A/N: So I wasn't intending to post again this week, but I had some free time at school and thought up this chapter. I hope you like it. I still intend to post a nice long chapter after Fall Break, especially if I get some lovely reviews. Please enjoy ! A/N


Chapter 6: Mistresses and Miracles

September 11, 1851

Rouen, France

Erik

My mother made me skip school yesterday. I begged her to let me go, but she said school was spoiling me, and giving me dangerous ideas. I was crushed; I wanted to spend time with Daniel and see Ms. Brightman. I begged her to let me go, until she threatened to not let me go on Tuesday if I didn't shut up and stop my sniveling.

When I was about to leave for school on Tuesday, my father rushed into the house with another woman. She was young, maybe in her mid twenties, and very pretty with long, dark brown hair and sparkling green eyes. I ran back into my room to avoid being seen and to find out what was happening. Luckily I was able to hear their conversation.

My father yelled, "Genevieve, we need to talk! I'm done with not being able to please you; nothing I ever do is good enough for you. All you do is whine about what everyone thinks of you and how our son ruined our lives. At first, I hated him too because I thought he would ruin my business, but lately I've realized that he's only a child, for goodness' sake. He's my son, and I might never have another son. I know I won't with you anyway. You alienated me from my only child. I missed him growing up, learning to talk, and him taking his first steps, all thanks to you, and I'm not going to take this any longer! It's not his fault his face looks like it does. I know he's been reading my books; he's written notes and drawn sketches in them. Erik created beautiful buildings. Genevieve, he could be a genius, but if I let you have your way, he might be dead and the world would never know his potential! I've been gone a lot because of work, and because I met someone. I was called to design a law firm in Paris when I met her. Genevieve, meet Céleste. She's the most kind woman I've ever met. She's the reason I realized my mistake in abandoning Erik. I've told her all about Erik, and we reached a decision. I've already filed for a divorce from you, all I ask for is Erik . I just need you to sign these papers. Célstete and I intend to adopt Erik; he will be our child, and you'll never have to see him again. You can have the house and I've left you a decent sum; as long as you aren't extravagant, it should last you for the rest of your life."

My mother finally found her voice, I presumed she was in too much shock at first to say anything. " You want me to give you my son! I hate him, that's true, however I refuse to give him to you. You will spoil him! You hate me when I gave you that monstrosity, and I intend to make him pay for what he has done to me. I suppose you're right and it's not his fault that he was born this way. But it wasn't my fault my mother died giving birth to me, yet my father and brothers never forgave me for her death. So why should I forgive him? Why should I let you take him? What has he ever done to deserve this kindness? You'll spoil him by letting him think he has any worth. You know nothing about him since you are never home, and now I know why you were never home - because you're a lying, cheating bastard! Céleste will grow to hate you and rue this day for the rest of her life if she goes with you and the brat. You two will ruin her life just like you ruined mine!"

I could hear my father's smile as he uttered his next words. "That's fine, Genevieve, but I'll make sure the whole town knows you how badly you treated Erik. You'll be disgraced. I'll make sure what you've done followed you wherever you go. I could have you imprisoned even. Did I mention Céleste is the most successful lawyer in Europe ? So I advise you take my offer and sign the papers."

I laughed at my father's cleverness. I couldn't believe he cared so much about me, that he wanted to get to know me! I was going to leave my mother! Then I remembered Daniel. I had only met him a few days ago, but I had the feeling we were destined to be friends. If I went with them, I'd have to leave him.

My mother's indignant shriek interrupted my thoughts. "How dare you blackmail me ! You've given me no choice but to take your offer and sign these bloody papers. Get out of my house and take that miserable brat with you!"

I heard my father smile again, "Thank you, Genevieve, I appreciate your cooperation and wise decision."

My father came to the door of my room. " I'm sorry I abandoned you, Erik. I realized recently that you're my son, and you deserve to be treated better than this. I am not going to lie to you, I did once despise you for not having a perfect face. Céleste has helped me to be a better person and see that there are more important things than appearances. She told me about your gift at piano. She walked by here one day and thought she heard a master musician; I asked your mother about it and she told me it must have been you for you had begged her to teach you. Genevieve told me how she refused but it wouldn't surprise her if you had disobeyed her. Céleste and I have been planning this for a long time, but we finally got all the papers ready this morning. So I apologize, son, and I hope you can forgive me and give me a second chance. I promise I'll be a better father for you."

I felt like I was going to burst with happiness. My father cared about me! Yes, he wasn't perfect, but he was trying. He's giving me a chance when no one except for my teacher, Daniel, and Daniel's mother had before. I ran towards my father and hugged him. "Of course I forgive you father, thank you!"

"Pack your clothes Erik. Céleste has a house in Paris. We will leave in an hour so that we can reach Paris before nightfall. ,I can't wait to show you the city!"

"Father may I say goodbye to my teacher and Daniel? They have been very kind to me, and I'll miss them. "

"Of course you may, Erik. I'm glad you have a friend, and I'm sorry to take you away from him. You don't have to go with me if you want to stay."

"No father, I want to go with you and Celéste; I just need to say goodbye."

And I trudged to school, in shock from everything that had just transpired. I was going to have a real family, one that would love me! I would miss Daniel but I knew I would see him again.

I arrived at the school, and knocked on the door. Ms. Brightman answered it with a cheerful smile, "We missed you yesterday, Erik; Daniel was worried about you. Do you have an explanation for your tardiness?"

"Ms. Brightman, I'm leaving for Paris with my father. I don't think I'll be returning. May I please say goodbye to Daniel?"

"I'm sorry, Erik, Daniel isn't here today. Maybe you should stop by his house."

I took off running. I had no idea why he wasn't at school, but I had to find out. I could only assume the worst. I reached his house and collapsed. The house was burned to the ground. I got up and looked around the ruins searching for some sign of them, praying they were lying somewhere injured. Instead, I found their charred skeletons. I fell back onto the ground, crying. I don't remember much after that; my father showed up and carried me home, we got into a carriage...

When I woke up, it was dark out but the lights of the city were bright. We pulled up to a large house and got out. My father told me it was Céleste's house.


September 13, 1851

Paris, France

Erik

I woke up. It was light outside. Everything that happened slowly started coming back to me like wonderful but terrible dream.

My father cared about me, I was in Paris with a family that might love me, and I might never have to see my mother again. But Daniel was dead. Daniel and his mother were so kind to me. Someone hateful killed them, and I would probably never know why they were murdered.

I could only assume it was because they were Jewish. Some stupid anti-semitic had killed them for no other reason that because of their religion. I would never see my friend again.

Céleste came up to my room with a tray of eggs, toast, and hot chocolate! I thanked her for the food, but I knew I could never eat that much. I usually just had a slice of toast for dinner and that I was all I ate for the day, but I appreciated the thought.

"Are you alright, Erik? Your father told me about what happened to your friend. I'm really sorry. I know you don't know my, but I would like for you to. Your father has told me all about you; he really loves you, Erik, and feels terrible about abandoning you. He doesn't know how to make it up to you, but would do anything to make up for it if he could. I would love to get to know you, Erik. You seem like a really wonderful boy. I brought you food; you better eat it because you're too skinny. You're welcome to explore the house. This is your room; there is a library and a music room. If you need any help with anything or have a question, there are plenty of servants. I have to go meet a client at the office, but I should be back before lunch and then your father and I will take you around Paris. If that's okay with you ?"

As she talked, a smile kept growing on my face. I got to live here, I had my own great room, there was a library and a music room! "I would love to see Paris I can't wait to see the house as well! Have a great day at work Céleste. I devoured the eggs, and gulped down the hot chocolate, I couldn't wait to explore the house. My room was huge. It had a large bed with the softest sheets and pillows, there was a window with a bench under it that would be a perfect place to read. There was a desk with plenty of paper and pens, I could finally draw my cities, and maybe even write music because Daniel taught me how to read it, he would me so proud of me. Then I remembered he was dead, that I'd never get to share my music with him. I started crying the pain of losing him was just too much for me to cope with. I cried for what felt like hours remembering what little time I spent with him and all the kindness he showed me, he was the only person who's ever wanted to be my friend. Céleste came into my room again, " Erik, are you okay? You haven't left you room - have you been crying? What's wrong ?"

I broke down and told her everything about Daniel. I told her how much he meant to me and everything he had done for me in the albeit brief time I knew him. She held me as I sobbed, comforting me and telling me I would be okay. "I know this is hard on you to lose someone you care about, especially at such a young age. I wish I could help you. It'll heal in time, but Daniel will always have a special place in your heart. What if we go take a drive around Paris and get you some new clothes that fit you ?"

"That sounds nice, Céleste. I'm sorry for being this way. I'm ready to go."

"Don't apologize, Erik; it's okay and I understand what you are going through but Daniel wouldn't have wanted you to waste your life away. It's okay to cry and miss him, but it is also okay to live and enjoy your life. It's not your fault that this happened."

We took a drive around Paris. It was a beautiful city but rather crowded. We drove under the Arc De Triomphe; it was beautiful, the elegance of a structure like that, it was something I could only dream of achieving one day. We went into a fashionable looking shop, I tried on many trousers and coordinating shirts and jackets. I caught a few people staring at my mask, but no one dared say anything since Céleste was a paying customer. Céleste decided which looked best and had them pinned to be tailored. "There, Erik, now you have some clothes that fit you. You looked rather handsome in them."

I knew she was lying; no one would ever compliment my appearance, but maybe with the mask it wasn't that bad. I thanked her for the clothes, and we headed back to the carriage where my father was waiting. When we got back into to the carriage, I asked them where we were heading now.

My father answered, "We have a surprise for you Erik. Céleste and I know how much you love music so we are taking you to see an opera."

"Father, thank you! I can't believe you would do that for me. What is an opera?"

"It's a performance like a play that tells a story solely through music and singing."

"That sounds wonderful father thank you! What opera are we seeing ?"