Author's Note: To those of you have read A Father's Promise: I said it would be up soon. My reward/thanks to you for such tremendous feedback. I could try for months - as I seem to be wont to do - but I would still fail to express how much your reviews, comments, criticisms and praises all meant to me. Forgive me if that sounds cheesy, but it's true.
For those of you who haven't read A Father's Promise: don't read beyond this prologue. If this intrigues you, then go and read the story it follows. And by the way, it DOES follow, so you'll need to read it to make sense of what's to come.
To any and all who are reading this: thank you, and enjoy! Nedjmet.
Disclaimer: The characters and storyline of The Phantom of the Opera on which this story is based are – to the best of my knowledge – the property of Gaston Leroux and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Neither do I own any of the songs or music I make use of or refer to in this story. No infringement of copyright is intended. I have the greatest respect for the creators of all of the above and mean no offence by using their material. This story is a sequel, and this and the original it is based on are my own work with the exceptions mentioned above. Please do not use without permission.
The theatre was old. And everything about it was forbidding: from the dark stone it was built of to the gothic façade that adorned the front, challenging anyone to look on it with anything less than awe. Had it been night instead of late afternoon, the picture would have been complete.
It was perfect.
The young woman staring up at it finally gathered the nerve to enter. Refusing to look around, knowing she would be lost in the wonder of the place, she merely asked the first person she saw for directions. As silently as a ghost, she made her away along the strange yet familiar corridors. She heard him before she came in sight of the room. Smiling, she thought on how little things had changed over the years. Finally reaching her goal, she quietly opened the door and stuck her head round it. The rehearsal room was simple, though from the sounds of the orders being given, the activity within was anything but.
Finally realising that the attention of the musicians was not focussed solely on him as it should have been, the conductor turned her way, ready to take all his frustrations out on the intruder who dared interrupt the master at work. Catching sight of her, his jaw dropped and she disappeared before he could pick it up again, satisfied that he'd received her message.
Turning back along the corridors, she allowed her feet to trace a path that felt as though she'd walked it a thousand times before. Disappearing into the depths of the theatre, she came across a door that had obviously sat unopened for a very long time. Reaching into her bag, she took out the key and placed it in the lock, taking a steadying breath before she turned it.
Astonishingly, the room truly was untouched, but that did not make it any less wonderful. She made her way silently inside. Everywhere the eye could see; dust lay thick and smooth.
Everywhere she looked, she saw magic.
As she moved around the large dressing room, that feeling pervaded. Everything about the place, even that which she had dared not gaze upon for fear of drowning; everything had enchanted her. Now, within this room, she could feel something creeping over her that had almost been forgotten. Reaching the picture that hung in pride of place on the wall, she saw what she had been looking for, and mouthed in wonder:
Turning to one of the cupboards, she unlocked it carefully and took out what was hidden within. Once everything was in place, she removed her glasses, just in time to hear the quiet, reverent knock on the door. She heard it open, but kept her back to the man she knew had entered, waiting until the portal closed once more. Then she opened her mouth and let Music speak as only it could.
"But come ye back in homage of Paddy's day, or when the music's all but gone away, 'Tis I'll be here in melody or silence," turning, at last she faced him and saw the tears in his eyes, "Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny boy at last, I'm home!"
Folding her in his arms, in utter astonishment at last he whispered:
AN: Now seriously, what did you think was going on as you were reading? Tell me or I'll wait a week to write the next chapter:) N.