Hello everyone! Remember me? I deleted this story two months ago, and I think it's time to bring it back again. I deleted mostly because I didn't know how to continue it and I felt that I was stuck on it for too long. And plus I had a lot on my plate while writing this. My cousin was diagnosed with HIV, which really hit hard in my family including me, I've been busy with finals and a bunch of testing, and I got bored a lot writing this story and soon it felt like something I had to do and not what I want to do. I did feel bad for doing what I did, and I had full intent on reposting it again. So why now? I kinda missed it a little. I enjoyed writing it before I got less into it and I found it a lot of fun.
Though, I am very busy. I have a lot of 18 chapters for this story ready to post. Some chapters are different from others and will include new dialogue. Some will just be the same, but are more edited than they were before. There will definitely be more detail in the plot and more little things that will add more substance to the plot as well. I'm not going to repost the same stuff most of the time, I know that's boring for those who read this story already. Unfortunately the first chapter is one of those chapters that I only edited and added a bit more detail too. Nothing new really since I couldn't see any changes to it.
But I think I should stop talking now lol. And I hope you enjoy the chapter!
Warning: There will be some violence in the Phantom's Opera House.
Summary: "Your face..." she started breathlessly. Theresa still touched the creases that his skin dipped down to. Erik sat there unmoving, staring at her. Her eyes welled up with tears as she continued, her bottom lip trembled. "I can't imagine the life that you've known." OC/OC and Erik/OC
Disclaimer: I do not own the Phantom of the Opera movie, Broadway musical, the book, nor its characters. But I do own my OC, Theresa and my OC, Henri.
Chapter I: Six Years After
Paris, France. May 13th,1877.
It took a while and plenty amounts of money to get the Opera Populaire back in the buds of business, which now made the pockets of both Monsieur André and Monsieur Firmin very light indeed. Although, it was only one of the two of them that were worried about it being less than prosperous because of the 'incident' with the Phantom of the Opera six years ago, they decided to give it another chance after many indecisive thoughts the two shared. Though, they were debating yes and no for several years before actually starting to rebuild, they had put it on sale for those who would want to own the House themselves. They were unsuccessful in that, for many people in France were nervous of the rumours that were heard after it burned almost completely to the ground.
They were stuck with it, and they were doubtful they were going to go back into the junk business. Their names in that field had been long-lost and they would most likely not regain their fortune again from it.
However they knew the business of Opera was infinitely better than the junk—oh, scrap metal—business... by far! And as Monsieur Firmin would say, 'Free publicity will get the seats sold!' It was only proven true when there were papers printed about both of their sopranos, La Carlotta and Ms. Christine Daae, not being at the Opera house and still every seat was sold! The managers had the feeling that, though the Opera House had its dark history, the people would buy out the theatre and still see the shows.
This time they were going to be careful. They learned their lesson with not following the orders of the Phantom last time. If he was even there still, they were going to follow them and let it not ruin their business once again! Orders like: leaving Box 5 empty, and his pay, no matter how outrageous it would seem!
The decision was a hard one indeed, risking their ruined names to be even more ruined, but they made it anyway.
It took much pleading, but Madame Giry agreed to even train the ballerinas and choreograph them for the coming operas, which showed André and Firmin that there was still hope for this business that they could have. It was nerve-wrecking because her answer was the one they relied on. They knew Giry loved the Opera Populaire, as for her daughter, since the two grew up in it, so to have the two come back was amazing. Hopefully, since it was May, it would bud like the coming flowers from the previous showers in April.
Of course, however, for months while reconstructing and getting it back together, not everyone wanted to deal with the ghost of the Opera Populaire ever again. So, a good handful of their dancers and singers didn't even want to try and give it a second chance! Not even, La Carlotta, the leading soprano for five seasons in 1870 didn't want her usual limelight that she would get. She was still spooked, it seemed, by Piangi's death! It seemed to them the rumours were all true, she was actually romantically involved with him.
So, when their former Prima Donna said no and for real this time, they put all their hopes on Christine Daae, who eventually married the Vicomte De Chagny after a year since the great theatre burned almost completely down. She had been continuing with opera only doing it very rarely. When they gained their contact with her, they learned that she already was a mother! To a lovely little by the name of Gustav, after her own father. But, being now a mother and being the Opera Ghost's former... interest, she was expected to deny their offer of coming back to become their Prima Donna... and she did what was expected of her.
Now they needed a head soprano along with a head male. The male was easier than they thought, they found a man that was far slimmer than what Piangi was and he even sounded, well, better. It was fresh and he didn't have the personality that would become conceited with limelight at all. His name? Why, his name was Henri D'Aubigne. He came from a wealthy family in France and even offered to pay some of the debt of construction of the Opera Populaire. He was a worthy fellow, who had brown locks that were extremely curly. His eyes were greyish with a tint of blue, but in the light they were bluer than the sea. He had the stage presence and the talent to go along with it.
Then the matter of their soprano came to them with great hardship! Who was worthy to follow in the footsteps of La Carlotta and Ms. Daae? It was tough, their search, but really, they didn't have to search at all. The woman found them in their time of need. Like Carlotta, she was Italian. She did come from the deep country of Italy, having a thick accent and long brown hair. Her hair wasn't curly, but it had its potential to be when it was in its natural waves. Her eyes were hazel, they assumed anyway. While speaking with her, sometimes they would seem green and other times they would seem to be brown.
Yes, she was going to be their new star! Both Monsieur André and Monsieur Firmin could agree on that. Ms. Theresa Baccelli didn't even sing with an accent! Her voice was so angelic that they felt the audience would melt, with any opera, from the emotion in her voice. Even her name was of a saint's!
The two were going to be promptly introduced to the people at the ball tomorrow. Along with their new patron, who was not the Vicomte De Chagny, no, but it was his older brother, the Comte De Chagny, whose name was reportedly Philippe. Both Theresa and Henri made their introductions to those who have lived in the dormitories, they were already practising and living there as a matter of fact at that very moment!
The familiar scene of the Opera Populaire opened up in front of the two managers and they gazed at it like they had when they were introduced to it the first time six years ago. When their carriage stopped, the door opened and the two men were helped out of it slowly, both grinning with delight that they actually had done what they believed to be impossible.
"Welcome back, Monsieur Firmin and Monsieur André." Madame Giry's voice brought them back to slight reality and the two managers looked over at the familiar blonde who seemed to actually grow older in the six years. Or was it that she looked older? Though, she did seem to be going into, maybe, her early forties. The sun reflected onto the the gold of the building to show that its elegance had indeed returned. It looked well fit in the area of Paris and it didn't at all seem like it was absent where it had stood there for years.
"Ah, Madame Giry," Monsieur Firmin looked over at her with slight delight and his grin grew larger. He continued, "A welcome back indeed, the outside of this house looks splendid," they hadn't been able to go yet to inspect or look around to see the refurbished Opera House. Though, they received a letter not too long ago to come and see, maybe it was a week ago that they actually received it, they weren't sure, but it was definitely some time ago.
Monsieur André seemed to agree with him also, adding after, "Oui, magnifique!"
Madame Giry smiled at the two of them, though she was one of the many that doubted here, and nodded. "If you think that about the outside," she started, walking ahead of them for them to follow her so she could lead them inside, "wait until you see what lies inside." The two men looked at each other, both still grinning and hurried their way to follow the choreographer and former ballerina. When Madame Giry opened the double doors to go inside, the two men stopped midway with their eyes widening. What a surprise! It looked almost exactly the same like it had before the chandelier fell! Purely remarkable, and the mangers could see the new additions.
The new gold sculptures that bordered the foyer, the fresh smell of the flowers filled the room, and the floor had a slightly different tiling with the same colour scheme. Each item that the room held and each step and tile that was there were all polished to such a shine that they could see themselves in it almost perfectly without a single smudge of dirt in the way of it! They were absolutely amazed. Madame Giry seemed very pleased by their reaction, "I am proud to say that your workers had worked long hours of the day to get this back to its prime, I think they achieved that goal very well."
Monsieur Firmin nodded, agreeing with her. He stopped looking at it gapingly, knowing that the foyer was not the area where the most damage took its place. He responded, "They indeed have."
Monsieur André stopped as well and commented, "It doesn't even look like a fire ignited here!"
Madame Giry looked around as well and nodded her head, not gaining any excitement that actually equated to the excitement of the two men. "Well, let me assure you that the rest doesn't look like that either," Madame Giry looked around again, as if she was feeling someone else present with them in the shadows, but shrugged it off, knowing that he wasn't found after the fire. She gestured to the two men, "Come with me now, you must take a look at the beloved theatre." She moved ahead again only to have the two mangers follow her in a rush. She warned as she picked up her black dress to not let it drag behind her, "Let me warn you now that rehearsal is under way, so if you please hurry, I only excused myself for only a little bit."
Monsieur Firmin nodded and asked while they walked the familiar route to the theatre, "Tell me, how are the dancers and singers taking their return here?"
André made sure to quickly correct that, "For those that actually decided to come back and join us."
"All very well," Giry answered them both as they entered where the maids, the tailors, and the stage workers stayed. André looked around to see the same activity go on from three years ago as though nothing ever happened. She added, "Their passions for the arts have never weakened. They practice for hours each day with very few stops."
"And for those who are new?" Firmin then asked, satisfied to hear that the dancers and singers that were coming back were still passionate and focused on their work.
Madame Giry mused, she didn't state how they were working, but like the veterans they never stopped either, especially their two new leads. "I have great feelings for the coming season, Monsieur Firmin. We will have plenty of surprises that are already waiting for us, I feel."
André muttered under his breath, which was only meant for his colleague to hear, "Hopefully it would be good surprises."
"Don't worry about that, monsieur." Madame Giry turned on her heel to face them, with her welcoming smile dropping. She didn't know if she should smile that their artist had disappeared six years ago. His operas were to be missed dearly by her and who knows what horrors he was facing in the world now. She added, holding up her hand, "The Opera Ghost had disappeared after the incident from his lair below. If you haven't heard already, he left behind his white mask along with anything else that he owned there as well." When she saw their faces cross with relief, she kept her hand up and warned, "But even if he was, be sure to follow his demands, you two have learned your lesson, I feel."
Firmin gulped and shivered for the grim remainder of Joseph Buquet being strangled while the noose was tightened around his neck had appeared. He admitted as she turned back around, "More than learned, actually." They found that she was yet again moving and that they were yet again far behind her. The both were frowning as they tried to catch up to her again. Another question lurked in Firmin's mind, being actually reminded of their new soprano. When he caught up to Madame Giry, he quietly asked with his eyes wandering in case she was near, "Does she know about...?" He trailed off, assuming that she already knew.
André took time to add after to her, knowing where Monsieur Firmin was going with his question, "Is she still in the dark?"
Giry stopped for a moment and looked at the two managers that were on either side of her. She sighed and stated with a frown, "Unfortunately, she still is," she paused, knowing that it wouldn't be too long before she would know the truth, "but be warned, she would soon find out from the loose tongues around here." Although Madame Giry knew the source of their anxiety they had nothing to worry about. The woman had been grateful that she was there and showed nothing but enthusiasm since she came. It was very unlikely that she would leave because of an incident that happened to happen six years back.
"Well, we must make sure that that does not happen, Madame Giry," Monsieur Firmin stated, looking ahead of him. The familiar sound of the orchestra that Monsieur Reyer conducted filled his ears sweetly and he could hear the chorus girls from where he stood. He had forgotten the opera they were performing, but whatever it was it sounded interesting from the faint sounds that he had heard already. "Now, what is the opera that we're to be performing a week from now?"
Madame Giry answered dryly as they continued their way, "The Scottish Play." The Scottish Play? Did it not have a name? "By the recently famous Verdi."
André gotten it right away, remembering bits and pieces of what he had heard about it, "Oh, Mac—."
"Don't say his name," she scowled at him, "it's bad luck to say the name in the theatre."
"Is it really? What would happen if we do?" Firmin inquired curiously as they inched closer to the theatre.
She replied simply as they walked their way to the backstage, "Bad things, monsieur. Bad things."
André and Firmin exchanged a look before entering the stage where everything was on its way to become perfection. The two didn't know why they would even approve such an opera with bad luck involved, nor did they understand why their patron would even approve of such things. But their thoughts soon were extinguished when they heard the chorus more clearly, they looked around in awe to see the dancers, some warming up and some going over steps. Then when they looked around the theatre they were truly awestruck.
It wasn't in shambles! It was a miracle by far that they had recovered almost every single detail of the theatre.
The gold figures on the boxes, the red carpeting of the room, the red seat comforters... everything! The candle lit lights on the stage were illuminating all the figures that were on there and though the elegant chandelier wasn't the same chandelier that once hung, it still held a slight remembrance of what it had looked like before. Firmin smiled from ear to ear and told André, "See, André, there was no need to be worried. We are not at all going to be ruined because of this!"
André, though smiled, narrowed his eyes at his colleague, "You were the one that had said that, Monsieur Firmin." However, they both knew that André kept that thought in mind longer than Firmin, since he was the one of the two that actually worried more often. But those worries temporary slipped off of his mind, hearing the scene that they entered in on.
She had never been on stage singing before she had become Prima Donna. She would always watch when her father had taken her to various operas when she was younger and would sing behind closed doors, but never before did she dream that she would be on stage. Yes, Theresa had that horrible luck of being a beginner, but wanting to follow her late mother's footsteps she thought that she would try for her. And... she ended up becoming a lead soprano. Theresa felt someone smiling down at her and could tell that it was her father or her mother, giving the gift of music to her from above.
Though, she was happy to be on stage, she didn't dare show her true emotions. It was a trick her mother had taught to her, think of something that had to do with your character, or relate to your character and then you sing. It worked most of the time, some characters were so uneasy to relate to that it didn't and she just sang it through her own perspective of how the character would be like. Lady Macbeth was the prime example. She had no idea how to act selfish and manipulative, but when she looked over the words, she found it enjoying to play.
The messenger left the stage, leaving Theresa there with a frown as she stared down his exit. Maybe it was the character, the dark and evilness showed in her voice and as the music started, she was enjoying Lady Macbeth more and more.
"When Duncan comes through that door, I'll make sure that his final breath will happen tonight.
Under my battlements, the raven himself will soon be hoarse from
Croaking his hour of death..."
She paused like the music had and she took several steps back, gaining a dark look on her face as she looked up at the ceiling that looked like a sky with many glimmering lights. She imagined that the sky was dark and foggy, not at all blue and she imagined the glimmering lights as hellish lightning. The dancers came up onto the stage and crowded around her as she waited for her cue to start before the the violins would start once again. Monsieur Reyer raised his small baton and Theresa caught it at the corner of her eye.
"Those Hellish Spirits that tend to mortal thoughts."
She paused dramatically when their violins continued with a very slow, dark sound.
"Unsex me here! And fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty.
Make my blood thick and stop the access and passage to remorse."
Theresa sent a glare to the dancers that were silhouetting around her in their blackish costumes, doing twirls around her and kicks with their exaggerated hand gestures. Theresa walked away from them elegantly, breathing in all that she could for the support that she would need for the next verses. She figured Lady Macbeth would scorn those dancers to show off her cruelty, wouldn't she? Theresa concentrated on the ceiling again and imagined the dark fog swirl with the lightening. She closed her eyes as if she was basking in it and put a hand onto her breasts.
"Come to my woman's breasts and take my milk for gall!
You murdering ministers, wherever you are in sightless substances,"
Her voice actually grew softer as she opened her eyes, the music intensified, growing louder with the added basses and cellos, the horns even triumphed.
"You wait on nature's mischief!
Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell!
That my keen knife,"
She made a motioning of her hand to her neck, pretending to slice it as she looked at the empty seats in the audience. She resisted imagining that there were plenty of faces seated there and looking up at her in awe. Her voice grew louder and she soared to a range that she barely had even hit before.
"See not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark!"
She made sure to hold that note as long as she could, extending her hand out in front of her like there was something there that she could grab. The music stopped drastically as her note echoed through the empty theatre. A grin made it onto her face that signalled either mischief or evil. When she was about to sing the last two words of the song, she found a flash of white from a box. It almost seem like a mask, a pearl white mask. But when she looked over there, there was no mask at all that was looking at her from... Box 5, maybe? She still didn't get used to this new home and maybe she would take a tour of it by herself to see what it held inside.
She didn't have time to think though, she proceeded with her grin though it did fall once she had a distraction near. The violins soothed slowly, they sounded as one, being so quiet now. She breathed in and her volume was now almost an awe-stroked whisper. It was hard, but she pictured herself in rubies and gold like she was to be an actual Queen.
She let that note hang while the music stopped. Then without warning and shocking others that had not seen this scene yet, the music and the chorus girls sang out with Theresa's voice somehow towering over them, her voice with a hint of gentle nature, but evil nature mixed along with it.
When the music dropped to a low continuous tone and Theresa stood there for a moment, as Henri was about to make his entrance. Then they all heard claps coming from behind them, forcing their rehearsal to halt. Theresa's grin dropped along with her face expression, turning it into its usual warmth and sweet nature. "Brava! Brava!" She smiled and turned on her heel to see her managers there with grins on their faces, showing their glossy teeth. They looked like they were standing there for a while. She hoped that she didn't seem too insane, she knew how into a character she would get, it happened in Italy plenty of times when her mother would give her arias to practice. Sometimes, her mother would say, that she would become a totally different person.
Monsieur Reyer groaned, why must his rehearsals cannot go on without a single interruption? Why? His eyes were rolling to the top of his head as he lightly tapped his baton to stop the murmuring of his orchestra. Monsieur André and Monsieur Firmin quickly walked over to their discovery with their arms wide open. The two were on either of her side. "Stupendous," mused Firmin, "I can already tell that this night will be a hit!"
Theresa was overwhelmed by that compliment from her manager and nodded her thanks. She stated with her thick accent that didn't show any trace before, "Thank you, such a compliment like that is good to hear."
"But of course," André started looking over to the maestro. She was fresh blood after all and he could tell, though this was not his strong point in business, that she needed a bit of tweaking here and there. He stated to him, "there could always be room to improve, we want you to be absolutely perfect for the coming opera, mademoiselle!" He looked to her, grinning still.
"And that is why I rehearse!" Monsieur Reyer told him with his tone annoyed by the interruption. The two looked over at him while Theresa looked around to find the mask that she missed before. Not really paying much mind to the three talking. She saw a shadow up on the rafters and she narrowed her eyes curiously at it, though it disappeared quickly. Monsieur Reyer's voice came to split her hearing as he asked the mangers that still had their arms wrapped around her shoulder. "Please, do tell, the reasoning for interrupting my rehearsal. Can't it wait until after the scene is done?"
Monsieur Firmin shook his head no as he stepped away from Theresa. Monsieur André stayed put where he was next to her and Firmin clapped for attention to be brought to him. He assured to Reyer before he would say anything else, "Not to worry, Monsieur Reyer, all will be quick." The dancers and chorus gathered around and when Monsieur André noticed their leading male on the sidelines also, he gestured over to him to go onto the other side next to him. Henri D'Aubigne gladly obliged and he quickly jogged over.
Theresa looked over at him curiously, they rehearsed together, but never really talked. She talked to the women while he talked with the men. He was rather handsome, with his brown hair that was curly, so curly that it stayed atop on his head. His eyes were alluring also and he was clean-shaven, there was not a speck of hair even growing upon his chin. When he looked back at her with a smirk, she looked down immediately feeling her cheeks shed a light pink from embarrassment. What was he going to think now? She was just caught staring at him! Theresa could've thanked the Lord or Monsieur Firmin from taking her thoughts away from embarrassment.
"Welcome all to the reopening of the Opera Populaire," claps sounded around and every performer shared the same smile, "and for those who are coming back to join us, thank you. It is a honour for both your managers that you would still perform here," his eyes furrowed on several select people, people like Madame Giry and her daughter, Meg Giry. He continued, "and for our new performers," his eyes furrowed to the two people that were standing on either side of André. "Monsieur André and I are looking forward to a bright, new season!"
More claps sounded throughout the theatre when that was said and even Monsieur Reyer who was upset by the interruption of his rehearsal clapped at the sound of that. André added after, "And for those who didn't know already, the prime additions to the cast, Monsieur Henri D'Aubigne and Signora Theresa Baccelli are to be welcomed warmly into our family." Theresa heard claps around her again and she looked down feeling her cheeks grow hot yet again. God, why was she blushing so much? She never used to blush. André pat the pair's backs and said to them, "Go on now, don't be shy, take your bows, both of you."
He stepped backward and Henri and Theresa looked at each other before turning on their heels in unison and facing their family. They gripped hands and Theresa grabbed a part of her dress to curtsy and bow her head at them.
When they released hands, they heard Reyer call to the managers in exasperation, "Now are we done here? I have to finish rehearsing, monsieurs."
Firmin held up a finger and assured him, "Not yet, just one more thing." The attention was back on him and Theresa was beginning to worry if she would have to leave soon. Her fitting for her costume with the seamstress was coming soon and she didn't want to leave the rehearsal, though there were plenty of them left. All were so important! She looked over at him though and she heard him say, "Now, as we all know, tomorrow night there will be a ball to celebrate our reopening. We're hoping that it would be splendid and a bright way to start fresh!"
André continued after him brightly, "So we all hope that you will all look your best to show that we are back to entertain!"
Ball? The ball was already coming? She knew that it was going to be soon, but this soon? She looked to Henri and muttered to him, "The ball is tomorrow night, they say?"
Henri looked over at her, almost shocked that the beautiful woman said more than two words to him. Lately the two only had exchanged a hello and goodbye. He grinned at her and told her with slight mockery, "Already forgetting important dates, my lady? Oh, what are we going to do with you?"
Theresa felt her eyes narrow at him and looked forward with a slight amused smirk. Firmin added on, taking his place next to his colleague, "And we will like to inform you all, that our patron will be honoured tomorrow night. He couldn't make it today, unfortunately, but his appearance is due tomorrow. Who knows? He might even seem familiar to some of you." Curious glances were exchanged along with silent murmurs from those who were trying to understand what he would mean. Before anything else was mentioned, the two looked at each other to be sure that all was mentioned to them.
André nodded and he said to everyone, "Now, we will leave you all to be with Monsieur Reyer to continue your rehearsal. Sorry for the interruption."
As they began to leave the stage, the liveliness returned into excited chatter of the coming ball. Theresa's shoulders slumped as she continued to look around the theatre curiously. She must've saw something that was part of her imagination before, but why would she imagine that? It was absurd. The baton was being tapped against the stand to get the attention and Madame Giry ushered the dancers to the side to where they were still warming up and stretching for when they would have their chance to go on stage.
Theresa didn't pay mind to it all, seeing something flutter in the air, falling from the rafters above.
Theresa narrowed her eyes at it curiously and though her name was being called, she walked over to it. Henri called to her, "Theresa," she bent down and touched the parchment with the black bordering the envelope. Theresa held it in her hand and turned it to see a red skull sealed on the opening.
"Theresa," he called her again and lightly touched her shoulder. He leaned over her slightly to see what she was looking at so intently and not only did Theresa feel his eyes on her, she felt others looking at her.
She stood up slowly, opening it with her finger and pulling out the piece of parchment. Madame Giry finally decided to look behind her shoulder to see the faint image of Theresa reading it. Her eyes soon widened, maybe she did feel what she felt before. Theresa read it silently to herself and neither a look of horror nor astonishment showed on her face. She looked around and before Madame Giry could snatch the letter out of her hands, Theresa stated, "Excuse me, Monsieur Reyer, Madame..." she moved away slowly from Henri and nodded, "Henri, I have to see Monsieur André and Monsieur Firmin, right away."
And before anyone could question her, she quickly picked up her dress and walked in a fast pace to see to it that she would see them promptly. What she read, was actually supposed to be for her to read and she needed answers.
Well, I'm not going to bore you with another large note that I started with the beginning haha. I hope you all enjoyed the chapter and let me know in a review what you think! Criticism is the only payment us poor writer's have to go by :)
Oh, and if any of you want to, I do have a Facebook to like for sneak peeks to stories and status on those stories. The link is right on my profile. I think I made it "Like me on Facebook." So if you want to go right ahead.