So, this is my first venture at phanfiction. It's basically the ALW version infused with my own theories and imaginings and told from Madame Giry's POV. I hope you enjoy it.
All I Ever Wanted
Part One - Broken Beginnings
She was the only person he ever spoke to, as far as she had been aware. The only person who knew who he was. The only person who had seen behind the mask. She had known from the beginning - ever since the carnival. The pitiful creature, caged like a beast, had not inspired cruel laughter as he had with her fellow ballerinas. She looked on him with nothing but pity and despair for his awful situation. The cruelty and depravity of some people was beyond her comprehension at twelve and to this day she could not understand why anyone would treat him the way the people at the carnival had. People, as she had come to realise, were cruel by nature. It was all she could do to counteract the horrors of his past with a gentle kindness that he had probably never before experienced.
She had helped him sneak into the opera house and he had been living under it for all this time. In the beginning, her visits to his home were frequent. He told her of his dark and mysterious past; she spoke of the tedious routine of the ballet dormitories and her dreams of being a prima ballerina. She lived for her nightly wanderings beneath the theatre with the boy that, throughout her adolescent years, had grown in her esteem. She knew that she was in love with him, but she also knew that the love was unrequieted. She was not sure that he knew how to love, or indeed what love was. Even if he did love her in return, life would be difficult. As much as she enjoyed her nightly visits to the cellers of the opera house, she could not live down there, just as he would never be allowed to join Parisian society based on the prejudices that existed.
Once she became prima ballerina of the Opera Populaire, her visits to the man beneath it became infrequent, scarce. Dinners and parties with cast members, managers and suitors kept her out late on most evenings. Soon she had moved to a small, but lavish apartment near to the theatre. Often she would think back to him with a twinge of guilt, alone beneath the theatre, but being caught up in the whirl of her new career she never gave it a second thought. Then, something happened that was to change her life forever.
After a dinner with a strange, but charming suitor at one of Paris' finest restuarants, he had offered to give her a ride home in his personal carraige. Unthinkingly she had agreed, only to find herself lying the park the next morning in pain as she had never known and every jewel or coin on her gone. Dazed, confused and broken she made her way back to her home, unsure of what had just happened. The true horror of the night's events occured to her a few months later when she realised that she was putting on weight - a terrible thing for a prima ballarina. Trying hard only to eat enough to survive, she found that she was only growing larger. Her stomach was no longer flat, but stood out in her leotard. Her worst fears were confirmed when she felt a kick - she was with child. The visit to the manager of the opera had been the hardest of her life, but he had taken pity on her. Another prima ballerina was appointed and she moved to the French countryside to have the child she did not ask for.
Seven years later she returned to Paris, now with a beautiful blonde child who dreamed of being a prima ballarina. After securing residence in a poor, dingy apartment, she returned to the Opera Populaire to inquire about having her Meg learn ballet there. She was welcomed back with a smile and told that she could have the position of ballet mistress, as the previous holder of this postition had passed. Elated, ready to put back the pieces of her life, she had accepted and had immediately set to work.
She took residence in the ballet dormitory and life was almost as it had been before. Of course, now she had a daughter to look to. One night, after one of the nastier ballet girls had been telling the younger girls ghost stories to frighten them, Meg had run into her mother's bedroom in fear.
"What is it, Meg?" she asked her daughter whose pale, frightened face disturbed her. Meg had never had any need to be afraid.
"Mama, is there really a phantom living beneath the opera house?" she asked fearfully.
"Darling, I would not believe everything you hear from the ballet girls. Many of them just want to see you scared because they were once themselves put through the same thing." Even as she said it, she felt a flutter of some long-forgotten emotion. So they were calling him a phantom now?
"Well, it worked," said Meg miserably.
"Just ignore them, my darling. I will not let any harm befall you," she replied, holding her daughter tightly to her. "Now go back to your room. Say a prayer before you sleep. I promise that nothing will happen to you."
"Thank you, Mama. I love you."
"I love you too, my dear."
She watched her daughter stalk back off to her dormitory with the grace of a girl twice her age. She loved her daughter more than anything else in the world and would rather die than see anything happen to her. Lost in thoughts of how quickly she had grown and how much she was like herself at her age, she did not notice the figure lurking in the corner.
"My dear Madame Giry, it really has been too long."
It was him. There he was in his black opera suit and cloak, a mask concealing what had forced him into solitude for all this time. Heart hammering in her chest, she could only stare at him. Guilt at not having visited him for so long enveloped her and she found that her throat was dryer than it had ever been in her life.
"They do call you 'Madame Giry' do they not?" he asked. His voice was more dangerous than she remembered it. She could only nod, weakly.
"Is little Meg the fruit of your brief union with the mysterious Monsuer Giry?"
Again, she could only nod.
"She looks remarkably like you." He said, and stared intently at her. Waves of emotion were flooding back. She felt like she was seventeen again, like he was about to whisk her away to his lair in the cellar. However, after a poignant silence, he spoke.
"I must go," he said and without any further discussion he had vanished. She still could not comprehend how he did that.
Left alone with her memories and a reminder of the unrequieted love that she found that after all these years was still there, she fell into an uneasy sleep that was frequently punctured by the image of a tall black figure in a pure, white mask.
Thank you for reading. I would be very grateful if you would review.