Disclaimer: Anything Phantom and X-Men related are not mine. Only original characters belong to me, so if you want to use my O/C's please ask first. Thanks.
AN: Here it is, another Phantom of the Opera story, but mixed with the X-Men. This has both the movie and comic-TV show versions of our favorite mutants, but hopefully I didn't mess it up too badly. Basically, it is the cartoon's storyline and X-Men, but with the physical actors portraying the characters. However, Scott will be taller than in the movie, and Rogue will be at least 5-10 years older. Plus, Rogue and Gambit will probably have that little "romance thing" going on between them; there won't be any Rogue/Iceman in this story. Sorry. And the school will be like the one in the movies, with lots of students and the X-Men teaching classes.
Also, I would like to mention that I hope that my fictional character is unique. She has several mutant powers, and I'm praying that I'm not copying any of the original comic book X-Men. If so, it is pure coincidence, I didn't mean to do it, and I'm making no money off of this, so it should be okay.
PS: The lead O/C female's name is pronounced (at least in my mind) "Ah-Nor-Ra," and it's a real name. I thought it sounded cool, so I chose it. It sounds pretty, doesn't it? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the chapter and will review. Thanks!
Chapter 1: Born Different:
Her parents hadn't wanted her.
Oh, they'd been thrilled when they found out about the pregnancy, and had welcomed her into the world with prideful smiles and laughter. They had named her Annora, a variant of the name Honora, meaning honor, and had hovered over her crib as she fell asleep in it for the first time. They decided to nickname her "Nora." Finally, they were a happy family.
Sadly, it didn't last.
A year later, odd things began to happen. Objects moved on their own, gradually floating over to the eager, grabbing hands of little Nora. Her mother had almost fainted, and her father had cursed when they realized what she was. Their little Nora was a mutant.
Unsure of what to do, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews sat down to try and sort things out. Their daughter was only a baby, barely a toddler. She was already learning to walk, and would be enough of a handful without toys and bottles floating around whenever Nora wanted something. Frightened, her mother knew she couldn't handle that, and her father didn't want anyone to get hurt when things, literally, went flying.
Driven to the brink of their wits, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews decided to give their child up for adoption, hoping that someone would take Nora in and put up with her powers. They didn't have the chance to put their plans into action.
On the east coast of the United States, in a hidden chamber beneath his mansion, Professor Charles Xavier detected the existence of little Nora Andrews by using his machine known as Cerebro, a device that allowed him to sense every mutant on the planet. Surprised at the youthful age and strength of the girl, he traveled to the Andrews' residence and cautiously approached the worried and fearful parents.
"Your daughter is one of the rare mutants who are born with their gifts," he told them. "Normally, they develop their powers when they reach puberty, but occasionally, they are born with powers, or develop them early. Your daughter is one of those few."
He carefully watched both parents' expressions. "She will need a great deal of guidance and teaching in order to keep her powers focused and in control. I can help with that."
Xavier wasn't surprised when they practically thrust the child into his arms, telling him that he was welcome to her; he read it in their minds and on their faces, their fear and their desire to be rid of a child with powers they didn't understand. He couldn't help but feel sorry for the confused little girl in his lap.
Knowing that Nora faced great difficulties in her future, Professor Xavier took the toddler and left, never to see the Andrews couple again.
Watching his daughter practice in the training room, Charles felt a swell of pride swell inside him. She was coming along better than he'd hoped, and he'd done his best to raise her right. As it was, Annora, codenamed Halo, had turned out quite well,
Her dark brown hair flying out behind her, Halo ducked out of the way as an attack robot came at her, launching a barrage of bullets at the glowing force field that protected her. It was amazing how strong Annora's shields could be: from the careful testing they'd done so far, she could be in the direct path of a missile launcher and come out the winner if fired upon. However, when it came to rockets released from air crafts, the best she could do was deflect them and pray that they never hit her directly. After that, she'd be made into a pile of human pudding.
"Concentrate, Halo," Xavier called into the microphone in front of him. "You can do better."
Then again, she had been at this for nearly two hours, and at various training levels. She'd earned a break after this sequence. Xavier pushed a few buttons on the control panel before going back to watching his daughter adjust her tactics.
Focusing on the attacking droid, Annora's eyes narrowed as a hand lashed out, releasing a telekinetic force that was like a brick wall. The droid staggered back, one arm loosely hanging by the shoulder and the front highly caved in, but it was still functioning. It fired at her once more, but her shielding held. Another blast of telekinetic energy, and the robot was scrap metal.
Rolling her eyes, she looked up at the observation window. "You did that on purpose," she said with a slightly impish pout. "You know you're not supposed to do that!"
Though she couldn't see it through the observation glass, Charles smiled fondly at her. "You've been at this for a while, Halo," Xavier gently chided her. "Remember what I said about overusing your gifts: If you drain yourself too much, they will fail you when you need them most."
Annora sighed and nodded. "Yes, Father."
She was not being snide when she said that; Annora had called Charles 'father' for many years and always meant it affectionately. For some reason, she never wanted to call him 'dad,' 'daddy,' or even 'papa.' Her explanation was that it was a show of respectful and love, and he accepted that. Besides, Charles rather liked it.
Pleased with the outcome of the exercise, Xavier wheeled himself out of the observation room and headed for the entrance to the Danger Room, reaching it just as the doors opened. He and his daughter met in the hallway and both made their way to the area that housed the usual things needed for after a 'workout.' There, using her telekinetic powers, Annora called a towel to her hand and wiped the sweat from her face, as another hand summoned a bottle of water. Once she was rehydrated and relatively dry, she leaned over and pressed a kiss to the top of Charles's bald head.
"Well done, dear girl," he said, reaching up to pat her face. "But I'm afraid you still smell rather foul, so you'd best clean up before dinner."
"Yes, Father," she said with a sigh. Not saying another word, she made her way to the showers to clean up.
Shaking his head, the founder of the X-Men aimed his chair towards the elevator that would take him to the upper most levels of the mansion. Of course, Annora knew she wasn't his birth daughter. She had been told the hard truth years ago: that her mother and father hadn't wanted a mutant for a child, and had passed her off to Charles in order to get rid of her. She had slowly grown to accept this truth, because the world was full of fear, and her natural birth family hadn't the courage to raise a child with "special needs."
After taking her under his wing, Charles had been determined to teach Annora everything he could about controlling her powers. What he hadn't counted on, however, was that, over time, she began developing not only telekinesis, but also the ability to generate glowing force fields, the rare ability of flight, and a dash of telepathy. All these gifts combined made her a very powerful mutant indeed.
First, her telekinesis grew quickly, sometimes causing Charles to grow fearful that she would act out of control, especially when she grew emotional. Luckily, Annora's grip on her abilities in that area was sound, and the only time she 'lost it' was when she was angry and really wanted to break something, which was rare. Annora was very good at keeping hold of her temper.
The power that had earned her the nickname/codename of Halo had manifested just before her fifth birthday. One night, in the darkness of her room, Charles discovered that Annora had started to glow with a soft golden light. Concerned, he'd taken her to the laboratory hidden beneath the mansion and scanned her for the possibility of radiation; it would not be the first time a mutant developed a dangerously radioactive power.
Luckily, the results had been negative, but the glow remained. Annora seemed to like it, since she didn't like the dark, and had quickly grown accustomed to it. Since then, whenever she called on her light generating ability, she focused it to form a golden ball above her head, illuminating not only her, but also her surroundings. The ball of light resembled the halos drawn over the head of angels, and so Xavier had dubbed her 'Halo,' making it her codename. She thought it silly, and thought that 'Aura' would have been better; much to her disappointment, Halo stuck.
And as though those gifts weren't enough, Annora began developing other abilities as she grew older.
Her glowing force field came into play when she was eight-years-old, on a day that Charles had decided to take her out to play in the park. It was a lovely day, and he had watched her carefully as she settled herself into the sandbox. She had been happily building a sand mountain when some of the other children had decided to pick on her as a form of amusement. Those children had quickly learned their lesson on not to be bullies.
Charles smiled at the memory. Annora had noticed the strange looks the children had been giving her, and had been frightened at the thought of being hurt. As one of the little boys tried to pounce on her, he hit what felt like an invisible wall and slid to the side. The others thought that he'd tripped, and tried to finish what he'd started. They also failed, and within five minutes, Charles was wheeling away from the scene, a happy and unhurt Annora in his lap, and a gaggle of crying and confused children sitting in the sandbox. The two of them never returned to that particular park again.
After further study of this new power, Xavier determined that his daughter's force field was an extension of her glowing ability. By the time she was thirteen, this particular power had strengthened to its maximum potential, making it so that she could protect a group of people under her shield when things turned dangerous. It was really quite handy, and had kept her and other X-Men safe on several missions.
By now, the elevator had reached the top floor. Using the remote on his wheelchair, Charles headed for the window that overlooked the basketball court. Several of his students were there, playing under Cyclops's strict gaze. Charles sat there for a good while, watching the teams and the players with a sense of contentment.
The sound of moving air reached his ears, and he turned, just in time to see his daughter float up the stairs and into the room. Smiling, she drifted up beside him and landed silently on his right. Her flying ability had been the last power she'd come into, and the most difficult to train. Luckily, Storm and Rogue had been with them by then, and had taken to giving her flying lessons.
Shaking her shoulder length, chocolate-brown hair out of her eyes, Annora pressed another kiss to the top of her father's head; her short stature of five feet three inches made it easy for her to do so. Dark brown eyes sparkled in amusement as she watched the younger students on the basketball court, a few using their powers as they played. Cries of protest went up, declaring that powers were off limits.
Looking at his child, Charles couldn't help but wonder if he should have let her grow up with other children, something that hadn't been possible after the playground incident. He had wanted to enroll her in public school, but with her powers manifesting in unpredictable ways, Charles had decided it best to keep Annora with him in the mansion until she knew when not to use her abilities. Sadly, this had never happened, and he had been forced to give her an education all on his own, away from those who might judge and harm her.
Not that she had been lonely, of course. Over time, their little family of two had expanded greatly, and included many other mutants who had become as close to Annora as any blood family could. Jean Grey, Ororo Munroe, and Scott Summers were among the first to join them, coming under Charles's wing as teenagers. They quickly became like siblings to Annora, and trained with her for many years, the four of them honing their powers and earning their codenames together. Later, Logan, also called Wolverine, and Remy LeBeau (Gambit) joined the group, as did Rogue and Dr. Hank McCoy (Beast).
With so many mutants offering her love, guidance, and advice, it was hard for Annora to be lonely. After all, she had Jean, Rogue and Storm for sisters, while the men had become foster uncles and older brothers.
'But even with so many other mutants around, I never dreamed she would turn out to well-rounded,' he thought, smiling slightly, just as he always did whenever he thought about his daughter.
Well, considering the training she had in teamwork and using her powers to help the X-Men, it was no wonder. Between Charles and Hank, Annora had received one of the best private educations a young person could get, one that was easily the equal of a collage graduate. At eighteen, she had been awarded a diploma from the local university, attended the graduation ceremony, and received all the honors that came with attending college.
After that, however, Charles though a change in scenery would do Annora some good. Right after her graduation, Charles had asked her to leave the mansion and experience the outside world for herself, a task she happily accepted. She had then proceeded to spend several years traveling the globe, forming friendships with both humans and mutants alike while seeing and experiencing a great deal more than she ever thought possible.
At twenty three years old, Annora had returned, bringing back all of her knowledge and experiences home with her. Now, at age twenty five, Annora was a part-time teacher at the school, where she taught dance. The students couldn't get enough of her courses, particularly her class on belly dancing and the Indian choreography course; both were always filled to capacity. Even the boys liked attending, though they'd never admit it.
"I am calling a meeting today," Xavier casually mentioned as they both watched the basketball game down below. "You really should attend this time."
Halo sighed and rolled her eyes. "Father, I really don't want to," she said, crossing her arms over her chest. "Can't I just get a summary of it from Storm later?"
"You, my dear girl, are officially the first mutant I took in and trained," he said, turning to look at her. "As my legally adopted daughter, you have been here the longest, and unlike the others, a mutant practically from infancy. Therefore, you are, technically, above Scott and the other X-Men in rank, and have a right to be on the Council."
"But I don't want to be on the Council," she huffed. "I like going out to bring runaway mutants here to the school, and I like teaching them to become as smart and well-trained as the X-Men. It's a lot more fun than talking about how we're going to combat Uncle and his followers."
Charles frowned. 'Uncle,' as she named him, was Magneto, and the two had been introduced a long time ago, when he and Charles had been on better terms. Now, though, Charles would very much like his daughter's association with him to end, lest Magnus try and sway his Halo towards a far more destructive cause.
However, both Annora and the metal-controlling mutant were fond of each other, and Magneto did his best to stay on her good side. Occasionally, a package would arrive with Magneto's signature in the corner to indicate who it was from. Inside was always a gift, and Annora always liked it because they were little shiny metallic figurines, clearly products of her doting "Uncle." Three whole shelves in her bedroom were decorated with them.
"Please don't argue with me on this," Xavier told her firmly. "I want you at that meeting tonight, no excuses."
Sighing, Annora rolled her eyes and, literally, flew out the door.
Sighing, Annora handed a plate to Kitty Pryde and smiled at her charge. Thanks to Kitty, Annora was able to get out of this evening's meeting of X-Men. The normally graceful young student had managed to twist an ankle while practicing a dance routine, and Annora had jumped at the opportunity to look after her. Her job was to make sure that Kitty stayed where she was and didn't phase through the wall just because she was bored with sitting in bed and resting.
"Besides, I'd rather have you hovering over me," Kitty had whispered into Annora's ear once they were alone. "You're more fun to gossip with, and I like hearing your stories about where you've traveled to."
And really, Annora was glad to stay with her. Since she was quite a few years younger than the other X-Men, Annora fell into an awkward age category between the teachers and the students: she was younger than thirty, but older than the teenage students who attended the school, so she didn't really fit into either group. Even Rogue was older than her, though not by much.
Still, because she was so close to them in age, Annora was popular with the students, and they often went to her because she seemed to be able to "make things better" when things went wrong during class or in life in general. It was rather touching, knowing how much the younger people liked her.
Not that the other X-Men weren't fond of her, too, even if they were all older than her. She, Jean, Storm and Rogue liked to sit up late sometimes, chatting and eating junk food until the early hours of morning. Scott and Gambit were her big brothers, the ones she turned to if she didn't want to trouble her father for advice with a problem. Logan was her protective uncle, and Beast was a second father to her. She loved them all and counted herself lucky to have them as her family.
But somehow, that wasn't enough. Despite this loving group that was almost family, part of her was missing –and she knew exactly what it would take to fill it up. She saw it every time Scott and Jean traded looks in the hallways or kisses in dark corners of the mansion.
'Cheesy, but that's what I want,' she thought while tucking Kitty into bed. 'I want someone to look at me the way Scott looks at Jean.'
She envied Jean in that. After all, Scott loved her with all his heart, and would do anything for her just to see her happy. Logan had a thing for Jean, too, and though the red-head had some feelings for him, Jean would never betray Scott in any way. It was clear to anyone that Scott and Jean were meant to be together, and Annora had the strongest feeling that Scott was about to pop the question soon –well, if he ever got the courage to do so.
Sighing, she headed to her room and shut the door. One day, she'd meet a man who would love her in spite of her mutant abilities, but right now, she wouldn't hold her breath about it.
AN: Well, there's chapter one. I hope it wasn't too dull, but I need to push all of the background info out there so that everyone knows what's up. Please let me know what you think by reviewing! Thanks!