AN: A totally different take on the story and I'm not all that sure how it will pan out or how successful it will be. I hope that I manage to keep Maria and Georg in character.

Disclaimer: Written for pleasure not profit.

Rating: K+

Listen to Your Heart

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

~ Judy Garland

It was a beautiful day.

Just exactly the type of day that Maria loved. As she stepped out from the large cast iron gates of the Abbey, she pushed them shut behind her with a dull clunk. Taking a deep breath of pure Salzburg air, she clutched her bag and guitar firmly and set off towards the nearby bus stop,

Glancing behind her briefly, she let out a sigh of what could only be described as, relief. Just lately, she had found the strict rules and routines of her cloistered life to be stifling. The Reverend Mother had great plans for her and had kindly taken her under her wing, determined to make a nun of her. Whilst she would always be grateful for the sanctuary that the Reverend Mother and the Sisters had afforded her, Maria, however, had other ideas.

So, when the Mother Abbess informed Maria that she was being sent to look after the seven unruly children of a retired and widowed, naval Captain, rather than looking on the task as daunting, she in fact, clapped her hands together loudly and thanked the Lord for giving her the freedom she so longed for.

The Reverend Mother of course, had carefully chosen Maria for the job. She felt sure that after a few weeks of dealing with the undisciplined rabble of children, Maria would come scuttling back to the Abbey, having realised that life outside of its large grey walls was not as appealing as she thought and she would be begging to take her vows.

Maria placed her bags down on the ground by the bus stop and smoothed down her rather tattered and ugly dress. She hoped that when she settled in to her new place of work, she might be able to make herself some new clothes. She had never had all that many dresses anyway and she understood the need to give her worldly possessions to the poor when she had lived at the Abbey, never the less, she was a little ashamed of how she looked and she hoped that it wouldn't offend her new employer.

The journey to Aigen was a pretty one. Outside, the snow dusted mountains swept by and Maria gently rested her head against the bus window as her mind began to wander. She didn't know a great deal about Captain von Trapp. Indeed, the Reverend Mother had only imparted but the briefest of details, as she assumed that Maria would already know all about Austria's famous Naval hero. Not wishing to appear naïve, Maria just nodded and agreed.

What she did know made her feel sorry for him, having lost his wife and being left alone to look after his seven children. She imagined him to be old and cantankerous, with a bushy grey beard and large eyebrows. An overactive imagination had always been one of Maria's more annoying traits, according to Sister Margaretta and just as she began to daydream about the children the bus ground to an abrupt halt, as the bus driver peered round at Maria and began gesturing that this was her stop,

Grabbing her things, she hopped off the bus and thanked the driver for his directions to the von Trapp villa.

There was only a short distance for her to walk and the nearer she got the more hopeful she began to feel. One thing she had hated about being at the Abbey was the fact that she wasn't allowed to sing. So, now that she no longer needed to worry about offending Sister Berthe, she began to hum one of her favourite tunes as she made her way ever closer to her new life.

Arriving at the large imposing gates of her employer, she suddenly felt her optimism wane. Never for one minute had she expected the villa to be quite so large and opulent. Suddenly her dowdy appearance and lack of worldly possessions seemed to be of incredible significance.

She walked past the large fountain which dominated the front drive with her mouth agape and almost fell up the stairs by the huge front door. Catching her breath, she flopped backwards so that her shoulders rested against the cream stone wall. Gathering her courage, she pressed the bell, held her breath and waited patiently.

Before long, Maria could hear footsteps on the floor within. With a low creak, the door opened and inside, stood a rather beautiful, well-dressed woman. Maria was a little taken aback. She didn't expect that the Captain would open his own door but she had expected a butler or at least a housekeeper, but surely this wasn't the housekeeper, she looked far too stylish for that.

"May I help you?" the elegant woman enquired.

Maria, still a little bewildered looked on with a blank expression.

"Is there something I can do for you?" she asked again.

"Oh… oh yes, I'm the new Governess. I've been sent by the Reverend Mother from Nonnberg Abbey," Maria answered with a wide smile on her face and she held out her hand towards the older woman.

"Ah… of course. I had completely forgotten that we were expecting you today. Please, why don't you come in. I'm terribly sorry that Franz isn't here to carry your bags."

"Franz?" Maria, was a little puzzled.

"He's Captain von Trapp's butler, but I'm afraid it's his day off," the woman smiled and helped Maria in with her bag and guitar.

"I'm so sorry… I haven't even introduced myself. I'm Baroness Schrader… a friend of the Captain's. I've been trying to help him out with the children since the last Governess… ehrm… left so suddenly."

"I had heard that there had been a few… problems," Maria replied, cautiously.

"Yes, that's one way to put it," Baroness Schrader barely whispered under her breath. "If you wouldn't mind just waiting here a moment while I check if the Captain is free to see you."

Well, thought Maria. Perhaps she shouldn't have felt too sorry for the Captain. Her imagination began working in overdrive again and conjured up images of the Captain, although she was now beginning to doubt her earlier assumptions about his appearance, as a less than lonely individual with the Baroness Schrader as his companion.

As the woman glided away towards the other end of the hall and being left alone, Maria took the opportunity to explore her surroundings. The hall was rather magnificent with a large tiled floor and marble pillars. Several rooms seemed to lie off the main hallway and just behind her was a large sweeping staircase that meandered to the upper floors of the villa.

Most of the doors were ajar but one was closed tight and Maria's insatiable curiosity got the better of her. She tiptoed hesitantly over towards it and grasped the brass handle lightly. Twisting it slowly, the door opened easily and she squinted to see into the rather dark, dimly lit room. Walking to the centre, she soon realised that it was actually a magnificent ballroom with ornately carved, gold gilded panels and mirrors adorning the walls. The floor was sprung and covered with a beautiful mosaic of highly polished wooden tiles.

This was beyond anything that Maria could ever have imagined. She closed her eyes and she could hear the glorious sound of a small orchestra playing a beautiful waltz. All around her she felt the air begin to move as dozens upon dozens of smartly dressed couples spun and glided gracefully beside her. Still with her eyes tightly shut, not wanting the image to disappear, she curtsied extravagantly as an imaginary suitor asked for the next dance.

Elsa Schrader glanced around the hall and could see no sign of the new Governess. Her bag and guitar lay on the ground where she had left them and then she noticed the ballroom door ajar. She walked up to it quietly and pushed it further open. The young woman beyond looked beautiful, despite her poor attire, as she bowed and held out her hand. A chink of light shone through the heavy drapes that dressed the windows and fell delicately on her golden hair. She was such a breath of fresh air and not at all like any of the previous Governesses.

Stepping further into the room, a tile creaked under her shoe and betrayed the Baroness's presence.

Maria's arm flew up into the air and she dropped her hat as she was dragged from her daydream. She stared in shock towards the Baroness.

"I… I'm so sorry. I couldn't help myself," Maria squirmed in embarrassment as she swiftly picked up her hat and shuffled past the older woman as she made her way back into the hall.

Elsa Schrader pulled the door shut behind them. "Think yourself lucky my dear that it wasn't the Captain that found you in there." The door shut with a soft click and Elsa looked directly at the young woman who was looking decidedly confused.

"He doesn't allow anyone to set foot in that room, let alone dance in there," she raised her eyebrows sarcastically. "More's the pity."

"Oh, but it's such a beautiful room, it should be used and enjoyed," Maria sighed, innocently.

"Yes, well. It is the Captain's wishes and perhaps you will remember that there are some rooms in his house which are not to be disturbed." The Baroness smiled and then turned again to Maria. "Now then, let's take a look at you." She gestured with a flick of her finger for Maria to turn.

"Hmm… it'll never do I'm afraid," the Baroness shook her head in dismay, "You'll have to change before you meet the Captain and his children."

Maria glanced down at her dress and shrugged, "But I don't have anything else, I gave all my worldly goods to the poor. This was the only one they didn't want!"

Elsa Schrader laughed loudly. There was something about this girl that she liked and she just hoped that Georg von Trapp felt the same way, since his children desperately needed a Governess that was prepared to take on the challenge.

"Never mind, my dear," Elsa spoke softly as she reached out to guide Maria by the arm towards the stairs. "There's plenty of time before dinner for us to find you something suitable to wear."

"Won't I be meeting the Captain now?" asked Maria.

"No, I'm afraid he is a little tied up with business at the moment. He looks forward to seeing you at dinner though," the Baroness picked up Maria's guitar and led her up the stairs to her new room.

"Now, I will go and see if the children are ready to meet you. They are in their study room… studying… hopefully," Elsa sighed as she left Maria to become acquainted with her new room.

After placing her bag down on the bed, Maria walked over to the window which was open slightly.

She soon discovered that her bedroom had no balcony but it overlooked a small terrace below. She pulled back the curtains and opened the window fully, leaning out to breathe in the clean, crisp air. She pulled back suddenly as she saw a figure stride out onto the terrace below her. He seemed perplexed and agitated, as he rolled up his sleeves and ran his fingers through his hair before resting his forearms heavily on the stone balustrade that circled the terrace.

Watching intently, Maria noticed that the sound of the water lapping gently against the banks of the nearby lake seemed to have a calming effect on him. He pushed himself up from the balustrade before lowering himself onto a patio chair. He crossed his legs and raised his arms above his head, stretching slowly.

Was this Franz, the butler? Surely not, even on his days off he wouldn't be allowed to lounge around on the Captain's terraces. So, it must be the Captain himself, but if that was so, he didn't look anything like she imagined. At least he didn't from behind! If only he would turn slightly, she would be able to see his face.

Before Maria could satisfy her curiosity, her bedroom door flew open and what she could only describe as a herd of wild animals tumbled raucously into her room, followed by an apologetic Baroness Schrader.

"I'm so sorry," the Baroness cried as she desperately tried to straighten the rather unruly line of children.

Maria looked at the children as they continued to ignore the embarrassed Baroness. Realising that Maria was watching them without saying a word. One by one they stopped talking and stood in an uncomfortable silence in front of the young stranger.

"There, that's better. You sounded more like a group of wild dogs than the children of a decorated Naval Captain," Maria smiled at the Baroness, who allowed herself to relax a little.

The children continued to regard her suspiciously as she extracted information from them that they really would have rather not divulged. They liked to keep their Governesses guessing about their names and ages but this one, they discovered very quickly, was quite sharp and would be difficult to catch out.

Having made their introductions, the Baroness guided the children back to their bedrooms before returning to Maria's with a dress draped over her arm, which she placed down on the bed next to Maria's bag.

"I thought that maybe this dress might be suitable for you to wear for dinner?"

Picking the beautiful pale blue dress up from the bed, Maria rubbed the delicate material between her fingers.

"It's so pretty, but I really couldn't. It's far too…"

"Nonsense," Elsa interrupted, "I think it will be perfect."

"Well, if you're sure," Maria nodded, hesitantly.

"I am," Elsa smiled warmly. "Now, I shall go back to my room and get ready myself." Elsa turned as she reached the door. "Just one more thing, please don't be late. The Captain is quite a stickler for punctuality."

As the door shut tightly, Maria wandered over to the window once more. She looked down, but the mysterious man had gone. She felt oddly disappointed but soon realised that if it was the Captain that had walked onto the terrace below her, she would soon get the opportunity to meet him at dinner.

She yawned widely. It had been a long day and the nearby single bed looked so inviting. Surely she could be forgiven for having a quick nap before dinner? She put her bags and the dress to one side before climbing onto the incredibly soft bed. It didn't take long before she had drifted off into an unfortunately deep sleep.

xXx

So, I hope that this doesn't seem too way out! Please let me know what you think. I really do appreciate each and every review that I get. Thank you