I've been going backwards and forwards on whether Meg Giry is actually 'in love with' the Phantom or not (especially since I'm using the original London production canon here, after which we were assured that her interest is purely professional, though this frankly isn't what it looks like at all...) In the end I've largely left this part of the story in its state of confusion, since if there is one thing for certain in canon it is that the Phantom is not in love with Meg.
I never really thought much about the consistency of Meg's backstory before starting this chapter (not least because I was proceeding on the initial assumption that this dialogue would be seen from the Phantom's point of view!), so I've leaned quite heavily on aceofgallifrey's analysis, though I haven't swallowed this lock, stock and barrel because it's based on hyper-interpretation of the 2004 movie version in which Meg's role is considerably embroidered...
Chapter 7: Notes from Underground
Meg Giry had been the one on her way up out of the chorus, before any of this had ever started. She had been the one people noticed: the bright one, the quick one, the girl with the spark that said Look at me. She’d been the one who’d been featured in the minor rôles — serving-maids and confidantes, pageboys and peasant dancers, tiny parts all of them, but she’d been there on the programme with her name in print, she’d been there on the stage with her clear voice and her vivid grace and she’d made an impression.
She’d been the one with initiative and ambition, the one who was going places: her mother’s daughter. And it hadn’t been fair, because dreamy, quiet Christine Daaé had talent of her own that no-one ever saw. Christine could have done just as well as Meg if anyone had given her the chance. But if it had been left up to Christine, no-one would ever have looked twice.
So when Carlotta, the diva of those days, had let loose her temperament one time too many and stormed off the stage before the start of the production, Meg had followed the impulse of a moment — as so often in her life — and spoken up on her friend’s behalf: “Christine Daaé could do it, sir.” She’d known Christine was good; she’d heard her practising for her new teacher. She hadn’t had the faintest idea Christine was that good...
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