A/N: Okay, this is my first attempt at a Phantom of The Opera fic, but I love the story. Okay, in this fic, I am using the movie from 2004 movie starring Gerard Butler. I am also taking some severe liberties with my OC's background, so if I mess up some of the historical points, I'm sorry. I would also like to say that I realize that my character is going to seem like a Mary-Sue, at least appearence wise, but I am also going on the assumption that in Paris in the 1800's, it would be preferable to have a pale European woman as a bride. Calliope is definately not part of that group. So please, even though I'm sure this plotline has likely been done to death, I can't help myself. Forgivr me. Reviews are appreciated, but please, no flames. And as always, I own nothing recognizable. I am only borrowing the characters.
Madame Giry stood in the office of Mon. LeFevre, the manager of the Opera Populaire with a young woman, her head bowed, blood red hair spilling loose over her face. She wore a plain dark dress, and a black hooded cloak pinned at her throat. She clutched a small chest in her lap, her knuckles almost white she held it so tightly. The manager swept into his office, tucking a small purse into his pocket.
"Good morning, Madame Giry. What can I help you with today?" he asked, his welcome smile lighting the room.
"Monsieur, this is Mademoiselle StClair, the daughter of a great benefactor to the opera house many years ago. Mademoiselle StClair is newly arrived in Paris and is looking for work. I hoped that we could find a place for her here." Madame Giry said, standing regally. The young woman also rose, though her head remained bowed. M. LeFevre looked the girl over with a critical eye.
"Could she not join your ballet rats? She looks to have a dancers figure." he suggested. The young woman's head shot up, her hair sliding back to reveal slightly dark skin and deep amethyst eyes.
"I am not a performer, Monsieur. My trade in my homeland was closer to a seamstress. I can work in the costumes." she said, her voice soft, almost timid. She was at first glance a timid, frightened little mouse, but if one looked a little harder, they would see a hidden fire in her eyes, that spoke of a woman not to be trifled with.
"That is most fortuitous. Our last costume mistress has recently informed me she desires to leave to spend more time with her family. I can get you help at times, but for the most part you will be working alone. Is this acceptable?" M. LeFevre asked. The young woman nodded silently.
"Excellent. I will get her settled in her rooms. We must start work in the morning." Madame Giry said, leading the young woman away through the opera house to the costume mistress' rooms. Once there, the young woman turned and smiled warmly at the ballet mistress.
"Thank you for your help Madame. I am eternally in your debt for your help." she said. Madame Giry shook her head, a slight smile on her face.
"No petite, I am glad to help you. I am sure that you will be happy here. Once you are settled, I will introduce you to my little Meg and Christine Daae. I think you will get along well with them." she said, then took the young girls hand's in hers. "Ami-" she was cut off quickly.
"Please Madame, I do not wish to be called by that name any longer. They need only call me Miss StClair."
"And if someone wishes to call you by your given name?" Madame Giry asked.
"Papa often called me Calliope when I was little. He told me I was a muse reborn on earth. That name will suit me." she replied. Madame Giry nodded, and pressed a motherly kiss to Calliope's forehead.
"Very well Calliope. I will leave you to get settled and later this evening, we will have supper with Meg and Christine." she said, and left the girl to herself. Calliope kneeled and pushed her tiny chest under her bed, then went to the little vanity and stared at her face. Her skin was too pale compared to the women of her homeland, but too dark when compared to these beautiful French women. She sighed and began to braid her hair slowly, humming a song her mother used to sing to her when she couldn't sleep. After a little while, a gentle knock on the door alerted her to a visitor. When she opened the door, she found herself face to face with a young woman of about sixteen, with curly brown hair and big brown doe eyes. She wore the normal attire of the ballet rats.
"Hello Mademoiselle StClair. I'm Christine Daae. Madame Giry asked me to come fetch you for supper." she said, curtseying at Calliope. She smiled warmly at the young dancer.
"It is nice to meet you, Christine. Please, lead the way." she said, following Christine through the halls of the opera house.
"Madame tells me that you are the new costume mistress?" the young girl asked. Calliope nodded.
"Yes. Are you only a dancer, or do you have other skills?"
"I am learning to sing. I have a ways to go, but my teacher tells me my voice will soar to the heavens." Christine said, a slight blush tinting her face. Calliope took the girl's hand in hers.
"If you ever need a place to practice, you are welcome to come visit me in the costume rooms. I would welcome the company, and I would love to hear you sing." she said. Christine blushed deeper, and quickly led the new costume mistress to Madame Giry's private rooms. When they arrived, Meg was already seated with her mother, and smiled brightly at Calliope.
"Hello! I'm Meg Giry. Welcome to the Opera Populaire. How are you finding Paris so far?" she asked brightly. Calliope smiled gently at the young girl as she and Christine sat down.
"It is lovely to finally meet you Meg. Paris is new to me, but I am finding it quite agreeable. I am looking forward to starting my work tomorrow. What is the opera?" the last question was directed at Madame Giry.
"The Barber of Seville. We have about two and a half months before opening night." she replied.
"Let's just hope the opera ghost doesn't muck everything up too terribly." Meg said. Calliope glanced at the blonde girl, frowning slightly.
"Opera Ghost?" she asked.
"Yes, the opera house is haunted by a masked specter. He sends mysterious notes written in red ink to the manager, making demands about changes to the operas, and he also demands a huge salary. If the manager refuses, things start going wrong. M. LeFevre always makes sure to pay the ghost so nothing too terrible happens, but several people have seen the ghost in the rafters during rehearsals." Meg said. Calliope just looked at the young girl, not believing that a ghost haunted the opera house.
"Meg, that is quite enough. Mademoiselle StClair doesn't need to hear this nonsense." Madame Giry said sharply. Meg quickly bowed her head in shame. The rest of the meal was spent in relative silence, and Christine led Calliope back to her rooms.
"Christine, would you like to come in for a moment? I would like to hear you sing a little." Calliope asked. Christine nodded eagerly and stepped in the rooms. Calliope sat down in a chair near the fireplace and looked to Christine expectantly, who began to shyly sing a soft melody. As the song progressed, the young girl became more confident, and it showed in her singing. Calliope listened, entranced, until the young dancer was done.
"I'm still not very good." Christine murmured. Calliope shook her head quickly.
"That's not true, that was beautiful! I shall call you petit rossignol! Who is your teacher?" she asked. Christine glanced at the door, then kneeled before the older woman.
"I will tell you, but you must promise not to say a word to anyone. Not even Madame Giry." she whispered.
"I promise I will not tell a soul." Calliope replied.
"When my father died, he told me he would send me an Angel of Music, and he did. My Angel of Music is my teacher." Christine said, her eyes shining. Calliope smiled at her and brushed her hair back.
"Rossignol, I am very pleased you have an angel to teach you. You are welcome to use my rooms to practice when I am in the costume rooms, and tell your angel that I am pleased he was sent to you." she said.
"You truly believe me? Even though you do not believe in the opera ghost?" Christine asked.
"Of course I believe you. In my homeland, we truly believe in the mystical, and that includes angels. I will not say that the opera ghost does not exist, but I will not fear him. I have spent too much time afraid." Calliope replied, a shadow crossing her eyes for a moment. Christine smiled warmly and embraced the older woman.
"Thank you, Mademoiselle StClair. I can tell we will become great friends." she said.
"In that case, you may call me Calliope." the costume mistress replied.
A/N: Well, here's the first chapter. No Erik yet, but he will be showing up soon. A quick note, this chapter takes place about two years before the movie starts, and the next chapter jumps right into the first scene.