Harry Potter and The Rhinoceros


The scene is a square in a small muggle town. Up-stage a
house composed of a ground floor and one storey. The
ground floor is the window of a grocer’s shop. The entrance
is up two or three steps through a glass-patted door. The
word EPICERIE is written in bold letters above the shop
window. The two windows on the first floor are the living
quarters of the grocer and his wife. The shop is up-stage,
but slightly to the left, not far from the wings. In the
distance a church steeple is visible above the grocer’s
house. Between the shop and the left of the stage there is a
little street in perspective. To the right, slightly at an angle,
is the front of a café. Above the café, one floor with a
window; in front, the café terrace; several chairs and tables
reach almost to centre stage. A dusty tree stands near the
terrace chairs. Blue sky; harsh light; very white walls. The
time is almost mid-day on a Sunday in summertime.

at one of the terrace tables.

[The sound of church bells is heard, which stop a
few moments before the curtain rises. When the
curtain rises, a woman carrying a basket of
provisions under one arm and a cat under the other
crosses the stage in silence from right to left. As she
does so, the GROCER’S WIFE opens her shop door and
watches her pass.]
GROCER’S WIFE: Oh that woman gets on my nerves! [To her
husband who is in the shop:] Too stuck-up to buy from us
nowadays. [The GROCER’S WIFE leaves; the stage is empty
for a few moments.]

[RON WEASLEY enters right, at the same time as HARRY POTTER enters
left. WEASLEY is very fastidiously dressed: brown suit, red
tie, stiff collar, brown hat. He has a reddish face. His
shoes are yellow and well-polished. POTTER is
unshaven and hatless, with unkempt hair and
creased clothes; everything about him indicates
negligence. He seems weary, half-asleep; from time
to time he yawns.]

WEASLEY: [advancing from right] Oh, so you managed to get here
at last, Harry Potter!
POTTER: [advancing from left] Morning, Ron!
WEASLEY: Late as usual, of course. [He looks at his wrist watch.]
Our appointment was for 11.30. And now it’s practically
POTTER: I’m sorry. Have you been waiting long?
WEASLEY: No, I’ve only just apperated myself, as you saw.
[They go and sit at one of the tables on the café
POTTER: In that case I don’t feel so bad, if you’ve only just…
WEASLEY: It’s different with me. I don’t like waiting; I’ve no time to
waste. And as you’re never on time, I come late on
purpose—at a time when I presume you’ll be there.
POTTER: You’re right . . . quite right, but . . .
WEASLEY: Now don’t try to pretend you’re ever on time!
POTTER: No, of course not . . . I wouldn’t say that.
[ and POTTER have sat down.]
WEASLEY: There you are, you see!
POTTER: What are you drinking?
WEASLEY: You mean to say you’ve got a thirst even at this time in
the morning?
POTTER: It’s so hot and dry.
WEASLEY: The more you drink the thirstier you get, popular
science tells us that…
POTTER: It would be less dry, and we’d be less thirsty, if
they’d invent us some scientific clouds in the sky.
WEASLEY: [studying POTTER closely] That wouldn’t help you any.
You’re not thirsty for water, Harry …
POTTER: I don’t understand what you mean.

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