variations on a trench coat: ocean blue (& WWHPD?)

For some reason, this outfit makes me think of that song about the Titanic we used to sing in summer school...

Oh, they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue,
And they thought they had a ship that the water wouldn't leak through.
It was on her maiden trip that an iceberg hit the ship.
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Oh, it was sad (so sad), oh it was sad (so sad).
It was sad when the great ship went down to the bottom of the
Husbands and wives, little bitty children lost their lives.
It was sad when the great ship went down.

It was off the coast of England and far from any shore,
Where the rich refused to associate with the poor,
So they put the poor below where they were the first to go.
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Oh it was sad (so sad), oh it was sad (so sad).
It was sad when the great ship went down to the bottom of the
Uncles and aunts, little bitty children wet their pants.
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Must be the nautical shorts. Luckily, I forgot the rest of the lyrics. Nonetheless, this is another trench coat outfit, and I call it

Variation V: Little Bitty Children Wet Their Pants

Trench coat: FoxRun, mother's. Sweatshirt: Target. Necklace: garage sale garden key + DIY finish + craft store chain. Shorts: alloy + DIY button swap. Tights: H&M. Saddle shoes: Payless.


For that baby-handful of people who actually read the things I post, I wrote this when I was 18. It was performed. I don't think I let the story be as long as it needed to be for any characterization to be solid, but writing this definitely felt like a huge accomplishment, because I am so bad at plot that I was surprised this story came together at all.

The premise behind this was not mine to start with.

And I hope this isn't offensive, but I don't think it should be, considering how obviously it expresses my own opinions. As a heads up, this is way out of my usual genre, if you've been reading the previous scripts I posted, and quite a bit longer than anything else I've posted, so it might not be your cup of tea.

Also this is the last of my old scripts.


(Dedicated to TK, the genius behind this alternate universe, in the hopes that his idea has been executed, not butchered.)


(Two kids are lying on the ground, coloring. GABBY, the little girl, is kicking her legs in the air. Her older brother is COLIN, also coloring. Sustain for a bit until GABBY peers over at COLIN’s coloring sheet.)

GABBY: Colin, you’re such a dummy. You colored Harry Potter’s eyes brown. Everyone knows his eyes were green.

COLIN: Who cares? My eyes are brown. Harry Potter’s eyes might’ve been brown.

GABBY: But the Septet says emerald green, just like his mother, Lily Potter’s!

COLIN: Well, you have my crayon, and maybe Joanne, Kathleen, Rowling, Marie, and GrandPré were wrong!

GABBY: (scandalized) What are you saying, Colin?

COLIN: I’m just saying what Papa said.

GABBY: What do you mean, Colin?

COLIN: You’re too young to understand…

GABBY: Colin, you better tell me right now or I’ll burn your picture! (Trying to cast a spell) Incendio, Incendio!

(COLIN laughs when nothing happens to the coloring sheet.)

GABBY: I’ll start crying!

COLIN: (sing-song voice) I’m not gonna tell you…


(Enter MAMA.)

MAMA: Gabrielle, Colin, what is all that noise? It’s bedtime!


GABBY: Can you read us a story?

COLIN: If you learned how to read, you wouldn’t have to keep asking Mama. I can read, Mama.

MAMA: Just one story, Colin, and not too long. We don’t want Gabby late on her first day of school.

COLIN: I know, Mama.

MAMA: Remember to say your prayers.

GABBY: Of course, Mama.

MAMA: Goodnight, you two.

COLIN AND GABBY: Goodnight, Mama.

(As MAMA is about to leave)

GABBY: Mama?

MAMA: What is it, honey?

GABBY: Can you and Papa please take me to school tomorrow?

MAMA: Now, you know we can’t do that, Gabby. We both have work.

GABBY: Please?

MAMA: Don’t be nervous, Gabby. There’s nothing to be nervous about.

GABBY: I’ll miss you.

MAMA: I’ll miss you too.

GABBY: Promise?

MAMA: (laughing) I promise I’ll miss you. Now get to sleep.

COLIN: Night, Mama.

MAMA: Goodnight.

(MAMA exits.)

(COLIN crawls into his bed holding a massive book. GABBY crawls into his covers beside him to listen.)

COLIN: I’m picking.

GABBY: You always pick!

COLIN: I can read.

(GABBY falls silent. COLIN finds his page.)

COLIN: Okay, this is from the second book of Kathleen, The Goblet of Fire, chapter eighteen, The Weighing of the Wands. (affecting a voice) “Want one, Granger?” said Malfoy, holding out a badge to Hermione. “I’ve got loads. But don’t touch my hand, now. I’ve just washed it, you see; don’t want a Mudblood sliming it up.” “Sorry, Malfoy, I don’t speak Death Eater,” said Harry as Ron lunged across the table. Then Malfoy, being a coward, called over Professor Snape to stop Ron, who was trying to shatter Malfoy’s face against the desk. Professor Snape, who was actually a spy fighting for the Good side, saw that Malfoy was evil and Avada Kedavra’d him. Malfoy died instantly.

GABBY: What?! That’s not what it says!

COLIN: How do you know what is says? You can’t even read!

GABBY: I’ve already heard this story before. I know you’re making it up.

COLIN: How do you know everyone else wasn’t making it up?

GABBY: I just know.

COLIN: You’re really dumb, Gabby. Go to sleep. (pushes GABBY off his bed)

(COLIN turns out their lamp. Stage lights dim but not completely. They get into their covers.)


GABBY: Colin? What did Papa say? Before?

COLIN: (beat) He said the five writers of the Septet lived after Harry Potter.

GABBY: So what?

COLIN: So some people think they didn’t even write it. Or they didn’t even know Harry Potter. They just made it up from stories other people told them.

GABBY: But why would they do that?

COLIN: I dunno.


GABBY: Colin?

COLIN: What?

GABBY: I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.

COLIN: You have to. Everybody does, and you heard Mama, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just a bunch of kids like you, and you learn how to read and do math and things.

GABBY: What if I’m too dumb? What if they can’t teach me how to read?

COLIN: Gabby, you’re not dumb.

GABBY: But you just said I was.

COLIN: That’s because I’m your brother.


COLIN: And since you’re my sister, you can’t be too dumb because my sister can’t be too dumb to read.



GABBY: Colin, we have to say our prayers.

COLIN AND GABBY: (Drawing a lightning bolt shaped sign with four points in the air with their hands.) In the name of the Potters, their son, and the Prophecy. Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, you have vanquished the Dark Lord. We speak your name with reverence as we live in hope of the Muggle and magical worlds coexisting separately and peacefully. Forgive us for persecuting wizards and witches of the past, for we know now we shall never know magic lest we misuse our abilities as the Dark Lord did. Lead us not into darkness, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

(Sounds of MAMA re-entering. COLIN and GABBY feign sleep. MAMA enters, sees they are asleep, kisses each of them on the forehead, then exits.)

GABBY: Colin?

COLIN: What?

GABBY: What if the other kids don’t like me?

COLIN: Then I punch them.

GABBY: Oh. Thanks, Colin.

COLIN: Goodnight, Gabby.

GABBY: Goodnight.

(Lights fade out completely.)

(In a classroom. A TEACHER is giving a lesson about the Harry Potter texts. COLIN and several other students are seated at desks or on the floor, with large copies of The Prisoner of Azkaban handy.)

TEACHER: …and Hermione Granger was considered the most brilliant student in her year, yet she was of Muggle parentage, or a Mudblood as the Death Eaters would have called her. Can anyone tell me what conclusion can be drawn from such disparate facts?

(The class is silent.)

TEACHER: Miss DeSilva?

DESILVA: (struggling) That...Muggle-borns can be good students too?

TEACHER: Correct, but…

(COLIN raises his hand.)

TEACHER: Mister Fontaine?

COLIN: Please, sir, it shows that the Death Eaters judged based on parentage, not ability, and that we should look beyond differences in blood.

TEACHER: Very good, Mister Fontaine.

(COLIN raises his hand again.)

TEACHER: Did you have something to add?

COLIN: Then, sir, does that mean children of Death Eaters should have been shown mercy?

TEACHER: Certainly, certainly. Harry Potter in the seventh text rescued Draco Malfoy, son of Death Eater Lucius Malfoy, from almost certain death by Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement. Surely Harry Potter can be an example of compassion to us all. He also respected Remus Lupin, who was a werewolf shunned by most of society, and showed kindness to Dobby the house-elf. Yes, the world would be much more pleasant if we followed Harry Potter’s example.


TEACHER: Something else?

COLIN: Then does that mean cousins should marry?

TEACHER: Excuse me?!

COLIN: Well, it’s just that in the fifth text, Harry Potter wonders if Nymphadora Tonks was in love with Sirius Black, but he knows they were cousins. Should we follow Harry Potter’s thinking on that, sir?

TEACHER: But that’s irrelevant, Mister Fontaine. Harry Potter was hardly suggesting that the two should be married, merely that it was a possibility.

COLIN: So should I possibly marry my cousin?

TEACHER: Mister Fontaine, let us return to the subject at hand.

COLIN: Sir, Harry Potter spent most of his years at Hogwarts holding anyone from Slytherin House in low opinion until the Fiendfyre incident. Does that mean we can hate people too, until their lives are in danger?

TEACHER: Really, Mister Fontaine, that is quite enough.

COLIN: Sir –

TEACHER: You have disrupted this class enough today and you will be silent.

COLIN: But you teach us to follow Harry Potter, but Harry Potter made mistakes too!

TEACHER: Mister Fontaine –

COLIN: How do you expect us to –

TEACHER: Mister Fontaine. Take yourself to the principal’s office after class. I am having you suspended for the rest of the week for speaking out of turn, questioning my authority, and disrupting the teachings of Our Savior, Harry Potter. You shall remain silent for the rest of class or I will make it two weeks.

(Long, uncomfortable silence.)

TEACHER: Now turn to the first book of Kathleen, The Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter twelve. Miss Alabado, please continue reading where we left off.

ALABADO: January faded imperceptibly into February, with no change in the bitterly cold weather. The match against Ravenclaw was drawing nearer and nearer, but Harry still hadn’t ordered a new broom. He was now asking Professor McGonagall for news of the Firebolt…

(Lights fade out.)


(Kids mill around with lunches and playground equipment, talking, laughing, playing games, eating, and whatever else kids do. GABBY is alone but eavesdrops on a conversation nearby.)

KID 1: Have you heard?

KID 2: Heard what?

KID 1: Colin Fontaine’s been suspended!

KID 2: But it’s only the first day!

KID 1: And it happened before lunch even started!

GABBY: Colin Fontaine’s my big brother.

(As this next bit is happening, HANNAH NEWTON comes up to KID 2, fearfully whispers something in his ear, then leaves before KID 2 talks about her.)

KID 1: Oh, is he?

GABBY: What’s he suspended for?

KID 3: I dunno, but I wish it were me. I’d love to miss school.

KID 1: I heard he’ll be out the rest of the week.

KID 2: Hannah Newton just told me it happened during Septet Studies with Professor Pioppi!

(KIDS make sounds of incredulity and protest.)

KID 3: Professor Pioppi?! Isn’t he the one everyone’s afraid of?

GABBY: My brother can be a bit weird about the Septet sometimes.

KID 3: What d’you mean, he always tries to get suspended?

KID 2: (laughing) What a rebel. I wish I were more like –

GABBY: No, I mean, even just yesterday, he was telling me – or he as good as said that – (drops to conspiratorial whisper) he thinks maybe Joanne, Kathleen, Rowling, Marie, and GrandPré just made the whole Septet up!

(KIDS are silent, look at GABBY funny.)

KID 3: My mama says people who think that way will go to Azkaban.

KID 2: My mama too.

KID 1: Colin, right?

(GABBY nods.)

KID 1: I always thought he was sort of weird.

KID 3: Yeah, me too. Let’s go play handball.

KID 2: Without the freak’s little sister.

KID 1: Freak junior!

KID 3: Bye, Peter Pettigrew!

KID 2: Don’t let the Dementors get you!

(KIDS exit, laughing, leaving GABBY onstage.)

(Lights fade out.)


(Back in the bedroom again.)

GABBY: Mama, I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.

MAMA: Now just because Colin didn’t have a good first day doesn’t mean you need to worry.

GABBY: But what about Colin?

MAMA: You don’t need to worry about him either. This isn’t a big deal, Gabby. Your brother’s always been outspoken for a boy his age.

COLIN: Mama, it was totally unfair!

GABBY: But Mama –

MAMA: Papa and I are going to talk to the principal tomorrow, Colin. And Gabby, you still have to go. Look, Papa and I can even take you to school in the morning since we’re not going to work until later. Is that okay?

(GABBY nods reluctantly.)

MAMA: Good. Now get to bed, both of you, and remember to say your prayers.


MAMA: Goodnight, you two.

COLIN AND GABBY: Goodnight, Mama.

(As MAMA exits, they get into their beds.)

GABBY: (Signing herself) In the name of the Potters, their son, and the Prophecy. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived –
COLIN: Hey, Gabby.

GABBY: You have vanquished the –

COLIN: Gabby!

GABBY: What, Colin? Are you going to get me in trouble too? Should I stop praying?

COLIN: Calm down, Gabby! That stuff I said, I was just thinking out loud and Professor Pioppi took it wrong way. Well I wasn’t thinking so much, I guess. But if you really don’t want to go to school tomorrow, we can pretend you’re sick…

GABBY: How do we do that?

COLIN: Well, when Mama comes in, you tell her you have a fever, and when she goes to get…

(Lights fade out. Fade back in. A Colin-shaped lump of pillows or blankets is on Colin’s bed. Enter MAMA.)
MAMA: Gabby. Gabby, honey, get up. It’s time for school.

GABBY: (sound of distress) I don’t…feel…good…

MAMA: What’s wrong? Do you have a fever?

GABBY: I think so…

(MAMA feels GABBY’s forehead.)

MAMA: You don’t feel warm…

(GABBY moans piteously.)

MAMA: I’d better take your temperature in case.

(MAMA exits.)

(COLIN returns sneakily holding a Thermos, hands it to GABBY, rearranges his sheets.)

COLIN: Okay, Gabby, here’s the hot water. Now when I distract Mama, you take the thermometer out of your mouth and leave it in the Thermos, but make sure you put it back in your mouth before she comes back!

(GABBY nods.)

COLIN: Ready?

(GABBY nods.)

(COLIN runs offstage. MAMA re-enters carrying a thermometer, sticks it in GABBY’S mouth.)

MAMA: You have to keep it under your tongue for one minute.

(GABBY makes some sound of assent.)

COLIN: (bellowing from offstage, sounding terrified) MAMA! MAMAAAA!

MAMA: (panicking) WHAT, COLIN?


MAMA: Oh, your brother… (exits)

(GABBY quickly unscrews the Thermos, sticks the thermometer in it, waits.)

MAMA: (from offstage) Colin, I don’t even see a spider anywhere.

COLIN: (High-pitched scream.) It’s going to eat me!

MAMA: Oh, honestly, Colin.

(Sounds of them returning.)

COLIN: (partly said offstage, partly as he re-enters the stage) It was huge, it was! It was a man-eater, a monster, I tell you! It was the biggest spider I’ve ever seen! It was horrifying! As big as Aragog! I can’t believe you don’t believe me, Mama. I think I’m offended.

(GABBY quickly replaces the thermometer in her mouth, hides the Thermos. MAMA re-enters with COLIN.)

MAMA: Colin, I didn’t see any spider.

(COLIN looks put-out and pouts on his bed.)

MAMA: (Removing the thermometer) Oh, Gabby, you have a terrible fever! You’d better stay home today, you’re right. But Papa and I need to go talk to the principal today… We can take you to the doctor after we get back. Will you be okay until then?

COLIN: I can take care of her, Mama.

MAMA: Well… all right. There are sandwiches in the kitchen, Colin. Make sure Gabby stays in bed.

COLIN: Yes, Mama.

(PAPA pokes his head in.)

PAPA: Are we ready yet, Alice?

MAMA: Gabby has a fever.

PAPA: Have you taken –

MAMA: Yes, we’ll just have to hurry back, I guess.

PAPA: Well…all right. We won’t be long. Colin, you take care of your sister.

COLIN: I will.

(Exit MAMA and PAPA.)

COLIN: (grabbing a coat, pulling on shoes) Hey Gabby, I’m going out. Don’t tell Mama and Papa, okay?

GABBY: You can’t! You have to stay at home! Where are you going?

COLIN: You’re too young to understand…

GABBY: If you don’t tell me, I’ll tell Mama and Papa.

COLIN: …Someone in my class said this man said that he’s going to show us how to get through Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

(GABBY gasps.)

GABBY: Colin, let me come with you! Please, please, please? I want to see!

COLIN: I’m only going because I don’t think he can really do it.

GABBY: I don’t care, I want to go!

COLIN: If you don’t tell.

GABBY: I won’t!

COLIN: Then hurry up!

(Exit COLIN and GABBY.)


(COLIN and GABBY are standing, waiting, stage right.)

GABBY: We’ve been here forever!

COLIN: Just wait.

(They wait. GABBY gets bored and sits down. COLIN follows and drums his fingers on the floor, sitting slightly in front of GABBY. He sees something on the floor, maybe a bug, then lays down on his stomach to get a better look and poke it. Enter CREEPER, who comes up behind them, puts a gag in GABBY’s mouth, then grabs her wrists and holds them behind her back. GABBY’s scream is muffled. Then CREEPER throws himself on COLIN’s back, pinning his hands with his weight, gags COLIN, ties his hands. Lights fade out for scene change as CREEPER starts on GABBY’s hands. Lights fade back in, GABBY and COLIN are on the ground and have their hands and feet bound and mouths gagged.)
CREEPER: Either of you makes a sound, I introduce your throat to my friend, you got that? (brandishes knife menacingly) No screaming, kicking, running away – don’t try anything, you hear?

(COLIN and GABBY nod mutely.)

(CREEPER removes the gags, forces COLIN and GABBY into kneeling positions facing each other, takes out a handheld video camera.)
CREEPER: All right, kids, now do exactly as I say. (Waves knife, begins recording with video camera.) You. (Jabs tip of knife into back of GABBY’s neck.) Kiss him.

(GABBY hesitates.)


(GABBY leans forward and pecks COLIN on the cheek.)

CREEPER: On the lips, you idiot! (shoving GABBY by the head)

COLIN: (staring at the man in gross fascination) You’re sick.

CREEPER: Shut up and do it.

GABBY: You’ll go to Azkaban for this.

CREEPER: Do you want to follow orders or would you like this sticking out of your neck?

COLIN: Gabby, just do what he says. I’ll close my eyes.

GABBY: But you’re my brother.

CREEPER: (Chuckling) This should be good.

COLIN: Gabby, he has a knife. Just listen to him.

CREEPER: That’s right, Gabby, listen to your brother. He wants you to kiss him. (presses knife closer to her)

(GABBY leans forward, kisses COLIN on the lips, and quickly moves back.)

CREEPER: Good, Gabby. Now do it again, and longer this time, or we’ll just skip to the fun part.

(GABBY chokes down a sob.)
CREEPER: In fact, why don’t we skip to the fun part right now? (Drops knife on floor. Undoes pants and shoves what was previously his knife hand in, the beginnings of jerking off.) That’s right, kids, now in a minute we’ll get these clothes off of you –

(Camera beeps indicating that either the battery is low or the memory card is full.)

CREEPER: (Toward the camera) Are you kidding me? Piece of shit! (Zipping back up, turns to exit) You two stay here and don’t try anything, or I’ll make this ten times worse for her.

(CREEPER exits stage left.)

(GABBY whimpers.)

COLIN: (While maneuvering himself toward the knife and attempting to cut the bonds on his wrists) Gabby, shut up, I think I can cut my hands free… if you push it with your foot…Okay, don’t move, or I’ll cut myself…

(Spotlight off stage left. Spotlight on stage right. PRINCIPAL is seated at his desk, facing PAPA and MAMA.)

PRINCIPAL: Mister Fontaine, are you suggesting that our school teaches the Septet incorrectly?

PAPA: I am merely suggesting that perhaps my son had a point in questioning such a literal interpretation of the texts of Harry Potter.

PRINCIPAL: Literal? It is written –
PAPA: And my son was treating it like a piece of writing. As literature. Perhaps like literature it can be read as metaphor? In any case, I still feel that an entire week of suspension is too harsh a punishment for a young man questioning his faith, particularly in a learning environment that prides itself on –

PRINCIPAL: Do you not believe in the Septet?

PAPA: That isn’t the issue. My son –

PRINCIPAL: You do not.

PAPA: I am open to multiple interpretations.

(Spotlight off stage right. Spotlight back on stage left, where COLIN has managed to free his and GABBY’S hands.)

COLIN: Okay, we’ll have to leave our legs or else he’ll know we got free, but we can pretend our hands are still tied. When he comes back, I’ll punch him, and we’ll make a run for it, okay?

(GABBY nods.)

COLIN: And make sure you hide that knife, Gabby, we don’t want him to use it. (GABBY slides it behind her.) And now…we wait.
(Spotlight off stage left. Spotlight back on stage right.)

PRINCIPAL: We do not tolerate nonsense or heresy here at the Academy. There is one text, there can only be one interpretation, the true one.

PAPA: Surely, you can’t know what you’re saying. What about –

PRINCIPAL: Do not tell me what I do and don’t know, Mister Fontaine. As far as this school is concerned, the Septet is not meant to be read as metaphor. What, do you liken underage magic to (spitting the word out) sex, Quidditch to homosexuality simply because broomsticks are ridden?

PAPA: Is there something wrong with homosexuality? Dumbledore was gay after all.

PRINCIPAL: That statement was made after the completion of the official Septet and its truth cannot be unequivocally determined. I would suggest you do not believe everything you read, Mr. Fontaine.

PAPA: Then I would suggest the same to you. My son has done nothing wrong. Does Dolores Umbridge’s affiliation for kittens and the color pink make those things as evil as she was? Hardly. An institution of learning should be educating our children, not brainwashing

PRINCIPAL: Do not tell me what my responsibilities are. The punishment remains the same. Please leave my office before I am forced to expel your son.

PAPA: You would expel him for thinking?

MAMA: George, that’s enough.

PAPA: No, Alice. Sir, would you expel my son for thinking?

(A nasty silence.)

PRINCIPAL: Consider it done. Clearly the Septet is of little importance to you and your family. Your son and his ideas are no longer welcome at this school, nor are you in my office. Good day.

(PAPA and MAMA exit slowly.)

(Spotlight off stage right. Spotlight back on stage left. CREEPER re-enters, kneels and points the camera right up in COLIN’s face, leering.)
CREEPER: Smile for the camera!

(COLIN punches the CREEPER. CREEPER reels slightly.)

COLIN: (bellowing, trying to punch hard enough) You’re going to Azkaban, I know it, you Peter Pettigrew, you Bellatrix Lestrange, you’re a woman

(CREEPER has recovered enough to grab COLIN by the throat.)

CREEPER: Shut up, you little –

(COLIN can’t breathe, GABBY is having a major freak out, picks up the knife, sticks it in the CREEPER’s leg, CREEPER yells, loosens his grip long enough for COLIN to get in a good punch. CREEPER’s head snaps backwards, he crumples.)

(COLIN passes out.)

GABBY: Colin… you have to help me with my feet. (No response.) Colin! Colin! You’re not dead, are you?! (Shakes him. Lets out a wail.) Ennervate! Ennervate, Colin, wake up! Wake up, you dummy, Ennervate!

(COLIN stirs. GABBY gasps, looks at her hands.)

GABBY: Colin, we have to get out of here.

(COLIN takes a huge, shuddering breath.)

COLIN: (croaking slightly) Get that knife. I need to do my feet.

(Fade out stage left. COLIN and GABBY can exit at this point. Fade in stage right.)

(In the car, PAPA is driving.)

PAPA: I cannot believe he just expelled Colin!

MAMA: I can’t believe you just got him expelled.

PAPA: Got him?

MAMA: You should have just stopped.

PAPA: He was being ridiculous! (No response from MAMA.) You know, Colin is just like me, isn’t he?

MAMA: Do you really think the Septet is just another piece of literature?

PAPA: Well…as I was saying to Colin the other night – and this might be what prompted him to speak up in class, but I don’t regret it for a second – some historians think the Septet was written as propaganda, or just as a fictional piece of literature, because Joanne, Kathleen, Rowling, Marie, and GrandPré lived after Harry Potter did, so they didn’t know him at all.

MAMA: But don’t you think it was written like fiction to make it easier for the lessons to stick? So no one would forget them?

PAPA: Exactly, it may have been written to be an unusually long fable. A parable.

MAMA: But wouldn’t the writers have wanted to make the truth about the magical world as palatable as possible?

PAPA: Well, yes, but that doesn’t make it fact.

MAMA: You don’t think it is?

PAPA: I’m skeptical, that’s all.

MAMA: You can’t be serious, George.

PAPA: I am. Of course I am. You don’t believe me, or you don’t believe what I’m saying?

MAMA: I don’t want to believe you.

PAPA: When I first really started thinking about it, I didn’t want to believe it either.

MAMA: I don’t want to believe you, and I don’t believe what you’re saying.

PAPA: Give it time, Alice.

MAMA: Why didn’t you ever tell me?

PAPA: That I wasn’t sure I believed all of it? I didn’t – think it mattered…

MAMA: Didn’t think it mattered?

PAPA: I still go to services, still pray every day. Our children go to a respectable school that teaches the Septet. I didn’t think it would be an issue.

MAMA: It’s an issue with me! You’re making a mockery of your faith, George.

PAPA: Your faith.

MAMA: Really? Are you really saying this, George?

PAPA: Why not?

MAMA: Because it got my son expelled? Because we were married in a house of Harry Potter? Because we took our vows on the Septet?

PAPA: Alice, I didn’t mean –

MAMA: No, you didn’t mean, just like you didn’t mean it when you said I do?

PAPA: Are you going to persecute me for thinking, too?

MAMA: …George. Please don’t do this to me. You can’t do this to me…Just tell me you believe, and it’ll be like this conversation never happened.


(PAPA turns on the radio.)

(Long pause as radio blares. MAMA trying not to cry. MAMA turns radio off. PAPA looks at her.)

MAMA: (coldly) It’s too loud. I need to call the doctor about Gabby.

(Fade out as MAMA dials on her cell phone.)


(Back in the kids’ bedroom, MAMA and PAPA frantic, looking under the covers, under the bed, calling out.)

MAMA: Colin! Gabby!

PAPA: (more loudly) Colin! Gabby!

MAMA: Do you think we should call the police?

PAPA: Where could they have gotten to?

MAMA: (Pause.) Nothing can have happened to them, right?

PAPA: (more to himself than to MAMA) They wouldn’t have run away from home without bringing something with them…

(MAMA kneels down, pulls out a necklace with a lightning bolt shaped pendant, does the lightning bolt sign over herself, and begins mouthing her prayers silently, clutching the necklace.)
PAPA: You really think that’s going to help?

MAMA: It’s better than just sitting here and waiting.

PAPA: You’re better off trying a Summoning Charm. Accio! Accio children! It doesn’t work, Alice.

MAMA: Don’t you dare talk to me about religion. A fat load of good your ideas have done, getting Colin suspended and now expelled, what are we going to tell him? What are we going to tell Gabby? Do you ever think before you speak?

PAPA: I don’t even know where they are right now. For all I know, they could have been –

(GABBY and COLIN burst in, woebegone, bedraggled, on the verge of tears.)

MAMA: What happened to you?!

(COLIN and GABBY burst into tears and cling to their mother.)

MAMA: Colin! Colin, what happened?

(COLIN tries to say something but only ends up choking on a fresh wave of tears.)

PAPA: Alice…it’s late. Maybe we should get them in bed and figure this all out in the morning.

(Sounds of GABBY and COLIN dry sobbing as the lights fade out.)

(Lights fade back in, COLIN and GABBY are in their beds, yelled conversation happening offstage. COLIN and GABBY are sitting upright, listening, cowering a little.)
MAMA: Then you’d be taking away the best thing they have –

PAPA: Don’t tell me what’s best for my family!

MAMA: If you think you can take better care of them alone, then fine (sound of something shattering), be my guest!

PAPA: Alice. Alice! (Door slam.)


GABBY: Colin, what’s happening?

COLIN: I think Mama and Papa are arguing.

GABBY: Is it our fault?

COLIN: I dunno, Gabby.

(PAPA enters, sees the kids awake.)

PAPA: Oh… I’m sorry, kids. Did you hear… did Mama and I wake you?

COLIN: Papa, why were you yelling?

PAPA: (puts his face in his hands, deep breath) Your mother… left… because… she’s angry with me… for breaking… our family… and I’m not sure she’s coming back.

(COLIN looks shocked but GABBY scoffs.)

GABBY: Is that all?

COLIN: Gabby, shut up.

GABBY: I can make her come back, Papa.

PAPA: Gabby, I don’t think –

GABBY: I know you’re not gonna believe this, Papa, but I think I’m magic.

COLIN: I think you’re lucky but delusional.

GABBY: I Ennervated Colin after the bad guy choked him!

PAPA: What?! Did that happen, Colin?

COLIN: Not now, Papa.

GABBY: All I have to do is think really hard, and then… Reparo! (Nothing happens.) Reparo!...Reparo, Reparo!

COLIN: Yeah, Gabby, that worked really well.

PAPA: I think it’s time we all got back to sleep…we’ve all had a long day. If you need anything, just wake me up, all right? (PAPA exits.)

(Fade out bedroom. Fade in spot on wing, where MAMA is standing in a coat, with a suitcase. She pulls out her wallet and takes out a family photo.)

MAMA: Colin…Gabby…I’m so sorry…I promise I already miss you. I love you. (Stares at picture. Checks watch. Looks at picture again. Does sign of lightning bolt, prays quickly, silently. Looks at picture. Looks left, right, over her shoulder. Looks back at picture.) Reparo…Reparo…Reparo Reparo Reparo. Come on, Harry Potter. Reparo. Undo this. Reparo! I want Colin back. I want Gabby back. I want George back. Reparo! Reparo…Reparo, Reparo, Reparo…

(Fade in bedroom, dim. COLIN sleeps, GABBY is sitting up in bed.)

MAMA AND GABBY: Reparo…Reparo, Reparo. Reparo! Reparo! Reparo Reparo Reparo. Reparo. Reparo. Reparo. (Pause.) Please?

(Fade out bedroom.)

(MAMA stands still for a long time, staring at her photo. Cries.)

MAMA: Oh, George. This is so stupid. (She pulls out her copy of the Septet from her suitcase, takes off her necklace, and throws them both on the ground.) (Addressing the sky.) Okay, Harry. You Reparo that. I’ll take care of my family. (Flagging invisible traffic.) Taxi!

(Spot off wing.)

(Next morning, bedroom, kids are waking up, MAMA comes in quietly.)

COLIN: Mama! What – I thought –

GABBY: Mama, you’re home! (Hugs MAMA.)

MAMA: I am, I am.

(Enter PAPA.)

PAPA: What’s the… Alice?

MAMA: George. (They hug.)

PAPA: (While hugging) You’re back…You’re back…You’re back?...

MAMA: (Simultaneously, while hugging) I’m so sorry, I am so sorry, I am so sorry, I’m sorry…

COLIN: But Mama, I thought –

GABBY: Told you I could bring her back.

MAMA: You all did.

GABBY: I did! I said Reparo and we’re not broken anymore, you came back, just like I Ennervated Colin. Mama, this has to mean I’m a witch! Do you think I’ll get my Hogwarts letter soon? I’m almost eleven, Mama! Only a few more years! Just think, I’m magic!

MAMA: Oh, Gabby. I don’t think…There – What the Sep –

PAPA: What Mama’s trying to say is…we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

COLIN: But Gabby said the spells. And then they worked. Doesn’t she have to be…?

PAPA: I think…sometimes, magic can happen in the Muggle world. But only…

MAMA: Only when you need it the most.

COLIN: (flinging his arms around her neck) Gabby, you’re a genius!
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