A Chance at Life

Disclaimer: Okay here it goes... I do not own Phantom of the Opera in any way shape or form. I truly wish I did, it would be totally awesome, but I don't. All original characters (AKA the ones you've never heard about) are mine. So hope you enjoy the story...I think it's going in a good direction.

Part One

I

Flames leapt up from the theatre, sending showers of sparks into the night air. Outside an assortment of people and animals stood, many watching as their lively hood went up in smoke. Many were still confused over what had happened, and the gendarmes quickly tried to calm those who needed it, and help others.

Antoinette watched among a crowd of dancers, who milled around her for safety and security. Meanwhile she hid the panic she felt of not knowing where her daughter was, or what had happened with Christine and the vicomte.

A loud crash, and another explosion of sparks made the dancers scream, and caused a lump to rise in Antoinette's throat. Where were they? Then a young woman in a white dress caught her eye, being led by a young man in soaking wet clothing.

"Christine!" she called, startling the dancers, "my dear, are you alright?"

Christine nodded her head as Antoinette wrapped her arms around the young girl's shoulders, "I'm fine."

"Thank heavens," she breathed, "and you, young man, are you alright?"

"Yes," he replied a bit bitterly, "I will survive."

Antoinette nodded her head, but gave him a quick once over, just in case. He was soaked through with nasty red marks around his neck, and blood seeping through a shoulder wound to stain the white shirt pink.

"You will freeze," she said at length, "there are gendarmes everywhere, go and get some help."

"But I-"

"I will be here with her," Antoinette said, pushing him off, "go and find something warmer to put on, I will stay with her."

Once he was gone, with a final look back, Antoinette turned back to Christine. The poor girl looked as if she were about to faint, "Are you sure you are fine?"

"Yes," she said softly, "just…tired, I guess…"

"If you say so," Antoinette said, peering through the crowds to try and catch a glimpse of her daughter's blonde hair, "have you seen, Meg?"

"No," Christine said, suddenly concerned, "is she not here? Did she get out of the theatre?"

"I'm sure she is fine," Antoinette said, trying to calm her, "come, we should get away and find a place to stay for the night."

As they turned away another loud crash resounded through the streets, causing the horses to scream in terror and the people to gasp as more sparks lit up the night. Christine gave a gasp, obviously thinking the same that Antoinette was. That Meg was still in there, with the building coming down, even as the firemen attempted to quell the flames.

"Its not safe here," Raoul said, jogging up beside them, still soaking wet, "we have to get away."

"But Meg," Christine gasped, "she's still-"

She was cut off as a cry of relief came from several people, and a group of people came towards them from the burning building. Antoinette felt her heart leap at the sight of her daughter's blonde hair.

"Meg!" she called, "my dear, over here!"

"Maman!" Meg cried, eyes wide, "oh, I was afraid I would not find you…Christine, are you alright?"

"I'm fine," she said, "really, just very tired."

"We were just leaving," Raoul said, firmly placing his hands on Christine's arms, "its dangerous here."

"Wait," Meg gasped, grabbing her mother's arms, "I…I have something to show you first."

Antoinette frowned in confusion, but the look in her daughter's eyes told her that she was truly serious, "Alright, my dear, take me there. Monsieur, there is an inn, five blocks from here, it is called Traverse Inn, go there. It is fairly small, but nice enough."

"Madame Giry," he sighed, "why do I not simply take her back to my house."

"Do as I say!" Antoinette exclaimed, "when you are there you will ask for three rooms. We can all pay for our own, so do as I say. We will meet you there."

"Fine," Raoul said heavily, apparently too tired to argue, "Traverse Inn? I believe I know the one."

Antoinette waited a moment before following her daughter, who seemed extremely agitated by something. She led her towards the theatre, then off to the side.

"My dear, it is not-"

"Just follow me!" Meg interrupted, taking her mother's hand.

Antoinette did as she was told, wondering what could possibly have her daughter so upset. But when she was pulled off to the side of the theatre, where there was barely any light, even from the fire, she had a feeling that she knew what she would find in the darkness. Up ahead she could already hear the ragged breathing.

When she saw him her heart immediately leapt into her throat. He, just like the boy, was nearly soaked through and his hair hung limply around his face. In his hand he held a white mask. Upon their approach he looked up, but, despite the look in his eyes, he made no attempt to get away.

"I didn't know what to do," Meg said helplessly.

"You did the right thing," Antoinette murmured, "you did the right thing…"