A/N: I decided to change this story, starting with the first (and only) chapter.
So, now it makes slightly more sense. And its written a bit better.
Christine sees Raoul, recognises him, but he doesn't recognise her, and seems to act disdainfully towards her. She gets miffed, and so their relationship develops differently to the course of the original story. Movie-based.
Splendid, I thought to myself, sighing and shifting uncomfortably as pain shot through my aching limbs.
"Christine?" Meg glanced at me. "Are you alright?"
Realising that I must have sighed out loud, I smiled at her reassuringly. "I'm fine." Meg raised an eyebrow sceptically.
"Really!" I said earnestly. She considered me, not entirely convinced.
"Well…it's probably the prospect of hearing the delightful Carlotta sing," I said lightly. It worked – she giggled, and I laughed with her, stopping quickly as we received a glare from Madame Giry.
"Christine, Megan, Places!"
We mouthed "sorry" to her, and quickly got into position for our entry; I winced again when my muscles started to throb.
Our dance started, and we entered onto the stage. However, half-way through, we were halted by Monsieur Lefevre.
"If I could have your attention please?" he asked loudly. We all stopped dancing, turning to look at him.
"Thank you. I would like to announce that the Opera Populaire has been sold."
There were sounds of surprise and astonishment at his announcement, as everyone turned to their friends to discuss the startling news.
"Who do you think has bought it?" whispered Meg excitedly to me. I sighed.
"I don't really care, Meg."
"What?" Meg gasped, sounding exactly like I would have imagined she would sound if I told her I was a murderer. "How can you not care?! Christine, this is the biggest news in the opera house since…since…" unable to think of anything to say, she trailed off into silence. I raised an eyebrow, and was about to speak when Monsieur Lefevre called for quiet once more.
"And now," he continued, "to introduce the new managers, Monsieur Firman and Monsieur André!"
The two men stepped forward, bowing, as we all applauded politely. Wait. No, I had been mistaken. There was a third man behind them, who looked startlingly familiar…
The man whose name I thought I heard as Monsieur André smiled genially at us all. "I thank you all for your warm welcome. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Opera House's new patron, Vicomte Raoul de Chagny!"
I couldn't believe it. Raoul!? What was he doing here!?
Meg looked over at me, hearing my gasp of surprise.
"What's wrong?" she whispered to me.
"Raoul," I whispered back, "the Vicomte de Chagny, I know him!" Astonishment filled her features.
"You know him? That handsome man?"
"He was a childhood friend of mine," I explained. Thinking back, I smiled slightly. I hadn't seen him in so long…
"Do you think he'll recognise you?"
I tried to look indifferent.
"It has been a while – and it doesn't matter much to me, anyway."
Meg smirked at me, very obviously not convinced. And in a way, she was right. It would be nice if he actually did recognise me – it would be nice to know that he valued those memories enough to be able to know me when he saw me.
Stop it, I scolded myself. The only reason that I had recognised him was because of the announcing of his name. Nothing else…
I jerked myself back to reality in time to hear Monsieur Firman ask Carlotta a question.
Meg and I blinked.
"He can't have just asked her to sing, right?" asked Meg of me despairingly.
"Oh, come on Meg! She – well, her voice, anyway – is not that bad!"
She raised an eyebrow at me, and I smiled sheepishly.
"I know, I know! It's bad to lie!"
We laughed softly, and then cringed as Carlotta started to sing.
I listened to Carlotta's voice, wincing at the screeching tones. Yet again, I marvelled at how anyone could be so tone-deaf as to make Carlotta the prima donna. I glanced over at Meg, and almost laughed at the sight of my best friend's features contorted in a mock grimace of pain. She noticed I was looking, and grinned at me, mouthing the words kill me!
I nodded in agreement, barely keeping myself from breaking into laughter at her expression, when… CRASH!
Carlotta's shriek echoed through the opera house – the nicest-sounding thing to come from her mouth all rehearsal – and all of us watched in astonishment as the curtain fell.
Meg and I barely kept ourselves from laughing at her expression (it was so hilarious!) but sobered rather abruptly as she started to scream.
"I am leaving!" she screeched, her long speech finally coming to an end, as she dragged Piangi out with her. Everyone looked dismayed – and with good reason; what were we going to do without a prima donna?
"This is a disaster!" shouted Monsieur André, who looked as if he were about to cry.
"Christine Daaé can sing it, sir."
I looked around in absolute bewilderment, not realising immediately that those words had come from an unusually serious Meg.
"The chorus girl? Don't be silly!" scoffed Monsieur Firman. I quite agreed with him.
However, urged by Madame Giry and Meg, I was eventually coerced into reluctantly singing. I began hesitantly;
Think of me, think of me fondly,
when we've said goodbye.
Remember me once in a while
please promise me you'll try.
When you find that, once again, you long to
take your heart back and be free
if you ever find a moment
spare a thought for me...
I stopped, uncertain. Had I sung well? No one was saying anything. I thought my voice had been passable, but perhaps I hadn't…
"My apologies, monsieurs, for taking up your valuable time," I whispered, stepping back to my place.
"She will sing it," choked out Monsieur Firman. Monsieur André's face was ecstatic.
But, as I automatically looked to the other side of the room, to where Raoul was, I saw him look straight into my eyes.
And then he shrugged slightly and turned, as if I hadn't been there.
"Well done, Christine!" shouted Meg delightedly, earning a stern look from her mother (which she pretended to ignore.)
Madame Giry nodded – for once in agreement with her daughter – and gave me a rare smile.
"Your teacher will be most pleased," she said.
I smiled back at her, trying to ignore the wave of panic that suddenly hit me.
What if I disappointed him? What if he left me?
Maybe he would even show himself to me, if I performed well at the show.
"You had better rehearse well," Madame Giry remarked, almost as if she could read my thoughts, and I nodded in agreement.
"Christine," Meg whispered to me as we walked to the side of the stage, "be more enthusiastic!" I rolled my eyes.
"I'm too tired to be enthusiastic. And I'm worried that I'll sing terribly and embarrass everyone."
This time, she rolled her eyes.
"Yes, well, when – not if, when – you sing amazingly and dazzle the audience with your glorious splendour, the Vicomte will most certainly notice you."
"I don't wish for him to notice me," I said coldly – a lie, of course – walking away before she could make me feel even worse.
So...opinions? Should I just stuff this story and concentrate solely on "Say you love me" and "Light Within"?
The fate of this dubiously existent narrative is in your hands, mesdames et messieurs. (Well, mainly mesdames, really. No offence at all intended to the males who read POTO fanfic, of course.)