Disclaimer: Erik, Christine and Co are all property of Gaston Leroux, Susan Kay, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber etc.

Important: I formerly posted this story under a different title and username but due to certain circumstances I have had to relocate it (losing all of my 109 reviews).

A/N Starts after the scene at the end of the movie (when Raoul and Christine row away).

Also, Nadir Khan is still Erik's friend in this story only (but they met at the fair).

Chapter One: The Secret Note

Erik sat alone in Madame Giry's living room. It had been two long, horrible days since the infamous opera house disaster. The Paris Opera House had, against all odds been saved from the fire and remained mostly unharmed. Erik knew that there was no way he could return as the mob had destroyed his home by the lake. All of his possessions were gone except his mask, a few written compositions, some clothes and his music box. Meg Giry had somehow stolen all of those things whilst the mob was occupied with searching for the legendary Opera Ghost. The clever young woman had also sworn to the mob that she had seen the phantom drown in the lake. They all believed her, taken in by her innocent and beautiful face.

Meg had done this because her mother had explained about the man behind the mask. Whilst Meg did that, her mother had met Erik at the only secret passage in his lair that no one but her and Erik knew about. One of the mirrors, when smashed, contained a passageway that emerged into Madame Giry's room. The brave woman had led the broken Erik away from his home to hers. She had managed a brief explanation from him before she gave him back his mask (which he immediately put on) and he had retreated into silence. Since then, he had not spoken, eaten or moved; except for his long, elegant fingers, which caressed the ring Christine had given him, over and over again.

Click! Erik jumped at the sudden, unfamiliar noise and searched for its source. The sound appeared to have come from the ring…His agile fingers found the cause immediately. The diamonds on the front of the ring had swung away from the rest of it, like a small door. He peered inside and found a small piece of paper carefully folded up concealed inside the hole. He quickly pulled it out, straightened it and held it up to the light. It read:

My Angel,

You forced me to leave with Raoul. I gave this ring to you in hope that you would find this note. If you wish for a second chance at our love, meet me on the bridge (over the stream) in the park that is nearest to the willow; in two nights time at midnight. If you find you do not wish to see me again, keep this ring as a reminder of how much I love you.

Love,

Your Angel,

Christine. xxx

Erik froze. The cold, lonely hollowness he had felt for the last two days vanished. His frozen heart thawed as the void was replaced with thoughts of Christine. He had never experienced so many positive emotions at the same time. He was consumed by excitement, hope, love and pure joy. At last, he was5 granted a second chance! He ran up the stairs and proceeded to shave, wash and put on fresh clothes as quick as he could. When Madame Giry came back from the Opera House with Meg at six in the evening she was startled when Erik asked if he could join her and Meg for supper. "Yes, of course Monsieur. But may I enquire as to the reason for your sudden…happiness?"

"You may Madame, but you shall have to wait until tomorrow to find out the answer." He said with a mischievous smile. He chuckled softly at Meg as her eyes widened at Erik's open cheekiness to her mother. Madame Giry gave him a playful scowl and decided to indulge his playful mood. "Do you wish to cook your own supper?" She asked innocently.

Erik held up his hands. "Alright, I give in. Would you mind terribly if I had a guest stay?"

"No Monsieur but the guest must share your room or sleep on the sofa because there is no other space."

"That is fine." After a pleasant supper Erik catnapped until eleven o'clock. Then he disappeared out the door saying he would be back in the morning.

Christine stood on the bridge. She wore a dress that she had picked out specially for meeting Erik as she thought he would like it. The bodice was plain black with a low neckline; the long sleeves and skirt were deep red with the edges black also. She had tied her hair back, as was proper but had let some of her hair hang around her face loosely. Her makeup consisted of some red lipstick, faint pink eye shadow and a little blush. She leaned over the edge of the bridge as she plucked the petals off a rose, like a child, chanting "he loves me, he loves me not." The stem fell to the water below as she held the very last red petal in her hand. "He loves me." She whispered as she let go of the petal and watched it fall slowly into the rippling stream below. It floated still for a moment before gliding downstream and out of sight. Christine watched it until it vanished then sighed, still waiting anxiously for her Angel.

TBC…

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