Disclaimer: I don't own the Phantom of the Opera. It would be so cool if I did, because then I'd be a genius and very rich. But I don't, so I'll just stick to writing fan fictions.

Prologue

Erik sat in his lair, thinking bitter thoughts. He hadn't eaten or slept for days. What was the point? He had nothing left to live for now.

It had been almost a year since Christine had left him, running off with that foppish viscount. Erik seethed at the very mention of Raoul's name. What did that sniveling, sorry excuse for a man have that Erik didn't? A face…that's what he had.

Erik got to his feet, wandering aimlessly around his home. He ran his fingers over the dusty keys of his organ. He hadn't played it in so long… He had given up on music. It had once been the one thing that he lived for. Now it was a distant memory, disappearing just like Christine had.

Erik pounded the organ in anger, and a terrible sound emitted from it. "Why, Christine, why?" he whispered, each word causing him enormous pain. "Why did you leave me?"

The lair was quiet again, as the ringing sound of his speech disappeared into silence…silence. Erik cursed himself for writing the stupid opera in the first place. He was sure that Don Juan Triumphant would win Christine's heart, but it didn't. She had gone against her Angel of Music, betrayed him in the presence of many unfeeling people. He would never forget the humiliation. How could she do that to him? He had acted on impulse, cutting loose the chandelier as a diversion. With a hollow laugh Erik wondered how many audience members he had squished.

At first, Erik thought the sound was only part of his own pain. Then he realized that it wasn't. He listened hard. Someone or something was wailing loudly, probably from the other side of the lake. Then he heard a loud clang! Somebody had slammed shut the iron gate that barred one of the entrances to his lair. What on earth was going on over there? Were the employees of the Opera Populaire doing some spring-cleaning? Erik decided to investigate.

He rowed his gondola across the vast, glassy lake. Slipping through the shadows, Erik approached the source of the wailing sound, which was growing steadily quieter. When he reached the gate the sound had stopped altogether. The person who had been there earlier had left, but he or she had left behind a basket. Erik peered into the basket and saw the thing he least expected to be in there- a baby. He wondered which cruel, heartless person would abandon a baby down here, and how they got in in the first place. Tucked into the basket alongside the infant was an envelope, which Erik wasted no time in opening. Inside was a short note, written in handwriting that he recognized immediately.

Dear Erik,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you this in person, but I had to sneak away and haven't much time. The infant in front of you is desperately sick, and the doctors say they can't do anything to help her. I thought you might like to see your daughter before she died. I remain your angel forever,

Christine

Erik had to read the hastily written letter several times before he got the full meaning of it. His daughter? What did she mean by his daughter? And why had Christine abandoned the infant down there? There were much more pleasant places to die. He had thought that Christine was more caring than to leave an infant in a dark, cold place like this. And why did she write that she would remain his angel forever? They both knew it was a lie.

A little sneeze brought Erik out of his thoughts. He looked down at the pitiful bundle in the basket. The baby did indeed look sick. Erik remembered that when he was that age, he had been given a mask before any other scrap of clothing. His mother had hated him, feared him. This baby wasn't deformed in any way. She didn't deserve to be left to die in a cold, dark sewer.

Erik knelt down by the basket and looked carefully at the infant. Most people screamed and ran at the sight of his mask. The baby didn't move. Infants don't know to be afraid of terrible masks or ugly distortions, Erik realized with a jolt. Maybe…

No. What was he thinking? How could he possibly raise a child? No matter what he told himself, it was humanly impossible for anyone to love him. It wasn't his business, anyway. Christine had abandoned the infant without a thought, so it obviously wasn't important to her. Erik wondered again how some people could be so heartless. Nobody had cared if he had lived or died either. It's not your business, Erik. Don't get wrapped up in this. Love only leads to getting hurt. But Christine said that she was my daughter, not that stupid fop's. My daughter…

Erik scooped up the basket and carried it back to the gondola. He didn't know what he was doing, but he knew one thing…He couldn't let that baby die.

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A/N: So...What do you think? Please review, I would love to hear your comments. Some constructive criticism would be nice, but just don't flame me! This is my first fanfic. I promise it'll get more interesting! I just had to write an prologue for background information. Thanks for reading!