Disclaimer: I do not own any of the original characters of the phantom of the opera they are the property of Gaston Leroux and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Chapter 1. The Concept of Time

Year seem sometimes to move along very slowly and yet they do pass. It is hard to imagine how much something can change within the span of a year. Though it may not seem like anything has changed, they always have. Hearts eventually mend and fears disappear. New people will come and old people will go, all adding to the great diversity that is humanity. Most people do not like change but it is inevitable. Change is what brings happiness and sadness. The years change everything and everyone. With time comes the changing of stories, they are passed along and changed as they are told to different groups and people. People will change and grow older as the years move on. It is the constant change in everything that makes the world an interesting place and it is possible for even the hardest of hearts to change and love again.

Three years had past in the city of Paris. Things that once looked new began to fade and become familiar among the streets and the people had begun to forget the fear that had come to pass after the phantom had terrorised the young Diva Christine Daae. She had, since then, left the opera house and had married Raoul de Chagny the Viscount and had not been seen or heard within the Paris music circles again. Some say she quit after the her ordeal, to afraid to take the stage again, other believed that it was the loss of the phantom that rendered her voice plane and undesirable. The fact remained Christine was no longer know as the singer that she once was and had disappeared from the eyes of the public. No one will ever know for sure but she seemed to fall away like the pedals of a dying rose. The beauty of her voice was gone, not to be heard in Paris again.

The phantom, to had disappeared but the workers believed him to still be lurking in the depths of the opera. Superstition had become the main playing point in the workers lives. Much of the opera house had been destroyed by fire and the hunt for the murderer who was the opera ghost. But he was not found. Though his layer was found many believed that it was not his primary place of dwelling and that somewhere beneath the city of Paris there was a palace occupied by a monster. No one had been able to locate it and after some time the police and the searchers had given up. He seemed to disappear without a trace, without a sound, people believed him dead or dying and believed him no longer a menace. The superstitions however grew, the opera house was restored to its old splendour and glowed as if it were new. Marble steps gleamed white and the gold trimmings sparkled in the light of the sun. This place was once again warm with life. But the old ghost stories remained, it was after all the opera populair and would forever be shadowed but the stories that had once unfolded within its doors.

Performances had began to take place again in this theatre. Music filled its rooms and excitement radiated from all around. Ballerinas were back in training and living in the opera house dormitories. The stages and the underlying portions of the stage were filled again with life and movement. More men then before had been employed in the theatre, at least two for every job for safety purposes and because the teams had become so paranoid about the opera ghost that they would not travel the halls alone. Monsieur Andre and Monsieur Firmin were the first men to enforce this new policy and because of their great fear that, perhaps the ghost was still with them, many of the Phantom's demands were still met. Madame Giry was still in charge of the ballet troop. She was also put in charge of making sure that box five was always empty. The phantom had not been seen in that box for three whole year and still if anyone tried to take a place in that seat, over looking the stage, the performers and the managers were refuse to let a show proceed. Madame Giry was also put in charge of the phantom's twenty thousand franks that were owed to him monthly. It was never assumed that Madame Giry would take the money but every month on the first of the month Monsieur Firmin would deliver the money to Madame Giry who would leave the money in box five for a week and if the money did not disappear then Madame Giry would return the money to Monsieur Andre and every month it was the same. The money would be set out and again the money would be returned. It had only happened on two occasions that the money did leave the box. This reassured Andre and Firmin that the ghost was still with them and that they should keep to their new routine.

It was a shame, however, that the opera house was not making the money that it had in the past. Andre and Firmin feared that the end was near for their theatre as they could not convince any major divas to return. La Carlotta had left them for good when Piangi was killed. Christine was no more and so the only people to sing in this place were people that had once been employed and understood the affairs of the phantom of the opera. Andre and Firmin had tried to convince new people to come into the troop and the only people that would come were the ballerinas. They had nearly stopped the performances of operas all together for all they could perform was the ballet and it had begun to fall out of favour with the people of Paris. The opera populaire was facing certain ruin.

One hot summer afternoon Andre and Firmin had taken to the streets in front of the opera to lounge in the cool breeze and to take in a long lazy lunch. The sun beat down on the patio umbrella that covered their outdoor table as the two men sat and pondered what they could do to save their opera house.

"Andre, we need an opera. There is no way for us to continue if we don't have an opera!" Richard Firmin stated as he sipped a light fruity lunch wine.

"I know we do but we cannot convince anyone to come into our theatre to perform. And even if we could have would it be possible to top a spectacle as the one seen on the final night of the phantom of the opera? Don Juan Triumphant was an amazing performance. A master piece in itself and yet a disaster for us." Gille Andre said as he took another bite from his sandwich.

"Perhaps we need to find our phantom again and have him write us a new, a brilliant opera and have him perform in it," Firmin said as he whipped the sweat off his forehead with a handkerchief.

"Are you mad? Who in their right mind would perform with the phantom of the opera?" Andre said as he repeated the line over to himself.

"He wouldn't be known as the phantom of the opera he must have a name it could be just what we need to bring life and music back into our theatre." Firmin said feeling more confident about his idea.

"And how do you suggest we find this fellow, whom we have only known as an enemy?" Andre said finally letting Firmin continue to elaborate on his idea.

"Madame Giry must know how to find him," Firmin continued, "she could convince him, couldn't she? We offer him more than what he asked us for and have his works performed by the man with a voice that no one has heard!"

"And what of his face?" Andre asked, "how can we put a creature like that before the people to watch?"

"People go to the fair to see it don't they? Why can't they come to the theatre to see it?" Firmin smiled.

"You are making the opera into a freak show!" Andre said feeling completely against the idea.

"Then have them wear masked like they had done in Don Juan. You have to admit Andre its probably one of the best ideas we've had to save the opera," Firmin said with a sigh.

"And what if he is really dead and worse what if he refuses to help us?" Andre asked, "it has only been three year since everything fell apart with Miss Daae. Perhaps he has really given up on everything."

"It is a chance we must take. We must find something to keep this opera house alive. Something that we can use to lour the talent back to us. Our ballet troop is the best in Paris all we need is the vocal talent to bring to us the biggest spectacle that Paris has yet to see. We need the phantom to return to the opera and we need to use his publicity to bring in the patrons. We are desperate," Firmin said slamming his fist down onto the table.

"Yes but what if Madame Giry refuses to help us?" Andre asked thinking of every possible scenario.

"Can't you be optimistic for one minute Andre, really," Firmin huffed, "think of how amazing it would be to have an opera written for the revival of our theatre. Think of the masses of people that will line up to sing when we announce that we have an original, a brand new opera, to be debuted at the opera populaire. Think of it how the people will come by the thousands to see the show and to celebrate the wonderful spectacle that will be the rebirth of the opera in Paris. Just think of it Andre!"

"Even if the phantom doesn't perform to say that we have the phantom's newest opera would be publicity enough," Andre said finally sharing the vision, "but there is one problem Firmin."

"And what is that?" Richard Firmin asked as he rolled his eyes.

"Where are we going to get the money to fund this revival. We are going to have to pay the phantom double and any new actors if we get them. How are we going to be able to afford that?" Andre asked.

"We'll cross that bridge when it needs to be crossed," Firmin stated as he placed some money in the waiters hand and stood up from the table, placing his black top hat on his head he said, "We know what we have to do right now. We must bring back the publicity. We have to find the Phantom of the Opera."