A/N: So this will be my first Phantom of the Opera story. As much as I would like to write this story based off the original novel or the musical I unfortunately don't clearly remember either of them enough to do either justice. I saw the musical when I was 13 and I read the book when I was 9.

So the only thing I have been able to see and study is the 2004 movie. I have recently bought the original novel but Gaston Leroux and plan to re-read it very soon. I also plan to see the musical again next time it comes into town. For now I will use what I can from the movie and things I have studied about the Paris Opera and other references, including a two-hour documentary about the creation of the phantom.

The prologue takes place right after Christine leaves with Raoul. The first chapter takes place some time later which I will establish after I have decided to what extent I want the separation between Erik and Christine to be.

I need to make a comment before you start reading, though I am a HUGE Erik and Christine fan and wish she had chosen Erik over the lazy Aristocrat Raoul I will try my best to be true to each character and to not allow my bias to cause anything unrealistic in the character development. I have read many published and unpublished sequels and while some disappointed other enchanted me even further. I hope I can create an original sequel of my own and I hope it does not disappoint.

I take this fan fiction more seriously then my others (not to say I care about them any less) for the fact that believe it or not this story in all it's many creative forms has helped to shape my life and shape what my future career will be. This story has also affected my desire to be a novelist because the first time I read the book I was very young and the story enchanted me very quickly. This story has a profound effect on my writing style and I can't thank Gaston Leroux enough for that. (Or at all unfortunately)

My greatest fear (and of course what has kept me from writing a fan fiction or "Phan fiction") is that I will not do justice to the characters, the story, the memories it has given me, or the history behind this great creation. I hope I don't let anyone down.

So to those who have actually taken the time to read this ridiculously long author's note thank you and I hope you enjoy this story.


The Safe House

Madam Giry sat in a chair that was on the far side of a small room; it resided next to a tiny fireplace upon which she was placing pieces of sticks and bark. The room was cold and seemed to suck all heat away into the darkness.

The snow outside fell like pieces of cotton caught on a light breeze. They danced and spun like dancers and Madam Giry couldn't help but think of Christine and Meg. They had grown up in the ballet together, and now they would be separated. Though Madam Giry had wished she could be happy for the now up and coming Opera star she felt her heart was heavy.

Nothing had gone according to plan, better put; nothing had gone according to HIS plan. He had wanted to take her away, but he had not counted on the Vicomte. The young man was brave, foolish and compulsive. Erik had not counted on the Vicomte's brash personality being strong enough to pull Christine away from her master.

So much had happened in a year's time, and now the Opera house was destroyed, it had gone up in flames. Madame Giry's lively hood, her daughter's future, all destroyed. What would they do now? What would become of them all?

A knock sounded on the front door of the small house and Madam Giry stood with a stony face. She hesitated to open it but then another knock came, which was slightly more forceful, she jumped a little and then headed for the door.

She took the handle and waited a moment, a deep breath passed by her lips and then she slowly opened the door. There he stood, The Phantom of the Opera. His eyes filled with rage, and his face covered by a hooded cloak.

"I did not think you would come Antoinette." His low voice said as he passed by her.

"I will always come at your request. I owe you much."

"As I you." He said crossing to a coat rack. He removed his articles of clothing swiftly then fell silent. Madam Giry had just locked the door and bolted it when she turned to see his still figure. The man was unpredictable but he had never harmed her or her daughter. She reached an arm out and spoke softly, "Erik…" she started.

"Do not try to offer comfort. She has made her choice…and it was not I. I can live with her decision though the pain is a cruel reminder. I shall never see her face again." His voice was bitter and angry.

"Do not show such despair. Fate has a way of twisting what is horrible and cruel into something that is wonderful."

"I was lost in my rage, I destroyed everything for her. Our home Nettie, my music… my instruments and all my other works… are gone. My inspiration and my love, even my life. All is adrift in chaos."

"But do you not see Erik? You are as confused and lost as the little boy I once took away and hid. This is your chance to start over, rise from the ashes of the fire like a phoenix. There will be more music, other Opera's. Life will go on."

Erik turned to her and she saw his face, it had been years since she had gazed upon his deformed and scared complexion. She looked now, her face stayed as emotionless as ever, she did not fear him. If anything she pitied him, the only woman he had ever loved had dismissed him, had chosen an Aristocratic boy over the genius that was before her.

Madam Giry did agree that Erik had gone to far on many occasions, but everything he had done, everything he had created in the last few years had been for her. She had walked away from a man who could have given her so much more then wealth and statues, she had walked away from a musical prodigy.

Madam Giry had seen the way Erik could entrance the girl, how he could carry her mind away to places she had only dreamed of. Christine's fear of having no control had really influenced her over all choice. But had she really ever taken the time to try and understand this man?

Perhaps it was really the death that had scared the young singer away, Erik had killed mercilessly and Christine had seen the death that followed this man. Had the girl not seen she was the one who could tame him? She was the one who could bring him peace at last?

"The music has left me, the night has turned it's back on me. Darkness has always been kind to me, taken me into its cold embrace. But now all I feel is the shadows laughing at me, the dark mocks me. I can never write my music again Nettie. I shall never sing another note as long as she is away from me." Erik turned from her and strode to the fireplace; he leaned forward and rested his arm on the mantel as he gazed at the dying embers. His eyes were read from tears of anger and regret. His body shook with each labored breath. He had let her go. Why had he let her go?

The kiss, the kiss she had given him. It had changed something inside him, it had dislodged a little piece of his anger, and made the raging fire of hate and miseries lessen in his heart. The knot in his twisted soul became a little less tight and he could feel warmth race through his body for the first time in his entire life.

He started speaking softly, to who he did not know. He was not even sure Nettie was still behind him. His voice was hollow and quiet, more like a voice that was being choked and pulled from his throat then anything else, "I lost. I lost her; I gave her up like she meant nothing to me. She might as well have meant nothing to me. I was a fool to try, and a fool to believe. I saw the world in shades of gray when I should have seen it in black and white. And it's too late now, she is gone because I let her go, I ruined everything because I let her go. And now I am alone, just like before. Oh bitter days that have transpired you shall taste even more astringent knowing I shall forever reside in darkness. A darkness that no longer even offers me my solace. Cruel fate how she laughs at me, and cruel woman who would spurn my love for another's."

More silence and then Erik spun around and kicked the chair that resided near by; it slammed into the wall and shattered, "WHY MUST I BE AN ANGEL STUCK IN THIS UNHOLY HELL! A DEMON WITH A HALO! AN ANGEL WITH HORNS! OH IT IS ALL THE SAME! A CRUEL TWISTED FALLACY!"

Madam Giry had in fact been watching and she now backed away from him, it was best not to disturb him in moments like this. When he spoke with such eloquence he was at his most dangerous.

Erik then turned on her; she backed away further and locked eyes with him, "Et Tu Brute?" He rounded on her and she kept her back to the wall, "I know what you did Nettie. I am disappointed. You did take me in after all, you protected me till I was grown enough to protect myself. Never did I think you would be the one to lead the Vicomte to me."

Madam Giry's eyes grew wide, "Yes Nettie I know… you led him straight to me. You betrayed me in a way that could rival that of Christine."

"Please Erik… you were killing people. I thought the girl in danger. She is like a daughter to me. I was afraid…"

"Afraid of what?" He barked in an abnormally cruel voice, "Afraid I would harm her? Kill her? Disembowel her? I loved her Nettie!"

Silence fell between them and Erik stared at her with angry eyes, he made no move to come at her and she made no move to escape. "I am… I am sorry I betrayed you Erik. I only had her in mind; what ever happened to the Vicomte was not my concern. If he never came up from the catacombs I would have not even had a second thought of him."

Erik's defiant stance lessened considerably at that last remark, "Christine meant a great deal to both of us. I can understand your thinking but why not come yourself to see to her well being?"

"I feared for my self and my daughter, if I was caught down below… if they knew I had had a hand in your phantomesq reign I would have been killed… Meg as well."

Erik stared at her, his eyes studied her face, and then he stood and straightened his tattered clothes. He walked back over to the fire and stared into it again. He said nothing but as the tension between them faded Madam Giry allowed her body to relax and then she spoke softly.

"You must allow me to speak with my daughter before she meets you Erik. She does not understand much of what has happened and I am afraid that Gabriel and her superstitious ways have made their mark on her. She will be here soon, I told her to not be seen. Are there many people still out?"

Erik didn't look away from the fading fire but spoke with a dry voice, "The mob is still searching the catacombs, it's mostly police and inspectors walking the streets, many of the citizens have come out to watch the fire. They love watching something be destroyed as much as they loved listening to their pathetic Diva."

"I pray she make this journey safely. Come, up the stairs to your new room, I shall bring you some tea in a moment." Madam Giry said as she left the small entryway and headed towards the even smaller kitchen.

Erik didn't move for a moment, his mind was too full of cruel laughter.

HA HA HA! You really thought she could love you. You really thought she would choose to love you.

She kissed me.

She showed you pity, she used your love for her own gain so she could get everything she wanted and you would lose all you knew and loved.

I only loved her.

You loved her because of her voice; you loved how she made you feel. You loved the promise of sex.

That was not my intentions towards her; our one night meant nothing.

Of course it meant nothing… to her. The voice hissed.

She chose him, but she loved me. I don't care what you say I know she loved me.

She put up with you because she knew she needed your tutelage. She took what she needed from you and then left you to rot. You are low, to low for her. She wanted the sun, and all you could give was the moon. She wanted money and power and all you could give was music.

No, not my Christine, she is humble. She is not a murderess wretch like me. Power and control at not her weakness. She loved me. Erik repeated this to himself over and over; he was trying to shove the annoying influence from his head. She loved me and I still love her.

Erik felt his heart breaking more, for he knew truthfully she could never have loved him. She could pity him but never truly love him. She could love his music, but never him.

"Erik please my friend, you must rest. Meg will be here soon and she mustn't see you until she knows the truth." Erik glanced at Nettie and reluctantly nodded, he moved towards her and then passed gracefully up the small flight of stairs to the second floor.

"Your room is on the right." Madam Giry said softly knowing he heard her. A soft knock on the door made Madam Giry turn once again. She moved to the door a little quicker then she needed and unlocked it. She opened it and Meg stood there with a strange look on her face. Madam Giry ushered her inside and then glanced around the streets. No one was around; she shut the door and locked it again.

"Mother. Please, what is this foolishness that has brought me so far from home?"

"Meg, my beautiful child… we must talk. And you must listen with an open heart. Can you do that for me?" Meg stared at her mother in surprise, rarely had her mother ever talked to her like this. Even the tone in her voice was softer then usual.

"Can you Meg? You must promise to open your heart or you will not understand." Meg slowly nodded and her mother sighed pulling the young girl to her breast.

"You are indeed a kind daughter. Come with me now." Madam Giry lead her daughter into the small room with the fireplace and, after righting the chair Erik had kicked, set her daughter down next to the fireplace, Madam Giry sat on the dirty floor, her dress puffed out around her.

"Please mother take the chair, you will get dirty, and your knees will ach." Meg protested trying to stand.

"No Meg, for this story you must be seated."

Meg slowly lowered herself and waited for her mother to start, "Long ago, when I was but a girl I lived in the dormitories of the Paris Opera…"

Erik sat in his room; he stared at the piece of paper before him lined with music bars. Nettie had managed to get her hands on some and had placed it upon his desk in this small hole in the wall that she called a room.

Though he was used to the large room he had once resided in, and used to the never-ending tunnels that twisted and turned under the city he knew staying in such a small cramped space was necessary for now. Until the Parisian's calmed down he could not leave this house, nor could he retrieve any of his things from his lair.

He stared at the lines on the paper until his eyes hurt, he felt a lone tear drop from his eye and it left a blotched mark on one of the black lines.

In his mind he saw blood dripping down the paper from notes he had freshly made. He watched as the blood rolled down the sheet and onto the floor. The blood of his soul, the soul that had created such beautiful music was now shredded. He would never create music again.

He had been bared from the normality of the world, bared from anything that was true and solid. He had been bared from love, from having a real family, from being truly happy. All because of his gruesome face.

He hated everyone, he hated everything, the anger started to boil in him and in an instant he was ready to break the first think he could grab hold off.

A soft knock on the door made him blink and when he looked down at the paper it was white and clean with the exception of the teardrop, which had smudged some of the ink.

"Enter." Erik's raspy voice said. He expected Madam Giry but was not all to surprised to see the young dancer, Meg, enter with a tray of tea and some cookies. She was shaking like a leaf and Eric realized he had not a thing to cover his face with. He turned down the light quickly and then looked to the girl.

"Do not fear child, I am nothing but a man. I shall not harm you." Erik placed his hand over his deformity and Meg seemed to visibly relax. "My mother asked me to bring you this." She said softly placing the tray on the bed.

"I assume she explained to you how we came to meet, and of how our friendship came into being?" Erik asked standing.

He had never realized how tiny Meg was; she was sixteen but shared the same body type as Christine, petite and miniature. She looked up at him with wide eyes, "You need not fear child." He repeated to her and she nodded once again as she looked towards the door.

"Is it really true you were a prisoner of gypsies?" Meg asked.

"I would not say prisoner. My mother, being the kind hearted woman she was, sold me to them." Erik said in a snide voice.

Meg's jaw dropped about half an inch as she stared at him, "That is cruel." Meg whispered.

"That my dear child is what fear can do to a woman who does not understand this." The man said motioning to his face, though Erik knew the girl meant no harm he was no in the mood for this type of interaction.

Meg stared at him a moment and then reached into a satchel that was hanging from her shoulder. Erik had noticed it before but had not given it a thought. She rummaged around a moment and then slowly withdrew from the bag an object that Erik never thought he would see again.

"When we were looking for Christine… we came across your lair. I reached it first and found my way into what I assume was your… private room." She blushed a little and her shaky hands reached out to him holding his white mask.

"I took it as a trophy… I thought… I mean I didn't know who you were I didn't know…" Meg couldn't bring herself to finish.

Erik reached for the mask and took it; he stared at the mask that had become so much a part of him he could hardly ever tell when it was on. It was like a second skin to him now and as much as he wished to put it back on and hide his face from this virtuous child he couldn't.

She gazed at him a moment more as if thinking of a question she wanted to ask, she was not sure how to ask or if it would be considered rude. After a moment she seemed to make her decision.

"May I… May I see it?" she asked moving a little closer.

Erik stared at the girl in surprise, "Are you sure you wish to see it? It has been the cause of many a nightmare."

Meg almost reluctantly nodded, Erik stared a moment longer and hid a sigh. He removed his hand from his face and allowed Meg to approach. She did so slowly and when she reached the desk she aimed to turn the lamp up.

"No, leave it." Erik ordered.

Meg had jumped a little as his hand had shot out towards the lamp. She took a step back and stared, "Come here child." Erik said softly once again beckoning her forward.

Meg finally took a step and came to stand before him, she looked up into his face and saw not the terrible skeleton she had heard stories about but what looked more so like a horrible burn. His eye was a different color then the one on the left side of his face and the skin looked like it had been pulled taught. She reached up slowly and froze inches from it.

"May I?" she asked.

Erik gazed into her eyes and saw not fear but curiosity. He gave one curt nod and Meg allowed her hand to rest on the side of his face. He couldn't help it, he closed his eyes and a deep breath released itself from his throat. Only Christine had ever dared touch his face, his skin ached from the touch. Meg rubbed her fingers along his cheekbone and felt the strange texture of his skin.

It was truly gruesome, but where she once felt fear and hatred for the Phantom that had so often caused trouble for the Opera, she now felt pity and compassion. She saw the longing on his face, she saw the rage and anger and loneliness in his heart. She knew he was not the murdering fiend most thought and now like her mother she swore she would help this man.

No matter the cost to herself or her future.

A/N: So what do you think? Are they out of character? Do I need to go back and rewrite? I love constructive feed back, no flames though; I was never able to appreciate those. I really want to know, don't feel bad about being honest. This is one story I won't mind taking down and making changes to. Tell me honestly! I hoped you enjoyed it.