AN: Hey there! I actually have a chapter two for you! At some point in this I officially pass everything I had written in an old notebook, and I'm off to create brand new crazy for this story! Hope you enjoy!
Thanks to the two people who reviewed- I appreciate the time you took to talk to me about this, and that you read it. Thanks to all.
Disclaimer: No. I just- no. I am not affiliated with anything other than crack. (not real crack though.)
As the mysterious Madame Giry pulled Hermione away for some mysterious conversation, the rest of the group got properly settled in their seats. They watched the strange events unfolding onstage, feeling very much like they were in the audience of some weird French play. The woman Madame Giry had called Carlotta seemed to be very angry about something- but it was hard to figure out what it was through her thick accent.
"I'm sorry, but did that woman just say she ate her hat?" Ginny asked, shaking with giggles.
Luna could've sworn she heard someone offstage call out "Joel!" but when she pointed it out, nobody else had heard it. Maybe they couldn't see it, but she could tell that there was something unusual about this place.
"What are you doing here?" Asked a blonde girl with a soft voice, looking at the group with confusion in her eyes. She was wearing very little, and she was covered in sweat- the pointe shoes on her feet explained it.
"Finding work," Luna explained. Her eyes met the girl's. There was something that pulled her into them. She held out her hand. "I'm Luna. Luna Lovegood."
"Meg Giry," The girl introduced herself, smiling sweetly at Luna. "If you need work you should talk to my mother..."
"We already are," Ron said, hopping up and holding out his hand, nodding his head towards where Hermione was still deep in conversation with Madame Giry. "I'm Ron Weasley."
"Nice to meet you," Meg replied, but she didn't take his hand. And she was still looking at Luna. Then there was a loud sound onstage, and she jumped, turning around to see what was going on. "I am needed," She told Luna, sounding regretful. "But I will see you again."
Luna just nodded, her mouth dry. She watched Meg walk away.
Hermione walked towards their seats a while later, her excited energy breaking Luna's reverie. "There's a Horcrux here." she announced, her face slightly flushed, her eyes bright.
"What?" Ron asked, just a bit too loudly. He patted the seat next to him, which Hermione took gratefully.
"A Horcrux. In this world we've stepped into. We need to find it."
"But how? Where? Is that what Madame Giry told you? How do you know she's telling the truth?" Harry asked, suddenly coming to life at the mention of a goal.
Hermione began to explain, but Luna honestly wasn't listening by then. Hermione was fairly easy to read. As soon as she'd started talking, Luna had been able to figure out what was going on. Which just meant that she could focus her attention on figuring out where this new Horcrux was. She gazed about, taking in the whole opera house. The velvet chairs, the golden statues of half-naked women, the opulence. But something was changing. Ever so slightly, as a timid-looking brunette sang a pretty song in in middle of the stage, things were shifting.
"Um, you guys-" Luna began, but they weren't paying attention. "-I think there's something going on..."
And then the room was revolving, spinning like the Department of Mysteries so many years ago. The room darkened, the only light coming from the gigantic, glittering chandelier above and the intense spotlights. Spotlights that were trained on the brunette girl, Her tresses now up in some elegant hairdo, now dressed in a sweeping white ballgown, decked out in diamonds. She was singing the same song, smiling wistfully, demure and gorgeous and pale.
But most of this went unnoticed by Ron. His mind was still on Meg, with her silky hair and big- um... heart. Yes. Her big, bouncing heart. He was sitting at the end of the row, and made an easy getaway. Everyone in the theatre had their eyes trained intensely on the singing girl.
"Bravo!" rang out some man's voice in the middle of the song, and Ron rolled his eyes. Even I know you're supposed to say 'Brava' when it's a girl. He thought, and as he laughed at the unknown man's stupidity, he ran straight into him.
"Sorry." Ron mumbled, and ran off before the man could say "No problem, dude."
Where the hell is Ron? Hermione wondered, as Christine's performance received a standing ovation. A few scenes later, as the Opera ended, she jetted off, making her way through crowds filled with drunken children in angel wings, and even more drunken cigar-smoking managers, looking for that familiar shade of red hair. Please don't tell me he's off snogging some Lavender Brown lookalike. She prayed. She was getting that weird stomach cramp she got whenever she started thinking about Ron, so she decided to continue in her search without any more thought.
She came upon him, as she suspected, making out with a girl looking very similar to Lavender Brown, in a nearly deserted corridor.
"Oh, come on." She said, and pulled him away by the hood of his jacket. "Where did you get this?" She asked. "I've never seen it before."
"Oh- it's hers, actually." Ron said, looking abashed. Hermione threw it at the girl, who made a disgruntled sound and stalked off. Hermione, being quite mature, stuck her tongue out at the girl's retreating back, and followed Ron down the deserted hall.
"Where are you going?" She asked.
"That Meg girl... I was wondering where she went," Ron explained. There had to be a reason he was looking for her. He searched wildly for one, and found it. "Thought maybe she knew something about the Horcrux we're looking for."
Hermione just snorted. "Yeah, that or your Veela Complex is acting up again-" but she was cut off by Ron, who grabbed her arm and pulled her to the side. They'd nearly walked in on the very girl he'd been looking for, crouched next to a giant pile of white fluff- no wait, there was a person in that pile. That was the girl who seemed to have replaced Carlotta. Ron's grip slackened a little, but he didn't let go.
Huh. Hermione thought, he body feeling a few degrees warmer than usual. That feels nice. Either Ron agreed or he was just oblivious, but he left his hand there as they watched Meg and the girl- Meg called her Christine- discussing an angel. In song.
"Is this- is this part of the musical?" Ron asked, confused. The question seemed to stump Hermione for a moment. She opened her mouth immediately, and then closed it, biting her lower lip as though deciding if she should tell him something or not. Ron waited patiently, watching her lips twist slightly, her eyes slowly slipping closed, her concentrated breathing making her chest rise and fall-
"I... Ron, you mean the Opera, right?" She asked, her voice nervous. "The Opera we were just watching?"
Ron nodded. "Yeah, that." He said, when she didn't reply right away.
"Ron, can I tell you something?" She asked.
"Anything." He replied, and part of him brightened, hopeful. Hopeful for what, he wasn't sure. But he felt as though there was something very important that should've been said by now, only they'd forgotten. And now, maybe, Hermione remembered. He smiled encouragingly.
"Ron-" Hermione began. She kept saying his name. It was nice. "-There's this musical. It's called 'The Phantom Of The Opera.' And Ron... We've walked into that musical!"
As Ron and Hermione talked, the Opera house was in excited mayhem. The show was over, a new star had been born, and the Parisians were ready to party. And so was Ginny.
"Come on, Luna. Let's dance." She said, and she pulled the blonde girl off. Harry watched them go, Ginny dancing in a manner that made most people stare. Luna was getting some looks as well, but for an entirely different reason. She was quite certain that a headdress from Act I was some sort of ancient artifact, a relic from some civilization long died out that Hermione would've scoffed at. Speaking of which, where was Hermione? Ron wasn't anywhere to be seen either. Maybe they're finally getting it on. Harry thought to himself. He laughed. Nah, even this place isn't crazy enough to get that to happen anytime soon.
"Do you mind if I head off?" He asked Tonks, who was standing beside him, looking around happily. She was difficult to recognize on the best of days, but with her hair a normal colour, and long, and done up like most of the women in the place, it was as if she was a different person. But she smiled at him, and the amused look in her eye was definitely Tonks.
"Sure thing, Harry. I'll just stay here out of the way and people watch- Hey, look! Butterbeer!" And she was off, leaving a mess in her wake. Several people were knocked over, feet were trodden on, and in one case, a prop sword almost impaled an unsurprised-looking stage hand.
"I don't think that's Butterbeer!" Harry called after her, but he didn't think she could hear him. With a rueful grin, he moved on.
He walked about, not too worried about finding his friends, but glad to have at least something he was supposed to be doing. This whole place was very confusing. For instance, they were in Paris, right? But everyone was speaking American English. Some of them had French accents, but that was it. And this world seemed to be just as expansive as the one they had left. It had taken them years to find the Horcruxes they had found, and that was with the hints and help Dumbledore had left behind. This was the unknown Horcrux. The one they had thought was Voldemort's giant snake. The one that wasn't. And there was so much crap there. It could be anywhere.
He pushed a door open at random, and found himself looking at that mirror once again. The room he was in was fairly large, with thick rugs under his feet, rich paintings on the walls, and ballet costumes everywhere he looked. He'd never seen so much tulle in his life.
The weirdest part of the mirror's transformation was that it stopped reflecting the viewer's deepest desire. It was just... normal. He looked at his face in the mirror, trying to fix his hair out of habit, but to no avail. He dropped his head against the cool glass. There was just so much going on-
His thoughts were interrupted by the voice of Madame Giry, talking loudly right outside the room. Damn, the doorknob was turning. He scrambled desperately at the mirror, and it inced to the side just enough for Harry to slip through. He dashed inside, snapped it shut, and fell against the wall in relief. At least, he would have. It there hadn't been someone in between himself and the wall.
"Ow! Bloody hell, Potter! What the hell did you do that for?"
Time moved strangely in this new world- or maybe standing in a dark corridor for hours and hours was messing with the way Draco saw things. But when he'd started his watch, there was light streaming through the windows in the room past the mirror. People rushed in and out, a girl with long dark hair got fitted and changed and pampered, her eyes wide. It was all quite boring, really. And then, as though someone had flicked a switch, the sky outside was pitch black, and the room past the mirror was cast in shadow. Draco had just decided that he'd clearly dozed off and not noticed, and vowed never to let that fact slip, when he saw Harry Potter in the mirror.
The Mirror Of Erised. He remembered. The Mirror Of Desire.
Clearly, he was going crazy.
Ron wasn't taking the news very well.
"Wait... we're in a musical?" Ron asked. "With singing and dancing?"
He was very pale. Hermione nodded.
"But Hermione..." He said, and he looked as though something horrible and hilarious had just occurred to him. "...If there's a Horcrux here, it means that You-Know-Who was here... Which means that he was in a musical. He probably sang."
And they looked at each other in horror.