The Sugar Quill
Author: wereanglen  Story: Visiting Days  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

remusopera

Disclaimer: Neither of us owns JK Rowling’s characters or world. They are all hers. Dang it. Nor do either of us own Yolanda's fics, nor those of the Werewolf Registry Alphas (AlphieLJ, Durayan, and Thing1), nor any of those authors' characters! We also do not own any of the lyrics to quite a number of well-known and easily recognizable musical pieces, although snippets of many songs appear here. The lyrics to the two arias that Remus sings, of course, are all ours. Further, we are making no money from this, nor do we intend any sort of copyright infringement. This fic is intended solely for personal distribution, and any other form of distribution is prohibited without the explicit consent of both authors.

Author’s Note: If you have seen Rossini's La Cenerentola, think about the two sisters running poor Cenerentola ragged in the first act. The appropriate portion of that libretto is added at the end of Act 1.

We, wereanglen, are Mincot and ChorneyVolk, and this opera is a collaborative effort. Mincot wrote the first Act of this opera (in fact, the plot bunny and idea of an opera are solely hers). ChorneyVolk wrote the second Act (expanding the grand idea, and adding her own knowledge and experience of script-writing and stage production work). We do hope you enjoy it.

Visiting Days

Act 1

As the curtain rises, we see that the LEFT side of the stage is dark. On the RIGHT side, we see CHORNEYVOLK sitting on a bar-stool at a kitchen pass-through, talking on the telephone. She is making notes. Littering the counter are travel brochures, opera tickets, and New York subway passes.

CHORNEYVOLK: Thank you … yes … yes … Newark at four-thirty. Right. British Airways number 47? Yes …. (joggles the switchhook) Yes, I'm still here. We'll call for the tickets … Saturday at eight … yes, we'll be there early, thank you! (joggles the switchhook) Are you still there? Yes? All right …we'll meet the plane. Thank you!

(The light fades on the RIGHT of the stage; lights up on the LEFT. MINCOT is in her living room, sitting on the couch, with several books piled on the coffee table. The top book reads, "100 Best Hikes in the Pacific Northwest." She is talking on a cellular phone.)

MINCOT: Yes, that's right. I hope you like to go hiking. We're not as much into cultural events, being so isolated, but we do put on a grand summer musical … yes … uh huh …. Monday, then. See you!

(She switches off the phone and sets it on the coffee table as the stage goes dark. Above, the lights come up showing an apartment balcony. A VOICE in the background sings "Deep in the Heart of Texas," slightly off key. YOLANDA appears.)

YOLANDA: Oh, I wish that jerk would shut up! Remy, dear, I hope you don't mind too much, the rest of your visit hasn't been too bad, at least, you've seemed to enjoy it. (YOLANDA leaves the balcony and firmly draws the curtain.)

The stage is dark for a minute, and then the lights come up. REMUS LUPIN stands center stage. CHORNEYVOLK still sits at her kitchen stool, MINCOT is on her couch, and YOLANDA'S balcony can be seen, although YOLANDA does not appear.

MINCOT and CHORNEY VOLK both sit up, surprised, and look first at REMUS, then at each other, and then back at REMUS.

CHORNEYVOLK: Remy, love, you're visiting me next, remember? We're going to the opera, and the museum —I'm really looking forward to your take on the primitive art exhibit at the Met.

MINCOT: Right, but then make sure you've got your hiking boots on — you promised you'd come camping with me.

ALKARI strolls onto stage LEFT, whistling "Waltzing Matilda." She looks at both CHORNEYVOLK and MINCOT, shakes her head, smiles at REMUS, and exits stage RIGHT.

CHORNEYVOLK: Well, Remy, you're coming here first.

MINCOT: Yes, as long as you remember you're coming here next. And don't you and Yolanda have more plans after that?

CHORNEYVOLK: And if you don't visit the Alphas, I can't say what might — or might not — happen.

REMUS has been looking wildly around, first at CHORNEYVOLK, then at MINCOT.

REMUS: Oh, dear.
(begins to sing)
First I'm going here with* you,
Then I'm going there with* her,
Then I'm told I have to* go
somewhere else* — oh,* what a stir!
What a ruckus you're all* making!
Can't you leave a chap* alone?
If I thought it would be* useful,
I'd eviscerate* the phone.

MINCOT and CHORNEYVOLK look at each other and shrug. From YOLANDA's balcony we hear her call REMUS' name.)

MINCOT: But we love you, Remus, and we all want to spend time with you... show you our favorite things...

REMUS: Oh, please don't start singing; I hate that sappy musical!

CHORNEYVOLK, MINCOT: Remus, you PROMISED us you'd come!

CHORNEYVOLK: Besides, don't you think it fair that you get to see OUR world?

REMUS: (mopping his brow) Not if I'm this tired. Ladies, you seem to think I lead no other life than to come visiting! I want to see Katie and the children sometime. You're all very kind, but couldn't you spread out the invitations a little?

YOLANDA: (From the balcony) Remus?

(MINCOT and CHORNEYVOLK shrug their shoulders.)

CHORNEYVOLK: Remember you're to be here on Friday.

MINCOT: And I've got you down for Monday.

CHORNEYVOLK: I've bought you tickets for Jamaica...

MINCOT: We'll go look at Mount Rainier!

(Lights dim on MINCOT and CHORNEYVOLK, both still repeating their offers. Spotlight on REMUS.)

REMUS: This is insane.
(singing)
I'd have to rip myself* in shreds
To be where they want me* to be
The opera here, and Dal*las there
How many of me must* there be?
Even with magic I can't* do it,
Accept all these kind invi*tations;
After a week of this,* I swear
I need at least six months' va*cation!
And NO TRAVELING.

(ALKARI enters stage LEFT, whistling "Waltzing Matilda" and carrying a sign showing exchange rates--Galleons, pounds sterling, US$, CAN$, A$. She crosses the stage, smiling at REMUS, and exits stage RIGHT.)

YOLANDA: (from the balcony): Remus!

CHORNEYVOLK: Why can't you come visit all of us?

REMUS: Ladies, I don't have time! I have my own house, my own work, my own family! I'm going nuts being in three or four places at once. And if you Registry wolves keep growing at the rate you are... I shudder to think how many places I will have to be simultaneously. (He scowls.) Remember Hermione and the Time-Turner? And she was only doing a few hours over again!

MINCOT: (wheedling) But, Remy...

REMUS: No. No, no, no!

CHORNEY: Well, it's not as if we're the fictional ones...

(Remus looks at her in horror, and begins to back off stage LEFT.)

REMUS: Those Alphas were much better than this! ... Alkari, help!

(He dashes off stage RIGHT. CHORNEY and MINCOT look at each other and shrug.)

YOLANDA: (from above): Remus?

~ Curtain ~

Clorinda e Tisbe
Cenerentola vien qua.
Le mie scarpe, il mio bonné.
Cenerentola vien qua.
Le mie penne, il mio collié.
*

Nel cervello ho una fucina;
Son più bella e vo' trionfar.
A un sorriso, a un'occhiatina
Don Ramiro ha da cascar.

Cenerentola
Cenerentola vien qua.
Cenerentola va' là.
Cenerentola va' su.
Cenerentola va' giù.

Questo è proprio uno strapazzo!
Mi volete far crepar?
Chi alla festa, chi al solazzo
Ed io resto qui a soffiar.

Alidoro
Nel cervello una fucina
Sta le pazze a martellar.
Ma già pronta è la ruina.
Voglio ridere a schiattar.

Coro
Già nel capo una fucina
Sta le donne a martellar;
Il cimento si avvicina,
Il gran punto di trionfar.

Clorinda
(dando una moneta a Cenerentola, onde la dia ai seguaci del Principe)
Date lor mezzo scudo. Grazie. Ai cenni
Del Principe noi siamo.
(osservando il povero e raggricciando il naso)
Ancor qui siete?
Qual tanfo! Andate, o ve ne pentirete.

Cenerentola
(accompagnando Alidoro)
(Io poi quel mezzo scudo
A voi l'avrei donato;
Ma non ho mezzo soldo. Il core in mezzo
*
Mi spaccherei per darlo a un infelice.)
(marcato assai, e Alidoro parte)

Act 2, Scene 1

As the curtain rises, the LEFT side of the stage is dark. On the RIGHT side, lit with spotlight, we see CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS, sitting on the sofa in her Living Room, facing the fireplace. There is a fire lit. On the coffee table before them, there is a tray of tea, coffee, cups & saucers, spoons, napkins, and a plate of CHORNEYVOLK's homemade biscotti. CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS appear to be in some sort of mild argument — or at least, some sort of disagreement.

REMUS: Right then, I'm here. (sighing and leaning back) Where are we going, now? (He picks up his cup of tea, and has a swallow, and nibbles on a biscotti, absently...)

CHORNEYVOLK: Tomorrow morning, after breakfast, we're going into the City — Manhattan, that is. We'll head for the Met first, to catch that primitive art exibit that you want to see so much... (Remus raises his eyebrows at her last words, but CHORNEYVOLK deliberately ignores this, and continues) Then, we'll have lunch. I thought you'd enjoy shopping in the Village — Greenwich Village, that is. And after that, we will head over to the Met. There ought to be enough time to enjoy sitting at the fountain... I'm sure you've seen pictures of Lincoln Center before, right?

REMUS: (a bit dazedly) Yes, of course... the fountain at Lincoln Center... Yes, right... (looking confused) But... are both the art exibit and the opera at 'the Met'? I'm afraid I don't quite understand...

CHORNEYVOLK: (bursts out laughing) Oh, no... Well, yes... I mean...

REMUS: (a bit short-tempered, being so exhausted) Well, which is it, then? YES... or NO?

CHORNEYVOLK: (still laughing) It's... both! Yes and No! The Metropolitan Museum of Art is colloquially referred to 'the Met'... The Metropolitan Opera House, at Lincoln Center, is also commonly referred to as 'the Met'... And, of course, the baseball team that plays at Shea Stadium are also the Mets! ... And, lest we completely confuse you non-New Yorkers, the city's public bus system, and the subway — the tube, that is -- is sometimes called 'the Met'. I never really thought about this before, but I suppose we call everything 'the Met'.

REMUS: (on the verge of total breakdown, nearly bug-eyed, speaking peevishly) Oh, isn't that a right riot! How do you people know where the bloody hell it is that any of the rest of you are speaking of?!

CHORNEYVOLK: (suddenly realizing the degree of exhaustion that Remus must be feeling, speaking solicitously) You must be so tired, what with the time changes and all that... After all, this day must seem as though it will never end — having gone through... how many time changes, in the past 24 hours?

REMUS: (yawning, barely awake, not even remembering to excuse himself for having yawned) Too many.

CHORNEYVOLK: Well then, come with me; it's time you went to bed. (rising) Let's get you upstairs and settled into the guest bedroom.

REMUS rises from the sofa, swaying a bit. CHORNEYVOLK exits stage RIGHT.
REMUS breaks into an aria:


Someone once said: 'Fame is clearly * not everything'.
I cannot think straight enough now — * who might've been.
I do care for all the ladies, * most certainly;
that they all adore me so much, * is such flattery!
But — if I do not get a break * from this treadmill,
I shall most assuredly go * mad in this hell
of the 'rush here' and the 'dash there' * and the lack of rest.
My destruction truly will be * at my fans' behest!

(ALKARI enters stage RIGHT, in the middle of Remus' aria, carrying a sign diagramming
the complicated time zone differences he's had to endure during the past actual 48 hours.
She walks across the stage. As she passes Remus, she winks at him. She exits stage LEFT,
as he continues to sing.
)

Oh, why can't they leave a poor* chap alone —
just long enough that heee
might be able to leave* the phone
and rest a bit, peacefullyyy?
Oh, why must they push... and push...* and push...
'till they all drive me mad?
If this continues, then I shall* be pushed
straight into insanityyyyyyyy!

REMUS follows after CHORNEYVOLK, exits stage RIGHT. Lights very, very slowly dim.

Offstage voices clearly heard by audience:

YOLANDA's voice calls out: REMUS?

CHORNEYVOLK's voice: What was that?

REMUS' voice: (after a loudly heard yawn) Erm... that was... Yolanda, I do believe...

CHORNEYVOLK's voice: (in a dramatic stage whisper) Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Yolanda! Hush! For goodness sakes, Remy's utterly exhausted, and he's trying to go to sleep! How about tomorrow?

Lights fade to black.

~ Curtain ~


Act 2, Scene 2

As the curtain rises,the RIGHT side of the stage is dark, and the LEFT side is lit with a single spot, creating shadows along the entire periphery. CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS enter from the LEFT side audience aisle and climb the stairs to the stage. They are chatting. REMUS is juggling seven or eight large paper shopping bags and boxes with portable handles tied onto them.

REMUS: My goodness, but we've done quite a bit today! We've been to the Met — the Metropolitan Museum of Art, that is... The Cloisters — It's incredible how you've all reconstructed a European medieval convent so accurately, here in New York, and how you've created a museum with it... Been all through Greenwich Village — and shopped 'till we've very nearly dropped... (REMUS chuckles at this...) I still like that phrase, "shopped 'till we've dropped"... (chuckles again)

CHORNEYVOLK: (laughing, amused at Remus' easy amusement with that simple common phrase) Yes, well, this — here in the subway — is about as quiet a spot as we're likely to find in Chinatown on a Saturday afternoon, so... If you are going to... do whatever with your wand... this is the time and place to do it... Once we go back up into the street, there'll be too many people around, so...

REMUS: Yes, yes, right then. (takes his wand from his sleeve, and waves it over the packages, saying one word) Minimum!

(All bags and boxes shrink down to palm-sized things, which REMUS picks up and puts in various pockets. CHORNEYVOLK looks on, eyes wide.)

CHORNEYVOLK: Wow! Where are you, whenever I need a hand, when I go shopping?!

REMUS just smiles at her.

Stage darkens fully, and audience hears the sounds of footsteps on cement stairs, and some heavy breathing, and some occasional rustling. Six seconds later, lights come back up. CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS are still on the LEFT half of the stage, and the background scene is of a busy city street. The sounds of traffic, voices in snatches of conversation as passers-by pass, etc. are heard. CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS are walking towards the RIGHT side of the stage. As they reach CENTER stage, the spot light on the LEFT fades to black, simultanelously, another spotlight on the RIGHT side of the stage fades to full light. We see a restaurant, and there is a red sign out front with gold letters, larger Chinese letters on top, and smaller English letters below the Chinese.

CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS enter small Chinese restaurant (on the RIGHT side of the stage). REMUS notices the sign, in large gold Chinese letters, and underneath, in smaller golden English letters, it says Sung Dynasty Chinese Restuarant. He read the sign aloud, softly. The hostess, dressed in long tight red silk dress slit high up on both sides, bows slightly to the couple.

HOSTESS: Nee-how, Chorn-ee-Volk!

CHORNEYVOLK: Hin how, shye-shye. Ni neh?

HOSTESS: Duo shao gke jhren?

CHORNEYVOLK: Liang-gke jhren.

Hostess seats REMUS and CHORNEYVOLK at a banquette for two. She then leans close to Chorneyvolk's ear and whispers: Cheeng da-joau shenmeh ming-dze?

CHORNEYVOLK: Da-ying-when-joau Remus.

HOSTESS: (obviously trying to duplicate the sounds, and failing somewhat) Lee-muhs?

CHORNEYVOLK: (shaking her head, saying it slower, over-enunciating it) Rrree-mus.

HOSTESS: (trying again, this time getting it better) Rlee-muhs.

REMUS: Yes, that's right. (giving the Chinese woman a big, warm smile) How do you do? And you're name's...?

HOSTESS:(bowing to Remus) How you do do-o-o? My name Mei-Ling.

(A waiter comes over with menus, but ChorneyVolk waves them away.)

WAITER: Nee-how, Chorn-ee-Volk.

CHORNEYVOLK: Hin ho-ow. How bu Ho-ow?

WAITER: Hin how.

CHORNEYVOLK:(to Remus) Is it all right if I order for us, Remus? Is there anything you particularly dislike?

REMUS:(rather impressed) Please, do order. I didn't know you could speak Chinese! Just don't make it anything too terribly spicy, if you please.

CHORNEYVOLK: Yes, I speak Mandarin Chinese, but very little Cantonese, and almost none of any of the Western dialects. (then, with a coy smirk) Um — do you want any soup, Remus? Winter melon, or sweet-and-sour?

REMUS: (supressing a groan) Please, Chorney! (rolling his eyes dramatically) Like the Alphas don't already give me more than enough soup! (his voice softening, and a smile creeping over his face) Although... it is always very good soup... and it's always such a great source of comfort.

CHORNEYVOLK: (laughing) Okay, okay... No soup. Dim dum — How about steamed pork dumplings, then... And, might you like a two-course Peking duck meal?

REMUS: (eyes wide) Oh, that sounds splendid! I'm quite ravenous after everything we've done, everywhere we've gone, today!

CHORNEYVOLK:(speaking to waiter) Hong cha. Dim sum. Beijing ghee. (after a slight pause, as an afterthought...) Cheeng liaang shuan kwai-tdze.

WAITER bows and leaves. In a few more moments, a young girl brings a pot of hot red tea, two cups, napkins, two sets of wooden chopsticks in the ubiquitous red-and-yellow paper sleeves. CHORNEYVOLK nods to her , the girl bows, then leaves. CHORNEYVOLK then pours a cup of the hot tea into one cup, and hands it to REMUS, who takes it rather delicately, with a quizzical look in his eyes. He politely waits for CHORNEYVOLK to pour herself a cup of the tea, but she sits, watching REMUS, and waits expectantly. Finally realizing that REMUS must not be aware of fancy Chinese customs, she speaks.

CHORNEYVOLK: (amused) You're supposed to taste your tea, first, and, then, if it tastes right, you nod to me approvingly, and I know that I may have some.

REMUS: Oh, sorry. (He takes a sip of the very hot tea, and nods 'yes' to Chorneyvolk, who then pours herself a cupful, and tastes it, nodding. Only then does Remus notice that the girl is in the far corner, by the kitchen, waiting and watching thm. Once she sees that they are satisfied, she ducks back into the kitchen.) I'm afraid I'm a bit out of my element, here... You may have to coach me.

CHORNEYVOLK: Not a problem, Remy. Err... you do know how to use chopsticks, don't you?

REMUS: (sighing) Erm, I can use them, in a manner of speaking... but not very well, I'm afraid.

CHORNEYVOLK: Oh, I'm sure you'll do just fine...

REMUS looks a bit doubtful.

Soon, the dim sum is served, with the rich brown dipping sauce that is customarily served with steamed pork dumplings. REMUS somehow manages not to embarrass himself too much with his chopsticks. Once they are finished, CHORNEYVOLK sets her chospticks across the top of her used plate; REMUS, not thinking anything of this oddity, sets his on the tablecloth.

No sooner than they finished the dim sum, did the waiter come out, wheeling a serving trolly with a golden roast duck on a platter, and two smaller plates, and a few silvery covered dishes. The girl followed behind the waiter. She begins to clean up the first course dishes, and CHORNEYVOLK takes her chopsticks into her hand before the girl picks up her plate. Upon seeing REMUS' chopsticks on the tablecloth, the girl starts, and then quickly grabs them, taking them away — along with the dirty dishes — with her to the kitchen. REMUS is puzzled, but before CHORNEYVOLK has the chance to explain, the girl returns with a fresh clean set of chopsticks in a paper sleeve, and she sets down two little oblong china rectangles with a depression on the table — one right above the spot where CHORNEYVOLK's plate will go, and one right above where where REMUS' plate will go. She backs away silently. CHORNEYVOLK, who is still holding her shopsticks in her hand, sets them deliberately on the little china chopstick holder, silently demonstrating what REMUS should do with his own. He follows suit, sheepishly.

WAITER: (bows to the couple, but has a look of embarrassment on his face) Sorry, sorry, duck is not nice. Cook leave it to roast two minutes too long, duck is overdone. (shakes his his sadly, managing to look even more deeply embarrassed) You want me send duck back to kitchen? Wait for better duck? Sorry, so sorry, Chorn-ee-volk, sorry.

REMUS: (peering anxiously at the duck) I see nothing wrong with the duck; it's just fine. In fact... (looking hungrily at the duck) ... It looks simply delicious!

WAITER: Oh, no, duck is left to cook two minutes too long... See? Skin is too brown, almost burn! Duck not good, can have a better duck... Only twenty-five minutes...

CHORNEYVOLK: (apparently not finding this incident unexpected at all, calmly speaks) No, Lee is right, the duck is over cooked — by two minutes. (shooting a warning look at Remus, before continuing) But, unfortunately, Lee, we have opera tickets, and we haven't the extra time to wait for another duck, so... this overcooked duck will have to do; It's all right. It will suffice.

WAITER: Yes, yes, Chorn-ee-volk, sorry, so sorry. (to Remus) But, duck meat will taste just as good, mu-shuu, for second course, Rlee-muhs!

REMUS watches in fascination, as the waiter begins the customary fancy, formal carving off of the golden, crispy roasted skin. He watches, utterly entranced, as the waiter slices the carved skin into pieces, and wraps them deftly in the little thin pancake-like wrappers with slivered cucumber and hoisin sauce, folding these into little packets easy to handel with one's fingers. Using two spoons, back-to-back, as tongs, the waiter hands REMUS the first packet. REMUS hesitates, looking at CHORNEYVOLK, who nods to him. He takes it, and then, CHORNEYVOLK is served. REMUS bites into the tasty little packet, and his eyes light up with pleasure.

REMUS: Mmmmmmmm... This is delicious!

CHORNEYVOLK grins at REMUS.

The waiter divides the rest of the duck skin packets up between REMUS' and CHORNEYVOLK's plates, and wheels the skinless duck back into the kitchen on the trolly.

When they are finished their course, the girl comes and removes the dirty plates, and puts down two clean ones and two small deep bowls on top of the plates. Then, the waiter comes back carrying a large plattter of slivered duck meat cooked a second time with vegetables and hoisin sauce — duck mu-shuu, a large bowl of steamed white rice, and two silver serving spoons. REMUS eyes the spoons warily, and CHORNEYVOLK suddenly thinks of something, wondering if he's looking funny at the spoons because he can't touch silver, or if he's merely looking funny at unfamiliar foods?

CHORNEYVOLK: May I serve you 'properly', Remy?

REMUS smiles at her warmly.

REMUS: Why not? It makes me feel like... a king.

CHORNEYVOLK: (teasing) Yeah... Only don't let it go to your head. I wouldn't want Katie to hate me!

Setting the spoons aside to the edge of the table, CHORNEYVOLK uses Remus' chopsticks to push a large portion of the duck onto his plate, and then does the same for herself. Setting the platter back down, she then takes the large bowl of rice, and does the same, digging with the chopstickes to loosen the steamed rice stuck together enough to fill both smaller, personal rice bowls, first filling Remus'. After setting the large bowl back down, CHORNEYVOLK then sets REMUS' chopsticks back onto his chopstick holder so that they face the proper direction for him to pick them up. REMUS' watches all of this with sharp eyes.

CHORNEYVOLK next picks up her bowl of rice, and her chopsticks, and uses them to place several peices of duck and veggies onto the top of her rice. She then holds the ricebowl up near her chest, and proceeds to eat from the ricebowl, and not her plate. As she eats, she refills the rice with more duck and veggies from her own plate, eating only from the ricebowl she holds up.

CHORNEYVOLK: This is how the Chinese eat.

REMUS: (carefully duplicating CHORNEYVOLK's actions) Right then. (after several bites) This is wonderful, Chorney, it's delicious!

CHORNEYVOLK: I'm glad you like it, Remy. Haven't you ever eaten Peking duck before? I know there many good Chinese restuarants in England ... at least there are in London...

REMUS: No, I haven't... Erm... the places you are speaking of... are... Muggle eateries. Most wizards don't usually spend much time in the Muggle world.

They chat, as they finish their meal. When the waiter removes all of the dirty dishes, CHORNEYVOLK speaks to him, rubbing her bloated stomach...

CHORNEYVOLK: Woh-chee bo-ow leuh!

The waiter laughs.

CHORNEYVOLK: (to REMUS) I just told Lee that I am stuffed, I ate too much! It's a compliment, of course.

REMUS: How did you say that, Chorney?

CHORNEYVOLK: Woah. Chee. Bao-ow. Leuh.

REMUS: Woah. Chee. Bao-ow. Leuh.

CHORNEYVOLK: That's it.

REMUS: (to the waiter) Woah chee bao-ow leuh.

The waiter laughs.

CHORNEYVOLK pays the bill, and, as they leave, she turns and says to everyone...

CHORNEYVOLK: Tdzai tien.

HOSTESS and WAITER: Mahn dzo! Mahn dzo!

REMUS and CHORNEYVOLK exit the restaurant, and the light dims and fades to black. However, in the darkness, we still hear them chatting.

REMUS: Now... we're off to...

CHORNEYVOLK: The Met... The Opera, that is... Let's take a taxi, shall we, instead of the subway. It's worth the extra cost, and besides, I'd like for you to see a bit more of the City — besides the City's unfortunate homeless, that is...

REMUS: Yes, well... I do feel sorry for them...

CHORNEYVOLK: So do we all, Remy, but handouts of solid gold foreign coins is not going to do them much good, in the long run... For goodness sakes, they can't even cash them or sell them anywhere for anything near their real value!

REMUS: (sounding somewhat defensive) I only gave one to... and another to...

CHORNEYVOLK: (somewhat acidly) Yes, and a third to another... Good grief, Remy! You're such a bleeding-heart! (softening) Anyway... Let's take a taxi.

The sound of a blaring car horn, and screeching tires is heard, then, off-stage, a male voice with an Indian accent asks "Where you want to go?".

CHORNEYVOLK's voice responds with, "Lincoln Center".

The sounds of a car door opening and closing are heard, and then... more tire screeching is heard.

Stage foot lights fade on, and the curtain is down, and there is a large white screeen before the curtain. As the overhead stage lights adjust to approximate daylight, a projected image of the fountain at Lincoln Center is displayed on the screen, and the sounds of the fountain, of passers-by, and of traffic are all heard. CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS enter STAGE RIGHT, talking. REMUS pauses, dramatically, at his first sight of the fountain. CHORNEYVOLK stops and turns to him, grinning.

REMUS: Oh! I say... That's spectacular! It's lovely! May I...

CHORNEYVOLK takes a small digicam out of her handbag, and silently hands it over to REMUS. REMUS takes a few snapshots, then he looks at CHORNEYVOLK.

REMUS: What a shame we can't... (He looks around furtively) I don't suppose that we could... charm the camera — quickly, mind you — to take a picture of us together in front of the fountain...

CHORNEYVOLK: (outraged) Are you crazy?! Here! In front of Lincoln Center in broad daylight, and right before a performance?! NO WAY!!

She softens at REMUS' look of disappointment...

CHORNEYVOLK: Look, we'll get someone else to do it for us, okay? (She stops a man passing by, and speaks to him in a perfectly-done RP British accent.)   Sorry, would you be so kind as to take a picture of us together before your lovely fountain? New York is so beautiful!

REMUS' eyes widen and he tries to stifle a snigger.   As CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS turn and pose for the picture, REMUS whispers to her.

REMUS: (in a stage whisper) That was brilliant! A bit posh, sounds like Her Majesty... but other than that, it was class!

NEW YORKER: Smiiiile, naow. Saay cheeeeeeeyse! Wait, naow... Doan' moove, Lemme take anutheh one... An one moah, so yeew kin have ah feeew. Heeah.

The New Yorker approches the pair, extending the digicam, looking pleased with himself. CHORNEYVOLK and REMUS insepct the pics quickly, and are satisfied.

CHORNEYVOLK: (still faking her RP British accent) Oh, class, simply class! Thanks ever so much!

REMUS: (still laughing at Queen's English coming out of Chorneyvolk's mouth) Yes, thank you, sir.

NEW YORKER: Glaaad ta help a tou'ist out. We reelly need yeew, ya know... 'spechully aftah Septembeh eleventh...

REMUS: Yes, I'm... I mean, we're... so sorry...

CHORNEYVOLK: (still in British accent) Yes, indeed... Terrible... A terrible thing...

NEW YORKER: I love yeew English — you alwaays taawk so nice. Whea' yeew from? I meen, what pawt a' England?

REMUS and CHORNEYVOLK answer at the same time.

CHORNEYVOLK: London.

REMUS: Norfolk.

REMUS and CHORNEYVOLK look at each other in mingled annoyance and amusement.

REMUS: (speaking quickly) That is, I am from Norfolk; She... sounds quite the Londoner...

NEW YORKER: Yeah. Well, I gotta run... Welcome ta New Yawk! 'Bye!

NEW YORKER exits, stage LEFT.

CHORNEYVOLK: (turns to REMUS, punches him playfully in his arm, and imitates his voice with perfect accuracy)   She sounds quite the Londoner, does she... (bursts out laughing)

REMUS: (also laughing) Indeed, she does!

Lights fade to black. REMUS's voice, offstage, breaks into song two or three times, and is stifled each time by CHORNEYVOLK's laughter and hushing...

REMUS: (singing the old travel jingle) I love New Yoooooork! Eyyyyyyyyyyye love New Yooooooork!

CHORNEYVOLK: Remus, stop it... You're embarrassing me! Besides, you're off-key...

REMUS: New York, New York/ a heck of a town/ where the Bronx is up/ and the Battery's down/ and the people ride/ in a hole in the ground/ New York, New Yoooork/ a heck of a town...

CHORNEYVOLK: Omigod! I've created a Frankenstein's monster!

REMUS: I want to wake up/ in a city that doesn't sleep/ and find I'm King of the Hill/ Top of the Heap!

CHORNEYVOLK: (moaning) Oh, no... Remus... Please! Please don't...

REMUS: (really belting it out, now... thankfully on-key) If I can MAKE it there,/ I'll make it ANYwhere.../ It's up to YOU, New York.../ NE-E-EW YO-O-O-ORK!!!

CHORNEYVOLK: Omigod... somebody just shoot me... There has to be people I know here, tonight... (whimpering slightly)
(after a pause, she giggles... then breaks into song herself...)  
I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair/ I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair/ I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair.../ and send him on his waaaaaaay!

REMUS breaks out in hearty laughter, and CHORNEYVOLK finally joins in.

Curtain rises, stage is black, except for one single spot light on REMUS and CHORNEYVOLK, who are seated at a tiny round table for two. The unmistakeable sounds of cutlery and dishes clinking and clattering, and of glassware tinkling, and of many voices chattering, are heard. Slowly, the rest of the stage lights fade to full, and it is obvious that they are in a very crowded bistro, with people dressed in suits and evening clothes, just as they are, all about them.

CHORNEYVOLK: What would you like to drink?

REMUS: Ale, if they've got any...

A waitress appears, handing them menus.

WAITRESS: Would you care for drinks?

CHORNEYVOLK: Yes, please... What do you have on tap?

REMUS: 'Tap'?

CHORNEYVOLK: Yes, what you call 'draft', we call 'on tap'...

WAITRESS: We have Bud, Mick, Michelob Black & Tan, Bud Light and Mick Light, Sam Adams, Sam Adams Honey Wheat, Sam Adams White Ale, Bass Ale, Heineken, Red Dog, and Molson... Whaddya want?

CHORNEYVOLK: Er, Remy, Michelob's Black & Tan isn't at all what you'll expect — don't bother. If you like ale... while Bass is certainly good, so is Sam Adams, and you might want to try something different, for a change. Sam Adams is brewed up in New England, and it's really good... The white ale's unfiltered, though... just so you know... I'll have a Sam Adams White Ale.

REMUS: Make that two, then... please.

WAITRESS: Anything to eat?

CHORNEYVOLK: Umm... roast beef sandwiches would be nice. I don't suppose you've got any roast beef?

WAITRESS: Well... we did have roast beef as an entree for dinner, earlier... There's some left. Torpedo rolls okay, or rye bread?

CHORNEYVOLK: Yeah, torpedo rolls'll do.

CHORNEYVOLK glances at REMUS, who nods agreeably.

WAITRESS: Mustard or horseradish sauce?

REMUS: Both, if you please.

CHORNEYVOLK: Have you got any better mustard than plain yellow?

WAITRESS: French's, Goulden's, Grey Poupon, or Kosciuszko?

CHORNEYVOLK: Kosciuszko... it's the closest thing to English mustard.

Waitress finished writing the order, nods, and leaves.

CHORNEYVOLK: So... Did you like the performance, Remy? Don Giovanni is quite possibly my all-time favorite... if I had to pick just one.

REMUS: (smiling at Chorney) Yes, it was quite good. I especially like Bryn Terfel. His voice is so...

CHORNEYVOLK: Stentorian?

REMUS: Well, rich... and... complex... and... full...

CHORNEYVOLK: Yes, I know what you mean. I've seen him as Don Giovanni several times, and he's just... made for that role. And... when he belts that part... when the Commendatore's statue grabs him... as he's dragged off to the depths of hell, shrieking and wailing and kicking and screaming! Ahh...

REMUS: Yes... quite a grand scene, that! And yes, Mr. Terfel is excellent, there.   You know, Chorney, as tiring as the day was... I did indeed enjoy myself. I want to thank you, Chorney.

CHORNEYVOLK: I'm glad. It was wonderful, being with you, Remus. We still have tomorrow, too, don't forget. Now, if you don't mind, will you please explain to me why you had to fly BA into the States, but can Apparate within the States? I don't get this...

REMUS: The United States Wizarding Customs' paperwork is even worse to fill out than Muggle Customs'... and it's far easier to travel as a Muggle than to deal with the F.B.M.M.A. — the Federal Bureau of Magic and Magical Affairs. (Remus shrugs) I don't know why that is... It's not nearly so difficult for wizards to enter Britain. However, once here, I can Apparate, Disapparate, and do magic at will. Unlike the Ministry of Magic in the U.K., the F.B.M.M.A. doesn't pay particularly close attention to the general use of common magic. Perhaps it's just too large a geographical area. At any rate, I can Apparate to Mincot's.

CHORNEYVOLK: Then, how will you get home? Where are you flying back from?

REMUS: Yes, well... Actually, I was going to ask you... After I'd spent some time with you...

CHORNEYVOLK: (laughing) You mean, after you'd ascertained that I was... 'normal' enough... or wasn't going to throw myself at you, or anything...

REMUS: (flushing slightly) Erm... I was going to ask you if you minded terribly... if I Apparated back here, after my visit with Mincot, and if you might be able to take me to Newark Airport... The flight is scheduled to leave at 10:47pm on Tuesday.

CHORNEYVOLK: D'you really think I'd pass up the chance to see you again? Of course I'll take you to the airport. Just... pop in. (Chorney giggles; Remus rolls his eyes.) But... be sure to allow at least two and a half hours from arriving here. Fifteen minutes to drive there, plus another fifteen to park and get to your terminal... It should be Terminal B. You'll need to arrive two hours early, because of all of the new security precautions, now...

By now, they've finished eating, and the waitress has come to clean up the dirty dishes.

WAITRESS: Will there be anything else? Dessert? Coffee?

REMUS: Oh, no... We're quite full, thank you. Just the bill, if you please.

CHORNEYVOLK: (frowning) You are not picking up the tab!

REMUS: I insist!

CHORNEYVOLK: (uncertainly) Remy... You are my guest...

REMUS: (very firmly) Chorney, I'm afraid I must insist.

CHORNEYVOLK: (backing down) As you wish, Remy. Have it your way. Okay?

REMUS: Thank you, I will.

When waitress puts the check down on the table, Remus picks it up and studies it. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out two twenty-dollar bills, and hands them to the waitress. Waitress exits stage LEFT. Moments later, she enters stage RIGHT, and hands Remus his change. Keeping two one-dollar bills, he lays the rest down on the table, and he pockets the two dollars. REMUS and CHORNEYVOLK rise from their seats.

Lights fade to black; curtain

~ Curtain ~


Act 2, Scene 3

The sounds of many voices is heard, dully, with occasional public address annuncements — about flights, baggage, gate changes, and passenger boarding calls — breaking through the dull roar. Lights fade to bright.

CHORNEYVOLK: Well, I guess this is it...

REMUS: I had such a lovely time.. with you, and with Mincot. I loved just resting on the beach with you Sunday. That was a brilliant idea! And... I've never flown a kite before, either. That was fun! It was a perfect day of rest after running around New York City.

CHORNEYVOLK: (smiling) Yes, Sandy Hook is one of my favorite beaches. Remus, did you pack the canister of film I had made at the overnight MotoPhoto? You can process them yourself in that special potion to turn them into wizarding photos...

REMUS: I did... and I shall, Chorney. And I promise you, love, that I will send you the best one of us at the fountain at Lincoln Center ... and the one of us at the Cloisters, kneeling in the depressions made in the stones by all of the nuns kneeling there over the centuries, too. And a photograph of the two of us standing out on the sand bar, feeding those clams we dug to the terns and gulls. Only... please do remember to keep them well hidden from most Muggles.

CHORNEYVOLK: I will; I promise. Oh, and the kite...

REMUS: Is packed, as well. I can't thank you enough...

CHORNEYVOLK: (shrugging) It's nothing, really.

REMUS: (tipping her chin up with a finger so that her eyes meet his)   Not to me, it isn't...

CHORNEYVOLK: I hope you'll visit me again, sometime, Remus... Perhaps you'll bring your family next time — they're always welcome.

REMUS: Thank you, love. I think the children should be a little older, though. I am sure I'll visit you again, Chorney, although I have no idea when...

(Dramatic full-orchestra music begins to fade in, building slowly to crecendo as the final stage action takes place.)

REMUS leans down to kiss CHORNEYVOLK's cheek briefly, and walks off, through the security checkpoint.
He turns to look back, once, and waves to CHORNEYVOLK, who waves back.


Lights fade to black.

~ Curtain ~

~ Finis ~





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