(1939-09-20) Stars Are Looked Up To
Details for Stars Are Looked Up To
Summary: Audrey and Signe go shopping together, and each gets a better sense about the other, and where they stand with Wolfgang.
Date: 20 September, 1939
Location: Twilfit and Tattings, Diagon Alley
Related: Wolfgang's Birthday

Audrey is incapable of making a subtle entrance. As she steps into Twilfit and Tattings — the door held by Randall, one of her assistants — she throws her arms up, beaming about at the wizardly fashions all around. "Oh, just look at this place! It has been far too long. Oh, that gown is to die for. Sydney, dear, you would absolutely break hearts in that." She gasps suddenly, hand going to her bosom, and strides purposefully to a display mannequin. "This is a tragedy! A tragedy that I don't own this already!" She laughs, whirling to take in the space as if she were taking center stage.

Signe steps in after Audrey, looking for a few moments rather like a rabbit that fears it just scented a wolf. Oh, it's been a long time for her, as well - just over eleven years, as a matter of fact. What if someone recognizes her, she worries? They couldn't - could they? After so long? But she and Beryl look so alike…

"It is lovely," Signe agrees, making her way over to the dress, and studying the rather dramatic collar on it. "And it's just my color, I think." She tries to cover for her discomfort with a friendly smile.

Audrey rejoins Signe at that first mannequin, running her hand down the sleeve to feel the material. "Oh, that is just perfect. Feel how soft it is. Wolfie would positively melt, I'm sure." She gives Signe a sidelong smirk, eyes on the woman, observing her reaction.

"Most anything I wear does that," Signe answers, giving Audrey another smile. "But I think you're right. Doesn't look like the sizing is far off, either," she adds with a critical eye.

Audrey's eyebrow arches curiously. "I imagine he is quite taken with you. I regret that I didn't get much chance to stay and chat with the both of you. Sharkey can be such a bother." She strolls around the mannequin, casually examining it from all sides. "But I'd like to get to know you better…and to better know your relationship with Wolfie. The two of you are quite close, I gather."

"We'll have plenty of time to get acquainted," Signe agrees. "I suggested to Wolfgang that we three might make a bit of a tour of entertaining the troops — though it would have to wait a month or two. I'm a bit tied to London, for the moment." Looking to the shopgirl, Signe gestures to the dress, indicating she would like to try it, and leaving it to her to remove it from the mannequin.

"We are quite fond of each other," she adds. "He's a very thoughtful man."

"A tour sounds lovely. Meanwhile, there are many men here in London that could use entertainment. That's why I'm here, after all." Audrey beams proudly at her self-appointed morale mission. "But yes, he's very thoughtful…most of the time. Just what has he told you about us?"

Signe shrugs her shoulders a bit uncertainly, not sure what to say. "That he was terribly fond of you - and still is, quite obviously. But that things went a bit wrong, and he's determined not to make the same mistakes again. He's been very… forthright about it, but I didn't hear too many details, nor did I ask."

"You should, you know," Audrey says plainly, eyeing the dress as it comes off of the mannequin. "Oh dear, that seam looks uncomfortable. That would have to be dealt with. What was I saying? Oh yes, details. It's complicated between Wolfie and I. Listen…I want to assure you that I'm not here to try to steal him away. I've been exactly where you are now, and…it wasn't enjoyable. Wolfgang was, shall we say, less than thoughtful about my feelings." She gives a soft sigh, shaking her head. "I love him. I don't think that will ever change. But I want to be your friend, Sydney. You and I are a lot alike, clearly. We should be sisters, not rivals."

"It's a relief to hear you say that," Signe agrees — her attention more on the other woman, than on the dress. She reaches out to take Audrey's hands in hers, her gaze questioning — perhaps even a little hopeful. Here, perhaps, is someone she can confide in, and trust for sympathy and advice. She hopes so, at least. "In what was he… indelicate with your feelings, if I may ask?" she questions softly.

Audrey gladly takes Signe's hands, squeezing them affectionately. "I'm sure he didn't mean to be cruel. But he has a way of becoming wrapped up in new and pretty things. Has he told you about Oriana Marcone?"

"I don't think he ever means to be cruel," Signe agrees. Though that obviously doesn't stop it from hurting. "He's mentioned here. But she's back in Italy, isn't she? I haven't been too bothered."

"Is she? I never learned for myself what became of her." A look of relief passes over Audrey's features. "I assumed she was out of the picture since I received no wedding announcement. She was Wolfie's fiancee. An arrangement made by their families.

When she came into the picture, I was staying with Wolfgang. I had been in another relationship which ended…badly. Needless to say, I was an utter wreck, and I had come to him for consolation. We were possibly rekindling what we'd had. Then along came Oriana. Wolfgang gave me little to no warning, and began his courtship of her without so much as asking me my feeling on it. I realise that the decision was not mine. But it stung that he didn't so much as consider my feelings on it. Especially in the dreadful state I was in."

Audrey sighs. "Oriana didn't make things any easier. Oh, she could play sweet, but she leapt at the first opportunity to try to get me out of Wolfgang's home. So, you see, I have no desire to be the next Oriana. I don't want you to feel as if you are in the position that I was in."

Signe bites her lower lip while listening to Audrey's retelling of events, going from holding her hands, to wrapping an arm around her consolingly. "Oh, that does sound dreadful. Well, I haven't heard a peep from her or seen her so much as once. Perhaps it didn't work out between them - though from my understanding, nothing's been called off…" She sighs. "I did enjoy having him all to myself, I'll admit, but you're being very good about all this." She gives Audrey a squeeze. "You're absolutely a gem."

Audrey smiles brightly, returning the hug. "And you are a doll. I'm not surprised that the betrothal hasn't been cancelled. If not Oriana, it will be someone else. We must be realistic. He'd never be able to take either of us as a wife, but his family will insist that he marry." She seeks Signe's hands again, giving them another squeeze. "What I am saying is that we both have a place in his life. I know that I have no intention of relinquishing mine, and neither should you. When the time comes that he must marry, the two of us will be stronger together than one of us would be."

"I know," Signe answers quietly. As much as she may wish otherwise… She knows what the pure-blood world thinks of them. "And to think I was nervous when you swept through those doors. You went right past me, you know," she teases, giving Audrey a playful nudge. "Not that I can blame you in the least, after having been apart for so long."

Audrey winces, putting a hand to her mouth. "Did I? I'm so sorry, darling. Had I known who you were…well…I would at least have greeting you in passing. I admit, I was rather focused on Wolfie. It felt like it had been years." She gestures after the shop girl who is waiting patiently with the dress in hand. "Come let's see how you look in that."

"You did, and I forgive you completely," Signe responds. "Now that we're acquainted, I think it's rather amusing." She gives Audrey another squeeze, then flashes her a genuine smile. "Yes, let's she agrees," before stepping forward to take the dress from the shop girl. It's a relief the woman's so young - she would clearly have been too little to have worked here when Signe last shopped in the store. Dress in hand, she'll enter one of the dressing chambers to change.

Audrey positions herself just outside the dressing room, like some glamorous guardswoman. "I loved singing with you, Sydney. I thought our voices complemented each other quite well. It's a sign, I think, that you and I are compatible. Don't you think so?"

"Of course I do! I wish I'd had the chance to give the song a more private run-through before giving it a go on stage but- all the same, it was a rather invigorating challenge," Signe remarks. She steps out of the dressing room, turning to reveal the clasps at the back of the dress. "Would you be a dear…?" she asks, before continuing. "We shall have to sing it again some time - I'm sure I'll get it better on a second go-around."

"You were spectacular," Audrey assures her, moving to help her into the dress. Many years in the theatre make costuming assistance an automatic reflex. "But I wouldn't turn down another performance. You know, we could become the voices for that song in England. We would probably be the first duet to sing it, as well."

"We could," Signe agrees, laughing. "Puts a rather racy spin on it, though, don't you think? Two girls singing it in duet? Are you sure the Muggles are ready for all that? At least there was a context for it last night…" She turns her head to smile at Audrey, and as soon as she's finished, moves towards the mirror to admire the dress critically. "I do adore this color. I almost never wear red, you know, but with that suit that Wolfgang chose… Needs to be taken in a touch, though, and the fit on the bodice isn't quite right."

Audrey lets her jaw drop in melodramatic amazement at the dress on Signe. "Oh, it's divine! Just a few touches here and there, and it will be perfect. Sydney, you are going to have this dress. Raaaandall," she coos to her assistant in sing-song tones. "Be a dear and make the arrangements?" She blows Randall a kiss, then turns her attention to Signe, squeezing her shoulders from behind. "You're a vision, darling."

Signe meets Audrey's gaze in the mirror, smiling at the other woman. "You know. Already I feel as if I have two older sisters. I shall have to introduce you to Beryl, sometime." She turns to face the other woman, adding more quietly, "She doesn't mind, you know. Doesn't think less of me by even one whit…" even with her being a squib and all. "I lucked out in that. She'll adore you."

"I suppose that's the bond of sisterhood. I wouldn't know, myself. I've never had a sister. But maybe that will change, now." Audrey flashes that gloriously bright smile. "I look forward to meeting her. Does she sing as well? I could imagine a voice like yours running in the family."

"She can barely carry a tune," Signe answers with a laugh. "But I don't hold that against her." One of the shop girls comes over now - with a privacy screen. She unfolds it, then asks Signe to step behind it, so they can take off the dress and get accurate measurements. Of course, being half-dressed in front of others is something that she's quite used to - sometimes costume changes must happen quite quickly in the wings.

Audrey waits patiently while Signe changes. "Well, so much the better. One does want to stand out, after all." Audrey assumes that everyone wants to be special the way she does. "I'm surprised at how much we have in common. Our lives have taken very similar paths."

"We're lucky in that," Signe agrees with Audrey, as she has tape measures wrapped about her here and there - the shopkeep reading off the numbers to a notepad and quill which automatically takes down the notations. "Wolfgang and I have a record coming out soon. I wonder if we two could make one - or even all three of us? Though I suppose I ought to do a solo record sooner or later."

"I have one of my own releasing at the beginning of next month," Audrey adds. "And we should absolutely record together. We could call it, 'A Night at the Natrix', or something like that. We three are, after all, the stars of the club, are we not?" She strikes a little pose, hand in the air, and giggles.

"Oh, that's a perfect title!" Signe agrees. With the measurements done, she scampers from behind the screen to her dressing room, wearing only her skivvies. "Just give me a moment!" she adds in a cheery tone.

Audrey smirks as Signe darts by in her underthings. There is a moment of admiration, which has Audrey turning away, lifting her brow in surprise at herself. "Take your time," she calls after. "When you're dressed, let's go find ourselves something to eat. I'm feeling peckish."

"Aren't you going to get anything, yourself?" Signe calls from the dressing room as she's pulling her dress back on, and admiring herself in the changing room mirror to make sure her hair doesn't look too mussed.

"Oh! Yes, of course." Audrey points to the mannequin in the window that she'd been admiring, saying to the shop girl, "That one, dear. Randall will give you my measurements. I'll come for a fitting tomorrow. Could you have it done in blue? Thank you, you're a doll." She calls back to the dressing room. "Ready, Sydney?"

Signe comes out momentarily, all smiles as she joins Audrey, linking arms with her. "Of course," she agrees. Stepping out with her, she murmurs quietly, "I haven't been in there since I was a child. Doesn't it make you at all uneasy — places like that?"

Audrey pats Signe's hand with a confident smirk. "It's about poise, darling. If you believe that you're doing them a favour by gracing their shop with your presence, they'll start to believe it, too. Never, ever lower your eyes. You're a star, and stars are looked up to."

Signe looks up to Audrey's features as they walk, her expression curious, considering… perhaps in hopeful. "I'm not sure if I can. But I'll certainly keep that in mind," she agrees. The two keep chattering cheerfully as they wander Diagon Alley, looking for the perfect restaurant to gift with their presence.

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