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Title: Lips of An Angel - Act One, Scene I
Fandom: The Phantom of the Opera
Rating: R overall for violence, abuse, language, and sensuality.
Summary: The first scene in what is going to be quite a long phanfiction.
Author's Note: This phiclet has a load of ALW influence, being my crack at novelizing the musical, with a dash of Susan Kay and Leroux. This phic is dedicated to two people. First and foremost, to Morph (or Joe, as some of you know him as), for being my real live Phantom and bearing with me and my phangirl moments. I love you so much!!! Secondly, and certainly not least, to Molly aka [ profile] policegirl11, for truly awakening my phangirl tendencies, for phangirling with me, for being like the big sister I've never had at times, but most of all for being such a good friend. ♥ I love you both. Also, please read and review!!!!

I wish I had an angel
For one moment of love
I wish I had your angel
Your Virgin Mary undone
I`m in love with my lust
Burning angel wings to dust
I wish I had your angel tonight

~ Nightwish's "Wish I Had An Angel"

Death of an angel
So beautiful to me
Shattered pieces fall to earth
Time can never heal

The story is over now
All points have been made
But when you hold out your hand
I don't see a thing

You can reach for the stars
But take what you get here

Was last December and all was milky white
Came December again and all is black

~ Human Drama's "Death of An Angel"

The room was dark, mostly draped in shadow. A single candle sat at the bedside table, casting a faint flickering light. This room that had once held such happy memories was now filled with the darkness and despair that was death. Christine Daae could barely recognize the dying man on the bed, his skin clammy with sweat, his eyes glazed over. His breaths came out in shallow gasps as he turned to her, a small glimmer of recognition in his eyes as he saw her. The doctor stood behind her, his hands on her shoulders, silent. This was a moment he did not want to interrupt. To do so would be cruel, since what Gustav Daae might say next would be the last things to say to his daughter.

Gustav’s illness had come without warning. He tried to hide it the best he could in the presence of his daughter, who was his life and light in the world. He and Christine had always been close, even when her mother was alive. After she had passed away four years previous, Gustav had done everything in his power to ensure his daughter’s happiness. He was a renowned musician throughout Europe, and he made quite a bit of money for his performances on the violin. Gustav’s income grew steadily once everyone had realized that the young Christine could sing very well. She did not have the proper training, but what was heard was pleasing to the ears, and it always gave a smile to those that heard it.

Christine had borne her mother’s loss with difficulty. Her father had managed to cure her of her depression by telling her stories that fascinated her. They brought her comfort, and it was in these stories that she took solace, especially those about angels. She knew her father was dying; as soon as he had gotten sick, her father’s friends demanded that he see a doctor before things got much worse. But this illness, the disease that was killing her father’s lungs, was too strong for him or any medicine to fight.

‘Christine,’ Gustav rasped, reaching out for his young daughter. His brown hair clung to his forehead, and Christine approached her father’s deathbed, stroking the hair back from his forehead. ‘Mon ange…I am dying.’ Christine said nothing, her face expressionless. The tears would come after he was gone, she knew. It would do no good to grieve before he had passed on. She would wait until it was over, taking the time now to remember her father and all of the good times they had shared.

‘I promise you…I will send you the Angel of Music to you. You remember the stories…that I told you, of the Angel of Music?’ Her father asked, the words coming out with effort. Christine nodded. She remembered well; those were her favorite stories out of all of them. ‘He will watch over you,’ Gustav gasped, clutching his only child’s hand. ‘He will guide you, teach you music…he will love you and protect you. I promise…he will come.

‘I love you, Christine,’ he whispered. He felt tired, so very tired. The sickness was overwhelming, and all he wanted was to close his eyes and let go of this mortal coil. But he could not leave his daughter without saying goodbye. ‘…I love you.’

‘I love you too, papa,’ Christine murmured, meaning every word as she gazed into her guardian’s face.

‘Remember…the Angel of Music…will be with you, my child,’ he murmured. His eyelids felt heavy, so very heavy…his grip on Christine’s hand loosened slowly as he closed his eyes.

The doctor removed his hands from the young girl’s shoulders to move around the other side of the bed to cover the dead man’s face. ‘Wait,’ the girl cried out. ‘Please…’ The doctor hesitated, watching numbly as Christine leant forward to kiss her father’s forehead. She drew back, gazing at him with sorrowful eyes for a moment before she nodded in assent. The doctor covered the man’s face, turning away to put his things in his bag as he heard the first quiet sobs from Gustav’s daughter.

Christine’s shoulders began to shake with grief as the tears streamed from her eyes. ‘Papa…’ she managed to get out before the wailings left her lips. The doctor could only pretend that he couldn’t hear as he left the room; the drawn faces of Gustav’s companions were no comfort to him. They knew what had happened; there was no reason that Christine would be crying in such a manner. Gustav Daae was dead.


‘These are the ballerina dormitories,’ Madame Giry told the young Christine Daae as they entered the rooms. ‘This is where you will be sleeping, where your things will be kept. Your home is to be sold; the Opera Populaire is your home now.’ Madame Giry was a stern, strict woman, but she wasn’t without compassion. She knew Gustav Daae and his wife well, and had mourned at the loss of his wife and Gustav himself. She felt that the world had lost a great musician. She also knew that she couldn’t let Christine Daae starve to death in the streets of Paris. She had a duty to her friend, and she would provide and care for this girl just as she did for her own daughter.

‘You may settle here. Tomorrow, we rise at nine o’clock in the morning, and I shall take you to get your dance shoes and clothes fitted. Training begins tomorrow as well,’ Madame Giry informed Christine. ‘You will become a great ballerina. I am sorry for your loss,’ she added. ‘I knew your father well. You will learn many things here, and perhaps this will be a start to a new life.’

With that, she turned on her heel to leave Christine. The young girl’s face was drawn and pale; her dark brown curls fell gracefully past her shoulders, but for all of the young teenager’s beauty, it was strangely cold. She slowly made her way to a bed next to one of the windows, sitting down slowly to gaze down at the streets of Paris. The sun was shining, and gentlemen strolled the sidewalks with a lady on their arm. Friends, couples, and family ate at cafes, and carriages passed the Opera; she could hear the horses hooves and wheels on the cobble-stoned streets even from the second story of the Opera Populaire. She felt as if the carefree happiness that the citizens of Paris felt below was a treasure way beyond her reach. She would never be able to feel happiness again, not without her Papa there to play his violin, tell her stories, or make her laugh. How could she, when her comforter was dead?

Christine blinked back tears, but they came nonetheless, streaming down her cheeks silently. She buried her head in her hands, shoulders shaking. Papa…how am I to become a ballerina without you? How can I bear to even listen to music if you are not there to create it? She thought despairingly. Her world had turned upside-down, and things would never be the same. The happy days from before were gone, and no matter how hard she desperately clung to them, they slithered from her grasp as if she were trying to hold a pool of water.

‘Christine Daae?’ A soft voice asked tentatively. Christine turned, wiping the tears from her cheeks to see a girl her age standing near her bed. Her blonde hair draped past her shoulders, and a white ribbon was tied elegantly into her hair. She wore a ballerina’s tights, dance shoes, and tutu; she apparently was studying to be a ballerina.

‘Yes?’ Christine asked, wondering whom this girl could be. ‘Is this your bed?’ she asked, worried that she might have taken the girl’s spot in the dormitories. She didn’t want to offend anyone on her first day there.

‘Oh no!’ The girl said, taken aback. ‘I was just…I just wanted to know if you were all right.’

‘…Oh,’ Christine murmured, pausing in her scurry to get off of the bed. ‘I’m…I’m…okay, I suppose.’

‘You don’t have to lie to me,’ the girl said, covering her mouth suddenly, her cheeks flushing in embarrassment at her boldness. ‘That is, I mean to say…’

‘No, it’s all right. Who are you?’ Christine asked curiously.

‘I’m Meg Giry,’ the girl answered, curtsying. ‘Madame Giry is my mother. I never knew who my father was…I assume that, like all of the other ballerinas who have had children, she was offered to tumble in a noble’s bed.’ Christine’s eyes widened in shock at Meg’s matter-of-fact tone of voice. This certainly wasn’t anything that her father or mother had told her about.

Meg continued on as if it were the most natural thing in the world to tell a complete stranger her mother’s personal history. ‘Either way, the nobles never claim daughters or sons of those who perform the arts as their own…at least, not officially. They do send in a check once a month, so as to keep the mother’s from going public about it.’

‘I thought you said you didn’t know who your father was,’ Christine pointed out, stunned and yet drawn into Meg’s story.

‘Oh, I don’t, of course,’ she replied. ‘My mother does, though. She receives a modest check once a month from her gentleman who is my father. She does not speak of him, and threatens to make me do all of the ballet work that we’ve done that day five more times if I ask her about it. I stopped asking her when my feet started bleeding again.’

‘Again?’ Christine peeped, her gaze never leaving the girl who had sat down next to her on the bed.

‘Your feet usually start to bleed a few times once you start doing ballet,’ Meg told her. ‘It hurts terribly, but there’s stuff you can use to make it feel better. Oh, don’t worry, the pain doesn’t last forever,’ she added hastily at the look on Christine’s face. ‘Your feet get used to it, and they toughen up. It’ll probably take three or five weeks for your feet to get used to them, but after that, I think mother will let you wear the shoes with the box in the toe like we do.’

Christine looked down at her feet nervously. The prospect of damaging her feet and making them bleed for the sake of being a ballerina was not appealing. I don’t have much of a choice, she thought. I have nowhere to go…all of Mama and Papa’s relatives are dead now, and this is all I have left.

‘I’ll help you catch up,’ Meg offered with a smile, ‘since you’re new and we’ve been preparing for the gala night for a while. We can practice together.’

Christine returned the smile. ‘I would like that,’ she said. The two tore their gazes from each other, feebly trying to find a topic to talk about. Before any of them could speak another word, the sound of pattering footsteps ascending the steps to the dormitories reached their ears, and within moments, a dozen ballerinas of different ages came rushing in. Their faces were flushed from the day’s practice, and smiles and giggles adorned their lips. They talked in rapid French, and Christine shrunk away slightly at the sight of the newcomers. She wasn’t sure if she was ready to meet all of the other ballerinas just yet. She had made a good start with Meg, she thought, but all of these other girls, with happiness just seeping from them…

The girls halted in their tracks as they saw Meg and Christine sitting on the bed. ‘There you are, Meg!’ A young girl with black wavy hair rushed over to the blonde. ‘We wondered where you had snuck off to…your mother didn’t say anything, and usually she’s so strict about everyone being there.’

‘I came to see Christine Daae,’ Meg explained, gesturing to the shy girl next to her. ‘Christine, this is…well, everybody.’ She waved a hand, clearly not wanting to introduce all of the members of the gaggle of ballerinas, who were now shoving each other around gently to get a better look at the new girl.

‘I’m Antoinette,’ the black-haired girl said eagerly. ‘Are you related to Gustav Daae? I’ve heard he’s the greatest violinist in the world!’ Several other girls nodded in assent.

‘He was my father,’ Christine answered quietly, her heart beginning to feel heavy with sorrow again. ‘He passed away two days ago.’

The girls gasped in sympathy. ‘Oh no!!! You poor dear,’ an older girl near the back said, her red hair draped to her shoulders, freckles dusting her nose.

‘It’s all right,’ Christine muttered, not wanting anyone’s sympathy. ‘We had good times together.’

‘Oh, I’m sure!’ The red haired girl continued, nodding furiously.

‘Stop it, Jeanne,’ Antoinette said, placing her hands on her hips. ‘Can’t you see you’ve upset her?’

‘I didn’t mean to…’ Jeanne replied weakly.

‘What’s going on here?’ The girls all stopped and turned to see a woman who looked maybe two or three years’ Christine’s senior approach the group. She had long brown hair and clear blue eyes, and was one of the most beautiful people Christine had ever seen in her life. She crossed the room towards them, and she walked with an angelic grace that she thought was near impossible for any mortal person to possess.

‘Madeleine, we were just introducing ourselves to the new girl,’ Antoinette spoke up. All of the other girls looked apprehensive, as if it would only take a word from this graceful beauty to determine whether they were to regard Christine as a friend or an enemy.

‘Christine Daae, is that correct?’ Madeleine asked, her tone cool and confident. She gazed coldly at the younger girl.

‘Yes,’ Christine answered, gazing steadily back into her angelic face.

‘I’ve heard a lot about you; some things were good, some were not.’ Madeleine crossed her arms in front of her chest. ‘They say your father was a very talented musician, so talented that he must have been possessed by the devil.’

Her words hurt Christine, and yet, her voice was clear and smooth, like her mother’s. She swallowed, not knowing what to say or how to react. ‘My father…he…he was…’

Madeleine cut her off. ‘They also say your mother was a whore…that she was a demon, a temptress…a succubi from the harem of Satan himself, and that your father sold his soul in order to have her and to create the music he did.’

The girls stood frozen, watching Christine intently for her reaction. Although she had not stayed in one community long enough to make good, fast friends, her instinct was telling her that this was a moment that would determine her life here at the Opera Populaire. She could either back down, and let the beautiful Madeleine spread these rumors and hurtful lies about her dead parents and let her push her around. She would end up like the girls she saw standing before her, frightened, and yet awe-inspired by her presence. She undoubtedly could see that they felt themselves privileged to be in the company of such a girl. And yet, they were accepted.

Or, she could be like Meg. Meg had not left Christine’s side throughout the introductions, and she glanced over to see the blonde’s cheeks flush with anger and indignation, her fists clenched. Meg was not intimidated by the older girl, not one bit. Her mother was the ballet instructor at the Palais Garnier, and as the daughter of the girls’ teacher, had nothing to fear from bullies. Christine, on the other hand, had just arrived there. She was the new girl, and no one knew a thing about her. She was a gentle soul, and not used to confrontations or bullies. But was she going to allow Madeleine to dictate how her life at the Opera House was to be run?

‘That is not your place to say those things!’ Meg cried out. ‘My mother knew Gustav Daae, and she said he had a heart of gold!’

‘Was I speaking to you, Meg Giry?’ Madeleine responded coldly. ‘We all know that your parentage isn’t exactly the cream of the crop either.’ Meg’s face flushed an even deeper red as she struggled to control her anger.

‘…Are you a talented ballerina, Miss Madeleine?’ Christine asked slowly. If I’m going to have to deal with bullies, I suppose now would be a good time to start, she thought nervously.

‘Madeleine is the best!’ Jeanne spoke up, giving the older girl an envious look. ‘She does everything perfect. Madame Giry can never find anything wrong with her performance.’

Madeleine smirked, her confidence seeming to blossom and flourish with this praise. Beside Christine, Meg rolled her eyes. She knew it was a lie; although Madeleine was the best out of all of them, her mother still found things to criticize on. It didn’t matter if the ballerina was the Holy Virgin Mary herself, Madame Giry would always find something to critique.

‘If that is true, then…’ Christine began to say cautiously, not quite believing the words that were about to come out of her mouth, ‘…wouldn’t it be safe to say that you, Madeleine, are also of the devil? I have never seen anyone with so much grace and beauty as you, and by the sounds of it, you’re a most wonderful dancer. If what you say about my father and mother is true, then you most certainly must be one of the Devil’s children.’

Meg fell into a fit of giggles at her words, while Antoinette, Jeanne, and several other girls clapped their hands to their mouths to hide their smiles or giggles. A couple of girls gasped, others glared in Christine’s direction, while others still glanced uneasily at Madeleine to see her reaction.

The young beauty’s cheeks flushed in anger, and a dangerous glare entered her blue eyes. ‘I would watch my steps if I were you,’ she murmured quietly. ‘We have had girls leave the Opera Populaire before. You never know when someone might accidentally leave glass shards in one’s ballet shoes. After all, without the proper use of your feet, what place would one have here?’ With that, she turned on her heel, moving through the crowd to the other end of the room where her bed lay. Several girls followed her, murmuring condolences and giving Christine dirty looks. Other girls just shrugged it off, an amused smile sporting their lips as they parted ways as well. Antoinette and Jeanne moved towards another end of the room talking in hushed whispers at what had just occurred.

‘That was amazing!’ Meg cried, grabbing Christine’s hands enthusiastically. ‘No one else has ever stood up to Madeleine before, except for Antoinette and myself, that is.’

‘I’m not used to saying such hurtful things,’ Christine admitted shyly. ‘I try to be kind to everyone I meet…my parents were always so kind to all those they came in contact with, but…’ She trailed off hopelessly, already feeling guilty for her own cruel words.

‘Don’t worry about it,’ Meg reassured her. ‘Madeleine pushes everyone around. Most girls don’t stand up to her because she’s older, or prettier, or because she’s such a good dancer. Most of the time, though, it’s because they’re afraid. She’s very cruel.’

‘Have there really been accidents?’ Christine asked worriedly, remembering the older girl’s threat.

Meg shrugged, as if the subject weren’t important. ‘If she tries anything, we’ll make sure she gets in trouble. Mother would be most displeased,’ she grinned mischievously. ‘Either way…you shouldn’t let a mean old bully like Madeleine push you around. If you did, you’d be like the rest of them. They follow her every whim and fancy. Sure, they don’t get picked on, but that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t insult them or treats them good. Usually they’re the ones that have to deal with her temper.’ She shuddered. ‘You don’t want to be around when Madeleine gets angry.’

‘I can only imagine,’ Christine murmured.

‘I’ll show you the ropes, and make sure she doesn’t bother you,’ Meg said kindly, laying a hand on her shoulder. ‘Do you want to be friends?’ Her cheeks flushed again in embarrassment this time at the blurted offer.

Christine gave her a genuine smile. Life at the Opera Populaire was going to be different; she knew that. Her mother and father would not be there to comfort her when she would cry, to encourage her in her dance lessons, or to keep Madeleine from bullying her. She was on her own, but…not quite. Here was a girl who had just met her moments before, and was offering her friendship. She had only had one childhood friend in her entire life, and she certainly wouldn’t turn down the offer now. Not when everything was so unfamiliar to her.

‘Friends,’ Christine said in agreement, her grasp on the girl’s hands tightening. They smiled at each other as Madame Giry entered the room and barked at the girls to change out of their ballerina tutus and leotards into more presentable clothing in order to have dinner in the kitchens. The girls scrambled to obey, even Meg. Christine did not have to worry, since she was already wearing a modest black dress, still being in mourning.

As the girls around her changed, Christine turned back to look out the window at the city of Paris below her. She wondered what tomorrow would bring, and when the Angel of Music would come to her. I wonder if he would be able to find me in this place, she thought to herself. The happiness and sunshine outside looked less intruding now, and somehow, she knew that he would be able to find her without trouble. It might take him awhile to notice me…After all, Madeleine looks more to be the sort of girl to be visited by an angel than I do, she thought.

‘Christine! Come on, I’ll show you to the kitchens,’ Meg called from the doorway, where Antoinette and Jeanne also waited for her.

‘Coming!’ She scrambled off of the bed towards her newfound friends. I’ll worry about angels later, she told herself.

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