Authors Note: All the characters and the events, with the exception of Sara and anything new and original, are the property of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gaston Leroux.
The mist parted and three figures could be seen walking through it. A woman held the hands of two young girls. The youngest was a seven year old, with curly brown hair. She was the only child of Gustave Daae, a famous violinist that was well known all over Europe.
Gustave had met Mme. Giry, the head of the ballet school and dormitories of the Paris Opera House, years earlier. When he and his wife had first learned that they were to become parents, they had many long discussions on what to name their child. Five months into the pregnancy they decided on Christine or Christopher, after Gustave's great grandmother. From there on out the discussions turned to what their child would do with her life. Gustave wanted his child to do something practical while his wife wanted her child to be in the ballet, like she had been as a child.
Christine finally arrived, on time and healthy, but due to complications at birth, Gustave was left to raise his daughter alone. At first Gustave did not even wish to imagine his daughter growing up and becoming an adult, let alone sending his daughter to live and train in the ballet.
He even went as far to hope that maybe Christine would never be able to learn to dance. Those hopes were quickly dashed when she began to dance along to his violin and she quickly showed great promise.
When Christine turned five, she and her father traveled to Paris to meet with Mme. Giry. Gustave and Mme. Giry quickly agreed on Christine's talent and made arrangements for the young girl to begin her training at the age of ten. However, the process was sped up when Gustave fell ill, two years later.
He sent a letter to Mme. Giry, requesting her presence so that Christine would have a mother figure to lean on in her time of need. Mme. Giry was quick to respond and travelled with her own daughter to be by Christine's side at her father's deathbed. While with Christine, Mme. Giry received a letter from the owner of the opera house.
I hope all goes well with you and your precious daughter and I eagerly await the appearance of the Daae child. However, I must ask you one more favour.
Recently my only sister and her husband were killed in a rather large fire. The only survivor was their youngest child, my niece, Sara. As my brother in law has no living relatives, care of the child has fallen upon myself and my wife.
If you could be so kind as to collect her from the Paris Orphanage before returning to the Opera house, my wife and I would be forever grateful. Please note that the poor child is now blind, as the flame did some irreversible damage to her eyes.
Merci and best wishes."
Within a matter of weeks, Gustave was laid to rest and Mme. Giry returned to Paris. Meg Giry had been retrieved days earlier by one of the workers in the opera house so that Mme. Giry could give her full attention to the two girls that she was now in charge of. She and Christine stopped at the orphanage to collect Sara before the three of them left for the children's new home.
Mme. Giry led them both into the now dark and silent Opera house. She walked up the large marble staircase and down a hallway to the left. She slowed her pace and eventually stopped, before turning to Sara.
"I want you to stand right here and do not move." She told the young girl. "I must take Christine to the Ballet dormitories, but your uncle should be here in moments."
She turned and led Christine away, leaving Sara alone in the brightly lit hallway. Sara listened as the gentle taps of Mme. Giry's cane faded and strained to hear something that could comfort her and take away her anxiety. She stood still for several minutes listening only to the sound of her own breathing, echoing off the walls that she could not see.
She knew that she was standing in a lighted area; she could hear the crackle of flame as breeze touched it, and could smell laps burning all around her. She shifted uneasily; feeling like someone else was in the hallway with her. She could hear the subtle sounds of fabric rustling, but didn't know if it was a person, or curtains somewhere near her. Her pulse and breathing quickened when all around her she could smell lamps and candles being extinguished, wondering if someone was playing a cruel joke on her, like the boys in the orphanage used to.
This time, she not only heard the sound of fabric, but also the soft sound of someone walking towards her. She dared not move, in case whoever it was could not see her in the darkness. But, as the footsteps drew closer to her, she began to panic and spun around, wishing that she could see. Now, as she listened, it sounded like the footsteps were to her right, and she turned to face that direction. She was soon disoriented, because she was constantly turning, trying to figure out the origins of the footsteps.
She cried out softly when two hands grasped her shoulders and very slowly turned her in the opposite direction that she had been facing. "Your uncle is coming." A soft male voice sounded in her ear.
Sara's eyes slowly closed and she found herself oddly relaxed and soothed by this mans presence. His hands left her shoulders and she heard the swoop of a cape, but could hear nothing else of the man's departure.
"Curse this hallway. The lamps are always going out." She could hear her Uncle say in the distance. "Find some men, and get these lamps relit."
Sara shifted nervously as the sounds of her uncle and his companions grew closer. "Monsieur, your niece is waiting for you at the end of the hallway, near your office." She recognized Mme. Giry's French accent. "And Christine Daae is in the dormitories."
"Thank you Madame." Her uncle said. "Ah, there you are! Come, come child let's get you inside the office."
She felt a hand on her shoulder. Sara knew that it was her uncle, and was slightly disturbed at the fact that it brought no comfort like the other man's had. She allowed him to guide her to a chair, which she great fully sat down in, folding her hands in her lap.
"Uncle," Sara said softly, "Who was the man with me in the hallway?"
Sara could not see the surprised glance between her uncle and Mme. Giry. "It was probably one of the stage hands." Mme. Giry said, to both Sara and her uncle.
"Yes, quite right. Now, Sara, it has come to my attention that there is still some room in the ballet dormitories. As you know, your aunt and I have no young children and here there are a lot of girls around your age. I was thinking that maybe you would enjoy living here at the Opera House, instead of holed up with only your aunt and I for company." He noticed Sara's expression falter slightly. "Mme. Giry has agreed to teach you something's that will make you useful around the opera house even with your handicap. You can learn to minor corrections to costumes and things like that."
Sara was upset. She had only been in her uncle's presence for a few moments and he was already looking for a way to get out of taking care of her. But, at the same time, she knew that she would be happier at the Opera House. She would have friends and something to do at all time. It would also give her a chance to find the mysterious stranger who made her feel so at ease with the slightest touch.
She stayed silent for several minutes, contemplating and not paying attention to her Uncles excuses for why she should stay at the opera house.
"Yes Uncle." She said at last. "I would like to stay here at the Opera House."