Arrival

We know what a person thinks not when he tells us, but by his actions - Anatole France


A/N: Well here it is, the first rewritten chapter of "Time to Heal." I like it, and hope that you will enjoy it as well. Tell me what you think in a review. Oh and also...Disclaimer: I do not own Phantom of the Opera in any way shape or form. I do own the plot of the story though, along with all the originial characters.

The rain pattered against the ground, bouncing off the blades of grass and the cobblestone drive, causing them to glitter in the fading light. In front of him the manor loomed as an ominous shadow against the bleak sky.

It had been Madame Giry who had sent him here, to the estate nestled in the English countryside, recommended as an architect. So now he stood with the rain pelting down on him, soaking through his already wet clothes. He didn't want to climb those stairs up to the porch, or to knock on the door to meet people he did not want to meet. And yet somehow he found himself in front of the large oak door, slamming the brass knocker against it three times.

"Yes?" a maid, asked, peering at him from beneath red bangs.

"Bon soir, est ce que-" he bit his tongue, "good evening, is this the Beaumont estate?"

"Yes it is, sir," the maid squeaked, opening the door fully, "please step inside, I will get Monsieur Beaumont for you. May I ask your name?"

"Simply tell him the architect is here," Erik replied, eyes sweeping the large front hall to take in the marble floor and large staircase that lead to the landing above.

"Yes, sir," the maid said, bowing low before scuttling off like a mouse.

Erik remained by the door, observing his surrounding until Monsieur Beaumont arrive. He then turned his eyes on the older man's slightly plump form and bushy moustache.

"You are late, Sir!" the count barked, "We expected you an hour ago."

"I was delayed," Erik replied smoothly.

"You are also dripping on my floor."

"It is raining," Erik pointed out, "something that I am sure you are aware of. The weather has been terrible all day, hence; my delay."

The count just frowned, seemingly unable to come up with an argument. It was at that moment that a women entered, her greying blonde hair swept back in a neat bun, "is he here?" she asked, turning her attention to Erik, "oh, is this him, Richard? My, what a handsome young man."

"Yes that is him," Richard grumbled.

Erik gave a small bow, "Good evening, Madame."

"A French accent?" she asked, "how curious. Richard, you never told me that he was French."

"I did not think it was pertinent information," he replied.

"Well," the countess said, turning her attention back to Erik, "let's have a look at you. Come on, off with that cloak."

Erik stiffened slightly at the request and reluctantly shouldered off the clock. He knew he looked a mess, his clothing all soaked through and clinging to his lithe form. His shirt stuck out from under his waistcoat and his cravat had loosened over the trip. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she gave him a once over, crossing his arms over his stomach when he had finally had enough.

"Thin aren't you?" she tutted, "and it looks as if the trip has left you a little worse for wear, hmm?"

"Perhaps," he agreed.

"Sir," the mousey maid squeaked, "the man's belongings have been taken up to his room, and the cook wished to inform you that supper will be ready in ten minutes."

"Very well then, tell my son then," he grumbled, waving her away.

She gave a quick curtsey and hurried off, "Yes, Sir."

"You must be hungry," the countess said, smiling kindly, "come and I will show you to your room. You can then get changed and come down. The dining room is just through those doors there."

Erik nodded his head following her hand with his eyes, before following her up the stairs and down the hall to the assigned room. She opened the door for him and motioned inside, "This will be yours for as long as you stay here. I hope that you will find it comfortable and will see you in ten minutes for supper."

"Dix minutes," he repeated softly, "very well."

"Ah French," she chuckled, moving to pat his arm.

He drew away quickly and then smoothed his sleeve awkwardly, "I suppose I am used to it."

"Of course," she said, frowning slightly, "well then, dix minutes."

He nodded slowly, "Yes…"

She left his then and he entered the room, giving it a critical once over. It was large, with an oak wardrobe and large four poster bed. A large window occupied the wall opposite the door and beneath it was a large desk, perfect for the work he would be doing. It looked comfortable and was clean, all that he had truly expected and a little more.

He sighed and flung cloak over the desk chair before rummaging through his belongings for clean clothes. He would unpack later, and settled for quickly changing into clean, dry clothes before slipping back out into the hall and making his way down to the dining room.

"He seems like a nice young man," the countess commented.

"He seems cold," Richard snorted, "I am not sure about him, Amanda. He has a peculiar way about him, and he looked ill. Did you notice how pale he was, and that mask…it's just strange."

"Oh be quiet, father," Alex snapped, taking his seat at the table, "you're being terribly vain. If he is as good as Madame Giry said then what should his appearance matter? Or don't you trust her?"

"Of course I do! Her husband was a close friend of mine; and you have not met him yet, Alexandre."

"You two," Amanda sighed, "no fighting please. Alex, how was your day?"

"Perfectly dull," he shrugged.

"If you are not riding or out with that woman you are bored. You have absolutely no work ethic," Richard complained.

"I love Adrienne," he retorted, then ran a hand through his honey coloured hair, "will the architect be joining us?"

"Of course he will," Erik answered, "he was invited, after all."

"Oh!" Alex jumped, turning around to look at him, "good evening."

Amusement flickered through Erik's eyes, his predatory walk often allowed him to startle people, "Good evening."

The boy stood first, offering his hand, "I'm Alexandre, it's a pleasure to meet you…?"

Erik recoiled slightly from the offered hand, only just managing to keep his lip from curling, "Indeed….and my name is Erik."

Alex nodded and moved to clap him on the shoulder. Erik reacted quickly and purely on instinct, grabbing the wrist and twisting the arm around violently, stopping just short of breaking it with a muttered apology.

"Pardoner moi. I injured my shoulder not long ago."

Richard eyed him with suspicion, "Indeed…well, do not let it happen again, hmm?"

"Of course not," Erik agreed, "If you do not mind though, I think I will go to my room now. I'm afraid the trip was more tiring than I though and I am not feeling very well."

"The Chanel can be rough," Amanda said sympathetically, "just have a good sleep."

Erik gave a small bow, "Merci."

He then turned on his heel and glided out of the room and up to his room.