twisted_satyr: Photo of Lamb of God's frontman, Randy Blythe, screaming into a microphone like the metal god he is. (Christine)
[personal profile] twisted_satyr
Title: Lips of An Angel - Act One: I Wish I Had An Angel, Scene 3
Fandom: The Phantom of the Opera
Rating: R overall for violence, abuse, language, and sensuality.
Summary: Christine goes to get her measurements and learns a bit about Madame Giry in the process.
Author's Note/Disclaimer: All PotO characters are copyrighted to Gaston Leroux and ALW. This one's a bit shorter than the other two parts because it's 3:25 AM and I wanted to finish it. Next part should be MUCH longer. R&R? Please?

Every step that I make
Name your price I would give anything
I want to start over again
What do I want I have nothing to say
Whatever it is I want it today


~ Trapt's "New Beginning"



Papa was there, he was right in front of her. His violin was propped up on his shoulder, the bow in his other hand. They were standing by the willow tree, the one by their old house. The bench was there, its legs covered slightly in vines, and the river that led to the sea was next to them. Christine stepped forward, reaching out towards him. ‘Papa…is it you?’ she asked.

‘Oui,’ he said, his baritone voice the most welcome sound she had ever heard in her entire life. He smiled at her, and it seemed as if the sun brightened when he did.

‘Papa…when will the Angel of Music come to me?’ She asked, curious.

‘…He will come in his own time. He is…detained, at the moment. Angels are busy, you know that. He will reveal himself to you when he can,’ Gustave said, comforting. Christine frowned sadly, wanting the angel to come. It would make the pain of missing her father lessen, she knew that.

‘Be patient, Christine,’ her father said. Christine nodded, and opened her mouth to ask him what heaven was like, and if he had seen mother yet, but he just smiled even more, and the sun grew even brighter, blinding her.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________


‘Mademoiselle Daae!’ The harsh whisper came crashing through Christine’s dream, and she slowly opened her eyes, rubbing the sleep away from them. She sat up, her dark curls falling past her shoulders. Madame Giry was standing by her bed, fully dressed, her cane in one hand. Christine looked around; the other girls were already gone for the day. ‘The others have gone to ballet practice already,’ the older woman told her. ‘I will wait for you to be dressed, and then we shall have a quick breakfast in the kitchens and be on our way.’ She walked away and out of the dormitories, and Christine climbed out of bed slowly, the cold morning air greeting her wholeheartedly.

That’s right…I’m living in the ballet dormitories of the Opera House, she reminded herself, walking over to the trunk beside her bed and pulling out a quaint light blue dress. She somehow managed to get her tiny corset on by herself, slipping her small black shoes on her feet and grabbing her cloak before meeting Madame Giry in the kitchen.

She nibbled on a croissant roll and some cheese, her mind drifting off to the dream she had. Her father had told her that the Angel of Music was detained. Did that mean he was busy somewhere else? She supposed that she shouldn’t be selfish in wanting to keep the angel all to herself. Other people needed angels too. She mentally scolded herself for being a selfish girl as Madame Giry led her in silence out of the kitchens and through the many hallways of the Opera Populaire.

Christine looked around her in wonder. Even at this early hour of the morning, the Opera House was alive. People were rushing all over the place; stage hands frantically scurrying on their merry way, women carrying yards of fabric with needles held in their mouths bustling past, members of the orchestra making their way through the crowd with their instruments on their shoulders. There were so many things to take in: those constructing the sets for the latest show, ballerinas that had strayed from their practice only to turn around as soon as Madame Giry came into their line of vision, more dignified members of society turning their nose up as the unpleasant scent of driftwood and paint reached their noses, only there to discuss business with the manager.

Somehow in the midst of all of this chaos, Madame Giry kept Christine close by her side, determined not to lose the young girl in the madness that was the Opera House. She led her to the stage, moving over to the side where a set of stairs brought them into one of the side aisles hugging the wall as they passed the red velvet seats, and the young girl gaped at the extravagance that met her eyes. Golden statuettes of naked nymphs adorned the boxes and the walls; her eyes drifted up to see the glowing chandelier hanging from the painted ceiling.

‘We lower it in order to light the candles,’ Madame Giry explained, leading her through one of the doors into the main hall of the Opera House. Their shoes clacked on the marble floor, and Madame Giry pushed open the main doors to the entrance open, the morning light blinding them momentarily as they stepped out onto the cobble stoned streets of Paris.

The sight before Christine was very similar to the one she had seen outside her window the day before, but it was more vivid. She could hear the street urchins calling out about the latest newspaper, see the horses pulling the carriages, and catch snippets of conversation from gentlemen talking to their ladies. ‘Keep close,’ Madame Giry said, leading Christine down a street and into a small crowd of people. She kept close, the scent of a café drifting towards her. Madame Giry passed it without a glance, but Christine could understand why. She had lived in Paris for years, and was used to it by now. As they passed, the young girl looked down an alley to see a girl in rags sitting with her back against the wall, staring out blankly. Christine wondered if the girl was all right, and tugged on Madame Giry’s sleeve. “Madame Giry,” Christine began, “what’s wrong with that girl?”

The older woman paused in her tracks for a moment as she glanced at the dirty starving girl, but quickly resumed her pace. “She is a prostitute,” the older woman replied bluntly. “Of course she’s not all right.”

Christine blinked in surprise, then frowned. “You mean…she sells herself?” The young girl asked in total innocence.

“Yes. She sells her body to get money, and then uses the money for food, clothes, and drugs, if she has a tendency for that. But in the end, none of it matters, since she will die from the sickness that is killing her from the inside that an ignorant man had given her. Let us continue - we’re almost there.” Madame Giry’s dark eyes hardened and her jaw clenched slightly. Christine realized suddenly that this older woman wasn’t someone who took the truth and buttered it up so as to spare a child’s virgin ears; she believed in the truth and would tell it, no matter how badly it hurt. Apparently she felt that it was pointless to try and save the young girls of the Opera Garnier, and would much rather educate them in the ways of the world to ensure their survival than feed them pleasantries in the face of reality. What surprised her the most, however, was that she found that she liked this quiet, stern woman. After all, if she had a daughter like Meg, she couldn’t really be that bad, could she?

“Here we are, Mademoiselle Daae,” Madame Giry said, stopping in front of a quaint shop. The word “Vêtement” was etched into the glass, and Christine smiled in delight at the beautiful dresses that were displayed in the window. As they passed through the doorway, Christine was impressed by the large amount of beautiful dresses on the racks and against the walls.

“These are so beautiful,” she breathed, and Madame Giry gave a small smile of amusement.

“They do look charming, don’t they? Of course, they’re not the real thing. The manager only gives us so much money for our ballet things, and we require only the best that our salary can provide. Of course, no one can ever really tell the difference, so it’s perfectly all right.” Her smile only grew at Christine’s stunned silence.

They were both joined shortly by a gangly old man whose hair was beginning to go grey around the edges. “Bonjour, Madame Giry,” the old man greeted. “I assume that this is the new girl you mentioned?” He gestured to Christine.

“Yes, this is Christine Daae,” Madame Giry answered, reaching out to place a protective hand on her shoulder.

“Daae, is it? Oh my, I heard about that. I am so terribly sorry for your loss,” the man’s eager smile that had donned his face as they greeted them and quickly faded. “Gustave was a great musician.”

“That he was. Christine, this is Monsieur D’Aubigne, and he provides all of the clothing for the ballerinas outside of the shows. He is a very old friend, and we can all truly rely on him,” Madame Giry informed the young girl.

“Pleased to meet you,” Christine said, curtsying politely. The old man’s eyes seemed to brighten at that.

“Such a charming young lady! If this girl’s a Daae, then she most certainly is a jewel, Madame Giry. You must never let go of this one. Come along, then,” the old man said. He gestured them to follow him and they made their way past the front counter towards the back and through a door where several different clothing materials were stacked on top of one another next to a chair in front of a table with a sewing machine. A small stool sat nearby, as well as a pale white changing screen. Christine looked around in wonder, surprised that the old man could make such beautiful clothes all by himself.

“Change behind the screen down to your undergarments,” Madame Giry instructed, “so that Monsieur D’Aubigne can take your measurements.”

Christine nodded, her curls bobbing as she moved behind the screen. She removed her clothing, leaving only her white undergarments on, and stepped back out. The old man was sifting through a basket which was also on the table, searching for something.

“Stand on the stool,” he told her, and she did so, feeling a tad bit nervous and embarrassed. He straightened up, finally finding what he was looking for, and approached the young girl with measuring tape. A sheet of parchment with a bottle of ink and quill nearby at the ready sat at the table, and Monsieur D’Aubigne gave the young girl a reassuring smile. “This won’t take long.”

He had said that, but to Christine, it felt like hours. She had to stay perfectly still so the tailor could make perfect measurements. He moved back and forth between the stool every time he took a measurement, his quill jotting down the numbers furiously. Madame Giry remained silent, watching. Finally, after the old man had finished measuring Christine’s left leg and jotted the measurement down, he put his measuring tape away. “Thank you, Miss Daae. I have all of the information I need now.” He gave them both a warm smile.

Christine changed back into her dress and shoes behind the privacy of the changing screen. As they were leaving, Madame Giry gave Monsieur D’Aubigne instructions to send the finished tutu to the Opera House in two days time. They left the tailor’s shop to venture back into the bustling city of Paris once more. Carriages rode by, pulled by horses, and the afternoon sun beat down on the populace.


They stopped at the cobbler’s next, and this wasn’t a shop that Christine was very fond of at all. The place smelt strongly of leather and new shoes, and the man that measured Christine’s feet was a rough burly man who seemed to enjoy touching her feet all too much. Madame Giry had to actually tell the cobbler herself that she thought his measurements were well enough in order to get him to leave Christine’s feet alone. Once again, the older woman gave the instructions to have the ballet shoes delivered in two days time at the Opera House, and the two left in a very big hurry.

They stopped at a café for a moment, and Madame Giry bought them both lunch. The open-faced sandwich tasted far better than her breakfast had, and she thanked her new teacher enthusiastically. As she was licking the crumbs off of her fingers and brushing them off of her dress, she asked, “Madame Giry? How did you know my father?”

Madame Giry’s expression seemed to soften as she began to recollect her memories. “I was a ballerina like yourself once,” she began, “and I spent my girlhood growing up beside your mother. She was my best friend, and we were inseparable. When your mother was around eighteen years or so, a new violinist had joined the orchestra, a young man named Gustave Daae. I truly do believe that he fell in love with her at first sight. He gave her flowers everyday, and tried so hard to win her attentions - for there were plenty of handsome young nobles who would have been more than willing to marry your mother, even if she was a ballerina. But your father won her over, for which I am glad. They loved music as well as each other, and I couldn’t have asked for a better man to have married my friend. But, enough on old memories. I want to be back in time to inspect the girls’ technique. Let’s return home.”

As they neared the Opera House, Christine reflected on what Madame Giry had said. She had never knew that her mother had been a ballerina, but then, there was a lot that she didn’t know about her mother. The fact that her parents had both lived and worked at the Opera House seemed to make sense to her, and also explained as to why Madame Giry felt such a great responsibility for her. She was her best friend’s daughter, and she would take care of her no matter what, it seemed. Madame Giry must have loved my parents very much, she thought.

They returned as evening was beginning to set on the city, and instead of taking the front entrance, Madame Giry led Christine around to the back of the building, past the stables, to a pair of wooden doors with an iron lock. Someone had pasted a crude poster with the words “Freak Show” printed on them, with the tantalizing chance to see a bearded lady, the devil’s child, and a pair of Siamese twins in bold lettering on the wall near the door. Madame Giry took one look at it, and promptly tore it from the wall.

“The Palais Garnier only shows true art, not that filth,” she muttered under her breath as she pulled out a key and unlocked the doors. She hurried Christine inside, shutting the door and locking it behind them. They were backstage again, and people were still bustling and working hard. It seemed that the Opera House never slept until night approached.

“You may return to the dormitories,” Madame Giry told her, already beginning to walk towards the area where the ballerinas practiced. “In two days’ time, your training as a ballerina will begin.”

Christine navigated her way through the random groups of people, somehow finding her way to the dormitories. She sat down on her bed, looking out the window again at the streets of the city, her mind crowded with thoughts both pleasant and mournful. A family of three walked down the street, and the little girl held her parents hand loosely as if they could never be lost. Christine fought the urge to cry as she saw them, and finally turned away. She missed her Papa and her mother. She wanted to go back to the house by the sea. Despite what she thought earlier, her angel could not come sooner.

August 2011

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