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01 December 2008 @ 12:36 pm
WOE! and CRACK!  
I have been a little manky of late, and thus able to make it to work, and to the sofa, where I promptly fall asleep. Nothing deadly, but, as my doctor says, I might want to consider regular sleep. I am slowly crawling through my hd_hols fic, with only the immense kindness of the mods standing between me and abject failure. Any minute now I will be able to start on my reading for Darkfest!

In the meantime, this post is a quick assurance that I am not dead, and a quick burst of, er, grief and fever-inspired madness. pushdragon  is leaving fandom forever, and has been sent off by many of us who love her with a drabblefest. (Go, read! Much genius, especially from Pie and Pingrid!)

I had plans to write a brilliant and incisive prose poem on the devastation of wizarding vs Muggle politics. But my despair at Push's fleeing and my fever conspired to see me pick up one of her prompts. She has inspired me in so many ways, this is definitely the wrongest of them all. Thus I give you --

Albus Dumbledore: The Musical
Pairing: H/D
Wordcount: about 1390
A/N: Please do not judge me too harshly, I am quite ill, really.

I am not surprised to see him there, beside me. Where else would he be at a moment like this?

He smiles, briefly, grimly. ‘Have I missed anything?’

I shake my head. ‘Overture – dancing house-elf chorus, consider yourself lucky.’

He slips into the velvet seat and peers down at the stage below us. As the curtains peel back to reveal a comfortable but humble home, with three handsome children arrayed before it, his hands reach forward to rest on the box’s railing.

The opening number, ‘Three Little Babes’ is light and cheery, though it intimates the horror that we know will follow with lyrics such as: ‘Three little babes who all unwary/ Live near a Muggle sanctuary/ Hounded by youths who are rough and lairy …’

Potter turns to me and whispers, ‘There’s no way this can turn out well, is there?’

I shake my head.

The attack on Ariana is at least handled tastefully, reconstructed as a modern ballet to the haunting strains of a boy soprano singing ‘Ariana, I just met a girl named Ariana … And suddenly that name, denotes all that is strange, to me …’

Percival’s vengeance is swiftly dealt with, to the strains of ‘You’ve Got to Break A Muggle Or Two’. Disturbingly, I find myself humming along with the chorus: ‘Auror justice is a lark, You’ve got to break a Muggle or two ...’ until Potter pokes me in the ribs.

The next number is Kendra’s lament: ‘Summertime’, a touching tune with a deceptively simple melody. The lyrics creep under my skin, helped by the voice of the witch playing the role: ‘Oh your Daddy is dead, and your Mamma’s done running, so hush little baby, don’t you cry …’ And the final verse: ‘One of these mornings, you’re gonna wake up healthy, then you’ll clasp your wand, and you’ll sing like a bird. But till that morning, you keep quiet and calm now, just hush there my darling, don’t say a word.’

Potter looks at me, his face gentle. ‘That was kind,’ he whispers. I nod agreement.

The moment passes quickly. Kendra’s death happens off stage and then the actor playing the young Albus takes to the stage. He’s handsome, if a little gormless, and his red hair reminds me strangely of a setter that father used to own. He sings the first part of Albus’s keynote song, ‘Fame’:
‘They’ll all look at me/ In books of history/ Forget Flamel and Gryffindor/ Every page will be filled with Dumbledore …’

When Potter starts humming the chorus, I poke him back. Then the two of us pause in our hostilities, mutually frozen by the combined horror of ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ as Albus deals with meeting Gellert, then Gellert’s ‘If I Were a Witch Man’ in reply.

‘Do I want to know what a biddy biddy bum is?’ Potter asks me, his voice closer to fear than I have ever heard it. I assure him he doesn’t.

And now the moment I have been dreading since Dennis Creevey first warned me about the score: the Gellert and Albus medley. It begins harmlessly enough with Gellert’s Willkommen, segues into Albus’s assurances that life should be a Cabaret, in which he plans to send his brother and sister away so that he and his young lover can move forward with their plans, before they shift into their duet.

It is just as I had feared, the audience in the cheap seats beneath us are enthralled. And who can blame them?

‘The flames are at bay now, they’ve loosened their ties, But how can we truly be free? Till we heed destiny, Arise, arise! Tomorrow belongs, tomorrow belongs! Tomorrow belongs to me!’

I pity the Muggle that walks in now. But Creevey has not told me what comes next, and my fears are all allayed when Albus and Gellert turn on each other, while Ariana bounces between them to the strains of ‘Pinball Wizards’. In the aftermath of her death, while Albus clutches her and Aberforth sings the lament ‘Memory’ – ‘Cursed by pride and/ Filled with rage – they don’t see what they’re breaking/ A curse goes flying/ And a girl lies dying/ This is the world they’re making’– there is not a dry eye in the hall.

The next years of Albus’s life are whipped past in a montage. He cuts off his long locks, singing that he is ‘Going to wash that man right out of my hair’, then shifts to Hogwarts, where he’s welcomed by the staff singing ‘Oh What a Beautiful Learning’. I find this hard to take seriously. Aberforth’s solo, ‘High on a Hill with a Lonely Goatherd’, sees Potter collapse into a shaking heap of stifled giggles behind the box’s front.

The war against Grindelwald sees a return to form, though, culminating in the delegation of witches and wizards storming the gates of Hogwarts: ‘Do you hear the people sing?/ Singing the song of desperate times/ It is the music of a people who are dying for your crimes/ When will you take up the fight/ And release us all from fear?/ Surely you could haul him down and bring victory near!’

I am embarrassed to admit that I feel the tiniest clutch at my heartstrings during Grindelwald’s rendition of ‘Don’t Cry for Me, For My Misdemeanours’, though I shake it off immediately afterwards when the scene switches to Hogwarts and Dumbledore skulks around after Tom Riddle, singing ‘Getting to Know You’.

I glance at Potter. Like me, he is starting to fade a little in this mid-act section, before the rousing fanfare of ‘Dumbledore, Superstar!’ shocks us into wakefulness. The first Voldemort war seems rushed through, until Albus, now played by an older actor, meets with Snape on a blighted moor and the two sing a duet.

I could have died happily without hearing a man dressed as Severus sing ‘Looking back, I could have played it differently/ Left my arm quite blank, and so my soul/ But it took time to understand the man/ Now, I fear, I know him so well’. But life has never been charitable to me.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the shock that strikes me when the action reaches 1991 and Dumbledore greets the incoming year with ‘Thank Heaven for Little Boys’. Potter turns to me with his jaw practically on his chest, pointing at the stage. A small dark-haired boy in glasses and a matching one with white-blond hair sit on either side of the ersatz Professor.

‘If we close our eyes,’ I whisper to him, ‘it will go away.’

I’m right, our school years are whizzed through, with the only highlights being ‘The Bane in Brain’ sung by Professor Quirrell and a chorus of centaurs singing ‘What a Swell Parting’ as they carry Dolores Umbridge off into the distance.

Potter closes his eyes and sticks his fingers in his ears for Elphias Doge’s rendition of ‘Secret Love’, and Albus’s response of ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face’, but we take heart from the knowledge there’s only a short time left before the end.

And then we’re there – and it’s more appalling than I can describe. In a voice broken and filled with despair, the wizard playing Albus pats the me-analogue on the shoulder, then looks out over the audience and sings: ‘Isn’t it rich?/ Aren’t we a pair?/ You here, unable to kill,/ Me in despair./ Send in the clowns …’

I am almost relieved when the old fool topples from the tower and a facsimile of Potter holds the sword of Gryffindor above his head, singing ‘As Long As He Needs Me’. Beside me, the original declares, ‘That did not happen.’ I nod. I remember.

All around us there is rapturous applause. The two of us look only at each other.

We wait until most people have left before we speak.

‘That was one of the most painful experiences of my life,’ I confess.

‘Top three,’ he agrees.

‘Nothing but copious amounts of firewhiskey and a vigorous shagging are going to drive that from my mind,’ I mutter.

‘But I don’t like firewhiskey.’

I look up, and the little devil is grinning at me. I grin back, and for the first time in my life, I feel genuinely and simply grateful to Albus Dumbledore.

Voldemoo: kerchiefmousefrantic_mice on December 1st, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
SHE IS NOT LEAVING US FOREVER!!!! It must be the sickness talking. She has promised to be our Persephone and she would NOT LIE!

Also, you are amazingly funnieh and ILU forever and ever and we should go to an Asylum together liek PROUST and DOC HOLIDAY!! except they are badexamples 'cause they died or their illnesses and surely we won't.

Someone should Illustration this. HEATHERS WHERE ARE YOU?!?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
I am playing along and trying to lure her into a false sense of security with our acceptance, before Pingrid and I fly down to Victoria and kidnap her.

WE SHOULD find an asylum, or at least a health spa, with massages and lots of toast. And we will be fine, provided a secure toast supply can be maintained! We would be each other's best company if we had to go to the Mediterranean to take the cure!
Dedicated Escape Artist: Bwahaha buddhajadzialove on December 1st, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)

*falls down laughing*

It's made all the funnier by the use of recognizable melodies. I was singing along! You are truly evil and somewhat deranged. And I love you all the more for it.

*giggles -- hums 'Don’t Cry for Me, For My Misdemeanours' *

Edited at 2008-12-01 02:10 am (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
Somewhat? Completely! XXX
uminohikariuminohikari on December 1st, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
Can't stop laughing. *wheezes*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I am so ashamed, but at least you can dance to it ...
Seshetasesheta_66 on December 1st, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Oh, God, that was hilarious!!!

Simply too many glorious moments to quote back to you. Well done, hilarious, and I adore that it's through Draco's eyes. And loved the ending! *g*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
I think the very worst part of this is that there are additional lyrics to several of these playing in my brain. I really must invent brain bleach if I am to have any hope of regaining sanity ...
libby_drew on December 1st, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
*howls* The perfect way to end my evening, thanks, darling. I'm so sad to hear you're ill. Get better soon.

I drop in on LJ today to find you sick, cal gone, and push leaving. I kinda want to just turn back the clock. *sobs*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
Cal's not so much gone as away at the moment. I just wish I had the budget to give her a hiatus in Fiji ...

I'll be fine in a few weeks, and it is my own fault for deciding that breathing was optional. As to push, I am in denial, but do live close enough to stalk her, and so will. And you can see what she does to me ...
anabellhenryanabellhenry on December 1st, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
You've made my cold ever so much better with this, despite the coughing fit brought on by my peels of laughter. I couldn't say my favorite tune - each was a cackle or a giggle or a snort. Although, by Send In The Clowns I was flat out laughing and so quickly coughing.

Feel better soon - God knows I do after this!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:48 am (UTC)
Hee! My lungs are only now clearing after the antibiotics of doom (don't ask about my stomach). Glad to have cheered you up! I have a terrible urge to write the rest of the lyrics, which I am stamping on!
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
And wholly deranged!
Meredythmeredyth_13 on December 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Hey darling. So sorry you're feeling manky. I've missed seeing you around. I couldn't find the heart to write for Push's drabblefest - I don't believe in fandom, adieu! Not that I doubt her intentions, I just have every intention of keeping one paw on her for as long as I can. And dangling the odd piece of H/D deliciousness in front of her.

Hope the lurgy lifts soon - what the hell have you been doing to yourself? You know that can send you blind, right? ;)

Love and hugs,
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)
And you are ideally placed for properly stalking her ;-) I didn't let my lungs clear up between bouts of mank, but it's all on the mend now, which is more than I can say for my poor stomach after all the penicillin!
Jaeenchanted_jae on December 1st, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
This should be immortalized as crack!genius. *nods*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
Yes, genius! That is the word! (Not madness, not madness at all!)
randomidiot: star clusterorions_stars on December 1st, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
First, I'm sorry that you're not well, and I hope you get better soon. Second, your fic is HILARIOUS and made me laugh out loud :) I couldn't help singing along in my head! (Also, I realized I probably know too many musicals.) Poor Harry and Draco! But I am sure they will console each other. I'm certain Dumbledore would not be displeased with this legacy. Thanks for the laugh!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:56 am (UTC)
YAY for singing along! Glad you liked it, though I fear it signals the men from the 'Relaxation Retreat' can't be far away ...
Meredyth: Veela Dracomeredyth_13 on December 1st, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Ok, and now that I've stopped stuffing my face with lunch long enough to read this and respond...



You are evol, wicked and evol, and did I mention evol?

OMG woman! I will never be able to watch another musical as long as I live. Thank god you left Avenue Q alone (as far as I could tell - I'm daft) - because I really want to see that next year (hey, you should come down for it) and the thought of Albus singing 'If you were Gay' to Severus, not to mention any of them singing 'I'm not wearing underwear today'. *dies*

There is a special afterlife for people with brains like yours. I just hope the rest of us are allowed to visit from time to time to get our fix. *hugs*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
You forgot barking mad ;-)

Yes, these newfangled musicals haven't really intruded on my poor old brain yet. Just the classic dodgy ones! And I am not sure we're calling it a brain, more of sago pudding ...
Bryoney: dark mark - badassbryoneybrynn on December 1st, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
OH MY GOD. That had me nearly peeing myself. And slightly ashamed that I knew all of the songs you were parodying. Damn musical theatre and its catchiness!

I'm sorry you've been ill, my dear. I've been wondering at your absence but of course too scattered to drop you a pm. *sighs* I hope that you feel better soon. I've missed you, what with your crazy writing schedule and vacations and illness!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, you're a great slacker ;-)

I hate to say it, but I have been singing merrily all day. THE SHAME!!!
drgaellon on December 1st, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Oh my sainted aunt... you has broken my brain. Now I need copious amounts of spiritous beverages.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)
Broke YOUR brain? What do you think mine looks like at the moment? ;-) Hope the drink was cool and soothing!
Azure Jane Lunatic: fangirlazurelunatic on December 1st, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
*snerk* This is gloriously dreadful. I have shared poor Harry and Draco's pain with jai_dit.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)
I'm not wholly certain shared is the right word, inflicted might be better ...
Catscatsintheattic on December 1st, 2008 08:45 am (UTC)
Albus Dumbledore: The Musical
This is absolutely hilarious. I didn't know half of the songs and still laughed my head off.

Draco's running commentary is so made of win! As are you! :-D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2008 11:02 am (UTC)
Re: Albus Dumbledore: The Musical
I am so disturbed that I do know all those tunes. It's a wake-up call that I need to get out more ;-) Glad you had a laugh, though!