Hi guys here is the next chapter :D I would like to thank SailorSedna052 for being my first favourite and follow :) I would also like to thank Angelofmusic46 for being my first reviewer as well as favourite and follow my story :) Your kind words mean a lot and it is nice to know my story is loved :) As you know I don't own anything from Phantom but I own my own characters :) On with the show :D Oh yes anything in italics is the character dreaming :)

The Rose of Self

Chapter One: I Find People Confusing...

Caroline's POV

~September 1906~

I am Caroline Bellerose and at the age of 16 in the year 1906 I lost my parents to the De Chagny's; a family who only care for one thing and that is power.

My mother called Karoline was betrothed to my father Alexandre at a young age and was a very happy couple; that was until I was born. My mother knew to call me Caroline after her; with a one letter difference but my father wanted to call me Katherine instead. But he was won over; so my life was filled with joy and laughter, at first. However as I grew older; looking more and more like my mother as each day passed, my father noticed I didn't live up to my name as much as he wanted me to and to the fullest. Instead of being adventurous and loving change to the fullest I detested it; but even though rebellion, intelligence and fighting against restrictions and rules was part of my namesake I still never really got on well with my father.

But let's not dwell too much on the past. It has been precisely six months since my parents were taken from me and I have been living with my 'Aunt' Antoinette Giry and my 'Uncle' Nadir Kahn in hiding as the threat from the De Chagny's was still at large. Antoinette and Nadir have been my parent's advisers for as long as I can remember but when my parents were killed they became my parents; however I call them Aunt and Uncle out of ingrained politeness, mostly on my father's insistence.

It was like any other morning in my life where I have the routine of getting up at precisely 7:01am; not sure why it has to be precisely at that time but I guess it is one of the things I do because I am a 'little bit quirky'. After breakfast I then have tutoring where I learn all about maths, history, science and everything else in between. I also learn about ruling a nation and etiquette which I never really like as I find the rules so confusing. Why can't anyone explain to me why I find people so confusing? I mean all my life I have been unable to make friends except with Antoinette and Nadir as they never judged me; I don't even get on well with the castle staff as they always judged me. I felt like they were always criticising me when they were staring at me whenever I did something not 'proper' or out of the ordinary. But who dictates what is proper and what isn't? I know the first thing I'll do is change the rules on etiquette and what is deemed 'proper' the moment I am crowned queen; however I cannot become queen until I am 18. Once tutoring is over after three hours of learning I am then allowed to spend my time in any way I please; I decided to wander the gardens whilst the weather was nice as I enjoy looking at all of the flowers we grow there. As I walked around smelling the flowers I just stood there and closed my eyes; feeling the sun on my face and enjoying its warmth and that's when I heard it, a bird singing somewhere in the distance inspiring me to compose. I ran back into the castle up to the music room where my violin resided and started to write down the notes frantically before I forgot any part of my song. After several hours of writing down, scribbling out and playing my violin later my song was finished; but there was one thing missing...a name. What would I call this piece? But no matter how much I thought of a name none came to me; I decided to leave it on my music stand for the time being until a name came to me. I left out of the music room and just wandered the corridors aimlessly thinking of what I should do next. Soon enough I found myself in the library where we have hundreds upon hundreds of books on every subject imaginable. I remember as a child not being allowed to read any of the books except the story books as it was frowned upon for a woman to read and show any kind of intelligence. However when my parents died my Aunt and Uncle allowed me to read whatever books I pleased as well as get educated on science and maths which I wasn't educated on before. When I was a child all I had to learn about was needlepoint, etiquette and how to rule a kingdom; but even though I could comprehend the science there was still so much more I wanted to know about the world. I just wished I had the courage to go and explore it but I don't think I could handle the change in my routine if I did so. As I sat and read a book all about the meaning of flowers there was a knock on the door and so I put my book down before proceeding to open the door a little to see who was on the other side.

"Sorry to disturb you miss but I was sent to inform you that dinner's ready and on the table."

"Ok I'll be right down." I replied quietly and so after putting the book back on the shelf I went down to the dining room where Nadir and Antoinette were already settled down and eating their dinner.

"Ah Caroline so glad you could join us. How has your day been today?" Nadir asked as he ate.

"I learnt all about earthquakes today; it was really interesting. I also had a walk in the gardens and composed a new song." I replied excitedly.

"I thought I could hear music echoing through the castle; it sounded beautiful. What's it called?" Antoinette asked curiously.

"I haven't thought of a name so far; but it will come to me. Usually when I least expect it." I replied once I finished my mouthful of food.

"I'm glad you've had such a productive day darling." Antoinette said in a motherly way. We then sat and ate in contemplative silence. Once we finished we sat in front of the fire and talked about what is going on in the town at the moment until I decided to turn in for the night.

I found myself down a familiar corridor but something didn't feel right; it was too quiet for my liking and there was this feeling of darkness and foreboding in the air.

"Mother? Father? Are you there?" I called out hoping they would answer me; but no-one answered which worried me greatly. As I walked around I heard voices that I didn't recognise coming from the lounge and so I went to investigate to see a figure standing there with a sword in their hand.

"The reign of the Bellerose family is over! And we will gain the hand of their daughter when she comes of age!" The figure said deeply and I then realised there were figures lying on the floor that looked like my parents causing a whimper to unintentionally escape my lips. I could hear the whimper echoing around the corridor causing the figure to turn around and stare in my direction. I tried running but their laughter followed me and when I looked back I tripped causing me to fall to the floor; I then looked up to see the sword ominously coming towards me and a scream escaped my lips...

"Caroline wake up! You're having a nightmare no-one can harm you!" A voice called out and I looked around to see Antoinette sitting by my bed with a worried look in her eyes.

"Why does the memory continue to haunt me so?" I asked tearfully as I wrapped my arms tightly around her waist which she returned gently.

"I don't know dear but I wish I could make the memory go away darling." She replied soothingly as she rubbed my back up and down a little.

"I just wish the memory would stop haunting me so much." I continued tearfully as the tears couldn't stop falling.

"I'll get you a cup of cocoa; that should soothe you so you can get a few more hours of sleep." And with that she left the room with purpose in her stride and I closed my eyes for a few moments hoping to catch up on lost sleep. But every time I closed my eyes I kept seeing the death of my parents over and over again. When I heard the door open again I was sitting on my bed with my arms wrapped around my knees and rocking backwards and forwards.

"Here's your cocoa darling." She cooed gently and I took it from her gently before blowing on it a little so I could drink it without burning my lips. Once I finished it I felt a bit more sleepy and so I placed it on the bedside table before curling under the covers, closing my eyes and letting sleep take over.

When I woke up again I felt the sun filtering through the windows and it felt like today was going to be a good day. I got up and looked at the calendar to realise it was my birthday today causing an excited squeal to escape my lips. After getting into my favourite dress I ran downstairs to see a feast spread out on the table.

"Happy birthday Caroline!" Everyone called out at once and I sat down before helping myself to a big pile of pancakes with strawberries and chocolate chips; my favourite birthday breakfasts treat. Once I finished breakfast the maids cleared the table and suddenly there were lots of presents being piled onto the table. I gently opened each one even though I wanted to be an excited child really.

"Darling we won't judge you if you want your inner child to come through." Antoinette said gently and with that I started ripping the paper off like a child on Christmas morning. Most of the presents were books but one present intrigued me the most; inside the box was the most beautifully crafted mask which was white with black music notes painted on.

"Who's this one from?" I asked myself and I proceeded to look through the wrapping for some sort of gift tag or note.

"There's no note. That's odd; why would someone give me a gift without leaving a note?" I continued to ask myself hoping the answer would come to me. I looked up to see this strange look overcoming Antoinette and Nadir's face; but what was it exactly? Was this the look they exhibit when they know something they don't? I then watched as they talked to each other quietly for a moment before they said simultaneously.

"If you'll excuse us we have some errands to run before tonight." And they left the room as I watched on with furrowed brows.

"What just happened there? I find people so confusing." I muttered to myself and with a shake of the head I put my presents away as thoughts of the mysterious sender ran through my head...