A.N: Hello and welcome to my fanfic ^.^ now, I'm on a huge Phantom kick right now and this story has been nagging me in the back of my head since I last watched the movie (so…yesterday :P) And I just want it to be known that Christine is NOT the object of Erik's affections. He gives her lessons and is her angel of music, THINKS he loves her, but isn't obsessing, mad characters are so difficult to write…

Jareth: Meanwhile she's been neglecting MY fanfiction….

Me: Oh hush Jareth. Don't mind him, he's from my Labyrinth fanfic which I admittedly have been neglecting…I lack inspiration I'm sorry!

Erik: **swings Punjab lasso** should I take care of him?

Me: No no, don't want the fan girls attacking….wait…if both of you are here in the same room…

**hear the fangirls start to break down the door**

Me: Crap. Okay- you two hold 'em off. I'm gonna get on with the story.

Please enjoy, review, follow and or favorite :3

Song: Once Upon a December, performed by Liz Callaway from the 20th Century Fox flick Anastasia

Chapter 1- L'Opéra Populaire

The carriage bounced constantly on the cobblestone streets of Paris, but the single passenger in the carriage was used to rougher terrain. She rested her head against the cold glass and watched the rain drops slither down it, imagining they were having a race to see which could merge with the larger droplets first.

Esmeralda bit her lip nervously as she twisted the white lace gloves she held in her hands. What if they had changed their minds? What if they didn't let her have the job because she was nothing more than an outcasted gypsy? She didn't have a place amongst these upperclassmen or professional entertainers.

The carriage jerked to a stop- Esmeralda opened her eyes and sat up in her seat, pulling on her gloves. The driver came around and opened the door before she could get it herself. He was a nice man; ginger hair and sparkling blue eyes. He looked pale and quite cold- Esmeralda didn't blame him, it was late November and already unbearably cold. She smiled warmly and took his offered hand to help her out of the carriage.

"Merci beaucoup, Monsieur." she said.

"N-n-not a p-prob-lem M-m-miss." the driver shivered, taking her bag down from the rack above.

Esmeralda took it and opened it quickly, taking out the woolen scarf that lay on top. She handed it, along with the money for the trip, to the driver.

"Oh n-no miss I-"

"Monsieur, I want you to have it. You cannot deny a customer, can you?"

The driver looked over this young woman and smiled gratefully. "Thank you." he said, wrapping the scarf around his neck.


The opera house was abuzz, a thing that even Erik couldn't ignore. He'd spent most of that morning listening to ballet rat's gossip about a new dance instructor. The stage hands spoke of a new dancer that was actually there to help paint sets. Frimin and André did not say much about it, most likely in fear of receiving an angry letter with a grinning skull seal.

Finally, the time had come for Erik to wait behind a passage that was hidden by a painting in the main lobby- peering through holes that were made where the person's eyes were.

Firmin and André were waiting there along with Madame Giry, her daughter Meg and Christine. Both girls were conversing with one anther, until the doors were opened and Erik breathed in sharply.

She was beautiful. Dark olive skin, raven black hair that fell past her shoulders and had a black ribbon to hold it back. She wore a dark red dress that fell off her shoulders, the skirt falling loosely to her ankles, and a black sash around the waist. The girl- no, the young woman, peered around in awe of the massive room. Erik couldn't help but feel his heart swell with pride at the look of wonderment in her glass green eyes at his opera house. She had a delicate form, but possessed an air of strength. But it couldn't be...

"Mademoiselle Gringoire," Firmin bowed politely. "Lovely to see you again."

"Monsieur." Mlle Gringoire curtseyed gracefully. She spoke quietly, but with the voice of...of...

"Angel." Erik whispered.

"Mlle, this is our Ballet Mistress, Mme Giry." the two ladies curtseyed to one another.

"Pleasure," Mme Giry smiled. "This is my daughter, Meg and her friend Christine. Both are ballerinas."

The girls greeted the newcomer, and then Meg blurted out "Why- you aren't wearing shoes!"

Mlle Gringoire chewed her lip nervously and looked down at her feet- which were indeed bare. "My apologies," she said. "I had taken them off while I was in the carriage, I must have forgotten to put them back on..."

Erik was reminded of a young girl he once knew. One that never wore shoes...He shook his head to clear his mind of such thoughts and watched on.

"No matter," André said. "Mme Giry, if you could please have your daughter show our new painter to her home."

So, Erik thought. For once the stage hands were right.

"Ah but don't forget mon ami." Firmin added. "The lovely Mademoiselle will be dancing for us as well."

Hm, this could be...interesting...


Meg and Christine led Esmeralda through the halls of the opera house, asking questions trying to get to know the new gypsy girl.

"Where did you live before you came here?" Christine asked.

"With my adoptive parent- thought before that I was part of a traveling circus." Esmeralda lied smoothly. She had rehearsed this story many times before her job interview with the two owners. She didn't want anyone to know what she had done before.

"Oh that must have been so exiting!" Meg giggled. "Did you travel to many places?"

"All over," Esmeralda smiled. This she could say honestly. "France, England, Germany, even Persia, Russia and Turkey- I doubt there is a town on this side of the world I have not seen."

Her room was down the hall from La Carlotta's dressing room- "You poor thing," Meg had pitied her. "I hope that you've brought earplugs."

"If she cannot sing, why is she the lead soprano?" Esmeralda asked before opening the door to her room.

"Because there is no one else to take her place." Christine explained. "That, and the public demands her."

Esmeralda shook her head. "I do not understand upperclassmen. The only reason they seem to attend these shows it to show they have the money to do so." She sighed lightly. "I wonder whatever happened to the music…?"

Erik stared through the shadows in wonder, she thought the same? That these pompous rich opera goers went for entirely superficial reasons? He had never heard anyone say it aloud before, other than when he spoke to his cat.

Mlle Gringoire bade Meg and Christine goodnight, claiming to be extremely tired. He traveled through the walls and into the passage that joined with the one in La Carlotta's room. Much like that in the soprano's room, it was covered by a large mirror that was fixed to the wall. Erik watched the Mlle enter her room and look around. It was fairly simple- just a spare room like so many others. The walls were white and there was a bed, dresser and vanity.

With a light sigh the Mlle placed her carpet bag on the bed and began unpacking. She hummed to herself a soft tune; something about it was familiar to Erik. From her bag, the Mlle produced a smaller velvet bag. She took out an item that Erik couldn't see other than it was round and fit in the palm of her hand.

"Hear this song and remember…" her soft alto voice sang, Erik suspected she was not even aware she was singing. It was beautiful none the less. "Soon you'll be home with me, once upon a December…"

No…Erik thought, stepping back away from the mirror. It-it can't be…


Me: Phew, we managed to keep away the fangirls from attacking two of the sexiest, broken hearted men.

Jareth: Finally finished this boring chapter. Will you work on my story now?

Me: Maybe if you behave. But now I'm going to upload a new chapter for Erik. What do you think of the OC Erik?

Erik: She seems nice, but I'm a bit too...sappy, if you will.

Me: Bite me. Sexually. ;) And just so you all know, the Erik in this story will look like Gerard Butler from the 2004 movie. He'll also sing like him (yes, there will be songs that I've re-written a bit to fit in better) His mannerisms, however, will be more like...Ramin, I suppose. Just because I think that phantom's a bit gentler. Time to edit chapter 2! Don't forget to click that review button- even if you're just telling me how sexy Erik is.