Cedric, I'm sorry if this comes as a surprise to you--
at that moment, the door bursts open, and there’s a face CEDRIC has never seen before. UNKNOWN INTRUDER slaps the cellphone from CEDRIC’s hands. CEDRIC opens his mouth in anger.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER Stop. Don't get that way with me.
His voice of authority cools CEDRIC’s anger.
CEDRIC keeps his eyes on the intruder, trying to glare at him as menacingly as possible. He reaches toward the cellphone, but is suddenly pushed off his feet by a dark wind.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER I'm done trying to reason with you Cedric. We've gone over this before, and if you won't go by persuasion, and trust me, I've tried, then we're going by force.
CEDRIC continues to keep his eye on the man.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER Cedric, just calm down. Before you do anything rash, please just listen to me.
CEDRIC looks at the cellphone.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER There is no such thing as magic.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER CEDRIC, SAY THE WORDS.
CEDRIC winces again.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER CEDRIC, SAY THE WORDS. SAY IT!
The UNKNOWN INTRUDER unleashes an unseen heat into the room, ruffling the few fabrics left after years of disuse.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER Cedric, if you will not say the words, then we cannot continue with the day.
CEDRIC (sigh) There is no such thing --
UNKNOWN INTRUDER --as magic. Thank you.
CEDRIC looks at the cellphone – or what’s left of it. It’s crumpled into dirt.
He looks at his hands, weakly. Somehow he knew, deep in his heart, that magic wasn’t real. Maybe he’d been on some kind of tr–
UNKNOWN INTRUDER Wake up, Cedric!
CEDRIC snorts, as if he’d fallen asleep. He looks at the older man, wondering who he is.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER It doesn't matter who I am, boy!
CEDRIC How did you know what I was thinking?
UNKNOWN INTRUDER YOU WERE LOOKING UP AT ME WITH THAT STUPID LOOK!
CEDRIC looks up at him, quizzically.
UNKNOWN INTRUDER It doesn't matter, Cedric. As I said before, if you're not coming with me willingly, then I will remove you by force. There is no such thing as magic, and thus you are not cursed, and if you are not cursed, then you must, in the logical interest of self-preservation, come with me and leave this blasted apartment.
CEDRIC looks at the man, who he doesn’t recognize, who is trying to tell him something in words he can’t understand, that he doesn’t have an affliction he doesn’t know exists. Magic? Didn’t he… die? He is paralyzed with fear.
THE UNKNOWN INTRUDER sighs audibly.
the house is on fire.
at these words, CEDRIC is more than just afraid, rather, his skin takes on a cagelike stiffness.
and I'm taking you with me.
CEDRIC turns into a rabbit, laying asleep on the floor. The MAN scoops him up into his hat, places it on his head, and goes into the house to work.
once he gets inside, he’s going to have to pull a rabbit out of his hat, just like always.
the sidedoor is locked, as the dolt usally forgotl.
When he gets inside, Bronald is already working the room. His usual rehearsed pleasantries. It’s grating to the ears. He winces at the sound of his voice. But he must focus on imitating the song and dance.
Bronald Ah, and here he is now, boys. The magician, Larry Potter!
the Girls all turn around to face the wizard ent’ring the room.
the Girls make small talk over the gift they’re about to receive.
(as Larry Potter) Now remember, girls. You only need the tiniest bite. Now don't be greedy now! There's plenty to go around.
Ron steps up into the girl’s vision.
Bronald Now please remember, you only need the tiniest bite. Whatever you don't eat, you can take home for later. Share it with anyone you like, we've portioned this part out just for you.
Larry lowers his hat and inside is a tiny baby rabbit, asleep. the Girls all look into the hat. They all look at each other, confused.
girl 19 a bunny? I thought we were getting a cracker!
girl 1 that what they all said!
At this declaration, Bronald drops to the floor. His deep oranged hair fades all at once to a tawny grey.
the Girls dissolve into a fine mist and the room smells faintly flowered.