hadn't realized he'd said his love's name out loud. The young woman shuddered and stepped back a few steps.

"Who is there?" She called, her voice trembled. He withdrew further in to the wings. "Come out!" She cried. The silence was frightening her. "Please...," She whispered. The silence continued. She cursed her blindness. How she longed to be able to see... and to search out the maker of the noise she had heard. Silence answered her. Suddenly Erik recognized her. She was the girl who had comforted the Vicomte at Christine's funeral a month ago. After a moment she continued her exploration of the Opera House. She ran her fingers along the dilapidated rail separating the aisles. She steadied herself, almost tripping on a stair. She grasped her cane tightly. It was her guide, because she was blind. She breathed in the stale smell of rotting carpets, and decaying seats. The Opera House was not what it once was. The grandeur had faded, and she could tell just be using her fingers to be her eyes. She touched everything to let her know where she was in the Opera House. She had heard about this place ever since she was a child old enough to not get terribly frightened over the old stories. She knew in perfect detail the layout of the Opera House, she'd heard the stories so often. But her grandmother had never allowed her to visit the Opera House, and her grandfather had not wavered on the subject either. But now things were different. Oh so different! She felt her way down to the edge of the stage. Her knee bumped into stairs leading up to the massive stage. She carefully climbed them, wary of rotten boards. This wasn't exactly the best place to explore. She did not know that someone was watching her from the shadows.

Erik kept himself hidden in the shadows. He had nothing to fear from her seeing him, since obviously she was blind, but he had heard that blind people had excellent hearing. He dared not move for fear of being discovered. He watched as the young woman carefully stepped onto the stage using the cane to go ahead of her as her eyes. He edged a few steps farther back into the darkness as she came closer in his direction. His heart would not calm down. It beat rapidly in his chest. She was now so close to him that if she reached out her hand she could have touched him. Suddenly after a moment of consideration she change directions, and headed downstage. He realized he had been holding his breath. He silently watched her stand still in the middle of the stage, as if she was gazing out over the ruins. He was sure that she was imagining the grandeur of what once was.

"Are you the Phantom?" She whispered turning back around. Erik stood in shock. He dared not breathe a word. How in the world did she know he had been standing there? If the world knew that the Phantom still lived...but wait...who would believe a frail blind girl with a "wild imagination"? He smiled darkly. This might be amusing...

Christina had known there was someone in the wings on the stage only by chance. She had heard his foot slide back against the dusty floor. It was faint, but when you were blind for several years you tended to develop other senses to make up for it. But when he first spoke to her it startled her!

"Legend," He said. His voice echoed out in the vast space of the empty aging Opera House. "Legend or myth if you'll have it. Everyone knows the stories, any drunken fool wandering around in the dark in this place could be the Phantom" He scoffed.

"Then you are the Phantom?" She said softly.

"I might be," The answer was returned. "Why do you seek out a man who is supposedly cursed, or does seeing mangled flesh excite you young one,"

"Never," She looked taken aback by his question. Then she tilted her head.

"Than it is true, he is marred,"

"Marred?" The question quivered in the air like an arrow hitting a target. "Or cursed? Why would the gods give him his twisted face?"

"We are all troubled with adversities, good sir," She leaned heavily on her cane as if willing herself not to drop in a faint to the floor.

"Adversities?!" The word was flung at her from seemingly everywhere at once she shrank back in fear. "Why would one man be faced with so many? What possessed someone to create a being so hideous people would shriek and rant and rave at how ugly and horrible one face could be!!" He shouted. She was shaking violently.

"I would not," She replied bravely trying to calm her shattered nerves.

"We shall see," The voice was quieter this time. He paused. "What is your name?" He said finally.

"Christina, well...that is not my real name, Christine is my real name... I...I was named after my grandmother. My grandpapa just calls me Christina,"

"Your grandmother is...dead then,"

"She died only just this...this past month," Her voice shook with emotion. The voice was silent for a moment. "My grandpapa is lying sick in bed, he says he can not live without her by his side," She bowed her head. "And now...I shall lose him as well,"

"You loved them?"

"Their children, my mother and uncle both died when I was six in a carriage accident, my father died when I was seven. They have raised me; I love them more than anything,"

"And are you as much as a singer as she was?"

"My grandmother said I sing like an angel, and that her teacher would have been pleased. In the end while she lay waiting for death, she asked me to ease her pain by singing; she died with a smile on her face," Christina spoke humbly. He could tell she was not proud of her vocal accomplishments. In fact it seemed like she despised them.

"Her teacher, what was he like?" The voice inquired.

"My grandmother always got a faraway look in her eye when she told me the stories of when she was a singer at the old Opera House. Of the treachery and deceit of her teacher otherwise known as the Phantom of the Opera,"

"She described him well then," The voice said sadly. "For that is what he is,"

"She said more about him than just that. How he had locked himself away... away from the pain of looking at himself in the mirror, or hearing shrieks of horror. And then he fell in love, with her. She hated making anyone feel betrayed, but the Phantom had been wrong trying to keep her and Raoul apart. Since then she has always thought of her old teacher, I could see emotion well up into her eyes when she talked of him," Christina smiled into the darkness, facing the many seats and balconies that were out beyond the stage. "Will you reveal yourself to me, now? For I have told you some of my past, but I have yet to see your face or hear your story," She said to the silence.

"Soon," The voice whispered. Christina heard no more for many minutes so she left. Erik watched as she slowly walked down the middle row up the stairs, and out into the dark foyer to face the world beyond the dark theater.