Author's Note: Hello! I have decided to rescue this story from oblivion because it deserves better. After my first shot at working with a beta failed I kind of gave up on this story, but I still love it. Therefore I have done some major rewriting, filling out spots that seemed rushed (*coughs* chapter 8). New chapters are coming soon.

This story is based off 2004 movie with maybe a bit of the Broadway show mixed in. Everything is the same up until now, which is just after Raoul leaves Mme. Giry on the staircase. Singing will be italicized and enclosed in single quotes, anything else italicized can be assumed to be within the minds of the characters (who I do not own by the way)


Chapter 1: Smoke and Mirrors

Antoinette Giry paced the landing of the stone stairway where Raoul had left her. She wished she could have gone with him, but knew that would only put her in further danger.

You are never to tell ANYONE what you know of me, not even her!

She could hear the running footsteps behind her, a search party would obviously be coming soon.

'Track down this murderer he must be found!'

No, this wasn't a search party, they had no interest in saving Christine, they were going to kill Erik. "NO!" Without thinking Antoinette cried out, her grief momentarily taking over her. "There is nothing you can do but wait and pray," she told herself firmly, attempting to regain her composure, but failing terribly. Her heart pleaded with her to go to Erik, to warn him, to do something!

You are forbidden to ever enter my home again!

Antoinette began to pace faster.

'Track down this murderer he must be found!'

The light from the group's torches began to reach around the curve of the stairwell, shortly followed by its leader.

"Meghan Giry, what on Earth do you think you are doing?!"

Do as I have instructed and you will be safe.

"Mother, you cannot stop me, I'm not ten anymore. I am going to find my friend and that is that!" By that time, the entire mob of policemen and opera staff had caught up to her and was peeking around the stairwell, trying to get a glimpse of the confrontation.

But disobey me and I will kill the brat and leave you to suffer!

"Meg there are factors that you do not understand, and I cannot explain right now. You were only two, you don't remember, but you are in much greater danger than you realize!"

"He took Christine mother, I am not going to stand by and let him do that!" Setting her mouth in a firm line of determination, Meg pushed past her despairing mother and continued forward.

Once the rest of the crowd had pushed passed her, Antoinette was left, once again, alone to await news. It was likely everyone she cared about would be dead tonight. Raoul would reach Erik first. Even if he did escape Erik's expert traps, Erik would probably kill him in some other manner.

The mob would reach the lair next. With so many people, there was no possible way Erik could beat them all. He would fall to them, but not without taking a few down with him. Meg would probably be one of them. Even in the tightest situations, Erik never forgot his promises. Oddly enough, everyone was trying to save Christine, but she was the safest one. Antoinette was the only one that knew Erik was extremely unlikely to hurt Christine unless something went terribly wrong. Since everyone was on Christine's side, they might all die trying to save her, but she would probably make it. As hard as she tried to take some comfort in this, Antoinette could not relax herself. It was too much to lose at once.


Christine and Raoul heard the gate shut behind them just as the boat reached the other side of the lake. Looking back, there was nothing to be seen, the Phantom had completely disappeared. As they ascended the staircase together, the sound of the search party overhead drifted down to them.

'Track down this murderer he must be found!'

Christine stopped suddenly, grabbing Raoul's hand.

"Raoul, I have something strange to ask of you." He cocked his head questioningly to the side but allowed her to continue. "Please tell them that the Phantom is dead. I know its odd, he has done us so many wrongs, but I don't think he deserves to die."

"Hmm, I don't know that I can agree with you on that, but I do know that Mme. Giry would not want him dead either; leading me down here seemed to make her very upset. Perhaps there is something I do not know about this man…" Christine's eyes pleaded with him. "If you truly think so, I will do it, but we'll have to make it believable. We'll need to both have the same story." Christine nodded and motioned for him to continue. "It would be best to keep the story the same until he let me in. Then we will say that once the gate was raised I scrambled to land and engaged him in a sword fight. At first, he was winning, and he cut my left forearm. However, I backed him in into a chair, causing him to trip and I gave him a deep gash in his right arm before he managed to recover. Forced to use his non-dominant arm, the Phantom was at a disadvantage. I ran him through and he fell into the lake." He paused and looked at her for approval, "did that sound believable?"

"Yes, very well crafted Raoul. Since he 'fell into the lake,' there will be no body for them to look for. But, you didn't cut your arm..

"Oh yes.." he sighed at the flaw, "of course," said Raoul, " I guess we'd better leave that part out then, it just seemed unlikely that I would come away completely unscathed."

Christine looked her betrothed over from head to toe. His clothes were ragged; his neck red from the noose, his hands raw from clawing at it, and every inch of him was soaked. Her inventory of his injuries made her realize just how close he had come to not surviving. "You look anything but unscathed," she whispered as tears formed in her eyes. Raoul extended his arms and she stepped into his embrace, letting her tears join the lake water that already drenched them both. "I really thought I would lose you."

He held her tightly, whispering comforting words until her tears passed. When she was ready the two of them continued up the staircase, hand in hand. About halfway up, they met the search party. Upon hearing the news, the entire party congratulated them, and Meg hugged Christine. The group then turned around to go back up the staircase to where Mme. Giry waited. They would all have to stay the night on various landings and wide steps, because they could not go above until the fire was out. Everything around them was damp stone. It would be uncomfortable to sleep on, but at least it would not catch fire.


To Antoinette it seemed that the search party had been gone for hours. The entire time she waited, she paced the landing. With each pass, she reconsidered the idea of going after them, rejecting it each time.

However, if Antoinette had not been so anxious she would have realized that it had only been ten minutes since the search party's departure when the light from their torches reached her once again. As the leader rounded the corner, her heart skipped a beat. It was not Meg. Antoinette could see neither Meg nor Raoul and Christine, but everyone looked happy. What did that mean? Where was Meg?!

Antoinette watched them come up the staircase, attempting to catch a glimpse of Meg's brilliant blond hair, or the bottom of a dress swaying between all the pant legs. There was nothing.

"Mother!" Antoinette turned towards the sound. Had she really heard it or was her hopeful imagination playing tricks on her? "Mother!" She looked around again; she could not have heard the same thing wrong twice. Where was she?

When Meg finally emerged from the crowd, tears flooded Antoinette's eyes. Christine and Raoul were right behind her, both soaking wet. Running to them, she swept her daughter up in a warm embrace. A moment later she stepped back, smiling at Christine and Raoul; they would make a wonderful pair. As for Meg…

"Don't you ever scare me like that again young lady! I don't care if you are ten or fifty-seven; you will never go down there again!" All eyes were on them now. No one wanted to be on the receiving end of her temper, but many found it entertaining to watch.

"Well mother," countered Meg, "If it makes you feel any better, we never even made it down the staircase. Raoul and Christine met us on their way back up. Christine had obviously been found, and Raoul told us he slew the Phantom, so there was nothing to do but turn around and come back." Meg crossed her arms over her chest and looked her mother in the eye with smug satisfaction, but something. All the color seemed to have completely drained from her mother's face. "Mother? Mother, are you alright?"